Photo above: Airbus A-400M, used to deploy French parachute regiments, who have reinvented the star – last article on this blog post.
Welcome to your Sunday Sermonette – Isn’t it time for black people to give back? What about reparations?
The only question is how much should the descendants of hundreds of thousands of Union soldiers who died or were wounded to free negro slaves be paid by the descendants of the slaves who were freed.
Trends in US National Elections
How has your state has shifted?
Normally I don’t post the drivel from the angry negroes but I decided to do it here for shits and giggles. Many revolutionaries are in it to get laid, and apparently it works. Some of these morons go to school, some check into camps in the Middle East. Eldridge Cleaver did that, saw what it was actually about, came back to the US, a re-born conservative, joined the Mormon Church and fought against them. His story was an interesting one to review historically.
The Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement is a political movement dedicated to freeing people from bondage and building resistance in the United States. We situate our political movement in the context of the abolitionist struggle against slavery and continue in the tradition, from Nat Turner to the Black Liberation Movement. We believe the Civil War was never resolved and the system of slavery transitioned into the prison industrial complex. Our struggle today must begin from this starting point. Lastly, as revolutionary anarchists, the abolitionist struggle must be extended to the state and capitalism, the perpetrators of oppression. The revolutionary movement in the US today is at a cross roads, as fascist movements are expanding, and the state becomes increasingly authoritarian. The Rojava Revolution, in northern Syria, provides us with a model for revolution today with its foundation in communal and council based political organization and militant defense.
We will create networks for those facing detention, incarceration, deportation, or white supremacist violence to escape and live with dignity. We invite revolutionaries to help build a contemporary underground railroad, outside the reach of the state. Revolutionaries, social centers, and antifa groups that are already active can help build greater infrastructure of resistance to support those fleeing the state. From this foundation, we set the political framework for the next stages.
I would be OK, if they all jumped on that underground railroad and went to North Korea, Cuba, Myanmar, Central Africa or Syria to escape injustice in the US and I think that people would be happy to see them leave. Many of us would help them pack. But they’d need to leave their passports at the border. One way ticket – exit only.
The Marshall Plan
The Marshall Plan, also known as the European Recovery Program, was a U.S. program providing aid to Western Europe following the devastation of World War II. It was enacted in 1948 and provided more than $15 billion to help finance rebuilding efforts on the continent ($15 billion then was a lot more than it is now).
The French Re-Invent the Star
The French have been dealing with an Islamist insurgency in Mali for several years, now. They’ve decided to go retro by creating Vauban style star forts in Mali. And if you ask yourself WHY the French care so much about Mali, ask yourself where they get uranium for their reactors. Yes, Mali. French energy is 80% nuclear.
The country’s corruption, poverty, and recently, draught, have been feeding said insurgency. This week’s military coup will certainly not contribute in making the country any safer.
Bastion style fortifications did cope badly with modern artillery, leading then to be replaced by linear forts at the turn of the 19th century. However, low bastions are still good enough to defend against insurgents on foot or riding on Toyota pick-ups.
In pics: Small base is at Meneka. The larger one is at Labbezanga. Those bases were built by men of the 17th parachute engineers regiment (17e Régiment de Génie Parachutiste, or 17 RGP)
Ilyushin Il-2 Ground Attack Aircraft
The Ilyushin Il-2 or Shturmovik was a ground-attack aircraft produced by the Soviet Union in very large numbers during the Second World War (Great Patriotic War). With 36,183 units of the Il-2 produced during the war.
The Il-2 was designed by Sergey Ilyushin and his team at the Central Design Bureau in 1938. TsKB-55 was a two-seat aircraft with an armored shell weighing 700 kg (1,540 lb), protecting crew, engine, radiators, and the fuel tank. Standing loaded, the Ilyushin weighed more than 4,700 kg (10,300 lb), making the armored shell about 15% of the aircraft’s gross weight. Uniquely for a World War II attack aircraft, and similarly to the forward fuselage design of the World War I-era Imperial German Junkers J.I armored, all-metal biplane, the Il-2’s armor was designed as a load-bearing part of the Ilyushin’s monocoque structure, thus saving considerable weight. The prototype TsKB-55, which first flew on October 2nd, 1939, won the government competition against the Sukhoi Su-6 and received the VVS designation BSh-2 (the BSh stood for “Bronirovani Shturmovik” or armored ground attack).
The BSh-2 was overweight and underpowered, with the original Mikulin AM-35 1,022 kW (1,370 hp) engine designed to give its greatest power outputs at high altitude. Because of this it was redesigned as the TsKB-57, a lighter single-seat design, with the more powerful 1,254 kW (1,680 hp) Mikulin AM-38 engine, a development of the AM-35 optimized for low level operation. The TsKB-57 first flew on October 12th, 1940. The production aircraft passed State Acceptance Trials in March 1941, and was re-designated Il-2 in April. Deliveries to operational units commenced in May 1941. One of the first 1940 photographs of the Il-2 show it equipped with two MP-6 23 mm auto-cannons developed by Yakov Taubin. The MP-6 gun weighed 70 kg and developed an initial muzzle velocity of 900 m/s. It operated on the short recoil principle and had a rate of fire of about 600 rpm. In the early Il-2 prototypes, these guns were fed by 81-round magazines. In flight, these magazines sometimes became dislodged. Subsequently, in May 1941, development of the MP-6 gun was terminated and Taubin was arrested and summarily executed in October that year.
In early 1941, the Il-2 was ordered into production at four factories, and was eventually produced in greater numbers than any other military aircraft in aviation history, but by the time Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union on June 22nd, 1941, only State Aviation Factory 18 at Voronezh and Factory 381 at Leningrad had commenced production, with 249 having been built by the time of the German attack. Production early in the war was slow because after the German invasion the aircraft factories near Moscow and other major cities in western Russia had to be moved east of the Ural Mountains. Ilyushin and his engineers had time to reconsider production methods, and two months after the move Il-2s were again being produced. After threats by Stalin to increase production, Stalin’s notion of the Il-2 being ‘like bread’ to the Red Army took hold in Ilyushin’s aircraft plants and the army soon had their Shturmoviks available in quantity.
