Saturday, December 4, 2010

Same people, different description

Nixon got a lot of blue-collar votes. Reagan got more. In our earlier lives, Democrats represented the working man. Republicans were for the rich. So why is it that Republican working voters are often styled racist and ignorant by Democratic candidates? Aren’t they the same people (or from the same families) who were OK when they voted Democratic?

‘Does the GOP Need the Educated Class?’

“In the aftermath of the Republican disaster of 2008, some conservative writers hoped that the party could gain support from elite demographics—'the educated class,' as David Brooks calls it, meaning not so much 'everyone who graduated from college' but more like 'the kind of people we knew at school.' The results of the 2010 election, hugely encouraging for Republicans, indicate that the party’s gains came from almost all parts of the electorate except the elite demographic. I think it is extremely risky in a period of what I call open-field politics to make straight-line extrapolations from the results of one election to the next. But I also think that those conservatives aiming their pitch at their fellow Ivy League graduates, etc., are aiming in the wrong direction.”

Linked from maggiesfarm.

Doesn't matter whether you want it

The government says you will have it.

“Because of the nature of supply and demand, Plaintiffs’ choices (not to buy health insurance) directly affect the price of insurance in the market, which Congress set out in the Act to control.” – U.S. District Judge Norman K. Moon, in suit filed by Liberty University against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009, explaining why an individual’s act of not buying something is under the jurisdiction of the Interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution of the United States.

Moon cited Wickard v. Filburn, 1942, a unanimous decision, in which the Supreme Court ruled that farmer Roscoe Filburn was incorrect in believing he could grow as much wheat as he wanted on his land, when the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 gave the federal government power to say how much wheat farmer Filburn could grow, even though Filburn did not sell any wheat outside his local area. Charlie Flagg faced the same bureaucracy in Elmer Kelton’s The Time It Never Rained.
Linked from:

Thursday, December 2, 2010


“In many respects the Vikings were the medieval equivalent of organized crime,” says Simon Keynes, a professor of Anglo-Saxon history at Cambridge University. “They engaged in extortion on a massive scale, using the threat of violence to extract vast quantities of silver from England and some other vulnerable western European states.”

“Certainly the Vikings did all these things, but so did everyone else,” says Dagfinn Skre, a professor of archaeology at the University of Oslo. “Although admittedly, the Vikings did it on a grander scale.”

Also: Dublin, one of the largest Viking cities in the British Isles, became a major European slave-trading center, where, historians estimate, tens of thousands of kidnapped Irishmen, Scotsmen, Anglo-Saxons and others were bought and sold.

One thing leads to another thing and that to another and first thing you know, William of Normandy is king.

‘Napolitano Eyes Tighter Security for Trains, Ships, Mass Transit’

Nobody saw this coming, right?

"I think the tighter we get on aviation, we have to also be thinking now about going on to mass transit or to trains or maritime," she said. "So what do we need to be doing to strengthen our protections there?"
But a Homeland Security official told Fox News that the use of such full-body scanners is not under consideration, saying they "would not be feasible in a system with hundreds or thousands of access points."

Nah, they’ll never put those full-body scanners anywhere but at airports. Never.

Wanna cut government spending?

Larry Elder says its easy. Sell federal land, AMTRAK, the postal system, Hoover Dam, the Tennessee Valley Authority. And do a bunch of other things.

Dumba$$ Iranians

Star of David sits on roof of Tehran airport main terminal.

“The six-pointed star was discovered by an eagle-eyed Google Earth user recently, over three decades after the building that houses the national airline of the Islamic Republic was constructed by Israeli engineers.

“Israel and the Shah’s Iran maintained good ties until the Islamic Revolution of 1979 ended the relationship. Before 1979, Israel brokered arms deals with Iran, and there were regular flights between Teheran and Tel Aviv.

“Once the existence of the Star of David was reported in Iranian media, government officials called for the immediate removal of the apparently offensive Jewish symbol.

“The discovery of the symbol came three months after the Iranian public learned of the existence of a Star of David on the roof of a building in Teheran’s Revolution Square.”

From jammiewearingfool.

The ultimate prank or a trick of the light?
(I don’t think it’s lights and shadows.)

It is to laugh at the stoopids

Progressives pay tribute to "iconic" animals of the Arctic, including penguins, saved from evil oil companies.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

There ain’t no Santa Claus

“The Republican nominee should be someone with vast and impressive experience in government and the private sector -- and a proven record. Voters chose a novice with plenty of star power in 2008 and will be inclined to swing strongly in the other direction in 2012. Americans will be looking for sober competence, managerial skill, and maturity, not sizzle and flash.”

Mona Charin, “Why Sarah Palin Shouldn’t Run”

And the present and future political climate ain’t like two years ago. Call it what you want – Mobocracy or The People Has Spoke. The “vast and impressive record in government and private sector” Ms. Charin writes of is embodied in some person reclining beneath a giant mushroom in Easter Bunny Land, where there’s buzzing of the bees in the peppermint trees near the soda water fountain. Democrats might know that handouts grow on bushes, but Ms. Charin and other self-proclaimed Conservatives have yet to figure out that the times they have changed. All those columnist folks, the ones who write for big city newspapers or big-time blogs and announce the death of mainstream media are in the same leaky lifeboat. No matter how many fellow travelers they throw overboard because the drinking water’s about gone, they all face the same future with the same lack of understanding. People whose diplomas have the same university names, people who make the same amount of money, people whose bylines and mug shots appear in the same newspapers and TV talk shows and internet pages … there’s not a dime’s difference between any of them. – My opinion and I’m welcome to it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Democrats got bashed last week ...

… because voters were mad at Bush. Ohh. I see now.

I'm drinking what???

“The Sunday Mail can reveal the State Government had planned a taxpayer-funded publicity campaign centred on handing out thousands of bottles of water from the largely idle $1.5 billion Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme, in a last-ditch bid to convince Queenslanders that treated effluent was safe to drink.

“But the bottles of water - at least 40,000 - were never distributed. Instead they were stored in a warehouse before being secretly destroyed in May at a waste facility in Ipswich, west of Brisbane.”

But wait – There’s more!

“The bottles of recycled water were to supplement the thousands of bottles already imported by the Queensland Water Commission from Singapore's recycled water scheme.”

If I were Australian and I found out I had been given “treated effluent,” I might be angry. Drinking my own treated effluent is bad enough, but my government imported some from Singapore?

Linked from another story on Dave Barry’s blog.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tannhauser as a measurement of time

My wife said we needed pumpkins and mums as porch decorations for Halloween. This afternoon I drove six miles to the nearest settlement, where there is a produce stand, and bought two buckets of mums, three big pumpkins and six little pumpkins.

As I drove onto our street, the local classic music station announcer said the next selection would be the overture from Tannhauser. Well, shoot, I said. The overture is one of three Wagner pieces I enjoy hearing. The other two are the Tannhauser finale and the popular selection from Tristan and Isolde. I thought, Well, I guess I can sit in the truck and listen, but then decided opening the doors and cranking up volume would be better.

I parked the truck near the front porch and turned off the motor and then turned the key to accessory position and turned up the volume**. I got out and closed the driver side door, not wanting to hear “Ding, ding, ding” for the entirety of Tannhauser, walked around the truck and opened the passenger door and the half door, both with speakers. Then, as the piece began, I started unloading the truck.

Tannhauser is one of those pieces of music in which at some point I will play conductor. Playing conductor, though, is not possible when carrying a big pot of mums (twice), nor when carrying and placing big pumpkins (three.) I could, however, conduct while carrying a little pumpkin in each hand.

I got everything unloaded and placed just right in time for all of Tannhauser – 14 minutes.

I suppose none of the neighbors was watching.

** If you think classical music is played too loud, you are too young.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

'Fundamentalist bullies with Bibles'

Garrison Keillor: “[Republicans have] transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic fratboys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk. Republicans: The No.1 reason the rest of the world thinks we’re deaf, dumb, and dangerous.”

Source: Bankrupt -- The Intellectual and Moral Bankruptcy of Today's Democratic Party, by David Limbaugh, 2006, page 240.
Also: “Pat Boone Says Keillor Pollutes Lake Wobegon,” (the magazine), November 2004, page 8.
Hardcopy: Copy of page 240 from Limbaugh's book.
Where: In his article, 'We're Not in Lake Wobegon Anymore,' Truthout.
When: August 26, 2004.

Linked from to


I never much liked Keillor’s program, other than the Western Swing bands he occasionally has. The only time I hear Keillor is when my wife and I are on two-hour or longer Sunday road trips. My wife likes Lake Wobegon. Keillor a couple of years ago complained about old, long-haired motorcycle riders in Washington D.C., who interrupted his Memorial Day walk to an art museum. Keillor got to the museum, he wrote, where he spent hours enjoying French art. On Memorial Day.

Keillor is the pessimeist pessimist from his non-subdued anger at Minnesota Lutherans. Listening to his description of Lutherans, I am surprised that Minnesota does not have dozens of winter mass murders.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Your religious group doesn’t count

Members of the Dove Outreach World Center in Gainesville, Fla., plan to burn a copy (or copies) of the koran on Sept. 11.

Church members certainly have a right to burn anything, as long as the action does not violate local fire codes. Burning a copy of the koran seems a dumb idea, sort of like building a mosque near Ground Zero.

Reacting to the news, demonstrators in Kabul, Afghanistan, marched outside the U.S. embassy, and shouting “Death to America” and burning an effigy of the church’s minister.

