Monthly Archives: February 2017

“Wrongfully Imprisoned” Gitmo Inmate Turns Splodydope

Splodydope at the wheel of the VBIED in which he died to commit the only sacrament in mohammedanism, murder.

Tony Blair and the al-Qaeda bar, including white-shoe firms like Covington and Burling and nonprofit terrorist fronts like CAGE in the UK, swore that he was “wrongfully imprisoned” and “posed no threat.”

Last week, he killed 20 in a suicide-bomb attack on an Iraqi Army base in Mosul.

A suicide bomber who attacked a military base in Iraq this week was a former Guantanamo Bay detainee freed in 2004 after Britain lobbied for his release, raising questions about the ability of security services to track the whereabouts of potential terrorists.

The Islamic State group identified the bomber as Abu Zakariya al-Britani, and two British security officials also confirmed the man was a 50-year-old Briton formerly known as Ronald Fiddler and as Jamal al-Harith.

He was one of 16 men paid a total of 10 million pounds (now worth $12.4 million) in compensation in 2010, when the British government settled a lawsuit alleging its intelligence agencies were complicit in the torture of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, according to the officials.

via Iraqi suicide bomber was ex-Gitmo detainee.

The Telegraph has further information, including a helpful timeline.

Jamal al-Harith A timeline of terror

  • 1966

    Born as Ronald Fiddler in Manchester to parents of Jamaican origin

  • 1992

    Travels to Sudan with “Abu Bakr, a well-known al-Qaeda operative”, his US prisoner file shows

  • 1994

    Thought to have changed his name to Jamal al-Harith following Muslim conversion

  • 2001

    Travels to the Pakistani city of Quetta for what he claimed was a religious holiday

  • 2001

    Arrested by US forces in Pakistan as a suspected Taliban sympathiser

  • 2002

    Sent to the US detention camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba

  • 2004

    Released from Guantanamo and successfully claims £1 million compensation after saying British agents knew or were complicit in his mistreatment
  • 2014

    Enters Syria via Turkey in 2014 to join ISIL

  • 2017

    Killed in a suicide bomb attack in Mosul

On the plus side, the son of a bitch is dead.

Fun fact: of the five Britons known to have joined ISIL and carried out terrorist attacks, a majority were from “the immigrant community.” How big a majority? Five of Five. 

When Force-on-Force Training Goes Wrong

Mary Knowlton died due to a series of negligent mistakes.

The evolution was a force-on-force demonstration in a public relations exercise that’s coming to a city near you, if it hasn’t already: “Citizens’ Police Academy,” where the cops teach ordinary citizens things about a cop’s job that your ordinary engaged citizen doesn’t know, unless he knows a lot of cops.

Citizen Mary Knowlton of Punta Gorda, FL, a retired librarian, was playing “cop” in an exercise designed to show how little time a cop has to make the shoot/no-shoot decision. Officer Lee Coel was playing felon, and he got the drop on Knowlton, firing several shots (some stories have suggested six) from his training/simulator pistol.

Except, it wasn’t his training pistol. It was his service pistol, as everyone in the room immediately realized, in shock. (With the apparent exception of Coel, or he’d have stopped at one shot).

On Aug. 9, Mary Knowlton, a 73-year-old retired librarian, was participating in a police night hosted by the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce when Punta Gorda police officer Lee Coel, 28, shot and killed her with a weapon meant for training.

Knowlton was acting as a victim in a “shoot/don’t shoot” scenario, and Coel — who was playing the “bad guy” — shot her several times.

Knowlton was rushed to the hospital, where, to make an inverted paraphrase of Bones McCoy, she needed a miracle worker, not a doctor. She died there.

With no conceivable justification for such a simply prevented fatal screwup, the town fathers fell over themselves in haste to settle the civil case.

Punta Gorda city council members approved a $2.06 million settlement with the Knowlton family in November, nearly three months after the shooting.

Lee Coel does the perp walk. He could get 30 years’ prison.

The criminal case has been taking longer, but that’s the nature of criminal cases, especially against cops.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted an investigation into the officer-involved shooting and submitted its findings to the state attorney’s office.

Punta Gorda Police Chief Tom Lewis and officer Lee Coel will both face charges in the shooting death of Mary Knowlton, who was accidentally killed during a citizen’s police academy demonstration in August.

Coel has been charged with felony manslaughter and Lewis with culpable negligence, a misdemeanor. Coel has been placed under arrest. Lewis will not be arrested but was given a summons to appear in court.

Coel could get up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, Steven Russell, state attorney for the 20th Judicial Circuit, said. The chief could receive up to 60 days in jail.

via 2 cops charged in Florida woman’s accidental shooting death.

