Sunday, November 30, 2008

US Beef On Shelves of All Major Korean Supermarkets
» by GI Korea

It is interesting how people’s pocketbooks ultimately have a way of overcoming irrational paranoia:

South Korea’s supermarket chains resumed selling U.S. beef Thursday, nearly five months after the government lifted an import ban imposed over fears of mad cow disease.

South Korea banned American beef in 2003 after a case of mad cow disease was discovered in the U.S. The government lifted that ban in June — a move that sparked weeks of violent protests by South Koreans concerned about the health risks of eating U.S. meat.

U.S. beef has been available in small butcher shops and some restaurants, but major supermarkets and larger restaurants have been shying away from offering U.S. beef out of concerns of possible public backlash.

On Thursday, however, large discount department stores including E-mart, Home Plus and Lotte Mart began selling U.S. beef at 250 local branches, saying customers are demanding cheaper meat, according to the Korea Chainstores Association.

Small supermarkets and restaurants also are expected to resume selling U.S. beef soon, spokesman Ko Sang-bum said. [Star Tribune]

Of course the usual suspects were not happy about this however few of them could actually be mobilized to do anything about it:

About 20 activists staged a rally in front of a Seoul E-mart store, chanting anti-U.S. beef slogans voicing their fears of mad cow disease. There were no immediate reports of violence.

“It’s sly of them to start selling mad cow beef and exploit consumers who are being pressured by the economic downturn,” said Jeon Sung-do, secretary general of the Alliance of National Farmers’ Associations. “We will continue to stage protests outside shops that sell U.S. beef.”

Maybe the mad cow protesters should go recruit some Australians to go protest with them since they too are being adversely effected by the introduction of US beef into Korea:

Sales of U.S. beef have outpaced Australian imports on their first day on sale at South Korea’s large discount outlets, industry sources said Friday.

The country’s top three retailers said combined sales of U.S. beef reached 50.1 tons on Thursday, 33 percent higher than the 37.3 tons originally anticipated. [Yonhap]

Has there ever been an issue that ultimately ended up being much to do about nothing then this US beef issue?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Baseball slammed by sign trading row

A current Korea Baseball Organizaton manager has accused several players of trading pitching signs with their opponents during games, forcing the league to launch an investigation.Kim Jae-park, the LG Twins’ manager, told reporters in Jinju, South Gyeongsang, late Monday that some umpires had informed him that in 2008, there were “a few” players who gave away their own pitchers’ signals to their opponents. “The umpires told me that after the season,” Kim told Ilgan Sports, a sister publication of the JoongAng Daily.

His Twins wrapped up their end-of-year training camp in the southern town on Monday.“The KBO should take steps to prevent that from happening again next season,” Kim added. “The KBO should offer league-wide education on this matter.” Kim made his comments when the subject moved to the match-fixing scandal that has marred Korea’s third-tier football league, K3, over the past week.

One player was arrested and four others were detained for investigation for allegedly receiving cash from Chinese gamblers in exchange for throwing a match. Seoul’s Yongsan police yesterday detained four players from an industrial league club on similar charges. Kim told reporters that baseball, though it hasn’t had to deal with match fixing, is not safe from other inappropriate shenanigans. He, however, declined to name the players or the umpires. But he is the first active manager to acknowledge trading of pitching signs in the KBO.

Earlier in the year, there was a rumor within baseball circles that a veteran nearing retirement was giving opposing hitters signs while he was in the field and received pitcher’s signs in return when he was at bat. The player and his manager denied the allegation. Also, a catcher was suspected of telling opposing hitters about the pitch selection when a certain foreign pitcher on his team took the mound.

Sign stealing, which sometimes involves the runner on second base trying to decode the catcher’s sign for his teammate at the plate, has been a common practice in baseball. But it’s unusual for one player to trade signs with an opponent during games. On the condition of anonymity, one umpire told the Ilgan Sports that some catchers are known to tell rookies what the next pitch will be in blowout situations, but added, “Even that is quite rare. I suspect the whole sign-trading issue has been blown out of proportion.” The umpire also said, “If one of us has told Kim Jae-park about this, then that umpire is at fault, too.”

Meanwhile, the KBO scrambled yesterday to look further into the manager’s charges. Ha Il-sung, the KBO’s secretary general, said: “I don’t know how an active manager could have said such things. We will try to find out whether his comments are true or not.” Kim himself backtracked yesterday. He said he doesn’t have any more details on sign trading.

By Kim Sung-won JoongAng Ilbo/ Yoo Jee-ho Staff Reporter []
KBO integrity at stake over sign trade fiasco

This has not been a quiet offseason in the Korea Baseball Organization and not always for the right reasons. It’s difficult to determine whether we sports scribes should delight in the overflowing of material or grow frustrated about the state of the union in the nation’s most popular professional sport. The cause celebre this time is the alleged trading of pitching signs among players during games.

LG Twins’ manager Kim Jae-park has said some umpires told him there are a few players who trade pitchers’ signs of their own team with their opponents. The KBO, the completely inept body that it is, was apparently unaware of the illicit behavior and feinted shock over Kim’s comments. The league officials said they will look further into the matter, but whenever the KBO says it will do something, I just wish the officials would save everyone time by keeping quiet and acting like they mean business.

But this is a prime opportunity for the KBO and its outgoing commissioner, Shin Sang-woo, to redeem themselves.Sign trading is a horrible act that threatens the integrity of the game and violates the spirit of fair play. Sign stealing, whereby runners on base would try to read the catcher’s signs and relay them to their teammates at the plate, has been a common practice and may even be considered wily gamesmanship - as long as teams don’t install cameras in outfield seats.

At least when you try to steal signs, you’re trying to benefit your teammates. But when you trade signs, you’re the only one gaining an advantage and you’re doing it in exchange for disclosing signs of your own pitcher. How foolish is that?Kim said the umpires told him players traded signs for signs. But what if money comes into the picture, if it hasn’t already?

Theoretically, in a sporting culture where seniority rules, a veteran could prod a rookie for pitching signs and could offer him some cold, hard cash in return. Sign trading is ripe with such possibilities. Kim said he only mentioned this in passing to a couple of reporters, but this is an important issue for the KBO.

At a time when minor league and industrial league football players are mired in match-fixing scandals, the KBO must try to retain fans’ faith in professional baseball in Korea, if it hasn’t lost some already. Earlier this month, Shin’s exasperating indecisiveness in dealing with the disputed trade involving pitcher Jang Won-sam was the cause of much hand-wringing. Shin has said he will step down this year even though his term ends in March next year.

To his credit, Shin has done some positive things for the league and the attendance figures this year reached the highest mark in more than a decade. But if he were to quit tomorrow, Shin’s lasting legacy would be the way he fumbled the ball on the Jang affair when it was in his court. But he’s got one more shot with the sign-trading controversy.

Fans no longer want to hear empty talk. They want to see some real action. Here’s what Shin’s got to do: Go talk to umpires, players and coaches, and find out the culprits in the sign trading scheme. It’s as simple as that - though Shin has shown inability to handle straightforward matters at times. Some day, I hope to write something positive about Shin and the KBO. Kicking someone who’s already down has been too easy. []

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


With the new 3-D cartoons now leashed upon the movie going public, I have wondered if we are missing what we loved about cartoon movies. The last few Walt Disney3d cartoon films (The Wild, Meet The Robinsons) have failed to live up to the Disney magic. I have even wondered, should Disney quit the 3-d market altogether and go back to the successful 2-D market. That was until I saw their new film "Bolt"

I had zero expectations for this new film. It stars John Travolta and the latest Disney Teen queen Miley Cyrus. The plot was about a super dog protecting a girl. I was thinking,"Great, another superdog film. Who really wants to see this?" The as I started to watch the film, the more I started to like the film and by the end of the film, I realized that Disney had finally recaptured their once, lost magic.

I have to give "Disney" credit for the original idea. What if you think that you are a super dog and you have been told that you are a super dog. The problem is that you have all of these powers and they only exist while you are filming your TV show. It's "The Truman Show" Bolt(Voiced most excellent by John Travolta) thinks that his T.V. show is real while everyone around him knows that its just a T.V show. So when a TV manager tell Bolt's director to make a new idea for Bolt, they kidnapped his friend Penny and decide to have a cliff hanger show. The only problem is, Bolt thinks that she has really been kidnapped and goes after her.

You can guess what happens, his powers are real and instead of saving her, he gets mailed to New York City and the film goes into, I must save Penny mode"

The film is helped along by a cat named, Mittens , a female alley cat, who bullies pigeons out of their food. Because Mittens looks like a cat owned by Dr. Calico, (The TV show villain) Bolt forces her to help him get back to Hollywood and to save Penny. Her story about how she ended up in New York and how she helps Bolt realize that he is a dog really gave the film its magic.

What i really like about this film was the role of Rhino (Voiced by Mark Walton), he is a hamster who has always wanted to work with his super hero fanboy crush, Bolt. The scene where Bolt warns Rhino about joining his quest had me laughing at all of the humor and heart that was shown at this scene.

