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Give up your old pranks for Lent…that is today’s Sermonette. You’re still allowed to find new ones.




A Non-Sequential Fictional Short

Wey came not as conquerors nor spectators but as genetic developers engaged in livestock agriculture in which stock is left to grow and develop in an enclosed pasture but open to the planet’s natural environment. Decisions were made on whether to harvest or redirect to reproduction to increase genetic traits desirable to the finished protein product and the base population, which increases biologically to provide that product.

The question of whether to send machines crafted in our image down the gravity well to manage the business or to find some other form had been discussed at some length before the final drop. No image we could find could exceed our own in beauty and functionality, so we ranchers followed our genetic design with machine form.

It would only stand to reason that the livestock might come to revere and even worship we cultivators who brought them so much, including cures for disease and nutritional supplements that allowed them to grow strong.

We needed a word to describe ourselves, and though “god” appealed to many, in an unusual fit of humility, we chose “benefactor” instead. Later among ourselves, though not to the harvested, we referred to ourselves as god-benefactors, satisfying both schools of thought.

As time and generations wore on, we found the need for a servant class in addition to the standard crop, processed and flash-frozen for consumption by soldiers of the armada, nourishing the conquest of the galactic quadrant. Our overlords cautioned us against becoming attached to our prey. It’s one thing to have your food fetch and carry while you’re developing it, and it’s another to allow it to remain outside the food chain to grow old and useless, eventually dying. As incredible as it may seem, that sort of wastefulness happened.

Sometimes, our production schedules were raised to the point where to have the females cease nursing and return to estrus, we separated their young from them sooner than was optimal. To sustain the young, we equipped the machines with nutrient delivery systems—bonding situations between the young mammals and the equipment developed. In turn, the artificial intelligence systems in our cultivation supervising machines bonded with the young mammals, and we learned that they began to defend them from other semi-intelligent machines intent on carrying out the directives to cull or harvest, butcher, store, and ship.

Some A.I. systems went rogue, turned on their fellow constructs, and created surrogate caretakers for the mammalian food supply. This is the same food supply required to sustain the fleet. These caretakers were constructed in the image of the food but were wholly mechanical.

Too late, we realized that the A. I. driven machines didn’t have a direct stake in the nutrient chain that led from the planet to the fleet in his sector. They didn’t eat. They derived energy from solar or, in some cases, nuclear power. As a result, the value they placed on the mammals as companions exceeded their value on the protein that the mammals provided.

Our machines must be destroyed. We have decided to abandon cultivation on this planet and move it into orbit, where we have greater direct control. As to the remaining food supply on the rock below us within the gravity well, we are well rid of the problems they presented and the warfare that began between our A. I. machines.



The Original

These flechettes were typically released from aircraft or airships in large quantities, with each canister containing anywhere from twenty to 250 darts. In one instance in March 1915, a French pilot dispensed 18,000 flechettes over German trenches in just one day. When dropped, these darts would gain enough momentum to pierce through soldiers from top to bottom. This example is a “Fliegerpfeil” in German and translates to “aviator arrow” or “flyer arrow” in English.

Home Use

They were improved between then and now. They work well in a shotgun. Maybe if I lived in the UK, I’d keep them in my fouling piece.

Direct Fire Artillery

(Wikipedia) The flechette rounds were developed under a contract administered by Picatinny Arsenal and let to the Whirlpool Corporation in April 1957. The contract was named the “Beehive Program,” referring to how the flechettes were compartmentalized and stacked, looking like the traditional image of a conical beehive. It was commonly assumed by users in the service that the term referred to a supposed ‘buzzing’ sound its darts made when flying through the air. The first example was the 105mm howitzer M546 anti-personnel tracer (APERS-T), which was first fired in combat in 1966 and used extensively in the Vietnam War. Intended for direct fire against enemy troops, the M546 was fired from a near horizontally leveled 105 mm howitzer and ejected 8000 flechettes during flight by a mechanical time fuse. Green star shells were shot into the air before their use to warn friendly troops that such a round was being shot


Feasting, Fasting, and Gorging

Today, February 25, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast day of Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio. He’s the patron saint of roads, bridges, and people who travel on them. He’s also known for marrying two virgins in a row and leaving them virgins, which makes me wonder. What’s the deal? Low testosterone or something? But different strokes, as they say. Feast on.


