Friday, May 23, 2008

Man Without A Country

Ex-U.S. soldier ordered to leave Canada

Reader Warning - Geek Length:
Back when I was in high school, we read "The Man Without A Country".

This is a short story, written in 1917 (remember WWI?) by Edward Everett Hale.

You can read it here, and I recommend that you do so. It really is very short.

The story is of post-revolutionary war Phillip Nolan, who was peripherally mixed up with Aaron Burr and found himself charged with Treason against the United States of America.

During his trial ... well, let the story speak for itself:
... when the president of the court asked him at the close whether he wished to say anything to show that he had always been faithful to the United States, he cried out, in a fit of frenzy,

"Damn the United States! I wish I may never hear of the United States again!"

I suppose he did not know how the words shocked old Colonel Morgan, who was holding the court. Half the officers who sat in it had served through the Revolution, and their lives, not to say their necks, had been risked for the very idea which he so cavalierly cursed in his madness. He, on his part, had grown up in the West of those days, in the midst of "Spanish plot," "Orleans plot," and all the rest. He had been educated on a plantation where the finest company was a Spanish officer or a French merchant from Orleans. His education, such as it was, had been perfected in commercial expeditions to Vera Cruz, and I think he told me his father once hired an Englishman to be a private tutor for a winter on the plantation. He had spent half his youth with an older brother, hunting horses in Texas; and, in a word, to him "United States" was scarcely a reality. Yet he had been fed by "United States" for all the years since he had been in the army. He had sworn on his faith as a Christian to be true to "United States." It was "United States" which gave him the uniform he wore, and the sword by his side. Nay, my poor Nolan, it was only because "United States" had picked you out first as one of her own confidential men of honor that "A. Burr" cared for you a straw more than for the flat-boat men who sailed his ark for him. I do not excuse Nolan; I only explain to the reader why he damned his country, and wished he might never hear her name again.
Nolan was sentenced to be placed on a ship, to constantly be sailed from shore to shore but never to touch upon land, and never shall hear any word of "The United States of America", its condition or its news, until he died of old age.

And die he did: quietly, and under good care, after 50 years of tiresome sailing and increasing regret for his momentary outburst.

That story has been in my mind and memory for almost as long as Nolan's descent into Coventry.

Thus I may be forgiven for making this connection when I read the news article cited at the top of the page.

TORONTO - Corey Glass, a former U.S. National Guardsman who deserted to Canada in 2006 to avoid serving in Iraq, was told Wednesday that his application to stay in Canada has been rejected.

A spokesperson for Citizenship and Immigration Canada confirmed Glass has been ordered to leave the country.

At a Toronto news conference, Glass pleaded with the federal government to support his cause.

"In almost two years I've been here, I've been self-sufficient and I've got many friends and I've got a life here," he said. "I don't think it's fair that I should be returned to the United States to face unjust punishment for doing what I thought I was morally obligated to do."

I look at the face of this young man (this sniveling slacker, this coward, this poltroon), and I dwell upon the fate of Phillip Nolan, who through a different path but for not much more provocation denounced his country. And I wonder whether the 20th Century Corey Glass deserves any more consideration from his country than did Phillip Nolan.

Both voluntarily enlisted in the service of their Country, for private reasons. Both somehow decided, for private reasons, to abandon their vows. Both betrayed their country in their subsequent actions and were eventually required to suffer the consequences of their bad choices..

Glass, however, fled his native land and renounced it. By his own words he became self-sufficient, and made many friends and "a life" for himself. Not much suffering there ... until now.

His excuse: He was "... doing what I thought I was morally obligated to do."

What version of morality embraces breaking a vow to "... protect my country against all enemies, foreign or domestic"?

Does the Private Soldier now enjoy the luxury of choosing the enemies of his country? As I recall, the Nuremberg Trials (which are the favorite excuse de jour of deserters) applied to the breaking of the internationally recognized Law of War (codified and updated in "THE UNITED STATES ARMY FIELD MANUAL: The Law of Land Warfare, 1956.")

