Monday, November 30, 2009


Here's the Grumman X-29.

A reader in Nebraska (chilly-brrr!!!) sent this in . . . S.L.


Since my earlier posting regarding the situation with the SEALs charged for turning in a HVT prisoner with a fat lip, a disturbing aspect of this situation has surfaced.

My source is a retired SEAL who like myself still serves in other capacities. The feeling going around the Special Operations community at Fort Bragg is that this latest development is a kneejerk reaction to the situation a couple months ago when SEAL operators rescued Captain Phillips - Captain of the Maersk Alabama - off the coast of Somalia.

At the time of the capture, the media played up the angle that President Obama himself gave the order to the SEAL snipers to open fire. Having done extensive time in anti-terrorist units myself, I can tell you from personal experience this is ridiculous, a total fabrication. Nobody except those with "eyes on" the targeted individuals can make the judgement call to open fire.

The truth of the situation was that the SEALs were held off from infiltrating the AO (Area of Operations) for over 36 hours. There was a lot of resistance from the Whitehouse in letting them in theater in the first place; once they were in place they were given very restrictive ROE (Rules Of Engagement); so restrictive that they really couldn't engage their targets. There were two previous opportunities to rescue Captain Phillips, and they were not allowed to engage their targets.

When they finally did execute, they did it by liberally interpreting the ROE; the onsite commander finally had enough with the situation and gave them a weapons-free command and they were able to engage and rescue Captain Phillips. The fallout from the National Command Authority was immediate and extremely unpleasant; the White House did not want the rescue to be conducted in the way that it was.

Richard Phillips, right, the captain of the U.S.-flagged cargo ship Maersk Alabama, after his rescue with Cmdr. Frank Castellano, commanding officer of the destroyer USS Bainbridge.

I guess the Community-Organizer-in-Chief envisioned some kind of cross-cultural kumbaya-singing group encounter session, followed by photo ops of him hugging the poor, oppressed under-employed Somalis, maybe even practicing his bow on their leaders. Instead what he got was THIS:

So the word on the street is that this latest development is payback for the SEALs violating the ROE in rescuing the captain of the Maersk Alabama. The Chain of Command is asserting itself, letting everybody know what's going to happen to you if you don't follow orders.

As this was expressed to me, this opinion is based on very good, solid inside information. In my personal experience with Navy brass I have found they are very political and very politically correct. The Naval Command's reaction to the prisoner situation was so overblown and out of proportion that I somehow find this latest angle quite believable. Unfortunately.

I'll keep you posted with updates as information surfaces.

. . . S.L.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


What's going on here?

Every school kid in America should know this: when they play the National Anthem, or you recite the Pledge of Allegiance, you place your right hand over your heart.


A) Is this a reversed, Photoshopped image?

Possibly - if so they did a good job getting the wedding rings and the lapel pin right, though . . .

B) Is this some kind of subliminal, leftist salute to a sinister Marxist agenda for America?

Possibly - I'd give it the same odds that it's a Photoshopped image.

C) Is the Greatest Intellect in the Known Universe really THIS STUPID ? ? ?

More likely than Options A) or B) (above)

You'd think by now, with all the faux pas this guy has pulled in this department (bowing, saluting, not saluting, no hand on heart, etc), the Whitehouse Protocol people would have set him straight . . .

. . . S.L.


Yesterday LoTM asked:

Do you have any more info on the 3 SEAL petty officers facing charges in Seal Team Ten? Is there any word on the Navy 4 striper who ordered the initial Mast, that was refused, and who relieved the CO of Team Four? Is he OK or is it what we fear? Before we panic and assume the Admirals and Captains are colluding to destroy the SpecOps community it is unclear. He may be doing what is right but it sure looks bad.

. . . so I asked around, ended up speaking with a SEAL who works in a Joint billet & is in a position to know . . . (I can't get any more specific than that - in the past I alluded to my sources more specifically and got my fingers burned and a good friend in trouble - you'll just have take my word for it, this is coming from deep within the SpecOpns Community) . . . here's the deal:

Conventional sentiments regarding Spec Opns units notwithstanding, my source this one looks like its going to blow over. The prisoner showed up with a busted lip; given the microscopic filters the pro-Islamist-bleeding-heart-liberals have set up over our prisoner handling operations, right away a complaint gets filed.

The SEALs were charged under UCMJ "Captains Mast" of prisoner abuse, then covering it up. The SEALs took their prerogative to refuse the nonjudicial punishment and ask for a Court Martial - this is what you do if you know you're right and you're going to beat the rap - and were assigned JAG lawyers.