Maybe it’s easier to visualize as a “flying tractor”.
The first use in action of the Il-2 was with the 4th ShAP (Ground Attack Regiment) over the Berezina River days after German invasion began. The aircraft was so new that the pilots had no training in flight characteristics or tactics, and the ground crew no training in servicing or re-arming. The training received enabled the pilots only to take-off and land; none of the pilots had fired the armament, let alone learned tactics.
There were 249 Il-2s available in June 1941. In the first three days, 4th ShAP had lost 10 Il-2s to enemy action, a further 19 were lost to other causes, and 20 pilots were killed. By July, 4th ShAP was down to 10 aircraft from a strength of 65. Tactics improved as Soviet aircrews became used to the Il-2’s strengths. Instead of a low horizontal straight approach at 150 ft. AGL, the target was usually kept to the pilot’s left and a turn and shallow dive of 30 degrees was used. Although the Il-2’s RS-82 and RS-132 rockets could destroy armored vehicles with a single hit, they were so inaccurate that experienced Il-2 pilots mainly used the cannon. Another potent weapon of the Il-2s was the PTAB shaped charge bomblets (protivotankovaya aviabomba, “anti-tank aviation bomb”).
PTABs were first used on a large scale in the Battle of Kursk. The Il-2 was thereafter widely deployed on the Eastern Front. The aircraft could fly in low light conditions and carried weapons able to defeat the thick armor of the Panther and Tiger I tanks. In the Battle of Kursk, General V. Ryazanov became a master in the use of attack aircraft en masse, developing and improving the tactics of Il-2 operations in co-ordination with infantry, artillery and armored troops. Il-2s at Kursk used the “circle of death” tactic: up to eight Shturmoviks formed a defensive circle, each plane protecting the one ahead with its forward machine guns, while individual Il-2s took turns leaving the circle, attacking a target, and rejoining the circle. Ryazanov was later awarded the Gold Star of Hero of Soviet Union twice, and the 1st Assault Aviation Corps under his command became the first unit to be awarded the honorific title of Guards. In 1943, 26 Shturmovik sorties were conducted. About half of those lost during were shot down by fighters, the rest falling to anti-aircraft fire.
During the Battle of Kursk, VVS Il-2s claimed the destruction of no less than 270 tanks (and 2,000 men) in a period of just two hours against the 3rd Panzer Division. Perhaps the most extraordinary claim by the VVS’s Il-2s is that, over a period of four hours, they destroyed 240 tanks and in the process virtually wiped out the 17th Panzer Division. The 17th Panzer did not register any abnormal losses due to aircraft in the summer of 1943, and retreated westwards with Army Group South later in the year, still intact.
There is a lesson to be learned. If you claimed substantial kills, you received the Order of Lenin. If you didn’t, you were shot.
The main problem with the Il-2 was the inaccuracy of its attacks. Towards the end of war, the Soviets were able to concentrate large numbers of Shturmoviks to support their main offensives. The effect, however, was often more psychological than actual physical destruction of targets, particularly against dug-in and armored targets. While some attacks against large unprotected targets such as horse and truck convoys and railyards had devastating results, attacks against dug-in point targets were usually ineffective. The frequent duels between dug-in 20 and 40 mm AA guns and Il-2 attackers never resulted in the complete destruction of the gun, while many Il-2s were brought down in these attacks. The heavy armor of the Il-2 also meant that it would typically carry only comparatively light bomb-loads, which together with the poor accuracy of its attacks made it a far less deadly attack aircraft than contemporary Allied fighter-bombers such as the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and Hawker Typhoon.
Thanks to the heavy armor protection, the Il-2 could take a great deal of punishment and proved difficult for both ground and aircraft fire to shoot down. A major threat to the Il-2 was German ground fire. In postwar interviews, Il-2 pilots reported 20 mm (0.79 in) and 37 mm (1.46 in) artillery as the primary threat. While the fabled 88 mm (3.46 in) calibre gun was formidable, low-flying Il-2s presented too fast-moving a target for the 88’s relatively low rate of fire, only occasional hits were scored. Owing to a shortage of fighters, in 1941–1942, Il-2s were occasionally used as fighters. While outclassed by dedicated fighters such as the Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Focke-Wulf Fw 190, in dogfights, the Il-2 could take on other Luftwaffe aircraft with some success. While the Il-2 was a deadly air-to-ground weapon, and even a fairly effective interceptor against slow bombers and transport aircraft, heavy losses resulted from its vulnerability to fighter attack. Losses were very high, the highest of all types of Soviet aircraft, though given the numbers in service this is only to be expected.
In final summery, the aircraft was a piece of Russian flying junk, but they built 36,183 of them (allowing many German fighter pilots to rack up impressive kill records at their expense). The quality of pilot training was poor and most of the squadrons were directed by ground controllers who tightly choreographed what they should do. If you departed from the directions and survived the mission you would likely be shot and replaced. It was not a great time to be a Russian ground-attack pilot.
There is nothing new under the Sun.
Identify the Glider and the Tank
Answers at the bottom of this blog.
The Vought OS2U Kingfishers were assigned to battleships and cruisers to spot naval gunfire. When radar came along, they were repurposed to scout for U-boats while escorting convoys across the Atlantic Ocean. The problem came that the capital ship had to stop for a period of time to recover the Kingfisher, during which time they were vulnerable to a U-Boat’s torpedo.
The Brits need to put more stuff on it.
Is that the right handgun for her?
The Shadow Republic of the Roman Empire
HIstorian’s generally mark January 16th, 27 BC as the fall of the Roman Republic and rise of the Roman Empire, for on that day Octavian accepted the title “Augustus” and became the first Roman Emperor. However for the common Roman pleb it seemed as though little had changed and the Roman Republic was alive and well. After all there was still a Senate, which created and passed laws, and there were still elections. To most Romans, the traditions and ideals of the republic still remained in place. This attitude continued for decades and generations, perhaps even centuries. Little did the Romans know that they were living in a shadow republic where a shadow emperor pulled the strings behind closed doors (most of the time but not all of the time).
