Archive Logo.jpg

April 03, 2004

Mebbe I'm missing something...

But it sounds like the only home this family should be in is jail - not a $250K (Aussiebucks) palace with a hot tub and horse paddocks.

Interesting government thinking out of the box here.

Mebbe *everybody* will behave if we give them a nice house.

Good luck funding that, dudes.

by John on Apr 03, 2004 | Pistols

April 02, 2004

Ammunition, Part the Second.

Now for the JDM Warning™ - Excessively wordy post ahead!

In the first part, we met D’oh! who discovered and then lost the concept of attacking your enemy with a projectile weapon because Mean People Suck. While I postulated the idea lay dormant for another 10,000 years until rediscovered, once a guy used the trick and survived, the whole concept took off like gangbusters. You go from hand-thrown rocks , darts and spears to applying mechanical advantage to the process, with slings, bows, and atlaltls. From there you move to applying more mechanical advantage and produce catapults, onagers, ballistas and other engines of massy destruction.


But with the discovery of black powder things changed dramatically. For a long time, the western world held to the myth that black powder was discovered by a monk, Black Berthold. The Chinese have a claim, that they are still working on. This fellow in New Zealand has his own opinions, but offers no definitive answer... In short, it's still up for grabs - except for the adherents of the Chinese, Hindu, Greek, Arab, German, Spanish and English theories - though the english claim is really tied to Roger Bacon, who recorded the recipe, but never claimed to have been the inventor. At least, unlike the machine gun, you can't blame America for this.

What we do know is this - in the early to middle 1200's, gunpowder made it's debut in Europe. And the governing elites haven't been happy since, because, among other things, "God Created Man, but Sam Colt made 'em equal!" And if there is anything a governing elite dislikes, it's people with power to do something about it!

It didn't take people long to figure out that if you took a rocket, plugged it with something moveable, that the resultant activity of the moveable object might have interesting uses in hunting game and Mean People Who Suck.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by John on Apr 02, 2004 | Ammunition

In case you haven't seen it elsewhere...


Here's the latest recruiting video for attack pilots coming out of Fort Rucker...

Thanks to JMH for prodding!

by John on Apr 02, 2004 | Observations on things Military
» INDC Journal: "Randomly Tested for Lead-Poisoning" links with: Check it Out

You b*st*rds!

Zeppelins L 13, L 12, and L 10 on a bombing mission, taken from an unidentified Zep.

1916 Zeppelin bombs Rosyth distillery, flooding the streets with fine malt
1917 Pres Wilson asks Congress to declare war against Germany

What I wanna know is: How come it took a year!?! We shoulda declared war the same day!

April 01, 2004

We needa gun pic!

Too much politics for one day! Here's another pic from the oft promised but not delivered ammo post...

Flintlock going home and knocking back the frizzen. More spark than it looks, but the flint needs dressing and adjusting.

by John on Apr 01, 2004 | Rifles

Today in History.

Apropos a discussion of the "Law Enforcement Model" for combatting terrorism...


1924 Hitler gets five years for the Munich "Beer Hall" putsch
1933 Heinrich Himmler becomes Police Commander of Germany
1933 Nazi Germany begins persecution of Jews

Just random firings of a synapse.

Hat tip: Strategy Page.

A note from SGT Hook, in the 'Stan!

SGT Hook checks in!

Hello All, I'm in the Stan now and have been for a few days. I find the morale here to be both high and low. We, the incoming units, are over the top on morale and espirit which is expected. The outgoing guys, though excited to be heading home after 9 months, for the most part seem to be tired. A little negative or disgruntled (they were originally expecting a 6-month rotation) but mostly just burned out.

What effect has the negative campaigning have? Little I think. I can't
speak for the joes in Iraq, but here the op-tempo is high and little
time is spent follwing news and politics. We get the Stars and Stripes and
Armed Forces Network which typically don't inundate us with political
news anyway. Interestingly enough, those of us just arriving have been
exposed to all the campaigning hoopla just prior to departing and it has had no
effect on our morale. So, I'm not sure that such negative press plays
as much on our Soldiers as it does our families back home. My two cents.


