29 December 2009

Happy New Year

Off to Koh Samet (an small island not far from Bangkok that has cheap places to stay) for the New Year. Hope you all have good ones too! I guess I could post something about how this was the worst decade ever for a lot of reasons, but at least we're still hanging. That's something to be thankful for.

Semper Ubi Sub Ubi

From ABC

This photo is the nasty pair of drawers that thankfully didn't blow a hole in Northwest Flight 253, but managed to spook the civilized world during the holidays. But, the concept of strapping bombs to your genitals is nothing new, as seen in Pakistan last year. From the Daily Times in July 2008:
Would-be suicide bombers could be using explosives “underwear briefs” rather than explosives jackets to evade “conservative” body searches, sources said on Wednesday.

Sihala Police College forensic lab sources told Daily Times that the study of recent suicide attacks showed that suicide bombers used “explosives-laden” under-garments, briefs in particular, to carry out the attacks.

The sources said that the explosives could weigh between five kilogrammes to seven kilogrammes, made deadly by adding glass splinters, metal ball bearings and bullets.
So, like we've seen around the world, the determined terrorist can adapt to achieve his objective. Even if the TSA would scrap its much-criticized political correctness in their prevention methods, would they still be able to nab the terrorist dressed up as a woman? I have to take back my post two years ago giving the TSA a hard time for searching military personnel coming home for R&R, in light of the Fort Hood shootings. But will our politicians cease the partisan ugliness to set forth security policies that reflect the current threat level? I have my doubts...

25 December 2009

Merry Christmas from Bob & Doug

It's old, but it's a timeless classic.

24 December 2009

Hipster Goes Mildly Repentant on DC Snowball Incident

Pic from SD Headliner

Most people grow out of snowball fights somewhere after the age they find out Santa Claus isn't real, but before the age where they realize that women have a thing called boobs. But that didn't stop dozens of DC cool kids from arranging a snowball fight online, and subsequently pelting a police officer with snowballs. A gun was drawn, inevitable pants-wetting happened, and it became a big brouhaha on the internet.

Now, the guy detained speaks out, surprisingly, in a Washington Post column about his respect for the law:
That means respecting the power of the police to break up a snowball fight at a busy intersection (and detain those, like myself, who they have reason to believe are subverting that authority).
But, unsurprisingly, he makes it clear that he and his group of peers are better than everyone else:
I suspect that many of the snowballers were, like me, young, well educated and politically active. Demographics suggest that a strong majority of them support new laws on climate change and health care.
Yeah well, I suspect that many of the snowballers think they're doing God's work in DC, have never worked an honest day in their lives, voted for Obama, and don't see any problem with humiliating a regular guy just doing his job such as the detective.

23 December 2009

Get Off My Goddamn Internet

I'm not saying that you can't make a good argument for our continued War on Drugs, but this article by Mary Grabar has got to be a freaking joke. In a no-good, terrible waste of internet space, she first asserts: "In abandoning the duty to enforce social order, today’s libertarians have made a devil’s pact with the pro-drug forces of George Soros and company". Then says something about marijuana wasn't in the bible, so it's counter-cultural and should be illegal. I thought setting policy on whether or not something was in the bible went out of vogue during the Renaissance, but perhaps I'm mistaken. She also talks about how smoking weed will eventually turn you into a gay porn star. No...really, it's on the bottom of page 1 near the fistgate reference.

The normally "Amen" comments at Pajamas Media are quite unforgiving, and #18 calls her a "little Taliban". I wouldn't go that far, but I wish people like this could mind their own damn business about something as lame as getting high and watching Lost reruns.

22 December 2009

Through the Ruins of Detroit

Pajamas Media takes a trip through the city of Detroit with complete footage of abandoned buildings doubling as heroin galleries (not hard to find in Motown). He doesn't examine the riots and turbulent race relations causing problems for the city over the last 40 years, but I think he hits on the other points rather well (greedy unions, monstrous entitlement programs, etc.)

