March 28, 2005

Afghan Warrior SITREP

Filed under: — Chap @ 8:04 am

This is the kind of observation, although with not enough detail, that I want to see out of Afghanistan.

Dirty Pool

Filed under: — Chap @ 7:38 am

On a blog, the blackmail worked.

First they came for….

Wanted for crimes against the gay community. Wanted for repeatedly conducting outing witch hunts against gays who do not believe in radical liberal anti-American ideals. For repeated violations of privacy of gay Americans. For conducting systematic civil liberties attacks on gay Americans.

WANTED! Let’s do something about these gay terrorists who have infected our community with their hatred and self-loathing bigotry of gay Americans who wish to live their lives in peace.

[WANTED: GAY TERRORISTS – GayPatriot – 03-25-05]

For these words the author was threatened. The threat was sufficient, and the voice was silenced.

For personal and professional reasons that I am unable to fully discuss, I have to stop blogging as GayPatriot effective immediately.

The threat? Forced outing. I know there’s all sorts of different thoughts on being gay, or how out to be, but that is not the point. John Aravosis (Americablog) and Michael Rogers (BlogActive) have made threats, blackmailing, to silence someone with whom they disagree. This is wrong. This is why I have quoted what appears to be the offending post, or what little of it I could find in the article. I will mirror it as soon as I find the original, whether or not I agree with it.

Things to think about here.

  1. These people are making threats to silence dissent. Maybe if it was something more Roy Cohn-ish it might have made sense, maybe not. In this case it is simply threats made and executed to silence a blogger. (Update: This is too facile. Too complex a subject and I haven’t thought it through.)
  2. Blackmailers and other unsavory types like this will continue to use the lever of power until it breaks. GP, to my guess, has a short time to control the unmasking of his particular secret before it will be unmasked anyway–so make the most of it while you can, buddy. These clowns, or an ugly other, will out you soon enough for general principles. The best way to deal with blackmailers is to rip the bandaid–release the information yourself with your own explanation of why and what–but that’s a painful rip, indeed.
  3. I met Congressman Ed Schrock once. He seemed like a pretty good guy with knowledge of the Navy (retired captain) that would have been useful in the House. Apparently he had a secret and it was used against him in precisely this manner. In my security clearance interviews they ask embarrassing questions like this (“Are you gay? Do you use drugs? How much do you gamble, anyway?”) because they’re trying to figure out if you’re blackmailable. Do you have a secret? Is it worth keeping, or does it cost you more than it’s worth?

This is part of being a free man. I wish GP the best, despite not knowing much about him–I hope he makes the hard choice and gets back on line when he can.


Update: more here.

Maybe GayPatriot went too far with the gay terrorist post. But if the link posted above is correct, then Michael Rogers has more than overstepped.

The press has power and certainly we in the blogosphere are seeing that the wave of new media is effecting public opinion and policy. With any power comes responsibility. To quote the article above, “Free speech isn’t free of consequences.” Those of us who chose to enter the fray understand that. However, vindictive attacks made with malice are not free speech nor activism. They do nothing to further the great debate going on in this country. Acts such as these are the work of a bully who has no cogent arguement(sic).

The answer to speech with which you disagree is more speech.

March 26, 2005

MilBlogger Down

Filed under: — Chap @ 8:15 am

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Spc. Francisco G. Martinez, 20, of Fort Worth, Texas, died March 20 in Tamin, Iraq, as a result of enemy small arms fire. Martinez was assigned to 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Hovey, Korea.

His blog is here.

(Thanks to Smash for connecting the dots.)

March 24, 2005

Filed under: — Chap @ 12:42 pm

Sub geekery in the comments of The Stupid Shall Be Punished.

Suppressing Fires In An Information War?

Filed under: — Chap @ 10:18 am

Let your efforts flow like water to the most effective spot.

I was searching for an address for Camp Phoenix and came across this page. Tiny readership, narrowcast, nobody there prolly even heard of the word “blog”, but essential information delivered from a trusted source to people who need to know.

The truth will out.

Link Dump 24 Mar

Filed under: — Chap @ 9:58 am

Signs translated for your pleasure.

What is it about loner cartoonists and their obsessions over ancient music?

Filed under: — Chap @ 9:57 am

In the alternate universe of the modern campus, any collective imbalance of wealth, education, health, happiness, or almost anything is explicable only in terms of deliberate present discrimination and systematic past oppression.

Any other exegesis — cultural attitudes, individual preferences, bad personal choices and behaviors, time off for child-rearing, bad luck — is irrelevant. Indeed, to raise them is prima facie evidence of one’s own discrimination, intolerance, and racism, and can lead to the academic guillotine….

