Counterfeit Cavalrymen

Like Mistermix, I find it completely bizarre that the gun nuts have resorted to calling me a cook, telling me I am lying about what I clearly did, etc. I don’t know why they think I would make this shit up. I have no reason to embellish what I did- it was really no big deal. I did what millions of people have done, which was join the military, do their time, and then go to school. I’m not out all PX Commando-like marching down the street in Veterans Day parades with fake medals. At any rate, here is a picture of me not standing on my tank with my crew in the middle of the Kuwait desert:


That was after I didn’t go to OSUT at Disney Barracks at Fort Knox, but before I wasn’t actually a combat engineer after I got off active duty. I’m the good looking one violating protocol by not keeping three points of contact while on the vehicle (SEE, WE TOLD YOU HE WAS A BAD SOLDIER!).

261 replies
  1. 1
    taylormattd says:

    *whistles at John*

    Military guys are such hotties.

  2. 2
    Anoniminous says:

    I don’t know why they think I would make this shit up.

    Because they spend their lives making shit up and then wallowing in it.

  3. 3
    TooManyJens says:

    Right, but where’s the long-form picture?

  4. 4
    Morbo says:

    @Anoniminous: Always, always, always projection with them.

  5. 5
    Violet says:

    I’m the good looking one violating protocol by not keeping three points of contact while on the vehicle

    You had four points of contact. Your two feet and your big ass balls.

    You’re never going to convince those idiots, John. They’ll claim Photoshop or point out they have no way of proving it was you, etc. Don’t waste your time with them.

  6. 6
    the Conster says:

    There are worse things than being called a cook.

  7. 7
    Stan says:

    I’m not believing anything until the kerning on the barrel of the tank checks out.

  8. 8
    PurpleGirl says:


    You both beat me to it.

  9. 9
    efroh says:

    That’s a beautiful photo, btw. The sky in the background looks like it’s painted. (Obviously, a fake!)

  10. 10
    Julia Grey says:

    Hey, wasn’t Steven Segal a cook in Under Siege?

  11. 11
    cathyx says:

    You have to show them a picture of your gun with the tape on the ammo clip. That’s the only proof they will accept.

  12. 12
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    I don’t see an American flag mounted on your tank, and the kerning on your barrel is off, so I’m calling shenanigans.

  13. 13
    c u n d gulag says:

    No one is a greater patriot, than a Keyboard Kommando!

    They, are the true hero’s (in their own feeble minds, that is).

    John, the problem is, you ACTUALLY served in the military. They only play video games, or maybe go and lug their giant bellies around, playing war with water guns.

    And besides, your service don’t mean jack-sh*t – they’re soldiers in a much different, more important war – a war on reason and progress.

  14. 14
    NCSteve says:

    Actually, I’m pretty sure John is, in fact, a cook. Unless those posts about food were all just made up bullshit like his supposed service in the so-called Gulf War in this made up “armored cavalry regiment” thing.

  15. 15
    Maude says:

    Have mouse overs on images been removed with the update on WP?

  16. 16
    monkeyfister says:

    It would appear that their BIGBIGBIG disqualifier of your claim has to do with the fact you used the term “clip” instead of “magazine.” Because EVERY soldier knows a clip is a quick-load strip used to load a magazine. Of course, EVERYONE uses the shorthand “clip,” even us Veterans, but those armchair soldiers are tetchy that way. Also too: your issued 1911– because EVERY armchair soldier knows 9mm was the sidearm every.single.Troop used.

    Go figure.


    We know better John.

  17. 17
    MattF says:

    Yeah, but what’s the font of that sign on the side of the tank? And which way are the shadows pointing?

  18. 18
    John Cole says:

    @efroh: That’s actually the smoke from all the oil fires Saddam set.

  19. 19
    PeakVT says:

    The kerning of the letters on the muzzle looks suspicious. I say photoshop! /101st keyboarder

    ETA: /shakes fist at FTD.

  20. 20
    JR(Not the Other JR) says:

    That tank was shooting ball bearings. Get back in the kitchen, John.

  21. 21
    Mnemosyne says:

    D’oh — Violet beat me to the “photoshopping” allegation that I’m sure is up next. Either that, or “It’s not his picture, he got it off the intertubes and is pretending it’s him!”

    Because, yes, they are completely incapable of believing that anyone could have gone through the same or similar experiences they did and come to a different conclusion.

  22. 22
    JR(Not the Other JR) says:

    That tank was shooting ball bearings. Get back in the kitchen, John.

  23. 23
    DanF says:

    Clearly photshopped as everyone knows that from the period of Oct. 10th, 1990 to Oct. 28th 1991, ACRs stationed on the Kuwaiti border were three person tank crews due to my need for this photo to be wrong. Also too, the kerning on the gun barrel.

  24. 24
    Jamey says:

    Wow, RUSHED here to demand the long-form picture and was beaten to the punch. Damn Dirty BJers…

    John G. Cole: Thank you for getting out in front of the issue and lending credibility to a debate that the NRA stooges simply do not want to have. Simply put, there is an imbalance between gun rights and gun-owner’s responsibilities, and that problem becomes more evident with each Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, or Waco.

    Clearly, we need to think about how we regulate and monitor gun ownership. And we need to view gun violence not as a 2d Amendment problem, but as one that touches all areas of our culture and society. In some sense, it’s like the relationship between poverty and outcomes in public education: Addressing the former will have a salutary effect on the latter.

  25. 25
    Napoleon says:

    @Julia Grey:

    And so was the Soviet party plant in Hunt for Red October.

  26. 26
    YellowJournalism says:

    @the Conster: It’s only an insult if they meant Chef Boyardee, but from the way John tells at us sometimes, he’s more like a Gordon Ramsey.

  27. 27
    beltane says:

    But, but…Mike Dukakis!!

  28. 28
    Ben Cisco says:

    John, there’s no point in trying to appease those jackasses,and frankly, they aren’t worth the time. Nothing more than human chaff/flare, trying to bring the squid cloud of butthurt because they cannot face the reality of the situation. To hell with ’em.

  29. 29
    Schlemizel says:

    @the Conster:
    Not in the Army there isn’t 8-{D

    John you know why they are doing this:
    Belittle those who disagree – since you do not agree you simply must not be a real soldier

    Projection – they themselves have lied about their service a thousand times so that is their first thought

  30. 30
    Rational Subjectivist says:

    Shopped. Pixels. Nice try, though.

    Serously John, you’re our hero. Don’t let those bastards grind you down.

  31. 31
    Liberty60 says:

    Because people like John Cole are the most terrifying threat to the worldview of the rabid right; someone who can’t be discounted as a pansy or weak kneed traitor.

    Their main claim is authenticity; that they alone are the realists with the machismo to do what needs to be done.

    When presented with demonstrable proof otherwise, they resort to hair-splitting pendantry.

    At least we weren’t treated to a demonstration of toy trucks in a sandbox.

  32. 32
    Culture of Truth says:

    I find it completely bizarre that the gun nuts have resorted to calling me a cook

    Yet they say nothing about Paula Deen.

  33. 33
    Valdivia says:

    Totally OT—but going into the gym I bumped into no other than that idiot Scott Brown getting out of a sleek sports car into a throng of middle aged women squealing as if he were a rock star. Ugh. Loathe the man.

  34. 34
    superfly says:

    Clearly shopped, I can tell by the pixels.

  35. 35
    pk says:

    You know they’re morons right? They are people who are scared of the UN and black helicopters. They’d probably pee in their pants if they ever actually came face to face with a teenage thug on a murderous rampage. Why are you engaging with them?

  36. 36
    Rosalita says:

    Happy for the return of the studly Cole picture.

    Fuck the haters.

  37. 37
    donnah says:

    They also hate that you used to be a…Republican, John. When you challenge their belief system and decry assault weapons, you have effectively rubbed their noses in their own gross failures, insulting everything they stand for.

    Good for you.

  38. 38
    JPL says:

    Some of us have seen that pic before. I agree with Violet, ignore the idiots.

  39. 39
    nemesis says:

    More on the Lanza family.

    His mother clashed with school officials and eventually removed Adam from public school and home-schooled him, her former sister-in-law, Marsha Lanza of Chicago, told a CBS News affiliate

    Adam was diagnosed with Aspergers. Hasnt that diagnosis come under scrutiny lately as being thin?

    Huckabee blames the lack of religion in schools for the shooting.

  40. 40
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    You could have been a cook and simply bribed the tank crew with steak dinners so you could get your picture taken on a tank.

    John, what everybody else is saying. To the wingers, you’re a lying sack of shit regardless of what you say, show or do.

  41. 41
    Schlemizel says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    Yes, there is that too!

    John, you had it nice and safe in an armored tank! Some of these poor bastards fought completely exposed in the Empire State building or their mom’s basement.

