Saturday, June 03, 2006

So What If I WANT To Be A Giant Lardass?

More Government Meddling

It’s been a little while, but I think that my head is actually coming back up to speed this morning. My regular readers know what I mean by “up to speed”—what I call “orbital rotational velocity.”

Take a look at this Washington Times article:

The federal government wants smaller portion sizes at restaurants and nutritional information listed on menus.

As Americans eat more food away from home, the Food and Drug Administration said yesterday the nation's 900,000 restaurants needed to take the lead in cutting fat and the agency laid out ways to help people manage their intake of calories.

"We must take a serious look at the impact these foods are having on our waistlines," said Penelope Slade Royall, director of the health promotion office at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Dammit, but I want the Department of Health and Human Services to keep their red ink stained, paper shuffling, stupid assed socialist elitist hands off of the restaurant menus.

What ever happened to something called consumer choice?

Yes, I agree that the portions at places like Outback Steakhouse (where I generally refuse to eat) actually are HUMONGOUS, but I also have to ask: What the heck business is it of the GOVERNMENT what size the pork chop or pile of “blooming onion” is on MY plate.

After all…it still is MY plate, isn’t it—at least as long as I continue to sit inside the restaurant?

And after all…I’m paying for the giant portion of FOOD on MY plate with MY MONEY, aren’t I.

By MY MONEY, I mean what MONEY that I have left over after the aforementioned GOVERNMENT—you the know—the GOVERNMENT that now wants to limit the amount of food on my plate—lets me keep AFTER TAXES.

Isn’t that special.

The GOVERNMENT, after taking MONEY out of my pocket for the past 30 years, now also wants to start taking the actual FOOD off of my table.

When will this kind of crap ever end—GOVERNMENT intervention—I mean?

Next thing you know, they'll be coming to your house and installing locks on the door of the oven and fridge with a bar code scanner that won't let you cook or other wise consume more than a predetermined number of calories each day.

Then the government will want to send auditors to your house and they'll fine you or put you in jail for eating too much or eating unapproved diets.

Screw this type of crap, is anyone but me going to speak up?

Adding Apples And Oranges

More Inept Political Editorializing

Until the NY Times Website decided to hide Paul Krugman, Thomas Friedman, and Maureen Dowd behind an annual subscription fee, I could always count on at least one good rant each week dissecting the incomprehensible spewing of commentary based on incomplete and/or inaccurate facts and figures.

Paul Krugman was particularly prone to “cherry picking” his numbers from various incompatible and dissimilar sources in order to support whatever socialist or leftist topic he chose to write about on any given day.

I honestly believe that the NY Times made the decision to charge to read Krugman and his cohorts often nonsensical ravings in order to eliminate the bloggers criticisms. The Times basically got tired of having to print corrections and retractions. They even lost a Public Editor partially as a result of their journalistic blunders.

Now I’m forced to ramble around the internet to places like the LA Times in order to find fodder and a writer to deliver a good lambasting to every now and then. This morning’s subject is Anthony H. Cordesman’s opinion piece entitled “Give the Defense Department an F” found in this morning’s edition of the LA Times online.

Mr. Cordesman works for some Washington DC think tank called the Center for Strategic and International Studies. After doing a little snooping around I learned that it is run by former Georgia US Senator Sam Nunn, so it can’t be all bad. Although Mr. Nunn was a Democrat, he was a Democrat in the moderate Zell Miller model rather than a Kerry/Kennedy/Dean wild eyed liberal lunatic. He did Georgia a great deal of good in his twenty odd years of service, as I recall.

Any way…

Mr. Cordesman’s takes issue with the validity of the DOD’s latest report to Congress entitled Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq.

Predictably, I started scratching my head as I read the opening to the editorial because Tony jumps right in and says that the DOD is either lying or is incapable of doing math, so I pulled up a copy of the report from the internet and took a gander at it myself.

Just as I suspected, either Mr. Cordesman is yet another ignorant, biased, partisan jackass with a political axe to grind, else he just needs a set of new batteries in his calculator along with some improved reasoning skills.

Don’t the editors of ANY major news publication EVER bother to check the facts underlying fundamental assertions made by their OP-Ed writers?

Mr. Cordesman opens with this discussion:

IF THE UNITED STATES is to win in Iraq, it needs an honest and objective picture of what is happening there. The media and outside experts can provide pieces of this picture, but only the U.S. government has the resources and access to information to offer a comprehensive overview.But the quarterly report to Congress issued May 30 by the Department of Defense, "Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq," like the weekly reports the State Department issues on Iraq, is profoundly flawed. It does more than simply spin the situation to provide false assurances to lawmakers and the public. It makes basic analytical and statistical mistakes, fails to define key terms, provides undefined and unverifiable survey information and deals with key issues by omission. It deserves an overall grade of F.

The report provides a fundamentally false picture of the political situation in Iraq and of the difficulties ahead. It does not prepare Congress or the American people for the years of effort that will be needed even under "best-case" conditions nor for the risk of far more serious forms of civil conflict. Some of its political reporting is simply incompetent. For example, the report repeatedly states that 77% of the Iraqi population voted in the December 2005 election. Given that the CIA estimates that almost 40% of the population is 14 or younger, there is no conceivable way that 77% of the population could have voted. The report says 12.2 million voters turned out. The CIA estimates Iraq's population is 26.8 million. This means roughly 46% of the population voted.

