Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Gender Is Simple

Okay, we're going to take a look at an article, and we're going to go over this one more time.

From PJMedia:
Radical feminists and conservative women are joining together to defend womanhood from transgender incursions via Title IX, calling it a war on women.
The question is really quite simple; do you have a Y chromosome?  It's basic biology.  It really is that simple.  Gender is not a choice, it is assigned during the chaos of conception.  It is what it is.

Don't get me wrong, I generally love gay people.  I'm a live-and-let-live kind of guy.  I don't care who you sleep with; it doesn't matter to me.  But, gender is not something that is open to choice.

Assumptions

The climate-weenies are full of gloom and doom because their Global Climate Models (GCM) show the earth warming at an horrific rate.  The problem is that the model doesn't match the observations.
Climate models show twice as much warming during the 21st Century than what’s actually been observed, according to a new report highlighting the limitations of global climate models, or GCMs.
That's not a problem, just divide your prediction by two.Obviously, the global climate model has a bad assumption, but it can be corrected by a simple halving.  Of course, that's impossible, as Stephen Green reminds us.
Reality must be made to better conform to the models, which are of course correct.
Heh!

Discretion

Discretion, I was told as a young man, is the better part of valor.  For a soldier, that's good advise.  Discretion is also important for a law enforcement officer.    President Obama had removed the discretion of certain immigration cops, but now it's being restored.
The secretary said agents are still to give priority to those with criminal rap sheets, but are free to use discretion — taken away from them in the Obama years — to detain anyone they believe to be in the country illegally.
It doesn't sound like a crackdown, per se, but immigration cops don't have to ignore illegals that they might come in contact with.

That's the thing about executive orders.  What one president does with the stroke of a pen, another president can undo with the stroke of a pen.We can argue both ways on executive action, but the plain truth is that Congress needs to pass an immigration reform law.  If Congress does that, then no one will have anything to gripe about.

Democrats had an opportunity during the Obama years to pass any type legislation they wanted to pass.  With a majority in the House, and a majority inn the Senate, they could have passed anything they wanted to pass.  They didn't do that. That's on them, and they have no room to complain.

Republicans have that same opportunity right now.  If they choose to pass an immigration reform law, they can do that as well.  Until then, we should enforce the law as written.  And, give those good immigration agents the discretion to do their jobs.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

McMaster, huh?

I see that H.R. McMaster has been pegged as President Trump's new National Security Adviser.  I thought I remembered that name out of the Cavalry School.  So, I did a little digging.  Sure enough, it's the same guy.  McMaster first came to national attention when he was but a young Cavalry captain, leading a troop of armored cavarly during Desert Storn.  From Wikipedia:
The Regiment moved from the 60 Easting with eight of its nine cavalry troops generally abreast of each other. (Lt. Colonel Kobbe had pulled his Troop F out of the Second Squadron's leading echelon when his zone narrowed.) The operation escalated into a full-out battle as E Troop (call sign "Eagle") maneuvered to the 70 Easting around 3:45 p.m. Heavy combat then spread to the south as I Troop of the Third Squadron closed the gap between the two squadrons and joined the fight. G Troop's attack to the north of Captain H. R. McMaster's E Troop made contact with defending units farther east and combat there became intense around 4:45 p.m. Fighting continued into darkness as the Iraqi division commander reinforced the 18th Brigade with his 9th Armored Brigade in the G Troop zone.
At 4:10 p.m. Eagle Troop received fire from an Iraqi infantry position in a cluster of buildings at UTM PU 6801.[9]:443[14] Eagle troop Abrams and Bradleys returned fire, silenced the Iraqi guns, took prisoners, and continued east with the two tank platoons leading. The 12 M1A1 tanks of Eagle Troop destroyed 28 Iraqi tanks, 16 personnel carriers and 30 trucks in 23 minutes with no American losses.[15]
 At about 4:20 Eagle crested a low rise and surprised an Iraqi tank company set up in a reverse slope defence on the 70 Easting. Captain McMaster, leading the attack, immediately engaged that position, destroying the first of the eight enemy tanks to his front. His two tank platoons finished the rest.
There is much more at the link above.  McMaster went on, later in his career to take a regiment of cavalry back to Iraq and was very successful in the counter-insurgency that we encountered later in the war.

By all accounts, H.R. McMaster is one of the best combat leaders to come out of the Gulf Wars.  He's also a student of international relations, a leading thinker in military circles, and just a hell of a warrior.    H.R. McMaster may be one of Trump's best picks.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Letists Fail Civics

Sally Kohn is an idiot.  She posted this last week on Twitter, and is being roundly reviled for her lack of knowledge of the Constitution.  (You know, that Constitution that sets the criteria for succession of the presidency.


1.  Impeach Trump and Pence on what grounds?  Neither one has committed a high crime or misdemeanor
2.  No constitutional crisis.  Paul Ryan would be president.
3. I just looked at my handy pocket Constitution.  No authority for a special election.
4.  Ryan v. Clinton?  Yeah, maybe after you've impeached Trump and Pence and Ryan is president, but that would be in 2020.
5.  President Clinton?  We've already had one.

I've got a better idea, Sally.  Why don't you stick to what you know.  Music, maybe?  Or just being an idiot.  Or, you could go back to school and study basic civics.  Or, get a pocket Constitution and see what is actually in it.  It might surprise you.

Never Let the Bureaucrat Win

Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin reports that the worthless, toothless, bureaucrats at the EPA were working the phones, lobbying to stop the nomination of Scott Pruitt as the agency head.
Employees at the EPA have reportedly been working the phones in order to convince the Senate to stop the nomination of Scott Pruitt:
If that's not a violation of Civil Service regs, it should be.  Bureaucrats in the public service should serve the whole public, regardless of political persuasion and should not be allowed to actively lobby during business hours.  Luckily, the Senate saw through their pissy little ploy.
The Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, an agency Republicans desperately want to rein in after what they charge was eight years of dangerous activism under the Obama administration that hurt businesses, jobs and the economy. 
Bureaucrats should be reined in regularly They serve the public, not their own peculiar interests.  If I were Scott Pruitt, I believe I'd show up for work carrying a hard snaffle bit, and wearing spurs.  If those worthless bastards wanted to buck, we'd have a rodeo.  Before the end of the day, they'd know who was running the show.  They'd bend to my will, or be run up the road.

