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September 2012

Noble Bar

There is a lot to be said for eating fresh.  There is a lot to be said for eating food that is processed as little as possible.  I even support eating fresh local food for a lot of reasons, though I think the "localvore" movement (eating only what is available local seasonally) is pretty f'ing stupid.  I've long been on record as pointing out that one reason organic produce can and does taste better is that those products are often heirloom products from when we grew for taste rather than shelf life. 

The thing is, there is room for debate on a lot of this.  The one thing I think that most of us here can agree on is that the politics behind much of the organic/localvore/fad-of-the-week or healthy/nutritious tend to be more than a touch, er,  progressive.  And loudly proud of it.


So, imagine my surprise at being contacted by the people behind Noble Bar.  Not only is it a veteran-owned small business, they proudly based their products on the foods of the Romans, Koreans, and the Vikings because of their valor and victories.  The nutrition behind the bars seems solid, and they do give a good energy boost. 

Yes, I have tried all three:  Centurion Fig, Kobukson Asian Pear, and Viking Cherry.  All three were/are good, and having a thing for cherries (shut up Jimbo), I honestly expected that the Viking Cherry would be my favorite.  The Kobukson Asian Pear, however, truly surprised me with how good it tasted and the balance of the flavors, and edged out the Vikings.  Sorry distant ancestors. 

You really do want to read their story, learn about their logo, and check out their products.  Nutritious, tasty, and no patchouli. 


Prizes and Finish First Tactical


On the 7th, I posted some prizes for those donating to my embed.  I'm happy to report that one of the autographed movie posters was snatched up almost immediately by Fred Hoeffken of Finish First Tactical.  Finish First Tactical is a subsidiary of Ae Germane, a company that makes precision parts for everyone/everything from NASCAR race cars to the military.  They have started Finish First Tactical to handle the increased need for mission configurable firearm accessories for the military, competitive shooters, and others.  You may see more about them around here, as they may become an advertiser here. 

=?utf-8?B?UGFnZSAxIG9mIDIuanBn?= 1

Meantime, there is still a poster left and more.

#1/100 909, Blue Skies Forever


Continue reading "Prizes and Finish First Tactical" »


~I may be thick as a brick about such things but since when does the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff take it upon himself to call a private American citizen and urge him to curtail his rights of freedom of speech?  Especially after this same CoJCS sent a message to the Armed Forces telling them to refrain from involving themselves in domestic political activities?  

General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke with Pastor Terry Jones by phone on Wednesday and asked him to withdraw his support for a film whose portrayal of the Prophet Mohammad has sparked violent protests - including one that ended with the death of America's envoy to Libya.

"In the brief call, Gen. Dempsey expressed his concerns over the nature of the film, the tensions it will inflame and the violence it will cause," Dempsey's spokesman, Colonel Dave Lapan, told Reuters.

Can you say, "mixed signals"?

~The House has passed the new Stolen Valor Act.

Those who lie about military service or make false claims about receiving military medals with the intent of benefiting from those claims would be committing a crime under legislation passed by the House Wednesday. 

I.e. those who perpetrate fraud are prosecutable.  However:

Following the lines of the [Supreme] court ruling, it exempts from punishment those who simply wear military medals or decorations that do not belong to them.

You're still left with only ridicule and shame in that regard.  The guys at Ranger Up help with that task:



~In other news, If you're going to fling poo you need to be right or it is liable to come right back at you.  Meanwhile in the real world.

~Is the former Navy SEAL who wrote "No Easy Day" in for some official action?  Seems completely possible given these words by the SecDef:

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is suggesting that a retired Navy SEAL be punished for writing a book giving an insider's account of the U.S. raid that killed terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.

Asked in a network interview if he thinks the writer should be prosecuted, Panetta replied, "I think we have to take steps to make clear to him and to the American people that we're not going to accept this kind of behavior."

We'll see.  It seems as no one in government is ever held accountable, but this guy may be.  Meanwhile, where are we on the "leaks" investigation?

~Meanwhile in Yemen:

An elite Marine rapid response team arrived in Yemen's capital Friday in the wake of violence and protests at the U.S. Embassy, the Pentagon said.

