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Thread: Stories!

  1. #31
    Banned Defense Professional Bluesman's Avatar
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    Yeah. You can use my story as a template of how it SHOULD be done.

    Heh.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluesman
    Yeah. You can use my story as a template of how it SHOULD be done.

    Heh.
    I've already told all these stories in long form....in writing.

    That means they can never be told again in that form. The details never line up on 15yo events the way they should from telling to telling.

    Besides, it is always best when someone ELSE tells your stories...

  3. #33
    Staff Emeritus Lunatock's Avatar
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    There's a vague story my brother said while he was one of the Marines President Bush 1 deployed to Somalia.

    The way he told it, the CO of his platoon offered fifty dollars to anyone in said platoon if they could wreck a Humvee to the point it was rendered inoperable.

    So on Landing craft exercises, instead of waiting for the ramp to drop, the Humvee operaters instead put the pedal to the metal as soon as they saw daylight, and caught air off the ramp.

    And on manuevers, if not on freetime they took the Humvee's out into the Somali countryside and would bang them up on anything that could -and did- cause dents. Trees, reasonably tall sand dunes, an old stone wall, and he mentioned Camels. Needless to say after all the wanton destruction, not a single Humvee was banged up enough to have to be towed or pushed back. The CO got to keep his fifty dollars.




    And there's a story of my own, not exactly military but rather the earliest tragedy I ever witnessed with my own two eyes. What happens when lightning strikes an American flag.

    The time & place was a rainy early afternoon, Fourth of July. During a rather bad downpour, and thunderstorm I happened to be looking out the window at what otherwise would have been a cookout at my Grandmother's old farm. Looking right at the American flag, which was soaking wet due to the rain, and the metal pole it was attached to, set into a wooden support beam on the side porch.

    I turned away for a second and noticed a lightning flash, but thought nothing of it. Then turned back to the general direction of the flag and saw that despite beign soaked by all the rain the flag was almost completely burned up, except for a small portion of it that was completely black and had smoke pouring from it. The metal pole the flag itself was set into hadn't faired much better either...it was glowing red, had either sparks or embers flying off it, and looked like a freshly used sparkler.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by M21Sniper
    I've already told all these stories in long form....in writing.

    Then where are the stories that you wrote? If possible, can you find them and bring them over to this thread?

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster
    Then where are the stories that you wrote? If possible, can you find them and bring them over to this thread?
    Some are on my forum, some are here.

    Tracking them all down would take quite a long time.

  6. #36
    Staff Emeritus Confed999's Avatar
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    I liked 'em Snipe. Thanks everyone, nice to be getting my story fix again.
    No man is free until all men are free - John Hossack
    I agree completely with this Administration’s goal of a regime change in Iraq-John Kerry
    even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act-John Kerry
    He may even miscalculate and slide these weapons off to terrorist groups to invite them to be a surrogate to use them against the United States. It’s the miscalculation that poses the greatest threat-John Kerry

  7. #37
    Military Professional Ray's Avatar
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    MADHO AND THE BBC

    It was in Kerimarg, near Rajauri, where my Battalion was deployed on the Forward Defended Localities [FDLs] or ‘Posts’ along the Line of Control (LC).

    The period was just before the 1971 war.

    The Commanding Officer was Lieutenant Colonel K. He had an aversion to anything that was not British. He had been commissioned into the Army when the British influence was still quite pervasive.

    On the Posts, the only means of communications was by field telephone. This was notorious for bad speech reception since the WD Cable was laid over long distances. Our Battalion was spread over 16 kilometres and there were deep gullies between the Posts. This increased the reckonable spread of the unit.

    It took 6 hours walk on treacherous mountain tracks to reach the Tactical HQ from either end of the Battalion’s Area of Responsibility.

    To make matters worse, the WD cable had repair patches at regular intervals, having been cut quite frequently by trees or branches falling on them or by the swaying in bad weather. The cable was also very old and much frayed.

