Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Oh, she’s patriotic all right

She’s just in the wrong country, that’s all. Authentic American hero Kyle Lamb is just the guy to set her despicable ass straight.

Earlier this week, a 2017 tweet from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) surfaced in which she attacked the men who helped defend from starvation and civil war the country she abandoned in the early 1990s. In her tweet, Omar blasted “American forces” for killing “thousands of Somalis” during the Battle of Mogadishu in October 1993. “#NotTodaySatan,” Omar wrote.

I take special exception to Omar’s disgusting comments because I served in the Battle of Mogadishu, which was later portrayed in the movie “Black Hawk Down.” If you aren’t familiar with the real story behind “Black Hawk Down,” let me set the scene for you.

The Habar Gidir clan, one of the more powerful clans around Mogadishu, was led by the notorious warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid, who made the distribution of international aid to those who needed it nearly impossible. Instead of equitably spreading food and medical supplies, Aidid and his henchmen spread terror and death.

Task Force Ranger was the 1993 military effort ordered by President Bill Clinton to capture Aidid and his lieutenants so the U.N. could deliver food and medical aid without fear of being attacked or killed by Aidid’s forces. The American soldiers Omar attacked in her tweet — the men of Task Force Ranger –weren’t sent to Somalia for fame or fortune. They weren’t there because of a deep desire to visit the God-forsaken nation of Somalia. They were deployed to support peacekeepers who were desperate to rescue the country from starvation and the ravages of civil war. To do that, they had to capture the men responsible for it.

By the time Task Force Ranger had been launched, Aidid’s network of drug-addled, Khat-dealing gun runners had taken over Mogadishu and were doing everything they could to oppress any and all rival clans, including that of Omar, the Majeerteen. In other words, we were sent halfway across the world to help protect people just like Omar and her family. Nineteen incredible men gave their lives defending her country while serving ours. They deserve to be lauded for their service, not attacked for it.

I am thankful Omar and her family and countless others were able to escape to neighboring Kenya while we fought to protect those left behind, but I simply cannot comprehend her attitude towards those of us who fought to protect her country and countrymen from warlords who plunged Somalia only further into violence and starvation. I am glad that Omar can now enjoy the very freedoms we fought to protect, like the freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion affirmed in the U.S. Constitution, but I don’t understand why she uses those freedoms to slur the men and women of the U.S. military who made her security and liberty a reality.

I’m neither thankful nor glad for Omar’s deliverance from Somali hell into the welcoming arms of a nation whose assistance and embrace she is unworthy of. She is a disgusting ingrate, not worth one drop of the priceless American blood shed on her and her fellow primordial knuckledraggers’ behalf that awful day. More and possibly worse from the NYPost:

The controversial Minnesota lawmaker claimed that “thousands” died in the Battle of Mogadishu — though most reputable sources put the contested body count much lower, according a report by the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

#NotTodaySatan,” Omar wrote in response to a Twitter user’s lament that 19 US service members were killed and 73 injured in the battle.

Monica Showalter questions her “patriotism”:

Seriously, she called them ‘Satan’? And she said it a lot more recently than she did with her 2012 ‘Israel has hypnotized the world’ tweet. What amazing ingratitude. She called the people who were trying to deliver aid to her starving clan, the Mateerveen of the Somali north, ‘Satan’ and fliply said ‘Not today, Satan’ on the question of whether there should be appreciation for the Americans who died for her own people. Her country was a hellhole and the Marines came in five years after she left it. Her family were among the people who were so badly off as victims of Somalia’s khat-chewing warlords that they had fled the country — for a four-year stint in a Kenyan refugee camp as a better alternative to life in Somalia — until they hit the jackpot as refugees and came to America. That kind of ingratitude is some strange stuff.

It points to a reflexive anti-Americanism that’s visible in pretty much every statement she makes. And her resentment was there from the beginning – she hated America from the moment she landed here, as she told the New York Times, calling it a land of ‘hypocrisy.’ She “concluded that it was not the golden land that she had heard about,” the Times gently intoned. 

Gee, so sorry about all that, dear. No, really. The blood-boiling closer is Lamb’s.

The simple truth is that Omar enjoys the fruits of American combat deaths, yet she can’t even bring herself to acknowledge the ultimate sacrifice that was made on her behalf, either as a Somali or an American. Her clan didn’t stand a chance against Aidid and Habar Gidirs, so I don’t blame her for leaving. But I do blame her for attacking those of us who had zero personal interest or investment in her nation for doing our jobs on behalf of our country. And I blame her for smearing American servicemen because we answered the call of our nation to address the violent barbarism of hers.

Well said, SMaj. Omar is here in the first place because of some at best extremely suspicious—most likely illegal—maneuvering and manipulation. In light of her obvious dissatisfaction, she should be sent straight the fuck back to where she came from without delay, at least until those questionable circumstances are investigated thoroughly. There just is no demand whatsoever here for yet another disgruntled, unassimilable Muslim “refugee” whose loathing and contempt for America slops forth from every pore like sweat in a blazing desert.

The excretion Omar has no right to be here. She isn’t needed here. She doesn’t like it here. She has nothing of value to offer this country; her contemptuous, entitled attitude confirms that even if she did, she’s way more taker than giver. She isn’t a loyal, patriotic American citizen. She never will be. She’s a fucking parasite.

Send. Her. Back.

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Tonight’s badass

The awesome A-10.

Say what you want about the Air Force being a bunch of pussies or whatever, but for my money shit doesn’t get a whole lot more badass than the A-10 Warthog.  The thing is a goddamned flying tank from Hell equipped with a badass 30mm Avenger Gatling gun the likes of which would make the Terminator soil his extra-tight leather pants.  The Avenger (even the name is badass) fires armor-piercing rounds capable of tearing gigantic sucking flesh wounds in even the most formidable Soviet-built Commie bastard battle tanks and can be switched over on the fly to dispense 4,200 high-explosive rounds per minute when it needs to blast the shit out of less heavily-armored crap like trucks, artillery, APCs, SUVs, hang gliders and renegade hot dog stands.

If that doesn’t float your boat, the thing’s also equipped with enough explosives to blast the Moon into about eight billion tiny inedible cheese wheels.  It’s got a crapload of super-accurate laser-guided air-to-ground missiles and various other high-yield bombs for taking out bunkers, SAM emplacements, radar sites, and grounded fighters, and also has air-to-air missiles in case they need to show some enemy jets what it’s like to be on the receiving end of some good old-fashioned red, white, and blue American Grade-A top-choice beef sirloin whup-ass.  It’s also also so heavily armored that it can withstand direct hits from armor-piercing and high-explosive projectiles up to 37mm in size, can survive having a 2002 VW Beetle launched at it at extremely high velocity by a Russian-made Volkswagen Cannon, and has heat-shielded engines (and sundry other countermeasures) so no Commie Nazi Terrorist Unitarian bastards can jam a heat-seeking missile up it’s ass.

The A-10 is like the grizzled old-school Linebacker of the United States Air Force.  It’s not flashy, it’s not super-fast, it’s not going to do like twenty barrel rolls just to try and prove to you how huge it’s cock is… it just shows up, fucks everyone’s shit up, and goes home.  Even it’s name is a good indicator of the fact that this plane doesn’t fuck around.  Think of it this way – while all those other hotshot fancy-pants jets are out there flying around doing fruity-ass loop-de-loops, feathering their hair and listening to “Danger Zone” with pretentious fucking extravagant nicknames like “Eagle”, “Falcon”, “Tomcat”, and “Raptor”, the A-10 is the fucking Warthog. 

Actually, it’s better than that, even. “Warthog” is just a nickname; the A-10 is officially yclept the Thunderbolt II, its ancestral namesake being itself one of the most badass planes ever to shred a Panzer, Tiger, or Leopard into constituent atoms. The P-47 Thunderbolt link in the preceding sentence was from another A-10 post of mine back in 2016; I’m pretty sure I’ve done other posts here on the almighty Thunderbolt II as well. I won’t bother looking ’em up now, though, because it would delay my sharing this killer vid with y’all:




The A-10 was basically built as a platform for the fearsome GAU-8 Avenger rotary cannon, and is one of the most durable aircraft ever put in production, by anybody. In fact, the thing is famous for being damned nigh indestructible, beloved by those who fly it for that among other reasons. Inexplicably, Chair Force brass has been trying for years and years to mothball the Warthog, despite its being one of the most useful and successful aircraft in anybody’s inventory. Libtards are horrified by the A-10 because its big honkin’ cannon spits depleted uranium rounds at its doomed prey, which is just another reason for me to love the damned thing to pieces. The gun is so powerful when firing that it can actually affect the plane’s flight characteristics somewhat.

Its pilots aren’t the only ones who love the A-10; the men on the ground who depend on the CAS it so effectively provides are big fans too:

As a former Army ground pounder, I can tell you there are few better sights than some A10’s streaking over, hitting some ground targets with that big gun, then banking hard…. little dots leaving them and heading down… the aircraft still leaving hard and roaring… and then the ground just exploding from all the cluster bombs. Wow! Right up there with the drama of overhead heavy artillery going over, then down in front of you. The shock waves go right through you.

Thankfully, it appears that even the advent of the F-35 isn’t going to force the venerable, reliable old ‘Hog into retirement, at least for now:

In 2005, a program was started to upgrade remaining A-10A aircraft to the A-10C configuration, with modern avionics for use with precision weaponry. The U.S. Air Force had stated the F-35 would replace the A-10 as it entered service, but this remains highly contentious within the USAF and in political circles. With a variety of upgrades and wing replacements, the A-10’s service life can be extended to 2040; the service has no planned retirement date as of June 2017.

Sometimes newer and flashier ain’t necessarily better. And if ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

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It’s only a matter of time

And not a lot of it, either.

UNDISCLOSED—According to a US special ops team in an undisclosed location, a feminist activist and blogger endangered their team’s mission by popping up out of nowhere to lecture them on the gender balance of their squad.

The team leader later claimed that “this crazy lady” jumped out at them and began to scold them for their lack of gender balance.

“Excuse me, are there any women in your squad?” she said, frightening the officer, who nearly put a round into her right there.

“Wha—who are you?” he responded. “You scared the crap out of me. You really shouldn’t be here.

“Just what I thought,” she said, shaking her head. “You’re against me being here because I’m a powerful womyn, and that somehow threatens your white male existence.”

The men of the elite special ops team then offered to carry her out of the dangerous combat zone, but instead received a lecture on how women are just as capable as men and how she didn’t need to be carried like some piece of property.

At publishing time, the woman had been captured by enemy forces but was quickly set free after she annoyingly lectured the terrorists for several hours on the gender balance of their terror cell.

Eh, if they’d chopped her empty head off one could only nod ruefully in sympathetic understanding. It’s from the Bee, so I THINK it’s satire. Not at all their fault that that’s become such a very damned difficult thing to do nowadays.

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From the horse’s mouth

The guys in the driver’s seat rate the F35.

In my interviews with F-35 pilots, one word repeatedly came up: “survivability.” Surviving the Lockheed Martin F-35’s primary mission—to penetrate sophisticated enemy air defenses and find and disable threats—requires what the fifth-generation jet offers: stealth and a stunning array of passive and active sensors bringing information to the pilot. The F-35 can see trouble coming—ahead, behind, or below the aircraft—far enough in advance to avoid a threat or kill it. Faced with multiple threats, the sensor suite recommends the order in which they should be dispatched.

U.S. forces first took these capabilities into combat last September, when Marine F-35Bs struck the Taliban in Afghanistan (five months after its combat debut with the Israeli air force). More than 360 of the multi-service aircraft—Air Force F-35As, Marine short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing Bs, and carrier-capable Cs—have been delivered to 16 U.S. airbases and to seven other countries. Reaching these milestones has not been easy. The program’s difficulties and its cost—$406 billion for development and acquisition—have been widely reported. But now the F-35 is in the hands of the best judges of its performance, its pilots. I asked eight of them—test pilots who contributed to the jet’s development as well as active-duty pilots—about their experiences. Here, in their own words, are their answers.

I myself have teetered right on the very edge of unalloyed skeptic status when it comes to this bird. There have been serious gripes about the Lightning II from the very start—about expense, performance, the complexity and reliability of its electronics suite, etc. Then again, this sort of thing has been true of every new military aircraft type during its shakedown period, most especially with the fighters. As I said in the aforelinked post, even my beloved P51 was considered by pretty much everybody to be a total dog until its Merlin-engine, bubble-canopy “D” version came along. The issues will either be addressed and the thing will be a worldbeater for the next fifty years, or they won’t…in which case it will turn out to be the most expensive doorstop in history.

