Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Foods of Mass Destruction

Have you ever heard tales of Detainee abuse and asked "what'd they do make them eat Army food?" if not then you should probably start. I mean why smack or hit a detainee when you can just feed them Mermite chow which just a few short hours will have them screaming for the latrine tears in their face. I'm not kidding it's like a scene from Alien only out of your Anus. Probably more blood too.

You really have to hand it to the Army Cooks though, it must be tough when people on BOTH sides of the wire want to kill you. The worst part is it's not even (entirely) their fault.  Doesn't matter how many spices you put in a turd its still going to taste like a turd. . .  and trust me the food that we get is not good.  Most of the food you get is Grade A or B.  Don't think for a second that's what they give us.  There's actually a grade on there that states quite clearly "only fit for convicts and Soldiers"  Gee thanks.

When they refer to meals like "beef cubes" it tends to make one wonder if it really is beef.  I mean Beef doesn't come in (large) bite sized cubes.  It doesn't make sense.  The green beans that are supposed to go with these meals are strangely plastic tasting.  Food in the Army isn't so much eaten as inhaled.  You'd do anything not to taste what you're eating.  Keep in mind that while you're in the field you're typically burning calories like a crack head on Meth.  If a normal male burns 2000 calories a day depending on what you're doing you could be burning up to 3600 calories a day.  I don't care if it's Dog Shit on a hot dog bun, after a day like that you'll probably eat it. 

My biggest complaint about Mermite Chow was always the Eggs.  If they're scrambled there's this big bag of yellowish stuff they drop in a boiling pot.  How this scrambles the eggs I'm not sure but it comes out looking like Scrambled Eggs so at least it sorta looks like what its supposed to be.  Of course there's really two varieties here.  The rubbery stuff that looks like fake vomit (in a nice yellowish color) or the soupy stuff that you have to slurp more than actually eat.  Both taste terrible.  Both for very different reasons.  I could go on to describe the "over easy" that is basically a long tube of. . . something with a yellow ring inside of a white ring. . .but really I think I may vomit just thinking about it (again)

Indeed there are really only three meals out of the year that the Army says quite clearly that you CAN NOT GET WRONG.  4th of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I don't care if you're on COP Middle of Nowhere they will do just about anything and everything to make sure that on these days you get at least one non-neasuea inducing meal.  The rest of the year. . . good luck buddy . 

Notice how I haven't talked about MREs?  Oh those are a special kinda fun.  See while Mermite will give you the squirts MREs are chalk full of preservatives and whether from the processes of making them, or preserving them or what their actually made out of MREs are for sure going to plug you up with rock hard bricks that are about as fun to pass as a kidney stone.  The worst part is the parts of the MRE that you DO like are usually in with the main courses you don't like.  This has lead to the time honored tradition of the MRE Barter. 

"Anyone got Wheat snack bread?"

"Yeah what'll ya give me?"

"Ja-lapino cheese and crackers?"

So on and so forth.   Most of the time you heat them, because some of the courses are solid bricks and the only way you actually can  eat them is if they're steaming hot.  Of course some times the tactical situation dictates you have to eat them cold.  You can always take that little brown spoon and try to break up that really hard block that is the cheese tortellini (or other main course)  and hope (and also pray a little) that you can swallow past your gag reflex (I'm assuming you have one though in this New Army you really never know)

Then it comes time to take a shit.  For anyone not in the military, imagine a small Kleenex package about the size of your thumb.  THAT IS ALL THE TP THAT COMES WITH THE MRE!!!!  You sometimes have to do it the Arab way and use your left hand cuz after being in the Field for a week NO ONE  has any TP left.  So the next time you complain about you're tripple decker Burger with bacon, ranch and three types of cheese, remember there is some poor Gun Bunny, Canker Mechanic, Stetson Stooge, Tanker, Or 11 Pop Pop out there suffering through Food that will probably have him wishing to murder his taste buds. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

What is a Hero?

Heroes.  From super-powered to Soldiers, we have many examples of Heroes.  Some are fictional and have no real basis.  Sure we'd all like to be Spiderman, until we got our asses handed to us by Venom or any of the hundred odd baddies that are always trying to kill him.  There are even Heroes that have no opponent, but Nature or Adversity.  Christopher Columbus, The Pilgrims, The Wright Brothers, Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Yeager, Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell are all fine examples of Pioneers whose quite frankly heroic actions inspired others to greatness.

To the Greeks, Specifically the Mycenaean Period (the Era of the Trojan war) but also into the Classical Period (Marathon and Thermopylae) a Hero wasn't necessarily a "good" guy.  If you actually read the Odyssey or the Iliad a lot of the "Heroes" depicted are not really good guys.  Ajax goes nuts after the death of Achilles and pretty much kills everything in his path before being killed himself.  Achilles gets pissed that his trophy girl is taken so he sleeps with a random slave girl, then gets pissed that Patriclos his cousin is killed while wearing his armor so he kills Hector (one of the few actually decent people in the whole saga and he's with the"bad" guys from the Greek perspective) and drags him around the city.   Odysseus, is a royal dick who uses his cleverness to pretty much cheat everyone that comes along (including Ajax, who he has a hand in driving insane) and while he spent 7 years at war, and 7 years getting back home to Ithaca, he bedded pretty much every woman that came along, while his faithful wife waited for him. 

The Classical Period is if anything worse.  You know the movie 300?  Yeah the culmination of their initiation they don't go kill a wolf in forests that look suspiciously American.  The would sneak out and kill a Helot.  a slave.  They wouldn't be punished for killing the Slave if they got caught, they would be punished for being caught.  Pretty brutal.  But for all that, tell me, does Leonidas's  pronouncement "ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ" have any less impact.  When someone tells you to lay down your weapons and you say something to the effect of "come and take them if you're man enough" (a lot of insinuation in the original Greek language) does that inspire you any less?  A small force staring down a force that outnumbers them 200:1 +/- and not only holding their ground but doing it defiantly will inspire anyone.  Even though they lost. The Alamo was chalk full of real life honest to God Folk Heroes from the Early American West, they all died.  Does that inspire you any less?  

Perhaps the fact that even though our very real heroes are fallible, they rise above their failings to do things that many thought impossible.  Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, All heroes.  All in very different ways.  Indeed rare are the heroes that are always complete paragons of virtue.  Jefferson had slaves, Adams was cantankerous, Franklin was a playboy, Hamilton was a snob.  Yet these very disparate men somehow found in themselves virtues that they managed to play off the other, the result is one of the most amazing countries in the history of the world.

Audie Murphy was a hero whose bravery is beyond question, but his much less known battles with Hollywood elites and his  own battles with very real (and sometimes debilitating) PTSD are if anything far more heroic.  He faced down his demons time and again.  You can tell it cost him.  He actually stepped forward to talk about PTSD before anyone really had a clue what the hell it was.But every war has their heroes.  Some are unexpected, far to many die in the process.  Any student of WVU should know Thomas Bennett a Medic for 1/14 Infantry who died trying to save his fellow soldiers.  He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. 

What about the Crews of Apollo 1, STS 51-L, or STS-107.  They are Heroes.  More for the enormous risk they took, and the eventual cost of their lives in advancing the space program.  Indeed images of Challenger's break up are seared into our national consciousness.  We forget the bravery it takes to climb into a rocket that has a million moving parts and fly at nearly 15 times the speed of sound, but it takes skill, desire and most of all daring.  Their legacy is their passion which inspires us not to fear, but rather to reach out as they did.  "To slip the surly bonds of Earth and touch the face of God"

In the end Heroism is not complex.  It is rather simple.  Its taking a risk, and rising above your fears.  Beyond that simple fact every aspect of what makes a Hero is almost ineffable.  The qualities that define and make a Hero to us are always out of reach, and perhaps it is better that way.  That we may always have someone to look to that stands tall even when all hope seems lost.  Perhaps knowing where their strength, conviction or drive comes from is beside the point.  One thing is clear.  No one, ever chooses to be a Hero.  It is always a circumstance of time and place as much as the actual person.  But we all hope that should the time come, should the demands ever be placed upon us, we would not only rise to the challenge but inspire others to do so.  In the end isn't that what a Hero really is?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What is PTSD

In the wake of SSG Bales' actions, I feel the need to (yet again) explain PTSD.  First off anyone can get it.  you don't need to go to war, and you don't need to get raped or anything like that.  You can have mild forms from just about any psychologically traumatic event.  The death of a mother, favorite dog, you name it.  So while there's an increased likelihood that you will get it if you got to War that is not a guarntee. 