We’re not sure of why they’re keelhauling the chief, but we can’t argue with the charges against the cop. This kind of gross and consequential negligence is one reason why that felony manslaughter charge is in the statute book.

If you’re not paranoid about a training gun that looks and feels like your service firearm, if you’re not constantly checking and double-checking, and if you’re not still observing the three most fundamental rules even when you know the training aid can’t possibly hurt anybody, well, then the difference between your situation and the much less enviable one in which Lee Coel finds himself is not dependent on anything but happenstance, chance, fortune… luck.

Complacency and disrespect for training aids are always freighted with the possibility of a bad shoot like this. Be alert for those hazardous attitudes.

Updates on Two Stories: Rock Island Auction, and NH Constitutional Carry

The Rock Island Auction company and our fellow bidders were completely unimpressed with our 28 bids, and we got nothin’ to show for it.

Don’t feel too bad about us missing the bids, though. We just landed an uncommon .32 CZ-82 on GunBroker for less than we bid on either of two we got outbid on at Rock Island, and that’s before we’d have had to pay the buyer’s premium.

Anyway, while the auction might have been a skunker for us, it wasn’t for the bidders on around 6,000 lots containing around 10,000 firearms.. and it definitely wasn’t for the auction house. They cleared $8 million for themselves and their consignors… and that also tells us that, despite some rare Colts and Winchesters going for nosebleed prices, the average price of a firearm was under $1,000. This is not only a game for people who send their butlers to the auction in the family Learjet. You can still play even if all you got is an RV-12, and it’s in pieces. (Although, technically, it’s the Blogbrother’s RV).

One of the things that sold was this World War II German sniper rifle… for $13,800:

A trifle, that rifle! (We think that’s more than our Mausers. All of them. Combined). And another was this World War II Jeep… for $9k and change (hey, the sniper rifle was in better shape. This Jeep is actually pretty rough).

Breaking industry records and selling 10,000+ guns in four days is a fantastic way to start off a year of exceptional firearms auctions. Thankfully, you all thought so too. Accompanying this record number of firearms was a record number of sealed bids, a staggering amount of participation from our collector friends, and a result that is both humbling and impressive.

They’re actually a pleasure to deal with, so they probably mean that “humbling” bit.

Because of the support from you and thousands of like-minded firearms enthusiasts, 2017 begins on a previously unimaginable threshold. For that, we offer our sincere gratitude and will continue to strive to make buying or consigning with RIAC better than ever before.

They have some more details on the results of the auction on their website. If you’re one of the skunked, like us, you might want to look at the .pdf of the prices realized and see just how badly you were skunked. (We haven’t done the correlation yet, but at a glance it looks like we were laughably low. On everything).

Like the Jews used to say, “Next year in Jerusalem” (maybe the ones who are not in Jerusalem still do?), next auction we’ll be in there bidding, and we’ll be bidding harder for the things we really want, which were not present in great quantities in this auction (Czech and Czechoslovak rarities).

More auctions are ahead at RIA.

The first is our March 23rd Online Only Auction, the catalog for which is up now and may be browsed at your convenience.

We’ve often found good stuff in the Online Only Auctions, but our definition of Good Stuff may not be yours. We didn’t find anything of buying interest in this one, but a lot to look at.

The next is the year’s first Premiere Auction, to be held May 5 – 7.

The best stuff is at the Premiere Auctions (bigger stuff than some of the six-figure sales this last auction had). How good is that “best stuff”? Well, here’s a Luger. A US Army test Luger. In .45. One of two.

No, we won’t be bidding on that. But we’ll enjoy looking at the rest of the pictures when they post ’em.

Constitutional Carry NH

Let’s not forget the political news, also: as expected, Governor Chris Sununu signed SB12, Constitutional Carry, into law in New Hampshire. Half the states in New England now require no permit. Thirteen states are CC or limited CC already. And the trend is accelerating. Several more states may go CC this year; others will only be prevented by an anti-2nd-Amendment governor’s veto. Here’s what it looks like as a rough chart (apologies for the missing labels. The years run from 1990 to 2017):

This happened despite a purple state, a pro-gun community that was divided among several factions (the NRA even thanked the “local groups,” plural; at one time there were three squabbling gun rights groups) and an NRA paid lobbyist who was a Fudd and single-handedly killed the bill in a previous session. It took the election of a solidly pro-gun majority in both houses, and a pro-gun Governor. (The previous governor had vetoed the bill… twice). The large small-l libertarian minority in New Hampshire were crucial allies in this effort, as well; other Republican legislative priorities (like right-to-work) haven’t passed in this session, but there was real grassroots support for SB12, and the only opposition was paid lobbyists and out-of-state paid activists.

