Monday, June 24, 2013


I'm off on vacation in Maine for the nonce. Back in a bit.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


I was out today in the west and looking back over MetroParkCentralis I could swear I saw at least one and maybe two of these:
One was heading west over Lakewood and the other was flying south right over the Terminal Tower about 3 minutes later. I can't find anything on line about them being in the neighborhood though. It was a bit of time out of time.


I found this on Instanpundit and it is priceless.

Senator Ted Cruz         @SenTedCruz

Anyone know if President Obama intends to perform background checks on the Syrian rebels before providing them weapons?


It is rare for MIT to turn such profound absurdities loose here in MassifCentralOrientalis but in this conceptual piece on the art of war in the 21st century they have done just that. It is titled, 'Adapting to Automation' and it demonstrates that when the topic turns to drones the only ones they recognize are hardware. They seem to have lost sight of the muslim application of drone warfare using wetware.
 Marvel at this gem, "...only the United States has the combination of intelligence-gathering and targeting technologies to kill a particular person or type of person anywhere, at any time." We might ask the folks in the World Trade Center or Pentagon if they concur.

You could read through it and tear out its guts. I however, have a higher destiny today. My girlfriend just gave me one of these: 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


It's an interesting philosophical question for the indolent. Is there such a thing as a 'Just War' and should we fight or even be a party to any war that fails to meet the definition of 'Just War.' The idea picked up steam during the Reagan years when so many protestors were out there demanding total surrender to the Communists in the Soviet Union where justness gets its name and reputation. I think that's most of the reason the invasion of Panama was called Operation Just Cause. That, or they had some trickster who thought, Just Because, would be to obvious.

The famous warrior of the tween Big Gigantic World Wars was Smedley Butler. He wrote a book about his experiences fighting in the New World, Old World and Orient for United Fruit et al. His book is, 'War is a Racket.' Here is a quote from that book's frontpiece:

"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."

Well, if you know anything, you know that all that chastising and civilizing was unnecessary. All of those places are fine countries and firm friends of the United States and able representatives of Civilization and the Race.*

We are looking at being drawn into a pointless and futile war in Syria now. I've written about this before but it's worth observing that no interests of the United States are served by joining the fighting in muslim countries. There is a special kind of contemptible idiot that wanders the land bleating about how evil the U.S. military is and then demanding that it throw itself into the war elsewhere and FIGHT FOR PEACE! You know. Kill people! Break Stuff!

It really is a very short book. You could read the whole thing in less than 30 minutes. Here is an excerpt that rings true today:
"To Hell With War!
"I am not a fool as to believe that war is a thing of the past. I know the people do not want war, but there is no use in saying we cannot be pushed into another war. Looking back, Woodrow Wilson was re-elected president in 1916 on a platform that he had "kept us out of war" and on the implied promise that he would "keep us out of war." Yet, five months later he asked Congress to declare war on Germany.
In that five-month interval the people had not been asked whether they had changed their minds. The 4,000,000 young men who put on uniforms and marched or sailed away were not asked whether they wanted to go forth to suffer and die.
Then what caused our government to change its mind so suddenly?
An allied commission, it may be recalled, came over shortly before the war declaration and called on the President. The President summoned a group of advisers. The head of the commission spoke. Stripped of its diplomatic language, this is what he told the President and his group:
"There is no use kidding ourselves any longer. The cause of the allies is lost. We now owe you (American bankers, American munitions makers, American manufacturers, American speculators, American exporters) five or six billion dollars.
If we lose (and without the help of the United States we must lose) we, England, France and Italy, cannot pay back this money . . . and Germany won't.
So . . . "**
Had secrecy been outlawed as far as war negotiations were concerned, and had the press been invited to be present at that conference, or had radio been available to broadcast the proceedings, America never would have entered the World War. But this conference, like all war discussions, was shrouded in utmost secrecy. When our boys were sent off to war they were told it was a "war to make the world safe for democracy" and a "war to end all wars."
Well, eighteen years after, the world has less of democracy than it had then. Besides, what business is it of ours whether Russia or Germany or England or France or Italy or Austria live under democracies or monarchies? Whether they are Fascists or Communists? Our problem is to preserve our own democracy. And very little, if anything, has been accomplished to assure us that the World War was really the war to end all wars.
Yes, we have had disarmament conferences and limitations of arms conferences. They don't mean a thing. One has just failed; the results of another have been nullified. We send our professional soldiers and our sailors and our politicians and our diplomats to these conferences. And what happens?"

