Category Archives: stupid

A Timely Laugh or Two in Time for the World Cup

You all know how I feel about soccer.  It’s frigging communist.  And played by guys that fall down in agony if you invade their personal space.  Yeah, I know a goodly chunk of the rest of the world plays it.  But a goodly chunk of the rest of the world doesn’t use toilets, either.  It doesn’t make it a good idea.

Anyway, witness Jason Sudeikis, American football coach, hired by Tottenham of the English Premiere League.   Pretty well done.  But I am still not watching soccer on NBC.  It makes golf look like nonstop action.

BIG H/T to Delta Bravo!!!

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Filed under Around the web, girls, Humor, Personal, stupid, Uncategorized

President Takes Decisive Action in Iraq

In a stunning reversal of his previous equivocation regarding US involvement in the worsening security situation in Iraq, President Obama stated that the US is prepared to act with strength and decisiveness to help defeat the ISIS radical jihadist forces that have engulfed several major cities and killed many thousands of Iraqis.

MIchelle hashtag iraq

There.  That’ll show ‘em.  Worked like a charm with Boko Haram in Nigeria, too.   They certainly have mended their ways.    Administration officials speculate that the Islamic Extremist fighters that have invaded Iraq have little chance of resisting the pressure of tweets and re-tweets that show support for the Iraqi people, and will be forced to withdraw.  On the outside chance that somehow ISIS can withstand such an onslaught of social media, the President is prepared to conjure his best “I’m not kidding” expression and talk about “consequences”, possibly even “dire consequences”.   No word yet on whether or not Secretary of State Kerry will scold ISIS for “behaving in a 7th Century fashion”.   New White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was quoted as saying, “The President is making the best of a situation left him by the previous Administration, which is responsible for declaring the war over and abandoning Iraq to its fate.  Wait, ….what?  That was us?  You sure?  No more questions!”

Gawd, we are so screwed.

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Filed under Afghanistan, Defense, girls, guns, history, Humor, Iran, iraq, islam, Libya, obama, Politics, stupid, Uncategorized, veterans, war, weapons

Women can be Marine Infantry Officers. All You Have to do is Change the Standards.

Feminist advocate Ellen Haring, a Reserve Army Colonel, wrote a piece over at War on the Rocks about how to fix why females cannot pass the US Marine Corps Infantry Officers’ Course.   Not surprisingly, Haring’s assertions ring hollow and partisan to any Marine ground combat Officer, especially one with the Infantry MOS.

…why are the physical standards different for officers and enlisted infantry Marines?…
Officers and enlisted infantrymen perform the same physical tasks in their units and during combat operations.  The discriminator between officer and enlisted has always been education, not physical differences.

What Haring writes is utter nonsense.  The answer, which should be glaringly evident to someone with the rank of Colonel, is that Marine Officers must not just “perform the same physical tasks”, but to LEAD, and lead by physical example.  A great deal of a young Officer’s credibility with his Marines comes from the display of physical courage and personal fitness, which includes strength, stamina, and endurance.  A Marine Infantry Officer must be prepared to lead despite extreme physical fatigue, and retain the ability to make alert and sound decisions.  The lives of his platoon or company depend upon it.  That Haring ignores such a fundamental of leadership in a combat MOS is not surprising, and I don’t think for a minute it is unintentional.

Haring also cites the op-ed by 2nd Lt Santangelo, in which the Lieutenant asserts that expectations, and not physical limitations, are the reasons for failure among the female Officers.  Nowhere does Haring mention the viewpoint of Captain Kate Petronio, whose extensive experience serving beside Marine Infantry units would seem to have a bit more validity than to be ignored.

Haring’s focus is, of course, the Combat Endurance Test, a grueling physical event that has been a part of the Infantry Officers’ Course for decades.  This is where 13 of the 14 female Officers have failed, and it is administered on the first day of training.  (The 14th female was dropped with a stress fracture in the first few days of training.)  Haring calls the Combat Endurance Test an “initiation”, rather than an occupational qualification, and to an extent that is correct.  In order to lead Infantry Marines, an Officer must successfully complete that test.  So, of course, since it is a stumbling block for 93% (at least) of the female Officers, Haring takes aim at that event.  And here is the crux of her argument:

Do initiation rites have a place in our military?  There will be those who argue that they absolutely have a place in developing the esprit de corps that is vital to the Marine Corps and those arguments have merit.  Certainly the Marines have built their reputation on being tough, trained professionals whose motto Semper Fidelis (always faithful) embodies their total dedication to this country and to the Corps. But does an initiation rite that effectively filters out half the American population (all women) do the Marine Corps justice?

It is that last line which says it all.  Haring apparently has issue with how the Marine Corps trains its Infantry Officers, as such training doesn’t do the Corps “justice”.   Huh.  Here I was thinking the Corps had a rather successful training program for what it rightly considers the backbone of the service, the Marine Infantry Officer.  Haring parenthetically mentions that such training “filters out” women, as if that part of her argument is an afterthought.  In reality, her entire effort centers around that very premise.  While she goes on to say that she is not advocating elimination of the Combat Endurance Test, she does advocate advancing female Officers through IOC without passing the test, as she claims male officers have done, and allow females to repeat the test (one assumes, indefinitely), until they pass.  (I question the accuracy of her assertions that males have been given unlimited chances to pass the Combat Endurance Test, and know of several males who have washed from IOC because they could not do so.)

This will have the effect of making passing of the Combat Endurance Test a graduation requirement rather than an entry requirement.  Of course, once a female Officer has had all that time and money invested in her training, the argument will then be to waive passing of the Combat Endurance Test altogether.  Because it would be foolish and wasteful to put a female Officer through all that training and not have her graduate.  Which will be precisely the goal of feminist activists like Haring.  Female Marine Infantry Officers, no matter how unqualified or ill-equipped to be such.  Because, well, the cause is more important.

So, despite her assertions that she does not advocate changing the standards in order to have female Marine Officers become Infantry Officers, she is advocating just that, and she knows it.  Like so many in the “girl power” feminism ranks, she simply lacks the integrity to say so.

h/t to Info Dissem

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Filed under army, ARMY TRAINING, Around the web, Defense, girls, history, infantry, marines, Politics, recruiting, stupid, Uncategorized, veterans, war, weapons

Michelle Obama’s Trite and Meaningless Gesture

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By now most of us have seen the above image of First Lady Michelle Obama holding a “hashtag” sign in reference to the kidnapping of nearly 300 Nigerian Christian girls by Islamic extremist terror group Boko Haram. Maddening as it is, the image is appropriately symbolic of the Obama Presidency. This silly idea that “Twitter” hashtags being circulated amongst empathetic bystanders somehow equates to actually DOING SOMETHING is right in line with the abysmally weak and ineffective foreign policy of her husband’s administration. Which is to say bold and serious talk of “red lines” and “changing calculus” is accompanied by stern warnings and finger wagging, talk of “consequences”, “sanctions”, and “pivots”, all amounting, like this hashtag nonsense, to nothing at all of any value or consequence.

