Is Welfare “Defense” Spending?

Jean-Claude Juncker, the Man Who Would Be Caesar™ (except, by legal chicanery rather than by conquest), is apparently outwaged that the coarse Americans (who are so backward that they have had only one republic in the last couple of centuries) and les sales rosbifs (that’s Brits, for all y’all that don’t parlez Continental), think that the Continent ought to spend a whopping 2% of GDP on defense.

He thinks that money spent on social-welfare handouts to the kleptocracies south of the Med and East of Suez ought to count, too.

Reuters reports that Jean-Claude Drunker, former PM of Luxembourg (defense spending approx 0/year) and current EU Commission President, is upset at Gen Mattis’ pointing out of the paucity of European defense spending:

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Thursday that Europe must not cave in to U.S demands to raise military spending, arguing that development and humanitarian aid could also count as security.

“I don’t like our American friends narrowing down this concept of security to the military,” he said, arguing it would be sensible to look at a “modern stability policy” made up of several components.

“If you look at what Europe is doing in defense, plus development aid, plus humanitarian aid, the comparison with the United States looks rather different. Modern politics cannot just be about raising defense spending,” he said.

Right if you compare spending on apples, oranges and pineapples in the EU with spending on apples in the USA you discover that the EU spends more. Oddly enough it seems unclear how spending on “development aid, plus humanitarian aid” helps deter or stop determined invaders. Indeed a cynic might suggest it just serves as a hint that “there’s rich people to mooch off there” to the hordes of migrants now entering Europe.

That’s actually just an update to an interesting post on the mechanics and disputed terms of EU vs. Brexit called You and whose army? at the blog L’Ombre de l’Olivier, and you ought to Read The Whole Thing™. But we’re not engaging with Olivier’s main point in the post, but rather his belittling of the idea that “development aid and humanitarian aid” are meaningful means of power projection.

He is, in fact, right on.

Non-military aid is only of use in power projection when it is used that way. Now, everyone who thinks that the EU either as an institution, or as individual nation-states (an unclean concept, in Juncker’s post-Christian faith without faith), actually uses it that way, is invited to step this way to see the famous Egress. The idea is, you give the wogs stuff, they like the stuff, they like you, and you are more likely to get what you want from them, and be able to jaw them out of all their primordial hatreds for the tribe next door (or that used to be next door beyond the round-up). Not to mention their primordial hatred for you.

Primordial hatreds, by the way, exist everywhere and between everybody, just waiting for the right demagogue to drum them up. The Serbs had quite forgotten how horrible all the other southern Slavs were until Slobodan Milosevič went on the stump at Kosovo Polje in 1989. Three years later they were ineptly implementing a kind of Children’s Crusade version of the Endlösung.  

One problem with use of humanitarian aid for security purposes is this: those that you aid are probably not the ones that threaten you. The Northern Hemisphere in general has spent untold trillions in the sinkhole that is Haiti. Yet Haiti is no threat to anyone; the Haitian government has, since its formation in 1805, harmed no one except the former French colonists, and practically all Haitians. As a government, it’s incapable of organizing a beer run, let alone an invasion. It’s rather amazing that they were able to massacre the French plantation owners, but perhaps every nation has one shining hour when they rise above their native ability and do something decisive, and that was theirs. Haitian émigrés in the USA prove no more capable than they were at home; most wind up as wards of the state, either on welfare or in jail.

There is probably no nation that has a greater reputation for aid and humanitarian generosity than Canada. It may be a case of a very high level of aid and low level of defense spending. Canada, of course, faces relatively few concrete military problems, apart from the ones its alliances get it into. (For which, we note, the Canadian Forces always show up with their game face on). But the big, catastrophic defense cases? That’s why Ottawa has alliances. Getting along with everybody is nice; having the US and UK as big brothers acts as a social lubricant.

But there is a constant temptation to redefine defense, either as Juncker has done to include unrelated activities, or to include the cause du jour and to pack the DOD budget (or its equivalents overseas) with unrelated expenses.