The film sticks with what works for Disney, A good hero, loyal friends and one heck of an ending. I though the film was going to be a miss and instead its a huge hit and need to be seen when it opens here in Korea on December 25, 2008.

Until next month, "I see the crap, so you don't have to." Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years.

Monday, November 24, 2008

From Karl Mamer.

From Seoul Searchers blog about Korea's response to a book.

Misdirected Nationalism

A Japanese-American woman published a novel in 1995, telling a story about a pre-teenage Japanese girl who had a harrowing experience of being beaten and raped in Korea shortly after Japan was defeated in the Second World War. Her family was trying to return to Japan from northern Korea where her father had been one of Japan’s colonial officials.

The book, “So Far From the Bamboo Grove,” by Yoko Kawashima Watkins, was nominally called fiction but it was apparent to most readers that the story was based on the writer’s personal experience in the chaotic atmosphere that gripped Korea after it was freed from the Japanese imperialists.

When Korea was liberated from Japan in August 1945 after 35 years of ruthless and brutal colonial rule, it was divided into two at the 38th parallel with the Soviet Army occupying the northern part of the Peninsula, what was to become communist North Korea, and the U.S. military administering the South, what became the democratic Republic of Korea.

Thanks to swift U.S. action in disarming the Japanese army in southern Korea and massive economic assistance for the impoverished Koreans, peace and stability was quickly restored in the South. But the Soviet Red Army that came down from Siberia was reported to have rampaged through the northern half, destroying property, looting and stealing and raping Japanese evacuees as well as local residents.

Perhaps, influenced by the lawless behavior of the occupation Soviet troops, and taking advantage of the state of anarchy, many North Koreans were also said to have run wild, dealing what they thought was justifiable revenge against the hated Japanese colonial overlords.

While there were relatively few incidents in which Koreans attacked the Japanese in the South, many Japanese who had been living in the North were brutalized, some raped and murdered by the local people.

It was against this background that the Japanese author wrote her book. But no one can be sure how much of what she described in her book was based on fact since it happened such a long time ago nor can we know if it was an isolated incident.

Nevertheless, the book has upset many Korean-Americans because, as they claimed, the story “distorted” Korean history. Some Koreans also charged that the novel contains “a pack of lies” that defames the character of the Korean people.

Despite the protest from the Korean community, however, the book was selected by some elementary schools in America as recommended reading. Thereupon, some Korean parents threatened to stop sending their children to school unless it was removed from the list.

In the latest development, the education authorities in California decided to scratch the novel off the list, apparently under the strong and continuing protest from Korean-Americans.

But the Korean parents’ action made me wonder about their emotional reaction to what, after all, was only a book of fiction. The Koreans were angry, no doubt, because they apparently believed that none of their compatriots “could have committed such hideous crimes.”

But as the human race goes, the Koreans are no better or no worse than other people. We, too, have a vast number of decent and law-abiding people. But at the same time, there are quite a few nasty people—thieves, gangsters, frauds, rapists and murderers as well. The Japanese writer could very well have been an unfortunate victim of one of those violent people.

Talking about crimes, I would like to know how those Korean parents reacted to the incident in which a Korean-American student shot and killed 32 people at Virginia Tech in April 2007. That ghastly incident occurred while the Japanese book was still a subject of controversy.

What did Korean parents tell their children about the shooting? If their reaction to the Japanese book is any indication, might not some of the parents have told them that the report of the killing was also a lie contrived to defame the Korean people?

In fact, what many in the Korean communities across the United States did in the wake of the shooting was brace against “possible reprisals.” They were preparing, I heard at the time, for the worse because the gunman happened to be a Korean-American. If I remember correctly, even the Seoul government, through its embassy in Washington, was preparing ways to cope with a possible backlash.

As it turned out, however, they could not have been more wrong in their way of thinking. For, a vast majority of Americans said they believed that the question of the gunman’s national origin had nothing to do with the crime. To them, the perpetrator of the crime was simply a troubled American.

In contrast to this way of thinking, the Korean reactions to the two incidents I have related above were too nationalistic in the first case and too paranoid in the second.

It is true that Japan’s forcible annexation of Korea in 1910 is a shameful and ignominious development in our history and that the Japanese colonialists’ brutal treatment of the Korean people was unjustifiable and unforgivable. That is why it is easy to understand why most Koreans, once they were freed from the yoke of colonialism, felt the urge to “repay the debts,” as it were, to their colonial overlords who had treated them harshly and inhumanly for 35 years.

These facts, however, should not--indeed do not--give any individual Korean a right to attack their erstwhile oppressors in revenge, least of all, an 11-year-old girl whose only misfortune was that she was a daughter of a colonial official.

What’s more, we cannot force the American publisher, who is just a third party, to withdraw or discard the book because it “presents” the Korean people “in a bad light,” as those campaigners claim. Nor is it right to pressure the school boards of elementary schools to scratch the novel because we do not like the author’s description of Koreans.

Their demands not only run against the principle of freedom of expression, but are also harmful to the well-rounded development of their children who should realize that all kinds of things—good as well as bad--happen to Koreans as well as by the hand of Koreans.

There is nothing wrong—in fact it is good—for parents to bring up their children to be proud of being Korean. But kids should also learn that although Koreans are special in their own way, so is every other group of people. Koreans cannot claim to be better than anyone else, much less a select or “chosen” people.


Woori Sell-off Plot Foiled

By Shinsano

Very interesting situation went down over the past week in the KBO. It mostly happened while I was in Japan so I thought I’d wait until it was resolved to check in with a report. Last weekend our friends at Woori dumped Jang Won-sam, a young-ish lefty (26) coming off a breakthrough season that established him as one of the better young arms in Korea.

The “trade” was consummated with Samsung, who in return gave Woori a low level player and about $2 million in cash. This was a sell-off, a great “trade” for Samsung, but each of the six teams not participating in the trade balked (although some reports say Hanwha was on the fence), and so the trade was sent to the commissioners office.

After three apparently difficult meetings, on Friday afternoon man-in-charge Shin Sang-woo said “nay,” disallowing the trade and returning Jang to the Heroes.

When the Centennial ownership group took over the franchise last year it agreed to not, well, do exactly what it tried to do — sell off players. Jee-ho wrote a scathing column last week criticizing the commissioner for even hesitating to rule against the trade.

I agree. This trade was ugly. With Jang (who got a military exemption this past summer by helping Korea win the baseball gold medal in Beijing), fellow lefty Ma Il-yeong, and Kim Su-kyeong, Woori has the makings of an excellent rotation. I’d go so far as to call it the second or third best rotation in the league.

In a way I feel sorry for Commissioner Shin, who will reportedly resign prior to his term ending next spring. He deserves some credit for stopping the Heroes/Unicorns franchise from folding and keeping the league at eight teams. Centennial has been a royal pain the ass from the beginning. Good luck getting that $2 million back Samsung. My guess is it’s already been used for last year’s buffet table and cleats.

Heroes desperate for cash with deal off
Lee acknowledged that he tried to deal Jang to help resolve financial problems.
November 24, 2008

Shin Sang-woo
After one week, there were no winners.

It took a full seven days for the Korea Baseball Organization to nullify the disputed trade that saw pitcher Jang Won-sam move from the Heroes to the Samsung Lions in exchange for another pitcher, Park Sung-hun, and 3 billion won ($2 million). The announcement came last Friday.

Commissioner Shin Sang-woo ruled that the trade principals had violated the league-wide agreement that prevents the Heroes from making trades for cash without KBO permission for the first five years of their existence. The Heroes replaced the cash-strapped Hyundai Unicorns before the 2008 season.

This is the first trade to be voided by the KBO since the league launched in 1982. Jang and Park, who had both switched teams, will now have to return to their previous clubs. The 3 billion won, which would have been the highest figure ever in a player-for-cash trade, will also have to be handed back to the Lions.

The Lions issued a short statement saying, “We respect and fully accept the KBO’s decision to nullify our trade.” The Heroes’ president Lee Jang-seok, however, said he was “taken aback” by the ruling but added he has “no choice but to accept the decision.”

In the opposite camp, Doosan Bears’ General Manager Kim Seung-young said Shin had made a “right and wise decision.” Kim, who had been a vocal opponent of the deal, said the teams must work together to rebuild trust.

While the clubs engaged in accusatory spats - the Heroes argued teams other than the Lions offered cash for trades and the six teams charged the two teams breached their trust - the players involved were odd men out.

Jang, 25, said he was bracing himself for different possibilities and the cancellation of the trade didn’t surprise him much.

“I’ve learned that professional baseball is really business,” he said from the Lions’ training camp in Gyeongsan, North Gyeongsang.

“I’ve got to grow stronger as a person and a player. It’s probably going to be awkward joining the Heroes again but I am sure my old teammates and coaches will welcome me back.”

Park, 26, had been a little known pitcher who has pitched only 15 2/3 innings over his two-year career but he suddenly became a minor celebrity in the Heroes’ camp on Jeju Island.

The left-hander said he was “just getting used to the new team” but he too faces the uncomfortable prospect of returning to the Lions.

