We don't want your stinkin' homer ball . . .

Bleacher dwellers everywhere take note: this is how it is done.

New rule coming for 2012 -- player is automatically out and home run forfeited if the batter or any runner is struck by ball when player throws it back.
Which confidence is that?

Item on today's NYT web page:

KABUL — A deadly assault shook public confidence in the ability of Afghan forces to assume responsibility for security.

Who exactly had confidence in them to begin with? The problem in Afghanistan has always been that the so-called government does not represent what we think of in the west as a "nation," and the military forces are likewise, uh, we'll use the word "unfocused."

And that's not even to mention the corruption. 

(In fairness, the story is somewhat better informed than the summary on page one of the web page. And there, the rather shallow thoughts about security in the story are grafted onto a much better journalistic account of what happened in the hotel. Of course, you really can't use an incident like this to properly assess overall security and the actual questions raised in the pseudo-analysis part of the article. Not that people don't do it all the time. Actual story here.)

Time to quit the day job

In this morning's email:

Attention Beneficiary,
This is an official advice from the FBI, FOREIGN REMITTANCE/TELEGRAPHIC DEPT.
(FRTD), it has come to our notice that the ADB (African development bank) and C.B.N (central bank of Nigeria ) Africa has released your part of inheritance/contract payment of 10,500,000.00 U.S dollars into the Federal Reserve bank in your name as the beneficiary.
This foreign bank knows that they do not have enough facilities to effect this payment from their location to your account and therefore they used what is known as Secret Diplomatic Transit Payment (S.T.D.P) to do this transfer and they are currently awaiting a confirmation from you for final crediting to your account.
Secret diplomatic payments are not made unless the funds are related to terrorist activities, so if you are not intending to finance terrorism and your transaction is legitimate, 
why then did you agree to receive these funds through this means that was used instead of a direct transfer to your account?
Our findings shows that this method of transfer was used in the past to finance terrorist acts, so there is need to correct this problem now to avoid you getting into trouble when the funds reflects in your account. 
We advice you contact us immediately, as the funds have been stopped and held in our custody pending when you were able to provide us with A DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY SEAL OF TRANSFER (DIST) within 3 days from the United Nation, INTERNATIONAL FUND MONITORY UNIT (UNIFMU) that authorize the transfer and certified that the funds originated from Africa and Middle East is free from terrorist/drug and money laundry or we shall confiscate the payment. 
We will allow the funds to be release into your account immediately you make provision the required document. 
You will be directed where and how to get the document as it is not in your possession.
Awaiting your response.
Robert S. Mueller, III

$10.5 mil - imagine how much it would pay if the grammar were correct.

Hey - maybe they could hire me on as a copy editor.
Hell on earth

FP - Foreign Policy - is running a piece on the world's most dangerous borders. Right alongside Afghanistan and Pakistan, North and South Korea is . . . Mexico and the U.S.

And don't think that all of the violence is confined to the Mexican side.

Article on-line here. Bonus question - how many of these have been featured in my books?
The Rogue has gone mainstream . . .

. . . media, that is.

Marty Greenberg, the force behind so many anthologies and the man who arranged many of the books I've written over the years, died Saturday.

I'm sure there will be many different tributes to him. Here's something different that I remember, watching this game with him (unfortunately, not at the stadium, but that's another story).

#Onion Pulitzer

Yeah, I did one, too.

So I've been stuck a bit on the new book and in desperation, I guess, I decided to try something new - well, old actually, but new for me, as I've never done this at all:

I started writing in long-hand.

We'll see if jumpstarts anything.

Listen, America.
What we're smoking now . . .

Indian Tabac Salomons . . . a whale of a smoke.
How I spend my time . . .

Revision is the name of the game.

(That was actually from a few weeks back. It's part of the treatment for American Sniper.)
Whatever you toss . . .

. . . can and will be used against you in a court of law.


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — State police say a Buffalo man's effort to ditch some drugs from a moving car didn't exactly go as planned.
Troopers with the state police Thruway detail say 20-year-old Sean Schmidt was standing with his upper body sticking out the sunroof of a vehicle traveling on Interstate 190 in Buffalo late Monday night.
When a trooper following in a state police cruiser activated the car lights to pull the other vehicle over, Schmidt threw a small bag of marijuana, which landed on the hood of the trooper's car.
Troopers say Schmidt was ticketed for marijuana possession and not wearing a seatbelt.
The future . . .

. . . of advanced medical care.

And God bless this soldier for his sacrifice.
Dads rule

Annual Fathers Day Fathers-Sons baseball game results:

Dads: Three million runs
Sons: Not as much
Weiner roast update

And then there was today's hed* in the NY Post:

Premature evacuation

Copy editors live for this.

* Newspaper slang for headline
In need of De-training . . .