20 December 2009

CJ's Open Letter

A good NCO and good milblogger thrown under the bus by petty tyrant bureauweenies. A real shame! Here's his full letter, read it all:

I want to take a moment to thank all of those that are participating in the BlogOut on behalf of free speech generally and me specifically. The selflessness show by each of these bloggers, both within and without the milblogging community, has inspired and humbled me. For much of the past year, I have been fighting for Soldiers' rights to freedom of speech. I have always resisted the mindset that when Soldiers join the Army they surrender their rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

Don't get me wrong, I understand that the way in which we EXERCISE those rights is somewhat restricted, but we don't lose them. Every enlisted member of the military signed a DD Form 4/1, or enlistment contract. On page two of that document, it states that "many laws, regulations, and military customs will govern my conduct and require me to do things a civilian does not have to do." Many use this little clause to justify the mentality that we are troops 24 hours a day 7 days a week, and that's true - to a point. But, that doesn't mean that EVERYTHING I do in my life is subject to military oversight. I am allowed to have hobbies, pick and choose my friends, and join civic groups and clubs. But, I'm not allowed to break laws and must abide by additional rules and regulations that are dictated by my employment in the military. These include the uniform code of military justice, army regulations, and DOD directives.

No Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine surrenders their free speech rights. Officers, of course, fall under different sets of rules. For example, Article 88 states of the Manual of Courts Martial states

“Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”

Now, that doesn't give Soldiers the right to use "contemptuous words" against our elected officials, but who decides what "contemptuous words" are? Is any disagreement with an elected official "contemptuous?" Is only certain kinds of disagreement? In my mind, writing about what an elected official says and then highlighting what that elected official DID in contrast to what they said is not "contemptuous" in any way. If someone has lied to the American people and I can prove it, how is it contemptuous to call that person a liar? I see nothing "contemptuous" about calling for the wholesale firing of Congress through the democratic process.

But, beginning in April, I started coming under attack for talking about those very things. Interestingly, the complaints came from blogs that were posted PRIOR TO being invited to the Obama White House. As a matter of fact, while speaking to WH officials, they even acknowledged that we had disagreements, but I was invited anyway.

An IG complaint was filed around that time and after a three month investigation into my blogging came to the conclusion that I was guilty of subversion and using my rank or position to solicit votes for a political cause, both, I maintain, are absolutely ludicrous. After months of trying to get the results of the bogus IG complaint, I finally obtained a copy of it. Interesting what an Army Times article can accomplish. I've since forwarded that nearly 100-page document to my military lawyer for advice on how to move forward on that front. Suffice it to say that everything that could possibly be taken out of context when separated from the post as a whole WAS taken out of context and used in a vindictive, political manner. The school issue is a whole other problem that adds to the problems with poor leadership.

I want to personally thank all the military and civilian bloggers out there that have taken up this cause and support me and my family through this difficult time. It's been humbling to see the outpouring of support from across the country and around the world. My inbox has exploded with positive and encouraging words of support (and some not-so-supportive). I will never be able to repay what you have done for me, but I will never give up trying! Thank you.

Free Our Fobbits!

Interesting Op-Ed about how our Army officers in combat are too risk-averse, which is hampering operations and long-term objectives:

The results were striking. Many respondents said that field commanders relied too much on methods that worked in another place at another time but often did not work well now. Officers at higher levels are stifling the initiative of junior officers through micromanagement and policies to reduce risk. Onerous requirements for armored vehicles on patrols, for instance, are preventing the quick action needed for effective counterinsurgency. Of the Army veterans I surveyed, only 28 percent said that their service encouraged them to take risks, while a shocking 41 percent said that the Army discouraged it.
I suppose Mr. Moyar is think about things like "How to Win a War" instead of creating US-based manufacturing jobs for the ever-prevalent reflective belt. Shows what he knows!

