Category Archives: Lord Love a Duck

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Recycling Bins

seattle recycle binUsually, in Seattle, random sketchy characters are fishing stuff out of your recycle bin. In this case, some random sketchy character was putting stuff in.

Three body parts from an adult, including a foot, were found Saturday in a homeowner’s recycling bin in the Central District, said Seattle police Sgt. Mike Renner.

Homicide detectives were investigating the discovery, made by the homeowner about 4 p.m. near 21st Avenue and East Pine Street.

The body parts, which had been packaged, would have been placed in the bin sometime late Friday or on Saturday, said Detective Patrick Michaud, a police spokesman. He said the bin would have been emptied when recyclables were collected on the block Friday.

Renner described the parts as “fresh.”

via Body parts found in Seattle home recycling bin | The Seattle Times.

Being Seattle, they’re probably going to ticket the homeowner for compostable matter in the recycle bin.

It’s not easy being green.

Update

Seattle is not helping its reputation as the new home of all the fruits and nuts priced out of the Bay Area by insufferable Google baronets. The immediately adjacent story in the Seattle Times was this one:

Escape intensifies concerns about Western State Hospital

State officials say security is being enhanced at state psychiatric hospitals. But while escapes like that of two patients last week are said to be rare, missing patients aren’t so unusual at Western State, and a new report cites numerous lapses in safety.

But the escapee is just some harmless person who needs to be protected from The Cruel World™, right?

Er, not so right:

[Anthony Garver,] accused of torturing a 20-year-old woman to death … was recaptured Friday night in the Mount Spokane foothills after a two-day, cross-state manhunt that some worried would not end peacefully.

OK, but that was a long time ago, right? And the docs have been working on making him better?

Er, sadly, no. We cheated a bit with the ellipses in the sentence quoted above. Here’s what it actually read (emphasis ours).

[Garver,] accused of torturing a 20-year-old woman to death in 2013 was recaptured Friday night in the Mount Spokane foothills after a two-day, cross-state manhunt that some worried would not end peacefully.

Well, it must have been some masterminded escape, right? ‘Cause surely they kept this menace under high security, no?

Well, no.

Garver, 28, … crawled out a window of a locked, lower-security unit with another patient, Mark Alexander Adams, 58, who was caught the next day.

Well, at least they were keeping him confined where they isolate these societal pathogens, right?

Wrong.

They are focused on boosting security in Western State’s civil-commitment area, where Garver and Adams recently were transferred from the criminal section, according to a statement from the department. The men were moved because of a change in the state’s Involuntary Treatment Act, the agency said.

Yeah, because nothing is more important than always increasing and extending the rights of depraved murderers. Hey, how deep in this story can a reporter go without naming the murder victim?

This is the first half of Paragraph 10 of the story by Donna Gordon Blankenship:

Garver had been involuntarily committed to Western State Hospital since 2014, when he was deemed incompetent to stand trial on a murder charge in connection with the death of Phillipa S. Evans-Lopez in Lake Stevens.

“In connection with the death of…” that doesn’t sound like a real murder rap. Is it some bogus thing?

Nope:

Prosecutors said he tied her with electrical cords, stabbed her 24 times and slashed her throat.

That’s the second half of Paragraph 10, and that’s the kind of person the law in Washington State thinks shouldn’t be locked up too hard.

Well, it’s not like his 2013 murder was predictable, right? He just snapped, didn’t he?

Well, if he did, he did it long before:

The last time Garver evaded authorities, in 2009, he had failed to report to prison work release in a weapons case. The search lasted a month before he was found in the woods near Mount Spokane.

Nutcase, or violent criminal with a good line of patter and a better lawyer?

Does it matter?

By the way, that was Paragraph 30 of the story.

Well, at least Garver and Adams are back in jail hospital, and that means no dangerous nuts are loose, right?

Right, but wrong.

Two other patients took “unescorted leaves” from Western State during the manhunt, officials said. One was on an escorted outing on campus and has not been found.

Maybe it isn’t the nutcases like Garver and Adams that need to be locked up. Maybe it’s the executives of this branch of government, which is here to help you.

Help you get murdered, apparently, and wind up in Sumdood’s recycle bin.

Update II — Victim ID’d, Suspect in Custody

Apparently, one of the body parts in the recycle bin was the victim’s head (and yeah, it was definitely a murder victim and not, say, careless disposal of human remains). The victim was Ingrid Lyne, 40, who’d recently been dating certified bad-boy John Robert Charlton, 37, who has (stop us if you’ve heard this one before) “a lengthy criminal history.”

Tell us again what’s wrong with a three-strikes law? Ms Lyne would still be looking for bad boys, and Mr Charlton would be hiding from them in a corner of his cell.

Eminent Domain Seizure Comes to Hitler’s House

hitler houseIts days are numbered.

It’s a nondescript, sturdy 19th-century bourgeois building of the sort that stand shoulder-to-shoulder throughout Mitteleuropa. It survived the collapse of the nation that existed when it was born, and the two nations that followed that. It came through two world wars, the second of which brought bombs raining down on its city, Braunau am Inn — and was started by a man who was born right in this building in 1889.

And its long life, in which it was home to hundreds of productive Austrians, counts as nothing against the fact it was home to one particular Austrian that Austria is desperate to forget.

It’s that fact, the house being the birthplace of Adolf Hitler, that has the government of Austria looking to seize the building. That there is no legal authority for them to do this is immaterial — like Hitler himself, they’ll promulgate a new law if the old one is a hindrance. The government has concluded that nothing but the destruction of the house can prevent it becoming appoint of pilgrimage for those weirdos who look at the nightmare that was Adolf Hitler’s Europe and see something to admire. 

The house, then, is the deodand, standing in loco the absentee perpetrator, and the deodand must die.

The property has been leased from its owner by the government since 1972, and it was used for many years as a centre for people with disabilities.