Kim's Back

Kim's back.  Just damn!  Several years ago, he went silent for reasons purely of his own, but we kept track of him via mutual internet contacts.  Several months ago I learned that his beloved Connie had taken ill, and recently learned that she had passed.

But, via Instapundit, I learned that he's come back to the intertubes.  Kim was one of the first bloggers I ever read. Back in the days when the internet was just catching speed, and I had a dial-ip modem, Kim duToit was one of my daily reads.

So, first, my condolences for your loss, Kim, and second, welcome back.

He calls this edition of his blog Splendid Isolation.  It should show up on the blogroll soon.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Best President?

It seems that historians are already talking about President Obama.  Politico ranks him at #12, overall.
"That Obama came in at number 12 his first time out is quite impressive," Douglas Brinkley, a Rice University professor and C-SPAN adviser, said in a press release.
Don Surber is a little more critical of the Obama years.
 Obama leaves the White House having achieved nothing positive on the economic front, nothing positive on the international front, and nothing positive on the domestic front.
He’s the best black president, though, and given the way he poisoned the racial well, he’s likely to hold that status for quite a while.

Obama was our affirmative action president.   He was the liberal dream-boat, but I can't see anything positive out of his tenure.  His lasting legacy will be nailed down over the next 20 years, but I think that 12th is overly optimistic.  I'm no expert on the presidency, and I'm certainly not an historian, but I'd rank him near the bottom of the presidents during my lifetime.
 

Pulled Pork

I was digging around in archives and I can't find my Pulled Pork recipe.  That's a shame, because it's easy-peasy simple and a crowd pleaser.  My sister Margaret first gave me the recipe, and I've done very little with it.

All you need is a five or six pound pork butt, some seasoning, a beer, and a slow cooker.  A pork butt might be called different things in different locations.  The cut is actually a shoulder, with the bone-in.  It might be called a Boston Butt, it might be called a pork shoulder.  Whatever.

I start the night before, by putting the pork butt in the slow cooker.  I use a liner in my cooker to make clean-up easier,   When the butt is in the cooker, add the beer, then season it liberally with whatever you like.  I use Tony's seasoning.  Put the slow-cooker on LOW, put the id on it and enjoy your genning.  When you get up the next morning, it will look like this:


Oh, yeah, that's about right.   Get a second bowl, and start takinng the poork out.  It will fall apart, but what you're looking for is that bone.


When the bone comes out clean, the pork is completely cooked.  Then it's just a matter of taking the pork out of the cooker, transferring it to another bowl and shredding it.  I use two standard dinner forks.  Pull it apart and add a little barbecue sauce.  I use Sweet Baby Ray's, but other sauces work just as well.


Then, I clean up the slow cooker, put in another liner, and transfer the meat back to the slow cooker.


Add a little more barbeque sauce, clean up your mess, and let the pork stay warm till the guests arrive.  Total cooking time is about 10 hours.  Total "cook in the kitchen time" is about 15 minutes.  It really is a simple recipe.  We serve it on a bun, with chips and a cold drink.

The kids will be over in another couple of hours, and lunch is prepared.  Pulled Pork, easy-peasy.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Role of the Cavalry - II

In yesterday's post, we looked at the opening moments of the engagement at Gettysburg.

Harry Heth had  problem.  He was an infantry commander under Robert E. Lee, and was leading the march toward Gettysburg.  Some say he inteneded to find shoes in that town.  But, he was tactically blind.  Lee's cavalry under General Stuart was off riding, God-knows-where.  Heth had sent pickets into Gettysburg the day before and had encountered militia..  On what we now call the first day of the battle, he thought that his infantry could move into the town virtually unopposed.  What he didn't consider was John Buford, who had moved into the town the late afternoon of the day before.

In this first clip, Buford is trying to save the defensible terrain for the main army, who is behind him several miles.  Buford is deceiving Heth, showing only a portion of his force.  We call this "economy of force", by only using the force necessary to obtain the objective, which for Buford is to slow Heth down until the main body can arrive.  During this phase, Buford drives off the first attack, then strengthens his line for what he knows is the seond attack.  Buford will put two brigades on line, with a screen to his north, because he knows that the Confederates are massing on Gettysburg.



With two brigades on line, Buford is committed to this location.  He's awaiting Reynolds, who commands a corps of infantry.  As the day progresses, Reynold's infantry arrives, and again strengthens the line, allowing the battle to proceed.



Now, let's go surprise Harry Heth.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Role of the Cavalry

Many folks see the Cavarly on TV or the movies,   You've all seen the soldiers that ride horses, but Cavarly is a mission,  or more particularly a set of missions that defines a particular job on the battlefield.  Basically, the role of Cavalry is simple: to protect the main force, provide screening, reconnaissance, raids, deception and defense.  The Cavalry can be used in the attack, but that's not their main role.

You can click over to the Cavalry School and read all about the missions,  The great Cavarly commander simply considered the horse a mode of transportation.  Cavarly is mobility, and once you get off the horse, you become infantry.  Nowadays the Cavalry rides armored vehicles, or helicopters, but the mission remains the same.

Two great clips from YouTube.  The first, LTC Hal Moore introduces his officers to the helicopter.



LTG Moore died recently, but as far as I know, while he served in the Cavalry, he indentified more as an Infantry officer.  He knew the role of the Cavalry, and fought one of the more famous Cavalry battles of the modern era.

One of the great Cavalry officers of the Civil War was John Buford.  General Buford, probably more than any other man in that conflict, understood the role of Cavalry.  Buford is credited with providing a screen for the main force, providing reconnaisance, and denying Harry Heth the high ground in the opening engagements of the battle at Gettysburg.  The clip below best explains the role of Cavalry during an opening engagement.

UPDATE**  I originally embedded the wrong video.  Here's the one I intended to embed.  After editing, I realize that in both of these clips, Sam Elliot plays leading roles in both these movies.  Still, the clip below is longer and gives a better indication of the role Cavalry plays in the lead-up to battle.  John Buford is credited as sying that the horse is only a mans to move to battle.  Once you get off your fine, fat horse, you're infantry.