It seemed very strange to me that the Department of Defense could be guilty of making such a fundamental error or tell an outright lie in a document delivered to Congress, so I did a little fact checking of my own.

It only took about fifteen minutes to verify the assertions that the Iraqi population is about 26.8 million and that 39.7% (10.63 million) of the Iraqi population is 14 years old or younger, but what exactly does that have to do with the price of eggs in China the percentage of eligible Iraqi VOTERS?

First, is Mr. Cordesman asserting that he believes that FIFTEEN year old kids had the right to cast a ballot in last December’s Iraqi election?

Second, what about the 2,050,000 registered Iraqi voters living in exile outside the country? Apparently he forgot them entirely in his analysis, and this error is substantially responsible for his flawed conclusions.

Finally, what I think Mr. Cordesman is tripping over is the lack of the words “eligible voters” in the DOD narrative, but I am at a loss as to why he could be thinking that they meant otherwise.

Doing a little more checking at the UNICEF web site I learned that they estimate that there are 13.5 million Iraqis under the age of 18, and that the median age (1/2 older and 1/2 younger) in Iraq is 19.7 years.

I couldn’t actually find online verification of the voting age, but based on our influence on the process and using the US suffrage as a model, I’d say that it is safe to assume that there were at LEAST 15.35 million eligible voters over the age of 17 in the election, so if 12.2 million actually voted, I calculate 12.2 divided by 15.35 to equal…drum roll please…

Seventy Nine Percent (79%)

The DOD says seventy seven percent (77%).

Hardly the gross misrepresentation that Mr. Anthony Cordesman would have us to believe it is, RIGHT?

So much for his opening argument.

I then suspected that the entire composition was full of crap and after reading through it a couple of times it is clear that his obviously biased, illogical commentary spirals downhill from here.

The far more serious problem, however, is the spin the report puts on the entire Iraqi political process. Political participation surely rose. But that wasn't because of acceptance of the new government or an embrace of a democratic political process; it reflected a steady sharpening of sectarian divisions, as Sunnis tried to make up for their decision to boycott earlier elections.The report touts a "true unity government with broad-based buy-in from major electoral lists and all of Iraq's communities." But its own data tell a different story. The one largely secular party won only 9% of parliament. The sectarian Shiite party, the United Iraqi Alliance, got 47%. The equally sectarian Sunni Iraqi Accordance Front got 16%, and the Kurdish Coalition got 19%. That hardly adds up to "unity."

Using Mr. Cordesman’s logic, the United State’s own political system is fatally flawed and doomed to failure because we have a Republican president and a House and Senate that is split 45/55 between Democrats and Republicans, with a few Libertarians, Independents, and Green Party Loons thrown in for good measure.

What about having fifty individual state governments, each divided within themselves by the Democrat/Republican/Libertarian/Independent party factions. And what does he think about the effect of having the African American’s in the Congressional Black Caucus running around carrying their own battle flag and agenda?

Would Mr. Cordesman consider the elections to be a success if the new Iraqi government consisted of only one or two parties?

Look at the conflict in Palestine resulting from having two competing parties. Slimly divided unity obviously does not guarantee stability.


The United States is making real progress in some aspects of building the Iraqi regular military. Yet there is still a tendency to promise too much, too soon, to understate the risk and the threat, and to disguise the fact that the U.S. must be ready to support Iraq at least through 2008 and probably through 2010.

Yaada...yaada...yack, yack, yack...

Funny thing, but aren’t we still in Germany in 2006, over 60 years after the end of WWII? And didn’t it take until 1989 with the fall of the Berlin wall to attain ultimate stability in Germany?

Why the rush, Mr. Cordesman?

The U.S. cannot afford to repeat the mistakes it made in Vietnam. Among them was dangerous self-delusion. The strategy President Bush is pursuing in Iraq is high risk. If it is to have any chance of success, it will require bipartisan persistence and sustained American effort. This requires trust, and trust cannot be built without integrity. That means credible reporting.

I’ll completely agree that we don’t need to repeat the mistakes made in Vietnam, but the failure in Vietnam was caused by executing the Murtha/Kerry plan of running out of the country before the job was done. The Chinese supported thugs from North Vietnam rushed into Siagon, changed the name to Ho Chi Men City, and slaughtered Millions in the ensuing racial cleansing.

Yeah...that seems like a plan here---NOT!

And by the way, Mr. Cordesman, I agree whole heartedly with the need for “CREDIBLE REPORTING”—and the problem starts and ends with people like you and the LA Times.

Don't YOU agree???

Friday, June 02, 2006

New Legislation For Dumbasses

Making Stupidity More Affordable

Back in the old days (good or otherwise) I think that people had enough sense to manage their own risks based on their own abilities to deal with them.

I imagine that Ponce de Leon, Christopher Columbus, and British General Oglethorpe found that slogging their way through the mosquito, snake, and Gator infested marshes and lowlands of Florida and Coastal Georgia in past centuries was quite a deterrent to progress, not to mention having to survive sailing across the Atlantic Ocean in a wooden sailboat using a Sextant to find your way rather than radar and a GPS navigation system just to get here.

The people that followed in their path in the past century and built vacation homes or otherwise settled to live on these same coasts took not only their own lives into their own hands, but they paid cash to build simple “cottages” and other structures that could survive the onslaught of the weather found living in areas that were “hurricane prone.”

