Wednesday, June 30, 2010
"Pauline Bonaparte as Venus Victrix" is a semi-nude life-size reclining neo-Classical portrait sculpture of white marble, by the Italian sculptor Antonio Canova. Reviving the ancient Roman artistic traditions of portrayals of mortal individuals in the guise of the gods, and of the beautiful female form reclining on a couch (as most often seen in reclining portrayals of Hermaphroditi), it was commissioned by Pauline Bonaparte's husband Camillo Borghese and executed in Rome from 1805 to 1808, after the subject's marriage into the Borghese family. It then moved to Camillo's house in Turin, then to Genoa, only arriving in its present home (the Galleria Borghese in Rome) around 1838.
Nude portraits were unusual, subjects of high rank usually having strategically-placed drapery (though Canova did produce another of the Bonaparte family, with his 1806 Napoleon as Mars the Peacemaker). It is a matter of debate as to whether she actually posed naked for the sculpture, since only the head is a realistic (if slightly idealised) portrait, whilst the nude torso is a neo-classically idealised female form. When asked how she could pose for the sculptor wearing so little, she reputedly replied that there was a stove in the studio that kept her warm, though this may be apochryphal or a quip deliberately designed by her to stir up scandal.
She holds an apple in her hand evoking Aphrodite's victory in the Judgement of Paris. The room in which the sculpture is exhibited at the Galleria Borghese also has a ceiling painting portraying the judgement, painted by Domenico de Angelis in 1779 and inspired by a famous relief on the façade of the Villa Medici.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
. . . STORMBRINGER SENDS
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
Monday, June 28, 2010
The world's hodgepodge of military bases run the gamut from hazardous mountaintop forts to seemingly impenetrable underground bunkers. Then there are bases on remote islands tracking objects in deep space and high-tech laboratories probing the most lethal microbes in existence. The design of a base needs to address the immediate needs of a military while still being versatile enough to remain useful as threats and technology evolve.
THULE AIR BASE
Thule Air Base sits within 800 miles of the Arctic Circle, making it the northernmost U.S. military installation. Among the many challenges posed by the region's climate is that the base's port is only accessible for three months each year, so major supplies need to be shipped during the summer. The base may be frozen and remote, but the 12th Space Warning Squadron operates an early warning system for Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles from Thule, while the 21st Space Wing is in charge of space surveillance operations.
Dugway Proving Ground
Great Salt Lake Desert, Utah
Within two months of the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt set aside the first 127,000 acres of Dugway Proving Ground in Utah's Great Salt Lake Desert. Over the past 60 years, the site has expanded to nearly 800,000 acres, roughly the size of Rhode Island.
Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia
Diego Garcia BIOT, Chagos Archipelago
This joint U.S. and U.K. operation is situated on a tiny atoll about 1000 miles from India and tasked with providing logistical support to forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.
How It's Unique: "There's a certain amount of logistical difficulty" with ultra-remote facilities like Diego Garcia, Schulz says, and shipping materials can be costly. Diego Garcia's remoteness, though, allows it to be a key hub for tracking satellites, and it is one of five monitoring stations for GPS. Additionally, the island is one of only a handful of locations equipped with a Ground-based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance system for tracking objects in deep space. As an atoll, the land itself is rather oddly shaped, too. From end to end, Diego Garcia is 34 miles long, but its total area is only 11 square miles.
I've actually been to this place - S.L.
HAARP Research Station
HAARP, or the High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, is a collaborative project involving the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Army and the University of Alaska. Researchers at the facility use a powerful high-frequency transmitter and an array of 180 antennas to temporarily disrupt the ionosphere in hopes of yielding potential communications and surveillance benefits.
Forward Logistics Base
Siachen Glacier, Kashmir
For more than 25 years, India and Pakistan have been battling for control of the nearly 50-mile-long Siachen Glacier. Both sides have set up military installations in the imposing Karakoram range, where 3-mile-high mountain peaks are the norm.
Cheyenne Mountain Complex
Cheyenne Mountain Complex Air Force Station, Colorado
This iconic underground base has been inspiring science fiction writers and awing engineers since 1966. Located nearly a half mile under a granite mountain, the labyrinthine facility is run by Air Force Space Command. The base earned its place in pop culture when the television version of Stargate made Cheyenne Mountain the HQ of cosmic time travel.
Devil's Tower Camp
Certain geographic locations will never lose their strategic importance. Case in point: Gibraltar. British control of the territory dates back to 1713, when Spain ceded the land in the Treaty of Utrecht. Nowadays, the Royal Gibraltar Regiment watches over the territory from its Devil's Tower Camp headquarters.
Joint Defence Space Research Facility Pine Gap
Near the hot, desolate center of Australia, just outside of Alice Springs, is the Joint Defence Space Research Facility Pine Gap. Australia and the U.S. agreed to build the compound in 1966, but desert flooding, blistering heat and a lack of paved roads slowed initial construction efforts. The site officially opened in June 1970 and has been a joint U.S./Australian operation since.
