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calendar   Wednesday - March 09, 2016

Today In History: The End Of An Era

March 9, 1862: Civil War Battle of the Ironclads

In which one small, purpose-built steam powered iron battle-barge in the Union Navy fights to a draw with the Confederate Navy’s steam powered armored ship, a built on the fly, jury rigged, re-floated burned hulk covered in scrap iron and bacon fat. At the end of the day both drove away and into history. The era of wooden ships was over.

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Cut-away views, to scale of CSS Virginia and USS Monitor

On March 9, 1862, Catesby Jones assumed command of the Merrimack and set sail down the river to attack more of the Union ships. What he didn’t know was that during the night, the Union ironclad USS Monitor had slipped in to join the Union ships at the area known as Hampton Road.

Jones saw the USS Minnesota and took aim on the wooden-hulled frigate. As the ships neared each other, they opened fire. It was then that Jones saw an odd low profile almost raft looking boat alongside the Minnesota. The Monitor steamed toward the Merrimack and the two ironclads began firing upon each other. Jones tried to ram the Monitor, but being smaller, faster and more maneuverable, the Monitor managed to avoid most of the ramming.

By nightfall, the battle was a draw. The Monitor headed to the safety of shallower water where the Merrimack could not follow. Fearing being caught by the receding tide and being low on ammunition, the Merrimack headed back to the navel yard.

A couple months later, Union troops advanced on the Norfolk Naval Shipyard where the Merrimack had been docked. The crew of the Confederate Merrimack blew up the ship rather than allow it to fall into the hands of the Union.

As 1862 drew to a close, the Monitor encountered bad weather off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and sank.

The Battle of the Ironclads, the first of its kind, ended. The battle may have been over but it changed the face of naval warfare for all time.

This was always one of my favorite war stories growing up. The dour Monitor, under powered, it’s poor hull design barely seaworthy. It’s mighty guns probably capable of piercing Virginia’s armor, but the gunners afraid to use the full specified powder charge would have destroyed lesser cannons. The first turret, a 100 ton iron cheesebox that must have rung, deafening, like Hell’s own bells when struck by cannonballs. The plucky Virginia, an emergency effort. The USS Merrimack had been burned to the waterline, so they took the underwater part of the hull and built a steamship on top of it. The frantic search for iron; their inability to roll or weld iron plate. All the battle damage as the shells struck, smashing the wood beneath the iron to splinters while the railroad track armor held together.

Neat stuff. Follow my link, or look up any of the hundreds or thousands more out there.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/09/2016 at 11:11 PM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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calendar   Thursday - February 25, 2016

Since when did CIA stand for Central Inclusion Agency?

Sorry for the delays. But I’ve been busy for more or less the past week and a half with family stuff, helping someone with travel prep, and getting ready for my Birthday (which is tomorrow on the 25th). So I’m just coming back out of my shell now. But it seems like the news keeps outpacing me. I began working on this analysis on Scalia’s funeral and Obama’s priorities (or lack thereof). Then I received news of a death and started work on an obituary. But now… Now...... I learn of THIS. THIS damn mess. https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/Diversity_Inclusion_Strategy_2016_to_2019.pdf

Yes, apparently the CIA has a “Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.” Heck, not only that, but an ANNUAL one. You want to read all that? I sure don’t. But I think the money quote is really on the first page, coming from John Brennan- the CIA Director HIMSELF. And what does this fine defender of America and secretive public servant go out and write when he comes out to justify the tax dollars he’s been given?

Embracing and leveraging diversity through an inclusive culture that fosters innovation, new ideas, and new insights which is at the heart of what we are charged to do and will drive mission success.”


Soooooo..... see a bit of a problem with this?

The CIA is a damn spy agency. The heart of what it is tasked to do is conducting covert operations against our enemies, try to keep our own stuff secret, and interdict operations and other threats against us. It is meant to Spy. In that line of work, diversity and especially inclusiveness are NOT virtues.

