Category Archives: Lord Love a Duck

As Complexity Increases, Officers are Getting Dumber

The Good Idea Fairy (aka Ash Carter) as a Child

The Good Idea Fairy (aka Ash Carter) as a Child

We considered something less blunt than “getting dumber” for the title, but we wanted to be sure that officers could read it. Matthew Cancian in Joint Forces Quarterly starts off with the Marines, simply because he has their data handy. We’ve deleted the footnote references (you can always go to the link) for readability, and added some bold emphasis of our own.

According to data obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request, the intelligence of new Marine Corps officers has declined steadily since 1980. Two-thirds of the new officers commissioned in 2014 would be in the bottom one-third of the class of 1980; 41 percent of new officers in 2014 would not have qualified to be officers by the standards held at the time of World War II. Similarly, at the top of the distribution, there are fewer of the very intelligent officers who will eventually become senior leaders.

This trend has not been caused by Marine Corps policies; it is a reflection of the expansion of higher education in America. In 1980, 18.6 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds were in college. Today, that number is close to 30 percent. The dramatic rise in college attendance has increased the pool of people eligible to become officers in the military (possession of a bachelor’s degree being one of the chief requirements to be commissioned as an officer in all branches), but it also means that possession of a college degree is a less significant indicator of intelligence now than it once was. Marine Corps officers have reflected this trend, declining in average intelligence along with the population of college graduates (see figure 1).cancian-figure1

Well, that’s a pretty well fitted curve. What it says to us is that a college degree alone is now nearly worthless as a signal of leadership-level intelligence. However, we also disagree that high intelligence is necessarily the mark of a leader. We’ve made fun before of beetle-browed officers who majored in football at Flyover State, but intelligence is more of a threshold item for a leader than an item where more is always better. Don’t believe us? Consider this thought experiment: the 2nd Ranger Battalion as led by the sociology and cultural anthropology postdocs at Columbia.

Yeah, we probably should have given you a trigger warning on that one.

We think Cancian’s theory of the cause of the intelligence decline he documents is highly probable. (To which we’d add the military’s absolute refusal to distinguish between highly cognitively loaded undergraduate degrees and entirely unloaded ones: a Berkeley B.S. in Physics ≠ a Berkeley B.A. in Grievance Studies, and the second candidate brings nothing of value to the armed services).

A similar decline in intelligence has likely occurred in the other Services’ officer corps, as this is a trend in the pool of all college graduates and not something specific to the Marine Corps. For example, the average Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) score of a Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps graduate in 2014 was the same as that of a new Marine officer. In the Army, the test scores of previously enlisted officer candidates have been declining since at least the mid-1990s (although the Army attributes this decline to changes in accession sources, unlike this article, which views the issue as more broadly based).

The Army has long refused to subject officer candidates to the same psychometric testing as enlisted soldiers. The party line is that the Army has effectively outsourced intelligence selection to the colleges (which is why TrigglyPuff might be your next infantry platoon leader, if she cal lose 150 pounds). The cynic’s view is that the Army does not want the Joes finding out that Lieutenant Fuzz really is below average in the Brain Housing Group. Either way, the result is the same: lots of hard-of-thinking Lt. Fuzzes and Wink Curtises misleading their men because they’re just not bright enough.

This article focuses on the Marine Corps because it has administered the same test, the General Classification Test (GCT), for decades and because of its responsiveness to the Freedom of Information Act process.

Translation: the Marines gave Cancian the data he asked for (“responsiveness to the Freedom of Information Act”) and the other services told him to go copulate with a rolling doughnut — not in so many words, but in a bunch of OSS Simple Sabotage Manual-approved acts of obstruction, foot-dragging, feigned (or maybe not) stupidity and dumb insolence.

More study is needed to ascertain the degree to which this phenomenon presents across the Department of Defense. A good first step would be to administer the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) to all officer candidates in all Services, study what makes an effective officer, and implement long-term reforms to strengthen the officer corps of the 21st century.

via Officers Are Less Intelligent: What Does It Mean? > National Defense University Press > Joint Force Quarterly 81.