Pentagon press secretary George Little said the decision to dispatch about 50 Marines to Sanaa was partly in response to the violence and partly as a precautionary measure.

The Marines are members of a platoon from a Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team, a specially trained and configured group that makes short-notice deployments in response to terrorist threats and to reinforce security at U.S. embassies.

Hopefully they'll be allowed to carry live ammuntion.  You can read more about the FAST teams here and here.

~And, under the title of "I want what this guy's smoking" we get the quote of the week:

But money is not a problem, according to Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. Before his grilling on sequestration in Congress yesterday, Carter went on week-long swing through Asia in which he told allies repeatedly that getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan would leave the Pentagon with “abundant resources.”

Seriously?  16 trillion in debt, already cutting 500 billion with 500 billion to come via sequestration?  Abundant resources.  We're broke Mr. Carter.  And the plan seems to be to attempt to balance things ... as much as they can be balanced ... on the back of the military.

The context of the quote is in support of the "Pacific pivot" and assuring Asian allies we'll have more than enough to carry it through.

~Finally, I recieved an email from the Obama campagin alterting me, as the title of the email said, that "Vets Condemn Romney Advisor's Statement on Egypt and Lybia."

Attached was a press release from VoteVets.  In the VoteVets masthead was the statement "The Voice of America's 21st Century Patriots".

First, VoteVets does not represent all veterans.  In fact, it is a progressive front group that has some veterans among it.  And it is entirely a creature of politics. My guess is that in actuality it represents very few veteran voices.

You might remember the dishonest ads it did about body armor and Vietnam era flak jackets.  When called on it and confronted with facts, they refused to pull it.

They're no more "the voice of America's 21st Century Patriots" than this Middle Eastern meltdown is about a movie.  

Enjoy your weekend.



And Now The Other Shoe Drops.....

And now we are seeing exactly why it was that our Ambassador met the fate that he did.

The US Administration is now facing a crisis in Libya. Sensitive documents have gone missing from the consulate in Benghazi and the supposedly secret location of the "safe house" in the city, where the staff had retreated, came under sustained mortar attack. Other such refuges across the country are no longer deemed "safe".

Some of the missing papers from the consulate are said to list names of Libyans who are working with Americans, putting them potentially at risk from extremist groups, while some of the other documents are said to relate to oil contracts.

According to senior diplomatic sources, the US State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo, that American missions may be targeted, but no warnings were given for diplomats to go on high alert and "lockdown", under which movement is severely restricted.

This is what happens when leaders don't do their jobs.  And word 'round the campfire is that the OinC is too busy to attend the daily intelligence briefing (not attended since September 5th).  Anyone who votes to keep an administration in office like this one needs to be involuntarily committed to an institution.

And in the "learn something new everyday" category;

The U.S. ambassador to any nation ultimately decides whether Marines are authorized to carry ammunition, according to a GOP national security adviser knowledgeable about American embassy protocols.

“In the end, the ambassador of any country has the final call on what to do in a country,” the source said. “The buck stops with you. You make every decision.”

Each ambassador, in consultation with their Regional Security Officer (RSO), sets the policy regarding the rules of engagement, according to the adviser. The RSO is responsible for coordinating all security measures and reports directly to the ambassador in any given nation.

“A decision or order to set rules of engagement that you can’t carry live ammunition and can’t engage violent crowds climbing over your walls and tearing down your flag stems from direct orders from the Chief of Mission and possibly whoever the Chief of Mission reports to,” the source explained.

So, when I become King of the World for a day, this policy will be changed so that the most senior Marine NCO supervising the Embassy security detachment is now the one who will decide when the US Marines will carry live ammunition without consultation and separately from any decision the RSO makes.  I bet that Senior Marine NCO is possibly in a position to know the "ground truth" and his promotions and career development are in an entirely different food chain from the wonks at DoS, and that NCO should have adequate control of his Marines to be able to decide and determine what exactly their needs for defense ought to be.

This is exactly the kind of non-leadership (or as the Occupant in Chief calls it "leading from behind") that leads us to what we are seeing today. I sense a disturbance in The Force that tells me that the Obumbler will suddenly try to use the Jedi Mind Trick to get us to believe that somehow the buck doesn't stop with him and that this is somehow the fault of yet another straw-man; or perhaps an actual man, who will be thrown quickly under the nearest bus.

