20150224

24FEB2015 American Sniper needs no Oscars

American Sniper, the movie based on the best selling book by the SEAL Sniper Chris Kyle is the best war moving I have seen to date.  I don't give a damn what the Academy thinks.

Oscars pale in comparison to the awards this movie has earned.  America just is unlikely to realize it publicly.  I just doubt there are very many Iraq Veterans who won't connect emotionally with this movie in some way shape or form.

Taya Kyle, Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, and Clint Eastwood; I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the artistic masterpiece you all brought to life.  I watched the movie in it's eighth week here in Omaha, and the theater was packed.  This alone doesn't show how much of a masterpiece it is, but it does show how appreciated this movie is here given that it was opening weekend for another big name movie.

Know this, the intangible awards this masterpiece on film has earned run deeper in the hearts and minds of men and women like myself.  Emotional response to events similar to those we personally experienced or witnessed in Iraq, or more specifically, upon our return to 'normal' life.

Mr. Cooper and Ms. Miller's interaction on the screen in their roles as Mr. and Mrs. Kyle was indeed haunting for me.  I was able to see what my wife experienced dealing with me when I returned from Iraq the first in February 2006.  For once the world gets to see what that is like without the negative stereotypes Hollywood has made all too common since the 1970's in 'war' movies.  For once, I got to see a glimpse of what my wife had to put up with to some extent.

Re-experiencing some painful memories can indeed be exceedingly therapeutic.  In a lot of ways, that is what this movie can do for a lot of Veterans.

Mrs. Kyle, thank you for your gift.  Please accept my small offering of tears in lieu of a gold statue 'for best picture'.  

20150219

What's All this Hooplah over the A-10 Warthog Anyway?

What is all this hoopla about the A-10 Warthog anyway?

Recent political conversation regarding the continued funding for the Department of Defense has resulted in a loss of common sense and a path toward the mistakes of forgetting history.  Budget cuts from the Obama Administration have forced US Air Force Generals to start cutting.  Being the fighter jocks they are, they have started cutting anything that doesn’t have a pointy nose, as most generals in the Air Force got there flying F-15 or F-16 fighter aircraft most of their careers.  Almost all of them see the Air Force as the premier air superiority force in the world, and in that regard history has yet to prove otherwise.

Air Superiority being pretty much gained in every conflict up to this point, as we have yet to fight a real air force since the Second World War such as one the Soviets amassed during the Cold War, the Air Force has done very little dogfighting.  In fact, most of the Air Force mission has been in the supporting roles of air transport and delivering munitions on the ground kinetically. 

There are two servicing desired mean points of impact (DMPI), or as more bluntly dropping bombs and strafing targets.  Air Interdiction (AI) and Close Air Support (CAS).  I will extrapolate on these terms in simple English.  AI involves going deep behind enemy lines and destroying combat power and infrastructure, weakening the enemy before they can bring forces to bear on our troops.  Examples of AI include the bombing of German industrial facilities during the Second World War and the bombing of Iraq during the Gulf War.  CAS is the use of munitions in close proximity to friendly forces, often times at their request and in coordination with them, increasing their firepower at a critical point.  Fine examples of this would be an A-10 strafing Iraqi tanks within a few kilometers of our tanks advancing at them from the other direction, or if you see old war movies and fighters are strafing enemy infantry close by to their own forces.

When someone thinks critically, and clearly, about the current conflicts we are engaged in across the globe, and in particular Iraq and Afghanistan, it is painfully obvious to see which one of these missions is being carried out more often for more a sustained time frame.  CAS.  Plain and simple, US and Allied aircraft are not engaged in destroying an enemy’s infrastructure.  ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and any other terrorist organization we are engaged with currently have little such infrastructure that AI would target.  However, they do engage with US and Allied forces in battles that CAS can and does occur.  That is not to say AI does not have a place right now, as ISIS holds enough real estate in Syria and Iraq to now start having such infrastructure developing.