Park said he learned how to throw changeup from the Heroes’ manager Kim Si-jin and pitching coach Chung Min-tae, both stellar pitchers in their playing careers.

Park made such a huge impression on the Heroes that the bench coach Lee Gwang-geun said, “While we’re at it, we’ve got to find another way to acquire Park.”

In making the players switch teams, the Heroes and the Lions violated a KBO rule. Players cannot join teams to which they are dealt for any baseball activity, be it practices or games, until the KBO commissioner gives the final go-ahead.

But for the Heroes, the damage stemming from this saga wasn’t only to their image: it’s more concrete than that.

The team president Lee acknowledged that he tried to deal Jang to help resolve financial problems and now the Heroes are strapped for cash for the upcoming season.

The Heroes missed the June 30 deadline this year for the first installment of their league expansion fees. They are to pay a total of 12 billion won in expansion fees over two years and 2.4 billion won was due in June.

The Heroes played hardball with the KBO before shelling out the money a week later. After the PR disaster, the Heroes lost their main sponsor, Woori Tobacco, who lent its name to the Heroes in a three-year, 30 billion won contract before the season, but severed its ties with the team in mid-season.

The Heroes claim Woori Tobacco failed to pay them 2.8 billion won in sponsorship fees and are planning to sue the tobacco company. The Heroes are due to pay 2.4 billion won in the second installment of the league expansion fees by Dec. 31 and Lee says the team has secured that money. They have yet to find a sponsor for next season.

Commissioner Shin, who had come under fire for his indecisiveness, may not be around by Dec. 31. His term ends in March next year but he announced on Friday that he will step down before that.

But Shin, 71, denied his decision had anything to do with the trade episode.

“I’d already made up my mind that my time had run out after the Korean Series,” he said.

“I will stick around for the Golden Glove Awards on Dec. 11 and pick my date afterward.”

By Yoo Jee-ho Staff Reporter/ Kim Seek JoongAng Ilbo []

Saturday, November 22, 2008

As Jang deal still in the air, Shin hints at resigning
November 21, 2008
Here we go again.

The Korea Baseball Organization Commissioner Shin Sang-woo yesterday delayed announcing his verdict on a disputed trade by another day. The ruling on pitcher Jang Won-sam’s trade from the Heroes to the Samsung Lions for pitcher Park Sung-hun and 3 billion won ($2.1 million) in cash will be made today in a press conference.

The trade was announced last Friday. It has been criticized by the six KBO teams other than the principals. The six teams argue that the Heroes, which joined the KBO in 2008, are not permitted to trade players for cash without prior KBO permission for their first five years under a league-wide agreement.

It was designed to be a measure to keep the Heroes from becoming another version of the late 1990s’ Ssangbangwool Raiders, which dealt several players for cash before eventually going under.

While the Lions claim they received the go-ahead from the league, other teams say the Lions breached their trust and flaunted their wealth to pluck a young starting pitcher from a cash-strapped club.

The KBO executives, without Shin, held an emergency meeting last Friday and had another meeting with Shin present on Monday. After failing to reach a conclusion, Shin decided to bring team presidents in for a board meeting on Wednesday.

And the league still couldn’t get to a verdict after a two-hour board meeting and another three hours of separate talks. It announced Wednesday that Shin would make the call yesterday.

And then came another postponement. By today, a full week will have passed after the trade was first announced.

Shin said he was “quite frustrated” by the turn of events but declined to further elaborate on the latest delay.

“I will tell everything in the press conference tomorrow,” he said.

“As some media have pointed out, an incompetent leader at the top has led to all this mess.”

Shin, whose term ends in March next year, hinted at resignation before the end of this year.

“I’d been thinking about my immediate future, even before this controversy came up,” he said.

“Maybe I will step down after the Golden Glove Awards [in December]. Either way, I think I will do something about my tenure within this year.”

The trade principals claim they broke no rules because the cash trade agreement was never put in a document.

But other teams say it was verbally discussed and must thus be honored accordingly.

No trade has ever been vetoed in the league’s 26-year history.

The left-handed Jang won the team-high 12 games in 2008 and had the league’s fifth-best ERA of 2.85.

He has been with the Lions training camp since last week. If the trade is nullified, Jang must report back to the Heroes and the cash must be returned, too.

Why only one person in the KBO is to blame
November 21, 2008

The Korea Baseball Organization continues to take incompetence and ineptitude to a new level.

Its Commissioner Shin Sang-woo has absolutely no idea what he wants to do, or what he is allowed to do in his jurisdiction, and this is his third year at the league’s top job.

As has been documented over the past week, the KBO has three times postponed reaching a verdict on a controversial trade. And we’ll spare you the details of the trade here.

First things first. The whole episode shouldn’t even have gone this far. The KBO didn’t need the grandiose board meeting with the team presidents in attendance.

The issue at hand is whether the said trade, which saw lefty Jang Won-sam go from the Heroes to the Samsung Lions in exchange for another pitcher and 3 billion won ($2.1 million), was conducted legally or not.

When the Heroes joined the KBO for 2008, the league stipulated that for the first five years of their existence, they require the KBO’s permission before making trades.

So all Shin has to determine is whether the trade principals received prior permission before making the deal.

Though the whole issue may appear complicated, it’s actually that simple.

Anyone in his position could have made the call. If I were the commissioner, I would at least know if teams asked for or received permission before a trade. There are only eight teams in the KBO and so it’d be hard to miss something of that nature.

So why is Shin being so hesitant? He has appeared to be too scared of upsetting individual team executives, of appearing to favor one side over the other. While the Lions and the Heroes have said the trade is valid, six other teams have been on the opposite end and even threatened to boycott their games against the Lions in 2009 should the trade be allowed to stand.

Shin, perhaps unaware that he is the commissioner and thus reserves the absolute right to okay or veto trades, called in all the team presidents on Wednesday so that they could find out for themselves how far they are apart.

That only confused Shin, who initially said he would make the final call by yesterday and postponed it until today. Perhaps it shouldn’t have been too surprising that Shin couldn’t make up his mind by yesterday.

And now no matter what he does, he will make someone unhappy.

Allow the trade to stand, and the six other teams may file a court injunction. Nix the deal, and the two principals will go berserk.

Here’s what Shin should have done: the trade took place last Friday and he should have reviewed it right away and ruled on it before giving any more time to both sides to air out their grievances in the media.

It will have been a full week since the trade when (or if) Shin does reach his verdict today. The teams have had the entire week to engage in a he-said-she-said spat.

What’s a commissioner to do other than flex his muscles from time to time and let everyone know who the boss is?

The saga should never have reached this juncture. Shin has only himself to blame. He hinted he may just step down and that’d be a huge cop-out.

By Yoo Jee-ho Staff Reporter []

November 20th, 2008 by CJ

I found this essay, written by the father of a deployed Soldier, on the American Legion website. It was introduced into the Congressional Record by Frank R. Wolf, R-Va, on September 16th. It's a very touching and inspirational story should be required reading by the defeatists in Congress. Here it is:

“Whatever your political take on the war in Iraq, nothing can alter it more than having a loved one in the midst of it. Nor is anyone’s current perspective balanced until they hear at least some things from a soldier’s point of view.

“My wife and I learned these truths when our son, a 2004 Handley graduate, decided to join the Army in 2006. His reasoning was simple: he wasn’t comfortable knowing that thousands of others his age were sacrificing their own freedoms to protect his. When he signed up to join those thousands, it changed our perspective as well.

“Up to that point, it had always been other people’s sons and daughters doing the fighting. Now it would be our own child. Naturally, no one wants their child to volunteer to go in harm’s way for freedom’s sake. It was something of a conviction, though, when my wife and I had to ask ourselves why it shouldn’t be our own son in the Middle East, why we should be spared the rituals of anxiety, prayer, hope and waiting that tens of thousands of other families over here have already endured.

“In early June, we flew to Fort Hood, Texas, to see our son deploy for a 15-month tour in Iraq. Again, one’s perspective is limited until one attends a deploying ceremony for a unit of soldiers. Spouses, children, parents, siblings and friends, all crowding a gym, all clinging closely to their treasures in uniform, accompanied by flags, prayers, cheers and tears. Our son had joined a ‘band of brothers.’ My wife and I had joined the ‘band of others’ who would be waiting at home. Both those going, and those left behind, carry the war on terror in a personal way.

“Still, those of us left behind need to see something of what our soldiers see, and not only what is offered us in the news. To that end, here is one story our son, Luke, shared with us by phone that must be shared with anyone who claims an interest in what our soldiers are doing in the Middle East.

“Stationed outside a city on the Tigris River, Luke had accompanied his colonel into town as part of a security team, while the colonel spoke with a local sheik. While standing guard, Luke noticed a woman approaching from behind and cautiously turned in her direction, his rifle at the ready.

“An interpreter told our son it was OK – the woman just wanted to touch a soldier. Still uneasy, Luke stood still while the woman reached out her hand and touched his face, tears in her eyes.

