CrispAds Blog Ads

Vacation Packages
Travel Flight Tickets
Insurance Liability Coverage
Finance Credit Bonds
Credit Debt Consolidation
Dartmouth College History
Stones Concert Dates
Sales Marketing Jobs
Health Education Job
Colorado Mortgage Broker
Search Now:

    Coming Soon


      Hit me with an email


Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Lighter Fare: Fantasy Football

Things have become serious very fast on the site and in this country, but I want to dial it down a notch. My fantasy football draft is tomorrow night and I have the 5th pick of 10. This is clearly the worst pick to have because I will never have the chance to pick 2 players in rapid succession. Oh well. I know that Peyton Manning, LaDainian Tomlinson, Shaun Alexander, and probably Daunte Culpepper will be picked ahead of me. Who should I pick first that will essentially anchor my fantasy team this year? And, for those of you who are fantasy footballers, what is your draft strategy? Do you pick RBs first? QBs? Or just go for whoever is top rated and is available regardless of position? Tell me your secrets!

I offer up this topic not only for its informational value to me, but also to assess the number of male readers that frequent this site. I have a feeling that I have become something of a chick magnet. Not in the same way as Julio of course, but you know what I mean.

You Will Know Them By Their Fruits (Mt. 7:16)

Jesus spoke those words 2000 years ago in order to teach his disciples how to assess the motivations of people that they encounter in their ministries. Only God can know the heart of a man (Jer. 17:9-10) and truly peer into a person’s soul; we humans do not have this ability. Each of us believes that we KNOW when someone is being honest or that we can detect the motivations of our closest family and friends, but we cannot. The best we can do is to check the fruit that a person’s life or actions have borne. In other words, do the results of a person’s statements and actions match up with the purported goals of those statements and actions? Additionally, are those results (fruit) affecting a positive outcome, or are they causing bitterness, strife, pain, failure, or hatred? It is natural for a person to take stock of the fruit they have brought forth, and to either continue what they are doing or to make a change.

The letter I published from the SEAL Chief very poignantly answers the question of whether the actions and words of the anti-war left have brought forth good fruit or poisonous fruit. The is no objective doubt that the actions of leftist agitators have had or are intended to have a negative impact on a) the morale, safety, and well being of deployed US Servicemembers b) the potential for victory in the Global War on Terror c) the future of millions of enslaved muslims who will be thrust into a bloody and protracted internal conflict if abandoned d) the US’ ability to defend our Homeland from an onslaught of follow on terrorist attacks that may involve the deployment of Weapons of Mass Destruction and e) the economic prosperity of the US to achieve their vision of worldwide economic parity that brings low “capitalist-imperialist” Americans instead of raising up the populations of third world nations. Only one of these potential outcomes is a well-known stated goal of the anti-war leftists; they are openly working toward the defeat of the United States in not only Iraq, but all fronts of the GWOT. They remember the important lessons that their hippy parents, college professors, or even the old school lefties themselves used to great effect in the 1960’s to ensure that the US failed to achieve victory and was thrust into a period of decline that ended with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. US wars are lost and won in the hearts and minds of the American people despite the actual results of combat operations in a conflict.

While it is possible to rhetorically separate the ideas of supporting the war and supporting the troops, the net effect of leftist propaganda on the troops themselves is an example of bitter fruit being literally spat out in the faces of bonafied American heroes. Marine Sgt. and Navy Cross recipient, Marco Martinez describes an encounter he had on a junior college campus recently,
“A woman on campus had apparently learned I might be a Marine. When I told her I was, she said, ‘You’re a disgusting human being, and I hope you rot in hell!’ ”
This is not merely an anecdotal occurrence; this is an increasingly pervasive and unpleasant experience for veterans across the country.

Just as during the Vietnam war, our enemy is engaging in an intentional and coordinated media campaign designed to break the will of the American people. And just like in Vietnam, they are openly and overtly aided and abetted by the American left. The fact that this is ongoing, dispels any pretense that US troops are in any way “supported” by the leftists who climb on their backs and upon their caskets to raise the symbols of their opposition aloft for all to see and heed. If that were not enough, these same leftists lobby and litigate in an effort to weaken the government’s ability to prevent future terrorist attacks on our Homeland and attack those who oppose them as racists and fascists. They are fond of equating the US with Nazi Germany where 11 million Europeans were systematically murdered by a madman bent on racial purity despite overwhelming evidence that Saddam Hussein had committed a vast and racially motivated genocide in the region before being deposed by force.

With the luxury of hindsight, we are now able to assess the fruit borne by the anti-war leftists of the past. We know that millions in SE Asia were interred by NVA communists into “re-education” camps where many were mercilessly tortured to death. We know that our withdrawal from Vietnam precipitated the Cambodian genocide of more than 2 million people under Pol Pot. We know that while much of SE Asia has experienced sustained and prolific economic growth thereby markedly raising the standard of living for millions, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia exist in a state of perpetual economic depression and poverty. We also know that the 1968 Tet Offensive was an unmitigated military disaster for the North Vietnamese, and that they switched from a military to a political war against us as a result. We know from the writings of General Giap that the North was thoroughly beaten on the battlefield and were rescued by leftists in the US who managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by demonizing our troops as "baby killers" and "war criminals".

This is precisely what today’s leftists have in store for America if they are not defeated right along with Al Qaida on the domestic battlefield of public opinion. The first step is to expose their motivations by exposing their fruit. Do not allow them to continue the charade that they are supporting our troops in any conceivable way. The actual result of their efforts is to sustain the morale of the terrorists, suppress the morale of our troops, create an atmosphere of hostility toward veterans and military personnel, and disparage the real and meaningful sacrifices made by our fallen heroes. There can be no reconciliation between their contention of support and the demonstrable harm and pain that they have wrought.

By their fruit ye shall know them.

Monday, August 29, 2005

STOP USING MY SERVICE AS A SHIELD FOR YOUR COWARDICE AND SEDITION

Regulars of the Frogosphere will remember some "Words Of Wisdom" from a SEAL Chief friend of mine offered in the aftermath of Operation Red Wing. He was led to write this letter to the editor of the San Diego Union-Tribune, but since there is no chance that they will print it, I decided that I would...

