Category Archives: Lord Love a Duck

Leave the Lying to the Trained Professionals!

COPSLIE plate

You won’t believe who’s all bent out of shape because cops told a lie.

In Santa Maria, California, the police chief issued a false press release that two petty criminals had been arrested and handed over to ICE. And the press duly reported it. Why did the cops lie? So they had time to nab the two small-time hoods before another gang, MS-13, carried out a plan to murder them.

While the mild deception worked perfectly, and nobody got whacked, the media are outwaged. The news director of KSBY-TV, one Kendra Martinez, was “deeply troubled”:

[W]e are concerned this type of deception can erode the basic trust of our residents and viewers.

Heh, heh, the TV news gal says “basic trust.” Bwahahahahaaaa!

We’re sure that her outwage has nothing to do with the fact a double murder is much, much better for ratings, when you’re an “it bleeds, it leads” outfit like KSBY-TV.

She wasn’t alone. A professor at a journalism school executed a Grandmaster Level concern troll:

…it could raise questions about the department’s future credibility. However, he said the public is unlikely to appreciate the importance of that issue, particularly when the police said it was matter of life and death.

Anybody seen any credibility or trust survey numbers of police relative to journalists lately? Not that professor, apparently.

Let’s hear from the editor of Santa Maria’s one hanging-on-by-its-fingernails newspaper, Marga Cooley:

They used a public system paid for with public dollars to present false information to the public.

“‘What is NPR?’ Journalism for $2000, Alex!”

Of course, newspapers too sell more papers, increase their ABC circulation, and can charge their advertisers more money, when they have murders to report. Peace and harmony is great for society, but it blows for journalists.

It wasn’t just the lives of the two small time crooks, José Melendez and his other brother José Melendez (seriously. They do have different middle names), that the cops were trying to save, but the integrity of a long-running and complex gang operation, Operation Matador, which subsequently bagged 17 members of MS-13 and related gangs for 10 murders and conspiracies to whack 8 more people (including, presumably, los hermanos Melendez). After the operation was completed, and the accused murders and miscellaneous malefactors were safely dossing down in durance vile, the cops then admitted their ruse — and set off a media tantrum of purest distilled outwage. 

It really blew us away that, of all the people to get upset about the cops telling a little white lie, it would be the same media who celebrate Walter Duranty, Herbert Matthews, Janet Cooke Stephen Glass, Mike Barnicle, Jayson Blair… need we go on? You can tell they’re lyin’, ’cause their lips are moving.

Suddenly they’re very concerned that the police might bruise their credibility. Well, they would know what bruised credibility looks like, wouldn’t they? Strict neutrality between the police and MS-13 may be what a journalist calls righteous these days, but it’s unlikely to bring the trust back.

The OSU Attacker Gets Reinforcements

2,500 more of these are on the way. And that's just the beginning.

2,500 more of these are on the way. And that’s just the beginning.

While the eyes of most interested in national security are on the excellent appointment of USMC Gen. James Mattis — and it’s worth it just to see the egg on hack reporter Colin Clark’s face for a bullshit report based on an “anonymous source” who probably didn’t exist, or whom he misrepresented — a more serious national security event just happened.

The lame duck “security” establishment is rushing “refugees” from jihad exporting nations to the United States — and the State Department is treating their names, points of origin, and destinations as classified information.

You know, like they didn’t do with their actual classified information, which is why a mountain of it is on Wikileaks, and whatever isn’t there is on servers in the Lubyanka. Fox:

In an unprecedented move, the U.S. State Department has classified details on refugees to be resettled in America via a secret deal made with Australia. The bi-lateral agreement, which Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called a “one-off,” involves 2,465 people currently being held in Papua New Guinea and Nauru who will now be transferred onto U.S. soil.

Officials, however, did confirm countries of origin to be Iran, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq and Sudan, as well as some deemed “stateless.”

Every single one of those nations is a net producer and exporter of terrorists, although Sri Lanka terrorism seems to be in remission at the moment. Still, the principal reason a refugee would free Sri Lanka is due to connection to the crushed Tamil separatist movement, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

The stateless are people who have been expelled from their home nations, primarily because their loyalty is elsewhere, for example, to a transnational pseudo-religious terrorist movement.

While this is hitting the mainstream media (well, some of the mainstream media) cold, Refugee Resettlement Watch was on it last month, before it actually happened. (She’s also got pictures of those fine “refugees” burning their camp down in a fit of inchoate anger in 2013).

In two related stories at the New York Times, one revels in the collapse of the immigration courts under lawyers’ obstruction and over a half-million backed-up deportation cases, and another tries to tell the story of the OSU jihadi, but can’t figure out why he did it.

It’s the Islam, stupid. We don’t need, and we can’t afford, even one more Somali. The Times says the attack was no big deal because the 11 people slashed by the attacker (and the one hit by police friendly fire) are not going to die. If the rest of these people did what the “assimilated, happy” “refugee” did in Columbus, then 27,115 people will be hospitalized with serious wounds. It’s not like we have any shortage of murderous refugees, violent immigrants and criminal alien mayhem already.

But hey, if it’s a Mattis story you want, Ralph Peters (LTC, MI, Ret.) has a good run-down on the guy.

If we don’t answer when you call, it’s because we’re out buying 2,465 more rounds of defensive ammunition, just in case.

Out of the Depths, a Glock 27

What is the story on this firearm? Hint: it’s not a mash-up between the World of Glock and the Southern California “rat rod” phenomenon. The “rat Glock” is a 27 and was fished up by a fisherman in an unknown location. He sent the photo in to the the maker of his lure, SlabZone in Oakland, which has a “what have you caught on our lures” feature on social media.

slabzone-g27

There are a number of reasons a compact Glock might come to reside in the drink. People actually do lose guns in boating accidents — it isn’t just a running joke. (Your Humble Blogger lost a wallet in a diving/boating mishap, containing a lot of junk paper and cards, a few bucks, a Group coin and his original gold-plated metal SF Association life membership card, but no Glocks yet).

Three questions come up:

  1. Would it still work?
  2. Was it used in a crime? Would it have evidentiary value?, and,
  3. How come I never catch anything like that?

Okay, that’s really four questions… but we’ll answer ’em, or try to.

Our guess is that the answer to 1. is a qualified “yes.” Qualified in that it may need to soak in lubricant for a while for the slide to be moved.

The answer to both parts of 2.? “It’s complicated.” Guns are valuable things, especially to criminals, and despite the risk that a criminal exposes himself to by retaining a crime gun, most of them still do. The exceptions are, or at least include, such professional criminals as organized crime gunmen. Street punks are more likely to sell, trade or even give a hot-as-in-got-a-body-on-it Glock to some other street criminal.

