Thursday, May 6, 2010

Excellent news. Navy Seals 3 lawfare warrior 0, zip, nada, nil, nul, nothing, goose eggs.

Details Here

Relieved and vindicated SEAL here

This is the sort of person the 'plaintiff' is (from the Toledo Blade):

The cases against the three SEALs were based on statements from Ahmed Hashim Abed and PO 3rd Class Kevin Demartino, the Navy master-at-arms charged with guarding him after his capture.
Abed didn't appear in person, but his testimony was recorded and played back for the seven-member jury. He was far from a sympathetic character. In addition to his alleged involvement in the murder of four Blackwater contractors in Fallujah in 2004, Abed was known to Iraqis as "The Finisher," Mr. McCabe's lawyers said. Abed was reputed to have the decapitated bodies of his victims delivered to their families' doorsteps.

And as for the witness for plaintiff:

On Wednesday, the government's key witness, Petty Officer Kevin Demartino, testified that he saw McCabe hit Abed in the abdomen.

Demartino, who is not a SEAL, testified that he did not initially report the September assault to his superiors because "this is these guys' lives. Some guys can see something and start singing like a bird. I couldn't do it," he said.

"I should've done it. By the book, it's a failure to report," he added.

Demartino testified that his conscience eventually got the better of him, so he finally reported his version of the events surrounding the detainee's beating.

"It was either being in the good graces of the SEALs or being in the good graces of God," Demartino said.

McCabe's defense attorneys called a series of witnesses who questioned Demartino's version of events and said he was distraught due to his deployment. Some directly contradicted Demartino, saying that statements he attributed to them during his testimony were false.

"He had issues," McCabe said of Demartino after his verdict was announced. "Everybody made that clear."

How to simulate being a U.S. Navy Sailor

Comedy gold.
I particulary like #33, not that I have an addiction or anything.

How To Simulate Being A Sailor

1. Buy a steel dumpster, paint it gray inside and out and live in it for six months.

2. Run all the pipes and wires in your house exposed on the walls.

3. Repaint your entire house every month.

4. Renovate your bathroom. Build a wall across the middle of the bathtub and move the showerhead to chest level. When you take showers, make sure you turn off the water while you soap down.

5. Put lube oil in your humidifier and set it on high.

6. Once a week, blow compressed air (or uses a leaf blower) up your chimney, making sure the wind carries the soot onto your neighbor’s house. Ignore his complaints.

7. Once a month, take all major appliances apart and then reassemble them.

8. Raise the thresholds and lower the headers of your front and back doors so that you either trip or bang your head every time you pass through them.

9. Disassemble and inspect your lawnmower every week.

10. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, turn your water heater temperature up to 200 degrees. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, turn the water heater off. On Saturdays and Sundays tell your family they use too much water during the week, so no bathing will be allowed.

11. Raise your bed to within six inches of the ceiling so you can’t turn over without getting out and getting back in.

12. Sleep on the shelf in your closet. Replace the closet door with a curtain. Have your spouse whip open the curtains about three hours after you go to sleep, shine a flashlight in your eyes and say, “Sorry, wrong rack.”

13. Make your family members qualify to operate each appliance in your house - dishwasher operator, blender technician, etc. Re-qualify every six months.

14. Have your neighbor come over each day at 0500, blow a whistle so loud Helen Keller could hear it and shout “Reveille, reveille, all hands heave out and trice up.”

15. Have your mother-in-law write down everything she’s going to do the following day, then have her make you stand in your back yard at 0600 while she reads it to you.

16. Submit a request chit to your father-in-law requesting permission to leave your house before 1500.

17. Empty all the garbage bins in your house and sweep the driveway three times a day whether they need it or not. Have someone repeat loudly, “Now sweepers, sweepers, man your brooms, give the ship a clean sweep down fore and aft, and empty all cans and butt kits over the fantail!”

18. Have your neighbor collect all your mail for a month, read your magazines and randomly lose every 5th item before delivering it to you.

19. Watch no TV except for movies played in the middle of the night. Have your family vote on which movie to watch, then show a different one. Repeat the same movie several nights in a row.

