The Burning Throne, Episode 34: The All Mother

The Writer Nerd Game Night Serial continues.  A small group of the Paper Lanterns has left the Empire, and traveled into Yobanjin territory far to the north, in order to rescue Hiruma Tadori and to destroy the shame sword, Penance.

Continued from: http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/the-burning-throne-episode-33-leaving-the-empire/

Twenty Fourth Entry

From the journal of Hida Makoto, Crab Clan

The shame sword Penance has been destroyed, yet rather than triumph, I feel only exhaustion. I am no stranger to death, but today was a slaughter. I am no stranger to loss, but today was the first time that a warrior directly under my command has perished. It leaves a bitter taste.

Upon leaving the empire we continued following the trail of Hiruma Tadori’s captors. The lands north of the Empire may have appeared similar to the lands of the Phoenix that we had been travelling through, but they were different, alien. Not blighted and twisted as the Shadowlands, but the Yobanjin territory felt different than our home. Perhaps it is because the kami have chosen not to watch over this place. Do they watch us here now? I long to return to the land beneath the Fortune’s gaze.

We met many Yobanjin on the road north. There were far too many barbarians to hide and speed was of the essence. The Branded Man was surely pursuing us. Ide Todo decided to parley with one group that did not appear to be in league with the Dark Oracle. They were unreceptive, could only communicate in their harsh tongue, and when they attempted to threaten us Magatsu simply set them all on fire so we could move on.

The next group we encountered was larger and more fearsome. This time some of them could speak with proper Rokugani words, and after Kuni Magatsu presented them with a gift of summoned ore, they told us that all of the Yobanjin in the world were gathering at the All Mother. Their tribes had been summoned there by the Dark Oracle, surely as a staging area to continue their invasion against us. We learned that much like the Sky Riders, the Dark Oracle’s forces had taken many children other tribe’s children hostage, and they were all being held inside All Mother.

The All Mother turned out to be a mighty volcano. It stood at the end of a great valley, and within the valley was an uncountable number of Yobanjin. We had called our previous foes a horde, because their numbers seemed endless, but truly this was a horde and what we had seen before had been but a tiny portion of their numbers. And on the other side of that endless army was where Hiruma Tadori had been taken.

There was no time for despair. Ide Todo is always thinking, and noted that there were Sky Riders camped on the western edge of the valley. He had spoken to their chief, Naraan, once before, and we had traded nemurani to them in exchange for the return of Tsuruchi Machio. Ide Todo decided to seek their aid.

I do not know how Ide Todo does it. He can talk to anyone and make them his ally, and the Sky Riders were no exception. They welcomed us to their camp and we learned they had been brutalized by the Dark Oracle’s forces, and despite delivering the nemurani they had captured, he had not kept his word to return any of their women or children. Ide Todo told them that if they were to fly us to the All Mother, we would try to free the hostages, after all, we had one hostage of our own to find. Naraan, desperately wished to help, but knew that if we failed his tribe would be exterminated. To rise up against the Dark Oracle was suicide. Ide Todo promised to grant them some of his family’s territory in Unicorn lands so they could make a new home. Naaran saw the wisdom of this and we joined forces with the flying barbarians.

I have never ridden a giant eagle before. It is not very much like riding a horse… Not much at all.

Zuko and Naaran had gone first to scout, and we met them atop the All Mother while Ide Todo, Kakita Chiyoko, and Shiba Sougai remained in the Sky Rider’s camp. The eagles riders left, but would remain circling above, ready to carry away anyone who made it back to the top. The Yobanjin inside were all loyal to the Dark Oracle and included many of his shaman and witches. They were completely unsuspecting and we made it deep inside the tunnels, killing anyone who crossed our path, all without the alarm being raised.

Zuko had spotted Hiruma Tadori being tortured in a room beneath the area where the hostages were kept. He had only seen a few of the witches guarding him. I did not like the idea of separating our forces any more than we had to, but Zuko was adamant that he could get to Tadori before the witches spotted him. Magatsu would take the shame sword and go with him while the rest of us rescued the prisoners. Reluctantly, I agreed.

