Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Army recruiting illegals

Yeppers. That's the latest target that the U.S. Army is going after in their quest to fill ranks depleted by the War on Brown People Overseas -- brown people. Mexican brown people. With false promises of citizenship.

Crap, even the Roman Army didn't go that far. They recruited illegals, sure, but they gave the illegals and their families citizenship in exchange for their service.

Hmm, reminds me of another empire that relied on illegal immigrants to staff their army. Say, how's that Roman Empire thingy doin' nowdays? Just askin'!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

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Posted by: BadTux / 8/02/2007 09:19:00 AM  3 comments  

Monday, June 11, 2007

This cannot end well...

There was a joke in Vietnam, "want to buy an ARVN-issue M-16? Barely used, only dropped once!". The only good thing about using the M-16 in Vietnam was that the AK-47's that the NVA was using had a different ammo and thus they couldn't use the M-16's too easily themselves -- not that they needed to, given how cheap and plentiful AK-47's and ammo thereof are. But they certainly used plenty of other ARVN-issued weapons against U.S. forces in Vietnam, especially mortars and other such man-portable artillery.

But even the U.S. Army in Vietnam wasn't stupid enough to give weapons to the exact same people who have been shooting at our soldiers in hopes of bribing them into, well, not shooting at our soldiers. Not that I think it really matters. The insurgents have proven that they can get all the weapons they want, in plentiful and abundant supply. But still. If you're going to bribe someone to not shoot at you, why not just load up a buncha Herky Birds with bundles of hundred dollar bills and fly them low and slow over those villages tossing out bales of money? Crap, the Iraqis would be so goddamned busy scrambling for that money that they wouldn't even bother shooting at the Hercs! (Not that Herky Birds really care too much about a few bullet holes through their skin, some of them in Vietnam kept flying even though they looked like cheese graters by the time the NVA ventilated them, but the guys inside said birds tend to get a bit persnickity about such things, heh!). I mean, c'mon. Bribing them with guns is just, well, inefficient.

I suppose the thought is that guns are harder to direct into Swiss bank accounts than dollar bills. Whatever. But as in Vietnam, I fully expect that guns issued by our very own U.S. Army will shortly be used to kill U.S. soldiers in VietIraq-nam.

Fucked. We are truly, truly, truly fucked. The only ideas left are the certifiably insane ones. Maybe this one is certifiably insane enough to actually work. But if I were a betting man, I wouldn't bet on it.

-- Badtux the Military Penguin

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Posted by: BadTux / 6/11/2007 10:39:00 PM  5 comments  

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Former Marine to Major X: "Go fuck yourself"

Yes, he really said that when, as an ex-Marine who had been honorably discharged, a Major wrote an EMAIL telling him he couldn't participate in anti-war protests. Talk about jar-heads!

So what's the Marine Corps' response?

Well, they decided to rescind his honorable discharge, and offered him a less-than-honorable discharge if he'd just shut the fuck up. So what does he tell'em?

"Go fuck yourself" again.

Some folks got stones the size of fuggin' beach balls.

I dunno what kinda love we can give Adam Kokesh, but I'm sure that the only way they'll shut up this PFC ("Proud Fuckin' Civilian") is if they put him in jail. Meanwhile, the Marines ought to be ashamed for trying to shut up a civilian honorably seperated from the Marines by revoking his honorable discharge. That kinda political bullshit acting as political operatives for the Bushevik regime is not what the military is supposed to be about. Our military is supposed to be about killing our nation's enemies dead, not about suppressing free speech within the borders of our country. There's a name for the kind of country where the military is used to suppress free speech within the borders of the country. It's called "military dictatorship". It's not what our nation is supposed to be about. For shame, General Moore!

-- Badtux the Stones-appreciatin' Penguin

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Posted by: BadTux / 5/31/2007 03:34:00 PM  6 comments  

Friday, April 13, 2007

Flying albatross headed to Iraq

The Marines are sending the tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey to Iraq.

I have mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, the Osprey isn't safe. It has some significant issues in the software that controls its rotors, and the dadburned things have crashed left, right, up, down, and every whichway. It's fundamentally unstable, and it's fundamentally unstable in a way that no other aircraft in the world is fundamentally unstable, meaning that none of the lessons learned with, say, the F-16, work with it.

On the other hand, the CH-46 Sea Knights that it replaces aren't safe either, for a totally different reason. The Sea Knights are slow fat targets for insurgents. The Osprey, on the other hand, is as fast as a normal prop airplane when it's in level flight, and as quiet as one too, unlike the choppers, which sound like freakin' egg beaters. Its IR signature is insignificant too, which gives IR missiles very little to aim at, and it flys too high and fast for bullets and RPG's to hit. Not to mention that the Osprey has a much longer range than any helicopter, giving the Marines a level of operational mobility that previously was not available.

