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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.


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.


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.


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:


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.


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.
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.


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. 


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.
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:


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.

I've been digging a bit more into the I-65 Bridge between Jeffersonville, IN and Louisville, KY.


Fourth most expensive public works project in US history. More expensive than Verazzano Narrows, the Golden Gate, or an entire freeway from Evansville to Indianapolis, and it crosses a few hundred yards of muddy Ohio river. There are bridges out there 5 miles, 10 miles, 100 miles long that didn't cost as much.

To be fair, it does include overhaul of some other bridges.

But, they've already admitted the toll system, supposed to be in place until 2051, will have to run to 2069.  Want to bet on the bridge still being around then? And of course, those tolls will go up every year. They started at $2 each way if you have their transponder, or $4 if they have to mail it to you, because it's so hard to actually compare a license plate to a database and automate a bill.

Yes, I support toll roads IN LIEU OF FEDERAL AND STATE TAX MONEY.  This cost both, and a lot of it.

And I really have to question how they're spending that much on so little.

In the meantime, I detour.  There's simply nothing in Lousyville that requires my attention that badly.

We first became aware of International Student Exchange when the school sent out an email blast that two exchange students had to be moved due to an emergency with the host family, could anyone help? The idea was to keep them in the same district. These were high school students.

We volunteered to take one, and had to submit an application for approval, for background checks, with photos of the house inside and out, bios, the works.

While waiting for this, I found out I had a mutual acquaintance with the host family, who said that the male householder had been accused of a sexual impropriety (he did not specify), but everyone knew the boy "liked to make up stories."

I was immediately concerned because that can be true, and could be a problem again if he moved into our house, but it's also the first accusation an actual pedophile makes about the victim.

We clarified that the student we'd be hosting was the other one, and were introduced. We were approved by local rep Melissa Plunkett, and a move in date was set.

On the move in date, the investigation was concluded, and his move was canceled. He went back to his host family--Melissa Plunkett.

That's right, the spouse of the accused pedophile was kept in the supervisory position that enabled her to choose their substitute family.  Does anyone else see a problem with that? Because I know my training for the Boy Scouts, and the rules for the Salvation Army, and a dozen other groups, most certainly do not allow the accused to have ANY say in contact issues until it's resolved.

Also, this issue was resolved in two weeks. So either no official report was actually filed, which was wrong, or a very, very quick "investigation" was done, which is questionable.

ISE apparently doesn't take complaints of child sexual assault very seriously.

The day that student was supposed to move in, he moved back in with the Plunkett family.

I note that the other young man, who filed the complaint, was not sent back to his home country, so apparently his complaint was not deemed to be maliciously false, just a misunderstanding of some kind.  I'm not sure how one misunderstands something like that, but I'm not up on the details of sexual impropriety with teenage boys.

Our primary local contact then said, since we'd already done the background check, home inspection, etc, were we interested in hosting for the spring semester?

We agreed, were matched with options, and we and a family agreed on a young man to host. He arrived shortly after Christmas, we moved him into his own room with his own bathroom and facilities, and started showing him around, taking him to events, helping him comprehend American schools.  I like to think we're an ideal family for that. I'm an immigrant myself, from the UK and Canada. Jessica was Reservation born, and relocated from Arizona to the Dakotas to Florida to Texas while young. We both travel extensively and are well educated.

Everything seemed optimal for about six weeks, until another rep entirely showed up for a "routine" second home inspection. This exchange then ensued:


Correspondence with the people running that show, regarding our home:


Mike and Jessica,
I was contacted a couple of days ago by Carrie, the woman who does 2nd home visits for ISE. She was very concerned about the disarray of your home. I explained to her that you both are very busy individuals who have a small child in the home (who I'm sure makes messes faster than one can pick up) and that I would feel comfortable living in your home, even if it were a bit untidy (as is everyone's at times). However, she was so concerned that she recommended to the ISE district manager, Pauline Pipkins, that Boris be found a different home. I contacted Boris (I didn't mention what Carrie had said, just checking in with him to see how he was doing) and he said that he really likes you all and enjoys spending time with your family. He also said he was making friends and likes school. I spoke with Pauline and asked her to please give you guys a chance to tidy up a bit before making a final decision of having Boris removed, since he likes you guys and is happy in your home. She informed me that if the home tidiness situation improves, then Boris can continue to live with you all for the duration of his time here. Carrie Roberts will be making another home visit in the near future to see if the situation has improved. I'm sure that she'll call a day or so ahead of time to make sure that you all will be available. Boris seems to be a nice kid and I hope your family is enjoying hosting him. I look forward to seeing him on Sunday for skiing! 

Thanks for hosting,



Jessica Schlenker said:
Jan 29

As I was obviously not here when this visit occurred or aware that it was scheduled, I am unsure what “disarray” is the cause of the concern.
Clarification as to what caused her concern would be helpful. I have been ill the last few weeks with an on-going migraine, and my routine has been scrambled accordingly. However, I will note that none of Cassandra’s weekly in-home therapists, who are mandatory reporters, have expressed any concerns, quite the opposite.
I believe Mike said this occurred on Wednesday, and no mention was made at the time of any concerns. I do know that I received several boxes that day, household goods (Amazon), which were in the living-room when I got home. Mike believes it was neater than when you were last inside, as well.
And, yes, Cassandra actively takes things off shelves and out of boxes at every opportunity. It’s a full time job to keep her toys in one area only. We endeavor to keep her out of the office (non-living area) of the building. However, thanks to things like having to replace the furnace, we have not yet purchased and installed the planned separating doors between the “house” and “office” area. The office is not, however, “living” space.
We have enjoyed having Boris here, and believe it would be detrimental to him to move him for concerns neither he (nor his family, who have had a couple of video “tours” when Boris has Facetime’d them while walking around) have expressed.
Since this is our first time hosting, and we are still settling into the house from moving in (and combining two households), we would appreciate the guidance and clarification first rather than overreaction. 

Mike Williamson said
Jan 29

In fact, given that statement, I would appreciate if Pauline came and saw for herself.


Jessica Schlenker
Jan 31 

Is there any further information or follow up?
We're all rather fretful, as you might expect.



On Jan 29, 2017 6:57 PM, Janel wrote:
I can understand your frustration. I think you all have a beautiful home and saw no problems while I was there. I would feel very comfortable with my own child living there. I forwarded your email to Pauline and told her the same. I also explained to Carrie when she called me that the office wasn't living space and you all were still getting settled in from the move. I'm fighting for you guys because I believe that you're an awesome host family and that Boris really enjoys being there. I hope that you're feeling better. Moms don't have time to be sick.  
I'll let you know what I find out.


Melissa Plunkett says:
5:31 PM (47 minutes ago)

Hello. Sorry for the delay. I have a day job and was gone for training all weekend plus I've been having conversations with my manager about your particular situation. I am sorry to say that we are going to need to move Boris. Due to the report coming back as it did and your surprise at the report, it seems we may have different standards of a clean and tidy host environment. I had asked janel to speak with you and wanted to set up a second visit but there is concern that you don't see it as a problem and unfortunately Boris does see it as a concern for him as well. He would never say that to you guys, as he does think you are very nice and would not want to hurt your feelings or make you angry with him. He appreciates all that you've done and we do as well, but we do have state standards that we have to meet (different than what the department of state for child welfare ) and our standards are very rigid for exchange students. I am sorry to have to send this to you and please know that we all know that you are good people who really wanted to host a student as we know many others who do and are unable to for many different reasons and situations. I encourage you to consider trying again with a student next year if you are willing/able to tidy and keep tidy your home. I can share our definition of that if you'd like. Again I am sorry and I will keep you advised of a move date but I expect it would be before the end of the week.
Take care.


