That's about par for the course since Google bought them out. If anyone can show me a video link, I'll cross-post it.
Gotta admire the 21st Century version of the snake oil salesmen, though, I dialed up one video that had the proper timeline to go with it's title, and it was a video of bar patrons stapling money to a midget's head! 'Bout lost the lunch on that one.
UPDATE: 12-30-06 1840 PST: SondraK at Knowledge is Power blog has this link, it looks like it was shot with a cell phone by someone totally unschooled in camera technique, but it gets the job done, as did the hangmen.
You won't read my kind of reportage in your local fishwrap, so pull up a chair and get the Maker's Mark out, you'll need some after you finish.
First, here's a little report on some action south of Baghdad, from a source I'll not reveal, except to say that he is a SGT of cavalry scouts on his second tour:
"2 Weeks ago a helicopter spots 5 guys trying to put in an IED. We are the closest so he talks us in on them, they run, chopper marks their position in a palm grove with IR flood light, tells us they are armed. We deploy in skirmish line along a ditch. My gunner (using a thermal sight) calls me and says he sees them 100m in front of us with weapons. They come into view and I’m about to drop a 40mm High explosive shell on them when the LT says to hold fire. I let B section know they are headed to the road and they go to intercept but watch them get away cause everyone’s so scared of getting in trouble if they shoot someone, Fuckin idiots. Chopper tells us the last 3 guys are hiding on the river bank. We move in a staggered column. LT’s all nervous and keeps telling us to stop. I get pissed, tell him I’m moving up to the next dike, I'll call you guys up when it’s clear. Finally get everyone up to the river bank but can’t find the guys. Launch a 40mm flare to light up the area. We capture 2 along with their weapons and ammo vests. They say there friend is still hiding and he is still armed. LT gets all panicked and tells us to go back to the truck because the 3rd is still armed. Try to explain that WE are armed too and hajji’s a scared little bitch and he won’t shoot back, let’s go get him. But no, we go back to the trucks and the Apache fires 6 rockets at the one guy. Bet that cost a pretty penny! We go back down there and find his rifle but no body."
Well, the scout-SGT should be the EllTee, and the EllTee should be the Snow Removal Officer at some remote outpost in Kuwait, where the opportunity to talk to a camel would be a big deal.
The SGT gives us a little intell about the latest Iranian weapon being supplied to the insurgents:
"The latest and greatest IED’s that Hajji uses now are known as A.D.D’s (Armor Defeating Device) it’s a cylinder like a large coffee can filled with explosive. The end facing the road is capped with a precision milled copper plate. It’s curved inwards like the top of a steel drum. When it blows, the copper plate heats to several thousand degrees and forms a slug that goes straight through humvees like a hot knife through butter. They get the copper plates from Iran because they don’t have the machinery to make them here."
If I were POTUS, I would put a stop to that in a hurry: for every one of those which was found or used against our troops, a bomber sortie would drop a load of cluster bombs on a mosque somewhere in Iran, on Friday night as prayers are letting out.
I have a friend with whom I correspond quite a bit. She has not been exposed to much in the way of military ops, so I shared the SGT's email with her to give her some flavor of what the troops in contact deal with on a daily basis. It's a slightly different style than my usual writing here, but my letter to her might be instructive for some:
Well, the liberals are REAL good at fucking up wars. Once they get "their" people and concepts (stall, obfuscate, cut and run) into gear, there's not much hope. I've been watching this one closely. When the Pentagon sent the first lawyers to the theater of war, the war was lost. Since then, we have had "rules of engagement" and these pansy-ass field leaders screwing up almost everything. Our "rules of engagement" should be clear: we will fight in the same manner as our enemies. When they want to adhere to some sort of civilized warfare, we will too, but until then, there are no rules.
We had huge disadvantages going in: the invasion plan had no extra troops to secure major objectives such as armories, weapons depots, ammo dumps, etc. As a result, Saddam's troops, who merely shed their uniforms and slipped through our lines as civilians (the ones who wanted to fight on became the "insurgents"), had plenty of weapons and explosives.