    Compared to what they had to put up with you are not a real man

  42. 42
    jl says:

    Another reason for Cole to hit the gym and get shaped up. So he can prove to the gun nuts that he is the same guy as in that pic.

    Spent the weekend policing the house of recently deceased relative. He served in the army too, but went in a different direction afterwards than Cole.

    Finding and securing his arsenal was a task assigned to my cousin (a great shot in the Navy, belonged to a shooting club) and me (I would remember the older pieces from plinking varmints). He had a pellet pistol at the ready hidden under a Glen Beck book (‘Arguing with Idiots’ I think was the title). I guess he figured he could hold off whoever, until he could lumber to the gun closet, unlock it and get out the heavy duty stuff.

    He was not a hateful sort of person, in fact in many ways he was a very giving generous person, very involved in community work. But the level of fantasy involved in his weapons stash was disturbing. I had no clue what was up with some of the newer fancier rifles, so glad my cousin was there. What did he think he could accomplish with all those guns? Hold off the NAFTA super highway, hold off Nobama ACORN shock troops, hold off the soshulist parasites, who he thought were all too dumb and helpless to handle any sort of gun at all, UN black helicopter invaders? I guess that was his plan.

  43. 43
    gogol's wife says:

    John will always be a hero to me, Rosie, Lily, and Tunch. Seriously, this place has been a real godsend over the last few days. If anyone wants to do something in their community, Josh Horwitz of the Coalition To Stop Gun Violence says to e-mail him and they will be sending out kits with advice over the next few days:

  44. 44
    rikyrah says:

    WHY would they accuse you of lying?

    Because their entire existence is built upon LIES

    and once someone logically challenges that

    they have nothing to do except for to attack you.

    the silence on the right has been very informative.

    not shocking…just confirming every inch of who I thought they were.

  45. 45
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:


    Huckabee blames the lack of religion in schools for the shooting.

    Just like I’m sure the Huckster blames the lack of religion in the Catholic church for all that child molestation.

    Oh wait, he’s a fundie, he probably does believe there was no religion in the church of the Whore of Babylon.

  46. 46
    The Red Pen says:

    They have kitchens in tanks? I’m confused.

  47. 47
    Jamey says:

    @John Cole: @John Cole:

    That’s actually the smoke from all the oil fires Saddam set.

    Or from the meals you burned… because you were a cook.

  48. 48
    Culture of Truth says:

    Y’all overthinking this. How do we know that’s JC in the picture. could be anyone.

  49. 49
    Raven says:

    In 1966 Disney was a personnel specialist barracks. And why the fuck is Pat Lang still on the blogroll?

  50. 50
    The Red Pen says:


    You have to show them a picture of your gun with the tape on the ammo clip. That’s the only proof they will accept.

    The tape will be shown to be faked according to a rigorous analysis by Freepers.

  51. 51
    Rational Subjectivist says:


    Adam was diagnosed with Aspergers. Hasnt that diagnosis come under scrutiny lately as being thin?

    Aspergers has been dropped as a separate diagnosis. Those people are now mild cases of ASD, Autism Spectrum Disorder. I think.
    Bugnuts crazy is still its own thing, though.

  52. 52
    👽 Martin says:

    Cole is a fraud because he didn’t know that it’s impossible to hit a dog with that thing. He also didn’t know that if you push a Real American™ really hard in the back, he’ll do a one-two punch so hard it’ll send Megatron flying.

    I have proof.

  53. 53
    the Conster says:


    I assumed they imagined him peeling potatoes all day pining for the day he’d get to ride on the tank like the big boys.

  54. 54
    PurpleGirl says:

    John — Is that Arabian Knight printed on the muzzle? What’s that blue thing? Is that your helmet on the tank?

  55. 55
    Liberty60 says:

    @Rational Subjectivist:
    Don’t say that until I am finished examining the kerning on the lettering on the barrel.

    But the fact that they use “cook” as an epithet is telling; the vast majority of people in the military are not trigger-pullers, very few actually kill anyone, and most in fact never see combat.For every trigger puller there are a dozen support teams handling everything from logistics and supplies, to training and backup.

    They try to lionize “the troops” but in fact they have a childs-eye view of the military- they scorn the millions who have served without being in combat as false and unworthy of respect, and fetishize the few who actually kill as the sole measure of heroism.

    I can’t think of anything more disrespectful of military service than that.

  56. 56
    Raven says:

    @monkeyfister: I never say clip in reference to a magazine. . .unless I’m talking to a civilian.

  57. 57
    Cassidy says:

    Has Ladyfriend seen this picture?

  58. 58
    maye says:

    I just got an email from my son’s school district telling me about all their safety precautions. All the safety measures in the world cannot protect anyone from automatic assault weapons. The manufacture, sale and posession of these weapons should be illegal in the U.S., and I don’t need a presidential commission and six months of field hearings to tell me that.

  59. 59
    wrb says:

    That tank’s clearly in front of a painted backdrop, probably at Vegas

  60. 60
    Schlemizel says:

    @Rational Subjectivist:

    Yes, please. Lets not go too far down the ASD trail as mass murder is not a typical symptom of Autism. There were other mental health issues going on ASD may have been one of them

  61. 61
    Raven says:

    @maye: I wasn’t an automatic weapon.

  62. 62
    Culture of Truth says:

    On MASH they said Igor did more to end the war than anyone.

  63. 63
    Rational Subjectivist says:

    My former boss and very good friend was an AF cook. Went on to get a MBA. He’s one of the most disciplined, productive and organized people that I know, and his 80 employees adore him. He says he owes it all to the military.

  64. 64
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:

    I also find it amusing* that they insist that if one is not some sort of small arms expert (knowing a magazine vs. a clip, what have you), one has absolutely no station to include their voice in the national conversation of how we might be able to reduce the blood of innocents from spilling on the streets with such alarming regularity.


  65. 65
    The Red Pen says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    How do we know that’s JC in the picture. could be anyone.

    I am going to venture, with great confidence, that this could be a picture of anyone except anyone who posts or comments at BlackFive or the like.

    I think one of them might be in this image:

  66. 66
    PurpleGirl says:


    Huckabee blames the lack of religion in schools for the shooting.

    Huckabee is vile sack of pus.

  67. 67
    beltane says:

    @Schlemizel: At most, the ASD limited his circle of acquaintances to no one other than his crazy gun hording mother and whatever paranoid thinking she was into.

  68. 68
    Bighorn Ordovican Dolomite says:

    @Culture of Truth: FSM, this thread is just so full of win, but yours was the comment that put it over the top for me–wher I actually did “LOL,”

  69. 69
    Rational Subjectivist says:

    Speaking of self defense, I’m about to venture out alone on the streets of Puebla, PUE, MX. I need to find pants that aren’t filthy so I can fly home tomorrow and not be mistaken for a hobo. I will never forget this trip, when I went to Mexico for a week and my suitcase didn’t.
    I wish someone (who speaks Spanish) had my back right now.

  70. 70
    pattyp says:

    I find it completely bizarre that you find it completely bizarre. LOL. In my experience, the majority of gun nuts’ knowledge of the military comes from cheesy soldier-turned-vigilante films, since so few of them have the guts to enlist.

  71. 71
    Captain Haddock says:

    Looks photoshopped to me.

    Wrong typeface as well.

  72. 72
    The Red Pen says:


    I never say clip in reference to a magazine. . .unless I’m talking to a civilian.

    You mean the bullet holder thingy?

  73. 73
    maye says:

    @Raven: I’m not familiar with the nomenclature, but I have no problem with people owning hunting rifles or small hand guns kept in their home. However, the military-style weapons and ammunition that are designed to slaughter large numbers of humans should not be legal in the U.S.

  74. 74
    gogol's wife says:

    @Rational Subjectivist:

    You poor thing. That sounds horrible.

  75. 75
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Raven: Clip for magazine was fairly common parlance in the artillery, but then if it fired some smaller than a 105 mm shell it didn’t really count.

    The demonizing of ex-military with whom the disagree is common on the right. Ask Cleland and Kerry. It happened to me in 2003 when I was speaking out against the Iraq invasion. Righties would ask “What the hell kind of soldier were you if you oppose this?” Assholes.

  76. 76
    Turgidson says:

    Yeah, but I bet that tank has granite countertops. Which means you’re wrong about something, also too.

  77. 77
    J. Michael Neal says:


    Adam was diagnosed with Aspergers. Hasnt that diagnosis come under scrutiny lately as being thin?

    The terminology is changing. People with Asperger’s are simply being classified as being on the autistic spectrum. I’ve only had the diagnosis for two years and already they’re changing it on me. Frankly, the amount of energy that gets spent in the fight over whether Asperger’s is a form of autism or not and what we should call it mildly disgusts me. On the list of problems I have, semantics just doesn’t rate very highly.

