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Laughing_Wolf
Wilds of NW Indiana
Author, Consultant, Content Creator
Interests: Military, preparedness, food and drink, animals, cooking, more as I have time
Recent Activity
One of our readers works for a company that exhibits at SHOT, and talked with me a couple of years ago about it. If you still read here, please drop me a line as I would like to talk with you again about that discussion. LW Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at BLACKFIVE
Do you like science fiction/fantasy books? Non-Fiction? Anthologies? Other? If so, you have a treat this weekend with a Labor Day Sale/Push for works that are $2.99 or less. Check them out! Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Well, some artists made suggestions to improve the art contest for everyone, and Mission: VALOR listened. To be honest, we not only listened, but apologized for one part that was gold-plated double-dipped REMF. Net result, the contest deadline has been extended, artist rights are changed, and more file types can be submitted. Oh, and Madison Rising, Crossroads Cigars, and Star City Coffee and Ale House have added prizes to the prize baskets. Check it out. Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Your good ones (and best-selling ones) are ahead of Stan on this. The problem is, your major publishing houses, and the major so-called professional organization, are controlled by those same SJW/GHH PC killjoys, and if you don't toe the PC line, purge, purge, purge. You might want to go read Larry Correia's blog posts on this, along with Sarah Hoyt and others. SFWA has spent the last few years in a series of Lenin/Trotsky purges that have stopped at literal ice axes (for now), but have brought out the figurate ones and more. You would also think that the major publishers could figure out the problem and go with things that sell (Like Baen is doing, at least for now); but, no. It is easier to blame Amazon and the rise of Independent publishing and attempt to destroy same than to face cold hard economic facts. For those wanting some fun, go take a look at sales figures for the Hugo winners for the last ten years. Then compare it to the sales figures for Correia, Hoyt, Weber, and Ringo. Heck, throw Kratman and uber-left Eric Flint in there too. Look at the market share held by Baen, both in general, within SF/F, and within niche markets. Use Amazon to score same, and look at how independents stack up in terms of sales within general and niche markets. It is rather educational, and something that sets off howls of outrage from the SJW/GHH I'm-more-PC-than-you crowd.
Toggle Commented Aug 24, 2014 on Food For Thought This Sunday at BLACKFIVE
1 reply
An informal group of writers (and avid readers) to which I belong have been discussing a number of issues within writing in general, and science fiction in particular. A strong focus has been on the politics of SF, and the strangling of the field by political correctness. That there is such has been clearly shown by direct empirical work and in anecdotal evidence by the dumptruck load as the purges beget purges begets the complete and utter sham that the science fiction writers of America has become. I note for the record (and the stupid) that Sad Puppies did indeed succeed, and that no real effort was made to win the vote, as the purpose was completed with the nominations (and hysterical fits such entailed among the SJW/glittery hoo-haa brigades). For those not getting the references above, no worries as it is very much inside baseball type stuff. Suffice it say that there is a reason that much of the so-called "military science fiction" that comes out from major publishers sorta sucks. That said, there is an excellent post that delves into the philosophy behind these issues, and I commend it toyou as food for thought. Agree, disagree, or be mixed, there is much to think about and consider in the post. As a final note, and bit of food for thought, I will point out to the SJW/GHH crowd that much of what is considered classical literature today was yesterdays low-brow, frowned upon, popular literature. In other words, what sold well became the classics, rather than what the elite literati and academics thought was good. Smaller post at my place, go read the link if you are up for a good meal in terms of food for thought. Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
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Bumping: Reminder, this is tomorrow, Wed. 3 Sept. Hope to see you there! Not sure how many readers live in or near Lafayette, IN. However, for those who do, Logan's Roadhouse (Lafayette, IN only) is having a fundraiser for Mission: VALOR on 3 September from 4 to close. You come in, order, enjoy and when you go to pay your check, give the server a free ticket/coupon with it and a percentage of that bill goes to Mission: VALOR The more people who come, the higher the percentage -- up to 20 percent. You can get tickets in advance at the locations in the link, and Bob Rohrman Toyota (located next to Logan's) is letting us set up a tent there on the 3rd so anyone who doesn't have a ticket/coupon can stop by and get one (as we can't give them out that day on site). Hope you can come on by, and my thanks to the wonderful businesses that are serving as advance ticket/coupon locations! Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
If they think AR 670-1's are bad, they really don't want any GO-1's on the street! That would be a true and complete horror!