One of the three squabbling factions’ website is no longer active, so perhaps we fractious and flinty New England turkey herders can learn to speak with one voice, even if we can’t always get along. And maybe you can help add your state to the baker’s dozen on this list:

Year # of States State Comments
1990 1 VT Since 18th Cent.
1991 2 VT, MT MT exempts municipalities though.
1992 2 VT, MT
1993 2 VT, MT
1994 2 VT, MT
1995 2 VT, MT
1996 2 VT, MT
1997 2 VT, MT
1998 2 VT, MT
1999 2 VT, MT
2000 2 VT, MT
2001 2 VT, MT
2002 2 VT, MT
2003 3 VT, MT, AK True CC in AK
2004 3 VT, MT, AK
2005 3 VT, MT, AK
2006 3 VT, MT, AK
2007 3 VT, MT, AK
2008 3 VT, MT, AK
2009 3 VT, MT, AK
2010 4 VT, MT, AK, AZ True CC in AZ also
2011 5 VT, MT, AK, AZ, WY WY limits it to residents
2012 5 VT, MT, AK, AZ, WY
2013 6 VT, MT, AK, AZ, WY, AR True CC in AR
2014 6 VT, MT, AK, AZ, WY, AR
2015 9 VT, MT, AK, AZ, WY, AR, KS, MS, ME +3 year!
2016 11 VT, MT, AK, AZ, WY, AR, KS, MS, ME, WV, ID +2 year
2017 13 VT, MT, AK, AZ, WY, AR, KS, MS, ME, WV, ID, MO, NH +2 and the year is still young

Your humble blogger called Governor Sununu’s office and urged him to sign the bill, and will call again to thank him. You can thank him too when you come to the Granite State and carry your personal firearm.

Oh, and One Last Thing…

We only promised two updates, but here’s a third: as he said he would, Kim du Toit is blogging again (he’s got an enormous splash picture, so scroll down to find the content). And his GoFundMe is still live; he’s using the money to pay down medical bills from Connie’s long illness, and to pay down his own student loans. (Guy finally went and got a degree, God bless him).

TSA: Turkeys Strike Again

The world’s most incompetent “security” agency did it again, and wait till you see what it did. The gist of it:

Eleven passengers strolled through a security lane without being screened at Kennedy Airport early Monday after Transportation Security Administration agents left the area unsupervised, law enforcement sources said.

There was no one present to operate the magnetometer and the X-ray machine, or to do pat-downs and secondary screening….

Instead of following protocol and notifying Port Authority cops, it took the TSA two hours to tell police about the frightening breach, the sources add.

Just how horrible was this security breach?

The unscreened passengers — three of whom set off a metal detector — didn’t even have to take off their shoes to get through security, according to a photo of two of the men obtained by the Daily News.

Oh, God. They didn’t even take off their shoes. What is the world coming to?

Of course, the TSA immediately fixed everything, right? Er, wrong. Remember, no one good, decent, honest, competent, moral, ethical or intelligent has ever been employed at TSA in any capacity whatsoever. We call that the Fundamental Law of TSA. Rather than fix anything, these bozos continued screwing up by the numbers.

Rather than notifying the police, who are specifically trained to handle those situations, the TSA used its own agents to search for the unscreened passengers.

Well, that will lead to the usual “security” crisis: bureaucratic turf battles! Did it? You betcha:

“The TSA tried to mitigate the situation by sending their screeners through the terminal in violation of all the protocols,” a source said. “The protocol says law enforcement is immediately notified.”

As you might imagine, TSA’s brain-dead trust was not successful in suddenly repurposing themselves as Emil and the Detectives. When they realized that they couldn’t find The Unclean the unscreened, they finally sent up a signal flare to the real cops.

Well, Port Authority cops.

But regardless of which cops they were, that received this belated notice from the screenergarten, it was too late.

When they were finally alerted, Port Authority cops flooded the terminal equipped with surveillance photos of the travelers, but none of them could be found, the sources said.

To us, the take-away from this is this: TSA’s passenger-harassment game broke down for a period… and nothing happened. That’s because targeting every single passenger as a terrorist threat, because the nation doesn’t have the stones to actually target the known wolves of actual terrorism, is not doing anything but pretending to provide security.

It’s security theater. But the joke is on us, as a nation, because after 15 years of uninterruped failure by TSA, the most brilliant North Star of incompetence in the entire Milky Way of incompetence that is, the rubes demand their security theater:

“It’s scary that people could just walk in like that. It’s seems like something’s out of control here,” said Marie Ruiz-Martinez, 49, of Connecticut, who was at the airport to see her niece off to Puerto Rico.

No, it’s stupid that everybody can’t just walk in like that.

