Tuesday, April 30, 2013


I've been telling people this for months. I was in C-1-10 - that is my old outfit; Africa is our turf, we were always on standby to swoop in - and we did, all the time . . . S.L.


American special operator with intimate knowledge of the Sept. 11, 2012 attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, says that U.S. forces could have intervened in the hours-long attack, but didn’t.

This is What I Know:

Since the takedown of the US Embassy compound in Tehran in November 4, 1979, the security of US missions abroad has been a top priority of US security policy. Over the course of two decades in Special Forces, I was directly involved in this mission; there are specific protocols that during an incident such as Benghazi will drive decision-making and actionable orders.

From the moment the first reports went out from Tripoli on the situation Benghazi, a specific sequence of events takes place:

A FLASH message is generated from within the State Department to the Whitehouse Situation Room; the National Command Authority (i.e. the President, the Secretary of Defense and/or the Vice President and the Deputy Secretary of Defense) are notified.

Acknowledgement of this message by Whitehouse communications personnel immediately generates message traffic to the Department of Defense and to the appropriate theater Combatant Command - in this case AFRICOM Headquarters at Kelley Barracks, Germany.

AFRICOM immediately notifies the Commanders In-Extremis Force (CIF) – a US Army Special Forces unit task-organized for Direct Action missions.

The CIF would immediately begin an emergency planning process which continues to take place during movement toward an assembly area within vicinity of the target.

Now this is key: in order for any of the above NOT to happen (i.e. for the CIF or any assets in theater to stand down) the National Command Authority MUST issue a deliberate order.

In other words, the President of the United States and/or his surrogates, specifically directed US forces within striking distance of the situation in Benghazi, to stand down.


A bad decision was made. For whatever reason, the President and his team decided not to send available forces into Benghazi while the US Consulate and the Annex were under attack. Perhaps they feared an ambush at the Benghazi airport; it could have been anything. Hindsight is 20-20 and I am not going to Monday-morning quarterback why that decision was made. It is not illegal to make a bad decision; if it was, nobody would make any decisions at all.

There were any number of options, and no shortage of real-time, actionable intelligence available. Fast movers out of Sigonella or from one of our carriers could have flown fifty feet over the compound and sonic boomed the attackers. The Spectre AC-130 gunship would have been on station two hours into the attack, and those things are deadly accurate; they can land a 105mm shell into a dumpster. The CIF could have landed at the airport and made their way to the target, guns a-blazing if necessary.

This is Where it Gets Weird:

Upon notification the attack in Benghazi was taking place, AFRICOM Commander General Ham immediately notified the CIF unit and communicated to the Pentagon that his forces were ready to deploy.

General Ham then received the order to stand down. His alleged response was screw it, he was going to help anyhow. Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command.

On October 18 2012, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced:

”President Barack Obama will nominate Army Gen. David Rodriguez to succeed Gen. Carter Ham as commander of U.S. Africa Command and Marine Lt. Gen. John Paxton to succeed Gen. Joseph Dunford as assistant commandant of the Marine Corps.”

So far there is nothing solid to backstop this story, although it is very intriguing that Ham is immediately reassigned less than eighteen months into a three year tour. Maybe Ham attempted to send a reaction force against orders, or maybe he simply gave his chain-of-command a piece of his mind about hanging Americans to dry. At the very least the CIF and whatever other forces were available could have made those who killed our people pay while they were still on the scene.

• We know that over 6 hours elapsed form the beginning of the attack to when the CIA operators were killed by mortar fire - from a heavy mortar emplacement they had laser target designators on, and had requested air support hours earlier in neutralizing. They had also given higher HQ 8-digit coordinates on the mortars, as close as it gets in combat targeting.

From CIA: "No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate.”

Comments by Robert Scheuer, former CIA chief of Bin Laden unit HERE

A good overall Benghazi timeline HERE

Summary of all facts to date HERE


Obama: "Maybe I Should Just Pack Up and Go Home. Golly."

YES, P-L-E-A-S-E-!-!-!

. . . and take Plugs Biden & all your Marxist A-hole friends with you!

ObamaCare Nightmare

Ammunition Grab


Gun Control

Gitmo Hunger Strike




Did I leave any out?




Fast & Furious


Monday, April 29, 2013

Estimating Home Improvement Projects

More and more homeowners are turning to home improvement to transform their New York homes to ideally fit the needs of the family, realize their dreams of luxury and style, make everyday life a whole lot more convenient, boost property value, or just any other reasons. One of the most crucial factors when jumping into the bandwagon is the right budget. The more accurate the estimate, the closer you are to achieving project success. To get to this, here are essential things to know about estimating home improvement projects ideal whether you are in Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn or Staten Island.