I am an active duty service member and have served one combat tour in Afghanistan and another combat tour in Iraq. I have had several friends and associates killed fighting this war. I have waited many years listening to other people exercise their rights, and today I exercise mine. This evening, I was driving next to the Hotel del Coronado and was deeply disturbed by an anti war protest staged on both sides of the road. People were holding all the signs we see on TV and in the paper [like] “George Bush is not my President” and others with similar statements. Additionally, they were holding a quilt with cutouts of people symbolizing our war dead from Iraq.

First, I would like to say to these people that in fact George Bush is your President. As we live in a republic commonly referred to as a democracy, and he received more votes that John Kerry, it is called a “majority”. So, ALL American citizens are obligated to refer to Mr. Bush as President.

Secondly, I have had enough of these people using my service as a shield for their seditious statements and cowardice. They claim to support us as troops but not the policies of our government. This to me makes no sense as we have all volunteered to serve, many after September 11, 2001. So, this logic does not work. And, I can tell you from personal experience that seeing these protests is incredibly painful when you are in serving in combat. I understand that most people do not read or understand history, but if they did they would understand that they are giving aid to the enemy by holding these rallies, prolonging the conflict as it emboldens the insurgency. Terrorists read and manipulate the media and apparently several Americans who truly do not understand what they are doing. Or, as I suspect, several of them do and are intentionally trying to subvert our government. The Constitution is only a piece of faded paper stating grand and wonderful ideas. But, in reality the ONLY thing that GUARANTEES your right to free speech is me and my friends who willingly, repeatedly leave our families to fight for that freedom. If you did truly care about freedom, you would pick up your rucksack and join me. If you did, maybe I could stay home for a bit and protest something. (emphasis Froggy's)

And in closing, [regarding] the quilt representing the fallen; how dare you disgrace the memory of my fallen brothers and sisters? You are wittingly or unwittingly destroying the glory they have earned. Yes, I mean glory. Glory, like Honor and Courage, are not dirty words. They mean something, something pure, something I’m afraid these people do not understand. The men and women symbolized on that quilt died serving, not complaining, so show some respect. They are not cloth cut outs to me, a vehicle for you to push a misguided political agenda, they are people, and they died for you, because you would not stand up and serve. So, put a flag outside your house; visit a veteran’s hospital, or donate money to charities that support their families. Because I will tell you this; they died, and I serve, for our Country, our Buddies, and our Families. Not your right to commit sedition.

ROGER. SOLID COPY. FROGGY OUT.

UPDATE: Just so you bedwetters out there are aware, Sedition is an actual crime 18 USC 115 Section 2388:
Whoever, when the United States is at war, willfully makes or conveys false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies; or

Whoever, when the United States is at war, willfully causes or attempts to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or willfully obstructs the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, to the injury of the service or the United States, or attempts to do so—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

Just because this law is politically unfeasible to enforce, doesn't mean that those of you that are engaging in this sort of activity are not seditious and traitorous slime. You are. If I happen down the street and see you mocking the sacrifices of my comrades, your'e likely to catch the beating of a lifetime.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Hating Our Troops American Style

Well I think we can pretty much dispense with the whole “Support the Troops but not the War” load of crap. What must it be like to look in the mirror after spending a long day outside Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington DC mocking and tormenting wounded soldiers? This is déjà vu all over again when the parents of these contemptible slime were calling the parents of fallen soldiers in Vietnam and telling them how glad they were that their “baby killer” son had died.
"We went by there one day and I drove by and [the anti-war protesters] had a bunch of flag-draped coffins laid out on the sidewalk. That, I thought, was probably the most distasteful thing I had ever seen. Ever," Pannell, a member of the Army's First Cavalry Division, told Cybercast News Service. "You know that 95 percent of the guys in the hospital bed lost guys whenever they got hurt and survivors' guilt is the worst thing you can deal with," Pannell said, adding that other veterans recovering from wounds at Walter Reed share his resentment for the anti-war protesters.
In an incredibly hubristic example of either psychotic rationalization or cold-blooded evil, “Luke” the protestor provides an explanation for his reprehensible actions
…"If I went to war and lost a leg and then found out from my hospital bed that I had been lied to, that the weapons I was sent to search for never existed, that the person who sent me to war had no plan but to exploit me, exploit the country I was sent to, I would be pretty angry," Luke told Cybercast News Service. "I would want people to do something about it and if I couldn't get out of my bed and protest myself, I would want someone else to do it in my name," he added.
How utterly and shamefully disingenuous and repugnant can a “man” be? The only closely analogous situation to this that I can come with would be to evict a woman from her home the week she had twins, tow her car, and call child protective services to report her for putting her babies out on the street…while laughing at her. That is the kind of sinister motivation at work here. Luke hates the troops more than anything in this world besides George Bush. His cowardice is assaulted and magnified every day when he wakes up to realize that he doesn’t have the courage to fight for a dryer at the Laundromat let alone to defend his family and friends from those that would harm them (that is if his patchouli stinkin’ a$$ ever does laundry).

Luke’s natural capacity for shame at his weakness and gutlessness should produce gratitude for those willing to stand in for him on the bulwarks, but his hippy parents very likely attenuated this innate impulse and turned loose on the world a subhuman factory of hatefulness and depravity. And there are many just like him. So ingrained in them is a pervasive victim status that they scour the planet searching for persecutors that they might adopt in order to maintain the façade of their own oppression. Decadence of that magnitude is only possible in a place where oppression has been completely eradicated generations into the past. And as we know the oppressed have “absolute moral authority” and armed with that authority are capable of acts of barbarism and profligacy that fiction authors could never concoct.

The ugliness and putridity of an organization that would engage in acts of cruelty against their countrymen of such proportions has become once again a scourge in this nation. The irony of this situation is about as thick as I am capable of imagining since it is the soldier that gives the protestor the ability to stand on that soapbox and vomit forth such vile and bilious filth. It is of note to say that the men recuperating in Walter Reed are of a caliber and quality that allows them to forge ahead undaunted in the face such animals. They are much better men and not encumbered with the victim impulse that drives the protestors as they have carried on their backs the load of our safety and freedom. While it is not fair that they must also bear this burden, it is well within their capabilities to do so.

God Bless Our Troops and God Bless America

Blackfive also reporting.