A complaint gets filed, that means an investigation MUST be initiated - the commander has no alternative - and it doesn't necessarily indicate a witchhunt. It's just like an HR complaint in the civilian world; the process is not pleasant but it's not predetermined either. Word on the street is these guys are going to be OK.

Here's the background:

Fox News reported that three Navy SEALs are facing a court martial for allegedly punching a terrorist after he was captured.

Ahmed Hashim Abed, whom the military code-named “Objective Amber,” told investigators he was punched by his captors — and he had the bloody lip to prove it.

Now, instead of being lauded for bringing to justice a high-value target, three of the SEAL commandos, all enlisted, face assault charges and have retained lawyers.

Matthew McCabe, a Special Operations Petty Officer Second Class (SO-2), is facing three charges: dereliction of performance of duty for willfully failing to safeguard a detainee, making a false official statement, and assault.

Petty Officer Jonathan Keefe, SO-2, is facing charges of dereliction of performance of duty and making a false official statement.

Petty Officer Julio Huertas, SO-1, faces those same charges and an additional charge of impediment of an investigation.

The source said intelligence briefings provided to the SEALs stated that “Objective Amber” planned the 2004 Fallujah ambush, and “they had been tracking this guy for some time.”

The Fallujah atrocity came to symbolize the brutality of the enemy in Iraq and the degree to which a homegrown insurgency was extending its grip over Iraq.

March 31, 2004: Iraqis chant anti-American slogans as the charred and mutilated bodies of U.S. contractors hang from a bridge over the Euphrates River in Fallujah, Iraq.

The four Blackwater agents were transporting supplies for a catering company when they were ambushed and killed by gunfire and grenades. Insurgents burned the bodies and dragged them through the city. They hanged two of the bodies on a bridge over the Euphrates River for the world press to photograph.

Intelligence sources identified Abed as the ringleader, but he had evaded capture until September.


The way I see it, Hajii there is lucky they didn't fix bayonets. Hey, I've done muzzle thumps on guys before; "What are all these little circles on Stinky's skinny ribcage?"

In an earlier time, a prisoner shows up with a busted lip - no big deal, right? "He made a threatening gesture". I mean, the way I was taught, all they have to be is breathing when you turn them over. If they're wounded, slap a bandaid on them before you move out; there, you've just satisfied Geneva because you have to render aid, right? Nobody says it has to be the same quality & standards you give your own guys, right?

I sure hope my source is right about these guys . . .

. . . S.L.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


READERS WRITE . . . and I answer all of their email - each and every one of them - which says more about how little email I actually get versus anything about viligence . . .

From: Parrothead Jeff
Subject: Disinformation? Yeah, but there's some fact behind that ;-)
To: Sean Linnane
Date: Thursday, November 26, 2009, 2:35 AM


Great blog you have there! I saw your post today and wanted to let you know that the jet pictured may be fictional, but may well be based on a patent by Northrop.

Have a great Thanksgiving!!!


PS - Anytime we can see that type of Page 3 girl I'm happy!

The Northrop "Switchblade" is a concept fighter jet which is a potential development of a utility patent filed by Grumman (U.S. Patent 5,984,231) in November of 1999.

United States Patent# 5,984,231 Gerhardt, et al November 16, 1999

Aircraft with Variable Forward-Sweep Wing

An aircraft with a variable forward-sweep wing and the method of configuring the wing in an optimal position for a desired flight regime. The variable forward-sweep wing is positionable from an essentially unswept position to a full-forward sweep position. In the unswept position the wing is approximately orthogonal to a fuselage centerline, while in the full-forward sweep position the wing has approximately a delta wing planform. Moreover, as the wing position changes from the unswept position to the full-forward sweep position the trailing edge becomes the leading edge. In addition, the aforementioned apparatus may be used in a method to configure the aircraft for flight in a desired flight regime. This method includes moving the wing to an optimal position for the desired flight regime.

Sean Linnane replies:

Thank you Parrothead -

Thanksgiving was great, thank you - deep fried two turkeys. Sunday I go back to what I do to pay the bills; I'll be "in the barrel" until 20 December.

Of course, all good disinformation is based on a kernel of truth. You just made STORMBRINGER, by the way =D

- S.L.

Note to Readers: please click over to Parrothead Jeff's excellent site
Parrothead Jeff & Friends and hang out awhile - any site that features the mighty, mighty RF-4 Phantom on it's masthead is OK with me: I owe my life to that airplane. - S.L.