I think I've sat behind this woman a few times.

The original poster's comment:
This woman was talking too loud on the train when the conductor politely asked her to keep it down and stop using profanity or to take it to the vestibule. She jumped up and started yelling about how "educated" she is, proving the exact opposite.

There was an announcement a minute later asking all passengers to please not use profanity on the train, "especially those people who went to Harvard or Yale or are from Westport.
Weiner roast

The Post is having readers vote on the best front page featuring the now vanishing Weiner. Vote or observe here.

Actually, my favorite was today's . . .

Weiner beats it.

Obvious, but an instant classic. Unfortunately, it's not in the contest.
Jackass of the year . . .

Word wars . . .

Or useless information post # 3476:

According to several internet citations, the word "intercine" is starting to pop up in place of "internecine."

Which makes sense, because who needs those two extra letters?

(They are useful if you want to figure out the etymology, since the word comes from a Latin root that means slaughter. OED puts the first use in the late 17th century.)
Proving again which side they're on . . .


Pakistani authorities have rounded up a handful of people who helped the CIA find and kill Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad last month, according to Pakistani and U.S. officials.

Those rounded up include a doctor who was a major in the medical corps of the Pakistani military, according to two Pakistani officials and one U.S. official.

The owner of a safe house that the CIA used to spy on bin Laden's compound was also rounded up, the Pakistani officials said.
(Note that the story here by ABC gives the CIA credit for killing bin Laden which is, uh, not entirely correct.)

Uniform change


WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Army said Monday that it was abandoning the beret, after a failed 10-year experiment.
The black beret, which proved deeply unpopular with American soldiers, will be replaced by a patrol cap for everyday wear, U.S. Army spokesman Col. Tom Collins said.
The move came after outgoing Army chief of staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, asked the Army's sergeant major "to go out and talk to soldiers across the force and see what was on their minds," Collins told AFP.
"One of the things that soldiers consistently brought up was the desire to wear the patrol cap as part of their duty uniform," he said.
The beret will still be part of the Army's dress uniform, but will no longer be worn in the field as soldiers complained that it was impractical, he said.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/06/14/us-army-reportedly-abandons-black-beret-for-patrol-cap/#ixzz1PHU8Xbyr

What I'm playing now

. . . actually, it's playing me. I think this game is going to give me a mental breakdown.

In a good way.
More good work

Fazul Abdullah Mohammed died in Somalia the other day; the al Qaeda leader was responsible for the bombing of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, among other things.

And if you think it happened the way the media is reporting it . . .

How to shoot an M1

I was looking around for something else and stumbled on this old War Department film that some WWII buffs might be interested in.
A new Hot Wheels record . . .

How did I miss this?
Washed out

About the only good thing that happened for me during last night's game - aside from finally making good on a promise to catch a contest with a friend - was running into Cousin Brewski and buying a couple of beers off him for old time's sake.

As for the game itself, which began with a three and a half-hour rain delay and ended with a @##$, I can't seem to recall what happened, aside from not one, not two, but THREE Yankees being plunked (admittedly one on the shoe) to ONE Red Sux player. Admittedly it was Big Papi - who incidentally applauded on the way to first base.

I assume he was being sarcastic, though who's to say?

This day in history . . .

Speaking of General Bradley, Regnery History reminds me via Twitter:
This day in history, 1943: Major General Omar Bradley is promoted to Lieutenant General of the Army. He became a 5-star general in 1950.
You can find their web site here: http://www.regnery.com/regneryhistory.html
Or follow them on Twitter at @RegneryHistory

On the blog - fyi . . .

Quick note to the folks who have wandered in from the website and places like Human Events, etc., especially those looking for a staid and serious author:

Thanks for coming. Things are a bit looser here than in my serious books and commentaries. It's more like hanging out at the hotel bar after the serious work during the day.

Damn, that's a lousy metaphor . . . see what I mean?

The serious books, Omar Bradley especially, are serious.

Lastly, I appreciate the comments that have been forwarded to me. I don't have a mechanism for responding and thanking each person personally, at least at the moment, but I surely would if I could.
Is it just me . . .

. . . or does it seem like Flash gets an update every other day?
Speaking of rights being wronged . . . 

The audio is not the best, but the bottom line - the bank lost.
Update - Delta caves

Or perhaps I should say, comes to its senses . . .

WASHINGTON - U.S. soldiers returning from Afghanistan posted a YouTube video complaining that they had to pay Delta Air Lines $2,800 out of pocket to check extra bags, prompting an onslaught of online comments critical of Delta and at least one boycott effort.
The video went online late Tuesday. By Wednesday afternoon — nearly 200,000 views later — Delta had posted a blog message saying it had revised its bag fee policy for troops. The airline had been allowing troops traveling coach class three free bags, but was imposing a $200 fee on a fourth bag. Now Delta — in a statement attributed to a company social media director — says fourth bags will be free.