I never get tired of watching it.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Congress Undoes Late Obama Gun Reg

Late last year, President Obama pushed through a regulation that would strip recipients of Social Security disability of their gun rights.  Today, Congress used their authority under the Congressional review Act to rescind that regulation.  As Hot Air points out, that particular regulation is dead.  And, it may have other implications.
Using the Congressional Review Act, the Senate followed the House yesterday in sending Donald Trump a bill canceling the new regulation. And Democrats may not yet fully realizing it, but once this regulation is dead, it’s really dead:
Hopefully, the Congress will continue rolling back Obama regulations that affect basic rights.

Let Freedom Ring.

Car Keys

The new minivan came with one fob, to unlock and start the vehicle.  That's not acceptable, as I always like a spare in almost anything I do, especially in a car. I made sure, before I left the dealership, that I was due another key fob.  They agreed to order one and call me when it came in.

Used to be, if you wanted a car key, you walked into any hardware store, gave the guy a buck, and he cut you a new key.  It ain't that way today.  Today they called me and told me the fob had arrived.  I went in on my break to pick it up.  It took an hour to get the vehicle into the service area so that the new fob could be programmed to the vehicle.

I asked what it would have cost if I had to purchase it.

"About $240.00."

Just damn.
 

CVL?

Austin Bay is reporting that the US Navy may be thinnking about building some light carriers (CVL).
The U.S. Navy may be on the verge of a light aircraft carrier renaissance. New technology spurs the revival, both new smart weapons in the arsenals of potential military adversaries and new American weapons systems, the USMC F-35B strike fighter being the most pertinent example.
The issue is complex, so the back-story here is particularly relevant. In World War II, the U.S. Navy made extensive use of small aircraft carriers, ranging from very small carriers escorting convoys (CVEs) to light aircraft carriers (CVLs) that were essentially downsized models of the iconic big carriers (CVs).
I'm certainly no expert, but it seems to me that several small carriers might be better than fewer big carriers.  We need big carriers, of course, but several light carriers might give the Navy more mission-responsiveness.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Trade-In

My old Mercury Grand Marquis was starting to show its age and decrepitude. As much as I loved that old sedan, it was getting long in the tooth, and my trusted mechanic said it was time to send it down the road.   And, Belle's Ford Edge, while a great vehicle, was a bit tight when we traveled to Cowboy Fast Draw competitions.  With the gun bags, the wardrobe bags and assorted paraphernalia for three of us, the Edge served, but it was a little tight.

So, I called my good buddy in the used car business to see what he had on the lot.  And, I looked other places and talked to other people.  Googled around to see what the internet could tell me.  The biggest sources of advise were family. Elder son had owned a Kia, and loved it.  Second son's wife had owned two Kias and loved them.  My brother had owned two (I think) Kia's and recommended them highly.

My good used-car buddy was able to get his hands on a 2016 Kia Sedona LX minivan, and we made the deal.  I brought it home Monday night.


This Kai, the LX, is the second-from-the-bottom of five option levels.  My old Mercury was a top-of-the-line model.It had all the bells and whistles for a 2001 sedan.

This Sedona LX is toward the bottom of the lineup, but it has way more bells and whistles than my old Mercury.  And, of course, with the 3rd-row seats folded down, the cargo space is cavernous.  It has tons more room than Belle's Ford Edge, and it's a year newer.

I think we're going to really like this vehicle.

There's Your Problem

It takes a state senator from California to tell the world what the problem is with the current state of the immigration crisis.
For California Sen. Kevin de León (D), the battle against President Trump’s immigration order isn’t business – it is personal.
 “I can tell you, half of my family would be eligible for deportation under the executive order, because they got a false Social Security card, they got a false identification, they got a false driver’s license prior to us passing AB 60, they got a false green card,” De León said.
These people are not the mythical "law-abiding migrants" that we hear so much about.  They are criminal aliens.  They are defrauding the United States (fake green cards), committing identity theft (fake Social Security cards), and defrauding California (fake IDs and Drivers License).   They are criminals, plain and simple.  They should be deported.

The most worrying fact is that the President pro-tempore of the California Senate is apparently okay with half his family being criminals.

More On The Deep State

What do we know about the Mike Flynn scandal?  He said some things in a phone call that were troubling.  He misled Mike Pence about the content of that conversation.  Mike Pence, (our elected Vice President) found out about being misled through a Washington Post article.  Flynn resigned.

But, how did the Washington Post find out that Flynn had misled the Vice President?  It's simple.  Career intelligence officers leaked the contents of that intercepted conversation to the Post.  Damon Linker talks about it at The Week.
But no matter what Flynn did, it is simply not the role of the deep state to target a man working in one of the political branches of the government by dishing to reporters about information it has gathered clandestinely. It is the role of elected members of Congress to conduct public investigations of alleged wrongdoing by public officials.
I'm not going to try to defend Flynn.  If what they say he did is true, then he should have resigned.  But, when intelligence operatives work to bring down the National Security Adviser, and do so by leaking stories to the press, our democracy is in deep trouble.

If I were the President of the US, I'd tell the head of the CIA that I wanted one of two things by the end of the day.  
1) The leaker identified and charged for leaking sensitive information to the press, or
2) His resignation.

The intellignece community is trusted with too much serious secret information to be leaking it to the press.  Somebody's head needs to roll over this.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Deep State

Since the Trump inauguration, I've been reading references to something called The Deep State.  I had a hunch, but I googled it anyway, and learned the definition.
State within a state is a political situation in a country when an internal organ ("deep state"), such as the armed forces and civilian authorities (intelligence agencies, police, administrative agencies and branches of governmental bureaucracy), does not respond to the civilian political leadership. Although the state within the state can be conspiratorial in nature, the Deep State can also take the form of entrenched unelected career civil servants acting in a non-conspiratorial manner, to further their own interests (e.g. job security, enhanced power and authority, pursuit of ideological goals and objectives, and the general growth of their agency) and in opposition to the policies of elected officials, by obstructing, resisting and subverting the policies and directives of elected officials.
Yeah, that's about what I thought it was.  Career politicians and career bureaucrats who don't agree with the trajectory of the current administration and do what they can do to either delay, obstruct, or change the trajectory into one that more closely suits their personal interests.

I'm sure that a lot of that is going on in Washington right now.  We have for too long had career bureaucrats (not to mention career politicians) forget that they only exist to serve the nation, and in extension, to serve The People, and damn their personal interests.