“Looking to the interpreter for meaning, our son was told that the woman simply ‘wanted to touch the face of grace.’ It seems this trembling woman, like most of the people in her town, looked upon our soldiers as angels of grace, sent by God to protect her from the violence and oppression her people had come to know up to then. Learning this, our son squeezed and kissed the woman’s hand, and she left, weeping.

“The ‘face of grace.’ How many of us, safe at home debating the politics of the war on terror, have ever seen our soldiers in such a light? How many of us have even read such an uplifting newspaper account of our soldiers?

“To be sure, our soldiers are not virtuous simply by being soldiers. At home in their ‘civvies’ they are as un-angelic as the rest of us. Yet when they voluntarily get into ‘full battle rattle’ (as they call their battle gear) in a hot and hostile land, their job is both protective and sacrificial – as angelic a purpose as humans can take on.

“People like this woman, having suffered years of oppression and fear, have eyes and a heart to see this, and the desire to “‘touch the face of grace.’ Do we have the ability to see our soldiers in the same way? And not merely our soldiers: Can we see the ‘face of grace’ in the police who protect us in every town, day and night? Or in the fire and rescue teams who are ‘soldiers’ in their own right?

“My wife and I obviously pray that our son and his ‘band of brothers’ will come safely home to their personal ‘band of others.’ After listening to our son’s experience, though, we have added the prayer that Americans in every community will be given the eyes and heart to see the ‘Face of Grace’ in all who protect our lives and freedoms – especially in soldiers like our son.”

Friday, November 21, 2008

EWC: What do you think of the fact that the two top managers in Korean baseball declined to manage the WBC team? Do you think this will have a negative effect on the mindset of the team going into the tournament? How do you feel about the choice of Hanwha’s Kim In-sik?

Jee-ho: I did a column on this a few days ago. Yes, I definitely think this mess will have a negative effect on the team. On Nov. 13 the Japanese team announced its provisional roster including MLB guys with their manager, Tatsunori Hara, firmly in place. That provides a stark contrast what Korea has gone through over the past couple of weeks. It’s November yes, but it’s never too early to get the coaching staff all set in stone. (Ed note: tell that to the U.S. team)

As I pointed out in the column, the whole process of the manager selection left an impression that the WBC is not that big a deal. If managers can’t decide if they want to coach or not, what kind of message does that send to the players?

And there’s no military service exemption carrot for the WBC. The young guys who already got their exemption from the Beijing Olympics will have a little less motivation this time.

While the fact that the WBC is played in March can be cumbersome to some players, everyone else is experiencing the same dilemma. It’s not like the MLB training camp opens in May.

As for Kim In-sik: given the way he was, ahem, named the manager, I am not sure how motivated he will be in the dugout. He’ll probably be grumbling all the way to the Asian qualification (“Gosh darn it, Kim Sung-keun didn’t want to do this thing.”). But he’s one of those managers who never seem to be in good mood anyway. He did manage the 2006 team that reached the semis.

I just don’t think Korea will do much at this WBC, no matter who the manager is. The KBO players are overworked—teams engage in the so-called ‘wrap-up training’ right after the season ends and that often goes until the late November. They get maybe a month off before the training camp for the new season gets underway. I’d be shocked if Korea reaches the semis again.

Doosan’s Lee eyes Japan; free agents drive hard bargains
November 20, 2008
Contrary to popular belief, the controversy surrounding the Jang Won-sam trade isn’t the only issue brewing in the KBO offseason.

One pitcher appears close to joining a Japanese team, and another one could leave the only team he’s ever played for via free agency. And two teams retained their free agents for the next season.

Lee to Japan

The Doosan Bears left-hander Lee Hei-chun left for Japan yesterday, on the verge of reaching a deal with a club in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. The 29-year-old has been linked with the Yomiuri Giants and the Yakult Swallows, both based in Tokyo, in the offseason so far.

Then yesterday, the Japanese paper Sports Hochi reported the Swallows’ interest in Lee. Quoting a high-ranking Swallows executive, the story said Lee “could become a savior on the Yakult team, which lacks left-handed pitchers.”

Before boarding his plane, Lee told reporters that he’d like to join a team “that will give me the opportunity to play.”

“I’ve pitched in different roles and I’d rather start than pitch out of the bullpen,” Lee said. “I’ve wanted to play in Japan all year long. Fortunately, I must have pitched well whenever Japanese scouts were in stands.”

The Swallows already have a Korean player in the closer Lim Chang-yong, who joined them before the 2008 season.

Lee said once he signs with a Japanese team, “I won’t be back until I reach the top level in Japan.”

The hard-throwing lefty debuted with the Bears in 1998 and has gone 53-40 with six saves and a 4.16 ERA. Lee is looking to become the 10th Korean to join the Japanese league.

Will Son return?

Right-handed pitcher Son Min-han is a Lotte Giants lifer, having pitched for them for the past dozen seasons.

And there’s a possibility that he may have pitched his last game for the team.

Son, a free agent this year, and the Giants failed to come to an agreement on a new contract. And over the next 15 days, the 33-year-old is free to negotiate with clubs other than the Giants.

Son asked for but didn’t get a four-year deal worth more than the 4 billion won ($2.8 million) that right-hander Park Myung-hwan received from the LG Twins two years ago. That contract, which included a signing bonus and performance-based incentives, remains the most lucrative deal ever for a pitcher.

The Giants’ General Manager Lee Sang-goo said his team still wants to retain Son. Free agents have until Dec. 9 to talk with seven teams other than their original club. If that doesn’t result in a new deal, then the players will negotiate with all eight teams from Dec. 10 to Jan. 15 next year.

Players not signed by Jan. 15 will be banned from playing in the KBO during the 2009 season.

“Son himself said he’d prefer to remain with us,” Lee said. “We’ll try to bring him back during our next negotiation period.”

Son has gone 97-67 with 12 saves and a 3.38 ERA. In 2005, he won the KBO’s most valuable player award after leading the league with 18 wins and a 2.46 ERA.

Staying home

While the Samsung Lions weren’t busy dealing with the Jang Won-sam fiasco, they were negotiating with their free agent shortstop Park Jin-man.

And the Lions announced yesterday that they inked Park to a 600 million won contract extension, along with another 600 million won signing bonus. Free agents aren’t permitted to sign a multi-year deal.

Park, 31, is considered the league’s best defensive shortstop, having won five Golden Gloves for his defensive excellence. He joined the Lions with a lucrative free agent contract in 2005 and was one of the league’s highest-paid players in 2008 with 450 million won.

“I’m glad the negotiations went smoothly,” Park said through a team statement. “They gave me the impression that they really needed me back and I was willing to stay. I’d like to help the team win championships.”

Meanwhile, the LG Twins retained all three of their free agents this offseason.

The team announced yesterday that they have re-signed infielders Choi Dong-soo and Lee Jong-yeol and pitcher Choi Won-ho.

Choi Dong-soo, who earned 120 million won last season, got a 30 million won raise plus a 100 million won signing bonus. Lee signed for 170 million won, the same amount as last season. Choi Won-ho also had his wage frozen at 200 million won.

Choi Dong-soo, 38, was one of the Twins’ few bright spots in 2008. He led the team with 14 home runs and 62 runs batted in.

By Yoo Jee-ho Staff Reporter []
After 5 hours of wrangling, still no verdict in Jang deal
The trade principals, the Heroes and Lions, kept arguing the deal is valid, while other representatives insisted it be nullified.
November 20, 2008

Korea Baseball Organization Commissioner Shin Sang-woo, left, signals the beginning of a board meeting yesterday. Shin and the KBO team presidents failed to reach a conclusion on the controversial “player-for-cash” deal involving pitcher Jang Won-sam. [YONHAP]
The Korea Baseball Organization put off reaching a verdict on a controversial trade for the second time in the past three days.

After an emergency board meeting yesterday, the KBO announced that it still hadn’t reached the verdict on pitcher Jang Won-sam’s trade from the Heroes to the Samsung Lions for pitcher Park Sung-hun and 3 billion won ($2.1 million) in cash.

With KBO Commissioner Shin Sang-woo presiding, the meeting was attended by seven of the eight team presidents of the league. The Kia Tigers’ Cho Nam-hong was absent on a business trip and Hanwha Eagles’ president Lee Gyeong-jae represented Cho’s interest.

The KBO had scheduled yesterday’s meeting after failing on Monday to reach a conclusion. The league announced yesterday that Shin would make the final decision “by 2 p.m. Thursday, at the latest.”

Following the announcement of the deal last Friday, the six KBO teams other than the two trade principals voiced their displeasure and demanded the league office review the deal’s validity.

The trade has come under the microscope because the six teams argue that the Heroes, which joined the KBO in 2008, are not permitted to trade players for cash for their first five years under the league-wide agreement.

It was regarded as a measure to prevent the Heroes from following the trails of the Ssangbangwool Raiders, a cash-strapped franchise from the late 1990s which eventually went under after making several “player-for-cash” trades.

The team executives met at 10 a.m. for a closed-door meeting. After a two-hour session, the KBO executives held a separate, three-hour conference but failed to reach a conclusion.

According to KBO spokesman Lee Jin-hyung, the trade principals kept arguing that their deal is valid, while other representatives continued to press Shin to nullify the trade.

