December 6th, 2016

The wogs won’t get past us!

So we have here an interesting photo from the Boxer Rebellion (1900). The swabbies are holding what looks to me to be MLM MkII’s (Magazine Lee-Metford) with the then brand-new 10-round magazines, which would remain the British standard until the retirement of the No4 Rifle in 1957.

The other interesting thing is the formation: they’re standing in two ranks just the same way that British soldiers had deployed for centuries, despite the modern magazine repeaters using smokeless powder. The Brits would finally give that up as a result of the Second Boer War, which at the time this photo was taken, still two years off. Another item are the bandoliers: the Manual of Musketry (which at this point should be the 1898 Edition), mandated single loading of cartridges atop a full magazine with the cutoff engaged (you can see the cutoffs, just below the bolts, are all pressed inwards, indicating that the cutoffs had been engaged). All actions were directed by voice command, and the command that was given just before this pic was snapped was first “Load Single Round” followed by a direction to set the rear sight to the appropriate range. The next command would have been “At The Ready”, where the rifles were shouldered in preparation for the command to “Fire”. Just like what they did when they were fighting us rebellious Colonials.

Why Rope is Better Than Bullets

December 6th, 2016

One of the reforms included in the USA Freedom Act is the actual ability to challenge National Security Letter gag orders. Prior to the passage of this bill, recipients were limited to challenging gag orders once per year — challenges that rarely succeeded. The process is no longer restricted to annual challenges, but many recipients won’t be aware of this fact because the FBI hasn’t been interested in telling them.

The Internet Archive — with the assistance of the EFF — has managed to lift a gag order on an NSL it received. This NSL [PDF], like the thousands of NSLs the FBI issues each year, came with outdated information regarding recipients’ options for challenging gag orders.

The NSL we received includes incorrect and outdated information regarding the options available to a recipient of an NSL to challenge its gag. Specifically, the NSL states that such a challenge can only be issued once a year. But in 2015, Congress did away with that annual limitation and made it easier to challenge gag orders. The FBI has confirmed that the error was part of a standard NSL template and other providers received NSLs with the same significant error. We don’t know how many, but it is possibly in the thousands (according to the FBI, they sent out around 13,000 NSLs last year). How many recipients might have delayed or even been deterred from issuing challenges due to this error?

Error? Sure it was, and I have a nice bridge I’d like to sell you.

Rope can be used over and over, and after most of Congress is hanged, there are any number of Federal agencies that will need our attention. But not NA$A: we’ll burn that to the ground.

No Comment

December 6th, 2016

Enfield Blog, Right

December 3rd, 2016

Please note that Mr. Keefe doesn’t know how to execute rapid fire or the Mad Minute. The proper technique is to grasp the bolt with the thumb and forefinger and to keep them there. One uses the middle finger to pull the trigger. There’s a reason for this assessment:

In World War 1, the Germans had the best hunting rifle, the Americans had the best target rifle, and the British had the best battle rifle

More of This, Please

December 3rd, 2016

Wednesday afternoon, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick announced the pre-filing of a Texas Senate Bill that, if passed, would eliminate fees associated with obtaining a license to carry (LTC) permit in the Lone Star State.

Currently, the cost to obtain a permit is $140 and to renew is $70.

Don’t get too giddy here, folks. First, this is just a proposed bill, and it might not go anywhere. Plus, you’re asking politicians to forego that yummy tax money (and yes, this is a tax, despite it being called a fee).

But this sure would be nice. Nicer of course for Texans, but also as an example to other states. Let’s hope this sort of thing spreads.

About That Obama Pardon Thing

December 1st, 2016

There’s going to be the same old “sheriff” in this town.

Preet Bharara, the gungho Manhattan federal prosecutor, has agreed to “stay on” as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District after President-elect Donald Trump offered him the gig during a meeting Wednesday afternoon at Trump Tower in Midtown.

“We had a good meeting. I agreed to stay on. I have already spoken to Sen. [Jeff] Sessions, who is as you know is the nominee to be the attorney general. He also asked that I stay on, and so I expect that I will be continuing to work at the southern district,” Bharara said in the lobby of Trump’s Fifth Avenue skyscraper following their 40-minute powwow.

This is the same guy, working out of the same office, that is investigating the Clinton Foundation(s) (there are more than one of them, BTW).

For those of you who clutched your pearls and collapsed upon your fainting couch when the God-Emperor-Elect mentioned that he wasn’t going to go after Hillary and Bubba, this is what I told you here:

The President doesn’t prosecute anybody. Not his job, nor does he have the authority to do so, even if he was so inclined. That’s why there’s a DOJ. And even if the fetid swamp that is DC manages to thwart AG Sessions in his attempt to prosecute, the Southern District of New York can do so without the interference of the various and sundry mandarins that pollute our nation’s Capitol.