This describes the prohibited methods of conducting war; it does not, permit the soldier to choose which wars in which he may be engaged under moral, ethical or legal reasons.

Apparently, in the world-view of Corey Glass, your word is not your bond. At this late date, when his life is not one which is molly-coddled by a foreign nation, he finds it "not fair".

According to a May21, 2008 article at CNN.COM:

Glass, who's still on active duty and is considered absent without leave, applied for refugee status at the Canadian border in August 2006 on the grounds of objection to military service.

"All refugee claimants have a right to due process," said Danielle Norris, a spokeswoman for Customs and Immigrations Canada. "When they have exhausted all legal avenues, we expect them to respect our laws and leave the country."

Glass, of Fairmont, Indiana, says he joined the National Guard believing that he would be deployed only if the United States faced occupation. After he returned from his first tour of duty, he said, he tried to leave the Army but was told that desertion was punishable by death.

Penalties for desertion range from a demotion in rank to a maximum penalty of death, depending on the circumstances, said Maj. Nathan Banks, an Army spokesman.

[ED: Emphasis Added]

FoxNews (May 22, 2008) reveals details of Glass's military service:

Glass joined the U.S. National Guard in 2002 believing it was a "humanitarian organization." He said he was told he would never be deployed abroad to combat.

In 2005, he was sent to Iraq, where he spent five months in military intelligence. The job, he said, gave him broad insight into what was going on there.

"I realized innocent people were killed unjustly," said Glass, who is living in Toronto.

While on leave in the U.S., he decided to desert. After seven months in hiding, he fled to Canada because he knew it had become a destination for others in his situation, and had given refuge to tens of thousands of Vietnam War draft dodgers in the 1970s.

He joined the National Guard in 2002, and claims that he believed it was a "humanitarian organization". Apparently he never heard the expression "Join the Army, travel the world, see new places, blow them up and kill people" as a job description in an ARMY. This may be the first person in the history of warfare who ever believed that at an Army was a "humanitarian organization". At best, this is disingenuous.

After a three-year "free ride", he was sent to a combat zone. Iraq qualifies.
He was assigned to "Military Intelligence", which is to "Intelligence" as "Military Music" is to "Music". A reasonable interpretation is that he was 'in the rear', not being sent on daily combat patrols, and in the normal course of his duties was not subjected to being under fire from cranky men with automatic weapons who hid behind civilians.

He is said to have deserted relocated to Canada while on leave in August, 2006. The time-line is hazy here; he spent either 8 months or as much as 20 months (not a reasonable assessment) in a combat zone. Duration of his tour is not immediately available, but tours of duty in Iraq are typically from 12 months to 18 months, although the individual soldier is currently subject, on some occasions, to redeployment. Nobody has suggested that he was on a second tour of duty in the same combat zone, and home-leave from a combat zone is typically granted somewhere during the first 12 months of combat-zone duty. But we know that he spent "seven months in hiding".

Considering that he "...applied for refugee status at the Canadian border in August, 2006 ...", and also that he "spent several months in hiding (7, in Canada)", we can only guess that his actual duration in Iraq was less than 12 months. A minor detail, perhaps, but still significant in that it suggests that his time "in durance vile" was consistent with John Kerry's time in Vietnam ... from which he also ran like a rabbit at the first opportunity.

... he fled to Canada because he knew it had become a destination for others in his situation, and had given refuge to tens of thousands of Vietnam War draft dodgers in the 1970s.
What he knew was, in 1974 President Ford granted "partial amnesty" to VN-era deserters, requiring civil service (the "... program was widely regarded as a failure"), and in 1977 President Carter "... established two programs to assist war resisters. "

In January of 1977 he [Carter} declared an unconditional amnesty for draft resisters, both accused and those who could face possible prosecution. Later that year, he set up the two stage "pardon" process for military absentees.
He [Glass] knew that what he did ... fleeing his country rather than perform the duties to which he was pledged ... was extra-legal. He also knew that the precedent established by Vietnam-era deserters suggested that he could reasonably expect eventually to receive a Presidential Amnesty or Pardon.

