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Stupid Ideas in SF

SF Recruiting Poster pick it upWe mentioned, a while back, a few SF concepts, like Big Boy Rules and invited you to compare and contrast another SF concept: “The Catch Me/Fuck Me Rule.” This is a very different thing. While Big Boy Rules unleash the individual’s creativity within the parameters of the law and behavioral norms, a CM/FM rule is normally the result of higher command pressure, often about something stupid.

Sources of stupid ideas

Stupid ideas in the SF community tend to originate in three places:

  1. Big Green’s one-size-misfits-all policies;
  2. Some midrank midwit taking it on himself to give the commanding general something shiny;
  3. The Army’s institutional habit of advancing the intellectually-below-average to the grade of sergeant major.
  4. The Staff Judge Advocate (lawyer).

We do have our own stupid ideas, but they are usually strangled in the battle of ideas at ODA and ODB level. This ruthless competition tends to improve our ideas over time, both as individuals and as an institution.

When it doesn’t, and we wind up adopting a bad idea at team level, at least we’re all on board with the bad idea by the time we implement it. That sounds facetious, but sometimes a bad idea executed con brio is sufficient to get the mission accomplished — and we learn from it, and the idea will be better next time. (Unless it’s such a bad idea we all wind up dead. Then, the other guys study it, shake their heads about what a bunch of dumbasses we were, and learn from it….)

Big Green and Stupid Ideas

The Army is as driven by fashion and fad as any large human organization. One is reminded of the sudden change, in the BDU era, from rolling sleeves

SF units tend to be casual about uniform in the field. It is not unusual to see a snapshot of a whole ODA working on something, with no two of them dressed exactly the same. Sometimes they are working on something interesting, and the snapshot winds up in some Army publication, and some suck-up future Sergeant Major of the Army writes in to criticize the publication for running a picture of a bunch of ratbags who don’t understand that the Army is really not about accomplishing missions, it’s a dress-up game for the perpetual child.

Big Green is great at what it does: effective, not efficient. You can’t crush tank divisions with an ODA. (Companies, maybe battalions… but we need Big Green to keep the Javelins coming in resupply). But it often treats SOF units, even the ones that can clean up nice and play the uniform game better than Big Green’s all-show-no-go ceremonial unit (like the Ranger Regiment, who can be as sharp on the drill field as on the battlefield if they have to), as if they were pathogens deserving an antibody cascade.

Pleasing the Boss and Stupid Ideas

The Kryptonite of mission accomplishment is suckuppery, which is generated spontaneously when elements of a large hierarchical organization come to rest and individuals seek to shine cutlery and polish knobs to please The Boss.

The Stupid Idea is very unlikely to originate with The Boss; he or she is usually blissfully unaware of it during its genesis. Instead, it is born from the brow of some ambitious and selfserving (and usually, need we specify, stupid) subordinate who wants to use third parties as stepping stones into the gleaming light of The Boss’s august Presence. These kinds of ideas are very irritating but are somewhat self-correcting, because sooner or later said Boss will rouse him- or herself from the usual state of Bossy torpor and inquire: “Whose stupid idea was this?”

That is the dismayed originator’s cue to try to cast blame on the plebs who were implementing the Stupid Idea for him. But they have seen this coming and will usually have quietly amassed The Goods on the history of the Stupid Idea, and in any event, will be released from it, forthwith.

Then, the whole cycle repeats, because there are never any consequences for a Stupid Idea in the Army, so long as it is a professional boner and not, say, an attempt to high-wire-walk a power line whilst somewhat the worse for alcohol — that kind of Stupid Idea the Army deals with, if the shade of Darwin fails to exact his usual tribute.

Sergeants Major and Stupid Ideas

This is very simple — so simple a sergeant major can understand it. The command sergeant major is a key person on the commander’s staff, but unlike every other person on the staff is selected without regard for intelligence — we’re talking Spearman’s here — and then processed through an Army school (Sergeant Majors Academy) almost calculated to make the smart quit and the dumb dumber. This is why many CSMs focus almost exclusively on uniform minutia or police-call areas, because if you have a 75 or 80 IQ you can grasp whether buttons are on straight or a lawn has been mowed this week.

Somebody with an 80 IQ may not be an SF CSM, because he could never get into SFAS in the first place, but they’re common in conventional units (as is the idea that almost any SGM/CSM is a fungible spare part, so you get a guy who came up in Food Service as the alleged senior enlisted advisor to a division commander).

The effect of this is not only the damage the dim CSM himself can do, but the problems that arise when a young and impressionable officer has to work with a box-of-rocks-stupid CSM and reaches the plausible and defensible conclusion that, since this guy is what the Army advanced to the top of the enlisted heap, enlisted men must be even dimmer than that. 

The SJA and Stupid Ideas

SJAs and former SJAs hate it when we say this, but they are one of the greatest sources of Stupid Ideas in the entire Army. The problem comes not when the SJA does something useful, like prevent an enthusiastic CO from winding up above the fold on Page 1 with a “War Crimes!!1!” headline, or explain to young troopers while the temptation to mail a crate of PKMs home to your mother is not a good idea (not that the troopers listen, always). The problem comes when the SJA says, “the letter of the Law of Land Warfare says this, but we can super show our over-compliance if we tie our hands like this, and the best way to keep from having to explain to the Old Man why Joe Snuffy did This Forbidden Thing is to forbid All These Other Things so that Joe can’t get to the point where he can do the Forbidden Thing in the first place.”

These things never work, because the enemy will just laugh at you if you tie your own hands; the Washington Post or New York Times will just make up the War Crime story if you don’t give them one, anyway; and Joe Snuffy is not going to obey your further strictures any more than he obeyed the first.

They teach in any decent leadership school that you should never give an order you expect to be disobeyed. As staff officers, most SJAs never attend any leadership school, and they never learn this, and some weak commanders actually listen to them. (That said, an SJA who’s a former field guy — we won’t use the dreaded “o” word here — can be pure gold to a CO. You know who you are).

