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About Those Sniper Rifles

Well, the MSM rushed to report on the US seizing sniper rifles in Iraq that an Austrian company had sold to Iran. Too bad they didn’t think to ask the Austrian company about the report.

Agence France-Presse in Vienna reports ‘No Proof’ That Arms Found In Iraq Were Austrian: Weapons Firm

Austrian arms manufacturer Steyr-Mannlicher insisted Feb. 13 that there was no proof that sniper rifles recently seized by U.S. troops in Iraq were the same ones it had sold amid controversy to Iran in 2004.

“We have not been contacted by the Americans. Usually one would ask us to verify the origin of a weapon through its serial number, something that is not the case here,” Franz Holzschuh, the new owner of the more than 100-year-old weapons company, told AFP.

They are subject to being copied. The serial numbers would tell the tale, but no one from the US government checked them. So far, the media only has the word of unidentified US officials and has not seen the weapons, which are extremely exotic looking and very expensive. Your average Iraqi could live very well, for a very long time, selling a rifle that costs thousands of dollars when purchased legally.

There are a lot of less expensive sniper rifles available that are not as distinctive looking, nor as easy to trace as an HS50.

February 14, 2007   Comments Off on About Those Sniper Rifles

Routing Problems

While you didn’t notice because the basic site was up, I’ve been dealing with some backend routing problems at my host.

I have learned that I should just wait, because every time I devised a work around, they had devised another that defeated mine. Sigh, I’m not patient when I want to rant.

February 14, 2007   8 Comments

This Does Not Compute

Today on an NPR newsbreak there was a sound clip from the Shrubbery’s press conference:

“My job is to protect our troops, and when we find devices that are in that country that are hurting our troops, we’re going to do something about it, pure and simple.”

Let’s climb in the Wayback Machine and return to December 8, 2004 and a Q&A that the Secretary of Defense had with troops in Kuwait.

CNN reported:

One soldier, identified by The Associated Press as Army Spc. Thomas Wilson of the 278th Regimental Combat Team, a Tennessee National Guard outfit, asked Rumsfeld why more military combat vehicles were not reinforced for battle conditions.

“Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to uparmor our vehicles?” Wilson asked.

Donald Rumsfeld responded with the immortal words:

“As you know, you have to go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want…”

If the Shrubbery is so concerned with protecting the troops, why in February of 2007 is the Washington Post [via Lambert at Corrente] reporting that the troops still lack vehicle armor?

February 14, 2007   Comments Off on This Does Not Compute

The “Right” Is Rarely

Virgo Tex at First Draft notes Al-Quaida #2 takes Bush’s inventory:

“Bush suffers from an addictive personality, and was an alcoholic. I don’t know his present condition … but the one who examines his personality finds that he is addicted to two other faults — lying and gambling,” al-Zawahri said in the audiotape.

While I realize that Sheikh Dr. Ayman Muhammad Rabaie al-Zawahiri has the academic and professional credentials to make these statements, I think that he should examine the ethics of long distance diagnosis. Just because Republican Senators and ringwing pundits do it, does not make it moral or ethical. Even murderous terrorists need standards.

February 14, 2007   Comments Off on The “Right” Is Rarely

VD

HeartWhy are you being hustled by street vendors to buy sad and drooping former roses, vegetable matter that missed the cut for bouquets, or were too late to the hospital?

Blame Esther A. Howland (1828 – 1904) of Worcester, Massachusetts. Her guilt is writ large by the Greeting Card Association’s Esther Howland Award for a Greeting Card Visionary. She imported the concept to the US from Britain to bolster her father’s stationery store in 1847.

Of course, it wasn’t long before the stationers had infiltrated school boards and imposed the now mandatory exchange in the classroom to push the low end product of Asian children and prisoners and scar children for the rest of their lives.

Seeing the success of the card merchants, the confectioners jumped on board to fill the lull between Christmas and Easter with the benefit that the bulk of purchases would be made by desperate men with less sense of taste than a golden retriever. If the box was red, heart-shaped, and said chocolate, a man would buy it.

There were at least three Saint Valentines and all were martyrs, as they should have been for the trouble they’ve caused. None are the reason for the “holiday”, only the excuse. They lived at a time when life and men were short and brutal, so the romantic aura of the holiday is pure piffle. At least one was reportedly part of a draft dodging scheme during the Roman Empire, marrying people so that men with “other priorities” could avoid being deployed to foreign wars, bachelors being preferred for catapult fodder.

It is to be hoped that the individual who first wrote: “Roses are red, violets are blue” was eaten by rabid wolverines, or had hemorrhoids.

[Yes, this is the same as last year. You don’t think I’m going waste neurons on faux holidays. With the careful application of Liquid Paper you can re-use cards and sometimes get away with it – if you don’t send them to the people who sent them to you.]

February 14, 2007   5 Comments