Category Archives: Lord Love a Duck

Thieves Will Steal Anything. But a Whole City Street?

Yes, a couple of Philadelphia cons did indeed make off with one block of a city street in 1984. The Philadelphia Inquirer tells the tale of the miscreants who made off with Mifflin Street

Truckers and policemen drove by and nodded, assuming that the guys digging up grey-stoned Mifflin Street with a front-end loader were municipal workers.

A nearby shop owner thought the same. But as he watched them work, he developed an uneasy feeling, and then couldn’t shake a troubling thought: Why were these men being so cautious with the stones, yet so reckless with the earth below them?

So he walked over and asked.

Joseph Monkiewicz, an excavator from Montgomery County, told the shop owner that he and his employees were tearing up the old surface so they could lay down a new one.

The shop owner surveyed the damage and returned to his office, suspicious and puzzled.

Seriously, who steals a street?

Monkiewicz, who was no stranger to handcuffs, did. With the help of an associate named Propper, who had even more, and more serious, priors, but who beat this rap in court. Read the Whole Thing™. If you get paywalled out, the attached .pdf is from the paper’s story from 1984.

Dec-10-1984-frontand3.pdf

The current story is part of a series of entertaining dives into the paper’s morgue that run from time to time.

Morale in the National Security Agencies Still Stinks

Who’s who in DHS. Click to embiggen.

Turns out that, apart from Treasury, all the least happy Fed agencies are the ones with national security responsibilities, with DHS (home of perennial morale cellar-dwellers ICE and CBP) the lowest of the low.

You would think that Feds would be the happiest people in the country: few of them work as hard or as long as their private-sector counterparts, almost all of them are paid more and have vastly greater benefits, and they’ve turned out to have more job security than the hereditary peers in the House of Lords. Nobody is ever held to account for anything, in Fed World. But the kind of people who seek security or law enforcement jobs include not just Payroll Patriots, but True Believers, and the True Believers have been crushed for years by organizations focused on the social justice war, and bedamned to the actual mission.

The Washington Examiner has the results of the survey, and some quotes about how things are looking up from clueless boob (and lame-duck DHS supremo) Jeh Johnson.  From the bottom up, the departments are DHS, Veterans’ Affairs (no surprise there), Army, Treasury, Air Force, Joint Services, Navy, and then the rest of the bureaucracy, with NASA at the top and happiest. (Why not? With the retirement of the shuttle, they’re a pretty pure bureaucracy who have outsourced launching astronauts so they can revel in the paper shuffling).

Take it away, Jeh:

“While we are disappointed with the Department of Homeland Security’s overall 2016 ranking … I am pleased that our employee engagement score increased 2.7 points,” Johnson said. “This is in contrast to an overall 1.3-point increase government-wide, and it is the second largest single-year increase of any large agency.

“This is also the first increase in the department’s survey score since 2010,” he added.

The VA was the second-worst place to work, and its 2016 score was 56.7, more than 10 points higher than DHS’s score.

 

Back in September, Jeh responded to a government survey that also put his guys dead last:

“I have said many times that, this year, morale will improve,” Johnson said then.

Well, it’s certainly possible. Sending Jeh Johnson to the showers is probably a good place to start.

This isn’t the by-agency morale survey, but a by-Department survey by a non-profit of unknown provenance and purpose. (For non-USians, Agencies and Bureaus are smaller entities, which report to Departments; a Department is led by a cabinet Secretary who is appointed by the President and confirmed by vote of the Senate).

When the government-sponsored by-agency morale survey is out, DHS’s ICE is a 10-1 favorite for the three-hundred-and-last-th position again.

In 1918, the US Declared War. On Squirrels.

The BEST Squirrel is the Dead Squirrel — 1918 propaganda points.

War just doesn’t get any more unconventional than this. This bizarre and one-sided battle has just been profiled at some length in Pajamas Media. It did tie in to the WWI war effort, by arguing that the bushy-tailed rats devastated farm production and threatened the economy and war effort. The attack on several species of California ground squirrels, in what was then a predominantly rural, agrarian state in a similarly rural, agrarian country, produced its own propaganda:

Here’s a taste of the article.

For practical application, a poison barley recipe was included.

“Kill the Squirrel” cartoons, essentially propaganda, were also created depicting squirrels as German soldiers wearing spiked helmets and iron crosses. The father squirrel wore a upturned mustache, much like Kaiser Wilhelm’s. The Four-Minute-Men, volunteers who delivered four-minute speeches to garner support for the war efforts, had talking points designed to convince ranchers and farmers to kill the “little ally of Kaiser.” They included:

  • The BEST squirrel is the dead squirrel.
  • The Hotel California board bill for ground squirrels in 1917 […] was $30,000,000—yet unpaid.
  • The squirrel does not recognize daylight saving. He uses it all.
  • He preys on our crops in countless hordes. He fills the ranks of the killed in true military fashion.
  • Why hesitate? We can get ‘em. How? Poison ‘em, gas ‘em, drown em’, shoot ‘em, trap ‘em, submarine ‘em.
  • Are you not willing then to give your whole-hearted support to this state-wide movement to KILL THE SQUIRREL?

