10. June 2014 · Comments Off on Secrets and Open Secrets · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun With Islam, GWOT, Military, Politics, Rant, sarcasm, War

It has amused me for years, how ordinary civilians, media figures and scriptwriters for movies and TV shows can believe so strongly that the military is one big monolithic secret-keeping machine; something which happens on a base, post, or on the front lines will never, ever see the light of day in the larger world and that the military commands can keep something quiet for years or decades. If it is something tippy-top secret, and know to only a few – well, yes, in that case. But quite often something – a program, a wild idea, a mission—remains unknown largely on account of lack of interest on the part of the larger world or the establishment news media organs. The military is actually far from being the big monolithic secret-keeping machine, once you get away from the deliberately highly-classified, ultra-secret-squirrel stuff.

During George Bush’s second term, the reporter Seymour Hersh was given to go around giving lectures to anti-war audience claiming that all kinds of horrible massacres were being perpetrated by American troops; massively violent stuff on the order of My Lai in the Middle East, involving scores of victims and whole companies of U.S. Army and Marine troops. Bodies stacked up by the bale, according to Mr. Hersh, who was at least careful enough not to commit these incredible tales to print. Mr. Hersh, I think, has the monolithic military secret-keeping meme on the brain. The atrocities which he was alleging to have happened among front-line troops in Iraq just could not have happened, not without a lot of personnel inside of the military family knowing. The truth is that the possibility of keeping something out of general knowledge in the military world expands geometrically with the number of people involved, directly or peripherally. And nothing much happens in the military world stays secret for long; yes, the knowledge of certain matters may not seep out into the ken of the greater public and the news establishment professionals – but that’s because military members are routinely briefed about OPSEC (operations security) and they don’t spill to outsiders, much. Something that may be common knowledge to those inside the family, as it were, may go for years without attracting undue attention or interest on the part of those outside of it.

Mr. Hersh and other fantasists might well have had an easier job in peddling incredible stories of military malfeasance in pre-internet days; it would take months and years for allegations to make the rounds and for those inside the military family to even become aware of them and respond – and then, of course, it was already over. History had been engraved in stone, as it were; set there by being repeated over and over. Any debunking was too late and too little. But the internet and a generation or two of tech-savvy and social media troops have tightened the OODA loop considerably. It took a good few decades for many of the established memes regarding Vietnam veterans – sullen draftees, drug-abusing, unstable, baby-killing losers – to be debunked by researchers like B. G. Burkett, and even now that meme refuses, zombie-like to lay down and die. It twitches now and again, over the last ten years or so, but refreshingly, military members and veterans today are instantly aware and more than willing to swing into social media action to debunk sensational accusations and to unmask fraudulent veterans – or even to speak out when there is a controversy such as Bowe Bergdahl’s status as a POW or as a deserter. Which brings me around to the thing about secrets. Among the milblogs like Blackfive there was no secret about there being something hinky regarding the circumstances of his disappearance from his duty station in Afghanistan. It wasn’t a big thing, but it came up now and again; one of those open secrets among the milblog family and commenters. Very likely, everyone that he served with and under knew that he was a flakey, unmotivated soldier, and after he went under the wire, a deserter as well. But it was one of those open secrets – which, because the Obama administration didn’t care to look before they leaped into a deal, a distraction and a show and tell in the Rose Garden, has now come back to bite – heavily.

Couldn’t happen to nicer people, I would say; except that whatever does happen next, in the wake of freeing five upper-level operators from Guantanamo, will very likely not land on the Obama administration or it’s high-level flunkies. Most likely, it will land on the rest of us, starting with those in the uniformed services.

(Crossposted at Chicagoboyz.net)

03. June 2014 · Comments Off on Wag the Dog? · Categories: AARRRMY TRAINING SIR!!!, Fun With Islam, Rant, sarcasm · Tags: , , ,

I know, it was a bitterly ironic move, and the novel it was based upon was even more bitterly ironic (Trust me, I read the darned thing –eh – moderately funny, but I fear that the only thing that the move took away from it was the premise) but what we may have here *assuming Strother Martin voice* is called a failure to communicate. I mean the imbroglio with returning Bowe Bergdahl, the only recorded POW from the war in Afghanistan to the bosom of his family, after languishing in durance vile for five long years. More »

11. May 2014 · Comments Off on The Advent of Her Inevitableness · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun With Islam, Politics, Rant, Tea Time, Veteran's Affairs, War · Tags: , , ,

I guess that the over-under bets are already being taken that Hillary Clinton, AKA Her Inevitableness, the former Secretary of State, Mrs. Bill, or Wonder-Cankles will sweep in and scoop the Dem party nomination in 2016. Meh – and I’ve always been ‘meh’ about the former First Lady; even more ‘meh’ since she didn’t kick her conniving horn-dog of a hubby to the curb upon exiting the White House … or even before. I am sorry – but in my judgement, a woman of worth does not tamely swallow the humiliation of hubby being a serial sexual adventurer several times over, capped by several rounds of widely publicized Dirty Games With Interns. No. Just … ick. I prefer to respect women who will not put up with humiliation, although I will not go as far as lauding Lorena Bobbit’s method for responding to serial marital humiliation. I would respect Her Inevitableness rather more if she had at least deposited him adjacent to said curb and gone out and done something on her own. But that’s not the way it goes in this nepotistic new America. The American version of Evita is all the rage in the corridors of power, and the spouses and spawn of the wealthy, well-placed and political are well-positioned to scoop up gold rings galore. Tell me again how Americans rejected patents of nobility, back in the day. Obviously that is one of those racist things, an invention of old white men who didn’t have the advantage of 21st century intellectual sensitivities.

It has been long-established that being the son or cousin of a former president or senator is a gateway drug to nomination for presidential office; now it appears that being the spouse of one is no bar, either – even if the resume is a bit thin on the accomplishment side of the ledger. That doesn’t seem to have hampered the career of the current presidential incumbent … but moving on. Benghazi; going on two years this fall and still considerable of a mystery, how a US ambassador and three others got themselves killed by a violent mob and what they were even doing there in the first place. The explanations offered by the Obama administration at the time and ever since have been unconvincing, to say the least, and as the Secretary of State at the time, Her Inevitableness must bear at least some responsibility, and afford us all a more convincing explanation for what went on in Benghazi, and a rationale for delaying any kind of rescue until too late.

As a veteran myself of several tours overseas, I can just about guarantee that any American serving overseas as a member of the military or the State Department now is looking around and wondering now exactly what their lives are worth to this administration. It used to be that you could be certain that if you were asked to risk it, than the mission must have been considered worthwhile. Now, it’s a certainty that being caught up an event that might be embarrassing or inconvenient for the administration to respond to … well, then, suck it up, hard-charger. They will write off your life and the lives of your comrades without another moment’s thought, if doing anything substantial will have the effect of being misinterpreted, or potentially disastrous. Loyalty is a one-way street to our would-be aristocracy; ours is owed to them, they owe less than nothing to us peons, and this has been demonstrated often enough in the last six years to make it pretty plain.

Finally, over and above everything else, the thing that I do resent most about Her Inevitableness is the casual assumption that just because I am a woman of certain age that of course I will support her, just because … woman! Which is infuriating in the extreme, especially when it comes from the same people who joyously took part in trashing Sarah Palin.

17. March 2014 · Comments Off on Airplane, Airplane, Who’s Got the Airplane? · Categories: Cry Wolf, Fun With Islam, Mordor, Wild Blue Yonder, World · Tags: , ,

I speak, of course, of the missing Malaysia Airlines Boing 777, which took off last week from Kuala Lumpur and came to earth … or sea – we know not where. The whole saga just gets weirder and weirder as reported. Possible terrorists? Piracy and ransom? Complicity of the flight crew? Transponders turned off, and flying in a zig-zaggy pattern, and then vanishing entirely? There’s a new angle almost every day or so. Increasingly those who wonder about such things are wondering if those who do know or suspect with good reason what really happened to Flight MH370 are keeping their mouths shut as well. Yes – the oceans are wide and deep, and an airplane – even a Boeing 777 – is large and full of stuff, and people.

