as the introduction, let me clarify that title. when it comes to the titles, i mostly just try to be cute with them, but this week, it will allow me to tell an anecdote.
so as many of you dudes know, some SEALs killed Bin Laden, and i was discussing this event with some Navy-affiliated gentlemen, and went into this little conversation bit i do about understanding various Navy programs based on having seen various documentaries about the Navy: pilots because i watched Top Gun, SEALs because i watched Navy SEALs and Under Siege … you get the point. it’s funnier in person, i swear; i make a lot of jokes about Maverick and Iceman being emotional and all, which is something very rare in life and ESPECIALLY on the internet.
ANYWAY… guess what happens in the very first story on this list? hint: it’s not me being recognized for my comedic genius, i can tell you that much.
crying because he’s sorry … or because he got caught? YOU BE THE JUDGE
one of the things i’ve never understood is people’s desires to actively claim to be turbo-awesome military dudes that they never were; not just exaggerating their stories, mind you, but full-on claiming to have been something like a SEAL or a Green Beret or whatever Chuck Norris was in all those Missing In Action movies, specifically the one where he fights a rat in a bag on his head. which, let me point out, is something NO ONE who hasn’t seen that movie believes happened in a movie. AND YET IT DID.
anyway, so in this story we have ourselves a guy who got himself caught making up stories about being a Navy SEAL, something that must be popular after they just killed Bin Laden (let’s have a token AMERICA FUCK YEAH here). and that in and of itself is pathetic or sad or whatever, but there’s some things going on here i’d like to note:
“When he learned of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the Rev. Jim Moats almost got out his old Navy SEAL flag to run up the pole in front of his home in Newville.”
#01: this to me is just weird. to start, most guys i’ve ever known who were professional bad enough dudes to rescue the president (from ninjas, even) aren’t THAT public about it. but let’s overlook that. so you’re a Navy SEAL who’s proud enough to fly a Navy SEAL flag on a flagpole in front of your house … but only when they kill Bin Laden? is this the first time SEALs have done something awesome? shouldn’t you ALWAYS be flying that flag? case in point: my grandfather flies his USMC flag every damn day of the week, as he’s a flag-flying guy. it doesn’t only come out for special occasions.
“Moats was a Navy SEAL four decades ago during the war in Vietnam. Now 59, Moats was a brash athletic 19-year-old from a military family in northern Virginia, who enlisted in 1970. An expert swimmer and high school lifeguard, Moats was put on the road to becoming a SEAL by a commander who asked him to sign up for one of the underwater demolition teams. … Moats underwent SEAL training at Little Creek Amphibious Base in Virginia Beach in summer 1971.”
so i suppose that’s not exactly suspicious – he might really have been 19 in 1970 and/or “brash” – but i have to be honest when i say it smacks of a stereotypical “i was this salty teenager who turned into an AWESOME SEAL story.” but, to be fair, i’m going into this knowing that the guy’s full of shit, so i guess i’m cheating a little.
“Instructors hit SEALs and goaded them to quit. He was subjected to waterboarding, because the Navy knew that’s what the Vietnamese did to SEALs and air crew members who were captured.”
again… i know that this is fake and thus react that way… but “subjected to waterboarding” smacks of “let me reference the AWFUL thing people remember from recent conflicts.” again, i know the dude is bogus and they’ve done forms of waterboarding for decades, so maybe i should just shut up.
“In August 1971, Moats got into a fight in a club. He went from Navy elite to dishwashing as part of a mandated “attitude adjustment.””
…which is absolutely what happened in Under Siege, where Seagal was the most awesome SEAL/ninja/whatever of all time until he was busted down to cook for some reason (probably being too awesome) and then there was the whole complication “some admiral kept me around so i could fight Tommy Lee Jones.” i presume this pastor would have claimed to have freed a captured aircraft carrier from rogue CIA agents if it wasn’t so blatant.
“Moats soon after rededicated his life to God. He could have gone back to the SEALs but decided to commit the rest of his Navy time to less-intense duty allowing him to focus on preparing for the ministry.”