Jessica says:
Hi, Melissa,
Per Janel's below instructions, I am contacting you. If you have any information regarding when a second visit will happen, that would be appreciated. We have not had any contact regarding it.
We are still pending a response to our original questions regarding clarification as to what caused the "concern" about "disarray," as well as the request for clearer guidelines. I have looked through everything possible on the ISE website and handbooks, and found nothing specific or clear. As noted to Janel previously, we have two mandatory reporters -- my 2 year old's speech and occupational therapists, via the state's First Steps program -- in the house weekly, and they have not voiced concerns. (Three different individuals now, as one of her regular therapists is on maternity leave, and there is a substitute therapist here on a different schedule than before until she's back.)
I am bothered by the vacuum that appears to have happened in regards to information. Mike and I are absolutely willing to follow guidance insofar as possible and reasonable, but that guidance has not been made available.
Feeling it fair to Boris, we apprised him of the information that there was an issue when we were informed (which surprised and flabbergasted him), and he has asked a few times if we have any further information as to what would happen. I would like to be able to reassure him, but so far all I've been able to do is say "I don't know."


From: Janel 
Sorry it took so long getting back to you. I usually try to return emails in a timely manner. I was attempting to get a definite answer from someone about what exactly is going on. Melissa Plunkett, my supervisor, has been speaking to Pauline about when a second visit would happen. It would be best for you to contact Melissa. Her email is [redacted]. I'm sorry that I can't be more help.


Jessica Schlenker says:
5:58 PM (20 minutes ago)

Yes, obviously, which is why I requested standards and information, because I could not find anything when the concern came up. 
It seems that Boris suddenly became okay with moving into a new location after finding out he'd be moving in with a friend. 
When Janel contacted him originally, without any discussion about why she was, he had nothing bad to say. When we told him there was a concern, he was shocked, surprised, and immediately said he has no issues or worries. We *asked*. All that Janel would say is that there would be another inspection. 
I am sorry that my desire to be cooperative and helpful has been found to be offensive. I requested guidance as to how to meet these undocumented standards, so that there wouldn't be a misunderstanding. 
Unfortunately, as these standards are apparently beyond what daily vacuuming, cleaning, and general pickup can accomplish, I believe we will not ever be "fit" for this program. 
My apologies for our efforts.


Mike Williamson says:

I just spoke to Boris, politely. He was very embarrassed about all of this. He also seemed very unsure, as if he'd been told it was "for the best," not given a choice, and was trying to convince himself it was of benefit.
It seems he was told he was moving, and in with a friend, and felt that would be more fun. He did express that the 2 year old makes a bit more mess than he is comfortable with. We do clean regularly. We have vacuumed three times this week. Had he ever mentioned this, and I asked frequently, we would have made additional cleanup efforts, though it appears you're not actually aware of what a 2 year old can do in a half hour.
Pauline [actually, Carrie. I have trouble keeping track of all the voices in this, one of whom I met for two minutes, most of whom never even spoke to me directly] deceitfully did not express any concerns at all during her visit. If she had an issue, that would be the time to tell us. She failed to do so.
It's been three weeks since then. Clearly, urgency in this case was lacking.
It's been three weeks. You still have failed to provide guidelines on what is considered acceptable. It seems one person's word with no criteria or photos is enough to cause all this uproar. BTW, yes, the outside of the house was a bit disorganized. It's called a "windstorm" and my industrial stuff from my former office is not yet fully situated in the garage. It in no way affected livability, and again, if that was a concern, it would be both polite and professional to make mention at the time.

Carrie didn't even actually enter any room other than Boris' and the living room. It appears she entered the house, decided she was done, and left in about two minutes.

As mentioned before, our daughter has a speech therapist and a occupational therapist in the house weekly. They have mandatory reporting guidelines to the State of Indiana for any issues they see. When queried, they informed me our house is far above average and they have zero concerns.

I note:

Carrie's complete failure to act in a courteous and professional manner, and her deceitfulness.

The inability of the rest of your organization to provide any sort of examples or guidelines as to what was deemed wrong, suggesting that they are arbitrary and capricious.

Your refusal to follow through with the re-inspection you promised, even without furnishing more criteria.

