20101124

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...

20101122

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.

20101120

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.

20101110

10NOV2010, Missile or Contrail?

10NOV2010

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.

SECTION III
NM 45/10
III-1.7NM 45/10 SECTION III

433/10(19). NORTH PACIFIC. HAWAII. MISSILES. 1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS 290130Z TO 290700Z OCT,
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,
2. CANCEL THIS MSG 310900Z OCT.

434/10(18). EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC. CALIFORNIA. MISSILES.
1. INTERMITTENT MISSILE FIRING OPERATIONS 0001Z TO 2359Z
DAILY MONDAY THRU SUNDAY IN THE NAVAL AIR WARFARE CENTER SEA RANGE. THE MAJORITY OF MISSILE FIRINGS TAKE PLACE 1400Z TO 2359Z AND 0001Z TO 0200Z DAILY MONDAY THRU FRIDAY IN AREA BOUND BY
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.
2. VESSELS MAY BE REQUESTED TO ALTER COURSE WITHIN THE ABOVE AREA DUE TO FIRING OPERATIONS AND ARE REQUESTED TO CONTACT PLEAD CONTROL ON 5081.5 MHZ (5080 KHZ) OR 3238.5 KHZ (3237 KHZ) SECONDARY OR 156.8 MHZ (CH 16) OR 127.55 MHZ BEFORE ENTERING THE ABOVE BOUNDARIES AND MAINTAIN CONTINUOUS GUARD WHILE WITHIN THE RANGE.
3. VESSELS INBOUND AND OUTBOUND FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PORTS WILL CREATE THE LEAST INTERFERENCE TO FIRING OPERATIONS DURING THE SPECIFIC PERIODS, AS WELL AS ENHANCE THE VESSEL'S SAFETY WHEN PASSING THROUGH THE VICINITY OF THE SEA RANGE IF THEY WILL TRANSIT VIA THE SANTA BARBARA CHANNEL AND WITHIN NINE MILES OFFSHORE VICINITY OF POINT MUGU OR CROSS THE AREA SOUTHWEST OF SAN NICOLAS ISLAND BETWEEN SUNSET AND SUNRISE.
4. CANCEL NAVAREA XII 427/10.

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.

20101107

Clayton needs our help!

07NOV10

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.