But it fell empty in 2011 following a dispute between the government and the owner, Gerlinde Pommer, who refused to grant permission for renovation.

The new plan would include an offer of compensation from the state to her, interior ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck told AFP news agency.

“We are currently examining the creation of a law, which would force a change of ownership and pass the property to the Republic of Austria.

via Austria plans to seize house where Hitler was born – BBC News.

The building, on Salzburger Vorstadt in the city, wasn’t even home to Hitler long enough for him to start teething.

The New Face of Defense: And his Anatomical Doll

Army LogoThis remarkable story at Defense.gov tells the tale of the new Face of Defense, that hardened operator who stands ready to leap into action at the ring of a phone, to deal with DOD’s highest priority:

He’s not a police officer or firefighter, but he often finds himself responding at all hours of the night.

“There are a lot of nights that it doesn’t ring, which is a good thing, but there are too many nights that it does. Sometimes it rings more than once and you go out on multiple calls,” he said.

Wow, what does this mission-critical paragon do?

As his unit was preparing to deploy in 2011, its leaders needed someone to fill the role… and [Sergeant First Class John Thompson] was selected to attend an 80-hour course in Virginia.

“Once I got there, it was a lot of eye-opening experiences about the scope and size of the problem the military has with sexual assaults.”

Oh, for Pete’s sake….

Going through the class, Thompson said, he felt comfortable conducting sexual assault briefings, but wasn’t sure he was prepared for the other aspect of the role — responding to victims after they’ve been assaulted. He knew that statistically, women are more likely to be victims of sexual assault, he said, and he was worried that as a man, he might not be the person someone would want to see at that difficult time.

In many civilian organizations, victim advocates are predominantly women, but the Minnesota National Guard has more male advocates than female advocates. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jennifer Diaz, the Minnesota National Guard’s sexual assault response coordinator, said she sees this as a positive thing and has never had a victim request to have a female advocate over a male advocate.

“Vibrancy is our Diversity!” That’s the magic shibboleth, the SPQR that’s supposed to fend off the next barbarian banquet. Diaz explains that you must never, ever doubt or investigate an accusation of sexual assault, because nobody would lie about that. Certainly not, say, in the pages of Stoned Roller magazine or in, say, the primordial ooze of the professional sexual-assault profiteers industry.

“I think having a strong male presence sends a message that men are compassionate, caring and will believe a victim without judging them,” Diaz said. “I feel males in this role are extremely important. They play an essential role in changing the culture surrounding sexual assault.”

Yep. You gotta believe a complainant without judging, and convict an accused without retraumatizing your complainant with any of that old-fashioned “due process” rigamarole. Because women don’t lie about rape, damn it, especially not the ones whose meal ticket is conjuring a rapist from every case of post-coitus triste. You know, like about half of the administrative bloat at most universities these days.

Fortunately, Thompson has not only put himself into the military’s only growth field under current management, he’s also in a position to observe the vibrancy that comes with diversity-is-our-strength:

“I opened the door and I walked in and — this speaks to the prejudicial view we have on sexual assaults — I walked into that room expecting to find a female victim, and it was a young man,” he said.

Guess they vibrancy’d the bleeeep outa that kid. Score one for GLBTQWERTY, and the Great Buggernaut rolls on.

We’re sure in no time we’ll be hearing that Thompson’s overfulfilled the 5-year-plan for rapes.

He’s also had to learn how to set his emotions aside and remain neutral so he can focus on supporting the victim. ….

“We’re not there to judge — What were you wearing? Why were you out this late? Why did you drink so much? Why didn’t you know better? — we don’t ask those why questions.”

Naw, why ask why? You gotta keep the numbers up, and if all the women aren’t getting raped, what are all the rape professionals going to do? Lord love a duck, someone might notice we ran an Army for hundreds of years without employing any rape professionals. (Well, there was that one Sergeant Major of the Army. But he beat the rap!).

Seriously, what’s next, rape quotas? We can just see it now: “Sergeant Major Carter? This is CSM Billings up at Group. I’ve been looking at the stats and you ‘n’ your troops better get cracking if they don’t want to lose the Best Rapists streamer from their guidon to 2nd Battalion.”

And it’s a great career move:

Thompson’s passion for advocacy brought him to Washington, D.C., in 2014 for a year-long tour as an instructor at the National Guard Bureau, teaching the 80-hour Sexual Harassment/Assault Response Program course for victim advocates. One of his biggest challenges, he said, was convincing soldiers to change the way they’ve traditionally done things in the past to help change the culture in the organization at large.

Yeah, let’s change the culture. Because everything gets better with more slogans-not-facts about sexual assaults.

We know what they’re going to say: we’re just envious we never got an NCOER like this:

“Sergeant First Class Thompson … believes the victim and has a genuine concern for their well-being. He exudes a passion for combating sexual assault, and that passion makes others want to do the right thing.”

‘Cause that’s the most important thing, “believe the victim,” because “victims” never, ever, lie. Not even a little bit, not even in the pages of Stoned Roller. No criminal investigator will ever tell you someone lied to him, or tried to settle a score by diming an innocent suspect. That has never happened, ever, since Cain, the archetype and prototype of the whole damned criminal race, confessed his misdeed without prompting or evasion.

That is what he did, innit?

OK, we’ve got the message: the Army is a bunch of Vikings running around raping everything with a hole (which is, technically, everything, the New Army wants us to know. And yes, Our Hero, the Face of Defense, already handled [eewwww] male victims).

Hey, Army, show us on this anatomically correct doll where exactly Ash Carter touched you. (For the Unique and Special Snowflake™ contingent, there’s also an anatomically incorrect doll that identifies as a correct one). So where did he touch you?

Just about everywhere? Got it. Well, you’re the victim; we have to believe you.

