Military


The folks over at Slate have written up a history of holding your gun sideways. As you might have expected, the Angry Men added some interesting commentary.

Angry Military Man
Unprofessional jackasses. This is one cultural trend that seriously pisses me off, I had a devil of a time trying to teach people how to properly hold a fucking pistol. They were always trying to be gangsta.

Angry Overeducated Catholic
But AMM why does this annoy you? I mean, I understand that this idiocy by your students annoyed you, sure. But how is this outcome anything but welcome:

As police chased Raymond “Ready” Martinez through Times Square on Thursday, the street hustler and aspiring rapper fired two shots, holding the gun sideways “like a character out of a rap video.” According to the New York Post, Martinez’s side grip caused the gun to jam, enabling police to shoot and kill the suspect.

By all means, let’s do whatever we can to encourage this sort of poor gun control by our criminal classes. If they’re going to abuse their rights, at least let them abuse them in a way that minimizes their danger to others and maximizes their danger to themselves.

I want a lack of professionalism in my would-be professional criminals!

Angry Immigrant
In that case…

I would like to propose a new gangsta style grip that involves holding the pistol upside down next to the head, barrel pointing forward. This would allow the spent casing to bounce “awesomely” off of the temple of the shooter, signifying toughness and promote true “def” style hearing loss.

Sighting the barrel directly next to the eyes should maximize the shooter’s conception of aiming accuracy, as it brings a point-and-shoot cyborg mentality for the shooter.

This new all-def method makes no claims of actual accuracy improvement. In case of a gun jamming, this may cause grievous explosive injury to the shooter, but that’s the risk of being tru-4-life.

Angry Libertarian
We can do better and have.

A suspect in the rape and armed robbery of several woman in River Forest accidentally shot himself in the head during a police chase Monday night in Oak Park. The suspect died several hours later.

Angry Overeducated Catholic
Well, yes, but of course in this case do we have any certain knowledge that he was in fact holding his gun when he shot himself in the head? There may have been a little officer-assisted suicide going on…this is River Forest we’re talking about.

On the other hand, it’s pretty clear that this guy was one of the dullest knives in the drawer. Of course there’s the inevitable tagline in modern America:

Patillo had convictions for aggravated unlawful use of a fire arm and drugs. He was paroled April 25 from the Sheridan Correctional Center.

Gosh, a parolee is released and within a year escalates to even more dangerous and violent offenses? What a shocker!*

Be interesting to find out whether this guy was off as part of Governor Quinn’s early release programs to save money…apparently they’re quietly releasing increasingly dangerous types because of funding issues.

Yippee!

*Note that this crap also makes the lives of actual reformed ex-cons even harder. Now that everyone knows that parole is a “get out of jail to rape and murder for free” card, there’s even less chance given to actual honest parolees who earned their parole through actual reform. When you make an earned privilege a natural right, you cheapen it 9 times out of 10.

John Brown

John Brown: Angry Man of the Week

This court acknowledges, as I suppose, the validity of the law of God. I see a book kissed here which I suppose to be the Bible, or at least the New Testament. That teaches me that all things whatsoever I would that men should do to me, I should do even so to them. It teaches me, further, to “remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them.” I endeavored to act up to that instruction. I say, I am yet too young to understand that God is any respecter of persons. I believe that to have interfered as I have done as I have always freely admitted I have done in behalf of His despised poor, was not wrong, but right. Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I submit; so let it be done!”
-John Brown’s Last Speech, November 2nd, 1859

As men go, John Brown was sure Angry. And the source of his anger was a righteous one. The utter barbarism that the “civilization” of what would become the treasonous Confederacy was based on: Slavery. After the murder of Reverend Elijah Parish Lovejoy by a pro-slavery mob in Illinois in 1837, John Brown had found his cause and the meaning that would define his life. He is reported to have vowed publicly,
“Here, before God, in the presence of these witnesses, from this time, I consecrate my life to the destruction of slavery!” There are few purposes more noble for an Angry Man.

Yes, he committed treason in his raid on the federal armory at Harper’s Ferry. But a little thing like “treason” didn’t stop certain losers and douchebags from idolizing the Confederacy. And even if you have the stars and bars in your bedroom, you still have to admit John Brown was twice the man Jefferson Davis ever was. As this week commemorates the 150th anniversary of Brown’s raid, we have chosen to dub him Angry Man of the Week.

My good friend, and fellow hater of Confederate swine, Angry Overeducated Catholic, had a good comment to add to my rant. I reproduce it here in full:

John Brown was a wackjob murderous fundie, but he did have a point. And he did manage to inspire additions to a kick-ass song that provided a marching cadance as the farms and cities of millions of traitorous losers were deservedly burned to ashes. Hip, Hip, Hip, Hip, Hurrah!

(Best verse, though, has nothing to do with either John Brown:

They will hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree!
They will hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree!
They will hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree!
As they march along! )

Glory Hally Hallelujah!