U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases
Fort Detrick, Maryland
Anthrax, Ebola virus, plague and monkeypox are just a few of the deadly microbes handled by researchers at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, commonly known as USAMRIID. Over the years, the institute has made significant contributions to the development of vaccines, diagnostics and treatments that have both military and civilian applications.
Naval Air Station Jacksonville
The new Hangar 511 at Naval Air Station Jacksonville is the largest hangar in the Navy's inventory, capable of storing 33 P3-C Orions, four C-130 Hercules and a helicopter unit. In the coming years, the hangar will be instrumental in housing the P-8 Poseidon and its 120-foot wingspan.
Raven Rock Mountain Complex
Adams Country, Pennsylvania
This notoriously cryptic facility is built under Raven Rock mountain near the border of Pennsylvania and Maryland. The site was birthed during the Cold War and goes by many names, including Site R and the underground Pentagon.
Temporary Deployable Accommodations
Iraq and Afghanistan
Temporary Deployable Accommodations, or TDAs, are the brainchild of global engineering firm KBR. These on-the-fly facilities can be large enough to host 600 troops and take less than a month to set up.
Edwards Air Force Base
America's first jet, the Bell P-59, made its debut flight on Oct. 1, 1942 at Muroc Dry Lake, now known as Edwards Air Force Base. A mere six years later, at the same site, Chuck Yeager busted through the sound barrier in a Bell X-1, marking the first time an aircraft had traveled faster than the speed of sound. Today, Edwards is home to the Air Force Flight Test Center and NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, both of which are molding the future of aviation.
Lajes Field, on the small, Portuguese-owned Terceira Island, is an important refueling station for aircraft that can't clear the Atlantic Ocean in a single shot. In 1953, the U.S. established its first presence on the island when it positioned the 1605th Air Base Wing at Lajes. Today, the 65th Air Base Wing is stationed at the facility, providing support to U.S. Air Forces in Europe and to a variety of allies.
I've been here, too - S.L.
Nellis Air Force Base
Nellis AFB, Nevada
Nellis Air Force Base is a revered training facility and the location of the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center. The base has been operational since the 1940s.
Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility
Anniston Army Depot, Alabama
The U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency's Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility is one of six locations that stores chemical weapons. During the 1960s, 7 percent of U.S. chemical weapons were stashed at Anniston, including stockpiles of VX nerve-agent munitions.
Defence Training Estate Salisbury Plain
The now defunct British War Office started snatching up land in this region of southern England back in 1897. Salisbury, location of the contentious Imber Live Firing Range, is still used regularly to put Royal Marines through the wringer.
Naval Submarine Base
Kings Bay, Georgia
Around 1980, the Navy began overhauling Kings Bay to be the East Coast location for Ohio-class nuclear submarines, a project that took nearly a decade and cost $1.3 billion, making it the largest peacetime construction project for the Navy at the time. Spread over 16,000 acres, about a quarter of which is protected wetlands, this submarine base is the habitat of 20 threatened or endangered species.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
A Real Navy Seal (actually it's a sea lion) trained to carry out surveillance and detect undersea threats.
US Navy Seal "Zak" - a 375-pound California_sea lion moves through the water with a training device during a harbor patrol training swim.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Brewer's meeting with Obama again on Monday, so send this viral . . .
Brewer the Doer"
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The bearded, sandy-haired geologist was on a job in the remote Alaska wilderness when a grizzly bear suddenly emerged from the brush just yards away.
So Robert Miller did what he was trained to do — he fell to the ground, clasped his hands around his neck to protect it and played dead.
Robert Miller, 54, recovers from a bear attack in his hospital room in Anchorage, Alaska, on Wednesday, June 23, 2010. The bear attack occurred June 20 as Miller, a Millrock Resources Inc. geologist working near Rainy Pass in the Alaska Range, waited for a helicopter to pick him up. Miller was using a small handsaw to clear brush so the helicopter could land when the bear emerged from the brush about 25 feet away. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
Miller was fortunate to have survived, said Rick Sinnott, an Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist.
He should have been packing a more powerful gun, Sinnott said. "You have to be a very good shot or very lucky to stop a brown bear with a .357 Magnum."
This I knew - .357 barely gets you into the club considering the size of those monsters they grow up there in Alaska. - S.L.
Miller did the right thing to play dead with the grizzly, Sinnott said.
"Most of the time they just want to neutralize you and if you are playing dead after they swat you or hit you, you are pretty much neutralized. But if you try to run or stand right up or are screaming or waving your arms around, then they think you are still a danger," he said.
This I DIDN'T know - but it makes perfect sense, when you think about it, and it almost worked the first time until he got up. We've got bears around here but they keep to themselves for the most part. I teach my kids to keep good situational awareness about themselves when they're in the woods - good general advice anytime, in any kind of environment - especially when picking berries; that is the most dangerous time you might find yourself between Mama Bear and her cubs. - S.L.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Dave and I are both products of the British Commonwealth - Dave of Canada, myself from Australia; we both share a love of knowledge for knowledge's sake - economics, politics, languages, religion - and a fascination with not only the world of Ancient Greece and Rome, but the parallels of those societies to our modern world.
