Saturday, May 29, 2004

Memorial - Tech. Sgt. John Chapman

Tech. Sgt. John Chapman was awarded the Air Force Cross posthumously on January 10, 2003.
Chapman and his team were inserted by helicopter into an area of Afghanistan on March 4 for a mission. During insertion, the helicopter came under heavy machine-gun fire and was directly hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. The grenade caused a Navy SEAL team member to fall from the aircraft.

The helicopter was severely damaged and made an emergency landing seven kilometers away from where the SEAL fell.

After landing, Chapman called in an AC-130 gunship to provide close-air support and cover the stranded team before directing the gunship to search for the missing team member.

Chapman called for, coordinated and controlled an evacuation helicopter for the team, limiting their exposure to enemy fire.

According to the award citation, Chapman volunteered to rescue the missing team member without regard for his own life. He engaged and killed two enemy personnel then continued advancing until engaging a dug-in machine gun nest.

"At this time, the rescue team came under effective enemy fire from three directions," read the citation. Chapman exchanged fire at close range with the enemy until succumbing to multiple wounds. "His engagement and destruction of the first enemy position and advancement on the second enemy position enabled his team to move to cover and break enemy contact."

The team leader credited Chapman's aggressive and selfless actions with saving the lives of the entire team.
The Air Force Cross is the second highest medal awarded to Airmen.

Here are all medals, and their ranks for each of the services. I repeat my challenge to you: As a way to remember our heroes this Memorial weekend, let's Google up some stories and post them on our blogs. Feel free to use any of these.

Memorial - Marine Pfc. Joseph B. Perez

Marine Pfc. Joseph B. Perez received the Navy Cross on May sixth.
1st Platoon came under intense enemy fire while clearing near Route 6 during the advance into Baghdad. Perez, the point man for the lead squad, and therefore the most exposed member of the platoon, came under the majority of these fires.

Without hesitation, he continuously fired his M16A4 rifle to destroy the enemy while calmly directing accurate fires for his squad. He led the charge down a trench destroying the enemy and while closing and under tremendous enemy fire, threw a grenade into a trench that the enemy was occupying.
While under a heavy volume of fire, Perez fired an AT-4 rocket into a machine gun bunker, completely destroying it and killing four enemy personnel. His actions enabled the squad to maneuver safely to the enemy position and seize it.

In an effort to link up with 3rd Platoon on his platoon's left flank, Perez continued to destroy enemy combatants with precision rifle fire. As he worked his way to the left, he was hit by enemy fire, sustaining gunshot wounds to his torso and shoulder.
Despite being seriously injured, Perez directed the squad to take cover and gave the squad accurate fire direction to the enemy that enabled the squad to reorganize and destroy the enemy.
The Navy Cross is the second highest medal awarded to Marines.

Here are all medals, and their ranks for each of the services. I repeat my challenge to you: As a way to remember our heroes this Memorial weekend, let's Google up some stories and post them on our blogs.

Memorial - Marine Capt. Brian R. Chontosh

Marine Capt. Brian R. Chontosh received the Navy Cross on May sixth.
While leading his platoon north on Highway 1 toward Ad Diwaniyah, Chontosh's platoon moved into a coordinated ambush of mortars, rocket propelled grenades and automatic weapons fire. With coalitions tanks blocking the road ahead, he realized his platoon was caught in a kill zone.

He had his driver move the vehicle through a breach along his flank, where he was immediately taken under fire from an entrenched machine gun. Without hesitation, Chontosh ordered the driver to advanced directly at the enemy position enabling his .50 caliber machine gunner to silence the enemy.

He then directed his driver into the enemy trench, where he exited his vehicle and began to clear the trench with an M16A2 service rifle and 9 millimeter pistol. His ammunition depleted, Chontosh, with complete disregard for his safety, twice picked up discarded enemy rifles and continued his ferocious attack.

When a Marine following him found an enemy rocket propelled grenade launcher, Chontosh used it to destroy yet another group of enemy soldiers.

When his audacious attack ended, he had cleared over 200 meters of the enemy trench, killing more than 20 enemy soldiers and wounding several others.
The Navy Cross is the second highest medal awarded to Marines.

Found via this Google search: 2004 OR 2003 AND "Air Force Cross" OR "Navy Cross" OR "Distinguished Service Cross".

But I saw it first on Blackfive. Wish I remember whose link I followed to get there. Here are all medals, and their ranks for each of the services. Here's a challenge to you: As a way to remember our heroes this Memorial weekend, let's Google up some stories and post them on our blogs.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Super-Wow, Holy Cow, Read This Now!

I wasn't reading Mrs. du Toit in 2002, so I missed Finding Mark Twain. You shouldn't. Francis Porretto and Bill Whittle may be the best essayists in the blogosphere. Finding Mark Twain matches their best efforts.

Via Mr. du Toit.