Zac, here's an answer to one of your long ones...

Zac, who came to Castle Argghhh! via the discussions over at She Who Will Be Obeyed (I think, anyway) and I have been having an amicable chat over our differences in word-view. Rather than keep it buried in the comments, I thought I would drag at least part of it out into the light of day. Zac has more time to write than I do at the moment - so, Zac, don't feel slighted if I don't get to everything you write to this level of response!

Cut me some slack, too, readers. This originally started out as a response to a comment, and isn't neccessarily as polished as I would like it to be - but I didn't want to lose the moment, either.

With all those spineless caveats, here we go, Zac's comments are the blockquotes:

I agree with your friend partly. I think these wars are additional wars. I don't think all of those Iraqis currently committing terrorism, were terrorists to begin with. In that way, I think it's self-defeating to have gone into Iraq. But now that we are there, I agree we can't just cut and run.

(Pedantic Mode) I disagree, on technical grounds. And I fault the administration and the media for there being a disagreement between us on this simply because neither are truly accurately portraying what's going on. Afghanistan and Iraq are not two different wars. The problem is that people perceive them to be (and therein lies my gripe with the administration and the media - for allowing/fostering that perception). They are two campaigns in a larger war, and should be viewed as such. Even as you and I debate this, there are other operations on-going in the intel/SOF realm that continue the war in yet another campaign. That does not mean that further activity will be of the large-scale expeditionary nature - and this one has borne fruit, good and bad, like it or not. Libya is one such instance. Syria is trying to get on our good side (I suspect mostly in appearances, but there is still leverage there) and even North Korea has taken note that at least under this President, the US will ACT, instead of act. Like it or not, much of what has happened in the last couple of years is due to the feckless response of Bush senior and Clinton - by giving the perception of weakness. (/Pedantic Mode)

I disagree that Kerry is going to do that. I also disagree that he'd sell the US down the river, sell us out to the UN. I see it like this: he's going to engage the UN and the world community, offload some of the burden in Iraq onto them.

That's no different from what the Bush administration has been trying to do for months.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

Here's something I can share.


...because the Chief of Staff wants it shared. It's a mixed bag of good and bad, and what some will see as good, others will see as bad. Bottom line, it represents how the Chief intends to address the challenges the Army faces.

Yesterday afternoon (?) at the AFNORTH Theater, MG Bargewell (MG B) gave a rather detailed rundown of a meeting he and other General fficers (GOs) had with the Chief of Staff (CoS) of the Army, GEN Schoomaker. The topic was the transformation of the Army and my notes follow (most of this information can be found on AKO and all is UNCLASSIFIED):

1) The presentation consisted of one slide the text of which was the Soldier's Creed. At the bottom of the slide was a saying/motto that GEN Schoomaker coined, "Warrior: Are you wearing your dog tags?" MG B stressed that the CoS is committed to instilling into each soldier two things: the Warrior Ethos and the fact that the Army is an expeditionary force. To this end, he has mandated the wearing of the American flag on the Battle Dress Uniform and, although he has not made it mandatory, wants soldiers to wear their dog tags. The CoS stressed that the mindset of the soldier must be one of always ready to deploy. The nature of the asymmetrical threat (as he characterizes terrorism) dictates this mindset and it looks as if it will be the reality for the forseeable future.

2) The CoS has determined that Basic Training is not producing enough
soldiers proficient in the basic skills of fire and maneuver and has ordered a revamp of the training to ensure that every soldier can perform these critical tasks (see the front page and accompanying article of this week's Army Times). To illustrate the CoS's point, MG Bargewell referenced the 507th Maintenance Company's (Jessica Lynch's unit) performance when ambushed by a relatively small enemy force last April in Iraq. MG B said that while they may have been great mechanics they were not ready for combat because they had not been afforded the opportunity to train in a combat-like situation (the 507th trained at both the National Training Center and Joint Readiness Training Center but remained in the Corps Support Area, thus, were not exposed to the direct fire/combat/POW situations they encountered).