From: LifeOfTheMind
Subject: War There and Here and the Blogroll
To: Sean Linnane
Date: Saturday, November 28, 2009, 3:14 AM

Great Blog. You catch some nice stories. Theo attracts talent. The Rolex story is important because it provides context to the negative publicity that while justified has dominated much perception of Swiss conduct during the war. It is possible under some circumstances to be an honorable neutral.

Do you have any more info on the 3 SEAL petty officers facing charges in Seal Team Ten? Is there any word on the Navy 4 striper who ordered the initial Mast, that was refused, and who relieved the CO of Team Four? Is he OK or is it what we fear? Before we panic and assume the Admirals and Captains are colluding to destroy the SpecOps community it is unclear. He may be doing what is right but it sure looks bad.

Are you sure about keeping LGF on the blogroll? The last year what has happened there is disturbing.


Sean Linnane replies:

Thanks for your support - I enjoy doing Blog STORMBRINGER because it provides me an outlet for this energy I have in my mind; the circumstances of my work demand I remain anonymous although in the electronic era it wouldn't be too hard to figure out my identity. Funniest thing happened about six months ago; the vice-president of the local Special Forces chapter called me up and said, "Hey, do you know who Sean Linnane is?" After I finished laughing my ass off, I told him it was me. Turns out an online Special Forces community bulletin board was trying to determine my bona fides.

I'll look into that SEAL thing; I don't follow what's going on with the SEALS on a regular basis - we Green Berets normally shun SEALS like the plague because they are magnets for the heat, but I have some sources. Let me get back to you on this.

One thing I CAN tell you is yes, the brass hates Spec Ops units and have been out to get us for decades. We can accomplish great things and we make them look redundant. That's not to say there isn't a time and place for conventional forces, but they see us as a threat to their raison d'etre.

For example: we could have taken Iraq in a week, and at a lot less strife & casualties than the way it played out. In the weeks leading up to the final invasion there were 17 Iraqi Division commanders ready to turn on Saddam - everybody in the country hated that monster & his sons. All it would have taken was seventeen Operational Detachments with a three or four million dollars each in suitcases and the country would have been handed over intact.

Instead what happened was the conventional military saw what we'd accomplished in Afghanistan and there was no way known they were going to let a thing like that ever happen again - it would have been the kiss of death for the armor branch, for one thing. When you think about it, in the era of terrorist guerrilla armies armed with shoulder-fired weapons, tanks are already obsolete; like, what kind of an anti-terrorist CQB tactic involves M1A1 Abrahms, right?

The conventionals had been lined up and planning for that war for 12 years; it was their war, they owned it, and there was no way on God's Green Earth they were going to let a bunch of Green Beanies and Squeals take it away from them. So they lined up all their tanks and toys and rolled into an undefended capital city using World War II tactics, and the rest is history.

Of course, to say so sounds like sour grapes, I suppose . . .

Re: The Blogroll - my work keeps me so busy I don't have the time to tend to my own blog the way I'd like to, never mind what the rest of the blogosphere is doing out there. I just blasted over to LGF and can't determine what's going on? Somebody fill me in - have they drifted over to the Dark Side?

Just remember I was the first guy who made the connection between the Climate scientists fudging their data, and Galileo's finger - last Saturday, 21 Nov 09, IRONY SENSED - Rush Limbaugh spent all day Monday honking on about it, and you read it here first.





The fascinating story of how Rolex was engaged in the regular supply of watches to men incarcerated in German Prisoner of War camps during World War II.

(Part I)

The "Prisoner of War" watches from Rolex
©Write Time Partners V, 2000

The story of the Rolex “Prisoner of War” watches is a fascinating one, but a story that has become almost a legend in its retelling . . .

First, the legend: If you were an Allied Prisoner of War captured by the Germans during World War II, you could write to Rolex, Geneva and they would send you a watch FREE OF CHARGE.

The reality is only a little different: this service was only available for British prisoners and not for French, American or other Allies. The letter would be sent to Rolex from the camp via the International Red Cross, who (like Rolex) was headquartered in Geneva. Hans Wilsdorf himself, who wrote a letter that accompanied every watch dispatched to a P.O.W, ran the administration of this program.

(NOTE: Hans Wilsdorf was the founder and lifetime owner of the Rolex Company - S.L.)

As stated in the first letter, the recipients were expected to pay for their watches in Swiss Francs at the end of the war. However due to economic situation at the end of the war, it was often 1947 or 1948 before foreign exchange resources were available to meet the bills.