No trade has ever been vetoed by the KBO in the league’s 26-year history.

At the core of this controversy is the clause that prohibits the Heroes from dealing players for cash. While the trade principals charge that it was never documented, the six other teams claim that it was verbally agreed upon and thus must be honored by all KBO teams accordingly.

And on Monday, the KBO said its legal adviser confirmed the agreement is still legally binding because it was discussed during the press conference with Shin and the Heroes’ president Lee Jang-seok present.

What is recorded, however, is the clause that for the first five years of their existence, the Heroes and their trading partner must receive the KBO’s prior permission before making deals.

The Lions’ General Manager Kim Jae-ha has argued that the league gave him the go-ahead before the Jang trade.

Although a vote on the issue among the attendees was expected yesterday, KBO spokesman Lee said the meeting was “an occasion for Commissioner Shin to listen to all sides of the story.”

Lee acknowledged that the parties were “clearly divided,” with the Heroes and the Lions being the only one in favor of the trade.

Jang joined the Lions’ training camp last weekend and the Lions have paid the Heroes the 3 billion won, which, if the trade stands, would be the highest figure ever in a player-for-cash deal in the KBO history.

But if the trade is vetoed, Jang must report back to the Heroes and the money must be returned.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

KBO postpones Jang trade verdict
Other teams accuse Lions, Heroes of breach of trust, threaten boycott

The office of the Korea Baseball Organization in Dogokdong, southern Seoul. By Kim Min-gyu
Two more days.

That was the non-conclusive conclusion that the Korea Baseball Organization reached yesterday after reviewing pitcher Jang Won-sam’s trade from the Heroes to the Samsung Lions for pitcher Park Sung-hun and 3 billion won ($2.1 million) in cash.

Following the announcement of the deal on Friday, six KBO teams other than the trade principals voiced their disapproval and asked the league office to review the deal’s validity.

The KBO was expected to issue the verdict yesterday but instead announced that it would hold an emergency board meeting tomorrow morning with presidents from all eight teams in attendance.

Jang Won-sam
The Jang trade has come under criticism because the six teams argue that the Heroes, which joined the KBO in 2008, are not permitted to trade players for cash for their first five years under the league-wide agreement so that they wouldn’t follow the trails of another struggling franchise from the past.

In the late 1990s, the Ssangbangwool Raiders made several “players for cash” trades and were eventually bought over by the SK Wyverns in 2000.

On the other hand, the two trade principals charge that the “no trade for cash” clause was never put in a document and was only discussed verbally.

Yang Hae-young, a senior executive at the KBO, explained that the league tried to get the Heroes’ signature in the paper detailing that policy, but “the Heroes never found time to do it.”

However, Yang added the KBO’s legal adviser said the agreement on the no trade for cash policy is still legally binding because it was mentioned during the press conference attended by KBO commissioner Shin Sang-woo and Heroes’ president Lee Jang-seok.

Aside from the legal issue, the six teams say the Heroes and the Lions have breached their trust.

They argue the Heroes have just begun to dump their stars for cash to cover their costs and it doesn’t bode well for the team’s future. They even suggested they would boycott their games against the Lions in the 2009 season should the trade be allowed to stand.

The Heroes’ president Lee admitted on Sunday the team needs money but denied he sent Jang just for quick cash.

At the KBO board meeting, the eight team presidents plus the commissioner Shin have a vote each on the given issue under majority rule. And since team executives other than the Lions’ and the Heroes’ are so clearly against the Jang trade, the deal could be vetoed and nullified.

No trade has ever been vetoed by the KBO in the league’s 26-year history.

Jang joined the Lions training camp last weekend and the Lions have paid the Heroes the 3 billion won, which, if the trade is completed, would be the KBO’s highest figure ever in a player-for-cash deal.

But if the trade is vetoed, Jang must return to the Heroes and the money must change hands once again.

Jang, 25, has been one of the KBO’s most consistent left-handed starters since joining the league in 2006. He has won 33 games in his career, including the team-high 12 in 2008, and posted an ERA of 2.85, good for fifth best in the KBO this past season.

Meanwhile, the Heroes’ manager Kim Si-jin said yesterday without Jang, he would essentially throw out the 2009 season. The Heroes could also lose their starting third baseman Jeong Seong-hoon via free agency.

Kim said, “With all that’s going on this offseason, we may as well forget about winning next season and try to rebuild for 2010 and beyond.” He added he was notified of the Jang deal only after the trade was complete.

The Heroes went 50-76 in their inaugural season to finish seventh in the eight-team league.

By Yoo Jee-ho Staff Reporter []

Monday, November 17, 2008

Controversy as KBO reviews Jang exchange
Lee denied that the team was dumping a star for quick cash.
November 17, 2008

Jang Won-sam
Will he or won’t he?

Korea Baseball Organization pitcher Jang Won-sam awaited his fate yesterday, as the league reviewed his trade from the Heroes to the Samsung Lions on Friday in exchange for pitcher Park Sung-hun and 3 billion won ($2.1 million) in cash. The final verdict is expected today.

After the deal was announced Friday, six clubs in the KBO other than the trade principals and the KBO players’ association voiced their displeasure. General managers of the six clubs on Friday asked the KBO to delay approving the deal.

The opposing parties argued that the trade signals the beginning of the Heroes’ dumping of star players for cash. Should the trade be completed, the 3 billion won tag would be the highest figure in a player-for-cash trade in the KBO history.

Jang, 25, has been one of the KBO’s finest left-handed starters over the past three seasons. After joining the league in 2006, he has won 33 games, including the team-high 12 in 2008.

Jang had an ERA of 2.85 in 2008 on a club that had the second-worst ERA of 4.43. The durable Jang joins the Lotte Giants’ Son Min-han and the Hanwha Eagles’ Ryu Hyun-jin as the only three pitchers to throw at least 160 innings in each of the past three seasons.

The general managers charged that when the Heroes joined the KBO before the 2008 season, the league required that the Heroes could not trade players for cash for the first five seasons, so that they wouldn’t walk the same path as another cash-strapped franchise from the past.

In the late 1990s, the Ssangbangwool Raiders dumped their key players for billions of won to help cover their costs, before the SK Wyverns eventually took them over in 2000.

However, the KBO said the “no trade for cash” clause was verbally discussed but was never documented. Its chief spokesman Lee Jin-hyung said, “Nothing was set in stone. The teams reserve the rights to conduct trades among themselves.”

The Heroes lost their main sponsor, Woori Tobacco, in the middle of the season and haven’t received sponsorship money since August. Lee Jang-seok, president of the Heroes, acknowledged that the team does need money but denied the Jang trade was the outright dumping of a star for quick cash.

“If we were desperate for money, we would’ve traded Jang a long time ago,” Lee said. “We fielded about 10 offers for Jang during the season and we mulled over the Samsung deal for a month. The 3 billion won will be used for players’ salaries.”

The Lions’ GM Kim Jae-ha said acquiring a pitcher of Jang’s caliber would have cost more money via free agency than trade.

“I know the critics would say we flaunted our wealth to get a player but we showed that trading for a player could be more effective than signing free agents,” Kim said. “This is a win-win proposition for both teams. We have a young, talented left-handed starting pitcher, and the Heroes have some cash.”

The Heroes’ manager Kim Si-jin, who replaced Lee Gwang-hwan after the 2008 season, said it was tough bidding farewell to his prized pupil but he understands the situation that the team ownership is facing.

Kim previously managed Jang at the Hyundai Unicorns, who went under in 2007 after years of financial difficulties, and were replaced by the Heroes before the 2008 season.

“It’s really difficult seeing him go, especially because I was with him from the beginning,” Kim said. “But this is reality. The ownership promised they would not trade any more players for cash and I’ve got to believe them.”

The Heroes went 50-76 in their inaugural season to finish seventh but had a more tumultuous year off the field. The team missed the June 30 deadline for the first installment of their league expansion fees and played hardball with the KBO before ponying up the money a week later.

In the process, Woori Tobacco, who lent its name to the Heroes in a three-year, 30 billion won contract before the season, severed its ties with the team and asked them to drop the “Woori” from the club’s name.

The next deadline for the league expansion fees is Dec. 31.

By Yoo Jee-ho Staff Reporter []

Saturday, November 15, 2008

KBO releases list of free agents, but vows strict rules
November 06, 2008

Former most valuable player Son Min-han and Golden Glove-winning shortstop Park Jin-man headline the list of 27 Korea Baseball Organization players eligible for free agency this winter.

The KBO released yesterday the list of would-be free agents. These players have until this Saturday to declare free agency with the KBO.

Once approved by the league on Nov. 9, they will have 10 days in which to negotiate with their original clubs. The original teams hold exclusive negotiating rights during this period.

And from Nov. 20 to Dec. 9, players who fail to reach a deal with their original teams will be able to talk with seven other clubs. If that doesn’t result in a new deal, then the players will negotiate with all eight teams from Dec. 10 to Jan. 15 next year.

Players not signed by Jan. 15 will be banned from playing in the KBO during the 2009 season.

