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I called out this strange individual a few days back.

And this is the response he emailed:

James LaPorta

Oct 5

 

to me

 

Hey son,

Long time, no chat. Appreciate the advice, but the bullshit meter is full, so unfortunately, I can’t take anymore advice right now. Anytime you want to compare writing careers, I’m available.

Stay out of trouble, kid. And keep those fingers flying across that keyboard of yours, you little rascal, you.

Sincerely,

James LaPorta

--

James M. LaPorta

Journalist | Documentary Producer | Former U.S. Marine

Bylines at: The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, The Daily Beast

(C) 202-650-0089

Twitter: @JimLaPorta

Website: www.jameslaporta.net

For Encryption: SIGNAL and TELEGRAM

Fingerprint: 1EE4 2581 B0D6 1C8E C131 A635 4EC2 B5D2 7728 669F

Confidential: This communication contains confidential and/or privileged information and is intended only for the person or entity named. Anyone other than the intended recipient, or the named recipient's employee or agent responsible for delivering this communication to the named recipient, is prohibited from reading, copying, distributing, disseminating, or otherwise using the information contained in this communication.

 


Compare careers? Well, I want to say upfront that popularity doesn't directly equate to accomplishment. But okay.

My first novel was Freehold.

It sold out the entire first print run in 3 weeks, was nominated for the Prometheus Award, the Compton Crook Award, and was a #3 Locus Bestseller. So against all the other SF and related titles that month--including any Star Trek, Star Wars, game and movie tie ins, it was the 3rd best seller. Eventually they did a signed, limited edition, which literally sold every copy. There are none left. (Obviously, used ones occasionally may show up on Amazon or eBay. But they're all in the secondary market.) It's in it's 5th printing.

I do credit cover artist David Mattingly, who's done album covers for The Commodores and Michael Jackson, among others, with helping it sell so well. His work is amazing.

Let's look at what James has on the market:

Wait, not even a single self-published piece of crap? At all?

Well, unless I'm missing something critical, he doesn't have a writing career.

Oh, well. Back to the one with a career: Me.

Before Freehold even was in print, I pretty much immediately landed a work for hire contract for these three books:

Which were sold everywhere, including my local Kroger. They got republished in omnibus by the Military Book Club, who rarely do fiction, preferring nonfiction.

There was a query about a Polish translation, but HarperCollins never followed through.

I did get fanmail from the 160th SOAR, including from a pilot with over 2000 flight hours, that I was able to verify.


In and amongst those, John Ringo, NYT bestseller, handed me a project someone else had devised and fallen through on. I completed it to his satisfaction, and it was a #8 Locus Bestseller. It was also a SF Book Club reprint. There's a German translation, and I'm told a Russian one as well, though I haven't seen that one.


The Weapon

This got me fanmail from bona fide SEALs and Green Berets. The kind who actually give you their class number to verify, and even their challenge coins. And from some of their support people. I'm not sure why it got a Prometheus nomination, but it did. The hardcover is collectible and sells for $100 and up in top condition, depending on how many are floating around at a given time.


Better to Beg Forgiveness...

BtBF sold out its entire hardcover print run in a month. I think it qualified for some stuff, but I mostly worry about the money. It's still one of my best sellers a decade later.


I actually wrote a big chunk of Contact with Chaos while deployed to the Sandbox in 2008, when not on long hours of duty. It kept me sane.


Do Unto Others... still sells reliably in all editions, like all my SF--Hardcover, paperback, Audible, Baen eBook, Kindle, Nook.


I wrote in this shared universe with some very well known authors, though only 1/3 the book is mine:


Rogue continue the story arc of The Weapon. Once again I got fanmail from professionals--both special operators, and investigators.


When Diplomacy Fails... is the third segment of the Ripple Creek universe. Just look for the ellipsis.


Tour of Duty compiled my existing short stories, essays and some snark, that were originally written for writers like Joe Haldeman and Mercedes Lackey. James has probably never heard of them, either. That says more about him than them.


Wisdom from my Internet was a joke, as was the publication by "Patriarchy Press" which is owned by my girlfriend--a minority female. With advanced degrees. And her own side career of writing. And a major job with a real security clearance for an aerospace contractor. It was a #1 Amazon bestseller in political humor. It got nominated for an award, and I'm relieved it didn't win. It earned money, though.


A Long Time Until Now sold out its hardcover print run so fast I barely got any. Good luck finding any.

Now, the NYT bestseller list is hard to crack, and I will freely admit I haven't managed that yet. One thing to keep in mind is for that list, it's only certain stores that count, within the week, in certain genres--they don't acknowledge Romance or Western, for example, because Romance would own the list.

Bookscan, though, monitors distribution sales and categorizes by genre. ALTUN was a National Bestseller in SF, per Bookscan. It also got a legitimate screen query from someone who does things with Universal Pictures. Let's not hold our breath--it took 30 years for Ender's Game to reach the screen. But I have the query and it's floating about.


Tick of the Clock did better than I expected for a self pub, and Travis deserves credit for being patient with me while I was somewhat sick.


Angeleyes also was a National Bestseller, and nominated for a Prometheus. Once again it was a tough, worthy field and I didn't win. That's infinitely more nominations than James, though.

I was a single parent while writing this, btw.


Forged in Blood is also a National Bestseller. It's selling and reviewing tremendously well.

That's it to date.

Well, this is pending: Tide of Battle

Which includes work I did for Kevin J. Anderson and Janet Morris. Heard of them? James hasn't, I'm sure.

And I just finished two more short pieces, one of which may become a TV project, because the person running the project actually does have TV credits. The other short may become a book, because the editor liked it that much. Note that "May" is not "Will." It's a flexible industry.

I have a collaboration on spec mostly finished.

I have contracts on another Ripple Creek and two more time travel novels, one of which is being written now.

I have another short on contract, one on spec, another collab novel on spec with a verbal go-ahead from the publisher, meaning we'll ink a contract when done or I finish some others, and another collab in the planning stages. I have about 40% of the content I need for another collection. I'm trying to organize another anthology and waiting for the publisher to look at numbers.

