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~ Memorial Day ~

Research indicates that less than 30% of folks in the United States of America know what Memorial Day celebrates. I think it would be appropriate if the “Actual Date” and the “Observed Day” were the same—as it used to be. It should truly be a day of reverence for those who made the ultimate sacrifice, and for those that wear the uniform of our Armed Forces. Bless them all…
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Sustainable Oil?
By Chris Bennett
©2004 WorldNetDaily.com

About 80 miles off of the coast of Louisiana lies a mostly submerged mountain, the top of which is known as Eugene Island. The portion underwater is an eerie-looking, sloping tower jutting up from the depths of the Gulf of Mexico, with deep fissures and perpendicular faults which spontaneously spew natural gas. A significant reservoir of crude oil was discovered nearby in the late '60s, and by 1970, a platform named Eugene 330 was busily producing about 15,000 barrels a day of high-quality crude oil.

By the late '80s, the platform's production had slipped to less than 4,000 barrels per day, and was considered pumped out. Done. Suddenly, in 1990, production soared back to 15,000 barrels a day, and the reserves which had been estimated at 60 million barrels in the '70s, were recalculated at 400 million barrels. Interestingly, the measured geological age of the new oil was quantifiably different than the oil pumped in the '70s.

Analysis of seismic recordings revealed the presence of a "deep fault" at the base of the Eugene Island reservoir which was gushing up a river of oil from some deeper and previously unknown source.

Similar results were seen at other Gulf of Mexico oil wells. Similar results were found in the Cook Inlet oil fields in Alaska. Similar results were found in oil fields in Uzbekistan. Similarly in the Middle East, where oil exploration and extraction have been underway for at least the last 20 years, known reserves have doubled. Currently there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 680 billion barrels of Middle East reserve oil.

Creating that much oil would take a big pile of dead dinosaurs and fermenting prehistoric plants. Could there be another source for crude oil?

An intriguing theory now permeating oil company research staffs suggests that crude oil may actually be a natural inorganic product, not a stepchild of unfathomable time and organic degradation. The theory suggests there may be huge, yet-to-be-discovered reserves of oil at depths that dwarf current world estimates.

The theory is simple: Crude oil forms as a natural inorganic process which occurs between the mantle and the crust, somewhere between 5 and 20 miles deep. The proposed mechanism is as follows:

Methane (CH4) is a common molecule found in quantity throughout our solar system - huge concentrations exist at great depth in the Earth.

At the mantle-crust interface, roughly 20,000 feet beneath the surface, rapidly rising streams of compressed methane-based gasses hit pockets of high temperature causing the condensation of heavier hydrocarbons. The product of this condensation is commonly known as crude oil.

Some compressed methane-based gasses migrate into pockets and reservoirs we extract as "natural gas."

In the geologically "cooler," more tectonically stable regions around the globe, the crude oil pools into reservoirs.

In the "hotter," more volcanic and tectonically active areas, the oil and natural gas continue to condense and eventually to oxidize, producing carbon dioxide and steam, which exits from active volcanoes.

Periodically, depending on variations of geology and Earth movement, oil seeps to the surface in quantity, creating the vast oil- sand deposits of Canada and Venezuela, or the continual seeps found beneath the Gulf of Mexico and Uzbekistan.

Periodically, depending on variations of geology, the vast, deep pools of oil break free and replenish existing known reserves of oil.

There are a number of observations across the oil-producing regions of the globe that support this theory, and the list of proponents begins with Mendelev (who created the periodic table of elements) and includes Dr.Thomas Gold (founding director of Cornell University Center for Radiophysics and Space Research) and Dr. J.F. Kenney of Gas Resources Corporations, Houston, Texas.

In his 1999 book, "The Deep Hot Biosphere," Dr. Gold presents compelling evidence for inorganic oil formation. He notes that geologic structures where oil is found all correspond to "deep earth" formations, not the haphazard depositions we find with sedimentary rock, associated fossils or even current surface life.

He also notes that oil extracted from varying depths from the same oil field have the same chemistry - oil chemistry does not vary as fossils vary with increasing depth. Also interesting is the fact that oil is found in huge quantities among geographic formations where assays of prehistoric life are not sufficient to produce the existing reservoirs of oil. Where then did it come from?

Another interesting fact is that every oil field throughout the world has outgassing helium. Helium is so often present in oil fields that helium detectors are used as oil-prospecting tools. Helium is an inert gas known to be a fundamental product of the radiological decay or uranium and thorium, identified in quantity at great depths below the surface of the earth, 200 and more miles below. It is not found in meaningful quantities in areas that are not producing methane, oil or natural gas. It is not a member of the dozen or so common elements associated with life. It is found throughout the solar system as a thoroughly inorganic product.

Even more intriguing is evidence that several oil reservoirs around the globe are refilling themselves, such as the Eugene Island reservoir - not from the sides, as would be expected from cocurrent organic reservoirs, but from the bottom up.

