One of The Things We Fight for: Freedom of Speech

Eugene Rant: A joke that was squelched on twitter..

An activist, a Communist, a Muslim, and a bisexual walk into a bar:

The barkeep asks, “What’ll you have, Mr. President?”

I just thought that that since that post, and all it’s many retweets got deleted,  it needed to be preserved.

 

Since when did President Obama attain the same level of fawning indignation as Mohammed?

4th of July

A gentleman was advising us where to take my dogs, down in Las Vegas. I noticed that he was wearing a Vietnam Veteran pin on his hat, so I grabbed his hand to shake it. He thought that I was going to introduce myself, and told me his name. I said, “welcome home” and he just started tearing up, and mumbled something about today’s vets; I told him that he deserved recognition as well and told him to have a good day. I always worry that I’ve depressed them by reminding them of the past.

Anyways, welcome home to ALL veterans. Have a great holiday.

I’ve been in the middle of a move, hence the lack of content. I just had to share this.

Strange Bedfellows

I’ve been debating on whether to post this link, as it is likely to ruffle feathers, but I believe the author has a very valid point. I also believe that we need India as a political ally, not just an economic one. The history of the relationship between the US, Pakistan, and India is founded in bitterness and old grudges, and it is high time that we re-evaluate who we view as ideological partners and who is diametrically opposed to our values and way of life. The answer is India, and NOT Pakistan. Pakistan’s current regime is duplicitous at best, and at worse, an active enemy working to undermine our efforts to create an open and free society in Afghanistan.

Cheering Pakistan’s missile test | The Acorn.

…But the point is that even Saudi Arabia will be a little more worried than it already is. Now imagine if Pakistan’s missiles were capable of reaching Japan, Russia, Western Europe and, err, the continental United States.

India’s leaders have been scared of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons for three decades now. They are already beyond the point where they can be further scared. But the more Pakistan’s behaviour scares the leaders of other countries, not in indirect ways like a subcontinental war or through the export of terrorism, but in direct ways, the more they will see a need to tackle the military-jihadi complex that lies at its source. Few countries of the world, whether they admit it or not, are oblivious to military-jihadi complex’s use of nuclear weapons to shield its jihadi terrorists. If a direct nuclear threat is a high threshold risk, a nuclear blackmail has a relatively lower threshold of probability. (See That’s Washington’s problem)

The effect of all the stockpiling and all the launching by Pakistan will be to spread the risk among a wider group of nations. The quantum of risk India faces doesn’t change…but it will have others sharing similar risks albeit at a lower level. If the men in khaki in Rawalpindi think scaring the important powers of the world is in their interests then, to use a phrase I heard from Arun Shourie (but attributed to Napoleon) we must not interrupt the enemy when he is making a mistake.

So let’s join them in cheering the Pakistani military-jihadi complex on the successful launch of Hatf-4/Shaheen1A missile—incidentally a gift from the Clinton Administration—and encourage them to acquire missiles with ever greater ranges. (There’s a small question of whether China will sell them this stuff, but let’s not be curmudgeonly and discredit the scientific talent in Pakistan.)

 

Recently the third US-India Strategic Dialogue took place, and the relationship between India and Pakistan will be a key part of that dialogue, although I doubt anything of substance will result, as they are as likely to cooperate as the Palestinians and the Israelis. Then again, why should they? How can you cooperate with an opponent whose only goal is the absence of you, in the universe? As with most conflicts, it isn’t the populace that pose a threat, it is those in control: the religious extremists, the military, and the autocracy. Whether it is Iran, North Korea, or Pakistan, the people do not have freedom of knowledge, much less freedom of speech. Pakistan is notorious for allowing its religious minority to make policy and control the direction of the country, and that direction veers farther and farther from representative government of the people, for the people, and by the people.

India has had numerous incidents of terrorist activities, and most are attributed to Pakistan. We, the US and India, both have a vested interest in seeing Pakistan’s militant extremist removed from power and discredited. There is a small but vocal group of expatriate Pakistanis who desperately want to see Pakistan become a modernized and free country. I believe it should be the goal of every nation, but then I am an idealist.