3) The CoS outlined to the GOs seventeen areas on which he will focus,
only two of which MG B addressed:

--The Soldier: The CoS stated that it has become such a familiar mantra over the years for senior leaders to talk about "the soldier's well-being" as the "No. 1 objective" that it has become lip service. The CoS has directed that every deployed soldier in a combat situation is outfitted with the latest technology in both body armor (The Interceptor bullet-proof vest) and weapons.

--The Bench: Junior leaders (both enlisted and officer) in the active-duty Army/National Guard/Reserves need to be ready to step up to increased responsibilties due the "First Team" not always being available due to high

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

« Secure this line!

March 30, 2004

I missed this.

And I'm glad I stumbled upon it looking for something else.

Saluting Capt. Kimberly Hampton (posthumously).

At Castle Argghhh! we may be laggards, but we catch up eventually.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance. In Memorium.


Wonder where a lot of the cool military stuff I used to post went?

Long time readers know that I don't post anything that is work-related or comes to me via that channel, simply as a courtesy to my employer and my client and to avoid any conflicts of interest.

The other stuff, the stuff that I did post, I got via my email network, or in some cases off the 'net itself.

I have always exercised editorial judgement on that stuff. For example, I had the briefings on IEDs and the M1 tank that was taken out by the double-impulse HEAT round well before they hit the blogosphere, but held on to them because I thought they did represent operational information that should be held back until we fully evaluate it. After they hit the big press, I went with them, getting 'scooped' by other bloggers, like Matt at Blackfive, who has his own sources. I DON"T fault Matt at all! I live under different rules. I have an active security clearance, and the nice, ridiculously high salary I enjoy depends on that. So I have to play by different rules. What is not a crime for someone without a clearance to publish is a crime for someone with a clearance,

Anyway, to make this long story short - the Chief of Staff, Army, put out a blistering missive to all and sundry regarding operational information. After all, we are, trite as it sounds to some, An Army At War. The practical upshot of that is, virtually everything we do anymore is effectively classified For Official Use Only, FOUO. And even if I get something from someone with no military connection, if it looks like operational info, I have to act as if it is FOUO, or I am personally liable.

From my personal view, that has resulted in a lot of stuff that I still get but can't use. And, I think we are over-classifying, but the Chief was trying to make a point, and I happen to agree with and support it - even if I think we're going overboard in execution.

This will settle out with time, and a balance will be restored. But, until then, some of the cool stuff I get I can't share.

Some of you have already suffered the slings and arrows of this policy change.

You know who you are...

by John on Mar 30, 2004 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» Blog o'RAM links with: Letter of the day is J

Oops! Almost forgot!

Sorry, Sonja - slipped between the cracks...

Linkin Park Donates $75,000 to the Warrior Foundation.

Good on Dave Farrell, aka Phoenix, for choosing the Warrior Foundation as his charity. Good on all of 'em.

On the GAU-8 'rifle'...

Another email clarifies what's being procured and what's being done with it...

...heheh.. thanks, John.. yeah, he's really getting one... his paperwork is almost through now.. he's got a British Ferret, but I think that someone else had tried mounting one on an armored car, and when the weapon was fired, it kept breaking the mounts... so, as far as I know, it is gonna be mounted on the Ferret... heh, I think he might have to upgrade his Armored Car to something bigger, personally...

and, oh yeah, he intends to shoot it... here is what he just e-mailed me..

"I'm just getting a single shot - not the whole gatling gun style affair. the barrel is one of the barrels off an a-10. I'll build an action around the single barrel and have a pretty damn neat single shot."...

..still.. a 30mm?... wow... I think he said he could make rounds for it for around 12 bucks a pop.... he's one crazy guy... Alaska has some pretty neat gun laws, evidently..

all the best,


While doing a little research, I came across this page and got distracted. Waaaay cool re-enacting in England. But - I think herein also lies the answer to the question above - how to mount the dang thing...


