Friday, November 30, 2007

Letter to the editor of the Fort Knox Turret


Sixteen Soldiers at Fort Riley, Kan., rose from their bunks at 5 a.m., donned their Army Combat Uniform, assisted one another putting on multiple pieces of body armor collectively weighing approximately 55 pounds, grabbed their weapons, and headed out of the barracks to conduct a tactical road march.

This type of training occurs across the United States on military installations from coast to coast, but it is not the reason I have chosen to write. The training event that morning involved a very unique group of Soldiers with a very important upcoming mission. These Soldiers are part of a military transition team that will deploy in December to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, and I am honored to be serving as one of its members.

While attending counterinsurgency training one afternoon, the topic of accurate media coverage regarding the ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan was discussed. Although not a very big surprise, most military members voiced frustration with the negative picture presented within media sources regarding the impact our military services have made and continue to make each day in both countries. The type of mission in which I am involved is proof of the increasingly positive headway we are making.

Unlike many of the conventional units that are engaged in combat operations overseas, the mission of a MiTT is unique. While many units within our military’s history have returned from conflicts overseas with a “war” story, our mission is to come home with a “peace” story. Our team is one of hundreds of transition teams that will deploy this year to Afghanistan to assist in the development and mentorship of the Afghanistan National Army.

Over the past few months the country has been focused on Gen. David Petraeus’ current assessments and military strategies for the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars. The recent media coverage has focused on the perceived slow pace of improvement and a surge in Taliban and Al Qaeda activity within Afghanistan.

A key component of the new strategy to defeat this insurgency is building the Afghanistan security forces composed primarily of the Afghanistan National Army and the local Afghanistan National Police.

Transition teams are the Army’s answer to improving the capability of the security forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. We will live, eat, sleep, and fight with our Afghanistan counterparts to help them establish security in their country while simultaneously increasing the security of our own.

My team is composed of 16 talented Soldiers of different ranks and backgrounds. All but three members of our team have previously deployed to the Middle East, and all are experts in their field. The Soldiers come from a mix of combat arms, communications, logistics, maintenance, intelligence, and medical fields in the Army. We will complete our training, which has prepared us for our role as advisors, in a few weeks.

The training at Fort Riley, while not easy, was not the most challenging part of the curriculum. Weapons qualification, medical classes, training on infantry tactics, and physical training to get our team prepared to deploy were easy. As career Soldiers and Army leaders, we are used to this environment.

The most difficult part of the training was learning about the Afghanistan language and culture. Discovering how Islam is so completely absorbed in their society, the supreme importance of personal relationships, and reverence for extended family are all concepts that were incredibly interesting, but complicated at the same time and immensely important to the advisor mission.

In order to succeed in this mission, it is paramount that we understand intimately the insurgent enemy and the innocent indigenous population which, in this case, are the Afghanistan people.

Most of us are married with children and are intimately aware of the immense sacrifices it takes to wear this uniform, but continue to willingly do so. On some level each Soldier desires the same life story—to be part of something greater collectively—than we could ever achieve as individuals. This desire epitomizes the idea embodied within the Soldiers Creed.

I will not pretend to be an all-knowing politician or an armchair military philosopher. However, this is what I do know: After extensively studying the history, culture and current living conditions of the people of Afghanistan I am looking forward to the opportunity to be part of something greater than myself and provide a sense of hope to a group of people that has not been afforded even a glimpse of hope in a very long time.

I will, along with my brothers-in-arms, miss birthdays, holidays, ballgames, and bedtime stories. My spouse will once again be both mother and father to my boys during my absence. These are the sacrifices of today’s Soldier and military family, and this is my attempt to provide a Soldiers perspective on the situation in Afghanistan.

Over the next year I hope to send regular correspondence to adequately convey our team’s experiences and the status of your Army’s mission within the confines of a small area of the world in southern Afghanistan.

Capt. Anthony Wilson is a 1992 graduate of Kentucky’s Warren East High School and a 2000 graduate of Kansas State University, and 2006 graduate of Western Kentucky University. He can be reached at selling uranium (really)

Now exactly how much of this U-238 ore would I need to get several kilos of U-235. Just asking purely out of curiosity. Honestly. Also I need a used Delorean.

Thousands of Islamic fanatics wielding knives demand jailed teddy bear teacher is executed

I really hope 22 Special Air Service is in the air right now, with the RAF right behind them. These people are nuts.