One US-ian example of this has been insistence on the sophomoric idea that global warming, or, climate change, is a military or defense problem. Hey, then all the warmists and “Results First, Experiment Later” Red Queens of science, like the Jerry Sandusky of Climate Science® himself, can tap into that sweet DOD cash… and units on the deployment docket don’t know why their ammo budget evaporated and they’re saying “bang, bang” like kids playing Army, during predeployment training.

Hey, global warming evaporated your ammo. Is there nothing it can’t do?

We see the military used for things it’s good at, and things it’s not. It’s great at disaster response, even though that’s not its job. Why? Well, it’s good at traveling, setting up, and organizing. Every unit has a staff that is a perfect building block set for organizing anything — you have your functional Legos: S-1, -2, -3, -4, are the basics: personnel, information, operations, logistics. (One of the open secrets of Special Forces’ adaptability is that every member of every team is trained on and has experience in being, essentially, a staff action officer for any one of those functions. Give a team a mission and in ten minutes there is a staff established to plan and organize it).

The problems with defining humanitarian stuff as military stuff go deeper than the hollowing-out of budgets, at which the European continental powers excel and for which they need no excuse. The French armed forces today, for example, are about 5% the size in personnel of the force that defeated the Germans in 1940… oh, wait. It’s actually about 2/3 of the size of the small force that resisted (in France’s sole success) Italian invasion along the côte d’azur. And it’s about half the size of the army of twenty years ago. And France’s is by far the most powerful defense establishment of the post-Brexit EU nations. The forces are professional, but they’re expeditionary, and unable to actually defend France, should it ever come to that.

Jean-Claude Juncker doesn’t mind being emperor of an empire armed like that, because he’s still in the grip of the idea that history has ended in Europe, and the continent will nevermore host a battlefield.

He believed that before the collapse of Yugoslavia, too.

Five Reasons to Own Sixguns

Revolvers have been declining in market share for three decades, a decline which really only got going 30 years after the last major military revolver user (the UK), crawled into the 20th Century. (Actually the last major military revolver user was probably the US, which issued revolvers to aviators, and to military police men and women who had difficulty with the 1911A1, up until the adoption of the Beretta M9 — but it was always a secondary weapon). They’re now rare as police firearms, and much less common than they once were as defensive firearms.

As revolvers’ presence in the police and civilian market has declined, their presence in crime has also declined. This is logical, as most criminals arm themselves with weapons diverted from lawful uses, generally by theft or straw purchase with many cut-outs and intermediaries. This increased use of automatic pistols in crime has actually been a boon for homicide and assault investigators, as toolmark evidence matching firearms to cases (cartridge type) or cases (cartridge) from one crime scene to another, has helped close more than a few cases (investigative type). Sumdood doesn’t police his brass when he rips his dope dealer, oddly enough; and he can’t police his brass when he does a drive-by, holding his Hi-Point sideways out the window.

Logisticians might dream of caseless ammo, but homicide cops don’t.

Revolvers’ mindshare has declined. They are seldom seen in TV or movies, except in period pieces or to mark a character as kind of old-fashioned (Rick in The Walking Dead with his long-discontinued Python).

Is the declining mindshare of revolvers a cause or an effect of declining market share? Both may be the right answer; market and mind share may be wrapped in a vicious circle, or spiral.

But there are a number of reasons for the classic, 1890s-style double-action revolver’s remaining children to still be used. Consider these five reasons to shoot sixguns:

  1. They are simple and, if quality products in good condition, reliable.
  2. They are indifferent to variations in ammunition.
  3. Misfire drill? Just fire again.
  4. Time spent loading can enforce a certain pace on a shooting session, improving performance.
  5. They can be enjoyable and educational to shoot; there’s a great variety of them.