Second off the idea of a Veteran with a hair trigger is almost entirely a myth.  Yes there are some that are angry.  Were they like that before?  War has a way of intensifying all your personality traits both good and bad.  For instance my natural tendency to doubt my own ability was amplified, and in a way negated (after the fact).  Hand a 19 year old an aid bag three auto injectors of Morphine and tell him he's now in charge of the lives of 35 men.  That's a tall order for anyone, let alone someone whose not even out of his teens yet. 

So what is PTSD what does it feel like?  Well how many of you have GERD, Acid Reflux or Heart Burn?  Its kind of like that.  You live with it you deal with it.  You don't really notice it until something cause a flare up and when that happens you want to have as little to do with anything as possible (trust me on this one a bad flare up of GERD sucks).  For me only certain things set me off, and usually in different ways.  Taps, Sweet Home Alabama, and a few other songs for example remind me of the friends I lost.  That they should have lived full and complete lives.  For this, I go in the corner, away from people and kneel and cry.  Yes I cry.  Believe it or not its something even the hardest of men do so don't make an issue of it.  I have also been know to get misty eyed at the playing of the national Anthem.  Why?  Because I've seen the Rocket (Propelled Grenade)'s red glare.  I've felt the bombs bursting in the air, and I've known the Brave.  To me the flag and this nation transcend a lot of the more petty notions people have of this country.  This is a knowledge and yes a love, that I can not share, but which War has reinforced in me. 

But what of Anger?  Doesn't there seem to be something that makes us Angry?  You're damned right.  Usually its when people act in a certain way, that is counter to Reason Common Sense, or just plain Stupid.  See in the Army (I'm assuming the Marine Corps too but it's dicey with Jarheads) Stupid gets you killed.  Actually anything and everything gets you killed, but Stupid most of all.  Being "Stuck on stupid" is a recipe for disaster.  We tend to get anal retentive (even if we have natural tenancies to slobishness).  Try doing a million odd pushups saying "Attention to detail.  Teamwork is the Key" by the time you're done you'll be so anal retentive that you want every little bit "squared away".  When people act in a blase fashion, this tends to incite our Ire. 

But pure anger?  No.  I don't get angry till you cross a certain line.  Ethan McCord made me angry.  His work going around to schools and telling falsehoods about the military is a betrayal of everything we did and stood for.  Would I be angry enough to kill him.  No.  Flat out no.  I wouldn't mind choke slamming him a time or two, but in the end I think he'll get whats coming to him, but that's personal.  Douchebag or not, Personal matters ought to be settled personally, that they have become a matter of public record is quite frankly sad.  

What about Arabs.  An Arab in a man dress must set me off.  Not in and of themselves.  I will admit that when I came back to the States and I heard someone speaking in Arabic it would send a cold chill running down my spine.  I remember one time I flew into SAN and there was an Arab in a Man-dress at the baggage claim.  I watched him like a hawk.  I wasn't the only one with a high fade or high and tight doing that either.  Why?  You key on  threats.  What do you think was a threat in Iraq?  the guy that looked like a westerner and enjoyed the fruits of your labor, or the guy that looked like he wanted nothing to do with your way of life?  The call to prayer too used to be an issue for me.  How many times could you take incoming after the call to prayer before it sent a cold shiver down your spine.  Bad things happen after Muslims get right with God, in Iraq.  Is this racism?  I don't think so.  It is a heightened awareness based one exeriences. 

So what does PTSD make me do?  Well it doesn't make me do anything.  I choose to do everything I do.  I am the master of my own destiny, so blaming a syndrome on my success or failures is a bit of a cop out.  It is true that I have a harder time sleeping at night.  It is true that I am prone to snap judgements.  But it is not true that I somehow long to go in a killing spree.  If anything more often than not I want to be alone.  Being around people ignorant of the was of the world can be taxing in the extreme.  You try having people ask you how many people you killed or if combat is like Call of Duty before you just want to rip your ears off.  Do I want to go all Virginia Tech and start blowing people away?  No, no and HELL NO!  I would have engaged the gunman.  I would have done my utmost to stop and/or kill him before he could have done more damage.  I am not, never was and never will be a thug for hire.  I was a Professional.  I remain true to the role of Guardian of the People.  So please stop thinking you know about PTSD or that because you saw a report on the news you can somehow relate to me.  

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Guilded Cage is Still a Cage.

Imagine a world were there are no choices or consequences.  Where you CAN NOT FAIL but you also can not succeed.  Your every whim is provided for, but only so long as you give up your free will.  Imagine a world where you are told what job to have, and there is no pressure to do well.  Can't pay your bills?  Don't worry you can just surrender some small freedom and you'll have everything paid for.  Imagine a world where there is no color no flavor, no fat, or rail thin, just a lot of grey and sameness.  In this world there is little to no pain, but there is also little to no joy.  Have I just described Heaven Purgatory or Hell?

Depends on who you are.  Most people might say thats purgatory, other people would say that's Heaven.  I would say that's Hell.  Think about that for a long second.  Your choices in life are essentially made for you.  You can't fail true, but in some ineffable way aren't our failures just as important as our successes?   Where is the challenge, the thrill of victory narrow or large?  Where are the pitfalls?  Where are all the things that make life worth living?  Thomas Edison fail hundreds of times in making an incandescent light-bulb.  When asked about his failures he said "I didn't fail I found hundreds of ways not to make a light bulb."  If you aren't allowed to fail how can you possibly ever appreciate victory? 

We are being given so many programs to make sure our every need is met.  When there started to be protest against such programs the President was baffled, saying "you'd think they would be thanking me"  But he failed to grasp in a larger part why We the People were so upset.  see it was because of all the things he was doing "for" us, not despite it.  Sure its all well and good to make sure everyone has everything they need, but is that really  the job of the Government, any government? 

I could talk about sustainability, its really not, or  I could talk about how progress slows to almost zilch, unless such a world is run with an iron fist and even then. . . if people have no dreams then what is the point of advancing?  What Brave New World are we creating, when we want everyone to be docile, have everything decided for them by people that "know better"  Are we really making the world better by making sure every possible need is met? 

I for one, reject such notions.  The soviets tried this, more through an Iron Fist than through the silken glove, but lets face it the end result is always the same.  If humans have no reason to hope, to want to strive and to dream, then what is the point of doing anything?  Can you honestly tell me that there is something good and noble about a man or woman that has never had to push themselves?   What great and wonderful stories might possibly have been written about a society that never had to really push itself?  The truth is once you reach that state it will continue, like that for many years, never really changing, for many many years.  Decades or centuries later depending on the case, there will be one central flaw, some would be dreamer will stand up and ask "why are we living this way?" and the system will start to crack.  That or the system itself will be poorly maintained and will fall apart of its own accord when people can not stand the massive inefficiencies. 

Obamacare, The Community Reinvestment Act, all of these Laws and Programs seem all nice, well and fluffy.  I mean after all who would really argue against getting people Homes or Medical care?  Only a heartless bastard right?  Or is it a perceptive individual that has realized the bars inherent in these programs.  Food stamps are a good thing, they are charities after all. . .until you see people who have lived multiple generations on food stamps.  Go to southern West Virginia.  You will see people who are at least three generations on food stamps and working on a fourth generation.  They are the ultimate in stereotypical "Trailer Trash".  They have no desire to leave their lives except if there is some lottery pay off, or someone rich happens to pull a Cinderella, but if we were truly honest such things almost never happen.  What's even sadder is this is something that's been know for years.  Go to a "Ghetto" (though I would seriously like to have sent these people to Warsaw circa 1940 so they stop calling it that) or the "projects".   You will see generally the same thing, only in a much more urban setting.

