Friday, December 29, 2006


Ennui: a feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction.

It's applicable to my mood and a fun word to say. Apathy, boredom, other similar meaning words just don't roll off the tongue as well. Curious that it's a French word...

Millions of my fellow citizens do not see Islamic Imperialism as a threat, if they do they are convinced that it's somehow our fault and we kind of deserve it.

Many of those same citizens seem to have a suicidal disconnect from reality. Just to pick two groups that should be waving red flags of warning. Gays and feminists should be saying something like "We hate Bush, but as it stands, he's our first line of defense!"

Our vaunted First Amendment is held up as a sacred right, our press trumpets it as it hides from another reality. Sharia law doesn't seem to even acknowledge that idea.

Nope, silence might be understandable, but actively working towards your own demise is not.

In a few days I expect to be in Southwest Florida, playing in and on the water for a couple of weeks. Maybe, just maybe, I can explore something other than fools and foolishness.

Maybe even shake the ennui for a while?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Nightmare, sorta?

I have a young e-friend in the Army. He's in Ramadi just now, but his unit is down to less than 60 days and counting. I've linked to him before... he is an odd duck to an old fart like myself, but his ass is out there in my place and I respect that down to my toenails.

Jeez, less than 2 months to go. The levels of stress really haven't been too bad out here either. I just seem to can't concentrate as well as I used to be able to, and I'm still trying to figure out why. Out on an earlier mission, we had a small incident, and I just couldn't focus..I don't know what the hell happened to me. I didn't panic. I just couldn't think clearly. Fortunately nothing happened. When we got back to camp, my squad leader pulled me asside from everyone else and asked if anything was wrong. I have no family problems back home, no issues or problems of anything really. From time to time I just feel drained and burned out from the year of being out here..

Read the rest.

My excursions to Viet Nam were not linked to the idea of some DEROS thing, his is... as it was for many of you. I don't even know his real name, but he's from Florida.

Drop him a comment, I told him to focus so I wouldn't have to bring flowers to his grave. Done that enough.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Mercenary: one that serves merely for wages; especially : a soldier hired into foreign service.

This Boston Globe article raises some truly fascinating questions:

WASHINGTON -- The armed forces, already struggling to meet recruiting goals, are considering expanding the number of noncitizens in the ranks -- including disputed proposals to open recruiting stations overseas and putting more immigrants on a faster track to US citizenship if they volunteer -- according to Pentagon officials.


"No doubt many would be willing to serve for some set period, in return for one of the world's most precious commodities -- US citizenship. Some might deride those who sign up as mercenaries, but these troops would have significantly different motives than the usual soldier of fortune."

Read the rest.

I have little issue with the idea, save the rather disgusting corollary that we can't expect current American citizens to show up in the numbers needed.

Ya know, the idea really supports Kerry's notion that only the young and dumb would choose to serve in the military. We have to seek the 'young and dumber' from other countries to fill our ranks!

Much more could be said, but I'll wait until I calm down a bit.


I've calmed down enough to avoid foul language and general invective.

What does it say about a country when it can't find recruits from within? Looking outside for fresh ideas and/or particular expertise makes sense. Looking outside for warriors to protect us is a whole other 'can 'o worms'.

There is a spiral forming... maybe even a whirlpool not unlike the swirl of the flushed toilet? Americans eschew firearms and other forms of self defense in favor of dependence on law enforcement. Many Americans don't grasp where their Chicken McNuggets actually come from. It wasn't long ago that a survey of big city kids demonstrated a lack of understanding of where milk came from.

We can't field a military without foreign parts and supplies, now we can't field a military without foreign recruits!

There's a cold slap in the face coming, 9/11 wasn't enough... what will it take? The very question is enough to send me more fully to survival mode or raise my pessimism to the level of paranoia.

"Think of it as evolution in action!" The quote is stolen from "Oath of Fealty", a 1982 novel by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. Just giving credit.

But it fits well as part of the forming spiral I mentioned. A citizen doesn't know where their food comes from, doesn't know where their freedoms come from, and apparently doesn't care about those and more, do they deserve to survive?

Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...

