Top Ten Things Nobody Ever Said About Bradley Manning

With the creepy little critter about to be sprung from prison by leaders that, in the end, privileged treachery over loyalty, Bradley Manning has been much in the news lately.

People are saying a great many things about him. But what about the things that they are not saying? Without further ado, we present the Top 10 Things Nobody Ever Said About Bradley Manning.


10. “I want to be just like him/her/it when I don’t grow up.”
9. “He’s logical and rationally grounded.”
8. “Ex-private Manning is a keen analyst of military strategy.”
7. “A poster child for loyalty.”
6. “Well done, the clearance adjudicators.”
5. “Bradley Manning: America’s secret weapon.”
4. “A credit to his uniform.”
3. “A great American and an exemplary soldier.”
2. “The textbook case of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, from being his unit’s worst intel analyst, miles from any action.”

Bradley Manning as he (?) sees him(?)self.

And, the Number One Thing that Nobody Ever Said About Bradley Manning:

1. “I’d hit that.”

Remember, this is the person that the DC plutocrats found to admire in the US military — a traitor.

Thump with TRUMP (No, this is NOT political)

Not the least bit political… this is an entirely different TRUMP. The guy getting sworn in Friday is Trump. TRUMP, all caps, means Training Re-Usable Mortar Projectile, and here you see a demonstration of unboxing a live M2 60mm Mortar, setting it up, and setting up TRUMP rounds and firing them.

The propellant and the on-target pyro charge are 20 gauge shotgun shells loaded with black powder. Strict limits on powder weights must be observed, lest your TRUMP rounds cross the threshold where they’d become unregistered Destructive Devices, a felony violation of the National Firearms Act. This limits the range of the mortar and the spectacle of the rounds’ detonation, but it can’t be helped. The mortar itself is a registered Destructive Device, and in the USA that is handled under the NFA like a machine gun or silencer would be, requiring ATF registration prior to possession, and a $200 transfer or manufacturing tax.

“Yeah, but,” we can hear you thinking out loud, “Where are you going to get a mortar?”

They’re around, but if your local gun store is fresh out, try the guys who made the video, Ordnance.Com. They have a website and a YouTube channel, but they also have M2 mortars just like this one and TRUMP rounds for sale on Gun Broker.

They also have 81mm TRUMP rounds, and older-style 60mm inert, reusable rounds. You can use the 60mm rounds in any 60mm mortar, and the 81mm rounds in any 81 or 82mm mortar.

TRUMP. Make Artillery Great Again.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Liberated Manuals

We’re going to be the soul of brevity on this one, because there’s no magic here at Liberated Manuals, it’s just one more source of public-domain military manuals.

They describe their raison d’être as follows:

This website is a comprehensive source of government manuals, in PDF format, free to copy, republish and distribute as you want. The goal of this website is to “liberate” government manuals from the dirty hands of CDROM selling mafia. All manuals are offered at no charge.

Sure, it’s an ugly and basic website, but on the gripping hand, it’s free stuff. What’s not to like?

There’s a list and a search function at the home page. Some of the manuals include (these are all .pdfs):

And one of our personal maintenance favorites:

There’s a lot more than just gun manuals, though. Go there and take a look around!

How Martial Law Ends

Over at Lines of Departure, his regular column at, Tom Kratman addresses dissatisfied lefties like Rosie O’Donnell, who publicly called for martial law. Tom points out rather graphically that she would not like martial law.

He quickly boils the possible scenarios down to the likely point upon which they all converge, in the end.

So either way, whether Trump takes the oath and the military follows him, or he doesn’t and the military rebels against their senior officers and follows him, the result is ultimately the same: Martial Law but in hands that hate you.

What does that look like, by the way, as it ultimately plays out? Well, I want you to imagine a long ditch, Rosie. You’ve been made to help dig it, except that in the interests of time and efficiency a backhoe was brought it to help on your section and a few others. No, no; it’s not part of the dreaded wall that will keep your side from importing and turning into clients a hundred million illegal Latins. No, this ditch has another purpose.