When Augustus came to power in 27 BC, he did not outwardly take the powers and identity of an emperor, in fact he rarely used imperial titles, instead preferring the title “Princeps” (first citizen). He lived in a simple house, wore simple clothing, and disdained wealth at every turn. Rather than being a divine ruler, he propagated the illusion that he was “first among equals” or that he was “more equal than everyone else”. He allowed the Senate to continue their legislative work and appeared to be as humble and non-assuming as possible. Of course, this was all a show to convince the Roman people that the republic had not fallen and that he was not an emperor, but in reality Augustus pulled all the strings and personally worked all the cogs of government. The vast majority of the powers held by the Roman state were controlled by him. Hence Augustus’ republic was not a republic at all, it was an empire camouflaged in republicanism.
This era of Rome’s shadow republic would become known as the “Principate” to historians. While the Emperor controlled most of the Roman government, the government continued to operate as usual to give the outward appearance of a functioning representative system. Elections were still regularly held in which citizens could vote for their senators and tribunes.
However the Emperor had to approve of all candidates. The Senate still debated and passed laws, however all laws passed by the Senate had to be approved by the Emperor. The Senate controlled judicial matters, but only at the behest of the Emperor. It was shadowy business to maintain the illusion that the Senate was in control. Often, when an Emperor disapproved of a certain law or policy, he would attend the senate debate or vote on the law. His mere presence was a signal to the Senate of his disapproval, and the Senate would act accordingly. Crossing or disobeying the Emperor had dire consequences, thus for the most part the Emperor usually got what he wanted. It’s is important to note however, that the Emperor, while powerful, was not all powerful. If the Emperor was a particularly lousy ruler, such as Caligula or Nero, the Senate could chose defy the Emperor’s decrees. For example, Caligula’s reign was fraught with instances were he and the Senate clashed over government matters. The Senate had the power to approve or disapprove of Emperors, and in the case of Nero stripped him of his power and declared him an enemy of the state. However, such actions were rare throughout the history of the Principate.
As Emperors came and went, more and more they assumed more powers and more authority, especially after civil wars and national emergencies. By the third century AD, the pretense of Rome being a republic was wearing very thin. Finally in 284, Diocletian became Emperor and assumed absolute power over Rome. The Senate was stripped of all legislative and judicial authority, and all pretenses of maintaining a republic were finally ended. In fact, the Emperor even became an almost god-like figure to the Roman people. This new era of absolute rule in the Roman Empire became known as the “Dominate”, and would characterize Roman politics until the eventual fall and collapse of the Western Roman Empire. The Dominate continued in the Eastern Roman Empire until the Byzantines adopted a feudalistic system during the Middle Ages.
Identify the Tank and the Glider – answer – British GAL. 49 Hamilcar Mk.I glider and American Light Tank M22 Locust
Frankly, the looters and arsonists are picking the wrong targets. There are much juicier targets than the shops on Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue.
The Star’s homes house a collection of the finest wares in the world, and they’re all ‘woke’, and wouldn’t mind if somebody paid them a visit, stole what they wanted and set the place on fire, would they? No.
A lot of stars are paying to promote looting and pillaging. They’d welcome a little more attention, because if there is one thing about Hollywood types, they are ATTENTION WHORES.
In fact, there is little that would be more ‘woke’ than traveling to various ghettos and handing out maps.
In New York City the DA won’t prosecute and they don’t require you to post bail if you’re caught. But we know that actors wouldn’t press charges anyway, would they? Of course not.
In Los Angeles they are significantly de-funding the police, so there’s not going to be anyone to catch you anyway.
I didn’t want to comment on the looting in Minneapolis before now because the predicate act for the discontent of the inner city went like this:
George Floyd, committed a felony by passing counterfeit US currency. I don’t know how much he had, and where else he’d passed it. but the Minneapolis police caught up with him. Reading the tea leaves, he was a big guy and didn’t go quietly. He may have had a panic attack. At some point, the police put him on the ground because he was resistant at some level. We’ll see that when the body cam footage is made public (if it ever is).
Police officers may use reasonable force. They didn’t gas Floyd, shock him with a taser, club him with batons or shoot him. They did put the big man on the ground.
We’ve all seen the photos and it looked bad. But the Postmortem showed that he was not asphyxiated, his neck was not broken. He likely had a heart attack while he was on the ground, struggling. He had a history of heart disease.
The police have a duty to care for a prisoner in custody and they failed in that responsibility. Because of that, one or more will be charged with manslaughter. Whether or not the manslaughter was voluntary or involuntary has yet to be determined, but it will likely be involuntary if they were following the department’s use of force guidelines.
This will disappoint the inner city people and progs who would like to see the police executed.
George Floyd shouldn’t have been out committing felonies by passing counterfeit currency. The Minneapolis Police Department should have taken better care of George Floyd. That doesn’t mean that he would not have had a heart attack or a stroke while in custody, but the police are not without significant blame. If he was in medical distress, they could have called paramedics. The looters were looting for the fun of it. They didn’t care about the 170 businesses they destroyed or about the deceased, George Floyd. It was an excuse to burn and steal.
George Floyd lost. He died.
The Minneapolis Police in general lost a police station. And somehow they retained a police officer who has regularly received sustained complaints of abusive behavior. Never a good idea.
The four officers involved in the poorly handled arrest of George Floyd lost their jobs, their careers and some may lose their freedom for a short term.
The getto city of Minneapolis lost businesses that will not return. People lost their livelihoods, people lost their homes when low income housing was burned. There won’t be neighborhood stores for the poor to shop at.
The poor neighborhoods lost effective police service. In the future officers will take their time responding to calls, allowing the George Floyds of this world to escape. The officers will take reports, and little more. The poorer the neighborhood, as a rule of thumb, the better off the poor are when the police aggressively pursue criminals. The police have a duty to care for an arrested person, but there is no legal duty to respond quickly, or to respond at all.
The Minneapolis Police Department will find it difficult to recruit the best and brightest. Not that they did that in the past, but it will be tougher in the future. The median salary at MPD is $60K/year. The starting pay is much lower. Morale will hit rock bottom after they abandoned a police station to rioters. They will be mocked by officers from other agencies. Removing the yellow stain will take decades. The qualified officers will lateral transfer elsewhere. The dregs that nobody wants will remain – and be promoted.