Reacting to the demonstrators (and acting in a manner hardly reminiscent of President T.R. Roosevelt’s advice to “Speak softly and carry a big stick”), the U.S. embassy in Kabul issued a statement:

"The United States government in no way condones such acts of disrespect against the religion of Islam, and is deeply concerned about deliberate attempts to offend members of religious or ethnic groups.

"Americans from all religious and ethnic backgrounds reject this offensive initiative by this small group in Florida, a great number of American voices are protesting the hurtful statements made by this organization."

Well, who would have known! “The United States government … is deeply concerned about deliberate attempts to offend members of religious or ethnic groups.”

Here’s a guess: A great number of Americans of differing religious and ethnic groups were offended when the same U.S. State Department included Arizona’s immigration enforcement bill in a report to the United Nations commission on human rights. Did that offense concern the State Department? No doubt those offended continue to cling to their God and their guns; a position that offends not only the present secretary of state, but also her boss, the president.

Here’s another guess: An equal of greater number of Americans of differing religious and ethnic groups were offended when President Obama announced his support of a mosque near Ground Zero.

Link from

We had who as allies?

Or: 229 years later and arguments continue.

On Sept. 5, 1781

"The Royal Navy suffered a rare defeat at the hands of the French, at the battle of the Capes of the Chesapeake, which helped seal the American victory during the War of Independence.

"Rear Admiral Thomas Graves, commanding 19 ships of the line, faced the talented Comte de Grasse du Bar with 24 ships. De Grasse was landing French troops at the Chesapeake to link up with General Washington's advance on Yorktown. Graves failed to seize an opportunity to fall upon the French fleet whilst it headed for the open sea, and several of his own ships suffered heavily, one subsequently having to be scuttled.

"With a British relief force unable to reach him by land or sea, General Cornwallis at Yorktown had to surrender to Washington on 20 October."


"helped seal the American victory": come now, the French won it for them. Due credit to Geo Washington for hanging on long enough for the French to take their opportunity, but the French won at sea and at Yorktown, whatever fairy-tales the yanks indoctrinate their kiddies with.”

“Do you feel better now? You actually prefer to lose to the French than British Colonials?”

“What on earth has preferring got to do with history? The frogs won fair and square: credit where it's due.”

“...yeah, and it took about 10 years of constant diplomacy, the near certainty that the Americans would win because (1) they damn well wouldn't give up, and (2) the British weren't exactly happy about pounding the colonials. The British could have won easily. They were more pissed that they would have to send prisoners to Australia instead of to the closer colonies.”

“If the French didn't want to confront the British every where possible, they never would have come in. Like oil and water those two...for a thousand years."

“Saying that...when they did come in, they showed their stature as a premire world power.”

“Boy, I'm sure glad the Germans started acting up in the last century so we could all be friends again.”

“Actually, the Revolutionary War (WOI across the Pond) was probably the last time the French actually did something tremendous militarily.”

“Washington knew that all he had to do was not lose his army. Every day he held it together was another day for the Crown to either give up, or make a horrible blunder, and then give up. He didn't have to win ... he only needed to not lose. He won anyway.”

“And if you want an example of an outright American victory, read about the attempt to relieve New York. An army marched south from Canada, and was annihilated by a swarm of angry New Englander militiamen ... with no help from the Continental Army. People just living there decided to treat them like rampaging Indians, and converged on them without orders, or even much in the way of leaders.”

“Just to damp the ardour a bit, you yanks did not do so well invading Canada-he he.”

“That's okay: so the Yanks needed the French to beat the British and their German mercenaries, just as the Brits and French needed the Yanks -- twice -- to beat the Huns. We're all one big happy family, except when we're not.”

“As for the Canadian adventure: I'd like to ask my Canuck friends whether they'd be better off as part of the U.S. today, instead of under their current regime. I suspect that the Albertans and Saskatchewans might have a slightly different view from those in Toronto and Quebec.”

“Actually, the invasion of Canada was a "very near run thing", as some prominent Brit said--if General Montgomery hadn't been killed in the assault on Quebec, it may well have been a success.”

‘’Just to damp the ardour a bit, you yanks did not do so well invading Canada-he he’
“For which we are eternally grateful!”

“If we hadn't helped you in WWII and thereafter, you'd be speaking German or Russian now. If the French hadn't helped us in the American Revolution, we'd be speaking...English.”

“Yes, dearieme, we were all taught in school about the French fleet and soldiers at Yorktown and the tale of the American bayonet charge on Redoubt #10. The town I grew up in is marked as part of George Washington's retreat route.”

“Were we the only side with allies? Have you forgotten about your Hessian mercenaries we defeated?”

“Have you forgotten the pasting a bunch of farm boys and leather tanners gave the British forces at Breeds Hill? Over 200 killed and 800 wounded.”

“Water under the bridge. Let's insult the Frogs some more. Their flag has red and blue velcro bars for easy surrendering!”

From Free Market Fairy Tales:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ignoring the Obvious - How Government Screws Up (Almost) Everything

By cmndr45

“Take the hoards of illegals streaming across our Southern border. While everyone offers after-the-fact band-aids, nobody wants to deal with the two fundamental reasons that we have the problem in the first place: jobs and welfare. Illegals come here because they can simply earn more money than they can in their home country, especially if they work “off book” - for cash. If we actually made it impossible for illegal aliens to work in the United States, the invasion would all but dry up.

“But on this issue, Republicans are just as guilty as Democrats - neither party wants to alienate their corporate supporters by genuinely enforcing the law with fines and criminal charges, nor angering the Hispanic community by prosecuting the illegals who use falsified documents to obtain jobs."

Monday, August 30, 2010

The consensus is in, and ...

“A year ago giddy environmentalists were on top of the world. The greenest president in American history had the largest congressional majority of any president since Lyndon Johnson; the most powerful leaders in the world were elbowing each other for places on the agenda at the Copenhagen conference on climate.

“It all came to naught. The continued stalemates and failures of the UN treaty process have fallen off the front pages; as the Kyoto Protocol sinks ineffectually into oblivion, no new global treaty will take its place. The most Democratic Congress in a generation will not pass significant climate legislation before the midterms pull Congress to the right, and there will be no US law on carbon caps or anything close in President Obama’s first term, and there is less public faith in or concern about climate change today than at any time in the last fifteen years.

“Has any public pressure group ever spent so much direct mail and foundation money for such pathetic results?”
Walter Russell Mead, “The Greening of Godzilla.”

Linked from

Saturday, August 28, 2010

True words on Obama's wimp factor

President Obama's Compulsive Appeasement Disorder
By Robert Weissberg

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, the U.S. became the world's only superpower -- Uncle Sam would say, "Jump," and the response would be, "How high?" This has not continued; if anything, on today's world stage, Uncle Sam increasingly resembles Rodney "I don't get no respect" Dangerfield. We cannot even kill off a few ragtag third-world pirates, let alone impose our will on Iran or make Hugo Chávez nervous.

There's a simple explanation: we are no longer feared. Superpowers of yesteryear, going back to the Greeks and Romans, were feared for a reason -- they leveled a city to make an example. Today, by contrast, Uncle Sam relies on cajoling, bribery (think North Korea), entreating puny leaders of inchoate states (special envoys to the PLO's Mahmoud Abbas) and otherwise playing weak hands. We have gone from resolve to U.N. resolution. We've forgotten Machiavelli's sage advice: since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.

Being feared does not require bombing Iran into the Stone Age, though that would certainly terrify North Korea and even slow down the Somali pirates. Being feared is when your enemy believes that you are willing to use overwhelming, deadly force, and this need not require nuking anybody. The trick is creating a credible, threatening persona -- convincing your enemy that while you may speak softly, you also carry a big stick and are willing to use it. Israel long ago learned this lesson, regardless of world outrage.

Unfortunately, an ability to project a "don't mess with Uncle Sam or you'll be sorry" persona escapes today's presidential qualification list. Ronald Reagan was the last president who truly embodied this quality. He was neither a personally violent man nor physically menacing, and he certainly eschewed bombast. Yet, when all was said and done, he was not to be antagonized. Perhaps "unschooled," blunt language swayed our enemies. Reagan also used big sticks to swat flies, and this hardly went unnoticed. Recall him sending American warplanes to avenge the Libya-organized terrorist attack on American soldiers in Berlin. One can almost imagine a movie in which Reagan says, "Well Moamar, I bet you don't think I'll launch an air strike on your desert tent for killing some of our boys, but ask yourself one question: 'Do you feel lucky?'" It was no accident that the Iranian hostage crisis ended within minutes of Reagan's inauguration -- the Iranians had already absorbed President Carter's hardest shot in the failed rescue attempt of April 24, 1980. It was a pathetic, incompetent gesture befitting an airhead peanut farmer, but who knew what the wild-man cowboy Reagan might attempt?

Clinton and Bush were hardly Andrew Jackson incarnate, but Barack Obama is the opposite. Everything about Obama, regardless of his "tough" Chicago activist background, suggests a man not taken seriously by foreign dictators. His is the toughness of academic infighting or bureaucratic maneuvering. Saul Alinsky was a genius on intimidating American corporations or stealing elections, but these lessons are immaterial when confronting tyrants starving and beheading their enemies.

This wimp quality is most apparent when Obama travels abroad to "represent" the U.S. Make no mistake: foreign leaders scrutinize these events to size up the president. Perhaps his troubled childhood ingrained in him the habit of appeasing bullies. As one peruses his speeches, there is absolutely nothing in them suggesting woe to those who cross Uncle Sam. At bottom, he is asking the world to like America, please, pretty please, and if you do, I'll be your best friend. This solicitation might fly in Norway when Peace Prizes are awarded, but it will bomb in Iran.