Luke and his ilk are not fit to lick the sweat off of... well you know.
Pulitzer Prize for Michael Yon

UPDATE: The issue of the appropriateness of holding anti-war protests adjacent to a military hospital is an obvious one. As far as I'm concerned, if the government can prevent pro-life protestors from coming within a certain distance of an abortion clinic, it stands to reason that these protests should not be allowed outside of Walter Reed. I don't know if the Freepers or whoever is spearheading the counter-protests have pursued this angle, but it is certainly worthy of exploration.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Denver this week

Surveying my vast empire! HA! I'll be in town for the rest of the week, and we've got tickets to the Indianapolis Colts/Broncos game. If something interesting happens, you might get a post out of me. No promises though.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The V-Word

"We are locked into a bogged-down problem not unsimilar, dissimilar to where we were in Vietnam." This golden nugget of wisdom comes from Vietnam veteran, Senator, and Presidential hopeful Chuck Hagel. When my daughter says, “Daddy, daddy, watch this!” I know that she is feeling a little left out with a new baby brother in the household. Which is essentially what the Republican Senator from Nebraska is doing when he goes on ABC’s “This Week with a Clinton Aide” and deals the Vietnam card. It seems Chuck Hagel thinks maybe he can ride Cindy Sheehan’s coattails for a while and snatch up some of those anti-war voters before veering back to the center of the road. I guess his staff forgot to tell him that being a Republican Vietnam veteran that likes to flirt with the left and toss softballs to the MSM didn’t work as an electoral strategy before 9/11 just like being a Democrat Vietnam veteran reliving your anti-war past didn’t work last year.

It is not difficult to tell if a person remains grounded in the realities that they learned the hard way in their youth. 20 years ago Chuck Hagel probably would have the lesson of Vietnam burned into his soul. That lesson being, of course, that the United States cannot be defeated on the battlefield, but is vulnerable only when politicians back home lose bowel and bladder control and start defecating on the mission and urinating on the public’s support for the war. But to have committed the same sin that doomed his comrades and him in decades past means he must have sold out those principles long ago. In the immortal words of Tony Montana in Scarface, Hagel is “a pig that don’t fly straight.” But a pig that should know better.

The implication in making the Vietnam analogy is that the United States should somehow follow a similar path that failed completely in Southeast Asia… pull our troops out now. Not only did we shamefully and unnecessarily lose a war, we subjected millions to torture, re-education camps, and genocide. But hey, so what, right? Those were just simple “gooks” that couldn’t come across the Pacific to do anything about it. America could hide behind its nukes and get on with the business of destroying the family, perpetuating the ghetto producing welfare state, and snorting blow. Well excuse me if I don’t jump on another Baby Boomer train to nowhere.

This time the “gooks” can and will come over here and do something about it if we hike up our national skirt and tip toe out of Iraq. There is nobody left to nuke, and I need gas for my Escalade! Kicking a$$ and hanging tough are all we have. There is no Plan B. Nothing that anyone is willing to accept at least. We had gutless crybabies back in WWII, but what media we had (Check that out) didn’t let them get too loud. Since Dr. Seuss isn’t around anymore, it’s up to us bloggers to kidney punch and nut kick these sissies into shape or at least shameful silence.

By the way Chuck, if the Kos Kidz successfully enact the Final Solution to the moderate Democrat problem, then there are only going to be two places to find votes. The Republican party or the seething pool of cowardice that remains after the moonbats are done. I don’t think they’ll like you anyway.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Reunion Roundup

It’s strange that last year at the Reunion I was walking around grilling the Vietnam guys on the relative likelihood of a Swift boat inserting CIA guys into Cambodia. I guess it was important at the time, but so much has happened since then that it hardly matters at all now. I fired up the site only a couple weeks before, and I was part of Hugh’s nascent blogging veterans for truth.

As I passed over the Coronado Bridge I realized why many Americans don’t identify readily with the military. To my left was 32nd St. Naval Station, to my right was North Island Naval Air Station, beneath me was a returning frigate, and above me was a UH-60 Seahawk helicopter. I don’t live in a city like San Diego anymore where these things are commonplace and it was kind of bizarre to see so much military hardware in close proximity. That the sight of this startled me caused me to recognize how foreign these things must be to somebody from say Minnesota.

Last year I watched Jesse Ventura nearly get his a$$ kicked by some of the Boys after he tried to get by with some of his “war for oil” and “I support the troops but not the war” crap. This year he looked like a homeless version of Johnny Depp in “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Here, you be the judge.









On a serious note, turnout was lower than usual, and there were only a handful of active duty guys which is to be expected under the circumstances. But there were enough there to keep story time going well into the night. It occurred to me and a fellow reservist and BUD/S classmate that these guys who are doing all the fighting today were new guys when we were doing platoons. We are the unlucky and unhappy crew of Frogmen that served between Vietnam and the GWOT. I shared a beer with one of my BUD/S Instructors at McP’s last night who had retired with 21 years having never fired a shot in anger.

That was the best part for me, though. Catching up with many of my instructors and remembering all of the students and other Instructors of the era. It was cool to reminisce about some of the crazy things that were said and done back then and to find out how the Instructors were scheming our demise at the time.

The brand new Chief Petty Officer Selectees were selling a “Fallen But Not Forgotten” T-shirt to benefit the Naval Special Warfare Foundation. They will be on sale later at the UDT/SEAL Association Store for $20. This time and this time only Froggy will allow non NSW related personnel to not only purchase but even wear the SEAL paraphernalia.

I brought my young daughter with me for the weekend and she stayed with her grandmother while I was attending events and performing reserve duties. I got her back this afternoon at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot near downtown San Diego. Before we made the drive home, I drove her over to the “grinder” where several platoons of Marine recruits were performing close order drill at 1500 on Sunday in 80F heat under the tender instruction of Marine Drill Instructors. I tried to explain to her that these are the people that protect us from the bad men. I hope she understood that.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Trying to Disable Able Danger

I have been holding my fire on this one until the story reached the “we need to discredit this thing before the Clintons and the Dems get hurt” phase. We have reached that phase. Mickey Kaus is out in RCP this morning pimping the “2 Atta Theory” proposed by Tom Maguire. The “theory” being that the name Mohammed Atta showed up on a Lexis Nexis search as a completely different terrorist working with Abu Nidal back in the early 90s. And it was THAT Mohammed Atta that Able Danger identified, not the guy who flew the airliner into the WTC. If true that would effectively nullify the criticisms against the 9/11 Commission and the Clinton Administration’s “wall” policy. But is it true?

