Saturday, July 30, 2011


Thanks to Stranded for catching this gem.

Mr. Satire himself, Iowahawk, warns us of the disasters looming ahead if we don't raise the debt ceiling. Some examples...

Beltway policy experts begin living by own wits; after 45 minutes there are no survivors.

Breadlines teeming with jobless Outreach Coordinators, Diversity Liaisons, and Sustainability Facilitators.

General Motors unfairly forced to build cars that people want, for a profit.

Sesame Street descends into Mad Maxian anarchy; Oscar the Grouch fashions shivs out the letter J and the number .

No longer protected by government warning labels, massive wave of amputations from people sticking limbs into lawn mowers.

At-risk Mexican drug lords forced to buy own machine guns.

Potential 5-year old terrorists head to boarding gates ungroped.

Without college loan program, America loses an entire generation of Marxist Dance Theorists.

President Obama places tarp over Washington Monument to conceal from Chinese repo men.

Nation's freeway exits crowded with desperate bureaucrats waving 'will regulate for food' signs.

Oh, the horror! The HORROR!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


It's that time of year again: tourist season in Montana. Honestly, I like most out-of-state visitors and family campers as they tend not to leave several dozen beer cans in the campsite when they depart and actually use the outhouses in lieu of the nearest stream. On the other hand, there's Californians.

At any rate, here are a few questions sent in by some of our many fans asking advice in regards to their Montana vacation. As a service to you, I have drawn upon my vast redneck expertise to provide the definitive answers, so you needn't bother with those park and forest rangers or the local Chamber of Commerce.

Q: I am from California and considering moving to Montana. What can you tell me about locales which are close to wilderness areas yet still offer civilized amenities such as comprehensive public art collections, interpretive dance theatre, and organic arugula?

A: We don't have any of that crap. Montana sucks. Stay home and tell all your friends to do so as well.

Q: I don’t go anywhere without my darling Pomeranian, my dear little Foofy. How can she enjoy our vacation too?

A: Dogs like Foofy need not want for company. Packs of coyotes and wolves just love to frolic with their close domestic canine relatives, so Foofy will meet lots of new friends. Throwing Foofy’s fetchie into a geyser is also highly entertaining.

Q: I’ve been to over twenty different restaurants in Montana and I just can’t find one that has sushi. Any suggestions on where I could find some?

A: Try Bubba’s Bait Shop on Route 89.

Q: I worry about bear encounters. What is the proper use of those little “bear bells” the Park Service recommends?

A: Squash them with a hammer, then load them into a 3-1/2-inch Magnum 12-gauge shell with as much Federal powder and 00 buckshot as you can pack in there.

Q: How about pepper spray?

A: If you want, you can spray a little on the tip of each 300-grain flat-nose hardcast bullet in your .44 Magnum revolver; kind of adds insult to injury. If you insist on carrying pepper spray as protection against bears, check the expiration date, read the instructions and learn how to use it, keep it readily available on your belt not stuffed away in your pack, and be extra sure to finalize your last will and testament before leaving on vacation. If you drive a Hybrid, you may also wish to consider storing your bear spray on the dashboard in direct sunlight on a hot August day.

Q: I can’t figure out how to use these bear-proof trash cans and dumpsters. How do they work?

A: Ask a bear. They know how those things work.

Q: Why do we always see moose in streams and lakes?

A: A. alces shirasi, or Shiras Moose, are voracious predators who consume large quantities of fish; thus they are usually found near or in water. The dewlap or “bell” which hangs down beneath a moose’s neck is actually a crop like that of a chicken; the moose swallow small rocks and pebbles to grind up the fish bones in this crop so that the entire trout can be consumed. There is some concern about moose predation on the Westslope cutthroat trout, a species of concern, but biologists believe the problem will correct itself in another decade or so when the wolves will have killed and eaten all the moose.

Q: There are small, cute little animals that pop out of holes in the ground and stand straight up. The children think they are so cute. They are smaller than prairie dogs. What are these adorable little animals?

A: Although locally they are referred to as gophers or “Dak Rats”, in reality these cute little guys are a species of ground squirrel, (Urocitellus richardsonii). They fall into the family known as varmints, which is to say animals who occupy the “target practice” niche on the food chain.

Q: What should we do if we encounter a rattlesnake?

A: Personally, I like to give ‘em a couple rounds of CCI snake shot from my 4-inch Smith 629. If lacking said revolver, you may wish to have your male children smash it with big sticks and heavy rocks. It builds character, and may keep them from growing up to carry a purse and vote Democrat.

Q: At what altitude do the mule deer turn into elk?

A: Around 7,000 feet in Montana, but they require higher elevations in the Southern Rockies.

Q: Buffalo look like big cows. Can we pet them?

A: Yes, if you wish to spend the rest of your short life shaped like a potato chip.

Q: What is the best way to build a campfire?

A: From what I’ve seen in the campgrounds where I live, it would appear that one should burn a few paper napkins up against a green log at least 16 inches in diameter. Repeat until you run out of napkins, then switch to toilet paper. Then try to make S’mores with your Bic lighter and go to bed cold and early.

Q: I plan to wear my Bluestate Outdoorsperson Kampong shirt and Monongahela River cargo shorts on my camping trip, but I can't decide whether sienna glow or riviera blue will clash less with the local flora.