You see People are People.  Much like Bears, if you feed them, give them treats or show them all the things that they have to do they will do that.  And only that.  They will forget how to do for themselves, and only raid the places of "free" food.  Did you know there are actually pot bellied bears at Yellow Stone?  They don't hibernate, and all they do is go to campsites and raid them.  They do not eat their "natural" foods anymore leading to an explosion of the Herbivore populations that the Wolves can't really keep in check because they too are starting to learn that going after Human food is easier than actually hunting their own food.  With people spouting Darwinism, and going on and on and on about how man is little more than a monkey that walks upright, why on Earth would they forget this, then keep on forgetting it, when trying to make governments?  One has only to look to the natural world to know that there are hundreds, thousands of examples that we can take all showing us why the Guided Cages are just as destructive as the iron ones. 

In then end we are prisoners.  It doesn't matter if our needs and wants are provided.  We are slaves.  Slaves to our technology, that "connects" us, by making us more distant from each other.  Slaves to our Programs that provide us with everything we need, and give us no reason to dream of greater things.  Our Good Intentions have slowly wrapped chains around our wrists and feet.  These chains are comfortable so we do not complain.  We won't complain until it is far, far too late.  We have become our own zoo.  The Wild abandon and progress we once knew all but forgotten.  This is our life now.  Can you see now why people might think Welfare is a bad thing?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Spandex Example (Rights and Privileges Explained)

Lets face it, we all think we look better than we actually look.  There are very few people out there that are as hot as they think they are, and most of those people are assholes, because they know they can be.  No for you men out there unless you really do have washboard abs and can crack walnuts in your crack, you're probably not going to beat Gerard Butler in a beauty contest.  Chances are you work hard, and either your job, or the simple fact that you're tired after a long day keeps you out of the gym.  Its ok.  You're not alone.  But if you do have a bit of a beer gut, its probably wise to not go around acting like you are and underwear model.  Put that hair away Sasquatch!  No one likes seeing overweight Wookies at the beach. 

Women too are not immune to this.  For some reason women seem to love tight clothes.  This would be fine if the women in question who wear the tightest clothes weren't morbidly obese.  Ladies, rule of thumb, if you weigh more than 160 lbs., as a nice round figure, you're probably not going to be able to pull off the "sex goddess" look.  Putting writing on an ass that moves two feet every time you take a step probably isn't going to win you appreciative looks.  It's going to send men scurrying for the bathroom, then to use mind/eye bleach.  

Being Fat isn't a sin.  Lord know's I've got enough chub on that I don't have a leg to stand on when it comes to berating people about their weight.  I am doing something about it, but that's neither here nor there.  The difference is I know I'm fat.  I have what are called "compression shorts" which I wear to the gym for two reasons 1). They tend to keep people from getting the full monty if my shorts ride up too much, and 2). well as a guy, and a former medic, testicular torsion (when your balls get twisted all around) is not a good thing.  You really don't want your balls flopping around when you're working out.  But Compression shorts are not the only thing I wear.  Like wise I've been known to wear spandex or neoprene muscle shirts because they tend to make you sweat a mite bit more.  I tend not  to wear them as my sole shirt.  I'm not looking to pick anyone up at the Gym, but I'm also not looking to make the nearest woman run screaming from the room with her eyes bleeding.

You see Spandex is a privilege.  Not a Right.  If I weighed 300 Lbs I probably couldn't find anyone to actually make the spandex for me, and really once you stretch it to a certain point you're just asking for it to fail on you (or choke the shit out of you).  Women wear Pink brand pants that are tight stretchy and have things written on their ass (a ploy I might add that forces us poor men to stare at your ass, so please stop complaining when we do)  which is fine, if you have an ass that can pull it off.  But most of the women that wear such clothes don't.  If I can see the cottage cheese in your thighs when you're just wearing Jeans, don't you think Spandex will exacerbate the problem?  Men do it too, though we tend to wear sleeveless shirts and the like.  It doesn't win us any points.  Trust me.

The effect of forgetting what is a privilege, and what is a Right are never pretty.  You can put a push up bra on, and suck in your gut, but at the end of the day you're failed attempts to look 50 pounds lighter are only going to backfire.  We have this same problem in our society as a whole.  It may not be spandex on fat people, it may be more serious things, like Healthcare Houses, or even Jobs.  At the end of the day if you do not earn the privilege, the you really don't have the Right.

Here's a good rule of thumb, when determining if it is a Privilege or a Right.   "Is somebody else going to pay for what I do, or is this something that I can do/receive without assistance or labor of others?".  Life here is obviously the exception.  Go ask your mother.  She'll tell you IN DETAIL all about her labor to squeeze you out.  By wearing spandex when you really ought not to, you are adding to the violent need to hurl for all members of the opposite sex around you, thus it is a privilege.  Even-though Healthcare is one of those gooey, "wish everyone had it" type of things at its core it's a service.  There's no way you're going to magically heal yourself.  Any action taken on your behalf is a service.  Housing is a good.  A Good is something you use or consume.  This too is not a "Right".  Someone has to build the damn thing.  As far as Jobs go, well if you're a Grade A asshole, why should any job, anywhere keep you?  Though you are providing Goods or Services, at the end of the day your paycheck is not guaranteed to be what you want it to be.  There is a contract, spoken unspoken or written that you will work for X amount of hours for so much pay.  But the Employer can fire you for any reason and no reason at all.  Believe it or not that is their Right.  It's not all one way, you have the Right to redress any wrongs that may have befallen you because of or in regards to your termination in civil court.

The current fiscal crisis, and the ones soon to follow can be laid squarely at the feet of the Liberal/Progressive idea of making Privileges into Rights.  A chicken in every Pot sounds great to a starving man, but how are you going to ensure that he gets his chicken?  Making sure everyone has a house sounds great to someone that's lived in apartments their whole life, but how are you going to make those houses affordable to people who can barely keep up with rent on their apartments?  Free Healthcare sounds great but how are you going to attract Doctors if you're not paying them well, and they can still get the pants sued off them, even if they make the right call?  You end up with a result that is much similar to a 400 pound woman wearing all spandex.  It looks like she's got two bags of feed corn in her legs, her ass stretches the words out so much you can't read them, the gut is hanging out of her shirt, and her breasts are in danger of jiggling out of her top (which you desperatly hope WON'T happen)  all the while she's strutting her stuff like she is 120 pounds of chiseled sex appeal.  Does that Image make you want to Vomit?  That's what happens when you treat Privileges like Rights.  It.  Ain't.  Pretty.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

One word, two different outcomes.

Martyr. The word itself conjures several images and feelings, not all of them the same, and some of them conflicting. To be clear to be a Martyr you have to 1). Die, and 2). Die for a cause. Beyond that there are some wildly different interpretations of the word. Now not being a study of Jewish history I can not tell you, or name any that Judaism hold as martyrs. I can only speak of Catholics and Muslims, though I'm sure every faith has some version. Now one thing that you need to understand is that unlike Islam it takes the Mother Church to say you're a Martyr. In Islam pretty much any imam can say "yup that guys a martyr," and it sticks.

Another major difference is what you were doing to BECOME a martyr. See in Early Christianity it was a crime to simply admit to being a Christian. They would torture you to get you to renounce your faith. How bad could it be? Well one was grilled alive, when asked if he was going to give up his faith he responded that his other side wasn't quite done. There have been priests bishops and even common people, nobodies that suffered horrific deaths (to include crusifiction). In every sense these men and women were victims. Another important fact is that martyrdom in the Catholic church tends to mean not only did you die for your faith, but you showed unwavering faith, usually in the face of ungodly amounts of pain. To my (admittedly not expert) knowledge, there were never martyrs that just died. They pretty much all died slowly.