That doesn't seem to apply to 'the, fat, dumb, and happy, yearning to do nothing'.


Saturday, December 23, 2006

When in Rome...

Orson Scott Card has an interesting historical analysis up.

I'll cut to the chase here, but it the piece should be read in it's entirety.

Here's how it happens: America stupidly and immorally withdraws from the War on Terror, withdrawing prematurely from Iraq and leaving it in chaos. Emboldened, either Muslims unite against the West (unlikely) or collapse in a huge war between Shiites and Sunnis (already beginning). It almost doesn't matter, because in the process the oil will stop flowing.

And when the oil stops flowing, Europe and Japan and Taiwan and Singapore and South Korea all crash economically; Europe then has to face the demands of its West-hating Muslim "minority" without money and without the ruthlessness or will to survive that would allow them to counter the threat. The result is accommodation or surrender to Islam. The numbers don't lie -- it is not just possible, it is likely.

Read the rest.

The process is rooted in specialization. I've been fiddling around the periphery and never put the pieces together as has Card.

There's a corollary issue that he doesn't address squarely and that's how the transnational bent of business has directly weakened the west by weakening our military capability.

Friday, December 15, 2006

So What?

There are a couple curiosities that are causing me trouble.

For one: Across the political spectrum there is the notion that our current all volunteer military is the best ever fielded. Also that they're the best educated and motivated.

Secondly: There's the notion that our military can defeat anything thrown at them.

For the first: In case there is room for misunderstanding, our current military is better educated, but they are no better motivated than any in our past. Except for a very few, every military force we've fielded in the past has been exemplary.

For the second: I'm convinced that that our military is undermanned and lacks reserve capability, both manpower and logistic wise, to actually prosecute this war. More importantly they can not prosecute any expansion of consequence.

In practical terms... could we stand up a new armored division using only American made components? Can we maintain existing hardware with only American made repair parts?

Our current military force is based on fraud! This fraud has nothing, in the least, to do with the earnestness or direct capabilities of the 'boot on the ground' types... or the pilots in their hi-tech aircraft.

I lay this at the feet of Rumsfeld and those who supported this odd transnational concept of military supply and demand.

Stop and invert the common wisdom with this loose analogy. I own the the finest classic car in the world. To drive it it, though, I need fuel from the middle east, repair/replacement parts from China, and insurance from someone who hates cars.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Spitting on Soldiers?

H/T to 'Old Fart' in our OWD forum

I don't recollect if one of these incidents has ever been raised to this level before. And normally links, as cited by OF, in many colors and lots of bold face are off-putting.

In this case a short Google excursion supports the info. The Jawa Report has noted the case.

As one who was spit at, not on, I feel it may be time to do something about this, 'old fart' offers some ideas.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Hmmm, not guilty - I think?

I do not make a habit of cited Blackfive, I figure most read him at least once a day. However, this post prompted me to comment there, and bring this issue to your attention as well.

You have the finest army in the world, America. Best equipped, highly trained, and already established on the ground in Iraq. If the people at home stopped merely wishing things would get better, and tell us to make them better no matter what, it would. We are ready to fight, are you?

I commented, in part:

JTAS: Nope, I will not join in the collective guilt of 'YOU' Americans. I feel qualified, as a Viet Nam Veteran, to acknowledge your frustration - you are simply not the first to decry ridiculous restraints! However, short of taking up arms, I (and many others) have been doing what I/we can.

Your points are well taken, but your use of such a broad brush is disappointing.

It amounts to a fascinating replay of historical events. Sadly, it's a replay I've posted about many times in the past. Restrict the military so they can't win then curse them when they don't. It's one of those 'convenient fictions' I referred to here. Win under 'our' rules or be damned for losing.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

RE: The End is Near? An OWD post.

Rurik's post stirred a few synapses, I opted for a post rather than a comment.

What to do? I am preparing, trying to secure some small part of our civilization and wisdom, trying to create some small understanding of what is really happening, which may be discovered by some new civilization which will surely arise out of the ashes in the future. And when the time comes, I will pick up my sword and shield and hurry to the walls of the city. I'm sure I will meet the rest of the Old War Dogs there.