In his July 24, 2008 Berlin speech, Obama spoke of being "a fellow citizen of the world," with an American mother but a father who grew up herding goats in Kenya while his grandfather was a cook and domestic servant for the British (picture class-conscious Germans hearing this "proud" pedigree). He recalled how the U.S. and German people overcame the Berlin blockade (June 24, 1948 to May 12, 1949), though the U.S. military was no match for the much larger nearby Soviet army, a view that ignores the then-U.S. monopoly on nuclear weapons (and a sitting president who had already dropped two). Then, out of absolutely nowhere, he told his audience, "As we speak, cars in Boston and factories in Beijing are melting the ice caps in the Arctic, shrinking coastlines in the Atlantic, and bringing drought to farms from Kansas to Kenya." Even in environmentally conscious Germany, such gratuitous throwaway lines are undoubtedly judged as ill-informed pandering.

This was before Obama's election, but his June 4, 2009 speech in Cairo would remove all doubt regarding Obama's toughness. It was an exercise in self-humiliation, as if the assembled Muslims, not the U.S., were the superpower. The president asserted, "For over a thousand years, Al-Azhar has stood as a beacon of Islamic learning; and for over a century, Cairo University has been a source of Egypt's advancement. And together, you represent the harmony between tradition and progress." He then claimed some remarkable accomplishments for Islam: the order of algebra, the magnetic compass, a mastery of pens and printing, wondrous architecture, plus timeless poetry and cherished music. Islam was also hailed for its religious tolerance and racial equality. As for Muslims in America, they have stood for civil rights and excelled in sports.

And just to make sure that his audience grasped America's military might, Obama explained how we plan to spend billions on schools and hospitals in Pakistan and Afghanistan while pulling our troops out of Iraq by 2012. These are hardly worlds to inspire fear, let alone respect.

This is a compulsive disorder. On August 11, 2010, Obama continued with the lies when celebrating Ramadan in the White House:

These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam's role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings. Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality. And here in the United States, Ramadan is a reminder that Islam has always been part of America and that American Muslims have made extraordinary contributions to our country. And today, I want to extend my best wishes to the 1.5 billion Muslims around the world -- and your families and friends -- as you welcome the beginning of Ramadan.

Imagine Kim Jong-il, Hugo Chávez, or any other tinpot tyrant reading theses speeches. Perhaps the Somali pirates are waiting for American subsidized health care. Is this a man who strikes panic into the hearts of those who would mess with Uncle Sam?

There is nothing to contradict this personal wimpiness. To exaggerate only slightly, if Obama really gets angry, he may dispatch his failed political rival Secretary of State (or worse, the fearsome Joe Biden) to warn the bad guys that unless they stop hurting Uncle Sam, they're going to get stockings of coal next season (Christmas or holidays obviously constitute impermissible offensiveness).

What would Teddy Roosevelt say?

Robert Weissberg is Professor of Political Science-Emeritus, University of Illinois-Urbana.

Linked from maggiesfarm

NYC tax dollars to fund Ground Zero mosque?

“The Muslim center planned near the site of the World Trade Center attack could qualify for tax-free financing, a spokesman for City Comptroller John Liu said on Friday, and Liu is willing to consider approving the public subsidy.”

Linked from jammiewearingfool.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Shop rules

Always take the safety guard off the die grinder, then put it between your legs to grab the pipe

Chains around oxygen and other tanks just get in the way. Frequently, acetylene tanks will fit better if laid on their side.

So it takes two pumps to get full braking - who drives that close to anyone else anyway??

When welding up a small hole in a gas tank, ALWAYS empty the tank. Gasoline is flammable, so get rid of it. The air left in the empty gas tank can't explode because the gas has been removed.

Remember to always reinstall spindle nuts with an air impact on highest setting so they will be good and tight.

While chopping the roof on a coupe, it's acceptable to use a rafter mounted chain hoist with the chain laced through the door windows to lift the body back onto the chassis after tacking the roof and door tops in place. Ignore the sounds of metal cracking or welds popping. The metal is just settling into place. And if it seems like you've been 'raising' it for a while and the car starts to look 'taller'; you're just not used to seeing it chopped yet, it's ok to keep 'raising' it.

For the over 60 crowd.
Whenever you have a "special" part, rare or valuable (like the vin tag that had to be removed to put in hanging pedals) don't just leave it laying around. Put it in a "special" place where it is safe and secure. Do not write down where that special place is.

Don't worry about the roaring sound from the rear end, the new gears just need to "seat in" before you add any 90w.

Get a nice pewter mug for drinking your beer. The glass bottom lets you see the traffic in front of you.

If you tint the glass properly, you can weld while drinking.
Don't worry what people think, they don't do it very often.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Votes and more bureaucracy

“Do we believe that if 1 million French-speaking Canadians were invading New England, we would then be likely to suspect an African-American English-speaking citizen pulled over for speeding as an illegal alien? Ponder the current Border Patrol: it apparently profiles near the border any Mexican nationals who are spotted in the general vicinity (and who speak no English?), but yet at some magical spot — 10, 20, or 30 miles from the border — it mysteriously loses that ability or legal sanction?”

(A Brown Beret, anti-Tea Party demonstrator said non-Hispanics should return to the ancestral Europe. She (a) suffers from HDD (History Deficit Disorder); or, (b) doesn't care.)

$50 billion later

"(It can putt another 340 miles on a gasoline powered generator, but wasn't the whole point to eschew the evil-gasoline powered engine?) Thinking of passing that Beamer on the highway? Think again, Kemo Sabe. The ObamaVolt includes many patented SafetyPerformanceRetarding features (SPRFs) for the convenience of regulators. For example, its emisson-free engine delivers next to no horsepower so you won’t even be tempted to speed. Think how much you’ll save in tickets!

"And consider these pluses:

"1. The car will be available only in various shades of green (Bilious Green, Envy Green, Lettuce Green, Edamame Green etc.), thus declaring to the world that its owners are environmentally sensitive persons.

"2. The radios are specially calibrated to substitute any station carrying Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, or other unacceptable talk show hosts with a local NPR station, so no one who rides in an ObamaVolt need worry about second-hand pollution from racist, right-wing views.

"3. Offsetting the high sticker price for what is really a glorified go-cart, the United States government, in addition to bailing out G.M., has extracted billions more from taxpayers like you and me in order to provide the suckers, er, proud buyers of the ObamaVolt with a $7,500 federal tax credit.

'Snap Quiz: which of these three implausible pluses is actually true?"

Linked from:

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fat Tire and Patsy Cline

Priscilla and I went to a Rotary Club fundraiser last year at the Arkansas Repertory Theater. “Forever, Patsy Cline” was the program that night.

Before the program, though, people mingled and made polite introductions and conversation, nibbled or devoured hors d’oeuvres and other kinds of small foods.

Right after we arrived and before I grabbed a plate and filled the plate with broccoli and cauliflower and small meatballs and little sausages, Priscilla said, “There’s beer.” Ever mindful that I had no cash, but too much plastic, I asked, “How much is it?” Priscilla said, “It’s free.” I spent 15 years working on newspapers and three in radio, plus 16 years a soldier, and learned in those years never turn down a free meal. (OK, so the ticket prices that night more than made up the cost of various hors d’oeuvres and such.) I found the free beer place and asked the kinds of free beer there were. The free beer person replied, “Coors Light, Miller Lite and Bud Light.” “Free” doesn’t always mean “Real,” but (see 16 years a soldier), here is a rule: Never turn down free beer.

A couple of months later, Priscilla and I went to a Girl Scouts get together at the River Market in downtown Little Rock. The soiree was at the end of cookie sales season and a “Thank-You” for adults who gave time and money to Girl Scouts.

Right after we arrived and before I grabbed a plate and (see above about filling the plate), Priscilla said, “There is free beer.” OK, said I to myself, remembering the last free beer episode. But, free is free, so I went to the free beer and asked what kinds of free beer were available. One of the free beer people said, “Fat Tire, Sunshine and Heineken.” (You notice “Light” or “Lite” followed none of the brands named.) I had not tried Fat Tire or Sunshine before, but that night I certainly did. And Heineken as well. One each.

If there’s a moral to this tale, maybe it is: You get better beer at a Girl Scouts function than at a Rotary Club fundraiser.

Fat Tire and Sunshine are good beers. “Forever, Patsy Cline” is a good program, too.”

Dark enough for fireworks

July 4. Launching rockets and Roman candles, cherry bombs and small firecrackers should be at dawn’s early light, explosions and streaks of fire waking everyone to the day of celebrated independence. Then the visits and barbecues, conversations and discussions lasting until night time, then a darkness sparkled and streaked, whizbangs glimmering. Twice the celebration.

For a time tonight, Priscilla and I sat at the table in the back yard while a battle of rockets and such racketed back and forth, one group to the southwest, the other southeast. The Southwesters fired a rocket or three. The Southeasters replied with Roman candles. “Ha!” said the SWesters. “You call that a fireworks display?” A spate of small rockets shot into the air, a dozen explosions sounding like a short firefight.

By now mosquitoes found Priscilla and me, buzzed near arms and ears, landed.

The SEasters, perhaps invigorated by the loudness of the SWesters’ barrage, fired a volley of their own – several Roman candles followed by dozens of firecrackers.

The noise went from direction to direction. A sudden loud sound was the same as a mortar firing, another the same as an M-79 grenade launcher, a sudden crackling the sound of M-16 rifles on full automatic.

Mosquitoes bit, were slapped away.

There was a time … Lying in the grass beneath rubber trees, arms and hands and neck and face covered with oily insect repellant, Claymores out, flares and hand grenades at hand, mosquitoes buzzed but did not land, and we waited for the bad people to walk by and we could kill them.