Simple and Reliable

While a revolver’s mechanism seems fiendishly complex to those not mechanically inclined, it’s a simple mechanical mechanism. Compared to a typewriter or sewing machine there’s a lot less to go on — and compared to an automatic pistol, the same is true. Some of them are better than others, especially on durability. (An old, worn Smith is less likely to have lost time or need a gunsmith than a Colt of similar vintage. Or an NIB Taurus). It’s also intuitive and easy to learn. There’s a t-shirt with a Colt SAA on it: “the original point-and-click interface.” Steve Jobs (who lifted it all from Xerox PARC anyway), eat your heart out.

Indifferent to Ammo Variations

What ammo works with your carry gun? Sure, with modern autos the days of hollow-points not feeding are mostly over, but everyone has experience with ammo their gun does not like. Doesn’t happen with a sixgun. If the gun’s right, anything that chambers goes bang. Bang-on-demand is good.

What Misfire Drill?

As we mentioned, with a revolver you just point and click. If you do get a point and click and not point and bang, your follow-up shot is a trigger pull away (a hammer cock and trigger pull, if you’re really OG and toting an SAA or something like that). No auto pistol is that quickly back in the fight (or, for hunters, on the game).

Enforces Pace

OK, here we’re making a virtue of necessity. But anyone who spends any time on ranges has seen the shooter with more ammo than sense, blowing through 200 rounds without making a great deal of effort to hit anything. Hey, it’s a free country, and if that’s how they want to make fun let ’em knock themselves out, but… there’s a lot to be said for taking that same amount of time and firing 50 rounds with care. The mechanical, muscle-memory drill of dumping cases and loading rounds can be a great time for considering what went wrong with your last six shots, and what you can do better with the next six.

After all, only the hits count, and even 3 out of 6 into the target at 7 meters is better than the NYPD does out of a 17-round Glock mag.

Enjoyable Variety

The different revolver mechanisms are a blast. Everybody who has never shot a Single-Action Army before gets a thrill out of it, the first time. Ejecting the cases and loading them is fun, and they you can tell the guy or gal, “And… they were expected to do this on a horse.” Instant connection to distant times and places. Likewise, tip-up revolves.

A favorite uncle had a Harrington and Richardson 9-shot .22; it looked like a baby Webley, and was great fun to pop it open and fountain .22 brass around.

Colt 1917

And then, there are the revolvers of 1,000 detective shows, and plenty of revolvers with interesting military history. (Colt and Smith M1917s are nice, beefy guns with a great back story and some weird engineering to let them shoot rimless .45 ACP). Early police double-action .32 pistols are fun and easy to shoot, built like jewels, and dirt cheap right now. There’s always some bragging rights in a Smith & Wesson Model 29. (Or a .500 if you’re diffident about carrying Dirty Harry’s gun, or concerned about the low power of the .44 Mag).

Everybody ought to have a revolver.

But then, the question becomes, which revolver?

Footlocker Find: “Firearms Retention Authorization”

Here’s something that some of you have seen a lot of, and others have never seen: a Firearms Retention Authorization, AE Form 11, 11 JUN 69. What it is, is a “weapons card” for privately owned weapons stored in a unit arms room.

Why store weapons there? If you were a single soldier — and Your Humble Blogger was disconnecting from Plaintiff I at the creation of this card, in 1985 — you weren’t allowed to keep your guns with you. Under US Army Europe regulations — that is what the “AE” means — promulgated by the extremely anti-gun provost marshals, you had to store them in the arms room.

Gun owners hated this: it was a lead-pipe guarantee that your guns would be poorly stored, exposed to rust-inducing environments, given the gefingerpoken by anyone who had business (or a buddy) in the Arms Room, and sometimes, as happened to me at Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas in 1980, shot with corrosive ammunition by some armorer buddy, and then not cleaned, destroying bores.

But armorers hated this: even, indeed, especially, those armorers who were all on the up-and-up and who wouldn’t abuse your firearms. They had their hands full doing stuff with the unit’s real weapons, like issuing them out for half the troops to fail annual qualification. (They always passed, afterwards — on paper) and trying to get the Unique and Special Snowflakes® of MI to actually clean the things afterward… not to mention monthly inventories, change of command inventories, Technical Inspection and maintenance turn-in of weapons, managing the constant personnel turmoil as disaffected soldiers left at tour- or enlistment-end and replacements came in, and they had to do it with cramped arms rooms.

