Guest Contributor – Milo Mindbender – 18MAY2024 – 1914 and Now

1914 could have been avoided, the use of chemical weapons by the Germans brought the English, and other western countries into what was just another small expansionist move by Germany. They had been going to war appx every 20 years for almost a century, without getting anyone else drug into it, as they slowly nibbled away at the eastern border of France in the purpose of taking the mineral and industrial rich eastern sections of France one bite at a time. These wars were fought mostly to move the border a small amount at a time, in response to past Napoleonic incursions into German territories, and until the use of gas were ignored for the most part by the rest of the world. We have no more right to the Ukrainian conflict than the German had to the French attacks. We have violated all of our promises of no membership to NATO, and no Eastward expansion which would allow us to garrison adjacent to the Russians border. We almost went to war in 62 over Soviet weapons in Cuba, and that was with a 90 mile ocean channel between their forces and ours, would we allow China to build a military base in Vancouver BC, Russia to build a base in Baja California, without protest?

Guest Contributor – War Pig – 13MAY2024 – Who Can Replace a Man?

war pig

Infantry will be necessary for the foreseeable future. Urban fighting is still beyond drones. Furthermore, you do not own or control territory unless you have a soldier standing on it with a rifle and fixed bayonet.

Drones are a fine tool for some fighting and reconnaissance. They make good suicide weapons and you save casualties by using them. Our 6th generation fighters will have in-cockpit pilots as an option, not standard. But because of the reasons you stated about quantum mechanics and the human mind, drones/robots will not replace infantry/special ops/guerrillas. Humans can be darned unpredictable. In fact we can be crazier than a squirrel on methamphetamine. One way Bobby Fisher beat the supercomputer at chess was to make wildly unorthodox and apparently random moves. Confused the computer and he won.

Having worked on the ground where making life miserable for the other side by misdirection, dirty tricks and random acts of sabotage, I can say that the more random you go, the more the other side tries to analyze your acts and tactics until it takes up more and more of his resources and drives him to distraction. If humans have problems with that, given we’ve had a couple million years to improve our internal programming; what chance does an inflexible machine have?

 

 

 

 

Guest Contributor – TomD – 03MAY2024 – Guns

Tom | Flickr

TomD

Gun shows aren’t the best place for gun photography. I say this knowing your environment is totally alien to mine but do you have gun clubs there, competitions? The competitors usually love talking about their weapons and showing them off.

Here’s one of my competition rifles, the others are bolt actions. I’ve used this one for F Class matches. Shot from the prone (laying down) position at 600 yards. The target is the size of a paint can lid and, to be in the running, you have to hit it every time, 60 times in a row. No matter what the wind is doing.

Most rifles like this are chambered in .223 or 5.56 Nato (essentially the same thing) but this one is 6.5mm Grendel. It has quite a bit more “punch” than a 5.56, especially at range.

DSC00067.jpg
DSC00067.jpg

Pistols too.

S&W version of the 1911

SW 1911 3.jpg
SW 1911 3.jpg

This one is for home defense.

I live in farm country with no visible neighbors but you can hear them shooting every Sat and Sun afternoon. With the nearest neighbor being a good piece of a mile away and 911 a good 15-20 minutes if you’re lucky, I do admit to a certain degree of comfort of having something like this handy but reality is that I don’t need it.

Everyone here is armed. A burglar would have to be suicidal to try breaking into homes around here and since, burglars don’t tend to suicidal, they don’t.

About 12 years ago, some druggie in Pensacola killed a couple of his “co-workers” and dumped the bodies a couple of miles from my house. The only crime here originates from family members of people known to the victim. And it is exceedingly rare.

The home invasion robbery, the kind that gives people nightmares, does not exist here.

The Benelli Nova shotgun below is modified to contain 7 rounds up to 3-1/2 magnums. I keep it loaded with 3” Buck. I hope I don’t have to shoot it, the recoil is brutal, even to someone not particularity recoil sensitive.

Benelli Nova.jpg
Benelli Nova.jpg

Guest Contributor – Milo Mindbender – 28APR2024 – Jewish Identity and the Left

If I remember correctly the “Jewish” voting block has always been almost monolithic in its support for the democratic party. Now they get paid back in the coin most commonly used by that party, “What have you done for me lately?” It’s amazing that after 75 years of on again off again support, when the Israeli government tries to settle an issue that has been festering on its border, and is self-inflicted by the residents of Gaza, that we scream as a nation “What about the children?” The Gaza population chose their leaders once upon a time, the Palestinians are less welcome in every middle Eastern country than they are in Israel, due to their track record of disturbances in search of power, and easy money. They have been exiled from everywhere else, and now pissed off the last place they were allowed to make refuge.