20. When your children are in bed, run into their room with a megaphone shouting that your home is under attack and ordering them to their battle stations.

21. Make your family menu a week ahead of time without consulting the pantry or refrigerator.

22. Post a menu on the kitchen door informing your family that they are having steak for dinner. Then make them wait in line for an hour. When you finally get to the kitchen, tell them you are out of steak, but they can have dried ham or hot dogs. Repeat daily until they ignore the menu and just ask for hot dogs.

23. Bake a cake. Prop up one side of the pan so the cake bakes unevenly. Spread icing real thick to level it off.

24. Get up every night around midnight and have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on stale bread. Call this “Midrats.”

25. Set your alarm clock to go off randomly during the night. At the alarm, jump up and dress as fast as you can, making sure to button your top shirt button and tuck your pants into your socks, then run out into the backyard and uncoil the garden hose.

26. Every week or so, throw your cat or dog in the pool and shout, “Man overboard port side!” Rate your family members on how quickly they respond.

27. Put the headphones from your stereo on your head but don’t plug them in. Hang a paper cup around your neck on a string. Stand in front of the stove and say into the paper cup, “Stove manned and ready.” After an hour or so, say into the cup again, “Stove secured.” Roll up the headphones and paper cup and stow them in a shoebox.

28. Make your family turn out all the lights and go to bed at 2200 saying, “Now taps taps! Lights out! Maintain silence throughout the ship!” Then immediately have an 18-wheeler crash into your house (for the benefit of aircraft carrier sailors).

29. Build a fire in a trashcan in your garage. Loudly announce to your family, “This is a drill! This is a drill! Fire in hangar bay one!”

30. Place a podium at the end of your driveway. Have your family stand watches at the podium, rotating at four-hour intervals. This is best done when the weather is worst. January is a good time.

31. When there is a thunderstorm, get a wobbly rocking chair, sit in it and rock as hard as you can until you become nauseated. Make sure to have a supply of stale crackers in your shirt pocket. ALT: Find the biggest horse you can, put a two-inch mattress on his back and strap yourself to it. Turn him loose in a barn filled with snakes for six hours and try to sleep. Then get up and go to work.

32. For former engineers: bring your lawn mower into the living room and run it all day long.

33. Make coffee using eighteen scoops of budget priced coffee grounds per pot; let the pot simmer for five hours before drinking.

34. Have someone under the age of ten give you a haircut with sheep shears.

35. Sew the back pockets of your jeans on the front.

36. Add 1/3-cup diesel fuel to the laundry.

37. Take hourly readings on your electric and water meters.

38. Every couple of weeks, dress up in your best clothes and go to the scummiest part of town. Find the trashiest bar and drink beer until you are hammered. Then walk all the way home.

39. Lock yourself and your family in the house for six weeks. Tell them that at the end of the sixth week you are going to take them to Disney World for “liberty.” At the end of the sixth week, inform them the trip to Disney World has been canceled because they need to get ready for an inspection, and it will be another week before they can leave the house.

40. Hire someone to hammer on a 55-gal. drum at random hours of the day to simulate paint chipping.

Another nuanced NYT editorial

Outrageously outraged the editors are..

The money graphs:

That hasn’t stopped a familiar group of politicians from cynically trying to use this incident as yet another excuse to weaken the rule of law and this country’s barely recovering reputation.

Lawmakers like Senators John McCain of Arizona and Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and Representative Peter King of New York were immediately outraged that Mr. Shahzad — a United States citizen accused of an attempted attack on civilians in an American city — was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and eventually read his Miranda rights.

They are demanding that Mr. Shahzad be declared an illegal enemy combatant, stripped of any rights and brought before a military tribunal. They have opened another round of sneering at “the law enforcement approach” to terrorism. That is contemptuous, first of all, of the police officers whose quick actions may have saved untold numbers and the other people who identified and tracked Mr. Shahzad with amazing speed.

OK, get over your vapors and try to apply the principle of charity to Msrs. McCain, Lieberman and King. I know it's hard for you but give it a try! Believe me, epistemic closure is not good for you. Try. Just try.