There was no such thing as “building codes” and “flood insurance” to protect them and their little slices of paradise, so if they got washed or blown away they either survived and rebuilt at their own expense, else they faded away into an asterisk of history.

Not so today.

Everyone seems to think that they have a God given right to buy a piece of land inches from the high tide line, pile up some lumber, cinder blocks, and stucco, install a few elevators, and then have the GOVERNMENT not only insure their bodily safety when the next hurricane comes knocking on their back door, but also underwrite their ability to live a normal life within 24 hours of the storm’s passage.

In defense of this assertion, I tender this news article:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.--Hundreds of gas stations must have access to generators and be able to quickly get the pumps, freezers and credit card machines running after a hurricane under legislation Gov. Jeb Bush signed Thursday.

The bill was designed to ease one of the most vexing hurricane aftermath problems: an inability for people to get around because they can't get gas at stations with no power.

The measure was one of several hurricane preparedness bills the governor signed at the state emergency operations center on the first day of the new hurricane season. l

Many of the requirements, however, won't go fully into effect until 2007.

The gas station measure requires that owners with 10 or more stations in a county have a generator available and be able to move it to where it is needed. The more stations the owner has, the more generators they'll need to have ready to put in place after a hurricane…

Jim Smith, president of the Florida Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, which represents mostly small gas stations, said station owners weren't thrilled that some would now be required to have generators available. But he said many were already getting them on their own anyway because it's good business…

The bill also requires the owners or operators of any building, including condominiums, that are at least 75 feet high to be able to run at least one elevator on generator power and be able to power the fire alarm system. Some high-rise residents found themselves stuck on upper floors with no elevator to get down after last year's Hurricane Wilma hit South Florida.

What total, complete socialist government CRAPPOLA.

Doesn’t anyone but me see that it’s not the government’s job to tell gas station owners that they need generators?

Using one of my favorite arguments let me point out that no where in the US Constitution do I see the words “life, liberty, and a continuous supply of unleaded high octane gasoline.”

It just isn’t there, Folks.

I admit that having a few gas stations around that can operate when the electrical grid is down would be a nice CONVIENCE, but as to it being required by LAW…I say that’s going a bit too far.

If I owned a gas station anywhere within 150 miles of the coast in the southeastern US, I’d already be looking into putting in my own generator and I wouldn’t need Governor Bush to tell me to do it.

It would just be good business sense.

We bought a 7.5 KW generator after Hurricane Opal trashed our farm in south Alabama in October of 1995 and we have it mounted on a concrete pad inside a wooden enclosure adjacent to the garage, hard wired into my Mother’s house so she can run things like a little AC, lights, the fridge and freezer, etc.

All you do is turn off the main breaker, push the start button, and you’ve got lights. The only problem is that the phone is probably still out and a tree might have fallen on the satellite dish in the mean time.

The farm is 110 miles north of the coastline of the Florida panhandle, but it didn’t take any more incentive than surviving direct strikes by two substantial hurricanes in twenty years (with 100+ MPH winds) to convince us to spend the thousands of dollars it took to make the improvement.

We didn’t need an act of the state legislature to protect ourselves.

It’s actually a bitch to keep enough gasoline around the house to operate a generator beyond a few days and if I had it to do over again I think that we’d look at a propane powered engine, but the one time in the past ten years that the generator has been used, it paid for itself quite well.

As I see it, all the state of Florida is doing with this type legislation is ensuring that more and more people are going to elect to stay put in the face of an oncoming hurricane rather than evacuating. Further, more and more people are going to continue to move into the hazard zones and the problem is only going to continue to get worse in the future.

I say that the federal flood insurance program—once considered insurance for rich people—is now insurance for stupidity. If people were forced to rely strictly on private insurance, Florida and other coastal real estate values would drop precipitously and that is what this debate is really all about.

Florida is actually facing a so-called insurance ‘crisis” because, after forcing insurers to take on a certain percentage of coastal risks in order to do any business in the state, many are going bankrupt or otherwise ending coverage in the state after the past two years of losses.

And the thing about requiring building owners to have elevators that operate on generators…what’s up with that?

I don’t want to get near an elevator during or after a hurricane. I suppose that they are worried about all of the elderly people and lard assed fat people riding around in “scooters” that are too stupid or otherwise unable to move with the approach of an oncoming storm.

Let me say THIS about THAT.

I you weigh five hundred pounds or you are 100 years old and you otherwise can’t get around without assistance; you’d better get the hell out NOW.

Move to Birmingham or back north to NY or Boston. Do anything but sit there sunning your bloated or wrinkled body while taking the risk of having to have firefighters and other emergency responders risk their own lives to get your ignorant carcass out in 120 MPH winds or after your condo roof has fallen on you.

For those of you not actually living in Hurricane prone areas…If your Mama or Daddy or Grandparents insist on living on a beach or retirement community in Florida—GET THEM THE HELL OUT OF THERE…NOW.

If they won’t leave or you won’t go get them when The Weather Channel issues an evacuation order, then I say that you might as well kiss them goodbye right now and be glad that they survive if they do.

What I don’t want to see is your crying face on CNN or FOX News lamenting your loved one’s demise while you piss and moan about the shortcomings of FEMA and the Red Cross.