I know any number of fools that worry about what kind of government other people have. Remember the words, "Too Big To Fail?" Who in 1950 Detroit ever would have thought that 60 years later the City of Detroit would default on all of its outstanding loans and payments? I suppose one might have thought that something like that would happen if there was a great war; an Atomic War.

There was a war but you never remember it. It was Lyndon Johnson's War.

The War on Poverty.

The government pissed money away on useless projects in a mighty torrent and in the process they created a bureaucracy that defies belief. Here's the Wall Street Journal on Education Spending.

"According to the data, New York spent the most per pupil at $19,076, followed by Washington, D.C. at $18,475; Alaska, $16,674; New Jersey, $15,968; and Vermont, $15,925. Utah spent the least, $6,212 per student, followed by Idaho, $6,824; Oklahoma, $7,587; Arizona at $7,666; and Mississippi, $7,928."

I can't figure it out. Are students in Utah 3 times smarter than New York students or 3 times stupider?

*The Race of Reason

Monday, June 17, 2013


I was going to post a bit on what I bumped into yesterday while leaving the premises following brunch. After doing the obligatory research I find that I won't. Instead I'll post

a picture of a supercell in Texas from last week. That was an awesome bit of weather.

We see from news reports that Obama has ordered the U.S. Marines to deploy in Jordan along the Syrian frontier because there is some overriding reason to involve ourselves in yet another arab muslim war. I was a few months away from deploying the first time when Reagan deployed the U.S. Marines to Lebanon for no particular purpose. Since Vietnam, the President has sent Marines to act nobly in a many places around the world.

Recall that in Vietnam it began with a mission to defend an air base.

It calls to mind the beginning of the 20th century. Funny how we have lined up to repeat this insanity

again in the 21st century.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


I like both of these. My girl is totally onboard with deserving her fair share but other than not liking girls she pretty much rejects the rest.

Second picture taken from 2nd Amendment via Moonbattery and Maggie's Farm who was also poster of the picture of the first part.

Just think. In a decade or two the NSA will be able to read your thoughts and determine if there are any thought crimes or unauthorized thoughts in there and then Thom Cruise will make a movie about it.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Some days I wonder if the people that dreamed up the Liberator pistol were really on to something. There are any number of fascists out there that need a good shooting.


I was reading over at oldafsarge last night and he had a nice post about Apollo 11 and Apollo 13 and that made me wonder. I know why 11 matters so much and they made a movie about 13. What about the rest?

I delved into the mystery at our old friend wikipedia. Naturally, I started with Apollo 12. Who ever heard of it? The link is to the story of an unmanned lander that NASA bounced off the moon 3 times back in 1967. Very droll. It was there that I learned why we never hear about the rest of the Apollo missions. It turns out they were the very first space vandals and interplanetary hooligans.

Caught in the act. Astronaut vandalizing Surveyor Probe and stealing parts
As you can see from the photo, they already got the wheels off and came back for the panels. This is a full size picture from NASA.

What an awesome country we are.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


this happened:
I clipped it out of Navy Times when it appeared over 20 years ago and it adorned my freezer door ever since. I left it behind in San Diego a couple of years ago with all that remained. Jeff Bacon was kind enough to email it to me last night.

They say that a joke should never be explained but this is outside the norm since it's all jargon. The cartoon shows an extremely bad day in the life of a bridge officer. He wants a man off the bow of the ship while the conning officer is ordering the helmsman to steer a new course. The ships helicopter needs the ship to head into the wind in order to land safely while the engine room is reporting that the ship's main propulsion is compromised and with it, perhaps all power and light. The Combat Information Center is reporting that another ship out there is on a constant bearing, decreasing range which translates as, it's going to hit us. Finally, the helmsman reports that he no longer has control of the rudder since the steering machinery has failed. The Commanding Officer's attention though is taken by one really crucial bit of data. Nobody had polished all the little brass cover-plates and handles.

