Sunday, October 30, 2005

Radical Wackos

Has anyone noticed that there seems to be a worldwide movement of radical Muslims against any religion that isn’t theirs or against other Muslims that aren’t radical enough? 3 school girls beheaded? What’s image does that put out to the world.?

“Look, my religion says it’s alright to be serial killers and behead young girls”

India and Pakistan have opened up the border in 5 places, something war hasn’t been able to do in decades. The prospect of peace upset the terrorists so much that they immediately set off 3 bombs in New Delhi that killed 62 people.

The president of Iran wants to wipe the Jews off the map and at the same time wants the peaceful use of nuclear power. Wasn’t he identified as one of the guys that took over the American embassy in 1979 for 444 days?

The Pentagon just let out the numbers of how many Iraqi’s have been killed by insurgents, 26,000 killed since January 1st, 2004. That doesn’t include the numbers killed by coalition forces. That’s 13 times the number of Americans killed.

There are many out there preaching for peace but the people that we’re fighting don’t want peace, they want a world wide revolution and chaos. Burn all of the books, death to infidels, women are traded for sheep and stoned on a regular basis. Every inch we give them, they’ll take and crush the opposition. If you don’t agree…

Off with your head!

Does that sound familiar?

I’m all for staying at home and doing peaceful non wartime activities. I don’t agree with our reasoning behind going into Iraq and I’m not afraid to admit it. But the only thing that will be accomplished by backing out now will be to let the radical wackos to take over and isolating ourselves from the rest of the world.

We’re needing out there. Tsunami, Pakistan earthquake, our own hurricane. Every time there is a fire in the world, who are you going to call? We are not only the police, we’re the firefighters too. We're the largest fastest rapid response force in the world and I don't remember the last time we said no to relief effort for a desaster. Have you heard of a single radical that lifted a hand to help? These aren't good people.

I don't want these wackos taking over a house, let alone a country. They don't do anything for the common good and even if I wasn't in the US Military. They would love to lop off my melon just because I'm not one of them.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Blocking of Commercial Email

The Navy and Marine Corps as of 18th of October has blocked all overseas access to commercial email accounts from government computers. Which I thought was going on the last time I was over in Iraq but we had an internet café on base that was run by a civilian company. But from what this article says, they’re also blocking the same sites at MWR’s and Libraries. I’ve had my same hotmail account since the early 90’s when they first started and have since moved all of my emails (except for work) to some form of internet based email. Not that I didn’t like my service providers but I moved around too much and changing email addresses every year or so wasn't worth the grief. It was too much of a hassle to change my email addresses for 200 or so people and all of my bills.

The problem I see with this is the last time I went over there the junior Marines didn’t have personal email access through a mil account and the Marines on the ground doing the house to house rarely saw a “work” government computer, just the computers at the internet cafes. If hotmail, gmail and yahoo’s of the world are cut off, what forms of contact with the outside world do they have? Plus most of them don't have the paid accounts with the storage, the accounts are sure to lock up after filling up with spam which I know will take a day or two just to get back in order upon return stateside.

Yes, I know, we’re a bunch of wusses compared to even a decade ago when hardly anyone had email and the only written communication was with pen and paper. I'm sure there are old farts that are thinking “back in the day we didn't have any of that…” Well we’re not back in the day, we’re today and most of us military folk are now high speed, low drag, internet surfing, blogging, emailing geeks who do everything; pay bills, entertain ourselves, write letters, fall in love and out of, watch stocks, live, though this medium. Being stuck with one email account that will be shut down following the deployment? Sounds like a nightmare for us that live and breath online.

No more emails from Stella

Maybe I’m one of the few close dear friends of Stella Obasanjo, you see we've been sharing emails back and forth ever since she offered to share her fortune with me. You ask, who is Stella Obasanjo? She's the troubled wife of the Nigerian president. In late 2001 after that Towers Towers event, she started sending me these desperate emails, saying that she wanted to leave her husband and asking if I (being total stranger at the time), could help her. Each morning I would come to work eagerly, hoping my ship had came in and she would be sitting at my desk with a suitcase full of cash and plane tickets to Fiji and we could ride off into the sunset (of course I dropped these dreams once I met my beautiful wife).

All I need to do for eternal love and wealth is hold her money in my account, oh what bliss, free money!

I still had fond memories and would have enjoyed introducing her to my wife (who would have also been glad for the excess cash but not the sharing of my body), but now those dreams have been dashed for she passed away at the tender age of 59 from complications undergoing plastic surgery in Spain. Guess my ship isn't going to come in (well, that ship anyway).