The first letter is to a senior officer in the RAF, who was a guest of the German Air Force. This was because one of the stranger German habits during WWII was that each service ran its own prison camps “catering” to prisoners from the opposing service. This can be gained from the address “Stalag Luft 3”, Stalag, meaning “prisoner of war camp” and Luft being short for “Luftwaffe” or Air Force.

The interesting thing about the letter (other than the fact that Hans Wilsdorf wrote it himself) is what was included with the watch, as listed at the bottom of the page. There was an invoice, the instruction book and the guarantee card but also included was the official chronometer-rating certificate. I suppose as Wing Commander Trumble would have some time on his hands, at least he could now measure it accurately.

The camp Stalag Luft 3 may mean nothing to most of you but if you have ever read the book by Paul Brickhill or the movie (roughly based on it) both called “The Great Escape”; you will know something of it.

The second letter is the most interesting; as it is a personal letter from Hans Wilsdorf to the parents of a British Officer taken prisoner, most likely during the fall of France. Note what Wilsdorf says in the letter “We are looking after his wants in the same way as for some other British Officers, who are also prisoners in the same camp. Please rest assured that we will do everything in our power to obtain food or other articles . . .”

There are a number of questions about this letter. Why is Wilsdorf writing to the family with this important information? Isn’t this the job of the Red Cross? He also offers the firm’s services as a communication conduit, once again normally the job of the Red Cross.

I have no proof for it but my gut feeling tells me that the subject of the letter “Grahame” may well have been a Rolex employee before the war. And, as he is an officer (note that he is in an “Oflag” or Officer’s camp) was most probably of managerial status and would then have known Wilsdorf. This may also explains why Wilsdorf always calls Grahame, not Captain Smith (or whatever his name may have been). Lending further credence to my theory is the fact that almost every POW Rolex I have seen was a boy’s size Speedking. However the watch that was sent to Grahame was a reference 3525 Oyster chronograph, one of the most expensive watches in the Rolex catalogue at that time.

Note Wilsdorf’s PS is in his handwriting and is further evidence of a personal relationship between Wilsdorf & Grahame.

The reason the British Prisoners of War needed a new watch was that most of them would have had their own (or government issue) wristwatches confiscated when they were captured. Whilst some of this was simple looting, the main reason the Germans did this was that they knew that RAF officers were normally given escape & evasion kits by the RAF. Examples of this were needles in sewing kits which were magnetized to act as compass needles and maps printed on silk concealed in the heel of a flying boot. There was even a special section of British Military Intelligence (MI9), specially dedicated to getting escaped prisoners & downed aircrew back to the UK. The logic behind all this was that every escaped prisoner tied down hundreds of German troops and police drawing them from offensive operations against the allies.

To Be Continued . . .

. . . S.L.

Friday, November 27, 2009


We've been suffering reduced Internet connectivity for over 48 hours - in the old days we would have blamed it on sunspots, nowadays it's interference in the line; i.e. something was sucking up my one's and zero's - this is why the reduced blogpost activity . . .

The Cable Guy just left the house - inline amp installed - we now have 5-by comm's at FireBase STORMBRINGER & can blast out to Pluto.

Stand By to Stand By for increased burst transmission activity.

. . . S.L.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I love this story told by Rush Limbaugh on what is the real meaning and lessons of the first Thanksgiving. Every year I print it out and put it in my pocket. I wait until our Thanksgiving dinner, and when grace has been said and when a break comes in the feeding-frenzy I mean feasting, I share with everybody the wisdom below.

. . . by Rush Limbaugh

As told in his book 'See I Told You So' Chapter Six: "Dead White Guys or What Your History Books Never Told You," on page 70 Rush explains that the REAL story of the First Thanksgiving is the lesson of the abject failure of Collectivism or Socialism and the triumph of Free Market Capitalism.

The original contract the Pilgrims entered into with merchant-sponsors in London called for everything produced to go into a common store and for every member of the community to be entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community as well. This is the essence of Socialism. What happened with this early experiment? Their leader William Bradford writes:

"For the young men that were able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children, without recompense. The strong, or men of parts, had no more division of food, clothes, etc. then he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labor, and food, clothes, etc. with the meaner and younger sort, thought it some indignant and disrespect unto them. And for men’s wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc. they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could man husbands brook it."

Bradford goes on:

"The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years… that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing — as if they were wiser than God," Bradford wrote. "For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense… that was thought injustice."

So what did Bradford’s community try next? They harnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the capitalistic principle of private property. Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result?

"This had very good success," wrote Bradford, "for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been . . ."

