Wednesday, July 31, 2019

'60s Flashbacks

Older Brother (the crazy one of the family; no, really) knew from way out that he was not college material, long before the twilight of his senior year of high school, which I'm sure surprised mom and dad not a whit either.

So, long about January of his senior year, he and his Best Buddy got the bright idea that the thing to do was to both sign up for the Marine Corps (see kids, it's in the DNA) on the Buddy Program, an actual program they had in which they would put you and your friend together, guaranteed, in Boot Camp, and try to station you near each other afterwards.

For unskilled white kids in the late Happy Days/American Grafitti era, it was a brilliant idea: get a skill, see the world, get out of the house and away from your old man, blah blah blah.

Unless, as in this case, when you're in the Class of '65. That's 1965.

Then, it becomes pure genius.
Right about the time, long about March, after the contracts are signed, that the president announces "Ah am sending the Marines tuh Da Nang..."

Never in history have so many suffered for the delusions of one thorough-going fool.

(I mentioned the pair weren't college material, didn't I?)
"Where in the hell is Da Nang???"
"Don't worry kid, you'll find out soon enough."

But it worked out, mostly. Older Brother and his Buddy graduated MCRD in the same platoon, summer of '65. Buddy went to UH-1 Maintenance School, Older Brother sent to Generator Repairman School.

Followed by orders to Da Nang, RVN.

What's to worry? In the rear with the gear, fixing generators? Sweeeeet!

Except in Vietnam, the only place for generators was out faaaaaar in the boonies, where there wasn't any other power.
And the primary reason generators stopped working was because Charlie had shelled the sh*t out of them the night before.
Every. Single. Time.

So, for 13 months, Older Brother would get up, get assigned to fix broken equipment at places like Con Thien, Khe Sanh, Camp Carroll, the Rockpile, and 40 other little slices of hell in I Corps, up by the DMZ, and he'd hitch a ride thence with his buddy, crew chief on a UH-1 flying in support of said forward-deployed hellhole. (For grins and giggles, they'd kick the occasional sandbag out the side door en route and watch the people in the paddies all run off in all directions, thinking it was a bomb when it splashed into the rice paddy. 18 years old, 8000 miles from home, with minimal adult supervision, and getting shelled and shot at daily, y'know? "What were they gonna do to us? Shave our heads and ship us to 'Nam?")

So out they'd fly, Buddy's helo would drop Older Brother off in Fire Base Craptastic, and he'd go fix the broken gear all day in tropical sun, getting a great farmer's tan, and dodging snipers. Then, because he was a certified REMF, the folks at said base would happily assign him guard duty all night, so one of the grunts could rest, which meant him getting no sleep, while being shelled, or watching for "gooks in the wire", which happened on more than a few occasions.

Then go back to Da Nang the next day, for the same shelling and guard duty in the "rear".
Then back out the next day in the field to do it all over again.
While I and Baby Brother watched our parents get older and greyer watching the nightly news for 13 months at the dinner table, from '66-'67.

But he and his Buddy, thank a merciful deity, made it out of their tours in 'Nam alive, and mostly intact. He got out of the Marines in '69, so early that same summer, freshly back in the world, he decided it was time for myself and Baby Brother to go out shooting.

Early one morning, we proceeded out to the desert wastelands he was familiar with around Twentynine Palms, and when jackrabbits proved scarce there, and he got his van stuck in the sand, we returned closer to the pavement.

He got the great idea to go shooting much nearer home, up in the empty hills around the San Fernando Valley where we lived. In this case, up in the Santa Susanna Pass, between the SFV and Simi Valley, during our summer vacation from school.

You've seen the territory in the backgrounds of any number of westerns from the movies beginning in the 1930s to TV shows in the 1970s.

But we were there in mid-summer of 1969. June, or maybe even July.

We, pardon the phrase, "sure as shooting" were in unincorporated LA County, and not actually breaking any laws AFAIK, but even though it was unincorporated, and thus outside of city limits and LAPD territory, it wasn't that far from L.A. city limits, and civilization, so in short order, doubtless one or more of the nearby residents must have dutifully reported someone shooting some guns off up in the canyon.

We saw the LA Sheriff's car arrive on the road up above where we were beating the brush for jackrabbits, lizards, and such, and before he saw us. So we cheesed it, taking temporary refuge in some nearby rocky caves, because Older Brother had an inkling that no deputy was going to get his street shoes dirty chasing through the cactus and underbrush for kids shooting .22s off in the scrub and rocks thereabouts.

And while we were waiting and biding our time under cover, we were joined by some local hippie chicks who wandered by, asking what we were up to and such. They were friendly, and shared our momentary disdain of "The Man", and it wasn't very long in the summer sun before the local Barney Fife headed off to pursue more important wrongdoers, while we, particularly Older Brother, decided maybe it was time to call it a day as far as shooting, and head on home.

Which we did, without further incident.

So just a nothing story, until this year, while wormholing through the internet, when I came across this photo, eerily familiar, of some of the rocks we were sheltering under.

Let me help you out a little, with a period picture from LIFE magazine from '69, including some of the hippie chicks we hung out with briefly one afternoon right around the time period this pic was taken:

And here's where they all lived, just yards down the road from where we were shooting:

You know that shivering feeling, sometimes described as feeling someone walking over your grave?
Yeah, that, times ten, when the penny dropped for me.

For the really slow, allow me to bring it all the way home for you.

Can you feel me now?

