Tuesday, May 31, 2011


The nuclear industry just got a little safer: a Hawaii company is expecting to play a key role in the toxic clean-up of radioactive waste. A "Blue Goo" polymer called Decongel could help make Japan livable again.


Injuries or deaths due to nuclear radiation at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant: ZERO

Injuries or deaths at conventional fossil fuels power plants, world wide: MILLIONS

Is it blue or is it green? Maybe it depends on what your definition of "is" is:

Today's Bird HERE



War Memorial - Chesapeake, Virginia

Photos courtesy V.A. Shepherd


Monday, May 30, 2011


"Only the dead have seen the end of war." - Plato

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, Kanchanaburi - River Kwai - Thailand

Arlington National Cemetary, Virginia

The following is an incredible piece - brought to my attention by Theo - from the Jewish Chronicle on-line.


Col Richard Kemp's speech to 'We Believe in Israel' Conference - London, 15 May

Lieutenant Paul Mervis was a platoon commander in the British Army’s 2nd Battalion The Rifles. His company serjeant major said of him: “In my twenty years in the Army, I have never met, nor am I likely to meet, a man who cared so much about his men. He fought the corner of every single one of them.”

Paul had a razor sharp intellect and devoured military books in his desire to gain ever greater knowledge of his chosen profession. According to his platoon serjeant: “He had our utmost respect as a platoon commander, but perhaps more so as a genuine friend.”

He had an infectious sense of humour, and was always messing about and joking like one of the lads – one of his soldiers said you could hear his laugh anywhere in the base in Afghanistan – usually at someone else’s expense!

He had time for everyone, and would go out of his way to help anyone he could. He made an enormous effort to get to know as many as possible of the 600 troops in his battalion. His men were always at the forefront of his mind, and although he was their commander, every man felt he could approach him and talk about absolutely everything. Although still a young man, Paul was like a father-figure to his soldiers.

On patrol near Sangin, central Helmand, on the morning of the 12th of June last year both of Paul’s legs were blown off by a Taliban bomb hidden in the roof of a school. His men worked desperately – desperately – to save his life, but he died soon afterwards.

With enormous personal courage, he had been leading his men from the front through an area known to be laced with explosives, putting himself in danger to protect the lives of his men, risking everything to safeguard the local people, including women and children, who had been so horrifically assaulted by the Taliban.

After his death, one of the soldiers under his command, Lance Corporal Joe Ellis, said: “The Merv-dog left us this morning, surrounded by his men. He will always be part of 10 Platoon – tough riflemen who were proud to be led by him.”

Lieutenant Paul Mervis was a Jewish soldier.

He grew up in London, and was educated at King’s College School Wimbledon. He spent a gap year in Israel, studying Hebrew. During his service in Afghanistan, His sister Hannah and brother Jack sent him a provisions parcel with matzah and dried chicken soup so that he could mark the Passover festival while on duty. Paul carried a 1936 issue Soldier’s Siddur which had previously belonged to Sergeant Dave Newman, a Jewish soldier who fought in the Battle of El Alamein in World War II.

It would have been equally possible for Paul to have opted to join the Israeli Defence Forces to realise his soldierly ambitions, as do so many young British Jewish men and women. In fact he did undergo training with the IDF during his gap year before joining the British Army.

But had he joined the IDF, instead of developing into a brave, dedicated military leader concerned for the welfare of his men and taking every conceivable step to protect the civilian population, would Paul Mervis have become a callous, brutal thug, haphazardly dropping white phosphorous into the houses of innocent civilians? Would Paul Mervis have deliberately and without qualms killed women and children? Would Paul Mervis have blown up schools, raked ambulances with machinegun fire?

No. No. No. Because that image of the Israeli Defence Forces is horribly false.