I'm still the stay at home parent for a three year old while doing this.

My full bibliography is here.

I have cover quotes from, among others, Locus, Analog and Publisher's Weekly.

James...doesn't.

According to associates overseas and in the US Navy, you can find my books in:

The American Book Center in the Hague and Amsterdam, and in fact, I've done book signings there.

Most military Exchanges. (I've signed at several of those, too. Ft Knox, Ft Meade, several Army and Air bases in the Middle East and Europe.)

Hong Kong.

Singapore.

The southernmost English speaking library, in New Zealand.

Oh, yes -- my publisher pays for my book signing trips and gives away free books to the troops. Because when you are a professional, your publisher has a budget to promote you.

It's not a hugely household name career like Terry Brooks or Terry Pratchet, but it does keep me in upper class lifestyle. I'm not rich, but I'm certainly comfortable.

Where can you find James' books? Trick question. He doesn't have any books.


So, let's look at James' other writing career:

  • Medium --vanity, doesn't pay.
  • Daily Beast -- as far as I know, doesn't pay.
  • WaPoo -- Now, according to professionals in the newspaper industry, op-eds that aren't penned by the hired staff don't get paid. They just offer exposure. You know, that thing you die from in winter.

Blogs and clickbait sites don't pay anyone. They can't afford to. Hell, they can't even afford facts.

Sample article: "Can Shia LeBeouf Convey The Trauma Of Combat?"

Come on, Chia the Poof can't even run a "performance art" camera of him bleating about the president.

PROTIP 1: If you're not getting paid for it, you're not a professional.

He's written a half dozen things while stringing for UPI, and man, James couldn't wait to fuck those dead bodies in Vegas to blather out his complete erroneous bullshit about how "Rifling is also the bullet weight in grains" and "a free floated barrel isn't connected to the rifle" (allegedly told to him by someone in Special Forces, even though Wikipedia or any of a thousand online fora could have explained it in small words. But I digress). The problem is, while UPI does pay a little, it doesn't pay enough to interest any professional writer. In fact, I probably got paid more for my last short story than he got paid for all of it. UTI, excuse me, UPI is for people who hope to eventually rise to the level of working for some local paper. Of course, having your alma mater Marine Corps ban you from one of their bases for interfering with a case in progress won't help your odds of getting hired.

Oh, and he's "Assistant Editor" of something called "Blue Force Tracker" which is referenced twice on Newsmax, which is almost as credible as the Weekly World News. Now, BFT is a GPS based system for watching for friendly forces. You can find a lot of that. Searching for it as a magazine, journal, paper, blog...it doesn't exist as far as I can tell. It's complete bullshit.

James says he's "Never heard of me." Likewise. Which is why I used Google before opening my trap.

He's not Walter Winchell. He's not even Clifford Simak. (I know James has never heard of him.)

I have a few articles. My unpaid stuff was for several Second Amendment sites, because I was promoting a valid cause WITH FACTS. Readership was only a couple of million people. My paid stuff has been in firearm mags, too, at up to $1/word. Including some in other countries.

Also, I prefer to use references in my articles, not vague references to someone who is claimed to have been in Special Forces:

And I'm Editor at Large for Survivalblog.com which is easy to find, has a huge following, and will acknowledge me, though to be honest, I haven't done much recently due to other commitments. But it does actually exist.

PROTIP 2: No professional is ever actually insulted by, "I've never heard of you." For example: That country music star at the shooting in Vegas? Never heard of him. I don't listen to country music. But I'm sure a few seconds on Google will find he is of note and has lots of fans and customers.


Moving on, then.

James claims to be a film producer. Well, I'm not. But I have appeared in productions, and consulted to others. For friends doing film festival stuff locally, I'm cheap or free. For some of these with national media, I billed $1000/day and got it.

So, let's check IMDB for James:

Nothing here, either.

PROTIP 3: Cell phone video does not count as professional film to anyone in the industry unless it's incorporated into something else and you're paid for it.

James knows even less about producing films than he does about firearms.


Let's check Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Z._Williamson

Here I am, though the page is out of date. I'm sure it'll get fixed eventually. I make no attempt to edit it.

James:

Not notable by their standards either, apparently.

Wow. That's 0 for 4 so far.


He does have 8 Patreon followers though.

Now, to be fair, I joined Patreon way back, and realized it didn't do anything I needed it to do since I don't produce daily content. I've never looked at it since, and have neither delivered anything nor been paid. So possibly he's the same.

I doubt it, though, since he makes a point of linking to it.

But to give the benefit of the doubt, we'll call this one a draw.


What about our former military careers?

My military career was pretty much unremarkable and I freely admit so. I enlisted in 1985, retired in 2010, had about 5 years and a bit active duty including deployment time, the rest being split between Army and Air National Guard. I helped with the Mississippi Flood in 1993 for about six weeks, have a few decorations for doing small things, and some unit decorations for maintaining an amazing level of mission accomplishment during blasting sand in the Sandbox. The unit gets credit. I was part of the unit.

Oh, I DID have 25 years of Expert ratings, competed in rifle match for the Army Guard and won trophies. And even though it wasn't my specialty, I served as an armorer, was a range safety NCO, ammo point NCO, helped my unit upgrade M16s to A2 standard, was a weapons courier.

And then in the civilian world I conduct tests and evaluations of weapons sent to me by manufacturers, such as this one.

And make my own from raw materials, such as this one:

And this one:

And custom build them to fit various users like this one:

Because really, there's nothing about a rifle that's anywhere as difficult as riding a bike.

I've furnished weapons for several TV show segments, a couple of movies, god knows how many magazine articles, and my projects have appeared on thousands of sites, dozens of magazines including Time and Der View, Forgotten Weapons and some other outlets.

Note that I did most of these while being the primary parent, and when my wife was activated, the single parent at home (then we swapped when I deployed.) (And note the books I wrote, too.)

Whereas, James was...a Marine.

