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  • August 2005
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Help Katrina Victims

Everyone has their preferred charity, except maybe myself. Luckily, I have friends who know of great charities where money will actually get to its intended recipients.

Feed the Children


Other Lessons from Viet Nam

This is your Captain speaking…

Reading Michael Yon’s dispatch from Iraq, (highly recommended), I saw that our forces seemed to have trouble killing the terrorists there with our small arms. We were using many shots to try to kill them where they had the advantage of using the larger bore bullets of the AK-47 inflicting serious wounds to our guys with a single shot. I wonder if our military has forgotten the lesson of the boxer rebellion in China, when we couldn’t kill the rebels with the S&W .38 pistols and we came up with the Colt .45 1911. Then when we shot them they went down and stayed dead.

Reminds me of an incident that happened to my squadron mates in Viet Nam. During a follow-up offensive in the spring of ’68, the VC managed to get into the flight line at Tuy Hua, one of our TDY bases in-country. They came in at night (this was before everyone had night vision goggles and the VC owned the night) and really made a mess of a number of our parked airplanes. One of the C-130’s that got shot up had a crew sitting under the wing eating whatever you eat at three in the morning waiting for your plane to get loaded. A VC armed with an AK-47 climbed up the stairs into the cockpit, sprayed it with .30 cal bullets and came back out of the plane, looking in the cargo compartment to see if there was anyone there he could kill. He completely missed the five terrified Americans sitting on the other side of the #1 engine. (Both the crew and their unwanted visitor were on the left side of the plane.) About this time there were some shots fired down the flight line, and the invader hurried off to join that fight, leaving the C-130 crew with a plane that had suprisingly little damage. He had shot the backs of a bunch of seats, all of which had armor plating protecting them, but hadn’t hit anything vital. The crew fired up the engines and got the heck out of there.

The point of the story is the fact that all five of the crewmembers were armed with a .38 pistol, but knowing that they were outgunned none of them decided to engage the VC. Let me tell you, combat infantrymen we were not. (In fact, I was surprised that they had their survival vests and pistols even on. I know I almost never had my vest on. I was worried that one of the hundreds of people who wandered on and off our planes would steal my vest and pistol, so our crew kept them under lock and key underneath the flight deck ladder.) Really, just would you expect them to do? If you shot from the #1 engine toward the plane you had a much greater chance of hitting the plane in some vital spot than the VC in any spot at all. All you had was a nice little revolver without night sights, not exactly the weapon you would choose to use to engage a combat experienced man with a large automatic rifle who had you outlined against the lights of the ramp if he saw you. Your best bet was to do exactly what they did: Freeze in place and hope he didn’t see you.

That whole story to complain about the modern BB guns our combat troops are using. I know the smaller ammo is lighter, but is it better to carry a bunch of bullets that need a bunch of hits to be effective, or a bit heavier bullet that does its job with one hit? We now have aimed fire with our 2000 lb bombs, why do we have our infantry use these little guns and just spray them around instead of using aimed fire on the ground?

There’s always good reading out there, and I’ve fallen a bit behind, some columns I noted:

Peggy Noonan considers the need to imagine evil.

Noonan basically says we have to stop shutting down military bases because we never know if we might need them. This is an important concept that I’ve heard before but is probably worth repeating. It may cost a lot to spend money on a military, but it costs a lot more to go to war. Having a big scary military in place reduces your total costs as most opposing states won’t go to war with you.

Bob Novak predicts the GOP losing big in ’06

I am also pessimistic about 06, I think that the GOP has its head sonmewhere in the nether regions of their colons.

George Will on ID and nature



BUCHAREST, Romania – A elderly Romanian man mistook his penis for a chicken’s neck, cut it off and his dog rushed up and ate it, the state Rompres news agency said on Monday.

It said 67-year-old Constantin Mocanu, from a village near the southeastern town of Galati, rushed out into his yard in his underwear to kill a noisy chicken keeping him awake at night.

“I confused it with the chicken’s neck,” Mocanu, who was admitted to the emergency hospital in Galati, was quoted as saying. “I cut it … and the dog rushed and ate it.”

I may never do another penis update again, my God, my God. I may never sleep again.

Yecke Out

Dr. Cheri Yecke is pulling out of the 6th district congressional race. She has been offered a top job in Florida working in her chosen field of education. This story has already been reported on by everyone, Tony Garcia has the best overall summary methinks. Andy from RF has the inside scoop.

Personally, while I liked Yecke’s strong conservative stances, I didn’t like some of the focus on education. Yecke was running for a federal office, and I don’t want federal oversight in education. I want education to be a state issue.

How does this change the race? Everyone is saying that with Yecke’s departure Bachmann stands to benefit. I will bow to others on this, they’re on the inside, and I am new to the 6th district. However, I tend to think that Yecke’s departure helps out just about everyone.

