27 June 2011

Deployment goals

A lot of Joes deploy, become gym rats and put on a lot of muscle. 

I want to lose some weight.  Now I am not "fat" just that I've bulked up over the years and now look back fondly on being a tall skinny beanpole.  So I've been doing my normal deployment routine, alternating days of cardio and strength building.  But this time my cardio focus is longer, 45 minutes instead of 30.  In 45 minutes I can burn 530 calories.   The first fifteen minutes of cardio burns calories 50/50 between glycogen and fat, but after fifteen minutes it is over 98% fat burning, so 45 minutes gives me 20% (roughly) glycogen calories verses fat.  So each cardio session I burn right around 400 calories of fat.

9 cal/gram of fat = 9000 cal/kg.  2.2 lbs/kg = 4090 cal/lbs of fat.  So each workout can burn up to 1.6 ounces of fat.  Or, every twenty days I'll burn a pound off.  Over 180 days that equals nine pounds, over a year that is 18 pounds.  None of this counts a metabolic increase, just weight lost due to the cardio (assuming I don't consume more to replace what I've burned).  Since I want to lose just about 20 pounds to get back under 200, I think I'm on a pretty sustainable track.

Anyways, one of the reasons I'm heavy is that muscle does weigh more than fat.  But I want to give my wife a set of six pack abs to run her hands over when I get home.  And while I like being a big, intimidating, masculine man, I don't like all the pounding my knees take carrying around the extra muscle.  So it is "slim down" time, and focusing on cardio endurance instead of muscle bulk. 

And doing cardio at 7,600 feet?  I'm making this altitude my bitch.

25 June 2011

No thinky, just linky

If the observations of De Toqueville about revolution following reforms pointed out here http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/06/20/everything_you_think_you_know_about_the_collapse_of_the_soviet_union_is_wrong then things will get worse for the US before they get better.

Cops using "home made silencer components" to trump up charges on a hacker.  http://technolog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/06/23/6925925-fired-it-guy-puts-porn-in-ex-boss-powerpoint-gets-sweet-revenge?chromedomain=digitallife

According to liberal feminist "good is a meaningless word" when it comes to men. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-matlack/should-women-really-go-ug_b_880110.html

Buy Micron stock. http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9O2CA200.htm

22 June 2011

Afghanistan

I'm cool, still alive and kicking.  Got to ride on a CH-46 for the first time.  Didn't even need a parachute.  There is a lot I want to talk about, but I'm sure you all are farther ahead in the news cycle than I am.

However, there is a Rand study, Victory Has a Thousand Fathers, that is a free download. 

http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2010/RAND_MG964.pdf

Highly recommended reading.  Especially the part about the number one indicator for failure/success of a COIN campaign.

16 June 2011

No more black beret

Except with dress uniforms.

A smart decision all around.  Even if we still look like Jr High AFROTC rejects in our A's and B's now.

12 June 2011

236 years

Today is the Army's Birthday.  Part of being a soldier is carrying the torch of tradition given to you so that you can pass it on to others as they join the Big Green Machine.

Last year I was less than five hours out of my dress blues from the Army Ball when I got the phone call that a VBIED had killed two of our soldiers and wounded several others.  This year I'm in Afghanistan.

While I am not an idealist about military service, I do believe that those of us who make the choice to serve can only do so with the traditional values of "duty, honor, and country" if nothing more than to satisfy our own moral and legal obligation to the contract we signed.

Gentlemen, Duty is doing what is expected of you.  Honor is conducting yourself in a right and moral manner in all things.  Country, well, I don't know what that really means to me right now.  My country is very different from when I signed on in 97, and while I still love my country I'm not sure if my service is of any real benefit to her.

Ever wonder why the US Military continually ranks so high in Public Trust?  It isn't because we are different people than Congressmen or Senators (who are just as human as anybody else from all medical reports), it is because we are the same as the people of the United States.  The vast majority of the Legislative body is a bunch of lawyers creating work for other lawyers.  The vast majority of the US Military is now a caste of warriors along family lines.  Less than 20% of us now serving came from a family that didn't have an immediate family member also serving.

I worry about that some.  Some say that our Military represents the very best of America, but I have no idea if that is true.  But I will continue to do my best, if nothing more because I gave my word that I would do so.  And if personal accountability and dedication are the only things I can pass on when I leave the Big Green Machine, I think that I will be fine with that.

When Groupthink fails...