Estimating your planned home improvement project is a crucial task that should be taken carefully. Falling short on budget can cause grave issues such as an incomplete project, an inferior result, or financial instability that can lead to debts that can easily snowball into other problems.

If you haven't done anything similar to the home improvement you have in mind, then getting an estimate would be the best way to start your project. This would get you a good idea on how much the entire project would cost thus helping you get financially prepared and preventing a busted budget. Just as no two houses are exactly the same; your specifications would vary with that of others even for the same project. There are a lot of factors that affect the overall cost and asking around for other homeowners who have had done something similar would be the roughest assessment you can get.

When estimating home improvement projects, the easiest and fastest way to get one is through using an online remodeling calculator from any renovation and home improvement or contractor website. But the closest and most accurate estimate you can get is one from a reputable professional or contractor company.

There are various factors that will affect your home improvement project estimate and these are:

Scope of the Project - this includes the size of the room or rooms that you plan on improving. What materials and supplies you want to integrate into the project. How you envision the project finish and what are the methods and steps to take to achieve the specific look, feel and functionality.

Labor Trends and Regional Pricing - fact is, remodeling costs will differ depending on the state that you are in. This proves true for both contractor fee as well as material costs.

Labor Fees - There are choices when it comes to managing home improvement projects and this includes: managing it yourself, getting a general contractor or hiring a project manager part-time or full time. Each option has its pros and cons and deciding on which depends on your experience, preference, budget and availability. Aside from the labor trends in different states, other factors that will affect contractor fee are specialization/s, experience, skills and even how well established and well-reputed the contractor or company is in the industry.

One of the greatest tips when undergoing home improvement projects is to allot a budget that is more than that of the estimated amount. By allowing flexibility in your finances, unexpected expenses that may arise throughout the project (which are not uncommon), can be accommodated efficiently before the problem balloons. If you have to save, then choose to do so in a smart way. Cut costs without sacrificing quality and you can do this by buying materials on sale and scheduling work at off-peak seasons.


In 1897, British forces launched a bloody campaign against Afghanistan’s Pashtun tribesmen – forebears of the Taliban – on the North West Frontier. It was the first time Winston Churchill, then 22 and a junior cavalry lieutenant as well as aspiring Telegraph war correspondent, had taken part in military action. The subsequent experience greatly shaped his subsequent career as a politician.

When out riding with the Bengal Lancers, Churchill was always on the lookout for action, but had little luck. “I take every opportunity and have accompanied solitary patrols into virgin valleys and ridden through villages and forts full of armed men – looking furious – but without any adventure occurring. It is a strange war. One moment people are your friends and the next they are shooting. The value of life is so little that they do not bear any grudge for being shot at.”

On September 12 his camp came under sniper fire. Churchill was having dinner with Major-General Sir Bindon Blood when “a bullet hummed by over head”. The incident strengthened Churchill’s view that the Mohmands, a local Pashtun tribe, needed to be dealt with. As he told it: “After today we begin to burn villages. Every one. And all who resist will be killed without quarter. The Mohmands need a lesson, and there is no doubt we are a very cruel people.” Such action was vital, Churchill argued, because the Pashtuns “recognise superiority of race”.

Read the rest of it HERE

Winston Churchill on Islam:

from The River War by Sir Winston Churchill, 1899

How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy.

The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.

A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.

No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.

Paraphrased, from above:

"Islam is to men what rabies is to a dog."

My favorite Churchill quote.


Sunday, April 28, 2013


An interesting statement (as well as a neat advertising strategy). These guys have the stones to oppose gun-grabbing tactics. Visit their website, buy their products - S.L.


In the battle for Colorado freedoms, support for Second Amendment rights is being delivered by Magpul Industries Corporation.

Fielded in the millions by US and its allies since 2007, the PMAG is the magazine of choice for those defending freedom and democracy around the world, those working to keep our streets safe, and those taking responsibility for defending their families and homes.

Now, with the ability of Coloradans to purchase new standard capacity magazines in jeopardy Magpul Industries is working to supply as many as possible to the good people of Colorado! Similar to the Berlin Airlift, the Boulder Airlift will bring much needed supplies to freedom-loving residents trapped inside occupied territory.

Our program is to make sure that responsible CO citizens have the opportunity to own standard capacity PMAGs prior to potential legislation to infringe on their Second Amendment rights. Remember to contact members of the Senate and the Governor prior to ordering and urge them to oppose IIB 1224.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


This image should be on billboards on every road leading into New York, Washington, DC, Chicago, San Francisco, LA and Hollywood!


