52 years ago this month, the late Senator Edward Kennedy drunk drove off a bridge with a young woman in his car. He swam to safety and left her overnight to drown. No attempt at rescue was made. He went home and called his team to help him get his story straight.
This was publicly known at the time, as he did this on his own, in public, and bungled an attempt at cover-up irreparably.
He wasn’t able to run for president that next cycle. That was it. He didn’t go to jail. He went back to serving in the US Senate for many decades until his death.
A senator killed a woman in cold blood, publicly. Everybody knew it. It wasn’t even covered up. And nothing happened to him.
Imagine what these people are able to get away with when they’re actually trying.
First, you define “misinformation” as anyone whose opinion or whose recitation of the facts differs from yours, then you argue that a private organization can and should (especially at the request/demand of the government) ban such “speech”. Then you urge that if one social media entity bans that speech, ALL others should ban that speech.
The commitment to the concept of freedom of expression and freedom of speech seems to be ENTIRELY LACKING HERE. To hear such a dangerous progression of oppressive reasoning from an administration spokesperson is truly disturbing. As a government representative, you are either committed to the principles of free speech (not merely as a constitutional right but as a natural right of every person) or you are not. And if you are not, you have no business being in government. Remember the old adage, “the best counter to bad ideas are good ideas”? The same applies to speech; the best way to fight “bad” speech is the free expression and exchange of countervailing views, facts, and opinions, NOT censuring them.
photo h/t Ed B.
Ride it like you stole it.
Spanish War Dogs
Gizmo proudly wears his coyote-deterring armor
The Battle of the Billionaires
Branson jumped Bezos’ glory but Bezos still launched in his giant flying penis and Musk is building a fleet of starships. It’s right out of a sci-fi novel, but we’re living through it.
From peddling vinal records to dipping his big toe into space.
From peddling books online to sitting inside the head of a space penis.
You make stuff, you sell stuff or you work for the government.
Musk is now on the verge of mass-producing starships. (h/t SiG) It makes Bezos and Branson look like sideshow barkers.
I’m ready for somebody to invent Cylons. Full disclosure, I preferred Cylon Model Six (portrayed by Tricia Helfer), pictured right.
Come on, billionaires, go for it, take things to the next level – Cylons.
We could call them “replicants” if it makes you feel more like we’re living through Blade Runner.
Musk could have them settle the first Mars Colony, naturally, we’d lose contact with the settlement and forty years later, they’d land and take over mother Earth. The story writes itself.
Evil billionaire George Soros would make a fantastic Imperious Leader for the Cylon Army, wouldn’t he? His body would be dead by then but they could keep his brain alive in a vat and then move it to a Cylon body.
Who can argue that elements of our current world are perfect sets for Blade Runner? We don’t need to wait for 2049.
More billionaires need to step up and go for it.
Stick (grenades) and Stones will Break your Bones
Russian Model 1912 ‘Lantern Head’ grenade
Concussion stick grenade, TNP explosive charge, timed fuse, grip safety. One of the few pre-WW1 modern grenade designs.
It doesn’t take much to guess that this is a Russian hand grenade. I’m sure that they worked some of the time, we know that they were heavy and rugged, and if the fuse didn’t burn, you could use them to stave your enemy’s skull in.
The Future of Firearms (from the past)
“Shall not be infringed”
National Guard operations are about two weeks from grinding to a halt as a $520 million tab to reimburse the force for protecting lawmakers during its months-long Capitol Hill mission remains in limbo amid partisan bickering.
If Congress fails to act quickly, the National Guard will shut down most training through Oct. 1, the start of fiscal 2022, Gen. Daniel Hokanson, the head of the National Guard warned Congress in May.
Congress won’t act quickly and may just stiff the states for the $520 million for the bullshit occupation of the nation’s capital. There is a lesson in this. Don’t trust Congress or the Federal Government.
We learned this week that when the President uses two terms, the situation is the exact opposite of how he portrays it. When he used the term “literally”, you can now rationally conclude that he means “figuratively” at best, and “fictionally” at worst. When he says something is “not hyperbole”, you can be assured that what he is saying is totally hyperbolic and histrionic. The purpose behind his use of these terms is to distract from and discourage any rational discussion of the voting bills in question. It is a typical rhetorical ploy along the lines of “it must be obvious to anyone with a brain” [when it is not], or “no rational person could possibly disagree” [when many rational people might not agree] and of the sort of rhetorical device that you see from freshman high school debaters, but otherwise unworthy of any serious person engaged in public discourse. From the mouth of the President, it is pure indefensible demagoguery.
Los Angeles, 2023
Democrat-run cities lead the way.
The Reason for the Treason
Tim Allen is credited with writing this.
Here are some interesting points to think about prior to 2020, especially to my friends on the fence, like moderate Democrats, Libertarians, and Independents and the never-Trump Republicans and those thinking of “walking away” from the Democratic party.
Women are upset at Trump’s naughty words — they also bought 80 million copies of 50 Shades of Gray.
Not one feminist has defended Sarah Sanders. It seems women’s rights only matter if those women are liberal.
No Border Walls. No voter ID laws. Did you figure it out yet? But wait… there’s more.
Chelsea Clinton got out of college and got a job at NBC that paid $900,000 per year. Her mom flies around the country speaking out about white privilege.
And just like that, they went from being against foreign interference in our elections to allowing non-citizens to vote in our elections.
President Trump’s wall costs less than the Obamacare website. Let that sink in, America.
We are one election away from open borders, socialism, gun confiscation, and full-term abortion nationally. We are fighting evil.
They sent more troops and armament to arrest Roger Stone than they sent to defend Benghazi.
60 years ago, Venezuela was 4th on the world economic freedom index. Today, they are 179th and their citizens are dying of starvation. In only 10 years, Venezuela was destroyed by democratic socialism.
Russia donated $0.00 to the Trump campaign. Russia donated $145,600,000 to the Clinton Foundation. But Trump was the one investigated!
Nancy Pelosi invited illegal aliens to the State of the Union. President Trump Invited victims of illegal aliens to the State of the Union. Let that sink in.
A socialist is basically a communist who doesn’t have the power to take everything from their citizens at gunpoint … Yet!
