Assumption of Command

31 May 2005

30 May 2005

Caption Winners are posted

This last Caption Contest was great fun. Check out the winners.

Stay tuned for the next contest coming up this weekend. It will leave you tied up in knots.

29 May 2005

Memorial Day

This Memorial Day is unlike any I have ever experienced. Normally I have the day off and I am off somewhere doing something neat. But this year I find it very difficult to actually say "Happy Memorial Day". I am just not sure that I should be happy about it. Last year at this time I was enjoying life, attending the Indy 500 with good friends and getting the chance to visit family in Indianapolis.

The only time I really thought about what Memorial Day really means, was during the pre race ceremonies. The rest of the weekend was just one great road trip, one that I will not soon forget.

This year I am here in Iraq. I have attended memorial ceremonies for fallen soldiers. I have read the reports of US Forces Killed in Action. I have talked with soldiers that were 2 trucks in front of the vehicle that got hit, who drove right over the IED seconds before it detonated.

How exactly am I supposed to feel today? I don't know.

I do know this; I value the Freedom that I have back home and the USA is the greatest country in the world no matter what anybody says. I am very proud to be a small part in tremendous History of US Military. And I am very grateful of all of those who have sacrificed their life or their health for me to be able to enjoy the freedoms that I long to get home to enjoy.

Memorial Day Links

Beth, AF Vet, and her 6 year old daughter thank the troops. Beth has more here.

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BlackFive Opening the Gates of Heaven. He also has a nice list of ways to help the troops.

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GreyHawk has a lot of posts:
Memorial Day
Marla Ruzicka
or you could check out the open post where other bloggers have linked their own Memorial day posts

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MDG: Memorial Day with a CAVALRY Touch

Liveblogging the 2005 Indy 500

Last year I was at the race seated at the entrance of turn 2. It was a great time with Walking Eagle with his dad "Fuller Walking Eagle" and his sister "Squaking Eagle". AFN has the broadcast live. It is going to be a late night, but I will enjoy it.

All times will be Iraq time. (9 hours ahead of Indy Time)

2000: AFN starts the broadcast

2015: enough about the Rookie. yeah she looks better than the other drivers, but she is still just a rookie

2027: enough of 3 doors down. let's get going already

2030: driver introductions. 2 Foyts in row 10. at the back like usual. Kenny Brack back fron the big Texas Wreck. Shame Rice is not there. he raced good and won last year. Tony Kanaan is a good racer on the poll. BTW No Robbie Gordan :)

2033: No tornado Warnings yet :) Last year in the same breath the track announcer said "let have a hand for our winner Buddy Rice... Tornado Warning please exit the stands... Tornado Warning please exit the stands"

2035: AFN Commercials are still terrible

2036: What is this the Freaking Olympics. I don't need a human interest story. I want to see the race.

2037: "chemical latrine" break.

2038: Olpympic coverage still going

2039: checked out the Cheer up Frog again

2040: more bad AFN commercials

2044: COOL! did you see the troops in Iraq!

2045: General Powell. What a cool guy to get to drive the Pace car. Gen. Powell said some cool stuff anout the troops. Thank you sir!

2046: Nation Anthem! (it is hard to live blog while standing at attention) B2 Bomber!

2049: Good to hear from another Veteran. and a salute to the fallen.

2052: I don't think they are going to show Gomer Pyle sing. :(

2055: Taps! I hate that song

2056: Hey we do get to hear Gomer sing :)

2059: START YOUR ENGINGES! WOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOO


Did you know over 300,000 people are at the Speedway for the race

2105: Green flag: Last year the first lap had me jumping up and down. it is so awsome. Hornish jumps to the front. We have racing :)

2107: Kanaan take the lead back in lap 3
2108: that didn't last Hornish, gets it back

2111: Kannan and Franchitti both pass hornish for first and second. look out for Tomas Scheckter

2112: AFN comercials are just plain boring

2117: leader are already in lapped traffic at lap 17. that is sad. They try so hard just to fill the field that the bad cars are just bad

2118: Wreck! Larry Foyt. he just got loose. Castroneves made a great avoidance move. Foyt could drive, but he sure can't own.

2124: in the pits: Kanaan keep the lead. no big movers and no big goof ups int he pitts this time. A very smooth job by all teams.

2126: check that, there might be a penelty? Someone ran over a air hose.

2131: racing again. Green flag Franchitti take the lead

2133: Kanaan get the lead back. he is going to be hard to beat. he is moving really fast

2138: Lap 38 Hornish makes a great move and passes both Kanaan and Franchitti to tak ethe lead from back in thrid. Nice move!

2144: More AFN Commercials. It seems like only Army Generals on TV have the new Army uniforms, the Digital Camo ACUs

2146: still no Trnado Warnings

2147: the announcer just said "the most competitivitve I have ever seen in a long time" ?!?!?!?!?

2151: green flag pits. this is when the pit crews really matter: Hrnish the leader comes in: Nice pit

2152: cars are pitting out of sequence

Nascar sure does have better broadcasts. much more informative with thier graphics.

2155: I cannot belive they went to commerical during a green flag pit window. That is terrible.

2156: checking out the newest entries into the caption contest

2158: Danika Patrick leads a lap. (56) durnig the pit window (in commericial). first time a woman has ever led a lap at Indy.

2200: Scheckter is on the move

2202: who cares if Russel Crowe is wearing the hat of an NHL team.

2208: A wreck in the commercial. Bruno Junqueira took a monster hit on that one. I hope he is okay. and guess what The other foyt was in the way causing problems. and he is out too. Bruno moving good. foyt was 5 laps down and he gets in the way of one of the fast movers. Nasty wreck.

2211: pits in caution. Patrick Stalls. OOPS! Rookie Mistake. and now can't get it started again. She lost a huge amount of track position. She messes up but the announcers are still kissing her rear end :(

2223: Bruno is going to be okay. Thank God. His back is going to hurt for a while. but it could have been a whole lot worse. that one was not pretty.

2226: bad broadcast. missed the restart while in commercial :(

2231: having a good green flag run right now. Hornish is still looking tough.

2233: Kanaan makes a smooth pass of Hornish to take the lead back. I think Hornish just let him go since the race is only half way done.

2238: Hornish makes a nice moveto take the lead back... again in commercial.

2243: lap 112 lead change. lapped traffic slows up Hornish enough for Kanaan to take the lead again. good heads up move by Tony. coming up on a pit window pretty quick

2244 WRECK! lap 114. 2 cars Scott Dixon and Richie Hearn. Hearn got in to Dixon in the turn. he didn't give dixon any room. not a very dangerous wreck. but the yellow is a good time for pits

2246: the leaders are pitting could be a good one. it was who got out first? Hornish did by a quarter length. Nice!

2257: ANOTHER COMMERICAL RESTART! WTFruitcake is going on.

2258: Franchitti take the lead from his teamate Kanaan. But It didn't last long.

2304: these slower cars are really a hazard. one almost caused wreck. they touched tires but no crunching. CLOSE CALL!

2314: Hornish is in the wall. He just lost it in the turn. He had a good car. He is fine. It might have been a tire went down. nope a slower car pushed him a bit too high and up into the marbles. that is a shame.

2318: caution Pits: Wheldon takes the lead with a great stop. lets see if he can keep it. Miera did well also.

2330: Holy cow. why is there is wreck during a yellow flag. That is weird! Danika Patrick the Rookie, caused it trying to warm up her tires duringa caution loses control. that won't sit well with the cars she put out of the race. the announcers are still trying to kiss her rear end. well at least I didn't miss a restart... there wasn't one.

2343: lap 163 GREEN Flag Finallly, and it wasn't during commercial :)

2350: fluid on the track brings out a yellow. this could be interesting for the fuel game. I will be curious how this will work out. Who is going to pit and who will stay out? Miera take fuel only get out first. But Danika Patrick stays out and takes the lead. lets see if she can keep it and if she has enough fuel. it is going to be a good finish!

2356: Patrick has the lead, but the pack seems to be catching her. we are coming up on 20 laps left. it is going to be a dogfight.

2359: This better be the last commercial.

0002: Holy Smokes. Caution. Who was ahead? Whenldon took the lead from Patrick seconds before the caution came out! slow cars at the end of races casuing cautions really tend to tick me off.

0006: still no Tornado Warnings

0008: 10 laps! to go green flag! Michael Andretti looks like Dustin Hoffman

0009: Patrick Takes the restart from Wheldon!

0011: Wheldon passes patrick 7 laps to go

0014: Patrick goes back a couple places 3 laps to go

0015: 2 laps left. some dipstick hit the wall and we won't have a green flag finish. :( Dan Wheldon raced very well today. Congrats to him and the A/G Team.

0016: Checkerd Flag under Yellow. Wheldon Wins and get to drink Milk.