There were far more prisoners than I expected, and most of them were children. We freed the Sky Rider’s tribe first and sent them toward the top, and then decided to free all of the others in order to add to the chaos. Once the Yobanjin knew we were here they flooded into the prison. We had to hold the prison until Magatsu destroyed the shame sword. We had to hold at all costs.

It was a slaughter.

The walls were coated in Yobanjin blood. We stacked the bodies deep. They had been unprepared for a unit of armored samurai to appear deep in their midst. Fubatsu’s twin blades moved in a constant eviscerating blur. Fujo shattered bones at every turn. Tsuze took Fujo’s bow and the courtier shocked us all with his unrelenting accuracy. We killed everyone that dared face us until the Yobanjin were fleeing in terror.

Then the Branded Man arrived. He had come for the sword. Magatsu had not yet returned, so we had to hold him. Fujo and I struck him repeatedly with blows that should have turned his bones to splinters and I finally knocked him down, only to have the Yobanjin dog turn his body into flames and escape down the tunnel after Magatsu. We pursued him deeper into the All Mother, to an island in a lake of fire.

But by the time we caught up, Hiruma Tadori was dead, Penance plunged into his guts, and both of them hurled into the lava. Kuni Magatsu was near death, his hip broken. Zuko was severely injured, and they were surrounded by Yobanjin witches. Zuko had underestimated the number of guards. I felt the intrusion of the witch’s magic into our minds, fueling our rage, trying to turn us against our fellows. The Branded Man was standing in a wall of fire, healing from the wounds I’d inflicted on him and soon we’d be facing him again as well. Our goal achieved, I ordered a retreat.

We could only pray to the Fortunes that Naraan would keep his word and return to pick us up. It wasn’t until we’d fought our way back to the top that I discovered Kakita Fujo was missing. He had stayed behind to stall the Branded Man, bringing honor and glory to his family with that sacrifice. The eagles were gone. We prepared to hold as long as we could as could while Kuni Magatsu, despite being near death, attempted to enrage the earth kami enough to shake the All Mother, but they did not answer.

Let no one tell you that all gaijin are honorless, because the Sky Riders came back for us. As they landed around us, the Branded Man appeared from below. Enraged, he threw the severed head of Kakita Fujo at me as we fled.

The Branded Man will pay for taking the life of that honorable warrior. Twice we have met. The Branded Man will not survive the third. No matter what it takes, I will see to it that the Branded Man dies.

#

To be continued next week, with a story by Steve Diamond, Fujo’s Stand, Penance’s Fall. http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/the-burning-throne-episode-35-fujos-stand-penances-fall/

Do I have fans in the Ft. Belvoir Virginia area?

Hey guys, planning my tour in September.

Who lives near Ft. Belvoir? And can you go on base?

Geeky Hobbies, Skorne Warlock Zaal for Hordes game

This guy is coming out pretty nicely. I still need to do a few little touch ups and clear coat. The writing on his cloak is Skornish for “Howard Tayler’s troll army is delicious and tastes like chicken.”  Photo snapped last night on my iPhone. He’s looking good enough that I’m going to have to bust out the light box and real camera.

The dead guy and shield on the base are styled after Steve Diamond’s Menoth army. Go figure.

 

Edit: And here are some Karax

Another take on F&F from Bill Whittle.

You all heard my opinion a few days ago. Here is Afterburner with Bill Whittle. It is great.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFIpoL3jrfo

The Burning Throne, Episode 33: Leaving the Empire

The quest to destroy the shame sword continues. The PCs head into Phoenix lands searching for Hiruma Tadori, who is mystically bonded to the evil sword. Zuko, who is secretly the Poison Dragon, returns from his personal journey helping resurect a mad god.

