31 October 2008

Heading off again...

So I'm going to miss the Blogmeet in Seattle this month, but I get another all expenses paid vacation to Yakistan.

Last blogmeet Phil of Randomnuclearstrikes and I spoke about how I chose the title for this blog, and why the term "mercenary" is in it.

First off I truly believe that we are defined by our enemies. Phil is of the opinion that allowing our enemies to define us gives them too much power.

The etymology for the word "mercenary" and "soldier" come from the same meaning in two different languages. Mercenary refers to "wages" and Soldier comes from "shilling" (the pay for a hired man at arms). The modern usage of the words gives Soldiers a little more "legitimacy" since it is generally used to describe a member of a recognized national military force, and Mercenary refers to someone who will fight for money instead of a nation.

There are a lot of persistent myths about the military; "They'll brainwash you and turn you into a babykiller", "They'll tear you down and rebuild you into what they want", "The Military is just for the dregs of society that can't make it in the real world" and so forth and so on. Like anything else, there is a grain of truth at the center of the lie.

The truth is that I do get paid to do what I do, and that indoctrination is a part of military training (but it is much more honest than the indoctrination given through the education system), and yes, sometimes babies die (more babies die to abortions in the US in a year than have died from US munitions in Iraq over the entire war).

There is a perspective to be gained by seeing the world through our enemies eyes. Mostly we only see an ugly perspective, but sometimes we see an ugly truth, and an ugly truth is still a truth.

30 October 2008

Intelligence and Wisdom

Years ago I avidly played Dungeons and Dragons.

In the character generation period of the game players are allowed to tweak their characters attributes or "stats". The attributes consist of:

Strength
Dexterity
Intelligence
Wisdom
Charisma

Pardon me if I forgot any, it's been literally years since I played D&D. But what I want to point out is that Intelligence and Wisdom are two seperate attributes.

There are multiple character classes, if you wanted to be a fighter you would bump up your Strength for an attack damage bonus and Dexterity for an armor bonus. If you were a mage you bumped up Intelligence for bonus spells. If you were a thief you boosted Dexterity to increase your chances of picking locks or moving silently. If you were a priest/cleric you bumped wisdom for spell bonuses.

The reason behind the trip down memory lane is that the game illustrates how we see the world. Jocks are strong, Nerds are smart, the Jesus freaks are wise, and cheerleaders are flexible. Stereotypes exist because they are based on some truth at some point in time, although stereotypes usually linger long after the truth behind them has faded into history.

We can easily measure strength, flexibility, and other physical attributes. We can agree that an IQ number is a standard way of classifying useful intelligence. But there is no way to really measure the wisdom of a person.

I guess the best measure of wisdom is emotional fulfillment. Some seek emptiness so that they can hear the universe, clearing their emotions and cluttered thoughts so that they can see the truth. Some seek to embody the virtue of love, forgiveness, and compassion so that they can imitate their creator. No matter the religious tradition, the fundamental truth behind all wisdom is the inferiority of self, that there is something greater than myself. Whether that greater thing is God, the Universe, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster (his noodliness) isn't important.

Still, there remains no way to measure how wise a person is or isn't. This is rather disturbing because of all the attributes that I want a Presidential candidate to have, wisdom sure beats out Strength and Dexterity.

I am a smart person, surrounded by smart people, and I know that an IQ number has absolutely nothing to do with making wise choices. Do not be fooled, a clever choice and a wise choice are two different things. Wisdom lets you know whether to play the game, intelligence lets you know how to win the game. Wisdom lets you know when it is time to lose the game. Sometimes a wise decision is also an intelligent decision, which some would categorize as "shrewd" or "clever".

A wise leader can be supported by intelligent people, and I believe that this is the optimal solution for leadership. Wisdom will let a non-expert choose between two choices offered by intelligent experts.