(In case you don't know what I'm talking about look here)

Friday, October 21, 2005

Burning of Bodies

To say I’m mildly upset about the military burning bodies of the Taliban fighters is an overstatement. The Taliban have no respect for any other religions, I remember back in 2001 before 9/11 when they blew up the Buddha’s of Bamiyan, these were 1800 years old statues and the largest examples of carved Buddha's in the world. These guys aren’t getting my pity about religious rights. Well, maybe once they learn the meaning of religious tolerance and start practicing it, I’ll start caring. I've been searching my mind and the internet trying to find one good thing they've done and I haven't come up with anything, well anything redeemable. Yeah I know we're supposed to be the good guys, but I can't help it if I don't feel bad about burning a bunch of dead jerks.
According to Jason at CounterColumn and what I've read the Geneva specifically allows for the cremation of enemy dead for reasons of hygiene. (hat tip Mike)

Concerts and Hurricanes

Couple of months ago, my wife bought us a set of tickets to see Gwen Stefani and Black Eyed Peas. Gwen puts on a good show, two concerts this month, saw Green Day and Jimmy Eat World a couple of weeks ago. Good stuff!

Spending this weekend at home cleaning and decorating for Halloween, my wife’s a Halloween baby and my birthday is a few days after, might have a little get together next weekend. We’re both over our sickness and getting into the holiday footing.

Watching Wilma lately?
Weather is going crazy down there, strongest hurricane to ever hit the Atlantic basin. Which still makes it the tenth most intense storm in the world, the number one slot goes to Typhoon Tip in 1979, it was so big that if it had hit the US it could have touched both Mexico and Canada. Now that would be a nightmare.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Milblogging news

New post from Eric of Dagger Jag, it's been 10 months since he's posted and will the wonders never cease? Sgt Hook posted too! Eric is from the same batch of OIF 2 milbloggers that sprung me out and Sgt Hook is one of the original crew, looks like they're both getting back in the game. Other news, T-bone and Risawn have some great pictures to prove to the rest of us that it's way cooler to take R&R in Europe (T-bone has some good points about Rome that I over looked when I was doing pro's and con's in my vacation hunting equation). Thunder6, Sgt Long, Phil, Ma Deuce Gunner, Steven Kiel and Major K all offer their views direct from the ground in Iraq following the election. Myself? I've been laid up with SARS or avian bird flu all weekend. Hardly made it out of bed. Airshow I was supposed to work? The closest I got to seeing planes were the shadows going by the window, hopefully I'll be better soon.


I usually don't make fun of other services because I usually end up having to work with them so instead I'll let them do it. Chair-Force is written by an Ex Senior Airman who pens himself Joethefat. I was at an Airforce base for 3 years, how in the heck did I miss this guy? Funny stuff, over 4000 members on his message board and a healthy following of junior Airforce folk.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Just Another Soldier

Jason Hartley does NPR, good interview, check out his book, Jason was one of the brightest milbloggers coming out of Iraq till his blog was pulled, looking forward to reading it after I finish Robert Jordan's, Knife of Dreams.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

What does NAVY stand for?

I heard this back in 91 when I was going through boot camp, Never Again Volunteer Yourself, well yesterday, I lifted my right hand and said these words

I, Sean Dustman, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

Volunteering myself for another 4 years of Naval service. It’s been sort of a rough week for me, my laptop has temporarily (I hope) kicked the bucket (yes thousands of pictures are on it), I have caught some sort of horrible upper respiratory infection that is causing me to rot away (I passed it on to my lovely wife, so she’s rotting too) and had the second part of my root canal on Tuesday, (the one where they get a bunch of 21 millimeter files and scrub out the inside of the tooth all the way down to the root, fill it back in with a hot glue gun and tell me to come back for a filling next week, blah). Hopefully I didn’t suffer brain damage from being unable to breath during the procedure but I’m glad the worst of it is over.

My doctor sent me home this morning with a sack full of meds, mumbling something about getting all the patents sick so I’m at home lying in bed with my wife who called in sick today. Hopefully I’m somewhat better by tomorrow, 3 long days ahead. Have been volun-told to work the Miramar Air Show this weekend. We show up at 5:30 in the morning and usually don’t get out of there till 7 PM or so. Hopefully I don’t become a casualty!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Where do you find a 6 foot tall Thai guy?

Went to the movies tonight and caught Serenity once more and the house was full, 20 or so empty seats in the house! Saw a great preview of the movie Jarhead, one of the best previews I have ever seen, my wife asked if they made a movie of my life over there who would play her? I said Gwen Stefani of course and she replied with “real life imitating art imitating life”. What would my story be called? Devil Dolphin!

Really, I’m a total geek and my life is beyond mundane, you can look at my book collection and see nerdness seeping off the shelves. I’m just glad I was able to find another nerd like me to share my life with.

I hate dental...

Back in one of my endless vacations to Iraq, I bit into a date and cracked a filling which caused this mind numbing pain which I resolved to take care of the next morning at dental. Next morning came about and there was no pain so I promptly forgot about it and went along with whatever kind of work I had made for myself. Half a year goes by and I’m getting ready to do my enlistment stuff, one of those little blocks is a dental screening which I was a little over due. So I went in there and they took X-rays and said, “Hey, you have a cracked filling here and from what it looks like on the X-ray, maybe a cavity underneath it”.