Per the record someone furnished, he has a Marine Combat Action Medal [EDIT:  He contacted me and noted this is a Dept Navy award. Either way, it does show on his official record, so we'll credit him with it]. So it appears he was actually in at least one firefight, though I don't find any other decoration around his combat, which is neither bad nor good. Circumstances and leadership have to coincide for that. It appears he deployed and did his job, but damn, does he look really, really clean in that photo of him in A-stan. I never looked that clean even inside the wire, even stateside in a field exercise. Even on daily duty. I'm not one to judge. He may just be really, really good at field hygiene. Good on you, sport.

Really, really clean.

Then he was bumped to what he calls "Secret Squirrel."

I asked some actual Secret Squirrels about this--one veteran who works for a Cabinet department on terrorist activities, one field grade intel unit commander, and one actual analyst. They concurred with what I suspected.

So in actuality, he was basically a secretary who "Managed" probably 2-3 troops including himself, to bug the squad leaders to make sure their SALUTE reports (Google it) were turned in, placed into some semblance of order, handed to a compiler who gridded them for an analyst who reviewed them and sent the data to a supervisor who submitted that on a mass report to actual Secret Squirrels who then furnished the polished outcome to Command to aid in issuing orders.

Now, this is certainly important work. So is being a secretary. But it bears the same resemblance to being a "Secret Squirrel" that being a secretary bears to being a Department Manager.

It's vaguely possible he was in one of the few of these elements that actually did real intel work, but most of them were in elite units. And since James is unable to use Google to even get basic facts about the rifle he was issued correct, it seems highly unlikely he was any better in a strange country. Hell, he can barely parse English, much less Pashto.

Oh, and it turns out one of my readers was in his unit:
~~~
Coop LoPresto: Yeah, he was an intelfag that sucked at being an intelfag. Got passed over/soft-fired out of leading a CLIC during a cycle at CAX (Desert Warfare Training. Basically a final exam before your infantry BN's able to deploy to the sandbox) and before that he did retarded shit like bringing his own EoTech to ranges and field ops and shit. He was a "marksmanship instructor," as he was wont to point out, but in reality he was just a range coach because his shop didn't want him around to do any real S2 work. And was just generally disliked for both his level of competency and personality. Which is probably why he went on to break the Marines United story. I didn't interact with him enough to remember who the fuck he was until all my boys who did know who he was began to regale me with his "exploits" when I started commenting on his dumbassery.

EDIT: In email, he confirms the EoTech incident is true.  Oh, son! You just qualified a source as credible and reliable. And you worked in intel?  God help us.

~~~

PROTIP 4: "Secret Squirrel" is a joke in the intel community, because those who actually are don't talk about it. They say their job is "Boring" or they "process data" or "shuffle papers" or are "value-added paper pushers." Because actual secret squirrels have actual intel that could be of interest to foreign agencies and major corporations, and don't crave attention.

So basically, he's not a relevant writer, knows so little about weapons it's frightening the Marines let him be a grunt, but that's likely why he was "promoted" to a paperwork cell where he couldn't do any damage, and why he left a career about halfway to retirement, and doesn't seem to have any job of note. And we can deduce the probable actual reason he joined the Corps was the thrill of showering naked with twenty o/t/h/e/r/ men. (Not that I object to him showering with other men. But there are bathhouses for that. The Marines have a mission to do.)

Oh, we could also compare ASVAB scores if he wishes. Mine are simple: I maxed every category in the 99th %ile. I can scan a RIP to prove it.

I suspect James didn't. $50 on that.


Oddly, I can't find any reference to the USMC, or any other branch of the military, taking any interest at all in bumpfire stocks that somehow make weapons more powerful (By magically increasing bullet energy?), or change the rifling rate (Which is "also the bullet weight in grains"?) or improve accuracy (By disconnecting the barrel from the rifle?).

I wonder if, now that the military is aware of this awesome device, they'll upgrade all their existing inventory to be more powerful, accurate and deadly.<?p>

I have $1000 says no. Put up or shut up.

Oh, right, James. You haven't earned enough from writing to afford that. Okay. Let's make it $20.

PROTIP 5: Before challenging someone to compare careers, check Google, and be sure you have a career, not just a lame joke with no punchline.

But YOU keep pounding the keys, you little rascal, you! Work on your spelling, grammar, punctuation, structure, coherence, and of course, read some books to get some facts, and maybe someday you'll have TWENTY Patreon followers, and can earn enough per month to pay for a dinner at Denny's rather than KFC.

And if I've actually missed anything, I stand ready to be corrected. You threw down the gauntlet, I've picked it up. First shot is yours, big boy. And you know what they say about silence. (Actually, apparently you don't.) [UPDATE: see below, he proved this adage too.]

Toodles, you giant soup sandwich.

NOTE: Anyone is welcome to cite, link or copy the entirety of these contents to refute the worthless little shwit.

UPDATE: Apparently his idea of a retort is to accuse me of writing "nerd books."

Yes, well I'm about to take my royalty check from writing "nerd books" and have a $200 steak dinner and buy a $13,000 real machine gun (no bumpfire stock), because I have the disposable income to do so.

Ironically, the facts about weapons in my "nerd books" are more accurate than in his "nonfiction" "Articles."

Which is why I get paid that kind of money, and he doesn't get paid to speak of.

 

UPDATE: a few of the fans of those "nerd books" at a small convention just donated $17,000 to charity. https://www.facebook.com/LibertyCon/posts/10155122920663481

REPORTER: Hey, I need some basic facts. Who's knowledgeable?  You? So tell me about the shoulder thing that goes up.

EXPERT:  I've been a professional in the field for 45 years as a user, designer, manufacturer, expert witness.  So, there actually isn't a shoulder thing that goes up.  I think they were referencing...

REPORTER: Wait, you're some kind of gun nut, aren't you? Fuck off.   You're biased. What about you?

"ACTIVIST": I'm President of the Association For Banning Bumpfire Shoulder Things, a 501(c)4 agency.  AR15s were invented by Ronald Reagan in 1981, and are issued to all felons as they leave prison because of a loophole allowed to exist by the GW Bush administration.

