Full-Auto Gun Porn!

Just click the link, download the movie, then drool!

Beer + Boobs = Stolen Wallet.

Police in Munich say a gang dubbed the ‘boob bandits’ has been robbing people at this year’s Oktoberfest.

They say the gang uses a busty barmaid to flash her breasts while accomplices steal wallets.

The gang single out drunken festival guests, and while one of the women flashes her assets, the other girl together with a male accomplice relieves drunken onlookers of their wallets.

Police have now warned male visitors to beware of women flashing their breasts at the festival - which organisers have admitted is the raunchiest ever.

Spokeswoman for the Oktoberfest, Gabriele Weishaeupl, said “It’s been a wonderful festival, the atmosphere has been very carefree. It’s a shame that some people have to spoil it.”

I think that the Griswolds ran into this problem when they went on their European Vacation. Seriously though, when it comes to beer, men will drink a lot. When it comes to boobs, men will look a lot. It is the perfect scam aimed at the perfect clientele. Someone keep an eye on Karlo.


It's coming right for us.

The largest asteroid ever known to pass near Earth was flying by the planet today as professional and backyard astronomers kept a keen eye.

The flyby was captured on video by Gianluca Masi, Franco Mallia and Roger Wilcox, as part of an educational project.

Asteroid Toutatis is about 2.9 miles long and 1.5 miles wide (4.6 by 2.4 kilometers). Early this morning it was within a million miles of Earth, or about four times the distance to the Moon.

No space rock this big will pass so close in the next century, scientists say. And while similarly large asteroids have hit the planet in the distant past, none so big have come so close since astronomers have had the means to notice them. Many smaller space rocks have been spotted much closer, even inside the orbit of the Moon.

NASA scientists and other asteroid experts have been watching Toutatis for more than a decade, and though its orbit changes slightly with each 4-year trip around the Sun, they have a good handle on the path.

While some rumors have suggested the asteroid's forecasted course might be off by enough to cause a collision with Earth, Sherrod agrees with Harris and other scientists that there is no chance for calamity. Sherrod has been monitoring Toutatis' movement since July 3, logging more than 500 observations that allow mapping of a precise trajectory.

"Although the actual path of it has indeed varied a slight bit from the original calculated, there is absolutely no chance of a physical encounter or impact with Earth," he said.

So where are Ben and Bruce when you need them?


Death makes you realize just how old you are.

1Wrestling.com has received word that Ray "Big Bossman" Traylor passed away some time Wednesday afternoon or evening.

Ray Traylor is a former WWF Tag Team Champion (with Ken Shamrock) and multi-time Hardcore Champion. The WWF legend’s career began in in 1985 after being a real life prison guard in Cobb County, Georgia.

Details are sketchy right now, and the cause of death is unknown at this time.

The whole staff of this website sends condolences to the family and friends of Ray Traylor.

His death makes me feel old. I remember Traylor when he started out in the NWA in 1985 as a character named Big Bubba Rogers. He showed up as a body guard to Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express. A more extensive history of his work can be found here, but watch out for pop-ups.

My buddy Ken brought up a good point.
Is it me or do I suddenly feel old? After catching a glimpse of Raw, not knowing anyone on the show, and then reading this news, you just dont realize how much time has gone by. Sheesh....

Time is always going by, and I'm just getting old...


I will survive! Hey, hey!

A big ol' thank you to the wonderful upper-management at FNF for making their customers the number one concern by having their employees come to work during the remnants of a tropical storm.

BTW, that water isn't supposed to be there. Good thing they installed that retaining barrier.


Riders on the storm

Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house we're born
Into this world we're thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out alone
Riders on the storm


Heroes: Sue Storm is HHHHHOTTTTTT!!!

Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm is interesting. I can't imagine him saying "It's Clobbering Time!" though.

However, Jessica Alba. Nuff said.


Heroes: Protecting waistline expansion everywhere

Twinkies' maker files bankruptcy

Interstate Bakeries, maker of Wonder Bread and Twinkies, filed for bankruptcy court protection early Wednesday.