But somehow, even the ever-expanding purulent cyst of failure that is TSA has come to be comforting to our increasingly uneducated people. Prognosis: we’re getting more of it.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Smoothies

Meet Julia Gutierriez. This 53-year-old Illinois woman planned, and botched, a murder-suicide of her husband Eduardo and herself, using the prescription drug Temazepan in smoothies. She succeeded halfway: in the murder part. It was the suicide she botched, and now her lawyers are trying to get the courts to toss her confession.

After all, might as well let her go; it’s not like she’s any danger to her husband any more.

[Julia Gutierrez] gave Eduardo a smoothie spiked with the prescription drug Temazepam.

Geneva police conducting a well-being check at the couples Crissey Avenue home on Jan. 28, 2016, found Eduardo dead and Gutierrez unconscious on a bathroom floor, according to authorities and court documents.

The case will probably end in a plea bargain, so the judge (Tegeler) has tabled the defense attorney’s (Yetter’s) motion to suppress the confession for now:

With a resolution possible, Tegeler said a pending motion by Yetter seeking to suppress Gutierrezs statements to police would remain on hold. Yetter contends in the filing that Gutierrez was not told her rights before investigators questioned her at Delnor Community Hospital and that she was in no shape to be asked about what had happened.

That is one of the more creative suppression memos we’ve heard of. It might have worked; if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that what happens in courtrooms is closer to random than systematic, and only a very rough approximation of justice.

Yetters [sic] motion states Gutierrez was being treated for a drug overdose “that was thought to be a suicide attempt” when the questioning took place.

Prosecutors in their own court filings have indicated Gutierrez essentially acknowledged in a note to a friend she had planned a murder-suicide. Gutierrez is scheduled to return to court on April 27.

via Plea possible for Geneva woman accused of killing husband with drugged smoothie – Aurora Beacon-News.

Thank Heaven for small mercies, like not ever having been in a marriage like these two people’s.

Special Forces Losses in Southeast Asia This Week, 1957-75

We’re going to try to return to our former practice of posting this list once a week. The list was a life’s work for retired Special Forces Command Sergeant Major Reginald Manning. Reg was beloved for his sharp mind and sense of humor; among other tours he survived one at what was probably the most-bombarded SF A-Camp in the Republic of Vietnam, Katum. (“Ka-BOOM” to its inmates). As a medic, some of Reg’s duties in the camp were not a joking matter, and that’s all we’re going to say about that.

There is a key to some of the mysterious abbreviations and codes, after the list.

May God have mercy on their souls, and long may America honor their sacrifices and hold their names high in memory.









Nation, Location, Circumstances





Max P.




SVN; A-113, Mobile Guerilla Force, 5 Km SE of A-104, Ha Thanh, at OP66, Quang Ngai Prov.





John E.




SVN; A-302, Mike Force, Phuoc Long Prov., near A-341, Bu Dop




E-5 SP5

Alan C.




SVN; 4 MSFC, Can Tho, Phong Dinh Prov., by a mine





Domingo R. S.




Laos; CCN, w/ RT??, YD188011, 20k west of A Luoi





Billy E.



DNH, accident w/ weapon

Thailand; 46th SF Co, A-4634, Trang (Camp Carrow near Trang named for him.)





Robert N.




SVN; CCN, FOB1, Quang Nam Prov.





Paul M.




SVN; CCN, FOB3, RT Hawaii, Quang Tri Prov., killed by mortar round at Khe Sanh




E-5 SP5

Gerald B.




SVN; A5/214, Soui Doi, Pleiku Prov., at Mang Yang Pass





George W.




SVN; A-302, Mike Force, at A-301 Trang Sup, XT177554, unloading boobytrapped truck





Charles E.




SVN; 2 MSFC, B-20, 261 MSF Co, just outside A-244, Ben Het, Kontum Prov.





Lawrence F.




SVN; 1 MSFC, A-111, Quang Nam Prov., convoy between Da Nang and A-109, w/ Tomkins





James K.




SVN; C Co, 5th SFG, w/ ??, radio relay site w/ USMC at FSB Neville near DMZ, Quang Tri Prov.





Bobbie R.



DNH, vehicle crash

SVN; B-53, Bien Hoa Prov., S-4 NCOIC

Here is the key to the status codes for the Causes of Death or Missing in Action, and also a decoder for some of the common abbreviations:

SVN SF KIA Status Codes:

BNR – Body Not Recovered. (Known to be dead, but his body was left behind).
DOW – Died of Wounds. (At some time subsequent to the wounding, days/weeks/months).
DNH – Died Non-Hostile. (Accident, disease. There’s a couple suicides among them).
DWM – Died While Missing. (Usually implies body recovered at a different time during the war).
KIA – Killed In Action.
MIA – Missing In Action.
PFD – Presumptive Finding of Death. (This was an administrative close-out of all remaining MIAs during the Carter Administration).