Burying a time capsule and running to the sound of the guns is a fine survivalist sort of plan. I'm in with the concept.

But I have trouble translating such fine words into actions, even potential actions. I have pursued a survivalist agenda for over ten years. For me that means being secure in my home. How does that translate to picking up my sword and shield and hurry to the walls of the city? At one time I thought about joining one of the many 'militias' extant. There are those that have no racial or religious basis, but paranoia and age nixed that idea.

One idea I've had that gives reality it's due is to pick a state. I'd offer West Virginia... and have every like minded soul move here, hopefully by the thousands. Once we had enough folks to control elections without bloodshed we would do things like authorize a real militia, set term limits, and generally set the agenda for those in the state. The list of possibilities is fascinating. We could put things in our state constitution that would drive the ACLU batty(ier). When confronted with SCOTUS we could hire lawyers to see about seceding. That idea too would be in our state constitution.

Readers, that is the sort of thing that could remake Rurik's words into actions. Anything else may be positive, but amounts to frustrating wishful thinking in the final analysis.

As a way to go, that will sure beat drooling to death in a nursing home.

From my thoughts to Rurik's keyboard.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Oh Boy ! BOHICA alert!

Don Surber comments about something I'd missed.

AP reported tonight that Harry Reid's first act as the Senate leader next year will be to hold a closed-door meeting of the Senate. Such a move is illegal in West Virginia, where two county commissioners cannot get on the same elevator under the state's Open Meeting law.

Read the rest here.

Can anyone visualize how this is a good thing? From the AP:

WASHINGTON - The first thing the new, Democratic-led Senate will do next year is meet in a closed "bipartisan caucus" to help set a more pleasant tone than the relentless backbiting of the Congress now heading home, party leaders said Friday.

Far from lawmakers conducting business in secret - as open-government advocates warn - the meeting would serve only to sweep away grudges and smooth the way for more action, the leaders said.

I can not imagine how to emphasize how WRONG this kind of thinking is!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Rumsfeld, The Iraq Study Group, new Democratic hawks

Donald Rumsfeld was an entertaining, and effective SecDef, however, a reasoned case can be made that many of the things that aided his effectiveness were simply wrong in hindsight.

It's now clear that we should have been expanding the military since 9/11 and I'm convinced that Rumsfeld played a key role in quashing that endeavor, for instance. I'm not talking about 'the draft', I mean simply upping the monthly and yearly number of recruits.


Don Surber has a post up that is causing me some concern about The Iraq Study Group:
Robin Wright of the Washington Post asked Baker if all 79 recommendations are implemented if there will be success in Iraq. Baker hemmed, hawed and said no.

The report itself said: "There is no path that can guarantee success, but the prospects can be improved."

Read whole thing here.

Several bloggers have noted that many people (including some Democrats) are talking about
sending more troops to Iraq. This is a good idea, but why now? What has changed in the last few months that makes this a good plan now when it wasn't such a good idea this past June, or even June of 2005?

There's an old adage about closing the barn door after the horse has gotten out, and maybe this loops back to Rumsfeld. A much bigger issue is where these troops will come from?

Applying Occam's leads me to believe there's much more going on here than meets the eye, and that concerns me greatly.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Convenient Fiction

The Convenient Fiction is a fascinating tool for coping with everyday life. From The Emperor's New Clothes to telling your wife that her new pants do NOT make her ass look fat (even when there are bulges here and there).

We all tend to pick the lies we're willing to tell, hear, and/or ignore.

Many of these CF's are innocent with few real repercussions, but somewhere along the line they can take on an almost religious aspect.

Consider 'gun control'; if we could remove every firearm from the planet in one fell swoop crime would dwindle to nothing. Creating half-assed laws do nothing of the kind.

Immigration is good for the country, illegal immigration must be as well.

Terrorism is a simple law enforcement issue.

The list of dangerous Convenient Fictions seems to be growing daily. I could list dozens, if not hundreds, but the point is that some folks seem lose track of the reality that they are fictions! Indeed, these fictions are stated with a conviction I equate with religious fervor.