Friday, April 26, 2013


President Obama To Ban Importation of Ammo, Magazines and Gun Accessories Without Congressional Approval

Over the course of the last month, while Americans were distracted with the threat of nuclear war on the Korean peninsula and the devastation wrought by the Boston bombings, President Obama was quietly working behind the scenes to craft laws and regulations that will further erode the Second Amendment . . .

Congress, and thus We the People, may have unequivocally rejected federal legislation in March which aimed to outlaw most semi-automatic rifles, restrict magazine capacity, and force national registration, but that didn’t stop the President from ceding regulatory control over firearms importation to the United Nations just two weeks later. What the UN Arms Trade Treaty, passed without media fanfare by 154 counties, would do is to restrict the global trade of, among other things, small arms and light weapons. Opponents of the treaty argue that loopholes within the new international framework for global gun control may make it illegal for Americans to purchase and import firearms manufactured outside of the United States.

To further his gun-grabbing agenda, however, President Obama and his administration didn’t stop there.

Read the rest of it HERE

Easily Transform Your Home Into an Outdoor Oasis With Simple Landscaping

Most homeowners are very aware of their home's exterior. Keeping a beautiful house says something about its residents. Homeowners often make sure their house has a fresh coat of paint, clean siding and a beautiful roof and driveways, but sometimes overlook a very important factor, landscaping. One of the simplest ways to add aesthetic beauty to your home is by taking the time to make sure your yard looks great. This easy task can make a world of a difference for your home's curb appeal.

Here are some key points to follow when considering easy and cost effective ways to create a beautiful yard:

  • Lawns can make or break a home. Be sure to keep yours well-trimmed and healthy. Green grass is fundamental here, so be certain to water, fertilize, air rate and de-thatch when necessary. A healthy lawn is the backbone to a great looking yard.

  • Good and bad, large trees play an important role in a beautiful landscape. One or two in front of your house can give it a great feel, but be sure your home is clearly visible. Remove any large groups of trees blocking the view to your home, and be sure to carefully trim those that will be kept. Generally, it's better to have a professional trim your trees and shrubs, because each plant reacts differently, and will grow accordingly.

  • Color plays a fun part in your new landscaping, and bushes, shrubs and flowers will help you achieve a visually appealing yard. Pick colors that will accent your home, making it stand out from the rest, but that aren't overbearing eyesores. Keep in mind that most of these plants are seasonal, so be sure to plan accordingly so you can enjoy your foliage year round.

  • Cleanly separate each area of your yard. Stones, wooden railroad ties and mulch all do a great job of this. Keeping clean sections which work with each other will compliment your home, drawing visitor's eyes inwards.

  • Statues and fountains can be great focal points, just don't get carried away. One or two is usually enough. Be sure to accent these great pieces with shrubs, stones and flowers so they don't look empty.

  • Lines are another often overlooked aspect of landscape design. Use what you have to draw your visitor's attention to various sections of your yard or home. For example, planting bushes in rows towards your front door will help guide viewer's eyes in that direction.

  • A final fairly inexpensive landscaping aspect which is generally overlooked is lighting. Adding accent lighting to your home and yard can substantially increase its feel and beauty. Again, be sure to illuminate the high points of your home and garden. Your accent lights will determine exactly what your neighbors and passers-by will see when it's dark outside.
Landscaping can be a fairly easy job when you know what you are doing but if you don't feel comfortable incorporating all of the above in your new home improvement project, there are a few websites online ready to provide you with the best landscaping professionals in your area. Services such as All Around the Home and CalFinder make it easy to have the best yard on the block.

Please keep all of the various factors I discussed above in mind when dealing with any contractor giving you an estimate. Find out from them what they will be doing to incorporate the various aspects of your home's landscaping, and be sure to give them your opinions and ideas when it comes to making your home beautiful. While new paint, roofing or siding is definitely good for the aesthetics of your home, nothing quite gives it that feeling a great landscaping job can.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


33 years ago today the US undertook Operation Eagle Claw - a failed military mission to rescue 52 diplomats and embassy staff taken hostage in Iran.

The operation encountered many obstacles and was eventually aborted. About 90 Delta Force commandoes, eight helicopters and six aircraft landed in the Iranian desert on the first staging area, Desert One, but only five helicopters arrived in operational condition. One encountered hydraulic problems, another got caught in a cloud of very fine sand, and the last one showed signs of a cracked rotor blade.

During planning it was decided that the mission would be aborted if fewer than six helicopters remained, despite only four being absolutely necessary. The commanders asked President Carter for permission to abort. In a move that is still discussed in military circles, Carter granted the request.

As the US force prepared to leave, one of the helicopters crashed into a transport aircraft which contained both servicemen and jet fuel. The resulting fire destroyed both aircraft and killed eight servicemen.