Toggle Commented Aug 22, 2014 on This Scourge Must End! at BLACKFIVE
1 reply
We can't. There is no way, just as acknowledging their support of the troops and honoring that is not worshiping celebrities or honoring them in death more than we do the troops. All we can do is acknowledge what is, hope that this can be used to prevent any from taking the same steps, and try to pay it forward. Jenna did a magnificent job on this, keeping it balanced and real. May people listen and learn.
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Since the news broke, there have been a number of people working to use the sad news to try to reach out to troops/veterans that were at risk, as well as to educate about depression, stigma, and related issues. I could rant about ignorant posts and posters, but I'd rather focus on what's important: reaching out to those at risk, because if even one stops and thinks, and chooses not to follow... The new social media manager for Mission: VALOR, Army veteran Jennifer Wilkins Perminas, sent me a post yesterday that she wasn't satisfied with. I thought it bloody marvelous, and said so. Here's a small taste: His death brings me to a larger epidemic that I believe we need to discuss. Some folks believe that suicide is a selfish and a cowardly act- and they are entitled to their opinion. However, depression is not a condition to which one wakes up to and shouts “depression; come and get me!” It is invasive and relentless in its goal of permanently demoralizing an individual. You can look at depression as a parasite; once it finds a host, it will progressively deprive the miracle fiber called courage (as George Patton liked to say). Critics labeling suicide as a selfish and cowardly act is not only insulting the deceased; but are adding to the ignorance that depression does not discriminate. Go read this wonderful post, at Mission: VALOR or on Facebook. If you are one of those thinking about leaving this way, please reach out. There are options, and there are people who care. There are links to resources, please follow them. Do not go. Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Well said, and thank you!
Toggle Commented Aug 12, 2014 on Despair or Determination at BLACKFIVE
1 reply
The news tonight is sad, as it appears that Robin Williams is dead via his own hand. The man was a comedic genius who also had a gift for making people think as well as laugh. He was a friend to the troops in public and in private, and made multiple trips downrange to entertain as far foward as he was allowed, with one proviso -- he wanted no publicity for doing so. He's one of a handful of entertainers in this category, and whatever his politics he made a clear distinction between what he thought of policy versus what he thought of the troops. The latter he respected and did what he could for them, and at the least went to places unexpected to give a gift of laughter and a moment of respite. My thoughts, our thoughts, go out to his family and those he leaves behind. Godspeed sir. For those that struggle with depression, and especially for those who serve/have serve who fight this fight, I ask you to accept that you are not alone and to reach out. There is good food for thought here that I commend to you. Adding this clip, that is a favorite of mine (and Col. Kratman's as it turns out). There's been some discussion of if he truly was as clueless as he makes himself out to be (I'm inclined to think he's not, but playing to the story), but it really doesn't matter. What does matter is how fast he stopped, became respectful, and even remembered (eventually) to take his hat off. Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Dude, punctuation, grammar, facts, and logic are your friend. This post has none of the above.
Toggle Commented Aug 11, 2014 on Despair or Determination at BLACKFIVE
1 reply
I’ve written on the difference between a victim and victor before, and today I find myself writing about despair. Let’s face it, there is a lot out there to make us despair. Anti-semitism has become public and fashionable once again, particularly among the so-called intelligentsia. Some token efforts are made to cloak it in terms of anti-Zionism or some such, but quite a few — including former major world leaders — don’t even bother to cloak it in that anymore. The war on women rages on. Not the fake outrage of the glittery SJW crowd, but a real war where a modern caliphate is parcelling out captured women as sex slaves with nary a word of objection raised by that same group of SJWs. These are also the people beheading or or otherwise killing those of other faiths, down to children. Yet, we are told by our so-called betters that solutions have to be found by negotiation. Translators and others who risked life, limb, and family to help us have been deliberately, and in my opinion maliciously, abandoned by our department of state. Only where significant political pressure has been brought to bear has there been much movement on individual cases. The larger program? Not of interest to or a priority of the lace panty brigade. I swear there are days I think they see those brave people as traitors or similar scum… In Iraq, I watched as individuals, squads, and companies of our troops changed a country. A brutal dictatorship fell, and an effort was begun to raise a new country, complete with laws and rules of law — a concept that was new. For not just decades, but centuries the rule was family and clan, and the heck with all else. Sure there was lip service, but the rules and laws were to be broken at need, and for those in power ignored. Western Enlightenment principles of rule of law, fairness, and even the social compact had no sway. We tried to plant those seeds, and by our actions show that such was possible. I’ve written before on these pages about individual Iraqi’s telling me that no matter what was said in public, that they did not want us to leave. We were the only party they trusted to be objective, neutral arbiters. Given all, I need to point out that they were referring to the military and the troops. A good reason for that trust of the troops by your “average” Iraqi (and even some in political circles) was a young commander I met