Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

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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Oh, the lies we tell ourselves

America is the richest nation in the world. America is the most free nation in the world. The American military is the strongest in the world, is effectively invincible, and will always be so. Slashing its budget can therefore do no real harm, and there is no chance of anyone daring to take advantage of any erroneous perception of decline and weakness on our part.

The U.S. Navy doesn’t have enough amphibious warships to effectively support the Marine Corps in training for combat operations, according to senior Pentagon officials.

Marine Lt. Gen. Brian Beaudreault, deputy commandant for plans, policies, and operations, said Friday the current fleet of 32 amphibious assault ships falls short of the number needed to meet operational requirements. He said this negatively impacts the ability of joint naval forces to train, particularly in large-scale formations, which harms readiness.

Beaudreault, testifying before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, said the training shortcomings have left at risk the “core competency” of the Marine Corps and Navy to move a combat force from ship-to-shore to rapidly penetrate enemy battle space.

“We can do some training…through virtual systems, but at some point you have to put the ships to sea and go through a mission rehearsal,” he testified. “The ability to generate the number of ships required to train at a Marine expeditionary brigade level just simply isn’t there, so we take it in bite-size chunks.”

The Navy has said it needs as many as 38 amphibious ships to meet rising operational demands, but the service likely won’t be able to reach that number until 2030 due to budget constraints.

That’s okay, it will be fine. I’m sure it will.

A US Navy plane crashed into the ocean southeast of Okinawa on Wednesday afternoon, marking at least the sixth apparent accident involving a Navy asset in East Asian waters this year.

The C2-A Greyhound transport plane was carrying 11 crew and passengers to an aircraft carrier when it crashed into the Philippine Sea, the Navy said. As of Wednesday evening, eight people had been rescued, and three were missing.

Wednesday’s crash comes three weeks after a Navy and civilian panel recommended sweeping changes in a comprehensive review of the Japan-based US 7th Fleet, which covers East Asian waters.

The review found that two deadly accidents — the collisions of the USS Fitzgerald and the USS John S. McCain with commercial ships in June and August, respectively — were avoidable.

No worries. Things will work themselves out. They always do, right?

The two US Navy destroyers involved in deadly collisions in the Pacific this summer both had lengthy records of failure to fulfill key training requirements, according to Government Accountability Office data provided to Congress and obtained by CNN.

The USS Fitzgerald had expired training certification for 10 out of 10 key warfare mission areas in June, and the USS John S. McCain had let its certifications lapse in six out of the 10 mission areas, the data show.

The training records of the McCain and Fitzgerald were worse than the average warship in the Pacific, but they weren’t the only ones with training problems. GAO testimony released last week revealed that expired training certifications for the Navy’s 11 cruisers and destroyers based in Japan had skyrocketed five-fold from 7% in January 2015 to 37% in June. Two-thirds of the certifications had been expired for at least five months.

No problem. Let’s just all remain calm and complacent here, okay? No need to fret. Really.

The number of Marine Corps aircraft ready to fly on any given day has plummeted in the last sevenyears, leading to serious questions about the safety of the service’s aircraft as leathernecks continue to wage war on terrorists and respond to crises around the world.

Mission-capable rates for all but one of the Marine Corps’ 12 fixed-wing, rotary and tiltrotor airframes have fallen since the end of fiscal 2009, according to data obtained by Marine Corps Times via Freedom of Information Act request. While officials stress that the number of flyable aircraft fluctuates daily, the downward trends have alarmed Marine leaders and members of Congress.

Of the Marine Corps’ 276 F/A-18 Hornets, only 87 are currently flyable, Marine Corps officials said on April 20. That is less than one-third of all the service’s F/A-18A-D variants that can be used to strike the Islamic State group, provide close-air support or fly reconnaissance missions.

By comparison, 73 percent of F/A-18As were mission capable in fiscal 2009 along with 77 percent of the C-variant and 76 percent of F/A-18Ds.

Marine helicopters have seen the biggest drop in readiness. Only 42 of the Marine Corps’ 147 CH-53E Super Stallions are flyable, or about 28.5 percent of the CH-53E fleet, according to Marine aviation officials. At the end of 2009, the CH-53E’s mission-capable rate more than doubled that at 63 percent, with 39 percent of the helos fully mission capable.

“In the typical squadron … the remaining six are not able to fly tonight due to a shortage in parts, long-term fixes or need some kind of attention that the squadron doesn’t have the ability to provide,” Salene told Marine Corps Times. 

Hm. What might have happened in 2009 that could have caused all this, I wonder?

Oh yeah. I remember now.

President Obama would like the American people to believe that his lower spending caps on defense are only about eliminating waste at the Pentagon. He expressed this idea quite succinctly during a White House press conference on June 29, 2011: “I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to have difficult conversations with the Pentagon saying, you know what, there’s fat here; we’re going to have to trim it out.”

Undoubtedly, there are areas of waste in the Department of Defense (DOD), but by the Administration’s own admission, the President’s defense budget is overwhelmingly about reducing U.S. military capabilities. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has stated that this budget will reduce defense spending by $487 billion over 10 years, with $259 billion of these cuts applied over the next five years against an undefined baseline. Of the $259 billion in savings over the five years, he acknowledged that only $60 billion would come from increasing efficiency in the Department of Defense. Thus, according to Secretary Panetta’s statement, less than a quarter of the proposed savings over the next five years will come from increasing efficiency and more than three-quarters will come from reducing military capabilities.

Gee, it would seem elections really DO have consequences after all. Thank goodness there won’t ever be any more wars, eliminating any need for preparing ourselves to cope with the unexpected or unforeseeable.

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A Veteran’s Day request

A most modest one, seems to me.

But as we don’t yet live in the Heinleinian Utopia where only we proven worthies get to vote, and the rest of you get to lump it, we will content ourselves knowing that we few, we happy few, are your betters, whether we have this day or not, mainly because we don’t spend the other 364 days a year reminding you of the fact, nor refer to our elected leader as el heneral and Maximum Leader For Life, unlike so many of our neighbors in this and other hemispheres’ Republiques de Bananes.

