Thursday, August 29, 2013

‘Nidal Hasan granted terminal leave’

FORT HOOD, TX — A military jury has granted Army Maj. Nidal Hasan terminal leave today, sparking consternation throughout the military.

The decision fanned flames sparked by recent revelations that he was still receiving full pay and benefits while on trial for an act of workplace violence that left 13 dead and wounded more than 30 others. Witnesses reported that Hasan shouted “Allahu Akbar” — Arabic for “I am dissatisfied with my working conditions” — during the attack.

By granting him terminal leave, the Army will transfer him from active duty to the “involuntary reserve, dead” list. He will be required to undergo a final physical, including a single vaccination through an IV.

His pay and benefits, including respiration and cardiac function, will be stopped.

At press time, many observers were upset that he had not received a harsher sentence.


'I think it’s one of them Scud missiles'

A man who said he was city constable at Bogata called the newspaper on a spring afternoon in 2000. He said, “You know where (Name) Trading Post is?” I said I did. He said, “Well, they got some kind of rocket there. I think it’s one of them Scud missiles.”

I managed not to laugh. All kinds of people call with all kinds of stories, and you treat them all with open ears.

The constable said he had called Fort Sill, Okla. “They’re sending an explosives team down here,” he said.

I said I would be out to take a look. I asked if he would be at the trading post.

“Naw,” he said. “I got things to do.”

John Conrad, one of the newspaper’s two photographers, looked up when I opened the photography door office. I said, “You want to go to Bogata with me and get a picture of a Scud missile?”

“Do what?”

“I’ll explain on the way.”

We went in my pickup. I had driven past the trading post many times. It would have made a good story, but no one was ever there.

It was the same when John and I stopped. I went up on the porch. The door was locked. I knocked. No one answered.

John said, “I think I see it.”

I went down the steps. John pointed at a tree off to one side. Against the tree was a cylindrical object about three feet long. It was green. John and I inspected the thing. Wires hung out the back end.

John said, “I don’t think it’s a Scud. It’s a few feet short.”

“Yeah,” I said. I picked it up. “From the pointed end, I’d say it’s some kind of jungle penetrator. I don’t know what the wires are for.”

John took a few pictures of the thing against the tree and lying on the ground.

Next day I called Fort Sill and talked with an EOD sergeant. I said, “Some dufus in Bogota said he called about a Scud missile.”

The sergeant laughed. “Yeah. We sent a team. The thing is a people counter from Vietnam. The Air Force dropped thousands of them to keep track of people moving along trails. They had a transmitter and sent information somewhere.”

It was good to know what the thing was. A good story would have had it a Scud. But as John said, it was a few feet short.

Junkers factory to Sweden to Japanese bomber, and FIAT got in on the act, too

Or, if you don’t learn something every day, you aren’t using the internet enough.

In the late 1920s, Junkers built the three-seat, twin-engine S36. The aircraft could fly higher than any fighter of the day. Germany did not have an air force to which Junkers could sell the airplane. Sweden, however, did have an air force, and Junkers had an airplane factory in Limhamn, Sweden. The S36 was militarized and became the K37. Sweden did not buy any K37s, but the air arm of the Japanese army was impressed enough to buy manufacturing rights in 1931. In Japan, the bomber was manufactured by Mitsubishi and designated Ki-1.

After a time, the Ki-1 needed replacing, so Japanese military approved production of the Mitsubishi Ki-21. To fill the immediate need for a bomber, Japan bought 80 BR.20’s from FIAT in Italy.

So, a German aircraft developed as a “mail plane” is seen to have possible military applications. But German companies are prohibited from making military aircraft. Junkers just happens to have a factory in Sweden (and another in Switzerland as well). The German “mail plane” becomes a hoped-for Swedish bomber, and then a definite Japanese bomber before being replaced by an Italian bomber.

International trade.


Mitsubishi Ki1


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Countries with high gun ownership have lower murder rates

Some things it takes a while to make the circuit.

The report is 6 years old, and despite its Harvard birthplace and copious use of facts, is not likely to sway anyone in the emotional/Progressive camp.

“The long and short of it is that a small number of extremely active criminals with lengthy criminal records are responsible for the overwhelming super-majority of all gun crimes, and these criminals are psychopaths that ignore all laws.

“The study also cited a previous report that was unable to find a single gun control law implemented in the United States that is proven to reduce violent crime.”

Link from maggiesfarm and

Full report at

“Since at least 1965, the false assertion that the United States has the industrialized world’s highest murder rate has been an artifact of politically motivated Soviet minimization designed to hide the true homicide rates.”

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How terrible it was

… of those Christian mercenaries to invade the Muslim lands in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and take away … How did Muslims come to have all that land anyway? You mean the people there were not always Muslim?

‘The Crusades Reconsidered’


(Vasco de Gama sailed around Africa to end Muslim monopoly in Eastern trade. Christopher Columbus intended his first voyage to find a means of freeing Jerusalem. Just a couple of things not taught in school.)

Army looking at 'progressive readiness'

The Army is talking about something spinners call “progressive readiness” as budgets shrink and every government department wants to show why it is indispensible for the country’s future.

When a uniformed bureaucrat puts a good-sounding title on something, rather than what the thing actually is, you know we have a problem.

Army leaders know there is a dollar problem, but leaders do not always see problems and fixes the same way soldiers do. A high-up leader wants a big-dollar weapons system that is all things to people technical. I want a rifle that shoots straight and often, a machine gun that is dependable, a mortar that will splash rounds where I need them, when I need them and a reliable radio so I can call for stuff. And I want food and pay on time.

Gen. John Campbell, Army vice chief of staff, says people might look at “progressive readiness” as what used to be called “tiered readiness,” which “we said we never were going to go again.”

“Tiered readiness” refers to “the Cold War practice where units not in West Germany or South Korea sometimes never received their full allotment of troops, equipment, and training dollars,” according to Sydney J. Freedberg Jr., of Breaking Defense.

Whatever words the Army decides to use in describing readiness, many soldiers went through years of insufficient funding, old equipment and little ammunition, all of which caused a general malaise in training and morale. This was particularly true for most National Guard and Reserve units until post-9/11 and for Active Duty units during the Carter administration.

I was pushed out the door in 1990 and missed out on the times of intense training with sufficient ammunition and updated equipment. It is sad, but historical, that Americans have to be killed in large numbers before politicians begin approving needed funding for war training.

One comment at Breaking Defense said: “Be prepared for a lot of garrison training on individual skills. Company training and higher will become a rarity unless you are at Fort Hood where there is room to train.”

I will tell you, few things suck morale from a company as does constant garrison training on individual skills.

I hope unit leaders do a better job than it looks like Pentagon leaders know how do to. A lot of somebodies are in over their heads.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fark headline says it all

‘Dispute over used tampon on the floor leads to husband discovering why it's a good idea to cut your wife a wide swath during that time of the month’

(There is literary license. The used thingy did not belong to the man’s wife, but to her 17-year-old daughter.)

New York Times uses the f word

Is anybody surprised? Who didn’t know it as just a matter of time? The Glades has used the “sh—“ word in two episodes, so …

Also at

Wild horses -- can't drag them away

There are too many wild horses on Western public lands, even though the Bureau of Land Management has sent 45,000 to retirement ranches, for which you and I and other taxpayers shelled out $74.9 million in 2012.

That’s what I said – almost $75 million for horses too old or too tired or too out of shape to do whatever wild horses do before retirement.

Used to be wild horses were known to mountain lions and bears and wolves as “food,” but these days such a natural thing is cruel.

A paper “written by Robert A. Garrott of Montana State University and Madan K. Oli of the University of Florida, calculates that if current trends continue, BLM would have to spend some $1.1 billion over the next 17 years just to keep storing horses in these long-term facilities …” (There’s a chart.)

(Australia has 400,000 wild horses, and the government there is considering shooting the excess, the story says.)


(I looked up the lyrics to the Rolling Stones Wild Horses to see if I could use anything. First time I ever understood the words. That song sucks. Big time.)

Homosexual marriage leave ‘unfair.’ Ya think?

A letter:

“Maybe you can help me.

“I married my wife in 1958 while on active duty. Neither of us is gay but I feel I deserve those extra days leave as much as gays do.

“Would you use your influence to retroactively get the 10 days for me? I'll take in pay with accumulated interest to date.”

(I wasn’t in the Army when Priscilla and I were married 41 years ago, but I was in when we celebrated our ninth anniversary. I think there should be retroactive stuff there, too.

(What’s amazing to me is the number of people who defend Hagel’s decision giving homosexuals free leave. Not many total, but one is too many.)

Not that it is earth-shaking news …

Von Richthofen death certificate found in Ostrow Wielkopolski, Poland. The reading should be “a death certificate,” since the one found four years ago was filed in the local archives because German law required filing a certificate in a soldier’s last listed address. In 1918, Ostrow Wielkopolski was in Germany.