Some staff sergeant showing up with two or three dozen weapons and an SF chip on his shoulder did not please the armorer, who had to book in all the hardware, find a place to store it, and listen to the sergeant complain about how previous armorers had treated the guns.

“What do you need all this [deleted] for, anyway? Nobody wants this [deleted].” After all, each of the guns needed an entry in the book, a place to be locked up, and, on exit, one of these cards went with it to prove that the t’s had been dotted and the eyes had been crossed in conformity with Army Europe writ. The Germans may have lost the war, but their Prussian rechthaberisch tendencies managed to infiltrate and undermine the Provost Marshals’ Offices. Jawohl!

This particular example records the storage of one “PRC Rifle” serial number 7114859 in the arms room of the 501st MI Battalion in Augsburg, Germany, from 1985-87. (Why was an SF guy sentenced to that place? Because he had been an MI guy before going SF. You see, MI’s personnel management was so bad that they were perennially shorthanded, and until SF Branch existed, to defend its people, no one could prevent that kind of involuntary “levy,” or transfer). For most guys, the levy came to some thankless task like recruiter or drill sergeant duty. (Although most of the guys who did drill sergeant duty came to enjoy it, even while counting the days to end of tour). But this MI assignment was horrible, the leadership rotten, the work a waste of time. We did get to improve several European languages and enjoy many aspects of assignment to Germany.

At the end of the tour, each firearm being imported into the United States had to have one of these, and either proof that it came from the USA in the first place, or an approved ATF Form 6. There are entire units of Customs MPs who do nothing but inspect personnel and their stuff, and, from what we’ve seen, help themselves to what they can.

The card still bears the marks where it was taped to the buttstock of the firearm. (We had been advised to do that to prevent the MPs “losing” the card and helping themselves to firearms). The rifle was a Chinese Type 56 SKS, one of two in Your Humble Blogger’s household goods going to and from Mitteleuropa, and at the time of acquisition something of a rarity in American hands. (Soon they would be common as grains of sand). Indeed, the initial card was drafted, “Chinese Type 56,” and the armorer wanted the cards all redone as “rifle” and “pistol” to simplify his logging them in. But the rifle itself is interesting, and if it’s the one we’re thinking of, has a great apocryphal story. Perhaps it and its SKS brother should be featured Thing From The Vault sometime.


When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have 3D Printers

Anything can kill you. Anything. So it’s not terribly surprising that news stories have fingered a “laser 3D printer” in the untimely demise of a Berkeley California couple.

The couple, Valerie (32) and Roger Morash (35), who had met while studying at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, were found dead in their Berkeley, CA home last week. The couple’s pets, two cats, were also found. Valerie was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute and Roger was a video game developer.

Though the definitive cause of death has not been released, many sources are speculating that they died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a toxic odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas that is produced by fuel-burning machines, such as cars, stoves, furnaces, etc.

Strangely, though no autopsy has been released, sources such as The Daily Mail have suggested that a 3D printer or laser cutting machine was responsible for the carbon monoxide emissions. The machine was reported as being a “laser 3D printer,” though a friend of the couple said they owned a small commercial laser cutter and a small desktop 3D printer, neither of which were likely in use at the time of the couple’s death.

Of course, media being media, the story has been “too good to check” and has gotten global distribution, but nobody has actually suggested that the printer or laser cutter that the pair owned actually did them in, or even offered a likely mechanism by which such machines might have done so.

Terror Sponsors Using Lobbyists, Unwitting Veterans to Quash Lawsuits

Some of the nation’s slimiest lawyers and lobbyists work, out of sheer greed, for state sponsors of terrorism. A number of these have been trying to mislead veterans into supporting terrorism, too. This Nevada gun show booth last month was established by Saudi terrorist hireling Eric Eisenhammer of California, and was trying to mislead vets into supporting a paid Saudi “legal jihad” lobby working to protect Arab terrorist financiers from American lawsuits.

