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Thoughts From The Front

greece-migrants-81-390x285

Image: AP Photo/Amel Emric

Bullets are cheaper and more effective than tear gas canisters.

Bullets and bombs are merely war’s last recourse. The actual front of most conflicts occurs in the vacuum between men’s ears. One gains a deep appreciation of this fact when watching the rapid social effects that result from orchestrated media onslaughts. The images and narratives carpet bombed daily into mentally defenseless targets demonstrate the undeniable power of air superiority.

And when spiritual fortifications have been flattened, antagonists put boots on the ground. That’s what’s happening now in unmoated areas of the West. But eventually even the dullest clucks begin to understand that virtue signaling on migration is subject to the law of diminishing returns. Conspicuously accommodating 100 brown people is a boast, while 100 million is a eulogy. And most prefer their praise served warm.

So what we are seeing presently in Europe is a people slowly realizing their moral vainglory is best taken in moderation. Unfortunately for them, that doesn’t much address the designs of a billion or so global refugees fleeing the war in Syria. You don’t simply lock the door after other people have decided they want in.

For once a large enough number of outsiders determine your house is precisely what they want, seeking your permission loses much of its appeal. That’s when fences start falling, tear gas starts wafting, and it dimly begins to dawn that invasion doesn’t require the Red Army.

Here’s one piece on the siege of Indomeni.

This is on the frontiers of Europe.  (Not to mention the chaos already inside London, Paris and Germany)
And the current American administration has essentially told the Border Patrol to stand down.  And has cut their numbers and budget.
Is this the future image on our borders?
No, of course not.
We are already looking the other way…

Glock 1911 – The Internet Has FACTS

…and many fallacies.

It came across my radar screen recently this never-ending story (and many variants) regarding Gaston Glock & Co. FINALLY making a Glock using JMB’s ubiquitous 1911 design!

About an hour later, having accessed a few different search engines determined that in all likelihood this was a repetition of the original story, going back to at least to 2009…

Complete with high art!

Akin to a Holy Grail, of sorts:

glock 1911

Of course, who knows what the future may bring?  A GLOCK single-action auto, which takes standard 1911 magazines and has replaceable stocks and an external hammer?

Will Gaston choose poorly?

It’s time to ask ourselves what we believe.

When Is A Pope Not A Pope?

(from Brock Townsend)

Pope Ditched Two Refugees Once He Found Out They Were Christians

Via David

https://www.jihadwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Roula-and-Malek-Abo.jpg

One of the most appalling aspects of the current refugee crisis is that persecuted Christian across the Middle East are being completely ignored in favor of Muslim migrants. And when even the world’s most prominent Christian figurehead does nothing to help, but instead worships at the altar of multiculturalism and its “new world order,” what hope is there for Middle East Christians fleeing genocide?

A disturbing report claims that when Pope Francis found out that two of the 12 Muslim refugees he recently planned to take back to the Vatican turned out to be Christians, he “dropped them like a hot potato.”

Roula and Malek Abo, a Christian brother and sister duo who hail from Syria, say they have been “let down” by the Pope after left them behind at a Lesbos refugee camp. They were promised a new life in Italy. According to blogger Geoffrey Grider:

Holy Father, I’m confused?  You seem to be more socialist than Catholic, and now more Muslim?  Or, at least, more political?  (Not that other Pope’s haven’t been political…)
I’d make a list, but it would be REALLY long!
Perhaps, this was just about a photo op?
(Full Disclosure – I was baptized Catholic, but raised away from The Church, largely under the influence of my Presbyterian step-mother.  My Father pretended not to care, but was a Catholic in secret.  So, I’ve never been confirmed in The Church, and don’t follow the infallible Papacy as God’s Word.)
And then, there’s the whole ‘render unto Caesar’ thing…

HIPAA, Schmippa!

Texas: Med Board lets DEA sneak peeks at patient records

By

Courtesy of U.S. Department of Justice.

