Saturday, April 21, 2007


We had Dining-Out last night. That was fun. Good food, good friends, good ceremony. I felt a little out of place because the whole thing is geared to honoring the contracted cadets who are sooner or later going to become Officers...they all had Class-A's too...not me...I had a suit, heh.

I got a bunch of congratulations from my ROTC peers on my PT test results at the ceremony...that made me feel great, especially when one of the MS4s who got a 385 (yeah...that's 3-8-5) commented on how fast I was...good stuff.

I've got a Leadership analysis paper to do now...gotta read up on General George S. Patton. Have a good weekend, all.

Peace out.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Record APFT

Our last PT test for the semester was this morning...I improved on all accounts!

69 push-ups...personal best and just six away from a max. Up from 56 on the last test.
86 sit-ups...another personal best. That's up from 75.
12 min 31 sec two-mile time...also a personal best! That's down 7 seconds.

Overall score of 293...6 stupid push-ups and I could have maxed. Oh well. I can most assuredly get those in by the start of the fall. I've just really got to stay on top of fitness this summer.

Speaking of staying on top of things, the end of the school year is here...and that means mountains of work to be done...
Posting may be slight over the next 5 days...but have no fear...summer will be here soon.

Peace out.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Final PT / End of the school year

I was planning on posting about VT, gun-law ranters, and related topics...but I think enough has been said on these particular subjects lately. The families of the victims deserve time to heal, and who am I to judge the situation surrounding the University and its police one way or the other.

The MS4s took their record PT Test today. My housemates did fairly well by their own accounts, so congratulations to them. The rest of us take our final test on Friday. I think the swimming and extra workouts that I've been undertaking recently are going to go a long way...The test won't really matter for me no matter how well or poorly I do, but it's certainly a matter of pride. One of the MS3s I pace with tested with the MS4s my run group of 3 is down to 2...we should be able to keep a good pace regardless...I ate up the run route today, so I'm hoping the same thing will happen Friday.

As always, I'm concerned about push-ups...but today, I did 50 without-rest for the first time ever...that made me's to hoping I can repeat that performance Friday.

Ok...I'm done.
Peace out.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Quick Update

Computer's back up and running...thank you, Travis.

If you haven't heard, there were two shootings at Virginia Tech this morning. ABC estimates 25-29 people dead so far and another 20 or so wounded. I'll post more details and some thoughts about the tragedy tonight after class and work.

Keep the victims in your thoughts and prayers.
Peace out.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Man down!'s my computer that's down. Something must have recently gotten screwed up on the Linux half because I can't boot into either side...grub's giving me troubles.

Needless to say, posting might be limited until I can figure out what's wrong with it. I'm praying it doesn't come to a HD wipe. I like to do that every six months anyway, but I was sort've hoping I could make it all the way to summer break first...which is just over two weeks away...oh well, these things happen.

Wish me luck. I'm stuck in the school's computer labs until I figure something out.
Peace out.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Rutgers Controversy and Words from a Fellow Soldier

Ok, Im jumping on the band wagon. I'm going to write about Don Imus and the Rutgers basketball women...but something needs to be said.

Don Imus' comment, joke or not, was out of line. No questions. It really wasn't funny, and I'm not sure what he was trying to prove...ok, that's settled.

Do I really think the women of the team suffered physically because of being called "nappy-headed hoes?" Absolutely not. My room mates and I greet each other every morning with harsher insults than that, and I certainly don't get sick on a regular basis.

I understand the difference of course. Imus' joke was mean-spirited, our greetings are not...but my point is simply that you can't let things get to you. What does it matter what an old white-dude has to say about the black women on a Rutgers basketball team? doesn't matter. Should he have been fired? It's not my decision, and I really couldn't care less. All I know is that I'm sick of reading about how insult is making them suffer...bah.

Imus has handled the aftermath as best as he should...he's apologized again and again for his behavior...on Al Sharpton's show! (possibly a mistake to try that...) But no one will let it go...he deserves some punishment...but think about it: If soldiers had taken Kerry's slip-of-the-tongue as seriously as everyone is currently taking Imus', MA might be out of a senator.

I received this next piece in an email from my recruiter who received it from a friend of his. It's good...really good.

The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some poll
data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source,

The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy
with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country
is unhappy with the performance of the president. In essence 2/3 of the
citizenry just ain't happy and want a change.

So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, ''What are we
so unhappy about?''

Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7
days a week? Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning
in the summer and heating in the winter? Could it be that 95.6 percent
of these unhappy folks have a job? Maybe it is the ability to walk into
a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has
seen in the last year?

Maybe it is the ability to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the
Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we
move through each state? Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe
motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter?
I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around
the world is just not good enough. Or could it be that when we wreck
our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all and
even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.

Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home.
You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a
group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch
equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you, your family and your
belongings. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen
TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a
bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack
or loss. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or
militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90
percent of teenagers own cell phones and computers.