One of the things that kind of frosts me with the F35 was how the underappreciated F22 got the military-aviation version of the bum’s rush in a most undignified way to make room for it, despite the Raptor being a highly capable platform at a far less aneurysm-inducing sticker price. The very first pilot quoted in the article puts paid to at least some of my caviling and kvetching:

For four years, all people could talk about was how we’d lost a dogfight against a 40-year-old F-16. Paris was the first time we showed what the airplane could do. The F-35 engine is the most powerful fighter engine in the world, so on takeoff, I pulled straight up. The F-22 Raptor is an airshow favorite because it is super maneuverable. It has thrust vectoring; it controls the engine exhaust with paddles that move. The F-22 can do a downward spiral, and I did the same thing in the F-35—without thrust vectoring. I pull up to vertical, skid the airplane over the top, and spiral down like a helicopter hovers. That pedal turn [executed with rudder inputs] ended the discussion of how an F-35 would perform in a dogfight.

The second reviewer hits on something a good bit more important than that:

If you were to write down all the ways in which you could measure an airplane—payload, fuel, ordnance, handling—and ask 100 pilots to rank which is the most important, I guarantee you that 100 out of 100 pilots would say “situational awareness.” By far. Not a single pilot in the world would say “turn radius.” Not one. Because the more you know, the more accurately you know it, the better able you are to make a decision.

In situational awareness, the F-35 is superior to all platforms, including the Raptor. I’d never been in an airplane that so effectively and seamlessly integrates information to tell me what’s going on around me—and not just from the radio frequency spectrum, but laser, infrared, electro-optical. That’s usually the first thing people notice when they get in the airplane. They know so much more than they ever knew before.

Fair enough, I suppose. Now if we can just find a way to get our fighter jocks some stick time training in actual aircraft instead of simulators.

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Slowly, then all at once

The long, slow slide into once-great nation status begins with the military.

We’re hanging our whole maritime strategy in the Pacific Ocean around a few of these big, super-expensive iron airfields. If a carrier battle group(a carrier rolls with a posse like an old school rapper) gets within aircraft flight range of an enemy, then the enemy will have a bad day. So, what’s the super-obvious counter to our carrier strategy? Well, how about a bunch of relatively cheap missiles with a longer range than the carrier’s aircraft? And – surprise – what are the Chinese doing? Building a bunch of hypersonic and ballistic anti-ship missiles to pummel our flattops long before the F-35s and F-18s can reach the Chinese mainland. We know this because the Chinese are telling us they intend to do it, with the intent of neutering our combat power and breaking our will to fight by causing thousands of casualties in one fell swoop.

The vulnerability of our carriers is no surprise; the Navy has been warned about it for years. There are a number of ideas out there to address the issue, but the Navy resists. One good one is to replace the limited numbers of (again) super-expensive, short-range manned aircraft with a bunch more long range drones. Except that means the Naval aviation community would have to admit the Top Gun era is in the past, and that’s too hard. So they buy a bunch of pricy, shiny manned fighters that can’t get the job done.

Another mistake is over-prioritizing quality over quantity, which is the same mistake the Nazis made with their tanks. The Wehrmacht had the greatest tanks in the world – all top notch. Really good tanks. Tank-to-tank, they were the best – the dreaded Tiger had an 11.5-to-1 kill ratio. The Americans and Russians had merely decent tanks, just multiples more of them. Quantity has a quality all its own. Right now, America has something like 280 ships. We’ll have about 326 by 2023. That’s to cover the entire world. We had 6,768 ships when WWII ended in August 1945

This is inexcusable, but it is being excused. The focus of our military has shifted from victory to satisfying the whims of politicians. Here’s a troubling thought – if you go to one of the service branches’ War Colleges and poll the faculty and students about America’s greatest strategic threat, as many as 50% of the respondents will tell you it is “climate change.” That’s not an exaggeration. Our military is supposed to be dealing with the Chinese military and its brain trust is obsessing about the weather in 100 years.

The Chinese are going to continue dumping exponentially more carbon than America into the air and preparing to take us down while we focus on this kind of frivolous nonsense. Did you know the Chinese are pillaging our tech here in America, while our intelligence community’s incompetence led to our spy networks in China being rolled up? Probably not – these are one-day stories because the elite in DC and the media are busy trying to push the guy who won the last election out of office.

Here’s how the Chinese win. First, they take out our satellites. You know the GPS location service on your phone? Satellites, which are easy to hit. Say “bye-bye” to much of the ability of our precision weapons to find their targets. Also up for destruction are the communications satellites we rely on to coordinate our operations. And then there is the Chinese cyberattack, not only on our military systems but on systems here at home that control civilian power, water and other logistics. A U.S military with no comms and no computers is essentially the Post Office with worse service. An America with a ruined internet is Somalia.

Then they hit our land bases on Guam, Okinawa and elsewhere with a blizzard of missiles, knocking them out and annihilating our aircraft on the ground. Maybe we could respond with B-2s flying from the continental United States. We have 19 whole combat-capable aircraft, assuming a 100% operational readiness rate, which is just not a thing. We might even take out a few missile batteries on the Chinese coast. We won’t know the difference though. As for our carriers, if they come to play, they are likely going to get sunk, and if they stay out of the fight, they are merely useless – assuming quiet diesel subs do not find and sink them.

This is not a surprise. We play wargames against the Chinese all the time, and we lose.

The world’s “lone superpower” has absolutely NO business sending the putative “strongest military in the world” into combat against anybody until it can, first, somehow muster the will to win in its people, and second, clearly define what victory might consist of. Until such time, we’re doing nothing more than offering up the nation’s blood and treasure to provide our heavily-politicized flag-rank officer corps with a convenient playground to futz about in…which fecklessness will surely get our asses kicked up between our shoulderblades. In war most especially, if we ain’t in it to win it, we shouldn’t oughta be in it at all.

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Rara avis

Welcome home to one of the good guys.

In a PJ Media exclusive, the Iraqi native turned Navy SEAL interpreter and bestselling author who goes by the code name “Johnny Walker” told his story and made a huge announcement: he will receive his U.S. citizenship on Wednesday morning! At that time, he will also reveal his real name. (This article will be updated with that name when it becomes public.)

I have to ask: why, exactly? I mean, if this guy is okay with having his name out there—and obviously he is—then it ain’t my place to argue. But I still don’t quite get why PJM would feel it necessary to publish it themselves. If anybody ever needed at least a bare modicum of privacy, it would have to be him. He’s clearly earned it, in spades. So why put it out there on the PJM website? What worthwhile purpose could such a disclosure conceivably serve?

“It’s a big honor,” Walker told PJ Media. He is looking forward to posting videos of the ceremony and predicted a beautiful moment where “people from different backgrounds and different religions” will be united by loyalty to the United States.

Walker was born and grew up in Iraq and he started working with the U.S. military after the invasion began in 2003. He worked as an interpreter — called a “terp” — until 2009. That year, the military finally cleared him and his family to come to America.

While he lived in Iraq, he kept his work for the U.S. military a secret. If he had been exposed, it could have cost him his life. Since he will receive his citizenship Wednesday, however, Walker and his family will finally be safe, so he can go public with his name. (The Johnny Walker code name came from the Iraqi-American’s love for Johnnie Walker whiskey.)

In his interview with PJ Media on Tuesday, Walker explained how the American dream entered his imagination. When he was a kid, his parents encouraged him to play basketball to let out some of his youthful energy. “I started to love it,” Walker told PJ Media. “I started watching the Harlem team [the Globetrotters], listened to Country music, watched John Wayne movies.”

Sounds more authentically American than a lot of native-born ones do nowadays, sad as that is. In fact, he’s a pretty wise fella all the way around:

This Iraqi-American had a few political ideas as well. He is a big fan of President Donald Trump’s wall.

“The wall, it’s something personal. I don’t want to have AK-47s every time I take my kids to school,” Walker told PJ Media. “I’m not against immigrants, there are thousands better than me. But I am against people who have no background check, who are smuggling across the border. We don’t know whether those guys have a criminal record or not, all we know is that they use kids to get what they want.”

Well, harrumph, ahem, and homina-homina-homina. That ought to be enough to work the Diversity Is Our Strength types into a foamy, frothy lather all by itself. This is a truly fascinating story, people, start to finish. Trust me, you’ll want to read all of it.

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The playground of social justice

Should we ever foolishly allow our national “leadership” to drag the US into yet another pointless, eternal war, we are going to get our asses kicked up between our shoulder blades.

What follows is a compendium of my own personal observations as a Marine Corps officer, as well as an exploration of official policies that reveal the Leftist corruption of our military institutions.

Like academe and the mainstream media, the American military bows before the altar of political correctness, offering up sacrifices of its very being and purpose in order to satisfy this jealous god. The indoctrination into the sacred rites begins early in a marine’s career. For me, it started at The Basic School (TBS), the 6-month initial training for newly commissioned Marine Lieutenants. Throughout the course, the new officers attend a variety of social mixers with senior Captains and Majors in different occupational fields in order to discern which job they wish to be selected for at the end of the training.

The staff of TBS and the Infantry Officer Course (IOC) set aside one of these mixers for women and minorities only, so they could plead with these groups to join the combat arms—artillery, infantry, and tanks. While the staff fêted the “oppressed,” the white males returned to barracks to clean.

After the mixer, the Commanding Officer of IOC made an appeal to our class as a whole to join the infantry, while reiterating the need for women and non-whites as platoon commanders for the grunts. In his words, “Without diverse leadership that looks like America, future marines would not respect their officers.”

This kind of favoritism for “marginalized peoples” was manifest throughout my entire instruction. The treatment of women was especially egregious. Female marines rarely carried squad or platoon gear such as radios, machine guns, or batteries. They were more likely to fall out of hikes. Their injury rate was higher overall. During one hike, I witnessed a male Lieutenant, one of the largest in our platoon, carry not only his pack but that of a diminutive female officer who had been injured in the course of the march. While she limped along in tears, he plodded with her gear on top of his own in order to prevent her from falling out.

Basic School instructors, mine included, liked to say that in the Marine Corps “there is only one standard, the Marine Corps standard.” This is a lie. There are two standards: one for men and one for women. Thus, on the annual Physical Fitness Test, required of all marines, a perfect score for a 21-year-old male is 23 pull-ups, 110 crunches, and a 3-mile time of 18 minutes. For a female of the same age a perfect score is 9 pull-ups, 105 crunches, and a 3-mile time of 21 minutes.

Women also receive special benefits for family life. After giving birth, female marines receive 42 days of non-chargeable leave and can take an additional 12 weeks of maternity convalescent leave. “Secondary caregivers”—that is, fathers—only get 14 days. Female marines can take the 12 weeks of leave at any time in the year after giving birth. Although their duties are interrupted by taking leave, that cannot be used as a factor in determining whether women shall be promoted.

That’s only for starters. Boyd then links and excerpts a Heather MacDonald WSJ piece:

In September 2015 the Marine Corps released a study comparing the performance of gender-integrated and male-only infantry units in simulated combat. The all-male teams greatly outperformed the integrated teams, whether on shooting, surmounting obstacles or evacuating casualties. Female Marines were injured at more than six times the rate of men during preliminary training—unsurprising, since men’s higher testosterone levels produce stronger bones and muscles. Even the fittest women (which the study participants were) must work at maximal physical capacity when carrying a 100-pound pack or repeatedly loading heavy shells into a cannon.

The upshot to this PC nonsense? This:

The double standards and censorship wrought by the Left evidence the corruption their ideology inflicts in our ranks. The Marine Corps, like the rest of the American military, no longer places winning wars and defending the nation at the top of its priorities. If it did, how can we explain the insistence on special privileges for an entire class of physically and spiritually inferior “warriors?”

Easy: the Left doesn’t care about winning wars, and actively dislikes warriors, see. In addition, infiltrating, undermining, and eventually destroying organizations, institutions, cultures, and entire nations is part of Leftard DNA: that’s what they are, that’s what they do. So nobody should be in the least surprised over the predictable result of their insidious tinkering with the Marine Corps. And let’s not be kidding ourselves that the termites’ gnawing is limited to the Marines, either:

Improving diversity and acceptance across the Air Force isn’t just about being politically correct, it’s a “warfighting imperative,” USAF Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said Friday.

Speaking to a room packed full of airmen at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium, Goldfein said for himself and many leaders across the service, it can be hard to recognize issues other airmen face. These leaders need to accept that “we have blinders on as leaders,” and need to reach out to airmen from all backgrounds, races, genders, etc., to point out ways to improve.

