Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

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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Travails of a jet jock

Good stuff:

You can see why flying involves a lot of trust. You’re entirely reliant on many, many other people to keep you safe. You rely on your wing man not to fly into you; you rely on the ground troops to let you know what areas are safe to fly over; you rely on air traffic controllers to keep everyone properly separated. A poorly coordinated traffic pattern can wind up with you trying to land one jet on top of another. I’ve been lucky enough to escape my few harrowing moments mostly unscathed, but if you do this job long enough, you’ll know someone who has died flying.

But in spite of the ever-present specter of death, be it from rocket-powered seats, Looney Tunes catapults, pitching decks, flying gas stations, passing out in the middle of a fight, suicidal birds, busted aircraft, or just the old proverbial “sudden stop at the end,” I absolutely love this job and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Mostly because of the shirtless volleyball.

Read it all. Yes, even you, Regbo–even though I know already you could furnish a lot more than just five.

(Via Ace)

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Life and death in vain

A response to Lutrell–the only possible one, in my view.

Yes, Marcus. Your friends died in vain. They went selflessly. They fought bravely. They sacrificed nobly. They lived in the best traditions of duty, honor, and country — hallowed words which dictate what every American can and ought to be. But they died in vain for the exact reason that they went where their country sent them and did what their country told them to do. America failed you because it failed its obligation to those principles. It gives me no pleasure to write these words, because it applies as much to the friends I lost as it does to yours. But it needs to be said, because the sooner we acknowledge it as a country, the more lives we might save.

As I write this, America is two weeks into its 13th and presumably last year of war in Afghanistan. Already, two service members have been reported killed there. The strategic outlook after our withdrawal is not optimistic. Indeed, current events forebode a harsh future for Afghanistan. We are only two years removed from our withdrawal from Iraq and the al Qaeda flag flies over the city of Fallujah, in which more than 120 American service members died. The ultimate failure of American military might to secure Fallujah does nothing to diminish the honorable nature of their service. But likewise, all their gallantry cannot change the fact that they died for an unfulfilled cause. The honor is theirs alone. The disgrace belongs to America.

Throughout history, our nation’s greatest leaders have understood on a deeply personal level that however honorably a soldier acquits himself, he can die in vain, and that it is the responsibility of the leaders and citizenry to see to it that they don’t. Our country has lost its sense of that responsibility to a horrifying extent. Our generals have lost the capability to succeed and the integrity to admit failure. Our society has lost the courage and energy to hold them accountable. Over the last decade, our top leaders have wasted the lives of our sons, daughters, and comrades with their incompetence and hubris. After each failure, our citizens have failed to hold them accountable, instead underwriting new failed strategies as quickly as their predecessors with our apathy and sense of detachment. And then we use the tired paeans of “never forget” and “honor the fallen” to distract ourselves from our guilt in the affair. When we blithely declare that they did not die in vain, we deface their honor by using it to wipe the blood from our hands.

We have lost our collective ability to win a war as well as the strength of character to accept defeat. And in the end, it is those who represent the epitome of that character we lack that pay the price. Can there be a death any more in vain than one that secures for us freedoms that we hold in such low regard as to not even use them on behalf of those that protect us? If there is, I cannot think of one.

Bring ’em all home, and keep ’em here until this country rights itself; rediscovers its self-respect, the sacredness of its founding principles and their absolute worthiness of vigorous defense; and resolves never to enter into any war again without an absolute determination to win, overwhelmingly and without reference to political correctness or squeamishness over the very nature of war itself. Absent all that…just keep ’em home. Wretchard asks the real question:

The date on the Foreign Policy column is January 15, 2014. But in spirit is closer to January 15, 1939 when it dawned upon altogether too many that the vast losses of the Great War merely bought a chance to fight an even bigger war. Great must have been the temptation to cynically scrawl over the Menin Gate. “Yes. They died in vain.”

There is a similar sense today of a collapsing house of cards. Disaster is the new normal. One of the greatest hurts the Obama administration has inflicted on the national psyche is a profound demoralization; an acceptance of hopelessness. People are no longer looking for good news any more than they’re hoping for jobs. Many have stopped fighting the tide of woe and fully expect more to follow, with nothing whatsoever to be done about it. An administration premised on Hope has taught us to give up hoping.