0017: It's late. I am going to bed

[+/-] Click here to continue [+/-]

Star Wars Bootlegged

No less than ten days after the movie was released in the theatre, I am officially the owner of an unofficially bootlegged copy of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. I don't feel too bad about the copyright infringement, there is no theatre here for me to see it, and when I it comes out on DVD I will buy it them so I don't think I am stealing any money from the George Lucas.

I just got a chance to watch it. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality. this bootleg was not a video tape from someone in the audience. I think this is the one that was leaked, that I saw on the news. I paid a whopping 4 bucks for it.

I do have to give George Lucas credit for one thing; he did send 4 copies to the troops here in this theatre of operations. I know where 2 of these copies are, 1 in Kuwait and 1 at LSA Anaconda. That makes sense if you can only send 4 copies, that is where it would be seen by the most troops, but since I am not there and have no chance of getting to one of those places, I had to get my own. It was incredibly easy to get. I just walked into a little store run by some local nationals put my dollars down and he handed me the DVD. He said he has sold over 300 copies so far.

As for the movie itself, WOW! That was so much better than Episodes 1 and 2. I am very impressed. I just wish I could see it on the big screen.

The Cheer up frog

I got a bit frustrated here in the office about some stuff. So I sent my Girlfriend a long message venting.

So this is what I get in response:

You need to cheer up and smile (like the picture) or else you will have to do push-ups! :)
Hey wait a second that is my line :)

She attached this picture to try to cheer me up a bit.



Smile!
Wait for it
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Okay that helped!

[+/-] Click here to see the Cheer up Frog [+/-]
This would actully be a funny reality series.

Survivor, Kansas Style...

28 May 2005

basil is a ... well I will let him explain.

27 May 2005

I told you it would be "Slick"

Sorry, I couldn't resist this one :)

Level of Dificulty: No use of the term "Sexual Relations"

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Winner!
What's the difference between me and Pres Bush? Well...I think his are made of brass." - Holly Aho

Honorable Mention
"Pardon me, is your suit ScotchGuarded?" - Rodney Dill
What? What the hell did i do now? Why are you all glaring at me like that? I swear I didn't do anything this time? It wasn't me! NOW STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT!!! - April M. Shah

If this was a Novel Contest instead of a Caption Contest Winner

President Clinton, bored with post Presidential life to this point, decides on the spur of the moment to become a metrosexual. He showed up at the event wearing a pink tie, new tan, and waving his hands around asking if anyone had a baby wipe. It was later reported by a source on the scene that he was having trouble getting the sunless tanner off of the palms of his hands.
Palmetto Pundit

Special Award for Sucking up (no pun intended) to the Judge
"Yes, it is true. Since leaving the oval office I have started blogging. My blogname is Kevin, and I think Mustang 23 is just another asinine army officer." - FCC@V


Thanks to everybody who participated. This was very tough to decide and a whole lot of fun :)

Linked to Outside the Beltway's Caption Jam

26 May 2005

Iraqi Army prepares for Operation Lightning

I have said it many times, the quicker the Iraqi Army and police forces can defended their own country, better off both the US Military and the Iraqis will be. When they can handle themselves, we will start to go home. That is why I try to keep track of the news with the Iraqi Army. There has been some big news lately.

I see news like this more and more frequently:

Iraqi Army Soldiers find explosives, suicide vests:
Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 6th Division, Iraqi Army found nearly 100 sticks of the plastic explosive C-4, false identification cards and vests and belts that would have been used for suicide attacks during a night raid in north central Baghdad May 8.
Cool. Get that crap off the streets. They still have a long way to go, but these are always good stories.
“We have the four men, and they will face Iraqi justice,” Qussay said.
This is the quote from the Iraqi Battalion Commander. There 2 things of note when discussing Iraqi Justice. First, I like to see the Iraqis doing the work that they should be doing. that is a step in the right direction. Second, If I was the bad guy, I would rather have American Justice, we tend to be a bit more "gentle".
The raid was a part of ongoing security missions by the 1st Bn., which has recently added more territory to its area of responsibility.

“We looked forward to expanding our operations,” Qussay said. “We are ready to be responsible for more.”
HOOAH! Handle your Business!

It looks like LTC Qussay and his Battalion are getting all kinds of good press. THE UPI has picked up on his story as well. This is the first time I have seen one of the bigger news agencies post an article like this, which is good news in itself:

Iraqi army battalion gets bigger role in Baghdad:
"This was a transfer of authority of two large districts in the capitol city of Baghdad from the (U.S.) 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division to the Iraqi Army," said Col. David Bishop, 3rd Brigade commander.

"We are ready to be responsible for more," Iraqi Lt. Col. Karben Qussay, commander of the 1st Battalion, based in the Adamiya section of Baghdad, said according to the U.S. Army report. "We have the full ability to expand our area of operations." The battalion`s sector now includes about one fourth of Baghdad, he said.
This is GREAT news. I wish LTC Qussay and his Battalion good luck. Keep up the good work.

To a man LTC Qussay sound like a confident man and that he wants nothing more to improve his country, but he is not alone. This confidence goes all the way to the top of the Iraqi Chain of Command:

Deputy Commander says Iraqi Army has "turned the corner" in standing up independent force:
The deputy commander of the Iraqi Army says his forces have "turned the corner" and are now well on their way to self-sufficiency.

Lieutenant General Nasier Abbadi tells A-P Radio he now has close to 95-thousand troops in the regular armed forces. That's above and beyond the estimated 88-thousand police, commandos, and border guards under the Ministry of Interior.
And the good news keeps on coming. LTG Abbadi goes on to tell us that that "rolling handovers" are taking place. His units are taking over responsibility for area that have been patroled by coalition forces. I saw keep it coming.

If this is not enough good news for you. take a look at what is on the Horizon: Operation Lightning:

40,000 Iraqi troops to fan out across Baghdad in biggest show of Iraqi force
Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari says he's determined to take back the initiative from insurgents who have killed more than 620 people since his government was announced nearly a month ago.

On Thursday, al-Jaafari made clear just how he hopes to accomplish that.

The plan is to deploy 40,000 police and soldiers in the capital and ring the city with hundreds of checkpoints ''like a bracelet'' in the largest show of Iraqi force since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
The Iraqis are getting sick and tired of the violence in their streets and their new govenment wants to do something about it. Thank Goodness!
Al-Duleimi, one of a handful of Sunni Muslims in the Shiite-led government, called on all Iraqis to stand up to an insurgency that has raged unabated for more than a year.

''We have the absolute belief that there is no place for the terrorists, there is no place for those who give shelter to the terrorists, or those who provoke terrorism,'' he said. ''We will stand solidly against anyone who tries to shed a drop of Iraqi blood, against anyone who tries to kill any Iraqi.''
HOOAH! This is the backbone we need to see from this country. I know the people here have national pride that has been buried for many years. This is the kind of thoughts and actions that will make this place better. I would like to see the leaders both nation and local start standing up for the right thing even more.

If Operation Lightning is the success that I believe it will be, it will make a HUGE step in the long process of standing up the new government and the Police and Army.

Listen to BlackFive's Net Call

BlackFive has a big announcement concerning the Eason Foley situation.
We gave the MSM time to react to Linda Foley. With the exception of a few sources, there wasn't much out there. Maybe they agreed with her, didn't care, or thought it wasn't newsworthy...

We just couldn't sit there and let her comments stand.

MediaSlander is born.

The EasonGate team is back together to dispell the filth that tends to come from the media. While they try to staff their 5 paragraph operations order, go check out their site.

The team includes:

It should be good!

Headline abuse from Reuters

What does this Headline say to you: "FBI memo reports Guantanamo guards flushing Koran"

It tells me the flushing incident actually happened. Now go on and read the story:

Reuters:
The newly released document, dated Aug. 1, 2002, contained a summary of statements made days earlier by a detainee, whose name was redacted, in two interviews with an FBI special agent, whose name also was withheld, at the Guantanamo prison for foreign terrorism suspects.
[...]
Di Rita said the U.S. military questioned the detainee on May 14, and that the man was "very cooperative and answered the questions but did not corroborate the allegation recorded on Aug. 1, 2002." Di Rita said he did not know whether the man actually recanted the allegation.
So when the same detainee is question about the situation he tells a different story.
"These kind of, sort of, fantastic charges about our guys doing something willfully heinous to a Koran for the purposes of rattling detainees are not credible on their face," Di Rita told reporters.
But you couldn't tell that from the Headline.

Update: The MediaSlander Guys and I seem to be thinking a like. the have it posted there as well: Don't believe the Reuters headline, read the actual story:
That sure is a wild departure from the headline plastered on the top, which reads that an FBI actually reported a Koran flushing. Take the time to read the story's lead, and the agent merely is passing on an accusation.
I think I am going to like these guys.