Wherever it came down, on land or on sea and if catastrophically … well, searchers usually have found something by now, especially by following along the original flight path. But MH370 went rogue, although why, how, where and at the hands of whom is a puzzle most extraordinary – in the words of Hercule Poirot. I’ll make no pretense of being an expert in investigating missing aircraft, but I only remember one other such case of a large aircraft vanishing so thoroughly and completely in the last decade or so. (It was in Africa, under weird circumstances, flight crew of three and … no one knows what happened to it after it took off.)

Usually, three days max, and somewhere along the expected flight path – the searchers find what’s left of the aircraft, and begin to make an educated guess at what happened, even if all there is to go on at first are some floating seat cushions and a fuel slick. But this, as I say, is just weird. Everything that is reported – and what is reported is sketchy, contradictory and filtered through the news media of several different countries – only adds to the weirdness. Speculation runs all the way through the possible, the probable to the ‘thriller-novel-plot’ and into the frankly extraordinary. But the thing is that once you have seen a plot to hijack four passenger airliners and crash them into tall buildings get carried out, one knows that what was once ‘thriller-novel-plot’ and conspiracy website fodder may very well turn up among tomorrows’ headlines.

24. September 2013 · Comments Off on I’ll Have Some Irony With My ROP · Categories: Fun With Islam

So, it was only last week that I was reading about the organization formerly known as the Council on American Islamic Relations; CAIR, or as I call them the Cu Clux CAIR. (Now they are calling themselves the Washington Trust Foundation, or WTF, which is nearly as unintentionally risible as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, or MILF. Very likely both organizations were unaware of the unintentional humor derived from their initials, and the Moro Islamics may still be.)
Anyway, CAIR/WTF were off on another prolonged whine about all those nasty websites and news providers encouraging “islamophobia”. Which if I were of a sarcastic nature … oh, hell, yes, I am – I would point out yet again that a ‘phobia’ is an unreasoning and irrational fear; lately, a fear of Islam is just damn good common sense, as regards people like the Beantown Blaster Brothers, the murder of Lee Rigsby, the concerted ‘grooming’ of young English girls by … erm … gentlemen of the Muslim persuasion, the events of this summer in Egypt, Libya, the Philippines … and that’s just recent headlines. 9/11, the Bali bombing, the Madrid train bombing, and divers other events almost too many to list here and keep this entry shorter than the San Antonio Yellow Pages. There is a fear of Islam existing in the world today generally, and not just the United States – of Islam’s particularly erm … hard-core devotees. Looking at the plain unvarnished un-editorialized headlines from around the world, I’d say that fear has a particularly solid basis in experience, and is rather more solidly based than the fervent hope of the WTFers that we would all just develop some kind of amnesia about the Religion of Peace.

I think the WTFers are going to have to whine extra-piercingly about islamophobia now, since a couple of suicide bombers self-detonated in front of a Christian church in Peshawar, Pakistan, killing – at last count – nearly eighty churchgoers. And that very weekend, another Islamic extremist organization – this one aided with the 21st century equivalent to the International Brigades of the Spanish Civil War – decided to shoot up, bomb and otherwise terrorize an upscale Nairobi mall, packed with a fairly international clientele as well as a good number of Kenyan citizens of all classes. This drama has been playing out for the last three days, and I suppose to me the most chilling thing is that the adherents of the Religion of Peace appear to have started off by shooting up a children’s cooking event being held at the mall, and that at least two of the dead were pregnant women.

Of course, the most deeply frightening part of all this, is knowing it is only a matter of time until this happens at a big church or at a mall in the United States. As much as our political and academic ruling class mumble mushy platitudes about the Religion of Peace and CAIR/WTFers screech about islamophobia, the rest of us will have gotten the message, loud and clear.

03. September 2013 · Comments Off on Syria and the Middle East Explained · Categories: Fun and Games, Fun With Islam, GWOT, War


Any questions?

(Found at Classical Values)

04. July 2013 · Comments Off on Walk Like an Egyptian · Categories: Ain't That America?, Domestic, Fun and Games, Fun With Islam, General Nonsense, GWOT, Politics, sarcasm, War

Well, if that wasn’t one for the record books – a selection of Egyptian relative moderates taking back their country from a Muslim Brotherhood hard-liner through a protest-coup-counterrevolutionary thingy. Not quite certain how stable the reactionary moderate coalition actually is – or even if they are very moderate at all, or only in comparison to the Muslim Brotherhood gang o’thugs, but still – interesting. It did seem as of Morsi and his Brotherhood, even though freely elected in the wake of General Mubarak’s forced departure – were about to run Egypt straight off a cliff at speed, and perhaps this new coalition can only slow down the acceleration a little. As little as I know, I am fairly certain that the current American administration knows even less; late will the lights be burning tonight at Foggy Bottom, as the denizens of the State Department try and come up with some kind of reason, rationale and talking points. Of course, as a former Secretary of State remarked, “At this point in time, what difference does it make anyway?”

So, the good middle-of-the road and middle-class citizens of Egypt had a good bracing dose of what Islamic rule would mean and so spat it out of their mouths. The women, the Copts, the intellectuals, the middle class, the military, those who made their living through tourism, and I-don’t-know-how-many others, all rebelled at being ridden over rough-shod by increasingly stricter Islamists, just as the younger and more defiant Iranians have, although the Iranians are still simmering, while the Egyptians seem to have – at least for now – put their Islamic fundamentalists back into the bottle and jam in the cork tight. But Egypt, which once was the breadbasket for the Roman Empire – is reduced to importing food. The profitable tourist trade is wrecked beyond redemption, for who will want to come and look at the Pyramids, the temples of Luxor, and the museums full of antiquities, save the daring-to-the-point-of-suicidal Western backpacker types, who commonly don’t want to spend much money on expensive hotels, guides, transport and souvenirs.

And where are we – as Americans in all of this? Alas, nowhere – and thanks to our very dear President Kardashian, who has effortlessly managed to alienate and piss-off just about every party in Egypt, save Morsi and the Brotherhood who probably despised him anyway. It’s an interesting kind of gift, being able to alienate allies, while sucking up unsuccessfully to enemies. I’d deeply enjoy the taste of two scoops of schadenfreude, with a bit of chocolate syrup, whipped cream and a sprinkling of toasted almonds … but alas, we ordinary Americans will probably be cleaning up the damage from the Obama administration for decades after the principal architect of this Mid-east disaster has retired to a mansion in Hawaii and a series of well-paid speaking engagements.

The purely ironical part is that President Kardashian was so very, very popular with the usual Euro-lefty crowds, and in the Middle East – and now the bloom is so very much off the rose. I can hardly wait for the snippy Guardian-editorialists and readers, and all of their fellow-travelers to begin to whine about why did we stupid Yanks elect him to office in the first place.

(And for whatever NSA peon tasked with monitoring this blog, or perhaps me personally; we’re having turkey-burgers for supper, and I can make some extras. Let me know if you want a plate. Come by at 6ish or so – you know the address.)

16. June 2013 · Comments Off on Shell-Shocked by Scandals · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun and Games, Fun With Islam, Media Matters Not, Politics, Rant · Tags: , , ,

That’s actually what it feels like – all these revelations about the NSA possibly-maybe-likely snooping wholesale through personal communications for exactly how long – and how long does this go back? As far as an excuse note from my mother getting me out of 8th grade gym class? You know, I wouldn’t really mind whatever they were doing, if it had actually prevented something like the Beantown Blaster Brothers, Joxer and Speed-bump, from setting off bombs at the Boston Marathon, or if the Fort Hood shooter had been bounced out of military service before he even pinned on his bars. Actually catching Islamic fundamentalists with terroristic plans seems to have been just too hard; it’s much easier, spying on law abiding citizens, just like it’s too much trouble for incompetent police departments to put a crimp in the activities of the gang-bangers, so they substitute harassing the law-abiding instead. Lets not get into the over-militarization of our local police forces, or the mass-molestation of anyone wanting to travel by air these days.

