Open Thread – 3 February, 2014


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128 Responses to Open Thread – 3 February, 2014

  1. Valissa says:

    So much for all that extra security at the Super Bowl…
    9/11 truther: How I sneaked into Super Bowl XLVIII — and hijacked the postgame show

  2. PL and others with MENA experience and expertise! Given what I view as largely adverse outcomes to the US short and long interests, and Israeli intrangience, where should US FP in MENA go from here?

  3. SAC Brat says:

    Did Thud Ridge raise your blood pressure? I found a few more you may like:
    “Stuka Pilot” by Hans Rudel
    “Zero” by Okumiya/Horikoshi/Caidin
    “Japanese Destroyer Captain” by Tameichi Hara

  4. Medicine Man says:

    Phillip Seymour Hoffman died on Sunday. Only 46 years old. Way too young to go. Its too bad because I thought he was a fine actor.

  5. Tyler says:

    Thud Ridge was good, but I found it to be a little obtuse and unwieldy. I was hoping for “Steel My Soldiers’ Hearts” from the cockpit of a Phantom, and some of that bled through but I think a good editor would have really helped.
    However, the point that the Air Force suffered from the same delusional high command as the Army was clearly illustrated for me. It was an interesting read. Thank you for “War from the Black Hole” – I found that to be communicated much more clearly even with the author prone to go on technical tangents for chapter at a time.
    I’ll be sure to check out those books as well. Do you have any recommendations for non fiction/biography about the Wild Weasels in Vietnam? The story behind the motto of YGBSM never fails to crack me.

  6. Tyler says:

    Same. Good night sweet prince.

  7. The beaver says:

    Me too.
    I like him from the start- especially in “Scent of a woman” rich school brat and then in “The Talented Mr Ripley’ Really loved him in Charlie Wilson.
    The demons came back after 20 yrs.

  8. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    He also did an awesome portrayal of the priest who was behaving suspiciously in “Doubt.”

  9. Fred says:

    Keep your eyes open for “The Terrible Hours” by Peter Maas. A great read, as is “Thunder Below” by Eugene Fluckey.

  10. Fred says:

    Any pistol recommendations? I’ve been thinking about obtaining a replacement for my 7mm beretta, along with a CCL.

  11. SAC Brat says:

    I’ll do some digging, as I think I have something, either F-105 or F-4 Wild Weasels. The whole premise of drawing fire before starting an attack wigs me out. Stainless steel rocks that drag and make sparks… I think “War from the Black Hole” covered ECM pretty well. Imagine having to sit there and let SAMs fly up through your formation while hoping the jamming equipment was doing its job?
    Got anything from the Soviet Union, air or ground? Something has to have been translated. There is some amazing history over there that was ignored or twisted during the Cold War. The Finns are also a interesting bunch.

  12. Medicine Man says:

    Col.: I recently watched House of Cards. I remember you mentioning that you thoroughly enjoyed this show. I’m curious though, how close is the politicking depicted to real life Washington DC?

  13. turcopolier says:

    The verisimilitude seems incredible to me. That’s the real deal. pl

  14. turcopolier says:

    I have a lot of pistols. I carry a keltec P-32 as a welcome for various folk who do not like me. .32 in Hydrashock does it for me, but then I am a good shot and will not hesitate to defend myself and mine. pl

  15. Alba Etie says:

    The Beaver,
    One truth many of us know in this life is that those “demons” can be incredibly persistent & pernicious even after a twenty year slumber . Mr Hoffman had so many brilliant performances, I liked every one of them .

  16. Lord Curzon says:

    Al-Qaida disavowed ISIS in Syria. The Judean People’s Front is fighting the People’s Front of Judea!

  17. John Minnerath says:

    Fred is your Beretta the M1934 380ACP?
    Supposed to be one of the most dependable and indestructible semi autos ever made.
    I’m still a die hard revolver guy and can’t give up my S&W’s in 357 Mag.

  18. Pat Lang,
    On Yahoo today, Mississippi was ranked as the most religious state in the union, with its close neighbors right behind. Is it not an interesting correlation that it perennially ranks right at the bottom in education, median and average income, nutrition, life expectancy, and obesity?

  19. Fred says:

    It was a 7mm. Lost that one in a divorce. I was thinking a 380 as a replacement, or a revolver. Just haven’t decided which.

  20. Fred says:

    Thanks Pat. I’ll have to get to a range and try one out.

  21. Edward Amame says:

    I’m probably late to the party but just became aware that the Menendez legislative effort to sabotage the Iran nuclear deal lost enough Democratic support that it now appears to be in limbo since it’s no longer veto-proof.
    And Gillibrand crossed Schumer and is backing off too.

  22. Fred says:

    what’s the weather like down under this time of year? I’ve got a good chance of being sent there by the powers at be for an extended assignment. (Nothing like crisis management for a career)

  23. Andrew says:

    Forgive me, when a person has the supreme privilege of practising their beloved craft-for every actor or director working there are thousands more that are more talented but drive cabs and live a life that is their worst nightmare- and also being responsible for children, yet choose to live and die like an ameba… no sweet prince ‘ere just absolute weakness.

  24. Edward Amame says:

    Here’s more on why the bill stalled:
    The Times suggests that Aipac overreached, and that there’s disagreement in the ranks over tactics. Plus, Clinton threw her support to Obama and against Schumer and company.

  25. Tyler says:

    The state also has the most amount of minorities in the Union.
    Cross reference demographics and see what pops up.

  26. Tyler says:

    I agree. Pilots, navigators, and all the rest had to have some cojones in order not only agree to that, but also to repeatedly perform the mission. But I guess you do what you have to when the ROE says you can’t pre-emptively shoot down SAM sites because you might kill a Russian trainer.
    I’d like some good Soviet non fiction about the air war from their perspective as well. And you’re right about the Finns – that Winter War casualty comparison is insane.

