Archive for the ‘Noble Warriors’ Category

“And Then, on June 6 1944, Came the Sun”

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Hat tip to FARK.

Man Shoots Self in Nards

Monday, May 31st, 2010

MyNorthwest. Yes, I’ll be the first to admit this about my old stomping grounds. Those disparaging things Californians and Easterners say about the moss west of the Cascades, the mildew, the slugs, the rain 350 days a year, how it puts mold on your brain and slowly starts to eat it out of your skull?

It’s not such a rare thing I find myself nodding that they might be right. This is the kind of story that, er, makes that go off.

Police say a man accidentally shot himself in the testicles at a Lynnwood department store.

Police spokeswoman Shannon Sessions says the man was carrying his handgun in his waistband and it accidentally went off about noon Sunday.

She says he was wounded in the testicles and also in his leg and foot. No one else was hurt.

The man was rushed to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, but there was no immediate word on his condition.

Went to a going-away party Friday for a colleague who got a job with Google. He’s going up to this area, will be living in Kirkland. This makes me somewhat envious. I’d say the one spot I was most sorry for having left, would be Kirkland. That may be because of the horrible chapter that followed. This was twenty years ago.

But back to the subject at hand: I must make a note to update my list of things I don’t want to see in movies ever again, with this testicular injury/jeopardy. Tucking a (often very large caliber) sidearm into the waistband; and while I’m at it, vaulting over a balcony railing from the third or second story, onto a horse. Oof.

Maybe some holster manufacturing company can put out a PSA. Holsters == good. Get one.

Memorial Day 2010

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

“Try not to forget what it’s about.”

Video embed removed 6/4/10 because it started auto-playing its advertisements.

You can view it here.

Hat tip to Daphne, who got it from Sippican.

Matthew McCabe Not Guilty

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Ah, now here’s some really good news. Wonderful. Needed some.

A Virginia military jury found a Navy SEAL not guilty Thursday on all charges he punched an Iraqi suspected in the 2004 killings of four U.S. contractors in Fallujah.

“I’m really happy right now,” Matthew McCabe, the Navy SEAL, told Fox News shortly after hearing the outcome of the court martial. “It’s an amazing feeling. I’m on cloud nine right now.”

McCabe, a special operations petty officer second class, called the proceedings “troubling at times,” adding “having your career on the line is not an easy thing to handle.

McCabe was the third and final Navy SEAL to be prosecuted in the case. He had faced charges of assault, making a false official statement and dereliction of performance of duty for willfully failing to safeguard a detainee. McCabe was accused of punching last year is Ahmed Hashim Abed, the suspected mastermind of the grisly killings six years ago.

After the court martial, the 24-year-old from Perrysburg, Ohio, thanked the public for its continued support.

“It’s been great everything they’ve done,” he told Fox News. “But, don’t worry about it anymore. We are putting this all behind us. It’s done and over with. I’m going to try not to think about this ever again.”

Respectfully disagree on your last, SEAL. You should stop worrying.

We, as a country, have let these men down because we’ve allowed something to get all bolluxed and gunnybags. It’s an old problem with defenders and invaders, constables and crooks. When good squares off against evil, how often should we question whether the good is good? Bearing in mind that when good is questioned about being good, it m-u-s-t stop what it’s doing and give us an answer…whereas evil is not similarly troubled. Therefore, making sure you’re on the right path supporting the good, noble an intention as that may be, possesses an inherent tendency to create an imbalance of power. Not such a good thing to do in the middle of a conflict. Good, therefore, is put in a position where it can be defeated just by being questioned, if it’s done enough. There has to be a limit to how much we allow it to be put to question. The constable can wear only so many leg irons while he’s chasing the convict.

The three SEALs committed an alleged offense against an alleged terrorist. In that sentence, the word alleged occurs twice, but it is not interpreted the same way by the people whose decisions count. One “alleged” might as well not be in there, and the other one’s a wink-wink-nod-nod.

Given that, can I question one thing about the status quo? Anytime any formation of people is authorized to physically corral another, marks on the body shouldn’t by themselves drive prosecutions just because it isn’t an all-out fight. Think about it. The human body is built to be bruised. Ever rough-house with your kids? How carried away do you have to get in order to give yourself a blue mark on your forearm, or a fat lip. Maybe you won’t notice until later you peeled back one of your fingernails. And sometimes it’s the kid who gets a shiner. Ever have an “uh oh” moment like that with one of your kids? How would you like to spend twenty years in Leavenworth over it, or face the prospect of it every time it happens?

These people are put in charge of enemies, some of whom are still determined to fight back. The instructions those enemies have already read, are very clear about the weaknesses in our system, how far they can get bringing down the Great Satan by making things up. It is their documented tactic; we know this.

I said at Cassy’s place a new Joe McCarthy wouldn’t be such a bad idea right about now. Maybe our legal system, within and outside of the DoD, has not been infiltrated by communists. But by their tactics, it’s getting hard to tell ’em apart from communists lately. And I see no reason to presume innocence on the part of the prosecutors, when we aren’t willing to do exactly the same thing on behalf of the SEALs. Let’s be consistent, presume guilt there, and let ’em prove otherwise.

Hey, a guy can dream.

A Father’s Promise, a Son’s Sacrifice

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

“The letter sat on the dresser for four years.”

Robert Gilbert never opened it. He only touched the envelope when he needed to dust around it. He wanted to give it back to his son unopened.