24 May 2005

Yes - we know we are pathetic morons! - Toni

Toni's caption contest winning line also applies to these two dipsticks:

Two hurt in mock light sabre duel:
Two Star Wars fans are in a critical condition in hospital after apparently trying to make light sabres by filling fluorescent light tubes with petrol.

A man, aged 20, and a girl of 17 are believed to have been filming a mock duel when they poured fuel into two glass tubes and lit it.
GOOD GRIEF!

(Via Smash)
Speaking of Dorks.

The 99th Bonfire of the Vanities has been posted at Pajama Pundits.

Weekend protests

Okay I know I am a couple days behind on this but I wanted to make sure you got to see some of this stuff.

Barb, the Righty in a lefty state, was at an anti-military protest in Washington State:

Seattle Recruiting Protest:
The protest action seemed mostly to consist of several individuals giving their viewpoints on the need to abolish recruiting in schools. We stood back and watched/listened, and after a few minutes, found that several people had gathered close to us. It may have been the way we didn't join in with the general head-nodding, or the "Operation Iraqi Freedom" t-shirt I was wearing (since my Blackfive shirt had not yet arrived when I left in the morning), but we apparently stood out as different ... go figure!
While at the protest, she took some pictures. She also got to meet some of the recruiters there, including SFC Due, who was in that picture a while back when he got protested out of a job fair. Those guys seem like nice people
Sergeant First Class Due and the other recruiters were great to talk with, kindly pointing out that I wasn't too old to serve, just overqualified!
hehe!

BlackFive also has post about it with a picture: Combat the Moonbats - Part 2. He also has a nice e-mail from Janie, the daycare lady and reader of AoC. She also went to the protest.

What I really want to point out is the picture B5 has. On of the protester's signs says "Who Would Jesus Bomb". WTFruitcake!?!?! What exactly does that mean.

I have talked about anti-military protesters before. I just don't understand them at all.

And in case you didn't know, there is an Active Duty Recruiter in the Milblogosphere: Jack Army. He runs a good site. I have a lot of respect for him. He is a true professional.

Zarqawi wounded? I hope!

Instapundit:
AL QAEDA SAYS ZARQAWI IS WOUNDED, and asks for prayers.

Is it unChristian to pray for gas gangrene?
Okay I have to do this,

Heh!

Sorry.

The report comes from Reuters:
DUBAI (Reuters) - Al Qaeda's group in Iraq said on Tuesday its leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had been wounded and urged Muslims to pray for him, according to a Web posting.

"O nation of Islam... Pray for the healing of our Sheikh Abu Musab al-Zarqawi from an injury he suffered in the path of God," said a statement from the Al Qaeda Organization for Holy War in Iraq. It's authenticity could not be verified.
I hope this is true. We will find out soon enough.

Update: basil says:
Dear Lord,
We ask Your guidance upon our soldiers, that You may steady their eye and that their aim be true and that the next time that sorry bastard gets in someone's sights that they are able to blow his freakin' head off.
Amen

It has been a while...




It sure has been a while since I got the last e-mail from Ms. R's class. It has been so long that I want to make everybody do push ups, but since I am just so glad to get more questions I can't bring myself to it. I am just a nice guy that way. BUT DON'T PUSH YOUR LUCK! :)

It has come to my attention that school is ending this week. I bet that breaks everybody hearts. So this is going to be the last set of questions for the year. that breaks my heart. This is too much fun. Maybe you guys should stay in school all summer just so I have questions to answer! (note to self: that probably won't go over very well)

Ms. R's class writes
okay well, have you made any new friends through this experience? Do you march like in the movies?? hut 2-3-4! What do you miss the most about your home and what do you miss the most about the united states? if we were in iraq we would probably miss our friends, the movies, being able to eat ALL THE TIME, and constantly going shopping and tanning! Are y'all swiming yet?

b3 s@f3

lauryn, mattie, and the rest of mrs. R's class!!
Let's get to work on this.
okay well, have you made any new friends through this experience?
I am not sure if I would call the people I have met friends, as a commander I am not really allowed to make too many friends. Especially not the Enlisted Soldiers. It is my job to lead them not to be friends with them. And sometimes when I have to make an important decision, I have to put aside what the troops will think of decision and base my decision on what is the right thing to do. If I have a bunch of friends, it makes it a lot harder to do that. The troops can like me when we get home. I also have to treat the troops equally. I can not show favoritism based on who my friends are. That would not be right. I have met a lot of good people here and some people I will probably keep in touch with and maybe become friends later, but not now.

I hope that makes sense.
Do you march like in the movies?? hut 2-3-4!
Yes we do, but not here in Iraq. We do that back home when we all have to get to the same place together, or we are doing PT and running together. There are no "huts" in the Army. We live in tents or buildings. :) Only Quarterbacks say that. When we march we do sound off with 1-2-3-4 and left and right and some other fun stuff as well like:

I used to date a beauty queen,
Now a got an M16,
I used to wear the faded jeans,
Now I'm wearing Army greens,
I used to drive a Chevrolet,
Now I'm marching everyday,
What do you miss the most about your home and what do you miss the most about the united states?
Let me count the ways!

I my family and friends, I miss my Girlfriend, I miss my car and being able to drive it whenever I want. I miss going to Royals games (even if they are terrible), I miss nights out on the town, Mustang Mama's cooking, Chipotle, my bed, my stuff, my surround sound DVD player, my 40 hour a week job, weekends, not having helicopters hover over my bed at night, roller coasters, not having to figure out what time it is back home, real phone lines, not having to walk 100 feet to the bathroom, my own bathroom, Super Bowl parties, a good internet connection, not having to carry a weapon everywhere I go, not having to put a helmet on when I get into a vehicle, Papa Murphy's, not having to shave everyday, being able to sleep in, not worrying, bowling, chopper shopper cards, yelling at the stupid driver during rush hour, realizing I am the stupid driver in rush hour, holidays, not having to convoy, not having a loud generator everywhere. That is a good enough start. I miss a lot of things.
if we were in iraq we would probably miss our friends, the movies, being able to eat ALL THE TIME, and constantly going shopping and tanning!
Yeah I miss going to the movies. I am not talking about the Sith movie right now. We don't have any of those pirated copies. (YET!) I did finally get to see Sahara. It wasn't bad as action flicks go. The book was a lot better.

We have no problem eating all the time over here, the chow hall is open 4 times a day and usually for 3 hours at a time, plus we got a lot of other cool stuff to munch on here at the office, so that isn't so bad. But I do miss cooking.

It would be nice to go shopping, if I want something I have to buy it on the internet.

Tanning? NOT QUITE! Haven't we been through that before? :)
Are y'all swiming yet?
:( No! The people who run the pool can't seem to get the chemicals for the pool and the water is really gross. So it might be a while. I hope they get it open soon because it is alreay over 100 degrees here.
b3 s@f3
1 \/\/1!!. u d00d$ r !ucK¥ 1 $p34k l337
lauryn, mattie, and the rest of Mrs. R's class!!

So...how will we keep in touch after Friday?
I will be right here at this website and you can still e-mail me at Mustang23_assume*at*hotmail*dot*com. I hope every one has a great summer and have some fun for me.

23 May 2005

Byron York

Remember when I dabbled into politics and Called Jim Lampley a nut.

Byron York is the guy that ripped Jim Lampley. He has a new book out and AoC reader Huntress has a review of it on her site, Diary Of A Hollywood Refugee:

Vast Left Wing Conspiracy:
York explains the"Illusion of the Majority" in which these left wing activitists "conjured up the the ILLUSION of a national majority that ended up fooling even its creators!"

The mindset of Soros is what I find contemptable and equally laughable because its so arrogant and so freaking stupid I have to wonder how this man was able to become a successful capitalist Billionaire! A man who is soo stupid yet so rich is as dangerous as Osama Bin Laden!

I have a bad feeling about this

Groupie?

I have just went from being a Annoying Neighbor to being a Groupie.

Let me explain. If you notice in my Fun Stuff section I have a little button that says I am a One of Bad Exapmle's Annoying Neighbors. You get to earn this distiction if Harvey ever links to your blog. But now he has started a brand new list of people. People who have posted about his Blogging Tips.

So now I am officially a groupie. Harvey better not be expecting anything from me at the after show party, I am not that kind of guy. :)

My real question is when do I get a specialized groupie button for my site?

BTW: Some people think Harvey looks like the Dad on Familiy Ties
Caption Contest winners have been posted. That was fun.

Weekend Caption Fest Part 1
Weekend Caption Fest Part 2

This Weekend's contest should be pretty "SLICK" (hint!) Stay tuned.