A: I'm partial to the German Army surplus flectarn cammo pattern, but the Disruptive Pattern Material is also quite fetching (the British Army S95 pattern, of course, not the Dutch imitation). When you accessorize, always remember leather pistol holsters; retro is in and nylon is passe and rather gauche.

Q: I am an enthusiastic fly fisherman. On my trip to your local Blue Ribbon Trout Stream, I intend to use my Tonkin split bamboo rod, a delightful little Dame Stoddard & Kendall reel coupled with 60 grain floating line, tapered leader, and traditional silkworm gut tippets. My dry and wet fly arsenal will of course include the classics; Royal Wulffs, Wooly Worms, and Royal Coachmen from Farlow’s of London. Do you have any recommendations for additional fishing gear I should consider including?

A: The Compleat Montana Angler should not be without an Ugly Stick, Zebco spincaster, Spiderwire, night crawlers, 12-pack of beer, and a cast iron skillet.

Gun Nut Roundup July 2011

Cheddarheads Finally Get Concealed Carry

On July 8th Governor Scott Walker signed into law a bill making Wisconsin the 49th state to allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons.  Said Walker, "By signing concealed carry into law today, we are making Wisconsin safer for all responsible, law abiding citizens."

"I would like to thank the NRA for all their hard work over the past 10 years—they never gave up the fight for Wisconsinites to defend themselves," said Sen. Pam Galloway, the bill's sponsor. "While we were both disappointed that Constitutional Carry did not have the necessary support in the legislature to pass this year, we know that SB 93 [the concealed carry bill] represents one of the most freedom-oriented licensing laws in the entire country and it's a tremendous first step toward our ultimate goal of adopting Constitutional Carry in the Badger State. I look forward to continuing this battle alongside the proud members of NRA."

This now leaves President Obama's home state of Illinois as the only state in the union that doesn't allow it's citizens any legal option to arm themselves outside their homes.

U.N. Still Seeking International Gun Ban

A committee of the Blue Helmets met recently to hash out details on its Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), with final negotiations to be in 2012.  Although you might think this treaty just deals with international gun smuggling, former ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, explains that, “The hidden agenda of a lot of the people who sought to negotiate a small arms treaty really had less to do with reducing dangers internationally and a lot more to do with creating a framework for gun control statutes at the national level.”

According to a Gun Owners of America alert, "[t]he ATT will, at the very least, require gun owner registration and microstamping of ammunition. And it will define manufacturing so broadly that any gun owner who adds so much as a scope or changes a stock on a firearm would be required to obtain a manufacturing license.  It would also likely include a ban on many semi-automatic firearms (i.e., the Clinton gun ban) and demand the mandatory destruction of surplus ammo and confiscated firearms."

The Obama administration is fully on board with the new treaty, unlike the Bush administration which opposed it.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton  has stated, “The United States is prepared to work hard for a strong international standard in this area.”

Operation Fast and Furious Getting Ferocious

For those of you haven't heard of it, "Operation Fast and Furious" was yet another Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) plan apparently devised by Wile E. Coyote.*   In this plan, ATF knowing allowed straw purchasers to buy guns at American gun stores (despite protests from ATF's own field agents and the store owners themselves) and allowed these weapons to be smuggled into Mexico to drug cartels.  As many as 2,500 such weapons were walked into Mexico. 

Testifying before Congress, one disgruntled ATF agent stated, "I cannot begin to think of how the risk of letting guns fall into the hands of known criminals could possibly advance any legitimate law enforcement interest."  Um, yeah.  Mexican drug cartels have put the ATF guns to good use.  So far they have used "Fast and Furious" weapons to kill U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, down a Mexican military chopper, kidnap high-profile attorney Mario González RodrĂ­guez, and engage in at least 150 shootings (that we know about).

The whole steaming shitpile is under investigation by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  According to an article “The Obama Administration, according to ATF agents who blew the whistle on the illegal plot, intended to use statistics concerning U.S. guns in Mexico to call for more stringent gun control.”  Ideally President Obama should be impeached, but that will never happen with the press too busy humping his legs to do their job.  At the very least, however, Attorney General Eric Holder (who oversees the ATF) should lose his job. 

Gun Owners of America has a page where you can send a pre-written email to your Senators urging them to call for Holders resignation here.  The NRA has set up a petition at

* Humor columnist Dave Barry first suggested that the ATF's plan during the disastrous 1993 Waco siege of the Branch Davidians had been devised by Wile E. Coyote.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Here at BBB we receive a great deal of fan mail, usually starting with, “You dicks!” and ending with, “Go to hell!” Recently, however, we received a sincere plea for help from a young person wishing to learn about government and economics. It is refreshing to encounter a student who actually wants to learn something, as well as to receive a letter consisting of less than 50% profanity. Jimmee is an undergraduate student majoring in Business Management at UNI. Printed below is his letter in its entirety.


my transgendur economik oppreshun finanshal professor sez u are a couple of fashist notzee dooshbags. She sez she cant weight for the goolags to opun so that u will git whut u have cuming too u u kapitalist pigs.

howevur I has a turm paper cuming do and I has two splain how presdent obama’s ekonomik plans will wurk to fix the ekonomy and save the childrun and how it is all Boosh’s fawlt anyway. Can u splain too me in a minimum of 1200 wurds how the government plan is going to werk I need it buy friday.

thank u u fashist kapitalist swines

yers trooly

Our young friend Jimmee could obviously use a little help on this subject, among many, many others. We believe the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words is not necessarily true. In Jimmee’s case, it is probably worth at least half a million, maybe more. At any rate, here in one simple picture, is our explanation of how the government’s role in the economy actually works. We hope this helps, Jimmee, and offer the additional advice that you may wish to practice the phrase, “Would you like fries with that?”