HOW CONVENIENT. but here’s the kicker…
“Moats said there wasn’t anything about being a SEAL that prevented him from pursuing his faith. He just felt he didn’t have “the inner discipline” to do both at the same time. He got out of the Navy in 1974 and went to Bob Jones University in South Carolina. He became pastor of the Newville church five years ago.”
so he couldn’t go back to being a SEAL after his dishwashing conversion … but he was in the Navy for about three more years? couldn’t he have stayed a SEAL for that time? and honestly, if you enlisted in SEAL training in 1971… and stopped being a SEAL in 1971… you weren’t a SEAL. it takes something like 30 months to become a SEAL. you were at best another Navy guy who tried and failed to become a SEAL. so why are you flying a SEAL flag in your yard?
“Today you might never know Moats was ever a SEAL unless you saw a plaque in his office.”
…and displaying a SEAL plaque in your office?
the article then went on to talk about an actual SEAL who seems to be saying “of course you didn’t know this guy was a SEAL, they don’t brag,” but in retrospect might be hinting at the fact that Moats was full of shit. and, predictably, this guy got busted within 24 hours:
“Moats came to the newspaper office and acknowledged in an interview Sunday that he never was offered SEALS training in the Navy and that he never was accepted into the program, let alone completed it. “I never was in a class, I never served as an actual SEAL. It was my dream. … I don’t even know if I would have met the qualifications. I never knew what the qualifications were,” Moats said.”
see, i guess the part i don’t understand is why you’d even run with something like this. say you’re a pastor who’s hinted to your flock that you were a SEAL or a Delta Force guy or whatever, and a newspaper reporter comes to you and asks if you’d talk about it. you know what your out is? “i’d prefer not to discuss it, and i’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t mention it in your paper. us SEALs don’t like that publicity.” see how easy that is, you fucking glory hounds?
“Don Shipley, a retired SEAL who lives in Chesapeake, VA … called Moats on Saturday night to confront him about the issue. “We deal with these guys all the time, especially the clergy. It’s amazing how many of the clergy are involved in those lies to build that flock up” … Shipley said Moats’ story about being re-assigned to kitchen duty and about being waterboarded were lifted from the Steven Seagal movie “Under Siege,” while his reference to being hit by SEAL instructors was vintage “GI Jane.””
so basically, the only thing he DIDN’T rip off in order to create his 100% awesome back story was the hard-hitting documentary “Navy SEALs,” featuring real American heroes Charlie Sheen and Michael Biehn back when they were SEALS, before they got into acting.
tangent: you know what must suck about being a SEAL? you’re one of the most elite military personnel in the world; you have few peers even in your own country, and they’re all bad-ass guys … and yet every single movie about you SUCKS. let’s look at the short list:
-as we’ve discussed, Under Siege, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, GI Jane and Navy SEALs sucked hardcore;
-the Pacifier (awful), xXx (awful), xXx: State of the Union (AWFUL) and S.W.A.T. (god-awful) all featured main characters who supposed were once SEALs, which is just insulting;
-Michael Biehn, who constantly leads SEAL teams in movies, also led them in the Rock (which is flashy but fucking terrible) and the Abyss, which is a decent movie, but also features the head SEAL (Biehn) losing his goddamn mind when confronted with “stress” and “mysteries” and “water,” something that’s not a good look for a SEAL;
-Tears Of The Sun, i guess, remains the best of the lot. wow.
“So how did Moats’ story develop? Moats had a plaque on his office wall that honors SEALs and other Navy special-operations units. Moats said his two sons, who were in the Army and served in Iraq together, made the plaque for him. Moats’ name doesn’t appear on the plaque, but when church members got the impression from it that Moats had been a SEAL, Moats didn’t deny it. From there, the word spread, and Mats did nothing to correct the record.”
so first off, you’re a scumbag for correcting the record. listen, it’s not complicated: when asked if you were a SEAL, you say, “no, sorry, i was just in the Navy.” but you know what else? i don’t believe that’s the origin of the plaque. you were in the Navy doing nothing, so your sons make you a plaque celebrating SEALs? that dog don’t hunt. also, PROVE THESE SONS EXIST.