Now, in the back yard, fireflies blinked and flickered. I don’t remember if there were fireflies in the rubber plantations.

The life lived vs. the life written

Here is an excellent site.

In a writing about Ayn Rand, Anne C. Heller spends the majority of her essay making the novelist less than honest in her proclaimed life. Yet Heller then writes of why she wants to live in the society Rand saw as that which best fits humanity.

“Who is Ayn Rand?”

Why should an author’s real life (whatever that means) be the same as the one philosophized?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Earth abides

Thirty-one years ago a Pemex oil well exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. Oil spewed from the well for 90 days. The disaster was the end of things as we know them. Two years later, the land and the ocean were fine.

Earth repairs things, all on its own.

"The bacteria as well as other marine life forms along the shoreline got a boost from a strategy employed by both the United States and Mexico: to more or less give up on stopping the oil spill from reaching beaches while concentrating on keeping it out of estuaries and wetlands.

"Texas just made a superhuman effort to keep the oil away from rivers, with two or three or four layers of booms to skim it away," said Thomas C. Shirley, a biodiversity specialist at Texas A&M Corpus Christi. "We know how to clean up beaches, and it's simple. It's just sand.

"But you get up into wetlands, where you're cleaning up shrubs and sea grasses, and it's far more difficult. Everything you're cleaning is alive, and you have to be careful not to do more harm than good."

Read more:

(Somebody somewhere must have decided the article is too positive, given the last three paragraphs.)

What a job!

“NOT LONG AGO I was offered work as a quality-control expert with an American company in China I’d never heard of. No experience necessary—which was good, because I had none. I’d be paid $1,000 for a week, put up in a fancy hotel, and wined and dined in Dongying, an industrial city in Shandong province I’d also never heard of. The only requirements were a fair complexion and a suit.”

You don't need to know the language! All you need is to be in China!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

You might be from a galaxy long ago and far away

if you:

Know why there is a bayonet lug on the end of your weapon.

Still don't trust the Russians.

Know who Iron Mike is.

Know that "Cav" is an abnormal condition that can be cured with testosterone shots. (OK, so the list was compiled by a lowlife inf dude.) **

Can remember the daily dozen.

Can remember running PT in boots.

Know that tankers exist in order to allow the enemy to deplete its basic load of sabot ammunition. (See above parenthetical.)

Know why you should carry two field dressings on your LBE.

Know how to do a daisy chain.

Have enough extra TA-50 in yourcloset to start a surplus store.

Still have jungle fatigues in your closet.

Are convinced that wall-to-wall counseling really works.

Know that it's not real coffee if you can't stand a track jack up in it.

Might admire the Germans, but still realize they got their asses kicked … twice.

(** In 1989 at the Benning clothing sales store, while filling a buggy with items I should have been issued but wasn’t, said items of uniform required for an NCO course, I decided to pick up a few extra Blackhorse patches. I didn’t find any in the patches area, so while checking out and before handing over a couple or three hundred dollars++, asked the cashier if the store had any 11th Armored Cavalry patches. She said, “Is that an infantry unit?”)

(++ That was almost like real money 21 years ago.)

Money talks

“Los Angeles voted Wednesday to make an exemption to its self-imposed boycott of Arizona, opting to extend a contract with an Arizona-based company that operates enforcement cameras at Los Angeles intersections -- a program that earned the city $6 million last year.”

Oh. It isn’t the money?

“Citing major safety concerns, council members argued that the red light camera program at 32 Los Angeles intersections should be exempt from the boycott.”

Okay. “Major safety concerns” always carry more weight than the possible loss of $6 million in traffic fines.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Somebody agrees with me

(I only stated my belief several times to many people; I had no national venue.)

“This is the kind of powerful, incisive reasoning that led a guy who could take his pick of pretty much any woman in the world to shack up with Yoko Ono. Let me put it another way for emphasis – this guy chose to see Yoko Ono naked. Many times. The only response to someone with that kind of judgment is to listen carefully to what he says and then do the exact opposite.”

(Every time I heard somebody say “This was John Lennon’s best song,” I imagined my fist against the speaker’s nose.)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Cause and effect, or Liberal crybabyitis

Cause: “Sure, we waterboarded Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, former President George W. Bush reportedly said on Tuesday.

“And he would ‘do it again to save lives.’"

Effect: “George W. Bush's casual acknowledgment Wednesday that he had Khalid Sheikh Mohammed waterboarded -- and would do it again -- has horrified some former military and intelligence officials who argue that the former president doesn't seem to understand the gravity of what he is admitting.”

Retired BG from intel field: “We are seen by the rest of the world as having abandoned our commitment to international law. We have forfeited enormous amounts of moral leadership as the world's sole remaining superpower. And it puts American troops in greater danger -- and unnecessary danger."

Hey, BG. When “the rest of the world” has its own soldiers in great danger, then you can talk about how “we are seen.” As long as the US of A is dragging the wagon, we get to make the rules.

(Probably the first time Huffyton Post used “glib” and “Bush” in the same sentence.)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dimokratz haz bin gude 2 me

“The literacy rate in the United States is 99 percent. That means that only 1 percent of people in the United States above the age of 15 are incapable of reading and writing. Apparently, all of them are members of the Obama administration.

“Attorney General Eric Holder admits that he has not read the Arizona immigration law, which requires law enforcement officers to check immigration status upon stopping people based on reasonable suspicion of illegal activity. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano says she hasn't read the law, either. You can also lump State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley into that group."
Linked from

It's called stealing

"All those stickers with Calvin praying before a cross? They’re all intellectual property theft. Bill Watterson never licensed Calvin for any merchandise.
Ask yourself if stealing someone else’s intellectual property is really the best way to advertise your faith. (Never mind that you’re appropriating Calvin for a viewpoint/ideology/position that was never even hinted at in the comics.)"

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I almost forgot

Today is Draw Mohammad Day. Just so everybody understands, this is not Draw G-d Day, even though Muslims (in the spirit of multiculturalism and diversity) make G-d and Mohammad equal. G-d said, "Let is make man in our own image," but nobody knows what that means. You can ask G-d, but the answer is likely to be, "You think I know?"
So. Mohammad:

Ba Ba Ba
Ba Ba Aran.

(It's as good as anybody else's Mohammad.)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

When stupid rules

“A mosque rises over Ground Zero. And fed-up New Yorkers are crying, ‘No!’

“A chorus of critics -- from neighbors to those who lost loved ones on 9/11 to me -- feel as if they've received a swift kick in the teeth.

“Plans are under way for a Muslim house of worship, topped by a 13-story cultural center with a swimming pool, in a building damaged by the fuselage of a jet flown by extremists into the World Trade Center.

“The opening date shall live in infamy: Sept. 11, 2011.”

(Also linked from atangledweb, etc.)

If you can't trust Pak rogue agents ...

“LONDON – MI6 agents based in Pakistan have established that rogue intelligence officers in the country's Inter-Services Intelligence service, ISI, arranged for Faisal Shahzad to return to the United States after giving him instructions on how to build the Times Square bomb, according to a report from Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.

“The MI6 officers believe that an ISI officer could have traveled on the same flight that Shahzad took when he flew home.”

“Shahzad's background as the son of a senior Pakistani Air Force officer may have brought him into contact with ISI agents who are linked to home-grown jihadis and are training them to attack Western targets.”

(Linked from

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Stupid, stupid, etc.

I don't often link to stupid sites, but some things just can't be ignored.

“In October of this year, one month prior to the November midterm elections, a special army unit known as 'Consequence Management Response Force' will be ready for deployment on American soil if so ordered by the President.”

Or: “Three brigades form the core of the force: the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart; the 1st Medical Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas; and the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, Fort Bragg, N.C.”

The chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive incidents (CBRNE) part of the force consists of “more than 800 members.” Could this 800 be the “80,000 troops” mentioned at the militia site, as in: “The special force, which is the new name being given to the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry, has been training at Fort Stewart, Georgia and is composed of 80,000 troops.”

An infantry brigade with 80,000 soldiers? Or even three brigades with 80,000?

Somebody needs to do his homework, besides getting his head out of (the sand). Or wherever.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

May 20 -- Draw Mohammad Day

Comedy Central caved, self-censoring itself (which might be against the law in some states, but I’m not sure and won’t waste my time googling “self-censorship a crime of deviancy,” and self-censorship as a crime surely is not as blasphemous as drawing a picture of Mohammad -- Place Bacon Upon Him). The South Park kids (characters and creators) were to face Mohammad, not a caricature of the Profit, but Mohammad in a Bear Suit, since a drawing would cause Boo-Hoo-ism. Mooslim organizations Pitched A Fit, and Comedy Central c-a-v-e-d, as in (use a Mr. Bill voice): “Oh, no, Mr. Mooslim! Please do not cut off my head!” (Disclaimer: Not every Mooslim is a head cutter. Some are. Pfflattz! -- The nearest I can spell a Bronx Cheer.)

May 20 is “Everybody Draw Mohammad Day.”

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Back to normal

“NOAA has issued a warning to the occupants of (some) planet:

“Global warming has reached the point of no return, a study published in the Tuesday edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by a joint team of the U.S., French and Swiss researchers concludes. Even if the world reduces emissions of CO2 to the level before the industrial revolution, it will take at least 1,000 years to reverse the climate change effect that have already taken hold, AP on Sunday quoted the team as saying. Dr. Susan Solomon of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Earth System Research laboratory led the study. ‘People have imagined that if we stopped emitting carbon dioxide the climate would go back to normal in 100 years, 200 years; that’s not true,” she said, adding the effects are well nigh irreversible.’’