No. Why?

Because Able Danger also identified Marwan al Shehhi, Khalid al Midhar, and Nawaf al Hamzi in addition to Mohammed Atta. I’m pretty sure the data mining operation used by SOCOM in Able Danger was something more elaborate than Lexis Nexis, and I am fairly certain that having identified the key leadership element of the cell responsible for 9/11, the “2 Atta” theory oughta be $hitcanned.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Trying to Understand a Loss

This weekend is the UDT/SEAL West Coast Reunion in San Diego, and Julio and I will be joining our comrades past and present to rekindle old friendships and to mourn a great loss. This Reunion is somewhat unprecedented in that there hasn’t been one following a loss of 11 SEALs in combat before. I really do not know what to expect or if anything further has been planned except to just drown our sorrows in beer and cigars. One thing that I do know about the Teams, the Navy, and the military in general is the tendency to look at a situation that went awry and to try to assign accountability and responsibility to some person or decision. This is an institutional problem that is rooted in the idea that lessons must be learned from every experience, and that someone is always ultimately responsible for every action good or bad.

While I am not privy to the deliberations that are certainly ongoing about why we lost 19 SOF operators or what could have been done to prevent it, I suspect that there are many at SOCOM and elsewhere contemplating exactly that. I have received an unofficial “debrief” account of what happened on the SR mission and the subsequent actions of the QRF that went in to save them. I am not going to go into that here in an open forum, but I do want to address the broader issues of the operation.

SR teams sometimes get compromised. That’s just the way it is. The fact that these guys got caught in the Taliban’s backyard in and of itself is not necessarily an indictment of their tactical proficiency or fieldcraft, but it’s more likely an issue of insufficient or incorrect intelligence. The problem with intel is that you often don’t find out that you don’t have enough of it until it’s too late to do anything about it. My understanding of how they were compromised amounts to basically a freak occurrence. I don’t want to elaborate any further, but when you are snooping around near where people live, sometimes those people will stumble upon you.

When the SR team was compromised and engaged by a vastly numerically superior force, they called for assistance. The Taskforce Commander can do one of two things in that situation: assist them or not. Chances are good that the TF Commander had some kind of UAV surveillance in the area, and he therefore knew essentially how grave the SR team’s situation really was. Since LCDR Kristensen was on the bird that crashed, it is clear that the SEAL leadership element at the TF had no qualms about going in to get the SR team. Since the Nightstalkers flew the mission, it is clear that their leadership element was willing to take the risk of a daytime insertion in order to rescue their SEAL brothers. And since the QRF did in fact launch, it is clear that the TF Commander decided in his experience that he had to make the attempt to get his men out of there. The fact that people died as a result of those decisions does not make them incorrect. Soldiers and Sailors die in war, that’s just the way it is.

In my opinion, there was no recklessness demonstrated by the TF leadership in this situation. That Mr. Kristensen jocked up and went in with the Boys indicates that he was putting his money where his mouth was. As an O-4, he was not a member of any SEAL Platoon. Navy SEALs, SOF, and the US military are not in the habit of leaving men on the battlefield to be killed or captured if there is anything that can be done to prevent it. That is why US troops demonstrate the esprit de corps and aggressiveness in combat that they are renowned for… because each serviceman knows that his unit and his buddies will do whatever it takes to save him if necessary.

Is this a weakness? I could be considered as one from a certain point of view. We know that UBL trained the Somalis to shoot down helos in Mogadishu so that he could kill Americans converging on the crash site. While 18 US soldiers died in that battle, I have never considered it a failure, but rather a badge of honor that so many would give so much to save so few. As an American fighting man I am expected to perform at a level above all soldiers in the world, in exchange for that I expect that my comrades and government will back me up when I am at my point of need. That is just the way it works.

It is sad that so many outstanding men died on that day to save one exceptional man’s life, but as the Admiral said at the Memorial in Hawaii, “If no one had been rescued, the effort would have been worth it.” He is right.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Reason I Stay Navy

After 10 years of active duty there is only ONE REASON that I have stayed in the Reserves. Surfing Pt. Mugu Naval Air Weapons Center is truly a privilege. In my opinion, it is the best wave in Southern California bar none.

It is also the most difficult to ride and since it only breaks in the summertime, every year I have to relearn how to ride the place. I have broken at least 3 surfboards over the past 8 years because the wave breaks powerfully in shallow water. Everything about the place is weird. The water is always much colder than the surrounding area due to a submarine canyon that creates cold water upwelling just offshore. That deep canyon runs south to north directly into the lineup which allows waves traveling toward the beach to accelerate preventing the continental shelf from sapping too much energy from a swell. The weather is a spooky overcast year-round, and is heavily populated by Sea Lions. The Sea Lions like to hang around the mouth of Mugu Lagoon, a tidal estuary, because of the abundance of fish. Generally speaking wherever Sea Lions go, Sharks are usually not far away. While Mugu is rumored to be sharky, I haven't heard of an attack since I started surfing there in the mid-90's. Half of the beach is a rocky seawall that can get a little sketchy at high tide. Fortunately, the bottom contour of the surf spot is sandy as opposed to a rock reef.

The surf spot is broken up into 4-5 separate peaks that all break similarly, but the peaks are more consistent the further east you go. Unlike any other beach I have surfed in California, the peaks shift sideways to the west as the wave develops. Southeast swells generate waves that break parallel to the beach sweeping from east to west and becoming extremely hollow as they cross each sandbar. The waves themselves are some of the steepest and hollowest in the state which means that once the surfer gets up on the board, he RAPIDLY accelerates to the bottom. Once successfully reaching the base of the wave, the surfer must make a sudden and sharp left turn in order to stay in the midst of the critical part of the wave. If you are able to perform this turn and remain standing, chances are you’re in one of the most perfect A-frame barrels of your life. This is easier said than done, however, and the wave basically offers the surfer a 6 foot wide area on either side of the peak where he must be positioned in order to catch it. The stand outs at Mugu actually take off “backdoor” which means that they stand up on the right side of the peak, duck under the lip of the wave and surf out the other side.