REPORTER: Good stuff! Keep going.

"If you get pregnant you will die."
 
It wasn't phrased quite like that.  But my ex wife was told in no uncertain terms that a third pregnancy could kill her. And she couldn't use hormonal birth control.
 
So that was several years with no completed, unprotected intercourse between husband and wife. 
 
Eventually, she was able to get a ligation, along with some other necessary surgery. (Medical insurance didn't cover things like that.)
 
Now, imagine if she had gotten pregnant, and the doc says, "We have to terminate."
 
And the bureaucrat says, "Oh, I've heard this one before. Let's just wait a few weeks to be sure."
 
And the doc says, "I really don't like these blood sugar and toxin levels."
 
And the bureaucrat says, "It's not compelling yet.  But I'll start the approval paperwork."
 
And the doc says, "She's suffering sepsis and her blood sugar is crashing."
 
And the voicemail says, "Please leave your number and message and we'll respond during business hours after the three day weekend."
 
And the doc says, "It's critical. We have to do it now."
 
And the bureaucrat says, "I've referred it to the regional supervisor for review, and flagged it URGENT."
 
And the doc says, "Never mind."
 
~~~

Now, I'm sure some of you are saying, "Well, that would never happen."

And I'll point you to the insane rules regarding narcotic painkillers, where cancer patients and migraine sufferers are in agony because a bureaucrat is terrified that someone might use one of those pills for FUN!
 
And I'm sure some are saying, "That would be terrible, but of course we'd have a legal exception for that."
 
And perhaps you would.  But every pregnancy is different, and every "exception" means someone dies to  make the point to get it in place.
 
And when they die, so does the fetus anyway. Because you put the rights of the fetus--a potential person--above the rights of the mother--an actual person.
 
Because it is entirely possible to oppose abortion morally, and realize that given the state any power to regulate the process beyond that of normal clinical health standards, is going to fucking kill people.
 
And just like any other program, the end result is a massive bureaucracy with its own fucking SWAT team, kicking in doors because that failed pregnancy is awfully suspicious. And maybe that seller of "herbal tea" is practicing medicine without a license and performing illegal abortions. And if you think that's a mental stretch, remember the Dept of Education has a SWAT TEAM to collect on COLLEGE LOANS.
 
~~~

Because it's not "pro abortion" vs "pro life." It's "Pro choice" vs  "pro mandatory childbirth."
 
Because you, personally: While you're opposing abortion, have YOU personally tried to adopt a child?
 
Have YOU personally donated to a charity that feeds the poor who have more kids than they can support?
 
Have YOU personally helped someone care for their kids while they tried to work?
 
Or are you one of these, "I shouldn't have to pay for their birth control or abortions or welfare, and they need to keep their legs together and learn that actions have consequences" types?
 
Because if you refuse to help pay the costs, and think a baby is a "consequence" you're not "pro life." You don't care about "life." You care about fetuses.
 
And in response to the bleat about, "But what about people who use the process just to avoid responsibility?"

The obvious parallel is, "What do we do about drunk drivers if we can't ban alcohol?"
 
And the obvious answer is, "Life sucks, and the law can't stop bad behavior."

But it can sure as hell make it worse.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/las-vegas-killer-stephen-paddock-had-better-rifles-than-the-us-military
James LaPorta is a veteran of some small issue, and claims to have been an "intel cell leader," which I find no record of, and if he in fact was, he should keep his retarded piehole shut about it. 
He does have a steely gaze, though, which is super important.
His knowledge of the English language compares favorably with a fifth grader.  For example, his Facebook page say he is "payed," by which I think he means "paid." I certainly hope he has a day job. 

Now, the gist of this article is that the Vegas asshole had "more powerful and deadly weapons than even the military! ZOMG!"
 
(There's a "socialist veteran" page, which means "traitor page" that also claims that a bumpfire stock (see my previous entry on that) turns a carbine into a light machine gun. This is complete bullshit.)
 
I offer this:  A carbine with a bumpfire stock is about $600. A transferrable M16 that a civilian can legally buy is $25,000-$30,000. If the former were "better" than the latter, who'd buy the latter?
 
And the shooter still wouldn't have an actual belt fed weapon or anything else for support.
 
Also, his angle of fire did not lend itself to a good beaten zone. The bumpfire stocks caused repeated jams, because they do require training to use, and even then, are still less effective than either real automatic fire or properly controlled aimed fire. Yes, even with an area target.  Had the clown known what he was doing, it would have been a lot worse.
 
I'm very surprised a Marine infantry veteran doesn't know this.
 
Here's some other vets commenting on the sheer fucking dishonest idiocy of the article:


John Francis Moran Jr: "...One the rifles seen in an unofficial photograph features a “free floating barrel,” unlike an M-16 whose barrel is connected to the rest of the rifle..."
 
I am here to tell you all that military rifles do, in fact, have their barrels connected. 
 
What. A. Fucking. Clown.
~~~

Michael Prior: Love how he argued both sides. The shooter's guns are more accurate than the military's guns but he needed no skill because he was shooting at an area target. Accuracy with a firearm is the skill not the weapon.
~~~
 
John Francis Moran Jr: What. A. Fucking. Clown. 
 
"...The rifles Paddock used are so powerful and potentially prolific that he didn’t need training to inflict dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries. What Paddock apparently lacked in experience he made up for with preparation, opportunity, and deadly accurate hardware..."
 
1) 5.56 is a small caliber round, high velocity round. Based off of a a cartridge designed to kill prairie dogs. 
 
2) he didn't need training because he was 300 feet up, overlooking a huge outdoor venue. He could have inflicted casualties by hurling bricks, or merely by shooting a lead fishing weights out of a sling shot from that position. Free float barrels, bipods, scopes etc. where unnecessary accessories in carrying out his plan as executed. 
 
3) "Preparation" buy some guns and ammo, check. Get a hotel room over looking a crowded open air venue, check. Bring a hammer, check. 
 
That was literally his plan. 
 