Your apparent dishonesty in promising the above, then refusing to do so.

Your inability to follow through in a timely manner, regarding this alleged problem.

Your complaint that our inability to understand and comply with mysterious guidelines IN ADDITION to the written guidelines, that you cannot provide in this timeframe.

The stress Boris is undergoing, after settling in, and now being moved, and without any real feedback we are aware of.

It appears your organization does not meet the standards I require, in terms of maintaining standards, communication, and professionalism.

Accordingly, we most certainly will not involve ourselves with you again.

I feel sorry for Boris, the victim in all of this. I wish him well and hope the rest of his stay is positive. It's a shame he won't get to see Chicago, Columbus OH, Nashville and Louisville, as we had planned with my professional appearance schedule. Hopefully his other hosts can offer him some travel opportunities.

Our thanks to Janel for being the only professional voice in this discourse.

By the way, this is how Boris got the money for his New York, DC and skiing trips: https://www.gofundme.com/send-boris-to-new-york-and-dc



UPDATE 13 Feb. 17: Melissa informed Boris via text that he was moving today. He told me, I explained the concerns, he texted her to phone me. She refused. I contacted ISE headquarters at 1620, who said they were unaware of the issue, and are investigating. The rep on the phone agreed the procedure sounds nonstandard, but didn't say more, pending investigation.

At 1815 Melissa showed up with a police officer (for which I'm actually grateful--at least there was some sort of official logging.  She brought no documentation.  I invited her into the house to see it and offer feedback if she had any complaints. She refused.  The officer came in at my request and said he saw nothing out of the ordinary or of concern, and that he would ensure to log the fact that she did not have documentation with her.

In case you were wondering, this is what our house looked like in this timeframe: 

Guest room:



Guest bathroom, utility room (and note, there are two other full bathrooms in the house, available for use):


Family room:




Living Room:







Dining Room:



Legal note:

22 CFR 62.25(d)(10)(k)(1) also reads : (k) Host family orientation. In addition to the orientation requirements set forth in §62.10, sponsors must:

(1) Inform all host families of the philosophy, rules, and regulations governing the sponsor's exchange visitor program, including examples of “best practices” developed by the exchange community;


Which they refused, in writing, to do.


I asked Ms Plunkett to please come into the house, escorted by the officer, to explain what on the premises was deemed so problematic. She shook her head and said, "no." Note that she has never actually been in the house, and was making this decision based on hearsay from "Carrie" whom we had never met before or since. The officer did follow me in, looked around, and admitted he saw no cause for concern from a professional point of view.


So let's recap: the accused pedophile was recused in two weeks. We were considered so unfit due to alleged "disarray" the student had to be moved, but it took three weeks to do so, and it required the presence of a police officer to do so. Neither our state-sponsored care givers nor the police saw any problem.  The problem isn't one they can explain now, but can explain later, but isn't written down, and we should know what it is anyway.

At no point was any kind of paperwork presented to us, and the officer said he had not seen any. Plunkett's word was simply taken as authoritative on the relocation of a foreign national on US soil.

And Melissa Plunkett is a liar, as both Boris and his father insisted they were unaware of this issue until we informed them, and he was only notified by text 24 hours before they removed him.

I think others will concur with me that this couldn't actually have had anything to do with our house.  I'm not sure what was involved, but that doesn't reasonably seem to be it.

Then, ISE's attorney tried to claim to my attorney that posting the correspondence verbatim constituted "defamation." What an interesting legal notion.

As a curious sort, I started investigating.


It's amazing how much information people leave on the internet.

Melissa Plunkett collects "children."  As she's one of the oversight reps, she's not supposed to also host children, but she does.  She seems to host two at a time, but only lists a single one on Facebook, who she identifies as her "child."  These are 17 to 18 year old exchange students, but they're her "children." And in fact, having interacted with them at some of the group events, she even requires them to call her "mother." It was a bit disturbing to see one of these boys, near 18, publicly call a woman he'd lived with for two weeks, "Mother."  She still lists some of these students from the last decade as her "children" on her FB profile.