Delta strikes again . . .

I've had trouble with Delta, but not like this.

Ya know, messin' with a guy's weapons bag - not a good idea.
Hit Tex?

Big Poppi better expect some payback . . .
Boston fans

Just a reminder that as the Yankees start yet another series with the hated and demonic Red Sox, Boston fans are, in fact, among the finest human beings on the planet - as demonstrated by this video where they encourage and metaphorically pick up this young autistic man as he sings the national anthem. You really can't get more gracious and graceful than that.
Formating woes

Please bear with us as we stumble through more Blogeritis trying to get the formatting consistent, if not necessarily right. Blogger is a great service but frustratingly headstrong...
Liar, liar pants on fire

China Rejects Google's Hacking Charge
Charges that Chinese hackers singled out influential users of Gmail were met with withering scorn in an editorial published in the official party newspaper. (Story here; there are plenty of others.)
See, we just don't understand - getting hacked is just a feature of the cheap components the Chinese factories have been making.

On D-Day

Human Events has kindly published a commentary I wrote; you can find it here. (And on their home page, though I assume it will move.)

Just as a p.s., a lot of people don't understand or know the actual flow and dynamics of the post-D-Day battles at Normandy, let alone the impact of the upper command decisions. General at War will go into some of them. Misconceptions about the campaign have contributed greatly to the misunderstanding of Bradley's role in the war, at least by the general public. Cobra, Bradley's plan for the breakout weeks after D-Day, is one of the great un-sung battles of the war.

Iranian Crash

Pretty incredible video of a large Iranian aircraft crashing in 2007.

There have been various reports about what the plane was and why it went down; many say it was an Iranian version of a radar aircraft (essentially a Russian-made AWACS). One favored alternative is a passenger plane carrying weapons and other contraband for Hamas destroyed by a bomb or some other sabotage. In any event, the image is stunning.

The plane being refueled in the foreground is an F4 Phantom, a true classic though regrettably in Iranian colors . . .

Past perfected

Just when I thought the battle to preserve past perfect as a viable verb tense was lost . . . a copy editor recently inserted a past perfect tense in one of my manuscripts.

Sister Mary Elephant would be so proud.

Not of me, as I used past tense there. (I plead insanity.) I owe the CE a beer.

Male or female . . .

Can you tell whether a writer is a man or a woman by reading a few lines?

Test your gender vocabulary on these passages. (The choices lean toward literary fiction, but it's fun anyway. The actual controversy that spurred it is nonsense.)

Iran's nukes

Seymour Hirsch has an article in the New Yorker this week questioning whether Iran is intent on building a nuclear bomb. The implication is that Iran is another Iraq: no (nuclear) weapons of mass destruction here.

Is Iran actively trying to develop nuclear weapons? Members of the Obama Administration often talk as if this were a foregone conclusion, as did their predecessors under George W. Bush. There’s a large body of evidence, however, including some of America’s most highly classified intelligence assessments, suggesting that the U.S. could be in danger of repeating a mistake similar to the one made with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq eight years ago—allowing anxieties about the policies of a tyrannical regime to distort our estimates of the state’s military capacities and intentions.

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/06/06/110606fa_fact_hersh#ixzz1O8Wqb5cr

(You need a subscription to read the entire article. Admittedly, the excerpt is more controversial and supplies less context than the whole thing; read the fuller version carefully and you'll realize the real question among intelligence analysts is not necessarily intent, but how close the Iranians are to succeeding, which is a matter of intense debate. Still, the excerpt not only shows the gist of the piece but probably what most people will get out of it.)
Reading the article, you kind of wonder what sort of evidence it would take to convince some people that Iran DOES want a bomb - will only a nuclear cloud do?

Truly, if you want to know how serious Iran is about its nuclear weapon program, you don't need access to classified information about centrifuges and viruses - all you really have to do is look at the work Iran is doing on delivery systems - aka, missiles. There is a great deal of information available, a surprising amount of it unclassified. Contrast that to the (also) publicly available information about Iraq's delivery systems just before the Gulf War - intel that should have tipped the CIA off - and then decide what they're up to.

But I guess that's all for the new postal system they're planning.

Lost Bob . . .

Anthro-apologists recently unearthed an early Bob Dylan performance that changes everything you know about the famous singer-singerwriter.
Happy birthday

Regnery celebrated the launch of their new history line (look for Bradley this September) with a cake.

But here's my question - is it a birthday cake if it coincides with the launch (or "birth"), or a pre-birthday cake (since you usually get coke starting on year 1)?

What do the copy editors say?

Goodnight, sweet prince . . .

You and your brethren have served us well.

(Item: Endeavour lands safely, ending its service as the Space Shuttle era winds down.)