Archive for the 'general' Category



Admin details

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 4 months ago

I don’t generally like to blogroll people who don’t blogroll me, and blogroll lists get old and in need of maintenance (for example, I have had to remove a number of blogs in my blogroll who have stopped active writing).  I have also blogrolled our friend Bruce at Flit, who offers interesting commentary.

I hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving and gave God thanks for His blessings in your life.  I have taken a few badly needed days off from blogging.  It has become obvious to me (from repeat registrations of the same people, lost passwords, people who write in to say that they can’t leave comments, etc), that I have an annoying problem with the web site.  I’m not sure if it’s related to our own unique coding or something to do with this version of WordPress.

Upon typing in your login information, if it appears that you aren’t logged in and there is no dialogue box to use for comments, you might need to hit the refresh button.  When you do this the appearance will change and you can check your profile, leave comments and the other things a registered user can do.  Sorry for the inconvenience.  I don’t know how to fix the problem.  Again, there is an easy workaround if you know what to do.  Just hit the refresh button on your web browser.

Finally, The Captain’s Journal web based e-mail has been dysfunctional for a very long time.  If you have sent me a note in the last half a year (not excluding the past couple of weeks), I never received it.  This problem has been fixed and I am now receiving e-mail.

Site Redesign

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 4 months ago

Joshua Smith of Stemwinder Productions has almost completed a site redesign for The Captain’s Journal. I found that I was inhibited from writing posts because some were succinct and pithy, while others contained sweeping linkage and analysis. I didn’t want the shorter posts to supersede the long analyses, but in a linear format, this is what happens. Further, while I called this a news and commentary website, the news part was lacking.

Joshua solved all of those problems. I can post more pithy articles now, under what continues to be a linear formating, but leave a previous article up front as a “feature” if I wish. Also, there is a new feature called “clippings.” It will contain links to news and information that I have read and thought my readers would be interested in, but didn’t wish to supply commentary to go with the article. Check out the seamless transition from one page of clippings to another (without having to reload the home web page).

I have also thrown away all previous pictures and populated the new archive of pictures with A-10s, Ospreys, other aircraft, and photos from the deployment to Fallujah of 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment (from the deployed website). I will add to the photo archives as time goes by. I promise to steal all good photos from my friends at OpFor and Blackfive and continue to populate my archive. So if there is a photo you recall and wish to see again, just refresh the page and another will appear (some photos are a little truncated at the top / bottom).

One problem remains to correct (that of removing the clippings from the archives). I hope you like the redesign (reader Dominique R. Poirier does), and I hope it causes you to visit more often. I might not have a new feature, but a short post may have been made. Or, I might not have a new feature or post, but I may have linked two or three new articles for your perusal.

I appreciate your patronage. As friend Michael Ledeen tells me, the object of writing is to change someone’s mind – we know not who. Finally, there are many readers who have registered to make comments, but who have yet to weigh in. Please do so soon.

Letters from Readers

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 6 months ago

In response to Marine Artillery Does Oakland and my plan for an amphibious assault on San Francisco, Arthur Kimes writes:

Oh sure you can conquer it. But holding it against the insurgents? What counter-measures do you have against the obvious threat of Road Side Mimes? What happens when the Starbucks barrista slips DECAF in a Marines cappucino? (I should have 4 or 5 more funny lines but my brain isn’t working now. Too early…)

In response to Warriors and the Oakland Airport: The Final Story, Daniel Jimenez sends a link, to which I responded:

Bull. The airport authorities know that weapons being on board the plane is no reason to bar the plane from entry. The weapons have their bolt removed and have no ammunition. This is done before they ever leave the theater. The airport authorities know this. I have covered this in my most recent post (followup to the one backtracked to Michelle’s site). Further, not having been screened by TSA is quite irrelevant, and the airport authorities know it. Customs does a more thorough job with them.

This story is crap. Sorry.

To which Mr. Jimenez then responded as follows:

So, the contractor who said he personally drove the troops waiting to meet family to the terminal? Also a liar? The Staff Sgt. who talks about the great reception he received at the airport? Also a liar? And the commanding officer who told the airport officials they didn’t need any other attention? Also a liar? The airport spokeswoman? Also a liar? (I’m CERTAIN you think she’s a liar, because, after all, she’s the one covering for the nefarious America- and troop-hating directors of the Oakland Airport.)

Never let the facts get in the way of a good “The Bay Area hates the troops” story, I suppose.

To which I responded:

I don’t mean to be rude, but you need to learn to stay on point and not get sidetracked by irrelevant things.  I never said anything about contractors trucking people around and such as that.  I stuck to a single point in both of my posts: weapons being on board causing a security concern, and this being the reason for stopping the aircraft.