Cancian’s suggestions are so good that the probability of any uptake on them before Sol goes nova is functionally zero. The personnel system, itself a creaky construct of self-serving officers, the lowest-quality enlisted troops in the services, and layers of obsolete procedures and practices layered atop scriptural Regulations which perch in turn on the leadership-by-jerking-you-around that emanates from Congress, always seeks homeostasis.

army troubleshooting flowchartDecentralizing power and giving commanders more hire and fire authority, while eliminating those tens of thousands of clerk positions and introducing them to the joys of life in a mortar platoon, would go a long way. Otherwise, with a centrally managed, bureaucratic promotions system, and commanders’ hands tied with respect to their ability to man their units, you get Army Troubleshooting (left).

We can’t speak for the Marines or other services here, but the only-a-college-degree-but-any-college-degree requirement is just one instance of the Army’s obsession with easily-gamed and empty credentialism. While the Army has internalized credentialism in its processes, the original requirement comes from, where else? Congress, in DOPMA and ROPMA. Acceptance of low-content degrees is also driven by bean-counting Affirmative Action, and other Diversity is Our Vibrancy® programs that reduce all soldiers and officers to their skin color and ancestry. The Armed Forces would be better off never even noting or recording the race, religion and other personal characteristics of their volunteers.

Striker-Fired Gun Loose in a Bag = Bad Idea

It wasn't his foot this time.

It wasn’t his foot this time.

Unfortunately for a former member of the Indianapolis Colts, this is one of the cases where Experience gives the examination before the lesson, and since the student has assumed ambient temperature, the retest will not be scheduled.

A former NFL player died Tuesday after accidentally shooting himself in the stomach.

Zurlon Tipton, 26, a former Indianapolis Colts running back, was dropping off his car at a dealership in Roseville, Michigan when he reached into a bag, firing a gun inside.

Tipton was hit in the abdomen and taken to the hospital. He was alert and able to talk during the transport, police said according to the Detroit News.

But officials confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that Tipton had died.

Not that unusual. Exsanguination internally; he popped the round into a major vessel or an organ that was heavily vascularized.

Tipton, who had a young daughter, went to get a transmission leak on his vehicle fixed between 9 and 9:30 Tuesday morning, the car dealership’s manager Mark DeMara told the Detroit News.

He was putting his personal belongings inside the bag when the shooting happened, authorities said.

via Zurlon Tipton who played for the Indianapolis Colts, dies after accidentally shooting himself in a car dealership in Michigan | Daily Mail Online.

Holsters, people. Also, one gun in your car and your little ditty bag of personal stuff you don’t trust your car dealer with is plenty.

Tipton has some history with guns, says the Detroit News:

Early Christmas morning Tipton was arrested for firing a gun outside his girlfriend’s home in the Indianapolis area, according to police. The Indianapolis Star reported Tipton was charged with criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon. According to media reports, the prosecutor’s office declined to pursue charges against him.

Tipton told Greenwood police he went to the home after he received threatening texts from his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend stating the woman was going to be harmed. Believing the ex-boyfriend was inside the home, Tipton fired one round from an AR-15 assault weapon, police said.

The Colts put him on waiver last December, although what relation (temporal? Causal? None?) this has with his 2015 gun problem is unknown.


Between writing this and it going live, two young (23-24 years old) knuckleheads in Stoughton, Mass., were playing with several things that ought not to be mixed:

  1. A firearm, to wit a pistol, legally licensed to one of the individuals;
  2. Judgment Juice™, which both of the worthies had consumed in super-therapeutic quantities; and,
  3. Some kind of camera(s) with which they were filming their tomfoolery.

It is our observation that the presence of a camera lowers the IQ of all within range approximately 30%. And the dyscognition produced by ingested ethanol is well known. While private drunkenness is not society’s business, private drunkenness  with firearm escalates the behavior from Mere Stupid, which is the normal operating level for a large part of society, to Felony Stupid.

As you might expect, one drunk pointed the gun at the other drunk, pulling the trigger and expecting a “click.” It gives a new meaning to the term Dead Drunk.

Dead Drunk his ownself is on a mortuary slab, awaiting autopsy, and Dead Drunk’s Buddy is on house arrest with an ankle bracelet, awaiting trial. His license to carry has been revoked and the local cops have divvied up his other guns, if any with one of the two politically connected “bonded warehouses” that scam guns with the help of the police.