  27. Tyler says:

    Thanks Fred. I’ll have a look for them tonight.

  28. Thomas says:

    Lord Curzon,
    One would think Amir Ayman would have done better due diligence before issuing a charter, one never knows when a franchisee may try a hostile take over. Though in fairness to him, the end of month reports may have been due and the compound’s generator was running low on fuel so an expedited acceptance was just what the doctor ordered.

  29. Allen Thomson says:

    pl and others who may want to reply
    Could you give us your thoughts on the merits of handguns in the smaller calibers, say 9mm /.38 and below? Obviously there’s a lot of situational dependence involved, but any general thoughts?

  30. turcopolier says:

    .38 Special revolvers are my favorite handguns for the range. They are comfortable to shoot. Not too much recoil. I have several. I have never owned a 9mm pistol and an unfamiliar with them. In large handguns I prefer the .45 ACP round and think that the army should have stayed with the 1911A1 in an updated version with a larger magazine capacity. I am a fan of small pocket pistols for concealed carry purposes. As I said I have a Keltec .32. It weighs half a pound loaded. I also have a Ruger TCP in .380. It is only a little bit bigger. IMO if a gun is too big or heavy you will not carry it. .32 and.380 are deadly in the hands of a skilled shooter if you carry hollow point ammunition in them. pl

  31. turcopolier says:

    MS is really two distinct regions. The coast is a very pleasant place. The interior of MS is a very different place. pl

  32. Alba Etie says:

    Col Lang
    Fond memories of our Ford Crown Victoria station wagon family vacation trips from Houston to Destin – with a layover at Pass Christian on the way to & from . Back in those days you could still camp on the beach . And yes anywhere north of Yazoo Ms is ‘a very different place ” . And as a sidebar I always thought Gov Barbour did a good job in Mississippi , especially with the hurricane relief money.

  33. John Minnerath says:

    9mm semis are all pretty weak and can’t handle much more than the powder puff factory loads.
    We should never have adopted the 9mm as the issue service sidearm.
    And going with Beretta?, they make fine guns, but puleeze!
    The Beretta is built on a John Browning design, we’re a nation of gun builders, many of the finest guns around the world today are from designs of American gun makers.
    Revolvers as a rule are heavier than a lot of semi autos, but some of the new alloy frame models are light as a feather, too light IMO and hard to control after the first shot.
    For a sidearm carried as self defense you need to think about how it will probably be used. Up close and personal most likely and stacking shots in the 10 ring won’t be your main priority.

  34. different clue says:

    I remember reading years ago that whereas if you go without air conditioning in the summer in Mississippi you suffer discomfort, in Maine if you go without heat (wood/coal/gas/propane/oil) in the winter, you die. So the price of heat can not be avoided in Maine. And after that survival expense is deducted, the remaining average income was lower in Maine than in Mississippi.

  35. Medicine Man says:

    Lord Curzon:

  36. Medicine Man says:

    Tyler: I second that about the Finns. Outnumbered 12-to-1 with ammunition for about 60 days of fighting. The Soviets figured it would be over in 10 days. Three months later they had suffered 300,000 casualties. I’ve read that the Finnish soldiers intentionally carried weapons that used the same ammo as the Russians so they could re-arm in the field after battle.
    They were (and are) a very hardened bunch. I’ve read a little bit about how the Germans relied on them for training in arctic warfare too.

  37. Fred says:

    So the people of Mississippi value God more than a GPA and a bank account? Good for them. We could all learn something from that.

  38. Fred says:

    Well here is more disgraceful conduct happening, now it’s the Navy:
    I went through the navy nuclear power program at the height of the cold war and served on multiple submarines. Unlike academic cheating advancing those in prototype engineering training is even worse. It is the actual ability to function in a crisis submerged at sea that is the most dangerous time. If you can’t cut it in training you need to be assigned elsewhere. These instructors and their commanders need to spend time in the naval brig right down the road, then be given a BCD.

  39. Tyler says:

    I have several handguns, and the issue for me comes down to how concealable it is. In Arizona, you stand out if you wear a jacket when its 90+ degrees outside, so for about half the year that option is out. My duty carry firearm is an H&K P2000 chambered in Federal .40, and I’m not a huge fan of it. It also has a tendency to jam if you reflex shoot. There’s really no way you’re going to scabbard carry it and be concealable, so its an inside the belt holster.
    My preferred personal carry is a Makarov, the true one chambered in 9X18. I keep it loaded with Golden Bear hollow points, and I have no doubt it’ll do its job.
    I’d also throw in that the firearm is only half of the equation. You should train for a shoot situation and develop an idea of how you might respond to a variety of situations where you might have to utilize your pistol. Active shooter, close in mugger, home invasion, and flash mobs will all have different responses and optimal solutions.

  40. Tyler says:

    Speaking of the Finns, I might end up getting a Suomi for my birthday coming up and SBR it with one of the parts kits that are floating around. I love the idea of a 9mm subgun that weighs twelve pounds for some reason.

  41. Tyler says:

    We’ve had a run of warm weather here and I have the feeling Spring has already kicked Winter out on its ass here in Arizona.
    This weekend saw me building a strawberry tower for the wife (directions here: ) and filling up the raised bed to plant heirloom tomatoes, bell & jalapeno peppers, zucchini, and squash along with the strawberries and onions. Hopefully we’ll be able to get a few harvests out of the strawberries before the heat hits.
    Our broccoli and lettuce is doing well, but the chickens got behind the wire and reaped the lettuce. I’ll be working next weekend on getting some wood and getting rid of the chicken wire (which looks a bit cheap) and putting down panels & posts to make a true garden area.