Governor Bush and the idiots in the Florida legislature can write laws and pass resolutions from now until Christ returns, but I promise you that no amount of legislation is going to cure the root cause of the problem—that problem being one of…


Thursday, June 01, 2006

A Matter Of Perspective

Information…Or The Lack Thereof

As my regular readers know, a common theme here on this blog is one of media bias and the resulting public opinions elicited by editorials being disguised as news stories.

I’ve written tens of thousands of words ranting about the stupidity and obvious political motivations of the so called college educated “professional journalists,” but the good news is it seems to me that we might be turning the corner as the “dead tree” press and the major networks suffer declines in readership and viewers.

I’m going to take a break from my usual “bias” theme this morning, while at the same time continuing my criticism of the media. This time my subject is one of “sloppy reporting”—or more specifically, the media’s continuing failure to put any actual facts and information into their stories.

You know what I mean by “facts and information”, don’t you?

By "facts and information," I mean little trivial, inconvenient things like data, numbers, and statistics that would allow a reader to make an informed decision about whether or not to actually worry about the content of the writer’s story—things that much of the media apparently believe that we’re perhaps too stupid to understand?

Take the 2471 casualties incurred to date in the war in Iraq, for instance. Every day we get an update and running total pounded into our heads as if the world has never seen such carnage and savagery.

Upon hearing these figures, the media and many private citizens are prone to tilting their heads back, throwing their arms into the air, and running around in circles, hysterically screaming and lamenting the losses and inhumanities of war.

Now don’t get me wrong here, each and every single loss of life in the defense of our country is a personal tragedy of an unimaginable magnitude, and I personally would never trivialize such sacrifice in my thoughts and writing…

BUT…do you have any idea how dangerous and deadly it is to serve in the military IN PEACTIME?

Do you have any idea how many people are routinely killed every year in things like normal military operations and training accidents?

Check out the casualty tables found on this Department of Defense website. Here’s a little summary for you:

In 1980, at the beginning of President Regan’s first term in office, there were 2,159,630 active duty, reserve, and national guard forces in our military. In that same year, there were 2,392 deaths of military personnel, and only one was killed by terrorist action, and 231 committed suicide.

In 1983, the year of the bombing of the Marine Barracks in Lebanon that killed 263 soldiers; there were 2,273,364 troops and a total of 2,465 deaths, including an addition 18 losses to hostile action.

By 1986, at the beginning of the end of the cold war in the middle of Regan’s second term, the forces had increased by over a quarter million to 2,359,855, while deaths were 1,984 with only two killed in hostile action.

In 1991 during the first gulf war, troop levels were down to 2,198,189 men & women, with 1,787 total military deaths and the war casualty count at 147 lives lost.

Now fast forward through the Clinton Presidency to the year 2000. With the resulting substantial reductions in military spending and troop strengths down to 1,530,430 personnel, we find that we lost 758 GI’s including 17 to terrorists.

Stay with me now, I’m almost finished…

In 2003 and 2004, the latest two years for which data is published, troop strengths were 1,732,632 and 1,711,916 respectively, while the deaths for those same years were 1,410 and 1,877. In 2003 we lost 344 and in 2004 there 737 killed in the Iraqi war.

So you see ladies and gentlemen, the 1,081 deaths sustained in the first 20 months in Iraq were actually exceeded by the 2,206 men and women that died in situations unrelated to combat. Things like training accidents and car crashes and death from natural causes.

2,206 versus 1,081

Have YOU ever, ever, ever, ever heard anyone in the lamestream media mention those little inconvenient significant statistics while doing their reporting on Iraq?


Do these "facts and information" put things into an entirely different perspective when considering the cost of "The War On Terror"?

Yeah…I thought so…

More Insensitivity

I Just Can’t Help Myself

Is everyone in the entire state of Massachusetts just plain CRAZY, or is the condition limited to the city of Boston? Maybe the insanity is just a prerequisite limited to the lawyers setting on the court benches in much of New England.

The reason that I’m considering the mental health of my northern neighbors is because of this story about convicted murderer Robert "Michele" Kosilek:

BOSTON--A convicted killer serving a life sentence for murdering his wife 16 years ago wants Massachusetts to pay for his sex change operation.

Television station WCVB reported that Robert Kosilek now goes by the name Michelle. He's already been before the state courts and has received favorable rulings.

The court has previously granted the 57-year-old the right to have the state pay for his female hormone treatments and laser hair removal after a judge ruled he is entitled to treatment for a condition called gender identity disorder.

Now, Kosilek wants the commonwealth to pay for a sex change operation to become a woman.

His lawyer said that denying him the operation amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.

On Tuesday, a psychiatrist testified that Kosilek is likely to commit suicide if he doesn't get the operation.

The trial in Federal District Court in South Boston is expected to last about two weeks.

The first thing I have to say is this: So what if “Michele” is distraught over his/her God given “plumbing”—let him/her go ahead and do us all a favor and commit suicide.

Who besides these stupid judges would care?

Secondly, I think that "Michele" might actually be onto something here with the idea of giving prisoners sex change operations.

If the states are going to be in the sex change business, I say that we should demand that they give them to every man convicted of rape, child molestation or any other so-called sex crime.

Then throw the bastards into a men’s prison and step back and watch the fun.