This malevolent portrayal of the Israeli Defence Forces is carefully and systematically planned, cultivated, developed, expanded and relentlessly driven forward. It is the key part of what amounts to nothing less than a pernicious and increasingly dangerous global conspiracy of propaganda aimed at the total delegitimization of the state of Israel. A conspiracy that has so far exceeded in its international scope, anything dreamt of even by that master of propaganda, Dr Josef Goebbels himself, spreading the idea that Israel is so evil that it has no right even to exist, aiming for the point where that idea becomes an acceptable, mainstream argument in our societies.

It is no surprise of course that such a campaign has great popularity in the Arab and the wider Islamic world any more than Goebbels’s twisted propaganda machine succeeded in persuading so many Germans to his murderous cause. But what is truly shocking is the traction that this propaganda has gained in the west among student bodies, teachers, university authorities, academics, think tanks, human rights organizations, aid agencies, parliamentary bodies, and – perhaps most damaging of all, the mass media.

What is the evidence for this?

A favourite vehicle for the anti-Israel conspiracy is the United Nations Human Rights Council. While continuing to neglect the woefully abused rights of 350 million citizens of the Middle East, not to mention the rights of many more people the world over, the Council focuses its attention almost exclusively on Israel. The Report of the UN Fact Finding Mission into the 2009 Gaza Conflict, better known as the Goldstone Report, accused Israeli forces of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity, deliberately killing, wounding and terrorising innocent civilians.

That report was endorsed on two occasions by the General Assembly of the United Nations. But only last month, Judge Richard Goldstone retracted the most serious allegations that he had made, saying that Israel did not in fact intentionally kill or wound innocent civilians. He wrote that if he had known at the time of his investigation what he knows now, the Goldstone Report would have been a very different document. Well, I, with my far more limited resources and access, could have told him a great deal of what is now apparently new to him.

In fact, I did tell him at the time of his report, in evidence I gave to the United Nations Human Rights Council in October 2009:

“During its operation in Gaza, the Israeli Defence Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.”

I based my opinion on 30 years of experience fighting terrorists and insurgents, of my detailed study of Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, of my extensive knowledge and understanding of the Israeli Defence Forces, and of my knowledge of Hamas and its military strategy and tactics. The same strategies and tactics used by insurgents and violent jihadists in Iraq, Afghanistan and many other parts of the world.

Many people have contradicted my assertion about the IDF. But no one has been able to tell me which other army in history has ever done more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone. In fact my assertions about the steps taken in that conflict by the Israeli Defence Forces to avoid civilian deaths are inadvertently borne out by a study published by the United Nations itself. A study that shows that the ratio of civilian to combatant deaths in Gaza was by far the lowest in any asymetric conflict in the history of warfare.

The UN estimate that there has been an average three-to-one ratio of civilian to combatant deaths in such conflicts worldwide. Three civilians for every combatant killed. That is the estimated ratio in Afghanistan: three-to-one. In Iraq, and in Kosovo, it was worse: the ratio is believed to be four-to-one. Anecdotal evidence suggests the ratios were very much higher in Chechnya and Serbia.

In Gaza, it was less than one-to-one.

This extremely low rate of civilian casualties flatly contradicts many of Goldstone’s original allegations, and the bleating insistence of various other human rights groups about Israel’s alleged crimes against humanity.

As with Operation Cast Lead, the tragedy of the Gaza flotilla incident almost exactly one year ago has been widely exploited as part of the conspiracy against Israel. The anti-Israeli activists on board the ship Mavi Marmara set out deliberately to provoke the Israeli boarding party into an attack that would cause bloodshed to be exploited in the world’s media. Which of course is exactly what happened.

The Turkish humanitarian group IHH were prominent among the organizers of the Flotilla, and had purchased the Mavi Marmara for that purpose. As well as being a genuine humanitarian aid group, the IHH is a radical Islamic organization: vehemently anti-Israeli and anti-American, with extensive connections to international jihadist groups including Al Qaida.