Hand to God on this one.

Not all of my childhood memories are fond any more, after putting that memory together with the historical realities. The summer of '69 wasn't all moon landings.

But now, 50 years later, the later warning of "Don't tell Mom where we went shooting that day." makes a lot more sense.

Suffice it to say that seeing Quentin Tarantino's 9th film isn't high on my list of things to do this month. And no points for guessing what movie trailers started bringing this all back home to me this year.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Survival Tools

Fire is always handy. But sometimes, there's no tinder*. Or there's tons of it, all dripping wet. And you need something handy to catch a match, a magnesium bar* or spark rod* spark, and ignite or dry out your other fuel.

Your best friend is a simple cotton ball, soaked in petroleum jelly, wrapped in a foil layer.

Bag of 100% cotton cotton balls.
Roll of aluminum foil*
Jar or tube of petroleum jelly
Metal bowl or dish
Tongs, etc.
No-flame heat source

First, get a bag of cotton balls at the store (or, a cotton plant, if that's an option).
Note that we said cotton balls, not polyester balls. Read the label. Only 100% cotton will do.

Get petroleum jelly. Vaseline™ preferred, but generics will do fine, as long as they're pure petroleum jelly.

Over electric (flameless) heat, melt a large blob of the jelly into a clear liquid.
If you use an open flame source, you are solely and totally responsible for the house fire and 2nd and 3rd degree burns you ignite. Personal choice for a vessel is a small stainless steel pet bowl, and an electric warming plate, or electric radiator.

Monitor your batch of melting jelly closely.

Get tongs, long tweezers, hemostats, etc., and once the jelly is liquid, dunk the cotton balls into the liquid. Push them under with the tongs to insure they are thoroughly saturated with the liquid. Once again, if you try this with your fingers, or anything equally dim-witted, you are solely and wholly responsible for the 2nd and 3rd degree burns you will suffer.

I will, of course, be happy to laugh at you after the fact.

Once they're completely soaked, set them, one at a time, onto a large sheet of aluminum foil to cool off.

Take some more of that aluminum foil, and cut it into approx. 3" x 6" rectangles.

One at a time, put one of the completely cooled off cotton balls onto one side of each piece.
Fold the sheets so they are now 3" x 3".
Fold the three open edges together about 1/8" so they overlap and seal.
Twice if you're a bit anal about leaky petroleum jelly.
Smash the cotton ball flat enough to make this work.

When you're done, you'll have a stack of relatively flat, mostly leakproof tinder patties.
They can be stored inside a plastic baggie in your gear, and pulled out as needed.
You can also fold the corners in, and take a dowel slightly smaller than an old 35mm plastic film canister*, or short piece of PVC*, and ram them in, one at a time, and have little round tinder patties, also safely leakproof. Cap the ends of the pvc, or put the cap on the film can, and you're set.

4-6 of them can fit into a film can or similar sized container.

You can put eight of them in an Altoids tin*. You can also skip the foil, and just make a monster block candle in any small metal container, like an old shoe polish can (for those of you who still shine shoes, and know what I'm talking about there).

You can even make them one at a time by hand-smashing Vaseline into cotton balls, but it's far slower and messier, so I recommend the dunking method, because I do 40-50 at a time.

You can get a few thousand handy illustrations of this by typing "cotton balls soaked in Vaseline" into Google, and looking at "images". So I won't bother.

To use one, take a small, sharp blade, and cut a small "X" in the center of the cotton ball tinder patty. Peel the triangles open, as seen in the header for this post.
Pull out a few strands of the cotton.
That's your wick.

Light it.

It will start a larger fire of wood, or dry it out to do so.
It will burn as a candle*, or small heat source, for 30-60 minutes. (My record was 74 minutes on one ball).

If all you have for shelter is a poncho*, it will keep you quite warm underneath with no other help, under the poncho. (If you screw that up, and light the poncho or yourself on fire, it will keep you much warmer, for a much shorter period of time. Don't be That Guy.)

They're small, light, bombproof, and mostly idiot-proof.
(The usual caveats regarding some idiots will always apply.)
And they'll start a fire on a wet rock in a stream. Or anyplace easier.

And you can make them yourself, by the dozens, for a couple of bucks, far cheaper than commercial tinder balls and such.

*The Sergeant Major notes "You will see this material again."

Dancing In The Blood Award

Weapons Wisdom from Whores Department:

Sangre Merengue Award, First Class, with blood spatter clusters.
I guess the Mueller hearing debacle was so catastrophic it needed something epic to take it off the front page, huh, Leftard media?
How many more people have to die before Congress bans Gun Free Zones?
(Molester Biden, call your office.)

Monday, July 29, 2019


Chris Hernandez, in what we hope was just a photo op.
It's too hot out thereabouts to do that for very long.

We point out for the record that Chris Hernandez is writing again on his blog.
About five minutes after we appended "dormant" to our own Blog List label.

We are happy to remove that flag.

Chris is a good guy, and a good writer, and we are glad to see him literarily productive again, especially when he's handing out free ice cream at his blog.

So go read his stuff.
And if the spirit so moves, buy a book or three from him.

Logic Test

Show your work.

Because apparently doing Califrutopia Dumbocrat liberal
jackassical fucktardery (but I repeat myself),
doesn't seem to be cutting it.

But hey, thank heavens the Garlic Festival was a Gun Free Zone !
Wait, criminals don't obey laws?? What the...?

