sometimes i give people what they want

Especially when they are so vociferous about it. 

I could kind of look the other way when James Grant arbitrarily proclaimed, based on his own limited, purely-anecdotal experience, that all “teabaggers” (his words, not mine) are racist, while simultaneously proclaiming that the movement is universally comprised of old white people, because sometimes people cannot help themselves from being jerks.  But watching him tell veterans that, unless they are active duty, they should “sit the fuck down, have a coke, and shut the fuck up” if they do not agree with him about not going back into Iraq… well, that sealed the deal for me*. 

So Failure to Fire – a webcomic loosely dealing with firearms, for those not in the know – is officially off my reading list.  There are plenty of funny webcomics out there that do not see a need to repeatedly club you about the head with their assholery, and I recommend you look into reading them instead. 

And, no, I am not going to give links, because I see no need to drive traffic his way; if you are morbidly curious, though, look to the post and comments on 17JUN14 for the most-recent example of the former incident (there are lots of others, but I am not going to waste my time digging for them) and the post and comments on 18JUN14 for the latter. 

On a related note, since John Scalzi all-but** called me a misogynist for being a fan of Larry Correia, and said Larry “looks like a rapist excusing asshole” while callling him a misogynist outright, I see no reason to continue buying his books new.  John is a decent enough author, but if he honestly believes the headline of “The Naive Idiocy of Teaching Rapists Not To Rape” is actually “excusing” rape, he is a blithering moron; Michael Williamson goes into a thorough explanation of why, but the simple summation is this: sociopaths exist, and teaching people how to defend themselves is  far superior tactic than trying to teach sociopaths to not be sociopaths. 

Anywise, John has already made it clear that he does not care if I buy his books, so who am I to argue?  Just means I will have the funds free for a signed copy of Nemesis, which is shiny by me. 

(* – For the record, I, a veteran who spent time in a war zone, do not believe we should go back into Iraq, but that is entirely secondary to the point.) 

(** – John seems to lack the necessary spine to actually say almost anything, instead relying on innuendo and “interpretation”.) 

hava fundraiser rule changes

… But ones I guarantee you will like. 

Thanks to receipt of a shipment from the folks at Honored American Veterans Afield themselves, the following rules have been added to the “How to Earn a Ticket” section

6.  Anyone who donates at least $25 will receive a copy of either This is War: Memories of Iraq or Shepherds of Helmand, randomly chosen by me. 
7.  Anyone who donates at least $50 will receive their choice of a copy of This is War: Memories of Iraq or Shepherds of Helmand
8.  Anyone who donates at least $100 will receive both This is War: Memories of Iraq and Shepherds of Helmand

These rule changes are retroactive, and if you want to donate more to HAVA to pick your DVD or get both, you certainly can. 

Here are the front and back covers of both (apologies for the shoddy photography): 

IMG_20130225_221200

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And here is the synopsis for This is War: 

In 2004 a battalion of National Guard soldiers from Oregon departed for a one year mission to Iraq. 

Patrolling against IEDs, under constant threat of ambush and subjected to combat of epic intensity, they fought to rebuild a country. 

Some of them never returned. 

Those that did were changed forever. 

… And for Shepherds of Helmand: 

In 2008, a group of 17 volunteers from the Oregon National Guard volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan to train a battalion of the Afghan National Army.  Their mission was to conduct counter narcotics patrols in the deadly Helmand province, a region notorious not only for its opium production, but also as a Taliban stronghold.  This is the story of one of the most decorated units in Oregon National Guard history. 

Both are productions of HAVA, both are not rated, and both have “Graphic Violence and Language” warnings on them, so bear that in mind; I have not watched either yet, but they sound like a “been there, done that, here’s how it is” kind of production. 

The box these came in is frankly huge, but there is a finite number of them; if you want one, or if you want to be sure you get a specific one, get your donations in soon!  They will be sent out on a first-come-first-served basis, but I will not send any of them until after the drawing is concluded, so I can include them in prize packages if you happen to win one. 

