Chuck Z gives us the lessons from Liberia. I'm trying not to laugh, Chuck, and it's not working. Dude brought a feather-duster to a firefight?
I've had the honor of guest-blogging alongside Bill Faith, at Mudville back when Greyhawk went off to war. Bill's opened a new blog for older veterans, called Old War Dogs. "Rurik," a Grim's Hall reader and friend of the blog, is one of Bill's new co-bloggers. It's a pretty impressive crew, in fact, as George writes:
Bill Faith of Small Town Veteran, Steve Gardner, "the Tenth Brother" (ask John "Magic Hat" Kerry if you don't remember what that means), Russ Vaughn the Poetrooper, and several other angry hounds, including 1st Cav Page, Gene "Blood-n-Fire" Harrison, John Werntz, proven bloggers Zero Ponsdorf and Jim Bartimus, and myself, Rurik.Just having Russ Vaughn on board is a coup. I'd be glad to have him blog here, even if it were just to post his poems (which I always mean to do, but only sometimes get around to doing). They've got him, and several other good writers and thinkers besides.
Each of us is a military veteran, each with opinions founded on experience. Between us I believe we have 3 CIBs, 2 Navy Combat Action Awards, 1 Purple Heart, 2 Bronze Stars, an Air Medal, an Army Commendation Medal, 2 Croix de Guerres with palms, and lots of other awards. One is an emeritus Ivy League professor, and another a published commercial author. Not too bad for nine old dudes. Enough to justify an opinion or two?
You might want to check them out.
If IANSA isn't happy, I'm happy.
But Rebecca Peters of the London-based International Action Network on Small Arms accused governments of letting a few states "hold them all hostage and to derail any plans which might have brought any improvements in this global crisis."Well done, then. Anything that makes Ms. Peters frustrated in her professional capacity is a thing I'm glad to see. Odd list of allies this time, though:
IANSA identified the main players blocking agreement as Cuba, India, Iran, Pakistan and Russia. Other gun control activists named China, Egypt and Venezuela as well.I'm not accustomed to seeing my interests line up with Venezuela's and Iran's. We'll need to look into that, after the party.
Still, I'm glad to see my letters got there all right:
The meeting was dogged from the start by zealous members of the U.S. National Rifle Association, who flooded the United Nations with letters falsely accusing it of secretly plotting to take away Americans' guns on July 4, a U.N. holiday marking U.S. Independence Day when delegates did not meet.This is a news story, right? Not an editorial? Which part was false? That they were meeting the week of Independence Day? No, they were, and the fact that they didn't hold formal talks on that one day hardly means there were no meetings or conversations going on behind the scenes.
That they were plotting to take away America's gun rights? No, that part was true too. Ms. Peters said so herself.
I think American citizens should not be exempt from the rules that apply to the rest of the world. At the moment there are no rules applying to the rest of the world. That’s what we’re working for.So -- if you can prove (to Ms. Peters and her ilk) that you have a legitimate purpose, she thinks it might be proper for you to have a single-shot rifle (suitable for hunting). But the Second Amendment has to go -- Americans must live under the same rules as the rest of the world. Rules she wants to write. Yet, of course, it is a fearful-paranoid-false-accusation to say that... well, to tell the truth about what she herself says she wants.
American citizens should have guns that are suitable for the legitimate purposes that they can prove.
I think that eventually Americans will realize that their obsession with arming themselves in fear, in a paranoid belief that they’re going to be able to stave off the ills of the world through owning guns, through turning every house into an arsenal, eventually Americans will go away from that.
I think Americans who hunt—and who prove that they can hunt—should have single-shot rifles suitable for hunting whatever they’re hunting. I mean American citizens should be like any other citizens of the world.
If I said I thought "the rest of the world should live under the same laws as Americans," that would be jingoistic Cowboy-speak. Reverse the formula -- "America must live by the same rules as the rest of the world" -- and it's progressive wisdom.
Not on Independence Day. That's what "Independence" means.
Molon Labe. Remember the Spartans? Remember the Alamo?
Soon I will be leaving our fair shores to return to Iraq. Consequently, I will be taking a hiatus from all blogging activity for sometime. However, I do hope to resume posting upon my return. In the meantime I am sure that my co-bloggers will continue the good fight for freedom.