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Worse, Michelle Obama’s meaningless little stunt comes after her husband’s State Department assiduously avoided labeling Boko Haram as a terrorist organization for more than four years. The burning of churches, the murder and torture of thousands of Nigerian Christians, elicited not a peep from Michelle Obama. She seems only now to care in the slightest because Boko Haram’s campaign of terror and murder can be seen as a “women’s issue”.   And Lord knows she needs to be at the front lines in the “War on Women”. Just like Hillary Clinton, who now sees Boko Haram as “abominable” and “criminal”, committing “terrorist acts”. For the four years in which the State Department dithered in labeling Boko Haram as terrorists, however, the Secretary of State was that very same Hillary Clinton.

Also, Michelle, the abducted girls are not “yours”. Even though you think some idiotic picture of you with a “hashtag” showing “support” makes them so. They are the children of parents who have lived in fear of violence and death at the hands of these Islamic extremists for half a decade. Those extremists are armed partially by the very same weapons, and trained by the very same fighters, that your husband’s administration provided when it shipped arms to in Libya to overthrow a docile Khaddafi, all the while “leading from behind”.  Those Islamic extremists have now metastasized across Africa, into Mali, and the CAR, Algeria, and northern Nigeria. Boko Haram is, in no small part, what it is because of the wildly misguided and irresponsible policies of Barack Hussein Obama.

Men such as those that comprise Boko Haram and the other malignant Islamist terrorists that are soaking Africa’s sand with blood, Christian and Muslim?  They cannot be reasoned with. They are not open to “negotiation” or “beer summits”. Your pathetic display is fodder for their humor, as it shows how intellectually and morally weak you are. Such men as Boko Haram are not men with whom one can live peacefully, ever.  No, those men need to be killed. When it comes to that, other men, good men, far better men than your husband, leave their loved ones to face the danger and the fear, to risk everything to keep the wolves at bay.   They go because their country calls them to go. And because they know that the safety of those they love depends on their willingness to put their lives on the line to kill those with whom peaceful coexistence is impossible.

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And when some of those good, brave men die keeping us safe, we honor them and remember them. Men like Ty Woods and Glen Doherty, Sean Smith, and Chris Stevens.  Part of that ceremony involves the respectful handling of the symbol of the nation they fought and died for.   That’s right, Michelle. All that for a flag. Because their sacrifice is what stands between our children and Boko Haram. And they gave their last full measure of devotion. While you tweeted. Which is why you will never understand about the flag. Much to your lasting shame. Such men have always been proud of their country, even if you aren’t.  Because you haven’t the wherewithal to understand why you should be.

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Filed under Air Force, army, Defense, girls, guns, history, islam, Libya, marines, navy, obama, Politics, stolen valor, stupid, Uncategorized, veterans, war

Lazarus Calls for Executing Plan URR with Tico Reduced Commission Proposal

Information Dissemination contributor (and Salamander Front Porch regular) Lazarus lays out a good plan which should ring slightly familiar.  Laz’s post contains far more practical information than my conceptual musings, and I am very pleased to see the ideas be floated in such a widely-read forum as ID.

A Ticonderoga class cruiser shorn of most of its combat systems, operations, and supply departments would qualify for nucleus crew status. A U.S. nucleus crew might spend a week to 10 days per quarter underway with these opportunities spread out rather than concentrated in one at sea event. Underway periods need be no greater than 24 hours in duration in order to provide elements of basic crew training. Crews could eat pre-prepared meals for short underway periods, and a shore-based centralized supply office could support individual ship’s logistics and maintenance support needs. All CGs selected for such a program would be assigned to geographic areas relatively free from foul weather sortie requirements. The program would need to be flexible in order to be resilient through periods of fluctuating budget support.

Lazarus points to the wear and tear that the Ticos have endured, and is far more diplomatic than I have been about the cause of their “rapid aging”.

Shortfalls in training and maintenance in the decade of the 2000’s as highlighted in the Balisle report further indicate the class has been proverbially “put away wet” without necessary attention as well.

In short, a bunch of senior Naval Officers, including a number of Admirals, decided that skimping on maintenance and manpower was a good way to save money.  For all of their MBAs and other service experience, that cabal of Officers cost this country and its Navy BILLIONS of dollars in premature retirement of fully capitalized assets, by formulating a stupid and short-sighted plan that ignored the very fundamentals of equipment operation that any Vocational High School Equipment Maintenance and Repair teacher could have taught them in ten minutes.

I do hope someone is listening at Big Navy.  Otherwise more valuable assets and taxpayer treasure go down the drain for the stubborn stupidity of our Navy’s leadership.

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Filed under Around the web, budget, China, Defense, guns, history, logistics, navy, obama, Politics, stupid, Uncategorized, veterans, war, weapons

IPCC Warns on Global Warming, after the Coldest Winter in US in a Century

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Well, we have reached the last day of March in 2014.  Just in time for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to send out another alarmist shill about Global Warming/Climate Change.   Anthropogenic Climate Change, to be exact.  Requiring “action”.   Which is a code-word for “money”.    Otherwise, disaster, death, murder, rape, starvation is sure to ensue.  You get the idea.  Seems like we have heard it all before, dunnit?

Of course, Socialist-Communist American President Barack Obama is solidly behind such “action”.  Especially since that action has the desirable side-effect of destroying our capitalist economy and providing further excuse for even more crushing environmental regulation, exponentially expanding the statist command economy he desires so much.   Vice President Biden, he of the “perfect skin”, is in full agreement.  Which means, it seems, that the inside of his head is not quite as well-kept as the outside.

1990_ipcc_graph

We are to believe, of course, that the natural cycle of changes in the Earth’s climate which we have proof occurred hundreds of millions of years before man came to be, is now entirely our fault.  And that the massive and growing number of skeptics in the scientific community remain “just a few deniers”.

Let’s give some local flavor to the debate.   Where I live, March 2014 has had a mean temperature nearly NINE DEGREES below normal.  That is an astounding figure.  In March of 2012, when we had temperatures in the 70s for several days and the global warming alarmists were in full frenzy, the mean temperature was just 7.2 degrees ABOVE normal.   Despite their prognostications of certain doom, March of 2014 is actually significantly colder than March of 2012 was warm.   Such is also not in isolation.  The previous 12 months have been a full 2.0 degrees below their average since 2006.   Talk about “hockey stick” graphs.

Nationally, the US just experienced the coldest six months in more than 100 years.  Since the winter of 1911-12.  If that is true in the US, it is very likely true in Canada and Mexico.  For the last six months, at least one quarter of the globe has been significantly colder than the norm.   Climate scientists have already been caught red-handed manipulating data sets to produce “global warming” outcomes.  As have US agencies.   These aren’t mistakes.  Not errors in calculation.  They are LIES.

Our President, not surprisingly, is using those lies to perpetuate HIS agenda, and the agendas of his political and financial supporters.   For people like Barack Obama, the truth is something to be avoided at all costs.   That should surprise nobody.  After Benghazi, Obamacare, the IRS scandal, Fast and Furious, “red lines”, etc., he can be called an inveterate liar.

And it shouldn’t surprise us that Obama embraces the Global Warming anti-capitalists.  It isn’t like he doesn’t have a history of hanging out with Weathermen.

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It would seem that the “just a few deniers” have a few things to say.    It makes a good read.

