Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pirates. Lots of 'em.

Nick Davis has been making the rounds on the news shows promoting his firm Anti-Piracy Maritime Security Solutions that uses non-lethal methods to prevent pirate attacks. Matter of fact, he had a report on VOA earlier this week that claimed a 100% effectiveness rate in deterrence.

Not any more.

So the pirates have automatic weapons. And you're going to get on the news and tell them that you intend to deter their automatic weapons with... loudspeakers?

C'mon guys. These are pirates, not protesters.
The Good Stuff

I've noticed that quite a few of my blog posts tend toward the negative. Whining about this or that. I guess that comes because, not being a regular diarist, I need a little extra motivation to write. Things that spin me up tend to provide that motivation.

But I'm not a whiner.

So here's some commentary on the something positive.

Barack Obama showed some class today with his statement on the Mumbai attacks

"The United States must stand with India and all nations and people who are committed to destroying terrorist networks, and defeating their hate-filled ideology.

"There is one president at a time. I will continue to closely monitor the situation on the ground in Mumbai, and am grateful for the cooperation of the Bush Administration in keeping me and my staff updated. We fully support the Bush Administration's efforts to protect American citizens and assist the government of India during this tragic time,"

I see this as a positive in a couple ways.

(1) committed to destroying terrorist networks, and defeating their hate-filled ideology.

No nuance there. I especially like the recognition that the enemy must be defeated on the battlefield of ideas. Not sure whether destroying the networks means military or law enforcement action, but the language is what warriors should want to hear. Our warriors can destroy all kinds of networks.

(2) "There is one president at a time... We fully support the Bush Administration's efforts..."

The campaign is over. No ranting about misguided policies, incompetence, ill motives, or wrong war, wrong place.

This sets the right tone for the incoming administration. The out-of-power Democrats have consistently set a tone of ugliness over the last few years. They didn't argue policy, they argued that Republicans had ill will, evil motives. One of the things I look forward to (as a conservative, not necessarily a Republican) is being able to criticize the Obama administration while not questioning their motives. I would rather argue ideas.

The president elect has set the right tone.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pirates, Lots of 'em

BZ to the Indian Navy

AP says they scored a rare success by sinking a pirate ship.

Why is success so rare? And why isn't the US Navy achieving it? Except for IA and aircrew, we didn't get on board with winning the Iraq, are we now DIW when it comes to defending the SLOC? Waiting for a coalition?

Where is Stephen Decatur when you need him?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pirates. Lots of 'em.
(or Where the hell is my Navy and What have you done with it?)

Pirates are much in the news nowadays. Lex had a post that made me wonder, what ever happened to Sea Lines of Communication? Defending and protecting the SLOC was what the Navy I belonged to was all about.

What's the latest thinking? Google and Dogpile didn't have much, so thought I'd check out the site.

I search on "defend SLOC" and look.

One hit? One hit? And it's an article from ten years ago. That can't be right.
Maybe the search engine on the site doesn't work. For comparison, let's try another term, say "new uniforms."

Geez. Our Navy doesn't talk about SLOC any more? WTF over.

Like I said at the top. Where is the hell my Navy and what have you done with it?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Slim Majority

There is a TIME article that lead with the sentence "Ever since a slim majority outlawed gay marriage in California, opponents have waged national protests and petitions, urging the judicial system to reconsider the results of the Nov. 4 referendum."

Last I heard, Prop 8 had passed by about 400,000 votes. Turns out it was over a half million. Slim Margin? Maybe, compared to what? I thought I'd compare it to President-elect Obama's victory, which I had not heard described as a slim margin.

Here are the results:

Obama garnered 52.69% of the votes cast for President. (66,744,742 out of 126,662,211) Prop 8 garnered 52.15% of the votes cast for or against it.

So Obama's popular vote majority was half a percentage point higher than the slim majority Prop 8 got. How was his win described by TIME?


(Note: In case you're curious about my stance on Prop 8... I view that marriage is a sacred bond between a man and a woman, a sacrament. As a sacrament, it is an article of religious faith and none of the government's damn business. My God says a man marrying a man ain't right, but your God may see it differently. That's a theological discussion that I don't want the government involved in.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fun With Photoshop

Amid all the discussion about this season of media bias and manipulation... here's a friendly reminder

It's what they do.

(roll mouse over and off the images)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On Veteran's Day

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." George Orwell

The good Commander Salamander has posted In Flanders Fields. Quite fitting for this 90th anniversary of the end of the Great War. On Veteran's Day I remember those who served. The Orwell quote above, and "Tommy" below are two of my favorites.

Tommy by Rudyard Kipling

I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!

On Veteran's Day, we remember!
Vacuum the Plane

Over at Lex's place, we got to reminiscing about flying the P-3. Somehow vacuuming the plane came up. Towards the end of a flight, we use a hose that looks like the hose you vacuum a pool with to vacuum the inside of the plane. You stick one end into the sextant port and the suction makes it work.

In 1981, as a young CTI3 on one of my first dets with VQ as we neared Kef I was told to vacuum the plane.
“When the FE tells you, open that little vent above the Nav station and stick this hose in it.”
Yeah, there was some cannister in the bag he handed me, but I didn’t know where that went. He had told me to stick the hose in the hole, never said anything about a cannister. It must be like vacuuming a pool.
So I stick the hose in the hole and hop down to begin vacuuming. Imagine my surprise as I watch about 20 feet of plastic hose disappear up through that hole. I can still remember the “zzzip” sound it made.
You should’ve seen the look on my supe’s face when I told him, “The hose went out.”

After we land in Kef, this little Air Force pick up drives up with our vacuum hose in the bed. The damn thing had wrapped around the long wire antennas and fallen off the plane when we landed.
That explained that bumping noise we could hear in the aft of the plane after “the hose went out.”

On Veteran's Day, remember those who served.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Obama's International Brigades

Watch this and then tell me...

Foreign campaign volunteers? International brigades? WTF?

Obama, Presidente del Mundo
Obama, Obama Uber Alles
Обама, президент мира

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Well John,

How'd that campaign finance reform thing work out for ya?

On a lighter note, now that the Republican party has had it's ass kicked, maybe they should do some navel gazing and figure out why.

I've got a hint. How 'bout the fact that they got forgot their priniciples, the Reagan values of conservatism. Less government, less spending, lower taxes.

By lining up at the pig trough of big legislation (No Child Left Behind),big pharma (Medicare Drug act), big banks (protect credit card companies), and big earmarks, they became completely incoherent.

I've often said that Democrats have no principles, only policies. The Republicans caught the same illness and lost.

Align with the national values, fix it, or continue to lose.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Dread Cow makes an Appearance

Fun with hand grenades
has his first post up in months. He's in country now. If you have read his blog before, give in a read, the writing is well worth the time. He had a real rough patch there a while back.

Glad to see he's whole.