Every time his Marine son was deployed, his son would ask, “You still got my letter?”

His dad never wanted to read what was inside an envelope marked: “Dad, open this if I am wounded. Love, Robert.”

The call to open it came March 8.

“Is Robert Gilbert there?” a voice from Marine headquarters in Quantico, Va., said.

“Junior or Senior?” Robert said.


The father felt his stomach drop even before he heard the words: “Your son has been injured in Afghanistan.”

When he heard his son received “possibly a mortal wound,” he sat on the bed, opened the yellow envelope and pulled out four handwritten pages of spiral notebook paper.

I’m sorry if you’re reading this…

Hat tip to Cassy.

Horace Greasley

Saturday, February 13th, 2010


Horace GreasleyThe reason for the frequency with which Greasley put his life in danger, he admitted with engaging good humour and frankness, was simple: he had embarked on a romance with a local German girl. Rosa Rauchbach was, if anything, running even greater risks than Greasley.

A translator at the camp where he was imprisoned, she had concealed her Jewish roots from the Nazis. Discovery of their affair would almost certainly have meant doom for them both.

Greasley recounted the almost incredible details of his wartime romance in the book Do The Birds Still Sing In Hell? (2008), which he had been “thinking about and threatening to write” for almost 70 years. But while the book is described as an “autobiographical novel”, the story was largely confirmed at his debriefing by MI9 intelligence officers shortly after the war.

Horace Joseph Greasley, nicknamed Jim, was one of twin boys born on Christmas Day 1918 at Ibstock, Leicestershire. He was 20 and working as a young hairdresser when Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia, and the Military Training Act made all men between the ages of 18 and 40 legally liable for call-up. Horace and his twin brother Harold were conscripted in the first draft.

A client whose hair he was cutting offered, when Horace mentioned that he was going into the Army, to get him a job as a fireman, a reserved occupation which would actually pay better than joining the services. Horace Greasley turned the offer down.

But his war proved a short one. After seven weeks’ training with the 2nd/5th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment, he landed in France at the end of the “Phoney War” as one of the British Expeditionary Force; on May 25 1940, during the retreat to Dunkirk, he was taken prisoner at Carvin, south of Lille.

Maybe this will be a pick-me-up for your long weekend. You can pour yourself a nice tall cold one, and say a toast to a true hero with balls of solid rock.

Newt Gingrich Impeaches Judges

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

This is pretty damn good. Wish I knew about it when it was going down:

Hang with it to the very end.

Happy 234th Marines

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Marines“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” — attributed to George Orwell


D-Day, 2009

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

In front of you, over the steel helmets of other men, you can see the flat surface of the bow’s landing ramp still held in place against the sea. Soon you are in range of the machine guns that line the beach ahead. The metallic dead sound of their bullets clangs and whines off the front of the ramp. And the coxswain shouts and the bullhorn sounds and you feel the keel of the LST grind against the rocks and sand of Normandy as the large shells from the boats in the armada behind you whuffle and moan overhead and the explosions all around increase in intensity and the bullets from the guns in the cliffs ahead and above shake the boat and the men crouch lower and yet lean, together, forward as, at last, the ramp drops down and you see the beach and the men surge forward and you step with them and you are out in the chill waters of the channel wading in towards sand already doused with death, past bodies bobbing in the surf staining the waters crimson, and then you are on the beach.

It’s worse on the beach. The bullets keep probing along the sand digging holes, looking for your body, finding others that drop down like sacks of meat with their lines to heaven cut. You run forward because there’s nothing but ocean at your back and more men dying and… somehow… you reach a small sliver of shelter at the base of the cliffs. There are others there, confused and cowering and not at all ready to go back out into the storm of steel that keeps pouring down. And then someone, somewhere nearby, tells you all to press forward, to go on, to somehow get off that beach and onto the high ground behind it, and because you don’t know what else to do, you rise up and you move forward, beginning, one foot after another, to take back the continent of Europe.


Picture from Images of War.

The Troops See Star Trek First

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

Instapundit says that’s a nice thing to do; we agree.

I am in the Army and currently deployed to Kuwait. We have a movie theater on post that shows “second run” movies, meaning that we get the movie about a week or two after they are released in the states. At times, a special effort is made to show the movie here on the same date it is released in the states. With that being said, I was shocked to see the movie schedule that was published for the first half of April. According to this schedule the new Star Trek movie will have a “special premier” on April 11th. I found it very hard to believe that we would be able to view a big “summer time blockbuster” movie that won’t premiere in the States for another 27 days.

Sure enough, the movie actually did get played today and I was able to get in to see it not just once, but twice. Not only did the movie arrive in Kuwait, but J.J. Abrams and most of the “bridge crew” cast (Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Eric Bana and Karl Urban) were here as well.

The cast went out of their way to entertain us before and after the movie was shown. They were more than happy to interact with the soldiers (Eric Bana leaped out of his “reserved” seat and sat next to a female soldier who invited him next to her) and they took their time describing their experiences making the film and answering questions and requests (Quinto obliged a soldier who asked him to call his daughter back in the states and say hello to her). I was truly impressed and grateful in the fact that they went out of their way to thank us and to offer this film to us. I’ll admit that this review won’t be as objective as it could because of the way the cast lent themselves to us. My biggest thrill was walking up to J.J. Abrams after the film and having the opportunity to give him my general impressions of it. How many times does a geek like me get a chance to do that?

