Wednesday, November 30, 2011

WHAT MADE HIM TICK?

Robert Lewis Howard (July 11, 1939 – December 23, 2009) was a highly decorated United States Army Special Forces soldier, who recieved the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War. He was wounded 14 times over 54 months of combat, was awarded 8 Purple Hearts, 4 Bronze Stars, and was nominated for the Medal of Honor three separate times. He was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on February 22, 2010.


video


He was Major Howard back then, and he used to run with us when they were torturing us out in Phase I. We all knew how shot up he was, and from our point of view he was older than dirt, even though I'm older now than he was then. I once heard a troop ask him, during one of those infamous Camp MacKall Death Runs through the ankle-gripping sands of the Pine Barrens; "Why do you do it, sir? Why do you run with us?"

"Because, son," he puffed, "this is what I do."

He was a Soldier's Soldier.

Honor him.


STORMBRINGER SENDS




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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

WHEN IN NASCAR . . .

My adopted home The Great American Southland has contributed much to the American Culture - the Blues, Barbecue, Moonshine and . . . NASCAR ! ! !

Mind you, as a transplant from the British Commonwealth, it took me a long time to understand and appreciate NASCAR for what it really is.


It's like no other motorsport anywhere in the world . . . all they do is just go around and around and around in circles!


When I first came to the South, I simply did not understand NASCAR - it is nothing like the Grand Prix, or my favorite the Le Mans 24 Hour Road Marathon. In fact I didn't get it until fairly recently, and of all people it was a Birkenstock-wearing Earth Mother-type professor of Ancient History who explained it to me: "You think your modern professional sports franchises are something? The longest running professional sports franchise in history was Roman chariot racing. It went for over six hundred years, continuously, and it had all the same components of modern team sports. In fact it's still going on."

"Huh?"

"You ain't never heard of NASCAR?"



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I never looked at NASCAR the same from that point on. When Special Forces saw fit to send me to driving school - they called it Military Mobility Force Protection but really it's Demolition Derby meets Mad Max - I came to appreciate NASCAR from the drivers' point of view; swapping paint at speed, drafting right up on the bumper of the guy in front. Sure, it takes nerves of steel, but once you understand exactly how much air you have to work with between the outer body and the critical components - radiator and tires - and the fact that even if the guy you're drafting on totally locks up his brakes, he'll still be moving forward at a significant rate of speed - it puts a whole new perspective on your daily commute.


This year's NASCAR season went out with some notoriety when First Lady Michelle Obama was booed by the crowd at the Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Sprint Cup finale.




This event was the subject of some rather heated dinner table conversation over Thanksgiving dinner this year - unlike last year, however, guns were not present. My hosts were scandalized that the First Lady of the United States was booed by the crowd. My position is that you've got to know your audience - what happened at NASCAR should be no more surprising than going to a hockey game and seeing a fight break out.


Let Them Eat Arugula

Michelle Obama conducts herself like Marie Antoinette, with her opulent vacations and lifestyle - the difference being that the Queen of France was on her own dime; you and I paid for Michelle jetting four hundred of her friends to the most exclusive resort in Spain and putting them all up for a week in $2000 dollar-a-night hotel rooms. The First Lady and her husband carry themselves in a certain manner that seems to be summed up by comments Barack himself uttered when he thought the mikes were off:

"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them . . . they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

The crowd that booed First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, the wife of the Vice-President, are the Bitter Clingers. I myself am a Bitter Clinger; in that I like guns, I am religious, and unlike Michelle, my better half didn't have to run for President of the United States for me to be proud of my country.

I am also a student of ancient Greece and Rome - the Classic Era - and remarkably, what happened last week at NASCAR has parallels in the ancient world.

The ancient Roman and Byzantine empires had well-developed associations, known as demes, which supported the different factions (or teams) under which competitors in certain sporting events competed; this was particularly true of chariot racing. There were four major factional teams of chariot racing, differentiated by the colour of the uniform in which they competed; the colors were also worn by their supporters; these were the Blues, the Reds, the Greens, and the Whites.


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The team associations represented various social and political issues of the society. They combined aspects of street gangs and political parties, and frequently tried to affect the policy of the emperors by shouting political demands between the races. The Imperial forces and guards in the city could not keep order without the cooperation of the circus factions.

Things came to a head on January 13, 532 AD. Iin Constantinople - seat of the Eastern Roman Empire - a tense and angry populace arrived at the Hippodrome for the races. The Hippodrome was next to the palace complex from where the Emperor Justinian could safely watch and preside over the races. From the start the crowd had been hurling insults at Justinian. By race 22, the partisan chants had changed from "Blue" or "Green" to a unified "Nika" (Nίκα) meaning "Win!" or "Conquer!"). What happened next was the crowds broke out and began to assault the palace. For the next five days the palace was under virtual siege. The fires that started during the tumult resulted in the destruction of much of the city.