According to a French investigative magistrate specialising in terrorism, the IHH played an important role in an Al Qaida plan to carry out a mass-casualty attack at the Los Angeles International Airport on the eve of the millennium. So – not an entirely innocent humanitarian organization attacked without justification by vicious Israeli thugs, as presented in the world media, by governments and by the UN.

The Israeli handling of the Flotilla Incident was far from a model military operation. Indeed Israel’s Turkel Commission criticised a lack of preparedness by the commandos who boarded the Mavi Marmara. But I have seen nothing to suggest that their actions amounted to a breach of international law. Many have stridently proclaimed that the Gaza blockade itself is illegal. But does the government of Israel not have the right – indeed the duty – to protect its citizens against the re-arming of Hamas and other jihadist groups in Gaza, which continue to attack the civilian population of Israel with rockets, and undoubtedly desire to expand their conflict in line with the proclaimed objective of destroying Israel as an entity?

The Royal Navy, the Irish Navy and the French Navy often boarded ships heading towards Ireland in the ’80s and searched them for munitions at a time when Gadaffi’s Libya was arming the IRA with weapons, missiles and explosives that killed hundreds of British soldiers and civilians. But unlike Israel’s blockade – which has an identical purpose – these boardings were never criticised or characterised illegal and still are not.

And I’ll bet that no-one will accuse NATO of acting unlawfully in its naval blockade of Libya which was put into place a few weeks ago. Again, an operation with an identical purpose to the Gaza maritime blockade – a blockade in which, with supreme irony Turkey – arch condemners of the Gaza blockade – is playing a role.

But why would they be criticised? These were not Israeli operations. To Israel, a completely different standard is unfairly and unrealistically applied by so many, even in the Western world, as a result of the international conspiracy of deligitimisation against Israel.

On her 63rd birthday I do not see an apocalyptic future for the State of Israel. Allah will not bring a new holocaust to the Jewish people at the hands of Islamic believers, according to the evil prophecy of Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi, spiritual guide to the Muslim Brotherhood, who are no doubt on the eve of gaining significant power in Egypt. Israel will not be “wiped off the map”. Her people will not be “driven into the sea” in accordance with the perverted vision of Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad who disposes so many of his nation’s offensive resources with such brutality against the Israeli people.

But a central aim in the conspiracy of delegitimization against Israel is to give validity and justification to attacks on Israel by groups such as Iran’s proxies Hamas and Hizballah, allowing them to strike at Israel with impunity, and encouraging the view that any retaliatory or defensive measures by Israel are by definition disproportionate and should be criminalised. The more traction this objective is allowed to gain, the greater the instability between Israel and her neighbours; the less chance of any lasting peace; the more that blood will be shed on all sides in the region.

The most powerful weapons in this conspiracy are legal, diplomatic and media. Fundamentally we are talking about a war of words. Words that are given unprecedented potency by the internet, by the globalisation of the 21st Century. Words have consequences. Look at the Goldstone Report. I have no doubt that people have died because of the hatred stirred up as a result of the endorsement of false accusations by the Goldstone Report. People who need not have died. What is said and who says it is of course very important.

There is nothing the anti-Israeli conspirators find more appetising than the support for their agenda of Jewish voices. That is why they so relished Judge Goldstone’s specious role. It is the same basis on which the Nazis prized the British Lord Haw-Haw above any of their own broadcasters. And the late, unlamented Usama bin Laden seized so hungrily upon the supportive words of Noam Chomsky.

If this is a war of words, we must also use words to counter attack. I am not suggesting that anybody should give unqualified support for Israel, or that we should not dissent on any specifics of policy or approach – even in the widest sense. I am critical of many of Israel’s actions, as indeed I am critical of many of the actions of our own democratic government here in the UK and of many of our institutions. I recognise too that the IDF is far from perfect. They make mistakes. As do the British Army. Apart from anything else the friction of war ensures it. They certainly killed people in Gaza who should not have died. As did the British Army in Northern Ireland, in Iraq and in Afghanistan. They have bad soldiers, who either through stupidity or malicious intent, disobey orders. As does the British Army. I know as well as anybody about that!