The company, which operates 57 bakeries throughout the United States and employs more than 33,000 people, listed assets of $1.6 billion and liabilities of $1.3 billion. It filed under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, and said it intends to continue normal operations.

The company has been hit by both accounting problems and a drop in sales it attributed to the popularity of low-carb diets. Last month, it missed an extended deadline for filing a 10K report with the Securities and Exchange Commission detailing its fiscal year financial results for the period ended May 29.

It said in a statement the filing was brought on by liquidity issues, resulting from declining sales, a high fixed-cost structure, excess industry capacity, rising employee healthcare and pension costs and higher costs for ingredients and energy.

Damn Atkins diet! Seriously, many companies are running into this very same situation. If you are not flexible in down-times and prepared for slowing trends, then you will see fiscal fallout. A radio blurb on this story sited older physical plants costing more to operate and an antiquated distribution network. On of the key tenants that I have learned in corporate life is that no matter how much it sucks, change happens. You have to improvise, adapt, and overcome.


Heroes: Size Reduction.

PStwo Officially Announced

Last night, we reported to you that Sony has officially announced the PSTwo for Japan, US, and Europe. Now, we have pictures, release date, and a price to share with you. The new model (SCPH-7000 CB)will be in stores on November 3 in Japan, and by November 1 in Europe and North America. The price for the unit is $149 in the US and 149 euros in Europe.

The Internal volume of the system has been reduced by 75 percent, overall weight has been halved, and thickness trimmed down to 2.8 cm (thickness of current model is 7.8 cm). The unit also has modem and Ethernet ports integrated into the system this time around, making it so consumers do not have to purchase a second peripheral to add on. The only colors that have been announced are black. I'm sure later down the road; we will see other exotic colors including yellow, red, and blue.

As an original PS2 owner, this is great news. The current PS2, as witnessed by the photos on the linked page, is massive compared to the proposed system. Think desktop computer versus laptop. Not having to buy the ethernet adapter seperately is a great feature as well. However, IMHO, the PC is still the best way to play online games that don't require a gamepad (eg. sports games like Madden)

In other news, Michael Moore finally told the truth!
If I hear one more person tell me how lousy a candidate Kerry is and how he can't win... Dammit, of COURSE he's a lousy candidate -- he's a Democrat, for heavens sake! That party is so pathetic, they even lose the elections they win! What were you expecting, Bruce Springsteen heading up the ticket? Bruce would make a helluva president, but guys like him don't run -- and neither do you or I. People like Kerry run.


Heroes: United and Redone!

Features:• Power Re-specification – The Terra Volta reactor has been running beyond full capacity for quite some time. Heroes who venture within it may experience untold side-effects.

• Capes at level 20 – Only those heroes who prove themselves worthy may wear this symbol of heroic might.

• Effects at level 30 – New visual effects add a whole new dimension to your character.

• Badges – Explore Paragon City and achieve badges to proudly display your accomplishments to other heroes.

City of Heroes is the MMORPG that I am currently playing. A little history, I've been playing online games since the 1200baud modem era. The first online game I remember playing was a BBS game called Tradewars. It wasn't realtime competition, but you were playing against others. MMORPGs that I have played include Ultima Online, Asheron's Call, World War 2 Online, and Final Fantasy XI. I have beta tested too many to count.

MMORPGs allow you to role-play online with and/or against others. In City of Heroes, you design your character from an array of powers, skills, and looks. What is so great about Update 2 is that if you took a power you don't like, or didn't live up to its description, you can choose your powers again. Like getting a second lease on life.

Southern Classic Gun and Knife Show is coming!

Jacksonville, FL
Jacksonville Fairgrounds
September 25 - 26
Sat 9-5 Sun 10-5
Adults $5 - under 12 Free
(904) 353-0535
Free Parking

Sorry for such a short entry. Got a stomach bug over the weekend, and it is keeping me busy at home. Ugh.


Eminent Domain: "Cold Dead Hands" time.