    The other part is that Asperger’s cannot be definitively diagnosed. There’s no test for it. All that we can do is look at symptoms and decide whether a person has enough of them to qualify for the diagnosis. I’ve been examined by three different psychiatrists, including one of those very rare specialists in adult Asperger’s, and they all said that I pretty clearly have it, but there’s no hard and fast line. It’s gray area all the way down.

  78. 78
    Mnemosyne says:


    Not so much “thin” as a diagnosis that upper-class parents push for when their special little snowflake turns out to have a less fashionable developmental disability that used to be called “retarded.” My niece and nephew are both on the autism spectrum and, yeah, you can tell they’re not “regular” kids and they never have been.

    Frankly, I’m suspecting a history of other undiagnosed mental illness in the family — possibly schizophrenia (the killer was the right age to have his first psychotic break) but it could also be bipolar or major depressive disorder with psychosis. And if the guy is isolated at home all of the time with a mom who’s herself mentally unstable, he’s not going to get the help that he needs when a crisis comes.

  79. 79
    Raven says:

    I find it bizarre that John finds it bizarre that these guys would try to discredit you. I’m sure everyone here is tired of me telling VVAW stories but there is not one goddamn thing new about this shit.

    I found this lady wandering around the Mall and got her with the New Jersey group. She heard about the demonstration and took the train down just to be in it. See the guy in the wheel chair with no legs, they called him a phony too.

    See this one? These are mothers of men killed in Vietnam. We were trying to go into Arlington to lay a couple of wreaths. They slammed the gates and locked us out. They were fakes too.

  80. 80
    Rosie Outlook says:

    That picture looks photoshopped to me! In the REAL picture, John was standing in front of his grill where he was frying tofu, holding a teacup in one hand and, in the other, a copy of the Constitution which he was about to set on the ground for Lily to poop on.

    You can’t fool me.

  81. 81
    the Conster says:


    Has he apologized for the pardon that resulted in 4 dead cops? No? Then he can STFU.

  82. 82
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    And there’s Cole in that picture, ghost ridin’ the whip.

    Haters gonna hate.

  83. 83
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Rational Subjectivist:

    Is there a concierge who can tell you a good place to shop? Also, you may be surprised how well you’re able to understand people even if you can’t speak Spanish back to them — hand gestures and lots of nodding help a lot. Good luck!

  84. 84
    Raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Huh, never heard it in my 105 outfit but, then again, I was a dumb ass ammo humper not a cannon cocker.

  85. 85
    Rosie Outlook says:

    May I change topics for a moment and ask if there is an unusual amount of sickness where you are, wherever that is? Around here, they’re dropping like flies. EVERYONE is sick, has just been sick, or is just getting over it.

  86. 86
    Rat Farts says:

    They’re not lying, they’re exaggerating. It’s just taking the truth and sprinkling it with little….lies.

    If you were a real soldier, you would have figured that out already.

    Plus, the guy on the tank isn’t wearing a corduroy jacket with elbow patches, so it can’t be you, Mr. Pointy-Head.

  87. 87
    Comrade Jake says:

    “I don’t know why they think I would make this shit up.”

    Because they’re assholes. Full stop.

  88. 88
    Jamey says:

    @PurpleGirl: I blame Huckabee on the lack of God in religion.

  89. 89
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @Rational Subjectivist: It’s just another pantsless Monday…

    Sorry. I couldn’t resist. Hope you and your pants make it home OK.

  90. 90
    mai naem says:

    That up there is a Hollyweird set. I just know it. You like playing soldier like David Vitter likes playing baby with diaper.

    OT – anybody see the post of the guy who was all worried that his wardrobe was gonna make him queer with somebody responding with “only if you make eye contact.” What does that mean?

    Also OT – I looked around that site a little and I think the webhost is big on the Stolen Valor Act which I also find funny because it usually seems to be GOP Keyboard Kommandos and Chickenhawks who seem to pretend to have served. The publisher of the AZ Republic got caught up in it about 25 years ago.

  91. 91
    GregB says:

    This Sandy Hook atrocity continues the total discrediting of the contemporary right wing political rhetoric.

    An armed society is a polite society…..

    If only person X had been armed….

    Prepare, the government is coming to kill you in your bed…..

    Every fucking thing they say is being proved insanely wrong.

    Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    They’re worldview is collapsing around them and that is why they are losing their minds. They can only have an epiphany or sink deeper into their own ideological morass.

  92. 92
    efroh says:

    @John Cole: yeah, that’s what I figured. Well, at least it looked pretty. Thank you for your service, btw. Those Delta Force wannabees can go suck an egg.

  93. 93
    beltane says:

    @Mnemosyne: Isolation was, I think, a big factor here. The brother-in-law of of a friend of mine sort of went off the deep end after his divorce and took his son out of school, choosing to have him learn from Glenn Beck and Glenn Beck’s approved reading list instead (Because Glenn Beck is the best historian ever). The son, who never displayed symptoms of mental illness before, has become a markedly different person: quiet, fearful, and with some kind of eating disorder brought about by his belief that he must ration his food intake in preparation for the coming calamity. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this boy since Friday, and I wonder how many other cases of this there are out there.

    And yeah, the dad owns guns.

  94. 94
  95. 95


    …Scott Brown getting out of a sleek sports car into a throng of middle aged women squealing…

    What? No off-duty cops or racist contractors were nearby?

  96. 96
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    John, these doofi have bought into the Faux Noize lie that anyone who has served is part of the Faux Noize tribe.

    The military, and veterans, are as diverse a group as Americans in general…racially, religiously, politically. I’ll venture to say that MOST officers are Republicans (in my last unit, 9th DivArty HQ, there were two guys who might have voted for Dukakis…me and another captain in the S3 shop) but I recall an NCO sporting a Mondale button at social event for the 3 shop in a signal battalion where I was the assistant 3, and more than a few troops who leaned Dem.

    So, naturally, when someone asserts that they don’t agree with the doofi on various issues, they must be lying about their military service. How can it possibly be that a member of the military/veteran tribe isn’t also in the Faux Noize tribe, too? I mean, c’mon. We’re all just utterly fascinated with firearms, we have home arsenals, we debate powder types and weights, we’re all seriously firearms geeky, aren’t we?

    Um, no. We’re not. Some of us show signs, albeit only from time to time, of sanity.

  97. 97
    PurpleGirl says:

    Raven — I got used to saying “magazine” because my rifle had a tubular magazine, positioned under the barrel. Couldn’t call it a clip because it wasn’t. It held 17 rounds; the Westchester range only let you load 10 at a time. (LOL)

  98. 98
    jl says:

    If that was a real war zone pic, they would all be rockin’ and rollin’ with their assault rifles and shooting the canon 24/7. Everyone knows that.

    Obvious fake.

  99. 99
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Raven: OTOH if you called an M-16 or a .45 a gun, much abuse was hurled. The only guns in our battalion were the howitzers.

  100. 100
    Raven says:

    @PurpleGirl: I have a tube loaded remington.

  101. 101
  102. 102
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Raven: Are you the blondish guy, sitting in the back row? Nice, very nice.

  103. 103

    I don’t know why they think I would make this shit up.

    Because your story doesn’t fit the framing Rush & the rest of the RW mob have made for liberals! You can’t have served in the military, you can’t know anything about real guns and macho men. You have to be an effete latte swilling university elitist! Now, shape up, hippie!

  104. 104
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    This is my weapon, this is my gun.

    One is for fighting, the other for fun.

  105. 105
    Raven says:

    @PurpleGirl: Without a cover. Speaking of lousy soldiers. 44 years ago give or take.

  106. 106
    👽 Martin says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    It’s gray area all the way down.

    Yeah. We’ve got some university students with Asperger’s. In the classroom they’re great students – very bright, very hard working. It’s around the edges you notice that they’re a little different. They struggle to understand when it’s appropriate to interject something. They struggle with uncertainty in what they should be doing. I find them a lot easier to work with than the self-appointed assholes, and I suspect they’ll get a lot further in life as well.

    Alas, we have no diagnosis for ‘Unearned Asshole’ but we should.

  107. 107
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    You hear that? Right there?

    “Without a cover”

    That’s a tell.

    Raven actually fucking served.

  108. 108
    Death Panel Truck says:

    The grassy knoll has been airbrushed out. You were the second shooter. Everyone knows it took a tank round to make Kennedy’s head explode like it did. Oswald was telling the truth: he really was a patsy!

  109. 109
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Valdivia: You should have asked him where his truck was.

  110. 110
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @The Red Pen:

    The tape will be shown to be faked according to a rigorous analysis by Freepers.

    The kerning will be wrong.

  111. 111
    Raven says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: If you call it “served”. If I was black I’d still be in Leavenworth.

  112. 112
    wenchacha says:

    @Rosie Outlook: Lots of sick people over the past month or so in WNY. I don’t know if it is “the flu” or some other rotten bug. We got our flu shots many weeks ago, so at least we ought to be relatively safe from that.

