Sunday, May 18, 2008


If you haven't been reading In From the Cold's coverage of the Thundervision scandal, you really should. Start here, then here, and finally here. (If now you're thinking, "what the hell is Thundervision," check out this Post story, or this one from Defense News that's a little more in depth.) From the second link:
As the Defense Department begins its latest probe into the Air Force "Thunder Vision" scandal, there are signs that the service will defend officials who may be targeted by that inquiry.

Speaking to a group of intelligence professionals, an Air Force Brigadier General said yesterday that "One of our top priorities right now is keeping General [Michael] Moseley in there, what with Thunder Vision and all." In From the Cold learned of the general's remarks from a senior Air Force civilian who was in the audience.


Results of the IG investigation prompted key members of the Senate to ask for another inquiry. In late April, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan and Arizona Senator John McCain, asked the inspector general to launch a new probe, focusing on the comments of senior Air Force officials. Earlier this week, congressional sources told In From the Cold that the new investigation was underway.

While the USAF has not responded officially to the latest Thunder Vision probe, the brigadier general's comments may offer insight into the thinking of senior officials. They suggest the service is prepared to circle the wagons around Moseley, and fight to keep him as Chief of Staff. The remarks also indicate that some senior officers view Moseley as vulnerable, and fear that the new investigation will lead to his early retirement.


The Brigadier General who suggests that keeping Moseley is a "top priority" now serves as vice commander of a major Air Force organization and is stationed outside the Washington, D.C. area. A career fighter pilot, the general has extensive operational experience and previously served as commander of wing-level units. He made the comment about General Moseley during a visit to an east-coast base.

Air Force members present for yesterday's event expressed some surprise at the general's remarks. While the Thunder Vision scandal has reverberated throughout the service, there have been few indications as to how senior officers view the controversy, and their reaction to the latest investigation.
So, given all the challenges that today's Air Force faces, what's one of our "top priorities?" Keeping one guy in his current position. I can't say I'm a fan of that type of thinking. Everyone is expendable. No one is indispensable. While for political reasons there can be merit to fighting in order to keep someone in a post, it's a very fine line in which you run the risk of quickly crossing over into the territory of diminishing returns, where the person is doing more harm than good to the service by remaining in their current position.

I like this type of thinking better:

Kohn: When did you first consider the idea of leaving office early?

Fogleman: First of all, I said publicly from the very beginning that Miss Jane and I considered being chief a four-year tour, not a sentence. I had not been the choice of the Air Force to become chief. Frankly, that had a sort of liberating effect on me because I felt I could deal on a different level with the secretary. There were certain things that I intended to accomplish, and when they were done, I felt that I might want to leave rather than hang on. I had watched people hang on into that fourth year and just did not think it was value gained for them or the organization.

Kohn: That they had ceased to be effective?

Fogleman: Yes. They were going through the motions rather than working for the good of the institution.


Fogleman: In two ways. One is personal; you really do have to get up and look at yourself in the mirror every day and ask, “Do I feel honorable and clean?” I just could not begin to imagine facing the Air Force after Secretary Cohen made the decision to cancel General Schwalier’s promotion. It wasn’t only Cohen. It was the Washington scene, the pressure from the Hill—from people who were uninformed—it was the way DOD treated this man and the Air Force. To merely shrug this off and say, “Hey, it’s okay guys, we’ll do better next time. . . .” It wasn’t just the Air Force. The other services’ commanders—lieutenant commanders, marines, Army types—were really watching this case. People who are or will be out there as tactical commanders are a lot less comfortable today than they were before this decision. They may not have read the detailed reports, but I think they’ve read the articles. There was an incredibly large number of people at Dhahran, and what is interesting is the number of letters I received from various locations around the world, from people who were there sometime during that year, who watched the kinds of actions and preparations that were being taken. These people exist almost as emissaries within other organizations. In the same way morale is established and affected—you know, the whisper factor, not a major force but they are there—this will affect our military forces.


