Archive for guns

The ATF’s new building

Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , on 20, January 2014 by chockblock

There is a plan to name the new ATF headquarters after Elliot Ness:

Moreover, Eig writes that Ness played around on his wife, tried to cover up an accident in which he was involved while driving drunk, he drank too much, and ended up selling frozen hamburger patties in the last years of his life because he was strapped for cash.

To summarize, Ness didn’t get his man, he had questionable morals, he probably was an alcoholic, he covered up a crime, he couldn’t manage his money, and he was prone to wild exaggeration about his accomplishments.
–”Naming ATF Headquarters After Eliot Ness Might Actually Be Appropriate ” No Lawyers, Only Guns and Money.

Given that the ATF gave guns to Mexican cartels in exchange for some info, I agree.

“Good Year for a Great War”

Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , on 2, January 2014 by chockblock

“Will 2014 bring another Great War? My bet is almost certainly not, but with a note of caution. Claims that war is “inconceivable” are not statements about what is possible in the world, but rather, about what our limited minds can conceive. The fact that Presidents Obama and Xi understand that war would be folly for both China and the US is relevant but not dispositive. None of the leaders in Europe of 1914 would have chosen the war they got and that in the end they all lost. By 1918, the Kaiser was gone, the Austro-Hungarian Empire dissolved, the Tsar overthrown by the Bolsheviks, France bled for a generation, and England shorn of the flower of its youth and treasure. Given a chance for a do-over, none of the leaders would have made the choices he did.”
2014: Good Year for a Great War?, Graham Allison, The National Interest.

As this decade seems to mirror the last century I’m not surprised that someone is making a comparison to the “guns of August”. I am miffed that it took’em long enough.

With the fall of Saddam and the death of Bin Laden, too many think that we’re “at peace”. Americans want out of Afghanistan. The left drools over “Obamacare” and more domestic spending.

Meanwhile the world is slowly burning, Asia is full of disputes over territory. The Middle East is in revolution and Europe is broke.

August 1916 or Spring 1938? Either way the next few years could bring a nasty surprise.

Sandy Hook Part 2: the conversation

Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , on 18, December 2012 by chockblock

SO IF WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A “NATIONAL CONVERSATION ON GUNS,” HERE ARE SOME OPENERS:

Why do people who favor gun-control call people who disagree with them murderers or accomplices to murder? Is that constructive?

Would any of the various proposals have actually prevented the tragedy that is the supposed reason for them?

When you say you hope that this event will finally change the debate, do you really mean that you hope you can use emotionalism and blood-libel-bullying to get your way on political issues that were losers in the past?
Instapundit

My thoughts:

Can we have a conversation without bulling? Without name calling?
Am I presumed innocent because I want a gun but haven’t done anything illegal?
Can I talk about the 2nd Amendment without being called an “insurrectionist?”

Can you on the left respect my rights to own a gun as I respect your right to scream at me?

RESIGN HOLDER

Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 1, December 2012 by chockblock

Eric Holder’s bright idea bears fruit (via Instapundit):

“Washington D.C. – According to credible ATF sources, officials heavily involved in Operation Fast and Furious and named as partially responsible for the program’s failure by Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz and the House Oversight Committee have been stripped of their government security clearances while some have been fired, demoted, and transferred. Criminal charges are also reportedly pending.

“former ATF Special Agent in Charge of Operations in the West Bill McMahon and former Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Division George Gillett have been fired…McMahon and ATF came under heavy fire just a few months ago after it was revealed McMahon had been receiving ATF paid leave while pulling a six figure salary from J.P. Morgan, the same bank that owns the bureau’s credit cards

Report: Security Clearances Revoked, Criminal Charges Pending For ATF Fast and Furious Officials” Katie Pavlich, Townhall.com.

What the hell? Conflicts of intrest, dead federal agents, many, many dead Mexicans and a country on the brink. Has the media and the administration no shame?