Very cool stuff. Classy move, JJ & Co.

Obama Better President Than Carter

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

At least as far as this little adventure is concerned…

An American ship captain was freed unharmed today in a U.S. Navy operation that killed three of the four Somali pirates who had been holding him for days in a lifeboat off the coast of Africa, a senior U.S. intelligence official said.

One of the pirates was wounded and in custody after a swift firefight, the official said.

Capt. Richard Phillips, 53, of Underhill, Vermont, was safely transported to a Navy warship nearby.

Negotiations broke down because the Americans wanted the pirates brought to justice.

“The negotiations between the elders and American officials have broken down. The reason is American officials wanted to arrest the pirates in Puntland and elders refused the arrest of the pirates,” said the commissioner, Abdi Aziz Aw Yusuf. He said he organized initial contacts between the elders and the Americans.

Two other Somalis, one involved in the negotiations and another in contact with the pirates, also said the talks collapsed because of the U.S. insistence that the pirates be arrested and brought to justice.

Phillips’ crew of 19 American sailors reached safe harbor in Kenya’s northeast port of Mombasa on Saturday night under guard of U.S. Navy Seals, exhilarated by their freedom but mourning the absence of Phillips.

Let’s give credit to the current leadership folks, it’s only fair. At least for now, it would appear the “order over chaos” thing was upheld. Perhaps it’s an only-Nixon-can-go-to-China moment…like Clinton signing welfare reform or Bush practicing compassionate-giveaway-conservatism. However it came about, it seems the good guys won on this one.

Good. I’m glad. Wish more pirates got killed, but I’ll take it. Congratulations and a hearty thank-you to the noble warriors involved.

Update: …and in the spirit of that final note, a brief sketch of that brave skipper.

[Richard P.] Phillips, who was the captain of the Maersk Alabama, gave himself up as a prisoner in exchange for the safety of his crew of 19 when the container ship was attacked by pirates armed with AK-47s en route to Kenya. His crew took back their ship, but some of the pirates escaped with Phillips as a hostage in a lifeboat.

The U.S. Navy and FBI followed the pirates and tried to negotiate Phillips’s release, but his captors threatened to kill him if they mounted a rescue attempt. Phillips tried to escape Thursday, but was quickly recaptured.

The 55-year-old Vermont resident and father of two was well aware that pirate activity in the area has reached crisis proportions, with more than 40 ships hijacked last year alone.

Sippican’s Father Asks for Nothing

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

This one makes you think. I can’t remember who gets the hat tip. I’m going to research it in the days ahead because it’s someone who just started pointing to me in his sidebar, and I’m not pointing back — so I’m ripping off the poor fellow twice.

Awesome entry from Sippican.

Have you done something nice for an old person (especially a vet) lately? Lest we forget, that’s us, later on…best-case scenario.

The Sheepdogs

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

Poem by Russ Vaughn

Blackfive, via Rick.

Sign on the Door

Monday, December 1st, 2008

A sign on the door at Walter Reed, behind which lies a wounded Navy Seal:

Attention to all who enter here. If you are coming into this room with sorrow or to feel sorry for my wounds, go elsewhere. The wounds I received I got in a job I love, doing it for people I love, supporting the freedom of a country I deeply love. I am incredibly tough and will make a full recovery. What is full? That is the absolute utmost physically my body has the ability to recover. Then I will push that about 20 percent further through sheer mental tenacity. This room you are about to enter is a room of fun, optimism, and intense rapid regrowth. If you are not prepared for that, go elsewhere.

Thanks to Maggie’s Farm for pointing this out.

Call It McCroskey Syndrome

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

Looks like I picked the wrong day to declare 2008 the year of thinking flaccidly.

My point stands…problem is, today is Victory in Iraq day. A 24-hour oasis of virility and manly triumph in a 365-day ocean of impotence.

I just picked the wrong day.

Thank you, men AND women who’ve contributed to that crucial triumph, in ways large and small.

Hat tip: Rick.

“The bilious bastards…don’t know anything more about real battle than they do about fornicating.” — Gen. George Patton, Jr., May 31, 1944

Veteran’s Day 2008

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Thank you for your service, vets.

Happy 233rd Marines

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Thinking of you on your birthday. True guardians never worry about whether or not vigilance is in style. But you made it through basic, you know that.

Thank you.

Dear Mr. Obama

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

An “Everyone else is blogging it, I might as well do it too” moment. And what could be a more worthy one.

The intended recipient may very well be sworn in this January, so I’m just doing my bit to make sure the message gets across. It’s the least I can do.

And don’t forget to watch all the way to the end.

Pam in San Bernardino Has Never Seen High Noon

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

Via Rick, a discussion taking place on Desperate Preacher, kicked off by Pam with some comments that are truly asinine noteworthy:

In John McCain’s recent commercials, he calls himself the Original Maverick. In our household, we’ve had some different responses to this. I’d like to know how you hear it and what you think he’s trying to communicate.

First time we heard the commercial, both my husband and son started yelling “Goose!”, much to my amazement. I didn’t understand it at all. They said it was a reference to Top Gun, and that Maverick was a character in the movie, as was Goose.

I pictures guns and cowboy hats, and a swagger down a dusty street.

Neither of these images work for me as an appeal for Presidential Character.

Any thoughts?

