Tuesday, May 29, 2007

don't try to pull a fast one on me

I know there must be compromise. But I do think the security and safety of Americans that are already citizens should be the priority. And this kind of scares me... 12 million people at best are here when they should not be. How many of them think suicide bombing is justified I wonder?

Via Michelle Malkin

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Monday, May 28, 2007


The Thunder Run has an amazing roundup of stories of Memorials of fellow milbloggers and well known bloggers in general. Mrs. Greyhawk has one also. They are both much better than I could ever do. Make sure you have a box of tissues nearby.

As I sit here and watch President Bush at Arlington National Cemetary, I think that flowers do not do those brave men justice. I glad to see young and old alike in the crowd. I hope that today, as you visit the pool, watch the new big movie, or grill outdoors with your family, take a moment and tell your children what this day is for, the reason why they can go to your family church, or not go to church at all. They have a school to go to, a hospital that will take them in, all because of men and women who died for them, never knowing who they might be. They died for the hope of us all.

It is the soldier, not the poet, who gives us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the reporter, who gives us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gives us freedom to protest.
It is the soldier who serves beneath the flag,
who salutes the flag and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who gives the demonstrator the right to burn the flag.
Father Edward O'Brien, USMC


Saturday, May 26, 2007

drinking this weekend?

Try these on your holiday weekend. Or maybe stay away depending on your point of view. Sammy, you'll love this!

H/T Guidons, Guidons, Guidons!


Friday, May 25, 2007


We left our places of work. Walked out of the squadron, the office, the shop, off the flight line. Where there would normally be the buzzing, whistling, wizzing, bustling sounds of one of the busiest airfields in the country, all was quiet. We walked, we drove, in silence, while a C-17 landed with precious cargo. We lined the center avenue of our base, side by side we stood. Pilots, maintainers, personnelists, commanders, officer and enlisted, instructors and students, military and civilian. The Honor Guard escorted the white hearse as it creeped along the street, followed by cars of family and friends of our fallen brother. As the line of vehicles neared each one of us, there was a salute or hand placed on our heart and a tear in our eye. With the police escort long past, our eyes followed the convoy through the gate as it sent our comrade on his way to rest. We returned to work, without words, changed from the moments before. We know that could be any one of us, our brother or sister, mother or father, son or daughter, a friend or soul mate. No matter who it may be tomorrow, we will stand on that road to honor, remember, work for your memory, and the hope of those to come, for whom we fight.

SSgt. John Self was killed in Baghdad by a roadside bomb on May 14Th. It was his fourth tour in Iraq. He was called, he answered.... For all of us.

Godspeed brother.

See you on the flip side.

Military Times article
Honor the Fallen

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

when life hands you....

... whatever, you deal. Things have been pretty busy getting back into flying with students and trying to finish up my first master's class, so I haven't had much time for myself. Hopefully I'll be able to get back to my releases soon.... this, working out, drinking beer, church, maybe some good tunes thrown in. Until then enjoy some old guys that are smarter, more knowledgable, funnier, and than I.

Neptunus Lex
Day by Day


Sunday, May 20, 2007

best aviation books

So I got such great response from the best aviation movies post I thought I would try my own personal poll on the best book on aviation. This was tough, plus you cannot really include biographies and narratives in with the technical stuff. And then most of the technical information military pilots read is not for public dissemination. I also have not read any fiction associated with flying, so I'm hoping some of you can enlighted me in that area to broaden my horizons. I've just been into the real stuff since college. Here's my top choices, and they are all over the place, so be gentle.

1. Boyd: The Fighter Pilot who Changed the Art of War by Robert Coram
2. Into the Mouth of the Cat by Malcolm McConnell
3. The Wild Blue by Stephen Ambrose
4. The Few by Alex Kershaw
5.Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering by Robert L. Shaw

Please share your own favorite written works, no matter the genre.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

newest af training

I know we're short on money, but this is ridiculous.

H/T to Pablo. Thanks bro!

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

oh so true

Day by Day is one of my daily reads. You do good work Chris!

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

cool video fo the day

Click Here for more great videos and pictures!

Thanks Slushie!

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

i've got the tdy blues

TDY for you non-military types is short for paid vacation.... I mean, temporary duty. For the most part, TDYs are a welcome break from the monotony of everyday life. You get away from the small southern town and visit the big city, a chance to have some time away from family or roomates, an excuse to eat out more than normal. There are good TDYs and bad TDYs, but the good thing about them is they are temporary. So even if you are on your way to the desert, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The shelf life of a TDY is about 3 weeks to a month I think, depending on the location. Eventually, no matter where you call home, whether you like it or not, you long for your own bed, you miss the family, and you get tired of eating last nights leftovers everyday for lunch. Thankfully for me, I only have one more flight and a checkride, so if the weather cooperates, then I should be done by the end of the week. Cross your fingers. My roomie is looking forward to having me back and much as I am. I'm on my way Kelly!