Then there is the IRS, that organ of the FedGov which everyone loves to hate, weaponized to harass, hinder and hamper conservative-oriented organizations, while making the way smooth for liberal ones … that will not end well, seeing as it was authorized and encouraged from everywhere but a few low-level rogue agents in Cincinnati. And spilling private information on donors to political opponents … that will not end well, either. Nor will the EPA carelessly releasing private information on farmers and ranchers to environmental groups – we all know how grounded, considerate and civil some of the more radical enviros have been, when it comes to protesting. Then there is the possibility that future elections will be massively fraudulent, and that the last one might very well have been, that our political class seems to be only concerned with what they can grab in the way of short-term gain, that certain blue-state cities such as Detroit are circling the drain, that our establishment press is so deep in the tank for Obama – still! – that they need a deep-sea diver’s suit and an air hose. The military is being steadily demoralized – even as our Kardashian president seems to think intervening in Syria is a wonderful idea. Oh, and there still hasn’t been a reasonable explanation released by the Obama gang as to what the hell happened in Benghazi … or why so many upper-tier and influential senior officers so suddenly retired.

Speaking of circling the drain, our establishments of higher education teach less and cost more for the privilege, and those of the lower persuasion seem to be obsessed with kids playing with guns and drugging rambunctious boys into placidity. I have told my daughter that any children she has will be home-schooled, by me, if necessary. She will probably have to work several part-time jobs as an independent contractor to support them anyway, as the imposition of Obama care will do a number on those small business which provide the larger portion of those jobs which we still have.

On the up-side, it has rained here rather generously for June, and I bagged the cable TV package in favor of a Roku box, which saves me a good bit of money a month, and will allow me to pay of my very last creditor even sooner. So there is that. And it does seem like the global warming delusion has been pretty much thrown over by all but the dumb and die-hard, so there is room for hope.

05. June 2013 · Comments Off on My City (Country) Was Gone · Categories: Domestic, European Disunion, Fun and Games, Fun With Islam, History, Media Matters Not, Politics

“The propaganda had a certain purpose: to wipe the past out of our consciousness. We should forget that it had ever existed. We really should doubt our own memories. The revisionists of history had usurped the preferential right of interpretation, and we had silently let it happen. We were not supposed to remember the country that we were part of, and it made us deeply sad and furious. Without a rear-view mirror we had no yardstick for the present time. But that wasn’t the intention, either.”

Read the whole thing, at Gates of Vienna. The author is writing about Sweden – but it can very well apply here in the US, too.

25. May 2013 · Comments Off on Maybe That Day Has Come · Categories: European Disunion, Fun With Islam, Good God, GWOT, Rant

A day may come when the courage of men fails,
when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day.
An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down,
but it is not this day!
This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth,
I bid you stand, Men of the West!
– Aragorn’s speech, before the Black Gates

It always comes back to Tolkien, doesn’t it? A man who lived through the hell of the WWI trenches, who recalled from first hand a time when you could use the term ‘Great Britain’ without ironical quotes around it, a time when there were very real social issues and pathologies to criticize and to try and deal fairly with – but also a time when the common people took enormous pride and confidence in what they were, in their country, in themselves, in their institutions – and in turn, the various institutions looked toward the general welfare of the commonality. I like the 19th century for that very reason, both the British and American versions. It’s a kind of mental refuge to me, these days. For all its pathologies and shortcomings – citizens of both countries had cultural self-confidence. In the main, a self-confidence based on real accomplishment is a hell of a lot more attractive than a pitiful, helpless and apologetic bleating about ones’ societal and cultural shortcomings.

Really, whom would you look to; someone like Isaac Kingdom Brunel, or Lord Gordon … or a cringing and eternally self-abasing creature like Uriah Heep? Never mind that the first two are real, the third a literary creation; there are plenty of vicious, ostentatiously humble Uriah Heeps now active in political life, and plenty of them – a sufficiency of them, actually – infiltrated into academia and in the media. They’ve been doing their destructive work for decades, always with the best intentions, and ostentatiously for the good of us all. They preen themselves on this, and make good careers out of it.

Only, somehow and mysteriously, it has had such malign results as the vicious and very well documented murder of a British soldier by Islamic jihadi muppets in front of a large crowd, in the capital city of what was once a proud empire. Wrap your mind about that. A public street adjacent to a military base; they bash him with a car first, and then carve him up with knives, swagger about the street declaiming on their purpose, shouting Islamic slogans … and wait for the armed officers of the law to appear. Who did arrived, twenty minutes later, when the victim had doubtless bled out – some news reports have it that his head was cut off, which would certainly remove any urgency in responding with medical aid. Meanwhile the murders, with bloody hands swagger about, explaining why they did it. Three women come forward, and I accept that this took enormous courage on their part – given that this horrible event took place out of the clear blue. I also accept that the initial witnesses to this atrocity were shocked, disbelieving … but that any impulse on the part of members of the public to intervene in any meaningfully effective way was likely squelched on the instant of being considered. The duty of any good British citizen these days, or so I have gathered, is to to be passive, and never to resist being robbed, raped or murdered, since such resistance is likely to injure or inconvenience the robber, rapist or murderer. This precept of non-resistance has been enforced over the last few decades by prosecution and convictions obtained against those who actually did resist outrages against their own or others’ property and persons. The end result was what we saw this week in Woolwich; no resistance, no rescue. Thus are a free people reduced to serfitude. Pity, that – but I am certain that the ruling classes like it very much that way.

(Crossposted at Chicagoboyz.net)

25. April 2013 · Comments Off on Another Day, Another Dirty Shirt · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun With Islam, Local, Media Matters Not, Politics, sarcasm · Tags: , , ,

It seems, from the link posted on Da Blogfaddah, that our very own President Kardashian will be gracing the great state of Texas with his presence for a brief and flying visit … which to no one’s surprise (at least in my household) – includes an appearance at a fund raising event. Holy jumping Jesus, does this political leech’s every move outside the White House involve a fund-raising event? Guess so, although Blondie’s cynical guess involved the presence of a hitherto-unknown prime golf course in the vicinity of Dallas or Waco.

He is, according to the news reports, intending to visit with and console the bereaved of West-comma-Texas, a tiny mid-state town of which I am certain that he and most everyone else who never traveled the IH-35 between San Antonio and Fort Worth, had never heard … until the local fertilizer plant blew up during a fire last week. Which explosion killed one-third of the local volunteer firefighters, and demolished a good portion of the town, since it went up violently enough to register on the Richter Scale. Honestly, reading the brief obituaries of the identified, I wonder exactly how his visit will console any of the next-of-kin. Firefighter volunteers, members of local fraternal organizations, small business owners, people who liked to hunt, rodeo riders, NASCAR fans, devoted to family, church, and the community of their little town. What a rootless, drifting cosmopolitan like the current POTUS has in common with them, besides being red-blooded vertebrates is anyone’s guess. He might as well be teleporting in from Mars; my suspicion is that his scheduling office was shamed into adding it to the itinerary for the day.

On the other hand, this hideous tragedy occurred in the very same week that the Beantown Blaster Brothers set a couple of home-made bombs which killed and de-limbed a goodly number of people either running in or waiting at the finish-line of the Boston Marathon. And it’s a lot easier to cover that news which happens within an easy commute of New York, Los Angeles or Atlanta.

It now appears that the Beantown Blaster Brothers were motivated primarily by the ever-refreshing well of Islam in it’s most radical application. Which is ironic to almost an industrial grade, as the aforesaid brothers lived and … well, occupied themselves in the most blue of blue-state enclaves, an enclave which afforded them every indulgence and liberty, marriage, higher education, refuge and support … and yet, they repaid all that with savagery and violence. And as it turns out, it’s the Islamic version of the above, which must be terribly embarrassing to the current administration. Don’tcha know, Islam is all about peace, and tolerance and the cries of the imam calling all to prayer being the sweetest sound, and you’re the most awful bigot if you say otherwise.

And I am just cynical enough, after the events of last week, if President Kardashian would rather that the public memory of developments in Boston just go down the ol’ memory hole as far as the mainstream media and low-information voters are concerned? Hence the flying visit to Texas … which visit incorporates an appearance at the dedication of the Bush II library, which (again and cynically) moves me to wonder how heroic an effort will it take for Bush II to be polite to him in private.