The amendment pushed by the Saudis and their coin-operated American friends would gut a law named the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) which lets Americans sue the foreign nations whose terror sponsors have injured them and their loved ones. Essentially, it is a counterstrike against Iran, whose Revolutionary Guard Corps exports terrorism worldwide and is behind most Shia islamic terrorism, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whose Wahhabi state clerics and terror financiers promote terror globally and are behind most Sunni islamic terrorism.

These bloodthirsty terror exporters are also oil-rich, and have found no impediments to hiring American lawyers and lobbyists to advocate for them; and the sort of amoral lawyer and lobbyist who pursues that sort of client has no problem buying American politicians, whose boundless greed is a watchword.

Such an amoral terrorist lawyer or lobbyist, a person pleased to serve the architects of 9/11 as long as the check clears, can’t be expected to have compunctions about misleading veterans to act, bizarrely, as spokesmen for, in cases, the very terrorist sponsors behind their wounds and their buddies’ deaths. Eric Owens writes:

Saudi Arabia’s government … appears to be funding luxurious, all-expenses-paid trips to Washington, D.C. for the veterans which include stays at the $500-per-night Trump International Hotel.

The law is the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which creates a way for American citizens to file civil claims against foreign governments for deaths and other damage related to terrorist acts if the foreign governments financed those attacks.

In November, two Republican senators, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, proposed an amendment to JASTA that would allow Americans to sue foreign governments for terrorist attacks only if the foreign nations “knowingly engage with a terrorist organization directly or indirectly, including financing.”

Saudi Arabia is paying Qorvis MSLGROUP, “one of the largest public relations firms in the world,” to lobby for the McCain-Graham amendment.

The McCain/Graham amendment, written by and ordered by their Saudi paymasters, means that the Saudis’ millions-of-dollars-of-traitorous-lawyers will be able to drag out the suits against their laughing terrorist paymasters forever.

Eric goes on to name names of the lobbyists grasping for al-Qaeda dollars:

One of the consultants Qorvis has hired — on an undisclosed salary — is Eric Eisenhammer, the founder and CEO of Dauntless Communications, “a digital communications and public affairs company” in California.

Qorvis has also hired Tennessee-based consultant Paul Stanley….

Not related to the former KISS guitarist, we think.

A third person attempting to recruit veterans who will personally tell members of Congress they oppose JASTA is Sarah Durand, the former chief of staff for Kentucky first lady Glenna Bevin (and, before that, president of the Louisville Tea Party).

Durand may or may not have any affiliation with Qorvis.

One of Qorvis’s terrorist henchmen, who was understandably unwilling to give his name, did speak to Eric Owens, the author of the piece.

“This is not some back-stage, behind-the-scenes maneuver,” the spokesman told TheDC. “This is totally out in the open. This is totally transparent.”

However, none of the materials they’re sending veterans admit that they are funded by the Saudi terror sponsors.

“We’re not telling veterans what to think or what to say,” the spokesman also said. “The charge that veterans didn’t know what they were talking about is not really the truth. It could have been the truth for a couple you talked to. But the veterans who come to Washington are conversant with JASTA. They all think it is bad policy.”

…after being given the one-sided story of the terrorist mouthpieces, naturally.

Among the veterans who have lobbied against the law are military attorneys and retired generals, the Qorvis spokesman said.

Military attorneys! — there’s a bunch to trust about as high as you can deadlift an Abrams.

Retired generals! — gee, that’s a group some members of whom got that star and flag by walking over the bones of their own betrayed subordinates… it isn’t a reach for some of them to sign on with the Saudi-controlled Qorvis and the global moslem terror campaign.

So, basically, it’s lawyers and lobbyists, and former military officers with the morals of lawyers and lobbyists. Got it.

Do go Read The Whole Thing™, as Eric has documents, emails, etc. backing up his whole story.