Surfers in Ventura County will do anything to “get a pass” onto the base, and unfortunately, it’s not very difficult. I have heard stories of civilians attending the base chapel in order to schmooze the chaplain into issuing them a pass thus ending their spiritual journey at the chapel and instead worshipping at the beach. This week the kids are back in school which makes a huge difference in the amount and character of the crowd in the water. Weekends are always crowded and I haven’t been there in years when there wasn’t at least one person video taping a pro or semi pro surfer that managed to get in the gate. In addition to vehicular access, many people drive their boats to the spot and anchor offshore to paddle in. There used to be a Pt. Mugu Surf Club comprised of active duty, reserves and DOD employees which were the only people allowed to surf there. It is an idea worth reconsidering for the sake of the crowds and obvious security issues.

My hope is to be able to backdoor the place regularly, but it’s going to be a while before I’m that good. Once I retire, I’ll be able to go there for life, so I’m just hangin’ on.

BTW, that’s not me in the picture. But it should be.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Warrior Psychology 101

I have often read and heard the cliché that says, “The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars.” This quote is attributed to General Douglas MacArthur who was clearly a man acquainted with war and its consequences. In my experience a more apt quote that summarizes the thoughts of the warriors that I have served with would be this one by Thomas Paine, “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.” Better still is this scripture that the Nightstalkers are known to quote from time to time, Isaiah 6:8 “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”

It is that internal sense of responsibility for the safety and protection of the Nation and their families that inspires most people to join the military, and that sentiment is universal in the SOF community. I don’t think that I have ever met a fellow SEAL that did not feel this way. I have met veterans that have suffered psychologically from their service who would be partial to Gen. MacArthur’s quote, but this is to be expected from warriors that have matured and reflected for years upon their service. The day that America’s warriors do not feel that primordial drive to meet the enemies of our Nation on the field of battle, is the day that this country will succumb to those enemies. This day is not at hand, I can assure you.

Although military recruiting has clearly suffered over the past year as a result of the unrelenting propaganda campaign against the Iraq War by the MSM, reenlistments by deployed troops have never been so robust. I don't think that Selective Reenlistment Bonus’ can explain this “phenomenon” since most of the troops that are re-upping are not eligible for them. I do not know what Casey Sheehan’s reason was for reenlisting, but since he was certain that he would be deploying to Iraq it seems reasonable to assume that the instinct to fight for his Nation was something that Casey felt deeply. That he answered his Nation’s call to service with the sacrifice of his life indicates to me that he is worthy of honor and gratitude from his fellow citizens and especially his family.

For that reason, I believe that his mother’s very public effort to steal his honor is one of the most despicable acts that can be perpetrated by a family member of the fallen. Nothing would bring me greater shame than to know that my own mother was using the willful sacrifice of my very life as an opportunity to garner public attention for the belief that my life was wasted. I am utterly disgusted by a woman, her loss notwithstanding that would allow her son’s enemies and those of the Nation he died to defend to profit from his death. Her self centered actions have created what amounts to a pack of hungry hyenas fighting over the corpse of her fallen son. The honor and respect that Casey is entitled to is being torn apart by the likes of Moveon.org, Michael Moore, Code Pink, the Kossacks, and the MSM anti-war establishment for the whole world to see.

Casey, as a brother warrior, I bid you rest and pray that you have not seen what your mother has wrought. RIP.

Cox & Forkum weighs in

Uhhh, When David KKK Duke supports your cause, you can be certain that you are wrong.

Looks like Senior Chief Dan Healy's mom knows the deal.

Iron Butt Ride for SEALs and Nightstalkers

For all of you East Coast bikers out there in the Frogosphere there is an event coming up that will not only support SEAL and Nightstalker charitable interests but will give you the vaunted Iron Butt Association Certification. The ride is from Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, VA to Hunter Army Airfield, GA… and back… in 24 hours. The ride starts at 0630 on September 10, 2005, but you may start as late as 0800. You will have 24 hours to make it to HAA and back to receive credit and recognition as a finisher of this Saddle Sore 1000 event. The fee to participate is $45 which goes to your certification and is split between the charitable foundations who are being honored by this ride. This is all very official and odometer readings and gas receipts will be required for certification.

Riders are encouraged to have “sponsors” that will pledge a certain amount of money per mile ridden to donate to the Naval Special Warfare Foundation and the Nightstalker Association. Please RSVP for the ride by emailing SEAL160RIDE@COMCAST.NET

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Operation Valour IT

Looks like the Milblog community is flexing its muscles on this one, and Froggy is doing his share to lend a hand. Valour IT is an effort to purchase laptops with voice recognition software for the use of our wounded service members. It would be difficult to come up with a more worthy cause than this one, and better still is that it is being run by the professionals at Soldier's Angels. These folks have written the book on supporting our deployed forces and if they are involved you can be sure of a first class operation.

Meanwhile, Peg C sent me this video link of India Co. 3/1 swinging the pipe in Fallujah last year. Do yourself a favor and watch it if only so you can see the kind of jeopardy our troops are putting themselves in to keep us safe here at home.

Valour IT deserves your support, and I encourage the Frogosphere to participate as your conscience directs.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Kayak Weekend

See you Monday.

Preventing the Revision of History

It’s not an issue that consumes my thoughts for hours at a time, but I often wonder how the real story of this period in our history will be recorded. I have a deep and abiding distrust and disdain for the majority of academic institutions in this country. They are failing to teach the real history of the United States and instead replacing it with multiculti pap. Whereas the founding fathers kept important historical records of the times to pass on to us, these accounts have been taken out of context or even ignored to the extent that their contents were in conflict with the “agreed upon” narrative of today’s liberal academic establishment. One would think that since they already spin the current conflict and its outcomes on a daily basis that the accuracy of the record is in jeopardy even at the time of its recording. Maybe not.

What do you mean Froggy? What can be done? We are doing it now. We few, we band of bloggers are ensuring that the spin and agenda driven liberals in this country cannot monopolize the recordation of our times. Never again. I received an encouraging email from a Canadian historian who is doing just that. Amongst other sources, he is using the blogosphere as a contemporaneous mechanism of historical documentation. No longer do the cultural elites have carte blanche to write their version of reality into our historical record. Power to the people!

