Thursday, April 30, 2009


A couple of days ago, I was involved in an email exchange with an internet-friend who has long said that the next big war--and perhaps an apocolyptic war--would begin in Pakistan.

I responded that what is really needed is a plan to go in and grab up their nukes. However, I added that I don't think that Zero has the stones for any such thing. It is not his style in the least. He is too busy spending money that we don't have for programs that we don't need, not to mention his penchant for nationalizing wide swathes of our economy. [I digress.] More to point, SecState Clinton has said that "'we can’t even contemplate' the consequences if the Taliban were permitted to overrun nuclear- armed Pakistan". But, according to one of my favorite milblogs, we had better be contemplating precisely this possibility.

I pointed out in my email that given the risk that a Taliban nuke would give to the world and the West, perhaps a wise military unit would be preparing for just this sort of mission--with or without West Wing approval. And, that brings up a whole new set of unsettling, or "unthinkable" questions.

So, what do I see this morning in a HotAir headline?

"Petraeus: Next Two Weeks Critical to Pakistan's Survival"
"...Petraeus also said wearily that "we've heard it all before" from the Pakistanis and he is looking to see concrete action by the government to destroy the Taliban in the next two weeks before determining the United States' next course of action, which is presently set on propping up the Pakistani government and military with counterinsurgency training and foreign aid...." [my emphasis]
Question: Are we telegraphing/threatening just this sort of move? Is Petraeus reading my mind?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

OK. Before everyone jumps on the bandwagon....

....I'm claiming the copyright to the words "President Turtledove".

Monday, April 27, 2009


We are in the very best of hands. This is the Vice-President of the United States of America woofing down on his double dip.

h/t-hillbuz, via ace.

Related: "What if Biden's the smart one?"

Sunday, April 26, 2009

To my tens and tens of readers....

Most of you stop by via a link to some picture I've swiped from the intertubes somewhere, but for those who actually come here for the dreck I write, I've got "personal stuff" going on right now, and posting will be light....very light.

I may or may not share that "personal stuff", although at some point I'm pretty sure I'll return to more active posting.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Another in a series of scenes from a Layover....

So there I was, checking into the hotel in Orlando, when the first thing I see is.......

A Pokemon convention.

A roomful of 8 year old boys playing a game with dice and cards. However, two sub-groups caught my eyes.
  • The 14-16 year olds who brought out the question: "Do you guys ever expect to get laid? Ever?"
  • The 30-somethings who brought out the question: "Are you some kind of pervert, or what?"

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A random thought....

Last night, Fox News--as they should be--was all over the story of the SEAL snipers shooting the three Somali pirates and the rescue of the kidnapped Capt. Phillips. O'Reilly touched on it, as did Greta (Prolly others too. I forget who now). They were amazed that these shots could be made. Don't get me wrong--three simultaneous shots from a platform which is moving with the sea to an enclosed lifeboat which is also moving with the sea onto targets which are certainly moving inside the lifeboat is an amazing feat. But this is something that we hire--and train--SEAL snipers to be ready to do.

One of the former-SEAL guests on Fox last night explained how the SEALs got onto the ship. His explanation was something that rang familar to me. In my past life as a C130 pilot, we called this a "Duck Drop".
A SEAL inflatable boat is rigged with a parachute. The SEALs and this boat are loaded into a C130 and they head off for their drop zone. They drop the boat into the water, followed shortly thereafter by the SEALs. The SEALs swim to their boat, de-rig the parachute, and head off for their target--in this case the USS Bainbridge. They would, of course, do this all at night and would approach the Bainbridge from the side away from the lifeboat.
End result: One SEAL team inserted onto the Bainbridge without the pirates knowing.

As for the shooting, as I have explained, that everything involved was moving makes for the amazing part. However, for those who do not shoot, a 25-30 yard shot with a scoped rifle is a piece of cake. I--more of a pistol shooter than a rifle shooter--could get a completely inexperienced shooter to place their shots onto a non-moving target at twice that distance in a couple of hours. For the SEAL snipers, this was routine. Making those simultaneous shots at 500 or 600 yards would earn them "props" (no pun intended) inside their world, but I would imagine that the short distance involved here would mean they would be forever chastised if they hadn't made the shots.

There were apparently two sets of orders from Zero on this. Why two? What changed from his first orders to his second? The citation here makes it seem as though the arrival of the SEALs changed things. Maybe so.

