Friday, March 20, 2009

"A Consecration"

by John Masefield

Not of the princes and prelates with periwigged charioteers,
Riding triumphantly laureled to lap the fat of the years,
Rather the scorned -- the rejected -- the men hemmed with spears.

The men in tattered battalion which fights till it dies,
Dazed with the dust of the battle, the din and the cries,
The men with the broken heads and blood running into their eyes.

Not the bemedalled Commander, beloved of throne,
Riding cock-horse to parade when the bugles are blown,
But the lads who carried the hill and cannot be known.

Others may sing of the wine and the wealth and the mirth,
The portly presence of potentates goodly in girth; --
Mine be the dirt and the dross, the dust and the scum of the earth!

Theirs be the music, the colour, the glory, the gold;
Mine be a handful of ashes, a mouthful of mould.
Of the maimed, of the halt and the blind in the rain and the cold --

Of these shall my songs be fashioned, my tale be told. Amen.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Article: Ultimate Stress Test -- Special Forces

An article detailing a relatively new POW simulation camp, and how Special Forces soldiers differ from regular infantry troops.

See Also: FM 8-51

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Edible Insects: Ants

Today Emily and I went for a short hike through the Molalla river corridor in search of whatever we came across. One thing on the list was ants...for eating. After a short time we came across an ant hill swarming with little black and red ants. Later, after doing some research, I believed the ants to be either Formica Integroides or Formica Obscuripes, both of the group Rufa. Both species display similar physical characteristics and both lack the painful bite of the common fire ant. Also, both species prefer open wooded areas and construct large colonies, the entrances of which are distinct thatch mounds. I have yet to make a definite identification of the ants collected.

Both f. obsuripes and f. ingegroides are easily located by their distinctive mounds, found in wooded areas and commonly made of coniferous needles and subterranean dirt which the ants move to the surface as chambers and passageways are constructed below ground. Mounds are commonly 2-3 feet in diameter and roughly the same height. They are roughly 1/2-5/8 inch in length, with a black or dark brown abdomen and red thorax and head. Though characterized as being "aggressive" ants, their bite is only mildly irritating. Even so, it is advisable to exercise caution when handling, as many bites may cause a considerable amount of discomfort.

Time Of Year:

The best time of year to collect both species is late-winter or early-spring. In late spring on through the warmer summer months, many adult species of ant develop wings to carry out "mating flights" to establish new colonies. The ants are edible with wings, though I would imagine they may not be as pleasant to eat and there would be a great deal of work involved in removing the wings.


These ants are ubiquitous to the forested temperate climate zones of the Pacific northwest. Heavier populations are found in the northwestern parts of Oregon and western Washington.

Both f. obscuripes and f. integroides are considered to be "active" and "aggressive", but more ants will be active on the surface of their mound in warmer temperatures, or when in direct sunlight in the cooler months of late winter and early spring. If you come across a mound with little or no visible activity, it may be an old mound no longer in use, or it may be that the mound is in a cooler, shady area. If that's the case, simply locate a mound in a sunny area.

To collect the ants, use a small stick or grass stalk. Place the stick on the mound and let the ants swarm over it. Then, just put the ant-covered end of the stick in a jar and shake them off, or eat them directly off the stick. I found that using two or three grass stalks produced a greater number of ants and made collecting them a bit easier. I also found it helpful to gently brush the stalks over the ants. Brushing caused the ants to clump into a ball which would either hang onto the stalks or could be scooped into the jar easier and in greater number than with one single stick or stalk.

It is neither productive nor necessary to destroy a mound to search for ants. If you come across a mound with little or no activity, pass it by and locate another.
Ants play an important role in the ecology of the environments in which they live. Under no circumstances is it necessary to destroy or damage a mound for any reason.

I do not know about other similar species of ant, these are not unpleasant to eat, and produce a tart, acidic, almost lemon-like flavor when eaten.

To prepare the ants you may want first freeze them for a few minutes to slow them down, then spread them on a flat surface and remove any debris that you may have collected with the ants. Ants are great raw, but if you wish to cook them, do so by baking for a short period on low heat or cooking quickly in a dry pan. Then, put them in or on whatever foods you so desire. Emily and I thought to try them as sprinkles on chocolate cupcakes with cherry frosting. The tartness of the ants complimented sweetness of the cherry frosting rather well, and the cupcakes were delicious.

As with other wild edibles such as plants and fungi, it is important to correctly identify ants and other insects before eating them. Some ants, such as Pharaoh Ants, prefer blood plasma and therefore will collect rotting meat, blood, and sometimes feces from dying and dead animals to feed their colonies, and may carry diseases and parasites. It's much easier to take a little time to correctly identify your food BEFORE eating it, rather than spending a long time being sick and being sure you ate the wrong thing.

See Also: FM 21-76

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Your Rights: Obtaining Your FBI File

by Eli Baseler

Provided by HR 3162: The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001, more infamously known as The PATRIOT Act, authority of all U.S. Law Enforcement Agencies has been dramatically expanded or the stated purpose of fighting terrorism in the United States and abroad. Among its provisions, the act increased the ability of law enforcement agencies to search telephone and e-mail communications and medical, financial, and other records; eased restrictions on foreign intelligence gathering within the United States; expanded the Secretary of the Treasury’s authority to regulate financial transactions, particularly those involving foreign individuals and entities; and enhanced the discretion of law enforcement and immigration authorities in detaining and deporting immigrants suspected of terrorism-related acts. The act also expanded the definition of terrorism to include "domestic terrorism", thus enlarging the number of activities to which the Patriot Act’s expanded law enforcement powers can be applied.

In lieu of the PATRIOT Act, protections of our civil liberties have been drastically weakened. In these times, it is possible that even YOU could be under the microscope.