Continued from: http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/the-burning-throne-episode-32-road-to-pale-oak-castle/

 

Twenty Third Entry

From the journal of Hida Makoto, Crab Clan

I write these words in a land that I never expected to tread. The border of Rokugan is just to the north. In the morning we will leave the Emerald Empire, perhaps forever. We will either destroy the Shamesword or perish trying. I do not know how many of us, if any, will live to see the glory of the Empire again.

Though exhausted and limited to the meager light of a tiny candle hidden beneath my bedroll, I am compelled to continue this scroll. If I fall in the wilds tomorrow, I can only hope that this record somehow makes its way back to my daimyo… No… I am lying to myself. I no longer record these events for my daimyo. My brother would not understand. These words are my vanity, my prideful hope that should I die, Otomo Yuni may someday learn of my love for her. We are destined to be together, but as my task seems so insurmountable I wonder if it will be in this life that we are united, or the next.

No. That is weakness talking. I must compose myself. The mountain does not bend. The men I travel with need me focused. I will not fail.

What brought us to the border of Rokugan and the Yobanjin wilds? Too much time has passed…

A few days after the fall of the sun, and its replacement with an imposter, the Paper Lanterns arrived in Phoenix lands. Our reception was icy. Our reputation here is unsavory. The Poison Dragon was once a travelling companion of the noble Ide Todo. His string of foul murders of Phoenix samurai has stirred up the rank and file. I believe that they see Ide Todo as a friend of this killer, when quite the opposite is true. I have said that I would kill the Poison Dragon. The opportunity has simply not presented itself yet.

Upon arrival at Pale Oak castle, we discovered quite the encampment. The Fourth Imperial Legion’s banner flew over the army to the west. North of us was a vast plain. To the east were rugged mountains. The castle itself is rather unimpressive, especially considering that word was the Yobanjin horde was only a few days to the north. These people need a Kaiu engineer.

We were met by the rikushogun of the Phoenix army, Shiba Majushi. His manner was cold, but polite. When we enquired about Hiruma Tadori, he directed us toward Akodo Goro, leader of the Fourth Legion. The legionnaires were glad to see the Paper Lanterns, which filled my heart with joy. Even the legendary Legion had heard tales of our accomplishments. Most of the soldiers were of the Crab and Lion, which I am certain helped.

Oh, mother. If only you could see me now. I am the acting gunso of a proud unit of roving magistrates, entrusted a mission by a celestial being and an Imperial family. I hope that my reputation has eclipsed the dishonor brought upon our family by my father.

Celebrations were short lived, as we received unfortunate news from Akodo Goro. Hiruma Tadori had gone missing behind enemy lines. His unit of scouts had been set upon by some “branded man”. We spoke to Hiruma Tama, one of the survivors. Tadori had fought bravely but had disappeared during their retreat. He had been missing for two days.

Magatsu informed us that the evil shamesword was still speaking of Tadori as if he were alive, as his soul is linked to the sword. That gave us some hope, but that also meant that we needed to cross into enemy territory to find him. It can never be easy.

We had to get the sword to Tadori. Time was of the essence. If we left it here, there was the possibility Tadori could die before returned. The Dark Oracle’s spies already knew that the sword was in the possession of the Paper Lanterns. The sword had to stay with the rescue mission. Nor could we tell the Legion what we were up to, because if word leaked to the Dark Oracle of Fire that the shamesword was present in his lands, he would bring his full wrath upon it.

We were in a quandary. Luckily Ide Todo is a man of decisive action. He left the decoy sword at Pale Oak castle under the supervision of Shinjo Braga, Otomo Hoketuhime’s Seppun guard, and a contingent provided by the Crane and the Phoenix. Some may find the use of a decoy dishonorable, but even Akodo’s Leadership said “War is deception.”

There was another surprise that night. I was roused from my slumber by a messenger saying that Fosuta Zuko had arrived at the Legion camp. I was incredulous at first, because I must admit that I had assumed that Zuko was dead. Months had passed since he had vanished while scouting the High House of Light, but I was shocked to discover that it really was him. Ide Todo was roused and he brought Zuko into his tent to discuss what had happened to him.