Apart from the boating-mishap scenario, we’ve known more than one guy who’s lost a firearm to an angry wife of girlfriend. “You love that Glock more than me! So I threw it off the Tappan Zee!”

LE could quickly check NCIC to see if it has been reported stolen, and local LE could call ATF to do a trace. Traces aren’t magical, they take a while, and experience says that it’s most likely that the ATF’s trace dead-ends at the gun’s first retail sale.

Then, assuming that the gun can be made to fire, it could be fired for ballistics and the result entered in NIBIN, but it’s likely that there’s corrosion inside the barrel, and to the firing pin, extractor, ejector, and breech face on the slide, so a match would probably be difficult (and could be challenged by a defense expert). The chance of tying this gun to an open case is very small, and if the case is closed, the ballistic evidence may no longer be active in NIBIN.

It would be worth trying the forensics approach just to see if anything usable could be recovered. It would make an interesting paper!

And as far as Question 3 goes, we’re happy enough to catch a fish. We’ve been known to get skunked even on that. 

Hat tip, Chris Eger at Guns.com.

 

 

 

La Morte de Castro, Leadership Reactions

Fidel Castro kicked the bucket over the weekend. Rather than tell you what we think, we’ll tell you what others think:

Justin Trudeau, Princeling of Canada (whose father used to mumble because his mouth was so full of Castro):

It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest serving President.

to-serve-man-cookbookFidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.

While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for “el Comandante”.

I know my father was very proud to call him a friend and I had the opportunity to meet Fidel when my father passed away. It was also a real honour to meet his three sons and his brother President Raúl Castro during my recent visit to Cuba.

On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and many, many supporters of Mr. Castro. We join the people of Cuba today in mourning the loss of this remarkable leader.

Hmmm. All Canadians, eh? Served his people, eh?

This name may not ring a bell, but he’s the guy the cartels let pretend he’s running Mexico:

“Fidel Castro was a friend of Mexico, promoter of bilateral relations based on respect, dialogue and solidarity.” That was actually one of the less adoring ones.

And the one by President Obama was not as bad as Trudeau’s.

obama-statement

And Secretary of State Kerry’s was neutral… almost diplomatic, as if some career foreign service officer wrote it for him:

We extend our condolences to the Cuban people today as they mourn the passing of Fidel Castro. Over more than half a century, he played an outsized role in their lives, and he influenced the direction of regional, even global affairs.

As our two countries continue to move forward on the process of normalization — restoring the economic, diplomatic and cultural ties severed by a troubled past — we do so in a spirit of friendship and with an earnest desire not to ignore history but to write a new and better future for our two peoples.

The United States reaffirms its support for deepening our engagement with the Cuban people now and in coming years.

And the winner of the Castro Rumpswab Contest is… no contest. Justin Trudeau. C’mon, is this the best the country that produced Wayne Freakin’ Gretzky can do?

Not everybody was gushing with love for the syphilitic old Commie. Politicians as diverse as President-elect Trump and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) issued statements critical of the hero of badly educated professors everywhere, and those American politicians of Cuban descent were especially scathing.

And Castro’s brother in superannuated dictatorship? Nothing but crickets from Robert Mugabe.

DOD Lame Ducks: Preemptive Strike Against Troop Carry

carch-22In a move designed to undermine the prospect of troops carrying defensive sidearms, lame duck Obama Administration officials have promulgated regulations “permitting” it[.pdf] — regulations that are jam-packed full of Catch-22 restrictions, punitive bureaucracy, and impossible requirements. These regulations recall the many times that these same officials took the side of Islamic terrorism against their own troops, not to mention their party’s history as the party of Jim Crow. As we discuss the points of the regulation below, bear in mind the history of the “literacy test” used in the Jim Crow era to keep blacks in a second-class situation, as we paraphrase from memory John Ross’s retelling of an old legend:

One election day in 1960, Martin Johnson decided to vote. Some young guys from Ohio had come through, and, under the glare of officials and deputies, had helped Martin and his wife and many other people of the town register to vote for the first time.

Martin was a little nervous as he approached the polling station in the county courthouse, because nothing good ever happened to him or his family in that place, and not a deputy but Sheriff JW Pepper his ownself was there.

“Why the Sheriff here?” he whispered to one of the kids from Ohio, who had to stay outside. “Don’t let him bother you. He says he’s doing a literacy test.”

“Well, I can read just fine,” Martin said, and took his place in line.

The white lady in front of him got to the head of the line, and he watched her interaction with Sheriff Pepper closely.

“Here is your literacy test,” Pepper said, and held up a newspaper, the same County Clarion that Martin had read this morning. “Read me the headline.”

“Election Day 1960,” the lady said, amused. Martin exulted for a minute. This was going to be easy.

“Here is your literacy test, boy,” Pepper said, and held up a different newspaper. “Read me the headline.”

“But… Sir… Mr Sheriff… that paper be Chinese!

“Boy, read me the headline,” Pepper repeated sternly.

“It says, no colored folks are goin’ to be voting in this county today.”

It is no exaggeration to say that E-Ring suits see troops, especially soldiers and Marines, and especially enlisted troops, with the same paternalistic contempt their Jim Crow grandfathers reserved for the “colored.” Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work, who has tirelessly striven to put our troops at a disadvantaga against peer competitors and Islamic terrorists alike, promulgated the new regulations, with the approval of Social Justice Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.

Work and Carter, and their families, are guarded around the clock by men with guns. In today’s Washington, safety and protection of your life and family is a perk that comes with rank, not a human right.

The faults of the DOD policy are many and glaring.

  • Delegates authority to Lieutenant Colonel and Commander level commanders. While normally anything that pushes power down to the battalion, squadron, or ship commander is a great thing, in this case those officers are being put in an impossible position between anti-self-defense superiors and the right-to-life of their own troops.
  • Does nothing to encourage commanders to grant this permission.
  • Makes an authority letter only valid for ninety days. If the commander wants to stick his neck out and let his people defend themselves, he has to resign and redistribute the letter four times a year — 12 times in a three-year command. This is a waste of a commander’s most precious resource, time, but it’s not a pointless waste. The point of the Bob Work rule is that it’s a “sickener,” designed to impede the commander from taking this action.
  • Every letter and every change must be reported directly to the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center.
  • All authorizations must be cleared with military lawyers, the new Commissars, who have veto authority over commanders’ decisions.
  • Authorization only applies on the post but not within any buildings. 
  • Authorization limits service members to state requirements, for example, 10-round magazines in New York.
  • Authorization will depend on completion of a DOD qualification, which does not yet exist, every 12 months.
  • Hinges authorization, not just on qualification or a commander certification, but on acquisition of a civilian license from the authorities in every individual state the service member will work in.
  • Firearms must be unloaded and secured (i.e. in a safe) when off duty, for those authorized to carry issue firearms. Private firearms (if authorized) can be on the service member’s person, on or off duty.
  • The policy exempts the National Guard; they don’t permission to defend themselves unless  their State Governor gives it to them, but must remain soft targets.