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Justinian, in despair, attempted to flee the city by ship, but his wife Theodora met him at the dock and is said to have refused to go, saying, "Purple (the color of the royal robes) is a good color for a funeral!" This is possibly the origin of the saying: "Behind every great man is a great woman."

The conclusion of the riotous rebellion involved about thirty thousand rioters reportedly killed, Justinian's political rivals also executed or sent into exile, and the total consolidation of Justinian's rule over what became the Byzantine Empire.

For the record, I do not endorse the behavior of the race crowd last week in Miami. My point is that the next time the crowd turns ugly on a political theme, it will not be the first time. And Michelle Obama should be aware that if she is going to behave like Marie Antoinette, she should not forget how THAT particular episode of history played out.



STORMBRINGER SENDS


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Sunday, November 27, 2011

SPECIAL FORCES EQUALS GREEN BERETS. GOT IT?



This was posted on military.com - the author has said what I can never say, so I'm reposting it here - S.L.


November 18, 2011
Associated Press | by Kimberly Dozier

The U.S. Army Special Forces Green Berets get plenty of acclaim - sometimes too much. Often it's a case of mistaken identity. "Special Forces" means specifically - and only - Green Berets, as some Green Berets will tell you through gritted teeth.

All Special Operations Forces tend to get called - incorrectly - "Special Forces" and many in the military are trying to borrow their job description: training foreign forces to fight America's enemies overseas.

In a climate of shrinking budgets, the Green Berets are branding themselves as the go-to force for counterinsurgency that can do the job with fewer troops than conventional forces.


US Army Special Forces Green Berets training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.


As the Pentagon divvies up money and missions, the Green Berets want to make sure their job isn't handed to someone else.

It's not that the Green Berets don't have their hands full. Some 87 percent of the deployed force is in the general area of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the Pentagon has ordered their 8,500-strong force expanded by 1,000 over the past four years because they are so much in demand, Brig. Gen. Ed Reeder, the Special Forces commander, said in an interview with The Associated Press.
But sometimes, they feel less than appreciated, especially when just about everyone gets the name wrong.

Ever since the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan earlier this year, even the Commander-in-Chief has used "Special Forces" to refer to ALL Special Operations Forces - from SEALs to Army Rangers to Air Force Special Tactics. Many inside the Pentagon don't know the difference.


US Navy SEALs aren't the only ones who do maritime operations - in Special Forces we're called Combat Divers


The Special Forces were established in 1952, but Kennedy approved the namesake headgear in 1961.


"First Formation," October 12, 1961: Brigadier General Yarborough presents US Army Special Forces troops to President Kennedy at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.


Kennedy saw the Green Berets as key to his battle against Communism, using "unconventional warfare" - teaching local forces to overthrow the local government or leader, fighting alongside them to provide expertise, intelligence and logistical support.


Guerrilla warfare, Indochina 1958-1973: Vietnam-era US Army Special Forces with their Montagnard counterparts.


When the U.S. responded to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Green Berets were the first military forces deployed, Reeder said, together with CIA operatives. They provided Afghanistan insurgents firepower, direction and intelligence to help unseat the Taliban in just 43 days.

Read the rest of it HERE





Today's BIRD



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Saturday, November 26, 2011

WHAT WE NEED TO DO TO FIX IT - Part 1

The Warrior always has a plan. I've got a plan. Herman Cain has a plan, and he tells us what it is. If Obama has a plan, he doesn't dare tell us what it is because if he did nobody would vote for him. The Occupiers don't have a plan - their beef is that The Machine is broken and The Dream is dead, but all they want to do about it is break it more. That's not a plan; at least not a plan for success. What the Occupiers have got going falls under the category: "If you're not a part of the Solution you're a part of the Problem."

This is Part I - it is a long post but I encourage you scroll down and read on . . . I came up with The Plan, is doable and it is worthy - when I explained my Plan to a noted author and economist (who shall remain unnamed for the time being) he exclaimed that if I publish it I will become famous. I replied, "I'm already famous, I've got the best kind of fame because I'm famous, but nobody knows who I am . . . S.L.



RIGHT - so what's your plan, man? Oh, you don't have a plan? . . . R-I-G-H-T . . .


There's not much you or I as private citizens can do to influence or affect the Powers-That-Be - those who run the Federal Government - but we should care and I'll explain why. And if anyone asks what I would do about it; at least I've got a Plan.


The 5 W's:

The first part of any plan is the Mission Statement; the Mission Statement identifies an Objective. Inherent in the Mission Statement is The Problem; that is the What and the Why. The Objective - and how to achieve it - is described by the Who / Where / When and How Many. In war, The Problem is subjective in nature, it is inferred: "Defeat the Enemy and Win the War." To me, the Problem we are facing is equally obvious, but I will state it anyway, because it is complex in nature:



WHAT:

Our country is 15 TRILLION dollars in debt.

Think about that: a billion is a thousand million. A Trillion is a billion billion - I can't even imagine what a billion looks like, never mind a billion of them.

And the debt is constantly increasing - at a rate so unreal it's unfathomable. At this rate, we'll never pay off the interest, let alone put a dent in the principle.