‘I have been sentenced to death because I was thirsty’

“I’m a prisoner because I used the same cup as those Muslim women, because water served by a Christian woman was regarded as unclean…”

After being accosted by a Muslim woman, Asia Bibi decided she had had enough:

“We Christians have always stayed silent: We’ve been taught since we were babies never to say anything, to keep quiet because we’re a minority. But I’m stubborn too and now I want to react, I want to defend my faith. I take a deep breath and fill my lungs with courage.

“’I’m not going to convert. I believe in my religion and in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the sins of mankind. What did your Prophet Mohammed ever do to save mankind? And why should it be me that converts instead of you?’”

(Expressing an opinion is dangerous for a non-Muslim in a Muslim society.)

“Death! Death to the Christian!”

Link at

Dumbest question of the decade

‘Is Obama The Worst President Ever?’

No, George Bush was the worst president ever. Where have you been hiding? Have you never read The NY Times or Washington Post or LA Times? Watched CNN, MSNBC or BBC America?


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Jesus in the restaurant

A Republican, in a wheelchair, entered a restaurant one afternoon and asked the waitress for a cup of coffee. The Republican looked across the restaurant and asked, "Is that Jesus sitting over there?" The waitress nodded "yes," so the Republican requested that she give Jesus a cup of coffee, on him.

The next patron to come in was a Libertarian, with a hunched back . He shuffled over to a booth, painfully sat down, and asked the waitress for a cup of hot tea. He also glanced across the restaurant and asked, "Is that Jesus, over there?" The waitress nodded, so the Libertarian asked her to give Jesus a cup of hot tea, "My treat."

The third patron to come into the restaurant was a Democrat on crutches. He hobbled over to a booth, sat down, and hollered, "Hey there honey! How's about getting me a cold mug of Miller Light?" He too looked across the restaurant and asked, "Isn't that God's boy over there?" The waitress nodded, so the Democrat directed her to give Jesus a cold beer. "On my bill," he said loudly.

As Jesus got up to leave, he passed by the Republican, touched him, and said, "For your kindness, you are healed." The Republican felt the strength come back into his legs, got up, and began to praise the Lord. Jesus passed by the Libertarian, touched him, and said, "For your kindness, you are healed." The Libertarian felt his back straightening up, and he raised his hands, and he began to praise the Lord.

Then, Jesus walked towards the Democrat, just smiling. The Democrat jumped back and yelled, "Stand back... I'm on disability."


2 million bikers schedule meet and greet with 1 million Muslims on Sept. 11 in DC

“Thousands of America’s patriotic bikers are organizing an enormous counter protest to the planned Million Muslim March on DC this Sept. 11.”

Future dhimmis say the gathering is “Million American March Against Fear” and has not been called “Million Muslim March” since February 2012. Oh. An entire 18 months. A camel by any other name smells the same.

Link at and

Celebrate friend's birthday in typical Australian way – Swim across crocodile infested river

"’Several of the group in the party witnessed the male being taken in the jaws of the croc for a period of time, and then he was out of sight,’ (Senior Sgt. Geoff) Bahnert said.

"’The Mary River is known worldwide to have the greatest saturation of adult saltwater crocodiles in the world. You don't swim in the Mary River,’ he said.

“Alcohol may have played a part in the decision to swim, he said.”

Oh no! Fires threaten stuff that burns!

Two years ago a sudden, fast downdraft snapped two hickory trees in the back yard. The upper 15 feet of one tree was carried about 12 feet perpendicular to the shop and then dropped. Damage was substantial; shop repair and house roof replacement totaled a bit more than $32,000.

Our house is surrounded by trees – several kinds of oak, tall pines, short dogwood. Falling trees is a hazard you live with if you want trees around your house.

When the wind sheer damaged the shop and the house, we did not ask the county or the state for help in rebuilding, nor did we say, “Gee, maybe the government should remove those other trees so that doesn’t happen again.”

As Maggie’s Farm says, some places you just have to live with what is there.

‘Forest fire, like flooding, is natural’

"Fast-moving Wildfire Enters Yosemite, Threatens San Francisco Water, Power

“If you live in a flood zone, you should expect floods. If you build in a forest prone to fire, you should expect fire.

“Flooding is nature telling you that you should not build a house there. Fire, likewise. Fire is part of a forest's natural cycle. Fire suppression only makes the next one hotter and more violent.

“Floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires. Mother Nature is a harsh school-mistress. As the sea-captain said, "I love going to sea, but I do not love the sea. The sea is my enemy because it is always trying to find a way to kill me."

“If you recall, the last big fire in Yosemite was a boon to wildlife and to the forest's health. It's like a natural ecosystem, ya' know?”

Friday, August 23, 2013

Stop talking to criminals who have guns

“Changing the gun culture of criminals will require drastic policy changes-draconian gun crime punishments, broader rules of engagement for police, ‘no surrender’ situations after shots are fired, etc. Just like the 1930s, it may have to get worse for criminals before it gets better for society.”

(You shoot, you lose.)

A headline like this, you have to read the story. (Caution: Contains stupidity.)

‘Man found in septic tank pleads guilty’

TULSA, Okla. — A man found hiding in a septic tank under a women's restroom at a public park in Sand Springs has pleaded guilty to a peeping Tom charge.

Kenneth Enlow pleaded guilty Thursday in Tulsa County District Court to the misdemeanor charge. The Tulsa World reports that Enlow was sentenced to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Authorities alleged that Enlow hid inside a permanent outhouse at White Water Park. He was arrested after a woman taking her daughter to the restroom saw someone looking at her from inside the toilet.

A police report says firefighters pulled Enlow from the septic tank and authorities arrested him after he was cleaned off with a fire hose.

Enlow remains in the Tulsa County jail.

We weren’t all bland and fair-haired

Six thousand years ago. Assuming Northern Europeans were fair-haired Back in the Day.

‘Prehistoric Europeans Liked Spicy Food, Study Suggests’

“Prehistoric human civilizations in northern Europe may have enjoyed their food with a spicy kick, using a garlic-mustard-type seasoning to flavor their dishes, thousands of years before the height of the prolific global spice trade, a new study finds.

“A team of researchers studied blackened deposits inside ancient cooking pots and found traces of spices on the shards of pottery. The charred pots were excavated from archaeological sites in Denmark and Germany, and date back to the Neolithic Period, roughly 6,200 to 5,900 years ago, said study lead author Hayley Saul, an archaeologist at the BioArCH research center at the University of York in the United Kingdom.

"’It was during the transition from hunter-gatherer to agriculture when we first started to be domesticated,’ Saul told LiveScience. ‘This takes the way people looked at food in prehistory in a completely different direction.’"

(I don’t know about that “completely different direction.” Science folks generally need new direction in their findings in order to get publicity. Besides, hunter-gatherers most likely wouldn’t have said, “What’s this spicy stuff in my deer gravy? I don’t like it. It’s bland or nothing for me.”)

Stumbled across at

Why do people say this?

Researching for IRS 990s on the thieving bastard organizations, I came across numerous complaints, written by people whose elderly relatives had forked over retirement and Social Security money.

And the people complaining often said, “Why doesn’t somebody do something about this?”

Hey, is your leg broke? You got an anchor tied to your ankle?

As I mentioned in a post below, here in Arkansas the legislature and governmental bodies don’t do jack about irregularities and downright cheating and thievery until someone outside government starts, “What in the wide, wide world of sports is a’goin on here?”

Citizenry has two parts – rights and responsibilities. The only way to keep the first is to do the second.

I gotta tell ya …

… this form-filling-in to maybe get a bunch of money-grubbing thieving people chastised is a pain in the head and other locales.

The attorney general form is not downloadable and can’t be saved, so to lodge a complaint requires the complaining party to call up the form using an http and etc. title, fill in the blanks, print the completed form, attach supporting documents, then X out and call it up again. I did figure out a speedier way of filling in the blanks – since name, address and other things are the same on each form, I wrote all that as a document file and then I just copy and paste. Only took me five days to see that.

I have maybe 70-80 forms to go. Maybe a few more.


I will see this to completion.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

He knew a guy

Darrell “Dennis, an eight-time parole absconder, racked up at least 10 drug- or weapons-related felonies and at least 14 new arrests between his parole from prison in late 2008 and his May 22 (2013) arrest in the kidnapping and murder of 18-year-old Forrest Abrams.”

Reportedly, the guy Dennis knew was Damian McNeal, “an assistant director at the Arkansas Department of Community Correction …”

Make that a former assistant director. He was fired Monday, a little late for the family of Forrest Abrams.

In Arkansas, everything stays the same until someone makes noise, or until somebody screws up big enough the HMFICs have to do something.

‘Woman accused of throwing knife at sister’

A month or so ago, a woman stabbed her sister in an argument over a Pepsi. This time, two boyfriends’ stuff was the cause.

