A Former Sgt in the US Marines, US Army and Australian Federal Police - With an Attitude Problem - Looking at the Shits & Giggles of life from a Quasi-Conservative Point of View * * *
WARNING! STRONG LANGUAGE FOLLOWS! * * *
27 January, 2007
Lest We Forget
40 years ago today, astronauts Ed White, Roger Chaffee and Virgil 'Gus' Grissom entered the Apollo I space capsule for a test.
Once they were in and strapped down, the capsule was sealed and the air was replaced with an almost pure oxygen atmosphere. Unknown to them, the quality control for this project was pretty much nonexistent. There were electrical wires in the capsule where the non-conductive coating was worn away.
When the test began, these wires produced sparks which started a flash fire. It took the NASA team almost ten minutes to open the capsule, but the three astronauts were killed within the first ten seconds of the fire.
They were the first American astronauts to lose their lives in the project, and is the reason that when the Apollo missions restarted they began with Apollo Seven. They gave their lives for what they believed in, and I don't feel they ever got the recognition they deserved - especially compared to tomorrow, which is the anniversary of the Challenger blow-up.
On the last day of the season, there were 7 Black coaches in the NFL. The following day that dropped to 5 when Denny Green and Art Shell were fired. Strange that out of the remaining 5, 2 of them are taking their teams to the Superbowl!
Since then, there's been one more Black coach hired - 6 out of 32 teams. Most of those teams looking for a coach were interviewing a single Black only because NFL rules require it. One person who I think would be an excellent head coach hasn't even been granted an interview by anyone - Mike Singletary, who is currently the Defensive Coordinator for the 49er's.
Maybe one day the teams will actually start hiring the best candidates regardless of color instead of recycling the same coaches from team to team. No one seems willing to hire someone who hasn't had head coaching experience, unless they are from a Superbowl winning team - and we all saw how that worked out for the Bears when they hired Dave Wannstedt from the Cowboys! Talk about SUCK!!
Last night I was watching the Discovery channel show Futureweapons, and there were a couple of things that had me curious.
First, the new body armor Dragon Skin. I believe that has already started to be issued to Marines. It looks to have been inspired by Samurai armor of overlapping plates, but in this case the plates are a combination of ceramic and titanium. In the show they fired at it from what looked like about 10 meters with .556, .762 and 9 mil ammo. They also put it on top of a grenade and set it off, and the armor came through all those tests with flying colors. My only question is will this armor work like Kevlar, where it stops the rounds but turns everything under it into strawberry jam?
The second thing was a suitcase-sized shaped charge that can be placed under a car and use water to blow the ammo right out of the trunk. Of course, first you have to get it placed, then hope that you don't have a suicider in the car or an observer to set off the bomb first.
Finally, I'm in love. My favorite weapon was always the M-79 40mm grenade launcher. Now they have the M-32, which holds a 6 pack of 40mm rounds. Besides the normal HE shrapnel round, they have infrared ones and flares to light up the field. I'm assuming that Willie Pete and Beehive rounds will be available (as long as no one tells Geneva).
Some time ago, I wrote that the reason for the price of oil reaching into the $70 a barrel range was because oil is traded on the futures commodity market and it was speculators that were driving up the price.
Everyone on news broadcasts (and quite a few bloggers) said no, it was a supply and demand thing, what with China and India eating up so much of it.
Yesterday, oil dropped into the $40 a barrel range, and there has been no change in the demand in China or India - and the warmer Northern U.S. winter would have only a marginal effect on the global price - especially since the price drop took place after the Midwest had already had several days of snow and ice storms.
So - I feel vindicated in my view that it was the futures traders that were driving up the price, and to all of you who told me otherwise, all I can say is:
For the first time since Viet Nam, a United States Marine has been awarded the Medal of Honor - posthumously. He is the second member of our forces to receive this award in Iraq.
WASHINGTON (Jan. 12, 2007) -- The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to
CORPORAL JASON L. DUNHAM, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Rifle Squad Leader, 4th Platoon, Company K, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines (Reinforced), Regimental Combat Team 7, First Marine Division (Reinforced), on 14 April 2004. Corporal Dunham's squad was conducting a reconnaissance mission in the town of Karabilah, Iraq, when they heard rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire erupt approximately two kilometers to the west. Corporal Dunham led his Combined Anti-Armor Team towards the engagement to provide fire support to their Battalion Commander's convoy, which had been ambushed as it was traveling to Camp Husaybah. As Corporal Dunham and his Marines advanced, they quickly began to receive enemy fire. Corporal Dunham ordered his squad to dismount their vehicles and led one of his fire teams on foot several blocks south of the ambushed convoy. Discovering seven Iraqi vehicles in a column attempting to depart, Corporal Dunham and his team stopped the vehicles to search them for weapons. As they approached the vehicles, an insurgent leaped out and attacked Corporal Dunham. Corporal Dunham wrestled the insurgent to the ground and in the ensuing struggle saw the insurgent release a grenade. Corporal Dunham immediately alerted his fellow Marines to the threat. Aware of the imminent danger and without hesitation, Corporal Dunham covered the grenade with his helmet and body, bearing the brunt of the explosion and shielding his Marines from the blast. In an ultimate and selfless act of bravery in which he was mortally wounded, he saved the lives of at least two fellow Marines. By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty, Corporal Dunham gallantly gave his life for his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
"Greater love hath no man than he lay down his life for others." Additionally, I discovered today that there are still around 15 Medal of Honor recipients whose identities and citations are still classified. Hopefully one day they will get the recognition they so greatly deserve.
So it's January 1st. To me there's not much difference between this and, say, September 12th - any day I can get out of bed is a good day.
The only wonderful thing I've heard so far this year is the Mexican government is now going to hand out GPS units to the illegals so they don't get lost on their way to attacking ranchers and taking over our cities.