The Paradox and Absurdities of Carbon-Fretting and Rewilding

Herschel Smith · 28 Jan 2024 · 4 Comments

The Bureau of Land Management is planning a truly boneheaded move, angering some conservationists over the affects to herd populations and migration routes.  From Field & Stream. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released a draft plan outlining potential solar energy development in the West. The proposal is an update of the BLM’s 2012 Western Solar Plan. It adds five new states—Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming—to a list of 11 western states already earmarked…… [read more]

Rangerettes and Female Marine Infantry Officers

BY Herschel Smith
9 years, 4 months ago

Fox News:

Two female Marine officers who volunteered to attempt the Corps’ challenging Infantry Officer Course did not proceed beyond the first day of the course, a Marine Corps spokesperson confirms to the Free Beacon. The two were the only female officers attempting the course in the current cycle, which began Thursday in Quantico, Virginia.

With the two most recent drops, there have been 29 attempts by female officers to pass the course since women have been allowed to volunteer, with none making it to graduation. (At least one woman has attempted the course more than once.) Only four female officers have made it beyond the initial day of training, a grueling evaluation known as the Combat Endurance Test, or CET. Male officers also regularly fail to pass the CET, and the overall course has a substantial attrition rate for males.

Regular readers know what I think about women in the infantry, so there is no need to rehearse all of it again.  Just to give a quick reminder, remember this?

Marines in Helmand, water transported by helicopter with it so hot by the time it got there it would scald their throats, full kit, body armor, mortar plate, no showers for seven months, sleeping by two’s in “hobbit holes” in Now Zad, and so on.  Need I say more?  No, but I will.


The standards have been evaluated and will be lowered where necessary, but ALCON will deny that any standards were lowered. They are calling this an “assessment” and when the “assessment” is complete and its success is announced, they will move forward into the bright sunlit uplands of making room for the next group of “victims,” those confused or mistaken about what sex they are. Such is progress in the Year of Our Lord 2015.

Coddling of the women attendees includes a pre-ranger prep course, and a shadowy sisterhood made of dozens of appointed female commissars called “observer/advisors” who are to mentor, encourage, (and not incidentally, prevent male instructors from giving failing grades to), the Unique and Special Snowflakes. The commissars do not have to attend Ranger School themselves. Good intentions suffice, and good intentions are defined by their conformity with what the suits in the E-ring, and the generals purring in their laps, desire.

Yep.  Sounds about right for post-modern America, children of the enlightenment who have rejected everything decent and good.  There isn’t much left any more except for the circus and clown show all around us.

And to summarize, I’ll convey a conversation I had with Daniel on this very subject (allow me some latitude, since it was multiple conversations over many months).  His view: it’s about more than just a PT or a “school” or whether you can make the grade in a fixed set of conditions with known boundary conditions.  Daniel went four days without sleep at times in Fallujah.  If he didn’t carry enough water on patrol and made the mistake of drinking the local water, he got dysintery (or at least the runs very badly).  He went without food on many occasions, during training and in Iraq.  All of this and more, while being shot at.  It’s like the camping trip from hell that never ends while people are trying to kill you.

Just the training can kill you (as it did with some of the Marines in my son’s Battalion during squad rushes with live fire).  Or perhaps the women want to be with the boys after they have visited every range in America during pre-deployment workup, finally during winter in the mountains when the sadistic sergeants removed more and more and more equipment from the company, the last few nights being the fleece, sleeping bags and tents.  The Marines slept against and on top of each other, an entire company, covered by leaves and branches trying to stay alive.

It’s not an issue, for example, of being able to lift a certain amount of weight, or run so far so fast.  It’s an issue of having had nothing to eat, no sleep, no water, and weak to the point that you can hardly stand, and then having to handle munitions (or sand bags, or heavy weapons, or fill in the blank), over and over and over and over and over again, off body axis and twisting so that there is maximum opportunity to hurt your back, and then when you’re finished, doing it again, and then trying to keep a fellow Marine alive who has just been shot, and then doing it all over again.

I didn’t make any of this up.  I’ve never been in the military.  All of this is from my son.  And God has made men and women differently, in case you haven’t already noticed.

