A Little cautionary tale from a RWNJ Gun Nut

There once was a Wednesday in early February.   6 or 7 weeks earlier, Barry 1 had commanded his right hand man, Uncle Joe, to convene a conference of all the “relevant stake-holders” to discuss a pressing social emergency. Just before, there had been a school mass shooting and the “base” was waxing restless, waiting for the long promised SOMETHING to be DONE.

So Uncle Joe had his meetings and then Barry 1 (on Monday) declared that on the next Wednesday he would unveil and sign sweeping “fixes” to the problem, as discussed by all of the “stake holders” with Uncle Joe. Rumors FLEW! The “base” enthused that there would be 23 new Executive Orders which would be Final Fixes to this problem of GUNS!!!
Barry 1 and Uncle Joe preened and pranced in front of the news shills that this would be The Solution.

But, all was NOT QUIET in The Land.

A large group of different sets of people who were “NOT The Base” had been talking for the last 5 – 8 weeks about what Barry and Uncle Joe might be about to do.
And MUCH of that talking started with “Pack your pack, load your magazines, put the pack next to the front door and GET READY TO R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-UMBL-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-E!
Now the first 4 – 5 weeks nobody took note of this undercurrent until it finally broke out from the counterculture III% Movement into mainstream blogosphere. And then people started to take note, in a desultory, “Who do these yahoos and low tooth to tat ratio rednecks think they’re going to have (haha) rumbling (hoho) with them, anyway??”
Then someone in the White House decided, just to make sure, you understand, not because they were concerned, to see how big this redneck, bitter clinger froufrou really was.
They started their “little check” on Monday just as Barry 1 announced his triumphal ball-spiking party for Wednesday.
What those worry warts who did the check found was, on Monday night and Tuesday day, an UNBELIEVABLE NUMBER (to them) of people were loading packs into cars and trucks, with guns of all descriptions but mostly Evile Black Assault Murder Rifles, as well as pistols, shotguns, machineguns, bazooka, and pocket tanks and one guy had LAWS and RPG’s n his bus.
These people didn’t have any specific destination except some amorphous “Battleground” on which they were planning killing and dying, though each apparently had lists of legislators and such that they intended to “take care of” before they got to this “battleground”.
When the worry warts got a good look at the projected numbers, and found they would be outnumbered by a factor of 4 or 5 they retired to their restrooms, removed their soiled small clothes, repaired to their bidets for ablutions, and returned to their offices with reports of the bad news for the top people in the White House. The readers of those reports required visits to THEIR bidets, and restoratives, which after imbibing, they prevailed on Barry 1 to rewrite everything he had set up for the next day just so they could live a bit longer.

And Barry 1 was forced to geek again (nothing new for him) and his pronouncements while much ballyhooed were, at BEST, sniveling failures in so far as his Base was concerned but they prolonged his grip on power.

Now Barry 1 doesn’t learn easily, but this particular humiliation managed to teach him a number of lessons.

FIRST was NEVER to telegraph his move against the low tooth to tat ratio rednecks ever again.
SECOND was to fire the worry warts in the White House…or at least try to fire them.
THIRD was to be incremental on his change attacks.

And so now we get to October 2015.

The “Base” is getting VERY restless and vocal again. And people who would NEVER have been mistaken for part of “The Base” are buying in to the “Do SOMETHING” mantra.
He’s not running for office again, so he has no REAL restraints on him.
The Mainstream blogosphere is quiet.
The III% blogosphere is no more vituperative than normal, and CERTAINLY not as exercised as that January and February in ancient history.
(As a matter of fact, MANY of the III%’rs have gone silent or “grey” as they like to call it, making life easier because they aren’t out there READY, WILLING AND ABLE to rouse the low tooth to tat ratio clinger rabble.)
Barry 1 may WELL believe his triumph is nigh. And he may well be ready to unleash the whirlwind because he believes that he can contain and steer it NOW.

There IS a moral to this cautionary tale:

If you have powder, keep it dry.
If you have bulk ammo, keep it dry as well.
If you have bulk ammo and EMPTY mags, WHY THE F&&K ARE THEY EMPTY??
That pack you unpacked that Wednesday in February?
Find it, fill it and set it by the door. We ain’t gettin the same warning as last time!

You have been warned.

Feel free to spread this about.

Republican Inquisition Phase 1 Heat 1 & 2

I wouldn’t be a blogger worth half my keyboard if I didn’t weigh in on the (R’s) 2016 Inaugural Inquisition (Debate) last night.

I bid you good morning or (if you followed Matt Taibi or JohnGaltFla’s drinking game) good afternoon.

Last night the Republican Party and FOX News ran the first of 3 “debates” prior to the beginning of the Caucus and Primary Season for the 2016 Presidential Election.  I’m fairly hard pressed to describe what happened last night as a true “debate”.  At BEST (and with a fairly enhanced charitable eye) it was a Pre-Season Meet The Candidates Evening in Prime Time.  If viewed that way it was a modest success, giving those of us who haven’t been digging in depth into the republican Party’s Cast of Thousands of hopefuls, a look at where these folks stand.

Except that this view requires an extremely charitable eye.  This is the first time in my 5 decades of political awareness I have seen a ‘debate moderator’ so patently show their personal feelings as they ‘moderated’ and asked questions.  One begins to pine for the likes of Larry Spivak (Meet the Press for decades) or Tim Russert who were consummate professionals who never let their own political leanings interfere with their duties to their viewers.

Donald Trump walked into what would have once been termed a ‘Trick Bag’ last night (I leave the reader to research the definition, to see how egregiously nasty this tactic is for what last night was SUPPOSED to be).  I’m convinced he expected to be attacked somehow, and the opening question was apparently not a surprise to him from his quick response and his verbal responses as Chris Wallace followed it up, JUST to drive home the point in case any of the brain dead had missed the implications.

I congratulate him on his handling of that opening with no aggressively expressed rancor.  (“…better man than I, Din”)

From that point on it was QUITE clear that there had been a great deal of Long Knife Whetting at FOX this past week.  Only the national polls will show whether the tactic worked as well as the rest of the attempts that the people who are afraid of Trump have used.  My gut feel is he may have cost himself at most a half point in national polling, or perhaps he cost himself up to -3 points (yes, double negative.  He may have risen a few points DESPITE the attacks).