Extra Credit Bonus Question:

Compare & Contrast:
Note how these things turn out when the cops go in hard, RFN, versus what happens when you wait until 30 minutes after all the shooting has stopped, to give the feds time to sanitize the crime scene of everything but the chosen patsy and what they want found.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Sunday Music: Sultans Of Swing

Monster debut cut from Dire Straits in 1978, featuring one of the greatest note-picking guitar virtuosos to ever strap on a Strat, Mark Knopfler. So fresh it could have debuted yesterday instead of being 40 years old, yet when it came out it was a totally new tune - that you'd known all your life.

Creole, babe.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Don't Be A Slacker

h/t Kenny

Be careful out there.

Plan B

"Since our two and a half year ongoing coup attempt has totally failed, we're forced to go through the primary process for the 2020 elections. Tune in next Tuesday and Wednesday to see something more pathetic yet hilarious than the Mueller hearings, with ratings lower than Petticoat Junction reruns on Nickelodeon at 3AM, and scarier than any horror show every made, mainly because at least one of us is going to win the nomination, and have an actual chance to become the next President. That thought alone should turn your hair whiter than our greasepaint.

And remember our plan to Make America Venezuela Again:

Real Communism Has Never Been Tried, But This Time It Will Work!
Free Sh*t For Everyone!
Death To White People!
Orange Man Bad!

Love and kisses,
the Top 20 (out of 23) @$$clowns running, and the DNC."

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Faster, Please

With the return of an actual competent (and conscious, rather than catatonic) U.S. Attorney General in that post, and his office back in full command of its constitutional powers and authority, we note with considerable glee the announcement this week that FedGov will resume executing the wastes of skin currently sitting on federal Death Row.

The sooner those oxygen thieves make their manners to the Almighty, and their room and board is no longer laid across the back of taxpayers everywhere, the better and healthier will be the republic.

Pity they didn't total them up, and announce dates for all of them, starting tomorrow. As it is, the next five to be judicially whacked will depart in December and January next. Just in time for Christmas!

And when The Man asking for the drugs required also holds the keys to the license to sell drugs, nationwide, we expect this will be the overdue end of the horsesh*t and shenanigans, whereby states have been shut out of getting the potions required by law to do the necessary deed. (In our occasionally esteemed opinion, the default, at that point, should be a choice of either rope, or bullets.)

If AG Barr could announce to the President and people of the U.S. that as of Date XX, there would be no one remaining on federal Death Row, it would be a happy day, and a reminder that we still had some shreds of a functioning legal system, particularly if the snail's pace of the process became a daily drumbeat of certainty.

Justice delayed is justice denied.

UPDATE: From Free North Carolina, a synopsis of the five slated to come up to bat in December:
Daniel Lewis Lee, a member of a white supremacist group, murdered a family of three, including an eight-year-old girl. After robbing and shooting the victims with a stun gun, Lee covered their heads with plastic bags, sealed the bags with duct tape, weighed down each victim with rocks, and threw the family of three into the Illinois bayou. On May 4, 1999, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas found Lee guilty of numerous offenses, including three counts of murder in aid of racketeering, and he was sentenced to death. Lee's execution is scheduled to occur on Dec. 9, 2019.

Lezmond Mitchell stabbed to death a 63-year-old grandmother and forced her nine-year-old granddaughter to sit beside her lifeless body for a 30 to 40-mile drive. Mitchell then slit the girl's throat twice, crushed her head with 20-pound rocks, and severed and buried both victims' heads and hands. On May 8, 2003, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona found Mitchell guilty of numerous offenses, including first degree murder, felony murder, and carjacking resulting in murder, and he was sentenced to death. Mitchell's execution is scheduled to occur on Dec. 11, 2019.

Wesley Ira Purkey violently raped and murdered a 16-year-old girl, and then dismembered, burned, and dumped the young girl's body in a septic pond. He also was convicted in state court for using a claw hammer to bludgeon to death an 80-year-old woman who suffered from polio and walked with a cane. On Nov. 5, 2003, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri found Purkey guilty of kidnapping a child resulting in the child's death, and he was sentenced to death. Purkey's execution is scheduled to occur on Dec. 13, 2019.

Alfred Bourgeois physically and emotionally tortured, sexually molested, and then beat to death his two-and-a-half-year-old daughter. On March 16, 2004, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas found Bourgeois guilty of multiple offenses, including murder, and he was sentenced to death. Bourgeois' execution is scheduled to occur on Jan. 13, 2020.

Dustin Lee Honken shot and killed five people — two men who planned to testify against him and a single, working mother and her ten-year-old and six-year-old daughters. On Oct. 14, 2004, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa found Honken guilty of numerous offenses, including five counts of murder during the course of a continuing criminal enterprise, and he was sentenced to death. Honken's execution is scheduled to occur on Jan. 15, 2020.

I don't care what color any of them are. I don't care if they found God, or turned their lives around in the slammer.
They need to be dead, Dead, DEAD. Like yesterday.
Five is just warming up.

And speaking of warm, one order of piping hot 5' long party sub sh*t sandwich to asstard Dubbya, for letting things lapse in 2003.
No excuse.

He should have started pushing them out of C-130s at altitude as an interim measure.

Tot Ziens

h/t McThag

Dutch actor heavy Rutger Hauer passed last week, amid little notice or fanfare, at the age of 75.
We only noticed this ourselves because Angus mentioned it.