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Filed under anthropology, Around the web, budget, history, obama, Politics, space, stupid, Uncategorized

America Rising: I’m Just Wild About Harry!

reid

Seems that Harry Reid wants us to believe that he never stated that the legion examples of the horrendous impact of that colossal train-wreck known as Obamacare were simply “lies” made up by Republicans.  Not only did he claim such was “simply untrue”, but Harry made that claim while admonishing a Republican Senate colleague who had called him out for his words.  Reid’s piqued denial came after having said precisely what he was accused of saying (on CSPAN, no less), on the Senate floor barely a month earlier.  (See links in the previous sentence for Reid’s statements.) Ol’ Harry’s shenanigans would otherwise have escaped the dogged investigative talents of the Mainstream Media except for a wonderful little organization called “America Rising PAC”.  Their digging unearthed Senator Reid’s earlier comments, exactly one month prior.

Exactly a month ago today, Harry Reid took to the Senate floor to say that the  ObamaCare horror stories that were being told across the country were lies:

“We heard about the evils of Obamacare, about the lives it’s ruining in Republicans’ stump speeches and in ads paid for by oil magnates, the Koch brothers. But in those tales, turned out to be just that: tales, stories made up from whole cloth, lies distorted by the Republicans to grab headlines or make political advertisements.”

Today, Harry Reid took to the same Senate floor to say that he had never said that any ObamaCare horror stories were lies… to his recollection:

“Mr. President, the junior Senator from Wyoming has come to the floor several times recently talking about the fact that examples that he and other Republicans have given, dealing with ObamaCare, examples that they think are bad, I’ve called lies. Mr. President, that is simply untrue. I have never come to the floor, to my recollection, and I never said a word about any of the examples that Republicans have given regarding ObamaCare and how it’s not very good.” 

So let’s go to the videotape!

The americarisingpac.org posting has gone absolutely viral.  I have it on the best of sources that Karl Rove “tweeted” it, and now the Daily Caller picked it up, as has CNS, Town Hall, Fox, the Weekly Standard, Heritage, the American Thinker, and a number of others.  No word on MSNBC or CNN saying a peep about Harry’s little falsehood.   What a shock.

It is difficult to tell if the far-left crusaders and fellow-travelers that have populated Congress and the Obama Administration, including President Obama himself, have yet to grasp the import of the information age or not.  Or whether they think that things they have said publicly, recorded on audio or video, can simply be made to be forgotten by indignantly asserting after the fact that they were never said.  Or, if they are arrogant enough to believe that their standing among the American public is so esteemed that nobody cares.  Or, perhaps, that the beholden formerly-independent press will dutifully bury such stories and intentionally spin and obfuscate the truth in their “analysis” of whatever unpleasant issue the Administration wants entombed and out of the public eye.  Perhaps it is some combination of all of the above.

Certainly with Benghazi, and the IRS scandal, voter intimidation in Philadelphia, Fast and Furious, Obamacare, the DoJ AP phone subpoena scandal, and myriad other scandals big and small, this Administration and its minions in Congress have lied repeatedly, deliberately misleading the American public with the complicity of the Mainstream Media, who act, nearly universally, as shills for their political patrons.  We know what happens when the line is not toed.  Just ask Sheryl Atkisson, whose probing of the Benghazi debacle made Obama & Co. distinctly uncomfortable, or the aforementioned AP reporters.

So now we have Senator Harry Reid, doubling down on his accusations by lying about his previous statements.  Imagine if this was Boehner or Rand Paul, or Ted Cruz.  This would be fodder for the talk shows for weeks, and the MSM would work hand in glove with the Obama Politburo to destroy the Republican politician in question.   But this is Harry Reid, the leftist Senator from Nevada, Senate Majority (for now) leader, and he thought he could bald-face bullsh*t on the Senate floor, and claim he never said what he is on record as saying.

And he’d have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for those meddlesome kids!

H/T to DB!!!!

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Filed under Around the web, history, obama, Politics, stupid, Uncategorized

Things That Make You Go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”

An Iranian graduate student at Georgia Tech has an apartment with a bunch of Molotov Cocktails in it.  He manages to explode one, burning himself, and dies of his burns.   What’s the FBI’s take?  The same FBI that identified white males who are Veterans who believe in God and the Second Amendment as likely terrorists?   From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution via Creeping Sharia:

“The FBI has relayed that, to date, they have not developed any information or evidence indicating criminal intent in this investigation.”

Some damned fine law enforcement work there, boys.  Didn’t you fellas handle the Benghazi Consulate “crime scene”, too?

Investigators determined that Akhshabi was not a threat to the Georgia Tech community, Connolly said.

Well, not after he burned himself so badly, no.  And especially not after he died.  But before that?  I dunno, Chief.  I think you need to get your money back from that on-line detective course.

Any theories about why an Iranian military-age man would be building bombs in his apartment?   I may be somewhat obtuse, but I would also require an explanation as to how that does not really constitute evidence indicating criminal intent.   Especially when the State of Connecticut is making newly minted felons of legal firearms owners by passing unconstitutional laws against AR-15s and other rifles.

As the folks at Creeping Sharia point out, Iranians with no terror ties show up in the darnedest of places.  

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Filed under history, Iran, islam, Politics, Splodey, stupid, Uncategorized, veterans, war

It is Difficult to Overstate Our Diplomatic Incompetence

Head in Hands

A resurgent Russia, under a ruthless and savvy autocrat, is flexing its muscles in Eastern Europe.  Communist China is threatening our allies and our interests in the Pacific.  That same Russia and China appear headed for closer relations.  Iran, thanks to the feckless naivete of Obama and Kerry, are poised to have nuclear weapons, with which they have vowed to destroy Israel.  North Korea, in league with that very same Iran, continues to act provocatively, with full approval of the PRC, despite public protestations to the contrary.  The “Arab Spring” has unleashed radical Islamists throughout the region.  Russian influence throughout the Middle East has been exponentially enhanced by America’s “leading from behind” fiasco.  We are without a viable grand strategy, and are slicing our Armed Forces to well below the levels at which we can defend our interests and deter our adversaries.

So what is Secretary of State John Kerry’s “critical mission” in his message to his diplomatic corps?

“Protecting our environment and meeting the challenge of global climate change is a critical mission for me as our country’s top diplomat,” Kerry said in the letter issued on Friday to all 275 US embassies and across the State Department.

Yep.  Climate change.  America’s foreign policy team is being pushed around and laughed at for the pathetically weak milquetoasts they are.  Our credibility in the world is sinking alarmingly.   Our adversaries and rivals are acting with impunity, virtually without fear of repercussion from what remains (for the time being) the most powerful nation on earth.  Our allies are frantically scrambling to fill the security gap where America once stood.  What strategic leverage we might have, abundant sources of fossil fuel energy, is being deliberately suppressed by these same far-left “environmentalists” in the name of “saving the planet”.

