20090627

27JUN09 Electronic Freedom quashed by China and Iran

Financial Times article worth reading. China turns Internet service providers (nationalized) into state agents, while Iran simply pulls the plug on items to keep word from getting out.

The CIA should just air deliver mobile internet devices that transmit strait to satellite to allow Chinese and Iranian people to access the Internet. At the least, we'll piss them off while allowing news out. Who knows, maybe they'll succeed in overthrowing the oppressive regimes in place...

20090622

22JUN09 Color is boring...

...stick to other black and white techniques!

I'm working on a new project, and its sapping some sanity:




Really, I'm horrible with color theory and painting. In fact, I've laid off of digital art for that reason the last couple weeks. I've been drawn back to black and white ink using various techniques like Stippling and Cross Hatching. Both are old fashioned print making techniques employed by master artists such as Virgil Finlay. However, I'm nowhere near that level of mastery. For that, check out the work of Bobby Kro or head to the library and pick up a volume of Virgil Finlay's work. I've also found an interesting correlation between these two masters of the dot and hatch, they are both veterans (Finlay US Army at the battle of Okinawa during WWII, and Kro USMC Vietnam)... Must be proof that mastery comes with the work ethic the military instills!

However, as painstaking as the techniques can be, they allow for absolutely incredible black and white effects that, in my not at all humble opinion, blow away color work. That and I'm a sucker for publishable artwork, and nothing is easier to publish than good ol' black and white line and dot work! Somehow I can wrap my brain around these techniques better than I can color, yet where I run into trouble is having the patience to be able to sit and put thousands, to hundreds of thousands, of dots on a sheet of paper instead of lines... That or hundreds to thousands of tiny lines for hatching! However, if I get this done, it'll be well worth the effort.

I might even put up as an entry in the Tananna Valley State Fair, if they decide to let us carry concealed on the fair grounds. Last year, the idiots about tore the place up and tried to scare families away by acting like gang bangers. Time to put a stop to that and either arm the security personnel, or let us carry like the law says we can (private property owners can set limits however, and Tananna Valley State Fair has...).

20090619

19JUN09 Northern Edge 2009, why am I at home?

Elmendorf Air Force Base news page.

I know for a fact that in the past, members of the Alaska State Defense Force have been involved in this exercise, if for nothing else but to provide a Liaison Officer (LNO) so that agencies involved know we would be a player in a real event. To my knowledge, we are not haven't been authorized to be players in this event lately (2005 was the last time I heard about someone being activated for the event). I've also known about at least two mass casualty exercises where we were contacted and ready to provide players for, yet didn't for various reasons.

I'm going to investigate and go through my chain of command and report back here when I find answers, satisfactory or otherwise. This is an issue of the security and public safety of the State of Alaska, and not politics. If there are politics (and I know there are some between the Alaska National Guard and the Alaska State Defense Force) involved, I will let you all know. That would be a completely unsatisfactory reason for not being involved in critical training exercises and opportunities. I know for a fact, 3rd Battalion here in Fairbanks has a great relationship with our local National Guard, State Troopers, and Ft. Wainwright; I'd hate to see that all fall by the wayside over lack of face time during training exercises because people down in Anchorage are having pissing contests.

I've been through two tours in Iraq, one of which with a unit I didn't have the opportunity to train with. Face time is critical for interfacing with people and chains of command for coordination. I've received great training from our Battalion, training that in some cases was much better than some I had active duty wise. However, thats all been internal working toward Constable certification. That won't do us much good if we aren't getting out there and involved in mass casualty exercises or Operation Northern Edge planing for statewide contingencies (terrorist attacks, disasters, nuclear strikes from North Korea, etc...).

Security of the State of Alaska is my primary concern. Politics and pissing contests between National Guard and State Defense Force chains of command are not, and severely degrade our ability to protect Alaska and our families.

19JUN09 General and Senator...

...My head just exploded and sent fragments across my living room.