We’d really be happy if you lot could manage to simply salute the flag instead of burning it or wiping your hindquarters with it, sing the anthem standing up, show the barest minimum of courtesy to them and the republic for which they stand, and generally, not make us regret the sacrifices we make or made on your behalf, and simply treat your citizenship in the greatest country on earth as the unbelievable honor and privilege it is, and simply exercise it with an appropriately small measure of respect and the teensiest of gratitude to those who make it possible. That shouldn’t be too much to ask of those among the population who enjoy all the benefits, without ever having taken so much as a physical exam.

But if even that minimal effort is too challenging for those douchenozzles who deserve nothing so much as a healthy bitch-slapping with a tire iron, we’d settle for their simple respectful silence, just for a day.

Oh, wouldn’t we all. Personally, I’d be willing to settle for five minutes, myself. What the hell, it’d be a start. As a somewhat-related aside, I’d also ask that those hired to lead in singing the anthem before televised sportsball events just sing it more or less straight, and refrain from the soi-discant R&B-style yodeling and shrieking so prevalent among today’s celebrity pop singers trying to make the whole thing more about themselves than the anthem these days. But I realize that would be a bridge way too far, and don’t harbor any real hope for it.

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Veteran’s Day

My apologies for missing out on doing a Veteran’s Day post. Had a damned busy day all day, then played a show tonight, and this is the first chance I’ve had to post anything. Let’s look in on Steyn right quick to see if he can cover for my lapse…

Yep, he did.

On “Fox & Friends” this morning, reacting to the live footage of President Trump in Hanoi, I talked about the Vietnam war’s domestic impact on the American psyche. It took many decades for that to change, and this Veterans Day movie pick is one of the cultural artifacts of that evolution in perception – a film about soldiering that wears its allegiance in its very title. It was released about six months after 9/11, in the spring of 2002, and in that sense is a movie about an old war seen through the lens of a new one.

The best thing about We Were Soldiers is how bad it is. I don’t mean “bad” in the sense that it’s written and directed by Randall Wallace, screenwriter of Braveheart (which won Oscars for pretty much everything except its screenplay, which was not overlooked without reason) and Pearl Harbor (whose plonking dialogue has been dwelt on previously in this space). Mr Wallace is as reliably uninspired as you can get. And yet it serves him well here. Pearl Harbor was terrible, but it was professionally terrible, its lame dialogue and cookie-cutter characters and butt-numbingly obvious emotional manipulation skillfully woven together into state-of-the-art Hollywood product. By contrast, in its best moments, We Were Soldiers feels very unHollywoody, as if it’s a film not just about soldiers, but made by soldiers – or at any rate by someone who cares more about capturing the spirit of soldiery than about making a cool movie. It’s the very opposite of Steven Spielberg’s fluid ballet of carnage in Saving Private Ryan, and yet, in its stiffness and squareness, it manages to be moving and dignified in the way that real veterans of hellish battles often are.

This is all the more remarkable considering that it’s about the first big engagement of the Vietnam war, in the Ia Drang valley for three days and nights of November 1965. In those days, the word “Vietnam” had barely registered with the American public and the US participation still came under the evasive heading of “advisors”. In essence, the 1st Batallion of the 7th Cavalry walked – or helicoptered – into an ambush and, despite being outnumbered five to one by the enemy, managed to extricate themselves. Colonel Hal Moore, the commanding officer of the AirCav hotshots, and Joe Galloway, a UPI reporter who was in the thick of the battle for two days, later wrote a book – a terrific read. That’s the source material from which Wallace has made his movie, with Mel Gibson as Moore and Barry Pepper as Galloway.

We Were Soldiers opens with a brisk, unsparing prelude – a massacre of French forces in the very same valley, 11 years earlier. Then we’re off to Fort Benning, Georgia a decade later, where Colonel Moore and his grizzled old Sergeant-Major, Basil Plumley (Sam Elliott), are training youngsters for a new kind of cavalry. “We will ride into battle and this will be our horse,” announces Moore, as a chopper flies past on cue. Basil Plumley, incidentally, is not in the least bit plummy or Basil-esque. He’s the hard-case to Moore’s Harvard man, a fairly predictable social tension, at least to those BBC comedy fans who treasure the “Dad’s Army” inversion, with lower middle-class Arthur Lowe and his posh sergeant John LeMesurier.

Wallace turns a great book into a clunky film, and at first it seems as if he’s doing the usual adapter’s shtick of taking a vivid real-life story and shaving all the edges off to fit the usual clichés. The Fort Benning scenes become incredibly irritating in their bland gee-whizzery. There’s always some kid around to prompt Mel Gibson to wax philosophical, as when his five-year-old cute-as-a-button daughter asks him, “Daddy, what’s a war?”

Clunky? I dunno; I liked it a lot, which is a damned rare thing for me when I’m seeing a movie after having read the book beforehand. I can think of very few times throughout my life when that’s been the case, and We Were Soldiers was definitely one of them; in fact, the only other I can come up with off the top of my head was Lord Of The Rings. As always, Steyn has a larger point tucked in there, although it’s a pretty brief post; I’ll lay off the excerpting to let you go read it. He has another Veteran’s Day post as well, a re-posting of one from 16 years ago that he prefaces thusly:

I spent much of the morning before Veterans Day in various TV green rooms with a whole lot of vets, and also a young lady whose father died in Iraq in 2006. She is rightly proud of the dad she lost when she was barely old enough to know him, and he would certainly be very proud of the way his young daughter has turned out. But I wonder more and more whether our society is worthy of the terrible sacrifices of so very few.

As do I; sometimes it’s very damned hard to convince myself that it is, and that’s a pretty tough pill for a guy like me to choke down. The seeming disconnect between the majority of the country and its soldiery is another worrisome issue, one worth pondering in depth, which I’m not going to get into doing just now. I’ll just say that it isn’t healthy, and can’t lead us anyplace we ought to want to be; I’ve discussed it privately with some of my military readers these last few years, and I confess I can’t see how to satisfactorily resolve it. I’ll just leave it at that for now, and hope for a chance to delve into it at a later date.

