Sunday, November 29, 2009
Thought of the Day
Labels: Jay Ambrose Quote
Friday, November 20, 2009
This Could Be Big or Nothing
To paraphrase George C. Scott in Strangelove: Mr. President, I'm beginning to smell a big, fat Warmie rat.
UPDATE: Here is a summary of 33 issues the author has identified in the Warmie e-mails. Very well organized.
UPDATE 2: Dr. Spencer says that this is not the death knell of AGW. Hard to argue with his logic. I will note that from now on we Deniers can write that the Warmie scientists use tricks to hide the decline in global temperatures and we will be using the Warmie scientists' own words. That can't help them. If the future indeed holds the decline in temperatures the Warmies are trying to hide, they will have ever greater trouble telling us the sky is actually falling.
As a final word, the key to the extent of the damage is whether the e-mails are genuine or not. Look at the Real Climate response (which now has comments) here again, they don't say the 'trick to hide the decline' e-mail is not a real e-mail, they try to spin it into an innocuous trifle, unsuccessfully, I might add. Failing to claim something is not real is an admission that it is real. These guys should be in trouble via RICO but with our current corrupt administration the overwhelmingly likely response from the justice department will be yawns. What the individual universities do may be something else entirely. Ward Churchill type investigations seem, at the minimum, to be in order.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Thought of the Day
James Taranto, showing, as he says, how Sandra Day O'Connor and the slower of the Justices were played for fools by the University of Michigan in Grutter v. Bollinger
Labels: James Taranto quote
Institutionalized Judicial Misconduct
Oh, there might be one problem still. The paper is supposed to be the watchdog of the government, including the Judiciary--are they going to be hard (tough but fair) on their tenant? Is there a conflict of interest in the top of the Colorado Judiciary having the only big daily paper left in the state as a landlord?
Here is part of Canon 2 of the Colorado Code of Judicial Conduct, titled, A Judge Should Avoid Impropriety and the Appearance of Impropriety in All the Judge's Activities:
I'm a member of the public and I think this deal stinks. I think our state's appellate judges are apt to be less impartial to their landlord and there certainly is the appearance of a conflict of interest even if the individual judges and justices can rise above the taint of this deal and act impartially.
A judge should...conduct himself or herself at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.
I don't think I'm alone in this judgment.
(h/t Carol Chambers)
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
More Arguments Against Federal Criminal Trials fo Islamic Terrorists
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Here is the biggest of a long list of problems with it--discovery. The defense gets to get things the government has and which it wishes to keep secret, if there is the outside chance that it might help the defense, like how they captured Kalid Sheik Mohammed, or who the operative was who tipped off authorities before the capture. The list of bad things we have to turn over to the terrorists is nearly endless.
This is the single stupidest thing the Obama Administration has done and the individuals in this administration have done some doozies.
I have been opposed to criminal trials regarding war related incidents for a long time.
Photos That Make Me Laugh
Labels: Photos Not in Need of a Caption
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
A Veterans Day Salute
This Could Be Real
Labels: Global Warming; Weeping Gaia
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Our Current General McClellan
Casey, an armored forces commander, a tank guy, was senior coalition commander in Iraq from June 2004 to February 2007, the dark days of the Iraq war. He replaced three star Ricardo Sanchez and about every thing he did after that was wrong. Rather than conduct a proper counter-insurgency, he holed up his forces in huge bases and waited for the populace and Iraqi forces to provide him with the actionable intelligence he needed to go kill terrorists. It never came, mainly because it was very dangerous under those circumstances to co-operate with the Iraqi forces or with us. So we frittered away years and thousands of American soldiers' bodies and lives (usually to IEDs) as the al Askari Mosque in Samara was bombed and Iraq slouched towards a full civil war. Casey opposed the so-called surge change in tactics proposed by Generals Keane and Petraeus, et al., the latter of which generals replaced him, thank the Lord, and won the war that Casey was blowing big time. Casey was apparently a constant thorn in the side of President Bush, who ultimately had to kick him upstairs where it was thought that he could do no real damage. Fat freakin' chance.
Here is part of what Casey said in response to questions about the alleged traitorous murders of fellow soldiers at Fort Hood by alleged Muslim extremist Major Hasan (I don't know why I keep writing "alleged"--whom am I kidding?):
I’m concerned that this increased speculation could cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers. And I’ve asked our Army leaders to be on the lookout for that.[...]
Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.Again, let's take the first, first. What freakin' backlash? Mona Charen nails the old and getting older calumny here. I'm sorry, were Muslim soldiers the victims here or were American soldiers the victim of a Muslim? It's difficult to tell sometimes.
As to the latter, the 'diversity über alles' shibboleth, is this really what this loser thinks? Perhaps in the specific case of one soldier shooting his fellow soldiers, we're carrying the big tent thing a bit too far. As Mark Steyn writes:
General Casey has a point: An army that lets you check either the "home team" or "enemy" box according to taste is certainly diverse.But I think we want our soldiers defending their comrades in arms and shooting the enemy not the other way around. It is the elevation of "diversity" over plain old common sense, which kept Major Hasan on an Army base and promoted him, when any rational leadership would have at least kicked him out of the Army, if not brought him up on charges (sedition, anyone? Bueller? Bueller?).
There is no evidence in his background and history that General George Casey, Jr. has any ability other than to rise through the ranks. He should be invited to resign.
I'm reminded of an old joke from the Vietnam War (paraphrased here): What's the difference between the Boy Scouts and the Army?
The Boy Scouts have adult leadership.
Monday, November 09, 2009
Thought of the Day
But what happens if a conference report comes back without a public option, and with the Stupak amendment intact? Pelosi won’t have enough votes to support it in the House, either. What can’t pass the House is the only option to pass the Senate, and vice versa. The LA Times understands the conundrum facing Democratic leadership on Capitol Hill, even if Reid and Pelosi don’t — or don’t want to admit it.
Cap'n Ed Morrissey, putting about the best spin possible on the horror last Saturday night
Labels: Ed Morrissey quote
Using the Wrong Pistol
There has always been another distinction between big heavy bullets going relatively slowly and little bitty bullets going very fast. In pistol ammunition, the fast ones, the .38 Super, for example, send a 130 grain bullet out the barrel at 1,215 feet per second, and the Tokarev 7.62 x 25mm sends an 85 grain bullet out at 1,700 feet per second--that's fast. The .40 S&W, on the other hand, sends a 180 grain bullet out the barrel at 1,150 feet per second (and a 200 grain at 985 fps). The venerable .45 ACP sends a 185 grain bullet out at 1,085 fps (and a 230 grain at 830 fps). Both of those are slower than the .38 Super or Tokarev, but where the small, fast round sometimes passes completely through the body of the enemy with a very narrow wound channel (think ice pick), the slower rounds put much more of the bullet's foot pounds of energy into the enemy's body with a wide wound channel (think sledge hammer); and often the slower round knocks the enemy down while the faster round leaves him standing. The most successful full size military rifle rounds do what big, slower pistol rounds do; they all go about 2,400 feet per second, and, with weights of bullets between 180 and 220 grains, they can both knock down, and blow off small pieces of, the enemy's body. There are also rifle rounds for varmints, like prairie dogs, which have a little bullet between 40 and 60 grains going out the barrel over 3,200 feet per second. A few of these varmint rounds come out the barrel just over 4,000 feet per second. That's really fast and we won't beat that for quite a while, not that we really want to. When these super fast, small rounds hit the prairie dog, for example, the target more or less explodes in a pink mist; but they are not as damaging to a human sized target. Just like the fast little pistol rounds, the wound channel from the fast little rifle bullets is small and the enemy is not always knocked down when hit.
There was just this sort of small/fast versus slow/large divide in the assault cartridges. The Germans kept the full sized 8mm rifle bullet (actually 7.92mm) but used a short cartridge which of course held less propellant so that the bullet went slower and less far. Thus the STG 43 (et al.) weapon (the first effective, mass produced assault rifle) used a 7.92 x 33mm round (aka 8mm kurz). The Soviets kept the same idea when they sorta copied the STG 43 and called it the AK 47. The assault round they developed was the 7.62 x 39mm (as opposed to their full sized, 7.62 x 54mmR rifle round). We Americans went varmint instead. Mr. Stoner used, for the AR -15 and then the M-16 and its progeny, a slightly changed .223 Remington round (a 40 to 60 grain .22 bullet that comes out the barrel at about 3,200 feet per second). The NATO version is designated 5.65 x 45mm. I have long thought that it was a mistake to go varmint. I think we should try to kill the enemy rather than merely wound him--knock them down so that they can't still shoot at you just after being hit--but no one listens to me.