I am fairly certain that Bush II, and the residents of West-comma-Texas will be polite. Perhaps frigidly so … but always polite. This is how we roll.

19. April 2013 · Comments Off on Obama’s Very Bad, No-Good, Completely Horrid Week · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun With Islam, General Nonsense, Politics, Rant

Well, it was all that for a great many other people besides the Mighty-O, so no wonder that he has been looking pretty pissy lately, especially after a scorching defeat on an expanded gun-buyer background check program. Yes, just because people seem to agree with a statement on a poorly-worded poll, does not mean they necessarily want to see it enshrined in law … especially one hastily rushed through in the wake of a horrific event with the skids greased with hand-wringing over the deaths of small children … and the ostentatious display of their parent’s grief. Look, that’s the same exact thing that happened in the wake of the Dunblaine shootings. Popular revulsion and outrage was transformed into strict gun control legislation … and in the long run, how did that worked out for Britain, then? Is the ordinary run of people any safer in their homes, streets and places of business? For those of us paying attention, one really cannot be certain that they are.

One would have expected someone lauded as being over-the-top-intelligence and acute political smarts to have realized that most of the American public does not live with on-the-spot instant personal protection from hired body-guards or the Secret Service, and in fact, a great majority of us live where the forces of law’n’order are a fifteen to thirty-minute journey away. So the Mighty-O and his media buddies didn’t see it coming. Here’s a Kleenex and let me call the Wahhhmbulance for you.

And now we move on to Monday’s carnage at the Boston Marathon … in which the main comfort to be found is the fearless and efficient manner in which first responders and volunteers rushed to the scene. Ball bearings and scrap metal inside pressure cookers, left at a time and in a place calculated to maim as many bystanders as possible; so the intifada comes to America. It looks like those media talking heads who made no secret of hoping that the perpetrator(s) were white, Anglo-Saxon Tea Party types are to be bitterly disappointed. (To David Sirota and to NPR – Up yours. Very kindly, Sgt. Mom.) From today’s all-neighborhood man-hunt in Boston, it looks like the perpetrators were ‘white’… but radical young Islamics from Chechnya. Yes, that Chechnya … the very same who brought us the Beslan school massacre, the Nord-Ost theater hostage-taking, a series of bombings in the Moscow subways, the downing of two Russian airliners in 2004 … yeah, that Chechnya. No wonder the young lads’ uncle is pissed beyond being coherent. Here he is, living a peaceful, prosperous life far removed from what is usually described as ‘sectarian strife’ and his young nephews seemed poised to bring all that over the big pond in job lots and make Chechens in general about as welcome in the United States as ‘a truckload of dead rats in a tampon factory.’ That line is from the movie Top Secret! in case anyone was wondering. For the lot who keep insisting that Islam is a religion of peace, this week has proved to very, very, very disappointing … especially for an administration who seemed desperate to prove exactly that. Try telling that to residents of Boston and Watertown, where the manhunt is still going on.

In the foundation-legend of the Swiss confederacy, Alberect Gessler was a cruel and tyrannical overlord installed by the Austrians, who installed his hat atop a pole in the public marketplace and decreed that all should bow to it … to his hat, not merely his person. Such a declaration was, I think, a way of rubbing in his authority over the common citizens – indeed, rubbing their noses in the fact that he could make them do so, and do so in front of everyone else.

Having read now and again of small businesses run by devout Christians, such event venues, a bakery doing wedding cakes, or a wedding photographer, even a bed and breakfast refusing to provide a good or a service to a gay couple, I am lead to wonder if this isn’t a kind of Gessler’s hat, metamorphosed to the 21st century. Of course, in this best of all possible worlds, anyone’s money ought to be as good as anyone elses’. And in the case of some of the complainants, loud comparisons are made, comparing the way in which small businesses dealt – or didn’t deal at all – with customers of the African-American variety, fifty years and more ago. Left unsaid, but still implied is a kind of smug satisfaction that devout Christians will be called to heel just as unrepentant racists were.

Somehow, I can’t be so certain of that outcome. Browbeating and bringing suit against the religiously observant into compliance with society’s dictates most usually has the opposite of effect intended, even if superficial compliance is eventually gained. Devout and observant Christians do make up a larger portion of the population than gays – who for all their prominence in media and entertainment, still only comprise less than 3% of the population overall – if that. African-Americans, give or take a couple of percentage points either way are at about %12, which is probably not a market segment which can be ignored by someone selling services or a product.

So, can you refuse service to a member of the public, and for what reason? Do you need a reason? Or will just a polite demurral do, such as “I am so sorry, we can’t fit that into our schedule” ? Making the question a little more complicated – will any religion do? Suppose a Jewish photographer didn’t want to photograph a Catholic quinceanera celebration, or a Muslim-owned halal caterer refused to provide food for a specifically Jewish or Christian event? Seriously, even if such a thing happened in the real world, I can’t imagine the customer getting too bent out of shape by the refusal – unless the refusal was couched in less than tactful language.

So what are we to make of stories such as those that I linked, and others of the same sort? I am pretty sure that it’s not so much a question of civil rights for a very small, but socially influential minority at issue here. Rather, it’s a metaphorical Gesseler’s Hat, for which is not sufficient to merely tolerate – all must be seen to approve, and in loud voices in the public square. Discuss.

28. October 2012 · Comments Off on Fish and How they Rot · Categories: Fun With Islam, GWOT, Media Matters Not, Politics, Rant, sarcasm

Well, boys and girls, I think we have our October Surprise, freshly fresh and newly fit … even though it is a little bit whiffy from being left over from events occurring in September. You remember that little ruckus in Benghazi last month, on the anniversary of 9/11? Local American consulate burned and trashed, American Ambassador and three others dead … such deaths described by our chief executive and commander-in-chief as being unfortunate bumps in the road, as his administration swanned merrily on in an attempt to be the Little Friend of all the (Muslim) World … or at least, not seriously disrupt the narrative or the Obama reelection campaign.

Four people dead, any number surviving a vicious firefight at an American consulate in an Arab country, and yet barely a whisper in the mainstream media – no interviews with survivors, no logical and authoritative sequence of events – only the arrest and detention of a third party ostensibly the cause of it all. And now it turns out that the firefight and escape was being monitored at the highest levels in real time, and that rescuers were standing by but never got approval to move. It also turns out that the Obama administration flunkies were pounding the ‘protest by outraged local nationals inflamed over an obscure movie trailer on YouTube which got out of hand’ – never mind that that hardly anyone had ever even seen or heard of the trailer in question. What was Ambassador Stephens doing in Benghazi, essentially alone and relatively unprotected on the 9/11 anniversary? Is there something fishy going on with American weapons supplied to the Libyan rebels now being clawed back for transfer to … some other rebel group in the mid-east? Have high-ranking American military commanders in-theater who wanted to go ahead with a rescue effort against Administration orders been relieved of command? Questions, questions, questions …

It’s just too bad that it’s not a Republican administration at this time – we’d have had answers to all these questions, days if not weeks ago.

It’s been another one of those weeks, blog-fans … now, I do want you all (all both of you) to put your hands together and welcome back Radar, a contributor from away back, who has decided to get back into long-form blogging again. Yay, Radar! Welcome home!

As for the rest of it … well, welcome to interesting times. Now it is something like six weeks, give or take a handful of days until Election Day, and honestly, it cannot come too soon for me. Every week and every day there’s some new bit o’drama inflated by the lapdog mainstream media into something that spells Certain Doom for Romney/Ryan, and Glorious Victory for the Dear Leader. A sooper secrit recording of Romney talking to fundraisers and being bluntly honest that a certain percentage of potential voters probably wouldn’t vote for him and upset their entitlement applecart … oooh! Gaffe of the week, according to all the talking and editorial heads. That a good number of the conservative-libertarian blogger types taking note of all this would not have disagreed with this insight – although the exact percentage might be open for discussion – appears to be something that the usual media lapdogs have chosen to ignore. Also – that the tape was edited, and Jimmy Carter’s hapless grandson chose to do his bit for the Dems … jeese, doesn’t he have a real job to go to? Apparently many of these Millennial’s don’t. The Daughter Unit, better known as Blondie does – having several different jobs to go to, none of which offer health care benefits. Not a shock, considering that some of them are part-time, and for the rest, she is an independent contractor – and is qualified to go to the VA.