An editorial this Friday in the leftist rag that passes for the local paper here in Upper Valley of Vermont tried to make the argument that somehow Republicans were being disingenuous in claiming Obama to be a strong-arm quasi-dictator on the one hand, while accusing him of being pathetically weak on the other.   Of course, the columnist assiduously avoided the fact that Vladimir Putin (and Rouhani in Iran, Assad in Syria, etc.) is immune to intimidation by Eric Holder, or Lois Lerner, or Kathleen Sibelius.  Foreign policy means dealing with people whom cannot be silenced by Obama being able to sic the apparatus of government upon those who defy him.   Alinsky’s “rules for radicals” work for domestic politics, when opponents are not willing to kill and starve and imprison on a massive scale to achieve their goals.   But ideologues like Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry, and Barack Obama are way out of their element in dealing with foreign leaders who understand REAL power.  Leaders who call their bluffs regarding “red lines” and “severe consequences”, and such.  Which results in President Obama “prancing around swinging his purse at Moscow”, as SKK so eloquently expressed.  Putin and Lavrov have shown utter contempt for Obama and Kerry, and it is not difficult to understand why.

So in place of actual statesmanship, John Kerry injects tripe about “climate change”.  (Which used to be “global warming”, if you are keeping score, until far-left environmentalists could no longer obscure the fact that the world was not, in fact, getting warmer.  Not to be confused with “global cooling”, which 40 years ago was the “settled science”, until they could no longer obscure the fact that the world was not, in fact, getting cooler.)  It is not at all clear how a diplomat in an embassy or a consulate can quite go about “elevat(ing) the environment in everything we do”, or how that got to be the job of a diplomat in the first place.  Oh, wait.  Because it was one of John Kerry’s “causes”.

“The environment has been one of the central causes of my life.”

Right.  Along with claiming America was “the world’s monster”, advocating for wealth-redistribution statist socialism, collaborating with our nation’s enemies (worthy of a drone strike?), and fomenting anti-American sentiment wherever he went.    Oh, and avoiding taxes due on his yacht (where he spent significant time during the recent Egypt crisis and then lied about it, by the way).   And jet-setting to any of several multimillion-dollar homes.   No word on whether advancing America’s strategic interests appears anywhere in there.

And it ain’t like his boss drove a Prius to his Florida golf vacation.  Which comes just weeks after his Hawaii golf vacation.

The United States will pay a terrible price for the mind-boggling incompetence resident in the people entrusted with our foreign policy.  They, themselves, the Kerrys and Obamas, the Hillarys, they won’t.  But we will.  It is difficult to overstate that incompetence.  Though, between last week’s appearance on Meet the Press, and this inane memo to our diplomats this week, Kerry seems as if he is sure giving it a try.

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Filed under Around the web, budget, Defense, history, Iran, islam, israel, Libya, nuclear weapons, obama, Politics, stupid, Uncategorized, war

A little comic relief

I thought this was worth sharing.
computer orders

I can just hear the shared printer in my building saying, “Don’t want to print! Invisible paper jam, error 15! Go away!”

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Filed under Humor, stupid

Gun Owners are the Enemy to Ohio National Guard

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Seems that the 2nd Civil Support Team of the Ohio National Guard is participating in an exercise where the perpetrators of a chemical attack are posited to be “Second Amendment supporters”.    Media Trackers tells us the story.

Buckeye Firearms Association spokesman Chad Baus told Media Trackers that “it is a scary day indeed when law enforcement are being trained that Second Amendment advocates are the enemy,”

“The revelation of this information is appalling to me, and to all citizens of Ohio who are true conservatives and patriots, who don’t have guns for any other reason than that the Second Amendment gives them that right,” Portage County TEA Party Executive Director Tom Zawistowski said in a separate Media Trackers interview.

Not a new paradigm, of course.  Law-abiding citizens who are political opponents of the Obama-Holder secular-progressive statist left have been considered enemies all along.   Aside from the preposterous scenario, this is yet another of the Federal Government/Law Enforcement/Military leadership’s conditioning the American people to think of gun owners (and advocates of free speech, limited government, and due process) to be violent and unreasonable criminals, comprising threats that need to be dealt with in the harsh totalitarian measures so often favored by those far-left ideologues who despise our liberties so.  Of note is that, when similar training involved positing an environmental advocacy group committing an act of terror or violence, the apologies were profuse, and immediate.

Before I get the same hackneyed arguments that “this is just a training exercise”, the same weak reasoning was used to explain away the following:

  • The FBI report that white Veterans who believed in God, the Second Amendment, and limited government were a terrorist threat
  • The change in language from “Islamic extremists” to “violent extremists” was mere semantics and not for the purpose of labeling political opposition in the same language as America’s enemies
  • Increased militarization of police, including having them acquire heavy armored vehicles for use on American streets
  • When Barack Obama referred to political opposition when he talked of  “punishing our enemies”
  • The Joint Staff College posited a training scenario with the enemy being Tea Party activists

There have been myriad other instances where elements of the government have acted against law-abiding citizens as if they were criminals and threats to security, while often ignoring those who are sworn enemies of this country.

“You want to have it as realistic as possible, but you don’t want to single out an issue as emotional as that,” Eliason said.

Of course, the quote above would never be uttered by any official regarding demonizing of gun owners and advocates of our Second Amendment liberties.   Everyone knows that gun owners are evil.   That is to say, gun owners that didn’t vote for you.  Which is almost all of them.

It is telling that the spokesman for the Ohio National Guard was unwilling to talk.   Law-abiding citizens who choose to exercise their Constitutional liberties and see themselves portrayed as violent terrorists are due an explanation for such an outrage.

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SWAT-in’ Up in The People’s Republic of Massachusetts

Ma State Police MRAP

Ma State Police MRAP  2

I caught this little buggy on I-95 in Maryland, headed north, obviously.  (Those are MA State Police plates.)  And again, in CT, where I snapped these pictures through my windshield.

The Massachusetts State Police, it seems, have acquired at least one MRAP.  This, in a state where a law-abiding citizen is all but forbidden to own a gun, let alone carry one.  And, in many towns, if the Police Chief doesn’t feel you “need” one, then there is no “all but”, because you will not be issued a Firearms Identification Card, and denied firearm ownership.  But the State Cops?  They get armored vehicles made to stop a rocket-propelled grenade and 7.62 SLAP rounds.

ObamaPatrick

“Cadillac” Deval Patrick, the Massachusetts Governor, is super-tight with President Barack Obama.  They share skin color, and the same obsession with that skin color.  They share a socialist-communist progressive political viewpoint.  They also share the philosophy that political opponents are to be treated as enemies.  And now Patrick is ensuring his State Police force now has the weapons it needs to suppress the dangerous elements of the Massachusetts electorate who dare challenge the omnipotence of the state.

It is axiomatic that whatever capabilites Law Enforcement entities acquire, they will find a way to use them, even if that use is more than a little ex post facto justification for having such capability.  Some Barney Fife somewhere will insist upon it.   Hollywood’s portrayal notwithstanding, the number of Massachusetts State Police Officers killed in the line of duty totals just 41 in the century and a half since its founding in 1865.  The vast preponderance of these deaths in the line of duty have been accidental, with motorcycle accidents (13) accounting for more than twice the number killed by gunfire (6) in those 150 years.   That’s right, just SIX Massachusetts State Police Officers have been killed by gunfire in the line of duty.  Only three in the last 31 years.