Dr. Gold strongly believes that oil is a "renewable, primordial soup continually manufactured by the Earth under ultrahot conditions and tremendous pressures. As this substance migrates toward the surface, it is attached by bacteria, making it appear to have an organic origin dating back to the dinosaurs."

Smaller oil companies and innovative teams are using this theory to justify deep oil drilling in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico, among other locations, with some success. Dr. Kenney is on record predicting that parts of Siberia contain a deep reservoir of oil equal to or exceeding that already discovered in the Middle East.

Could this be true?

In August 2002, in the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (US)," Dr. Kenney published a paper, which had a partial title of "The genesis of hydrocarbons and the origin of petroleum." Dr. Kenney and three Russian coauthors conclude:

The Hydrogen-Carbon system does not spontaneously evolve hydrocarbons at pressures less than 30 Kbar, even in the most favorable environment. The H-C system evolves hydrocarbons under pressures found in the mantle of the Earth and at temperatures consistent with that environment.

He was quoted as stating that "competent physicists, chemists, chemical engineers and men knowledgeable of thermodynamics have known that natural petroleum does not evolve from biological materials since the last quarter of the 19th century."

Deeply entrenched in our culture is the belief that at some point in the relatively near future we will see the last working pump on the last functioning oil well screech and rattle, and that will be that. The end of the Age of Oil. And unless we find another source of cheap energy, the world will rapidly become a much darker and dangerous place.

If Dr. Gold and Dr. Kenney are correct, this "the end of the world as we know it" scenario simply won't happen. Think about it ... while not inexhaustible, deep Earth reserves of inorganic crude oil and commercially feasible extraction would provide the world with generations of low-cost fuel. Dr. Gold has been quoted saying that current worldwide reserves of crude oil could be off by a factor of over 100.

A Hedberg Conference, sponsored by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, was scheduled to discuss and publicly debate this issue. Papers were solicited from interested academics and professionals. The conference was scheduled to begin June 9, 2003, but was canceled at the last minute. A new date has yet to be set.

Chris Bennett manages an environmental engineering division for a West Coast technology firm. He and his wife of 26 years make their home on the San Francisco Bay.

© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com, Inc.
the article

ed. note: This was sent to me by Johnny Greeff. I replied to him that this makes a lot of sense to me ‘cause I never bought in to the dinosaur thing - I mean we’re talking about a lot of dinosaurs ~

Love Those Round Engines

Nothing like an R-2800!!!

We got to get rid of turbine engines as they are ruining aviation as we know it and as it was meant to be.

We got to get back to big round engines Anybody can start a turbine, you just need to move a switch from "OFF" to "START" and then remember to move it back to "ON" after a while.

My:PC is harder to start. Cranking a round engine requires skill, finesse and style. On some planes, the pilots are not even allowed to do it. Turbines start whining for a while, then give a small ladylike poot and start whining louder.

Round engines give a satisfying rattle-rattle, click-click BANG, more rattles, another BANG, a big macho fart or two, more clicks, a lot of smoke and finally a serious low pitched roar. We like that. It's a guy thing!

When you start a round engine, your mind is engaged and you can concentrate on the flight ahead. Starting a turbine is like starting a ceiling fan. Useful, but hardly exciting.

Turbines don't break often enough, leading to aircrew boredom, complacency and inattention. A round engine at speed looks and sounds like it's going to blow apart at any minute. This helps concentrate the mind.

Turbines don't have enough control levers to keep a pilots attention. There is nothing to fiddle with during the flight. Turbines smell like a Boy Scout camp full of Coleman lanterns. Round engines smell like God intended flying machines to smell.

It takes a real mechanic with cut up hands, oily clothes and a tool box full of tools to work on a round engine. Turbine mechanics only have a screwdriver and a pair of pliers and the dirtest job they have every done is wipe down the cowling. Round engine oil comes out of a 55 gallon barrel not a quart can. Most of the work on a round engine is done between flights, with a turbine it is when the engine is in the overhaul shop. Turbine mechanics never get the satisfaction of changing a bottom cylinder on a snow covered ramp in nowhere Illinois when it is -10F and the wind is blowing 20 mph on an airplane that is your ride home. The hardest part of a turbine mechanics day is making coffee and restacking the magazines in the break room. The easiest part of a round engine mechanics day is drinking coffee and finding the magazine he was reading that some clean freak put in a stack.

The scariest thought of all in modern aviaition is that there are airline pilots flying thousands of people every year all over the United States who have never started a round engine. Given this situation how can the FAA and the flying public be certain of the airmanship skills of these girlyboy pilots.

contributed by Johnny Greeff: "Someone sent me this writeup on round engines, thought that I would pass it along. I know you're old enough to appreciate it."