By now we expect Obama to lie; lie for the sake of lying; misrepresent for the heck of it, even when the truth can safely be admitted in candor; to spit in the soup for no reason that even he can think of.

And nobody’s mad at Obama. For they know the truth. It isn’t Obama that is frightening since he’s just being himself. It is the circumstance that 50% of the electorate wanted him — and may want him still — that is absolutely terrifying. That is the source of the despair. We gaze into the mirror and lose hope.

Jim Ghourley puts the epitaph in the wrong place. “They died in vain” is less apt upon their tombstones than “they lived in vain” is on the lintels of our homes. For to all appearances, Marcus Luttrell’s men are not half so dead as we are. They live in some way still. In saga if not as a blockbuster movie. But what can we say for ourselves? That we live after death on some voting roll? That we resisted until the first stern admonition from Candy Crowley or Chris Matthews?

An event, Buchan would write, is never “at the moment fully comprehended…time hurries it from us, but also keeps it in store”; and only later do we see it for what it is. It is less than completely true to say the Red Wings died for a mission order. To a certain extent they advanced to their own private drummer and died for each other without counting it a loss. Maybe the right question to pose is “do we live in vain?” That remains an open question. We know the administration had not the least iota of faith in the men of the Lone Survivor mission. But by their actions we know that they still had faith in us.

Um. Ouch. That observation ought to sting every last real American right to his very core.

What we do with that bequest; well there’s the rub. The present is all the past has to show for itself.

Well said, and all too true. America has long coasted on past glory, relied on its former strength, to claim a power it no longer possesses or even values. We’re coming to the end of that ignoble and fruitless march. We’ve gobbled up the seed corn and forgotten how it was planted. One way or another, we’re going to be relearning some painful lessons very soon now.

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American badass

That would be Bill Overstreet.

Bill relates, “Not long after (the March 6th Mission), I had a freak accident. I think it was a mission to southern France. While over enemy territory, a burst of flak cut my oxygen line. Since I was at about 25,000 feet, I soon passed out. The next thing I knew, I was in a spin, engine dead since the fuel tank it was set on was dry. Somehow, I recovered from the spin, changed fuel setting, got the engine started, and dodged the trees that were in front of me. Then, I looked at my watch. Ninety minutes were not in my memory. I had no idea where I was, but remembered where I had been headed so I reversed it. I was able to find the coast of France and headed for Leiston. By this time, I was low on fuel, so I landed at the Fourth Group base. The officer I talked with was Captain Mead, who had lived a couple of blocks from my home in Clifton Forge, Virginia. To top it off, the mechanic who repaired my plane was “Hot Cha” Tucker, a former schoolmate, also from Clifton Forge. I still have a picture of Tucker and me with a P-47. Many weeks later, this story got a lot of publicity – Lowell Thomas on radio, newspapers and TIME magazine.“

Another mission that didn’t turn out as expected occurred when Bill flew with a sinus infection. He and his group were escorting a sortie of bombers, and in chasing German fighters away from the flight, he engaged in a power dive from 30,000 feet, chasing after a Messerschmitt Bf 109. The extreme change in pressure caused his eyes to swell shut, blinding him. Bill was able to keep his plane in the air by control feel, but had no way to determine his heading or carry out a landing. Calling on his radio for help, one of Bill’s mates, Indicated that he could see Bill’s plane and gave him instructions to get the plane pointed in the right direction, then got on his wing and together the two made their way back to the base in England. Bill was talked through a straight-in approach and landing. It took several days under the care of the Base’s doctors before the swelling had gone down enough for Bill to see again.

Believe it or not, that’s just for starters; read on for some truly incredible tales of fighter-jock derring-do. Overstreet just passed away this past weekend; may he rest in peace. I’d say they don’t make ’em like him anymore, but having spent a fair amount of time over the years with Navy and Marine pilots and a scattering here and there of SpecWar types as well, the fact is…well, they do. And for that, we can all be grateful.

(Via Dave in Texas)

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Veterans Day

Great story.

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — The last of the Doolittle Raiders, all in their 90s, offered a final toast Saturday to their fallen comrades, as they pondered their place in history after a day of fanfare about their 1942 attack on Japan.

“May they rest in peace,” Lt. Col. Richard Cole, 98, said before the three Raiders present sipped an 1896 cognac from specially engraved silver goblets. The cognac was saved for the occasion after being passed down from their late commander, Lt. Gen. James “Jimmy” Doolittle, who was born in 1896.