As for myself on this (day after, technically) Veteran’s Day: may God bless all of you who have worn the uniform, each and every one. I agonize a good bit these days as to whether this nation, in its present state, is worth defending, or even preserving in its current form at all. But yours is an honorable path nonetheless, one deserving of our respect and gratitude. I have a lot of military readers out there, and have since the very beginning; I sincerely hope I’ve never given any of you cause to doubt that respect and gratitude for a single moment. I’m greatly honored and gratified by your attention to my trifling scribblings here.

I’ve said before that there have been times over the years when I’ve been just about ready to hang the blogging up, and every time I’ve felt that way and pretty much made up my mind to pull the plug—every single time, believe it or not—I’ve gotten an e-mail from somebody out at the pointy end declaring how much the site means to them, that it’s sometimes the only thing that gets them through another day’s slog in the far-flung, deadly hellholes we send them to. And then I sit right back down and get back to work again. It’s impossible to adequately express what that sort of thing means to me, and if the comparatively minuscule labor and sweat I put into this matters that much to these folks…well, who the hell am I to try to dodge out of it?

It’s inspiring, and very, very humbling, is what it is.

Thanks again to all of you, for all of it. You guys truly are our best and brightest; always remember that there remain plenty of us out here who know it. Our political leaders may not have your backs as they should; your own upper-echelon leadership is far too politicized in way too many cases, and fails to put your own interests ahead of their own dismayingly (and infuriatingly) often. But we the people are solidly behind you; hell, even a fair number of my liberal friends are quite happy to let you go ahead of them in line or give up their table in a restaurant to you, enough of them so that it’s not nearly as startling to me as it once was.

And that’s as it should be; may it always be so, and may we somehow find a way to justify your sacrifice by aspiring to a higher standard and, inspired by your example, be thus ennobled ourselves.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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Why you don’t put mentally disturbed people in foxholes

Not if you actually want to win wars, you don’t.

  • Guys would literally snap over a dear John letter. Their personal issues came out and they were instantly combat ineffective.
  • Now take someone confused about whether they are a man/woman. Take those psychological and emotional issues and put them in that environment
  • Take someone who is right off the bat not uniform or part of the same team. Give them special treatment because of their identity.
  • Take that person, put them in that stressful war environment and watch what happens. It’s a fucking ticking time bomb.
  • You have to be incredibly tough mentally, physically and emotionally. War is not a fucking video game. It tests every ounce of your being.
  • You can’t teach someone to be a fearless warrior in a fucking PowerPoint. You either have it or you don’t. You can hack it or you can’t.
  • We had guys who couldn’t. When faced with combat situations they crumbled. They had mental and emotional issues. They were a liability.
  • To be successful at war, you have to become a warrior mentally, physically, and emotionally. You can’t fake it and go through the motions.
  • In war if it comes down to kill or be killed, and you hesitate, you’re dead. It’s a simple as that. It’s not a fucking video game.

No, it certainly is not; hell, boot camp isn’t, much less actual war. The idea that every precious snowflake has some kind of natural right to be in the military is horseshit. Fallen arches can keep you out; asthma can. And mental illness can too, which is exactly what “transgenderism” is. Also horseshit: the idea that the military is some kind of social-justice-oriented cultural leveling device, or Welcome Wagon with guns. The military is for killing people, breaking things, and enforcing our national will on adversaries. Anything inhibiting its ability to do those things needs to stay well to the other side of the barbed wire, and should stick to spitting on soldiers at airports instead. That comes more naturally to them anyway.

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SERIOUSLY?

The new Zumwalt-class destroyers are some seriously futuristic-looking, funky ships, with a wow factor right off the charts. The first one just cleared its acceptance trials and was delivered to the Navy for duty. Guess what the plank holder captain’s name is.

Go on, guess.

I need a new category for amazing coincidences that are just too damned cool to be believed, I think.

(Via CDR M)

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Happy anniversary

Which the Left, using a particularly noxious combination of their irrational, primitive, and superstitious horror of all things nuclear along with their visceral hatred of America, glued together with their usual gummy sargasso of lies, has turned into a putrid celebration of shame and contrition. Leaving aside any discussion of the simple fact that a nuclear weapon isn’t particularly evil in and of itself, one of their favorite lies is the one that insists we dropped nukes on an unsuspecting, unwarned civilian populace. And as usual (as our old friend Bill documents thoroughly in this must-see evisceration of “liberal” horseshit on the topic), it doesn’t stand up to two minutes’ worth of Googling:

On August 1, 1945, over one hundred US B-29 Superfortresses flew over Japan at around 20,000 feet. At this height they dropped 500-pound containers, each holding leaflets that warned the Japanese civilians of the necessity of surrender. At around 4,000 feet the containers opened and released millions of leaflets that fluttered down to the people below.

These leaflets were produced in Saipan, a US occupied island just north of Guam, by the US Office of War Information. Walter J. Cox, Jr. was stationed in Saipan and was able to acquire the above leaflets from a Red Cross worker who went “ashore” to Japan and brought them back. Cox in turn sent them to his wife back home.

These leaflets in the collection of the Virginia Aviation Museum were used as a propaganda tool in order to cause Japanese civilians to distrust their military leaders and to push for an end to the war. Of the five pamphlets that Cox was able to send home, the most significant is the leaflet at the bottom center in the above photograph. This was called the “LeMay bombing leaflet” after Major General Curtis E. LeMay who was the commander of the Pacific Theater of war during this time. It was he who requested that this particular leaflet be dropped over Japan. This leaflet was dropped over 35 cities, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The front of the leaflet depicts numerous American B-29s with hundreds of bombs descending and a list of potential targeted cities. The reverse reads in Japanese:

“Read this carefully as it may save your life or the life of a relative or friend. In the next few days, some or all of the cities named on the reverse side will be destroyed by American bombs. These cities contain military installations and workshops or factories which produce military goods. We are determined to destroy all of the tools of the military clique which they are using to prolong this useless war. But, unfortunately, bombs have no eyes. So, in accordance with America’s humanitarian policies, the American Air Force, which does not wish to injure innocent people, now gives you warning to evacuate the cities named and save your lives. America is not fighting the Japanese people but is fighting the military clique which has enslaved the Japanese people. The peace which America will bring will free the people from the oppression of the military clique and mean the emergence of a new and better Japan. You can restore peace by demanding new and good leaders who will end the war. We cannot promise that only these cities will be among those attacked but some or all of them will be, so heed this warning and evacuate these cities immediately”.