It’s such a hassle getting information this way, when you can just pretend to be a state regulator.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has been sifting through hundreds of supposedly private medical files, looking for Texas doctors and patients to prosecute without the use of warrants.

Instead, the agents are tricking doctors and nurses into thinking they’re with the Texas Medical Board. When that doesn’t work, they’re sending doctors subpoenas demanding medical records without court approval.

The DEA can’t even count how many times it has resorted to the practice nationwide. A spokesman estimated it was in the thousands.

But, as a legal brief filed last week points out, lawyers for the federal government can’t find a single case in which a court has “authorized the use of such a broad array of patient information with such a sparse record as to why it needs such information.”

Earlier this year, a federal judge in Texas did just that, setting up a showdown in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals over whether the DEA needs a reason to go rummaging through private medical records in search of pill mills and prescription drug abusers.

Without the legalese, the issue is simple: How good a reason does the DEA need to get access to medical records? The DEA doesn’t think it needs much of one.

Attorneys for Dallas-area doctors Joseph and Abbas Zadeh argue “the DEA should not be allowed to circumvent the requirements of a warrant, and should be required to show probable cause.” Failing that, they should at least have to justify their intrusions to a judge who’s acting as more than a rubber stamp.

The DEA’s practice of avoiding warrant requirements has produced this absurdity: If you have a prescription for Adderall or OxyContin, you might be safer getting your drugs on the street than through your own doctor.

Street dealers, after all, don’t keep patient records, and they’re afforded more constitutional protections than medical practitioners. That is, cops still need a warrant to search them.

In Texas, the DEA’s criminal investigators do an end run around the Constitution’s warrant requirements by getting the Texas Medical Board to order doctors to open their records.

In that 5th Circuit case that’s about to set an important precedent, DEA agents spent hours examining private medical records after tricking a nurse into believing they were with the Medical Board.

The trick was easy. Three DEA agents showed up at a Dallas doctor’s office accompanied by a medical board investigator who told the nurse “they were with the Texas State Medical Board,” according to a deposition in the case. “The other three persons along with her kept silent.”

Mari Robinson, the medical board’s executive director, testified last year in a legislative hearing that her agency does that sort of thing 20 to 40 times a year, but it took some grilling by state Rep. Bill Zedler, R – Arlington, to get that out of her.

“How many times do you show up (at a doctor’s office) with the DEA and not tell ‘em that the DEA is with you,” Zedler asked Robinson at a Sept. 24 hearing.

“I’m not sure what you mean by that,” Robinson said.

“Well, I mean that when they show up, they say, ‘We’re with the Texas Medical Board.’ Period.”

“That is what we do for our part,” Robinson said. “The DEA has its own responsibility.”

Zedler gave an example almost identical to the facts in the Zadeh lawsuit: Medical board investigators got the DEA two hours’ access to confidential medical records through misrepresenting who they were; when the doctor’s lawyer showed up demanding to see some ID’s, the party ended.

“You don’t find that an unconstitutional search through fraudulent non-disclosure,” Zedler demanded. “Did your investigators not know that they had DEA agents with them?”

There wasn’t “anything that we did” that could be unconsidered unconstitutional, Robinson answered, but she couldn’t speak for the DEA.

It turned out that each of the 20 to 40 times a year medical investigators turn up unannounced demanding to see records they’re actually working with the DEA.

The problem is this: The medical board has authority to issue “administrative subpoenas,” as they’re called, because it’s in the business of administering the medical industry. The DEA isn’t. It’s in the business of criminal investigations, which can be hindered by the Fourth Amendment.

The entire apparatus of administrative law is something of a shadow government grafted onto a constitutional system back in the New Deal era, and this shadow government has few safeguards. Rather than checks and balances, the regulatory state is characterized by agencies that handle all the investigation, prosecution, adjudication and appeals in-house, with little interference from other bodies.

The DEA has noticed how convenient it is simply to write a letter demanding all the evidence one might need. So in some cases, such as the Zadeh’s, where the initial subterfuge fails, the DEA simply writes the doctors its own administrative subpoena, even though, by its own admission, it’s looking for evidence in potential criminal cases against doctors and patients.