Kohn: My last question is a tough one, Ron. You have been a very respected and popular chief. But there are people in the force who are unhappy with your decision to step down. They disagree with you, feel a sense of loss and in some very few cases, perhaps, even a sense of betrayal. They—officer and enlisted—identified with you, believed that you were in step. If you think you were out of step, then they think they are out of step also. How are they supposed to carry on? Do you have any thoughts for them?

Fogleman: I may not have a good answer. But I go back to our ethic that says we serve on two levels. First, we serve as part of a profession: service before self, integrity, strive for excellence in all that you do. From this perspective, the answer is that it doesn’t matter what happens. You ignore it. You keep soldiering on, you just keep slugging away. But we also serve on a personal level. Unless you really believe, and feel, that you are continuing to contribute to the Air Force and thus to the country and to the national defense, when you begin to believe that your continued service is detrimental to the Air Force, the pressure is in the opposite direction. Then the institution becomes more important than the individual, and, looking at the core value of service before self, the choice becomes staying another year and going through the motions or stepping down. In my heart, on the personal level and on the professional level, I concluded that my continued service was not in the best interest of the Air Force, in Washington where I was serving, given my beliefs, and considering the advice I was offering to our national leadership.

And then Gen. Fogleman's statement on his retirement:

As my tenure as your chief of staff ends, I want to tell you what an honor and a privilege it has been to represent everyone in the United States Air Force.

The timing of my announcement was driven by the desire to defuse the perceived confrontation between myself and the secretary of defense over his impending decision on the Khobar Towers terrorist attack. The decision to retire was made after considerable deliberation over the past several weeks.

On one level, I’ve always said that my serving as the chief of staff was a “tour” not a “sentence” and that I would leave when I made all the contributions that I could. After I accepted this position in 1994, I met with other senior leaders of the Air Force to discuss our goals for my tenure. We wanted to take care of the troops and their families, to stabilize the force, to set a course for modernization and to develop a new strategic vision. During some difficult and challenging times we have worked hard to accomplish that and more. Certainly there is more to be done, but the framework of the plan and the leadership [are] in place to move forward with the support and efforts of the magnificent men and women of our Air Force.

On another level, military service is the only life I have ever known. My stock in trade after 34 years of service is my military judgment and advice. After serving as chief of staff for almost three years, my values and sense of loyalty to our soldiers, sailors, Marines and especially our airmen led me to the conclusion that I may be out of step with the times and some of the thinking of the establishment.

This puts me in an awkward position. If I were to continue to serve as chief of staff of the Air Force and speak out, I could be seen as a divisive force and not a team player. I do not want the Air Force to suffer for my judgment and convictions. In my view this would happen if I continue as your chief. For these reasons I have decided to retire and devote more time to personal interests and my family . . . but the Air Force will always be in my thoughts.

Miss Jane and I have met a lot of wonderful American service men and women—active duty, Guard, Reserve, civilians and family members—and they will continue to be a part of our lives. We have been proud to represent the men and women of the United States Air Force around the globe and to serve in the finest Air Force in the world. God bless and keep you all as you continue to serve this great nation.

Read the whole thing, but those are the really important parts. I don't think it's any stretch of the truth to say that the Air Force hasn't exactly been hitting the ethics ball out of the park lately. That, to at least some degree, is due to leadership. More importantly, it reflects on leadership. Suffice to say that it isn't doing the Air Force any favors when it is already getting pounded by ethics scandals to have its head man being investigated for a breach of...ethics.

Russian Awesomeness

Like David says, try to keep a straight face:

Translation, from David's place: “It’s about how great the VDV [paratrooper force] is and how Russia will rule the world (i.e., the U.S.. is doomed),” a friend in Russia tells me. “I’ve been hearing that a lot here lately.”