I once had a colonel.  A full-bull of Military Police who I served.  He had a little needlepoint over his desk, quaintly done, nicely execute that said "Never Let the Bureaucrat Win" That was his motto and Woe unto the junior officer who let a bureaucrat stand between him and his mission.   Oh, the old man was nice enough, charming at parties, and all the ladies loved him, but he would rain scunnion on a bureaucrat in an instant.

Our President needs to learn that lesson.  I see that the bureaucrats got Mike Flynn earlier today, and right or wrong, for what it is worth, they won this round.  That's a damned shame.  We need to make America Great Again, and if the bureaucrats get in the way, the hell with them.

Whazzup, Chuck?

That's Chuck Schumer I'm referring to.  Ostensibly a US Senator, and from all indications, the minority leader (D-NY) who wants to know what those illegal aliens did that was so illegal.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Trump administration is rounding up and deporting “law-abiding” illegal immigrants and is demanding “details” about who is being targeted in a series of recent raids carried out by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
Really, Chuck?  I'd think that a sitting US Senator would have a good command of the English language, and a fine understanding of the law.  When those aliens came across the border without proper permission, they broke the law.  That is all that's necessary to be deported.

As it turns out, Barack Obama, the most recent president, sent home some 2.5 million of those same illegal aliens.  Obama didn't do enough, obviously, because there are still illegal aliens here, so the new President has to pick up Obama's slack.

It would seem to me, Chucky-boy, that you and yourDem cohorts had plenty of time over the past eight years to sort out this immigration mess that President Trump inherited from the Democrats.  But, you didn't, and now the adults are in charge.  Why don't you go sit down and see if you can do something useful?  Like hold your chair on the floor.

 

Taildraggers

My buddy Termite tells me that taildraggers will do this to ya.


Something about the center of gravity being behind the main landing gear, and when you use the brakes, the airplane flips over.  I'm told that such a stunt ain't good for the airplane, or the pilot.

It's always interested me, because "back in the day" airplanes didn't have tricycle gear and everyone was apt to ground-loop an airplane.  I'm sure that they cover it in pilot training, and I'm sure that it used to be a lot more common than it is now.

Hat Tip, Wirecutter.

St. Valentine's Day

Hey, guys, don't forget about your girlfriend on this notable day.  I'll be working a 12 (at a minimum) today, so my gal will probably be abed when I get home this evening.

My gal has already received her trinkets, early this morning, with coffee.  I'm good.

Take care of business,fellows.  That is all.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Modern-Day Racism

If a black guy does it, it's okay, but when a white guy does it...
The ACLU responded about their lack of action against President Obama's deportations by saying they were "not pleased" with him but are now focused on what they see has Trump's expansion of those efforts.
When President Obama was deporting about 2.5 million people, the ACLU was silent.  Now that President Trump is continuing this practice, the ACLU is upset.

That's very near the dictionary definition of racism.

Blackened (whatever)

Back in late '80s, early 90s, Chef Paul Prudhomme of New Orleans popularized a form of cooking known as blackening.  We'll let Wikipedia tell you about it.
Blackening is a cooking technique used in the preparation of fish and other foods. Often associated with Cajun cuisine, this technique was popularized by chef Paul Prudhomme.[1] The food is dipped in melted butter and then dredged in a mixture of herbs and spices, usually some combination of thyme, oregano, chili pepper, peppercorns, salt, garlic powder and onion powder. It is then cooked in a very hot cast-iron skillet.
Chef K-Paul was a good cook, and heck of a chef, and a fine restaurateur. He combined cajun and creole recipes to highlight the culinary traditions of New Orleans.  At some point, he started cooking redfish, and his blackened redfish was quite the culinary phenomenon.

Some say that it is edible.

However, I don't especially care for it, and no one I know personally cares for it.  It's not cajun cooking.  I've tried it in several different varieties in several different restaurants, and it's simply  burnt.  In fairness, Chef K-Paul may have shad some magical touch, and I never had a chance to try it from the master's kitchen, but everywhere else I've tried it, I didn't like it.  Whatever it was, it tasted burnt.

My palate may not be quite as sophisticated as others, but if you pass the blackened (whatever), I'm liable to just pass it on by.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Bill Clinton's Immigration Speech, 1995

President Trump should play this clip every time he gets a chance.  What was common sense during the mid '90s is explosive rhetoric today.



Back in the day, even the Democrats were all about tough immigation enforcement.

Fishing in the Pond

PawPaw's house borders a little lake, an old gravel pit that was abandoned and filled with water.  It's dangerous, because of the drop-offs caused by gravel extraction, so we don't swim in it, but it harbors some nice fish.  Lots of people ask to fish in my pond, and I let a couple of trusted friends fish there, but long ago, I adopted a simple rule.

If a kid asks to fish, and acts like he's got half-a-brain, I give him a quick safety talk and turn him loose.  I don't let teenagers who can drive use the pond.  They can fish anywhere, but if a kid comes up afoot, or on a bicycle, he'll likely get permission. Kids who are still mobility limited need places to fish, and I'm not going to deny one the opportunity.  One such kid is John, a neighbor boy who lives down the road.  He has permission to fish and has been casting baits into the pond for a year or so.

This morning, John hollered at me, and I went out to see his latest.


That's a 6 lb, 8 oz largemouth bass, caught on a split-talied crawfish artificial.  We weighed it on my scale, so he could go brag to his dad.    That fish is John's personal best, ad I think it's a fine thing that he was able to get it to shore.

Kimchi

In the late 1970s there were basically two types of tankers in the Army.  Oh, we had several different vehicles running around, but generally, tankers were divided into two classes.  European tankers and Far East tankers.  The European tankers served in Germany, and the Far East tankers served in Korea.  When I was a young shavetail platoon leader, fresh out of the Armor school, my platoon sergeant was a European tanker.  He had served most of his service, (after Vietnam) in Europe, with the big armored formations guarding the Fulda Gap.  He was a good sergeant, well schooled in all thing armor, and had returned to the US after his second three-year tour of Europe.

On the other side of the world, we had the Far East tankers.  Those guys generally served with the Second ID in Korea, They watched the DMZ up north, keeping the asian hordes at bay.  These guys were good tankers, but even at my young age, I quickly learned that they shared an outlook totally different than the European tankers.  Oh, the maintenance was the same, per the Army's technical manuals, but the difference in geography and the difference in tactical training led to differences in lots of areas.This inevitably led to friction, mostly good natured, but friction nonetheless.