There, now you are almost guaranteed something for donating – what is stopping you?  And just wait until I unveil the other stuff that arrived in the mail today… 

Today I would like to thank Fill Yer Hands and Wfgodbold for linking to the fundraiser; thanks to you all spreading the good word, we broke $1000 raised this weekend! 

hava fundraiser and dark angel medical

One of the things that has seen a lot of use over in "The Sandbox" – Iraq and Afghanistan – and was imported back into the States by our service members is the concept of a "blow out kit", "individual trauma kit", or "improved first aid kit". In short, these kits – which are generally no larger than two AR-15 magazines side-by-side – are specifically designed and built to immediately address profusely bleeding wounds in such a way that the injured person can be stabilized until better-equipped / professional medical services can arrive. Combined with the knowledge of how to use them, kits like these have saved countless of our service members’ lives overseas, and there are actually examples of lives saved by them here in CONUS as well.

Much like fire extinguishers, knives, flashlights, and your sidearm, they are just one of those things that it simply does not hurt to have around. I have a store-bought one bouncing around in my trunk, and am considering buying / assembling another for the house.

darkangelmedicalHowever, one of you lucky folks who have donated to the Honored American Veterans Afield fundraiser I am running will not have to worry about that, thanks to an amazingly generous donation by Dark Angel Medical. This veteran-owned small business based out of Colorado is built around creating easy to use, affordable individual trauma kits – Direct Action Response Kits, in their parlance – and they have thrown in a Complete Kit in Multicam for the giveaway side of the fundraiser. (AR-15 magazine not included; only in picture for scale.)

This kit includes the pouch (which, of course, is MOLLE-compatible), a CAT tourniquet, trauma shears, nitrile gloves, HALO seals, nasal airway tubing, QuickClot combat gauze (not the loose QuickClot beads), compressed gauze, 4" Israeli bandage, and a sealed bag to hold it all together. It may not sound like a lot, but just those materials and the knowledge of how to use them can mean the difference between life and death for a gunshot victim, and things like that do not only happen "Over There".

If you want to go ahead and snag a kit for yourself, Dark Angel Medical also offers a Pocket D.A.R.K., which somehow manages to pack gloves, a SWAT-T tourniquet, QuickClot gauze, and a 4" Israeli bandage in a 4"x4"x1" pack suitable for hanging off your belt. Definitely worth a thought.

Oh, and if you ever happen to use one of their kits in a legitimate situation, send them the documentation on it; they will send you a replacement kit, free of charge.

One important detail I do not want to leave out is this disclaimer that is listed on Dark Angel Medical’s webpage before you can purchase any of their kits:

Purchaser’s Release from Liability Waiver

Dark Angel Medical, LLC

By purchasing this kit and all products contained therein, the purchaser warrants and attests that they have the necessary training, certifications and/or authorizations to properly deploy and use the kit’s contents and/or accessories.

The purchaser also assumes any and all liability for events arising from their use of the kit and will not hold any person or business associated with Dark Angel Medical, LLC nor the company of Dark Angel Medical, LLC, civilly or criminally liable.

This liability waiver holds true for whomever chooses the package containing the kit Dark Angel Medical donated, so please bear that in mind.

To expand on that waiver, I would not go so far as to say that blow out kits are useless without training, but it is entirely possible for you to cause more harm than good with one if you do not know what you are doing, and when your significant other is bleeding out on the floor next to you is not the time to be reading the instructions. Thankfully, one of the random pieces of training I picked up in the Navy was the appropriate use of the equipment in those kits (as a newly-minted Butter Bar, I was the Triage Officer on my first ship, if you can believe that), but I am still considering getting some refresher material in the near future.

In other words, if you select this package, and do not have training, I would strongly suggest getting it.

So with all the legalese and details dealt with, the Dark Angel Medical D.A.R.K. got to start its very own "Preparedness" package, along with the other copy of Paul Revere’s Ride I have.

What else do I need to bribe you with to get you to donate?

(Note: Just like the MagHolders, this D.A.R.K. was scouted by Skas, so be sure to point some thanks his way.)

james yeager is a coward

… and a disgrace to the great state of Tennessee, unfortunately.

No, the title of this post does not stem from James Yeager’s questionable behavior during his time in Iraq – I was not there, and I cannot comment on it – but rather his recent behavior here, in these United States.