In the end, given the reality that this thing is going to be used in combat and the chances of it falling out of the sky are probably less than the chances of the Sea Knights getting shot down, I gotta agree with the USMC's decision to deploy. Yeah, it's a risk. But it's not a risk that's avoidable. At least this way when the damned thing crashes, maybe the geeks in the software lab can figure out what the fuck happened and fixed it. When a Sea Knight crashes and kills everybody on board, nobody learns a thing other than that Sea Knights are sitting ducks for insurgents. Doh. Like we didn't already know that...

-- Badtux the Aviation Penguin

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Posted by: BadTux / 4/13/2007 09:33:00 PM  4 comments  

Friday, April 06, 2007

Wingnuts talk up China military threat

Wingnuts are abuzz about the military threat posed by China. Apparently, having every operational combat brigade of the U.S. Army tied down in a tar pit in Iraq and Afghanistan isn't enough for them. Now we're supposed to... uhm, do what? Cringe in terror while Dear Leader "protects" us from a Chinese military that poses absolutely no (zero) threat to the United States? Fire off NUKES at the Chinese? Are these mofo's in Washington D.C. freakin' INSANE?!

China's current defensive posture is, well, defensive -- none of their current weapons other than their few dozen ICBM's are much use for offensive purposes. The Song class diesel-electric boats, for example, while quite stealthy in electric mode (U.S. forces have been embarrassed more than once by one popping in the middle of their exercises after sneaking there undetected), does not have a particularly long range and as far as we know do not have the ability to be refueled at sea, meaning that they are primarily of use for coastal defense. China does not possess any heavy bombers with intercontinental range and as far as we know has no plans to acquire any. The majority of their air force is comprised largely of short-ranged MiG-21 fighters and indigenenous variants thereof which are useless for offensive operations at any significant distance beyond their border. Their Navy is comprised of coastal defense destroyers and submarines and has no ability to sustain operations beyond a few hundred miles of China's coast, lacking tankers and support ships necessary for such purpose. Their Army is large but possesses no useful tanks (just obsolete clones of old Stalin-era Soviet tanks) and thus lacks the primary offensive weapon of modern armies, Chinese investment at the moment is going into producing anti-tank weapons capable of defending against invading M1 tanks, not into a new generation of tanks. Etc.

In the long term, China's military aspirations are something to worry about. As they develop their industrial skills by selling cheap junk to Americans, they also develop the ability to design and build modern weapons. Short term... no. China's current military posture would be hard-pressed to defend the Chinese mainland against any modern adversary, and would successfully do so only because China possesses the advantage of scale (i.e., they have so many of these short-ranged obsolete weapons and so much population base to draw upon, that any attacking military would run out of bullets and anti-aircraft missiles before killing them all).

Even their long-term goal of invading and forcibly re-uniting Taiwan is at least a decade away. Taiwan is defended by modern F-16 fighter jets, the best fighter jet in the world, as well as their own indigeneously-produced fighter jet which is roughly equivalent to the F-18 and Mirage 2000 fighter jets which are somewhat less capable but still quite well able to take out anything China has. China's MiG-21 jets cannot reach Taiwan with any useful military payload, and they have only a handful of Su-30 fighter jets purchased from Russia that are anywhere near modern enough to take on a F-16 (and I would still lay my bet on the F-16). Any invasion fleet of Chinese trawlers would swiftly end up at the bottom of the sea without any U.S. intervention at all.

In short, China's threat to America or to anybody else for at least the next decade is economic, not military. For the moment their biggest military threat is their ability to provide massive amounts of cheap weaponry to asymmetrical warfare organizations in countries such as Iraq and Lebanon and to potential adversary states such as Iran, rather than any direct military threat presented by their own military forces.

-- Badtux the Military Penguin

PS - even their new ability to take out satellites is defensive in purpose. Taking out the GPS satellites would also take out American GPS-guided "smart weapons" and significantly reduce the effectiveness of weapons such as Tomahawk cruise missiles (which are significantly less accurate in terrain-following mode -- e.g., during the 1st Gulf War, before being modified to use GPS, roughly half the Tomahawks fired from naval vessels in the Red Sea ended up actually crashing into our allies Saudi Arabia and Jordan rather than making it across the Arabian Peninsula into Iraq!).

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Posted by: BadTux / 4/06/2007 08:51:00 AM  3 comments  
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I am a black and white and yellow multicolored penguin making his way as best he can in a world of monochromic monkeys.

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