Alternatively, the British police arrest the entire Sudanese embassy and charge them under the old Anglican heresy laws and have them drawn and quartered.

Honestly, how silly are these people? Of course their prophet did marry a nine-year old girl and execute prisoners after the battle of Bader (look it up).

Ihre Papiere gefallen. Jetzt!

Summit County, Ohio sheriff believes roadblocks ineffective and unconstitutional but sets them up in return for $175,000 in DUI grants.

The Summit County, Ohio sheriff believes roadblocks are unconstitutional and ineffective in fighting drunk driving -- except when the roadblocks come with cash. Sheriff Drew Alexander will accept $175,000 in state grants, usually paid for with federal gas tax dollars, that the state will only offer to law enforcement agencies that agree to set up roadblocks. The Akron Beacon Journal newspaper asked Alexander if he thought roadblocks violated the Fourth Amendment.

"I do," Sheriff Alexander responded.

Roadblocks are becoming more and more frequent in Ohio. Last year 68,656 motorists suspected of no wrongdoing were stopped and interrogated. In just the first eleven months of this year, 117,858 innocent motorists were detained. The Journal cited Ohio statistics that showed traditional police patrols catch drunk drivers five times more effectively than roadblocks. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court similarly found that 99.3 percent of those stopped at roadblocks were completely innocent and that it took 53 percent more manpower to effect an arrest at a roadblock than with the less-intrusive roaming patrols.

Sheriff Alexander expects to have the first DUI roadblock running by December 20.

Foster Families liscense revoked because of their religious views

What about seperation of church and state? The right to practice ones own religion? WHERE DOES THE GOVERNMENT GET OFF....Oh, wait, they were snake handlers.

How the War in Iraq will end?



Well just had a hit from Tasmania of all places! Getting closer and closer to Antarctica! Gotta get my seven continent goal. The first person to click from antarctica wins an ipod****

****again, my first gen. one that I dropped in the moondust at Bagram Airbase afghanistan and ruined. But a great piece of military history!

More about the Man From Earth

Some more about the movie (in case you are interested). I can remember only a few movies that stayed on my mind as much as this one, going over it in my head, thinking of the various layers and sub-layers of the plot (and also trying to figure out just what the hell was going on). Pi is one, the Fountain is a recent one. And certainly Donnie Darko. The Sixth Sense and The Village from M. Knight Unpronounceable (Pi and the Fountain were made by the same guy too, I believe). Also Before Sunrise (another movie that is basically one long conversation and seems to have been shot for about twenty bucks). And don't let me forget Children of Men

Anyway, don't let the fact that this movie has no CGI scare you away! It has great actors including the guy who used to star in the Greatest American Hero back in the eighties) and some really wonderful acting (I Believed these people were college professors), and some really great insights into the nature of proof and disproof (basically the difficulty in DISPROVING anything).

The thing I disliked about the movie- the song that plays over the closing credits really doesn't fit the mood of the movie. One complaint.

A comment from a Movie producer!


Where did you get that poster? It was an "early concept" that I don't think we ever released. Here's a link to the current poster...

And if you want to use the DVD box instead go here...

I'm so glad you liked the movie. And it makes me happier to know that you picked it up at Wal-Mart.

Please feel free to post your comments on our IMDb page.


Eric D. Wilkinson
Jerome Bixby's The Man From Earth

November 29, 2007 11:23 AM

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Man From Earth

For you serious sci-fi fans (Star Wars amd The Transformers are NOT serious SCI FI. Cool movies, but fluff none the less) out there, I have just watched (twice already) a great movie called Jerome Bixby's a Man From Earth. I can't talk about it too much but to say the entire movie consists of a group of college professors of various disciplines who gather at a friends remote cabin after he unexpectedly resigns. They pressure their friend a little, and he confesses as to why he needs to move on. The entire movie consists of one long conversation. That's it. And you will not even want to press pause to go to the bathroom. Honestly this is the best movie I think I have seen all year, and it's already November.

Click on the title above to go to the Internet Movie Database entry for this film.

It was released straight to DVD, but I did get it at Wal-mart, so I know they carry it.

Netflix has it.

And so Does Blockbuster.