Senators are elected. Sure there is some work involved in culling the popularity of your constituents... However, I'm pretty sure that this Brigadier General has at least 25 years of time in service, and had to have his promotion from Colonel to Brigadier General approved by Congress. Somehow I suspect that the General worked MUCH harder than the Senator to get to where he was at.

Arrogance. As a Citizen, I outrank you Senator, you will address that Brigadier General as 'Brigadier General' and thats an order Senator, because you work for ME Citizen Michael Joseph Sutherland and therefore you will address me as 'Mister' or 'Sir'.

20090616


My first fruits of the season! I wish everything grew like radishes! Easy, fast, and pretty tasty... In small quantities anyway!


My root garden, left to right, carrots, radishes, and green onions.


My tomatoes for this year, hopefully they make it!


Mostly dirt with two lettuce looking plants out of six planted... Peppers failed completely! Needs more potting soil.

16JUN09 Government rants...

Things I need to get off my chest (its a blog see, and thats what its here for see... capiche?).

Letterman needs to worry about Todd more than Sarah. I suspect he'll be staying away from Alaska (or at least as far as the max effective range of .50 BMG projectiles...). He finally apologized for being a 62 year old pervert joking about a 14 year old girl having sex and getting knocked up. I think the apology is good enough to keep his job, as long as he apologizes to Todd Palin in person for insulting his baby girls and takes his licks like a man. I'm a dad, a brother, and a husband. You get vulgar about my wife or if I have daughters, you will get socked or beat severely. You actually get physically vulgar, you will feasting on your own testicles... Nuff said. Perhaps if want a more polite society, the practice of dueling should become legal again... Or at least decriminalizing a father taking men like Letterman to the back alley for lesson in manners... Freedom of speech comes with a willingness to accept the consequences of your words.

Panetta is playing politics with the security of this country. Hopefully, Cheny's assumption, that he was misquoted is correct. Again, it seems that politics and pointing fingers at the 'evil past' is more important than doing your job. Panetta is just plain the wrong man for the job, they need a former operator from the CIA to be DCI and not a former politician. Politics in the CIA, and everywhere in the national security world, is what allowed 9/11/01 to become what it was (I think Gary Bernstein, author of "Jawbreaker" would be a good sound choice...).

The UK has determined that courts can strip bloggers anonymity... Which is quite worrisome, but considering the circumstances involving a police blogger and sensitive information regarding on going investigations (for us military/former military folks, OPSEC!) they ordered his identity be known. He faces reprimands now. Something to watch, while I almost can see the courts decision making sense, this could easily be abused by the wrong people in the UK.

Worst of the Worst. A fine example of the need for the death penalty. Nuff said.

Obama and Bush, no transparency regarding White House visitor logs. Well, its good to actually see MSNBC outraged by this move from the Obama Administration. It would be wise for the Obama Administration to release this if they want to continue pushing the idea that they are more transparent than they're predecessors...

ABC is giving the Obama Administration the Democratic House and Senate free air time, devoid of any Republican opposition points of view, to promote they're health plan. My only problem is that they are doing it for free when they need to charge the DNC money for use of air time for political adds. Since they have no opposing points of view, they can't pass it off as a debate or objective journalism now can they?

20090615

15JUN09 TACP Styker update from Sudsy's Tactics...

I've also given it its initial coat of paint, Vallejo #922 U.S.A Uniform from a WWII paint set. While its not precisely 'medium green' its as close as I've got and if memory serves me correct is about right for this Stryker! As a primer I'm using 1:1 scale Krylon Camouflage Olive Drab! I'm pretty impressed with how its working on the scale model!



Here are the PE parts I had in the earlier posting:


Not too shabby! Now I'm going to figure out where to go from here. I've got the loads of PE parts from Eduard for the Trumpeter kit, hopefully it will work on this version (needless to say, internet searches cannot come up with a separate product for the AFV Club kit...).

More to follow (I hope...).

20090612

12JUN09 North Korea, and baseball bats...