Unknown Soldiers Remembered

The Unknown Soldiers. is one story after another about the individual service members, and their families, who have given their lives or limbs for a greater cause. The stories are painful to read, as each one brings tears to the eyes and a tidal wave of emotion. It is difficult to justify drowning in sorrow, when the spouses and family members of the fallen and wounded describe their determination to continue on, in the memory of their loved one.

These soldiers, marines, and airmen believed they were a part of something greater than themselves. They fought and died for their buddies, their families, and their country. Most people will never know why or how the military can bring out the desire to be an instrument of change. Politics is meaningless and irrelevant to those who have seen the true faces of oppression and death. Preventing the bad guys from oppressing and killing the innocent and helpless is a noble and just cause. People can call this jingoism or idealistic, but in the end, all things can be reduced to their most basic components. You can fight to protect others or you can talk about it, but if the bad guys are willing to die for their beliefs then words will not prevent anyone from dying, and you can only hide for so long before they come to force their beliefs on you.

I am thankful for their sacrifices, everyday. The broken minds and bodies of our wounded warriors must be given the full care and attention that we give the smallest child. They have thrown themselves in harm’s way, so that we can comfortably squabble over semantics. They will continue to do it, because that is what you do, when you know that someone has to stand up to the bad guys.

Social Media and the dangers of over-sharing

MOD Security Risks – Think before you Share – YouTube.

A British Public Service Announcement that is equally vital regardless of your location.

Think about what type of information you are passing on about your loved one, whether they are deployed or at home, to the public.

Everything you could want to know about the proper use of social media as a family member of a someone serving their country
http://www.defense.gov/socialmedia/education-and-training.aspx/

There is an old saying from WWII: Loose lips sink ships. It still applies.

h/t  Ghost of a Flea: the hoopiest frood, this side of the galaxy

Dedicated to anyone deployed

…and anyone who has fought for our country. But most of all to my pal, Jeffrey, somewhere at an FOB in Afghanistan.


Deep in the ocean, dead and cast away,
where innocence is burned… in flames.
A million mile from home, I’m walking ahead.
I’m frozen to the bones, I am.

A soldier on my own, I don’t know the way.
I’m riding up the heights… of shame.
I’m waiting for the call, the hand on the chest.
I’m ready for the fight… and fate.

The sound of iron shots is stuck in my head.
The thunder of the drums dictates
the rhythm of the falls, the number of deaths,
the rising of the horns… ahead.

From the dawn of time to the end of days,
I will have to run… away.
I want to feel the pain and the bitter taste…
of the blood on my lips… again.

This steady burst of snow is burning my hands.
I’m frozen to the bones, I am.
A million mile from home, I’m walking away.
I can’t remind your eyes, your face.

h/t Ghost of a Flea who first introduced me to it.

There IS Something Wrong Here…

A random commenter on an old Huffington Post editorial, on troops in 82nd INF DIV (ABN)

there is something wrong here, the troops want to go to afghanistan, must be the american war mentality at work here………[sic]

So, I wonder if anyone ever asks:

  • if Firemen want to go play with fire, or if it is just the American arsonist mentality
  • if Police officers want to go apprehend criminals and enforce the law, or if it is just the American police state mentality
  • if EMT and Search and Rescue teams want to go find people who are severely injured and wounded, or if it is just the American sadistic mentality
  • if Judges and Prosecutors want to put people in jail, or if it is just the American power-mad mentality
  • if the Border Patrol want to capture illegal immigrants and return them to their own country, or if it is just the American racist mentality
  • if Surgeons want to cut people open, or if it just the American lust for blood and gore mentality

Anyone else know the lyrics to this tune? I’ve been hearing it played over and over about the US military, but apparently no other military has this problem. What do I know. I wanted to go when I was still in. I wanted to do my job. I had this crazy notion that I was protecting the Allies of the United States. There wasn’t an “Internet” to speak of, back in 1991, so I didn’t have to worry about people chopping my principles out from underneath me or questioning my motives or ethics.

I would certainly enjoy a face to face interaction with the individuals and/or groups who are so dismissive of our military personnel. I have no doubt that the Joes in the 82nd would greatly enjoy an intellectual debate on the concept of the American War Mentality.  Then they’d offer to continue the discussion in a more private venue where it could be addressed in a less formal manner.

I’d put my money on the Airborne Infantry every time, for the win. I’ve had the honor of calling a bunch of them friend. They are definitely some of the smartest and best human beings on the planet.