Common Abbreviations

A-XXX (digits). SF A-team and its associated A-camp and area.
AATTV – Australian Army Training Team Vietnam. Their soldiers integrated with SF in VN.
BSM, SS, DSC, MOH: Awards (Bronze Star, Silver Star, Distinguished Service Cross, Medal of Honor).
CCC, CCN, CCS. Command and Control (Center, North and South). Covernames for the three command and support elements of the Special Operations Group cross-border war.
MGF – Mobile Guerrilla Force, indigenous personnel led directly by US.
MSFC – Mobile Strike Force Command, indigenous personnel led directly by US. Aka Mike Force.

We’ll cheerfully answer most other questions to the best of our ability in the comments. Note that (1) it’s Reg’s list, and we can’t ask him any more, and (2) it was Reg’s war, not ours, and all our information about SF in the Vietnam war is second hand from old leaders and teammates, or completely out of secondary sources.

One Gun’s Creation Story

These days, and for most of the last century, most of the guns we know and love are the creation of a team, even when they’re generally shaped by the eye and hand of one designer. And the designer usually works for somebody — the concept is often given to the designer by non-design, non-engineer business people or representatives of end users.

Recently, we came across the Creation Story of the relatively common (about 650,000 made) CZ-27 pistol. We have known for a long time that it was a simplified version of the Josef Nickl-designed CZ-22/24 (again, fingering one designer is a simplification: remember, teams). And we knew that the main designer responsible for the changes to the firearm was František Myška (FRON-ti-shek MISH-ka). We believed the gun to be created to be a simpler, blowback pistol in 7.65mm (.32 ACP) for police use.

The story is told various ways by various credible writers. Here’s Max Popenker’s

The CZ-27 pistol was developed in around 1926 by Czech arms designer Frantisek Myska in an attempt to produce simplified version of the CZ Vz.24 pistol, chambered for less powerful 7.65×17 SR Browning ammunition (also known as .32 ACP) and suited for police and security use. It was put into production in 1927, at arms factory in Praha.

Max is generally correct there. (The pistol was made in Strakonice, not Praga (Prague), but the prewar ones are marked Praha and wartime ones, in German, Prag; that’s where corporate HQ was, even though the production line was in Strakonice, even though that wasn’t ever marked on a CZ-27 until after the war! Like in the example above. That is our one quibble with Max’s description, that, and the understated production figures. OK, two quibbles).

But Czech gunwriter Jiří Fencl, in a new-ish book on Great Czechoslovak Gun Designers, broke it down with much greater precision. Here’s a rough, on-the-fly translation of the story of the creation of the CZ-27 — as told by the designer himself!

František Myška later remembered, “In the course of the manufacture of the pistol vz. 24, one of the then-directors of the company names Beneš came to me (he was known for often happily engaging with the designers) and requested: ‘Mr. Myška, you’re a gunsmith. Could our ‘twenty-four’ be converted to the 7.65 mm cartridge?'”

“I immediately took paper and pencil, and began to draw. In recognition and consideration of the low-powered cartridge, the locking mechanism was not needed, and instead the barrel fixed in place with a pin below. The barrel chambered for 7.65mm. That also led to a smaller grip (smaller magazine). And the Pistol vzor 27 came into the world,” he concluded his tale.

Very well done.  And the workshops were able to produce the Pistol CZ model 17 continuously from the year 1927 until the year 1950.

Less well-known are the variants of this pistol adapted for a sound suppressor, and a small-caliber training version for the .22 LR cartridge.

Indeed they are less well-known! We saw a silencer version (without its original silencer) cross the auction block last year, the only one in memory; and we’ve only even seen one .22 version.

Of the major variants, the most common are the German occupation guns, which are marked in the German language (naturally), and the least common the prewar pistol. The postwar pistol is also rare, but not so rare as the 1927-37 original. The postwar pistol seen here bears different markings from prewar guns; instead of CZ being “A.S.” (roughly, “incorporated”), it’s a “Narodní Podník” (“National Enterprise,” the Communist-era organization).

One collector’s website offers photos of some examples of this firearm from throughout its history: there are prewar and postwar Czechoslovak variants, and two different wartime German variants, all of which differ only in small details, finish, and especially markings. The example shown here is from our collection and is a postwar pistol, dated 1947 (by the “47” in front of the takedown catch above); it was replaced in 1950-51 by the vz. 50 pistol, which continued to be numbered in the same series.

Social Justice 1, Olympic Shooting Sports 0

Matthew Emmons has been hogging the medals. He and the other guys need to share more with the girls. (His wife is also an Olympic medalist — for another country!)