Again, bull.  Period.  They have more muzzle discipline that an air marshal who also has a weapon, and besides, unlike air marshals, they have no ammunition.  There was and is no security concern.  Do they honestly believe that anyone would be stupid enough to allow the Marines to board the aircraft in the theater WITH ammunition?  No, they do not honestly believe that.  And that’s the point.

To which Mr. Jimenez responded:

I’ll go ahead and sidestep your faux courtesy and be rude.

Hey. A**hole. Spare me the smarm. The point about the contractor driving the 3 troops to see their loved ones, and the part about the commanding officer saying they didn’t need anything else, means that the entire incident was completely overblown. If the commanding officer says, (sic) we don’t need to go to the terminal, that’s fine. Then that’s it. End of story. But people like you and Ledeen and Malkin can’t resist the urge to bash the bay, even when the facts get in your way (go look up Tight Films’ statement on the Marine commercial in SF, schmuck).

The point about the Staff Sgt.’s comment about the 2005 arrival was that your assumptions about the Bay Area are, of course, wrong.

Your entire argument about weapons seems to come down to one crucial assumption: That the people who run the Oakland Airport openly hate the troops and, in fact, took this opportunity to stick it to them the only way the could. You understand why that’s ludicrous, right? Have you ever been to the Bay Area? Oh, wait, you would never come to the “Socialist Republic of San Francisco” without that amphibious assault squad, right? Read this:

“I have never had so many people in my 17 years of service stop and thank me for my service,” said Maj. Sean Pascoli, the officer in charge of recruiting for the Marine Corps in the Bay Area. Pascoli says he has exceeded his quota for Marine recruits in the Bay Area this year.

…and tell me the Bay still hates the Marines.

Well, frankly I had not considered the actual size of the assault team.  Mr. Jimenez recommends a squad (this is three fire teams and a squad leader, usually a Sergeant).  I think a fire team of four Marines might be sufficient, but based on Mr. Kimes’ concerns, the post-assault occupation might take a larger force size.  Or maybe not.

But while the first letter from Mr. Kimes brought a smile to my face, this last one brought a tear to my eye.  He favorably compared me to Ledeen and Malkin.  I am undeserving of such a compliment.  I expect a dinner invitation from Michael and Michelle soon.  I am in the club – I am one of you now. Thank you, Mr. Jimenez.

From the Crest Trail

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 5 months ago

Somewhere on the Crest Trail, Sandia Mountains, New Mexico, November 16, 2006.  Hiking at 10,000 feet elevation kept me winded most of the time.

Sandia 0311.jpg

Gulf War Syndrome and My Hand Problem

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 7 months ago

I hate to complain to my readers, but I have this wrist-hand thing going on.  I get tired from blogging, and it is, in my humble opinion, entirely the government’s fault.  Clearly, if the GWOT was not taking place, I would not have to blog so much.  Now, at Michael Fumento’s blog, we read this concerning the Gulf War Syndrome:

Since 1993 I have been arguing that Gulf War Syndrome, or “Gulf Lore Syndrome” as I titled one of my articles, is a myth. I wrote almost 30 articles on the subject. And I received the sort of invective you’d expect, questioning my patriotism and loyalty to the troops for putting science ahead of hysteria and political considerations. Now the Institute of Medicine has released a report based on a review of 850 studies and found “the results of that research indicate that … there is not a unique symptom complex (or syndrome) in deployed Gulf War veterans.” Of course, out of 700,000 men and women who went over some have fallen ill and some have died. It’s been 15 years, after all. But they don’t have anything non-deployed vets have, or for that matter civilians. Not that this will stop the activists, one of whom, Cpt. Joyce Riley, is being routinely identified in stories about the IOM report as a Gulf vet even though she never got closer to the war than San Diego. Riley, who also claims Henry Kissinger ordered the invention of HIV/AIDS, sees this latest report as nothing more than part of a grand conspiracy. In fact, “GWS” is actually part of a conspiracy of sorts — a conspiracy to continually fabricate one syndrome after another by pretending that normal background rates of illness combined with hysterical reports (such as one vet’s claim to have glowing vomit) indicate mass mystery illnesses. It began with Agent Orange and in its most recent guise is called World Trade Center Illness. But it’s all the same nonsense. And nobody suffers more than the exploited alleged victims whose lives can be ruined by the constant psychological battering of being told they have or may have a disease that doesn’t even exist. 

Sigh.  Well, there goes my lawsuit.  And it was such an open and shut case too!  Hangs head  … shuffles off.

Top Ten Blogs

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 7 months ago

Following the counsel of John Hawkins at RWN, I am listing my top ten blogs.  Since my son is a Marine, it will be virtually impossible to unseat SWJ from the number one position (especially the Daily News Links page where you just point and click on the day you want).  I am personally invested in what the USMC does — my son’s life hangs in the balance.  Numbers 2 – 10 are subject to revision at any time.