All across the country, state and local governments are abusing the power of eminent domain to take private homes and businesses for the benefit of other, more politically favored private businesses who promise more jobs and taxes. In just five years, the government filed or threatened condemnation of more than 10,000 properties for private parties.

In the face of such statistics, the Institute for Justice, a Washington, D.C., public interest law firm, has waged a national campaign in court and in the court of public opinion to restrain government’s abuse of eminent domain and to restore constitutional protection for private property.

According to the Connecticut Supreme Court, the single fact that your City is strapped for cash justifies condemning your home. After all, richer people could be living there and paying more taxes. Office buildings could be built there, employ more people than you employ at your house, and pay more taxes. Taking your home is for the good of the city—it’s “economic development.”

Using eminent domain for “economic development” alone is a new phenomenon. Usually governments try to at least claim that the area is a “slum” or “blighted,” but Connecticut has dispensed with that pretense and admits outright that if another business could make a profit on your land, the government can take it. The U.S. Constitution specifically prohibits this kind of taking, limiting the power of eminent domain to “public use.” The Connecticut Supreme Court decided that “public use” just means that it could have some benefit to the public, like more tax money in City coffers.

The Connecticut Supreme Court’s reasoning effectively reads the Constitution’s protections out of existence. Whose land wouldn’t produce more taxes if it were an office building instead of a home? Allowing condemnation for “economic development” just allows cities and developers to pick whatever land they want, without regard to the people who live or work there.

The Supreme Court needs to address this radical departure from the language of the Constitution. Its last case involving private development was 50 years ago, and it allowed the clearance of an area so blighted that most buildings lacked plumbing. For the last 50 years, without further guidance, it’s been up to states to set their own rules. Not surprisingly, the states have reached conflicting conclusions. Some states, like Connecticut, allow condemnations for “economic development.” Other states, like Washington, South Carolina and Maine, do not. The Constitution is supposed to apply to all United States citizens, and U.S. Supreme Court guidance is desperately needed to prevent the continuing and growing abuse of eminent domain.

I heard this story on NPR on the way in to work this morning. I can understand the reasoning behind eminent domain. The government needs to land so for "public use". It is in the U.S. Constitution, Amendment 5. The crux of the matter is the definition of "public use". Roadways, schools, and infrastructure are what I consider "public" items that the goverment controls. Condos, apartments, and most businesses are private ventures. The government should not and can not be allowed to take away your private property to give to another private person/venture, especially for greed. I hope the U.S. Supreme Court takes this case, because leaving it up to the state gets you bought out by Pfizer!


Is the media biased? CBS is.

60 Minutes will continue to aggressively investigate the story of President Bush's service in the National Guard -- and the story of the documents and memos in Col. Killian's file.
Are those documents authentic, as experts consulted by CBS News continue to maintain? Or were they forgeries or re-creations, as Knox and many others believe?

We will keep an open mind and we will continue to report credible evidence and responsible points of view as we try to answer the questions raised about the authenticity of the documents.

Having said that, 60 Minutes feels that it's important to underscore this point: Those who have criticized aspects of our story have never criticized the major thrust of our report -- that George Bush received preferential treatment to get into the National Guard, and once accepted, failed to satisfy the requirements of his service. If we uncover any information to the contrary, that information will also be reported.

So you base a story on forgeries, and then have the gall to say that the story is true regardless of your fake sources? How stupid are the sheeple? I could type up a document saying that Dan Rather is a peter puffer. It's a wholecloth document, but that doesn't matter. The "fact" is still that Rather sucks. How much water do you think this would hold in court? Funny how they are saying they have been working on this for 5 years, yet the magic bullet shows up just two months before the election. A tad bit convenient, eh?

I scanned the CBS website, but didn't see a major thrust looking into the SBVFT claims on Kerry's service record. Why didn't they go after these claims with the same fervor as they did with Bush's records? Why are they making it so obvious that they support Kerry and hate Bush? I did find a few editorials that bashed the crap outta the SBVFT.

