Air Force Losing Elite Fighting Force:

For years, Tops in Blue has been derided by airmen who think it’s an outdated waste of money that should be shut down. But those complaints have been ignored — until now.

The Air Force announced in a release Monday it is canceling the 2016 season of its traveling song-and-dance troupe to allow “an extended review of the program.” The Air Force had directly asked rank-and-file airmen — for the first time — what they think of the group in October.

The results were not kind to Tops in Blue.

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The first survey sent to 4,674 people — 2,249 enlisted airmen, 961 officers and 1,464 civilian employees — found “wide awareness of Tops in Blue among airmen,” the release said. About half of those surveyed said they would attend one of the concerts in the future…

…Some airmen feel it’s a welcome, family-friendly entertainment. Other airmen, however — including some former members of the band — feel it’s a waste of morale, welfare and recreation money. Those airmen say most don’t enjoy the programs, and in some cases, they allege airmen have been forced to attend shows.

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In 2015, Tops in Blue had a budget of at least $1.3 million, including more than $1 million in MWR funds. That’s a nearly 13 percent increase from 2014

It’s about time. Now, full disclosure: I have never been to a Tops in Blue show. I have never, ever felt the desire to go to a Tops in Blue show. I was vaguely aware of the existence of Tops in Blue, much as I was vaguely aware of the existence of “The Real Housewives of Orange County” and skinny jeans, but I didn’t know a whole lot about it.

We are in a new time. Over the last 10 years, the military has undergone tremendous change. Probably one of the biggest is how the troops entertain themselves. Even in combat theaters, it’s a lot different now. Money is scarce, and tax dollars need to be steered in a proper direction. In my opinion, we don’t need to put on these hokey shows for the troops anymore. Hey, I loved Bob Hope choppering out of the jungle with a half-naked chick as much as anyone else, but I think that time has come and gone.

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As long as there’s a Wi-Fi or even an old-timey hard line Internet connection, everyone seems pretty content. Not only is there an entire wealth of entertainment online, people go to school, read books, play online games, write shitty columns, and much more. I know a few paranoid nutbags who have installed cameras all throughout their houses back in the states and spend HOURS just staring at live video feeds of what’s happening at home. I don’t get it either, but that’s the THING that they like to do.

You know what they don’t want to do? They don’t want to put down their book, or their Words With Friends, or their shitty column, or their empty-house webcam porn to go out and do mandatory fun, which, in this case, involves song-and-dance routines that they may loathe. Now, I think mandatory fun has a time and place, absolutely. You can’t have everyone hiding away all the time; it’s bad for morale. Of course, alcohol would help, but we have that RIDICULOUS General Order Number One BULLSHIT to deal with. I mean, the ‘Nam guys had it made, right? They’d patrol all day, get back to the rear, and promptly light up a doobie, go down to the local brothel for some boom-boom, and get blitzed on Nattie Light. What do we have in Afghanistan? Jack shit.

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Where was I? Oh, yeah, Tops in Blue. Look, not to sound like An Old, but this isn’t like the Marine Corps Silent Drill Team, or the Army’s old brass band. They’re cranking out rousing, loud marches of my man John Phillip Sousa, and evoking all the right imagery. Discipline, pride, esprit de corps, dignity—one look at the guys and gals in those teams and bands and your heart fills with pride. You feel those hallmarks of the military in spades, and, just as importantly, civilians feel them too, making it an invaluable recruiting tool and morale booster.

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You know what doesn’t really evoke any of those hallmarks? Some guy hotly pursuing an alternative lifestyle, covered in makeup, pelvic-thrusting his way through  a cover of Britney Spears’ “You Better Work, Bitch.” YOU LEAVE MY GIRL BRIT ALONE. This is especially true when the local dignitaries of some of our more socially conservative allies are in the audience watching in horror. Oh, and I had to laugh at this paragraph:

The Air Force has long touted surveys showing that after Tops in Blue shows, 96 percent of commanders feel it provides an excellent value to airmen and the Air Force, and a 2011 survey of major command commanders that was overwhelmingly positive.