To illustrate his point, Goldfein told a story about his first chief master sergeant when he was a squadron commander, and a box. One day, the chief came into his office and handed him the box and said that it “makes your airmen mad” and it “oughta make you mad.” He said he couldn’t understand his point. Looking closer, it was a box of flesh colored Band-Aids.

“I ain’t getting it,” Goldfein said he told him.

The chief pulled out the pink, “flesh-colored” Band-Aid and put it on his skin. The chief is black, the Band-Aid is made for white people, and the bandage completely stuck out.


He said, ‘That ought to make you mad, because it makes a lot of your airmen mad.’ And he winked and he walked out,” Goldfein said.

Then those airmen are basically your Mark-1, Mod-0 oversensitive pussyfarts, who need to be vigorously encouraged to nut up and get right the fuck over it.


“The challenges we face as a nation are wicked hard, and it’s going to take folks with different backgrounds, different life experiences, and different perspectives to be able to come in and sit down together and provide the creative solutions that we as a nation need to be able to fight and win,” he said.

That’s twaddle, feel-good liberal word salad that means nothing whatsoever. What those “wicked hard” challenges will require is wicked hard warriors—doughty, resilient, clear-eyed fighting men, not whiny snowflakes who might lose their shit over the color of a goddamned Band-Aid.

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McHale’s Navy

As someone descended from a long line of Navy men on both sides of my family, it pains me indeed to have to say this. But, as Vox puts it:

The level of bureaucratic incompetence plaguing the US Navy is almost astonishing, even without taking into account the way female crewmen have increasingly hindered the ability of the Navy to properly crew its ships. No wonder the Russians were able to defeat US forces in Syria; the Chinese have absolutely no reason to fear a US Navy that literally can’t even steer its own ships.

The USA is almost certainly going to lose its next major war. What we are witnessing here is nothing new, it is absolutely normal for an empire that has indulged itself in imperial overstretch for generations to fail to fund its military infrastructure prior to engaging in the conflict that fatally exposes the rot within. And lest you appeal to the inherent strength of the American people, keep in mind, the United States of Diversity is comprised of a very, very different population than the United States of America of 78 years ago.

Depressing as it is, he’s correct on every particular here, and we all know it. From the article he’s talking about:

When Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin was elevated to lead the vaunted 7th Fleet in 2015, he expected it to be the pinnacle of his nearly four-decade Navy career. The fleet was the largest and most powerful in the world, and its role as one of America’s great protectors had new urgency. China was expanding into disputed waters. And Kim Jong-un was testing ballistic missiles in North Korea.

Aucoin was bred on such challenges. As a Navy aviator, he’d led the “Black Aces,” a squadron of F-14 Tomcats that in the late 1990s bombed targets in Kosovo.

An aside, apropos of nothing: I met some of the Black Aces one weekend years ago when the band went up to NAS Oceana to play at the O-club for Cousin Reggie’s change of command after-party years ago. Those guys, the Jolly Rogers, and a few others were in attendance, all good bud of Reggies, who was taking over Rampager squadron (VFA 83) that day. It was a truly great night, one of the best ever for me. It was also the night I taught Mark Kelly— yes, THAT Mark Kelly, another close friend of Regbo’s, who strolled in casually rockin’ his blue NASA jumpsuit fresh from a training session in the Domes simulator complex—to play Smoke On The Water on guitar, which I believe I’ve mentioned here a couple times before. Anyways.

But what he found with the 7th Fleet alarmed and angered him.

The fleet was short of sailors, and those it had were often poorly trained and worked to exhaustion. Its warships were falling apart, and a bruising, ceaseless pace of operations meant there was little chance to get necessary repairs done. The very top of the Navy was consumed with buying new, more sophisticated ships, even as its sailors struggled to master and hold together those they had. The Pentagon, half a world away, was signing off on requests for ships to carry out more and more missions.

The risks were obvious, and Aucoin repeatedly warned his superiors about them. During video conferences, he detailed his fleet’s pressing needs and the hazards of not addressing them. He compiled data showing that the unrelenting demands on his ships and sailors were unsustainable. He pleaded with his bosses to acknowledge the vulnerability of the 7th Fleet.

Aucoin recalled the response: “Crickets.”

I said “depressing” above, and it is that. It’s also enraging. The sorry state of the US Navy is simply unacceptable, and dangerous. This article reveals a corruption and misfeasance little short of mind-blowing in its scope, and you should read all of it. Solutions to this massive problem are pretty thin on the ground; could be there really are none, or none likely to be implememnted given the current state of the nation itself. Our ill-concealed national enfeeblement bodes even worse than our ragged, overstretched military does; both are tocsin bells warning us of the necessity to hold Trump’s feet to the fire on his declared intent to pull the US out of its pointless, endless entanglements in Syria and Afghanistan, at the very least.

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A different view

Aesop vigorously begs to differ on last night’s McConnell-treachery post.

As a moot law, it’s completely unenforceable, and Trump could tell the entire Congress to f**k themselves and bring every troop home tomorrow, and there’s jack and squat that Bitch McConjob and Queen Alzheimers can do about it except piss their Depends.

That’s why the Constitution cleverly didn’t make Congress the executive branch.

The military will leave Syria and/or A-stan the minute the CG says “GTFO!”, and anyone from private to CJCS who half-steps will have a long time in military correctional custody to rethink insubordination, sedition, and treason.

Congress’ sole say in military affairs is writing the laws under which they operate, and funding them (or not). That’s it. They can starve a war, but they have no more say over where and whether the military deploys than they have over when the tide comes in.

If POTUS decides they’ll all be deployed to Alaska tomorrow, they’ll be packing long underwear and Mickey Mouse boots by sunset.

If the idiot who wrote this and the layers of editors at Conservative Treehouse are too stupid to figure all this out without being told, they’re not tall enough for the internet.

I promise you President Trump, the entire White House executive staff, and the entire DoD down to a recruit just stepping into the yellow footprints tonight knows it without anyone telling them.

I missed the SOTU because of work, but I’m pretty sure neither Bitch McConjob nor any other swinging Richard sh*tweasel in the Congress was granted emergency authority to suspend the US Constitution while I was sleeping. 

Ahh, but there’s the rub: we’re well past the point where the Swamp creatures concern themselves overmuch about what the Constitution, or any other law, might or might not say. I think Sundance’s main point about this being a warning shot from the USS McTurtle across Trump’s bow letting him know that he could conceivably be on board with the impending Democrat-Socialist impeachment circus (another shifty Deep State defensive move which has no sound basis in law or the Constitution whatsoever, but is still going to happen anyway, you watch) still holds up.

Sundance has done some damned fine work over many years, digging deep, doing the research, and bringing things buried out into the light for everyone to see. But just like the rest of us, he ain’t right every single time. My feeling is he’s more right than wrong about what this is really all about underneath the hood, but I could be wrong too. Take a look at the slippery wording of the thing, and it does seem to make Aesop’s point sure enough:

WASHINGTON — The Senate approved a Middle East policy bill Tuesday that includes a provision urging President Donald Trump not to precipitously withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Syria until terrorist groups there are destroyed.

“Urging,” is it? That there’s Cocaine Mitch and his cabal acknowledging just how much legal leverage they have to pry against Trump’s CinC role. To wit: no more nor less than Trump lets them have. Thereby are the forms observed, etiquette observed, and the charade maintained. The Deep State will never countenance the closing of the perpetual-war playground without serious resistance, in whatever way they can conjure to mount it.

And it makes it easier for states and localities to approve laws to combat the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, movement against Israel.

Democrats are divided on the BDS component of the bill, some saying it impinges on free-speech rights of Americans to support boycott efforts against Israel for its treatment of Palestinians and other concerns.

They complain that the Republicans purposefully added that provision to a package that otherwise has bipartisan support to put political pressure on Democrats to vote against a bill that is viewed as pro-Israel.

Meh. It ought to be crystal-clear by now that GOPe Senate lifers are way more interested in pressuring Trump than they ever will be their “esteemed colleagues across the aisle.”

As for Yertle’s leverage, note well that, despite Trump’s pledge in December that “they’re all coming back, and they’re coming back now” accompanying a direct order that the Syrian withdrawal would be completed in 30 days, there’s no sign of anybody having left the shithole country as of yet…in February. Funny too, isn’t it, how the peace-lovin’ Democrat Socialists, after howling for years about “endless war” and all that crap, suddenly turned on a dime and screamed about the dire security threat represented by leaving Syria—and Iraq, and Yemen, and Afghanistan, and etc—before “the job is done.”

Why, it’s almost as if what they claim to be concerned about isn’t really what concerns them at all, eh? But hey, like I always say: Deep Staters gotta Deep State. And I think that, at least, is something me, Aesop, and Sundance can ALL agree on.

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American badass

Guts+skills+a cool, confident head=GLORY.

Sgt. Trey Troney was making his way home to Raleigh, Mississippi, from Fort Bliss, Texas, for a holiday break when he happened upon a crashed truck on the side of the highway in Sweetwater, according to a Wednesday release from the Army.

He found Jeff Udger slumped over the steering wheel, so with two other men who had also stopped to help, he pried the driver’s door open. Then the 20-year-old noncommissioned officer got to work.

“I was in a pair of jogging pants and a T-shirt on the side of a highway, and somebody’s life depended on me slightly knowing a little bit [about emergency medical care],” Troney said in the release. “It wasn’t anything crazy [that I knew], but to [Udger], it was his world.”

First things first, he pulled off his own “Salute to Service” New Orleans Saints hooded sweatshirt and wrapped it around Udger’s head, to stanch a bleeding wound.

Then Troney realized that Udger’s left lung had collapsed. Back in his Jeep, he had some first aid supplies left over from 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division’s recent rotation at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.

But the chest decompression needle in his kit wasn’t long enough to reach Uger’s lung and give it a chance to refill with air. But he did have a ballpoint pen on hand, so he pulled off the ends and dumped out the ink tube.

“I took the [needle] and put it right in the hole and kind of wiggled [the pen] in with my hand in between the ribs, and you just started to see the bubbles come out of the tip, and I was like, ‘OK, we’re good,’” Troney said.

Just then, a state trooper arriving on the scene asked Troney if he’d just done what he thought he’d done.

“I was like, ‘I did,’” Troney said. “And [the state trooper] was like, ‘He’s on no pain meds,’ and I said, ‘Oh, he felt it, but he’s unconscious. He lost consciousness as I was running back to my Jeep because he had lost a lot of blood.’”

After paramedics showed up, the trooper got Troney something to eat at a truck stop nearby. The paramedics said he’d saved Udger’s life, but Troney was concerned he might be sued if the move with the pen had harmed Udger.

Quite the opposite happened, according to the release. Udger sought out government officials, media outlets and Troney’s chain of command to get the word out about the soldier who saved him on the side of Interstate 22.

Happy endings all around, then. Bless this fine young man; he’s a credit to his unit, his training, his Army, and his country, enough so as to give even a crusty, near-terminally cynical old fart like me a fleeting glimmer of hope. Aesop says:

This is the sort of thing for which the Army routinely awards the Soldier’s Medal.

“Awarded to any person of the Armed Forces of the United States who, while serving in any capacity with the Army of the United States, distinguishes himself by heroism not involving conflict with an enemy.”

There shouldn’t be anyone in Troney’s chain of command who should be anything less than proud to add their name to an endorsement for that award.

Amen to that, with big fat bells on. Somebody ought to get word to President Trump; I’m quite sure he’d be honored to receive Troney for a White House meet and greet, although from the sound of things that might be a little taxing on the kid’s becoming modesty. In any event: well done, Sergeant. Well done indeed.

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“The Navy still hasn’t said what it’s going to do about the fact that it can’t afford the ammo for the boats’ fancy guns”

Y’know, I bet you could find plenty of folks over in Ole Blighty who still think theirs is the most powerful, militarily awe-inspiring country on Earth, too.

The USS Lyndon Johnson, the third and final Zumwalt-class guided missile destroyer, floated out of its dry dock over the weekend. Meanwhile, the second of the class, USS Michael Monsoor, arrived at its future home port of San Diego, California.

While the launching of the Johnson completes the construction of the controversial destroyers, the program—which was cut by more than 90 percent, and still lacks ammunition for the six advanced gun systems—remains deeply troubled.