Check this out:
The New York Times editorial page equates MoveOn PAC's ads with those of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and it's true both are funded through gaps in campaign-finance laws, and both attack the enemy candidate on his war record. But the Swift Boat vets' charges are a mess of smears and lies with Karl Rove's fingerprints all over them, while MoveOn's ads raise genuine questions about Bush's service record that have never been answered.

Ask about Kerry = smear. Ask about Bush = genuine.

Oh yeh, and from Rather himself:
...so-called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth has hurt Kerry's standing in some key areas

"So called" is pretty damn dismissive. What a guttersnipe Rather has turned out to be. No wonder he's got last place in the TV shares.

Check the Facts.

JIM LEHRER: Now, a little fact checking of presidential campaign speeches. As most of you know, we regularly run excerpts from the stump speeches of President Bush and Vice President Cheney, and Senators Kerry and Edwards.

Do they always adhere to the accuracy straight and narrow? Media correspondent Terence Smith has some answers.

TERENCE SMITH: To help us with those answers, I'm joined by Brooks Jackson, director of FactCheck.org, a non-profit, non-partisan research project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

Brooks, welcome back to the broadcast. Tell us first how you go about the business of checking the accuracy of the assertions made by the different candidates.

BROOKS JACKSON: Well, Terry, when we hear dubious comments, something that sounds fishy, or especially when the candidates contradict each other directly and leave voters bewildered about which one of them is closer to the truth, we go first to the candidates and ask them where are they getting that and can you back that up?

We check their sources. Sometimes that means going to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for jobs figures; sometimes it means going to the Congressional Budget Office for spending figures, that sort of thing.

TERENCE SMITH: Publicly available records and figures.

BROOKS JACKSON: Right to the original sources, whenever we can.

Give FactCheck.org a look. I've never been there before today. It does a good job at taking some sensational claims by both sides and running the numbers against them. They do use the sources that they have available to them. As you know from the CBS memo fiasco, not all sources will check out. Still, a good read to try and clear up the mud being thrown by both sides.

He wants to be sedated.

Johnny Ramone, guitarist and co-founder of the seminal punk band "The Ramones" that influenced a generation of rockers, has died. He was 55.
Ramone, who had been fighting a five-year battle with prostate cancer, died in his sleep Wednesday afternoon at his Los Angeles home surrounded by friends and family, said the band's longtime artistic director Arturo Vega.

He may be gone, but Rock N Roll High School lives forever! Stars a real cutey, PJ Soles, who starred in Halloween, Stripes, and Private Benjamin.


Florida Democrats want voter suppression.

The Florida Democratic Party reacted with outrage, calling the move "blatant partisan maneuvering" by Gov. Jeb Bush, the president's younger brother, and vowed to fight it.

In a memo to Florida's 67 county supervisors of elections, Division of Elections director Dawn Roberts said the uncertainty of Hurricane Ivan, which could hit parts of the state by week's end, forced her to act.

Florida Circuit Court Judge Kevin Davey issued a temporary injunction last week preventing the state from putting Nader on the 2004 ballot, siding with a Democratic challenge that the Reform Party did not qualify as a national party under state law.

A hearing on a permanent injunction is scheduled for Wednesday. But Roberts said Hurricane Ivan, which is headed for Florida's Gulf coast, had raised "a substantial question as to when such a hearing" will be held.

As a result, she said, Florida's Department of State had filed an appeal against the temporary injunction. The appeal application automatically lifts the injunction, allowing the counties to put Nader's name on overseas absentee ballots, which must be mailed by Saturday.

"I'm in disbelief," said Scott Maddox, chairman of the Florida Democratic Party. "This is blatant partisan maneuvering on the part of Jeb Bush to give his brother a leg up on election day."

Maddox said if Nader drew votes away from any candidate it would be Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry.

Maddox noted that Tallahassee, the state capital where Davey sits, is not expected to be directly hit by the hurricane. He said the circuit court could hear the case as scheduled on Wednesday and rule immediately.

In addition, the case is before the Florida Supreme Court, which could also rule at any time, he said.

