Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Okay, I've schlepped the last box, swept the last floor, and turned over the keys of the old place. We are now established in our new domicile. Since it was a local move for the fam, the Army didn't contribute, and the wife had to go north to meet some familial obligations, so the moving team consisted pretty much of me, myself, and I. That sucked. I did beer-bribe some of the Clydesdales at work, who helped me with downloading my storage units, so I had that going for me.
So while we're officially "in" the new place, we're not quite done yet. Lots of boxes & containers to unpack. I figure that, per Mongo clan SOP, we'll be done right about the time we get orders to PCS again.
The new place is huge, but needs a little work. The back yard looks like a set out of Jumanji, so some significant effort will be spent back there before we can actually use the boat ramp or the jetty.
Still, the view is great.

Especially at sunset.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Pot-Bellied Dictator Commands Some Toe-Tappin"

Audaciously ripped from the digital pages of JihadGene's mandatory Friday night dance mix. The Great Reader always provides a Friday tune to help transition to the weekend; whatever the dance selection, it invariably makes me think of Snoopy's happyfoot dance. So, without further ado, here's Gene's pick for this week...oh, and apparently some of my Navy brethren have waaaay too much time on their hands when on float. Oh yeah, and in order to keep from getting too footloose and fancy free, this is how diversity really works. See anyone concerned about race, religion yada yada?

Post The Colors...The Only Colors That Should Matter

I'm pretty incredulous and more than a wee bit pissed at the Army's knee jerk paean to diversity after MAJ Hasan's successful execution of a domestic terrorist operation at Ft. Hood, Texas.
And I've commented before on the disgusting diversity genuflection of the service academies.
But this post from Powerline shows how entrenched and invidious the diversity game is at Navy and, I can only assume after GEN Casey's comments, West Point.
Followed by some decent backlash snark.

Code of Conduct Training

Interesting photojournal here about the Army's SERE school. Apparently CNN spent some time at Bragg sometime in 2002 and did a CNN Presents on the survival school. What I found most interesting was the hormonal study data presented. And the fact that there are cadre present that have suffered through captivity their own selves.
On the hormone stuff, though, I'd say that it's a pretty bold statement to make that SF guys have a "biological profile" that makes them cool under fire. Most of the smart guys I've spoken to about genetic predisposition for combat performance were adamant that the jury is still out on the whole nurture or nature question (warning, don't click on that link unless you really, really want to get your geek on. Just take my word on it).
Oh, and in researching for this post, I heard that that Elmer Adams guy that's quoted is a Son Tay Raider. Yuh, I guess that gives him creds on talking about stress inoculation.
And, while we're talking about all things SERE, here's a pretty cool tale of Monopoly games with a real "get out of jail free" card. Good stuff.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

Because of my rather robust deployment schedule (Mrs. Mongo has graciously done the math, and I was gone the last 21 of 24 months), my lovely and engaging wife has signed me up for every parental engagement possible. In the month and a half I've been back, I'm definitely well on the way toward winning back all my Super Dad points. So far, I've chaperoned about five school dances, three field trips, and four or five assemblies. She's kept me away from the PTA meetings because she knows that I'd be me.
One of the activities that Mrs. Mongo put on my dance card was going to the 5th grade class for a question and answer session after the school Veterans Day ceremony yesterday. When I was first assigned to a posting in S. Florida, my wife talked to another wife we knew from previous postings who was on the ground, and who said that the best public schools, by far, were down in the Keys. So I bit the bullet (okay, I wasn't given a vote) and accepted the (ass-ripping) commute in order to put the kids in good schools. The schools down here have been phenomenal. I'm pretty hard on the public school system, but have been forced to admit that I could not ask for a better school in which to place my kids.
So, I was given some rough ROE (Rules of Engagement) about what I could, and couldn't, talk to the kids about, and set loose. We had a blast. The kids asked some pretty perceptive questions. I was sorta kinda on the hot seat. When the Q&A was done, I hadn't answered everyone's questions. So, I volunteered to answer written follow-on questions sent home. For shits and grins, here are the follow-on questions and my answers:
Q: How many people have you ever shot/killed?
A: Unfortunately, Army guys have to sometimes employ violence in order to do our jobs. However, it’s not the kind of thing one keeps score on.