The obvious danger is that just as the academics cherry pick the text of our early history, they can exclude inconvenient facts that don’t fit their narratives. While this is true, those who wish to attempt this sort of fraud will be easily and forcefully exposed for having done so. The dynamic self correcting nature of the blogosphere allows for an instant reaction and analysis loop to develop around an issue. The linking of substantiating or refuting material to a blog post ensures that falsity will be quickly and brutally exposed. Wise historians can use the breadth of opinion in the blogosphere to create historical works that truly reconstruct all sides of a particular event and therefore allow the consumer to make a judgment as to its meaning and significance.
Milblogs written by deployed troops will be especially important in this respect, and even if the MSM doesn’t want to report what they are telling us, the historical record is likely to accept it. Just one more reason to thank God for the blogosphere, and to keep on bloggin’!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Unbelievable Video

I don't know what this has to do with anything, but it is an amazing demonstration of athleticism and personal courage. Wow! Thanks Philomathean.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Drinking With a Moderate Muslim

I got a call from an active duty SEAL buddy yesterday afternoon letting me know he was going to be in town for the night. He and I also went to high school together so we met at a friend’s house had some barbeque and started catching up over some beers. At some point in the evening, I met a 28 year old Egyptian guy who was born in the US. He was a friend of the host, but I didn’t really get a good look at him right away as it was dark outside when he showed up.

The GWOT was a major topic of discussion as my Teammate and I spent much of the time catching up on what’s happening in the Teams, and who is doing what and so forth. The conversation somehow turned to the Israeli-Palestinian situation and out came the whole issue of the most silent majority on the planet… the moderate muslim. It was at this point, my acquaintance made his presence known.

He claimed to be one of those vaunted moderates that hates radical islamists and abhors terrorism. My question to him was, “Why don’t I ever hear anything from this vast moderate majority?” His answer was to say, “Because the media won’t report it when we do speak out. Besides, George Bush says that most muslims aren’t radical.” That answer was an interesting one, and I wasn’t quite sure how to respond to it.

He asked me if I supported Israel against the Palestinians, and I told him, “100% without reservation.” Which was clearly not what he wanted to hear. He was basically regurgitating the full revisionist meme about the land being stolen from Palestinians by the British and the Jews. My beer soaked mind could only think to say that essentially the Israelis were attacked on all sides and kicked a$$ in all directions. They won their land fair and square, not to mention the fact that this was the second time they had to do it if you count Joshua leading the nation of Israel into the Promised Land. And I do. He didn’t like that either.

Then I put the question to him, “What are YOU doing to fight against radical elements that are ‘hijacking’ your religion?” His answer, “What can I do?” Since he speaks Arabic, I asked if he had offered his abilities to the FBI to help translate terrorist intercepts. No. Ever volunteer to go and check out a mosque for the FBI to see if there are any questionable activities going on? No. I told him that even if he went into mosques just to rule them out as hotbeds of jihad and reported to the authorities, he would be helping to prevent resources from being squandered. That was all I could think of as I was like six beers deep at that point. Who knows what kind of slurring screed I was riffing on at the time; I’m just reporting what I can recall.

I ended up drinking and talking with the guy for several hours after that and he turned out to be a great guy. The earlier contentious conversation was disappointing because while I believe him when he says he is against radical jihadis, he had clearly been spoon fed much of the “muslim victim” pap from the likes of CAIR and others. He was uninformed and even spewing propaganda about Israel that while didn’t reach the level of terrorist support, certainly was the type of rhetoric used to support those activities. I know I mentioned that the Palestinian’s goal is to annihilate all Israelis, but I never did get a response to that.

The lesson learned was that we are going to have to wait a long time for moderates to take charge of islam and reform it to the point that jihad is no longer in fashion. I guess we better just keep killing the terrorists wherever we find them.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

What is it They Say About Addicts?

Admitting that you have a problem is the first step to recovery. Of course the time elapsed between that first step and actually dragging your sorry a$$ out of the gutter can seem like forever. Let’s hope so, huh?

Seriously though, this kind of “admission” reminds me of Dick Durbin’s “apology” which is to say that it isn’t one. Dean and the Dems are all about the tactics, but have no strategic vision.
“We need a message. It has to be clear," he said. "The framing of the debate determines who wins the debate.”
Which is a perfectly sensible thing to say if you are not actually interested in ideals or principles so much as power. “Framing the debate” is code for spinning our failures into successes and nitpicking Republicans.
‘Dean detailed his 50-state strategy to hire and finance from national coffers organizers in every state, saying that the party is on track to have organizers in every state by the end of the year. "Vote by vote, precinct by precinct, door by door, year by year and election by election, we will take this country back for the people who built it," he said.’
So basically he’s going to try to copy Karl Rove and Ken Mehlman’s winning tactical get out the vote concept from ’02 and ’04. The difference then and the difference for the Dems down the road is that Republicans have a solid set of core values with which to under gird their campaigns instead of blanket opposition, Bush hating, and identity politics. Offensively fighting the GWOT, cutting taxes, defending common family values against pernicious cultural assault, and the "Ownership Society" will beat race baiting, gender politics, and ACLU-style capitulation in the GWOT every day of the week and twice on Sundays. The Democrats cannot develop and promote any overarching message for their party because their party is nothing more than an amalgam of disparate “victimized” identity groups, celebrities, America haters, and cultural “elites”.

In other words, losers.

Froggy’s New Hobby

I’ve been thinking about doing it for a few years now, but I finally got off my a$$ and bought one of these. As you might expect, I like to spend quite a bit of time in or near the ocean. The surf this summer has been especially disappointing, and I have wanted to take advantage of those nice flat days to get out on the water in a kayak. Now that I have one, I am really looking forward to some long distance paddling adventures.

The kayak I bought can carry 175lbs of gear on it if necessary, but I’m sure I can make due with about 50lbs including food and water. I took her out today for her maiden voyage and spent 2 hours on a very leisurely 4 mile paddle down the coast. I caught a few little waves and messed around in the surf zone for a bit and came home. She rides like a dream, very stable and fast. She’s 14 feet long so she doesn’t turn on a dime, but I’m not going down river so that isn’t really a requirement.