I believe I'm merely an open minded and critical thinking citizen of this country), we do need to institute racial/cultural profiling in some instances.  AT airports, absolutely!!  We're wasting billions of dollars and millions of persons time by these basically ineffective inspections before flying (searching 3 yr olds and 80 year olds using walkers and arresting properly credentialed airline Captains for having 5 lb. barbells in their suitcases, ad nauseum).  Profile there, you bet!  Not PC? True, but much less dangerous than other provisions of the ridiculously named "Patriot Act".  I am a patriotic citizen of the best country that has ever been; but I hate the things that are being done to us these days under the guise of "Homeland Security".... does that smack of George Orwell?  Also, profile at immigration and customs stations.  Look to the sector that has done the damage and that boasts to everybody in the world that it will continue to do damage to the USA.... then winnow out the nutcases.


Please pause a moment, reflect back, and take the following Multiple Choice test ... no need to keep score. The events are actual cuts from past history. Do you remember?

1. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by:
a. Olga Corbitt
b. Sitting Bull
c. Arnold Schwarzenegger
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

2. In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by:
a. Lost Norwegians
b. Elvis
c. A tour bus full of 80-year-old women
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

3. During the 1980s a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by:
a. John Dillinger
b. The King of Sweden
c. The Boy Scouts
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

4. In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:
a. A pizza delivery boy
b. Pee Wee Herman
c. Geraldo Rivera
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

5. In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70 year-old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by:
a. The Smurfs
b. Davy Jones
c. The Little Mermaid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

6. In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a US Navy diver trying to rescue passengers was murdered by:
a. Captain Kidd
b. Charles Lindberg
c. Mother Teresa
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

7. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:
a. Scooby Doo
b. The Tooth Fairy
c. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

8. In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:
a. Richard Simmons
b. Grandma Moses
c. Michael Jordan
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

9. In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:
a. Mr. Rogers
b. Hillary Clinton, to distract attention from Wild Bill's women problems
c. The World Wrestling Federation
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

10. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles to take out the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into the US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers.  Thousands of people were killed by:
a. Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd
b. The Supreme Court of Florida
c. Mr. Bean
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

11. In 2002 the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against:
a. Enron
b. The Lutheran Church
c. The NFL
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

12. In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by:
a. Bonnie and Clyde
b. Captain Kangaroo
c. Billy Graham
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

13. In 2004 Nick Berg was murdered by beheading by:
a. Sponge Bob Square Pants
b. Harry Potter
c. Shreck
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

I really don't see a pattern here to justify profiling, do you? So, to ensure we Americans never offend anyone, particularly fanatics intent on killing us, airport security screeners will no longer be allowed to profile certain people. They must conduct random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, secret agents who are members of the President's security detail, 85-year old Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal of Honor winners, and former Governors, but leave Muslim Males between the ages of 17 & 40 alone because of profiling. Let's send this to as many people as we can so that the Gloria Aldreds and other dunder-headed attorneys along with Federal Justices that want to thwart common sense, feel doubly ashamed of themselves if they have any such sense. As the writer of the award winning story "Forrest Gump" so aptly put it,


"I like big cars, big boats, big motorcycles, big houses and big campfires. I believe the money I make belongs to me and my family, not some governmental stooge with a bad comb-over who wants to give it away to crack addicts for squirting out babies.

Guns do not make you a killer. I think killing makes you a killer. You can kill someone with a baseball bat or a car, but no one is trying to ban you from driving to the ball game.

I believe they are called the Boy Scouts for a reason, that is why there are no girls allowed. Girls belong in the Girl Scouts!

I think that if you feel homosexuality is wrong, it is not a phobia, it is an opinion.

I don't think being a minority makes you a victim of anything except numbers.

The only things I can think of that are truly discriminatory are things like the United Negro College Fund, Jet Magazine, Black Entertainment Television, and Miss Black America.

Try to have things like the United Caucasian College Fund, Cloud Magazine, White Entertainment Television, or Miss White America; and see what happens. Jesse Jackson will be knocking down your door.

I have the right "NOT" to be tolerant of others because they are different, weird, or tick me off. When 70% of the people who get arrested are black, in cities where 70% of the population is black, that is not racial profiling, it is the Law of Probability.

I believe that if you are selling me a milk shake, a pack of cigarettes, a newspaper or a hotel room, you must do it in English! As a matter of fact, if you want to be an American citizen, you should have to speak English!

My father and grandfather didn't die in vain so you can leave the countries you were born in to come over and disrespect ours.

I think the police should have every right to shoot your sorry self if you threaten them after they tell you to stop. If you can't understand the word "freeze" or "stop" in English, see the above lines.

I don't think just because you were not born in this country, you are qualified for any special loan programs, government sponsored bank loans or tax breaks, etc., so you can open a hotel, coffee shop, trinket store, or any other business.

We did not go to the aid of certain foreign countries and risk our lives in wars to defend their freedoms, so that decades later they could come over here and tell us our constitution is a living document; and open to their interpretations.