Friday, July 15, 2011


Before we dive into the June 2011 (partial) list of examples of the Religion of Peace spreading faith, hope and love around the world, I can't help but wonder why not so long ago the mere threat of burning a Koran was breathlessly and endlessly reported by the mainstream media across the globe, bemoaned by world leaders from presidents to generals, and seen as justification for riots and blood-letting, yet in 2001, most Americans never even heard about the Taliban's destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001.

Buddha before Islam.

Buddha after Islam.

Much larger and rarer than a copy of the Koran, and dating from the 5th Century, the two Buddhist statues were carved from sandstone cliffs and, standing at 180 and 121 feet high respectively, were the largest examples of Buddha carvings in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. While the UN sent the Taliban "strongly worded" letters protesting the destruction of the statues, and ambassadors from dozens of countries, including Arabic nations, "condemned" the act, nobody actually tried to physically stop the Taliban.

Being real short on trained demolition engineers (and a helluva lot shorter on construction engineers) or even folks who could do math beyond the digits-on-the-appendages level for that matter, it took the Tali-boys several weeks to obliterate the statues. They started out with days of blasting away with RPG-7s, anti-aircraft guns, mines, tanks, and tube and rocket artillery, which inflicted plenty of damage but failed to obliterate them. UN officials mistook this initial effort for a standard Muslim wedding reception and did not notice. Eventually, the Taliban had to physically climb the statues and plant dynamite charges, again over a period of several days, until the job was finally finished. Mullah Mohammed Omar said of the event, "Muslims should be proud of smashing idols. It has given praise to God that we have destroyed them."

In response, millions of Buddhists went on rampages throughout China, India, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand and elsewhere around the globe. In an orgy of destruction, over 100 people were killed in these riots, hundreds more raped, and thousands injured. The burning and pillaging of Islamic settlements and mosques as well as several suicide bombings resulted in property damage in the tens of millions. Calls for peace and calm from various presidents, prime ministers and religious leaders went unheeded by the enraged Buddhist mobs.

No, wait, that last part didn't happen. That only happens when someone "hurts the feelings" of the Religion of Peace; and then it is seen as completely justified and cartoonists, preachers or sometimes just passers-by are condemned for "setting them off" and, when killed or maimed, "had it coming."

So, without further ado, here are just some of the zany shenanigans and madcap adventures of that wacky ol' Religion of Peace from June 2011.

6/1/2011, Pakistan: Muslim rapes Christian Toddler for Failure to Convert to Islam.

6/2/2011, Egypt: Prominent Cleric Says Financial Problems can be Solved by Conducting Jihad Raids to Capture "Slaves, Women and Children to Sell Like Groceries..."

6/3/2011, Minnesota: Muslim Woman Passing Out Qurans Stabs Two People.

6/4/2011, Video: American Muslims Should Buy Guns, Start Shooting People

6/6/2011, Kuwait: Muslim Woman Seeks to Revitalize the Institution of Sex Slavery.

6/5/2011, Palestine: Muslim Man Accused of Brutally Stabbing Israeli Family: "I don't regret what I did, and would do it again."

6/8/2011, Egypt: Christian Girl Being Sexually Abused to Make Her Convert to Islam.

6/9/2011, Nigeria: Jihadists Murder 14 in Bomb Attacks on Church and Police Station.

6/10/2011, Palestine: Rampaging Muslims Attack, Destroy Israeli Settlement, Burn Jewish Holy Books

6/12/2011, New York: Muslim Slashes Throat of 70-year old Man in Harlem Grocery.

6/15/2011, Palestine: Muslim Cleric: "Jews Are a Virus Similar to Aids".

6/19/2011, Sudan: Muslims Declare Jihad, Loot Church Buildings, Torture and Kill Christians.

6/26/2011: Egypt: Hundreds of Muslims Torch 8 Christian Homes on Rumor of Church Construction.

6/27/2011, Iraq: Brutal Beheadings, Islamic Barbarism Advances Ahead of President Obama's Withdrawal Plan.

Wow. And that's just a partial list for one month. If the government and the media weren't telling me different, I would think there was some kind of trend or pattern going on with this whole Islam thing. But they say it's okay, so I guess we should all stick our heads back in the sand and not talk about such things. It might hurt someone's feelings.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


The Mk. I Human Eyeball still remains the most effective target detection system.

“…eyes have they, but they see not;”

Psalm 135:16

“Sir, I would like to tell you that a man’s keenness or dullness of eye may determine whether or not he will live.”

Platoon Sergeant R. A. Zullo, 5th Marines, Guadalcanal

“There must be training in difficult observation, which is needed for the offense. It is my observation that only 5% of the men can really see while observing.”

Col. Merritt A. Edson, Marine Raider Bn, Guadalcanal

Target detection is one of the hardest steps in finding and engaging an enemy. In a country of ever expanding urbanization, a disconnect from the natural world, and a hectic “always faster” lifestyle, target detection has become a very difficult undertaking for many. Military sniper schools may teach this, but for the average combat arms soldier, the skill is mentioned only in passing in the manuals and seldom, if ever, actually practiced and developed in field training.