It's difficult to do math with numbers this large, that get larger at a nearly exponential rate every second. I took a couple of shortcuts just to give us some ballpark figures to get an idea of the size of the problem:

A deficit of $1.42 trillion, divided by 307,006,550 population equals about
$4,625.30

That is the amount each one of us would have to pay - just to pay the annual deficit for last year.

But the debt is over 1000 times that; more than $15,000,000,000,000 as of last week.

However, this does include some inter-agency debt (like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Defense, etc. The best numbers I could get to work with to estimate the share of the debt per American person starts with the national debt at:

$14,266,000,000,000

Divided among the working aged population, at 2009 figures, each worker owes roughly:

$135,571.00

Divided among the working population (ie. paying taxes) of 76,974,000, each worker owes roughly:

$185,335.00

At a 3% rate over 30 years, that comes to $781.38 a month - on top of all your other bills, everything - that's IF there was a bank that could ever finance this monster.

But there isn't. The bank doesn't exist. The MONEY doesn't exist, even if a mortgage broker somewhere could package this thing as a financial instrument.




And that is the crux of The Problem: We're OUT of MONEY. There is no more. No more money; we reached the end of the borrow pit a long time ago and just kept digging ourselves deeper and deeper into debt.



WHO:

Our country - that means you, the person reading this post - me, and everybody else. All of us:

We. Are. FIFTEEN TRILLION DOLLARS. In debt.


And the whole rest of the world is in the potential hurt locker as well. America sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold. Or in this case, the economic equivalent of the Black Plague.


There's no 'Every man for himself'; we're all in this together.



WHEN:

When does all this take place? When does the train run off the rails, the whole kit-and-kaboodle go down the toilet?

Soon.

Next week, next month - a very real possibility we lose it all before the end of the year. Early in the first quarter of next year, at the latest; they can't just keep printing money forever.

So when do we have to do something about it?

NOW. The Government - Congress, President Obama - have failed, for purely political reasons. The SuperCommittee was never intended to accomplish anything because the Democrats want to blame the Republicans for being a 'Do Nothing Congress'. But the clock has run out on political games; we are in Damage Control status and Emergency Measures must be implemented IMMEDIATELY.



WHERE:

All over the place; Europe, the States, repercussions throughout the robust economies of Asia, the Sand Countries of the Middle East, the narco-terror infested mess down South, and the continent-in-crisis known as Africa. You think Occupy Wall Street is a sideshow? Just wait until you see the madness that is going to erupt in financial power nodes in New York, Chicago, LA, Paris, Berlin, and of course London, and Rome.

Am I the only one who remembers it was a fruit vendor in Tunisia upset at ever-increasing police kickbacks who kicked off the entire Arab Spring? Think about that - a street merchant frustrated at the price of doing business - i.e. illegal taxes - how many thousands of dead have piled up already?



The WHY and the HOW MANY and The Plan itself are covered in Part 2 - scroll down . . .



STORMBRINGER SENDS


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"IF I TOLD YOU I'D HAVE TO KILL YOU . . . "

" . . . then cut your head off and put it in a safe."

National Reconnaissance Office Dragon Patch – Extremely sinister, screams “Imperialism / New World Order / Illuminati.” The NRO is actually a classified US Government agency involved with highly-classified signals and intelligence-gathering satellites.



MINOTAUR is a still-classified program at Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs Division a.k.a. the Skunk Works.



“WE OWN THE NIGHT” – This patch commemorates the August 17, 2000, launch of a “classified National Reconnaissance Office payload” atop a Titan IV rocket.


The Tri-Service Standoff Attack Missile was a classified cruise missile symbolized by the Tasmanian Devil. The acronym TSSAM recalled the cartoon character.



“TO SERVE MAN” is a reference to a classic Twilight Zone episode . . . the 509th Bomb Wing flew B-2 Stealth Bomber test flights, and used to be based at Roswell, New Mexico; home of the notorious ‘Roswell Incident‘ - I have a buddy who flew the B-2 with this outfit.



The origins of this patch with it’s glowing eyed green wizard creature remains something of an enigma. The red star is in the Southwest - home of many secret units - the 'Green Door' is an obvious reference to the iconic 70's porn film featuring the late, great Marilyn Chambers. This patch suggests that green vaults are somehow related to military intelligence.


Today's BIRD


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WHAT WE NEED TO DO TO FIX IT - Part 2

Am I the only one who remembers it was a fruit vendor in Tunisia upset at ever-increasing police kickbacks who kicked off the entire Arab Spring? Think about that - a street merchant frustrated at the price of doing business - i.e. illegal taxes - how many thousands of dead have piled up already?


This is Part II of a lengthy piece that I was encouraged to write by a noted author and economist who shall remain unnamed for the time being . . . S.L.




Nice plan there, Freakazoid. NOT.