OK – back to election matters – wish I may, wish I might – know why Mittens Romney is the party of the clueless, disconnected rich, Thurston Howell-type … whereas, a candidate who has a fund-raising event at a venue owned by a fabulously wealthy rap music* entrepreneur and his performer wife featuring a tower made of $800 bottles of champagne and charging $40,000 a plate for the privilege is a defender of the downtrodden middle- and working-class. This is probably one of those mysteries, like that of Hollywood blockbusters which never turn a profit to pay off the hapless actors and writers who signed contracts for a percentage of the net profits.

But $800 bottles of champagne, all in gold – Talk about ghetto fabulous. I’ll shudder over the gross vulgarity of that and move on, while noting that if the stuff tastes any better than Crystal, I’ll be mildly surprised. And Blondie has sampled Crystal – through the offices of a date with a surfer dude she met in Ocean Beach, once upon a time. She tells me it didn’t taste any better than the $6 supermarket champagne that we buy for celebrating the New Year.

It does look as if the O-Man did, in his rounds of entertainment and talk shows, actually stumble into some real reporters, prepared to ask hard questions instead of the usually softly thrown Nerf ball. Just a hint, big guy – the local Hispanic community does care very much about what has been happening south of the US border for quite a while. Fast and Furious has managed to kill hundreds of Mexican citizens, many of them innocent bystanders to the drug gang wars. Meanwhile, the rest of us look at the Middle East going up in flames, and wonder if a brand-new Obama campaign motto and a logo featuring a re-imagining of the US flag with stripes bearing a curious resemblance to the dragging finger-marks made in blood on the doorway of the US consulate in Benghazi was all that good an idea. Your mileage may vary, however.

Let’s see … is Twitter a means for hapless celebrities to reveal themselves once and for all as utter morons and/or bigots? I guess so; the evidence is compiled at Twitchy. Alas, it looks like Bette Midler joins my steadily lengthening list of stars and personalities who have so pissed me off that I will never pay money for anything they are in. Bette, Bette, Bette … we do not, in fact, have a blasphemy law in this country. Citizens may not be arrested for saying things that embarrass the government or an established religion … and if they were, then Andres Serrano and the producer of The Book of Mormon would be in big, big trouble.

And that was my week – yours?

(* insert viciously skeptica quote marks around that word)

15. September 2012 · Comments Off on A Song, Startlingly Relevant · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun With Islam, War

The Sixties never die … and oh, how I wish they would. But here they are, once again.

13. September 2012 · Comments Off on On the Defense of Free Speech · Categories: Fun With Islam, Media Matters Not, My Head Hurts, Politics, Rant

OK, so call me retrograde, old fashioned, a bigot or the ever-popular ‘raaaaacist’ but I actually believe in free speech and free thought; for everybody, not just the ones that I agree with.
There is the caveat to this, of course. If you depend upon the larger public finding your persona, your manufactured or intellectual output appealing enough to purchase it … well, there might be potential customers disenchanted and disinclined to do so, should they find your exercise of free speech insulting or offensive. They are perfectly free to refrain from partaking in your product or purchasing it … it is still, so I have been assured, still mostly a free country. Buy Chick-fil-A, or not. Listen to the Dixie Chicks … or not. Read the New York Times … or not. Watch Game of Thrones… on not, depending on how much you feel strongly about personal opinions. The right to speak is, has been, and ought to still be paramount.

Concurrent with that is the understanding that others disagree, or even be offended … but they do not have any right to silence the offending speech. Not with threats of violence, or the law, or even a faux-appeal to manners or to the perversion known as political correctness. The deity knoweth that Christians, Jews, Mormons, Baptists and all have taken their various lumps from comedians, artists and movie-makers in the last decades, or more. Why should the ever-offended elements of the Religion of Peace get a pass? Oh, yeah – because they go rabid, and blow up stuff and cut people’s heads off, and burn embassies every time someone looks at them cross-eyed. Look, this just won’t do, and it’s a serious problem, but it doesn’t look like going softly-softly is getting us anyway. If free speech can be abrogated by threats … well, then, it isn’t free speech any longer.

I find it bloody appalling that certain pundits, politicians and high military officers have had the bare-faced gall to suggest that in order to placate Middle Eastern mobs that criticism and mockery of Islam by free citizens of an independent and democratic republic should be off the table entirely … and in fact should be prosecuted legally. Again, are we, or are we not a free people? Do we surrender one of our founding principles that easily? Some years ago, in considering the Affair of the Danish Mo-toons O’Doom, and the alacrity which which our advocates of a free press declined to publish a set of relatively inoffensive cartoons, I wrote this:

There is an old saying, to the effect that the most binding chains are the ones we put on ourselves. And the most insidious and effective censorship is that kind that we also put on ourselves, the censorship that strangles the question before it can even be asked … thoughtful people, earnestly wishing to be polite, tolerant and sensitive of others, began moving down that path that eventually ends— if we are not aware— with our wrists humbly held up for the manacles of imposed censorship to be firmly snapped on. A drift that began with good manners ends with limits imposed by maladroit legislation or a baying mob, maybe even both, and all the important issues of the day, which ought to be discussed— vociferously, noisily and with all the thrown crockery at our disposal— are removed from the arena where they ought to be, to fester and simmer away in odd corners. What has been more insupportable in recent years, is that our courtesy in this respect is not even reciprocated: the vilest sort of caricatures and insult imaginable regarding Westerners, Christians, Jews, Americans and others too varied to mention have free and frequent circulation in Muslim and Arab-oriented and funded media.

That most of our print media outlets punted on the question of publishing the Mohammed cartoons told me all I really needed to know about how deeply they really felt about their much-vaunted principle of ‘freedom of the press’. Now, our government and media are telling us how really, really deeply they are attached to ‘freedom of speech.’

Look well, oh wolves!

(Cross-posted at Chicagoboyz.net)

12. September 2012 · Comments Off on See Here, Mohammad · Categories: Domestic, Fun With Islam, Good God, GWOT, Politics, Rant, World · Tags: , ,

It appears that once again, Sgt. Mom has to bring out the Mallet of Loving Correction that she has shamelessly copied from John Scalzi, and explain the whole concept of ‘freedom of thought’ and it’s fraternal twin, ‘freedom of expression’ to the inhabitants of those (mostly but not always) quarters of the world usually known as ‘Islamic-run hellholes.’
See here, we in the western world are known for a good many things – some of them good, some of them bad – but one of them is a sense of logic, and another is the freedom to speak our thoughts, suppositions and criticisms on any matter. Openly, freely, and through any medium available to us … without fear of prosecution by the forces of law and order. Unless, of course, we are inciting violence … umm, which to put it plainly, you guys seems to have a problem with. Actually, some of our own very dear Established and Housebroken Lapdog Media have a problem with that too, but that is an issue for another day.

And the range of topics which we may freely discuss and criticize includes practically anything, and everything; the current television season of the Alphabet Networks, the fiscal policies of our current administration, the horrible dress sense of the Kardashians, and the messy love lives of celebutards and neighbors … and religion does not get a pass. Scientology doesn’t get a pass, Catholics and Evangelical Christians don’t get a pass, Mormons don’t get a pass, and Islam especially doesn’t get a pass, much as you appear to wish otherwise. Yes, I know that the lickspittle media, our equally lickspittle State department, and Administrations past and present all made polite noises about the so-called Religion of Peace, and that Ibrahim Cooper and his CAIR-bots go off on a royal toot, and that Saudi Arabia have bought themselves into various academic establishments and existing mosques at the drop of a Danish Mo-toon … but Islam as currently practiced in such charming locales as Pakistan, Egypt, Somalia, Iran, Lebanon, Thailand, Indonesia, Detroit and certain cities in Britain and France is not in the least attractive to those of us in the Western tradition.