For example, global warming. Even as the British Parliment debated about making even more extreme cuts in CO2 emissions the first October snow in 86 years fell on London. A wise person will not be guided by hysteria or even popular sentiment, such as President Ford when he pardoned Richard Nixon. It wasn't the intelligent choice, but for the unity of a nation it was the correct choice.

Brigid wrote a moving post (something she does with frightening regularity) about Faith. Faith coming from experience over time. Tested faith. Well faith and wisdom go hand in hand, time and experience give us perspective that many situations resolve on their own, some things are inevitable, and some things aren't.

Barack Obama does not impress me with his wisdom. Joe Biden does not impress me. They are both very intelligent fools. They have a vision that they are selling, but absolutely no way of achieving that vision. Like perpetual motion, socialism doesn't work.

McCain does not impress me with his wisdom, but there is hope. I trust his experience, and his choice of Palin is shrewd, and I know is that McCain is not a fool. He isn't Eisenhower, Ford, or Reagan, but a much better choice than Wilson, FDR, or Carter. The hope that I have, is that McCain would continue to pick surprising staff as President. Bobby Jindal has had his name tossed about a fair bit lately. Maybe a Cabinet of Reformers would be the wisest thing that McCain could do for the US. Maybe the "clever" or "shrewd" choices that he has made over his campaign are really evidence of deep wisdom.

28 October 2008

Joe Huffman's quote of the day

But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in the society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted...

Barack Obama

This understanding of the Constitution is pretty mainstream, the Warren Court and the Burger Court held this viewpoint.

Barack Hussein Obama is a lawyer, married to another lawyer, and so I do respect his opinion.

But I'd like to point out that the first ten amendments of the Constitution are called "The Bill of Rights" and not "The Bill of Government Restrictions".

26 October 2008

The Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights is contested in both scope and meaning.

On one side of the argument is the belief that the Bill of Rights limits what Government can do.

On the other side of the argument is the belief that the Bill of Rights explicitly recognizes individual rights.

In Roe v. Wade the Supreme Court ruled that women have an individual right to an abortion. There is no specifically enumerate portion of the Constitution that covers pregnancy.

In DC v. Heller the Supreme Court ruled that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right. The 2nd is a specifically enumerated passage of text added to the Constitution to gain the ratification of the States.

Now we have a problem here, the concept of restrictions on the Government and the concept of individual rights are incompatible understandings of the same passages of text. For example if the 2nd is only a restriction on the Federal Government it means that the FedGov can't tell the states that they can't have a militia, and therefore the right of the people to keep and bear arms would be linked to militia service and therefore under the regulation of the States. This means that the city of DC would have unlimited power to restrict access to firearms of it's citizens.

I'm not a legal scholar, I don't even play one on TV. But these two schools of thought on the Bill of Rights are going to determine the direction of the US for the rest of history. Right now the individual rights viewpoint seems to be in the minority amongst legal professionals, and it seems that the education process for lawyers is propagating the "government restriction" viewpoint.

When I first heard that the Bill of Rights doesn't mean individual rights I nearly had a stroke. If I can follow the directions to assemble my own ammunition, build computers, and enjoy Shakespeare and the King James Bible it stands to reason that should be able to read the Constitution of the United States and understand the meaning of the words.

To find that the schools of the United States are putting out lawyers who become judges who do not read plainly the words of the Constitution is, well, disturbing. It's like reading that red means blue and the phrase "the right of the people" means "the limitation on Government".

Clearly the restrictions on free speech, peaceable assembly, the right to be secure in ones home, have been infringed and regulated and that infringement and regulation has withstood the legal challenges in the court system. Somehow the "Restrictions on Government" school of thought failed to restrict government, and the "Individual Rights" school of thought failed to secure individual rights.... The simple fact that the DC gun ban lasted three decades clearly demonstrates that a large mass of Judges simply understood the ban to be Constitutional as per a limitation on the Federal government.

It is very confusing to me.

One year

Today marks the one year anniversary of completion of Ranger school.