Apparently, the Russian military is focused on two things: making super sweet macho man videos and backflipping hatchet attacks.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Crowd Pleaser

I think there's at least a few of you who might appreciate this:

My favorites were the Dr. Strangelove and Get Smart references

h/t: Jeff

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Funniest thing I've seen so far this week

Cop having a pretty bad day:

h/t: boingboing, via Radley Balko

It was funny enough on its own, but the Yakety Sax is what really made the video.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bear Cavalry (and other assorted armed animals)

LT G has a hilarious post up detailing some Sawha's and IP's encounter with the elusive ghost pandas. This of course reminded me of Bear Cavalry:

But what about Bears with Guns?

Unfortunately, it appears that the unilateral arming of the Bears has started an interspecies arms race:
Even maritime mammals are getting involved:

Fortunately, there is an answer, but I think anyone who has seen George A. Romero's movies knows the possible blowback associated with this course of action:

COIN in a nutshell, #2

(#1 can be found here)

"They return every night, the same patrol, and ask if my family is well. I offer them food, tea, they say, 'Thank you,' and sometimes they stay for a bite to eat, or a cup of tea. I see them in the marketplace, we say 'Hello, how are you?' and ask about their families, too. They are friends with all the neighborhood.

"One day, everything changes. The patrols are all in Humvees and they travel fast. The soldiers all look at us with suspicion from the Humvees and we do not understand why. Then I hear of Wahabi in the neighborhood, but I do not report them to the patrols – I cannot, the Humvees travel fast and no one comes to my house any more. More and more, we hear shooting down the street, and one morning a bomb destroys the market where I work. I could get another job in another market, but that market might also be destroyed by a bomb. Only a few Wahabi are where I live, but there is no one to tell – no patrols, no police.

h/t: Lex. Like he says, RTWT. It seems so simple, yet we seem to keep managing to forget how to do it. Of course, it's really not, but that doesn't excuse us from continuing to forget it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What I Learned Last Saturday

1) The (redacted) on the (redacted) in my (redacted) is NOT removable.

2) When you put (redacted) Volts through a (redacted) and contact the (redacted) of the (redacted), it makes some really cool orange sparks.

3) Playing with circuit breakers is fun.

4) It was nice to find out that not only does my apartment have the know how and tools to get ourselves into a bad situation, but we have the know how and tools to get ourselves out of the same situation.

5) A household lamp plugged into the backup power supply for a computer workstation makes for a nice makeshift worklight.

Information redacted in the above to protect the guilty. Email me or contact me offline to hear the whole story. It's a doozy.

6) All you really need to create a bonfire out of a soaked pile of brush in the rain is a couple of lighters, 20 or so empty feed sacks, 4-5 gallons of gasoline and some lighter fluid, and (here's the important part) a couple of Eagle Scouts.

7) However, several D-Cell LED Maglites and a keg of beer certainly help things.

All in all, considering that it involved electricity, multimeters, tools, a Leatherman, flashlights, Gojo, circuit breakers, unnecessarily breaking and then fixing something, lighters, gasoline, a fire so big that I still smell faintly like smoke 3 days after the fact, and beer, I'd say it was the manliest Saturday I've had in awhile.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I marked the beginning, now it is time for the end. From Hell in a Very Small Place:
There are several versions as to the very last words of the official radio traffic between Dien Bien Phu and the outside. According to the French press agency the conversation ended with an inspirational:

"The transmitter shall be destroyed at 1730. We shall fight to the end. Au revoir, General. Vive la France!"

But it places the final brief exchange of words at 1730 precisely, in the course of which de Castries said: "I'm blowing up all the installations. The ammunition depots are already exploding. Au revoir." There is an indication in the Headquarters journal that a short conversation of that kind may well have taken place at 1730. All other sources seemed to agree that the conversation ended on a banal: "Well then, au revoir, old boy." It was General Rene Cogny, the French commanding general in North Viet-Nam, who had said those banal words as a fitting epitaph for the dying fortress.