  113. 113
    Atticus Dogsbody says:

    @The Red Pen: Nope. This is some of them here –

  114. 114
    catclub says:

    @Raven: I have a potato cannon.
    Spud gun! French Fry fusillade. Au gratin artillery. Idaho rainmaker. Mashed muzzle-loader. Peruvian Pistol.

    Make sure to get the hairspray with no water in it.

  115. 115
    Ash Can says:

    I agree with all the folks here advocating ignoring the shit-for-brains militarist zombies. John focuses and personifies what they fear most — a real live actual soldier telling them that they’re full of shit, in the wake of yet another huge, glaring mountain of evidence that they’re nothing but cowards and that everything they hold sacred, beginning with the Second Amendment, is trash.

    In the upcoming days I’m going to make the time to contact every one of my elected representatives via snail mail, with a few specific recommendations but this one basic message: The Second Amendment is broken, and has crippled the country. Fix it or flush it. Period.

  116. 116
    SatanicPanic says:

    That’s a cool photo.

  117. 117
    gogol's wife says:


    If it’s the dreaded norovirus, the shot won’t help you. I’m trembling in fear of it.

  118. 118
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    (shakes fist at all the people upthread who mentioned kerning)

  119. 119
    Face says:

    gun nuts have resorted to calling me a cook

    Is some sorta Army slam? Are cooks considered lesser soliders?

  120. 120
    Howard Beale IV says:

    As Charles Johnson and John Cole have found out, anyone who breaks ranks with the brainwashing is to be targeted for whatever vapid and rabid invective they can dream up.

    Note that the NRA is conspicuous by its silence on the tragedy (LaPierre’s last screed on was 27 Nov).

    You really want to change things? Join the NRA and VOTE FOR ITS DISSOLUTION for its active failure to protect our children and for their silence = death over the tragedy.

  121. 121
    Rat Farts says:

    Actual picture of Cole in the service:

  122. 122
    catclub says:

    @Culture of Truth: “Yet they say nothing about Paula Deen.”

    Who may have killed far more with her cooking.

  123. 123
    Keith says:

    I don’t know why they think I would make this shit up.

    It’s another variant of the “your typo renders your entire argument invalid” gimmick they’ve been using for years. If there was writing on that picture, there’d be someone trying to claim that the ink you used hasn’t shown enough fading to be the age you say it is. If they knew the photo stock the picture is developed on, they’d be digging through Kodak archives trying to prove the same.

  124. 124
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: We allowed our Machine Gunners to refer to the M-60, M-240, M-2 as guns because that’s what was stamped on them:
    US Machine Gun, 7.62MM NATO M-240B for example.
    But even though the the M-249 said machine gun on it, woe betide the Infantryman or Cavalry Trooper who referred to it as a gun and not a “SAW.” Even when they changed the designation of that weapon from Squad Automatic Weapon to Automatic Rifle, it still got called ‘the SAW.”

    And I can back John’s story about tape on the ammo on some guard posts. If there wasn’t tape on the magazine, then it had to be emptied and each round counted at the changing of the guard and that slowed up everything for both the outgoing and the incoming relief. The tape would be doubled over in the middle so that it wouldn’t stick to the rounds.

  125. 125
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Is some sorta Army slam? Are cooks considered lesser soliders?

    It’s kind of a double slam. Back in the pre-integration Army, the cooks were generally black. So it’s another tell on where these doofi are coming from.

    My first platoon sergeant was black, my first first sergeant was black. I learned a hell of a lot from them, so that I started out a total idiot butterbar, and left a mostly non-idiotic butterbar.

  126. 126
    Alien Radio says:

    @Liberty60: Amatures talk Tactics, Professionals talk Logistics.

  127. 127
    ellie says:

    @PurpleGirl: I’ll say!

  128. 128
    Ash Can says:

    @beltane: This sounds like child abuse to me. I wonder if the local child welfare department should be notified.

  129. 129

    John, don’t sweat the haters. If the gainsayers are/were soldiers they have no integrity. If they aren’t/weren’t soldiers, you’re absolutely correct–they have no feckin idea what they’re talking about and they’re just trying to make up for their lack of testicular fortitude.

    Carry on.

  130. 130
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Alien Radio:

    My favorite military saying.

  131. 131
    TR says:

    They think you’re making it up, because they live in a world of fantasy and can’t understand people who don’t.

  132. 132
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @👽 Martin: There is marked difference among people with Asperger’s when it comes to school performance. A lot of them struggle badly. One symptom is that we have the ability to focus on something to the point of being a ridiculous obsession but the flip side is that it’s very hard (to pretty much impossible) to concentrate on anything that doesn’t grab our attention. So if the student isn’t interested in the subject, it only compounds the social awkwardness and produces a likely failing grade.

    By the time I went back to school a decade ago, I did very well in class. Not only did the subject interest me, but a classroom has always been one of the places I feel comfortable; comes from growing up in an academic household. Even then, though, the classes that didn’t hold my interest, generally by being too easy, were the ones I did poorly in.

    On the other hand, I don’t cook. It isn’t that I can’t; I can make perfectly fine food. But it holds zero interest for me. It’s very tough to get myself to get up and actually prepare a meal. I eat almost all the time. There are several reasons, but that’s probably the big one. If I ever get married again, it should be to someone who loves to cook. I’m perfectly happy to do the dishes.

  133. 133

    Something I’ve been wondering about the last few days, with all these Cheeto-eaters spouting off about how if a big bad dude packin’ heat had been at that school, those children would all–or at least most of them–be alive is this: Just how easy is it for even a trained marksman to hit the psycho while terrorized people are running all over, back and forth?

    Why do these geniuses not seem to believe that they might hit one of the bystanders rather than the killer? Do they really believe that it’s that easy? Or are they lying in the service of fighting gun laws? Now, I’ve shot a .22 rifle at tin cans and wasps’ nests, but that’s about it, so I don’t know much about guns at all. But it sure seems to me that even a professional soldier or somebody would have trouble shooting the right guy when all hell is breaking loose.

    And, guess what? I did a little digging, and it seems I was right.

  134. 134
    Raven says:

    @Face: The military fosters this kind of shit. If you weren’t airborne you were a leg, if you weren’t a grunt you were a fobbit, if you were a jar head and not a grunt you were a pouge. Interservice rivalry, unit rivalry, conflict rivalry. Most of it is done in good humor until someone is threatened then they trot out the language to discredit you. I have plenty of right wing veterans who are good friends. One calls me a peace queer and I call him a Nazi Lifer cocksucker. We both know we can count on each other when the chips are down. You figure it out.

  135. 135
    Soonergrunt says:

    @nemesis: Aspie kids don’t do shooting rampages. They tend to be EXTREMELY rules oriented.
    Remember that AS is the current diagnosis dujour by unqualified school counselors and teachers who need to get a student into an IEP so that they can change his/her schedule and requirements.

    I have an aspie boy, and he wouldn’t dream of ever doing anything like this, and so too for all of the other kids we know from group.

  136. 136
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Atticus Dogsbody: Looks like a bunch of science fiction fans having breakfast at a convention.

  137. 137

    In other news two police officers were shot today, what a pity they weren’t armed, they could have defended themselves… oh wait…

  138. 138
    General Stuck says:

    Tankers are idiots. They might as well put up signs. “Here We Are, Blow Us Up”.

  139. 139
    Raven says:

    @Soonergrunt: I feel better about that. Buddy of mine died a year ago. 100% PTSD, a gunsmith and inventor. I see his wife every day and they have a aspie teenage boy. She packs and I am just hoping the other weapons are secure but I’m also glad to read what you said.

  140. 140
    Immanentize says:

    I know a sure fire way to get fast tracked gun control legslation:
    Do what the Black Panthers did —
    1) Get a bunch of leather clad brothers and sisters wearing black berets and sun glasses;
    2) Openly march on the State Capitol carrying loaded long guns over your shoulder military parade style;
    3) Gun Control Legislation.

    It worked like a charm in ’69 and the gun lovers still fear that scene.

  141. 141
    clayton says:

    @Rational Subjectivist: Seriously, if there is a go-cart place still open, at least one or two of the people who run it speak some English. To explain: a girl I used to work with had parents who moved back to Mexico from Texas to retire 10 or so years ago. Her brothers went as well — they were both educated in the U.S. They are good people and could possibly help you.

    Good luck to you!

  142. 142
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Liberty60: Would that I didn’t have some of the experiences they only admire in people who agree with them.
    I’d give up the nightmares and take their scorn in a heartbeat if I could.