To begin with, James Yeager is voluntarily on-record as saying he will "break your f—–g back" if you call him a coward to his face. I am fairly certain that all of my readership graduated high school, and are probably more than familiar with the alpha-male bullies that tended to roam the halls of those fine institutions. I am also fairly certain that all of my readership is more than aware that those immature children are, almost invariably, intellectual lightweights and cowards to boot, and attempt to cover up both deficiencies by exhibiting offensive levels of bluster, aggression, and domineering attitudes.

So, tell me, what does someone who makes violent threats from behind the safety of his video camera remind you of?

Moving forward, James Yeager has offered to pay whatever travel expenses you need to go to Camden, Tennessee, and call him a coward to his face. He clarified:

It will be a one way “E-ticket” so no paper ticket will be mailed. I will need your full name and date of birth for the ticket. There will be no need for a hotel.

Apparently James Yeager means to follow through on his threat to break people’s backs; why else would you only need a one-way ticket and not need a hotel room? Even more apparently, James Yeager feels he has something to prove, otherwise why would he go out of his way to entice people to him so he could break their backs? What does he feel insecure about? What is he compensating for? What does he think he has to make up for with blind, inchoate rage?

I wonder.

And just in case you were unclear on exactly what James Yeager is threatening to do, here are his exact words in a phone conversation with a /k/ denizen:

So why don’t you step up to the f—–g plate, like I f—–g asked you to, and come and say it to my f—–g face so I can f—–g kill you?

I must admit, with four years of Navy service under my belt, I am sorely unimpressed with Yeager’s wholly unimaginative, repetitive, and clumsy attempts at profanity. But that is besides the point.

jamesyeagerisacowardIf nothing else, we are well into the realm of "The lady doth protest too much, methinks", but even looking past that brief literary aside, does a person who threatens to murder (and, yes, what James Yeager describes is unquestionably murder, as we will get to in a moment) another human being over name-calling strike you as a particularly courageous individual? Would such a person be brave? Would such a person be so much as responsible, rational, or even reasonable?

I dare say not. In fact, I would go so far as to describe a person who threatens to murder other people over being called a name as a "coward", along with "bully", "thug", "sociopath", and a raft of other wholly-appropriate-and-accurate terms. He is too afraid and too insecure to man up and go on with his life while ignoring his detractors, so he instead tries to intimidate them into silence with threats of unlawful violence. Hell with that.

And speaking of unlawful violence, I will give Tennessee credit – they make it very clear what is and what is not a "self-defense" situation. The important things to note is that accurately calling James Yeager a "coward" is not "using or attempting to use unlawful force" against him, and even if it were, he has already repeatedly "consented to the exact force used or attempted by the other individual", per his incessant videos and comments on the topic. In other words, if he does kill someone for daring to call him a "coward", he will be incapable of claiming self-defense with any degree of credibility.

On the other hand, Tennessee also makes it quite clear what first-degree murder is:

A premeditated and intentional killing of another

Now, I am not a lawyer, and I make absolutely no claim at having a solid understanding of all these laws and how they interact, but so far as I can tell, Yeager has already demonstrated premeditation and intent to kill someone who dares call him a "coward". My understanding is that he has to demonstrate premeditation and intent to kill a specific person for this to be 100% applicable, rather than anyone who does X, but then we just get down to second degree murder: "A knowing killing of another." Given his mercenary background, I dare say Yeager would have a hard time arguing that he did not know he was killing a person while he was doing so.

Speaking more generally, I have to wonder if the Federal Bureau of Investigation would be interested that James Yeager was making telephonic threats… if the /k/ denizen was not in Tennessee, it seems as though things could get a touch complicated.

So why am I poking the unbalanced whackjob when I do not care about what happened on Route Irish and have absolutely no intentions of ever taking a class with or from that sociopathic imbecile? Well, on the one hand, I find myself in the unfortunate position of having to share a state with him, and having to share a culture with him, and it is always a good idea to distance yourself from such albatrosses as this nimrod.

But, more importantly, I hope this post serves as a warning to those folks who do consider taking classes from him. James Yeager may be the best thing to happen to firearm training since Colonel Jeff Cooper himself, but the simple fact is Yeager is threatening to murder someone over being called a name. Is that really the kind of person you want teaching you or anyone you know about the lawful use of force, the deadly force triangle, stand your ground, castle doctrine, or anything even remotely related to lawfully carrying and employing a firearm in civilized society? Or, worse yet, do you want this violent school-yard-bully who never actually grew up, only got bigger, and his various threatening YouTube videos to be presented as evidence at your self-defense trial as the person who taught you how to gun down that choir boy who was just asking for change for a pay phone?