But the conspiracy that I have been discussing does not concern itself with such details as this, or with any individual policy of Israel. It seeks to undermine the right of Israel to exist as an entity. And it is this that we must stand up against, as we would stand up vigorously against any movement that seriously sought to undermine the existence of our own state. In this war of words, all that is necessary for this evil conspiracy of delegitimisation to triumph is for good men to say nothing.

I would like to conclude by adding to the theme of this conference. As a friend of Israel, of course I “believe in Israel”. As a life-long soldier I believe also in the brave, dedicated, and democratically-accountable soldiers of the Israeli Defence Forces, who sacrifice so much for the defence of Israel and for our Western democratic values.

American Cemetery, Colleville - Omaha Beach - Normandy


Memorial Day 2011

A poem by Henry Reed from World War Two captures the brutal absurdity of war as it depicts a new soldier listening to a field lecture on the various parts of a rifle and compares it to the beauty of the world around him. Unspoken is the need, from time to time, to fight for the freedom to enjoy that beauty.

Naming of Parts
By Henry Reed

Today we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had daily cleaning. And tomorrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But today,
Today we have naming of parts. Japonica
Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring gardens,
And today we have naming of parts.

This is the lower sling swivel. And this
Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see,
When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel,
Which in your case you have not got. The branches
Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
Which in our case we have not got.

This is the safety-catch, which is always released
With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me
See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy
If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
Any of them using their finger.

And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this
Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it
Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers
They call it easing the Spring.

They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy
If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt,
And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance,
Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom
Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,
For today we have naming of parts.

Re-posted from Alan Coruba's Warning Signs


Sunday, May 29, 2011



As many as half a million riders from across the country are expected to ride 
into Washington, D.C. this Memorial Day weekend for Rolling Thunder 2011; 
raising awareness about prisoners of war and missing in action.

For the riders of Rolling Thunder, the news that Sarah Palin will participate in their national rally on Sunday came as a surprise. A welcome surprise.

“I think that’s wonderful,” said Gerri Tramel, president of one of Rolling Thunder’s Tennessee chapters. “Anybody that’s involved — Republican, Democrat, independent, whatever — if you’re involved with our veterans, I think that’s wonderful. Not just Sarah Palin — anyone that’s a politician.”

The quintessential Biker Babe.

Rolling Thunder announced Thursday that Palin accepted an invitation to participate in its May 29 rally. She’ll kick off her One Nation Tour the same day, a bus trip along the northeast coast that aims “to educate and energize Americans about our nation’s founding principles.”

Asked how Palin came to be involved with the rally, Rolling Thunder spokeswoman Nancy Regg said, “I honestly don’t know.”

“I’m not the person that invited her,” she said. “We send letters to people all the time and invite them. We invited her to ride, she has accepted and she and her husband have both agreed to ride for us.”

“If she wants to support the troops, we’re all for it,” said Greg Benson, president of Rhode Island’s Rolling Thunder chapter.


Sarah Palin is expected to announce her entry into the 2012 race for the Presidency.

This is the Big Question of course. To date, no other American politician in history has suffered the kind of treatment Sarah Palin has received at the hands of the press - not even Richard Nixon, who was positively hated by the press. The Left's continued, concerted smear campaign - and her prevailing popularity despite extraordinary personal attacks against her & her family - speaks volumes of how scared the Left is of Sarah Palin. And they are scared for a reason.

Sarah Palin's message is pure conservatism: traditional family values, patriotism, applying sound economic principles to the current economic situation and restoring America's image in the world. In short, the exact opposite of everything Barack Hussein Obama and his team stands for.

America is a very traditional, conservative nation. We are not Europe and we are certainly not what is represented at the United Nations. Barack Obama got in by playing to emotions of the crowd; emotionalism overcame logic, as it will so often do. But a close inspection of the sympathies and beliefs of America reveals that no more than 20% are true liberal socialists. America does not want what Obama has brought to the table; the overwhelming Republican turnover of state & federal legislatures in the 2010 election are evidence of this, and this ball has not stopped rolling.