Reports have already come out showing that the A-10C Warthog has already flown about ten percent of the US sorties supporting Iraqi and Kurdish forces against ISIS.  Ten percent is an enormous number of total sorties to fill, especially when the airframe was just very recently brought back into the region for its intended role months after the campaign started.
Despite the astounding service record of this aircraft, only really rivaled by the older B-52 bomber, the Air Force senior staff are pressing forward with retirement plans for the A-10C.  All over funding, funding they feel is better put into a weapon system that many respected analysts are highly critical of, F-35 Lightening II.  Why are these analysts scratching their heads?

While the F-35 is an impressive aircraft, it has its limitations.  Stealth aircraft are not tactical aircraft capable of operating from austere airstrips close to front lines where they can provide CAS on short notice with the extended loiter times such a close proximity to the fighting permits.  Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) was never intended to replace the A-10C, it was geared to replacing the equally older F-X series of fighters, the F-16 Falcon (USAF) and F-18 Hornet (USN/USMC) and AV-8 Harrier (USMC).  Looking at the specifications of the F-35, it does indeed meet these requirements well, especially for dealing with the AI missions the F-16 and F-18 have carried out since the 1980’s.

Checking specifications, we find that the F-35 and the A-10C can both carry about 18,000 lbs of weapons including a bewildering array of smart bombs, missiles, and other such ordnance.  Similarities end with weight however, as the F-35 is armed with the GAU-22 25mm cannon, and only carries 180 rounds.  Sure, there is an external pod option to carry another 220 rounds, but really the gun is not considered a viable weapon system on this aircraft.  Much like the aircraft it is meant to replace (except for the AV-8, which was built as a tactical aircraft).  A-10’s are armed, and indeed the A-X program which spawned it required, built around the GAU-8 30mm cannon.  Not only is the cannon big and bad enough to eat tanks, the A-10 carries 1,174 rounds to feast upon armor with.

Some will respond with something like “But with all these precision munitions, cannons are obsolete and harm the wrong people.”

Senior Air Force staff in the 1960’s felt about the same way.  Back then it was the nature of dogfighting that was changing.  No more dogfights, all engagements would be with missiles from now on.  No pilot would ever see the enemy that close before radar would spot it and they would engage with a missile.  If an enemy plane came too close, they could send a heat seeker up the exhaust of that MiG or Sukhoi Commie bastard.  Yup, that was the logic.  F-4 Phantom II’s were not built with cannons, and the Air Force and Navy paid in spades against the North Vietnamese MiG-17 and MiG-21 which still had cannons when they ran out of missiles.

“But that is air to air, what does that have to do with bombing ground forces.” You might respond.

Everything really.  On Robert’s Ridge during Operation Anaconda, an F-15E Strike Eagle fighter/bomber strafed Taliban positions within less than a kilometer from US Forces.  Even the 20mm Vulcan cannon those aircraft carry can prove critical if used correctly by the pilot and in coordination with ground forces (provided by folks like yours truly back when I was active duty as a Tactical Air Control Party member).  Thankfully, F-15E’s carry around 510 rounds of ammo and were likely able to come around and do a few more passes if needed.  Really, that is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the effectiveness of these Gatling cannons in close proximity to friendly forces for CAS.  A-10’s have an unparalleled reputation on account of the Gatling gun they are built around; they are known and greatly feared as a result.  When it comes to carrying other guided munitions, with the upgrades they recently went through, they do indeed deliver GPS guided Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM).

Drones, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), remotely piloted vehicles (RPV), or whatever the Air Force is calling them this week, have been cited as another replacement for the A-10.  Lacking the main gun, it is certainly obvious why they are a poor choice.  Even the RQ-9 Reaper, which has been equipped with bombs, lacks the capacity the A-10 can provide.  UAVs have great capabilities, and certainly have added a whole new dimension to our ability to strike deep into territory we do not want to risk men on the ground and pilots to hit, but they are NOT a viable REPLACEMENT for A-10s.  UAVs instead complement the capabilities of other aircraft much as the older prop driven FAC-A pilots and aircraft did in the Vietnam War.