My comment at Rick’s place speaks for itself. (DP, by banning Rick, has indicated that the place desires to be an echo chamber above all other things, so I’ll keep my silence there out of respect for their wishes.)

Rev Pam wishes to broadcast to the world wide web that she has never seen High Noon before.

Very well. Noted.

You remember High Noon, don’t you. It’s a movie where the bad guy is coming to Hadleyville on the noon train, and the Sheriff understands a confrontation is in order. All the citizens of Hadleyville go hiding behind doors and shutters, leaving him to face the evil alone. The “consensus” of the town seems to be that evil, in fact, doesn’t really exist — or if it does, it’ll just go away if it’s ignored. Only the Sheriff understands this is wrong, and in his solitude he is not deterred.

Arguably, if this is not the best western movie ever made, it could very well be the western movie with the strongest connection to the unsettling conundrums that surface from time to time in real life.

In fact, I would argue that this is what makes a western movie. Clarity of moral definition…coupled with ambiguity about what to do. Personal safety placed in the corner directly opposite from the “make sure good prevails over evil” corner.

That’s why our leftists hate cowboys so much. Well, it’s true. High time someone said so.

Fuquod, being a keyboard-building fool, chimes in with the discredited chickenhawk argument:

…and rick…did you even attempt to serve?

We call them “keyboard builders” here because their argument is predicated on the notion that if you aren’t personally doing something then you have no business thinking positive thoughts about anybody else who is doing it, nor are you permitted to so much as to acknowledge, audibly or in silence, that what they do needs doing.

The argument they seek to make, depends completely on this nonsensical premise. Not just a little bit. Completely.

So I figure every time I read this argument, and it was typed into a computer somewhere, whoever said it must build keyboards for a living. I mean, the accusation they’re leveling is one of hypocrisy, so I know no way could those guys be hypocrites. They have to be building keyboards.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

Not In It For The Attention, Mind You… XIX

Friday, July 25th, 2008

…but I hope I can send some attention to the Folds of Honor Foundation.

It began with the death of 28-year-old Brock Bucklin, an Army specialist from Caledonia. He was killed May 31, 2006 in Iraq when fellow soldiers were lifting heavy equipment and a hoist broke.

His sacrifice was etched on the hearts of the passengers on the flight that returned his body home.

When the plane landed, Bucklin’s 4-year-old son, Jacob, rushed to the casket carrying his hero’s body. That image stuck with Capt. Dan Rooney who was on that flight and has been on several tours in the Middle East.

“I was on a United Airlines flight, 664. You don’t remember the numbers of many flights in your life, but this was a night that my life changed,” Rooney told 24 Hour News 8. “For me, being an F-16 pilot, I’ve seen combat, I’ve seen death and destruction in Iraq. But I’d never seen that side of it. And having three daughters of my own, it was something that really struck me.”

Rooney decided to combine his two passions – patriotism and golf – and started the Folds of Honor Foundation, a scholarship to help pay for school for some of the 187,000 dependents left behind by war.

We were following a trackback and ended up at looking at a Linkfest Haven page at Elections Blog. We get lots of trackbacks that are just plain spam, and this one aroused our curiosity because it had some spamtastic attributes but was missing others. We picked up some unmistakably human-authored English and decided to investigate. From that, we found The Blog That Nobody Reads was already participating passively, and we decided to participate actively, and from that decision we wrote ‘er up.

Makes a lot more sense for that foundation to get attention from us, than the other way ’round.

Cassy with gunAlso, we’re going to be putting up some “guest blog” pages over at Cassy Fiano’s spot next week while she’s out of town, and she’s specifically asked us to toot our own horn while we’re over there…or strongly suggested we do so, repeatedly. Not so much that, but kind of left the door open — in a “nudge, nudge” sort of a way. We appreciate the offer and we’ll probably take her up on it…during which time, we expect the Writer’s Block to set in thicker than usual. “Horn-tooting” is a little out of character for us. Some of you nobodies who don’t stop by to not read The Blog That Nobody Reads, have been not stopping by and not reading it for awhile by now…and you know we’re a scrapbook, not a billboard. In other words, the central theme here is something like NOTE TO SELF: What is up with that chucklehead Barack Obama? You wouldn’t believe the wombat crazy bollywonkers crazy thing he did today…

…and whoever sees it, sees it, and whoever doesn’t, doesn’t. WHATEVER. Yes, we’re pleased with the e-friends we’ve made since our go-live date following the 2004 elections. Yes, we’re as addicted to Sitemeter as the next guy. But “Hey Innernets! Guess what I think about THIS” is not our primary objective; and I doubt we’re alone here, I think this is a myth that has been started about the blogging community as a whole. We’re not attention whores. The driving force behind our having a blog in the first place is that some folks have thoughts that make a lot more sense in the written medium, than in the verbal one. Sometimes.

Anyway. We’ll be following a cross-posting format so in theory, you won’t see much over at Cassy’s place that you won’t see here. But that’s theory, there are bound to be exceptions. Besides, there are a lot more commenters over there than here, and some of ’em will be worth meeting, so do head on over. Not to say anything against the nobodies here…you’re worth meeting too.

But in the final analysis, Cassy has a much prettier face than I do, and a decent brain behind it. Stop on by and say a hello on her way out of town.

72 Virgins Dating Service

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

H/T: The Sudden Curve.

Changing of the Guard

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Thank you.