At noon on December 9th, Lt Dan Neubauer of Marine Corps Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101, a F/A-18D pilot, after a series of bad decisions all around, made a final bad decision to attempt to make the Miramar runway and crashed into a house killing three members of a family (Young Mi Yoon, who was in her mid-30s; her 2-month-old daughter, Rachel; and her mother, Suk Im Kim). The pilot, on a training mission off CVN-72, the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, ejected after the left engine failed. He was flying on one engine after being forced to shut down the right engine due to an oil leak.

On September 10, 2003, in a session of the House Financial Services Committee, Representative Barney Frank (D. Mass.), in response to concerns about the GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, said “I think we see entities that are fundamentally sound financially and withstand some of the disaster scenarios.” On September 25, 2003, in response to the request for additional regulation on Fannie and Freddie, Frank opined “I do think I do not want the same kind of focus on safety and soundness that we have in OCC [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] and OTS [Office of Thrift Supervision]. I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation towards subsidized housing.” Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.), speaking to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez said “Secretary Martinez, if it ain’t broke, why do you want to fix it? Have the GSEs [government-sponsored enterprises] ever missed their housing goals?” Senator Chris Dodd (D. Connecticut), Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee which regulates mortgage lending, has been linked to preferential mortgage terms as a friend of Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo.

Countrywide Financial has crashed due to management and regulatory failures. The entire mortgage banking system crashed as a result of bad loans securitized by FNMA and FHLMC. See Fit to Fail.


So we have two crashes. One of an F/A-18D killing a family of four, and one of the entire US financial system and world banking market. What do we observe in the aftermath?

The marines, in court, brought charges and discharged four member of the Corps. The commander of the squadron, its maintenance officer and two others have been relieved of duty. Nine other Marines have received other disciplinary action. The disciplinary action cites deferred maintenance, faulty aircraft-ground communications, and bad decisions. The F/A-18D was flying on a left engine which had been logged with a faulty fuel-low sensor indicator, and rather than perform maintenance flew 146 additional missions. When the right engine was shut down on an oil leak, the left engine ran out of fuel. Poor maintenance decisions contributed to the crash. The pilot was also criticized in the report for failing to use his emergency checklist. While the Lincoln’s controllers advised of a North Island landing, the squadron officers requested the pilot to make for Miramar, a decision which relied on unrealistic assumptions about the aircraft’s condition. Collectively, the duty officer, the operations officer and commanding officer exhibited poor judgment. For all the criticism of the US Military, the US Marine Corp owned up to its mistakes and took decisive corrective action.

The US Congress has yet to own up to its role in the crises and in fact now wants us to believe that it, and more regulatory agencies, are in fact, the solution. When are we going to see an equivalent acceptance of responsibility? My suggestions:

  1. Rep. Barney Frank, discharged from Congress for gross incompetence and dereliction of duty.
  2. Senator Chris Dodd, discharged from the Senate, for ethics violations, conduct unbecoming, and gross dereliction of duty.
  3. Rep. Maxine Waters, discharged from Congress for incompetence and gross dereliction of duty.
  4. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, discharged from Congress and banned from ever holding a public office, for incompetence and gross dereliction of duty.
  5. Rep. Henry Waxman, discharged for cowardice in the face of the enemy, dereliction of duty, insubordination, and conduct unbecoming.

Barack Obama kept the man that George Bush reluctantly appointed SecDef as his SecDef. This is truly a bizarre thing but I suspect that it will go down in history as one of the smartest things he did. I’m willing to believe news reports that Obama didn’t entirely want to do this either. Think about it, you’re basically saying “gosh, I have to keep the guy appointed to a key job by the deeply unpopular guy I’m replacing….” It doesn’t look pretty politically for all sorts of reasons. But whatever the politics of the decision, it seems that the two men have developed a very functional relationship, and not a moment too soon given the fact that, not to put too fine a point on it, we are in two wars and dealing with numerous other unpleasant contingencies that require attention from men with guns.

Take a look at Gates’ recent speech to the Air War College, though. For those of you who don’t know, the Air Force is one of the greatest bureaucratic warrior organizations around. They are fantastic at this, the acknowledged masters, so Gates pretty much has to win roll the USAF to win this. Anyway, the speech is worth reading in its entirety but I’ve extracted a few choice bits. It’s full of a refreshing empiricism that seemed lacking in Rumsfeld, e.g.,

Another theme underlying my recommendations is the need to think about future conflicts in a different way. To recognize that the black and white distinction between irregular war and conventional war is an outdated model. We must understand that we face a more complex future than that, a future where all conflict will range along a broad spectrum of operations and lethality. Where near-peers will use irregular or asymmetric tactics and non-state actors may have weapons of mass destruction or sophisticated missiles as well as AK-47s and RPGs. This kind of warfare will require capabilities with the maximum possible flexibility to deal with the widest possible range of conflict.

Another important thing I looked at was whether modernization programs, in particular ground modernization programs, had incorporated the operational and combat experiences of Iraq and Afghanistan. The problem with the Army’s Future Combat Systems vehicles was that a program designed nine years ago did not adequately reflect the lessons of close-quarter combat and improvised explosive devices that have taken a fearsome toll on our troops and their vehicles in Iraq, and now in Afghanistan.