They also seem to swap kids a lot. The Brazilian boy who "made up the tale" about being sexually imposed on, was replaced with a Chinese boy.

She boasts that they must attend her church specifically, regardless of their own faith. They're her kids and she will see to their moral guidance, or whatever she uses instead.

As I helped take exchange students to sporting events, I drove to her house several times. It's not a bad house, but it's a tiny house.  About 1300 sq feet.  They have four kids of their own, and two unauthorized exchange students at any given time.


(22 CFR 62.25(d)(10)(i) reads: (10) Refrain, without exception, from acting as:

(i) Both a host family and a local coordinator or area supervisor for an exchange student wink


So the kids are stacked like boxes in a warehouse.  I'm pretty sure 6 kids in two bedrooms in that little space is against policy.  It's certainly a good reason for them not to criticize our living arrangements--we gave the student his own bedroom and bathroom separate from the rest of us, in a house well over twice the size.  We have a 16 year old and a 2 year old. Three kids, three bedrooms for kids.  (Note that the rules allow for sharing rooms with a same sex CHILD.  Singular, not plural, and not with adults.  No couchsurfing.)

As to what her place looks like, not terrible, but she's certainly not in a position to criticize my dining table:


She's a part time Montessori teacher, and he's apparently a prison guard for the state.  While those are worthy jobs, neither is a financially lucrative job.  They seem to be earning in the range of about $60K between them, which with four kids probably puts them below the poverty line, and begs the question of how they can still host two more.



They even apparently vacationed in Australia.  That seems to be several months' income. This may explain some of their financial issues.

In fact, in late 2014 their modest house went into foreclosure, all the way to sheriff auction, and was only saved by declaring bankruptcy.



Yet somehow, in the two years after that, they apparently found enough money for more vacation trips to the Czech Republic, and Cozumel, Mexico.  It also appears they may have taken one of the exchange students out of country, which is against company policy and legally questionable in case of trouble.



They own four relatively new vehicles including a Jeep and SUVs, and also a Harley.

That seems to be a heck of a lot of money for a couple in a small house with four kids, modest income, and a recent bankruptcy.  It does cause one to wonder how and where a prison guard might acquire such funds.

After the bankruptcy, and just before the allegations came out, Melissa Plunkett seems to have started a profile on Couchsurfing.com.  It's not completed, but certainly a red flag and unsafe. I wouldn't want random strangers stopping at my house, a prison guard certainly shouldn't, and it's definitely not advisable with exchange students, and begs the question of why you have random strangers stopping by your "fun" family and young foreign guests. Desperate for income for the unsupportable lifestyle?  Some sort of code for some sort of unsavory community? An attempt to get even more young adults into the house?


This seems to be some strange little ladies' club of kid-swapping and kid hoarding. It appears to violate federal law, company policies, ethical and moral guidelines, but is apparently A-OK with International Student Exchange.

Completely apart from that, when I first mentioned this to friends, every single person who had ever dealt with this agency described them as "cash and dash."  All they want is money, and after that, the kids are on their own. They would, in fact, have more legal protection if they were illegal immigrants.

If you do plan to host any students, I'd suggest avoiding this organization entirely.

And by the way, our daughter will not be attending that Montessori, or getting anywhere near this bizarre woman or her dishonest, kid-hoarding, potential pedo friends.

It's For The Birds.
Apr 03, 201703:08AM

Category: General

I've finally come up with a comparison for those people who seem to think that birdshot is a magical home defense round.

The myth goes that because buckshot "overpenetrates," that one should use birdshot, so that if you miss, it won't "overpenetrate" the walls and hurt others. After all, it's just as massive so it's just as good, right?

If that were the case, we wouldn't have "birdshot" and "buckshot," we'd just have "Shot."

Now, there are any number of tests on gelatin and people that prove this is wrong. Why people refuse to believe them, I don't know.