All too often, the doctors behave much like the telecom companies who were pressured by the National Security Administration to share customer records.

In fact, there are so few cases of doctors actually fighting back the government’s lawyers are building their argument on a case from 1950 in which regulators got access to the financial records of the Morton Salt Co.

RELATED: Texas Medical Board considers arming itself

In 2014, a federal court in Oregon agreed with the American Civil Liberties Union that a database of prescriptions was protected by medical privacy rights, and the DEA would need a warrant to access it.

That expectation of privacy will also factor into the decision before the 5th Circuit. Unlike some privacy rights, this one is no novelty.

Arguing on behalf of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, attorney Andrew Schlafly points out that patient privacy dates back 2,500 years to the Hippocratic Oath, which states, “All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession… which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and never reveal.”

The 5th Circuit may not decide to impose a standard of “probable cause” on law enforcement, but any standard of evidence would be an improvement on nothing, which is what investigators apparently have on the Zadehs.

Zedler has examined volumes of secret Medical Board records under his legislative privilege, and although he’s sworn to secrecy about them, he said during the hearing the medical board had confirmed the Zadehs weren’t running pill mills, and that there was “zero evidence of non-therapeutic prescribing.”

Yet a federal court upheld the subpoenas based on vague testimony from a DEA investigator that “(i)nformation developed in that investigation indicated (that) Dr. Joseph Zadeh (and Dr. Abbas Zadeh)… may have violated” the law.

That little phrase illustrates the difference between typical law enforcement and whatever the DEA is up to here.

Cops don’t swear that “information developed.” They tell the judge what it is if they want their warrant signed.

Contact Jon Cassidy at jon@watchdog.org or @jpcassidy000.

This story was initially reported last fall, but I thought it bore repetition when I saw it.  Many folks are fond of lampooning States like Massachusetts, New York and California about their progressive politics, policies and politicians.

But, even though Texas is of a more individualist, rights-loving nature, it is still a STATE!  And State and federal entities therein are still made up of people, many of whom want nothing more to control and spy on individuals.

And I’m not even factoring in the whole mental health/gun ownership part of the equation!

Those Who Fail To Learn From History…

…are forever doomed to have George Santayana quoted to them!

From my friend Borepatch:

The fall of Rome and a lesson for our times

From Victor Davis Hanson:

And I’ll conclude with a spoiler from his finish because I think it’s so profound. Describing the fall of Rome to a band of thugs after a much smaller Roman Republic had defeated much larger and more dangerous threats:
“Fast forward to the 5th century AD, is this the Roman Republic, 1/4 of Italy? No. It now encompasses 70 million people, from Mesopotamia in the East to the Atlantic ocean in the West, to above Hadrian’s Wall in the North to the Sahara Desert in the South, one million square miles. And they’re attacked, not by a formidable power, the inheritor of classical military science like Hannibal, but a thug like Atilla with some Huns and Visigoths and Vandals. By any measure, the threat was nothing compared to the threat that Romans faced when it was much, much smaller. But why in the world could they not defend themselves….?
The answer is…in 216 BC a Roman knew what it was to be a Roman. And they were under no illusions that they had to be perfect to be good. All they believed was they had an illustrious tradition that was better than alternative and could be better even more…In 450 AD I don’t think the average person who lived under the Roman Empire…knew what it was to be a Roman citizen, he did not believe that it was any better than the alternative. And when that happens in history, history is cruel, it gives nobody a pass. If you cease to believe that your country’s exceptional and has a noble tradition, and it is good without without being perfect, and it’s better than the alternative – If you cease to believe that! – there’s no reason for you to continue, and history says you won’t. And you don’t.”
Can we learn and change course? Or are we doomed to travel that road once more?

It’s a long but excellent talk at the link, full of insight.