Q: Do you have to lift a lot of weights?
A: I have to exercise a lot, but I do not lift weights. I do a lot of calisthenics, sprinting and yoga. Sometimes I will use real-world weights to exercise (like tires, logs, and bricks), but I do not do what one would call “weightlifting.”

Q: How many inches are your biceps?
A: A lot.

Q: What’s the worst weather you’ve ever been in?
A: I have been in a lot of bad weather. I would say that the worst weather one has to endure is when it is just above freezing (say 35-39 degrees F) but raining. That is really miserable, which is why I’m glad we live in the Keys.

Q: Has your Dad’s team ever won once?
A: My team wins every time we go out.

Q: Have you ever laughed during an ambush?
A: I usually laugh after the ambush, once I realize that all my guys and me are okay, and nobody was hurt.

Q: Where is the hottest place you’ve ever been to?
A: The hottest place I’ve ever been is in Hol Hol, Djibouti. It’s the hottest place on earth, and I once spent about three beautiful weeks there.

Q: Are Iraqis nice or mean?
A: The Iraqis I know, and have worked with and lived with, are capable of the most amazing acts of kindness, charity, and selflessness, and the same guys are capable of disturbing acts of cruelty and barbarism. They are very, very different from us, and even after all these years I am still working on understanding them.

Diversity, Dithering, and Damnable Myopia

As Veterans' Day draws to a close, I feel drawn to revisit GEN Casey's statement, highlighted in my previous post.
First, I need to apologize for the childishly trite heading for that post, but it was the only way I felt that I could adequately express my shock and dismay at GEN Casey's statement without letting loose a string of invective at the sentiment contained therein.
Here's the deal: the Army is not strong because of its diversity. The Army is strong because we take a wildly diverse population and bind them to a common goal, and a common ethic, with one set of values (that many wear posted on their dogtags, because, I guess, one can accomplish values training by osmosis). In some ways the Army (or the military writ large) is the ultimate melting pot. We don't care who you are, where you are from, what your race, color, creed, cultural background, or (as long as you don't ask or tell) what your sexual proclivities are. All we care about is that you are constitutionally capable of making the commitment to defend our nation and our constitution.
We are not Army Strong because we've got white, black, red, brown and yellow in our ranks. We are Army Strong because we've got white, black, red, brown and yellow hewing to a common cause: the defense of our nation and our way of life.
Achieving "diversity," in and of itself, is nothing to crow about, unless your objective is so vapid and vacuous that the mere composition of your team is reason enough to declare victory.
These days, I think the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. have been turned on their head. When we pat ourselves on the back for achieving "diversity," we laud our composition merely for the physical attributes with which they were born, and not for the great things that they have achieved. We are navel gazing and preoccupied with the color of our members' skins, and not the content of their respective characters. This is a shame.
And because of the apparent fugue state our fixation with diversity has engendered, I am hearing a lot of smart people say," well, there were red flags with MAJ Hasan, but we shouldn't jump to conclusions."
Got it. But when a Muslim stands up, declares "Allahu Akbar," and starts shooting every Soldier in sight, I know where my investigation begins; I know what a duck looks like, walks like, and quacks like.
Again, I reiterate, I think our Army is far too professional to succumb to "backlash" against Muslims because of Hasan's actions. See, mature professionals are able to point their fingers at singular Jihadi bastards without painting every Muslim with their crimes. When you're not preoccupied with diversity and population composition, you're able to hold individuals culpable for their actions.

Monday, November 9, 2009


GEN George Casey, United States Army Chief of Staff:
"What happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy, but I believe it would be an even-greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here," he said. "We have a very diverse army. We have a very diverse society. And that gives us all strength."

Diversity. I do not think this word means what you think it means.

I'm ending this post now, as I'm at the limits of professionalism, here. Thank you, GEN Casey, for helping me to expand the horizons of my professional comportment.

Piling Higher and Higher

More boo-shit here on anti-muslim "backlash."

Um, you know, I think I'd rather have our government worrying about the anti-christian/jewish/western/enlightened/informed/humanist forelash--forelash? You know what I'm saying.
When you think about it, it's an automatic "win" for the politico-knucklehead that runs out and warns the American public against anti-muslim "backlash." The politician can later have a surrogate portray them as the "voice of calm and reason in difficult, possibly violent times" that helped preclude a backlash. Even though every one of these guys and gals know that the US public is not going to target an entire demographic because of the actions of one sociopath.
Just another example of our political masters acting as political vultures.