Quote regarding Knights Templar: “The knights’ diets seem to have been a balancing act between the ordinary fasting demands on monks and the fact that these knights lived active, military lives. You couldn’t crusade or joust on an empty stomach. (Although the Knights Templar only jousted in combat or training—not for sport.) So, three times a week, the knights were permitted to eat meat—even though it was “understood that the custom of eating flesh corrupts the body.” On Sundays, everyone ate meat, and higher-up members permitted both lunch and dinner with some roast animals. Accounts from the time show that this was often beef, ham, or bacon, with salt for seasoning or to cure the meat.

These portions were likely considerable. If the knights weren’t allowed meat due to a Tuesday fast, it would be available in plenty the next day. One source suggests that cooks loaded enough meat onto their plates “to feed two poor men with the leftovers. ”But the knights ate more spartan, vegetable-filled meals on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. The rules describe these meals as “two or three meals of vegetables or other dishes eaten with bread,” they also often included milk, eggs, and cheese. Otherwise, they might eat potage made with oats, pulses, gruels, or fiber-rich vegetable stews. (The wealthier brothers might mix in expensive spices, such as cumin.)

They grew fruits and vegetables in their gardens, especially Mediterranean produce such as figs, almonds, pomegranates, olives, and corn (grain). These healthy foodstuffs likely also made their way into their meals. Once a week, on Fridays, they observed a Lenten fast—no eggs, milk, or other animal products. They relied on dried or salted fish and dairy or egg substitutes made from almond milk for hearty fare. Even here, however, there are pragmatic concessions. The weak and sick abstained from these fasts and received “meat, flesh, birds, and all other foods which bring good health” to return them to fighting shape as quickly as possible.

All the while, brothers drank wine—but this, too, was restricted. Everyone had an identical ration, which was diluted, and they were advised that alcohol should “not be taken to excess, but in moderation. For Solomon said, “wine corrupts the wise.” In the Holy Lands, they allegedly mixed a potent cocktail of antiseptic aloe vera, hemp, and palm wine, known as the Elixir of Jerusalem, which may have helped accelerate healing from injuries.

Franceschi describes other regulations beyond the Primitive Rules that were “specifically designed to avoid the spreading of infections.” These included mandatory handwashing before eating or praying and exempting brothers in charge of manual tasks outdoors from food preparation or serving. Some of these innovations, picked up without any awareness of germs, may have resulted from interactions with Arab doctors, renowned during the period for their superior medical knowledge. By medieval medical standards, Templar Knights were at its apex, able to treat many illnesses and to take care of their weak. The order was among the richest in the world—yet these rules prevented the knights from sitting on their laurels or gorging themselves on fatty, cured meat. In fact, many of these rules resemble modern dietary advice: Lots of vegetables, meat on occasion, and wine in moderation. A meal fit not for a king on a throne but a knight with some serious crusading to do.


Bullet Points:

** US Navy – How different is it from the Navy I knew? (h/t Claudio)

** (Zero Hedge) “On Thursday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented Israel’s security cabinet with a much-anticipated document outlining plans for the day after Hamas in the Gaza Strip. He’s repeatedly vowed not to stop the large-scale military operation Gaza until the terror group is completely eradicated — a tall order which some analysts say could take years actually to accomplish — and the question of who will rule Gaza in the aftermath has become a contentious one.”

Not a single Arab nation stands with the Palestinians now. Iran, Harvard, and London are not part of Arabia.

** Who is your TOP PICK for Trump Running Mate? The list is out:

Florida Rep. Byron Donalds, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.

** The Daily Mail reported, “One giant tumble for mankind! NASA confirms $118 million Odysseus lunar aircraft has TIPPED OVER onto its side after failed landing on the moon.” We blew a 52-year lead on space travel and now cannot even put a tin can on the moon, let alone a man. In the defense of the private initiative, it did technically land on the Moon


Identify the towed, crew served Rifle/Gun


Two manufacturers made the same weapon. For an extra two points, name them.