If you follow shooting sports, you know that  USA Shooting is powerfully competitive if not dominant in the international shooting sports, and brings home lots of medals. This is especially true at the Olympics. And you know that the gun-hating TV network — whichever one has overbid to bring viewers an increasingly politicized, commercialized, and dull quadrennial sports event — will do its level best to minimize or ignore these sports.

But now, the sports themselves are being reorganized from the top down — and not to enhance competition.

The official reason for reshuffling the sports is, and we are not making this up, because the International Olympic Committee’s “Agenda 2020” demands 100% equal participation of men and women.  It’s basically Title IX for a slower, weaker, duller, more political, Feminist Olympics. If the US Olympic Committee didn’t buy off on this, the IOC would threaten the US’s bid for the Olympics in LA. (Fine. Hold it in Lagos then, or Manila. Let them pay to feed 10,000 useless IOC bureaucrats: the ones who only eat lobster, so long as it has to be flown in by Learjet).

For reasons that should need no elaboration, but in this day of you-go-grrl infantrywomen being carried through training by the male peers, and resenting them for it, will have to be elaborated on in a future post, women and men do not compete directly against one another in almost all sports. This means male sports must go to make room, as they have done at colleges.

The three sports on the chopping block are men’s 50 meter rifle prone, men’s

The IOC is irretrievably opposed to men competing directly against women — in most sports, women would be rare on the podium, although several of the shooting sports might be exceptions — so male events are being eliminated to create female events, and individual events are being deprecated to create “mixed double” team events, turning everything into the yawnfest that is Tennis Mixed Doubles.

A Tee-Ball, Participation Trophy Olympics.

The US Olympic Committee’s honcho, Scott Blackmun, has put his thumb on the scale — against his own athletes, as a nod towards Social Justice. Chris Dolnack of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reports:

Perhaps most alarming is that the USOC’s motivation seems to be securing the bid for Los Angeles as host of the 2024 games. USOC CEO Scott Blackmun has urged USA Shooting to not participate in the ISSF vote, citing that there are already enough votes to eliminate double trap and that USA Shooting’s participation in the vote could hurt the chances of Los Angeles being awarded the games.

Angelenos and Californians should be appealing to their gods — whatever santeria believes in, we suppose, because that’s about the only faith superstition left in Greater Aztlan — that they don’t get the Olympics. Every city that’s had one since Montreal is still paying for it, except for Sarajevo, which cleverly got out of the debt by destroying itself in civil war.

But it’s a great deal for Scott Blackmun, and all the other Olympicrats.

Anyway, for a critical take, read the above-linked story by Dolnack. (We’ll link it again). To read what the fully-SJW-converged International Shooting Sports Federation has to say about it, go here. We’ll just excerpt a bit of question-begging (emphasis theirs):

Gender equality is one of the key principles in Agenda 2020.  Gender equality means all Olympic sports must have 50-50 men’s and women’s events and participation quotas for the Tokyo 2020 Games.  There are concerns regarding the shooting events program because there were nine men’s events and only six women’s events in the 2016 Games.

And, of course, because Diversity is Our Vibrancy™, this will magically decant us all onto the bright sunlit uplands, as New Soviet Man Gender-Fluid Cog in Society!

The changes necessary to achieve gender equality in Olympic shooting have great potential to make shooting an even stronger Olympic sport.  Deciding the ISSF recommendations to the IOC is a past versus future decision….

We march forward in the Vanguard of the Proletariat, the winds of history at our back!

Gender equality is right and the ISSF fully supports this aim.

Translation: no discussion is wanted or will be heard. Shut up and follow.

The changes necessary to achieve gender equality will probably include the loss of three beloved events that represent the past and no longer fulfil [sic] the highest standards for dynamic, growing Olympic events.

If we were one of those East German guys who got gelded to participate in female sports back in the nineties, and was DQ’d for it, we’d be pretty bitter.

The strange thing is for this to be happening in shooting sports, where women have always been much more competitive with the men than in any of the more physical, less cerebral sports.

When Guns Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have A Fair Shake

OK, maybe it was a fair-to-good shake. But whatever it was, a Queens, New York mother shook her baby to death.

Ashley Diaz, 31… initially told investigators her 2-year-old daughter, Kevasia Edwards, injured herself in a seizure-induced fall inside her home on Beach 56th Place on Feb. 3, 2014. An autopsy told a much different, violent story.

The toddler had two broken ribs, a bruised liver, scars, bruises all over her body and trauma to her head, officials said. She also had scarring on her right foot, which indicated there was a prior burn, according to the medical report.

Mom of the year candidate!