But a few instants after 1730 the assembled generals and other observers in Hanoi heard a voice with which they were unfamiliar. It was that of Sgt. Millien who, after seven months of total anonymity, was signing off and thus entered history:

"In five minutes, everything will be blowing up here. The Viets are only a few meters away. Greetings to everybody."

And the background cackling of the transmitter ceased. In the staff room in Hanoi the heat was stifling, and that was fortunate, for it was impossible to distinguish the sweat from the tears which were running down everybody's face. The one American present, David Schoenbrun, who had been a keen observer of the French scene for almost a decade and who had met with Ho Chi Minh shortly before the Indochina War had broken out, distinctly felt that what he was witnessing here, as day turned into dusk on May 7, was the end of the French adventure in Indochina and, indeed, the end of the French Empire.

But, somehow, this was not the last message to come from Dien Bien Phu. Prosaically, the Combat Engineers were still passing their traffic to the last minute. According to the records, it was at 1750, or eighteen minutes after the last message from de Castries' transmitter, that 9-DMO signed off with a quiet:

"We're blowing up everything. Adieu."


In the failing daylight, the valley of Dien Bien Phu represented an incredible mixture of complete human misery as friend and foe alike made their way through the deep mud, and of pristine luxury as in some places mounds of rotting dead, the agonizing wounded, and foul-smelling trenches were covered with the immaculate whiteness of the last misdropped parachutes. A total of 82,926 parachutes had been dropped into the valley, included 3,763 huge cargo parachutes. Dien Bien Phu was the first battlefield in history in which not only the dead combatants but even the ground itself wore a white silk shroud.

The western flank of the fortress was the last to be occupied by the Viet-Minh, since its positions were still covered by extensive mine fields and barbed-wire entanglements. Some of the strongpoints on Claudine were occupied as late as 1820. One of the last to be occupied was strongpoint Lily, still held by a handful of Moroccans under Major Jean Nicolas. As Nicolas looked out over the battlefield from a slit trench near his command post, a small white flag, probably a handkerchief, appeared on top of a rifle hardly fifty feet away from him, followed by the flat-helmeted head of a Viet-Minh soldier.

"You're not going to shoot anymore?" said the Viet-Minh in French.

"No, I am not going to shoot anymore," said Nicolas.

"C'est fini?" said the Viet-Minh.

"Oui, c'est fini," said the French major.

And all around them, as on some gruesome Judgment Day, mud-covered soldiers, French and enemy alike, began to crawl out of their trenches and stand erect as firing ceased everywhere.

The silence was deafening.

While the main fortifications had fallen, strongpoint Isabelle to the south had not and would attempt a breakout later that night:
The sortie was undertaken in three waves. The first, made up of 12th Company and Wieme's tribesmen, quietly slipped southward along the winding riverbed of the Nam Yum and covered nine kilometers before it ran into a Communist blocking position at Pom-Lot at around 0200 of May 8. Had there been more strength in that spearhead force, chances might have been good for more men to break out. In the ensuing fire fight, the small force was destroyed and Wieme was captured, but ten of his tribesmen and Sgt. Beguin, and two of the Legionnaires from 12th Company, managed to slip through.

The rest of the column never had a chance. The platoon formed by the tank crews, along with 11th Company, fell into a double ambush just one kilometer south of Isabelle. The Algerian riflemen who followed behind were barely out of their barbed-wire entanglements when they were attacked. And since they, in turn, were followed by a horde of walking wounded and other unarmed service personnel who had refused to be left behind, all discipline suddenly collapsed as part of the men attempted to go forward while others, including now Col. Lalande and his staff, attempted to regain the bunker line for a last stand. But the very chaos of that last battle, in total darkness except for the occasional glare of flare shells, gave those units who had retained some sort of cohesion a small chance. The tank crews veered sharply to the west into the nearby dark hills with a speed that surprised the enemy. Lieutenant Preaud and two of his men were capture, but the rest of the platoon managed to break away as a unit. Although they were to suffer casualties later, 2nd platoon of Composite Squadron, 1st Regiment of Armored Chasseurs, was the only unit to leave the valley as an organization rather than as a mob of individuals.