In the KBO, position players become eligible for free agency if they have played in at least two-thirds of the team’s regular season games in nine seasons. Pitchers must have thrown at least two-thirds of the minimum innings required over nine seasons. The minimum number of innings equals the number of games in a season.

Son, the 2005 MVP, won 12 games for the Lotte Giants as they reached their first postseason in eight years. The Samsung Lions’ Park has won five Golden Gloves for his defensive excellence. He joined the Lions with a lucrative free agent contract in 2005 and was one of the league’s highest-paid players in 2008 with 450 million won ($355,000).

However, because of heavy compensation packages in free agency, the players, even if they declare themselves free agents, are unlikely to hit the jackpot.

Whichever team signs a free agent must either pay the player’s original club three times his previous year’s salary and send a player, or give the team cash that amounts to 4.5 times the player’s previous annual salary.

For this offseason, the KBO has vowed to enforce free agency rules strictly. According to league rules, free agents cannot receive a raise of more than 150 percent from their previous salary and teams can only ink them to a one-year contract.

Up until last season, these rules had been virtually ignored by the teams as players signed multi-year deals with substantial raises. But this year, the KBO has said that it will impose a 50 million won fine on the violating club and suspend the guilty free agents and team officials for two years from the league.

The KBO Players’ Association said it opposes the regulations and argued the current system all but forces the KBO free agents to seek playing opportunities overseas, especially in Japan.

“Under this system, no team will be in pursuit of free agents,” said Kwon Si-hyung, secretary general of the players’ association. “They might as well just tell the players not to declare free agency and go play in Japan instead.

“We’d be better off abolishing free agency altogether,” Kwon added. “This infringes on players’ rights to choose their workplaces.”

Doosan Bears’ left-hander Lee Hei-chun is rumored to be on his way to Japan. Japanese paper Sports Nippon reported Sunday that the Yakult Swallows are interested in Lee. The Swallows already have a Korean pitcher in closer Lim Chang-yong.

Son, who is also the president of the players’ association, could also be in a Japanese uniform next season. He said his priority is with the Giants but has left the door open for a possible departure.

“If the Giants present the right offer, I’d love to stay,” he said. “But I am a professional ball player. I can’t overlook the business side of the deal.”

By Yoo Jee-ho Staff Reporter []