The USS Johnson is the third and final destroyer of the Zumwalt class that includes sister ships USS Zumwalt and USS Monsoor. Once upon a time, the Zumwalts were planned to be a mighty class of destroyers meant to replace the firepower of the Navy’s four Iowa-class battleships. The retirement of the four Iowas left a gaping hole in the U.S. Navy’s ability to provide fire support for the Marine Corps during amphibious landings. To make up for the shortfall, and to support land wars in the post-9/11 era, the Navy had planned to build 32 Zumwalt class destroyers.

Instead of 32 ships, the U.S. got three. Rising production costs, combined with the huge cost of those land wars and an economic recession, truncated the number of Zumwalts from 32 to seven, and finally to just three. According to the Congressional Research Service (PDF) the three destroyers will wind up costing taxpayers a grand total of $13 billion. That’s enough to buy seven Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyers at current prices. And unlike the Zumwalts, the Burkes are a proven design with a full suite of working sensors and weapons.

One major, lingering, embarrassing problem with the Zumwalts: The Navy has no plans to buy ammunition for the main guns. Each destroyer was built with two 155-millimeter Advanced Gun System weapons, which lower into the ship’s stealthy profile when not in use. The AGS was meant to be armed with the Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP), a GPS-guided shell with an effective range of 60 miles.

In 2001, at the very beginning of the Zumwalt program, Lockheed Martin estimated each LRLAP round would cost about $50,000—expensive, but fair considering each was practically guaranteed to hit its target. But cutting the number of ships built from 32 to 3, along with the rising development costs, dramatically increased the cost of each round to up to $800,000 each. That was too expensive even for the U.S. Navy, and the service announced it would not buy the LRLAP.

You can see where this leaves the Navy with a dilemma. The service now has three destroyers with no ammunition for their long-range guns, which was the entire point of building them to begin with. The Navy is reportedly planning to reconfigure the destroyers as hunter-killers, meant to seek out and attack enemy ships and land targets with precision-guided missiles. In such a case, the Zumwalts would rely on the 80 vertical-launch missile silos per ship to provide offensive firepower.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Marines are still awaiting the fire-support replacement for the Iowa-class battleships, 26 years after the last battleship was retired. Now that the Zumwalt program has become a billion-dollar misfire, the Marines are unlikely to ever get a dedicated naval gunfire platform again.

On the bright side, though, if we’re smart they’re not likely to be storming any beaches again either, so they won’t be needing one. America, at this stage of its journey down Great Britain’s road to once-great-power status, has no business contemplating any war that can’t be fought exclusively from an armchair in a dark, quiet room underneath the Midwest plains, by drone pilots. We no longer have either the national will or the gear for much else.

Which, given that we have a far more important battle with the Left imminently confronting us here at home, the new circumstantial restrictions on US overseas adventurism might not be an entirely bad thing, actually. Attempting to export democracy to places across the globe that don’t want any part of it never has worked out too well for us, any more than acting as the World’s Policeman has. Of course, it would be far more desirable to have any pullback from the “foreign entanglements”* Washington warned of occur as a result of a carefully-deliberated, honestly-debated decision rather than forced upon us by military-industrial incompetence and corruption. But whatevs, I guess.

*NOTE: Washington did NOT use those exact words in his farewell address, and his position on how foreign affairs should be conducted was a bit more, umm, nuanced than is broadly assumed. In my opinion, he’d likely have been in favor of making war if necessary to protect the nation under specific, well-defined conditions—even pre-emptively—but opposed to the kind of pointless, open-ended, half-a-war adventurism we’re bogged down in all over the world now.

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The American Empire

We do have one, I think, but contrary to the usual conception there’s more than one kind. Ours is atypical, in that it is guarded not by a dictator and the thugs he cowers behind, but by the bones of our honored dead.

JFK’S Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the early 60’s when DeGaulle decided to pull out of NATO. DeGaulle said he wanted all US military out of France as soon as possible. Rusk responded, “Does that include those who are buried here?”

DeGaulle did not respond. You could have heard a pin drop.

When in England, at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of ‘empire building’ by George Bush.

He answered by saying, “Over the years, the United States has sent many of Its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for In return is enough to bury those that did not
return.”

You could have heard a pin drop.

There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break, One of the French engineers came back into the room saying, “Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intend to do, bomb them?”

A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: “Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck.

We have eleven such ships. How many does France have?”

You could have heard a pin drop.

A U.S. Navy admiral was attending a naval conference that included admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French navies at a cocktail reception. He found himself standing with a large group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries.

Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks when a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked, “Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?”

Without hesitating, the American admiral replied, “Maybe it’s because the Brit’s, Canadians, Aussie’s and Americans arranged it so you wouldn’t have to speak German.”

You could have heard a pin drop.

AND THIS STORY FITS RIGHT IN WITH THE ABOVE…

Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on. “You have been to France before, monsieur?” the customs officer asked sarcastically. Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.

“Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.”

The American said, “The last time I was here, I didn’t have to show it.”

“Impossible. Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France!” The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained, “Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn’t find a single Frenchmen to show a passport to.”

You could have heard a pin drop.

As Bill notes, some or all of these may well be apocryphal. Doesn’t matter in the least, they’re still true. If there ever was a case of something being “fake but accurate,” these little vignettes would be it.

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Mad Dog down!

So I was listening to the local NPR outlet in the car earlier (yeah, I know, I know, I’m a masochist) and on some show or other they were discussing General Mattis’ departure from the SecDef post. The hosts went on and on in the most effusive terms about what a swell guy he was: best SecDef EVAR; a reasonable, bipartisan, intelligent, capable guy; beloved of both Republicans and Democrats alike; respected by all and disliked by none. This, followed up with some pearl-clutching hysterics over the Trump admin being in UTTER CHAOS, etc.

And sorry, but I damned near upchucked my lunch. I mean, come the fuck ON, willya? Do you propagandizing feebs REALLY think none of us remember you and your confreres absolutely pissing your pants when Trump proposed him for the slot? How Mattis—MAD DOG!! MAD DOG!!! The very nickname alone was enough to reduce the Left to tears—was a bloodthirsty warmongering murderer; an inhuman, callous butcher with no regard for the lives and well-being of the Oppressed Brown People he’d brutally victimized throughout his gore-soaked career?

I liked Mattis’ approach myself a great deal early on, and the fact that the shitlibs were being driven into such paroxyms of dismay wasn’t the only reason why. But on the issue he’s now leaving over—the long-overdue Syria pullout—I think he’s wrong as can be (more on all that coming up). In fact, he seems to be something of an invade-the-world-invite-the-world neocon type, someone all too comfortable with America’s longstanding role as the world’s policeman—perfectly understandable, given his job and the experiences that molded him. I was one for a long time myself, admittedly. But I ain’t no more, and I think my reasons for rethinking that stance are pretty good ones.

To his credit, Mattis has always been very careful to keep his personal politics to himself, even when prodded, which is no more than proper for a career soldier. But whatever your opinion of him, he’s a true Jarhead archetype through and through: a real character in the hallowed old Chesty Puller mode, as well being a total fucking machine when it comes to wonderful quotes. A small sample of the General’s hard-won wisdom:

“The first time you blow someone away is not an insignificant event. That said, there are some assholes in the world that just need to be shot.”

“I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all.”

“Find the enemy that wants to end this experiment (in American democracy) and kill every one of them until they’re so sick of the killing that they leave us and our freedoms intact.”

Lots more here. Even more resoundingly in his favor, the Marines who served with and under him seem to love and revere him, a fact which the wormy Left tried hard to twist, obfuscate, and contradict when he got the SecDef nod. I’m sure you guys all remember how they scuttled and scratched trying to debunk the now-famous Christmas story:

However, The Doctor was able to find out what happened from retired Marine Gen. Charles Krulak, who was commandant when the story took place. Every Christmas during his tenure, Krulak delivered cookies to every Marine duty post around Washington and Quantico, Va.

Back in 1998, he was making his final delivery to Marine Corps Combat Development Command headquarters at Quantico when he asked the Marine on duty who the officer of the day was.

“The young Marine said, ‘Sir, it’s Brigadier General Mattis.’”

Krulak thought the Marine had misunderstood him, so he asked again, but he got the same answer.

“I looked around the duty hut and in the back, there were two cots: One for the officer of the day and one for young Marine. I said, ‘OK, let me cut through all of this: Who was the officer who slept in that bed last night?’

“And the Marine said, ‘Sir, Brigadier General Mattis.’”

At that moment, Mattis walked around the corner.

“So I said to him, ‘Jim, what are you standing the duty for?’ “And he said, ‘Sir, I looked at the duty roster for today and there was a young major who had it who is married and had a family; and so I’m a bachelor, I thought why should the major miss out on the fun of having Christmas with his family, and so I took the duty for him.’”

Never before or since has Krulak run into a general officer standing duty on Christmas Day.

 “I think it says volumes about Jim Mattis and his leadership style,” Krulak said. “He did it very unobtrusively. He just took the duty.”

When all’s said and done, whether you consider James Mattis a success or a disappointment as Trump’s Secretary of Defense, I still like the guy myself, and have tremendous respect for him. He is and will remain a Marine’s Marine, a credit to his Corps and country. It’s too bad he’s leaving, but given current circumstances and trends it’s probably the right moment for it, and he does so with his honor and integrity intact. May God bless you, sir, and many thanks for your long and selfless service.

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Remembrance

The best Veterans’ Day post I’ve seen has gotta be Gerard’s.

In time, I left home for the University and, in the manner of young men in the 1960s and since, I came upon a lot of new and, to my young mind, excellent ideas. A minor one of these was that it was time to stop being a ‘Jerry’ — a name I associated for some reason with young men with red hair, freckles and a gawky resemblance to Howdy Doody. I decided that I would reject my family’s preferences and call myself by my given name, ‘Gerard.’ In fact, in the callous manner of heedless boys on the verge of adulthood, I would insist upon it. I duly informed my parents and would correct them when they lapsed back to ‘Jerry.’

This attitude served me well enough and soon it seemed I had trained my bothers and my parents in my new name. Of course, I’d taken this name not because of who my uncle had been or because of the cause for which he gave his life, but for the selfish reason that it simply sounded more “dignified” to my ears.

I was a student at the University of California at Berkeley and it was 1965 and we had no truck with the US military that was “brutally repressing” the people of Vietnam. We were stupid and young and nothing that has happened at Berkeley since then has changed the youth and stupidity of its students. If anything, my era at the University just made it somehow possible for Berkeley students to think that their attitudes were as noble and as pure in their minds as they were stupid and selfish in reality. I was no longer a “Jerry” but a “Gerard” and I was going to make the world safe from America.

My name change plan went well as long as I confined it to my immediate family and my friends at the University. It went so well that it made me even stupid enough to try to extend it to my grandparents during a Thanksgiving at their home.

At some point during the meal, my grandmother said something like, “Would you like some more creamed onions, Jerry?”

And because I was a very selfish and stupid young man, I looked at her and said, “Grandma, everyone here knows that I’m not Jerry any longer. I’m Gerard and you’ve just got to get used to calling me that.”

Immediately, the silence came into the room. It rose out of the center of the table and expanded until it reached the walls and then just dropped down over the room like a large, dark shroud.

Nobody moved. Very slowly every set of eyes of my family came around and looked at me. Not angry, but just looking. At me. The silence went on. Then my grandmother, whose eyes were wet, rose from the table and said, “No. I can’t do that. I just can’t.” She left the table and walked down the hallway to her bedroom and closed the door behind her.

The silence compounded itself until my grandfather rose from his chair and walked to the middle of the hallway. He took a framed photograph off the wall where hung next to a framed gold star. It had been in that place so long that I’d stopped seeing it.

My grandfather walked back to the table and very gently handed me the photograph. It showed a smooth-faced handsome young flyer with an open smile. He was dressed in fleece-lined leather flying jacket and leaning casually against the fuselage of a bomber. You could see the clear plastic in the nose of the plane just above his head to his right. On the picture, was the inscription: “Folks, Here’s my new office! Love, Gerard.”

My grandfather stood behind me as I looked at the picture. “You are not Gerard. You just have his name, but you are not him. That is my son. He is Gerard. If you don’t mind, we will continue to call you Jerry in this house. If you do mind, you do not have to come here any more.”

Then he took the picture away and put it back in its place on the wall. He knocked on the bedroom door, went in, and in a few minutes he and my grandmother came back to the table. Nobody else had said a word. We’d just sat there. I was wishing to be just about anyplace else in the world than where I was.

They sat down and my grandmother said, “So, Jerry, would you like some more creamed onions?”

I nodded, they were passed and the meal went on. My parents never said a word. Not then and not after. And, to their credit, they continued to call me Gerard. But not at my grandparents’ house.