By the end of Squirrel Week, children had handed in over 104,509 tails, marking the effort as a huge success.

You Californians probably didn’t know this about your squirrel-cidal ancestors. A propaganda flyer also  instructed readers on squirrel characteristics and behavior, and advised them to stop killing natural squirrel predators, such as snakes and raptors, in order to enlist Nature’s red fang and claw in the Squirrelcaust.

We do recommend you Read The Whole Thing™. The propaganda is reminiscent of some of the mobilizations or campaigns of totalitarian nations, such as Nazi Germany or Red China.

Little Crappy Stories of Little Crappy Ships

130802-N-YU572-023The Littoral Combat Ship, the strange bifurcated class of toothless surface combatants-minus-combat-capabilities, continues to produce headlines. The lame-duck Social Justice Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, paid little attention to sailors, apart from undermining them, and less to ships, apart from giving them names that would assure he continued to be the Georgetown lion of his dreams. And he leaves the incoming DOD and Departent of the Navy with a large, weak, defenseless problem that’s going to build to dozens of worthless ships, if it’s not sharply stopped.

Item: LCS Has Zero Chance of Completing a 30-Day Mission

And that’s not a combat mission, for which even the ships’ coin-operated spokesmen are starting to admit the ships are completely unsuited. That’s just steaming somewhere for 15 days and coming back, maintaining combat readiness, without breaking down.

The current fleet of eight ships “have a near-zero chance of completing a 30-day mission, the Navy’s requirement, without a critical failure of one or more seaframe subsystems essential for wartime operations,” Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test And Evaluation.

Ish Kabibble, that’s not sounding too good.

“The miracle of the LCS didn’t happen,” said Paul Francis of the Government Accountability Office. “We are 26 ships into the contract and we still don’t know if it can do its job.”

Originally scheduled to begin service in 2008 at a cost of $220 million per ship, its cost has doubled to $478 million each. And although ships have been commissioned and deployed, they are yet to be equipped with the systems that would allow them to perform their primary missions, and won’t be until 2020.

This is what happens when your front office Schedules a Revolution® and waits back for the boffins to deliver. The entire program has yet to produce a single ship that can defend itself from, well, anything. These things can go into harm’s way — if each one is provided with escorts to tackle the anti-air, anti-surface, and anti-submarine missions that the LCS can’t do.

twice-as-defenseless-as-oneOn the bright side, they do have smaller crews than previous ships, so even though more are destined to go down with all hands, there are fewer “all hands” to go down with each one of ’em.

Is the best answer to pull the plug and stop throwing more money after the sunk costs on what would become, were the balloon to go up, sunk ships?

Francis [the GAO guy — Ed.] said that while Congress also failed to exercise proper oversight on the program while it was spinning out of control, it still has a chance to inject some discipline into the next phase of the program by not approving a “block buy” of future ships.

“You are going to be rushed again, you are going to be asked to put in upfront approval of something where the design isn’t done, we don’t have independent cost estimates, and the risks are not well understood,” Francis said. “You’ll be told ‘it’s a block buy, we’re getting great prices, and the industrial base really needs this.'”

Francis recommended Congress not approve a block buy and instead demand that the Navy have a design competition in which it can downselect from two alternatives, and he further recommended hard questions be asked about whether continuing the program is worth the estimated $14 billion cost. Lockheed Martin and Austal USA are each building separate classes of the ship.

Congress has been all about sending cash to the districts where these turkeys are built. But seriously, the yards could be building Burkes or, hell, even Fletchers and we’d at least have ships with working propulsion, radars and guns. One of these against a Fletcher, who wins?

Item: Mabus’s Navy Pencil-Whipped Shock Trials

The Navy’s determination to keep beating this dead horse across the finish line has caused some, shall we say, honor violations. It seems, according to testimony in Congress, that the shock trials, under which explosions are set off near a ship to see if it can survive the sort of near-miss one expects in warfare, were, there is no other word, frauduent.That’s true of both subclasses of LCS. Maritime Executive:

[T]he shock trials for the Independence and Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ships were conducted at “reduced severity” due to concerns about the possibility of damage.

“The Navy argued that the reduced severity approach was necessary because they lacked specific test data and a general understanding of how the non-Grade A systems . . . would respond to shock.”

Even these squib tests were cut short on the Freedom-class vessel trial, for fear that even at one-third power, the blast would overwhelm the ship’s fragile systems.

[T]he Navy was concerned shocking the ship at the increased level of that trial would significantly damage substantial amounts of non-hardened equipment, as well as damage, potentially significantly, the limited amount of hardened equipment, thereby necessitating costly and lengthy repairs.

Navy officials including VADM Thomas Rowden, Commander of Naval Surface Forces, and Assistant Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley (one of Mabus’s Social Justice Warriors), argued that the ships shouldn’t be tested like combat vessels, and shouldn’t be delayed by the testing other ships undergo, because the Navy needs them urgently for showing the flag, not for combat.