Why? Because spying and intelligence gathering are ultimately based on a bedrock of exclusiveness. Terms like “Need to Know” and “Security Clearance” are inherently exclusive and the very basis for the world these groups operate in, in large part because they need to. From the very start they are dependent on EXCLUDING those who Do Not Need To Know from those who Do. Excluding people who cannot be trusted with given intelligence from those that can. Exclude the people who might be vulnerable to external pressure or compromising things from those who are. On any given issue or operation the former categories will include the VAST MAJORITY of the people on this planet, including the country the agency or operation in question is working for. And all of this is before those select few who people do decide to trust are further shuffled and compartmentalized with their own, even more finely grained “Need to Know” restrictions, security clearances, and other dividers; all so that if there’s a break in one compartment the entire ship doesn’t go down.

This is not merely useful for these organizations, they are integral parts of what they are and what they need to do in order to Survive At All. Now, since we got here by asking why being inclusive and diverse is not always a good thing in the spook business, it’s only fair to ask “Why?” again. Why is this pervasive secrecy and exclusion needed for intelligence services?

Well, I decided to start this off with a snippet of this fascinating alternate history article from the BBC, dealing with a centuries old case. Namely, The Gunpowder Plot. Now, this was not an intelligence operation or something conducted by a government authority. It was in fact a highly murderous terrorist plot devised by people who wanted to utterly destroy a significant chunk of London and thousands of people just to get at the King and Parliament to (regardless of what the average Fawkestard or 4Chan apologist would have you believe) establish an even more repressive and absolutist government. But not only is this the kind of terrorist threat that modern intelligence organizations are supposed to per-empt, but it also featured people operating as spies, planning military (Emphasis in following is mine)


As history actually turned out, there are two very good reasons why the Gunpowder Plot had to fail. The first was that the plotters were caught in the double-bind of most early modern conspirators: in order to make a rebellion work, it had to involve a lot of people, but the more people who knew about the plot, the more it was likely to leak.

In the case of this one, the means of effecting it, by murdering most of the English political élite, was so sensational and so morally disturbing to most people, that the chances of somebody blowing the whistle on it were unusually high.

That is exactly what happened; one of the people brought into the plot in its later stages (probably the unstable Francis Tresham) told an opportunist peer, Lord Monteagle, who tipped off the government.

Whoever sent that letter to Baron Monteagle most likely was not disloyal to the plan or the cause (of establishing a tyranny more in line with the likes of 17th century Spain over the ashes of London). If he had been, he probably would have sent it to someone else. A player in the well-oiled Elizabethan network of spies and informants that James inherited, or actual authorities of the Crown rather than Lord Monteagle. Someone actually in the government rather than just standing in Parliament. The Monteagle Letter (as it’s called now) was probably sent by a sincere, loyal terrorist who wanted to avoid killing someone he thought could be an ally because Monteagle was a fellow Catholic.

So in many ways the Gunpowder Plotters were perversely lucky compared to a lot of modern spy rings, planners, and other operatives. And it still did them in. The letter was the crucial straw that led to the end, and within two weeks of the letter’s delivery the plan had collapsed and most of the group accounted for, and in less than two and a half months all the known conspirators were arrested or dead. 

This example helps demonstrate one of the key concepts of intelligence work, or really using any kind of lie or deception. That you should have as few people in the know as possible in order to make it work. Enough that (hopefully) whatever you have planned should be successful, but no more to avoid the risk that somebody will write something, say something, get caught, or otherwise expose it. It’s the reason why care must be taken in who investigates even the absolutely, gobsmackingly criminal security breaches Hillary made in her private server (which some investigators do not even have the authorization to look at, or didn’t).  In the case of the Gunpowder Plot the result was that Western Civilization and constitutionalism dodged a very nasty bullet, but these kind of breakdowns do not always work in favor of the good guys. All one has to do to see that is observe the resistance martyrs- like those of the World Wars and Cold Wars, but also people as far back as Nathaniel Hale- to see that. Here is just one sobering example out of countless thousands we know about and God only knows how more we do not. http://www.executedtoday.com/tag/french-resistance/

Now, I can understand that overwhelming uniformity also can be a major problem. All I have to do to see that is observe how the Japanese spy rings in North America, the “White Dominions” of the Commonwealth (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, etc), and India crashed and burned during WWII. * . Part of the reason why the massive “Cambridge Ring” of Soviet spies within the higher echelons of the British Government happened was because the Brits tended to recruit too much from a upper crust students of a handful of “Ivy League” schools, who were the demographic most likely to be radicalized by Communist propaganda or student politics, were the most likely to be able to radicalize others in their orbit, and were likely to have even non-traitors who would defend them. 