Russia and China, reluctantly, now support more sanctions against DPRK (North Korea) in response to the latest nuke and missile tests (and rantings and ravings from the spoiled brat Chonger). Kim Chong Il, has found a successor, his 25 year old son.

In New Jersey, civilized as they are more so than us folks in Alaska, a 17 year old faces charges for using a baseball bat and Jeep to assault a 16 year old. But of course, we just a bunch of hicks, we'd just pull out our scatter guns and finish it... So, maybe they should seek to limit access to vehicles since they ARE deadlier than guns, and hurt kids more than guns...

You call that a good joke? Amateurs! When my Dad was in the Air Force working with satellites, he told me about a great prank they played on the Russians, well not him personally... However, at one base where they knew the Russians were watching from space, they made 12" Russian letters and put them on the roof to spell something much more vulgar! It caused an international incident... While confirming we knew the Russians were watching!

Obama fires Ameri Corps Inspector General? One who busted his buddy for using government grant money to get his car washed... Go figure, crony ism. What else do you expect in politics though?

20090611

11JUN09 Holocaust Museum shooting, being blamed on 'Right Wingers'?!

Complete loon, 88 year old James W. Von Brunn, shoots up the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC (so, about that gun ban, hows that working DC?), and its the fault of 'right wing conservatives' according to the Daily Kos. Of course, only Conservative Republicans hate Jews and blacks... (just try not to remember Jeremiah Wright, Obama's preacher) Bull Shit! Oh wait, we don't want any gun bans or gun control, therefore WE are responsible for Von Brunn obtaining a rifle? BULL SHIT! Murder will happen when murder is written on a mans heart, no matter the weapon used. Whats nuts, is how much telegraphing went on for DECADES, this man was being watched and still was able to pull this off. They should have locked him up for life after his first arrest in 1981 attempting to shoot Federal Reserve Board Governors! Of course, this is the latest in a 'string of shootings' justifying the DHS report about 'Right Wing Extremists', just never mind the Recruiter shooting carried out by a home grown Islamist terrorist (or the Oakland CA police officers killed by a Left Wing Black Panther Party member...). 4 abortion doctors killed in 20 years is trend toward right wing Christian extremists terrorism, while 3500+ Americans killed by Islamic terrorists shouldn't result in focusing our efforts in that direction.

Neo-Nazi weirdo conspiracy theorists are not right wing, nor are they left wing. They are just plain 'out there' with the 9/11 Truthers, Lunar Landing deniers, and Alien Abductees....

Speaking of UFO ET believers, the military is going to cease allowing scientist to access data from some of its early warning missile detection systems (the kind that will warn us when North Korea sends up missiles...) for use in studying fireballs from space. Most likely, because now there is a nuclear armed rouge state that 15 years ago wasn't a big concern (end of the Cold War and the false sense of security that prevailed...). Expect MUFON to go nuts over this one. Hey, NASA and other astronomers had the privilege of studying this natural phenomena to understand it for 15 years when our threat level was low, and now the world has changed. Sad but true, science will have to be put in the back seat in the name of security for the time being. Besides, I'm sure they can still get the data, just not real time any more.

Connecticut is continuing to erode the First Amendment rights of the Roman Catholic Church. Remember that law they almost passed attempting to force the Churches to re-organize in a manner proscribed by the State? Well, the Church provided transportation to its members to a rally, and in doing so is being charged for lobbying without permission due the costs exceeding $2,000. So, its an attack on the Right to assemble peaceably, the right to free speech, and the ability to worship freely! All rolled into one! Got to love the Peoples Democratic Republic of Connecticut! Meanwhile, on another side of town, a human skull was found at the site of a drug bust, and the room it was found was obviously mean for ritualistic sacrifices. Its not quite clear yet if the group was voodoo or just plain Satanic... Also found was a beheaded chicken with blood draining into a bowl...

What a hell of a day...

20090609

09JUN09 one of my hobbies, and a brush with history...