May they rest in peace indeed. And here’s a couple of of photos from the Warbirds Over Monroe airshow this past weekend:



My two all-time favorites, the F4U Corsair and the hallowed P51 Mustang. My four-year-old daughter took that shot, believe it or not.



Never have seen a wing walker before, as many airshows as I’ve been to. It was AWESOME; she was dressed as Wonder Woman, and that’s just what she is, too. Lots more about her, with some great photos, here.

Update! I should mention Ashley’s pilot, Greg Shelton, and his plane, a Super Stearman with the 450-horsepower Pratt and Whitney engine rather than the standard 220hp Contintental. Hearing that thing roar as they flew by, you could easily tell this was a high-performance aircraft, and Shelton really flew the hell out of it. If you ever get the chance to see this duo perform, don’t pass it up. Absolutely thrilling, that’s what. My kid just loved it, too, clapping her hands, laughing, and jumping up and down like a mad thing. Highly recommended; any Warbirds gathering is as good a way to celebrate Veterans Day as I can think of right offhand.

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An American tale

Everybody’s linked this already, and no way could I fail to mention it here too.

I don’t know how he got through the next year. Everman’s friend from home, Ben Shepherd, replaced him in Soundgarden. Their next album went double platinum. Of course, Nirvana — after replacing Jason’s friend Chad Channing on drums with Dave Grohl — became the biggest band in the world. That record he never got paid back for, “Bleach,” eventually sold 2.1 million copies. “Nevermind” sold nearly 30 million copies worldwide and changed the course of rock. Everman, meanwhile, was left behind with no idea what to do next.

For the first month, he just went fetal. “It was a huge blow,” he admitted to me quietly. “I had no warning. The only good thing about it was it made me leave the Pacific Northwest. I would never have done that otherwise.” He moved to New York and got a job working for a while in the Caroline Records warehouse, a long way from the tour bus.

Jason played with other bands, eventually joining one called Mindfunk. He actually had success with it, moving with the band to San Francisco, but something was still not right. Then in the midst of all the confusion in his life, he came to the realization that he had to make a change. He knew he didn’t just want to be a guy in his 15th band, the guy talking about his time in Nirvana and Soundgarden 20 years later. He wanted to do something, he said, something impossible. “I was in the cool bands,” he told me in the cabin. “I was psyched to do the most uncool thing you could possibly do.”

If you haven’t read it yet, you really, really should. What he did next turned out to be very damned cool indeed. It’s a fascinating story and a good read, about a truly interesting guy who finally found his way, and his place.

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“It was no different than an insurgent in Iraq or Afghanistan trying to kill us”

No, it wasn’t. In fact, it was exactly the same thing. Which is a minor inconvenience for Ogabe, the Democrat Socialists, the liberal-fascist PC Police, and all too many miserable worms in the higher, heavily-politicized echelons of the military who are all too happy to work with them, cover for them, flack for them, suck up to them, be run by them–and eventually, when they’re no longer useful, betrayed and abandoned by them as they’ve abandoned and betrayed those under them.

Update! Another brass-plated betrayal:

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced Wednesday that the Pentagon is creating a medal that can be awarded to troops who have a direct impact on combat operations, but do it well away from any combat zone.

‘‘I’ve seen firsthand how modern tools, like remotely piloted platforms and cyber systems, have changed the way wars are fought,’’ Panetta said. ‘‘And they’ve given our men and women the ability to engage the enemy and change the course of battle, even from afar.’’

The new blue, red and white-ribboned Distinguished Warfare Medal will be awarded to individuals for ‘‘extraordinary achievement’’ related to a military operation that occurred after Sept. 11, 2001. But unlike other combat medals, it does not require the recipient risk his or her life to get it.

Officials said the new medal will be the first combat-related award to be created since the Bronze Star in 1944.

A recognition of the evolving 21st century warfare, the medal will be considered a bit higher in ranking than the Bronze Star, but is lower than the Silver Star, defense officials said.