The truth, which as usual is too complicated and nuanced for “liberals” to trouble themselves to grapple with, is that the use of nuclear weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki indisputably saved millions of lives–including, ultimately, those of Japanese civilians. It hastened the end of a truly godawful conflict that would have otherwise dragged on for many more months–a conflict that America in no way asked for or “deserved,” but instead was brought to our very doorstep by an aggressive, belligerent, and purely evil tyranny. In this way (among several unlovely others), it strongly resembles our current struggle with mainstream Islam; where the similarity ends is that in 1941, Progressivism hadn’t yet sapped our vitality as a nation, and we still possessed the will, the self-respect, the courage, and the determination to prosecute a war to a victorious conclusion.

Update! A pluperfect example of “liberal” propaganda, positing that War Is Hell as if that would come as a shocking revelation–UNEXPECTED!–to anyone at all, examining the wartime suffering of ordinary people as if that alone stood as some kind of irrefutable indictment against a nation’s right to self-defense against an aggressive adversary. Weepy, juvenile handwringing like this–obvious, mawkish, childish, self-righteous, that to no degree takes into account certain unpleasant realities of life on this planet–is Progressivism’s primary weapon against adult sanity. Unfortunately, they’ve used it to great effect over the years.

Granted, clear, straight reportage on the events as they actually occurred has value. But presented as this is, without even the most perfunctory examination of the backstory leading up to those events–as if America in its rapacious evil just up and decided one morning to bomb these cities for no reason at all–amounts to nothing more than exactly what I said it was: propaganda. It is manipulative in a very cheap way: guileful, and profoundly immoral while offering an insidious pretense of higher morality. This maudlin passage is revealing of the author’s true intent:

Late in February, 1946, a friend of Miss Sasaki’s called on Father Kleinsorge and asked him to visit her in the hospital. She had been growing more and more depressed and morbid; she seemed little interested in living. Father Kleinsorge went to see her several times. On his first visit, he kept the conversation general, formal, and yet vaguely sympathetic, and did not mention religion. Miss Sasaki herself brought it up the second time he dropped in on her. Evidently she had had some talks with a Catholic. She asked bluntly, “If your God is so good and kind, how can he let people suffer like this?” She made a gesture which took in her shrunken leg, the other patients in her room, and Hiroshima as a whole.

“My child,” Father Kleinsorge said, “man is not now in the condition God intended. He has fallen from grace through sin.” And he went on to explain all the reasons for everything.

You can be sure that he, like the author of this tripe, did no such thing. He would almost certainly have left out Japanese imperialism, racism, and xenophobia; he would have conveniently failed to mention the immense suffering caused by the Japanese government–and the people who wholeheartedly believed in the divinity of their Emperor and the righteousness of his cause–in China and across the South Pacific; the horrors of Bataan, of Iwo Jima and Chichijima; the Rape of Nanking; the torture, murder and even cannibalism committed by Japanese troops; the Comfort Women; the futility and useless slaughter of and by the kamikazes late in the war. The only passage even hinting at Japanese culpability is this one:

Many citizens of Hiroshima, however, continued to feel a hatred for Americans which nothing could possibly erase. “I see,” Dr. Sasaki once said, “that they are holding a trial for war criminals in Tokyo just now. I think they ought to try the men who decided to use the bomb and they should hang them all.”

Father Kleinsorge and the other German Jesuit priests, who, as foreigners, could be expected to take a reltively detached view, often discussed the ethics of using the bomb. One of them, Father Siemes, who was out at Nagatsuka at the time of the attack, wrote in a report to the Holy See in Rome, “Some of us consider the bomb in the same category as poison gas and were against its use on a civilian population. Others were of the opinion that in total war, as carried on in Japan, there was no difference between civilians and soldiers, and that the bomb itself was an effective force tending to end the bloodshed, warning Japan to surrender and thus to avoid total destruction. It seems logical that he who supports total war in principle cannot complain of a war against civilians. The crux of the matter is whether total war in its present form is justifiable, even when it serves a just purpose. Does it not have material and spiritual evil as its consequences which far exceed whatever good might result? When will our moralists give us a clear answer to this question?”

Of course, there isn’t one. Which will never stop posturing, preening Leftist “journalists” from maintaining that there is, and that Americans will forever be on the wrong side of it.

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Time to get out?

Why anyone would ever dream of laying down their life for this government is way beyond me.

Fox News on Sunday confirmed that the Navy is considering charges against the officer who exchanged fire with Mohammod Abdulazeez at the Navy Operational Support Center in Chattanooga last month.

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Timothy White opened fire on the Muslim terrorist who killed four Marines and a sailor in attacks on two military facilities in Chattanooga, TN, on July 16.

“Muslim terrorist”? Is it even legal to think that in Amerika v2.0? I know the Feebs continue to declare themselves “baffled” by the motive for the attack; it’s pretty much gotta be either “random workplace violence” along the lines of the Fort Hood killings, or maybe the guy was upset over the “Confederate flag” still being seen flying off the tailgates of defiant pickup truck owners in small towns across the South.

A thought: if the FBI truly is baffled over this, the whole damned agency ought to disbanded toot sweet. And our next Preznit should be a woman in a burkha, too. Preferably, one who was actually male at birth, just to complete the “liberal” circle of lunacy.

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Twilight time

Am I the only guy in the world who thought this story not so much cute and inspiring, but sad and depressing?

For the first time, the U.S. Air Force has resurrected a B-52 bomber that had been in long-term storage at the Boneyard, the portion of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base near Tucson, Arizona, where the military sends aircraft that have been retired from the fleet.

The 53-year-old Stratofortress, tail number 61-1007, nicknamed the “Ghost Rider” had been in storage at the desert in the care of the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) since 2008. Thousands of aircraft are stored at the Boneyard, where the dry desert environment helps preserve them. Some are scavenged to supply parts to planes still in the fleet. Others are brought back into service. Ghost Rider, after upgrades, will become the first B-52 to return to duty from the Boneyard.