Upon reading this, my memory went back to Dr. Smith teaching Western Civ 101, in front of 300+ horny Freshmen and Sophomores, in 1970. (Yep, a long time ago.)
He said The Fall of The Roman Empire was not facilitated by the attacks of the Barbarians from the North, but rather initiated by the Roman people themselves.  It seemed they no longer cared about order, morality and law, but fell to (in his words)
“Moral decadence and pleasures of the flesh!”
Followed by the cheers, yelps and claps of the hormonal underclassmen.
And here we are, two or three generations into that same mindset.  “What’s in it for me?”
I saw a blip on FB a week-or-so-ago (which I unfortunately was unable to refind on The Internet) wherein students at a rally for Senator Bernie Sanders were shown the following quote, and asked to comment on it:
“Ask not what your Country can do for you; ask what you can do for your Country.”
And commentary ranged from it must have been a quote from Donald Trump, to Adolf Hitler!
Those who fail to learn from history…
The barbarians are at the gate, and also already inside – just waiting…

No More CLP?

(From The Firearms Blog)

clp

The US Army’s Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC) has developed an integral surface treatment for infantry small arms that could augment or supplant the existing applicated Cleaning, Lubricating, Preserving (CLP) lubricant on small arms components. The new lubricant is applied during the manufacturing of small arms and promises a permanent solution for weapons lubrication and environmental resistance. From Army.mil:
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Although weapon maintenance may seem tedious to the unencumbered civilian, Picatinny Arsenal engineers know a clean weapon could save the warfighter’s life.
That’s why they are developing an advanced surface treatment for armament components that not only mitigates weapon maintenance but also provides increased reliability and durability.
Currently, when cleaning a weapon, warfighters use a conventional wet lubricant known as CLP (cleaner, lubricant, and preservative) that is continuously reapplied.

As early as 2003, the Army was experiencing problems with weapon stoppages in sand and dust environments if proper lubrication procedures and cleaning methods were not followed.
Army engineers recognized the importance of weapon maintenance in these extreme environments.
Thus, they set out to identify a materiel solution, which resulted in a Durable Solid Lubricant.
“The new technology eliminates CLP and uses a dry surface treatment known as durable solid lubricant, or DSL, that is applied during armament component manufacturing,” said Adam Foltz, an experimental engineer at the U.S. Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, or ARDEC.
“So far the DSL has been applied to small and medium caliber weapons, such as rifles, like the M4A1 Carbine, and machine guns like the M240 to demonstrate the technology capability,” Foltz continued.
As a result of using the durable solid lubricant, weapons function properly, require less maintenance, and the war-fighter has more peace of mind regarding possible weapon malfunctions.

The DSL solution achieves three ideal outputs: a lower friction coefficient, better wear resistance, and improved corrosion protection. “Friction coefficient” describes how a weapon slides; a low coefficient means the weapon slides easily, a high coefficient suggests sliding resistance.
“With typical wet lubricants, Soldiers need to reapply in order for the weapon system to function properly. Soldiers also have to regularly clean off carbon residue that builds up from firing and it can be tough to clean,” explained Foltz.
“Our DSL has a high wear resistance and a low friction coefficient, so it’s easy to clean off anything that builds up. You can use a steel brush to knock off any residue, and you don’t even have to worry about reapplying anything.”
Additionally, the current industry standards for preventing corrosion on armament components involves treating steel parts with phosphate and oil while aluminum parts are anodized (coated with an oxide layer.)
DSL uses a benign material that eliminates the need for a phosphate/oil coating process, making it an environmentally friendly solution.