Now take the Islamic martyr. As I've already stated their concept is a bit different. Pretty much any Imam can declare a "martyr" there is no real vetting process, like the Catholic church has, so potentially you could be killed in a mosque by a psychotic Yetti and it might count. The most common usage though are Suicide bombers, or people killed while in operations against the west. The guy with an RPG who lights up a school and gets whacked by an Apache is *technically* a martyr. Indeed if you are killed while trying to spread Islam it's not only just, but it's the best way to go. There's no real fine print on HOW your spreading Islam mind you. If I were so inclined I could go around lopping off the heads of everybody in Morgantown WV until people converted to Islam. Most Americans and Christians would find that abhorrent and reprehensible, but many in the Islamic world see nothing wrong with that. There are many Fatwas (think of it kind of like a "ruling on the field" as to what you should and should not do based on your Imam's understanding of the Qor'ran) that deal with JUST THAT. Would you believe there's actually a religious justification for beheading someone?  Mohamed did it to 600 Jews in the Medina market place.  If Mohamed did it, then it must be golden. 

Martyrdom is usually associated with Sainthood, or is a model behavior one should show when the time comes. So what does it say when not even a small percentage of a religion is being held up as an example of model behavior when they're murdering raping and stealing? If their actions are Just then why are they targeting the weak? I can accept insurgent activities against a military, after all that's what the Revolutionary War was, but I don't really recall hearing about the time George Washington beheaded English prisoners of war if they refused to swear allegiance to the continental congress.

There are even secular martyrs after a fashion.  Take SFC Randy Shughart and MSG Garry Gordon.  They held off an angry Somali crowd from Mike Durant and his downed black-hawk (there is some evidence that some of the crew aside from Durant might have still been alive when the battle began).  For heroically holding off the enemy until they ran out of ammunition and both were subsequently killed by said Somali mob,they were awarded (Posthumously) the Medal of Honor.  This award, the highest our nation can bestow, and is reserved for acts of valor so extreme it boggles the imagination is about as close as one can get to Secular Martyrdom.  Look at all the MOH Awardees for Iran and Afghanistan.  To date there have only been three that survived the act (SSG Salvatore Giunta, SSG Leroy Petry, CPL Dakota Myer), and all were involved with rescuing comrades at extreme risk to themselves.  SFC Paul Smith, CPL Jason Duhnam, LT Michael Murphy, PO2 Michael MonsoorPFC Ross McGuinness, SFC Jared Monti and, SSG Robert Miller all died in the act.  If you read all of their citations you'll notice something.  While most were killing the enemy as part of their actions, that was not their primary goal.  Indeed the preservation of their comrades above all other considerations is a common theme here. 

The West has many Heroes.  Many Martyrs.  But unlike in the Islamic world our Martyrs are always defending someone or something.  See for us Bravery is not killing willy nilly.  That's actually something we try very hard to stop.  But if you read the Qor'ran and you'll notice that it is one of the few major religions in the world that was started in violence.  Mohamed was not a Peacemaker, he was a Conquer.  Like it or not he might have started off as a Prophet-like, nice guy that was just trying to bring people to the Word.  What he became is something of a monster that let loose a reign of terror that still haunts us to this day.  No the West is not always innocent.  Neither is Christianity.  Any study of the reformation and the counter-reformation will tell you that we haven't always gotten it right, but at its core the message of Christianity is one of peace.  Blessed are the Peacemakers for they will inherit the Earth.   We do not seek Martyrdom.  Most of us would actually rather avoid it thank you very much, but when the time comes, step up, and do what is right, and you'll be in good company when all is said and done. 

The other side of the Military Industrial Complex

One of my favorite refrains is the vague waring about the "military industrial complex".  To be clear it was part of President Eisenhower's farewell address.  And address almost no one has actually listened to.   But to be clear this is coming from the president who slashed ground forces and wanted to rely on Nukes for national security, the "more bang for the buck" options.  That Ike would warn of such things is extremely Ironic.  Sadly because its such a vague warning and it sounds so good as a talking point, it has thus been made part of almost every SINGLE Liberal talking point about the Military.

They tend to boil it down to Corporations make bombs and stuff.  War is good for business.  Corporations want war.  This simplistic view is so far off the mark that its kind of hard to know where to start debunking it.  Let's take the Corporate part first.  Look, the easiest way to understand any corporate entity is to use the tagline of the movie Robots.  "See a need, fill a need." Often times there is the assumption that because commercials seem to create desire that corporations steer the consumer, but its actually the other way around.  Corporate entities spend millions hell billions if you take them all together, to figure out what the hell you want.  Corporations that cater to the military are no different.  trying to figure out what the hell the military needs, but perhaps more importantly they are also trying to figure out what an increasingly fickle congress will authorize.

The Boeing 707 hasn't been used to carry commercial passengers  since the late 80's.  The vaunted AWACS is a 707 with upgraded engines.  Of course it took them almost 15 years to actually upgrade the engines.  A few years ago there was an attempt to get the 767airframe married up to the AWACS system.  The 767 airframe is discontinued for civilian passengers.  It is slowly being phased out.  We've stopped buying C-17's and F-22's, but we're using the C-17's so much that its estimated the airframes may only last 5 years a piece.  While there will be increased contracts when there are wars on, every company in the defense industry knows that when the war ends times will be extremely lean.

It is assumed that Companies and Military minds are in bed.  While there are a lot of folks that were in the military proliferating the defense industry, it is also clear that this is because Defense is an extreme niche market.  Can you tell me right now what the Army needs in a service rifle, combat vehicle, or helicopter?  Indeed each service has very specific needs, wants, and "if only" lists.  The services are not monolithic.  Added to the fact that despite wanting the best quality they often have to accept the lowest bidder.  Though huge sums of money are spent on acquisitions, these sums are quite frankly nothing compared to what private companies spend on widgets to make your life easier pales in comparison.

Even the build up of WWII really was only a prelude to a massive private buildup of industry.  One could easily argue that Eisenhower was right that there is a direct correlation to the military and industry, but that this has been so poorly understood as to be viewed as a negative thing.  Think about all the things you use.  Microwaves, Plastic, Teflon, Jets, Computers, GPS, Antiseptic Procedure, Most forms of Anesthetic, all were as a direct result of military funding or projects.  Remember when Bob Ballard discovered the Titanic?  Well at the time he got most of his funding from the expedition from the DoD so he could go and check on the USS Scorpion (SSN-589).  I'd be willing to bet you have no idea how many things in your life have a direct path back to some aspect of a military somewhere.  That can of veggies you just bought?  Well why do you think canned goods were invented in the first place? 

Indeed if we should be wary of anything it is of backing ourselves into a corner.  By taking the "more bang for our buck" option in the cold war we set ourselves up for brinksmanship that nearly destroyed the world when weaker presidents painted themselves into a corner and nearly destroyed the world.  Would you find it ironic that while Reagan was increasing the US Military he was reducing our Nuclear stockpile?  What really won the cold war was that very same "Military industrial complex" in that we could make more, quicker and better than the soviets could and they spent themselves into a ground fighting the own inertia of Communism. 

Imagine.  Had Truman delayed in the WWII draw down, and used the force he had at the end of the war to force to Soviets to follow the agreements brokered in Yalta, Poland might not have been doomed to suffer another 40 years of occupation on top of the 8 they already had under the Nazis.  Imagine if the Soviets had not expanded into the Baltic states so far, or went back to what was "officially" USSR territory pre-WWII.  The cold war would not have lasted as long as it did, and indeed many thousands of lives might have been saved.  A very ironic fact, that is sadly overlooked.

In every build up, there are fears that the military will somehow overpower the Civilian Authority.  While it is tempting at times, to turn on the "masters" that send us into a pointless situation without any guidance, you can bet that the Dog Face, Leatherneck,   GI Joe will do his damndest up to and including dying to make the mission succeed.  More often than not they will even when others can not see that they have.  It is not the Industry you should fear.  That is a tool like any other.  The military too is a tool.  Rather you should fear the idea that these things are negative.  That these tools can not be used responsibly or effectively.  While the hippies blather on about Peace, they tend to forget that real, lasting peace is only secured through sacrifice vigilance and hard work.  No amount of good feelings and chanting is going to bring "peace" to the world. 