    The comprehension of speech was further convoluted as officers had regional intonations while speaking in English; and English was the only language that Lt Col K, the CO, would allow to be spoken since that was the language for officers; Hindoosthani (a mixture of Hindi and Urdu) was for the troops!

    The Punjabi officers were the most difficult to understand because, as per the CO, they had this fetish to drop the articles like the ‘the’, ‘a’ etc at will. Thus, ‘CO come, go’ would mean that the CO had come and gone. He forgot that if that were true, then it had an added advantage – one didn’t have to ‘scramble’ the speech for security!

    Extraordinary that Lt Col K, a shaven Sikh, found it difficult for him to understand us! Maybe it was because he was of the British vintage, who knocked down gins in the afternoon and got pink in the face. To be fair, I don’t know if he took gin in the afternoon because I confess I never saw him sporting a pink face.

    To obviate the problem, it was decided by K, the CO, during one of the rare congregations we officers attended at the Tactical HQ, that all the officers were to listen to the BBC so that we improved our English accent and learnt to make complete sentences. He ordered that we religiously listen to the BBC News, amongst other BBC programmes. All India Radio was a congregation of kalus [native Indians] as far as K was concerned!

    We started listening to the BBC since we were quite sure, knowing K, that he would ask us about the programmes we listened to on the BBC. Initially, we were also enthused about improving our accent and so we listened to the BBC conscientiously.

    Being Indians and being the stubborn characters we are, no matter how much we listened to the BBC, not much of England washed off on our accent. To be fair, we started pronouncing Bangladesh [which was in the news those days, but only as a concept, it being early 1971] as ‘Bang-la-daash’, Pakistan as ‘Pack-his-sten’ and Lahore as ‘La Whore’. Beyond that, we remained the Indian regional characters that we were. The CO was still not happy with our effort since he still had problems understanding us over the telephone!

    After a month, we were called to the Tactical HQ for a conference.

    The conference went on for quite sometime. It was an important conference since the influx of the East Pakistan refugees was creating problems for India and Mujabir Rehman was being a thorn in Pakistan’s flesh. The CO felt that there could be some sort of a backlash from Pakistan and so we were being instructed on the manner how to ensure that they did not surprise us and how to contain the situation in such an eventuality, without escalating the tension.

    BBC, that day, was nowhere on our minds!

    Suddenly and totally out of context, the CO looked at Captain Mahado, one of our Company Commanders and asked, “Madho, are you listening to the BBC?”

    While earlier during the CO’s discourse, Pakistan held our rapt attention and BBC was in the oblivion, it suddenly became our total focus. K was capable of sending us on a ‘padyatra’ [a long haul around the Posts in a stipulated period of time; the time allotted being immensely less requiring practically moving on the trot].

    Each one of us quickly wracked our brains at lightening speed for the details of the programmes we had listened to and the excuses that we could trot out in case K remained unsatisfied.

    I, fortunately, had heard ‘Outlook’ just the day previous and was not very perturbed. Majors Shammy Singh and GS Singh looked definitely disconcerted.

    “Yes, Madho, I am waiting. Did you listen to the BBC?” asked K, rather testily.

    We all looked apprehensively at both K and Madho alternately. Madho was a decent chap but he was a ‘be Indian, buy Indian’ chap. Being patriotic is one thing and facing K’s wrath was another!

    “Yes, sir”, Madho answered most blandly. His slightly Mongoloid features gave him an almost Buddha like beatification on his face.

    K appeared unconvinced!

    “Good. Which BBC programme did you hear last night?”

    “I heard the BBC,………………… but the Hindi BBC, sir!”

    The anticlimax was too much. I burst out laughing.

    Madho returned to his Post. I went on a padyatra.


    "Some have learnt many Tricks of sly Evasion, Instead of Truth they use Equivocation, And eke it out with mental Reservation, Which is to good Men an Abomination."

    I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.