  42. different clue says:

    Here is an interesting blogpost about a very recent Edward Snowden interview. It is mostly about how the several links where the blogger at first found/saw the interview were blacked out or DDOSd as fast as somebody could do so. No US media have mentioned it or will do so.
    The comments thread has some interesting comments speculating on “who and why”. It also has many people offering multiple other links to the interview video and/or transcripts of same in the spirit of ” post more links faster than someone can take down or black out or DDOS”.

  43. The Twisted Genius says:

    The best advice I can give you is take your time, keep an open mind and try as many as you can. Wait until you find one that truly makes you smile.
    I’m most familiar with the 1911A1. I led the winning combat pistol team in the 25th Div competition in 78. Also took the rapid fire match. I recently acquired a pre-WWII H&R model 999 Sportsman in 22LR. It’s a nice looking top break, 9 shot revolver with sights rivaling the best competition target sights. I fell in love with it the first time I fired it. If Colonel Lang and Basilisk are willing to function as FO and FDC, I’d like to see what I can do with the Sportsman at 100 yards. I was able to bust barely blown up surgical gloves at 75 meters standing with the 1911A1 years ago.

  44. SAC Brat says:

    Pardini USA recently started offering their SP target pistol in 32 ACP along with the more traditional 32 S&W for Center Fire competition. Handloaders have been working up 50 yard loads, but several have found that good box ammo, such as Hornady is competitive (less than 3 inch ten shot groups from a machine rest).
    When I get a chance between 10 meter air pistol and Bullseye seasons I plan to shoot a 38 snubnose at 25 and 50 yards and see if I can stay on paper.

  45. John Minnerath says:

    Tomatoes, peppers, strawberries !!!
    I guess Arizona has a few advantages 🙂
    We just broke some low temp records for the date.
    At my house, 6000 feet, I had minus 28, upriver from me at 7000 the thermometers were reading 35 below.
    At least when it gets that cold here we don’t usually get much wind!

  46. shepherd says:

    I thought that would be interesting, so I tracked down some facts.
    States with the highest percentage of minorities.
    1. Texas
    2. California
    3. New Mexico
    4. Hawaii
    5. Georgia
    6. Nevada
    7. Florida
    8. Arizona
    9. New York
    10. New Jersey
    Source: US Census 2010
    States that are the most religious:
    1. Mississippi
    2. Utah
    3. Alabama
    4. Louisiana
    5. South Carolina
    6. Tennessee
    7. Georgia
    8. Arkansas
    9. North Carolina
    10. Oklahoma
    Source: Gallup
    States with highest levels of poverty:
    1. Mississippi
    2. West Virginia
    3. Arkansas
    4. Kentucky
    5. Alabama
    6. Tennessee
    7. Louisiana
    8. New Mexico
    9. South Carolina
    10. Oklahoma
    Source: US Census 2010
    This shows there is at best a weak correlation between percentage of minorities and religion. Only 1 state makes the top 10 of those lists, Georgia. Same thing for minorities and poverty. Only New Mexico makes both lists. On the other hand, there is a strong correlation between poverty and religion. 7 of the top 10 are on both of those lists.
    These are just stats, however. Their interpretation I leave to you.

  47. steve g says:

    Sorry your are not impressed with your
    H&K. I fired the H&Kp7m8 at a local
    gun range years ago and found it to
    be the best 9 I have ever shot. Very
    expensive at the time. It is the
    “squeeze cocker” model many will re-
    member from the original Bruce Willis
    Die Hard movie. Alan Rickman the villian
    used it. It is a gas operated blowback
    system not spring recoil. The ergonomics
    make you grip it tightly to shoot. Almost
    like a big .22 as virtually no recoil
    because of the gas venting. The New Jersey
    Police carried at one time. I have a
    SigSauer P225 also a short barrel at 9mm.
    I prefer the single column version of any
    semi-auto as accuracy trumps volume. Had
    the original 10mm Delta Elite. The second
    shot accuracy was very poor with the 200
    grain ammo. The main reason the 40S&W was
    invented, a downsized 10mm with less recoil.

  48. shepherd says:

    Correction: that’s states with the lowest income levels.

  49. Fred says:

    Thanks. That is very good advice and just what I plan on doing. I like the 1911A1, though the last time I fired one I was still on active duty. Submariners aren’t known for marksmanship with pistols, but it was a fun day at the range. (One’s depth perception goes to hell pretty quick at sea – even driving when you get back in port can be hazardous – at least until your eyesight gets back to normal after a few days.)

  50. shepherd says:

    Since I’ve got the stats in front of me, I’ll run through them. First, Maine is a geographic income outlier. It may be in the Northeast, but it’s in the lower half of income in the US (31st), whereas the rest of New England is significantly higher. Maine’s median household income is 45,734. The median household income in Mississippi is 36,646. (2009). I live in the Northeast, and $9,000 a year for heat seems a bit much for a house a family making 45K a year would own, but perhaps someone who lives there can enlighten us. This would certainly not hold for any of Maine’s neighbors (of course, if you throw in taxes, you might have a much stronger argument).

  51. turcopolier says:

    Para-ordnance makes the 14-45. This is a double stack 1911. This is an American company and the pistols are made in the USA. Was this gun seriously considered for a service sidearm? pl

  52. shepherd says:

    Jealous. We’re a few weeks from planting seeds(indoors). Our beds are under 2 feet of snow right now.
    I grew up in the desert and remember we got tons of strawberries in spring. It seemed like you could grow anything there in the shoulder seasons. We even used to keep a small corn patch that would yield tiny but incredibly delicious ears.