Our friends at Military.com, who sponsored so much of I MBC, have a great story today. It treats the story of New York City Police Detective Evan L. "Pappy" Schwerner, who recently rejoined his Marines following a short twenty-one year break. Well, who doesn't need a break now and then?
I'm sure the Marines around here will be only too glad to say, "Welcome home, Corporal... that is, Pappy."
According to Reuters, the AP, CNN and Fox, North Korea actually test fired that ding-dong missle of theirs. It appears to have "failed".
But other missles were fired, too.
Like, 5 or 6 in all.
In a two hour period.
All the accounts above are just slightly different.
I'm wondering if that Taepodong-2 missle was in fact, shot down, and the other missles were a response to that.
A battle may just have occurred.
Quite a few excellent posts today. MilBlogs has a good running tally, but here are some I noticed:
Cassidy writes about love songs.
The Geek has posted his starry flag on high.
Mudville has posts old and new on the subject of the celebrations worldwide, wherever American servicemen tred.
Laughing Wolf at BlackFive has reposted the Declaration of Independence. However often you've read it, read it again.
I recall that, just prior to the invasion of Afghanistan, there was an interview with a Talib who impressed the Western journalist by conducting the interview while smoking scorpions. This was meant to be terrifying -- after all, how tough would you have to be to smoke a scorpion?
A few years later, we have our answer:
A discerning guest at a Manhattan cocktail party removed a scorpion from its bed of cheese atop an endive leaf and popped it in his mouth, determined to savor the taste unadulterated.See? Even the sort of American who attends "soirees" can munch a scorpion, then give you a critique of its flavor to boot.
"Nutty, sweet," was the verdict of Gourmet magazine food editor Ian Knauer at the recent soiree.
Plus, a lot of Americans are descended from Scots, where there was that... well, read it for yourself.
Happy Independence Day. Remember the example of Little Bill, and don't take guff from anyone today.
Sentator Joseph Lieberman, (Democrat from Connecticut) has announced that he's going to gather signatures for a petition to run as a write in candidate for Senate 'just in case' he loses the Democratic primary.
Plenty of people are not happy with him.
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at the Senator's decision, really. I mean, he simultaneously ran for Senator and Vice President in 2000.
But what is interesting here is how Lieberman, who has been vilified by the anti-war wing of the Democratic party, is setting fire to his bridges behind him.
I can't imagine that the DNC is happy with this.
So, either the Senator wins his primary, in which case its 'business as normal' sorta/kinda/maybe, or he loses the primary, which sets up a three way contest in which the Senator, by splitting the Democratic vote (assuming that he really does split the vote), may actually give the contest to the Republican candidate.
I'm sure that the RNC is hoping for the latter, but of course, we'll have to wait and see.
I think Bush Derangement Syndrome has just given rise to Lieberman Derangement Syndrome.
The BBC has more on the incident in Mahmoudiya, Iraq in March:
A former US soldier has been arrested and charged with killing four Iraqi civilians after raping one of them, the US Justice Department said.
This is a pretty ugly incident if the guy's squadmates were involved, as is reported in this article from the Army Times.
The Army Times' article reports that:
The affidavit, filed by FBI special agent Gregor J. Ahlers of Louisville, said Green and three other soldiers from the 101st’s 502nd Infantry Regiment were working a traffic checkpoint in Mahmoudiya on March 12 when they conspired to rape a woman who lived nearby.
Which implies to me that a squad team leader is involved, because somebody had to be incharge of that traffic checkpoint.
So the soldier charged was a PFC and was discharged for having a 'personality disorder', which means he had to have been a 'problem child' even before this happened. Now, I can see one crazy guy going off and doing this. But an entire fireteam? There is something wrong in that chain of command.
What a mess this is going to be.
Southern Appeal noticed this diary on Daily KOS, a hate-filled diatribe against the South and Southerners. It is not the first, and doubtless will not be the last, so I was prepared to write it off in that spirit. I hadn't intended to comment on it at all.
The only reason I'm going to do so is the follow-up post at the author's homepage noting that Kos and company had run him off ("like Saint Patrick casting away the snakes," in the author's own words). He has words for Kos in the same spirit as his earlier words for the South, but leave off what he has to say; it doesn't matter.
What does matter is that this was an act of decency by Kos, from whom I had not expected one. It is noted and appreciated.