A US airman's burned body amidst the wreakage of one of the destroyed aircraft at Desert One.

The hostage crisis lasted for another year after "divine intervention", as some Iranians say, stopped Eagle Claw.

Al Jazeera Alireza Ronaghi reports from Tehran:

Hostages being paraded in front of the cameras at the US Embassy in Tehran.

Operation Eagle Claw was one of Delta Force's first missions. Out of lessons learned from this failure, the mighty US Special Operations Command rose phoenix-like from the ashes, to carry out the remarkable military achievements of the subsequent three decades.

The eight who perished at Desert One did not die in vain. Honor them.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Today is St. George's Day - as a salute to our cousins across the pond we show how British Press Shows No Mercy! S.L.

The British papers are quite different from ours, they know what is going on and are not afraid to say it.



While we're desperately searching for clues as to the Tsarnaev brother's support cell and other portions of the terrorist infrastructure, the Media is going out of their way to portray these inhuman scum as anything but what they are: Islamic Fundamentalist Terrorist Enemy Combatants. The Obama Whitehouse can call them what they are; they are no different than the 9/11 Nineteen, or for that matter Major Hassan of Fort Hood infamy - S.L.

WSJ Columnist: Boston Muslim Terrorists “Just Like US Irish & Jews Who Were All Communists”
Debbie Schlussel brings to our attention how the media bending over and spreading their cheeks for Islam and the Islamic terrorist Tsarnaev Brothers is getting more ridiculous by the minute, now with absurd, anti-Semitic comparisons of them to the Irish and the Jews: Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist Bret Stephens Wall Street Journal columnist and former Jerusalem Post Editor-in-Chief, compares the tiny minority of Irish-Americans' inexcusable support and financing of the terrorist Irish Republican Army to Islamic radicals blowing up and/or mass murdering their fellow Americans; and that Jews in America in the 1920s and ’30s were mostly Communist radicals.

Huh? Well I'm of Irish heritage - three-quarters in fact - and one of the big problems I always had with The Struggle was the Marxist nature of the PIRA - a tiny minority of the Irish people. My people never tossed any bombs, never shot up any Army bases and for damn sure never flew any planes into buildings so you can count me out of any Communist / Terrorist labels there thank you very much Mister-Big-Shot-Pulitzer-Winning-Hack-Journo - S.L.

Then of course we have ultra-Left-wing mouthpiece and moron Chris Matthews leading the Left-Leaning Lamestream Media pack to the defense of the Boston Bombers: "What Difference Does It Make Why They Did It?"

I dunno Chris - you tell me? Might it be so that we can understand the Islamic threat from within America; who is converting to this sick twisted ideology, what this phenomenon looks like as it presents itself, where they go to recieve training, when and how the terrorists plan, rehearse and become operational in their deadly plots? If none of the above seem logical reasons to know why terrorists - homegrown, self-recruited or otherwise - are killing Americans, then you need to turn in your press card and do something your puny intellect can handle. Like parking cars or maybe mowing lawns, perhaps - S.L.

FOX “Fair & Balanced” News isn't coming out of this thing smelling like a rose either: Geraldo Laments Real Victims of Boston Terrorists, “My Muslim Brothers & Sisters”:

I guarantee if the Boston Bombers had turned out to be some kind of Timothy McVeigh nutjob, we'd never hear the end of the assault on white Tea Party NRA members. The irony of this entire episode is that the Boston Bombers WERE "clinging to their guns and religion." How inconvenient that their religion is the same as Barack "I-will-stand-with-the-Muslims-should-the-political-winds-shift-in-an-ugly-direction" Obama a.k.a. Barry Soetoro:

This state of affairs is absolutely disgraceful. At this time I am straining to recall a point in our history when the Fourth Estate in America behaved more like a Fifth Column.


DIY Home Improvement Project: Repainting Your Kitchen Cabinets

Hiring a contractor to help you conduct home improvement project can be costly. The professional in home improvement usually has a price standard for certain home improvements like kitchen remodeling or bathroom remodeling. Well, it is worthy to hire a contractor when you need to conduct major home improvement. However, what if you only need to repaint your kitchen cabinets? Do you also need to hire a contractor to do such work?

For minor home improvement like repainting kitchen cabinets, most people like to conduct the DIY project. This DIY project has some benefits; especially on the budget that you have to spend. When conducting DIY home improvement project, you only need to spend money for the materials needed. There is no need to pay for the worker, since you handle the project by yourself.