I always liked Hauer best in Wanted: Dead Or Alive (Gene Simmons of KISS was a great '80s villain in that flick, and Runaway) because he got to play a good guy, but his part in Bladerunner immortalized him, and he was great in Nighthawks, Ladyhawke, and the original Buffy The Vampire Slayer as well.

Sorry, no more life, f***er.
But his life burned brighter and longer, nonetheless, and thanks to digitization, those moments won't be lost, unlike tears in the rain.

This Is How You Do It

h/t Daily Timewaster

This was the victory speech that he'll be reprising in January 2021.
If you're an idiot Never-Trumper from either party, let me be the first to tell you:

Yes, you should go home and kill yourself now. It's for the best.

No one will miss you. Trust me.
And it's not getting any better for you until 2025.
Beat the rush.

Meanwhile, after Mueller looked like Doddering Senile Grandpa, with no idea what he was supposed to be doing, and no idea what was in his report, President Trump walks out, and off the cuff, delivers an impromptu press conference for the ages.

There are words for this.

The Twenty-two Leftard wannabes for 2020, on their best days, look like the retarded, paint-chip-eating version of The Brady Bunch. Amidst a long cross-country trip in a hot station wagon. After at least half of them have already peed their pants.

(Side note: Kamala Harris said the other day she wants to federally decriminalize pot, nationwide, because 44% of the states have already. I think that when anybody's drug policy is echoed and endorsed by Senator Kneepads, it's past time to seriously re-think your position. "If everyone else was jumping off a cliff, etc. etc.... ". But it's a tacit acknowledgement that only a nation of stoners could deliver a Dumbocrat victory in 2020.)

With any luck, Fat Bill and Shrillary go down to their bunker, eat their cyanide capsules, and a bullet, simultaneously, as a favor to the country.

But seeing their family crime enterprise finally unraveled now, complete with dragging them out by the heels still kicking and sobbing, would be the cherry on this cake.

Now, please, O please, let the Dork Squad go on TheSpew, or on Rachel Madcow's cable access show, and try to make political hay out of yesterday's Leftard debacle.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The Mueller Hearings

Beep! Beep! Pththththtbbbbbttt.

This isn't a highlight of Dopey's testimony. It's a full summary of it.


Mars Or Bust

h/t Silicon Graybeard

After the past week's reminiscing on his blog, about Apollo 11 at 50 years, SiG looks forward:
Apollo 11's 50th anniversary was a one day celebration of the media, although the mission goes on for another few days (and can be followed in real time here) and then it has gone back to being a history book story.  On to the next outrage of the day or whatever political story is grabbing headlines.  So what now?  
With current technology mission plans, called "boost and coast", a Martian trip is a long undertaking.  Mars and Earth reach opposition (closest point) roughly every two years (it varies).  
Some designs that have been investigated would allow 60 day trips to Mars instead of seven months.  By now everyone has heard of bone loss, edema and other problems astronauts on the ISS face.  Those can be solved by artificial gravity on the spacecraft, like the science fiction books used to say.  Yes, it will make the spacecraft heavier and the mission more expensive.   Nobody ever suggested there was anything remotely easy about it.  

There was, in the early 1980s, a weekly CBS radio essay by Dan Rather (of all people) I wish I could track down. I'd pay real money for it, either transcript or recording.

Because despite his liberal oafishness and stupidity, Rather is, at heart, a Texas kid, and a reporter who cut his journalistic teeth on Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo.

In that missing essay, he was arguing, quite eloquently, about how Mars had to be next, and why cutting NASA funding in favor of expanding the usual beloved liberal welfare boondoggles was foolishly "eating our seed corn", in a very real way. True in the '80s, and even truer today.

I grew up literal blocks from where they built the Saturn V main engines. I rode my bike into the parking lot, and touched one, sitting outside their front door, many times. They tested them in the hills outside suburban L.A. every weekend. Long before the first Apollo mission launched, I'd heard those engines roar, many a time. I heard Neil Armstrong break the sound barrier (without knowing it was him) many times growing up, in the skies far enough above the SoCal desert that he could see the curvature of the earth. My friends' fathers helped design any number of bits and pieces of the space missions. Hardware, software, and cargo. Gauges, telemetry, pieces of spacesuit, a window, switches and lights, miles and miles of electrical wiring. Who even knows what? All sorts of things, in the aerospace world that ruled California in the 1960s. Space is as much in my blood as anyone's, perhaps more so. I grew up with it as the new normal.

The moon race, which happened, as Sig painstakingly points out to the idiot Moon Hoaxer retards, got us orders of magnitude in tech. Things that are toys now are a reality because we needed them to get to the moon.

Your average Casio G-Shock wristwatch has more raw computing power than NASA did in 1969. Your PC or laptop could run rings around what the NSA was using to crack codes then. Freeze-dried foods, mylar packaging, LED displays, microminiaturized circuits, and a gajillion other things, large and small, percolated out of the moon race and into everyday life. It wasn't just Tang.

Making a feather-fragile mylar-wrapped jungle gym that could carry human beings into the most inhospitable atmosphere ever attempted, safely, and bring them back, spawned solutions that we'd never have even thought up, because once, for one shining decade, the literal brightest minds on the planet all came together, amidst a terrible war, and internal social strife that would have sundered any five lesser nations, and surmounted every obstacle, culminating in a nearly flawless execution.
Nobody else has done it in fifty years, and nobody could do it, even now, despite a handy American road map to success, and another fifty years.