“As evidence by the multiple bruises, abrasions, scarring and lacerations that covered her tiny body, the victim’s short-lived life was one of unthinkable suffering and abuse that ultimately ended in her death,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. “The defendant will now have a lengthy time in prison to reflect on her heinous crime.”

via Queens mother gets 17 years for shaking, beating baby to death – NY Daily News.

But for all DA Brown’s posturing, this creepy mom will get 17 years, minus all the little time-offs and discounts in the system, and she’ll be out in plenty of time to have and kill more defenseless babies.

If you need to shake a baby to death, here’s a doctor explaining how to do it:

And here’s 3D imaging of what goes on intracranially when a mom like Diaz or some other horrible adult gets a shake on:

If you had a dog who did this to her puppies, you’d put her down. Or at the very least, get her spayed. New York courts send her to sit  in the corner for a while. And they wonder why there’s a thriving criminal underclass.

Make Army Uniforms Great Again

Army Times did a survey on uniforms recently, and either did it in cooperation with, or at least discussed the results with, the Sergeant Major of the Army.  Traditionally, the SMA is a very influential voice on uniforms, although it’s always the Chief of Staff — top general — whose decision is final. Several messages came through loud and clear, and they’re quite interesting, especially to old fossils who mostly wore other uniforms than the ones the boys and girls are rocking in 2017. (We’ve got bottle green service station attendant fatigues and Okinawa-made tiger stripes hanging up in a closet, not to mention other uniform styles of the sixties through the nineties. Perhaps some day we’ll actually fit into those ancient uniforms, maybe for burial).

Our take on the survey results:

  • Wow, the troops really despise the black beret.
  • The blue Army Service Unifom which replaced the dressier Army Blue uniform and the standard green service uniform worn (in a couple of variations) since 1957 is not quite as loathed, but there is no love for it.
  • There’s heavy nostalgia for great-granddad’s service uniforms of World War II, especially the tan khakis and the officers’ “pinks and greens” (tan trou and shirt with an OD jacket).
  • There seems to be a big difference between what men and women want in terms of uniforms, and there’s a schism between what young women and career female sergeants major want.

The Black Beret

SMA  Dailey has made it pretty clear that the beret, which is now worn as little as possible (due, naturally, to everybody hating it) is not going away. Having to be the adult in the room, he asks the reasonable question: if we get rid of it, what next? The previous hats worn with the service uniform were both hated, too: the bus driver’s saucer hat, and the overseas cap, known to all in the service by a female-anatomically explicit pejorative. (Women had different hats, which they hated, too). But the troops are quite clear in wanting to return to the status quo ante of berets being worn only by SF, Rangers, and Airborne soldiers. (This survey result is the same whether you survey those guys that would keep the berets — although a significant minority of them would gladly toss them, too — and the guys that would lose them under a reversion to pre-Shinseki rules).

No one seems to discuss one reason that the specialist forces prize their berets: the berets bear considerable unit personalization. Paratroopers wear the flash of their brigade or even battalion; Rangers have a flash that is their own (and the Ranger training establishment a different one); every Special Forces Group has its own flash with its own significance. For example, after a period in which the red and gold of the Free Vietnam flag was banished, 5th Special Forces Group recently reclaimed those colors on its black flash. Initially, when the black beret was inflicted on the Army as a whole, and the Rangers given a tan beret as a consolation prize, there was some talk that regular Army units would be permitted to develop their own flashes to accommodate their own unit pride, but this was quickly crib-smothered on cost and uniformity grounds, and every soldier wears the same blue flash with white stars. (There is a small pin-on crest, the Distinctive Unit Insignia, that is worn with every beret, but it’s often of a large unit rather than a natural nexus of unit pride. For example, all SF soldiers in all groups wear the same SF crest over their unit’s distinctive flash).

If you’re going to make every soldier in the army wear the same hat, it should be a sharp-looking hat. This may mean different hats for men and women, which the men and women are cool with but the womyn and social justice warriors are not.

The field uniform hat, which basically is the old 1951 vintage field cap (and which the Rangers kept alive during the grim baseball-cap years), seems popular enough. It’s better than any of the WWII field hats, as long as there’s also a boonie hat for field use, too.

The Service Uniform and the WWII Tradition

The Army started down an unhappy path in 1957 when they began to phase out World War II era uniforms in favor of a new green uniform modeled in part on the open-collar version of the Wehrmacht uniform, and in part on the uniform issued to metropolitan bus drivers at the time. This Army Green uniform soldiered on for about 50 years (with some slight changes of hue and material) until its recent replacement, supplemented by a blue uniform for semiformal occasions, a variety of officers-only full formal rigs, and a service undress “class B” uniform that was a shortsleeved khaki nod to WWII until 1981 or so, and thereafter just the pants and shirt of the Class A greens.