Imagine the deterrence value of knowing that you were going to not only legally have your penis removed and breasts and a vagina installed, but you were going to serve your time with “Bubba” and the boys in the big house.

By the way, if “Michele” does manage to get the citizens of Massachusetts to chop off his Johnson, I believe that (s)he shouldn’t be granted a change in prison accommodations either.

They should leave the stupid murdering bastard in the exact same prison, in the exact same cell when the stitches are finally taken out.

As the old saying goes—"careful what you ask for in life…because you might just get it."

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

We Were Robbed

And Lived To Tell About It

I’ve thus far avoided writing about this story here on the blog because it’s something very personal that happened a long time ago, but my earlier posting about Marine Corporal Thomas Audry’s successful defense of his life in the face of five robbers on a Midtown Atlanta Street Monday night has brought it back to the forefront of my memory.

Here goes…

Way back in January of 1979, three of my friends and I walked into a Pizza Hut Restaurant on North Avenue in downtown Atlanta about 10:00 PM. We had just finished watching the first Saturday Night Live Special in our dorm rooms at Georgia Tech and decided to grab a late pizza to cap off an evening of immature college revelry.

We stopped by the “Tillie The Teller Machine” to get some cash, and then parked outside the front door of the restaurant parking lot, entered the building, and waited while the young waitress seated us in a booth across the room from the front door.

The waitress was acting, shall we say, a little strange, but we were hungry and stupid and just sat down and dove into the menus in anticipation of devouring the upcoming culinary delights we were planning on ordering. I was sitting on the outside of the booth, facing the kitchen, and we were all stunned to attention when a black man in a raincoat emerged, pulled out and pumped a 12 gauge shotgun, and shouted “EVERYBODY…GET THE F**K IN THE BACK.”

What then ensued were ten or fifteen minutes of total hell and chaos that in retrospect seemed like an eternity.

The four black men, three pistols, and one shotgun were doing all of the talking, and the bad guys were quite unhappy that we had interrupted their enterprise, but also quite willing to include four white boys in their little party.

I was 19 years young, had a short military haircut, and was in great shape at the time. It took every bit of restraint in my stupid head to not engage the robbers in a fight. They were wild eyed, drugged up looking scrawny assed little middle aged men and I could have probably kicked all of their asses by myself if they didn’t have guns, but I had to think of the safety of my three white friends and the ten or so other African American customers, staff, and one child that were herded into the back of the restaurant while the events unfolded.

I remember seeing that there was a great big chef’s knife lying on the counter that I walked past while one of our hosts held the barrel of his sawed off shotgun shoved into my back. Then there was the tactical mistake the stupid fools made when they placed themselves in a confined space with their hostages. Everyone knows that space and terrain are your friends when in an assault. There I was, thinking like I was in the military or something--come to think of it, I was.

People were frantic, it was every man and woman for themselves, and my only mistake was remaining calm and PAYING TOO DAMN MUCH ATTENTION to what was happening around me.

I could have probably killed at least a couple of my attackers, but how many other people including myself could have been killed or wounded in the struggle?

Compliance was the best resort.

They told everyone to lie down on the floor, but being the silly fool that I am and, seeing that the floor in the small back room was covered with people, I elected to crouch down. My next mistake was looking around when one of our assailants, standing amid the pile of bodies, swung around and pointed his handgun at one of the women customers and yelled for her to “shut her crying toddler up.”

I was actually ready to do a little crying of my own at that point, and when I reacted to the man’s gesture he responded by pounding his gun's barrel across the top of my head.

It must have felt good to him, because he continued to punctuate everything he said by pounding on the top and back of my head as I started slumping closer to the floor. At one point after several blows had been delivered I looked up and noticed that the barrel of the gun was bent upwards at a 45 degree angle. I suspect that the weapon had been used as a hammer before because my head is hard, but not THAT hard.

After a few more blows, the barrel of the gun broke off and landed in the floor beside me. One of the other idiots picked up the barrel, looked at me, and then laughed and said something about my hard head as he tossed the barrel into the adjacent trash can, fingerprints and all.

Once they started pistol whipping me I was angry enough to do something stupid, but in the end I just went with the flow and ended up surrendering my watch and the twenty dollars in my wallet.

One of the guys was freaking out as they discussed their exit from the building and what to do with the witnesses. He said “let’s just shoot them all” which elicited screams of panic from my fellow captors. Someone then suggested that we be locked into the walk-in freezer.

Sounded like a plan to me…

When the door was opened, I hate to admit that I was the first one through it as the blood was dripping down my face and the back of my head. (I was the only one injured besides the restaurant manager.) We were herded inside and the door was closed leaving us huddled together in the cramped space surrounded by giant cans of pizza sauce and wads of dough in total darkness.

Then, impossibly, some idiot standing up front LIT A CIGARETTE.

Can you believe that?

Then everyone started arguing about how long to stay inside (there was an inside safety handle) and some wanted to wait a while.

I said that I was sure that our assailants had immediately fled the scene, but no one was willing to be the first outside and I was stranded in the back corner of the cooler because of my prior hasty entrance.

After a few more minutes of verbal wrangling, the door was opened and as we walked with relief into the empty restaurant the Atlanta police were arriving in the parking lot. Someone had apparently noticed the empty building with unlocked doors and called 911.

The cops jacked around awhile while they took our statements, and several of our co-victims unceremoniously exited the building without delivering any statements. I suspect that they might have actually been involved in “casing” the establishment prior to the robbery or had other aversions to discussing their identity with the authorities.