In this ditch you, and a whole bunch of your political allies and comrades, are kneeling, shoulder to shoulder, with your hands tied behind you and, I am sure, rivers of tears running down most of your filthy faces. There is a captain behind the line, might be Army, might be Marines. Hell, he might even be Air Force or Navy Lieutenant. He is not crying; indeed, he is smiling. He has a pistol in one hand. He walks the length of the ditch, a private following him with a bag full of loaded magazines. The captain walks slowly, stopping about every two feet. Whenever he stops he faces the line of kneeling, sniveling, crying people who once thought martial law was just such a splendid idea. He aims carefully, and then shoots each one of you, once, in the back of the head. He’s at least a competent enough shot that he never misses at this range. Every thirteen shots he removes the magazine, hands it to the private, takes a fresh one, and reloads. Click.

And there you are, Rosie, shivering in terror and wondering if maybe that whole martial law thing was really such a good idea. You’re afraid to look but you can hear the shots getting closer and closer to where you kneel. Suddenly, there is a massive bang and the guy kneeling next to you flops forward. You can’t help it, you look down and can see into his half-pulverized brain. You start to scream and then….bang.

Do Read The Whole Thing™.

Of course, it isn’t just lefties who sometimes express a wish for martial law, or a coup, or a civil war; although they do seem to be spring-loaded in the revolution position. At least, if someone else takes charge of the gritty revolutionizing, because most of them are all wind. All Foucault and no Pol Pot, you might say.

We tend to dismiss such calls for civil war or martial coups as childish hyperbole. But there’s nothing magical in American soil, no unique American genotype, that prevents such things from happening here. Indeed, in states that were rocked and even destroyed by civil wars and revolutions, there seems to have been a rapt complacency up to the very moment of calamity.

Among the casualties are, almost every time, the initial revolutionaries. Imitate Robespierre if you like, but Robespierre did not die in bed.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Trees (again)

How can a tree kill a person? They just sit there.

So to get a tree to the scene of the crime, either the tree has to topple over, or the victim has to be the one that’s moving.

If you haven’t got vines to swing from, skis will do. This mishap took place in Colorado, where some guns (and all standard-capacity magazines) are outlawed.

Sean Haberthier, 47, was reported missing at about 5 p.m. Thursday. The ski patrol found him at about 8:30 a.m. Friday and he was pronounced dead soon after being found.

Haberthier died of a severe skull fracture. Summit County coroner Regan Wood reported he was not wearing a helmet.

Officials have not yet confirmed what run he was on.

On Monday, Haberthier’s nephew, Nicholas, 20, said his uncle was an expert skier and was on a black run.

via Denver skier reported missing found dead at Breckenridge Ski Resort – The Denver Post.

Like they say — Black Runs Matter. (For non-skiers, slope difficulty is color-coded.Difficult slopes are marked with one or more black diamonds. Hence, a “black run.”)

Turns out the late Mr Haberthier is not even the first Coloradan felled by a tree this season.

Haberthier’s death is the second Summit County fatality this ski season — both at Breckenridge. Longmont resident Kevin Pitts, 48, collided with a tree on Dec. 19. His death is the third casualty on a Colorado ski hill.  Kelly Huber, a 40-year-old mom from Texas, fell to her death from a chairlift at Ski Granby Ranch on Dec. 29 in an accident that was blamed on a mechanical malfunction of the Quickdraw Express lift. Huber’s 12- and 9-year-old daughters also fell from the lift, but both survived.

In a surprising development on the death of the Mrs Huber and the injuries to her daughters, the initial reports that blamed the passengers for raising the safety bar have been repudiated. An official investigation seems to have fingered a mechanical failure as the cause of the mishap.

“The circumstances indicated that environmental factors, weather and the occupants of (the chair) did not contribute to the cause of the incident,” the Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board report says, adding: “The facts of the incident show that, on Dec. 29, 2016, an unreasonable hazard existed in the continued operation of the lift.”

The report, released after more than a week of investigation by the board, police and the resort, provides the first official details of what led up to the fall. Granby police say witnesses reported Huber and her daughters were not involved in any horseplay before they came off the chair, nor did witnesses report any kind of intentional or user-caused accidental fall.

The lift will be reopened, but will operate at a lower speed henceforth.

There are 30 to 40 snow skiing deaths in the USA in a typical year, about 11 of them in Colorado; and the median decedent is a 30-year-old man wearing a helmet, on an intermediate (blue) run.