How do you walk 3000 miles across Mexico without food or support and show up at our border 100 pounds overweight and with a cellphone?
Alexandria Ocasio Cortez wants to ban cars, ban planes, give out universal income, and thinks socialism works. She calls Donald Trump crazy.
Bill Clinton paid $850,000 to Paula Jones To get her to go away. I don’t remember the FBI raiding his lawyer’s office.
I wake up every day and I am grateful that Hillary Clinton is not the president of the United States of America.
The same media that told me Hillary Clinton had a 95% chance of winning now tells me Trump’s approval ratings are low.
“The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.”— Margaret Thatcher
Maxine Waters opposes voter ID laws; She thinks that they are racist. You need to have a photo ID to attend her town hall meetings.
President Trump said — “They’re not after me. They’re after you. I’m just in their way.”
Designed by Krupp, Grusonwerk AG, and Magdeburg-Buckau, it was the product of Krupp desiring to create an assault gun just as effective as the Stug III. Reports of the great success of Stug III and other assault guns often matched or bettered the Panzer III and IV counterparts. As a result, the German High Command ordered that a new doctrine should be assessed focusing more on vehicles capable of both anti-tank and anti-infantry roles, built cheaper than tanks with a revolving turret.
The Sturmgeschütz III and IV were the most produced armored vehicles by Germany during WWII.
It was armed with a 7.5 cm StuK 40 L/48 cannon with a combat load of 63 rounds. It had a secondary weapon, a 7.92mm MG-34 located in the hull.
It was protected by moderately thick armor 80mm thick frontally, and 60mm on the sides and rear. Later models were smeared with Zimmerit anti-magnetic mine paste.
A Maybach HL120 TRM V-12-cylinder gasoline engine capable of pushing out 300 horsepower powered the vehicle. They weren’t cross country tanks, but in a defensive role, they didn’t need to move fast. Featuring a ZF SSG 76 Aphon 7 gear suspension, with 6 forward and 1 reverse gear. It rode atop a relatively simple but proven reliable leaf spring suspension. It could reach a top speed of 25mph/40kmh and had an effective range of 130mi/210km.
Assault guns were necessary for Germany, then fighting a largely defensive war. With the need for raw materials slowly dwindling, the need to continually create cheaper and cheaper resulted in designs such as this. Fixed casemate superstructure, but still heavily armored and able to take on almost anything it came across.
I’m taking a break, don’t judge me.
Most places that I’ve seen are starting at $16/hr, but some places are offering $18/hr. and it begs the question of raising wages across the board if people are paying $18/hr to turn hamburgers and fry potatoes. Fast-food workers claim to deserve the bump. If that’s what the market pays… Workers in California are still being paid $16/hr not to work, so there you go. Will your wages double? Will the price of homes double? They’re well on the way to doing that.
I mentioned on blog comments that I recently doubled my rate. It remains to be seen whether anyone will want to pay it. One client is nibbling. Expenses are such that if I don’t, there will be such a slim margin that it’s not worth the hassle.
What rate will illegal aliens be clamoring to be paid. We’re letting in millions of unskilled workers now to satisfy the democrats.
Inflation creates a death spiral that is very difficult to recover from. I sold my house in California for $750K two and a half years ago. Right now on Zillow it’s up to $1.2M. And they are, selling. Land prices at the White Wolf Mine area have quadrupled in two and a half years. Land near me, similar to mine, view, etc. is going for 4x what I paid and there is currently a bidding war. They may get even more. I’m not thrilled. It portends big drama, huge problems if Jo/Ho/Oligarchs keep rolling.
My youngest daughter, having heard of the flash flood at the WWM, sent me this photo, taunting me, suggesting that I return. We always had a boat. She suggests sailing to Catalina Island and anchoring at the Isthmus for a BBQ afloat and SCUBA at Eagle Reef.
Maybe I’ll rent a boat or something. She knows where to hit me while I’m doing flood clean-up. Kids always know a parent’s weak spot.
29 nautical miles from Alamitos Bay (Between Long Beach and Seal Beach)
Russian/Soviet Surveillance Aircraft
The Russians never had many dedicated ELINT aircraft. They simply bolted gear on existing airframes, often crudely. It’s true of many nations, the A-10 Oxcart, SR-71, U-2, and other US platforms were designed and dedicated, but at great expense. Usually, collection systems are added to an existing airframe because it is good enough.
(above) A variant of the Ilyushin Il-18 (NATO Coot) was the Il-20M Coot-A (aka Il-18D-36 Bizon), an ELINT and radar recon aircraft.
The Tupolev Design Bureau was tasked to develop drones that were used for that purpose, and they took up the challenge, but they never were ready for prime time.
Tupolev Tu-123 Yastreb (above) and Tupolev Tu-141 (below) were both supersonic ELINT drones. When they crashed, the US had the opportunity to take a look inside.
The lack of Soviet forward operating bases, except for Cuba, meant that they most often used the very long-range Bear for that purpose [Tupolev Tu-95KM (Bear-C), Tu-95MR (Bear-E), and Tu-95RT (Bear-D)]. There were other platforms that were used, as were satellites. Having a chart, I sometimes watch the various bits of active and inactive Russian ELINT satellites pass overhead in the night sky.
On Sunday morning, we had a cloudburst at the White Wolf Mine. There is no way to tell for sure, but something around three or four inches of rain in half an hour. It resulted in the gravel from the driveway migrating to the concrete apron, blocking the drainage channels (covered with steel grates), and pushing 2-3″ of mud into the garage about sixteen feet.
Most of Sunday was spent filling sandbags with the gravel on the concrete apron to be better prepared for the next one.
The flood cut deepwater channels all over the mine property, including the driveway. I’ll be mitigating it and eventually cutting some flood channels (I have some, but need to put larger rocks in them to avoid erosion, etc.)
There was some damage in the garage, but frankly, not that much. Most of my stuff is in Pelican cases or plastic boxes and racked.
So more work – oh joy, I was just saying to myself, “I wish that I had more chores…” It’s mountain life. The forecast calls for more rain every day (mountain thunderstorms – monsoon) for the foreseeable future.
So far, we’re nowhere close to the record. Cold comfort.