Now suppose that the triumvirate of cynicism has substantive reason to believe that Mr. might have all along, planned to acquire his citizenship for nefarious purposes, and suppose JUST suppose that there is evidence that this is a common tactic for entry into the U.S. by persons of similar nefarious intent. Suppose, indeed that at least one person made efforts to gain citizenship just for the reason of being able to pull off terrorist attacks. What then would be a reasonable action to take if he were apprehended before having done his barbaric deed? Is he morally entitled to the full panoply of protections that citizenship brings? (Note: this is a distinct question from the question 'is he legally entitled..& etc.')

Draw an analogy here. Suppose that I manage to land a job at a prestigious upper west side newspaper, based upon fraud and deception and am later discovered. Am I entitled to claim the full panoply of protections granted to employees against the actions of my employer should he desire to fire my ass?

A case can be made that any status gained via fraud is nullified by the very fact that it was obtained by said deceit. Might the triumvirate of cynicism have had something like this principle in mind?

Captain Jack Fellowes: American. Will be sorely missed

From the USNI Blog. And Here

Along with his fellow prisoners, Fellowes endured unimaginable physical and emotional tests in North Vietnam. But he survived and returned home to his family and his career. When he retired, he wasn’t entirely sure what he would do with the rest of his life. But his wife made it clear that it wasn’t going to happen at home. “She asked me, ‘What are you doing at home?’ I said, ‘I live here.’ She said, ‘Not during the day.’” What struck me about Jack Fellowes was his self-deprecating, dry humor — a trait that can mask depression or a lack of self esteem. But not with him. He truly loved to watch people laugh and he loved nothing more than sharing a good joke and seeing his audience’s reaction (I think he missed his calling as a stand-up comedian). His sense of humor probably aided his survival in captivity. Many of the POWs said that a positive outlook and maintaining hope in the midst of tremendous adversity made the difference between life and death.

Fellowes also did his Oral History in 1975. Fellowes, pilot in squadron VA-65, was shot down in August 1966 while flying an A-6A Intruder on a bombing mission from the aircraft carrier Constellation (CVA-64). His target was Vinh in the panhandle area of North Vietnam. Fellowes’s back was broken by the time he was captured on the ground by militiamen. His bombardier-navigator, George Coker, was also captured. The oral history describes Fellowes’s six-and-one-half-year ordeal in North Vietnamese hands, recounting incidents concerning many of his fellow prisoners. He particularly cited the leadership qualities of POWs James Stockdale, Jeremiah Denton, and Robinson Risner.

Captain Fellowes speaks at the 6 minute mark here:

Sir Michael Caine: Bada**

Courtesy of Abu Muqawama

Seems Caine fought in Korea. Who knew?

“When I was nineteen and a soldier, I often wondered how I was going to be if I knew I was going to die. At one point, we were ambushed in the paddy fields, just four of us surrounded by Chinese. And my instinct — which has lasted me the rest of my life — was: All right, I’m going to die. And that’s O.K. But” — he paused and levelled a heavy finger at the recollected enemy, and at any future adversaries — “as many of you as possible are going to die with me. I’ll take the whole fucking lot.” He grinned. “I’m going to die expensive.”

And, just to add to the awesomeness that is Sir Michael, here's a gem from about a year ago, vis taxes:

"The Government has taken tax up to 50 per cent, and if it goes to 51 I will be back in America," he said at the weekend. "We've got 3.5 million layabouts on benefits, and I'm 76, getting up at 6am to go to work to keep them. Let's get everybody back to work so we can save a couple of billion and cut tax, not keep sticking it up."

I have news for you Sir Michael, the tax rates over here will not be all that better, I'm afraid, for someone in your income bracket.

Before you know it, we'll have to come up with some "Michael Caine is so tough that ..." jokes to compete with the Chuck Norris lines.

Sir Michael supports the Brit conservative party:

And, of course, he was in some great movies, oh, like Zulu.

Battle of Rorke's Drift. Three servings of awesome.

But, there is more. The Man who Would be King:

Another three servings of awesome..

....And of course, the best Alfred in the Batman series:

Finally, he's the subject of a great song by Madness:

Michael Caine. If he were not already knighted, he oughta be..