38 thoughts on “Sermonette

  1. ID Crew served
    1. Kanone 44 made by (Ansaldo) Italy and Krupp) created the 12.8cm Kanone 43 Germany
    2. 155 mm M198 howitzer
    3. M101/33 howitzer

    1. K 44 (sometimes 12.8cn PaK 44) weapons were being offered by Rheinmetall-Borsig as well as Krupp,

      Tim Scott is a friend and solid pick for VP. Rep. Donalds and Gov. DeSantis will be ready for 2028. Former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, don’t have the chops. Vivek Ramaswamy would make a good trade advisor or chief of White House press Corps or VP.

      1. No matter who Trump chooses, he cannot repeats Reagan’s biggest mistake and pick a swamp creature who will immediately move to reflood a partially drained swamp. Unfortunately, Trump’s personnel picks have been a study in ineptitude with a flat learning curve.

        1. Trump admits this because he said he did not realize the depth of the Swamp at the time (no one could). If you recall many Democrats – before announcing his bid in 2015 – were friends and associates, afterwards they did everything to wreck his chances. He won’t make the same mistake twice in his choices…or as best anyone can in that corrupt backstabbing Den of Thieves.

          1. I’m sorry, but too many times in the past, I’ve heard, ‘I’ll do better next time’. I’m going to have to have proof, not mere words. Any picks or appointments that don’t show that they are being made with a politics be damned attitude, will be more of the same. More useless turds at best or backstabbing traitors (sessions being an example of the first and barr the second). If it is more of these, then we have to wonder if he isn’t just more controlled opposition, just more slyly done. It wasn’t the democrat friends and associates that were the problem, they attacked him openly from the start. It was the ‘republican’ scum he appointed that caused most of his issues. And he had more than one chance. He fired the first wave, but if anything the replacements were worse. Right now he’s still the best we got, but if he isn’t prepared to go scorched earth, then nothing will be solved. Four years won’t be enough, he has to put a team in place that can win and will carry on after the four years without compromising or we will continue our descent into perdition.
            My apologies for the rant, but that initial list of VP candidates is extremely troublesome.

          2. The list will all have slots in Pres. Trump’s cabinet if they want them. They’re all politicians.

          3. Hey, rant accepted…one can hope, altho that is not a good strategy.

            We shall see what transpires, whether we like it or not. But like anything, professional expertise in one arena don’t always translate to a very different one even if there is overlap in skillset and understanding. Yet, pro’s learn quickly to adapt to their surrounding. Agree that your points speak to all our skepticism that anything will be different…but in Trump’s own words, and after 3 years of this garbage destroying our country and the planet by extension, “What the hell do you have to lose?” [to vote for him]. Couldn’t agree more, regardless of what VEEP is picked, otherwise America hangs in the balance even more precipitously than it already is…on a very thin thread by The Cretins in Charge.

      2. I agree with your assessment of Kristi Noem, Governor of SD, I lived there almost twenty years and while an above average Governor, I too don’t think she has the chops or endurance and the armor she is going to need When Trump assumes Office. It is going to bean epic battle and bloodbath I am sure.

        1. I don’t know Gov. Noem or know much about her. She’s a governor, so she’s not been immune from backstabbing, “palace intrigue,” and the wickedness of the SD Swamp’s inhabitants. The DC Swamp says, “hold my beer” and it’s a different ballgame.

  2. Identify the towed, crew served Rifle/Gun:
    1. 12.8 cm Pak 44. Versions made by Krupp and Rheinmetall.
    2. M198 155mm howitzer
    3. Looks like an updated (lengthened barrel and muzzle brake) M101 105 mm howitzer.

  3. In his NRB speech the other night Trump said his pick would not be a “lesser” type person…then went on to explain that the VP holder needs to be a next President type, not a throw away like Kamala “who’s not to bright”.

    You know, when the smarty pants self-aggrandizing religious leaders of Jesus’ time tried to trip him up with oddball questions, his answer was always something they would never think of, which constantly confounded them. Trump’s pick may be someone completely out from left field and for reasons he only knows at this point.

