you can try to swim away but you will only die tired... bringing you the political, military, international and domestic news you didn't even know existed or wanted to know more about...
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Monday, January 29, 2007
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Thursday, January 25, 2007
"A team at the University of Florida found that two minutes in the microwave at full power could kill a range of bacteria, viruses and parasites on kitchen sponges."
To that I say a big, fat, duh! I don't know how much money was spent on this research, but I could have saved them a lot of money by attesting that anything placed in the microwave for two minutes will die! And quite frankly, who the hell wants to place a dirty old sponge in their microwave and then reuse it? Throw that sh-t away man!
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Imagine my surprise when I opened my latest Galls catalogue! Staring back at me was a navy colored ACU or TRU as Tru-Spec calls their Tactical Response Uniform. As I drooled over the catalogue I realized how sad it was that I was excited about reinforced internal elbow pockets for pad inserts, bellowed lower pockets with hook and loop closures, mandarin collars, and drawstrings. Not only was it available in navy, but black, khaki, and olive drab as well; and I knew then that my charge account would not be safe. American ingenuity strikes again, and no doubt I will look splashing in my khaki TRU with my Altama combat boots. I guess I’m the fashionista of the non-profit, non-government disaster relief world.
There is no doubt that private contractors have played a crucial role in conflicts around the globe. Often referred to as Private Military Companies (PMC), but commonly called "mercenaries," PMCs have helped to secure war-torn countries, often while make a profit. The outfit Executive Outcomes, now disbanded, helped to push the rebels back in Sierra Leone in the 90s, with enough force and efficiency to allow British and UN troops to stabilize Freetown. Many criticize the lack of oversight of PMCs, and argue that they are "loose cannons" or killers-for-hire. Most are not, and are former special forces operators who adhere to strict rules of engagement. PMCs are probably responsible for less attrocities than soldiers of standing armies, and some are more tactically efficient than some infantry units in close quarter combat. There are reports that soldiers serving in Iraq sometimes took orders from the contractors during combat because they used to be former SEALs and Delta Force operators, and knew a lot about tactics. Now I don't know how true these reports are because they are posted on sites on the internet, and I don't think the Pentagon would be pleased to see that their soldiers are listening or taking orders from PMCs. But I will say that if I was a soldier in Iraq, taking heavy fire, and there was a group of former SEALs next to me, I'd probably follow their advice than some general sitting in the Green Zone.
Still, a lot of people are skeptical of PMCs, but the fact remains that they provide crucial security to American and allied interests in war zones. They ferry medical supplies and fuel to the US Army, protect American State Department officials, and other business and non-profit entities, as well as protect news crews. The fact that they operate in the gray areas, and fringes of "polite war society" is both a blessing and a curse.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Why isn't phonetic spelling spelled the way it sounds?
Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii?
Why is it when you transport something by truck it's called a shipment, but when you transport something by ship it's cargo?
Why is it that when you're driving and looking for an address, you turn down the volume on the radio?
Monday, January 22, 2007
Apparently if you are ugly you will make less money than your attractive coworkers. Kind of like if you are ugly you will also get fewer dates than your coworkers. As with any study, I have no idea what methodology they used or what criteria was used to define beauty, but I'm sure it has its flaws. I was pleased to see that they did acknowledge the fact that beauty might get you in the door, but if you are a complete wanker at your job you will get fired. All this talk of beauty reminds me of the show Beauty and the Geek.
Obviously the women are all considered beautiful, and the men quite geeky. Add to that enough stereotypes, put them all in a house, and you've got yourself a show. The geeks talk Star Trek and the women prance around in bikinis. What struck me about this show were the group dynamics, and the underlying genetics that we all have. We all want our offspring to have the best chance for survival, and people who have certain traits are more desirable to us. Some scientists say it is the asymmetry of the face and body, and other say like Shakira that “the hips don’t lie.” Which begs the question, which of our raunchy ancestors boned Neanderthals?