It's a wonderful picture about how some people get totally lost in the minutia.

 As Inspector Clouseau would say, "You raving Oriental idiot! There is a time and a place for everything, Cato!"

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


In an amazing scoop, Islets News Service (INS), has found that the entire story pitched by Glenn Greenwald and the Guardian about NSA domestic surveillance, is a complete fabrication. While the NSA does, in fact, spy on every single form of electronic communication known to man, it doesn't call it PRISM and it never employed Mr. Snowden.

Attorney General Holder raises fist to the sky and screams, "No Justice!" Vows to finally get to the bottom of the Vince Foster case and not hesitate to share the gory details. Claims it has nothing to do with Hillary, who, after all, was a New Zealand bee keeper famous for something or other.

In some place detached from reality, militarists in the Pentagon are pondering how to keep 13,000 American troops in Afghanistan after the pullout. The plan is for them to do something to earn their pay and they should suffer greatly for the pleasure of it. Suggestions that they patrol the border were met with howls of protest from Ottawa. We're not sure if they meant that border or the one with Iran or Pakistan.

The palace sent along a picture of His Excellency carrying his own damned umbrella. It was half open and carried below the waist. Our correspondent suspects H.E .الفائز  doesn't know how to carry a brolly in the rain.

 ROTC graduates were commissioned in San Diego last week. When I was commissioned thirty years ago, none of us had a single medal or ribbon. I'm rather pleased that so many prior enlisted are taking the scholarship and the commission. God help us though if these twits get their way. Face it. We'd look ridiculous dressed in purple uniforms:
A little bit goes a long way:

Monday, June 10, 2013


The whole entire NSA is spying on us thing is cause for alarm. I was initially curious about why they would do it so blatantly and think that mere secrecy was going to keep one of our summer patriots from bleating the news far and wide but I think I've figured it out now. The Force say they use the powers of evil to spy on our enemies. OK. Initially, I wondered what effect this had on our enemies but then it occurred to me, those drones don't just fly over those muslim terrorists all over the world based on nothing. Nope. They got good solid intelligence on those dirtbags and the drones are sort of a polite note asking them to cease to exist.

Fine. Got that. But consider. We used to have a tool called Human Intelligence that made up part of the equation in finding and bending, folding and spindling our enemies. How would you like to be the asset on the ground in muslimbackwardistan feeding good solid intelligence to the Force when they have guys in suits in air conditioned suites in Fort Meade  and Langley who can get the same intelligence you got at the risk of your life, just from listening to Achmed talking to his mom on the cell phone?

Yep. You'll know that the NSA and CIA are bearing the costs of the sequestration when you get downsized into itty bitty chunks alongside your muslim informants by a drone strike.

Some day I'll post my rules distilled from years with the military bureaucracy but for now it's enough to share the first rule.

I wouldn't trust those NSA or CIA weasels any further than the blast radius of Hellfire. Trust no one.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Passed this car the other day on the way to the Lake.

We weren't all that keen about following her.


At the flag and general officer level it is all politics. There' no point in debating it. It was always that way. It took merit above and beyond to make it the first star but that's just the prelude to a long climb up the slippery slope of raw politics.

Pity the USAF who have just eviscerated themselves....with a little help from a harpy in the U.S. Senate. This tragedy was nominally about an Army 2 star in Japan who was relieved a week early   for "allegedly failing to report or properly investigate an allegation of sexual assault, the Army said Friday."

Set that poor bastard aside since this is the news and they seldom get the facts right anyway. Consider the second half of the article that addresses the Air Force office formerly run by a Lieutenant Colonel who was allegedly assaulting women and beaten up by one for his troubles. That office is now to be led by "Maj. Gen. Margaret H. Woodward, who ran the U.S. portion of the allied air campaign over Libya in 2011 and is one of the Air Force's brightest stars. A command pilot with more than 3,800 flight hours, she flew aerial refueling aircraft and commanded air operations in numerous U.S. military operations, including the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. As commander of 17th Air Force, based in Germany, she commanded the U.S. portion of the allied air campaign over Libya in 2011. Most recently she served as the Air Force's chief of safety."