    HAKUNA MATATA

  8. #38
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    thanks for the great stories, everyone.

  9. #39
    Senior Contributor Amled's Avatar
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    My favourite is one about the Ghurkhas.
    During training of the new recruits, one of the disciplines they had to master was a low altitude jump.
    At the briefing one of the instructors saw one of the young Ghurkhas looking a bit green around the gills as he took notes.
    At the end of the briefing they were told to march over to receive their equipment, and the young recruit braced his shoulders, got in line, still looking a bit uneasy, but ready to carry out his orders.
    The instructor came over and took him out of the line and attempted to alleviate his unease.
    Went over the main points of the briefing again, but this time added something that apparently had been missed the first time around and that was when to pull the ripcord on their chute.
    “Ripcord…parachute?” the recruits said, his face loosing its worried frown, replaced by a big smile,
    “Ah, you mean we are to get a parachute when we jump!”
    When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow. - Anais Nin

  10. #40
    Military Professional Ray's Avatar
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    THE MOVING MEDICAL MIRACLES

    I had gone to Bhopal on a short stint of leave.

    The Corps HQ was located in Bhopal. The Corps Commander knew me and so he called me over to his office for a ‘chat’.

    At the appointed hour, I was ushered into the hallowed chambers of the Corps Commander. I was quite apprehensive – not because he was a very senior officer, but because he had a very odd and cutting sense of humour. Therefore, while I may have been delighted to have the Corps Commander calling me for ‘just a chat’, as his Colonel Military Secretary put it, I was a trifle apprehensive that this chat would be an exercise in dripping sarcasm of some omission or commission that I may have inadvertently done or not done in my official or unofficial capacity.

    The Corps Commander was most cordial. Coffee was served and he actually was doing small talk about life in general including a gentle reminder of the dinner my wife and I were to attend at his place at 8 PM Indian Standard Time and not Indian Stretchable Time. He continued to chat with the serenity and deadpan of a Chinese Buddha. The emotions of the Indian Buddha, in comparison, could at least be discerned. Therefore, it was difficult to gauge the Corps Commander’s thought or his physical state.

    As I was trying to gauge the Corps Commander, he gave a deep sigh. It was as if he was immensely tired and that the onerous task of heading the large Corps was wearing him down. It was surprising since nothing could ever wear him down. He was reputed to be the coolest cat amongst senior officers because he sincerely believed in one theory – if you don’t have wings, then why flap ?

    Thus, the deep sigh, was extraordinary; and that too coming from such a person who could go off to sleep during moments of serious business and when asked if he was sleeping, he could calmly state that he was merely meditating, the soft snore being only a metaphysical clash of temple bells with the wail of a conch shell in the truest tradition of the Indian Puja rituals.

    Therefore, I was forced to venture, “Not feeling well, sir?”

    “How did you guess it?”

    “I didn’t guess it, sir. You don’t look under the weather and so I am surprised that you proffered such a deep sigh.”

    “Thank God it was only a sigh. Air can pass through many orifices. By the way Roy, do you know why most of the Major Generals who have just relinquished command like your Divisional Commander [GOC] will become Lieutenant Generals next year?”

    This was a real extraordinary bit of news. Even though I was rather fond of my erstwhile GOC, Major General SP, but such a quick promotion was hierarchically extraordinary. And anyway, the rapid promotion of my GOC had not the remotest connection with any illness of the Corps Commander even if the Corps Commander was not at his pinkest best in health.

    My brows had wrinkled querulously.

    The Corps Commander continued, “I reckon the quick promotion is the order of the day. After all, all Corps Commanders are moving medical miracles and should actually be medically boarded out and be shown the door.”

    I was aghast.

    If all Corps Commanders were medically unfit and sick, then why have they been promoted? Also, how come all the present Corps Commanders were a sick bunch? It was indeed a most unusual coincidence!

    “If I may ask, sir, how come that all the Corps Commanders are a sick lot?”