22 May 2005

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Yesterday the internet was down, so I took the time to go look at out shelf of cool stuff the people have sent us. A vast majority of it was good stuff, we got a couple of useless things (hence bad), and something that is plain disgusting.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly!
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The Good. Like I said we get lots of cool stuff. We do like the Beef Jerky and the Beef Sticks. But some of the other popular items include playing cards and the hand sanitizer stuff. Since we use "Chemical Latrines" a lot, the hand sanitizer is the closest thing to washing our hands afterwards.

The Bad. We do not have bath tubs here, and I am not sure that I would want to use a bathtub after any of these guys even if we did. I love my troops and all, but I will stick to a shower. Anyhow, somebody sent us soothing bath salts. that stuff is pretty useless to us. While it has good intent, we just don't have a place to use it.

The Ugly. POTTED MEAT FOOD PRODUCT! This scares me. What in the world does that mean? Can somebody please translate that for me? It might be meat, it might be food but I am sure it is some sort of product. Going on convoy or eating this stuff, I would probably choose the convoy. Who actually eats this stuff and who actually thinks we would want it. Unlike the bath salts I do not know what the intent is here. GOOD GRIEF!

21 May 2005

Milblogger and Congressman

When he gets back from Iraq, LT. Currie is running for Congress.

NewsWEAK and Eason Foley

[Updated and Bumped up]

There are a couple of big stories going on. There is the NewsWEAK scandal and the Eason Foley mess.

Being in Iraq makes them very important to me and my fellow troops. But I have avoided discussing both of them for a reason. I really don't feel like getting wrapped around the axel by writing about it myself. Don't get me wrong, both of these stories make me upset. The media back home really needs to remove their head from their Fourth Point of Contact. It is a real shame that the once proud American Media has stooped so low for ratings and circulation that they will print or say whatever they feel like saying, even if it harm the troops. DISGUSTING.

Like I said, I am not going to dig in to the details here, but I really want to let you know what people I respect and admire are saying about the situation.

Andi (who earned a well deserved link from La Shawn Barber on this) covers Eason Foley. It looks like the “Hell on Heels” is motored up for action.

Greyhawk rips NewsWEAK and here

BlackFive Doesn't even read NewsWEAK anymore. But you need to read why!

There are many other great post out there, but my favorite NewsWEAK post is by MDG:

Newsweek's Exemplary "Faux Pas"

I can recommend no course of action except for one. Foremost, we as soldiers, must act and fight with dignity and respect towards our enemy. Does that mean not kill him when he threatens? Absolutely not. Does that mean dehumanizing your enemy? No. It means that we should meet threats with resolve and determination, but do it in an honorable way. Only by fighting a clean fight will we have a chance to show the rest of the world that we are involved in a righteous endeavor. When we cease providing the enemy-sympathizing MSM with ammunition to attack us through public opinion, we will have won. The American soldier has 2 enemies: the terrorists who try to kill us, and all who stand for right, with bombs and bullets; and the press, who spew forth metaphorical, yet equally lethal, "missiles" of word and thought at the American Fighting Man.
HOOAH! or as MDG says "SCOUTS OUT!"

MDG is a young NCO and he lives and leads by these words. This is what being a soldier and a leader is all about. This is who we are and how we fight. Even when people bash us, we will still do our job properly. We put our anger aside and do our job. It is young leaders like this, the heart and backbone of the Army, that distinguish the American Military from all others in the world. Commanders, like me, can’t accomplish any mission without our NCO leading our troops and knowing and trusting that there are young NCO that have the big picture in their head like this makes me feel proud and confident that there is nothing that we can’t accomplish.

Update: I told you Hell on Heels was getting ready. Andi Rips Eason Foley:

Why It Matters:
In pre-9/11 times, offensive though it is, your anti-American speech wouldn't matter as much. But, things are much different now and when people in responsible positions utter irresponsible words, it matters. Our enemies latch on to the words of people like you. They take your words and use them to motivate others to join the movement and kill Americans. Our soldiers, though falsely accused, pay a dear price for your overt hatred. Just read their thoughts on irresponsible speech. You claim our troops have a reckless disregard for journalists - you, Ms. Foley, have a reckless disregard for our troops.
You have to read it all to get the full effect. WOW! Sidenote: Andi is out of town for the weekend and when she gets back she is going to be shocked to find out she got linked by Instapundit.

20 May 2005

Weekend Caption Fest Part 1

Going with the theme of the weekend!


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Winner!
Yes - we know we are pathetic morons! - Toni

Honorable Mention
Are we men or are we Devo? - Huntress
These are not the bobbies you're looking for...move along. - Jeremy

Weekend Caption Fest Part 2

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Winner!
"Who's yer daddy?" - Souldier: Prayer Warrior

Honorable Mention
My Darth Vader costume was accidentally sized for a Hobbit! Somehow they thought I was going to appear in the Shire, and suddenly here I was! - VCS
Due to cutbacks in budget the part of Darth Vader will be played by an Ewok. - Jeremy

19 May 2005

Thanks for the offer, but No

I got an e-mail the other day from a Co-Worker and Friend of mine back home. It looks like my company, actually my old department, is looking to hire Single, Adventurous, people with strong communications skills to work in Thailand for a minimum of 18 months, helping lead a group of "Augmenties".

Qualifications:
Single - Check
Adventurous spirit/attitude - Are you kidding me?
Strong communication skills - you are reading this so I must be okay here.
Manage/lead - Do I get to make people do push ups?
Train/mentor/consult - right up my alley
Other Technical Mumbo Jumbo - Out of Practice, but Check

It is work I could do/already did. Sounds like it could be interesting in a broaden my horizons and in a helping my career kind of way. But after this trip, I have a very simple answer:

NOT A CHANCE!

18 May 2005

Star Wars: Revenge of the Mustang 23

This is officially a Star Wars Episode III Free Zone.

There will be no talk about the movie itself until I get a chance to see it. I wish I could see it, but that is not very likely. I will probably be a few weeks before I there is a bootlegged copy here for me to see.

So please don't go and ruin it for me. Okay I know that Anaikin is Darth Vader and that he has a couple kids and all that, but I want to see it myself no play-by-play here is allowed.

If I was home I would probably be at the midnight showing. I saw the last two on opening day.

Episode I, I was on active duty, so I sent one of my troops, who "volunteered", with enough money to buy tickets for everyone in my section, to stand in line DURING THE DUTY DAY! I drove him out there and bought him doughnuts and milk and said call me when you get the tickets. That night my whole section went out and watched the movie together. That was pretty fun and the guys enjoyed having a movie on the boss.

Boxes of cool stuff

Just yesterday we were talking about all the nice things people back home do for us with Karen's Neat Story. Today this:

Wednesday is one of our regular mail days here. Mail day is a always a good day. But today was one of the better days in a while. The best days are in the holiday season. Today we got a fairly big truck full of mail. As we were sorting it, we noticed one of the Lieutenants got a bunch of big boxes. We always know who gets the mother lode. :) When the LT came to pick up his stuff, It doesn't take long for him to get the word, it was maybe 5 minutes, First Sergeant started giving him a hard time about all the mail. That is also typical. Lo and behold, LT, looks at the boxes and finds out they are from a shriner back home and that he collected up a whole bunch of stuff for his unit.


COOL STUFF FOR EVERYONE!
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That word got out quicker. It even brought me out of my office to see what kind of cools stuff there was to get. There was all kind of candy bars, Microwave popcorn, ziplock baggies, personal hygiene stuff, Ramen Noodles, Tic Tacs, letter writing supplies, hand fans, Mixed nuts (my unit is full of them) playing cards, and various other cool stuff.

A couple other things of note, as well: We got JP's Favorite Beef Jerky. I don't care what JP says Beef Jerky and Slim Jims are good stuff. I just went and checked, it seems like my troops don't agree with JP either because it is all gone, stashed away. (And not just by me)

We also got a large stack of Frisbees. We know exactly what to do with these. We are going to put these in our trucks so when we go outside the wire. (it does happen from time to time) When we are out there we are going to give them to the Iraqi kids. We know they would rather have a soccer ball, but they do like to play just about anything. Frisbees seem to be popular. That is fine with me as long as they don't make like the 70s and grow white man afros and wear super tight shorts while wearing rollerskates.

Thanks to everyone whos sends cool stuff in the mail to soldiers you don't even know. It makes our days that much better and our deployment that much shorter.

Terra-BULL

Julie With a B has, No BS, one of the worst puns I have every heard.

Read it if you are a-BULL.

Harvey Hits a Home Run

I wish I had positive news about the Royals, but since I am talking about the blogger Harvey at Bad Example. He is a really funny guy and he has good blogging tips too: 12 steps to better blogging. Not all blogs have to be about politics or the military or even opinions. Some are just about having fun, which is why I like to read Harvey's stuff. (He also said my banner is cool)

This time he, does something differant and really does hit a home run when he takes on the Huffinton thingamabob. This is the place the Jim Lampley has been making a fool of himself.