Note to parents: since everybody is raping everybody so much in the Army that the rape bureaucracy is the only thing in the tottering organization that’s growing, you might want to advise the kids that they should go into something safer and more nurturing, like the French Foreign Legion. You definitely don’t want them talking to the Army recruiter; they’re just going to wind up raped, and worse, they’ll be spending all their time in classes about it.

Cautious Optimism on the Ikesore

This is a classy memorial to Ike. Naturally, it wasn't what Gehry had in mind. (It's in a traffic circle in Bayeux).

This is a classy memorial to Ike. Naturally, it wasn’t what Gehry had in mind. (It’s in a traffic circle in Bayeux).

You remember the Ikesore? The tacky post-modern monument, allegedly to Eisenhower, that we have mentioned before? The gaudy Ikesore, the Eisenhorror, perpetrated by society architect Frank Gehry and the society swells who chose him blindly (almost literally “blindly,” judging from their aesthetic sense?)

Yep, we have written about it before. For example:

As we noted in 2013:

The Post, which is very fond of Gehry because (as the Post forms all its editorial policies) all the Right People are, is being a little bit dishonest here [in praising the Ikesore]. Gehry’s design would have shown only the 8-year-old farm boy; the “metal tapestries” originally resembled chain-link fence deployed to control the escape of balls from a driving range. Parts of the design seem to be recycled from a previous Gehry “masterpiece,” a now-torn-down parking garage. The design was a calculated insult to Eisenhower’s memory and to his family, who have expressed revulsion.

Well, there is a tide in the affairs of men, and sometime after we wrote those words (we have never been more desirous of indulging the post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy) Congress pulled the plug on the memorial. Barbara Hollingsworth writes at CNS News:

[Justin] Shubow, [president of the D.C.-based non-profit National Civic Art Society], also said that it is increasingly unlikely that the controversial Frank Gehry-designed memorial to honor former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, which his group and some members of the Eisenhower family oppose, will be built in the District despite getting final approval from the National Capital Planning Commission last year.

“In its budget for the 2016 fiscal year, Congress for the third year in a row zeroed all construction funds for the memorial. In other words, they are completely halting the design yet again, and they are keeping the Eisenhower Memorial Commission on life support,” he said, adding that the commission has been unsuccessful in raising private donations.

“It’s a battle of attrition, and every day it appears that Gehry’s design is likely to finally be killed,” he said.

 92-year-old Senator Bob Dole is trying to assemble a team of DC lobbyists and insiders to build the Gehry Eisenhorror. One of them is another one of those guys who parlays a stint in the Senate into untold millions of wealth: Christopher “Corrupt Chris” Dodd.

We were going to ask if anybody knew who was paying Dodd for this, but then we remembered the famous old saying about taxpayer poker: “If you’re at the table with the crooks and you don’t know who the mark is — it’s you.”

Move Over, Mat Best

This is a video made some 18 months ago by some clever Slovenian (we think) guys who go by “Polenar Tactical.” They are, as you will see, keen observers of the range ecosystem… and possessed of a pretty good sense of humor all around. Note that their title cards are NSFW, but the audio isn’t too bad.

This is a pretty good set of range “types” and techniques, delivered with lighthearted verve by some guys who have several other very funny videos out there.

Even though the video is old (fall of 2014), it is new to us, and we did laugh. We’re fairly confident that you will, too.

How many of these characters have you seen at your local range? It almost makes us lose interest in going.

Almost.

My Life on the Terrorist Watch List

tsa-bozoThis will be a rare post written in the first person, because it is personal. It’s the story of my stint on the Terrorist Watch List, one of several secret lists kept by government agencies, including the TSA. As is well known, no one good, decent, honest, competent, moral, ethical or intelligent has ever been employed at TSA in any capacity whatsoever. But they have the power to add you to this list, which is not entirely life-altering, but is an embuggerance of the next order below that.

I’m not alone in being on one of these lists for bogus reasons. Senator Ted Kennedy, whose name was Edward M. Kennedy, was put on the list because an IRA terrorist had used the name Theodore Kennedy as an alias once. (The terrorist in question was ultimately pardoned in a peace deal, and the actual terrorist used to fly with no problems). Kennedy was able to resolve his problem, but only because he was a powerful, senior Senator. Dr. Patrick S. Hackett, a Knoxville veterinarian, has been on the no-fly list for over ten years, not because of his Taliban beard, but because he also shares the name of some IRA crumb.

Hackett found out he was on the no-fly list in 2004 when he accompanied his son, who was attending the Air Force Academy, to McGhee Tyson Airport. He asked for a pass to allow him to accompany his son to the gate.

“They said I couldn’t go to the gate because I was on their list. They gave me a number to call,” he said.

Hackett said he filled out, signed and mailed forms to the TSA to try to straighten the situation out. About a year and a half later, he received a letter from the TSA offering him a “letter of duress” that he could present whenever he was questioned.

When Hackett subsequently used the letter to travel, gate attendants would mark his boarding pass. He would then be subjected to thorough and sometimes invasive searches before being allowed to board.

TSA officials won’t discuss Hackett’s travel status.

“It’s a secret list,” said a TSA customer services representative, who wouldn’t give his name.

via Right name, wrong man: Knoxville veterinarian can’t get off no-fly list.

Liberty TSA scanConcept fail: “TSA customer services representative.” They’re kidding, right? You can almost hear the sneer in that TSA bum’s voice, can’t you? Remember, no one good, decent, honest, competent, moral, ethical or intelligent has ever been employed at TSA in any capacity whatsoever. And having met every level of that organization from Director down to gloved groin-grabbing groper, I can say that with authority.

It gets better for Hackett: his terrorist namesake is out of prison after having done his time forty years ago, but is trivially easy to distinguish from the Tennessee dog doctor:

The difference should be easy to spot. The terrorist is missing an arm and a leg — blown off when a bomb exploded prematurely — while the Knoxville veterinarian has all his limbs intact.