The S-92 was a multi-role fighter built by the Czechoslovak company Avia. During World War II, the Germans built assembly plants in Czechoslovakia for the production of the Messerschmitt Me.262.
After the war, the production infrastructure remained intact, so that production could be resumed very quickly. The first S.92.1 was built at the Letnany Research Institute. The first production S-92 was delivered to the Czech Air Force on June 12, 1948. A total of nine S-92s and three CS-92s were produced. All of them were in service with the 5th Fighter Regiment. In 1951, the aircraft were transferred to training units.
How do you feel about French ladies? Who can also cook…
The Arizona Vote Audit
AZ Audit found 74,000 Ballots Returned and Counted in 2020 Election with NO RECORD of Being Sent Out! It sounds like fraud to me.
“[T]he States can best govern our home concerns and the general government our foreign ones. I wish, therefore … never to see all offices transferred to Washington, where, further withdrawn from the eyes of the people, they may more secretly be bought and sold at market.”
— Thomas Jefferson
P1 Mle 1915 grenade
Manufactured in France c.1915 for the French army. 30g PETN explosive charge, aluminium scoopoid arming lever with a cloth streamer – secured by a small cord, lead screw-in percussion plug in the base, internal fragmentation grooves.
Surprisingly it was not the worst grenade design from WW1, the Pércutante N°1 of 1915 was one of the few contact grenades – like the British N°1 grenade – that exploded immediately upon contact.
It was hazardous, and even with a streamer and a heavy butt the explosive would not always detonate upon landing/contact.
They would occasionally detonate in the hand of the owner because they sneezed too hard.
The British N°1 stick grenade takes the prize as the worst. It was a stick grenade with a top detonator that was supposed to be thrown with a wall of mud less than two feet behind you.
It IS proof
In a modern context, shouldn’t we put Kamala Harris’ head on the side of churches to remind the devout of what you look like if you are going to end up in the hot place?
Applying Scripture to Everyday Needs
“Christ said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” Luke 22:36
I’m not there yet…
We do have trash pandas at the White Wolf Mine but they are chased off by the bobcats – mostly. I ran onto this Youtube video and I’m asking you whether this guy is taking charity for the bandits too far?
The Sermonette today comes from Beauty and the Beast
The Disney film is popular with my grandchildren. When I watch it with them, some basic truths are explained through the actions of the characters.
The story of Beauty and Beast is a very human story about a man rediscovering his humanity. Belle, the heroine of the story, demonstrates her moral character by maintaining her humanity even when everyone around her has lost theirs. The story teaches that the part of us that makes us human are things that cannot be controlled or forced, they must be freely given. Only when we freely demonstrate self-sacrifice and love can we find our humanity and separate ourselves from the beastly nature found inside each of us.
It’s an interesting concept – with universal application.
M31 Andromeda Galaxy (Visible Light) by NASA Goddard Photo. Whenever I see photos like these, I think – that’s one BIG black hole/singularity in the middle, spinning and holding everything together.
If You HAD to Choose
Aston Martin Valhalla production Vs concept. Which is nicer?
German Hand Grenades (historical)
Germany – and Serbia were the only countries that went into WW1 with a proper hand grenade, the Kugelhandgranate M1913, which is a straightforward fragmentation ball with a time fuse.
While the Germans used ball grenades (that burst in all directions), most other nations used a form of stick grenade that looked something like this:
It’s a pétard-raquette, or “the firework stick”.
Germans made some of their own, and this is what led to one of the most recognizable pieces of military hardware that ever saw use on the battlefield.
There’s one redeeming quality in this monstrosity, its handle, allowing for greater throwing range. This was thus adapted in 1915 to a conventional cylindrical warhead fitted with a modern friction time fuse.
The Potato Masher or Toilet Plunger grenade was armed by breaking the paper seal and giving a sharp tug on the cord, which applied friction to the primer allowing you five seconds to throw the thing away. There were disadvantages, not the least of which was its size. Although lighter than the Gugelhupfgrenade (baseball grenade-top) and incorporating the metal hook to fasten it to your belt, carrying more than two was like carrying as many toilet plungers. There is a stick grenade from that era with a ceramic head that looks like a toilet bowl with a contact fuse and a fragmentation sleeve. It passed from use because of a poor blast radius.
In the same year Germany developed a model with a contact fuse, research determined that often, stick grenades landed on the heads of throwers. They also tended to strike the back of the trench troops threw it from, a common accident which also plagued the British No1.
It featured the same spoon-like lever found on French P1 pear grenades.
The Stielhandgranate was upgraded in 1916 and again in 1917, with better more compact explosives, reducing the size of its head for the same if not a superior amount of concussive force.
It’s also in 1916 that it received its screw bottom plug rather than a cheap paper seal to keep the cord safe, with serrations to help the common muddy slippery infantryman.
The assault grenade design became part of the legendary pictures of Sturmtruppen crossing no man’s land, knowing their victory was assured with their trusty explosive toilet plungers. (h/t qsy)
This Article was passed to me. I read it and said to myself, “what’s unusual about that?” I noted some Navy ingenuity, but no more than would be expected from the average swab.
Front Toward Enemy?
“Bee Nott Afrayed
Of Anny Man Thatt Walks Beneath The Skys
Tho Big He Bee Or Small You Bee
For I Will Equalize”
Indian Navy Tu-142M
It’s definitely a long-range ASW aircraft, but they must be very expensive to operate.
The aircraft doesn’t stock traffic chalk to outline its victims. Russians…go figure…
Bad day for Bernie’s Hero
CIA Case Officer Felix Rodriguez and Bolivian soldiers pose with Che Guevara before Guevara’s execution. 9 October 1967
I heard and read that the US has to address fentanyl overdoses. Considering that the precursors come from China, that’s not much of a problem. Deal with China effectively, stop politicians from taking massive bribes from the Middle Kingdom. End of problem.
Pookie is for Engineers
Rhodesian “Pookie” mine-detection MRAP.
Please forgive me for putting a lot of trust in a major industry that is financially dependent on everyone being sick.