Again I congratulate him for the way he handled the attacks while on the podium.  I can’t speak to how he handled himself in the Spin Zone as I didn’t see that.   More about my view of the other 9 seated at the Big People’s Table in a bit.

It is fairly clear to me that Carly Fiorina needs to be allowed a seat with the adults at the Big People’s Table the next time this travelling circus drops anchor, this fall.  Yes, she needs to demonstrate that she has the following to have earned that ‘seat’ but based on what came out of the first heat. or the undercard, however you want to put it, she needs to be considered a contender the equal of any of the bottom half of the 10 who sat at the big table last night. She is strong, strongly opinionated, and has more than a little experience at the top (sharp) end of the pyramid.  Essentially, she and Trump are the only folks on that stage who have had to make a payroll in their past (so far as I understand).  That whole executive, buck stops here thing is important.

Permit me a relevant digression:

There is something that WAY too few people seem to consider, even after our experience with the current resident of the Oval Office, who has no kind of top executive experience.  Being a committee person, or an assistant Chief (exec officer) or an assistant VP etc is IMMENSELY different from holding the top spot, where the actual decisions get made.  While my organizational experiences are in much smaller entities, I still had to make specific, final decisions, and had to take into account the effects of those decisions on member/employees of my entities, on the mission OF my entities, and on the mission of the parent organizations in which my entities resided.  SOME of those decisions involved life and death actions.  I find it distressing that we as a nation are considering candidates for the highest EXECUTIVE office in the land who have never had to make firm, difficult decisions and to OWN them or who have never had to make a payroll.  I recently listened to the President of a University managing to exculpate himself for the decision to eliminate football for the University.  The reporter asked him if it was HIS decision and he answered with a discussion of 3 different committees who he said were responsible.  THIS man must have studied from the same Executive Action Handbook as our current POTUS  As I said, I have had to make executive buck-stops-here decisions, and I have owned EVERY ONE of them.  It becomes easier as you make life or death decisions for a while (as a Paramedic).  You find that owning organizational decisions gets easier…

Mayors understand this. Governors understand this. County Executives understand this. Business executives understand this.  It is beyond me how we can think that a President can do the job without some experience in making decisions that must be OWNED,

Thus endeth the digression.

Now to the rest of the nine at the Big People’s Table.  Understand this is MY take.  There are lots of takes out there but I know this one and it is MINE…

Dr. Ben Carson.  Heckuva nice guy, but, I’m unsure he knew what he was getting into.  Sure it’s REALLY easy to speak to people who agree with you, to adoring crowds, but that’s not QUITE what a POTUS DOES.  He’d need a LOT more executive experience (even if it were the National neurosurgeons group) before he should be out playing in the kind of traffic (and by the “rules”) in a POTUS campaign.

Dr. Rand Paul.  Gentleman needs to stop dealing with people like a number of doctors I have fired as my personal physician over the years.  Rando, you are NOT God, even if you ARE a board certified physician.  Regardless of the volume of his followers he REALLY needs to be at the other table next stop.

Chris Christie.  Enjoyed the fight he was willing to bring to the event.  Unfortunately I’m unsure that he gained enough from this different national exposure to qualify for the Big Table next stop.  He has a LOT of baggage, a LOT of folks dislike him (but they are VERY hung up on the whole Ideological Purity of Conservatism thing).  It’s a long way to the Convention, so I’d want to watch him a while longer.

Huckabee.  GREAT closing thoughts and neat dig at Trump, but I am not convinced he can win a nomination.  I’d enjoy seeing him pull 5-10% of the delegates just to help make things interesting at the convention (more on an interesting convention down the page).

Jeb Bush.  One of the 3 or so who actually behaved in a Presidential manner and looked presidential.  Unfortunately he looked like his Dad and brother.  It’s just not happening for Jeb this year.  Wrong party, wrong dynasty, etc, etc, etc.

Cruz.   First time I’ve seen him in something other than a commercial or someone else’s quote sound bites.  Interesting guy, liked his point about electing people who don’t do what they say when they get to DC.   But there is something I can’t get my arms around that bothers me.  Will have to look at him more closely.

Rubio.  If I were picking “most likely to succeed [at SOME TIME]” this would be my guy, except, not this year.  Got 3 words for him “John Fitzgerald Kennedy”.  Marco needs to go look at JFK’s narrow “loss” to Estes Kefauver in the 56 convention (back when BOTH posts were contested in conventions).  I remain convinced that JFK carefully lost the VP nomination in 56.  There was no way Ike was NOT going to serve two terms.  JFK went back to the Senate, picked up a LOT of tokens and cashed them in during a hard primary campaign in 1960.  If Marco is NOT Kasich, Trump or Walker’s VP nominee, he will do WELL the next time he decides to go for the Brass Ring.

Walker.  I came into this thing liking what Trump was saying but liking Walker a lot more for a POTUS candidate.  I still like him for a candidate, but he needs some more exposure for other people to see what he stands for.  Last night was a decent introduction, he had his moments, and I believe last night helped him.  Think he should be assured of his seat at the Big Table next time.

Kasich.  Yep, favorite son here.  Home court advantage, home crowd, yada yada yada.  I expected him to do well, given my experience of him in his last 2 terms as Governor.  He most certainly did NOT hurt himself by coming to the game with substantive answers, delivered as an adult, while looking like he could handle the POTUS responsibilities.  My opinion is that with either rubio or Walker as a running mate the Democrats will have a LOT of trouble WHOEVER they unearth to replace Hillary who I suspect won’t be a candidate for much longer, given her current VERY sticky baggage.

In terms of the upcoming Convention.  I expect that this may well be the first, working, contested Convention since the middle of the 20th Century.  A LOT of the 40-50 yr old kids are of the opinion, and quite comfortable with Conventions being Coronations.  I have the feeling that this Republican Field consists of enough fighters that when these guys come back to Cleveland next summer, there will NOT be a clear winner, and we will get to watch the first “smoke filled room” convention since the 50’s.  In today’s ‘Selected not Elected’ ‘Transparency’ process oriented society this should be a LOT of fun to watch, particularly if Summer 16 turns into a “The Whole World Is Watching” summer.  While Cleveland won’t have much of a patch on Dick Daley, we HAVE pioneered a plan for this sort of thing.  Yep, the Social Justice Warriors are pissed about 48 hours of detention but it SURE cools down the hot heads.