I spend at least four hours a day on the phone for work. I talk to people and they talk to me. I’ve noticed an international trend and I’ve bounced it off some people. The most colorful response to my request about Biden’s Handlers was, “It’s like nude leap-frog day at the queer bathhouse.” People hopeful of gaining benefits from a Biden presidency only have to pay-to-play and then insert themselves into the leap-frog game.
During the eight years of Obamanation it was pay-to-play. It’s how Obama went from being essentially penniless to being worth several hundred million dollars during two presidential terms. The Clintons kicked in as well and were able to send Hillary (SECSTATE) globetrotting around the world, bag in hand representing the US and the Clinton Global Initiative (now defunct that she’s out of power). In short, they did things the Chicago way.
Today, since Biden is essentially brain dead (but he can fog a mirror), his handlers are running for president. In some cases they are the same handlers who manage AOC.
Mexican Drug Cartels, Russian Oligarchs, all of China, and Iran, to name but a few, have primed the pump and crossed their fingers. They want to go back to the good old days.
This is how it worked four years ago. If you wanted access to Barack or Valerie Jarrett or some of the close influencers, there were about a dozen people who managed access. I knew one of them quite well. You took 50K in cash to the access managers (all Democrat Party Hacks) and would usually have to bring another $100K which would be handed off before you met with the great man. Unless you had a big problem, and the amount skewed upward from there.
Biden ran the vice presidency like his personal Individual Retirement Account, sending Hunter to Ukraine or China as the family bag man. You know those stories and I won’t re-hash them here.
I hear some of you asking yourselves what it would take to be an ‘access manager’. All you need to do is to become a Democrat Party hack. Once you’re trusted, the world flows to you. You will be named a fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics or at the New Politics Institute, a think tank of the New Democrat Network. You’ll be appointed to serve on the advisory board to nonpartisan organizations such as Why Tuesday? that encourages increased voter participation. Or You’ll get a fellowship to Media Matters, the Big George Soros organization that delivers talking points to the Donkeys in the media every day. Eventually you’ll found a consultancy. You may become a contributor on CNN (the most trusted name in news).
But wait, that’s not all!
You will consult with a number of leading non-profits and corporations, all of which will give to Black Lives Matter and Antifa liberally (after all you are a liberal). Corporations that you recognize such as. Humane Society of the United States, Planned Parenthood, the American Cancer Society, Best Friends Animal Society, Monster.com, Toyota, Daimler AG, SES Americom, Corning Inc., LabCorp, IBM, Lionsgate Films, Best Buy, McDonalds, Pepsi, and Wave Systems. All of them will pay you a princely amount to help them manage their danegeld.
But wait, that’s not all!
When you travel to foreign lands you will be treated by various heads of state as a visiting prince as you arrive in the Gulfstream 6 that they sent for you to travel in. Nothing is too good for you. Your particular sexual tastes will be indulged (in the extreme), the finest liquor, the best chefs in the world, and you’ll leave with new gold wrist watches, baubles and trinkets. Maybe a new Rolls Royce or Ferrari, depending on how you roll. They’ll be in the driveway of your mansion when you return, keys in the ignition, properly registered and insured.
But wait, that’s not all!
You’ll be invited to Hollywood parties, you’ll do drugs with your favorite stars and f&%k them if you want to. You’ll hobnob with luminaries of the entertainment world, media moguls, starlets, producers, and executives. Again, your particular sexual kinks will be indulged to an extent you never thought possible. You’ll be invited to the Academy Awards and while you won’t walk the red carpet, you’ll be there, in the back, with invitations to the right parties. You want to go to Epstein’s Island (back before he was whacked), your seat is reserved.
And you don’t even have to be a politician or kiss a baby. Write the proper words for the teleprompter (which Barack couldn’t live without and neither can Joe) and give them gilded paperwork to sign.
So you can see that these access managers have a stake in keeping their jobs
Bikers for Trump
Trump-supporting Bikers have agreed to ride once more. This time in an effort to liberate the illegal ANTIFA occupation of Seattle’s Capital Hill neighborhood, now called CHAZ. If the police won’t do it, the bikers vow to set things right. On Independence Day. Let’s face it, it gives them something to do other than hang out at a BBQ.
The siege may be lifted first, but don’t count on it. Worst case, watch the events unfold on your flat screen while YOU are BBQing. Social distancing and the plague seem to be in the r/v mirror.
Begging for Soy in Antifastan (Spectator)
In Robert Heinlein’s I WILL FEAR NO EVIL, he predicted the absence of police in ‘Abandoned Areas’ where no police went, save in armored cars, and as creative as Heinlein was, he wasn’t prescient enough to call this dystopian urban wilderness, CHAZ.
I encourage you all to read the article from The Spectator, cited above, and take note of the historical reference.
From one of the denizens of the new jurisdiction, who goes by the brilliantly unattractive Twitter handle of @anarchomastia (who we are given to believe is a person of, shall we say, exotic tastes in sexual behavior and gender):
The homeles [sic] people we invited took away all the food at the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.
We need more food to keep the area operation. please if possible bring vegan meat substitutes, fruits, oats, soy products, etc. – anything to help us eat
CHAZ, the race-free, police-free, genderless home of free-food and free college education utopia.
One delightful side benefit to the progressive anarchist “independent nation” is that they selected the most progressive, leftist neighborhood in Seattle to occupy. Now the gender ambiguous rich Democrats who live(d) in Capitol Hill will get a taste of what they’ve been begging for, for so long. Except that the vermin now want to eat THEIR food and live in THEIR homes. I wonder if that will change a few attitudes? I wonder if they’re enjoying the summer of love as their property values plummet and their insurance costs soar?
Maybe the rich progressives who live(d) in the newly occupied zone will take up a collection to feed the mob in perpetuity? It would be the progressive thing to do.
When Will He Endorse?
Barack Hussein Obama (aka Barry Soetoro) is not popular on this blog. However, popularity notwithstanding, there is the nagging question that President Trump raised… What does Barack know that is holding him back from endorsing his former Vice President, creepy, corrupt, senile, old Slow Joe Biden?