If Congress does not overturn these restrictions within 60 work days, they become permanent; a long lame-duck session focused on bigger fish could guarantee that our troops are unable to defend themselves for months, or years, into the future. This may not be its intended consequence; it’s doubtful that Carter or Work think of the troops enough to actually want to harm them, they’re more indifferent to them and, as all DC satraps, focused on self-service. These regulations are there not to harm individuals, even though they will do that, but to score bureaucratic points — the currency of Carter’s and Work’s world.

Bear in mind that this “permission” is not something that E-Ring suits who oppose the very idea just decided to do. They were directed by Congress to do it, and are “complying” with the bare minimum document — the bureaucrat’s defensive mode, passive resistance and dumb insolence. Congress, where the lives of mere enlisted men and their politically powerless families are also not usually on the scale, either, was shocked out of its normal glutton’s torpor and acted on this after the Fort Hood Massacre, in which an Islamist unwisely recruited by the Army Medical Department had an attack of Sudden Jihad Syndrome and committed a spree of murders and attempted murders.

Of course, not all the current administration’s appointees think the Fort Hood Massacre was a bad thing. Then-Chief of Staff Casey dismissed the deaths of 13 troops as “a tragedy, but“, asserting that the real damage would be if anyone let a realistic view of the war knock ‘diversity” off its perch as the prime, overriding Army value.

Current Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley, who is, like Casey, the very model of the modern social justice general, approves the new rules, and considers the results of the Fort Hood shooting, where one of his precious Diversity Beans snapped and started shooting people, a great success: Police stopped the incident before more than 55 people were shot, after all, and none of the victims were generals.

Milley himself has armed bodyguards, around the clock and everywhere he goes. Rank has its privileges. Apparently one of them is self defense.

(DOD Policy.pdf)

Around Your Navy

Apologies to the growing cadre of non-US-ian readers, but most of you haven’t got much in the way of Navies, have you? (A direction in which we’re trending). Some of you haven’t got much in the way of armies, either — we were shocked to learn the dreaded German Panzer force is, count ’em, four operational tank battalions (+1 operational training battalion). But the US still is trying to have a Navy, despite a sex and social-justice obsessed upper management echelon, which makes these items interesting about Your Navy, if you’re a fellow Yank. If you’re one of our overseas friends, just think about this as Those Silly Yankees, #32767.

Item: Navy Blows over 130,000 Sailors’ PII, Shrugs.

A Navy contractor lost the complete Personal Identifying Information, including Names, Dates of Birth, and Social Security Account Numbers, of 134,386 sailors to an unknown hacker in October. Notified by the contractor, Hewlett Packard, the Navy sat on this information for just under a month. No one is being held accountable, and the Navy plans simply to provide the usual year of credit monitoring that has allowed other Washington agencies to escape any consequences for irresponsible data mishandling.

Payments to HP under the contract continue uninterrupted. The careless individual who put the Navy data on an unsecure laptop continues to draw pay under this contract.

Use of the term “sailors” in Navy official correspondence and PR on the matter suggests than the victims are all enlisted personnel. That might explain why Big Haze Gray is so apathetic about the breach.

Item: The CO Up and Quit

This has happened approximately zero times until this week, but you can bet it has taken the E-Ring by storm this morning: the Commanding Officer of USS Rushmore walked down the gangplank for the last time, and turned in her chit.

The “her” is why the E-Ring is abuzz; as a Valuable Diversity Bean, Commander Sarah DeGroot was, to pilfer a phrase, more equal than the other animals, at least to the sex-obsessed denizens of the big offices. Navy Times:

Cmdr. Sarah DeGroot told the head of Amphibious Squadron 3, Capt. Homer Denius, on Monday that she was resigning as the Rushmore’s CO. Three sources were unable to immediately specify why she’d taken this highly unusual and likely career-ending move.

uss-rushmore

Rushmore is an LSD, which in the Navy is not a mind-altering drug but a dock landing ship, which can launch landing craft from a floodable welldeck and helicopters and powered-lift aircraft from a short flight deck. Ships like Rushmore are also often used as flag and command vessels for amphibious and special operations.

Prior to taking command of Rushmore on 1 Mar 16, DeGroot was her XO.  At that time, Rushmore was starting a “maintenance availability” and remains in the shipyard. It does not appear to have put to sea, ever, under De Groot. At her change of command, in, the Navy released the following:

De Groot was born in Long Beach, California, received her commission, 3rd Mate commercial license, as well as Bachelor of Sciences in Marine Biology and Marine Transportation in 1998 from Texas A&M, Galveston Maritime Academy. She reported to the Rushmore as the executive officer after serving as the director of Combat Systems and Tactics Training, as well as lead tactical action officer mentor at Afloat Training Group San Diego.

So she was probably a ROTC scholarship student at that maritime academy (for the Regular and not Reserve commission).

“You have done incredible things over the nearly two years I have been [executive officer]. It has been a joy to be a part of your unbelievable accomplishments,” said De Groot. “Because of your exceptional achievements, I know without a doubt that I am the most blessed commanding officer coming into the seat because of [the crew of Rushmore].”

De Groot’s sea tours include USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) as the first division officer and the electrical officer, USS Constellation (CV 64) as the combat systems maintenance officer, USS Rushmore (LSD 47) as the 1st lieutenant and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 50 as the force protection officer.

She served ashore at the Navy’s Operational Test and Evaluation Force as a C4I systems liaison officer and as the flag secretary for Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic.

That’s an interesting career, with tech jobs alternating with command, and heavy on the PHIBRON assignments… almost a career gator. The Flag Secretary strikes us as an unusual job for a non-Academy type. Wonder what Commander Salamander thinks of this? Let’s check… hmmm. Nothing, yet.

Item: Functionally Unarmed Ship Named for Anti-Gun Activist to be Commissioned

The 10th Littoral Combat Ship, USS Gabrielle Giffords, has passed a set of acceptance trials not involving weapons firing, which is deprecated in today’s Navy. It did, however, demonstrate lots of proof-of-bugout-capability. Giffords is one of the few Ray Mabus ship names that seems to fit. The human Giffords is a former politician who was shot in the head, and became an anti-2nd-Amendment activist as a result; the ship Giffords is as unarmed and defenseless as its namesake was on the day, and would like the citizenry to be for all time.  Here’s hoping they keep it far away from superior surface combatants, such as Somali and Yemeni pirate dhows.