In any group there is some "monotony of thought" that those in the group believe.  Sometimes these groups are voluntary like Church or the Republican Party, but sometimes these groups are simply happenstance such as socioeconomic background or neighborhood.  And as humans we often have the tendency to believe that since we are rational that all other rational humans think as we do.

And it can be shocking to find out that this is not the case.  For example Dragon Dan 31D obviously disapproves of some of my thoughts that I have written down.  Maybe he is offended that I am not an unconditional cheerleader of the encroaching police state or "pro-military" that it left him unable to reason critically about what I said, instead of who I am when I say it.  And this is normal because both Dragon Dan 31D and myself serve in uniform, and after all there really is a large uniformity of thought in the Armed Forces.

So what happens when people find out that other people don't think like they do?  History tells us that groups will splinter because of it.  The Catholic Church had a "schism" with the Coptic Church only a few hundred years into the history of Christianity.  The "Bull Moose Party" ring a bell?  Sipsey Street Threepers verses others?

Which makes the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and the US Constitution so unbelievably miraculous.  That a large group of intelligent, independent thinkers, could recognize that together they were smarter than any single one of them alone.  That through rigorous debate a better decision could be reached.  And that is the success of staying the course towards a group goal, even if you don't have "groupthink" to keep you together.

The goal is freedom.  Internal dissent is completely fine as long as we keep working towards freedom.  The moment someone says, "screw you guys, I'm going home" we have been divided.  And a house divided shall not stand.  In the words of Franklin, "if we do not hang together we shall surely hang separately."

10 June 2011

Educating Dragon Dan 31D

Dragon Dan 31D wants to compare the civilian casualties inflicted by the US Military in the "War on Terror" with the deaths of US Citizens by Law Enforcement.


Yes the purpose of war is to kill the enemy, not women and children. The fact we do not go out with then intent on killing women and children is what seperates the U.S. Military from all those 3rd world militaries. What is the difference between these and accidental killings by LE in the U.S. That is my point!


Fine.  I will agree that the cops are acting very much like a foreign occupying army.  Soldiers are protected from local prosecution by a "Security Agreement" (same as a Status of Forces Agreement) in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  Cops are protected from local prosecution by "acting under color of law" which leaves citizens with only the option of non-criminal "civil" suits.  Kinda like Iraqis or Afghanis are given "claims tickets" to get some cash for having the loved ones killed or property damaged.  So it is clear that US citizens are seen as little more than "little brown hajis" by the boys in blue.  I'm glad you made your case for this so strong Dan, it is nice when a law enforcement thug agrees with my assessment of the situation.

However Dan, wherever in the hell did you get the idea that killing innocent people is "just and right" when the military does it?  Certainly not from this blog unless you are reading in your own biases.

Finally, when you say "we go out" I have to question how many combat patrols a 31D (CID agent) really goes on.  Your job is to prosecute the guys in green, not the guys in man dresses.  I lost all respect for CID when they couldn't/wouldn't prosecute a soldier of mine dealing heroin in the barracks and then got mad at me for chaptering his ass out.

As far as officer deaths go you wrote:


2001 to present: 1613 total deaths of U.S. Servicemen in Afghanistan. During the same time 1718 LE Officers also died in the line of duty.



When you take away all those LEO deaths from traffic accidents you cut that number in half.  My point is that a police officer is much less likely to be shot at than a soldier in a combat zone and yet still there are cop apologists like yourself who believe that cops should use the same tactics as a soldier in a combat zone for some sort of "officer safety" benefit.


If you were using your brain for anything other than a beret holder you would come to the logical conclusion that when Cops act like soldiers they make citizens their enemy.  I expect you to respond with "no, cops make criminals their enemy" but that is just complete and utter BS because I have already given you the number of innocent citizens killed by cop per year.  You responded back with the UCR data for "justified homicides" as opposed to "death by cop", a data set that has nothing to do with my point.  But way to slay that straw man, masterfully done.


And finally, way back from a few days ago Dragon Dan 31D wrote



Hmm! Ok now the fact you are serving in the U.S. Army and claim to be a Mercenary. This is interesting since it tell me you serve for money or maybe using Uncle Sam to get a college degree only and not love of country



I do love my country, but that is not why I serve.  If we didn't get paid, how long do you think you would keep doing YOUR job?  I bet you are a happy little soldier the 1st and the 15th.  And since you are both a cop and a soldier, what type are you?  Are you the type who is serving out of duty? No, because then you would be a medic or a grunt.  Are you serving out of family tradition?  Possibly, both cops and soldiers have family traditions of service.  Are you serving because you need a job?  I can't tell.  But are you the fourth type?  The type who wants power over other people?  Are you just another thug with a badge?  Since I seem to have struck a nerve you should really examine yours honestly and figure that out.  Because if you were one of the first three types, you might have simply ignored my post.  But something hit home deep enough that you keep arguing your straw man points trying hard to face the facts that cops aren't the angels you imply they are.