  143. 143
    Soonergrunt says:

    @J. Michael Neal: It took almost three years of observation before we had a diagnosis, and AS isn’t the primary cause of the boy’s difficulties. the OCD is.
    Every day, this boy gets up, gets dressed, goes to school, and does everything he can to function in a world that doesn’t understand him, and is, to varying degrees, hostile or fearful of him. And he does this EVERY DAMNED DAY. With little complaint, and to the best of his ability, HE ‘SOLDIERS’ THROUGH without anyone having to tell him because he knows that’s the only thing he can do.
    He’s my hero.

  144. 144
    Calming Influence says:

    That tank is probably not even loaded.

  145. 145
    Lojasmo says:



  146. 146
    Ruckus says:

    @Rational Subjectivist:
    When I used to travel many, many weeks a year I found that traveling in dirty clothes got me all the space I could ever ask for.
    However… To avoid making my fellow travelers have to unduly suffer I used to carry a basic change of clothes in my carry on. Saved me more than once. Also a decent hotel will know of a 1 hr cleaners, if there is one in town. Used that on occasion as well.

    ETA Just remembered one flight where a rather grubby guy was escorted on the plane and the person escorting him handed the pilot a 10in hunting knife, to be returned as he left the plane. He got a lot of personal space on that flight.

  147. 147
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @beltane: Hi Beltane, in most areas you can make an anonymous call to the local child protection agency and they will investigate. They can’t do anything about the father subjecting his kid to Beck, but they can certainly take action if the kid is malnourished.

    I have known 2 victims of paranoid schizophrenia, and on the occasions I saw Beck’s show, he sounded exactly like them. I don’t think he’s acting. I think he genuinely suffers from the disease. Which raises the question, in what kind of nation do the ravings of a paranoid schizophrenic draw a sizable audience? Why is mental illness so prevalent?

  148. 148
    👽 Martin says:

    @Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S.:

    Just how easy is it for even a trained marksman to hit the psycho while terrorized people are running all over, back and forth?

    We have evidence:

    New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said all nine bystanders wounded in Friday’s Empire State Building shooting had been hit with police gunfire, CNN reported Saturday morning.
    According to Kelly, of the nine wounded, three suffered gunshot wounds and six were hit by fragments.

    Police approached Johnson who aimed his gun at the officers before police opened fire, killing him on the spot.
    The NYPD said officers fired 16 rounds with one officer shooting nine and another seven.

    This was a guy more or less with his back to a wall and police maybe 15 feet away. There wasn’t much question who their target was – as he was pointed out and had a gun.

    Still took 16 shots from two professionals and they ended up wounding 9 other people. And that was with a service revolver.

    What the gun defenders describe is orders of magnitude more difficult in reality. Imagine what a school principal wielding an assault rifle inside their own school is going to do, with limited training, and limited experience in a surprise situation. Yeah, she might have stopped the guy at the door but she might have still wiped out the first grade class in the process.

  149. 149
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Anyone else reminded of the “chocolate soldier” from Shaw’s Arms and the Man?

  150. 150
    Culture of Truth says:

    John, don’t sweat the haters

    and don’t hate the sweaters. Even those christmas ones with the reindeer and bells.

  151. 151
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Face: Cook is the MOS with the lowest requirement on the battery of tests called the ASVAB.
    Of course, those guys are up at 3 AM cooking breakfast, or up past 1 AM cleaning up after dinner. Their job sucks, whether done in the field or done in garrison, being a Food Service Specialist sucks donkey balls. And while some of them are dumber than a sack of hammers (which can be said of EVERY MOS) they are some of the hardest working Soldiers in the Army.

  152. 152
    Citizen_X says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: And yet the fucking poseurs get upset about “clip” vs. “magazine,” while they call their little popguns “guns.” Hey, gun nuts! You see that picture up top? THAT’S a fucking gun.

  153. 153
    The Red Pen says:

    @Atticus Dogsbody:

    Nope. This is some of them here

    That’s the same picture I found in the dictionary under “Original Gangsta”

  154. 154
    👽 Martin says:

    @Immanentize: Maybe BHO should propose a mandatory gun ownership policy with federal subsidies to anyone too poor to buy one. They’ll start with the TANF program and expand outward.

    I think that might do the trick.

  155. 155
    Ruckus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    Um, no. We’re not. Some of us show signs, albeit only from time to time, of sanity.

    Try not to let that get out of hand will you?

  156. 156
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @The Red Pen: Kitchenettes. If you put in a full kitchen, there is no room for the pool.

    If I knew what range those guys who insulted John went to, and lived close enough, I’d go there and work the word “clip” into every conversation I could.

    And now I am going to read the latest National Geographic clip. See you later.

  157. 157
    Rafer Janders says:

    I don’t see Tunch anywhere in that photo, so it’s clearly a fake.

  158. 158
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    The navy was a little different. No one seemed to care if you called a .45 a gun as long as you knew how to use it properly and of course that means safely. The guys that handled all the side arms, rifles, machine guns(Thompson and BAR) and 5 inch were called gunners mates after all.

  159. 159
    Rational Subjectivist says:


    Is there a concierge who can tell you a good place to shop?

    I asked after haberdashery at the desk of the Hotel Intercontinental. They took one look at me and sent me down the block to WalMart. Seriously, I’m pretty messy after a week.
    I’d never been in a WalMart, much less a Mexican one.
    Nothing can frighten me now.
    But I’m enjoying a cold bottle of the finest soft drink in the world: Mexican Coca-Cola. This so outclasses USA Coke it’s not even a contest.

  160. 160
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Rafer Janders: I don’t see Tunch anywhere in that photo, so it’s clearly a fake.

    The men are sitting on a tank, which is perched on Tunch’s back.

  161. 161
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    There is a plague going around work (So Cal). Three of us had it last week and more people had it before us.

    Fortunately, it’s only lasting a couple of days for those of us who got the flu shot.

  162. 162


    Huckabee blames the lack of religion in schools for the shooting.

    Huckabee can got to hell.

  163. 163
    Ruckus says:

    @Atticus Dogsbody:
    Hey I resent that.
    When I was about that age I looked like one of them.

    And it’s been mostly downhill since.

  164. 164
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: I bet no one cared much about the latrines though….

  165. 165
    LanceThruster says:

    I am an owner of multiple firearms and would surrender them all in an instant if it would prevent massacres of the type in Newtown, CT.

    However, I do not think that approach would be practical. I am open to any and all suggestions.

  166. 166
    LanceThruster says:

    @Certified Mutant Enemy:

    IMHO, the only thing that gets “God” off the hook for these types of horrors is God’s non-existence.

    Either God is great, but not good. Or good, but not great.

  167. 167
    Glyph_2112 says:

    I don’t see the tape over your tank clip thingy. I guess they trusted you to shoot the big tank gun.

  168. 168
  169. 169
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Bighorn Ordovican Dolomite: Why thank you

  170. 170


    “…fetishize the few who actually kill as the sole measure of heroism. I can’t think of anything more disrespectful of military service than that.”

    Spot on, thank you!

  171. 171
    👽 Martin says:


    However, I do not think that approach would be practical. I am open to any and all suggestions.

    Offer what would be acceptable and practical. More active licensing? Gun registration? Training?

    Right now the debate is framed as no guns from the left or no limits (or worse, mandatory guns) from the right. Show that there is a middle ground from gun owners.

  172. 172
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    And we didn’t have to drag half of a 55 gal drum out back and burn shit either. The harbor was just a flush away.
    Although falling down drunk in the urinal trough full of salt water and piss was less than fun, or so I was told by the guy we had to drag out of one.

  173. 173
    👽 Martin says:


    I don’t see the tape over your tank clip thingy.

    Stupid fucking liberal. Tanks don’t have clips. They have magazines.

  174. 174
    Joel says:

    Cole, you looked good with the high top fade.

  175. 175
    Calming Influence says:

    I qualified with an m16 in basic training, but one of the reasons I joined the Air Force was I probably wouldn’t ever have to use it. We were smart enough to put the officers in the cockpits and let them fly off and get shot at.

    “Good luck, Sir; hope you make it back! We’ll be at the bar, prayin’ for ya!”

  176. 176
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: The room on the big boat where they keep the toilets.

    Gun vs personal weapon mattered in the artillery because those big ass howitzers were central to our jobs. Clip vs magazine wasn’t important in the same way. Regardless, the pointless pedantry from the assholes on the right who play around at a firing range in their spare time is worth mockery at best.

  177. 177
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Ruckus: “And we didn’t have to drag half of a 55 gal drum out back and burn shit either.”
    That’s what Privates are for.
    It’s one of the very few things I was ever “RHIP, Motherfuckers” about.

  178. 178
    Mnemosyne says:


    I am open to any and all suggestions.

    Register all guns.

    License all gun owners.

    Outlaw high-capacity magazines for civilian use. If you need more than 10 rounds at a time to take down a deer, you have no business hunting.

  179. 179
    The Other Chuck says:

    Any army cook could beat the shit out of the average Cheetoh-stained Keyboard Commando. Hell, I’d lay odds an Air Force radar operator (aka “scope dope”) could. Hell my arthritic cat could.