Notes on Russia
I invite blog readers to spend a little more time studying Russia and Russians. I did it professionally, so maybe that is cheating. No matter how you choose to slice it, an understanding of Russia allows you to sift through mountains of bullshit from both sides to dig down and find something, some kernel of truth.
For example, Vladivostok is closer to Australia than to Moscow. There is a reason that the progs want you to fear the Russians. Is it that there is a concern that the Russian Army will arrive on American shores? American rapprochement with Russia makes a lot of sense given the situation with China, which does pose a threat. Does Russia smuggle opiates into the US to destabilize the country? China does. Was Russia responsible for the Chinese Bioweapons release this past year? China was, and we now know that there was American collaboration.
I’m not “pro-Russia” but I am in favor of people understanding the reality of the situation and not relying on CNN for their source.
In a related story, Poland’s defense minister announced Wednesday that the country will buy 250 M1A2 Abrams SEPv3 tanks from the U.S. to replace its outdated Russian T-72 and PT-91 tanks.
The Russian T-14 Armata tanks (captioned photo above) that are now fielded by the Russian Army are felt to be superior to the German Leopard 2A4 and Leopard 2A5 tanks which are currently the most modern tracked vehicles operated by the Polish Land Forces.
The argument of which tank is better is somewhat political as Poland wants the continued presence of American troops within its border. Nobody hates the Russians as much as the Poles – with good reason.
The Next Big Crisis
Never let something like this go to waste. Anticipate water rationing in California next year – along with power rationing and calls not to plug in that electric car, and new mandates to wear plague masks (for vaccinated people), and business closures.
You will note that California is NOT talking about building desalination plants along the coast where it has an inexhaustible supply of water. They could do that and sell water to Las Vegas (a sponge in the desert), the Temple of the Living Elvis. However, that’s not about to happen. It wouldn’t generate a crisis. The use of nuclear energy to desalinate seawater and to power the cities, won’t come as they continue to build windmills… that they can tilt with.
Favorability of Muslims in Europe
Percentage of people in selected European countries who have a favorable view of Muslims.
Ok, it’s a map and the numbers may not be accurate. I don’t think that the Great Russians harbor any particular love for Muslims (for example). French sensibilities are changing in terms of favorability. The British as a group retain a deep and abiding love for Mohammedans. So much so that it’s a crime to criticize Islam. The map is food for thought.
Here’s another map – “guess who’s coming for dinner – make it halal.”
Would you accept Muslims as members of your family? (2015-2017) Or would you serve bacon for breakfast, ham sandwiches for lunch, and pork chops for dinner?
What about the US Navy?
Reading this article may answer a few questions. It’s disturbing but accurate. Remember that there is a REASON why certain people are intent on destroying the US Military from the inside out and they are the real enemy.
Moschetto per Truppe Speciali con Tromboncino modello 91/28 – Carcano carbine with grenade launcher
Manufactured in Italy c.1928-34 as a Carcano-mounted assault mortar, but quickly phased out for a more conventional artillery piece. 6,5x52mm Carcano 6-round en-bloc clip, bolt action repeater, 45cm long specialist carbine barrel. 38,5mm 180g S.R.2 fin-stabilized fuse bomb, loaded through the muzzle in a spigot mortar, propelled by a Carcano single-shot bolt action loaded with a live 6,5x52mm round, 100-200m range.
The weapon predates the development of under-barrel grenade launchers, but with obvious quirks that were common in such innovative designs of the era.
The M91/28 used a single trigger linked to both Carcano action, but was used with only one bolt at a time to avoid accidental discharge – you could technically use two of them but the rifle’s bolt handle would interfere with the grenade launcher’s bolt. The sights are likewise used for both weapons, with their own sets of graduations.
**An interesting note is the use of the term blunderbuss to identify rifle-mounted cup mortars in both French and Italian armies of the early 20th century.
From the Past
Tigercats and other Warbirds
The only time that I saw a Tigercat (F7F) fly was at the Reno Air Races. I recommend the races to anyone who loves to watch these aircraft. Get a VIP pass, spend the money if you must, go backstage, schmooze your way into the pits and scam your way closer to these aircraft.
I was lucky when I attended because I knew people who were involved without having to engage in the politics of the races.
In Cameron Park, California, Vultures Row Aviation is deep into the ground-up restoration of what will become the world’s only airworthy Vought F4U-1 Corsair. This combat veteran Corsair served in the South Pacific in May 1943, initially with VMF-112 and later with the famed VMF-214 ‘Swashbucklers.’ I’m not part of this. There is a LOT of money and love that goes into this sort of project.
Is it a species of Religion?
(Zerohedge) “The three pillars of today’s white man’s civilization – environment protection, veneration of non-Europeans, and gender mainstreaming – fit the definition of a religion. Reason need not apply. The more things become topsy-turvy, the more they are “rationalized” by university authorities and… protected by law. Dissenting opinion is labelled as hate speech, fake news or conspiracy theories, so now young, impressionable minds are on the hunt for haters, climate change deniers and rednecks. They have the religious fervour of their forefathers. They have something to believe in, they have someone to fight against, they have their set of virtues to be practised and their list of sins to be avoided. Young impressionable minds, to repeat the epithet, will not devote themselves to engineering, the sciences or the economy. These are too demanding, too rational, with no use for fancy language offered by gender studies, race critical theory or sustainable economy….”
It’s thoroughly Orwellian.
Countries by median wealth per adult in 2021
The map says that Aussies are rich.
Solar Cycle 25 is here. It is the current solar cycle pattern of sunspot activity. It began with a smoothed minimum sunspot number of 1.8. It is expected to continue until about 2030.
The general trend of monthly sunspot data now confirms that the minimum of the approximately 11-year cycle of solar activity occurred in December 2019, marking the start of Solar Cycle 25. That quiet Sun, at minimum activity, appears on the right of this split hemispherical view. In contrast, the left side shows the active Sun at the recognized maximum of Solar Cycle 24, captured in April 2014.
The extreme ultraviolet images from the orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory highlight coronal loops and active regions in the light of highly ionized iron atoms. Driving the space weather around our fair planet, Solar Cycle 24 was a relatively calm one and predictions are that cycle 25 will be calm too. The cycle 25 activity maximum is expected in July 2025. Solar Cycle 1, the first solar cycle determined from early records of sunspot data, is considered to begin with a minimum in February 1755.