A Beautiful Mind

Today is the birthday of the incandescently beautiful Hedy Lamarr.
Not only was she simply gorgeous, she was also a member of the artistic/scientific duo--the other being George Antheil, concert pianist and self-described "bad boy of music"-- that won Patent #2,292.387.
Basically, in an effort to provide the Allies radio-controlled torpedoes, the pianist and the actress developed the first form of "frequency hopping," as a torpedo controlled on a single frequency was too easily jammed.
The concept on which this patent was based continued to grow, and scientists continued to slice and splice the concepts, and Hedy's contribution to science, one can plausibly claim, came to be known as that weird critter "WiFi."
Anyone in the military today can tell you the impact of frequency-hop radios (and anyone who has ever tried to re-set timing or send an IRF in the dark in the rain can tell you that we may well have peaked with Ms. Lamarr).
And, I guess, Ms. Lamarr was pretty "edgy" for her times; in the 1933 film Ecstasy, she apparently spent most of her screen time being, um, what's the word? Nekkid. Apparently (even by today's standards) the film was a wee bit racy.
So, for all of you that either post or prowl pictures of today's beauties--say, Megan Fox, all I can say is: look for a beautiful mind.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Another Chink In The Armor.

Yuh. Gotta keep working on that heartless bastard motif. Shields up.


Still don't get it. In the way one does, in this information age, I followed Starbuck who led me to Attackerman who led me to The Washington Independent which led me to the Association of Patriotic Arab Americans in Military. Their statement on the atrocity at Fort Hood contains the following paragraph:
In the aftermath of this terrible tragedy, it is more important than ever that we not make the same scapegoating and broad stroke mistakes that were evident in the aftermath of previous tragedies. The Association of Patriotic Arab Americans in Military urges the media, government officials and all of our fellow Americans to recognize that the actions of Hasan are those of a deranged gunman, and are in no way representative of the wider Arab American or American Muslim community.

My response to every contact listed on their website is:
We are all reeling with shock and horror after the massacre of innocent Soldiers and civilians at Fort Hood, Texas. MAJ Malik Hasan was a sick and twisted individual, whose savagery and wanton disregard for the sanctity of life mark him as an abomination.

In our diverse and inclusive society, I feel more than confident that MAJ Hasan's actions will be seen accurately for what they were: The actions of a sociopath. However, the APAAM statement about the Fort Hood massacre, while correct in its condemnation of MAJ Hasan, left me confused and more than a little distressed.

Your statement said, in part:
In the aftermath of this terrible tragedy, it is more important than ever that we not make the same scapegoating and broad stroke mistakes that were evident in the aftermath of previous tragedies. The Association of Patriotic Arab Americans in Military urges the media, government officials and all of our fellow Americans to recognize that the actions of Hasan are those of a deranged gunman, and are in no way representative of the wider Arab American or American Muslim community.

Could you please tell me what scapegoating and broad stroke mistakes were made in the aftermath of previous tragedies? Do you mean within the military? Or within American society at large? I feel more than sure that in our current media environment with its instantaneous communications technology and voracious need for content, I would have heard of any hate crimes directed against Arab American servicemen or Arab American citizens at large. Yet I have heard of none, thus far. I did not hear of any after the bombings of our embassies in Tanzania and Kenya by Islamic Arab terrorists. I did not hear of any after the suicide-boat bombing of the USS Cole by Islamic Arab terrorists. I did not hear of any after the bombing of Khobar Towers by Islamic Arab terrorists. I did not hear of any after 3,000 Americans of every race, color, and creed were slaughtered on September 11, 2001 by Islamic Arab terrorists.

Gentlemen, could you please elucidate for me exactly what scapegoating and broad stroke mistakes you are talking about? By implying retributive hate crimes against Arab American servicemen after any of these events, you commit calumny against the vast majority of our uniformed service members (or, if speaking of Arab American civilians, the United States at large) who treat all of their brothers in arms with the respect and trust that is the due of any member of our Armed Forces (and the citizens of our great nation who treat all Arab Americans as, well, Americans).

I hope to hear from you.

