Sunday, February 28, 2010

Now here's a bright left-collectivist with an unoriginal but really great idea (he thinks).


Here's what passes for a bright idea from a very dim collectivist bulb, and my email reply to him.


Obama should expand court

Stan Isaacs
writes a weekly column on

This may come as a surprise to some people, but the U.S. Constitution does not specify the size of the Supreme Court.

The original Judiciary Act of 1789 set the number of justices at six. It shrank to five in 1801. It expanded to seven in 1807. It grew to nine in 1837 and 10 in 1863. It fell back to seven in 1866. It returned to nine in 1869 and has remained at that number since.

Political issues accounted for the changes. The Federalists reduced the number to five, hoping to deprive Thomas Jefferson of an appointment. The incoming Democrats repealed that measure, raising the number to seven. It went to nine in 1837 to give Andrew Jackson two more seats. Civil War issues led to more fluctuations before the court settled at nine under President Ulysses Grant.

So if nine justices is not writ in stone, the embattled President Obama should deal with this hostile conservative/reactionary court by adding three members.

The court's recent controversial decision equating corporations with individuals turned an already overly money-influenced campaign system into a veritable free-for-all of propaganda for corporate and vested interests. It was met with criticism by most legal scholars, praised only by corporate mouthpieces.

Even Barack "Can't We All Get Along?" Obama criticized the decision in his State of the Union speech. A lot of good that will do. The court has four hard-liners who are against what Obama strives for, and a so-called swing voter, Anthony Kennedy, who votes with them in the big cases.

As the court stands, it is reminiscent of the stonewall President Franklin Roosevelt faced in opposition to his New Deal legislation. Four entrenched reactionary justices, known as the "Four Horsemen," were not only anti-New Deal, but some demonstrated a personal dislike for FDR.

Justice James McReynolds reportedly stated in response to rumors that he would step down, "I'll never retire as long as that crippled son of a bitch is still in the White House."

In response, Roosevelt sought to appoint an additional justice for each incumbent justice who reached the age of 70 and refused retirement, with a maximum size of 15 justices. The phrase "packing the court" became the pejorative that turned the public against FDR's plan.

The actual plan wasn't pushed, however, because of changes on the court. Justice Owen Roberts - seemingly intimidated by popular approval of the New Deal - voted with liberals in a decision supporting Washington state's minimum-wage law. Roberts' change of heart was called "the switch in time that saved nine."

The ideological balance of the court was changed for good with the retirement of another Horseman, Willis Van Devanter, and the confirmation of liberal Hugo Black in August 1937.

Had Roosevelt needed his court-packing plan, he would have had to do a better job of winning over the public. Secrecy undermined the proposal, including the president's failure to bring Democratic leaders into his confidence before a news conference announcing the plan. Kentucky Sen. Alben Barkley complained that Roosevelt was a "poor quarterback" on the court plan.

That's an easy enough mistake for Obama to avoid. He can easily be a quarterback for change on a court that will give the president continued grief as he tries to implement his agenda.

Obama can give himself a fighting chance by changing the rules of the game, just as they were changed for other presidents in the 1800s. He should forget bipartisanship and work with congressional Democrats to name three new justices to the court to meet the challenges he faces.

It would be a tumultuous fight, but it would be for a change we could believe in.

E-mail Stan Isaacs at

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Sun, Feb 28, 2010 8:13 pm
Subject: You lack one thing on your Supreme Court proposal


You lack one thing on your Supreme Court proposal. Your mathematics are faulty. Your side does not have enough people or enough firearms to make such a naked power grab stick. On the other hand, the opposing side -- that is to say those of us of the armed citizenry already mobilized by other Obamanoid attacks on the Constitution and the rule of law -- well, we outnumber you by millions and we have plenty of arms and ammunition not only to overturn your attempt but to chase you and all your collectivist kind back to Europe where you will doubtless feel more comfortable among unarmed peasants.

Was that the kind of change you had in mind? Or, put another way:

Care for a long swim?

Be careful what you wish for, you may get it. The only law you should worry about at this point is the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Mike Vanderboegh
PO Box 926
Pinson AL 35126

Saturday, February 27, 2010

“Yeah, but what does that Three Percent thing MEAN?”

“Yeah, but what does that Three Percent thing MEAN?”

The muzzles of three million rifles: A more complete explication of the Three Percent and what our existence means to the rest of the population, the Founders’ Republic and all our futures.

By Mike Vanderboegh

The other day I ran into a fellow who thought he was a Three Percenter but he wasn’t sure. “Yeah,” he said, “but what does that Three Percent thing MEAN?” I explained more or less thusly:

Three Percent: The number of colonists who took the field to actively fight against King George III.

Three Percent: The number of America’s armed citizenry today who can be counted on to actively resist any future restrictions on firearms, or indeed, any more attacks on the God-given natural liberties which are codified in the Constitution (and some that aren’t).

There are, give or take, a hundred million firearms owners in this country. Three percent of that number is three million. So when we speak of the Three Percent, we are talking about three million firearms owners who are politically active, but no longer count on politics alone to defend their liberties. These three million have watched as our traditional right to arms has been attacked and diminished on the federal level for more than 75 years since the National Firearms Act of 1934. In that time, in almost every instance when a new firearm restriction has been proposed, we have lost the political argument and being law-abiding we have allowed ourselves to be shoved back, grumbling. The Three Percent are simply saying, “No more.” One more restriction on our natural liberties -- the liberties the Founders did their best to secure -- and we will resist.

“But what do you mean, ‘resist?’” he asked.

Very simple, I replied, we refuse to obey. If our right to peaceably assemble and personally trade our privately owned arms with other law-abiding citizens is restricted -- the alleged “gun show loophole” --- we will stage our own gun shows and dare the ATF to do anything about it. If the manufacture of ammunition is tampered with by further government restrictions -- punitive taxes, “microstamping,” or other such nonsense -- we will make it ourselves or smuggle it in and dare the federal authorities to do anything about it. If more classes of firearms are added to their onerous bans -- fifty caliber rifles for example -- we will manufacture our own and dare them to do anything about it. We can only be oppressed with our consent, for we are armed. And WE DO NOT CONSENT.

“They will shoot you,” said my new friend, immediately getting to the crux of the matter.

“Yes, they must,” I replied reasonably. “It is what they do. That’s the ultimate threat behind every federal infringement. ‘Do this or we will shoot you.‘ But THEY must fire first. There must be no Fort Sumters. THEY must cede the moral high ground.”

“What happens then?”

“Then,” I replied, “we shoot back in righteous self-defense. There will be no more free Wacos for them. The only thing is, to the greatest extent possible, we must then take the civil war to the people who started it and who direct it -- the political mandarin class who issue the orders -- the elected officials, the unelected bureaucracy and their tyranny’s cheerleaders in the intelligentsia and press who lay the predicate for it. ‘No more free Wacos’ will have personal implications for those people.”

“Isn’t that a threat?”

“It is a promise, but I hope they take it as a very real threat against their future misconduct. If they do, and they begin to internalize the fact that the people who they have shoved around these past seventy-five years are finally ready to shove back -- and that it is THEY who will be personally ‘shoved back’ -- then maybe, just maybe, we can avoid a shooting war. Like Mama Liberty says on my blog, ‘If they don‘t want a civil disturbance, why don‘t they quit disturbing us?’ We‘re not trying to tell them what to do and how to live, THEY are trying to force their beliefs on us -- and take our liberty and property in the bargain while demanding we pay for the privilege of being robbed. If they don‘t want trouble all they have to do is leave us alone.”