To me, a life-long hunter, it is almost second nature and it took me a lesson to realize that not everyone has “the eye”. This was brought home to me a couple of decades ago when I took my city-raised stepson on his first squirrel hunt. We eased into a nice patch of oak-hickory woods before first light, and say down with our backs to a big white oak to wait for the tree rats to make their appearance.

It was a good patch of timber. There were fox squirrels everywhere. Having shot my share over the years, I sat and waited for my partner to take his shot(s). And waited. And waited. Finally, after about an hour, he whispered that he had had enough, having not yet seen a single squirrel.

“Whaddaya mean? They’re all around us.”


That little light bulb icon suddenly flickered belatedly over my head and I got it.

So we sat there and I pointed out the varmints. Those leaves moving on a windless morning marked the progress of a squirrel going from branch to branch. That slight repeated flicker moving in tune to that chirping noise was a squirrel’s tail nervous tail. The slight pattering sound was pieces of acorn falling onto the leaves from above, where a squirrel sat busily gnawing away on his breakfast. The papery rustling noise was a squirrel scampering about on the ground through the fallen leaves.

Chris picked up on it quickly and learned the skill of spotting quarry in a variety of terrain. I hope it served him well in the 82nd in Iraq, but never got around to discussing it in detail.

Even many, if not most, casual sportsmen don’t have “the eye”. Too many wander through the woods expecting to see this animal the size of a cow standing out in the open broadside. Whether it’s the Pennsylvania deer hunter’s hardwood forest or the north-facing Rocky Mountain black timber where the elk bed down, the hunter’s eye looks for tiny bits of a jigsaw puzzle to make the whole appear…the flicker of an ear, the glint of a stray sunbeam on an antler, a patch of color that just doesn’t look right.

Coming from the woods of the East to the wide open, apparently featureless terrain of the high plains where the antelope roam, even a good hunter has to “re-calibrate” the Mk. I eyeball. He has to learn to look far off into the distance, even miles distant, and use binoculars to glass the landscape. He looks for the same tell-tale signs of something just not being “right”…the white rump of a speed goat, the slow movement of one or two animals while the rest are bedded down and motionless, a pattern of dots on a distant hillside that just doesn’t seem to be properly spaced to be rocks or juniper bushes…only further away than he’s used to.




Although essentially the same as those found in American military manuals, I have taken this list from the quite well done Canadian Army Fieldcraft manual, as even slight differences may provide a trick or two to help the Soldier on the ground. Exact passages from the manual are in blue.

1. The ability to observe effectively is an acquired skill. Things are seen because they contrast with their surroundings in one way or another. There are 11 reasons why things are seen:

a. shape;

b. shadow;

c. silhouette;

d. movement;

e. spacing;

f. position;

g. texture;

h. colour;

i. scale;

j. noise; and

k. shine.


Experience teaches one to associate an object with its shape or outline. At a distance, the outline of an object can be recognized long before the details that make it up can be determined.

It is notable that very few military special operators or snipers choose to wear Kevlar helmets unless ordered to do so by the REMFs. Even in rocky terrain, nature is short on round shapes, such as the top of a helmet.

An interesting example I noticed involved the net worn on US military helmets in WWII and Korea. Intended to be used for enhancing camouflage, by sticking leaves and twigs through the mesh, too many GIs and Marines simply wore the net over the bare helmet. For some reason, this actually caused the helmet to be more detectable rather than less to the enemy.

On Guadalcanal, Sgt. C.W. Arrowood of the 164th Infantry of the Americal Division, said. “I have been on 15 patrols and each time a patrol was fired on, the man with the net on his helmet drew the fire…so, as for me, I use a fatigue field cap.”

On the other side of the world, a German Panzer-Grenadier captured in Italy noted the same thing; “The net cover on the helmets of Allied soldiers permits us to see the outline of the helmet distinctly, and at a considerable distance, in the daytime.”

Vehicles, weapons and equipment, on the other hand, have an abundance of straight lines, something else which stands out in nature, except in the urban environment. Camouflage of these items mainly involves the breaking up of these strait lines.


Against a dark background, the light surfaces of an object will be distinguishable, while against a light background, the dark or shadowed sides will show.

In this case, shadows actually make these vehicles and weapons more readily identified from the air.

In addition, an object may cast a shadow beside it that may be visible even though the object itself may be out of sight. Objects in a shadow may be missed because the eye tends to accept conspicuously dark or light areas as uniform and does not seek out minor differences in darkness or lightness within them.

As for ones own self, if shade is there, use it. In some environments, as the desert, shade is hard to come by, but evening shadows do provide some. In other environments, from forest to urban, taking advantage of shadow makes one harder to see, especially in the woods, where stepping out into a sunlit opening is practically begging to be seen.

Shadows good, shadows your friend. The danger of silhouetting oneself is also readily apparent.

In low light situations especially shadows are your friend. A sentry or lookout in a lighted area cannot really see into the darkness. As an example, looking out the window of a lighted room at night, it is very difficult to see what is outside in the yard, while from the outside it is very easy to make out all the details looking into the lit room.

Keeping this in mind, if you’re looking for someone in the dark, it is always best to keep light sources to your back so you can more easily see into the shadows. If the light source is in your face, the shadows become even more impenetrable.