Army attack aviation is another reason some senior Air Force officers seem to want to bail on the whole CAS mission.  Again, history shows that this is a poor decision by shortsighted budget minded paper pushers, not the decision a real warfighter makes.  Army and Marine attack helicopters are indeed pure tactical aircraft capable of operating from austere locations with their troops, even better for the Army and Marines, such assets are organic to their forces and at a ground commander’s beck and call.  Fixed wing aircraft, like the A-10 and AV-8, cannot replace helicopters any more than helicopters can replace fixed wing aircraft for CAS.  Nothing is more deadly than combing fixed wing, rotary, and artillery firepower.  Between the three, there is no gap in air and fire coverage.  This is still critical even in a COIN environment for being able to provide the most firepower in the shortest amount of time at critical points.  I have never met an Army pilot, or Air Force A-10 pilot, that does not realize this point no matter how much they joke about each other.

Currently, JSF and the F-35 have been a drain on military funding for over a decade.  JSF can be considered an expensive failure.  Budget over run after over run, un-proven and failed technology, and inadequate abilities of the airframe itself have destroyed its credibility as a contemporary weapon system.  It is still a viable system in the distant future, as in maybe the next decade, but right now it would be wasteful to pin the hopes of the US Air force upon this system.  Frankly, looking at the last fifteen years, it is nothing short of embarrassing.

More embarrassing than the F-35 program right now is the manner in which senior Air Force leadership is acting.  John Q. Public (jpublic-blog.com) has been covering the stories of the antics senior generals have been resorting to save the F-35 by destroying the battle hardened A-10 community.  I’m not opposed to keeping the F-35 as a viable airframe of the future, but I do believe the F-16 it was intended to replace certainly should go first.  After all, the Air Force has been doing more CAS than AI and dogfighting.  On the dogfighting topic, buying more F-22’s would be more valuable than continuing to invest in the F-35 in that regard if they are looking at ten years out.  Regardless, the antics need to result in some Generals being removed from active duty and sent home to retire.  To do otherwise is to court the disaster of ignoring history, again.

On the 5th of February 2015, Tom Vanden Brook of USA Today wrote the article A-10 warplane tops list for friendly fire deaths  and goes on to report some hair raising statistics.  That is, he quotes the antics of senior Air Force staff and public affairs talking points without question.  Brook starts off his article stating the A-10 has killed more friendly troops than any other US aircraft since 2001, and without missing a beat or asking a question, states that it has killed more Afghan civilians than any other since 2010.  An apple and an orange, if you apply critical thinking; two statistics ten years apart right next to each other.  Another comparison seems to be the continued comparison to the B-1 bomber.  Without question the B-1 is able to carry more, it is a bomber after all, purpose built to carry bombs and cruise missiles.  However, in 2001 when I got my first controls as a young TACP ROMAD, I could not have my control of  B-1 dropping bombs at the range count as ‘graded’ as the Pentagon felt the B-1 would NEVER provide CAS.  Obviously, I am going to stop while I’m ahead and point you to John Q. Public again.  On February 7th he wrote the article Lying to Win: Air Force Misrepresents Combat Records in Campaign to Retire A-10 and rips apart Brook’s article rather nicely, point for point, stat for stat.  Mr. Brook should be ashamed of his lack of journalism; a blogger just kicked his butt with better-researched facts and figures.  Here is gem that is my personal favorite from JQPublic:
“Here are the total raw numbers of US and coalition dead and wounded via fratricide, by platform, since 2001, including both Iraq and Afghanistan   (along with a disclaimer that given the problems already identified with this data, it should not be assumed complete or accurate):

F-18: 98
B-52: 85
F-14: 65
*A-10: 61
F-15E: 53
AC-130: 29
Drones: 17
F-16: 14
B-1: 6

It’s worth taking a moment to register what the inclusion of the F-14, retired since 2006, says about the Air Force’s stretch backward to find enough data to support its objective.”

Pathetic “Big Blue” absolutely against the Core Value of “Integrity First”

Worse yet, a recent article by John Q. Public again calls out the antics of senior Air Force staff, this time with General Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle.  On the 13th of February JQPublic reported the General’s comments about the critical need for survivable aircraft in the wake of Jordan’s loss of one of its pilots in the campaign against ISIS.  Gen. Carlisle seemed to imply that a reason the A-10C is on the chopping block is that because it is not stealthy enough, it is therefore more vulnerable to ground fire that took down an F-16.  You know, the aircraft that was purpose built with two hydraulic systems and a manual back-up flight control, titanium armor made to take the 23mm Russian anti-aircraft cannon fire, and two engines configured to produce a lower heat signature, is as vulnerable as a single engine plane with no armor.  Apparently, those photos and films we see of A-10s returning home with chunks gone from the wings are figments of our collective imaginations.