And lastly Best Buy.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Reporters say Baghdad too dangerous despite surge

Nearly 90 percent of U.S. journalists in Iraq say much of Baghdad is still too dangerous to visit, despite a recent drop in violence attributed to the build-up of U.S. forces, a poll released on Wednesday said. MORE

How Technology Almost Lost the War: In Iraq, the Critical Networks Are Social — Not Electronic

The future of war began with an act of faith. In 1991, Navy captain Arthur Cebrowski met John Garstka, a captain in the Air Force, at a McLean, Virginia, Bible-study class. The two quickly discovered they shared more than just their conservative Catholic beliefs. They both had an interest in military strategy. And they were both geeks. MORE

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New website

Check out my new website at Not much now but there will be.

UPDATE: I'm not really happy with google page creator, it looks like something they are not going to improve or support very much so I will probably move to infernohost. Watch these spaces.

Want one of these! ASUS EEE laptop

1 pound, seven inch screen, runs on linux. Flash based hard drive with no moving parts. Built in wireless. $349 (depending on where you buy.

Blood Brothers: To Adhamiya and Back

Part 1 of 4 at Army Times

Official: Bride, groom stopped in Iraq actually terror suspects

Was it the Adam's Apple, or the beard that gave him away?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Is faster than light travel a dream?


Nuke to the Future

The portable nuclear reactor is the size of a hot tub.

Harvard Physicist Plays Magician With the Speed of Light

Lene Vestergaard Hau can stop a pulse of light in midflight, start it up again at 0.13 miles per hour, and then make it appear in a completely different location.

Promoting Innovation

Can Gen. David Petraeus fix the Army's broken promotion system?

Combat rules

  1. Once you are in the fight, it is way too late to wonder if this is a good idea.
  2. It is a fact that helicopter tail rotors are instinctively drawn toward trees, stumps, rocks, etc. While it may be possible to ward off this natural event some of the time, it cannot, despite the best efforts of the crew, always be prevented. It's just what they do.
  3. NEVER get into a fight without more ammunition than the other guy.
  4. Cover your Buddy, so he can be around to cover you.
  5. Letters from home are not always great.
  6. The madness of war can extract a heavy toll. Please have exact change.
  7. Share everything. Even the Pound Cake.
  8. Decisions made by someone over your head will seldom be in your best interest.
  9. The further away you are from your friends, the less likely it is that they can help you when you really need them the most.
  10. Sometimes, being good and lucky still was not enough. There is always payback.
  11. "Chicken Plates" (bullet proof plates for flak jackets) are not something you order in a restaurant.
  12. If everything is as clear as a bell, and everything is going exactly as planned, you're about to be surprised.
  13. If the rear echelon troops are really happy, the front line troops probably do not have what they need.
  14. Happiness is a belt-fed weapon.
  15. Eat when you can. Sleep when you can. Visit the head when you can. The next opportunity may not come around for a long time. If ever.
  16. Combat pay is a flawed concept.
  17. Having all your body parts intact and functioning at the end of the day beats the alternative.
  18. If you are allergic to lead it is best to avoid a war zone.
  19. When you shoot your gun, clean it the first chance you get.
  20. Loud sudden noises in a helicopter WILL get your undivided attention.
  21. Hot garrison chow is better than hot C-rations, which, in turn is better than cold C-rations, which is better than no food at all. WHAT is often more important than WHY.
  22. Girlfriends are fair game. Wives are not.
  23. Everybody's a hero on the ground in the club after the fourth drink.
  24. There is no such thing as a small firefight.
  25. A free-fire zone has nothing to do with economics.
  26. Medals are OK, but having your body and all your friends in one piece at the end of the day is better.
  27. The only medal you really want to be awarded is the Longevity Medal.
  28. There is only one rule in war: When you win, you get to make up the Rules.
  29. While a Super Bomb could be considered one of the four essential building blocks of life, powdered eggs cannot.
  30. C-4 (plastic explosives) can make a dull day fun.
  31. Cocoa Powder (found in field rations) is neither. Always make sure someone has a P-38 (compact can opener).
  32. Flying is better than walking. Walking is better than running. Running is better than crawling. All of these however, are better than extraction by a Med-Evac, even if this is technically a form of flying.

Group Names Naughty, Nice List Of Stores

Shoppers Urged To Avoid Stores That Censor Word 'Christmas'

Afghans Adopt the M-16

November 24, 2007: The Afghan Army is replacing its AK-47s for M-16s.