Anything silhouetted against a contrasting background is conspicuous. Any smooth, flat background, like water, a field or (most frequently) the sky, will provide such a contrast. Any object may be silhouetted simply by being seen against a background of a different colour. Choose clothing and camouflage to match the background, if possible.

This illustration from an old Soviet Spetsnaz manual shows how to avoid silhouetting oneself.

In Vietnam, the famous “Tiger Stripe” camouflage pattern was considered “sexy” and somewhat of a status symbol used by some special units. One major problem, though. From tall grass to jungle, nature’s stripes were vertical, while the tiger stripes were horizontal. In some circumstances, this could make the wearer stick out rather than blend in.


Although movement by itself seldom reveals the identity of an object, it is the most important factor for revealing existence. Even though the other recognition factors may have been completely eliminated, an enemy observer will be attracted to an area if movement is not controlled. An enemy observer may be concentrating on one area, but he will not fail to detect movement in another area through peripheral vision. Do not move unless absolutely necessary and then only to the extent necessary.

Quick movement always instantly attracts the attention of the human eye, while very slow movement can be almost imperceptible. In fact,

Patience is not a virtue of the average American. WWII Marine Corps Raider Pioneer, Carlson Evens, and many others even called for American fighting men to have training in patience.

“If I were training my Battalion again, I would have training in patience. I would have patrols wait for the enemy to expose himself. They move around too. They have to relieve themselves and have to get food. I would have the men in this patience training be made to stay still for hours at a time.”

On the other hand, patience has traditionally been practiced much more in the Oriental world. To Japanese and Vietnamese infiltrators in particular, patience coupled with very slow movement enabled them to slip through defenses and into places one would hardly believe possible.

An impressive exampled occurred during Operation Maui Peak during the Vietnam War. Marine defenses overlooked a flat open area with only scattered bushes for cover. Visibility was good with a full moon and no overcast. Holding a bush in front of them, NVA raiders took seven hours to crawl 100 meters, their movement so slow as to go unnoticed by the human eyes scanning the area. When within range of the Marine lines, the NVA bombarded them with a barrage of hand grenades and then escaped in the resulting confusion.

VC Sapper penetrating concertina wire of a defensive position. Sometimes, slow and sneaky wins the race.


In nature, things are seldom regularly spaced. Regular spacing, therefore, usually indicates man-made objects and attracts the eye of the observer. Be conscious of spacing when parking vehicles or laying out trenches.

When the First World War bogged down into trench warfare, the British Army’s obsession for neatness and orderliness cost many a life. With the sandbag parapets stacked neatly in uniform lines, any man who tried to peek over them to observe the enemy instantly stood out of place and invited a German sniper’s bullet. More practical front-line officers soon formed parapets in sloppy, haphazard and uneven patterns and utilizing different colored sandbags


An object is often identified by its position in relation to its surroundings. A long object on a railroad track is assumed to be a train; similar objects on a river and parallel to its banks are assumed to be boats or barges. A large structure in a group of frame buildings might be a barn. Position is nothing more than the relationship in space of one object to another object or objects.

A favorite tactic of insurgents and even regular military forces that face an opponent with air supremacy is to use position to hide things in plain sight, as it were.

Korea: “The Chinese also parked operational vehicles among vehicles that had been destroyed or disabled in previous air strikes, or they left them in awkward positions in ditches to appear disabled. Such measures often fooled pilots during subsequent air strikes. In the same deceptive manner, the Chinese camouflaged destroyed vehicles to cause the UN air forces to waste their ordnance on what they thought were operational vehicles.”


Texture may be defined as the relative smoothness or roughness of a surface. A rough surface, such as a field of grass, reflects little light and casts many shadows on itself. It appears very dark to the eye or on a photograph. A smooth surface, such as an airstrip or the roof of a building, reflects more light in an aerial photograph.

WWII Japanese soldier camouflaging his steel helmet with mud.

Military helmets have from the beginning been a source of trouble in regards to texture, as smooth metal obviously stands out. Methods to counter this have included smearing them with mud, using paint with sand mixed in, and the wide variety of helmet covers and nets to garnish with foliage.

Texture is a big part of what makes a Ghillie Suit so effective.


Colour is an aid to an observer when there is contrast between the colour of an object and its background. The greater the colour contrast, the more visible the object. While colour alone will not usually identify an object, it is often an aid in locating an object or confirming a tentative identification. A secondary consideration is the tone of a colour. Usually, the darker shades of a given colour will be less likely to attract an observer's attention than the lighter, more brilliant shades.

One of the easiest colors to see in the field is human skin, even black skin. Try it sometimes. Compare a fully camouflaged man with one fully camouflaged except for the face and hands. You will be amazed just how much they stick out like a sore thumb. VC and NVA troops were in fact trained not to look up at American helicopters when seeking to remain undetected.

Simple colors, of course, are important. Someone clad in woodland pattern BDU’s in the middle of an open snowfield is obviously going to attract attention rather than avoid it. Likewise, someone in snow cammo in the dark woods bare of snow is also going to immediately draw the eye.

In days of old, when infantry whaled away at each other in nice rows with inaccurate muskets, colored uniforms were less of an issue, although hidden Colonial riflemen proved otherwise during the Revolutionary War. Later, in the age of the accurate, long-range magazine rifle, uniforms which blended in became imperative.