A recent trip to my local hobby shop, Models Enterprises in Fairbanks, surprised me immensely. I found a 1:35th scale M1130 CV Stryker by AFV Club. That in and of itself is no surprise. What did surprise me however was the fact that they included parts to turn the CV into the TACP Stryker! I was one of the first Airmen in the Air Force to work out of one of those variants, my squadron at the time, the 3rd ASOS, and our brigade the 172nd Stryker Brigade were the first to receive this particular variant! Here is the AF.mil article dated 05MAY2005!

USAF Photo

Personal Photo

Let me give you some of the details about the TACP variant rollout that the AF.mil article, and the Pentagon News Channel didn't go over. Or actually, the fallout from the rollout footage and article...


USAF Photo


Personal Photo

As you can see by the camera man on the left side of the photo in between Strykers, the Pentagon News Channel filmed the event also! However, that lead to CMSgt of the Air Force (at the time) Murray seeing his Airmen wearing 'a damn Army uniform'. This resulted in a phone call to the 354th Operations Group Commander bitching about "What the hell are my Airmen doing wearing a damned Army uniform" (rumor... call is true however) which resulted in our squadron being informed NOT to wear ACU's and get DCU uniforms ready for the deployment. Fun, my DCU's were from 2002 and still had my Airman First Class stripes on them along with my Ft. Riley 1st Armor Division (3rd BDE was there in 2002 until recently when the 1st Infantry Division returned to Ft. Riley). I remember running around on Eielson AFB in DCU's for a couple weeks until a call came down informing us that we could wear the ACU's that were issued to us for this deployment!


Personal Photo

Now, on to the kit!

The four shock absorber covers on the lower hull, parts P-10 and P-11. Somehow, I managed to fold them correctly...


I assembled the photo etched parts (P-10 and P-11 respectively) that go over the shock absorbers pretty easily. The highlighted part is P-7, the photo etched bolt and washer. As long as you cut them out carefully, on a piece of wood and use your finger nail to hold them in place, they don't go flying. I managed to use moisture on my finger tip to pick them up and place them roughly in the right spot, then used my hobby knife to get them right where I wanted them before the CA glue dried up.


Here are some styrene bolt/washers that came attached to the side of the parts sprue A. These were the worst to attempt to work with mainly because I had to carefully shave them off without losing them! After that, aligning them was the hardest part. However, as you can see here, the results were rather rewarding!


This is as far as I am right now, I do have a large portion of the lower hull completed as far as drive train and axles in place, that will be another article here shortly.

20090608

A bit late, but a fitting tribute to D-Day



It makes me almost cry that Google decided to commemorate June 6th as Tetris creation day instead of honoring American, British, French, Belgian, Canadian, and many other countries men who hit beaches that morning 65 years ago...

20090605

05JUN09 Under the nuclear shadow again, then again it never went away...

...we just got complacent.

Here in North Pole Alaska, we rest approximately 15 miles south of Fairbanks and Ft. Wainwright, and about 10 miles north of Eielson AFB; along with being 90 miles north Ft. Greely and Delta Junction, the current home of approximately 28 interceptor vehicles in the Alaska portion of the Missile Defense Shield. Our state also happens to contain the largest US population center nearest North Korea, Anchorage. Near Anchorage is the port of Valdez where the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline terminates. Talk about strategic terrain, Billy Mitchell wasn't joking in his assessment of Alaska as being some of the most strategic real estate on planet earth!

Secretary of Defense Gates just got done with a visit here to Ft. Greely, and certainly hope he is having second thoughts about the $1.8 billion cuts he is supporting from the Obama administration targeting the funding for the Missile Defense system. Its highly likely North Korea has achieved, and at the very least got closer to achieving, the production of a nuclear warhead.