“Do you think we can? Avoid it, I mean.”

I sighed. “I hope the Tea Party movement can save the day politically, but I doubt that they will be able to overcome the inertia of the two-party stacked deck. For some of those in the permanent political class, it is in their interest to provoke violence. ‘Let no good crisis go unexploited,‘ as a White House chief of staff would say. For these people, especially if they see they are about to lose power, they may think that it is in their interests to burn the American equivalent of a Reichstag or two, or three. The fault is ours, for we LET them shove us back for seventy-five years with not a single shove back. Why should they expect it now? You can’t really blame them for being who they are. Such people have existed throughout history. You might as well blame a rattlesnake for biting your child when you knew the rattler was living under your porch for years and yet you did nothing about it. The blame is yours. That’s what Ben Franklin was saying when he replied, ‘A Republic, madam, if you can keep it.’” We -- us, our fathers and grandfathers -- have let them get away with stealing our property and our liberty for generations. Now, with our backs to the wall and no further room to give and still call ourselves free, we must deal with the rattlesnakes and eradicate them or, like St. Patrick, drive them into the sea.”

“So we need a revolution?”

No, I replied, we need a RESTORATION. It is they who are the revolutionaries, overthrowing the Founders’ Republic and the Constitution bit by bit, in Gramscian style. (I then had to explain Gramsci, but I shall not do it here. Look it up yourself, if you need to.) We simply want what the Founders wanted -- a Republic of ordered liberty, the rule of law, the right to property, free markets and free men (and women, of course).

“Well, I don’t think they’re going to get it. I think we’ll have to end up shooting them.”

Perhaps, I said, if they have time to get around to it.

“What do you mean?”

“Deficit spending, mountainous debt, printing money to monetize that debt -- the politicians of both parties have handed us a future that represents an existential threat to the country and its people. This administration may not get around to sparking a civil war by tyrannical misadventure, we may have a breakdown of civil order (which, in its worst form could be WORSE than civil war) because the whole house of cards collapses, suddenly and at once. And then it will be up to the Three Percent to save what can be saved.”

“Why just the Three Percent?”

“Because we are the only ones with the numbers and the firearms and because we think like citizens not serfs.”

He gave me a quizzical look.

“Citizens take responsibility for the safety of the community. They do this because they understand that this must be done in order to secure the safety of themselves and their own families. And we will do it because it is necessary, not because somebody pays us to. Look, have you ever come across a car wreck right after it happened?”

“Yeah. Twice.”

“What did you do?”

“Well, I stopped and ran down to the wrecks to see if I could help. I . . .”

I interrupted him. “Stop right there. I don’t need the details. Here’s my point. You stopped, you ran down to see if you could help. That makes you a citizen. There’s no better example of citizenship than that. And while you were down in the ditch, you had plenty of onlookers, didn’t you?”


“Was there a big crowd close around the wrecked car?“

“No. Once it was just me and a couple of guys who were riding in my pickup and the other time it was just me and another guy who stopped.”

“Okay, that’s the number of citizens on the scene. The guys who came down with you who had been riding in your truck, they came down because of your leadership probably, right?

“Well, I don’t know, they probably would have stopped themselves.”

“But you led them down into that ditch, right?”

“So you are not just a citizen, but a leader of citizens. But there were lots of people who stopped but only called 9-1-1, or people who just stopped and stared or people who kept on driving without doing anything, right?”


“Serfs. They drove on because it ‘wasn’t any of their business’ and most of the ones who called 9-1-1 instead of calling and THEN coming down to see if they could help did so because they have been conditioned that only ‘authorities’ are competent to handle an emergency, right? Some of them may be doctors or nurses. The driver or his passengers may be bleeding to death, but if it were up to the serfs the victims would simply bleed to death before they stirred their stumps to help, right?”

“Yeah, I see your point.”

“Serfs. They are not citizens because they take no personal responsibility. They are serfs. Willing, trained serfs. You took responsibility, so you are a citizen.”

“Well, I had some training in the Marines and I went to some classes after I got out . . .”

I cut him off again. “My point exactly. A citizen anticipates trouble and thus when he or she is called upon, they are not only willing to act, but competent to do so. Citizenship is a duty, a responsibility that is willingly assumed, along with the rights and liberties attendant to it. The problem is that the public schools no longer turn out citizens in this country, they are in fact serf factories because that‘s the way that the ‘powers that be’ want it. If you are a tyrant-wannabe, having to deal with citizens is at best inconvenient and at worst dangerous to your liberty- and property-stealing plans. Serfs are much more to their liking.”

“But,” I continued, “look beyond a simple car wreck to a car wreck times a hundred thousand like Katrina. The police did a number of things there that were in their way just as educational to anybody who paid attention as Waco was at the federal level. Some cops ran home to save Momma and the kids, leaving their posts and their duty. Some cops joined the looters. Other cops violated their oaths to the Constitution and either shot and killed innocents like some occupying army or disarmed the law-abiding, leaving them helpless against the rapists, thieves and murderers that they didn’t disarm -- again, like an occupying army. When the whole SYSTEM breaks down, God forbid, Americans, being a practical people, will make their own arrangements. They will work with those law enforcement officers who will stand by their duty and their oaths but, more to the point, they will resist at the muzzle of a rifle (or, I should say, at the muzzles of THREE MILLION RIFLES) anybody -- feds, cops or freelance criminals -- who attempts to ‘Katrina’ them.”

I told him that a nationwide social and economic breakdown will see the revival of citizens’ militias in a huge way -- instantly. However, tragedies will come to those who fail to see the need NOW for preparation, training and that “well regulated” stuff the Founders were talking about. (And if you haven’t studied how the language has changed since the Second Amendment was written, you don’t understand that “well regulated” meant at the time that the militia, the armed citizenry, should be trained, disciplined, with arms of common caliber and agreed upon tactics.)

“That’s still going to be a bunch of tragedies,” he observed.

“Yes, it is,” I answered. “But the question is, do you want to be one of them?”

“No, I don’t,” he answered.

“Then, “ I said with a grin, “you’ve just become a Three Percenter, whether you were before or not.”

“How do I join?”

“The Three Percent is NOT an organization. That would be too easy to kill, too simple to discredit. The Three Percent is an idea, a movement of like-minded people, and that is something that is far harder to kill. Almost impossible, really. You know the Oath, the one that you swore before God when you joined the Marines?”

He allowed that he remembered it, every word of it.

“Then just remember that the oath is not to a man, no matter how popular he is, or to a political party, or to an administration even if a majority of the people gave them the power by voting, but to an idea -- the Founders’ Republic of God-given liberties and natural rights as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and codified in the Constitution. Remember that it is a life-time oath and has no expiration date. Once you realize those things and remember them every morning when you look yourself in the mirror, you’re a citizen. Everything after that is tougher -- organizing your friends and neighbors; preparing and training for the future date when (not if) your military competence and that of your friends will be tested; getting your County Sheriff used to working with armed citizens; and finally, being awake, aware and ready to stand in the gap, come the Waco hell of tyranny or the Katrina high water of natural or social disaster. It is tougher, way tougher, but it must be done.”

He nodded his head, thinking. And in his eyes I saw his decision, if indeed there had ever been a question.