But they now have MRAPs.  At least one.  And no, I don’t care in the slightest if DoD GAVE them to the State Police.  Operation and maintenance costs aside, there is no need for such vehicles to be in the possession of law enforcement of any kind in MA.  Give them to the National Guard, or foreign military sales.  Because in the hands of cops, under the rubric of “safety”, they will surely wind up on the streets of the Commonwealth, either in a wildly overblown response to an incident, or as a means of intimidation of the population, who could do little to nothing in response to such a capability.

Cadillac Deval wants to play with MRAPs?  I’d take up a collection to ship him and his Personal Security Detail, and that MRAP, to Helmand, or South Sudan, or Northern Nigeria, or Mali, so he can tool around in a place where his new toy is more appropriate.  He might even get to see if it can stop an RPG.  Or five.   Because that MRAP sure as hell doesn’t belong on the streets of cities and towns in Massachusetts.

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Filed under Afghanistan, armor, ARMY TRAINING, budget, Defense, guns, Politics, stupid, Uncategorized, war

Iran: “We did not agree to dismantle anything.”

Obama-as-Munich-copy

Well, that didn’t take long.   From The Weekly Standard, via Drudge.  Just 48 hours after sanctions were lifted against Iran, and several billion dollars in assets and capital were released, Iran’s Foreign Minister tells the world Iran’s true intentions, and lets the world know that Barack Obama, John Kerry, and the United States were played for fools.  Or worse.

The worst aspect of this statement from the Iranian Foreign Minister is that I have a sinking suspicion Zarif is telling the truth.  Which means, of course, that the American people were lied to (again) by this Administration, because the terms of a “deal” with Iran were so unfavorable as to be a virtual sell-out.  So, essentially, what we have lifted three decades of sanctions for is an Iranian promise not to enrich uranium past five percent.   With virtually no way to verify if they comply or not.  Despite UN Security Council Resolution after UN Security Council Resolution demanding Iran stop enrichment altogether.   Already, the talk about sanctions being lifted has had the profound effect of bolstering Iranian currency, which was once in free-fall.  Now, with the injection of the hard capital released as the sanctions are lifted, any economic leverage we had to turn the screws on the recalcitrant supporter of terrorism and violence the world over, is gone.  G-O-N-E.

Congress, for its part, has feet as cold as this Vermont evening, and wants no part of the Iran deal.  A bipartisan coalition has threatened to vote further sanctions against Iran, carrying enough votes to override Obama’s veto.   Not getting the hint, Obama then threatened (why is it that all of his threats are directed at political opponents and not national enemies?) to use executive orders to override sanctions against Iran.

Expect that Iran’s nuclear program will continue, unabated.  Enrichment to weapons grade can re-start at any time, if indeed it is ever halted.  The sanctions which had allowed the West leverage over the sponsor of terrorism are now lifted, and cannot be easily, if ever, resumed.  Sort of like putting toothpaste back in the tube.  Even if Congress wishes to do so, our own President has promised to thwart the effort.

So, not long from now, Iran will have a nuclear weapon to put atop the ICBMs they are jointly developing with the North Koreans.  They will once again threaten Israel with destruction, and have exponentially increased their ability to do so, with the acquiescence of the United States, especially Barack Obama.

One has to wonder whether Barack Obama is more Neville Chamberlain or Vidkun Quisling.

It’s a good thing we don’t look like idiots in Syria, at least…..

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Filed under Around the web, history, Iran, islam, nuclear weapons, obama, Politics, stupid, Uncategorized, war

Every Now and Then, the Veil Drops

cuomo_face_ap_img

…and you see how positively intolerant those who define themselves to be “liberal” truly are.

Those “liberals” who wish vile outrage and harm to those they disagree with politically, or to their loved ones.   And others, also “liberals”, who actually advocate the punishment, even execution of those whom are skeptical of the pseudo-science of global warming.

Andrew Cuomo, the uber-liberal New York Governor, declared that his state has no place for people who do not think as he does.  The Washington Examiner has the story.   The newscast video is definitely worth the time.  Some of the rebuttal commentary is excellent.

Of course, Cuomo was quick to pull the veil back up, trying to distance himself from his intolerance and hateful rhetoric.  Because Cuomo is a hypocrite and a coward, without the spine to stand behind his remarks.  And, just as predictably, the American news media has buried the story.  (But you can find some reality contestant’s “anti-gay” remarks anywhere.)  Nonetheless, Cuomo has stated rather unequivocally that pro-life and pro-Second Amendment Americans, and Americans who believe homosexuality to be wrong, Americans who are law-abiding citizens, are not welcome in the State of New York.  Because he disagrees with them.

So the next time a liberal begins to lecture sanctimoniously about tolerance and acceptance, refer him/her to Andrew Cuomo, or Martin Bashir, or Allan Brauer, or Al Gore, or Steve Zwick, or Chuck Schumer, or Janet Napolitano, or…..

And maybe ask them to explain why, for the Left, “tolerance” seems so much like tyranny.   Andrew Cuomo believes that only those who hold his opinions are welcome.

Jonah Goldberg calls it “Liberal Fascism”.    Perhaps the slogans painted on the buildings in New York may read “Cuomo Ha Sempre Ragione!”

Ahh, “liberals”.  The face behind the veil is a familiar one.

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“If you wanted to make some money in Washington, you would have to toe the line that the Muslim Brotherhood was not a threat.”

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Author and Middle East expert Barry Rubin gives an unvarnished appraisal of the Obama Administration’s embracing of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Faustian deal with Iran.