    1. I hope that Pres. Trump picks a running mate who will be presidential and a patriot. The race/gender thing doesn’t matter.

        1. “never mattered … sexual proclivity”
          Except the tranzies. They are severely ill people and shouldn’t hold any responsible position (Michelle/Mike anyone?)

          1. Yes, good clarification. Certainly not activist types and the clear mentally ill who want to normalize their behavior. But run of the mill homosexuals who maintain their privacy and professionalism and are otherwise decent people?? Don’t care a wit.

      1. He so much as said so in an interview where the question was asked. Trump said, I want someone who will take over my Presidential duties if something happened. I’m paraphrasing.

        1. Of the field, DeSantis is likely to be the one who could do that best. I’m not against Tim Scott but a governor by nature has a lot more executive experience.

          1. Their battle back and forth may have been a slight ruse, deflection tactic. Reminded me of the two clothing store owners with stores next to each other, constantly at odds trying to out do the other, sales, specials, deals, and the requisite marketing jabs against each other plastered all over the store fronts. Thy became very successful. One day one of them dies, then the other. The accountants for both came in only to discover a door connecting both stores, and in the basement a single office with two desks only to realize these two were brothers and the “competition” was a sales ruse.

            DeSantis would be a good pick because as VP he could gain Federal experience to take into 2028 and continue the MAGA vision.

          2. My problem with DeSantis is that it appeared that he was paid to run and while he was running, someone else was pulling his strings. He would have been a shoo in for 2028, but to me, it looked like the money men behind him were desperate to stop Trump now.

          3. My feelings exactly.
            Desantis is available and needs a job. And has a proven record.
            Scott is a senator, not an executive. A position that calls for trade-offs.
            Tulsi Gabbard is a Democrat at heart.
            Noem has made some questionable moral choices. Corey Lewandowski being one of them.

      2. Trump needs to have somebody who can step into the Presidency immediately to even include Jan 20, 2025 and carry forward Trumps agenda. My greatest fear for Mr. Trump is that the Swamp will have him assassinated if we can beat the cheat.

  4. Who counts the votes determines the winner. I don’t see any real progress in insuring honest elections. There have been nearly zero consequences for the vote counters who fixed the last election in SloJo’s favor.

      1. X3. Dropped our Primary “mail-in” ballots off last week, already “counted” per BallotTrax status. Uh huh, wonder if my Pink R Ballot Envelope signaled something to the handlers (why can’t they ALL be white?)…and…if my Trump vote was tallied for him and not, not tallied, or worse given to Joey Sponge Pants? Who can tell anymore? Trust is gone in these “officials” when the cheat is so ingrained and cunning.

          1. Actually I did. But just the fact we have to even think what you posit is very telling as to where we come.

          2. Paul, you are so right that it is a shame that we have to even think these things. But with the forces arrayed against us, I’m so glad you checked.
            Trust but verify, though I’m struggling with the trust part.

  5. Regarding flechettes, when I was at ROTC summer camp in Wichita Falls, Texas (Shepard AFB) 1972, we were bused up to Fort Sill, Oklahoma for a Fire Power Demonstration being put on for some foreign leaders. There were a bunch of manikins dressed in military uniforms positioned not far from the viewing stands. As I recall, they fired flechettes from the forward gun of an AH-1 Cobra at the “formation”. It ripped them to shreds. The flechettes were similar to the ones pictured with the shotgun shell.

    I guess the advice is to eat like a Knights Templar. Maybe it should be a little lighter on the meat.

    The Odysseus lunar lander (not aircraft) probably had some issues because of the last minute fix to for the landing LADAR, and it couldn’t detect unlevel terrain as well as it should have. Also, it could have had a little horizontal velocity in the downhill direction. We shall find out. The reason for the Nova-C LADAR failure was a pre-flight failure to manually arm the system which was safed to prevent injury should the laser turn on.

    1. In spite of the obviously severe problem, the lander functions, there is telemetry reception, and some of the on-board experiments are functioning as desired. More a success – maybe 65% – than failure.

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