David Frum of Frum Forum
Whenever Dave and I meet it is a fascinating intersection of two worlds. He a Washington insider, friend and associate of some of the most powerful people in the world, a published author and a respected journalist active in both the United States and Canadian political arenas; myself I'm just a soldier - albeit of the greatest Army ever to march across a battlefield - retired from active duty of course but finding myself serving still in a peculiar niche of corporate security of which I'm sure not even the writers of adventure thrillers are aware.
Me, in an earlier life . . .
This 'interview' is really more a discourse of ideas than a proper interview - and I'm afraid it comes out more like STORMBRINGER interviews himself - partly due to it's origin as an email exchange, the first part of which I dropped for personal privacy reasons. I'll pick up the email trail where our email exchange hit a wild vector on the subject of Rush Limbaugh . . .
STORMBRINGER: Have you ever heard the story of Jesus, when He went to that village where they were going to stone the woman to death for adultery? Do you remember what He said? "Let he who has not sinned, cast the first stone"
DAVID FRUM: I'm not saying "stone Rush." I'm saying: don't venerate him. He's entertaining I agree . . . but different to say that you admire him. He's not very admirable.
STORMBRINGER: What is there not to admire? What possible negative thing could be said about him? Rush Limbaugh is a great American philosopher and the de facto leader of the Conservative Movement, of course. His message is clearly stated, and he calls the Liberals out for the hypocrites and snakes that they are.
DAVID FRUM: You're teasing me.
STORMBRINGER: I'm dead serious. What could you possibly say about the man that is negative?
DAVID FRUM: Well I've written rather a lot about it! But the thing that surprises me is that you - with your fine mind and your deep reading - are satisfied with what you hear from Rush. He's an adept if not always very accurate or honest simplifier of complex ideas he's absorbed at second or third hand. He's a shrewd player upon angry emotions. But I know you too well to believe that's good enough for you.
STORMBRINGER: I challenge you to point out for me any inaccuracies Rush deliberately spreads, or where he "plays upon angry emotions" - that is not his style; Rush is about objectivity and equal time for our side.
It is the left-leaning mainstream media and the Democrat pol's who are guilty of deliberately spreading inaccuracies and playing upon angry emotions - not Rush. Do you remember after the OK City bombing, Bill Clinton blamed right-wing talk radio; when in fact Timothy McVeigh was motivated by the assault on the Waco Compound, and more recently after the Times Square bomber Katie Curic tried to hang it on a disgruntled middle aged white guy disgruntled over healthcare. Do you remember her saying this?
You are repeating Democrat talking points here David; I challenge you to quantify what you are saying about Rush.
DAVID FRUM: I suppose I wouldn't mind the junk food quality of it so much, junk food can be fun sometimes, if it weren't for what you nicely call "The Dark Energy."
To listen to Rush is to be led into a paranoid fantasy world where President Obama is not merely under-qualified for the job, not merely guided by wrong ideas, but a deliberate wrecker of the American republic, a Marxist deliberately and consciously aggravating the recession for his own evil ends. This way of thinking is false as a matter of fact, and poisonous to those who partake of it.
STORMBRINGER:Please forgive the break in contact; sleep is a rare & vital commodity; this dialogue is long overdue & going exactly where I want it to go we shall have to continue later but for now I have to produce a post for FrumForum . . . Cheers- Sean
(Sean Linnane back again) Sorry about the break in contact - I can only do so much in 24 hours and right now - besides my regular duties - I am mentoring the Absent-Minded Professor. I've never been a handler; now I can see how I must have driven my own handlers crazy. No wonder I never got promoted.
When I refer to Dark Energy it is not a force of negativity because I have by and large purged myself of evil; rather it is an absorbing, seductively unconstrained passion, that cuts into my productivity and
has cost me friendships in the past. This is my Dark Energy.
You seem to be referencing the concept of us Rush listeners / Tea Partiers / Sarah Palin fans as "bitter clingers". Not only is this stereotype patently false, it is the Regime's verbiage. Remember when Nancy Pelosi marched her gaggle of black Democrat Congressmen past the Tea Partiers (just before the signing of the Healthcare Bill) in an attempt to generate an incident - an incident they claimed to have occurred and yet no video of the well-documented event backs this up.
The Tea Partiers are well-behaved, decent Conservative people. It is the Code Pink, Move On dot org, Cindy Sheehan-types who engage in the thought patterns & subsequent behaviors that you claim for Rush listeners.
And yes, President Obama is not only the least-qualified person for every room he walks in to; he IS in fact a Marxist - just look at his mentors Saul Alinsky & Bill Ayers - and listen at what he says, especially when he is off the teleprompters: "America has much to apologize for" -WTF??? And he said this to the GERMANS of all people, within the former Eastern part of Berlin of all places. "Spread the wealth around" - What is that? And then send in the Democrat goon squad to destroy Joe the Plumber as much as possible. The "Bitter Clingers" comment is a fascinating insight on what Barack Obama thinks of people like me.
DAVID FRUM: Sean it makes me very sad to read the (above). it's like reading a letter from inside a cult.
