Posts Tagged ‘video’

Etched in Eternity: Senior Chief William “Ryan” Owens

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Easily the most emotional part of President Trump’s joint address to congress was his tribute to fallen Senior Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens, the first solider who died under President Trump’s watch, with his widow Carryn Owens in the audience.

Ryan died as he lived — a warrior, a hero, battling against terrorism, and securing our nation. I just spoke to our great General Mattis just now who reconfirmed that, and I quote, Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemy. Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity. Thank you.

Following the tribute was a full two minutes of standing ovation for Owens and his widow everyone in attendance (with the notable exception of several prominent Democrats, including former DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and newly-elected DNC Vice Chair Rep. Keith Ellison).

It was clearly the emotional highlight of President Trump’s speech, and arguable of any joint address/state of the union address in recent memory. And Trump’s gentle quip “I think he just broke a record” was a masterful way to bring the moment to a satisfying denouement and continue the speech.

Here’s an overview of Senior Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens’ career serving his country:

Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens

Died Jan. 29, 2017 Supporting U.S. Central Command operations
36, of Peoria, Illinois; assigned to a special warfare unit based on the U.S. East Coast; died of wounds sustained in a raid against al-Qaida.

The Department of Defense today has identified Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens as the first American war casualty of the President Donald Trump era.

Owens, 36, of Peoria, Ill., died Jan.29 of wounds received during a raid conducted in Yemen. Three other service members were wounded in the raid.

Nava Special Warfare Command confirmed Owens was assigned to an “East Coast-based Special Warfare unit.” While multiple news outlets are reporting the unit as Seal Team Six, the Navy would not confirm.

An estimated 14 al-Qaida terrorists were killed during the raid, according to a release by the U.S. Central Command.

“Americans are saddened this morning with news that a life of a heroic service member has been taken in our fight against the evil of radical Islamic terrorism,” Trump said in a White House press release on Jan. 29. “My deepest thoughts and humblest prayers are with the family of this fallen service member.

A fifth service member was injured when “a U.S. military aircraft assisting in the operation experienced a hard landing at a nearby location,” according to the CENTCOM release.

That aircraft was unable to fly after the landing and was intentionally destroyed.

Owens enlisted in the Navy in Aug. 24, 1998. After initially training as a cryptologic technician (communications), he served his initial tour of duty at the Office of Naval Intelligence in Suitland, Maryland, before attending basic and advanced SEAL training in Coronado, California, completing training in December 2002.

His first tour as a SEAL was at a West Coast unit, followed by three consecutive East Coast unit tours. He was on his fifth team tour when he was killed. He’d been with that unit just over two years.

He was selected for chief petty officer in 2009.

Along with his SEAL Trident and Basic Parachutist wings, he is qualified to wear the following awards:

Navy/Marine Corps Medal
Bronze Star w/Combat “V” (2 awards)
Bronze Star
Joint Service Commendation Medal w/Combat “V” (2 awards)
Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2 awards)
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3 awards)
Combat Action Ribbon
Joint Meritorious Unit Award (2 awards)
Good Conduct Medal (6 awards)
Presidential Unit Citation (3 awards)
National Defense Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (8 awards)

The Navy doesn’t hand out Navy/Marine Corps Medals or Bronze Stars (with or without the Combat V) to just anyone. Senior Chief Owens was clearly an American hero, which makes it all the more inexplicable that prominent Democrats would fail to stand for the ovation to him and his widow.

“Paris is No Longer Paris”

Monday, February 27th, 2017

If you were wondering what President Trump means by that remark, here’s a quick video tour of post-Islamic “refugee” Paris:

When liberals say “vibrant diversity,” what they actually seem to mean is “rampaging jihadists and mounds of trash on city boulevards.”

Bonus: French rioters set fire to a police car in Paris…while police are still inside.

Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus at CPAC

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

Considered including this in Friday’s LinkSwarm, but decided this panel with Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus at CPAC was important enough for a separate post.