WHY:

Think about all that debt; that debt is actually DEFERRED INFLATION. The way we are going about it the only way we can ever pay the debt is by printing money, which actually decreases the face value of our money. How do you think the price of gasoline went from two dollars a gallon three years ago, to four dollars a gallon today? And if you think four dollars a gallon is steep, just wait until it reaches TWELVE dollars a gallon; they're already paying that in Europe.

And if that isn't bad enough, the entire economy of Europe is getting ready to go off the rails. And when it does, it's going to take us down with us.




Spain, Italy and Greece are worse than bankrupt, they are so far in the red they'll never climb out, and France and Germany are expected to bail them out, because they all have one currency - the Euro - this is the Euro Zone:




The trouble with this scenario is that France has trouble enough with her economy, and millions of factory workers in Germany don't want to know anything about Italy, Spain and Greece except what they see there on their state-financed annual six-week vacations.

So what, you say? Who cares about a bunch of Euros? Generations of writing themselves blank checks for Euro-socialist pie-in-the-sky freebies got them to where they are and now that its time to pay the piper, we're supposed to sweat it? We've had to pay our own way over here all along, and they're rioting and demonstrating because they can't retire on full pay at 50 anymore, because they're going to have to kick in toward their college educations? What, you want sympathy from us?

Well, yeah - because when their thing fails, we go over the cliff with them. American financial institutions don't have a lot of European government bonds, but what we do have are utilities; think water companies and electric companies of Spanish, Italian and Greek cities and towns that are all getting ready to go kaput and not be able to pay their debtors - us.

On top of that, when American products are beyond the reach of the Euro consumer class - everything from cars and outboard engines to computers and cellphones - that's a huge chunk missing out of our already hurting economy. Never mind the fact that a German automobile will now cost $75,000 more than it costs right now - we can do without, right? - but if you already own a European car, the parts are going to cost about four times what they cost now. And you can forget about trying to sell that sucker - who wants a money pit like that to tool around in?

We must pay off the debt, or at slow it down and reverse it, AND we must bail out the Euros - the very real, and very rapidly approaching alternative - is unthinkable.



HOW MANY:

OK this is how we go about getting a handle on this beast known as The Debt, and stand ready to tackle the gathering stormclouds over Euro - which will turn into a financial Force Five Hurricane any day now.



PLAN STORMBRINGER:


Slay the Beast!


1) REPEAL OBAMACARE. That will take care of a huge chunk of the problem right there. To finance this trainwreck they're already cannibalizing budgets of existing programs like Medicare, my personal favorite TriCare, not to mention handouts to the States, etc. Getting rid of this poorly-drafted piece of government largess that we have no way of paying for in the first place will go a long way toward paying off the debt.


2) Sell NASA. That's right - sell it, as a step in the right direction toward chopping and cutting the U.S. Government down to a manageable size.

Think about it - NASA doesn't send anyone into space anymore. In fact, there are civilian agencies going about doing this, and doing it a lot more cost-effectively than NASA ever did. The era of strapping tiny little tin cans on top of gigantic chemical rockets to beat the force of gravity has come and gone; the less-is-more approach is a new generation of air-to-space-and-back-again rocket planes that make the Space Shuttle look like the boxy Seventies behemoth that it is.


Old, meet New.



Columbus discovered America as a government-financed project, but shortly thereafter the New World was developed and exploited commercially. The time has come to do the same thing with the Space Program: sell NASA.

We simply can't afford to have an Outer Space Muslim Outreach Program, and while we're at it, we need to scrub that stupid high-speed rail system that nobody wants or needs. A mobilized continent that transports itself at will by air-filled rubber over cement has no need of a Euro-style rail system that won't take you everywhere you want to go.


3) Cut Taxes Down to Twenty-One Percent. That's right - "Flat Tax". Herman Cain's number is 9-9-9; but that comes to 27 percent, which is more than I'm paying now. I like sevens, so 7-7-7 equals 21% - twenty-one is another favorite number of mine. Or even better 5-5-5 for 15%. Free up all that money, put it back into people's pockets and the economy would blossom and expand like a mushroom cloud over Bikini Atoll - think of it as a stimulus program WITHOUT channeling the money through the federal infrastructure. Talk about cutting out the middle man.


4) Across-The-Board Ten Percent Cut in Government Spending - Effective IMMEDIATELY. Every time the subject of cutting government spending comes up, everybody involved has their favorite programs - their Sacred Cows - that nobody can cut. Defense is a classic example - NOBODY wants to be associated with cutting the Defense budget, that's political Kryptonite!

The solution to this is EVERYBODY gets the cut - no exceptions. Defense, Entitlements, EVERYTHING.

If we cut the federal budget - not just spending but projected increases - by ten percent effective immediately - we'd not only slow this thing down, we'd turn it around. Having worked in and around the government and having seen the absolute waste and redundancy that goes on over there, I can tell you they would never miss the ten percent.