Debow says:

So this new medal for sitting in an OPS center at some undisclosed location will be higher than that? Higher than the Bronze Star that a PFC at a remote COP might be awarded for taking charge of his mortar team during a patrol and providing accurate fires on the enemy after his team leader was wounded? Higher than a Bronze Star awarded to a Buck Sergeant, who after being deployed for 7 months, is working 3 levels higher as the Company First Sergeant in his section because of combat attrition? No disrespect to the Predator driver and missile shooter; you guys are an important component in the battles we fight, but I could get my work done in the ‘Stan without them. They are doing a job that can be done wearing flip-flops while eating take out. The only thing funnier than giving this award would be seeing this medal awarded to the awardees standing at attention in their flight suits.

There are a lot of medals for achievement, I don’t think we need one that would rank higher than a Bronze Star for the “extraordinary achievement” of pressing the “FIRE” button on your Predator Drone flight control to launch a missile that is going to ride a laser beam being painted on a target by a TAC-P that is just as dirty, sleep deprived and smelly as the platoon of infantry in the fight around him; who are actually and life threateningly engaged with the enemy.

Read on to his conclusion; it’s perfect. I swear, it seems with every passing day this country gets more ass-fucking-backwards and upside-fucking-down.

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Old, sad story

The man who got bin Laden. No, I am assuredly NOT talking about the slope-shouldered, gutless liberal-fascist pussy who claimed undeserved credit for political purposes.

With the focus and precision he’s learned, the Shooter waits and watches for the right way to exit, and adapt. Despite his foggy future, his past is deeply impressive. This is a man who is very pleased about his record of service to his country and has earned the respect of his peers.

“He’s taken monumental risks,” says the Shooter’s dad, struggling to contain the frustration that roughs the edges of his deep pride in his son. “But he’s unable to reap any reward.”

It’s not that there isn’t one. The U.S. government put a $25 million bounty on bin Laden that no one is likely to collect. Certainly not the SEALs who went on the mission nor the support and intelligence experts who helped make it all possible. Technology is the key to success in this case more than people, Washington officials have said.

The Shooter doesn’t care about that. “I’m not religious, but I always felt I was put on the earth to do something specific. After that mission, I knew what it was.”

Others also knew, from the commander-in-chief on down. The bin Laden shooting was a staple of presidential-campaign brags. One big-budget movie, several books, and a whole drawerful of documentaries and TV films have fortified the brave images of the Shooter and his ST6 Red Squadron members.

There is commerce attached to the mission, and people are capitalizing. Just not the triggerman. While others collect, he is cautious and careful not to dishonor anyone. His manners come at his own expense.

“No one who fights for this country overseas should ever have to fight for a job,” Barack Obama said last Veterans’ Day, “or a roof over their head, or the care that they have earned when they come home.”

But the Shooter will discover soon enough that when he leaves after sixteen years in the Navy, his body filled with scar tissue, arthritis, tendonitis, eye damage, and blown disks, here is what he gets from his employer and a grateful nation:

Nothing. No pension, no health care, and no protection for himself or his family.

Well, there are the scarring, debilitating battles he’ll soon be fighting with the VA, the Social Security administration, and various other Superstate bureaucracies that owe their safety and security to him, but will expend much more effort on making sure plenty of Obamaphones make their way into the hands of the obstinately indigent than they ever will on helping guys like him.

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A little history

Lest we forget it.

Such an opinion was held in the head of General Thomas Gage when he ordered Royal Marines and Regulars rowed across the Charles River in the dead of night on April 19,1775 to conduct gun control raids from Lexington to Concord. A perversely rewritten history taught by liberal academics in schools these days suggests that the cause of the American Revolution was “taxation without representation.” A reading of original sources puts that lie to rest.

The proximate, immediate cause of the first American Revolutionary War was an attempt to capture powder and shot, cannon, and community food stores that supplied not just the organized militia of their day immortalized as the “Minutemen,” but the unorganized militia of those too young, too old, and too female to be part of the organized militia of their day. These were the “alarm listers.”

The youngest of the estimated 14,000 that turned out against the Regulars that April morning and fired shots was just 13 years old. The oldest man to fight that fateful day was an alarm-lister named Samuel Whittemore, a 78-year-old veteran of three American wars in the King’s service.

While Lord Percy’s relief column attempted to link up with Regular forces under attack by colonial militias, Whittemore set up behind a low stone wall near his home and attacked the 47th Regiment of Foot by himself.

Whitemore’s aimed fire did enough damage to the column that an assault was ordered upon his position.