Harvey Writes:

ARIANNA ISN'T A BLOGGER
And because it is, that makes it precious and loved. It becomes a work of passion. A labor of love. It draws the author back again and again, day after day. It's not for the money - although some bloggers do generate income with it - it's about being able to make something all your own that you can point to and say, "*I* did this. It may not be beautiful or perfect, but it's mine. It's a part of who I am. An important part. And I love it."

Arianna - and, indeed, all her group-blog-buddies - have other outlets. Outlets that are higher profile, less prone to criticism and feedback, and far more renumerative. Their natural inclination is to leverage their time into productive activities, and this project goes counter to that. This sad collection of celebrity cat-blogging can't possibly hold any appeal, outside of the opportunity to publicly lick Arianna's backside while appearing to be hip and trendy because they're blogging.
There is more good stuff in the whole post. Go check it out. That is an Order! :)

Dead Center

Sandor, at the zoo, runs The Blogosphere Political Compass Project. It is a collection of scores from bloggers who have taken a quick exam that tells you weather you are Conservative or Liberal, or Libertarian or Authoritarian.

I took the quick test and it turned out I scored about as close to dead center as you can get. (0.1, 0.7) I knew that I leaned right on some things and left on others. (before anybody else makes the joke, It looks like I go both ways.) I was a bit surprised that I was not as libertarian as economics was concerned.

Go visit the The BPCP for the results so far, and if you have a blog go there and find out how you can be added to the study.

17 May 2005

Neat Story

Being the super popular web celebrity that I am... Oops! Starting over...

Being the highly talented, but under read blogger that I am... Okay, Okay...

Being the a deployed soldier that also has a weblog, (who sometimes lets his ego get carried away), I get some nice notes from readers of the website, between e-mails trying to convince me to tell them my banking information. It is cool hearing from people, but today when I opened my e-mail I got a real good one.

Karen, the self proclaimed "Itsy,bitsy caption lady", sent me this neat story.
Dear Mustang, I have a wonderful story and I wanted to share it with you. This happened yesterday and I am still walking on clouds. I belong to a group called Adoptaplatoon. Not sure if you've heard of us but we are a non-profit soldier support group (www.adoptaplatoon.org)

Anywayyyy, at the moment I support a soldier and a Marine-both in Iraq. I was going to mail out their care packages this past Saturday but the new Star Wars movie ran longer than I thought it would and my regular post office closed before I could get there. Sunday morning found me up and on my way to the post office at the airport(open 7 days a week). The boxes were large and heavy so I could only take one in at a time. I brought one in and the young man behind the counter started to process it so I could go and get the other one.

An older man, who I had never seen working there before, asked me if I needed help. I politely declined and the yonger man proceeded to ask me the standard questions. I rattled off the contents and then said and "lots of powdered drink mix".Young man says "he must work out alot". I told him that no,this young man was in Iraq. Older guy peeks at the front of the box, I go out for box number two. I came back in to find just the younger man. He continued to process the paperwork and the older man came back. He told the younger guy "take it out of here" but I had no idea what he was talking about. When the bill was totalled, the younger man proceeded to take out a $100 bill and count out change. I was floored. I said I can't let him do that. Older guy says "I want to".

I thanked him and he told me just make sure to thank my son. I then had to explain that these young men were not related and I told him what we are involved in. Tears came to his eyes and of course then mine. This man had served in Nam. I thanked him and shook his hand-cried my eyes out as I walked to my car. I rushed home to email my Marine's family with the story.

I wanted them and I want you and all of your buddies to know that YES!! people back here do care. Forget the media and the occasional protests, people back home love you and support you! Stay safe! Karen
Trust me Karen, we know. Thank you for sharing such a neat story and for sending cool stuff to us over here. It means a lot.

Update: Welcome BlackFive Readers... Almost like clock work we received a bunch of cool stuff in the mail the day after I put this up: Boxes of cool stuff. Again Thanks to Karen and the many other people who send cool stuff to us troops over here.

Mustang 23's Favorite Quote

A little while ago I put this quote in my side bar hoping somebody knew who said it. yet.
“The price of education will never be more expensive than the cost of Ignorance.”
I haven't recieved a response on it. This has been one of my favorites for a long time.

16 May 2005

The Golden Rules.

The National Guard Experience is a good Milblog. It has some really funny stuff about being deployed. Like the The Golden Rules of Care Packages (BTW: JP is wrong about the Beef Jerky) and the highly anticipated follow-up Care Packages: What We Really Want. I just laugh when I read those. Just realize that JP is having fun, not really complaining, too much.

Since there has been a lot of talk about what you can and cannot do with you Milblog, JP has posted The Golden Rules of Milblogging:
IX. Simmer down. You might be a direct line to an American serviceman for the public back home, but don't think you're Geraldo Rivera as an embedded reporter. If you have enough time to blog every minute of the day, then trust me, your job on deployment isn't that interesting. No one can milblog all the time unless they're sitting behind some desk. Don't overkill. You'll just end up giving the few readers that you have an aneurysm.
All in all these are good rules to live by over here. They sure can keep you out of trouble.

If you aren't interested in the Golden Rules, there is a great post about JP's genius son, with cute kid pics! What my Son Did
Here's another story about my son and his Goofy doll (aka Daddy)... Now he's taken it to a whole new level. My wife sent me an email last week about what happened. I was wondering when my son would begin to use the Goofy doll to his advantage. He's still amusing himself with his Goofy doll that he calls "Daddy". But in fact, now he's taking him everywhere he goes so he can readily use Daddy for his own needs.

15 May 2005

Beer Blogging

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I have heard from a few of my troops that not all of their family members realize that there is no drinking allowed here in Iraq. On guy told me that his grandfather (and war vet) said that he must be having a great time with the guys at the end of the day at the bar. Sadly he had to break the news about no drinking here.

I totally understand the policy. The last thing we want to happen, is to have our troops impaired when the bad guys try to come over the wire at us. But every now and then it would be nice to have a beer with my burger. But when I do get home that first beer is going to have me bouncing off the walls.

The Dinning facility usually has some kind of Non-Alcoholic beer. Most of the stuff is bad. Really bad! But just recently they go these in, O'Doul's Amber. This stuff is really good. It actually tasted like regular good beer. Not like Natural light with an added after taste. Most N/A beer has just a rotten aftertaste. Not this stuff. It is smooth.

Beside the beer is my favorite Barbeque sauce. Not only is it my favorite, it tastes good too. This is Gates sauce. It is zesty, fairly think sauce. Not as thick as KC MasterCrap, but much thinker than Texas style. The only thing KC MasterCrap is good for is using it in bulk with you cocktail weenies at a super bowl party, or maybe for your chicken nuggets. I wouldn't put that stuff on real barbeque unless you are planning on insulting someone.

In the Background you can see more of Mustang Mama’s cookies. This time she sent me Chocolate Chip. They are pretty good. Not as good as the Sugar cookies, but as Chocolate chip goes they are great. Trust me I am not complaining. I don’t complain about cookies. With the cookie I got these really good toasted cheerios. Two different kinds even, Garlic Butter and Cinnamon Sugar. The Garlic Butter are really good, I haven’t tried the Cinnamon Sugar yet. I bet they are good too.

I also got this cute card from FCC@V. It is nice to get mail.

Caption This!

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Winner
"Itsy,bitsy my Rear End!" - Karen*

Honorable Mention
"My spidey senses are tingling!" - Huntress
"Okay, honey . . . you run left to divert its attention, and the dog and I will run to the right." - HB
"Hello? Is The The Lab Director? Sir, I think I found the missing plutonium." - John Schroeder

Thanks to everyone who participated, there were a lot of good ones. Stay tuned as there will be more Capion Contests in the future.

*Slight edit. :)

2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)

Smash has a Big story detailing the BRAC.

A Day In Iraq has pictures

Michael has some neat pictures of some Iraqi kids. I never get tired of looking at pictures like these.

A Day In Iraq: "Pics From a Town in the Center of Nowhere "

14 May 2005

Retired Navy Captian Volunteers to Work In Iraq

Tom Kelly is a retired Navy Captain who has been working in Baghdad for a Dinning Facility contractor. The first thing that come to my mind is he is doing to for the money. But that doesn't seem to be the case:

Man, 67, Volunteers in Iraq to Support U.S. Troops:
What’s he thinking?

“I’m not there for the money,” he’s quick to note. “I could make as much money working for the Maine DOT as I do over in Iraq. I’m there to do whatever I can to support these young soldiers, both our soldiers and these young Iraqi Army and National Guard soldiers, who more and more are on the front lines.”