Okay, set myself up for an appointment to get it fixed and alas, I came back in at the appointed time. I’m sitting there in the waiting room waiting for my appointment and the dental tech calls me into the X-ray room for some more shots and passes me over to the X-ray tech.

The X-ray dude says to me, “Ahh, in here for a root canal?”

“Huh? Root canal? No just for a filling.”

“The guy that brought you in here is the root canal tech, everybody he brings in here gets a root canal or a root canal work up, which means you get a root canal.”

Suddenly the image in my mind of that nice fellow that brought me morphed into and executioner. Oh no, I’ve been brushing twice a day, flossing, all the things that you’re supposed to do!

The Root Canal tech came by and took me one of their dental rooms and lays me down in one of those futuristic chairs that holds your head below the rest of your body and the Dentist came in. Young guy, probably younger then me, he looks at the new X-rays and says “Yep, that cavity goes all the way to the nerve.”

So they stick that rubber wedge in my mouth and my mouth doesn’t open very far because of some genetic reason. So my mouth is opened to beyond what is humanly possible, they start putting little clamping things around the tooth then get a dental dam that separates that tooth away from the rest of my mouth and sticks this suction thing down my throat.

He turns on the drill and I spend the next hour or so trying not to choke while he and the tech jam out on the local rock station. Blood is rushing to my head, I can’t swallow and there’s a set of hands doing loud painful things in my mouth.

“UGH!!!” What the hell was that, he says, “just yanking out this nerve”. After a seeming eternity with more drilling, he puts in another clamp, steps back for 30 seconds then unclamps it and starts taking apart and removing what seems like a pile of torture instruments. At last the bite block comes out, oh sweet relief!

He says, “here is an appointment card to finish up the root canal”

“What? I need another root canal?”

“No we have to fill in this one and cap it.”

Arrrgghh! I’m all against torture but I think all we need to do to those insurgents is take care of all of their dental problems without telling them what is going on (sort of like what happened to me), they’ll be talking in no time. Just kidding, I don't really hate them, they did a good job but man oh man, ouch!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Published Milblogs

There’s a flood of War Memoirs coming out of Iraq over the next few weeks and NPR’s Talk of the Nation did an audio story with guests, Colby Buzzell of the blog, My War and book My War: Killing Time in Iraq (rank # 2703 at Amazon) and Nate Fick, Author of One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer (rank #364 at Amazon).

Another blogger whom I know personally is also coming out with a book. I met Jason Hartley the author of the blog called Just Another Soldier and the book that goes by the same name (#12,306 at Amazon, I'll be reading his before any of the others). We passed through the processing plant of Udairi Kuwait in March of 2004 at the same time. Before we even knew we were within a mile of each other he has already published a picture on his blog of me. I’m in the 6th picture from the bottom, the guy with the backpack and 9mm strapped to his leg. Jason’s blog was shut down right before we met and he was sending his posts out by email, eventually his commander found out about there and things went bad. Me unlike him, I had support for my fotopage and blog from my command, my pictures were cleared by the base PAO and I had a couple thousand or so hits a day on my fotopage just from family members who actually knew me.

I’ve never had any trouble with my blog from official channels but my story wasn’t very raw and you would have better luck with a crystal ball then getting OPSEC out of me. Most of my stories were very close and personal or very far away and out of my realm of influence, ponderings and such.

I’ve been asked by other parties about writing a book about my experiences but to claim that I did many things that were earth shattering and interesting would be a lie and the interesting things that I did do had lots of dead folk around, "Where's the fun in that?"

Some day I’ll dig down and raise those demons and maybe on that day I’ll start putting together my experiences into a book. But for now I am merely a blogger who has a couple of readers and compared to the quality of some of the other milblogs out there, still think I’m a lousy writer.

Just enjoy putting my thoughts down, maybe tell of what might be interesting that day, making me happy or ranting about something. Here and there I’ll throw my support behind some cause (such as Soldiers Angels or the movie Serenity) I believe in. Mostly this is a release of what's going on behind my eyes, my lack of blogging lately is probably due to the lack of emotional build up and I'm sure everyone out there is tired of stories of how much I love my wife. I’m not in this for money or for popularity, I just like the idea of being able to throw my unique voice out there in the wind and see what kind of response I get back. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Warming up

With warmer ocean temperatures and stories of melting ice caps, I would think the idea of living below sea level a bad deal. No matter what your thoughts on global warming are, the ice caps are melting and I’d side with a scientist any day over a politician concerning this stuff. Logic prevails because it’s just a matter of time before the next big one hits. Know what happens when ocean water warms up? Every degree of higher water temperature increases the potential for the formation of a hurricane and with greater sized areas of warm water, the hurricanes that are formed are sure to be large healthy beasts that, like Godzilla, will go over the works of man and toss them about like toys.

At least in California, all we have to worry about is earthquakes, wild fires or if you’re living on the edge of a cliff, your house mudsliding down the edge.

I wonder how much damage to the environment all of those trashed oil platforms are doing? Not to mention the loss oil production. If we had started drilling in the artic when they wanted to, instead of two birds in the bush, we would have the one in the hand.