Whittemore is documented to have killed one man from this assaulting force with his musket, then killed one and severely wounded another with horse pistols he’d removed from the body of French officer he’d dispatched decades before. Whittemore was in the act of drawing his ornate French Calvary saber—again, taken from another French officer who “died suddenly” according to Whittemore, more than 20 years before—when half his face was shot away at point-blank range. Whittemore’s horrified relatives watched from a distance as the nearly 80-year old patriarch of their clan was bayoneted thirteen times by the Redcoats, and left for dead in a pool of his own blood.

When his kin came forward to collect his body, they found that despite having half his left cheek shot away, and pierced by 13 bayonet wounds, Samuel Whittemore was attempting to load his musket to fire again on the rapidly disappearing column of Regulars.

A doctor was summoned, and he reasonably concurred that no one could survive the brutal wounds Samuel Whittemore suffered in his spirited defense of his fellow colonists. The doctor treated his wounds as best the primitive medicine of the day allowed, and sent Whittemore home with his family to die in peace. And yes, Samuel Whittemore did die…18 years later, on February 3, 1793.

If you fail to see how this might be relevant to our situation today, I’d advise you to read the rest of it. Then go have a look at this:

Open a history book, and look at the photos of Generals Lee, Sherman, Jackson and Grant. These men understood how terrible war with Americans is. One can see the suffering of hundreds of thousands etched into their distant, glassy eyes. The crags and wear-lines of their face betray orders foul, and deeds dark. Great and yet wrecked men, who understood all too well our nature, and were tormented by it to their graves.

Everywhere we set our gaze, we patriots see battle-space preparation – both mental and physical. The government passes laws and edicts useless to a free people, but indispensable to tyrants. The great agents of provocation and rhetoric have stepped forth, both amongst the people, and against them. Both sides are in the process of arming themselves on an unprecedented scale. And we the people have coarsened and began the process of dehumanizing one another – for only then, after we have reduced “the other side” to maggots, can we Americans properly began slaying one another with a zeal no other people can match.

We told you constant reader, not to expect peach-cobbler with a scoop of butterscotch ice-cream. No, today we explore the dark recesses of the American psyche, and examine the interstate to purgatory we willingly hurtles ourselves inexorably down.

It’s all too obvious where this path leads. This same ramp up of arms, deeds, laws, and words has taken place so many times in our past, and just as it was in 1775 and 1860, it is now. We make no apologies for being the harbingers of foul times. We simply call things as they appear. Presently, you are witnessing a pre-revolutionary society, and the escalations shall continue until one faction is crushed, abandoned in failure, or our system of governance collapses in ruin.

Plenty of links here which I’m too lazy to transcribe. Indeed, nobody wants what’s coming. But liberal-fascists make a serious mistake when they assume that all of us will flinch from it. And we’d be making a mistake ourselves to assume that they’ll suddenly develop a sense of reason and decency and back off themselves.

Loins: gird ’em.

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The long and the short of it

This is what it all boils down to.

Senator Dianne Feinstein,

I will not register my weapons should this bill be passed, as I do not believe it is the government’s right to know what I own. Nor do I think it prudent to tell you what I own so that it may be taken from me by a group of people who enjoy armed protection yet decry me having the same a crime. You ma’am have overstepped a line that is not your domain. I am a Marine Corps Veteran of 8 years, and I will not have some woman who proclaims the evil of an inanimate object, yet carries one, tell me I may not have one.

I am not your subject. I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America.

I am the man who fought for my country. I am the man who learned. I am an American. You will not tell me that I must register my semi-automatic AR-15 because of the actions of some evil man.

I will not be disarmed to suit the fear that has been established by the media and your misinformation campaign against the American public.

We, the people, deserve better than you.

Respectfully Submitted,
Joshua Boston
Cpl, United States Marine Corps
2004-2012

Not one word to add to that. He just said it all.

(Via Bill)

Update! They really do expect us all to just sit back and comply. They are badly mistaken.

They didn’t know when they’d be getting anything back in stock, from magazines to rifles to pistols. Manufacturers were running full-bore, but couldn’t come close to keeping up with market demand.It wasn’t just the AR-15s, the AK-pattern rifles, the M1As, and the FALs that were sold out. It really hit me when I realized that the World War-era M1 Garands , M1 carbines, and Enfield .303s were gone, along with every last shell. Ubiquitous Mosin-Nagants—of which every gun store always seems to have 10-20—were gone. So was their ammo. Only a dust free space marked their passing. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Every weapon of military utility designed within the past 100+ years was gone. This isn’t a society stocking up on certain guns because they fear they may be banned. This is a society preparing for war.