When the RI told me that it would take about a year for my joints to recover to where they were prior to Ranger school, he wasn't kidding.

I'm going to crack a beer and say a prayer for all those humping through the mountains and swamps right now.

24 October 2008

Distinguished Service Cross

The problem with medals for valor is twofold. The earning them part and the awarding them part.

If you see someone wearing a Silver Star, Distinguished Service Cross, or Medal of Honor, you can bet your bippy that they went through hell to be awarded such a medal. The level of outstanding courage in the face of enemy fires required for such a medal means that only a lucky few live to wear their award.

It also means that many people covet those decorations. This leads us to the second problem with a medal for valor. Paperwork.

It took literally years for SFC Paul R. Smith to be awarded for his actions. Supporting documentation wasn't the problem, but the paperwork just kept being denied for some reason or other. It seemed like the bureacracy was testing the worthiness of SFC Smith's actions by testing the resolve of the recommending officer.

Many soldiers will never see an award for their actions simply because the paperwork never got submitted, or the paperwork was rejected, or the paperwork was rejected and the submitting officer died before being able to make corrections. A soldier in my unit will probably never see his Army Commendation Medal with "V" device for his actions in Iraq because the recommending officer is now deceased.

Yesterday I bore witness as SSG Waiters recieved his Distinguished Service Cross. Someone commented that this was a "once in a lifetime" event. I still don't know how to feel about that comment, whether it is a good thing because it means that men won't be fighting through pain and suffering for their buddies as the war dies down, or that the honor of their sacrifice will be denied because the paperwork wasn't done correctly.

22 October 2008

Faith

There are two types of Christians.

The kind that believes in "Preaching the Gospel" according to the Great Commission and going forth and proselytizing, showing sinners the errors of their ways and calling them to repentance.

The other kind believes that a relationship with God is a personal matter, and that simply living a Godly life will be evidence enough to anyone searching for salvation.

Roughly speaking, you can break politicians down into a similar category. Those who want to control your life, and those who want the freedom to control their own life.

Politics make strange bedfellows. As a Christian I don't approve of a laundry list of activities and lifestyle choices. But I also know that forgiveness, mercy, and not judging make me a much easier person with whom to associate, especially if my beliefs are distasteful to others.

But I align myself with all the other "live and let live" people regardless of their lifestyle choice. Hetero, homo, bi, trans, it doesn't matter what we think of other peoples choices as long as we have the freedom to make our own choices. When it comes to gun and other property rights issues I am firmly shoulder to shoulder with everyone else. It would be hypocritical of me to be pro-freedom on only the issues with which I agree.

Attempts at legislating morality don't improve peoples morals. Sin taxes don't work. Making something illegal doesn't stop it.

Equating socialism with terrorism is a bit of a stretch, but when I analyze the attributes of each ideology it makes sense. Neither will be satisfied until we change to do what they want us to do. They won't stop until their will becomes reality.

The reason why they won't stop is because they firmly believe that they know what is best for your life, even better than you do. I'm beginning to think that all intractable ideologues need to be shot until they die, which in an of itself is an intractable ideology. This is the problem with the nuclear option, it is permanent. The problem with a nuclear option is that it will only be taken by a true believer.

Armed resistance is the political nuclear option, the first person to do it can't win. It is suicide to be the first one to take up arms. But it can happen when someone with the means to resist is driven to the point that resistance and death is preferable to submitting. Those taking up arms would have to become true believers themselves.

That is why the Democrats want to take away your guns. Their ideology requires that they force you to live as they see fit, and your ability to resist must be neutralized for their goals to succeed.

Remind someone that the tools are not the weapon, the human mind is the weapon. Maybe a simple truth will keep the true believers on each side from causing too much trouble.

20 October 2008

Tight

So it was a rainy blustery afternoon here in the PacNW.