Paddock was not a tactical genius. He had loads of $$ and was willing to kill. The end.
~~~
 
 
Ian Brothers Wow, dude says an ACOG would be useless and needs "offset aiming". Thats the purpose of the reticle, estimate range and easily compensate for it. Guy doesn't have a clue.
 
~~~
 
Dustin Aven Well fuck now I'm even more pissed. A fucking PMI who can't even get his terminology straight. He doesn't even get free floated right. He acts like Eotechs are some arcane technology even though they ended up in Army general purpose force units when enough M68s weren't available. And OMG! he could attach a white light or laser. Well gosh you mean things SOCOM has been doing for a few decades now? Hell I had a PEQ on an M16A2 in 1998. Oh yeah and a hose clamped fucking light too. Damn this dude seems to have a little knowledge and tries to make it all sound scary.
~~~
 
Michael Z. Williamson “These days with precision rifles, a 1,000 meter shot with a AR weapon system is not hard,” Cowden said.
 
Tony Cowden, a U.S. Army Sergeant First Class special forces soldier, who formerly was on the CIA and Joint Special Operations Command mission to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden in 2001.
 
```
Either they're misquoting, or "Sgt" Cowden is a space shuttle door gunner. Again: Max range on this weapon is 600 meters. Even a match grade, custom built target rifle on an AR receiver wouldn't make such a shot "not hard," and he had nothing like that.

Jimmy boy claimed this was an "editing error." Cool story, bro. Along with the 56 others? You might want to improve your editing if you want to be a real writer some day.
 
~~~
 
Ed Dillon "Twist rate also includes weight of bullet, measured in grain." Really? If I fire bullets of different weights, the rifle will automatically adjust the rifling to match. I never knew. Those grooves look so permanent, like they're etched in steel, or something.

~~~
Jackson Beard III: We not only know this, but are taking the piss out of how he explained it.
 
A free floating barrel is still attached to the rifle, or it wouldn't work.
 
Free floating means it isn't impinged on by the fore stock or forearm.
 
~~~
 
Ian McMurtrie What the actual fuck?
 
"One the rifles seen in an unofficial photograph features a “free floating barrel,” unlike an M-16 whose barrel is connected to the rest of the rifle."
 
Like at the receiver, connected to the rest of the rifle?
 
"Inside a free-floating barrel, bullets travel without interference from micro-vibrations. "
 
... What? Does he mean "harmonics"?
 
"Additionally, Paddock mounted what appears to be a military-grade EO Tech sight to his weapon." 
 
Bad news, Scooter, but EO Tech had some ... issues. It was all over the news -- especially when they lost the military contract.
 
I have to stop reading, or I'll have a sodding aneurysm.
 
~~~
 
 
Dustin Aven: And what's with the 5.56 can go a mile and then mentioning you can shoot it to a 1000 meters? Who the hell, outside of a 'hey can I do this' situation, chooses 5.56 for a 1000 meter shot? Oh yeah no one. Anyone shooting that far chooses calibers that start with a 3 or a 5.
 
Mike: (The official max range of 5.56mm from an M4 is 600 meters for area targets. And it's irrelevant since the area target was closer than that.)
 
BTW, he looks very pretty in this article about how he tried to interfere with an existing investigation and got banned from Camp LeJeune:
 
Very pretty indeed.  I've rarely seen someone look that clean and pretty in a combat zone.
 
There's more. Much more. But I can honestly say I'm terrified this finger painter actually was able to handle a weapon in a combat zone.  
 
It does prove, however (along with the idiot in Vegas), that no massive intellect is needed to operate one.
 
Only to operate one effectively, and to write about them.

Oh, I may edit this if we find more.  There was so much retardery we couldn't even process it all.

EDIT:

This was his response when I mailed him the link:

His response:

Be sure you are sitting down.

Swallow whatever you are drinking.

"Hey son, 

Long time, no chat. Appreciate the advice, but the bullshit meter is full, so unfortunately, I can’t take anymore advice right now. Anytime you want to compare writing careers, I’m available. 

Stay out of trouble, kid. And keep those fingers flying across that keyboard of yours, you little rascal, you. 

Sincerely,

James LaPorta"

~~

Talk about a snowflake.

For the record, as of 5 Oct 2017, he has nothing on Amazon or IMDB as a "writer" or "documentary producer."

I have 20 books in print, 6 of which I believe were or are bestsellers, and four professional screen and movie credits as a technical expert.
 
Cool story, bro! Again.

Since it's in the news, and since they're not capable of facts, I thought I'd provide some.

There are videos on youtube, btw.

At one point, someone tried to springload a stock to increase rate of fire.  ATF ruled (correctly, given the law we have, which I disagree with the existence of), that it became a recoil operated machine gun.

So, the spring was removed, and some redesign made.

The stock slides on the rear extension of the rifle, back and forth.

You push the weapon forward with your off hand, and pull the trigger with the right.  The recoil slides the gun backward, and the trigger goes inside the stock, disengaging.

Then, when recoil energy diminishes, the pressure of your off hand moves the weapon back forward, the trigger emerges from its shroud, and your finger activates it again.

Because it requires constant repeat physical effort, just as a Gatling gun would, it's a manual trigger. It requires a separate motion for each shot, unlike holding down a trigger.

BUT

It does require practice to use without failing, or even jamming.

The weapon is in constant motion apart from its own mechanical cycle, which just destroys any accuracy you might have.

So, when all is said and done, you waste ammo with less accuracy than actual full auto.

"How would it be different if he hadn't had one?"

In reality, he might actually have killed MORE people if he had to aim.

There's some alleged veteran's group of socialists on Fecesbook who claims this gimmick turns an AR into and M249.

No, it does not turn a closed bolt self-loading rifle into a belt fed, open bolt support weapon.  That's just complete bullshit.

But then, socialists have never been capable of honesty or integrity, and should be ignored.

Pinochet did nothing wrong.

 

A total of 42 guns were found in the suspected Las Vegas shooter's hotel room and house, police said Monday night.