The Paradox of Constraints

Arbitrary constraints can be Stupid Ideas, but not all constraints are arbitrary, and even ones that look stupid may not be. Sometimes external forces will place constraints on mission accomplishment, those mission obstacles often emanating from higher command, Coalition allies, or some leader somewhere who’s more focused on something inconsequential, like his career or his (or someone else’s) feels, and especially the most bitter and persistent enemies of our fighting forces, the Staff Judge Advocates (for those of you who do not know military buzzwords, that’s the ever-expanding, ever-metastasizing, cancer of lawyers in the military).

Constraints are never welcome, but they can be beneficial, whether it’s a rigid concerto or symphony structure forcing a composer to make great melodies and harmonies, a lack of cubic money forcing a start-up to innovate, or a boxing-in by lawyers, which often energizes our outsize share of antiauthoritarian personalities to think outside that proverbial box. (Speaking of which: have you ever noticed the guy most likely to talk about innovation, thinking outside the box, cutting the Gordian knot, whatever, is the guy least likely to actually do it? If you’re going to shoot, shoot, don’t talk).

Some Examples of Stupid Ideas

One of the overwhelmingly prevalent stupid ideas in SF is the idea that how you accomplish the mission is less important than that you accomplish the mission. This probably seems very self-evident to those of you without military time, but we note that the military is a large, hierarchical bureaucracy, and all such in time (and the .mil is centuries of tradition untainted by progress, so there’s been plenty of time) come to focus on process more than on results. Consequently, exercise results are frequently polluted by childish you did too! squabbling about whether somebody cheated. 

SF aphorism: “If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’. If you get caught, you’re tryin’ too hard.”

Some Stupid Ideas come down to stupid metrics. In Vietnam, the metric was body count, so we killed and counted and counted and killed and counted some more, losing the war a little more every day. Vietnam is an object lesson in what happens if you choose the wrong metric: you lose.

One of the more oddball Stupid Ideas we’ve heard over the decades, from an SF officer, was: “Operations drive intelligence.” It’s silly for several reasons including the fact that both ops and intel are cyclical in nature, that in any kind of working organization the gears mesh and which is driving and which is driven is neither apparent nor, for any worthwhile reason, significant. But it’s even sillier because the officer in question intended on one level, in the absence of intelligence, to just launch an operation. You see, the enemy will react, you will learn stuff, and now you have intelligence. 

This was merrily described by an old Recon guy as getting punched in the face so you can describe the fist that hit you, when you come to.

But that wasn’t the only way the officer meant “operations drive intelligence.” He believed that you couldn’t trust the intel agencies/branch/cycle to deliver usable intelligence information until you had an operation well into the planning stage, at which point they would then generate the stuff you needed.

That was ridiculous. He was over-analyzing the fact that a lot of deployed SF teams on the ground, in an enemy rear area, can produce a cornucopia of intelligence information that’s of great benefit to a commander. One conventional commander in Afghanistan and his staff were shocked at the amount of intel that a couple dozen teams produced, when collated by skilled analysts. They were expecting something like they’d get from a similar number of close-in combat patrols, and what they got was several orders of magnitude larger and more useful.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Dates With Animals

Larry William Henry, 68. Looks like they found something for him to wear.

Larry William Henry, 68. Looks like they found something for him to wear.

How you gonna keep ’em down in Paree, now that they’ve seen the farm? We’re referring to these two Pennsylvania men who crossed the bright line of inter-species love recently.

Hey. They’re just seeking marriage equality. It’s not their fault who they love. Who are we to judge?

Fortunately for society, they do have pros to do that… we call ’em judges, and both of these beast buggerers have an appointment with one of those robed characters.

First, big chief Dances With Swine:

Larry William Henry, 65, was charged late last month with criminal trespass, defiant trespass, indecent exposure and related offenses after he was caught in his birthday suit hamming it up with a bunch of pigs, police in Manor Township told the Daily News on Tuesday.

”Hamming it up.” You can see this is going to be one of those. 

He was released after posting bail.

Mabel! Lock up the hogs.

Henry allegedly broke into a hog barn on Coffee Street in Millersville about 10:18 p.m. June 26, police said.

The owner called the cops, who found him “naked inside the barn with several market-weight hogs,” police said.

Henry told the officers, “I just like pigs…”


…and later admitted to downing an entire six-pack of Hamm’s beer during his nocturnal romp on the farm, according to court documents reviewed by Lancaster Online.

No. Hamm’s beer? Lord love a duck. Duck? Pig. Whatever.

Dude’s got issues.

The next story is even creepier, and it didn’t happen in Pennsylvania… nope, this Keystone State guy traveled most of the way across the country to get his freak on. And what a freak it was!

Meanwhile, Henry wasn’t the only Pennsylvanian allegedly bitten by the livestock love-bug.

Michael Crawford, 68, of Cogan Station, Lycoming County, was arrested in Arizona on Monday for trying to set up a romantic rendezvous with a horse, police in Maricopa County said.

Crawford admitted to undercover detectives there that he had arranged to have sex with the animal through emails and phone calls.

He faces felony bestiality charges.

via Hog wild: Lancaster County man charged in naked pig romp.

Look, everybody has known for 20 years that Nympho Tween Tiffany who comes on to you in a chat room has a different first name: usually “Special Agent” or “Detective.” But now, you can’t even answer a ad from some hot (literal) filly without her turning out to be some dude with a badge and a pair of cuffs he’s anxious to lend you, at least until the booking desk.

Yeah, it’s got nothing to do with guns, and everything to do with the deep and general wrongness of the criminal class. You think this is these two losers’ first … (groan), rodeo? You don’t suddenly wake up in your middle 60s to find that “Dance Nekkid With Pigs” or “[Bleep] a Horse’s Brains Out” suddenly rose to #1 with a bullet on your Bucket List.


It isn’t all going the critter-lovers’ way in the Mid-Atlantic states. Not far away, in New Jersey:

[A] New Jersey state trooper shot and killed an aggressive pig after it threatened people, a dog and other animals.

