Saturday, April 17, 2010

Dear Lord

Apparently Dyncorp has been training the Afghan police, but forgot the simple basic step of teaching them how to adjust their sights...

Now I don't know about other training, but in Basic Training we spent a week just learning how to zero in a weapon. When a unit goes to the range, everyone has to zero in their weapon, EVERY TIME, before they can move on to the qualification range. Zeroing a weapon, by firing at a target, adjusting your sights, firing, adjusting... until you get it perfectly centered, is one of the absolute fundamentals of any marksmanship training. It makes me wonder if this was incompetence, laziness, or racism that was leading to this little... oversight*.

Now, there are many other issues related to the Afghan police, not just how well they can shoot. But shooting, as one of the basic and fundamental skills of the job, as well as a main symbolic identifier of the job, is essential to creating the identity of a policeman, soldier, Marine, what have you. Shoot**, in the American military, one of the things that Marines hold over soldiers (among many others), is that their basic qualification tests are harder than the Army's, this is one of the things which drives both the elitism and the esprit de corps*** of the Marines.

So will teaching the Afghan police how to shoot properly improve their overall proficiency as police? Probably not. But although it might not be sufficient, it is most definitely necessary.

*Ha! a pun, get it? (lack of) oversight... I kill myself sometimes.

** Another one!

*** I'm on a roll today...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

AFI's "top" science fiction films

So I just came across this list of AFI's "Ten Best" films from a bunch of different categories. Some of them I agree with, and some are film genre's I just don't follow (like Gangster Films).

But their top ten list of Science Fiction Films is just ridiculous. Sure, 2001 was a classic, I don't dispute that, but in terms of best science fiction movie ever, I really don't think it makes the grade. And Terminator 2 over the first Terminator? Really, the second movie was fun, but that was about it. The first was a true classic. And although I'm not a big fan, the Matrix should be on that list.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


So I went to my first MMA class last night. (The one good thing about VBC is that they have a lot of free classes available, not just gym classes, but Arabic classes and UMUC courses, too).

Ouch. I actually have to work to find a position I can carry my backpack in so it doesn't hurt my shoulder where it's rubbed raw. And now I know why all MMA fighters have those thick bull necks - everything is sore, but I can barely move my head today, my neck is so sore.

It was fun though, hopefully I'll keep getting my ass in gear and go a few times a week. I probably burned a thousand calories last night.

The book that haunts me

Back in High School, I had to read the book Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. And yes, I highlighted the whole thing in the link because it always seems to be stated that way, title+author. Never "Rebecca", it's always "Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier." I hated this book. I hated the movie, even if it was Hitchcock. I think I actually hate this book more than anything else I've ever read. And for some reason, this book seems to follow me around like an annoying puppy.

And somehow, I'm in Iraq, and the stupid book pops up in the donated books sitting at the Green Bean. Staring at me. Thankfully, some officer just grabbed it and recommended it to another officer as something he would like to read. This is why I never wanted to be an officer.