So what?  Only the ones that were used are relevant. Stop trying to create a witch hunt against collectors.

Las Vegas Police Department Assistant Sheriff Todd R. Fasulo said that 23 guns were found in the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino room where suspected shooter Stephen Paddock fired into a crowd, and 19 were discovered out of his Mesquite, Nevada home.

Multiple loaded high-capacity magazines were found in the hotel room, law enforcement sources said earlier on Monday.

Worthless statement, depending on what you mean by "multiple" (more than one) and "high capacity" (the standard capacity for many rifles is 30, but pussies like to claim anything over 20, or 15, or 10, or 7 is "High").

Among the guns and ammunition police found the in the room being used by Paddock were some high-powered rifles considered capable of penetrating police armor.

Sooo...they were rifles. Because pretty much any rifle will penetrate police armor.

There were also some handguns in the room.

At that range, they'd have been worthless, and there's no indication that they were used. Not relevant.

The additional ammunition indicates that the shooting, which left 59 people dead and injured over 500, could have been worse, had police not intervened when they did.

Most of the casualties were from trampling. Stop making the guy look like he's some sort of score to beat, as you've done with every fucking shooting ever.

Police believe that Paddock took his own life.

Pity the sick fuck didn't start there.

A modified bump stock rifle was also found, which allows a gun to simulate rapid automatic gunfire. Law enforcement officials are still in the process of examining firearms to determine if they were capable of firing automatically.

Finally! An actual relevant fact I can use.

One official said Paddock had a camera mounted in the room, apparently to record himself.

In a separate location searched by authorities, tannerite, an explosive used in target practice, was found, sources said.

What "location"? It couldn't have done anything on site, and isn't powerful enough to matter in quantities less than crate sized.

Earlier, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said there were at least 10 rifles in the room but noted that the investigation was still underway.

Nevada's gun laws like 'the wild, wild West': Law enforcement expert

I'm not sure who this "expert" is but he's full of shit.  Most towns in the "wild" west prohibited carrying of guns.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives released a statement announcing that it is "currently conducting an urgent trace on firearms recovered from the scene in Las Vegas."

The shooting is the deadliest in modern U.S. history.

Ah, so the government's extermination of people at Waco isn't a thing anymore?  and again, why are you establishing a goal for the next guy?  Oh, right--those sweet, sweet ad dollars pumping up your erections right now.

A simple body count (and in good liberal fashion, I'm going to make you look it up yourself. It's not my job to educate you) shows that Communism is at least five times as bad as its poor cousin, National Socialism.
 
If we fought a war to utterly exterminate Nazism, and we did, and it was moral and just, we should absolutely be doing the same thing for Communism. We should kill every single one of them for the good of humanity. No one is forced to be a Communist. It's not a race, a gene, an orientation. It is strictly a choice. If you choose to put the body politic so far over the individual that the individual becomes a tool, you deserve to be killed.
 
I've even had one justify to me that "99% of people won't do the right thing unless they're FORCED to." (Emphasis theirs.)
 
They were correct, but not the way they meant. Communists won't do the right thing unless you force them, by killing them.
 
Now, if you just said to yourself, "But Stalin and Mao and Pot and Kim weren't real Communists," and unspoken, you're avoiding mentioning Castro and Chavez, and don't even have a clue who Haitham is, then this is the response:

If your attempts at "real communism" consistently, 100%, decay into "not real Communism" that has killed well over 100 million people in a century, then you need to be killed, too, because you're vector for the virus of Communism. You're either incurably insane or evil, and you need to be dead.
 
It is the triumph of Western democracy that philosophies are allowed to exist and propagate even if they are ultimate evil. It is the failure of Western democracy that we support this to a fault, of allowing Communists to breathe air needed by human beings.

Then we can get back to killing National Socialists and regular Socialists as well, since their difference is only one of path, not destination.

Yes, this subject brought out all the nuts.

BACKGROUND: Over the years, a number of Viking era graves were found with swords.  The base assumption was that these were all males, and military.  A lot of us always insisted this was a false assumption. Swords were often a mark of rank and wealth (and still are). It meant the interred was of status, not necessarily a warrior. 

Then, some DNA tests showed a lot of them were actually female.

This is where the screeching harpies came in with their popular conspiracy that there were literally thousands of women in this and every generation who were doing the things men did, and then somehow erased from history so no one would ever know, over and over. This is of course, ridiculous on several levels.

Then the small-dicks got into it because obviously, no woman ever measured up, so the females had swords as marks of rank, but the men were still probably warriors.

So here's the problem with that:  If the sword is the mark of a martial person, you don't present it to a non-martial person, except to honor them for something martial. (Much like the US has civilian and military decorations, and civilians can't earn the military ones, except for a rare handful like the Civilian Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, who fought as combatants because there was no choice).

Once again, as a lot of us said, those swords were badges of rank, and may or may not indicate the owner was ever part of the military caste, or ever fought.

The Sagas and other documents record a small number of women fighting as combatants in the Viking Era. Let's go through them one at a time:

When Leif Erikson's pregnant half-sister Freydís Eiríksdóttir was in Vinland, she is reported to have taken up a sword, and, bare-breasted, scared away the attacking Skrælings.[6] The fight is recounted in the Greenland saga.

So, this woman fought in extremis.  NOTE: She had enough familiarity with a sword to reach for it rather than some other weapon, apparently confident she could use it to some effect, and said sword was available where she could readily reach it.  This implies at least some basic familiarization in case of emergency. And that it's documented this way shows no negative or questionable perception around her doing so.

Before that, we find:

Saxo Grammaticus reported that shieldmaidens fought on the side of the Danes at the Battle of Brávellir in the year 750:

Now out of the town of Sle, under the captains Hetha (Heid) and Wisna, with Hakon Cut-cheek came Tummi the Sailmaker. On these captains, who had the bodies of women, nature bestowed the souls of men. Webiorg was also inspired with the same spirit, and was attended by Bo (Bui) Bramason and Brat the Jute, thirsting for war.