Heh. Of course they do.

Hillary Clinton Offering Terror Groups Pointers:

(CNN) An al Qaeda affiliate has apparently released a new recruitment video, telling Muslims in America that the country has a long history of racism and discrimination and will turn on its Muslim community.

The video purportedly by Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab uses historic civil rights era footage of firebrand Malcolm X and audio of 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump to label the United States a racist society.

In the wake of the San Bernandino shootings last month, Trump said he wanted “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.”

The video runs this line, bleeping out the word “hell.”

The Democratic party operatives are running around squealing about this, and I’m pretty confused as to why. Now, from their point of view, it’s a goldmine, especially after Hillary Clinton had said that Trump was being used in ISIS propaganda videos during the last Democratic debate. Left unsaid is where al-Shabaab got the idea for this, since our enemies totally don’t keep up with our politics and never know which racist/oppression buttons to push so that our worthless media will give them free publicity. (Cue the cramp-inducing eye roll.)

So let me get this straight: Islam is a religion of peace unless they are subjected to verbal criticism, at which point the only expectation is that they fly into a murderous rage, ready to pick up the AKs, don suicide vests, and start sawing off heads?

Don’t those low expectations seem, I don’t know, extremely close-minded and prejudicial? That’s the far-leftist ethos in a nutshell, though. I MEAN WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM THOSE PEOPLE. Oh, and using that same bizarre train of thought, the only counter to this extremism is to stay silent as the daily atrocities from radical Islam pile up around the word? Let’s just not be critical and hope for the best? And, AND, the only way to save ourselves from annihilation is to allow this hair-trigger temperamental population free reign to keep pouring into the country and just hope we don’t anger them? And further, isn’t the fact that the leadership of the ideology that we are at war with not liking one of our presidential candidates a GOOD thing? What the hell? Conversely, if they praise Hillary Clinton, isn’t that a bad thing?

Also, these nuts put U.S. politicians in videos all the time. This is nothing new.

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As I’ve said many times, being a Muslim is a CHOICE. You are born an Arab, or a Persian, or a European, or an African. You CHOOSE to follow Islam. And it’s the only “religion” that people are terrified to criticize, for obvious reasons. We destroy the Catholic Church, and for good reason. Holy crap, we had an entire documentary devoted to how evil Scientology was, how they brainwashed their adherents through an education built on indoctrination of the young, and ruthlessly tried to infiltrate political organizations with a well-funded propaganda arm. Sound familiar? I didn’t see anyone freaking out about that. To the contrary, it won wide acclaim and awards. But do the EXACT SAME MOVIE about Islam, and it’s a death sentence. What does that tell you?

It’s a simple solution: An entire, enormous section of the globe is devoted to Islam and the way that they like to live their lives, with the government and religion having a symbiotic relationship. If that’s what you want, then by all means, go live there. Sheesh. This isn’t complicated.

And full credit where it’s due: Rush Limbaugh absolutely nailed it. I’m not suggesting that the Clinton team was responsible for funding the video or anything (hmmm…). YET.

Afghanistan is Worse Than Ever:

MARJA, Afghanistan — As the Afghan convoy entered the battered village, Taliban fighters opened fire. U.S.-trained Afghan policemen poured out of their Humvees and began wildly shooting their AK-47 rifles in every direction.

“The enemy is firing one bullet, and you are responding with dozens!” their commander, Col. Khalil Jawad, screamed into his radio in frustration. “Aim, then fire!”

A minute later, the militants melted away. On this day in early December in the southern province of Helmand, they had delivered their message: The Taliban is back, its fighters showing a battle discipline and initiative far superior to the Afghan security forces trained and equipped by the United States.

In private, top Afghan and American officials have begun to voice increasingly grim assessments of the resurgent Taliban threat, most notably in a previously undisclosed transcript of a late-October meeting of the Afghan National Security Council…

An absolutely fantastic article from the Washington Post. You really have to go read the whole thing; it’s chock full of great stuff that will depress the shit out of you. I’ve taken the liberty of pulling out some of the better information.