It took Jimmy Carter to give us Reagan - another conservative who was villified, castigated and lampooned by the Left and the establishment Washington Republicans alike. Now Obama will give us Palin. Mark my words.




Students at Southeast's Turner Elementary were fed raw onions on Tuesday, instead of the zucchini slices the school's food provider, Chartwells, said it would serve as part of a federal initiative to provide healthy food to young learners.

When Trevor Rill picked up the snack bags from the cafeteria for his third-grade class, he found bundles of raw scallions - also known as spring onion - usually reserved for cooking.

"I asked the cafeteria workers, 'Are you serious?' and they said, 'This is what they sent us,'" said Rill, one of nine City Year corps members assigned to Turner. "So I held them out and said, 'This is what we have,' and the kids went nuts. Two of them ate it in front of me and said, 'This is disgusting.'"


Turner Elementary is one of the District's 53 public elementary schools participating in the Federal Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. Under the 2008 Farm Bill, the District received $1.2 million this school year to serve students a vegetable or piece of fruit outside of breakfast and lunch hours. The program is likely to expand to more schools next year as funding increases to $1.7 million.

They can't even get a school snack program right for the District of Columbia, and yet they tell us they can administer a healthcare program for all Americans across fifty states - yeah RIGHT.

Sergeant-Major LocloMancil of 5th Special Forces Group was a full-blooded Payute Indian who served in MACV-SOG in Vietnam. He once told me, "If you expect the Federal Government to take care of you, then take a look at what happened to the American Indian."

The Nez Perce War, 1890

STORMBRINGER is not a political blog but I am a conservative and I will not stand by blind-deaf-and-dumb as the Democrats and their willing lackeys in the LLMM - Left-Leaning Liberal Mainstream Media - do everything in their power to turn this country into what I've seen first hand in Europe AND in the country of my birth, Australia; it is called S-O-C-I-A-L-I-S-M and believe you me, we do NOT want it here.

The T-E-A in Tea Party stands for Taxed Enough Already and the Tea Party is for less of this kind of Government encroachment in our lives.

Today's Bird HERE


Saturday, May 28, 2011


There's not much more I can add to this heroic adventure - read it HERE

Michael Dasher said he was fishing with his friends 
from the side of the canal when something caught the hook.

"They should just go ahead and make him Commandant of the Marine Corps now" - Neal Boortz

"Maybe when he turns 12 we can ask him to go fishing for dirtbag in Libya" - VA Shepherd

Today's Bird HERE


Friday, May 27, 2011


You're the President of the United States . . .

. . . for some kind of reason - oil? - you go to war against THIS loon . . .

. . . the combined military power & energies of Europe comes to the party and brings all their toys . . .

. . . we bomb the LIVING SNOT out of the place for over TWO MONTHS now . . .

. . . and the nutjob is STILL holding out ? ? ?

Maybe it's time top quit while you're still ahead Mister-Community-Organizer-in-Chief . . . declare victory and get the hell out of there . . . ? ? ?

Just a thought . . .

Today's Bird


Thursday, May 26, 2011


Following the creation and organization of the Confederate States government in the early months of 1861, on April 4, the Virginia Secession Convention met and voted “NO” to secession. However, on 15 April, after President Abraham Lincoln called for a 75,000-man army to invade the “rebelling” states, the Virginia Secession Convention reconvened and voted on 17 April, provisionally, to secede, on the condition of ratification by a statewide referendum.