Just the U.S.
Just US.

We have to get back into space.
We must get to Mars. And back. And again and again.
And move outward to the other planets.

We ought to do it.
We can do it.
We must do it.

And taking the high-functioning retards who took the plot of Capricorn One and made it into a cottage-industry religion, and shutting them up forever, would just be sprinkles on the frosting of that effort.

All three astronauts from Apollo 11 were born in 1930.
1930, FFS!
They grew up on Buck Rogers. I grew up on them.

My generation's dreams of space were crushed and flushed by two generations of short-sighted idiots among TPTB. We can't let that sort of myopic idiocy continue in the halls of power, nor pinch the purse strings of exploration for its own sake.

Every day we're not plotting that mission, and funding it, is a wasted day in the American enterprise, and a betrayal of every generation of humanity that succeeds us.

"We are the Pilgrims, master; we shall go
Always a little further; it may be
Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow
Across that angry or that glimmering sea,

White on a throne or guarded in a cave
There lies a prophet who can understand
Why men were born
" - James Elroy Flecker

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Survival Tools

"Birdshit and fools, sergeant!" And cell phones.
We mentioned this last week. Anyone who ever had military-issue flight gear already knows this one.
For those who don't, I once wondered why surplus flightsuits and aircrew survival vests (of which I own a number) always had little lengths of high-test string sewn inside the pockets.
They did that, for the same reason the dummy in the above video should have attached his phone (and the idiot stick), and anything else he was fiddling with to himself, or his airframe, with dummy cord. (This is someone too stupid to be allowed to fly, even a paraglider, IMHO.)
Because dummies drop stuff. And you will, too. Usually something important, and irreplaceable. (FFS, they even cover this in a vintage 1960s USN aircrew survival film {which I can't find on YouTube to link you to because of so many uploaded vintage films}, where Ensign Dumbass leaves his compass behind.)
So, the knife you had to cut parachute shrouds, in case of a tree landing, was dummy-corded to your flightsuit. Because if you dropped it, you could retrieve it, instead of watching it fall 50' down into forest or jungle, as you continued to hang from a tree.
Perhaps with people looking for you who didn't have your best interests in mind.
It's why both the M1911A1 Colt .45 and M9 Beretta 9mm pistols have lanyard loops built into the butt of those pistols. And the .Mil issues pistol lanyards to the brighter folks, so they don't lose their pistols.

Good ideas are always in style.
It's why your mother gave you "Idiot" mittens, with a cord running from L to R across your shoulders, so the Idiot wouldn't lose his mittens.
In a survival situation, got something small, high value, and very likely irreplaceable?
27 other odds and ends*?
Dummy cord that sh*t to your body, or item of clothing, so you don't lose it!
Military vests back in the day, it turned out, used high-test fishing line. Like 100-150# braided Dacron, where 100 yds on a spool will set you back $10-20. Strong enough to catch marlin, strong enough to hold your survival gear on you.
And, bonus for you, if you had extra, you could also use it to, you know, catch fish.
Make snares*.
Lash things together.
You can gut paracord*, and use the interior strands, in a pinch, but you're far better off saving that for other uses. Get the fishing Dacron. Or go online shopping from somebody like Atwood Rope, and get some of their Micro-paracord line.
It comes in camo colors, solid colors, whatever. Or just buy the 325 paracord at WallyMart, Hobby Lobby, Michael's, etc., in whatever shade floats your boat.
Then, tie it to your important items, with a bowline*, and fasten or machine sew the other end to your pack, vest, belt, or other load-carrying gear, so you don't drop important things off a cliff, into a river, lake, or ocean, or like our exemplar dumb @$$ above, from 7000' and onto someone's head.
You can learn from the opening dipsh*t, or you can be that dipsh*t.
It's your gear, and your life.
Save your gear, and save your life.
*The Sergeant Major notes "You will see this material again."

Gutless Pussies

1) This isn't funny.
2) This isn't the NYPD showing "restraint".
3) These are gutless soyboy pussies with badges. And their pacifism is going to get civilians and other cops killed. Because if they'll do that to uniformed cops with guns, what's going to happen to decent citizens in that neighborhood, from here on out?

Mayor DeBlabbermouth and the NYPD brassholes are only pissed because their guys got video-outted being the gutless pussies they are after zero support from TPTB.

BMW (bitch, whine, and moan) all you want about Califrutopia, but had this happened to someone from LAPD or any other agency in CA, that last @$$hole would have been taken to jail for battery on a police officer, minus his front teeth, with impact marks from a prolonged PR-24 shampoo, and with a green plastic bucket stuck way up his ass, as should have happened there, on the spot.

This display of gutless pussydom from two alleged men charged with keeping peace and public order in America's most populous city is going to embolden attacks on citizens, and other police officers, and ring up a price that will be paid in blood. These two invertebrates should be fired immediately, for cause.

Also their supervisor, watch commander, precinct captain, and every instructor at the academy classes they attended.

Then they should send their Special Response Unit in, along with mounted officers, K-9 units, and every swinging Richard they can spare, and literally put a cop on every corner in that neighborhood, 24/7/365 and run in everybody for every offense from spitting on the sidewalk on up, for the next six months, minimum. Until the point sinks in good and hard. Everyone giving a cop in that area so much as attitude should be ticketed for any and every possible offense, until the courts have to start trying cases in batches, like the French Revolution.