I don’t care how many museum exhibits, or how many TV documentaries about the marvelousness of the Golden Age of Islam get thrown at us like so much expensive confetti. The misogyny, the brutal practice of sharia, the Jew-hatred, the ignorance, the backwardness, the prosecution of other faiths, all speak louder than the occasional public relations offensive. … So we have critical things to day about it. Especially after seeing the stacks of dead bodies left in the wake of militant Islam. A lot of us can’t help noticing, and wondering – if Islam is so damn peaceful, how come all the dead bodies? For the sake of good manners, most of us refrain from saying so bluntly to those of our acquaintance who we know are Muslim … but what does our good manners get us?

You see, my dear little Libyan and Egyptian chickadees; we are going to discuss this, and we are going to be critical – on line and in home-made movies, in lectures and in books. Have tantrums all you like. Go so far as murdering ambassadors, blowing up tourists, inciting riots and inciting the murder of artists, writers, bloggers, Christian activists for exercising our rights of free speech – even speech offensive to you – and at some point in the near future, we might not be quite so polite. Those media, academic and political figures who have been the worst toadies … they might very well stop being polite also. Not holding my breath on that one, though.

Something on the internet is disrespectful to Islam? Have a cup of coffee, Mohammed, and get over it.

11. July 2012 · Comments Off on The Ruins of Athens · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun With Islam, Good God, History

Actually, no – not the ruins of Athens … that’s a Beethoven piece that popped into my head – the Turkish March, from The Ruins of Athens … I’d always wondered in a desultory way, what would happen to me, if I played that classic music piece without comment, when I was stationed at EBS-Hellenikon, back in the day. I was never reckless enough to do the experiment and find out, actually. The Greeks were hair-trigger temperamental about any mention of Greece, Turkey, or the EEC (the forerunner to the EU) on the perilous airways of the American Forces Radio station where I worked – mostly on the swing and mid-shifts in the early 1980s. As exasperating and sometimes as deadly as the political stuff got during those years – and it did get deadly, for the N-14 organization and elements of the PLO were more or less targeting Americans on a regular basis – I loved Greece unreservedly. More »

26. February 2012 · Comments Off on Call it a Victory · Categories: Fun With Islam, GWOT, Rant, War, World

And leave. That’s the discussion going on over at Rantburg, today, where Steve White has laid out the case, here, (http://rantburg.com/poparticle.php?ID=339729&D=2012-02-26&SO=&HC=4)
and I have to say he’s made a strong argument. Oh, there are things that can still be done … like drop in a SEAL team or a Hellfire missile the next time a tall Taliban poppy raises his head, or gives support and shelter to a beturbaned goon with ambitions to knock down multi-story office buildings half a world away.

I honestly thought – and still think that there are workable solutions for the problem that is Afghanistan. But if we aren’t going to apply any of them – and it is very plain that under this current feckless, amateur-hour, drop-down-on-knees-and-apologize-in-heart-beat administration, will not – then perhaps it’s time to say so long and thanks for all the fish.

It seems that there is a bit of bother on in military circles … or rather in the media circles which concern themselves with the conduct of the military … going on with regard to the Marines who were recorded some years ago pissing upon the bodies of some dead Taliban fighters.

The Taliban, like other gentlemen of similar Islamic persuasion in prosperous and peace-loving locations like Somalia, Chechnya and Iran are, of course, known the world over for their upright moral principles. They are famous for this, as well as their strict adherence to the practices of the Geneva Convention when it comes to captured military and interned civilians like Daniel Pearl, and their gentle and respectful treatment of female and child noncombatants. It seems like every other day or so, the Afghan and Pak Taliban are burning down another school, or throwing acid into the face of another woman whose appreciation of the charms of an individual enthusiast for the Religion of Peace is somewhat lacking.

Gosh, I just don’t know what got into our Marines. I clearly recall seeing WWII-era pictures of the aftermath of fighting in the Pacific, where a truck or half-track hood was adorned with a Japanese skull. Now, that was serious desecration. This? I am reliably informed that there are pervs who will pay good money to be pissed on by a professional. Well, the perv is usually alive and wearing a codpiece, high-heels and a ball-gag, but that’s a small detail.

Anyway – Bad Marines. Don’t let us catch you doing this ever again, or it’s no dessert for you for a week. And if you do, don’t take pictures of it for pete’s sake. And if you do take pictures for you and your buddies to snicker over … don’t show them off in public for about twenty years.

If, on the other hand, you want to piss all over Michael Moore, or that creep at the Daily Kos, or Bill Ayers or someone like that – feel free. Claim they were on fire, and you just wanted to do your duty as a good citizen.

28. December 2011 · Comments Off on Killing History · Categories: Fun With Islam, History, Technology, World

It sounds like a perfectly impractical and even risible notion – to remove the Pyramids of Giza from the view of the righteous by covering them with wax. Good heavens, what would happen on the first hot day of summer, assuming such a thing could even be accomplished? A vast puddle of melted wax, I am certain. Stick a wick the size of a Titan rocket made out of cotton string in the middle, empty in a couple of truckloads of essential perfume oils and you’d have a scented candle the size of Texas, the eighth wonder of the ancient world and something that could probably fumigate most of the Middle East.
More »

28. November 2011 · Comments Off on Jumping the Shark · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun and Games, Fun With Islam, General, Media Matters Not, World

I was always a bit cynical about the major media news organs, thanks to twenty years in military public affairs, and the related field of military broadcasting. That is, I didn’t expect much of the poor darlings when it came around to dealing with matters military. The military and all its works and all its strange ways were terra incognita to all but a handful of mainstream media personalities and reporters, all during the 1970s, the 1980s and into the 1990s. Stories of media misconduct were fairly common among us; attempted checkbook journalism, howling misstatements of fact, generalized anti-military bigotry, pre-existing biases just looking for a whisper of confirmation … all that and more were the stuff of military public affairs legend. I expect that most media reporters and editors just naturally expected military personnel, pace Platoon and other Vietnam-era movies, to be drug-addled, barely competent, marginally criminal, knuckle-dragging morons. The air of pleasurable surprise and relief almost universally displayed by various deployed reporters during the First Gulf War, upon discovering this was not so – that in fact, most members of the military were articulate, polite, competent professionals – was one that I noted at the time, and found to be bitterly amusing.

So the usual mainstream civilian media tool didn’t know bupkis about the military: this was not a shock to me. Most other dedicated civilians didn’t know all that much, either. As Arthur Hadley noted, it was a whole parallel world, what he called the “Other America of Defense.” It did come as a bit of a disheartening surprise, discovering that the mainstream media didn’t actually know much about anything else, either — and that over the last decade or so, they’ve been frittering away the credibility and respect accumulated since the middle of last century. It shouldn’t have been that much of a surprise – but it did. Especially to one raised in the baby-boom generation, with the high standards of Edward Morrow always before me, who grew up reading the LA Times when that paper was at the very top of it’s form, journalistically speaking, who had subscriptions to practically every news and commentary magazine going, from Time and Newsweek, to Mother Jones and the Village Voice, Utne Reader, US News and World Report, Brill’s Content, Spy, Harper’s and Atlantic … even the Guardian, courtesy of an English friend. I had a local newspaper subscription, and raised heck if it wasn’t delivered promoptly. I loved NPR and even watched the Today Show – well, that was part of my job, then. I once thought well of the mainstream media. There, I said it. The Fourth Estate, essential in a democracy to keep the public well-informed regarding important issues, our last defense against political malfeasance and corporate shenanigans … all of that inclined me to hold the media in moderate regard. That they might have a particular editorial slant, politically one way or the other, that reporters might be mistaken, or flat-out misinformed by their sources … that I accepted. Like many another news consumer, I rather expected that eventually, the truth would out.

And then … the shark was jumped. Or actually, double jumped, with a half-gainer in between, and I’ve been hardly viewed established news media outlets with favor ever since. More than that – I’ve no subscriptions to any of the above listed publications, some of them because they’re no longer available, but mostly because they’ve dwindled in importance and credibility. They have nothing much to say that I can’t get from various news aggregate websites or special-interest blogs … or because something in a story, or in an editorial pissed me off beyond forgiveness.