But I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that being too diverse or inclusive would be the even greater risk for an intelligence organization, precisely because it runs against the very grain of what it is meant to do. Spying is about trying to manipulate and uncover the enemy without being manipulated or uncovered by them. Having a rainbow coalition of security risks just for the sake of inclusion or diversity will only undercut the ability to try that in a game where there are incredibly high stakes and the slightest trip up could tip the balance. I would hope our spymasters and intelligence dons and donas would understand that. But then, I am just an uninitiated civilian. However, one of my friends who decidedly Wasn’t one of that did have something to say about this, and gave me permission to quote him.

You do want diversity in intel analysis, but moreso diversity of THOUGHT than anything else. Now from a HUMINT** perspective, you do need diversity of race, to whit you need trusted and capable agents of the races which you need to infiltrate.
Beyond that, race is irrelevant.


That is broadly my thought as well. Intelligence is a field where it helps to be able to think outside the box and have a lot of different thoughts and methodologies working together( though with caveats that there is a limit to the use of diversity of thought when you start employing enemy sympathizers like Kim Philby, leader of the aforementioned Cambridge Ring). But I would argue that the explicit focus on diversity and inclusion is a good sign that- like in universities- diversity of thought is going out the window. And in particular trying to intentionally jigger with the race/sexuality/gender quotas is defeating the purpose.

He also had this to say.

Well sure, in that sense yes, if the existence of any restriction at all becomes definitively what can fairly be called “exclusive” then yeah, it’s exclusive. Except that logic doesn’t make sense. Or rather… If the existence of any restriction immediately disqualifies you from being able to be characterized as inclusive, then yeah, it’s not inclusive. Except, see, it doesn’t. You can be inclusive and not be all-inclusive.

And on some level I can understand this. I’m sure that if you ever wanted to spy from within the genocidal Islamist-Arab Supremacist nightmare ruling out of Khartoum you probably wouldn’t want to use a Black agent. Likewise if you wanted to deal with some genocidal Baptists or Transsexuals who want to murder all the “Heretics"/"Cis-Gens" it would probably help if you had somebody who could pass off as the former or was an actual transsexual.

But let’s be clear here. the differences and diversities of these people (no matter how vastly different they might seem in their private lives or as individuals) are not nearly as important in recruiting them as what they have In Common. Bravery, loyalty, discretion, and willingness to answer the call of duty is the common thread that we will rely on.  There have been many, very colorful and diverse heroes, heroines, and martyrs have served the cause of freedom. Take Neil Munro “Bunny” Roger, the camp, publicly gay fashion designer who served through WWII in glory.  Take Julia Child, the very het, very ‘50s celebrity chef who joined the OSS and served for years from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Take my Grandfather’s quasi-namesake “Garbo” the straitlaced, booky Spaniard anti-Communist and anti-Fascist who was turned down by the British and then decided to go work for German intelligence and sell them a line of bull in order to get SIS’s attention.

Are these people diverse enough for you? Yes, in many ways they are. But what makes them noteworthy is not what makes them diverse but what makes them SIMILAR. It is what made them all trusted agents and heroic figures.

Intelligence gatherers must be exclusive because the cost of failing to do so tends to be paid in blood and worse. And there must be limits to their diversity in order to avoid inviting enemy sympathizers, mercenaries, or other untrustworthy vessels into places where they can do incalculable, often irreplaceable damage.

Diversity and inclusion for the sake of diversity and inclusion alone is the death of serious intelligence gathering. When that is our first line of defense against another 9/11 and a new dark age (in whatever shape) that is something we CANNOT afford. I’d like to hope that this is just a PR stunt by the CIA Director while continuing on doing their work, but in this age of Obama I do not trust it. Would you?

Footnotes/snark below the fold. I’ll try and get back on my posting schedule now.