150224-N-EW716-002 MOBILE, Ala. (Feb. 24, 2015) An aerial view of the future littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) during its launch sequence at the Austal USA shipyard. The launch of the Gabrielle Giffords marks an important production milestone for the littoral combat ship program. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

150224-N-EW716-002
MOBILE, Ala. (Feb. 24, 2015) An aerial view of the future littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) during its launch sequence at the Austal USA shipyard. The launch of the Gabrielle Giffords marks an important production milestone for the littoral combat ship program. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

Like all the two-hull bipolar class of Littoral Combat Ships, Giffords can’t fight against aircraft, surface ships, shore installations, or submarines. It does, however, provide commander and command master chief billets and can launch and recover rigid-hull inflatable boats. That last capability may come in handy if it ever has to engage the patrol boats of a third-world navy, by allowing its selected-by-diversity-beancount officers to abandon ship without getting moistened.

It does have a fairly good turn of speed, if all the gadgetry is working, and decent stealth, if all its gadgetry (radar, radio, etc) is not working; thus, it will be capable of flight from enemies in littoral or deep water alike, making it the very Brave Sir Robin of surface combatants. (If “combatant” is really the word. But the Navy hates to admit these are “surface targets.”)

The LCSes that are not being named by SecNav Mabus for politicians and activists of his party, are being named for cities, names once reserved for cruisers, but the Navy seems to have given up on building cruisers: too many icky guns, too much versatility, too much triggering combat power.

Item: Navy Can’t Even Squeeze a Ship Through the Panama Canal Any More

Not if the ship is the science-fiction looking DDG-1000 USS Zumwalt, the new ship that’s so experimental that the Navy gave up on buying ammunition for it. The Zumwalt class are supposed to have an all new engineering setup that works a little like a diesel-electric locomotive, to provide previously unprecedented levels of electrical power from a non-nuclear ship. This juice is intended to power weapons of the future, but it’s having a hard time powering propulsion of the present.

USS Zumwalt, fitting out in October, 2013.

USS Zumwalt, fitting out in October, 2013.

Sam LaGrone at the USNI Blog:

A defense official told USNI News on Tuesday the repairs could take up to ten days.

The ship lost propulsion in its port shaft during the transit and the crew saw water intrusion in two of the four bearings that connect to Zumwalt’s port and starboard Advanced Induction Motors (AIMs) to the drive shafts, a defense official told USNI News on Tuesday. The AIMs are the massive electrical motors that are driven by the ship’s gas turbines and in turn electrically power the ship’s systems and drive the shafts.

That sounds like an attempt to minimize the event, as LaGrone also tells us that:

Both of the shafts locked during the passage and the transit had to be completed with tugs. The ship made minor contact with lock walls in the canal resulting in minor cosmetic damage.

That the ship made “minor contact with lock walls” and there isn’t an accompanying press release with the words “relieved when commanders determined they had lost confidence” hints at an unexpected event.

Following the transit, the Navy determined the ship couldn’t continue to its new homeport at Naval Station San Diego without additional repairs.

This is engineering casualty Nº 3, at least, for the new ship. It crapped out once, precommissioning, on arrival in Virginia from its builders, Bath Iron Works.

ddg_1000_newport_160908-n-px557-090

USS Zumwalt in Newport, 8 Sep 16

The latest casualty follows an incident in September following the ship’s transit from shipbuilder General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Maine to Naval Station Norfolk, Va. in which the crew discovered “a seawater leak in the propulsion motor drive lube oil auxiliary system for one of the ship’s shafts,” the Navy told USNI News at the time. A service official told USNI News the most recent incident is similar. The service has narrowed down the likely problem to lube oil coolers leaking. The service replaced all four lube oil coolers following the September casualty.

If it’s the same part again, that’s probably not the planned service life. On the plus side, maybe they could store lots of lube oil coolers in the space taken up by empty magazines?

And then it lost propulsion again, sometime in October.

Following its Oct. 15 commissioning, Zumwalt suffered additional unspecified engineering trouble around the time arrived at Naval Station Mayport, Fla. and spent extra time repairing and testing the propulsion system, USNI News understands.

Zumwalt entered the Panama Canal following a successful port visit to Colombia last week – a visit which the service intended to skip if it thought the engineering problems would continue, several defense officials told USNI News.

Zumwalt has a number of tests and evaluations that it must undergo before actually joining the fleet, a date that was already projected gauzily to about two years in the future, and is certain to slide further now, possibly into 2019. That is not as much of a limitation as it sounds like, though, because the decision not to procure the only ammunition the Zumwalt class guns’ magazines can handle, means that, like the functionally unarmed LCS vessels, it is incapable of more than “presence patrols,” or showing the flag in uncontested seas and ports.

While this looks like something to keelhaul a few admirals over, everything suffers teething when it’s new (to put it in firearms terms many of you will understand, many are alive that remember the M16 controversy, and you can read about the unsatisfactory initial deployment of the gas-trap M1 Garand in the 1930s; even the first AK-47 had to be hastily redesigned on the fly). And the more complex something is, the more likely you are to have teething problems — and you’d better believe an all-electric guided missile destroyer is fiendishly complex.

The ship’s engineering plant – the Integrated Power System (IPS) – is arguably the most complex and unique in the service. Installing and testing the system — that provides ship additional power margins to power high energy weapons and sensors — was a primary reason the ship delivered months late to the service.

The DDG-1000 class is also very expensive on a unit basis because the three units left after cuts must bear all the overhead and RDT&E expense of the entire project.

The other two DDG-1000 ships will be named, one for a Naval hero as was long the custom of the Navy for destroyers, SEAL MOH recipient, DDG-1001 USS Michael Monsoor, and the other, thanks to lame duck SecNav Ray Mabus, for a politician of Mabus’s party, DDG-1002 USS Lyndon B. Johnson. They will benefit from anything learned with Zumwalt’s revolutionary but fragile propulsion system — but still go to sea with empty magazines.

Item: To End on a Positive Note, HoverJug to Go to Sea Soon

In additional news, an Marine force will soon be deploying with a full squadron of F-35 STOVL aircraft on its baby carrier. So there is that.

How Hampshire College Celebrated Veterans’ Day

How did they celebrate Veterans’ Day at Hampshire College in the college-dense wonderland of Amherst, Massachusetts? Students, professors, and administrators gathered on the eve of Veterans’ Day, lowered the United States Flag, and burned it. It was a fitting expression of their contempt for the United States and, especially, its veterans.

burining-flag

To celebrate this display of Hampshire College values, and illustrate college solidarity with the flag-burners, College President Jonathan Lash ordered that the flag not be raised, afterward.

Ever again.

Hampshire College’s president Johnathan Lash announced neither the American flag nor any other flags will be flown on campus.