At the time of his desertion, Glass most likely relied on established historical precedence to eventually result not only in de facto justification of his selfish choice, but vindication without punishment apart from a relatively short term as a mere "expatriate", after which he could resume a normal life. Add to this, the expectation that he would not only be accepted as a "moral person against The War", but an exemplary "War Resistor" ("Draft Evader"), rather than a "Deserter" ("Military Absentee") as defined by President Carter's terms of amnesty ... see above.

In the actual fact, even under the terms of Carter's 1977 amnesty, Glass would have been excoriated for his desertion. We can only believe that Glass believed that time, and recent Liberal rhetoric, will have blurred the differences which were clear even to the deluded Carter 30 years ago.

Present Circumstances:
Now that he must face the predictable consequences for his own actions, Glass not only reveals his moral and physical cowardice a second time, but whines that it is "not fair".

What's "not fair" about his unilaterally chosen sanctuary country deciding not to protect him from those who he has wronged?

Glass seems to have been infected by the Nanny-State attitude that the world owes him "a life", and he owes nothing in return.

I blame our overly permissive society, which breeds such craven and dishonorable attitudes. Glass has succumbed to the socialistic pseudo-promises of two nations, which were once great, and feels betrayed because they will neither countenance his betrayal.

In this Memorial Day Weekend, the time of each year which we most specially set aside a single day to honor our Fallen Heroes, I find myself unforgiving of such perfidy.


If I could speak to the Nation, the Government, the People of Canada, I would say this:

Keep him.

You took him in, when you knew what he was.

You offered him sanctuary. You protected him from his own people.

Now you want to give him back?

No. He rejected us, now we reject him.

We have no room for beings of no faith. We have no need for a being without honor.

We gave him everything, and he turned his back on us at the first sign that the piper must be payed.

We ignored the cowards who fled our country during the Vietnam war. Through a flaw in our electoral process, we elected a 'leader' who forgave those cowards, thus setting a precedence from which our current crop of cowards hope to profit.

It is time for those of us who remain, those of us who choose to honor our obligation, to assert our right of choice concerning who is, and who is not, an accepted citizen of The United States of America.

We choose not to admit the criminal, the neer-do-well, the opportunist.

Most importantly, we choose not to re-admit the sniveling slackers who deserted us.

You took him in, and you're welcome to him. He made his choice, and you made yours. The only punishment we wish to impose upon him is that he never inflict his immoral, detestable, despicable, dishonored, self-serving, cowardly person upon his native country again.

We do this for our children, so that they will never be presented with such an example from which they may be deceived into believing that they can abandon their country, and their country will not care.

Corey Glass's purpose in life may be to serve as a bad example, to be held up to contempt and ridicule, so that our children will know what an American does not look like. We leave him to his destiny, and hope that he suffers from his shame.

We don't care what you do with Corey Glass. Just ... don't try to send him back.

(Nota Bene: For more information on "Corey Glass", and various opinions on his pathetic attempts to evade the consequences of his poor choice, go here.)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Robert Palmer

I have never been to a Robert Palmer concert.

I've never owned an album of his music.

I think I'm missed something, because through the magic of You Tube I've learned to appreciate his sublime sense of humor.

Here are three reasons why I think I've really missed something:

Robert Palmer: "Addicted to Love" (I love the guitars) -

Robert Palmer:"I've got a Bad Case of Loving You" ... unfortunately, there's an "Embedding disabled by request" flag on this video.

I didn't request it, and there's nothing 'wrong' with the video, but you'll have to use the link. There's not even a "low-quality" version available for embedding.

Robert Palmer : "Simply Irresistible" -

You'll have to use the link on this one, for a high-quality copy ... same reason. But here's a low-quality embedded copy:

Kim Du Tuit, eat your heart out.

Tripp Research, INC. Hi-Speed Video

Tripp Research, INC. Hi-Speed Video

Hi-speed ("slow motion") videos from Tripp Research.

From Scott F.:
You can see the bolt bounce when the AR15 bolt cycles. This is why one needs a H1, H2, or H3 buffer in full auto fire in a M4.