I don’t like violence, but understand that weakness is fatal in that region, and only by being stronger than your neighbors/enemies can you survive.

Hamas leadership picked this fight, and now seems to be regretting it, kinda weird all the casualties are women and children, no uniforms, and no military aged males. Maybe we are not getting the whole story.

 

Guest Contributor – Glenn W – 26APR2024 – Power to the People

I used to think that the wealthy in this country recognized that a healthy middle class was good for business, literally that a strong middle class is a “win-win” for everyone. I have now come to the conclusion that I was terribly naive. The uber wealthy want both money and power.

Once a person hits a certain level of wealth they no longer need more money. Sure, a bigger villa in Tuscany or a larger yacht may be nice but does it really matter? What’s an ambitious person to do? It looks like the answer is power. Sure you own a lot of nice stuff but look how many serfs I have.

I remember a few years back, Tucker Carlson was in a discussion (maybe with Ben Shapiro?) where he said that driverless trucks should be banned. He wanted the ban because so many American workers with only high school diplomas work as truck drivers that much of the middle class would be impoverished. I agree with Carlson on that. We need policies that encourage a strong middle class even if it hurts economic efficiency.

Economic efficiency is another thing I have become very leery of. I always liked Milton Friedman and at one time he had me convinced of the righteousness of completely free trade with no tariffs or import quotas. His argument went something like this: if American manufacturing goes to cheaper overseas manufacturers those products will still be sold in the U.S. The dollars generated from those sales will ultimately need to be spent in the U.S. thereby encouraging formation of new, more efficient businesses here. How did that work out? Well, all the manufacturing from the Midwest was relocated overseas and the profits generated did come back to the U.S. as bond sales. The Midwest was sucked dry but New York city (where the bond trading takes place) profited handsomely. Thanks but no thanks. Milton Friedman was wrong.

I also agree about encouraging direct participation in our own governance. I’m not sure what the solution is but I’m willing to hear anyone’s ides on the topic.

ArthurinCali Has Some Stories from the GWOT

Arthur has a very nice illustrated tale from his days in the Navy off the coast of Iraq.

Stories from GWOT: Iraqi Oil Platform Defense

Here’s a sample:

“The next step in deterrence was (admittedly) very fun to watch. A helicopter would be launched (or directed if already airborne) to intercept the Dhow. Seeing the hapless fishing boat get engulfed by rotor wash from the helicopter directly above it looked kind of fun.”

Guest Contributor – Glenn W – 16APR2024 – Photo-Expedition – 2024 Eclipse

Editor’s Comment:

Glenn was kind enough to allow me to publish a private e-mail he sent me.  As some of the regulars know I set up this website originally because I resented the left-bias that permeated most if not all of the photography websites.  So I am always excited when someone on the site has a photography-based post to share.  And going on a trip to get a special photographic shot is near and dear to my heart.

 

Hi photog,

 

Since you were kind enough to give me photography advice for the eclipse I wanted to get back to you and let you know how it went.

First off, I purchased a Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 lens. Rather than buying brand new I decided to buy a “good as new” lens from MPB. I think it was a good choice and I like the lens. I don’t know what reputation it has in the photography community but the non-solar images I’ve taken seem really sharp and I like it.

Leading up to the eclipse I was practicing by taking pictures of the sun. I felt like I was having problems getting sharp focus (you can’t use auto focus when using a solar filter, there’s not enough light). I found a tip by a solar photographer that you can get a good focus for solar photography by going out after dark and focusing on a far away star at the f-stop you will be using for the photographs. I did that and marked the spot on my focus ring using a marker.

I took a lot of photos of the eclipse but in the end I am disappointed in my photographs. I am not surprised that they weren’t as good as I hoped but I wouldn’t have missed the opportunity for the world, I still had a great time. I made a newbie mistake that I only found out about after the eclipse. I had my shutter speed set to 1/30 sec in order to get good color and detail. Well, I found a page on reddit where some experienced folks were chatting and they say that the minimum shutter speed for photographing the sun should be 1/250 sec otherwise motion blur will be induced. Sigh… I never imagined the earth and sun could move that much relative to each other in 1/30 of a second.

I still had a blast and enjoyed trying my hand at the photography. My wife and I sat on a berm on the edge of a Walmart parking lot in Decatur, IN. We ended out chatting with a bunch of fellow eclipse watchers and had an all around good time. The sun moving from partial eclipse to full eclipse in the blink of an eye was one of the most dramatic things I have ever witnessed. It was sudden and dramatic. Many people in the crowd let out a gasp when it happened. I witnessed a solar prominence moving with my naked eye from over 90 million miles away. It’s one thing to read about such things and another thing to see it in person.