Review Of American Sniper

BY Herschel Smith
9 years, 4 months ago

I went to see American Sniper this weekend.  But first, this from Deadline Hollywood:

While the competition did well this weekend against the titan American Sniper, some executives griped that the Eastwood film shaved off dollars off their initial projections.

“It felt like we opened against a Marvel movie,” said one studio executive about Sniper‘s presence. “The people portrayed in American Sniper – these are real-life heroes to people in the same way that Marvel characters are heroes to fanboys. But it’s the Marvel concept for adults.”

[ … ]

Warner Bros. preferred not to comment on the lofty figures, which makes sense because it’s better to get another day under your belt as the weekend progresses and projections become more exact. All over town, executives are gobsmacked by the opening traction for this movie, the highest ever in Eastwood’s career …

In sum, American Sniper is an amazing feat for Warner Bros. On the surface, the film appeared risky with its anti-war message.

Only an idiot would compare this to Marvel.  Enough said about that.  The fact that executives are “gobsmacked” makes perfect sense.  The theater was full when I went, and full for the next showing, and I suspect full for the entire weekend.  Football sucks anyway, so where’s the choice?  Executives are “gobsmacked” because they are disconnected to reality.  They think since they have a certain world view, others must have it as well.  They’re stupid, and if the goal is to make money, I could have told them how to make a whole lot more a long time ago.

As to the last point in the horrible article I cited, there is no way this film can be construed as anti-war.  It isn’t pro-war, and it isn’t anti-war.  It’s a stunning panorama of skill, life and death.  It is as engaging as any film I have ever seen, and after the film you feel as though you know both Chris Kyle and his wife.  It’s a portrait of heroism, love, devotion, a life well-lived, and a death that came too soon.

I do have one nit (and I’m not entirely sure that it’s a nit if I’m wrong).  During an early scene in Fallujah in the 2004 time frame, one of Chris’s colleagues says something about the Marines who are there that sounds strange.  “Six months ago, they were civilian.”  As for my son, by the time he was out of boot camp, took the necessary break, went to School of Infantry (SOI), got out and was assigned to fleet, about six months had elapsed.  Then he had fleet training, the workup to deployment in Iraq being a full year (e.g., squad rushes, time at virtually every military range in America, training and extensive practice time in room clearing, room clearing with night vision gear, designated marksman training [at least for my son], and so on the list goes, including a time at the end with live tissue training).  If the Marines were actually deploying men to Fallujah six months after enlistment, that’s a real problem.  I doubt they were.

Finally, I like Chris Kyle’s weapons kit.  It seems to me that he (and his colleagues) chose right.  A pistol (although I don’t like the choice for pistol), a carbine (5.56), and bolt action rifle with high power glass for long range shooting (I believe he was shooting .338).

I’m probably partial to the exploits of Carlos Hathcock and his ingress, concealment and egress.  But there is no questioning the fact that Chris Kyle is the most prolific sniper in American history.  Reward yourself with a visit to the theater to see this one.

Reenacting The ‘Charlie Hebdo’ Massacre

BY Herschel Smith
9 years, 4 months ago

Vice News:

As US lawmakers are proposing nixing gun-free zones and arming teachers and guards with firearms to halt potential school massacres, one pro-gun group has unwittingly provided a case in point against fighting guns with more guns.

The Truth About Guns, a weapons rights group based in Texas, recently recreated a set mirroring the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, where masked gunmen last week killed 12 people. The group then reenacted the massacre with paintball rounds to determine whether throwing an “armed defender” into the mix could have saved lives.

In nearly every single setup, the armed civilian — portrayed by 12 different local volunteers — died. The only exception was in the scenario where the team member with the gun immediately fled the scene.

The group ran the exercise in Plano, Texas and posted footage from a camera mounted to one of the attacker’s rifles to YouTube on Thursday. The Truth About Guns did not immediately respond to VICE News’ request for comment on the experiment Friday.

Sigh.  I’m not even going to link the video.  It’s meaningless.  Here’s Uncle’s take on it.