  180. 180
    Lojasmo says:

    @Rational Subjectivist:

    I was a light vehicle mechanic. Any degree i have had in education or work, I owe to the discipline i learned during those awful terrible years.

  181. 181
    General Stuck says:


    Sounds reasonable to me.

  182. 182
    Woodrowfan says:


  183. 183
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Mnemosyne: Ban weapons of any type that use detachable box magazines, and limit the capacity to six rounds, regardless of class, size, or type.

  184. 184
    Cathy D says:

    @Culture of Truth: Thanks for that. First laugh I’ve had in days.

  185. 185
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Lojasmo: That’s the other MOS of the hardest working individuals on the face of the planet. I NEVER saw a mechanic who wouldn’t roll out of the rack and get to work on a truck, regardless of what condition it was, how long she or he’d been asleep, or whether or not they even had the specific part. If they could get your truck running again, they did, by hook or by crook, and frequently they came out to where you were if you were broken down, and would fix your truck in bad guy country.

  186. 186
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Soonergrunt: God, I am glad that this stuff was handled without my ever having to get involved. I was very lucky that I almost always has good sergeants who took care of me. Best advice I got from my WWIi sergeant grandfather was that NCOs could make or break an officer’s career, so listen to them and never publicly embarrass them.

  187. 187
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    We called that the bathroom. Lifers called it the head.

    That’s why I made E5 asap. When I separated the XO had to ask if I wanted to re-enlist. Told him I’d only come back as an admiral. He said he didn’t think that was likely.

  188. 188
    Nazgul35 says:

    How do we know you weren’t just there delivering a hot meal?!!!


  189. 189
    WaterGirl says:

    @Raven: I knew that must be you, but you look so much younger than when you lived here in CU. Such a baby face. Were you 17?

  190. 190
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Soonergrunt: I did a year a Service Battery XO; All the cooks, mechanics, and truck drivers. I know just what you mean.

  191. 191
    mclaren says:

    In fairness, it’s impossible to see any of the faces in that photo. Not that I have any doubt that Cole is telling the truth.

    Aren’t there other pics where Cole’s face is clearly visible?

    On second thought, the wingnuts are such idiots it’s a waste of time to respond to them. This kind of swiftboating is just the same-old same-old.

  192. 192
    gene108 says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    All that we can do is look at symptoms and decide whether a person has enough of them to qualify for the diagnosis.

    Summarizes how every mental illness gets diagnosed and treated.

    The fact any positive diagnosis and any effective medications have every been done is quit remarkable.

    No other medical illness gets treated with no way to assess what’s going on with the affected chemicals, other than seeing if the patient is feeling better.

  193. 193
    WaterGirl says:

    @Soonergrunt: DId you see the diary on DK about aspergers and the shooter?

    I only saw it because I got an email from DK with 6 or 7 links to what they called their best diaries related to the shooting.

  194. 194
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: The thing about shit-burning detail was that as an NCO I could learn an awful lot of gossip, and the men could vent and feel safe doing it. Nobody who didn’t have to be there was going to come by. So after it had been burning for a bit, I’d come by with a six-pack of Mountain Dew, and I’d just let the men go. “The Honey Pot is like Vegas, guys. What happens here stays here” and I’d get an earful and much of it was just bullshit whining that every Joe needs to do, but some of it was very useful, and some of it needed attention paid, like which NCOs and Officers did they think were dangerous, which guys weren’t cleaning themselves adequately for their teammates, and which guys might need a trip to the rear for a couple of days on the next thing rolling. And then after about 20 minutes I’d mosey on down the path, upwind of course, and leave them to it.

  195. 195
    Ruckus says:

    My finding was that it didn’t matter how much of a peacenik, fuck up or fuck off one was when push came to shove, everyone did their part. Refueling above the artic circle in winter, shipboard fire, working in the boiler room off of Cuba in July, it didn’t matter, everyone worked. Together.

  196. 196
    Soonergrunt says:

    @WaterGirl: No, I did not. I’ll look for it.


  197. 197
    Mnemosyne says:


    Back when I was first diagnosed with depression, one of the books I read compared psychiatric medication to kicking a broken soda machine — you’re not quite sure what the mechanism was that got the soda to fall, but you can see it came out so something worked. That’s why they always warn people that they may need to try several different kinds of medication before they find one that works for them, and that the medication may stop working abruptly and the experiment may have to start all over again.

  198. 198
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Ruckus: As an NCO, I had to lead by doing. That was the best way to make sure your men knew what to do was by teaching them yourself. Having said that, I stayed the hell away from burning the shit whenever I could, because that detail just plain sucks. In fact, I would use it as a reward downrange.
    “I can’t give you a three-day weekend, but here’s a week off from Honey Pots for having the cleanest M-2 I’ve seen in a long time!”

  199. 199
    PeakVT says:

    @Soonergrunt: I made the same suggestion elsewhere earlier today, but it would be a tough sell. There would definitely need to be some kind of gun club exemption to get it through, as I suspect even very responsible gun owners want to fire off more than 6 rounds in a row before reloading when they’re at the practice range.

  200. 200
    phein39 says:


    Ah, memories!

    For what it’s worth, having tape over the three rounds in your magazine was standard practice for grunts on guard duty in the immediate post-Vietnam Army. Partially, it was inventory control: Didn’t want any of those live rounds wandering off on their own. But partially it was to slow troops down and get them to think before they fired off a round at a news ‘copter that happened to cross into the airspace over the ammunition storage facility (as happened at Benning in ’75), or something equally entertaining.

    Yes, being called a cook was intended as an insult, as was calling someone a ‘leg’, for straight-leg infantry (i.e., non-paratroopers) and other non-Airborne troops. But neither carried the disdain of ‘strap-hanger’, reserved for non-essential personnel who got their Hollywood jumps in and then walked to their vehicles waiting on the edge of the DZ.

    And although by 1975 lots of senior NCOs were black — my platoon sergeant, first sergeant, and battalion and brigade command sergeants major were all black — the cooks tended to be black, too, at least the E-6’s and E-7’s. Heavy set guys, too.

  201. 201
    Gex says:

    @Certified Mutant Enemy: I blame people who would negotiate with and worship a terrorist who will slaughter children if we don’t pay enough attention to him.

    Hey Huckabee, I’m perfectly willing to give up my chance for Heaven to refuse to give God an incentive to murder children to get my prayers. All you are telling me is that you will sacrifice any number of 5 year olds to worship your God.

  202. 202
    LanceThruster says:

    @👽 Martin:

    I would have no objection to any of them. In the case of Sandy Hook, the mom seemed to go about her procurement in the proscribed manner, but did not secure them adequately from her son (who I read she had taken target shooting with her in the past)


    Outlaw high-capacity magazines for civilian use. If you need more than 10 rounds at a time to take down a deer, you have no business hunting.

    I do not hunt at all. I target shoot and have weapons that I have acquired over time as the bargain presented itself. I have relic and curio weapons as well as more modern firearms. They are all legal and acquired with proper paperwork. I don’t think that I am the problem or that I would be adverse to further requirements for my own gun ownership.

    However, I don’t see how this would have deterred the shooter in this latest act of mass murder.

  203. 203
    MikeInSewickley says:

    This is the only blog I comment at because it is populated by writers and posters that are real people.

    John, thanks for your service and this blog which has been a great help as we try to cope with the latest atrocity.

    My hope is that BJ will be one of many that will help us create a saner America – we need and so do our kids.

  204. 204
    Cathy D says:

    @Rosie Outlook: I’ve been home with pneumonia since Thursday. I’m the 3rd person in my office to have been diagnosed in the last couple of weeks.

  205. 205
    Ruckus says:

    That type of reward didn’t work on a ship. Everyone did watches and only lifers got out of the undesirable duties. A third class(E4) got out of some and a second class(E5) got out of more but the lifers did the least. Up until I was an E5 my GQ station was entry man on a damage control party. Shipboard life is just it’s own world, even the smaller ships are like a city but with big guns.

  206. 206
    Soonergrunt says:

    @LanceThruster: He would have done a hell of a lot less damage if he had to stop and manually reload every fifth or sixth round as opposed to pressing a catch on the side of the receiver, and sliding another 30 round magazine into place and hitting another catch on the receiver to shoot the bolt forward and reload the weapon. These catches are both placed in such a location as to make their access easy for either right-handed or left-handed shooters.
    An M-16/M-4 style weapon can be reloaded with a fresh thirty rounds in less time than it takes to describe the necessary actions to accomplish that task.

  207. 207
    delphi_ote says:

    @👽 Martin and @LanceThruster: How about this: if you show negligence in storing/maintaining your gun, and it’s used in a shooting, you’ll also be prosecuted. If a kid picks up your gun and mows down a room full of people, some jail time is coming your way.