At any rate, the next 12 months (+/-) are gonna be FUN!!

As always, the above are MY opinions and no one else’s, Your Mileage may vary, this WAS done on a Closed Course and y’all oughtn’t try this at home without seat belts and eye pro.

Fulda WHO? Special WHA? Hybrid HUH? To Crimea, Ukraine, and BEYOND!!

(Appologies to Pixar and Buzz Lightyear. It just fit too well)

[Marginal Notes: We DID tell you these backwater missives would be irregular, OK?]

So the Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune, the Vicissitudes of Life, and a plague of Biblical Proportions (fly cross country non stop, work 76 hours in the next 5 days and return non-stop and see if YOU don’t get a Plague. Yes the $$$ spend but the cough is NASTY!), have all conspired to give me the time to write this entry in the blog.

Plus a comment from a respected Twitter Literati started this whole string of thought off at a gallop.  Relevant factoids:

1) VVP has amassed HOW many thousand troops with HOW much armor etc on the borders of Ukraine again this week??

2) Estonia, Poland (!!!!) and Lithuania have asked to be considered favorably as sites for NATO bases (with no real hurry, last Thursday would be nice).

3) The few A-10’s we have loitering in the Baltics really look lonely and could use some playmates.

RIGHT NOW (2230 29-6-2015) the situation on the borders is just tense/tight.  Turtle-pussy tight. Bottom of the 9th, 2 out, 2 on, down by one run tense.  One misguided or hung over non-com/subaltern could remake the World by accident tense.

I think you get the picture.

The question is, WHY the F are they THERE???

Simple.  What XXCommittee calls Putin’s Special Warfare, what others call Hybrid Warfare likes to have the old standard Blitkrieg warfare ready to go to back it up.  Works better that way it seems.

By now, after 18 months of this, anypone with 2 eyes and as many synapses to rub together has to recognize that Crimea and half of Ukraine are Proofs-Of-Concept for Putin’s Special Warfare.  EFFECTIVE Proofs-Of-Concept, and quite honestly highly successful Proofs.

The costs to VVP have been feckless and quite ineffectual in causing him to stop his aggression.

Well, we really should look at what these costs are before going much further.

On the Left Hand we have the Economic and Diplomatic Sanctions enacted and pointed at him by the Western Civilized Industrialized World.  Feckless and ineffectual are polite terms.  We won’t go gutter-crawling for more descriptive terms, though the reader may if desired.  These costs have simply not been painful at all.  Certainly not painful enough to develop notice by VVP.

Now on the RIGHT hand we have the internal costs to VVP.  The various groups of Mothers all over CCCP 2.0 demanding to know the fate of their disappeared children (regardless of age they’re still SOMEONE’s child) are starting to get noticed.  And their protests and demonstrations are starting to get noticed outside the CCCP 2.0.  THIS is a much bigger issue to VVP than the West’s “sanctions” have ever been.

Many folks are beginning to wonder whether VVP was distracted when the Mom’s started to demonstrate, or whether he may have miscalculated their growth potential when he didn’t land on them with heavy feet in the very beginning.  Sanctions come and go, polities can be made to easily forget, and sanctions can simply evaporate.  BUT.  As is amply demonstrated by a number of Latin  American countries, MOM’s with pictures of “Disappeared” family members are forever.

SO what we have is a situation in which VVP has a few options to end the costs that mean something to his goals.  He can find a way to appease the MOMs (unlikely as hell), or he can drop his Mr Nice Guy mask, expose his Checkist Core and simply make the MOMs disappear as well.

OR he can decide that the costs at this point are too high and stop.  Equally unlikely as above.

OR he can find another option, and THAT is what has Toomas Ilves (Pres of Estonia) and the folks in Latvia and Poland soiling their small clothes.  He COULD decide that, if he can roll up Ukraine, Transdniestra, and half of the Baltics in a short enough time frame, all would be forgiven.

Phil Breedlove (the 4 Star Gen who carried the SACEUR Portfolio) has been calling attention to this option for at least the last 10 months, and being roundly ignored by US-CinC.  NOT so with other NATO Generals, who have been echoing him.

In ref Poland, (where BHO is not held in high esteem) I am fairly certain that there are a group of old pensioners who have worn Stars on their Shoulders who have been drafted to come and sit in more than one conference room, trying to down load all of what they know to the youngsters who aren’t old enough to remember the Bad Old Days.  I wish them luck.  THAT kind of Paradigm Shift usually takes blood, or hallucinogens, or GALLONS of Vodka and Slivovitz…I would submit to the Pensioners that they likely don’t have time for the kind ways of shifting the young generals.  Though the pensioners know this MUCH more clearly than I.

It might also be noted that SACEUR has more than one master, though most anyone you ask will say he reports to Washington, and NATO is only the US.  Those folks would be WRONG and may need to do some historical research.

If you’re under 50, this means you are going to need to read some books since Google and Wiki ain’t gonna cut it on this, trust me.

Just keep in mind that Phil has more than one master.  I DAILY thank the Lord it’s Gen Breedlove’s problem and not anyone I know or love doing THAT job.


Why ARE all them Soviet Soldiers sitting on the border, facebooking and Twittering where they are??

They provide a credible force backing up Special Warfare.

They provide a solid jump-off point for a Jump Start Invasion.(Small clothes soiled daily over this fact)

They provide a source for a force to reinforce Transdniestra.

They provide a credible force for cutting a swathe to Transdniestra should VVP want that.

They keep VVP’s hand hidden and give him maximum flexibility and max options.

OK. You in the back…

Mmm hmmm.

Good question.

“WHY should you care??”

I’m going to guess you were born before 1980 and thus have no idea what a Surgent CCCP meant to the world.  Look through some history books contemporaneous to the 60’s and 70’s and see just what kind of world we lived in then.

THAT is why you and everyone able to read this should care.

You and your peers may have to find a way to get POTUS to care, if you intend to survive.


AS always, the above is purely and totally my (Never to be Humble) Opinion, Drawn and cut from Whole Cloth, and reflective of my own biases and perhaps my own lack of information.