And for those who don't remember their history class, or maybe you were absent that day, should do some Googling on what happened the last time the US Marines went to the shores of Tripoli.

Was it really all about a movie?

Frankly, I think that's the media doing some CYA for the incumbent.

For instance there was this:


And it is reported that those that stormed the Embassy in Cairo were chanting "Obama, Obama there are still a billion Osama's". Yup, all about a movie.

And whose flag did they raise in the sted of the Stars and Stripes?

Al-Qaeda's, that's whose.  On the anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center and in the year their leader was killed.  

Some spontaneous demonstration, huh?

Probably all in the morning briefings for the President.


A More Disturbing Matter

We've got a bit of a problem, if this is right: we're being out-competed in the intelligence market.
Captain Fathi al-Obeidi, whose special operations unit was ordered by Libya's authorities to meet an eight-man force at Benghazi airport, said that after his men and the U.S. squad had found the American survivors who had evacuated the blazing consulate, the ostensibly secret location in an isolated villa came under an intense and highly accurate mortar barrage.

"I really believe that this attack was planned," he said, adding to suggestions by other Libyan officials that at least some of the hostility towards the Americans was the work of experienced combatants. "The accuracy with which the mortars hit us was too good for any regular revolutionaries."
Yeah, well, I was mortared every morning during parts of 2007, and those bastards hardly hit anything in spite of having the ability to get people on the base to do BDA. But the CIA didn't see it coming.

No surprise, if you've been in that game lately.  They're behind the ball, and not just here.  Risk aversion is a normal condition for a large bureaucracy, but a deadly one for anyone in this particular business.

1979 Anyone?

I have made no secret of the fact I am epically underwhelmed by what the current Occupant in Chief calls "leadership" and what his ignorant buffoons running Foggy Bottom and the Puzzle Palace call "diplomacy."

So, after having scanned the news for information this morning and seeing how things are developing in Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, Libya and across the disputed lands of the Middle East, we are now falling faster and faster down the wormhole to 1979, but worse.

Some of us are old enough to remember that in 1979, when there was a weak willed apex pussy in the White House, along with an enabler Secretary of State that threw a staunch (although not perfect) ally in Iran to the wolves and then allowed a band of heathen two-bit revolutionaries to hold Americans hostage for 444 days; all while looking for the place where he left his non-existent spine and his morals while dealing with something Cronkite now called the "Misery Index."  And then, after much hand wringing and teeth gnashing about how our enemy might feel if we kicked their ass, he finally decided to have Charlie Beckwith and the boys from the new SOF-D get down to the business of introducing these two-bit revolutionaries to a controlled pair to the vital t-zone during a sniper initiated dynamic entry, but first, Charlie had to endure yet another briefing in order to continue to listen to chapter and verse the exact levels of micromanagement and hand wringing necessary to keep the faint little hearts of those in the Puzzle Palace from giving out.  Part of this was a conversation that Charlie was forced to have with the Deputy Secretary of State, Warren Christopher about the part of the plan that involved shooting the Iranian guards (that went a little something like this);

BECKWITH: "and that Gentlemen, is how the operation will go."

CHRISTOPHER:   Colonel; can't you just shoot them in the leg or shoulder?

BECKWITH:  stunned silence... (thinking to himself simultaneously "what a tribute to our country that this oxygen thief is allowed to even ask me such a question and "Wow.  You are a HUGE Pussy.")

God Bless the brave men of Desert One who did their best based on all the BS that was loaded on them by the second most incompetent administration in our history.  But that my friends, is why, given the events that are transpiring on the Arab Street; it is starting to look and feel to me exactly like a much worse version of 1979; and not in a corduroy bell bottoms, denim hip huggers, Farrah Fawcett poster and t-top Bandit Trans Am's kind of way. We are driving down the road of appeasement in speaking with savages that understand only one thing; power.  My fear is that we will soon pull off this road and park somewhere in parking lot of full retreat.