By the way... a fiction is a lie, it's not a matter of faith like true religious beliefs. Look around some and see Convenient Fictions for what they are. If you see one that is dangerous remember the kid who pointed out that the Emperor was naked. Sometimes the truth wins.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Oh Hell!

I send them money, but they have no idea what a Viet Nam vet is?

As much as I loathe what Max Cleland has become, he's right on this one.

BOSTON -- The national commander of the American Legion never served in Vietnam although he describes himself as a "Vietnam veteran," a newspaper reported Sunday.

Paul A. Morin, who was elected Aug. 31 to a one-year term as commander of the nation's largest veterans organization, spent his time in the Army from 1972 to 1974 at Fort Dix, N.J., The Boston Sunday Globe reported.

Neither the federal government nor the 2.7 million-member American Legion makes a formal distinction between veterans who served in Vietnam and those known as "Vietnam-era" veterans.

Read the article - H/T FR

Well screw that!

I respect every veteran that served, even those who have become jackasses, but this is very sad.

There's a simple little ribbon:Vietserv

Got it? You're a 'Nam vet! Otherwise you ain't! Gonna be reconsidering my relationship with The Legion.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

And then what?

Decurion has a post up here that asks a reasonable question.

If we pull out of Iraq next year will we be heading back in 10 years or so?

I say there's little chance of that happening.

There are several variables in play.

Saudi Arabia has been exporting Islam quietly for decades, can Iran follow their successful model?

If Iran takes control of most of Iraq will the Saudis move militarily?

I see the 5 years after our withdrawal with a jaundiced eye.

Israel will likely fall at some point, and as bloody as that event will be the various Islamic factions will subsequently show us what a real civil war look like, since we've forgotten.

Europe is making itself impotent, even the threat to their petroleum supply won't be enough to rouse them to action. The Russians and Chinese will build up the capacities of their respective arms industries by selling to the highest bidder.

I see the above happening well before Decurion's 10 year timeline runs out.

If the Muslims do not do another open attack on US soil we will sit on our collective hands and watch from the sidelines.

Our whining will go unnoticed in the din. We'll pay the $10 a gallon gas prices.

There's not a chance in hell any sitting President will send troops to the area.

With a Child Like Sense of Wonder

This is a different kind of post for me... I'm not trying to convince anyone about anything, just framing some issues that puzzle me.

Over the past few years my WTF sense of puzzlement has been growing. Perhaps it's the onset of some age related thing, but I don't think so.

There are some things that are obvious to me and other things that remain obscure regardless of my efforts.

I'm gonna throw a few of my puzzles out there in the hopes that someone wiser than I can penetrate the fog.


A biggie for starters: On 9/11 we were attacked by a Muslim group. More people were killed than at Pearl Harbor. It's clear who did it and why.

There's turn of phrase that I read recently that's apropos. What we are facing is a consensus if not a conspiracy. It has a name: Islam!

It takes many forms, but like cancer, there are few that are truly benign when introduced to the western body politic.

Yet our effete reactions suggest that Islam does indeed possess something we relish? I can think of no other explanation for our behavior. Perhaps like an unruly, mildly self-destructive, youngster we really want limits and structure imposed on our lives?


Another puzzle is abortion. My personal take is that it's an act of violence against a human being. Like surgery or the death penalty it is sanctioned by ourselves under a 'majority rules' form of government. Yet many of the same people who support abortion also support groups like PETA and ELF (among others). People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, for instance, does not extend the same ethical treatment they demand for puppies to the human life form. ELF will risk a logger's life to save a tree.

Granted those are extreme examples of irony or something, and there are lunatic extremists who bomb abortion clinics as well. All that does is add to my puzzlement.


Virtually open borders and a Global War On Terrorism. Hardly needs amplification as to why that's a puzzler.


A system of government where people under investigation for criminal acts get elected to high office. Here in West Virginia we have Representative Mollohan. He is under investigation by the FBI. Yet the Democrats look poised to make Mollohan the chairman of the panel which controls the purse strings for the entire Justice Department -- including the FBI.

Speaking of Murtha - Just what the hell is an un-indicted co-conspirator?
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