Lash is not a veteran. (His only career has been as a bureaucrat and an enviromental activist). He despises veterans. He certainly doesn’t want them, or their family members, on his campus. He obviously doesn’t want any veteran in business ever to hire a graduate of Hampshire College, thereby staining the college’s purity of message with the taint of America.

Lash is no stranger to the power of the flag as a symbol. He had previously ordered it lowered to half-staff, in protest of the election of Donald Trump.

You know, if you are an inmate of some navel-gazing Academistan, and wondering how in the Hegel we wound up with President Trump, this is what those of us in the intelligence racket call an indicator. President Trump?  Jonathan Lash is how you get President Trump, and he’s already working to re-elect the guy.

Update

Michael Walsh at PJ Media has more. He includes an excerpt from an updated statement from the veteran-hating Lash. In it, Lash says his decision to fly the flag at half-staff was a response to “the current environment of escalating hate-based violence,” by which he apparently means his candidate losing the election. (For an academic, he uses words with the imprecision of the bureaucrat that he was before). Then, he denies it had anything to do with the election; at one point, he even suggests he was doing it to respect the war fallen, a laughable suggestion. And he culminates by saying not flying the flag lets them focus on fighting what it stands for:

…racist, misogynistic, Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and behaviors.

As Walsh says, you might want to think twice before sending your kids here. Not to this evil place. Or for hiring anybody else’s kids who have been subject to Lash’s hate indoctrination for four or more years.

Scrap Metal Thieves in the 10,000 Ton Range

The glorious story of the fourth ship to bear the name HMS Exeter came to an end twice — in 1942, when she went to the bottom off the Dutch East Indies with fifty men of her crew, and the survivors went into Japanese captivity (where over 150 more would be slaughtered); and again in 2016, when her wreck and war grave, rediscovered in 2008, was found to have been completely plundered by Asian metal thieves.

Exeter was not the only ship to be erased from the seabed. British destroyers HMS Electra and Encounter, Royal Dutch HMNLS De Ruyter and HMNLS Java sunk in the same battle are gone as well (although some bits of Electra remain). HMNLS Kortenaer is partly gone. The US Submarine Perch sunk in an unrelated action is gone, but is not a war grave (her whole crew escaped the fire of sinking into the frying pan of Japanese captivity); along with the two cruisers sunk at the follow-on Battle of the Sunda Strait, HMAS Perth and USS Houston, war graves for over 300 Australians and Americans respectively, which were determined by surveys in 2013 and 2015 to have been invaded and partly stripped by scrappers.

While the British losses at the Battle of the Java Sea were not trivial, the Dutch lost over 900 seamen in the battle, including the Netherlands’ last great admiral, Karel Doorman. It was a Dutch expedition to place a plaque in memory of Doorman and his men that first discovered that the ships were not there. There’s no question of a navigational error, as the indentations where the ships used to be are still there.

dutch-outrageThe Dutch, as you might imagine, are fit to be tied. (See front page at left: “Puzzle in the Java Sea,” with an artists’ rendering of the now-missing Dutch ships as of 2008).

The Indonesian response has been flippant. Indonesian Navy Spokesman Gig Jonias Mozes Sipasulta suggested that it’s the Netherlands’ own fault for not requesting that the Indonesians guard the location.

The Netherlands, the former colonial power, is little loved in Indonesia, and the majority mohammedan population does not respect the graves of infidels.

The only remaining question, at this point: were the thieves Indonesian, Chinese, or Indonesians and Chinese working together?

Exeter may be the most historic of these lost ships. She was a proud ship. Built in the 1920s under the strictures of the naval disarmament treaties of the era, the 8,400 ton cruiser was the second and last of the York class and sufficiently different from York as to be readily distinguished. In order to meet the weight strictures of the Washington and London Naval Treaties, York and Exeter dispensed with belt armor, reducing weight but increasing tophamper and rendering the ships vulnerable in a fight with peer or larger units. (It was Exeter’s fate in WWII to get into such fights).

Battle of the River Plate

Exeter was one of the three cruisers that harried DKM Graf Spee into this harbor off Montevideo, Uruguay and caused, ultimately, the scuttling of the vessel and suicide of her captain.

Exeter, the best armed and armored of the three ships opposing Graf Spee (The others were HMS Ajax and HMNZS Achilles) went toe-to-toe with the German battlecruiser and paid the price.

Exeter took a considerable beating, as seen here. German day gunnery was thought to be the best in the world, and the 100-plus hits Exeter took in barely 20 minutes proved that conventional opinion was valid. But a couple of hits from Exeter drove Graf Spee into harbor to make repairs. Believing he was bottled up — an erroneous belief, as Exeter had already decamped for the Falklands and hasty repairs of its own — the German captain, Hans Langdorff, scuttled the ship and then shot himself.

exetersdamage1939

Graf Spee remains on the bottom of the Rio Plata. Why? Uruguay and Argentina, the adjacent countries, are civilized. Indonesia? Not so much.

Battle of the Java Sea & 2nd Battle of the Java Sea

In 1941, Exeter transited the Panama Canal enroute to her new station in the Far East.

exeter-at-panama

After the Sino-Japanese war that had been percolating for years broke out into general warfare after the Japanese  became one of the ill-fated multinational ABDA (American, British, Dutch, Australian) squadron in the southwest Pacific. Exeter fought a number of actions against Japanese ships and aircraft (see below), before the Battle of the Java Sea on 27 February 1942.

In the Battle of the Java Sea, the ABDA force sortied from Surabaya on the Dutch (now Indonesian) island of Java to intercept a Japanese landing force, under the command of Admiral Doorman. The Japanese force was screened by the IJN’s surface combatants, at that stage of the war probably the best in the world, man-for-man and ship-for-ship.

The ABDA force comprised 9 cruisers, including USS Houston and  Marblehead;  HMAS Hobart; HMS Exeter, Jupiter, and Express; and Dutch DeRuyter, Java, and Piethien.  

exeter-sinks-1-mar-42Exeter was again ordered to seek repairs. She buried 14 dead at sea, and was provided with two escorting destroyers, HMS Encounter and USS Pope, and set course for Surabaya. After hasty repairs to Exeter, the same three ships headed for the Royal Navy’s docks in Ceylon, but nine Japanese warships caught up to the squadron on 1 March 42 and sent them all to the bottom. (This is called, by historians, the 2nd Battle of the Java Sea). Most of the crewmen survived, with Exeter taking the most casualties — 52, fewer than she lost at the River Plate. This photo was taken from a Japanese aircraft.