I know that President Trump may be trolling, and the Chinese Plague will slow everything up, but he’s very been very slow to help his old buddy.
I need to write a book for our times called, “How to Make Money by Being a Government Informant”. It would be an instant best seller. I might ever get a daily slot on CNN giving helpful advice to would-be rats.
When you think about it, there’s considerable historical precedent for it.
Jesus Sought for Questioning?
(Babylon Bee) Roman authorities seek Jesus for violating the stay-in-tomb order!
Somebody did a study on the color of blue jeans (Levis) that people prefer, by US State. I had no idea that the color varied so widely, but it’s Friday, and I don’t want to overwhelm you with things …yet.
I’m going to complain for a moment on the high cost of life. Ok, it’s nothing like living in the UK or Europe, so indulge that caveat if you will. But it’s still expensive to live. Let me throw down a few examples: Car Insurance. I have USAA and it’s a great company with great rates and they treat you VERY WELL. Better than I’ve ever been treated by an insurance company, but the premiums are still high for 4 vehicles with a perfect driving record. Then a rock smacks into the windshield and creates an immediate unrepairable crack. I’m loath to make a glass claim, but the cost of a new windshield (with labor) is nearly $700.00. It’s zero deductible and they send a guy all the way to the White Wolf Mine to repair it – I would have driven to somewhere. I’m not angry, I don’t begrudge parts and labor. But it drives home the point that I have to keep my rates ridiculously high. I just raised them and winced when I did. But ANYTHING to do with a car, even a minor thing, is near or over $1,000. And don’t get me started on everything else. Ok, on with the blog.
Just because you can, doesn’t necessarily mean that you should.
Donkeys – doing what Donkeys do.
When you burn your neighborhood stores, they won’t be rebuilt if insurance companies won’t underwrite the project. But the BLM people neither care, nor do they look ahead. They’re a terrorist Marxist organization. The welfare of black people is the very last thing that they are after.
The US divided into 55 commuter regions
US-Mexico border homicide rates per 100k people per year
The California Wasteland
Some people are shocked that California is starting to look like a third world nation. Of course they blame President Trump.
The “Green New Deal” energy philosophy is delivering the sort of power to California that one would expect. Rolling black outs have become the “new normal”. And because they want to blame President Trump for wildland fires, the Democrats are lighting them (along with rioting). A friend recently asked me whether Californians are all insane. I said that they are not. There are a lot of really nice, smart, polite Republicans left there, but they are in the minority in the inner cities where the rot has taken hold.
This is for Beans
If you’re thinking of gifting something to somebody who would appreciate it, think no further. I believe that I could use a Ferret as a ranch vehicle…and to support local efforts to keep the great unwashed masses in line. Buy here. I prefer the Mark 2/3 with the turret, but any model will do.
I first came into contact with this cool little scout car in Northern Ireland:
The Ferret armored car, also commonly called the Ferret scout car, is a British armored fighting vehicle designed and built for reconnaissance purposes. The Ferret was produced between 1952 and 1971 by the UK company Daimler. It was widely adopted by regiments in the British Army, as well as the RAF Regiment and Commonwealth countries throughout the period.
An ambitious American manufacturer could start building them for American domestic use (in private hands) during the “troubles” here. I mean, if the government is going to defund the police, we’ll need to start commuting in these.
There are variants to the basic armored car”
Mk 1 – (FV701C) No turret
Mk 2 – 2-door turret from Alvis Saracen APC
Armament .30 Browning MG
Mk 2/3 – rebuilt to new specification
Armament .30 Browning MG
Mk 4 – (FV711) Reconnaissance vehicle with 2-door turret from Alvis Saracen APC
Ferret Armored Car Specifications
Weight 3.7 t
Length 12 ft 2 in (3.7 m)
Width 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Crew 2 (commander, driver)
Main armament – 7.62×51mm NATO GPMG
Engine Rolls Royce B60 Inlet over Exhaust I6 petrol
130 hp (97 kW)
Power/weight 35.1 hp/ton
Drive train 4×4
Operational range -190 mi (310 km)
Speed 58 mph (93 km/h)
That baby would look mighty good with an Arizona license plate on it.
15 things police officers wish the public knew about policing. Unfortunately, most of what most people know about cops is from watching television.
1. USE OF FORCE ISN’T PRETTY.
People have been conditioned by TV to believe that a properly trained police officer of any size can take down a person of superior size and strength, quickly, almost effortlessly, without the use of weapons, and without any injury to either party. This is not true. Few cops are expert martial artists. The defensive tactics training they receive is fairly perfunctory. Struggles often result in injured joints, lacerations, concussions and other injuries to both parties. There is lots of cursing and screaming involved. The cops usually win, but only because they can get enough cops on the scene to overwhelm the adversary.
2. MOST COPS NEVER SHOOT ANYONE.
Very few cops will fire their sidearms outside of the pistol range at some time in their career (more if the cop works in a rural area where having to “dispatch” wounded animals is common). Some might go months without taking the gun out of the holster.
3. COPS WILL GO TO EXTREMES TO AVOID SHOOTING PEOPLE.
My personal experience is that, about once a month, I would encounter a situation where I would have been legally justified in shooting someone. I did that only once, so all the other times, I found some other way of resolving the situation. Casual research tells me my experience is not unique. Most cops have ample opportunities to shoot people, but they choose not to do so.
4. THE PEOPLE AT THE TOP OFTEN DON’T HAVE A LOT OF PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE.
There are exceptions, but most cops who become chiefs, sheriffs, or other high-ranking officers spend most of their career paving the path to promotion. They spend a brief time as working cops, then transfer to a non-enforcement job, where they stay until they get their first promotion. They never truly understand the job, and the cops they oversee don’t identify with the brass, or the brass with the cops.
5. PTSD IS REAL AND COMMONPLACE.
A cop may have a bad time after he’s involved in a shooting, but the traumatic incident could just as well be a nasty car crash, a fight, or a rescue that didn’t end well. Anyone who can say truthfully that they are never bothered by such things is probably a sociopath. Cops who seek mental health treatment are often viewed suspiciously by their superiors. Those guys didn’t spend enough time on the street to experience anything that bothered them, and they believe that anyone who is bothered is probably unstable.