And since you are in CID, you know that soldiers aren't all angels.  We seldom turn out to be plaster saints.


And finally, "Mercenary" comes from the route for "wages" while "Soldier" comes from the route for "shilling" and both refer to someone who is paid to fight. And that is what I am paid to do, by force of violence implement the harsh reality of American Foreign policy.  Interesting side note, but the original meaning for "Foreigner" in French means "Barbarian."  Fitting, no?

09 June 2011

Necessarily skyrocket

As part of the broad plan to increase the cost of energy in this country (why? I don't know) the current administration wanted to implement a "cap and trade" which is really "cap and tax" on CO2 emissions.

Since "cap and tax" isn't a viable solution for anything, it seems that the administration is using using the EPA to tighten down the screws on the "regulations" (when a regulatory agency re-interprets the rules to give themselves more power) to increase the cost of electricity.

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/165651-aep-epa-regs-will-cost-billions-and-result-in-five-closed-plants

Remember kids, we didn't get the explosive growth of government until the Dems were able to stack the deck of the Supreme Court to strike down the "non-delegation of powers" doctrine in the 1930s.  Sure wish we could get some lawmakers with enough spine to put non-delegation back on the books.  That would keep the congresscritters arguing more about things that impact our lives instead of just looking to make bad legislation that screws us over and giving an unelected body power to interpret that garbage as they see fit.

Solutions to the increased militarization of thugs in uniform

If we don't want Cops to act like occupying soldiers, then we the public need to demand a change to the "rules of engagement" the way Congress mandated "Knock and Announce" in 1917.

This is an uphill battle because organizations do not willingly give up power.  And every time we try to make citizens safer there will be Pro Police organizations that condemn us for jeopardizing "Officer Safety".  Here is the truth, most cops die in vehicle accidents.  Cops do not need to be "safer" when serving warrants. If you really need SWAT, then you have more than enough firepower to "knock and announce" before throwing the flashbangs that kill 7 year old girls.

The truth is that more innocent citizens die from Cop than Cops die from accidents.  Cop deaths run around 50 a year for the US.  Innocent citizen death is over ten times that.  And remember kids, if the cop kills an unarmed person before they can go to trial by definition they are an innocent citizen.  Innocent until proven guilty no matter how badly the Leftists want to prosecute us for "pre-crime" or "thought crime."

And while I think that a top down solution would be nice, I don't think it is possible.  The FBI will continue to use Ruby Ridge tactics and the ATF will continue to use Branch Davidian tactics, and any and all "investigations" will continue to clear the murdering bastards of wrongdoing.

And then pro police organizations like HS Precision will have people say that Vicki Weaver deserved to be shot in the back just because she was married to Randy Weaver.  So we need to respond to the "emotional appeals to officer safety" with cool logic and appeals to constitutional law.  Because we are pro law, not pro thug.

Hangin' out at an airbase...

Kids, if you are thinking about joining the military then enlist in the Air Force.  Sure you can get assigned to random air bases all over the world, but the living ain't so bad and the risk to life and limb is a bit different than the Army or USMC.

Seriously, how bad can life be when you work on an Air Force base?

06 June 2011

Blog on hiatus

Tonight I pack up the laptop that broadcasts as my inner monologue, often without a very effective filter.

I do not know when I will be able to post again, or if the security situation will make it advisable for me to post again.  Every time I leave it gets harder.  Tonight we had the traditional Denny's dinner, and the waitress received the traditional 20 dollar tip.  I don't know what it is about routines, but there is comfort in them.  Unfortunately routines also make you predictable.  Although I don't think that going to a Denny's before deploying is really going to make me a softer target.

Last night my eldest son snuggled up to my side and pulled my right arm over him like a blanket before he fell off to sleep.  I can't thank enough the people who have helped me experience that one last time. 

Soldiers and Cancer patients get to live like they are dieing (not a true statement, but it gets the idea across close enough).  The truth is that everybody is subject to the whims of fate.  And being stateside doesn't mean you won't be die suddenly.

I hope that I come home to my family in half a year.  I hope that they are safe and healthy. 

