28DEC10 Worse than Cuban Missile Crisis!

Rick Francona has a great article "Nose Under the Tent- Iranian Missiles in Venezuela" outlining the inherent threat of Iranian intermediate range ballistic missiles in South America... Even if they don't directly threaten the United States at the moment. Our allies, and the Territory of Puerto Rico are indeed threatened. Thats not the end of it either, in fact thats just the beginning, once the door is open to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps into the Americas; with our porous Southern Border, what is going to stop them from direct action against the United States? Reading about the IRGC, they are just as capable and deadly as any state intelligence agency... Backed by Islamo-Fascist leadership, we can imagine the terror they will bring with them.

Chavez working with North Korea and Iran is our biggest enemy in this decade. Currently, Chavez is securing himself more power prior to elections by using his new decree powers to take care of flood damage, by-passing parliamentary procedure and blaming the National Assembly of not caring for the people (who elected them...). In an effort to appear to want to stop drug traffic, Chavez has had is force arrest about 12,000 people on drug charges. While on the surface this is an improvement, it is my personal feeling that these people were only arrested because they aren't part of the state sponsored traffic network supporting FARC in Columbia and Chavez's interests in that countries civil war (attacking a US ally in the region).

Nobody should be surprised by these developments, as Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea are very studious in their analysis of American politics and have smelled the blood in the water so to speak with how weak our government currently is with foreign policy. No longer do they have to fear military repercussions for taking increasingly aggressive actions; our nation only wants to 'engage in diplomacy', which means old men (and women) standing around sipping champaign and eating caviar speaking in innuendo while young men spill their blood on the field of battle treated as pawns while the hordes 'migrate' and the terrorists come through with them. The connection has been obvious since 2005 for many of us, and signs where there prior to that. North Korea and Iran have been working close together for decades, especially after the Carter Administration and the Islamic Revolution in Iran created a 'rogue' state. While Russia's support to Iran has been more tacit and more along the lines of Surface to Air Missile (SAM) systems and done so to weaken any US/Israeli response, they have also put pressure on Iran regarding their nuclear program at the same time (due the threat of another nuclear armed country in close proximity to Moscow...). However, North Korea and Iran actively share technology and work together to develop and deploy missiles, along with nuclear weapons. When one does their research, they will find Iran developing home made copies of North Korean weapon systems, and more than likely they are encouraged to do so and share some of the improvements with North Korea. Now, we have the connection with Venezuela...

Current tensions between North Korea and South Korea lead me to believe they are being instigated to test a US response to a possible Korean Ceasefire collapse. For the first time in decades, North Korea is beginning to believe, rightfully so I'm afraid, that they can win the war on the Korean Peninsula. With their allies in the Middle East and in the Americas now, its likely they can very close, especially under the Obama Administration and their obsession with a broken concept of diplomacy and United Nations 'global community' response. North and South Korea exist as two nations because of such foolish notions by Harry Truman and the world in 1953 (Truman should have listened to MacArthur!).


20DEC2010 At the Edge...

Once again, our local paper the Daily News Miner here in Fairbanks Alaska is misusing the term 'militia' again in reference to a rogue gang of mis-guided citizens who erroneously claim to be the Alaska Peacemakers "Militia". How many times have we got to point out that there is only one Militia in Alaska, and its the one with officers appointed by the Governor of Alaska who serve as the Organized Militia, the core leadership, should the Governor call up the Unorganized Militia which encompasses every able bodied male Alaskan from the age of 16 to 70?! Despite the facts, both Schaeffer Cox and Chris Freiberg, along with the Daily News Miner and Southern "Poverty" Law Center continue to connect the term with privately armed mobs of angry people who espouse Conspiracy as fact. Ignorance is bliss (despite being deadly)?! Our press, and I dare say our State Government, do little to combat such ignorance.

However, I believe its part of the unity of effort of our enemies in this world that such events occur within our borders. Between threats of Al-Qaeda attacking during Christmas internally, Border Patrol Agents getting shot along the border, and looming war in the Korean Peninsula, I doubt anyone involved in securing this nation is going to have much of a Holiday season. I certainly don't want to see a nightmare of our world exploding into war during Christams, but its a possibility I cannot overlook anymore. I thought I'd come home from Iraq and live in peace, however I see that there are people in this world, I dare say my home town, who desire to bring war to my home.

It is sad to this state of things in this world. Schaeffer, believe it or not, back in early 2008 made sense before his fall into the Conspiracy laden world of Common Law and the '2nd Continental Congress' in which he came back sounding like nothing more than a Cult Leader. After the letter 5,000 of us signed was delivered to Congressman Don Young at Carl's Junior in Fairbanks, the 2nd Amendment Task Force died. Schaeffer surrounded himself with a core group of hard core 'believers' in the Redemption Movement. He had many diverse organizations infiltrated with his core, from the Oath Keepers (which I first ran across with the 2nd Amendment Task Force), to Interior Right to Life (which told him not to come back after his Domestic incident). He left egg in the face of many prominent Alaskans, from the Mayor of Wasilla, to local radio personalities in Fairbanks.

In a beautiful master stroke, the wet dream of every Liberal critic was fulfilled when Schaeffer left the reservation after his "Continental Congress". Yes, it was so beautifully executed, that I do indeed believe that more than Mr. Cox is behind his own works, in fact I believe more is behind it than even Mr. Norm Olsen and his Alaska Citizens "Militia" (formerly of the Montana Freemen, and Michigan Militia as well...). All I can say, is anyone who has been to the National Training Center at Ft. Irwin California, or the Joint Readiness Training Center at Ft. Polk Louisiana knows what might be coming next. Mostly, if you fought the old Soviet Union style conflict and trained to fight the Red Steamroller, you understand the old trick of utilizing a force behind the rear.

A force composed of 'civilians'. Those who fought in the rice patties of Vietnam know very well, as do those of us who fought in the sands and streets of Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes, we have an internal threat brewing. A disruptive force of our enemies hiding in a veil of 'Sovereign Citizens' who espouse the very same 9/11 Truther conspiracy theories that our radical Islamo-Fascist enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan (along with Iran, Venezuela and North Korea) espouse. Is it really that odd that the same people who make up Christian Identity blame the Bilderberg Group (whom they believe to be a Shadowy Cabal of Jewish Bankers) for engineering 9/11 to get the US caught up in a bankrupting war in Afghanistan and Iraq? We hear the same things being pronounced as fact by the Islamo-fascists in Iran. In fact, I remember David Duke being a guest of Iran and speaking on how fake the Holocaust was... Hmm... Do you not see the manipulation going on here? Do you not see Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea profiting from such internal disruptions?

I don't adhere to Conspiracy theories, however I personally do see an interesting connection here. I think that there is certainly, at the very least, a unity of effort by our external enemies as well as our internal enemies at work here in Fairbanks Alaska. Directly, or in-directly, Mr. Cox is doing the bidding of Kim Chong-Il
, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez, George Soros, and Julian Assange.

I understand that these events are not entirely connected, however it is fascinating that they all seem to hit at about the same time. All the people listed have some desire or agenda they seek at the expense of the United States of America... Some are more complex than others, others are purely self serving to establish their own power over their own spheres of influence.

All I can say, is love your family this Christmas. Family is the most important thing you have in this world; and may very well be all you have left some day...


09DEC10, Axis of Evil update...

Remember when then President George Bush listed Iraq, Iran, and North Korea in the Axis of Evil shortly after 9/11/01 during his State of the Union? Well, we all know Iraq is certainly neutralized and well on their way to becoming a stable nation (as stable as it gets in the Middle East that is...). The conflict in Iraq is hardly over, but that is a fairly normal state for Mesopotamia.

Iran, and North Korea on the other hand...

DPRK (I like to think of them as "DeeP RocK, as they tunnel like crazy...) was in the news recently for committing the worst breach of the 1953 Ceasefire by targeting the a ROK village and ROK Marine base. Currently, tensions have risen (no surprise, however this is a biggie...) and the ROK government has fired cabinet members and Generals over the sluggish response as well as asking the UN to investigate war crimes due to the civilian deaths. This was planned to occur during a preplanned joint military exercise with ROK and US Forces (a once a quarter event, along with DPRK's saber rattling). Sadly, the world keeps forgetting that hundreds have died since the 1953 ceasefire in such incidents... All the result of the UN in the first place (that and Truman not allowing MacArthur to march on China and use nukes, which would have eliminated the worst Communist threat in the East... Harry Turtledove needs to write an Alternate History about this...).

Now, we have an unholy coalition of Venezuela and Iran; with Iran wanting to place missiles in Venezuela (while Iran is developing nukes). Hugo is a chip off the old Communist block of his idol Castro. Only this time, there sociopaths who believe in creating extreme chaos to bring about the Thirteenth Imam behind the button instead of a Khrushchev. Its funny how many people will point fingers at Christians for desiring the End Times and working to bring about chaos (when theologically, that would be heinous to any devout God fearing follower of Christ, if not blatantly heretical...), while showing sympathy to Iran and the other radical Muslims who follow the teachings of the Koran (of which I will with hold most of my judgment until I actually read it as I'm tired of people pulling my Bible out of context...). I go by history as a judge, and its obvious that a Communist/Islamo-Fascist alliance will certainly bring about terror on the scale the world has never known before. So, about our un-secure Southern border and the failed Mexican state run by the drug lords from South America who will work for the highest bidder (to include the FARC backed Columbian cocaine smugglers...).