…With control of — or a significant presence in — roughly 30 percent of districts across the nation, according to Western and Afghan officials, the Taliban now holds more territory than in any year since 2001, when the puritanical Islamists were ousted from power after the 9/11 attacks. For now, the top American and Afghan priority is preventing Helmand, largely secured by U.S. Marines and British forces in 2012, from again falling to the insurgency.

A complete and utter disaster. Fifteen years and counting, and we’re no better off than when we started. This is an entire generation.

As of last month, about 7,000 members of the Afghan security forces had been killed this year, with 12,000 injured, a 26 percent increase over the total number of dead and wounded in all of 2014, said a Western official with access to the most recent NATO statistics. Attrition rates are soaring. Deserters and injured Afghan soldiers say they are fighting a more sophisticated and well-armed insurgency than they have seen in years.

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That is a staggering figure. And that’s with American air power and American advisors. Can you imagine what the carnage would be if we weren’t there? Actually, it might be less, because I have a feeling that those attrition rates would be more like 90 percent if the Americans weren’t there to continually fund and escort the Afghan forces out to fight. And these Taliban fighters? They’ve learned well.

If there was one province in Afghanistan that the Taliban should have found impenetrable, it was Helmand. The Afghan army has its entire 215th Corps based here, numbering more than 18,000 soldiers. There are also thousands of Afghan police officers. Yet a few hundred Taliban fighters managed to overrun parts of Marja and other districts. Soldiers and police officers fled with little resistance or surrendered to the insurgents.

Here we go again. Obviously, we have some incredibly brave Afghan allies. But they are the exception, not the rule. The United States cannot fight this battle for them.

Some 40 percent of Afghan army vehicles in Helmand are broken, Shaheem said. He described a leadership crisis within the security forces, where “clashing personalities exist between the security pillars,” according to the transcript.

It’s not just the fighting men and the fighting spirit. This is bullets, beans, and bandages stuff here. You have to have a professional military, and that includes maintainers, mechanics, and all of the other support personnel that make a military function.

“The blame game must stop now,” Campbell (U.S. Forces Commander, Afghanistan) said. “If I hear one more policeman complain about the army or vice versa, I will pull my advisers immediately. It’s over. You’re Afghans first. Work together.”

Uh, sure you will, John. You won’t pull shit. I guarantee since this article ran a few days ago, he’s heard them bitching about each other. But he thinks his tough talk will solve this shit sandwich.

Soldiers and police officers on the front lines say they face an enemy that is well trained and equipped with heavy artillery and machine guns, rockets and mortars — and a seemingly endless supply of ammunition. Taliban snipers now have night-vision scopes on their rifles. And as they have overrun bases, the militants have seized an arsenal of U.S. weaponry provided to the Afghans.

It’s time to get out, people. It’s been 15 years. We have kids ready to become military age who were freaking babies when we went over to that hole. And they’re turning our own weapons against us. What a complete and utter disaster.

Remembering USMC Master Sergeant Eden Pearl:

As the danger escalated that summer night in 2009, the Marines made a judgment call: They were better off leaving the Afghan village they had raided than launching a massive gun battle against a team of enemy fighters that had stumbled upon them.

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Under fire, the Marines made it back to their vehicles, but as they pulled away, a roadside bomb ripped through a Humvee midway through their convoy of about eight vehicles, said several Marines who witnessed the blast. With a plume of dust and a flash of heat, the explosion launched the armored vehicle at least 30 feet into the air, killing an interpreter and the driver. All four survivors in the vehicle were severely wounded — but none more than Master Sgt. Eden Pearl, who suffered a traumatic brain injury and burns over more than 90 percent of his body.

Pearl, who died at age 40 this week after a six-year battle with his injuries, was said to have been the most severely wounded service member to have fought in the Afghanistan conflict and survived. He persevered through months of painful skin grafts and numerous surgeries, and the loss of both legs and one arm due to infections.

A true warrior, fighting until the end. Rest in peace, Master Sergeant Pearl. If anyone knows of a fundraiser, please let us know so we can add that here. I haven’t found one.