When it's not funny anymore, when the community is wailing and crying and pissing and moaning about how hard "The MAN Been Keeping Dem Down",  and the sight of flashing red lights in the rear view mirror makes them crap their pants, and they beg and plead for it to stop, the NYFC should announce it will stay in effect for only another year.

If not, that precinct should be renamed Mogadishu, be barricaded from the rest of the city, declare martial law, and send in the Notional Guard. If they want to live like Somalia, treat them like Somalians, with military ROE, and the UCMJ as the new standard of jurisprudence.

If the body count drops to zero, and there are no crimes for 90 days, and the civic leaders thereabouts apologizes for this incident, then go back to the normal routine.

And I'm only advocating that, because brass knuckles, flamethrowers, and guillotines violate the 8th Amendment.

IDGAF about the reflexive anti-cop a-holes whose strings this post will pull. They'll be flamed in comments every time they pop up. I'll crack on the PD any and every time they deserve it for going too far, exactly as I have on these pages dozens of times. (FFS, the reason I make memes at all is because of the later-fired SLCPD badgehole who thought the way to get his way was to arrest a nurse for not breaking the law!) But this kind of happy horseshit is going to get good people hurt and killed in the near future, and not just in NYFC, and it'll take draconian enforcement to drive the point home that this behavior by two-legged apes and baboons (yes, I went there; they can OWN that. If the banana fits, eat it.) was way over the line, and it wasn't funny the first time.

Anything less just invites more anarchy (read bloodshed) next time.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Sunday Music: More Than A Feeling

"Listen to the album!" - liner notes, 1976
Well, okay.
Opening track.

Completely blown.

Find the breakdown of Brad Delp's isolated vocal, and Tom Scholz blending it into the screaming guitar note.

Rock and roll, man.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

It Has To Be Said

Suck it, Diversity-tards.
That stinging sensation is Reality, slapping you in the back of the head.
And to revisionistas: no, this time, the Vikings didn't get there first.

This Is Why We Read (And Post Comments On) Other People's Blogs

Because some things need to be said.
Sharing is Caring. 
(And we enjoy the occasional rhetorical Scooby-snack.)

Like this instance:
LTC Grossman is a fucktard.” - John Mosby 
Keep making that spot-on observation. There is no freshness date on it, and it will never expire. 
For those who don’t know why Grossman is a fucktard, a brief review:
Telling people that nobody is inherently violent, and stating counterfactually that we have to program people to kill, (and then making a cottage industry out of peddling that line of twaddle) is only belied by all of recorded human history. Evidently that part was not required reading for any of his manifestly worthless degrees. Grossman is the face of junk science. You get the feeling from his books that if you brought up the example of Cain and Abel, he’d go, “Unpossible. Cain clearly watched too many violent TV shows and video games.” Or his head would start smoking, and he’d ask for “Norman: correlate please.” 
I don’t go to retired military officers for psychological expertise (even those who got their boutique psychology degrees in their spare time) for the same reason I don’t ask psychologists how to take a hill or organize a parachute jump.  
But doing it would be fun to watch, if only to illustrate vividly in laymen’s terms why Grossman is a fucktard. Except, or course, for the guys taking the hill or hitting the LZ. 
Grossman is one of those guys who ultimately wasn’t very interested in the actual military arts except as a rent check, but became captivated by the psychobabble of his hobby profession before retirement. Then found a screwball niche, and latched on like a barnacle. Pretty much like most of psychology. 
His books are great…if you have a table leg an inch shorter than the others.
Otherwise, put them in the outhouse. Tearing the book jacket off will make it easier to properly utilize the pages in the best way, as needed. 
Keep rocking, JM.  

Mosby's response to that:
"That was a much more eloquent breakdown of Grossman’s flaws, as opposed to my typical curse-laden rants about the man."

And now, Tam's take piles on:
"The comment regarding Grossman in this post is echoed by too many people I know who have valid, cross-referenced body-stacking credentials for me to ignore it. 
I don't know what video games Rwandan teens were playing to get them over their reluctance to chop up fellow humans with machetes, or what movies Cain watched to help him overcome his inborn resistance to killing Abel...and neither does Grossman. Humans have been easily...almost casually...killing other humans for as long as there have been other humans to kill. Lose your illusions."

When I can get an "Amen" from two such different individuals, I don't think it stretching things to say I hit the mark.

If you have this book for anything but comedy relief, it should be in your outhouse.

But I'm fair about it. Grossman's book is absolutely great at describing the physiological reactions one can expect during and after an actual kill-or-be-killed moment. (Speaking from personal experience, if you practice all self-defense shooting with a couple of Dixie cups with the bottoms cut out taped over your shooting glasses, to simulate the near-instant narrowing of your field of vision, in order to get you in the habit of keeping your head on a swivel, and learning to deal with the tunnel vision that actually happens during such a critical incident, along with wearing earplugs, wads of cotton over them, and earphones playing waterfalls, to simulate the train-roaring rush of white noise that will happen when guns are pointed both ways, you would be well ahead of most people in such training, because that will no-shit happen to you {ask me how I know this}, and Grossman's breakdown of those and many other physiological facts are worthwhile to study and anticipate, in and of themselves.) If he'd stuck to what he knew, and kept his jackassical half-assed analysis on things whereof he knows not, he'd be a frickin' jet-fuel genius. But he had to go twelve steps beyond that, and off into the weeds of Fucktardia. And then double- and triple-down with that nonsense in seminars and two sequel books. That's where he crossed from being just wrong, and into being a full-blown Fucktard.