Animal control officers called for help after unsuccessfully trying to remove the 250-pound pig from a neighboring property in Woodbine on Monday.

State Police spokesman Sgt. Jeff Flynn says the pig attacked a beagle and was trying to break through a fence where the neighbor had other animals.

…The trooper shot the pig three times.

That’s no pig, trooper. That’s some Pennsylvanian’s wife!

What the Iranians Are Saying About the Nuke Deal

BLOWING UP PARADISEThe US has signed what amounts to a surrender agreement with Iran, giving up all restraints on Iran’s military nuclear weapons development. The agreement validates the President’s Nobel-prize self-image, while allowing the Iranians to proceed with nuclear weapons (so long as they do not test the weapon within eight years), continue to export terrorism, have unfettered access to world arms markets, and as a final insult, abandons the US hostages being held by Iran.

Think about that for a minute. This Administration would not negotiate for American hostages held by mohammedan terrorists, and has not successfully freed any. But it did negotiate a sweet deal with a group of terrorists to get the return of a traitor and deserter (whom the Administration has lauded as a hero).

In addition, the US pays Iran a vast sum in de-facto reparations, and the Iranian nuclear weapons program is removed forever from UN Security Council oversight.

But don’t listen to what we say about it. Here’s what the Iranians are saying in their domestic media:

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif1:

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action includes Iran’s own long-term plan …. the comprehensive lifting of all UN Security Council sanctions as well as multilateral and national sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program….

President Ayatollah Hassan Rouhani (emphasis ours)2:

We were fortunately able to reach an agreement in a free and democratic space in matters related to security interests and national expansion.

We were pursuing four goals in these negotiations.

  1. The first was to be able to continue nuclear capabilities and nuclear technology and even nuclear activities inside the country.
  2. The second was to lift … sanctions.
  3. The third goal was to lift all United Nations Security Council resolutions ….
  4. The fourth goal was to take the Iranian nuclear file out of the chapter seven of the United Nations charter and fundamentally [take it out of] the Security Council.

All four goals were achieved in today’s agreement and in this joint comprehensive plan.

So the Iranians got nearly unlimited nuclear enrichment (useful only for nuclear weapons manufacture), and literally all restrictions on the terror state were lifted.

Rouhani on centrifuges (centrifuge cascades are one effective method of nuclear enrichment, which, we reiterate, does not have any use in a peaceful nuclear-energy program):

[M]ore than 6,000 centrifuges will remain, 5,000 of which will be in Natanz and 1,000 in Fordow. All centrifuges in Natanz will continue enrichment.

Rouhani, crowing on how he out-negotiated the desperate Kerry and Obama:

They first said that our limitations time will be between 20-25 years. Then they said 20 years plus 10. Then they said that 20 years is the last position and that they would not back down anymore.

But these 20 years fell to 10 years and in recent days reached 8 years.

In other words, even the agreement’s toothless monitoring (with no provision for re-engaging sanctions) runs out before Obama’s successor, who is being handed this $#!+ sandwich, is out of office.

Rouhani, boasting about how the agreement allows not just research and development, but also industrial manufacturing of nuclear weapons components:

In the matter of research and development (R&D) they said that R&D will only be allowed in IR1. It was a laughable and unacceptable demand. We already had IR1 [centrifuges] that were active, so R&D wouldn’t mean anything.
Then they said IR2 at most and finally said that it cannot be more than IR8. What the Islamic Republic of Iran sought were IR6 and IR8. The agreement we wanted was to inject UF6 [uranium hexaflouride] gas in IR8 [centrifuges] on implementation day, and today we reached such an agreement.

The agreement was stripped of language limiting the production use of the reactor at Arak, and production use of the centrifuges at Fordow. Use of 1,000 centrifuges at Fordow explicitly for industrial production of fissionable weapons material is explicitly permitted.

Rouhani, boasting that arms embargos worldwide must be dropped as part of the agreement:

…[A]ll sanctions, even arms and missile sanctions, will be lifted…Arms embargo will be set aside for 5 years as a sort of limitation and then lifted.

…[A]ll 6 previous [UN Security Council] resolutions will be lifted.

Reportedly, the US patsies negotiators even agreed to lift the US embargo on weapons to Iran, meaning they’re welcome to come to AMARC in the desert shopping for the F-14 spares they’ve had to spend a lot of money smuggling.

He closed his remarks with a series of veiled threats to exterminate Israel, or as he called it, the “usurper Zionist regime” and a series of less-veiled threats to expand in the region. He said this to the regional moslem states:

 Iran and the power of Iran is your power.

Whether you want it or not; and it’s hard not to read menace into his message to the region (emphasis ours):

We consider regional securityour security and the stability of regional countries our own stability.

Our country’s science, technology, growth, and expansion will benefit our neighbors and regional countries.

Nota bene that the only indigenous science and technology that Iran has been working on for the past 35 years of Ayatollaucracy has been the technology of weapons of mass destruction, specifically, nuclear weapons. Much of Iran is still scarcely out of the iron age.

In Iran, the agreement was hailed as a great victory over the Great Satan. Members of a parliamentary structure called the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission4 called the deal a win for Iran:

…[A]n important success for the Islamic Republic’s diplomacy.

Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)4 Brigadier General 2nd Class Yadollah Javani5 set a belligerent tone:

The Iranian nation has taken step in the path of expanding power and this is an irreversible path…..The Islamic Republic of Iran is a regional power and on the verge of transforming to a global power…. The path of building an Islamic civilization will continue with strength.

“Islamic Civilization. Oxymorons for $500, Alex.”

Finally, IRGC Major General Mostafa Izadi suggested6 that Iran was the the most powerful nation in the region, and dropped a hint that the Iranian bomb is ready now: 

Iran’s capability is at such a level that, per the orders of the Supreme Leader, if they [the “usurper Zionist regime”] commit the smallest error, nothing will remain of Tel Aviv.


Frankly, Chamberlain negotiated a better deal at Munich.


An Iranian delegation has flown to Pakistan, ostensibly to negotiate for a gas pipeline. Gee, what else do the Pakistanis have that the Iranians might want to deal for?