Yecke, due to her focus on education, probably had a more diverse set of delegate supporters. Bachmann I think has always had a hold on social conservatives, so I just don’t see where the net gain for Bachmann will be, you can’t get what you already had.

Because education lovers (soccer mom types) tend not to be crazy social conservatives, I see Knoblach and Esmay getting benefit from Yecke’s departure. I don’t think Krinkie well have any net effect.

So far I like all the candidates. I only have slight reservations about Knoblach and Esmay. Esmay supports the assualt weapons ban, and Knoblach is a bit of a log roller spending wise. I like the fact that Esmay is a veteran, and his other knowledge in international affairs would make him a good federal office holder. Knoblach has cancelled on Race to the Right twice now, and is otherwise a true pain to get a hold of. Knoblach has some work to do to change my first impressions about him.

I still have no horse in this race. I think that any candidate would be fine. I also believe that any of these candidates would win in the 6th.

I am:

Arthur C. Clarke

Well known for nonfiction science writing and for early promotion of the effort toward space travel, his fiction was often grand and visionary.

Which science fiction writer are you?

Yea! I’m the boring one!

If you haven’t seen Speed Gibson’s posts on local talk radio, they are a must read, the third on the series is available here.

The Health Effects of Apathy

I spent 11 days with practically no internet connection, no news sources, and not a care about anything in the world. Eleven days of training in a room full of conservatives that sometimes were so far to the right I would cringe. It was great.

Spending time away from the news was a huge relief for me. I almost feel as if a heavy burden was lifted from my shoulders. I probably shouldn’t feel like this, I’m not a policy maker, my life doesn’t hinge on the news. But when I’m in my regular routine I’m a total news junkie. I read everything, news stories, newspapers, columns, blog posts. It’s fairly intensive. I do this to be an informed citizen. I do it to be a better radio talk show host. I do it so that I have a good blog.

But man, you just can’t beat some time away from it all. I suppose that free feeling is how the other half of society lives. The apathetic half. Those that don’t vote, don’t care, and live their lives with only occasional interruptions from the outside world.

I envy these people, and I’m glad we live in a nation that allows the ignorant and apathetic masses to flourish. For a person starving, for people oppressed, for people who are sick, news is important. People under dictators need information so that they can avoid angering the dictator. People starving need news about where food is, if there is aid coming, is there any chance the drought will end. People who need news, and need to vote, and need to be active are typically in a bad situation.

People in America can pretty much ignore what the government is doing most of the time. This is because typically the American government is doing anything that interferes too much in their lives, and they aren’t worried about being executed for not recycling. The fact that we have a great apathetic mass of people who don’t participate is a healthy sign. It means we’re still “free enough.”

Sure, I believe that we need to keep a watchful eye on government. I also believe that some things need to change for us to keep our society, and that right soon. For that reason us “well off” news junkies have an important role in doing what we do. Having far reaching vision and noting when the government needs to be checked is a necessity. Oppression can happen overnight, but it is more likely to be the product of a long slide away from freedom. That’s in essence why I do what I do.

I understand all too well the history of the Roman Republic, a light of civilization and innovation that persisted for 5 centuries, where our forms of government originated. That Republic fell to an empire, and that empire fell like empire’s do. History is on a geologic timescale, and we can play our small part in keeping the light of civilization on.

But it is still a joy to get away from it once in a while.

Seperation of Church and State in Minnesota:

Here’s a little taste of what it feels like to work for a PC paper, this is an actual email I received on the “all staff” forward list of the Minnesota Daily:


This is a perfect example of why we need reporter minority group sensitivity training. Why do the police reports include Somali and Ethiopian in the description? Is it important that we report it just because they reported it? And Fu Manchu — is that important, and possibly insensitive?


Good lead. Good use of quotes.


This was another example of insensitive reporting. What’s older? To a 20-year-old writing this story, maybe the 40-somethings in our story are older. But to the 60-year-old professors reading this story, this might be offensive reporting.

These are excerpts from the daily “critique” email sent out from the editor of the paper critiquing all the articles in a particular issue of the Daily. Concerns about political correctness and sensitivity were nauseating and numerous. This particular editor was always concerned about this stuff. At one point she complained about the decision to publish the picture of a man suspected of murder because he was black, and she was worried about racism. Since I lose access to the MNDAily’s email system in a little bit, I’m doing my best to try and find as many gems of idiotic PC as possible. I’ll publish them if I find anymore blatant examples of liberal worldview interfering with the reporting of the real world.

I’m fairly certain this happens at all newspapers, but I’d love it if others came forward and showed just how insane the PC pirates have gotten. Fu Manchu is not a racist and insensitive term. It is descriptive of a style of facial hair that anyone can wear.