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Posted by Turtler   United States  on 02/25/2016 at 01:35 AM   
Filed Under: • DIVERSITY BSHomeland-SecurityMilitaryOutrageousPolitically Correct B.S.Stoopid-People •  
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calendar   Wednesday - February 10, 2016

On This Day In History: February 10

1163: On what would be February 17th by modern reckoning, King Baldwin the Third of Jerusalem- the conqueror of Ascalon- dies childless at the age of 33, among suspicions that he was poisoned by a Syrian Orthodox Christian who was acting as his doctor. A long eight day funeral procession marked by open grief caries him from the place of his death at Beirut to his kingdom’s capitol and place of his tomb at Jerusalem. He started off his reign on a very unpromising start, which among other things featured a civil war against his own mother and going up against none other than Nur-ad-Din, Salah-al-Din (Saladin)’s mentor, including a failure to take Damascus. But that soon changed. He forged an alliance with the Eastern Romans and fought Nur-ad-Din to a standstill, but his real victories were in the South against the Fatmid Caliphate in the South.

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His crowning achievement by far was the siege of the city of Ascalon in 1153. Conventional wisdom of the time in siege warfare was that you needed to block absolutely all routes of supply for the area under siege, have superior numbers to the defenders, and only conduct an assault if you had overwhelming odds. Baldwin had exactly none of these advantages, but managed to siege and storm one of the most fortified cities in the world while outnumbered.  It turned Ascalon into a bulwark of the Christian states in the Levant while serving as a springboard for attacks into Egypt, and the seal of doom for the Fatmid Caliphs and seemed to foreshadow great things.

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But within a decade of that triumph, he was dead at a young age (even for then) and control of the Kingdom of Jerusalem passed to his brother, who spent his reign raiding futilely into Egypt, using manpower that the Crusaders simply did not have. Then he died and bequeathed the crown to his only son, the heroic Leper-King Baldwin the Fourth, who saved Jerusalem from Saladin but could not save his dynasty from lack of heirs. After his death the Kingdom fell victim to ugly infighting and worse leadership, which led to shattering defeat at Hattin to Saladin’s Jihadis. Saladin went on to reconquer and destroy the entire city of Ascalon to prevent it from being a Crusader defensive position, and within three decades of Baldwin III’s funeral the Crusaders were dependent on foreign leaders- most famously the kings of England and France- to avoid destruction. And which slowly led to a death spiral for the Crusader Kingdoms of the Orient, and ultimately Christianity in much of the Levant.


Baldwin III’s a rather forgotten figure in history, including that of the Crusades and Jihads, which is ironic because at the time of his death he stood among the giants of his era. He was well read in everything from history to law, eloquent, intelligent, approachable by those he ruled over, and chivalrous *almost*- almost- to a fault; a strong King who was able to fund a war on multiple fronts against far more numerous enemies without even taxing Church property and was lauded by virtually everyone, including those enemies. At the time of his death well below the expectancy of an adult male for the period, it looked like he was developing into someone who might have qualified as a Christian equal of Saladin himself. We can only imagine what might have happened had he lived, or if he would have continued to improve. But his greatest enemy Nur said

“The Franks (Read: Western Catholic Christians) have lost such a prince that the world has not now his like.”

I am inclined to believe him. And so this post is dedicated to you, King Baldwin. Rest with God.
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Posted by Turtler   United States  on 02/10/2016 at 06:23 PM   
Filed Under: • HistoryMilitaryOBITITUARIESPolitics •  
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calendar   Sunday - January 17, 2016

Please Let There Be More To This Story

Kerry Gave Our Riverines To Iranian Navy?




First came the fact that President Barack Obama refused to address the arrest of 10 of our sailors by the Iranian military after their boats had mechanical trouble at sea. Then came news that the Obama administration had offered the Iranians an apology for the release of the sailors.

Now comes the disturbing revelation, apparently delivered by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, that the Obama administration tipped off the Iranians that our soldiers were lost at sea and requested their aid.

The news came from Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, during an interview on TheBlaze’s Dana Loesch shortly after Iran’s arrest of the sailors had come to light.

“I understand that (Secretary of State) John Kerry has indicated, look, when he got word, he and Ash Carter called the Iranians to help take care of our Navy guys, because they had some mechanical problems,” Gohmert said.

There’s a bit more at the link, but the main point is here above: the Obama regime shopped our sailors to the Iranians instead of following standard military protocol. They engineered their own slap in the face.

Now, why on Earth would they do that? What’s the point? Where’s the benefit?