Far from those two misrepresentations being the worst of it, God forbid you wear the Air Force uniform and speak to your Congressman about the A-10Cs capabilities!  Most especially if you flew it or worked with it on the ground executing CAS.  General James Post will fry for treason for such blasphemy against the Air Force.  DoD Buzz reported on January 16th 2015 that the General had stated “If anyone accuses me of saying this, I will deny it … anyone who is passing information to Congress about A-10 capabilities is committing treason.”  While they are trying to pass it off as “hyperbole” one cannot ignore the implied threat to any Airman or Officer the General made with “hyperbole”.  Someone does need to fry for treason, and that is General James Post for obstructing one of the few rights those who wear the uniform still have while doing so, and that is contacting their Congressman without fear of intimidation from their senior ranking officers and non-commissioned officers for doing so.


In a nutshell, this is what is nagging me about the whole A-10 Warthog retirement.  It is ridiculous to me to see a proven war machine put out to pasture in the middle of a war.  Nothing about this makes any sense with regard to the good of our nations security, nor that of our allies.  We should not repeat history pinning all of our hopes on something that was not even designed for the role we intend to retire a proven system for.  Current senior Air Force leadership needs retired before the A-10C Warthog. 

20150205

Normally I can't complain...

05FEB2015 1545 CST UPDATE:  Mayor ended getting this photo via her Facebook (Public Person) Page and responded with regards to further cleanup efforts that will be launching this evening, all night, and into the following morning.  We shall see.


Living in a city has its perks.  Unlike my time in North Pole (22 miles or so south of Fairbanks) Alaska, I get regular plow service from the public works folks along the streets.  They do a great job (and yes, it ends up costing tax payers more as a result) along the roads.

Just good luck, you are on your own with your driveway.  Never mind if you keep it clear and are diligent about ensuring that your snow ends up in your yard and not the city street...

Just like Fairbanks, one cannot dump their snow into the street, or they will get a bill.  Then again, this is Omaha Nebraska, where they are more civilized and will just have the police cite you instead of the barbaric practice of sending you a snow removal bill.

http://www.cityofomaha.org/pw/index.php/residents2/streets/snow-removal/home-and-business-owners

I did my due diligence of going out during the recent snow storms and shoveling my driveway and sidewalks.  I don't have much to do here as my neighborhood doesn't have many city sidewalks.  However, I made sure my snow was on my yard and not in the street causing the hazard.

This is how I get rewarded for my hard work.  I wake up and get ready to head to class only to find this nice big pile of plowed snow right in front of my Jeep.  At least, right behind where I parked and will have to back out of my driveway.  Yes, that puppy is about three feet wide and five feet long, a true prize snowball of midwestern Missouri River Valley snow pack!

Good job City of Omaha!  I'd have much rather you done nothing and left the road alone as everyone else's driveway along the west side of the street was similar.

I'm glad I am one of those self sufficient 'scary' people who likes to have my 'evil capitalist gas guzzling SUVs' with 4WD.  I plowed right through that baby which only left it compressed and still an obstacle for my wife's 2WD mini van.  This wouldn't be bad as she can park in front of the house, unless these go into effect:

http://www.omaha.com/news/new-omaha-snow-emergency-rules-fewer-parking-tickets/article_7f178141-cd15-5746-a1de-f3289bbf756d.html

"Here's a refresher on Omaha's snow emergency rules:
» If it's an even-numbered day, park on the side of the street with even-numbered addresses. That's the north or west side.
» If it's an odd-numbered day, park on the side of the street with odd-numbered addresses. That's the south or east side.
» “No parking” signs with arrows still must be obeyed. But if the sign says “No Parking This Side This Block,'' you can park there if you're following the even/odd rules.
» Handicapped parking spaces may not be used by any vehicle when parking is prohibited."
So, they really want my money through a citation one way or another don't they?  Blocking my clean driveway with snow from the street...  
Yeah, I'm livid.  Of course, I've contacted everyone I can complain to except the Police department.  I wonder if I can report this crime and have the Police cite the City for dumping snow in my right of way creating a potential accident hazard.  But then, that might create a conflict of interest.  Laws only apply to citizens, not the government or 'public servants'.
So it remains to be seen if the Omaha City Mayor's Hotline is worth it all.  I just got done clearing up to the seam of my driveway.  I can break through and make it to my afternoon classes alright.  Not sure the wife will be able to use the driveway though.
I'll leave you with another view, I risked getting hit by the morning school bus taking this shot.
This reminds me of why I would rather live far from any 'civilized' area and have to do everything myself.  