Mama Gump used to always say, “Stupid is as stupid does, but not for long if stupid does it with booze and a gun.”

Craftsmanship, College, and Conceit

California_Institute_of_Technology_Logo-200x200A fascinating story in the Los Angeles Times (of all places) describes what the imminent retirement of 71-year-old Rick Gerhart means to CalTech, the prominent science and engineering school.

CalTech scientists depend on Gerhart’s craft. He is one of the world’s most creative and experienced scientific glass blowers, able to construct and repair the bespoke scientific equipment that you might need if you were doing cutting-edge chemical, chemical-engineering, or biological research.

When he retired the glass-blowing lab might have to close, as the one at Cal State Los Angeles did.

The article explores at length what might happen when Gerhart retires, but it never addresses why the university never hired an apprentice to learn the craft and take it over from him. The question doesn’t seem to have occurred to the reporter, Rosanna Xia.

Here in Caltech’s one-man glass shop, where Gerhart transforms a researcher’s doodles into intricate laboratory equipment, craftsmanship is king. No two pieces of scientific glassware are the same, and for more than two decades, students and Nobel laureates alike have begun each project with Gerhart’s blessing that, yes, he can create the tools to make their experiments possible.

But Gerhart, 71, is retiring, and the search is on to find someone, anyone, who can fill his shoes. In a cost-cutting world of machines and assembly plants, few glass blowers remain with the level of mastery needed at research hubs like Caltech.

“He’s a somewhat dying breed,” said Sarah Reisman, who relied on Gerhart to create 20 maze-like contraptions for her synthetic organic chemistry lab. “There just aren’t as many scientific glass blowers anymore, and certainly not ones that have Rick’s level of experience. Even a fraction of that experience, I think, just isn’t out there.”

There just aren’t as many scientific glassblowers anymore, and certainly not ones that have Rick’s level of experience.
— Sarah Reisman, professor of chemistry

Rick Gerhart, scientific glass blower at Caltech, has been helping to make scientific research possible at the campus since 1992. Gerhart plans to retire, and the school is searching for someone to take his place.

Full-time university glass blowers are considered tops in their field, but few institutions still offer such positions or give young glass blowers the chance to hone their craft. When Cal State L.A.’s longtime glass blower retired last year, the shop which he had run for 30 years closed down. Similar fates have befallen glass blowing at UCLA and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. At UC Riverside, which once had three full-time glass blowers and two glass shops, a glass blower now comes in one day a week.

USC is the only other university in the L.A. area that still has a full-time glass blower, Gerhart said. Across the U.S., those who land such jobs tend to stay until retirement.

“So now, to take my place” — Gerhart paused, spinning through his mental Rolodex. He chuckled: “Looks like we have to steal somebody.”

To master scientific glass blowing, proper training and apprenticeships are key. Only one school in the nation, Salem Community College in New Jersey, offers a degree program.

In addition to the hands-on training, which requires a knack for precision as well as coordination, students must take courses in organic chemistry, math and computer drawing.

“You need to know enough about everything, about mechanics, about chemistry, about physics, about thermodynamics — whatever a chemist can come up with, you need to know just a little bit to get that chemist through,” said Dennis Briening, instructional chair of Salem’s two-year program. “And of course, you need to be very skilled, technique-wise. So it really takes a long time to get to a position like Rick’s.”

Gerhart enrolled in the Salem program in 1965, after dropping out of college to give his father’s profession a try.

It was the heyday of scientific glass blowing. The craft, which dates back to alchemy in the 2nd century, took hold in America by the 1930s and 1940s, after World War I cut off glassware supply from Germany. Glass — Pyrex and quartz in particular — remains popular because it can withstand high heat, reacts with very few elements and is transparent, allowing researchers to observe chemical processes.

The profession peaked after World War II, when booms in oil and government-funded research opened up numerous glass blowing jobs in many a lab. Scientific glass blowers didn’t only make research equipment, they created glass parts for such inventions as the laser printer.

At first, Gerhart hopped around a number of firms and worked alongside more experienced glass blowers at TRW Inc. and UCLA.

