Monday, January 16, 2017


This is coolbert:

I always wondered about this and now [?] I have the answer?

From "The Volokh Conspiracy" thanks to WaPo and the article by Eugene Volokh.

"Sikh soldiers now allowed to wear turbans, beards, unshorn hair"

"Sikh American soldiers have finally prevailed against a three-decade ban preventing observant Sikhs from serving in the United States Army. New regulations just issued by the Secretary of the Army provide that — except in rare circumstances — sincere followers of the Sikh faith may no longer be forced to abandon their religious turbans, unshorn hair, or beards to serve their country."

"the sole restriction that soldiers may be asked to shave in the case of active tactical situations involving specific and concrete threat of exposure to toxic agents"


As for piloting a warplane [oxygen mask] or serving as a member of the crew on a submarine and having to instantly don a breathing apparatus during a fire, what then?


I would think so!!



This is coolbert:

You know this particular article would instantly be of interest to me. Thanks to Freeper.

Russian dog o' war not so reliable after all.

We tend to think of the Russian and the Soviet before them as never making mistakes or having failure, always their military R and D projects succeeding. That is just not so!!

"Russia’s police dog cloning program has run into a few, er… snags"

"Russia has scrapped its cloned dogs of war program after the first batch of ‘superpups’ flunked basic tests because they could not handle the cold, it has emerged."

"The designer dogs were cloned in a laboratory to sniff out explosives and drugs and put through their paces by Vladimir Putin’s law enforcement agency in Yakutsk, capital of the Sakha Republic, Russia’s largest region."

. . . .

"The dogs, each valued over $100,000, have reportedly been complete and utter failures. According to the Siberian Times, the dogs are incapable of performing even the most basic police dog tasks . . . the dogs failed because they’re not used to the brutal Siberian climate"

That war dog of choice for the Russian I had read and thought to be the Russian Black Terrier. A cross between the Giant Schnauzer [smart] and the Rottweiler [rough and vicious]. Also the Black Terrier able to stand the extreme cold of Siberia and thrive?

To get a sense of scale this image shows a man tussling with a Russian Black Terrier. Look at the size of that dog! It appears to be a man in costume or something but NO, that is the real thing! War dogs of that size leave something to be desired? The handler according to modern concepts  is expected on occasion to pick the dog up and carry as is necessitated. Russian Black Terrier too has a thick coat of fur, not a short hair?

"One of them failed to perform any task. Immediately, it lay down because of the cold. The second dog was slightly better, but completed only 50% of tasks. They are not adapted to our harsh conditions, they are smooth coated, cannot withstand frost."

That word doggone [damn] having an undeniable negative connotation in this instance.


ISIL Sinai.

This is coolbert:

From the latest edition of the DEBKAfile newsletter a report very disturbing. NOT EVEN to my knowledge ever reported by the main-stream media. Sinai the situation goes from BAD to WORSE!

As copied and posted almost in entirety from DEBKAfile.

"With big gains in N. Sinai, ISIS drives south"

9 January.

"Egyptian control of the vast Sinai Peninsula is slipping fast. After gaining virtual sway over the north and its main roads, Islamic State Caliphate terrorists are moving ahead with an ambitious plan to devour a broad stretch of land on the eastern flank of central Sinai . . . Achieving this objective would bring the jihadists in position to directly threaten Egyptian beach resorts along the Gulf of Aqaba coast and its celebrated tourist resort of Sharm El-Sheikh. It would also bring them up to another section of the Egyptian-Israeli border . . .  ISIS manages to inflict terror on Egyptian security forces despite the close military and intelligence cooperation between Egypt, the US and Israel for securing the north and keeping it out of ISIS control . . .  With northern Sinai virtually under their jackboots, ISIS is engaged in hard bargaining with local Bedouin tribes, primarily the chiefs of the Tiyaha tribal federation, to advance its plans to seize another large chunk of the peninsula. On the table is a proposal for the Tiyaha to permit ISIS to using its territory for launching strikes against the Egyptian army in the south. Their target here, say our military sources, would be the Egyptian 3rd Army which is responsible for all of central Sinai from the Gulf of Aqaba to the Suez Canal. Unlike the 2nd Army in the north, the Third is thinly scattered in disorganized spots across a large area and would be easy prey for terrorist attacks. If the Bedouin chiefs agree to open up their lands to ISIS, the terrorists will be free to sabotage the Egyptian army's main highways links between Egypt proper to Sinai."