The Governor of Virginia immediately began mobilizing the Virginia State Militia to strategic points around the state, including the assignment of Maj. Gen. Kenton Harper to the "Forces In and About Harper’s Ferry, Virginia" on 18 April. Nine days later, on 27 April, Col. Thomas J. (later “Stonewall”) Jackson, then of the Virginia State Militia, was ordered to relieve Harper. He began the task of organizing the defense of Virginia at that location. Harper’s Ferry held not only important arms production factories, but was a chokehold on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and key telegraph trunk lines connecting Baltimore and Washington, D.C. to the Ohio Valley and interior of the United States.

"Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. View of Maryland Heights at confluence of Shenandoah and Potomac rivers." Wet plate glass negative (1865) by James Gardner. Civil War glass negative collection, Library of Congress.

During this point in the Civil War, the state of Maryland's stance in the war was also not yet determined. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, then owned by the state of Maryland, ran through Maryland and along the Potomac River Valley in its pass through the Appalachian Mountains, but took a crucial turn at Harper's Ferry and passed south, through Virginia and Martinsburg while crossing the Shenandoah Valley. The railroad then continued on through much of present-day West Virginia, which then was still part of Virginia, meaning that the railroad continued for a major portion of its route through potentially “southern” territory. This exposed the railroad to raids and capture by Confederate forces if either Virginia or Maryland seceded from the Union.

As the inevitable war approached, the president of the B&O Railroad, John Garrett, who was sympathetic to the Union, did all he could to placate both sides in order to protect the railroad operations. Colonel Jackson, gathering intelligence on freight passing on the line, determined that coal was being shipped in large quantities from the Ohio Valley to Union naval bases in Baltimore which were fueling U.S. Navy warships attempting to blockade the more southern states. Jackson then devised a covert plan to destroy B&O Railroad operations while simultaneously benefiting Virginia and possibly the Confederacy.

Jackson complained to the B&O Railroad that the trains disturbed the rest of his
troops, and notified John Garrett that trains would only be allowed to pass through Harper’s Ferry between the hours of 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in order to ensure their rest was not disturbed. This timetable bottleneck caused the B&O Railroad to pile up trains in yards on either side of Harper’s Ferry in order to maximize their throughput during this new curfew.

Harper's Ferry Armory burning during the great Confederate Train Raid of 1861.

On May 24, Colonel Jackson executed a raid to cut the B&O Railroad lines east of Martinsburg and west of Point of Rocks, thereby trapping a large quantity of
rolling stock in between, especially in the rail yard at Martinsburg. Jackson sent the 5th Virginia Infantry to Cherry Run, west of Martinsburg, to sever the line in that location, and he sent Col. John D. Imboden to Point of Rocks, east of Harper's Ferry, to sever the line there. From Martinsburg, the Winchester & Ohio Railroad ran as a spur off the mainline south to Winchester, Virginia, allowing Jackson to move his captured rail assets quickly to Winchester.

With the assistance of Captain Sharp and wagoners in Winchester, Jackson’s forces moved a total of 56 locomotives with tenders and over 300 railroad cars off the B&O Railroad and into Virginia State Militia hands. The wagoners in Winchester rigged special carriages and dollies to transport this equipment, especially the disassembled locomotives, south from Winchester along the Valley Turnpike over 100 miles to Staunton, Virginia. Although the locomotives and rail cars could have been placed on the Manassas Gap Railroad at Strasburg, Virginia, this would have required their transit via the Manassas Junction, which was considered too vulnerable and risky at the time to use. In an incredible and historical feat of engineering, the Virginia militia soldiers pulled the locomotive boilers with 40-horse teams, rigged artillery-style, through downtown Winchester south on the Valley Pike to the railhead at Staunton. These captured steam locomotives were subsequently sent into service on Confederate rail lines all throughout the South.

There will be a Re-enactment of the Great Train Raid this Memorial Day weekend in Strasburg, Virginia.

Various rail assets continued to be moved up the valley through the summer months of 1861, and for a period of the next two years, many of the railroad cars were still being secretly hauled away up the Valley to points deeper south for service in Confederate hands.