Instead, equality of result is to be mandated by a government that in turn is to be instructed on how to do so by the university.

Huh huh huh. He said “exegesis”.

March 22, 2005

The Bow Ramp

Filed under: — Chap @ 8:27 pm

Hey, look at that, another Milblogger!

Ladies and germs I commend to you The Bow Ramp, featuring a Mustang Milblogger who’s got the new shiny snazzy Treo computer thingy to blog from. And a nice site design. And comments on ONR’s boondoggle boats.

I-400 and The Persistence Of Ignorance

Filed under: — Chap @ 7:40 pm

Bubblehead has a post about the news of REDISCOVERING THE JAPANESE SUBMARINE!!!!11!.

Michelle Malkin is somehow involved in spreading the news.

Here’s a comment from someone who was there, which was on the net back in 2001 when I first saw it:

The giant I-400 was taken out to sea off Oahu and torpedoed – well, at least the damn things finally worked.

Yep, just like a ton of other subs after the war.

Bubblehead’s right–there’s no there there.

But there are awesome stories involved. Check the comments over at Bubblehead’s place for more–and read Paul Schratz’s book!

Lack Of Clue Casualty

Filed under: — Chap @ 8:21 am

Glenn Reynolds reports a comment from Regime Change Iran:

ARE THINGS INVOLVING SYRIA coming to a head? Here’s a report that there are 3 carrier groups heading for the region.

Well, if things in Syria are coming to a head, it’s not supported by the information presented by Regime Change Iran.

This is like an earlier link he mentioned, where Big Things Were Going To Happen based on a single data point of information.

Here’s my last rant on this–it warns to not extrapolate a curve from one data point.

Here’s the irritating point. The Regime Change guys and Chester may have a good conclusion–but the data they use to get there ain’t sufficient.

Here are some questions to think about when you hear this kind of report.

  1. Has the person reporting the movement thought about these movements before? Would they know what a truly anomalous ship movement would be?
  2. How does this movement fit over time? Could there be turnover of strike groups?
  3. Ships move all over a theater. What is really interesting is when deployment dates change–a strike group changing theaters for a long time, leaving home early, or staying longer than the magical 180 days. These would mean that someone has actually thought of something rather than a random sampling of force laydown.

A few months back, someone who never knew the Navy was deployed a lot got several blogs in a tizzy because A HUGE PERCENTAGE OF THE NAVY WAS DEPLOYED!!!!11!

Guess what–they always are. Look at the trends over time to see the changes before you speculate. Ships deploy for about six months, usually, and regions have a certain level of presence that includes time to turn over to the new guy.

One great example–when China threatened Taiwan with a big ol’ missile exercise back in 1996, the Navy response was swift and in a short time there were a lot of naval assets parked off Taiwan. This is an example of a short term theater response to a crisis.

So what would you have seen in that case?

  1. Carrier battle groups converging on spots they normally didn’t.
  2. Port visits cancelled (that’s an international negotiation, so there’s a cost).
  3. Ship crews getting liberty cancelled.
  4. Reports of ships going places they normally don’t, or many more in one spot than usual.
  5. If you’re an intel weenie, increased chatter and activity. It’s like Domino’s pizza orders going to the White House–stuff like that may indicate something’s going on.

If I were the theater commander I would probably think about moving my assets closer to a hot spot, especially if the civilian leadership would like to Send A Message.

But a simple report of “carriers converging”, by itself, means nothing–it’s noise. It needs other data to give you information you can then use to speculate.

Perhaps the good Professor could use this the next time he links to an Exciting Report.

Update: The 1996 Taiwan case is especially good because it was short term and merely vectored some of what was in theater to a single spot. The tsunami response is similar–that’s why we deploy, because over time we have interesting things happen in the world that could use some Navy-Marine Corps presence. You’d see even more anomalous data pop up if we were massing military assets for Something Big.

March 21, 2005

Another Interesting Blog

Filed under: — Chap @ 11:11 pm

I’m an LGF reader. Not so much the comments as the news items on the page. The site’s proprietor has a dim view of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has been on the wrong side of several contentious items lately.

However, John over at Crossroads Arabia brought up some points in his comments section:

Again, though, it’s a dung-flinging match between Pipes/Schwartz on one side and CAIR on the other. I hope they all have excellent aim.

I’ve seen no hard evidence to date that CAIR has terrorist ties. But I believe they are so overbroad in their attitude that they leave themselves open to infiltration. I think they do a great disservice to American Muslims.

Today, however, Dean Esmay has a post linking to a Chicago blogger who’s a doctor and a member of CAIR, apparently. The posts I read seemed eminently sensible.