  208. 208
  209. 209
    Raven says:

    @Soonergrunt: I never saw a NCO go anywhere near a fucking burn and stir detail. One time I almost burned down the shitter using gasoline and diesel over about 8 drums.

  210. 210
    General Stuck says:


    Yes, being called a cook was intended as an insult, as was calling someone a ‘leg’, for straight-leg infantry (i.e., non-paratroopers) and other non-Airborne troops

    Way back when, one of the first things they showed us at Benning in jump school, was what happened to weines who up and quit. Most of the cooks were JS quitters and the Black Hats would harass the shit out of them every meal. And before they got their new MOS as cooks there, there was a giant dirt pit out front, those guys would spend their days digging a big fucking hole, then filling it back up. Worked on me. Scared shitless as I was of heights.

  211. 211
    Citizen_X says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    The men are sitting on a tank, which is perched on Tunch’s back.

    It’s Tunches all the way down.

  212. 212
    LanceThruster says:


    However, I don’t see how this would have deterred the shooter in this latest act of mass murder.

    Btw, I meant that in regard to gun registration and gun owner licensing. The high capacity magazine is another issue and the reality of ‘grandfathering’ would have to be addressed. For new/young shooters, it might be a bit of a hurdle, but I would think that the outlawing of accessories would be successful along the lines of the drug war stopping the sale of drugs (including availability in prison). I’m also of the understanding that in criminal prosecutions, the gun penalty is the charge they most often plea bargain away. The availability of weapons and illegal accessories on the black market would have to be countered with a zero-tolerance approach on the enforcement end.

    I do not know how that would work. I have a folding stock that was legal to purchase from Turner’s Sporting Goods, but I am not allowed to install on the weapon it fits. I actually have to research under what (if any) circumstances I can swap out the stock. The myriad of gun laws can be confusing and contradictory at best.

  213. 213
    Raven says:

    @General Stuck: That’s fucking nuts. Shit may have worked in training but anyone with a lick of sense knew you didn’t fuck with the spoons. They could make your life hell.
    eta You sure you aren’t talking about people that were on someind of extended KP? Cooks had to be trained, a fuck up in the kitchen could do a great deal of damage. I never knew of a spoon that was just assigned to that MOS.

  214. 214
    Jay C says:

    @John Cole:

    Y’know, John -you piss off a bunch of Keyboard Kommando wingnuts – over gun issues, no less – “faker” and/or “embellisher” are likely to be well along the spectrum of the NICER comments you’re going to get..

  215. 215
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Raven: ” I never saw a NCO go anywhere near a fucking burn and stir detail. One time I almost burned down the shitter using gasoline and diesel over about 8 drums.”
    Then they weren’t doing their jobs, and you (and maybe others) almost died as a result.
    Like I said, the Honey Pots were a nasty thing to deal with, and once I’d taught some guys how to do it, I didn’t come close until after the fire would really get going and the burning diesel and gasoline would overpower the “natural” smell, but I damn sure watched from a distance until they had it going. Then after a while, I’d come by and shoot the shit. A First Sergeant once told me that the troops will help you survive and thrive if they like you and they like you most when they see you as one of them. He was right.
    He also said that even if you were Mr. SuperLifer, as long as the troops didn’t see you as Mr. SuperLifer, you were OK. If they did, it could suck to be you in a real hurry, peacetime, wartime, or whatever.

  216. 216
    LanceThruster says:


    That seems like a very sensible way to address the liability issue. Pool owners must have fencing around their pools because it’s considered an “attractive nuisance” to children. I think gun owners should at least have to address the liability issues of improperly secured weapons. I also like the insurance idea along the lines of how private plane owners must be covered in the event of mishap as their malfunctions also greatly affect innocent bystanders.

  217. 217
    Soonergrunt says:

    @LanceThruster: Unless there’s a state law banning it, the federal law banning collapsible stocks went away with the “assault weapons ban” which didn’t actually ban any actual assault weapons.

  218. 218
    LanceThruster says:


    A First Sergeant once told me that the troops will help you survive and thrive if they like you and they like you most when they see you as one of them. He was right.

    Out of curiosity (as one with no military experience whatsoever), what percentage would you say lead from the front like that? Is it the standard or a rarity?

  219. 219
    LanceThruster says:


    As I am in the People’s Republic of California (and glad to be here, FWIW), I would be unsure of my own state’s statutes unless I looked them up. Thx for the info.

  220. 220
    Raven says:

    @Soonergrunt: Well, I don’t know if we had the same set-up. 55 gal drum cut in half with a slot cut in the side where you put a 2×4 to drag it out of the shitter. You covered it in fuel but burnin and stirrin was what it said. If you just let er rip it formed a crust on the top so you had to stir it. NCO’s in Vietnam not doing their job? I’ve said it here before, you guys were much better trained and way more cohesive. Our shit was fucked up, especially after Tet when the lid came off and everyone knew we were not going to win.

  221. 221
  222. 222
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Raven: People you didn’t fuck with if you were a Combat Arms Soldier–
    Cooks, unless you like your chow burnt and cold…
    Mechanics, unless you like your trucks broken just enough to suck riding in but not enough to be deadlined…
    personnel and finance, unless you like working for free…
    Supply, unless you like either working for free, or having defective equipment that you can’t replace.

    You might talk smack about these types, but NEVER where they could hear you. And never, ever, under any circumstances, ever talk shit about any Warrant Officer. That way leads to madness and despair.

    He’s probably talking about the washouts and recycles who were on KP awaiting transport to home station or wherever.

  223. 223
    General Stuck says:


    I did see the harassment and remember it being the scuttlebutt that is what happened to you if you quit. It could have been a stunt by the Black Hats to scare us, as they were some very competent but crazy motherfuckers. My memory tells me these things, though it’s been a very long time ago. I am certain about the dirt pit, though.

  224. 224
    General Stuck says:


    He’s probably talking about the washouts and recycles who were on KP awaiting transport to home station or wherever.

    That could well be. On the other hand, jump school was totally volunteer, with a test at the end that was kind of radical/ I remember thinking about quitting all the time, when thinking about jumping out of an airplane in flight.

  225. 225
    TheronWare says:

    I’ve never been so jumpy as when I was first introduced to tank gunnery at Ft. Knox.

  226. 226
    Soonergrunt says:

    @LanceThruster: Well, I was Infantry for most of my career and I finished out in a Light Cavalry troop (humvees instead of tanks like John.) For those specialties, LEAD FROM THE FRONT is an Officer’s or NCO’s job description.
    Sure, we had non-hackers who had picked up stripes or butter bars, but we’d find a way to get those guys either fixed as leaders sent to the rear to push paper or something as quickly and efficiently as possible. My last job in the National Guard was as a Platoon Sergeant in a Cav troop. Every one of my Troopers was my son, and I was God-damned if they were going to have bad leadership downrange. I learned that from most of the NCOs who came before me and taught me how to be, either in class or by example. And yes, unfortunately, there were some NCOs and Officers who served primarily as examples of how NOT to lead men.

  227. 227
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Soonergrunt: I think I’ve mentioned before that my son is also on the autism spectrum. I’ve seen J. Michael Neal talk about having Asperger’s before but I did not know about your son Soonergrunt. I guess we are legion.

    The fellow at Autism Policy and Politics is doing a good job of pushing back on the idea that Asperger’s was what caused Lanza to go on his shooting spree. Lots of good quotes and links there.

    Not only do our guys work so hard everyday to fit into a world that challenges them in every way, it’s worth noting that they are much, much, much more likely to be a victim of crime than are the rest of us.

  228. 228
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Raven: awesome. If only the webpage could emit odors. Because there is NOTHING in the world that smells like a freshly ignited honey pot.

  229. 229
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Ohio Mom: “Not only do our guys work so hard everyday to fit into a world that challenges them in every way, it’s worth noting that they are much, much, much more likely to be a victim of crime than are the rest of us.” yup.

  230. 230
    LanceThruster says:


    Thanks for the info. I would think good morale depends on working with people you can depend on (and the respect that comes with that). You (as in me) hate the idea of people’s lives and well-being under the control of incompetent or callous leadership.

  231. 231
    Raven says:

    @Soonergrunt: One more interesting. We called the rigs the Koreans carried Honeypots. A pole with a pot on each end that they would use to transport the goods to the paddies for fertilizer.

  232. 232
    LanceThruster says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    Not only do our guys work so hard everyday to fit into a world that challenges them in every way, it’s worth noting that they are much, much, much more likely to be a victim of crime than are the rest of us.

    Thank you for the timely reminder not to make those with special needs “the enemy” merely because they are poorly understood. In a sense, mental health is all of our resposibility, both by being compassionate and helpful, but also by being vigilant of warning signs (despite the inherent difficulty).

  233. 233
    LanceThruster says:


    That way leads to madness and despair.