So, if one were to recreate what happened, they’d probably do something based on what happened. Or, instead, you could get some firearms trainers who know how to handle simunitions, let them strap on their gear and tell them to go practice a room-clearing exercise on random people you got to volunteer off the street to play CCW holder. Surprisingly, the firearms trainers manage to outperform the random people from the street.

Then, you could compound the error by inviting local media. Then, you get picked up by all the shitty, sensationalized listicle sites and are all over social media. And, boom, you got self-promotion.

Leave it to the occasional jackass to conclude that gun control helps the situation.

France’s ban on guns isn’t actually a gun ban of any sort. In fact, most French citizens share the same rights to firearm ownership as Americans.

The difference, however, is that French leaders haven’t sold out to the deep pockets of gun manufacturers and their lobbying group and removed important regulations that dramatically alter the mindset of citizens about those very deadly firearms.

Instead, these are the ultra-restrictive laws that some claim were responsible for the French terrorist attacks: Citizens must acquire a license to own a gun, including handguns. A requirement to obtain and keep that license is that the holder show proof of being an active shooting club member with at least three trips to the range each year and certification from a physician of the holder’s physical and mental capabilities.

Once that license is acquired, the only “gun ban,” is on fully automatic weapons, just like the one in the U.S.

Aside from that, the French can own pretty much any gun that an American can own.

But usually, they don’t own them. They don’t carry them around on their hips like this is some old West movie.

But it’s more invasive than that.  This point of view was written by a Frenchman right after Newtown.

From the French point of view, this shooting is just another example of the United States’ gun addiction …

France, however, underwent a major shift in its regulation of weapons in 1939. The French government worried that tough living conditions during the upcoming war with Germany could lead to revolts and unrest similar to those experienced by Germany and Russia during World War I. The government thus passed a law that would ban most guns. Moreover, when the Germans invaded France in 1940, another decree required every Frenchman to hand over his weapons.

This ban, justified by historical reasons, remained enforced after the war and has been the backbone of French firearm regulation ever since. In today’s legislation, the only weapons easy to purchase are hunting rifles, which has remained a French pastime.

The purchase of any type of military and civil firearm is only permitted in shooting sports for which a license is required. To obtain the licence, a year long process is required, including  a 6 month membership at a shooting club and background check by the police. This license needs to be renewed every three years.  Thus, for the last 73 years, weapons, except hunting rifles, have been ban for most Frenchmen. Promoting a gun-free environment has become the country’s answer to preventing mass shootings.

But it didn’t prevent a mass shooting, and I wonder if this Frenchman would care to revisit his position since the recent shooting in Paris?

See this analysis and this analysis for a discussion of category A, B, C and D in French gun control law, and if you wish to carry a handgun for personal defense, that isn’t viable.  It won’t happen in France.

Simply put, any attempted analysis, including that at TTAG, that focuses on what happens when shooters who plan their attack go to work on unsuspecting victims who have handguns (or nothing) proves only that when defending against attackers with foreknowledge and rifles, you would rather have foreknowledge and rifles yourself.

There are other variables that such a test doesn’t measure, such as could a potential victim in another room, hearing the commotion or seeing the attack, prepare in such a way as to save his life and the lives of others?  Philosophers call it “possible worlds,” and reenacting events like this one doesn’t even come close to exploring what might have, what could have, what may have happened.

Ignore all such “tests” and “reenactments.”  Arm yourselves to have a better chance to live in such an attack.  That’s the simplest and best advice anyone can give you.  The rest is just self promotion.

Dumb As A Bag Of Rocks

BY Herschel Smith
9 years, 4 months ago

WeaponsMan admits to being dumb as a bag of rocks over some relatively minor factual error that they later corrected.  For the record, I don’t think WeaponsMan is dumb as a bag of rocks, but this catapults me into my next topic.  They are also discussing stolen valor.

At one time I had an e-mail argument with one Uncle Jimbo who writes at Black Five.  He actually wrote words down (and copied many other people) threatening to kick me in the balls and do other things to me (only a real genius writes down threats and sends it out to multiple people so the threat is well documented).  Mind you, not that I was worried, especially about him.  I can take care of myself.  But the subject was interesting – it was over Stanley McChrystal.  Regular readers who have been with me a while know exactly what I think of Stanley McChrystal.