My platoon sergeant was a European tanker, and the commander of my 23 tank was a Korean tanker.   We'll call him Gene. He had brought back a Korean wife from his last tour, and had been a platoon sergeant in the 2nd ID, but because he was an E6 and my platoon sergeant was an E7,  the rank structure was what it was.

Our main maneuver area at Knox was a place we called Area 5-North.  It was on the western side of the post.  Nowadays if you look at Google Maps, you can still see the scar on the land.  Run your map pointer west down Highway 60 until you find the Marathon station on the Tiptop road. Just to the east of that gas station, you'll see a tank maneuver both north and south of Highway 60.  That was Area 5-North, both beloved and hated of tankers in my generation.

Back in those days, before Hwy 60 was four-laned, it was a simple two lane road.  As soon as you crossed the cattle gap on the post boundary, you would come to a little building, the Rock Inn.  The Rock Inn was famous for its hamburgers, and it sold beer.  Not two-hundred yards from a major training site, it sold cold beer.

We spent a lot of time at 5-North, and oftentimes we'd spend the night.  Generally, we'd laager the tanks near the gate (that spot now appears to be a big parking lot) and do what maintenance we could do before the sun went down, the sure as God made little green apples, someone would hike up to the Rock Inn and bring back a case of beer.  Even in those days, it was strictly forbidden by regulation and order, but I never knew anyone keel-hauled for it.

Gene's wife made kimchi, a Korean vegetable dish made from cabbage and spices, fermented by burying it in holes in the hackyard.  My first exposure to kimchi came at Area 5-North.  Gene had sent his driver on the hike to get a six-pack, and his wife had sent several pints of kimchi in his crew bag.  I was invited to drink a beer and eat kimchi.

It was autumn of the year and the night promised to be cold.  Dirty, grimy, as only a tanker can be, we lay on the warm front slope of the 23 tank, ate kimchi, and drank a cold beer.  Kimchi is interesting, (think sauerkraut, heavily spiced with peppers). It was an interesting culinary experience.  Heavily peppered fermented cabbage, washed down with cheap beer.  It was a multi-cultural experience, an enchanted moment in an otherwise grimy existence.  Laying in the cool evening air, watching the sun go down over Kentucky, reeking of diesel fuel and hydraulic fluid, while eating kimchi and drinking one cold Rolling Rock beer.

Later, though, the payback was phenomenal.  The gas that kimchi generates is awesome to the point that my own gunner, Sergeant Rivera, wouldn't let me get in the turret for the remainder of the evening.  I had to sleep on the back deck of the tank.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Jedi Tanker

It is my educated opinion that the M60A3 tank was the most fun tank that I ever crewed.  Over my career I crewed the M60A1, the M551 Sheridan (which isn't a tank, but a cav recon vehicle), the M60A3, and the M1 Abrams.

A post over on the Book of Face got me to reminiscing about shooting, and I started thinking about my time on the A3 tank.  It was a tremendous upgrade from the A1 tank.  It had better suspension, better turret electronics, better radios, and better automotive pack.  The M80A3 was the ne plus ultra of the old tanks, and it was a joy to operate.

The M60A3 was the very first fully night-capable tank in the inventory, with a great thermal imaging system, and a laser rangefinder.  It often out-shot the M1 Abrams on night tables because the A3 had better thermals, and was capable of degraded gunnery.  If the M1 glitched out, it couldn't be fired, but if the A3 had a problem, a knowledgable gunner could work around the problem, with three different sighing systems. (Main sight, thermals, and telescope) and could operate when one system was down.

The guys in the M1 called themselves Star Wars tankers.  We in the older M60A3 were Jedi tankers.  The force was strong with us.  I finally cross-trained into the M1, but the old M60A3 was my love.

M60A3 firing night tables
It was a great tank.  But, when the M1 series came along, it was relegated to the scrap bin.  I'm sure that some of them are still serving, somewhere.  It was too good of a tank to put completely out to pasture.  The only ones I see these days are statues in front of  National Guard camps and VFW posts.

But, it was a great tank, and I'm glad I got to command one.

UPDATE** Commenter John links to an article that says Raytheon is befinning a service life improvement program for the old warhorse.  Interesting video, with some notable upgrades.  Most noticeable from a profile perspective is the stand-off protection designed to defeat shaped charges.



Very cool.

Friday, February 10, 2017

What's Fer Supper, PawPaw

Every Friday afternoon this time of year, I stop by the local boiler on the way home, get five pounds of crawfish with potatoes and corn, and bring it home to Milady.  Then we pour a Friday afternoon cocktail, sit down and enjoy mudbugs until we're full.


That's about half of my ration for this evening.In the space of about 30 minutes, we had eaten the crawfish.  I beleive the dawg even got a few after Milady had her fill.

We were going to watch the eclipse, but the sky is overcast.  I guess we'll pour another cocktail and simply enjoy sitting home on a Friday night.

Illegal Voting

If you listen to your Democratic overlords, you'll learn that this sort of thing never happens.

Until it does.
Rosa Maria Ortega was sentenced to eight years in prison Thursday after being convicted Thursday of two counts of illegal voting. Ortega, 37, will also pay a $5,000 fine for casting ballots illegally during the 2012 general election and 2014 GOP primary runoff in Dallas County.

Politics Today

So, the Democrats spend eight years weaponizing the bureaucracy against the Republicans, then one day last month, turned the whole shebang over to Donald Trump.

Yeah, the FBI is looking at the Dakota Access protestors.

And what's up with Democrats blocking access to schools?  I thought we were over that in the '60s

And, despite denials, there were students involved in the Berkeley protests.

It's like all the lessons we learned in the '60s is having to be re-learned today.

Panic in L.A.

That's Los Angeles, not Louisiana.  It seems that a normal day of arresting illegal aliens has gotten the attention of immigration rights lawyers.  From the Wasthington Post:
The panicked emails and phone calls began streaming in from community members at about 11 a.m. Thursday morning, inundating Los Angeles immigration lawyers with far more cases than usual. Immigrant advocate groups claim that more than 100 people had been taken into custody by federal immigration officials in Southern California Thursday, indicating a “coordinated sweep” in arrests and heightening fears that Donald Trump’s promise to crackdown on deportations had begun to take effect.
Interesting.  Although we've got to be wary of "fake news", and we've also got to be wary of sensationalism.  Further down in the linked article, ICE officials say that it's business as usual.