Reluctantly, almost unwillingly, it should be noted. But the sad truth is, war is already being made upon it, and has been for a long time now. Said society has been more than patient, more than tolerant. But eventually, enough is enough. Everyone has their limit; freedom-loving Americans’ has very nearly been reached. A few more steps over the line, and the kettle is going to boil over.

Any liberal-fascists who think we’re all going to go gently into that good night really, really need to reconsider. We all have to hope they do. But we all have to be prepared for the possibility, the likelihood, that they mightn’t. “This far, no further” is more than just an empty slogan.

Gird your loins.

Updated update! The truth…from Pravda. Jeez, the whole world is upside down.

These days, there are few few things to admire about the socialist, bankrupt and culturally degenerating USA, but at least so far, one thing remains: the right to bare arms and use deadly force to defend one’s self and possessions.

For those of us fighting for our traditional rights, the US 2nd Amendment is a rare light in an ever darkening room. Governments will use the excuse of trying to protect the people from maniacs and crime, but are in reality, it is the bureaucrats protecting their power and position. In all cases where guns are banned, gun crime continues and often increases. As for maniacs, be it nuts with cars (NYC, Chapel Hill NC), swords (Japan), knives (China) or home made bombs (everywhere), insane people strike. They throw acid (Pakistan, UK), they throw fire bombs (France), they attack. What is worse, is, that the best way to stop a maniac is not psychology or jail or “talking to them”, it is a bullet in the head, that is why they are a maniac, because they are incapable of living in reality or stopping themselves.

The excuse that people will start shooting each other is also plain and silly. So it is our politicians saying that our society is full of incapable adolescents who can never be trusted? Then, please explain how we can trust them or the police, who themselves grew up and came from the same culture?

No it is about power and a total power over the people.

Some things never change, and are the same the world over.

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A coup

Remember how I mentioned the Diplomad’s fascinating, wonderful inside-baseball stories of life in the diplomatic corps? Well, he’s uncorked another good ‘un here.

The phone rang at daybreak: never a good sign in that place. The “place,” after all, was Guatemala. Of the many countries I served in during nearly 35 years in the Foreign Service, Guatemala perhaps remains my favorite: an incredible physical beauty, a fascinating history and culture, the best black beans with eggs on the planet, along with the most complex and even byzantine society and politics imaginable. I owed my assignment there to Assistant Secretary Elliot Abrams whom I met at the UN. He had remembered me and when a new political military officer slot opened, he offered it to me. At the time, the Department had me slated for assignment in Europe. No contest. I snapped up Abrams’ offer. You only go around once; why do it where life is easy and comfortable with politics of the corner cafe and unfiltered Gauloisestype? Guatemalan politics had color, complexity, raucousness, and lethality. One of my first Guatemalan political contacts, for example, a young, smart politician interested in running for President, got gunned down in front of his house a few hours after we met him there. I had just finished writing my “Memorandum of Conversation” when I learned of his murder.

The mysterious “archivos” unit of the Presidency bore responsibility for large numbers of kidnappings and assassinations of persons deemed too close to the guerrillas, and of criminals who had beaten the system and gone free or had become repeat offenders. Army intel officers had formed car theft rings that operated in Guatemala, Mexico, and stretched into Texas; my landlord became involved and paid with his life, but that’s a story for another day. The guerrillas, romanticized and glorified by human rights “activists” and lefty loons in the US and Europe, comprsied nothing more than leftwing death squads terrorizing the countryside and forming alliances with the drug trafficking organizations then taking root in Guatemala.