Fighter / SF Soldier Tim Kennedy Retires

From the ring, that is. He’s still in as a part-time soldier, and there’s a story in that. Tim was on active duty in Special Forces when he first began to fight in mixed martial arts competitions. The command took no notice.

Then, he began to win. A lot. The command discovered that one of their warriors was actually one of the world’s top fighters. They should have celebrated their good fortune and wrung a PR and recruiting windfall out of it. (What Would The SEALs Do?) But no, that’s not what they did.

They ordered him to quit. 

Instead, he quit active duty, continuing to serve in the National Guard, and kept fighting. A recent deployment and the associated pre- and post-deployment activities kept him out of the ring for a couple of years, and when he went back in the ring, he lost… and he knew that this was it. 

Every athlete knows that there will be a time to hang up the gloves (or whatever). Some receive that signal when it comes in, embracing a graceful end to a young person’s career. Some don’t, and become that guy, hanging around trying to capture the feeling of ever-more-distant glory. Tim wasn’t going to be that guy.

Sitting in the ER at Saint Michael’s hospital in Toronto, Canada after my fight, I looked up at my buddy Nick Palmisciano who had ridden in the ambulance with me. He is a friend I didn’t deserve and guy that stood with me from the beginning. Fighting is a lonely thing. You train with your team. You bleed with them. You trust your coaches but ultimately you are in the cage alone. This wasn’t our first time in this situation and thankful I had someone by my side. We had been here a few times in our past decade together. Sometimes for wins and sometimes for losses. The end result always looked the same: Nick carrying five bags that should have been split among three corners and me and my face are bleeding and swollen.

“That’s it man,” I said. “We’re all done.”

We had talked about it a lot over the past few years. I’d spoken to Nick, to my wife Ginger, and to Greg Jackson and Brandon Gibson ad nauseam about the coming end. No matter how hard I trained, I knew this ride wouldn’t last forever. But saying it out loud definitely brought me both sadness that this chapter was complete and overwhelming relief that it’s a decision I could make without worrying about taking care of my family.

I had just lost to Kelvin Gastelum, a really respectful and hard-working young fighter who went out and did all the things I consider myself good at, but did them better. He actually reminded me of me when I was younger, except I was kind of a jerk back then. As losses go, I was kind of happy I lost to a guy like him.

A lot of my coaches, friends and fans immediately tried to build me up again. “Kelvin has the right skillset to beat you and it was your first fight back.” “You had ring rust.” “You’re still a top 10 middleweight.” I appreciated their comments and I don’t think they are wrong. I know I am still a good fighter. I know I was away a while. But they didn’t feel what I felt, and that’s being 37. I felt like I was in slow motion the entire match. I felt tired for the first time ever in a fight.

I’m the guy that once graduated Ranger School – a place that starves you and denies you sleep for over two months – and took a fight six days later in the IFL and won. I’m the guy that is always in shape. And I was for this fight. I worked harder than I ever have before for this fight. But I wasn’t me anymore. My brain knew what to do but my body did not respond. I’ve watched other fighters arrive here. I’ve watched other fighters pretend they weren’t here. I will not be one of them.

Do Read The Whole Thing™ at Tim Kennedy’s Facebook page. He is, it turns out, a gifted writer, and the whole thing is worth reading.

We at wish Tim Kennedy all the best in his future endeavors. He leaves like he entered, and like he fought: with heart, class and sportsmanship.

He may never step into the ring again, but his name lives for evermore.

That colonel that demanded that he quit UFC, what was his name? Dunno. We forgot.

MagPul Relocation: The Cost to Colorado

During the 2013 debate over Colorado’s anti-gun proposals, which included a ban on standard-capacity magazines, Colorado-based Magpul threatened to relocate, and other Colorado injection molding companies realized that they’d have to follow their largest customer, at least in part. We covered this debate extensively.

The other molders had once had customers like OtterBox, a maker of phone cases, but OtterBox and its imitators relocated production to China, leaving the entire Front Range injection-molding industry hanging by the thin thread of Magpul contracts.