There was a secret debate happening in the Defense Department and the CIA in which some people thought that all Muslims were a problem, some believed that only al-Qa’ida was a problem, and still others thought the Muslim Brotherhood was a problem.
The main problem, however, was that all Islamism was a political threat, but it was the second position that eventually won over the Obama administration. Take note of this, since 2009, if you wanted to build your career and win policy debates, only al-Qa’ida was a problem. The Muslim Brotherhood was not a threat; after all, it did not participate in September 11. This view was well known in policy circles, but it was easy to mistake this growing hegemony as temporary.
The importance of moral courage in the senior uniformed and civilian leadership cannot be overemphasized.  Nor, unfortunately, can the glaring lack of that courage in the actions and words of blatant political sycophants like Ray Mabus, Mike Mullen, George Casey, Marty Dempsey, Sam Locklear, be minimized.  The indicators of their pliability to political masters, and their willingness to compromise their oaths and integrity, are symptoms of a much more damaging disease.
Some high-ranking defense department officials–for example, one on the secretary of defense’s level–were pressured to fire anti-Muslim Brotherhood people. I know of at least five such incidences.
Oh good.  After all, the Brotherhood is “largely secular”, or so we are told.    We must pay no attention to Brotherhood’s motto, or the words of their founder.   To point those out, it would seem, is to jeopardize one’s livelihood.
Al Banna:  “It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.”
Brotherhood motto:  “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”
The quashing of dissenting voices has to start with the subjugation of those who hold influential positions, and are ostensibly to supply meaningful advice and counsel.   The Obama Administration has become a notorious echo chamber, and has become so along ideological lines.   Worse, the opinions and views which prevail are from those with no discernible qualifications or talents.   Quite the contrary, the people who hold sway in our Defense and State Departments, and in National Security posts, are and have been mediocre, talentless ideological fops, remarkable only for their arrogance and demonstrated lack of acumen in international affairs.  Figures like Tom Donilon, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Samantha Power, Jim Clapper, and John Kerry have aided in the non-stop catastrophes that have characterized US foreign policy during the Obama Administration, from the Cairo Apology speech to the Munich-esque Iran deal.
Egyptians protest Obama as Osama
Sandwiched in that dreary record of abject failure is the forcing of a Muslim Brotherhood government on the people of Egypt.  When Egyptians rose up by the MILLIONS in the streets this past July, and ousted Muhammed Morsi’s brutal theocracy, the Obama Administration turned its back on Egypt, asserting that a “democratic regime” had been overthrown by military coup against the will of the people.   Ignored, of course, was that the Morsi/Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt was guilty of brutal repression of its citizens, and was openly and systematically murdering and driving Egypt’s millenia-old Coptic Christian community out of the country.   Also ignored was Morsi’s immediate renouncing of the peace treaty with Israel, and tacit support for Islamist infiltration into the Sinai.  Without US support, Egypt has turned to the new power broker in the Middle East, Putin’s Russia.   Yes, the same Russia who has propped up Assad in Syria, and who is a long-time benefactor of post-1979 Iran.   THAT Russia.
Rubin’s missive is worth the read in its entirety.   It highlights how our President and his Administration has come to turn its back on its allies, negotiate away US interested and influence, and sought to treat America’s sworn ideological enemies as allies.   And why any voice raised in objection to such a course is decidedly unwelcome.
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The result of such ideological pactum servae is the imbecilic notion that the Muslim Brotherhood is “largely secular”, and that an alliance with “moderate Islamists” in Syria is something to strive for.    The Muslim Brotherhood is, as it has always been, the most Islamist of factions.  To behave as if they are otherwise is either foolhardy or deliberately subversive.   And finding a “moderate Islamist” is somewhat akin to finding a tall midget.
H/t to FranD

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Happy Birthday, Corporal Randolph Agarn

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Larry Storch, the veteran actor who portrayed the hapless Corporal Randolph Agarn on the classic (!) TV series F Troop, turns 91 today.   Born on January 8th, 1923 in New York, Storch dropped out of school during the Depression to work the comedy clubs to earn money.  While he did attend High School, at DeWitt Clinton, he was a schoolmate of Don Adams, of Get Smart fame.  (And a World War II Marine wounded on Guadalcanal.)

Like so many actors on the set of F Troop, Storch was a Veteran (along with Forrest Tucker, Joe Brooks, Henry Gibson, Ken Berry, and James Gregory), serving in the US Navy during World War II aboard USS Proteus.  One of his shipmates was none other than Tony Curtis.

F Troop only ran for two seasons, 1965-1967, but the cornball schtick and physical comedy made it a favorite.  I saw it in syndication beginning in the late 60s, and it always made me laugh.  My Dad thought it was “idiotic”, and perhaps it was.  But Fort Courage had everything (except sunshine, it seemed, on the sound stage), including a cannon with a wheel that fell off (and invariably shot down the guard tower), a blind lookout (Trooper Vanderbilt, Joe Brooks), a bugler who couldn’t play a note (Dobbs, James Hampton), a well-meaning but inept Captain (Berry), a smoking-hot frontier babe (Wrangler Jane, Melody Patterson), a grizzled Veteran (Duffy, played by old western star Bob Steele), and a scheming Sergeant making cash on the side (Sergeant O’Rourke, Forrest Tucker).   (It also had an opening theme that could stick in your head for WEEKS….)  The “opponents”, the not-so dangerous Heckawi Indians, were in on the black market business, with comedic caricatures of their own.

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Recurring regulars and guest stars included Henry Gibson, Harvey Korman, Edward Everett Horton, Paul Lynde, Lee Meriwether, and a host of others.   Some of the classic episodes include the antics of visitors to Fort Courage.  (Harvey Korman as Count Ferdinand von Zeppel.)  But my favorites were the boys of F Troop.  Especially Agarn.  He had the absolute coolest hat, and could make the best faces.

Larry Storch was in a number of television comedies and variety shows over his career, and was a talented impersonator.  He has film and stage credits that include The Great Race (with shipmate Tony Curtis), and was a frequent guest of Johnny Carson and  a semi-regular on Hollywood Squares.

Happy Birthday, Corporal Randolph Agarn of Pissaic, New Jersey.   I don’t know why everybody says you’re dumb!

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Kerry Wants Iran in Syria Negotiations? “It’s mind-numbing.”

John Kerry and  Sergei Lavrov  in Moscow

John Kerry wants Iran involved in mediation in Syria.

“You have a forest fire that’s raging and you’re calling in some of the arsonists … to discuss the best way to put it out,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights group. “It’s mind-numbing.”

Our allies, the French?  They want no part of Iran in Syrian negotiations.  Neither do ex-pat Syrians.  The Russians?  All for it.

Either John Kerry is dim-witted to the point of disability, or he is a traitor.  Or working for one.  The more he sells America’s safety to Iran, the less any other possibility remains.

Enemies, domestic.

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“What Difference Does It Make?”

BoysOfBenghazi

H/t SKK

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The Headline Tells You All You Need to Know, Part 3

We have had a bear eating a chimp at a Chinese circus…  and a taxpayer-funded researcher doing who-knows-what to some monkeys in a university lab.

Now, the tell-all headline comes to us from The Oregonian.

Alleged masturbating man in Salem bar arrested after Taser proves ineffective, officials say

There isn’t much to add, except maybe this:

A bartender told authorities that Frey exposed his genitals and started masturbating at the bar, officials said. By the time a Marion County deputy arrived on scene, Frey had moved from the bar to the bathroom, but reportedly had not stopped pleasuring himself.

So what’s the guy say when someone asks “How was your weekend?”

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The Banya in the Arctic Circle

One of the more interesting trips I ever had as part of my Russian Flight Escort assignment was a trip to Russia to escort an AN-12 from Tiksi AB, Russia to Eielson AFB, AK for a joint Arctic Search and Rescue exercise between the Russian and US Air Force’s.

Tiksi had the distinction of being the most Northern permanent Air Base in the world (it has since been closed). We were going there in January. I shiver just thinking about it 20 years later.

Due to the high visibility of this exercise, the Assistant US Air attaché (a Lt Col) from the embassy in Moscow would be coming along and was going to be staying with the Russians for the duration. I was just along for the flight into Alaska.

I met up with the Attaché in Moscow and the next day we hopped on an IL-18 (4 engine turboprop) that was the personal plane of the Russian 3 star for the flight from Moscow to Tiksi.

IL-18

IL-18.

The Lt Col AF Attaché was a great guy (ethnic Ukrainian) who spoke fluent Russian. Unfortunately for this assignment, he was not a good drinker.

I was up front in the passenger section and the Lt Col was in the rear of the aircraft in the VIP compartment with the Russian 3 star and all of his staff.

About three hours into the six-hour flight a Russian Colonel came up to me, shook my shoulder to wake me up and invite me back to the VIP section.

Turns out the vodka was flowing and the Lt Col was not doing so well. I took his place at the table with the 3 star and told jokes/stories when it was my turn.  I had to hold the Lt Col’s head as he puked in the lav on our approach into Tiksi.