“Welcome,” I told him, “to the Three Percent.” We shook hands, and then fell to talking of his like-minded friends, how big an area of operations he thought he and they could protect, of beans and bullets, and equipment and training.

I hope this has given y’all a better idea of what the Three Percent is, and what it isn’t. What it boils down to is this: the Three Percent are the folks the Founders counted on to save the Republic when everyone else abandoned it.

And we will.

There will be no more free Wacos and no more free Katrinas.

For we are the Three Percent.

We will not disarm.

You cannot convince us.

You cannot intimidate us.

You can try to kill us, if you think you can.

But remember, we’ll shoot back .

We are not going away.

We are not backing up another inch.

And there are THREE MILLION OF US.

Your move, Mr. Wannabe Tyrant.

Your move.

SPLC is about to do another hit piece on me. My reasonable response.


I learned from WVTM the other day that SPLC is doing another hit piece on me. I had already agreed to do an interview with them to discuss the Southern Preposterous Lie Center when I received this:

Sent: Fri, Feb 26, 2010 1:23 pm
Subject: interview request

Mr. Vanderboegh:

I am writing an article about you and the Three Percenters for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report magazine. I wanted to speak to you about the organization and to fact check some details. I won’t need much of your time. I can be reached at the number below during normal business hours.

Thank you for your time,

Jamie Kizzire
Southern Poverty Law Center
(334) 956-8264

I responded, quite reasonably I thought given past history, thusly:

Sent: Fri, Feb 26, 2010 9:39 pm
Subject: Re: SPLC interview request

My dear Jamie,

Piss on you lying bastards and the fact-challenged horse you rode in on. What do you need my input for? You scum-suckers have been lying about, eliding and conflating the facts about me and my friends for 15 years now. You do just fine making it up as you go along. Tell the Montgomery castrato, your boss Potok, that the only things I want to talk to you pukes about are:

a.the snitch you had inside Elohim City in 1995 and why he didn't warn us of the ARA plot to blow up the OKC federal building and

b. why you bottom feeders gave political cover in the NYT to those racist pukes in the ATF at the time of the Good O' Boys Roundup by lying about the validity of the Gadsden Minuteman tape.

I'll tell you what. You be awful careful this time about what you write, because -- unlike the 90s or even a few years ago when you dubbed me a "nativist" (as if you knew what that word meant) -- I now have volunteer lawyers who are itching to sue your ass. And I guarantee you, I'll find discovery one hell of a lot more fun than you will. Maybe we'll even finally get to the bottom of the Maureen Bass Dees divorce complaint. In fact, I'll ask for a jury made up of all Civil Rights foot solders. They HATE your lying, thieving, pimping, pasty white asses for sticking like leeches onto their righteous struggle. Southern "Poverty" Law Center indeed.

But by all means, you lying, conflationist bastards, have at it. Just don't expect me to assist you.

Oh, yeah. Thank you in advance for all the free publicity.

Mike Vanderboegh

c: to WVTM (see you Monday for the interview)

Friday, February 26, 2010


Vmail message from Mike this AM:

Can you put up a quick post telling folks that internet access is offline -- again -- and that I will post asap?



Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Deviously Simple Question: The War for Chekov's Ear

"Sure, understanding today's complex world of the future is a little like having bees live in your head. But, there they are." -- The Honorable Chester Cadaver, "I Think We're All Bozos on This Bus," Firesign Theatre, 1970.

I had the unrestrained joy this morning of having a letter to the ATF read to me over the phone regarding a major faux pas in recent regulations. It is a mistake on their part that is at once so small and so huge that the mere receipt of this letter will cause them to think like Chester Cadaver (pronounced Ka-duh-VER) that they have bees living in their heads, or worse, that Khan's mind control slug has crawled into their ears.

I can only marvel at the brilliance of operational art of the man who wrote this letter, which is, at this very moment being faxed to the agency.

I mention this now only so my readers will have a reference point when this deviously simple question begins to make headlines. It is so you can say, "Yeah, I remember that."

Those of you familiar with Bozos by Firesign will know how the President reacted to Clem's subversive question: "Why does the porridge bird lay his eggs in the air?"

For those of you unfamiliar with the classics, the answer was exemplified by Pico (or was it Alvardo?) and his plaintive cry: "Hey, man, I tink he broke da Prezident!"

CPT Jonathan Tuttle points out some interesting stuff on the official ATF website, and no, it ain't good.

This just in over the electronic transom:

From: Cpt. Jonathan Tuttle
Subject: new stuff on ATF web site . . . clues . . .
Date: Wednesday, February 24, 2010, 10:05 PM


There's a lot of new stuff on the ATF web site; a concerted effort to develop it. Note in particular:

While the NFA was enacted by Congress as an exercise of its authority to tax, the NFA had an underlying purpose unrelated to revenue collection. As the legislative history of the law discloses, its underlying purpose was to curtail, if not prohibit, transactions in NFA firearms. Congress found these firearms to pose a significant crime problem because of their frequent use in crime, particularly the gangland crimes of that era such as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. The $200 making and transfer taxes on most NFA firearms were considered quite severe and adequate to carry out Congress’ purpose to discourage or eliminate transactions in these firearms. The $200 tax has not changed since 1934.

This is at:

It is like ATF is laying the groundwork to suggest the Congress pass legislation to outlaw NFA firearms altogether.

The sections on new letters (see is chillingly incomplete, e.g., note the missing ones, particularly involving the AR-15, and the various ones involving machine guns.

More broadly, it appears that ATF is attempting to "professionalize" the look of its web site, and give the impression of a professional law enforcement organization.

The NFRTR has always been arcane enough that ATF has been able to dodge the consequences of messing it up; same thing, to an extent, with the machine gun issues.

But (REDACTED) case is starting to bring Title I stuff into the fray, and the various "nonfirearms" that are uppers; not to mention the "upper" and "lower" receiver fiasco that now appears to apply to both Title I and Title II firearms. The expansion of FTB and related issues into the Title I area is likely to be of EXTREME concern to ATF. . .


"Broken tools." Interesting discussion at -- R.A. Bear chimes in.

Go, read this. Be sure and check out the linked documents.

More ATF Follies: Your tax dollars at work. Another example of ATF senior executives' fidelity to duty.

Y'all are gonna love this report of the Office of Inspector General on the activities of a former high-ranking member of ATF's Atlanta and Houston offices. CPT R.A. Bear says that this is but the tip of the iceberg of misconduct by this woman -- and of the incredible cover-up by the3 Chief Counsel's Office of other misdeeds and law breaking by her. The long collapse of the agency continues . . .


OIG Report

Another country heard from . . .

We have received another love note from the one of the Borg. His intellectual analysis is up to their usual standards.


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "What is a "Three Percenter"?":

I sure would love to see 100% of you 3% put into Federal Prison, that is assuming 100% of you survive your Redneck Revolution.

My guess is that you're a band of ROTC dropouts mixed in with some Aryan Nation stragglers that have managed to cover up your tattoos enough to be able to hold a job somewhere.

At any rate, I'll be seeing you fucking traitors later, I'm sure, when you're in nice Orange Jumpsuits after some half assed domestic terrorism "plan" of yours goes wrong because you have joined up with te other Terrorists.

I'll be sure to send you clowns Soap on a Rope for Christmas so you don't get cornholed in the shower after breaking rocks all day.

Eat shit and die, Fucking Traitors!

This is the kind of peace officer I knew growing up. Where did they all go?