I believe a self-righteous liberal or conservative with a cause is more dangerous than a Hell's Angel with an attitude.

I think Bill Gates has every right to keep every penny he made and continue to make more. If it ticks you off, go and invent the next operating system that's better, and put your name on the building. Ask your buddy who invented the Internet to help you.

"I think tattoos and piercing are fine if you want them, but please don't pretend they are a political statement. And, please, stay home until that new lip ring heals. I don't want to look at your ugly infected mouth as you serve me french fries!
I am sick of "Political Correctness." I know a lot of black people, and not a single one of them was born in Africa; so how can they be "African-Americans"?

Besides, Africa is a continent. I don't go around saying I am a Irish-American because my great grandfather was from Ireland.

I am proud to be from America and nowhere else. And if you don't like my point of view, tough. While life may not be the party we hoped for, while we're here we might as well dance.”

10 July 2005 - Sunday ~

Reference the article below, I was disturbed by the apparent lack of knowledge pertaining to history and current political events that young people possess. I began to run my own little survey of those a few generations behind me. Now I am really disturbed. I asked some of the same questions that Sean was asking. The responses were dismal. When I asked why they knew so little about their country’s history or political facts, I received the same responses that Sean got. “I’m not interested in _______.” Fill in the blank.

One youngster that I know, who is fourteen, told me he wanted to be a video game designer. I ventured that he might find it useful to study history, in that it might give him some ideas for scenarios in video games.

We have several problems in this country, and one of them is the lack of the “three R’s” in the education of our youngsters. It is going to hurt us.

28 May 2005 - Saturday Eve ~

I was listening to Sean Hannity while raking hay Friday. He did his version of Leno’s Jay Walking – “Man On The Street.” He had a young lady on the phone by the name of Flipper, and she worked at the ESPN something-or-other, a sports bar in New York City. Flipper’s job was to get people in the bar on the phone so Sean could ask them a few questions about Memorial Day. Of the ten or so that she brought to the phone – most were young – under 30. Admittedly, a few had had one too many. Nevertheless, here are some of the questions that he asked each:

1) What holiday are we celebrating this weekend?
2) Why do we celebrate Memorial Day?
3) Who fought in the Civil War?
4) Who did we fight in WW II?
5) What is the Vice Presidents name?
6) Who is Condaleeza Rice?

Most were able to answer #1.

Less than half of those questioned were able to answer #2.

About 75% were able to answer #3, or at least come close to it. Some of the answers – other than North and South -
“We fought ourselves” (not bad)
“uh – the English – no, the French, uh – I can’t remember.”

To #4 one fellow answered Korea and Vietnam.

To #5 only two or three people knew.

To #6 three had heard of her, but only two knew that she is the Secretary of State.

One young lady, who was not able to answer any of the questions—and had only one drink (or so she said)—explained that she didn’t know the answers was because she “had no interest in politics.”

Only two people, one from each gender, were able to answer all of the questions correctly.

01 January 2005 - Sunday ~

The lady who wrote this letter is Pam Foster of Pamela Foster and Associates in Atlanta. She's been in business since 1980 doing interior design and home planning. She recently wrote the following letter to a family member serving in Iraq... Check it out!


"Are we fighting a war on terror or aren't we? Was it or was it not started by Islamic people who brought it to our shores on September 11, 2001?

Were people from all over the world, mostly Americans, not brutally murdered that day, in downtown Manhattan, across the Potomac from our nation's capitol and in a field in Pennsylvania? Did nearly three thousand men, women and children die a horrible, burning or crushing death that day, or didn't they?

And I'm supposed to care that a copy of the Koran was "desecrated" when an overworked American soldier kicked it or got it wet? Well, I don’t. I don't care at all.

I'll start caring when Osama bin Laden turns himself in and repents for incinerating all those innocent people on 9/11.

I'll care about the Koran when the fanatics in the Middle East start caring about the Holy Bible, the mere possession of which is a crime in Saudi Arabia.

I'll care when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi tells the world he is sorry for hacking off Nick Berg's head while Berg screamed through his gurgling, slashed throat.

I'll care when the cowardly so-called "insurgents" in Iraq come out and fight like men instead of disrespecting their own religion by hiding in mosques.

I'll care when the mindless zealots who blow themselves up in search of nirvana care about the innocent children within range of their suicide bombs.

I'll care when the American media stops pretending that their First Amendment liberties are somehow derived from international law instead of the United States Constitution's Bill of Rights.

In the meantime, when I hear a story about a brave marine roughing up an Iraqi terrorist to obtain information, know this: I don' care.

When I see a fuzzy photo of a pile of naked Iraqi prisoners who have been humiliated in what amounts to a college-hazing incident, rest assured that I don't care.

When I see a wounded terrorist get shot in the head when he is told not to move because he might be booby-trapped, you can take it to the bank that I don’t care.