Tiksi

IL-18 getting deiced at Tiksi AB. Sun is out, so it must be summer.

We landed and it was -40C. That’s where Celsius and Fahrenheit meet on the back side. This is were the Russian tradition of always taking off your gloves to shake hands really started to suck. I had my AF-issue extreme cold weather mittens on over flight gloves so of course every damn officer on base came out to welcome us to their frozen base. The good news is you really can’t feel the frostbite once the appendage is numb (this will come into play later in the story). It was also very dark. In January in the Arctic Circle it’s always dark. You get a bit of glow on the horizon for about an hour in the morning. That’s it, daylight complete.

We got the Lt Col to bed and then I had to fill in for him for the afternoon and evening. The 3-star’s valet picked me up from the VIP quarters and drove me to the ‘Banya’ on base. It’s basically a sauna/steamroom and it is a very old school Russian tradition.

Banya

The Banya, complete with Birch twigs. Sadly, no girls are involved in this story.

I walk in and the General is already there. He starts taking of his uniform. All of it. EVERYTHING.

So I do too. We’re soon sitting buck ass nekkid in the banya when his valet comes in with champagne.

Drinking champagne naked with a Russian 3 star. Well, at least it can’t get any weirder than that.

Wrong.

Next thing I know he starts hitting me in the back with birch twigs. It’s a Russian thing, meant to improve circulation, but I was not warned of this. After a minute or so he hands the twigs to me so I can reciprocate. I do. Sadly, that was not the gayest thing I did that night.

After our mutual flagellation session the valet brought in chilled vodka and strawberries. That was nice, and it was soon time to go. The General informed me that since this was my first time in a Russian Banya I needed to ‘complete the experience’.  This involved diving naked into the snowbank outside. Evidently it is healthy to ‘close up the pores’ after sweating so much. So I did it. At 1:00 am, -40C.

It also does a great job of ‘shrinking the penis into the mid-section’.

The next day we hopped on the AN-12 (C-130’ski) for our flight across Siberia to Fairbanks, AK. The trip over was relatively uneventful and thankfully no one got naked.

Next up will be some stories about a few of my trips with Yeltsin. Will try to do one a week until my temporary retirement is over and I go back to 737 school in January.

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Filed under Air Force, anthropology, history, Humor, planes, Politics, stupid

Clueless Stupidity from Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH)

Annie Kuster was in a “town hall” Q&A about the Middle East, when the question was asked about House Resolution 36, the resolution to establish a House Select Committee on Benghazi.   Take it away, Annie.

Not only did Kuster apparently not know that a “House Resolution” emanates from the very same House of Representatives of which she is (nominally, at least) a part, she wasn’t even aware of the existence of HR36.   Nor could she find Benghazi on a map.  Note how her people cut things off in order to stop the intellectual bleeding, but it was a little late for that.  She looked like the vapid, uninformed nincompoop she is.  And Kuster’s answers are typical of the level of understanding that many of the far-left “feel good” liberal candidates have about the world around them, the economy, health care, and most of the other important topics of the day.

Hey, New Hampshire voters, at least the ones with the “Kuster for Congress” bumper stickers, this imbecile is YOUR fault.  Her stupidity is YOUR stupidity.   Revel in how incompetent your candidate is.   And wonder not why I assume you to be similarly uninformed and ignorant when I see that thing on your car.   You voted for a moron.

H/t to Delta Bravo!!!

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The One With The Monkey

In 1992 I was offered a special duty assignment at Air Force Special Activities Command (AFSAC). It was to serve as a Russian Flight Escort Officer for Operation CONSTANT SHOTGUN.

Constant Shotgun photo IMG_zps77ed1a5c.jpg

At the time I was a young Captain (O-3) flying C-21’s (Lear 35A’s) out of Norton AFB, CA, and it was a bolt out of the blue. Granted, I was a Soviet Studies major (Russian language minor) from the Air Force Academy and drawing Russian language pay, but it still took me by surprise. I’d never heard of this program.

Mainly out of perversity (this was STRONGLY against the advice of the ‘airlift career manager’ at Air Force Personnel Command), I accepted the assignment and PCS’d to Washington, DC.

It turned out to be the craziest, weirdest ride of my career. It delayed my eventual exit from the AF a few years and probably cost me a few thousand seniority numbers by the time I eventually left active duty and joined the airlines, but it was a one of a kind experience.

The gist of the job is that Russian/former Soviet aircraft military and diplomatic aircraft were required to have an Air Force Pilot or Nav in the cockpit when flying in US airspace. Our role was mainly to ensure they flew their assigned routing (cleared by AF reps at the FAA and State Dept to avoid ‘sensitive’ areas).  The (then) classified part of the job was that we were actually Intel officers and trained to observe and report items of interest. That part of the job faded a bit as the Soviet Union broke up and, in reality, our main role evolved into being translators and flight safety advocates (many more stories on that in the future).

The standard practice for the escorts was to join the Russian crew at their last point of departure prior to entering the US and leave at the first landing out of the US. In this case I had to pick up an AN-24 leaving Tijuana and flying through the US to Vladivostok, Russia.

This mission was unusual because it was an Antonov factory aircraft and crew coming off a six-month ‘wet-lease’ to Peru.  Why they were flying under a diplomatic clearance, I never found out, but the AF rep in the FAA wanted me on board so off I went.

I met the crew in Tijuana and they looked ROUGH. I was used to flying with the very best of the Russian diplomatic (a special division of Aeroflot) and military crews. These guys looked, well, they looked like they’d spent six months in Peru.

All of the aircraft Russian aircraft I’d flown to this point were large transports, AN-124, TU-154, IL-62, IL-76, IL-86, etc. Normally I sit next to the radio operator or Nav in a Russian cockpit and they give me a headset so I can help out on the radios. In the case of the AN-24 that was not an option. It’s a small, two pilot cockpit. After introductions and helping them file the flight plan we walked out to the aircraft. The Captain pointed to the right seat and said, ‘Садитесь, пожалуйста’ (Sit down, please), so I sat down, strapped in and started figuring out where stuff was (flaps, gear, radios). I worked the comms, got the clearance, and off we went to Fresno, CA.

Once we got to cruising altitude I started hearing this horrible screeching and screaming from the back of the aircraft. I looked over at the Captain and he said, ‘Расслабьтесь, это всего лишь обезьяна.

I translated it to mean, ‘Relax, it is just the обезьяна’. What the hell was обезьяна? I was a DLI grad and conversationally fluent, but I was drawing a blank. Then the screeching started again. It clicked. I looked at the Captain and said, ‘Monkey?’.

‘Yes! It is just the Monkey!’

Holy crap! I threw off my shoulder harness and ran back to the cargo box where a monkey was literally going ape-shit. We’re talking throwing-feces-pissed-off. He was bouncing off the walls and the cargo pallets while the Russian mechanics were trying to catch him.

This was long before the Internet and the concept of ‘memes’ began, but I think I was the first to do the ‘double face palm’. Well, at least the first to do it at FL 190 in a Russian turbo prop.