Just start with one thing: what does it mean to say that somebody is a Marxist? Surely that he subscribes to (at least some!)
Marxist ideas: the labor theory of value, capital as the expropriation of surplus value, the industrial proletariat as the final stage of class evolution, the inevitability of socialist revolution, the abolition of the division of labor as the ultimate goal of human history.
Not only is there no evidence that Barack Obama believes any of these things but surely it's obvious that he believes none of them. Yes he's a "spread the wealth" kind of liberal. That's why I voted against him.
But he's nowhere near the liberal that say Lyndon Johnson was. Was Lyndon Johnson a Marxist? For that matter was Richard Nixon a Marxist - he did a lot of spreading the wealth too. Remember, President Obama did preside over the biggest bank bailout in world history for God's sake, precisely in order to preserve - not only the banking system - but capitalism as a whole. If the banks had failed in 2008-2009, and we were now confronting a global depression with US unemployment of not 10% but 20% as in 1932, we might well be talking about the return of Marxism, which otherwise is deader than the dodo.
But to call Obama Marxist is pure crazy talk - ungrounded paranoia. To talk about "factual inaccuracy" in this context is really missing the ocean liner in front of our eyes. When Rush and other hosts talk this way , they have left behind the very concept of truth or accuracy. They've floated after Lyndon LaRouche or L Ron Hubbard into an alternative universe where words do not mean what they mean to the rest of humanity.
Ditto for Rush's talk of "the regime." Unlike his riffs on Marxism, this lacks specific content. But it is certainly meant to make his listeners think that there is something illegitimate, something un-American, something unconstitutional in the duly elected administration and Congress of the moment. This abandons the normal rules of opposition politics, where you fight your opponents on issues, in favor of the kind of mental atmosphere that in other countries would be used to justify a coup d'etat. Fortunately, Rush is too cynical to follow his logic where it really leads . . . but it's nasty stuff even so.
And I am sorry to see you Sean engulfed in it. It just does not mesh with your own thinking power, your own realism about life and politics, your own familiarity with the real world and how it really operates. Free your mind! Don't accept your ideas from a man who himself will tell you that his purpose is to sell advertising at the highest possible price.
STORMBRINGER: THAT'S RIGHT- I'M A MEMBER OF A CULT ! ! ! =D
Our guru is the All-Knowing, All Seeing Maha Rushie and there are more than 20 million of us . . . he teaches us to embrace such outlandish concepts such as laissez-faire capitalism, human exceptionalism; such individual freedoms as Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness . . .
Followers of this cult include Dick Morris, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Vice-President Dick Cheney, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas . . . shall I continue? . . . at least 80% of the U.S. Armed Forces, practically all of NASCAR and almost ALL Fox viewers . . . Prime Minister of Israel Bibi Netanyahu . . . President George W. Bush . . .
Our High Priestess is Sarah Palin, we spend our days studying ancient, almost forgotten parchments such as the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the Federalist Papers - all based on that obscure, troubling desert-based religious nonsense known as Judeo-Christianity . . .
(You can roll your eyes and moan all about Sarah Palin being a hayseed; I can guaran-damn-tee you she knows more about the oil industry than Barack Hussein Obama and she sure as hell knows we only have 50 states in America not 58.)
Obama IS a Marxist in that he believes the corporation exists as an entity only to benefit the workers; the concept of profit is evil, the nature of productivity is mysterious and unknown to him. Obama believes in a controlled, centrally-directed economy. This is Marxism. Witness: his Communist mentor Frank Marshall Davis / when the government bought out GM he handed it over to the unions / his behavior during the oil-spill crisis- no sense of urgency towards a solution, the opposite if anything, he would rather exploit the crisis to punish & hobble the oil industry.
OF COURSE he bailed out the banks; even the Communists need a financial system - his brand of Marxism is not the same as the Khmer Rouge or even the Russian Revolution but the class envy & hatred themes are out there.
Your points about Lyndon Johnson & Richard Nixon are intriguing; Obama is usually compared to Jimmy Carter but if you want to lump him against those two characters that just compounds his dark sinister agenda. One things for sure; neither of their wives EVER blurted out about how they WEREN'T proud of their country.
Obama is a complex, confused soul - this is why he has such difficulty speaking when he's off script; he may be intelligent but he has no original ideas and no expertise at anything beyond rabble rousing.
Then there's the whole Muslim thing. Okay he's not a Muslim but he certainly isn't a Christian, that's for sure. His preacher is an America-hating reverse racist, and his political mentor from the old days in Chicago is an America-hating terrorist who bombed the Pentagon (just like Osama bin Laden come to think of it) . . . I could go on and on . . . this is what we have for a President, during VERY dangerous times.
As far as alternative universe goes that's Obama's view of the energy industry: it exists to kill its customers so it has to be shut down so we can have windmills and solar panels that maybe will give you an hour of TV at night on a GOOD day. I never heard of Lyndon LaRouche but I know of L. Ron Hubbard- he's got us descended from aliens from outer space? Give me a break - bad analogy.