“Moats said his wife and his two sons, Jamie and Jonathan, knew that he was never a SEAL. Moats said one of his sons called him after seeing the published story to ask why he would tell the world he was a SEAL when he wasn’t.”
ha, awesome. okay, i believe the sons exist.
“He said he wore the Trident once on his civilian suit at a public gathering. He said he told the group that the Trident wasn’t about him but was meant as a memorial to all SEALs, in the same way that Moats said he has worn his sons’ Army pins to honor their service.”
and that’s absolute crap. if you’re in the Army and you wear an Army pin, that makes sense. if you’ve got sons in the Army and you wear an Army pin, that makes sense. anyone asking you about it (“you were in the Army?”) can EASILY be told the truth. but wearing the trident as a “memorial?” bullshit. that’s you wanting the whiff of being a SEAL and trying to run with it.
so now he’s made a passing reference to it to his congregation (he didn’t want to “dwell on it” because it was Mother’s Day or some bullshit like that) and we have to note that this wasn’t just some fat asshole selling “SEAL training” or trying to fuck misguided 16-year-old girls, this was a PRIEST. way to keep it classy, father.
“Shipley said he deals with people like Moats all the time. There are two reasons why men lie about military service, Shipley said. One is trying to pick up a woman at a bar. Moats falls into the second category, Shipley said. “He has mental problems, plain and simple. His wife and friends and flock believe it, and he starts believing it himself. That is not an excuse. The pastor is very aware of what he did,” Shipley said … “I think just having his ass spanked is enough for him that he won’t do it again any longer.””
also…. SEALs are awesome.
“El Monstruo” is Spanish for “this is a truck janklow would totally build, you guys”
now, i know a) i am linking to a Spanish-language website even though b) i cannot read Spanish and c) it is very likely that the three dudes who read this website can also note read Spanish. the internet, she is a cruel mistress sometimes. anyway, i’m just going to quote the Spanish stuff as translated to me by Google language tools because of the awesomeness contained inside it that i fear might be lost if i were to secretly rely on English-language articles to know what’s going on:
“The Mexican Army conducted an action last week in Ciudad Mier, Tamaulipas, where he managed to seize another Monster of Los Zetas, the 2011 model is made of metal, also shows changes in style compared to previous models, these that have been mapped by military forces.”
or, in other words, apparently the cartels down there are making tanks (and man am i waiting to hear how they’re actually buying them from gun shops in the southwestern US or something). the actual crazy part about this (although it’s probably not that crazy to anyone running a blog entirely devoted to narco cartels) is not that they seized a tank, but that they seized “ANOTHER Monster of Los Zetas” and identified it as “the 2011 model.” Mexico may be even more ridiculous than expected, which is saying something.
“The Monster 2011, did not show any bullet in his body to be seized, but the flat tires, obvious failure of the new design.”
…although i have to be honest, i expected better from the cartels than to say, “hey, armor the living fuck about of this vehicle for Road Warrior-style drug wars, but, sure, worry about the exposed tires later.” my grandmother would scold them for their laziness if it wasn’t more likely that she’d get into some kind of ridiculous old-lady-style gunfight with them.
“Sources say the new model could run up to 110 kilometers per hour, beating its predecessor, the Monster 2010, which ran only 40 kilometers per hour, thus showing the improvement in technology, further state that the vehicle’s interior is spacious with capacity up to 12 members of Los Zetas.”
sources say that “the vehicle’s interior is spacious?” who exactly is the target market for these Monsters? “well, yeah, we’re mostly selling them to drug kingpins who want to drive over the corpses of their enemies as they attempt to flee from the blazing rifles and bone-crushing drive-trains of their Monsters … but yeah, you could seat an extended family of twelve in there! it’s got the most spacious interior!”
although, would i purchase this if i had that kind of disposal income? i think we all know the answer to that question. (and if you don’t, the answer is “abso-fucking-lutely.”)