But my random thought here was political. Phillips had tried to escape once earlier in his captivity. And the pirates had already shot at the Navy with no return fire delivered.

I'm glad things "ended" as they did. There is still the question of what to do with the captured pirate. He is apparently quite young, but he is still a pirate. The "foreign-policy-as-law-enforcement" will be their first approach, but giving this pirate too many "rights" has a downside too. Then too are the foreign policy issues: Despite the thriving business that Somalian piracy has become, many countries have had much more aggressive stances on this than we have. India sank a pirate mothership. The Saudis have had their success. The Germans too. And of course, the French (!) have an aggressive rescue policy.

I'm just playing armchair political observer here, but might it be that the second set of orders came after Zero had received advice (Rahmbo?) to make this situation go away or face being the President who allowed four skinny Somalians in an out-of-gas lifeboat to face down his U.S. Navy?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

You have got to be freaking kidding me².....

$92 for a box of 1000 small rifle primers, which are unavailable, but listed at Midway for $27.99.

You have got to freaking kidding me......

9mm plinking ammo at nearly $22 a box. At least they have some, which is more than can be said for most ammo retailers, but this is ridiculous.

I am hoping that ammo (and ammo components) is doing today what gasoline did last summer.

Naturally, I blame Obama.

Friday, April 10, 2009

"Surviving in....

"....a post-American world". Well said.

h/t neo-neocon.

On Obama and Pirates....

Jon over at Exurban League has a wickedly cutting take on Obama and the current crisis with Pirates. The fellas over there are getting all sorts of attention for this, from a mention on Hugh Hewitt's show to another mention on Rush's show to a hit on HotAir's headlines. It is quite a funny bit, and you ought to take some time to read it.

However, I'd like to take the question a bit more seriously.

There are all sorts of comments here and there in the 'sphere to the effect that we can't take action to free Capt. Phillips without unnecessarily endangering him. Apparently, he has tried to escape, only to be recaptured.

I think we are missing a crucial point: Shipping in the area is already in danger. There are reports of as many as 200 hostages being held from as many as a dozen ships. Each one of these hostages is being held in as real a threat to life as Capt. Phillips is enduring.

The Somali pirates are Muslim, but the point of their piracy seems to be financial rather than the political aims of the al Qaeda terrorists. This, I think, is a distinction without a difference.

As I admit to in the sidebar, I am an airline pilot. And here is what I know.....

Federal Air Marshals and Federal Flight Deck Officers (armed pilots) are on commercial flights today because aviation remains in danger from terrorists. These law enforcement officers are there to keep someone from taking control of another airplane. If there is no FAM or FFDO onboard, the American passenger should know that the government of the United States will send fighters up to keep a hijacked airplane from another 9/11 attack. The government, in one capacity or another, will act to keep that from happening. Allowing another airplane to be hijacked is unacceptable.

In the not-so-distant past, we had a religious group resist a search by the BATF and barricade themselves inside their compound. There was a whole host of things the government did wrong leading up to the search. I've always believed that because the Branch Davidians were harming no one with their peculiar apocolyptic views, that they should have been left alone. That said, the government should expect, once shots have been exchanged, that everyone involved should respect the law enforcement and legal system, and the Davidians clearly did not do this. At some point, the government decided to send in the tanks.

Whenever I fly, I know that a law enforcement officer might have to shoot someone. And as a shooter, I know that sometimes bullets overpenetrate or completely miss their targets. Further, as I have said, if there are no government shooters on a hijacked flight, everyone should know that it is likely that an Air Force fighter will shoot that plane down rather than allow it to impact another American target. In the interests of the larger good, we have to know that the passengers are expendable.

Captain Phillips, having already demonstrated his honor by exchanging himself for some of his men, and his bravery with his escape attempt, will also know that he is expendable.

This piracy cannot continue. That the failed state of Somalia has created the incentive for these criminals to enter into their piracy is no excuse for us to tolerate it. The French (!) have already been more bold than we have been, and the Chinese are flexing their muscles in the Indian Ocean. We must end this thing, even if it means that some innocents are hurt or killed. Allowing skinny Somalians to standoff against the US Navy is unacceptable.

"This is not a failure of regulation of any kind, particularly of banking...."

....Rather, it’s a failure of over-regulation and a lack of free markets.

I so wish....