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Murphy's war law

  • Friendly fire - isn't.
  • Recoilless rifles - aren't.
  • Suppressive fires - won't.
  • You are not Superman; Marines and fighter pilots take note.
  • A sucking chest wound is Nature's way of telling you to slow down.
  • If it's stupid but it works, it isn't stupid.
  • Try to look unimportant; the enemy may be low on ammo and not want to waste a bullet on you.
  • If at first you don't succeed, call in an air strike.
  • If you are forward of your position, your artillery will fall short.
  • Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than yourself.
  • Never go to bed with anyone crazier than yourself.
  • Never forget that your weapon was made by the lowest bidder.
  • If your attack is going really well, it's an ambush.
  • The enemy diversion you're ignoring is their main attack.
  • The enemy invariably attacks on two occasions:
    when they're ready.
    when you're not.
  • No OPLAN ever survives initial contact.
  • There is no such thing as a perfect plan.
  • Five second fuses always burn three seconds.
  • There is no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole.
  • A retreating enemy is probably just falling back and regrouping.
    The Ol' Ranger's addendum:
    Or else they're trying to suck you into a serious ambush!
  • The important things are always simple; the simple are always hard.
  • The easy way is always mined.
  • Teamwork is essential; it gives the enemy other people to shoot at.
  • Don't look conspicuous; it draws fire. For this reason, it is not at all uncommon for aircraft carriers to be known as bomb magnets.
  • Never draw fire; it irritates everyone around you.
  • If you are short of everything but the enemy, you are in the combat zone.
  • When you have secured the area, make sure the enemy knows it too.
  • Incoming fire has the right of way.
  • No combat ready unit has ever passed inspection.
  • No inspection ready unit has ever passed combat.
  • If the enemy is within range, so are you.
  • The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.
  • Things which must be shipped together as a set, aren't.
  • Things that must work together, can't be carried to the field that way.
  • Radios will fail as soon as you need fire support.
  • Radar tends to fail at night and in bad weather, and especially during both.)
  • Anything you do can get you killed, including nothing.
  • Make it too tough for the enemy to get in, and you won't be able to get out.
  • Tracers work both ways.
  • If you take more than your fair share of objectives, you will get more than your fair share of objectives to take.
  • When both sides are convinced they're about to lose, they're both right.
  • Professional soldiers are predictable; the world is full of dangerous amateurs.
  • Military Intelligence is a contradiction.
  • Fortify your front; you'll get your rear shot up.
  • Weather ain't neutral.
  • If you can't remember, the Claymore is pointed toward you.
  • Air defense motto: shoot 'em down; sort 'em out on the ground.
  • 'Flies high, it dies; low and slow, it'll go.
  • The Cavalry doesn't always come to the rescue.
  • Napalm is an area support weapon.
  • Mines are equal opportunity weapons.
  • B-52s are the ultimate close support weapon.
  • Sniper's motto: reach out and touch someone.
  • Killing for peace is like screwing for virginity.
  • The one item you need is always in short supply.
  • Interchangeable parts aren't.
  • It's not the one with your name on it; it's the one addressed "to whom it may concern" you've got to think about.
  • When in doubt, empty your magazine.
  • The side with the simplest uniforms wins.
  • Combat will occur on the ground between two adjoining maps.
  • If the Platoon Sergeant can see you, so can the enemy.
  • Never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lie down, never stay awake when you can sleep.
  • The most dangerous thing in the world is a Second Lieutenant with a map and a compass.
  • Exceptions prove the rule, and destroy the battle plan.
  • Everything always works in your HQ, everything always fails in the Colonel's HQ.
  • The enemy never watches until you make a mistake.
  • One enemy soldier is never enough, but two is entirely too many.
  • A clean (and dry) set of BDU's is a magnet for mud and rain.
  • The worse the weather, the more you are required to be out in it.
  • Whenever you have plenty of ammo, you never miss. Whenever you are low on ammo, you can't hit the broad side of a barn.
  • The more a weapon costs, the farther you will have to send it away to be repaired.
  • The complexity of a weapon is inversely proportional to the IQ of the weapon's operator.
  • Field experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
  • No matter which way you have to march, its always uphill.
  • If enough data is collected, a board of inquiry can prove anything.
  • For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism. (in boot camp)
  • Air strikes always overshoot the target, artillery always falls short.
  • When reviewing the radio frequencies that you just wrote down, the most important ones are always illegible.
  • Those who hesitate under fire usually do not end up KIA or WIA.
  • The tough part about being an officer is that the troops don't know what they want, but they know for certain what they don't want.
  • To steal information from a person is called plagiarism. To steal information from the enemy is called gathering intelligence.
  • The weapon that usually jams when you need it the most is the M60.
  • The perfect officer for the job will transfer in the day after that billet is filled by someone else.
  • When you have sufficient supplies & ammo, the enemy takes 2 weeks to attack. When you are low on supplies & ammo the enemy decides to attack that night.
  • The newest and least experienced soldier will usually win the Medal of Honor.
  • A Purple Heart just proves that were you smart enough to think of a plan, stupid enough to try it, and lucky enough to survive.
  • Murphy was a grunt.
  • Beer Math: 2 beers times 37 men equals 49 cases.
  • Body count Math: 3 guerrillas plus 1 probable plus 2 pigs equals 37 enemies killed in action.
  • The bursting radius of a hand grenade is always one foot greater than your jumping range.
  • All-weather close air support doesn't work in bad weather.
  • The combat worth of a unit is inversely proportional to the smartness of its outfit and appearance.
  • The crucial round is a dud.
  • Every command which can be misunderstood, will be.
  • There is no such place as a convenient foxhole.
  • Don't ever be the first, don't ever be the last and don't ever volunteer to do anything.
  • If your positions are firmly set and you are prepared to take the enemy assault on, he will bypass you.
  • If your ambush is properly set, the enemy won't walk into it.
  • If your flank march is going well, the enemy expects you to outflank him.
  • Density of fire increases proportionally to the curiousness of the target.
  • Odd objects attract fire - never lurk behind one.
  • The more stupid the leader is, the more important missions he is ordered to carry out.
  • The self-importance of a superior is inversely proportional to his position in the hierarchy (as is his deviousness and mischievousness).
  • There is always a way, and it usually doesn't work.
  • Success occurs when no one is looking, failure occurs when the General is watching.
  • The enemy never monitors your radio frequency until you broadcast on an unsecured channel.
  • Whenever you drop your equipment in a fire-fight, your ammo and grenades always fall the farthest away, and your canteen always lands at your feet.
  • As soon as you are served hot chow in the field, it rains.
  • Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do.
  • The seriousness of a wound (in a fire-fight) is inversely proportional to the distance to any form of cover.
  • Walking point = sniper bait.
  • Your bivouac for the night is the spot where you got tired of marching that day.
  • If only one solution can be found for a field problem, then it is usually a stupid solution.
  • No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.
  • The most dangerous thing in the combat zone is an officer with a map.
  • The problem with taking the easy way out is that the enemy has already mined it.
  • The buddy system is essential to your survival; it gives the enemy somebody else to shoot at.
  • If your advance is going well, you are walking into an ambush.
  • The quartermaster has only two sizes, too large and too small.
  • If you really need an officer in a hurry, take a nap.
  • The only time suppressive fire works is when it is used on abandoned positions.
  • There is nothing more satisfying that having someone take a shot at you, and miss.
  • Don't be conspicuous. In the combat zone, it draws fire. Out of the combat zone, it draws sergeants.
  • If see you, so can the enemy.
  • All or any of the above combined.
  • Avoid loud noises, there are few silent killers in a combat zone.
  • Never screw over a buddy; you'll never know when he could save your life.
  • Never expect any rations; the only rations that will be on time and won't be short is the ration ofshit.
  • Respect all religions in a combat zone, take no chances on where you may go if killed.
  • A half filled canteens a beacon for a full loaded enemy weapon.
  • When in a fire fight, kill as many as you can, the one you miss may not miss tomorrow.
    The last six laws were sent by Hank Samples. A Viet Nam combat veteran (70-72) 11th ACR-101st Abn.
  • It is a physical impossibility to carry too much ammo.
    Sent by -
  • If you survive an ambush, something's wrong.
    Sent by - CPL Nagel
  • Some General last words (as his aides tried to get him to get his head down):
    "What! what! men, dodging this way for single bullets! What will you do when they open fire along the whole line? I am ashamed of you. They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist..."
    Sent by Yael Dragwyla
    The General was General John Sedgwick, said on May 9, 1864 at the Battle of Spotsylvania.
    Sent by Mike Gottert
  • If you can see the flashes from the enemies' guns in battle, he can see yours too.
  • Flashlights, lighters and matches don't just illuminate the surrounding area; they illuminate you too.
  • Just because you have nearly impenetrable body armor and a hard-ass Kevlar helmet, doesn't mean you don't have exposed areas.
  • There are few times when the enemy can't hear you: When he's dead, you're dead, or both.
    Addendum: When he's not there, when you're not there, or both.
  • Never cover a dead body with your own in hopes of looking like you're one of the casualties. Even using his cadaver is a stretch to avoid being shot "just in case."
  • You're only better than your enemy if you kill him first.
    The last seven laws were sent by Charlie.
  • Complain about the rations all you want, but just remember; they could very well be your last meal.
  • Never underestimate the ability of the brass to foul things up.
  • You have two mortal enemies in combat; the opposing side and your own rear services.
  • You think the enemy has better artillery support and the enemy thinks yours is better; you're both right.
  • Three things you will never see in combat; hot chow, hot showers, and an uninterrupted night's sleep.
  • "Live" and "Hero" are mutually exclusive terms.
    The last six laws were sent by Donald J. Cheek, CPT, US Army (Ret) - Gulf War vet.
  • Don't be a hero
    Sent by Bo Zhang
  • Once you are in the fight it is way too late to wonder if this is a good idea.
  • NEVER get into a fight without more ammunition that the other guy.
  • Cover your Buddy, so he can be around to cover for you.
  • Decisions made by someone over your head will seldom be in your best interest.
  • Sometimes, being good and lucky still is not enough.
  • If the rear echelon troops are really happy, the front line troops probably do not have what they need.
  • If you are wearing body armor they will probably miss that part.
  • Happiness is a belt fed weapon.
  • Having all your body parts intact and functioning at the end of the day beats the alternative...
  • If you are allergic to lead it is best to avoid a war zone.
  • Hot garrison chow is better than hot C-rations which, in turn, are better than cold C-rations, which are better than no food at all. All of these, however, are preferable to cold rice balls even if they do have little pieces of fish in them.
  • A free fire zone has nothing to do with economics.
  • Medals are OK, but having your body and all your friends in one piece at the end of the day is better.
  • Being shot hurts.
  • Thousands of Veterans earned medals for bravery every day. A few were even awarded.
  • There is only one rule in war: When you win, you get to make up the rules.
  • C-4 can make a dull day fun.
  • There is no such thing as a fair fight -- only ones where you win or lose.
  • If you win the battle you are entitled to the spoils. If you lose you don't care.
  • Nobody cares what you did yesterday or what you are going to do tomorrow. What is important is what you are doing -- NOW -- to solve our problem.
  • Always make sure someone has a can opener.
  • Prayer may not help . . . but it can't hurt.
  • Flying is better than walking. Walking is better than running. Running is better than crawling. All of these, however, are better than extraction by a Med-Evac even if it is, technically, a form of flying.
  • If everyone does not come home none of the rest of us can ever fully come home either.
  • Carrying any weapon that you weren't issued (e.g, an AK) in combat is Not A Good Idea!
    A combat vet will know the sound of an unfamiliar weapon in an instant and will point and shoot.
    Not only that, AKs use green tracers which mean "shoot 'em all and let God sort them out".
    As has been noted, "Friendly fire isn't!"
    The last 25 laws were sent by Jim
  • When the going gets tough, the tough go cyclic.
    Sent by SPC Chris
  • Military Intelligence is not a contradiction in terms, "Light Infantry" is!
    Sent by CPT Sean M. Murphy, FA, USA
  • Proximity factor: The need for relief is directly related to the distance of the relief station.
    Sent by Joe Garcia
  • Always keep one bullet in the chamber when changing your magazine.
    Sent by J.E.S.
  • In peacetime people say, "War is Hell". In combat, under fire from artillery, airplanes, or whatever, a soldier thinks, "War is really really really LOUD as Hell!!!".
  • f you can think clearly, know exactly what's happening, and have total control of a situation in combat, then you're not in combat.
  • When you get the coveted 1,000 yard stare, don't forget about the enemy who is 30 yards away and about to pop your ass.
  • Stay away from officers in combat, they're clever decoys for noncoms.
  • If you think you don't need something for your combat load for an OP PLAN, you'll probably wish you had it after the shit hits the fan in combat.
  • Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
    The last six laws were sent by Michael Desai
  • Failure of plan A will directly affect your ability to carry out plan B.
    Sent by Lenny Quites
  • If you drop a soldier in the middle of a desert with a rock, a hammer, and an anvil, tell him not to touch any of it, and come back two hours later, the anvil will be broken. "Because soldiers gotta fuck with shit". (quoted from an Officer during an interview in which the Officer was asked why barrels were thickened on the M-16A2).
    Sent by Darrell A. Pierce
  • War does not determine who is right, war determines who is left.
    Sent by Quenya. Aus. (didn't know there were Elves in Australia, didn't know that elves were interested in war).
  • Lackland's Laws:
    1. Never be first.
    2. Never be last.
    3. Never volunteer for anythin
  • An escaping soldier can be used again.
    Sent by Asier Zabarte
  • If you think you'll die, don't worry you won't.
  • Near death, but still a live? There is nothing wrong with physics. God doesn't like you.
  • It is better to be lucky than good in the battlefield.
    Sent by Rob
  • If it's worth fighting's worth fighting dirty for.
    Sent by former Lt. C. Harper (Vietnam '65)
  • if god wanted boots to be comfortable he would have designed them like running shoes.
    Sent by Pv1 Goetze
  • If you survive the extraordinary things, it will often be the little things that will kill you.
  • Give an order, then change the order, will get you disorder.
    Sent by Samuel
  • You never have fire support in heavy firefight but you always have it on a silent recon mission
    Sent by Roswell
  • Revision to Marine Corp. Motto "If it makes sense, we won't do it".
    Sent by Larry Wotring
  • The only thing more dangerous to you than the enemy, is your allies
    Sent by Marc Underwood
  • Night vision - isn't
    Sent by truga
  • When you need CAS, they'll be on last weeks radio fill and you won't be able to reach them
  • When you need Apache's, they'll be busy escorting the generals bird around
    Last two laws were sent by , saying they are "A couple of additions to the law I picked up in Afghanistan".
  • Supply & Demand law
    Whatever you have, you won't need; whatever you need, you won't have.
  • Leadership law
    If it was risky, it worked and no one got hurt: you were brilliant
    If it was risky, it worked and someone got hurt; you were courageous
    If it was risky, it didn't work and no one got hurt; you were lucky
    If it was risky, it didn't work and someone got hurt; you were stupid (and probably dead)
    Last two laws were sent by
  • The best sniper position is always the hardest to reach
  • Snakes aren't neutral
  • When you need to use the bathroom - the enemy is watching your position
    Last three laws were sent by , Law Enforcement Precision Marksman, Arkansas