20141107

Blue Skies Brother...

I bow my head in deep sadness.

On 05NOV2014, I lost a friend in an automobile accident.  He was one of two killed near Chena Hot Springs in Alaska.  Fairbanks Daily News Miner: http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_news/victims-of-fairbanks-double-fatal-vehicle-collision-named/article_4ff69aa2-654f-11e4-bd9f-0017a43b2370.html

Blue skies brother.

Rest in Peace Shane Yoder.

Husband, father, and Soldier for Alaska


Dona Yoder and the rest of Shane's family,

I wish I could express my grief in words.  None come forth.  You are all in my thoughts and prayers.



20130829

29AUG13 Inconvenient Information

With regard to Syria, many are comparing the WMD situation to that in Iraq; and most news stories go something like this Sky News Report: http://news.sky.com/story/1134423/ghost-of-iraq-wmd-haunts-intelligence-agencies "The temptation among some viewing Syria this week has been to see it as Iraq WMD the sequel."

Never mind that the United States did PLENTY of WMD material and weapons throughout Iraq.  One of the more positive items to fallout of the WikiLeaks document leak (for which Bradley Manning has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking), are the intelligence reports stating this fact.  A fact overlooked by every major news organization that talks about the "Iraq WMD scandal" (in the above example, Sky News, but CNN, Fox, NBC, ABC, Huffington Post, and others are just as guilty).

Whats my source?  Well, for one, if you downloaded the WikiLeaks documentation....  Search for it.  Or, you can take a look at these forgotten articles from 2010:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/international/us_did_find_iraq_wmd_AYiLgNbw7pDf7AZ3RO9qnM

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/10/wikileaks-show-wmd-hunt-continued-in-iraq-with-surprising-results/

Trivial amounts you might say.  But then, so is actual hard evidence of 'atrocities' committed by US military personnel against civilians, and I mean that by way of actual war crimes and other crimes (other crimes being assaults, thefts, etc which sadly are unavoidable in any human population).  Fact is, US military personnel are more likely victims of violent crimes by US military personnel than actual innocent Iraqi civilians (especially in cases of rape, just check out the Army sexual assault numbers...).

To say that Iraqi weapons didn't end up in Syria is ignorant.  To say large quantities NEVER made it is ludicrous.  As the WikiLeaks examples show, its probable.  Debatable, yes.  Requiring verification, certainly.
On that note...  I'm largely against actions against Syria.  Why?  Well, strategically that ship sailed when US ground forces largely were pulled from Iraq.  What are we going to do in Syria other than toss some missiles in ineffectively?  Yes, they are killing thousands of their own people.  However, you have the monster Assad on one side and the monsters Al-Qaeda on the other.  For the United States to do anything, other a total invasion in which we must kill the rebels and government forces, is to make a move for a monster.  One that is a dictator willing to gas thousands, and the other a terrorist organization that hit the World Trade Center on 9/11/01 and killed over 3,000 Americans.

We need support neither.  If anything, CIA clandestine operations should be used to spot targets on the ground for Israeli and Turkish bombers...  Pressure should be placed on Russia, Assad's ally in the UN on this matter, to reign his forces in.  Maybe its time for Russia to show the world they actually care more about Syrian civilians more than they care for Assad's business purchasing SAM weapons systems.  At this point, it can be seen that Russia is supporting the monster; like the US with Saddam, they have the obligation to control or remove the monster Assad or his cronies for war crimes.