Then there is PFC Manning (soon to be E-1 Prisoner Manning) who committed one of the worst acts of treason in American history since the day Benedict Arnold turned on us. Giving WikiLeaks thousands of documents, why? Because he's a political activist and homosexual who wants revenge, and likely just hates his country enough to be a hack. Between him and Julian Assange, the damage will occur for decades. I guess its time to return to the days of isolationism and let the world suffer without the United States?! By releasing this data, WikiLeaks has entered the world stage as nothing less than an activist spy agency dealing in intelligence, and therefore no longer a media outlet, but a target for any opposing intelligence agency in the countries they target. Currently, the United States is the target (because if they targeted Russia, the Russians would execute him with extreme prejudice, that and I'm sure Putin is quite happy with Assange). Don't worry, Assange has an army of Koolaide drinking Hackers at his beck and call to do his bidding and get revenge. Currently, they are getting ready to deport him back to Sweden for drummed up Sexual Assault charges (which considering the 'victim') appear dubious. I doubt the CIA to be involved, but with how the world 'thinks' they'll blame the CIA for every bad thing that happens to Assange (if he lives he wins; if he dies he wins bigger), he could get hit with a meteorite from space or a lightning bolt and it would be blamed on some conspiracy by the US Government (just like the Tsunamis in Indonesia a few years back).

So, the stage is set for World War III.

Enjoy, just keep on watching Dancing With the Stars and whining about Bristol Palin getting to the finals in spite of bad form (you think there is reality on TV?!).





We should never forget Pearl Harbor, ever. Nor should we forget 9/11. Every time those two days roll around, our schools should indeed focus on the teachable moments these days bring to our country in regards to vigilance and standing ready.

For me, these two articles are a link to speeches and faces of the survivors that I cherish. Originally, it was an honor to meet these WWII Vets who survived Pearl Harbor when I was a Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadet. I took their advice to heart in many ways, I didn't join the service purely for the college money, I didn't do it just for the trade; I did it because I largely because I wanted to be on watch for a time like my father (Cold War) and grandfather (WWII). For me, on 9/11/01, I was on duty in the right place at the right time (even if I didn't feel that way because I didn't get shipped out right away...). I looked back at these men, and what they said that day in their speeches, and the fragments sealed themselves in my mind forever. They contrast very sharply with the views of one of my very liberal English teachers who laughed at the notion that we needed a strong military to be ready for the day when terrorists would attack our nation. The very idea mad her laugh.

I believe it was Wendell Phillips who stated that "Eternal Vigilance is the price of Liberty" and Thomas Paine who stated "Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." How true they are.


24NOV10 A Perfect Storm Brewing at the end of 2010...

So, at the end of 2010 we have a bit of a perfect storm brewing. But thats actually old news when you really think about it. This is just the latest news stories this week that has me a bit concerned, mostly because its the fruition of stuff I've seen develop over the last decade or so. Much of it has been brewing before my lifetime even...

North Korea shelled a South Korean island near where they sank a naval vessel earlier this year. Yet another round of aggressive saber rattling which resulted in more deaths for South Korea. This is nothing new in Korea, just the latest incidents. It should be noted however, that our President here is pretty weak in his response, and it seems that North Korea is taking full advantage of our current 'diplomacy'. After all, old men can talk diplomacy for years sipping champaign and eating caviar while young men die on the fields of battle or along a strip of Hell known as a Demilitarized Zone.

Both China and Russia are quitting on the dollar, at least for bilateral trade right now. This is certainly a sign of things to come as our dollar plummets due to poor spending polices by Washington DC, and the 'organized decline of the dollar' supported by George Soros and friends. China is far from being a friend the United States despite the billions in trade and massive finance deals between our nations... With tensions in the Korean Peninsula rising and differing opinions between Washington DC and Beijing on how to respond to Pyongyang... Russia, under Putin, is no friend of the United States either. Our interests have clashed dramatically over the last decade, not the least of which is the Arctic.

WikiLeaks is ready to leak thousands of classified US State Department documents alongside the GWOT documents from Iraq and Afghanistan they have already leaked. Again, no surprises here, just an anti-American organization using the idea of 'open society' as an excuse to seek sensitive information and publish it Online to aid the enemies of the United States. I'm all about the declassification of information at the right time as it is critical to history and a free society, however the manner in which WikiLeaks is going is clearly subversive and done in a manner that is meant to destroy the United States. Why else would they be leaking this information? Why else do they desire an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on their terms (a US defeat). I suspect they get loads of donations from Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and George Soros!

At home, on the domestic front, TSA has become a terror to passengers across the United States. Either you submit to allowing the TSO's to see you naked in the scanner, or you get molested by an aggressive pat-down search. Americans are indeed furious, yet Congress reacts by exempting themselves and other government officials?! So, your Fourth Amendment rights mean nothing to the Dept. of Homeland Security Transportation Security Administration... Time to fight back and hammer your Congressman's mail box and inbox with your displeasure! Got to love that Patriot Act everyone bitched about a few years back, and the Left promised to repeal (in spite of authoring it in 1995) that ended up being renewed in the early days of the Obama Administration.

Finally, a side note, but not really because it deals with a Veteran facing stigma due to the fact he faced the reality of killing in war. Because war was his reality, his mind adjusted to the role of being a soldier and having to kill to survive. He decide to write about his experience, and his teacher encouraged him to publish in the college paper, then they off and decide he needed (yet another) psychological evaluation and told him to stay off of campus quoting the Virginia Tech shootings as an example (committed by a non-Veteran, non-citizen). I suppose I shouldn't be frank about my wartime experience and how much I miss some of it in my writing lest I get singled out and told not to go school...


22NOV10 Ice Storm in North Pole Alaska

Well, today the Fairbanks, North Pole, Eielson, and Salcha area is experiencing a nice ice storm. For the next few days, the roads are best traveled on ice skates! This in fact has resulting in our community experiencing events such as school closures, lost work days, and other results of inclimate weather. You would think that Fairbanks would do better when its a gorgeous 40 degrees above outside, but wait, theres more. Freezing rain. Yup, the rain turning to a nice ice glaze on top of the snow pack and our cars!

I've been through this before, in Kansas. We have a beautiful bubble of warm air visiting us from the Pacific Ocean right now. If ever there was an excuse to take Thanksgiving and the entire week off, this is it! Great time for snow balls! This is the first wet snow I've had here where I can make a GOOD snowman! That is, of course if the rain doesn't glaze it too hard first...

My furnace works even better now that its a balmy 30 above! A few shovel fulls of coal lasts 6-8 hours instead of just 4-5 like I would have planned for 20 below or colder. Who says warming is a bad thing... But then, irregardless of the fact that this isn't that unusual (Chinook Winds are common as well, being called the Pineapple Express as they originate in the Pacific as well and bring warm weather in the dead of winter here), the Global Warming apologists are going to scream about the winter of 2010 for decades to come. Never mind the last decades worth of winters being normal, if not colder in some cases... Just keep an eye on that! It'll be interesting.

In the mean time, I'm staying at home. Too many idiots out there that don't remember (me included) or don't know how (darn Californians) to drive in this weather.


Down with the TSA? So, how about Haiti...

Dept. of Homeland Security Transportation Safety Administration has taken Airport Security to new levels of insanity never before imagined except in the worst dystopian future stories by the likes of George Orwell and Ray Bradbury. Congressman John Mica (R-FL) is proposing the idea of privatization and elimination of the TSA, which Federal Law allows airports to do by the way. Of course, there are those of us like myself who have fought terrorists in the deserts, and studied Israeli security measures who agree that El Al's way of doing airport security are superior in every way to our own methods in this country. After all, Israel has faced these threats since the 1940's and we are new to the idea of terrorism by Islamo-fascists... There is something to be said when they study body language and behavior while asking questions instead of searching random children, flight attendants, nuns, and grandmothers. Where is the ACLU when you need em?

We also have Haiti still recovering from a major earthquake, now hurricane/tropical storm hit, suffering from cholera. Its a sad situation as it is preventable... However, the Haitians have taken to violence against the very people sent there to assist in their recovery. Yup, they blame the cholera on the Peacekeepers... Sadly, Haiti is a country ravaged by the worst poverty and despotic regimes (other than Cuba) in the Caribbean, this does nothing for them. If they take up violence against the infrastructure meant to help them, what can we do? Perhaps backing off and letting them deal with the consequences themselves would be better than just dumping food and medicine on them just to see them tear each other and the people we send there to pieces.