He is an ignoramus who got promoted far beyond what his moral fiber and intellectual capability could bear.  Oh, and by the way, he thinks you shouldn’t be allowed to have guns, as you will recall.  Well, Uncle Jimbo took issue with my dislike of McChrystal, as well as my friendship with Michael Yon, and the idiot wanted to perform an internet “intervention” of Michael (as if anyone actually needed any of this).

This is all actually going somewhere, so hold on.  Now enter the boys from This Ain’t Hell (who are also stolen valor intensive bloggers).  Because of the name of this blog, one of them began dropping comments on various posts about me being involved in “stolen valor,” as if I was advertizing myself as a captain of anything except this blog.

The name of the blog was selected long ago in a far away place, and since Captain’s Quarters was already taken, we settled on Captain’s Journal.  The About page is clear about that.  I was tempted to become embroiled in a tete- a-tete, starting with “can you read?”  No seriously, can you read past a second grade level?  You don’t have to be able to digest Alvin Plantinga  or Nicholas Wolterstorff to be able to click on over to the about page and take a minute to read it.

But I didn’t, and ignored the idiotic posted comments from this simpleton and deleted them.  In the mean time, read all you wish about stolen valor – these folks and others focus on such things, and it ain’t my bag.  If you say something and then later correct it when better data becomes available, that proves you are able to learn and you’re not threatened by the good editing commenters can bring.  You’re not dumb as a bag of rocks.  If you insist on something stupid in spite of the evidence like the boys at This Ain’t Hell did, yea, that does make you about as dumb as a bag of rocks.  It actually makes me wonder about everything else they’ve written.

As for Stanley McChrystal, I hope he is forever haunted by the memories of those who perished at Ganjgal (like the relatives of those very men who commented on this post).  And I hope the ring knockers from government military schools who used his ROE guidance to deny good men support that awful day live regretful lives, always shamed by what they did.  They should be.

In summary, idiots will be idiots (at least the ones who don’t know how to read), and Stanley McChrystal is no better a man than he was yesterday or years ago.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
9 years, 4 months ago

Kurt Hofmann:

… much of the Mexican drug cartel violence uses weapons–like those so infamously used in France recently–far more powerful than those legally available to most U.S. citizens–machine guns, grenades, rocket launchers, etc. If some handguns and “assault weapons” can so easily cross the U.S./Mexico border going south, heavier weapons can do so coming north, along with all the drugs (and illegal aliens/future Democrat voters).

Perhaps the gun ban zealots should re-think their love of open borders.

Yes, but I don’t think they will.  The collectivist mindset will always reflexively revert to more and more government control, including control over weapons.  The collectivists won’t see the problem as open borders.  They will see the problem as the availability of weapons at all among non-state actors.  Thus, they will push for tighter and tighter control over guns, regardless of the fact that this control has absolutely no effect on criminals.

Mike Vanderboegh sends an open letter to Alan Gottlieb.  Mike has more patience than do I.  I consider Alan to be a lost cause, an irrelevant fixture on the gun control scene, a tool for the collectivist media to exploit.  I’m not depressed, and I am not encouraging you to be a defeatist.  I just don’t think Alan will play a role in the coming festivities.

David Codrea:

The role of citizen disarmament in assuring the killers would succeed was expanded on by Kurt Hofmann in his latest JPFO Alert  

“Let there be no doubt, we are asking that all weapons will be issued for self-protection only, and to designated personnel that will undergo thorough investigation and training by local authorities,” Margolin continued, essentially revealing he never learned the lesson of Alfred Flatow on the dangers of letting “authorities” determine who they will allow to have guns – and who they will not.  While Margolin is on the right track, he’s on the wrong understanding of what a right is. Certainly European Jews have a right to keep and bear arms, and not just sanctioned designees – it’s a human right, one that’s recognized in the Second Amendment, but not dependent on the Constitution, and not limited to Americans. Likewise, it is not limited to European Jews, and any who presume to withhold or dispense it, that is, to “grant” it, assume the roles of usurpers and tyrants, the very people we’re supposed to have guns to guard against and repel.