When he settled at Caltech in 1992, the glass blower before him handed over the key to the shop and said, “Good luck.” On his own, Gerhart pieced together his patchwork of experience to twist and fuse glass beakers and snake glass coils over vacuum chambers.

In a production line, a glass blower might make the same product every day, “I was doing something a little different every time,” he said. “That’s when I really started learning.”

These opportunities to learn on the job are now limited, though interest has not waned: This year, Salem Community College graduated 31 glass blowers — for years, the school graduated about 20 each year — and it expects 66 incoming students next school year. Social media videos have sparked new interest in the craft, Briening said.

But while his students have no trouble getting entry-level jobs at companies like Chemglass Life Sciences, a glass manufacturer, and General Electric Global Research, rarely are universities willing to budget the overhead costs for more than one glassblower, if any.

It’s a remarkable and fascinating article, so do go Read The Whole Thing™.

But why didn’t Cal Tech just hire one of the graduates from the only school in the nation to teach this skill, that New Jersey community college, to learn from Gerhart? Xia never tells you, but we will: priorities.

There are hints of it in Xia’s article:

  • “In a cost-cutting world of machines and assembly plants, few glass blowers remain with the level of mastery needed at research hubs like Caltech.”
  • rarely are universities willing to budget the overhead costs for more than one glassblower, if any.”

Yet, only a seasoned craftsman can do what Gerhart does. Gerhart himself was out of Salem’s glass-blowing program for 27 years before landing at Caltech. It would seem like a no-brainer to give him a student to mentor. Except Caltech ought to have done it ten years ago.

So here’s the reason they didn’t:

They didn’t want to. 

It was not a priority. 

So what is a priority?

Diversity. An all-overhead all-the-time Center for Diversity gets resources that Caltech is no longer willing to waste on archaic stuff like making apparatus for its scientists. It’s constantly hiring more and more executives, who are expected to be doctrinaire diversicrats but don’t really have to know anything about the school’s STEM mission: one 2015 job listing for a six-figures salary “Senior Director for Caltech Center for Diversity” put “an ongoing interest in science and knowledge about many of the scientific and technical topics that are regularly covered at Caltech” into the “nice to have,” but not necessary, “preferred qualifications” bin.

The depredations of the diversicrats are one reason the Foundation For Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) rates Caltech “yellow.” The free-speech-promoting nonprofit identifies three Caltech policies that “that too easily encourage administrative abuse and arbitrary application.”(It could be worse, though. Back in 2009, the speech codes, etc., were so extreme the university was rated “red.”)

Will SEALs Do Anything for Publicity?

To wit, these SEALs.

There’s an old joke that goes, “Why does an SF A-Team have 12 men, and a SEAL Platoon 14?”

“Cameraman and producer.” Ba-dump-bump. Thank you, you’re a wonderful crowd, we’ll be in the blog all day… but seriously, if our frogman brethren are trying to stay out of the limelight these days, then at least one frog is doin’ it all wrong.

Shaun Day, 29, was on a two-week leave when cops harpooned him for running a red light at 12:30 a.m. at Second Avenue and East 26th Street.

When cops searched his pickup truck, they discovered a 9mm semiautomatic and three ammunition clips.

During the arrest, Day was rambling incoherently and harped that he was a SEAL — but had no proof for cops.

He claimed he was an elite commando with “top-secret clearance,” cops said.

Eh. When arrested by the locals, the right thing to do is to clam up, not tell them you’re John Rambo. “I can drive a tank… I can fly a helicopter…” don’t waste your breath. They don’t give a rip, and you’re going downtown, and it’s in your best interests to go quietly.

Sources told The Post the Navy sent staffers to talk to Day in Bellevue Hospital, where he was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation.

“He was released [Friday] in their care, and they were going to treat him for post-traumatic stress,” a source said.

Note how the Navy has backed their guy up. Army wouldn’t do that, at least, not SF; they’d let the guy twist in the wind. Some specific commanders (you know who you are) would laugh at him.

Note the incredible flexibility of the PTSD diagnosis. Is there anything it can’t do? For it does seem like our young sailor was more likely to be suffering the effects of ingesting a bad ice cube in one of the fifteen or so mixed drinks he’d chugged, than struggling with combat trauma.