How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we
enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world? Maybe that is what
has 67 percent of you folks unhappy.

Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the
world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S., yet has a
great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most
blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we
don't have, and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the
good Lord we live here.

I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and
has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent
approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in
the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an
economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been
called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled
ungrateful brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of
an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me? Did you
hear how bad the President is on the news or talk show? Did this news
affect you so much, make you so unhappy you couldn't take a look around
for yourself and see all the good things and be glad?

Think about it.....are you upset at the President because he
actually caused you personal pain OR is it because the "Media" told you
he was failing to kiss your sorry ungrateful ass every day.

Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have
volunteered to serve, and in many cases may have died for your freedom.
There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go.
They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general''
discharge, an ''other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case
scenario, a ''dishonorable'' discharge after a few days in the brig.

So why then the flat-out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent
of Americans? Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it
bleeds, it leads and they specialize in bad news.

Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will
watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and
media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells, and
when criticized, try to defend their actions by "justifying" them in one
way or another. Just ask why they tried to allow a murderer like O.J.
Simpson to write a book about how he didn't kill his wife, but if he did
he would have done it this way..... Insane!

Stop buying the negativism you are fed every day by the media. Shut
off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of
your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country.
There is exponentially more good than bad.

Fantastic. That's all I've got. Back to work.
Peace out.

Swimming and PT

Pretty solid workout this morning. I'm finding that the swimming my two room mates and I have been doing since our return from break is already going a long way. I'm constantly tired and worn-out...but when I exercise, the feeling stays the same (as bad as it always is), and I'm doing more pushups more quickly, and I've stayed close to the head of the pack for run times. Pretty good stuff. I'm going to have to think about joining a pool or rec center this summer...only two weeks

Nothing political from me today; I just wanted to make this observation.

Enjoy your Friday-the-13s everyone.
Peace out.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Lead Lab and Duke Rape Case

We had a Lead Lab early this morning. The topic was Combat Medical Care. Lead Labs always make me feel useless because I don't have nearly the experience of any of the other cadets, including the freshmen. I was put on my platoon's secondary Aid & Litter team (taking care of fallen or wounded comrades). When one of my squad members took an imaginary wound to the leg via an injury-simulation-card, I didn't know how to deal with it because I had never seen a card like that before (because I was not allowed to participate in the Field Training Exercise a few weeks ago). In a real combat situation, my squad member and I would have been in serious trouble.

I'm certainly not upset or anything. The MS4s do a good job of explaining and are very patient with anyone (including myself) who's lost or confused. Lead Labs are supposed to be learning experiences, and I sure as heck know what to do for the next time. I always feel like I'm letting people down when I screw up though. I suppose it's better to do that now when it doesn't matter versus going to BTC and blowing it there.

In other news, Crystal Gail Mangum has dropped all charges against the three former members of the Duke lacrosse team. Apparently somebody missed the fact that of all four the DNA samples found in or on her clothes at the time of the initial investigation, not one match could be made to any of the lacrosse team members. This of course is coupled with the fact that her story changed on a regular basis, and the only member of the team she identified in each of the line ups presented to her had a solid alibi; he was not even at the University on the day of the party.

How can injustices like this happen? I certainly understand with making sure the victims get justice, but how about making sure that victims are what they claim to be in the first place? The severity of the screw ups in this case are astronomical. Crystal's allegations will follow those three boys for the rest of their lives, and they were completely baseless from the start! Testimonies from multiple people, a complete lack of DNA evidence, and numerous inconsistencies on the part of the accuser should have gotten the charges dismissed a year ago when this case first came to fruition.

That's all I've got. Peace out.

EDIT: Anyone who has a problem with the validity of using Wikipedia as a source for news and the like ought to take a look at the sources cited on the bottom of the "2006 Duke University lacrosse team scandal" article to which I link above. One-hundred-and-sixty-seven independent articles. Not bad...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

British Article on Global Warming Hypocrites

This is a well-written article. You must read it!

Film recommendations

Ok, if you've been under a rock for the past few weeks and haven't had a chance to see 300, do it.

The movie is fantastic. It's amazing how Frank Miller and Zach Snyder could take a fairly straight forward story and transform it into a cinematic masterpiece. While certainly a miraculous tale, the Battle of Themopylae was not exactly plot-central. For anyone familiar with the comic, the movie parallels it sufficiently to do justice to Frank Miller's original creation.

Do not expect one hundred percent historical accuracy, for you will be sorely disappointed. 300 is derived from a graphic novel which is based roughly on the Battle of Thermopylae. Of course King Leonidas, the Spartans, and the miraculous battle with the Persians are all central, but the story Miller weaves delves so much deeper. Speculation and fiction? Of course, but it sure makes for excellent cinema.

And the gratuitous violence, blood, and gore are all here...but it's an ancient world battle! Even movies like Braveheart, one of the greatest films of all time in my opinion, did not do old-world combat justice in the ways of sheer gore. There was nothing pretty about the pitched battles of the old world...and even they were an improvement on the ancient world. Spear + chest = blood. Fact.