On the flat, open, featureless high veldt of South Africa where the British Army squared off against the pioneer-like Boers with their excellent fieldcraft, shooting skills and 7mm Mausers, khaki uniforms became the order of the day to help soldiers avoid attracting the eye. Ever pragmatic, seasoned NCO’s of the war advised new men, “Don’t stand close to white rocks or officers.”


Objects that differ greatly in size from those around them will be more readily distinguishable than objects amongst others of approximately the same size.

For instance, in a locker room Ben’s big horse dick is readily distinguishable from normal willies.


Flashes of light reflected off uncamouflaged materials such as glass and metal quickly attract the attention of ground and air observers.

As noted under color, the flesh of the human face has a kind of shine to it which stands out readily.

Shine is also the reason why light discipline is so very important during night operations. Just as sound travels better and further at night, light is also more readily visible at much longer ranges. A Japanese night fighting proverb said, “Fire and light appear close at night.”

The U.S. Army provides these figures for how far light sources can de detected at night.

Source: Distance:

Vehicle headlights: Up to 8 kilometers

Open fires: 6 to 8 kilometers

Flashlights: 1.5 to 2 kilometers

Cigarettes: 0.5 to 0.8 kilometers

Shine is just as important a consideration during the day. Recall the scene from The Wild Bunch where William Holden and Ernest Borgnine are observing a posse through binoculars in open terrain. They have newspapers wrapped around the objective lenses to ensure the sun does not glint off the glass.

Modern rifle scopes have been fitted with sunshades to the tube body which extend ahead of the objective lens far enough to keep the sun from directly striking the lens, and also serve the double purpose of cutting the glare to provide the shooter with clearer sighting.

Even more recently, such companies as Leupold and killFlash have come out with ARDs (Anti-Reflection Devices). These consist of a honeycomb-like matrix cover to fit over a scope’s lens. Less than an inch long, they are supposed as effective at reducing glare as a 7-inch-long sunshade.

Military binoculars such as these Steiners have reflective lens coatings to protect the Soldiers' eyes from battlefield lasers. Notice how effective the Leupold ARD is at concealing the lens on the left compared to the normal lens on the right.




The usual method of scanning is to divide the ground into foreground, middle distance and distance. One scans from the right to the left. Where the ground is fairly open this is the best method. When scanning is done horizontally, it is not necessary to continually
alter the sense of scale (see Figure 2-1).

Figure 2-1


In close or broken country, different types of ground require
different treatment. First, carefully examine areas likely to contain enemy positions, either because of their tactical value, slope and relation to crests or because of the possibility of good cover. Then, look along the junctions between such areas and other areas. Next,
examine all areas visible through any screen, trees or foliage. Then, examine all remaining areas of light or sunlit ground. Finally, examine all areas of dark or shadowed ground. The sequence adopted depends on the terrain and range of observation.


At dusk or in half moonlight or starlight, naked eye scanning
is slower than in full light. The observer pauses for a few seconds looking in one direction, paying attention to objects off the direct line
of vision. Then he shifts his line of vision by about 110 to 170 mils (approximately a fist's width at arm's length) and again pauses until objects become visible near his line of vision. He rests his eyes for 10
seconds every minute or two. With binoculars, a similar "move and stop" method is used, with attention paid to objects visible "out of the
corner of the eye".


When attempting to see through a nearby screen, foliage, etc.,the observer looks at the area under observation and ignores the screen. A small head movement automatically extends the area to be observed.

Noise is also a major factor in how things are detected, but we’ll leave that for another time, in an article devoted entirely to the sense of hearing by night and day.

For now, keep your eyes on the sight, your sling tight, and your stick on the ice.

Monday, July 11, 2011


There is always considerable fodder for sarcasm and satire and insane blithering (read our disclaimer) when it comes to the sleazy politicians of both parties in Washington D.C. which infest our lives. Not to mention the swarms of unelected bureaucrats and appointees who make arbitrary decisions which carry the weight of law, mainly just to expand their own power as they squabble over their petty little fiefdoms. And the media. Good Lord, the media.

Since I could blog 24/7 and never even come close to properly ridiculing them all, I decided to take a short break and do something halfway serious.

I had installed an Entreprise Arms free float barrel tube on my favorite FAL awhile back. My favorite is Queenie, who was an MOA shooter already. It has since become my hunting and target shooting FAL. My tactical STG-style FAL knock around bush gun is a good rifle, too, but not nearly as accurate. Her name is Gertie, in honor of that WWII GI source of ditties in Tunisia; Dirty Gertie from Bizerte (hid a mousetrap up her skirtie, Made her boyfriend’s finger hurtie.).

But I digress. You should be used to that from me by now.

Anyway, I took the girls out to the section of public land that is my shooting range. It was all clear and open for business. The last time I tried to go, the grazing permittee was so gauche as to have cows all over my shooting range.

Temp was around 80, with the wind blowing from seemingly every point of the compass at anywhere from a calm 3-5 miles per hour to gusts of Force 10. Eventually, it knocked down 2 out of 3 target stands and ripped loose the tent stakes from my little sun shade tarp I had set up over my firing point. Fortunately, I had also brought along my home-made 9-inch 5-pound steel gong and its stand. With two clicks of windage (1cm at 100m) on Queenie’s Hensoldt and holding center mass, I was banging the hell out of that gong at 300. “Holding off” for windage with the sharp tip of the inverted pointer on the Trilux scope was not so easy, but I managed to ring it with five out of ten rounds. Of course, a 9-inch plate is the equivalent of a headshot, so I’m sure things would have work as intended with a man-sized target and a hold on the edge.