On a more serious note: How about this? Already built to take a pounding, and gives you some mobility, too.


Of course, that's probably too small. So, perhaps this.


by John on Mar 30, 2004 | Artillery

March 29, 2004

Update on the New Orleans Search Case.

I have a trackback to my post on that subject that offers a much more informed view than I had. I was gratified to find that Brutal Hugs does not consider me a 'chicken-little' blogger on the subject! 8^)

He also has the info that I hadn't found - the details of the case. So, I was 'howling' a bit - but it got me what I wanted...

I'm still sticking to my guns on the issue of allowing LEO access to my home (there are exceptions, of course, and I do have cop friends), but in general, as the courts have also held that a right undefended can be interpreted as a right surrendered in the context of the single instance, I'll defend.

But - you should go read Brutal Hug's discourse on the subject (even if he can't spell Argghhh! - two g's, three h's, sirrah!).

A snippet that helps illuminate the case:

The police went to the suspect's home (a 14x16 foot trailer) and entered at the invitation of the suspect's roommate. They were told the defendant was in the bedroom, so they go to the bedroom to conduct a Terry interview. Once in the bedroom, they discover the defendant is missing. So far, so good. They've done nothing wrong. Here's where it gets contentious.

The police then check the immediate area to make sure the defendant isn't hiding in the closets or under the bed because they fear he might jump out and harm them. In the course of that search, they find a couple rifles, but they left them there. The cops ran outside and found the suspect hiding in the woods (guess he jumped out the window). They questioned and arrested him, got a search warrant, and come back to seize the rifles.

I have to agree with the overall thrust of Brutal Hugs' argument here: if that's all there was to it - and the ruling truly limits it to that, then I have much less angst about it, and I fall back to the "shall not cross with my permission" stand. Of course, I'm hosed in that regard if The Wife or The Kid let's 'em in, but that's a horse of a different color. Not that I'm hiding anything. The collection is on the 'net after all, and I did a presentation on it at Rotary, where the Chief of Police is a fellow member...

by John on Mar 29, 2004 | Gun Rights
» Say Uncle links with: All the cool kids are doing it
» Who Tends the Fires links with: "NEWS" should be done in the privacy of one's home.

I get gun questions alla time. But this one....

...this is a first!

Somebody wrote: ...hey John, I just wanted to drop you a quick note to ask some neighborly advice.... a good friend, former Jarhead Buddy, and certifiable Gun Nut is in the process of purchasing the weapon that was developed for the nose of that A-10 Warthog... he's already got loads of full auto weapons.... from the M-2 .50cal on down... but, he and I were talking recently... what in the great-livin-hell is he gonna MOUNT that thing on?... so, knowing you are an expert in weapons, I thought I'd throw it out there for you to mull over...

all the best,


Here is my response:

Howinhell is he legally getting a GAU-8? Surely not in shootable condition? There was one on the NFA Registry before 1984? Wow. I'll bet the ATF has kittens about that one. What the hell is market value on that?

Ammo's going to be a problem...

Mount it on, heh. For display? Or to haul around and (shudder) shoot?

Must know these things before I can answer. Hmmmm, Now I gotta figger out what the muzzle energy is. Sheesh. Ask a simple question, why doncha?

Are you sure he isn't getting a 20mm or 7.62mm gatling? If he's really getting a GAU-8, I'm going to have to come visit. I know there are some 7.62s on the Registry and there might be some 20mms, but the 30mm?

The real question is: Where is he going to park it? (Check my site)

However, my first recommendation for mounting it? In an A-10.


by John on Mar 29, 2004 | Artillery
» Who Tends the Fires links with: "NEWS" should be done in the privacy of one's home.

March 28, 2004

Someday, perhaps the Mistress of Castle Argghhh!...

...will let me bring one of these home!

Now if I could only remember what it was... from the museum at Watervliet Arsenal, where almost all of our cannon tubes are made.

by John on Mar 28, 2004 | Artillery