We had guards and high walls topped with concertina wire. Most of us packed an assortment of firearms. I carried a .45 Colt or Ruger as my main, with a 9mm S&W back-up, and either a .38 S&W snub-nose or a .380 Colt Mark IV as an ankle or pocket weapon. In the house panic room, we had, inter alia, a Remington 870, a .30 cal M-1 carbine, an awesome Ruger Mini 14, my venerable S&W .357, a Llama 9mm, lots of ammo, and an assortment of gas masks, tear gas, pepper spray, knives, clubs, and a large dog. My wife did well with all of them–except in one instance which she has not yet given me permission to reveal (I have never understood why all women don’t know how to use a weapon or a change a tire; those can prove life-saving skills.) We spent weekends at the excellent gun ranges in Guatemala which had what every range should have: a bar. One should always mix large amounts of alcohol with firearms; the day at the range proves much more interesting. (Note from Management: The Editors and publishers of The Diplomad 2.0 in no way condone drinking alcohol while shooting a weapon. To avoid the possibility of spilling and wasting expensive alcohol, always put down your drink before firing your weapon.)

Excellent advice. Now how in the world could you not be well-primed to read the rest of it, I ask you?

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Gratitude

On Veteran’s Day, to all our fine men and women in uniform. And apologies too, for allowing things to get so screwed up. We owe it to you all to find some way to fix it, although I have to admit to being entirely flummoxed right now as to how we’ll do it. But I solemnly promise you we’re gonna try.

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Happy birthday, Marines

A damned compelling story, this one.

A memorial service was held recently for Lt. Col. Chris “Otis” Raible at my former Marine base in Yuma, Ariz. It was a moving ceremony that required overflow seating outside the chapel. Even in Yuma’s 100-degree heat, not a chair went empty.

Lt. Col. Raible’s fellow commanders and most of the Marine Corps’ leadership on the West Coast were in attendance. Fellow Marines of all ranks and ages, and civilians from the local community all took time to pay their respects. Wives and children of Marines still deployed wept not only for Donnella Raible and her three children, but also for this painful reminder that their loved ones are still in harm’s way.

The tributes were poignant. Col. Michael Gough, Marine Air Group 13 commander and Lt. Col. Raible’s boss, described him as the consummate leader, whether in taking care of his Marines at home in Arizona or leading from the front to mount a counterattack to defend his base. Quite simply, Col. Gough said, “he led.”

Now go read the rest for the part of the story the liberal media–and our feckless, useless political “leadership”–is wholly uninterested in.

Update! Via the Chef: once a Marine, always a Marine. Uncle Sam may be dead and buried, but God bless his Misguided Children anyway.

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One of the biggest reasons to remove Ogabe from office over Benghazi

Because it’s the only way we’ll be spared the repulsive spectacle of the man responsible for their deaths solemnly droning on about the “tragedy” of losing these two American heroes at the ceremony for whatever posthumous award or medal they may end up receiving.

It is heart breaking that the two defenders of the annex, former SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty who were in Libya as security contractors separate from the consulate, ran to the sound of the guns at the consulate–though they were unarmed–and picked up dropped weapons on the way(tip to Instapundit).

They didn’t know what was going on and didn’t have real-time information about what was happening, but they followed their instincts and ran to the sounds of the guns.

It is a good thing that they acted that way, or the American body count could have been much higher–or we’d be discussing Day 47 of America Held Hostage. The two Americans allowed the escape of 20 of our people in the consulate and then they set up a defense perimeter and held off an attack by 100-200 jihadis at the annex.

And they killed 60 of the attackers in their stand.

Our president said he is sharing information about what happened as he finds out.

Can’t remember where I saw it, but I came across a good line the other day: Ogabe is swearing that he’s going to get to the bottom of this, and find out once and for all what he did.

(Via Simberg)

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The horror: SWIFTBOATED BY SEALS!

“Nobody in this group (of SEALs, intelligence officers, high military mucky-mucks, and others at the point of the spear, on whose broad backs the weight of politically motivated Obama admin treachery inevitably falls) is in a position to speak with any authority on these issues and on what impact these leaks might have.” Yeah, right. That’s reserved exclusively for the jug-eared, sunken-chested, slope-shouldered, no-ball punk infesting the Oval Office, and his mincing minions.

The gall, chutzpah, and sheer arrogance wafts off of these effete Democrat Socialist bums like a bad funk. More here, and here.

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“Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall”

Here’s what a real American capital-P President looks and sounds like. Just in case you’d forgotten, which, given the vaudeville act we’ve been laboring under, seems pretty likely. Yes, we once were a nation capable of producing the occasional actual statesman, although these days that’s all too easy to forget too. Another priceless quote: “The boys at State are going to kill me for this, but it’s the right thing to do.”

