Stray Voltage

I haven’t done this in a while but I have gathered up four pieces that are worth reading and considering. The first over at Cicero Magazine discusses why we should not be surprised by Putin’s actions.  Concluding paragraph nails it: Vladimir Putin is less of a mystery than he is often portrayed. His conduct is what would have been typical of a Soviet leader behind the Iron Curtain. A bigger mystery is why the Western response has been so weak and feckless, despite the clear signals of Putin’s views, intent, and strategy. Rather than suggest Putin suffers from a disorder […]

To “Thank” or Not to Thank

I heard a good conversation with the author of this article, “Please don’t thank me for my service,” on WMAL yesterday. To these vets, thanking soldiers for their service symbolizes the ease of sending a volunteer army to wage war at great distance — physically, spiritually, economically. It raises questions of the meaning of patriotism, shared purpose and, pointedly, what you’re supposed to say to those who put their lives on the line and are uncomfortable about being thanked for it. Recommended reading. It provoked thought. What say you?

Vigilant Jews Refuse to Lose!

Jerusalem mayor versus (would be) mensch-slayer! The stab victim was rushed to hospital but was not seriously hurt, medical officials said. Police said the suspect, an 18-year-old Palestinian, did not have authorization to reside in Israel. “My bodyguard took out his weapon and when he aimed at the terrorist, the terrorist dropped his knife and we immediately tackled him on the ground to make sure that he cannot continue with the terror attack,” Barkat told reporters shortly afterwards. Ah, and there’s this– Barkat, 55, served as an officer in the paratroopers’ brigade. AIR-BORNE, Mister Mayor.

Post-secularism and ISIS

Recently America got harf’d twice last week. The genesis of ISIS is a lack of jobs; but we Americans are too stupid to understand State’s spokeswoman. The only fumble worse than harfing is this one. So glad they got rid of Tebow so the Broncos could be the Seahawks’ ride to the Ring. As a Cowboys fan I’m not bitter about Tebow’s temporary setback, but the reaction to his faith is something of the canary choking in the coalmine. In DC the idea that there is anything worth believing in outside of post-modernist nihilism and cynicism simply does not compute. DC tells […]

“No Mere Collection of Psychopaths”

Many, many thanks to Mike B ’73 for tossing this through the transom– “What ISIS Really Wants“. There is much to read and absorb, and contemplate with sober realism. I find little to take issue with, and will say here that it is mercifully free of “Yes, but Bush” idiocies. I’ll offer you the final paragraph: Nor, in the case of the Islamic State, its religious or intellectual appeal. That the Islamic State holds the imminent fulfillment of prophecy as a matter of dogma at least tells us the mettle of our opponent. It is ready to cheer its own […]

The Case of Major Golsteyn’s Silver Star

DaveO brought this up a few days ago– “Afghanistan War Hero Stripped of Silver Star”– and George W ’64 is one of several who have mentioned it too. It’s a true story of heroism and treachery. From the original article, we learn that: [Then] Capt. Mathew L. Golsteyn was leading a Special Forces team in Afghanistan in 2010 when an 80-man mission he assembled to hunt insurgent snipers went awry. One of the unit’s five vehicles sank in mud, a gunshot incapacitated an Afghan soldier fighting alongside the Americans, and insurgents maneuvered on them to rake the soggy fields with […]

Farnam on Patrol Rifles

Words of wisdom from one of the masters of the art. If you have, unaccountably, friends who claim to be gun people but don’t understand the vital personal importance of the zero (or, of having good reliable fighting guns) please pass this to them. For those of you who get butt-hurt over criticisms of the god that failed the current administration, well, what can I say? Our beleaguered, and under the current administration, largely irrelevant, US Border Patrol reports that they don’t have enough patrol rifles to issue one to each officer. In some stations, a single rifle is “shared” […]

NO.

MDL sent this in. Sadly, it appears that the individual who wrote it is (was? should never have been??) an officer in the Army Reserve. I can’t even bring myself to quote from it.

“The Other Side Needs To Know This”

How a pile of human filth got turned into a pile of body parts. And not a moment too soon. “Obviously [Hayden] had to get authority for this, and authority could come from only one person, and that would be POTUS,” said the participant. “So he went down to see President Bush. It took Bush apparently only about 30 seconds to say, ‘Yes, and why haven’t you done this already? You have my blessing. Go with God.’” Great story, which I suppose will be a very good book about fifty years from now.

Former DIA Chief Criticizes Administration (w/ Transcript)

Sent in over the transom today– Ex-DIA chief Flynn goes into opposition against Obama Administration on ISIS: It is striking to me how many security officials have gone public against this administration after leaving. This is not a normal pattern, and by this point amounts to a non-partisan indictment of how Obama’s White House has dealt with a variety of national security issues. Among other things, it makes me appreciate the restraint that the current chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, must be exercising on a daily basis. Well, maybe they’re disgusted at what they see, huh? […]