Back in the former Yugoslavia I met a guy who proudly told me he was a Communist. I told him he should go to the States - we've got more Communists there than anywhere in the world. In Bosnia we had the OSCE (Office for Security and Cooperation in Europe) - they lurked around and had incredible political power. Nowadays in the Armed Forces we've got DOJ lawyers prowling around everywhere - a squad of Seals turns in a terrorist murderer prisoner they had to manhandle into submission and they go on trial - these are the modern commissars. An oil well blows and it's an opportunity to destroy an industry, put the executives into a classic show trial as enemies of the people. This is Marxism manifesting itself in America.
Marxist ideas: "Labor Theory of Value" = just like Marx, Obama has no idea of the nature of productivity & profit.
"Capital as the Expropriation of Surplus Value" = "Spread the wealth around."
"The Industrial Proletariat as the Final Stage of Class Evolution" = Obama has dedicated his life to the Liberals' notion of Class Envy & Class Hatred.
"The Inevitability of Socialist Revolution" = We're experiencing it all around us via Code Pink, MoveOn dot org, ACORN, NEA, SEIU, George Soros, etc - the way they've walked all over the Constitution - the whole hate America thing - "Patriotism is dangerous", "bitter clingers" etcetera, etcetera . . .
"Abolition of the Division of Labor as the Ultimate Goal of Human History" = They embrace the Unions; making war on management is a central theme of their agenda.
I'm still very interested if you can quantify any inaccuracies Rush has ever put out - I've been a student of El Rushbo since 1993 and I've never caught him in a falsehood or straying from the truth. Can't say the same thing about the Democrats, however.
Whew! Now you know the way I feel! That's my story and I'm sticking to it . . .
STORMBRINGER: OK I just re-read your email and as you know there's a lot of subliminal communication that gets lost in email . . . Anyway the whole gist of your "cult" meaning came across -
Now Dave you know me and you know I'm not a mind-numbed robot who would slobberingly follow anyone who tried to tell me how to think.
You described Rush's worldview as an "alternate universe." Now you know I've seen the world - a good chunk of it anyway - and I know how it works. The alternate universe is the one the liberals dwell in where if we reached out to our enemies and stopped being the big bad USA they'd love us because everybody knows that peace grows on trees, where European Socialism is the way to go even though we see the Euro's going down the tubes right before our very eyes, where global warming climate change is going to shut the world down despite the fact that we've had volcanoes since the day the Earth began and somehow we've survived . . .
The alternate universe is to think its okay to slander and denigrate George Bush, to write books and produce plays about assassinating him - that's okay, that's to be celebrated in fact - yet to criticize Barack Obama means you're a racist; worse- to be patriotic is 'dangerous' when for years they were the ones who for years were hollering that "dissent is patriotism" - Hillary said that, in fact.
And then it struck me what your not getting probably has a lot to do with subliminal communication - or lack thereof. You're letting Rush Limbaugh's personal style get in the way of the message. Sure he's confident and he has a loud booming voice - he's a successful broadcast professional - his detractors refer to this as bombastic. But he is not a cynic, and he does not transmit lies, falsehoods, mistruths or inaccuracies. He simply would not have enjoyed twenty years os success and be embraced by presidents, prime ministers, Supreme Court justices AND rock star Elton John of all people if what you say & feel about him was legit. Simply does not compute . . . comment?
DAVID FRUM: I know exactly that you are not a mind-numbed robot. That's why it grieves me when you talk like one!
I could give you lots of examples of Rush's misstatements, but here's one you've surely heard many times: His claim that half the country pays no taxes. He means income taxes, but that's not what he says.
Almost all Americans pay taxes, but 80% pay more in payroll taxes than income taxes. And of course they pay excise taxes, gasoline taxes, etc.
But here's the larger point, and it goes to your point about that stupid book about the assassination of George Bush. Fox and talk offer their audience a substitute for politics: an aggregation of cultural grievances based not on any real issue (how do we emerge from recession, how do we deal with the energy problem, how do we compete with China, etcetera) but based on utterly artificial divisions that are more reminiscent of high school than adult life. We laugh when the kids explain that they are Goths, not rockers. It's funny because they are accepting somebody else's pre-invented marketing niche as a substitute for an actual personal identity based on individual thought.
There's a lot wrong with President Obama and his agenda. But it's just madness to describe him as a Marxist. The word Marxist MEANS something - and it does not mean what you suggest it means in your last note.
A lot of people don't properly understand enterprise, profits, and productivity, including Pope Benedict, to name just one, and General Wesley Clark to name another. They aren't Marxists. There are a lot of ways to be wrong.
STORMBRINGER: Actually Rush does a very good job of pointing out exactly what you said right there about taxes; the very same thing, in fact. He DOES say that.
Your take on the whole Rush / Tea Party phenomenon is flawed: we are not hung up on anger. That is the Left: Code Pink, MoveOn dot org, Cindy Sheehan, ACORN, Reverend Wright - these are NOT happy people. We are civil and we are civilized. We have class, we are the productive class of this country.
Anyway what's wrong with advertising? If it wasn't for advertising, we wouldn't have NFL, or NASCAR.
Unfortunately this discourse kind of died here, because Dave and I both are very busy people.