When I hear that a prisoner, who was issued a Koran and a prayer mat, and fed "special" food that is paid for by my tax dollars, is complaining that his holy book is being "mishandled," you can absolutely believe in your heart of hearts that I don't care.

And oh, by the way, I've noticed that sometimes it's spelled "Koran" and other times "Quran." Well, Jimmy Crack Corn and ---- you got it, I DON'T CARE!

If you agree with this viewpoint, pass this on to all your e-mail friends. Sooner or later, it'll get to the people responsible for this ridiculous behavior! If you don't agree, then by all means hit the delete button. Should you choose the latter, then please don't complain when more atrocities committed by radical Muslims happen here in our great country.

(contributed by the Malone’s)

13 December 2006 - Wednesday Morn ~

This letter was forwarded to me; the comments are from a Marine officer - Jordan.
From: Major (removed by editor), USMC
Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 8:43 AM
Subject: From Iraq

No politics here, just a Marine with a bird's eye view opinion:

1) The M-16 rifle : Thumbs down. Chronic jamming problems with the talcum powder like sand over there. The sand is everywhere. Jordan says you feel filthy 2 minutes after coming out of the shower. The M-4 carbine version is more popular because it's lighter and shorter, but it has jamming problems also. They like the ability to mount the various optical gunsights and weapons lights on the picattiny rails, but the weapon itself is not great in a desert environment. They all hate the 5.56mm (.223) round. Poor penetration on the cinderblock structure common over there and even torso hits can't be reliably counted on to put the enemy down. Fun fact: Random autopsies on dead insurgents show a high level of opiate use.

2) The M243 SAW (squad assault weapon): 223 cal. Drum fed light machine gun. Big thumbs down. Universally considered a piece of crap. Chronic jamming problems, most of which require partial disassembly (that's fun in the middle of a firefight).

3) The M9 Beretta 9mm: Mixed bag. Good gun, performs well in desert environment; but they all hate the 9mm cartridge. The use of handguns for self-defense is actually fairly common. Same old story on the 9mm — bad guys hit multiple times and still in the fight.

4) Mossberg 12ga. Military shotgun: Works well, used frequently for clearing houses to good effect.

5) The M240 Machine Gun: 7.62 NATO (.308) cal. belt fed machine gun, developed to replace the old M-60 (what a beautiful weapon that was!!). Thumbs up. Accurate, reliable, and the 7.62 round puts 'em down. Originally developed as a vehicle mounted weapon, more and more are being dismounted and taken into the field by infantry. The 7.62 round chews up the structure over there.

6) The M2 .50 cal heavy machine gun: T humbs way, way up. "Ma deuce" is still worth her considerable weight in gold. The ultimate fight stopper, puts their ***** in the dirt every time. The most coveted weapon in-theater.

7) The .45 pistol: Thumbs up. Still the best pistol round out there. Everybody authorized to carry a sidearm is trying to get their hands on one. With few exceptions, can reliably be expected to put 'em down with a torso hit. The special ops guys (who are doing most of the pistol work) use the HK military model and supposedly love it. The old government model .45's (1911A1) are being re-issued en masse.

8) The M-14: Thumbs up. They are being re-issued in bulk, mostly in a modified version to special ops guys. Modifications include lightweight Kevlar stocks and low power red dot or ACOG sights. Very reliable in the sandy environment, and they love the 7.62 round.

9) The Barrett .50 cal sniper rifle: Thumbs way up. Spectacular range and accuracy and hits like a freight train. Used frequently to take out vehicle suicide bombers ( we actually stop a lot of them) and barricaded enemy. Definitely here to stay.

10) The M24 sniper rifle: Thumbs up. Mostly in .308 but some in 300 win Mag. Heavily modified Remington 700's. Great performance. Snipers have been used heavily to great effect. Rumor has it that a marine sniper on his third tour in Anbar province has actually exceeded Carlos Hathcock's record for confirmed kills with OVER 100.

11) The new body armor: Thumbs up. Relatively light at approx. 6 lbs. and can reliably be expected to soak up small shrapnel and even will stop an AK-47 round. The bad news: Hot as crap to wear, almost unbearable in the summer heat (which averages over 120 degrees). Also, the enemy now goes for head shots whenever possible. All the bull crap about the "old" body armor making our guys vulnerable to the IED's was a non-starter. The IED explosions are enormous and body armor doesn't make any difference at all in most cases.

12) Night Vision and Infrared Equipment: Thumbs way up. Spectacular performance. Our guys see in the dark and own the night, period. Very little enemy action after evening prayers. More and more enemy being whacked at night during movement by our hunter-killer teams. We've all seen the videos.

13) Lights: Thumbs up. Most of the weapon mounted and personal lights are Surefire's, and the troops love 'em. Invaluable for night urban operations.