Most of these statements came from translated foreign press reports by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

  1. Excerpts from Zarif joint statement with some EU drone:
  2. Excerpts from Rouhani statement: translated:
  3. The National Security and Foreign Policy Commission statement:
  4. The IRGC is an elite force that exists parallel to the Iranian military, modeled on the Nazi SS whom they greatly admire, but even less fond of civilization, and Jews.
  5. Excerpts from Javani statement, translated:
  6. Excerpts from Izadi statement, translated:

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have [an improvised weapon].

When true love ends, true trouble seems to strike like an opportunistic infection. Usually it’s guys, especially young guys, doing dumb stuff. It seems emotions get so strong that they do dumb stuff even in the presence of the cop whose presence has been arranged to deter them.

Well, in this day and age of capital-E Equality, why can’t middle-aged women beat their girlfriends, too? And why can’t they do it with, er, something that requires no background check (except maybe in Utah), but can outpenetrate many light handgun rounds?

If you’re starting to get an ewwwww feeling, well, that’s why we didn’t name the weapon in the headline. Sauve qui peut!  Hit the back button now!

Still here? OK, meet Annette Kielhurn, and check out her creative assault and battery in front of the cop who was there, no doubt wishing he was anywhere else, to play “domestic referee.”

A Florida woman is facing a domestic battery charge after allegedly using a dildo to batter her female domestic partner during a fight in the couple’s residence, police allege.

The confrontation Saturday evening occurred while a St. Petersburg Police Department officer was inside the home of Annette Kielhurn, 57, and Gamze Capaner-Ridley.

If it wasn’t for Florida, Jerry Springer and Geraldo Rivera would probably have to report actual news.

The cop was present to oversee Capaner-Ridley’s removal of personal belongings from the house, a move apparently prompted by Capaner-Ridley’s filing the prior day for a civil domestic violence injunction against Kielhurn.

After the women tussled over possession of a dress, Officer Eric Blomgren directed Kielhurn not to touch the 47-year-old Capaner-Ridley. However, “Shortly afterwards the defendant intentionally shoved a ‘dildo’ in the victim’s face and grabbed her right arm while arguing whose it belonged to,” Blomgren reported.

As a result, the cop arrested Kielhurn for domestic battery. An arrest affidavit does not indicate whether the dildo was seized as evidence.

via Cops Arrest Woman, 57, For Battering Female Domestic Partner With Dildo | The Smoking Gun.

It has nothing to do with these women’s social situation, we think. We have nothing particular against Women In Sensible Shoes. It takes all kinds to make a world, and they have their place and we have ours, and we generally don’t rub up against one another too much, which is probably as both of us would like it, eh.

No, the problem in this relationship was based on individual behavior, not group membership, and it turns out there’s a track record of individual behavior here, too.

Kielhurn, a former New York State corrections officer…

(!) Does it get any more stereotypical than that? But why is she “former”? Hardly anyone ever quits a government job.

…served about three years in prison for narcotics trafficking after a 1996 police search of her rental car turned up 25 kilos of cocaine in the vehicle’s trunk.

Ah, yeah. That might explain why her employment at the ladies’ hoosegow came to an end: when she became an inmate. And what is it with New York State correctional officers and willingness to play stupid games, and win stupid prizes?

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Backhoes

Apparently it’s a thing in Texas now to slam a vehicle into a business now, and make off with what’s inside: money, jewelry, ATM machine, and in this case, firearms.

here comes the backhoe

In one of the burglaries, a suspect bashed a backhoe about 2 a.m. into Warthog Firearms in the 400 block of Main near Prairie, according to the store owner.

Surveillance video shows how a backhoe battered the side of the building. Then a suspect is seen snatching a rifle and leaving.

It’s a safe bet that that character’s intent with that rifle is not a spot of big game hunting, or a little “informal target practice.” He’s a criminal, and any safe bet about his future behavior departs from the initial point of his past behavior.

This is how the attack looked from inside. Video at the link.

This is how the attack looked from inside. Video at the link.

He’s also not alone. You can see an accomplice following him in an F-150, presumably the getaway vehicle.

This is a growing problem, apparently, in the Houston, TX area, and that means it’s just a matter of time before it’s in your area, too.

Police said the incidents do not appear to be related. But similar smash-and-grab heists appear to be on the increase in the area.
“It seems to be a pretty steady thing,” said HPD Lt. Larry Crowson.

You can see the original story and the surveillance video at the Houston Chronicle website.

We’ve been saying all along that criminals don’t get their guns at gun shops. Well, here’s one who did, but not the way those pushing Schumer-Manchin-Toomey backdoor registration think.

Friday Tour d’Horizon, Week 28

We’ll cover the usual subjects: Guns, Usage and Employment, Cops ‘n’ Crims, Unconventional (and current) Warfare, and Lord Love a Duck!


Army’s Planned Pistol Already Damned as a Crime Gun

The Army’s looking at a new pistol, which we covered a little this week, and a nicely coordinated group of anti-gun writers is saying “nooo… guns are crimmmminal” in everything from the venerable (The Atlantic) to pay-for-play websites (the Fiscal Times). None of these idjits terrified about Deadly Military Technology getting out to the masses seems to have read the bit about COTS — Commercial Off The Shelf. The Army wants a pistol that’s already in the market (in other words, that the maker ate the R&D on for civilian sales already). But neither these writers-for-sale like Matt Valentine and Maureen Mackey, nor their probable paymasters, know that (or, probably, care).

In the spirit of pay-for-play research he’s always been known for, the Bloomberg School’s Daniel Webster has data on tap for Valentine.

We Seldom Think About Modern Walthers, but…

Tam has a really nice review of the Walther CCP at NRA shooting illustrated. It’s the first Walther/Umarex deal that isn’t a subcaliber plinker, we think. She puts a lot of effort into these reviews and it shows; at the end of the review, you know whether the gun might be a fit for you, or not.  And yes, we have carried PPKs. What?

Colt Slides Into Whatever Base This Is… safe? Or out?