To end on an up note: what I have learned from David Frum is something I never understood before; that thing where the politicians speak in friendly terms of people on the other side of the aisle. I have picked up a certain tolerance and an open-mindedness from Dave - believe it or not - and it is a liberating thing. "Bitter Clinger" is what they call us; it is not what we are.
BTW- David is celebrating his 50th birthday this weekend with a blowout party his lovely wife Danielle is throwing up in Ontario. I can't make it due to mission constraints, but I'd like to take this opportunity to wish Dave a Happy Birthday, and also because it's Friday and I am a Christian Fundamentalist (a.k.a. Messianic Jew), I wish "Shabbat Shalom!"
- Sean Linnane
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Thanks to all loyal members of Team STORMBRINGER for your support during these challenging times, and keep those letters and articles coming. I will get around to posting them all. - Sean Linnane
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
About the U.S. southern border:
Something new-- See the actual news video HERE
Proving the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Notice the "shoulder patches" shown in both videos.
While politicians continue to evade demands for the U.S. to enforce its southern border, things are getting worse, not better.
Posted by Team STORMBRINGER Guru Jim Wrenn of People's Cube
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Read the entire post HERE:
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
The river is flooding and all the animals are scurrying to find safety. A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of the river. Scorpion asks Frog; "Please help me, Frog, I cannot swim - let me climb on your back, and you can carry me across the river."
Frog says, "NO WAY! If I do, you will sting me, and I will die!"
Scorpion says, "That's stupid! Why would I sting you? If I did that, we would sink into the water, and I too would die."
Frog thinks about it. "Hmmm . . . you're right. Okay - climb on on my back, Scorpion, and I will carry you across the river."
They set out, but halfway across, Scorpion stings Frog.
Frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink. Knowing they both will drown, Frog gasps, "But . . . but . . . WHY?"
Scorpion replies: "Because I'm a scorpion . . . and this is the Middle East."
Twinkle, Twinkle, Three Star General
He WASN'T thinking - THAT'S THE PROBLEM
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
A READER WRITES . . .
As long as we are on the subject of shooting people . . . I know you talk about the Model 1911. In the 70's I had one once, it was my Uncle's from WWII. I think it was a Colt; it jammed a lot - probably operator error. The Man took it away from me because I was too young and they didn't think I should have it . . . I think I was 12. Back then we were called plinkers. Today I would probably be arrested and put on military tribunal for terrorism. Times sure have changed a lot since then.
In the 80's I had a Smith 4516 and I really liked it. The Smith was built very well but didn't fit me well, seemed awkward in my hand.
Recently I bought a Beretta PX4 9mm Sub because it really felt like it fit me and I could actually hit something with it; I actually tried out some different guns at the local gun shop / range.
The problem is I have some mechanical issues with the thing. For one thing the trigger mechanism gets confused if you are cocking and dry firing it. It happens when you manually cock the hammer back to half-cock. Anyway that is one issue that apparently is not a concern when you have it loaded and you are actually pumpin' caps into someone's cranium. But it does tell you something about the engineering of the thing.
My main concern comes after one night I stuffed the thing in my belt (ghetto style, in back, no holster) and went to the beach late at night. Normally I don't carry it around but I do if it is dark. When I got back to my car and pulled it out the slide was jacked back about a half inch and hung there. After playing with it for awhile I realized it can get pulled back and sticks when a round is chambered. It cannot get stuck if empty chamber. I have tried lubricant, changing bullet type, and just plain jamming it back and forth to loosen it up.
So my question to you is why? Do you think it is a defect? My Smith never did this. I believe the main slide springs may have been stronger on the Smith, but I not sure. Maybe it is a problem with the shorter spring since the frame was originally designed for longer barrel. Maybe just another case of operator error? I am certainly no firearms expert . . . maybe I know a little more than the GANGSTA down the street, but not much more.
Keepin' It Real,
Dear Jaeger -
First of all, while I know a lot about handguns - 1911's and Beretta 92FS / M9 pistol's in particular, I do not consider myself an expert. In fact, the way it was explained to my is there aren't ANY experts in ANYTHING - only serious students. Anybody who calls himself is an expert, well . . .
Beretta makes good guns, I cannot fault them. They are the oldest firearms manufacturing company in the world and I owe my life to them, so I can't think of any better endorsement than that for their products.
The Italians do three things right:
. . . their guns . . .
. . . their cars . . .
. . . and their women . . .
. . . and not necessarily in that order.
The problems you seem to be experiencing may be due to a couple of conditions. I have experienced the half-cock situation with the 92FS (a.k.a. the M9) and it is not advertised as a design safety feature - it appears to be somehow related to the double-action. Because the pistol is double-action, you don't need a safety - any more than you need a safety on a double-action revolver; think about it. We were trained to carry the Beretta loaded, hammer down, off-safe. All the safety served for was a de-cocking lever.
The problem with the slide pushing back is a symptom of your pistol being constrained between your too-tight waistband and your dunlap luv handles. The solution is two-fold: A) invest in a nice, polymer pancake concealment holster, and B) lose weight because you are what we in the Airborne call a Heavy Drop.