And to the rest of us, if & when you see the vet out there, in front of the store with his donation can — do make a point to drop something in. It’s the very least you can do.

John Wayne on Taps

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

H/T: Rick.


Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

Duffy notices our anti-war leftists have adopted a habit of couching their war protest behind some supposed “concern for the safety and well being of our troops.” And so it is with some bemused and frustrated curiosity on his part, and mine as well, that he links to the following clip:

Reactions from the Olbycrowd? Time will tell. If it was a betting pool I’d be putting my money on the square that says “RIGHT, and this is just further evidence of the corruption of BushHalliCheneyBurtonBlackWater blah blah blah…”

Just because I’ve seen that pattern hold up so well. Nobody who has anything whatsoever to do with these operations can ever actually be helped as long as the current President has the eighteenth letter after his name. Nothing can be done…ever…about anything…except a lot of complaining, and that name “Bush” always has to be stuck in there somewhere. That’s all they’ve done. About anything.

But I have an open mind. Let’s see what they do.

I just find it really amazing. If you’re out here, by which I mean you’re a civilian…good heavens. Lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle. Even if we dispense all the stuff for which people pay out of pocket and look only at the things to which they are “entitled.” Labels with big bold letters about MSG in their food, more labels about this-and-that may have been chopped up with machines that might’ve touched peanut products. Braille on the touch-keys of the drive-through ATM. Wheelchair ramps freakin’ everywhere. DO NOT USE THIS HAIRDRYER UNDER RUNNING WATER.

And then, on the other side of that green line, these guys are crapping on toilet seats that are half gone, and sharing their living quarters with big patches of mold. Hello?

Hundredth Birthday at Hooter’s

Friday, March 14th, 2008

What did I say last weekend?

I started noticing this a few years ago. The oldest living guy, lady, person in the world at any given time…said something about a daily ritual involving exactly one glass of red wine. And it made a deep impression on me that the news stories weren’t trying to play it up, they just saw it as a cute little tidbit of human interest to toss into the story.

The occasion was a clipboard white-coat pocket-protector propeller-beanie egghead story about how alcohol might very well be good for you especially if you want to live longer.

And what do they have to say about Pearl Harbor veteran John Persinger?

“I don’t know how I did it,” he says. “Good living, I guess. A lot of good food. Steaks, fried potatoes. I sip a little Royal Crown now and then.” Don’t get the wrong idea. He means Crown Royal.

Alcohol may be good for you after all. A little here, a little there…maybe you get to live to be a hundred. That’s what the “it” is. He’s in triple-digits now.

And if you’re lucky, you get to celebrate it. At Hooter’s, of course.

At the beginning of the story, it says that although John’s wife, Vi, has predeceased him, if she were around today she wouldn’t have a problem with celebrating at this fine eating establishment. And you know my theory? That’s got as much to do with his longevity as anything — including the whiskey. Marry a woman who “takes care” of you, stopping you from doing anything she doesn’t think should be respectable, even though you damn well know you’d rather be doing it…you can feel the years slipping off your life. Anyway. Maybe that’s part of it and maybe it isn’t, but I’m glad John Persinger’s around. It gives you cause for hope when you see men doing things they enjoy — takin’ a break from the rules-rules-rules, finger-waggling no-guns-allowed save-the-spotted-owls politically-correct nanny-state.

Yay Hooters!

Olmstead RIP

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

His final post, written for the purpose of being released in the event of his demise. Respected milblogger, he is now the first Iraq casualty of 2008.

I do ask (not that I’m in a position to enforce this) that no one try to use my death to further their political purposes. I went to Iraq and did what I did for my reasons, not yours. My life isn’t a chit to be used to bludgeon people to silence on either side. If you think the U.S. should stay in Iraq, don’t drag me into it by claiming that somehow my death demands us staying in Iraq. If you think the U.S. ought to get out tomorrow, don’t cite my name as an example of someone’s life who was wasted by our mission in Iraq. I have my own opinions about what we should do about Iraq, but since I’m not around to expound on them I’d prefer others not try and use me as some kind of moral capital to support a position I probably didn’t support. Further, this is tough enough on my family without their having to see my picture being used in some rally or my name being cited for some political purpose. You can fight political battles without hurting my family, and I’d prefer that you did so.

On a similar note, while you’re free to think whatever you like about my life and death, if you think I wasted my life, I’ll tell you you’re wrong. We’re all going to die of something. I died doing a job I loved. When your time comes, I hope you are as fortunate as I was.

Obsidian Wings, where you can view the entire thing, and express condolences. But it bears repeating the departed’s final wishes about political commentary, on either side.

Those who wish to view what comments have been made, could peruse the list below. It’s just Googling with filtering, supplemented by some other links the search engine didn’t catch on the first go ’round.

Major, obviously you’ve left a large hole. Godspeed noble warrior.

OlmsteadThe green-lit FARK thread

Kate at Small Dead Animals


Gerard at American Digest

The Daily Brief

Michael Totten’s Middle East Journal


Rocky Mountain News

…and their article published on Maj. Olmstead’s deployment last summer.

Riehl World View

Matthew Yglesias

Sigmund, Carl & Alfred

NRO: The Tank

God, Politics, and Rock ‘n Roll


Outside the Beltway


Pat Dollard

BlogoWogo: Tears fall. Words fail.



Bitch, Ph.D.