They further argued that the new ships’ frequent dead-in-the-water propulsion casualties were “routine,” and should just be accepted.

Rowden and Stackley also provided a detailed account of the two vessel classes’ recent propulsion casualties. They reported that two of five occurred due to operator error: the first involved improper setup of a lube oil service system on the USS Fort Worth’scombining gear; the second was attributed to a poor fix for a “routine failure” of an attached seawater pump’s mechanical seal, which allowed saltwater to enter one of the diesel main engines on the USS Freedom. 

Of the remaining three, one failure was due to saltwater contamination of a steering hydraulic system; one to improper shaft alignment; and one to a software control issue affecting a new model of high speed clutch.

McCain Calls out Navy Witnesses for False Information

VADM Rowland and Social Justice Deputy Secretary Stackly also got taken to the woodshed by Senate Armed Services Committee éminence grise, John McCain (R-AZ). McCain, a retired naval officer himself, made it clear that the Navy’s beloved all-but-unarmed LCSes were only a symptom of a deeper problem, the more serious problem being the Navy’s dishonesty with the public, Congress, and perhaps, itself.

John McCain, chair of the Senate Armed Services committee and a longtime skeptic of the Littoral Combat Ship program, criticized the Navy for allegedly providing incorrect information regarding the prospects of the LCS and its mission packages. He called on the service to prevent future overruns and shortfalls in its acquisition programs.

“The reason I’m frustrated and other members [of the committee] are is that we can only make decisions based on the information we get. If that information is incorrect or false . . . then how can we function effectively for the people we represent?” McCain said. “I hope that our witnesses understand that we have to bring this to a halt. And fooling around on the fringes has proven to be unsuccessful.”

Neither Stackley nor Rowland responded directly to McCain’s charge of dishonesty, merely reciting boilerplate defenses of the embattled ships.

Pentangle Blew $125 Billion (a Year)

burning-wasting-moneyAfter nearly eight years of being fully occupied in throwing hosannas and rose petals in the path of all that is officialdom, some event has occured that has stirred the dormant investigative reporting beast at the Washington Post into wakefulness, if not yet motion. (Over-under on that event? We’ll take 20 Jan 17 in the pool, thanks). First discovery by this newly enlightened outpost of the IVth Estate? The Pentagon wastes boatloads of money. Actually, the Pentagon figured that out itself, and then did its best to cover it up:

Pentagon leaders said they fretted that by spotlighting so much waste, the study would undermine their repeated public assertions that years of budget austerity had left the armed forces starved of funds. Instead of providing more money, they said, they worried Congress and the White House might decide to cut deeper.

So the plan was killed. The Pentagon imposed secrecy restrictions on the data making up the study, which ensured no one could replicate the findings. A 77-page summary report that had been made public was removed from a Pentagon website.

The “plan” that was killed was a plan to save money by eliminating fat and duplication among the DOD’s over one million back-behind-rear-echelon paper pushers. They suck up almost a quarter of every defense dollar.

2300-1-pentagon1113

The guy who first ordered, then buried the study? The same Robert O. Work whose fingers seem to be on everything screwed up, except for the personal smiting that Ray Mabus has delivered unto the sea services. Work’s heart was initially in the right place, but after the study was underway, he got a new boss not interested in saving money:

Money toilet paperWork acknowledged that the push to improve business operations lost steam after then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was replaced by Ashton B. Carter in February 2015. Carter has emphasized other goals, such as strengthening the Pentagon’s partnerships with high-tech firms.

Work’s message to Congressional budget-cutters? Suck it up, Buttercup.

“We will never be as efficient as a commercial organization,” Work said. “We’re the largest bureaucracy in the world. There’s going to be some inherent inefficiencies in that.”

The part that killed the report for Work was a clever chart that the makers produced, which showed what the DC bloat costs the United States in combat power.

He singled out a page in the report. Titled “Warfighter Currency,” it showed how saving $125 billion could be redirected to boost combat power. The money could cover the operational costs for 50 Army brigades, or 3,000 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters for the Air Force, or 10 aircraft-carrier strike groups for the Navy.

“This is what scares me,” he said, according to the two people present. Work explained he was worried Congress might see it as an invitation to strip $125 billion from the defense budget and spend it somewhere else.

The team working on the project started with an estimate of just how fat the Pentagon’s fat tail was. But when they started adding up positions and dollars, they realized the real numbers were half again as high as their highest, wildest estimates.

2300-2-pentagon1113The article is one revelation after another. (The average low-level Pentagon bureaucrat costs over $200k a year, for instance; 192,000 overpaid bureaucrats manage real estate for DOD). Read The Whole Thing™.

And there’s the matter that the Washington Post knew about this in 2015, but didn’t think it was worth writing about until their party lost an election.

Update

The title of this post has been corrected. It originally said <i>million</i>, and didn’t note it was <i>every year.</i> -Ed.

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)