“That got me wondering what she means by ‘back to normal.’ Perhaps it means sea ice at normal levels? No that can’t be it, because sea ice area has already recovered to ‘normal.’”

And other examples of “normal”:

“In 1908, a hurricane formed on March 6, the earliest on record. Ah, for the good old days of early spring hurricanes…

“In 1954, Hurricane Alice formed on December 30, the latest on record. Nothing like a New Year’s hurricane to brighten up the holidays.

"In 1900, a hurricane killed 8.000 people in Galveston, Texas.

"In 1960, 60% of the farmland in China received no rain. Somewhere between 20 and 43 million people died due to extreme weather and mismanagement by the socialist government.

"In the 1930s, the US suffered extreme heat and drought, resulting in the dust bowl. It was the warmest decade on record in the US (at least before USHCN cleverly adjusted it downwards.)”

And many others.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The English

British army forum. Some parts rated NFC (Not For Civilians).

University of London OTC circa 1990 .........

RA officer: “What language are you talking to each other?"

OP Crew: "Russian, Sir."

RA Officer: "This stick is called the translator, and after I have hit you with it I will understand every word you say."

I've been to this meeting

I think we need to hit the ground running, keep our eye on the ball, and make sure that we are singing off the same song-sheet. At the end of the day it is not a level playing field and the goalposts may move; if they do, someone may have to pick it up and run with it. We therefore must have a golf bag of options hot-to-trot from the word "go". It is your train set but we cannot afford to leave it on the back burner; we've got a lot of irons in the fire right now.

We will need to un-stick a few potential poo traps but it all depends on the flash-to-bang time and fudge factor allowed. Things may end up slipping to the left and, if they do, we will need to run a tight ship. I don't want to reinvent the wheel but we must get right into the weeds on this one. If push comes to shove, we may have to up-stumps and then we'll be in a whole new ball game.

I suggest we test the water with a few warmers in the bank. If we can produce the goods then we are cooking with gas. If not, then we are in a world of hurt. I don't want to die in a ditch over it but we could easily end up in a flat spin if people start getting twitchy.

To that end, I want to get around the bazaars and make sure the movers and shakers are on-side from day one. If you can hit me with your shopping list I can take it to the head honchos and start the ball rolling. I know you're not the sharpest tool in the box and may be a few sandwiches short of a picnic, but together we'll be the best thing since sliced bread.

There is light at the end of the tunnel and I think we have backed a winner here. If it gets blown out of the water, however, I will be throwing a track. So get your feet into my in-tray and give me chapter and verse as to how you see things panning out. As long as our ducks are in a row I think the ball will stay in play and we can come up smelling of roses.

Before you bomb-burst and throw smoke it is imperative we nail our colours to the mast and look at the big picture. We've got to march to the beat of the drum. We are on a sticky wicket, we'll need to play with a straight bat and watch out for fastballs.

I've been on permanent send for long enough and I've had my ten pence worth. I don't want to rock the boat or teach anyone to suck eggs. We must keep this firmly in our sight picture and not under our hats or it will fall between the cracks. If the cap fits, wear it, but it may seem like pushing fog uphill with a sharp stick.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I go for the stupidity

Obama's advisors and the president really believe that if we make nice with murderers, they will see the error of their ways.

Is this a real emergency?

Apparently there are web sites one might access to determine if an injury is sufficiently serious to cause a 9-1-1 call. mentions this, and gives examples, to wit:

- ‘dislocation of the knee’, which may be identified by a crazy floating kneecap and possible freezing of the nerves.

- bleeding ‘that does not stop after 15 minutes of constant pressure’. AND

- any situation in which your leg has been ‘partially OR completely amputated’.

As well as a scenario for the utterly stupid:

“I mean, it is not that losing a limb is funny at all… It is just the thought that the lovely people behind this site believe they’re providing a service by catering to the kind of people who, faced with the fact that one of their own perambulators had been whacked wholly (or mostly) off, would google it before phoning an ambulance."


“Dude, that looks kind of hurty. Do you want me to call an ambulance?”

“Should we?! I mean, I don’t know, I don’t want to bother them if it’s not crucial.”

“Well, it’s lying on the floor.”

“Yeah, but it’s not ALL the way through, look, if I lift my thigh, I can dangle the lower half of the leg by at lest half a tendon and a couple of stringy veins.”


“I could probably just take an aspirin”

“You know - maybe best not, you’re already spraying blood all over the entire room from that exposed artery.”

“Good point. Well, I supposed if that counts as MAINLY amputated, I should probably phone an ambulance.”

“I guess. I’ve got 511 on speed dial if you’d rather know the nearest bus route?”

“No, best not, I think that….”
“I love the internet.”

(One of these days I'll figure out how to do a hyperlink.)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Some questions, some answers

“Memo to the Republican party: whether you realize it or not, you've got exactly two elections to get it right with the majority of the American electorate. If your political platform does not center around the undoing the socialist, command-and-control federalism that Democrats insist on, one of two things will happen: you will be out-gunned by Democrat expansion of their socialist constituencies who get ‘something for nothing,’ or you will be abandoned for a third party by Americans who conclude that you are spineless, ineffective wimps who will stand by while our country is hijacked by socialist thugs.”

“If the media want to characterize you as the ‘Party of No,’ wear that label like a Red Badge of Courage. And by all means, start treating them like the shills for the Democrat party they truly are. Americans are as fed up with media corruption as they are with a Democrat party that treats them like mindless cattle.”

“While the odds on favorite is that the Republicans will do well in the fall elections, Americans who want constitutional government should not see Republican control as a solution to what our founders would have called ‘a long train of abuses and usurpations.’ Solutions to our nation's problems require correct diagnostics and answers to questions like: Why did 2008 presidential and congressional candidates spend over $5 billion campaigning for office? Why did special interests pay Washington lobbyists over $3 billion that same year? What are reasons why corporations, unions and other interest groups fork over these billions of dollars to lobbyists and into the campaign coffers of politicians?”

Saturday, March 20, 2010


All kinds of World War II stuff. Picture quality not all that great, but some weapons, aircraft, etc. I had not seen before.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The loser gives up stuff

Abandoned bases, northwest Russia.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Third World War

“Christianity, which a century ago was overwhelmingly the religion of Europe and the Americas, has undertaken a historic advance into Africa and Asia. In 1900, Africa had just 10 million Christians, representing around 10 percent of the continental population. By 2000, that figure had swollen to over 360 million, or 46 percent of the population. Over the course of the 20th century, millions of Africans transferred their allegiance from traditional primal faiths to one of the two great world religions, Christianity or Islam—but they demonstrated an overwhelming preference for the former. Around 40 percent of Africa’s population became Christian, compared to just 10 percent who chose Islam. As Muslims had earlier far outnumbered Christians, the result was to transform a massive Muslim majority into a reasonably equal confessional balance. Africa today is about 47 percent Christian, 45 percent Muslim, and some 8 percent followers of primal religions.”

The West won't count

“(T)he Christian response to Islam will increasingly be independent of the West because the West has dealt itself out of the game.”

A couple of years ago I read a piece saying that the new struggle against Islamism or Islam would be led by those living in sub-Saharan Africa.

Ten Rules

I first wrote this 20-something years ago, as a letter to Infantry Magazine, later as a column for Soldiers for the Truth. A few days ago I found the column at another former soldier’s web site. This is a revised version, updated a little

Ten Rules

By Bob Merriman

In squad-level training at Advanced Individual Training at Fort Polk, La., many years ago, a staff sergeant instructor said: "What we teach you here is not guaranteed to keep you alive. But, what we teach might keep you alive long enough for you to figure out what to do."

Addressed to slick-sleeve privates, the sergeant's words contain what every soldier knows: There are no guarantees.

Here are a few rules learned as an 11 Bravo rifleman, team leader, squad leader and platoon sergeant. (Remember, these are rules to follow, not laws of occurrence. A law of occurrence is: Your radio will fail when you need it most. A law of occurrence is: The artillery fire you need now is going somewhere else.)

1. Never ask for volunteers. Asking for volunteers is a waste of precious time. Soldiers will debate with and among themselves about whether to volunteer, and the moment for action will have passed.

2. Never volunteer. However, “I’ll do it” must be in every soldier’s mind. “I’ll do it” is not the same as raising a hand when a sergeant says, “I need a volunteer.” “I’ll do it” is part of the mind when a thing needs doing in order to survive.

3. Always conduct reconnaissance. Always, always, always. Even if you don't think reconnaissance is necessary, do it anyway. Especially if you don't think it is necessary.

4. Camouflage everything. That's everything. Dirt, rocks, trees if necessary -anything that might cause the enemy to spot your position.

5. Always know how many rounds are in your magazine. Few things are more frustrating than having a bolt unexpectedly lock back when you thought you knew how many rounds you had remaining.

6. Never miss an opportunity to eat or sleep. You don't know when the next chance will occur.

7. Sleep with your rifle. Before you go to sleep, touch your rifle. When you wake up in the morning or in the middle of the night, touch your rifle. Before you shake possible scorpions out of your boots, before you even think about that first cup of coffee, touch your rifle. It's there; you can see it, but touch it anyway.

8. Always carry spare batteries. In the increasingly technological, battery-driven Army, even a grunt needs batteries. And more batteries.

9. There is no such thing as overkill. If you have a valid target, fire on it, call for fire, and then call for more fire.

10. Pull the trigger. This is the most important thing an infantry soldier can do. You needn’t have a specific target. If bad guys are firing at you from that direction, fire there. Sometimes, your side of the perimeter or vehicle is not taking fire, but you need to shoot something. That’s okay, as long as firing won’t give away your position. Go ahead and pull the trigger, fire a burst. Just make sure no civilians are downrange.