Let me tell you about wasteful government spending I have seen first hand. The U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg - a.k.a. SWC or "Swick" - is my alma mater: the headquarters Bryant Hall is six floors of swivel-seat polishers and government bureaucrats. The general who ran the place when I was there proclaimed that as the world's premier organization for training unconventional warfare, what was needed was a world-class entrance portal. A million dollars of polished steel, marble and glass later and he got just that. Never mind that million dollars would have gone a long way toward taking care of some of the equipment and training ammunition shortgages for the troops - a commander has got to have his priorities in order.

The career-progression formula goes like this; you do your time in Special Forces. Toward the end of your career you get a deskflying assignment at SWC. This is known as the ROADS Program - "Retired On Active Duty". This where you sit around as a bureaucrat-in-training, preparing yourself for your post-retirement career as a cube-dweller, exchanging cheesecake recipes with your fellow bureaucrats. There needs to be a bit of institutional memory within an organization like that, but honestly you could knock four floors of bureaucrats out of the six and that organization would work just fine.

In the best traditions of military redundacy, the entire organization is replicated across the street at Headquarters, Special Warfare Training Group a.k.a. SWTG(A) (A is Airborne) and the Institute for Military Assistance (IMA), who do exactly the same as USAJKSWCS, minus DOTD (Doctrine Training and Development) which is the one part of Bryant Hall that actually does something.


BIG WHEEL KEEPS ON SPINNING:

Any G.I. will tell you about the waste that goes on in the military; have a look at all the food they throw away in the dumpsters behind any Army messhall. But wait there's more. Everytime a unit gets ready to deploy into 'The Box' they can tap into an 'operational expenses' fund. That's where all the guys get those $100-a-pair Oakley sunglasses and $80-a-pair shooting gloves. Most of the units walking around Iraq and Afghanistan have $400 holo-sights on their M4s - I'm talking even truck drivers and personnel clerks - and they don't even know how to use them! I've got a $250 Suunto wristwatch with an altimeter and a barometer, Uncle Sam tossed my way. It's for climbing mountains; I use it as an alarm clock.

During the early phases of the Afghanistan experience, I encountered a staff officer with the 3d Special Forces Group - my old outfit. He explained to me that the guidance coming down from headquarters, US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) was that anything the teams on the ground requested, they got. Anything, no questions asked; they're Special Forces fighting a war - give it to them. One team put in a request for twelve Nintendo DS portable game systems. They got them. How much do you think those $100 game boys cost by the time they were specially air delivered, half a world away, by parachute? Puts a whole new meaning into the phrase "shipping and handling."

Then there are the Sacred Cows I mentioned before, and the Rice Bowls. A good example is the Crusader Self-Propelled Howitzer Program, a two-vehicle tracked artillery behemoth that finally died a horrible death in 2001 - but not before Team Crusader had racked up bazillions of dollars worth of R&D for a thing that was obsolete a decade before it was ever conceived. We needed this thing like we needed a hole in the head, but the tread-heads have their M-1 Abrams tanks, and the rotor-heads have their Apache Longbows, so the cannon-cockers had to have this thing, which looks like it comes from a bad science fiction movie:




The Crusader concept consisted of two vehicles, the XM2001 155mm self-propelled howitzer and the XM2002 armoured resupply vehicle. The 155mm self-propelled howitzer had fully automated ammunition handling and capable of firing up to ten rounds a minute to ranges in excess of 40km. The fully automated ammunition handling system allowed the three-man resupply crew to automatically transfer up to 48 rounds of ammunition and fuel to the howitzer in less than 12 minutes. The resupply vehicle itself could be fully loaded with fuel and 110 rounds of ammunition in less than 60 minutes.




Never mind the fact that in the age of drone-mounted Hellfire missiles and AC-130 gunships, artillery is obsolete anyway - the Crusader THING had morphed into the ultimate Sacred Cow. It was the Rice Bowl of a LOT of General officers, their staffs, and their replicant civilian bureaucracies.

Now multiply that by a million and a million again and you get some idea of the sheer waste of government; much of which is beyond oversight. Cut it I say, and I'm not talking a lot. Cut ten percent across-the-board and they'd never miss it; cut the junkets and the symposiums in Las Vegas, cut the goodies and the treats, cut the useless departments and programs and bureaucracies that are duplicated and redundant throughout the system. We can't afford them anymore; we never could afford them in the first place. A ten percent across-the-board cut in EVERYTHING and you know what I'd call that? A GOOD START.



STORMBRINGER SENDS


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Friday, November 25, 2011

STOLEN VALOR AT OCCUPY?

Prologue:

In the spring of 2008 I took my daughter on a trip to visit Washington DC, where we were received in the offices of Senator Libby Dole and escorted on a personal tour of the Capitol building. Afterward, as we made our way to the Metro at Union Station, we encountered the Code Pink protesters and their compadres, the Iraqi Veterans Against the War - an advocacy group of Iraq War veterans, Afghanistan War veterans, and other veterans opposed to U.S. operations in the Middle East.