So it isn't okay to give the people the right to vote for whomever they want to, because it might hurt your candidate. I thought the democrats were against voter suppression? They bitched and moaned about it all through the 2000 election. So, when the Department of State makes a move to have a candidate available for absentee balloting, they bitch and moan about having that candidate added. So it is bad to have voter suppression, as long as it isn't against their candidate. Hell, Kerry ranted and raved the other day about Florida's voter suppression machine. Maybe he should have noted that it was going to be from his own party.

Celebrate the AWB sunset with mags!

Own a piece of firearms history! Once only allowed to Military and Police, they can now be yours. But, they won't last forever. AR15 type mags were manufactured during the Assault Weapons Ban by a major U.S. military contractor, (formally Labelle). They do not come packaged. They are stamped Law Enforcement, Military use only. Now that the ban has expired, they are available for sale.

Only 11.99 a mag. Teflon coated with green follower. Got a few on the way.


Anger leads to the dark side.

PAULA ZAHN, HOST: But, Bill, you're basically telling us tonight you've got to be pretty angry to vote for John Kerry. Is that the bottom line here, when it comes to the economy?

BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: If you're angry about the economy, you're voting for Kerry. There are not enough voters who are angry.

If you're upset over Iraq, you'll vote for John Kerry. But do you know that the number of people who are upset about Iraq has actually been dropping since the end of June when the White House arranged the transfer of power to the Iraqi authorities?

Because more and more Americans came to believe, well, it's not as much of an American problem as it used to be, even though Americans are continuing to get killed.

So both Iraq and the economy are just not big enough concerns. Not enough Americans are upset or angry to give the advantage to Kerry.

I'm gonna have to call Bush the teflon man. I mean, whatever gets thrown at him just isn't sticking. Kerry is like a Hoover, he's really sucking now. More and more people are moving away from the "anyone but Bush" camp to "anyone but Bush but Kerry isn't that good". Once you get passed the seething rage of the neolibs, what does Kerry offer that is better than Bush other than not being Bush. Seriously, Bush has told the public what he is gonna do. Kerry has tried to, when he gives interviews. However, lately, he's been spending too much time on the defensive from his past, and on the offensive against Bush personally. Hell, he blames the President for congress' inability to stop the AWB from sunsetting. Um, Senator Kerry, last time I checked, you're a senator. Did you submit legislation to further the AWB at all? Didn't think so.

Still, Kerry thinks he is strong, especially with the liberal media's support. Look at the whole CBS memo fiasco. The Swift Boat Vets have had no time on NBC, yet Kitty Kelly is getting 3 days? I guess it is too bad for the major networks that news is such a real-time and online creature.

The Horror! The Humanity!

A car-carrier loaded with vintage Porsches was struck by a freight train Sunday after becoming stranded on railroad tracks, officials said.

The accident occurred about 3:45 p.m. near the Ventura County Fairgrounds, said Lt. David Wilson of the Ventura Police Department, who was at the scene.

The car-carrier was ``high-centered'' on the railroad tracks and the driver was trying to maneuver it off the tracks when Wilson arrived.

Wilson said he called to have train traffic stopped, but a northbound freight train came barreling down the track only moments later.

``We were able to get the driver out of the cab, luckily,'' Wilson said.

The driver suffered minor injuries while fleeing from the impact, Wilson said.

The vintage Porsches ``are close to totaled, if not totaled,'' Wilson said.

``The train center-punched the trailer carrying the cars and split the trailer in half, and the cars went flying,'' he said.

No crew members on the train were injured, but the front wheels of the locomotive derailed, said John Bromley, a spokesman for Union Pacific. Debris was being removed from under the locomotive late Sunday night and there was no estimate on when the tracks would be cleared, Bromley said.

More weeping can be found here at Wrecked Exotics.


Semiautomatic Assault Weapon (SAW) Ban - FAQ

Q: Are SAWs and LCAFDs marked “Restricted law enforcement/government use only” or “For export only” legal to sell to civilians in the United States?

A: Yes. SAWs and LCAFDs are no longer prohibited. Therefore firearms with the restrictive markings are legal to transfer to civilians in the United States and it will be legal for non-prohibited civilians to possess them. All civilians may possess LCAFDs.