One should always be wary of war.  But not being prepared for it will only make the war that *eventually* will happen that much worse.  Be Prepared.  Its a good motto to keep when dealing with the Military, and while some are loathe to accept that nebulous plots to create wars don't exist. . . they really don't.  Even the most callous General will admit at some point that there is nothing to be gained by protracted wars.  Wars without end or purpose do not help anyone.  They do not make fortunes only break them.  That Liberals seem to think that there is something to be gained by simply preparing for the worst possible out come, shows that they do not live on Planet Earth, but some Bizzaro World where being prepared is the same as actually creating the wars.  This talking point is, sadly so over used, and stretched, that its almost impossible not to see though the sad and pathetic ploys used.  Really they ought to stop breathe and pull their head out of their fourth point of contact. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Love him or Hate him Teebow is a great American

Sometimes It just warms your heart to see things like this. 

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Well it seems as if one grade A asswipe has really cooked our goose in A-stan.  Apparently some Staff Sergeant on a "special Forces base" just walked off and went on a shooting spree.  As many as 19 people are dead.  apparently women and children are the majority of the victims.  Never mind that the Taliban and Al Qaeda does this shit all the time, this was an American that did this and in the process screwed everybody around him in more ways than one. 

How have we been screwed?  Let me count the ways.  Well for starters after some really incompetent fool accidentally threw a couple of Korans in with documents to be burned that some locals saw, it seemed like everybody and their uncle was ready to pop off.  2 SMs were killed for it, and God alone knows how much it set back the mission in terms of good will.  Sadly our response of kissing every ass we could find didn't really make things better as it ought to have.  Things were finally calming down and then this happens.  You can kiss any good will or any positive gains made over the Afghan surge goodbye. 

Another way is that this will no doubt bring up the wave after wave of every psycho-babbling retard talking about PTSD, and how Soldiers are all barely controlled ticking time-bombs.  Lets be honest this will resurrect the "Rambo" myth better than pretty much any other incident.  Every Veteran in America, but most especially the Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are viewed now as both conversely poor whimpering crying children, much like victims of child abuse, or insane Blood lusting killers that can't wait to go on a rampage.   Take your pick.  This asshole will no doubt claim PTSD, or someone else will, and every SM or Vet will have to suffer a whole new round of this BS. 

Another great way this one asshole has screwed us all is that simply put we are in a propaganda war.  The Global War on Terror, or whatever you want to call it is at its heart a propaganda war.  One which we have refused to fight at all, and thus have failed miserably at.  Every time Some ass clown like PFC Manning or this Sped in Kandahar step up to beclown themselves they are not just harming themselves but the organization as a whole.  All of America in fact.  In this day in age, the Information Age as it were, we rely, or rather depend on the world thinking that we are the Good Guys.  We are, or we try to be, but millions of good deeds are all erased when one just one doorknob humping retard decides to take it upon himself to get back at whoever they feel angry at, we all end up regretting it. 

I could go on a rant for hours, days even, about how this shouldn't be possible.  For one if he walked off a COP at 0300, where the hell were the ECPs.  It makes no sense that A-stan which has been going longer than Iraq, doesn't have a shit ton of T-barriers and razor wire around each and every COP.  For the very obvious reason of if you can walk off the base, someone else can walk in, you want to control every possible entry like your life depends on it (it does).  So if this guy was some kind of ninja, then please explain to me how they didn't see him leaving?  If he was at an SF COP like the reports say they have all sorts of lifty gadgets like FLIR and Night vision Cameras.  Also if he "walked off" the base, that would assume the the villages he hit were within walking distance.  Where was QRF when they heard shooting?

A lot of this doesn't add up, so I'm going to wait till I have all the facts, but if ever an SM were deserving of wall to wall counseling before punishment, it would be this guy.  Sadly it doesn't matter if they throw the book at him.  The Afghans will want him, which we will never allow, because we know he would be lynched before he even had a chance to explain why he did it.  But the Placater in Chief really can only calm the situation down by that methodology.  So really we're screwed.  Kind of amazing to think one ass hat could have made all the sacrifices of the last decade null and void

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Even Privates know better

So as the second article I'm writing for RU I chose Congress.  Here goes. 

When I was a private I spent money like it was nobody's business.  Thankfully I wasn't stupid enough to buy walk into a car lot and get a car at 30% interest, (but that has happened).  I'm not kidding once I turned 21 I spent every last dime getting to the bar, drinking at the bar, paying for remotely good looking women's drinks so they might sleep with me, and finally staggering back to my barracks very much not with said woman. I could do this because I knew when all was said and done, the DFAC was there and I could always have chow, and the Barracks were there so I'd always have a place to stay.

Every once in a while you're get one of those sloped headed window licking short bus riding Privates that weigh a buck soaking wet and married a woman that's 400 Lbs because she's the first woman that ever slept with him,  and he over spends on something, acting like its still just him, even though dumbass didn't use condom sense and his wife has started punching out kids like a C-130 over a drop zone.  He's probably gotten a STAR card, and bought all those awesome things AAFES has, and forgotten things like Diapers, Formula, or haircuts.  Those Privates get squared away quick or they get the boot. 

Still, with those idiots its usually because they don't know any better, Taking them aside and smoking the dog shit out of them then counseling them to emphasize the seriousness of their failures usually gets them to pull their head out of their asses. Its a crying shame we can't do that with Congress.  See Article 1 is pretty clear that its the Legislature that has control of the money, and while it is so exceptionally easy to blame the President for spending like its going out of style, the real blame lies with Congress which lets him spend like that. 

Apparently in February alone the Federal government had a deficit of 578 BILLION  dollars.  That's not just what they spent, that's what they spent more than they took in.  Even an 18 year old private with a blank check couldn't spend that much.  Hell give me a whole brigade of 18 year old privates and they could booze up, buy cars, or pop out kids even close to that number.  So why is it that roughly a Mech Battalion sized element can spend like that and think its ok?

Whats worse is that these aren't 18 year olds.  At some point every single one of these congress critters has had to do their taxes and balance their checkbook.  Are you seriously going to tell me that this level of douchefuckary is an attempt to be like 18 year old Privates?  That deficit alone is bigger that the entire DoD budget.  Did we somehow buy another military when I wasn't looking?  The roads here all have pot holes, and PA is even worse, so lets ask seriously, where in the flying donkey fuck is all that money going?  Are you going to tell me that we've somehow made the economy better? because if you look at the numbers (not the labor boards)  its still sitting at about 10%.  Hell Senator McCain of all people, is calling for us to go into Syria.  I'm sure our military will be real effective with spit wads and harsh language. 

For what they're spending there better be a lot of big screen TVs and gold plated toilets.  If I could go somewhere and see smell or touch some vast monument I'm not aware of, or if there were a secret war on with Aliens or some tinfoil hat squad stuff like that I might actually be ok with this.  But until someone points out the giant penis shaped monument to Bill Clinton (cuz you know its coming) or I see some burning space ships in the atmosphere, I'm going to go with we bought Jack and Shit.  Even every Congress Critter living it up on your dime couldn't explain even closely the steaming bag of cocks that is the federal budget.  Maybe if they're all snorting Gold laced Pure Colombian with hundred dollar bills of an escort's ass, which they then use to light real Cubans after finishing off all the Top Shelf booze in DC, but they can't even say they've done that. 

What's really scary is that even a Private with a shiny new STAR card has more sense than our on Congress.  Worse, at least with the Private you can drag his ass back to AAFES and return that big screen TV.  You can't do that with Congress.  So for not Manning the Fuck Up, or not grabbing your balls and sounding off like you've got a pair if you've gone along with this, I say to you Congress you are complete and utter DOUCHEBAGS.  I can not think of any steaming bag of dicks that is more deserving of losing their jobs than you are.  (Dear God please tell me they can't file for unemployment!!!)