Bacsi comments on "Multiple Murder by Cop on the Danziger Bridge During Katrina":

My dad was a small town cop who retired as the town marshal of a three man police department. Not much of a career, right? Except for the fact that I had quite a collection of knives including a Mexican toad sticker and one of those little Japanese darlings the girls hide in their hair, that he had collected from wannabe derring-doers by himself, all the while with his service revolver in its holster. Back then it was legal to keep souvenirs of that type, so no, he wasn't a thief.

If it had been legal to keep confiscated firearms I would have had another collection that would have included a shotgun he took after he walked up to a mental patient who was going buggy in the street, again with his service revolver in its holster - yes, the shotgun was loaded, yes, the perp had fired it, and no, my father was not stupid.

He was proudest of the Boys Club he ran for years, and I think the incident that gave him the most pleasure was finding a little girl who had gotten lost one night. He considered his job as being keeping the peace, as in keeping things peaceful so that ordinary citizens could live their lives in peace and not fear. It was a matter of trust and he always viewed his 'police' powers as being discretionary, meaning that if you screwed up he would let it pass if he figured you really didn't mean to cause trouble. But heaven help you if he caught you speeding in a school zone, and he always patrolled school zones when the kids were going and coming. The skeletons in the closets he knew about he didn't use to cement his power and position, he would simply say something like: 'Fred, you remember what happened last time you got drunk, so let me take you home and I'll even speak to the wife so she'll unlock the door.' He had no use for self-important city officials and would write them up for drunk driving or speeding just like anyone else. He quit two job because of the pressure put on him for that attitude, which resulted in him going to work in the woods at almost fifty to keep food on the table, before he was recruited as the town marshal by some folk who had a serious need for an honest police department.

The best story I've ever heard about him was back when he was a patrolman, this was from someone I met years after he died. She said she had been an alcoholic for years, and one night she got into a rip snort'n fight with her spouse who she caught making up to another gal in the local tavern across the street from the police station. The bartender yelled at her that he'd called the cops and she ran out into the alley and jumped into her car and threw it into reverse and stomped on the gas just as two cops stepped into the alley mouth. She blew threw them and lit out for home. Before she got out of town a prowl car came up on her ass with lights flashing and siren howling but she was so scared she kept going for a mile or more until she sobered up and finally stopped. The cop came up to her window and when she could stop crying and shaking, asked her what was wrong. She told her story and he finally asked her that if he let her go would she promise to go straight home and stay there. She promised and he told her to go. She looked at me when she finished that story and said: 'That cop was your dad.'

That cop was a 'peace officer', and they are a rare breed but can still be found if you look hard enough. If you have the good fortune to ever find one, then you might just take some time and give them your support, because beyond a doubt the establishment does what it can to discourage them at every turn, just like it does to anyone who won't be bought, bribed, or intimidated.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Multiple Murder by Cop on the Danziger Bridge During Katrina.

Lance Madison is arrested Sept. 4, 2005, by New Orleans police officers at the Danziger Bridge. Accused of shooting at police officers, he was cleared of wrongdoing by a state grand jury.

Here's the link for the story below. Go there and watch the video and especially check out this document.

Police supervisor encouraged cover-up, knew officer planted gun while still on Danziger Bridge

By Laura Maggi, The Times-Picayune
February 24, 2010, 2:16PM

Lt. Michael Lohman, a supervisor who led the detective unit that first investigated the shooting of six people on the Danziger Bridge after Hurricane Katrina, has been charged with one count of conspiring to obstruct justice in a bill of information that was unsealed today.

He is expected to plead guilty in a court hearing early this afternoon, after which U.S. Attorney Jim Letten has scheduled a press conference.

While on the Danziger bridge on Sept. 4, Lohman concluded that the shootings were not legally justified. He then assigned Sgt. Arthur Kaufman, who is described but not named in the bill of information, to investigate the case.

The investigating officer, who is Kaufman, told Lohman that he planned to place a gun under the bridge, and Lohman "asked whether the investigator knew that the gun was 'clean,' meaning it could not be traced back to another crime." The investigator said it was, and "Lohman went along with the plan," the bill of information says.

In addition, Lohman signed off on a report that said the investigator found the gun under the bridge on Sept. 5, the bill of information says. In fact, the document says, Lohman was so "frustrated" with the implausibility of the initial report that he "personally drafted" a 17-page replacement that included "numerous false facts."

Six people were shot on the eastern New Orleans bridge on the morning of Sept. 4, 2005. Two men died, including one who was mentally challenged, while four others suffered serious wounds.

From just after the shooting, New Orleans police officials portrayed the incident as a gun battle between armed citizens and police officers. But the surviving victims told a very different story, saying they were not armed and were attacked by the officers, some who were carrying not only their .40 caliber handguns but personal weapons, including a shot gun and two AK-47s.

The fact that prosecutors have charged Lohman by bill of information -- which outlines the allegations against him in 11 pages -- is a strong indicator that he has signed a plea agreement and is cooperating with the federal government. Prosecutors can charge a defendant with a bill of information only when a defendant waives his right to a grand jury indictment.

The document was entered into the court record, under seal, on Feb. 3.

The document states that Lohman also suggested to two sergeants and the investigating officer "that they go back to the bridge to get rid of some of the shell casings" left behind by the officers.

The bill of information does not identify the sergeants or the investigator, but attorneys for two officers -- Sgt. Robert Gisevius and Kaufman -- have acknowledged their clients have received target letters in the federal probe. Gisevius fired his weapon several times at the scene and Kaufman performed the initial investigation.

The document goes on to say that through May 2009, Lohman conspired and agreed with other NOPD officers and supervisors to knowingly falsify a document with the intent to impede, obstruct and influence the investigation, to engage in misleading conduct, and to willfully make false statements and representations within the jurisdiction of the FBI.

Lohman, an NOPD supervisor, retired from the New Orleans Police Department on Feb. 1. His plea deal is the first indication that anyone with the NOPD is cooperating with federal investigators looking at a slew of post-Katrina police shooting incidents.

He appeared at 2 p.m. before Magistrate Judge Louis Moore, where he pleaded innocent. Lohman will then walk to U.S. Judge Ivan Lemelle's courtroom where he is expected to change his plea to guilty on the obstruction charge.

The Danziger Bridge shooting is probably the most publicly known post-Katrina police shooting, as prosecutors with the Orleans Parish district attorney's office led a grand jury investigation into the matter in 2006. Those grand jury proceedings resulted in indictments in Dec. 2006, charging the seven officers involved in the shooting with various murder and attempted murder charges. The federal probe has expanded beyond the shootings themselves, looking at the NOPD's investigation of their officers' actions.

Federal investigators are also looking into other officer-involved shootings committed in the week after Katrina devastated the city.

The seven police officers who arrived at the bridge -- transported by a Budget rental truck -- were responding to a radio call that two officers were in danger. An attorney for Gisevius, one of the officers who responded, noted that this kind of distress signal is a "high-risk" call to respond to.

"It raises your adrenaline, it automatically puts you in fear for your life," said Eric Hessler, Gisevius' attorney in an interview last week. "And when you are responding to that call in the midst of Katrina, when all kinds of misinformation is being given out, you are certainly going to be in a heightened state."

Lohman was the supervisor of Kaufman, a detective in the 7th District who conducted the initial probe. Kaufman, through an attorney, has acknowledged receiving a letter stating that he is a target of the investigation. He maintains his innocence.