I walked right past these kids holding up their banner - they were hard to avoid - my face six inches away from theirs as I walked right past them. I was still on active duty at that time, had about a month left to go. Never mind the haircut, you can tell I'm a soldier, I stand out a mile away. The 'Veterans' were wearing DCU desert cami's, tan t-shirts, and boonie hats. None of these boonie hats had been worn down range - here's how you could tell: they were still stiff and clean, the only creases were from storage in the box they came in. No sweat stains, the fabric hadn't been softened up from countless cycles through the washing machine. Their uniforms were the same way, new.


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Boots that have been soldiered in.


I own two or three pairs of desert boots and they're thrashed. The suede leather smooths out, the fine dust of the desert gets into the fabric sides of the boots and they discolor. The boots these so-called 'Veterans' wore were brand spanking new, and so were the guys wearing them; young, smooth and wet-behind-the-ears. I'm sure there were veterans within their ranks, but the ones I saw that day looked like they'd washed out their first week in Basic; that was my impression.



Fast forward to The Occupy Movement:

Christopher M. Simmance claims he saw combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. The trouble is his claims are not supported by Army records.




In several media interviews Simmance claims that he served as many as three tours in combat and that he was severely wounded in Afghanistan. the problem is that his service records show he was stationed at Fort Lewis, Wash., for three years and he left the active-duty Army in January 2001 - BEFORE the 9/11 terror attacks. Simmance claims his Army records are incomplete, and he stands by his claims of seeing combat:

"Everything I've told you is completely true; I've got nothing to hide."



I Smell a Phony Wannabe:

* In an Oct. 23 interview with The Buffalo News, Simmance identified himself as a former staff sergeant with the U.S. Army Special Forces who was wounded by a rocket-propelled grenade while serving in Afghanistan.

* Eleven days earlier, his photo accompanied a News article about Occupy Buffalo, after Simmance told a staff photographer he was a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

* An October 11th story on Channel 4's website refers to Simmance as an "Army Special Services" sergeant. Simmance told the TV station he saw combat in Afghanistan, Iraq and Gaza and he claimed he only has 10 years to live because of his injuries.


"Army Special Services" - that's a long-time inside joke in Special Forces. "Special Services" are the guys who hand out basketballs in the gym - S.L.


* In an interview in press in February 2008, Simmance said then that he saw combat while serving with an international peacekeeping force in the Middle East in 2001, with no reference to Afghanistan or Iraq.

* In November 2008, in another News article, Simmance said he was taking up to four prescription drugs a day, and had seen four or five psychiatrists for his post-traumatic stress disorder.

His Army records show Simmance served in the active-duty Army from Jan. 12, 1998 to Jan. 11, 2001, that he left active-duty service with the rank of E4, or specialist, not staff sergeant, and that he was stationed at Fort Lewis for the duration of his active-duty service. His primary military occupation specialty, or MOS, in the Army was infantry, according to the Army records, and his secondary MOS was mortar. No medals or awards that would indicate service in an overseas combat zone.



Documentation:

Simmance has a passport he said was stamped in the countries where he was deployed. Additionally, he has shown several ID cards issued by the U.S. Army and the Department of Veterans Affairs. These verify that he served in the U.S. Army, but they do not contain any information that indicate combat service.

When asked, Simmance insists his records are incomplete.

He said he was sent to the Gaza strip for seven months following the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in a Yemeni port, though he also said he served in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.


OK - put this together with the bit about an international peacekeeping force in the Middle East in 2001 - maybe he did a tour with the MFO in the Sinai, and he was there at the time of the attack on the USS Cole October 12, 2000. But if he got out in January 2001, that's cutting it pretty close. I doubt a peacetime Army would have deployed a guy who was due to ETS three months after his projected return date. Unless he was kicked out, that is. The normal practice prior to 9/11was to extend a guy's ETS date six months or have him re-enlist before deployment. - S.L.



Valley of Elah:

Simmance claims he deployed for the first time to Afghanistan in 2001 and that he served in the "Valley of Elah."

The Valley of Elah is the site where the Biblical battle between David and Goliath took place. It also is the name of a 2007 movie, but there is no Valley of Elah in Afghanistan.

In 2004, his unit was deployed to Iraq. Asked where he served, he said "Route Irish." That's a military designation for a section of the road connecting Baghdad's International Zone to the Baghdad Airport. Troops never name a route when they describe where they served; they name a camp or a firebase. Interestingly enough, "Route Irish" is also the name of a 2010 foreign film.

Simmance claims he went back to the "Valley of Elah" from February 2006 to March 2007, and, after returning from that deployment, he was ordered back to Afghanistan's "Congo Valley" in April 2007. Trouble is, there is no Congo Valley in Afghanistan.

Bret Mandell, who met Simmance at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Batavia, thinks Simmance was mistakenly referring to the Korangal Valley, the setting for the 2010 documentary film "Restrepo." Simmance said it was on that final deployment, in June 2008, that he was wounded by an RPG that broke his jaw and ribs and caused other internal injuries.