and that brings me to the first thing i thought about when i read this: could i build one of these things for myself? and if so… how ridiculous would that be? you pick up some old military surplus truck, you get yourself some sheet metal, and you’re good to go, right? let me admit this: once, i read about a drug gang from the Bahamas getting taken down by their government, and the main thing i got from THAT article was, “i personally have more guns than an entire drug gang from the Bahamas.”
now, i obviously don’t have the guns (or the manpower) of a Mexican drug cartel, no matter HOW low on the totem pole that cartel might be. but could i match them in terms of “monsters?” i should also admit that i ask myself this questions whenever i see any kind of technical on the news; pictures from Libya are SO ridiculously tempting, although i admittedly have no access to machine guns, recoilless rifles, or even those “we took a rocket pod off a plane and made it into a vehicle-mounted weapon” things they have. still, a man can dream…
“There are reports indicating the existence of more models of the Monster 2011, with a greater presence in the state of Tamaulipas.”
like they’re the Bigfoot! or, i guess, since we’re talking about Mexico, the Chupacabra.
i’d like to further point out, in an ultimate bit of turbo-nerd behavior, that i picture the above title (“‘El Monstruo’: the cartels have a tank”) as being spoken by Sean Bean in the same hushed tones he warned the others about that cave troll in that Lord of the Rings movie. it really was the best of those movies! and Sean Bean is excellent!
LITERALLY THE MOST EXCITING THING TO EVER HAPPEN IN GEORGIA OH MY GOD
some stories are literally never going to get any better than their title (or, if you prefer, their concise one-sentence description): you might get more information, you might get some closure, whatever, but things are never going to get better. man found living on top of Waffle House? who is this man, why is he living there, why is that even allowed … right now, we can dream beautiful dreams about who this man could be and what’s happened in his life to lower him to a life of roof-living. but when the facts come out, it’ll all be gone:
“It appears someone took the “House” in Waffle House a little too literally. At the Gordon Highway location, crews were called in after reports that a man was making the roof his home.”
first off, a lame joke is absolutely no way to start any kind of news article; just because it’s about a guy living on a Waffle House doesn’t make that nonsense funny, you jackass! second, it’s factually inaccurate in that the dude wasn’t actually living IN the Waffle House. that’s right, i am going to use my powers of intense anal-retentiveness to ruin your crappy jokes, Mark Rosen! and then everyone will be staring at us and realizing how neither of us is funny at all and maybe we’d better just move on to the next part of the article…
“He was spotted by an air conditioner repairman. Cops and firefighters were called in to help the man down.”
two questions spring to mind:
01. how is it that no one who worked at (or owned or whatever) the Waffle House was the guy to notice the man? you can’t detect the fact that there’s a mystery dude on your roof?
02. so i understand calling firefighters, because they have that truck with the ladder and thus man-rescuing abilities. totally makes sense. but what exactly are the police doing to “help the man down?”
“Crews weren’t sure how long he’d been up there, or even how he got up there. Someone shared their cell phone video with our crews.”
as this is written by, theoretically, a news reporter, let me restate it to be more insulting: “we have no idea who this guy is or what he was doing, and we took some random dude’s cell phone video instead of making our own with news equipment, which allowed us to do some additional bong hits in the news van before heading back to base.”
“James Mayle, when asked if he’d seen anything like, said “No, you never expect anything like this, a person on top of the roof at a Waffle house? No, never that.”
first, totally professional news guys, the name of the restaurant is Waffle House. you capitalize House; it’s not just a random house where this Mayle character found some waffles. and second, i’m sure this was a fairly unique event … but are we really acting like it’s the most unbelievable, inexplicable event to happen in Georgia ever, or at least during the lifetime of James Mayle? come on, now.
also, i love the fact that Waffle House abbreviates their name WAHO. that’s absolutely unprofessional.
so that’s all for this week… and while i have already got something ready to go for next week (which should shock our regular re- eh, J.Miles, i guess), i’m not sure anyone (err, J.Miles) will want to read it, although it’s entirely ridiculous. i don’t even know what i was thinking!