Grasping Reality with Both Hands

Simple Justice

Black Five

Fred Schoeneman

World and Global Politics Blog

Weekly Standard

Badgers Forward

The Opinionator

America’s North Shore Journal

NBC Lawyer Who Nixed Troop Ad Gave to Democrats

Monday, December 10th, 2007

…and generously.

The NBC lawyer who refused to allow a non-profit group to air an advertisement thanking American troops for their service has donated at least $45,000 to a host of Congressional Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, New York Senator Hillary Clinton and the campaign committees of House and Senate Democrats, research by the Majority Accountability Project ( has found.

According to a Fox News report, Richard Cotton, the general counsel for NBC/Universal, was one of two network officials who decided not to sell ad time to Freedom’s Watch, which describes itself as “a nonpartisan movement dedicated to preserving, protecting, and defending conservative principles and promoting a conservative agenda.”

For those who don’t know what the hoo-hah is about, it concerns ads by Freedom’s Watch. Ooh, oh so nitty-gritty, inflammatory, highly politicized ads, like these…

Controversial? Unfit for prime time? Form your own opinion. I’ve formed mine.

I’d sure like an explanation from someone about the times in which we live. Supposedly “everybody supports the troops,” but it’s clear to me this isn’t true, because supporting the troops is indeed controversial and political. Or it at least becomes that, once the rubber meets the road. People are decidedly against it, and when you’re in the public eye you’re supposed to respect their wishes — at risk of the now-ritually-monotonous career suicide, I would have to presume — without explicitly acknowledging that opposing the troops, or at least opposing those who support the troops, is precisely what their wishes entail.

Thing I Know #97. There is always someone who believes what I’ve been told “nobody believes,” and there is always someone who contests what I’ve been told “everybody agrees.” Quite a few of both, actually.

Welcome to the pitfalls of the culturally prevailing viewpoint. It can embrace, support and promote — with gusto — ideas that are so repugnant, so out-of-step with reality, and so malicious, that no voice-box belonging to an individual with a name would dare give such ideas utterance.

H/T: Malkin.

There’s Still Time

Monday, November 12th, 2007

Regarding the fundraiser for Valour-IT I mentioned Friday night, please know the deadline has been extended through today.

This program buys voice-activated laptops for wounded service members who find themselves needing them. To write to Mom, get a job…maybe put some useful information into blogs like this one, to help balance out the relatively ignorant civilian ranting.

You may interpret that last sentence however you choose, since this post is non-political. But since the laptops run at eight hundred a pop, and the inventory on hand is practically empty, no snarking allowed if you haven’t hit the widget and chipped in some dough. The situation is much improved from Friday night, but it’s not nearly where we want it to be. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem…

Another Happy Birthday to the Marines

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

MarinesHappy birthday, to the noble warriors who would be utterly useless to us in an imaginary world where nobody ever wishes harm on anybody else.

Since that world has been, is now, and always will be a work of pure fiction — even though a lot of citizens fail to realize this, to the embarrassment of all the rest of us — we’re glad you’re here. Oo-rah!

It seems appropriate to mark the occasion now with a story you can download from just about anywhere, and keeps getting better every time it is retold:

A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included admirals from the US, British, Canadian, Australian, and French Navies.

At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a group of half dozen or so officers that included personnel from most of the countries.

Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks, but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked: “Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences, rather than speaking French?”

Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied:

“Maybe it’s because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies, and Americans arranged it so you wouldn’t have to speak German.”

It got so quiet, you could have heard a pin drop.

On this 232nd, let us remember: Those who are opposed to freedom, always come marching in under a banner of “peace.” Ever since human sensibilities have “matured” to the height of realizing that war is a horrible thing, there have been no exceptions to this. The tyrant doesn’t say “submit to my will or I will hurt you and kill you” — he says “I have a plan, and my plan is a sure path to peace.”

Looking back over the years from my deathbed, I’m sure it will be all the clearer to me that this has been the big disadvantage to being alive in these times. Our ever-unslaked thirst for more and more “peace” has left freedom, already won and enjoyed by countless peoples, in danger at every turn of being lost forever. Get this guy out of office so we can have peace. Put that guy in charge so we can have peace.

It’s the campaign slogan of despots. Freedom means fighting. It always has and it always will. Your service, in particular, is invaluable and irreplaceable.

Not In It For The Attention, Mind You… XII

Friday, November 9th, 2007

…but something wonderful has happened, along with with something terrible. I care a great deal about what went wrong, and about what went right, well, I’m just not that much into it. So I’ll try to keep my bad humor out of this. And I really should be doing that, because I owe a lot of people big-time and I don’t want to be urinating all over the fine china and furniture while I’m supposed to be expressing gratitude to them, they deserve better.

On with it.

We have real important stuff down in the meat of the article, so if you’re pressed for time and can’t abide any foolish nonsense please click here. Your assistance is desperately needed. Thank you.

This blog, which nobody actually reads anyway, has been going through high-cotton lately. That means, for something nobody’s supposed to be reading, there’s a whole lot of nobodies. In blogging parlance that means we got a lot of “hits.” By “lately” I mean over the last week or two. It is pretty much sheer coincidence that this happened. We are not a “traffic magnet.” We don’t try to attract readers. We like to make new friends…a lot. We lean somewhat in the direction of making people feel good, but just barely. We just barely go that way. We prefer making people feel good to making them feel bad, and that’s only because we don’t like to try to make people feel bad. Part of that whole “don’t be an asshole” rule. The one thing this blog is absolutely, positively against, is shaping the content of it’s pages in anticipation of attracting a broader audience. Which is done quite a bit in other places, we notice.