Though the dry desert air inhibits corrosion, the baking heat can have other adverse effects, including causing dry rot in the tires and fuel lines. The lines and fuel bladders in Ghost Rider were completely replaced, Tech. Sgt. Stephen Sorge, a fuels specialist from the 307th Maintenance Squadron, said in an Air Force report on the project.

Once that work was done, the plane’s engines were tested again in January. On February 13, Ghost Rider flew again, a three-hour flight from Davis-Monthan to its new home, Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, Louisiana. The resurrection process took 70 days, according to the Air Force report.

“I’ve been flying the B-52s since the ’80s and it surprised me that after almost seven years…she cranked up just fine and we had no issues with the flight control systems,” Col. Keith Schultz said in the Air Force report after piloting the eight-engine jet on the 1,000-mile flight.

So we’re now reduced to cobbling together parts from junked planes to keep our aging, decrepit fleet of sixty-year-old aircraft in the air. Great.

The nice thing, if you can call it that, is that we remain the world’s sole superpower–not because we’re all that powerful anymore, but because the other prospective contenders have so crippled themselves with big-government socialism as to place themselves completely out of the fray. Good thing we at least are smart enough to recognize the superiority of free-market capitalism and to not try to walk the same big-government…uhh…umm…

Oh, hell.

I define a bureaucracy as an organization that does not understand itself to be under competitive pressure. This applies to most government departments, as well as many large companies, and other organizations, like many parts of my own Catholic Church. The reason why militaries often have a reputation for efficiency that other government departments don’t is because they tend to get competitive pressure in the form of people who try to kill them.

But being a government body, a military’s “natural” status is of a bureaucracy: lumbering, impervious to change, inefficient. Efficiency is still the exception to the rule. Napoleon was able to conquer most of Europe because Europe’s militaries had become bureaucracies due to their feudal structure, which in France had been cut off (often literally) in the French Revolution.

As strange as it may seem today, in 1940, the French military had a similar aura of invincibility; it was the military that had led the Allied forces to victory in World War I, then the greatest war anybody had ever seen. Part of the impetus for appeasement in the 1930s came from the notion that Germany couldn’t do anything too crazy because then the French would crush them. But the French did not understand that they were competing, they got complacent and lazy, and got crushed by Germans who understood very well that they were competing.

Today, the U.S. military has fallen under the Bureaucracy Rule. The U.S. has no great power rivals, and thank God for that. Iraq and Afghanistan have not caused an identity crisis for the U.S. military because many senior commanders view these as “freakshow” wars — counterinsurgency wars, not the kind of “real” wars that militaries fight.

What are the signs that an organization has become a bureaucracy?

He lists a few telling ones, but there are plenty more he doesn’t go into; if you have family or friends in the military, most likely you’ve heard about at least some of them. And then there’s this:

The United States military does not currently have the ability to fight two major wars simultaneously, according to a new report, a significant reduction from the capacity enjoyed by defense officials for decades.

The Heritage Foundation’s “2015 Index of U.S. Military Strength” concludes that the armed forces “would be ill-equipped to handle two, near-simultaneous major regional contingencies (MRC).” The two-MRC goal was largely attained during the Cold War, when U.S. forces engaged in a conflict every 15 to 20 years while maintaining ground forces in other regions to ensure stability and deter aggressors.

That strategy enables the U.S. military to defeat one adversary in a conflict while preventing another aggressor—seeking to take advantage of the United States’ preoccupation with the first conflict—from defeating it in a separate theater.

But this strategy is no longer feasible, according to the report.

“The consistent decline in funding and the consequent shrinking of the force are putting it under significant pressure,” the report said. “Essential maintenance is being deferred; fewer units (mostly the Navy’s platforms and the Special Operations Forces community) are being cycled through operational deployments more often and for longer periods; and old equipment is being extended while programmed replacements are problematic.”

“The cumulative effect of such factors has resulted in a U.S. military that is marginally able to meet the demands of defending America’s vital national interests.”

Fortunately for us, one entire branch of the nation’s political uniparty–along with half the population–doesn’t recognize that we even have national interests that are either vital or legitimate, thereby obviating the need to worry about defending them. So we got that going for us, I suppose. As for that bit about “problematic” replacements…

According to the latest (2012) estimate from the Pentagon, the total cost to develop, buy and operate the F-35 will be $1.45 trillion—yes, trillion, with a “t”—over the next 50 years, up from a measly $1 trillion estimated in 2011. For those of you keeping score at home, this means that the F-35’s lifetime cost grew about $450 billion in one year. (Who says inflation is dead?)

The fighter system’s cost grew by approximately one Manhattan Project every three weeks between 2011 and 2012.

That number—$1.45 trillion—might be difficult to grasp, especially in the context of U.S. defense spending, so let me try to put it in perspective: the entire Manhattan Project, which took around three years and led to the development of the atom bomb, cost a total of $26 billion (2015), most of which went to “building factories and producing the fissile materials, with less than 10% for development and production of the weapons.” By contrast, the F-35 will cost $29 billion. Per year.

For the next 50 years.

Indeed, just the 12-month increase ($450 billion) in the F-35’s lifetime estimate means that the fighter system’s cost grew by approximately one Manhattan Project every three weeks between 2011 and 2012. Granted, A-bombs are far different from fighter jets—for example, bombs don’t need maintenance after use—but these differences shouldn’t obscure the F-35’s simply astounding impact on the U.S. federal budget.

These crazy numbers still might be justifiable if the F-35 were part of a near-flawless weapons system that is destined to guarantee U.S. air superiority for the next half-century. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.

It all puts me in mind of a conversation I had whilst walking around NYC with my great good friend Chris Pfouts, now deceased. He said that if New York had to build the subway system now instead of back when it did, it would simply never actually get done. It would not, and it could not, because modern American society is simply not capable of seeing such a massive project through anymore, for all sorts of reasons.

This conversation took place about twenty years ago. He was right then, and is even more so now. But hey, as long as we’re fighting 10th-century barbarian fanatics on mule-back, we ought to be just about able to stay even, right?