In no time, the Pilgrims found they had more food than they could eat themselves. So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians. The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London. And the success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans and began what came to be known as the "Great Puritan Migration."

Now, other than on this program every year, have you heard this story before? Is this lesson being taught to your kids today -- and if it isn't, why not? Can you think of a more important lesson one could derive from the pilgrim experience?

So in essence there was, thanks to the Indians, because they taught us how to skin beavers and how to plant corn when we arrived, but the real Thanksgiving was thanking the Lord for guidance and plenty -- and once they reformed their system and got rid of the communal bottle and started what was essentially free market capitalism, they produced more than they could possibly consume, and they invited the Indians to dinner, and voila, we got Thanksgiving, and that's what it was: inviting the Indians to dinner and giving thanks for all the plenty is the true story of Thanksgiving.

The last two-thirds of this story simply are not told.

Now, I was just talking about the plenty of this country and how I'm awed by it. You can go to places where there are famines, and we usually get the story, "Well, look it, there are deserts, well, look it, Africa, I mean there's no water and nothing but sand and so forth."

It's not the answer, folks. Those people don't have a prayer because they have no incentive. They live under tyrannical dictatorships and governments.

The problem with the world is not too few resources. The problem with the world is an insufficient distribution of capitalism.


"May God bless our families health, table and stores with venison and good spirits!"

- Deacon of Doom, Thanksgiving 2009

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. God bless,

- Sean Linnane

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


NOT ! ! !

"A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later."

"Do everything you ask of those you command."

"Do not make excuses, whether it’s your fault or not."

"Moral courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men."

"No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair."

"No one is thinking if everyone is thinking alike."

"Say what you mean and mean what you say."

"Take calculated risks."

"The more senior the officer, the more time he has to go to the front."

"The only tactical principle which is not subject to change; it is, “To use the means at hand to inflict the maximum amount of wounds, death and destruction on the enemy in the minimum amount of time."

"War is simple, direct and ruthless."

- General Patton's Maxims

BUSTED . . .

A reader has alerted me that STORMBRINGER is guilty of spreading disinformation.

It seems that the imagery of the F/A 37 Talon featured yesterday . . .

. . . are actually photos taken during filming of movie that came out in '05 : "Stealth"

Unfortunately the plane shown in these pictures is nothing more than a prop.

The only element of this story with any truth in it is that the photos were taken aboard a real US Navy aircraft carrier, although not the USS George Washington as reported yesterday; the movie was filmed aboard its sister ship the USS Abraham Lincoln.

OK guys this is as close as STORMBRINGER is ever going to get to a Page Three girl, and you're allowed to drool over her because Jessica is not a real warrior woman, she just plays one in the movies. If she was a true female warrior, I'd insist on a little respect . . .

. . . Disclaimer: this film came out during the time I was heavily deployed - whatever was going on in the States just blurred out for me - S.L.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


France Shows Off Cutting-Edge Navy Ship in Russia

By IRINA TITOVA, AP - Nov 23, 2009

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – A cutting-edge French warship sailed into St. Petersburg Monday to show off its capabilities to potential buyers in the Russian navy, whose pursuit of an amphibious assault capacity is frightening some neighboring countries.

Oh really? What a yawnfest . . . so they've got an amphibious carrier and they want to sell it to the Russkies, huh? NO BIG DEAL . . . just so happens we've got a "Gator Navy" of our own -

* Wasp class
o USS Wasp (LHD-1), Norfolk, Virginia
o USS Essex (LHD-2), Sasebo, Japan
o USS Kearsarge (LHD-3), Norfolk, Virginia
o USS Boxer (LHD-4), San Diego, California
o USS Bataan (LHD-5), Norfolk, Virginia
o USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), San Diego, California
o USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7), Norfolk, Virginia
o USS Makin Island (LHD-8), San Diego, California

* Tarawa class
o USS Nassau (LHA-4), Norfolk, Virginia
o USS Peleliu (LHA-5), San Diego, California

Then on top of all that, we've got THIS:

Three carrier strike groups in formation for a great photo op: USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) and their associated carrier strike Groups steam in formation formation while 17 aircraft from the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps fly over them while preparing for Exercise Valiant Shield 2006.

Here's a close-up:

'Bye now . . .