    “Roy, it is like this. Not only are the present Corps Commanders a sick lot, all Corps Commanders, Army Commanders and Chiefs throughout history, like all in high offices in all facets of professional life are or were a sick lot.”

    Now, the musing of the Corps Commander was indeed getting amusingly crazier. Ramblings of a genius on the thin red line of sanity?

    “Extraordinary. Would you care to amplify, sir?” Remember, one can’t ask senior officers to explain. They only ‘amplified’ after the junior made a ‘submission’.

    “It’s like this, Roy. All Corps Commanders, like all senior officers in government service, have no spine. Further, they have no guts. Their hearts are similar to that of the chicken and thus chicken hearted, but what is just not acceptable is that they suffer from meningitis.”

    Meningitis? Collective meningitis?

    “Meningitis, sir?”

    “Yes, Roy, they all have swollen heads!”

    That really floored me.

    You can’t beat the General in macabre wit!


    "Some have learnt many Tricks of sly Evasion, Instead of Truth they use Equivocation, And eke it out with mental Reservation, Which is to good Men an Abomination."

    I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.

    HAKUNA MATATA

  11. #41
    Staff Emeritus Confed999's Avatar
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    LOL Thanks Ray.
    No man is free until all men are free - John Hossack
    I agree completely with this Administration’s goal of a regime change in Iraq-John Kerry
    even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act-John Kerry
    He may even miscalculate and slide these weapons off to terrorist groups to invite them to be a surrogate to use them against the United States. It’s the miscalculation that poses the greatest threat-John Kerry

  12. #42
    Banned Defense Professional Bluesman's Avatar
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    HAH! THAT is FUNNY!

    Hey, I got to meet the J2 here at CENTCOM the day before yesterday. He's an impressive individual - Brigadier General Custer...direct descendant of THAT Custer. I was introduced by my senior analyst as 'the intel guy that took SOCOM to war, and brought 'em home alive.' That was WAY too high-flown, but I dared not correct him in front of the general.

    Anyhoo, that was MY encounter with flag rank this week.

  13. #43
    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    I have one more humorous (but absolutetly true) story about the Battleship New Jersey. When the Fast Battleships came out in WW II, only estmates were made as to what the overpressure (muzzle blast) of the main guns would encompass. There never was an opportunity to take one of them out on a special gunnery exercise to measure the overpressure.

    When we (Long Beach Naval Shipyard) reactivated the New Jersey in 1982, that gave Dahlgren some time in 1983 to stick pressure sensors all over the ship, on CIWS Radomes, lockers, vents, etc. and then record what overpressures the structure and fittings was really getting. Of course, this required firing the guns at various angles of elevation and traverse.

    Though the main structure survived quite well, various items of questionable attachment didn't. I have a couple of them sitting on my fireplace hearth. Anyway, the tests were carried out by a rather large team from Dahlgren and they had recording instruments set up in various compartments (generally those with at least 3/4" armor around them) and assigned a rep to run the monitors.

    Well, one of them was a young lady who had NEVER been to sea before, who had NEVER seen a BIG gun fire (even though she worked at Dahlgren) and only knew (from movies) the meaning of "General Quarters - Man Your Battle Stations".

    Because some of the shots were going to be with the muzzles very close to various structures the ship's Captain wanted everybody inside except when Dahlgren put a hold on firing while shipyard idiots (like me) went outside to inspect for structural damage. That's how I found my souvenirs of a WW II vintage antenna support for my fireplace hearth.

    Therefore, before the firing began the Captain called General Quarters and the crew dutifully went about dogging down all the doors, including those made of 3/4" thick High Yield 80 armor plate to the Tomahawk equipment rooms where Dahlgren had some of their instrumentation. They didn't notice that young woman in the port equipment room when they dogged the door down.

    After about an hour of firing, I was walking aft down the 02 level passageway starboard when I saw her dashing out and trying to open the weather door to the helicopter control booth. I called out at her not to do that as we were still firing. She turned to me with the widest, most fearful eyes I have ever seen and she asked loudly, "Are we at WAR?"