I’m sorry to lift so much prose out of the article, but it is involved while still worth the time to read it.  David is emphasizing a theme I’ve pressed before.  I don’t believe in the second amendment.  I believe in God.  The almighty gives me the right to bear arms, and no man can legitimately take it away.  What God has spoken is law for all men, everywhere and in all ages and epochs.

Mike Vanderboegh links a piece where a number of armed women drive off a recent Boko Haram attack.  Well, I guess they aren’t such bad asses after all when facing gun fire, are they?  Pussies, they are?

Guns Tags:

AR-15 Torture Test

BY Herschel Smith
9 years, 4 months ago

We’ve covered the AR-15 and its adherents and detractors in The Reliability Of The Eugene Stoner Design and Blaming The Gun For The Battle Losses concerning the battle of Wanat.  In the test shown below, this AR-15 endures a test of greater than 800 rounds in a short duration of time.

Coalition To Stop Gun Violence Mocks Chris Kyle

BY Herschel Smith
9 years, 4 months ago

We previously covered the ill-advised cartoons done in poor taste promulgated by the CSGV.  Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse and the CSGV couldn’t go any lower, it does, and they do.

An influential anti-gun group is targeting Clint Eastwood’s potential Oscar nominee “American Sniper,” but it might be the group’s corporate sponsors — including the NFL — that get blasted in the assault.

The Washington-based Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has given critics of the upcoming movie a Facebook outlet to rant about the subject of the movie, sniper Chris Kyle, killed after the leaving the military and while he was at a gun range with a vet suffering from PTSD.

“Good Riddance,” wrote one. “What goes around comes around,” sneered another.

Kyle is an American hero, a sniper so effective in Iraq that terrorists put a bounty on his head. But the movie is a liberal’s nightmare and the anti-gun coalition’s supporters have been eager to condemn it and keep it out of the Oscar spotlight.

You don’t have to be supportive of any phase of the campaigns Chris Kyle was engaged in to keep from being an ass clown about his death.  I didn’t agree with the initial invasion of Iraq (OIF1, while at the same time taking a different view of OIF2 and OIF3 for reasons explained in previous articles).  I supported the initial stages of our actions in Afghanistan (OEF), while calling for the complete withdrawal of troops when it became obvious we were going to engage in nation building, COIN and stability operations.

All of that is irrelevant except to point out that support for campaigns (or lack thereof) can be a complex thing, even among the military (remember that my son was deployed in Iraq and would have been in Afghanistan had he extended his enlistment – his views on these matters are complex and involved).  But for the CSGV to beclown themselves this way shows what they are truly made of.  Their moral character is despicable and repugnant.  I put them in the same category as Westboro Baptist Church.

Muslim Migration

BY Herschel Smith
9 years, 4 months ago

NRO’s Corner, Jason Lee Steorts.

I have strong misgivings about proposals, such as those that my esteemed colleague Ian Tuttle presents today, to restrict the number of Muslim immigrants and refugees in the United States. My root objection is that excluding people on the specific basis of their religion is illiberal and inconsistent with the spirit of the founding principles of this country. (Some readers will object that the Founders thought of themselves as establishing a Christian nation. This is a vexed question the plausible answer to which varies with the identity of the Founder. What I find dispositive is that the founding documents themselves eschew any endorsement of or preference toward a particular religion or creed. And apart from this textual matter, I do not think the political principles enshrined in those documents require justification in specifically Judeo-Christian terms.)

Well goodness, if Jason Lee Steorts thinks I’m being illiberal, then perhaps I should rethink my positions.  Actually, most of the original 13 colonies had a formally endorsed denomination of the Christian faith embedded into state law at the time of ratification of the constitution.  I’ve written extensively on the foundation of liberty using men far more learned that Mr. Steorts, such as R. J. Rushdoony and Douglas Kelly, so I won’t rehearse that here.  What Steorts said was short, cryptic, flighty and trivial.  It deserves no more response than I’m giving it here.