Knowing a bit about the geography near Alaska's American Legion Post 30 in Moose Creek, you can imagine the impact that a North Korea could have on the US economy by targeting the Interior of Alaska. We have a refinery in the town of North Pole, and the pipeline along the surface. At the very least, oil will go through the roof... Along with the damage to one of the closest Air Force bases to the Korean Peninsula that would be a major refueling point for aircraft deploying to the region. Our refinery resources produce more aero-fuel than vehicle fuel for a reason. Chinese, and Russian aircraft frequently pass through Ted Stevens International Airport down in Anchorage for refueling, the impact of a nuclear attack on Anchorage would be much more devastating than a strike at the interior of Alaska. Not only is 2/3rds of Alaska's population in the area, but Anchorage is a major port where the rest of the state is supplied from, international air carriers would be interrupted affecting lines of communication in the entire Northern Pacific. China, Russia, Japan, and Canada would be affected by such an attack.

It never ceases to amaze me how the very people who opposed nuclear missiles, and thereby the deterrent effect that necessitates the ownership of such firepower, are the same people fighting a system that would safely allow the US to reduce its nuclear arsenal (notice I don't say get rid of... sad to say, nukes are here to stay if we chose to exist). One begins to really wonder, are the opponents of both nuclear weapons and the missile defense system really motivated by ideals of peace? Or are they fed the arguments and supported by other malicious forces? Does idealism blind them that much?

Well, if North Korea decides to launch a nuke at my home, that simplifies my life immensely. If the Interceptors work, I'll live even if I don't have electronics due to the EMP hitting from the blast of the warhead. Sure, it might get blasted close enough for that, maybe even some residue radiation that might force me inside for a time, but that sure beats the heck out of annihilation! I'm willing to accept that much risk. It beats the old option of MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction), and dying knowing we MIGHT shoot back with our nukes. If the interceptors fail, could you make sure we shoot back? Please?!

Time to pick up the science fiction of the 1980's again, re-read the wisdom of Robert A. Heinlein, Jerry Pournelle, and Larry Niven in regards to the need for a viable defense against ballistic missiles, because MAD is for the truly mad (perhaps I should be politically correct and say 'mentally ill' politician). I wonder if the L4 society that promoted 'star wars' still exists... I might need to sign up.

Check out "33 Minutes"

20090602

02JUN09 Crime, but not Domestic Terror, yet...

Scott Roder, who shot Abortion Doctor Tiller was charged with murder today, along with Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad who shot two US Army Recruiters in Little Rock Arkansas. It should be noted that Scott Roder has been classified as a 'domestic terrorist' by NOW and other liberal organizations, I however feel he's just a murderer (no matter how I feel about Tiller). Roder has some issues with mental health, and has many ties to some very extreme anti-government groups, in fact some of these people who were part of these movements were kinda freaked out by Roder sometimes... Regretfully, we'll likely see the DHS and other law enforcement agencies under the Obama DOJ start pushing more and more reports about 'Right Wing Extremism' based on Roder's actions...

...meanwhile, Muhammad's case could very well be a true case of Domestic Terror. Here we have an American, originally Carlos Leon Bledsoe, who converted to Islam who takes up Jihad. How?

"Muhammad was under "preliminary" investigation by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force after visiting Yemen and being arrested there for using a Somali passport — even though he's a U.S. citizen."
FOX News

Recruitment. How he became radicalized prior to leaving country is something we need to find out. I strongly suspect terror ties to be discovered here, with connections to other radical Islamic terror groups overseas. This is domestic terror here. Roder is a criminal, who despite connections to various groups, acted of his own volition to commit an act of violence at an individual he hated. Muhammad (Bledsoe) is a terrorist, who in his travels overseas more than likely picked up some orders from outside groups bent on causing specific damage to instill fear and terror for a political purpose. Also, Muhammad isn't the first or the last, within the last decade his kind has grown by leaps and bounds beyond anything that Roder's old friends have ever produced.

On a lighter side, Windows 7 is coming out this holiday season, and after beta testing it I'm looking forward to it. Vista just sucked... However, Google isn't letting that happened un-opposed! Enter another Operating System for the the market to consider! ANDROID, based on Linux! That is exciting! I find it incredible and I certainly wish Google well, as a Linux and Mac OS/X user (as well as Windows) I'm happy to see another OS go and challenge Windows. Maybe the EU will back off Microsoft's case and let capitalism work. Linux is a great, stable, and free OS based off the old UNIX model, also based off of UNIX is Mac's OS/X. Linux and OS/X are darn near as hacker safe as you can get, while Windows is pretty easily compromised for the time being. Security and stability! I look forward to Android....