6. THERE IS LOTS OF STRESS, BUT NOT THE KIND YOU MIGHT THINK.
Most of the stress comes from the police station, not the street. Law enforcement agencies are extremely political. Who likes you or who you’re friends or relatives with has a lot more to do with the progress of your career than how good you are at your job. “Management by intimidation” is a common technique. From a human resources perspective, law enforcement agencies are horrible places to work.
7. THERE AREN’T ALL THAT MANY BIGOTS.
There are some, of course – in a cohort of close to a million people, some of them will be biased. You can get fired for expressing those feelings, so they tend not to last long. Most cops don’t especially care what color you are, what religion you practice, what country your ancestors came from, how much money you have, or what your sexual orientation is. Cops see every kind of person, often at the worst moments of their lives. They know there are good and bad people in every category. They do have a strong bias against jerks, so don’t be one of those.
8. SOME OF OUR BROTHER (AND SISTER) OFFICERS EMBARRASS US.
With the possible exception of field training officers, cops don’t have a lot of input to who gets hired and who is retained on their agency. Everyone knows somebody who is reckless, immature, lazy, dishonest, or just dumb. When these people are allowed to keep being cops, it’s usually because they are politically connected, and reporting them for a transgression will almost always backfire on you.
9. YOUR “MY FAVORITE POLICE ENCOUNTER” STORY IS NOT UNIQUE.
On learning someone is a police officer, most people will immediately relate their most memorable contact with the police. It’s usually a traffic stop, as that’s how most people encounter the police. Your new friend will smile and nod politely, but he’s silently waiting for it to be over. It’s nothing he hasn’t heard before.
10. THERE ARE FEW UNIVERSAL RULES OR POLICIES.
I have lost count of how many questions I have seen on Quora along the lines of, “How much over the speed limit can I go before I’ll get stopped?” and, “What do I say to get out of getting a ticket?” People want to believe there is some industry-wide practice they can exploit to aid them in violating the law. There are over 800,000 law enforcement officers in the United States, and each one of them is a unique person. Their employers seldom impose a formal policy of allowing drivers to exceed the limit by X miles per hour. This is most often left up to the individual.
11. IT’S SELDOM PERSONAL.
Few cops start their day looking for a particular person, or even a particular class of people to stop. Cops see violations of the law and suspicious circumstances, and they are encouraged by their employers to intervene. If you got a ticket or got arrested, it’s probably because you broke the law, not because the cop didn’t like you or you are a member of some targeted group. If this happens to you a lot, you might want to stop blaming the variables and consider the constant instead.
12. BECOMING A COP IS HARDER THAN YOU THINK.
Some agencies have to collect over 100 applications to get one viable hire. Some of those hires won’t make it through the police academy. Some who do won’t complete field training. About half of new hires leave law enforcement within five years. Mainly because of anti-police sentiment, it’s more difficult to recruit new cops than ever before. You might want to think that people become cops because they’re too stupid or lazy for real jobs, but you’re fooling yourself. Chances are, you couldn’t make the grade.
13. TELEVISION DOES NOT REPRESENT LAW ENFORCEMENT ACCURATELY.
Most of what most people know about cops is from watching television. This is why people believe that every arrest must be immediately followed by a Miranda warning, that there is a team of FBI agents who fly to crime scenes in an executive jet and solve the case within days, that detectives in one major PD can move to another, distant major PD and instantly resume being detectives, that crime scene investigators collect evidence, identify the suspects, interrogate the suspects, and make the arrests (no one seems to care what the detectives are doing), and that cops who are involved in shootings are back at work the next day.
14. WE WISH YOU WOULD STOP TELLING YOUR CHILDREN WE WILL ARREST THEM IF THEY AREN’T GOOD.
The day may come, God forbid, that your child is separated from you and doesn’t know where to turn. You’ll probably call the police if this happens. Do you want your child to look for a police officer to help him, or hide from the police because he is afraid he will go to jail?
LL, standing next to seized narcotics (7-12-2000)
15. YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND POLICE WORK.
This applies even if your father, mother, sibling, or next-door-neighbor was a cop. Until you have actually done the job for a few years, you will never understand what it’s actually like.
At Minneapolis PD
Minneapolis PD, 1867-2020
46 officers put in their papers for early retirement. 14 police officers quit. Everyone else is looking to lateral to another police or sheriff’s department if anyone will take them. The common theme is, “you’re on your own”.
So maybe the city’s problems are solved. They can hire social workers to respond to 911 calls the way they have said that they want to.
What could possibly go wrong?
And to the progressive folk who live in the city, I hope you enjoy watching property values decline and insurance rates skyrocket.
CW, The Older Years
A shameless plug for CW at the Daily Timewaster
I’ve stayed here at the Ladera Hotel on St. Lucia. The hotel is very nice, as are many resorts on the island. But the island itself has a lot of very poor people (ghetto island in many respects). Best stay on the resort property if you visit. Not that it’s difficult to hang out and not leave.
Nothing Has Changed Since Day One
This is the message of your Sunday Sermonette
Free States vs Not Free States
With the coming of riots, which followed murder hornets, and will be succeeded by flesh eating zombies, you can go back to Corona if you’d like. Stay thirsty.
Somebody Else riding a Ducati Diavel
You can do a wheelie in fourth gear without much effort.
Social distancing – on The Strip – in Las Vegas, Nevada?
Have you seen the photos? The Strip is DARK. It would be a great time to shoot futuristic dystopian movie about how the world went dark as the result of a Chinese biowarfare experiment that escaped containment that they blamed on bats…
With the exception of on-line gaming, which isn’t all that fun unless you’re one of those people who is also inclined to wager on which fly buzzes off the cheesecake first, the engine that fuels Nevada is a social distancing nightmare.
The State of Nevada earns gaming revenue from three sources:
For the past three years under Trump, Nevada has been making money hand over fist and the state established a rainy day fund just in case something happened. It happened, and despite the gaming industry being included in the congressional bail-out, Nevada will be squeezed like a grape.