Unless ... just maybe ... something physical had to be passed from one boat to the other, while the world’s attention was focused on the other part of the story, and here’s the video? This is what magicians call the prestige. The rest of us call it smoke and mirrors.

I don’t like being played for a fool, but at least if there was some kind of positive Secret Squirrel shit going on, it could explain a lot. OTOH, a traitor with enough power to create a minor international scene like this could pass across a bag full of missile tech, a box full of nuclear detonators, a drum full of tritium, a slug of plutonium, whatever, at the same time. And all we’d ever see is sailors on their knees. And I do mean create ... what do you think the odds are that two exquisitely maintained naval craft would break down at the same time??


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/17/2016 at 03:58 PM   
Filed Under: • IranMilitaryObama, The One •  
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calendar   Thursday - January 14, 2016

Just Sickening

I finally got around to watching the Iranian video of our captured (and now releases)  Swift boat  Riverine Command Boats.

Granted, these are not battleships. They’re only about 50 feet long, an “up-armored" version of the Swedish CB-90.

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Neat little boat. 43 knots or faster, several heavy and medium machine guns, grenade launcher, etc. Pretty much a modern PT boat, minus the torpedoes. For now.

Surrendered without a fight to the Iranians, who were driving a bass boat. Seriously, pretty much. Half the size, a tenth the mass, a third of the crew size, not even close to a fifth of the firepower ...

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All it takes to capture US Navy vessels these days. A bass boat and an AK.

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Not 100% sure if this is a true story or not, but I hear that the Iranians have a new secret weapon that will let them capture our aircraft carriers and any really large cruisers or destroyers in the area.

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Word is that the mullahs are assembling fleets of these in canvas bags ready for rapid air drop deployment.

At this point, even Maxwell Smart is embarrassed. *

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/14/2016 at 04:02 PM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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calendar   Wednesday - January 13, 2016

Out Punned

It’s not that often when another punster can get the drop on me. But when it does, I’ll acknowledge it. Here’s my hat tip to the masters of the game.



News story:
US NAVY SWIFTBOATS CAPTURED BY IRAN, 10 SAILORS TAKEN PRISONER

The cover of today’s NY Post:

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Perfection.

Here’s the story, in case you’re not fully aware of this latest bit of international humiliation due to our sissy-pants wearing ninny of a pResident

Iran released video on Wednesday of 10 American sailors who were detained by Iran overnight aboard their two US Navy patrol boats in the Gulf.

Some of the nine men and one woman can be seen in the video on their knees with their hands behind their heads. Another video shows the sailors seated on traditional rugs and being served a meal.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said it had freed the sailors after determining they had entered Iranian territorial waters by mistake. The sailors had been detained aboard two US Navy patrol boats in the Gulf on Tuesday.

Their release brought a swift end to an incident that had rattled nerves days ahead of the expected implementation of a landmark nuclear accord between Tehran and world powers.

Elsewhere, why miss the opportunity to give Obama and the USA a firm spanking?

Iran’s army chief said on Wednesday the seizure of two U.S. navy boats and their 10 sailors should be a lesson to members the U.S. Congress trying to impose new sanctions on Tehran.

“This incident in the Persian Gulf, which probably will not be the American forces’ last mistake in the region, should be a lesson to troublemakers in the U.S. Congress,” Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, head of Iran’s armed forces, was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/13/2016 at 02:08 PM   
Filed Under: • IranMilitary •  
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calendar   Monday - November 02, 2015

Once Upon A Time

Warning: trigger words ahead!! Danger, danger danger!!! May contain peanuts and gluten too!!

Once upon a time, men sang like men, about manly things.

This is an ancient marching tune, whether in standard or double time. It’s only in the last 300 years that it’s been in English. Come on, when you’re singing about repelling the Saxon foe, you know you’re doing it OLD school.

This set of lyrics is very close to the most modern version, which has been kicking around 50 years or so now.

You just might recall the song from a war movie so old that Michael Caine had hair in it. Dark hair. His own.

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No, I have no idea how I got to this one. I was reading about the Mets. But you click on a link in a comment, go there and click on another link ... and pretty soon ...


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/02/2015 at 07:02 PM   
Filed Under: • MilitaryMusicUK •  
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calendar   Thursday - August 20, 2015

Myself, I’d have been over teh moon

Epic FAIL Pic

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Nothing says happiness more than a small child surrounded by tons of high explosive artillery shells.