Latest twists and turns in the gymkhana that is Colt’s business? The latest twist is that an obscure but wealthy Indian tribe, the Morongo of the Palm Springs, California area, want to buy the bankrupt company. Presence of an arm’s length bidder may help the court seeking some Solomon’s-baby way out of the standoff between bondholders, who want to minimize their losses and replace the hedgie management with someone actually interested in making money making and selling guns, and Sciens Capital, the current owners, who want to maximize their personal returns by, among other things, zeroing out the bondholders. As Peg Brickley at the WSJ notes:

For Colt’s Native American suitors, it’s not just business; it’s history, interest and commitment, their attorney said. “We have gone to great lengths to get our hands on Colts,” he said. “Just ask General Custer.”

Sadly, Yellowhair was not available for comment.

It’s Your Own Funeral Dep’t

Meanwhile, Blackhawk! has introduced new ways to help a wider range of gun owners shoot themselves.

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way.

The Money Shot

This incident happened way back in June, but we haven’t covered it yet.

Sgt. Glen Price took that tough IPSC stage -- for real.

Sgt. Glen Price took that tough IPSC stage — for real.

Lots of folks train a long time for a shot that very, very rarely occurs: the hostage taker. Maybe since they’ve been concentrating on taking doors where no hostages are expected, they’ve slipped in this, but the very best at this used to be a US Army element subordinated direct to the NCA (later, to JSOC). They were uncanny, preternaturally good. (Conversely, the FBI HRT who have hostage rescue in their name, have become, among other things, a refuge for guys who are Giglio’d and can’t appear in court — these guys have not excelled as snipers). But while the average cop may think about a shot like this and practice for a shot like this, he seldom gets a shot like this. The News & Observer:

Officers entered the business and saw a man, identified as Dennis Lawrence Palm Jr., 26, of Durham, with his arm around a female employee’s neck.

“Every indication was that he was going to harm and was capable of killing the victim,” Police Chief Jose L. Lopez said.

After a brief standoff, one of the officers, Sgt. Glen Price, fired one shot, striking Palm in the face. Palm was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries that do not appear to be life-threatening, and remained hospitalized Wednesday afternoon.

Palm has been charged with two counts of second-degree kidnapping, one count of attempted common-law robbery, two counts of assault on a female and two counts of communicating threats.

The woman he was holding was not injured.

One shot, people. That’s how it’s done. Good on Sergeant Price. The department also lucked in to a live suspect to throw in jail for a few years: on the plus side, no race riots; on the minus, they’ll be arresting him again sometime down the road. Or shooting him: in the end, the choice on that is his. This time he chose shooting; wonder if he regrets it?

This TV station’s report includes the 911 call audio, but good luck trying to make head nor tail of it. The caller sounds retarded and the dispatcher can’t make out what she’s saying.


Older mugshot of Dennis L. Palm. Wonder what he’s going to look like with his new, er, blemish.

Some of the usual suspects will soon be making noise, because Palm (the perp) does not seem to have had a firearm. However, he’s a career criminal; we don’t know what he looks like now, but we know what he looked like on this previous mugshot, before “plastic surgery” meant “shot with a Glock.” We’re here to tell you that a man with his arm around the neck of a woman is in position to kill her. There are at least three different ways to do it that are taught in even the most generic Army combat schools (like Ranger school, attended by a large plurality of combat-arms officers and infantry NCOs).

Final note: this is the Durham, NC police department, whose corrupt detective work was behind the ridiculous Duke lacrosse players’ trial a few years back. It’s a reminder that even bad leadership sometimes has undeservedly good followers, islands of competence in the swamp of mismanaged underlings.

Cops ‘n’ Crims

Cops bein’ cops, crims bein’ crims. The endless Tom and Jerry show of crime and (sometimes instantaneous) punishment.

In Chicongo, Very Bad When Drums Stop

Chicago’s drunken NYPD street-light-shooter Garry McCarthy says the reason his department has to swim through the blood in Southside to get to this year’s cold-case files is because you own a gun. You murderer, you. Bob Owens watched his presser so we didn’t have to, and selected the money quote from McBoozy:

It’s real simple. Gun possessors are potential murderers. If they don’t learn a lesson for carrying the gun, they keep carrying the gun. They get into an argument, now instead of fighting, they shoot.

Says the guy who is remembered in New York only for drunkenness and those murdered streetlights. Kind of understandable he doesn’t trust people with guns. By the way, he presided over a city that racked up over 100 reports of shootings, over 55 wounded, and 10 dead (just counting gunshots, with a couple more teetering on the rim still; there’s also the usual blunt instruments, knives, and one run-down-by-car). Not this year, this fourth of July weekend.

In Baltimore, Very Bad When Cops Stop

When Baltimorons rioted last month, incompetent Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told the cops to stand down, and explained on TV that her anti-riot plan was to give the rioters “who wish to destroy, the space to do that.” They did. Incompetent  Police Commissioner Anthony Batts passed on the stand-down orders and cheerily locked two baseball teams in Camden Yards by themselves, to play a game with no fans. Her prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, made the cops the target of the long arm of the law. Problem is, when it was time to stand back up, the vilified cops (whom Rawlings-Blake is still bashing) weren’t sticking their necks back out, and crime, already higher than in civilized places, soared.  Here’s the Baltimore FOP report on the riots. Since then, Rawlings-Blake has underbussed Batts.

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

What goes on in the battlezones of the world — and preparation of the future battlefields

When do the Europeans go to war?

Historically, just about alla time.


From Our World In Data. Hat tip, Commander Salamander, who also continues his lonely one-phib fight against the Unarmed Warship Of Peace, the Littoral Combat (for values of “Combat” not including fighting) Ship.

OPM Loses 250 Pounds of Unsightly Lard

Kathryn Archuleta resigned today. Fortunately (for her) there will be no other consequences for the incompetent party hack’s having presided over her agency’s blowing the most sensitive data of every American with a security clearance to a hostile intelligence service. But she might not get this year’s automatic 7% bonus, and her salary stops — when all her banked vacation and comp time is used up. That’s okay, it’s only $203,700 a year.