A decorated veteran of two tours in Vietnam, Kelly said he feels compelled to provide direct support for the U.S. war effort in any way he can. His patriotism runs deep, an emotion that was galvanized for life upon his return from Vietnam.

“When I came back from ’Nam in 1972, I landed at San Francisco as a lieutenant commander,” he said. “As I came off my ship, American citizens, college students probably, threw rotten eggs at me. I never, never forgot that. It was almost as painful as some of the atrocities I saw in Vietnam.

“Forget the reason why we’re there,” he said of the U.S. military occupation of Iraq. “I don’t even want to get into that. I just want to help the troops.”
How cool is this guy. A retired Navy Captain (equal to an Army Colonel) makes a good retirement, and at 67 he is still working. Who am I kidding he makes a great retirement. That takes some serious energy and dedication. I will be happy if at 67 I have the energy and ability to work full time, I just hope I don't need to :) Mr. Kelly doesn't need to but he does anyhow.

Mr. Kelly is very optimistic about not only the US troops, but the Iraqi troops that he meets as well.
Young Iraqi boys — 18 to 20 years old — are coming in and joining up by the hundreds, even though the insurgents are blowing them up, left and right.

“I’ve talked with them personally, and they realize they need to do this for them, for their country,” he said. “I think people in Iraq realize they have

LTG Helmly sends a message to troops about the BRAC

The Commanding General of the US Army Reserves LTG Helmly sent out this warm and fuzzy message pertaining to the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC).

BRAC 2005 and the Army Reserve

"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present? As our case is new, so must we think anew, and act anew."

Abraham Lincoln, Message to Congress, 1 Dec 1862

13 May 2005

Dear Army Reserve Soldiers, Employees, and Family
Members:

Over the next few weeks, you will hear much about Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) 2005. No doubt, you will have many questions about how BRAC impacts your position, your unit, and the Army Reserve. I want to take a few moments to tell you my perspective on BRAC as we proceed through this process.

First and foremost, recognize that BRAC 2005 provides an unheralded opportunity for the Army Reserve to change for the better. When I assumed command of the Army Reserve three years ago, I shared with you that profound change was needed to prepare our organization for the challenges of the 21st Century. Part of this change includes seeking to station our forces in the most modern, up-to-date facilities possible and streamlining command, control and support structure. BRAC 2005 provides the engine to help propel these changes.

  • BRAC 2005 empowers us to achieve changes in training, mobilization and readiness by better positioning our force where we are stationed, where we live, and where we train.
  • BRAC 2005 enables us to occupy a host of new, improved, more highly-capable facilities, training areas, and support structures to conduct our training and missions. With these benefits in mind, consider these things about BRAC and the Army Reserve.

First, Public Law 101-510 (BRAC Act of 1990) established and governs the BRAC process. BRAC 2005 marks the fourth time the US Government has used this process to reorganize its installation infrastructure to more effectively support the armed forces, increase readiness, and find new ways of doing business. Let me explain how the process works.

  • The BRAC 2005 process started on 31 December 2003 with a two-year analysis and will continue through the end of 2005.
  • In May 2005, the Department of Defense (DoD) forwards its recommendations for realignments or closures to the BRAC Commission.
  • In September 2005, after holding regional meetings throughout the country to solicit public input and visiting the proposed sites, the BRAC Commission forwards its recommendations to the President. The President accepts or rejects the recommendations and forwards them to Congress. By the end of 2005, Congress accepts or rejects the recommendations.
  • Once the recommendations are established in law, the subsequent realignments and/or closures will occur between 2006 through 2011.

Second, these closures and realignments will not happen overnight. For instance, an Army Reserve Soldier currently deployed will return to the same Army Reserve facility from which he or she departed. Throughout the eight-year process, the Army Reserve will work to ensure that the least amount of stress occurs for Soldiers, their families, and the Army Reserve staff who supports them.

Third, the Army Reserve has been a full partner in the BRAC 2005
process since 2003. We have worked closely with the Departments of the Army and
Defense (DoD) to ensure that BRAC recommendations result in changes for the Army Reserve that increase our ability to accomplish our mission which is,
according to Title 10 US Code, to provide trained and ready Soldiers and units
available for active duty in the armed forces in time of war.

Finally, I want to emphasize that while change can be unsettling, it is necessary to build a more dynamic, agile and flexible Army Reserve. BRAC 2005 does not change the Army Reserve's purpose, values, or position as an integral part of the United
States Army. BRAC 2005 will change where and how we go about achieving our
mission.

The centerpiece of the Army Reserve has always been, and will remain, its people Soldiers, employees, and family members. I encourage each of you to learn more about BRAC 2005. Go to the Army Reserve website at http://www.armyreserve.army.mil/usar/home/. The website is updated regularly
with information on BRAC 2005.

Thank you for your attention. I value your service, your loyalty, and solicit your understanding of our intent as we change the Army Reserve.

Sincerely,

James R. Helmly
Lieutenant General, US Army
Commanding

13 May 2005

Link-a-lot

This stuff should keep you busy while I play poker at the MWR tonight.

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Along with DadManly and myself, MDG is getting Cabin Fever. I am glad I am not the only one.

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CPT U, at Who's your Baghdaddy? (Those shirts are cool!) has the chance to meet some Iraqi Children. Suffer the little children (Via Toni)

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Want to make fun of the new Huffington Post, Huffington is Full Of Crap

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More blogging tips: 25 pieces of advice for bloggers, How to Blog Like Rockstar: get over the need for cyber affirmation (Part 2)

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Tony doesn't like Kansas City's Mayor

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Jack Army, an Army Recruiter, talks about the Stand down training here and here

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Jason, at Counter Column, goes on AT but tells us what we should read while he is gone: From the PX to the Chow Hall: This We Will Defend

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Red Six, the Silver Star Author of Armor Geddon, is back from his well deserved vacation.

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Andi gets discriminated against by someone at Harvard: A Harvard Professor Who Gets It

Eat it Now, Taste it Later

In the Army, especially in a training environment, you are "encouraged" to eat fast. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, there are usually a lot of people that have to get through the chow hall in a given amount of time. Second, the day is usually filled with so much stuff to do that time needs to be trimmed from other activities so everything can get done.

For these two reasons, you will tend to hear people use the term "Eat it now, Taste it later". I never seemed to have a problem with this. This is one of the few things in the Army I didn't have to learn.

From a young age, I was always a fast eater. I remember my Aunt always telling me to "Slow down! No one is chasing you with a stick". That line always made me laugh... in between bites. :) I don't know why I tend to eat fast, I just do. Sandwiches (hamburgers included) and Pizza are the two fastest things to eat. I seem to make them go away at breakneck speeds without even thinking about it. It is just normal to me.

Before you go and start thinking I am an uncouth, talking with my mouth full, spraying chunks, impolite eater, I am not. Just make sure to pass the potatoes, please.

And before you go thinking I am a fat and overweight pig, I am not. Yes, I do have to take the tape test. I am about 7-9 pound above weight for my height, because of my superior (somewhat) muscle mass, I am well under my body fat percentage, and I work out in the nice gym 3-4 times a week. (the elliptical trainer is my friend)

So this leads me to the story. Yes there is almost always a story when army guys are concerned and the usually start like this: "So There I was...". Sometimes depending on the company, or in a bar with all of the other officers in a Cavalry outfit, you can add a "No S***" at the beginning. And everybody else is supposed to reply with "So there you were!" letting you know that a story (possibly a true one) is one the way.

So there I was, sitting in the middle of the Mojave Desert, in a lull of the big war against the dreaded Kraznovians. (They are the notional bad guys at FT. Irwin's Nation Training Center (NTC)) The NTC is a very good place to train. I learned a lot there. But, during the lull in the battle, I was sitting with my troops, eating a gourmet meal consisting of a freshly opened MRE, (think of MRE as two parts MR and E, say it together and you get a Mister-E) taking about upcoming missions and out plans for it. The conversation is productive and we make recommendations to one another.

So as I am putting away the trash from the scrumptious MRE, My NCO in Charge looks down at his watch clicks the timer off. Then he looks at one of my other NCOs with his hand out and says loudly "Give me my money!" Me being the slick guy that I am gave them, my best "I am confused, what did he just say" look. Apparently they had a personal Over-under bet going on based on how fast I would eat my lunch. And I came in under. That doesn't sound too bad until I tell you the under was 5 minutes. That includes opening all of the packaging and preparing that goes on with an MRE.

I wish I would have know about it earlier and I would have rigged the contest for a cut of the winnings, but that is beside the point :)

Okay, so maybe I eat fast, at least I don't look like this.