Mandell, a graduate student living in Arlington, Va., said he first trusted Simmance but eventually came to doubt his stories. Simmance has no visible injuries consistent with an RPG attack, though he has claimed on several occasions that he was wounded in combat: "He started with a roadside bomb, then he moved onto an RPG," said Mandell, who served in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan and Iraq.



Facts vs Fantasy:

His own mother, Denise Simmance, suggests that Simmance is exaggerating his military service. In a press interview in November 2008 she shared details of Simmance's experiences in Iraq, including the horrific task of pulling body parts out of the rubble of a bombed home. Now, she doesn't believe any of it. She says that when she challenged him on his assertions, Christopher Simmance became defensive. "Our relationship is severely damaged," his mother said. "I cannot confirm any of what he said."


That's pretty damning.


Simmance claims he was in Afghanistan in 2006. However, Denise Simmance says that she and her husband visited their son for 10 days during that time, in Seattle.

Denise Simmance said her son drove back to Buffalo from Seattle in June 2007, while Simmance said he still was serving in Afghanistan at that time.

Simmance also puts himself in Afghanistan in February 2008, the same month when a Buffalo News reporter and photographer met with him in Buffalo.



War Hero or Phony Wannabe? YOU decide - comment below . . .


STORMBRINGER SENDS






Today's BIRD


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THANKS, PREZ

I'm not political but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what side of the line I come down on:




Obama Phones It In . . .


The Gloomster-in-Chief


Obama Omits God



What I'm thankful for . . .



STORMBRINGER SENDS


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Thursday, November 24, 2011

THE REAL STORY OF THANKSGIVING . . .

. . . by Rush Limbaugh





I love this story told by Rush Limbaugh on what is the real meaning and lessons of the first Thanksgiving. Every year I print it out and put it in my pocket. I wait until our Thanksgiving dinner is consumed, and over coffee and brandy, I like to share with everybody the wisdom below. -S.L.



As told in his book 'See I Told You So' Chapter Six: "Dead White Guys or What Your History Books Never Told You," on page 70 Rush explains that the REAL story of the First Thanksgiving is the lesson of the abject failure of Collectivism or Socialism and the triumph of Free Market Capitalism.

The original contract the Pilgrims entered into with merchant-sponsors in London called for everything produced to go into a common store and for every member of the community to be entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community as well. This is the essence of Socialism. What happened with this early experiment? Their leader William Bradford writes:

"For the young men that were able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children, without recompense. The strong, or men of parts, had no more division of food, clothes, etc. then he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labor, and food, clothes, etc. with the meaner and younger sort, thought it some indignant and disrespect unto them. And for men’s wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc. they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could man husbands brook it."

Bradford goes on:

"The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years… that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing — as if they were wiser than God," Bradford wrote. "For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense… that was thought injustice."

So what did Bradford’s community try next? They harnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the capitalistic principle of private property. Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result?

"This had very good success," wrote Bradford, "for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been . . ."

In no time, the Pilgrims found they had more food than they could eat themselves. So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians. The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London. And the success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans and began what came to be known as the "Great Puritan Migration."

Now, other than on this program every year, have you heard this story before? Is this lesson being taught to your kids today -- and if it isn't, why not? Can you think of a more important lesson one could derive from the pilgrim experience?

So in essence there was, thanks to the Indians, because they taught us how to skin beavers and how to plant corn when we arrived, but the real Thanksgiving was thanking the Lord for guidance and plenty -- and once they reformed their system and got rid of the communal bottle and started what was essentially free market capitalism, they produced more than they could possibly consume, and they invited the Indians to dinner, and voila, we got Thanksgiving, and that's what it was: inviting the Indians to dinner and giving thanks for all the plenty is the true story of Thanksgiving.

The last two-thirds of this story simply are not told.

Now, I was just talking about the plenty of this country and how I'm awed by it. You can go to places where there are famines, and we usually get the story, "Well, look it, there are deserts, well, look it, Africa, I mean there's no water and nothing but sand and so forth."

It's not the answer, folks. Those people don't have a prayer because they have no incentive. They live under tyrannical dictatorships and governments.

The problem with the world is not too few resources. The problem with the world is an insufficient distribution of capitalism.


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"May God bless our families health, table and stores with venison and good spirits!"

- Deacon of Doom, Thanksgiving 2009


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. God bless,


STORMBRINGER SENDS


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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

OCCUPY BAGHRAM

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What are the differences between Occupy and the Tea Party?


OCCUPY:


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TEA PARTY:

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OCCUPY:

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TEA PARTY:

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ANY QUESTIONS?


Courtesy We The People of the Republic
Dane County Wisconsin

www.DaneCountyTeaParty.org




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STORMBRINGER SENDS




Today's Bird



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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

WRONG ON SO MANY LEVELS . . .

Latest PETA Propaganda Outrage Offends Sight as well as Sensibility



A new ad by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals featuring a turkey with the head of a dog, reads, "Kids: If you wouldn't eat your dog, why eat a turkey? Go Vegan."

