Identify the AFV


Identify The Tank/self-propelled AT Gun


The Price of Gold and Silver

Last Friday:

For those of us who prefer to be paid in physical gold, there was little surprise in the market move. In this coming year either the Fed pivots too early and turns dovish before inflation is under control, or they pivot too late and cause a much bigger recession which will in turn necessitate the Fed having to rescue the stock market. In doing so, gold benefits tremendously.


My Youth,  Our Youth


Bullet Points:

* With approximately 13:13 left in the first half of a basketball contest between Old Dominion and Georgia Southern, an Old Dominion sophomore player named Imo Essien abruptly collapsed while playing defense. Essien appeared to be clutching his heart as lay down withering in pain.

* The Turks – being Turks

* The new Ukraine aid package will include 100 M113 Armored Personnel Carriers, 55 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles, 138 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, 18 self-propelled Howitzers, and 30 towed Howitzers. Additional ammunition is also part of the package, including 1,200 Remote Anti-Armor Mine Systems, RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missiles, and more ammo for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS)

* Fox News reported: M&M’s creator Mars will release “all-female” M&M’s candy packages for a limited time to honor women who are “flipping the status quo.”

The company announced the feminist-forward candy wrappers Thursday, saying it will exclusively display M&M’s female lesbian characters: the green, brown, and most recently introduced purple (ample body) M&M.

In addition to featuring the three female M&M’s on the wrappers, each package in this limited run will only include the corresponding green, brown, and purple candy-coated chocolates. The packages will feature the female M&M’s flipped upside-down to represent how women “are flipping how they define success,” according to PR Newswire.

* (below) Helmet of Anne de Montmorency, Marshal of France and Constable of France, pierced by the bullet, 16th c.

Died in 1567 when he refused to surrender in a battle despite this wound to the face and was shot in the back with a pistol by one Robert Stuart about whom little is known. Thus the artifact earns a “bullet point” here on Virtual Mirage.

* Multiple media outlets report local police and Border Patrol agents began an effort during the last week to remove and arrest migrants from the streets of El Paso ahead of FJB’s visit to the Texas-Mexico border. The roundup appears to be an attempt to set up a Potemkin Village that paints a much different picture of the El Paso humanitarian crisis of just two weeks ago.

* (UK) The unilateral decision by the Home Office to open up a migrant center in a hotel in a sleepy English village has been met with disbelief and outrage among the residents, who expressed fear over the prospect of hosting hundreds of asylum seekers…more here


Brewster F3A Corsair (photo of the day)


Meme of the Day


    • Yes indeed, the BMPT-62. Even a hermaphrodite T-62+BMP2 IFV can be very imposing if you don’t have any anti-armor capabilities. Thanks for the reference.

  1. The SPG is a Hungarian Zrinyi II close support SPG. Turran chassis with a 10.5cm howitzer.

    Though the first look at it, well, I thought “Semovente” and Italian, but, no, Hungarian. The white cross on a blue field said Hungarian and that’s the rabbit hole I followed.

    All those rivets, bad for crew, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

    Who knew downloading the manual for Advanced Squad Leader would pay out so well. Dammit, Avalon Hill, why’d you go TU before I got the cake together to purchase all the ASL stuff so I could fondle it and sort it and call it “My Precious”?

    • I have all of the AH board games…I don’t have anyone to play them with. Sometimes, but not often, I play myself and …win.

      And yes, of course, you’re correct.

      • There is a bastardized version called VASL (Virtual ASL) that requires you to have the physical components but you play on the computer. I guess you use the boards and counters to track and the computer to do all the weird calculation stuff. Supposedly.

        I, too, wished that AH or someone had/will make a computer-only version, either with AI or player-vs-player. Not having to thumb through the manual and do all the calculations would be nice and make the game go faster. Graphics don’t have to be weird, just graphics like the board and virtual counters and such.

        Dammit, now I want all over again.

  2. As to the helmet, you can proof a breastplate pretty easily, but helmets not so much. And you usually thin the backplate to compensate for the additional weight of the proofed breastplate. Sucked to be that guy that day.

  3. I was surprised by the size of the bullet hole in the helmet. I thought firearms of that era were larger caliber. A ball from a blunderbuss perhaps?

    Yet another reason not to buy M&Ms. Why do marketing people purposefully try to alienate half of their potential customers?

    • The idea of eating “lesbian M&Ms” off puts me more than those earmarked for obese women. Mars must know their market, catering to fat lesbians. I hope that the filling is not vagina-scented like a Paltrow candle.

        • It would be a windfall for Paltrow. She doesn’t do much acting anymore, does she?

          As a heterosexual male, I want to state for the historical record that I don’t object to vaginas. That said, flavoring M&Ms, candles, M&Ms that taste like a fat woman with questionable hygiene, and all are taking things way too far.

          • In September 2008, Paltrow launched the weekly lifestyle newsletter “Goop”. I can only opine that it has something to do with the candles. Maybe with the M&Ms for lesbian consumers?