Once again thank you for the help!

 

photog’s reply:

Hi Glenn. Thanks for sharing your experiences during the eclipse. The point of totality must have been very impressive. Very exciting.

I’ve always wanted to see a total eclipse. But life intervenes.

I know what you mean about photographic mistakes. A couple of years ago I went on a river trip to see bald eagles. I had the right lens and the camera was adequate but what I failed to notice is that I had the exposure set too slow for the focal length and it introduced too much shake into the shots. Out of more than a thousand files barely a handful were truly sharp. But you live and learn.

I don’t know all the latest tastes in lenses but my feeling is if the lens allows you to get the shots you want and provides a quality you’re happy with, then it’s the right lens. 500mm is a good long focal length. Birds, other wildlife and landscapes and cityscapes fit right in with such a lens. As you can probably tell from my daily photos I have a 90mm macro lens on my camera a lot. But when an interesting project presents itself it’s good to make sure you have the right lens.

Recently I was talking to a friend about a “walk-around” lens. He was enjoying a 24-105mm zoom. I told him that I used to have a 28-75mm f2.8 zoom that had been described derisively as kind of plastic-y. And it was made of a lot of plastic. But what it was good for was a walk-around cityscape lens. It was plastic so it was light but the images looked excellent to me. Now that was an a-mount lens so I sold it when I bought into e-mount. But I never forgot how much fun it was to have this light, versatile lens when I was walking around Manhattan for hours. So it’s great to learn all the places where different lenses serve their purposes.

Thanks for sending this message. This was the original reason I started the site. I was tired of the liberal bias on most of the photographic websites. They would ruin the fun of talking about photos by saying something stupid about politics and then because the moderators were also liberal they’d punish only one side for arguing. Very annoying.

Guest Contributor – Milo Mindbender – 10APR2024 – End of Empire

Manipulation by our “betters” is a long standing tradition, ever since the first gathering of hominids there was a Bernie Sanders/Karl Marx to tell people what they were owed for the privilege of being in charge, and the penalty for being productive. When the Roman empire stopped expanding, and became unworthy of defending by Roman citizens, they were forced to hire the barbarians as mercenaries, and began to play games with the currency.
The practice of embedding veterans into captured territory, and wedding them to the natives, producing a new generation of Roman soldiery to take up arms for the empire, and reducing rebellion because no father in law wanted to destroy their grand children’s inheritance.
This stopped with the ceasing of expansion by the empire. We have now reached the point in our history where we are at the limits, defined by our neighbors, and the global community, of our expansion, and now begins the first stage of ossification. We have a citizenry that no longer is learning to love our country, believes JFK got it backwards with ” Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”, emotionally crippled, sexually confused, and financially abused. Debasement of our currency was inevitable, it just seems that we get to live through the cashing of the checks our government wrote.
The hiring of barbarian mercenaries has begun as Los Angeles has just graduated a class of LEO cadets , that are here illegally, not legally allowed to own a firearm, but are now sworn police officers, a judge in Illinois just ruled that citizens must have FOID cards, but illegals can not be required to obtain them. I have no problem with “Dreamers” enlisting in the military to earn their citizenship, and actually encourage such programs. They come out of the shadows and are then legal, complete with the Responsibilities and privileges that come with citizenship, but draw the line at creating an armed organization that has less loyalty to the US, the. Constitution, and the people of the US than the agencies we already have in our borders.
I don’t always agree with Michael Weiner/ Savage but his statement that “Any country that doesn’t protect its borders, language, and citizens is not a country anymore” rings true.

Guest Contributor – War Pig – 07APR2024 – Dark Premonitions

war pig

 

I, too, fear the day of the cartridge box. We have proven that only Americans can kick Americans’ asses. When roused, Americans are insensate fighters. The only example being our civil war, the casualties on both sides in that war exceed all casualties from all other wars combined. If it actually comes to fighting it will not be pretty. I am also fairly sure that the military leadership will not use the full powers of war against The People. As before, I believe the military will itself split. Also, it will be the left who actually fires the first shot, as the Confederacy did at Ft Sumpter. My dearest hope is a bloodless revolution. After all, the elite left talks a good fight, but they have no guts to actually get bloody.

The next thing that will happen will be a lot of criminal executions. No more revolving door justice. No more blaming the defender. Try to kick in a door and now get shot through the door. Felons caught in possession of firearms will not be put back on the street. Prison riots will be settled with shotguns and flamethrowers. Riots will be quelled with dispatch. Antifa and BLM will be sharply curbed. Looters run the risk of being shot in the act. It will take a few years for things to reach equilibrium, but they will settle.