On 23 May the Commonwealth of Virginia conducted its popular vote, and secession was formally ratified. Immediately Major General Joseph E. Johnston, then of the Virginia State Militia, relieved Colonel Jackson and took command at Harpers Ferry on 24 May. Shortly afterward, on 8 June, all Virginia State troops were transferred to the authority of the Confederate States.

Following the war, all but one locomotive were returned to full service in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The one locomotive not returned had been damaged by a Union raid, and was installed as the boiler for an engine in a Confederate gunboat. This railroad heist holds the record for being the largest train robbery and railroad theft in history.



. . . adds one more bastard to the list of people who PISS ME OFF ! ! !

Today's Bird HERE


Wednesday, May 25, 2011


. . . . then I'm WILSON PICKETT:

. . . my mother used to tell me that our family are of the Black Irish . . . I had no idea until just now the full meaning of this ancient wisdom . . . S.L.

Today's Bird HERE


Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Libya, World War II - British Long Range Desert Group patrol of 3 trucks.

Today's Bird HERE



Benjamin Netanyahu is the first and only Israeli prime minister born in Israel after the State of Israel's founding in 1948.

"Bibi" (a nickname of his youth) was raised in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, where he attended and graduated from the Cheltenham High School. To this day, he speaks English with an American accent. In 1967 after he graduated from high school, Netanyahu returned to Israel to enlist in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

Netanyahu served as a combat soldier and a commander in the elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit, taking part in many missions including a hostage rescue mission of the hijacked Sabena Flight 571 in May 1972; during the course of which he was wounded by friendly fire. Shortly thereafter he left the army with the rank of captain.

With the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, Netanyahu returned to Israel, joining the IDF forces battling at the Suez Canal and in the Golan Heights. After the war Netanyahu returned to complete his studies in the United States.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Combat Veteran

After the war Netanyahu returned to the United States, studied and earned a B.S. degree in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1975, an M.S. degree from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1977, and studied political science at Harvard University.

Netanyahu served as the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations from 1984 to 1988, member of the Likud Party, and was Prime Minister from June 1996 to July 1999. In Ariel Sharon's governments Netanyahu was Foreign Minister (2002–2003) and Finance Minister (2003–August 2005), but he departed over disagreements regarding the Gaza Disengagement Plan. Following the February 2009 parliamentary election, Netanyahu became Prime Minister of a coalition government. He is the brother of Israeli Special Forces commander Yonatan Netanyahu, who died during a hostage rescue mission, and Iddo Netanyahu, an Israeli author and playwright.

Lt. Col Yonatan Netanyahu (13 March 1946 - 4 July 1976), Israeli Special Forces

"Yani" - the older brother of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin - was killed leading the raid to rescue hostages at Entebbe Airport, Uganda. A Harvard University graduate, he was wounded in the 1967 Six Day War and performed great acts of heroism in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. As head of Israel's elite Sayaret Matkal unit, he was assigned the task of putting together the rescue of 103 Jewish hostages from a hijacked Air France plane being held by German and Arab terrorists at Entebbe Airport. Flying for 12 hours under enemy radar, the task force landed, rescued the hostages and were airborne in 90 minutes. During a fire-fight with Ugandan army regulars, Netanyahu was shot in the back by a sniper in the air traffic tower. After his death it was revealed that he was an agent for the Mossad as well.

Yani is buried in Mount Herzl Military Cemetary in Jerusalem.


Monday, May 23, 2011





Flames and smoke erupt from a Pakistani military air base after an attack by militants on Sunday night.

This event is significant because - along with other recent events - it indicates the Taliban/al Qaeda enemy are steadily moving from the latent & incipient stage of a guerrilla insurrection to War of Movement - S.L.

Pakistani Navy base under siege

By Bill Roggio - The Long War Journal - May 22, 2011

Terrorists attacked a Pakistani naval airbase in the city of Karachi today, sparking an hours-long battle in which several people have been killed and at least two naval aircraft were destroyed. Fighting is still ongoing and hostages have been taken, according to reports.