And that's only a QUARTER of what we've got:

Enterprise class:

* USS Enterprise (CVN-65) — Norfolk, Virginia

Nimitz class:

* USS Nimitz (CVN-68) — San Diego, California
* USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) — Norfolk, Virginia
* USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) — Norfolk,Virginia +
* USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) — Norfolk, Virginia
* USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) — Everett, Washington
* USS George Washington (CVN-73) —Yokosuka, Japan
* USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) — Bremerton, Washington
* USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) — Norfolk, Virginia
* USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) — San Diego, California
* USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) — Norfolk, Virginia

Ford Class:
* USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) — Under Construction, will replace the USS Enterprise +

Then on top of all that, we've got THIS thing:

The plane in these pictures is still officially the 'Air Vehicle Number 1', a prototype, on board the USS George Washington CVN-73 for catapult fit checks. Not exactly still Top Secret but certainly not yet made public.

It will be known as the F/A-37. Although specs are classified, it is believed to be Mach 3.5 (top speed in the Mach 4 range), super-cruise stealth fighter/bomber/ interceptor with approximately a 4,000nm range.

Check out the Navy test pilot in the cockpit of the F/A-37 . . . LT Kara Wade:


Boeing is preparing a 1000 passenger jet that could reshape the Air travel industry for the next 100 years. The radical Blended Wing design has been developed by Boeing in cooperation with the NASA Langley Research Center. The mammoth plane will have a wing span of 265 feet compared to the 747's 211 feet, and is designed to fit within the newly created terminals used for the 555 seat Airbus A380, which is 262 feet wide.

The new 797 is in direct response to the Airbus A380 which has racked up 159 orders, but has not yet flown any passengers. Boeing decide to kill its 747X stretched super jumbo in 2003 after little interest was shown by airline companies, but has continued to develop the ultimate Airbus crusher 797 for years at its Phantom Works research facility in Long Beach, Calif.

The Airbus A380 has been in the works since 1999 and has accumulated $13 billion in development costs, which gives Boeing a huge advantage now that Airbus has committed to the older style tubular aircraft for decades to come.

There are several big advantages to the blended wing design, the most important being the lift to drag ratio which is expected to increase by an amazing 50%, with overall weight reduced by 25%, making it an estimated 33% more efficient than the A380.

I can just imagine a fleet of these babies unloading the entire 82D Airborne Division over Drop Zone Managua - Look out Chavez, HERE WE COME ! ! !

High body rigidity is another key factor in blended wing aircraft, It reduces turbulence and creates less stress on the air frame which adds to efficiency, giving the 797 a tremendous 8800 nautical mile range with its 1000 passengers flying comfortably at mach 0.88 or 654 mph (+-1046km/h) cruising speed another advantage over the Airbus tube-and-wing designed A380's 570 mph (912 km/h).

The exact date for introduction is unclear, yet the battle lines are clearly drawn in the high-stakes war for civilian air supremacy.

Now where were we? Oh yeah - the French have a new toy? And the Russkies want to buy it? Y-A-W-W-W-N-!-!-!

- S.L.


This story isn't about Sarah Palin - it's about the people of Fort Bragg who went to see her.

Normally I shun any kind of crowd action and I don't get involved in politics, but my 13-year-old daughter asked me to take her to see Sarah. This is the same girl who consistently brings home straight A's, wins every contest she's ever entered and who somehow got me into Senator Liddy Dole's offices and on a private tour of the Capitol building while Congress was on break last year; I'm home for the Thanksgiving holidays so I figured I could accommodate her. I cut her loose from school for an opportunity to get a little 'O.J.T.'* Civics 101.

* On The Job Training

I had some running around to do so we didn't get there until 10:00 am and the crowd was already wound around the building. It started to rain, so I went inside & bought an umbrella.

Things were surprisingly civil at the book signing; these shots are from the media, but I was this close and there was plenty of room to mill about in the little avenue to crowd control folks had arranged to let people in and out of the PX to do their shopping.

On the way back to my place in line I paced it: at an estimated five people per full pace count, I pegged the crowd was about two thousand. By the time Sarah showed up at 11:00 am the line had lengthened another 30% at least. The press is reporting about four thousand people showed up.

Not bad for a cold rainy Monday in late November.

There was electricity in that crowd, but I am here to tell you this was the most well-heeled and well-behaved crowd of that size I have ever seen. Everybody had a haircut and was dressed normally. No freaks or weirdos, no political grandstanders; just everyday ordinary people come to see a person who embodies everything they stand for and believe in.

The most civilized crowd I've ever stood in.

Those of us toward the back half of the line knew we had a slim chance of making it to the front by the time the book signing was over. Sure enough, at about 1:30 pm a lady came out and told us 'Sorry, everybody from this point back won't make it.'