Think about it.

(And this is all without even beginning to touch on James Yeager’s patently unsafe history of putting photographers downrange during live-fire drills and dickish backstabbing of folks who lawfully exercise their rights in a fashion he does not like.)

a difference in cultures

Speaking of things that set us apart, how often do you see something like this from the anti-rights side of the fence?

The short story is that an Iraq/Afghanistan veteran went fishing one day, and his “trolling motor deployed at 50mph”, as the original poster wrote it, and since fishing is one of the things that helps him cope with his deployments, he decided to try to sell his basically brand-new Sig P226, even though he just bought it and rather enjoyed it. The forum’s immediate response was “keep the gun, we will raise the funds to replace the trolling motor”, and within four days, they did… and then some, with the remainder being donated to Veteran Outdoors.

So, yeah, I will ask it again – when was the last time you saw an anti-rights forum (if such things even exist to begin with) pulling together random strangers in such a way to support our servicemen and women? Honestly, I would love to see an example.

(Courtesy of The Freehold.)

talk about “awkward”

Among other things that are better discussed at other weblogs, the recent WikiLeaks… well… leak has exposed two interesting pieces of information.

First, there really were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq:

The WMD diehards will likely find some comfort in these newly-WikiLeaked documents. Skeptics will note that these relatively small WMD stockpiles were hardly the kind of grave danger that the Bush administration presented in the run-up to the war.

But the more salient issue may be how insurgents and Islamic extremists (possibly with the help of Iran) attempted to use these lethal and exotic arms. As Spencer noted earlier, a January 2006 war log claims that “neuroparalytic” chemical weapons were smuggled in from Iran.

And Noah is right – the weapons found in Iraq are hardly the massive, factory-style WMD-assembly infrastructure we were lead to believe might exist in that country; however, any quantity of the chemical weapons that were found in Iraq would have been very bad news for our troops over there, much less American cities – the diagnoses for most modern chemical weapons (where “modern” equates to “designed within the past 50 years”) tend to end with some variation of, “die choking on your own blood”. Put me down as a “Pass”, please.

Regardless, so much for the whole, “Bush lied,” mantra…

And speaking of Presidents, Our Glorious President is an idiot:

On the other side you had Middle East experts like Dan Diker, who insisted on One Jerusalem Radio’s Omri Ceren Show that the Saudis gave Obama a bruising lecture on what they actually care about, and it wasn’t the Palestinians. Under this theory King Abdullah expected to talk about militarily confronting Iran, and he couldn’t believe it when Obama kept reciting bromides about the earth-shattering importance of the Israeli/Arab conflict and his enthusiasm for solving it. That was a regular public topic between the two – Obama’s first talk with Abdullah focused on Gaza and the President later emphasized his abiding support for Saudi Arabia’s “Israel Has To Commit Suicide” plan – but the King kind of thought he was dealing with a serious person who could separate spectacle from policy. Instead he got the equivalent of an International Relations graduate student enamored with pseudo-sophisticated “insights” he’d gleaned from Arab media outlets. Ergo, meltdown.

[…]

10. (S) The King, Foreign Minister, Prince Muqrin, and Prince Nayif all agreed that the Kingdom needs to cooperate with the US on resisting and rolling back Iranian influence and subversion in Iraq. The King was particularly adamant on this point, and it was echoed by the senior princes as well. Al-Jubeir recalled the King’s frequent exhortations to the US to attack Iran and so put an end to its nuclear weapons program. “He told you to cut off the head of the snake,” he recalled to the Charge’, adding that working with the US to roll back Iranian influence in Iraq is a strategic priority for the King and his government.

I guess all of that bowing and scraping Our Glorious President does to foreign dignitaries does not help so much when he surrounds himself with idiots, and then parrots the same idiotic palaver they spoon-feed to him.

Coming from a background of military service, I am of two minds about the recent Wikileaks fiasco, but one thing can be said for certain – they will probably provide all kinds of entertainment for the next month or so.

(First link courtesy of MJM Mollenhour. Second link courtesy of Les Jones.)