That’s “easy to spot” for you and me. Not for the TSA, who have a median IQ so low they couldn’t be executed for murder in this country, which nobly refrains from putting down the retarded. Hey, maybe Ernst Stavro Blofeld — he’s on the list, with me an’ Ted and Dr Hackett, even though Blofeld’s a fictional character and Ted’s dead — could magically regrow naughty-Hackett’s limbs like a lizard’s, for some nefarious purpose.

If, you know, Blofeld wasn’t a fictional character.

We know how Hackett, Ted, and Blofeld got on the list: the TSA is staffed entirely by drooling imbeciles. So, how did Hognose get on the list?

Turns out, they’re drooling, vindictive imbeciles.

It began with a day job writing aviation news for a trade-press web publication. That put me in a press conference at the National Business Aviation Association somewhere. (Tampa? Anaheim? Dunno. It was a plane and a hotel and a convention center…). The press conference was a rare attempt to put then-TSA head, Admiral Stone, in front of the press.

TSA PervMost of the press (remember, this would have been mostly aviation trade press) were fairly deferential. I wasn’t, although I referred to him (as he made clear was his preference) as “Admiral Stone” and “sir”.

I asked Stone a couple of hard questions. I can’t remember the questions now, but I seem to recall one was about the low quality of his staff, and the other was about whether or not the whole agency was “eyewash” — or what Bruce Schneier was starting to call “security theater,” given that by midday on 11 September 2001, passengers would never again would allow a hijacking.  I do remember his reaction to the questions:

  • He praised the excellence of his people, so he was either lying or out of touch (although you can’t rule out some combination of the two, can you?).
  • He was offended by the suggestion that his security theater was security theater.

It was only after the convention that I realized just how offended he was. That is, when I went to get back on the mailing tube to go home.

tsa checkpointYou would have thought that Osama His Ownself had schlepped his carry-ons into the security line. I was pulled aside; subjected to a pat-down that approached “rub-down,” they should have billed me for a genital massage; had my two carry-ons dumped out and spread out, as one TSA “officer” after another pawed through my stuff. They wrote down and took pictures of the books I was reading; they counted my socks. They started up my computer and did some searches for porn, and seemed disappointed when they didn’t find any. And then they sat me on a chair and told me to wait.

About a half-hour after that, exactly 10 minutes before my plane’s departure time, they told my I could go. I swept the piles of all my stuff off the table into my two carry-on bags, and ran like OJ (in the famous Hertz ad, not from the po-po) through the terminal. They were actually closing the door when I arrived, and they swung it open.

“What held you up?” a stew asked.

“TSA proctoscoping.”

“Yeah, they do that to us sometimes, too.”

Later, I discovered it wasn’t a one-off. Admiral Stone’s vengeance lasted for two or three years. I was able to determine that I had been placed, not on the no-fly list (or I couldn’t have flown at all), but on the Terrorist Watch List, a secret list of, apparently, journalists who pissed off Admiral Stone. When you are on the TWL, or whatever its real name is — the name, too is a secret, unlike, say, NSA code-word programs, or the personally identifiable information of cleared personnel — they do let you fly, but they do what they can to hassle you out of doing it, and subject you to heightened scrutiny. Your moves are also reported, inter alia, to the FBI and to regional interagency Counter Terrorist Task Forces.

The hilarious side of it was that during all of this, I worked, both in my Guard SF gig and in my contract jobs, on anti- and counter-terrorist stuff all the time. I maintained a security clearance, access to Government systems, and an active pilot’s license.

I think the only flights I took during this period that I didn’t fly myself were courtesy of the USAF, Army helicopters, and some guys who had some Mil Mi-8s and didn’t feel like answering questions.  Fortunately, when it was time for my medevac, the California Army National Guard HH-60 crew didn’t check the Watch List, or I might still be out there in the Hindu Kush.

Back in the states, various friends of mine worked in CT task forces here and there, and I’d get calls:

“Nose, I see you’re in town!”

“Yeah, I’m here for Heli-Expo. How’s it going? And how’d you know I was coming?”

“Hey, it’s all great. We got an alert on you at the Task Force. Are you playing for the other team, bro? What’s up with that?”

I’d tell my Admiral Stone story. The cop or agent would laugh. He would explain that they, too, had no idea how someone gets on the Watch List, but most of their “hits” were false positives. Like me and Ted Kennedy, and I’m not too sure about Kennedy. If we both had time, I’d meet my friend and his buddies from the TF in a cop bar somewhere, and over beers we’d share dumb-ass TSA stories. (And the task force officers and agents also had stories that made it clear that, however wrong the TSA is as a response to terrorism, the terrorism itself was real).

And then, next trip, the whole rigamarole would happen again.

For something like two or three years I drove ridiculous distances, took Amtrak, or flew a rented Piper, rumbling through the lower altitudes at 110 knots; I dreaded the transcontinental or international trips that required the human mailing tube, and the extra dose of moronic hassle that came my way from the TSA. Every time.

And then, some time long after Stone left, I showed up at an airport expecting “the usual,” and this happened: nothing. I was off the list, as secretly as I’d gone on; or at least, I was off the part of it that gets one extra scrutiny from the gropers in nitrile gloves.

But we’re sure you felt 100% safer, during the period when I was on the Terrorist Watch List. Because Security Theater isn’t about the security, it’s about the feels. And vis-a-vis the TSA, the public has a bad case of Battered Wife Syndrome.

The Services’ Women-in-Combat-Specialties Plans are Out…

rangerette-benjamin…and as you might expect, they’re hopped up on Hopium, and square the circle as everyone expected, by insisting that the standards being lowered aren’t actually being lowered.