We're going to put this in the "for what it's worth" pile.

Sacrilege! Mon Dieu!

My God, isn't it enough that we're living in an age of aggravation and disruption?  Some things are sacrosanct and shouldn't be messed with.  Tradition and long-practice have a stabilizing effect that can't be measured by any known metric.  Yet, Major League Baseball wants to start screwing with the rules.
Major League Baseball plans on testing a rule change in the lowest levels of the minor leagues this season that automatically would place a runner on second base at the start of extra innings, a distinct break from the game’s orthodoxy that nonetheless has wide-ranging support at the highest levels of the league, sources familiar with the plan told Yahoo Sports…
Oh, please.  A free runner on second?  Baseball is still our national past-time.  (Yeah, I know, football is our most popular game).  But baseball is summer afternoons, hot dogs, fresh air, sunshine, and a ballet of magical mysticism.  Messing with baseball is a fools errand.  Having a runner on second, with two out was a drama played out between the runner, the shortstop and the pitcher.  It is a ballet of inches and milliseconds.  Yet, the runner had to earn second base.He had to work to get there.

And MLB wants to give that away.  It's a horrible idea and baseball will be lesser for it.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

The Ninth Circuit

I see that a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit kept the order from Jundge Robart in place.

Hey!  It's the Ninth Circuit!  What'ya expect?  I figured they're going to give the new administration a big "screw you" every chance they get.  With any luck, President Trump will get to appoint a half-dozen judges to that circuit during his term.

Lessons From The Sixties

It's been a week since the violent demonstrations at UC/Berkeley shut down a planned speech by Milo Yiannopoulos.

One of the things that we learned during the civil rights marches of the '60s was that free speech matters on both sides of the political spectrum.  As the professor reminds us, conspiring to shut down free speech (or any other civil right) is a federal felony.  It carries a ten-year sentence.

But, the Berkeley riot organizers seem to be quite content with themselves, thinking that they were hugely successful.
She added, "I was there, and there were thousands of people out there who were united. It was a mass protest, it was a militant protest, and everyone was there to shut him down. And so -- whatever it was going to take to do that, we were all there with a united cause, and we were stunningly successful."
Good for them.  I'd like to remind them that the FBI is investigating, and the FBI's civil rights division will probably be very interested in their rationale.   Oh, and Jeff Sessons was confirmed yesterday as Attorney General.  There's a new sheriff in town, and the DOJ has its own civil rights section.

It might be a very good idea for those proud leftists who conspired against a man's free speech rights to pack quickly and leave town.  Shutting down free speech is never a good idea.  It's un-American, it's unconstitutional, and it's a felony.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Back to the Future

I was a Cold War soldier.  I entered active duty in 1976 as an Armor officer, and our mantra was Comnined Arms.  Armor, infantry, and artillery all together on the battlefield,   When I went to the Cavalry course in the early '80s, I learned about combining those arms in small units.  A Cavalry leader will have all three (armor, infantry, artillery) under his direct control.  There are very few mortals who are closer to God than a Cavalry regimental commander on a battlefield.

Our Army has been embroiled in a counter-insurgency war for the past decade.   Not since the Iraq invasion in 2003 has the Army fielded large formations of combined arms.  Yet, as a retired officer, I thought that the Army still practiced the concepts of combined arms training.  Imagine my surprise when I read Austin Bay's article in Strategy Page this morning.
 The budget shortfalls over the last six to eight years have eroded the Army's ability to win a land war with a near-peer adversary. Thompson pointed out that for the last decade the Army has focused on counter-insurgency operations (think Afghanistan).
What?  We can't win against a near-peer adversary?  It's one thing to fight goat-herders in Afghanistan, it's another thing entirely to fight against another modern army.  What happens if, for example, someone starts probing the defenses of NATO?
A near-peer adversary -- possessing these new weapons -- has been probing the air defenses of NATO's Nordic members and threatening the borders of NATO's Baltic states: Russia. 
Yep, the Russian Bear is back.  Fortunately, Sec Mattis has a plan to counter that adventureism.
The Army can tap reserve stocks of tanks and armored personnel carriers, which reduces costs. However, they require refurbishment. The Army needs equipment to defeat new weapons in adversary arsenals, to include armed drones and long range "smart missiles" with anti-armor munitions.
Good.  At least he's thinking ahead.  The Army needs divisions, and the only way to get divisions is to fund them.  As an old combined=arms soldier, I'm surprised that the warriors forgot that simple lesson.  I'm sure that most of the career combat arms officers were busy fighting the COIN battle.  But, Mattis is a thinker and a leader, and he sees threats clearly.

Gifts

I was working late tonight, and this old warrior comes into the building, trailing a high-school color guard for the regular board meeting.  We greet, as old warriors do, and he hands me a box, tells me that it's a gift.  Then, he goes about organizing the color guard.

The box says Microtech Knives.  Later, after most of the foolishness had subsided, I opened it to look.


I opened the little box, and sure enough, there's a knife in the box.  I like knives.


It's heavy, at about six ounces, and it's long, at over five inches closed.  Then, there's that little button on the top, so I pushed it.  Oh, damn, that's just pure evil.


It's a spring knife.  The blade is double-edged, goes to a dagger point, and is four inches long.  Pulling the little knob back retracts the blade.  It's totally one-handed operation.

Thanks, Super Sarge, this is going to be in my pocket for the foreseeable future.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

DeVos Confirmed

Betsy DeVos was confirmed today as Sec Edu, and the Dems are all butt-hurt.  The Republicans had to call in Mike Pence to break a tie in the Senate.

Chuck Schumer's feelings are hurt.

Sally Kohn wasted no time saying that she is going to "decimate" the public schools.  I think she meant to say "destroy", but I won't quibble about her choice of words.

Down here in the bayou country, we've got something that cures butt-hurt.  Boudreaux's Butt Cream, is an old-time remedy for chapping and irritation.  It works wonders.


Yep, it's a real thing, and that's the label you find on some containers.  Maybe I should send a case of it to the Democrats in the Senate.