Bring your kids to


EXPLOSION!! The Museum of Naval Firepower


today, and they’ll have a grand time learning all about the long history of using giant weaponry to splatter sailors into burning small bloody chunks before leaving them to drown in the remorseless icy ocean.  And hey, we’ve got mines and missiles too, even an old atomic bomb that somebody found out behind the dust bins. It’s not ticking at all, we’re almost completely sure of that!

Plus, now you can rent our halls for your own big events! Start your married life with a bang!

Explosion! traces the development of naval armaments from gunpowder to the Exocet missile...but the museum is not just about big bangs!

Nor are the human, social and moral consequences of warfare forgotten - visitors will be provoked as well as educated and entertained.

Because their precious childhoods are just incomplete without recurring nightmares that will take years of therapy to get past. So come on down today!!

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read more


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/20/2015 at 07:36 AM   
Filed Under: • MilitaryPolitically-IncorrectUK •  
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calendar   Monday - July 27, 2015

guarding the guardians

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Pentagon asks armed volunteers to stop guarding recruiting centers



The U.S. Defense Department wants armed volunteers who are showing up across the country to guard military recruiting centers following the July 16 shooting rampage at two facilities in Chattanooga to stop, citing potential “security risks.”

In a statement issued Friday, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said the department takes “the safety of our service members, our DoD civilians, and the families who support them very seriously.”

Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter, Cook said, “is currently reviewing recommendations from the services for making our installations and facilities safer - including our recruiting stations.”

Across Tennessee and parts of the rest of the country, heavily armed civilians, many of them veterans themselves, have been standing patrol at some U.S. military recruiting centers following the Chattanooga attacks.

Authorities say 24-year-old Mohammad Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez first attacked a recruiting center, wounding a Chattanooga police officer, and then a Navy and Marine training center where he killed four U.S. Marines and a Navy petty officer and wounded another service member. Abdulazeez was killed in a confrontation with Chattanooga police.

“While we greatly appreciate the outpouring of support for our recruiters from the American public, we ask that individuals not stand guard at recruiting offices as it could adversely impact our mission, and potentially create unintended security risks,” Cook said. “We continue to partner with and rely on first responders for the safety of the communities where our service members live and work.”

Right. Because when jihad is at your door, first responders are only minutes away.

Not to mention how humiliating it must be for the soldiers working there, emasculated by regulation past the point of their own safety, proven repeatedly, to have to be protected by the very group they exist to protect. Who shall watch the watchmen? Those who will not wear the blindfolds and shackles of the king.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/27/2015 at 07:32 AM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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calendar   Wednesday - July 08, 2015

Meanwhile In Belgium, 200 Years Later

Waterloo 2015

My, my, at Waterloo Napoleon did surrender
Oh yeah, and I have met my destiny in quite a similar way
The history book on the shelf
Is always repeating itself

No no silly. Not that one. This one:

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The decisive battle of Waterloo, in which the Duke of Wellington finally put his boots on and put paid to the ambitions of the Little Emperor, was fought for a couple of days in the middle of June in 1815. It was one of the largest battles in human history, with nearly a quarter million participants. It was a terribly bloody affair, with casualties in the tens of thousands. 50,000 or so dead, and God alone knows how many wounded.

For the past bunch of years, reenactors have been getting together annually to restage the battle or parts thereof. They have a great time dressing up in period costume, camping out in the fields, shooting off their guns and yelling “Huzzah!” This year, being the 200th anniversary, they went all in. More than 5,000 soldiers, hundreds of horses, 130 cannons, and 4 full TONS of black powder. It was the event of the season in Belgium, and something like 65,000 spectators arrived to watch.

And Napoleon still lost.

The Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo is marked Friday by more than 5,000 enthusiastic volunteers from 50 different countries, who are in full 19th century army uniform. This is the biggest historical reenactment ever staged in Europe.

In the interest of historical accuracy, the organizers have brought 360 horses, 100 cannons and 4 tonnes of gunpowder, etc, and arranged three bivouacs to accommodate the numerous groups of reenactors from all over the world in exactly the same conditions soldiers endured 200 years ago.
...
On June 18, 1815, Napoleon’s army clashed with allied troops led by the British commander, the Duke of Wellington. The allied army of British, Dutch and Prussian troops defeated Napoleon’s forces.