So many unbelievable Americans have gone to their death in Afghanistan and Iraq. Where does America find such men?

USMC Says No to Terrifying Robot Dogs:

Some ideas are so enchanting that it’s easy to overlook small but frightfully important details.

When first seen in the wild, the LS3 robot dogs created by Google-owned Boston Dynamics seemed like they could be very useful dogs of war.

The mere sight of them on the battlefield ought to be enough to scare the enemy. Beyond that, the techno-canines could carry equipment and perform other onerous tasks.

It seems, though, that these robo-dogs have one small problem: Like quite a few real dogs, they make too much noise.

As Kyle Olson, a spokesman for the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab, told Military.com, the Marines drew the line at “the limitations of the robot itself. They took it as it was: A loud robot that’s going to give away their position.”

It may not be working out right now, but this is the future. The technology will improve, and these machines or something very similar will become standard. And then they will become self-aware, kill us all, and usher in a new era of an earth that is controlled by homicidal robot dogs who roam over a battle-ravaged globe picking off the few human survivors, who must huddle in caves and plot the resistance.

First Four Female Enlisted Submariners:

2016 will be a milestone year for the U.S. military, a year when one of its few remaining gender barriers will be dismantled as four enlisted women become the first to integrate into the crew of a Navy submarine.

The four sailors, who along with 38 other enlisted women completed an intensive basic submarine course in October, will report for duty to the U.S.S. Michigan, a guided missile submarine, in “early 2016,” The Navy Times reported.

Congratulations. What’s the over/under on how long it takes before there is a harassment/love triangle/pregnancy issue on the U.S.S. Michigan? I give it a year. Because it’s already happened with the female officers that have already been on submarines.

In October, the Atlantic Fleet’s top enlisted submariner said the navy was still laboring over the instructions for the integration.

“We are revising our instruction that was — no kidding — 49 pages long of excruciating detail on what you wear on the treadmill and how you manage the head,” said Force Master Chief Wes Koshoffer, per The Navy Times. “The instruction just ought to read: We will treat each other with dignity and respect because we are professionals. We have a fraternization policy and until we cross those lines, proceed.

Marines Under 21 Years Old Can’t Smoke in Hawaii:

Starting Jan. 1, Hawaii-based Marines will have to be 21 to smokeor they could face state and Marine Corps penalties.

In an administrative message released today, Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs Lt. Gen. Mark Brilakis announced the Corps would cooperate with a new Hawaii law that raises the minimum age to use or purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21. The law, signed in June, is intended to stop people from becoming habitual smokers. Hawaii officials have told media outlets that 99 percent of people who smoke start the habit before age 21.

Notably, the new law does not apply to Navy ships in Hawaii, which do not fall under state and local jurisdictions. The message released by Brilakis notes that ships’ stores are not obligated to limit sale of tobacco in compliance with the law either.

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Just so I have this right: You young Marines are old enough to handle enormous and expensive weapons systems. You are old enough to be sent to go die or get crippled for life in Afghanistan. You are old enough to close with and destroy the enemy by shooting him repeatedly in the face. You are old enough to operate machinery that costs billions of dollars. But you aren’t old enough to relax with a butt on your down time. Yeah, okay.

The USMC is under no obligation to cooperate with the state of Hawaii on this. They are doing it because the doofus lt. general up there knows that it will score him brownie points on his next promotion board by the politically driven military that we have now. They’ll all sit around and nod approvingly at how PROGRESSIVE he is, and then he’ll get his fourth star and go ruin something else.

U.S. Navy’s Civilian Workforce Skyrockets Amidst Drawdowns:

The U.S. Navy, with 280 ships, is now far too small to effectively protect this country’s vital interests in the Pacific, Atlantic, Mediterranean, Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea. Yet on Dec. 14 Defense Secretary Ash Carter ordered the Navy to cut additional ships it was planning to build and instead to buy more missiles and airplanes.