Now we just need to get the manufacturers ramped up. Of course, you can get LEO marked mags now. I can't wait to see what is going to happen at the next gun show. I bet the gougers are shittin kittens right now.

Now that it is legal again, try a collapsible stock for your AR15.


Nah Nah Nah Nah, Hey Hey Hey, Goodbye!!!!

Title XI of the Federal Violent Crime Control Act of 1994 banned the manufacture and import of a certain class of guns defined by Congress as "Assault Weapons." These firearms were categorized as such by certain identifying features, namely cosmetic and ergonomic features that present a military-like appearance, but have absolutely no effect on lethality. The act also bans so-called "high capacity" magazines. The provisions of this Act are scheduled to expire automatically on September 13th, 2004.

MANSFIELD -- Area gun store owners don't expect crowds looking for assault weapons when the decade-old ban expires Monday.

"I think it's way blown out of proportion," said Gregg Griffeth, 50, owner of Sportsman's Den in Shelby. "Bill Clinton sold more assault weapons than any president in history by threatening to take them away from everybody."

TACO BELL - I was standing at the counter of my local Taco Bell yesterday to get my Bean Burrito (less than a buck and only 4 points on the weight watcher's system), when the nice young girl behind the counter looked down at my NRA shirt and said, "It's people like you who are going to put machine guns on the streets."
Well I had been having a good day with the wife, had lunch at our favorite Italian resturant (not 4 points on the weight watchers system), had seen a good movie, and was wearing a pair of really comfy shoes. So I was in a pretty peppy mood. So I just looked her in the eye and said, "It's people like you who are going to put onions on my burrito, now get to it."


One more for the good guys. Part 2.

New Zealander Craig Nordstrand, a fourth-level black belt, and colleague Peter Roche were in Suva, capital city of the Pacific island of Fiji, last week for regional championships, reports the New Zealand Herald.

The two of them had just finished dinner and were walking back to their hotel when two men came toward them, asking for money. Four more men stepped out of the shadows.

Nordstrand took on four of the men. Roche handled the other two. The attackers backed off, but then surrounded the two New Zealanders for a second try.

"Do you want karate?" Nordstrand asked.

One man failed to heed the warning and moved in.

"I kicked him straight under the chin and into the throat," Nordstrand told the newspaper.

The struck man and the rest of the gang ran off into the dark streets. Nordstrand and Roche became local heroes for a few days.

Police are now searching for a criminal named Froggy. Word has it that convention schedules will be publicly posted in local dives and joints. Do you want karate?


Scientists Try to Use Genesis Wreckage. Dr. David Marcus unavailable for comment.

Scientists tried to pry apart a mangled NASA space capsule in hopes of salvaging its precious cargo of solar atoms Thursday, a day after the saucer-shaped probe crashed in the Utah desert.

The broken capsule was taken to a laboratory at the Army's Dugway Proving Ground, where scientists used tweezers to pick through the wreckage.

The $264 million Genesis mission, meant to reveal clues about the origin of our solar system, appeared to be streaming home to a perfect conclusion Wednesday when two parachutes failed to open and the 450-pound capsule slammed into the ground at nearly 200 mph, burying itself halfway in the sand.

"We had a mangled mess," said NASA program scientist David Lindstrom.



We're alive....barely

13 inches of rain. 2.5 days without power. Winds up to 60 mph. The second most amount of tornadoes spawned by a hurricane on record. We're still here. Got a mess to clean up, but still here.

Ivan, kiss my ass.


"Where the hell's this God of yours?"

It's funny Lieutenant Dan said that, 'cause right then, God showed up.

We're still here....for now.


Welcome to retail hell, er Wally World.

7-4-02 - Just a thought, but you probably should not ask someone who is working on a holiday if they are having a good holiday. Chances are that if it is a holiday, and you're working, you're probably not too happy about it and don't care to talk about it with a customer who is leaving to go be with friends and family. Meanwhile, the highlight of your day is getting off of a cash register so you can pick up trash.

