October 29, 2007

Donate Enough And They Might Spell It Right

Filed under: — Chap @ 1:58 pm

They’re looking for a lot of laptops, you know.

Valour-IT, that is. Part of Soldier’s Angels. Laptops for people what need it because they were injured in the war.

The blogs compete among teams to try and raise some cash. If you’ve got a blog, you can join the Navy team.

And you can find out more and donate here:

Click here for more information on Project Valour-IT… and please click the button above to donate.

October 21, 2007

Filed under: — Chap @ 2:12 am

Booked for my own later reading, a lecture about WWII Middle East.

October 20, 2007

Filed under: — Chap @ 9:22 pm

A nice list of people who deserve a little recognition.

October 16, 2007

Filed under: — Chap @ 4:13 am

Charles Johnson really does not like David Crosby. Put that way, I can see he has a point…

October 15, 2007

Enemies, Foreign And Domestic

Filed under: — Chap @ 6:58 am

Rusty Shackleford at the Jawa Report has been taking an excretion’s site down. And of course now there’s a loving little profile at the NYT of “Inshallahshaheed”:

Unlike Mr. bin Laden, the blogger was not operating from a remote location. It turns out he is a 21-year-old American named Samir Khan who produces his blog from his parents’ home in North Carolina, where he serves as a kind of Western relay station for the multimedia productions of violent Islamic groups.

Okay, these questions are ones I know won’t be answered, but I’ll do it anyway:

  • Why is this enemy supporter not in jail or worse?
  • Why is the NYT spending time on him?
  • Why are his parents supporting him?
  • Who else in NC originally from Saudi Arabia and then Queens should we know about?
  • At what point is the “…and domestic” supposed to kick in here?
  • Why is it that private citizens like those at Jawa have to do this work by themselves?

Running The Numbers

Filed under: — Chap @ 12:07 am

Still, it is sobering to realize that it is twice as dangerous to be a young black male living in the U.S. than it is to be an Iraqi civilian living in Iraq.

October 14, 2007

Years Of Inside Jokes On A Blog, Compressed

Filed under: — Chap @ 11:53 pm

Steve finally ate the tree brain.

Now we wonder…is his blog like those romantic comedies where the bickering twosome get married and the series dies? How will he keep this pace up?!?

Voting For A Scholarship

Filed under: — Chap @ 3:56 pm

…for Blackfive.

How To Make A Maureen Dowd Column Readable

Filed under: — Chap @ 3:55 pm

Have Stephen Colbert write it. Includes the following pith:

Which reminds me: Before I get started, I have to take care of one other bit of business:

Bad things are happening in countries you shouldn’t have to think about. It’s all George Bush’s fault, the vice president is Satan, and God is gay.

There. Now I’ve written Frank Rich’s column too.

Condolences To Chris Muir

Filed under: — Chap @ 3:35 pm


October 13, 2007

It’s A Bit Of A Rough Commute

Filed under: — Chap @ 5:24 am

Apparently the moon pool concept on ASDS wasn’t enough for these guys, who decided to drive to work across the lake without using a bridge. I think it might take a while to get the carpet dried…

October 12, 2007

Snark Of The Day

Filed under: — Chap @ 2:02 pm

Glenn Reynolds:

A NOBEL PEACE PRIZE for Al Gore. I think he makes a fitting addition to the pantheon of Nobel Peace Prize holders.

LT Michael P. Murphy, USN

Filed under: — Chap @ 5:57 am

Word is it’s official–Medal of Honor (posthumous). SDV team member; the unit we used to work with. Details here.

One time on the boat a guy asked me, while I was complaining about something or other involving SDV ops, what I’d do when his team didn’t return to the rendezvous point. I answered what I could but still am unhappy about my inadequate response; these guys go in to work when there are not many options when things go south.

LT Murphy led good men well and will be missed–and remembered.

October 9, 2007

On Columbus Day

Filed under: — Chap @ 4:49 am

I thought it might be useful to mention that old Chris only could go to Queen Isabella and hit her up for large money because of something else that happened in 1492: the reconquest of the Grenada castle Alhambra by the Spanish. If Boabdil hadn’t lost the battle and sighed his sigh–and more importantly left all that treasure–the Spanish couldn’t have taken the risk they did.