Good NCOs know all these rules, and more. If you have a question, ask your sergeant. If your sergeant does not know, he or she will find the answer. If your sergeant fails to find out, the Army is paying the wrong person.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I know we're all stupid and don't know what's best, but ...

"No owner or operator of a restaurant in this state shall use salt in any form in the preparation of any food for consumption by customers of such restaurant, including food prepared to be consumed on the premises of such restaurant or off of such premises." From A 10129, introduced by NY Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, D-Brooklyn.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

What wind will do

BUFF lost stabilizer; pilot landed 6 hours later

Flying dogs with exploding shoes?

“And last week the stupidity made yet another lunge into the fabric of society with the news that government ministers were considering new laws that would force everyone to take a test before they were allowed to keep a dog.”

If I had the money...

... and a passport ...

Monino aircraft museum near Moscow.

Friday, March 5, 2010

It’s the government’s year, and you can’t have it

Just one of those things from the Olde Country, where games of international nature are scheduled for 2012.

London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006

1 (1) There shall be a right, to be known as the London Olympics association right, which shall confer exclusive rights in relation to the use of any representation (of any kind)...
For the purpose of considering whether a person has infringed the London Olympics association right a court may, in particular, take account of his use of a combination of expressions of a kind specified in sub-paragraph (2).
(2) The combinations referred to in sub-paragraph (1) are combinations of-
(a) any of the expressions in the first group, with
(b) any of the expressions in the second group or any of the other expressions in the first group.
(3) The following expressions form the first group for the purposes of sub-paragraph (2)-
(a) "games",
(b) "Two Thousand and Twelve",
(c) "2012", and
(d) "twenty twelve".
(1) A constable or enforcement officer may-
(a) enter land or premises on which they reasonably believe a contravention of regulations under section 19 is occurring (whether by reason of advertising on that land or premises or by the use of that land or premises to cause an advertisement to appear elsewhere);
(b) remove, destroy, conceal or erase any infringing article;
(c) when entering land under paragraph (a), be accompanied by one or more persons for the purpose of taking action under paragraph (b);
(d) use, or authorise the use of, reasonable force for the purpose of taking action under this subsection.....

Sooo ... no advertising may use 2012 or games or twenty-twelve, and law enforcement types may enter premises or land if seeing such and destroy the words, letters, etc.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Genetics and burned toast

I burned breakfast toast on Monday. My lack of concentration was the fault of my hunter-gatherer waybacks.

Here’s how it happened:

I put the oven on “Broil” and two pieces of (not real) buttered whole wheat bread on the top rack. (Cylla used to say my method of making toast got the oven messy, what with the crumbs dropping down and all. She makes toast by setting oven temperature at 350 and then putting bread on a cookie sheet and the sheet in the oven. I figure my method is quicker and uses less electricity, even after using the “Clean Oven” setting once a month … When I remember.)

I went to the laundry room to see if the washer still contained (not my) clothes. It did not. So, I put in soap and started the water running. Just about the time I would have begun adding clothes, I remembered: Toast.

Well, shucks, I said. I went back to the kitchen just as the first smoke began seeping from the oven door and just as the smoke alarm went off. “Weeeeeeeee” at a pitch high enough the dogs came to see what the man had done this time.

The toast was black. Like a tire black. After taking the burnt offering from the oven, I turned on the stove ventilator and then opened two windows. Air began coming in from the outside, so I upped the thermostat to get air blowing in the opposite direction. All this time, the smoke alarm continued “Weeeeeeeeee!”

I went back to the laundry room and put clothes in the washer and then returned to the kitchen and (not real) buttered two more pieces of bread and stood beside the stove and turned the toast at the proper time.

I mentioned all that to Cylla. She said, “I took my clothes out of the laundry last night.”

I said, “I didn’t know.”

She said, “I walked right past you. I guess you were ignoring me.”

“No,” I said, “I wasn’t ignoring you. I was probably watching TV, and my single-focus male mind did not hear or see anything else.”

“Uh-huh,” she said.

“Really,” I said. “A man has a single-focus mind. Leave cave, kill caribou. Or buffalo.”

The difference between men and women is not the Mars-Venus thing, but hunter vs. cave keeper. Buying vs. shopping.

Think about it. A group of men leaves the cave to shoot some food. The men go to a place where they’ve found food animals before. The group uses strategy and tactics and kills a food animal. The group does all the butchering and cutting up and takes the food back to the cave.

If women had been the primary hunters, we might not be here. Someone in the women’s group would have said, “We went to the north valley last time. Let’s see what’s in the south valley.” And the other women would have said, “Cool,” or something similar.
In the south valley, maybe the women spotted a food animal. But before the launching of the spears, one woman would have said, “That’s a food animal, but maybe we can find a bigger one farther on. Besides, that hide doesn’t go with the décor of the cave.” And the other women would say, “Cool.”

It’s single focus vs. multi-tasking. Man hunts. Woman keeps the cave clean, makes sure no little cave people fall in the fire, keeps the water skins full, sweeps out the place now and then, maybe picks some yellow flowers for certain niches in the rock.


Maybe I should buy a toaster.


Somebody said the superintendent’s house was on fire, so the five of us walked down the hill from school to watch it burn.

Larry, James, Jimmy and I were juniors that spring. Charley was the fifth member of our group. He was a sophomore, and we let him run around with us as long as he didn't do anything stupid.

The day was chilly. Larry, James, Jimmy and I had on coats; Charley wore a short-sleeved shirt. His family didn't have much. None of us did, but Charley's family had even less than the rest of us.

Charley's father was a pulp wood cutter. Charley's family lived back in the woods, the deep woods, down a dirt road somewhere.

Charley was a bright kid, quick and intelligent. Everybody has known a kid like Charley, known that somewhere behind those quick remarks and comic attitude was an ability to do more than he did. Charley could have made excellent grades, but he chose not to. Teachers wouldn't have known what to do with him if he had. Besides, in Charley's life there was reality, then everything else. And the reality was that Charley was the son of a pulp wood cutter. Barring some great miracle, he would always be the son of a pulp wood cutter.

The superintendent's house was really burning by the time we got to the bottom of the hill. The fire had burned through the roof. The five of us just stood around for a minute or so, watching the house burn. Then Charley said, "Maybe we can save some of their stuff," and before we could stop him, Charley opened a window and crawled inside the burning house.

Larry and I stood beside the window. Jimmy yelled, “Charley, get out of there!” Jimmy’s comment was more of a social order than a concern for Charley’s safety. Jimmy’s mother was a teacher, and if she was somewhere lower than the superintendent in societal pecking order, Charley wasn’t in the same town, let alone in the same neighborhood.

James didn’t say anything, nor did he join Larry and me at the window; he just hung back, waiting to see how things developed.

Charley appeared from the smoke and handed a coffee table through the window. He went back into the smoke. Pretty soon we had a pile of chairs, small tables and books stacked beside a pecan tree.

Charley had just started on a closet when the fireman arrived. The school was between two towns, each four miles away, and it took the volunteer fireman a little while to get there. Charley was handing out a pile of clothes when one of the firemen ran up to us yelling. "What do you boys think your doing? You're giving the fire more oxygen! Shut that window!" Grownups knew more than us kids, so we got Charley out of the house, shut the window and watched the fireman spray water on the house.

After the fire was out, we went inside the house. Everything was burned; nothing usable was left. We went back outside.

The basketball coach came up and said, "I hear you boys saved a lot of stuff from the house." One of us said, "Yes sir, but it was Charley's idea. He went inside. All we did was take what he handed out the window."

The coach turned to Charley, who stood there with his hands in his pockets. The day had turned colder. Charley was shivering. The coach said, "You look cold. Where's your coat?" Charley replied, "I don't have it with me." The coach just nodded. He said, "You did a good job. I think you've done enough for today. Why don't I drive you home." Charley said, "It's only one o'clock." The coach laughed. "I know. But I don't think the superintendent will mind."

No one at school ever said anything about what Charley did that day.

Larry, James, Jimmy and I graduated the next year. Larry went to work for a telephone company. In September, James and Jimmy went off to college. I joined the Army.

In August 1967 I met up with Larry at Camp Martin Cox in Bear Cat, base camp of the 9th Infantry Division. Larry had been drafted in 1966. We sat around in his hooch for a while, drank beer, talked about people back home.

After I got back home, I learned that James had graduated from college and had a job with NASA in Houston. I ran into Jimmy at a high school football game in 1970. He had put on a few pounds, didn't look like the all-district tackle from high school. Jimmy was married, had a kid, taught at a junior high. Jimmy said, “You were in Vietnam.” I wore my field jacket, with the CIB and Blackhorse patch. I said I was. Jimmy said, “Were doing the right thing in Vietnam. We’ve got to stop the Communists somewhere. But I've got a wife and kid, Bob. I can't become involved in a war thousands of miles from home." I left the stadium.

That takes care of everybody but Charley.

See, the thing is, Charley didn't have to go in that burning house. He could have been just like the rest of us, stayed outside and watched it burn. But Charley wasn't like that. Peoples' things would be lost if somebody didn't do something. And although Charley had absolutely nothing in common with the superintendent, he went inside the burning house. Charley knew what had to be done, what he had to do. “Maybe we can save some of their stuff.”

In 1965, Charley enlisted in the Army. He went to Vietnam and he died there.
In April 1988, I was in Dallas on Army business. I went to Fair Park. There's a monument there, lists the names of Texans who died in Vietnam. There were a few names I wanted to see; one in particular. I found him.