Load recipe:

168 gr HPBT Nosler bullet, seated just under magazine length.
Winchester brass
CCI BR-2 LR primer
42.5 grains IMR 4064

At 100 yards 3 shots grouped into a half inch, the next two opened it up to three quarters of an inch. I'm having eye strain issues so it could be the load or it could be me, but I'm happy with where this sits.

Now it remains to be seen if the load will stay tight on the second loading. I'm guessing it will.

I brought along my Savage 22 rifle, and boy is that thing fun. The only thing that could improve on it would be better sights.... So I'm pricing out a set of Williams target sights at midwayusa.com. Good sights won't turn a 100 dollar plinker into an Olympic grade biathlon rifle, but they will let you shoot the rifle to it's maximum potential.

On a side note, I also sighted in Grandpa's 270. Zeroed in one shot. The boresight was dead nuts on. I'll carry that model 70 next weekend.

19 October 2008

80 cents a round

So if you add up all the components, it costs about 80 cents to assemble a pristine round of ammunition. This price reflects if you buy your components in the smallest batches possible.

CCI BR-2 primers
IMR 4064 powder
Winchester Brass
Nosler 168 grain HPBT bullet

Which is the same price as Prvi Partizan match ammo.

Although if you are reloading the brass, you can reload that brass with primer, powder, and bullet for 42 cents. 14 cents for powder, 22 cents for bullet, 8 cents for primer.

You can get the price down further by a few cents if you buy your components in bulk.

Although it is tempting to try to develop an accurate load with cheap 147 gr FMJ bullets....

Observations on meat cutting

A few days ago on MadOgre's blog this was posted :

Email from one of The Horde: Ogre, You bastard! First you talked up how good the CZ 527 is, so I trade in my kimber .308 to get it. Then my wife takes it over!!! I have not gotten a dear in the past 3 seasons. This is her first, she walks out on the back porch with the CZ and bags a 2 point. One shot kill, the buck was knocked down by the winchester 120 grain soft point, ran ~50 yards and it was all over. The bullet did not exit the body, but tore both lungs into hamburger (She just missed the heart by inches, but this is her first hunt). Where is the justice in this? The only bright lining to this cloud is that my Mauser in .243 just got back from Skaggs so at least I will have a small bore rifle of my own, since the 527 is now the "girl gun." Vernon

The flip side of the story is that I knew exactly who this email was about, there aren't a whole lot of Vernon's in the world who also have a very specific battery of guns. So I called and congratulated my sister in law on her very first deer.

What that email doesn't tell you is that my sister in law is a vegetarian.

Now that you know "the rest of the story" it is time to get on with my thoughts on meat cutting.

Turning a deer into dinner involves more than just a bullet and a frying pan.

I have some experience cutting up cow quarters, and last night I got experience with a deer. Cows are bigger, but that's about it as far as differences go. I'm guessing that when I get a chance to cut up an elk it'll be the same story.

So turning your deer into dinner can happen a number of ways. One way is to have a professional do it. The downside to this is that a butcher costs money, but if you have the money then it's a great option. You hand your deer over, pay the man, and get back a bunch of white wrapped packages to throw in the freezer.

The other option, which I consider the better option, is to do it yourself. This option becomes even more attractive if you have friends and family to help with the chore. The downside is unless you have a butcher in the family who has a meat bandsaw you aren't going to get any bone in roasts or steaks. This is fine if you plan on grinding the bulk of the meat into hamburger or sausage, a few leg roasts, and steaks (or you can make jerky, always a good option).

My brother figured hamburger, steaks, and a few roasts was perfectly fine so that is what we did.

Lesson relearned: A good boning knife is a treat to use, buy a good one and keep it sharp. Have a plan to deal with the skirt steak and heart when you field dress the deer, it's easy to leave in the gut pile.

Wish me luck, we've got one weekend left to hunt.

18 October 2008

Hunting...

Once again I saw a few does, but no bucks.

Spent some time out in the hills.