The Iranians released those hostages after 444 days because they knew that newly elected President Reagan would grind their bones to make his bread if they did not, as opposed to Carter the apex pussy. This act, both in Libya and Egypt, as Grim has said, needs to be answered, and it needs to be done in spectacular fashion.  I am a realist and I understand that any President who would rather send out Twitter apologies to savages that spend every waking moment standing by to be offended (and then retracting the apologies) is not the kind of leader that would be using all of our resources toward getting these same two-bit faux revolutionaries to assume room temperature for invading American territory and burning down our flag and killing our ambassador.

This is now reason 327,893 why this miserable excuse for a President, all of his ass-hat, know nothing, no life experience in the real world cronies and advisors need to be sent packing in stellar fashion.  This administration's experience is a constant amateur hour that is combined with what seems to be a slow, simmering hatred of American values and the constant apologizing for the fact that America doesn't suck and are the best nation on Earth has reached it zenith.

This is what happens when you put thinkers, and not "do"-ers in charge of running the show.

For the love of all that is holy, if we are going to be a Superpower, then we need to be one.  Please Candidate Romney; if you need someone to work somewhere at a high level in your State Department to help turn this way of thinking around; I am free to help out on this front.  I swear, with Ambassador Bolton and I together, we can turn American Diplomacy into verb, and not a noun.

The Language of Honor

One of the stories our Human Terrain Teams collected in Iraq goes like this:  Once upon a time, in the days of the black tents in the desert, there was a family made up of a young man, his elderly father, and their women and children.  One day the young man discovered that one of their goats had been stolen.  His father advised him to take revenge, but the young man wasn't quite sure who had stolen it, so he did nothing.  The next day, one of his sons was killed.  The father urged him to revenge, but the son wasn't sure who was guilty, so he did nothing.  The third day, the enemy returned and killed his other sons, raped his daughters, and murdered his wife.  When he came to his father, he found the old man in tears.  The old man said, "This is all because you didn't avenge the goat."

The point of the story ought to be plain enough.  Yesterday's attacks were an act of misguided vengeance -- pointed at us, but really in response to this movie.  Muslims who felt their religion had been insulted (as, indeed, it had been -- the director's intent is quite clear) took revenge.  Because we were not at fault, however, the harm done to us does not balance but rather upsets the scale.  We now have an obligation of honor to settle the score and avenge the harm done to our flag, and the murder of our ambassador.

If we do not do this the consequences will be terrible.  It is fine to do it through the law:  the Libyan government has apologized for the attacks in its country, and if they are willing to work with us to find and hang the murderers, so be it.  If the law fails to work, however, we must avenge our flag and our ambassador in any case.  At minimum someone must die for the murder of our ambassador, in a clear and public way.

The language of honor is a language of deeds, not always a language of words.  An obligation has been imposed upon us.  If we want peace, we must see to our honor.  It is only in that way that we can ensure the respect upon which peace in the Middle East is ever based.  A peace between warriors is the only peace there is to be had.

Democrat convention honors vets by showing Russian ships

Oh this is just precious.

DNC Russian Ships

On the last night of the Democratic National Convention, a retired Navy four-star took the stage to pay tribute to veterans. Behind him, on a giant screen, the image of four hulking warships reinforced his patriotic message.

But there was a big mistake in the stirring backdrop: those are Russian warships.

Well I mean the Russian sailors are veterans, and we did the whole reset button thing with them, so maybe they meant to do it.

Naval experts concluded the background was a photo composite of Russian ships that were overflown by what appear to be U.S. trainer jets. It remains unclear how or why the Democratic Party used what’s believed to be images of the Russian Black Sea Fleet at their convention.

A spokesman for the Democratic National Convention Committee was not able to immediately comment Tuesday, saying he had to track down personnel to find out what had happened.

They were actually trying to find a way to avoid people wondering if this was Obama showing Putin some of that flexibility he had mentioned.


Now at his campaign events they have Spetsnaz guys doing backflips tossing hatchets behind him as Barry tells the tale of shooting bin Laden in the eye. Pathetic pandering.

Inside the Pentagon on 911...

S.E.R.E Program Manager Ricky Arnold, Sr. reflects on the horrific memories of that dark September day at the Pentagon in 2001. Despite being ordered to leave the flame-engulfed building, Ricky and his team knew they had to stay and help. Ricky recounts reaching a jammed corridor that served as a barricade between his team and the unreachable victims on the other side...From the NRA's Life of Duty:

The rescuers fight on...