Rathergate: that was the first shark-leap, and the audacity of it just about took my breath away, once I considered the implications; a bare-faced attempt by a supposedly reputable news organization, to throw a presidential election, barely days before the polls opened, using a story based upon a faked document with a deeply suspicious provenance. That someone like Dan Rather would rush to broadcast that story meant something sinister was afoot in media-land. Once that of worms was opened, and doubts began to multiply, there was no going back for me. The well was poisoned.

The second was what I began calling the Affair of the Danish Cartoons, or the Mo’Toons O’Doom; when the fearless guardians of the American public’s right to know … caved like a soggy macaroon when given the opportunity to print or post a dozen fairly innocuous cartoons satirizing the fear of … publishing drawings of Mohammed. Well, yeah – there would be threats from the perennially offended adherence of the Religion of Peace, but I had halfway expected our fearless members of the Fourth Estate to display evidence of having a pair. Instead, craven retreat, following a sprinkle of excuses.

And it’s been straight downhill, ever since: Journolist, the Global Warmening Scam, serving as the Obama Administrations’ public affairs arm, sliming the Tea Parties and lauding OWS – the list goes on. And this week, there was a poor schmuck going door to door, trying to sell newspaper subscriptions for the Sunday San Antonio Express News. It was most sad, actually: his main pitch was the many valuable grocery coupons in the Sunday paper. I wish I had thought to tell him that we don’t use coupons much, but if they ever went to printing the paper on soft absorbent tissue, then at least we would have some use for it all.

(Cross posted at Chicago Boyz)

10. September 2011 · Comments Off on 3,650 Days · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun With Islam, General, History, Home Front, Memoir, War

Three thousand, six hundred fifty days, more or less,depending on leap years – since the end of the 20th century. Oh, I know, calendar-wise, only a year or two off. But we don’t count strictly by the calendar. Afterwards, we count by events. Myself, I have the feeling that the 19th century didn’t truly end for good and all until 1914. That’s when the 20th century began, in the muddy trenches of WW1. All the previous comfortable understandings and optimistic assumptions of the earlier world were shattered right along with three monarchial dynasties, over the course of four years. When it was over, the world of the time before seemed impossibly far removed, to those who could remember it – a number which, as the decades passed, became steadily fewer, until that world was entirely the stuff of books, paintings and relics, rather than true human recollections. We eventually adjusted and accepted the new reality of things. The old way, and the shattering events in which it passed – became a date on a monument, a paragraph in a history text, a book on the shelf.

Being that humans are mostly optimistic and pretty adaptable, we patched together some new understandings and assumptions, which worked pretty well – or at least we became accustomed to them . . . until the 20th century ended on a glorious autumn morning, ten years ago. One day. And then we had to become accustomed to the new reality. More than three thousand dead, a hole in the New York skyline that will never be filled in again – the ghosts of twin silvery towers showing up in the backgrounds of movies, now and again, drawing your sudden attention with a catch at the heart and memory.

And three thousand-something men and women who went off to work one morning, families who took a vacation, catching an early morning airplane flight, firefighters going on shift, everyone living out those thousands of petty daily routines, most of them probably quite boring. I am certain that practically every one of those who became casualties on that morning – a name and a face on a makeshift poster, a black-framed picture on the mantel or in the obituary pages – were looking forward to the end of the workday, the end of their journey – to coming home for a good dinner, wrapping up that business trip and getting on with that portion of our life that is ours, and belongs to us and our families and loved ones alone.

But they were never allowed that luxury, of having a tonight, a tomorrow. Those lives which they might have had, would have – were brutally wrenched from them, in an organized act of terrorism, wrenched from them in fire and horror and blood, while the rest of us watched or listened – watched in person, on television, or were glued to a radio – ten years ago today.

Ten years. Time enough for children to grow to middle-school age, never remembering that time before, or the loss of a father or mother, who worked in a department in the outer ring of the Pentagon, or in an office on a high floor of the World Trade center. A foreign country to them, is that place, where once you could go into the airport terminal and go all the way to the gate to meet an arriving friend . . . and for travelers not to have to take off their shoes to go through security. Or even have to go through security, come to think on it. A world where one could have no reaction but idle curiosity upon noticing a woman in full black burka, or a nervous-appearing man of Middle-eastern appearance, taking pictures of an otherwise undistinguished bridge or power station. A world where a familiarity with the dictates of the Koran and the Hadith, the maunderings of Sayyid Qutb as regards America and the workings of a desert tribal autocracy are an eccentric interest and hobby – not a professional necessity.

Ten years. The world that was passes from memory, and we have the brutal world of ‘now.’ As an amateur historian, one of my own comforts on this anniversary is that – it was always like this. We will survive, we will live in a world that is made new and eternally renewed by events, events that will eventually fade . . .

But today, we remember.

Past anniversary posts –
I didn’t write a specialized post for 2009, and last year I only reposted some music videos.

14. August 2011 · Comments Off on Reissue of Memo: John Wayne is Dead and Arnie Has a Day Job · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun With Islam, General, General Nonsense, Media Matters Not, Rant, sarcasm, War

(In light of the current ruckus over President’s Obama’s very personal wet smooch from Hollywood regarding the proposed “get Osama” movie, I am reissuing my historic memo, from 2004 or so. Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette has the whole depressing, infuriating saga of the world’s longest proposed political advertisement, here.)
To: Providers of our Movie & TV Entertainment
From: Sgt Mom
Re: Lack of Spine and Relevant Movies

1. So here it has been nearly three years since 9/11, two years since the overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan, a year since the thunder run from the Kuwait border to Baghdad, and all we get from you is a TV movie, a couple of episodes from those few TV serials that do touch on matters military, and a two-hour partisan hack job creatively edited together from other people’s footage. Ummm … thanks, ever so much. Three years worth of drama, tragedy, duty, honor, sacrifice, courage and accomplishment, and all we get is our very own Lumpy Riefenstahl being drooled over by the French. Where is the Casablanca, So Proudly We Hail, Wake Island, They Were Expendable? My god, people, the dust had barely settled over the Bataan surrender, before the movie was in the theaters. You people live to tell stories— where are ours? What are we fighting for and why, who are our heroes and villains, our epics and victories?

2. And it’s not like other media people have been laying down on the job: writers, reporters, bloggers have been churning out stories by the cubic foot: the brave passengers taking back Flight 93, the stories of people who escaped the towers, and those who helped others escape, as well as those who ran in, the epic unbuilding of the Trade Center ruins. What about the exploits of the Special Forces in Afghanistan, on horseback in the mountains with a GPS, directing pinpoint raids on Taliban positions, the women who ran Afghanistans’ underground girls’ schools? What about Sgt Donald Walters, Lt. Brian Chontosh, the 3rd ID’s fight for the strong points at Larry, Curley and Moe and a dozen others. There’s enough materiel for the lighter side, too: Chief Wiggles, Major Pain’s pet turkey, the woman Marine who deployed pregnant and delivered her baby in a war zone, the various units who have managed to bring their adopted unit mascots back from the theater. (Do a google search, for heaven’s sake. If you can’t handle that, ask one of the interns to help.) The shelves at my local bookstore are pretty well stocked with current writings on the subject, memoirs, reports, thrillers and all. Some stories even have yet to be written; they are still ongoing, and even classified, but I note that did not stop the movie producers back then: they just consulted with experts and made something up, something inspiring and convincing.

3. Of course, actually dealing with a contemporary drama in the fight against Islamic fascism would mean you would have to actually come down out of Hollywood’s enchanted world, and actually, you know … speak to them. Ordinary people, ordinary, everyday people, who don’t have agents and personal trainers and nannies, and god help them, they don’t even vote for the right people, or take the correct political line. Some of them (gasp) are even military, and do for real what movies only pretend to do … and besides, they have hold to all these archaic ideals like honor, duty, and country. (Ohhh, cooties!)