There were no scenes. There was some grumbling, sure, but folks at Fort Bragg know the deal; self-discipline and stoicism is the theme and fiber of the warrior class.

Of course we moved toward the entrance of the PX and laid siege to it, waiting for Sarah to come out, and that is when we hit pay dirt.

When Sarah finally emerged, she shook every hand that was outstretched and signed books all the way to her PalinMobile. The lady is a class act, all the way.

My daughter got her copy of Going Rogue autographed, got her handshake and got a hug, and Sarah made off with my 3d Special Forces Group pen. Then Sarah stopped at a young lady in uniform standing directly in front of me and the look on her face as she gave the young soldier a hug was a combination of gratitude, appreciation & understanding coming from an Army Mom to one of the troops.

I wish I had a better picture of that moment . . . the kind of emotion I saw cannot be faked . . .

Y'all know it takes a LOT to impress me - I can't begin to describe the effect of her charisma - that look on her face when she hugged that young soldier really moved me . . .

. . . then, thousands of signatures later, Sarah Palin was gone . . .

- Sean Linnane,
Fort Bragg, North Carolina
23 November 2009

"The Department of Defense typically prohibits politicians from using installations as a platform, so Palin didn't give a speech and simply thanked soldiers individually. She was allowed to hold the event as a private citizen who was not campaigning, a Fort Bragg spokesman said.

"Army officials initially feared the book signing might turn political and negative comments would be directed at President Barack Obama, so they barred media from attending. The Army later relented and allowed coverage . . . many people who attended voiced their opposition to the Commander in Chief."

- Fayetteville Observer, 23 November 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009


Back home in North-by-God-Carolina for a hard-earned week's leave . . . one of the occupational hazards of being a modern-day Road Warrior is getting the laptop to sync with the wireless server, wherever you are . . . this is usually not a problem EXCEPT FOR the router at the apartment back in ChicagoLand requires it's own software that took over & usurped my normal wireless card utility . . . it took me all day yesterday to battle through the thing . . . FINALLY had the gizmo giving me 18 Mbps . . . then down to 1 Mbps . . . then up to 24 Mbps . . . then back down to 5.5 Mbps . . . SHEESH ! ! !

OK doing battle with this Thing ate up all my time and now I've got to run downtown, turn in the rent-a-car, then blast over to Ft. Bragg for a meeting with THIS American Hero:

Full report (and MORE) to follow . . .

. . . S.L.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


This story is all over the Othernet - I haven't looked at a TV in days so I don't know if any of the mainstream media other than Fox has picked it up:

Climate Skeptics See 'Smoking Gun' in Researchers' Leaked E-Mails


Here's a good roundup of all sources:

Update: 'CRU director Admits eMails Seem to be Genuine' -- Climatic Research Unit Hacked? 'Warmist Conspiracy Exposed?'

How very curious the story of modern-political-correctness-gone-awry emerges on the same day as THIS story:

Galileo's Fingers and Tooth Recovered by Collector

The macabre remains of the famous, once-damned astronomer were spotted at an auction in an unusual wooden case.

Am I the only one who senses the IRONY here?

Senator Inohofe says it best; Barbara Boxer just got OWNED:

Friday, November 20, 2009


I spent more than half my life in the Orient. In Thailand, they bow but slightly different from the Japanese. When I was stationed in Okinawa I did my time in the karate dojo and that included a formal class in bowing, because we gaijin didn;t know how to bow properly. A common theme is the person of lower rank bows lower; how low he or she goes depends on the relative rank of the other person.

There is a whole dynamic going on with Obama’s bow- the President of the United States is equal (if not superior) to the Emperor of Japan. If Obama wanted to execute a courtesy bow, a slight bend forward at the waist followed by a slight nod of the head while maintaining eye contact would have been appropriate.

Westerners are not accustomed to bowing, and we are generally ignorant of the nuances of this custom. It’s not that we’re considered rude for not bowing- we’re considered savage hairy barbarians to begin with, the fact that we don’t bow or don’t know how to bow just compounds the issue.

There is a right way and a wrong way to do it. What Obama did has the Japanese (and the rest of East Asia) rolling in fits of laughter, because it is the bow an employee gives to his boss, or a child gives to parents. He went WAY too low; it is only one step above a kow-tow.

Compare Obama’s bow with how he conducted himself in the company of the Queen of England, and then contrast this with the way he leaned forward to bow and scrape before the King of Saudi Arabia; this certainly leaves a lot of room to wonder about which direction this man’s sentiments lie.

I am an American. The only King I bow and pay homage to is Elvis.