Meanwhile, they’re now saying the second breach (the one they initially kept to themselves, trying to brazen it out with Congress) was 21.5 million security files, including personnel security questionnaires and naturally, social security numbers.

They don’t seem to really understand the word “security” in that agency.

Meanwhile, they can’t decide which crap minimalist credit monitoring service to offer their victims. (The 4.something million victims of their first failure got something from CSID, some outfit connected to somebody that no one ever heard of before, but Archuleta awarded a no-bid no-compete contract to).

Meanwhile, they’ve managed to screw the system used for personnel security questionnaires, e-qip, up so bad they’re saying four to six weeks before anyone can resume security processing.

Lord Love a Duck!

The weird and wonderful (or creepy) that we didn’t otherwise get to.

General Che

Over the last 160 years, the Confederate battle flag, a striking design if you could unpack it of symbolism, has gone on an amazing journey in popular culture — symbol of rebellion, symbol of the Lost Cause, symbol of Southern Pride, and now, in very short order, symbol of Raaaaacism (it’s not authentic unless it has 5 a’s!) that must be purged from everywhere. Bubba Watson, an athlete (golfer?) who bought a car from a TV show that was rather famously emblazoned with the offending symbol, has sworn to overpaint the offending symbol. Greg Pollwitz (whoever he is? Another golfer maybe?) tweeted a suggestion, and a Photoshop jockey made it happen.

general che

This is not really in our wheelhouse. We don’t do much popular culture (apart from the movie reviews) and we’ve never seen the TV show in question. (Pressed for an opinion, we think after looking at some other General Lee pictures those wheels looked lousy on that 1968 or so Charger, and the girl looked nice posed on top. Why didn’t we ever get one of our gals to pose like that?)

We doubt that Watson will do this with his car, but it’s Lord Love a Duck level of commentary on our society that the same pack baying for the head of the “General Lee” would be perfectly OK with the “General Che.” Maybe one of you guys can tell us how many prisoners Robert E. Lee personally shot in the back of the head?

Constitutional Carry Went 1 and 1 in New England this Summer

Maine was a win for gun laws and safety.

Maine was a win for gun freedom and personal liberty, and a loss for criminals.

In Maine and in New Hampshire, constitutional carry laws passed with large but not veto-proof majorities. The Maine law then ran into a snag: Governor Paul LePage, a pro-gun Republican, is in the midst of a budget impasse with his split legislature and was refusing to sign anything. 

LePage, however, promised that he would make an exception for Constitutional Carry. This is very nice for NH gun owners, and it will benefit a number of Maine businesses as former non-border-crossers take their business to a state with a higher sales tax but a lower restaurant meals tax, and, of course, lots of unique locally-owned shops and restaurants.

As usual in the current model of CC legislation, permits will remain available for Mainers seeking to benefit from interstate reciprocity arrangements.

This was the result of a sustained push over many years by Maine gun owners. Last year they fell one vote short! One more illustration of the power of never quitting.

New Hampshire went the other way... for now.

New Hampshire went the other way… for now.

New Hampshire had a similar bill, but a different result. Governor Maggie Hassan, a liberal Democrat, vetoed SB116 this week. NH gun owners have little hope of an override — they’d have to flip 55 Democrats in the House (the NH House of Representatives is the largest state or provincial legislative house in the world), and 2 in the Senate, and this is an issue where minds are largely made up based on political tribalism, as much as anything else.

The small districts in NH mean that an element with grassroots strength can swing a House or Senate race. A national election in 2016 will turn out a lot of Dems (including out of state students in NH colleges, who routinely vote here and vote absentee at home, and MA college students bused in for the occasion) but they’ll be concentrated in certain districts. A significant number of the incumbent anti-gun Democrats are very  vulnerable to primary challenges by pro-gun Dems, if such challengers can be found, and any survivors are vulnerable to pro-gun R’s in the general election. If we can knock off 30 anti-gun representatives, some other anti-gun reps will suddenly get religion.

The lack of Constitutional Carry is not a major hardship for Granite Staters. A license to carry, called a Pistol and Revolver license, secures the right to carry a loaded gun concealed, and has a $10 application fee and few standards beyond not being a prohibited person. (Some municipalities, inspired by the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, have tried imposing their own requirements, and some judges have upheld this, energizing the Constitutional Carry movement). To carry an empty gun concealed, or a loaded gun openly, requires no license. What is driving this movement, here, apart from the occasional local victories of the antis, is a remarkable idea: the principle of the thing. 

We believe that one is a chowderhead to carry a firearm without initial and refresher professional training in the operation of the arm and in the local interpretation and case law on the law of self-defense. (Trying to read statutes on your own is a mug’s game; the statutes are often reversed, inverted or tied clean in knots by case law). But we think you deserve the right to carry a firearm regardless of your chowderheadedness, just like you have the right to start a blog even if you are untutored in English grammar and vocabulary, or you have the right to own a typewriter without allowing the Stasi to take a type sample and register it in their database (yes, that was the law in a modern industrial country for some 45 years. In several modern industrial countries, actually). Rights and responsibilities exist on two separate planes, and the State must not make you assume their interpretation of the second before licensing you the first.

Reenacting Lafayette’s Return

03hermione-lafayette-blog427A short distance from Hog Manor, US Highway 1, the amazing belt of tacky neon signs that glows along the seaside from Maine to Key West, bears the name: “Lafayette Road.” That is because the Marquis de Lafayette, a French nobleman turned hero of the American Revolution, traveled this road during his triumphal 1824 return. He barely survived the bloodletting of the French Revolution, and perhaps only did because he sank into obscurity in his native land, but he was never forgotten in the land he helped free from the clutches of George III. As a result, practically every New England city and town, and many a one in the mid-Atlantic states, has a Lafayette Road. (Indeed, we lived on Lafayette Road in Salem, MA in the 1970s; that stretch, too, had seen the famous Frenchman’s procession).


l’Hermione fires a salure after passing Governors Island in New York Harbor. Richard Perry/NYT. Click to embiggen. 