A few points:

  • As previously reported, there’s none of the discord here between Bannon and Priebus that the mainstream media likes to ascribe to them. I’ve seen panels where the panelists were barely hiding their animosity with other panelists, and there’s none of that on display.
  • As for President Trump’s cabinet being the best cabinet in the history of cabinets: George Washington’s first cabinet included Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, so no.
  • “The greatest public speaker in those large arenas since William Jennings Bryant.” Untrue. Martin Luther King, Jr. takes that crown, unless Bannon meant campaign speeches given in Presidential campaigns. There John F. Kennedy was a better speaker, but his venues tended to be smaller.
  • Priebus’ pick for biggest priority of the first 30 days of the Trump Administration: “Neil Gorsuch.”
  • Priebus’ pick for second and third biggest priorities: deregulation and immigration.
  • Bannon’s picks for same: Nations security/sovereignty, “economic nationalism,” and “deconstruction of the administrative state.” Suck it, Jacques Derrida!
  • I’m not sold on “fair trade” and economic nationalism, or how the Trump Administration will keep them from becoming protectionism and crony capitalism. Given their embrace of the Export-Import Bank, the answer appears to be “they won’t.” But it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that their vision of more bilateral trade deals can pan out better for American economic interest than the dog’s breakfast of Trans-Pacific Partnership would have. It’s “the devil’s in the details” question, and there are so many, many devils…
  • Bannon: “The rule of law is going to exist when you talk about sovereignty and you talk about immigration.”
  • The Trump Administration is clearly the most serious about deregulation of the economy since Reagan, and maybe the most serious ever.
  • Bannon: “If you think they [the mainstream media] is going to give you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken. Every day it is going to be a fight.”
  • Bannon and Priebus use close synonyms to describe each other: “dogged” and “indefatigable.”
  • Watch the whole thing.

    (Hat tip: Ann Althouse.)

    Video of French Forces Fighting the Islamic State

    Saturday, February 11th, 2017

    Here’s a video of French Special Forces operating against the Islamic State, including some mopping up operations in Mosul:

    A few points of interest:

  • In the first few minutes there’s a glimpse of the tunnel systems that have become common in urban warfare where the defenders have had time to dig in.
  • I’m assuming that boxy weapon the French are shown setting up at 5:27 is a grenade launcher, but I’m not sure I’ve seen that make before. The closest would be the Heckler & Koch GMG, but it doesn’t quite look like it.
  • French drones (6:13) look like funky kit planes, and get launched with a tether assist. Whatever works…
  • Bill Burr Has No Sympathy for Hillary Clinton

    Saturday, February 4th, 2017

    It’s not like I set out to make Bill Burr Video Saturday, but he just keeps popping up. (And keep in mind, Burr says he leans left and obviously isn’t a Trump fan.) Here he is on why he has no sympathy for Hillary.

    Bill Burr on Election Night

    Saturday, January 28th, 2017

    Want to watch a bunch of drunk comedians, lead by Bill Burr, offer profane commentary on the 2016 election returns as they come in?

    If so, this is your lucky day!

    Rap Battle: Gun Owners vs. Liberals

    Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

    I LOLed…

    (Hat tip: Zero Hedge.)

    Pentagon Successfully Tests Microdrone Swarm

    Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

    Given the name of my blog, you wouldn’t expect this development to escape my eye:

    The Pentagon may soon be unleashing a 21st-century version of locusts on its adversaries after officials on Monday said it had successfully tested a swarm of 103 micro-drones.

    The important step in the development of new autonomous weapon systems was made possible by improvements in artificial intelligence, holding open the possibility that groups of small robots could act together under human direction.

    Military strategists have high hopes for such drone swarms that would be cheap to produce and able to overwhelm opponents’ defenses with their great numbers.

    The test of the world’s largest micro-drone swarm in California in October included 103 Perdix micro-drones measuring around six inches (16 centimeters) launched from three F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets, the Pentagon said in a statement.

    “The micro-drones demonstrated advanced swarm behaviors such as collective decision-making, adaptive formation flying and self-healing,” it said.

    “Perdix are not pre-programmed synchronized individuals, they are a collective organism, sharing one distributed brain for decision-making and adapting to each other like swarms in nature,” said William Roper, director of the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office. “Because every Perdix communicates and collaborates with every other Perdix, the swarm has no leader and can gracefully adapt to drones entering or exiting the team.”