My unit found 13 Ak-47's buried in the dirt. Not in a box or protected in any way, but in the dirt. we dusted the rifles off, squirted some oil on the bolts, and EVERY single one of them functioned perfectly, with no malfunctions. Oh yeah, the ammo we used to fire them? Buried with the rifles. Now thats an idiot proof weapon.

Springfield model 1795

The Springfield Model 1795 Musket was the first musket to be made in the United States. It is estimated that about 40 people made 225 of these weapons in 1795, and 70,000 were made during the time of the War of 1812. This weapon was a development of the Charleville musket, another weapon used by the United States at this time. The Model 1795 was also used by the members of the Lewis and Clark expedition. It had an effective range of 50 to 75 yards, as well as a nominal caliber of .69, firing a .69 caliber lead ball. It should be noted that the same .69 caliber lead balls were also used in some pistols of the time.

More Info about the Combat Infantryman's Badge

(2) Originally, the Regimental Commander was the lowest level at which the CIB could be approved and its award was retroactive to 7 December 1941. There was a separate provision for badge holders to receive a $10 per month pay stipend, which was rescinded in 1948. Several factors led to the creation of the CIB, some of the most prominent factors are as follows:

    (a) The need for large numbers of well-trained infantry to bring about a successful conclusion to the war and the already critical shortage of infantrymen.

    (b) Of all soldiers, it was recognized that the infantryman continuously operated under the worst conditions and performed a mission which was not assigned to any other soldier or unit.

    (c) The infantry, a small portion of the total Armed Forces, was suffering the most casualties while receiving the least public recognition.

    (d) General Marshall's well known affinity for the ground forces soldier and, in particular, the infantryman. All these factors led to the establishment of the CIB, an award which would provide special recognition of the unique role of the Army infantryman, the only soldier whose daily mission is to close with and destroy the enemy and to seize and hold terrain. The badge was intended as an inducement for individuals to join the infantry while serving as a morale booster for infantrymen serving in every theater.

(3) In developing the CIB, the War Department did not dismiss out of hand or ignore the contributions of other branches. Their vital contributions to the overall war effort were certainly noted, but it was decided that other awards and decorations were sufficient to recognize their contributions. From the beginning, Army leaders have taken care to retain the badge for the unique purpose for which it was established and to prevent the adoption of any other badge which would lower its prestige. At the close of World War II, our largest war in which the armor and artillery played key roles in the ground campaigns, a review was conducted of the CIB criteria with consideration being given to creating either additional badges or authorizing the badge to cavalry and armor units. The review noted that any change in policy would detract from the prestige of the badge.

Which model musket is on the badge?

Build your rack

Good company who will put your ribbons and awards together for you

I look like a Central American General

Little Melissa comes home from first grade and tells her father that they learned about the history of Valentine's Day. "Since Valentine's Day is for a Christian saint and we're Jewish," she asks, "will God get mad at me for giving someone a Valentine?" Melissa's father thinks a bit, then says, "No, I don't think God would get mad. Who do you want to give a Valentine to?" "Osama bin Laden," she says. "Why Osama bin Laden?!" her father asks in shock.

"Well," she says, "I thought that if a little American Jewish girl could have enough love to give Osama a Valentine, he might start to think that maybe we're not all bad, and maybe start loving people a little bit. And if other kids saw what I did and sent Valentines to Osama, he'd love everyone a lot. And then he'd start going all over the place to tell everyone how much he loved them and how he didn't hate anyone anymore." Her father's heart swells and he looks at his daughter with newfound pride. "Melissa, that's the most wonderful thing I've ever heard." "I know," Melissa says, "and once that gets him out in the open, the Marines could blow the shit out of him."

Army website bilingual

You have GOT to be kidding me.