Lohman signed off on the initial incident report written by Kaufman. Kaufman later teamed up with Sgt. Gerard Dugue, a "major case" detective who traditionally handled officer-involved shooting incidents, to write the supplemental investigation, which deemed the shooting justified.

That police report, obtained by The Times-Picayune, has been criticized by attorneys for the victims for relying almost entirely on the testimony of the involved officers. The report states that Lohman arrived at the scene at some point, but does not describe his involvement.

Don't miss this one either.


Praxis: Interesting. A "Long Range" Crossbow?

My thanks to Don W. for forwarding this on the PSE Tactical Assault Crossbows TAC15, TAC10, TAC15i, & TAC10i. Watch the video. Comments?



What Pete said.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I think Denninger has been reading my stuff . . .

Go here, read, and tell me what you think.


Once again, the Internet crashes at home.

It's not Mozilla Firefox this time. It seems to be the broadband connection. Blame ATT. Tomorrow, hopefully.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Paul Krugman's Shamanistic Election Night Party.

Cavemen around a fire, or a Paul Krugman Election Night Barbeque?


There is a puff-piece on lefty economist Paul Krugman in the New Yorker here. Here's the snippet that stands out:

Once Obama won the primary, Krugman supported him. Obviously, any Democrat was better than John McCain.

“I was nervous until they finally called it on Election Night,” Krugman says. “We had an Election Night party at our house, thirty or forty people.”

“The econ department, the finance department, the Woodrow Wilson school,” Wells says. “They were all very nervous, so they were grateful we were having the party, because they didn’t want to be alone. We had two or three TVs set up and we had a little portable outside fire pit and we let people throw in an effigy or whatever they wanted to get rid of for the past eight years.”

“One of our Italian colleagues threw in an effigy of Berlusconi.”

“I put out some coloring paper and markers so that people could write stuff on it and throw it into the fire. People really felt like there was stuff they wanted to shed! I had little hats and party whistles.”

So here you have all these high-flown lefty intellectuals from Princeton gathered around a fire, burning George Bush action figures -- or some such voodoo-like nonsense -- like superstitious pagan cavemen with Krugman acting as the grand high poobah shaman.


When the social and moral excrement finally hits the economic collapse rotary oscillator in this country resulting in general societal breakdown, these uncomprehending, self-obsessed, arrogant idiots will be eaten by the the illiterati of their own side. And when it happens, they will be astonished that the cannibal army does not understand the benevolence of their good intentions. Even as they are forced into the pot at gunpoint, these sages will be wondering, "Don't these poor unfortunates know that guns can hurt them?"

Fortunately for the cannibals, stupidity does not ruin the taste of the meat. Or so I'm told.


The inevitable reward of most liberal economists. "But you can't eat ME, I'm from Princeton!"

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Message for Vatic . .

I don't know why the first link was corrupted and rejected, because I released the comment. However, after taking the time to review your blog, I rejected the second and third on purpose. Sorry, but I'm picky about the links that get put up here and yours is too conspiracy-minded to pass muster. Anybody who wants to google you to go look is free to do so, but not straight through my blog. I'm allergic to disinformation. Developed it back in the 90s. Sorry. I'm no fan of Dick Cheney's either, but "satanic eyes"? And that's the least of it. Comment if you wish. It will probably make it as long as you're not insulting or racist, but no more links.

Mike Vanderboegh

Another William Grigg masterpiece: "Who's Afraid of Interposition?"

Go here.

The Tattered CitiBank Umbrella

Gremlin #1: BUY! BUY! BUY!
Gremlin #2: SELL! SELL! SELL!
Brain Gremlin: Well, it's rather brutal here. Right now we are advising all our clients to put everything they've got into canned food and shotguns.

Bank run.

So Citi uses the umbrella for a corporate logo, eh?

Citigroup Warns Customers It May Refuse To Allow Withdrawals

John Carney | Feb. 19, 2010, 2:57 PM

The image of banks locking their doors to keep customers from making withdrawals during a bank run is what immediately came to mind when we heard that Citigroup was telling customers it has the right to prevent any withdrawals from checking accounts for seven days.

"Effective April 1, 2010, we reserve the right to require (7) days advance notice before permitting a withdrawal from all checking accounts. While we do not currently exercise this right and have not exercised it in the past, we are required by law to notify you of this change," Citigroup said on statements received by customers all over the country.

What's going on? It seems that this is something of an error. The seven day notice policy only applies to customers in Texas, Ira Stoll reports at The Future of Capitalism. It was accidentally included on customer statements nationwide.

"Whatever the explanation, it doesn't exactly inspire confidence in Citi," Stoll writes. "But it's hard to believe a bank would be sending out a notice like that on its statements."

The reality is more like this don't you think?

Maybe Citi's customers ought to listen to the Brain Gremlin.

The other side of tragedy.

Darrell "Shifty" Powers, Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
In the second-to-last episode of "Band of Brothers," an HBO miniseries that documented Easy Company's wartime exploits, Powers spoke on camera about the soldiers he fought and also hinted at the intrinsic tragedy of combat.

"We might have had a lot in common. He might've liked to fish, you know, he might've liked to hunt," Powers said. "Of course, they were doing what they were supposed to do, and I was doing what I was supposed to do.

"But under different circumstances, we might have been good friends."

Vernon Hunter, Vietnam veteran and devout Christian.


I want y'all to read this and I'll have comments on the other side.

Family, friends gather at home of missing man

Vernon Hunter was devout Christian, gave to others, friends say.

By Jeremy Schwartz and Melissa B. Taboada


Published: 10:57 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19, 2010

Neighbors say Vernon Hunter was the kind of guy who offered trash collectors Gatorade on hot summer days.

"He was a very spiritual man, kind of the life of the neighborhood," said Darren McDaniel, who has lived two houses away since their homes were built in 1996. "We were all sort of like his kids."

Hunter, who public records show is 68, is believed to have been killed in Thursday's attack on a Northwest Austin building that housed Internal Revenue Service offices. Andrew Joseph Stack III is suspected of flying his single-engine plane into the building.

On Friday , Hunter's neighbors and co-workers expressed their grief and shock, remembering him as an exceptionally kind man who was the glue both in his neighborhood and at work.

"He always put his people first," said co-worker Chris Matz of Hunter, a collection manager at the IRS. "Most of the people in our group are very affected, very traumatized. It's a close-knit group. We are a family."

Michiko Robinson called Hunter an excellent supervisor. "He was a very genuine human being," she said.

Loved ones gathered at the Hunter home in Cedar Park Friday morning as a steady stream of neighbors, family and friends brought food and drinks and offered comfort.

A family representative said the family has not heard from the medical examiner's office and was advised by authorities not to comment until a confirmation has been made. Some relatives had not yet been notified of the tragedy, he added.

Meanwhile on Friday, the most seriously injured victim of the crash continued to recuperate at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, where he was listed in stable condition. Shane Hill, an investigator with the criminal investigation division of the Texas comptroller's office, received second-degree burns to his back.

Comptroller officials said Hill was in good spirits Friday. "He told me he is anxious to get back to work," his supervisor Max Westbrook said.

Throughout the day Friday, television news trucks parked along the quiet street of the Hunters' two-story, red-brick home. At one point, H-E-B employees went to the home to donate a couple of boxes of food.

"We were shocked and saddened to hear of the unnecessary loss of Vernon Hunter," said company spokeswoman Leslie Lockett. "We want to help the Hunter family in any way we can, and sending food to the family and relatives today was our first step in helping them through this tragedy."

