Load HEAT

If an actress has one successful series on television that runs for more than 2 years, she’s luckier than about 90% of all actresses out there. Our hottie this week has had starring roles on three series.

Katey Sagal has starred on Married With Children, 8 Simple Rules, and now on Sons of Anarchy. I never saw a single episode of 8 Simple Rules, but I love her in both the other series.

Death By PowerPoint

I was kind of lucky I left the Army when I did. PowerPoint was just coming into vogue. In fact, it was still something of a useful tool back then. Even cutting edge.

Sadly, like almost every other tool at the bureaucrats disposal, it became bloated and went from being a means to an end in itself.

Most of you have seen some interminable training or marketing presentation at work. Guess what, the Army is even worse. There are a slew of officers at work who do nothing but generate PPT presentations.  And we aren’t talking about stateside staffs, or offices buried deep in the bowels of the Pentagon. We’re talking about the operational forces in theater in Afghanistan or Iraq.

With that much information, virtually all of it useless, you are almost certain to attain paralysis by analysis. But that is the nature of a bureaucracy.

So it is more than a little surprising that a Reserve officer has thrown the bullshit flag.

For headquarters staff, war consists largely of the endless tinkering with PowerPoint slides to conform with the idiosyncrasies of cognitively challenged generals in order to spoon-feed them information. Even one tiny flaw in a slide can halt a general’s thought processes as abruptly as a computer system’s blue screen of death.

The ability to brief well is, therefore, a critical skill. It is important to note that skill in briefing resides in how you say it. It doesn’t matter so much what you say or even if you are speaking Klingon.

Not surprisingly, COL Sellin has been relieved.

Hat tip to the invaluable War News Updates. Be sure to watch the video.

Open Letter to Moderate Muslims (via The H2)

Preach it, Brother!

Open Letter to Moderate Muslims Assuming that you exist, we are to believe that you are the mainstream of the Muslim community as opposed to your extremist brothers that preach hatred from your houses of worship, kill women and homosexuals as sport, detonate bomb belts at weddings and fly planes into buildings. This in an open letter appeal to you in regards to what has become known as the "9-11 Mosque". If your desire is to live in peace with America, a country that has alread … Read More

via The H2: Taking Three Weeks of Vacation a Month Since March 2009!

Surviving the Cut

I just finished watching the first installment of Discoery Channels’ new series “Surviving the Cut.” The series premier followed a class of soldiers through the US Army’s Ranger School.

Not a bad program. It’s hard to cram a 61 day course into an hour of television. And it is flatly impossible to convey the sheer level of hunger, fatigue and discomfort that is deliberately built in to the course.

I’m not a Ranger. I never went to any of the high-speed courses in the Army. I’ve done just about all the tasks that a student would go through in Ranger School. But what I didn’t have to do was face the grind of doing it for 2 straight months with no more than 4 hours sleep a night, and on no more than one or two meals a day. It’s pretty easy to put up with misery for a five day training exercise. But fatigue is cumulative. What may be easy on Day 5 is damn near impossible on Day 50.

Next week the show brings us the Air Forces Pararescue course. It is a tennent of the Army that the Air Force may wear uniforms, but they aren’t really military. PJ’s are the exception to that rule.

We won.

The US has ended combat operations in Iraq.

The final convoy of the Army’s 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, based at Fort Lewis, Wash., were about to enter Kuwait shortly after 1:30 a.m. (6:30 p.m. Wednesday ET), carrying the last of the 14,000 U.S. combat forces in Iraq, said NBC’s Richard Engel, who has been traveling with the brigade as it moved out this week.

“We won! We won! It’s over! We brought democracy to Iraq!” a soldier shouted as fellow soldiers celebrated their arrival in Kuwait this week.

For Staff Sgt. Heon Hong of Guam, the brigade’s departure, which began over the weekend, marked the end of his third tour of duty in Iraq.

“I’m glad I’m here. I’m glad we’re done with Iraq,” Hong said as his transport arrived this week. Hopefully, I never come back to Iraq.”

Still, there are about 50,000 US advisors still in Iraq providing support to the Iraqi Army and National Police.

Via Ace

Load HEAT- day late edition

I was over at Warming Glow (doing research, honest!) and came across this bit of wit:

I can’t talk about “Gossip Girl” without bringing up Blake Lively. I hope God took the day off after making her, because she is FANTASTIC. I would totally keep her in a well and wear her skin — and not in a creepy way. I’m just a hugely enthusiastic fan of her work. Not enough to watch “Gossip Girl,” though. A man has to have limits.

What can I say, beyond that I agree wholeheartedly…

Anti-gun or anti-business

Via the Volokh Conspiracy, comes news that the Obama administration has banned the importation of about 100,000 M1 Garand and M1 Carbine rifles from South Korea.

According to The Korea Times, the Obama administration has blocked efforts by the South Korean government to sell over a  hundred thousand surplus M1 Garand and Carbine rifles into the United States market. These self-loading were rifles introduced in 1926 and 1941. As rifles, they are especially well-suited to community defense in an emergency, as in the cases of community defense following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Along with AR-15 type rifles, the M1 rifles are the quintessential firearms of responsible citizenship, precisely the type of firearms which civic responsibility organizations such as the Appleseed Project teach people how to use.

Korea was equipped with the Garand and the Carbine during the Korean war with weapons from US war stocks.  They held them in war reserve after reequipping with more modern weapons.

Now, the administrations purported objections are pretty stupid on their face. The Garand and the Carbine have been popular with civilian shooters here in America literally since the day WWII ended. Heck, even I owned a Garand.

So the question in my mind is “what’s going on?” And I see three possible answers. First, a mid level bureaucrat is just being stupid. That’s always a realistic possibility. Second, we are seeing the default anti-gun stance of the Obama administration. I think that has some influence here, but may not be the whole story. Indeed, the Clinton administration banned the re-importation of M1s.

The other option might be that the reflexive anti-business stance of the current administration  is at work. The objection that these weapons are just itching to get into the hands of terrorists is just laughable. First, what terrorist wants one? There are plenty of legally available weapons that might better be suited for terror. Second, these same weapons are available for sale. Today. By no less a dealer than the United States Government. Really.

The Civilian Marksmanship Program offers surplus rifles for sale to US citizens.

So maybe, the administration just doesn’t want any competition…