I expressed my confidence that I could absolutely identify all four suspects, but I never heard another word about the incident from the Atlanta Police Department and I declined Pizza Hut’s offer of monetary compensation.

As far as I know, the local TV and newspapers never picked up the story because it was just another example of life in the big city.

I can just see the potential headline "White Navy Midshipman Shits Pants In Pizza Hut Altercation--Four Assailants Dead At Scene."

Needless to say that my Mom was ready to pack my butt up and move me back to the safety of south Alabama as a result. I don't make a big deal about it, but to this day I am very cautious when I enter buildings and am aware of the situation around me when in public. I don't like it when I walk into a store or restaurant and don't seen anyone working or shoping/eating there.

In the end I got about twelve free stitches in the back of my head at the campus infirmary to close the three or four cuts opened in my skin, and other than Rusty, Tom, Dave, and I having a pretty exciting story to tell every once in a while, as the old saying goes...

It is just a bit of "Ancient History."

Live and learn...

"Former Marine Kills Pregnant Robber"

And The Beat Goes On...

I seriously believe that I should rename this blog "Bashing The Military."

Or maybe I'll just start another blog with that name, because it would basically write itself each day.

The media would do all of the work and I'd just provide links to things like this story published yesterday in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution with the original headline "Former Marine Kills Pregnant Robber.

Isn't that just lovely..."Former Marine Kills Pregnant Robber" screams the headline of both the print edition and the online edition of Tuesday Morning's paper.

I saw the online headline with my own eyes after radio talk show host Neal Boortz pointed it out on the air yesterday morning.

I should have cached the story on my computer because between about 10:30 AM Tuesday and now the AJC has taken the story and headline off of their web page


I think that it is because the key word in their headline, the word designed to raise your eyebrows, was the word "Pregnant."

Well, it turns out that the headline was at least PARTIALLY true.

The potential robbery victim was a "former marine."

And, there was an attempted robbery.

So good, so far, RIGHT?

The only problem was, that the dead woman wasn't pregnant.

Son of a gun...

I'm sure that they were crushed in the AJC newsroom, so much so that the cowards took the story down off their website and republished it with a different headline. The revised story also includes a statement that the woman wasn't actually pregnant.

Thus far I can't find a retraction or any other admission of their initial error, just a revised story slipped into the ether of the internet. All of those dead tree print editions of the Tuesday morning paper were still laying on doorsteps and coffee tables at the end of the day while Atlanta's and the world's attention turned to other matters; but their brains have already filed the fact that "a former Marine killed a pregnant girl in Atlanta Monday night."

If you read the headline, isn't that what you believed?

Let me ask you a couple of questions...

Why not use the headline "Citizen Kills Stupid Bitch Robber"?

Why not use the headline "Useless Sperm Sponge Erased In Robbery Attempt"?

Of course half my readers are now offended at my reference and most of Atlanta would have stormed the AJC offices and set the building ablaze and tarred and feathered the writers and management if they had chosen those words as a headline.

But the words "Former Marine" are perfectly acceptable to 100% of the liberals and 75% of the pansy assed conservatives out there because bashing MEN and "FORMER MARINES" is common sport in the media and the polite liberal cocktail parties of Washington DC, New York City, San Francisco, and LA.

And why the focus on the "former marine" status of the potential robbery victim?

Perhaps because he was actually able to successfully defend himself as a result of his prior training?

What kind of training would that be?

"Army Training...Sir" (Thanks to Bill Murray's character John Winger in the movie "Stripes" for that line...)

OK...Actually MARINE training, but I digress...

My guess is that as a former Marine Corporal and Desert Storm veteran, that 36 year old Thomas Autry had experience with things like hand to hand combat, and when accosted by not one but FIVE little hard headed black punks on the streets of Midtown Atlanta, and after calling for help and attempting to run away--disengagement as it is known in the military--that when cornered by the little black bitch lovely young African American woman and stupid black punk bastard misguided young African American man wielding a SHOTGUN and a PISTOL his "former marine training" took over.

Corporal Autry managed to kick the guns out of the little black bitch lovely young African American woman and stupid black punk bastard's misguided young African American man's hands, but then fatally stabbed the little black bitch lovely young African American woman and seriously wounded the stupid black bastard misguided young African American man in hand to hand combat armed only with a small pocket knife.

Not a buck knife or a switch blade or a sword or a chef's knife...but a street legal pocket knife--something like you use to clean your fingernails or whittle on a stick with.

Buy the way, I suspect that Corporal Autry could have killed you or me with his bare hands or a with something as simple as a toothpick if the need had arisen.

Good for him.

And while I'm at it--pissing everybody off--let me point out that nowhere in the published news articles does any of the lamestream media bother to mention the race of the victim or the robbers.

What's up with that?

I had to go to the WSB TV website and watch online video of interviews with the victim and the dead girl's mother to find out that this was yet another example of "black on black crime."

So let me get this straight. The media is all over the story from the angle of the guy doing the "killing" being a "Former Marine," but the concept of addressing the deeper black African American cultural and social issues are overridden by their desire to continue to defame the US military.

I don't know about you, but I've had it right up to HERE, pointing to the top of my every greying, ever balding head...