In the ambient environment, the project team shot 15,000 rounds per weapon. The baseline weapons with the CLP showed wear and complete loss of the phosphate on approximately 75 percent of the bolt carrier sliding surfaces and 90 percent of the bolt.
Meanwhile, the DSL material showed less than 5 percent wear on both the bolt carrier and bolt.
In every instance, the DSL material showed either an improved or an equivalent performance to the CLP baseline. Results demonstrated increased wear resistance, increased reliability, and improved maintainability.
While a lubricating surface treatment would be a major advance for small arms technology, cutting down on time-consuming routine maintenance, history shows that a cautious approach is best. DSL, if it proves successful, should be applied to firearms that then still receive routine CLP applications, further improving a rifle’s functionality and ensuring no reduction in function. During Vietnam, the new M16 rifle with its aluminum receiver and direct impingement gas system was advertised as “self-cleaning by Colt, and the US Army failed to issue the weapons with requisite cleaning kits. As a result, the weapons – to a degree “self-cleaning”, but by no means impervious to the humidity of Southeast Asia – failed in combat, which resulted in the deaths of many riflemen. Colt’s claims about the M16 were not false, but the treatment of the M16’s advancements in corrosion resistance and environmental resilience were taken as a panacea to all maintenance worries, with fatal results.
With that warning out of the way, DSL appears to be a very promising innovation that could not only save time, but lives… But I wouldn’t sound the deathknell of CLP just yet.

Yet ANOTHER concoction in the ubiquitous battle of the lubes!

Any takers?  Believers?  Users?

As for me, I no longer own any rifles.  :-(  When I did, I was a loyal CLP user.

But you know I tend to be old-school!

I’m Here With The SKINNY

Bayou Renaissance Man reports (in part):

Doofus Of The Day #888

Today’s award goes to all the politically correct students and staff at Bowdoin College in Maine.

Some students wore sombreros to a tequila-themed birthday party at Bowdoin College — and others were so offended that the school had to provide them with safe spaces and counseling to deal with it.

According to the school’s newspaper, the Bowdoin Orient, the e-mail invitation to the event called it “a ‘tequila’ party” and then added, “we’re not saying it’s a fiesta, but we’re also not not saying that:) (we’re not saying that).”

This phrasing was, presumably, aiming to poke fun at the way the PC police often lose their minds over pretty much any party where tequila is present — which wound up being exactly what happened with this one.

Yep. According to the Orient, one student (1) reported that some of the attendees had been wearing sombreros at the same time as they were drinking tequila at the party, and all hell broke loose.

In an e-mail to National Review Online, sophomore Richard Arms states that there have been “3 school-wide emails from deans and our president, and there have been several ‘safe-space’ opportunities on campus for students to discuss how they were hurt and offended” by the party.
. . .

Yes — safe spaces for people who have been hurt by the very existence of tequila parties and punishment for the people responsible for them.

There’s more at the link.

I’m not for outright hatred of either the participants, nor those offended, but SERIOUSLY?
Should we revert to the days of minstrel shows with White folk in Black face eating watermelon, or Speedy Gonzales cartoons with mice in sombreros with stereotypical accents (all performed by a Jewish guy) winning against the cat? (Even though they always WON?)
Probably not.
HOWEVER, should we be so offended by drunken college hi-jinks more about tequila than being stereotypically Mexican?
Was anyone maimed or killed?
Were those in sombreros summarily sent back across a symbolic border without due process?
SKIN – White, Brown, Black, Yellow, or some variant or combination NEEDS TO BE THICKER!
I’ve been seriously rail thin – skinny – in my lifetime (140 pounds), and also obese.  Just over six foot and 350 pounds!  And have been physically disabled since age 12.
You think I’ve not been called skinny, fatty, crippled, Forrest Gump, a ‘fat f**k’ and a number of other unkind things.  Sure, it hurt at the time, but I know myself and my character have atoned for my mistakes and moved on.
And I never needed a ‘safe space’ to discuss how these epithets affected my life!
What’s going to happen when these bubble-wrapped snowflakes enter the real world?  (I’m thinking a melt down.)
I’ve a dear friend who is less than average height.  I’m disabled.  On occasion, we’ve been known to address one another as shorty and gimpy.  No harm or disrespect meant.
SKIN.  THICKER.
I’m tellin’ ya.
PS – Who PAYS for these ‘safe spaces’?

Does This Mean We Shouldn’t Be Vigilant?

(from Brock Townsend)

There Hasn’t Been Justice Nominated and Confirmed In Election Year By Divided Government Since 1880

Via Billy

Republican presidential contenders and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell argued for the Senate to run out the clock on President Barack Obama, depriving him the chance to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death today.