More on the Origins of “Sharpshooter” with Fred Ray

Fred Ray continues to explore the origins of the term, “sharpshooter,” and we’ll suggest one small bit of evidence to support his theory:

As part of the continuing quest to find the origins of the term “sharpshooter,” I directed a query to the Museum of Military History (Heeresgeschichtliches Museum) in Vienna, Austria. The Austrians, after all, were the first to employ rifle units and true light infantry in the 18th Century, and Central Europe (the Tirol, southern Germany, and Switzerland) was the birthplace of the rifle. Their reply is worth quoting at length.

We don’t know who painted this Union sharpshooter. If you do, please let us know so we can give credit.

While they were unable to definitely say when the term “Scharfschütze” came into to use, “your assumption regarding the origins in German language and the transfer to the United States via German mercenaries in the American War of Independence seems to be totally plausible. Furthermore I’m able to confirm that the term “Scharfschütze” was established in German language long before 1795 and that it had already been employed as part of the official designation for military units before that date.”

In the military of the Hapsburg empire the term “Scharfschütze” meant those soldiers who were armed with rifles in contrast to flints [i.e. smoothbore muskets]. The origins of the employment of so called “Scharfschützen” for military purposes lie in the improvised formation of companies of professional hunters (“Jäger”) or members of shooting associations (“Schützenvereine”) in times of war. Shooting associations were sometimes called (in their own right and not to be confused with the nowadays military connotations of this term) “Scharfschützenvereine”. ….

The usage of the term “Scharfschützen” as designation for whole units is documented at least for the beginning of the 18th century (as far as I know, while there might have been even older incidents).

1st Georgia Sharpshooters, CSA. There’s a website and a book about ’em.

Do Read The Whole Thing™, because the Austrians dug deep into their archives for Fred, and traced the term Scharfschützen as a formal unit name to at least 1702, for reserve and local defense units, and to 1769 for permanent establishments. There’s quite a bit of Austrian history (which gets complex in that period) in the museum’s reply.

And our small bit of evidence: the British Army, in a great example of Churchill’s “two nations separated by a common language”, never did use the term. They had Rangers, Rifles, Fusiliers, Fencibles, and more odd names for units than you could shake a shako at. But no Sharpshooters in the British Army.

Of course, while the British were not reluctant to hire entire units of Germans, their home nation did not feature German immigration and the introduction of German culture, including riflery and decent beer. America did, and so it seems probable that one of our smaller German imports of the 19th Century was this German military term.

Berdan’s Sharpshooters, presumably at Gettysburg. More than just a primer design! Again, we don’t know the source or the artist.

Fred frequently posts interesting stuff on the Civil War blog TOCWOC. His next post after this one dealt with a couple of letters about the cruel disposal of unlawful combatants at the time. And bringing together two Civil War arms historians in one post, Fred highlights a Joe Bilby article in a great post that ranges from sniping in the Civil War to sniping today.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week:

As a clever reader might deduce from the name, the site provides information on Naval Weapons, mostly from the classical 20th Century age of battleship warfare, but with an objective to cover the period from 1880-present.

Extensive technical information resides here: not only on naval guns from AA popguns to ship-shredding 18-inchers, but also on torpedoes, mines, depth charges, rockets and hybrid weapons.

While a lot of sites discuss the main armament of American, British and Japanese capital ships, few go deep into the secondary and tertiary armament of these vessels, and fewer still review the armaments of smaller combatant vessels, or any vessel of secondary seafaring nations, such as Russia, Italy or Austria-Hungary. This site doesn’t get every single gun on every single vessel… yet. But it does seem like that’s their ambition.

Looking at the rise and fall of great guns through history, it’s interesting to see how gun caliber, range, throw weight, and power rose from the dawn of the Dreadnought Era to peak in the great battleships of World War II … and has declined ever since. US Navy ships now have nothing greater than 155mm (approx. 6″) on the Zumwalt class, and 5″ guns on most cruisers and destroyers. (And the ammunition for the 155 is not being procured; the Navy instead wants to convert the Zumwalts to fire the ground forces’ 155mm guided Excalibur rounds, but their first cut at the costs for doing that is $250 million for the engineering, before buying the first bullet — and, of course, before the Pentagon’s usual cost overruns.