These women are presented as unusual. Notice they had "The souls of men." To engage in martial activities, they couldn't be "women" in the context of the culture. That's important, and we'll come back to that.

But in context, they're presented positively. It's not "The Danes were such wimps even their women led them into battle."  It's "Holy crap, the Danes even had two women who were worthy."

The Byzantine historian John Skylitzes records that women fought in battle when Sviatoslav I of Kiev attacked the Byzantines in Bulgaria in 971. When the Varangians (not to be confused with the Byzantine Varangian Guard) had suffered a devastating defeat in the Siege of Dorostolon, the victors were stunned at discovering armed women among the fallen warriors.

This battle was rather one-sided. The Rus (related to the Vikings) got slaughtered. Once again, the women fought because they had to; they were going to die anyway. They armored up as the men, went out, and presumably had at least minimal training to make them more than meat shields. How much more we don't know.

Nor would the Byzantines be inclined to lie and claim they were fighting women if they weren't. It's not manly.

The Rus clearly accepted the idea and did the best with it.

Lagertha's tale is recorded in passages in the ninth book of the Gesta Danorum, a twelfth-century work of Danish history by Saxo Grammaticus. According to the Gesta (¶ 9.4.1–9.4.11), Lagertha's career as a warrior began when Frø, king of Sweden, invaded Norway and killed the Norwegian king Siward. Frø put the women of the dead king's family into a brothel for public humiliation. Hearing of this, Ragnar Lodbrok came with an army to avenge his grandfather Siward. Many of the women Frø had ordered abused dressed themselves in men's clothing and fought on Ragnar's side. Chief among them, and key to Ragnar's victory, was Lagertha. Saxo recounts:

Ladgerda, a skilled Amazon, who, though a maiden, had the courage of a man, and fought in front among the bravest with her hair loose over her shoulders. All-marvelled at her matchless deeds, for her locks flying down her back betrayed that she was a woman.

Impressed with her courage, Ragnar courted her from afar. Lagertha feigned interest and Ragnar arrived to seek her hand, bidding his companions wait in the Gaular valley. He was set upon by a bear and a great hound which Lagertha had guarding her home, but killed the bear with his spear and choked the hound to death. Thus he won the hand of Lagertha in marriage. According to Saxo, Ragnar had a son with her, Fridleif, as well as two daughters, whose names are not recorded.

So, once again, she fought because she had to, as did the other women.

Now, this may be partly fictionalized, so we go to context:

The women are held in respect for assisting in their own rescue.

The purposed of enbrotheling them was humiliation, not disgrace--it was to bring them down, not to imply shame to their families (other than by not being able to protect them). Quite a few cultures would shun or even execute those women for having been raped. In this case, despite that, at least one was considered worthy enough to be sought as a wife of status. Nor was it unmanly to marry a woman who fought. It was a positive.

(In Grammaticus's accounts, "dressed in men's clothing" means suitable garb for fighting--pants, tunics, possibly armor.)

So now we come to a recent, fully documented instance:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajpa.23308/full

So, this burial does contain a sword. It also contains an ax, a large langseax that is purely a weapon, not a tool, a two handed axe, a spear, two shields, bodkin tipped arrows, stirrups and two entire horses.

It was first called a male warrior's grave.  Then someone observed the pelvis was probably female. Then it was genetically proven the occupant was female.

Then all of a sudden it wasn't a warrior's grave at all.

Within seconds of me posting this link on my wall, one individual had a complete, screaming, online meltdown. I strongly suspect he actually crapped his pants.

He loudly insisted it couldn't be a warriors grave because no culture ever had female warriors, and posted a link that debunked the feminist claim that half the burials in York were female because they contained swords. This is true. It's also not relevant to this find.

Then he went on to insist that the sagas are just fiction and not relevant, and grave goods don't prove anything and are not relevant, and it was something other than a warrior's grave because it had a female in it and there were no female warriors, and I obviously knew nothing of history.

So, point by point:

"The sagas are fiction and speak of ridiculous fantasies."

True. They also speak to the culture, and we have references above to females fighting in exigent circumstances. They're not foils, comedy relief, or sex objects. They're warriors. That perception is culturally relevant. Also, based on a third hand retelling of Beowulf (not a saga per se), we have found what are probably Heorot and Beowulf's barrow, right where they were described.  We have the same with the Bible, and with Tlingit accounts from the Pacific Northwest of the tsunami that hit about 1700. A saga alone is not evidence, but you can't throw them out entirely. And if you do, you can't also decide to keep them relevant for male history.  This is not only toxic masculinity. This is a dickless little bitch who's terrified of women.

"Grave goods don't prove anything."

Odd. Apparently they did when the grave was "known" to be male. Also, wrong.  If we find valuables in a grave, it's probably not a peasant. If we find a needle case, shears, keys and tweezers, it's probably a female grave. If we find copious weapons, it's probably a warrior's grave. Note "Probably." Not proven, but if you find those female accoutrements, a comb, brooches, etc, you don't assume it's a male ruler. If you find gold, weapons, valuables, you don't assume it's a beggar.

We had this same crap years ago, by the way, when some smal number of the Pharaohs were shown to be women. They were just "Queens buried in Pharaohic context."

"It can't be a warrior's grave because it has a female in it and there were no female warriors."

Circular logic. Once you've defined your circle, nothing can get in or out.

I asked him what type of grave it was if not a warrior's grave. His response: first to claim he didn't need to answer because I'd been rude back to him, therefore "showing my colors." Which of course is an evasion. Then to say it was "some other type of grave of status, but not a warrior's grave" again. He was unable to suggest what type of grave might be full of martial goods but not martial in nature.

I blocked the limp-dicked little shit because he was making rational discussion impossible.

At this point, Dipshit Number Two entered the fray and said, "Even if it was a martial grave, there's no evidence she ever stood in a shield wall, so she's not a warrior."

Wow. Those are some supercharged V8 equipped goalposts there.  No one ever claimed she engaged in any particular act in any particular battle. We don't know. Nor do you, so you can't state a negative either.