It’s a rather interesting datum in light of the current world.

October 8, 2007

I Had Wondered Why People Have Been Looking Me Up Lately

Filed under: — Chap @ 4:03 pm

Apparently I’m a resource.

Additionally, a proud moment was realized recently when I found out that my name is now a proper noun at the old place at work, defined as “to identify a particularly stupid bureaucratic idea in a humorous, caustic, and entirely too blunt manner”.

Heh. Sometimes you influence the way an organization needs to be influenced…

Update: Barry says:

Writer-pedant guy here:

Your name has always been a proper noun.

You have now apparently been honored by your name being used as a transitive verb. :-)

To which I reply (from XKCD):

Ha!  Pedant *this*!

Update: Apparently I’m a neologism. Oog.

October 7, 2007

I Heard The NPR Interview And Knew It Was All A Crock

Filed under: — Chap @ 9:31 am

Lileks deconstructs two movies.

Filed under: — Chap @ 9:25 am

Yeah, when Reason magazine gets an interview with a drug czar, things get somewhat entertaining. Plus the Ron Paul Zombies(tm) appear earlier than usual.

“It Has Been A Privilege”

Filed under: — Chap @ 9:23 am

Chairman, departing.

Gosh, How Courageous And Noble

Filed under: — Chap @ 6:37 am

Yeah, now this guy’s getting a rather sympathetic portrayal in the local Georgia alt.weekly, eh?

October 6, 2007


Filed under: — Chap @ 3:24 pm

Peters seems a bit too high on his high horse here.

It’s fundamentally wrong to let contractors go head-hunting among our troops in wartime. Those in government who’ve elevated outsourcing to a state religion pretend it helps our war effort – with the whopper that outsourcing military functions saves taxpayer dollars.

Exactly how does that one work? You get stuck with the training and security-clearance costs; the soldier lured to the private sector gets his salary doubled or tripled – then the contractor adds in a markup for his multiple layers of overhead costs and a generous profit margin, and bills the taxpayers. How is that cheaper than having soldiers do the job?

The scam-artists tell us that using contractors saves money in the long run, since their employees don’t get military health care and retirement benefits. But the numbers just don’t add up.

Contractors are looting our military – while wrapping themselves in the flag.

I understand some of Peters’s frustration, but he doesn’t figure in the following mitigating factors:

  1. DOPMA, the federal regulation that fires you without retirement if you fail to select for LCDR in time and sends you home after a certain period of time (20 years for LCDR, etc).
  2. The insanely low retention rates for special operators, and the sure knowledge given by the submariners’ nuke bonus that people are influenced by gobs of cash, particularly when there are relaxations on General Order One when doing it and the chance to pull chocks and do one last thing before you go to work for Wal-Mart or whatever
  3. The inability to reenter service when you leave
  4. The interagency distaste for DoD protection, which is driving most of the personal security detailing in Baghdad and for which Blackwater is in the press this week (because it’s an effective way of keeping those other agencies from going out and about).
  5. Unlike garrison forces, expeditionary forces are not far from their wartime posture all the time. The Navy isn’t much different from what it was in 2000, and the stresses are slightly different but not by that much. Contractor force levels are determined more by who’s downsizing in OPNAV by 10% that year (and also by the sordid little fact that nobody can count how many contractors the Navy has!).

I understand Peters’ issue. It’s equally there, however, at all sorts of contractors. Who is on Northrop-Grumman’s board? Who gets hired at (list large number of companies with DoD contracts) partially based on the strength of their rolodex? Who gets a contracting job because nobody else in the world has been working issue x for twenty years and a government position isn’t feasible for bureaucratic reasons, forcing middle management to hire the retiring guy as a contractor to do the same job with a tie on and a bigger salary at higher government cost? So while I would agree that good reform of the revolving door practice for contracting needs to be done, I’d also be careful of that baby versus bathwater thing. Take the emotion out of it and look at national interest.

Powered by WordPress (c) 2002-2009 Chap G.