Considering the US economy, and the world opinion regarding our nation, I'm starting to take on an isolationist point of view. Time to send the United Nations Headquarters to Beijing since they are such a friendly city to the proletariat! After all, the companies that build luxury items and such have noticed that the wealth of the world is moving east to India, Singapore, and China. At this point in history, I think it would be wise for the United States to accept this fact, and reclaim the real estate in New York City that was handed over to the UN. Let the UN move to the economic center of the world with their friends, and lest stop wasting our tax dollars and the blood of our Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen on the problems the UN was supposed to mobilize the world to solve (and has rarely done any good doing). Maybe while they are at it, they will realize that the only real purpose they serve is a suppository of statistical data from around the world along with being an exclusive elitists club of over-educated caviar eating champagne chugging diplomats.


10NOV2010, Missile or Contrail?


While I am skeptical of a missile launch going un-reported, and various very serious experts suggest the idea of an aircraft contrail from various angles depending on the perspective (with the news helicopter getting the most interesting obviously); a missile could very likely be a reality. This is a Notice to Mariners from NtM 45-2010 which is a joint publication by the National Geo Spatial Inteligence Agency, National Ocean Service, and US Coast Guard.

However, with the NTM in effect, the US Navy would at least have known of the launch, and NORAD would certainly have tracked it. Could they be denying it for some reason? Certainly, however I believe the Contrail Science Overflow blog (http://uncinus.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/4/) has one of the most researched pieces of the bunch.

NM 45/10

ALTERNATE 300200Z TO 300730Z AND 310230Z TO 310800Z OCT IN AREA BOUND BY
(221414Z OCT 2010)
(230926Z OCT 2010)
(240828Z OCT 2010)
22-00N 159-46W, 23-07N 161-49W, 29-56N 170-20W, 35-34N 164-15W, 31-30N 161-28W, 24-11N 160-10W, 22-10N 159-44W.
22-07N 160-25W, 24-25N 162-27W, 32-47N 169-47W, 36-03N 162-31W, 27-00N 162-00W, 22-39N 159-36W,

34-02N 119-04W, 33-52N 119-06W, 33-29N 118-37W, 33-20N 118-37W, 32-11N 120-16W, 31-54N 121-35W, 35-09N 123-39W, 35-29N 123-00W, 35-57N 121-32W, 34-04N 119-04W.

The Federation of American Scientists Blog (http://www.fas.org/blog/ssp/2010/11/mystery-missile-this-question-can-be-answered.php#more-4135) rightly points out that with only 20 seconds of the clip from the CBS helicopter, its hard for even missile experts to accurately determine what it was exactly. However John Pike (http://www.globalsecurity.org/)and other experts also point out how slow the object was moving leaving them to conclude (based on the 20 second video) that it is most likely an airplane (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/11/mystery-missile-is-probably-a-jet/).

I'm going to go with John Pike and the Contrail Science folks here. Why didn't the military know what it was? Well, they likely didn't track anything unusual because all flights were following plan, and perhaps they didn't launch anything either. Our satellites, and those of Russia would have detected a missile launch. Russia certainly would have been on top of informing the press our Military couldn't figure out its own missiles! Obviously, it could be either considering the how short the clip is, but I'll go with 70% plane, 25% rocket, 5% something off the wall, on this one. However, with that recent power failure in our nuclear missile system (glitch, or malicious intent? Only our intelligence and nuclear forces know for certain http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?f=1001&sc=tw&storyId=130846510), and our President in Asia talking with India and the Republic of Korea; a headbutt from the Chinese and/or North Korea isn't out of the realm of possibility.


Clayton needs our help!


Before I get too far here, here is how I came to find myself privileged to work with Clayton “Hero Maker” Murwin. Back on October 31st 2006, my wife took me to Fairbanks International Airport very late in the evening, our young son Isaiah was dressed as a little Polar Bear, and it was snowing. My beautiful wife Mary and I were on the verge of tears, as I was getting ready to spend six of my last seven months in the Air Force deployed to Iraq the second time. I was set to deploy as an augmentee from the 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron to our detachment based out of Ft. Richardson which would support the 4th Brigade, 25th Infantry Division Combat Team (Airborne). I was augmenting because a few months earlier, the brigade the 3rd ASOS supported had been involuntarily extended in Iraq for four additional months (the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team) and our personnel were in the mix as well. Being one of the few Airmen around, who had supported the 172nd for the first half of their planned rotation, I was back in the US and had been home a few months, and without enough personnel to support 4-25 ABCT in our Detachment, that left me and a couple other Airmen to fill in the gap.
Life felt like it really was beginning to suck badly. After all, I'd signed up for the 11 month extension when I got stationed at Ft. Wainwright while I was in Korea so I'd have enough time in my enlistment to be stationed in Alaska. So, the Air Force decided to thank me by sending me to Iraq during that extension! Like all branches, but the US Army, most Airmen deployed for only six months at a time, and I'm thankful for this. However, life as a TACP began to mean six months deployed, and a few months back, and repeat as needed... I found myself working with a brigade I'd never trained with, and was put on night shift in the Brigade Tactical Operations Center on FOB Kalsu doing radio watch at night. This meant a twelve hour shift staring at computer screens monitoring the communications networks on the Classified version of the Internet using a Chat client, and listening to the radios we had set up. Iraq had a curfew, and during the rainy winter months the locals and foreign terrorists typically kept their activities to the day time (truly, fair weather fighters!). I only really got excitement when the mortars and rockets would come in, mostly rockets due to the fact they could set them up in day to fire at night.
I had time on my hands, and I made the best of what was a bad situation personally. I did what I'd learned to do long ago in idleness while needing to be present at a location. I took paper, pencil, and pen and began to draw cartoons. I drew them about everything from international/national/state politics to local FOB politics. I believe I can truly claim to have helped instigate positive changes to midnight chow after one of my cartoons was published by the PAO in the “Spartan Sentinel” (4-25 ABCT's Brigade Newsletter)... The men and women I worked with at night encouraged me and gave me some ideas, and we maintained my cartoons in a binder at my work station by my radios and computers, and we dubbed that binder “The Morale File”. When my rotation was ending in May 2007, I left copies of my cartoons in The Morale File and brought my originals home with me. I promised the men and women I worked with that someday, some how I was going to publish these cartoons professionally in a print form. To this day, I still have the originals, dusty and coffee stained, sitting in acid free archival portfolios.
Sometime in late 2008, I joined the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Of America Community of Veterans social networking site. I'd never really been able to find an outlet for my cartoons yet, and indeed I was, and am, still working on perfecting my art and finding a solid outlet. While I was there I found a post by Victor Castro, an aspiring comic book artist and OIF/OEF veteran himself, looking for other Veterans to contribute stories to a project called “Untold Stories from Iraq and Afghanistan”. I contacted Victor, and he put me in touch with Clayton. Instantly I found a place to publish my cartoons from Iraq! So I took my old scans, and sent them to Clayton as samples. Clayton graciously accepted my work, and asked for me to pencil some cartoons so he could have comic book industry inkers finish them! On top of that, this book was meant to be a fundraiser, not a profit maker. All of it going to Wounded Warrior, Fischer House, and other organizations (Clayton was working with the USO, not sure if they were still able to receive support from this project or not...). So here was my chance to keep a promise I made to soldiers and airmen I worked with, and do so in a manner that would support the men and women who sacrificed so much for our nation, Iraq, and Afghanistan. I could honor the living and the dead, and be part of something bigger.
I've gotten to know Clayton quite well over the almost three years I've been on board with his project, and Clayton has been nothing but a passionate supporter of Veterans and their families, as well as a mentor and motivator. Since I've been on board, I've met some amazing artists, and two brother combat veteran artists. Clayton has been working hard to assist me in making one of my dreams, to be a professional cartoonist, a reality as well as giving me a good constructive direction to use my talent. One of the men who has motivated me to have the goal of publishing 52 weekly comic strips is Clayton Murwin, even if he didn't know it at the time! As a Combat Veteran Artist/Cartoonist with two tours in Iraq, I can personally vouch for Clayton's integrity and devotion to supporting Veterans and their families without desire for personal gain. I know this well, as he has done so much for me and my family.
Please, take a moment to review C.J. Grisham's (http://www.soldiersperspective.us/2010/11/06/hero-maker-under-fire/) article on what Clayton faces, and the massive obstacle put before the publication of Clayton's work, and a dream so many of us share. All of this, over a simple mis-understanding over a Memorial, and a couple of political opportunists! Please pray for Clayton and send him words of encouragement. When I calm down enough, I'll be contacting folks in Virginia on behalf of Clayton. I ain't afraid to throw around my four combat patches to do either! If I could afford to do it, I'd do it in person, I'd stand beside Clayton no matter what.


04OCT2010 EnvironMENTAL Fascsism!

Tongue and cheek "No Pressure", leap toward totalitarianism? Possibly... I kinda laugh at it as its been pointed out as self defeating. It certainly is. In light of the number of suicide bombers that blow themselves up in public, this is pretty crass.


11SEP10 "Stand To"


I miss being in, the above essay is the best I've seen on the subject.