    After I found out who she was and calmed her down that we weren't shooting at anybody, YET (damn that Irish sense of humor - got her wide-eyed again) I took her to the starboard equipment room where her boss and other Dahlgren reps were set up. Apparently what really got her scared was when the 1MC called for "General Quarters - Man Your Battle Stations" and the crew dogged the door down and she couldn't get out of the room. She said she had to take her boot off to hammer the dogs open and she was NEVER going to go on a ship again.

    Good thing it took her awhile to open the door because if she went out to the helo booth platform BEFORE I CAME ALONG AND SAW HER, the next shot was going to be almost exactly over her head. As it is, it took off the maintenance platform of the fueiling-at-sea Kingpost. She would have just been a smear on the deck.

  14. #44
    Military Professional Ray's Avatar
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    Op Vijay and the Feathered
    Battle Casualty



    ‘Operation Vijay’ had just started.

    8 Mountain Division had been inducted in the Dras - Mushko sector. Part of the Division was still in the Valley.

    The war in Kargil was crystallising and the logistic support was in its infancy. Everything was more of a rough and ready solution to universal problems. The scene was like the World War II movies; lots of beehive like activity with teeth-on-the-edge confusion. Unlike the movies, the pretty women resistance fighters were missing. The other difference was that Op Vijay soldiers shaved, had their baths and they did not eat out of mess tins with broken forks. They also did not sport faces hewn from the Rocky Mountain.

    My General, the GOC 8 Mountain Division looked young [honest and no buttering!] and was as sophisticated as any Delhite could be. Providentially, he was not the nouveau riche variety that is found under every stone of Delhi, talking of their ‘M’rutis’ [Maruti – a popular small car] and ‘Assteams’ [Esteem – a bigger car] but the DPS {Delhi Public School} nose-in-the-air ones, talking of Frankfurt and Disneyland. Of course, the General did not have time to perk his nose in the air, as also he was wise enough to know that was not good for his delicate nose as the air was cold, it being High Altitude and winter. He could have had got a red nose or chilblain [‘chillybilly’ as per the jawans]! He was determined to fight the war and not get a Wound Medal via a ‘wounded’ nose or being called Rudolph (the red nosed reindeer).

    It had been a harrowing day [not only for me but for the General]. I had arrived from our Base where I was in charge of ‘pushing’ the non-existent supplies and equipment up to the front. I arrived when it was lunchtime.

    The General was, at this critical moment, huddled in the pathetically pitched tent, masquerading as the Mess with his ‘jungi’ [warlike] lot, looking solemn and sombre, as any war would demand. Interestingly, their war weary looks belied the fact that till then none had the foggiest and all were probing in the dark! They looked as limp as any self respecting aspen leaf. In contrast, I was as buoyant as one could be, after half a day’s helicopter ‘ride’ trying to organise the administrative ‘tail’.

    I was brought up on the bottle. A General or no General in attendance, high altitude or no high altitude, I required my high octane quota of two to three small gins. I was an old Kargil hand [something like the old India hand of the British Raj days]. I had served earlier under combat conditions in the same area where the General and his ‘jungi’ lot were making their abode and planning the war. So, I was more seasoned to the ‘ill effects’ that high altitude and Kargil can offer. The only ill effect I can remember from those days was that High Altitude bestows something that Kushwant Singh [a popular writer having no qualms about writing on intimate encounters] badly needs – a toned down libido. However, Kushwant’s claim of nursing a hyperactive libido maybe residual effects of High Altitude hallucinations, but then I could be wrong! Therefore, two gins were no big deal and Kushwant ‘Pecker’ Singh would salute to it with no ill effect to his fantasising.

    Lunch was served and the Jungi lot attacked their plates [they had no options]. The fare may have appeared on my plate too, but then my palate at the sight of the gruel could not be placated.