My last Army commander was a general who'd never been in combat.  He was still part of the military caste.

Now, we don't have proof the female occupant of this grave ever stuck a spear in someone. This is true. But the grave is a martial grave--multiple weapons, stirrups, which were typically used in martial context. One didn't ride pet or draft horses at speeds that would necessitate them for several reasons. And we have two horses, and a grave the size of a small house, in a military context in a large town. The weapons have not been ritually "killed" to prevent theft. There was no expectation this grave was going to get robbed. This means it was guarded and in an established cemetery.

There are numerous weapons of a working nature. A person of status might wear a sword to court, to council or to diplomatic functions, but if you show up with a skeggox and langseax as well, you aren't there to look pretty. You're there to take someone's head off. These weapons were not tokens.

So in this context, if your culture is so stiff-cocked and manly that women can't ever be warriors (and extant evidence is it was not), you would not EVER put a woman in a grave with martial implements. You'd be disgracing said implements. Would the Arabs do this? Of course not. Just as civilians can't get military medals in our culture. There are civilian medals the President can award them. They don't get ours. Only the military, and only certain segments of the military, can get certain awards and certifications. A civilian might be a complete badass, but he is not a Soldier/Sailor/Marine/Airman. The contextually relevant reference above is the Civilian Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, and a few others, who actually fought with the military in such a fashion and under such circumstances that we said, "You are now of us." They became warriors.

This female is buried in what was always understood to be a martial grave.  End of discussion.

Now, there are varying reasons as to why. She could have been a legit hands-on warrior herself. The evidence is she was in fact a "maiden" as far as marriage went (height, undamaged hips, no partner buried with her, her horses--probably her most trusted and valuable animals--buried with her and not willed to someone). All those make possible that she did in fact kick some Norwegian or Balt ass.

It could be she was the swiftest messenger around, though the fighting axe argues against that.

It could be she was the horse trainer for that element. An important, martial position. But again, the axe isn't quite correct. A spear would be better.

Possibly she was the local countess who donated land and money. This could make her an honorary member of the caste. Though there's no male precedent for this I'm aware of, so it's unlikely.

She might have taken up a male relative's position for vengeance--respected in those cultures and even noted in literature.

She could have been some sort of management or tactical whiz who could outsmart the enemy, though that would still argue for presence on the battlefield, which, even if there's "no evidence she ever stood in a shield wall" (we have no such evidence for anyone that I'm aware of), makes her a warrior.

Without either some attestation, a burial marker, or other evidence, we cannot prove positively which of those she was.  But it is certain that this woman was buried in a martial context by a martial culture, which means they considered her martially relevant enough to dig a hole the size of a small house, put her, her horses, and (adjusted dollars) about $30,000 worth of weapons and accoutrements in with her. And to not put in a single female accoutrement. She was not buried as a woman. She was buried as a warrior.

We have a single confirmed find of a Viking Era woman buried in martial context. This does not mean there were thousands of others. Nor does it mean there were none.

Best. DragonCon. Ever!
Sep 06, 201701:21AM

Category: Writing

As a vendor, sales were amazing. While I do have some competition on cosplay grade swords, I'm the only one with both functional replicas and actual antiques. There are, in fact buyers for such at an event of this magnitude.

As a writer, I saw an upcoming anthology that listed my name right below David Drake's, and I was on a panel about "Real SF for Writers" that involved me, Timothy Zahn, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.  I can only hope that some day all of this will pay off to being a "real" writer who can dare to hope to be invited to literary conventions.

Both girlfriends were with me, and someone not clear on what that meant asked me, "Isn't that dangerous if they meet?" No, not at all, since we were all in the same room. How does that work, you ask?  Wonderfully. Thanks for asking.

There were some amazing cosplays, including Teenage Mutant Stormtrooper Turtles with kilts, a Deadpool/Assassin's Creed/Jedi mashup, and someone doing a great Randy Savage outfit.

I tried some new to me Scotches.

Off site, I got to show off my cape gun and a Lefaucheux 12mm pinfire to several writers who also share an interest in firearms.

There was a mass signing for Black Tide Rising, AND for Forged in Blood. The latter with myself, Larry Correia, Mike Massa, Chris Smith an Kacey Ezell.

I may have a paid interview gig on SF for another outlet.

The drive back wasn't too bad on top of that.

No food poisoning this year.

Already booked for next year.

Someone just proved that yet another "smart" gun is crap:

https://www.wired.com/story/smart-gun-fire-magnets/

Look, let's go over this again:

When I need a gun, a half second to unlock it is three seconds too long.

I've watched a clerk take 15 tries to authenticate a fingerprint on a cash register, inside in dry conditions. Emergencies are less forgiving.

For liability reasons, the mfr wants this to fail into "lock" mode. For my safety, I want it to fail into "fire" mode. Because I know when I need a gun, the mfr does not.

If there is a lock on the very simple mechanism, it can be removed mechanically.

And this has zero effect on over a third of a billion weapons currently in existence.

The entire concept is crap, and if believe otherwise, you don't know enough about the subject. Do not argue. You're just wrong.

~~~

Here's an example with another piece of equipment: A fire alarm pull box.

You know, the kind where you yank a lever to activate a fire alarm.  This type had a small glass bar with a score mark to hold the lever in place.

At the training base I supported, some recruit managed to "Accidentally" pull the alarm. He was identified by the UV dye from the lever on his fingers.  It was an "accident," he insisted.

The pull station was replaced with another one with a striker you hit to break the glass, then you'd pull the lever.

A few weeks later, another recruit "accidentally" broke the glass. He didn't pull the box, so no one knows who it was.

You see where this is going.

By the time a few months had passed, every pull station in that barracks required you to:

Pull off a plastic cover that sounded an audible alarm at the box.

Open a wire mesh door that sounded a different tone and flashed a light.

Break the glass.

Pull the lever.

To actually send a call to the fire department.

To avoid "accidents."

Training and discipline avoid accidents.  Gadgets do not.

If you can't comprehend this, you have no business expressing an opinion in a technical field you're not trained in.