But I will point out one thing in particular concerning Muslim migration.  I am under no obligation – legal or moral – to invite people into my country.  I am under no obligation – legal or moral – to allow people into my country and give them the right to vote to take away my liberties.  I am under no obligation – legal or moral – to support and provide for any Muslim anywhere, including this country.  And finally (and I took a beating in comments on this a while back when it came up and I weighed in over other blogs), I am under no obligation – legal or moral – to allow people in this country to have weapons when I don’t think they should be allowed to be here anyway.

This country doesn’t just have a welfare problem (as if I would be more supportive of immigration if only I didn’t have to support the immigrants out of my paycheck).  This country’s religious, cultural, and historical heritage is precious property and earned by blood, sweat and tears, and should not be subject to the vote of men and women who have been raised to hate those ideals.  This country is my property, and I consider all illegal immigrants (and most legal immigrants) to be trespassers who need to be evicted from this property.  Put that in your liberal pipe and smoke it.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
9 years, 4 months ago

David Codrea:

Allowing a citizen’s fundamental rights to be stripped without his having been found guilty of a crime, especially on the say-so of an ex-partner with strong motives, flies in the face not only of due process, but also in terms of the nature of rights, and the powers of government supposedly bound by delegated authority. “Do you know of any other right that that requires a citizen to undergo a compelled interrogation under penalty of perjury as a precondition to receiving (or being denied) permission to exercise it?” writer Don Cline asks … For her part, Giffords has not explained …

Anything.  She hasn’t explained anything at all, except by her actions that she is still a meddling collectivist control freak who is butting into the business of other people.  I am reminded of the comments by reader menckenlite concerning mandatory state review.

Control freaks love psychiatry, a means of social control with no Due Process protections. It is a system of personal opinion masquerading as science. See, e.g., Boston University Psychology Professor Margaret Hagan’s book, Whores of the Court, to see how arbitrary psychiatric illnesses are. Peter Breggin, Fred Baughman and Thomas Szasz wrote extensively about abuses of psychiatry. Liberals blame guns for violence. Conservatives blame mental illness. Neither have any causal connection to violence.

Take a look at what this Ukrainian granny can do.

The government is still trying to financially choke the firearms industry.  You do realize that this administration is full of pathological liars who will say one thing and do another, don’t you?

Chris Murphy on Islamic militants in Paris.  Because he’s a pathetic rube and a tool.

Via Mike Vanderboegh, White House still focusing on domestic “extremists” (because Obama hates America).

Suburban Battle Rattle

BY Herschel Smith
9 years, 4 months ago

The following may (or may not) represent what I carry, depending upon circumstances.


Blackhawk rigger’s belt, Springfield Armory XDm, .45 ACP in UTG soft holster with additional magazine (because I don’t like Kydex), .38 Spl S&W Air Weight revolver with wrap-around ankle holster, Ka-Bar folder with sheath, SOG Flash II folder, old standby Surefire 6P (it has been with me a long time), Streamlight ProTac HL3 (1100 lumen), Oakley sports glasses, prescription.

Not shown, Gerber multi-tool – occasional carry, OC spray (occasional carry), and 550 cord (also occasional carry).  The guns may change depending upon circumstances, but I always try to carry a tactical light on every trip, even to the movie theater as I did not too long ago (especially to the movie theater where it is otherwise dark and high lumen means control of the environment).

The small gun is perfect for the movie theater and grocery store since it is ankle carry, the larger gun (whichever one I carry) is more likely to go outside the waist band (not very often concealed IWB), with the belt.  The 1911 has a more slender profile than the XDm being single stack, and I’ve carried it before, as well as other pistols (I prefer to shoot the 1911 to anything else due to balance and profile).  Sometimes it (the larger handgun) will stay in the car, meaning that I have only a single gun, with a tactical folder as backup.

Given the state of affairs today, everyone ought to think hard about what they carry for self defense and protection of their family.  I consider this battle rattle to be very soft and luxurious.  When conditions become steadily worse as the economy collapses, this will necessarily change with the times.

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