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Remembrance

Love Lincoln as a man who liberated millions or hate him as a despot, no one can deny the power of his words.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Lincoln thought the simple, direct little speech was a flop at the time, and so did a lot of others. But those words have resonated through history in a way that not many others have. And that, even more than their meaning and the sincerity and passion behind them, may be the most encouraging thing of all.

Our men and women in uniform are sworn to uphold and defend not a particular government, a transitory administration, or a single man or woman, but the Constitution itself. It’s another one of the things that has made and kept this nation extraordinary, if not downright unique. Stray from its strictures and demands on honor and integrity though our government might–and has–the Constitution remains…waiting for us to reclaim its promise of freedom and dignity, both for ourselves and for generations yet to come.

May God bless and protect the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who have willingly taken a sacred oath to that brilliant document. May we find it within ourselves, both collectively and individually, to live up to their commitment, and to be worthy of their sacrifice.

Update! Mike Walsh is thinking along the same lines I am.

There will be other wars after Iraq and Afghanistan, and more soldiers will die in the “unfinished work” to which Lincoln alluded — for that work can never be finished.

The struggle for personal sovereignty against totalitarian coercion — no matter what “ism” it goes by — likely won’t end ’til Judgment Day. Eternal vigilance really is the price of liberty.

So we mourn our dead, even as we salute their sacrifice.

They are our silent sentinels, forever on watch. On that lonely, windswept clifftop in Normandy, and in countless other places around the world, they serve their country still.

They do indeed. Remember them well, and always. It’s the very least we owe them.

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In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

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.
Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

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Punch back twice as hard–and for these guys, that’s pretty damned hard

President Gutsy ought to be cowering in a White House closet right about now. He’s pissed off the wrong bunch, and they’re calling him on it.

Serving and former US Navy SEALs have slammed President Barack Obama for taking the credit for killing Osama bin Laden and accused him of using Special Forces operators as ‘ammunition’ for his re-election campaign.

The SEALs spoke out to MailOnline after the Obama campaign released an ad entitled ‘One Chance’.

Besides the ad, the White House is marking the first anniversary of the SEAL Team Six raid that killed bin Laden inside his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan with a series of briefings and an NBC interview in the Situation Room designed to highlight the ‘gutsy call’ made by the President.

Ryan Zinke, a former Commander in the US Navy who spent 23 years as a SEAL and led a SEAL Team 6 assault unit, said: ‘The decision was a no brainer. I applaud him for making it but I would not overly pat myself on the back for making the right call.

‘I think every president would have done the same. He is justified in saying it was his decision but the preparation, the sacrifice – it was a broader team effort.’

Mr Zinke, who is now a Republican state senator in Montana, added that MR Obama was exploiting bin Laden’s death for his re-election bid. ‘The President and his administration are positioning him as a war president using the SEALs as ammunition. It was predictable.’

It sure was. Here’s the truly sad part:

Chris Kyle, a former SEAL sniper with 160 confirmed and another 95 unconfirmed kills to his credit, said: ‘The operation itself was great and the nation felt immense pride. It was great that we did it.

‘But bin Laden was just a figurehead. The war on terror continues. Taking him out didn’t really change anything as far as the war on terror is concerned and using it as a political attack is a cheap shot.

‘In years to come there is going to be information that will come out that Obama was not the man who made the call. He can say he did and the people who really know what happened are inside the Pentagon, are in the military and the military isn’t allowed to speak out against the commander- in-chief so his secret is safe.’

And the Miserable Worm In Chief knows that quite well, and is counting on it, in his usual dishonest, self-serving way. Sick-making, that’s what it is, and more so with every preening victory lap he takes on the shoulders of far better men than he’ll ever be.

(Via Insty)

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Yawner

Another day, another “scandal” from Afghanistan that I and most of the rest of the country don’t give two shits about. Or even one shit. “An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints, Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints.” Get back to me when our guys start yodeling and sawing heads off on YouTube with rusty kitchen knives, willya? Until then, try to stop sobbing over “mistreatment” and “abuse” of the stinking corpses of our barbaric enemies by the rough men we’ve sent over to off them for us; all those bitter tears might get into the beer and water it down, y’know.

Update! If you think posing for pictures with chunks of trophy splodeydopes is in any way equivalent to this, or somehow “brings us down to their level,” you may well be an idiot.

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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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