My opinion is that attractive people might seem to get ahead, but unless they have other traits that make them employable, it’s unlikely that they will be able to remain at their job. Their attractiveness just gives them more chances and opportunities for advancement. I recall a TV network once did a study where they had one attractive woman and one “ugly” woman stand next to a broken down car by the road. The attractive woman got more than double the offers of assistance from passing motorists than the “ugly” woman. I don’t put too much emphasis on looks, there are many people I think are beautiful that others don’t, and some supermodels might be incredibly beautiful but if their brain has nothing intelligent to say they are not really “attractive” in all sense of the word.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Friday, January 19, 2007
I think the entire blogosphere is collapsing. Darfur is burning to the ground and yet we seek important stories like Michelle Manhart. I'm not surprised, sex sells, and so does titillating images of Britney Spears upskirts and Lindsay Lohan rehab stories. It's all enough to drive Paula Abdul to deny having a drinking problem.
But I digress, if the Air Force is having such a morality problem perhaps they should go after adulterers and people who swear a lot more harder. Afterall, aren't these violations of the honor code and the high moral standards set by the Air Force? As for morale I can't think of anything more uplifting than having a hot drill instructor yelling at you. Spank me please! We cannot afford to keep losing more troops in this war on evil doers, especially ones that are still alive. If we are having such a troop shortage why are we stripping the ranks (no pun intended) of staff sergeants like Michelle? Why too are we not allowing gays to serve? We can fight and kill, bayonet our enemies and put our hands through their guts, but we are afraid of the guy next to us checking out our weiner in the shower? Please. More than half of the active duty people serving couldn't care less if gays were serving with them because they are too busy trying to stay the f-ck alive.
Nobody admits it, but we all secretly enjoy the dark side of the internet, whether it's shoe fetishes or people who enjoy watching people shoot machine guns.
New Hampshire's state motto is "Live Free or Die." In fact, according to the Free State Project http://www.freestateproject.org/, NH "was chosen because it has the lowest state and local tax burden in the continental U.S., the second-lowest level of dependence on federal spending in the U.S., a citizen legislature where state house representatives have not raised their $100 per year salary since 1889, the lowest crime levels in the U.S., a dynamic economy with plenty of jobs and investment, and a culture of individual responsibility indicated by, for example, an absence of seatbelt and helmet requirements for adults." Not to mention some of the most liberal gun laws in the U.S.
Ed Brown will no doubt go down in a hail of gun fire by federal agents akin to Waco and Ruby Ridge, and become yet another martyr to militias, religious zealots and tax evaders everywhere. Live free or die Mr. Brown, and rest in peace.
For more perspective listen to Free Talk Live:
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Monday, January 15, 2007
On January 7th 2003, Harlem Representative Charles Rangel (NY) and 14 other Democrats (mostly from the black caucus), sponsored legislation attempting to bring back the draft. Rangel said in a statement:
I truly believe that decision-makers who support war would more readily feel the pain of conflict and appreciate the sacrifice of those on the front lines if their children were there, too. I don't make too much of the fact that only four members of the 107th Congress, which voted overwhelmingly in favor of war with Iraq, had children in the military.
I tend to agree, if we reinstituted a real draft where EVERYBODY had to serve, including sons and daughters of powerful and elite politicians and rich men and women, the powers that be might be less inclined to get into imperial adventures. Unless you are completely physically disabled or clinically insane, there would be no reason why your ass couldn't be shipped to Baghdad. If the president is truly committed to defeating terrorism around the globe, an impossible task, then he should put all of the resources into the fight, including rationing iPods and PS3s (they have useful electronic components that could be used for military purposes), selling warbonds to buy armor for Humvees (I'm sure they can get a famous country singer to help out), and pressing all young people into uniform (including the Bush twins and Lindsay Lohan). We'll spare Paris Hilton because she'll probably drive a Stryker through an outhouse or something. Whatever happened to that American "can-do" attitude that gave aid to Ethiopia? Look at them now, now even Ethiopia can invade other countries and kick ass (see Somalian ass kicking for reference).