          • Add in Lizzo with Paltrow as spokes-persons and those two could be the female version of Laurel and Hardy.

            I was taught this sort of banter was considered unkind therefore not of the Christian, but what does one do when the absurd is forced to become the norm, ignore their own demand and say nothing?

          • I’m not trying to be unkind. The blog tries to point out the facts and today, in the theater of the absurd, satire is impossible.

            The Babylon Bee scoops the NY Times all the time by posting what they thought was satire only to find out that it’s accurate.

          • Think about it:

            Fat kid and mousey girlfriend are regulars at the White House, launder $34 million in humanitarian aid to the democrat party helping them win the mid-term elections through cryptocurrency.

            Who’d believe that bullshit? Except it’s demonstrably true.

          • Exactly, when the crazy is constantly front and center it is not unkind to point out how far from God’s prescription they are, maybe with a little humor in the doing. Not wrong.

            Brother was back and forth with some new gal at the NY/NJ Port Authority, a client. She was explaining that he is now required to incorporate minority/woman owned businesses and SDBOV (Service Disabled Owned) shops into his company as subcontractors. This Woke gal was emphatic they are a certification requirement. He explained they don’t subcontract work, to which – unswayed by logic and facts – she said they must certify regardless. Yup…right off the cliff.

            Just discovered this; Colorado is now taxing the productive employees .45% on their gross for for the new Family Leave Act, or as I call it: Have a kid get everyone else to pay for it, which is presented this way by the Statehouse Dems:

            “Colorado employers and employees will both start contributing to the new FAMLI program.”

            “Contributing”? Must be the modern Lefty definition of the word, like “Recession”.

            Can’t fix the deluded…and that’s not being unkind when the outrageous force their idiocy on the rest of us as the new normal.

          • Paltrow can act? Who knew?

            That sleezy part she had in Flesh and Bone with James Caan and Dennis Quaid and Quaid’s ex what’s her name? Pretty sure that was no act.

          • Smart move…getting harder to “play not to lose” as the college educated insidious weirdo’s infiltrate everything, including foundational mores. ‘Whacked’ doesn’t begin to describe what we are being subject.

  4. The irony of the Brewster F3A is that it was actually an F4U-1, but since it was built by Brewster they had a separate designation. Also, the Brewsters had wing box issues (what a surprise), which cost them the contract, and few if any F3As actually saw any combat.

  5. 1. Au/$: a very good example of inverse ratio, but I just can’t understand why it’s taken so long. I just want to watch Vladimir Vladimirovich’ new gold-backed ruble
    2. M&Ms: I really used to enjoy them. now I’ll never be able to lick another without thinking of …
    3. migrant center: I’m so happy I live in the USA where our government would never ever consider doing somethiing like that to us.
    4. Helmet of Anne: I’ve got to think about that option the next time I’m called upon to remove a mandibular molar.

    • If the Russians can pull off the gold-backed ruble, they will need to have something in place that will allow currency owners to redeem the paper for gold outside of Russia.

      • “…redeem the paper for gold…”
        only for gold or will other precious metals do as well?
        maybe it’s just my imagination, but it looks as though Vladimir Vladimirovich has been selling a lot of platinum and palladium recently – in exchange for what I’m not exactly certain; not that I follow the precious metals market all that closely.

  6. What killed body armor was the inability of material science to keep up with the increasing power of the guns of the time. Which killed body from the 1600s up to late 1700s. Then SCIENCE came about and good reliable batches of steel began to become available, though at a price that made it expensive, but not very expensive.

    Though Napoleon’s cavalry had hardened breastplates that would stop pistol rounds and musket rounds from more than 25 yards away, and quite possibly as close as 10 feet.

    Those breastplates disappeared as the rifle-musket became more available and began to be the issue weapon rather than the custom specialist weapon.

    Then Bessemer and others all discovered how to make cheap steel in the 1850’s. Cheap, homogenous and reproduceable formulas for steel. That’s the gamechanger.

    There was bullet-proof breastplates, resistant to rifle-muskets, during the American Civil War of Northern Aggression. Able to stop full-charge loads from ‘modern’ rifle muskets at relatively close range. Worked like a charm. Sucked to march and run in them.

    Bullet-proof chest armor was available during the Spanish-American War that was resistant to Spanish Mausers and American Krags and Lee-Henrys. Again, not good for moving, but available.

    Bullet-proof chest and body armor was available before and during WWI. Again, not good for moving.

    It’s all about choosing movement over protection. I mean, conceivably one could wear body armor proof against .50BMG at relatively close range. You’d need to be mounted on something that’s powered and can absorb the shock, but you can make body armor proofed against it.

    • That’s a great overview. Never knew most of it. Thx.

      About 8 years back met a young Iraq war veteran (MrsPaulM was looking at his PTSD dog, which he trained)…if I recall correctly he was developing a thin ceramic “matrix” type body armor that would “dissipate” the projectile energy. Lightweight but effective. Curious if he ever got it done because I thought it would be a game changer.

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