An incredibly moving story, and an incredible piece of writing, of which you want to read every word. And again, here’s the link to donate to Gerard, who in case you missed it was burned out in the Cali wildfires and lost everything. Help the man out if you can.

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Veterans Day

Fascinating piece on French painter Henri Farré, documentarian of the birth of military aviation.

When World War I broke out, Farré decided to return home to France and do his part. Because of his artistic skills, he was given a rather interesting military commission to depict the war on canvas. While other artists, such as John Singer Sargent, also saw duty recording events like battles and troop movements during World War I, Farré was asked to record the brand new combat sector of military aviation for posterity. It would prove to be what set him apart from all other artists working at the time.

Between 1914 and 1917, Farré traveled to battlefronts and training grounds around France, painting images of aircraft and the men who flew and maintained them. These artistic duties often brought him into great personal peril, such as serving as a gunner at the back of a two-seater airplane, trying to machine-gun a German plane while trying to keep his sketchbook clamped between his knees.

What he saw up in the clouds, as he and his pilot stared at death head-on, often affected him so powerfully that sometimes he would start painting as soon as possible after getting back on the ground, while the colors and light effects he had seen were still fresh in his mind’s eye.

The paintings Farré produced were quite varied, and don’t fit neatly into a single category. Some of the images would not look at all out of place hanging next to a piece by Childe Hassam or Camille Pissarro––all sparkling tones and azure skies. Others are strikingly, violently different, featuring deep blacks and intense flashes of red, green, and yellow, symbolizing things like incendiary bombs or tracer fire. These works exhibit the kind of quick, punctuated, but deliberate brushwork that one sees from Henri Matisse or André Derain.

In 1919, Farré published his memoir of the war, titled after the exhibition and illustrated with a number of his works. He recounted his efforts to get to know (and capture in his art) the men with whom he served, and what aerial combat was really like. It’s an absolute howl of a book, despite its very serious subject matter, because these early flyboys were a riot: tough, smart, and daring, yet sophisticated and nonchalant. Farré was a generation older than they, yet they accepted him as one of their own, because he jumped right into the gung-ho spirit of things with them.

In the book, Farré shares stories of some truly harrowing combat adventures, all the more terrifying when one realizes that there is no cover over the cockpit, no parachute, and no way to survive coming down if you get hit.

No protection from the elements either; I have an old dead-tree biography of Richtofen somewhere around here which has a picture of him suited up beside his famous blood-red DR1 just before a wintertime flight, wearing great bulky furs and cumbersome, elbow-length gloves. I bet he was still damned cold up there even with all that gear on, too. Elsewhere, Aesop wishes his beloved Corps a happy birthday with a picture of the recent MOH ceremony honoring Marine Sgt. Maj. John Canley:

When you look for another service where an 80-year old who retired 30 years ago gets his Medal of Honor, still fits his dress blues, and looks like he could still be on active duty, but don’t find one anywhere else, you’ll know what they mean about “Once A Marine, Always A Marine.”

Heh. S’truth. I’ve known a bunch of Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children over the years, and you could say the same about most of ’em. They may leave the Corps, but the Corps never leaves them.

Oh, and for slope-shouldered pussyboy dumbass Barrack Obama: that’s pronounced “core,” not “corpse,” punk.

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Tragic

Gerard Van Der Leun is an old and dear friend of ours here at CF, and I’m very saddened to learn that he’s just suffered a devastating loss due to the Cali fires:

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From a subsequent post:

Today I have to start to replace the basics. The inventory of needful things and obscure objects is long and spotty. As I said above, no briefs have I. Nor spare socks. Nor toothbrush. Nor corkscrew. Nor any one of a thousand trivial things that form the tools of life and the shell of the self. Nor things like the photograph of my one daughter when she was small enough to rest there along my forearm. Losses one shrugs at and losses that make me weep here in the dawn.

What I do have is the love and the generosity of my cherished friends and readers. It is more wonderful and more widespread than I ever could have imagined. I will be weeks thanking all but my gratitude is deep and abiding.

What I do have is this small unknowing black cat sleeping curled at my side after our ride out of the fire.

What I do have is my mother sleeping quietly in the next room, her breathing soft and low as her life is fine and bright.

What I do have is my mother’s warm and settled apartment she has lived in for nearly 40 years. Others are sleeping in shelters, churches, RVs, and tents.

At the end of things we can, I think, come yet again to know  — as we know and forget and know and again forget so many times — that Paradise is not a place that lasts forever here on Earth, but something that exists in the hearts of good people that hold their holy light within and, when that light is called forth, let it shine through.

My heart breaks for the man, it truly does. But at the same time, his abiding positive attitude and ability to hold his blessings at the forefront of his awareness with gratitude rather than lapsing into inconsolable grief and self-pity is inspiring, and says so much about Gerard’s character and grit. I can only sit back in awe and admiration at such resilience in the immediate aftermath of disaster. You can donate something to help him out here, and I urge you to consider doing so if you possibly can.

Gerard, my friend, you’re one of the good guys. May God bless you and keep you in this most trying time. I’ll keep this post up top for a few days, so’s our less frequent visitors don’t miss it.

(Via WRSA)

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“We are all Proud Boys now”

And not a moment too soon, either.

“Our attack is merely the beginning,” Antifa’s terror manifesto read after they led a premeditated and well-coordinated assault on our Metropolitan Republican Club in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. They hoped we would cancel a scheduled event the next night with founder of the Proud Boys Gavin McInnes as a result of their violent outburst. They were wrong.

It is not easy to be a Republican in New York City, but our ragtag group does the best we can to fight for conservative values in the belly of the beast. Earlier this week, we refused to back down in the face of extreme oppositiony from the leftist mob. Those of us who have been in the fight since at least the 2016 Trump campaign have seen our fellow patriots demonized, ambushed, insulted, defamed, beaten, and robbed of their livelihood. From our experience, we know that to acquiesce to their ultimatums and threats is to surrender. We stood defiantly in the face of those anti-American terrorists in the street, and welcomed Gavin McInnes to our event as he held a rubber sword to honor legendary Japanese anti-socialist Otoya Yamaguchi.

The leftist terrorists shouting unoriginal slogans in the streets were enraged that we exercised our 1st Amendment rights. Despite all their threats, the event proceeded, largely thanks to the great work of New York’s Finest. They guarded the doors even while chanting Antifa berated them as “Pigs” and “Fascists.”

After leaving the event, a colleague and I witnessed a right-leaning independent journalist being assaulted and mugged by multiple masked Antifa thugs who did not want their likenesses revealed to the greater public. We saved the man from a vicious mob beating from Antifa, who called me a “Nazi” despite my being Jewish and having family who died in Europe during the Holocaust. These Neo-Brownshirts even attacked the man’s girlfriend, showing that these enemies of America will stoop to any depth in order to shut their opposition down, all under the guise of “Fighting Fascism.” 

After meeting with the police to give a statement on what I saw, I was confident that justice would be served. I could have never imagined what was next to come. A complete inversion of reality was widely reported by the press, who seized upon the incident to fabricate an “October Surprise” to damage the GOP’s chances for November’s midterm elections. Top Democratic officials, including the New York governor, New York City public advocate, and the attorney general all badmouthed the Proud Boys publicly and called for their prosecution for defending their rights and engaging in self-defense during other incidents that night. Antifa assailants are referred to simply as “protestors” while a multiracial and multiethnic group of Proud Boys are defamed as “White Nationalists” in the press, being simultaneously “doxxed” by the online wing of the Antifa mob. Now, the feeding frenzy has started. Our stand for freedom against leftist terror has been completely spun. Out-of-context quotes from Gavin McInnes are being used to paint him as a right-wing militant leader when he in all actuality he just runs a patriotic fraternal group who like America and beer. Antifa’s acts of terror and manifesto promising more violence were glossed over completely in nearly all reports.

This is what makes Antifa so dangerous. It is not their fighting skills, which are subpar at best, but it is their immense establishment support. These people would be laughable otherwise, but they operate with near impunity due to supporting the establishment’s values of open borders, globalist socialism, censorship, social degeneracy, and limitless centralized power. There is an organized network of leftist lawyers who will defend these terrorists free of charge, and countless deep state apparatchiks working as judges, journalists, law enforcement officials, university administrators, and federal bureaucrats who regularly abuse their power to protect these unabashedly violent activists. This is a far worse problem than Antifa merely getting payoffs from Soros and other far-left oligarchs through their shady non-profit networks.

Read all of it—and at long last acknowledge fully and without flinching that we are in fact already at war with the TWANLOC mob…and that all the desperate wishes for “civility” and “dialogue” will not and cannot alter that, or deflect it, or defer it, or make it go away. Which essential truth necessitates a new category, in honor both of Breitbart, who coined the phrase, and the Proud Boys, who are breathing new life into it in defiance of the both the thug Left and the mewling cucks who moan about their righteous actions: FUCK YOU, WAR!

Update! It might be a little OT, but in poking around to find a link explaining the origins of Breitbart’s immortal line, I ran across some other good stuff and felt it was worth adding into the mix. Such as this, from a speech to a Massachusetts Tea Party group:

I must say, in my non-strategic… ‘cuz I’m under attack all the time, if you see it on Twitter. The [unclear] call me gay, it’s just, they’re vicious, there are death threats, and everything. And so, there are times where I’m not thinking as clearly as I should, and in those unclear moments, I always think to myself, ‘Fire the first shot.’

Bring it on. Because I know who’s on our side. They can only win a rhetorical and propaganda war. They cannot win. We outnumber them in this country, and we have the guns. [laughter] I’m not kidding. They talk a mean game, but they will not cross that line because they know what they’re dealing with.

And I have people who come up to me in the military, major named people in the military, who grab me and they go, ‘Thank you for what you’re doing, we’ve got your back.’

They understand that. These are the unspoken things we know, they know. They know who’s on their side, they’ve got Janeane Garofalo, we are freaked out by that. When push comes to shove, they know who’s on our side. They are the bullies on the playground, and they’re starting to realize, what if we were to fight back, what if we were to slap back?

There’s just a part of me that wants them to walk over that line.

And so they have, in spades. This next is from a pretty decent Slate article shortly after Andrew’s untimely death, written by Dave Weigel, of all people:

Every time they upload a story or tweet, Breitbart.com’s editors are answering a question: How do you keep this stuff going without your star? Can you keep getting on CNN and Fox and the Drudge Report? Does your inbox keep filling up with tips and video scoops? How do you replace Andrew Breitbart?

You really don’t. Breitbart’s death was commemorated by memorials in L.A., New York, and—twice—in D.C. The admiring bloggers who put on the first D.C. memorial went on to start the Breitbart Scholarship. Ideally, board members like James O’Keefe will use it to dole out cash for enterprising student journalists.

The second D.C. memorial, which I attended last night, was held at the Newseum in a theater a few steps away from a giant slab of the Berlin Wall. Four members of Congress gave speeches paying tribute.

“I don’t know anyone who can, with clarity, articulate the left and what they’ve done over the last 100 years,” said Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican, after the memorial. “I didn’t think I was the only one who understood it, but when I read his book, I realized—wow, he really understood it. Marcuse, the Frankfurt School, all of that.”

The tribute ended with a short video tribute by the makers of the upcoming documentary Hating Breitbart. The #war hashtag started with their original trailer. It ends with Breitbart closing a long rant with, “Fuck you,” staring at the camera for a few seconds, then saying, “War” like he was trying to spook somebody out of the hiccups.

“We didn’t even push that hashtag,” said Andrew Marcus, the director of the documentary. He rattled off some of the other Breitbart memes that have spread since the Web pioneer died. “IAmBreitbart, BreitbartIsHere, the posters—that’s all organic. Nobody’s planning that.”

I don’t think Breitbart’s importance to the consolidation and crystallization of Fed Up Americans into a movement working to reclaim and restore America That Was can be overstated. A reformed Leftist himself (his disgust with the Clarence Thomas hearings is what finally drove him from Progressivism’s cold, choking embrace, ironically enough), he was one of the first high-profile figures on the Right to lose patience with the moribund GOPe’s politics of appeasement and perpetual defeat and unabashedly, aggressively punch back at the Left instead. He was bold, indomitable, and effective. He was a wholly serious, dedicated man, but he also managed to maintain his sense of humor and a casual, almost flippant attitude about his own role in the struggle to right our shipwrecked country.

Regrettably, Weigel is right: you don’t replace a Breitbart. He’s far from forgotten, and his fingerprints are all over the Trump Revolution and its string of welcome, overdue victories. He was the right man at the right time, and that’s a fact. But we could certainly use him now, maybe more than ever. He is sorely missed.