Again as always, Take it for what its worth, this was done on a closed course, by a professional driver, your mileage may vary and no live oxen were gored in the writing.

“He’s dead, Jim…”

Not exactly dead, just have had real life intervene.

[John Lennon: “Life is what happens while you make other plans.”]

So, since my last kinda-sorta post I’ve had the good fortune to be forced to go back to Texas (YAY) to rescue my motor home from a predatory bank which grabbed a campground that USED to be owned by a family of friends (BOO).  I’ve moved it to a different campground, spent 2.5 months failing at job hunting in the central-West-Texas area (Mineral Wells-Weatherford-Fort Worth) environs, and experienced winter from a Texas perspective.

Yer all as wimpy as what y’all claim are trophy deer (moderate sized German Shepherds with antlers).

I stored the Motorhome in actual storage and pulled out of Dallas at 85 degrees (F) and got home to CLE at about 20, and got 12 inches of snow that night.  I’ve “enjoyed” another 24 inches of snow, and 20 days of BARELY 2 digit positive temps down to 2 digits below zero (F).

Wimps I say. Truly.

I will however admit that 20(F) in a camper can be a tad chilly and will burn a bunch of propane keeping the inside reasonably warm.


The job hunt went not so well, as the one or six positions I was fully qualified for as posted vanished with my aps into the ether…Subtle age-ism or my skills were considered out of date (more’s the pity.  Y’all don’t know what ya’re missing not employing me..Ah well.  Welcome to the No Hubris Zone.)

So I’ve been home for 3.5 weeks and I’m already pining for TX and the folks there.  Even if I didn’t have any where NEAR as much contact this time as long ago. Just another supporting datum for Kerouac’s theorem.  Clearly can’t go home again.

Oh yeah I also have been contributing to http://griddownmed.com/  “Hogwarts School of Grid-Down Medicine and Wizardry” on and off.  I’m going to be better at contributing to them (over “Blue Mud Patriot” or “BMP” signature) as well as writing more regularly here.  I just haven’t had a lot to say lately but that is changing (see next entry “Clicking ON”).

What I started as a needed discipline tool failed miserably at first but, as a special Twitter Homage account says “You aren’t beaten until you STOP getting back up.” I’m getting back up again.

Oh I’ll fall again, likely a bunch of times, owing to the fact that I’m a broken individual, and because life DOES intervene


Yep I got a small ADD issue too, so this sort of stuff happens…


This brings me up to the end of February, from some time in November.

Got a couple things rattling ’round the ol’ noggin for the next few days so stick around.


Borelli Consulting AAR excerpt—Beslan

Affects of Beslan Siege, Russia

*Unless otherwise specified in footnotes all information about the events as they occurred at Beslan Middle School #1 are cited from John Giduck’s book, “Terror At Beslan”.

On September 1, 2004 at Beslan Middle School #1 forty-nine (49) Chechen Muslim terrorists took more than 1,200 people hostage. Those 1,200 hostages included infant and toddler children, school children, parents, other family members, school staff and faculty. Before the event would be over more than 300 hostages would be killed, 189 of them children. While the numbers of dead are bad enough, what may be worse is how the event occurred, what the terrorists did during the siege and what these events may foretell for America’s school systems. Indeed, the complete title of the book “Terror at Beslan” is “Terror at Beslan; A Russian Tragedy with Lessons for America’s Schools”. The lessons to be learned are hard ones that many school administrators would rather deny or ignore than recognize, realize and act upon.

So, as the events occurred…

On the morning of September 1, 2004 those 49 terrorists arrived at the school. More than three dozen terrorists piled out of just-arriving troop carrier trucks at approximately 8:45 am when the opening school day festivities were winding down. The remainder of the terrorists were already salted within the crowd of celebrating students and their family members. While some of the terrorists went into the school to herd anyone inside toward the gym, those terrorists who remained outside used gunfire to herd the crowd inside and into the gym. Think about this next statement for a moment: the more than 1,200 hostages actually taken into the school represent only about 60% of the total number of students and family members that were present that morning. Do the math: the total hostage count could well have exceeded 2,000.

(Photo right courtesy of Reuters) Officially there were 1,181 hostages taken. However, a local committee in Beslan posted the names of 1,220 hostages on an Internet site. Throughout the remainder of this text the hostage count will be referred to simply as “1,200” for simplicity sake.

One might expect that the terrorists would want to calm the hostages once they were secured. It is, after all, to the hostage taker’s advantage if the hostages themselves are calm and under control. Instead, in the case of Beslan – and to the horror of every reader out there – the terrorists are reported to have gone crazy – beating people, raping girls, killing some of the hostages and worse. Some of the rapes occurred in the gym in front of all the other hostages, adults and children both. Some of the rape victims were not only raped in the conventional sense, but also with the terrorists’ rifle barrels. Some of the female hostages were separated from the main group in the gym, taken up to the second floor and there held and raped repeatedly throughout the sixty-two (62) hour ordeal. Some of the surviving females would require emergency surgery to repair the damage done by these heinous acts.

There were confirmed two women working with the terrorists – they were terrorists themselves – dressed in black, wearing face veils, pistol belts, and cumbersome explosive vests. These women were obviously intended for potential “suicide” bomber activity. In the close confines of the gymnasium or the second floor auditorium, the detonation of either or both of these women would be sure to cause mass casualties.

(Photo right courtesy of ABC News) One of the things that the terrorists did early on was to take every hostages cell phone. After that the terrorists secured their location by setting explosives up in the gymnasium and in other areas of the school, particularly focusing on the six main entrances. Some of the bombs in the gym were strung across and under the basketball court nets and backboards. Ultimately these would be the focus of what explosion event caused the Russian Special Forces troops to begin their assault on the school.

Early in the siege the hostages were allowed to drink water and go to the bathrooms. This changed before the first day of the siege was over. Consider how uncomfortable this made the hostages: getting more and more thirsty and having to sit in their own urine or feces. By the end of the siege mothers among the hostages had been saving their urine in their shoes so that they’d have something for the children to drink or to pour over them to cool them. Out of pure cruelty, some of the terrorists put bottles of water in front of the dehydrated children, telling them they would be killed if they reached for the bottle. The photo shown right is of small memorials on a windowsill at the burned out Middle School gymnasium. Note the bottles of water and juice, obviously placed there to recognize the terrible thirst the hostages suffered through before dying.