My first thought was, ‘we’re all going to jail’. These guys had just smuggled some random monkey from Peru into the US. Hell, it was probably on some endangered species list. I was thinking about all of the people I needed to call once we landed in Fresno: State Department, Customs and Ag (already scheduled to meet us), FAA, Russian consulate in San Fran, and Animal control? The zoo? PETA?

What a shit sandwich! Then I decided…screw it, let’s try and brazen our way through.

I told the Russians: ‘when we land no one talks in English but me. If Customs and/or Ag ask you a question, look to me and I will translate the question and your answer. You guys have only two jobs: Make sure your paperwork and passports are ready as soon as we open the door and for fuck’s sake hide the damn monkey!’

I did the talking and they hid the monkey.

I flew with those guys for 3 more days as we hopped our way up the west coast, through Alaska and the Aleutian Islands to Vladivostok.

At Vladivostok I waved goodbye to the crew and to my new friend, the Monkey named Ivan. I doubt he survived the Russian winter, but he had one hell of a ride.

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Israel, Alone

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LordHalifaxKerryOfficialPhoto

Word comes tonight that the so-called “Iran + 5+ 1″ talks have reached a preliminary agreement.   Reuters tells the story.

The Western powers, including the United States, will ease sanctions against Iran, including releasing tens of billions of dollars in Iranian assets worldwide, resuming oil and precious metals trade, and importation of aircraft parts, for Iranian promises to suspend weapons-grade uranium enrichment.

Some say that Iran’s anti-US and anti-Israel rhetoric is not to be taken seriously, that Iran’s interests and those of the United States make rapproachment a logical move by both countries.  That it is interests, and not ideology, that determines the course of a nation’s statecraft.   There is talk that new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is a moderate who represents a significant shift in Iran’s policies and objectives from his predecessor, the mercurial Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.

Believe none of it.  The trappings of office of Iran’s Presidency are so much window dressing.  It is the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, who is the holder of power.  This is the same Khamenei whom, less than a week ago, predicted the “extinction” of Israel.

In essence, any Iranian pledge to suspend uranium enrichment is unverifiable, any agreement unenforceable.  Iran has been given license, and international recognition of its “right”, to enrich uranium for any purpose it chooses, handed to them by a weak, amateurish, bumbling Obama Administration.  Israel, the only western-style democracy in the Middle East and vital US ally, has been cut adrift.  She stands alone, precariously, while her neighbors plot her destruction with, for all intent, the permission of the United States.

This deal, if reports are accurate, is the biggest American foreign policy catastrophe in the history of this nation.  We have sold our honor for a promise.  And with that honor, sold the security of our ally.   Like Munich, this dark episode in Geneva may be a precursor to the slaughter of many of the Jewish race.   Israel is not Czechoslovakia, however.  Benjamin Netanyahu has no intention of capitulating.  Which of course means that war in the Middle East just became far more likely than less.  Tensions are not eased, but heightened.

Interestingly, Netanyahu is in Moscow, and not Washington, during this crucial period.   He has little regard for Obama, believes Obama to be untrustworthy, weak, and more than a bit anti-Israel.   With good reason.   The shameful events of November 23rd, 2013 may not lead to war, or to Israel’s destruction.  But if we are fortunate enough to avoid that eventuality, it will be Israel, and not the United States, that will prevent that outcome.   Israel now stands entirely alone.  Because the greatest nation on earth has leaders without the courage and honor to stand with its allies, and without the character to recognize that the promise of peace at the expense of the security of your friends is no peace at all.

Weep for our Republic.   The price of our folly will be the lives and liberty of our posterity.   Our leaders are without shame.  Which brings shame upon us all.

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Just yesterday, we reflected on the death of a President whom, in his Inaugural Address said:

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty. …

Fifty years is a very long time in America, it would seem.

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The real impact of the Iran “deal” is nicely summed up by John Bolton, who calls the Obama Administration “feckless” and the agreement “abject surrender”.   Difficult in the extreme to argue the contrary, if one has any grip on reality.

This interim agreement is badly skewed from America’s perspective.  Iran retains its full capacity to enrich uranium, thus abandoning a decade of Western insistence and Security Council resolutions that Iran stop all uranium-enrichment activities. Allowing Iran to continue enriching, and despite modest (indeed, utterly inadequate) measures to prevent it from increasing its enriched-uranium stockpiles and its overall nuclear infrastructure, lays the predicate for Iran fully enjoying its “right” to enrichment in any “final” agreement.  Indeed, the interim agreement itself acknowledges that a “comprehensive solution” will “involve a mutually defined enrichment program.”  This is not, as the Obama administration leaked before the deal became public, a “compromise” on Iran’s claimed “right” to enrichment. This is abject surrender by the United States.

Think of it as a Nuclear Munich.

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Obamacare: You Are The 0.06%!

skeleton-computer

That is if you managed to sign up for Obamacare successfully via a state or federal web portal.  You are even more elite if you successfully navigated the federal websites.  Then, you are the 0.015%!  You and 26,494 of your friends did what millions failed to do.   Astounding, innit? Congratulations, by the way, your health insurance rates are now anywhere from 25% to 400% higher than they were before 1 October 2013.

At this rate, 106,000 enrollees per month out of a population of 170,000,000 eligible to be insured, there should be more or less full enrollment by April of 2146.  By which time virtually everyone who supported Obamacare, and everyone who opposed it, and likely most of the children of those people, will have been dead for quite a while.

Even if Sibelius can manage to improve the performance of the Obamacare web portal(s) by, say, 500%, at that rate it will take only 26 years to sign everybody up.  So far, after the first month, the direct cost to the taxpayer for Federal website enrollees is a mere $25,600 per person.  Not counting lost time and productivity from the millions who tried numerous times to enroll and could not.

The Obama Administration and its beholden media outlets (MSNBC, in particular) have crossed into the realm of the absurd in trying to put a spit-shine on this turd.   Chatty Kathy Sibelius promises better performance from the $680 million web architecture designed by a firm run by a college classmate of Michelle Obama.  (Now there’s some solid credentials, worthy of a no-bid contract!  Authorized race and gender, and political affiliation!  A three-fer!)

Administration officials consider that millions upon millions of people wasting their time in futile frustration trying to navigate yet another government-created abomination of a website as a hopeful sign that millions want Obamacare, because it is extremely desirable.  (Financial penalties for non-enrollment notwithstanding, one assumes.)     That is an interpretation that would make Baghdad Bob blush with embarrassment.   It is difficult to even consider such pure tripe to be a version of the truth.   What we are seeing is the rampant incompetence and unsuitability of the Federal Government in the very sector of our economy in which it insisted on insinuating itself.

In this Orwellian new world of government-controlled health care, perhaps those who end up dead for lack of access to rationed care can be described as “resting comfortably”.   That the rest is for all eternity will be left out of the conversation.   Welcome to socialized medicine.

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Law Enforcement Perfeshunal, Yessiree.

Impressive.  I bet CNN and Eric Holder will classify it as another school shooting.

He is the only one in the room professional enough to call a loaded weapon an empty weapon.  Well, along with the other “perfeshunal” out of view on the right.  Idiots like this are making arbitrary and capricious decisions about my (and your) right to keep and bear arms.

Stolen from SKK’s place.  Who got it from Ogrish.

 

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