The Army is rather up-front about its constituency for this change: careerist female officers. Initially, the only women invited to the specialties will be career officers. They’re calling this “leader first,” because women can’t be led by men or something. From the press release:

Initially, the Army will manage the assignments of women through a “leader first” approach. Beginning this year, women will be able to branch as Infantry and Armor officers, followed then by female enlisted soldiers to ensure they are assigned to operational units with integrated women leaders.

Standards will be adjusted to fit the available women.

Army flack Peter Cook has a further press release here, emphasizing that the services can open all specialties “right away.” More of the social justice bullshit barrage:

  • Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s memo (.pdf)
  • The Army plan (.pdf) (HQDA Order 097-16)
  • The Navy’s Female Integration Implementation Plan (.pdf). This turns out to be specifically for those specialties in Naval Special Warfare that were previously closed to women.
  • The Marine Corps Plan (.pdf). This demonstrates that SJW jargon can indeed be pressed into an operations-order format. Reading between the lines, it seems to have been written with the enthusiasm Bart Simpson brings to writing corrective sentences on the chalkboard.
  • The Air Force Plan (.pdf). Of the services this seems to be the one that not only drank, but is trying to breathe the Kool-Aid.
  • The USSOCOM plan(.pdf) signed by Gen. Joseph Votel

We found some interesting things in (or between the lines of) the special operations plan. First, GEN Votel notes that the command has successfully defended their existing standards as mission-related, and therefore will continue to hold the standards, women be damned. (We’ll see how that holds up when Princess calls Daddy in tears because it’s not faaaiir in SFAS, BUD/S, green platoon or what have you). Second, we notice that Votel didn’t hang onto the implementation grenade for a minute longer than he had to, but dropped it in the lap of MG Chris Haas.

We wouldn’t want to be among Haas’s direct reports right now… ’cause we think that grenade isn’t done being tossed just yet.

As to standards, here’s some of the clues in the USSOCOM memo that suggest that standards are not moving an inch for the Amazons. Emphasis ours.

USSOCOM executed a rigorous third party review process resulting in the validation of our existing assessment, training, and occupational standards as operationally relevant and gender-neutral. Established standards are key to the selection, training, operational readiness, and continued performance of Special Operations Forces (SOF) personnel. Adherence to these rigorous standards is crucial to our combat effectiveness and the preservation of unit readiness, cohesion, and morale.

That’s a shot across Ash Carter’s bow, but Carter’s probably not culturally oriented enough to recognize it. When he and whichever empty suit is sitting at the Secretary of the Army desk start pushing to drop the standards, they’ll be reminded — possibly publicly — that they signed off on this document.

acu-powerpoint-ranger-tabThe Army plan, conversely, is the usual buzzword bingo card, plus, because it’s Big Green, it wouldn’t be complete if it weren’t full of gaudy graphics with badly mismatched colors, documenting some optically-challenged lieutenant colonel’s struggles with the illustration module in PowerPoint.

army_women_plan_graphics

For crying out loud, we’ve had official gays in the Army for ages now, can’t we get one of them to color-coordinate the jeezly slides?

The Navy, for its part, notes that females have not been beating down the doors for a chance to try out for previously opened physically challenging specialties, and those that have tried have qualified at much lower rates than men.

Population Size: NSW acknowledges that equal opportunity may not produce equal results as seen in other U.S. Navy Special Operations programs. While completely open to females, the Navy Diver community is 0.6% female, Navy enlisted EOD is 0.9% female. and EOD officers are 2.5% female. Statistically, females have lower assessment, selection, and qualification program success rates within these communities. Enlisted EOD females have a 13% success rate as compared to 31% for males; Navy Diver females have an 18% success rate as compared to 47% for males.

NSW, as USSSOCOM suggests,, is going to hold the previous standards:

All standards for accession, training, qualification, advancement, retention, and assignment were reviewed and will remain the same.

We’ll see how long that bold intention lasts after a couple years of 0.9% of this and 1/3 the pass rate of that keeps crossing desks in the E Ring.

And the Navy has one particular objection that ought to be stapled to Ash Carter’s forehead (emphasis ours again):

Increasing opportunity in direct ground combat units in support of integration objectives is not anticipated to increase combat readiness or effectiveness. Physical performance is not the only measure of a sailor/soldier, but it is a key measure of a primary requirement for ground combat – fighting men at close quarters. In the near term, achieving integration, and evolving existing cultures will channel focus and energy away from core combat readiness and effectiveness efforts. This is a critical risk concern as SOF combat operations run on carefully calculated but thin margins. Additional risk factors include anticipated adjustment of standards, disruption of social cohesion, partnering compatibility, medical concerns to female, media attention, and the longevity and retention of expertise.

This puts it in black and white. “Do this if you will, Carter, but stop lying that there are no costs associated with these intangible, feel-good, virtue-signalling benefits.”

Update

As this was prepared to go to press, on 17 March 2014, Ash Carter released his 2017 strategy document: “2017 Defense Posture Statement: Taking the Long View, Investing for the Future” (.pdf, naturally). No surprises here. He does lead with the strategy stuff — hinting that the giant sucking sound you hear is the Administration pulling its head out about ISIL, which the short-lived Russian intervention did more to harm that the years of Pentagon and White House dithering — and even says bad things about Iran at one point. But you can see he’s phoning it in. All the stuff about the war he really cares about — the Social Justice War — is tacked on towards the end, perhaps hoping people won’t read that far.

Update II

Received from a retired senior field grade Special Forces officer, this Army Times article lists the requirements for women in Special Forces. As he comments, the physical is no problem for any healthy young person… doing 150 miles in a week under a 65-100 lb. pack is an equine of another hue entirely.

http://www.armytimes.com/story/military/careers/army/enlisted/2016/03/16/army-special-forces-gender-neutral-women-qualifications/81852684/

Weaponsman comment: the lower you set the initial entry bar relative to the graduation requirement, the more candidates you break when their ambition commits them to a course of action their musculoskeletal system can’t support. That’s a pity, as these candidates would never have graduated anyway, and now they can’t return to their previous best-case job, either. But it’s where not telling the truth gets you, and for a couple of decades we haven’t been telling the truth (culturally) about women and combat.

