A Naval Officer takes a long strange trip to the Desert.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I was feeling creative today. Thanks for the inspiration, Jimmy.

“This Dirty Country” By Jason Deitering
Inspired by “This Hotel Room”, written by Jimmy Buffett

This dirty country’s got a lot of stuff
Stone-age zealots all draped in cloth
Nice smart people who want to be free
and clerics who say, you will die for me

Die for me, die for me, because Allah says so you will die for me

We've got Air Conditioning for when we're hot
A barren desert for when we're not
We sleep in cramped trailers side by side
When alarm bells sound we try to hide

Try to hide, try to hide, Akmed is launching mortars and we try to hide

We've got KBR mess halls serving "food" they say
We've got rows of porta-potties, three squats per day
We all thank God Sheryl Crow isn’t here
or we'd only have three squares to wipe our rear

Wipe our rear, wipe our rear, she's only give us three squares to wipe our rear

This dirty country gives me too much guff
Scorpions and rats and insurgents and stuff
I skyped my baby, said don't you understand
You can't trust congress not to wave the white flag

Wave the white flag, wave the white flag, we'll be dying at home if they wave the white flag

Here we are in Baghdad living high on the hog
Or so I hear from my buddies on the FOB
They don't have running water or a hot plate of chow
How they do it so long, I can't say how
I know Paris Hilton wouldn't do it for a minute
Maybe she'll wise up while she's in prison.

She's in prison, she's in prison, she'll get girl-on- girl action while she's in prison.

In this dirty country they won't let me drink a beer
So they can go ahead and kiss my rear
My relief is here and my bags are packed
I want to leave this place before Iran attacks
I told my family on the telephone
I'm just one Rhino ride from going home

Going home, going home, my baby's waiting on me and I'm going home

Fun with Algore.

Here's a fun one.
Emperor Offset was posing with a copy of his latest farce and unfortunately the darned cover got washed out by the flash. Hilarity ensued.
My favorite is the Manbearpig. It's real you know...
I am totally cereal!


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"Short timer" doesn't even begin to describe me.

I was sitting in my very last departmental review meeting today, and a word suddenly popped into my head. I have never heard it used before, so I checked my dictionary and guess what, it doesn't exist in the English language. Until now. I would love some help coming up with a good, complete, definition. All ideas are welcome.
For your clarification(as well as my own mental health), I will use it in a sentence.
"Major Parsons has been talking for about his stupid project nonstop for over twenty minutes straight. That man sure is a bureaucrotard!"
Once more for good measure:
"Major Prescod couldn't possibly brown nose any harder, and that insipid, bureaucrotard Lieutenant Colonel just can't get enough of it!"
By this time it should be fairly obvious that I hate departmental review meetings. These bastards can go for over two hours at a shot. Today, thank God, was my last one!
As I sat there, flipping slides on the power point and listening to these idiots, I realized how much I missed my friends. So when I was done, I went back to my office and started sending out a whole bunch of emails to old friends. I really do miss my friends...all of them. Every damn one of them. Especially my friends "Scotch", and "Xbox". But trust me, we'll be getting reacquainted again real soon.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Who should I make the check out to?

I can't afford it, but boy would I like to play with it for a little while!

This is a new vehicle built by some Canadian company. They brought it in country in an effort to sell it. Probably to the U.S. Marshals, Blackwater, or some three letter agency. I don't know if anyone will bite, but it sure is cool lookin'. It's basically just a specially designed armored shell, placed on a Ford 550 frame, and equipped with about every off the shelf Ford component you can think of. Everything from the side mirrors, engine and running gear, and interior are right off the Ford assembly line. The dashboard looks like the one they use in their full size vans. It's an interesting way to keep cost down, but it's hard to say if anyone will be buying it. If I had to guess, I would say that metropolitan SWAT teams might like it, if anyone. Let me tell you, it's awfully impressive to see in person.

Oh yeah...

In the shade, baby.
And summer doesn't even start for another month.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Gates of Vienna: No Extra Credit for Telling the Truth?