19 December 2009

In Lieu Of Anything Meaningful

I suppose you could read about Ted Kennedy's corpse being trotted out to ram through another federal entitlement program that the country can't afford...or you could go back to when life was easier. This is a clip from Hard Rock Zombies, which sort of ranks up there in bad movies with the Ed Wood collection. It involves a group of mulleted rockers, creepy lust of some pre-teen named "Cassie", and for reasons only known to the creators of this wretched film, Hitler has a starring role. I am particularly fond of this tune:

13 December 2009

Paul Ryan Goes All Anti-Corporate On Us

Maybe I should've listened to more Crass growing up...despite the fact that they didn't know how to sing or play their instruments. Then maybe I could've recognized what Paul Ryan (R-WI) was saying about powerful corporate interests earlier instead after the economy imploded. From Forbes:

We must champion an aggressive reform agenda to tackle our outdated financial regulatory structure, the convoluted and anti-competitive tax code, and the looming entitlement crisis, and to fix what's broken in health care, energy, and more. We should focus on removing the hurdles the government has erected, rather than further centralizing power in Washington. The legislative reform must focus on empowering individuals instead of bureaucrats.

We cannot lose our commitment to individual liberty--a commitment we've shed blood to defend in generations past. The American idea cannot be defeated.
Even if the bailout saga wasn't an incredible drain on our nation's treasury (which it was), it was a tremendously dangerous precedent since it empowered moneyed interests with gangs of lobbyists and left the average small business owner out to dry. It's refreshing that a true conservative in Washington actually realizes this instead of kissing asses for campaign contributions. Paul Ryan for emperor!

11 December 2009

Matt Taibbi Latest Highlights the Problem but Not the Solution

Chris Dodd: Not an adequate substitute for hope in America

Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone has another great article on the crony capitalism running amok in the Obama White House, where there is more starched suits than a Tokyo subway terminal. But I sort of lose him when he starts talking about cleaning up this mess of pigs at the trough by calling in...Chris Dodd?!?:
The original measure, drafted by chairman Christopher Dodd of the Senate Banking Committee, is surprisingly tough on Wall Street — a fact that almost everyone in town chalks up to Dodd's desperation to shake the bad publicity he incurred by accepting a sweetheart mortgage from the notorious lender Countrywide. "He's got to do the shake-his-fist-at-Wall Street thing because of his, you know, problems," says a Democratic Senate aide. "So that's why the bill is starting out kind of tough."
It's sort of like he's upset that a bunch of Wall Street people are in charge of the country instead of his progressive buddies being in charge of the country. I suggest that no group of men or women should have so much command and control of the economy, because I believe that "Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely" and sort of extrapolate all my political beliefs from there.

Taibbi then takes aim at the "teabaggers" on page 6 who he dubs a pack of "idiots" because they aren't protesting Obama correctly. I dunno, I thought fistgate was both funny and worth getting outraged about.

08 December 2009

Crazy Dictator Says Crazy Shit

Criticizing Ahmadinejad is about as intellectually taxing as calling Tiger Woods a lousy husband, but this statement needs to be repeated to permanently assure his mentally deranged status. From Fox News:

“We have documented proof that they believe that a descendant of the prophet of Islam will raise in these parts and he will dry the roots of all injustice in the world,” Ahmadinejad said during a speech on Monday, according to Al Arabiya.

"They have devised all these plans to prevent the coming of the Hidden Imam because they know that the Iranian nation is the one that will prepare the grounds for his coming and will be the supporters of his rule," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.
Supposedly, the 12th Imam (Mahdi) will rid the world of injustice alongside Jesus and Xenu, but I'm not a religious scholar or anything. However, it is painfully obvious that Ahmadinejad is dishing out another ridiculous statement to distract the public from the regime's domestic woes. Previous whoppers Ahmadinejad has told the public include holocaust denial and an assassination plot against him involving X-Rays at the airport.

04 December 2009

Sarah Palin: Master of Karate and Friendship

Well, this is where the conservative movement is at. Sarah Palin, who has strong approval amongst the right, has descended into the incredibly ridiculous. She has suggested that the Obama Birth certificate is fair game. No need to comment on the birth certificate issue for the same reason there is no need to comment on President Obama being from the Klendathu galaxy: there's zero evidence of either. Hot Air is definitely feeling a bit squeamish about the whole affair, and you know David Weigel (best political journalist out there, I just wish he was on our side) is going to have a field day when he wakes up.

I'm just finishing watching the John Adams mini-series, and, even though I despise elitism, it makes you sort of wish for when politicians were well-educated, well-spoken, and took the task of governing the country seriously. After 230+ years of our republic, we are sort of left with this celebrity nonsense.