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30 September 2008


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Speaking of Britishisms, imagine my shock on my first visit to the island in the 1980's wearing something that was kind of trendy then, a "fanny pack." Needless to say, I quickly learned to adopt the British variant, "bum bag."



Great idea on asking for a strategic view on Somali piracy.

Short term:

Patrol the area and keep the see lanes clear.

1) Patrol the area with an LPH, like the Tarawa or Saipan, take off most of the marines and add a few apache attach choppers. Attack and destroy pirates on sight. To paraphrase William T. Sherman "The only good pirate is a dead pirate".

2) Engage our allies in the region to assist so this is not just the U.S. Navy acting alone.

3). If this is not acceptable just sit around and wait for the Russians, Chinese or someone else to do this.

Long term:

A clear strategic vision on US policy in the region. Something definitely worth more thought and effort. What are your ideas?

Michael Torpey

Col. Lang asked me why I was getting thrown off blogs, specifically my home town paper the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Here is my reply to Col. Lang who is nice enough to let us post here.

Hi Col. Lang,

I haven't really been tossed but for expressing these beliefs: that the President of the United States should put aside partisan politics. That everybody should have health care even at the cost of taxing ourselves more (taxes are unpopular). That we ought to spend less, save more and be a good neighbor while practicing the advice of Frost's famer, "Good fences make good neighbors." Thses posts in my home town newspaper, where I do 99% of my posting, upset people who are uncomfortable with these ideas, who I think engage in wishful thinking, go from reasoned debate (not to many) to the usual "Why don't you drop in a lake" and worse (sigh). I interpret those response as a wish that I would not post my ideas that we are also partialy responsible for this mess we are in. The blame for the kind of government we've got lies with us, the "Weans" like as in We the People.

These ideas don't seem to impress the people who use the Internet. They didn't impress me when I was young. Live for the day was a philosophy that along with "If it feels good do it" had me thinking I didn't have a care in the world. Meanwhile our Country was mangled by opportunists. Thinking only of there own advantage and like leopards in tress they took advantage of there position and squandered our national treasure, our national honor and the prestige in the world so hard to come by and so easily lost. We are in a mess, leaderless and floundering while the enemies of America rejoice and do everything in there power to destroy us. That sort of thing seems uncomfortable to read. We want someone to lead but whom do we trust? Are we're going to have to get ourselves out of this mess!? I think so and it's going to be painful, Getting America back to the postion we had 8 years ago is going to take courage, sacrifice, patience, and that seems to make people very uncomfortable. The people are suffering and we shouldn't be but when the boats filling up with water the predominant emotion is fear. Leadership like FDR exhibited during the decade of the New Deal would be welcome.

Thanks for asking.

Mike Torpey



Given your familiarity with British slang, presumably you are aware that the rhyming slang "Barclays Banker" refers to a W****r. In the present context, perhaps the term may be modified for an American audience to "Wall Street Banker".

Nancy K

I sure this is the wrong place to vent my frustration but I just finished listening to because I don't have TV (I know I'm totally out of it) and gov Palin did not answer any of the questions. probably watching her she seemed much better but just listening she didn't awnser anthing, she made up her own questions. My husband is a professor of speech and he could not believe it. Then we listened to CNN and they said she won. WHAT?


I draw the line at being civil to Canadians. With their terrifying warlike ways and rancid baconey breath, the are the Maple Menace ... the Devil's own 'EH' Team!

No one should be allowed to be from Saskatchewan, I can't spell Saskatchewan. It should be called Eastern Alberta or Manitoba's Sudetenland (that would make a great license plate). Much to my surprise they have invaded Prince Edward Island ...


It wasn't enough that they destroyed Ed Muskie, they had to ruin football.

How To Spot a Canadian: Tell the person you got called for icing. Americans will think you are a bakery supplier. If they start talking about a "Blue Line" call the border patrol. Also, only Canadians say "North American".


Montana's Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger wrote an op-ed:

"Frank St. Pierre, of Anaconda, fought in World War II. He is one of the most decorated living veterans in America. And yet, on Wednesday, my party — the Montana Republican Party — tried to invalidate his voter registration because he lives in a county with a lot of Democrats. Incredible as this may sound to you, it is the truth..."

Patrick Lang




I missed the hing about and "you know that." A reminder. If you call me a liar, I will refuse to talk or write to you. pl

Patrick Lang


Point 1 -This brigade is tasked to support a wide variety of missions in support of a Northcom task force. As I said before, the only difference between this and the status if any other unit is that this brigade is dedicated to that support until relieved.

Point 2 - Assuming this AR is genuine it deals with agreements between Army posts and federal prisons for the use of the federal prisons' inmates for labor on the Army posts. What is the problem? Army prisoners have always been used for labor on Army posts. I grew up watching MPs herd stockade prisoners around to do gardening work. At Ft Leavenworth for example, there is a a huge post which is home to the Army's Combined Arms Center (you know, where Petraeus "wrote" the COIN document). On that post, there are also several prisons. One is an Army prison and the others belong to the BofP. The regulation says that if the federal prison from which the inmates come is at a distance then a facility must be provided to house them while they are there.

This regulation, assuming it is genuine, allows the Army to use prisoner labor for things that the taxpayer would orherwise have to pay for.

I now see that a lot of you will insist on believing that this a directive for establishing an American Gulag. Sad. pl

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