RESIGN HOLDER

Hot Crew! : Carrie Fisher

Posted in guns, HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, tech pron with tags , , , , , , , on 25, November 2012 by chockblock

Carrie Frances Fisher (born October 21, 1956) is an American actress, novelist, screenwriter, and performance artist. She is best known for her portrayal of Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy and for voicing Angela in Family Guy. She is also known for her bestselling novel Postcards from the Edge and screenplay for a film of the same name, and her autobiographical one-woman play, Wishful Drinking, and the non-fiction book she based on it.

Ah every geek remembers his first big nerd crush…

Resign Holder

Posted in guns, politcs, rankers with tags , , , , , , , on 30, September 2012 by chockblock

Fast and Furious back in headlines as Univision reportedly finds more victims
By Matthew Boyle

Spanish-language television network Univision plans to air a television special that it said reveals more violence than previously known, as well as the stories of how many more Operation Fast and Furious victims were killed, the network announced in a Friday release.

“The consequences of the controversial ‘Fast and Furious’ undercover operation put in place by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in 2009 have been deadlier than what has been made public to date,” the network said. “The exclusive, in-depth investigation by Univision News’ award-winning Investigative Unit — Univision Investiga — has found that the guns that crossed the border as part of Operation Fast and Furious caused dozens of deaths inside Mexico.”

Since when was this a good idea? This would be an act of war if it was done to us. Where is Code Pink? Where is the anti-war movement? We know that the media is in the tank for the Democrats.

RESIGN HOLDER

This is journalism?

Posted in rankers, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 16, August 2012 by chockblock

Behold:

When are drone killings illegal?
By Mary Ellen O’Connell, Special to CNN

“(CNN) — The Bush and Obama administrations’ extraordinary program of targeted killing has resulted in the deaths of as many as 4,400 people to date. Books such as Daniel Klaidman’s “Kill or Capture” and David E. Sanger’s “Confront and Conceal” are appearing thick and fast, focusing on the program and particularly on the use of drones to carry it out.”

The picture they use is an unarmed U.S. Customs and Border Protection MQ-9 Reaper. Far from an armed killer, it’s spent it’s life finding drugs on the border.

Furthermore, the author uses this website:
Lefty propaganda

Yep, America is on the rampage again. *sigh*

Lefty bullshit propaganda disguised as reporting the facts.

Update: At least they fixed the picture…

Defense Tech: or why Apple can’t build a jet fighter

Posted in HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, tech pron, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 28, July 2012 by chockblock

The future of military technology is the kind of high-tech engineering in which American companies already are the established leaders. So why not let the Air Force ask Apple to design an iFighter? Or let the Navy ask Google to design the software architecture to power its ships and submarines? That company’s skunk-works innovation team, Google X, has now developed a car that drives itself on the streets of San Francisco. Why not tap that expertise for the Pentagon’s future unmanned systems?
“What If Apple Designed an iFighter?”:Arthur Herman, The Wall Street Journal.

Some idiot pines for the Spitfire. It’s cheap origin is a myth.

MIL-SPEC was a punch line for years. Now it’s a major market, products advertised as “mil-spec” are highly valued.

The old saying “GI proof” used to mean making something so tough that a soldier fresh from bootcamp couldn’t break it even if he tried. Something of a joke in the draft-era military because anyone could be assigned to repair and maintain anything (from airplanes to rifles). Of course building things for the military meant making them rough, rugged and designed for their roles. After the war, the allies forged several agreements called STANAGs. Between that and MIL-SPEC the military forged a standard. Things are built for battle and can be shared among allies. If need by, an American Patriot missile unit can work with an allied Patriot unit and

However the expense of designing things for the military led to Commercially available Off-The-Shelf or COTS. Take it away wikipeida:

In the United States, Commercially available Off-The-Shelf (COTS) is a Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) term defining a nondevelopmental item (NDI) of supply that is both commercial and sold in substantial quantities in the commercial marketplace, and that can be procured or utilized under government contract in the same precise form as available to the general public. For example, technology related items, such as computer software, hardware systems or free software with commercial support, and construction materials qualify, but bulk cargo, such as agricultural or petroleum products, do not.