USA Today on Milbloggers

USA today has a four part article on Milblogging:
It is nice to see Milblogs get some publicity. These are pretty good articles. The only way it would have been better is if they would have contacted me. :) (okay, maybe)

There is already a lot of coverage in the Milblogosphere (Is that a term yet) about them already so I will just point you to those:

BlackFive
Smash

12 May 2005

Smash And Pablo

Pablo Paredes, the Sailor that refused to go on his deployment because he thinks the war is illegal, was convicted and sentenced. Good!

Smash has the details and a has prottest details as well. you will need to check out both posts.

This one was from the day of his trial:

Pablo's Pity Party:
Last night was the grand kickoff for what was billed as “a week of protests” against Paredes’ cout martial, which began this morning. Thousands of flyers were printed and distributed to coffeehouses, campuses, and hippie hangouts around the greater San Diego area. Electronic notices were posted on the local Indymedia site, and other virtual hangouts frequented by local lefties. In the end, only about 150 people showed up – including the media, and a handful of Protest Warriors.

Yes, I was there – and I recognized several of the usual suspects among the organizers of the event. But if they noticed my presence, they didn’t show it. My intentions were to observe quietly, record as much as possible, and ask questions if given the opportunity.
And this one discusses the sentencing and the protest response.

Pablo Gets Hard Labor
YESTERDAY AFTERNOON, I got word that a group of pro-Pablo demonstrators were gathering outside the main gate of Naval Station San Diego. So I got together a couple of my Protest Warrior buddies and set up an impromptu "Operation Thank You" on the opposite corner.

As usual, we kept our message positive, with signs that read "Thank You Navy," and "Land of the Free, Thanks to the Brave." The Pablo protestors didn't know quite what to make of us.
These are both good posts.

11 May 2005

In Memory of the Movie Buff

My family has lost a good friend. Vince Passed away yesterday. He was a good man. My Condolences go to Marieann and the Koehler Family. I wish I could go to the service.

His son is going to continue his web site.

Entertainment Spectrum

Odds are Jim Lampley is a nut

Pardon my dabble into politics (read the disclaimer), but I think this is funny.

Well there is a bit of buzz going on around the blogosphere about a new website (I hate to call it a blog) where we are being "graced" by the opinions of "Celebrities". The place is called the Huffington Post. Being on my "Extended Desert Vacation Getaway" I didn't hear all the hype leading up to the launch of this website. If you haven't been over there yet, this is what you missing.

Jim Lampley, the pretentious boxing announcer, in his first post compares what he (thinks he) knows to something he is absolutely clueless about:

The Biggest Story of Our Lives:
At 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on Election Day, I checked the sportsbook odds in Las Vegas and via the offshore bookmakers to see the odds as of that moment on the Presidential election. John Kerry was a two-to-one favorite. You can look it up.
He goes on to say that Odds makers are very precise about everything they do. They know all. He also says that the odds makers used exit poll information to construct these odds.

Okay, I don't disagree with Mr. Lampley here. Odds makers are very precise. They are good at making money for their casino. But the odds they set are not meant to be a actually prediction of who is going to win. These odds are created to induce bets to be placed evenly on both sides of the "game". Getting a split bet for them is the best way to guarantee a return based on the juice that they charge on winnings. Half the people would lose and the other half would get a fee charged. So Mr. Lampley Suffers a Knockdown here.

But he goes on to the meat of his post:
Oddsmakers consulted exit polling and knew what it meant and acknowledged in their oddsmaking at that moment that John Kerry was winning the election.

And he most certainly was, at least if the votes had been fairly and legally counted. What happened instead was the biggest crime in the history of the nation, and the collective media silence which has followed is the greatest fourth-estate failure ever on our soil.
WHOA! So the votes were not fairly counted, and the media didn't do their job. That is quite bold or stupid as the case may be.

I could go on about Mr. Lamply's original post, Byron York, on Huffinton Post, does it for us:
Enough of that. Just for the record: There is ample evidence that the exit polls on November 2 were terribly screwed up
So know we know the Exit polls were all screwy
But he didn't win. And Rep. John Conyers' "hearings" on the matter did not produce any evidence that Kerry did, in fact, win more votes than Bush in Ohio. Nor did the (failed and withdrawn) lawsuits filed by fringe Democratic activists in Ohio. Nor has anyone else.
And all of the attempts to prove the fraud in Ohio, came up fruitless or were dropped.

Mr. York makes some very good factual arguments to Mr. Lampley. But here comes the funny part. Mr. Lampley responds to Mr. York.
In an attempt to refute the logic of my previous post about the stolen Presidential election of 2004, Byron York compares the handicapping of the Kentucky Derby to oddsmakers' responses to the exit polls which demonstrated John Kerry was the actual winner on November 4. This is typical neocon disingenuity, a shunt designed to ignore the real question.
I just laugh at this kind "I am not wrong, you are a not to be trusted NEOCON" response. Wake up Mr. Lampley this is May, that was 6 months ago. And this is supposed to be a new website. I guess these are the headlines of today, when you are bitter because you didn't get your way.

Not once did Mr. York talk about horse racing, he talked about how terrible the exit polling was. Mr. Lampley did you even read the response.
York's posting proves nothing. Neither, for that matter, does mine,
You got that half right!
What is needed is for legitimate news media, whether old style or new age, to commit to the investigative process of getting to the bottom of what happened in November.
I always find it funny when somebody from the Hollywood point of view complains about the Media. the Hollywood Point of view almost owns the media but, he still complains. Not once in Mr. Lampley's response does he use any fact to refute Mr. York’s Facts. Mr. Lampley just throws out some more rumor and conspiracy theory that doesn't hold water.

Mr. Lampley please stick to boxing, I respect your work there. Stay away from debating, unless you want to continue to get KOed. (BTW: Stay off of the Jim Rome show too, but that is beside the point)

Dabble over.
Confederate Yankee thinks he knows who placed the granade near President Bush's speech in Georgia.

Okay maybe not!

Cynical Nation Hosts COTV #138

Barry, at The Cynical Nation, has the latest Carnival of the Vanities. Unlike the Bonfire of the Vanities this Linkfest is for your self-nominated BEST post of the week.

This is a good place for bloggers to get the word out on their blog. Barry does a good job with this one. There is some interesting stuff to read over there, including my Doonsberry post.

Go see what Barry has to say about my post as well as all of the other deserving posts.

Watching Waiting

Major D At Firepower Forward, in the 'Stan, tells a story that is very typical of office types, like me, get the bad news of War.

9 Lines:
A 9-line is a standard radio format to request medical evacuation.
[...]
The big flat screen television in the operations center resembles a teenager’s compute monitor at any given time with multiple text chat message windows open at any given time and even though they are all encrypted and secure, most of the time the messages that flicker across are just as benign. Not this time. I read the last message “TRINITY: Stand by for 9 line.”
[...]
“TRINITY: Line 3 – 2 critical.” Now I was worried. This line was supposed to be the number of patients by precedence.

It wasn’t only the word “Critical” that concerned me, but the fact that they had used it. There are only five different words that should be used here, each with a specific meaning to the medics as to the severity of the injuries.
[...]
TRINITY: “2 US KIA”

And just that quickly, all of our hopes vanished.

Overcome with frustration and helplessness, I stepped out the back door to collect myself.
That really sucks. Just sitting there when there is nothing you can do but wait and listen. It is so frustrating.

Go read the whole thing, it is very well written.

(Via BlackFive)

Royals Manager Resigns

From the Royals Official Site

Pena resigns as Royals manager
"I've been thinking about it for the last three weeks," Pena said from Toronto. "It made me sick. I wasn't eating well or sleeping well because I thought so much about the way we played. I don't think we've played to the top of our ability."
I like Tony Pena. He is a good person. But the way the Royals are playing something had to be done. A record of 8-25 just doesn't cut it. I wish him luck in his new endeavors.

Allard Baird, Royals General Manager:
"I don't want this to tarnish what he's done in the past for this organization like he did two years ago, as well as being a very large part of a lot of our young players' development," Baird said.

"His willingness to take on young guys, put them in situations and believe in them and send them back out there is a good application in theory but it's not always easily done. But he did it very well."
As for a new manager, I don't have a clue who they should hire. I guess it is obvious that they should have picked up Buck Showalter when they had the chance. (he was the other finalist along with Pena in 2003)
"We will take as long as we need to hire a new manager," Baird said.
It's not like this season will mean much, so getting the right person should be important.

10 May 2005

"Operation Matador" update

ABC News

U.S. Punches Through Deserts in Iraq:
At least three Marines have been killed and fewer than 20 wounded in Operation Matador, one of the biggest U.S. offensives in Iraq since militants were driven from Fallujah six months ago, the U.S. military said.