I wonder if the Chicago doctor is interested in having a discussion about the concerns that LGF’s Johnson expresses with such passion.

Schopenhauer Beat Me To It

Filed under: — Chap @ 10:44 pm

Why’s Dean got to ruin my illusions?

I used to work for a guy who wanted to change some things. From observation I developed the K. Theory Of Organizational Change, a well received and useful three step method:

  1. This idea is stupid. Go away.
  2. This idea is dangerous. Kill that man and any people around him.
  3. We’ve been saying that all along. Get with the program!

The secret is to survive getting from Stage Two to Stage Three.

So Dean Esmay says that this theory, my one decent idea ever, has already been thought up.

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident.”

Arthur Schopenhauer, Philosopher, 1788-1860


so wach warst du noch nie

Filed under: — Chap @ 10:11 pm

this video clip courtesy Dog Snot Diaries. You may wish to check the comments before clicking the video.

With a name like Dog Snot Diaries, it has to be good, right?

a “shh” louder than a yell

Filed under: — Chap @ 9:45 pm

don’t tell anyone

Create your own 4-inch by 6-inch postcards out of any mailable material. But please only put one secret on a card.

h/t Sondra K

Thanks To Bill

Filed under: — Chap @ 6:30 pm

…who esplained that my comment system was all fouled up since the upgrade!

I think it’s working now.

I think.

Filed under: — Chap @ 11:50 am

I have gotten no comments in several weeks, although I seem to occasionally get a few hits a day. If you’re being blocked by the comment spam thingy and know my email, please drop a line and let me know.

Or I may just be boring this month.

For Aficionados Of The Six Factor Formula

Filed under: — Chap @ 11:33 am

Apparently the civilian nuclear power industry has a slightly different version of the Improbable Event Monitoring System.

Woolsey’s Book Recommendations

Filed under: — Chap @ 8:56 am

James Woolsey is an interesting character, a Democrat who isn’t afraid of military force or of speaking his mind. This Washington Examiner interview is kind of cute, but has this money graf:

WOOLSEY: Well, I haven’t read many recently. Ever since 9/11, most of my reading has been about the Middle East and Islam.

EXAMINER: What book has taught you the most on this subject?

WOOLSEY: For learning about the underlying reality, I recommend “What Went Wrong?” by Bernard Lewis. He doesn’t describe merely what went wrong before and after 9/11, but what’s gone wrong over the last three centuries. You can’t do better than Lewis for a basic understanding of that part of the world and the Islamic religion. Another outstanding book is “Dream Palace of the Arabs,” by Fouad Ajami. He writes like Joseph Conrad, which is amazing because English isn’t his first language. Then again, it wasn’t Conrad’s, either. Amami provides tremendous psychological insights. And for the role of women in the Middle East, there’s “Reading Lolita in Tehran,” by Azar Nafisi. She writes superbly and is marvelously insightful.

If you don’t have the cash or library access for those, I recommend this New Yorker article, too.

Oh yeah. The photo of Woolsey with the interview? Worst. Why put a photo of a guy looking tired and trying to fix his glasses like that, unless you wanted to make him look bad?

March 20, 2005

San Diego Protest Photos

Filed under: — Chap @ 7:51 am

So I’m standing there, holding my flag, getting flipped off, and the other folks on the team were doing many more interesting things. I stayed out of the agitprop for the day–too angry to have that thick a hide yesterday–but there were no shortage of entertaining folks ensuring, in a pleasant and not-beating-people-up way, that Attention Be Paid. Good on the agitproppers.

directional assistance

The other guys are over there, that way. Looks like she’s got an opinion of them.

Just your everyday incarcerated dictator

“Saddam” goes out to the antiwar protesters to thank them for their support.

Some clown

The gentleman on the left was running for Congress, I understand. I think I’d vote for him.

Nothing too interesting–I didn’t go INDC and categorize moonbats, but perhaps the next time.

March 19, 2005

Liveblogging Protest Warrior

Filed under: — Chap @ 1:35 pm

clearly didn’t happen from me, because I had too much trouble trying to figure out to blog by cell phone while holding a flag and getting flipped off.

You know there’s something wrong when you’re getting the one finger salute from passerby, just for holding a freaking American flag, right side up, not on fire.

Darleen was more techie than me and liveblogged photos. Boy those wireless laptop cards are hot stuff.

I’ll post photos when I get around to it. Lots of interesting people in Balboa Park today; I stayed securely in the quiet section because I didn’t want to get into any violent arguments today. I did meet one guy who struck up a nice conversation–nice, that is, until he mentioned that “he heard there would be some right wing morons there”, and I replied that perhaps he might have been a bit confused as to which protest he was attending…

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