Sunday, January 15, 2017


This is coolbert:

"It doesn't make sense"!

NOT EVEN was I aware of a District of Columbia National Guard as existing.

Security for the national capital I had always thought a federal manner only. That garrison at Ft. Myer having the responsibility for guarding DC from external threat as perceived!! Strictly within the purview of regular active-duty army troops!! DC guard does play a role during the swearing-in ceremony of the President-Elect that is rather significant?

"D.C. National Guard Chief Fired Days Before Trump Inauguration: 'The Timing Is Extremely Unusual'"

"'It doesn’t make sense to can the general in the middle of an active deployment,' rages D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) after Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz, who heads the D.C. National Guard and is an integral part of overseeing the inauguration, has been ordered removed from command effective Jan. 20, 12:01 p.m., just as Donald Trump is sworn in as president."

For a Major-General to command 2,700 troops of itself is of itself unusual. Not sure what that means. Also, normally when a general officer is forced or removed from command under such circumstances it means something wrong has occurred.

So what is this and will we ever know the full and complete facts and the behind-the-scenes story?



This is coolbert:

Consider within context of some recent blog entries here and here.

From WIZARD through Harry at Sharkhunters:

"India is launching her next SCORPENE submarine. In what appears to . . . be a rather unpleasant lack of planning, WIZARD informs us that they cannot outfit this boat with torpedoes because of the $200 million price tag. Wouldnt' this be something the Indian Navy should have considered before building a submarine with no sting?"

NOT EXACTLY clear what the $200 million price tag is for? The submarine itself or the torpedoes to arm the boat? If I was a betting man I would prefer the latter over the former.

From the wiki we have some detail of cost for boat and torpedoes both:

ONE SCORPENE the cost is - - US$450 million.

Per Black Shark torpedo - - "a unit cost of €2.3m (FY12)". 2012 in Euros.

NOBODY ever said war was cheap, did they?


Saturday, January 14, 2017


This is coolbert:

It never ceases to amaze me the various sources as to provide material for interesting blog entries. Here with one more example. And thanks to Robert.

"Cameroon using witchcraft to fight jihad terrorists of Boko Haram"

"After Biya’s call to employ witchcraft against Boko Haram in January 2016, hundreds of militia fighters rushed to sorcerers, commonly called 'marabouts,' to obtain lucky charms and talismans to protect them in battle."

“'Since I have this gris-gris, I have no problem,' said Mohamad Ahmed, a gym teacher and member of a local militia in Mora, referring to a small cloth bag typically worn around the neck or wrist. Filled with supposedly magic objects and paper inscribed with verses from the Koran, Bible or other holy scriptures, gris-gris originated in Africa but are common among voodoo practitioners in the Caribbean as well. Women often don them for contraception.

 “'It is so powerful,' said Ahmed. 'I put it on at the moment I go into the field of fighting. The fetish protects its wearer. If someone shoots at you, the bullets have no effect. They fall on the ground like small pebbles.'”

 Ahmed noted that he has not been shot to test the charm, however.

Decades ago during the Simba rebellion in the Congo they called it mai mai.

For it to work you must believe it works? Is that how it is?


Enticing & Hip.

This is coolbert:

From the article by Ruthie Blum and thanks to the Sheldon Adelson Internet web site Israel Hayom we have the perspective of the Israel female on the latest Hamas caper as was reported in a previous post.

"The cyber bikini intifada"

"Along with bloodlust and brawn, Hamas proved this week that it also has brains, at least where its enemies' weaknesses are concerned. But even though the terrorist organization that controls the Gaza Strip has grown quite proficient at using the Internet to incite violence against Jews, it clearly is still no match for Israel in the realm of cyberspace."

"Unbeknownst to the Israeli public until Tuesday . . . the Islamist goons had been engaged in a clever sting operation to obtain classified information from the Israeli military."

"Posing as beautiful girls on social media, with enticing photos and hip Hebrew lingo, Hamas cyber operatives succeeded in seducing boys in uniform."

Read it all!! And thank you Ruthie.