Now, four years later, it’s time to assess the economic cost of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s virtue-signaling (and positioning for a stillborn 2016 Presidential run). And Colorado politicians were grieved to find that, not only has Magpul relocated its manufacturing and HQ to Wyoming and Texas, but it’s now landed a contract to make magazines for the USMC.

In 2013, when Democrats controlled the state House, Senate and governor’s office, Colorado passed a 15-round limit as a measure to curb mass shootings, particularly in the wake of the 2012 Aurora theater assault that left 12 people dead and more than 70 wounded. Among James Holmes’ weapons was a semi-automatic rifle with a 100-round drum magazine.

The political and legal fallout came swiftly. Gun rights supporters recalled two legislators and another resigned.

By resigning, she mooted the recall, and let Hickenlooper appoint another anti-gun extremist, which he did.

State sheriffs sued in vain to block the law. The economic cost is still adding up.

Magpul moved its production, distribution and shipping operations to Cheyenne and its headquarters to Texas last year. Besides principle, the move was fueled by cash—the  Wyoming State Loan and Investment Board ponied up $8.3 million

At the time the deal closed in September 2014, the Wyoming Business Council said Magpul would pay back about $3.7 million, but Laramie County, Wyo., stood to gain another $14.3 million in taxes, income off leases and other benefits from growing its workforce.

Hickenlooper’s Folly, a punitive strike on Colorado gun owners rather than targeting the state’s plentiful criminals, keeps paying dividends… for other states. One of the things Hickenlooper accomplished was throwing the state Senate to his opposition, an opposition embittered by the anti-gun laws and their consequences:

Frustration was in the voice of Colorado Senate President Kevin Grantham Tuesday.

“My take is there is no big surprise here,” said the Republican leader from Canon City. “You tell a company they can’t sell a product in your state, when it’s a good product and a popular product. They move across the state line, they get a lot of support and they get a big contract. We lost not only the jobs they had when they were here, we lost  the jobs they’ve grown into since and we’re losing all the jobs they’re going to grow into in future years with this contract.”

It’s actually worse than than, Kev. It wasn’t just Magpul that got on the bus to Texas and Wyoming. Colorado also lost a bunch of out-of-state hunters and fishermen. They also lost Michael Bane’s TV productions — probably small money as politicians reckon money — after all, politicians all seem to retire to houses made of gold bars. But he’s influential in the sporting world, and he used to be a walking, talking, tv-casting advertisement for Colorado outdoor sports.

Can you think of an animal you can hunt in anti-gun Colorado that you can’t hunt in pro-gun Wyoming? We can’t. Maybe Michael can.

How many jobs are we talking about?

Magpul took about 100 employees out of Colorado in early 2015. When the gun law was passed in 2013, it had about 200 workers in a 100,000-square-foot in Erie. The payroll has since grown to 380 and added a second shift in 185,000-square-foot facility in Cheyenne.

Got that? 380 workers in Laramie County are now working two shifts to make magazines and other products, and the company’s hiring. Meanwhile its Colorado headcount went from 200 to 100 (2015) to 0 (2016). Colorado not only lost the 200 jobs, but the 180 gained so far in Cheyenne, and the jobs gained in Texas as well.

And that’s not counting the rest of the Colorado injection molders, several of whom are supposed to have set up in and around Cheyenne.

And that’s not counting the cost of reintegrating laid-off Coloradans. By early 2014, less than a quarter of Magpul’s Cheyenne workforce had been with the company in Colorado — just a couple dozen people. That suggests around 150-180 of the Colorado workers got the chop in situ. Thank you, Governor Hickenlooper.

State Senate President Grantham notes that the Marine switchover increases the odds that the other services, too, will adopt Magpul magazines. He’s missing something, though: the armed services are not the major buyer of standard rifle magazines. With some two million AR-15 type rifles selling every year, civilian demand for these basic accessories far outstrips military demand; and Magpul’s regular product improvement schedule lets them resell new product to already satisfied customers, with none of the politics and bureaucratic tomfoolery of military contracts.

Shootings Happen Fast, #32767

So, meet Karsten Cuthair, who looks like he’s in pain. He’s in pain because he just got shot. The dry facts of his shooting are recounted in this news story about his indictment in the Las Cruces, NM Sun-News.