So, here are the steps on how you can repaint your kitchen cabinet by yourself:

1. Determine the colors that you want to use for your cabinets. It is a good idea to visualize your expected cabinet color using Corel or similar programs. Make sure that you only choose colors that you really want; thus, you can get the maximum satisfaction when the project is completed.

2. The second thing to do is cleaning the cabinets. Usually, food residue sticks on the cabinet surface and you should clean it first before painting. If you want to make the cleaning process much easier, just remove the cabinet doors. You can put them on the floor and start the cleaning process more easily. This way allows you to reach the most hidden parts of your cabinets.

3. Once you have cleaned your cabinets thoroughly, now you come to the most important parts of this project. Sand the cabinets are the next thing that you have to do. Make sure that you sand every part of the cabinets carefully to get the best result. It may spend much time to sand the cabinet but if you handle this part well, you will find that the pain durability will be increasing.

4. The fourth step is applying primer to the cabinets that you have been sanded. This step is particularly important if you want to repaint your cabinets with different color. Since there are some primer types available in the market, you had better find one that totally fits your need. The type of primer that you will use depends on the paint type. If you would like to use an oil-based paint, then it will be great to use an interior oil-based primer and use the shellac based primer if you want to use latex paint. Both primers carry strong odor; therefore, make sure that you cover your nose with the mask when applying it.

5. Now, this is the core of this project - painting the cabinets! To make this step generates great result; don't forget to use the quality paint brush. Apply thin layers when painting and you will find out that your cabinets will present the new look again.

Enjoy your DIY home improvement project and get the fresh atmosphere in your kitchen.

Monday, April 22, 2013


The following is a reprint from Reason.com As far as I'm concerned the Seventies were AWESOME - Omega Man, Soylent Green and the Ape movies were fantastic; so was Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, and I REALLY dug what the chicks were wearing; microminis and hotpants. -S.L.

13 Worst Predictions Made on Earth Day, 1970
by Ronald Bailey May. 1, 2000

Behold the coming apocalypse as predicted on and around Earth Day, 1970:

1. "Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind." — Harvard biologist George Wald

2. "We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation." — Washington University biologist Barry Commoner

3. "Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction." — New York Times editorial

4. "Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years." — Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich

5. "Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [By 1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s." — Paul Ehrlich

6. "It is already too late to avoid mass starvation," — Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day

7. "Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions…. By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine." — North Texas State University professor Peter Gunter

8. "In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half." — Life magazine

9. "At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it's only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable." — Ecologist Kenneth Watt

10. "Air pollution...is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone." — Paul Ehrlich

11. "By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate… that there won't be any more crude oil. You'll drive up to the pump and say, ‘Fill 'er up, buddy,' and he'll say, ‘I am very sorry, there isn't any.'" — Ecologist Kenneth Watt

12. "[One] theory assumes that the earth's cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes, and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun's heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born." — Newsweek magazine

13. "The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age." — Kenneth Watt

Quotes from "Earth Day, Then and Now," by Ronald Bailey, Reason.com. May 1, 2000.

I still have my dashiki . . .


Sunday, April 21, 2013


. . . until I get this server thingie sorted out - S.L.


Server down, Internet dead in the water here at Firebase TigerLily; had to use Super-Secret-Green-Beret-Unauthorized-Backchannel-Frequency to post today's Bird. Electronic communications will be limited until we work the gremlins out of the system.


Friday, April 19, 2013


After being carried through the streets of London in a flag-draped coffin aboard a gun carriage, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was laid to rest at St. Paul's Cathedral. But the story not told was of a 19-year-old Texan who stole the show from the deceased Iron Lady.

With a poise reminiscent of the elder Thatcher, Amanda Thatcher, Margaret's granddaughter, delivered a reading from Ephesians that has the British media agog. Amanda, who lives with her mother in Texas, chose my favorite passage that calls on believers to "put on the whole armour of God" - and the reading was a good one, delivered with remarkable grace by a young woman suddenly thrust into the international spotlight.

Who is Amanda Thatcher, and how did Maggie Thatcher's granddaughter end up in Texas of all places? Amanda is the daughter of Mark Thatcher and the Texas heiress Diane Burgdorf, who underwent an ugly, highly public divorce from Mark (Diane went so far as to detail her ex-husband's history of infidelity in a broadside published in a British paper). When Amanda's father became embroiled in an acrimonious business dispute, Diane agreed to move her family to South Africa. But after Mark was arrested in 2004 over his alleged involvement in a coup in Equatorial Guinea, the marriage finally dissolved. Amanda now lives in Texas with her mother, stepfather, and brother Michael. She is reportedly deeply religious, has carried out missionary work in China, and attends the University of Richmond in Virginia.