Earlier, police delivered Hunter's Chevy Silverado truck, emblazoned with Vietnam Veteran and POW MIA emblems, to the home. Hunter served in Vietnam and often spoke of his time during the war, neighbors said.

Robert Foster, who has lived near Hunter for about 10 years, said that he knew Hunter was a veteran and wanted to honor him with his American flag. "Out of respect to him, when I came out this morning, I put my flag out," Foster said. "You could talk to him about anything. He always had a smile."

He was known to friends, co-workers and relatives as the one who gave. Hunter is also described as a devout Christian and father of six grown children who loved his white cowboy hat. At Greater Mount Zion Baptist Church in East Austin, where Hunter served as a lead usher, news of the tragedy weighed heavily.

"We're devastated," said Brian Balque, facilities manager at the church.

Balque said that Hunter had set up the church's tax ministry, helping members and local residents with their taxes. "He had a servant's heart," Balque said. "He represented what we stand for as a church, a kind word and a warm spirit."

Balque said Hunter's wife, who also works at the same IRS building and was there when the plane struck, called the church in the minutes afterward asking for prayers for her husband.

McDaniel said their street won't be the same with Hunter gone.

"Everybody loved him in the neighborhood," McDaniel said. "He's in a better place, but the neighborhood is going to seem a little empty without him."

People tend to think of other people with whom they disagree in terms of cartoon characters. This dehumanizes them and makes them easier to hate. The other side in our struggle to restore the Founders' Republic is especially guilty of this. But we do it too. It is a thing humans do naturally. As previously stable societies polarize and fragment toward civil war, such a process is a necessary predicate to the the commencement of the killing.

The fact that no one (well, hardly anyone) ever wants a war is immaterial. Wars usually happen because people do not believe they will happen, or that if they do happen ("the other side will HAVE to back down because we say so") they will turn out to be without too much cost to them. The pay-off of war is always viewed by the men who start them as worth the risk, but it hardly ever is.

The problem is that such folks DO NOT THINK. This is what Hannah Arendt was getting at with her description of Adolf Eichmann as representing "the banality of evil."

Otto Adolf Eichmann, March 19, 1906 – May 31, 1962, sometimes referred to as "the architect of the Holocaust", was a German Nazi and SS-Obersturmbannführer (equivalent to Lieutenant Colonel). Because of his organizational talents and ideological reliability, he was charged by Obergruppenführer (General) Reinhard Heydrich with the task of facilitating and managing the logistics of mass deportation of Jews to ghettos and extermination camps in German-occupied Eastern Europe. -- Wikipedia.

Arendt's first reaction to Eichmann, "the man in the glass booth," was — nicht einmal unheimlich — not even sinister." She argues that "The deeds were monstrous, but the doer ... was quite ordinary, commonplace, and neither demonic nor monstrous." Arendt's perception that Eichmann seemed to be a common man, evidenced in his transparent superficiality and mediocrity left her astonished in measuring the unaccounted evil committed by him, that is, organizing the deportation of millions of Jews to the concentration camps. Actually, what Arendt had detected in Eichmann was not even stupidity, in her words, he portrayed something entirely negative, it was thoughtlessness. Eichmann's ordinariness implied in an incapacity for independent critical thought: "... the only specific characteristic one could detect in his past as well as in his behavior during the trial and the preceding police examination was something entirely negative: it was not stupidity but a curious, quite authentic inability to think." (emphasis added) Eichmann became the protagonist of a kind of experience apparently so quotidian, the absence of the critical thought. Arendt says: "When confronted with situations for which such routine procedures did not exist, he [Eichmann] was helpless, and his cliché-ridden language produced on the stand, as it had evidently done in his official life, a kind of macabre comedy. Clichés, stock phrases, adherence to conventional, standardized codes of expression and conduct have the socially recognized function of protecting us against reality, that is, against the claim on our thinking attention that all events and facts make by virtue of their existence."

Eichmann had always acted according to the strict limits allowed by the laws and ordinances. Those attitudes resulted in the clouding between virtues and vices of a blind obedience. In fact, it was not only Eichmann, as an isolated person, who was normal, whereas all other bureaucrats were sadist monsters. One was before a bureaucratic compact mass of men who were perfectly normal, but whose acts were monstrous. Behind such terrible normality of the bureaucratic mass, who was able to commit the greatest atrocities that the world has even seen, Arendt addressed the question of the banality of evil. This normality opened up the precedent regarding the possibility that some attitudes commonly repudiated by a society — in this case the Nazi German attitudes — find as a locus of manifestation the common citizen, who has not reflected on the content of the rules.Richard Bernstein highlights this "normal and ordinary behavior" of the bureaucratic mass in not thinking about the real meaning of the rules themselves, in the sense that they would behave in the same manner in the manufacturing of either food or corpses. "We may find it almost impossible to image how someone could 'think'(or rather, not think) in this manner, whereby manufacturing food, bombs, or corpses are 'in essence the same' and where this can become 'normal', 'ordinary' behavior. This is the mentality that Arendt believed she was facing in Eichmann... ." Eichmann has brought up the radical danger of "such remoteness from reality and such thoughtlessness." -- Eichmann, the Banality of Evil, and Thinking in Arendt's Thought by Bethania Assy.

"The Man in the Glass Booth," Adolf Eichmann on trial.

Don't get me wrong. Vernon Hunter was no Adolf Eichmann. I rather suspect that if the country were to move into a shooting war with itself, between the people and the government, that Vernon Hunter, had he been given the chance, would have sided with the people.

Yet, in his way, Vernon Hunter (on an admittedly very small scale and in different circumstances) is representative of the same sort of "thoughtlessness" Arendt assigns to Eichmann.

Tell me the functional difference between this:

The massacre of Lidice by Nazi troops in retribution for the assassination of SS Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich

And this?:

The massacre of the Davidians at Waco in retribution for killing 4 raiding ATF agents in what a Texas jury later ruled was lawful self-defense.

And what is the difference between this:

German killers posing in front of the ruins of Lidice.

And this?:

FBI killer posing in front of Waco.

You want to know the difference? One happened in war and the perpetrators were later punished. The other happened in peacetime and the perpetrators were later promoted. Those are the only functional differences.

So I say to you that at least since 1993, every employee of the federal government should know that this is a government estranged from its people, acting at odds with the Founders' rules set down for it. Indeed, every Federal employee and most state employees either know or have every reason to know that their government employer idly and unthinkingly wages a low-intensity war with its own people. Thus, these government employees today cannot deny two essential facts:

1) The murderous nature of the Leviathan master they serve every day, and

2) That these are not ordinary, peaceful times when such service -- and such thoughtlessness -- has no larger consequence, either to the nation or themselves.

Many of these employees today, including Vernon Hunter, took an oath at some point in their lives to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic. It was an oath they took before God.

The German policemen who hated Hitler but dutifully arrested his opponents and sent them to Dachau or worse were "law enforcement officers." They were, in every sense "obeying the law." This was later an insufficient defense from a charge of war crimes. Most, of course, ultimately faced no punishment. However, they did -- all of them, I will guarantee you -- have to face their Maker on the same charges.

Vernon Hunter was by all accounts a good man, a Christian man, a patriot who had risked his life for his country and dutifully served it. There is no evidence that he ever did anything to harm another person. His death typifies the infinite tragedy of all wars throughout history -- otherwise good men are killed in bad causes.