Thought of the Day
Name the Mystery Aircraft
The Soviet Union entered the Second World War with a deficit in aviation.
The hovel was still under construction.
Yesterday was Bastille Day [which isn’t what they call it in France], wherein the French celebrate the storming of the old prison and armory in 1789 which gloriously secured the liberation of four forgers, a “lunatic” imprisoned at the request of his family; a man who had tried to assassinate Louis XV thirty years before; and one “deviant” aristocrat, the Comte de Solages, imprisoned supposedly for incest on orders of his father. The “La révolution française” itself eventually led to a bloody orgy of murder which became known as “The Great Terror” and the popularization of the guillotine as the “most humane form of capital punishment” of its day. The greatest irony of the endeavor was that it led within fifteen years to the coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte as Emperor of France in 1804. So much for the abolition of the monarchy…
Have you ever asked yourself?
Which Shower do you Prefer?
If you heard a mission bell, did you ever ask yourself that question?
We’re all just prisoners here of our own device.
Should you Run?
I might run if I was in Tokyo. Anywhere else, no need.
Police Precision Combat shooting was expensive, and today it’s very expensive.
PPC (Police Pistol Combat also known as Precision Pistol Competition in some parts of the world) was one of the few options if you wanted to compete before IPSC was founded in the mid-70s.
A Medical Poll
It’s a private military company (PMC) founded in South Africa by Eben Barlow, a former lieutenant colonel in the South African Defense Force, in 1989. Strategic Resource Corporation (a South African-based holding company) acquired them in the mid-’90s. This year, they were re-established. PMC’s have a spotty history in the past fifty years. Some people did well, some not so well. But they’re looking for trained people who want to work in Africa. This blog is not a recruiting site for EO.
PMC’s change names a LOT. Take Blackwater, as an example. It’s now Academi. Academi is an American private military company founded in 1997 by former Navy SEAL officer Erik Prince as Blackwater, renamed as Xe Services in 2009, and known as Academi since 2011 after the company was acquired by a group of private investors. The company received widespread notoriety in 2007, when a group of its employees killed 17 Iraqi civilians and injured 20 in Nisour Square, Baghdad, for which four guards were convicted in the U.S., but later pardoned on December 22, 2020 by President Donald Trump.
Academi provides security services to the United States federal government on a contractual basis. Since 2003, the group has provided services to the Central Intelligence Agency. In 2013, Academi subsidiary International Development Solutions received an approximately $92 million contract for State Department security guards.
In 2014, Academi became a division of Constellis Group along with Triple Canopy and other security companies that were part of the Constellis Group as the result of an acquisition.
I have no idea what they’re called today or who owns them. I suspect that EO is looking to get acquired…
The Veep Knows
I’m happy that Camela gives a voice, and just not on Hump Day (her day).
By way of follow-up (regarding China)
A lot of the problems that China experiences today, setting aside the male-female ratio that makes every party a sausage-fest; the Russians that severely mistrust them to the north, the problems of feeding 1.3 billion, etc., focus on perceptions.
What has the Chinese public been told to expect and what can the communist government actually deliver? In a democracy, there is only so much that the government can deliver. Market forces are not completely controlled by the central government, etc. The expectations are different. In the Arizona mountains, people would really prefer that the government stays in Phoenix or DC. That’s not true (not completely true) in China.
Chinese worker’s wages have seen a MASSIVE increase. Thus it’s not profitable for overseas concerns to manufacture there. The man-on-the-street expects to see those wages continue to climb, and if they don’t who is there to blame but the government? These sorts of expectations are not trivial matters. Chinese companies look for other markets (such as those in Mexico) to manufacture, and much of the profit earned there is NOT returned to the mother country. When the manufacturing leaves China, so does the profit, often based on capitalization from the Bank of China. So it goes.
Back when Mass. had the Death Penalty
On this day in 1726, William Fly was hanged for piracy in Boston, Massachusetts.
William Fly had a very short piratical career that began in April of 1726, when he signed on to sail aboard the Elizabeth, captained by John Green and destined for West Africa.
During the voyage, Fly led a mutiny that resulted in Capt. Green being thrown overboard and Fly being elected the new captain. The pirates under Fly changed the ship’s name from Elizabeth to Fame’s Revenge and set a new course for the Carolinas, and eventually New England.
They captured five ships before they themselves were captured and sentenced to be hanged at Boston Harbor. Fly reportedly approached the gallows with disdain, even chastising the hangman for doing a poor job with the noose. Fly allegedly re-tied the noose and placed it around his own neck before exclaiming a warning to all captains to treat their sailors kindly and pay them well.
“Our Captain and his Mate used us Barbarously. We poor Men can’t have Justice done us. There is nothing said to our Commanders, let them never so much abuse us, and use us like Dogs.” After Fly’s execution, his body was gibbeted in Boston Harbor as a warning to other sailors of the risks of turning to a life of piracy.
Today piracy is celebrated on American streets. How things have changed.
Every Finnish Mosin regardless of the model needs to have tag on it requiring that it not be sold for more than what it’s worth, irrespective of what yuppies and nerds are willing to pay.
I know. I know that it’s accurate. You’ve ALSO seen the 9-Hole Reviews video where a Henry pushes it to 1,100 meters and it hits steel. I get it.
It’s still a Mosin.
All of the glitz and glamour fades away once you try to open the bolt and spend the better part of 20 seconds bashing it with your hand until you get just enough force for it to recock, unlock and then MAYBE spit the empty case out.
Because of the interrupter. Be blessed that the Finns mostly swapped out the original M1891 interrupter for the M91/30 three-piece one.
When the Finns gained independence, the issue of self-defense was brought up, as it usually is, no matter who your are or where you are. The Soviet Union was not happy to lose former Russian territory, irrespective of whether it was actually Russian or not. To a Russian, if the border adjoins Great Russia, it’s a buffer state.