I don't think I'll sleep well at all tonight.  It is like this every time.  It was hard enough when it was just me and the wife (and the yorkie).  Add two sons to the mix and it gets harder and harder to separate myself from who I truly am to go do a job that I wanted to do ten years ago. 

But the Army is my family too.  At one point I was an 18 year old kid in over his head, and those who were older and wiser took care of me.  Now it is my turn to take care of those kids, do my best to keep them alive so they can come home to their families.

05 June 2011

Cops are bullies, even on this blog

So a blogger by the handle of "The Bronze" left this little nugget.

"But more Americans have been killed EVERY YEAR by cops than servicemen have died in Afghanistan."

I call absolute BULLSHIT on that.

Where's your proof that this is true? Cite it or retract it.


Anyone else see the blatant disrespect for citizens here?  Not only does he claim I am a liar, but ORDERS me to do something about it.  The great thing about the internet is that it lets everyone have a voice.

Well Officer, my reply was made in comments, and my numbers still hold up.  If you want to call "bullshit" then you need to prove me wrong.  And you CAN'T do that.  At best you can play cop games and say "well if they weren't resisting they wouldn't have been shot" or "if they hadn't been fleeing from the police then the police wouldn't have had to crash their cop car into an innocent bystander" which in and of itself complete and utter bullshit.

You can try to spin the blame for the deaths onto others, but at the end of the day it was a COP firing the gun and a COP behind the wheel.  And sometimes it is the COP who kneels on an innocent mans neck and causes him to die from asphyxiation.  And rarely, ever so rarely will we the little people win in civil court for a cash settlement, allowing the COPS to continue to murder people with a "never go to jail" card because they are "the only ones."

The more I think about the complete arrogance of TheBronze's the more I think he is one of the "Fourth" types of Cops and Soldiers. I mean, why else would he choose the Deceptecon icon for his avatar?  Remember the Deceptecon cop car in the movie "Transformers" with the motto "To Punish and Enslave" written on the side?  Man, evidently "to serve and protect" really is a thing of a bygone generation.

04 June 2011

There are no short insurgencies

Commenter Mark Matis wrote this:
For TPaine: You fail to understand that, if the conflict is not over within at most a few weeks, our Chinese and Russian friends will be more than glad to help the US Government subdue the "terrorists". There are plenty of Perfumed Princes and Princesses in the military to help them, and New York, San Francisco, and probably MANY other major ports will be glad to debark their soldiers. Somebody postulated that the Only Ones will not be willing to do "scorched earth" against fellow citizens. Not sure what ever gave them THAT idea. And let me assure you that neither the Chinese nor the Russians will have ANY concern about war crimes.

The bottom line? When the time comes, we either remove the sewage rapidly, or we lose. But even in losing, it is worthwhile to destroy as many OathBreakers as possible.


There are no "short victorious insurgencies" to speak of.  There are "short, victorious military coups" but that requires a very popular General or Admiral who is willing to lead the military into open revolt to the elected civilian government.

But for an insurgency to work, to win, it will be a LONG WAR.  Long hard, bloody, horrible war.

The Vietnamese fought the french for over ten years before they fought the US for another ten years.  More than twenty years of conflict against two first world military forces.  How did they win?  By staying in the game.  The Afghan Muj fought the Soviets for a decade.

If a US insurgency were to come to pass it would be a miracle if it ended in under a month with the insurgents on the victor side.  Most likely it would end in under a month with WACO or Ruby Ridge repeated on a larger scale.  The only way an insurgency ever wins against a superpower is with outside support over the LONG term.

There are a lot of fiction books that describe short insurgencies, and a few that describe long insurgencies.  History doesn't support the short victorious insurgent.  History says that those who take on a superpower have a long hard, but not impossible task.

01 June 2011

List of Accomplishments? Rly?

At this OpEd piece at the CSM about the "Big Lie that Obama isn't a leader" has a list of "accomplishments" that I couldn't resist skewering here...

  • He stabilized the worst economy since the Great Depression. Though unemployment remains stubborn, the stock market is basically back to where it was before the global economic meltdown. His stimulus bill kept America humming and saved hundreds of thousands of jobs, while his rescue of General Motors saved an industrial icon.
  • His administration kept thousands of over-extended Americans from losing their homes by laboring mightily to forestall foreclosures.
  • In spite of ferocious opposition, he passed long-overdue reforms of our health-care system that had eluded the reach of many past presidents.
  • He signed into law a bold package of regulations to boost consumer protection and restrain Wall Street’s greed.
  • He negotiated a historic nuclear-arms reduction treaty with Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev.
Ok, you can stop laughing now.  Let us take a look at this one issue at a time.