Monday, May 07, 2007

best aviation movie ever

NOOOOOO!! Not that.... anything but that....

The top aviation movies as chosen by over 10,000 visitors to AirVenture

1. Top Gun
2. Twelve O'Clock High
3. Memphis Belle
4. Battle of Britain
5. Spirit of St. Louis
The Great Waldo Pepper

The others are so much better than Top Gun. Don't even get me started on all the things wrong with that movie. That's what you get when you poll the masses. Not knockin my generation, but they do not know what good movies are. Does anyone have any others to add to the list?

H/T Daily Aviator.

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

ah the good ol' days

A video from the class behind mine in pilot training. We shared a flight room and I saw these guys almost every day for six months, and still work with one of the dudes (the canopy guy). Yours truely even makes an appearance. I miss this stuff, those guys. It was hard, but it was worth every moment. Sorry its on myspace video. I'll try to get the real thing.

Ok, video is not working for me. Here's the link to a good video.

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army nat'l guard reaches full strength

For the first time since 1999:
The Army National Guard reached its congressionally authorized end strength of 350,000 Citizen-Soldiers on March 30, six months earlier than originally projected, Army Guard officials have reported.

"The strength of the Guard has been the amazing levels of retention among members of deployed units, surpassing all expectations," said Lt. Col. Diana Craun, the Army Guard’s deputy chief for strength maintenance.

"Retention is highest among units that have returned from deployments, and retention is an essential element in end strength," she added.

It is the first time that the Army Guard has been at full strength since 1999, Craun said. Officials had projected that the Army Guard would reach 350,000 troops by Sept. 30, the end of this fiscal year.

Article here, which also explains the reasons why they have been so successful. Via Instapundit.

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pretty darn sweet

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

this does not look good

This would not instill much confidence in perspective students.

Found here.

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i am so jealous

Many of my favorite bloggers are at this very moment enoying the milblogger conference 2007.

President Bush even made an appearance, well ok, by video. But still, that's pretty awesome, and adds credibilibty to the power we milbloggers hold. Video from Gateway Pundit.

Others attending include:
John of OPFOR
Jim in Texas
Matt of blackfive
Mary Katharine Ham of Townhall
Neptunus Lex
And that's just to name a few. Here's the whole list of everyone. You all have to enjoy it for those of us who cannot be there. Next year, its on!

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Friday, May 04, 2007

friday fun

A bit of humor for your Friday. At least you know us zoomies can laugh at ourselves. All via eDodo, the underground e-zine for the US Air Force Academy.

Have a great weekend!

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milblogger update

Ed Morrisey over at Captain's Quarter's has some clarification of the new OPSEC reg.

A question asked of Tony Snow:
Q: A follow-up, a second question would be, the Pentagon has required all military bloggers to seek approval for their blogging and their -- I think also their e-mail. Some bloggers and military and conservative commentators have said the government is shutting down --

MR. SNOW: Well, that's -- from what we -- from what we understand, that is being overreported a little bit in the following sense.

First, I'm not sure that that is operational, that request. No. 2, to the extent that they have asked -- and I would refer you to the Pentagon for full comment on this, but my understanding is that they're concerned about matters of operational security -- certainly people giving their opinions about what's going on -- as long as they do not disclose information that is going to jeopardize operations ongoing or in the future or in some way give away information that will make it easier for the enemy to kill Americans or Iraqis, and that's normal in a time of war. There is always censorship in a time of war mainly to protect the people who are doing the fighting, similarly with e-mails, but there is no wholesale shutdown.

Again, I'm just giving you what I know, and I would encourage you to talk to the Pentagon for further detail. But my understanding is there's no wholesale shutting down of blogs or of e-mail. But on the other hand, there is sensitivity to the fact that you have to be careful when you're doing these things not jeopardize yourself, your colleagues, the operations, the Iraqis and the overall mission.

And the Army clarifies also:
• In no way will every blog post/update a Soldier makes on his or her blog need to be monitored or first approved by an immediate supervisor and Operations Security (OPSEC) officer. After receiving guidance and awareness training from the appointed OPSEC officer, that Soldier blogger is entrusted to practice OPSEC when posting in a public forum.

• Army Regulation 350-1, “Operations Security,” was updated April 17, 2007 – but the wording and policies on blogging remain the same from the July 2005 guidance first put out by the U.S. Army in Iraq for battlefield blogging. Since not every post/update in a public forum can be monitored, this regulation places trust in the Soldier, Civilian Employee, Family Member and contractor that they will use proper judgment to ensure OPSEC.
o Much of the information contained in the 2007 version of AR 530-1 already was included in the 2005 version of AR 530-1. For example, Soldiers have been required since 2005 to report to their immediate supervisor and OPSEC officer about their wishes to publish military-related content in public forums.
o Army Regulation 530-1 simply lays out measures to help ensure operations security issues are not published in public forums (i.e., blogs) by Army personnel.