On another note, with regard to inconvenient statistics...  I know on my side bars I have (or should have) links to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports.  These are very inconvenient for those who support gun control and try to say that Chicago, Los Angles, and Washington DC are safer for having some of the most restrictive laws...  Especially when the rate per 100,000 makes Chicago and DC neck and neck for homicide capitol of the US. However, its harder to see how we compare to Europe and the rest of the world...  Until Harvard did a study: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/08/27/Harvard-Study-Shows-No-Correlation-Between-Strict-Gun-Control-And-Less-Crime-Violence

"...numbers for Eastern European gun ownership and corresponding murder rates, it is readily apparent that less guns to do not mean less death. In Russia, where the rate of gun ownership is 4,000 per 100,000 inhabitants, the murder rate was 20.52 per 100,000 in 2002. That same year in Finland, where the rater of gun ownership is exceedingly higher--39,000 per 100,000--the murder rate was almost nill, at 1.98 per 100,000.
Looking at Western Europe, the study shows that Norway "has far and away Western Europe's highest household gun ownership rate (32%), but also its lowest murder rate." (emphasis mine)
Interesting how that works...  Oh, and about suicides:
"The U.S., which is so often labeled as the most violent nation in the world by gun control proponents, comes in 7th--behind Russia, Estonia, Lativa, Lithuania, Belarus, and the Ukraine--in murders. America also only ranks 22nd in suicides. "
I have an old classmate that attend Ivy League schools who spouts off the same Liberal talking points this report coldly, and concisely, debunks.  Guess one mass shooting (in Norway especially) doesn't make for a violent nation of armed sociopaths after all...  Tragic as they are, they are news because they are so rare, unlike the mafia killings that are rampant in Russia and other eastern European nations (along with terrorist attacks, and yes, government executions of reporters who question Putin).

20130425

25APR13 Iraq's WMDs FOUND, and used by Syria...

As I've stated before, I'll probably go to my grave knowing that Iraq had the WMDs we invaded them to get rid of...  We just showed up too late.  Well, my belief based on various sources (not the least this 2006 NY Sun article http://www.nysun.com/foreign/iraqs-wmd-secreted-in-syria-sada-says/26514/), may very well have proven more solid.

Intelligence has just confirmed that the Bashar Assad regime has used sarin gas on its own people, not once, but TWICE already: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/04/25/hagel-says-evidence-chemical-weapons-were-used-in-syria/  How much do you want to bet its from Iraq?!  If not all of it, some of it.  Syria was the mouse hole by which many Former Regime Elements (FRE) of Saddam's Ba'ath Party escaped prior to the US invasion in 2003 (Assad's party is the Ba'ath Party of Syria if I recall, funny how that works...).  But hey, we are just full of shit right?!

More bodies fill mass graves while the diplomats in the 'international community' talk of strong actions against the regime.  If you were serious, bombs should have been falling there MONTHS ago instead of our wasting time and resources propping up the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Libya you morons.

One can only hope Israel picks up our slack and slags what they can of these supplies.

Meanwhile, the DNI (I pronounce it DeeNye as in 'deny') has confirmed that once again during the Obama Administration that the intelligence community connected all the dots, and failed to stop a terrorist from reaching their target and instigating mayhem (and in this case) destruction: http://freebeacon.com/top-intel-official-the-dots-were-connected/ 

“The rules were abided by, as best as I can tell at this point,” Clapper is quoted as saying. “The dots were connected.”

Clapper’s statement is reminiscent of remarks by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano following the attempted Christmas Day bombing of Detroit-bound flight by the so-called Underwear Bomber Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab. Napolitano went on national television and claimed “the system worked” despite repeated warnings about Abdulmutallab, including an attempt by his own family to alert the US government about the threat he posed.

No shit.  Here they were spending a lot of resources looking at folks like myself (http://trendnemesis.blogspot.com/2009/04/15apr09-stab-in-back.html)...  Well, I guess maybe they should quit worrying about returning GWOT Veterans who vote Pro-Life and Pro-Gun and remember that the real enemies are coming from overseas with a radical view of Islam (well, actually its becoming a 'normal' view of Islam with the radicals believing in the peaceful coexistence with other religions, if the norm is the view of ones who control Mecca).