The facts are that any round that will reliably stop a hostile WILL penetrate a wall, the end.  And that in combat or self defense, all those niceties of range safety disappear.  Troops in combat do sweep each other with loaded weapons, do have fingers on triggers, do shoot near or past each other, and do shoot without necessarily knowing what the backstop is. One tries, but one is also trying to, you know, STAY ALIVE.

A shot column acts like a fluid.  The entire mass isn't interacting at once. The leading pellets impact, and shed velocity first, then act as buffers for the following shot (if we're assuming close enough range for it to impact all approximately at once).  At a distance, each pellet alone lacks the power to do much of anything to anything bigger than a bird. It can, in fact, be even LESS effective up close than it otherwise would be, due to the buffering effect.

Let's use this comparison:

If I throw a snowball at you, it breaks up when it hits.  I can hit you harder if I throw it faster, or if I use a bigger snowball. But within the capabilities of human throwing, the snowball is going to be annoying and messy.

If I freeze a ball of solid ice of the same mass and heave it at you, it can smash your face to jelly.

It's the same mass. It's also a single mass.

Birdshot is for birds.




This is from a writer who is unnamed, but some of you may identify. He's talking to a friend of mine.  Now, to give him his due, he's not just blocking people who disagree like so many of the pussies are.  Still, the sneering condescension, self-aggrandizement and posturing is almost tin-pot:


Behold! He risked his life as a civilian government employee in the depths of a TOC, analyzing how best to drop drone-bombs on illiterate peasants who threaten our precious, bodily fluids. His entire adult life has been devoted to a system whereby SecState can define whatever SecState wants as a terror threat and ban the domestic production thereof (ITAR), with secret watch and terror lists, exempt herself from the same security protocols he and everyone else is held to, confiscatory tax regs, imposed fascist health care and literal hordes of illegals. He worked really hard for that vision of America, and Trump wants to end it!

Wait, did he actually mean that? Because that's certainly what his history SAYS.

Besides, those drone strikes are still happening: "The strikes, which were later confirmed by the Pentagon, did not require Trump to sign off on them. Under then-President Barack Obama, the authority to order such strikes in Yemen was devolved to the four-star commander of US Central Command, Gen. Joseph Votel." http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/23/politics/drone-strikes-president-trump/

But I guess Trump might stop them, that monster!

And we're so polite while we talk about it.

That's because we're not the fucking Nazis in this debate, you Nazi piece of shit. The fucking Nazi lost the election, but your side refuses to accept the legitimate process, and is re-enacting Kristallnacht to show how bad your opponents are...except you prove exactly the opposite.

And he really believes he loves and bled for the previous administration (because he certainly isn't talking about Bush and he's not old enough for Reagan) and all the great things it did...like tripling the debt, MOAR drone strikes, three more wars we really shouldn't have gotten involved in, but are somehow more ethical than two other wars...hyperbole much?

Also, a lot of other people fought, and bled, to avoid the utopia he's achieved and keep that fucking Nazi from winning the election, but of course, they don't count, because only one side can be utterly evil and have apologists, and he'll tell you which side it is. So politely.

Note that he can't actually detail what Trump has done in under a month that is so devastatingly terrible. None of them can. In that month, Trump has done some good, some bad, none of it amounting to much yet, because the President is relatively limited in power scope and these things take time.

What he means is he'd have sucked Hillary's cock if she had one. And he's willing to overlook anything utterly evil she might do. Only the other side is held to account. That's the real danger of extremists on both sides, and how we got into this mess. Which he fought and bled for. (Where's his Purple Heart, btw?)

And then like a textbook narcissist, he projects his own blind worship, devoid of criticality, onto the man who says, "People have different viewpoints." Apparently, saying so is refusing to "own" the "Fact" that Trump is Hitler.

I guess it needs to be said again, and often, because the actual fucking Nazis in this debate can't grasp it: You're the fucking Nazis (yes, that's a two-word noun) and the fucking Nazi lost the election.

And I for one will be very glad if everything you "worked so hard for" is flushed down the shitter.

Because it doesn't matter how hard you work for evil. It remains evil.