The economy.  Uh, hello?  Stagflation?  Jimmy Carter?  Same bailout of Chrysler that Jimmeh Carter did?  Seriously this is a rehash of Carter's policies and giving us the SAME results, a stagnant economy with double digit inflation.  Evidently Mr. Walter Rodgers didn't have to study history to get his journalism degree.

Mortgages.  His administration hasn't even managed to put a fucking bandaid on the mortgage crisis.  And even people who qualified for the program had to fight to stay in it after their "provisional" repayment schedule was categorically denied. 

Healthcare?  What ferocious opposition?  His fucking party controlled both the House and the Senate!  And it still took them over a damn year to unfuck themselves.  Are you serious?  How the fuck could he write "ferocious opposition" without dislocating his thumbs from the sheer irony?

And as far as "negotiated a historic nuclear arms treaty with Dmitri Medved" I didn't know that rolling over and pissing on yourself was a recognized negotiation tactic by anyone but the French (apologies to Mr. Sarkozy who has single handed managed to increase my respect for France by showing more backbone than the autopen in chief).  Maybe Mr. Rodgers is using the word "historic" in a you know, factual, meaning in that an event did take place and now it is history.  Great.  Mr. Rodgers you should know that I took a historic shit this morning.  But unlike my excrement I can't simply flush your blathering down the plumbing.

Wall Street Reform?  Bullshit.  In one bullet Walther Rodgers claims that the DOW Jones being back to close to where it was before the "crisis" is a good thing, but somehow now it is "reformed", seriously?  The economy sucks dipshit, why do you think the Military has been meeting enlistment quotas for the last two years?

And to end off his list of blatant falsehood, Mr. Walters writes this little gem....
It’s true that Obama hasn’t made tackling the debt a priority. But when Republicans controlled the White House and Congress for much of the past decade, US debt exploded. On that issue, the public will have to lead

No jackass, the Dems took over in 2006 and our public debt "exploded" like a liberal journalists head struck by a 750 gr AMAX at 2,700 fps.  Before that we had a "debt problem" after that we had a "debt crisis" and if the Dems keep spending like..... well there really is no analogy for what the Dems like to spend like because even drunken Sailors stop spending when the run out of money... eventually we will have a collapse.

Hope the kookaid tastes good you fluffer for liberal stroke piece production. 

Worries

Worrying is a pretty useless activity in and of itself.  However, when being worried about something forces an action, then it can become useful as a motivator.  Every time I get ready to go to a "hot zone" where people are shooting at folks in uniform, other people worry about me.  But more Americans have been killed EVERY YEAR by cops than servicemen have died in Afghanistan.

My odds of dieing in A'stan are above zero, I got that.  But folks back home have above zero odds of being shot by cop for doing nothing illegal or immoral.  I don't want to live in a world where cops can bust in your door and shoot you at any "percieved" provocation (remember the cop who told the Judge "I feared for my life"?) and literally get away with murder.

I have followed the writings of Massad Ayoob for years now, and increasingly he has become a voice from the past.  Sometimes dementia sets in and old people begin to live in the past, at least in their own head.  When we brought up "increasing militarization" he responded "well the old Sam Brown belt hurt our backs!" as if the gear had anything to do with the continued trampling of civil rights and creation of a protected class of killers.

Organizations DO NOT WILLINGLY GIVE UP POWER.  The ATF is embroiled in the Gunwalker Scandal and they are still trying to push the "multiple rifle sale reporting" regulation change.  New York City has already disarmed its own law abiding citizens and Mayor Bloomberg is sending his goons to other states to try to change their laws.  The source of power in the United States no longer lies with the people, because the people have abdicated their choices to hucksters, their security to a government machine that is as inhuman as the third reich (seriously I expect the TSA to haul non-compliant travelers off in cattle cars before the end of the year) and people comply.

How the fuck did the civil rights movement fail so utterly?  I guess the Jim Crow laws were bad because it made blacks second class citizens.  But now it is ok, because the second class citizens are those without a badge, not the ones with brown skin.  Except for Jose Guerena, he was a second class citizen who had brown skin.

I don't feel like a citizen.  I don't feel like my family is safe at home.  At least in A'stan I know who is trying to kill me, and I have a good chance of killing them first.  Here the odds are stacked against citizens, citizens who are told to use the "civil court system" to address grievances.  Yeah, because forcing the .gov to pay more taxpayer dollars out as a blood payment is really going to make this nation stronger and a better place to live.