9 MARCH 1947-15 NOVEMBER 1965

I never knew Charley's middle name.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Cruel, but too good to pass up

The problem with America is stupidity. I’m not saying there should be capital punishment for stupidity, but why don’t we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?
(Maybe from George Carlin, maybe not.)

Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Cut him up and use him for bait, and you’ll eat for a couple months.

15 seconds of good, 45 seconds of maybe not

Charles Krauthammer's column is about the costs of new, but I've noticed this as well:

“Consider the oddity of those drug commercials on television. Fifteen seconds of the purported therapeutic effort, followed by about 45 seconds of a rapidly muttered list of horrific possible side effects. When the ad is over, I can't remember a thing about what the pill is supposed to do, except perhaps cause nausea, liver damage, projectile vomiting, a nasty rash, a four-hour erection and sudden death. Sudden death is my favorite because there is something comical about its being a side effect.”

‘Toyota and the price of modernity’

Overall, Krauthammer seems to say, 'You want new stuff, live with the dangers."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Just gonna smoke the tires

“That was not the tires.”

Let's see ... Engine at really high RPMs, smoke, tires not moving. What could be the problem?

for high-performance cars, low-performance drivers.

Speaking of those every-60-years blizzards ...

has pictures from the March 11, 1888, blizzard, as well as a link to

with pictures from the same storm in Stamford, Conn.

The winters of December 1885-March 1888 were among the worst recorded in the United States, with 80 percent of cattle in Kansas and more than 50 percent of cattle in Texas frozen to death.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

With some research

after a time you just want to go “Arrrgghh!”

Looking at player records at, when seeing the name Dummy Taylor, I clicked. Taylor was with the 1901 New York Giants.

Three pitchers on that team were nicknamed “Dummy” -- William Joseph Deegan, George Michael Leitner and Luther Haden Taylor. Wondering if all three were deaf or mutes or both or however it’s said these days, I googled William Joseph Deegan. Wikipedia says Deegan was a deaf mute.

Wanting more information, I checked other web sites and came across one pushing for Dummy Hoy’s membership in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

William Ellsworth Hoy played 14 years in the major leagues (1888-1902), with the Senators, Bisons, Browns, Reds, Colonels and White Sockings. Hoy’s career batting average was .287, with 2,042 hits. Not exactly Hall of Fame numbers. He stole 594 bases, but rules were different, and some stolen bases then would not count today.

But that’s not the ARRRGGHH! thing. The same web site has a story (??) on “The Seven Black Presidents Before Barrack Obama” – John Hanson (under the Articles of Confederation), Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

As with many web sites, the really ARRRGGHH! is in the comments. To wit:

“Thomas Jefferson was impeached because he was lonely when his wife, Martha passed away. Of course he was love the black woman, Sally Hemming’s 6 great great children did interviewed with Oprah few years ago and I watched Oprah and very interesting one of Jefferson’s (5)great grandson who lives in Redmonds, Washington. he say He accepted the way acenstory of his great grandfather who made mistaken. But Sally’s childrens from that time Jefferson admitted he have two children was came from Jefferson’s brother was also involved. It is not clearly I have to looking to find a website later.

“I love Jeffereson’s background with Sally Hemming. his background really hit me hard and understood the plantation he put Sally for slave. I can understand his white children doesn’t along with Sally’s second son who is part of Martha’s children are not connected anymore .. Afterward,they were freedom later after Abraham Linclon finally freedom later on.

”They called them salt and pepper.”

“I agree with the research, 7 black presidents, the black culture comes from the riches country in the world Africa, and we were Kings and Queens, royalty.”


For the “story,” see;

Sunday, February 21, 2010

If you like pictures of old Russian churches ...

10 agencies, one arrest

“The La Marque police were assisted by League City, Dickinson, Alvin, Pearland and Baytown police, the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in the investigation and subsequent early morning raid.”

(What if the dude had been a really, really major player?)

Election in Iraq, 2005

The firefight ebbs. The mortar fire ceases. A few last stray rounds streak past. A cry from behind causes me to turn. Lying in the road is a young Iraqi woman. I run over to help. She’s caught a round just below her temple. Her stunning beauty has been ruined forever.

She cries, “Paper! Paper” over and over until the ambulance arrives to take her away. An old lady emerges from the schoolhouse-turned voting site, sheets of blue paper in hand. She gives one to the wounded girl, who clutches it to her like a prized possession even as the ambulance carries her away.

The ballot was her voice. All she wanted was a chance to exercise it, just once, before she died.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Take out the Dali and the trash

The Dali Lama, after meeting with the president, is escorted from the White House through piles of bagged trash. Nothing says respect like Hefty, Hefty, Hefty.

You'll have to scroll past Terrell Owens, but that shouldn't be a problem.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Random thoughts

Sitting here with a box of Samoas and a cup of coffee, wondering which will run out first. That’s 15 Samoas. The box says a serving size is 2 cookies, “Servings per container about 7.” Why load 15 in a box? Who determined the serving size? One serving size (2 cookies) contains 150 calories, 70 from fat. Maybe it looks better, 150 calories per serving size, rather than 75 calories per cookie. A serving size also has “less than 1g” of protein and the same not-amount of dietary fiber. Nobody ever said Girl Scouts cookies are good for you, only that they are good.

Four down.

Next time around, I want to drive through Armenia (southeast to northwest), into Georgia, turn northeast and go across the mountains and into the steppe. Some areas of Armenia are amazing -- green valleys, high mountains, rocky plateaus. In the deep rural areas there are church buildings centuries old, native stone, and abandoned. That’s what some pictures show – old stone buildings with slate roofs, holes in the slate. There are similar pictures from Gaorgia.

For the drive I will have an M37 ¾-ton truck with an M101 trailer carrying a 250-gallon blivet of gasoline. The M37 listed range (loaded) is 225 miles on a 25-gallon tank. So I could get somewhere between 2200-2500 miles.

Thirteen down. I searched the net for Armenia and Georgia and M37, so it’s not like I wolfed down nine Samoas in a couple of minutes.

The Armenia-Georgia area figured in two dreams from about a dozen years ago. In the first dream, a man and a woman were in a car driving on a road of dirt and small white rocks. Land around the road consisted of low hills with short springtime green grass. The car was black, an open touring model, late 1920s or early 1930s, with a chrome-bordered windshield, chrome fender-mounted headlights, right-hand steering, a wood steering wheel and a spotlight mounted on the left side near the windshield. The man drove the car. He wore a white suit and a white hat. The woman wore a white summer-weight dress. That’s all there was in the dream.

The second dream … My father died in 1989. Ten years later, in a dream, I stood on a road similar to the one along which the man and woman were in the car. My father walked up. He said, “I need your help with something.” I said, “Okay.” My father said, “You’ll have to come with me.” I woke up. I thought in my mind: “Not this time.”

Cylla will be with me in my drive across Armenia and part of Georgia and into the steppes. She will be 20 and I will be 26, the same ages as when we were married. Cylla will learn (again) how to work a four-speed transmission. The M37 should be an easier learn than the 1977 Pinto wagon she first learned.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Losing my temper

One summer at Fort Hood, battalion headquarters scheduled aerial recon of the next week’s training area for platoon leaders and platoon sergeants.

As sometimes happens, though, the platoon leaders were not at the same location as was the recon Huey. The helicopter landed just outside the company assembly area. Somebody (a never-known somebody) put out the word that soldiers who so desired could take a nice little flight on the Huey. Our company commander said the Huey would take platoon sergeants on recon flight – no platoon leaders, since the lieutenants had gone to the air strip at North Fort Hood, where the Huey was supposed to be. Or maybe somebody got it all wrong and the lieutenants were misdirected.

The three platoon sergeants and TOW section sergeant went to the Huey. Three soldiers were on board the helicopter, waiting for the nice little flight. I told the three that the mission had changed and that the Huey was now scheduled for recon. The three soldiers got out of the Huey and walked a short distance away. One of the soldiers began declaiming in a loud voice concerning the unfairness of it all, how sergeants had ruined his day. His language was much more direct, with a specific adjective spoken before the word “sergeant” and the same word and others of similar profanity spoken many times.

I walked to the three soldiers and said to the one who had spoken that he was mistaken in his declamation and that his use of certain words and phrases showed his lack of military courtesy and self-discipline. I then suggested that he and the other two soldiers return forthwith to the company area. At no time did I speak any words even in the neighborhood of his profane remarks.

The three soldiers left. I walked back to the Huey.

My good friend Platoon Sergeant Richard Porter said, “Bob, I’ve seen you mad and I’ve seen you real mad, but I’ve never seen you that mad before.”

I said that the soldier needed talking to.

Richard said, “Well, yeah, he did. But … He’s a pretty good-size ol’ boy.”

I said, “I knew that if he hit me, you would whip his ***.”

Richard kind of laughed and said, “Well, yeah, I would. But … Bob, he’s a pretty good-size ol’ boy.”

Counting noses

A radio public service ad said (paraphrased): “If we have 100 kids in our school, we need five teachers. If we get 40 more kids, we will need more teachers. But if people don’t fill out the census forms, we won’t know how many students we have and we won’t know to hire more teachers.”

Just right off hand, if the school’s teachers teach that kind of logic, the best thing would be to fire all the teachers and administrators and start over.

Yes, this year is census time. The Constitution calls for a census every 10 years. The purpose of the census is to determine how many representatives each state may elect for the Federal House of Representatives. That’s what the Constitution says.

I have searched far and wide in the Constitution and have yet to find permission for the Federal government’s asking how many bathrooms are in my house, the number of wage earners, nor any of the other questions other than the number of people who live under the same roof at my address.