Currently today I serve with the Alaska State Defence Force, a Title 32 State Militia that falls under Alaska's Adjutant General (the General in charge of both the Alaska Army and Air National Guard, Alaska Military Youth Academy, and Alaska State Defence Force). I've gone from being an Airman fighting for the nation as a whole overseas to a Soldier for Alaska defending the United States from within Alaska. I'll always likely be drawn to jobs and volunteer opportunities involving security, its forever in my nature now.

I joined the Air Force 10 years ago out of feelings of patriotism and the need to be ready should something terrible happen. Nine years ago something did indeed occur that vindicated my decisions. I found myself right where I was needed when I needed to be there (even if I didn't go to war where and when I thought I should have!).

Every year this day comes, I'm haunted by two conversations from high school. First was my Creative Writing Teacher laughing at the notion that terrorist could possibly attack our nation. Apparently the 1993 WTC bombing was lost on her, and the more obvious threat was from the McVeigh crowd... She laughed... In 1999... Then there were the Pearl Harbor Survivors that I heard speak when I was a snot nosed Navy JROTC Cadet standing in formation at the US Air Force Academy honouring. I remember the old retired Navy Sailor who survived Pearl Harbor very worriedly with pain in his voice decry how our nation had forgotten the lessons and was not fully prepared... (I even found the article from this event as few of these survivors are left today: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4191/is_19991208/ai_n9962942/ it was always a special occasion in Colorado Springs).

On September 10 2001 I was loading Humvees into a KC-135 at Topeka's Airport getting ready for my first National Training Center rotation (a month of war games out at Ft. Irwin CA). I'd just achieved my Combat Mission Readiness status in JUL01 and was fully deployable. I'd just been in over a year (02AUG00 was when I went to Basic...). The next day I was supposed to have the day off after dropping one of our Airmen off at the stating point as he was part of the Advance Party going to fly with our trucks... Needless to say, it became one of the longest days in my military career. I remember walking out of our squadron break room on Ft. Riley and closing our motor pool gate and putting a holster on my TA-50 gear after watching the Pentagon getting hit. A short time later our Squadron Commander called us into the briefing room and we watched the events unfold on our projector screen, we all had that sick feeling in our guts knowing we were at war right now. As our Squadron Commander released us to go home to our families for the day, and to expect a phone call at any minute, the towers collapsed. Living in the dorms, there was no sleep for me. Just interrupted rest as we rotated who would do a building walk around each hour...

We ended up going to NTC a week later. I didn't deploy to Afghanistan, ever... However I ended up supporting Operation Enduring Freedom from Kuwait in 2002 by working at the bombing ranges and training pilots (and getting training myself...) that were flying through on their way to Afghanistan. I did go to Korea for a year, and served in the long war that never ended there (its still under the 1953 ceasefire) from 2003-2004, and finally went to Iraq twice before getting out. Now I serve locally in Alaska...


Faith, Family, Art; the Keys to My Post Military Success


Faith and Art Therapy for post deployment recovery! An interview with Gimel Peterman who teaches out of Ft. Hood.

This interview confirms what I've felt over the last few years since 01JUL07 to be the key to my success and why I've had minimal difficulty with adjustment to civilian life. Well, its been tough, but these are the keys that have kept me on track.

Faith: For me its my Roman Catholic faith where God reached out and touched me long ago. For others, it can be another denomination or different core beliefs entirely. Research has shown that faith is a key to a strong mind. Yes, even Atheists act fervently in their beliefs, and it becomes their chosen faith. Key is a strong faith, being who I am where I've been, I'm going to say the Christian path is the one where I've seen and had the most success, to include a family member experiencing miraculous healing that a Heart Surgeon couldn't even explain...

Family: Being married a few months before deploying to a woman of great faith, and coming home to having our first child brought a power focus to my life. Not only did it give give me something to come home to from deployment, it also gave me something to prepare a future for. Now, I focus on what I can do for my family, and since being away from them was one reason I got out, its also why I'm adapting my future plans to suit my family...

...which leads to Art! As an artist, I've always used it as a way to vent every frustration I have. Sometimes, I even burn the art if its a horrible frustration. Talk about release. I have a portfolio of coffe stained cartoons on the back of inventory sheets from my second rotation in Iraq where I stayed on the FOB and just about went crazy with frustration dealing with being the communications link between guys getting shot at, and the echelons above reality saying 'no, you can't use that asset to shoot back due to collateral damage estimates; we don't care that its a farm field'. I truly believe that my venting on paper helped get me through. As disturbing as some of those cartoons were and are.

So, theres my two bits on this. Enjoy the interview!


31JUL10 FInal Approach

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these Airmen. Something like this doesn't happen in Alaska without touching many lives across the state.

Links to the news stories:

Air Force Link: http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123215784

Anchorage Daily News: http://www.adn.com/2010/07/30/1388771/biographies-crewmen-killed-in.html


14JUN10 Interesting phone call....

....I came home from work today and my wife tells me a I have a message from Senator Mark Begich. My first reaction is "You mean his office called me back?" My wife informs me "No, Senator Begich called and left a message and phone number for you to call back!" Wow, that is something different so far!

His reasons for calling were that he and his staff hadn't responded to my email (see copy in the previous blog post http://trendnemesis.blogspot.com/2010/06/02jun10-air-force-veterans-view-of-air.html ). He wanted to get back with me over this and informed me his military liaison staffer would be conducting further research into the matter.

So, while I don't agree with Senator Begich on a host issues, I know he's willing to make contact and call back. Its good to know there are actually Senators out there that will indeed call back and send personal responses to constituents. So I do appreciate that Senator Begich!


02JUN10, an Air Force Veterans view of the Air Force PT mindset...

I've seen some friends of mine get Medically removed from the Air Force over the years over Physical FItness, and now I'm watching a couple more face "Force Shaping" for the same reasons. For the most part, the medical has been due to injury in a dangerous line of work (and I don't mean the flight line either...), as being a USAF TACP is spent mostly with the Army doing Army things (blowing stuff up, carrying around 200 lbs of gear up mountain and hill sides, and jumping out airplanes if so qualified...). Coming from a TACP background, we always considered physical fitness a duty requirement, and a key to battlefield survival ("The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war!") and therefore included PT in the duty day. This even ran into friction from our "Big Blue" Air Force members who were assigned to Air Support Operations Squadrons for a short part of their careers... We even had a commander at Ft. Riley cancel PT in OCT01 because he thought PT was a 'privilege', whats worse was he was an A-10 driver and ASOS commander expected to lead Airmen during a time of war alongside the Army... Needless to say, morale improved when he left or for the members TDY away from Ft. Riley to tropical paradises like Kuwait where PT was reincorporated back into the beginning of the duty day.

Sadly, our old commander there maintained the Air Force senior leaderships view on PT, and it continues to this day. I've heard all sorts of excuses as to why the Air Force believes PT shouldn't be a part of the duty day, in spite of 22,000 some odd airmen failing PT tests, ranging from the 'privilege' excuse to 'we have a 24 hour flight line to maintain'. Interesting, because I've seen the Army do the same and more, and still do unit PT every day of the week. But then, I was one them "Battlefield Airmen"... Honestly, if the Air Force senior leadership took responsibility for THEIR failure and changed Air Force policy, things would change. Over the decades they have failed their Airmen, and now we see the results.

Here is a letter I wrote my Senators and Representative:

Dear Senator

I'm witnessing another friend of mine on active duty in the Air Force go through a possible separation as a result of failing a Physical Fitness Exam. While this is mostly understood as a failure to maintain standards by the member, and is their responsibility, blame also goes to the Air Force and the senior leadership. What frustrates me most about his situation is the fact that he was able to lose weight and improve his score quite visibly and dramatically, but ended up getting hurt in the process. In fact, his injury is that of over use (knee injury) due to increased milage running. While he is accepting responsibility for his failure, as its not the first time, the Air Force should also accept the failure on their part.

I served in the United States Air Force as a 1C4X1 Tactical Air Command and Control Specialist for 6 years and 11 months (01AUG00-01JUL07), and spent most of that time stationed on US Army bases supporting US Army combat units. For our careerfield, we dispensed with US Air Force PT 'standards' in favor of US Army PT standards as that is who we needed to support. To a large degree, this was done because we needed to ensure our Airmen could keep up with the Army, if not out do the Army (it is a point of pride for us to take trophies at US Army run races like the 10-miler, I personally have a nice 3rd Place trophy from the 2004 8th Army Marathon held at Cp. Casey Korea...). In order to do this however, we had to fight with the US Air Force more than once.

At Ft. Riley Kansas in 2001, our new commander actually cancelled unit PT at the beginning of the duty day because he believed that PT was a 'privilege' like it was in the rest of the Air Force. This mindset decimated unit morale and combat readiness, not even a month after GWOT began. Our Airmen who went to the Health and Wellness Center on McConnell Air Force base would take the old USAF Ergo bike test, and routinely fail until they drank coffee to get their pulse up, yet were running Marathons and scoring a perfect “300” on the US Army PT Test. In early 2002 the USAF began 'experimenting' with push-ups and crunches along with the bike and found that 80% of Airmen failed these events (while the men of the USAF TACP, CCT, Para Rescue, and SERE Instructors blew them away...).