Shortly after 11:30 p.m. Nov. 14, two NMSU police officers, including Officer Jarod Colliver, were dispatched to the Chamisa II Village Apartments, an on-campus housing complex.

The indictment alleges that Cuthair was assaulting another NMSU student who lived in the complex with a Glock 9mm handgun.

Footage from Colliver’s body camera shows that when he made contact with Cuthair, he commanded Cuthair to drop the gun. “Instead, (Cuthair) allegedly turned toward the officer and pointed the gun at him,” the indictment reads.

New Mexico State University Police Officer Jarrod Colliver, responding to 911 calls of a man with a gun at a campus apartment complex, fired two shots, one striking student Karsten Cuthair, 28, in the right leg. Cuthair survived.

That’s a very, very dry recounting of the story. Let’s watch it in detail. We think the lead up matters, but it’s just cops in corridors until about 1:15 in this ~4 minute video.

Some impressions we had:

  • That cop had very little time to make his shot before he was back behind cover. But he hit his target.
  • Compare the dry text of the report (“turned toward the officer and pointed the gun at him… Officer Colliver fires two shots”), that sounds like it happened with all deliberation, like a chess match, with the speed in which the whole thing actually went down, on the video. No time for complete sentences or punctuation in the actual event, was there?
  • There’s a long lead up to the shooting and a bunch of stairs. So Colliver’s heart rate was up before the shooting began.
  • Compare that dry text again to the uncertainty of the encounter. Was that a gun? (It was). Did the cop hit the suspect? (He did). Is the injury serious? (It was).
  • One question not worth asking till the situation’s under control: Why? Indeed, that doesn’t seem to be answered at all. In a defensive firearms use, it’s all about the what; there is no time for why. 
  • Some people disparage campus cops, kind of the same way some LEOs disparage armed citizens. Felons are remarkably indifferent to what the lettering on a cop’s badge says. They’re equal-opportunity cop killers. Fortunately, bullets stop them just the same, no matter who’s behind the gun. Felons are also equal-opportunity bullet magnets.
  • Cuthair does not seem to have set out with the intent to commit felonies and get shot for it. It seems as if this was nuclear mismanagement of some interpersonal situation, in the megaton range.
  • Cuthair was compliant after being shot, but seemed… sluggish. Along with his original position, supine against the corridor wall, this makes us inclined to suspect Judgment Juice. In his case, maybe, combined with some Native American ancestry? Make your Injuns and Firewater and Firesticks jokes in the comments if you like, but it’s a real thing that some individuals and some entire races have problems metabolizing ethanol. We’d bet he can’t even recollect the incident clearly.
  • The questions Cuthair asks also make him sound drunk. “We’re on the third floor, right…?” and “Who’s in command?”
  • Note the cop, once he realized that Cuthair really was shot, and was shot high in the thigh, trying to deploy a tourniquet. Someone in his department has been keeping up to date. (Still, it wasn’t an arterial bleeder, or Cuthair might have been a goner). There are some new TQs and other devices coming for dealing with high-extremity and even groin and torso wounds, but they’re probably too specialized for the individual soldier or law officer to carry — something for your medic’s bag.
  • Finally, everybody’s got Glocks… cops, suspect. You can’t get away from the Tupperware Tribbles.

And, is it just our impression, but this seems like an old No-Tell Motel or something; maybe it’s our New England snobbery or something, but it looks like a beastly place to go to college.

Cuthair was booked into the Doña Ana County jail on Nov. 18 after he was released from University Medical Center in El Paso, jail records show.

He was indicted in December on two counts of assault d/w (one against a PO, and one general) and a few related misdemeanors. Maybe the why will come out at trial. We’re glad he lived, but we’re more glad he didn’t shoot the cop or anybody else.

Act like a jerk with a gun, and you’re asking to get shot. If you’re lucky, you live to go to jail.

Hat tip, old blog friend Chris Hernandez, author of the great Afghanistan novel, Proof of Our Resolve. (Update: Dang. We’re sure Chris’s blog led us to this, but can’t find it on Chris’s blog now. -Ed).

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Arm Braces

If firearms suicides are caused by the gun — work with us here — was the suicide of Roger Ward, who cut his own throat with the aluminum reinforcement from an arm brace, the fault of the arm brace?