  53. John Minnerath says:

    Para-Ordnance wasn’t around at the time the Colt 1911 was unceremoniously dumped was it?
    I read that some US units are being allowed to carry the 1911 again. Probably in a newer model.
    I haven’t heard of any double stacked versions used though.

  54. turcopolier says:

    Para-Ordnance was founded in 1985. This was the year the M 9 was adopted. pl

  55. John Minnerath says:

    I had forgotten the date. My Dad was still alive when the Beretta was adopted over the Colt.
    We were both dumb struck.

  56. turcopolier says:

    I remember that some people bitched endlessly about the 1911 saying that they could not hit anything with it. I shot Expert with it several time. I have an interesting variant now. It is a .22 made by Walther for Colt. the guts are very 1911 except that like most Walther guns the barrel is fixed to the frame. pl

  57. John Minnerath says:

    I shot Expert with both 1911’s I was issued.
    My Dad, who carried one from September 1940 till his retirement always swore there should have been an investigation into why the Beretta was chosen.
    But then I never understood the choice of the M16 over the M14.

  58. Tyler says:

    SOCOM carries a modified .45 IIRC, and when I was in Afghanistan back in 03 our Sergeant Major and BC carried .45s. As far as us line grunts go, crew served gunners still carried 9mms.

  59. Tyler says:

    I own one of these. You have to have bear paws to get your mitts around the grip, its that big. The literal definition of a Big Black Pistol.

  60. Tyler says:

    I believe youtube has taken down every single version of that interview as well. Our techno-politician overlords don’t like that sort of thing.

  61. Tyler says:

    Its got a lot of neat bells and whistles on it but it comes across as more of a duelist’s weapon than anything for a serious gun fight.
    My understanding was that the 10mm was too much for the FBI’s female agents to handle so they had to downscale the round a bit.

  62. Tyler says:

    That is interesting.
    Its just that I see the “Red states have the most tax transfers from the FedGov” thrown around a lot as smug anti-South libel by social justice warriors, when the truth is a lot more nuanced.

  63. kodlu says:

    Depends on where… Sydney & Brisbane, warm and muggy, highs around 30C (86F) warm nights. Canberra is hot & dry, 100 F highs cooler nights in 50s. Melbourne average high of 30 but variable with days of low and mid 20s followed by days of high 30s, less humid than Sydney, sometimes low 40s but nights mostly cool. Adelaide a bit warmer than Melbourne.
    Alice Springs days of 40+ nights under 20.
    In Melbourne I have experienced drops of 20C from 40 to 20 in under 2 hours when a cool change comes and the winds switch to southerly, coming from Antarctica, instead of northerlies from the desert.

  64. Tyler says:

    Tomatoes are definitely rolling the dice in Arizona no matter when you grow them. The pollen dies when the temperatures hit 100 degrees, so its advisable to give a shake in the morning before the temperature gets up to that level. Furthermore one missed watering, short watering, or whatever and you’ve just killed your plant.
    My wife seems dead set on strawberries, since she does her own jams out of it. I hope it works out because she’s pretty stoked about going out to the garden, picking strawberries, and making jam all in one go.
    I haven’t tried bell peppers yet, but I’ve had some success with jalapenos. As an aside, apparently the red bell peppers have 7X of the good stuff that green peppers do. No wonder they cost more.

  65. Tyler says:

    I’m glad to hear a strawberry success story. I worry that when the summer comes around I’m either going to be rigging shade cloth or my wife’s strawberries are going to get fried.
    I’ve got some native beans that are growing like.. well bean sprouts, that I’ll transplant out when the weather stays consistently warm (for AZ). Right now we haven’t broke 70 yet, and that’s my sign to go wild.
    I’ve got a little bin set up for potatoes as well and I want to see how they do here. I managed to do alright with reds last year.

  66. Tyler says:

    I don’t know if I posted about this or not, but I lost about half my flock and all my ducks due to someone’s stray dog poaching them. However my rooster proved his worth the second time the bastard came around.
    My wife ended up watching the roo’ attack the dog before he was snatched out of the air and the dog ran off with him. She went to chase the dog, and when the dog turned on her the rooster went back for round two. When my wife came back to bury the brave little bird, she couldn’t find him. She thought the dog had carried him off and eaten him.
    Turns out he was walking back to the coop under his own power. There’s something to be said for an animal who’s response to any conflict is Do or Die. I’ve commissioned him some gaffs so that if any other dog, fox, or whatever comes around, he’s got an ‘edge’ as it were.

  67. Tyler says:

    There was some irony implied there.

  68. Allen Thomson says:

    Thanks. As I recall, you have a Keltec PMR-30, no? That strikes me as an interestingly different small-caliber gun, but I’d be interested to hear if you think it’s actually a practical weapon. Or, beyond that, if the .22 WMR has a place in the handgun spectrum.

  69. Allen Thomson says:

    Tyler, I grew up in Bisbee (well, Warren) and we had red and black currants, figs, ground strawberries, almond and crab apple trees growing pretty much on their own in the back yard. Asparagus and mint did really well under a slowly dripping faucet. If your circumstances and tastes incline you to any of those, you might give some of them a try.

  70. The Twisted Genius says:

    Different Clue & Tyler,
    That Snowden ARD interview is now available in a number of places due to the efforts of many liberty loving (or at least NSA hating) technogeeks applying the Striesand effect. I think most of the YouTube takedowns of the interview are due to ARD copyright violation rather than NSA blocking. I’ve seen NSA/Cybercom efforts to stop certain al Qaeda web publications. They were only able to slow down the publications, not stop them. At least they weren’t under any illusion that they could stop those publications forever. There were some reports on the interview in US media, but nothing mainstream. Covering Bieber’s latest hooliganism is a higher priority for our corporate media. However, I bet there would be a frantic and threatening call from the White House if one of the major news channels thought about airing the interview in primetime.