You Only Think It’s Your Money

November 29th, 2016

The State, on the other hand, knows that it’s their money, and they are determined to get it:

Some people believe that money is the root of all evil. At least to the government of India it is the root of all corruption and tax evasion and consequently it is doing everything in his power to withdraw cash from circulation. “On Nov. 8, the Indian government announced an immediate ban on two major bills that account for the vast majority of all currency in circulation. Indians would have until the end of the year to change those notes for other bills, including newly minted ones” reported the New York Times. All that will be left is small change.

Ramesh Thakur a professor at the Australian National University explained in the Japan Times what the new policy was supposed to do and why it won’t work.

The goal is to eradicate black money, counter tax evasion and destroy counterfeit currency. In most large economies, cash is around 5 percent of GDP; in India it is 12 to 14 percent. Fewer than one-third of Indians have access to financial institutions. While most banks are concentrated in cities, most Indians live in villages. Forcing businesses to use banks and digital payments will help to bring them inside the tax net.

Only 5 percent of Indian workers pay income tax, just 15 percent of the economy is inside the tax net and India’s tax to GDP ratio at 17 percent is 5 points lower than comparable countries. Because of high property taxes, for example, buyers collude with sellers to understate the sale value and split the tax difference. This explains why the policy is an attack on the Indian way of doing business: Much of India’s cash-based consumer transactions have ground to a halt. …

The move also confuses the black with the informal economy by conflating cash with black money. Demonetization has the potential to permanently damage the latter, which comprises 45 percent of GDP and 80 percent of the workforce. Its main motor is the desire to escape the crushing burden of state taxes, regulations and bureaucracy. India’s formal and informal economies are not quarantined from each other, but form a seamless value chain. For example, almost one-third of the working capital of small businesses comes from the black economy. Can that lost capital be replenished with fresh credit?

Of course, living within their means never occurs to them. Being in Government means never having to hear the word “no”.

Money in its various forms has become the new battleground between a State that needs to reward its constituencies with and the actual economy which produces most of the real goods and services required to do it. The sad experience of command economies suggests in end the Real always wins over the Official. As Ramesh Thakur said of India’s demonitization policy: “a better solution would have been to shift the balance of economic decision-making away from the state to firms and consumers; simplify, rationalize and reduce taxes; cut regulations and curtail officials’ discretionary powers; eliminate loopholes; and widen the tax net.”

At some point, it will occur to people that merely voting the criminals out of office isn’t any solution: they just keep getting replaced with new criminals. And when the populace finally realizes that, the pols will genuinely wonder why they’re standing on an upturned trashcan with a noose around their necks.

They Won’t Ever Give Up

November 29th, 2016

This is the hill they’re choosing to die on:

Since the November 8th election, there has been some hope that national reciprocity for concealed handgun permits would be similar to that for driver’s licenses. If you have a driver’s license in Florida you can drive all the way to Maine or Washington state or drive in Alaska or Hawaii. That is not the case permitted concealed handguns. If you are a truck driver who is carrying valuable shipments, and you have to travel in California, Illinois, New York or some other states you are effectively banned from carrying over your entire trip. Since you can’t carry in New York state, there is no way that you can go from New England to the rest of the country or vice a versa.

But with only 52 Republicans in the Senate and 60 votes needed to stop a filibuster, Democrats are promising to kill any reciprocity bill. From the Wall Street Journal:

Peter Ambler, executive director of Americans for Responsible Solutions, a gun control super PAC, said his organization plans to fight national reciprocity “tooth and nail,” threatening a Democratic filibuster of the legislation in the Senate.

“It’s a race to the bottom,” he said. “It allows people that have permits from states with the weakest standards possible to carry [weapons] in the streets of any U.S. city.”

Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat and ardent gun-control advocate, said he believes any version of a national reciprocity bill would be “dead on arrival” in the Senate, due to strong Democratic opposition.

They hate us and want us to die isn’t hyperbole. It never was.

The Prophet Marches Ever Onward

November 27th, 2016

6 Reasons Why ‘Starship Troopers’ Is the New ‘The Art of War’


Birthday Boy

November 23rd, 2016


The young Lord, the Instrument of Death, the Bloodthirsty Heathen, the Furry Munition, Mayhem Personified, Baron von Floof, VikingKat, (officially known as Deathwalker) is a year old today. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s seventeen pounds of death and destruction you’re looking at. He has the potential of going up to 22lbs., and for the record, Norwegian Forest Cats don’t fully mature until they’re between 4 and 5 years old.


Here’s another pic of His Magnificence:



The last thing the local fauna sees

The last thing the local fauna sees