Far left President Barack Obama will want the Republican Senate to confirm an appointment this year but this hasn’t happened since 1880.

There hasn’t been a justice nominated and confirmed in an election year by divided government since 1880.
 
Josh Blackman reported:

Hopefully, this remains true.  Of course, we thought the Clinton Assault Weapon Ban and the Obama Affordable Care Act were non-starters, as well.

Is ‘Instant’ Media Good, Or Not?

hbBack-in-the-day (the 60’s), if news happened during the day, we had to wait until the 5:30 Huntley/Brinkley Report to hear about it.

Unless it was of a catastrophic nature, like the JFK assassination.  Then, someone who had been listening to a transistor radio passed the news along word-of mouth.  (The school janitor?)  And people with TVs ran to them for the latest reports.  Because, not everyone had a TV!

Otherwise, if the evening news had been missed, it was the next morning’s Arizona Republic that brought the news.  Usually bad – because news of a good nature is rarely news.

Fast-forward (another antiquated term from VHS tape days) to this post-Internet era.  I’ve a smartphone which I am rarely without.  She lives in my right, front pocket (having a fused hip means my back pocket isn’t a good idea for access) with my keys, .38 speed strip and my Blur lockblade knife.  (The .38 S&W snub is in my LEFT front pocket, in a pocket holster, me being sinestral, and all!)

I keep my smartphone on, because, why not?  She bleeps and chirps with receipt of texts, emails and the latest headlines.  (I do put her on vibrate or mute as appropriate!)  And sometimes she even rings announcing a telephone call! :-)  Or a specific ringtone advising me of particular callers, like my roomie or close friends.  Roomie’s ringtone is Moonlight Sonata, and Biff’s is the Peanuts theme!

Which brings me to my point (finally!)

Biff has a smartphone, but he doesn’t keep it on.  Doesn’t use it for spur-of-the-moment research, or shopping or to-do lists.  He doesn’t use it for email or texts, either.  Or receipt of the latest news!

He uses it as a telephone, when he chooses to have it turned-on.

And, I razz him mercilessly about this.  The term Luddite has been bandied about.

Why have a smartphone, if one isn’t going to use it as such?

He says he doesn’t want to be that connected.  And usually leaves it in his car, anyway!

We met for coffee the Saturday evening last, and were having our usual conversations, and I brought up the death earlier in the day of Justice Scalia.

And, he didn’t know about it – he hadn’t heard!  And he’s a radio news guy!

(I’d received a notification minutes after it had been reported, from three news sources!)

To be fair, he hadn’t worked that day.

So, which is better? – to be voluntarily ignorant of the day’s events, to choose to call only when one makes that choice, or to be tethered to the electronic instantaneous (or nearly so) news cycle?  And at the mercy of people who choose to call, whenever?

Being already a volunteer for the tethering, my opinion in the matter is skewed one direction.  Much like having a P.C. at home with a router, I don’t think I could revert to dial-up.

Or no Internet access at all…

So, which is better?

no sp

(Not mentioning potential for brain cancer and/or government surveillance/tracking, because so doing would further muddy the issue!)

SHHH…It’s A Conspiracy!

‘Regular’ readers know I subscribe to the Conspiracy Theory of History.  Basically, stuff happens before, during and after an event that the ‘winners’ never bother to write down.

The sausage being made, as it were.

AND IF WE KNEW THE WHOLE TRUTH…

The latest in this meme involves the passing of the Associate Supreme Court Justice Scalia.

Because being a 79 year old overweight man means one couldn’t pass away normally…

died

There is an undercurrent on some blogs, which are conservative and libertarian in nature, that the Associate Justice was MURDERED.  Reports of a pillow case over his head(or head-adjacent)…

Now, I wouldn’t put it past certain elements of the progressive machine to wish such an event to occur, but…

Evidence would be nice.  Something…

(I think someone’s been re-reading The Pelican Brief.)

h/t Facebook

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…

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