“A Little Rock woman is accused of throwing a knife at her sister, causing a cut on the woman's hand.

“Chanesia Wicker, 21, was arrested Wednesday night on a charge of third-degree domestic battery.

“Police say Wicker and her sister were in a disturbance at an apartment where both women live over the sister's boyfriend taking Wicker's boyfriend's belongings.

“At one point, Wicker picked up a knife and threw it, hitting the sister in the left hand, according to a Little Rock Police Department report. The injury was described as a small cut.

“Wicker remained in the Pulaski County jail Thursday morning with bail not yet set.”

(Guess: A mother is saying, “Those girls, I tried to raise them right, but they just wouldn’t listen.”)

Words banned by NY Department of Education

• Abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological)
• Alcohol (beer and liquor), tobacco, or drugs
• Birthday celebrations (and birthdays)
• Bodily functions
• Cancer (and other diseases)
• Catastrophes/disasters (tsunamis and hurricanes)
• Celebrities
• Children dealing with serious issues
• Cigarettes (and other smoking paraphernalia)
• Computers in the home (acceptable in a school or library setting)
• Crime
• Death and disease
• Divorce
• Evolution
• Expensive gifts, vacations, and prizes
• Gambling involving money
• Halloween
• Homelessness
• Homes with swimming pools
• Hunting
• Junk food
• In-depth discussions of sports that require prior knowledge
• Loss of employment
• Nuclear weapons
• Occult topics (i.e. fortune-telling)
• Parapsychology
• Politics
• Pornography
• Poverty
• Rap Music
• Religion
• Religious holidays and festivals (including but not limited to Christmas, Yom Kippur, and Ramadan)
• Rock-and-Roll music
• Running away
• Sex
• Slavery
• Terrorism
• Television and video games (excessive use)
• Traumatic material (including material that may be particularly upsetting such as animal shelters)
• Vermin (rats and roaches)
• Violence
• War and bloodshed
• Weapons (guns, knives, etc.)
• Witchcraft, sorcery, etc.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

How much a pound? I don't think so

Somewhere in the boxes moved from Texas six years ago is a heavy duty stapler. Somewhere.

I needed a heavy stapler in order to attach thieving bastard letters to forms for the attorney general’s office. One thieving bastard organization, one form. There are at least 100 organizations, so I have to download one form at a time, fill in the information, print the completed form, and then staple accompanying letters. Some organizations have sent more than 25 letters.

I drove to North Little Rock to get some stuff at Lowe’s and a stapler and other things at WalMart, which is across the street.

At Lowe’s I got some house-washing things and then went to WalMart. (Lowe’s has a 10 percent military discount, so that is one reason I buy stuff there. WalMart doesn’t have a discount of any kind, as far as I know, but it does have lots of stuff.)

In addition to a stapler and some groceries, I also got three apples at WalMart. I wanted to use a Jewish World Review recipe for French toast with apple topping.

The cashier associate at checkout ran the numbers on the apples. “That’s not right,” she said, and she entered the numbers again. I hadn’t paid attention to the price, which was unusual, because I almost always watch every price. I did pay attention when the associate said “That’s not right.” The apple price showed $4.37 a pound.

I said, “Can we take that off? I ain’t paying $4.37 a pound for apples.”
The associate said taking off an item was not a problem. I then apologized for my tone of voice. The associate said, “That’s all right. I’d feel the same way.”

I don’t remember what kind of apples WalMart is so proud of. They looked like gala apples, but they weren’t. Kiwi or something, I think.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Cynical Bob says, “Yeah, right.”

Denver Broncos linebacker suspended six games.

Vonn Miller apologized. Sort of. In the usual professional athlete way.

"The Substances of Abuse policy requires everyone to comply with the rules. Although my suspension doesn’t result from a positive test, there is no excuse for my violations of the rules," Miller said in a statement released through the NFLPA. "I made mistakes and my suspension has hurt my team, Broncos fans, and myself. I am especially sorry for the effect of my bad decisions on others. I will not make the same mistakes about adhering to the policy in the future. During my time off the field, I will work tirelessly and focus exclusively on remaining in peak shape.

"I look forward to contributing immediately upon my return to the field and bringing a championship back to the people of Denver."

Six-game suspension will cost Miller $2 million. That’s right. Sit out six games, don’t get paid $2 million.

Probably a good thing for pilots this thing was not produced

Tomashevich Pegasus, two five-cylinder radials, 140hp each; open cockpit; one 12.7mm; two 23mm cannon; top speed, 107mph; range, 373 miles; pine and birch.

Site is in Russian; pictures are good.

I don’t care about the story; it’s the headline

'Eleven-year-old inventor brings novel idea to mens deodorant'

OK, headline writers and copy editors …

Who are these “mens”?

There is a thing called an apostrophe. Here is one: ‘

See? The apostrophe – ‘ -- is used to designate possession and plurals.

In this case – mens – an apostrophe – ‘ – should have been used.

Oh. Here is the story.

It’s a video.

The explanation line says: “Meet Quinn, an eleven-year-old New Jersey boy who decided to re-invent the deodorant bottle …”

No, he did not “re-invent the deodorant bottle.” He made an addition.

How many different ways can a writer (and an editor) screw up a story?

Monday, August 19, 2013


I am filling out attorney general consumer complaint forms on the people who want my mother-in-law's money. One pdf form for each organization; est. 100 organizations, 1,000 letters. Tiresome. But the thieving bastards must be stopped.

She didn’t shoot him soon enough

But, hey, slow justice with a .45 is better than no justice at all.


How strict gun control laws work in Chicago

“At least six people were killed and 27 others wounded in weekend gun violence across Chicago.”

“Gun violence.” What about knife violence or fist violence? Any big metal pipe violence?

The story does mention a couple of pistol whippings, but does not say whether those are considered “gun violence.”

“Gun violence” means a gun was a fault.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

‘40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World’

Map 19 – Where 29,000 rubber duckies made landfall after falling off a cargo ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Are Detroit and Chicago connected by water?**

Mercury Sable with 2004 tags found in Detroit River. Man inside had no hands or head.

But wait! There’s more:

“It was the second body Wyandotte police have found inside a vehicle in the river. On July 16, authorities pulled a red truck from about 22 feet of water, not far off the shore from Bishop Park near Oak and Biddle, in what the police chief called a suicide.”

And more:

“Wyandotte residents Amber Sorich and Andrea Aguilera said they were disturbed when they heard about the car and came to the park in hopes of finding out more.

“’It’s so shocking because this is such a nice, family-oriented area,’ Sorich said. ‘People come here all the time with their kids.’”

(Oh come on, Amber! You were disturbed and went to the scene “in hopes of finding out more”? You and Andrea are rubbernecking ghouls, thinking maybe you’ll see the body.)


** It sounded like a Chicago thing.

A DeCent** story

A farmer looking for a piece of lumber finds a baby boy. The farmer and his wife adopt the boy. The boy grows up and becomes a newspaper reporter and later an editor. There is no truth to the rumors that the baby was wearing blue pajamas with a large S on the shirt.

Found at

**Superman was a DC comic. ‘A Marvel story’ would have been a better headline. Not accurate, but better.

Ohio man buys gun safe, gets marijuana, too

$475,000 worth.

Safe company and trucking company strangely not talking.

The gun safes “were manufactured by Champion Safe Co. in Nogales, Mexico, packaged by local inmates and shipped north, police said.”

Uh, packed by local inmates?

Big Red airplane

While the US looked at things that could go fast or were stealthy, the Reds looked for things that would get a lot of stuff somewhere.

The Lun ekranoplan: 380 tons of airplane. It’s big, it’s mean-looking, and admittedly a little rough from time.

Good pictures, flaked paint and all.

Found at

It’s OK. It’s for security purposes.

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg “wants to fingerprint more than 600,000 people who live in public housing. He said it would be done to make the projects safer.”

(When Liberal-Progressives start saying a thing is for your own good, buy stock in brown shirt companies.)

Friday, August 16, 2013

A message from Microsoft

When I tried to go on line Thursday morning, Microsoft flashed a message saying it could not connect me, but would tell me when the net was back up. It never did.

Steven Wright 3

Do you think when they asked George Washington for his ID, he just took out a quarter?

No, it’s a lion. Really.

LION: Woff, woff.

Ah, it’s a Chinese lion.

Closed for “rectification.”

You know what sometimes happens to Chinese officials who screw up and cause embarrassment? Not that it will happen in this case, but a bullet … Nah. Not for claiming a dog is a lion. Nah.

G.H.W Bush Library fundraising letter deceptive

Mr. Burch:

While I appreciate removal of Mrs. R's name from your mailing list, additional thought leads to realization of deception in your organization’s fundraising.

Your literature states Mrs. R was “nominated” to the George Bush Leadership Honor Roll. However, your email reply states her name “was purchased on a list from other similar organizations.”

How does “purchased” equate with “nominated”? While your organization’s action might be in keeping with fundraising activities, the action is deceptive.

Steven Wright 2

Today I ... No, that was somebody else.

(Hey, I've done that. I don't remember where or when, but ... Maybe it was somebody else.)

Geometric designs at Pyramid Lake at least 10,000 years old

“PYRAMID LAKE, Nevada — Ancient rock etchings along a dried-up lake bed in Nevada have been confirmed to be the oldest recorded petroglyphs in North America, dating back at least 10,000 years.

“The petroglyphs found on limestone boulders near Pyramid Lake in northern Nevada's high desert are similar in design to etchings found at a lake in Oregon that are believed to be at least 7,600 years old. Unlike later drawings that sometimes depict a spear or antelope, the carvings are abstract with tightly clustered geometric designs — some are diamond patterns, others have short parallel lines on top of a longer line.”

You mean AHA sold its certification? For money?

Feds say American Heart Association “lets Campbell and other companies use the 'Heart-Check' label on products that run counter to its stated mission, in exchange for fees.”

“The lawsuit states that the AHA's seal of approval misleads people into thinking in that products made by Campbell ‘possess some cardiovascular benefit not enjoyed by products that have not been certified by the AHA.’ It states the only difference is that Campbell pays money for the certification.”

AHA says it doesn’t comment on pending litigation. Campbell’s says yada yada yada, and an extra yada for good measure. Actually, Campbell’s says it is confident yada, yada, yada.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Steven Wright

When I was crossing the border into Canada, they asked if I had any firearms with me. I said, "Well, what do you need?"

Missiles: A bunch … Me: 0

1. Open any YouTube video.

2. Pause it. After pausing, click a blank area on the side of the webpage.

3. Type 1980. This is tricky: Don't type it in the URL bar or the YouTube search bar. Just type into your keyboard. The letters won't actually show up onscreen.

4. Enjoy.

And then there is this non-profit

From the National Veterans Service Fund, headquartered in Darien, Conn.: “Our records about (Mrs. R) are incomplete.”

A blurb at Charity Navigator says: “Founded in 1978, the National Veterans Services Fund, Inc. (NVSF), formerly Vietnam Veterans Agent Orange Victims, provides case-managed social services and limited medical assistance to Vietnam- and Persian Gulf War- veterans and their families, with a focus on families with disabled children.”

In the latest Charity Navigator account, FY 2011, NVSF reported raising more than $11 million. It spent almost $8.3 million on fundraising expenses and more than $400,000 for administrative expenses, leaving $2.3 million – 21.1 percent -- for programs.

Eighty percent spending on programs is considered excellent. Seventy percent is OK. Twenty-one percent …

But it gets even better … or worse.

Included in the fine print of the recent letter is this information: “In the last fiscal year, NVSF raised a total of $9,111,243. Its expense distribution was 59.18% to fundraising, 11.39% to administration, 18.46% to program services and 10.97% to public education in conjunction with fundraising appeals.”

So, the non-profit, veteran-serving organization raised more money, but spent less on doing what it was organized to do.

Followup to 'Honor roll'

“Mr. Merriman,

“Thank you for contacting us in regards to the Leadership Honor. Mrs. (R's) name was purchased on a list from other similar organizations. We would not of known your mother-in-law was in an assisted living facility from this list. We can gladly remove Mrs. (R's) name and address from our system so she will no longer be mailed.

“Thank you very much for bringing this to our attention.


“Kevin Burch

“George Bush Presidential Library Foundation”

(A quick and correct decision.)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Honor roll

TO: Mr. Frederick D. McClure
CEO, George Bush Presidential Library Foundation

Mr. McClure:

(Mrs. R), my 87-year-old mother-in-law, recently received a letter purportedly from the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation stating she has been “nominated for the George Bush Leadership Honor Roll at the George Bush Presidential Library Center,” with approval of listing dependant upon completion of an authorization form and “a generous tax-deductable contribution.”

Might I inquire how Mrs. R came to be nominated for the Leadership Honor Roll?

Also, I find it strange that the library would ask for money from a woman who presently resides at an assisted living facility, because of diagnosed Alzheimer’s, and who receives less than $1,500 monthly from Social Security and less than $300 monthly from Texas Teacher Retirement System.

Robert Merriman

People at Hot Air are stomping piles of (manure)

in arguments about Ted Cruz and Ann Coulter, Gov. Christie, President Obama and meaningless stuff concerning natural born citizen.

As said in an earlier post, to clear up the whole birther nonsense, say these two words: George Romney.

I read more than 20 comments by the (manure) stompers at Hot Air, and not one -- 0 -- mentioned George Romney.

That indicates: (1) comment writers are not aware of anything that happened before they came of age; and, (2) they must be millennials.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Equality for all, and even more for homosexuals

The Department of Defense plans to give shacked up homosexuals 10 days leave to get married.

According to a Pentagon official, “service members who are stationed in one of the 37 states where same-sex marriage is illegal will be offered up to 10 days of leave so they can travel to one of the 13 states, plus the District of Columbia, that grant same-sex marriage licenses.”

The Pentagon wants to make everything all nice and legal. We can’t have unmarried couples living together, can we.

An obvious question: Will DOD offer shacked up heterosexuals 10 days leave to get married?

I think not.

Homosexuals are in a special category of special privileges.

Another nonsense birther debate

Ted Cruz, Canadian, for president.

Two words end the discussion: George Romney.

Romney was born July 8, 1907, in Colonia Dublan, Chihuahua, Mexico. In 1968, Romney was for a time the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nominee.

“Questions were occasionally asked about Romney's eligibility to run for President owing to his birth in Mexico, given the ambiguity in the United States Constitution over the phrase ‘natural-born citizen’". – Wikipedia.

Romney’s family returned to the United States shortly after the 1910 revolution began in Mexico.

A Congressional Research Service report, November 2011:

“There have been legitimate legal issues raised concerning those born outside of the country to U.S. citizens. The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term ‘natural born’ citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship ‘by birth’ or ‘at birth,’ either by being born ’in’ the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship ‘at birth.”

All that noise from birthers who claimed Barrack Obama was not a natural-born citizen was uninformed, don’t confuse me with facts, noise.

The more you drive, the more they’ll tax

High-MPG cars mean less gas used, which means less tax collected. What’s a government to do?

Tax your miles driven.

‘Why Oregon lawmakers think we need a GPS-tracking mileage tax’

The plan “could serve as a model for all states to replace the gas tax.”

A vehicle miles traveled tax “is seen as more equitable since it’s based on actual road use instead of fuel burned.”

(OK; we’re in the “pay your fair share” Progressive/Democrat play book. Except --- the author of the Oregon program is a Republican.)

(All those EPA and Congressional “More mileage, more mileage” rules are showing one of those unforeseen consequences that come with “We need more regulation!”

(Do I have an answer? Other than “Let the market figure it out,” no. But we have sellers and we have buyers, and never the government in-between – in a closer to perfect world.)

“Oregon will use private companies to provide two different mileage-tracking technologies: basic meters that use a vehicle's odometer to log miles driven and more advanced meters that use GPS to track where cars travel and how far. Oregon officials also hope to develop a smartphone application to augment the basic meters.

USA Today noted that Berger's bill limits who can access the mileage information and stipulates that the state and its affiliates have to destroy any location information within 30 days after using it for billing.”

(As we all know, data collected by a government for a specific program is always destroyed. About that ocean-front property …)

Want more proof we are headed down the chute?

“Think of Sears and chances are Craftsman tools and sturdy children's clothing will come to mind. Fifty Shades of Grey, probably not so much.

“But the venerable retail chain had been offering bondage accessories on its website via a third-party vendor, including a 'leather adjustable harness' ($34.39) and a 'leather collar with O ring' ($19.99).

“The items, though, are fast disappearing from Sears' Marketplace Website, the Daily Mail reports.”

(Sears reportedly pulled the bondage items, but the spokesman does not say how the things got on the web site. Somebody had to make the decision of approval. The stuff didn’t just magically appear.)

KC Star won’t say ‘Redskins’

I read somewhere the team took its name from a popular hot dog sold at the stadium in the 1920s or so. The obvious answer is to replace the Indian Native American logo with a wiener (or “weenie” as is said in places.) The team could still be the Redskins; it would just be the Washington Weenie Redskins or Redskin Weenies.

A jerk is a jerk is a ... And etc.

Thirty-five years ago at the newspaper where I edited news stories, a whole lot of people thought that the mantle of (whichever great writer you want to name) had laid its folds across their shoulders.

One I remember because he and I were the only Vietnam-era veterans in the newsroom of 30 or so. He was Air Force and spent his four years Stateside; I was Army, and my four years included one in Korea and another in Vietnam.

The former Air Force guy one day had a column on something that had happened to him while he wore blue. The next day, I had a column on something infantry that had happened in Vietnam.

Early on the afternoon my column ran, former Air Force stopped by the copy desk and said, “You know, you’d make a good churl.”

I thought, “And you would look good with an axe handle rammed up your ---.” I didn’t say that, though. He wasn’t worth expending a good line.

Russia’s birth rate higher than US

“[F]or the first time in a very long time, in 2012 Russia’s birth rate actually exceeded that of the United States. This is, to put it mildly, a significant reversal from the not too distant past when the US had a birth rate that was as much as 75% higher than Russia’s.”

“Essentially, Russian wages have never been higher and unemployment has never been lower. Meanwhile, in the United States, wages are stagnant and unemployment is way above its long-term trend. This sort of economic malaise has had a predictably depressive effect on fertility.”

(It’s not just economics. If that were the case, poor countries would have birth rates below replacement. Much of the low birth rate in the U.S. is because middle- and upper-income people don’t have kids as often as in the past. Working women in their 20s want to put off having kids until they are 35 or so. More than likely, they won’t have kids at all. Poorer people will continue to have kids, bring more government-needy onto poverty rolls and Democratic voters to demand more and more stuff.)

Whole story at:

Monday, August 12, 2013

A question for the ages (Part ... something)

Why was the leader of the pack in a candy store?

He (Jimmy) was The Leader of the Pack, Jimmy Bad-ss on a big Harley, a la Brando and Lee Marvin.

So what was a bad dude like Jimmy doing in a candy store?

Maybe casing the joint for a future heist?

Maybe looking for cute, innocent 16-year-old girls?

If either of those, then Betty’s father was right to tell her to find someone new, some nice boy who didn’t troll candy stores for cute, innocent 16-year-old girls, a boy who didn’t case joints for a future heist.

If Jimmy Bad-ss wanted candy, he could have sent a minion.

Yahoo main page news that verifies we are doomed

‘Selena Gomez dares in precariously slit dress’

‘Chrissy Teigen to Joan Rivers: I Never Wear Underwear’

‘Jennifer Aniston Addresses Pregnancy Rumors: It's Just a Couple of Pounds’

Royal baby's family snaps to make a Twitter debut

Melissa Gorga on Teresa Giudice's Legal Troubles: "She Knows I Have Her Back" (Who??)

Exclusive! Bella Thorne Instagrams the Teen Choice Awards (13 photos) (EXCLUSIVE!! – Who??)

11 Unique Cat & Dog Names that Will Whet Your Appetite (My appetite will not be changed by one name, let alone 11.)

Analyst: Console Sales Still Down, Low Demand for Current-Gen Content (Console TV, stereo? What is current-gen content?)

You'll Never Believe Which Stars Sell the Most Magazines (Nor do I care.)

Seven Cities at Risk of Rising Seas (If … If oceans rise 23 feet.)

Will Gareth Bale remain at Tottenham? (Who?)

Justin Theroux's A-List Birthday Bash (16 photos) (Who?)

Why Is the Kindle Fire HD Getting a Price Cut? (The what?)

Conclusions: (1) “News” focuses far too much time and space on entertainers – probably billions of dollars involved; (2) I am an old and crotchety man who needs to read entertainment news or ignore stuff that doesn’t matter. I’ll take the ignore curtain.

‘Barbarians at the campus gate’

Thomas Sowell at his best: “(I)f the battle comes down to the wimps versus the barbarians, the barbarians are bound to win.”

Where’s the elevator?

Two-hundred-meter-high building in Spain sort of doesn’t have a way up. Except for stairs.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

From one ass to another

“My dear Clarke … it looks as if you may be having not too good a time and I do hope that all will go well with you. … We are on the way to lend a hand.” Gen. Bernard Montgomery to Lt. Gen. Mark Clark, 15 September 1943, when Clark’s three British and two American divisions were being hammered by Germans at Salerno. Quoted by Rick Atkinson in The Day of Battle.

(Had Clark a proper American “go to hell” attitude, he might have called out Montgomery the next time the two met. Had Montgomery sent Patton the same letter, Patton would not have waited for a next meeting, but arranged one forthwith.)

Russia invites US to tank shoot-off

No, not at each other.

MOSCOW, August 10 (RIA Novosti) – Blurring the line between sports and warfare, the Russian army premiered a new sport – tank biathlon – and invited US crews to compete.

“We’ve invited our American colleagues to participate…and our invitation was accepted by US Secretary of Defense [Chuck] Hagel,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Saturday.

Italy and Germany also agreed to send their teams to compete with Russian and US tank crews, Shoigu said, adding that the event will take place sometime next year.

Russia will host the world’s first ever tank biathlon championship next week. The country’s best tank crews will compete against each other at a firing range outside Moscow, the winners then taking on competitors from Armenia, Belorussia and Kazakhstan.

The new sport allows showcasing the quality of Russian tanks, comparing them against foreign analogues, Shoigu’s deputy Yury Borisov said Saturday.

Next week’s event, however, will be limited to T-72 tanks, the staple of post-Soviet militaries, Vedomosti business daily said Friday.

The newspaper offered a preview of the new sport, covering a test competition held outside Moscow earlier this week. The event involved four tanks painted in bright colors – including yellow and pinkish red – which did three laps over rough terrain, shooting at targets shaped like tanks, houses and helicopters. The best time was 5:28.


No dogs on the Boardwalk, buddy

Cop: Look, dude, I don’t care how many times you were blown up in Afghanistan, and I don’t care if that’s a service dog. Get it and yourself off the boardwalk. Oh, by the way – Here’s a citation.

Hoped for result of investigation: One fired cop. No sensitivity training, no apology, just fired.


I thought about this and then decided, 'Why not?'

It concerns the same incident as the post below, so there is some repeat.

Los Angeles Air Force Base celebrated Diversity Day on Aug. 8. One of the acts was a drag band.

When asked “WTF?” by Fox News, base PR person Peggy Hodge said:

“Drag acts to this day represent the struggle for freedom and equality of the LGBT community, while at the same time providing a deep-rooted historical form of entertainment for the LGBT culture.”

Comments at jumped all over the “deep-rooted historical form of entertainment” with questions of whether “Diversity Day” also included black-face acts. I guess those questions were for the descendents of Caucasian Vaudeville Performers, but whatever.

I wondered if Diversity Day had:

“Hello. My na’ Jose Jiminez an’ I gon inter-duce a ban of men dress’ like women.”


“Vat, you don’ like da zoot? Vat’s vrong vit it? Nothin’, that’s what. Fits like a glove.”


“Say, whatsamattah you? You see dos’ men dress’ like wimmin? Hey, they kinda pretty, huh.”


“Lord a’mercy I ain’t nevah seen nothin’ like that in all my born’d days. Lands, my momma be rollin over in her grave she even think somethin’ like this evah happen.”

Air Force ‘Diversity Day’ planners show they can be really, really stupid

‘Air Force perpetuates stereotypes’

Los Angeles Air Force Base, Aug. 8:

“The Air Force said in a statement to Fox News that ‘Diversity Day’ featured eight cultural groups and was meant to ‘foster equality and diversity in the workplace.’


“’Drag acts to this day represent the struggle for freedom and equality of the LGBT community, while at the same time providing a deep-rooted historical form of entertainment for the LGBT culture,’ said Peggy Hodge, a spokesperson for the Office of Public Affairs.

“The military said the drag queen group did not include any members of the Air Force.

“’Drag queen acts are historically one of the main forms of entertainment in the LGBT culture, having its roots in the earliest of days of the gay rights movement,’ Hodge said in a written statement.”
(I don’t … That is so … Can you imagine … Great Jehosophat and Julius Caesar! “struggle for freedom and equality” … “foster equality and diversity in the workplace.’”


(This is the U.S. (freaking) Air Force, not some homosexual “rights” group!!! … What? Really? Oh. Okay. This is not my father’s Air Force?

(You got that right. Or Eddie Rickenbacker’s Air Force or Billy Mitchell’s or … None of those dead dudes, huh.

(We are sliding down the tubes, folks. Sliding down the freaking tubes, faster and faster and faster.)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

No sweat involved

Virtual war.

‘The Army Gets Unreal: The Pros & Cons Of Video Games For Combat Training’

(The system has a place, but it’s not face-to-face with another human. Even when your opponent is a soldier from another unit, you have a quality of reality that computer-produced situations cannot reproduce. If the system could take real-time satellite imagery and produce “This is what you will see on the ground when you go in 10 minutes,” it would be very helpful. Missions are performed in all weathers and all types of terrain, and simulations cannot reproduce what is necessary. I can see the system as a preliminary, but not as a replacement.)

Friday, August 9, 2013

That reminds me of one of the best-ever Vietnam poems

I don’t remember exactly; something like:

I was 18, standing in a rice paddy
The first time they tried to kill me.
But I was much older
When they tried to kill me again
The next day.

If you’ve never heard it …

When you are on the LZ and the Hueys leave, there is the most silent of silences, so silent you hear nothing else.

BS headline: ‘Snowden revelations force Obama's hand on surveillance program’

“Analysis -- NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s revelations have forced President Barack Obama’s hand, leading the president to announce new reforms of the government’s classified surveillance programs.

“Obama announced during a press conference Friday afternoon that reforms to the system will make the collection activities more transparent and ‘give the American people additional confidence that there are additional safeguards against abuse.’"

This administration: Oh, goodness! What shall we do? Someone has embarrassed us! We must do something!

Preferred response: F--- him. Let him rot in whatever backwater takes him.

Snowden’s revelations didn’t force Obama’s hand on anything. Obama’s advisors did.

So your major intelligence organization now will have “an internal NSA position devoted to privacy and an external working group to evaluate transparency in the program. Officials will also launch a new website next week that will serve as ‘a hub for further transparency’ for interested members of the public.”

A “working group” outside the agency to decide if the agency is telling enough of what it does. And a web site.

Obama’s statement is more than the usual BS from the feed lot.

A new member of Worst Movies Ever

Invasion Roswell.

NY Times synopsis: "Aliens are invading Earth and only the over-the-hill retired commandos can stop them.”

SyFy synopsis: “Sixty-six years after the Roswell crash, aliens return to attack Earth.”

This movie makes my all-time bad list not because of an inane script (it is) or bad acting (in the support roles) or cheesy special effects (they are), but mostly because of the white plastic rifles with what appear to be small paint cans attached and the dipstick civilian character who runs the whole operation. My gosh, just shoot him and then take out the badder guys.

Maybe I’ll get around to watching all of it.

Bits and pieces

from remake of The Sands of Iwo Jima.

“It’s got everything: the tough old veteran with the heart of gold, the cynical young kid who learns to take responsibility, the disgraced soldier who finds redemption, all set in the middle of this fictional war against an international terrorist group called JAPS. It’s like Battle: LA meets The Hurt Locker.”

In what producers call “a sign of the changing times”, the John Wayne character will be replaced by a female Airman, who takes command of the Marine squad after they become confused and frightened by the sounds of combat. The studio is rumored to be considering either Rihanna or Miley Cyrus as Sergeant Jane Stryker.

In a nod to the international market, Paramount also suggested there will be two alternate endings: the first is where the Japanese win the Battle of Iwo Jima, since market research has shown that Japanese moviegoers prefer films where they don’t lose the war.

Unfortunately, those films also play very badly in China, so there will be an additional ending where the Chinese somehow win the battle, despite their historical lack of participation. Paramount has also discussed completely replacing the Japanese with either North Koreans, space aliens, or giant robots.

When not sexually harassing women, he’s really a great guy, you know?

‘How Congress will cure the military’s sexual crimes problem’

“Seven community leaders sent an open letter to the NAACP, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported, urging the organization to help Filner. Noting that Filner was a part of the 1960′s civil rights movement and has a record of fighting for social justice, they said he’s being ‘assailed by economic and political forces’ in San Diego.

“’We do not condone sexual harassment,’ they wrote. ‘We do recognize that Bob Filner’s fight is our fight for the greater good of humanity.’”

("The greater good of humanity." Except for the women?)

I thought the story was about the Family Feud dude

Then I got the names straight. Richard Dawson, not Dawkins. And he’s dead. Dawson, that is.

‘An Old White Racist’: Famed Atheist Richard Dawkins Spawns Furor Over Islam Tweet

The only furor is from the “OMG you’ve offended Muslims and I must defend them!” segment.

What Dawkins said: “All the world's Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages, though.”

And followed after the “furor”: “Why mention Muslim Nobels rather than any other group? Because we so often hear boasts about (a) their total numbers and (b) their science.”

As Dawkins said, “their science” ended sometime in the Middle Ages.

The "old white racist" appelation ... That's what someone writes when he can't figure out another label. "Old white anti-Muslim" just doesn't have the same hammer.


On a Friday afternoon before weapons qualification at Camp Maxey, the battalion S4 NCO walked up and handed to me a pineapple grenade.

“This is what we used in Korea,” he said.

The grenade appeared to be live. It was OD, with a yellow stripe. Training grenades are blue and hollow and have a hole drilled into the bottom to allow gasses from the fuse to escape when the fuse detonates. That pineapple grenade did not have a hole in the bottom. And, it definitely was as heavy as a live grenade.

The S4 sergeant had the reputation of being a bit squirrelly. He didn’t always follow rules of safe operation. All soldiers do dangerous things now and then, beyond the normal dangers of soldiering. But that sergeant carried things a bit farther. There were rumors and tales that he had a goodly amount of ammunition and explosives at his farm. You will hear that sort of thing about every company supply sergeant and S4 sergeant. But that sergeant … He would not have been my first choice as the man in charge of ammunition.

I looked at the grenade. I studied the grenade. I looked around. The field in which we stood was 75 meters by 40 meters. I thought, “I probably can pull the pin and throw this thing far enough to be out of the frag radius.” My thought was to make sure the sergeant never brought another live grenade to training.

But … “I probably can …” Except when real bullets are flying around, “probably” does not figure in when you are dealing with fragmentation grenades. And then there was the certainty of an investigation and, oh, maybe two courts-martial – his for having the grenade, and mine for causing the thing to detonate in an area not designed or designated for explosives.

I returned the grenade and went somewhere else.

The sergeant was relieved a year or so later. His relief had nothing to do with the grenade incident. People in charge decided he had been S4 NCO too long. And, a younger, more astute, soldier wanted the job.

The old sergeant shot himself not long after he lost his job. He used an M1911A1, of course.

No one ever said if lawmen found an arsenal at his farm.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sometimes the world is not a good place

John Berry was a squad leader in my National Guard infantry platoon. He, his wife Jenny and son Brady lived in Terrell, about 50 miles from Sulphur Springs. John’s house was less than four miles from the battalion headquarters armory, but John was not the headquarters type.

One Saturday morning before first formation, several of us sergeants were standing around, drinking coffee and talking. John said, “We had a mouse in the house, and Brady wanted to know what we would do. I told him I would put out a trap. Next morning I checked, and the mouse had tripped the trap. I picked it up and showed Brady.” John smiled as he recounted his son’s reaction. “Brady looked at the trap and the mouse and he said (in a 5-year-old’s voice), ‘You didn’t say you were going to kill it!’” We all laughed, because kids don’t understand how life works, and we had been the same at some point.

John loved his boy.

Sean Brady Berry, Sgt., scout sniper, 36th Infantry Division, born Sept. 5, 1979, died Oct. 3, 2005, in Taqaddum, Iraq.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words …

Verbal bully! Verbal Bully! Wannh, wannh! You hurt my feelings …

“Government workers in the city of Seattle have been advised that the terms ‘citizen’ and ‘brown bag”’ are potentially offensive and may no longer be used in official documents and discussions…”

“For a lot of particularly African-American community members, the phrase brown bag does bring up associations with the past when a brown bag was actually used, I understand, to determine if people’s skin color was light enough to allow admission to an event or to come into a party that was being held in a private home.”


OK, so the city will not countenance performances of Les Miserable and will remove A Tale of Two Cities from libraries? And all copies of state and federal laws that apply to citizenship?

Terrorist attack? No, no. Oh no, no, no

Two 18-year-old British women volunteers at a Zanzibar school are attacked by acid-throwing men. Last November, a Muslim leader suffered the same kind of assault. Earlier this year, two Christian leaders were killed. A Muslim group wants the island to separate from Tanzania and form a Sharia country.

Police said the acid attack on the volunteers was "an isolated incident" and has nothing to do with “tension between majority Muslims and Christians on the island.”

We are going to die! We’re all going to die!

Rich poisons vs. poor poisons.

“America's rich and not so rich are not just living differently, they're poisoning themselves differently as well.

“(T)he entire population is loaded with chemicals like mercury, arsenic, lead, cadmium and bisphenol A. We eat fish, we drink out of plastic containers, and we generally end up consuming a lot of the same things that make us big, walking dumping grounds.”

STFU! Possibly the most nonsensical story in the last week. And this Jason Nolte got paid for writing the story.

Jason, give back the money.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I'm so glad I'm living in the USA

A friend recently returned from a study/vacation in England and France. She sent a small bottle of sand from Omaha Beach, a D-Day medallion and two CDs of war areas, including Omaha and Bletchley Park.

In the back and forth emails, I wrote this morning:

Did you run into any "Your attempts at speaking the language of civilized persons is so deplorable I must ignore even your presence" Frenchpeoples?

She replied tonight:

Yes, the French were deplorable, and their cities smell like pee.

They fix your meals while smoking cigarettes.

Many looked at me extremely rude. Their 'go to hell' looks (and this is before I spoke a word to let them know where in the world I was from) and attitude reminded me of the kids I taught at the junior highs: like "What are you looking at?" "Why are you looking at me?" "What the hell do you want?" "Leave me alone, God!"

Maybe they're just immature ... and not well potty trained.

And God you better speak French in France; those business owners are not bending over backwards to learn English just to do business with the English-speaking peoples.

Makes me feel good to stick to my guns about refusing to learn Spanish just to keep teaching in the public schools of Texas.

(She is becoming downright reactionary in her mid-years.)

Undue influence, or How not to run a Marine Corps

Marines urinate on dead Taliban. Outrage! Why that might cause live Taliban to dislike us or something!

Dumb thing to do on camera.

But Afghanistan is not a schoolyard. If people think pissing on dead enemy is the worst thing Americans ever did … Move to another planet.

The Marines should have received an Article 15, maybe lost some pay, been confined to tents until the next patrol.

Turns out that is what the convening authority wanted to do, but the Commandant of the USMC, James F. Amos, said no. He wanted the Marines “crushed.”

Nine Marines were court-martialed.

Now there is an appeal, with undue influence at the center, the same kind as the Commander in Chief showed when he said he wanted any soldier convicted of sexual assault dishonorably discharged. The CIC so ordered, even if the dumbshit wasn’t aware of what he was doing.

The Commandant is a different story. He is a professional. He is supposed to know better

Article 37, UCMJ, spells it all:

“No person subject to this chapter may attempt to coerce or, by any unauthorized means, influence the action of a court-martial or any other military tribunal or any member thereof, in reaching the findings or sentence in any case, or the action of any convening, approving, or reviewing authority with respect to his judicial acts.”

The original convening authority, Lt. Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, “determined that the most suitable punishment for the Marines involved was nonjudicial punishment, which is less serious than court-martial.

“But a recent statement by Waldhauser to the Department of Defense inspector general obtained by CNN details how Amos tried to influence Waldhauser’s ruling during a meeting in February 2012.

“’I do not necessarily remember the exact words or sequence of what was said, but the [Commandant] did make a comment to the effect that the Marines involved needed to be “crushed,”’ Waldhauser said, according to the statement. “The CMC went on to say that he wanted these Marines to be discharged from the Marine Corps when this was all over.’

“After Waldhauser pushed back against the Commandant, he was removed as convening authority by the Commandant. So the conversation has become the basis for an appeal.

“What’s more, Amos and his legal team allegedly sought to have documents classified that would have revealed his attempted unlawful influence over Waldhauser.”

‘Hunting Marines’ heads’

One of the things that really angers me about the thieving bastard lobbyists …

… is their assumption that the people they steal from are stupid.

That is also one of the reasons I would like some face-to-face time, some wall-to-wall counseling time, with each and every thieving bastard lobbyist.

In today’s mail go Mrs. R was a letter from Dan Perrin of The Seniors Center in Washington. The letter was taped at the edges. Mr. Perry’s letter began:

“Dear Friend,

“I’m sorry I didn’t send you this letter in an envelope. I had to make a desperate choice:

“Either spend my limited budget on an extra envelope ---
or pay the 46c for your return envelope.”

Limited budget.

These thieving bastards do not know how to tell a truth.

Limited budget.

A little internet search shows “The Seniors Center” has a budget a bit more than limited.

From Charity Stat: “We first started tracking this firm on January 6th, 2010. For the tax period of December 1st, 2011, this firm reported assets of $197,020, income of $2,184,439 and revenue of $2,184,439.”

The thieving bastards lie and cheat and steal.

They must meet Justice.

Combat, frequent deployment not causes of suicide

Suicides among military personnel have little to do with combat or multiple deployments. Instead, military suicides occur for the same reasons as do civilian suicides, a Department of Defense-funded study says.

The study shows “there is no clear link between combat or deployment overseas and the military's suicide rate …”

“Researchers, who tracked 150,000 soldiers from 2001 to 2008, found that most of those who killed themselves were heavy drinkers who suffered from depression or had been diagnosed with manic depression.” CNN reports.

“Surprisingly, being deployed for longer than a year was associated with a lower risk of suicide.”

(Somewhere down the posts is one about a discussion between another Vietnam veteran and me, his assertion of every-day suicides in the military and my (loud, my wife said) counter claim. He parroted the line that "the Army" was sending soldiers over too many times, and multiple deployments caused more suicides. Well, suck a lemon, dude.)

‘Megalodon’ on a ‘science-based’ network? Really?

Kickoff to Shark Week “drew a heated response online from viewers who said airing a ‘mockumentary’ compromises the network's reputation.”

We are talking about the Discovery Channel, right? The network that has “Surviving Naked in Panama,” “Gold Rush South America,” “Saint Hoods,” “Jungle Gold,” “Treehouse Masters”?

Oh, and the very, very scientific “Amish Mafia.” And the equally scientific “Moonshiners.”

And how about “Porter Ridge” – “In the premiere episode of Porter Ridge we meet Terry and the gang as they take on a repo mission confronting their rivals, the Dog Killer Ridge boys.”

Nothing dramatized or (ahem) fabricated in those programs, huh. Nope. Dedicated to science and discovery.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Someone else wonders about the 'imminent' attacks

The following text is a translation of an Hebrew article from a relatively yellow Internet site, which name could be loosely translated as ‘Central Affairs, founded by one Rami Izhar, who also penned the article in question. It is titled Intelligence officials doubt the Washington leak of intercepted phone call from al-Qaeda leader to the chief of underground in Yemen. The lede of the article is ‘It is viewed as a political spin designed to cover up the failures of the Obama administration.’ Here it goes*:

“Deliberate leak coming from Washington regarding the interception of a telephone call supposedly between the leader of al Qaeda and the chief of underground in Yemen, was received in Western intelligence agencies, including Israel, with a prominent disbelief. The common argument is that the spin has two purposes.

“First, to justify the recklessness and stupidity of the public announcement regarding the closure of embassies in more than 20 countries in the Middle East, Asia and North Africa to give the American people the message that the Benghazi failure will not be repeated. Another goal: to justify the continuing surveillance and the bugging that are destroying individual freedoms so sacred to Americans.

“The leak should strengthen the argument that only eavesdropping and interception of messages both in the U.S. and abroad allows an effective fight against murderous Islamic terrorism. The message is also intended to the friendly and leading European countries such as Germany, France, Britain and other EU countries that have not yet calmed down after the leaks by Snowden of surveillance and American constant spying after conversations and emails of VIPs in friendly nations.

“These factors say that it is inconceivable that bin Laden's successor Zawahiri will make any phone call, and certainly not one demanding some action in Yemen. Americans will now have to publish the audio recording of the alleged conversation and even then it's doubtful if anyone would believe that it is not fabricated. Intelligence is not as dumb as the masses, major affairs, says our source.

“It seems to be pretty poor political spin, which purpose was to manipulate public opinion in America and abroad, in light of several serious blunders by the Obama administration during last year.”

(*) This blog owners don't necessary share the opinions of the above article's author and are not responsible for its contents.

But they like both the opinions and the contents.

Paying for the bullets that kill us

“The U.S. Army is refusing to suspend contracts with dozens of companies and individuals tied to Al Qaeda and other extremist groups out of concern for their ‘due process rights,’ despite repeated pleas from the chief watchdog for Afghanistan reconstruction.

“In a scathing passage of his latest report to Congress, Special Inspector General John Sopko said his office has urged the Army to suspend or debar 43 contractors over concerns about ties to the Afghanistan insurgency, ‘including supporters of the Taliban, the Haqqani network and al Qaeda.’
“Sopko wrote that the Army ‘rejected’ every single case.

“’The Army Suspension and Debarment Office appears to believe that suspension or debarment of these individuals and companies would be a violation of their due process rights if based on classified information or if based on findings by the Department of Commerce,’ Sopko said, summing up the Army’s position.’’

“An Army spokesman actually wrote:

“’They may be enemies of the United States, but that is not enough to keep them from getting government contracts.’”


You don’t like them, don’t buy the damn things

Could be some unenlightened mothers think they’re cute.

“The Children's Place's latest T-shirt line put the clothing retailer in an uncomfortable place: in the crossfire of parental outrage.

“The retailer sparked anger for girls' T-shirts like one that says ‘Born to wear diamonds’ and another depicting a checklist under the phrase ‘My best subjects.’ While subjects such as ‘shopping’ and ‘dancing’ are checked off, ‘math’ is left unchecked, with the added explanation ‘Well, nobody's perfect.’

“That made some parents hopping mad, and some filled The Children's Place's Facebook page with angry messages. Some vowed to stop shopping at the retailer.

"’As an environmental scientist, I just can't justify endorsing your business,’ one woman wrote. ‘The “right thing” to teach our children is to ignore degrading propaganda, and present yourself in a positive way.’"

(Who gives a rat’s hiney that “one woman” is “an environmental scientist”? What does environmental science have to do with “Born to wear diamonds”? What is an environmental scientist, anyway?

(Unwad your knickers, dudettes. Remember the importance of diversity. Remember, too, that some girls are born to wear diamonds. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have dozens of pictures in yearbooks, and they wouldn’t be the ones in cheerleader skirts.

(And, Envirnmental Scientist, you have a tense error -- "our children" cannot be a "yourself.")

The arrogance of ignorance

Terrorist chatter increases. No. 2 Al-Queda talks to No. 3 about a big event.

Close the embassies, get people out of Yemen.

‘Manipulating the U.S. Intelligence Community Shouldn’t Be This Easy’

“The shutdown and warnings, then, proceed from the assumption either that the terrorists ‘chatter’ amongst themselves blissfully ignorant of what anyone who cares to look knows about NSA’s reach, or that they willfully warn us. That assumption flies in the face of experience. The terrorists who have bitten us have not chattered, while those who chatter do not bite. The terrorists who brought mortars and grenade launchers to destroy US facilities in Benghazi and kill our people did not chatter. The US government is up against serious people. Unfortunately, it gives proof of unseriousness.”

(Yeah, we’ve bragged about signals intelligence and intercepts of high-ranking terrorists’ plans and locations, but they’re a bunch of illiterate goat herders, so it’s not like they understand SIGINT.)

We’re doomed! Doomed, I tell you!

“August 5, 2013: Something big is about to happen on the sun. According to measurements from NASA-supported observatories, the sun's vast magnetic field is about to flip.

"It looks like we're no more than 3 to 4 months away from a complete field reversal," says solar physicist Todd Hoeksema of Stanford University. ‘This change will have ripple effects throughout the solar system.’"

(Break out those cases of C’s you got 25 years ago or those MREs from five years back.)

“The sun's magnetic field changes polarity approximately every 11 years. It happens at the peak of each solar cycle as the sun's inner magnetic dynamo re-organizes itself.”

(Oh. It wasn’t a big deal 11 years ago, so it’s no big deal now, right?)

“Solar physicist Phil Scherrer, also at Stanford, describes what happens: ‘The sun's polar magnetic fields weaken, go to zero, and then emerge again with the opposite polarity. This is a regular part of the solar cycle.’"

(I was worried for a bit. Reversed magnetism sounded like one of those History Channel “WE’RE DOOMED!” stories.)

“A reversal of the sun's magnetic field is, literally, a big event. The domain of the sun's magnetic influence (also known as the ‘heliosphere’) extends billions of kilometers beyond Pluto. Changes to the field's polarity ripple all the way out to the Voyager probes, on the doorstep of interstellar space.”

(Hey, make up my mind! It’s an 11-year cycle thing, but it’s a “big event”?)

Not to worry.

"’The sun's north pole has already changed sign, while the south pole is racing to catch up,’ says Scherrer. ‘Soon, however, both poles will be reversed, and the second half of Solar Max will be underway.’

“When that happens, Hoeksema and Scherrer will share the news with their colleagues and the public.”

(When that happens?? What about before? I’ve got sandbags to fill.)

Cleveland police face “discipline”

“Cleveland police officials said Friday they're disciplining 75 of officers for their involvement in a police chase that ended in the shooting deaths of an unarmed man and woman, The Plain Dealer reports.

“The pair were shot at 137 times while in their car, parked in a middle school parking lot. No officers were injured in what police called a ‘full blown-out" firefight.”

“One suspect, 30-year-old Malissa Williams, was shot 24 times, and the other, 43-year-old Timothy Russell, was shot 23 times.”

(Uh, we thought they had a gun.)

Monday, August 5, 2013

‘Israel’s 10th-grade anti-cyberterrorists’

“With double the number of scientists and engineers per capita compared to the US and 10 times more active-duty soldiers relative to its total population, Israel already has impressive human capital in scientific fields such as cybersecurity. But now it is also tapping everything from high school classrooms to venture capital firms to extract cream-of-the-crop cyber experts, hone their skills and ideas, and fund their development.”

Quality can matter more than quantity in the cyber battlefield, “where a team of pony-tailed hackers fueled by pizza, Coke, and plum salaries may be enough to design major attacks or help bolster US defenses against them.”

‘The IDF sends select soldiers to universities such as BGU for specialized training, especially in the sciences. But given the urgent need for talent, the IDF launched a special program three years ago to identify exceptionally qualified high school students and begin their cybersecurity training as early as 10th grade. Currently 200 students are enrolled in the program, but graduates have so outperformed their peers in the IDF that commanders are clamoring for more. So this year the program will double in size, and the IDF hopes to see 1,000 students involved within two years.”

This new tax will fund everything! Everything!

(Except those bad soldiers at the Pentagon. They don’t get any.)

"’The bottom line is we're not broke, there's plenty of money, it's just the government doesn't have it,’ Ellison continued, "The government has a right, the government and the people of the United States have a right to run the programs of the United States. Health, welfare, housing - all these things.’"

“The 'Inclusive Prosperity Act' would levy a sales tax on the trading of stocks, bonds and derivatives. Ellison estimates it would generate $300 billion in revenues annually.

“According to the bill revenue raised will go to several priorities and, ‘fund international sustainable prosperity programs such as health care investments, AIDS treatment, research and prevention programs, climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts by developing countries, and international assistance.’"

“Inclusive Prosperity Act.” Ain’t it lovely?

Hey, do you believe in inclusive prosperity?


Inclusive prosperity. You know, where everybody has money and nobody has more than anybody else.

You mean like Warren Buffet living on the same salary as his secretary?

Link from

In pretend war, you can shoot them

The pretend war was to start in two hours, but my lieutenant was not present. Not a problem. The platoon had worked without a lieutenant before and often worked despite having one.

The battalion was at Camp Maxey, Texas, about 20 miles north of Paris. During World War II, Camp Maxey encompassed around 60,000 acres bought from farmers and ranchers. After the war, the Army retained a little more than 4,000 acres and gave the camp to the Texas Army National Guard. The Guard used the camp for small-scale field training and for rifle, pistol and machine gun qualification.

A platoon sergeant from a South Texas mechanized infantry company was assigned to evaluate my platoon.

About an hour after breakfast, the platoon sergeant came over to my area. He asked if my platoon leader had arrived.

“Nope,” I said.

“Looks like you’re it, then.”

“Yep,” I said.

He said, “I’ll give you the op order when you’re ready.”

“Now is good,” I said.

The gist of the order was, an enemy force of unknown strength was in the vicinity of a set of coordinates. I was to take my platoon to the area, find and eliminate the enemy force. There was more information – situation, who was to my right and to my left, service and support – but then basics were, “The enemy is here; go kill him.”

I sat on a log with a map and notes and soon had my own op order. My three squad leaders came over and I gave the order – where we were going, the order we would move, the route and what to do when we found the enemy or he found us.

The easiest route to the objective led down two roads, but we were not going to take the roads. You increase the chance of being shot. My op order had the platoon of three APCs using the edge of the woods to make the movement. The location was easy to find, and we would be concealed the entire distance.

We moved out at a time that would allow us to make LD (line of departure) time as specified in the op order. As the lead track neared a barbed wire fence, an M151A1 (jeep) drove through the gate. My tracks stopped. Out of the jeep stepped my LT.

I dismounted my track and walked to the platoon leader. (We’ll call him Lt. Black, since that was his name.) He apologized for being late. I said, “Yes, Sir.” He asked what was going on. I took my map from a cargo pocket and explained everything.

“No,” the lieutenant said. “That’s not what I want to do.”

I wanted to say, “Sir, if you want a say-so on what to do, I suggest you get your ass where it’s supposed to be, when it’s supposed to be there.” But I didn’t say anything.

Lt. Black said he wanted all squad leaders at his location. When everybody was present, the LT changed the route from concealed in the trees to going down the roads. What that meant was, we would be approaching the objective parallel to it and exposing our entire right side. I didn’t say anything. I had tried before talking to Lt. Black about leadership and tactics and other things Infantry, but he was not interested. He was an SMU ROTC LT … That pretty much sums it up.

We took the LT’s route, we took fire from the right as we were exposed on the road, and we had to travel 100 meters or so before turning toward the enemy position. And then the LT stopped the tracks and dismounted the platoon 250 meters from the objective. My soldiers would have to run that distance, plus go into and come out of a depression with three-meter-high sides. Fortunately, the sides were not steep.

When everything was done – soldiers fired up their blank ammunition and whoever had smoke grenades tossed red and purple – the evaluating platoon sergeant and I were standing near a small tree.

I said, “Where is he?” The other platoon sergeant knew who I meant. “Where is he?” And then: “There he is.” I raised my rifle.

“You going to shoot him?”

“Yes.” I squeezed off three blank rounds.

The LT never knew.

Had it been real, I would have stopped it before it began. I would have said, “No, Sir. We’re not doing that.” Had it been real, he would have ordered me to do as he said. What would have happened after that … One lieutenant or 26 soldiers.