The Party of No

It seems that the Democrats have become the party of NO.  In the past decade, they've lost most governships, most state legislatures, both the US House and Senate, and most recently, the White House.  Except for a few small blotches of regressive blue, the national map is increasingly scarlet red.

I know that the political pendulum   swings back and forth, and one of these days, the Democrats might be back in power, but right now they're reeling. They don't have an agenda, other than NO, and the few actual progressive points they make have been slain on the altar of political relevance.  Yet, rahter than look forward, they intend to make Trump their agenda.










To wit, Politico magazine's twitter feed

I'm sure that's going to work out fine for them.  But, I tend to agree with this fellow.


The Democrats would probably be better off with a platform and agenda that would move America forward, rather than just being the party of NO.  But, if they want to remain irrelevant in the national discussion, that's okay with me.

Filibuster

ABC News is reporting that Senate Democrats iintend to filibuster President Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.  There is another link here.

I don't have a dog in this hunt, it matters not one whit to me who is finally confirned as Education Secretary.  Frankly, I don't think that we need a US Department of Education.  That's something better done by the states and local school districts.

But, as part of the nominating process, I'm glad to see that the Senate Democrats are engaged in vigorous floor debate.  The "filibuster" has lost all of it's depth and rigor since someone adopted the idea that a filibuster could occur by simply threatening one. TH US Senate is supposed to be the greatest debating society in the world, and if you want to filibuster, then stand up on your hind legs and talk until the larynx gives out.  That's what it's about.

I applaud the Democrats for this activity, simply because it's part-and-parcel of the debate.   Even if I think they're wrong, )and I generally think that Democrats are wrong about everything), it's good procedure.  There is nothing like a good debate, even if your arguments are doomed to failure.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Constitutional Crisis?

What happens if President Trump decides to ignore a valid court order?  Will that instigate a constitutional crisis?  Good question.

As it turns out, if he does so, it wouldn't be the first time that a President has run afoul of the courts.

Andrew Jackson did it.

Abraham Lincoln did it.

I'm sure that better minds than mine are looking into the question.  Certainly, the executive is not always right, but neither are the courts.  This is a time for serious people to be in charge.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Pelosi is Evil

Just this story, for example:
NBC’s Chuck Todd was trying to ask minority leader Nancy Pelosi about the need for Democrats to take responsibility for their own failure in the 2016 election, instead Pelosi called for an FBI investigation of the President, suggesting that the Russians have something on Trump.
This is the woman, you may recall, who famously said:  "We Have to Pass the Bill So That You Can Find Out What Is In It"  Let's not read the bill and understand it, let's pass it first and figure it out later.  That's Pelosi's theory of legislation.  Pure evil.

And, the fact that the Democrats keep her around speaks volumes about the general depravity of the current Democratis Party.  All tey want is power for power's sake, and if they're rebuked in the polls, it must be the Russians fault.  How utterly despicable Pelosi is.

I could go on and on with examples, but I don't believe that there is another more evil person in public life today than Nancy Pelosi.  (Yeah, Hillary surpasses Pelosi's evilness, but I don't consider her a public person any longer.... Thank God).

Gumbo

The temps here are driving us crazy.  We're liable to get all four seasons in a week, and winter only lasted for several hours last week.  Today, it's springtime.  Temps will hover close to 70, and I'm wearing a tee-shirt and my slippers.

Even so, I decided to make gumbo today.  Just regular old chicken-and-sausage.  It's nothing fancy, but it sure does fill a belly.


The recipe is here.  Nothing has changed in the several decades I've been using this recipe, except the pot I put it in.  As I assemble it, I put it in a lined slow-cooker these days, it simmers ore slowly and doesn't stick to the pot.

In another half-hour, I'll put on a pot of rice.

Super Bowl Sunday

I understand that there will be a game on TV later, but I really don't care so much about this one.  I don't follow much football, and neither team this year sparks my interest.

However, I remember on Super Bowl in particular.  Super Bowl 2001.  I was single then, very single, and this gal and I had been chatting online.  She lived about 30 miles up the road, the next town over, and for the past couple of weeks, we had been emailing and chatting online.  On that particular Sunday, I was going to a Super Bowl party at a bar in a little town just north of my home, and I mentioned that to her  I told her that if she wanted to come to the Super Bowl party, I'd buy her a drink.  The bar was serving light snacks, and we could meet face-to-face.

She told me she'd try to make it, so I shut down the computer and headed toward the bar.  By the middle of the second quarter, I figured that she had come to her senses, but just before halftime, she walked through the door.  I bought her a drink, and we began talking, and toward the middle of the fouth quarter, she said that she had to go.  So, I walked her out to her car.

I asked her if she'd like to go dancing next weekend, and she said that she knew  good place close to her house.  So, we made a date.

Three years later, in July of 2004, she married me.  So, that's why I note Super Bowl Sunday.  It's the day I met the gal I call Milady, or Belle.  She's my sweetie and I'm glad that she came to that party.

Sunday Morning Dawg

Just an old dawg, laying on the floor in the pre-dawn, waiting for the coffee to drip.


Y'all have a great Sunday.  As soon as the coffee is dripped, the dog and I are going to get started.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Expert Coaching

Just a short video from our practice shoot today.  Two visiting shooters showed up, both good friends of Thorn Valley.  They are members of our parent club, the Big Thicket Bushwackers out of Silsbee, TX.  They had been touring around and decided to come shoot with us.

The guy on the left is the visitor.  We call him Delta Whisky, and is a past Texas State Champion and the current Southern Territorial Champion.  The guy on the right is my son-in-law, Cajun Greg.  Greg has been shooting about a year, and he's never been to a sanctioned shoot.  Delta Whiskey was good enough to give him some pointers and help him with the finer points.



That's what the CFDA is about.  Champions helping new shooters, people helping people.  It's a good little video, because the student gave the teacher and X.

And, that's the way it goes sometimes.

Interesting Historical Photo

Here, we have a rather interesting historical photo.  It's controversial, because the 5-pounder smooth bore cannon was generally considered to be obsolete by the time the regional unpleasantness of 1861-1865.


What I find interesting is the Grumman F14 making a low pass behind the officer.  It's interesting because no records exist of either army having an air force during that time.  (But, this may have been naval aviation).  We can be fairly certain that it's not photo-shopped because photoshop didn't exist at the time this photo was taken.

This certainly bears more research.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Racist Much?