  71. Medicine Man says:

    Tyler: A friend of the family raises chickens out on the Gulf Islands. His rooster did a similar thing when an eagle made a play for the hens. He actually ran the raptor off entirely though half of his hens had to be fetched from their hiding places in the woods. Apparently hens can camouflage into the underbrush better than you’d guess.

  72. different clue says:

    Thanks for the updating information and analysis.
    I read this 15 or more years ago and just took it for granted at the time that it was true. It clearly isn’t true today. It may not even have been true at the time, even though presented as true.

  73. turcopolier says:

    Allen Thompson
    I had one on order for a while but neverr actually bought it. Perhaps I will. I have a lot of .22 Magnum ammunition in the safe. pl

  74. Medicine Man says:

    Tyler: Additionally, I hope you plan on dropping the dog if you ever catch it in the act.

  75. The Twisted Genius says:

    Colonel Lang & John Minnerath,
    I think the switch to 9mm by the DOD was Congressionally mandated. Some damned clown probably thought the 1911A1 and the 45 ACP were just too old fashioned. As Tyler alluded to, every unit that could do so either stuck with or switched back to the 1911A1 or a variant of that pistol.
    During the 25th Division marksmanship matches, we wouldn’t clean out the 1911A1s for two months prior to the competition (except for the barrel and chamber). We’d just put a drop of oil on the rails from time to time. Those arms room klunkers tightened up nicely by match time. And the number of alibis during that whole time could be counted on one hand.

  76. The Twisted Genius says:

    What kind of soil do you have in your raised beds? My younger son is going to put a couple of raised beds this spring near Richmond, Virginia. He’s going the “square foot garden” route and will use the vermiculite/peat moss/compost mix.
    Would some kind of sun shade and drip irrigation extend your growing season into the brutal summer months? Connecticut was famous for its shade tobacco when I lived there.
    You need to keep a rifle or shotgun handy for those stray dogs. A pack of dogs got to my pet goat when I was young. My father dropped several of them with a shotgun from the front porch. Then he called our neighbors and told them to pick up their dogs out of our yard.

  77. different clue says:

    There is a very interesting/information-dense book by Bargyla Rateaver called The Organic Method Primer. She ran a tiny books, tools, and inputs business. She originally self-published the book at $250 per copy. When she died (and the bussiness with her), Acres USA picked up the remaining unsold books and sold them for $85 apiece for several years. Now they have reduced the price on the last few remaining to $39 apiece.
    It is a hardback book of about 600 pages. The print seems almost phone book small (much information on every page.) It has microphotographs of plant parts, plant cell organelles, etc. that I have seen nowhere else. Other scientifically interesting photographs as well. Here is the link.
    Here is a very short description of Dr. Rateaver herself.
    At $39 for what was once a $250 book, I mention it in case it might be considered “worth the experiment”.

  78. turcopolier says:

    I think that is right. Someone in Congress made money out of this obviously stupid change. pl

  79. SteveG says:

    Col Lang & all
    My recollection of the decision to change from
    the 1911 was an upgrade to both single and
    double action. Colt would not or could not do it.
    The SigSauer 220 won the completion but was
    almost double the price of the Berreta 92.

  80. Tyler says:

    I do about the same, using a soil and compost mixture, with the occasional infusion of B1 & Iron to encourage root growth. I’ve done shade cloth in the past but I try to grow in harmony with the season. I’ve found that the plants I do put in then ground thrive in the heat.
    I was at work when the dog attack occurred, and had to talk to the wife about why she should have grabbed the shotgun that was loaded and ready to rock. Needless to say when I got the son of a bitch it was with my pistol.

  81. Tyler says:

    I’m not surprised about the hens. I’ve found myself trying to count when they’re deep under my Mexican birds of paradise to make sure all my girls are there. Or about the rooster for that matter – again, ballsy little fellow with four inch spurs on him.
    The dog did come back, and I whiffed at 60 yards with a short barreled shotgun shooting a rifled slug. Then the dog ran off like she was scalded, so I pushed the sign and ran her down under a mesquite some distance away and put some Makarov into its guts. Hope the coyotes ate the f-cker. Ripped the wings off my ducks and left them for dead – the least I could do.
    If my backstop wasn’t the neighbors living room I would be using my Mosin more to deal with the strays around here. Or my AMD 65 for that matter.

  82. Booby says:

    Turcopolier & TTG
    I was in the USMC programming shop when the 9mm decision was made. The official DoD reason was to comply with NATO standardization. Colt had a dog in the fight for the 9mm. I assumed that we would buy American. When Beretta announced that they would build (assemble)their 9mm in MD & SC, I saw the handwriting on the wall. I didn’t know a single Marine who wanted to give up their 1911. It was all driven by DoD civilians & Congress.

  83. shepherd says:

    Statistics don’t actually lie, but they also don’t interpret themselves. For example, the per capita minority thing basically tells you where the border is. To find out if you’re right, you’d have to isolate that driver, and look deeper into the data.
    I don’t like the red state/tax transfer thing for a lot of reasons. I’d guess the big drivers in that are:
    1. Average income per resident. If you have a lower average income, you’re less likely to pay federal income taxes and will do so at a reduced rate. Red states tend to have lower incomes, but they’re also much cheaper to live in. Exception: Wyoming has a lot of wealth and is quite red.
    2. Military bases. These work in two ways. First, they take a lot of direct federal dollars. Second, the nominal income of servicemen is quite low. And during war, they don’t pay taxes on time served in combat (which has been a lot recently). Blue states also tend to have fewer military bases owing to the price and availability of land. There are exceptions (California comes to mind).
    3. Average age. Older people tend to have lower income and benefit from Medicare and Social Security more. This dings places like Florida.
    I also don’t know if this accounts for government contracts.