The other big disadvantage is a natural one: the "insurgents" blend in to the population, and there is enough scare effect left over from Saddam to make them intimidating.
Our fine military adapted to these disadvantages, and began to win over the civil population with good works. We found out where the worst of the bad guys were, and mounted some very effective counter-strikes on them.
We DID NOT get a handle on the political situation. We should have killed Moqtada Al-Sadr when we had Fallujah surrounded the first time (and he had a dead-or-alive arrest warrant out on him at that time). He is the main link to Iran, where most of the serious fighters and ALL of the advanced weaponry (such as this molten-metal mine the SGT described) has come from.
Al-Sadr is the main reason the ethnic coalition is falling apart. He has a one-seventh minority in the Iraqi Parliament, and no one except the Mad Mullahs in Iran would miss him if one day he and his boys didn't show up for work.
Every time we get a little ahead of the game, with better and more experienced troops or better equipment, we fall behind because of the lack of political support.
The Bush administration has all but abandoned coherent direction of the war and no new initiatives are planned.
Any army which sits (is forced to sit) on it's keister when there are still enemy in the field who need to be killed is going to lose the war.
So I'm watching the Sun Bowl, and it's a close game, with my first alma mater, Mizzou, just pulling ahead of the Oregon State Beavers with 8 minutes to play in the first half.
SeeBS then cuts away from the game to provide live coverage of a PRIVATE prayer service for Gerald Ford in Palm Desert. This service is strictly for his family, according to the ABC Noon news.
Now, I know for a FACT that Gerald Ford, an outstanding athlete and football player himself, who played on a National Championship team at Michigan in the 1930's, would NOT have wanted a major bowl game interupted for his funeral service.
What a crock of crap! I guess SeeBS thinks that all the football fans watching are GOP.
I hope that this FUBAR results in SeeBS losing, or failing to gain, some lucrative sports contracts. All the advertisers who paid for slots on that bowl game will now have to be re-imbursed, and you can bet it's the last time any of them will ever contract for time on a SeeBS sports event again.
And no, I'm not being insensitive or immature, and if you think that way, you can FOAD.
UPDATE: 122906 1645PST: SeeBS pre-empted the game until just before half time, then they let it go, probably because their switchboard was swamped and their sports director threatened to resign. I hope some weenie executive who made this decision get fired. It was a GREAT game, won by a single point by Oregon State, 39-38, on a two point conversion RUSH with 22 seconds left on the clock. If SeeBS had preempted the whole game, their building in New Yawk would likely have been in flames by now, and I would be trying for an air ticket with a carry-on full of marshmallows.
...in front of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's office.
The shady Nevada Senator is off leading a junket to South America for the New Year's holiday, which is lavishly celebrated in those cultures. Of course, it is a taxpayer-paid junket, complete with USAF VIP aircraft transport.
Nothing unusual there. I've been reading about these junkets since I first started to read the newspaper over 50 years ago. This is one disgusting tradition of the Congress that will never die. One more reason for the Second American Revolution, but I digress...
There is something new, though, about THIS junket. You see, Former President Gerald Ford just died, and President Bush correctly ordered a State Funeral for him. Proper protocol for these is that all Senators attend the major events of the State funeral process.
What does Harry Reid and his junketing buddies (including two boneheaded GOP senators according to this report) do? He blows off the funeral and says that he is staying in South America to continue his holiday junket, which includes major "fact-finding" at the Maccu Piccu ruins as well as at several Presidential Palaces. All this to visit Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru, none of which are our true friends in South America, and all of which countries are run by leftists. In fact, the new President of Bolivia is a direct protege of Venezuala's anti-US President Hugo Chavez, and directly supports the commercial growing of coca, from which cocaine is made.
