Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Merry Jihad, Charlie Brown!

Funniest most politically incorrect thing I've seen in a LONG time. Probably more so for me because I'm a huge Charlie Brown fan, but it's still pretty damn funny.

"It's not such a bad little bomb...all it needs is some heat..."

Also, standby for some Valour-IT updates tomorrow.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Just got done chasing freshmen and a couple sophomores around campus. The short version is that we were doing wargames, but it was for Arnold Air Society, so the actives (people already in) were set up to have significant advantages over the Tigers (people going through the intiation program to join.) For starters, they were in their white pt uniforms, while we were running around in our BDUs. At night. We also had radios, and the advantages of knowing what was going on. Anyway, it was fun; chasing someone down after he's just escaped from the "POW Camp" is a nice feeling, especially when you get to see the look on his face when you pop out of the bushes 10 feet from him. This all comes on top of a wilderness survival weekend where, among other things, I got to lead my group cross-country to rescue a "downed pilot" and find his "gear" (graham crackers and cups.) A good night, except for the fact that it took us almost an hour to find the pilot's "gear" after we found him. Even though it was hidden by the pilot. I think the funniest part of the night was when we got ambushed by a couple of the "terrorists" running around. They were 15 feet away when they lit me up with a flashlight and started "shooting." "You're being shot at! What are you going to do?!?" Me: "Umm...I'm pretty sure I'm dead..."

Anyway, all this wargaming has put me in a martial mood, so I'm putting up the trailer for the 300. If you haven't seen it before, this is going to be one of the better movies of 2007. Enjoy.

Also, I highly recommend going to Apple's site and watching the HD version. The cinematography is gorgeous.

Friday, October 27, 2006


Sorry for the lack of posting, but I've been getting my butt kicked by school. As I stated previously I'm changing majors at semester into Political Science, so no more enginerding for me. Unfortunately, I'm changing majors at SEMESTER which means I have about a month and a half left of suffering through physics, calculus, and AerE classes.

Anyway, I went on a drive with one of my roommates this afternoon. We ended up driving up to a small town north of Ames called Story City. It has a typical small-town America downtown, complete with furniture store, small general store, a grain silo by the railroad tracks, and a one screen movie theater. I've seen this hundreds of times before when driving to visit family in Kansas or pheasant hunting out in rural Nebraska. As we were driving through, a thought struck me. Towns like this aren't much different in concept to a small village in France or Belgium. Except for the one crucial difference: war hasn't physically touched small towns like this in America for almost 150 years.

I understand that there are a variety of reasons for this, some political, some diplomatic, some sheer geographic luck, but I'd like to think that the U.S. military had something to do with it as well. And then another thought struck me. At the most basic level, that's what people in the military are fighting for. So that this:

Doesn't turn into this:

And before you dismiss it as an idle militaristic wet dream, consider this RAND study. It's a scary world out there, and a lot of people in America take their blanket of protection for granted.

(And if you have a spare hour, sit down and read the RAND study. A lot of good info and discussion regarding the socio-economic repercussions of such an action.)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Women - Know your limits!

Courtesy of a commenter over at Buck's place, a video that I know Skippy will enjoy.

Sorry about the lack of extended content lately but I've been getting my butt kicked by school and am considering changing majors (and probably will) to Political Science. So that's been on my mind. Normal content will return this weekend.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

"Hateful airplanes!"

Look upon the abyss that is San Francisco:

"Editor -- Thank you, Fleet Week. My preschool-aged daughter, having heard your airplanes overhead all week, is now completely traumatized and afraid to go outside. She just heard a commercial airliner in the sky and ran inside shrieking, shaking, and trying to close all the windows and doors. We tried to have a fun family weekend enjoying free music in our park, but it was ruined by the thundering sound of those hateful airplanes overhead, forcing her (and most of the other children I saw) to throw her hands over her face and cower.

If there is ever an opportunity for me to vote on any proposition keeping this ridiculous event and huge waste of resources from marring the skies of my city again, you can bet I'll be the first in line to get it voted in.