In Las Vegas (the Temple of the Living Elvis) a billion dollars changed hands every twenty minutes. It doesn’t anymore. It used to.
The economy will come back, but will people be comfortable crowing into theaters to see an aging music artist or show the way that they used to? People have short memories, but are they short enough to keep the gaming/entertainment/food and beverage business alive in Nevada?
For now, the gaming industry is still sending checks to furloughed workers, but how long will that last?
I used to consult with the Nevada Gaming Control Board on money laundering and taught a few classes on the subject. What will the money launderers do? What will the hookers do? What will happen to the underground economy that kept a lot of money moving, changing hands (a billion every twenty minutes) in The Temple of the Living Elvis?
Winchester Deluxe Model 1876 that belonged to John “Liver Eating” Johnson.
The boundaries of fact and fiction regarding the life and times of John “Liver Eating” Johnson have blurred, creating the ultimate mountain man legend immortalized in pulp fiction and the character of “Jeremiah Johnson” in the 1972 film starring Robert Redford.
He was born John Garrison but changed his name to John Johnston after deserting from the U.S. Navy around the time of the Mexican-American War. When spelling his name period newspapers often dropped the T, so he became John Johnson.
Much of his life was spent in Montana and Wyoming, trapping. He was the town marshal of Telluride (To-hell-you-ride) Colorado during it’s rougher years. His final days, however, were in a veteran’s home in a small California town. A campaign led by twenty-five 7th graders in the 1970s resulted in his remains at a California cemetery to be relocated to a gravesite in Cody, Wyoming.
The story behind the nickname “Liver Eating” is perhaps best summarized by a contemporary writer: “They killed his wife and burned down his house; then Liver Eating Johnson hunted them down and ate them.” In 1847, his pregnant wife, a member of the Flathead American Indian tribe, was brutally murdered by a raiding party of Crow Indians. The death of his wife set Johnson on a vengeance campaign against the Crow. By some accounts Johnson killed 300 Crow Indians. From those he killed he devoured their livers. The eating of the liver was an insult to the Crow who believed the liver as vital for the deceased to make it to the afterlife. By removing and eating the liver, Johnson was denying his Crow victims peace in death.
He was not a man to be insulted or wronged, nor a man to have hands laid on him without recourse. At 6’5″ and somewhere around 300 lbs., he was said to be a handful in a fight, and unruly when liquored up.
DRJIM, the Older Years?
The People’s Republic of China found yesterday that their strategic supply of face masks has been depleted and they moved to remedy the situation by nationalizing (and scrutinizing) the production of both surgical and N95 face masks. This will control how many masks are retained in China and how many will be available for overseas customers. It will clearly impact my newly minted business.
Rogue Wuhan? The Chinese in Space?
(h/t Searaigh) People have dire predictions for the future of mankind as China decides to move into space and eat everything including Baby Yoda.
Is outer space the ultimate wet market? Can the madness be stopped? Is there another virus out there that can blunt the relentless feeding attack of the People’s Republic of China? Watch the video.
It’s Slow Joe
The DNC paid Bernie off and the path to the nomination is clear for Slow Joe Biden, the senile, corrupt, creepy, former vice president. Some of the Democrats are calling for NY Gov. Cuomo to be Biden’s running mate despite Joe’s promise to tag a woman for the #2 slot. That’s not really a problem for the DNC. Cuomo can self identify as a male lesbian or as a woman and Joe’s promise can be made good. After all, isn’t gender just a construct. Cuomo already has pierced nipples. Doesn’t that count for something?
Editing Viruses (and engineering them)
OriGene, a US company headquartered in Rockville, MD, appears to have been the originator of the tool of choice used by the Chinese Bioweapons Laboratory embedded within the Wuhan Virology Institute. I called Thursday in preparation for this piece and they hung up on me. I called again, and spoke to somebody higher in the food chain and they said that they were at the cutting edge of creating a cure for COVID-19, which may be true. They build tools.
I’m not blaming OriGene, providing that they supplied the Communists with gene editing equipment as has been suggested. There was no law against it and that brings into question the USA and the protection of the public from an enemy nation… Presidential aspirant Slow Joe Biden took a $1.5 billion gift from the Communists, but the mainstream media won’t discuss THAT.
(From the website) CRISPR/Cas9, is an RNA-guided targeted genome editing tool which allows researchers to do gene knockout, knockin SNPs, insertions and deletions in cell lines and animals. The CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing system requires two components: Cas9, the endonuclease, and a guide RNA (sgRNA) which guides Cas9 to a specific location in the genome sequence. With the protospacer-adjacent motif (PAM – the sequence NGG) present at the 3′ end, Cas9 will unwind the DNA duplex and cleave both strands upon recognition of a target sequence by the guide RNA.
Did the Communist Chinese blend COVID with HIV RNA as has been alleged in publication after publication? It’s likely. It also explains their reluctance to alert the world when they learned of the release.
I’ve asserted this many times and will do it once more (for the record). Any genetic testing laboratory in China will also have a military application. That is how they roll. It’s how they have always operated. And they view anyone not in the People’s Republic of China (and many ethnic minorities in the PRC) as enemies.
It’s time that we behave as if they are an enemy to the United States and to the world. (more here on Chinese Espionage)
The Advice Corner – Not quite Dear Abby.
Don’t worry about what I’m doing. Worry about why you’re worried about what I’m doing. If everybody likes you, you have a serious problem.
Some people never are able to go crazy. What horrible lives they must lead. – C. Bukowski
If you can’t imagine her throwing a Molotov cocktail, I don’t think that she’s the right girl for you.
I think that’s enough advice for the moment.
The World’s Oldest Complaint Letter
This is the oldest surviving letter of complaint, from ancient Sumeria in 1750 BC. Found in the ruins of the ancient city of Ur in modern day Iraq, it is addressed to a man called Ea-Nassir and bemoans his business practices. It offers us a glimpse into the every-day life not of a king or a conqueror – but that of an ordinary man, who lived almost 4000 years ago. The account underscores that though things have changed, people are still people. Same problems, same issues, still people.
Is The Marine Corps Still Reliable?