Memorial - Marine Sgt. Marcos A. Martinez

Marine Sgt. Marcos A. Martinez received the Navy Cross on May third.
A corporal at the time, Martinez responded to a call to reinforce 1st Platoon, which was under attack by enemy forces. Under fire, Martinez deployed his team in supporting positions for a squad assault.

He assumed control after his squad leader was wounded. While other Marines tended to the wounded squad leader, Martinez single-handedly assaulted the building and killed four enemy soldiers with a grenade and his rifle.
The Navy Cross is the second highest medal awarded to Marines.

Here are all medals, and their ranks for each of the services. As a way to remember our heroes this Memorial weekend, let's Google up some stories and post them on our blogs.

Kerry Foreign Policy: 1/3 Less Calories

This critique of Kerry's foreign policy speech concludes thus: "It's sort of like Bush lite". Be sure and note how Kerry has adopted Rumsfeld's ideas on transforming the military - less troops and more tech. What boots on the ground?

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Al Gore's Tirade: Unwise, Unwarranted and Untrue

I just heard the outtakes from Gore's tirade on Alan Colmes radio show. It was unwise, unwarranted and untrue for Al Gore to call Bush the most dishonest man since Richard Nixon. Clearly Al cannot tell the difference between a lie and a mistake which Al and his old boss Bill also made. Al also cannot tell the difference between a lie and a difference of opinion. The dishonor comments, the 'how dare he' comments, the incompetent comments and the resignation roll call were just as unwise, unwarranted and untrue.

These comments would have been unwise, unwarranted and untrue if Gore made them at home to a small group of friends. It was positively wrong for the former Vice President to say them as he did.

Kerry should kick Gore out of the Democratic Party. Update: The previous sentence was also unwise, unwarranted and untrue. What I'm trying to say is that Kerry should tell Gore he isn't helping. This rhetoric will drive moderate voters away from Kerry.

It also poisons the well. I object to Gore calling me dishonest, incompetent and dishonorable. What, you say, Gore didn't mention you at all! Well, I agree with the President. I believe the strategy he promoted was correct as were his reasons for it, and I believed this before we went to war. So Gore is calling me either dishonest or incompetent or both.

Similarly, Gore has called me dishonorable. As good as our soldiers are, there have always been bad apples who have done horrible things. We executed 500 soldiers during WWII (the Good War) for their crimes. Since I advocated war, I was advocating that we put our soldiers in a position to dishonor our country, knowing that the chances they would do so were very good.

Like many people (including some on my side), Gore thinks there are no consequences for making these kinds of accusations. Well, there are. When a Democrat proposes a reasonable compromise I will think of this speech. I will think of all the compromises Bush made on education, taxes, the environment and the war. I will think of all the effort he made at the UN. I will think of the spending for the No Child Left Behind Act, which Ted Kennedy helped author. And I will think, "Why compromise? Al Gore will still call me a dishonest, ignorant, dishonorable, incompetent jerk."

John Kerry needs to tell Al Gore, "Pipe down. You aren't helping now and certainly aren't helping me after the election."

Here's a helpful summary: Gore's tirade was bad for him, bad for Kerry, bad for the Democratic Party and bad for the country.

Here is the Fox article on the Speech.

Here is the text of the speech. End Update.

Give 'em hell, George.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Allowed To Call Bush An Idiot

Because of this comment policy I hereby issue Hal of Hellblazer a permanent license to call Bush an idiot without being subjected to the usual (attempted) refutation. Myself, I prefer the gentler "nobody is an idiot" policy to the cynical "everybody is an idiot" policy, but once you know Hal's policy they are functionally the same. It's the "everybody who disagrees with me is an idiot" and "nobody who agrees with me is an idiot" policies which I cannot abide.

I will also remember to skip the umbrage when Hal gets all insulting. It will serve no purpose anyway.

And, since he is so on the ball (although wrong, wrong, wrong on occasion) he's blogrolled.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Commenting Software Upgrade

I've upgraded Haloscan to remove the 1000 character limit and email me when folks comment.


Call 1-800-Go-Guard to get an information packet on how to join the National Guard. I know they will even take an old fogy if the old fogy is a physician. They also took a forty-four year old who had previous military experience. I'm interested to find out what other special training qualifies one to join after age thirty-six.

Is The Media Doing It's Part?

Ara starts with Nick Berg's Dad, but in the comments we do several rounds where I maintain the media is not doing it's job for the war effort.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

.357 Magnum

On Wednesday I visited my favorite range, The Bullet Hole. I had already purchased a box of fifty .38 Special rounds and a box of .357 Magnum rounds, both manufactured by Winchester at Wal-Mart. I rented a Ruger Security Six for five dollars and proceeded to the range. I was about to shoot a .357 magnum for the first time. I loaded up a cylinder full of .38's to begin. I alternated between the two, one cylinder of each, except for one cylinder where I alternated rounds.