Then the wind tore the steel gong loose and sent it bounding through the sagebrush like a tumbleweed, and I decided it was time to pack ‘er up. The guys down in Cheyenne, WY are probably calling me a big pussy right now. Down there, their shooting ranges each have a section of log chain bolted to a sturdy wooden corner post. This is their equivalent of a range wind flag. They don’t go home until the wind has the log chain standing straight out from the post.

Remember that digression thing?

At any rate, Queenie now wears an Entreprise Arms free-float forearm. It doesn’t come with instructions, but unless you’re a graduate of the Chicago Publik Skool system you should be able to figure out how to install it.

It appears to actually enhance accuracy by itself. Shooting Queenie off the sandbag, I got one 3-shot group measuring less than 2-inches at 300 yards (during one of those rare but lovely breaks in the wind) with German surplus ball. Shooting with a tight sling, there was no appreciable change in the point of impact.

I wound up shooting with a USGI Model 1907-style leather shooting sling. I had originally put two sling swivel studs beneath the free float forearm to use the marvelous Cooperite Ching Sling, which can be rock steady and faster than any other sling to loop up with, even on your way down into your prone or sitting shooting position.

Unfortunately, I was using my nylon Wilderness Ching sling. It is a very nice, rugged and solid piece of work, with all the seams triple-stitched and featuring its own “no-squeakie” Hushstalker sling swivels permanently attached. It just ain’t my cup of tea. I have trouble with the material slipping down my sleeve rather than staying tight up high on the bicep. The sling swivels are long screws with a little tab on one end to tighten them with. I found out a long time ago to put on a dab of Loc-Tite and horse them down pretty good with the Leatherman; they used to work loose in the field. That, and I wear wool sweaters a lot while hunting, and my orange vest has mesh material on it, so more than once I saw a deer or speed goat and went to unsling my rifle only to find myself semi-permanently attached to it via a tab caught in the wool or mesh.

Your mileage may vary. Maybe it works perfectly well for other folks. My advice on trying out the Ching Sling, however, would be to get a good leather one from Andrew Langlois. I prefer leather slings anyway, and these are top-of-the-line and can’t be beat. Alas, mine is on another rifle and fitted with hammerhead swivels for flush mount Millett sling mounts, so I didn’t get a chance to try it on Queenie. Guess I’ll have to order another one, eh.

Queenie did just find with or without a tight sling. Gertie, not so much. Gertie has the original issue sling swivel mounted directly to the barrel on a collar, like the M16. When using a very tight shooting sling, such an arrangement can be enough to pull your rounds low. Indeed it did. Testing two groups at 300 yards, one off the sandbag and one with a really tight USGI web sling, I found the sling groups to be about 4-6 inches lower than the rested groups.

As to sling shooting Gertie, I guess in the grand scheme of things, being 1 to 1-1/2 MOA low at 300 isn’t all that big a difference. It’s still close enough for government work, i.e. minute-of-jihadist, and 300 meters is roughly the realistic effective range of the poodle shooters. It ain’t good enough for me, though, and certainly not for the hunting field. Plus, the way MOA works, beyond 300 yards this seemingly small error grows exponentially…8 to 12 inches at 400 yards, 16 to 24 at 500 and 32 to 48 (four bloody feet!) at 600, the maximum range at which I shoot seriously with the FALs. No, not anywhere near good enough for me.

The thinner the barrel, the greater the problem. For instance, according to Major John Plaster, the Army’s own tests showed that using a tight shooting sling on the M16A1 can pull shots as much as 4 inches low at 100 yards. Now we’re talking about being up to 16 inches low at 300 yards and twelve feet off at 600.

I remember when my unit got the shiny new M16A2 rifle. All those experts in the know and, IRRC, even the manuals called it a “heavy barrel”. I was happy as a gopher in soft dirt. I figured “heavy barrel” meant something like a Colt HBAR, and I could torque down on that sling like an M1 Garand. First time at bat on the range, I cranked that sling down tighter than a pecker in a knothole and had at ‘er. I went 20 for 20 on the foxhole supported and then 5 out of 20 with the tight sling in the prone unsupported. My language was colorful enough to change the direction on the nearby windsock. Next go-round, I did not use the sling at all, just a hasty to keep it out of the way, and things were fine that time.

Further research on my part revealed that only the last four inches of barrel at the muzzle end, forward of the sling attachment point, was a “heavy barrel”. The rest of the barrel had the same thin dimensions as the M16A1 so that the M203 grenade launcher could still be attached to the new weapon. Yet one more reinforcing lesson why one can’t take what Uncle Sugar tells you at face value.

I should also point out that this was back in the day of shooting about 50 live-fire rounds per year (9+ to zero and 40 to qualify, foxhole supported and prone firing positions, out to 300 meters maximum), hardly a regimen to create many Alvin Yorks or Sam Woodfills.

Then we got a new battalion commander who, God bless his heart, believed in rifle marksmanship. He moved heaven and hell to get us to the range to qualify twice a year. I thought it was great. The rest of the chain-of-command regarded it as a great inconvenience at best. I brought in all my own material, butcher board displays and photocopies of the USMC Marksmanship card, offering (begging might be a better word) to do Basic Rifle Marksmanship refresher classes for anyone and everyone before the first qualification with the new M16A2. I got the rolled eyes, pursed lip, heavy sigh response that such was neither necessary nor important.