From where Algerian Lt. Belabiche was trying to keep the eighty men of his 8th Company together, the situation looked completely hopeless. He could not even order his men to shoot for fear that the shadows in front of his were friendly rather than enemy. The Viet-Minh seemed to have a similar problem, what with its troops now swarming all around the French, and it became suddenly clear to Belabiche that the Viet-Minh were no longer shooting at the men but rather were aiming over their heads. It would not be surprising that, as Jules Roy indicates, a small group of Viet-Minh officers under a flag of truce found it extremely difficult to make their way through that compact mass of humanity in order to meet Lalande and tell him to cease fighting, as further resistance was useless.

At 0150, the command aircraft picked up the very last message a Frenchman would send from Dien Bien Phu:

Sortie failed-Stop-Can no longer communicate with you-Stop and end.

It was the end, indeed. The end of the Indochina War. The end of France as a colonial power.
Although Dien Bien Phu may have been "the end," there still remained the long trek to and stay in the prison camps, where out of 10,863 men taken prisoner only 3,290 would survive to be repatriated at the end of hostilities. There also remained the agony of G.M. 100 on the Central Highlands of Vietnam. And of course, it would be a much longer time before peace would come to much of Indochina.

An Open Letter

To all those who make it a practice to run for the bus -

Thank you providing me with endless amusement. A couple of examples that I'll share with you:

First, a few days ago I had the distinct pleasure of witnessing a gentleman of a certain nationality (the same as mentioned in the post below) sprint the better part of 2 city blocks to catch a bus. And when I say sprint, I mean balls out going for the gold in the Olympics hauling ass. For 2 blocks. While wearing tight straight legged jeans and wearing a stuffed backpack.

Second, yesterday I was afforded the opportunity to watch a rather overweight male chase down a bus wearing flip-flops, some sort of MP3 player, and a backpack even more stuffed than the gentleman in the above story. The sound of his flip-flops thwacking the pavement was amusing enough, but the real kicker came when he dropped half of his MP3 player about 5 steps from the bus door. He had to run to the door, make a "wait up" motion to the driver, turn around and grab the rest of his device, and then finally get on the bus.

I'm not sure if there is anything more simplistically funny than a fat guy running for a bus.

For the record, since I am a man of character and principle, other than a few freshman mistakes I never have and certainly never will run for the bus. The proper response to seeing a bus you need to be on pull up to a distant stop is to walk as fast as possible yet still in a dignified manner to the bus stop. If you get there in time, you are afforded the privilege to smoothly get on the bus instead of arriving gasping and wheezing like a stampeded water buffalo. If you do not get there in time, wait for the next bus proudly, with your dignity intact.

A memo

Addressed to everyone who uses the pedestrian crosswalk light on Pammel south of Moly-Bio -

While I understand the need to cross the street safely (although some of you of a certain nationality drop that head and shuffle across so fast that if you dropped the backpack that carries every single book for all of your classes that day you would probably beat me in the 100 meter dash), I have to point out that it is probably not necessary to push the button to activate the light when you are able to subsequently make it across 2/3rds of the street before the light even changes. That might be construed as a sign that you would be able to make it across the street without stopping traffic. Just a thought.

Also, for future reference: the next time I'm at the intersection when a class lets out of Moly-Bio and the mass of people continues to cross the street after the light has changed, I can't be held responsible for my actions. Just view it as thinning out the herd.

For all you guys with pilot slots

Here's something to add to your "do not do" list:

Sir...I can't reach the map

God gave you all kneeboards for a reason.


I got paid today. $660 in the checking account. Nice to see that only took a month+ to resolve.

I'm rich, biatch!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

And you thought your day was bad

Drunk Falls Off Bridge Slams Firetruck Faceplants Ground - Watch more free videos

h/t: Patrick

I've come to the conclusion that the only way this could've been worse for the guy is if he got hit by a train before he jumped.