• Soldiers do not have to seek permission from a supervisor to send personal E-mails. Personal E-mails are considered private communication. However, AR 530-1 does mention if someone later posts an E-mail in a public forum containing information sensitive to OPSEC considerations, an issue may then arise.

So the Army didn't make such a bad call after all. Ed asks if it was Wired who got it wrong... the hype got the milblogosphere all spun up that's for sure.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

what are they thinking? silencing milbloggers

Army bloggers now have to go through their supervisors with blog posts and personal emails. From Michelle Malkin.
The U.S. Army has ordered soldiers to stop posting to blogs or sending personal e-mail messages, without first clearing the content with a superior officer, Wired News has learned. The directive, issued April 19, is the sharpest restriction on troops' online activities since the start of the Iraq war. And it could mean the end of military blogs, observers say.

Military officials have been wrestling for years with how to handle troops who publish blogs. Officers have weighed the need for wartime discretion against the opportunities for the public to personally connect with some of the most effective advocates for the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq -- the troops themselves. The secret-keepers have generally won the argument, and the once-permissive atmosphere has slowly grown more tightly regulated. Soldier-bloggers have dropped offline as a result.

She also quotes Matt over at Blackfive:
The Bottom-Line to the this bad piece of regulation: The soldiers who will attempt to fly under the radar and post negative items about the military, mission, and commanders will continue to do so under the new regs. The soldiers who've been playing ball the last few years, the vast, VAST, majority will be reduced. In my mind, this reg will accomplish the exact opposite of its intent. The good guys are restricted and the bad continue on...

Operational Security is of paramount importance. But we are losing the Information War on all fronts. Fanatic-like adherence to OPSEC will do us little good if we lose the few honest voices that tell the truth about The Long War.

Both cite Noah Shachtman over at Wired.
He linked to the original Operations Security reg.

John's take at OPFOR.

What if all the milbloggers just flooded their commanders with their posts? I have a feeling that the commanders would either delegate to someone lower on the totem pole or not enforce the reg, especially when they turn out be positive for the mission and no threat to Opsec anyway. There will still be some fallout from this, so don't loose heart yet fellow bloggers. And depending on the commander, if they are at all tech-knowledgeable, they may see this new reg in a different light. At least that's what I'm hoping.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

makes you say "hmm"

From Michael Ramirez of CA Investor's Business Daily. Via MSNBC's Cagle's Professional Cartoonists Index.

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A post by Smash re-posted, and for good reason. It brought a tear to my eye and filled me with pride. Enjoy.

I wrote the following, on February 22, 2003, as a sort of pep-talk for myself.

I'm not a hero.

That is to say, I don't think of myself that way. I don't seek out danger. I'm not the type of guy who is always looking for the next adrenaline rush, or the latest thrill sport. I generally avoid dangerous activities.

I'm not a coward, either.

I'm not fearless. I realize, every day that I am here, that my life is in danger.

There is no way to avoid this conclusion. I'm told to wear body armor and a helmet. I carry a weapon. We build fortifications. I lug a pack full of chemical protection gear everywhere I go. I've received so many shots, I feel like a pincushion. Sometimes, when I have a moment or two to think about it, I feel a little bit scared. Frankly, only an idiot would not be afraid under these circumstances.

But I do have courage.

Courage is not the absence of fear. To the contrary, courage involves recognizing danger, but acting on the realization that danger must be confronted -- or it will find you when you are least prepared.

I didn't come here looking for a thrill.

I'm here because there is a hole in the ground in New York, where a couple of the world's tallest buildings used to be.

I'm here because I knew some of those people in the Pentagon.

I'm here because my seven-year-old nephew has nightmares about terrorists.

I'm here because whether Saddam is responsible or not for those terrorist attacks, he has the will and is developing the means to do much, much worse.

I'm here because if History teaches us anything, it is that evil men cannot be deterred by sanctions, containment strategies, diplomacy, resolutions, or weapons inspections.

I'm here because I don't believe in appeasement.

I'm here because someone has to be.

I'm here because I was called.

I'm here because I have a job to do.
This got a lot of positive feedback. One high-school girl later wrote to tell me that she had memorized and recited it as part of a public speaking contest, and had earned a standing ovation.

Here here brother.

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these guys rock

I hope I do not get any "those kids and they're darned hippie music" comments, but I have loved Mute Math for a long time. I saw them in concert a few months ago, and they just have a unique sound and great energy. And how could you not love a band that rocks a keytar? I'm posting about them again because they will be in Austin this Thursday, and I'm going to see them again! YES!

Here's the new video of "Typical." It seems like a boy's dream, making a big mess with paint and silly string, breaking stuff. But all backwards like that had to be tough. I can say though the finished product is amazing. I'm going to go ahead and call it the next OK go internet gem.

The making of the video.... its pretty funny watching them doing everything backwards

Live performance on Kimmel

Their song has even made it to American Idol, with really does use good songs for the most part.

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