Jordan carried a $34 Surefire G2 on a neck lanyard and loved it. I cant help but notice that most of the good fighting weapons and ordnance are 50 or more years old!!!!!!!!! With all our technology, it’s the WWII and Vietnam era weapons that everybody wants!!!! The infantry fighting is frequent, up close and brutal. No quarter is given or shown.

*Bad guy weapons: *

1) Mostly AK47's. The entire country is an arsenal. Works better in the desert than the M16 and the .308 Russian round kills reliably. PKM belt fed light machine guns are also common and effective. Luckily, the enemy mostly shoots like crap. Undisciplined "spray and pray" type fire. However, they are seeing more and more precision weapons, especially sniper rifles. (Iran, again) Fun fact: Captured enemy have apparently marveled at the marksmanship of our guys and how hard they fight. They are apparently told in Jihad school that the Americans rely solely on technology, and can be easily beaten in close quarters combat for their lack of toughness. Let's just say they know better now.

2) The RPG: Probably the infantry weapon most feared by our guys. Simple, reliable and as common as dog crap. The enemy responded to our up-armored humvees by aiming at the windshields, often at point blank range. Still killing a lot of our guys.

3) The IED: The biggest killer of all. Can be anything from old Soviet anti-armor mines to jury rigged artillery shells. A lot found in Jordan's area were in abandoned cars. The enemy would take 2 or 3 155mm artillery shells and wire them together. Most were detonated by cell phone, and the explosions are enormous. You're not safe in any vehicle, even an M1 tank. Driving is by far the most dangerous thing our guys do over there. Lately, they are much more sophisticated "shape charges" (Iranian) specifically designed to penetrate armor. Fact: Most of the ready made IED's are supplied by Iran, who is also providing terrorists (Hezbollah types) to train the insurgents in their use and tactics. That's why the attacks have been so deadly lately. Their concealment methods are ingenious, the latest being shape charges in Styrofoam containers spray painted to look like the cinderblocks that litter all Iraqi roads. We find about 40% before they detonate, and the bomb disposal guys are unsung heroes of this war.

4) Mortars and rockets: Very prevalent. The Soviet era 122mm rockets (with an 18km range) are becoming more prevalent. One of Jordan's NCO's lost a leg to one. These weapons cause a lot of damage "inside the wire". Jordan's base was hit almost daily his entire time there by mortar and rocket fire, often at night to disrupt sleep patterns and cause fatigue (It did). More of a psychological weapon than anything else. The enemy mortar teams would jump out of vehicles, fire a few rounds, and then haul butt in a matter of seconds.

5) Bad guy technology: Simple yet effective. Most communication is by cell and satellite phones, and also by email on laptops. They use handheld GPS units for navigation and "GoogleEarth" for overhead views of our positions. Their weapons are good, if not fancy, and prevalent. Their explosives and bomb technology is TOP OF THE LINE. Night vision is rare. They are very careless with their equipment and the captured GPS units and laptops are treasure troves of Intel when captured.

Who are the bad guys (remember that is what the Captain called them!)?:

Most of the carnage is caused by the Zarqawi Al Qaeda group. They operate mostly in Anbar province (Fallujah and Ramadi). These are mostly "foreigners", non-Iraqi Sunni Arab Jihadists from all over the Muslim world (and Europe). Most enter Iraq through Syria (with, of course, the knowledge and complicity of the Syrian govt.), and then travel down the "rat line" which is the trail of towns along the Euphrates River that we've been hitting hard for the last few months. Some are virtually untrained young Jihadists that often end up as suicide bombers or in "sacrifice squads". Most, however, are hard core terrorists from all the usual suspects (Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas etc.). These are the guys running around murdering civilians en masse and cutting heads off. The Chechens (many of whom are Caucasian), are supposedly the most ruthless and the best fighters (they have been fighting the Russians for years). In the Baghdad area and south, most of the insurgents are Iranian inspired (and led)Iraqi Shiites. The Iranian Shiia have been very adept at infiltrating the Iraqi local govt.'s, the police forces and the Army. They have had a massive spy and agitator network there since the Iran-Iraq war in the early 80's. Most of the Saddam loyalists were killed, captured or gave up long ago.

*Bad Guy Tactics:*

When they are engaged on an infantry level they get their asses kicked every time. Brave, but stupid. Suicidal Banzai-type charges were very common earlier in the war and still occur. They will literally sacrifice 8-10 man teams in suicide squads by sending them screaming and firing AK's and RPG's directly at our bases just to probe the defenses. They get mowed down like grass every time (see the M2 and M240 above). Jordan's base was hit like this often. When engaged, they have a tendency to flee to the same building, probably for what they think will be a glorious last stand. Instead, we call in air and that's the end of that more often than not. These hole-ups are referred to as Alpha Whiskey Romeo's (Allah's Waiting Room). We have the laser guided ground-air thing down to a science. The fast mover's, mostly Marine F-18's, are taking an ever increasing toll on the enemy. When caught out in the open, the helicopter gunships and AC-130 Spectre gunships cut them to ribbons with cannon and rocket fire, especially at night. Interestingly, artillery is hardly used at all. Fun fact: The enemy death toll is supposedly between 45-50 thousand. That is why we're seeing less and less infantry attacks and more IED, suicide bomber crap. The new strategy is simple: attrition.