The “big gun” on the all-but-defenseless LCS class is a 57mm (~2.3″), also selected for Coast Guard cutters. So if the Navy that Ray Mabus built gets in a war with the Coast Guard, they’ll be at technological parity, at least.

But that was a long and bitter digression, and this post is really about Along with the already-mentioned weapons information, there are some excellent historical articles on some aspect of naval warfare: for example, this one on German radar development.

Name That Round!

Hey, don’t be surprised if it throws you. It sure threw us, and we thought we knew guns and ammo!

Need a hint? It’s .30 caliber, and a bit of a Frankenstein monster with a rebated rim and a sharp shoulder.

Need another? It was created as a deer-taking round, gerrymandered to fit a unique state law.

Give up? Explanation after the jump.

Continue reading

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Sulfuric Acid

Meet Samir Hussein, the man in the mask.

Why is he in the mask? Because of skin loss due to an acid attack. The mask is not cosmetic (although it does somewhat minimize the shock of seeing his face), but it serves to cover skinless areas, which would be dangerously receptive to infection.

How did he get this way? Creeps. Being creeps.

Shop worker Samir Hussain was scarred for life when Michael McPherson threw sulphuric acid in his face outside Cineworld in Crawley, West Sussex.

Mr Hussain still wears a mask 18 months on, Brighton Magistrates’ Court heard.

Lee Bates, who was with McPherson at the time, was sentenced after admitting common assault, while McPherson, who admitted GBH, will be sentenced later.

Mr Hussain’s ordeal began when he and a friend, Yasir Khan, left a late-night showing of the film Straight Outta Compton at the complex in August 2015.

The court heard that they were approached outside the cinema by Bates and by McPherson, who told them: “You’ve seen a gangster movie; you can see gangsters now.”

Well, there’s the problem right there. Go to a thug-glorifying movie, expect to meet thug wannabees.

Steven Talbot Hadley, prosecuting, said Mr Hussain was punched by both men before McPherson retrieved a bottle of acid from his car and threw it in his victim’s face.

Mr Hussain, who suffered severe burns to his face, neck and right arm, has had a number of skin grafts.

via Crawley cinema acid attack: Man admits assault – BBC News.

It’s amazing that a brutal attack like this — click “more” to see Mr Hussein without his mask, which is not recommended for the sqeuamish, and remember that this is after dozens of operations and grafts — is not taken seriously in the British courts, but it evidently isn’t, judging by the suspended sentence bestowed on the first attacker.

Mr Hussein, mask off, after the jump. Again, not a happy picture.

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Assclown of the Ides: Little Dick Blumenthal (3-time winner)

This is a mostly-repop’d Assclown of the Ides. We’ll explain why at the end. Slick Dick Blumenthal is a Senator from Connecticut; he’s also a serial fantasist who built his career on claims of Vietnam heroism which were entirely fabricated.

From Weaponsman on 18 December 2012: Assclown of the Ides: Slick Dick Blumenthal

blumenthal_adThe news has been full of the camera-happy face of Slick Dick Blumenthal, the junior senator from Connecticut. For over 20 years, from 1980 to 2010, Blumenthal falsely claimed to be a Vietnam veteran, and as his ego swelled up larger and larger, a Vietnam hero. Exposed during a Senate campaign, Blumenthal was protected by a friendly media and went on to win over a non-veteran who didn’t make phony veteran claims.

Since his election he has renewed phony veteran claims, although he is careful not to do them where any citizen reporters or rolling cell-phone cameras are present.

The New York Times, which supports Blumenthal and considers his phony veteran status no big deal (no one in a decision-making post there ever served in the military), nonetheless reported on his false claims in 2010.