Much ado about nothing.

So I was given an "assignment" by some of the guys oat RU, and was told to pick someone that is being a douche in a major way.  I've actually chosen two, here's my first one:

When I went to High School in Fallbrook California my school was known as the "Warriors" and our mascot was an Injun warrior, in a head dress.  My mom went to university of Illinois.  The Illinoi, were their mascot, named for the tribe that Illinois is named after.  Even Chicago is an Indian (sorry Native-American for our friends of perpetual inflamed assholes) word for a type of weed that grew on the banks of Lake Michigan (this actually makes a lot of sense if you go to Chicago today).

Well now there's a grade A+ Ass Hat by the name of Che  Butler (you know its going to be good with a name like that), who appears to have Gonorrhea of the Anus, has petitioned for second time to the Oregon Board of Education to ban all Injun Mascots from High Schools.  He says its about respect.  I say otherwise.  The crazy part is that they're actually considering it.  Seriously.  Only on the Left coast would you get shit like this.  Always worried about offending people that are mostly dead, makes about as much sense as screaming about how you will get in a Car is going to crash so you never drive. 

This douchefuckery is part of a larger trend.  SDSU Aztecs almost got changed to something else because someone thought it was offensive to our Injun friends.  I don't know any actual Aztecs.  Do you?  The Illinoi used to have a "warrior" for a mascot that would come out and do a ceremonial war dance (in full regalia) at half time.  It was actually really cool.  Be honest.  Would you really get off your fat ass to go and see an actual Injun tribe do an actual war dance, or any other form of dance?  I doubt it. 

Indeed do you remember what tribes actually lived in your area?  Do you know their customs?  Do you really give a shit?  Chances are you don't.  While I'm sure Mr Butler is indeed all but hurt, and that his anus is very sore indeed from having to go to High School football games to be offended, lets face it, if he succeeded pretty much everyone in Oregon would probably forget that there even were any Injuns left.  Before I actually did some digging while in the Army, all I knew about Injuns is that they beat the shit out of 7th Cav, and that apparently Geronimo is what the hell your supposed to say when you jump out of a plane.  Aside from having casinos right there where Californians could go, really, I didn't know a damn thing about them.

People name their mascots for attributes they find appealing when in a contest, strength speed or courage.  When your really crappy football team gets the ever loving shit stomped out of it by the "vikings" or the "Panthers" or pretty much every team out there you can feel safe in the knowledge that at least you're not offending anyone.  Then again this is Oregon, whose college mascot is a damn duck (which aren't so much strong as easy pickings).  You don't see too many football teams out there with names like "Rose Petals" or The semi enlightened, really nice people who were here before us".  Seriously.  You don't name you're teams for something that makes it sound like you enjoy an ass pounding. 

So once and for all shut up about the damned mascots.  That's the only thing keeping most of the drooling idiots that actually go to high school anymore from giving two shits and a handshake about you.  You probably ought to go out there and remind them why the should embrace their mascot, and take pride in your heritage.  But then again that really wouldn't work because the bug up your ass is a buzzing and you need to complain about it.

Monday, March 5, 2012

My Nightmare(s)

One of the hardest parts of speaking about past events, is that in order to make them have an impact, you have to make it personal.  To make it personal you have to open up a chapter of your life that is either joyous or painful, Humorous or Tragic.  I think it is time for me to talk of the nightmares that I've had.  The nightmares that haunt me still to this day.  They are not as bad as they once were, but they are still there. 


I'm on an Iraqi street.  Complete with shit trenches, and walled off courtyards.  It could be anyone of a dozen streets, there is nothing recognizable, but unlike the normal Iraq, there's a fog.  A heavy fog that only allows me to see a few feet in any direction.  I'm alone.  In the center of the street.  By IBA is heavy, and my Aid Bag is cutting into my circulation of my arms like it always does.  I raise my M-4 and assume a defensive posture, but everywhere I look I'm alone. 

"MEDIC!" I hear someone cry.  I think I know the voice.  Its one of my guys but I can't tell which one.  Its coming from down the street.  Maybe 100 meters off.  How did they get so far away?

"Hang On!"  I call back.  I start running toward the call "I'm coming!"

from the opposite direction I hear another, younger voice call out "DOC!  Help Me!"
Its Drew?  No that can't be right.  Drew is back in the States.  I stop. 
 I hear the unmistakable sound of an AK somewhere near the first voice.  I have to hurry!  I run for all I'm worth, but when I get to where the voice should have been I see no one.  No blood, no evidence of a body.  Where are they?  I begin to worry I might have left someone behind, I raise my ACOG to my eye and look all around trying to find the source of the voices. 

I hear a loud scream of pain.  Back from the other direction.  Dammit!  I left someone!  I double time, back towards the second voice.  This time I can hear a piteous plea. 

"Oh God, Doc, please help me.  It hurts.  Help me.  I don't want to die, Please Doc!"

I run as fast as I possibly can.  The voice is someone else now.  Herman?  It doesn't make sense but I have to get there now.  Whoever the soldier is I hear his sobs of pain.  They're growing weaker.  I can save him if I just get to him.  I have to hurry.  I'm out of breath, but I put on all possible speed I'm almost there!  And as before nothing.  I look around now, in a panic. 

"WHERE ARE YOU?" I cry out. 

"No!  No!  AHHH" I hear a blood curtailing scream yet another voice, coming from behind me.  Something else this time another voice.  Not American. 

"Allah huAKBAR!" there's a sick gurgle and I know without a doubt what has happened.

"NO GOD DAMIT!!!"  I scream, I raise my m-4 and fire into the mist at the voice, but I begin to hear another "Allah huACKBAR!"  this time from behind me

I hear another trooper scream, and he to fades to a sick gurgle, One by one I hear more and more.  The chanting increases, chaotically.  They don't chant together, its a few, than a crowd, then a mob.  The voices of my troopers crying out for help are being drowned out  by the growing chanting.  I'm alone, I can not see anyone or anything.  I fire a couple of rounds without effect.  My guys are all dead.  I sink to my knees utterly defeated. 

I feel my head jerked back, a man with a headscarf covering everything but his brown eyes which are filled with an inhuman hatred.  He puts the knife to my throat, "in-SHal'lah!" he spits out at me.  And thats when I wake up. 


its 17 July.  I got to 2-2 in time.  Everybody but Harrelson is out.  I run up to the door, and try to get it open.  Harrelson is dazed, but he sees me and there is a spark of recognition in his eyes.  his face is bloodied, and he is trying to say something but I am not paying attention, I have to get the door open.  Thats when he notices the fire.  His eyes fly wide open, and he starts pounding on the door weakly. 

He's screaming.  I can hear that.  Its a panicked scream, but I can still get to him.  The door handle won't budge.  I go to the Drivers rear door, but that's already engulfed in flames I can't get near it.  I go back to the drivers door, and struggle for all I'm worth to get the door open.  I can see the flames have him trapped in the drivers seat. 

I wave at 2-1.  MAybe if they can get back here in time I can still save him.  They start backing up.  Clowly.  Too slowly.  Harrelson lets loose a scream that chills my blood.  I know what it means.  He's on fire now.  I can't stop to think about that I have to get him out.  But now I start to hear him. 

"HELP ME! HELP ME!  GET ME OUT PLEASE GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!"  Words soon begin to fail him and he just screams for all he's worth.  A scream I have heard before, but I think no man should ever have to hear. 

Hurry dammit!  I can still save him.  I look at him now.  The flames are licking his face.  He's pounding futility on the door.  his face is starting to char.  I can see a look of pure unadulterated terror and all I can do is stand there and watch.  As the flesh starts to peel away, a new look comes over his face.  Sorrow?  I swear I can see a tear, as the inferno gets worse.  Its so hot I can't bare to stand this close, I can't even touch the door anymore, but I cant leave.  He looks at me one last time.  As if to accuse me.  Why didn't you save me his face says. 