Now come a Franco-American friendship group reenacting Lafayette’s trips to the United States in a reproduction of the very ship that brought him on his middle trip, in 1780. And the New York Times, given a subject that had little to no modern political impact to be slanted, demonstrated that they can still write a story when the spirit moves them. The whole thing is fantastics; here are just a few grafs of the story by Jennifer Schuessler, and a few of a large set of excellent photos taken by the Times’s Richard Perry. We encourage you to Read The Whole Thing™.

Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette, a staggeringly wealthy provincial aristocrat who had married into one of France’s grandest families, was 19 when he first landed in America, in 1777, having sailed across the ocean on his own dime to support the Revolution, in defiance of Louis XVI. He became a major general and something of an adopted son to Washington. After fighting at the Battles of Brandywine (where he was wounded) and Rhode Island, he returned to France, where he persuaded the king to lend troops to the American cause.

After passing Governors Island, the Hermione sent a round of cannon blasts echoing off the buildings of Lower Manhattan Credit Richard Perry/The New York Times

This is what they fired their salutes with. The ship was duplicated based on a contemporary model and archived plans of a sister ship. Richard Perry/The New York Times

While passed over as commander in favor of Rochambeau, Lafayette was sent ahead on the Hermione in May 1780 to personally inform Washington that a half-dozen ships and some 5,000 French troops were on their way. That support helped turn the tide of the Revolution.

“If America forgets its independence was due to French military assistance, that would be a sad thing,” Miles Young, the New York-based worldwide chairman and chief executive of Ogilvy & Mather and the president of the Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, said last week. Mr. Young, as it happens, was one the few Britons given a prime seat when the replica made its initial landfall last month at Yorktown, Va., where Lafayette helped Washington’s forces score their decisive victory in 1781.

“It was magnificent to see her coming up the York River,” he said. “And there I was, lurking in the front row.”

The Hermione project, which began in 1993, was the brainchild of Erik Orsenna, a French author, and Benedict Donnelly, a Frenchman born to a Parisian mother and an American officer who landed in Normandy in 1944. The drawings for the original ship had been lost, so shipbuilders in Rochefort, on the west coast of France, worked from those of a sister ship held in British Admiralty archives.

We really meant it when we just said Read The Whole Thing™. It includes extensive, accurate information on Lafayette’s career as a helper of the colonists, and similarly thorough reporting on the reproduction of the ship, l’Hermione (l’AIR’-me-on”) and the purpose and events of its travel.

For even more information, try:

Friends of the Hermione-Lafayette in America

New York Historical Society (they have a Lafayette exhibit running through October).

The ship’s itinerary is here. Our Philadelphia and New York readers just missed it on 25-28 June and 1-4 July; it’s in Greenport, NY yesterday and today, Newport, RI on 8-9 July, and Boston on 11-12 July. Our guess is you can see a Cape Cod Canal transit on 10 July. It will then appear Downeast in Castine, Maine on 14-15 July; it will visit Lunenburg, Nova Scotia on 18 July before sailing back home to la belle France. 

The organizers promise that they’ll do it again. The mostly-volunteer crew is, as you might expect, having a blast.


The Other Gunpowder Freedom is Winning, too. Despite Phony Traumatized Vets

FOOM!Fireworks freedom, of course. Banned in the liberal-fascist 1930s, they’ve been creeping back in state laws, one state after the next, for the next 80 years. As with gun freedom, the trend is positive, the trend is accelerating, and it’s coming on as the nannies and scolds are falling back in disarray. Of course, there are still some holdouts — the usual enemies of freedom in all forms. The Christian Science Monitor (a hotbed of nannyism in the liberal-fascist capital of Boston):

In the early 1990s, nearly 30 states had total firework sales bans. But after laws were relaxed this spring here in Georgia and in New York, that number is now down to three – New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Delaware. Since 2000, 12 states have liberalized their fireworks laws, even as fireworks contributed to a staggering rate of personal injury and fires, added to emerging concerns over fireworks pollution and even the effect of aerial repeaters and ground spinners on veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

You do mean, veterans faking PTSD, don’t you? ‘Cause practically everybody we know outside of family is a combat veteran, and none of them flee gibbering from fireworks. Or fail to distinguish fireworks from the sounds of weaponry.

Bottom line: Americans love to blow things up. And it’s that enthusiasm for gun powder that’s likely driving more and more states to trust residents with bottle rocket wicks, though retaining the ability to enact emergency bans during severe dry spells.

via As more states legalize fireworks, what’s behind the pyrotechnic boom? –

The last round of bans set in during the 1990s, when Clinton’s CPSC Commissioner conducted an anti-fireworks jihad with staged videos and a press, then as now, ever willing to take marching orders from The Party and push bans on anything they didn’t personally use, understand, or like. Now, anti-fireworks fascists — who tend to be the same totalitarian campaigners behind gun control and most other nanny-state overreach — are fighting their battle locally. (Meddlers metastasizing from Massachusetts actually won one in our small town, with the help of the fire department and police, imposing a fireworks ordinance).

But, we can set aside a few local victories where they have numbers or they can sway the senior citizens who still waste money on a newspaper. On a nationwide, the nannies are losing. Fireworks freedom is spreading.

Enter the Questionable PTSD Case

They are wringing their hands about how horrible this all is, and they’re claiming it’s all for the poor twaumatized combat veterans:

And heart-breakingly, a veterans’ group in Indiana called Military with PTSD this year launched an “Explosion of Kindness” lawn-sign campaign that lets neighbors be aware that: “Combat Veteran Lives Here Please Be Courteous With Fireworks.”

In a release, the group profiled Robbie Fulmer, a 40-something San Francisco Navy veteran, who says his diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, a common battle veterans’ complaint, “has always left me on edge,” to the point where he’ll leave town for solo camping in the woods to get away from the Fourth of July cannonade. “The sound of fireworks explosions just increases that tension for me,” he says, according to the profile. “The irony is not lost on me that vets like me cannot celebrate our independence.”