....that this sort of thing surprised me. But I'm afraid it doesn't.

Obamas fly in chef 860 miles... just to make pizza

h/t JammieWearingFool, via a HotAir comment to President Pantywaist.

A Little Gun-Bloggin'.....

So anyhoo, yesterday I had the chance to make it out to Dillon Precision for more "stuff" for the RL-550B that Mrs. Azlib got me for Christmas.

I picked up a couple of sets of dies and caliber conversion kits, an extra quick change assembly, and a video detailing how to assemble and set up the press.

I can tell already: Reloading is requiring a steep up-front investment. The press ran the Mrs. $390 or so, and I spent $355 yesterday, and I'm not nearly done. To complete the Dillon hardware I have in mind, I've still got to get a scale (prolly electronic) and maybe their case trimmer, not to mention the odds-and-ends like a bullet puller and a reliable set of calipers (at a minimum). I'll have a $1000 into this thing before I reload the first round. Once I've got that taken care of, I've got to finagle a space to do this work. My first choice (outside building the backyard workshop/storage shed that the wife and I discussed last week) will be to use the "bar" area of the house. That idea prolly isn't going to float (she's got plans for that space already), so I'm left with recovering some garage space for a decent reloading bench. And that will require getting rid of crap cleaning up the things that have accumulated in every corner of my garage.

And then come the components, which have been lately hard (read: "impossible") to find.

The savings of reloading vs. buying factory ammo is substantial, but I still have to get up that slope. I imagine I'll enjoy the reloading, and will certainly enjoy the more-frequent shooting that reloading will allow (not to mention missing the frustrations of ammo unavailability), but this will require some work to get me there. Ah...just what I need: Another project.

However, I also had the opportunity yesterday to stop by the Scottsdale Gun Club.

If you've never been, the SGC is a first-class operation, as you would expect to find in tony Scottsdale. They too are suffering from a shortage of ammo, but otherwise were quite busy. The reasoning behind why gun shops across the country have been busy has been well discussed.

But along these lines, I ran across another in a series of Things-I-Never-Thought-I'd-See....

You can click this cell-phone photo to see what caught my eye. There, in the lower left window of the Suburban in the foreground, is an Obama/Biden sticker. The folks who got out of the Suburban, looking to be a grandmother, a mother, and two teenaged kids, are either the most-clueless fools on the planet, or some of the bravest. I really don't know what to make of their California license plate (which I have obscured). Are they vacationing/visiting from out of state and hoping to take in some forbidden taboo? Was one of the kids researching the guns that are available in nearby Arizona for some term paper? Or are they just generally clueless about the connection between the idiots that they support and what goes on inside the SGC?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Teleprompter Jesus....

...A richly-deserved term for Zero's habit of relying on his teleprompter to tell him what is on his mind, is now morphing into....

President Strawman. Once again, Zero erects the strawman with the implication that "the Bush administration was fighting Islam", and now President Strawman will reverse course and knock that strawman down.

[OK. OK. OK. It's only 8am and I see I've already used up my daily quota of mixed metaphors. Gotta work on that.]

Sunday, April 05, 2009

And speaking of....


Go ahead, I dare you.

Just try to get through this video without smiling.

You know.....

I don't know why, but I guess I have to wonder just what came in this box. I can't help it, but the answer that keeps popping into my head is.....


h/t: Gerard.

A note to mark....

....the passage of a (very) small milestone: On checking my Sitemeter stats, I found that I was the 6000th visitor to my humble blog. I am still getting a (relative) ton of my visitors from the two Michelle Obama photos I used a while back. If you're here via these photos: Welcome. This is my humble effort at chronicling my views of the world, and I'm glad you stopped through. I don't pretend to be influential in the least.

On my previous mention of computer problems.....I am still battling this thing. This evening, I had an update to Adobe Flash that would not install completely, and would lock up the computer completely. After three attempts at installing this stupid thing, I did a System Restore. I am now running both a Webroot Antivirus scan and a Trend Micro Internet Security scan, and these two things in conjunction with Mozilla is bringing this thing to a crawl. Hope things improve.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Hey. What could possibly go wrong?

Should Obama Control the Internet?

h/t Hotair headlines.

My recent absence....

....was due to my previously cited spring-time busy-ness, and a laptop acting up to the point of hiring a hacker computer expert to fix it.

Back to normal now, though. [Well, "normal" being a relative term, I guess.]