4. And since even mentioning the Religion of Peace (TM) in connection with things like terrorism, mass-murder, and international plots for a new caliphate is a guarantee to bring CAIR and other fellow travelers seething and whining in your outer office … ohh, best not. Drag out those old villainous standby Nazis, or South American drug lords, even the odd far-right survivalist for your theatrical punch-up, secure in the knowledge that even if you piss off what few remains of them, at least they won’t be unleashing a fatwa on your lazy ass, or sending a suicide bomber into Mortens’. Just ignore the three large smoking holes in the ground; cover your eyes and pretend it away. Never happened, religion of peace, all about oil, la-la-lah, fingers in my ears, I can’t hear you.

5.To make movies about it all, is to have to come to grips with certain concepts; among them being the fact that we are all potential targets for the forces of aggressive Islamo-fascism, that it is not anything in particular which we have done to draw such animus, and that we are in this all together, and that we must win, for the consequences of not winning are not only unbearable for us all — but they would be very likely to adversely affect you, too. I would expect an industry dependent on the moods and fashions amongst the public at large to have a better feel for what would sell … but I guess denial is more comfortable, familiar space, Sept. 10th is what you know best.

6. Still, if you could pass a word to Lumpy Riefenstahl, about getting signed releases, for footage, interviews and newsprint. It would be the courteous gesture towards all the little people for whom he professes to care, and save a bit of trouble in the long run.

Sgt Mom

15. May 2011 · Comments Off on Bye Bye, Bin Laden · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun With Islam, General, Media Matters Not, Politics, War

So, not tacky or energetic enough to do anything to note Bin Laden’s sudden shuffling off this mortal coil save for my daughter and I polishing off a bottle of champagne on the Monday afterwards, and me noting that while I had never killed anyone myself, I had read certain obituaries with a great deal of pleasure. Anything more demonstrative would earn us a severe poo-pooing from the likes of German newspaper opinion columnists and the Arch-Bish of Canterbury, among others . . . which disapproval at this late date has all the effect upon me of a flogging with a wet noodle, or of having my ankles attacked by a toothless Chihuahua. This means a lot of slobber, some momentarily but earsplitting noise, but no lasting damage whatsoever. So, consider the poo-poo noted, and thank you very much for your support, such as it has been. The champagne was very pleasant, by the way, especially considering that I had waited nearly nine and a half years to drink to cold justice being served for Bin Laden.

What a pathetic man, he was by the end – and living in such a dump, to judge by the videos and the pictures. Seriously, his place looked like a cheap residential motel, of the sort where the sheets are as thin as Kleenex and the bedside lamp is chained to the wall. And the raiding SEALS took away stuff by the garbage-bag full – although from the secret squirrel point of view, perhaps it would have been better to be completely quiet about what, exactly was taken away. But even so, I’ll bet there have been a lot of hasty exits from various places in the last two weeks, a lot of stuff being burned/trashed/shredded, and a fair number of hitherto upright types hastily making a last deposit into a secret bank account and checking out the rental rates for upscale walled villas in Marbella. And that’s just Pakistan, or as the fine folks at Rantburg call it, ‘Paki-waki-land’. Oh, and among those items removed from the “luxurious villa” are reputed to be his very own porn collection. Seriously, people are having fun coming up with proposed names for Bin Laden’s stash – say, Fatima Does Dallas, Deep Goat, Brokeback Goat, etc.

Oh, dear, what do we have to do to the Paks – more than slap them over the pee-pee with a lead pipe, I would hope. What an ignorant, bigoted, treacherous dunghill of a country, and I only say this because I used to read the Guardian, on a regular basis. Lots of stories about women with acid thrown on their faces, about Christian persecutions, hysteria about vaccinations and other temptations of modernity. I know we were their best buds and Uncle Sugar Money-bags way back when, because India was flirting with China (or China and Russia by turns, depending on the wind direction) and that left us gingerly holding hands with the dregs of the sub-continent . . . but I think the time has come to sever that relationship and the income-stream. The most wanted international fugitive for the last decade, turns up having hidden for the past how-many-years in a town full of retired Pak military, not a stones through from a military academy? Someone’s got some explaining to do. Personally, I think one faction in Paki-Waki-Land was sheltering him and another faction dimed him out. So, cut off the income stream, and watch it all devolve. I know they say that we need them for support of our efforts in Afghanistan, but if this is what their support means . . . umm, maybe we should explore what their non-support would work out to?
And wonderful – our very own press creatures are trying to play ‘spot the SEAL’ in Virginia Beach. I am amused, though, at how our hapless and militarily clueless reporter is foiled at every turn; a word to the wise, to anyone else playing this kind of game in a military town? Don’t go in without a guide or at least a little bit of internalizing military thought about op-sec. Double-don’t think it, if you have to have op-sec explained to you. And a couple of words of reminder about making note of the names of various places reputed to be military hang-outs? Bobby’s in Glyphada. La Belle Disco in Berlin, the Rib House near Torrejon; places that military of a certain vintage recall . . . because they were eateries that American military personnel favored – in Greece, West Germany and Spain. People with a point to make via high-explosives, sussed those three places out as a place likely to kill American service personnel. And they did, with varying degrees of success. So – it should be any different here in these United States? And do you understand, that in making it known to the public at large – that these places in a relatively small town are reputed to be military hangouts, that you are handing some basic research conclusions to people who might not have the long-term health of American service personnel in mind? Yeah, thanks for your support. Duly noted; And again – thanks.

05. May 2011 · Comments Off on Shoot, Shove Overboard, and Shut Up · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun With Islam, General, Media Matters Not, Rant, sarcasm, War, Wild Blue Yonder

Ya know, at least Obama actually did a very good speech, announcing that Osama Bin Laden had been taken down, and he did have the stones in the first place to step up to the plate and give the order for the SEALS to take out the trash. No shilly-shallying around and voting ‘present’ on that one, even if there are reports that he chewed over the decision for 16 hours. Well, it was momentous decision; a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize authorizing a targeted assassination, within the sovereign territory of a nation frequently described as being an ally. The irony abounds – one can only imagine the political and media response to GWB giving the go-ahead. So, our boy-king has the advantage of being one of those with a D after his name, which – when it comes to this sort of thing pretty much affords all-over protection against blowback.

So, approving noises all the way around, all the day long on Monday and into Tuesday this week: OBL sleeps wid da fishes, and the most sycophantic media tools are crowing that he will be a shoo-in for reelection in 2012 on that account . . . never mind that gas will probably close on $5.00 a gallon by mid-summer, and joblessness is endemic and the prices for basic groceries are sneaking up. And then . . .

And then . . . oh, oh. Different stories: firefight with the SEALS . . . or not. Use of a woman – perhaps wife, perhaps not – as a human shield. Plain old down and dirty execution, or did the plan call originally for everyone in the house in Abbottabad to be taken away for leisurely interrogation? Video or still documentation of the whole thing – as well as that rushed burial at sea, proving that OBL did indeed go over the side of the Carl Vinson? And now, not releasing any of the pictures of OBL, pining for the fijords because of inflaming the Muslim street, or something? People, get a grip – the Muslim street is always inflamed over something or other. Besides, they are always telling us that OBL was a bad Moslem, that he hijacked the Religion of Peace . . . so, wouldn’t they also want to see visual proof of his demise. There have been enough bloody pictures circulating in the last ten years, and anyone who has ever watched an episode of CSI has probably already seen many scenes at least as bloody and stomach-churning.

And no one at the higher levels of the administration had any idea as to how to deal with this, as an important news event and public affairs challenge – other than the boy-king making a speech. It was as if that was as far as they could see it going; the Administration appears to have felt no need to work out an in-depth response. Just take their word for it, no need to work out a coherent narrative, backed up by pictures, video, carefully shielded witness testimony, et cetera. Just shoot, shove overboard, and shut up.

Not gonna fly, in this wired world, not with so many people wanting to see just a little bit more, within the boundaries of operations security. I’d guess that the pictures and video outlining just a few more answers to questions will leak or be released within days. Just too many people, who are just too damn curious and haven’t had that curiosity satisfied in the least. I’m a long-retired military media professional – and I am offering this feedback gratis. The Administration better start working out a better response to this, and any future-type events.

Later: Froggy and Blackfive thinking along the same lines