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Hurricane Reality For Beginners

And A Wake Up Call For St. Simons Island

I was doing a little snooping around on the Glynn County web site this morning, and I tripped over these two images.

Here, take a look at the real estate tax map of the south end of our little island, with the lighthouse on the left (west) side of the photo.

And here's the area just to the east...

Notice all of those purple and green lines outlining rectangles that appear floating out in the water?

Those little boxes represent 53 complete building lots that no longer exist because of the influence of Hurricane Dora in 1964.

Two roads, Beachview and Postell, were washed away in the process, and now there is no beach at high tide--just a line of giant granite rocks placed along the shoreline by President Johnson as a result of the damage.

With Hurricane season beginning in the next couple of days, I'm completely rethinking my own strategy when it comes to investing in real estate and selecting a place to live, because I think that it's just a matter of time until we have another catastrophic strike here in the Golden Isles.

We're way past due statistically, and it ain't going to be pretty here when the next one comes knocking on our doors and pounding on our roofs.

Wish us luck.

Here's Your Choices

I'll let You Decide For Yourself

As I understand history, our grandparents' generation had a choice between listening to these two men:

(For those that are historically challenged, this would be Neville Chamberland)

(...and...Sir Winston Churchill)

Today you and I have our own choice as to which of two gentlemen we're going to listen to:

Afghanistan and Iraq will soon be on the back burner as Iran comes to the forefront.

Funny thing, but to me this little insane bastard:

acts a little too much like this insane bastard: I said in my title...


Monday, May 29, 2006

Just In Time For Memorial Day

A Few Final Media Insults

Since it is Memorial Day, I feel like continuing along on the theme of my earlier ranting about the lamestream media’s coverage of the US military and the war on terror.

I was going to drop the issue until I saw how the spin and headlines developed on this LA Times story about a military truck accident involving several civilian vehicles:

Riots Erupt After U.S. Vehicles Flee Accident Scene
By Wesal Zaman and Paul Watson7:37 PM PDT, May 29, 2006

KABUL, Afghanistan -- In the Afghan capital's worst unrest since the fall of the Taliban five years ago, Afghan mobs fought running battles Monday with troops and police trying to quell riots sparked when U.S. military vehicles fled the scene of a fatal accident after hitting civilians.

At least eight people were killed, and more than 100 injured, most in the rioting that followed an early morning traffic accident involving a convoy of U.S. military vehicles, Afghan officials said.

Rioters attacked the offices of the United Nations and foreign aid agencies, looting computers, books, desks and even shoes. They also set fire to numerous police check posts across Kabul, and as the mobs continued to run amok in mid-afternoon, a pall of smoke hung over some districts of the capital.

Protesters shouted "Death to America!" and in a local epithet, "Death to Dog Washers!" They also condemned President Hamid Karzai and the former Afghan king, Mohammad Zaher Shah.

Ahhhh, the good old LA Times…I almost love to hate and ridicule them as much as I do the NY Times. In fact, the LA Times could basically change their name to NY Times Left West Coast.

Of course if you read the headline you are led to believe that the US Military is driving around Afghanistan indiscriminately running over civilians and their vehicles, then once they are through wrecking havoc they’re just driving off into the sunset.


I first noticed reporting of this incident this morning and even I, the eternal skeptic and media critic, was sort of surprised at the actual conflict in the details of the story versus the headlines the media assheads professionals chose to place on top of the story.

Here is a sample of the other headlines I found doing a Google search:

Anti-US Rioting Erupts in Kabul; At Least 14 Dead (NY Times)

US faces new challenge after riots in Kabul puncture illusion of ... (Guardian UK)

Afghans riot after US troops shoot at mob (Indian Express)

Afghans Riot After Deadly Crash by US Military Truck (NY Times)

Death crash sparks riots (Ireland Online)

US Forces Fire at Afghan Protestors (Islam Online)

And finally, the Chicago Tribune follows the rule that “if you can’t say anything nice, just don’t say much of anything at all.”

Here’s their version of the story:

US convoy rams traffic jam; 3 dead

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN -- A convoy of U.S. troops accidentally rammed into a rush-hour traffic jam in the Afghan capital on Monday, killing at least three people and wounding 16, police said.

A riot broke out after the incident, with protesters shouting "Down to America!" and throwing stones and burning cars.

A U.S. military spokeswoman confirmed U.S. troops were involved in the accident but gave no details.

I sort of like the Tribune’s reporting method—that being to wait until the ACTUAL FACTS are available rather than doing things like the LA Times did in closing their earlier referenced story:

Witnesses said U.S. troops and Afghan security forces fired on the crowd as protesters hurled rocks and shot guns. But it was not clear who fired the first rounds.

Don’t you just love CRAP like these template statements “it was not clear who fired the first rounds”?

I have to ask why the heck they choose to write the story in the first place?

Why impugn the HELL out of the integrity and motives of our military forces based on “appearances” and facts that are “unclear.”

Why not resist editorializing and spend your time ACTUALLY REPORTING THE NEWS?

Yeah, I thought so…

It’s really all about POLITICS, and has nothing to do with actual NEWS REPORTING.


If They Don’t Like It…

They Can Always Just Get The Hell Out

I’m absolute sick of this shit. By “This Shit” I mean the way much of the media tends to portray the military in general on a day to day basis.