Protecting the country against Russia’s re-acquisition was going to be critical if Finland wished to remain independent. However, there was not a huge budget to work with, they needed a pragmatic solution. They found a mountain of M1891′s both in their own arsenals and in arsenals across Europe and got the idea to just fix them. Starting with the M91/24, the Finns updated their Mosins through a variety of models like the M28, M30, and finally the M38 Ukko-Pekka. Used through the Winter War, Continuation War, and Lappland War, the Finns would mostly retire these to rear line troops in the 1960′s and 1970′s. With that, they’d naturally bleed onto the surplus market and sell.
Which is how they came to the attention of American Millenials who thought that paying $750 for an ancient Mosin was a good idea, or even possibly, an investment.
As with the K31, the big draw of these was that they were dirt cheap upon initial importation, but now that ship has slipped the anchor and sailed.
Full disclosure, the Finnish Mosins are the best Mosins you’re going to get. There are little details that make Finnish models better than the Red Army leftovers. The clean sights, the free-floated barrel, a functional two-stage trigger set the Finnish models apart. All in all, the critical flaw of this rifle is that it is a Mosin. The action is still terrible/junk. Remember that. At $50.00-$100.00, it’s not a bad purchase.
When people didn’t have firearms (yet). There were still quality issues.
Progressives want to add to the map. You’ll note that Venezuela didn’t make the map. Apparently, it’s not commie enough, and the fact that they use their currency as toilet paper isn’t appealing to the Left and big corporations when they gaze into that crystal ball.
Progressives Explore what they Hate
And then there are also DUMBS
European Soccer Championship
I’ve received e-mail from friends in regard to England’s anticipated sweep – and then Italy beat them (the agony of defeat).
As expected the English crowds were rowdy after the loss and people were worried about the safety of Italian fans. Thankfully 2,000 years of genetic memory kicked in and the Italian fans were able to safely evacuate using a testudo formation while using auxiliaries to cover their retreat.
If Jules (Boudica reborn) had shown up with her wolves, the whole after-action report might have turned out differently.
Halo (which may or may not stand for High Altitude [jump], Low Opening [canopy deployment]) is pictured below.
Her other wolf is named Lucifer…
There was some discussion of Arizona elk and why they are smaller or larger than elk in other areas. I did research.
In 1913 about 80 head of elk were captured in Montana, loaded into railroad cars, and transported to Winslow. Members of the local Elks Club unloaded the elk at the Winslow stockyards and then were taken out to the woods south of town.
Some fifty years later, elk were brought into the Pine, AZ area from Oregon and were released. They flourished as well and on any given day you can see herds grazing (and annoying people) in the area.
Prior to the elk arriving (and wiping out all of the aspens), there were deer and buffalo were the megafauna in the Arizona Highlands. It’s too dry for moose.
Memes for a Troubled World
I both like and dislike this meme – equally – at the same time…
And yet, we ask ourselves who is writing the speeches for Jo/Ho.
Percentage of Portuguese Americans
Factoring in Cost of Living…
Median Income Adjusted for Cost of Living
Percentage of income spent on alcohol and tobacco, 2018.
Alcohol and tobacco, soft drugs of widespread consumption, and mostly legal in the world, represent a significant expense for many families, which, for cultural, leisure, or dependency reasons, they are not willing to give up.
When in SoCal, it’s important to self-identify as toxically male.
A friend sent me the shirt a couple of years ago. I don’t wear these sorts of shirts on the road often, but these days I like to make a statement. Yes, I have a California CCW.
Cruise ship passing through the canal of Corinth. Completed in 1893, the Corinth Canal runs between the Gulf of Corinth and the Saronic Gulf.
“This ain’t Dodge City. And you ain’t Bill Hickok.” – you can click the link above if you’re stumped.
B-2 vs B-21
The Ike Dike is a $26 billion proposed flood control scheme meant to protect Houston from hurricane storm surges.
Helmet or Ant Eater?
Writing From the Road this past week…
As some of you know, I used to teach a course at the People’s Public Security University in Beijing on Chinese Money Laundering. Yes, it’s odd that a wretched westerner would be invited to be an adjunct professor to teach that sort of class at the police university. That would not be possible today under Xi, but at the time in 1998, China was opening to the West. There was a different vibe. The individual Chinese Public Security Bureau (PSB) folks were open and many were genuinely friendly. Sure, I was a barbarian, but a loveable one. Viewed as a spy, I was elevated to the position of ‘distinguished foreign guest’ so they could keep a better eye on me (politely).
The fact that I had been a military officer and quit mid-career to do other things was proof positive that I was a spy. You just don’t do that in organizations like the People’s Liberation Army unless you are going into the spy biz.
It is not unusual for a PSB officer that you would encounter to have a master’s degree or a doctorate. They are, as a group, an educated lot. There were the old, hardcore communists on faculty who liked to argue with me and show their superiority, but for the most part, that was not part of what was then New China.
Twenty-three years have passed since then and the three or four years that I taught there on a part-time basis have come and gone. I also taught many of the same classes at the Interpol General Secretariat, Lyon, France.
I witnessed a profound change take place in China during my travels there over the past twenty years. Many observers look at China and see its leadership playing a masterful game. They see China refusing to bend its policies to fit global norms and successfully going its own way. The reality is that Beijing has tried to bend repeatedly under President Xi Jinping but has almost broken each time and has had to fall back on its old ways—which are not succeeding.
Beautiful buildings grace the Chinese skyline – truly magnificent. China has come a long way at great cost. They transformed a nation that was somewhere at the top of the third world – for the greater part (not Western China and the area where the Han view their countrymen as monkeys) into the. First world.
Prior to the plague and its anomalies, the quality and quantity of China’s gains were slipping. The Chinese knew it and those familiar with the situation outside of China knew it.
China’s rose to middle-income status from the extreme poverty it experienced just a few decades ago. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Notwithstanding those rapid gains, the applause that China has earned for its economic successes will subside if Xi fails to tolerate policy debate and accept more constrained political ambitions that admit the limits of the CCP’s capabilities.
Few have been willing to conclude that China has tried to reform but failed. Xi may believe that he has another decade to tinker with the country’s economic model. Taking stock of the many major policy plans that the CCP has launched but then abandoned indicates otherwise: there are at most a few years to act before growth runs out. If China’s leaders wait until the last minute, it will be too late.