The charges against Day of weapons possession and a traffic violation have been deferred.

via Arrested guy’s the real SEAL | New York Post.

If the SEAL commanders do what the better SF ones do, he has (or can be made to appear to have had) a commander’s letter authorizing him to carry, which gets him out of NY jail.


For some reason, the NY Post is throwing this story up as a new one to readers (which is how someone sent it to us), but it’s four years old. No doubt Day (whether he’s still in the frogs or not) can laugh about the whole thing now, as it stayed out of the press after that. .

LCS Taken in a New Direction

Viking DragonshipSpeed was of the essence. To that end the LCS designs — both of them — sacrificed everything, especial combat firepower and survivability.

The ships, already far more expensive with vastly less combat power than the frigates they replaced, are going to trade away their one advantage — high speed in moderate seas — for some firepower.

BATH, Maine –  The Navy spent hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to fulfill its need for speed with a new class of fast and agile warships capable of zipping along at highway speeds.

It turns out speed is overrated.

The Navy has learned lessons from the light-and-speedy littoral combat ships: Upcoming ships will trade some speed in favor of more weapons and heavier armor.

Well, having more weapons than existing LCS ships isn’t hard, really.

Rear Adm. Peter Fanta, director of surface warfare, said the goal is to increase the offensive punch of all warships from the biggest to the smallest. For the littoral combat ship, that’ll begin with the installation of over-the-horizon missiles this summer.

“Each ship that I now have — I have to make more lethal because I cannot build ships fast enough, or enough of them,” Fanta told The Associated Press.

Two versions of the warships were sped into production to meet the Navy’s goal of an affordable, fast ship to operate in shallow coastal — or littoral — waters.

Affordable! They’re a half a billion a pop. And the latest round of the USN’s incessant tinkering might nearly double the price.

The ships, which are capable of topping 50 mph, utilize steerable waterjets instead of propellers and rudders to operate in shallow water.

They also are built to be equipped with swappable mission modules for surface warfare, anti-submarine duty or mine removal. That’s in contrast to larger, multi-mission ships like the 610-foot Michael Monsoor, a Zumwalt-class destroyer christened Saturday at Bath Iron Works.

But the gee-whiz factor was overshadowed by concerns over growing costs — the latest versions cost $482 million to $563 million apiece — along with criticism by the General Accounting Office that the warships were too lightly armed and too lightly armored.

via Navy warship to trade some speed for firepower, armor | Fox News.

Yep, we’re committed to a forty-something unit class of ships that can’t fight, but can run away, as long as the enemy doesn’t have guns, missiles or aircraft. So the Navy, no more willing to leave a bad design than a good one alone, is going to incur a bunch more expense grafting minimal armor and a missile system onto the currently unarmed ships.

You’ll probably want to read Commander Salamander’s grim, resigned take on this. There’s a lot of material in his post, including the shocking revelation that the new revisions to the Little Crappy Ship will push individual unit costs close to a billion dollars — and we’ll still be stuck with combat-worthless Little Crappy Ships.

In a possibly related update, he notes that the Republicans of the House have voted to continue to support Ray Mabus’s policy of naming ships after undistinguished, insignificant politicians. Maybe the LCSes should all be named after Ray, with Roman numerals; although many of his predecessors and many flag officers deserve to hang from the yardarms (if an LCS had yardarms) alongside him.

Shake-n-Bake Colonels, Chief Petty Officers, Gunnys?

The Good Idea Fairy (aka Ash Carter) as a Child

The Good Idea Fairy (aka Ash Carter) as a Child.

As Hurricane Ash continues to cut a swath of demolition through the United States Military, his latest proposal for the Fundamental Transformation of Military Culture is to open up all officer ranks up to O-6 and enlisted to E-7 to direct accession. Initially his objective is to get someone who can spell “cyber” with minimal coaching into Cyber Command, which has been filled largely from the ranks of the services’ sluggish and feebly trained networking personnel.  Cyber Command hasn’t accomplished anything of note, in part because it is composed entirely of people who are the second type in Pournelle’s Law: the ones that focus on growing the organization, mission be damned. It still hasn’t grown fast enough to please the suits in the Pentangle, but it has grown several times too fast for its talent, and it shows.