Other nice things the Census Bureau has done include: spending $133 million on its advertising campaign, including $2.5 million for Super Bowl; spending $88 million more than expected updating lists and maps last fall; paying more than 100,000 employees more than $300 each to attend one-day training sessions, and then the 100,000 quit or were let go before doing a single day’s work; paying another 5,000 employees $1.5 million for working one day ($300 for working one day?).

The last census form I filled out had 95 percent more blank spaces than completed blocks. I got a call from the Census Bureau. The CB person said, “Mr. Merriman, you neglected to complete the form.” I replied that no neglect was involved at all. I reminded (or, more likely, informed) the CB person of the language in the Constitution and then went in to the “The government has no business asking how many bathrooms my house has…” etc. The CB person said (and I am not making this up): “Mr. Merriman, we can find out the information. We can talk to your neighbors.” (Here’s a hint to the government: Don’t ever threaten me.) I said, “Ask, then. Ask all the questions you want.”

When the form arrives this year, I will answer the questions required by the Constitution. Two people live in my house. I will list my name and my wife’s name. After that, nada.

And a month or so later, when the CB person calls or (better yet) rings the door bell, he/she and I will have the same conversation as last time.

Grumpy older men have rights, too.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Bible, bottle and bath

John Fairfax, a wealthy Virginian opposed to secession, enlisted in the Confederate army and asked for assignment as a staff officer to Gen. James Longstreet.

"Why Fairfax sought Longstreet is uncertain, but the latter assigned him as a volunteer aide-de-camp with the honorary rank of captain." G. Moxley Sorrell, another Longstreet aide, wrote that the middle-aged "Fairfax 'lacked nothing in courage; was brave and would go anywhere. But Fairfax had two distinctions -- he was the most pious of churchmen and was a born bon vivant.'"

"Wherever Fairfax went and despite the rigors of campaigns, he carried his Bible, an ample supply of whiskey and a bathtub ... Each morning when duty permitted, Fairfax bathed in the tub, reading his Bible and nipping at a bottle of whiskey before breakfast." Fairfax soon "took control of the headquarters mess and worked minor miracles wirth the variety and quality of the meals. The supply of whiskey never ceased."

--Jeffry D. Wert, General James Longstreet -- The Confederacy's Most Controversial Soldier

Friday, February 12, 2010

Doc knew what to do when Wedemeyer shot the new guy

One of the LTs wanted to put Doc in for a medal for what Doc did when Wedemeyer shot the new guy.
Wedemeyer shooting the new guy was the third accident in three days. The first accident cost me a split upper lip and some blood, but was far less serious than the other two. My accident happened when Wedemeyer and I were throwing a baseball. Somebody scrounged two gloves and a ball from supply. The gloves and the ball were bought with money from the company Morale, Welfare and Recreation fund. Regulations stipulate money from the fund must be used for the benefit of all unit members, but may not be used to buy food, beer or whiskey. Most of us would have preferred the money be used for beer, but the MWR board followed regulations and decided to buy baseball gloves and baseballs. The day Wedemeyer split my lip with the baseball, a couple of guys were tossing the ball around, and Wedemeyer said he would like a turn. Both guys said they were tired of throwing, so I took the other glove.
Wedemeyer threw hard. After a few warmup throws, I dropped into a catcher’s crouch. Wedemeyer wound up and threw the ball and the ball popped loud in my glove. Wedemeyer made a couple more pitches, each just as hard as the first. The fourth pitch, I lost in the background of tents and dust. I saw the ball leave Wedemeyer’s hand, and then I didn’t see the ball until it was about six inches from me. The ball went over the top of the glove and hit me just below my nose.
I was out for about two seconds. I dropped to one knee and held myself up with my right hand. There was a roaring in my head, and sparkles of white light. When I came to, I touched my upper lip. I felt the split skin. Blood covered my fingers.
McMillan, the troop flight ops clerk, got the CO’s jeep and put me in the jeep and drove to the aid station. A medic cleaned the wound. “I’ll have to sew it up,” he said. He got a hypodermic needle and filled the vial with Novocain. He shot the Novocain in several places around the gash. He got a needle and catgut and threaded the needle. I didn’t feel the first six stitches, but when the medic started with the seventh stitch, I said, “I can feel it.” The medic shot me with more Novocain. He waited a few seconds, then started with the seventh stitch again. I said, “I can feel it.” The medic said, “I’m not gonna give you any more Novocain,” and he finished the stitch and tied it off.
Next day, one of the LRRPs was burning empty hand grenade containers at the burn pit, and a grenade inside a container went off after lying in the fire. An M-26 hand grenade weighs 2.6 pounds, so the guy should have known the container was not empty. He was supposed to check each container, but what he probably did was just dump a bunch of containers in the fire. The grenade made a “ka-whump” when it went off. The guy burning the containers wasn’t hurt, but a man from Headquarters Platoon took a small piece of steel in his stomach. The steel didn’t go in very far.
Wedemeyer used Connors’ M-16 to shoot the new guy. Wedemeyer didn’t mean to shoot the new guy. What happened was, Connors came back from perimeter guard and lay his M-16 on his cot. Connors did not remove the magazine from his M-16 or pull back the bolt to check the chamber. Wedemeyer picked up Connors’ M-16 and put it to his shoulder and pulled the trigger. The M-16 fired, and the bullet went through the rolled up side of the hooch and into another hooch, where the new guy sat on his cot. The new guy must have been talking or he had his mouth open, because when the bullet entered his mouth and then passed through the back of his neck, it didn’t hit any teeth.
Guys began yelling when the bullet passed through the new guy and he fell onto the hooch floor. Doc came running over, and into the hooch. He pushed everybody aside and turned the new guy onto his back. The new guy couldn’t breathe. Doc cut a hole in the new guy’s trachea and put a piece of surgical hose in the hole. A few minutes later, an M-37 ambulance arrived. Medics put the new guy on a stretcher and put the stretcher in the ambulance and drove away.
While Doc worked on the new guy, one of the Headquarters Platoon guys came up to McMillan and me. “Somebody better take a look at Wedemeyer,” he said.
McMillan and I went into the hooch. Wedemeyer lay in the floor, curled up, his knees near his hands and his hands in fists. He was crying: “I didn't mean to do it. I didn’t mean to do it.”
McMillan knelt beside Wedemeyer. “It’s okay,” McMillan said.
Wedemeyer said, “I didn’t mean to do it. I didn’t mean to do it.”
“It’s okay,” McMillan said. “It’s okay.”
I wanted to drag Wedemeyer from the hooch and maybe kick him for a while. I went outside. I heard Wedemeyer say, “I didn’t mean to do it. I didn’t mean to do it.”
McMillan came from the hooch. “We need to get him to the aid station,” he said.
“Well, shit,” I said. “Okay. I’ll get the jeep.” I went to the orderly room tent and told the company clerk I needed the jeep and why. When I got back to the hooches, McMillan led Wedemeyer into the sunlight. “I didn't mean to do it,” Wedemeyer said. McMillan helped Wedemeyer into the back seat.
I drove to the aid station. McMillan led Wedemeyer inside. I spoke to the medic who sewed up my lip two days before.
“He shot one of the guys,” I said. “You got anything you can give him?”
The medic said, “He’s not hurt.”
“Give him something,” I said.
The medic said, “I’m telling you I can’t give him anything. He’s not hurt.”
“Put him somewhere,” I said.
The medic said, “I can’t keep him here.”
“Well then, give him something,” I said. Wedemeyer was still crying.
The medic said, “Listen to me. I can’t give him anything. He’s not hurt.”
“We can’t take him back to the troop,” I said. “Put him somewhere.”
The medic said, “Well, I guess I can let him stay overnight.”
“Thanks,” I said. McMillan and I left.
The new guy died.
Wedemeyer and Connors were court-martialed within a couple of weeks. Both pleaded guilty to whatever the charges were. Both were reduced in grade to Private E-2.
When it came time for the stitches to come out of my lip, I asked Doc to do it. Doc said, “It’ll hurt. I don't have any Novocain.”
I said, “I’d rather have you do it than the medics at the aid station.”
Doc got his medic bag. I sat on my cot. Doc cut the stitches one at a time and pulled the stitches from my lip.
When Doc started working on me, I said, “Somebody said you were in the Army Reserves in California.”
“Be quiet,” Doc said. “I can’t do this right if you’re talking.”
“Were you?”
“Four years,” Doc said.
“You only had two more years,” I said. “Why’d you go active?’
Doc said, “I’m a medic. I thought I might be of some use over here.”
When one of the LTs suggested Doc be put in for a medal for keeping the new guy alive for a few hours, the troop commander said: “The Army doesn’t award medals for **** ups.”


At the 2003 11th Cav reunion in Nashville, Tennessee, Gene Johnson, Loren Marcusen and I got together after dinner on Saturday and talked about people we remembered. One of us brought up Wedemeyer.
Gene said, “I saw Wedemeyer at Fort Sill after I got back. He got out of the army. I think he saved a lot of lives by getting out.”
Marcusen told what happened to Wedemeyer. Marcusen is from Wisconsin, as was Wedemeyer.
“One day a few years after I got out, I was driving to work, and I was stopped at a highway construction site,” Marcusen said. “I was talking to the flag man. I asked where he was from. He told me, and I said I was in Vietnam with a guy from there -- Wedemeyer. He knew Wedemeyer. He said Wedemeyer was dead. He said about a year before, Wedemeyer and his girl friend went parking. It was winter, so Wedemeyer kept the motor running and the heater on.”
The flag man said somebody found the bodies of Wedemeyer and his girl friend the next day, asphyxiated. I kind of laughed. It was just like Wedemeyer to live through a war and then die for being stupid.