Also brought in by the terrorists were approximately sixty-six (66) pounds of explosives. Much of the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) they brought were plastic bottles filled with a homemade version of dynamite surrounded by nails, bolts and screws as shrapnel. Reportedly, at the end of the siege, troops disarmed more than 100 booby traps that the terrorists had set throughout the school.

One the first morning, eighteen (18) adult men and older boys – the largest and most likely to put up any kind of resistance – were taken to the second floor and executed. The terrorists used this as an example of their steel control over the hostages and then used some of the remaining strong hostages to help fortify their position with the school. When the terrorists were done using those hostages, they took them to the second floor and executed them as well.

Something that overwhelms me when discussing the Beslan Middle School Siege event is the complete callousness with which the terrorists dispatched / executed / killed hostages of any given age. Mr. Giduck discusses this on page 63 of his book and he quotes a female Russian policy psychologist as having said:

“…normal people have normal limitations on their thinking and most cannot go past these very ‘human’ limits. But… Chechens, have a long history of working to overcome those human limits for things like torture, and dismembering infants and breastfeeding babies.”

I want you to think very carefully about that for a moment. Most of us have a hard time even imagining that someone could be so cold blooded as to harm a child. When we say “child” we tend to think of prepubescent children, but “child” legally applies to anyone under 18 years of age. For the purpose of this discussion, let’s confine that to people under the age of 13. It’s difficult to imagine someone so utterly hard hearted as to be capable of harming – especially for entertainment or sport – a child of 12, 9, or 6. Think about how sick and twisted an individual would have to be to willfully harm a child of 4, 3 or 2… Recognize the reality that these terrorists did exactly that and didn’t blink in the process. If you, for a moment, doubt that extremist Muslim terrorists won’t willingly mutilate or murder your child simply because that child is 10 years old (as an example) then you are deluding yourself.

One thing mentioned in the book is how surprised the Russian government was by the number of citizens who showed up with weapons. While Russia may be surprised at their citizenry in the possession of assault rifles, hunting rifles, shotguns and handguns, how surprising would this be in the United States? Not even a little bit. We are a culture largely built on guns, our right to own them, our right to carry them, and the liberty the possession of them represents. We may scoff at the statement, “An unarmed man is a peasant while an armed man is a citizen” but consider for a moment how true it is. You’d better not be surprised, in the event of a school siege in the United States, at how many citizens show up armed.

Russia’s best Special Forces units responded to the scene and began forming plans to storm the school should it become necessary. Russia’s best – the equivalent of America’s Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Marine Expeditionary Unit, the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Teams (HRT) and others. Certainly such men, full of conviction, motivation, training and phenomenal skills would be able to resolve such a situation, right? Reality says that not even the best in the world can do so. If the terrorists are determined to kill hostages then hostages will die.

On the third day an unexplained explosion rocked the gym. The bombs strapped to the backboards of the basketball nets may have fallen and detonated. Whatever it was that caused the first explosion, the battle soon ensued. The terrorists thought that the government units were attacking and while some terrorists defended the building others began murdering hostages as fast as they could. Consider the impact of that reality: some terrorists fought off the advancing soldiers so that other terrorists could complete the grizzly work of murdering children.

Initial battle stretched into a ten hour close quarters combat hell that finally ended with 767 wounded and 338 dead, 172 of them children. Do you remember the Serial Snipers that assault the Washington DC metropolitan area in 2002? Life around the District of Columbia was drastically altered once the shooters attacked a child in a school parking lot. Up until then everyone seemed to be coping. They were nervous to be sure, but they functioned. Once a middle school boy was shot in his school parking lot the entire atmosphere changed. That was as the result of ONE child being shot. Can you imagine the impact on our country if 172 children were killed in a single event?

When the Beslan siege was over the Russian troops recovered an array of weapons that should scare every school administrator and certainly, at a minimum, cause concern in every American cop:

– about 30 AK47 assault rifles

– several AK74 assault rifles (similar but different from AK47)

– several 25mm grenade launchers

– several Dragunov sniper rifles

– three Kalashnikov PKM machine guns

– five RPG 18 rocket launchers

– five Makarov handguns

– anti-personnel mines

– hand grenades

– Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)

Now before you think or say, “That’s Russia. None of those weapons can be used here,” I would remind you that at least two of those weapons listed already HAVE been used in American school attacks. In April of 2003 in New Orleans, several men armed with AK47 rifles went into a high school and executed a student. In MANY of the school attacks dating all the way back to Bath, Michigan in 1927 explosives have been used as part of the attack. IEDs were used by Harris and Klebold in the Columbine School attack. In some suburban schools there are metal detectors at the entrances in part to prevent students from bringing handguns into the schools. It is not any stretch of the imagination to believe that a group of school assaulters could get a collection of weapons together similar to those of the Chechen terrorists at Beslan.

Now here is the $64 thousand dollar question: would our contemporary Active Shooter / Immediate Response tactics have worked against the Beslan Middle School siege? The answer is, “Absolutely not; nor were they designed to.” Our current AS/IR tactics were developed to answer the two-student shooter model of Columbine, not the 49 terrorist siege model of Beslan. That said, what should we be training our American cops for?

That violence in our schools is a reality is readily documented across the past 116 years of school history in America. That terrorists want to do harm to the United States and they don’t care if it’s innocent women and children was proven on September 11, 2001. That fanatical Muslim extremists are willing to commit horrendous acts of violence, cruelty and mayhem with children as their targets, simply to make a political statement, was proven in Beslan, Russia in 2204. If we aren’t training our cops to address the terrorist threat to schools, then I have to ask, WHAT THE HELL ARE WE WAITING FOR?

I’ve had to address one argument in the past, and I will address it briefly again here. I can hear someone out there reading this thinking, “But the FBI or the ATF or the military will handle a school siege, right?” WRONG. The FBI and ATF will certainly be playing key roles, but they won’t be the first on the scene and they won’t be the only law enforcement professionals in the fight. The military is prohibited from taking any law enforcement action by the Posse Comitatus act. That means, as I understand it, that unless a state of emergency is declared, martial law put in place and the Constitution suspended, our military troops cannot be used against terrorists in the United States. Why? Because we have decided that terrorism is a crime. If we simply relabeled it as an act of war committed within the geographic boundaries of the fifty states, then we COULD use the military to address the threat. We need to think hard about that.