What is different about the way TACPs and other Air Force “Battlefield Airmen” have conducted PT? I strongly suspect its because we ignored actual “Blue” Air Force guidance about how PT should be separate from the duty day. I strongly suspect its the influence of our being around the US Army, US Marines, and US SOCOM and that established the mentality that Physical Fitness is as much a part of battlefield survival as marksmanship and technical knowledge of our weapons system. This should be the mentality the US Air Force as a WHOLE should embrace, not the current mentality where the idea is PT is 'on your own'. PT is a unit readiness issue, and should therefore be a part of the units duty day. It always amazed me to go to an Air Force base and see how out of shape my fellow Airmen were, and all under the excuse of “We have a flight line to run”, while we see our Army Aviation units that we provided JTAC and TACP support to run the same style of flight line doing PT just about every single day before going to work.

I wrote a letter to the AF.mil website, and I strongly suspect it won't be published, but it needs to be said somewhere and pointed out the Air Force senior leadership:

“As an Air Force TACP Veteran, I'd like to point out a reason behind the Air Forces systemic failure to maintain good physical fitness standards. Mainly, the senior leaderships failure to maintain a consistant PT mindset the last few decades. I only served a short time, but have witness various changes, and luckily been immune to most of the effects having been stationed with the US Army most of my career (which has greatly effected my perspective on PT).

USAF Senior leadership has failed the Air Force completely by not incorporating PT into the duty day, and indeed viewing PT as a 'privilege' to quote an old commander who took over command of my first ASOS unit when I was an Airman. PT is a battlefield survival factor as much as technical qualifications and marksmanship. Until the Air Force senior leadership admits their error, and incorporates PT into a DAILY habit as part of the duty day, the Air Force will suffer disappointment after disappointment of tens of thousands of Airmen failing PT standards. If anyone needs forced out under Force Shaping for failing PT, its the Generals and Senior Enlisted leadership who refuse to do what the US Army and US Marine Corps have done for decades (while maintaining fully functioning flight lines and operating in combat environments I might add...), and make PT the first priority of the duty day every duty day.”

It is not the enlisted men of the mid-tier (E-5 through E-7) who should suffer alone in facing Force Shaping separations without retirement benefits for failure to maintain Physical Fitness standards, it is also the Generals and Chief Master Sergeants with decades of service who established a mentality of 'PT is a privilege' who should face the same fate as their Airmen. 22,000 Airmen have failed a PT test, this isn't and individual failure by any means, this is a systemic problem and the consequences need to start with the leadership that failed these Airmen by being a poor personal example and not establishing good sound policies that the US Army and US Marine Corp have been able to accomplish. If the “Battlefield Airmen” can do it, the rest of the Air Force can, and it needs to start at the top.


Michael “Sudsy” Sutherland

Veteran, Operation Iraqi Freedom, deployed with the 3rd ASOS Ft. Wainwright AK in support of:
172nd SBCT AUG05-FEB06
4-25 ABCT NOV06-MAY07


My Generation and Memorial Day


I won't go into the intimate details of my life and whats an undercurrent of my current frustrations, but I am awake and angry right now. No surprise there given the current state of my nation and that of the world and all! However, I'm going to delve deeply into other matters that have disturbed me for some time since my transition from the military, and especially haunt me on Memorial Day and Veterans Day every year now.
My generation isn't known for its heroes, its courage, its bravery, or patriotism for that matter. I understand this quite well, as I'm an odd creature in my generation that never really fully fit in or walked the same paths as well over 99% of my generation. We are known in some circles as the 'Dot Com Generation', or some such; better known for our addiction to all sorts of multi-media digital technologies and a aloofness to reality. I understand the viewpoint on this as I can tell you I'm not terribly impressed with my generation either in most respects. Yet whenever older folks start griping about how we are the doom of our world, I get angry with them despite how much I agree with them.
Forever in my mind and heart now is the year I spent in Iraq (and being where and what I was in the military, it was split into a couple six to seven month chunks instead of continuous...). I was with the people of my generation, the maybe 1% or less who stood up when I did (or shortly before and shortly after) who raised our right hands and joined the military. Some will scoff at those who joined when I did in the year 2000 or earlier as only being motivated by the GI Bill or a healthy enlistment bonus and tuition assistance, there is a case for this however most folks who did join for that purpose soon found new purpose in 9/11/01 or immediately sought a way out weeding them from the ranks rather quickly. Those that joined after knew what they were walking into, and if they didn't they were morons or are lying to you.
Forever in my mind now are the sacrifices made by men and women of my generation, the 1% or less who were with me and who are still serving to this day. Forever in my mind are the faces of men and women never saw past 30, and in the case of my career field (USAF 1C4X1), not even 25. Forever in my mind are the 'kids' with missing limbs, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Post Traumatic Stress and gave it all they had and were blessed with the ability to live and come back home.
So all you 40+ olds who on a daily basis knock my generation, you'll have to forgive me when I get mad when you do it to my face, I try to understand your point of view as I see it clearly, but I can't get the faces of my brothers and sisters out of my skull, nor the memories of leaving everything behind to fight a war. Perhaps instead of knocking my generation, you should see that in many ways we are a reflection of our mothers and fathers, there are those of us who have taken that to mean we should put on our combat boots and take up a rifle just like them.


24MAY10 Twenty Eight

Well, its my birthday and I'm turning 28. Nothing really special really.

What I do think is interesting for me is thinking about my first decade of adulthood which was spent out of my parents home beginning here at the end of July... During my first decade of my own life I've:
-Joined and served in the US Air Force
-Watched war come to my country
-Gone to Kuwait
-Gone to Korea
-Gone to war in Iraq twice
-Gotten married
-Had two children
-Started a business
-Started a weekly web comic
-Published a handful of cartoons in various places
-Had four vehicles
-Moved about 10 times (mostly until I got out of the Air Force!)

Not too shabby for a short time out on my own!


30MAR10 Militia terminology misuse by all Media, and politicians...

Fox News has fallen into the same trap as most of the mainstream media these days, and there have been more than one story like this sadly. Currently Fox News is calling the "Hutaree" gang a 'militia'. Now, as you all know from a my recent post about Militia, and Service to the State that Militia is a term that needs to be reserved for military forces that SERVE the elected body of the State in which they are organized. This is the very basis of the US National Security plan since the days when we were but Colonies of the Old World powers, and continued under the Continental Congress, Articles of Confederation, and finally the Constitution of the United States. Our nations Revolution began when Great Britain attempted to sieze the Colonial Militia's powder magazines at Lexington and Concord... The men of these colonial Militias answered to the Colonial Governments which were at odds with the Crown. This conflict is nothing really new if you care to study the English Civil War and review the conflict between the Crown and the Parliament over who had authority over the Militia. Once again, the Militia answers to the people through an elected body...

...which is why its absolutely infuriating to see news agencies mis-use and abuse the term Militia with no historical context of the term, instead they use the lexicon of modern Progressive Liberal Fascism. PLF forces have turned the term into a rubber stamp of 'right wing Christian inbred racist nuts with guns' out of shear convenience. Taken in context with the Bias Against Guns (a smashing good book by John Lott by the way), its part of the incremental effort to isolate gun owners and Soldiers who serve their states in State Guards and State Defense Forces, and a round about shot at State Sovereignty and the 10th Amendment as well as the 2nd Amendment; and a way to punch holes in the Constitution indirectly.

Here is the what the Constitution has to say about the Militia and why I'm so angry at the News Media at large for using the term in reference to what could very well be anti-government hate groups and armed mobs/gangs (they still face trial and are innocent until proven guilty folks, my point here being the term used inappropriately):

Article I, Section 8
- To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

-To provide for the organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of the them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.

Article II, Section 2
-The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;...

Both Congress and the President of the United States have very specific duties relating to the Militia. If an organization doesn't fall within the scope of this authority, it doesn't fall within the Constitutional definition of a Militia now does it? So why are reporters, government officials, and others mis-using the term Militia so much? I think its pretty clear here what the Militia really is and what it isn't.


21MAR10 Militia and Service to the State

Take a few minutes to prepare for reading this essay by pulling up your Constitution, Bill of Rights, the Federalist Papers (in particular No. 29 by Alexander Hamilton) and the Militia Act of 1792. You might also want to take a few minutes going over the history of Posse Comitatus and gain of an understanding of both the term and the Posse Comitatus Act. The Founders intent for Militias had nothing to do with men gathering around charismatic leaders that spouted the right words, and everything to do with ensuring that the States had the ability to call up men to arms in times of crisis, and that they had a cadre of professional soldiers in the 'Organized Militia' who could train the the mass of 'Un-Organized Militia' who would be called up for service to the State during times of crisis. Clearly, a Militia is accountable to the people of the State through the Governor, State Legislature, and State and Federal Regulations (criminal code and the UCMJ) depending on the crisis.