Registration, Confiscation Coming for Scotsmen’s Airguns

Victim Andrew Morton. His mother has campaigned for an airgun ban, "Andrew's Law."

Murder victim Andrew Morton. His mother has campaigned for an airgun ban, “Andrew’s Law.”

It’s for the children — or maybe, really, for the child, singular. A toddler was murdered by an antisocial crumb using an airgun eleven years ago, and after a decade plus of wave-the-bloody-shirt publicity (and no further intervening homicides) the Scottish authorities have declared the devices contraband. Owners of the estimated half-million powderless peashooters in the quasi-country have from July to the end of the year to get a permit — which may or may not be issued, at the whim of police, and which requires them to prove, to whichever copper catches gun-ban duty,  a “need” for the toy.

“Justice” Minister Michael Matheson made it clear that his preference was confiscation; while a little work has been done towards preparing to issue certificated to the politically connected and anyone with a “need”, much more effort has gone into preparing what he calls a “surrender campaign,” where those who don’t want to roll the dice on PC Plod getting their paperwork back on time (if the cops fail to do so, the Scottish subject is automagically a criminal under this malum prohibitum law), can simply turn in their gun now without charges rather than wait for next year’s heavy-booted raid (with charges).

Shot:

It will be a criminal offence to have an air weapon without a licence or permit from 31 December 2016.
Under the new legislation approved by Holyrood last June, anyone found guilty of the new offence could be fined or face up to two years in prison.
Owners will have six months to licence their weapons before the law changes.
They will be able to apply to Police Scotland for an air weapon certificate from 1 July.
However critics have raised concerns that it may prove an administrative challenge for the force.

It’s not a challenge if they’re not really planning to rise to it.

It is estimated that there are about 500,000 unlicensed air weapons in Scotland.
The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) opposed the introduction of the new laws, claiming they were ‘disproportionate’ and that airgun offences were declining.
A spokesman said: “However, with the legislation now in place, and licences to be made available from July, we will do all that we can to help the many legitimate air weapon users in Scotland adapt to the new licensing regime.
“The six months ‘lead in’ period (before a certificate becomes a legal requirement) is shorter than we had anticipated and may present a challenge to Police Scotland staff, who will administer the new regime.”

So why the short lead-in time? You’ve had the shot, here’s the…

Chaser:

Police Scotland will also operate a “surrender” campaign, during which people can hand in unwanted weapons before the new legislation comes into force.

Banned in Scotland? They're working on it.

Banned in Scotland? They’re working on it.

When they were done coming for everything else, they came for the BB Guns. Lord love a duck.

We’re reminded of a scene from the English (definitely not Scottish) film A Hard Day’s Night, in which a Someone-Big-in-the-City-looking gentleman irritated by John Lennon informs him, “I fought the war for you lot,” in tones that make it clear he’s rethinking the wisdom of that.

“I bet you’re sorry you won,” Lennon deadpans.

The Scottish government pledged to introduce the licensing scheme following the death of Glasgow toddler Andrew Morton, who was killed by an airgun in 2005.
The two-year-old died after being hit on the head with an airgun pellet near his home in the Easterhouse area of the city on 2 March.

Matheson identified air guns as primarily criminal implements:

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “This government has a long-standing commitment to eradicating gun crime in Scotland and this new legislation will better protect our communities by taking these potentially lethal weapons out of the hands of those who would misuse them.”

And he has made common cause with animal-rights extremists (yclept “animal welfare groups” in his statement) on this, and more:

He added that police, animal welfare groups and members of the public had to face the results of air weapon misuse every day.

mark_bonini_mugshotAirguns, you see, don’t let antisocial scumbags like the guy that shot Andrew Morton, one Mark Bonini (right). The airguns are what cause crime, and what made Bonini do it! (Bonini had been amusing himself shooting teenagers, and he missed his intended target and hit the toddler the target, Andrew’s brother, was holding.

He said air weapons caused anti-social behaviour, as well as injuries to wildlife, pets and occasionally people.

And he deploys the gun-banner’s favorite conjunction, the abnegatory “but”:

“We are not banning air weapons outright, but ensuring that their use is properly regulated and users have a legitimate reason for them,” he said.

via Airgun owners given six months to licence weapons – BBC News.

By the way, by our reckoning, which differs massively from that of Matheson, Police Scotland, and the BBC’s writers, it was Bonini who made the air gun do it. So what became of Bonini? You’ve had the shot, and the chaser… now it’s time for the…

Hangover: Sentenced in 2005 to “life,” the sentence in Scotland really means only 13 years, and so he’s almost out now.

Sharon McMillan, Andrew Morton’s mother, said at the time that the kid-gloves sentence for Bonini was “a joke.”

A 13-year sentence is a joke. Bonini will be just laughing at us.
As for his apology we do not accept it. He did mean it. He also meant to hit my 13-year-old son.
He will not see his wean’s first day at school. Well, neither will I, because my wean was murdered.

Of course, she has since focused on advocacy for an airgun ban, and so hundreds of thousands of airguns are likely to be confiscated from those Scots who didn’t do it, while the one who did will walk out of jail, free as a bird.

Maybe the Scots shouldn’t outsource policy-making to any irrational, bereaved mother with a bloody shirt to wave.

And maybe the Scots ought to seek a replacement for Matheson, whose reaction to a wretched and heartless murder is to punish the innocent and reward the murderer.