All that said, though, it must be acknowledged that, however far we mighty may have fallen, we haven’t fallen quite this far…yet.

Germany, which has persistently failed to contribute its agreed share of the military budgets agreed by the NATO mutual defence organisation, has neglected its own military to such a point where they now lack basic equipment – such as guns.

This discrepancy was farcically illustrated at a NATO joint exercise last year, which was intended to train and test the supposedly elite rapid reaction force, a collection of NATO units ready to deploy anywhere in the world at short notice to respond to crises. Despite the exercise having been planned years in advance, the Germany contingent found they didn’t have enough machine guns, and resorted to using black-painted broom handles instead.

It is now known the battalion of Panzer Grenadiers were lacking nearly one third of their machine guns, almost half of their side-arms, and almost all of their night-vision goggles.

German authorities insisted mounting the broom handles on their armoured personal carriers was merely a matter of subterfuge, as the vehicles had the interior space taken up by radios and command equipment instead – but this appears rather to be the latest in a long line of German military mishaps caused by a chronic lack of money.

Significant underinvestment in military equipment, poor maintenance, and a lack of spare parts have led to a number of embarrassing failures for the German military in the past few months. After deciding to donate millions of euros worth of military equipment of Kurdish fighters, the German government found itself unable to deliver it, because every military transport plane they tried to ship it with broke down on the runway.

Looks like the EUrosocialists are finally running out of other people’s money. And remember, these are the guys the Greeks–and the other sick men of Europe–are looking to for their fiscal salvation.

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Depravity

Everything old is new again, Part the Eleventy-Billionth.

A friend of mine once said, “PTSD is the realization that you will never be this cool again.” He was referring to being on deployment, toting guns, and generally being a hard-ass. He was kind of correct. Once you wash the dirt and grit off and put on a clean shirt, you’re out of place in the civilian world. No one gets your jokes. Everyone wonders why you’re so insensitive to the plights of celebrities and pro-ball players. People view you as a victim, someone that somehow got duped into joining the military and marching off to fight, only to come home with less friends and more nightmares. You go to work at your job thinking that whatever you do today will never matter as much as what you did over there. You will never work as hard in this cubicle, office, ambulance, bank, or courthouse, as you did in the killing fields. You have this little voice in the back of your head whispering, “You will never feel more alive. It doesn’t get any better than those days.” Sadly enough, a lot of veterans are heeding this voice and going home and killing themselves, either with a gun or with heroin and Hennessy. The suicide rate is an epidemic and the VA is a joke. Personally, in my non-solicited and ultimately meaningless opinion, I think this is largely due to the fact that a guy went over and put in work, to come home to a government that doesn’t support him, and a public that doesn’t appreciate him. We live in a society that puts more effort and emphasis on Justin-fucking-Bieber than their neighbor who lost his legs in Ramadi. It doesn’t feel good when the media is more ablaze in memoriam for a celebrity that OD’d on the shitter than Chris Kyle or more recently, Aaron Torian. It stings a little when the Commander in Chief makes more phone calls to his travel agent and “brave” basketball players than to the widows of the fallen. Bottom line: empty thanks and the obvious look of pity don’t do much for a guy that feels lost at home without his brothers or people that REALLY care. But, I digress.

The last troops in Iraq left with little fanfare. Under the guidance of an apologetic administration, they left that country with their ears back and their tails tucked. To the guys at home at the time, they could no longer point at the TV and say, “I was there.” Afghanistan seems to be heading the same direction. One big-ass circle. The Taliban are seizing ground again, poised to take power, and the troops (from MY vantage point) are just hanging out in the FOB’s eating Burger King and biding their time, and why shouldn’t they? Our strategy in this country has been telescoped so far that the enemy knows when we’re going home! Why go out and put foot to ass when the shot-clock is down to the final second? No one is truly invested in the war. Again, my opinion.

Perhaps so. But an all-too-accurate one. Just one of many, many reasons why FUSA is finished. And, frankly, deserves to be.

(Via WRSA)

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Guts, glory

God damn, but I love this picture:
jimmartin

Good trigger discipline even after all these years. That’s Jim “Pee Wee” Martin, who, at 93, parachuted into Normandy on Thursday. Again, that is. A sassy, brassy picture of a true American badass like this would undoubtedly give today’s Pajama-Boy pussies the creeping fantods; the cigarette would only be the beginning of their acute horror. He’d fit right in in a Rose Garden ceremony with Ike or Reagan, but of course pResident Pissypants much prefers the company of traitors, deserters, collaborators, and other such scum for his photo ops, feeling much more at home with like-minded reprobates as he does. Darleen says: “Good lord, what has America lost?” Everything we had, babe, and all of it was worth keeping. God bless ya, Pee Wee; we shan’t see your like again.

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Give ’em hell, boys!

The Greatest Generation indeed.

A British D-Day veteran who was reported missing from a nursing home turned up in Normandy today after traveling to France to mark the invasion’s 70th anniversary, authorities said.

Bernard Jordan, 89, sneaked out of the home on England’s south coast on Thursday after being told by staff he could not make the trip to Normandy. Donning his war medals, the Royal Navy veteran joined his former comrades on a coach and then a ferry to travel to France.

The nursing home staff called police Thursday to report Jordan missing. Officers started searching the area, including checking nearby hospitals but failed to find him.

This morning the local police chief tweeted: “Love this: 89yr old veteran reported missing by care home who said he can’t go to Normandy for #DDay70 remembrance. We’ve found him there!”

The plucky veteran even took time to get his picture taken with the crew of the ferry and the “Candy Girls,” performers who were on board this week to entertain veterans with music of the 1940’s.

Jordan was scheduled to return tonight, and ferry officials said they gave him a cabin, all meals and a car to take him back to his nursing home.

Standing up for freedom to the bitter end, necessarily ignoring the Grey Man drones whose sole raison d’être is restricting it “for our own good.” Illegitimi non carborundum, Bernard; may they see ya next year in Normandy, and for many more to come.

(Via OregonMuse)

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Memorial Day mea culpa

Roger Simon owns up.

Was I coward?