    That is such a beautifully turned phrase.

    Made me smile (and want to avoid at all costs).

  234. 234
    JWL says:

    Cole: You agreed to terms that could have resulted in your being shot, maybe killed. You pledged your life. By hostile fire, certainly. Or, if need be, by a firing squad assembled because you were convicted of fleeing scenario #1. It’s the reason why veterans are righteously held in esteem by their countrymen in every country on earth, and it’s far more than I ever contemplated doing for the United States. Quite the contrary, in fact (and for what I still believe to be the best of reasons). In high school, I lined up teachers prepared to support my appeal for CO draft status because I did not want to go to Vietnam.

  235. 235
    Soonergrunt says:

    @LanceThruster: The one thing that always scared the shit out of me was not dying but having to explain to some parent or wife that their Soldier didn’t come home because I was too stupid or lazy to ensure that he had every advantage I could give him.
    For me, that level of obsession about my Soldiers’ safety (as much as I could give to combat arms Soldiers, that is) was almost disabling in a leader. I wouldn’t sleep, I wouldn’t eat, I would pour over maps and Operations orders and Fragmentary orders and I’d quiz the men on their roles and responsibilities and inspect and reinspect and inspect weapons and vehicles over and over again.
    I was an emotional and physical wreck by the time my tour as Platoon Sergeant in Afghanistan was over, and a couple of my junior leaders hated my ever-living guts by the time we left. I still have digestive problems and sleep problems to this day.
    But all of my Soldiers came home alive. I’d have given my legs or my own life for that. I got off easy.

  236. 236
    Raven says:

    @JWL: It was stupid, you did the right thing.

  237. 237
    Soonergrunt says:

    @LanceThruster: Warrant Officers can ruin your life. They have their own club, and they are involved in damn near everyhing from Personnel to Logistics, to Maintenance, to Comms.
    They are the Mafia of the modern Army.

  238. 238


    a couple of my junior leaders hated my ever-living guts by the time we left

    Even after they made it home alive? Surely they were able to see, looking back, that you were only trying to keep them safe?

  239. 239
    LanceThruster says:


    Thanks. I corrected my statement as I overlooked that part of it. I have an SKS with a fixed mag that requires a stripper clip to “speed load” and considering my proficiency from endless practice, I’d be in a heap of trouble as far as reloading goes.

    I guess the argument is for planned inefficiency of civilian owned weaponry and accessories to slow down the ability to cause uncontrolled massive harm, particularly against unarmed victims.

    Does it makes sense (IIRC) that body armor is generally outlawed because it is considered tactical? I mean if there’s anything (at least without a firearm) that could be considered purely defensive, it would have to be body armor, no?

  240. 240
    Raven says:

    @Soonergrunt: And chopper pilots in my world.

  241. 241
    Unsympathetic says:

    @The Other Chuck:

    I just saw the Army traveling jazz band this weekend.

    I’d take all of them, even the bony guitarist, over Keyboard Kommandoes.

  242. 242
    LanceThruster says:


    I appreciate your professionalism (as I’m sure those around you did). Thank you sincerely for your service.

  243. 243
    Raven says:

    @Unsympathetic: I recall in the 70’s that the Airforce Band had this woman fronting them that had this spectacular set of pipes. Unfortunately her mug could stop a clock. The Airforce band was a good place for her, professionally speaking.

  244. 244
    LanceThruster says:

    @Soonergrunt: @<a

    Warrant Officers can ruin your life. They have their own club, and they are involved in damn near everyhing from Personnel to Logistics, to Maintenance, to Comms.
    They are the Mafia of the modern Army.

    I suppose I should be glad they’re “on our side,” right?


  245. 245
    Foregone Conclusion says:

    All of this talk of cooks reminds me of a relative of mine who served in Normandy in 1944. I took him to the D-Day commemorations eight years ago – by that stage, he was pretty far gone with Alzheimer’s, but his memories of things which had happened sixty-plus years previously were sharp as a tack.

    Anyway, we had a journalist come up to me from one of the big French magazines or newspapers, and started asking questions. After question one or two, they asked the standard one: ‘what did you do on D-Day?’ To which he replied, quite honestly ‘I was on mess duty peeling potatoes for several thousand soldiers.’ At which point they kind of lost interest. But it’s true: he was part of the reserve army which arrived in France a couple of weeks after D-Day, and he was on mess duty when they heard the news. In the end he got shot by an artilery shell after a month or so in combat and won a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. But yeah, he loved to tell the story of what he was doing on D-Day…

  246. 246
    Unsympathetic says:


    Her doppelganger was the front for the band on Saturday. She can sing like crazy, and appeared as though she was more than fit for her 2 tours of duty in Iraq.

  247. 247
    LanceThruster says:

    @Foregone Conclusion:

    An army marches on its stomach, no?

  248. 248
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Ms. D. Ranged in AZ: I know that by the time we left, they were pretty fed up with me. I know that I was really, really hard on them. After we started drilling again and reorganized the unit, they both asked for and received transfers out of my platoon.
    I honestly don’t know what they think. But I do know that they have to be alive to hate me, and I’d rather they hated me for being a dick than hated themselves for failing as leaders to protect and care for their men.
    That sounds cheesy as hell when I write it out like that, but it’s what I got.

  249. 249
    Soonergrunt says:

    @LanceThruster: I didn’t know that body armor was illegal. Of course, I live in Oklahoma, so short of it being the Bushmaster autocannon on a Bradley, it’s probably legal here.
    That kind of surprises me, but I suppose you don’t want the bad guys being impervious to police ammo.
    Of course, body armor that can defeat 5.56 NATO or 7.62 AK or 7.62 NATO is going to weight 37 to 55 lbs. and is going to stick out like a sore thumb.

  250. 250
    John Cole says:

    @Soonergrunt: Read About Face. David Hackworth had the same problem, love him or hate him.

  251. 251
    Soonergrunt says:

    @John Cole: I think Hackworth tended to believe his own press a little much, and what he did to Adm. Boorda was wrong, but you don’t get all that shiny stuff on your chest if you’re a fuck-up.

  252. 252
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    Cole said clip instead of magazine?

    In my world, the only thing that comes out of a magazine is a blizzard of subscription cards.

  253. 253
    BethanyAnne says:

    Looked to me like they mocked you by calling you a cook for 2 reasons. 1: they are obnoxious jerks. 2: You said earlier essentially “I was in a place where it was dangerous and I might need a weapon. Yet the Army made me take this extra precaution.” So, of course, to argue against that, they want to say “No, it wasn’t dangerous. You were in a safe detail, so the precaution was ok to put on you.”

  254. 254
    Ed or Edna Dane Defender of Donuts says:

    John, they will do anything to discount what you have to say and your experiences. They’d make up crap like “What happened then doesn’t apply now,” as if you and Markos Moulitsas served in Hannibal’s Elephant Brigade.

  255. 255
    phein39 says:

    @General Stuck:

    My current job takes me back to Bldg 7 at Ft. Benning from time to time; it’s a short walk from the Airborne School barracks. And even though it’s been close to 40 years, the Black Hats still get my undivided attention whenever a stick runs by.

  256. 256
    Yutsano says:

    @Soonergrunt: They’re around to still bitch about the way you treated them. That right there is its own reward.

  257. 257
    phein39 says:

    @Soonergrunt: H’mm, maybe it was different for us: We never had cooks in the field with us, and in Alaska, we spent a lot of the winter in the field. I’m sure there were cooks out there somewhere, but they must have been in the rear.

    Now, parachute riggers, those are folks you didn’t want to mess with . . .

  258. 258
    General Stuck says:

    Now, parachute riggers those are folks you didn’t want to mess with . . .

    LOL, twas true. and my MOS.

  259. 259
    pattonbt says:

    Funny, I think every tank crew has the exact same picture with at least one doofus who has to stand on the tank with arms on their hips like that (which was me in my tank crew picture).

  260. 260
    Soonergrunt says:

    @phein39: Well, the cooks were always at the field trains, so I didn’t see them much in the field, but in the rear in the Dining Facility, you were face to face with them two or three meals a day. And they’ed remember you.

    Parachute riggers–I was always cool to my riggers just because it was easier to be cool to people than not, but I figured that since they had to jump each others chutes and their own, that they were doing it right. Of course, I’ve seen stuff in parachutes that should never have been put there. Women’s underwear, talcum powder, and so on.

  261. 261
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Yutsano: Yup. Being a good leader in the military is like being a parent sometimes, and as LTG Hal Moore said once, “I like to think that being one makes me better at the other.”
    They’re both good men, and I ensured that they got good NCOERs when they transferred to the other platoon. I hope that the lessons wore off on them as they did on me when I was a young leader. I too thought my boss was too high strung and full of shit.
    Now I know that it was because the weight of his responsibility wore on him like fate itself.

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