Monday, May 05, 2008


I mentioned Heinie Aderholt in the previous post. I just got done reading his biography. If you have any interest in the air component of low intensity warfare, the Air Commandos, or just unconventional leadership, you need to read the book.

A discussion I've been involved with a few times is leadership vs. management. What are the differences, when is one appropriate versus the other, etc. Brig. Gen. Aderholt had an interesting, succinct, and I feel quite correct view on the debate: "My definition of leadership versus management is that managers do things right, but leaders do the right thing, regardless."

Can't argue with that.

More Thoughts on the Navy

Chap has a good post up drawing some similarities between the apparent ritualistic reciting of their Creed that the Navy engages in and, as he puts it, "socialist tyrannies and militaristic corporate monocultures." Ritualistically reciting a creed every morning in formation completely misses the point of what a creed (or whatever you want to call it) is for. It should be a jumping off point, not an end into itself. The reason I like the Airman's Creed so much is that it doesn't get bogged down in parochial crap or bullshit bingo. Summed up, it says that we're Airmen in the finest Air Force on the face of the planet, we've got a proud heritage, we put our lives on the line for our country, we'll never leave an airman behind, and we won't fail. Period. End of story. No talk of "diversity" or "dignity."

More importantly, we don't recite it every day mindlessly. It's used as a training tool. You'll notice that the video in my previous post was taken at a BMT graduation down at Lackland. I experienced it at Field Training. Training environments are the only place this should be used. It teaches and reinforces the above listed points and provides a springboard to discuss some of the "proud heritage" it references. What proud heritage? SJS has a post describing some on the Navy side, while I've detailed in the past a few examples from the Air Force's heritage. I'll add one more: Air Commando One, Heinie Aderholt.

If what you're doing doesn't have some application towards the pointy end of the spear, where the metal meets the meat, you should seriously rethink whether you should be doing it in the first place.


Okay, I'm sorry, I shouldn't laugh, but seriously, Navy...who wrote this steaming pile of dog crap? (h/t: the CDR)

We are the men and women of the United States Navy — guardians of American sea power and maritime security.

We are Active Duty, Reserve, and Civilian professionals — a diverse, elite and agile force who aspire to the highest standards of service to our Nation, at home and abroad, at sea and ashore.

We are a disciplined and well-prepared team, committed to mission accomplishment on sea, land, air, and space. We are unwavering in our dedication and accountability to our fellow Sailors and Civilians.

We are patriots, forged by the Navy’s core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment. Our proud heritage, tradition and deep resolve serve as our battle anthem.

Integrity is the foundation of our conduct; respect for others is fundamental to our character; bold leadership is crucial to our success.

We will prevail in the face of adversity with strength, determination, and dignity.

We are the United States Navy!

I took that from Yankee Sailor's place, where he said pretty much everything I was going to say. I would ask why a military service has an "ethos statement," but then I took a look at their "Sailor's Creed" and I understood why they wanted a do-over. Like I said, Yankee Sailor said pretty much everything I wanted to say. You know you've got a problem when buzzwords like "diverse, elite, agile, 'respect for others', and dignity" outnumber words like "honor, courage, valor, and warrior."

A picture is worth a thousand words, so in the interests of brevity, here's two movies. The first is what I thought of when I read that last line..."We are the United States Navy! (And we're super, thanks for asking!)"

The second is how something like this should be done, the Airman's Creed. The key test for any "Creed" or "Ethos Statement" is how is sounds being shouted by hundreds of people. Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that the Airman's Creed sounds pretty bad ass.

This Navy abomination, I'm not so sure about...

Sunday, May 04, 2008

If you can't laugh at yourself...

Who can you laugh at?