The immediate goal is to stop shoppers from buying turkeys for Thanksgiving, but PETA admits it is targeting children like other advertisers.

"It's important to teach kids because they are young enough to have open minds that animals are not food. They do feel pain," said Bryan Wilson, a PETA spokesman.

This just goes to show once more how stupid vegetarians are in general, particularly the whacko extremists at PETA.

First of all, there's a world of difference between Dog - a.k.a Man's Best Friend and long time companion since the caveman days - and a bird so stupid that in captivity they have been known to look up when it rains, staring open-mouthed in wonder until they drown.

Let's establish something straight right here from the git go: Man occupies the top of the Food Chain for a reason, and the animals are here on this Earth to serve us. In the case of the turkey, that service includes with stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce and potatoes on the side.

Dog, on the other hand, serves us by showing extreme loyalty, and working hard to protect us and also to keep us warm on cold winter nights. My dogs are more than human, they are G-O-D spelled backwards. In fact, the more people I meet, the more I love my dogs.


"Loyal"


There is a special symbiotic relationship between dogs and humans that is unique throughout the Animal Kingdom. Not even cats are as close to their human masters as are dogs. The bond between Humankind and Dogkind is extraordinary, it's a beautiful thing. Dog will stand by his Master 'till the dying day. In fact, Dog will stand by his Master, follow him to the ends of the Earth, face off against any danger with absolute total disregard for his own safety, and willingly DIE for the Master if the situation so warrants it. History is replete with stories of hero dogs rescuing young children, fending off wild animals, saving the day time and again.

I have scoured the internet and have yet to find a single occasion of a turkey ever doing anything that even comes close, short of saving us from starvation during the Pilgrim experience, and all they did then was just be there. They don't even do tricks.


I don't know what offends me more; PETAs sick comparison of dogs to dumb bird-brains, or the fact that they chose the remarkable Jack Russell breed - like my loyal Tiny - to make their convoluted point. -S.L.


This is what I have to say to the environmental nutjobs at PETA: to compare a bird-brained bird to our loving and loyal companion Dog is a piss-poor analogy.

Everybody knows that Turkey was placed on this Earth, right alongside Chicken, Cow, Pig, Goat, Sheep and sometimes Horse, Deer and Snake, and of course all the tasty Fish in the Sea, for Man to eat. Preferably deep-fried (in the case of the Turkey, Chicken and Fish), barbecued (in the case of Pig) or on a grill over a bed of hot coals. Aristotle tells us that this is the Natural Order of things.

Dog's place is by Man's side as the meat is placed upon the grill, to snack on morsels tossed his way and to gnaw on bones and leftovers, his reward and indeed his birthright for undying loyalty and protection, and in some cases for duties rendered as hunting companion in bringing in the animals that we feast upon.

As a soldier in the Far East, I have actually eaten dog, on more than one occasion. It was tasty the way it was prepared, but quite honestly the concept of eating our companion species was somehow disturbing. Oddly, I have eaten monkey on several occasions and this did not bother me in the slightest. So much of the concept that we are somehow related to the monkeys; the Vegans might be - I personally am more closely related to the wolves and the bears.

If there is such a thing as Evolution, then the eternal relationship between Dog and Man is the closest thing to physical evidence we have of this radical theory. Vegans, on the other hand, are living proof that the theory that embraces Survival of the Fittest has somehow, somewhere gone horribly awry. Vegans can only exist because the hunters and warriors of the Human Tribe have established safety zones to make it possible for them to live off the bounty of Agriculture - in the natural environment they would perish. Vegans have to make propaganda like this to recruit to their ranks because everybody knows if they didn't they would soon breed themselves out of existence.

For PETA to compare our loving, loyal canine companions to a thing that looks like it comes from Outer Space - and actually did come out of an egg just like Lady GaGa - is sick and twisted. To focus their perverse agenda upon the impressionable minds of our young in an attempt to convert and recruit to the unHoly Cult of Vegan-ism is borderline sacrilege.




"That's my story and I'm sticking to it"



- STORMBRINGER SENDS




Today's Bird


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Monday, November 21, 2011

CHARLES BRONSON JUST WANTS A DRINK

Getting between a thirsty man and his drink when he's on R&R is a B-A-A-A-D idea . . . especially when that man's name is Charles Bronson . . .





Today's Bird HERE


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A SUGGESTION FOR CHRISTMAS



Christmas 2011 - Birth of a New Tradition


As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods --

Merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!




It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?

Everyone - yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.




Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down the Benjamins on a Chinese made flat-screen?

Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.




There are many owner-run restaurants - all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint.

Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town. Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.




How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.




My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.




Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.




Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of lights, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.




THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.

Copy this link and email it to everyone on your mailing list - post it to discussion groups - throw up a post on Craigslist in the Rants and Raves section in your city - send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations, and TV news departments. This is a revolution of caring about each other. Isn't that what Christmas is about?





"There Are Two Ways to Enslave A Country . . . One is by the Sword, the Other is by Debt." - John Adams



STORMBRINGER SENDS


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