Oh, and all the while they are cutting the funding to the FAA and blaming the flight delays on Republicans for not compromising on taxation (when the REAL problem is spending on the part of BOTH parties), DHS continues to stockpile ammo that is already scarce.

http://freebeacon.com/well-armed/

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/25/sequester-tight-budgets-means-dhs-buying-less-ammu/

http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2013/04/25/dhs-denies-ammo-purchases-aimed-at-civilians

Yup, they can buy more than two years worth of ammo, but you can't go to the store and buy more than a couple boxes as the demand exceeds supply.  Something tells me DHS is enjoying the opportunity, even if they deny it.  I bet you very soon that it will be more leverage to impose more Federal standards on State and local police and Sheriff agencies as they are also having trouble acquiring ammunition for their officers and deputies.  DHS can deny it now...  But when it happens it won't come as any surprise...

Just like how the Boston Marathon Bombing was committed by Islamic Radicals...  Any GWOT vet could have told you that after a mere 10 minutes of seeing the location of the bombs in relation to each other.  How many times did we clean up after that (or worse, get hit by that) in Iraq and Afghanistan?  Yet there were brainless talking heads comparing it to domestic attacks and saying 'it fits those evil white guy anti-abortion gun rights anti-tax terrorists!'  Yup, sure fit the mold of the criminals who targeted Federal buildings, abortion clinics, and individual doctors...  Yup sure does fit the pattern doesn't it (with the only exception being the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Park bombing in which the guy used PIPE bombs...  yet someone said pressure cookers were a 'favorite' of American "right wing extremists").

So, here are some more articles to make your head explode about how obvious these guys were and how the DHS that is more concerned about me missed the ones who actually want to kill us:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324743704578443322733489866.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories

Boston Herald (not just on DHS/FBI/CIA watchlists, but also on the State welfare rolls):

http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/04/patrick_administration_refuses_to_release_tsarnaev_brothers

http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/04/tamerlan_tsarnaev_got_mass_welfare_benefits

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/congressman-five-jihadists-have-reached-their-targets-united-states-under-barack-obama_719094.html

20121012

12OCT12 It happened again...


Yup, just like Alaska, only it happened MUCH faster here in Nebraska.  It all started when I had to get a permission slip from the Sheriff to purchase firearms...  I questioned "Why, its the same questions on this form as the BATFE 4473 National Instant Check System (NICS) background check?"

Luckily, I'm not in Omaha City Limits.  If I was I'd need to not only have the Sheriffs permission to purchase, I'd have to Register my pistols with the City and ask for the Mayor's permission to have them in my home.

It makes me quite sick...

20120927

States That End in 'aska Part II

After the travels, I was in for some culture shock. Obviously, first thing was the traffic that a city of over 600,000 people can contain. Sure, its not big to some folks... But hey, the entire borough I lived in only contained 90,000 people (and Alaska had under 700,000 last census); I've been out of the traffic situation for over eight years! I will be spending lots of time developing a comfort zone where people weave in and out of four lanes of Interstate (I-680 and I-80) less than three feet from my front and rear bumpers!

However, that was the least shocking part...

...What angers me most about the area, specifically within Omaha City Limits, is the registration requirements and micro managing of your life that goes on. First and foremost in my mind is the requirement of the City to register all pistols in your possession and that you purchase in city limits. This requires a Purchase Permit from the Douglas County Sheriffs Office ($5, fill out what equates to a BATFE 4473, get a background check and then they hand you the card, see http://www.omahasheriff.org/services/gun-permits ), then you have permission to look at and purchase pistols. However, when you decide on one, you are then required to to go to the Omaha Police Department, fill out another form, and register it with them paying yet another few dollars ($15, see http://opd.ci.omaha.ne.us/services/citizen-services/handgun-registration ). You can however bypass most of this by NOT living in Omaha and getting a Concealed Carry Permit (something I intend to do VERY SOON). Oh and even if you get a CCW, just watch out for all the No Guns Allowed (just come in and rob us) Signs around town. I intend to NOT give ANY of them my business and encourage others to do the same.

Then we get into pets... Pets in Omaha must be registered not through the City like most other cities (to include the capital Lincoln), but through the vehemently anti-hunting and pro-PETA Humane Society, albeit a local chapter (unless of course, local Humane Society chapters have nothing to do with the National organization of the same name... I could be wrong, but the connection is too strong...). While I am all for outsourcing certain functions to save taxpayer dollars, I think its ridiculous in this regard as the Humane Society has become a city government agency instead of a non-governmental agency...