Former Representative Christopher Shays of Connecticut found it puzzling: over time, his friend Attorney General Richard Blumenthal kept revising how he talked about his military service during the Vietnam War. At first, in the 1980s, he was humble. He played it down, Mr. Shays recalled, characterizing it as humdrum desk work.

Over the last few years, however, more sweeping claims crept into Mr. Blumenthal’s descriptions, he said: that Mr. Blumenthal had served in Vietnam and had felt the sting of an ungrateful nation as he returned.

“He just kept adding to the story, the more he told it,” Mr. Shays said.

Mr. Shays said he became alarmed enough by the discrepancies that he at times considered mentioning the issue to Mr. Blumenthal, who on Tuesday said he took “full responsibility” for the occasions when he “misspoke” about his military history.

via Blumenthal’s Vietnam Claims Grew in Time, Colleague Says –

Shays, who reported Blumenthal’s ever-growing hero story, himself was no hero: he is a coward who dodged the Vietnam draft, like most of his generation in Congress.  But he never denied that, unlike his friend Slick Dick.

A few weeks ago, Mr. Shays attended a ceremony with Mr. Blumenthal in Bridgeport, to honor workers killed during an accident. When it was his turn to speak, Mr. Blumenthal at one point brought up the subject of his military service and lamented that when “we returned from Vietnam” Americans had spit on soldiers, Mr. Shays recalled.

“He is the kind of person I cared enough about that I wish I had nipped this in the bud when it was fomenting,” Mr. Shays said.

Fortunately for Shays, and Blumenthal, the voters of Connecticut don’t care if their war heroes are real, or fake. Like Slick Dick.

Like Shays, Blumenthal’s reason for not going was pure, base cowardice. The initial Times report on his deception noted, after quoting Blumenthal saying in plain words, “I served in Vietnam,” that the facts were rather different:

There was one problem: Mr. Blumenthal, a Democrat now running for the United States Senate, never served in Vietnam. He obtained at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war, according to records.

The Times report quoted several of Blumenthal’s lies about his Vietnam service, and even included video of the yellow-bellied phony stealing actual vets’ Vietnam valor.

Blumenthal’s response to the Times report was to call it “outrageous distortion.” But every word was factual and backed up by Blumenthal’s own records, that showed him dodging the draft until there was no danger of ground combat, and then performing minimal reserve service (six month’s active duty for training) stateside.

Contemporary Comment 15 Feb 17:

As it happened, we learned more about Blumenthal’s impersonation of a combat Marine, and the next year we had a second report. That second report showed both his presence in a “special” USMCR unit for Washington-establishment draft evaders, and his career opposition to gun rights. Because this post is very long, we’ll put the second report after the jump.

Meanwhile, Blumenthal is back in the news.

Blumenthal in 2017 is the Voice of Integrity (so he says)

The Daily Caller notes that Blumenthal, a man who couldn’t spell “Integrity” with Noah Webster on the Ouija Board, has become a DC spokesman for the same:

“It is important that every aspect of [Judge Gorsuch’s] background be critically and closely scrutinized,” Blumenthal told the Wall Street Journal.

“This issue goes to credibility and qualifications,” Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal’s own credibility has been called into question since he entered public life. When Blumenthal first ran for the Senate in 2010, the New York Times revealed that he had lied for years about fighting in the Vietnam War. Blumenthal repeatedly touted his supposed combat experience in speeches to veterans groups and civic organizations, saying he had “served in Vietnam.”

Little Dick has also been criticized for going public with a slanted version of an off-the-record meeting, but for a guy who sent someone else to fight in his place, and then lied about it for over a decade, that’s a pretty minor breach of integrity.

Blumenthal’s Vietnam phony episode is well known both to his friends in the press, who pretend it never happened, and his political opponents:

The question the veteran has to ask is: was Blumenthal’s stolen valor case a one-time error he regrets, or an insight into the true cut of his character?

Consider: he has never really owned up to it, or apologized. He continues, when he can get away with it, to pretend he’s a veteran.

In actuality, what Blumenthal illustrates is the moral turpitude of the typical gun control advocate.

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