There are some American institutions that I always felt would stand by the Constitution, and the American people. The Marine Corps is the first on that list.
No, I’m not suggesting that they should drag step down Pennsylvania, bayonets fixed, and spit looters and arsonists. It would be cool, but that is not their job.
Retired Generals Mattis and Kelly throw some question as to where the Marine Corps stands today. Does it stand with the People and the Constitution or does the leadership have another agenda? I seriously don’t know. Maybe Marines who read this blog could share their views?
The Progressive Left Speaks
We The People…
Or in other words…
I read an article recently that described how the toilet paper industry is split into two, largely separate markets: commercial and consumer.
The pandemic has shifted the lion’s share of demand to the latter. People actually do need to buy significantly more toilet paper during the pandemic — not because they’re making more trips to the bathroom, but because they’re making more of them at home. With some 75% of the U.S. population under stay-at-home orders, Americans are no longer using the restrooms at their workplace, in schools, at restaurants, at hotels, or in airports.
Georgia-Pacific, a leading toilet paper manufacturer based in Atlanta, estimates that the average household will use 40% more toilet paper than usual if all of its members are staying home around the clock. That’s a huge leap in demand for a product whose supply chain is predicated on the assumption that demand is essentially constant. It’s one that won’t fully subside even when people stop hoarding or panic-buying.
The industry can’t just flip a switch. Shifting to retail channels will require new relationships and contracts between suppliers, distributors, and stores; different formats for packaging and shipping; new trucking routes — all for a bulky product with lean profit margins.
Toilet paper is a high volume/low value item. The industry runs on extreme efficiency, with mills built to work at full capacity around the clock even in normal times. That works because demand is typically so steady.
There is a concern in the world of toilet paper manufacture and distribution: If toilet paper manufacturers spend money now to refocus on the retail channel, they’ll face the same problem in reverse once people head back to work again.
“The normal distribution system is like a well-orchestrated ballet,” said Willy Shih, a professor at Harvard Business School. “If you make a delivery to a Walmart distribution center, they give you a half-hour window, and your truck has to show up then.” The changes wrought by the coronavirus, he said, “have thrown the whole thing out of balance, and everything has to readjust.”
The Virtual Mirage Search Engine is there at the top of the page (or will be soon after this posts) for your benefit. It is an anonymous search engine. There is no way for anyone to backtrack you when you use it. You may know that Google is tracking you, but most people don’t realize the extent of their efforts to learn YOU.
Why Does Google Track You
Unlike searching here on Virtual Mirage, when you search on Google, they keep your search history forever. That means they know every search you’ve ever done on Google. That alone is pretty scary, but it’s just the shallow end of the very deep pool of data that they collect on people. What does Google share with the government? What does it buy?
Even if you don’t use any Google products directly, they’re still trying to discover as much as they can about you. It’s all in the code. Google trackers have been found on 75% of the top million websites. This means they’re also trying to track everywhere you go on the internet, chewing through your browsing history.
Most people also don’t know that Google runs most of the ads you see across the internet and in apps – you know those ones that follow you around everywhere? Google stopped being a search company anymore – they’re a tracking company. And they bring in many billions of dollars every year as they do it. They are tracking as much as they can and you see examples in annoying and intrusive ads, including recording every time you see them, where you saw them, if you clicked on them, etc.
If you do use Google products, they track you even more intensely. In addition to tracking everything you’ve ever searched for on Google, they also track every video you’ve ever watched on YouTube. Many people actually don’t know that Google owns YouTube; now you know.
And if you use Android, also owned by Google, then Google is also usually tracking:
If you use Gmail, they of course also have all your emails and contacts. If you use Google Calendar, they know schedule. There’s a pattern here: For all Google products (Hangouts, Music, Drive, etc.), you can expect the same level of tracking; that is, pretty much anything they can track, they will.
If you use Google Home, they also store a live recording of every command you (or anyone else) has ever said to your device! Yes, you heard that right – you can check out all the recordings on your Google activity page.
They will track everything you do on the internet. Even if you tell them to stop tracking you, Google has been known to not really listen, for example with location history.
You Become the Product
Why does Google want all of your information anyway? Simple: as stated, Google isn’t a search company anymore, they’re a tracking company. All of these data points allow Google to build a robust profile about you. In some ways, by keeping such close tabs on everything you do, they may know you better than you know yourself.
The result of all that tracking is that Google uses your personal profile to sell ads, not only on their search engine, but also on over three million other websites and apps. Every time you visit one of these sites or apps, Google is following you around with hyper-targeted ads, trying to influence your behavior.
It’s exploitative. By allowing Google to collect all this info, you are allowing hundreds of thousands of advertisers to bid on serving you ads based on your sensitive personal data. Everyone involved is profiting from your information, except you. You are the product.
The Myth of “Nothing to Hide”
Some may argue that they have “nothing to hide,” so they are not concerned with the amount of information Google has collected and stored on them, but that argument is fundamentally flawed for many reasons.
Everyone has information they want to keep private: Do you close the door when you go to the bathroom, or cover your windows when it gets dark? Privacy is about control over our personal information. We don’t want it in the hands of everyone, and certainly don’t want people profiting on it without our consent or participation.
In addition, privacy is essential to democratic institutions like voting and everyday situations such as getting medical care and performing financial transactions. Without it, there can be significant harm.
On an individual level, lack of privacy leads to putting people into a filter bubble, getting manipulated by ads, discrimination, fraud, and identity theft. On a societal level, it can lead to deepened polarization and societal manipulation as we’ve unfortunately been seeing multiply in recent years.
You Can Live Google Free. Start by clearing your Google search history. It might feel like you are trapped in the Google-verse, but it is possible to break free.
For starters, just switching the search engine for all your searches goes a long way. After all, you share your most intimate questions with your search engine; at the very least, shouldn’t those be kept private?
Virtual Mirage is just a blog, not a billion dollar machine that wants to spy on you. It’s also not the only anonymous search engine, but for those of you who frequent this blog, I can assure you that it’s free to use and free of spyware. And it’s part of this blog, which is evolving to be of more value to you as you visit.
-Larry Lambert, Happy Jack, Arizona, April 2020