Suffice it to say none of us is likely to be on Grossman's Christmas Card list.
Because he's a fucktard.

Top Gun: Whatever...

Surprising no one, the trailer for Top Gun: Maverick was released into the ongoing two-year drought of anything watchable from Hollyweird, and it's now the top trailer (13M sets of eyeballs when last we looked), even though it's a year from coming out. Current movies are, in fact, that bad. We caught it yestermorning on Daily Timewaster's blog, and we give the whole idea of a sequel a hearty..."Meh."

First, let's re-visit Tony Scott's iconic offering from 1986. Tony Scott, Ridley's brother, mainly made commercials, both before and after this flick. He inarguably was one of the masters of that genre, which is making something sexy for 30-90 seconds. In that light, the original Top Gun can be more easily understood, because on its best day, it was a child's craft camp necklace of thirty or forty commercials, strung together, somewhat coherently. The story was fantastic compared to, say, a move from Stanley Kubrick or Robert Altman, but compared to one from Tony's brother Ridley, or fifty other feature film director, not so much.

Secondly, the only thing they got right at the time about the actual Top Gun school then at Miramar, (now? IDK. Someone in comments will certainly let me know.) was that it was, in fact, at Miramar, and run by the Navy. Actual Navy pilots, then or now, will happily confirm there is no trophy, and that Pete "Maverick" Mitchell would have been cheerfully booted right the eff out before he started, and not even been missed, then or any other time. And that everything else in the movie was contrived bullshit.

Because Top Gun isn't to see who the best fighter pilot is, it's to take guys who've never been in combat, and teach them how to survive it (at odds of 1v1, 2v1, 1v2, and 1v?), by using their strengths and weakness - every aircraft has those - and then, the really important part - taking those lessons back to the other 12-30 pilots and aircrews in their squadron, and teaching what they learned back there, because the Navy can't rotate everyone in every squadron through Top Gun every year. It's a train-the-trainer class. Band camp, not March Madness double eliminations. Like NTC for the Army, the instructors there are the best of the best, they'll always whack the students every time, until the students, having had the lessons and performance envelope of their aircraft beaten into their heads, can achieve bare parity against guys with 2-5X the flight hours doing ACM, air combat maneuvering. Which is what "dogfighting" goes by, as a handle, lately.

Near total bullshit, militarily. Cinematically: awesome to watch.

This is the same thing John Boyd beat into the Air Farce's head, for exactly the same reason the missiles-only approach failed in the Air Farce, and their result was Red Flag, where they teach similar lessons. E.g, most pilots are killed in their first five combat missions, so why not make those first five in a classroom at full reality, rather than when their lives are actually at stake? Genius. But since Air Force, they do rotate entire squadrons through, and pile in every mission they do in exercises, not just fighter jock ACM.
(There's nothing like sitting beside a dry lake in CA, and having a B-2 fly by below you, with a T-38 in trail so the exercise control AWACS can see where the B-2 is on radar, as it sneaks around a mountain range to enter the exercise area. Or laying back on a camo net, and watching A-4s and F-14s in knifefight ACM 10,000' up above you, over the range at Chocolate Mountains. Ask me how I know.)

The results of both schools were the two day air blitz in Desert Storm, which took out Saddam's air force in hours, mostly on the ground, and chased what survived into hiding into Syria. Repeated in about an hour in 2002. Our training resembles bloodless wars, and our wars look like training with live rounds and warshot missiles. And nobody else can touch us, except when they get lucky and volley a dozen SAMs at an unwary patrol flight. (At least, until we started fielding carriers that can't catapult any airplanes, airplanes that can't perform, and handing out wings on the basis of possessed genitalia rather than meeting performance standards.)

None of which was covered in Top Gun, because boring, plus beefcake beach volleyball, and doinking the imaginary female instructress. (Who is now a thrice-divorced 240-pound lesbian cat lady living in North Carolina, not coming back for this TopGun adventure AFAIK, and thus she and the audience will be spared the embarrassment that was Carrie Fisher's Cryptkeeper reveal in The Farce Awakens.) In fact, nearly everyone in the TopGun: Maverick sequel is new, for pretty much that same reason, except Tom Cruise, who apparently has a picture of a haggard, raggedy old 57 y.o. man in his attic, to explain why he still looks fighter-ready in this follow-up, almost alone amongst his prior co-stars.

And in the trailer for it, we have an equally ancient-looking Ed Harris, looking old enough to have flown Mercury space missions in the 1960s, asking Captain Maverick why he isn't a "two-star admiral", which he opines should be the case, looking at a calendar. Which gets me to why anyone who spent three minutes in the military hates Hollywood with undisguised contempt, because they can't even get the easy stuff right, but instead fuck up by the numbers, because they don't care, neither about either the military, nor the audience.