OK, the cartridge shrinking process has repeated regarding some products of the Fabrique Nationale, which is a very good Belgium firearms manufacturer. They have taken the NATO .223 round and shrunk its casing and removed propellant to make an even more underpowered assault round, the 5.7 x 28mm. They put this in the FN P90 (the weapon they used in the latter years of the original Stargate series) and recently in a pistol, named the FN Five seveN, (styling name with the capitol FN repeated) which is the gun Maj. Hasan actually fired last week. Sorry it took so long to get to the subject.
Although the extremist terrorist got off perhaps as many as 100 rounds out of his post-modern pistol, and he hit a lot of people (43), he only killed 13. Had he hit that many with .40 S&W rounds, for example, I firmly believe, the death count would be higher and perhaps he would have come out of the firefight with police officers--Sgt. Mark Todd and Sgt. Kimberly Munley--the winner, as he hit her, perhaps all three times, with his relatively puny weapon before she, and perhaps Sgt. Todd, hit him with their 9mm Berettas, another underpowered weapon in my book. Hasan was hit with four 9mm rounds and he's still alive. Need I say more?
The media is all over the gun Hasan used, calling it a cop-killer. It is not (although if you used steel core bullets (only available to a few, not including civilians nor even Major Hasan) rather than lead core bullets, it might penetrate most body armor). The pistol Hasan shot is a wrong turn on a lane which was already a wrong turn, and perhaps more American soldiers are alive today because of Hasan's snazzy, but stupid, choice.
(h/t Bob Owens)
Labels: Major Hasan; Assault Rounds
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Thought of the Day
Labels: Charles Winecoff quote
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Refusing to Fight the Good War
And the one thing these Defeatists seem to embrace is that Afghanistan is the Graveyard of Empires. The term "Graveyard of Empires" is sprinkled throughout their defeatist articles. And it's a bunch of hooey. Afghanistan may well be a pit of a graveyard, but it is such almost exclusively for the Afghans who tried to keep their country from being easily conquered by Empire builders, starting before Alexander, who had no trouble taking the country, with the Achaemenid Persians, who ruled the area for over 200 years. Nor did it take the Mongol hoards of Genghis Khan more than a few weeks to take the whole place over. Nor did it take Babur of the Mughuls more than a matter of weeks in 1504 to ascend the Afghan throne. Even where the Empire guys have trouble, there was never a problem with taking over the country quickly with few casualties, it's the keeping it under the boot heel that's the problem. In the First Anglo-Afghan War (1839-1842), the British with just 20,000 men waltzed in and occupied Kabul, again in a matter of weeks. However, on January 1, 1842, General Elphinstone led 3,600 soldiers and 13,000 camp followers (mainly Indians) out of Kabul and on to utter ruin. Only a double handful reached Jalalabad and only one Brit, Dr. William Brydon, survived the ill advised retreat. As Napoleon had earlier discovered, a retreat from the occupied capital city in the dead of winter is a bad idea. This defeat is the primary source of the graveyard myth. It ignores the fact that there was a Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878-1880) in which the Brits, with 40,000 troops, marched into Afghanistan because its leader was getting way to cozy with the Russians, whose Empire had expanded nearly to Kabul. The Brits defeated the Afghan defenders easily and, in May of 1879, the Treaty of Gandamak was signed, which ceded territory to the Brits and allowed them to control completely Afghan foreign policy, which ended Afghan trafficking with the eager to expand Russians. There was an uprising thereafter, which defeated in minor ways the British troops here and there, but which was ended at the Battle of Kandahar, after which the Afghans fulfilled their treaty obligations faithfully. The Brits left and the Afghans never bothered the British Empire again.
Oh, and the Soviets lost in Afghanistan too, after easily taking over the country. In a nearly ten year occupation (1979-1989), the Soviets killed perhaps as many as a million Afghans and made refugees of nearly five million. The Soviets lost about 14,000 and, oh yeah, the remnants of the Russian Empire when they retreated from Afghanistan; the Soviet Union dissolved beginning the same year. But that failure of the Soviet Union was long overdue and had been years in the making. The failure of the Soviets to gut it out falsely feeds into the Graveyard myth too.
We've been there more than 8 years now--there was no real insurgency for us to fight for most of the years after October 2001, when we and the non-Taliban Afghans had kicked out al Qaeda and its Taliban hosts easily and quickly, and the Taliban did not appear eager to return. Now they have returned in force and we apparently need to adjust our tactics and beef up the fighting forces, just as we did so successfully in Iraq about a year or so ago.
But let's agree to leave this Defeatism and the so-called Graveyard of Empire stuff behind. It's a false myth, and an affront to history. We can easily succeed in Afghanistan if our Commander in Chief would only exhibit even the slightest will to win and follow the advice of his hand-picked general. It's not too much to ask, for the right war, the just war, the necessary war Candidate Obama used to give so much attention to, is it?