I've seen this around the intertubes today, but found it most lately on this Reddit thread.  I'm ot sure if it's "Fake News" or not,   But, here it is:


I dated a few white girls in my day, and I didn't feel racist at all.  But, you know, I'm a Lilly-white product of the Deeep South.

What I love most about the Obama era is all the racial healing.

Non-Serious People

Lawmakers should be serious people.  Sure, there's a time for frivolity in everyone's life, but we should expect elected officials to be serious people.  Unlike this fellow:
California Sen. Toni Atkins (D) wants to clear away all the bureaucratic red tape that stands in the way of Sara Kelly Keenan getting a state ID and/or driver’s license that reflects what Keenan sees as her true gender identity: non-binary.
For official purposes, such as a government ID or driver's license, it really doesn't matter what you consider yourself to be; all that really matters is whether you have or don't have a Y chromosome.

For the record, I don't really care if you're L, B, G, T, or Q.  That simply doesn't matter.  I don't care how you dress or who you sleep with.  That doesn't matter to me one whit.  It wouldn't even bother me if the government didn't have a gender block on IDs.

But, regardless, you don't get to choose your gender.  Either you have a Y chromosome or you don't.  It's not about feelings, it's not about identity, it's simple science.  And, these folks don't want to be science deniers,do they?

Terror In Paris

It seems that another guy shouting Aloha Snackbar was shot outside the Louvre in Paris (France, not Texas).
A terror probe has been launched in Paris after a machete-wielding man was shot after trying to attack four soldiers outside the Louvre.
The suspect was shot five times in the stomach and is in a critical condition.
He was shouting 'Allahu Akbar' - Arabic for 'God is the greatest' - according to the Paris prefect, and reportedly had paint bombs in his backpack.
Reportedly, he's not feeling real well right now.

I'm sure that the usual suspects are searching for a motive.

Fastenal

Heretofore, I had been buying small hardware at my local hardware store.  But, I'm building targets and need a lot of little 10x28 screws to put a target together.  (Each target takes 6 screws)

So, yesterday on my break I popped into Fastenal to see if I could get a bulk deal.  Yowser!  I picked up 200 machine screws with nylock nuts for less than I'd pay for a dozen of the same screws at my local hardware store.  They didn't have any socket knob screws in stock, but they can order them a heck of a lot cheaper than I can get them at the hardware store.  They'll be in Monday, and I'll pick them up after work.

I"m quickly becoming a fan of Fastenal.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Not A Good Idea

Heh!  From our local fishwrapper.


Yeah, that's probably not a good idea.  But, the police didn't charge them, just ran them off.  And, they both had "an odor of alcoholic beverage".  I wonder if they let them drive away?

That's good Deep-South policing, right there.

Tax Exempt Politicking?

I had always understood that the rule for tax-exempt organizations was that they were not allowed to participate in the political process.  I've known pastors who toed that line very, very carefully.  I've also known pastors who didn't care, who thought that they had a responsibility to educate their flock, and who were not afraid to call a politician out, or to recommend that one be voted in, or voted out.

I understand the prohibition, and I also understand why some pastors pay no attention to it.  Evidently, there is some movement to change the rule.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says he's behind President Trump's vow at the National Prayer Breakfast today to "destroy" the rule that keeps tax-exempt organizations, including religious institutions, from participating in political campaigns.
Trump told the breakfast that because of "the right to worship according to our own beliefs," he "will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution."
Either way, I'm okay with it.  But, it should be the pastor's choice.  And, changing the rule should speed up the slow-walking that the IRS is still doing to conservative organizations who apply for tax-exempt status.

Has Trump fired Koskinen yet?

A Very Good Day

It appears that our President had a very good day, yesterday.


Of course, the Left is outraged.  It appears that Sarah Silverman is calling for a military coup.  Good luck with that.  I doubt that the military wants to get involved.

I do like the idea of Mitch McConnell invoking what I call the "Reid Rule".  If it was good enough for the Democrats in '09, it is certainly good enough for the GOP in '17.  Just line up all of Trumps appointments, and run then though the Senate floor like cattle through a squeeze chute.

Oh, and remind the opposition daily, if they're upset about the expansion of executive pwer, they should have resisted it during the Obama term.  I didn't hear a peep out of them during president "Pen and Phone"s tenure.  What goes around, comes around.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

I Call Bullshit

You see, I'm wondering about this.  It sounds like pure insanity.
A five-year-old boy was reportedly handcuffed and held in custody for five hours because he may have been ‘a threat to America’.
The child was one of more than 100 people held at airports across the United States after Donald Trump signed an order banning travel from seven majority Muslim countries.
The reason I'm calling bullshit is not because I believe some idiot is capable of wanting to handcuff a 5-year-p;d/  I believe that some people are stupid enough to try, but I don't believe that standard handcuffs will fit on someone with wrists as small as a 5-year-old.

I have seen small women slip out of standard handcuffs, and I don't know any current manufacturer who makes handcuffs small enough for children.

Again, I don't doubt that TSA or someone else detained a 5-year-old.  But, did they handcuff him?  I doubt it.  Standard handcuffs are too large for a 5-year-old.

Calm Down, Fellas

Reading around my own blogroll, (yeah, that's why it's there), I see a lot of gloom and doom.

Old NFO asks if we're heading for a showdaown.

Peter cautions us to know our enemy.

And, the LawDog, in his inimitable style, regales us with cautionary tales from Africa.

I keep hoping that we've reached peak hissy-fit from the left.  The Democrats are hugely butt-hurt that they lost 31 out of 50 popular elections.  Yes, it's true that Hillary won the popular vote, but she didn't win the popular votes that matter.  So, they're throwing a huge hissy-fit becase they didn't comprehend high school civics.

LasDog's right that there are large groups of immigrants who are familiar wth demographic havoc.  But, it's generally not in their best interest to draw attention to themselves.  If most immigrants do anything, it is to act in their best interests. And, demographic havoc is not generally in anyone's best interest.

I freely admit that where I live is not one of those places with street-marches. I may be missing something vis-a-vis a growing rebellion, but like many of you, I have been accumulating recreational arms and ammunition for the past eight years.

Calm down, fellas, and take a deep breathe.  The Constitution worked just like it was supposed to work.  I don't believe that we're yet to the stage of choosing sides.