 

The ships were found in 2007 by a US/Australian and identified in 2008, and wreck archaeologists were only beginning to study the wrecks to shed light on the 1942 battles. One of the then-living HMS Exeter survivors, Fred Aindow, then 88, remembered of his station in a gun turret:

We were firing until the last moment,” he said. “I think we were the last to stop. Then it was over the side and I hung on to an oar for an hour until I was picked up. The next three years were sheer hell.

It’s great news that they’ve found Exeter. I’d like to dive down myself and get my shoes from my locker that I had only just bought.

Another, Tom Jowett, a spokesman for the Survivors’ Association:

This is great news but it is important now to make sure the wreck is properly respected.

That didn’t happen. The UK MOD, seeking to protect the ships’ locations as grave sites, shared the closely-held location with Indonesian officials, which is now looking like a rather large error and a Judas-and-Brutus level betrayal by the Indonesians.

As the ship went down, her surviving company, afloat in the water, sent up three cheers.

exeter_sinking

For the survivors, Japanese captivity killed three times the men that the sinking of their ships had done. It didn’t start off that way; Japanese captains including Shunsaku Kudo of the destroyer IJN Ikazuchi hazarded their own ships to rescue survivors; Kudo took 442 on board his own ship. But once the prisoners were transferred from the relatively cosmopolitan and chivalric Navy to the custody of the barbarous Japanese Army ashore, they were badly abused.

USS Pope’s XO, Dick Antrim, was awarded the Medal of Honor for a selfless act of heroism during captivity: as the Japanese were beating another prisoner to death, Antrim demanded that they punish him instead. The Japanese were astonished by this act, and ceased the beating, and generally seemed to respect the Americans more and abuse them less after this. Antrim is buried in Arlington… where the Indonesians can’t get to him!

Sources:

The Daily Express: http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/733462/War-graves-disturbed-Indonesia-British-ships-Battle-Java-Sea-removed

The Telegraph (destruction & desecration): http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/16/dutch-probe-mystery-of-wartime-shipwrecks-that-appear-to-have-go/

The Telegraph (original discovery, survivor quotes):  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/indonesia/1975561/Wartime-naval-legend-HMS-Exeter-found-off-Java.html

WWII Today (excellent long quote from surviving Exeter officer Lt. Cmdr. George Cooper). http://ww2today.com/1st-march-1942-hms-exeters-final-battle

Reuters (Dutch irritation over missing ships, Indonesian Navy flippant comment): http://www.reuters.com/article/us-netherlands-indonesia-missing-ships-idUSKBN13D1Z5

Japan Probe (story of Captain Kudo and the Itazuki. Kudo survived the war, but his ship and most of the crew were lost later). http://www.japanprobe.com/2007/05/19/the-untold-story-of-captain-kudo-shunsaku-and-the-destroyer-ikazuchi/

Heroism of Dick Antrim: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/rantrim.htm

 

Another Gobsmacking Navy Shortfall: Ammunition

USS Zumwalt, fitting out in October, 2013.

USS Zumwalt, fitting out in Bath, Maine; October, 2013.

There are problems with making great conceptual leaps across technological chasms, the Navy is finding out (again). Problem #1: if you fall short, it’s a long way down. (Down to where? Davy Jones’s locker? Maybe). Problem #2: the incumbent Pentagon overhead, obsessed with race/sex/class and social engineering, hasn’t laid on some simple things, like weapons and ammunition.

We’ve already discussed the near-worthless Littoral Combat Ships, where the navy doubled costs by splitting the all-but-unarmed class of ships baby between two designs, and thus never provided effective anti-ship, -shore, -sub, -mine or -air sensor and weapons suites. As a result, they are buying a fleet of ships incapable of any mission but “presence” — to wit, showing the flag.

At the same time, the LCS (despite its staggering cost) was supposed to be the low end of a low-hi mix in which the “hi” was going to be provided by a powerful new class of destroyers, stealthy, creeping up towards light cruiser displacement, and bristling with capital ship armament.

160421-N-YE579-005 ATLANTIC OCEAN (April 21, 2016) The future guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) transits the Atlantic Ocean during acceptance trials April 21, 2016 with the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV). The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of DDG 1000, the future guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) May 20, 2016. Following a crew certification period and October commissioning ceremony in Baltimore, Zumwalt will transit to its homeport in San Diego for a Post Delivery Availability and Mission Systems Activation. DDG 1000 is the lead ship of the Zumwalt-class destroyers, next-generation, multi-mission surface combatants, tailored for land attack and littoral dominance. (U.S. Navy/Released)

160421-N-YE579-005
ATLANTIC OCEAN (April 21, 2016) The future guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) transits the Atlantic Ocean during acceptance trials April 21, 2016 with the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV). The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of DDG 1000, the future guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) May 20, 2016. Following a crew certification period and October commissioning ceremony in Baltimore, Zumwalt will transit to its homeport in San Diego for a Post Delivery Availability and Mission Systems Activation. DDG 1000 is the lead ship of the Zumwalt-class destroyers, next-generation, multi-mission surface combatants, tailored for land attack and littoral dominance. (U.S. Navy/Released)

They went, however, a little too far on high-tech armament. Coupled with a Congressionally- and Pentagon-imposed budget ceiling, they wound up with a ship that shoots million-dollar bullets they can’t afford to buy, and so it sails with near-empty magazines. After a few minutes of firing, not only is the new USS Zumwalt out of BBs, so is the Navy — the bunkers, ammo ships, and cupboards are bare, and we’re back to “presence.”

There’s another word for an unarmed ship on presence patrol: “target.”

And, incidentally, these million-dollar bullets? Zumwalt’s designers assumed sea and air supremacy, so there’s no way to fire them against hostile ships or aircraft. They can bust bunkers when the Marines invade Tarawa or Iwo Jima, just in case we go to war with Japan again.

 

The DDG-1000 Zumwalt class ships have a remarkable array of new technologies, far more than the two classes of Little Crappy Ships, and it is amazing that they have been, so far, remarkably free of the structural failures and propulsion casualties that have made LCS the laughingstock of the seven seas. From a Fox News report (we have rearranged some snipped paragraphs out of the original order to make our points):

The destroyer features electric propulsion, an angular shape to minimize radar signature, an unconventional wave-piercing hull, and a deckhouse that hides radar and other sensors. The 155mm Advanced Gun System was designed by BAE Armament Systems.

The ships weigh in at nearly 15,000 tons, about 50 percent heavier than current destroyers. But the crew size is half of the 300 personnel of other destroyers, thanks to automation.

Of course, a smaller crew with everyone at battle stations raises the musical question: who ya gonna call for damage control? But that’s the least of Big Haze Gray’s problems, apparently.