When one reads through these documents, they gain a greater understanding of the Founders intent for the Militias that each state would maintain, and an idea that the Federal Governments standing Army would be the smaller force with the Navy and Marines representing the bulk of US Forces overseas. Our Founders were indeed concerned about the possibility of abuse by the Federal Government they created later on in history. Our Founders established a check and balance to this in the form of the Militias. In Federalist No. 29, Alexander Hamilton points out very clearly that it is virtually impossible for the common man to be a professional soldier at all times without negative impact on the existence of the State, commerce, and daily life; instead he advocates for a cadre of men who are trained and ready at all times whom the masses will fall in under for training and guidance during time of need. This core group of individuals became the very foundation of the Organized Militia that drills once a month at a minimum, or even hold full time positions as professional soldiers for the State. Should the Governor decide to exercise Posse Comitatus (power [force] of the country) during a crisis, depending on the situation the Governor had two choices based on the needs of the State. If a small force was all that was needed, his Organized Militia could be called up at a moments notice and sent do deal with a small crisis; and if the crisis was larger, the Governor could then call upon every able bodied male of the state to report to their Militia Captains for service (See the Militia Act of 1792). The President of the United States was also given authority to activate the Militia of the States during times of invasion (War of 1812, etc.).

In modern times, many State Militias became melded into a newer idea, a fusion of their traditional role as USC Title 32 State units and USC Title 10 Federal units in 1903 with the passing of the passing of the Militia Act of 1903, or Dick Act. The Dick Act created the formalized National Guard that today provides over 353,000 Soldiers for both Federal and State service across the entire US and its territories. Several states kept their State Guards, Home Guard, and State Defense Force units in tact, especially during World War I when they found their National Guard units Federalized and sent overseas and they had no one else to call upon when crisis hit. A large motivation for the Dick Act was the Spanish American war, where the US Government could only ask State Militias to volunteer for overseas service in Cuba and the Philippines; and those that did volunteer had a mix of training and equipment that proved to be a logistical strain on the Federal forces that had to supply them. In order to minimize the difficulties, what became the National Guard Bureau of the then War Department was born.

During both World Wars, National Guard units were activated and sent overseas, and States that were vulnerable were able to draw upon their own resources for personnel under the current laws and were able to utilize veterans from previous wars too old to go overseas, those who were waiting to be drafted, and those who were deemed unfit for active service in a variety of roles to secure their States, and indeed the rest of the country. Here in Alaska, the Alaska Territorial Guard, Alaskan Scouts, and Eskimo Scouts watched the coastlines and were able to secure the west coast of Alaska while the Territories National Guard was deployed to Washington State and overseas. States and the Federal Government learned the valuable lesson of what a State Guard could do to secure the State and the rest of the nation and free up critical Federal forces for the war effort in both theaters of combat. History has more than a few examples of the ATG standing guard to the Coast Guard Auxiliary engaging U-Boats off the east coast in the Atlantic that display what these forces are capable of doing. Sadly though, the lessons of history if not properly learned and passed on are all too soon forgotten.

State Guards, State Defense Forces, and Home Guards are all the same concept, citizen soldiers serving the people of their state in time of need. Each unit is the continuation of the Militias that our Founders had been a part of, and the basis for military service since the discovery and colonization of the New World. Every SG/SDF/HG unit that exists on a legal basis is the Organized Militia for their state, and is accountable to the people of that state through the Governor, State Legislature, and applicable State law (and the UCMJ during time of war). While on duty for the State, if a soldier commits a crime, he will be held accountable for his actions not only under civil law, but if it is a time of war the UCMJ as well; when you take the Oath of Enlistment, double jeopardy can indeed happen for the same crime. Typically, the unit commander will move forward on any UCMJ or Non Judicial Punishment prior to the soldier facing civilian trial (for example, a DUI will result in both NJP/Court Martial from the military, and civilian charges form the locality the crime was committed on). This also ensures that the Militia is accountable to the people through Rule of Law, and have recourse should the Militia, or members of the Militia, commit crimes against the people.

When charismatic leaders step forth saying what is exceedingly popular, and gather around themselves a mob of armed men erroneously calling themselves a 'militia' or 'peoples militia' they do the people a great disservice. First, from where do they draw their authority? From their leader? Militias draw their authority from the people and the Rule of Law of the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of their State, and as such are bound to that law and held accountable to that law by their Governors and State Legislature. Militias submit to this authority by swearing or affirming an Oath to the Constitution of the United States and their State; private individuals forming an armed mob may swear an Oath, but to whom do they swear to serve? Their leader? That would be an Oath of Fealty to a Lord now wouldn't it? Such an Oath would certainly have our Founders spinning in their graves.


28FEB2010 26 Years of the Alaska State Defense Force Celebrated!

Where the Alaska State Defense Force is really headed, without rumors!

On Saturday 27FEB10, the 3rd BN ASDF in Fairbanks hosted the first Alaska State Defense Force Birthday Ball, celebrating 26 years of service, at the Princess Lodge. During the duty prior to the start of the Ball, the Arctic Operations Team conducted ski maintenance and the enlisted soldiers were briefed about the next 18 months of training directives coming from the Adjutant Generals (TAG) Office and the AK Department of Veterans and Military Affairs (DMVA).

At the Birthday Ball on the evening of the 27th, we celebrated 26 years of ASDF in its current form, and honored the memory of the Alaska Territorial Guard from which we draw our heritage. Also that evening, some of the members of the Arctic Operations Team were pinned with the State Guard Association of the United States (SGAUS) Military Emergency Management (MEMS) Specialist Qualification Badge after having completed the courses with FEMA, the US Fire Service, and Dept. of Homeland Security Online courses along with a practical scenario (the running of the ATG Inc. Gun Show fund raiser, as the systems in place for National Incident Management System (NIMS)/Incident Control System (ICS) used to operate command and control during disaster are also utilized for running parades, fairs, and other community events!) and After Action Report.

On Sunday 28FEB10 LTC Holl the Brigade Commander held a question and answer session with the 3rd Battalion and passed on more information and asked for any recommendations that we had to improve our capabilities. LTC Holl was very receptive to what was suggested from our Battalion.
During this briefing we were able to completely squelch the rumors that the ASDF was on its way to being disbanded by the DMVA and TAG, instead we have been taken off the line duty and placed in a training state. Yes, we are sidelined, however this sideline serves the purpose of standardizing our organizations training with the current US Army Warrior Skills Training being conducted within the Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard components. Because State Defense Forces/State Guards (SDF/SG) follow Federal Standards, and Federal Standards have changed, we are now training to these new standards. Part of this is a transition from the Military Police role to a broader military role which focuses on more aspects of State Security, Disaster, and Emergency Response as opposed to just a focus on Law Enforcement.


26FEB2010 Jerks... and more jerks...

Had a customer, JFC we'll call him... He decided to be an asshole to me while purchasing a firearm today... Almost didn't sell him one, but my manager did (and my manager was just about chuckling and wasn't angry with me, this guy has some history). Whenever we pull out a firearm we typically start talking about it, JFC told me "Don't talk, just sell me the gun." So I did. We also don't sell the ones in the case until they are last one of that model, so when I did the NICS 4473 background check I pulled a pistol that had never been handled beyond logging in and and got it ready to sell. When I brought it out to him I opened the case to show him the one from the back and he got angry and irate. He wanted the one he looked at from the case. I mentioned I opened the box so he could see the one from the back, and then he proceed to inspect it, and bitch about how the coating on the scandium frame (a S&W 360 PD in .357 Mag by the way) under the hammer was 'scratched'. Funny, since thats where the coating comes off first because of the factory test fire, and there was no imperfections beyond FACTORY wear and tear (fresh off the assembly, test fired once for safety, shell casing enclosed in box IAW Federal law...). Well, he wasn't happy with it and told me to get the one from the case for him, so I told him we needed to re do the form (as 4% paperwork errors resulted in Red's Trading Post in Idaho losing their FFL for a time), and he really got angry. I finally told him we reserve the right to refuse service and to not come back. Finally, my manager came out and dealt with him and sold him the one from the case after getting the form completed. The jerk wondered "Who the hell does he think he is" to my manager; well mer JFC, I'm a clerk selling you a firearm. You treat me sub-human and get angry and irate with, perhaps you shouldn't be handling firearms in my store as you are showing a violent tendency toward the guy behind the counter UN-PROVOKED. I started off a nice guy, and JFC became an ass...

...With the way my manager dealt with him, I think its safe to assume this guy has a history of acting in this manner to attempt to get discounts. There are those people out there trying to act offended after acting very coarse toward people in order to coerce a discount. That, and my other belief is that this guy assumed that because I'm under thirty I must be a complete and utter moron... All well...