This is nothing less than a partisan snub on Reid's part. If this was the State funeral of former President Jimmah Cahtuh, you can bet he would offer his apologies to those he was visiting/partying with, get back on the aircraft and come home for the funeral. I have no idea why the two GOP senators don't break with Reid and return, and they would score HUGE points if they did, because that would leave Reid in the position of having his snub pointed out to the entire world. I hope President Bush gives them a call and requests their attendance at the funeral personally.
Senator Reid, you are a man of no class and even less breeding. Wait, I take that back, you were probably conceived when your mother was bred by your father's prize bull, so you have some good bloodlines in you. They certainly aren't HUMAN bloodlines, but they certainly DO explain why you rose to the top of your bullshitting craft.
As to your lame excuse that you couldn't stand up the South American politicians on such short notice, I have this to say: if THEY had any class or breeding, they wouldn't be there to receive you anyway, THEY would be at the funeral, and in any case they would certainly understand if you canceled your trip and returned.
On this day, I am ashamed that people in my country have to be represented by these no-account buttwipes.
This is the first of a series where I go through my blogging categories and review the year as I have seen it.
Let's start with the obvious: the Oregon Ducks football team. From their opening game, where they defeated Oklahoma on a dubious review of a field call by the referee, but otherwise played top ten caliber football, to their disgraceful end, losing 5 out of their last 6 games in one of the worst chokes seen in NCAA Division 1A football in recent memory, the team showed stark inconsistency. The slide can't be blamed on injuries to key players, there weren't any. It can't be blamed on recruiting sub-caliber players, the team was 5-0 until they played #5 California, and you don't get to 5-0 with less than superb talent.
No, the team suffed a collapse of team spirit, and the blame for that lies squarely on the shoulders of Coach Belotti. Unless the Coach explains this collapse soon, along with his plan to fix it, he should resign.
On to something more general. This isn't racist, far from it, but why does every major sport except NASCAR auto racing have to try to sell itself to the tune of "gangsta"-style hip-hop music and glorify that music's pimps? I don't follow or view sports to get my music, I have equipment and internet sites for that. I don't want to hear professional football or any other sport associated with a music genre that is directly opposed to all the values that I hold dear.
Something particular: The NFL has had a lock on the proper marketing of their sport for decades, but they have made a bad mistake with the "NFL Network" by creating this cable/satellite TV channel, then offering it to the cable and satellite consortiums at such a ridiculous price that they can only offer it to their super-premium, $100/month customers, they have just taken a chunk of the national sport and locked it up, in the style of the enviro-weenies who lock up the forests. Does the NFL think that their goose will always lay golden eggs? They laid a rotten one here. Dump the damn channel or make it available to the whole damn market. While I'm ranting at the Commish, why do we need regular Monday, Thursday and Saturday games in addition to the traditional Sunday schedule?
The baseball steroid scandal. Against all the custom in professional sport, as well as dubious drug laws which proscribe it's use, several long-time stars have been revealed to have enhanced their physical strength level with the forbidden drugs. MLB blew us off when we complained that there was a fairness issue involved with these super-stars using their ill-gotten gains to force their way into the record books and/or the Hall of Fame. Commissioner, we demand that no home run or batting average records EVER be certified for these abusers, and that they not be considered for the Hall of Fame. To put them in the Hall with real stars who earned their way their through great talent and God-given strength instead of medium talent and wonder-drugs would be an insult to the entire roster of the Hall.
OK, my last shot is at my favorite target, the NFL. Don't get me wrong, I love what the NFL, working with the broadcasters, has done with the technology of bringing the game to us. Hi-Def, the SkyCam, the first and ten line (and now the line of scrimmage as well) have all made viewing NFL football much more enjoyable.