The GPS-guided, rocket-powered projectiles developed for the new 155mm Advanced Gun System currently cost about $800,000 apiece, nearly as much as a cruise missile, making them too expensive for the Navy to buy in large quantities for the stealthy USS Zumwalt, according to officials.

ord_naval_ags_firing_concept_lg

The projectiles were supposed to be less expensive than missiles, providing a cost-effective way to pummel targets from 70 miles away and clearing the way for amphibious landings.

But the current price compares with $1 million for a cruise missile, which has a range of 1,000 miles. And the price grow, officials said.

“And the price grow.” They wrote that, we didn’t.

For now, there are no plans to buy projectiles beyond the initial purchase of 90, according to the Navy’s draft 2018 budget. The Zumwalt is supposed to be stocked with 600.

We see where this is going, of course. They’re going to adapt some Army projos so that this thing can sail near coasts with more powerful navies, like the dhows of the Somali pirates.

The Navy is evaluating alternatives for ammunition for the Zumwalt and two other ships in the class that are under construction at Bath Iron Works in Maine. Those options include both conventional and hyper-velocity projectiles, said Navy Capt. Thurraya Kent.

If there’s a boondoggle, there’s always sleek lobbyists from a Beltway boondoggle shop in the mix somewhere. In this case, the co-conspirators are Lockheed Martin, the Goldman Sachs of the defense industry.

Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin, which developed the 155mm projectiles, blamed the low production rate of ships — only three are being built, compared with the 32 originally envisioned — for driving up costs of the guided munitions. The defense contractor is working with the Navy with options, a spokeswoman said.

The Navy has been struggling to reduce costs because of budget limits, but those constraints could be eased when Republican President-elect Donald Trump takes office. He has vowed to boost defense spending and to increase the size of the U.S. fleet.

The 610-foot Zumwalt, the first ship in the class, was commissioned into service last month and is currently en route to its home port in San Diego.

It does sound like the Navy let somebody re-develop a paralllel to the Army’s Advanced Copperhead, etc. rounds, without any attempt to reuse the Army technology or save money.

This painting made for Lockheed Martin to promote the near-million-dollar rounds shows one about to strike a $200,000 BMP-1 and another plunging down onto a $5 bunker with a $100 AK-47 in it, inadvertently illustrating the basic problem with an all-smart-weaponry armament suite.

lrlap-painting

“Smart weapons” are beloved by DC politicians who want to make symbolic strikes without exposing American troops to risk. For example, in 1998 the USA conducted a series of Tomahawk strikes against various shacks, tents, and wooden bleachers described as “terrorist training camps,” ostensibly to defeat Al-Qaeda (and they’ve scarcely troubled us since then!) but probably to recapture the Beltway news cycle from Monica Lewinsky.

They can be effective in some scenarios, but not when targeted from the Situation Room, or exchanged for low-value targets, as in the picture above.

More detail (as usual) is available at the USNI Blog. (Update: we also found this entry by the indomitable Commander Salamander on that blog, which we had missed originally). Shaking his head, we’d bet, he writes:

This was a warship the size of a Pocket Battleship that would carry the largest guns of any warship in our navy – gun with a large rate of fire and range – that was intentionally designed not to be able to use these guns to engage an seagoing enemy.

Top. Men.

Update

Tam in the comments has selflessly pointed us to The Parable of the Stick on her blog, as good an analysis of the unit cost conundrum as you are likely to find, and yet one that appears to be unknown inside the Beltway. Set down your drink and ensure your upper digestive tract is clear of fluids before you read it; a sinus full of Dr Pepper is no reason to present at the ER. But it’s pure entertainducation to the last “thwack!”

The Dumbing Down: Lower the Standards to Meet the Men

Future Feds of America

Recently, frequent commenter JAFO reminded us on Gab of the disaster that was MacNamara’s 100,000. This was a 1960s attempt to use the Armed Forces for social engineering by deliberately admitting 100,000 volunteers a year who did not meet minimum standards for volunteers or the draft. What kind of standards? Today, the standards the services’ recruiters struggle to meet are fitness standards, given the latest Rotund Generation, and medical standards, given the universalization of psychoactive drugs. (And yes, social engineers decry those standards, but that’s a whole other issue). But fifty years ago, with a much larger military and an active draft, the people who wanted in but could not get in were disqualified, mostly, by low IQ.

They were too dumb to grunt. Process that. 

First, some background. Army mental standards are not especially high, although they vary from job to job. They divide the population into bins based on standard deviation from the mean. The bottom bin (Category V) and the next-to-bottom (Cat IV-B) are not ever supposed to be admitted. In 1966, the harsh term used for these people was mentally retarded. For the IV-Bs, perhaps, educable mentally retarded. Since then, we’ve had so many iterations of euphemisms, with each one in turn flaming out as the truth of it burns through, that we’re not really sure what the buzzword du jour is. It doesn’t alter the fact that these recruits could not do much meaningful military work in the far lower-tech Army and Marines of 1966, and they’d been even less useful now.

The next group up, Cat IV A, are admitted when the personnel wallahs are desperate for warm bodies. During the Vietnam War, for example, and during the Hollow Army of the mid and late 1970s. These are the ones the compassionate educator termed, fifty years ago in 1966, borderline retarded. 

Warm body desperation is a pathology all its own, given the highly incentivized recruiting realm, where carrots and sticks are both wielded with abandon by Recruiting Command. There are frequent test-cheating and recruiting corruption scandals as it is, most of which somehow involve tests being pencil-whipped or ringers being substituted at test time so that Slow Joe can become GI Joe. So some of these people scrape through or are smuggled through, all human-devised barriers being, ultimately, porous to incentivized human ingenuity.

IQ is highly correlated with a lot of things in life, from earning potential to impulsivity to educational attainment to crime. In fact, most psychometricians know, although few would write it down and nail it to the cathedral door, that a great deal of interracial disparities in outcomes of all kinds are downstream of interracial disparities in IQ.

Most people tend to sort themselves into groups of people of similar IQ. A Great Assortation has taken place since World War II. We mate with similarly smart spouses; we move to neighborhoods full of people much like ourselves; we work in offices full of people with similar levels of intelligence and education. Only people in public-facing jobs see the full range of human diversity in intellectual ability. Thus, because our personal heuristic field is rationally bounded by the people we know, and the people we know are not representative but are from a restricted range of a wider distribution, we’re likely to misjudge where “average” is and just how far it is to rock bottom.

We’ll get back to that, but first let’s talk about the history of The Dumbing Down.

MacNamara’s 100,000

In the mid 1960s, Robert S. Macnamara (the S. was, suitably, for “Strange” — we are not making that up), decided that the Army and Marines could cure some of the problems of underperforming civilian youth by giving 100,000 dummies a year an opportunity to excel in uniform. The project was successful at recruiting or drafting 385,000 people with IQs as low as 62 (!) into what Salon calls “McNamara’s Morons.” As you might expect, these pitiful privates did not excel in the military, and were disproportionately represented among courts martial and NJP’d troops.