Let me know how it goes, my friend . . . Cheers!
- Sean Linnane
Sunday, June 20, 2010
My brother Will told me the doctor told him his cholesterol and his triglycerides were too high, and he was to lay off the red meat and the booze.
"What am I gonna do?" he asked. "If I don't drink I'm going to turn into a serial killer!"
"I tell you what you're gonna do," I said. "Your doctor sucks. Fire your doctor - he's no good. Find another doctor, and when he asks you what you eat, you tell him "Wings! I eat nothing but wings! I come home from work and eat wings everyday, and I wash them down with beer - never less than a sixpack; usually the better part of a twelve!"
So a week or two go by and my brother calls me back. "Hey, I did what you said. I fired my doctor, and went to another doctor, and when she said, "Wow, your cholesterol and your triglycerides are a little too high here, what do you eat?" I told her just like you said: "Wings! I eat nothing but wings!" And you know what she told me?"
"Let me guess . . ."
"She said, "WOW! YOU ARE IN PERFECT SHAPE! WHATEVER IT IS THAT YOU'RE DOING, DON'T CHANGE A THING!
. . . except maybe it won't hurt to cut down on those wings a little, though . . ."
Long-standing Military Blog "Sgt Hook - This We'll Defend" Goes Offline: Had Been Online Since 2003
One of the longest running military blogs SGT Hook - This We'll Defend has gone offline. The website had been online since 2003, making it one of the first military blogs in the milblogging community. According to archived records the last post appeared on Thanksgiving 2008. According to his profile on Milblogging.com:
This site is a collection of my writings, thoughts, and ramblings and in no way reflects the official positions of the United States Army or the Department of Defense.
As of today, the domain has been parked at BlogsAbout where Sgt Hook's blog was hosted.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
Friday, June 18, 2010
This post by Nathan Hodge showed up on Wired.com - February 25, 2010
During yesterday’s Senate hearing on government oversight of security contractors, an interesting tidbit emerged. In his prepared testimony, Fred Roitz, executive vice president of contracts and chief sales officer for Xe (a.k.a. Blackwater), disclosed that his company, through its subsidiary Presidential Airways, evacuated a congressman from Niger during a recent military coup.
Turns out it was none other than Rep. Alan Grayson, the Florida Democrat who has made his reputation by going after military contractors. Irony alert! Grayson spokesman Todd Jurkowski confirmed that Grayson was spirited out of the country on a Xe helicopter, and offered this statement to Schulman: “The flight was arranged through the State Department … The congressman did not know, and frankly did not care, who owned the plane.”
How's that for gratitude? Isn't that the way it always is? You're a thug, a mercenary, a baby killer; to be spat on, hauled before Congress and grilled, then told to turn around and march to the sound of the guns all over again. But when they need you to save their sorry ass; you're the best thing they've seen since their wedding night - S.L.
500 AK-47s, Please’: Art Imitates Blackwater
Go down to the comments, comment #1 . . .
>"This is actually funny. I know guys who sign everything over in Iraq or Afghanistan, with all sorts of funny names.(except for the chow hall) The SF community uses Sean Linnane. The Marines use Chesty Puller or Gunny Hartman. I have also seen Mickey Mouse or Hue Jazz. Hell, I am sure someone has used Darth Vader before. lol Just check a KBR chow roster from one of the DFACs (before they started swiping CAC cards). Which leads me to my next point . . . "
Team Member Valeria says: It would be really funny if Sean made it in the South Park episode
Sean Linnane: That wouldn't be funny that would be humiliating . . . that's all I need . . . I mean it's bad enough already . . .
Valeria: No it wouldn't - being a character on South Park is means you've arrived in the main stream awareness . . . it pokes fun at EVERYTHING and EVERYONE with an irreverant Emperor-Has-No-Clothes attitude. So yeah, in it's own way, it would be cool.
Sean Linnane: Some how I thought immortality would feel different, somehow . . .
Thursday, June 17, 2010
In keeping with a military tradition that dates back to at least the Roman Empire, a grateful nation rewards a competent warrior with punishment and exile.
Consider the case of Erik Prince, founder of the world’s largest private army - now known as “Xe” but still commonly referred to as Blackwater. It is reported that Prince is considering a permanent move to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Recent developments that suggest Prince’s motivation involve the 15-count indictment served to five top Blackwater executives by a federal Grand Jury on conspiracy, weapons and obstruction of justice charges. Among those indicted were Prince's longtime number two man, former Blackwater president Gary Jackson, former vice presidents William Matthews and Ana Bundy, and Prince's former legal counsel Andrew Howell.
Prince’s plan to move to the UAE might be motivated to the lack of an extradition treaty between the UAE and the United States. Furthermore, last week Prince abruptly announced that Xe (Blackwater) is up for sale.
Prince’s alleged crime? His country called, and he was too successful at providing the services he was contracted to perform.
Struggling to deal with a two front war in the wake of the 9-11 terror attacks, the United States military exponentially increased the use of private contractors – a feature of US military operations in war and peace since the Revolution. While the majority of contractors deliver construction, logistics, telecommunication, transportation, and medical services, it is security contractors that have drawn close scrutiny.