I should say not. (At least I didn’t think so at the time.) I thought of myself as an idealist, doing the right thing, maybe even a revolutionary of sorts. I protested the war every chance I got — while positioning myself safely, not too far, not too close,  three or four rows from the police line — everywhere from Golden Gate Park to the Washington Mall to the UN to Los Angeles’ Century Plaza Hotel in June 1967 when LBJ was giving a fundraising dinner and the LAPD moved in on the demonstrators. (Yes, I was there — though far out of harm’s way). I also attended the requisite number of teach-ins and be-ins sponsored by, among others, the Mobilization Against the War and then New Mobe and then the New New Mobe (okay, kidding). I even spoke at some. I helped found some adolescent nonsense called the Peace and Freedom Party, which appears, for reasons unknown to man or beast, on the California ballot to this day. It got so I was chanting “Ho Ho, Ho, Chi Minh, Vietcong is going to win!” in my sleep.

I also represented “my generation” in debate (formal and otherwise) with that “clueless” generation of our parents, the veterans of WWII. I can remember yelling at my father, a former flight surgeon, that he just didn’t get it, that this wasn’t like his war and that we were the villains in Vietnam. After what felt like years of this, I finally got my mother to agree with me and I could see doubt in my father’s eyes. I had won.

When I think of that moment today I am sick to my stomach with shame. This must have been around 1970 and we were at a medical convention at a fancy Las Vegas hotel — at my father’s invitation, of course, and on his dime. Forget the totalitarian communisms like North Korea and North Vietnam  that we were trying to stop, what this was all about for so many of us in those days was beating our fathers, showing them up.

We didn’t realize that in the process we were creating a monster — the Boomers who came behind us and thought we were cool because we were the first to protest, the first to rock till we dropped, the first to smoke dope, the first to drop acid, the first to…well, never mind.
 
We weren’t the first to do anything, really. We we were just the first popularizers, the first to infiltrate the American mind in such a profound way that the wrong people became the heroes. After us, patriotism was out, ROTC was out, America the Beautiful was out.

Now we have a country of Barack Obama and veterans who are wait-listed for medical care and a foreign policy — not to mention a world — in  shambles because this once great land leads from behind, if at all.

Sorry. I was just a kid. I didn’t know what I was doing.

And I wasn’t alone. There were a lot of us and it will take a lot of us to make this right.

Much as I like Roger–and I do; he seems like a decent guy with his heart in the right place at last–there’s a couple of things that need to be said about this. First: there is no “making it right.” The damage is done, and America the Beautiful is not coming back no matter how remorseful people like Roger feel. It was destroyed by them, and it cannot be rebuilt by their belated sorrow and guilt. Once again, I’m reminded of this: you’re not going to save the Shire by being shocked and sad, my dear Frodo.

As to cowardice, well, perhaps Roger personally is not a coward. But the antiwar movement of the 60s was in fact based on cowardice and, strain mightily though some of them may to avoid acknowledging it, most of us know it full well. Yes, some few were sincere in their delusions of supposedly high ideals and egalitarian, peaceful communism. But for most of them, those ideals were a convenient rationalization, and the bottom line remains: they didn’t want to go to Vietnam because they were scared to death of what might happen to them personally. They resented their country because they felt it unjust that they could be plucked out of their comfortable middle-class lives and forced to kill and bleed and die in a war they neither approved of nor understood.

Yes, there is a case to be made that Vietnam was a mistake: that the prospect of a small, insignificant Asian nation falling to communism would actually threaten or affect Almighty America very little if at all; that our own domestic political corruption negated any claim to “high ideals” on the part of those who thought Vietnam worth fighting for; that it was all none of our business in the first place; that our clear treaty obligations to France and by extension Vietnam were misguided at best.

And don’t think for a moment that I’m positing myself as Roger’s moral superior here. I was a little kid back then; if I’d been of draft age at the time, who knows what I might have done to get out of doing my duty to my country? I may well have wound up at some of the same mindless and destructive protests as Roger did, or ones just like them.

It’s all pretty much irrelevant now anyway; as I said, the damage is done, and we live in a very different country now, one dreamed up, engineered, and established for us largely by many of those same Leftist reprobates sloganeering for Ho and Mao back then. The country we live in now is far removed from the one the Founders envisioned; they wouldn’t even recognize what we are now, and would denounce it in the strongest terms, holding the people who meekly consent to live under its iron rule in bitter contempt (“may posterity forget they were ever our countrymen”). Actually, they would recognize it, all too well…as absolutely everything they feared and warned future generations of.

The country most of you reading this holds such deep and sincere patriotic feelings for exists only in our imaginations now. Nostalgia isn’t going to bring it back any more than contrition and rueful donning of the hair shirt will.

All of which leads me to something I’ve been thinking over for a while now, and have hinted at here a couple of times: much as I admire, respect, and love those who dedicated at least a portion of their lives to military service–and don’t take this as calling their integrity or honor or courage into question in any way, because I don’t intend that at all and never would do any such thing–well, put it this way: if I were in the US military today, I would harbor some very unsettling doubts about what it was I was doing–more specifically, about what it was I was putting myself on the line for.

In my opinion, our government as currently constituted is unworthy of allegiance or patriotic sentiment. Its staunchest Leftist supporters I wouldn’t be willing to walk across the street to piss on if they were on fire, much less take up arms to defend. What do you do when the country you signed up to fight and very possibly die for is snatched out from under you and turned into something entirely else? How do you defend the indefensible, as a practical matter as well as an intellectual exercise?

The answer is to be found in careful contemplation of one crucial fact: the oath our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines take is to the Constitution, not this government or any of its minions, stooges, satraps, or henchmen. That Constitution is and will forever remain well worthy of our regard and our most vigorous efforts in its defense. In an imperfect world (and how), its genius is such as to render it as close to a perfect basis for just and proper law and governance of free individuals as is possible to imagine. The establishment of a rapacious, greedy, soulless tyranny on these shores is not the fault of the document or the principles expounded therein. It is the fault of a people grown lazy, narcissistic, and inattentive…just as the Founders knew was possible.

