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Petraeus Mocks Air Force

[ 0 ] August 26, 2009 |

This isn’t that unusual; I’ve heard many Army officers make similar jokes in the past. I think the AFA whining reveals a certain insecurity, though:

A soldier is trudging through the muck in the midst of a downpour with a 60-pound rucksack on his back. ‘This is tough,’ he thinks to himself. Just ahead of him trudges an Army Ranger with an 80-pound pack on his back. ‘This is really tough,’ he thinks. And ahead of him is a Marine with a 90-pound pack on, and he thinks to himself, ‘I love how tough this is.’ Then, of course, 30,000 feet above them … an Air Force pilot flips aside his ponytail. Now, I’m sorry — I don’t know how that got in there. I know they haven’t had ponytails in a year or two. And [he] looks down at them through his cockpit as he flies over. ‘Boy,’ he radios his wingman, ‘it must be tough down there.


Slipping Farther Down the Daddy Blog Slope…

[ 0 ] August 25, 2009 |

Too cute not to post…

Slipping Farther Down the Daddy Blog Slope…

[ 0 ] August 25, 2009 |

Too cute not to post…

Not Enough Latin in the World for this Fallacy…

[ 0 ] August 25, 2009 |

Hi. My name is Dick Cheney, and I don’t understand basic causal reasoning.

See Spencer for the details, but Cheney’s contention on the effectiveness of torture basically amounts to this: If we torture a dude, and at some later date he reveals information, we have demonstrated that torture is effective, regardless of whether other methods of interrogation intervene.

Brrrraaaiinnssss….. Health Care Means More Tasty Braaaaaiiiiinnnssss….

[ 0 ] August 24, 2009 |

With a medium sized blog and an openly available e-mail address, I find myself subscribed to more than a few odd mailing lists. For example, I get regular e-mail from the Venezuelan Embassy, and receive no end of angry tirades from pro- and anti-Israel organizations. In terms of sheer pathos, however, FredPac takes the gold. FredPac is, of course, Fred Thompson’s political action committee. The latest e-mail reads as follows (hyperlinks removed):

Follow the links below to hear Fred’s Winners and Losers, The Lightning Round, and Fred’s thoughts on what the healthcare debate actually means for America.

Winners and Losers – Get Fred’s take on the winners and losers in today’s news.

Lightning Round – Get Fred’s take on the most important news stories of the day.

Fred’s Rant – Listen to Fred speak on the current healthcare debate, and its proof that the American system is not broken.

It may not literally be true, but I’m pretty sure that there is, literally, nothing in this world that I would be less interested in hearing about than Fred Thompson’s take on the winners and losers in today’s news, or on the most important news stories of the day. As for Fred’s rant, I can only assume that it goes something like this:

Difficulties of an Organizationally Distinct Peace-Keeping Force

[ 0 ] August 24, 2009 |

With due respect to the notion of an “armed peace corps,” what happens when either a) a peace-keeping situation deteriorates into real war, or b) a real war deteriorates to the point where someone decides to deploy the armed peace corps as a stop-gap? I very strongly suspect that, if such an armed peace corps existed, it would have been deployed to Afghanistan in 2002, and I doubt very much that it could have prevented the re-emergence of the Taliban. Similarly, I suspect that poorly trained “armed peace corps” forces would have found themselves deployed to relatively quiet parts of Iraq during the dark days of 2005, 2006, and 2007.

I certainly think that peacekeeping forces deliver positive value, but the scheme to create an organizationally separate force seems poorly conceived.

Russian Military Reform

[ 0 ] August 24, 2009 |

This post, on the prospect for Russian military reform, is absolutely fabulous. A taste:

These reforms amount to the complete destruction of Russia’s mass-mobilization military, a legacy of the Soviet army. Such a change was completely anathema to the previous generation of Russian generals, who continued to believe that the Russian military had to be configured to protect the country from a massive invasion from either Europe or China. This perception explains the military leaders’ reluctance, for two decades, to dismantle key aspects of the old Soviet army and, most especially, its vast caches of outdated and unneeded weapons overseen by an equally vast number of officers with very little battlefield training and no combat experience. These officers and weapons are the remains of an army designed to fight NATO on the European plains and have served no functional purpose since the end of the Cold War.

Read the whole thing.

Puppy gets Hit by Truck…

[ 0 ] August 24, 2009 |

Note to self: Do not ever piss off John Holbo

A Jolly Old Nuclear Missile Toting Elf

[ 0 ] August 24, 2009 |

Russia’s newest nuclear ballistic missile submarine will be named… wait for it…. wait for it…. the St. Nicholas.

H/t Chet.

Did Joe Lieberman become a jagoff "in steps," or did it happen all at once?

[ 0 ] August 23, 2009 |

In other news, Joe Lieberman is still a national embarrassment.

Speaker Scheduling Fail

[ 0 ] August 23, 2009 |

Why would William Calley ever be invited to speak to a Kiwanis Club?

William Calley, the former Army lieutenant convicted on 22 counts of murder in the infamous My Lai Massacre in Vietnam, publicly apologized for the first time this week while speaking in Columbus.

“There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse for what happened that day in My Lai,” Calley told members of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Columbus on Wednesday. His voice started to break when he added, “I feel remorse for the Vietnamese who were killed, for their families, for the American soldiers involved and their families. I am very sorry.”

In March 1968, U.S. soldiers gunned down hundreds of civilians in the Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai. The Army at first denied, then downplayed the event, saying most of the dead were Vietcong. But in November 1969, journalist Seymour Hersh revealed what really happened and Calley was court martialed and convicted of murder.

Calley had long refused to grant interviews about what happened, but on Wednesday he spoke at a Columbus Kiwanis meeting. He made only a brief statement, but agreed to take questions from the audience.

Holy Crap

[ 0 ] August 23, 2009 |

England may win the Ashes

Fifth Ashes Test, The Oval, day three (close):
England 332 & 373-9d v Australia 160 & 80-0
Where to begin?  New boy Trott scores a century in his second innings, 119 overall.  The tail produced, making up for the lethargic approach by batters 2, 3, 4 and 6.  Flintoff’s final batting appearance in test cricket a mere 22, but perhaps he shows some heroics in bowling.
England declared after their ninth wicket fell, with a lead of 545.  Australia answered with 80 no out before the end of play, but the lead of 466 would still be an improbable world record if achieved — by 128 runs.  If I have my facts straight, the highest total overcome at Lords to win is only 263, in 1902.
That said, even with history well against the Australians, why declare at nine wickets?  Weather isn’t going to be an issue, there’s two full days of play remaining (and enough play remaining in day 3 for Australia to score 80), so could somebody explain to me why this is a sound strategy?  My only guess is that it is an overly cautious approach, and nobody was going to declare anything while Trott was still batting (his was the ninth wicket to fall).