(h/t: Milblogs)

My only response is as follows:

Friday, October 13, 2006

Flags of Our Fathers, abbreviated

I got to go see an advance showing of "Flags of Our Fathers" tonight. Cinemark Theaters offered the showing for free to any and all ROTC cadets and cadre members, so kudos to them.

I don't have time to do a full review because it's late and I have PT in the morning, but I will say that you need to go see this movie. Clint Eastwood does a masterful job of bringing their story to the screen. It's a great war movie, yet less than half of the movie actually features "war" scenes, which is why it's such a great war movie. You get to see what went on after they returned home and were held up as heroes even though they didn't consider themselves as such. Anyway, I'll have a more detailed review posted later, but go see it. And make sure you stay for all the way through the credits, because they are well worth watching.

Also, Col. Otero's lecture last night was amazing. He seems like a great guy, really knows his stuff, and was more than willing to stay after and discuss with a group of us for another 40 minutes. I took 8 pages of scribbled notes, so I'll have plenty to talk about that later as well.

Finally, in case anyone was doubting that winter has arrived, the current wind chill in Ames is 18 degrees. 18 flippin' degrees.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


It's friggin' SNOWING outside right now. 30 mph wind gusts, temps in the 30s/windchills in the 20s...yup, it's winter in Iowa. I'm sick of this already.

World Affairs Lecture

Going to see Col. Evelio Otero speak tonight at the MU. He's SOCOM's Chief of the Sovereign Nation Engagement Plan and did tours in both IQ and AF as part of General Frank's staff. Should be a great lecture; I'll have a report tonight when I get back.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The toddlers who follow Mohammad (GFAP)

"Denmark warns of new cartoon crisis."

This provides an interesting test case, because apparently these "cartoons" were simple drawings done at a Danish People's Party youth meeting. The students got a little intoxicated and decided to start drawing cartoons of Mohammad (GFAP), including some that showed Him (GFAP) portrayed as a urinating beer-drinking camel and others that showed Him (GFAP) surrounded by beer cans and explosives. Not exactly the most intellectual of activities. But regardless, free speech is absolute (fighting words notwithstanding.) As Chap said the other day, "Beware the evil in the word “but”." (Said in a post that linked an excellent and timely essay on free speech, found here.) On the basis of free speech alone, we have to defend these people, however odious their views. For the record, I really don't care for this party at all: they're in favor of conscription, welfare, and an authoritarian style of government. According to them, nationalism and feudal rule are more important than the individual. So I don't particularly care for them or their kind, but they are being threatened on the basis of their speech. And as such, we have to close ranks.

In closing, I'll just reference the pictures to your right. And say that:

Monday, October 09, 2006

Aleksey Vayner

...CEO and Professional Athlete. And candidate for upper-class twit of the year.

"Thousands of Ivy Leaguers circulate their resumes each year to New York's investment banks, but few garner as much attention as Aleksey Vayner, who last week submitted an 11-page resume and video to UBS's human resources department.

By the week's end, the Yale University senior's video had raised scores of eyebrows and sparked much laughter in nearly every firm on Wall Street.

Mr. Vayner identifies himself on his resume as a multi-sport professional athlete, the CEO of two companies, and an investment adviser. The video depicts him lifting a 495-pound weight, serving a tennis ball at 140 miles an hour, and ballroom dancing with a scantily clad female. Finally, Mr. Vayner emerges enrobed in a white karate suit and breaks six bricks in one fell swoop.

Between athletic bits, Mr. Vayner takes the opportunity to opine on success. After being described in the opening lines of the video as "a model of personal success and development to everybody," Mr. Vayner says, "Failure cannot be considered an option." He adds: "To achieve success you must first conceive it and believe in it. Remember: impossible is nothing."


h/t: Radley Balko

Best out of context quote ever

North Korea tested a nuke, apparently in a bid by Kim Jong-Il to make sure that I still have a job waiting for me when I graduate. Scary shit. But I'm tired from spending 4 hours at the library working on physics and an AerE project, so let's have some fun, courtesy of a friend of mine named Patrick. First, the quote:

"In the belief that the Luftwaffe would have very few men with circus experience..."