From LT G, who had the opportunity to babysit some chAir Force CEs:

Air Force Captain, obviously mesmerized by my gear rack and combat undershirt: “Wow … is that a different kind of material?”
LT G: “It’s just flame-retardant, Sir.”
Air Force Captain: “What? Why would you need that?”
LT G: “I guess they were having a problem with the normal cloth catching on fire after IED explosions.”
Air Force Captain, eyes wide open: “Oh … okay.” He then walks away from me, rather hastily, like I’m a man on fire at that very moment.

Air Force NCO, obviously mesmerized by SSG Caldwell’s M4 Carbine: “What’s all that on your rifle?”
SSG Bulldog: “Lasers.”
Air Force NCO: “What the hell are they for?”
SSG Bulldog, obviously disgusted at the nature of the question: “Well, theyz for lasering.”


SSG Bulldog, upon arriving at our combat outpost: “We’re here.”
Air Force engineer: “Phew. I can’t believe we made it here safe. Where were all the terrorists?”
SSG Bulldog, not a man known for his patience or understanding: “Get the hell out my Stryker.”

Make sure to read the whole thing. The sad thing is that I can think of several people at my Det. who I could definitely see acting this way if they had the misfortune to have to leave the FOB when deployed.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Overheard at Perkins

Last night/this morning when I was there grabbing some midrats and working starting on my paper due later today:

"Beer is 2000 years older than the Earth."

I'm not sure about that, but beer certainly is timeless, so I won't begrudge him that point.

Cuz I'm a Pilot

Just a smidge on the bittersweet side since the RNZAF doesn't really fly fighters so much anymore. Make sure to pay attention to the squadron they list as the fighter squadron when they're describing the daily schedule. Lot of history there.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


That's what some English TAs here at ISU are sounding like, while simultaneously bleating "Free speech, free speech!"

Hate to break it to ya, fellas and ladies, but you are completely within your rights to make a moderately amusing video making an ass out of yourselves and putting your employer at legal risk. In return, your employer is completely within its rights to threaten you with termination if you don't take the offending video down. (Facebook group on the subject featuring the offending videos, here. The sanctimonious email writing professor is the most amusing part. Rest assured, George W. Bush and the Patriot Act are invoked.)

And just a word of advice: when you're in the business of teaching students, it's probably not a good idea to post a PUBLIC VIDEO that makes reference to driving them to commit suicide, threatening them with violence, and discussing receiving sexual favors in exchange for grades. But hey, I shouldn't be so harsh...they are English TAs afterall...they're probably just venting all that pent up anger they have from realizing that their only options after getting their B.A. were to become a TA or to work at McDonald's.

The whole thing is summarized in a poem far better than I could ever do here.

UPDATE: Actually went and read through the sanctimonious professor's emails. Couple of the best howlers follow: "Your fear of lawsuits does not trump an individual's right to free speech." Um, actually it does. How about we leave the legal eagling to the Political Science students in the room, Prof?

"It seems to me that you are methodically singling out those involved in the video and subjecting them to as much intimidation as you can. You should be ashamed of yourself. I'm certainly ashamed of you and of your administrative staff for silently supporting your actions.

If anyone is vulnerable to litigation in this business, it's you, Charlie. If you persist in your illegal efforts to muzzle free speech by our T.A.s, someone may hire an attorney to bring charges against you and to represent those T.A.s who have been injured by you. I would happily contribute to the retainer."

If they actually did this, it would amuse me to no end. I give it 10 seconds before the judge throws you all out of his courtroom for being a bunch of morons. Assuming you could find an attorney willing to take a sure fire loser. Oh, and Prof? Civil attorneys don't "bring charges." That's something prosecuting attorneys in criminal court do. The phrase you're looking for here is "sue." As in, "My child committed suicide, so I'm suing the University for several million dollars and am using the video of a TA encouraging his students to commit suicide as evidence of negligence." Is there any way you could make more of an ass out of yourself here? I could send an email to the entire English department detailing the entire exchange. Oh wait, you ALREADY DID THAT.

Idiot. How this man got to be a Professor with his critical thinking skills I'll never know.