In the last vid of the 1911 (closeup of the muzzle from the right side), you can see how much time there is from the when recoil starts until the bullet leaves the barrel, hence the need for follow through on the trigger and sights.

Pretty kewl stuff here, you may want to bookmark the page.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I lost my cell phone

Last year, I washed my cell phone.

I had been photographing and interviewing folks at the USPSA Area 1 Multigun match, in the deep heat of an Oregon First of July, wearing a t-shirt and short pants with cargo pockets. When I got home I just stood in front of the washing machine and stripped. Everything went into the basket. Set water temperature to 'medium', water level to "high", turn it on and it's only two steps to the fridge and a cold beer or two.

When I got around to moving the load from the washer to the drier, I discovered that I had left my cell phone in the cargo pocket of my shorts.

It took me 3 days to dry out the phone, recharge the battery and turn it on. It worked, but it never worked right after that.


Later that year, I lost my bifocals (eye glasses, for you who haven't yet enjoyed the experience of watching your vision degrade month by month until you cannot see the front sight in better than a vague blur.) There I was, just walking down the street in the rain, with my glasses in a case, in the slash pocket of my rain coat. I must not have zipped the pocket closed, because when I got home the glasses and case were gone. I went back downtown and searched the 'mean streets' to no avail. I never saw those glasses again, and it cost me a couple hundred bucks to replace them.


Have you got the idea that I lose, misplace, or lose track of valuable items with chaotic abandon and expensive regularity?

Good. Because, that's my life.

So when I couldn't find my cell phone this morning, the realization was accompanied with no small trepidation.

Not in the charger, not on my night-stand, not on the computer desk, not on the coffee table, not on the dining room table, not on the kitchen counter, not in the pocket of the trousers I wore yesterday, not on any bookshelf, not on the bathroom sink counter, not in my briefcase, not in the car. Not on my desk in the office.

It wasn't until I got to the office and used my desk phone to dial my cell phone number in (quickly dashed) hopes that I would hear it ringing, did I realize that I had thrown into the washer the trousers that I had worn the day before ... where I had carried the phone in my pocket.

I emailed SWMBO to make sure I hadn't left it at her place Sunday night (no joy), and accepted that I left it at home ... somewhere. Hopefully not in the washing machine, again.

When I got home at 7pm tonite, I hurried to the washing machine and pulled the soaking wet garments from the basket. Surprisingly, the pockets were empty.

An hour later, after searching the entire house again, I took a closer look at the living room couch.

In the crack between the cushions, there was the cell phone. Dry, in perfect condition, it had slipped out of my trouser pocket and worked halfway between the cushions.

This may seem an anti-climactic ending to the story to you, but it was the best possible resolution to me.

I had replaced my old "pre-soaked" cell phone with a new one only 10 days ago, at no small expense, and I wasn't looking forward to buying a new one quite this soon.

It's a happy ending to the story.

And, it's a prophetic lead-in to the REAL story, which is when I finally manage to destroy my new cell phone, some time in the next year, through irresponsible inattention.

I'm like that.

Watch this space.

Gold Bond Powder Video

Gold Bond Powder Video NSFW!

Friends, when you're out on the range runnin' & gunnin', when the sun's beating down and the gravel floor of each and every shooting bay holds and reflects the heat to your nether regions, causing your body to sweat and soak, does it all settle down to the center of your body and, as it dries, causing that nasty debilitating condition known as "Jock Itch", do you reach for your trusty yellow can of Gold bond Powder?

If so, you've joined the billions millions thousands dozens of active men who depend on Gold Bond Powder to keep them fresh and active.

When you're shooting a match and "Going For the Gold", you can't afford the debilitating effects of excessive heat and moisture in those precious "Nether Regions", and neither can I.

Yes, I use Gold Bond Powder, and it's safe to say that Gold Bond Powder has made me the man I am today!

Hmmm ... well, ignore that.

For most men, it's a soothing, gratifying relief which allows us to strive mightily, to do our best, and if it is in our power, to win!