Several of the experienced service members, NCO and officer alike, in this Military Times report, seem appalled at the possible consequences for military culture:

“They will enter a culture they don’t know, understand or potentially appreciate,” said Dakota Wood, a retired Marine officer and military expert at the Heritage Foundation. “The Marines around them will likely be challenged to appreciate them as they would a fellow Marine.”


“Can you imagine someone coming in as an O-5 or O-6 and not knowing who salutes who? Or how to wear a uniform?” [Richard] Bejtlich [a 44-year-old Air Force Academy graduate who separated when he was a junior officer and is now a cyber-security expert] said. “The traditional military’s worst nightmare is to bring in some long-haired hippie and make him a colonel. The way I think you could make it palatable to the rank and file is, you would limit it to bringing in former military.”

There’s more; go Read The Whole Thing™. But have they considered this: maybe changing the military culture is not seen as anathema by Ash Carter, Ray Mabus et al., but is actually their intent?

Even if they’re just being stupid, not evil, there’s a lot wrong with this. One major problem is that it substitutes for the often-empty credentialism of the military the even emptier credentialism of modern universities. There is no guarantee that a BS or MS in any particular subject denotes a person knowledgable about that subject, and certainly a PhD in most humanities just about guarantees a person who cannot express him- or herself in standard English, spell, do basic arithmetic, speak a foreign language  or solve simple school level logic problems.

And who can’t pour piss out of a boot with the instructions written on the bottom, or lead a puppy to its food bowl. Do we need more officers and NCOs like that? It’s not like no one has covered down on those skill sets already.

And, buried in the article, we find that the Air Force is already using this authority to recruit native speakers of foreign languages. Can you say “CI threat”? We knew you could!

Meanwhile, there is, as usual, one beleaguered outpost of common sense among the services:

The Marine Corps might be the most skeptical among the four services.

Does that surprise anybody? The Marines are the least removed from the idea that their service exists to be ready to fight and win wars.

Larry Correia Channels Gersh Kuntzman

Yes, these words are a direct quote from Kuntzman's article. Wet, or what?

Yes, these words are a direct quote from Kuntzman’s article. Wet, or what?

Kuntzman (we wonder what his name was, before he changed it?) is the infamous New York “reporter” who wrote a story claiming, among other things, that firing an AR-15 made him lose control of his bladder and gave him PTSD, or words to that effect.

Everyone in Gun Universe has been jeering at this guy, but along comes Larry Correia (yes, the author of the Monster Hunter series of books, and the author of the infamous “HK: Because you  suck. And we hate you” explication of HK marketing in Ernst Mauch days) to apply the Kuntzman brand of quivering and quailing to questions the Great Man might address next. Larry, take it away:

Dear Kuntzman, big fan. I am trying to go green in order to save the Earth. Dying polar bears make me sad. Should I buy a Toyota Prius?

– Carbon Neutral in Carson City

Dear Carbon, I drove a Prius once and it changed me forever. As soon as I climbed inside the minimalist brutalist interior of this carbon fiber Japanese death machine it was as if I was driving a monster truck. I pushed start. The engine was a throaty roar like a thousand nuclear jet bombers. I immediately soiled my trousers to prevent this beast of the land of hentai from raping me. Tentacles are NOT OKAY. In my haste to escape, I touched a lever, and the windshield wipers began beating like a reaper’s sickle threshing horror.

Seriously, go Read The Whole Thing™ — because that’s just a taste, to give you the flavor of Larry’s satirical curb-stomping of this clown. If that doesn’t put you in a great mood to start your day, you’re a bigger curmudgeon than we’ve got (and that’s saying something). As for Kuntzman, no, we won’t link him — he was looking to bait clicks, let’s break his palpitating little heart. He apparently doesn’t realize that millions and millions of actual girls learned to shoot the “horrifying, dangerous” AR-15 in the last 50 years when a version of it’s been the service rifle. (And millions more actual girls as civilians, plenty of whom shoot really well).

We’d call him an anatomically explicit female pejorative, but we’d be demeaning both women and cats — who have a small part to play in Larry’s ASK KUNTZMAN! story too.

Personally, we hope he makes it a regular feature.