I greeted Zuko warmly. I told him that I had done my best to mold the Lantern bushi into a coherent force. Todo-sama was more suspicious, and after Zuko shared his story, I became concerned as well. Zuko had pursued Machio’s kidnappers until he had lost track of the eagles, but then he had been inspired to embark on a personal quest. It was related to finding an ancient site, somehow related to this business with the moon and sun. A site hidden within Phoenix lands, and when he’d been unable to do so, he’d followed us here.

I do not know what to think. Zuko admitted to abandoning his post. There is no greater disgrace to a Crab. This is the thing that my wretched father had done that had cursed my name before I was even born. Zuko was cryptic about his other quest, but was sincere in his belief that it was very important. Part of me was happy to see him and the other part felt that he should be executed for his dereliction of duty. I could only look to Ide Todo for wisdom, but Todo accepted Zuko back into the ranks, though he did leave me in command of the men. Pride may be one of the three great sins, but I must admit I feel great pride in the Lantern bushi. They are my brothers as much as any Crab I served with on the Wall. I am honored that Todo sama left me over them.

The next morning we convened a war council to make plans for our mission. We decided upon a small group of infiltrators. Too many men would be too easy to spot on the plains. We would hide in the mountains while the Yobanjin front passed by, then we would head north to the site where Hiruma Tadori had disappeared to search for clues. The Phoenix provided us with a guide who knew the lay of the land, Shiba Sougai. Ide Todo shocked me by volunteering to come along… I would lay down my life for Ide Todo in a heartbeat, but Yobanjin country is no place for a courtier. However, he’s the leader, and if he wanted to come, it was not my place to stop him. The rest of the group consisted of me, Kuni Magatsu, who carried Penance, his yojimbo Tamori Fubatsu, Todo’s yojimbo Kakita Chiyoko, Fosuta Zuko, Kitsuki Tsuze, who was by far our most perceptive tracker, and Kakita Fujo.  We left the Lanterns under the command of Akimi, folded in with the troops of the Fourth.

Shiba Sougai led us into the mountains where we were able to conceal ourselves and watch from high in the rocks as the Yobanjin horde passed below. They were a disorganized mob of fur clad barbarians, but there were thousands upon thousands of them. Never before had I seen an army so vast. They whipped and herded terrible beasts before them. At first I thought they were oni, but these were only animals, but each was as big as two or three oxen, with grey skin and gigantic horns on their long faces.

Among the army was a man, seemingly made out of flames. Even at our great distance he could be seen towering over the others. They call him the Son of Fire. Supposedly the Dark Oracle himself cannot cross into the Empire, but this creation of his certainly could. The Legion will have its hands full with an army like this. If the invaders fight as savagely as they did at Shiro Shinjo, then this will be a grave battle indeed. A Mantis army was on the way to reinforce Pale Oak castle, and I could only pray to the Fortunes that they would arrive in time.

Once the army had passed, we set out for Tadori’s last location. We were on horseback, and so far all of the Yobanjin we had seen were on foot, which gave us a mobility advantage, but outnumbered a thousand to one, we tried to remain unseen. The Yobanjin do not function like a Rokugani army. They have no supply chain. They forage and loot as they go. So at least the plains were remarkably clear.

At the site of the scout’s combat, Tsuze and Sougai found a trail of a man being dragged away to the north. It was our best bet, so we followed. If it was Tadori, he was still alive, but he was also being carried toward Yobanjin lands, and though they were on foot, they had a two day head start.

We rode as fast as we could follow the tracks. That night we spotted a campfire far to the north. The next day we found the trail went right through that camp. We were getting closer. The next night we spotted another campfire, but in the dark we couldn’t tell if the tracks led there or not.  Our quieter warriors were able to scout up relatively close to see inside. There were about a dozen Yobanjin, but they were unable to tell if they were holding Tadori or not.