Thursday, November 19, 2009


If I’ve been quiet for the past couple of days it’s because I’ve been in a state of shock.

An old friend of mine who is also my professional mentor – Deacon of Doom – once told the Sergeant Major: “You can only beat down the dog so many time, Sergeant Major – sooner or later you gotta throw him a bone . . .”

On top of all the madness and insanity of the current occupiers of the Whitehouse, our man Obama goes overseas and does his bowing and scraping bit in front of the Emperor of Japan. As if it wasn’t gut-wrenching enough to see the President of the United States grovel before an Oriental potentate, he follows up by holding an America is Badrally in Shanghai, China.

He's actually mooning his own country . . .

But wait there’s more . . .

Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder chooses this convenient moment to announce his decision to bring the terrorists held in Guantanamo Bay up to New York to stand trial in a civilian court of law.

Khalid Sheik Mohammed, 9-11 Mastermind and murderer of thousands.

This is bad, really bad. Bad on a level of 10,000 megatons of bad. Holder obviously hasn’t looked deep into the consequences of this altruistic notion that we can apply some kind of “fair play” let-everything-be-equal-for-everybody sentiment to dangerous unrepentant criminal terrorist masterminds.

We have military tribunals for a reason; scooping up war criminals on a battlefield denotes extraordinary circumstances. Hold them in prison camps and if they are guilty, hang them or shoot them; the Hague and Geneva Conventions endorse this.

Let us consider for a moment the possible consequences of Holder’s decision:

o What if Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his buddies choose to be their own defense? They will be entitled to demand to see all the evidence against them – to include highly classified sources and collection methods. I guess the Attorney General didn’t think that one out.

o The Guantanamo crew were never read their Miranda rights until years into their interrogation process. What do we do in our judicial system here in the United States if the cops don’t read you your rights?

o The Guantanamo crew will be able to claim they were tortured – by the current administration’s own admission (which I don’t agree to by the way). Does this not negate the charges against them?

So what are we going to do? Let these assholes WALK ? ? ?

I was going to explore this fully, delve into the legal minefield of potential consequences; but before I had the opportunity to examine the historical record in dealing with these kind of extraordinary situations, a couple of issues developed:

Holder read my mind. Right in the middle of my busy day I caught a glimpse of the news and the running script across the bottom of the screen announces: “Attorney General Holder states that if Khalid Sheik Mohammed or any of the 9/11 conspirators are acquitted, they won’t be released in the United States.”

What – is this guy taking double-extra-stoopid pills on a daily basis?

But wait it gets better . . .

Jane Fonda: Obama Funder Jodie Evans Met With Taliban; Code Pink Gives Terrorists Direct Line to Obama

Top Obama donor and Code Pink founder Jodie Evans met with the Taliban in Afghanistan on a recent trip there, according to a report by Jane Fonda of a discussion she had with Evans last month. The meeting with the Taliban took place just weeks before Evans was videotaped directly handing to President Barack Obama a package of information about her trip to Afghanistan at a high dollar fundraiser in San Francisco.

Jodie Evans and fellow American-Traitor-Bitch Jane Fonda

I am not a pundit and I do not enjoy delving into the area of politics; in me it generates Dark Energy. I am a professional soldier and a philosopher, and so I will address this young lady in the manner that I am sure Socrates would have done:


People, we’re talking about the TALIBAN here ! ! ! The way these cretins treat their own people put them in the same category as the Khmer Rouge ! ! !

The Taliban - NOT nice people . . .

A little reminder here: the Taliban – the same people this girl is lobbying on behalf of – engage in the following delightful practices:

o Female circumcision

o Sex-slavery

o Corporal punishment (to include amputations by sword) in the soccer stadium

o Ban all forms of dancing, joyful expression, games, sporting events, etc . . .

o Anything related to the modern Western world – to include modern medicine, technology, education for women, you name it . . .

And then on top of all THAT they gave shelter and state-sponsorship to the organization that flew airplanes into our buildings and killed 3,000 innocent men, women and children.

Oh wait a minute, that was George W. Bush who did that – the same guy they like to portray as dumb and dumber was somehow evil genius enough to be able to pull off the crime of the century and not even leave a fingerprint.

Never mind that Khalid Sheik Mohammed confessed and proudly admitted to that crime and many more . . . oh wait a minute that doesn’t count because he was waterboarded-I-mean-tortured and because we never read him his rights he’s going to walk . . .

. . . . am I the only one around here who feels like he just walked through the looking glass into some kind of sicko version of a Alice-in-Wonderland reverse parallel universe?