As for Kuntzman, this is why you should teach your sons to fight for their lunch money. Giving it up to bullies for 12 years of NY public schools clearly leads to malnutrition that stunts the mind. Not to mention the ‘nads.


No Fool like an Old Fool Dep’t

Future Feds of America

Future Feds of America

A retired priest from Dresden, Maine, fell for the oldest trick in the book — the honey trap. But then, he didn’t have to carry the 3+ pounds of cocaine she asked him to, through the international airport, did he?

But that’s OK. Senator Susan Collins, R-ME, who was in the news recently for believing that all the gun owners who didn’t do it should be punished for the Orlando massacre, was able to get the international drug smuggler sprung.

Martin, who is staying with his son in Las Vegas, had been in a Spanish prison since July 2015, serving a six-year sentence. In March, Collins and eight of her Senate colleagues had asked Secretary of State John Kerry to negotiate his release.

Officials say Martin was one of more than 100 Americans over the age of 60 who were duped into serving as drug mules for international criminal enterprises.

Martin was arrested and sentenced in January after Spanish customs and border agents found him in possession of 1.4 kilograms of cocaine. The drugs were concealed in real estate documents that Martin had agreed to pick up in South America and was trying to deliver to a woman he had fallen in love with online.

via Retired pastor from Maine back in U.S. after release from Spanish prison – The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

Why Collins did it, God only knows. Maybe she has a personal interest in keeping the coke channels open.

It would have harmed no one but a felon to leave Martin in prison, and it would have been a salutary message to other would-be drug haulers.

Assclown of the Ides: Rudi (Hans Rudolph) Gresham


Gresham in a photo that used to be on his own website — wearing someone else’s junk. The beret, captain’s rank, CIB and Master Parachutist badge, to name a few, are all phony.

This poser was so incredibly slick that even experienced Special Forces commanders were fooled by him. We’ve been watching this case develop for over two years. Until we first heard about it, we had taken Gresham — who was everywhere, man, like the guy in the old country truck-drivin’ school — as a blowhard and a self-serving crapweasel, but even we’d accepted his SF bona fides.

It didn’t occur to us to FOIA his amazing record, but it did occur to several SF online veterans’ groups, like Guardian of Valor and SF Brothers, that have a public-facing side and a private side, as well as others that have no visible overt presence at all. And they began seeking his records.

As the waves from the active reconnaissance reached Gresham, he began to delete incriminating claims and documents to cover his tracks. But he was too late. Guardian of Valor has the story, although it’s far from completely posted yet.

Hans Rudy Gresham, who, up until about a year ago, was also with Burch in this charity, has also claimed for years to have been Special Forces, and a number of times claimed to have been retired at several ranks.  During the investigation, which was conducted in conjunction with our counterparts at Green Beret Posers Exposed,  and SF Brothers, we found that he claimed to have retired as a Lt, all the way up to a Col.

Well when he was supposedly still serving in the Green Berets, he was also selling ads on the radio as seen in this photo we grabbed for WTMA’s memories from 1971.  WTMA is a radio station out of Charleston, South Carolina where Rudi is from, the caption from the photo reads, “WTMA salesman Rudi Gresham poses in the WTMA control room (1971).”


It looks like even there and then he’s posing: as DJ Johnny Fever. Back to GOV’s tale.

Rudy has spent years spinning webs of lies, telling people he served with General Yarborough in Vietnam, he has been able to get people to believe his lies to the point that he has gotten thousands and thousands of dollars from high profile people.  He even had the Green Beret community fooled for many years believing he was a retired Green Beret officer, some had their suspicions but couldn’t prove it.

Up until about a year ago Rudi was also a board member of that National Vietnam Veterans Foundation, he was listed on their website as Director of Charity. Now we find out that he was also not what he claims to have been all of these years, telling people he was a Green Beret that served in Vietnam when his official records paint a totally different story.

via Hans Rudolph Gresham, Former Senior Advisor To The VA Secretary, Posed As Special Forces Alongside Thomas Burch – Guardian Of Valor.

So what did his records say? Go to Guardian of Valor and check ’em out. He seems to have made PFC more than once (suggesting that for him, rank was a 2-way road). And that’s it. No Vietnam time, we’re sorry to say. Is something missing? The Archives insist that there are no further records.