Pedophilia is an Army Value

Army LogoThe generally left-of-center and anti-military Foreign Policy has an interesting article on a tale of two investigations: a CYA shamvestigation by Pentagon in-house “investigator,” politically appointed IG Kenneth P. Moorefield, and an actual investigation by John Sopko’s Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction, the scourge of low-ranking small-buck corruption. The threat of the SIGAR investigation has forced Moorefield to widen the scope of his pre-emptive whitewash.

What are they investigation (or pretending to investigate, in Moorefield’s case)? Whether and why the Army is doing to Army Special Forces soldiers what some Afghan security forces leaders typically do to young boys — because the SFers tried to stop the child abuse.

In the fabulously-decorated pink-tinged E Ring of the Pentagon, up is down. NAMBLA is seen as one more “sexual minority” that deserves “equal rights;” the only war worth fighting is the Social Justice War; and criticism of the Great Buggernaut that’s rolling through military personnel offices is a sign of someone that’s not with the program, and that needs to feel the wrath of RuPaul or something.

The U.S. Defense Department has significantly expanded its investigation into what U.S. military commanders knew about the alleged sexual abuse of young boys by members of the Afghan security forces. The new inquiry was in part spurred by increased pressure from Capitol Hill and an aggressive government watchdog group, which had launched its own investigation.

The issue first exploded last fall, when reports emerged that U.S. service members were being punished for confronting Afghan officers they accused of kidnapping and raping young boys on bases shared with U.S. troops, who were allegedly discouraged from reporting the abuse to their commanders.

Those reports of soldiers punished for interfering with Afghan buggery are absolutely true, and these political punishments have taken place, to our great shame, in the Special Forces Regiment. One officer, team leader CPT Dan Quinn,  has already been thrown out unceremoniously; an experienced NCO, SFC Charles Martland, is also being discarded. These personnel actions have been and are taking place because of a top-down determination that opposition to what the Fabulous Secretary of the Army delicately calls “man-boy love” conflicts with capitalized “Army Values.”

Yes, Virginia, child buggery is now an “Army Value,” and we’ll explain the mechanism that is being used to dispose of SFC Charles Martland regardless of what any investigation determines below a couple of quotes from the article. Do Read The Whole Thing™, but remember its written by someone — FP’s Paul McLeary — who’s a “made guy” as an inside-Beltway reporter, but who has no first-hand experience of Army culture or processes. (A reportorial embed? A solid effort, but it doesn’t really count).

Some in Congress were unhappy with the limited scope of the Pentagon’s initial efforts to investigate. By launching a preliminary research project in October, the Defense Department inspector general set out primarily to determine if there was any guidance given to U.S. troops to ignore the abuse. Since the results of the research project would not necessarily be made public, lawmakers were worried that the Pentagon’s findings could quickly be brushed under the rug.

Hmmm. Embarrassing facts, indefensible policy that is politically untouchable, in-house investigation, led by a political appointee. What do you think? We think this: any “findings” such a willfully blind investigator stumbled, Clouseau-like, upon, would never come out from under the rug in the first place.

Led by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), a bipartisan group of 93 members of Congress asked the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, to launch its own wide-ranging probe, which was announced in its quarterly report in January. The watchdog has already started work on the project, and has staffers on the ground in Afghanistan.

Spurred by the new investigation, Kenneth P. Moorefield, the Pentagon’s deputy inspector general for special plans and operations, released a letter on Feb. 19 saying his team is now “conducting a full assessment” of the allegations. A spokesperson for the inspector general’s office told Foreign Policy that parts of the assessment will likely be released publicly, possibly as early as this spring, and investigators will coordinate efforts with SIGAR.

Let’s translate from Beltway into English, shall we? The political investigator’s “Investigators will coordinate efforts with SIGAR,” translates to, “Investigators will stay close to SIGAR so that they can undermine SIGAR’s investigation.”

The new inquiry raises questions over whether the Pentagon can effectively police itself. From the unsettled investigation into the deadly Oct. 3, 2015, strike in Kunduz, Afghanistan, which killed as many as 42 civilians, to the yearslong history of unpunished sexual assaults, military leaders have an uneven track record in holding themselves accountable.

“The new inquiry raises questions over whether the Pentagon can effectively police itself. ” This guy’s been a Pentagon reporter since Christ was a corporal, and he wrote that line with a straight face?

Ah well, Straight Face is not an Army Value. Straight anything is not an Army Value any more.

Lawmakers felt that SIGAR “provides an extra degree of independence” outside of the Pentagon and will take a wider view of the issue than merely looking at the Department of Defense, said a congressional aide.

The aide — familiar with the discussions over the two investigations — said lawmakers were convinced that calling in SIGAR was the right move after viewing the original document outlining the Pentagon’s research project, which was “focused entirely on the DoD. It was very limited in scope, and the conclusions would not necessarily be made public. We felt a more expansive inquiry by SIGAR was warranted, whose conclusions would be made public.”

Those are just excerpts. We highly recommend you  AfterRead The Whole Thing™ (you knew we were going to say that, right?), but read it with our cynical take in mind. Paul McLeary may be kind of socialized to the Beltway culture and too “inside” for his own good, but he’s done a decent job of reporting here.

Cynicism speaking, translating the two paragraphs of the excerpt above: It was a whitewash from the word go, and now facing a more-independent investigation, the Pentagon’s CYA honcho, Moorefield, responds with an expanded whitewash.

What Will Happen with Martland

SF1CRESTUnfortunately for Martland, the fix is already in. His chain of command was directed, back when he first was accused of breaking up the man-boy love nest (by, appropriately enough, beating the snot out of the “man” in question). The Pentagon, where precious, polite, thin and neat generals obsess about whether lilac or mauve interior paint goes better with their new aide’s eyes,  is far, far removed from the coal face of military operations. Someone in the Pentagon sent a rocket down the chain of command directing the Rater and Senior Rater that do Martland’s NCO Evaluation Report to make a single alteration of the report. The Rater, the Team Sergant, obeyed that direct order, and the Senior Rater, the encourager’d replacement for the defenestrated Quinn, obeyed it as well, and a small change was made in the report.

