Jul 26, 2005

This blog currently sponsored by... 

the U.S. Navy... and their dialup-equivalent internet server. Yikes... this is gonna be painful for someone who has sworn to never go back from broadband.
We're underway, and at some point pictures might even get posted (OPSEC providing, of course). But for now, just getting this up will be a success. Stick around... we'll see where this ride takes us.

So far so good.

Jul 16, 2005

Haze grey and underway 

That's it folks. Stick a fork in me, I'm done.

All blogging from CONUS shall cease immediately. Pull up the brow, baby: WESTPAC begins today.

Any and all future blogging will be from points unknown, so stand by... we've got ourselves a job to do.

Jul 13, 2005

Movie review 

"Rodriguez, if you woke up this morning and you were completely surrounded by an enemy force of 500 men, what would you do?"

This is a question posed by T/Sgt Moore to one of his recruits - and the subsequent (and only correct, I might add) answer given by that recruit in the opening act of 1957's, "The D.I."

Thirty years before R. Lee Ermey would crystallize the image of what a Marine DI looks like in the American mind, Jack Webb would give us this classic rendition that's a little more family friendly... hey, it was 1957. No cussing, no blood, no guts... but there's some chain-smoking going on like you wouldn't believe.

Webb, best known as police Sgt. Joe Friday on TV's "Dragnet," not only starred in this film, but directed and produced it, as well. If you're only familiar with Webb from "Dragnet" don't think for a second that he has acting range - the man is virtually wooden... and that's what's great about him. His delivery is rapid fire and right between the eyes. Perfect to play a DI.

The story is fairly straightforward: T/Sgt Moore (yes, you read that right - Technical Sergeant - a rank that we don't even have in the Corps anymore, equal to Gunnery Sergeant) is the best of the best at creating Marines. But he has a major headache: Pvt Owens could be great, but he's a constant screw up, and wants out of the Marines.

Watching Webb go to work on his recruits brings some funny moments (like when one husky recruit tells him he joined the Marines because the submarine service wouldn't take him... his lungs were too big), and some flashbacks... or so I'm told... I've never personally had to conduct a burial detail for a sand flea, but I've talked to guys who have.

Aside from the obligatory musical number - which seems to plague every film Hollywood made between about 1920 and 1959 - and the minimal role of a love interest for Webb, the film stays pretty focused on the Marines and the mind games played on them by the DIs. And towards the end, I don't want to give it away, but I'll just say that you can tell that the film was definitely made in a time long gone... well before parents ran around whining about how recruiters were trying to kidnap their kids.

From top to bottom, this story bleeds scarlet & gold, and red, white, and blue. With every member of the platoon being played by real, active duty Marines (except for the two main characters of T/Sgt Moore and Pvt Owens), this film is about as true to the spirit of the Corps as you can get. A classic Marine Corps movie that should be seen by anybody that's a fan of the first half of "Full Metal Jacket."

"The D.I." is not available on DVD as far as I can tell, so finding it at your local Blockbuster may be a problem. But VHS copies can be found at Amazon or on EBay. It's a little spendy for VHS: upwards of $40 for new copies. But some used copies on EBay are going for as low as nine bucks... not a bad deal for a great Marine Corps film.

Attention Michael Moore, Martin Sheen, and all the rest... 

... of you whiny bastards. Does this look like the handiwork of "freedom fighters"?
BAGHDAD, Iraq— - A car bomber sped up to American soldiers distributing candy to children and detonated his explosives Wednesday, killing up to 27 other people, U.S. and Iraqi officials said. One U.S. soldier and about a dozen children were among the dead.
The aforementioned "Hollywood elites" can start forming up to kiss my ass. Line forms to the left (oddly enough...)

Jul 10, 2005

Tagged in 

So Harvey decides to poke me in the belly-button to get a "hehe" outta me like I'm the Pillsbury Doughboy... okay... I'll play.
What ten events would you care to witness if you could travel in time and observe them?

Rules: First my version of the Prime directive you can only observe you cannot change anything no changing of the time line. You can interact to a point ie stand in a crowd or talk to people you cannot do anything that will change time. So sorry no going back and putting a bullet into Hitler's head in 1929 or offing OBL back in the 80's. You can stay as long at an event as you like remember this is a Sci Fi Meme.
Well let's dig right in to it:

1) The Flag Raising on Mount Suribachi. Look at my name... is that really any kind of surprise?

2) The Gettysburg Address.

3) September 10th, 2001. One last day of normal before the storm...

4) OOH! Tun Tavern, 10 November 1775. Take what I said about number one, and quadruple it!

5) Philadelphia, 28 September 1941, to watch Ted Williams nail down the last .400 batting average anyone's seen in over 60 years.

6) A day at the Colosseum in ancient Rome.