In fact, the U.S. Military depends on Gold Bond Powder to overcome the forces of evil. See the video here. (Note: NSFW means "Not Safe For Work", which means ... well, if you're not at home, just bookmark the link and view it in the privacy of your own home.)

Gold Bond Powder.
Does what it says.

H/T: The Lawdog Files

Monday, May 19, 2008

Obama in Oregon

"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK," Obama said.

"Yes, We Can!"

Geek Aphorisms To Live By (Part I)


"It's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it."
-- anonymous

"Can't hurt; might help."
-- Jerry the Geek

"Always go to the line with more magazines than you need. They may laugh at you. If you can't finish a stage because you don't have enough magazines, they will laugh at you."
-- Jerry the Geek


"You crave, and appreciate, approval.
You don't want, and despise, criticism."
-- Dr. Dean Adel

"No man likes to be told he's high-smelling and low-life."
-- John Wayne, as "Rooster Cogburn" (Rooster Cogburn and The Lady)



"Steel is my friend!"
-- Jerry the Geek



"Strive for accuracy. Speed will follow."
-- Brian Enos (paraphrased)

"Don't concentrate: FOCUS!
-- Brian Enos

"Push yourself to do everything faster, quicker ... except the actual shooting."
-- Jerry the Geek

"Try to get good hits on the first target. It builds confidence. You can speed up later in the stage, when you realize that you can 'do this quicker'. "
-- Jerry the Geek

"Within reason, saving steps saves time."
-- Jerry the Geek

"Standing reloads: avoid them."
-- Jerry the Geek

"Nothing improves your accuracy as much as knowing that you have JUST enough ammunition left to finish the stage."
-- Jerry the Geek

"What have I learned? One - this is a BLAST! Two - I need to practice."
-- Yawn, upon having completed his first match

"If you can't BUY a hit on a steel target, move on to another target. You will reward yourself with hits, and buy confidence. When you come back to the 'difficult' target, you will find it not as difficult as you thought."
-- Jerry the Geek

Alternatives to this last suggestion:

"If at first you don't succeed, failure may be your style."
-- Quentin Crisp

"If a first you don't succeed, find out if the loser gets anything."
-- Bill Lyon

"If at first you don't succeed, before you try again, stop to figure out what you did wrong."
-- Leo Rostern

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try, and try again. Then give up. There's no use being a damned fool about it."
-- W.C. Fields

Sunday, May 18, 2008

HOAX: FW: Please read: Big Virus coming - Norton & Snopes say it's true

Typical EMAIL Message warning of a [bogus] threat:
Please read: Big Virus coming

Hi All, I checked with Norton Anti-Virus, and they are gearing up for this virus!
I checked Snopes (URL above:), and it is for real!!
Get this E-mail message sent around to your contacts ASAP.


You should be alert during the next few days.

Do not open any message with an attachment entitled 'POSTCARD,' regardless of who sent it to you. It is a virus which opens A POSTCARD IMAGE, which 'burns' the whole hard disc C of your computer.

This virus will be received from someone who has your e-mailaddress in his/her contact list. This is the reason why you need to send this e-mail to all your contacts It is better to receive this message 25 times than to receive the virus and open it.

If you receive a mail called' POSTCARD,' even though sent to you by a friend, do not open it! Shut down your computer immediately. This is the worst virus announced by CNN. It has been classified by Microsoft as the most destructive virus ever. This virus was discovered by McAfee yesterday, and there is no repair yet for this kind of virus. This virus simply destroys the Zero Sector of the Hard Disc, where the vital information is kept.


Snopes lists all the names it could come in.

We've all received email messages which look like this one, and we've all wondered whether it's the Truth, or whether it's just another Email Hoax.