But do you know who I blame? The dirty, stinking, power-grasping bastards who lay the groundwork for the killing. Today, these are the politicians who give a wink and a nod to murderous FBI agents, rogue ATF gun cops or oppressive IRS tax enforcers. For they took an oath too, these politicians. It was an oath that they forgot even in the utterance.

But there is such a thing as karma and there certainly is a Law of Unintended Consequences, and there is also an Almighty God who will judge them, if not in this world, then in the next.

The fact that murderous federal government misconduct has motivated a whole bunch of otherwise law-abiding people who are now willing, if given sufficient additional motivation, to make the introduction between these unthinking, banally evil politicians and God should not be surprising.

May God take Vernon Hunter into His arms and console his family. And may God damn the arrogant, power-hungry men and women who set up the predicate for his death. I am afraid there will be a lot more unnecessary, tragic deaths before this is over.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

My Open Letter to American Law Enforcement seems to be getting around.

JPFO picked it up. So did the Federal Observer. Jackie J. tells me:

Jeff Bennett read your piece on the air last night - and did an OUTSTANDING JOB DOING IT!!! He has given the entire front page of the Federal Observer to your column.

Glad it is getting around. My thanks to Jackie for the heads up. I've heard complaints that it is much too long. (Sigh).


Another country heard from. An example of the reasoned discourse from the other side.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Silent Rise of the Threeper Sleeper.":

Threeper, as In article III, Section iii

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

If you assholes are "protecting" the Constitution, you should bone up on what you are protecting.

YOU aren't protecting it, you are committing the only enumerated crime mentioned in it.




Well, there, I guess he told us, huh? I guess maybe he means like this:

Waco Jim? Is that you?


Praxis: The Army is still trying to find the perfect bandoleer.

Testing the new version of the M-8 bandoleer at Fort Benning.

Read this from Army.Mil News, and then we'll chat.

Fort Benning tests new M-8 bandoleer

Aug 27, 2009

By Vince Little, The Bayonet

FORT BENNING, Ga. (Aug. 28, 2009) -- Soldiers from the Maneuver Battle Lab's experimentation force tossed around the current M-8 bandoleer and a candidate replacement version during a weeklong assessment on Fort Benning.

Eighteen members of A Company, 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment took part in the strength and dependability tests, which included a look at how easily they could access the clipped 5.56mm ammunition from the bags. The evaluation was held Aug. 17-21 at the McKenna Urban Operations Complex.

The M-8 bandoleer is a bag with small pockets for storing cartridges and magazines, worn over the shoulder and across the chest.

Lisa Aversa, a packaging engineer from Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey who observed the limited objective experiment, said the bandoleer now in use by the Army and Marine Corps is oblong-shaped with four pockets and made of cotton or a cotton-polyester blend. The potential replacement is all polyester, features two pockets and is produced through ultrasonic welding, which makes it more compact. Both bags hold 120 rounds of ammo.

Early in the week, the Soldiers took both bandoleers on McKenna's individual movement technique, or IMT, obstacle course. Evaluators also measured how far the Soldiers could throw the bags.

They resupplied each other during mock daytime and nighttime raids on a building and house, tossing the bandoleers through a second-floor window. In a separate scenario, they distributed ammunition along the perimeter of a "patrol base" under attack.

Large containers with fully packed bandoleers for U.S. troops have been dropped on battlefields for more than 50 years, said Niral Patel, a packaging engineer from Picatinny Arsenal.

"The ammo can be distributed quicker or carried quicker," he said. "You can throw it over your shoulder and go."

But many Soldiers from the experimentation force said the present bandoleer was sturdier than the candidate replacement version. Some also said they'd rather use other ammo-dispersal methods in combat.

"The material on the new one is brittle. It's not as tough as the old one," said Spc. James Mocello. "When the new ones get tension on them, they just break off."

Sgt. William MacMillan said the candidate bandoleers "tear pretty easily" on the obstacle course and while throwing them around to other Soldiers. He fears "bandoleers would be (strewn) all over the place" in a firefight.

"We found better ways to distribute ammunition - especially in combat," MacMillan said. "Any time we need to refit each other, I never have used bandoleers. We normally use a rucksack or backpack because you can carry more ammo, and it's easier to distribute.

"If I had to pick, the old (bandoleer) works better. But if there needed to be a change, I don't think it matters, because we really don't use them anyway."

Soldiers aren't being told to choose the bandoleer over a backpack or rucksack, Patel said. But he said he thinks the candidate replacement version is a better option than the current bag because the new design uses less material, which makes it easier to unload and repack small-caliber ammunition.

"Any candidate bandoleer should be as good as or better than the current one," said Jonathan Porter, a project officer for the Maneuver Battle Lab's futures branch. "Even though Soldiers might not use it all the time, it should provide equal or better capabilities. Our main objective was to assess the durability and reliability between the two to get a comparison."

Aversa said cost savings in manufacturing the candidate M-8 bandoleer could be significant because polyester is less expensive than cotton per square foot.

"We'll be looking at things we could maybe tweak in the design," she said.

Officials said any prototype changes would be based on the Maneuver Battle Lab's final report, which is due Oct. 2. An integrated product team will ultimately decide whether the current bandoleer is replaced.

OK, meet the M-4 bandoleer as issued in Vietnam.

(Previous bandoleers were denoted the M-1, for Garand and Carbine ammunition, and the M-2, for M-14 ammunition.)

You will note that the M-4 has seven pockets, each containing twenty rounds of stripper-clipped 5.56mm ammo (ten rounds to the stripper, held in cardboard spacers, 2 clips to each spacer and one spacer to each pocket).

When issued for the field, GIs and Marines would take the strippers and the stripper clip guide that came with each bandoleer, load up their twenty round magazines and put the loaded mags back in the bandoleer, as here:

And here:

When the Army went from the twenty round magazine to the thirty rounder, it did not immediately change the bandoleer.

The evolution of the U.S. Army issue magazine. From left to right, the .30-06 M-1 Garand en-bloc clip (8 rounds); the M14 7.62 NATO magazine (20 rounds); the 5.56 M-16 maqgazine (20 rounds) and the 5.56 M-16 magazine (30 rounds).

This was the cause of great frustration on the part of light infantrymen, who recognized the utility of using the bandoleer to carry loaded magazines in addition to what was in their LBE mag pouches. Thus was born the four pocket M-8 bandoleer:

The components of the M-8 bandoleer system, sans ammunition.

This bandoleer holds 120 rounds of 5.56 in 10 round stripper clips, thirty rounds per pocket. Note the white string running through the bandoleer about two-thirds of the way toward the bottom. With this system, you get your ammo from the can, strip it into your mags and then pull the string out, which lengthens the pocket and thus you now have room to accommodate loaded thirty rounders.

Now, let us return to the story above.

They resupplied each other during mock daytime and nighttime raids on a building and house, tossing the bandoleers through a second-floor window. In a separate scenario, they distributed ammunition along the perimeter of a "patrol base" under attack.

Large containers with fully packed bandoleers for U.S. troops have been dropped on battlefields for more than 50 years, said Niral Patel, a packaging engineer from Picatinny Arsenal.

"The ammo can be distributed quicker or carried quicker," he said. "You can throw it over your shoulder and go."

This is the utility of a bandoleer, particularly being able to toss it to a buddy who is in a better position to engage the enemy, and even more particularly across a danger space under enemy observation and fire.