7) Dealey Plaza, 22 November 1963... but only if I can pick a couple different locations and call for a few reruns. Single bullet theory my ass...

8) 14 October 1947, Muroc Field (now Edwards Air Force Base), to watch Chuck Yeager break the sound barrier for the first time.

9) To steal one from Harvey, watching the Berlin Wall fall. Seeing that on TV, I actually remember thinking, "I'm watching HISTORY being made." Too bad not everybody felt the same way...

10) Bethlehem, 25 December 0000 (give or take). I heard something about this kid being born and these three wiseguys...

Alllright... so who to poke in the belly-button next... hmmmm...

Mad Mikey is usually up for stuff like this. Consider yourself tagged.
Smokin' gets tagged just cuz I gotta know what he picks. Hope he's got time to do this one.
And I'd like to see Tom's answer's but he's on blog-hiatus. Put 'em in the comments maybe, Tom? I know you're out there (you're one of the few still left!).

Anybody else want to play? Just throw me a trackback if you do, because I'd like to see this!

Jul 9, 2005

Quick word on recent events in London 

Do the terrorists think they're dealing with the Spaniards? Really?

The Brits are a much more hard-nosed folk than they let on, what with the "stiff upper lip," "tut tut," and "tea and crumpets."

Remember, this is the land that created the soccer hooligan.

And "The Secret Organization of Al Qaeda in Europe"? Kiss my ass... Any group of punks out there thinks they can hang "Al Qaeda" somewhere in their name and we're all supposed to quake with fear. Well I got news for ya: you guys are no more deeply related to Al Qaeda than Bill Shatner. And to keep on the Star Trek theme, why don't you all put on red shirts and join the away team, because you're about as likely to last that long. I have no doubt that there's an SAS team dedicated to smoking all of you before the month is out.

"The Secret Organization of Al Qaeda in Europe"... Al Qaeda is DEAD folks. The guys running around now saying "we're Al Qaeda" are so in name only. And because the press lets them be. Seriously fellas, there's more than just Al-Q out there. Not every terrorist scumbag is super-tight with Osama bin Laden.

Whatever. The point is, you think this London thing changes anything? Nope... except maybe the next 5.56 to go through an "Al Qaeda" member comes from a Steyr AUG instead of an M16.

Jul 4, 2005


UPDATE: I think this has more to do with the size of the pictures I put up in the post below this one than it does with anything else. Either way, if you're still using IE, do yourself a favor and switch to Firefox... for FREE!

She don't look bad for bein' 229 years old... 

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Action of Second Continental Congress, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America

WHEN in the Course of human Events,
it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness -- That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The History of the present King of Great- Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World.

HE has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good.

HE has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing Importance, unless suspended in their Operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

HE has refused to pass other Laws for the Accommodation of large Districts of People, unless those People would relinquish the Right of Representation in the Legislature, a Right inestimable to them, and formidable to Tyrants only.

HE has called together Legislative Bodies at Places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the Depository of their public Records, for the sole Purpose of fatiguing them into Compliance with his Measures.

HE has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly Firmness his Invasions on the Rights of the People.

HE has refused for a long Time, after such Dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of the Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the Dangers of Invasion from without, and the Convulsions within.

HE has endeavoured to prevent the Population of these States; for that Purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their Migrations hither, and raising the Conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

HE has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

HE has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, and the Amount and Payment of their Salaries.

HE has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harrass our People, and eat out their Substance.

HE has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislatures.

HE has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

HE has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

FOR quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops among us;

FOR protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

FOR cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the World:

FOR imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

FOR depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury:

FOR transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended Offences:

FOR abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an arbitrary Government, and enlarging its Boundaries, so as to render it at once an Example and fit Instrument for introducing the same absolute Rules into these Colonies:

FOR taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

FOR suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with Power to legislate for us in all Cases whatsoever.

HE has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

HE has plundered our Seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our Towns, and destroyed the Lives of our People.

HE is, at this Time, transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the Works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation.

HE has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the Executioners of their Friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

HE has excited domestic Insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.

IN every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.

NOR have we been wanting in Attentions to our British Brethren. We have warned them from Time to Time of Attempts by their Legislature to extend an unwarrantable Jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our Emigration and Settlement here. We have appealed to their native Justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our Connections and Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice and of Consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace, Friends.

WE, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in GENERAL CONGRESS, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great-Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which INDEPENDENT STATES may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

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May God continue to bless my first and longest love,

The United States of America

Jul 2, 2005


A BIG thank you to everyone who sent in links for how to fix the blog display problem. Happily, I now know it was BLOGGER'S fault and not mine. They've changed the way their coding displays stuff, and managed to screw up quite a few blogs in the process. But with the help of Omar, the Blogger Forum, and most importantly Sean (without whom I would have never found the first two) things are back to normal.

Stay tuned. Military film review coming soon... I promise!

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