Let me preface this rant by saying that I’m a little biased since I grew up outside Ft. Rucker, Alabama in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Virtually every house in my neighborhood had a father, brother, or son fighting in Vietnam. I also volunteered to serve two years in the Navy reserve while in college and was subject to being called up for active duty until about eleven years ago.

I would have proudly gone if the Pentagon had called, although my crappy health would have probably caused them to spit be back out in my boxers once they took a look at me.

Any way…

It seems to me that when our forces are doing a GOOD JOB all we get is crappy coverage or no coverage at all, and when a solder or group of solders makes a mistake or acts out of willful malice, the medial is gleeful…yes, even giddy to blast headlines around the globe with words and phrases like “Baby Killers”, “In Cold Blood,” and “Renegade Troops.”

This most recent incident in Iraq is a perfect example. Just like the Abu Grab-Ass prison non-scandal, the military has already launched an investigation, locked up some suspects, and is expecting the final report and possible prosecutions to occur by some time this summer.

Case closed, in my book.

Not good enough for Pennsylvania’s partisan hack ex-marine John “bushy eyebrows” Murtha and the no-talent liberal Bush hating creatins at the NY Times.

Four people who identified themselves as survivors of the killings in Haditha, including some who had never spoken publicly, described the killings to an Iraqi writer and historian who was recruited by The New York Times to travel to Haditha and interview survivors and witnesses of what military officials have said appear to be unjustified killings of two dozen Iraqis by marines. Some in Congress fear the killings could do greater harm to the image of the United States military around the world than the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.

The four survivors' accounts could not be independently corroborated, and it was unclear in some cases whether they actually saw the killings. But much of what they said was consistent with broad outlines of the events of that day provided by military and government officials who have been briefed on the military's investigations into the killings, which the officials have said are likely to lead to charges that may include murder and a cover-up of what really happened.

The name of the Iraqi who conducted the interviews for The Times is being withheld for his own safety, because insurgents often make a target of Iraqis deemed collaborators.

In typical NY Times fashion, of course they publish a story full of unverified accusations and suppositions on their front pages, then they add the icing on the cake by using an unidentified source that they are hiding to “protect their safety.”

Funny thing, but since the Times story basically makes the US forces look like the murdering terrorists they’re attempting to engage, why should Al Qaeda and all of the other bad guys not applaud the Times sources efforts, not threaten their safety?

I expect that Al Zaqari and his turban clad, bearded wild eyed cohorts would be taking up a cash collection and buying cassettes and video tape so that the Times “sources” and the Iraqi “reporter” could run out and document other atrocities—real or imagined—to be splashed across the front pages of newspapers world wide.

How the hell can the lamestream media be so lacking in logical skills, even when they are hidden in their offices and pressrooms?

Where are their editors in this process?

If you read the article closely I think that you’ll find that once again the NY Times has rushed a story to print because it matches their reporting “template” about the US war effort and in an haphazard effort to attain the maximum “scoop factor” (remember CBS’s Dan Rather and the Texas Air National Guard Scandal.)

So what happens if it is determined that there really was a firefight and the Iraqis killed were harboring terrorists in their homes or were actual terrorists themselves?

What happens when the dust settles and the military and pending congressional investigations are concluded and it turns out that many fewer Marines were guilty and many fewer innocents were killed in the encounter?

You know what will happen—almost everybody that sits around watching CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC or only reads the front page of their newspapers will be left believing that we’ve got troops running around shooting up everyone and everything in sight.

But that’s wrong, and the NY Times knows it.

99.9% of our troops are bright, educated, and highly trained men and women that are in Iraq to do a job, that being to make the world safe so that the assholes that wander in from their Manhattan lofts and New Jersey suburban bungalows to the offices of the Times can sit around and slander them and second guess their actions and decisions in ink virtually ever single day of the year.

It’s a good thing that all of these moronic urban “reporters” and so called “news people” spend hours at the gym each week, because if they had their way we’d have no military and their only protection would be turning tail and running away from any potential threats.

Have you ever had a gun pointed at your head?

I’ve had the barrel of a gun BROKEN OFF on my hard head, and I can tell you things look quite different when your looking at the business end of a weapon wielded by someone that you know is your enemy.

I’m fairly certain that the morons writing for the NY Times believe that the best prevention for having a gun aimed at their pointy head is to continue to assault the military and outlaw civilian ownership of guns, and I say that’s complete and total Bullshit.

All I have to say to all of the anti war, bleeding heart liberal morons out there in the media is “keep on writing your slander, and all of the bad assed guys in uniform will keep on breaking things and killing people (legally) to protect your rights to be IDIOTS.

And by the way, if they don't like it, they can always GET THE HELL OUT.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

A Large Time Was Had By All

I’m Still Tired

I’m afraid that I’m suffering from a little too much sun and WAY too much food over the past two days.

I’ve already slept twice since wrapping up my “Drive By Pool Side Barbeque”, and almost everything has been washed and otherwise put away. I gave Pat the day off and handled the clean up and transportation of equipment and supplies back to the condo by myself.

Our twenty or so guests were well behaved and nothing was damaged and very little was spilled (at least that couldn’t be hosed off or wiped away.) Even the half dozen kids in attendance managed to get through the afternoon without making my head spin or requiring a good flogging.

This entertaining thing is hard work—I think that we’re going to take a few months off and let everyone else handle the chores for a change.