We have to be prepared for the wars we are most likely to fight – not just the wars we’re best suited to fight, or threats we conjure up from potential adversaries with unlimited time and resources. And as I’ve said before, even when considering challenges from nation-states with modern militaries, the answer is not necessarily buying more technologically advanced versions of what we built – on land, sea, or air – to stop the Soviets during the Cold War.

Of course, a pretty speech doesn’t make reality. No plan survives contact with the enemy, and in Washington there are many: Contractors, the military itself (sadly), Congress, etc. But if the SecDef doesn’t make a real, realistic hard-nosed but not dictatorial, empirically-based start at reforming the Pentagon bureaucracy, who will?

Now it’s up to Obama to back Gates again. Choosing the right man for the job is probably the easier part.

[Editor's Note: Your hombre-in-chief Angry New Mexican here again. Some complaints about some of the military forces the U.S. works with have made their rounds around the Blogosphere recently, so the Angry Men thought it was time to ask their resident expert about those allied forces who stand out from the pack by their sheer badassness. And, so, courtesy of Angry Military Man, we present those who eat terrorists for breakfast (sometimes literally, though of course they get a little touchy when we mention that, so we refrained) -ANM]

South Korean Marine Corps
(ROKMC) ROK Marines make the top of the list not just for being one of the most disciplined, professional, and well trained forces on the planet they also happen to be the scariest mother-fuckers on the planet, not for any special skill, simply because if there was a military version of FEAR Factor they would be the winners every episode. These guys eat agony for a snack and sleep on beds of shattered psyches. So anyone feeling frosty?

Links of note:

The British Corps of Royal Marines
(Royal Marines) are a true special force and thus often humiliate us American Marines on a regular basis (like having a 9 month long boot camp that essentially makes a concentration camp look like a health spa). With oodles of funding and some amazing training they are truly an all around package of top notch quality bundled with professionalism and discipline. I sometimes wonder who is ‘tougher’ Royal Marines or SAS forces (who are better trained but receive more gov’t favor). None of this of course is intended to deride the British regular army. Those crazy Brits, so damn well trained and motivated, yet so poorly equipped.

Links of note:

Columbian Spec Ops and Riverine Forces
that routinely combat the drug lords and random commie militias/guerrillas are some of the bravest most skillful practitioners of their craft that I have ever seen. Think of them as a cross between SEALs meet the partisans of ‘Force 10 from Navarone’ aka kinda ‘Dirty Dozenish’. They’re not the stereotypical image of a clean cut in-step marching soldiers, but does it matter?

Links of note:

Federal Republic of Germany
The Germans have both conscript force of people serving their mandatory service time and a very small group of volunteer professional career military soldiers. The latter force is fucking frightening, seriously they are hard core killing machines, with really amazing equipment. Germany has long been renowned for the quality of the soldiers that their culture can produce (highly disciplined, highly efficient, highly motivated, highly trained, and highly courageous) and though somewhat diluted, those traits still shine through in the Bundeswehr today.

Links of note:

Greece (The Hellenic Republic)
The Hellenic Army likewise runs a mix of conscripts and volunteers. My first impression of them was that they are friggin pack mules. I swear to god I have never seen any army carry so much goddamned weight on every soldier. Their packs must weigh well over 200 pounds!. They are excellent workers, well trained, well motivated, well equipped and not afraid to fight. They also can’t wait to set Turkey afire, and if that time ever comes, they most certainly will be able to.

Links of note:

The Swiss Confederation
The Swiss are friggin scary, invade them and its like Red Dawn except with Delta Force instead of Sheen and Swazy. That’s all I got to say about them.

Links of note:

Kingdom of Saudia Arabia
The Saudis were interesting. Not exactly a true Western powerhouse military, they were very proficient and probably the best equipped military in the world (seriously when they buy American equipment they buy the FULL model with all the bells and whistles the manufacturer designed but the USA couldn’t afford). The Saudi military seems to be able to literally accomplish anything by throwing money at the task as other militaries would use fighting spirit, training, or discipline.

Links of note:

Kuwait
Kuwait has a tiny but very modern military. They are very motivated and disciplined, and make superb allies.

Links of note:

Iraq: Saddam Hussein Edition
The old Iraqi military was a disaster. Essentially it was a medieval society structure with the trappings of 1950′s and 60′s Soviet military technology. In other words a joke. Sergeants job was to beat soldiers into obedience, officers were all social and political appointments, the foot soldiers were all conscripts. Essentially the worst of everything.

Links of note:

Republic of Iraq (current)
The new Iraqi infantry is quite different. Essentially only light infantry, designed to deal with internal security. Their training and motivation however are first class, and in fact during joint patrols at night, when you cant see who is who, one really can not tell who is Iraqi and who was American, their stance and posture was literally that up to snuff. Though some complaints made it to the media, they are far from cowards. It is in fact quite amazing how brave they are.

Links of note:

Federative Republic of Brazil
Brazil is surprisingly modern military in terms of culture, structure, training, discipline, and professionalism (if not always in equipment. They operate a quite effective and quality corps of officers and NCOs stemming from a very large proportion of professional volunteers as compared to conscripts.

Links of note:

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