10] Blogs of War (and companion site, Chronicles of War; friend John Little has been very kind to me, instructive when I started up, and very nice to blogroll my site).

9] Little Green Footballs (The MSM fear LGF for good reason)

8] Counterterrorism Blog (I cannot not read this every day; it tells me where the world is headed before we get there)

7] Polipundit (My friends Knighthawk, Oak Leaf and Ace have been good to me and have given me very kind words and a link from time to time for my better posts)

6] Jihad Watch (Tireless expose of the enemy)

5] Riehl World View (Dan Riehl is one of the world’s great bloggers; simply magnificent, and he has given me a link from time to time, and a post welcoming me to the world of conservative blogging a few months back — oh, and he also blogrolled me)

4] Right Wing News (John Hawkins operates a virtual clearinghouse of good information, and together with on-point analysis that is always correct and conservative, this is a daily read)

3] Strategy Page (Great military information, and as a Milblogger, I would be lost without a daily dose of SP)

2] Michelle Malkin (What can I say; wonderful, although I am still waiting for the first returned e-mail; do you know I am out here, Michelle?)

1] Small Wars Journal (Will stay number one for me; I became familiar with the concept of small wars when I began studying the USMC because of my son; it would be good for others to understand as well)

**** UPDATE ****

Actually, I am taking liberty with my number one blog, since it is only barely a blog, linking to a bunch of stuff, including books, news, manuals, quotes, discussion threads and blogs by others.  I hope that this liberty is okay.  It is a must read every day for me.

You’ll Never Read this in the School Textbooks

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 8 months ago

I have always been fascinated by the extent to which people willingly believe myths.

Courtesy of Right Wing News I found this interesting piece of history — history that you will never see in the textbooks (and NPR and Bill Moyer will never cover it).

From Issues & Views (a black owned and operated web site):

If you are unfamiliar with the history of blacks who fought for the Confederacy, here is an informative video. Enjoy engrossing presentations by two black scholars who share their vast knowledge of the South. Professor Edward C. Smith is Director of American Studies at American University in Washington, DC, and Nelson Winbush is a retired school teacher .

Cutting through what he calls the “mythology” that passes for history, Smith shares some little known facts about the pre-Civil War period. “Let us look at the total population of Washington, DC from 1800 until 1870. In 1800, when the city first became the nation’s capital, there were 746 blacks living in the city, of which 123 were free; 620 were slaves. The black population steadily increased, as well as the free black population. By 1830, a dramatic change had taken place. Now there are nearly 6,000 blacks, of which well over 3,000 are free. Remember, the Civil War was not to begin for another 31 years. By the time we get to 1860, there are almost 11,000 blacks living in Washington, more than 9,000 of them are free, and fewer than 2,000 are slaves. And this was happening all over the South. By the time the United States Census was taken in 1860, there were over 500,000 free blacks scattered throughout the South.

“The important thing to keep in mind is that slavery was dying out on its own. It would have died had there been no war at all. It would have taken a little longer, but the war simply speeded up a process that had already begun to take effect. Since there were over 500,000 free blacks throughout the South, this meant that every slave always saw free blacks around him, and knew that freedom was possible.”

Showing historical artifacts owned by his grandfather, Louis Nelson, who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War, Nelson Winbush sets some records straight. A member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Winbush tells about black and white soldiers who fought together in the War, not to preserve slavery, but to keep out invaders who were bent on destruction. On the home front, black and white family members protected one another from the brutality of invading Yankee soldiers. “When the Yanks came down South, the first thing they did was rape the black women. Then they raped the black missy girls. Then they went and got drunk and raped the white women. The black man’s wives and daughters were raped before the white women were raped. So, if you talk about bonding [between black and white southerners], there’s your cause for bonding.”

Says Winbush, “There are those who argue that blacks did not fight for the Confederacy. If this was the case, then why was my grandfather’s application for pension received, accepted and approved? He was Number 32 for the Colored Man’s Pension, State of Tennessee.”

To learn more about this side of Civil War history, purchase Black Southern Heritage, a two-hour video produced by Preserving Our Heritage. Contact Mike Crane: SPOFGA@yahoo.com

Allow me to give one more example; this one is completely unrelated by subject, but very much related by analogy.  It is the myth that Galileo and the church were at ideological war with each other, the church having muzzled the exercise of science.  Nothing could be further from the truth, inasmuch as Galileo’s true enemies were his scientific detractors who used the church as a way to silence him.  Thomas Lessl has two great pieces on it here and here.  Jonah Goldberg has an NRO article on it here.

As I said, it is unrelated to the issue of the Civil War and slavery, but it goes to show that the myth (that every school child is taught) about Galileo and the church is false, yet believed by so many people today that it is not likely ever to be expunged from the public consciousness.