3-10-03 - I was on my way to the restroom to wash my hands after working on a couple of the registers and I saw our District Manager. He went in to the restroom right ahead of me. I went in and began to wash my hands and he went in to the stall. A moment later, I heard him grunting. Now I've heard grunting, farting, straining, and explosions come out of that stall before, but because it was my district manager who is responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars, it struck me as hilarious. I guess rich people in suits have to take a crap too. If I had known that is where he was going in advance, I would have taken out the toilet paper before he went in, and demanded a raise before I gave it back to him.

3-23-03 - Believe it or not, we sell a cd in electronics titled "Mullet Rock."

I used to work in retail hell. It really turned me into the cynical bastard that I am today. Well, that and the fine, outstanding food-service industry. Wal-Mart is the reason I have a disdain for most holidays. You see, when you see people starting to objectify holidays for commerce purposes moreso than their true meaning, it kinda makes you not like those holidays anymore. Christmas is a perfect example. No longer is it a fine family and religious holiday. No! It's what can I buy for whom at the lowest price. Lowest price usually means Wal-Mart.


The right way to protest.

In a move expertly tailored to the sensibilities of crucial middle-American swing voters, anti-Bush campaigners today performed various ass-related actions before a leering Battery Park crowd.

Some 250 members of the Axis of Eve group - featuring a surprisingly high 1/8 hot/not ratio - danced, chanted, yelled, and capered extensively, causing exactly no difference in this year's presidential election.

"We're trying to make a difference," said Axis of Eve member Heather Eve (like the Ramones, the group's members employ a common, easy-to-spell surname).

In the manner of a radicalized Jerry Springer audience, the Eves took questions from television's Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Troublingly difficult questions, apparently, given the sometimes-awkward pauses that followed.

A massive police presence (four cops) laughed and took pictures with their cellphones.

There were no arrests. A clothed and decent George W. Bush is expected to win the election, to be held on November 2.

You know, if you have to make a statement, do it with panties!

This one amused me.


Peace through superior firepower.

XM8 update: Your fix is in
Thanks to soldier feedback, the Army’s expected next rifle will be lighter, fire faster and sight better

By Matthew Cox
Times staff writer

The Army is about to enter the final round of testing on what is well on its way to becoming your next weapon. The second-generation XM8s sport more than a dozen soldier-inspired refinements that weapons experts hope will help them convince Army leaders to adopt the new family of weapons in early 2005.
Until then, the new prototypes — 17 carbines, 15 compacts and 14 designated marksman versions — are slated for more soldier evaluation through the fall and winter.

The Army developed the XM8 in late 2003 as part of a longer-range effort to perfect an over-and-under style weapon, known as the XM29, developed by Alliant Techsystems and Heckler and Koch.

The XM29 fires special air-bursting projectiles and standard 5.56mm ammunition. But it is still too heavy and unwieldy to meet Army requirements.

The Army decided to perfect each of XM29’s components separately, so soldiers can take advantage of new technology sooner. The parts would be brought back together when lighter materials become available. The XM8 is one of those components.

The weapon was tested in lab conditions, and by soldiers in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized).

“Every time we take it to the field Army, they tell us to leave it with them,” Brig. Gen. James Moran, head of Project Executive Office Soldier, said at a June 14 Pentagon briefing.

Soldiers reacted positively, but they also had plenty of ideas for making the XM8 more effective on the battlefield.

The new prototypes — standard carbine, compact carbine and designated marksman models — include changes that make the XM8 more reliable, easier to operate and lighter to carry, said Col. Michael Smith, head of Project Manager Soldier Weapons.

“We did not try to build the perfect weapon the first time,” Smith said. “We did make a lot of changes. Soldiers definitely affected the design of the second generation.”

One of the more challenging changes involved redesigning backup iron sights.

The XM8 relies on special optics for its primary aiming system. There’s a short-range version with a red aiming dot and a long-range version for use by marksmen. But soldiers always want the traditional front and rear iron sights, since anything electronic can fail, Smith said.

The backup sights fold down into the hand guard and carrying handle when not in use.