Boy, was I in for a surprise, it turned out to be the best $5.75 I’ve spent on a Sunday matinee in 2007. Not only did we actually get to see the killer (most horror movies like to hide the villain), but we got to see some exciting special effects. I was equally glad to see that Jürgen Prochnow had a leading role playing the part of the “great white hunter.” I’m glad that his career really took off after Das Boot. He had one of the best lines in the movie too, “you don’t look stupid so you must be insane.”
Brooke Langton did an excellent job being eye candy, Dominic Purcell was a great leading role, and Orlando Jones couldn’t have been a better “token black guy.” However, the main attraction, the killer, a gigantic crocodile should win an Oscar for his performance. Perhaps even more surprising is the fact that this movie is based on a true legend. Gustave the killer croc is a real killer! I shit you not. For more information you can check out the following websites. I also recommend you see this movie if you’ve got minutes to waste and you enjoy all your movies about Africa to be stereotypical.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
President Bush is pushing ahead with his troop build-up and sadly there isn't much Congress can do about it. Sure, there has been a lot of talk about the power of the purse and things of that nature, but the fact remains that Congress can't stop President Bush from sending troops over there. And once over there it is doubtful that Congress will cut any funds that will restrict the movement or mission of the troops deployed. The only course that Congress can do to stop the president is to impeach him, which will probably never happen.
In a 60 Minutes interview on Sunday, President Bush stated that the "Iraqi people owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude." I wonder if that is the same gratitude that the French today are suppose to have for our liberation of their country?
The president continued to ramble on about how the administration has always been "straight" with Americans. Perhaps so straight that they can't even tell the military families when their loved ones are coming home?! http://www.wnyc.org/news/articles/72094
Not to be outdone by himself, the president is also contemplating a Nixon strategy:
Or that's when you invade a "Cambodia" (Iran) so that you can retreated with honor from a "Vietnam" (Iraq).
I recently saw the movie Children of Men starring Clive Owen, Julianne Moore and Michael Caine. It is a futuristic movie set in the year 2027 and apparently by then women will be unable to have children, our society will be run by a dictatorship obsessed with detaining illegal immigrants, and the government's domestic policy includes shipping suicide kits to its citizens. Come to think of it we might not have to wait another 20 years for these things to come to fruition; especially when we are shoving BigMacs down our throats, authorizing cloned meat and gene modified vegetables, and raiding meat packing plants in Nebraska. More of this and maybe suicide kits are not such a bad option ahhaahah. But why indulge the government further: they can already check our mail, what books we take out of the library, secretly raid our homes, detain people without legal representation, and now screen our bank accounts? Why give them our lives as well?
At any rate, what I really enjoyed about this movie, apart from the traumatizing fighting scene at the end, was the unique camouflage pattern that the government troops were wearing. Searching my various camouflage pattern links yielded little result, but I did come across this website:
This unique camouflage pattern looked very effective in urban combat settings. I also stumbled across this unique pattern in my research.
Designed by Crye Industries, Multicam is an excellent choice for desert and arid conditions. In fact some contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq are using this pattern.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Friday, January 12, 2007
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Just one day after giving his speech outlining his new strategy for Iraq, President Bush allowed US forces in Iraq to violate the United Nations 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, specifically Article 31 and 33.
You can read those articles here:
Though consulates are not technically sovereign territories, embassies are, and hopefully the State Department will warn the Department of Defense before they raid an embassy, which can be construed under international law as an act of war. The world just became a more dangerous place.
Apparently firefighters in New York are no longer allowed to have pictures of their lived ones, display American flags, or have stickers supporting the troops serving overseas because "No city agency should permit the work place to display inappropriate stuff," according to Mylan Denerstein, the FDNY's deputy commissioner for legal affairs.