The insurgent tactic most frustrating is their use of civilian non-combatants as cover. They know we do all we can to avoid civilian casualties and therefore schools, hospitals and (especially) Mosques are locations where they meet, stage for attacks, cache weapons and ammo and flee to when engaged. They have absolutely no regard whatsoever for civilian casualties. They will terrorize locals and murder without hesitation anyone believed to be sympathetic to the Americans or the new Iraqi govt. Kidnapping of family members (especially children) is common to influence people they are trying to influence but can’t reach, such as local govt. officials, clerics, tribal leaders, etc.). The first thing our guys are told is "don't get captured". They know that if captured they will be tortured and beheaded on the internet. Zarqawi openly offered bounties for anyone who brought him a live American serviceman. This motivates the criminal element who otherwise don't give a crap about the war. A lot of the beheading victims were actually kidnapped by common criminals and sold to Zarqawi. As such, for our guys, every fight is to the death. Surrender is not an option.

The Iraqi's are a mixed bag. Some fight well, others aren't worth a crap. Most do okay with American support. Finding leaders is hard, but they are getting better. It is widely viewed that Zarqawi's use of suicide bombers, en masse, against the civilian population was a serious tactical mistake. Many Iraqi's were galvanized and the caliber of recruits in the Army and the police forces went up, along with their motivation. It also led to an exponential increase in good intel because the Iraqi's are sick of the insurgent attacks against civilians. The Kurds are solidly pro-American and fearless fighters.

According to Jordan, morale among our guys is very high. They not only believe they are winning, but that they are winning decisively. They are stunned and dismayed by what they see in the American press, whom they almost universally view as against them. The embedded reporters are despised and distrusted. They are inflicting casualties at a rate of 20-1 and then see crap like "Are we losing in Iraq" on TV and the print media. For the most part, they are satisfied with their equipment, food and leadership. Bottom line though, and they all say this, there are not enough guys there to drive the final stake through the heart of the insurgency, primarily because there aren't enough troops in-theater to shut down the borders with Iran and Syria. The Iranians and the Syrians just can't stand the thought of Iraq being an American ally (with, of course, permanent US bases there).


Johnny Carson

If Saint Pete has a sense of humor, He'll shout -
"Heeeeeeerrr's Johnny!"


Scorpions ~ Monday 05 September 2004

Last night, around midnight, Rascal started barking just outside my back door, a steady bark, a bark about every 5 seconds or so. After a couple of minutes I decided to go see what was bothering him, probably a snake or some such. When I opened the back door, he was facing the trash barrel and looked up at me as if to signify that he had something. I looked and saw nothing. He again went toward the barrel and made a woof. I moved the barrel back and Rascal stepped forward and nosed around and then I detected a scorpion. Being in my stocking feet with no gloves handy, I gave it a swat with the fly swatter. That’s one good thing about scorpions in this area, they die really easily. What was bothersome to me about this one was it’s appearance. It was 3” long, with it’s claws retracted, and the tail was two to two and half times longer than the body. It was the first time I had seen one of this type since I moved here ten years ago.





The long slender scorpion is the one Rascal cornered. I don't know if he was upset with it because it stung him, or he just doesn't like scorpions. I have never seen this type scorpion in this area. The smaller one, that Clemente and son James captured in their bedroom, is typical of the type we have around here. The long-tailed one is 3” long with claws retracted; the little one about an inch and three-quarters.


Now I know some of you out there are asking, “Why the hell is he getting so excited about a couple of little bugs?” Here’s why. The long-tailed scorpion has a bad disposition and is quite venomous. And here comes one of my interminable stories...

When I was a lad, growing up in what is now North Phoenix, my buddies and I would catch scorpions and send them to Dr. Stahnke (Stank-ee) at Arizona State. He would pay us 5˘ for the “Great Desert Hairy” - a accurate description, 10˘ for the medium sized scorpions - like the one that Clemente caught - and which are common around here, and 15˘ for the one you see pictured here. Naturally, we really went after the long skinny ones. The medium sized ones, sorry I can’t recall their scientific name-as if you cared, were quite common and so they made up the bulk of our catch. The Great Desert Hairy was the next most common, the least venomous, and big lazy oafs that would rather try to get away than fight. We usually found the long-tailed one-the smallest of the three-in very secretive places. It was instantly recognizable by the length of it’s tail in relation to it’s body, and it’s pale translucent body. As I mentioned before, it is very feisty and gets really snotty when you mess with it. We would send them live to the good Doctor, and he would inject their venom into cats, which are immune to scorpion venom, then draw blood from the cats and - voilé! - the antidote for scorpion stings. The lab cats, by the way, were well cared for, but I would guess they would rather have been somewhere else, chasing mice or birds, rather than serving humanity, but that’s the breaks when you’re not at the top of the food chain. More than once I saw our cat catch a scorpion, and it would be popping her in the face as she began to eat it, showing no particular concern when getting stung.

People have different reactions to a scorpion sting. Clemente was stung on the leg a couple of years ago, shook it out of his pants leg, stepped on it and went about his business. Another fellow and good friend that used to work here, Tino, was stung on his forearm, squashed and smeared it all over his arm. I said, “What did you do that for?!?!” And Tino said, “It takes the poison away so it feels better.” Uh-huh. Now here we have an example some sort of psychological remedy, I should think. For some people the sting of a scorpion is no big deal, for others its a very bad event, just as a bee or wasp sting is not serious to some people and to others it’s deadly. I used to carry Atropine when my ex and I would be out riding my Harley because of the severe reaction she would have when stung by a bee - like not being able to breath. Bees and wasps don’t affect me much-makes a red spot-and I’ve never been stung by a scorpion, so I can’t say how it feels, but MJ - the Brandon’s boy was stung by a scorpion three days ago in East Texas - and he says it smarts. Well, Brandy said by the way he was screaming, she thinks it smarts. My cousin Janet lived nearby in North Phoenix when we were kids, and she was stung on the thigh while putting on her jeans - she cried, but then, she’s just a girl.

This summer, Clemente and I have knocked off maybe a couple of dozen, most of them out back under stock tanks, trash barrels, in the hay stack, but not many up by the houses. His little grandson, Paulito, runs around here and I don’t want him to get stung by a scorpion, especially the nasty one. And the fact that we are seeing them everyday now is worrisome. It must be a seasonal change thing or something. So tomorrow we start going after them in a big way in hopes that we can keep the baby from getting stung.

Sun Spiders & Vinegaroons

If you look at the pictures below, you will see two beasts - on the left, the “Sun Spider” - and on the right, the “Vinegaroon.” There is a reason that I write on this subject, and post pictures that will give some people nightmares. On the other hand, it will undoubtedly cut down on the number of people that come to visit me.

All of my life - well, since I was six - I have known the bug on the left as a vinegaroon. When I was a young lad in Phoenix, that is what people called them. I was also taught that they would stick their fangs in you and inject their poison and make you sick. I was taught this by a doctor that my Mother took me too to treat a bite on my wrist that consisted of two fang marks on the vein with a red line running up the inside of my arm into my armpit causing the lymph node there to swell and hurt like hell. Kinda made me sick also. I was eight at the time. Since I moved here in ‘94, I noticed that there appeared to be a discrepancy between what I thought was a vinegaroon and what other people thought was a vinegaroon.

The first manager that I met from the farm to the north was a fellow by the name of Pat “Fuzzy” Malone. When I would see one up at his well-house I would say, “There’s a vinegaroon!” And then run around like whirling dervish trying to step on it. And Fuzzy would say, “Yeah, those “Wind Scorpions” are all over the place.” And I would think, ‘Huh, guess Texans have a different name for them.’ Then I met a fellow that was a native Yuman by the name of Wendell Telford, and Wendell explained to me that Sun Spiders nor Vinegaroons were a threat and not to worry about them. When I told him about my experience as a child, he said that I had been bitten by something else. He further stated that he didn’t think there were any Vinegaroons in this area. Obviously I wondered what Wendell was smoking ‘cause I’d see thousands (well - several) spring through fall.

Then Joe Stans questioned me about Vinegaroons. I decided to send him a picture of one. I went to the web, and Google, and searched for Vinegaroons. What I got was not what I thought a Vinegaroon was. Further research led me to the Sun Spider, which is what we have here. And Fuzzy had it right, some folks do call them Wind Scorpions. They’re called that because “they run like the wind...” and that they do. Not only are they speedy, but they have an interesting hunting pattern; they pick a center point and then run in ever increasing circles, then run to another spot and then do the expanding circle thing again. When they run into something edible - bingo! it’s dinnertime! If you corner one, they’ll turn, rear up and wave their front legs at you in a menacing fashion. Haven’t seen but one big one so far this summer, just a bunch of baby ones, less than an inch long.

Vinegaroons are also called Whip or Whip Tail Scorpions. And they get their name from their defense mechanism - they spray a vinegar smelling acetic acid from their rear end when provoked.

I gather from my research that Vinegaroons possibly get as far west as Eastern Arizona. Their range is definitely New Mexico east through Texas.


This is a sun spider - genus Arachnida, Solifugae.



This is a vinegaroon, aka whip or whip-tail scorpion.


For more Sun Spider photos go to -
This lady is obviously nuts! For more vinegaroon pics go to -

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