Voted "most likely to change the world" by her high school classmates, Amanda was a favorite of the Iron Lady. The former British prime minister reportedly kept a portrait of her two grandchildren on a mantle alongside a picture of Sir Denis, her beloved late husband. Maggie, the daughter of a fervent lay Methodist preacher, approved of Amanda's turn toward evangelical Christianity, and she cherished her relationship with her granddaughter during her ailing later years. As the Guardian notes in its excellent profile of the young Thatchers, Amanda's religiosity lined up nicely with Maggie's hard-nosed political and social conservatism.

Poised, eloquent, the descendant of conservative royalty, evangelical Christian, and Texas-bred; she certainly hit it out of the park:

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to standagainst the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstandin the evil day, and having doneall, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

- Ephesians 6:11-17 (King James Version)

We have something in common; this remarkably self-conscious young lady, and myself. This is possibly my favorite, most inspiring part of Scripture; going back forty-odd years to when I first heard that passage, as a youngster on the banks of the River Kwai, Thailand . . .



Watching the madness unfold this past week in Beantown . . . is heartwrenching.

I always loved this song - of course, from this day on it will always have more meaning.

There's a lot I could say about Monday's terrorist operation, but I am deliberately withholding comment. I don't reveal tactics, techniques and procedures, or tradecraft - I'm not even going to comment on the mistakes the bombers made, and they are significant. Sure, there's a boatload of information out there on the Internet about manufacturing or emplacing improvised explosive devices; that doesn't mean I'm going to make it easy for the bad guys by spilling my guts about what I know.

My mentor the Deacon of Doom and I both learned the demolitions trade from Sensei Ernie, at our alma mater US Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center & School. Deacon has more knowledge of explosives - improvised or otherwise - in his little finger than I have in my entire head, and I've forgotten more about explosives than most demo men will ever know in an entire lifetime. That information will stay in my head and it will go to the grave with me; I will not enable the terrorist enemy.

Needless to say, this situation renders mute the entire gun control debate as far as I'm concerned. If I lived in Boston right now I'd sure as Hell want an assault rifle with at least a double basic load of ammo - 420 rounds - loaded up into 30-round magazines.

Hopes & prayers at this time to the people of Boston, and to the brave law enforcement personnel who are dealing with a lot of unknowns in an extremely hazardous environment.


Thursday, April 18, 2013


Ernie Pyle
KIA - Ie Shima, Okinawa
18 April 1945

America Was On The Front Lines With Ernie Pyle

On April 18, 1945, war correspondent Ernie Pyle was shot and killed on an Ie Shima beach when a Japanese machine-gun crew opened up on his jeep. Pyle had gained fame in the 1930s as a national columnist, but it was his tales from the front lines that endeared him to Americans.

As The New York Times said when it reported his death: “His columns, done in foxholes, brought home all the hurt, horror, loneliness and homesickness that every soldier felt. They were the perfect supplement to the soldiers’ own letters.

“Though he wrote of his own feelings and his own emotions as he watched men wounded, and saw the wounded die, he was merely interpreting the scene for the soldier.

“He got people at home to understand that life at the front ‘works itself into an emotional tapestry of one dull dead pattern — yesterday is tomorrow and Troiano is Randozzo and, O God, I’m so tired.’

“He never made war look glamorous. He hated it and feared it.”

In September 1944, after more than two years writing from the front lines, a tired, worn-out, 44-year-old Pyle headed home, writing apologetically to his millions of readers, “I don’t think I could go on and keep sane . . . I have had all I can take for awhile.”

He returned to “That Girl,” as he called his wife, Geraldine, in the hundreds of columns he had written from around North America. After a few weeks lolling about his modest home in Albuquerque, N.M., his restlessness returned. He headed for the Pacific Theater to cover aspects of the war he had given short shrift in his preference to his favored infantrymen battling the Nazis in Europe.

Read the rest of it HERE

I have stood before this memorial several times and paid my respects to Ernie Pyle. We used Ie Shima island for airborne and maritime operations training. The place is idyllic; great beaches, great diving - S.L.

This is the most famous and most widely-rep​rinted column by Ernie Pyle: The Death of Captain Waskow



The media is going nuts over the Boston thing, even more so than usual. We all saw them lose their minds yesterday, repeating false information about an arrest that got started in some journo's imagination and took on a life of its own. I'm not going to add to the speculation, and I'm not going to share technical info of what I know about improvised & expedient explosives - I'm not going to add to any miscreant's body of knowledge. This is what I've got for now - S.L.