The battle of Waterloo that changed the course of European history, is recreated on exactly the same site in the south of Brussels.

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h/t to Rodger

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/08/2015 at 09:20 AM   
Filed Under: • Fun-StuffMilitary •  
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calendar   Tuesday - July 07, 2015

Garage Surprise

German Man Has WWII Tank And Cannon In His Garage

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“No Tread On Me” - trackless tank took all day to load onto carrier

Prosecutors in the coastal region of Kiel, tipped off by Berlin prosecutors who’d recently searched the 78-year-old man’s villa for stolen Nazi art, aren’t divulging much yet, but a police rep did say that a torpedo and anti-aircraft gun had been removed and other weaponry had been found as well, reports the Local.

Alexander Orth—mayor of the town of Heikendorf, where the man lives—wasn’t surprised by the discovery because the elderly man “was chugging around in that thing during the snow catastrophe in 1978,” adding that “some people like steam trains, others like tanks.” And because the tank can no longer fire weapons, the pensioner’s lawyer tells the German paper Süddeutsche Zeitung, via the Local, that the man hasn’t actually broken any laws.

Prosecutors, meanwhile, are investigating whether possession of the tank, torpedo, anti-aircraft gun, and other weapons violates Germany’s War Weapons Control Act.

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The Nazi 88 was the most feared artillery piece of the war, and the most versatile

The Panther tank was removed from the 78-year-old’s house in the town of Heikendorf, along with a variety of other military equipment, including a torpedo and an anti-aircraft gun, Der Tagesspiegel website reports.

It wasn’t an easy job to get it all out - the army had to be called in with modern-day tanks to haul the Panther from its cellar. It took about 20 soldiers almost nine hours to extract the tank - which was without its tracks - and push it onto a low-loader, the report says. As the surreal scene unfolded, local residents gathered at the end of the driveway to watch.

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Not something you see every day, that’s for sure.

( I wonder if they noticed the U-boat in his bathtub? grin )


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/07/2015 at 03:43 PM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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calendar   Sunday - May 24, 2015

Memorial Day

Our sadder holiday, the day to remember the fallen. And to fear this fate for future generations? When do we get that official day?


Dear Lord, for those who will fall, let their numbers be minimal and their deaths not be in vain.

For those who have fallen, you still live in our hearts. May the price you paid for our victory not be thrown away by foolish politics.




I want to rant and rave about a certain idiot’s foreign policy, his disregard for the military, and his criminal level of negligence and the “accidental” defeats. He’s in it to win it, for the other side.

And that makes today especially troublesome.

But I can rant like that any day, and I have. That’s not what today is about.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/24/2015 at 09:47 AM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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calendar   Tuesday - April 21, 2015

doing stuff, Yemen

Ok. Got her down to the dealership to pick up her car. Apparently I solved whatever the issue was, because the mechanics took her little buzz buggy out for 4 test drives and gave it 4 sessions with the magic meter reader, and they came up with nothing. So she’s off shopping. I ran a couple of errands, drove past the locomotive shed of the BR&W RR on the way back to see if Engine 60 was out in the sun - it wasn’t - and then got a refill on the propane tank for the grill. Toasted a few dogs for lunch, and I’ve got some chicken thighs marinating for later, to make some grilled Buffalo thighs. Better than wings, twice as much meat, and actually less expensive.

So let’s see what’s new in the news ... oh look, might be a naval battle shaping up off of Yemen, with us against the Iranians. And them having just shown off their carrier destroying missile system a couple weeks ago. Oh boy!


Into Harm’s Way?

image

The carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in transit with the missile cruiser USS Cowpens Vicksburg

(my error; USS Cowpens is CG-63, USS Vicksburg is CG-69, the picture is low-res)

American warships are prepared to intercept a convoy of Iranian ships suspected of carrying weapons to Houthi rebel forces in Yemen, senior defense and military officials told NBC News on Monday.

An Iranian convoy of freighters, escorted by warships from the Iranian military and Revolutionary Guard forces, appears headed for Yemen, the officials said.