    I stood away from the table and ordered and knocked another gin down to develop the courage that was necessary to even politely nibble at the Mess [any Officers’ Mess] food. The unfortunate part was that I, as the Chairman of the Mess Committee, was technically responsible for the tripe passing off as food.

    The chicken came. The General bowed his head and murmured something like the Grace said at school before a meal. I stood aloof. I was savouring the unique singularity of the Indian synthetic gin – absolutely free from such noxious and obnoxious substances like the juniper berry from which gin is supposed to be distilled.

    The General dug his fork and the chicken somersaulted like an East European champion gymnast in the Olympics – totally steroid assisted! A beauty 10 so to speak! It was as if all the guns from Tiger Hill and Tololing had exploded. At least that is what occurred in my heart. Quailing in my combat dress, I adopted the best defence in these types of crisis – the sheepish, asinine, dopey smile. It worked! The General melted but not as much as butter on a hot frying pan. But just about.

    Dutch courage vitalised me to enquire like a steward of a second rate restaurant, ‘A tough c_ock, sir?’

    The General did not answer. He bowed his head like a pious shaven devout at Tirupati [an important temple all Indian VIPs visit regularly] and went through the murmuring ritual through clenched teeth as if he was the modern Osho [a Godman specialising in liberating the soul do what it wants including free sex]. I never knew the General to be sexy though.

    ‘No, not really, Roy. It is as soft as a rhino’s hide’ said the General, all 32 showing with immense control as if I were a dentist inspecting his molar.

    Curiosity got the cat. I could not but venture to query his sudden religious affliction, since he was no religious man; and, anyway I am wary of these religious blokes. I stood my ground and ventured with the maximum of déjà vu that I could muster.

    ‘Sir, why did you say the Grace before your meal? Has the uncertainty of the War made you a trifle more dependent on God than before or have you turned a devout Christian?’

    ‘No, not all old cove’, replied the General. ‘It is just that I have been taught as a child to respect those elder than me. That’s why’, he hissed like a lost adder in the deserts of Arizona or wherever these lost adders hiss.

    Since I was older than he was, I was flattered. ‘Thank you, sir, but there was no requirement; after all I am your junior in rank’. I beamed. Good old orthodox Indian upbringing. You could not fault the General for manners, both Indian and English. The bloke was sterling silver and better quality than the gold in Fort Knox. I was impressed that modernity or Delhi had not ruined the good old Indian ethos of the General, even though he was a Baywatch [he called it Body Watch] fan!

    That got the General’s goat.

    ‘Who the Dickens [remember, he was from DPS and so he spoke with all these British ‘uupah’ class style of talk] was giving respect to you. I was only respecting the chicken. It is older than Mohanjodaro and Harrappa [ancient excavated undivided Indian towns] rolled in one, damn you!’

    The silence was ominous.

    I beat a hasty retreat, murmuring something about the heavy turbulence for the helicopter at this hour and safety requirements demanding that I left. The speed, with which I left, I am told, proved beyond doubt the veracity of what is known as the Venturi Effect. The silence and the vacuum were loud! There was no option. The General’s mood was as hot as that of a Bofors Gun on heat!

    The next day, the Mess got younger chicken and a new pressure cooker!
    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 23 Apr 07, at 02:26. Reason: Getting the rooster word in.


    "Some have learnt many Tricks of sly Evasion, Instead of Truth they use Equivocation, And eke it out with mental Reservation, Which is to good Men an Abomination."

    I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.

    HAKUNA MATATA

  15. #45
    Staff Emeritus Confed999's Avatar
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    I love this thread.
    No man is free until all men are free - John Hossack
    I agree completely with this Administration’s goal of a regime change in Iraq-John Kerry
    even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act-John Kerry
    He may even miscalculate and slide these weapons off to terrorist groups to invite them to be a surrogate to use them against the United States. It’s the miscalculation that poses the greatest threat-John Kerry

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