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Occam’s Razor cuts surpassing fine

Deep, too.

Perhaps more ominously, this post from the Carlos Slim Journal, demanding Trump be dragged from office and hanged in Lafayette Park suggests the Left’s war on civilization is just getting started. Most people will focus on the rank hypocrisy and dishonesty, but the real focus should be the warning. The Left organized a wide scale conspiracy to rig the last election. The FBI and DOJ are currently running a wide scale conspiracy to hide their ongoing efforts to remove Trump from office and stonewall Congress.

As much as our side jokes around about Pinochet, it is the Left that may be plotting a coup in order to install an authoritarian government. Just look at the organized effort to ban people from the financial system. David Horowitz has just been un-personed by MasterCard and Visa. In the modern age, if you want to wage a civil war, gaining control of the banking system is the first step. Then you take over the internet. Without money or a means to reach a mass audience, fighting back in a civilized way is impossible.

That last bit is important. Most people are willing to fight the good fight until it means coloring outside the lines. That’s the water’s edge for most of the people the Left sees as their enemy. It’s why the Left is always trying to provoke or invent a backlash. It provides them with cover to scare the normies and use any means necessary to “defend our democracy!” As is always the case, the Left seeks to turn civilization’s virtues into vices they can exploit to undermine society. Your reasonableness is their best weapon.

The thing to understand with the Left is that they are reactionary. Team Obama came up with the scheme to rig the last election and when this became apparent to Team Clinton, they reacted by howling about “Russian hacking.” In other words, they immediately began to project their own hated activities onto others. Remember that it was the Left that started the Fake News idea, only to have people point out that the lefty news organs were nothing but fake news. The same was true of the AstroTurf chants over the Tea Party.

What all of this most likely means is that the Democrats are quietly working on their plans to impeach Trump as soon as they gain control of the House this fall. They have upped Pelosi’s Thorazine dosage so she does not blab about it during interviews, but the Left can’t help but get ahead of themselves, hence the NYTimes post. The plan is to impeach Trump in 2019 and then count on the NeverTrump loons in the GOP to join in and force the Senate to remove him. Given the nature of the GOP, this is a good bet.

This is a bit of a meandering post, but the basic point is that it is a mistake to take the Left’s chanting at face value. It’s not just that they lie. Ideologues always lie. It’s that they are psychologically incapable of concealing their actions. Again, that old self-hatred gets the better of them and they start dropping hints via projection. For two years now, the Left has been trying to convince us that Trump is a dictator, who plots with foreign agents to “harm our democracy.”  That should be read as a warning about what comes next.

That’s what puts the Left’s howling about a civil war in perspective. They have been waging a civil war on the rest of us for a couple of years. They have normalized the idea of using public companies to strip people of their right to participate in public debate. They have normalized the idea of stripping people of employment due to their politics. They are now proscribing people because they hold the wrong opinions. Banning people from breathing is next. The only thing missing is a coup and a dictator.

If they can manage to pull off the coup, they’ll find the dictator easily enough; the Democrat Socialist ranks are chock-full of eager aspirants.

Our current contretemps is what brought Occam’s famous Razor to my mind: at what point does the Razor—the simplest explanation is usually the correct one—demand acknowledgment that events and/or situations that might once have easily been dismissed as “conspiracy theories” have become the only way of making sense of them?

As for Z’s “good bet” impeachment assertion, I can’t really disagree with it, much though I might wish to. Rudy Giuliani, bless his stout heart, had something blunt to say about the response to a phonus-balonus impeachment coup that the DC Swamp critters really, really need to think carefully about, but won’t:

In an interview with Sky News Rudy Giuliani claimed there was “no reason” for an impeachment and called Mr Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen “a liar”.

“You could only impeach [Trump] for political reasons and the American people would revolt against that,” he said.

Absolutely, positively true and correct. And all specifically because the Democrat-Socialist Party and the whiny bitches of the Progbrat Left refuse to accept the results of any election they don’t win; having become so accustomed to their longstanding lock on power, the loss of it has driven them bugfuck nuts. The Deep State GOPe, along for the ride as usual, doesn’t intend to let their also-ran consolation prize of perks, privilege, and payola go without a fight, either.

In sum, the Swamp critters want their status-quo business-as-usual back. If they want it badly enough to risk an actual mass uprising by better than half the damned country against them to get it, let them continue on this path and they will almost certainly get themselves one. We’ll just see how much they like it.

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When men were men, and America was still America

Antidote to the bitter cynicism of my last post.

Lewis Puller, nicknamed “Chesty” because of his perfect posture and the fact that his torso somewhat resembled a full-size beer keg full of lead bricks, raw muscle and horse steroids, was a hard-as-shit motherfucker who is almost universally-recognized as the most badass dude to ever wear the uniform of the United States Marine Corps.  Not bad, considering that being revered as the pinnacle of toughness by the USMC is kind of like being King of the Vikings or the toughest Klingon to ever set foot on the planet Kronos.  In his thirty-seven years of service to the Corps, Puller would rise through the ranks from Private to General, kick more asses than Juan Valdez on an insane bender, and become the most decorated Marine in American history.

Born in the small town of West Point, Virginia, Puller grew up hunting, fishing, armwrestling black bears and reading about military history.  He enrolled in the prestigious Virginia Military Academy in 1917, but dropped out after a year to enlist in the Marines, mostly because he didn’t want to fuck around reading books about kicking sack when he could be out there booting it himself.  He was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserves, but was placed on the inactive list ten days after his enlistment (WWI was winding down, and the government was scaling the military back).  Since nothing was going to stand between Chesty Puller and his mad desire to shoot motherfuckers in the eye, Puller re-enlisted in the Corps, this time going in as a lowly Private.  After thirteen weeks of running eighty miles a day, climbing sheer cliff faces with his bare hands, and crawling under barbed wire while pissed-off Drill Instructors whacked him over the head with rusty medieval polearms and belted forth a constant stream of compound profanities vile enough to make the baby Jesus cry, Puller was shipped out to kick asses in Haiti.

Puller’s mission was to maintain order in Haiti by killing endless hordes of Caco Rebels bent on the violent overthrow of the U.S.-sponsored Haitian government.  Over the course of five years, Chesty fought in over forty engagements against these rebels, where he gained valuable experience in small-unit tactics, jungle warfare, and ripping his enemies’ hearts out through their ribcages with his bare hands.  His toughness and badassitude earned him rapid promotions, and by the time he was shipped out to Nicaragua in 1930 he was already a commissioned Lieutenant.  Er… again.

As the commander of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, Puller’s men were tasked with making an amphibious assault near the Matanikau River on the sunny Pacific resort island of Guadalcanal and staking out a critical strategic Margarita stand.  Two companies of the 1/7 hit the beaches, and almost immediately ran into a force of Japanese regular infantry much larger and more well-prepared than anything the Marines were expecting to face there.  The invasion force was cut-off and surrounded by an enemy counter attack, and Puller quickly realized that he had to get his boys out of there before they were cut to pieces.  Another group of Marines tried to break through the Japanese flank and reach the stranded men, but the enemy resistance was too strong and they were too well-fortified to be displaced.  The commander of the operation told Puller that it was hopeless, and that those Marines were lost.  Well Chesty Fucking Puller never resigned defeat for any reason.  He slammed his fist down on the table and immediately stormed out of camp toward the beach, where he flagged down a U.S. Destroyer that happened to be sailing off the coast.  Despite having absolutely no authority to do so, Puller boarded the vessel and immediately began organizing a second amphibious assault aimed at breaking through the Japanese lines.  From the deck of the ship he directed the Destroyer to fire everything they had at the enemy fortifications.  The shelling, coupled with the second landing, punched through the enemy blockade and cleared a path for the stranded Marines to escape.  One week after this defeat, Puller and his men would return to the mouth of the Matanikau River and obliterate all Japanese opposition in the sector, probably with their bare hands.

During that same campaign, Puller would once again prove his brass-ballsitude by going above and beyond the call of duty in the name of kicking every ass he could find.  On the night of 24 October 1942, 700 men of the 1/7 were positioned in a thin, mile-long line, defending an American airfield that was critical for the success of the Guadalcanal operation.  They suddenly came under an intense onslaught from the seasoned men of the Japanese 17th Army, who came charging full-speed at the U.S. positions.  For over three hours in the middle of the night, Chesty Puller ran up and down the U.S. lines directing his men and giving orders to his company commanders.  When the smoke cleared the next morning, the hard-fighting men of the 1st Marines had killed 1,400 of the enemy and captured seventeen trucks loaded with weapons and PlayStations while sustaining fewer than 70 casualties.  Before he would leave Guadalcanal, Puller would be shot twice by snipers and hit once with shrapnel from an exploding mortar round, but none of that bullshit would slow him down because he had well over 200 hit points thanks to his 18 Constitution score and the fact that he was a Level 15 Marine Commander.  Shit, fucking Admiral Yamamoto himself could have swooped in on a giant fucking red dragon that breathed fire right in Puller’s fucking face and Chesty would have just casually dusted himself off, broken the dragon’s neck, and hurled the Admiral into an active volcano.

With Puller, “badass” doesn’t even begin to cover it, as evidenced by the quote that closes the article:

“Where the Hell do you put the bayonet?”

– Chesty Puller, on first seeing a flamethrower

Heh. Just imagine Puller back home in the States as a retired Reservist called up to help quell an Antifa riot. San Fran’s fecal-pile problem would worsen by several orders of magnitude the moment those masked punks got a load of the lightning bolts of contempt and disgust emanating from Chesty’s eyes on his first gander at the cowardly fucking pussies.

It would be all too easy to say that they just don’t make ’em like Puller anymore, but A) I’m fortunate enough to count a good few SEALs, Rangers, and Marines—both former- and active-duty—among my circle of friends and close acquaintances, not one of which is in any way bereft of bad-assitude, and B) they only ever made just the one of him anyway. God rest him.

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Memorial Day music

Steyn transcribes the score.

In 1861, the United States had nothing that was recognized as a national anthem, and, given that they were now at war, it was thought they ought to find one – a song “that would inspire Americans to patriotism and military ardor”. A 13-member committee was appointed and on May 17th they invited submissions of appropriate anthems, the eventual winner to receive $500, or medal of equal value. By the end of July, they had a thousand submissions, including some from Europe, but nothing with what they felt was real feeling. It’s hard to write a patriotic song to order.

At the time, Dr Samuel Howe was working with the Sanitary Commission of the Department of War, and one fall day he and Mrs Howe were taken to a camp a few miles from Washington for a review of General McClellan’s Army of the Potomac. That day, for the first time in her life, Julia Ward Howe heard soldiers singing:

John Brown’s body lies a-mould’ring in the grave
John Brown’s body lies a-mould’ring in the grave…

Ah, yes. The famous song about the famous abolitionist hanged in 1859 in Charlestown, Virginia before a crowd including Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson and John Wilkes Booth.

Well, no, not exactly.

It’s another of Mark’s brilliant musical-history essays, with all the usual unexpected twists and turns, so naturally you’ll want to read it all.

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The Gunny is gone

Probably the most well-known, revered, and yes, beloved USMC Gunnery Sergeant in history.

R. Lee Ermey, a former Marine Corps drill instructor known to millions of moviegoers as the sadistic Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket,” died Sunday morning, according to his longtime manager. He was 74.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Bill Rogin said Ermey had died due to complications from pneumonia.

A Kansas native, Ermey enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1961 at age 17. He served for 11 years, including 14 months in Vietnam, before he was discharged in 1972. He served as a technical adviser in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 Vietnam War epic, “Apocalypse Now,” in which he also had a small role as a helicopter pilot.

But Ermey didn’t get his big break until eight years later, in Kubrick’s own take on Vietnam. He was originally supposed to be a technical adviser, but Kubrick offered him the role of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman after seeing a demo tape of Ermey railing at extras while tennis balls flew at him.

Kubrick told Rolling Stone that 50 percent of Ermey’s dialogue in the film was his own.

“In the course of hiring the marine recruits, we interviewed hundreds of guys. We lined them all up and did an improvisation of the first meeting with the drill instructor. They didn’t know what he was going to say, and we could see how they reacted. Lee came up with, I don’t know, 150 pages of insults,” Kubrick said.

An outspoken conservative, Ermey spoke to Fox News in 2016 about being “blackballed” from Hollywood over his political views.