The Ruger was a dream to shoot. The trigger was very smooth and worn in. The Hogue grips did an excellent job of absorbing the recoil. After a hundred rounds, mostly shot two-handed, my hands were tired from keeping a tight grip, but not from the recoil. I thought the gun did a fine job.

I also did not have any problems with the ammo. There were no misfires, and the performance was quite consistent.

The first difficulty I had was in not rapping the extractor hard enough to extract all the shells each time. I need to remember that I am practicing for real life, not trying to keep the brass in neat piles. The second difficulty was blinding flash .357 ammo produces. I was able to handle the percussion, since I wear both the earplug and the earphone style hearing protectors. The flash was another matter. I don't think I was developing a flinch (because my shooting didn't get worse), but I kept wanting to close my eyes. My third difficulty was focusing on the front sight. I found that when I bore down, however, I was able to keep the front sight in focus and shoot better. In general I was satisfied with my shooting, but I need more work on keeping the gun steady.

I'd like to get a .357 for a bedside gun, but I'm not sure how well I'd do with that flash in low light situations.

On the way out, I noticed a sign on the door. The Smith and Wesson sales rep will be at The Bullet Hole Friday and Saturday, June 11th and 12th. Special prices galore, and right before my birthday! Plus, if you buy a gun you are entered in a drawing for another free one. Mmmmmmm. Free guns.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Buy Your Own Talking Head

Not David Byrne. Like this.

Via Ara Rubyan.

Deer Population Is Much Funnier Than I Thought

As Unbillable Hours points out. The funniest bit is at the end.

Via The Smallest Minority.

A Master Sergeant Starts Blogging

My friend the Master Sergeant has started a blog.

I've Got A Lawyer On The Hook...

...or maybe he has me. Over at Ara's, Ara brought up "Activist judges" and "judicial fiat". I don't really have a problem with either (I want judges to overturn laws which are unconstitutional and leave untouched those which are not), but I do have a problem with the most popular method of determining Constitutionality, the living Constitution theory.

I'm trying to get lawyer Mark Adams to defend the living Constitution theory for me, but I keep distracting him with examples. I am (poorly) advocating original meaning originalism, which I learned a little about from Randy Barnett. I'm having trouble getting Randy's book, Restoring the Lost Constitution, because textbook companies don't sell to regular bookstores, and I want to see if I can read it before I buy it. (Pray that interlibrary loan comes through for me.) This is not helping my advocacy.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Amateur Rocket Blasts Into Space

The GoFast Rocket made history yesterday. The amateur team, named Civilian Space eXploration Team, or CSXT, built the 21-foot rocket, which reached an estimated height of 70 miles and an estimated top speed of 4200 miles per hour.

Look for the exact speed and altitude once the rocket (and its telemetry package) are recovered.


Saturday, May 08, 2004

Fabulous Simulated Range

This shows you how to line up the sights on a rifle or pistol. Go play.

Via Shooter's Carnival.

Don't Think Visually

James Rummel has a wonderful explanation of why Bush is to be preferred over Kerry. However, it is important not to experiment with any of the obvious visuals that come to mind. This warning applies to everyone, regardless of political leanings. You might get sick all over your keyboard. I saw the danger, and did not let my imagination run wild. Again:


You have been warned.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Rachel Lucas Is Back!

Rachel Lucas Is Back! Hooray!

Via Mrs. du Toit.

Mrs. du Toit For President

Not only does Mrs. du Toit make it clear that Rumsfeld's doing fine, she also points out the excellent little power Presidents should use to keep Congress in their Constitutional place. He can adjourn it at any time. This needs to happen far more often.

The Smell Of Cordite And Perfume

Wednesday was ladies night (female members shoot free) at the Bullet Hole. I took the afternoon off, and my mother-in-law (whom we care for) was at her Wednesday group, so we went shooting together for the first time. Hooray. It was very nice to shoot with Mrs. Wince, but we did have some gun trouble. Mrs. Wince did not like the trigger pull on the H & R .22LR and she tended to shoot high. She tried the Markarov (9 x 18) and found it too loud and the larger caliber makes her nervous, so it looks like it's .22LR for her for a while.

The H & R .22LR is proving unreliable. About two to three rounds in every nine round cylinder do not fire, although they often work on the second try. I think that the firing pin is not striking the rim hard enough. I am also unhappy with the large groups I'm getting. I would rather have a Smith and Wesson 617, but they are so expensive. Charter Arms makes a cheaper .22LR revolver, but I think I should save up for the Smith. The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mrs. Wince) is not enthused about that idea. I may take the H & R to a gunsmith and see what he can do. Rentals are only $5 at the Bullet Hole, so we may try some of their .22LR revolvers instead. They shoot pretty well. The only problem I've ever had with one was fixed by a little cleaning.