In sum: it is right and proper that we honor the men and women who have righteously stood up and sworn an oath to defend our sacred Constitution. That it has been pissed over and rendered irrelevant by mental and moral pygmies–that the government it established has been perverted to monstrous extremes by shrunken, twisted misanthropists greedy for personal power or wealth–in no way reflects on our soldiery past and present or their honorable service, which is ultimately to the highest of high ideals: liberty and self-determination. Hats off to them, today and every day. The stench of corruption and debasement wafting off the rotting corpse of a stolen government taints them not a whit.

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A shame and a disgrace

Respect and admire them though I do, I cannot for the life of me comprehend why anyone would be willing to subject themselves to military service for a country like this one.

Fort Hood is no different from Pearl Harbor: That’s to say, in both cases domestic military bases were attacked by agents of avowed enemies of the United States. Why should a soldier have to scrape by on 200 bucks a month because euphemizing a jihadist attack as “workplace violence” is more politically convenient for the government?

In her story on the Mann vs Steyn litigation, Ms Blake and Mann’s counsel commented on my own public statements about the case. So I note mordantly one detail from her Fort Hood piece – that Army lawyers leaned on the victims not to go public with their dissatisfactions on the grounds supposedly that it would “prejudice” the case against Major Hasan. This is beyond pathetic. Hasan’s first words at the eventual trial were: “The evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter.”

A couple of paragraphs back, I compared Fort Hood and Pearl Harbor as enemy attacks on US military bases. They’re different in one key respect, of course: These days a sclerotic republic can’t even convict a confessed killer in less time than it took to win the Second World War. Pearl Harbor to the Japanese surrender: three years, eight months, eight days. Fort Hood to the opening of Hasan’s trial: three years, nine months, one day.

Do read Mariah Blake’s story in full. These people are invisible because they’re inconvenient to the official lies agreed by the government, advanced by the media, and acquiesced in by too many of these soldiers’ fellow Americans:

Private First Class Amber Gadlin, who was 19 at the time, braved gunfire to drag other soldiers to safety, even after being shot in the back. During the 2009 Fort Hood memorial, the president praised her for her valor.

That and $4.95 will get you a decaf latte:

Gadlin, who says she can only sit for a half hour at a stretch because of severe back pain, scrapes by on her $1,400 a month disability payment from the Department of Veterans Affairs and has struggled to get treatment for her depression and PTSD. “Having to fight for benefits on top of the injuries and the money worries has made things far worse,” says her mother, Lisa Bahr Pfund. “There have been plenty of times I’ve been expecting a phone call saying she’s gone. Meaning, you know, she’s taken care of her problems permanently.”

It is striking to me that a country responsible for over 40 per cent of the planet’s military spending apparently has no money to treat its returning warriors with a modicum of dignity. That it should do the same to men and women gunned down by a traitor who set off every alarm bell and was still allowed to proceed to that table at Fort Hood is an absolute disgrace.

Plenty of money for green-fuels research and experimentation, gay-lesbian-bi-TGBTHYPLMWXQWhatthefuckever sensitivity training, and Welcome-Wagon outreach missions in Muslim shitholes, though. And in a third-rate banana republic run by self-righteous “liberals” whose only real working knowledge of the military and national defense is that they’re opposed to it, that stuff is what’s really important.

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“Before 1993, there were no mass shootings on U.S. military bases”

Just coincidence, I’m sure.

In 1993, most soldiers were stripped of their right to carry a weapon onto United States military bases effectively turning them into gun free zones.

While the directive was composed under big government progressive George H.W. Bush, it was implemented shortly after big government progressive Bill Clinton assumed office. This point is monotonous, as it is irrelevant.

NBC News in Washington listed shootings at U.S. military bases since 1994 in the wake of the most recent attack on Fort Hood, but did not delve into any that may have happened before 1993.

Why not?

The article failed to make the obvious connection that before 1993, mass shootings on United States military bases did not exist.

It is unconscionable that soldiers who are tasked with keeping Americans safe are thwarted by politicians from keeping themselves safe.

Well, yeah, but once we’re ALL disarmed, then we’ll all be safe, right? Except when we’re not.

(Via Larwyn)

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Shooting at Fort Shock’n’Awe

With F Troop “sheltering in place” within.

I have written for years about America’s absurd paramilitarized bureaucracy: the federal Secretary of Education who employs not a single teacher but is the only education minister in the western world with his own SWAT team; Virginia’s beverage regulators with their crack sparkling waterboarding team; USDA’s Bunny Team Six; Wisconsin’s Deer Team Six; the IRS agents ready to take out your W2 with an AR-15

Apparently the only government department without a military force at its disposal is the military. So when a lone shooter opens up at an army base, Fort Shock’n’Awe has to call 911 and “shelter in place” until the county sheriff arrives. For your psycho gunman, a military base is basically a grade-school in uniform.

This seems, to put it politely, perverse – even for bases that don’t sprawl over 340 square miles and have a population of 56,000. Years ago, American comics used to mock the unarmed British constabulary. Was it Robin Williams who did that routine about the copper in pursuit of a ne’er-do-well? “Stop! Or I’ll shout ‘Stop!’ again…” The United States Government has taken it to the next level: everyone’s armed except the army.

So what happens to a nation stupid, gutless, and feckless enough to render its defenders defenseless? We’ll be finding out soon enough, I guess. Looks like we are all Boston “strong” now.

Update! Bang, zoom, to the moon.

This is the third mass shooting on a military base in five years, and it’s because our trained soldiers aren’t allowed to carry defensive weapons. Anti-gun activists have turned our military bases into soft targets for killers.

That statement doesn’t just apply to military bases.

Only the most out-of-touch radical would try to disarm soldiers. It’s time to repeal this deadly anti-gun law before it creates another mass killing. This is another tragedy created by anti-gun activists. If members of Congress are protected by loaded automatic weapons in the Capitol they have no right to deny that right to trained soldiers on base.

Absoposilutely. Right in every last detail. Gun-free zones are actually target-rich killing fields for those who aren’t concerned about or even much interested in whatever silly-assed legislation “liberal” nitwits pass to wish away their irrational, childish fears. A goodly portion of the blood is therefore on their hands. All of it, all over the country, and not just at Ft Hood. Period.

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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

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