UPDATE: I corrected the dates of the First Anglo-Afghan War which for some reason, probably bad typing skills, I had in the 20th Century (thanks, Mark). I added a word or two here and there as well.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Report on the American War Dead in Agfhanistan and Iraq
This is a little late, again. Sorry. I'll combine September and October in one posting.
According to Department of Defense releases for the month of September: Despite an upturn in the number of terrorist bombings of Iraqi civilians and police, the serious fighting, and other military things we are involved in, continue to wind down in Iraq, three months after our withdrawal from Iraqi cities. We had just 10 deaths in Iraq, only 4 of which were from any sort of combat, specifically the IED. In Afghanistan, it looks like we're fighting a real war, although, as in Iraq years ago, the queen of the insurgent battlefield remains the IED.
Here is further breakdown. In Iraq, four were killed by IEDs, two died in an automobile accident; and four died from non combat causes.
In Afghanistan, 20 died from IEDs (less than in August), one from non-combat causes, four died from small arms, eleven in combat operations, and four were killed in accidents. One died from indirect fire. The total in Afghanistan was 41, about a dozen less than the number from last month, and all but five were combat related. The total during August for the wars being waged against us is 51, less than two a day.
No soldiers with womanly names were killed. It was yet another deadly month for officers, particularly Lieutenants. These dead were: Captain Joshua Meadows, 30, of Bastrop, TX, killed in combat operations in Afghanistan; 2nd Lt. Darryn Andrews, 34, of Dallas, TX, killed by an IED in Afghanistan; 1st Lt. Joseph Helton, 24, o Monroe, GA, killed by an IED in Afghanistan; 1st Lt. Michael Johnson, 25, of Virginia Beach, VA, killed by small arms in Afghanistan; and, 1st Lt. David Wright, 26, of Moore, OK, killed by and IED in Afghanistan.
According to Department of Defense releases for the month of October: In Iraq three were killed in accidents and four died from non combat causes. The total, seven, is remarkable for the lack of any combat, or even IED caused, deaths. For over 100,000 soldiers, etc. in a foreign land, that's very low and indicative of near zero rates of combat involvement.
It's a different and sadder story in Afghanistan, where last month 56 soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen died. Here is the breakdown: Twenty three died from IEDs, just a few more than in September. Unlucky thirteen died from small arms attacks and another eight died during combat operations, generally in Helmand province. Only two died from non combat causes and seven from accidents (that figure seems a mistake as there were to separate helicopter crashes supported and these seven were from just one). One died from indirect fire and two were killed by a suicide bomber.
The total for both fronts in the global war against Muslim extremists for October was 63, just a bit over two a day.
One woman was killed Sgt. Eduviges Wolf, 24, of Hawthorne, CA, killed by small arms fire in Afghanistan. The officers included: Capt. Benjamin Sklaver, 32, Medford, MA, killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan; Capt. Eric Jones, 29, of Westchester, NY, killed in combat operations in Afghanistan; Maj. Tad Hervas, 48, of Coon Rapids, Minn., killed from a non combat cause in Iraq; Capt. David Mitchell, 30, of Loveland, CO, killed in combat operations in Afghanistan; Capt. Kyle Van De Glesen, 29, of N. Attleboro, MA, killed in combat operations in Afghanistan; Maj. David Audo, 35, of St. Joseph, IL, killed from a non combat cause in Iraq; Chief Warrant Officer Michael Montgomery, 30, of Savannah, GA, killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan; and, Chief Warrant Officer Niall Lyons, 40, of Spokane, WA, killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
Our thoughts and prayers go to the families and loved ones of these fallen warriors, and all our hopes for their continued success goes to our men and women, mainly men, fighting overseas.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
All Saints Day, today, is a cross quarter day, one of four, and perhaps the most important and most celebrated, or the eve of today, Halloween, is the most celebrated, at least here in America. Some could argue that tomorrow, All Souls Day/Day of the Dead, is much more celebrated than All Saints Day. I pray for all those whose venial sins were not forgiven before their deaths. Good luck to their souls.
We only had two trick or treaters last night, but they were well turned out.
Lots of Brits look back fondly on their four hundred years of Roman occupation (the British provinces were looked down on by most Romans--cold, wet and backward, nearly barbarian, or so I've read).
I carved a pumpkin (above), but broke off part of the left eye. Looked OK though.