After no luck hunting I helped my brother cut up the deer his wife shot with a CZ527. Anyone who thinks that the 7.62x39 is a marginal deer cartridge hasn't seen what a 120 grain soft point will do to the inside of a deer. There was enough bloodshot meat from such a "mild" cartridge that I am sold on the 7.62x39 as a great round for hunting the coastal black tails. The woods are so thick there isn't a lot of opportunity for long shots and "mild" loads like the old 30-30, 32 Special, and 257 Roberts are all really good choices.

Came home and drank a Yuengling. There are lots of different beers but none better.

17 October 2008

Lies on the history Channel

"Modern Marvels: Environmental Tech"

Lie number one
Carbon Dioxide is the number one greenhouse gas

Truth:
Water vapor is the number one greenhouse gas, followed by hydrocarbons such as methane. Carbon dioxide is a very very minor greenhouse gas. The environmental radicals would have you believe that CO2 is the worst thing to ever happen to our atmosphere when in fact it is the basis for all life on our little planet.

Lie number two
One of the best places for carbon sequestration is old growth forest

Truth:
Old growth forests have STOPPED growing. Which means that they are "carbon neutral". Commercial forests are much better at sequestering carbon because the product, wood, is then used for things such as building materials that are true long term storage options and the newly cut area is replanted to store MORE carbon. Only growing plants suck in more carbon than they put out.

I am an environmentalist, but I am a rational person. Radical legislation is not the answer to environmental problems. Letting the free market of ideas create more efficient solutions to existing systems is going to give us more results than trying to replace current technology with unproven systems. You can tell a lot about an environmentalist by there stance on nuclear energy.

Roberta's question

How about you? Why do you shoot? Why do you carry, if you carry at all?

This is a simple question that has two answers.

I am issued an individual weapon by Uncle Sam and I carry that weapon to have the ability to accomplish the goals handed down from higher. I carry because it is my job.

I have my personal weapons that I use for recreation, and I carry a pistol (when I can, military installations are still no carry zones, unless you are an MP, or on the range, etc) for the power that a pistol gives me to resist others bent on causing me and mine harm.

As a soldier I am expected to know the relevant laws and rules of engagement to know when killing is appropriate. Which makes it discouraging that my employer doesn't trust me to carry my own weapon for my own protection during my commute to and from work.

15 October 2008

Mack Bolan, or how not to get your training from pulp novels

When I was a teen I liked to read pulp stories about guys who took on overwhelming odds and won. Mack Bolan is the most egregious example of Rambo style heroics from action novels.

But what is really the difference between Mack Bolan and Jason Bourne? One made it to the big screen and one didn't. How about "The Punisher" or "Rambo"?

They all have the same story. One man. Against multiple opponents. Survives by his wits and superior training.

I had to pull a 24 hour shift, and since I was light on reading material I picked up a Mack Bolan novel for kicks. The cover shows "The Executioner" holding a H&KG36C firing what looks like a three round burst. The only problem is that the brass flying away from the weapon looks to be 10mm pistol brass. The scar also has an m145 machine gun optic mounted on it instead of an ACOG or EOTech. The silencer on the front evidently doesn't hide the muzzle flash, which is about two inches in front of where muzzle blast would be if the silencer totally failed.

Reading the book didn't take long. Details that didn't quite fit, an SVD doesn't fit in a duffle bag that will also fit on the floor of a car. Little details like that let the reader know that the hack writer doesn't know much about weapons. The tactics were also very stupid. "Let's hide in a building in a ghost town in the middle of the jungle. We know they are coming, and have multiple rifles, but let's make this a hand grenade range fight!" Stupid. Didn't use the terrain to hide, ambush, or even try to flank the terrorists and mafia goons trying to kill him and the latin hottie.

Also I don't care how much money you have, electric mini-guns don't appear out of thin air and get mounted on a rental helicopter in a few hours. It was as if the author just wanted to put in some gratuitous firepower statistics.