Then there was the Borough Assembly. I didn't get to testify until very late in the evening when I was done with some of my business with the State Defense Force (Class A inspection in preparation for the units Birthday Ball this Saturday!), which was about 9:30 p.m. It was almost hilarious to me to see all the Assembly Members and the Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins sitting there bored to tears and ready to fall asleep listening to the last few people testify about their ordnance seeking to put Federal Stimulus money into a Solid Fuel burning curtailment program Mayor Hopkins promised not to impose during his election (along with the Interior Pollution Control Committee's recommendation to remove all fines and permitting from then Mayor Jim Whitaker's draft wood burn ban ordnance from about three or four months back...). I don't think a single one of them was awake completely when I left. Mrs. Nadine Winters decided to take her dogs out of her vehicle and they proceeded to wrap me up in their leashes when I made my way to my car. She apologized, but her dogs were nice dogs and it wasn't a problem, though people were still testifying. She told me she'd have left her dogs if she knew the meeting would have taken this long. I refrained from saying the first thing that came to mind... Something to the effect of "No $%#, didn't you learn that the first three times this issue came up?" and just proceeded to my car to head home.

So, there is my crappy day in a nutshell for you. So, local firearms dealers, keep an eye for Mr. JFC trying to con you into a discount by being a jerk; and everybody keep an eye on your Borough Assembly which lacks the common sense to leave their poor dogs at home when they are proposing very un-popular bans on the least expensive way people can heat their homes 9 months out of the year.


My recommendations to Oath Keepers, and any other Veterans Organization for that matter

In light of some recent high profile cases of Stolen Valor (named after B.G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley's book), I believe its important to the cause of the Oath Keepers to ensure that our members who are Veterans be who they say they are.  At least with leadership in local organisations.  We should audit each other using the SF-180 from the National Archives in St. Louis.

Here is why.

Iraq Veterans Against the War has absolutely ZERO credibility due to the sheer overwhelming number of fakes that have joined its ranks and been spokes people, the fakes have forced the real veterans from that organisation (as a pro-OIF, and two time Iraq vet, this doesn't break my heart at all).  Two examples are Jesse MacBeth (MacBeth even talks about being coached to fake by the way) and Rick "Duncan" Strandlof.   These are just two of the high profile cases, there are hundreds of other smaller cases, a blog that has been reporting on the IVAW and its current internal strife and loss of status due to Stolen Valor is This Ain't Hell.  Based on the pain that organisation is going through from not correctly vetting its Veteran leadership...

We need to avoid the same situation.  If we are going to be a relevant force for good and reach out to our brother and sister Veterans, we need to be able to say we are Veterans beyond the shadow of a doubt.  "Audit me, make my day" should be our attitude!  That, or we'll lose all credibility the first fake that makes it to the top of our ranks and gets found out by some inquisitive investigative reporter (who would conveniently forget to do the same thing when talking to IVAW...).

Some other great resources for verifying Veterans and looking into the history of Stolen Valor and its impact on American society:

"Stolen Valor" by B.G. Burkett and Glenn Whitley

AMVets Report Stolen Valor

POW Network

The National Archives Personnel Archives, St. Louis MO


13FEB10 BOLO BOLO BOLO Colorado Springs area!

KKTV Channel 11 Video and Photos

Be On the Look Out (BOLO) for these F#@%ers. The bounty is now up $4,000 for any information leading up the capture of these thieves who have stolen the items SrA Bradley R. Smith had on his person, to include his dog tags, when he was killed in Afghanistan on 03JAN10. They were stolen out of a vehicle his widow and mother were using at the Golden Corral on Powers BLVD in Colorado Springs. These items are priceless to the Smith family, and there is little that could be more dishonorable than to steal from these precious memories from Bradley's widow.

If I had any money, I'd toss it in the pot also...

God have mercy on these thieves, because I know that if brother ROMAD, or another Veteran catches them they'd better hope Police get them first...


08FEB2010, Stolen Valor loser goes before the Federal Magistrate

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08FEB2010 Welcome SPAM! Enjoy the "Global Warming" Washington D.C.!

Lately, I've been getting interesting SPAM comments, I suggest to Blogger to fix the capita system and harden it because some bots have that thing locked down...

The East Coast is getting some lovely white stuff we all know and love called snow. Quite a shock for them because this is one of the areas in which the populace of sheepeople, with the bulk of our National Government, believes we've been going through "Global Warming" caused by our human endeavours. In fact, the Beltway Confidential editorial from the Washington Examiner points it out the best. RFK Jr. needs to get off his private jet and quit riding his limo, and make friends with normal people to find out if his statements are true...

This is a fine example of Green Fascism (like RFK Jr.'s attitude...) from Audi's Superbowl Commerical:

Climate Service Agency? Thank you President Obama... Yet another Government Agency to run every detail of our lives!

No evidence "Climate Change" caused food shortage in Africa! I always suspected strongmen dictators had more to do with this problem than any "Global Warming". So, how about some military operations to promote regime change in African Nations suffering under the thumb of dictators? Oh wait, the UN can't do that, they have to write 15-20 resolutions and impose sanctions making things much worse over the long run (killing more people) than a swift strike killing a dictator... Which will likely be carried out by the United States, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand; that will be labeled 'uni-lateral' and 'warmongering' 'expansionist' 'war for resources'.

Dutch point out errors in the UN 2007 Climate Change Report...

Climategate continues to resonate within the climate research world. Not only is God not participating in Global Warming any more (as can be evidenced by Washington D.C. being buried much to RFK Jr.'s dismay...), but Dr. Phil Jones is so embarrassed by his hubris he is contemplating suicide! Don't do it Dr. Jones, admitting your mistakes and moving on is far more important, honest, Honorable, and manly, than suicide.

King North Carolina Police Chief Paula May takes the title as Domestic Villain attacking personal freedom and the Constitution and Bill of Rights this week. She and the Mayor declared a state of emergency and forced a curfew, restrictions on purchasing alcohol, and:

"Other restrictions included a ban on the sale or purchase of any type of firearm, ammunition, explosive or any possession of such items off a person's own premises."

So, if you want to go the Red Cross shelter, you'd best leave your Constitutional Rights behind because the small town mayor and police chief just declared a state of emergency! Personally, the Governor of North Carolina needs to send in his State Guard and/or National Guard troops to arrest the Mayor and Police Chief for violations of the citizens of King Constitutional Rights during a snow storm!

continues to NOT experience the recession the rest of us have to deal with. Luckily, Sarah Palin is back in the forefront of our minds, speaking at a Tea Party Fundraiser! What a breath of fresh air for the little guy to have former Gov. Palin in our corner! She's far from perfect, but seems to be quite open about such things, which is vastly superior to the standard in politics these last few decades of trying to present the candidates as 'perfect people'.

So, the world is as it has been for some time. A dangerous place full of intrigue... Scientists are just political tools, and the real reformers are written off as nut jobs by the establishment! So, if you like Sarah Palin, welcome to the world of Punk!


06FEB2010 A Stolen Valor Case Closed!

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Always good news!


03FEB2010 PTSD Skepticism

I'm skeptical about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This is a bold statement from someone who has sought counseling and was told I could receive a diagnosis to this effect if I needed to. Why would I need to? My combat experiences left me feeling incredibly lucky and blessed that I'd avoided the worst experiences Iraq could have thrown at me. Sure, we took loads of rockets and mortars; but that was more of a nuisance intended cause terror and interfere with our daily operations. To deny my enemy that, I just treated it like steel rain and got angry when it happened; there was no reason to be scared (except for the two or three times in which the rain landed sufficiently close enough to cause me actually jump into a bunker), in fact it just became a part of the background noise of life in Iraq.

I'd been fortunate enough that the only time I fired my weapon in Iraq was two warning shots into the pavement of a highway. We were the rear Stryker in the convoy, and I had the left rear hatch and therefore rear guard of our convoy, a local citizen in a hurry (do Iraqis even have speed limit?!) came flying down the highway toward us and didn't see me point my rifle and put my hand out (palm toward myself, back of hand toward him; the Middle East version of 'STOP'!), so I did what ROE (Rules Of Engagement; specifically escalation of force) required and put two warning shots into the gravel shoulder. Needless to say, he and his passenger stopped abruptly, got out and put their hands on the roof of the vehicle, and then got in and turned around and sped off back the way they came. My exact words were “SHIT, I've got to clean my rifle!” right afterwards... From what my JTAC who was in the Troop Commander's hatch facing forward, and our gunner said, the Squadron Commander (SCO) and S-3's soldiers immediately ducked into their Strykers when they heard gunfire! Then we radioed that it was just warning shots.