FMI on Mac’s Morons, this weird site suggests it was a white man’s plot to exterminate black men, but it’s worth checking out the period (1968) New York Times story embedded therein, about the outcomes for the substandard soldiers. This dictionary entry from the Vietnam Project at Texas Tech gives a concise and neutral explanation. This Master’s Thesis from the University of Utah[.pdf] illustrates what happens when a modern, poorly educated but credentialed social justice warrior examines this through the usual SJW prisms of racism and marxist jargon.

The Colin Powell Commission and SF

SF PatchIn 1993, the first Clinton Administration wanted to start small in social engineering and work their way up. One of the first things the social engineers wanted to arrange in the military is ,not to put too fine a point on it, more minorities in Special Forces. Why this was necessary was so obvious to them that they couldn’t explain it rationally. All they could do, if you asked “why?”, was to label you racist and shriek at you — even though you were not the one trying to structure things racially. If pressed by some “racist,” they had slogans — you know the type. “Diversity is Our Vibrancy.”

Now, SF was at the time at least 40% minority, but these were the wrong minorities. SF had a lot of Hispanics. Lots of Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Central Americans, Tex-Mex border guys. We also had some other minority groups at higher-than-national average counts, including Asians, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and Jews — when these four groups were extremely underrepresented in Big Green as a whole.

These “minorities” were invisible to the Clintonistas, who counted them all as “white.” (Fair cop, as far as the Jews and most of the Spanish-speakers, some of whom barely had a functional command of English, were concerned). “Minority” meant “black,” another one of those metastasizing euphemisms. (Remember, this was 1993; today, they’re “African Americans.” Do try to keep up, Winston Smith).

The only “minority” anybody in the Clinton Pentagon could  think of was Colin Powell, who had become a media hero for being the spokesman during the Gulf War. So they found General Powell and set him at the head of a commission looking into the desperate straits of Diversity is Our Vibrancy in Army Special Operations, especially SF.

During Powell’s career, which stretched from the sixties to the nineties, the percentage of blacks in the Army and in the combat arms had declined. One explanation (for the diversicrats, the only explanation) was deep-seated institutional racism. Which is why Powell was terminal at Lieutenant Colonel… oh, wait. Another explanation gave America a little more credit: in 1966, a bright black kid really did face a tough future, and one way forward that had a concrete set of rules and that did its imperfect best to treat all citizens alike was the armed services. It was a great pathway to the middle class for people who didn’t have another. But by 1996, their sons (and daughters) had other pathways. Colleges wanted them, employers wanted them, and the Armed Services were just one more option, not the standout option they’d been to Dad or Uncle Mike.

But Powell, at his core an honest man, didn’t come up with a bullshit report, but rather, with two possible structural changes in SF recruiting standards that might meet the quotas-not-quotas envisioned by the politicians.

Two things were keeping “minorities” out of SF, Powell said: the swim test, and the GT Score or IQ cutoff. An SF volunteer has to swim the length of a pool and back (although at least once they passed a guy for walking the whole thing on the bottom and periodically sounding for air like a marine mammal, because he was such a will-not-quit dude), and an SF guy has to be about one standard deviation above mean IQ. (Technically, GT 110, with GT 100 normed to the mean).

Now, for reasons known but to God (but that we’re going to offer informed speculation about here), blacks come to the Army less likely to be able to swim, statistically speaking, and they have a harder time learning to swim. Army diversicrats (a vast and extremely pampered group these days) have a bunch of nonsense about inner city kids, victims of racism, no swimming opportunities, yadda yadda. In the NCO corps, this same idea was more pungently expressed that “some kids played in the swimming pool, some kids played in the fire hydrant,” and there might be some truth in it.

But in our experience, a bigger swimming problem for black SF recruits was biology. Ceteris paribus, young black men have considerably less body fat than their white or Asian cohort. This translates quite directly into less buoyancy, making learning to swim both more difficult and more frightening than it is to your training teammates.

The swim test could probably be dispensed with, although it is very, very useful to be a strong swimmer in many surprising military situations. But SF guys work in teams; the water lovers self-select onto scuba or maritime operations teams, and on any other team, one weak swimmer or two is just something the team sergeant keeps a mental note of — one hopes the guy has other, strengths (as anyone who makes it through SF training tends to do). Nobody liked it but they saluted and carried on.

The IQ test was different. There is no place for a dumb SF guy, and the average team house probably has a higher average IQ than the liberal arts faculty at a state university. The guy you thought was your team’s village idiot was at least one standard deviation at least above the general run of humanity.

Moreover, the diversicrats knew the toxic effect of just lowering the GT Score — the military test’s IQ equivalent — for the desired minorities, would serve to flag members of that minority as “probably dumb,” and engender rather than diminish discrimination, unfairly, especially against the guys who were already capable of meeting the extant standard. (Mind you, there was no evidence for discrimination, just uneven volunteer rates and pass rates by race). So they did something that the guys hated even more — they lowered the IQ gate for everybody. This meant a rivulet of borderline black recruits amidst a Niagara of borderline whites.

And we waited, out in the team rooms and company HQs, for the deluge of idiots (actually, average-IQ men) to the teams. But it didn’t happen. What happened was this: completing SF training, too, had always been highly correlated with IQ or GT Score.  So more dumb (really, average) guys entered the training pipeline, but almost all of them flunked out, or dropped out. The Army just wasted a ton of money encouraging good but not-SF-material guys to try out. Even more unfortunately, the experience soured some of them on the Army overall, depriving who knows how many conventional companies of competent commanders, and platoons of solid sergeants, down the line?

After some years, and the departure of the Clinton suits (although they left behind plenty of sporulating diversicrats in the civil service ranks) the GT score gate was put back up, at least partially. We don’t think about the racial make-up of the SF Regiment today, but it’s probably about where it was in 1993, 60% white, 40% minority, maybe 5-8% of those minority guys being black. But they all met a known standard, and that’s solid gold in a profession where intramural trust is paramount.

They’re now saying that recruiters have to be able to recruit troops with criminal records. You know, for Diversity. Because Diversity is Our Vibrancy.

No.

The Department of Justice Today and Police

And now, we have the Department of Justice arguing in a position paper on Advancing Diversity in Police Hiring (press release and .pdf) that we need to turn the cops into a modern equivalent of MacNamara’s Morons, plus we need to stop doing background checks on candidates because Diverse Vibrancy candidates are more likely to be felons and/or gang members. Therefore, being a felon or gang member, says DOJ, should not be a DQ.

Gee… even MacNamara just hired retards, not retarded felons.