Some good info came across the wire in the email machine. The link included in the message is quite insightful:

A Warning to All Gun Bloggers and Forums – Boston Marathon Explosions

Please be aware that there are what we call "Bloomberg shills" lurking in the comments of gun blogs and forums at present. It has been going on since before the election, and we first noticed it as far back as our January 8th, 2012 article "2nd Amendment Voters Should Vote Ron Paul." At first it seemed like fun because they got a lively discussion going, and many of our articles have over 400 comments just because of a few anti-gun comments peppered in by a shill here and there. But as more and more of them have come in, we have begun to realize that it is better to delete them. The anti-gunners have a plan, and that plan is to make gun people look stupid, heartless, and separate from the values of mainstream America. A recent "whistleblower" post about the Boston Marathon explosions is especially troubling. If you are part of a gun blog or forum, please don't allow this post to spread, and beware that more attempts to make 2nd Amendment defenders look bad are coming.

Click HERE to Read More


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Top Ten Ways To Save Money Rehabbing A House

Rehabbing a house can be a very expensive task that can easily get out of hand and over budget. Today more and more people are looking for ways to save money remodeling their home. I'd like to share some of my insight and experience on ways to save money when doing a rehab property or flip piece of real estate.

Here is my list of the top 10 ways to save money Rehabbing / Remodeling a house.
1. Be Your Own General Contractor - Being your own general contractor could save you substantial money. However, I don't recommend this approach to many people. You really do need some knowledge of the house remodeling industry before you try to take on this large of a task. You must have good negotiation skills, a sense for the construction trades, and an eye for design. If you're successful at being your own general contractor you could save as much as 5% to 10% on your construction project.
2. Buying the right piece of investment property - can save you money when you begin your remodel project. The type of house you select can be one of the best ways to save money when you invest in real estate. Buying old or out of date construction types can cost you a lot of money because of the investment necessary to bring the property up to code. Choosing a simple rectangular house with simple roof lines and standard windows compared to a complicated geometric house can save you lots of money. Choose nice siding, paint and landscaping instead of an unusual house design.
3. Sweat Equity - There's no better way to save money than to role up your sleeves and put some sweat equity into the project. Home Improvement and DIY are so popular today that most home owners have tackled a project or two trying to save money. You can take those skills and apply them to your remodel construction project. Most contractors will agree to let you do certain phases of the project if you discuss them before construction begins and identify those items in the contract. If you have certain skills that you feel comfortable with then discuss them with your contractors so you can save some money. I'll discuss some of the more popular tasks below.
4. Job Site Clean Up - Helping keep the site clean is one of the simplest ways I know how to save money when remodeling a house. Having a clean and orderly job site makes everyone work a little more efficient and careful. Having the sense of an organized job site will ensure your project gets finished sooner with few problems and that means less money from you. Even slight delays in the project can mean substantial interest payments and temporary housing costs.
5. Salvage Materials - Using salvage materials will help you save money and it's the Green Thing to do. Today there are salvage yards that specialize in recycling building materials. Things such as doors, windows, cabinets, plumbing and electrical fixtures are all available at very discounted prices. You'll be saving money while helping out the environment so it's certainly an idea worth considering.
6. Reduced Price Products - Buying floor models, remnants and slightly damaged products is one area that I've seen many of our real estate rehabbed save big money. Many building material stores sell discounted projects at huge summer time yard sales. When you're looking for fixtures make sure to consider about floor models, discontinued models and even damaged products.
7. Painting - Most people that consider themselves DIY'ers have no problem painting. If you paint your remodeling project inside and out you can save $2,000 to $10,000 easily. Painting your rehab house is a project the whole family can help out with. I've seen people that have a painting party with family and friends and paint an entire house in one weekend.
8. Flooring - Flooring is another project that I've seen customers save a substantial amount of money on. Most types of tile and wood flooring a re easy to install with very little tools. Even if you can't install the flooring yourself check out sales for discounted materials. You can often find discontinued material and use it to tile the basement or laundry areas.
9. Landscaping - Doing the landscaping yourself can save thousands of dollars. It takes very little skill to do and can save you a ton of money. Bring along friend and family to help. It makes for a great group project. Chances are you'll save money and do a better job in the process. You can easily plant your own trees, shrubs flowers to save money.
10. Keep It Simple - I have seen too many investors and flippers over build a rehab project and finish it exactly the way that they would want it. The problem is that no two families have the same taste. I have often driven past these homes months later to find the paint a different color, the landscaped ripped out, or even worse, everything is dead. Build the project to meet the standards of the neighborhood and make sure that everything is clean, operational, and that the home is ready to move in. NOTHING MORE. Give them a clean slate to start their new life with in the rehab home you've remodeled. You waste a lot of money on things that the new buyer may not like. It is better for you to save that money and offer it to the buyer as an incentive for buying or to help them with closing costs. It will end up making the deal close faster.
Doing any one of these items the next time you build a new house can save you money. The most important advice I can give you is to be speak with your builder openly about these ideas. Tell your builder you'd like to save some money by doing certain tasks yourself. Most builders will be open to this arrangement so long is it's discussed ahead of time and properly addressed in the contract.