Our Stryker might have taken some small arms fire when we did a raid on a small village near Rawah Iraq in Al-Anbar, but then it might have been the Iraqi Army and their wonderful sense of trigger control! You can tell by the reaction of the children. When Americans man a weapon, they'll jump in front of the muzzle without thinking, when the IA mans a weapon they scatter from the direction of the muzzle... Other than that, I did come across the scene of a Suicide Vehicle Born IED (SVBIED) in Mosul that blew and Engineer Stryker off a bridge. There was so little left to of the car that I couldn't see any gore, that and I was in my hatch pulling security, I had to just about beat one of my Airmen down to keep him from climbing into my hatch and taking pictures; and I almost did in fact beat him for that. CSM Shaylor, the Command Sergeant Major of the 172nd Stryker Brigades Engineer Battalion was board that Stryker, he suffered terrible injuries to his skull but survived (as did all the crew if I recall). This incident above all else is probably one of the most memorable for me, mainly because the bridge they got hit on, our formation (the 172nd SBCT TAC) had crossed four times looking for trouble trying to draw them out, and we were on our way for a fifth crossing when we heard the explosion and got the radio call about two minutes later. 2-1 Infantry's Battalion TAC also responded to the scene to secure it as it was their Area of Operations. We had the scene very secure with two teams of JTACs with their respective TAC's and a couple of F-14 Tomcats at our command overhead doing overwatch (yet this was a bullet for the MSGT. Sitting in the Tactical Operations Center on the FOB? WTFO?!).

I sought some counseling about a year ago. Part of it had to be the stress of not having dealt with the death of a friend of mine during my time in Iraq all the way. Funerals help with closure, and when you have a friend die and you cannot partake in such things, it doesn't allow for closure for you. But thats combat. I found out my friend SSG Sutherland (no relation that I know of, maybe a very distant relation from back over the Pond in Scotland!) had died in a rollover while I was on TOC shift in Mosul. I did get the opportunity over the next couple days to catch a Staff Duty Convoy to FOB Marez and talk to my Priest Fr. Greshel. That helped incredibly, and I can't imagine what my reaction would have been like without that conversation. I thought it would be enough, but coming back stateside I was never able to talk to his widow because I could never find the words until recently.

On the other side, there were some immense assaults on Veterans coming from the US Government and various law enforcement agencies within the United States. This was the time of the MIAC Report on a resurgence of 'militias', and the Dept. of Homeland Security Report on Right Wing Extremism. Both these documents clearly targeted the Veterans who were coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan who didn't agree and were critical of the Obama Administration. Apparently, we were 'high risk' and likely to go join an armed mob of white supremacists because we had a black man for President. We were getting profiled as terrorists in the midst of a war on terror having fought real terrorists. Yes, this is rather disturbing to us. This actually was a big stressor on the ENTIRE Veteran community, not just Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans (though it certainly hit us differently than other groups, but I know for a fact many Vietnam Vets were thinking BOHICA!).

Luckily, I'd hardened myself prior to going to Iraq. Sometime shortly after I'd moved to Alaska (JUL04), I went to a fantastic local book store, Gullivers, and picked up a fantastic book called “Stolen Valor” by B.G. Burkett. Prior to reading this, I had the same notion everyone else did about PTSD and the effects of combat on Americans. After reading this book, my opinion changed incredibly. I'm going to venture to say we need to trash everything we think or thought we knew about PTSD and start over again. Why? Politics and the Anti-War movement have tainted our knowledge of PTSD. We need not start over completely however, because in 1952 when the first Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-I) was released, the experiences of WWI, WWII, and the active shooting part of the Korean War (still going on at the time) covered a “gross stress reaction” that was the result of exposure to the more gruesome aspects of combat. Some of those studies even indicated that this reaction could occur years after the battlefield, and the DSM-I described as a temporary condition caused by extreme environmental stress, which should disappear after the patient was removed from the anxiety-producing situation (I'm quoting from the book, get a copy!).

Burkett goes on to extrapolate on the political influence of the Anti-War movment and Robert Jay Lifton on the DSM-II and the creation of PTSD. Its so full of blatant politics that I scarcely can accept the idea of PTSD in the form that was created by these individuals, more specifically applied to myself. There certainly is a such thing as Combat Stress or War Neurosis; which has been observed, studied, and treated for hundreds if not thousands of years. All it takes is a good solid look at history and the improvements made by both psychology and the military are astounding. Civil War records show 20 per 1000 soldiers suffering paralysis and 6 per 1000 suffering insanity from combat. During WWII, draft boards turned away over a million men as mentally unfit for service; and during the war the Ist Army in Europe suffered from 102 psychiatric casualties per 1000 (some of these were hardened combat veterans who'd seen a few battles!). During WWI, the “Salmon Plan” was introduced to provide each unit with a psychiatrist, and in 1944, the Korean War, it was re-introduced. When Vietnam started, it was already in place, with only 5 psychiatric casualties per 1000. I wonder what the rate is today in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Burkett's study of the creation of PTSD doesn't just stop at the views of the biggest PTSD advocate Robert Jay Lifton, he has uncovered and revealed a bias that inserted itself within the VA and Vet Centers across the country during that time. Almost NONE of the Veterans which were treated by the “rap groups” started by Lifton were proud of their service. Every single group specifically sought anti-war veterans who'd supposedly committed or witnessed 'war crimes'. There was NO attempt to verify actual service in any of the armed forces, much less any tours in Vietnam. It was a rigged pool of patients that led to the creation of PTSD in the first place; a mockery of the scientific method if I ever saw it!

There in lies my skepticism. Why should I believe everything a psychiatrist or counselor tells me when the baseline study for the 'disorder' they are attempting to diagnose if flawed to begin with? I do like the folks at my local Vet Center, and having conversations with them I don't doubt that they are 100% supportive of the current Veterans and strong advocates for the older generations of Veterans. In fact, our Veterans Advocate is FEARED by the Veterans Administration and has the highest success rate of getting disabled Veterans the benefits they NEED than any other in country. Our Vet Center has exposed Stolen Valor when they've found it, and several times made sure that phony Medal of Honor holders get dealt with and exposed. Yet it seems there is still the under current of Vietnam Era anti-war politics in the Vet Centers across the rest of the country in some places. I'm a member of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) Community of Veterans (COV) social network; and in those forums I run across a lot of veterans running into problems with the VA and even some Vet Centers. Sometimes I wonder if half the problems all Veterans experience with the VA isn't caused by the sentiment and ghosts of the Vietnam Anti-War movement working in a malicious fashion within the Veterans Administration itself. Department heads my change, but the rank and file bureaucrats are union employees with secured jobs and pensions who will work for decades at a time and cause no end of problems within the bureau they serve if they choose to.


28JAN10 Rant: Why I ignored the State of the Union Address (again)

I didn't listen to the State of the Union Address this year. Last one I actually listened to or cared about was the one George W. Bush gave following 9/11/01. Since then, I have a tradition of just following up on the following day to get the gist of the speech. While I respect this valuable tradition of the office of the President of the United States, ever since that one that I did care about I can only withstand the political theater so far. I was driving home from work (my one day of work this week! I'm a part timer after all) and I turned on the radio and heard President Obama talking. At that point I tuned him out by putting in a cassette tape (yup, I drive a car that old, and it gets 30 miles to the gallon...) and rocked out to the band Extol instead. I really needed that.

I just got over actual hatred of the President of the United States a few months back. Instead I now view him as he is, not as an object worthy of any form of sinful hate and wrath. Why did I hate this man until recently? Well, I'd just gotten back from Iraq when he made the statement about “air raiding villages and and killing innocent civilians”. For over a year after that comment I actually had blood shoot out of my eyes and my head felt like exploding. As I type about that, I must take a deep breath and just let go... Better! Why am I so passionate about that stupid comment from a then Senator now President? Well In my two tours in Iraq, well over a year of my life 6 months each time (179 days according to the orders, however travel vouchers reveal otherwise) from SEP05-FEB06 and NOV06-MAY07, I can count the days live ordnance from fixed wing Close Air Support (CAS) assets were used on one hand without all my fingers being used, and 2/3rds of that was Predator UAV's using Hellfire missiles, and I'm not counting the one time Army Apaches were utilized. This wasn't the result of not sending requests, which at least once a week happened! No, we would get denials three hours later based on the expert analysis of lawyers who were sitting in Qatar; this was under President Bush and during the time President Obama stated we were “air raiding villages and killing innocent civilians”. I was over there, 'air raids' were my business, and they certainly didn't happen until the 'Army of Heaven' decided to hole up in an orchard in FEB07 and start a fight with the Iraqi Army being trained by some Green Berets who had their USAF JTAC (whom was a CCT for that mission, but was relieved by a Stryker BDE TACP JTAC a few hours into the battle, talking on the radio for hours on end takes its toll in the desert!). That one incident resulted in 300 enemies destroyed, but you never heard about it on the news now did you?

So there in lies my reason for ignoring the POTUS at this juncture. I don't need the anger welling up again. I've ceased hating him because that is not conducive to my faith. I ceased listening to him because its the same old stuff re-hashed on a different day. All his problems were created by George W. Bush, only government under his guidance can fix the problem, I'm smarter than you because I got handed a Nobel Peace Prize, and America is sorry for causing all the worlds problems. I'm tired of it. When I start seeing something constructive from him, I might start taking him seriously. In the mean time, I'm going to ignore him and pick up the highlights from the news articles. I can't waste my time listening to his empty jaws flap and regurgitate whats on the teleprompter that his speech writer put up.

-Michael “Sudsy” Sutherland
North Pole AK 28JAN10

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