Those dirty commies used to say that “quantity has a quality all it’s own”. And Desert Storm shat on that idea. The myth of low tech US military weapons in WWII is debunked by In From the Cold:

“How inferior was the Sherman? Consider these statistics from the Third Armored Division, which fought its way from the hedgerows of France to the heart of the Third Reich. In eleven months of heavy fighting, the unit lost over 700 Shermans destroyed and many more that were damaged, but repaired and returned to service. The units cumulative tank loss rate from D-Day to VE Day was roughly 700 percent. Only the ready availability of replacement tanks and crews(and the ability of maintenance personnel to repair damaged Shermans) kept the division in the fight.”

He’s referring to the M-4 Sherman. Many American tankers died, even as better tanks were held up by Army politics. There was the P-75 Eagle. It was a Frankenplane developed by General Motors. It never delivered on its promised performance. Thankfully an aircraft designer developed the P-51 Mustang.

DoD Buzz posits that a dedicated defense industry can design weapons for war. Why dedicated? Because defense contractors know what it’s like to get shot at. It’s not just hiring veterans, it’s building a system from the ground up that’s designed to fight AND taking data from the field (many times collected by service members themselves).

Many companies made dumb mistakes. Virtual Boy, Edsel, New Coke, the Apple Newton. None of those mistakes had a body count. Many companies got out of the defense business because the Cold War ended. Intel no longer makes microchips for the Pentagon (so much for the idea that war is good for the big corporations). From cables and connectors that break when used to tools that rust up when used in the rain, COTS may have low upfront costs but over the long term the DoD just buys more.

The military gets a lot of ribbing for the up-front costs of gear. But aside from tools, clothing and food, most equipment has to be designed, modified or bought in small quantities. Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo) ships are a good example. There are many shipping companies and ship builders out there. Some even have car-carriers and ferries. But the military must buy the ships it needs, most commercial ships are not designed to carry 70+ ton tanks.

Most civilian companies don’t enter into the military market because of the boom and bust cycles inherit in defense. The end of the Cold War has led to massive shrinkage in the defense sector. Grumman built the planes that won WWII in the pacific, but today they are the IT arm of Northrup-Grumman. War is not for fun and profit.

Open source software has been a godsend to the DoD. Most computers (wither they are ‘ruggedized” or just the same kind you can get at Best Buy) have encryption software installed. Many have special software for communicating with units in the field. If the DoD had to pay for the operating systems and other software, less money would be available for mission critical software. LINUX, UNIX and now the Android OS are being welcomed by the military (after added security of course). Once again the military must modify and write the programs it needs. At least open source is cheaper.

WWII was the last big war where entire countries were mobilized to fight. After the war, the US kept a larger standing military. After Sputnik, the Pentagon and industry forged a partnership to keep the US ahead. Decades latter,after Vietnam, Afghanistan etc, the Cold War ended. Desert Storm showed off the high tech military. But declining budgets not only forced the military to do more with less so did rising personnel costs were a large factor as well.

Today’s military is an all volunteer force supported by a few big contractors. There are problems: field grade commanders who let power point slides do their thinking, civilian leaders who set unrealistic expectations and let the military take the fall, a defense industry that oversells its systems. But they are learning. Technology marched on. Propellers gave way to jets. Missiles took over from cannons and the lower enlisted are more important than ever.

Can companies with no military experience design weapons and IT systems? Maybe. Maybe we should let the subject matter experts do their job. Google and Apple can provide the framework, but defense companies and those in uniform need to do the hard work.

RESIGN HOLDER

Posted in politcs, rankers, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 1, July 2012 by chockblock

Eric Holder, resign your office, it’s the right thing to do:

Via insty and Hotair.com

Many dead Mexican citizens, a cover up, a dead American hero.

RESIGN ERIC HOLDER

Reforming Defense: Tempting Fate

Posted in army training, guns, HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, tech pron, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 23, June 2012 by chockblock

Some words of wisdom in this time of crisis:

  • “No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair.”
  • “An Army is a team; lives, sleeps, eats, fights as a team. This individual heroic stuff is a lot of crap.”
  • “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”
  • “Wars might be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of the men who leads that gains the victory.”