My goal is to make the crossing from the mainland to Anacapa Island and then camp on the islands, explore, do some spearfishing, grab some lobster and abalone, and maybe even go surfing for a few days. The transit to Anacapa is something like 11 miles from Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard so I figure if I paddle with the outgoing tide, I should be able to make it in 3-5 hours max. I have always enjoyed going out to San Clemente Island which is owned by the Navy and is home to many SEAL training facilities. Where else can you swim out a 500lb Mark 75 hose mat weave, sink it, and crank it off in 20 feet of water producing a water spout hundreds of feet high? Nowhere on the west coast, that’s for sure. There’s great surfing, fishing, and tons of lobster just waiting to be snatched up. Since I don’t get out to SCI much anymore, the next best thing is the Channel Islands.

Any SoCal kayakers out there?

Monday, August 08, 2005

Blackhawk Down…the Video Game

Uh, excuse me, but I’m pretty sure that this is not something that Delta guys and Rangers are going to be thrilled to hear about. Let me count the ways that this is totally inappropriate and disrespectful. Initially, it seems to me that making a video game about one of the most significant combat losses in the history of Army SOF is at a minimum distasteful. In Mark Bowden’s detailed literary and later theatrical account of the battle, thorough biographies were composed for many of the fallen soldiers. The Nightstalker aircrew that were killed, wounded, and even captured were particularly notable characters in the account and ostensibly “play” an important role in the overall game action. How nice it must be for the families of those heroic operators to be able to re-enact the violent deaths of their fathers and get some digital payback? I don’t think so. This is as notable a demonstration of offensive tragedy exploitation as I have seen in some time. Disgusting.

It is one thing to put a video gamer in the digital boots of a fictional warrior fighting a fictional conflict, but I do not appreciate putting couch potatoes in the digital boots of actual US SOF operators. Talk about stealing glory. It is offensive to me that a bunch of stoned high school kids can assume the identity of an actual Delta Force operator and cavalierly hose down the block killing whomever he chooses between bong hits. Meanwhile, the actual Delta operator spent a lifetime preparing for that moment, and no doubt conducted himself with professionalism and skill. I do not like seeing tourists walking around Coronado wearing T-shirts with a SEAL Team logo on them as if they had the endurance to make it through a single day of BUD/S training. Or how about all of these clowns riding their road bikes wearing Lance Armstrong Discovery Channel yellow jerseys? I’m pretty sure they never won a stage in the Pyrenees.

These two themes are rampant pollutants in American culture today. The exploitation of real world situations has led to an ever increasing slew of more and more senseless “reality” TV programs. Add to that the shameless usurpation of the accomplishments of others by the unaccomplished masses in a futile effort to vicariously experience that which they are either unable or unwilling to attempt in “reality”, and you have some of the most pernicious elements of our culture boiled down to a paragraph.

Notwithstanding the assurances of the manufacturer to the contrary, the concept of this game is flawed regardless of how the men who fought and died on that mission are portrayed. I am further disappointed to note that the Special Operations Warrior Foundation has allowed their organization to provide cover and concealment for the motives of Novalogic by accepting a whore’s share of the pimp’s proceeds. I held my fire when SOWF hosted Hillary Clinton as their keynote speaker at last years Veteran’s Day Dinner, but this is a bridge too far.

UPDATE: Let me be very clear. Terrell Owens from the Philadelphia Eagles has given his specific permission to EA Sports to use his likeness, jersey, and name in their Madden Football game. Terrell Owens gets paid for that... a lot I would suspect. CW4 Clifton Walcott died when his MH-60 Blackhawk was shot down near the Olympic Hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia. Delta Force snipers MSG Gary Gordon and SFC Randall Shughart were posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their actions defending CW4 Michael Durant (who was subsequently captured and held POW for several days) from the onslaught of hundreds of armed Somalis. Gordon and Shughart's bodies were dragged through the streets of Mogadishu by a heathen band of savages who celebrated the heroic deaths of these warriors in front of western television cameras.

Now, if Novalogic went to the families of those men and asked their permission to use their husband's actions and likeness in a video game and then agreed to pay them a royalty for that permission and consent, then I completely retract this post. I don't have any evidence that such permission was either sought or obtained, nor do I have any evidence of a royalty being paid to those and all the other families of the dead or living operators whose deeds were well known and documented. If anybody has evidence to that effect, then send me an email and I will address it. If not, then I stand by my post.

UPDATE 2: HERE IS AN INTERVIEW WITH THE GUY WHO DESIGNED THE GAME. THE KEY QUESTION:

GameSpy: Has there been any controversy over making a game out of this real-world, and recent, event?

Wes Eckhart: Like anything, there are some people who think, "I can't believe you modeled that," and "How dare you make money off of dead U.S. soldiers." Then you have people that are supportive, who realize it's a game, and that it's paying a certain level of tribute.

"PAYING A CERTAIN LEVEL OF TRIBUTE", HUH? MORE LIKE PAYING A CERTAIN LEVEL OF COMPENSATION TO THE GAME COMPANY AND THE DESIGNERS.

CASE CLOSED

Looks like Snake eater and I are watching the same TV shows

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Be Careful What You Ask For…

You might just get it. After Democrats and the MSM had spent the last several months decrying the “torture” committed by American soldiers acting like guards from the “Soviet Gulags and Nazi Death Camps”, it seems that the Administration has heard their complaints and is acting to reduce the number of detainees subject to this immoral treatment. They are sending two hundred or so detainees to their home countries of Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen on the condition that they will not be subsequently released. Of course my concerns immediately gravitate to the cultural and spiritual well being of the detainees in question, and I am quite pleased that they will no longer be subject to the oppressive authority of their current infidel captors. I am certain that the detainees will be pleased to once again be on their native soil and subject to the tender mercies of their fellow muslim brothers.

For some reason or another Amnesty International is sharply critical of the Pentagon’s plans to repatriate detainees to their native homelands.
"No government should force people to return to a country where they may be at risk of human rights abuses," said Sharon Critoph, an Amnesty International official. The State Department's annual reports "show serious human rights violations in all three of the countries to which it is planning to return detainees," Ms. Critoph said.
It is unclear why Amnesty would not want prisoners removed from what they called the “gulag of our times”. In a peculiar turn of events, Amnesty seems to be invoking a US State Department report alleging human rights violations in the detainee’s home countries even though that report was prepared by a government that it believes is running a “gulag”. It must be difficult for Amnesty to find a country on which they might be able to rely upon to justify their wildly disparate proclamations.