All of the Middle Kingdom has swallowed the lies whole: double-digit growth will continue forever – simply because we’re cool…but based on Xi’s own belief that without reform China will hit a dead end, a reckoning appears to be inevitable.
The question is when it will arrive and whether Beijing will take the bold steps that every country that has escaped the middle-income trap has been forced to take. Skeptics of China’s continued progress have been wrong before, and they must explain what is different now to justify their bearishness. Three factors are most compelling. First, in recent years, interest on debt alone (never mind principal) has grown to double the value of annual GDP growth: this situation is causing bank failures, restructurings, and major defaults of state-owned enterprises. Second, for the first time since the mass starvations of the catastrophic Great Leap Forward, the working population is shrinking in numbers, which will result in a smaller labor force and fewer people buying property in China’s oversupplied housing market. And third, from 1978 to about 2015, the United States and other world powers went out of their way to engage with China and smooth its path to global opportunities. That is no longer the case, even if open-market democracies have not formed a consensus about the right stance to take on China going forward. In many ways, the tailwinds China enjoyed from global enthusiasm about its rise have become headwinds. Even the Biden Crime Family, liberally greased by Beijing does not offer a conciliatory hand to China.
In the post-plague era, if Beijing cannot induce private firms to ramp up their investment and cannot persuade major economies to remain engaged with China, then the country’s clear economic outlook will cloud over. Xi-era reform efforts have already precipitated a series of mini-crises, each one shrinking the space for trial and error in the future. The high-tech wizards whom the CCP was so recently celebrated as the heroes of a new digital future are now scurrying to prove their fealty to the party rather than pushing officials to allow them to compete and innovate more aggressively. With business and household debt levels already extremely high, China can scrape out perhaps two or three more years of economic stability by piling on further loans, as long as global capital flows and supply chains do not dry up. If firms and investors do pull back, or if China needs to raise interest rates more aggressively at home, a reckoning could happen much sooner.
Beijing has options to ease this transition, but it cannot avoid it. Unlike Japan when its asset bubble popped in 1991, China is not a mature, high-income nation. Growing rural incomes will make China stronger but will not produce trophy cities or high-tech machines. Xi’s “dual circulation” campaign envisions a revolution in consumer spending. That, too, is a possibility, provided Beijing shifts from supporting firms to forcing them to serve consumers. And by selling off state enterprises, China could raise trillions of dollars to retire debt, fund health care, and pay for carbon abatement, all while stoking healthy private competition. These and many other avenues to sustainable growth are available. But in each case, the party’s insistence that in “government, military, civilian, and academic; east, west, south, north, and center, the party leads everything” would have to be sacrificed—and to date, that has been a bridge too far.
Chinese failure to come to grips with the situation they currently face will mean a time of painful austerity for China and also for its partners abroad, who have come to count on China as a buyer of iron ore, a purveyor of development assistance, and a direct investor in startups and many other enterprises. This will have immense geopolitical consequences, as a recalibration of great-power competition takes place. Beijing could turn more belligerent in search of solutions.
There are always war drums (modern clickbait) CHINA IS PREPARING FOR NUCLEAR WAR or something like that. I mentioned in comments this past week that a PLA General once told me that to him, Washington DC was the mysterious east. Chinese people pride themselves on predictability, and they are. It’s not difficult to read Chinese tea leaves. They tend to behave as they have in the past. They look at the United States with half a billion firearms and many trillions of rounds of ammunition in private hands in astonishment.
Some Chinese behavior strikes westerners as strange and unfathomable, but it definitely is not.
It’s shark week…
Now and Then
Is there a basement?
It works where there is high-density housing without parking lots for cars. In Russia, you need something that will work in heavy snow and the trolly fits the ticket
For the Royal Flying Corps
Many branches of the British military were interested in the sidearms, but by the end of the Great War most of them were in the hands of the brand new Royal Air Force. In that role of a pilot’s weapon, it was sometimes fitted with an extended magazine and a brass catcher, a small wire cage fitted in place of one of the grip’s scales to catch empty shells as the gun ejects them rather than let them fall inside the cockpit and foul up the controls.
Four More, Barack
This might be the perfect breakfast sandwich:
Food from China
I avoid it. They’ve been far more clever lately, “truth in advertising” on the package is stretched to the limit. Food originating somewhere else and processed in China is food from China. I always suspect its purity.
Despite my careful inspection of labels, I love Chinese-style cooking and search diligently for Chinese food in the US. Having knocked around the Worker’s Paradise off and on for over twenty years, I’ve eaten food in China. Some of it would gag a maggot. Some of it is maggots. Some dishes are quite good.
Water buffalo is NOT beef. I don’t like finding a pigeon head in my soup, though I’ve heard that it’s good luck. I recall having baby scorpions (dead) in a rice dish in Shanghai. They weren’t bad, to be fair. But my general inclination is to pass on the bugs.
There is some really excellent Chinese-style cooking in the US. I don’t avoid it at all. Most of the ingredients are locally sourced. They are not shipped from the PRC.
Is China Joe, China’s Ho?
Fox News has reported another article to add to the pile of Joe Biden’s shady dealings with foreign superpowers for personal gain.
We know about Hunter Biden leveraging his father’s name for special treatment in China and Ukraine.
Americans remember Biden using Air Force 2 as his personal Brinks Truck, bringing Hunter along to close personal deals on taxpayer fuel and resources.
What many may not know about is the Biden Center that operates out of the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn).
Slow Joe nominated Amy Gutmann, the president of UPenn, to be the next US ambassador to Germany.
The Biden Center has been largely paid for by donations from China.
Between 2013 and last year, the university allegedly received tens of millions in undisclosed donations from China, according to the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative-leaning public ethics group. And the dollar totals dramatically increased after the school opened its Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.
The NLPC filed a complaint against UPenn last year, alleging $22 million in “anonymous” donations from the country for the Biden Center and $70 million from China in total.
Chinese donations for the Biden Center increased by nearly 400% the same year he announced his bid for President. The Biden Center opened in March 2017, about a year before Biden announced his 2020 presidential campaign. If you ask me what the difference is between Hillary jet-setting on the taxpayer’s dime, raking in billions for the Clinton Global Initiative, and the Biden Crime Family’s activities, in all fairness, there isn’t much. Clinton, or Biden, same general scam.