“I’ve had a very fruitful career. I’ve done over 70 feature films,” he said. “I’ve done over 200 episodes of [Outdoor Channel series ‘GunnyTime’]… and then [Hollywood] found out that I’m a conservative.”

Actually, he corrected, “I’m an Independent, but I said something bad about the president. I had something unsavory to say about the president’s administration, and even though I did vote for him the first time around, I was blackballed.”

Ermey, who was an NRA board member, said at the time that his association with the organization and his disapproval of President Obama cost him acting jobs.

“Do you realize I have not done a movie in five to six years? Why? Because I was totally blackballed by the…liberals in Hollywood,” he alleged. “They can destroy you. They’re hateful people [who] don’t just not like you, they want to take away your livelihood…that’s why I live up in the desert on a dirt road…I don’t have to put up with their crap.”

Yeah, well, that’s a large and entirely honorable club you’re in there, Sergeant. It’s a lead-pipe cinch that your legacy will outlive and outshine theirs by oh, say, a millenia or so. At least.

Unforgettable as his Full Metal Jacket turn surely was, this all-too-brief classic is one of my very favorite Ermey appearances:




Give ’em hell, Gunny.

If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven’s scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.

R Lee Ermey’s place in Heaven’s honor guard is assured. Stand at ease, Marine; rest, even, and smoke ’em if you got ’em. Nobody would dare say a word to you if you did.

Update! Details from Aesop:

Ermey was the living embodiment of every drill instructor actual Marines had, and probably the only one every never-Marine knew. After 11 years service in the Marine Corps, including service in Vietnam, and a stint as an actual drill instructor at MCRD San Diego (with the Thundering Third Recruit Training Battalion – Oohrah!), Ermey was medically discharged due to injuries received in the service, and was an American ex-pat living in the Philippines when he nabbed a bit part in Apocalypse Now. Then an indy movie came to town in 1977, looking for tech advisors and extras in a movie about Marines in Vietnam being shot there, with P.I. doubling very adequately for recently-fallen-to-communists Vietnam.

Barely five years out of the Marines at the time, Ermey was one of those hired as a tech advisor and extra, but the guy they’d cast as the lead drill instructor for the film was a Hispanic with an accent so heavy he was hard to understand easily, and Ermey was crushing his bit part in the gig, so he was hurriedly bumped up to leading character, and the other guy shunted aside.

Boys In Company C was the breakout role that brought Ermey from P.I. to Hollywood, and he never looked back. A small role in Purple Heartssolidified Ermey as the go-to guy when a picture needed a guy harder than woodpecker lips to bring the quintessential Marine sergeant to life on the screen.

And then Stanley Kubrick hired Ermey to be a tech advisor, but quickly re-thought his choice and he too decided to cast Ermey himself as exactly the guy he was looking for to be Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in the otherwise atrocious Full Metal Jacket, and the directing maestro had the great good sense to turn Ermey loose on camera, and let him ad lib whole sections of the movie’s boot camp scenes, comprising the entire first half (the actual coherent part) of the film.

He had parts in over 60 movies and dozens of TV shows, playing everything from Dr. House’s father on that eponymous show, to the voice of the Sarge leading the Green Army men in the Toy Story flicks, and hosting Mail Call and Lock N’ Load cable TV shows as himself for History Channel. 

In between, he was a ceaseless advocate and military booster, which work induced the Commandant of the Marine Corps to authorize an official honorary promotion to Gunnery Sergeant for Ermey in 2002, the sort of the thing the Marines ordinarily simply do not do. But when you’re that exceptional, you can even get meritoriously promoted after being discharged.

If you served in the Marines, you knew a gunny like the Gunny, or had one for your D.I., and because of his work in entertainment, he will live long after the last Marine he ever served with passes on to Fiddler’s Green.

And as he would have told anyone, the Corps did pretty good by him, turning a juvenile delinquent into a leader of men, and finally a cultural icon for the ages.

Forty years lived in a life formed from the mold of eleven years’ active service proves the literal truth of the phrase, 
Once A Marine, Always A Marine.

True, dat. I never was in the military myself; I let my dad talk me out of going into the Navy at nineteen, a road not taken that I think back on and wonder about from time to time still. But I have enough family and close friends who were in to be able to easily recognize a former Marine whenever I see one. For whatever reason, the Corps imbues almost all of its young recruits with a steel that time never seems able to melt or weaken, no matter how long (or briefly) they may wind up serving.

I won’t offer the words “Semper Fi” in tribute to Ermey; I ain’t qualified, no matter good my intentions might be. But I hereby doff my cap just the same, in respect to Ermey and to every Marine.

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War without end

Cui bono?

Good for Trump. The job of the military is to win, and thus finish, wars, not to use them as extended live-fire exercises. Further, under our Constitution, the military reports to civilian authority, in the form of the president and one of his chief cabinet members, the secretary of defense. And it’s their job to make very clear the overall strategic objective, which in warfare is always optimally the total destruction and unconditional surrender of the enemy. During World War II, the objective was clear: destroy Imperial Japan and take Berlin. We, and our allies, did both, and America’s war—from the standing start at Pearl Harbor to VJ Day—lasted less than four years.

But that’s not how our contemporary military sees things. As the Post story points out, referencing Defense Secretary James Mattis, “His remarks reflected a broader Pentagon consensus: In the absence of a clear outcome, winning for much of the U.S. military’s top brass has come to be synonymous with staying put. These days, senior officers talk about ‘infinite war’.”

Those senior officers should be cashiered. “Infinite war” is what characterized the Roman Empire from Julius Caesar (read the Commentaries, Caesar’s reports back to Rome regarding his military operations in Gaul and elsewhere) through Marcus Aurelius (who spent very little time in the Eternal City) right up to the fall of Rome in 476, when the barbarian chickens came home to roost in the form of Odoacer, a member of the Germanic tribes that the Romans never managed to conquer. Their defeat by Arminius at the Battle of the Teutoberg Forest in 9 A.D. dissuaded the legions from crossing the Rhine again—but eventually the Rhine crossed them, and made it all the way to the Tiber.

The moral of the story is: finish the job. So good for Trump for giving the Pentagon a strategic objective and a time frame in which to accomplish it. The Posts article quotes another officer, Air Force General Mike Holmes, in a speech earlier this year: “It’s not losing,” he explained. “It’s staying in the game and…pursuing your objectives.”

How terrifying to know that, for some senior military officers (who, by the way, are not necessarily on the Right politically), warfare is about “staying in the game.”

It would seem that for our politicized general-officer class, at least, it IS a game. It’s disappointing to hear Mattis sounding like one of them, at least in the above quote. One would think that he more than most would recognize the damage done by the conversion of America’s once-dominant military into Welcome Wagon in cammies—a top-heavy bureaucracy that emphasizes “nation-building” over crushing America’s adversaries, political correctness over combat readiness, and over-reliance on technology over a hard-nosed warrior ethos.

We as a nation don’t even seem to know what “victory” is anymore, and aren’t terribly fussed over it either way. Our squeamishishness about civilian casualties and “collateral damage” leaves us incapable of doing what’s required to prevail against committed foes unburdened by any such vacillation or lack of will. Juvenile, simple-minded shibboleths declaring that our enemies “love their children as much as we do” or that “it will be a great day when the schools have all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber” aren’t just nonsensical and irrelevant. They’re dangerous.

“War isn’t healthy for children and other living things”? Well, no shit, Einstein. Exactly who ever said it was? Nobody likes war; nobody wants war. Sadly, though, Trotsky had the right of it: you may not be interested in war. But war is interested in you.

Throughout history, all military organizations have been made up of far more staff, support, and logistics personnel than actual fighting men. But US armed forces have exaggerated that statistical imbalance to a near-preposterous extreme, then smeared a triple-thick layer of lawyers on top who must be consulted before soldiers are even allowed to carry loaded weapons in combat zones, much less point them at anybody who might be shooting at them at the time.

We have sailors who can’t navigate on the high seas without colliding with other ships. 74 percent of Marine Corps F18s are graded “not ready for combat”; over 53 percent of Navy strike fighters are “out of service.” Parts to repair these expensive door-stops are being scavenged from museums and gutted, rust-bucket display aircraft. Pilots get most of their training in simulators rather than the stick-time in actual aircraft they badly need.

Doughy, gasping recruits can’t meet long-established physical readiness requirements for infantry? Too many female recruits can’t hack the program because their upper-body strength just isn’t up to snuff due to inherent male-female genetic differences? Fine, just lower standards across the board then. Mentally-ill “transgender” types want to join so they can get their expensive hormone treatments and surgeries paid for on the military dime? Hey, who are we to deny them their Constitutionally-guaranteed “right” (ahem) to sign up, then?

It’s the same soft-headed, feel-good mindset that brought us “participation trophies” for schoolkid athletics…on the rare occasions their all-important self-esteem was ever put at hazard by competition at all, of any kind. Ask any kid who got “graded on a curve” how much he really learned sometime. Quiz him on things most adults would consider to be the simplest, most basic knowledge. Prepare to be appalled.

Jerry-rigged, antiquated equipment worn down by an unsustainable operational tempo; untrained, unmotivated, and/or unfit troops; a politicized senior officer class more interested in political correctness than fighting and winning, incapable of seeing “open-ended commitment” for the deadly tar-baby it is; political “leadership” whose “invade the world/invite the world” mentality leaves them eager to flex American muscle in far-flung places where there is no compelling national interest at stake—the whole mess tolerated by a disinterested citizenry lulled by blind faith in a perpetual American military superiority that long ago ceased to exist. Anybody still wondering why America can’t seem to win any of its endless, innumerable “conflicts” anymore?

The smug assumption of our lapsed “lone superpower” status and the unchallengeable invincibility of the American military persists in defiance of the sad, sorry reality. None of this, mind, is meant to suggest that there aren’t many skilled, dedicated, and highly competent soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines out there. There surely are, and we should be extremely thankful for them. Ultimately, they’re struggling against the same dismal tide of feckless liberalism that threatens to swamp American culture entire. A way needs to be found to stem the flow before we all drown.

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THAT’S how you do it

What works. What doesn’t.

Texas allows school districts to approve “marshals” or “guardians” as the last line of defense against a shooter. Under this program, faculty members volunteer to keep a firearm within reach in case the unthinkable happens. They undergo mental health screenings and rigorous firearm safety training — in some cases they are held to a higher standard than police officers.

In an active shooter situation, law enforcement takes roughly three minutes to respond on a good day (through no fault of their own). It’s disturbing to consider the damage that can be inflicted in that amount of time. Only school marshals — who, contrary to the media portrayal, represent a select few trained and capable staff members — can deliver response times measured in seconds rather than minutes.

Coverage in the aftermath of Parkland has focused disproportionately on the AR-15. The gun has been established as a symbol of mass shootings, a device designed for wanton destruction. What use, we are repeatedly asked, could private citizens have for an AR-15? Texans like myself have been frustrated by this collective amnesia. On November 5, 2017, a private citizen heroically stopped the fleeing shooter of the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs using an AR-15.

The lesson is that guns are morally neutral. It is people who have the capacity to use them for good or evil. Those willing to kill the innocent in cold blood will hardly be hindered by a new gun regulation. They are, after all, willing to murder – it defies logic that they will respect a gun law. It stands to reason, therefore, that schools should be made a hard target, just like airports, stadiums and government buildings.

There have been no shootings, intentional or otherwise, at any participating districts in Texas. Teachers and students feel — and in fact are — safer coming into work.

A sign outside of Argyle High School, which has opted into the program, reads “Please be aware that the staff at Argyle are armed and may use whatever force is necessary to protect our students.” Is a would-be shooter more likely to target such a school or a “gun-free zone?” The answer is obvious.

Oh, considering that ALL these mass shootings happen in “gun-free zones,” I’d say it’s way on past merely obvious. But I can’t see any way that it helps to advance the Left’s agenda of total control and tyranny, so there’s no chance of their reacting to it with anything other than the usual sobbing, shrieking hysteria.

Update! Did somebody mention what DOESN’T work above? It’s actually not hard at all to deduce if one takes an honest look at the facts. Strangely enough, that’s another thing Progtards are ferociously against doing.

America does not have a gun crime epidemic. There are, however, epidemics in many locales and cities. Who do you think runs the vast majority of those cities?

NRA-funded Republicans?

No.

Lobbyists for firearm manufacturers?

No.

The vast majority of those cities have been run by Democrats for decades upon decades.

Here are the top 20 cities with the highest gun murder rates in the U.S. per capita. Of these, every city except the last one, Tulsa, has a Democrat majority in the mayoralty and City Council or Board of Aldermen.