I'm not even going to explain it, just to say that you need to go here if you want some context, and that it involves naval flamethrowers.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

In the Gavy

So Air Force got beat by Navy today. I don't particularly care that much, other than the fact that it gives me an opportunity to slam the Navy. Here are two reasons why the Air Force is still better than the Gavy:

1) The Air Force understands dress and cover.

2) Well...just watch. I'll bust this video out on Nov. 2, before the Army game, but it's appropriate now because it really slams Navy.

"1-2-3, 1-2-3"

Thursday, October 05, 2006



Stupid College Students

"The reality of life is in conflict. There are stronger purposes and deeper meanings but they exist only in the mind of man. The reality of life is war."
-From "The Way and the Power."

I've come to a conclusion: most college students are really, really, REALLY dumb. No, not in regard to their classes (although, after my physics exam tonight, I would probably qualify in that category), but with regard to life. Specifically with regard to historical context and those pesky things known as facts. There's a thing happening this week on ISU's campus called "Political Action Week." There are a variety of speakers on campus every day discussing a different topic. There's also time for an open mic where people get to go up and speak their minds, debate fellow students, etc. Sounds like a nominally good idea, except for the fact that college students are DUMB.

An example: Monday's topic was "Privacy and Security," so we were treated to the double whammy of bitching about the Patriot Act and "the War" (presumably meaning Iraq, Afghanistan having been forgotten about.) A student was giving what I suppose he would have called a speech, although I thought it was a rather incoherent recitation of various stale, used talking points. Anyway, while trying to make a point, he brought up the casualties we've suffered in Iraq. According to him, 3 KIA a day were too many, because, if we did the math, that added up to "a lot of people over the next 10 years we're going to be in Iraq." I turned to my friend and remarked that our esteemed speaker had obviously never heard of Tarawa. I received only a blank stare in return, since apparently my friend had never heard of Tarawa either. For those of you who don't know, Tarawa was the site of the opening amphibious landing in the Central Pacific during WWII where 1,003 U.S. Marines lost their lives in just over three days worth of fighting. 1,003 Marines, 3 days. I think that averages out to be a bit more than "3 per day."

This is just one example; there were countless more there (including several by the Democratic candidate for Congress, who, while not being able to claim youthful ignornace, is most definitely able to claim Congressional stupidity.) But they all point back to two things: a lack of historical perspective, and a lack of general knowledge. One way I thought of putting it is that college students know just enough to be dangerous; we know enough to think we know everything, but we obviously do not.

Of course, I don't know why I think things should be any different. This is the generation whose total military experience prior to 9/11 consists of an entire war won with 345 casualties and push button skirmishes and police actions fought from the skies high above and bases far away from the actual battlefields. My generation has no collective knowledge or understanding of sacrifice or costs that are borne in blood. You would think that a wake-up call of losing 2,996 of your fellow citizens to a terrorist attack one morning in September would do something, but to my generation, it was just another "event." Something to remember where they were at when they got the news, like the Oklahoma City bombings or the Challenger accident, and to remember once a year.

My generation doesn't seem to possess the moral fiber necessary to defend one's values, one's way of life, one's very home against the forces of evil. But again, we have no concept of this. My generation has grown up in a world where the U.S. is the sole undisputed power. Hitler is a man we make jokes at, while Stalin is either ignored or faintly applauded. The Soviet Union exists only in the abstract. Fortunately, there are some who still answer the call, but they are few and far in between. Most of my generation are content to sit back and pursue a normal life of debauchery at college while ignorantly sniping at those who exist to protect that same way of being.

To use an old analogy, there is nothing wrong with being a sheep. Most people are, and it's nothing to be ashamed of. And of course, one of the many luxuries of being a sheep is that you are able to curse your sheepdogs. But apparently it is too much to ask to remember a little atoll named Tarawa, to understand that some things are worth fighting for, and that those things have been, and always will be, paid in blood.

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling, which thinks that nothing is worth war, is much worse. The person, who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing that is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
-John Stuart Mill

Monday, October 02, 2006

BobbleHead Mohammed

I want one. Now.

h/t: Blackfive