We discussed what to do. I was in favor of attacking their camp during the night with the element of surprise. There was some disagreement, specifically if these were not the Yobanjin that were holding Tadori, then an attack would alert the entire army of our presence on the plains. If we took too many casualties then we would be unable to finish our mission. Despite that, I was adamant that we should attack. The decision fell to Ide Todo, who decided to be cautious and continue following the trail during the day. I had to bow my head and do as I was told.

We made our own lightless camp next to the trail, but not before Magatsu set an earth ward upon the most likely approaches. We were all very lucky that he did so, because the next morning just before dawn, some Yobanjin scouts came upon our camp.

However, these were not like any other Yobanjin we had seen before. The earth wards should have left them stunned and reeling, but these hardy foes shrugged the effects off. Their bodies were etched with a brutal map of burn scars. These brands gave them some form of dark magical power, and they were exceedingly difficult to kill. I beat one nearly to death with my tetsubo, and then flung his body as far away as possible with the killing blow. Sure enough, they explode in death like the others, only with far greater force.

Though I have walked through the ashen remains of their dojo, I have never met a Togashi monk in person. However, from my understanding of their mystic tattoos, these branded Yobanjin’s magic worked in a similar manner. Togashi can do all manner of mystical feats depending on which tattoos they wear, they can leap long distances, run like the wind, strike with flaming fists, harden their bodies like stone… Who knew what these branded Yobanjin were capable of?

Now that they knew we were here, there was no time to lose, so we saddled our horses and followed the trail.  Sure enough, it led right to the camp we’d spotted the night before. We rode as fast as we could, but there was a delaying force waiting to meet us.

We saw them at a long distance across the grass. There were eight of them, and when they saw us, they began running toward us with seemingly impossible speed. We tried to run our horses around them, but they were nearly as fast on foot as we were in the saddle.

It was then that we first saw the Branded Man. Every inch of his skin had been burned, seemingly melted away. He could burst into flame, shoot across the plains like an arrow, and reappear out of thin air. With a snap of his fingers he put up walls of fire to block our path. And worst of all, he somehow knew that Magatsu held the Shamesword.

Thus began a running battle. We would ride hard, wheel about and strike, and then continue on, trying to stay ahead of the man body of branded Yobanjin. Magatsu engaged in a magical battle, trying to keep the fires of the Branded Man off of us and our steeds as the rest of us tried to strike the Branded Man. As Magatsu’s wards struck the walls of fire, he would blast a path right through for the rest of us to follow. Zuko claimed much glory by riding directly at the Yobanjin and trying to distract them as if he was bearing the sword. However the Yobanjin did not fall for that decoy, but instead kept after Magatsu.

I rode by and struck the Branded Man four times with my tetsubo, and each strike should have been enough to cripple or kill an ordinary man. His body was pierced with multiple arrows, but they barely slowed him.

Eventually we were able to outpace the Branded Man. We rode for many hours, still following the trail, pushing our horses near to death, and only stopped once we were certain that we had put some distance between our forces. The horses were lathered with foam and exhausted, and as we crashed into our bedrolls, here on the border of the Emerald Empire, my thoughts were centered on my own failings. The others had been right. If we had attacked this creature’s camp the night before, he would’ve killed us all. My decision had been in error. The men dragging Tadori had already continued north. It would have been for nothing. My aggressive decision would have placed the entire mission in jeopardy.

I have no doubt we will meet the Branded Man again. He will die by my hand.

Exhausted, I finish this scroll. I pray the Fortunes hear my plea. Guide my hand, for tomorrow we cross into the wild.

#

To be continued next week, with one really big fight. http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/the-burning-throne-episode-34-the-all-mother/ 

Why Eric Holder should be in jail and the WaPo sucks balls

I’ve got a feeling there is going to be some profanity in this post…

Eric Holder should be in jail, and with this week’s usage of Executive Privilege to head off a congressional investigation, it looks like Barack Obama might get to be his cellmate.If you haven’t been paying attention to the Fast & Furious fiasco, (and I’m not talking about the Vin Diesel movies) you really should start. It is far bigger than Watergate. Watergate didn’t have a body count.