Go to Guardian of Valor and Read The Whole Thing™.

We’ll leave you with one exit thought:

Here’s the man, the myth, the legend in his own mind, Rudi Gresham, recently:

Gresham in a photo that used to be on his own website -- wearing someone else's junk.

and here’s some other dude. Now compare the two pictures!


Separated at birth?

But it’s not really fair to compare Gresham and former President Carter. Carter really was an officer in the Navy; he didn’t get out as a Seaman Second Class and then spend he rest of his life conning people that he was a  Lieutenant Commander or Captain. Carter really was President; the country elected him, which in retrospect isn’t the dumbest thing the electorate has ever done, or will do, even though we thought it was for a while. But he was and is almost painfully honest.

On the other hand, Gresham has pretended to be a retired Captain (see the image above), a Lieutenant Colonel, Major, Colonel, you name it, anything but a PFC. He’s awarded himself SF qualification, and a Master Parachutist badge. (Your humble blog host doesn’t have the Master Blaster wings, unlike many of his peers, and yet it never occurred to him to do a Gresham and just pin the ever-lovin’ thing on). If Rudi Gresham ever told the truth about anything, it’s probably because he got confused about which lie he’d told to which person or media outlet.

But Gresham was good at two things — impersonation and self-promotion. He weaseled his way into the Special Forces Association and Special Operations Association; he conned people including SF legends and general officers that he had served with them (!) and convinced them that they must just have forgotten him and his unctuous ways.

(Continued overleaf, or it’s Great Wall O Text here. We just don’t feel like putting more pictures of this phony bag of fail on our page).

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TSA “Addresses” a “Problem”

tsa checkpointRead on to see how a bureaucrat identifies and “addresses” a problem. In SF, as in business, problems are nails to be hammered with solutions; in a bureaucracy, solving the problem is an existential threat to the organization, so you hear a great deal about process and not so much about product.

And you have all kinds of metrics that measure everything but what you’re supposed to be doing. We’d bet our left you-know-what that the Director of the TSA has on his desk (or his desktop) the exact number and percentage of TSA baggage boosters and grandma gropers that are “Eskimo, Inuit, or Native Alaskan”. And we’d bet he hasn’t got accurate numbers of the wait times at all the airports where his goons test the floor level (if they’re drooling out of both corners of the mouth…) and paw the pax for prurient pleasure. And it’s a lead-pipe cinch that he has never seen a study that has put a productive price on the hundreds of millions of man-hours wasted by productive people, standing in line to be ill-used by his corps of nogoodniks.

In March, TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger visited the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport to address the problem there.

“We’re hitting this very hard. It is one of my biggest concerns right now,” he said, according to KSTP-TV.

After wait times started exceeding an hour in February, the TSA responded by increasing staffing and adding a fifth canine team.

Yeah, because everybody’s held up in the security line waiting for the dog. The one possible exception to the TSA “no one good, decent, etc.” rule. But they’re such a gang of bozos they could probably ruin even dogs. 

“I think you’re already seeing improvements right now here in Minneapolis,” Neffenger said during his early March visit.

It was just eight days later that Nikizad waited in line for more than 90 minutes and missed his flight.

Haroon Nikizad is suing the TSA for the price of his lost ticket. Good luck with that; one of the reasons that bureaucrats are so unaccountable is that the courts have granted them a Patent of Nobility that immunizes them against legal accountability. To inconvenience, hassle, rip off or abuse some mere citizen is just a matter of modern-day droit du seigneur.

Nikizad arrived at the recommended two hours lead time only to find that the TSA was going all out to excel their usual three-ring stumblebum slapstick security circus show. (Bet you can’t say that three times fast!) He was still in line for his ritual groping when his flight’s pilot not-flying wished the tower good day and changed to the RAPCONs departure frequency.

He f’d up. He trusted the TSA.

Meanwhile, how did TSA “address” the “problem”? By demanding more money from Congress, and by Neffenger going on a PR offensive, polishing the turd to a high sheen.

No one good, decent, honest, competent, moral, ethical or intelligent has ever been employed at TSA in any capacity whatsoever.