Unkind commenters noted that the green uniform was picked in 1957 because it was better at hiding out of shape middle-aged generals’ and NCOs’ rotund physical condition, than the pinks and greens or Ike jackets of wartime. Kinder commenters noted that it was more like the suits won by businessmen; that was one of the official justifications for the change, at the time.

The green bus driver uniform was replaced by a similar sack suit, only in blue, so it’s more of a doorman suit, or perhaps a 1920s Officer-Paddy-McGillicuddy-of-the-NYPD suit. For daily service wear, it lost the soaring NCO stripes and other flourishes of the formal Army Blue uniform, which harkened back to the Civil War and Indian Wars.

Anybody who’s watched period documentaries or war movies set in the unpleasantness of 1941-45 has noted how much better looking those uniforms are that today’s formless, characterless bags. (Although it’s hard to untangle that from how much better looking the Hollywood stars playing soldiers are, than actual soldiers — except that we really were a stunningly handsome bunch in the 10th Special Forces Group, who could have been matinee idols if we hadn’t felt the call to service).

The old uniforms are approved both on tradition and on style grounds — on fit troops, they look great. We note the Marines cleverly played into this by still wearing their WWII vintage service uniform. And their troops are consistently the sharpest looking. Coincidence?

While some of the other changes are definitely not going to happen, we can definitely see SMA Dailey bringing in a recommendation for a return to WWII styles, perhaps pinks and greens (for all ranks this time) or Ike jackets (probably as an option). And for Pete’s sake, put patches and tabs back on the shoulders, and officers’ branch insignia in the collar area, of all uniforms. Rank in the center of the chest was created in order to have a place to pin rank on Gore-tex jackets without losing the waterproofing, but what started as an unwillingly-forced Least Bad Option has spread like ebola. You want your soldiers looking at each other’s face and head area for rank cues, not center of mass. And you want to know if the captain who corners you in the TOC is the battle captain (guy running things for the commander) or some inconsequential dweeb from MI or the Quartermaster Corps.

Women Trouble?

While male soldiers are all in favor of such changes, women are ambivalent. This is especially true of long-service NCOs, who are more likely than one-termers to be — how shall we put this delicately? — sexual minorities, and to enjoy dressing up just like men, in male or unisex clothing. (They’re the ones who go off duty in plaid flannel shirts and Herman Survivors. In August. At McDill). And during World War II, the relatively small percentage of women in the service generally hated their uniforms, which were designed in great haste, and which they considered crude and frumpy. The Marines and Navy have struggled to keep their women happy with their uniforms, and whoever’s going to tackle this problem for the Army had best get a lot of input, including from current soldiers and from people who lived through the controversies over in the sea services.

We don’t know what the perfect women’s uniform would look like, but it would have to:

  1. Please the women who wear it, unlike the frumpy WWII version;
  2. Clearly be the same service as the stuff the guys wear;
  3. Be of sufficiently practical style it can be worn every day by office workers and not put them at a disadvantage relative to women in other services and civilian co-workers.
  4. Be of sufficiently classic style so as not to look dated by 2022. Or 2077.
  5. Be clearly female in design; flatter the wide range of shapes that comprise our fit female soldiers. (Fat people looking fat in it is not a reason to reject a uniform. Sorry ’bout that, Chief. It’s a reason to reject the fat people. Trigglypuff, this means you).

How do you get to that end state? Why not hold a design competition, and invite the nation’s (or world’s) fashion designers to take a shot at it? Make a panel of judges, mostly women soldiers who will have to wear the things, mostly young women, but include some of the guys who will have to look at it for their whole career, a design professional or two, and a couple of reps from the veteran, purple heart and gold star family community. That’s the optimizing approach (and it gets the design community invested in their country. And you could get a highly rated reality show out of it).

If that’s too much work, start with the Marine women’s uniform, listen to Marine ladies’ objections and complaints, get a survey of the good-bad-and-ugly of WWII Army uniforms, and remodel them appropriately, in Army colors. That’s the satisficing approach (and you could execute it in six months. Find an ambitious woman officer who’s not afraid to look her best, and give her a free hand).

What to Do After The Change

So what do you do after you change uniforms, the gentlemen’s and the ladies’ alike, this time? The Army has, to the great mirth of our Marine peers, been through lots of hasty and ill-considered uniform changes. So don’t execute this one hastily or half-assed. And once it’s done, commit to it. Freeze it, in terms of design language, for fifty years. Sure, you’ll want to take advantage of material breakthroughs but don’t change the look for a half-century. By then, soldiers wearing these new uniforms will have added incredible new tales to Army lore, and brilliant new streamers to the Army colors.

By then, no one will want to change it. It will be the classic Army uniform.