Here are the non-fatal shootings top 20 per capita. Notice the overlap of several cities; the cities on the non-fatal list absent on the murder list are also Democrat-run cities, except for the last one, Jacksonville.

Exhausted yet? There’s more.

And hoo boy, is there ever. Rich ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie with this one, and you need to read all of it. The numbers permit only one conclusion: we need ourselves some reasonable, common-sense Democrat control legislation.

For the children. IF EVEN ONE LIFE IS SAVED…

Ahem.

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Truth will out

When they claim they’re patriotic, they lie. When they claim to “support the troops,” they lie. When they claim to have respect and admiration for American military personnel—or to harbor anything but hatred and contempt for them—they lie.

Then again, when they open their mouths and speak, they lie. Except in cases like this.

Remember high school history teacher Gregory Salcido? He was caught on video disparaging the military back in January and was put on administrative leave. Yesterday the El Rancho Unified School District fired Salcido.

Salcido didn’t get up in front of the class and go on an anti-military rant one day as part of a lesson plan. This was a personal attack aimed at one particular student. The incident began when 17-year-old Victor Quiñonez wore a “Marines” sweatshirt to Salcido’s class. He was wearing the sweatshirt because his father is a Marine Corps veteran who served in Afghanistan and because he had considered following in his father’s footsteps and joining the Marines one day. But when he got up to turn in his homework, Salcido noticed the sweatshirt and then tore into the military.

“We’ve got a bunch of dumb sh**s over there,” Salcido said. He continued, “Think about the people who you know who are over there —your freaking stupid Uncle Louie or whatever —they’re dumbsh**s. They’re not, like, high-level thinkers, they’re not academic people, they’re not intellectual people. They’re the freaking lowest of our low.”

I would SO love to see this oh-so-superior putz attempt to, say, sight in a mortar; plan and lead a movement-to-contact in jungle terrain; execute a successful break-contact, fighting-retreat, or flanking maneuver; drive an M1 Abrams tank; field-strip, clean, and reassemble a M4 carbine in the dark; operate an AWG54 radar; land a F18 on a pitching carrier deck in a storm at night, or even act as an LSO during recovery operations in those same conditions. I’d love to see him navigate a small squad on a ten mile hike through hostile territory using only a map and a compass—no GPS, no radio or satphone. I’d be willing to settle for seeing the sorry slob do twenty pushups—hell, ten—without a half-hour break between each set of two.

But changing the oil in his own car is probably beyond this guy’s ability. One can only imagine the shrieking shitfit that would ensue if he walked into the faculty lounge to find the coffee machine broken one morning. He probably wouldn’t know whether to shit or go blind. It’s oxygen thieves like him that remind me that the Muslims ain’t wrong about everything, and that their eventual conquest over us will not be without its bright side.

Salcido then warned, “You better not freaking go” and added, “Don’t wear that in here.” He also said people who joined the military did so because their parents didn’t love them enough to push them academically. It’s not hard to see how Victor Quiñonez would take this as a very personal attack on his father.

A friend of the family posted the audio online and it quickly went viral. The school began receiving complaints from veterans. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was asked about the comments during a radio show and said: “I think the guy ought to go to hell.”

GO to hell? He ought to be SENT there, with a fucking quickness. At the very least the bullying dipshit ought to be given a one-way opportunity to see how much he enjoys life in, say, Cuba or Venezuela or some other place where he’s way less likely to be triggered by the child of a dimwit American soldier sporting such an offensive choice of casual wear in class.

He added, “I just hope he enjoys the liberties and the lifestyle that we have fought for.”

Oh, he enjoys ’em all right. He also takes them completely for granted. He assumes them as his due without appreciating them in the least—much less the cost paid by far better men than he to bestow that blessing on him.

Somewhere deep down, though, the odious toad knows. THAT’S why he hates soldiers so much: he subconsciously recognizes his inadequacy, his having been gifted with a lifestyle he hasn’t earned, doesn’t deserve, and couldn’t in even the smallest way contribute to preserving. He hates soldiers, but he fears and resents them even more. His contempt is birthed by the painful knowledge that he’s weak and soft, attenuated by the humiliating contrast with those who are not. Soldiers accomplish things before lunch every day that he’d be incapable of in a lifetime spent trying, things requiring both brain and brawn. That awareness must cut like a bayonet in the gut, though he’d never admit it even to himself; his pissy scorn is the only balm he’ll ever get for such a wound, the only way as insignificant a nonentity as he is can cope.

Gotta give him this, though, the jerk’s got some pair of balls on him. When called out by justly outraged vets and others, he didn’t whimper the de rigeur fork-tongued non-apology typical of these types. Not quite.

“My goal as it relates to my students is to get them to do everything to get through college,” he said. “It’s not just the military. I wouldn’t want them to work at a fast-food restaurant, either.

He added: “I’m talking about their academic standing. I don’t think it’s at all a revelation to anybody that those who aren’t stellar students usually find the military a better option. That’s as plain as that it’s Tuesday night.”

The amazing thing is that, so many Democrat Socialist baglappers having expressed that same ugly disdain in recent years, only 85 to 90 percent of our soldiery votes against them even yet. It really ought to be 99 or a hundred, just as a matter of simple self-respect. Could be Salcido is right about how smart that ten to fifteen percent is, I guess.

Enjoy unemployment, genius. May you wallow in desperate, wretched misery for a good long while. May you be verbally abused by enraged vets every trip to Wal Mart or the grocery store you make. May the school administration who so inadvisedly kept you in a position of authority find things being made pretty hot for them too, by the decent parents of kids incarcerated there. Most of all, may your unprovoked, hateful attack against a soldier’s kid who, by any sane estimation, had done nothing wrong whatsoever haunt you for the rest of your worthless life. Or, in the words of an, uhhh, ancient Chinese curse:

May bleeding piles torment you, may corns adorn your feet
May crabs as big as horseflies land on your balls to eat
And when you’re old and feeble, a syphilitic wreck
May your spine drop through your asshole, and break your fucking neck.

Okay, okay, so it ain’t any more an “ancient Chinese curse” than the “interesting times” one is. I still like it.

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“Can’t Kill Enough to Win?”

Well, can we at least TRY?

Those given the awful task of combat must be able to act with the necessary savagery and purposefulness to destroy those acting as, or in direct support of, Islamic terrorists worldwide. In 2008, then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Admiral Michael Mullen said, “We can’t kill our way to victory.” Ever since, many have parroted his words. But what if Admiral Mullen was wrong? The United States has been at war with radical Islamists four times longer than it was with Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in World War II. And those previous enemies were far more competent and aggressive than the terrorists. It is time to kill a lot more of them.

Okay, we’re off to one hell of a good start as far as I’m concerned. But there’s a problem right out of the gate here—a big one—and I suspect a good many if not most of you can already guess what it is.

In addition to the overabundance of ill-trained lawyers in the force, leaders are giving too much credence to people and organizations (such as Amnesty International) with distorted views of how wars ought to be fought rather than how they truly are. For instance, the concept of proportionality under international law has nothing to do with making war a “fair fight” or using “minimum force.” Sadly, however, such human rights law language has crept into U.S. military standing rules of engagement (SROE), despite warnings from sage counsel such as international and operational law expert W. Hays Parks.

In the mid-1990s, a small cadre of combat-experienced officers began to militate against overly restrictive rules of engagement and tactical directives. They advocated that if U.S. military forces must fight in such environments these warriors should at least have the same protections that U.S. constitutional law provides police officers in the United States. This still has not happened. Sixteen years and thousands of U.S. military lives have been lost, and the military still is plagued with obtuse rules of engagement and soul-crushing investigations into every action.

While the United States may not be following the full-on nation-centric strategy of Alfred Thayer Mahan to fight terrorists today, it ought to use the military primarily to forward its national interests. And that ought not be a strange or unsavory concept to any U.S. warrior or citizen.

The military’s leadership has a responsibility to push back hard when told to do anything that would dilute the fundamental responsibility to win wars. For the past two decades, the U.S. military has put more effort into combating climate change and training to prevent sexual harassment than it has into training warriors to kill the enemy.

I wrote a post the other day lamenting the sad state of the “most powerful military in the world,” which Aesop responded to at length in the comments. It’s worth examining the arguments he makes out front here a bit, I think:

We now have an army and navy nearly as small as what we had on hand around the Great Depression.

And the armed might we wielded as recently as 1990 was barely a patch on the machine we dismantled in 1946, after doing the heavy lifting to win two world wars.

That’s what happens when you cut defense spending precipitously, plow the money into stock bubbles, housing welfare, etc., and in the process crash the economy hard twice.

And between the two bubbles, we squandered a serviceable but barely adequate military on adventurism and asinine you-break-it, you-bought-it “nation building” in two of the most illiterate and utterly worthless sh*tholes on the face of the earth. We traded a family cow’s worth of military power for the magic beans of Middle Eastern democracy, and we don’t even have a beanstalk to show for it afterwards. Just a dead giant.

But we burned out the troops, burned up their airplanes, wore out their weapons, and mothballed our rusted navy, because affirmative-action generals like Colon Powell never read Alfred Thayer Mahan.

What you see now is what happens when you entrust leadership to idiots, in an organization dedicated to the Peter Principle as a promotion tool.

Militaries cost money and brains, and both Congress and the Pentagon have been short on both for decades. And there’s no easy fix for that, either place.

This is all perfectly true, sure enough. But it seems to me that the biggest problem of all is the American people, or all too many of them at least. They seem to lack the will to commit to backing their military forces all the way to complete victory; they’re soft, coddled, and insulated from the realities not just of war, but of military service itself. The concept of what victory in war might even amount to is foreign to them, and it’s near certain that the sacrifice, the real price, of victory is too.

In fact, most Americans are almost completely isolated from their military, from the soldiers themselves; a historically low percentage of the populace is personally acquainted with someone in uniform, or even with someone else who is. The idea of putting on a uniform and picking up a rifle for a hitch in service themselves seems wholly alien to them, and ludicrous. One might as well suggest that they grow gills and flippers and swim the Atlantic without coming up for air. Y’know, tomorrow morning.

As has been pointed out here before by other commenters, this state of affairs goes beyond lamentable and crosses handily over into being outright dangerous. Naturally, it’s not true of everyone; I suspect that this alienation is most prevalent by far in the big-city enclaves of the Left, and the college campuses that breed and nurture Progressivist drones by the thousands. I’d guess it would be a lot less so out in the great heartland of the country, the South generally, and the towns surrounding military bases. Such locales generally have a great respect and a high regard for their soldiery, and became far less circumspect about expressing those sympathies openly once 9/11 sort of granted permission to harbor them again.

All of which indirectly brings me to the problem I mentioned up top, which is with this statement: “…destroy those acting as, or in direct support of, Islamic terrorists worldwide.” That’s fine as far as it goes, and would amount to at least a good start if nothing more. But what of the millions upon millions of Moslems who are supportive of jihad without openly declaring it; who believe in the supremacy of sharia law, but who aren’t necessarily willing to commit acts of terrorism or offer material support themselves beyond, say, financial contributions to their local “moderate” mosque, from whence the money make its circuitous way into the hands of the jihadists who depend on it?

These are the “moderates” touted endlessly by our media and politicians, but according to poll after poll after poll, their beliefs aren’t anything most of us would label “moderate.” While they may not constitute a clear majority of Moslem “immigrants” just yet, they are nonetheless legion. And they have deliberately been seeded throughout the West in unsuspecting communities who are carefully kept in the dark as to the nature of their beliefs and activities, and are oblivious to the threat posed by them.

None of which even begins to address the additional problem of “refugees” from the Middle East, who ain’t necessarily coming because they dig them some freedom, tolerance, and democracy, bub (been a good, long while since I saw any of that “Democracy, whiskey, sexy!” signage being waved around by anybody at all, I’ll say that much). We aren’t told how many of them there are; that’s something our rulers don’t think we ought to know. It’s doubtful anybody, in government or out, knows where they all wind up. The government is probably way more meticulous about tracking YOUR whereabouts than they are theirs.

So considering all that, how much chance do you think there is of our ever making effective war on Moslem terrorism, and of truly winning such a war? How would we even go about such a thing? The ideas presented in the first linked piece above are good ones; I’m wholeheartedly in favor of all of ’em, and plenty more besides. But I bet Hell will freeze over good and damned solid before we ever see a one of ’em done.

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"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

"To put it simply, the Left is the stupid and the insane, led by the evil. You can’t persuade the stupid or the insane and you had damn well better fight the evil." - Skeptic

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