You’ll Never Read this in the School Textbooks

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 8 months ago

I have always been fascinated by the extent to which people willingly believe myths.

Courtesy of Right Wing News I found this interesting piece of history — history that you will never see in the textbooks (and NPR and Bill Moyer will never cover it).

From Issues & Views (a black owned and operated web site):

If you are unfamiliar with the history of blacks who fought for the Confederacy, here is an informative video. Enjoy engrossing presentations by two black scholars who share their vast knowledge of the South. Professor Edward C. Smith is Director of American Studies at American University in Washington, DC, and Nelson Winbush is a retired school teacher .

Cutting through what he calls the “mythology” that passes for history, Smith shares some little known facts about the pre-Civil War period. “Let us look at the total population of Washington, DC from 1800 until 1870. In 1800, when the city first became the nation’s capital, there were 746 blacks living in the city, of which 123 were free; 620 were slaves. The black population steadily increased, as well as the free black population. By 1830, a dramatic change had taken place. Now there are nearly 6,000 blacks, of which well over 3,000 are free. Remember, the Civil War was not to begin for another 31 years. By the time we get to 1860, there are almost 11,000 blacks living in Washington, more than 9,000 of them are free, and fewer than 2,000 are slaves. And this was happening all over the South. By the time the United States Census was taken in 1860, there were over 500,000 free blacks scattered throughout the South.

“The important thing to keep in mind is that slavery was dying out on its own. It would have died had there been no war at all. It would have taken a little longer, but the war simply speeded up a process that had already begun to take effect. Since there were over 500,000 free blacks throughout the South, this meant that every slave always saw free blacks around him, and knew that freedom was possible.”

Showing historical artifacts owned by his grandfather, Louis Nelson, who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War, Nelson Winbush sets some records straight. A member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Winbush tells about black and white soldiers who fought together in the War, not to preserve slavery, but to keep out invaders who were bent on destruction. On the home front, black and white family members protected one another from the brutality of invading Yankee soldiers. “When the Yanks came down South, the first thing they did was rape the black women. Then they raped the black missy girls. Then they went and got drunk and raped the white women. The black man’s wives and daughters were raped before the white women were raped. So, if you talk about bonding [between black and white southerners], there’s your cause for bonding.”

Says Winbush, “There are those who argue that blacks did not fight for the Confederacy. If this was the case, then why was my grandfather’s application for pension received, accepted and approved? He was Number 32 for the Colored Man’s Pension, State of Tennessee.”

To learn more about this side of Civil War history, purchase Black Southern Heritage, a two-hour video produced by Preserving Our Heritage. Contact Mike Crane: SPOFGA@yahoo.com

Allow me to give one more example; this one is completely unrelated by subject, but very much related by analogy.  It is the myth that Galileo and the church were at ideological war with each other, the church having muzzled the exercise of science.  Nothing could be further from the truth, inasmuch as Galileo’s true enemies were his scientific detractors who used the church as a way to silence him.  Thomas Lessl has two great pieces on it here and here.  Jonah Goldberg has an NRO article on it here.

As I said, it is unrelated to the issue of the Civil War and slavery, but it goes to show that the myth (that every school child is taught) about Galileo and the church is false, yet believed by so many people today that it is not likely ever to be expunged from the public consciousness.

Captain’s Journal Hits 5000 Site Visits

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 8 months ago

I know my place on the food chain.  I am still a very small blog, and it will likely remain that way.  I do not do this professionally (I am a working stiff), and I want to put quality posts on the site, so that limits the amount of posts I can make (and even so, I sometimes do not have the time to make my posts the quality that I want).

Having said that, this site has been “live” since June 7, 2006, for a total of 72 days.  We have now had:

  • > 5000 site visits.
  • > 11,800 page views.
  • Spam Karma 2 has caught 353 spams. 

And according to Technorati, we have had 72 incoming links.

This isn’t so bad for 72 days in operation.

I especially appreciate my repeat readers.  I see you out there in the blogosphere.

Captain’s Journal Hits 5000 Site Visits

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 8 months ago

I know my place on the food chain.  I am still a very small blog, and it will likely remain that way.  I do not do this professionally (I am a working stiff), and I want to put quality posts on the site, so that limits the amount of posts I can make (and even so, I sometimes do not have the time to make my posts the quality that I want).

Having said that, this site has been “live” since June 7, 2006, for a total of 72 days.  We have now had:

  • > 5000 site visits.
  • > 11,800 page views.
  • Spam Karma 2 has caught 353 spams. 

And according to Technorati, we have had 72 incoming links.

This isn’t so bad for 72 days in operation.

I especially appreciate my repeat readers.  I see you out there in the blogosphere.


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