20090601

01JUN2009 North Korea heats up, and acts of violence in Witchita and Chicago...

The not so Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North Korea, 'Democratic Peoples Republic of' being the dead give away that its a Communist dictatorship) is ready to test a new long range missile capable of hitting Alaska. I believe now would be a good time for coming up with a mass disaster plan in the state of Alaska with regards to nuclear, biological, and chemical attacks from ballistic missiles. Sure, we've got the missile defense shield based out of Ft. Greely, and they are confident that they can intercept a DPRK missile (which I don't doubt for a second, now Russia and Chinese missiles like the Topol-M...) the contingency of Alaska getting hit should be a factor for consideration by the State, Federal, Borough, Tribal, and local governments. There is no telling where such a missile would impact if it hit Alaska, even if it was targeting Anchorage, Ft. Greely, or Fairbanks; if intercepted it might be knocked off course, or it might not get intercepted and just miss. Nuclear and chemical weapons are area effect weapons, you don't need precision guidance (especially for nuclear) as long as you can hit near the target (my Father was fond of saying "Almost don't cut it except in horse shoes, hand grenades, and thermo-nuclear warfare"). A good sign, despite DPRK saying it will no longer honor the 1953 Ceasefire, is that Russia and Japan seem to be on board with containing DPRK's nuclear capabilities. Now, if we can get China onboard too... Considering the Korean War's initial start and the backing of Communist China and Russia that DPRK had, the situation now is much better should the Ceasefire collapse over nuclear weapons.

Dr. Tiller has died, and not naturally or in a good way either. Many will recall Dr. Tiller was a provider of late term abortions (a rather sickening procedure). Every Pro-Life organization obviously opposed this, and stood up against it; and I believe every single one of those groups (except the Westboro crowd) are condemning the attack as we all rightly should. Of course, the usual suspects are screaming about 'domestic terror', like NOW. I believe that once again, we'll see some more Dept. of Justice/Dept. of Homeland security pressure on anyone of the Pro-Life persuasion who protests... At least they have napped the shooter, and might charge him of his crimes today. Of course, there were red flags about this guy. When you have members of the 'Freeman' movement and the former leader of the Kansas Unorganized Citizens Militia saying he was 'fanatical' you know there are some issues. Quite possibly psychological...

Chicago's gun laws seem to be working great, for the criminals. Within 24 hours, they've had seven people killed throughout the city. I wonder what would have happened if someone targeted, or near a targeted individual, had been armed with a legal concealed handgun? To add insult to injury, BHO's hometown police don't even have the suspect in custody. Go figure a sociopathic shooter who takes out the abortion doctor in Kansas gets nabbed (most likely by Pro-Life, Pro-Gun police officers...) the day of his crime; and the high tech, well trained, National standard, professional (and likely anti-gun, anti-concealed carry) Chicago Police Department can't catch perpetrators of 7 murders in less than 24 hours. Of course, in a population that size...

Finally, Venezuela has purchased a large block of MANPAD's from Russia. SA-24 Grinch, to be exact. MAN Portable Air Defense systems, which could end up in the hands of FARC in Columbia considering Chavez's support of FARC. FARC is a Communist/Marxist/Socialist rebel group that once recieved support from the USSR, then with the fall of the USSR started becoming self supporting using kidnapping and the already in place drug trade. With the rise of Chavez, they are back to getting backed by a Communist dictator. Of course, drugs just happened to pop up in the US during the height of the cold war, with a big drug culture among 'anti-war' Hippies and Socialist activists... A tradition continued today. I should be obvious to anyone that the Communist/Socialists want a drugged and happy population in which they can move in and come to power (from within). Stay away from drugs, THEY will enslave you in more ways than you know...

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