It is understandable if you haven’t heard about this scandal until now, because the mainstream media has mostly ignored it or tried to downplay it so it doesn’t cause any harm to Obama. http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/06/20/Big-Three-Networks-Cover-Fast-and-Furious-Updates-Only-CBS-Satisfies?utm_source=e_breitbart_com&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Breitbart+News+Roundup%2C+June+21%2C+2012&utm_campaign=Breitbart+News+Roundup%2C+June+21%2C+2012&utm_term=More

However, with the events of the last few days, even those partisan hacks won’t be able to ignore F&F anymore. Now they’ll just try to spin the narrative to make it some sort of republican witch hunt.

I wish that was it. Because the ugly reality is that the federal government committed several thousand felonies, got a bunch of people killed, all in order to push a political agenda, and now it appears that the president is complicit in the cover up.

For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, Fast & Furious was a DOJ/ATF project that knowingly allowed straw purchasers for the Mexican drug cartels to purchase firearms from American gun dealers in order to ship them into Mexico. When the American dealers contacted the ATF about suspicious purchases (like they are required to by law)* the ATF told them to let the transfers go through. Several thousand American guns went over the border to the cartels, where they were then used in thousands of crimes.

The best estimate is that around 300 Mexicans have been murdered using these weapons. The lid was finally blown off of F&F about a year and half ago when a US Border Patrol Agent named Brian Terry was murdered with one of these F&F guns.

The supposed reasoning behind F&F was to track the flow of guns through the criminal underworld… Uh huh… That’s how the DOJ is spinning it now that they got caught, but let’s look at this logically. The DOJ’s justification doesn’t pass the smell test. Gun rights activists, bloggers, and a handful of actual journalists have been working on dredging up F&F details for 18 months now, and it is pretty damning.

The guns crossed the border and then simply weren’t tracked. There was no mechanism in place to track the guns. The Mexican authorities weren’t even notified about the operation. It would seem that for a tracking operation, they might have wanted some… I don’t know, tracking involved.

This week Holder told congress that his DOJ had inherited the project from Bush’s DOJ… (wow, it is all Bush’s fault. We’ve never heard that from the Obama administration before!) Holder was only partially lying this time. The Bush DOJ tried a similar project called Gunrunner, which was also about trying to track the flow of guns, and it was a complete and total embarrassing stupid failure and was cancelled.  But, and this is a huge but, Gunrunner actually attempted to track the guns with tracking devices and aerial surveillance.

EDIT:  as was pointed out in the comments, I w as incorrect, the Bush era operation was actually called Operation Wide Receiver. Gunrunner was part of the F&F.

So with tracking devices and airplanes, GR still failed to actually catch any of the cartel bad guys… So F&F comes along under Holder and supposedly has the same mission as Gunrunner, only it doesn’t have any sort of actual law enforcement investigation attached. It is just guns going across the border in some nebulous hand wave reason of “tracking”. That doesn’t hold up.

So what was the real reason for this big, dangerous, stupid, deadly, illegal operation?  It certainly wasn’t to track the flow of the illicit Mexican arms trade, because once the guns crossed the border, the next time they showed up was when the serial numbers were read at crime scenes around the bodies of dead Mexicans. NBC is now calling F&F a “flawed sting” but it was actually impossible for F&F to serve any legitimate law enforcement sting purpose from the start.

Do you all remember a couple of years ago the deluge of news reports about how all of Mexico’s massive crime problems are the fault of America’s lax gun laws? Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, even spoke about this grave issue. Something needed to be done about this horrible problem! Won’t somebody think of the children!