Firstly, If "Maverick" were a Lieutenant in 1986, that would bespeak three years or more of commissioned service. So will make him a grad of OCS, NROTC, or the Naval Academy in the Class of '83 (and possibly even '82 or '81). So let's look at where he'd be now.
1983-1993-2003-2013-2120. Thirty seven years into his naval career. He would have made captain 20ish years along. By twenty-five years, he should have been promoted. (We'll get to what he should have been promoted to in a minute.) By thirty-seven years, he would have been passed over for promotion twice (actually, more like ten times), but he wouldn't have made even the third bite at that apple: he'd have been selected for retirement, shitcanned, and playing golf on weekends, working for some defense contractor, and living next to the golf course near some Navy base, since his 30-year mark. (Or, perhaps, either a rogue CIA operative, or a former military enigma solving crimes in the Mystery Machine.) That would have been in 2013, if you're keeping score at home. So much for that screen moment. Maverick would look like Tom "Iceman" Kazansky did a couple of years ago: way too fat to even fit into a cockpit. But rumor has it they're going to drag him back too, (someone's trainer earned a bonus) even though as an admiral, he'd be retired by now too. And would have stopped flying Navy aircraft back around 2010 or so, max. Strike Two.

Then there's Ed Harris' line: "A two-star admiral". This (like, I suspect, the entire movie, beginning to end) is just criminally stupid and lazy screenwriting, by people with no fucking clue, and who don't care that they have no fucking clue.

The Navy doesn't have "two-star admirals". Nor would any one of them so refer to it.
They have Rear Admirals. Which hearkens back to sailing days, when the senior full Admiral commanded the main body, the Vice-Admiral, his deputy, commanded the front group in a line of battle, and the junior admiral commanded the group bringing up the Rear.
Hence, Rear Admiral.

Navy ranks in modern times mirror the ranks of the other services, so a Rear Admiral corresponds to the rank of Major (two-star, for all you non-service types) General, who usually commands a division (or equivalent) in ground services. A one-star general is a Brigadier General. Briefly, in the 1980s, the Navy resurrected the rank of Commodore to correspond to Brigadier General. But the Navy PTB decided that it was wrong for the junior not-yet-admirals to have a cooler-sounding rank than them, and one that sufficed all the way back to the time of Commodore Perry, and the not-yet-admirals, not satisfied with martial common sense in naming conventions, nor wishing to be confused with an R&B group, thirsted for the cachét of being called admirals, even though they hadn't earned it, so they combined all Commodores and Rear Admirals, got rid of the rank term of Commodore, calling them all Rear Admirals (not "two-star" admirals), and distinguished them parenthetically as Rear Admiral (lower half) for the former Commodores, and Rear Admiral (upper half) for those actual admirals of the higher rank. Thus a Brigadier General of any of the sister services may salute a nominal Rear Admiral in the Pentagon, only later to find out the poser is (lower half) and the Brigadier outranks him substantially by time in grade. This, of course, makes the Navy laugh, and pisses off the other three services, which was at least half of why they did this.

That's why no one in the Navy would ever say the phrase "two-star admiral", but rather "Rear Admiral". I was never in the Navy, only a guest prisoner on a few of their ships, and even *I* know this. Twenty-nothing jackass screenwriters couldn't be bothered. This is why they're Fucktards, twelve times out of ten.

Which, in a two-minute trailer, tells me the sequel will be every bit as lousy and loose with reality as the original pic, hearkening back to the days when actors and extras regularly appeared onscreen with their ribbon bars upside down, and troops had haircuts that looked like opening acts for a heavy metal concert, rather than a military haircut, and were generally ten years older and forty pounds heavier than guys actually in and serving in the ranks portrayed.

There's also a model for doing a military movie absolutely right: Blackhawk Down.
By...Ridley Scott.

If you want an expert fisking of the whole trailer, POOF!, you get your wish:

Foxtrot Alpha: Here are all the screw-ups in the Maverick trailer.

Sadly, original Top Gun director Tony Scott decided one day a few years back to drive up to the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro-Long Beach midday, step up to the rail, and leap off. It was a one-way trip. I worked with him (I being very much the underling there) on various projects in my time in Hollywood, and saw him many times at close hand, and while he was director-weird (i.e. creative, but no weirder than anyone else in Hollywood), he, like his brother Ridley, knew his cinematic stuff, so the fact he isn't around anymore, let alone not helming the sequel, is a genuine loss to the industry, and the arts.

That said, Tom Cruise is one of the few consistent box-office draws from Taps to yesterday, which is no mean achievement in an industry that eats lesser lights for breakfast and burps them out, and he puts out some damned fine flicks, especially lately. The fans at ComicCon, where he surprise debuted the trailer, went wild for it, and him. And the original, wrong as it was, was watchable, and notably pro-American, even made by an expat Brit commercial director.

Knowing ahead of time that it will be cotton candy, and inaccurate as hell, I'll still probably go see it anyways. Odds are it will entertain, and be some miles ahead of 95% of the dreck coming out of Tinseltown this year or next, combined. All that, plus carrier launches? Actual USN Top Gun 2020 version? Dogfights? F-18s on 'burner? Oh, and Jennifer Connelly?

I'm there.

HELL yeah.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

For Reference Only

Here's your handy link to everything I've ever written about Ebola, that I thusly tagged.
(I skimmed the last few months, back to a year ago; this guy is pretty good!)
It will work going forward, as long as Blogger is a going concern as well.

As previously noted, unless the current outbreak in DRC hits a city with a major international airport, escapes the African continent altogether, or starts posting 500-1000+ weekly new case numbers, expect the updates to come roughly monthly. That means the next one will happen when your calendar reads "August", barring something actually earth-shattering.

If I'm not talking about it, you can assume with reasonable safety the earth has not, in fact, been shattered.

YMMV. Void where prohibited by law. May contain peanuts. Entering this area may expose you to chemicals known to the state of Califrutopia to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. If this were an actual Ebola blog post, authorities would have told you what to do.