Here's a little historical context

This is an interesting graph I picked up from my buddy Jason over at Appeal for Courage.
I've actually been meaning to put it up for weeks, but kept forgetting about it. Interesting contrast, isn't it? You would never know we were doing so well if you just took the media's word for it. What interests me the most is the decline in casualties in the second half of the Vietnam war. I need to pick up a couple history books when I get back(which gets closer every day) because the graph contradicts the preconceived notion that I had about Vietnam. Looking at that graph, and knowing that we supposedly lost in Vietnam, I have a feeling that defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory, because that's what I see in those numbers, victory. The trend in the Iraq numbers is so obvious it isn't even funny. It's a campaign that relies on the patience of the American people, not the ability of the enemy on the battlefield. The only way they can win is in the media. Of course, the media is on their side to begin with, which doesn't make thing all that fun.
Jason and I were looking for a data set with WWII casualties listed by month to include in the graph as well, but haven't had any luck. Hopefully if we keep looking we can find it. It would be interesting to see how they all compare.
If anyone can recommend a good book on the history of the Vietnamese War, I would certainly pick it up.
Take care,

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Warning: I found my soapbox.

I hate to do it, but I feel the need to jump back on my soapbox once again. I’m motivated today by a few different things, most notably by H.R. 1595, also known as the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act. It was introduced apparently back on March 20th, but only came to public attention in the last day or so. I will return to this gem a little later.
A few days ago I came across a Washington Post article written by Jonathan Weisman and Lyndsey Layton, titled “Democrats’ Momentum Is Stalling”. This article didn’t strike me as being to terribly biased to the left, but it was a fairly interesting account of the progress made thus far by the Democrats of the 110th Congress. It basically describes the current status of the bills that were pushed through the House during Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) “First 100 Hours” publicity spectacle. Among the big ticket items were things like raising the minimum wage, enacting all the recommendations of the 911 commission, student loan interest rate cuts, Medicare drug price negotiation capability for the Federal Government, and ending some tax breaks for oil and gas companies (even those owned by Ted Kennedy). Even though the Dems succeeded in pushing all this legislation through within the 100 hour deadline, not one of them has been signed into law. The authors site an ABC News-Washington Post poll that found that 73 percent of Americans characterize congress as having done “not too much” or “nothing at all”. They also site a memo from Democracy Corps, a democratic polling firm, which suggested that the favorable rating of Congress and the Democrats had dropped three points because of the stalemate over the war spending bill between Congress and The White House. (They didn’t say specifically what the Congressional favorable rating was, of course. I suspect they’re afraid to be specific on this point given that the approval rating of Congress is below that of the President, and has been for a long time.)
Here is my biggest beef. I find it interesting that the Democrat controlled congress conducted this 100 hour thing, pushing through a whole laundry list of items that were supposedly important to the people that elected them, and then failed to add them to the war funding bill. What did the war funding bill have instead? Pork…and lots of it. I have heard plenty of conservatives comment that the only way the Dems could pull this bill together at all was through bribery, but I’m wondering why they didn’t throw in all that 100 hours stuff instead? Certainly the policies they were supposedly elected to enact would have served them better than the pork they stuck in the darned thing, wouldn’t they? It certainly would have played better in the press.
The article quoted a very accurate Senator Jon Kyl from Arizona, who remarked that Democrats are just “trying to score political points on the war…Part of their party can’t conceive of anything else to talk about but the war.” I think he’s right on the money with this observation about the Democrat Party, but I would go one step further with the belief that it’s that portion of the party that is truly holding the purse strings. I would offer the Lieberman affair as an example of what happens in the Democrat Party if you don’t tote the anti-war party line.
The most telling quote of the article was given courtesy of Leon Panetta, who had served as a chief of staff under Bill Clinton. It came right at the end of the article, and for me, served as a wonderful illustration of how Conservative and Liberal thought differs.
“This leadership, these Democrats have shown they can fight, now they have to show they can govern.”
In the same breath, Mr. Panetta refers to the Democrats as “Leaders”, and then admits that they have yet to figure out how to govern. Isn’t one exclusive to the other? According to his statement, these democrats apparently aren’t leaders at all. More importantly, Conservatives at the most basic level, don’t want to be governed! Conservatives demand leadership when absolutely necessary, and the rest of the time we generally want to be left alone. A stark contrast, of course, to the necessity of the Liberals to govern in their characteristically heavy handed fashion. (Pay the taxes we tell you to, don’t offend anyone ever or you’re a racist-bigot-sexist-homophobe, your very breath is a pollutant, and the environment trumps all.) I have to ask the question, would a Democratic congress be of greater or lesser value to Liberals if it didn’t have to fight? Would a Democratic congress, that was consistently unable to govern, continue to fight? In what way would it fight to see its policies accepted, and to what end? Would it resort, to say, bribery? Not the Jack Abramoff variety, but more of the “pork” variety perhaps? And even if it worked, and their policies were adopted at the cost of billions of dollars of additional spending, would they then qualify as leaders? I have a feeling that to people like Mr. Panetta, whey would. Probably to most of the media, as well.