I for one am pleased to note that the President has heard the concerns of bedwetting liberals across the globe and called their bluff. I would just love to be in the room with each detainee as they are informed that while they will be having french toast, biscuits, and gravy for breakfast, they will be having a boxed lunch on the plane ride to Yemen...Biatch!!!

Friday, August 05, 2005

Froggy Turns One

My first blogiversary is tomorrow and I must say that time flies when you are having fun. It has been fun for the most part, and I am grateful and humbled by the support shown me by my readers. This all started out as a way for me to vent about the MSM and John Kerry’s challenge to the President and the GWOT, but it has become much more than that.

I have spent my adult life in either the military or law enforcement up until about two years ago. One of the great things about those professions is that you generally have a group of other like minded and committed Teammates or Agents to collaborate and spend time with every day at work. I had enjoyed this kind of camaraderie for many years, but it comes with a cost. The cost is that when you are serving the country, your family often has to take a backseat. That has been the case from the beginnings of this nation, and it is something that will never change.

So now is the time for me to raise my children and spend time with my amazing wife. But there is a cost in that as well. The camaraderie that I have always valued and coveted is no more. That is until I started writing this blog. In it I have been reunited with dozens of Teammates and friends and colleagues from across the country. In it I have found an outlet for the only creative talent that I have. In it I have been able to express my sentiments on various topics by teaching my readers something they may not have known and also by learning from them every day. And in it, I feel that in some small way I have been able to make a difference in the lives of many people.

I certainly do not want to attribute any grandiose accomplishments to the blog, but it has been personally enriching to read many of your comments and emails. I want to thank you, the members of the Frogosphere, for your very kind words, compliments, and support over the past year. A month or two ago, I had decided that I was going to shut it down at the one year mark because I couldn’t discern a path to take the site down. I’m still not sure about the direction of this blog for the future, but for now I think I’ll keep going and see where it leads me. I hope that you will all stick around.

Froggy OUT

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

RIMJOB?

Ask Chachi (Totally work safe and funny)

President Bush Protecting the Right Flank

Patrick Ruffini recently conducted a 2008 Republican Nominee Straw Poll on his site which was broken out by major blogger linking to the poll. The two main heavyweights linking to Patrick’s poll were Hugh Hewitt and Glenn Reynolds and their readers came up with vastly divergent results. In the overall results, the top two candidates were Senator George Allen of Virginia, and former Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani. The interesting thing about Patrick’s poll was that Hugh’s readers overwhelmingly picked George Allen, while Glenn’s devotees selected Rudy by wide margins. That result tends to point to a split in the Republican Party between social conservatives and the so called South Park conservatives, but this need not be the case.

While I really think that a George Allen presidency would be a great thing for 2008, I am not at all certain that he has the name recognition or the personal charisma to go head to head with some of the big name Democrats that he would be likely to face. Rudy, on the other hand has charisma and name recognition coupled with proven leadership ability literally under fire that would be tough to vote against in a general election. Not to mention the gigantic rematch potential of Rudy v. Hillary. Now that would be a fun campaign!

But herein lies the quadrennial Republican problem: Will the candidate who is able to be nominated (meaning supported by the socials) be able to beat the general election challenger? As we well know, President Bush barely squeaked by in 2000 against a total basket case liberal in Algore. His outstanding performance as a war president ensured his victory in 2004, but we are looking to elect a first term Republican in 2008. It would seem that there is only one candidate in the running with outstanding wartime performance going in…Rudy. Rudy is, for all of his brilliant leadership and compelling oratory, a liberal Republican when it comes to matters of abortion which is a millstone around his neck in a Republican primary, right? Maybe not.

President Bush has at least two SCOTUS nominations to make during this term. If we are lucky, and one of the liberals on the Court (like 85 year old Stephens) steps aside in the next three years, this issue of abortion can be effectively neutralized for the Republican Party. A solid 5-4 majority of rock-ribbed conservatives on the SCOTUS makes the President’s personal views on abortion relatively insignificant especially when the relative “youth” of the Court is on the Right.

This is not to say I wouldn’t prefer someone in the template of President Bush for 2008, but it is much more important that we don’t end up with a liberal Democrat in the White House. The three pillars of the Republican Party are the Pro-Lifers, the fiscal conservative/tax-cutting/pro-business crowd, and the foreign policy hawks. President Bush had creds in each pillar, and he was a uniquely outstanding candidate whose name recognition and sincerity barely won the day. I don't really see anyone with those qualifications in the farm team at this point so the neutralization of the Pro-Life issue would be a powerful weapon for someone like Rudy. Internecine squabbling over social issues is the Democrat’s best chance to split the Republican vote, so if the President is able to pack the Court this term you can put a fork in the Dems in ’08…they’ll be done.

Space Pinto

I don’t know about you, but all of the coverage of the plight of the Space Shuttle has left me wondering why we bother sending brave Astronauts into space in what amounts to a late 70’s Ford Pinto with rockets. It’s difficult to say if the Space Pinto and its inhabitants have simply been lucky that the dated and well worn craft has only blown up twice or if we have just been getting better at discovering potentially fatal flaws. I tend to think it’s the former.

I have great admiration and respect for the Astronauts and engineers that make the Space Pinto fly, and it seems to me that their considerable talents and dedication are being squandered and stifled within the confines of a government run program. The NASA budget like all government agencies is subject to partisan politics, government employee incompetence, and bureaucratic tendencies to extreme caution and creative discouragement. With the long term importance of space exploration and study being self-evident and very likely the economic engine for growth in the US economy for decades to come, there should be little argument that the creative forces of the market should be unleashed on the US space program. Private investment in space and the future yields on those investments would rapidly evolve the space program into directions and purposes much more ambitious than the current zero gravity science project factory that NASA has become.

Chances are that the wealth of technological knowledge that we have earned over the past 30 years could be incorporated into the design of newer and more capable spacecraft. Furthermore, the design would not be set in stone but rather would be allowed to constantly evolve for different purposes and with ever more enhanced technology. I earnestly pray that the current mission in the Pinto is able to safely return to earth, but let’s take this opportunity to rethink the whole concept of government directed space exploration, and give these Astronauts and engineers a Cadillac to ride in for a change.