who became known as a Sheik, for he went and visited every home and family in his AO. When he met a family that needed help, he went and bought a goat from another and gave it to them. That gift helped two families, and showed the people that he would do right by them and was a real leader. Sad to say, our own rear echelon had already decided that he was not a fit for advancement, because he had failed to check a bureaucratic block before showing himself to be a capable combat and reconstruction leader. The work of thousands can be undone by a single person or incident, and especially by a small group of like minded people. The current administration deliberately walked away from the SOFA discussions, and pulled us out. This despite being warned of what would happen, and private pleas from a variety of parties. No effort was made to make the prime minister honor spoken or written word, much less follow the rule of law. His people got the good jobs, the best stuff, and all that went with the power. The result, is what you see before you. ISIS has created a caliphate stretching from Syria to Baghdad, and Maliki’s forces can’t stop them. Most of the effective fighting Government forces is reported to be by Russians (pilots) and Iranians. The most effective fighting is being done by the Kurds, which is no surprise to me given those of them I had the chance to meet and observe even briefly. It is also the start of a coup, with Maliki having used his own forces to secure key points in Baghdad yesterday. He has no plans to give up power for himself and his faction of the Shia. We have zero leverage with him even now, or perhaps especially now, since DC seems to be coming down on the side of the Iraqi president. Understand this, Maliki will not give up, and is perfectly happy to take Iraq down in a flaming mess with him (esp. as he undoubtably has an escape plan or two). Add in Ukraine/Russia and any of several other issues, and it is clear the world situation is deteriorating alarmingly and rapidly. I have no faith or confidence in our political elite (or most elected officials) to deal effectively with any of it. As a whole, I see them as more interested in staying in power and having the perks of same than anything else. Such as doing their jobs and being representatives and servants of the people. Looked at this way, despair is easy. What we need is determination. Determination to operate in the best interests of America for a change, something that seems to have escaped the leadership of both major parties. Determination to be exceptional, to carry the light of individual freedom and liberty as that beacon in the night. To show, despite erosion of it even (especially) here, that the rule of law applies. It means cleaning house on many levels and in many ways. In practical terms globally, we don’t have a lot of good options, and frankly not even that many merely bad. In Iraq, the best thing we can do is arm the Kurds and give them all the support we can. Frack Maliki. There may be some options with the president and the government that is supposed to be forming, but I’m not... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
The FDA has decided to go full nanny state and bring in new regulations on tobacco products, and to declare a range of other products as being tobacco even though they are not. The "facts" on which some of the regulations are based appear to be quite dubious, and the one fact that can't be denied is that this will greatly expand the scope and power of the FDA and set some very interesting precedents for further expansion. If you use tobacco, use any variant of e-cig, and smoke cigars, you need to read through and provide your thoughts on yet another job-killing, freedom-destroying, and business-destroying (IMO) bit of regulatory overreach. The link that is the previous sentence will take you to Cigar Rights of America and a direct link to read the regulations and/or make a comment. Sound off, as it may still be possible to make a difference despite having the FDA appear not to want much input from the public. Also, keep in mind that tobacco may not be your thing, but what's next??? Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Jesus "D" is it truly a requirement that to be a progressive you have to have no sense of humor or culture? For your eddification (hint, that's deliberate) check out http://youtu.be/C_Kh7nLplWo.
Toggle Commented Jul 30, 2014 on Castro's Cigar Shop, in America? at BLACKFIVE
1 reply
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I've been my shy, retiring self over on Facebook about the ludicrous end to jimmy's quest for a few more minutes in the spotlight (and as much cash as he could get). However, Awesome S**t My Drill Sergeant Said posted something I just have to share, as I agree with it fully. UPDATE: For those needing more than the despicable recent escapade, read his swooning over Castro. Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Yes, it is true. The winner of the Mission: VALOR art contest will die three times, and the runner-up will be maimed. Thanks to Sarah A. Hoyt, Tom Kratman, Michael Z. Williamson, Le Creuset, MilitaryLuggage.com, Battlemug.com, and Doctrine Man for the initial prizes to go to the respective estates. Oh, and not only is Nick Searcy a judge for the contest, he's now on the National Advisory Board for Mission: VALOR. Thanks also to judges John Sheppard, Greg Browning, and Erin Ingram, who stand ready to join with Nick and give the death penalty multiple times. Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
It was good to meet and talk with you too! I don't plan on that being my last (only) run, and hope to do even better next time. After all, the overall winner was from my age bracket, and if that skinny so and so can do it, so can I. *G* Outstanding on the fundraising! I hope you all can do even better next year too. I got the word on the 501(c)(3) being given right after the race, made for a great morning. BTW, if your company has a matching gift program, would love to try to get Mission: VALOR added to it. We are now on the Bank of America matching gift program, looking to get added to as many as we can. Hope to see you again soon.