In the end I wasted 5 bucks on a pulp novel that entertained me for a bit mostly for the comedy behind the characters choices and the authors gaffes. I guess it was a change of pace from deeper reading, "Attacks", "Battle Leadership" and "Eisenhower: A Soldier's Life". I've finished "Attacks" and "Battle Leadership" but still have a quarter of "Eisenhower" left to read. Also have half of "Steel my Soldier's Hearts" still on the docket.

Considering that the Mack Bolan series is still being cranked out after all these years there is a reliable audience for that product. Hopefully it is still teenagers who don't know any better. I'd hate to meet the guy who is old enough to know better, but doesn't.

13 October 2008

JAFO's request

I posted here about the tactics civilians would need to resist tyranny.

Without getting into specifics we will treat this as a "though experiment".

Large oppressive governments such as the USSR or China will oppress civilians with overwhelming firepower and numbers. Even here in the US examples of Ruby Ridge and Waco show us that civilians cannot meet the government head on. At Waco the Branch Davidians had 50 caliber rifles, and so the FBI felt that they needed armored personnel carriers. Recently at the YFZ compound (also in Texas) the Sheriff's department also had an armored personnel carrier available.

So, exactly how do you fight a better armed, armored, funded, supplied opponent?

You can do it historically in a few ways. First you can do it with numbers, if you are willing to absorb the casualties necessary to ultimately win out, such as the Viet Cong did based on the Mao model of revolution. Secondly you can do it by bankrupting the government by continually destroying material, al a the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan fighting the Soviets. Third you can do it with a true guerilla force, but this has never been successful on it's own but very successful as part of a larger conventional war.

When you are a large Army trying to take down an even larger force you do it piecemeal. You mass your strength against weak individual units, for example, if you have 2 combat units and the enemy has 5 combat units, you can win if you break the war down into 5 seperate engagements where the odds are 2:1 in your favor.

Anyways there are other things to think about, lots of factors that go into winning a campaign against a larger opponent.

Can't win for losing...

I have good friends who often view me as a repository for their outdated computer stuff. I don't mind because as I get time I take the parts and build them into working systems to give away.

The problem is that I don't have the spare time that I used to have. So over this Columbus Day (or European Oppressor/Genocide Day if you are of the militant hippie variety) I figured it was time to do some work on the old bone pile.

Kathy's computer, done.
Justins computer, attempted upgrade aborted when the motherboard became unstable, reverted back to old mobo and a more stable video card.
Tate's computer, complete loss on the p3 motherboard, so it got replaced with a Duron 800, and a slightly bigger hard disk drive. This one took quite a while because it turned out the LAN card was defective, caused a failure to post.

My wife's old computer started having stability issues so I got her a new one, Phenom triple core proc, 4 gigs of ram, all sorts of computery goodness. She wants the old one rebuilt to handle other chores.

So I tried the processor on a mobo in the bone pile, it worked, and I was in the process of loading the Operating System when the power supply burned up right in front of us. Blue sparks and all.

Oh well, going to have to actually buy some parts this time. But I've emptied out two towers which frees up some space in the man cave.

12 October 2008

First Day of Hunting Season

I'm a lazy hunter. My rule is to never kill anything farther away from the truck than I am willing to haul.

That being said the very first place I tried to hunt was my parents back pasture area. It's only about 3 acres but it butts up against a dairy field and Christmas tree farm. A few years ago I walked right up on a buck, spooked him plenty good and I just stood there with my mouth agape while he bounded off.

The deer trail is still there, still in use. No deer this last Saturday though.

So for the rest of the morning I played with my little niece, drank coffee and chatted with my Mom, and played some more with my little niece. Dad was working overtime, but I'll see him tomorrow night at my nieces birthday party.