More from the Biden Crime Family
(Link) Hunter Biden memos on a laptop recovered by the FBI directly conflict with the congressional testimony of two key executives at a Democrat-connected firm who asserted they did not deal with the current president’s son while working for a Ukrainian energy firm where the younger Biden served on the board.
The questions about the testimony from Blue Star Strategies officials come as the Justice Department is reportedly investigating whether the firm violated the Foreign Agent Registration Act with its work contacting federal officials on behalf of the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings.
If you’re interested, follow the link to the article. It’s interesting, not surprising in the least. Will the US Justice Department follow the breadcrumbs back to Slow Joe and will that lead to impeachment for ‘high crimes?’ Don’t hold your breath.
Where is the Durham Report? Buried deep, no doubt.
Fear no Beer
After the invasion of Normandy, troops were in dire need of supplies. Although necessities were getting through, luxury items were not even on the list of things being considered. By luxuries we mean beer. An English brewing company by the name of Heneger and Constable offered free beer to the troops that just fought in Normandy. With the war in full swing, the only problem, and a major one, was getting it between the two places.
Since Spitfire Mk IX’s had pylons located under their wings, it didn’t take long for some creative minds to rig them and be able to attach beer kegs to them. External fuel tanks were also cleaned and filled with beer as well. The best part was that when these courier pilots landed, the beer was ready to drink. At cruise altitude, the beer was chilled by the outside air so as soon as the plane landed, it was time for a pint even if the sun wasn’t over the yardarm yet.
Have a Splendid Weekend
A Parting Shot
An Interesting Purchase
When the Soviet Union fell, the US took possession of the KGB’s archives. Some of you may be aware of that, some may not, but we “bought” them in their entirety and learned a great deal from that purchase.
Here are a few things that we learned:
(A) Biopreparat, the Soviet agency that ran a massive clandestine biological weapons program was disclosed. The US had no idea that it existed. USGOV worked with the then Russian successor to the USSR to demobilize those facilities.
(B) The 10th KGB General Directorate had the mission of protecting Biopreparat. The 14th General Directorate watched the 10th. The 14th had to spy and check up on the 12th General Directorate of the Ministry of Defence which was in charge of guarding nuclear weapons.
(C) The East German Stasi files were also turned over – and the Russians stuck it to the Germans one last time – revealing that at any one time, the East Germans had 200,000 agents (of various types – many of them sleeper agents) in Western Europe.
(D) The USAF had been hopelessly infiltrated by communists in the 1950s and 1960s. The US already knew this, but not the massive scale involved. The old joke that NATO defence information ended up in the Kremlin before it filtered down to the various NATO countries turned out to be true. Only nuclear planning had not been infiltrated or compromised.
(E) The US had not been able to keep anything a secret from the Warsaw Pact. It turned out they knew exactly what kind of weapons the US was developing and what the military capabilities were. It was clear counterintelligence had been a huge failure (the same applied to the other NATO countries as well).
(F) The Soviets did not plan on hitting most US cities with nuclear weapons, something military planners had suspected. Instead, they would have gone for the major conventional army and national guard bases. The idea was that food shortages and race riots might destabilize the US government. Since invading was never an option, internal strife was the only hope of bringing down the US government. Agitators would have been instrumental in trying to achieve this.
What didn’t happen then is happening now. All one needs to do to figure this out is to tune into CNN (Communist News Network).
(G) There had been a KGB plan to kill Pope John Paul II. It was abandoned as the Soviet Leadership feared a PR disaster and worldwide reprisals.
The Most Recent Sub Sunk – in Combat
USS Catfish (SS-339) was attacked and sunk by the British Royal Navy, except that she was the ARA Santa Fe (S-21) at the time. The Wikipedia write-up is a good one.
Falklands War – 1982
The ex-USN Baleo class Submarine (USS Catfish), a GUPPY type boat, renamed Santa Fe, supported the Argentine invasion by deploying Argentine SEALs/combat swimmers (Agrupación de Buzos Tácticos), who marked the beach for the main amphibious force.
After the invasion, Santa Fe returned to Mar del Plata, the Argentine submarine base. Agrupación de Buzos Tácticos is attached to Argentine submarine operations and is based at the same location.
There had been a decision not to use Santa Fe and her sister submarine San Luis against the British fleet. I’m not certain why that was, because both boats were quiet and could have potentially been effective.
On 12 April, Santa Fe was ordered to ferry Agrupación de Comandos Anfibios, (Argentine force recon marines) based at Puerto Belgrano, and supplies to Grytviken, in South Georgia. She departed from Mar del Plata in the early hours of 17 April. Santa Fe accomplished the resupply mission and landed the marines on 25 April.
Santa Fe departed South Georgia and ran on the surface. I have no idea why they would do that, but they did. The Wikipedia article covers the attack on Santa Fe in some detail. Suffice that British helicopters dropped depth charges on the surfaced submarine and damaged it severely, cracking a ballast tank. They also dropped a Mk 46 torpedo on it, which failed to hit. The damage caused the submarine to return to Grytviken. Santa Fe sank pierside because the hatches had been left open by the Argetine crew.
The British towed the submarine into deep water and scuttled her after the conclusion of the war.
Captioned Photo: Coming article on China – partially plagiarised, I think. It’s difficult for me to recall who told me what, when, and under what circumstances over the past twenty years. Coming Sunday, instead of the sermonette. Ok, it’s a sermonette (but not really a polemic). Yes, the photo is from Blade Runner.
Photo – Memory – Response
I was not born in Edinburgh, Scotland, but I grew up there in many ways. So when I view this photo, my immediate reaction is “home”. The castle dominates the city. I lived on the other (west) side of the castle. A friend from those days (his big sister was my girlfriend) called me on July 4 to wish me a happy Independence Day. Other friends from Scotland and England also called. It was nice and made a good day even better.
I moved around a lot in those days. Eventually returning to the US was not an easy thing for me because it meant being more responsible.
If you do her wrong, you’ll wear the ax…
Thank you, President Trump.
Australia’s Highway 1 – the longest highway in the world.
Quotes for our Time