GENERAL GEORGE S. PATTON, JR. QUOTATIONS


“In his book, Fast Tanks and Heavy Bombers, David Johnson (who just took over Army CHief of Staff Odierno’s Strategic Studies Group) asks why nothing remotely like “Blitzkrieg” tactics and innovations emerged inside the U.S. Army. What Johnson discovered is worth remembering. A combination of factors ensured the Army was the wrong force for war in 1942. Of these, the most significant was not a lack of funding. First, there was almost total ignorance in Congress about what was really happening inside the Army. And, second, it was the intellectual — not the fiscal — deficit that obstructed useful change in the Army. As for those who argued after World War II that if the Army had been better resourced a different army would have emerged, Johnson discovered it was not true. Had more money been available, Johnson concluded, the Army’s generals would have simply done more of the same. The American people don’t need more of the same and the American Taxpayer cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of the past. Military institutions, grounded as they are in the past, are not particularly adept at dealing with the future. This is especially true for the Army. Congress can and must ask the tough questions and demand real answers, not platitudes before increasingly scarce funds are lost on yet another wrongheaded Army program, yet another false start.”
–”Congress: Don’t Let Army Botch GCV, The Bradley Replacement“:By Doug Macgregor, AOL defense.

Brad brings us the tale of woe concerning the Army’s quest to field a new APC.

The first try was the FCS. It was so awesome it was canceled for being over budget. Before that there was this:

Back to the present. The Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) prototypes wound up at 70+ tons. About as much as an Abrams. The C-17 can lift one, the C-5 only 2 Abrams or 1 M-1 and two M-2 Bradleys. So much for the mobile Army. Now before you think I’m picking on the treadheads, the Marines had their Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) and ADA had Medium Extended Air Defense System(MEADS). In each case, specs were changed, then changed again. Since they were new programs, they needed new systems and new software. That means training, contractors and new parts. That means mucho dinero. Big Army is trying hard to keep costs down by looking at existing designs this time.

But I fear this is just re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Are there 80-90 ton tanks and APC’s rolling off Russian and Chinese factories? No. In fact “smart” anti-armor weapons are getting cheaper. Every tango, technical and two bit militaman will have missiles, IED’s and perhaps UAV’s. No layer of armor will be sufficient. No network will save you if the radios don’t work and your computer crashes. And contractors just add more money to any program they touch.

The FCS and EFV failed due to rising costs. The FCS had software problems, just like the Joint Tactical Radio. MEADS died because of costs and complexity. A MEADS battery has 3 radars to Patriot’s one.

What is needed are review boards. In college, experiments with human or animal subjects had a review board of about 3-5 members. At least one board member was from a department that didn’t use animals (i.e. the Physics Dept). So if the biology department wanted to cut up mice or frogs, the prof or grad student had to have a good explanation. And a budget, and safeguards. This oversight keep all experiments above board.

I know, Uncle Sam’s children in uniform tend to not get along, but we can’t afford more of the same. No more field grades sitting in an air-conditioned office, ducking deployments yet designing the gear and systems for those downrange.

I propose the following:

    Each new weapons program should undergo a review by a review board with:

  • 10 senior members and five junior enlisted members.
  • They will be nominated by the Chief of Staff for each service, selected by the President and confirmed by Congress.
  • The ten voting members are current, retired or former Field Grade officers (0-4 and up) and senior NCOs (E-6 and up)
  • The five junior enlisted members are junior enlisted chosen on a rotational basis. They are Soldier/Sailor/Marine/Airmen of the year picked from posts assigned to a major command. All must have at least 15 months combat/overseas experience. At least two should be married.
  • The senior board members will not have any ties to a contractor or current unit.
  • All proceedings will be public, the press will be invited.
  • The board will report to Congress.
  • Special Operations and “black” projects are exempt. This is for line units only.
  • Military aid to other countries is also exempt, there is Congressional oversight for that.

Why junior enlisted? Those of us E-4 and below turn the wrenches. We’re the ones stuck with the “good ideas” of the E-ring. If the program office or defense contractor can’t explain why their reasons to a private, what business to they have selling to the DoD? By making the process transparent and concurrent with the development, we can avoid the mistakes of the past.

It’s a start at least. What do you guys think?

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