A large terrorist assault team, thought to be between 15 to 20 men strong, stormed Pakistani Naval Station Mehran Sunday night in a coordinated, complex attack.

The heavily armed gunmen penetrated security at the base from three gates and fanned out, attacking aircraft hangars and military personnel. Two Pakistani naval aircraft are reported to have been destroyed. The military confirmed that one P-3 Orion maritime surveillance plane was destroyed. At least three other aircraft are said to have been damaged in the attack.

Four naval personnel and four terrorists have been reported killed during the fighting. The terrorists are said to have taken hostages and have seized control of one or more buildings on the base. At least 10 terrorists are said to be holding the hostages.

Pakistani naval commandos, Marines, and Rangers have been deployed and are fighting the gunmen.

Read more HERE

Sunday, May 22, 2011


To borrow a phrase from Julie Andrews, these are a few of my favorite things . . .

Deep Purple plays Playboy After Dark

Deep Purple perform their hit "Hush" at the Playboy Mansion in October 1968, in this segment from Playboy After Dark. The clip begins with Hugh Hefner talking to the band on stage before their performance.

Not the best sound quality, but what a classic scene. Bear in mind this was 1968 - looking back at what we know now; between Ritchie Blackmore's hair and those shirts, these guys were light years ahead of their time . . . cutting edge, if anything.

The audio on this one sounds a little better:

Time Warp Bird HERE


Saturday, May 21, 2011


Saturday is last day on earth, claims evangelical Christian

Even though I've been preparing for a Mad Max post-Apocalyptic world since I was at least 15, looks like I've been cheated again . . .

And despite a 100% failure rate predicting Doomsday is apparently a VERY lucrative business model . . .

As far as I'm concerned it might AS WELL be the end of the world; I was hoping to publish Chapter One of The Streets of Africa this weekend, but the failure of the Apocalypse to appear means the 300 pages of tech eval that got dumped in my lap yesterday afternoon have to be read & understood by Monday morning . . . that and the hay has to be harvested I mean the grass has to be cut . . . several work projects . . . AND my corporate taxes are due . . .

. . . sigh! . . . to be fifteen again . . . with the End of the World ahead of me . . .

Today's Bird HERE


Friday, May 20, 2011


I bet you dollars to doughnuts these wingnuts celebrate Earth Day - S.L.

Norwalk, Conn. (AP) - A Norwalk city council member with the backing of local veterans groups is asking the city's education board to reconsider its decision to eliminate Veterans Day as a school holiday.

Councilor Kelly Straniti says she contacted the Board of Education after veterans opposed to the calendar change asked her to get involved.

The change was adopted earlier this month at the recommendation of Superintendent Susan Marks, who wanted more classroom time for students. Some of that classroom time would be spent educating students on the importance of Veterans Day.

Alfred Scudder, chairman of the Norwalk Veterans Committee, tells The Hour newspaper that the decision was "crazy."

Board of Education Chairman Jack Chiaramonte says no disrespect was meant and he's willing to listen to the veterans' concerns.

They defended the nation. It is only right and proper to teach our children to honor them.

Today's Bird HERE


Thursday, May 19, 2011


Hokay Team -

It looks like Kindle is the way to go with this self-publishing thing. I just downloaded the freeware - you can do it too; that way you can read the novel as I crank it out, chapter by chapter.

The entire project is starting to come together and I might actually post the first chapter this weekend - "God willing and the river don't rise."

A question I fired out to my cabal of writer friends & family (I come from a family of writers): "Should I write my novel in the 1st person or 3d person? Conrad wrote Heart of Darkness in the 1st person; MacLean wrote Where Eagles Dare in the 3d person- which is best for my work?"

During alpine training in 10th Group we used to always kid about: "When do we train for doing the ice-axe battle on top of the cable car?

More details to follow as I get my head around the techie side of this project.

Thanks all of you for all of your support -