This discussion of needless spending for the sake of polital capital brings me right back to the House Bill, H.R. 1595. This is, in short, a war reparations bill that seeks to reimburse the people of Guam for atrocities committed at the hands of a foreign government. That’s right, a foreign government, specifically the “Imperial Japanese military forces that occupied Guam during World War II”.
Can someone please explain to me, when this kind of thing is going to stop? What should we do next, pay for the actions of the Nazi Government?
More importantly, If I decided to walk into a federal building and demand money, would I even need a reason? Appearantly, your ability to get a hand out from uncle Sam is limited only by your imagination. It seems that the big money these days goes to the special interest groups with the most creative excuses. In this case, the excuse seems to be “the neighborhood bully beat up my grandfather, so the police owe me money”.
How about this: My grandfather dies of ALS, so the American Medical Association owes me $21,000,000.
I don’t think Dr. Evil could think up stuff this dumb, and yet, there it is, H.R. 1595.
Despite my pokes and jabs, this bill is actually written up as“Recognition of the Suffering of the Residents of Guam.” Which begs the question, why did it take so darn long for the government to recognize it? (They must have put FEMA in charge.) And more importantly, why now? The answer, my friends and neighbors, can be found in two places. The first is the web page for the islands news paper, and the second is undoubtedly K-street in lovely Washington DC. You see, this beautiful little island is having a major financial meltdown due largely to decades of overspending and corruption. (Here’s a gentleman with a pretty good run down of the situation, and here is a little more background just for effect.)
Now don’t get me wrong, Guam is an incredibly beautiful place. The people are some of the friendliest you will ever find, and the islands history is as interesting and colorful as can be. The politics, however, are atrocious. I think that’s probably one of the reasons why I like the place so much, it reminds me of Louisiana.
As sorry as I feel about the suffering the people of Guam endured at the hands of the Japanese, I have to point out, that was 60 years ago! I wouldn’t begrudge them their grief, but it isn’t a chip to be cashed in at their convenience.
In my opinion, H.R. 1595 is nothing but the outcome of a lobbying effort on the part of the Government of Guam, to bail them out of financial situation that they brought on themselves. It’s also a lobbying effort that has a much better chance of paying off for them with a Democrat Congress than a Republican one. As a Conservative, I also strongly object to the use of the “Payments for Guam World War II Claims” excuse. It’s not only cheap and dishonest, but it is a degradation of the honor of the people who actually suffered. Not to mention the fact that it belong in a Japanese court, not the U.S. Congress!This bill represents some of the very worst kind of pork, pork through misplaced and undeserved guilt. If the people of Guam are enduring hard times, then as a Conservative, I would love to help. I would love to show them ways to increase revenue, while reducing tax rates and encouraging economic growth. Despite the Liberal propaganda, it is possible. I would love to show them how to shore up property rights, encourage respect for the rule of law, and thereby enjoy a higher standard of living and home ownership. I would love to show them how to spend their precious revenue wisely, and not be dependant upon the handouts from Uncle Sam. I would love to show them how to turn their beautiful island into an increasingly precious jewel, rich and prosperous, unrivaled and unequaled in the western pacific. Even if I was allowed to help, it would still be up to them to do the work necessary to break their addiction to easy handouts from Washington. For the addicted, there are no easy fixes, no simple solutions. It takes courage and vision to even begin down the path to self reliance. Another handout will be making things worse.

Monday, May 07, 2007

A fun read on a Tuesday morning.

Here's an awesome little piece I found linked on Drudge. It's basically just an interview with an experienced and accomplished meteorologist. His thoughts on climate change and the global warming fiasco are worth reading. They're also worth tattooing backwards on the forehead of every enviro-fascist, that way they can take a good long read while they brush their teeth in the morning.
Once the page loads, you have to scroll down to read the story.
"The Faithful Heretic"


Friday, May 04, 2007

I'm going to try something new.

This is called an open thread.
It's basically an opportunity for anyone to sound off with whatever they like.
I've never done one before, and to be quite honest, I would love to hear from some of the people that stop by. I can see from the site meter that people are stopping by from a lot of different places, and I would love to hear from each and every one of you. This blog won't be around forever, so if anyone has anything they'd like to ask me, this is the time to do it.
Hopefully this little experiment won't be an embarrassing failure.

Come on people, what's on your mind?

You have to hit that little link marked "coments". It's right...there...no, there. Yeah, right there!

Ooh, that feels good!