To find out if you have an FBI file or file for any other federal agency and to obtain a copy of it, fill out the information below, have this form notarized (you must sign it in front of a notary and provide the notary sufficient identification), and mail this form to the FBI or other federal agency. A request should be sent to each field office that might have your files as well as to the FBI Headquarters. Make a copy of your signed and notarized form for your records. Please note that it is a criminal offense to represent yourself as another to obtain information. A sample letter is provided below.

Freedom of Information and Privacy Act Request

To: ..............................................................

This letter constitutes my formal request for information pursuant to the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts, 5 USC 552. I am requesting copies of all information maintained by your agency that pertain to myself as described below:

Full Name:

Current Address:

Social Security No.:

Date and Place of Birth:

Former Addresses (use reverse if more space needed):

Date: ............................. Signature: ..............................................................

I, .............................................................. a Notary Public in and for the county (city) and state of …................................................... hereby certify that on the …........ day of …............., 20….... , before me personally appeared ..........................................................., who is known by me to be the identical person whose name is subscribed to, and who signed and executed the foregoing instrument. In witness thereof, I have hereunto set my hand and official seal this day and year above.

My commission expires: .............................

Signature of Notary: ......................................................

List of FBI Field Office & Headquarters Addresses

  • FBI
    P O Box 366269
    San Juan PR 00936
  • FBI
    JFK Federal Bldg Rm 900
    Boston MA 02203
  • FBI
    150 Court St Fifth Fl
    New Haven CT 06510
  • FBI
    1 Gateway Market St 22nd Fl
    Newark NJ 07101
  • FBI
    26 Federal Plaza
    New York NY 10278
  • FBI
    James F Foley Bldg. 5th Fl
    445 Broadway
    Albany NY 12201
  • FBI
    111 W Huron
    Buffalo NY 14202
  • FBI
    P O Box 1315
    Pittsburgh PA 15213
  • FBI
    William Green Bldg
    Sixth “ Arch St 8th Fl
    Philadelphia PA 19106
  • FBI DC Field Office
    1900 Half St SW
    Washington DC 20305
  • FBI Headquarters
    J Edgar Hoover Bldg
    10th “ Pennsylvania Ave
    Washington DC 20535
  • FBI
    7142 Ambassador Rd
    Baltimore MD 21207
  • FBI
    111 Green Court Rd
    Richmond VA 23228
  • FBI
    P O Box 3828
    Norfolk VA 23514
  • FBI
    6010 Kenley Ln
    Charlotte NC 28217
  • FBI
    Box 137
    Columbia SC 29202
  • FBI
    77 Forsyth St SW
    Atlanta GA 30303
  • FBI
    220 E Bryan St
    Savannah GA 31401
  • FBI
    Box 8928
    Jacksonville FL 32239
  • FBI
    16320 NW 2nd Ave
    Miami FL 33169
  • FBI
    Box 172177
    Tampa FL 33672
  • FBI
    2121 Bldg #1400
    Birmingham AL 35203
  • FBI
    P O Box 2128
    Mobile AL 36652
  • FBI
    710 Locust St #600
    Knoxville TN 37902
  • FBI
    Clifford Davis Fed Bldg #841
    167 N Main
    Memphis TN 38103
  • FBI
    100 W Capitol #1553
    Jackson MS 39269
  • FBI
    600 Martin Luther King Jr Pl
    Louisville KY 4020
  • FBI
    1240 E 9th Rm 3005
    Cleveland OH 44199
  • FBI
    Box 1277
    Cincinnati OH 45201
  • FBI
    Box 1186
    Indianapolis IN 46206
  • FBI
    P O Box 2118
    Detroit MI 48231
  • FBI
    Box 2058
    Milwaukee WI 53201
  • FBI
    111 Washington St #1100
    Minneapolis MN 55401
  • FBI
    P O Box 3007
    Butte MT 59702
  • FBI
    219 S Dearborn St #905
    Chicago IL 60604
  • FBI
    P O Box 3646
    Springfield IL 62708
  • FBI
    1520 Market #2704
    Saint Louis MO 63103
  • FBI
    811 Grand #300
    Kansas City MO 64106
  • FBI
    P O Box 541090
    Omaha NE 68154
  • FBI
    1250 Poydras #2200
    New Orleans LA 70113
  • FBI
    P O Box 21470
    Little Rock AR 72221
  • FBI
    P O Box 54511
    Oklahoma City OK 73154
  • FBI
    1801 N Lamar #300
    Dallas TX 75202
  • FBI
    2500 E T.C. Jester
    Houston TX 77008
  • FBI
    Box 1630
    San Antonio TX 78296
  • FBI
    7000 E San Antonio #C600
    El Paso TX 79901
  • FBI
    P O Box 1229
    Denver CO 80201
  • FBI
    125 S State #3203
    Salt Lake City UT 84138
  • FBI
    201 E Indianola #400
    Phoenix AZ 85012
  • FBI
    301 Grand NE
    Albuquerque NM 87102
  • FBI
    700 8th Charleston Blvd
    Las Vegas NV 89104
  • FBI
    11000 Wilshire #1700
    Los Angeles CA 90024
  • FBI
    880 Front St #6S31
    San Diego CA 92188
  • FBI
    450 Golden Gate Ave
    San Francisco CA 94102
  • FBI
    P O Box 13130
    Sacramento CA 95813
  • FBI
    300 Ala Moana #4307
    Honolulu HI 96850
  • FBI
    P O Box 709
    Portland OR 97207
  • FBI
    915 2nd Ave #710
    Seattle WA 98174
  • FBI
    Box 100560
    Anchorage AK 99510