a Someone should care, maybe not you....: March 2007 .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Someone should care, maybe not you....

My thoughts on many things including the army, war, politics, the military corrections system, chaos, life, books, movies, and why there is no blue food. Feel free to comment on what I say. Feedback is nice.

My Photo

40+ year old former teacher, linguist, interrogator, soldier, and lastly convict. We all do stupid things every once and awhile. I am an economic conservative and a firm believer in civil rights. Starting a new life now and frankly not sure what I am going to be doing.

30 March 2007

Fried eggs

Well since I really don't give a rat's ass about some prosecutors that got fired and I don't believe that there is some dark neferious evil scheme behind their firings, I won't delve into that mess at this time.

You all have seen in the past that I can cook. I can even do a pretty good job of it most of the time. What I have noticed that I cannot seem to do at all is fry an egg. Oh it gets fried but it is never that pretty oval with the yolk in the center egg like I see others come up with. Mine look a lot more like a burrito as it scrunches and rolls as I try and turn the damned thing. It isn't a big thing you know, but it is a bit annoying.

On a natural science turn here, I noticed the other day that my pear trees had honey bees busily working the flowers. My blueberries on the other hand had bumble bees and carpenter bees. they are right next to each other so I thought that was a bit strange and I mentioned it to my old fencing coach who happens to be a retired entomologist. He promptly lets me know that honeybees' mouth parts aren't big enough to get into a blueberry's flower so only the bigger bugs can service it. Now you know something new too.

27 March 2007


Have you ever considered the color green? What is it? What does it look like? I know, I know, we all know what GREEN is. But really, is what I think of when I say green the same as what you think of? Is it the pine needle or the oak leaves? Grass or blueberry leaves? I was sitting today in a rocking chair on the dock overlooking the hole that should be a pond on my property. As I sat supposedly reading my library book (God’s War, a New History of the Crusades) I was noting all the different shades of green in the trees around me. It can be a bit boggling to actually consider how complex something as simple as “green” is. It is like the little bit of linguistic folderol about Eskimo’s having 100 words for snow. (To which I have always said, “So what?” If you have ever lived in Utah ski country they have a hundred words for snow too. Many of which shouldn’t be printed in public places.)

Some evening when the air is clear, step outside onto your lawn, or go to a park, sit back, relax, and just look around at ‘Green”.

On a different note, I have been having some issues ever since switching to the "New" blogger. Not the least of which is a massive upsurge in comment spam. Interestingly enough it doesn't show up on new posts. It is almost exclusively on old ones. I really REALLY hate character recognition things but I may have to set one up. Blech.

Also, some of my links died. I have repaired them but at least one keeps going out again. If you click a link and it is dead let me know.

Please feel free to shop Amazon.com by clicking the link at the top left of my page. By doing so you will make a few pennies for me and I will be greatly appreciative.

22 March 2007

They did what?

I was all set today to do a nice inoffensive post on edible flowers in my yard. Something fun and easy.

But no. I had to hear this on the radio last night and then read about it in the NYT today. The Italians are busy screwing the Afghans.
for those who aren't up on the news, there was an Italian journalist, Daniele Mastrogiacomo, kidnapped in Southern Afghanistan 15 days ago. Yesterday the Italian Government pressured the Afghan government to release 5 Taliban prisoners in exchange for the release of the journalist. At least one of these Taliban militants, Ustad Yasir, has already released a statement on the Internet saying he was “grabbing two rifles to begin jihad again to hunt down invaders and fight nonbelievers,” . The Italian government is directly responsible for the death of every single person this man kills from here on out. And deaths caused by the other 4, at least a couple of which are sure to jump back into the fray too. Sadly enough, when the Italians got these people released for their journalist they weren't kind enough to insist that his interpreter also be released. His driver has already been killed and the interpreter will probably follow shortly if he isn't already dead. Good Job Italy!!! Way to go.

21 March 2007

Just a quick quote

"The way I look at it, we're spreading freedom, and you have to support the troops and you have to support the war," Staat, 29, told KITV in Honolulu on Tuesday as he prepared to leave from Hawaii. "You can't just tell some Marine who just lost his buddy that we supported you but not the war, because in that case you're basically saying that Marine, his buddy, just died for nothing. We're one team."

Lcpl. Jeremy Staat 29 yo former NFL player shortly before deploying to Iraq with his Marine Company.

