Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Modern Sporting Rifle

I think this is a good idea...

"The National Shooting Sports Foundation is trying to rebuild the image of the AR-15 rifle and you can help. The NSSF has coined the term Modern Sporting Rifle to more accurately describe the AR-15 platform and is asking that shooters do the same. The NSSF asks you to be an informed gun owner and to use the following facts to correct misconceptions about these rifles."

Language is important. This has a decent ring to it...
Let's take the MSR-K to the range today.
Ammo's cheaper than for the MSR-A than the MSR-FN
Bubba just got a deal on an old MSR-C

*Modern Sporting Rifle - Kalashnikova.
*Modern Sporting Rifle - Armalite.
*Modern Sporting Rifle - Fabrique National
*Modern Sporting Rifle - CETME

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Story I Never Heard

While I was finding useful links to the incidents that killed the spooks listed on my Memorial Day post, I came across this story regarding the EC-121 Willy Victor shootdown by the North Koreans. The author is not named, but it was purportedly published as a letter in CRYPTOLOG (the journal of the Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association, NCVA.)

Two of the CTs came from NSGA Hakata (across the bay from Fukuoka, Japan)
(also known as US Army Field Station Hakata and Air Force Hakata Air
Station. The two men were CTC Richard "Snuffy" Smith and, as my memory
serves, CT2 Joe Tesmer, They went TAD to Kamiseya the day prior to the
Concerning the flight. I was on duty in Room One of the Operations
building at the time of the shootdown. (Morse collector). Taking a break, I
was on my way to the snack bar and had to walk past rooms two through six
before intersecting the aisle where the snack bar was located.
The Air Force collectors were in room five.
As I walked down the hall and past the AF room five I heard emergency air
tracking coming across an open speaker. I looked in the room and there we
no operators at their positions. None. I immediately ran back to room one,
dialed up the frequency on the "floaters" position and started copying the
tracking. By that time it was too late, although our P&R shop sent out an
As to the AF people who should have been at their positions, they were
scattered around the building doing various personal things. The fallout
was that the 2nd LT and the senior NCO on duty were reprimanded and I
believe, both denied continued service past their existing contracts.
I've always felt that if someone had remained in room five, our plane
would have been alerted and would have broken its track and headed back to

This is a story I had never heard. For some reason it never made it into the lore around the shootdown. The idea that operators responsible for monitoring the air tracking would abandon their positions during a mission is horrifying. That such negligence, resulting in the loss of an aircraft and crew, might go unpunished is equally disturbing.

Of course, the procedures we relied on to keep us aware of enemy observation and intentions in the 1980's may have been the result of changes made after the loss of the Willy Victor, the USS Pueblo, and the attack on the USS Liberty. Those three years, 1967, 1968, and 1969 were dark for Navy Cryptologists. I just amazes me that we ever could have been so casual about it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

More on Veterans' Day

MCO at Blackfive wrote this in 2006

"...Most vets have never seen combat in the sense we think of it. But every single solitary one of them has contributed in vital ways to the success of our combat efforts and making this the finest military ever. Without those who support the combat troops, success would impossible. Without the wrench turners, truck drivers, fuel handlers, cooks, clerks and all those like them, the greatest military the world has ever seen is an "also ran."

It doesn't matter what a vet did during his or her service, it matters that he or she chose to serve and do whatever vital job they were assigned to the best of their ability. It isn't about medals, it isn't about glory, it isn't about what job they did. It is about the fact that when their country called, they stood up and answered. They are all, every one of them, heroes.

To all the vets out there - Happy Veteran's Day"

It applies to the all the men and women who served. When you go to that 60th anniversary reunion, it doesn't really matter to the nation who was an undesignated striker, who was a plane captain, or a machinist mate. What matters to the nation is that you were there when they needed you.
On Veteran's Day

On the 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month, a salute to America's Veterans. Also a salute to the wives and husbands of those who served. While we were out flying, riding, or walking somewhere, they held down the home front. And worried.

Years later my wife told me of how her heart would sink if they saw an official car with people in dress uniforms drive into housing during the day. Those of us deployed mostly knew what were we facing, and what we were facing it with, and whether the day was going to be relaxing on a beach somewhere or out on a mission. For those at home, we were just gone. Away. In danger. The stress of that not knowing and nagging worry must have been hard to bear. But they did. They waited for us.

So on Veteran's day, while we remember the service of the veteran, pause a moment and thank those who give him something to come home to.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

NY-23 is following the lead of GA-10

As I listen to the coverage and posturing over the significance of the upset of the GOP establishment in the NY-23 Congressional election, I am baffled at the commentary about how new this is.

It's only new because the GOP establishment is just now starting to get it. (They didn't understand the Tea Party movement in April.) But for those who were looking, this rumbling made its first appearance back in 2007 in the special election to replace Charlie Norwood.

There was a heavy primary field, and I wrote about my discomfort with the establishment candidate, Jim Whitehead, at the time. But he wound up "coming out on top of the ten-candidate June 19 special election with 43.5% of the vote to Broun’s 20.7%"

Then in a surprise runoff, although Esquire humbly labeled it the "The Least Important Election in U.S. History," Paul Broun came from behind to win.

Now take a look at Broun's primary numbers - 20%... that's about the same that Hoffman was getting as an anti-establishment candidate (before the big guns started endorsing him).

The core has been unhappy for a while now.

BZ to John Nichols at the Nation. He got it. He wrote about it at the time.

"Whitehead responded by attacking Broun, using the standard anti-gay, anti-crime rhetoric of the party's congressional leadership.
It didn't work. And there is a lesson here for those who suggest that the dip in the popularity of Congress is merely a problem for Democrats. The disdain for Washington's way of doing things appears to be bipartisan."

We are still on that trajectory. Is the GOP awake yet?