I'm sorry, since when is the American flag inappropriate; and what is the reason for this fascist crackdown? Well a few weeks ago somebody scribbled a sexually offensive message in a firehouse degrading women or something like that, and now freedom of speech must be curtailed in order to prevent such future occurrences. That's like banning bananas when people were eating apples. But I don't expect much from a city that banned trans fat, smoking, and other activites that are deemed "inappropriate." Afterall, adults can't make decisions by themselves and need to be treated like children.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Why not just suspend all civil liberties and be done with it? The Constitution and Bill of Rights have already been torn up by the sitting president, so I'm not shocked that governors and mayors are following suit. While the president has his terrorists to deal with the mayors have their criminals to deal with. While setting up check points might seem like a good idea, I'd hate to be a black guy driving around in New Orleans after dark, the hours that Taco Bell has its Fourthmeal. Let's get ready for another slew of mentally handicapped people shot in the back.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
The most wonderful thing about the internet is that it can lead you to millions of different sites. I found this one today while trolling, and found it enlightening. There is way too much oppression going on in the world, of course some people---like hippies---bring it on themselves, but it's a shame when it happens to you and me. :)
Friday, January 05, 2007
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
The start of the new Congress brings us opportunities to work together on the critical issues confronting our country. No issue is more important than finding an end to the war in Iraq. December was the deadliest month of the war in over two years, pushing U.S. fatality figures over the 3,000 mark.
The American people demonstrated in the November elections that they do not believe your current Iraq policy will lead to success and that we need a change in direction for the sake of our troops and the Iraqi people. We understand that you are completing your post-election consultations on Iraq and are preparing to make a major address on your Iraq strategy to the American people next week.
Clearly this address presents you with another opportunity to make a long overdue course correction. Despite the fact that our troops have been pushed to the breaking point and, in many cases, have already served multiple tours in Iraq, news reports suggest that you believe the solution to the civil war in Iraq is to require additional sacrifices from our troops and are therefore prepared to proceed with a substantial U.S. troop increase.
Surging forces is a strategy that you have already tried and that has already failed. Like many current and former military leaders, we believe that trying again would be a serious mistake. They, like us, believe there is no purely military solution in Iraq. There is only a political solution. Adding more combat troops will only endanger more Americans and stretch our military to the breaking point for no strategic gain. And it would undermine our efforts to get the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own future. We are well past the point of more troops for Iraq.
In a recent appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee, General John Abizaid, our top commander for Iraq and the region, said the following when asked about whether he thought more troops would contribute to our chances for success in Iraq:
"I met with every divisional commander, General Casey, the Corps commander, General Dempsey. We all talked together. And I said, in your professional opinion, if we were to bring in more American troops now, does it add considerably to our ability to achieve success in Iraq? And they all said no. And the reason is, because we want the Iraqis to do more. It's easy for the Iraqis to rely upon to us do this work. I believe that more American forces prevent the Iraqis from doing more, from taking more responsibility for their own future. "
Rather than deploy additional forces to Iraq, we believe the way forward is to begin t he phased redeployment of our forces in the next four to six months, while shifting the principal mission of our forces there from combat to training, logistics, force protection and counter-terror. A renewed diplomatic strategy, both within the region and beyond, is also required to help the Iraqis agree to a sustainable political settlement. In short, it is time to begin to move our forces out of Iraq and make the Iraqi political leadership aware that our commitment is not open ended, that we cannot resolve their sectarian problems, and that only they can find the political resolution required to stabilize Iraq.
Our troops and the American people have already sacrificed a great deal for the future of Iraq. After nearly four years of combat, tens of thousands of U.S. casualties, and over $300 billion dollars, it is time to bring the war to a close. We, therefore, strongly encourage you to reject any plans that call for our getting our troops any deeper into Iraq. We want to do everything we can to help Iraq succeed in the future but, like many of our senior military leaders, we do not believe that adding more U.S. combat troops contributes to success.
We appreciate you taking these views into consideration.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Monday, January 01, 2007
Once in a while an artist comes by that totally captures the Shark's heart and ears, and Molly Sandén is just such a rising star. Her voice is amazing and she will no doubt be a popular Swedish artist.
Warning massive Molly overload follows of the same song: