Thursday, June 30, 2022

Truth is in the T-shirt

We had Father’s Day a week ago Saturday, later than anyone else. Used to be, my wife and I marked Mother’s Day and Father’s Day with maybe a card and “Happy Whichever.” Then Kathleen was retired from the Air Force, and holidays became a time of celebration. Priscilla and I had always marked the kids’ birthdays, Christmas and such, but had paid no mind to the advertisers’ demand that we take part in other holidays. We did not buy valentines or chocolates and such, nor visit furniture stores before Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day and etc.

After Kathleen’s retirement, she made a habit of calling three or more weeks before, asking, “What are you and Mom doing for Mother’s Day?” or “Father’s Day?” The answer at first was, “Not much” or “Nothing.”

Kathleen is a planner, though, and our answers were not the ones she expected or would accept. Her time as an Air Force navigator made good use of her inherent ability to plan things, and none of that ceased just because she no longer wears a uniform. In all her civilian jobs, she has been the one designated to plan office whatevers. She is quite good at it.

She always gives us the opportunity to make our own suggestion, following our designated activity with “What about lunch?” Her jobs and her friends take her to many different restaurants in the area. She knows the good ones.

This year, I chose miniature golf and Greek as my desired activity and  lunch. With my choices made, Kathleen then got all the necessary information about miniature golf courses and made reservations at a Greek restaurant.

We all had a good time – Priscilla, Kathleen, Casey our youngest and A, Casey’s friend. Michael, our oldest, lives in a Mountain Time state, and we did not expect him to drive or fly to Florida for an afternoon of miniature golf and Greek food.

Pushing my VA-supplied walker, I managed nine holes before my knees gave out. Priscilla later said, “You did very well. The temperature was in the 90s, and the sun was hot.” The Greek food was good, as well.

Kathleen also bought two Father’s Day gifts for me – a Dammit doll and a T-shirt. The doll is a representation of President Biden. When frustrated because of Biden’s decisions or statements, one takes the doll by the feet and slams it against the nearest hard object while yelling, “Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!”

The T-shirt is black and has in big white letters:




I thought about other dads I have known – mine, Priscilla’s, my father’s, cousins’ fathers, Army sergeant fathers – and I decided, “Yeah. That’s true.”

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Play ball! And don’t forget my tax breaks

From The Z Man

The Left uses state power to make sure these sports leagues aggressively support the cultural causes. The four big sports leagues are out front on the things like sodomy, cross-dressing, social vengeance and so on. They also make sure to support other state-sponsored ventures like war mongering and the medical fads that are an increasing part of daily life.

While the Left is weaponizing sports against the majority population, the Right carries on like these leagues are bastions of libertarianism, instead of rentier enterprises for the benefit of the oligarchs. Any suggestion that maybe the state do something about the outlandish prices or the grotesque subsidies these operations enjoy is met with howls of “socialism" from conservatives. You see, those subsidies are just tax avoidance and taxes are bad so reasons.

The result is sports leagues function like tax farmers. Every cable household is sending money to pro sports leagues through their cable bill. Since the sports stuff is bundled into the basic bill, you pay for sports by default. The only way to avoid paying for sports is to not have a television subscription. Even taking that approach, you are subsidizing sports through property taxes, sales taxes and entertainment taxes. Everyone is a tenant on the sportsball farm in America.



Some babies are worth more in political points than are others

From Gun Free Zone

After the Parkland shooting, Dick’s Sporting Goods made a big deal about a corporate decision to stop selling AR pattern rifles and destroying $5 million guns they had in inventory.

They were doing it for the children.

Well, after Dobbs, Dick’s Sporting Goods made another announcement.  They would give every employee up to $4,000 to have an abortion.

If they destroyed guns “for the children,” then what are they destroying children for?


Progressive values.


How many more children will be murdered, subsidized by Dick’s than would have ever been killed by an AR they sold to a law abiding citizen?

These moralizing companies are not good.  They are evil.

Any company that pays you to murder your own child in the womb is not your friend.  They are your enemy, destroying the root of love and fulfillment, having a family, to keep you as a low cost employee.

They are paying employees to murder their children for Progressive social credit and to reduce their employee costs.


Tuesday, June 28, 2022

No answer will satisfy her

Wanda Sykes: “The problem is that middle stuff. It is those states in the middle, that red stuff. Why do they get to tell us what to do, where the majority of us live out, New York, California, and we are paying for all this crap, really?”


More stupid today than yesterday

Every day is another staggering reminder that stupid people handle the President of the United States. “We need to end drilling for dirty American oil.” But, “We really need that clean oil from the Arabian Peninsula.”


“When wokeness conquers institutions, it drains them of their legitimacy. This is partly because people dislike wokeness, but it is mostly because this ideology changes the function and purpose of an institution. The practical ends of the organization, which it exists to fulfill, are subordinated to its new ideological goals, which encourage incompetence and destructive infighting.

With wokeness prevailing, “many families with traditions of military service will be hesitant to tell their sons to join the newly woke armed forces. Employees at woke corporations will keep their heads down, mouths shut, and not go out of their way to identify or fix problems — you never know when you might stumble into an intersectional trap.

Fighting wokeness begins at home.

“This revival begins with our families, friendships, and churches, but it must go beyond them. The flourishing of homeschool groups and the classical school movement are good examples of building alternatives to a corrupt and failing system. And if we build it, they will come. Parents want their first-graders to learn to read, not to deconstruct the gender binary.

Companies offering to pay travel expenses for abortions

Bank of America, Expedia, Pay Pal, Disney and Google. Google also says it will pay relocation expenses for “Googlers” who find it impossible to continue living in the medieval, barbaric states that make abortion illegal. (Not Google’s words.)

A guess: Those companies already had abortion coverage in “health plans,” but decided to announce their expanded progressiveness to all and sundry. Not surprising, given that eugenics has been an offspring of Progressives since the late 19th century.

More Progressive responses at Valor Guardians dot com.


Monday, June 27, 2022

Illinois’ richest man moving company to Florida

From The Washington Examiner

Billionaire hedge fund boss Ken Griffin, citing a better corporate environment, is moving his firm Citadel to Florida.

Griffin, the wealthiest resident of Illinois and a top GOP donor, announced the move to Miami in a letter to Citadel staff on Thursday. He said that he has already moved to the Sunshine State and that the hedge fund will begin the process, which is expected to take years, of relocating as well.

“If people aren’t safe here, they’re not going to live here,” he said in an interview. “I’ve had multiple colleagues mugged at gunpoint. I’ve had a colleague stabbed on the way to work. Countless issues of burglary. I mean, that’s a really difficult backdrop with which to draw talent to your city from.”



Two questions

Somebody named Billie Joe Armstrong told a UK audience he is renouncing his US citizenship and moving across the Atlantic.


And, Can he say “Dixie Chicks?”

What's this then, Alfie?


Sunday, June 26, 2022

Some officers learn

Captain T came off active duty and into a National Guard brigade-level intelligence section near Dallas. He was a VMI graduate, with a degree in Spanish and a minor in voice, had completed the Army intelligence officer’s course and completed a three-year tour in Germany. His civilian job was with a major beverage company headquartered in the Dallas area.

Captain T one time mentioned a CIA recruitment talk he received near the end of his active duty time. Because of his VMI degree and his competence in Spanish, he was offered a position in Central America with a major U.S. beverage company. In addition to managing beverage distribution, he would recruit agents and establish information networks.

“The CIA told me I would be attached from some Mess Kit Repair Battalion in the Midwest,” he said. “If anything ever happened to me, the agency could deny everything, since I belonged to an Army Reserves unit.”

He turned down the offer, he said, because he would have to spend a year working in a CIA basement in Washington, D.C., building, sorting through daily intercepts, at a salary less than that of an Active Duty captain.

“And, I didn’t want my parents being told I had been killed in a helicopter accident during an Army Reserves exercise.”

Captain T did not exactly fit in his first two drill weekends. Another analyst in the section said, “I don’t think he’s going to work out at all.” I said, “Just give him a little more time. I think he’ll be okay.”

Around his third drill weekend, Captain T and I were talking, about Army stuff and Russian stuff when he said, “I guess I was a bit of an ass my first few drills.”

My thought on some Army stuff revolves around “Do not lie to an officer.” So I said, “Yes, Sir, you were.”

Captain T said (and I am not making this up), “I’ve never worked with NCOs who are as intelligent as I am, and it took getting used to.”

DOD declines to follow ruling on Roe v. Wade

Military hospitals will continue providing “reproductive health care,” woke Secretary Austin rules.

“Federal law currently allows military medical facilities to provide abortions only in cases of rape, incest or if a woman’s life is in danger, while the military's health program is allowed to cover abortions at private facilities for those same reasons only.”

Austin wants the armed services run like a Progressive/Liberal/Socialist/Democratic Party community activist organization.





Saturday, June 25, 2022

Ace joke

Researchers for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority found over 200 dead crows near greater Boston recently, and there was concern that they may have died from Avian Flu.

A Bird Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and, to everyone’s relief, confirmed the problem was definitely NOT Avian Flu. The cause of death appeared to be vehicular impacts. However, during the detailed analysis it was noted that varying colors of paints appeared on the bird’s beaks and claws.

By analyzing these paint residues it was determined that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with trucks, while only 2% were killed by an impact with a car.

MTA then hired an Ornithological Behaviorist to determine if there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of truck kills versus car kills.

He very quickly concluded the cause: When crows eat road kill, they always have a look-out crow in a nearby tree to warn of impending danger.

They discovered that while all the lookout crows could shout “Cah”, not a single one could shout “Truck.” H/T Isophorone Blog

From Ace of Spades HQ       

German billionaire families never cut Nazi ties

Matt Lebovic, The Times of Israel

The next time you bite into a Krispy Kreme donut or hop into a Volkswagen, your money could be helping obscure the Nazi past of some of Germany’s leading corporate families.

In “Nazi Billionaires: The Dark History of Germany’s Wealthiest Dynasties,” author and financial journalist David de Jong probes the Nazi-era activities of six German dynasties who operated businesses during the Third Reich. Some of them still are controlled by family members today.

“Germany is still insular and inward-facing, despite the fact that it’s at the heart of the European project, politically,” said de Jong. “In some ways, it is quite provincial.”

Germans will do what is perceived to be good for Germans. Running Europe, with the cooperation of France, is good for Germany.

Men and women are from different parts of the cave

My wife and I were married eight years before she let slip a secret.

That day, we had returned to our home in Grand Prairie following a three-hour trip to Forum 303 Mall in Arlington. When we had our then two kids inside and playing on the yellow shag carpet in our living room, Priscilla said, “That was a very good shopping trip. Thank you for going with me.” My man mind did not know how three hours spent going from store to store could be called “a good shopping trip,” so I said, “You’re welcome, but we didn’t buy anything.”

Then Priscilla let me in on the secret: “Shopping isn’t buying. Shopping is looking.”

We had been married long enough I knew women and men had different strategies in buying. Unless she has a list, a woman will spend at least three times as long as does a man in a store. A man knows what he wants when he goes into a store. He goes straight to the item or items, places them in his buggy, pays and goes home. Mission accomplished. A woman wanders around the store, seemingly without reason, places varied items in her cart, wanders more and eventually makes her way to the checkout line, probably adding to her cart on the way, and then picking up a Coke while standing in line.

After Priscilla informed me of the true purpose of shopping, I thought about why men and women are different in their approach while visiting the modern-day bazaar. It is because of living in caves for a few million years.

In cave living, women developed what later was called “multi-tasking.” Women took care of the cave. There were lots of things to do, all at one time. The fire in the fire pit needed attention. Cave babies needed careful watching lest they fall into the fire in the fire pit. Food would not prepare itself, so cave women took care of broiling chunks of meat and cutting up the meat and serving the meat. Rocks needed proper heating before dropping into hot water containers. There were clothes to make and repair.

Men were single taskers. Whatever was in front of a cave man, he and his unshaven buds took care of. Wild animal approaching the cave entrance, drive it away, or kill it and take it to the skinning place. Stories of ancestors needed telling to children so memories would be remembered.

A man’s main job, though, was to hunt food. Along with his cave family men, the Main Hunter went from the cave, into the forest or onto the plain, found food animals, and killed one. Man hunting parties did not mess around. Big elk, speared, quartered and taken back to the cave meant meals for several months.

Know your mission, conduct proper planning, assign everyone a job, kill the food animal, go home.

Shopping would have meant hunger and possible starvation had women made up food-killing parties. Dressed the same as men, carrying the same weapons, a hunting party of women would have crossed a hill or two, but when spotting a large elk or aurouch, would have had a conference.

“Yes, that is a good size aurouch,” one would have said, “but we might find a better one across the next hill.” And so it would have gone, until the women realized it was time to fish or cut bait, to mix metaphors.

Besides, if women had made up hunting parties, who would have found fresh flowers for the cave?

Friday, June 24, 2022

This one takes some close reading

Ramzan Kadyrov is head of the Chechen government. His oldest daughter, Aishat Kadyrova, is first deputy minister of Chechen culture, appointed on Sept. 1, 2020, by the head of the Chechen government. On June 23, the head of government awarded the first deputy minister the Order of Kadyrov, “the highest award of the Chechen Republic,” according to Chechnya Today news agency.

“Akhmed Dudaev, Chechen Minister for National Policy, Foreign Relations, Press and Information, congratulated the daughter of the leader of Chechnya with receiving the highest award of the Chechen Republic and noted that Aishat Kadyrova ‘made a huge contribution to improving the culture of the region.’”

Kadyrov appoints daughter Kadyrova, who receives Kadyrov award from Kadyrov.

Kadyrov is also sending 200-300 Chechen volunteers a week to the special operation in Ukraine, or was a couple of weeks ago when cameras were around.


© Кавказский Узел

Ukraine drafting convicts, women, ‘source’ tells Russia news

From RT News

A large-scale hunt for conscripts is underway across Ukraine amid the military conflict with Russia, a source within Kiev’s military has told RT Russian. Ukraine is reportedly unscrupulous about those being recruited and the means of delivering draft notices to them.

The military recruiters are now allowed to hand out draft notices to people not only at their place of residence, but also in the streets, restaurants, entertainment facilities and anywhere else.

Ukraine needs fresh manpower,” an employee of an active recruiting station in Kiev, who chose to remain anonymous, told RT. Draft notices are “being given in public places – everyone knows that. It happens at malls, recreation areas, gas stations – it doesn’t matter where. The goal is to recruit as many people as possible for the military reserve,” he said.


Here is what you can believe from Russian or Ukraine sources:


Yes, that much.





Thursday, June 23, 2022

The Japanese aircraft did not appear to be a threat

B-24D Pelly-Can went down with all crew members after rammed by a B5M “Mable.”

“The three 319th planes were some ten minutes ahead of the 380th contingent and we were separated by at least one mile. I, Sanxter, was second in line and behind Roy as we had planned. The Nate [sic, actually B5M1 "Mabel"] was seen by us, and I presume by Roy's crew, as it climbed out from the Makassar air strip. Noticing the fixed gear and only one plane we did not view it with any true alarm. The Jap climbed to our altitude ahead of us then moved to the left as he passed behind our lead plane, thus no attack was made on him. Suddenly the Nate turned sharply to his left coming in behind Olsen and far in front of us. His maneuver was obviously unfriendly but still we did not see any firing at him although he should have been an easy target for the tail gunner or right waist gun as he approached the B-24. In any case we were momentarily stunned to watch the Nate fly directly into the wing of Roy's plane just outboard of the number four engine. Predictably the wing came off as did one from the Nate with both going down together in tight spirals. We didn't actually see the splash because we were now too busy preparing for our bomb run ... The sight of Roy and crew going down was particularly grievous to me because I had been the co-pilot of his crew from Willow Run to Iron Range."


And now, some good news

Disney stock has dropped almost 50 percent in value since the mouse went woke.

Executives and other decision-makers decided “We know what’s best. Remember – We are Disney!”

“Now, over the course of just a year, Disney stock has plummeted nearly 50 percent as their political-infused productions continue to turn away audiences and garner angry fan reactions.

Link at Maggie’s Farm

Ambassador nominee’s anti-Semitic remarks ‘a poor choice of words’

Biden’s nominee for Brazil posting claimed “the ‘Jewish lobby’ exerts undue influence over the Democratic Party with its ‘major money.’"

Elizabeth Frawley Bagley and her family contributed millions to the Democratic National Committee and to candidates W.J. Clinton, H. Clinton and B. Hussein Obama presidential runs.

"’The language you used in regard to the Jewish community, Israel’s influence on our election, and Jewish money have me concerned,’ Sen. Ben Cardin (D., Md.) said during the hearing. ‘The choice of words was fit into the traditional tropes of anti-Semitism.’

"’I regret that you would think that it was a problem,’ Bagley told Cardin. ‘I certainly didn’t mean anything by it. It was a poor choice of words, but it was something that the interviewer had asked me, prompted by something about politics.’"

Okay. “I am sorry you took my accusations of undue Jewish influence in the manner you did. The interviewer asked a question, and I answered it.”

Link at Maggie’s Farm

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Don’t take that DNA test to the bank just yet

From My Planet, My Rules

My “23 and Me” report was finally received this past weekend, and the GREATEST… THING… EVAH… happened, and it turns out my Sicilian ass is 2% African.

So now I not only get to play my “White Privilege Card,” I also now get to play the Race Card whenever I feel like it, and especially when it is unjustified.

Because Equality and Diversity.

And now that I’m a favored minority, I wish to take this opportunity to claim the proverbial mile that I am entitled to on the basis of this genetically=bestowed inch, and claim that I identify as a fucking unicorn…

My personal pronouns are “Huh?” and “WTF?”

I expect a job in the Biden administration any day now, not to mention a shitload of government checks.

(Don’t try to cash that sudden treasure. My DNA list got cut from about 14 to three, and then later was increased to four ethnicities. African was not one of the originals, but Italian was, but that was cut before I even got a chance to find a family don to ask for a well-paid job.)

Baby hawk was meant for supper, now it is part of eagle family

A pair of bald eagles near Nanaimo, B.C., have adopted a baby red-tailed hawk and are raising it alongside their own eaglet. 

But while the hawk is now part of the eagles' family, it could have just as easily been their dinner.

"This bird likely came from a red-tailed hawk nest that was preyed upon by the adult bald eagles," ornithologist David Bird, a professor emeritus of wildlife biology at Montreal's McGill University, told As It Happens guest host Tom Harrington.

Link at Ace of Spades HQ

Lassie is sworn to secrecy


Monday, June 20, 2022

A fact whose time has come for re-recognition

“The federal Constitution does not grant to the states the right to organize and regulate a militia, because they are sovereign and do not need such permission.”

In the Second Amendment, “the term ‘militia’ also encompasses the two variances, ‘organized’ and ‘unorganized.’ The unorganized militia is the entire citizenry, ages 17-45. Note that the amendment begins with, ‘A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state.’

“Regulated, in this case, means ‘well trained,’ not ‘controlled by the federal government.’”




Texas DA withheld evidence, tampered with witnesses, investigator says

Army Sgt. Daniel Perry faces life in prison for defending himself.

From Gun Free Zone

“An Army sergeant faces life in prison for a shooting that happened at the height of the 2020 riots, and that he claims was in self-defense. The lead detective in the case ruled his actions were justifiable homicide. That detective has also accused the district attorney of illegal actions in a sworn statement.”



Sunday, June 19, 2022

Someone is not clear on the concept

Or, words must have changed, but I was not on the distribution list.

While searching for art by an artist whose work my wife and I recently bought, I came across a painting with this sales notation:

“View this artwork life-size on your wall using Augmented Reality.”

Since the last two words were capitalized, I thought the phrase might have its own listing. And so it does:

“Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory and olfactory.

Oh. Glad that was cleared up.


Saturday, June 18, 2022

Miami PD ignoring state, federal laws in so-called ‘gun buyback’ for Ukraine

Based on responses from Miami PD, “which were clearly written by the department’s attorneys, it is clear that Miami Police did not think this gun buyback through. Even if they’re able to obtain a one-time export license from the State Department or Department of Defense, which ITAR experts say is unlikely, the process can take months or even years. The department’s interpretation of state law is also flawed.

“Florida statute 790.08 gives law enforcement a short list of options they can use for weapons that come under their control. They can use the weapons, loan them to another law enforcement agency, destroy them or sell them, but the statute requires them to deposit all money raised from the sale into the state treasury earmarked for the benefit of the State School Fund. As MPD’s statement suggests, the statute ‘does not regulate the international exportation of firearms.’ Instead, it lists the only legal options allowed, and exporting firearms to a foreign military is not one of them. To be clear, if they export the weapons to the Ukraine, they will violate state law.”

Somebody in Miami PD or city government decided to do a feel-good gun buyback and ship the new weapons to a foreign government but did not first check applicable state and federal laws? Dang! That philosophy “If it feels good, do it” went away a bunch of decades ago. I don’t know, but I sort of expect law enforcing organizations to know and follow the law.

Sale ends in a couple of hours, so if you are in the Miami vicinity, hop on down and get, or get rid of, a firearm/gun/evil weapon of war.

Friday, June 17, 2022

White people shouldn’t be making decisions about US foreign policy

From The New York Post

"For nearly a century, since 1924, the department has weeded out applicants for its coveted overseas posts with the Foreign Service Officer Test, or FSOT — essentially, an SAT for wannabe diplomats.

"The notoriously tough test, with a pass rate rumored to hover around 20 percent, set a high bar for the America’s diplomatic corps. Only those who passed the FSOT went on to a panel interview and other in-person assessments.

"Beginning with this June’s test, the 'single gateway' of the FSOT will be eliminated, the memo said. Instead, the test score will be just one factor among many — essays, the candidate’s 'personal narrative,' work history, and more — that the panel will consider."

Why the change? Well, because the US Department of State intends “to modernize its hiring process to create a more inclusive workforce that hires the best talent and represents America’s rich diversity,” the agency said in an April 25 memo to candidates that has since been publicly posted.

Well, shoot, then. If the purpose of the State Department is to employ a more inclusive work force that represents the country’s rich diversity, eliminate those tests entirely. We don’t need no smart people ensuring the continuation of the US foreign policy. Let’s get some street-wise community organizers telling foreign governments everything is cool.

Link at Maggie's Farm

‘We thought we could get away with it’

Austrian driver trying to scam lower gas prices in Hungary by using Hungarian plates on his Austrian-registered car.

One Hungarian car owner makes 100 euros a day by “lending” his license plates and registration to foreigners.


First World problems

Our smoke alarms are hard-wired to the house electrical system, but each also has a battery backup for those times when electricity goes out. We live in Florida, a state that has electrical outages from hurricanes, tropical storms and thunderstorms. As with all battery-using devices, the smoke alarms draw enough power from the batteries to take the batteries into low charge. That occurred five days ago, and the alarm began chirping, loudly, every 10 seconds: “Change me! I require replacement! Change me!”

My wife and I have the necessary equipment -- spare batteries and a good step ladder. What we do not have is climbing ability and balance. My wife has balance, but she cannot climb. I can climb – slowly and with some effort – but if I were to turn my head to see the battery slot, I would fall from the ladder. That would not be good for a 76-year-old man who already has a couple of head injuries. This morning, our daughter replaced the recalcitrant battery. The device continued to chirp its message. My wife put the device in a box and took the box to the garage where, she said, “It can chirp its little heart out.”

She also said, “I am going to take it to the fire department and ask what is wrong with it.” Sounds like a plan.

We have a salt water swimming pool. One of the devices went out, precluding the action of changing NaCl into Cl-. I think that is what happens. Water in the pool is green. Mossy-looking stuff sits on the bottom of the pool. My wife has not been able to get in contact with the pool guy.  When she does, we will probably have to pay some money to get the device changed.

Once a year our air conditioner goes out, from a clogged drain. We paid a plumbing company to fix the initial problem and then contracted with the company for an on-demand fix. The air conditioner went out this morning. My wife called the plumbing company. The representative said “We no longer do that work.” My wife mentioned our contract, only to be told, “We are not doing those contracts any more.”

So. First World problems, yes. And examples of those things that led to eventual over-settlement of most of the Southeast and Southwest.

Uncomfortable, but bearable.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

American Huey 369

The organization has four flying Hueys, three of which were in the Ia Drang battle.


Gun sale! Gun sale!

Miami po-leece are buying guns Saturday, giving a $150 gift card for “.223 caliber, AR-15, AK-47.”

Show up with a few green bills of $20, $50 or $100 denomination, cash instead of a po-leece gift card, you could walk away with one of those evil, scary rifles.

Gift cards are also available at $100 for a shotgun or rifle, and $50 “for a firearm.”

It’s an okay sale, it’s “Guns 4 Ukraine.” The flyer doesn’t say if Miami Po-leece Department will mail the purchased “guns 2 Ukraine.”


Wednesday, June 15, 2022

That kind of war

Headquarters District of Indian Territory, Fort Towson, May 11, 1864

Brig. Gen. S.B. Maxey, commanding, reporting to the Confederate War Department.

A Mr. John Toothman on May 3, in Fort Smith, Arkansas, reports 2,100 Union soldiers at Fort Smith in the 9th Kansas Cavalry, 1st Arkansas Cavalry, 13th Kansas Cavalry, and “Negros and Pin Indians and six pieces artillery.”

Gen. Maxey also reported: “They (Union forces) are still fortifying as fast as they can. They have organized three commands of home guard at or near Fort Smith, amounting to almost 100 men in all. They are scouting and killing every old man and boy that won’t join them.”

Animosities during the 1861-65 war were carried forward by Indian families pro- or anti-removal from the Southeast 30 years before. The same animosities would come up again during debates on statehood for a geographical location to be known as Oklahoma.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Headlines from the Caucasus

From Caucasian Knot

June 13: ‘Blogger Ramazanov sent to psychiatric hospital after complaining about torture’

June 14: ‘Court reduces prison term to resident of Dagestan who claimed torture’

Two different men, one Azerbaijani, the other from Dagestan. But, enough allegations, one might think Soviet features of policing are not all gone. Plus, it is the Caucasus.


Europe and US want Ukraine goodies

 Iron, natural gas, steel, titanium, uranium ... Lots and lots of stuff.

Monday, June 13, 2022

If FBI cannot come through, Texas has an answer

The FBI announces it will not accept violence when SCOTUS announces its Roe decision. OK, feddies, here's what you do: You don’t have much of an on-the-ground force in riot gear or trained for riot control. So, call Texas Rangers HQ in Austin, tell them you might have a problem coming up. They will tell you about the "One riot, one Ranger" program. However many riots you have, you'll get the same number of Rangers. The mathematical ratio has worked throughout Texas history.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Reaching back to bring things up to date

DARPA has a design under study for a twin fuselage seaplane/heavy lifter to move people and things across the Pacific Ocean. The new project looks much like Vincent Brunelli’s blended wing designs of the 1930s. The Air Force brought Northrop’s late 1940s YB-49 up to date with computerized operations and called it B-2. What the past designed, the future might accept. DARPA should at consider looking at that Michelangelo guy and his designs of rotary wing aircraft.



Saturday, June 11, 2022

Pity the poor immigrant?

Lieutenant Benes* said he had his great-grandfather’s World War I helmet.

“He was a sergeant in the Prussian cavalry,” the lieutenant said. He and I were in my training office, discussing military history and history in general. His statement on a World War I Prussian cavalry was interesting because those are relatively rare.

The lieutenant went on to talk about his grandparents. They were born near the end of World War I and were in their early teenage years when Hitler was given power in Germany.

“They didn’t agree with what Hitler was doing to the Jews,” the lieutenant said.

I waited for the “However.” Some things, you know there is a “however.”

“But they saw the Jews with all the money and not sharing it.”

That is as Nazi-apologetic as one can get. “The Jews had all the money. They weren’t sharing their German money with real Germans.” Germans who had that belief also knew their Volk deserved living room to the east; Communist Russian Slavs were not making good use of all that fertile land in Ukraine and Western Russia. Not like good German farmers would.

The lieutenant’s grandparents were married during the middle of the war.

“After the war,” he said, “they came to the U.S. claiming to be Polish refugees from the Communists.”

Isn’t that strange, I thought. Good, non-Nazi Germans immigrating to the United States in the guise of Poles fleeing Red Russians.

Next day, I pulled the lieutenant’s personnel file. His parents were born in the US. His father was an engineer. The lieutenant and his younger brother were born in Rhodesia, according to birth documents from the U.S. Embassy in Salisbury.

Well. A few things put together make an interesting story.

*Benes is not the lieutenant’s name. His surname is of Czech origin, and Benes seemed to fit.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Something positive this way comes

“This case renewed my faith in the Judicial System. When followed properly, [the Judicial System] makes me proud to live in this country.” – Juror in trial of Kyle Rittenhouse


CEOs of 200 corps sign letter asking US Senate to ‘address gun safety’

Immediate thought: Country Joe and the Fish, I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die, aka Vietnam Rag.

“Well, come on all you big strong men,

“Uncle Sam needs your help again.”


Another reason not to watch the Grammy awards

The Academy (?) has added “Special Merit Award for Best Song for Social Change.”

Coming in at second place in “Whaat?” is the new category for “Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media.”

It’s all here:

a list of more “Applaud ourselves” awards.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Loach and Cobra crews had up-close and personal war

By Donald Porter

In The Giant Killer

Of 1,419 Loaches built, 842 were destroyed in Vietnam

Cobras and Loaches, two vastly different aircraft, relied on each other to fight the enemy.

“You were right in the enemy’s face with a helicopter and had to know what you were doing,” recalls warrant officer Clyde Romero of his 1,100 hours flying scout missions over South Vietnam in 1971. “It’s like a street cop going into a bad neighborhood. You can have all the guns, vests, and radios you want, but you need street smarts or you’re going to be dead within an hour.” 

Although most combat aircraft in Vietnam aimed for altitudes and speeds that helped them avoid anti-aircraft weapons, U.S. Army crews flying Hughes OH-6A Cayuse helicopters flew low and drew fire—to set up the shots for the Bell AH-1G Cobras circling above.

These hunter-killer missions, among the most hazardous of the Vietnam War, tested the resolve of the OH-6 pilots and the aerial observers sitting beside them. Although many were still teenagers, their survival depended on well-honed instincts and razor-sharp reflexes, along with plenty of luck.

In 1965, the concept of helicopter-borne fighting forces was still new and largely untested, and units in Vietnam invented tactics on the spot. The U.S. Army began to use Bell OH-13 Sioux and Hiller OH-23 Raven helicopters, once artillery spotters, to scout ahead of UH-1D Huey formations in the moments before air assaults to gather information about landing zones and enemy locations.

Vietnam’s mountainous terrain stressed the underpowered, obsolete helicopters to their limits: They could neither fly fast enough to escape enemy fire nor carry enough armament to pose a meaningful threat. Units in Vietnam began sending UH-1Bs outfitted with rocket pods and machine guns to circle over the scouts at around 600 feet and attack anything that might interfere with the imminent troop landing.

But the Hueys proved too slow to do the job properly, and the need to replace both scouts and protectors was immediately evident.

Within that same year, help was on the way. An inventive Bell Helicopter engineer was already at work on the world’s first attack helicopter, and Bell’s decision to keep the project hidden until complete let the model slip into service as a Huey derivative. In August 1967, the AH-1G Cobra arrived in Vietnam.

The Cobra was fast and deadly. From the rear cockpit, the pilot fired rockets from launchers fixed to the stub wings on either side; the copilot in the front operated a chin turret that held a minigun and grenade launcher.

Unlike its troop-carrying ancestors, “a Cobra was like a World War II fighter,” says Jim Kane, who arrived in Vietnam fresh out of Purdue University. “It was a joy to fly.” Kane, who today sells securities in Richmond, Virginia, flew AH-1s in Vietnam from 1968 to 1971.

Following a contentious selection process that included allegations of industrial espionage and political favoritism, the first Hughes OH-6A observation helicopters arrived in Vietnam in December 1967. Army troops called the OH-6As Loaches, a contraction of “light observation helicopters.”

The ship was unusually light and had plenty of power, perfect for flying nap-of-the-earth missions, and its 26-foot-diameter main rotor made getting into tight landing zones a snap.

It had no hydraulic system and its electrical setup was used primarily to start up the engine—simple even by 1960s standards, which for practical purposes meant it was easier to maintain and harder to shoot down than other helicopters.

But the light aluminum skin could be easily pierced by rifle bullets, and it also crumpled and absorbed energy in a crash, and a strong structural truss protected critical systems—like the people inside. Loach crews regularly walked away from crashes that would doom others.

As the H-13s were phased out, Loaches were paired with Cobra gunships. Loaches, usually with a pilot and observer and sometimes a door gunner aboard, flew as little as 10 feet above the treetops at between about 45 and 60 mph, scouting for signs of the enemy.

Cobras, nicknamed Snakes, flew circles 1,500 feet above the scouts, waiting to pounce on whatever the Loach found. But the Vietnam War was unlike any previous American conflict; there were few real definable frontlines, and combatants needed to know what was happening all around them, all the time.

“We operated from fixed bases that were islands, if you will, of allied control,” says Hugh Mills, who flew both Loaches and Cobras in Vietnam from 1968 to 1972, and went on to fly helicopters for the Kansas City Police Department.

He recalls: “360 degrees around you was enemy territory, and the ability to work with American and [South Vietnamese] units on the ground really required aviation to be able to look eye to eye to tell the good guys from the bad guys.” Loach-Cobra pairings were sent out more and more frequently, until their main role was to gather general intelligence rather than prepare landing zones. 

Missions began every day at dawn, when crews were briefed on where to fly and what to look for. To hunt for encampments, bunkers, or other signs of the enemy, commanders would deploy a flight of one scouting Loach and one supporting Cobra, called Pink Teams. (Scouts were known as White Teams and Cobras as Red; the two colors combine to become pink. In some areas, Purple Teams—one Loach and two Cobras—were also common, as were other variations.)

“We were so close to the elephant grass that we’d blow the grass apart to see if anyone was hiding in there,” observer Bob Moses says. Moses, a 19-year-old draftee, arrived in Vietnam in July 1970 for the first of two year-long tours, and later worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs as a therapist and administrator. Even trampled grass was a clue; it meant that enemy troops had passed through the area within eight hours, the time it took for grass to dry upright.

Since units were all but permanently assigned to particular areas, they came to know the local geography intimately and could spot anything out of the ordinary. “We were combat trackers,” says Mills. “I followed footsteps. I could see a cigarette butt still burning. I could tell how old a footprint was by how it looked.

“Most of our engagements [we] were 25 to 50 feet [away] when we opened up on [the Viet Cong],” Mills continues. “I’ve seen them, whites of the eyes, and they’ve seen me, whites of the eyes…. I have come home with blood on my windshield. A little gory but that’s how close we were.” As the Loach flew among the trees, the rear-seat pilot in the Snake circling above kept a close eye on the little scout and the front-seat gunner jotted down whatever the Loach observers radioed.

Upon encountering enemy fire, Loaches were to leave immediately, dropping smoke grenades to mark the target so that within seconds, the Cobra could roll in. Loach crews were equipped with small arms and returned fire as they fled. They could also use grenades and on occasion even homebuilt explosives; more aggressive units mounted forward-firing miniguns.

Cobras generally attacked with rockets, preferred for long-range accuracy, switching to the less-accurate chin-mounted machine gun and grenade launcher only if they were far enough away from friendly troops or if the rockets—AH-1s could carry as many as 76 rockets—ran out. Four troop-carrying Hueys (called a Blue Team) often sat idle somewhere nearby, ready to insert troops if the Pink Team discovered an interesting target—or were shot down and needed rescuing.

Loach and Cobra were in constant radio communication, and because of the intensity of hunter-killer missions, it wasn’t long before pairs in each type knew each other well enough to anticipate the other’s moves.

“It had to do with the timbre of your voice­—how you talked to other guys on the radio,” says Romero, who arrived in Vietnam in 1970, initially as a Huey co-pilot. (He later transferred to the Air Force and flew F-4 Phantoms, and eventually became an airline captain.)

Loach and Cobra crews lived together, and schedulers generally paired the teams with the partners they requested, though given the high turnover rate, that wasn’t always possible. “To this day I am closer to those guys I flew with in Vietnam than my own brothers,” says Mills. “I spent more time with them.”

For most of the war, there was no formal Army training to prepare scout pilots and observers. Army headquarters developed doctrine by building on what worked in the field, rather than the other way around, and each unit in-country did things slightly differently.

Though Cobra pilots were trained Stateside, most Loach pilots didn’t take control of OH-6s until arriving in Vietnam. “You had a couple of flights in the Huey, then you rode front seat in a Cobra,” scout pilot Allan Krausz recounts. Krausz was ordered to Vietnam in April 1971, and today teaches Army students how to fly the Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota, a twin-engine trainer.

After around 10 hours at the controls of a Loach, the pilots were deemed worthy of flying in combat.

Warrant officer John Shafer was 21 when he arrived on October 16, 1970, to fly Loaches. “I was just out of flight school when I went to Vietnam.” He flew Loaches for the next 11 months, and today is an accountant in Seattle.

The observers and gunners had even less experience. “There was one day of initial training,” says Bob Moses, who was first trained as a tank crewman and then as infantry before a sudden transition to helicopter door gunner. “I went up in a Loach with an M60 machine gun to get used to firing the weapon. That was about it.”

Another such gunner was 19-year-old Joel Boucher, drafted and sent to Vietnam from 1967 to 1969. Boucher quickly discovered that life as a qualified crewman was extremely dangerous. “We flew down along the Ho Chi Minh Trail,” he says of the supply route that wound through Vietnam and neighboring Laos and Cambodia.

“The NVA [North Vietnamese army] was everywhere. Each time we went out, we got shot at. One time we ran into hundreds of enemy troops. We thought they were ARVNs [Army of the Republic of Vietnam] until they started running. It was pretty hairy, and we got the hell out of there.”

But Boucher got a rush from the missions, and stayed six months beyond what was required of a draftee. Upon returning to the United States, he established a career in the construction industry and settled in rural Sierra City, California.

Other Army pilots, most of whom flew Cobras or Hueys, thought of Loach pilots as a little offbeat. “Scout pilots were a different breed of cat,” says Cobra pilot Jim Kane, who likens his former colleagues to the airborne equivalent of the Tunnel Rats, soldiers who crawled head-first into Viet Cong-built tunnels without any idea what awaited them there.

“I was wounded three times and shot down nine times,” Romero reports. “The shelf life of a scout pilot was probably six months. You were killed, shot down, or got scared and quit. I liked it because in the Bronx, I was a ghetto kid. I was used to getting up close and personal with the enemy.”

Mills, who served two tours in Loaches and one in Cobras, was shot down 16 times—all but once in OH-6s. The Army dictated that after 300 hours of flight time, each Loach go through a thorough inspection, but in practice such inspections were rare: Few Loaches survived to reach that mark.

“I had a wingman shot down,” pilot John Shafer says. “They went down in the jungle, and both [members of the crew] survived. I had another lead that went through 150 feet of trees, and they survived.”

Shafer himself had brushes with disaster, and his luck nearly ran out on a mission west of Dak To, near the border with Laos. “I got shot down on my 22nd birthday,” March 27, 1971. “I was flying wing and just dropped into the AO [Area of Operations]. Following the lead, we got peppered with rounds.”

The Loach had a bad vibration, but he made it about half a mile before he had to land. “Just as I set it down, the tail rotor spun off. The enemy was moving toward us when a [command and control] ship picked us up. Cobras rolled in and blew the downed aircraft up—taking with it about 15 bad guys standing around it.”

Jim Kane’s Vietnam tour abruptly ended one day in February 1971. NVA troops shot down a Cobra, killing the crew. Kane was dispatched to the crash site in another Cobra with copilot Jim Casher. While they were circling the wreckage, enemy rounds hit their ship. Kane recalls, “The vibrations were so harsh I had to return to base camp at Khe Sanh,” seven miles from the Laotian border.

Upon landing, an inspection revealed a damaged pitch link, a rotor head component so critical that had it failed, they too would have crashed.

“We got into another aircraft and went back out. We were about ready to call in tactical air support to blow up the wrecked ship when another Cobra took a lot of fire. So I engaged the enemy, but didn’t make it out of that one.

“We got hit by incendiary .51-caliber rounds, and the phosphorus ignited the Cobra’s hydraulic fluid. The flames covered my boots and lower legs. It was the same for Jim. I still have scars on my legs—it was terrifying. I tried to move the stuck controls and prayed for a place to set down.”

It took all of Kane’s strength to pull out of a steep dive, and they crash-landed with a horrific thud. “Jim was unconscious when I helped pull him out of the burning aircraft.”

Kane’s commanding officer flew his command-and-control Huey to the ravine where Kane and Casher huddled. The Huey descended gingerly into a clearing smaller than its main rotor diameter, the aircraft’s rotor blades chopping tree limbs as it descended. Kane and Casher were pulled aboard and returned to Khe Sanh, but the Huey barely made it back; slicing trees had left ­its blades shredded, and the tail section had almost separated. It never flew again.

The hunter-killer tactic worked well for a few years, but by the time the United States left Vietnam, it was obsolete, says Mills. In 1972, as U.S. troops slowly withdrew, the NVA began a major push that became known as the Easter Offensive. The campaign included the first major use in the war of Soviet-built, shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles.

SA-7 Grail heat-seeking missiles could down a Loach before its crew even realized they were under fire. The Cobras high above had a few seconds of warning—they could spot the missile’s exhaust plume—but were all the more tempting because at their higher altitudes they were more easily seen than the smaller Loaches. The North Vietnamese deployed hundreds of the missiles, and from then on, both hunter and killer tried to stay well hidden.

By the end of the war, the Loach’s replacement was imminent. Despite a strong outcry from crews in Vietnam, the Bell OH-58A Kiowa, powered by the same Allison T-63 engine as the OH-6, was being distributed to Army units. Scout crews argued that the Kiowa was nowhere near as nimble as the Cayuse, but scouting flights were changing.

The high-low hunter-killer combination gave way to uniform-altitude missions, with all helicopters flying nap of the earth. Kiowas, largely relegated to low-threat cargo and liaison missions in Vietnam, were after the war tasked to spot targets from afar and guide Cobras (and later, Boeing AH-64 Apaches) to good firing spots.

A sobering statistic: Out of 1,419 Loaches built, 842 were destroyed in Vietnam, most shot down and many others succumbing to crashes resulting from low-level flying. In contrast, of the nearly 1,100 Cobras delivered to the Army, 300 were lost.

Both Loach and Cobra have been in production, on and off, in one form or another ever since.

The Loach-derived MD-500 and other civilian variants still roll off the assembly lines at MD Helicopters, Inc., while Boeing produces an upgraded variant, the AH-6 Little Bird, for military forces (including an autonomous drone version).

The Little Bird’s weaponry is a far cry from the M60 machine gun carried aboard a Loach in Vietnam: AH-6s can carry miniguns, rocket pods, grenade launchers, Hellfire missiles, and air-to-air Stinger missiles.

The AH-6 and its troop-carrying sibling, the MH-6, are still heavily used by U.S. special-operations forces, as everything from airborne sniper platforms to transports inserting small teams to expeditionary light attack helicopters.