19 March 2007


I watched part of 60 minutes last night. There was an interview with the Marine sergeant who is being charged with murder after the killing in the city of Haditha in Iraq. For those of you who may not be following this I will sum up the vents without the hyperbole of the reporter or the antiwar faction of the US.
Basically a Marine convoy on it’s way back from a resupply run was hit by a huge IED that blew one of it’s vehicle into pieces. The driver was killed instantly and the other two Marines in the vehicle were injured. There is a white vehicle about 100 yards down the road with people in it. The Sergeant in question orders the men out of the vehicle and when they start to run he shoots them. The Marines then begin to take fire from the south. They do not see where the fire is coming from but one house has the best line of sight and they think it is coming from there. A superior officer shows up and gives the ok to assault this house. The Marines, led by the Sergeant, do so, clearly by fire. (This means you throw a grenade into the room then go in shooting. They do not find the shooter in this house although several (5 if I recall correctly) civilians are killed. There is an open door and they decide the shooter fled into the next house (they did not see him) and they clear it in the same manner. Several (maybe 8) more people are killed. Later a man with a rifle is found in a nearby house and he is killed. Several other armed men are killed in the area later by an air strike.

So, did the Sergeant commit murder? Probably not. (Oh I can hear the screaming beginning now) And here is my reasoning. For it to be murder he had to have voluntarily killed them without military justification for his actions. (I.E. followed the Rules of Engagement) Now many, like the reporter who did the interview, will say murder because he shot the first 5 men when they tried to run away. They say this is not a hostile act or hostile intent. My reasoning, and the Sergeant’s according to what he said in the interview, is that the first IED was a remote detonation. This means someone was watching and pushed a button to set off the bomb. Why is this suspected? Because the vehicle that went up was the third in the convoy. If the bomb and just been sitting in the road odds are vehicle one or two would have set it off. So if it was a remote detonation the white vehicle was an obvious place for the observer(s) to be. Clear line of sight and easy escape in the vehicle. Why didn’t they drive away? Who knows, panic, stalled the car, it could have been a variety of things. But when they were ordered from the vehicle they did not lay down and surrender, they began to flee. The vehicle could be a remote detonated car bomb, they could be armed, a hostile act had obviously occurred so he and another Marine (also charged with murder) shot them. Were the men in car guilty of anything other than running from an armed Marine? Who knows? I certainly don’t and neither does anyone else. I rather suspect that I might have done the same thing in the same situation.

The houses where the civilians including, as the press loves to point out, “women and children” were killed are a bit different. Here no obvious hostile act had been committed. Shots had been fired but they weren’t SURE if they had come from the house. Here the fault lies with training. When clearing a house in a hostile/combat situation it is SOP for grenades to be used. This is one of the truly ugly and little known facts of military life. But a soldier who opens a door and sticks his head in to see who is in the room is going tob e a dead soldier pretty damn fast. This was known in the Second World War too. There are numerous accounts in the city fighting in France of soldiers tossing grenades and then firing into a basement only to find the remains of a French family when they looked in after the smoke cleared. It sucked but for all they knew there could have been a German (or Iraqi in this case) squad hiding in there waiting to come out once they were past. And as I said before, you can’t exactly look to see unless you have a bullet proof head. Now in training there is a lot of PC talk about always your target, and they had a Marine reservist captain who had fought in Iraq on the program running that line. But sometimes fast hard choices have to be made. And unfortunately, people get killed when things like this happen. It sucks. But that is how war is.

Was the Marine wrong in how he went about it? Well yes and no. The clearing procedures were pretty much standard for the situation. He is reported to have said. “Kill them all and ask questions later.” before going into the first house which implies a certain malice aforethought although it sums up the practicalities of clearing a house by fire. Grenades are not picky. And frankly, they probably shouldn’t have gone on a house clearing assault until they were real certain where the shooting was coming from.

The anti war folks howl about “innocent civilian deaths” (how do you know this “civilian” was “innocent”. In fact prove the “civilian” wasn’t an insurgent. Yes, women and children can be insurgents too) but at the same time they howl about how many American casualties there have been. (3000 +, which really isn’t all that bad considering we conquered a country and occupied it against a rather serious resistance for 4 years) Unfortunately, in attempts to keep troop deaths down, civilian deaths have gone up. That kind of thing happens when you are fighting an enemy that hides among the innocent.

One lat note, the CBS reporter who did the interview was a smarmy bastard. He went out of his way to make the Sergeant look bad and play up the charges. The ultimate for me was when at the end the Sergeant said that if he had to do it over again he would have done it the same way and the reporter interrupted, with “Oh no Sergeant, that can’t be, what about all those children?” Sorry buckwheat. Once you go to clear the houses, that is what happens. I’d have been hard put not to smack him.

One further note on the issue. A week or so after the incident there was a press release by the Corp saying that civilians had been killed in an IED detonation. There is no evidence though that the Sergeant or his squad did anything to cover up their actions. That was someone higher up playing CYA.

A further further note before posting. I do not support the killing of civilians. In fact, in my line of military work I was generally opposed to killing just about anyone. Dead folks couldn’t be interrogated. It is obvious that mistakes were made in Haditha by a lot of people. IF, as the prosecution alleges, the soldiers went on a vengeance killing spree then they deserve to be punished. But they certainly do not deserve to have been convicted by the press, the anti war movement, and by John “I won’t take your money now” Murtha. Innocent until proven guilty is still the standard in this country despite the left’s rush to judgment here and the right’s rush to judgment in other cases.