Chances are;
  1. You can't go far wrong assuming it's another EMAIL Hoax;
  2. The situation described is "grounded in reality" in that it describes, but exaggerates, a 'real threat';
  3. You can protect yourself by installing, and maintaining, suitable anti-virus software.
  4. Proliferating the threat by forwarding the email doesn't serve to protect people from being infected by the virus; instead, it serves the same purpose as the virus (to swamp the in-box of recipients with groundless, fearful threats) without ever actually imposing the virus against which it purports to warn you.
The truth is, most EMAIL viral warning (hoaxes) do more harm than good.
  • They encourage the recipient(who has typically not really backtracked the authoritative references which are cited in the email) to assume the sender knows as much as he appears to confirm;
  • They waste your time trying to confirm the validity of the claims;
  • They serve only to make you dubious about all of your EMAIL.
This particular warning/hoax is not new ... it's based on a 2007 November, 2006, warning about a virus which is obnoxious, annoying, but will not result in the catastrophic consequences which are cited.

It is true that if you allow the cited virus to download, it will proliferate the virus ... which only serves to cause other internet users to allow the virus to send the same text message to other users.

By forwarding this warning, you perform the same disservice to your friends, even though you (and they) have not been infected by the virus.

If you are sufficiently concerned, you will follow the provided links to the Snopes article, and from there click on the link to the Macafee description of the virus.

Does that link warn you that the virus will ["... burn ..."] "... the whole hard disc C of your computer"?

Macafee warns the user ( in November, 2006):

Method of Infection -

The URL in the message points to a site hosting the a cocktail of browser and application exploits. On visiting the site, a silent drive-by install of malware is attempted on unpatched machines.

The virus is 'bad" because it proliferates itself by sending a message to everyone in your address book.

The email is "bad" because it encourages you to send a (bogus) message to everyone in your address book.

Essentially, if the original virus cannot "infect" your computer, the 'hoax' message has the same perturbing effect, except that they don't need to infect your computer as long as they can infect your mind.

There is no practical difference.
The virus sends null-value email to your friends, which upsets them.

The hoax email encourages you to send null-value email to your friends, with the same result ... except that the email which you send has a more 'human' context, which tends to make it more believable.

  • Never forward virus warnings before confirming their validity.
  • Confirm the validity of virus warnings by checking 'trusted sites'. Such sites would include Norton Antivirus and Macafee Threat Center.
  • If you do not already subscribe to a trusted Anti-Virus software, do so now. I personally subscribe to Norton Antivirus (from Symantec, which costs me less than $50/year). An alternative is Macafee Antivirus, based on a different price structure. ("You get what you pay for". YMMV.)
  • If you must forward a 'warning' email, be sure that you have already visited referenced sites and confirmed the validity of the claims made in the original email. In this specific instance, the recipient is told that "... I checked with Norton Anti-Virus, and they are gearing up for this virus! I checked Snopes (URL above:), and it is for real!!" In truth, neither Snopes or Norton (nor Macafee) have confirmed that "... This virus was discovered by McAfee yesterday, and there is no repair yet for this kind of virus. This virus simply destroys the Zero Sector of the Hard Disc, where the vital information is kept." Again, this particular virus was discovered and defined six months ago, and ALL reputable Anti-Virus services have updated their virus databases to protect their subscribers. If you are not now a subscriber, you should be.
  • If you are in doubt about the validity of the warning, send the warning email to a trusted friend who you believe to be knowledgeable, and ask him/her to confirm or deny the claims of the warning email.
  • Finally, if in doubt ... don't forward ANY email which claims to be alerting you 'as a friend'. This is true if you received it from someone who you trust, both technically and ethically; it is true even if you receive the warning from someone whom you trust. Email addresses are hi-jacked every day, the owner of that email address often does not control the ability of spammers to identify and steal their email address. This is why the email address of the owner of this blog provides his address as a graphic (at the end of the blog page) rather than in a clear "" kind of link.

If you receive this kind of email in the future, there is one a single priority which you must, above all other considerations, abide by:

Don't send it to me!

It's junk-mail of the worst possible kind, and I don't want to waste my time dealing with your misplaced priorities.

This sentence should be a wake-up call to you; if it's included, you know that the original sender is encouraging you to forward it to your friends without examining it critically:

This is the reason why you need to send this e-mail to all your contacts It is better to receive this message 25 times than to receive the virus and open it.

NO! NO NO NO! "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain." He is a liar.