"I'm sorry" is all I manage to say.  The flames finally obscure his face and I hear one last searing agonizing scream.  And I wake up. 

There are more.  But I don't have heart to talk about them now. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

You paid HOW MUCH for that?

Ok so I'm talking to this girl, and she's not the makeup type.  But she has a hot date and she went out to get the "cute" clothes (as a male, I have no idea what this word means).  Then she tells me she spent $80 just for the "basics" in her makeup.  Good Lord.  Please tell me this is a joke.  No sadly it is not.  One has only to compare the simple act of buying drawers to know that even the most minute parts of a woman's wardrobe is 2.-3 times more expensive than a man's.  Take Underwear.  Take tighty whiteys.  Those are *generally* the same shape as your basic panties, yes I can buy a three pack of tighty whiteys for the same price a woman buys one pair of panties. 

Now take shirts.  A man *generally* will only wear one shirt at a time, with maybe a long-sleeve undershirt if its cold out.  Go look at what women are wearing.  Some of the "shirts" don't even try to fit the boobs in them.  Requiring another shirt.  Of course there might be a third layer thrown in just for looks.  And let's not for get that at least one of these layers is see through.  Seriously.  There is almost never one shirt.  How do they let people get away with that?  Either Women have bought into the biggest extortion racket ever or someone whose designing this stuff has some crossed wires somewhere. 

Of course perhaps the most humorous thing about this whole thing is that despite the fact that women all want to be unique they seem harder to differentiate.  I'm not talking about that special someone, but, they all read the say novella length magazines telling them what to get how to wear it what colors say about what.  Its like its own little language, and really its no wonder when guys don't notice you got 1/16th of an inch of hair cut off (at a whopping $30.  Seriously they should have massaged your scalp for that much!)  You've got a see through blue over-shit with a pink shawl, and a white undershirt.  You expect me to know what the hell that means?  Oh yes.  That brings up another little rant.  Pink.  I get it you like it.  But for the love of all that is holy does it literally have to be on everything? 

You talk about "Sun Dress" and I'll give you a blank look.  And giving me veiled hints about a "little black dress" will get you the same.  News flash: I'M A GUY WHAT THE HELL DO I KNOW ABOUT DRESSES?!?!? You ask me which one I like and I'm probably going to einie meenie miney moe it.  It is understandable that you may want to show me different looks and ask what I like.  Personally I always say go with what makes you happy, please do not stress over what I think looks good.  I'm a guy.  You could wear a full arctic suit or nothing at all and I'd still think you look good.  That's part of your charm. 

Honestly I am happiest in a comfortable pair of blue jeans and boots with a t-shirt, or if I'm back home in Cali, Board shorts and flip flops.  I wear what has function and comfort.  I'll dress up, and I'll always impress when I do, because that's just something that is expected, but lets face facts here, there's pretty good reasons I don't wear suits and ties every day.  Its because they're not exactly comfortable.  So why does it seem every woman below the age of say 25 is trying to dress like they're either a). a model, or b). on their way to schmooze with models?  Sometimes I just don't get the fairer sex. 

So I have an idea that will save the economy overnight.  Wanna hear it?  Whoever makes guys clothing, make it for women.  Simple efficient and comfortable.  Most of all inexpensive.  I mean we could solve the whole economic issue overnight if women weren't paying through the nose for "basic" cosmetics, clothes, or ahem fashion magazines.  Now you don't have to agree with me.  But man wouldn't your wallet (or your parent's) really appreciate that? 

And now for something completely different

Have you ever noticed that when you really need a bathroom, as in "oh my God I'm going to EXPLODE," there's never one around? I mean we all get the Hershey Squirts, or the Big Rigs from time to time. Usually when there is most need to drop trou and pop a squat, you're nowhere near a good place to do that. To be clear while you can almost always find a public bathroom it tends to dissuade one from wanting to drop a deuce when some genius decided to finger paint with his or her fecal matter.

It also tends to make you not want to Take the kids to the pool if the last person (or couple of people) didn't pass basic marksmanship class while being potty trained. Indeed sometimes it looks like it went everywhere but the bowl. And once you see something like that no amount of wax paper or to cleaning will make that seat seem "safe". I mean after all you don't want to get anal herpes from an emergency evacuation do you?

No we would all rather go to the safe bathrooms that don't give us numbers to call or have "glory holes". Truth be told we would all rather have our own dedicated toilet, that we could take around with us. Certain in the knowledge that your ass is the only one it's kissed. As humorous as that might be to imagine people carrying around their own dedicated toilets, thats really not practical.

Indeed we may have to suffer back splash and groddy bowls, and turds that seem to not want to flush, but remember this pain is shared by all. . . Until you run out of TP. Yes that Bastard Murphy and his stupid law has just struck you again. You somehow found a way to suck it up long enough to unclench, or barely made it in time before blast off. Either way Houston, we have a problem. No you don't have the key that might be required to get the other roll that is so helpfully just out of your reach, or blocked. What do you do? Wait? Hop over to another stall, go out and get someone? Anyway you descried to go it is officially a shitty situation.

This has actually happened to me once in an Airport bathroom.  You can imagine sitting there realizing that I have NOTHING  to wipe away the foulness.  So if you could imagine there i sat with a real dilemma there for a moment.

"uh.  Hello?"  Silence.
"Is anyone out there?" someone washed their hands
"hello?" well this is working well.
"Excuse me could someone help me out here. . . "

Well I'll cut to the chase, I sat there for another five minuets, desperately trying to get someone's attention.  Finally some guy answered (THANK GOD!!!) and he was actually kind enough to agree to get someone from maintenance.  I guess there was some kind of a strike, or someone was having a phone call, or something, because I sat there for another thirty minuets.  Thankfully it was a productive thirty minuets (guess I still had to go) or I might've been upset.  Right about the point where I began to think "hey I better flush this pretty soon or I'm going to have a real problem here" I hear the maintenance man call out and ask if someone needed tp, I called out he passed it under, and I proceeded to wipe with steel wool.  Hey I'm not complaining.  I got to wipe after all!

All I can advise you is the next time you're on a road trip plan ahead.  Fast food and long car rides will probably lead to explosive diarrhea, and trust me that's not how you want to take the Browns to the Superbowl when you still got another 500 miles to go.  If you know a food makes you rush for the latrine, its probably a good idea not to eat it when you can't get to a "safe" bathroom sometime soon.  Just remember when it comes to your bowls its good to plan ahead.  It prevents Anus AIDS or Rectal fungus, or what ever the hell else might be growing on those public bathrooms from being anywhere near your rear.

How's that for Toilet Humor?

Friday, March 2, 2012

A Warrior('s) Ethos

I saw Act of Valor again tonight.  It kind of shocked me that the critics rated it so low (30%)  Viewers gave it a much higher rating.  Was some of the banter Canned?  Yup.  But you could see a genuine respect and admiration between the LT and his Chief.  You can also see the compotency and professionalism of those involved.  These are REAL US Navy SEALs.  The Assaults are real.  Trust me that the tactics are as real as it gets.  Everything you see is 100% as real as you can get in a movie.

The scary part about this is not that it might be fiction, but that the plot over all was frighteningly close to things that might and worse have happened.  Yes the SEALs win in the end, but the terrorist plot, and the methodology, even who the terrorists are, is frighteningly closed to reality.  The Drug Cartels are that bad.  The torture shown is used.   Believe it or not these things are not a joke.  That this is fictionalized should not even enter into one's mind, these plots are real.  You are still in danger. 

But one of the things that really crystallized in my mind, is that SEALs SWCCs, Special Forces (Green Berets), Rangers, 160th SOAR, TACPs, PJs and MARSOC are actually not special.  Before you get angry, you need to realize the only thing that separates them from any other Soldier Sailor Airmen or Marine, is a mentality.  That SEAL that you see on screen took the same oath of enlistment as I did.  I fully admit I am not as hardcore as they are, but that doesn't stop a part of me from wanting to join them.  Also, when you watch the movie you'll notice something, even when they're running for their lives, they are always moving toward something.  They move with a purpose, and with confidence.  The move swiftly, and never let up until their mission is completed.