Laws of War for Helicopters

  • Helicopter tail rotors are naturally drawn toward trees, stumps, rocks, etc.
    While it may be possible to ward off this event some of the time, it cannot, despite the best efforts of the crew, always be prevented.
    It's just what they do.
  • The engine RPM and the rotor RPM must BOTH be kept in the GREEN.
    Failure to heed this commandment can adversely affect the morale of the crew.
  • The terms Protective Armor and Helicopter are mutually exclusive.
  • "Chicken Plates" are not something you order in a restaurant.
  • The BSR (Bang Stare Red) Law:
    The louder the sudden bang in the helicopter, the quicker your eyes will be drawn to the gauges.
    Corollary: The longer you stare at the gauges the less time it takes them to move from green to red.
  • Loud, sudden noises in a helicopter WILL get your undivided attention.
  • The further you fly into the mountains, the louder the strange engine noises become.
  • It is a bad thing to run out of airspeed, altitude and ideas all at the same time.
  • "Pucker Factor" is the formal name of the equation that states the more hairy the situation is, the more of the seat cushion will be sucked up your butt.
    It can be expressed in its mathematical formula of:
    S (suction) + H (height above ground) + I (interest in staying alive) + T (# of tracers coming your way).
    Thus the term 'SHIT!' can also be used to denote a situation where a high Pucker Factor is being encountered.
  • Running out of pedal, fore or aft cyclic, or collective are all bad ideas.
    Any combination of these can be deadly.
    All the Laws of War for Helicopters were sent by Jim Kirk with courtesy of CWO4 Larry Gilbert (Ret). his brother-in-law that sent them to him
  • Helicopters have been described as nothing more than 50,000 parts flying in close formation. It is the mechanics responsibility to keep that formation as tight as possible.
  • It is mathematically impossible for either hummingbirds, or helicopters to fly. Fortunately, neither are aware of this.
    The last two laws were sent by Darrell A. Pierce
  • LZ's are always hot.
    Sent by
  • There are 'old' pilots and 'bold' pilots, but there are no 'old, bold' pilots.
  • Any helicopter pilot story that starts "There I was,...." will be either true or false.
    Any of these stories that end with "No shit." was neither true nor false.
  • The mark of a truly superior pilot is the use of his superior judgment to avoid situations requiring the use of his superior skill
    The last three laws were sent by Brad Lucas, CPT, AV USA Ret, and a 1st Gulf War Vet.
  • Ch-53's are living proof, that if you strap enough engines to something it will fly.
    Sent by Jason Koeck

Laws of War for Tanks

  • The same gun tube that would probably stay in alignment after lifting a car, will get you beaten after calibration if used to assist in climbing on the tank.
  • Tanks draw fire. A lot of it. It does not behoove the infantryman to hide behind one.
  • If you're close enough to actually hear an M1 series tank running, while in combat, and not part of the crew, you're too close.
    Laws of war for tanks were sent by Darrell A. Pierce

Laws of the Marine Corp

  • It never rains in the Marine Corp, it rains on the Marine Corp.
    Sent by Jesse Cason

Law of Fighting Airplanes

  • The enemy is always has the advantage.
  • Heat-seeking missiles don't know the difference between friend and foe.
  • 'Armor' is a fantasy invented by your C.O. to make you feel better.
  • Afterburners aren't.
  • Air Brakes don't.
  • Your cannon will jam in combat, and then when you get back to base there will be nothing wrong with it.
  • You may have the better plane, but the enemy is the better pilot. (or vise versa)
  • When getting spare parts for your aircraft, you can get them CHEAP - FAST - IN GOOD CONDITION,
    pick two. (This applies to everything)
  • Your radar will not pick up the enemy behind you or the one in the sun.
  • If you have got into the sun and are about to ambush the enemy, it will either be a trap or you'll run out of fuel.
    Law of Fighting Airplanes were sent by Luke

Saddam's First (and last) Law of War:

  • Don't pick a fight with the baddest guys on the block!
    Sent by Jim Kirk

Laws of Desert Combat:

  • Any attempt to find cover will result in failure.
  • Supply Shipments at night stick out like a sore thumb.
  • Tanks should never leave the established roads
  • Established roads are always mined
  • Operations in daytime will cause the lesser equipped army to win
  • The effectiveness of a soldier in desert combat is inversely porportional to how heavy his equipment is
  • Have plenty of water on hand
    The last 7 laws were sent by Fenix

Laws of War in Iraq:

  • If it makes sense, it is not the "Army Way"
  • Saddam's First (and last) Law of War:
    Don't pick a fight with the baddest guys on the block.
    If you do, don't even try to run or hide. The pain will be worse.
  • The Iraqis always know the area better than you, no matter how many dismounts or convoys you have been on.
  • Iraqis always have the advantage of blending in with the crowd. You do not.
  • Iraqis are used to the heat and will rarely, if ever, be out during the hottest part of the day.
  • Drink more water than you think that you will need.
  • Drink more water than you think that you will need.
  • Always keep your radio fill up to date.
  • Don't piss off the IP's that run the check points, they sometimes allow insurgents to place IED's near their location just to fuck with you.
  • Be nice to the Iraqi children, they will soon be either IP's, IA's, or insurgents!
  • Always remember: Shoot first and then swear up and down that you saw them pull out a grenade. This always works!!!
  • IED's will be placed frequently in the same spots over and over again.
  • Always shoot the guy walking down the MSR in the middle of the night carrying a gas can and a shovel. If they can't place the IED's, they can't blow you up!
    Last 13 laws were sent by , M SPC MIL USA USAREUR
  • Military restatement of Uffelman's Razor:
    Never attribute to an Officer that which is adequately explained by a Private.
    From SFC Raines
  • Anderson's first Law:
    If at first you don't succeed, blame it on the new private!
    If at first you don't succeed, redefine success.
    From SPC Coffee
  • Law of Murphic Relief:
    If, throughout your entire life you have been ruled by Murphy's Law, then at least one thing, usually no more than that, will go so right as to make up for a lifetime of failures.
    From My Wife Rita!! Happily married now for 5 years!!
  • Murphy's Law is proof that God is in Heaven laughing his butt off!!
    From SGT Overson

Murphy's Laws of Combat

1. If the enemy is in range, so are you.
2. Incoming fire has the right of way.
3. Don't look conspicuous, it draws fire.
4. There is always a way, and it usually doesn't work.
5. The problem with the easy way out is that it has already been mined.
6. Try to look unimportant, they may be low on ammo.
7. Professionals are predictable, it's the amateurs that are dangerous.
8. The enemy invariably attacks on two occasions:
1. when you're ready for them.
2. when you're not ready for them.
9. Teamwork is essential, it gives them someone else to shoot at.
10. If you can't remember, then the claymore IS pointed at you.
11. The enemy diversion you have been ignoring will be the main attack.
12. A "sucking chest wound" is nature's way of telling you to slow down.
13. If your attack is going well, then it's an ambush.
14. Never draw fire, it irritates everyone around you.
15. Anything you do can get you shot, including nothing.
16. If you build yourself a bunker that's tough for the enemy to get into quickly, then you won't be able to get out of it quickly either.
17. Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than yourself.
18. If you're short of everything but the enemy, you're in a combat zone.
19. When you've secured the area, don't forget to tell the enemy.
20. Never forget that your weapon is made by the lowest bidder.
21. Friendly fire isn't.
22. If the sergeant can see you, so can the enemy.
23. Never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lie down, never stay awake when you can sleep.
24. The most dangerous thing in the world is a second lieutenant with a map and a compass.
25. There is no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole.
26. A grenade with a seven second fuse will always burn down in four seconds.
27. Remember, a retreating enemy is probably just falling back and regrouping.
28. If at first you don't succeed call in an air-strike.
29. Exceptions prove the rule, and destroy the battle plan.
30. Everything always works in your HQ, everything always fails in the colonel's HQ.
31. The enemy never watches until you make a mistake.
32. One enemy soldier is never enough, but two is entirely too many.
33. A clean (and dry) set of BDU's is a magnet for mud and rain.
34. Whenever you have plenty of ammo, you never miss. Whenever you are low on ammo, you can't hit the broad side of a barn.
35. The more a weapon costs, the farther you will have to send it away to be repaired.
36. Field experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
37. Interchangeable parts aren't.
38. No matter which way you have to march, its always uphill.
39. If enough data is collected, a board of inquiry can prove ANYTHING.
40. For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism. (in boot camp)
41. The one item you need is always in short supply.
42. The worse the weather, the more you are required to be out in it.
43. The complexity of a weapon is inversely proportional to the IQ of the weapon's operator.
44. Airstrikes always overshoot the target, artillery always falls short.
45. When reviewing the radio frequencies that you just wrote down, the most important ones are always illegible.
46. Those who hesitate under fire usually do not end up KIA or WIA.
47. The tough part about being an officer is that the troops don't know what they want, but they know for certain what they DON'T want.
48. To steal information from a person is called plagiarism. To steal information from the enemy is called gathering intelligence.
49. The weapon that usually jams when you need it the most is the M60.
50. The perfect officer for the job will transfer in the day after that billet is filled by someone else.
51. When you have sufficient supplies & ammo, the enemy takes 2 weeks to attack. When you are low on supplies & ammo the enemy decides to attack that night.
52. The newest and least experienced soldier will usually win the Congressional Medal Of Honor.
53. A Purple Heart just goes to prove that were you smart enough to think of a plan, stupid enough to try it, and lucky enough to survive.
54. Murphy was a grunt.