“I’m very happy with the way it turned out; it’s put out of the way until you need it,” Smith said. The original design was trashed, he said, because it called for the backup sight to be built into the optic.

“What if it is smashed? That’s why [soldiers] wanted it to be separate.”

Both optics have also been improved on the prototypes.

The battery life for each has increased from 110 hours to 400. And the new designs feature a lever-style clamping mechanism for attaching the optics to the weapon instead of the screws that soldiers tended to strip during testing.

Both the short-range and long-range optics have a built-in infrared pointer and illuminator similar to the PEQ2 attachment soldiers currently use on the M4 carbine. Plus, there’s more range on the pointer and illuminator — designers upped it from 600 meters to 800 on both optics. Soldiers can focus the pointer and illuminator on the long range or 4x optic while the same infrared features on the short-range or unity optic remain fixed.

Better aim

Developers said the full-auto capability should be more reliable now that they have increased the rate of fire by 25 to 50 rounds per minute. The change makes the XM8 capable of firing 850 rpm.

“We did the change to give us better a capability in nasty environments like the desert,” Smith said, explaining that the higher rate should help push more sand and grit out of the chamber when firing. “You get a little more force blowing that stuff out of there.”

The Army changed from full-auto to three-round burst on the M16A2 in the 1980s when the service decided most soldiers did not fire effectively in the full-auto mode.

But weapons experts now say a soldier using three-round bursts is no more effective than one well-trained in the use of fully automatic fire.

Unlike the first generation, the designated marksman and automatic rifle models are now the same weapon, except the automatic rifle will be fielded with a special 100-round, drum magazine. The designated marksman variant will use the 30-round magazine used on the standard carbine.

The high-capacity magazine, which can be used in all the XM8 models, is intended to give commanders the option to beef up a squad’s volume of fire beyond the current M249 squad automatic weapon, which is belt-fed and equipped with quick-changing barrels.

“We are not proposing that we replace the M249 in the light machine gun role,” Smith said. The XM8 squad auto rifle’s barrel can be changed but the process takes too long to perform in the middle of a firefight, he said.

“It’s not designed to give you that continuous high rate of fire the machine gun will give you,” Smith said.

Lighter load

The second generation XM8s include several ergonomic improvements, such as new ridges or knurls added to the cocking lever for a better grip. They also are about 15 percent lighter than the first prototypes, Smith said. That’s about a pound less on the carbine model which now weighs in at 7.14 pounds with optic and loaded 30-round magazine. An M4 carbine with its standard attachments and a 30-round magazine weighs about 8.5 pounds, he said.

The prototypes are black, but Smith said the final production models would most likely be a solid earth-tone since the Army’s recently approved Army Combat Uniform has no black in the new digital pattern. Camouflage tests have shown that black is too easily detected during movement, Smith said.

The Army’s senior leadership is scheduled to make a decision on replacing the M16 with the XM8 in February, Smith said.

There were plans to possibly field the XM8 to two infantry brigades in 2005, but Congress chose not to provide the roughly $27 million needed for the purchase in the fiscal 2005 budget or in supplemental funding, Smith said.

The Army could still begin fielding in 2005, but the money would have to come from existing programs, Smith said.

Before those decisions are made, however, the second-generation XM8s are slated to go through desert testing in Arizona in September, tropic testing in Panama in October and arctic testing in Alaska in December. A limited user test, involving an undisclosed, active infantry division is also scheduled for October, Smith said.

“As always, we are testing the changes to verify them,” Smith said. “We want the very best for our soldiers. They deserve it.”

The last sentence sums up my sentiments on the subject. You can't expect soldiers to win a war without the most functional equipment, and the training to use it. No weapon system is perfect, not even the much maligned M16/M4 systems. Still, as with any new weapon system, people will not want to readily adopt it. It does need testing. However, if the XM8 can function as promised, it will be the weapon that takes our troops into the future. Don't believe me, look at the videos of its functionality. Besides, it looks cool. >=)

Want to see some videos of it and other weapons? Here is the link!