  84. shepherd says:

    Yes, we had shade cloth and didn’t grow them in absolutely full sunlight. Birds were a huge problem, so we basically had them tented with netting all the time and used the same rigging to hang the cloth when we needed it. I think we were probably a few degrees cooler than you too. I remember it took my father (who was a big gardener) a few years to get strawberries right.
    We got lots of peas and beans; potatoes grew small but well. If you’re looking for something unconventional to try, we had a pomegranate tree that really produced.

  85. Alba Etie says:

    … addiction is a disease same as cancer , and both are killers , and treatable . Mr Hoffman did not stay on his treatment plan ( do not use -go to NA), therefore he succumbed to his disease . Your comment about living & dying as an ameba is offensive , arrogant & worse ignorant . Now I will not say more as I do not want to have the good Colonel put me for rude commentary ..

  86. Alba Etie says:

    ‘edit .. put me in the penalty box for rude commentary ..

  87. Medicine Man says:

    Tyler: I’m glad you sorted that out. I can’t imagine you had much choice at that point, if the stray had decided your home was a good sport hunting ground. It is kinda a shitty neighbor who puts you in that position.
    My wife got a laugh out of the notion that you’re thinking about “weaponizing” your rooster btw.

  88. Tyler says:

    I love figs and asparagus fried in butter. Mint, if you keep it watered, will take over a plot like nothing else I’ve found. Thanks for the heads up.

  89. Tyler says:

    I remember our spring peas frying one year, but I haven’t given beans an honest to goodness ‘go’. I picked up native seeds at a coop in Tucson and they should do better than beans from outside.
    I’ve heard persimmons do good down here, but I don’t think any of us in the family really eat them. We’re going to do a big citrus tree (natively grown) buy here in March.

  90. Tyler says:

    Thanks for that link DC. This seems like an interesting book to have on hand. I’ll certainly have to remember it next time pay day comes around.

  91. Fred says:

    Thanks for the info. Melbourne is the main stop, assuming this happens. We’ve gone from 7 people to 2, though now it may not happen at all. I’m sure my employer’s going to have a multi-million dollar problem in a couple of years, but at least we’ll save $25,000 out of the travel budget.

  92. Charles I says:

    Andrew I must disagree and urge you to consider the matter further.
    I’m a recovered alcoholic who did every drug under the sun for decades while I was also acutely mentally ill – which led to the self-medication. During this time, armed with a mensa IQ, 5 year old EQ and a bit of cleverness, and lot of guardian angels, I was in order, an addict, high school dropout, mature university student, jailed criminal, repeat Dean’s honour list law grad, and lawyer, in that order. I was literally a crazed addict the whole time. And many many other things.
    Beating my addiction to addiction – that damn near killed me – damn near killed me. If the winter goes on as it is, it might yet.
    It involved surrendering all choice, submission to a higher power, after the acknowledgment that since I couldn’t go on like this, I had no choice but to choose to die or submit to treatment. Ok, a mewling choice to live mostly predicated on fear, pain and guilt, or at least for the doctor to make the torture stop.
    It was relatively successful medical therapy that required long term intensive treatment. By accredited professionals toiling on an ongoing intensive basis despite universally poor initial recovery prognoses of the look to the left, look to the right variety. Sorta like pancreatitis with which I have some familiarity. Its a bilesome thing I assure you.
    So I’ve been a human being for about 20 years now and one thing I’ve learned is that when it comes to humans there aren’t many absolutes except death and taxes, and we that often seem alone in our Dominion, whatever our will.
    And I once overheard that Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky quote about how every happy family is happy in the same way, yet every miserable family is miserable in its own miserable way.
    You may think you know the field as you piss on the fence from the other side but IMHO you know no more about it than you know of two particular lovers lying awake in the night wondering how the hell their love died. You know what the trite scene looks like, even how YOU would feel it, what you might do, but that’s about you. The only thing you can really know in their dark there is that its likely dark. All the rest is our perception, our imagination, our best informed guess, OUR fantasy.
    Thinking you know the other field from the far side of the fence is an illusion. Magical thinking, they call it in rehab. Source of all our trouble, imagining we KNOW something as lonely as another’s wilful soul, and making their pain and our utter miscomprehension of it part of our own shameful thing. Doesn’t mean their pain was not real, but that we are pathologically ignorant in how we deal with it. It does appear genetics will confirm addiction runs in families.
    Philosophers will then have to determine what is chicken and what is egg in familial misery.
    Far as I can tell, he intended to get high, self medicate, not choose to die, and he blew it. Human miscalculation in affairs of individual misery or dissolute pursuit is not absolute weakness. It is absolutely human and twas ever thus – once the amoebas learned to get high.
    If I’d been an amoeba much of my earlier life, so much less complicated, less painful, the first cell out of absolute zero, a short nasty singular soulless life with few regrets I’m sure.
    Fortunately I’m now human, I have the great blessing of forgiving a harsh judgement, which unlike addiction, is not life-threatening.

  93. Charles I says:

    crikey I’m coming up on my 20th year and anniversary relapse is sadly real.

  94. different clue says:

    A thought occurred to me. I offer it in case it may be useful.
    If one were to lay out a flat support (like chicken wire if not too unsightly) of the same width and length as the shade cloth would be, and at the same height . . . and grow sun hardy vines like beans or squash or something on supports up to the laying-flat vine support . . . would they grow all across and over it in a flat layer of stems and leaves? If they did, would they cast a leaf-shade as good as the shadecloth shade? If so, would they produce enough to make the effort worthwhile?
    I’ve never tried it so I don’t know. It just seemed worth offering in case it might have merit.