But do read on before you start feeling too much sympathy for the late Mr Ward.

A Merrimack County jail inmate awaiting trial on sexual assault charges committed suicide by using a piece of metal from an arm brace he wore after a recent injury, according to investigators.

Roger Ward, 52, of Henniker was found unresponsive in his single-occupancy cell in the early morning hours of Dec. 20. Authorities say he slit his own throat.

Ward was living in a unit where inmates are checked every 30 minutes. He was not on suicide watch because he hadn’t given any indication that he was suicidal, jail Superintendent Ross Cunningham said Tuesday at the Boscawen facility.

“Typically there are flags and concerns that we can see in the person and that the offender is telling us,” he said. “In this case, there were none of those activities, at least that we’ve discovered to date.”

via Investigators: Merrimack County jail inmate arrested for sexual assault died in suicide.

Of course, any time someone kills himself, one’s first instinct is to conclude that it was a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Ward had some legal problems, sure, but how bad could those problems be?

Well, this bad:

Ward was facing 15 felony charges, including aggravated felonious sexual assault, felonious sexual assault, indecent exposure and lewdness, and endangering the welfare of a child, according to court documents. He was accused of sexually assaulting two girls under the age of 13 between May and August of 2016.

Rumor has it that this was not his first rodeo, as a kiddie diddler. In Massachusetts, these charges might have led to a cozy plea bargain and a two year sentence, but up here in the ‘Shire, his life was all over but the incarceration. (Assuming, of course, his guilt; we think his suicide lets us assume that).

The officials are all worked up about how they prevent these prison suicides in the future. Why?

“If someone is intent on doing something like this, they’re going to do it, and that’s my opinion of what happened here,” [Deputy Sheriff Jim Ryba] said.

Though the external investigation by the sheriff’s department has wrapped up, the jail is still conducting an internal review of the incident, which is expected to conclude within the next week or so.

[Jail superintendent Ross] Cunningham said Tuesday that corrections employees responded exactly as they should have, following the department’s policies and procedures to a tee. He said Ward’s death was difficult on everyone.

Department officials are monitoring employees’ well-being in the wake of the incident and will continue to do so in the weeks and months ahead, Cunningham said.

“I’ve been in this business for 28 years and, unfortunately, this is probably my 12th (suicide) or so,” he said. “They’re few and far between, and they should be. We learn and adjust from errors, but the reality is, it does happen.”

We say again, why? Is the world better off, or worse, with Roger Ward out of it? Perhaps it was an act of atonement. “In balance with this life, this death,” to steal a line from Yeats.

This is Number 6,000

This is our 6,000th live post since beginning to publish this blog on 1st January, 2012. Not many things exist in quantities of 6,000. For example, Czech Brno M95 straight-pull Stutzens.

That’s Serial Number 645 of about 5,000 that were ever made. There’s no Serial Number 6,000.

In World War II, Ford Motor Company made over 6,000 B-24 Liberators at the since-destroyed Willow Run facility in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Looks like a B-24J. One wonders what happened to it.

Lots of World War II airplanes were made in larger quantities: C-47s, Thunderbolts, B-17s, Il-2 Sturmoviks, Me109s. (The Me109 was probably the production champion with something like 35,000 produced). But Ford did okay, when you consider that they had to level the ground and build the whole factory first.

Since World War II, airplane production has slowed a lot. But Boeing has made so many 737s that two separate series have hit the golden 6,000. Here’s one of the two #6000s, which went to Norwegian Airlines.

The 6,000th 737NG went to Turkish Airlines. Amazing numbers for a civilian airliner.

But this little plane is the 6,000th Cirrus airplane ever produced. (True, there have been models and generations, but they’re basically all the same airframe). This is the airplane that’s famous for being the first certified aircraft with a whole-plane parachute, which has to date saved 146 lives.

Finally, it’s not just blog posts, guns and planes that can hit 6,000, so did this guy:

He’s logged 6,000 hours in the A-10 Warthog. That’s two or three times the hours of the typical USAF general. But as an A-10 guy, he’s not on the general track.

So, in the grand scheme of things, 6,000 blog posts is not a big deal.