Yet, when you looked at the actual stats, only a small percentage of Mexico’s crime guns came from legitimate American sources, and considering that we’re talking about a criminal enterprise with a net worth bigger than most countries, that bribes entire Mexican army units, and owns freaking submarines, that narrative is extra stupid.

So, you’ve got an administration that hates civilian gun ownership, laying the narrative groundwork about how we need stricter gun control because of Reason X, and then in that same time frame that same administration starts an operation that directly contributes a whole lot more Reason X. Well huh… Considering that F&F’s stated mission was impossible from the get go, that’s a little suspicious isn’t it?  Or in the words of Sherlock Holmes, when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

But as repulsive as that line of thought is, it is irrelevant. For the purposes of justice, we don’t care why they committed the crime, just whether they are guilty or not.

Once Brian Terry was murdered with an F&F gun, the lights came on and the cockroaches scattered. You can get detailed timelines about the DOJ’s ham-fisted response online. Eric Holder tried to stonewall to make the whole thing go away, but congressman Darrel Issa is part pit bull, and has spent the last year kicking Holder’s ass. An investigation was started, and every step of the way Holder either lied, hid evidence, or refused to present internal documents.

At this point it isn’t even a question of whether the DOJ broke the law, but how much they sucked at breaking it, and how high did it go?  A lot of us have been wondering if the president knew about and allowed F&F to proceed. He is on record having made a few cryptic comments about working on the gun “problem” during the right timeframe.

So this week Barack Obama invoked executive privilege for the first time to try and protect F&F documents.

Wow.

Things are about to get remarkably interesting.

Don’t believe anybody who says that this is some sort of republican witch hunt or an election year stunt. The timing is irrelevant since Holder could have simply handed over the requested documents last year, but he didn’t because he had something to hide. The really sad part is that the vote to censure Holder was split exactly on party lines. Surprise. This shouldn’t be about party. If this had been a republican DOJ then I’d want them hung from the nearest tree.

F&F is huge. It is far worse than Watergate or Plamegate, or any Whatevergate. This isn’t Clinton getting a blowjob and then committing perjury about it. We’re talking about three hundred plus dead people.

The media is trying hard to spin this. For example the WaPo, the same dipshit newspaper that can somehow manage to connect Romney to massacres in the 1870s, wrote this bit of tripe: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/in-congress-blowing-gunsmoke/2012/06/20/gJQA4eULrV_story.html

Every single bit of that editorial is pure spun bullshit. All of Holder’s stonewalling, lies, and refusal to divulge information is glossed over, while everything else is pedantically dismissed. He points out how Holder handed over some documents, but leaves out the 90,000 other pages he didn’t hand over.

This is how he sums up F&F:

 Terry’s death is indeed a scandal, part of the “Fast and Furious” operation in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives lost track of 2,000 guns it was planning to trace on their way to Mexican drug cartels; two of those firearms were found near Terry’s body.

Lost track? Whoops? I could’ve swore I left a couple thousand guns laying around here somewhere… Hmm… That’s either a super nice way to put it, or Dana Milbank is a fucking idiot.

I especially like the quote in there from Elijah Cummings about how Issa calling Holder a liar was highly inflammatory. Personally, I’d call liar a fairly truthful assessment. If he wasn’t a liar, then why does he keep having to retract statements where he was caught lying? An example of a highly inflammatory statement would be saying that Eric Holder is a disgrace to the office of the attorney general, and a scum-sucking bureaucratic parasite that represents all that is wrong with the federal government, who should be arrested, prosecuted, convicted, and then sent to serve his time in a Mexican prison where he can get his shit pushed in by friends of the three hundred and some odd Mexicans whose death he was complicit with.

But maybe I shouldn’t hold back and let you know how I really feel about the whole thing… Eric Holder’s Justice Department is a sick joke and a blight on America. He couldn’t prosecute Black Panthers threatening people with clubs at the polls, because he was too busy shipping thousands of guns to a criminal organization so violent they make the Taliban look like the Girl Scouts. The only discernible reason for F&F to exist was to push a political agenda, but they screwed up and killed a bunch of people, got caught, and now they are whining about it. If I’d knowingly sold a gun to a violent criminal, and then that criminal killed somebody, then I would have been considered an accessory and prosecuted, but if I shipped several thousand I’d just be a DOJ official.