Even if we did that though, it would be the local law enforcement authorities who would be first responders to such an event. Those local cops and firemen would be first to arrive; first to engage; first to fight and most certainly first to die unless we give them what they need to have a hope against such an enemy.

And let’s consider for a moment just how many men and women in uniform we’re going to need at the scene of a school siege. It’s an accepted axiom of military strategy that to take a held area back from an enemy requires outnumbering that enemy 3-to-1. So if the terrorists are in a given area, without fortification, it would take 3 cops to every 1 terrorist. Using that number fromBeslan of 49 terrorists, that means we’d need about 150 cops assaulting. But that’s 150 cops READY to assault on a moment’s notice. That’s not including the 150 cops we’d have asleep so that they’d be fresh for an assault if it comes on their shift. That’s not including inner perimeter, outer perimeter, evacuation, traffic control, press & media relations and more. Real fast that number of 150 becomes 500 or more. But what if the terrorists are entrenched and fortified as they were by the second day of the siege at Beslan? Then the number of assaulters triples up to 10-to-1. Wait a minute… 49 terrorists = 490 assault cops. 490 AWAKE; 490 asleep; inner perimeter, outer perimeter, press & media relations, evacuations, traffic control, etc. Where do we pull 1,500 to 2,000 cops from as fast as we can? All of them have to be properly trained and equipped by the way.

So, what do they need?

They need policy support first and foremost. They need agency leadership that publicly says, “If terrorists attack our schools you have the explicit authority to take whatever action is necessary to secure the safety of the children and neutralize the threat of the terrorists.” Let’s not mince words. We have policies in effect today that allows officers to neutralize school shooters. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has suggested that firing head shots on potential suicide bombers is an acceptable practice. Rather than worrying about what the liberal mainstream media would think, let’s see some of the our law enforcement leadership stand up and say, “We put the safety and lives of the children in our community first and foremost. Our officers are authorized to use whatever force is necessary, as expeditiously as possible, to secure the release and safety of our children.”

Next those cops need proper equipment. A handgun with 46 rounds of ammo (give or take a few depending on make, model and caliber) and concealable Level IIIA body armor is hardly sufficient. Our officers need to be trained and equipped with the basic equivalent of an infantry soldier in today’s Army: They need an assault rifle, at least seven magazines, external body armor, a ballistic helmet, protective (gas) mask, hydration system and medical trauma kits. Remember, that’s at a minimum.

Of course, we have two other issues that have to be addressed either before those things occur, or immediately thereafter.

One: We have to focus on hiring warriors to become our law enforcement professionals. Academies have to begin training them to STAY warriors rather than creating carefully choreographed social workers who are capable of violence as a last resort. An incentive program to encourage honorably discharged service veterans to enter public safety work should be a HUGE priority.

Two: We need a great public relations team to explain why things are changing with a heavy emphasis on the need to protect our children; the children who represent the future of our great nation.

Can we do these things? We’d better be able to. If not, the security of our American future is seriously in question. Next we’ll take a look at the events of Virginia Tech in April, 2007 and how they should, or shouldn’t, affect our response protocols.


Posted for ref for friends since the Borelli Consult site is Tango Uniform.



What happens if your takfiri movement gets co-opted by a (relatively) saner governing group?

Someone I respect greatly, who blogs as http://20committee.com/ and whom I earnestly commend to your consideration, has discussed the IS(IS) movement/Caliphate/”State” as a takfiri movement with the life expectancy inherent in being takfiri, discusses this definition here (http://20committee.com/2014/08/24/war-and-the-islamic-state/) and indicates that while the life expectancy of takfiri movements is typically fairly short as nation states/movements go, it would behoove Western States to attend to the dissolution and eradication of IS(IS) as quickly as practicable.

I would pose a question.  Within the IS(IS) movement, what happens as you grow, if your growth is so rapid that you pick up saner fellow travelers who manage to co-opt your movement and turn it into a less-irrational government?  What happens if these fellow travelers manage to get close enough to the levers of power in your movement, avoid your internal purity enforcement head-men and their swords, and manage to moderate and ameliorate the bloodlust that has driven your growth? What does this do to the life-cycle of your takfiri movement? While it may slow down the RATE at which your organization devours territory, it certainly won’t stop that growth, nor will it necessarily decrease the danger to neighbors or ideological targets/competing ideologies.


These movements grow primarily two ways.  First by external recruitment through radicalization and providing direction to directionless youth who become True Believers (though often poorly educated in WHAT they are True Believers OF) and by capture and forced conversion/taxing etc.  While we have a dearth of FORMAL studies of IS(IS) and it’s precursors (ISIL and ISIS) there have been informal investigations done which point to the younger members of IS(IS), the canon fodder and mass shooters and beheaders not being aggressive followers of Islam or any of it’s various sects.  They tend to have been radicalized and indoctrinated into a grossly Wahabist FORM of Islam but are more interested in the Jihad and the fighting and dying “for the Cause”  with a hazy definition of “the Cause”.

The other method of growth is by territorial (and thus residential) acquisition, taxing and/or forcing conversions.  This provides population, commerce, and all the necessary functions of a “state” within the conquered areas.  And here is where I believe the rub exists.

IS(IS) or, as self-styled IS or “The Caliphate” is beginning to show signs of becoming a “Legitimate” government in the areas they have conquered.  (Governmental “Legitimacy,” where it comes from, its importance and issues when it is lost is a whole other diatribe, suitable for future examination)  IS is acting like a government in that they are taxing commerce (often at lower rates than previously when one factors in the inherent corruption in areas where IS is flourishing.  Unsurprising since that very corruption gives rise to the radicalization of the youthful canon fodder.)  IS is providing power and water and other “governmental” services for the areas they have taken.

What happens to a takfiri movement when it begins to have to collect garbage, rebuild streets, and police the populace?  Bureaucracy does a serious number of Jihadi bloodlust.  Personal and organizational priorities change.  Granted not overall, since jihad remains the raison d’etre of the organization, but does this need for management ameliorate the previous behavior of the organization?  Or does it enable even bigger “events” making the jihad even more exciting or enticing for the target recruiting demographic?