    And I tracked down video of the test:

    Of course, there are all sorts of military and ethical considerations to truly autonomous drones. Like what theaters do you deploy them in, and under what conditions. And what do the first time they decide to dismantle a schoolhouse, or kill one of your own guys…

    A Video on Millennials

    Saturday, December 31st, 2016

    I saw this video about the RAND Corporation’s Simon Sinek talking about the problem with millennials, and thought it was interesting enough to post, but not necessarily endorse.

    Some thoughts and caveats:

    1. Categorizing the effects of both “alcohol” and “social media” to just one effect (release of dopamine) is incredibly reductive. Alcohol in particular has very complex effects on a wide variety of neurotransmitters. Analogies this crude rather undermine the points he’s trying to make.
    2. I wonder if anyone has compared the neurochemical effects of using social media to that of (to name three controls) watching TV, talking on a telephone, and playing a video game. (Indeed, I’d suggest a variety of video games, given enough time/money/etc. for the study.) Where are they similar and where do they differ?
    3. I think some of the points he’s making about millennials have some validity, but they’re pretty broad generalizations. I wonder how much is true, and how much is confirmation bias from pandering to my preconceptions.
    4. Not touched on here are what I see as significant differences in the way men and women use social media (especially Facebook).

    Worth watching, even if you don’t agree with everything.

    Russian Ambassador to Turkey Shot Dead

    Monday, December 19th, 2016

    This could be what people call “a pretty big deal“:

    The Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, has been badly wounded in an armed assault in Ankara according to Turkish press. According to CNN Turk man opened fire in the air then fired twice at the ambassador, who was shot in the back. It is reported that police is still exchanging fire with the attacker.

    The attack took place at the opening of the “Russia through Turks’ eyes” photo exhibition, Turkish NTV news channel reports, and adds that there is information that three other people are injured.

    Karlov was immediately rushed to a hospital after the assault, according to Turkish media. The ambassador is reported to be in a critical state.

    Russian Embassy in Ankara has not issued an official statement concerning the assault yet. However, soon after the news emerged, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Russian Foreign Ministry would soon issue a statement. The attack comes just a day before Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s planned visit to Moscow for Syria talks with his Russian and Iranian counterparts.

    No word yet on who is responsible for the attack. The Islamic State’s a good candidate, but if the Turkish government announces the PKK was behind it, there’s a 99% chance it’s a false flag operation.

    Let’s hope it’s not a “Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo” big deal…

    Update: The attacker evidently shouted “Allah Akbar” during the attack which is far more Islamic State than PKK.

    Karlov was several minutes into a speech at the embassy-sponsored photo exhibition in the capital when a man wearing a suit and tie shouted “Allahu Akbar” and fired at least eight shots, according to an AP photographer in the audience. The attacker also said some words in Russian and smashed several of the photos hung for the exhibition.

    CNN Turk reported that the gunman entered the gallery with a police ID and opened fire on the ambassador as he made a speech. CNN Turk is reporting that a brief hostage situation has ended after special forces entered the building, adding that Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu is at the scene.

    Haaretz also offers this photo of the attacker:

    More Russian looking than Middle Eastern, and a bit on the light-skinned side for a Chechen.

    Update 2: The Russian ambassador has died. Not the sort of things those cheerful, forgiving, happy-go-lucky sorts in the Kremlin are inclined to sweep under the rug…

    Update 3: “Turkish security officials identified the attacker as Mert Altıntas, who had graduated from İzmir Rüştü Ünsal Police Academy in 2014.” Also: “He said something about ‘Aleppo’ and ‘revenge’.”

    Update 4: Holy fark! Footage of the shooting:

    Update 5: Evidently assassin Mert Altıntas has himself been slain. Graphic-ish pics in Tweet that follows:

    Update 6: Turkey’s Foreign minister is flying to Moscow of Syria talks. Meanwhile, Russian capo Vladimir Putin isn’t sounding overly belligerent over the assassinations. “This murder is clearly a provocation aimed at undermining the improvement and normalization of Russian-Turkish relations, as well as undermining the peace process in Syria promoted by Russia, Turkey, Iran and other countries interested in settling the conflict in Syria.” Notably absent from Putin’s statement: the phrases “Casus belli,” “glass parking lot” and “sew the earth with salt.”