But many Soldiers from the experimentation force said the present bandoleer was sturdier than the candidate replacement version. Some also said they'd rather use other ammo-dispersal methods in combat.

"The material on the new one is brittle. It's not as tough as the old one," said Spc. James Mocello. "When the new ones get tension on them, they just break off."

Sgt. William MacMillan said the candidate bandoleers "tear pretty easily" on the obstacle course and while throwing them around to other Soldiers. He fears "bandoleers would be (strewn) all over the place" in a firefight.

"We found better ways to distribute ammunition - especially in combat," MacMillan said. "Any time we need to refit each other, I never have used bandoleers. We normally use a rucksack or backpack because you can carry more ammo, and it's easier to distribute.

"If I had to pick, the old (bandoleer) works better. But if there needed to be a change, I don't think it matters, because we really don't use them anyway."

In Iraq and Afghanistan the US Army and US Marines are at the tail end of logistics wonder. Most often their ammo comes to the rifleman already pre-loaded in magazines by their supply echelon. Why not? The government has an immense number of 30 round rifle magazines, and an extraordinary number of supply Fobbits to load them.

Yet while SGT MacMillan is correct that there are better ways of distributing ammunition IF YOU HAVE THE RESOURCES AND TIME, the fact is that ammunition still must be produced and stored with an eye to long-term storage and then, instant use when needed. You cannot store rounds in loaded magazines. Not even the government has that much money. Thus, the bandoleer, stripper clip system continues to serve and will contine to serve, I suppose, until we get phaser rifles.

Yet the M-8 system has its inadequacies: the cloth is too flimsy. While light and thin (an advantage in getting thge maximum number of rounds per can), the material is too light to protect a loaded magazine. I own a four-pocket bandoleer for my China Doll (Polytech M14S) patterned on the M-8 bandoleer but made of much stouter Woodland cloth that was made by the darling wife of my brother from another mother.

Some of you may remember this Oleg Volk image from Fight Light, and Win:

That's my China Doll with M14E2 muzzle brake and the aforesaid home-made magazine bandoleer, supplemented with a British bando stuffed with stripper-clipped 7.62 NATO (and stripper clip guide, of course, though you should always have an extra on your person).

So I do not dispute that going into action with loaded mags is far superior to ammo in stripper clips and bandoleers -- certainly not. What I AM saying is that, like the Army, I have yet to find a system for long-term storage of ammunition (Can you say, "cache"?) that will serve the need for distributing it quickly where it needs to be once opened and still enable the militiaman to get it rapidly into the weapon at the point of contact.

Of course, this goes double for those of you who have a top-loading semi-auto such as a Garand or an SKS. ALL of your ammo should be in clips and bandoleers. ALL of it.

It is unfortunate that this new material does not seem to be working out. But you can count on one thing: until we have Captain Kirk's phaser rifles, we will be loading ammo from stripper clips and bandoleers into magazines.


John Robb's take on Joe Stack and a Rasmussen survey on "the consent of the governed."

King George the Third in his coronation robes.

In his new book, In Search of Self-Governance, Scott Rasmussen observes that the American people are “united in the belief that our political system is broken, that politicians are corrupt, and that neither major political party has the answers.” He adds that “the gap between Americans who want to govern themselves and the politicians who want to rule over them may be as big today as the gap between the colonies and England during the 18th century.”

Here's John Robb's take on the Austin kamikaze.

Friday, 19 February 2010
JOURNAL: Rage Against the Machine

Busy writing (took the blog well beyond what I needed for a book, finally putting it to pixel now).

Here are some quick notes on Joe Stack's violence and the acts of others (there have been many recently). I tend to view people like Joe Stack as canaries in the coal mine -- people on the margins, mentally and situationally, that fatally explode at the early onset of severe societal and economic pressure. Here's what's driving them:

* Extreme frustration/hopelessness. A great many people have seen little to no success in the US commercial sector despite a considerable effort, for decades. For workers below the median wage this current environment is a depression -- from the duration to the rate of the un/underemployment. Any status gain they might have achieved before this occurred is now gone.

* Few mitigating influences. Most of the community and familial structures that historically buffered people in the US against economic failure have been ravaged. Even functional families are now atomized.

* Rage and a loss of government legitimacy. Time worn beliefs that have underpinned the American experiment, such as the idea of a level playing field, the correlation between hard work and success, and the underlying basic fairness of our system have been savaged by the government response to the financial crisis. Frankly, the perception of many is that Wall Street's pros are guilty of criminal fraud and traitorous behavior (they damaged the security and future of the US for personal benefit). Worse, they not only avoided punishment, they were rewarded for it.

Will we see more of this violence? Most assuredly. Further, as this economic failure matures, damaging ever greater numbers of people, we may see less violence against people and more economic violence (disruption) in an attempt to extract from society as great a cost as they possibly can. A couple of hundred people, using the super-empowerment afforded by network disruption, could easily cause countless billions in economic damage. A thousand people?

Terrorism from abroad isn't an existential threat to the US. Domestic terrorism, as a result of systemic failure, can be in a super-empowered age.

And here is a question Rasmussen asked that is not getting enough publicity (I wonder why):

Only 21% Say U.S. Government Has Consent of the Governed

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The founding document of the United States, the Declaration of Independence, states that governments derive “their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Today, however, just 21% of voters nationwide believe that the federal government enjoys the consent of the governed.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 61% disagree and say the government does not have the necessary consent. Eighteen percent (18%) of voters are not sure.

However, 63% of the Political Class think the government has the consent of the governed, but only six percent (6%) of those with Mainstream views agree.

Seventy-one percent (71%) of all voters now view the federal government as a special interest group, and 70% believe that the government and big business typically work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors.

That helps explain why 75% of voters are angry at the policies of the federal government, and 63% say it would be better for the country if most members of Congress are defeated this November. Just 27% believe their own representative in Congress is the best person for the job.

Among voters under 40, 25% believe government has the consent of the governed. That compares to 19% of those ages 50 to 64 and 16% of the nation’s senior citizens.

Those who earn more than $100,000 a year are more narrowly divided on the question, but those with lower incomes overwhelming reject the notion that today’s government has the consent from which to derive its just authority. Those with the lowest incomes are the most skeptical.

Seventy-eight percent (78%) of Republicans say the government does not have the consent of the governed, and that view is shared by 65% of voters not affiliated with either of the major parties. A plurality of Democrats (44%) agrees, but 32% of those in President Obama’s party believe the government has the necessary consent.

From an ideological perspective, most moderate and conservative voters say the government lacks the consent of the governed. Liberals are evenly divided.

In his new book, In Search of Self-Governance, Scott Rasmussen observes that the American people are “united in the belief that our political system is broken, that politicians are corrupt, and that neither major political party has the answers.” He adds that “the gap between Americans who want to govern themselves and the politicians who want to rule over them may be as big today as the gap between the colonies and England during the 18th century.”

The book has earned positive reviews from Larry Sabato, Pat Caddell, Bill Kristol, Joe Trippi and others. In Search of Self-Governance is available from Rasmussen Reports and at

Sixty percent (60%) of voters think that neither Republican political leaders nor Democratic political leaders have a good understanding of what is needed today. Thirty-five percent (35%) say Republicans and Democrats are so much alike that an entirely new political party is needed to represent the American people.

Nearly half of all voters believe that people randomly selected from the phone book could do as good a job as the current Congress.