U.S. forces said as many as 100 insurgents were killed in the first 48 hours of the operation many of them trapped under rubble as fighter jets and helicopter gunships pounded the remote desert region. But Marine commanders told The Chicago Tribune that resistance had been unexpectedly intense.
The Marines are hard at work, But so are the bad guys
Gunmen kidnapped the provincial governor Tuesday and told his family he would be released when U.S. forces withdraw from Qaim, the town 200 miles west of Baghdad where the offensive began late Saturday.
[...]
Gov. Raja Nawaf Farhan al-Mahalawi was seized as he drove from Qaim to the provincial capital of Ramadi on Tuesday morning, his brother, Hammad, told The Associated Press.

The kidnappers later telephoned the family and said he would only be released when U.S. forces pull out of the Syrian border town, Hammad Nawaf Farhan al-Mahalawi said.

Lt. Col. Steven Boylan, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Iraq, said: "We don't respond to insurgent or terrorist demands."

This guy has only been governor for 4 days.

Qaim is a big training ground for the bad guys.
There are reports that these people are in uniforms, in some cases are wearing protective vests, and there's some suspicion that their training exceeds what we have seen with other engagements further east," he said.
[...]
Intelligence reports indicated insurgents were using the vast region, a known smuggling route, as a staging area where foreign fighters crossing into Iraq from Syria received weapons and equipment for attacks in the key cities of Baghdad, Ramadi, Fallujah and Mosul, U.S. Marine spokesman Capt. Jeffrey Pool said.
By all accounts so far this has been a great success.

Bonfire of the Vanities

This Weeks "Bonfire of the Vanities" is being hosted by the Scurvy Dog, William Teach, at the Pirates Cove.

This weeks Bonfire has a Dark Jedi Theme. I was given a Jabba The Hutt picture. Because Jabba comes from a desert planet. hehe get it :)

The Bonfire is for your self nominated worst posts of the week. Since I don't like it when I am in a bad mood I nominated my Cabin Fever post. That was a bad day or two for me. But I am better.

Anyhow, go visit the Bonfire and see some other lousy posts. :)
The truth about Garage Sales :)

Things could be worse

You think you are having a bad day, at least all of your vehicles didn't get totaled, execpt for the one that needs brakes, tires and a battery, at 4 in the morning:

Lucky Us.
You know the old maxim, "Just when you think things can't get any worse, they will"? Silly me, I thought things couldn't get any worse, and of course, they did.

I had just gone to bed last night when there was a horrible noise outside the bedroom on the street-side of the room. At first, I thought it was the trash guys who empty the dumpster across the street at our Bob's woodshop. It sounded for all the world like they had dropped his dumpster while dumping it. Then I realized, I didn't hear a trash truck. Then I heard a car speeding off. Then I realized, there had been an accident.
Oh Man!

(Via Rottweiler)

09 May 2005

Soldiers Mom has a Message for Iraqi Mothers

This is really neat. I just found it, better late than never :)

To the Mothers of Iraq:
Here in the United States, today is Mother’s Day – a day set aside to honor mothers. Today, I also honor the mothers of Iraq. Please believe me when I say that the mothers in America are with you – even if we cannot be there in person to support you, we are there. We cry for your lost children. Our hearts ache for you… we can only imagine your horror and your grief… we grieve with you. We share in your hope of a brighter tomorrow for your children.

We have sent our sons and daughters to help you. We would rather they were here with us, but we accept that they have a larger mission. We want for you and your children what our children are working towards: a free and safe Iraq.
Read the whole thing or I will make you do push-ups :)

Update: You have to read the Comments! Neurotic_wife, An Iraqi blogger responds.

Big Assault

This is important. Most of the bad guys come from other countries and this was a key spot for them.

U.S. Attack in Iraq Kills 100 Insurgents
U.S. officials described the area as a known smuggling route and a haven for foreign fighters involved in Iraq's insurgency.The assault was the biggest U.S. offensives since the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah fell last fall.

Iraqi Army has Success

Iraqi Army captures 4 terror suspects, explosives
Iraqi Army Soldiers from the Baghdad, 1st Infantry Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade of the 6th Iraqi Army Division, found a large weapons cache and detained 4 individuals during an early morning raid May 9 in north central Baghdad.

The raid near the town of Al Waziriah, netted nearly 100 sticks of the plastic explosive C-4 and several suicide vests. Iraqi Soldiers also found a possible "hit list" of names to target.
This is good news. It is great to get these weapons out of the hands of the bad guys, but I am impressed by the Iraqi Army finding it.

The Iraqi Army is good at getting intelligence from the locals... They are the locals. They have been doing a good job at getting info because their ears are more in tune to the pulse of their homeland. That's something we can't compete with no matter how hard we try. Back home, how would you feel if some foreign investigators came to ask you some questions? I am willing to bet you would be more likely to talk with an American that knows you language and customs. Just a hunch. :)

The Iraqi Army needs to be successful for the US Army to be successful. When I see things like this It makes me proud to be on the same side as the Iraqi Army. The good people of Iraq want nothing more than to be able to stand on their on feet without the help of the Americans. They are proud people and want to take care of their own country. Seeing a story like this means we are one step closer bring all the troops home.

Good on them.

On a related note Major K has a post about the Iraqi Army:

Fire Discipline
As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Iraqi Army is assuming a growing piece of the pie here in our area. It is a welcome development, as it is the first step towards all of our forces going home. At this point, however, it is a mixed blessing. There is a wide variance in the quality of Iraqi Army units. Some are showing espirit d'corps and proficiency that would give some American units a run for their money. Others are lazy, corrupt and unprofessional. This is part of the growth process involved in training any new military force where there has been a power vacuum or power struggle in the past. Any soldier who has trained forces from a developing nation will back me up on this, particularly if they are US Army Special Forces, who specialize in this sort of thing.
Go read the whole thing. I hear some of the same things Major K is talking about, but his first hand knowledge is a much better source.

Sidenote: Can anybody tell me where the media is on stories like this?

Student gets to go back to class

Joe at the Moderate Voice has the details:

Suspension Penalty Sliced For Student Penalized For Talking To Military Mom:
Following a firestorm of negative national reaction, a 17-year-old Georgia high school student will be allowed to return to class after being banned from the school for three days for refusing to hang up his cell phone on his military Mom who was calling him from Iraq.
I am glad to see they came to their senses.

(Via Mudville)

08 May 2005

Doonsberry does Milblogging

DadManly has written about Saturday's Doonsberry. He does a good job of discussing this issue of equipping soldiers with the best gear. For the most part, yes we do have the best personal gear around. But the the Doonsberry strip for Saturday talks about the vehicle Armor situation.

I don't really feel comfortable discussing it. I drove up from Kuwait in what is nicknamed "Hillbilly Armor", but is officially called Level 3 armor. A bunch of guys and gals from our unit spent 10 days working their tail off to install steel plating to our trucks. I am glad we have some civilian welders in my unit. We left Kuwait only a day or so before the whole Secretary Rumsfeld flap about armor. So that being said, I will refrain from discussing armor on MY vehicles anymore.

Back to Doonsberry, I looked at the Friday Strip.

This one bothers me. GB is really trying to portray troops as low IQ guys. "No Bang-Bang" Come on. That is really a disgraceful depiction of our troops. I know for a fact guys like MDG and Michael are very articulate and descriptive in their writing. (Better than me) And if anybody has ever visited Thunder 6's site they will see some one with a pure skill for evoking thought and vision through a very classical and intelligent style that I would never be able to write in. He is truly a gifted writer and could probably write about basket weaving and I would still be interested. I am very impressed with these guys.

The only thing I agree with in the strip is the first half of the Second pane. Yes we do appreciate what everyone back home is doing. It does mean the world to us to know that not only our families and friends are supporting us through our time away, but also people we don't know. Some days are just tough, but when you receive a letter from a 2nd grader, from a state you have never even been to, saying how much they thank us, it lifts your spirits.

But the rest of the piece, Garbage! We know that the support from home is not waning. Just ask any trooper that has been greeted by the Maine Troop Greeters. We know people support us. We know that the support is not going anywhere. We still get boxes by the dozen from AnySoldier.Com. GB is just plain wrong.

We are not bitter at the lack of support; we are over whelmed by it! We ARE bitter at people who only want to see us fail.

We don't have a problem when the media displays bad things here in Iraq, they need to do that. We ARE bitter when the Media blatantly ignores the Amazing and wonderful things going on over here. They are after ratings not news.

As for the last panel, Just lame! Nothing but lame. Not funny at all. I haven't read Doonsberry for years. Keep up with this and it will be many more years before I do again.

Update: John at Blogotional makes an amazing response to this post. He trackbacked it, but I want to emphasize it: Defending The Military. Thank you John!

Update2: Welcome COTV Readers. Thanks for stopping by. Check out the comments on this post. They are pretty good.