  95. FB Ali says:

    Wow! That’s a post, if I ever saw one!
    Good for you, Charles. Should make us all feel proud – of the capacity inherent in every human being. But which, unfortunately, too few of us ever fulfill.

  96. optimax says:

    The Snowden interview is still up here:

  97. The Twisted Genius says:

    Charles I,
    I’m with Brigadier Ali on your brave and heartfelt comment. Yours is a moving story, well told. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on your success.

  98. confusedponderer says:

    What do you expect? It’s coming from Miss Victoria Nuland.
    She ‘s married to Robert Kagan. Which is sort of interesting, for in 2002, when the US was keen on finally seriously bombing something, anything, Iraq – and the EU was geting in the way, Robert Kagan wrote this piece “Power and Weakness”:
    “Americans are powerful enough that they need not fear Europeans, even when bearing gifts. Rather than viewing the United States as a Gulliver tied down by Lilliputian threads, American leaders should realize that they are hardly constrained at all, that Europe is not really capable of constraining the United States. If the United States could move past the anxiety engendered by this inaccurate sense of constraint, it could begin to show more understanding for the sensibilities of others, a little generosity of spirit. It could pay its respects to multilateralism and the rule of law and try to build some international political capital for those moments when multilateralism is impossible and unilateral action unavoidable. It could, in short, take more care to show what the founders called a “decent respect for the opinion of mankind.”
    Maybe he should have told her. That or it’s ‘do as I say, not do as I do’.

  99. The beaver,
    Disseminating the recording marks ‘a new low in Russian tradecraft’, according to the State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
    A longer version of her remarks than that contained in the snippet in the BBC report is at
    What does she think is going on in the Ukraine? A fencing match at a lady’s finishing school?

  100. turcopolier says:

    David Habakkuk
    “A fencing match at a ladies finishing school” Very good and very like. The whole crew of R2P gals appear to suffer from a “I was the smartest and prettiest girl in the class” syndrome. Too much Ivy “endured” with the attention of professors who were more tolerant than they would have been if they had possessed poorer eyesight. In regards to Nuland’s (Mrs. Kagan) astonishment that the Russians would intercept a “private diplomatic” phone call, this is amusing in the extreme. When she was mouth piece for State she must have had the appropriate clearance to read such intercepts all the time. Are we to believe that she did not think the Russians were capable? pl

  101. The Twisted Genius says:

    David Habakkuk,
    I found that comment about “a new low in Russian tradecraft” by Jen Psaki to be particularly hilarious. On the contrary, putting out that YouTube video was a brilliant move by the Russians, so much more effective than keeping the recorded conversation secret. It truly shows how the diplomatic sausage is made and paints our diplomats as a manipulative, bullying lot. I’m sure the Russians are just as, if not more so, manipulative and bullying, but it’s our diplomats on the YouTube video. Touché!

  102. Tyler says:

    Mr. Habakkuk,
    I’ve noticed that many of the US stories have cut the exact details of what was being discussed, focusing on the “F— the EU!” bit and not that the US is again manipulating the rioters in the Ukraine. I had to get that from Zerohedge.
    The irony of Psaki looking for a place to faint is that the NSA HAS BEEN DOING THE SAME THING FOR HOW MANY YEAR?!

  103. Tyler says:

    I imagine it can get rather Appalachian out here in short order if business is not handled. There’s several dogs that I’ve counted which people let run wild. Its open season as far as I’m concerned.
    “Weaponizing the rooster” hah. That’s got a good turn of phrase to it. Tell your wife she made me laugh with that as well.

  104. Tyler says:

    That might be worthwhile – I could see you doing it with a frame of 2X4s that you’ve stretched chicken wire over, and then training the vines to run in the right direction. You’d need a soil bed attached though if you really wanted to have them serve a dual purpose though. I might end up giving it a shot because I love that kind of natural architecture.

  105. TTG,
    There must have been a tradeoff – between the very clear advantages of leaking this particular conversation, and also that between German diplomats which was also leaked, and the costs involved in making clear that certain kinds of communications were vulnerable.
    Is it clear, incidentally, what kind of communications are at issue? Was this a landline, or could it have been a cellphone communication? In either case, one would have thought that major questions might be raised about the security of a range of U.S. diplomatic communications.
    As to who was responsible, it would seem overwhelmingly likely that the Russians were very heavily involved. Indeed, this may simply have been an FSB, or SVR, or GRU operation. However, I have long thought that the Ukrainian KGB must have split, very likely in very odd ways, after the country became independent.
    Hazarding a guess, the SBU may have a large element of ancient chaos in it, and there are probably a lot of people whose loyalties are uncertain, often even to themselves. Also, money always talks, and is liable to do so with particularly force in poor and dislocated countries.
    On the broader implications, one of the things which frightens me is well brought out by Colonel Lang’s response to my comment. Not just the State Department R2P ‘Amazons’, but many others, both in the United States and Europe, are attempting to play Machiavellian ‘realpolitik’, from an incredibly narrow basis of knowledge and experience.
    In addition, they are infused with a fanatical belief in their own virtue – not on the whole a good basis for playing Machiavellian games.

  106. Charles says:

    From a previous post I learned that you had an interest in keeping bees. I am not much of an agrarian. However, I am an engineer and thought that you might enjoy this article and the web site devoted to bees and gadgets:
    There is a link to an interesting site within the article, I love the term bee hacker.

  107. Charles says:

    Col Lang,
    I found a quote for our R2P proponents:
    “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not – nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not – unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not – the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
    — Calvin Coolidge
    (Copied from MENTAL PROPOLIS at, 02/07/2014 13:20)
    I prefer the George Smileys of this world.