Of the many security / paramilitary firms that filled this requirement, Prince skillfully steered Blackwater to the forefront. Recruited from the ranks of Special Operations and elsewhere, and trained at their facility in Moyock, North Carolina (within AO STORMBRINGER) the most visible Blackwater role was PSD – Personal Security Detail. Prince himself has claimed a more extensive role, however, stating that Blackwater operators have called in NATO air strikes and performed operational functions for the CIA in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
If this is the case, then this is nothing new; the CIA’s paramilitary wing has made use of contract personnel since its inception. While Blackwater’s presence on the battlefield may or may not be in violation of the Law of Land Warfare (Hague & Geneva Conventions), this is also besides the point; the CIA itself does not enjoy the protection of these legal definitions. Besides, when you’re dealing with an enemy that has no national identity, wears no uniforms or distinctive insignia, routinely commits war crimes as a major tactic and beheads prisoners, the Geneva Convention becomes an increasingly archaic piece of legislature.
Despite the fact that I have worked as a security contractor for two firms – one a well-known competitor of Blackwater, the other providing services within a narrower market niche - and have founded my own defense contracting company, I am not a personal fan of Blackwater.
We are often called mercenaries, although I believe ‘professional soldier’ or ‘security professional’ more correctly describes our role. Examply: the client I am currently working for requires prior service on a Special Forces Operational Detachment 'Alpha', and a working knowledge of the principles of Sun Tzu as prerequisites. This hardly fits the commonly held concepts of a ‘gun for hire’; there are certain parties I outright refuse to work for, and some things I will not do for any money.
Despite my feelings regarding the Blackwater phenomenon, I feel the legal actions of the Holder Justice Department represent nothing less than the Obama Administration’s personal war on its own irregular assets. This is tantamount to a commander directly ordering his own men to shoot themselves in the foot – self-inflicted wounds – as a furtive means to resolve a difficult and challenging military campaign.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
When you check into your hotel room, make sure to unplug the alarm clock radio. This is so you don't get woken up at zero-dark-thirty with some kind of loud, obnoxious painful noise and music by the jackass who stayed in the room before and set up a time-release boobytrap.
Then just before you check out, make sure to plug the alarm clock radio back in, and set it to go off at zero-dark-thirty; set the thing on the most irritating, aggravating, rude, crude & insulting Gangsta Rap noize you can find on the dial, and be sure to crank that volume right up . . .
. . . you'll be doing the next guy a favor - how else will he learn the trick to unplug the radio?
Look at it as a sort of Public Service . . .
. . . comment?
- SEAN LINNANE SENDS
Rush and Kathryn Limbaugh
I was on the road last couple of weeks so this post is a bit belated. From early reports their wedding was a wonderful affair . . . the great Elton John entertained the guests . . .
Sidebar: Someone commented on that to me this weekend and I said, "Yeah, well, he's not really my style of music but he had some great hits back in the day and there's a couple of tunes he plays that gives me poignant memories so there you have it . . ."
What was inferred in that comment is that Elton John's sexuality is well-known of course, and Rush Limbaugh is the great voice of the Conservative Movement; is there not a contradiction taking place here? But that's all a part of Rush's message: we as conservatives don't judge or label people by their sexuality any more than we do by their race, color or creed. We judge them by their words and deeds, and Elton John has entertained millions over the decades and has harmed no one so there you have it.
Anyway it wasn't my wedding it was the Limbaughs'.
Rush Limbaugh is a great American philosopher and the de facto leader of the Conservative Movement, of course, and I could only wish and hope I can be half as successful in life and business as he is.
I admire Rush for many reasons, among them I share his sense of optimism in the face of adversary, and his determination and faith in Human Exceptionalism.
Rush is often misunderstood and has often been (inaccurately) accused of extremist/racist views. Rush's detractors are many, to which I say put aside what you've heard about the man and listen to what he has to say; you'll be surprised. Rush Limbaugh is possibly the living embodiment of the cliché, "Shoot the messenger."
Defining the conservative movement, Rush Limbaugh wrote in an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal in 2005:
"I love being a conservative. We conservatives are proud of our philosophy. Unlike our liberal friends, who are constantly looking for new words to conceal their true beliefs and are in a perpetual state of reinvention, we conservatives are unapologetic about our ideals."
"We are confident in our principles and energetic about openly advancing them. We believe in individual liberty, limited government, capitalism, the rule of law, faith, a color-blind society and national security.
"We support school choice, enterprise zones, tax cuts, welfare reform, faith-based initiatives, political speech, homeowner rights and the War on Terrorism."
"And at our core we embrace and celebrate the most magnificent governing document ever ratified by any nation — the U.S. Constitution. Along with the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes our God-given natural right to be free, it is the foundation on which our government is built and has enabled us to flourish as a people."
"We conservatives are never stronger than when we are advancing our principles."
They even have sheepdogs! An excellent choice of breed!
Blog STORMBRINGER wishes the Limbaughs much happiness in their new life together.
- Sean Linnane