They emphasized that while the USS Theodore Roosevelt carrier group would be in position to intercept the convoy, an intercept could also be carried out by Saudi Arabia, Egypt or the United Arab Emirates, which are patrolling the waters off Yemen.

Supported by the United States, Saudi Arabia has led Sunni Arab countries in carrying out more than three weeks of airstrikes targeting the rebels, who are backed by Iran and have seized parts of Yemen.

There is no indication that U.S. or other coalition warships have been in contact with the Iranians, but one official told NBC News, “They know we’re there.”

Some U.S. officials are concerned that the leak of the information is not good, coming at the same time as the United States and other countries try to reach a final agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.

“Since this is now public, the Iranians may feel they’ve been backed into a corner” and attempt to run through any blockade set up by the coalition warships, one official said.

The deployment comes after a U.N. Security Council resolution approved last week imposed an arms embargo on leaders of the Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels, who have taken over much of Yemen.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest would not comment specifically on any Navy movements in Yemeni waters, but said the U.S. has concerns about Iran’s “continued support for the Houthis.

“We have seen evidence that the Iranians are supplying weapons and other armed support to the Houthis in Yemen,” Earnest said Monday. “That support will only contribute to greater violence in that country. These are exactly the kind of destabilizing activities that we have in mind when we raise concerns about Iran’s destabilizing activities in the Middle East.”

He added, “Iranians are acutely aware of our concerns for their continued support of the Houthis by sending them large shipments of weapons.”

In a stepped-up response to Iranian backing of Shiite rebels in Yemen, the Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is steaming toward the waters off Yemen to beef up security and join other American ships that are prepared to intercept any Iranian vessels carrying weapons to the Houthi rebels.

The deployment comes after a U.N. Security Council resolution approved last week imposed an arms embargo on leaders of the Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels. The resolution passed in a 14-0 vote with Russia abstaining.

Navy officials said Monday that the Roosevelt was moving through the Arabian Sea. A massive ship that carries F/A-18 fighter jets, the Roosevelt is seen more of a deterrent and show of force in the region.

So we will continue to fight another proxy war with Iran in Yemen, or we will now duke it out with them directly? Either way, I’m just ever so glad our great god-king Emperor Obama reached a semi-secret agreement with these nutjobs, who are going to ignore it anyway, and that the whole slew of Republican legislators we HAD TO elect to stop this (and Obamacare too!) rolled over and played dead so fast they got carpet burns. Way to go Team Weasel.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/21/2015 at 12:26 PM   
Filed Under: • Daily LifeMilitary •  
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calendar   Tuesday - April 07, 2015

is this some kind of strange euro trend?

First it was Richard III. Now it’s some German soldier.
Yes, you folks who slept through history class, when Napoleon’s French had their big battle with the English, it was the Germans who turned the tide.

Waterloo Soldier Skeleton, Bent Spine, Found Under Parking Lot

image

fatal lead poisoning: battle casualty and one gigantic musket bullet

A 200-year old skeleton discovered beneath a parking lot at the Battle of Waterloo site has been identified as a German soldier. The remains are the first full skeleton to be recovered from the famous battlefield in Belgium.

The soldier, 23-year old Friedrich Brandt, was a member of the King’s German Legion of British monarch George III, the Sunday Times reports. Brandt, who had curvature of the spine, known at the time as “hunchback”, was killed when a musket ball fired by Napoleon’s troops lodged in his ribs.

Recent analysis revealed Brandt’s identity after his remains were unearthed by a mechanical digger at the site in 2012. 

“It is unique. No other complete skeleton has been retrieved [from Waterloo] in 200 years,” Dominique Bosquet, an archaeologist working for the Walloon government in Belgium, told the Sunday Times.

While Waterloo claimed tens of thousands of lives, the bodies of soldiers and horses on the battlefield were used for fertilizer in subsequent years, making the full skeleton a notable find.

The 1815 battle was a decisive victory for a coalition of powers that included the U.K. and the kingdoms of Prussia and Hanover, which comprise parts of modern-day Germany. The battle was also the last military engagement fought by Napoleon.



Human bodies used as fertilizer??? Fee Fie Fo Fum ... it’s gross, but true.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/07/2015 at 04:46 PM   
Filed Under: • Archeology / AnthropologyMilitary •  
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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