I figured out after my second viewing why Hollywood doesn't like this movie.  Its because they can not understand what a Warrior is.  A Warrior is not some child flailing about, or a fool whining to the ether or anyone who will listen.  A Warrior does not bemoan the whims of fate that make his mission suck.  They all suck.  You can either embrace the suck, or you can go home. 

Some intellectual said "truth is the first casualty of war".  But one can not lie to your superiors, subordinates, or oneself.  In War, a lie will kill you quick, and will undo any good you achieved.  If you lie about your abilities, either in boast or to put yourself down you will harm yourself and your unit.  If you lie to your subordinates, you will break the sacred trust that is required to preform your mission.  If you lie to your superiors, they will lose faith in you, and you will be worse than useless, you will be a liability.  Worst of all however, is if you lie to yourself.  If you psyche yourself up for a mission, and are filled with doubt, you will choke.  You will freeze.  When your teammates, or Battle Buddies need you most you will be unable to do the mission.  If you are not certain your mission is worthy of your absolute level best then you should never have been there in the first place.

Perhaps this statement is true if you referring to how you are dealing with your enemy.  No Soldier ever fights fair.  They'll take every advantage they can get, and exploit every weakness they can find.  If you have an unfair advantage, if your enemy isn't prepared for the world of hurt you're about to bring down upon them good.  After they surrender you can show mercy, but until they quit the fight, you will act with speed and violence of action.  That is what the mission requires.  That is what you do. 

A Warrior offers no excuses and accepts none.  There are no "bad days".  You'll be tired, hungry, sore, and lonely.  Suck it up and Drive On!  This is a Code.  And Ethos that many have tried to capture.  The Army's Warrior Ethos, is simply a chopped up Ranger Creed, and while it is stirring, it is meant for those troopers who do hold qualms about the mission.  The SEAL Creed, The Rifleman's Creed, The Medic's Creed, the NCO or Officer's Creed, all are pretty long winded and try to capture the same thing.  The true Warrior Ethos.  There's one problem.  Warriors are not Men of Words, but of Action.  People in our society are drifting father and farther from this ideal, and giving more power to what is said than what is done.

If you are a Warrior, you must live your life as a Man (or Woman) of Action.  You must be True to yourself and your comrades.  You must give your all, always.  You must never accept defeat, or show Fear to your enemy, rather you should inspire Fear in them, and make them accept defeat.  Never give in to Doubt.  What will be will be, the only thing you can do is fight like hell.  If you are a Warrior my words will ring true.  If you are not, my single-mindedness  of purpose when it comes to War will make you uneasy or afraid.  When it comes right down to it, you're either a Warrior, or you are not.  There is no in between.

Charlie Mike Warriors!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

An In Depth Investigation.

One of the charges I have heard in response to the 12 July incident was that it was not investigated, or that the investigations were a whitewash.  That there was a coverup or the investigators did not do due diligence.  That is simply not the case.  Thanks to Outlaw 1-3, I have two of the 15-6 investigations conducted involving the incident.  Both paint the same picture.  Both make it clear that when Noor-Eldeen leaned out he presented a clear and imminent threat form the facts the pilots had in the air.  They saw men with RPGs and they saw a guy peeking around a corner in a perfect firing position, thus they were very anxious to engage as soon as they could.  As I have stated again and again, there were no Press vests, or distinctive markings, and having a telephoto lens does not exclude you from being a target.  Why?  Because pretty much all militias by that point were filming their attacks. 

To be clear, had Noor-Eldeen and his driver been alone, they would probably still be alive.  Had he not leaned out around the corner, the Apache might've waited to fire.  Had Noor-Eldeen not been so close to the insurgents, he probably would still be alive.  Again and again I have hammered these points.  Again and again I get this "but he was a journalist" or "they shouldn't have. . . "  I am tired of people saying things they can not know.  Assange was almost gleeful about giving the US a black eye.  He's profited from this enormously, all the while doing his level best to cause as much harm as he can.  So why he is still treated like a saint is beyond me. 

What is abundantly clear from the 15-6 (referring to the regulation that covers this type of investigation) from both 1st Air Cav Brigade, and 2nd Brigade 2nd Infantry Division, is that they questioned everyone that played a major role.    They did not question Ryan Searls in the 2-2 investigation, they questioned me, but it was to ascertain treatment protocols and to see if any stone is left unturned.  Searles, would not doubt have been questioned as well, but it is my belief that the investigating officer at that point was satisfied we did our medical duty.  Had Ethan McCord played a critical role, or had he seen something that was vitally important to the investigation, some evidence that he as a non-NCO, and non-Officer, and really only a minor player in, he would have been grilled.  Had any evidence been found of actual War Crimes as defined by the Geneva Conventions  you can bet the investigating authority would have been a LOT higher.

As I have stated time and again, the Van was engaged because, for the time and place, it seemed like a threat.  This may seem strange to you, but you have to realize that Ambulances were being used as VBIEDs (Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devises) Mosques were being used as torture houses and weapons Cashes.  To say the threats were fluid is a bit of an understatement.  Even kids coming up and asking for candy was (at one point) and extreme threat, because fathers would strap bombs to their kids (especially the retarded ones) and blow them up when they got near soldiers.

At the time it looked like they came as if summoned, and it looked as if they were removing evidence, or something along those lines.  They very well could have been doing just that.  We will never know, and the children have (thankfully) been left alone.  I think the last thing they need is to be pestered endlessly by Reporters or activists trying to get a scoop about wonton violence of the American Soldier, but I have no doubt that if this becomes enough of an issue some yahoo without scrupuls will track them down, force them to relive their story (tears and all), and then gleefully do a victory lap.  

I find no joy in this whole affair, there is nothing here that proves that US troops were anything but professionals under a lot of stress doing the best damn job they can.  Keep in mind that in WWII, despite claims that the Nordon Bomb-sight could drop bombs "right in the pickle barrel" in reality the accuracy was on the best days about 35%, but more often it was much lower.  The reason the bomber formations were so massive is that they required mass, an overall weight of bombs to accomplish their task.  Had this engagement happened say in 1944, you might be talking about a whole neighborhood disappearing, and in light of the threats of 1944, that would have been perfectly acceptable. 

The God-like view offered by the AH-64-D, gives a lot of people the idea that they can realistically put themselves in that seat and make the "right" decision.  This of course is absent the stress, and fear (for one's comrades on the ground) that would have been present.  Play Call of Duty again some time.  See if you can spot any civilians in the levels where you play as the AC-130.  I would be willing to bet two things 1). either they're not in the game at all or 2). even if they were you couldn't pick them out, without someone pointing it out to you.  Here's a thought try watching the video one time.  Watch it real time.  Bare in mind all the facts I've just laid out, and while your at it see if a friend has an Epi-pen, shoot yourself up with that wait 30 mins then watch it.  Chances are by that point you're feeling generally the same level of adrenalin the pilots that day were.  See if in that mindset you would make the same call.

I would be willing to bet, and I'd bet my beautiful Stang on this, that if half the people who call this a "war crime" were placed on the ground with that level of threat, they'd not only call for fire, but demand disproportionate amounts of fire.  The investigations if anything show how restrained the troops were.  When the Apaches saw Noor-Eldeen poking around the corner, they COULD HAVE ENGAGED RIGHT THEN.  They certainly felt the threat was extreme.  They waited to get a clear shot.  This is not the act of brutal thugs.  Keep in mind they could have killed Noor-Eldeen about three times before they got permission to fire.  Given the time, given the circumstances, I believe that the Soldiers on the Ground and in the Air did their duty to the best of their ability.  They did it in a professional manner, and I still can not fault Crazyhorse 1-8 or 1-9 for what they did that day.