A positive news story about a Drill Sergeant (actually a letter to the editor, but I'll take what I can get)

Photo brought back memories of drill sergeant

Got to get one of these t-shirts

Desolation Row: The Peace of the Grave in Fallujah

In the land of peace and plenty that Iraq has miraculously become in the pages of the corporate media during the past few weeks, Fallujah is often touted as one of the great success stories of the just-about, almost-there, any-minute-now American victory. MORE

Friday, November 23, 2007

Military Training Units Seen as Career Detours

FORT RILEY, Kan., Oct. 24 -- The United States' exit from Iraq and Afghanistan depends on stepping up U.S. advising of those nations' security forces, Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday as he visited military training teams preparing to deploy. MORE

Project Longshot

Project Longshot is a design for an interstellar spacecraft, an unmanned probe intended to fly to Alpha Centauri powered by nuclear pulse propulsion. Developed by the US Naval Academy and NASA, Longshot was designed to be built at the Space Station Alpha, the much larger precursor to the existing International Space Station. Unlike the somewhat similar Project Daedalus, Longshot was designed solely using existing technology, although some development would be required. MORE

Is Iraq getting better?

Is Iraq getting better? The statistics say so, across the board

Saudi Rights Lawyer Sidelined

License Revoked Over Advocacy for Rape Victim Who Faces Lashing

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Bragg MPs in charge of Saddam

They called him “Vic,” short for very important criminal. MORE

Fort Bragg drill sergeant gets prison term

Good for him. All these negative stories about Drills make me wonder how I did 2 years without going to jail. And I was worried about getting caught saying the F-word in front of them. Apparently you can get away with a lot more, a lot longer. MORE

Miltary Sims

I can think of more fun things to do in a holodeck.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wow, My spot has reached a pretty big milestone. We have gotten his from every continent except for Antarctica. I never really excepted to get this many hits. Now if we can get people to actually hang around and read what I post. Wouldn't that be a treat! Still trying to figure if there is internet access in Antarctica. Come on, cold people!

We have South America!!!!!!!!!!




Troops Uncover Insurgent Torture Room

Coalition forces killed eight suspect insurgents and detained 13 others while discovering a possible execution site and torture room as well as weapons caches in the Diyala River Valley in Iraq, officials said. MORE

Happy Thanksgiving!


Memorial service recalls German POWs at Fort Knox

FORT KNOX — A color guard stood in unison Monday afternoon holding American and German flags side by side as a brisk November wind dragged low, heavy clouds across the sky above Main Post Cemetery, threatening rain. MORE

Fort Bragg Drill Sergeant cleared of rape

A Fort Bragg drill sergeant accused of raping one of his trainees in 2006 was found not guilty Tuesday.

But convicted of a bunch of other stuff.

44 year old C-130 retired

November 20, 2007: A U.S. Air Force recently retired a 44 year old C-130 transport, that had spent 29,500 hours in the air. MORE

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

(British) Army chaplains want right to carry weapons to protect themselves against the Taliban

Or to commit suicide to avoid being beheaded on the internet.

I want IPOD but I want it free from Mixed Drink World (or anyone else who is willing to give me one for free)

“Over at Mixed Drink World they have the sweetest mixed drink recipe site on the planet. These guys are having a great promotion, win a new IPOD Touch blog contest . Here’s your chance to win a new IPOD Touch 16 GIG ($400 Value). Their just giving the stuff away. Don’t miss out and check out this killer contest. Or just check out how to make cocktail recipes.

*Check out their Absolut Martini Recipe. Yum!

Fort Bragg Rape case Begins

----------Alright Drill Sergeant's, KNOCK IT OFF!

Better picture

Here is a higher resolution picture of the event. First hint" Not Andrew Johnson (seated to Lincoln's left) whom, by the way, was hammered at the ceremony. Click on the photo to display it in full resolution.

While on the subject of Lincoln photographs

Here's a little "Where's Waldo" game. I'll drop hints as needed. This is a picture of Lincoln at his second inauguration. There is a figure in the crowd that plays a very prominent role in his very near future. When you see it, it's rather creepy. Just guessing who it is isn't enough, you have to be able to show where he is. The first person to get the correct answer wins an Ipod*.

(my old first-generation Ipod that doesn't work anymore because it got dropped in the sand to many times in Afghanistan and Iraq!)

More on Lincoln at Gettysburg

Prior to the recently discovered photo (which has not been verified, and might never be), there was only one other photo of Lincoln at the ceremony dedicating the cemetery. Lincoln was not the keynote speaker, and only spoke for about three minutes in a day when speeches might go on for hours. After Edward Everett's 2-HOUR speech (who preceded the President in the program), everyone (photographer included) may just wanted to leave, or they were sleeping. God I know I would.

Wikipedia article on the ceremony at Gettysburg.

Follow up to previous post

Some troops "homesteading" in Iraq