Once a movement adds territory and becomes a proto-State do things have to change to continue growth?  Do single beheadings become passe`?  Do machine gun executions of hundreds no longer energize the not-quite-radicalized?  Do suicide car bombings killing tens and twenties give way to Asymmetric Warfare attacks killing tens of thousands?

Or, does your proto-state become a State and join the congress of Nations?  Both paths can be justified and both can be made to make sense.

The question reverts back to, “Does the takfiri lifecycle change when bureaucracy becomes necessary to govern as the movement grows? And does that modification make the takfiri movement more or less dangerous to the states around it or to the ideologies in competition with it?”

Ferguson, Helmand Province, USAfghanistan

Bear with me as this may be both profane and slightly racist.


First, let me say that I’ve been watching the twitter versions of what is going on in Ferguson, MO.

The vast majority of the folks in my Timeline all agree that the local LEO’s are making a superb hash of whatever it is they’re trying to do.  The vets are commenting that this is a perfect example of how NOT to do COIN, OR simply Policing.

The experienced police are ashamed.


And I agree,


Having walked both sides of this street, I can tell ya that with police responses like I’ve seen, as a bastard, I’d have my demonstrating people pushing police to respond, knowing (SILENTLY) that I was making martyrs to the Cause, and helping to light up EVERY city with a large black population.  Cinci, looking at you.

Unfortunately with the way this is being handled I might not have to do ANYTHING to get that kind of result.


If I’m doing any predicting (remember my track record….100% wrong) I’d be looking at major responses in support of Ferguson by Saturday night or Sunday.  And at THAT time the fires start and we’re off to the races.   Martial Law here we come!

But that is only my opinion.






Now the likely racist part.

MANY Tweets have been asking where are the 3%ers? Where are the Militias from Bundy Ranch with THIS gov’t over-reach?




MOST of the 3ers are INTENSELY and PRIMARILY concerned over the low info, low income, ghetto, “Knock Out Game” playing, flash mob stealing black folks as OPPOSITION (for ref see http://westernrifleshooters.blogspot.com/2010/07/bracken-cw2-cube-mapping-meta-terrain.html to come up to speed).


Unless something changes you are highly UNLIKELY to see a collection of 3ers showing up in Ferguson.  Not saying NEVER, but highly unlikely.

And that there is why.


Now, to be honest, there is no UNTHINKING racism in that position.  There are TONNES of documented cases of “KNock-Out Game” players, all Black.  Yes they’re primarily Inner City Gangsta-toughs but still, the concern is not auto-knee-jerk-un-thought.


Which is why you are unlikely to see 3ers in Ferguson, MO.



It’s been several days since MH17 was shot down.  The accepted OPEN SOURCE INTEL readout is that the Russians provided the SA-11 (BUK) that was used to UKR “Separatists” and they used it to shoot down the plane.  There are no OSINT direct links between RU and the separatist who hit the button on the BUK.  RU has been identified as the training source for the “separatists” for much of the armor, AA, and Artillery they have provided.

It is becoming something of an open secret that the “Separatists” are thoroughly leavened with Russian GRU and Russian soldiers to the extent that the smart money now bets on a GRU trigger puller for the BUK.  Voice data intercepts have identified at least one known GRU journeyman Special War leader.


As the bodies crashed into the wheat field of East UKR, loud insistent knocks were heard in President and Prime Minister offices across the EU.  Those same knocks, though softer and less insistent have been heard essentially all spring and summer.  In May they were heard as the Crimean Anschluss was effected by RU.  And throughout June and July, soft repeat knocks were heard as the RU “Special War” in East UKR proceeded.

And now, over the past 6 days those knocks have gone from simply louder to thunderous.  These knocks are of Reality calling.  It would appear that the Reality of RU actions has come to sit on the doorsteps of all of the EU.  While MOST of the deceased were Malay there were a LARGE number of Dutch and a smattering of residents from a number of EU countries.  And as those bodies are identified, and repatriated, there are going to be a number of national Chief Executives with fresh bodies on their lawns.  Nothing QUITE concentrates the attention of a Chief Executive like fresh coffins.


The question is “WHAT to DO?!?”


The country most hurt by this tragedy is the Netherlands.  The Royal Family is doing what Royal Families have done for centuries, contacting, talking, comforting the families of the dead, demonstrating that Fealty IS a 2 way street and binds both ways.

The fragments of Dutch Government statements making their way to my Flyover Country comfy chair strongly suggest that the Dutch have been shoved into ACTION mode.  I have long experience with genetic Dutchmen and while not quick to anger, they CAN  exceed their acceptability limits.  When this happens the response tends to be serious, and implacable.  It often takes as much to STOP us as it does to get us moving.

In the real world, what can the Dutch do militarily.  Having perused a recently updated but also dated as 1985 ORBAT, one finds that the Dutch have a well designed military for their own territorial defense and perhaps the ability to assist in Peacekeeping expeditions.  That SAME ORBAT indicates that the Dutch aren’t going to be rolling hot iron towards UKR anytime soon.

The REST of the EU numbers suggest that the deficits causing the EU to restrict themselves to hand wringing are not materiel, but more in the area of intestinal fortitude deficits.  A goodly portion of this comes from the USA.  We have, for over 60 years, told virtually all of Western Europe that we had their back (and fronts, and flanks as well).  In the last few years we have suggested that they might want to stand on their own two feet in terms of defense but we haven’t said this very loudly.  And now we reap what we sow.

As I commented above, the fragments of Dutch Government statements making it this far into Flyover Country suggest that the Dutch may well be more than ready to act in the sanctions arena.  This will be a double edged sword, in that there are a LOT of areas in which the Dutch are close partners with the Russians.  Which basically means that any sanctions they effect will be substantive.  And hurt the RU.


It will be interesting to watch as the Netherlands, one of the EU’s smaller countries, leads the EU into areas that they have feared to tread the last decade or so.


Time will tell.




AS always, the forgoing is completely the opinion of this swamp dweller with the Blue Navel.



On V V Putin’s Predictability, or why a scared Kremlin is a Bad Thing.