It was changed from “yes” to “no” in the block: Supports Army Values.

Because, under NAMBLA-friendly Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning, buggery is an Army Value.

What does this mean for Martland? Career-wise, “Game Over, man.” And it’s not because he beat up an Afghan buggerer to try to save the buggeree. No, it’s because he doesn’t support Army Values, which is an automatic selection for a Qualitative Management Program board-out (like, say, getting an SS tattoo on your face, burning a cross at the CO’s wife’s workplace, or being sixty pounds overweight). It’s the perfect passive-aggressive way for the Pentagon SJWs to get the Army to spit out a combat soldier, and they can make pious facial expressions and say it’s got nothing to do with him beating on an Afghan scumbag for whom beating-on is at the very low end of what he deserves, and everything to do with that bad NCOER. Why he got the bad NCOER? That doesn’t matter, from here on the machine just operates automatically. Rossum’s Universal Robots, at your service.

Just a personnel matter. We can’t comment on it. Nothing to see here, move along.

And the fix is in, and Martland is as good as out, despite the concern expressed for him by Rep Duncan Hunter (R-CA), who’s been fighting the good fight in this matter.

Speaking of personnel matters, we’ve noticed that leadership performance is inversely proportional to time spent inside the Beltway, for instance, at the Pentagon, CIA HQ, Congressional staff jobs, Congress itself, Main Justice, you name it. Why ever is that?

Gun’s Revenge Claims Trigger Finger Trophy

Union JackIn England, where guns really are outlawed (at least, interesting guns), a comical accident by a would-be gun-destroying copper led to a Red Queen’s Trial straight out of Lewis Carroll — or maybe Monty Python — in which one government department charged another with nuclear negligence in the megaton range, the department of the second part cheerfully admitted the “crime,” and the British taxpayers had some of their money transferred from one government department to the other.

Somehow we doubt that the earls who bearded King John and wrung the Magna Carta out of him had quite this on their minds.

England’s Daily Mirror (warning, loud and offensive autoplay video; the mute button is your friend).

A judge slated a police force after a counter-terrorism officer chopped off part of his trigger finger.

Not just any rozzer: a counter-terrorism officer. And not just any finger, either. Was the gun getting its revenge?

The unnamed officer lost the tip of the digit in July 2014 while using a machine to destroy a seized sub-machine gun .

The tip was retrieved by colleagues and put in a fridge, but surgeons could not reattach it.

Not for the first time, John Wayne Bobbitt is grateful he doesn’t have to rely on the National Health.

Fining West Midlands Police £50,000 with £11,558 costs, Judge Richard Bond told Birmingham crown court that training and supervision on the cutter had been “woefully inadequate” and the incident was “an accident waiting to happen”.

The judge said there was effectively no risk assessment in place, because the scheme drawn up in 2008 was lost and had never been found.

But he said any larger fine would simply see money moving from one government department to another.

Well, isn’t that what’s happening, regardless of the size of the fine?

The Health and Safety Executive brought the prosecution against the force, which admitted a single charge of failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its employees.

At an earlier hearing, it admitted an instruction manual for the hydraulic shear machine had been lost and was later found in the drawer of an office.

C’mon, who reads manuals? Women, perhaps. Maybe they should leave the gun-destroying to WPCs.

It also lost a set of tongs provided for the safe use of the machinery by the manufacturer.

Ben Mills, for the HSE, said an armourer and two other staff members had received half a day’s training on how to use the machine when it was introduced in 2008.

But the prosecution said that by 2014, only the armourer knew how to operate the machine and he had developed his own “ad-hoc system” which ignored many of the safety features.

So they were planning and executing the operation of a machine which cuts up hardened steel on a system of, as far as anyone knows, anal extraction. Sure, hindsight is 20/20, but can anyone imagine another outcome for this?

Officers tasked with destroying weapons were not told the guard could be adjusted or about any trapping hazards.

Look, if they’re not able to figure out not to put their hands inside a thing called a hydraulic shear that cuts up guns with violent blows, maybe the Midlands Police is better off without ’em.

Anyone remember A Clockwork Orange (Burgess book or Kubrick movie, either) and the nickname of the gang member who became a policeman?

They were not given any tongs or long handled pliers that were provided with the machine.

But during sentencing, Judge Bond said the armourer himself had not been given adequate training by the force from the outset.

Well, does His Honour mean before, or after, the guy decided to forget all the training he got anyway, and just go wing it?

He added: “I am told that West Midlands Police is under enormous financial pressure and a large fine might result in the loss of vital services used to protect the public from a multitude of criminal offences.”

By arresting and executing guns! Sure, that’ll work.

West Midlands Police said it no longer used the machine and now escorted weapons like knives, swords, knuckle dusters and guns under armed guard to a foundry where they were destroyed.

via Police fined after counter-terrorism officer lost trigger finger tip while destroying seized sub-machine gun – Mirror Online.

Do they utter magical incantations or taboo words when they execute the guns that have been found guilty and sentenced to death? And what about the finger-snappin’ machine? Shouldn’t it, too, be subject to the death penalty?

And, was the copper’s lost finger simply a result of a tragic mistake? Or was it the last act of defiance from a doomed gun?

Update

If that was the shot, here’s a couple of chasers. Wonder why crime is up in the UK? (Both at the mirror, same audio/video warning applies)

  1. Murderer still walks free despite confession to prison guard;
  2. A depraved double-murder has been released, and in Britain’s criminal protection program (like the witness protection program, but only for criminals and criminal nut-jobs), has been granted anonymity lest his upset victims express their distress and make him relapse.

But hey, it’s the guns, eh?