A lot of people grilled Snyder and Miller about whether or not the movie was meant to mirror our current conflict in Middle East...and if it did, which side it supported. Both sides found evidence in their favor and tried to justify their opinions on such things...but when questioned, both director and writer laughed and simply said something to the effect of, "Make of it whatever you want. We're not going to say anything. Why on Earth would we alienate half our audience either way?" I whole-heartedly both respect and appreciate that.

The Prestige is also a fantastic movie. I rented it over Easter Break, and made an afternoon out of it. According to every other person I have talked to recently who has seen the movie, it was the most unpredictable film in history...I swear I had it pegged from very early in my viewing experience. That certainly did not stop me from enjoying it though. The entire film will probably keep you guessing. Give it a rent and then buy it!

My room mate and I have decided we're going to swim everyday to get in really good shape for the record APFT at the end of the month. So far so good...very sleepy. We'll see how PT goes in the morning, heh.

Ok, time to get to work. Peace out.

Friday, April 6, 2007


I had a very long and interesting conversation about torture, the death penalty, and radical Islamic terrorists the other night...I'm finally getting around the post about it; thank goodness for Easter Break.

I have a close friend with whom I argue for the sake of arguing on what amounts to a daily basis. On this particular occasion, one of my house mates and I were discussing the legitimacy of US "torture" on the terrorists they had captured when my friend chimed in and vehemently condemned any torture of any kind. He argued that as human beings, even the terrorists had inalienable rights (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? heh) that we have no right to take away from them. I did (and will continue to) put forth this argument: When men or women act inhumanely and without responsibility towards the rights of others, they give up their own rights as human beings.

No one will ever be able to convince me under any circumstances that Timothy McVeigh, Saddamn Hussein, or Osama bin-Laden had (or have?) a right to live. These men acted with the sole purpose of killing hundreds to thousands of innocent men, women, and children. They have forfeited their rights as human beings.

The torture we use to obtain information from terrorist detainees will not kill them. We do not shove bamboo into their finger nails. Waterboarding (which I do believe happens at Gitmo, despite what our fearless leaders say) can cause death, but hasn't resulted in any that we've heard of...and yes, I do think we'd hear about it eventually.

Many people, including my friend, say torture doesn't work because you can't rely on the information that comes from it...but I disagree...Don't you think that eventually if we got bad information again and again they would stop using torture as a means to obtain intelligence? The reason "torture" is used is because it does work.

And, just so that no legitimate comparisons can be drawn between US torture and the beheadings, etc. of the US and Allied Forces by the Islamic terrorists: There is a difference between us and them, and there's no denying it. We fight to make peace and prevent mass murder. They fight to kill us...all of us. When we harm or coerce others for information, we're doing it to save others. The terrorists capture civilians and gruesomely kill them in cold blood to maximize the body count in order to get civilians back on US soil riled up enough to fight against the war at home.

There has got to be some objectivity. You cannot just say, "We fight for freedom, and that's how they feel too, so everyone's right (...or no one is)." For better or worse, there are evil men and women on this planet who have to be kept in check or killed by any means necessary. And as long as we're not intentionally blowing up hospitals , Universities , and neighborhoods , I'm behind our government one hundred percent.

Monday, April 2, 2007

More trouble with Iran...PT Test

My PT test was sub-par this morning. 269/300...down from ~285 from the last test. I lost 7 pushups and 7 situps...bad form. Don't know where my head was this morning. I did drop a second off my run time, but I was already at 100 there, so it didn't exactly do me any good. Oh well, this summer is going to be dedicated to getting into the best shape I've ever been in with the help of my football-playing younger brother, so I've just got to look to the future I suppose.

So, apparently, the Iranians tried to pull the same garbage with American soldiers that they've done with the British. Late last week, a group of US troops was surrounded by a force of Iranians who went across the border into Iraq (these claims like those of the British are in fact supported by GPS data from the encounter) and told the US troops to hold their position and prepare for capture.

While the Americans began to respond, the Iranians opened fire on our boys. Fortunately, no American troops were lost, though I believe I read that some 10 Iraqis who were traveling alongside the Americans are now missing.

The larger Iranian force eventually broke off and went back across the border. Rules of Engagement prevented our guys from actually fighting back, but apparently they don't do anything to prevent the illegal capture (attempted or otherwise) of our guys and our allies.

I had to dig to find this one...and I can't currently find it online...why isn't this being actively reported on major news networks?

In addition to this infraction, Iranians are pointing more fingers at American forces, claiming they entered Iranian airspace . No data to support it...again...seeing the pattern here?

The Iranians are acting like children...They see trouble coming for them, so rather than try to resolve it like grown-ups, they're lashing out spitefully in an effort to attract attention...garbage...

Ok, I suppose I better start working on homework. Quick week because of Easter Break. Let's hope it's a good one.
Peace out.