Yesterday in a Twitter conversation with @20committee (John Schindler) I made the comment that as the situation in the Ukraine with reference to the downing of MH17 devolves more and more, it became more and more logical for the Russians to go to a “surprise” cold start or “jump start” invasion of the Ukraine.  I’m unsure of WHO would be “surprised” by an open naked invasion of Ukraine by now, but we’ll go with the standard descriptive term.


Twenty four hours later, on perusing the International Geopolitical Landscape this begins to look distressingly prescient.  I have a track record among folks in my Interwebz community related to my ability to predict anything.  I am 99.44% WRONG on predictions (the one accurate prediction was one of those things where ANYONE could have read tomorrows paper today and made it.)  I take comfort in that track record.  Today I believe it is in jeopardy.


It has become clear in the last twenty four hours that the situation in ref MH17 has deteriorated even more than I had expected it might.  At one point, within the first 24-48 hours, VVP could have RELATIVELY inexpensively stood up and admitted that a mistake had been made.

He could have then either said that the mistake had been to provide the weapons for the Separatists (read GRU) or that the training had been insufficient and the operators of the BUK had mistaken the plane for a military one, OR that the Russian operator had mistaken the plane.

RELATIVELY inexpensive, but not cost free.  He would have been required to have people tried and punished, or made available to the ICC in The Hague.


It became apparent as soon as 24 hours after the shoot-down that the Russian direction was not to be nearly as open as the US was in 1983 when we shot down the Iranian airliner, and stood up, admitted it, and paid damages.

The Russian answer was, at that point, clearly obfuscation and denial.  A categorical list of the OPEN SOURCE evidence against Russia in this case is not within the scope of this blog.  I would recommend as perusal of several blogs and Twitter time Lines for that evidence.  Best investigator on the BUK and it’s presence or absence from UKR AND it’s repatriation in the dead of night can be found on the TL of @NatSecWonk.  Further discussion of evidence can be found on 20committee blog ( http://20committee.com/ ).


Another option open to VVP has always been to stonewall and delay until the Western Media found another scandal or celebrity wardrobe malfunction, counting on our short attention span.  This would simply have been to ignore, delay, NOT inform and simply power through the West’s outrage.  He and the rest of the Kremlin operatives have either disregarded this option or never thought about it.  It becomes apparent to those of us who remember shoe thumping “WE will bury you!” film bites that THIS Kremlin is not the Kremlin of Olde.  @thewarroom_Tom (Tom Nichols) on his blog http://tomnichols.net/blog/ points out that there is a very telling difference in how the Kremlin TODAY is handling this issue.


To paraphrase Mr Nichols, the Kremlin of Olde was much like a collection of Mafia Dons.  Something would happen, they would recognize they had a problem, and would SOLVE the PROBLEM.  Perhaps their solution might have been inelegant,  or of a blunt object or brute force approach but it would be SOLVED with a minimum of fuss and perhaps only a bit of yapping from the global chattering classes.

The Kremlin this week appears to be a whole different entity.  Saying they were running scared would be inaccurate as that would imply a coherent direction of travel.  They are CERTAINLY hyperventilating over the current situational devolution.  The last 3 days have seen suggestions that ranged from space aliens to US shooting down MH17.  As each new suggestion comes out from the Kremlin or its disconnected minions, the feeling of finally having jumped the shark repeats anew.  If it weren’t for the apparent and increasing gravity of the situation, thinking observers would be hard pressed to remain in their chairs due to the attacks of the giggles.

It begins to look as though the Soviet PR machine (term used very loosely here) has become a spaghetti factory, throwing enormous quantities at a wall to see what sticks.  NOT the Kremlin of Olde.


So what are they afraid of?  They are afraid that their “Special War” operatives who have been sheltering as “separatists” and “Little Green Men” will be unmasked for what they are, Russian Soldiers and Intel Officers leading the “Special War” in the Ukraine.  Up until now the Kremlin  has been fully figleafed, and not OPENLY associated with the “separatists” as they ran their insurgency and their atrocities.  That figleaf, and that deniability is about to be stripped away by MH17 and the current devolving situation.  And for a regime that has worked for decades to be “accepted” as a part of the International Community that exposure will be catastrophic.


And thus we come back to my not exactly throw-away comment from yesterday.  It becomes more and more logical that a full on, open, “surprise” or “Standing start/cold start/jump start” invasion is in the near future.  It would erase most of the squawking from the West’s chattering classes over the shoot down, and would in the fairly near term give VVP Eastern Ukraine, should his troops meet the expected feckless counters from the West.  One should understand that this has been MUCH of the goal since the Anschluss of Crimea.


At one point yesterday there was a VERY brief mention that RU had moved “100 units to the UKR border”.  I BARELY noticed that as it flashed through my Twitter feed and there was no further mention  of it that I saw.  This begs the question 100 of WHAT KIND of units? Armor and MLRS units? Platoons? Companies?  I’m sure we’ll learn the answers in the coming hours and days.


Sitting in my comfy chair here in Flyover Country USA, I can almost SEE the calculus being run in the Kremlin.  Understand that the Bear is injured.  Yes it is becoming clearer and clearer that it is a self inflicted injury but that means virtually nothing.  If you have ever hunted Black, Brown or Grizzly bears, you know that an INJURING shot is a HUGE mistake as the injured bear lashes out with all of its remaining strength.  This is NOT a good picture in either bear hunts or international relations.


Thus an invasion becomes one of the Kremlin’s logical responses.  Not a high probability of success response but certainly a logical one that GEN. Breedlove and the rest of SACEUR and NATO should be considering seriously.




As always, my opinions are my own, here in the Swamp.




The recent almost unbelievable breach of Diplomatic Etiquette in Egypt should give EVERYONE pause to read the message.


A word on comments.

I’m an old guy.

I formed my standards for public polite discourse in the late 60’s, and early 70’s.


So, if you wouldn’t be comfortable using the words or phrases you are considering using sitting at the kitchen table in mom’s house over a Pinochle game and a few brewskies with her there, I likely won’t be comfortable ok’ing and publishing your comment.  I have some responsibilities. And some standards.



The forgoing does NOT mean I will NEVER use offensive language etc…This IS for rants after all.