Girl in bikiniWe don’t do that. We put up pictures of girls in bikinis, which attracts traffic…like you wouldn’t believe…when we want to look at girls in bikinis. But anything that goes up, has to please us before it pleases the audience. We aren’t in a Nielsen ratings race, and are not going to be in anything resembling one. We talk about what we want to talk about. Period. If we get a zillion hits, that’s great. If we get zero, that’s just as good.

There’s an important reason for this. You can’t prostitute yourself a little tiny bit, we think. Can’t go halfway on that. Stray outside the girls in bikinis and other things we personally find interesting, just because we think our readers are interested in something else — before you know it, we’d be saying some pretty outlandish stuff. This, we think, is why there are people out there dribbling a bunch of crap. Like for example, “our own government might have been directly responsible for the (September 11) attacks themselves.” That is exactly what I’m talking about. Selling out your opinion to get extra attention, is an all-or-nothing proposition. We prefer not to even start down that path.

This blog is based on the fundamental principle that only through this determined apathy, can a “blog,” or any other informational resource, remain faithful to truth and logic over time. Let me put it this way. Now and then, an older relative or other acquaintance will ask me how to start a blog, and my first words of advice are always these: You need to figure out the purpose of your new blog, before you put it up — is it a glossy magazine or is it a scrapbook? In other words, is there some mission that has been failed if you one day find out no one reads your blog? This blog…the one you’re reading now…is decidedly a scrapbook. We’re plumb pleased you’re here, of course, but overall we really don’t care if “nobody” reads it and we’re not going to care.

Well, care or not, we have a lot of new readers. And of course we’re plumb pleased to have you too. How many new readers? Well, over on The Truth Laid Bear which is like the Who’s Who of blogs, we’ve been a “slithering reptile” since last year sometime. Over the last several months — we hadn’t been peeking, remember? We’re “The Blog That Nobody Reads” — somewhere we got demoted to the next lower status of “crawly amphibian,” which meant we had been representing ourselves falsely because we had this goofy-looking snake in the sidebar to show off our slimy reptile status.

Well, we’ve been talkin’ smack about Hillary Clinton, and pointing to really cool photographs taken by other people, and giggling over fashions in the 1970’s, and you know what happened today? Remember the wonderful thing that we don’t really care about that much? Well…we pole-vaulted over the reptile, over the flappy birds, over the adorable rodents, and plunged headlong into the ranking of marauding marsupial. This is a little unexpected, even if the nature of the scrapbook “Blog That Nobody Reads” makes it trivial in some ways. Like going from butterbars-2nd-Lieutenant to full-bird-Colonel. Or trading in your ’82 Datsun on a new BMW Z4.

And it’s been a slow burn, too, so that implies a little bit of permanence this time. I guess when the nobodies come around to not read the blog nobody else is reading, they like what they see and keep coming back. Or not.

But could that have a purpose? None that I can see…until…later that same day, something awful happened which is far more meaningful to us. Something’s heap-big busted, folks, and very wrong. We have an opportunity to fix it and make it right. But the key word is “we”; I can’t do it without your help.

Project Valour-IT of Soldiers’ Angels, is going to miss it’s goal.

Soldier's AngelValour-IT is a wonderful program that provides laptop computers to soldiers who have been wounded. I’m going to let the project’s “About” page do the talking here…

Every cent raised for Project Valour-IT goes directly to the purchase and shipment of laptops for severely wounded service members. As of October 2007, Valour-IT has distributed over 1500 laptops to severely wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines across the country.

Valour-IT accepts donations in any amount to support the purchase and distribution of laptops, but also offers a sponsorship option. An individual or organization may sponsor a wounded soldier by completely funding the cost of a laptop and continuing to provide that soldier with personal support and encouragement throughout recovery. This has proved to be an excellent project for churches, groups of coworkers or friends, and members of community organizations such Boy Scouts.
Originally Valour-IT provided the voice-controlled software, but now works closely with the Department of Defense Computer/electronic Accommodations Program (CAP): CAP supplies the adaptive software and Valour-IT provides the laptop. In addition, DoD caseworkers serve as Valour-IT’s “eyes and ears” at several medical centers, identifying possible laptop recipients.

The laptops, should the injuries demand it, are capable of speech recognition. You know, think about it…think about I.E.D.s, think about what an explosive does to human flesh, think about burns. Think about a young guy or lady away from home for the very first time, hands in bandages, wanting more than anything to let Mom and Dad know that they’re whole, or relatively whole, but unable to type. This is as good a cause as you’re likely to find anytime soon.

About this time every year, the project holds a fundraiser and puts the various branches of our defense against each other to buy these laptops. It’s a pretty sophisticated operation filled with fun stuff like gas-gauge controls comparing how each branch is doing, the good-natured inter-service joshing among real vets that goes along with that, clicky-buttons that patch directly over to secure donation sites…and you know what…

…it’s just not getting done. The report on fundraising, is not good. The report on inventory-on-hand, is even worse. I’m kind of unhappy about it. Actually, I have some negativity to put in, and maybe I should keep it out, but I gotta get this one off my chest. I’ll try to keep it in measured doses.