  108. Charles I says:

    Thanks FB, gratitude is what I feel. Absent faith, its what I feel I should feel. Which is about as close to Grace as I feel I’m likely to get, never mind Wisdom., in which I defer to you, our host and the committee of correspondence in the whole. thank you all

  109. Medicine Man says:

    Charles: I’d like to second FB Ali’s comment. Thank you for your candor.

  110. turcopolier says:

    Charles I
    You are a dear friend and a valued member of this community. That is all that I need to say about this. pl

  111. Fred says:

    Charles I,
    I have a couple of siblings involved in the same struggle, and one no longer with us. Keep up the good fight.

  112. The Twisted Genius says:

    David Habakkuk,
    I just read a report that our diplomats were speaking on commercial cell phones rather than any kind of secure phone. Their pomposity got the best of them. They could not inconvenience themselves to use a secure landline or even secure cellphones. Those secure cellphones are available, but they’re a real pain to use. Arrogance and a total lack of discipline. It seems there was no tradeoff of any kind for the Russians. I would say it was a no brainer to post that video on YouTube.
    You are absolutely right about the incredibly narrow basis of knowledge and experience of the R2P Amazons and their fanatical belief in their own virtue. They’re a dangerous lot prime for a stupendous fall.

  113. Alba Etie says:

    Charles I
    Remember first principals – clean house & help others :one day at a time . We can take our conversation off line if you wish to – before we get reminded that SST is not a bulletin board .

  114. Alba Etie says:

    I do a fair amount of corporate passenger transfers at Whole Foods Market Corporate Headquarters here in Austin . Out front during the summer there is a large plot of Mint that gets very thick as it is watered a great deal . The bees get in to the Mint in large numbers . I actually pick the mint ( you are encouraged to ) and crush a sprig in my coffee. BTW Mr John Mackey, one of the founders of Whole Foods Market is a huge supporter of Rand Paul . That too me is one of the biggest ironies I know . Regarding the peppers one of our neighbors has crossed her red bell peppers with scotch bonnets – that particularly combination makes a terrific spicy hot sauce .

  115. Tyler,
    Yes. It is the primness of these people which scares the living daylights out of me.
    There is an entry in Wikipedia entitled ‘Controversy surrounding the Lviv pogroms of 1941.’ The brute truth of the matter is that once Hitler disturbed what was already a fragile status quo in the area, conditions were created in which all kinds of people killed all other kinds of people.
    (See )
    It did not start then. Ukrainian nationalists were happily murdering Polish policemen in the late Thirties, and Stepan Bandera’s collaboration with the Nazis was well established before the German attack on the Soviet Union.
    The wife of someone who I have known for more than thirty years grew up in Stryy, which is not far from Lviv. She said that there was a mound, under which everyone knew were the remains of the Jews murdered in the pogrom after the Soviets retreated in the face of the German advance. Under concrete poured in a cellar in the police headquarters were the remains of the Ukrainian nationalists whom the NKVD shot before they pulled out. The Ukrainian nationalists will sometimes try to tell you that they were not fully complicit, if not rather more than that, in Nazi atrocities. But that is BS.
    If you talk to very many people from that part of the world, they have a vivid sense of the atrocities committed against them – and resort to the normal human process of denial in relation to the atrocities their group committed.
    Somehow, people in that part of the world have to find a way of moving onwards. If simpering female Ivy League graduates want to regard the politics of the Ukraine in black and white terms, they are not helping this process – but are making it immensely more difficult.

  116. Tyler says:

    Just want to let you know this website is insane in a good way. Thanks for sharing!

  117. turcopolier says:

    “Insane?” Interesting. Please elucidate. pl

  118. TTG! Any suggestions where I might acquire the same H&R .22LR you did?
    Live in NNK of Virginia and no felony convictions or arrests.

  119. This story conforms with my memory! Rogovin was nephew of Mortimer Caplan, tax lawyer, once head of IRS and preparer of Kennedy family tax returns. When he became Commissioner of IRS had Rogovin appointed Chief Counsel of IRS!

  120. Thomas says:

    I would call SST a cyber isle of lucidity.
    It helps to know that there are others throughout the world with Soul.

  121. The Twisted Genius says:

    I inherited my H&R model 999 Sportsman. It’s a pre-WWII model. I don’t see any of them advertised in any current searches. All I see are from a few years ago. I suggest contacting a good “old timey” gun shop in your area and see if they can locate one. You could also inquire at one our many gun shows in Virginia. Putting a wanted ad on one of the websites like Virginia Gun Trader ( is another possibility. Beyond that, you’re on your own.

  122. Tyler says:

    Lighter rounds & more of them, apparently. I don’t agree with the doctrine, but that’s the reasoning trotted out.

  123. Tyler says:

    The beehacking website was insane, as in “I cannot believe they are doing this because that is very wild and unorthodox.” As an amateur apiarist, I found it interesting how they were leveraging technology.
    Also the Winter War Finn/Russian casualties (70k v 330K) are friggin nuts to comprehend, especially when you consider the relative equipment levels of the Finns.

  124. Tyler says:

    If anyone is selling a 1911 .45, I’m looking to buy. Prefer Para-Ordnance or Springfield with a 5 inch barrel and single stack magazine.

  125. SAC Brat says:

    A quality versus quantity argument? In Len Deighton’s novel “Billion Dollar Brain” a Soviet colonel complains of the Finns infiltrating the lines and even eating in the Soviet mess tents and all the snipers. Supposedly a winter sniper technique was to keep a mouthful of snow to keep the exhaled breathe from showing.
    It makes one wonder if the non-fiction accounts are in the “No one will ever believe this stuff” category, like what we get a glimpse of here on our host’s site.

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