What a slap in the face for a fine officer.

What was the harpy's involvement? She "remains steadfast in blocking the nomination of Air Force Lt. Gen. Susan Helms, tapped to serve as vice commander of the U.S. Space Command, over serious concerns with Helms' decision to overturn a jury conviction in a sexual assault case."

 Everybody put your hands together for our new Commissar!


I admire the graduate's attempt to speak his own mind when given the microphone at his High School graduation ceremony where he was permitted not to speak because he was the class Valedictorian. I am filled again with hope for our times when a school system has had the full time shaping and molding of a young man's brain for 12 years and cannot rely upon the graduate to stay between the lines when given an open microphone. Some would reach for the
others throw the switch.

Good for you Remington Reimer.

Saturday, June 8, 2013


Working for the man.
There should be a law against this sort of child slavery.

Friday, June 7, 2013


From the beginning the systems were created to spy on people. Echelon and Prism and every other means of spying on people applied to you too.
You seriously thought that just because they said it was designed to spy on the Soviet Union that it would not be turned on you? Srsly?
The people that designed and built these systems didn't do it because they wanted to know.

They did it because they wanted to control.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


I declare that if I was young and being schooled in this country now, I'd never hesitate to pull out the ole "I didn't say GUN!" trick to get out of school or an exam or ...
After all, it cannot be illegal to just say the word gun, the stonings are virtual and there is no such thing as a permanent record. Just saying.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


One of the issues I didn't discuss yesterday was what happens after even a simple Captain's Mast. All of those cases, probably a hundred or more, were settled to the mutual agreement of the command and the sailor. In other words, it was a fair cop. The accused did do the crime and did get caught. Nobody went to jail. On my third ship the command philosophy dictated that anybody found guilty of drug use be separated from the navy and that is what was ordered at Mast. I viewed that as unfortunate but acceptable.

What follows is about the Navy and it applies to all of the cases I know of. It does not apply to the other services at all in so far as I know. I know an Air Force officer that went through NJP 3 times before he was promoted to captain. He failed to zip his jacket precisely 3/4 of the way up and twice had a messy BOQ room. We didn't play that game on the ships at sea.

There is something basic that is lost after a man has been to Mast and found guilty; Trust.

Running around in the Persian Gulf for a year we were always critically undermanned. The navy of the early 80's didn't care. When I say undermanned I mean it. Most watches on the ship underway were stood port and starboard. For engineers watches inport were also port and starboard. That said, when 12 engineers were busted for drug abuse after a month in Pakistan the Chief Engineer was adamant that he would not have them in his engine rooms ever again. He no longer trusted them and in a 600 pound steam propulsion plant one little mistake or failure to do the proper thing could lead to catastrophic damage, death and injury. There was no trust.

Back in the Persian Gulf in the late 80's I had a Commanding Officer who busted a pair of Petty Officers for the alleged crime of sleeping on watch. He didn't consider trust after reducing them in rate, fining their pay and restricting them to the ship. He had not told the Senior Watch Officer that he did not trust them anymore. He did not relieve them of their duties or watch standing requirements.

He saw one the sailors a few hours after Captain's Mast.  The Petty Officer was standing armed topside security watch in Sitrah Anchorage, Bahrain just before Operation Praying Mantis.
As he said to me a few minutes later, "Jesus Christ, Curt! All I saw was the gun!"

I laughed my head off. Photo courtesy of Sondrakistan.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Google was ordered by a U.S. District Court Judge to turn over to the FBI all information demanded by the FBI using warrantless demands for customer information.

So Google must comply.
  Me? I'd be sure to include every snippet of data from every account under Google control that was used by any judge, politician, lawyer and law enforcement officer or their spouses and families.  Just to be sure.