Later in the afternoon I stopped by the Vail tree farm and parked the truck outside a closed gate, and walked in maybe three quarters of a mile. I've often found that when deer bed down they don't wander too far from the trails they travel, every deer season I sneak up on one or two in their beds. Saturday I followed a series of trails into a planted forest about 8 years old. I didn't see the deer I snuck up on, but I could definitely tell that it was there as it ran away. I followed it uphill, trying to keep it between myself and the forest road to flush it into the open where I could get a good look. But alas it was not to be, visibility in a commercial pine forest in the Pacific Northwest isn't as open as it is down in Georgia.

But I spent the day walking through the woods with a rifle on my shoulder, got to play with a niece that I haven't seen in very long time. Life doesn't get much better than that.

10 October 2008

Background Investigation

I have been in the Army for a good little while. Long enough to have had two clearances granted. However for the first time I find myself in such a position of authority that someone somewhere decided that I needed a higher level of clearance.

I'm not alone in this, a lot of people who previously didn't need this level of clearance are having to go through the process. Good news for me is that most of my paperwork for my last check was still in order and only needed some minor updating.

This was of no concern to me whatsoever until the actual investigator contacted me. And we sat down and talked. Then he talked to my buddies. Then he talked to my wife.

Ever get the feeling that you aren't innocent until proven guilty? That the burden of proof is on you? Well that is exactly how a background investigation made me feel.

Now I hope that I don't get audited.

07 October 2008

5K, woot!

5 thousand blog views.

Book Reviews (shouldn't it be Books reviews?)

There are a few names that come up again and again in the martial arts world. Henry Okazaki is one of the common names in a few styles that I have trained in. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seishiro_Okazaki

Henry Okazaki trained Wally Jay. Wally Jay, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wally_Jay , developed small-circle jujitsu and authored a book by the same name. Having scanned through the book once I am happy to note that there isn't a whole lot of new techniques, but references on familiar techniques.

Having never trained in small circle jujitsu I can still use the reference material. However I have trained in Danzan-ryu.

Another name that comes up is Morehei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido. Which brings up "Aikido and the dynamic sphere". Aikido is different depending on who you learn from and how you internalize the teaching. This book is good reading for, and will probably remain on my shelf as a reference for quite a while.

Since I've been tapping into the stengths of my men in teaching Modern Army Combatives (two of them are rather skilled in jujitsu) I've found that my own skills are good, but not dominant. So I need to get better in order to control my opponent.

That is a fundamental shift from aikido thinking to jujitsu thinking. Aikido is at the core a reactionary art, requiring the input of your opponent. Jujitsu can be reactive or proactive. So while I plan to remain true to the spirit of Aikido I need to dig a little deeper into the past to the roots of jujitsu in order to get the most from training.

05 October 2008

Retiring...

I'm not retiring any time soon, but I'm planning for it.

The wife and I have discussed the details of where we would like to live. Someplace still rural, but within a half hour of emergency care. Pe Ell, Raymond, and McCleary were the names of towns that we tossed around.

Who knows how we'll feel in 15 years.

And speaking of Raymond...

I noticed someone from Raymond on the Live Traffic Feed. Don't worry Kathy, your PC is almost fixed good as new. Just needed an OS upgrade and new video card.

03 October 2008

Tactics

The more I learn about leading men in combat the more I know that I didn't know before.

It is fascinating how human beings have adopted warfare to meet cultural needs. People much smarter than I have written volumes on the subject.

Reading about the mindset change between "You'll take my guns from my cold dead hands" to "You'll take my guns after you reanimate the corpses of your jack booted thugs" has made me realize that of the roughly 100 million gun owners in the US, very very very few have the proper mindset to resist government tyranny.

Parting words? Train like you mean it.

02 October 2008

Marching Orders

Not completely concrete yet, but the brigades rotating to Iraq next year have been announced.

One brigade from the 10th Mountain Division has already been diverted to Afghanistan. I was hoping that my brigade would get diverted to Afghanistan, and it may still happen, but since I Corps is deploying as the HQ element for Iraq it makes sense to keep as many I Corps units together as possible in Iraq.

Next year will be interesting.