Dana Milbank, fucking idiot, referred to congressman Jason Chaffetz as “volatile” for saying “We have a dead United States Border Patrol agent, and we have a government that’s withholding information so that we cannot get to the bottom of it.”

That was volatile? Do you sleep in a helmet, Mr. Milbank? If the press would quit fellating the president for a few minutes, you might want to maybe think about how it is congress’ freaking job to question little things like the executive branch committing several thousand felonies. Milbank brings up congress’ crappy approval rating, like that somehow invalidates them doing their job… Nice try douchebag. In a country where the biggest news organization talked about F&F for all of 8 SECONDS over the last year, how does public awareness and poll numbers have any bearing on them performing their actual job?

FI, Dana Milbank, then closes with this little gem. The indignation would sound more genuine if Republicans weren’t going after Holder over what has happened since Terry died.

Naw. We already know that the DOJ is incredibly corrupt. The real question, Dana Milbank, you quisling ditz, is how much Barack Obama knew about this?

*- As a former gun dealer, believe me when I say that if we have even the slightest hunch that we are dealing with a customer trying to break the law, we don’t do the sale. A straw purchase is when somebody who can pass a background check comes in and buys a gun on behalf of somebody who can’t pass a background check, and a dealer can lose his license and go to jail for knowingly selling the gun.

Gun dealers are a very law abiding bunch for the most part, yet there is a federal agency tasked with busting gun dealers that needs to continually justify its existence. So since the dealers aren’t trying to commit crimes on purpose, the ATF spends a lot of energy trying to get dealers to break the law, often through snitches and fake straw buyers. So if a dealer thinks something is odd, they aren’t going to sell the gun, because they don’t want to go to jail.

On some of the F&F sales, the dealers called their ATF agent because they were suspicious of the buyer. The ATF had to tell these gun dealers to go ahead and complete the sales. When F&F broke, the ATF tried to hang those dealers out to dry, but luckily they had documented that their ATF agents had okayed the transfer.

EDIT 1:  And this just in. So much for it being a conspiracy theory.  http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-57338546-10391695/documents-atf-used-fast-and-furious-to-make-the-case-for-gun-regulations/  ATF was trying to use the F&F sales to justify new regulations. And from CBS of all places!

And a note, I complain about the news media a lot (like for example, the WaPo editorial above, which is just brazenly stupid), however CBS has been doing excellent work. Actual journalistic investigation type stuff! From reporters! I know, right? Way to go CBS.

Charity: Nancy Sutter’s Vision Relief Fund

This is for fellow Baen author Micheal Z Williamson’s aunt. She’s an artist, and needs surgery to save her vision.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/106940?c=activity

Mike is willing to do redshirts for donations.  I don’t know how he’s working that, but if you donate, Mike will kill you in a novel. Check it out.

Holy Crap, there’s a Czech book trailer for MHI!

The techno-zombie-werewolf mix!

http://www.fantasyplanet.cz/clanek/larry-correia-lovci-monster-s-r-o-lovci-monster

 

Czech MHI: LOVCI MONSTER S.R.O.

Because hells yeah! I’m all up in your foreign markets.

http://www.sarden.cz/ukazka-larry-correia-lovci-monster-sro

Though the title makes it looks like LOVE MONSTER. Which I suppose would also be awesome. I need a copy of this for my display shelf.

Go Estonia!

I’m in favor of anybody that tells Paul Krugman to go to hell, especially when it is an entire country. http://takimag.com/article/estonia_to_krugman_yall_needs_to_chill/print#axzz1xc9NNYIz

And ten million bonus cool points to the president of Estonia for using “y’all” and mocking Princeton and Columbia.

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