How did a Navy guy get PTSD? Did the soft-serve machine on USS Boat break down, twaumatizing him? Or… did the VA dangle the offer of “free” disability cash for life? That seems to be the principal provenance of these poltroons.

Fullmer and his "service dog." Thank you, taxpayers.

Fullmer and his “service dog.” Thank you, taxpayers.

Fullmer sounds like the “tripwire vets” of the Vietnam War, one of the fabrications and frauds that studded the career of Marine reject Dan Rather.

This reprint of the so-called “nonprofit’s” press release shows Fullmer (apparently the correct spelling) is also rocking the “service dog” racket. And there’s this:

Fullmer lives in the Castro District in San Francisco, a neighborhood that he admits doesn’t have many veterans. He has placed the sign by his apartment building, which he thinks will help spread awareness about PTSD while also reducing the number of fireworks in the area.

Yeah, this guy’s so twaumatized by his alleged combat service that he wigs out to fireworks, but he and his yappy little dog can tough it out in one of the most teeming areas of a large city. Suuuure. 

But actually, the more you look into Fullmer the more of a nut job he seems to be. He’s reportedly been telling tall tales as a member of the far-left Veterans for Peace (a spinoff of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War – Marxist/Leninist that brought John Kerry to political ascendancy in Massachusetts) for a long time, and he’s been the go-to veteran for any fishy nonprofit seeking grants of public money, or publicity from trivially-gulled reporters. Here he is last year boasting, not PTSD, but bipolar syndrome:

Robert Fullmer, a U.S. Navy veteran and former resident, overcame bipolar disorder and moved out of Railton Place this summer after finding a full-time job with the San Francisco Giants giving tours of AT&T Park.

“Prior to coming to Railton Place, I had spent 270 consecutive days in inpatient institutions as a result of a several-year long psychotic bipolar episode,” Fullmer said. “Had Railton not been here, I would have ended up on the street. They gave me my life back.”

Yeah, when we have a cause to promote, we always turn to an admitted psychotic.

Hmmm. Had a pet grooming business. Also here. According to his resumé, which we have on hand, the business folded in 2011. Maybe that’s when he went into the loony bin.

Funny that he’s been in the Castro District, a very expensive real estate location, since at least 2004, but is claiming that the Salvation Army saved him from homelessness in 2014. Both could be true, we suppose.

Finally, here’s his own current resumé’s complete claims about the Navy service that left him with PTSD. It’s entirely shipboard, and hardly hazardous.

Operations Specialist – PO3
United States Navy – December 1986 to June 1989
Worked in the Combat Information Center (CIC) on all aspects of navigation (including radar navigation, dead reckoning tracing [DRT], etc.), Radio Communications, and Air Traffic Control. Served two terms of hazardous duty in the Persian Gulf.

Got that? When the Klaxon doesn’t sound, that’s us real combat vets not being impressed with this clown. True, his service appears to have been creditable, and during that period there was some real shooting in the Gulf. But it was small potatoes indeed: a pair of Iraqi Exocets shattered USS Stark; the USS Vincennes went fangs-out and managed a Guinness Book negligent discharge record, launching to Standard SM-1 missiles and shooting down an  Iranian airliner full of innocent civilian travelers; and Operations Earnest Will and Praying Mantis took place with mostly SOF engaged on our side, and very few US casualties. Unless he was on Stark, his PTSD is bullshit. And if he was on Stark, we wouldn’t have to ask him, he’d be boasting about it. So how could he have

Unless… it must have been that infernal soft-serve machine.

Of course, people can get injured by fireworks

bye-gravestoneOf course, we have had a rollicking time recounting all the many splendiferous ways that humans can start themselves or others on the irreversible path from warm-blooded mammal to ambient-temperature inert article. So of course people can get injured by fireworks.

Especially when stupid people do stupid things while enstupidated by quantities of Judgment Juice. Here comes someone Forrest Gump’s mama told him about:

Devon Staples, 22, of Calais, Maine, was drinking and celebrating the holiday in a friend’s backyard when he placed the fireworks mortar tube on his head around 10 p.m., said Stephen McCausland, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety.

McCausland said it was unclear whether the firework was already lit, or whether Staples lit it once it was on his head.

He was killed instantly when it exploded, McCausland said.

The tube Staples was using was a reusable mortar shell but said [sic] McCausland said investigators did not know what type of firework he was attempting to shoot.

Hat tip, Medic09 in the comments to a prior post.

Naturally, the nannies, including the Reuters reporter who wrote the article, are seeing this as justification to re-ban fireworks (Maine ended a decades-long ban in 2011). “If it saves one life,” they cry, and some of them suggest Devon Staples might have been that one life.

Because, you know, a guy who gets juiced up and thinks it would be veritable barrel of monkeys to light a fireworks mortar on top of his brain housing group certainly would have no other risk factors for an early entry in the Darwin Award pool.

Utterly OT: An Unconventional 4th of July Dinner

Completely off topic, but here’s what’s up for din-din.

The main dish is going to be Hawaiian slow-cooked pork tenderloin, which will be seasoned with some leftover pork (with a Korean BBQ sauce) from a dinner this week that canc’d. The sauces come from Campbell pouches, but get added to.

So, the pork will go in the slow-cooker about 1100, old pork and all sauces first; it will simmer away all day; about 1700 we’ll add some pineapple slices for flavor. (This should be posted some time in the middle of all that).

Side dish: we’re kitbashing something from jasmine rice, wild rice, a lot of butter, a cup of chicken rice soup for flavor, and maybe some other spices depending on how it all tastes.

Veggies: There will be celery and carrots in with the pork. They go in at about H-3 hours. We’ll probably have green beans and maybe asparagus or broccoli (it seems like no two people of the eight attending have the same tastes in food.

And, oh yeah, gotta relocate the 3D Printer from the dining room table we’ve been working from for the last two weeks. Which means… ugh… cleaning the office so that there’s room on the credenza. Can we get an ugh?

This is either going to be a huge success or a spectacular failure.

No pressure.