We hear from our charming Congress that perhaps the power that the Uniform Code of Military Justice and Manual for Courts Martial gives too much leeway to be allowed to remain in the hands of military officers who are too timid and hidebound and who fail to comprehend that the law serves first the political objectives of the ruling class.

I can live with that and so can you. You won't like it though.

The legislators (2 or 3) were utterly outraged that the Convening Authorities for a couple of Courts Martial, tossed out the verdicts after the awe and splendor, not to say panoply and dignity of a full blown trial with Judge and Jury. They believe that this sort of high-handed unbridled contempt for the law by two officers acting with the full authority of the law, compromises national security and the laws must be changed to take away such egregiously abused authority.

OK, I'm laughing too hard to really type this. What is left unstated is that nobody at all in the military at any level wants to have anything to do with the court martial aspect of the law because that is unbelievably painful and time consuming and it fails on almost every level to deliver swift justice, good order and discipline. Simple matters that are indeed low crimes can be handled expeditiously at Captain's Mast and have been for centuries. This isn't good enough anymore because the myrmidons are too appallingly stupid to understand that women don't like to be groped, harassed, attacked, etc. Well, nobody does. We used to try to deal with those at CAPTAIN'S MAST.

One of the differences between Captain's Mast and Court Martial though is this; you can be processed, found guilty and disciplined fairly severely in a day using Mast. If you try the same case in a court of law then you need to have actual evidence which is not required at Captain's Mast oddly enough. You need to have actual bonafide, certified, licensed lawyers to represent the accused and the military. You need an actual judge. You need all the witnesses to appear for the prosecution and defense.

Let me cite two such cases lately in the news of the realm. There is the case against Private Manning who delivered hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the entire world because he felt like it. That little weasel was arrested 3 years ago. Yesterday his case finally went to trial.
The other open and shut legal case is that of Major Hasan who shot and killed 13 people and shot and wounded 32 other people at Fort Hood when he reverted to type on 5 November 2009. As you can see from the Timeline for Hasan Judicial Process, this case has not yet gone to trial.

That above is the price of justice the way some Congresswoman wish it to be although I suspect that they'd prefer some nicely trained little commissars who, like the muttawa, are not bound by any law or regulation or decency but act with the full authority of the State, as they see fit. You can see from all the forgoing why any sane officer runs at the words Court Martial or JAG. We have a mission to execute and odd as it may sound, our mission is incompatible with almost every single aspect of Military Justice as practiced in the MCM. Oh yeah, we'll screw our courage to the sticking point and do it, painful and wasteful as it is, for the tiny handful of cases that merit such overkill; rape, murder, mutiny; serious no-shit crimes. We just don't see any utility in doing it for he said/she said cases or where the complaint is lodged with the command a year after the facts in question are alleged to have happened.
I realize that this sounds cold-blooded and it is. Ships and squadrons deploy all the time. How do they send back to the U.S. all the witnesses for a trial that may last months? Same for the Army and Air Force. It cannot be deferred because the accused is actually entitled to a swift trial even if his actions or legal counsel's actions strive to delay it as long as possible. The military isn't permitted to say, "wait a year or so for us to return from deployment."

This isn't total ignorance you're reading. I've been on every side of the military justice system. I was ship's legal officer on my first ship and set up a number of Captain's Masts. They were uniformly swift, effective and enhanced good order and discipline. I was, on the same ship, written up 5 times for infractions of the UCMJ by the First Lieutenant and Bosun. We proceeded to Executive Officer Inquiry and each time I was excused and painful strips were torn off my nemesis for being willfully and persistently stupid.

As a Commanding Officer I held Mast and even referred one case to a General Court Martial. In my last command, as acting commodore I initiated the legal process that led to a quite infamous court martial of which you may have heard. In between I was an Investigating Officer, and served as XO who held XOI, and member and senior member of Administrative Separation Boards.

It may seem that Captain's Mast cannot hold people sufficiently to account for the crimes they do. This is true. That is why we have the MCM. But consider, first and foremost, we don't want this sort of behavior at our command. We want it gone. Mast gave the Commander everything he needed to deal with dirtbags and THROW them out of the service immediately. There was also the brig, and bread and water and restriction and extra military instruction and forfeiture of pay but the real benny was getting rid of the dirtbags instantly. And that's what we did with them.

I think that the current system we have works well enough. It has flaws because all things have flaws but they are usually minor and do not result in any great injustice. I prefer it to the more widespread application of the LAW or the imposition of commissars.

Monday, June 3, 2013


As you like.

pic from American Digest and a reflection of my attitude toward people who park in the way.


This is painfully funny.

Sunday, June 2, 2013


A few days hence will mark the anniversary of an amphibious invasion that was so epic in scale, planning and ferocity that it could not be repeated again today or even in 10 years. In its losses it rivaled the deaths and injuries of some of the smaller battles of the Great War.

The following is taken verbatim from the D Day Museum and Operation OVERLORD.

"In April and May 1944, the Allied air forces lost nearly 12,000 men and over 2,000 aircraft in operations which paved the way for D-Day.

The Allied casualties figures for D-Day have generally been estimated at 10,000, including 2500 dead. Broken down by nationality, the usual D-Day casualty figures are approximately 2700 British, 946 Canadians, and 6603 Americans. However recent painstaking research by the US National D-Day Memorial Foundation has achieved a more accurate - and much higher - figure for the Allied personnel who were killed on D-Day. They have recorded the names of individual Allied personnel killed on 6 June 1944 in Operation Overlord, and so far they have verified 2499 American D-Day fatalities and 1915 from the other Allied nations, a total of 4414 dead (much higher than the traditional figure of 2500 dead). Further research may mean that these numbers will increase slightly in future. The details of this research will in due course be available on the Foundation's website at This new research means that the casualty figures given for individual units in the next few paragraphs are no doubt inaccurate, and hopefully more accurate figures will one day be calculated.

Casualties on the British beaches were roughly 1000 on Gold Beach and the same number on Sword Beach. The remainder of the British losses were amongst the airborne troops: some 600 were killed or wounded, and 600 more were missing; 100 glider pilots also became casualties. The losses of 3rd Canadian Division at Juno Beach have been given as 340 killed, 574 wounded and 47 taken prisoner.
The breakdown of US casualties was 1465 dead, 3184 wounded, 1928 missing and 26 captured. Of the total US figure, 2499 casualties were from the US airborne troops (238 of them being deaths). The casualties at Utah Beach were relatively light: 197, including 60 missing. However, the US 1st and 29th Divisions together suffered around 2000 casualties at Omaha Beach.

The total German casualties on D-Day are not known, but are estimated as being between 4000 and 9000 men.

Naval losses for June 1944 included 24 warships and 35 merchantmen or auxiliaries sunk, and a further 120 vessels damaged.

Over 425,000 Allied and German troops were killed, wounded or went missing during the Battle of Normandy. This figure includes over 209,000 Allied casualties, with nearly 37,000 dead amongst the ground forces and a further 16,714 deaths amongst the Allied air forces. Of the Allied casualties, 83,045 were from 21st Army Group (British, Canadian and Polish ground forces), 125,847 from the US ground forces. The losses of the German forces during the Battle of Normandy can only be estimated. Roughly 200,000 German troops were killed or wounded. The Allies also captured 200,000 prisoners of war (not included in the 425,000 total, above). During the fighting around the Falaise Pocket (August 1944) alone, the Germans suffered losses of around 90,000, including prisoners."

 This photograph of children playing on Omaha Beach in 1947 is one of the many by Chim.

What remains is an entire continent of people that will not fight for anything. Just like their ancestors who survived the Great War they cannot conceive of anything  that is worth the cost of war and they have, one and all, decided to fight no more.

The 6th of June will mark the 69th anniversary of Overlord. Surely it is a comfort to know that no nation or coalition of nations on earth could execute anything at all like that again today. On the other hand, it does make one sorry for those that have fallen under the shadow of a great evil and cannot count on any hope of salvation from the West.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


I am a sucker for little bits that remain long after the sound of the thunder. This is a little window onto a place that is no more and a time and people that have been displaced by history. It takes a little over 5 minutes and it is easily the only color film of this era that you're ever likely to see.