I look forward to their response. I think this is the same pablum we've been hearing since before 9/11, and that there is no there, there. Or, I've been missing the boat on Arab Americans being persecuted for who they are rather than what they've done, and I have erred. I will stand shoulder to shoulder with any American, regardless of race, color, creed, or gender, and defend him against assaults on his God given rights. That was the impetus of the oath I took more than twenty years ago: I will defend our Constitution, and all of our citizens, unto death.
I'll let you know what the response is, if any.

MAJ Malik Hasan: Murderous Dog

As I read the coverage of MAJ Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, mental bullshit flags are flying left and right.
First of all, I'm getting tired of hearing about "fears of a backlash" against Muslims:
Barack Obama today joined calls from across America for calm amid fears of a backlash in the wake of the shooting spree by a Muslim soldier at the Fort Hood that left 13 dead and 28 wounded.

Apparently, even the Army is getting into the act
Army Chief of Staff George Casey said ..."I do worry slightly about a backlash" against Muslim soldiers in the Army...
Does anyone even know of any real, substantiated cases of "backlash against Muslims" in this country since 9/11? I am so tired of hearing this trope, and am especially dismayed that the Army is knitting its brow in concern for our Islamic soldiers. Not going to happen: our force is too professional to allow any instances of backlash to foment, and I think our society is too inclusive and diverse for it to become a problem in this country. Sure, Hollywood will always weave a thread of American intolerance into its tales, even on shows I like, like 24, in order to demonstrate a societal moral equivalence between our cultures: "oh, see, we all must suffer violent extremists in our midst." Not happening.
Also, it looks to me a lot like news shows are bending over backwards to avoid intimating that Hasan was an Islamist/Jihadi son of a bitch. All kinds of reportage that "he was distraught over his impending deployment."
Bullshit. Not only are we an all volunteer force in general, but any soldier can get out of any deployment by going to an Army headshrinker--like Hasan--and saying "I feel stressed, this is making me homocidal/suicidal." Bam, instant relief from deployment requirements. [I know a guy that got sent back from Iraq like that; he wasn't "battle fatigued," nor was he suicidal/homicidal. He was a coward who verbalized those sentiments to a headshrinker specifically to get out of combat.] But our Soldiers didn't just volunteer for the Army, and then suffer the vagaries of being arbitrarily or wantonly flung into the combat zone. Instead, they volunteer every day, slugging it out to protect our country, when any one of them could get a ticket home with minimum effort. You can get out of combat by saying you're feeling homicidal, with no need to actually commit homicide. And there's no way that Hasan didn't know that.
Most rational people wouldn't need to pull out Occam's razor to start an investigation into Hasan's motivations with a look at the possibility that it was Jihadi movitivated. It is a plausible start point, it's rational, it's just not politically correct.

Term "Stone Cold Stud" is not Gender Speciific

A stud is a stud. Thank you Officer Munley, from all of us.


I'm pretty much a heartless bastard. I've worked very hard to become so. Still, this article demonstrates that I've still got some chinks in the armor. Damn, my allergies must be acting up again. I gotta go blow my nose.

High Seas Seizure

I'm sure that the Israeli seizure of the largest weapons cache ever interdicted going into Syria/Lebanon on an Iranian ship is an anomaly. No harm, no foul, right? We can continue "negotiating" with the Iranians on their nuke program in good faith. This is not an indicator that the Iranians would ever be duplicitous.
The Syrians say they don't know nothin' about it, so it must all be a big misunderstanding, right?

Question is, is Schultzie a metaphor for the Syrians, or the American negotiators?

Fort Hood

Nothing to contribute on the slayings at Ft. Hood. Prayers go out to the families, friends, and brothers-in-arms of the fallen and the injured.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Warrior Song

Okay, I'm old (relatively), broken (sorta/kinda) and bitter (after this last deployment, but I'm working through it).
Yet lo, after all all these years, this still pumps my 'nads. Fuckin' A.

H/T Tgace

Then, Just Like That, He Was

If your wacky, devil-may-care, acrobatic aviation paison offers you a once-in-a-lifetime shot at going up into the wild blue yonder, make sure you know the approved handholds. Approved handholds.

Again, from AoS.

Not Just A Hero...

...but also a stone cold stud. Mortally wounded with three GSWs to the chest and abdomen, the officer/agent scores a head-shot from 30 feet. Damn. We should all be humbled by that convergence of commitment and competence.