After learning one could not use a sling to shoot a “heavy barrel” A2 as one would shoot, say, a heavy barrel anything else, I re-qualified and did shoot expert with the M16A2. It was about 1500 in the afternoon. The tower had me stand up and wave as the first person that day to shoot expert. The first go-round at qualification, only 8 people in the entire company qualified, and things didn’t improve much with the next couple of re-quals.

But refresher marksmanship training was still neither necessary nor important. Bastards. Whoops. There’s that mindless digression thing again.

So keep your sling tight and your stick on the ice. And if you haven’t already, get your goat-smelling ass to your nearest APPLESEED shoot to see what this sling thing is really all about.

Friday, July 08, 2011


Secretary of Education Arne Duncan scientifically explains how much $100 billion amounts to. Either that or he's showing off the size of his willy.

I'm sure we all remember the old gag that kids went to school to learn the "Three R's"; Reading, 'Riting and 'Rithmitic. Well nowadays, in the age of multi-trillion dollar budgets and a Federal Department of Education and endless "reforms", it seems that budget cuts are so severe that Chicago schools have to drop one of the R's; 'Riting.

Illinois will assess only reading and arithmetic now that high school juniors will no longer be tested on their writing skills during standardized exams every spring, according to a published report.

"We're trying to minimize the damage" of the cuts, Schools Superintendent Christopher Koch told the Chicago Tribune for a story published Wednesday. "Writing is one of the most expensive things to assess."

Lack of funds has long been a source of angst amongst Chicago schools. If only there were more far-left politically-connected socialists in the system to fix things up. We do have a great many education experts in Washington these days, all of them just coincidentally from the Chicago political machine, so perhaps they can fix the problem by finding larger shovels to throw even more money at it.

The unneeded renovation of Chicago's Vladimir Lenin Middle School could have cost the jobs of up to three public school administrators.

Take Secretary of Education Arne "the male Sandy"Duncan. As the CEO of Chicago's Public School system, Arne accomplished a great many feats, such as, according to Wikipedia, "building consensus" as well as stumping for all-gay high schools and finding time to get involved in gun control. Arne also heroically attempted to overcome budget shortfalls, with a mere $11,300 spent per school student, by cutting the system down to the bare bones, increasing the number of "administrators" making over $100,000 a year by a mere 140% during his tenure.

Another big wheel in the Chicago School System was none other than Bill "the Bomber" Ayers, a casual stranger in the neighborhood barely known by Barack Obama, a peripheral figure who babysat his kids and ghost wrote his autobiographies and held parties in his home, but whom Barry hardly knew. Anyway, complete stranger Bill Ayers, along with Arne the anti-Swartzenegger and Barack Obama, formed something called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Abbreviated CAC, it is pronounced like a cat coughing up a hairball.

Bill Ayers, photo circa 1970. "Writing is not important, as long as they can read the books I wrote, The Audacity of Hope (but I repeat myself) and The Anarchist's Cookbook."

CAC's Five-Year Plan, with a $50 million grant and tens of millions of dollars in matching funds, improved Chicago's public education not with silly old-fashioned ideas such as putting money into actual schools or students, but by basically throwing money at left-wing kook "external partners" and "community organizers" Arne, Bill and Barry liked (or felt they could gain something from later), to include ACORN and the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. According to "Professor" Ayers, the purpose of teachers isn't to do anything so silly as to teach, but to act as community organizers to, "...provoke resistance to American racism and oppression". Alas, CAC failed in its mission to improve Chicago schools, no doubt due to insufficient funding.

This was back when Barack was "working" as a "lawyer" for the firm of, I believe, Boye, Dewey, Cheatum & Howe, his only brief foray into the private sector, which he likened to, "being behind enemy lines." What with Barry's lowly income of a piddling $165 per hour as a lowly associate, and the high price of cigarettes in Chicago coupled with a lack of illegal alien groundskeepers for their $1.5 million home, Michelle Obama overcame her slave blood and went to work as well, acting as assistant vice-figurehead at the University of Chicago and saving money desperately needed for public education by accepting a miserly quarter million dollar a year salary.

Take hope, my fellow Americans. With the whole incestuous array of political cronies having migrated from Chicago to Washington D.C. we will no doubt see marked improvements in the performance of our public school students, except maybe for that pesky writing thing.

As a first step, Barack Obama has heroically shoveled out an extra $100 billion in "stimulus" money to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan since the Department of Education has been just barely scraping by on a paltry annual budget of a mere $71 billion taxpayer dollars.

Yet even that might not be enough.
A radical new idea, probably from Ayers, is to substitute a new test on "texting" instead of writing. A sample of this new test, with answers in parenthesis, appears below.

S^ GANGSTA (What is up, Gangster?)

N2MJCHBU (Not too much. How about you?)

GD&R (Grinning, Ducking And Running.)

LMAO MOFO (Laughing my ass off, motherf****r.)

LM4a~##zzzx> (Let’s meet for a joint.)

NFG GTKOLS4$ (No f***ing good. Got to knock over liquor store for money.)

SLAW (Sounds like a winner.)

L8R sk8r GTG (Later, skater. Got to go.)

IOH2 (I am out of here too.)

So you can see American taxpayers, students and parents, with such reforms in the works you are USCWAP (Up Shit Creek Without a Paddle.)