16 March 2007


You know you need to watch out for drunk drivers when you are out on
the road. but how about when you are sitting at home? In this case, yes.

An intoxicated gentleman in a pickup failed to negotiate a turn and went across the ditch and through the end of this trailer.

Luckily for the homeowner their son was not at
home when the truck hit. If he had been in bed at the time, well, you
can see the bedsticking out of the back wall in the second picture.

This is one of the many reasons I have always preferred to have a home set well back from the road. My current residence is not only well back from the road
but is screened by a wall of trees. the odds are greatly against a
drunk coming into my wall. (so because I said that I am sure next week
it will happen. )

15 March 2007

Joy in anti-warville

I haven't been to any of the anti Iraq war blogs today but I am sure
they are, or soon will be, crowing for joy that the Pentagon has admited
that the war in Iraq meets whatever technical standard they have for a
"civil war". They always jump on the bad news with tremendous glee. Or
even news that looks bad but really isn't all that horrible.
People jump on the bad but ignore issues such as the fact that Tribal leaders in Anbar province are now working with the coalition forces against the Al Queda insurgents and those who are "killing people for no reason".

The anti bloggers were gleeful when Gen. Petreaus said there was no military solution to Iraq but they failed to mention the rest of his statement where he called for increased pressure on the insurgents to force them to the negotiation table.

Despite what the American left like to say the war in Iraq is still winnable. A peaceful stable Iraq can be built but it won't happen if we pack up and come home to sulk. And congress raising the surrender banners certainly doesn't help the cause at all.

12 March 2007

Security checks?

I was up at the Georgia World congress Center this past weekend for a fencing tournament. The SEC Basketball Championship tournament was going on at the same time in the Georgia Dome which is part of the overall facility. A friend of mine was a volunteer working of the Fencing tournament
so he got a pass to park in an underground parking lot right on the
facility. Since I stayed at his house while I was there I got to ride
in and park there too. Due to the size ofthe events I guess there was some sort of "enhanced" security procedures going on. In other words when you went into the underground parking facility a couple of GBI
agents stopped the your car and "searched" it. Said search consisted of
glancing at the undercarriage with a mirror on a pole, and looking in
the truck, glove compartment, and center console. All well and good.
Also totally pointless because I had a fencing equipment bag in the
back seat of the car. This bag is 46" long by 10" wide by 12" deep with
an additional strap on bag on top that is 46x10x about5. Someone could
easily fit enough weapons and ammo or enough explosives into a bag like
this to take out half the building. The security people did not look at
the fencing bag. Nor in fact did they look at the back pack my friend was carrying or the cooler that was also in the car.

Now I know that if we had acted very nervous or suspicious in some other manner we probably would have
been checked a bit closer. But a well trained terrorist won't be
nervous. Nor in fact would a mule who had just been asked to "Carry
this bag inside for a friend" where said bag then blows up.

Symbolic security annoys me.

05 March 2007

Mornings that make you go huh?

This past Sunday morning I was getting ready for a fencing tournament when around 0700 I heard a gunshot very near by. Now hearing a gunshot where I live isn't all that rare although it has fallen off a bit since hunting season is pretty much done. It still happens as people are target shooting or whatever but not usually so close or so early in the AM (since deer season ended) I stepped out into my yard a minute or two later and saw a goat trotting past the "guest house" which is a bit unexpected as the dog who lives at my house and my dog both tend to get excited by things like that. In fact, I am relatively sure that the dog which lives at my house would have run the thing down and killed it had she been in the yard. As I was pondering this and watching the goat I noticed a man, followed by two children coming out of the wood line into my yard. The man had a pistol in his hand. He saw me and apologized for coming into the yard and said they were "Just trying to catch that darn goat!" Said goat had meanwhile exited my yard by the driveway and was heading into the field across the road. I commented that I was surprised that my dogs hadn't eaten it and the man said he thought he had seen my dog further down the road a bit earlier. Then he and the kids ran after the goat. The man got into the road, and fired a shot,
stuck the pistol into the back of his pants, waved the kids off the chase, and took off running after the goat. The goat headed for an old hay barn where the man shot again. I was really wondering at first how firing a pistol was helping him catch a goat when it dawned on me that catching the goat wasn't really the plan, he was going to shoot the goat and apparently wasn't that great a shot with a pistol. I guess the Sunday afternoon BBQ had escaped and he was tasked to track it down. I suppose
the kids would carry the body back. He got the goat behind the hay barn but I didn't stay in the yard to observe, I had stuff to get ready before my ride to the tournament showed up.

But it certainly wasn't the USUAL Sunday morning event.......