...more on this later, as it has a huge impact on my family as my wife is a Veterinarian and has some rather strong opinions about this organization and the influence they wield in the policy realm that has a direct impact on her and her profession. Needless to say, Humane Society favors Animal Rights over Animal Welfare; meaning that they think your dog has rights just as you do. Wonderful isn't it... Never mind that the majority of the members of the American Veterinary Health Association are in opposition to this animistic spirituality that the Humane Society, PETA, and other pseudo-science groups tout (to include President Obama's Regulatory Czar Cass Sunstein). There is a significant difference between Animal Welfare and Animal Rights, and that's going to have to be a blog in and of itself someday.


20120926

States That End in 'aska Part I

I began my journey from North Pole Alaska to Omaha Nebraska on 05SEP2012. Obviously for any move, especially a cross continent move, preparation began months in advance (really about July 2011...). However, that day was when I had everything prepped and loaded into my 2001 Jeep Cherokee ready to hit the road.

My route was planned to take me from North Pole Alaska all the way to Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory of Canada on Day 1. Beyond that I was flexible. I knew that the line I had drawn along the various highways would require some modifications as the atlas I was using wasn't that greatly detailed on where each highway would lead, especially once I was off the Alaska Highway and started taking the Cassier, Caribou, and Yellowhead Highways in Canada. I had driven along the Alaska Highway in 2004 when I first came to Alaska and had some idea of what to expect, especially east of Tok and south all the way across the border until Destruction Bay; narrow, bumpy, and dangerous two lane roads!

What I didn't expect fully was the scenery in eastern Alaska along the ALCAN highway enroute through and beyond Tok. In 2004 when I first drove into Alaska it was smokey with less than ¼ mile visibility due to some massive forest fires in the area (1,000,000 acres burned); driving out in 2012 I has well over 20 miles of visibility and the mountains were gorgeous. What a way to leave with a grand finale of scenery.

I ended Day 1 in the capital of the Yukon Territory, Whitehorse. I rolled in at about 2 AM and spent until about 3:30 trying to find a hotel room that allowed for my pet as well as having vacancy! Lesson was learned, but didn't really sink in, to find a room earlier in the travel day...

Day 2 began after 9 AM with a walk around the block to get the dog ready for the days drive. My goal was to be out of the Yukon Territory by noon... A goal somewhat achieved, however the trip toward Watson Lake and the junction where the Cassier Highway meets the Alaska Highway dips into British Columbia and back into Yukon... Technically I achieved the goal of leaving the Yukon before noon, if you don't count the curve back into the Yukon... Around 2 PM I cut south on the Cassier Highway and entered the Province of British Columbia for the remainder of my journey through Canada. The first section of road from the junction all the way to the village of Dease Lake was devoid of any centerlines or shoulder, and left me with the impression that I found the wrong road until I almost was run off the road by the first few semi trucks heading Northbound! After Dease Lake the road improved considerably. Should you find yourself on this road, plan for the worst section of it to be this portion. Further south, after going to Bell 2 (no kidding, thats the village name...) I saw more black bear than I could count after the dusk. Yes, more black bear than I could count. Should you need to take a break outside of any form of civilization... Remember, the bear safety rules “If its black fight back” if attacked. Outside of Kitseguecla is the Junction with the Yellowhead Highway, I ended Day 2 at about 1 AM in New Hazleton.

By Day 3 I was bound and determined to end in the United States! Easier said than done sadly... I followed the Yellowhead Highway into Prince George where I picked up the Cariboo Highway South all the way into Vancouver BC where I crossed the border. Just outside of Vancouver is where I found the only equivalent to the American Interstate in Canada... I ended Day 3 at about 2 AM in Lynden WA.

Once back stateside everything got easier with our Interstate system. Nothing terribly exciting beyond finally being able to go to a decent gun store again, and visiting with some friends along the way in Idaho and Wyoming. Honestly, those visits made the trip more fun for me, and made lodging and food arrangements so much easier for a couple nights! It was great to get civilized food for a couple meals!