But, the NFL bringeth and the broadcasters taketh away. Especially ESPN. This business of having "super-fan" as the third man in the booth is wrong. I don't care how glib Tony Kornheiser is, he's NOT football in the role that they have him in. Maybe ESPN could convert him to just a stat man, or maybe they could leave him out of the booth. They can also leave ALL the celebrities out of the booth. I don't care who they are, they add nothing to the broadcast of the game, and they take away plenty. Do you remember how games were broadcast on MNF just a year ago? Every play was discribed. Now, when the celebs are in the booth, they just forget about football, and maybe put an inset picture on while we get to see the booth with celeb. I'm not paying my cable bill to see celebs, I pay it to see football. Get all the non-football crap out of the broadcast. If the people you're trying to attract to your audience can't sit still for a whole four quarters of football, who needs them?
Bottom line, technology is making the game more interesting to watch, and idiots in the marketing division are making it worse to watch.
Boxing Day, of course, is a British tradition (but a legal holiday in Canada). The glorious British Empire of the nineteenth century was based on a rather stark caste system, and it was the moral obligation of the upper class to show an occasional bit of generosity towards their paid and/or indentured servants, or members of the lower end of the merchant class who they regularily dealt with, such as coal carters, fishmongers, the gardener, the charwoman, etc.
For them, Christmas was a day late (and a shilling short, usually). All their gifts were suitably wrapped in boxes, so I guess that is how their Christmas became Boxing Day. It had to be well-differentiated from the upper class Christmas, so it was just Boxing Day. Also obvious is the fact that the upper caste put on lavish Christmas parties, which involved the entire staff of servants, none of which got the day off.
I don't know any Boxing Day carols, or even if any were written, so, in their place, here's a carol of a non-sectarian nature I wrote 21 years ago.
Sung to the tune of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"
The Oregon Rain Carol
"God rust ye Oregonians Let no sun come your way Keep praying to the gods of rain: Bring clouds here evr'y day To save us all from Skin Cancer We need those skies of gray
O Tidings of drizzle and of rain Drizzle and Rain O Tidings of drizzle and of rain
Happy Boxing Day, fellow toilers for the High and Mighty!
Yep, you read right. J&G Sales of Prescott, AZ, a reputable outfit which I've dealt with before, is trying to pump up their business volume, and what better way than by giving away a new rifle. Not just any rifle either, it's a Winchester Model 70 Stealth, in .25 WSSM caliber. I don't know about the WSSM family of cartridges, I don't think that they have been around long enough to judge their usefulness in a sniper-type weapon like this, and they are expensive to shoot, but a lottery for a $886 rifle is too sweet to pass up.
This outfit has some nice milsurp stuff, some of which is on sale for the next 4 days, such as a fine Russkie Mosin-Nagant M44 carbine in 7.62X54 (about identical ballistics to .303 Brit if you haven't shot one before) for $59.95. There's your truck gun, bro. For sure, and with ammo about $70 for 800 rounds, these rifles are cheap to keep. See my range report on them here.
Lots of other goodies on sale. The sturdy little FEG-PA 63 pistol, in 9X18 Makarov, with which you COULD be mistaken for James Bond, is on sale for $114.95. Buy about three at that price, there's something to be said for having several identical pistols stashed hither and yon (they'll never get them ALL).
I could go on, but if you couldn't read, you wouldn't be here anyway.
We've all been good tradesmen this year, and we deserve better than a lump of coal on Boxing Day, so get that credit card back out and heat it up!
Yes, it's Christmas, but a soldier in the Culture War must still stand his guard. Lots of evil lurks around us, even on Christmas Day.
How many of you have kept up with the fine little war that rages in Somalia, on the strategic Horn of Africa? Well, Ethopia and the government of Somalia have joined forced to oust the Al-Qaida-led "Islamic Courts", a Taliban-like repressive Islamist gang that took over Mogadishu. This article will bring you up on the battle. I wonder if they read the article over at the CIA?
The Culture war is quite as hot, but a lot closer to home in this article by Jack Valenti, former Hollywood mogul and WW2 war hero. In it, he talks about the dangerous gulf between generations which exists on the subject of teaching our children the history of war, and it's proper place in our culture. If I could, I'd pin another medal on your chest, Jack. You're still fighting on the proper side.