Today we pay our final respects to Baroness Margaret Thatcher. She was a transformative leader who saved her country, brought Britain back from the depths of economic ruin brought about by Socialist policies, embarked upon a war in the distant Falkland Islands, and was instrumental in fall of the Berlin Wall and the ultimate downfall of the Soviet Union. She was the greatest Prime Minister of Britain since Winston Churchill.

She will be missed - S.L.

How Margaret Thatcher Saved Britain and Changed the World

David Frum on the legacy of Britain's 'Iron Lady' - as originally published in the Daily Beast

"Me grandfather walked 50 miles in clogs to find a job in this here town, and you can't expect me to move somewhere else now!"

That semi-apocryphal quote aptly described the Britain of the 1970s. It was a country that had succumbed to paralysis and defeatism and nostalgia. A visitor to the country then absorbed individual data points of decay: cold and dark when strikes shut down the country; friends who waited weeks for a phone line to be installed; the decay of central cities; the weird behavior of an economy where every expenditure seemed determined by whether or not it could be deducted from an 83% maximum tax rate. ("You would drink wine at lunch too," a business friend of my father's explained, "if the government were paying for it.")

This is the country that Thatcher found and changed. "Get on yer bike," said her tough employment secretary, Norman Tebbit. It took a decade of tumult and strife, but in the end: they did.

The story goes that when was Thatcher asked what was her greatest accomplishment, she smilingly answered, "Tony Blair."

If true, the story's meaning is this: the great politicians leave a legacy that is accepted even by their opponents. Blair accepted Thatcher's changes to Britain's labor laws. He accepted the end of price controls. He accepted the privatization of industry. He accepted that government spending could not rise indefinitely. He accepted the role of the entrepreneur in the modern economy. "She won the arguments that mattered," observes her great biographer Charles Moore in an essay for Vanity Fair. This is what winning looks like: it comes when your opponents agree that you were right. (Or - more exactly - when your opponents die, and their children agree that you were right.)

The British economy lost 29.5 million workdays to strikes in 1979. In 1986, at the zenith of her strength, that figure was reduced to 1.9 million.

She was a pioneer for previously excluded minorities - and for women, no minority at all. Tom Doran reminds elsewhere on the site that Thatcher was one of the few Conservatives to vote for the decriminalization of homosexuality in 1966. She welcomed Jews into her cabinet, prompting the snide joke that she favored "Old Estonians over Old Etonians." She promoted talent regardless of background and opened the way to an entrepreneurial Britain where acumen mattered more than accent.

Thatcher was a woman of fierce principle. Yet - and here contemporary conservatives can take another lesson from her - she lived by facts, not theories. She was among the first world leaders to recognize the reality and threat of climate change. She appreciated the devotion of her country to its National Health Service and never challenged that deeply rooted British institution. She met and mastered the challenges of her time; she bequeaths to her successors the responsibility to do the same with the very different challenges of their time.

Honor to her memory.




2 charged in attempted home invasion, 2 others killed

Derek Hair (L) and Lamyer Campbell (R) are charged in connection with a home invasion that turned deadly

FAYETTEVILLE (WTVD) - Investigators say two men who attempted to invade a home early Friday ended up dead after a gun battle with the homeowner.

It happened in the 7500 block of Levi Road at approximately 3:37 a.m.

After the exchange of gunfire, both robbers left the home.

One of the men, 20-year-old Xavier White, was found wounded on Martha Court. He was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center where he later died.

Police said the body of 25-year-old Dominik Lavon Council was found along the shoulder of the road in the 5400 block of South Sumac Circle around 5:45 a.m.

Police said the homeowner was also hurt in the gunfire. That person was not identified.

Saturday, detectives identified two additional suspects.

They are 24-year-old Lamyer Gorminie Campbell and 24-year-old Derek Rashaun Hair.

Both Campbell and Hair have been charged with first degree burglary, robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit first degree burglary, and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon.

The suspects were last known to be in a dark colored 1999 Chevrolet Monte Carlo with a North Carolina license plate AMC-6212. Police said Hair and Campbell should be considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of Campbell or Hair are asked to call the Fayetteville Police Department at (910) 322-5346 or Crime Stoppers at (910) 483-TIPS (8477).

Actually, there is no indication the homeowner is military but having spent the better part of two decades in and around Fayetteville area there is at least a 50% chance he or she is Airborne "All The Way"