Toggle Commented Jun 11, 2014 on Big Apple Run: AAR & Apology at BLACKFIVE
1 reply
The 5th annual Big Apple Run for the Warriors took place Sunday with great weather, and a good time by all. There was the three-mile run, a one mile walk, and even some events for children. I know one reader joined the fray and ran in the three mile event, and it was a pleasure to meet him. Not sure about other readers, but a few other people joined me in limping/lumbering along the course. However, I want to apologize to Mr. Voss, who signed up for Team Mission: VALOR. There were some com issues and I could not reach him before the event about meeting up. I failed to find him at the event, and I am very sorry for that. I should have done more to reach you, before or at the day, and for failing to do so, I apologize. I hope you had a great run, and enjoyed things as much as I did. For those interested, I do want to note that Mission: VALOR is now a 501(c)(3) and we will be sharing more news here shortly. Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Full disclosure: I know Daniel Allen Butler, a veteran and someone I consider a friend. That said, the effort by him and Tom Lynsky to raise funding for a mini-series on WWI is not going well. So, hoping that maybe a hail-Mary play can happen to get them funding to make the first few episodes, then use them to go for full funding. Check it out. Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
My thoughts are up at Laughing Wolf. I honestly am glad he is back, but that is as far as I can go. UPDATE: Added a short bit about the deleted tweet from SGT Bergdahl's father. Everyone is focusing on the first sentence, read the second. Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
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My thoughts and some of those I remember this Memorial Day are up at LaughingWolf. Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
LTC Tom Kratman (retired) continues his discussion on a new weapon for the troops (he notes he does NOT have anything to do with selectting the titles) and has some interesting discussion about Russia and the Ukraine. For those who want to wade in swamps, he has also taken on Master Bateman in the comments at Esquire. No linkly love for them. For the record, I'm sorry we didn't get Tom as an author here. Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
UPDATE: According to the Washington Free Beacon, Senate Bernie Sanders on behalf of all Senate Democrats refused to the request for immediate consideration. To make it even more interesting, when it was pointed out that veterans were dying as a result of problems at the VA, Sanders remarked "People die every day." Beverly Perlson let me know last night that HR 4031, the Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act of 2014, passed yesterday in the House. If you are not familiar with the bill or the VA Accountability Project, you should be. While the VA just seems to be making the news now, it's been a known problem for years, and Pete Hegseth and the Concerned Veterans for America made it a focus a while back. HR 4031 is a good step forward on dealing with some of the issues at the VA, and you should check it out. Especially as it now goes to the Senate and Dead Horse Harry Reid. Check out the bill, and let your Senator know your thoughts on it and the need to move on this issue NOW. Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
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Whatever you say about NY politicians (*grouchomarx voice on* And there's a lot you can say about some of 'em *grouchomarx voice off*), I'm finding that a lot more of the people and even a lot of businesses here are very pro troop and pro veteran. You never know who you are going to meet. This is Dan, a USAF Security Police veteran and regular reader who found Blackfive a few years ago. Despite having read me, he wanted to meet and is helping Mission: VALOR as he can. James O'Keefe and I had the chance to finally meet in person as he was on his way to Cannes. Yes, you read that right, and you really do want to know why he's there today. And, yes, that is a link to the Hollywood Reporter... While Matt, Jonn, and TSO got to attend the actual ceremony at the White House, I had the honor of dinner and a relaxed evening with SGT White on Monday. This was courtesy of Chris Page and Army Week, which is kicking off Army Week New Orleans and Army Week NYC soon. In NYC, things kick off with the Run for the Warriors and culminates in the Army Birthday Gala. Whatever else I may say about New York, you never know who you will bump into, or what you will be doing. LW Update: In regards Jimbo's post below, let me just say I agree though I have some related thoughts at my place; and, I love Nicki's take even more than Jimbo's. Sorry Jimbo. Update II for the science fiction/fantasy fans here: Skip Archon as they are the latest to cave to the mob and disinvite a guest (without even talking to the guest about it). While not directly germaine to the discussion, I will note that the guest they screwed over is a vet, who served in a little place called Vietnam. Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2014 at BLACKFIVE