I keep hearing around the web and on the news, “of course, we can disagree about this war but we all agree on one thing, we support the troops.” Well, I don’t believe it. What’s the nicest thing you could say about one of those “troops” if you oppose the war effort? Remember, this is 2007. We don’t have people who “oppose the war” and just leave it at that. You’re supposed to throw in inflammatory buzzwords like “illegal” and “unjust”…what the hell does that say about these troops you support? That they’re a bunch of stupid patsies? Okay you’re entitled to your opinion. But you’re probably not going to skip too many fancy iced coffee drinks to buy a laptop for a disabled stupid patsy, are you.

Another thing I keep hearing about is how scandalous it is that we “all” aren’t being called upon to “sacrifice more.” I think this is a crock. I think the country’s been slipping for awhile, and it’s being taken over by socialists…or whatever you call socialists nowadays. I know that makes me sound like the crazy old man in the plaid shirt with the drool stains. Pardon me, I’ve just spent half a lifetime listening to people babble on about the glory of “sacrifice,” people who, once you inspect their thoughts more deeply to the extent you’re able, don’t appear to recognize any goal higher than that sacrifice. In short, they seem to think it’s noble when people throw themselves away. I don’t believe that’s what America is about. America is about accomplishing wonderful things that may demand sacrifice…it is about offering profound and heartfelt respect to individuals who have proven themselves willing to endure that sacrifice…we don’t worship the sacrifice itself. This is a surgical-precise distinction to muck around with, but I think it is an all-important one in this nation and it’s culture. We worship the objective. We don’t worship our own self-destruction, even though in desperate times it may be necessary for reaching that objective. As George Patton said, no damn fool won a war by dying for his country, he won it by making the other damn fool die for his.

So you like to bitch about not enough people sacrificing, do you? Or being called-upon to so sacrifice? I call bullshit. Why is Valour-IT having a tough time of it, then. People who wail about this, don’t care about achieving what the sacrifice is supposed to win for us…they care about the sacrifice itself, which is a completely different kettle o’fish, and doesn’t fit my definition of “American” at all. I think these people just complain about whatever they think will win them the most favorable attention in that long line at Starbuck’s, blame a few tidbits of nonsense on George Bush, cuss out the poor lady who has to take their money and serve them their sissy frothy foo-foo drink about how long the line took this morning…and move on. Living the rest of that day for their own sake. Next day, they’ll be back again to spend another $6.50 on another fancy drink, bitching up a storm about gas prices and health insurance and what a lean Christmas they’re going to have to endure because of this expensive war. With nary a thought about how to share this unshared “sacrifice.”

As skewed a sense of perspective as there ever was.

You want a sense of respect for sacrifice? Here, I’ll explain it to you in terms of what it means to me.

Three years ago the war in Iraq was just a year old. I had some business to take care of at Walter Reed AMC, as well as a few other places, and this involved a lot of travel over a very short period of time. Well, parking at Walter Reed fills up pretty quick. I had ambitions of taking care of everything before eight in the morning, and because of some delays with some stupid thing or another it just didn’t happen. I barely reached the place by nine, which turned the parking situation upside-down for me.

So I showed my credentials to the guards, found a parking spot as best I was able…which wasn’t fun…and slithered into the lobby with my fancy suit on and a zillion other places to go after this one, feeling all abused and put-upon.

I reached the elevator just ahead of a little toe-head tyke barely half my age, and politely stepped aside to let him board first. I was glad I did, when I got a better look at him. See, he was young. He still had acne scars, and a couple of fresh zits just like what I had in my junior year of high school.

And he’d never pick any zits again.

He politely addressed me as “sir” and insisted — INSISTED — on pressing the buttons on the elevator with his own hooks.

There’s a paradigm shift for you. Three years on, I see lots of talk about an illegal and unjust war, oh but we all “support the troops” though…I hear a lot of complaining about the sacrifices some people have to make, with the knowledge that not enough other people are being called upon to do any sacrificing…people love love LOVE their foo-foo coffee drinks, their pizza deliveries, their movie rentals, their tattoos, their tabloids bursting at the seams with stories about Britney and what-not…

…and Project Valour-IT is sailing into it’s Veteran’s Day deadline reaching not even twenty-five percent of it’s goal.

What can I say, folks? My rant is done here. On the positive side, I feel truly blessed that The Blog That Nobody Reads, has for the first time an audience that is far-flung and wide-spread and (somewhat) voluminous…and loyal. We’ve had more readers-per-day before, but those were flash-in-the-pan things. Now we’re a Marsupial, and the stats and incoming-link counts say we’re somewhat deserving of this…for now…and here’s a situation where we can take that traffic and do some good with it. Make a world of difference to a lot of people who desperately need it, and richly deserve it.

Today’s payday Friday. You’re probably reading this on a Saturday morning. We’ve tried to post fun things on Saturday mornings for our Saturday morning audiences…we’ll probably be skipping that this weekend. You probably got paid yesterday. Midnight has come and gone. The funds are available. Your help is needed.

If you’re finding out about Buck’s place for the first time from this plea, do consider bookmarking him. All he’s really doing is keeping a running diary of his retirement, and it’s ended up being one of the more interesting places on the web. But if you can spare a few bucks today, do hit that Valour-IT jar. See if you can close that gap, will you?

And if you can spare more than that, fer chrissakes if the phrase “give until it hurts” ever had practical meaning, it is now. The young men and women you’re helping, have done exactly that for you.