The shortage of missiles, torpedoes and spare parts that concerns Mr. Carter is real. But by not rebuilding the fleet, the Obama administration is repeating the blunders of the 1970s—sending sailors and their too few ships on much longer deployments, now trending toward eight and 10 months instead of six. In response, the most experienced sailors and their families, as in the ’70s, are starting to leave the Navy, worsening the other corrosive result of longer deployments: ships and airplanes that break down from a lack of skilled maintenance. The Persian Gulf was recently left without a carrier for two months.

Is the solution to the problem simply a significant increase in the defense budget? No. The source of the problem is not primarily the amount of money, but how that money is spent, or misspent, by the military bureaucracy.

Another great article coming out over the holidays from the Wall Street Journal. As is usual with these things (looking at you, VA) it isn’t the AMOUNT of money, it’s how that money is being spent. John Lehman served as secretary of the Navy during the Ronald Reagan administration, and is alarmed by the trend he sees in the modern Navy, particularly the huge growth in the civilian employee population.

There are two principal reasons for this unilateral disarmament by runaway costs. First is the explosive growth of bureaucracy. The Defense Business Board puts the number of civilian defense employees at 970,000, up several hundred thousand from the Reagan years. The board notes that roughly half of all uniformed personnel serve on staffs that spend most of their time going to meetings and responding to tasks from the hundreds of offices that have grown like mold throughout the vast Defense Department, the 17 independent Defense agencies, the nine Unified Combatant Commands, and the 250 joint task forces. This bloat has completely reversed the historic tooth-to-tail reforms that Sens. Sam Nunn and John Warner achieved in the 1980s.

With so many layers and offices needed to concur on every decision, it now takes an average of 22½ years from the start of a weapons program to first deployment, instead of the four years it took to deploy the Minuteman ICBM and Polaris submarine missile system in the Cold War era. Yet the U.S. intelligence community estimates that it takes only seven years for Chinese and Russian procurement systems to produce the advanced ships and fighters of the so-called fifth generation.

The procurement process is the second reason defense spending is so inefficient. In the 1980s, when a program was ready for full production, two qualified defense contractors generally competed annually for fixed-price contracts to build surface ships, submarines, fighters, fighter engines and virtually all tactical missiles. Today’s procurement consists of beauty contests to see who gets a 30- to 50-year competition-free monopoly.

There you go. And with such a vast disparity in bringing new technologies onto the battlefield, how much longer will it be before the Chinese and Russian militaries catch up to ours? We already know that our military leadership is being taken aback by their speedy advancement. Time to trim the fat, fellas.

Oh, Boy:

U.S. Army researchers invited men and women to help improve their Meals, Ready-to-Eat — if those volunteers can eat nothing else for three straight weeks.

Participants would eat and drink the provided rations for 21 days, then go back to a normal diet for 10 days, according to the study. It’s open to people between the ages of 18 and 62 who “meet additional screening criteria.”

The goals of the study go beyond improving the taste, the Army Times reported. Researchers say they’re hoping to add other nutrients to the food and to look at its impact on bacteria inside the digestive system, potentially improving what they call “gut health.”

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You want information on gut health? I have some for you right now: When I eat the Jalapeño cheese spread, I don’t shit for a week. I don’t know what kind of cement that crap is made out of, but damn, it turns my bowels into a foundation of bricks.

Still, they say they’ll try to improve the MREs’ notorious tastes and textures. The food will come with a recipe book for dishes including “Bunker Hill Burritos” and “Fort Bliss-ful Pudding Cake,” according to the Army Times…

…Volunteers can’t have alcohol to help swallow the food — they’ll need to avoid all outside food and drink for those first three weeks, officials say. The Army will pay volunteers $200 each for completing the study.

I would definitely do it if it wasn’t for the “no booze” thing. You need a few Coronas when you’re trying to choke down that goddamn chicken fajita pouch.

Air Force Defies Insane Person, Will Allow Football Players to Pray at Game:

The United States Air Force Academy will allow football players to keep praying before games.

The USAFA issued its response after a letter penned by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation claimed that the prayers were illegal and unconstitutional.

Earlier this month, MRFF President and Air Force Academy alumnus Mikey Weinstein told the Air Force Times that Christian cadets kneeling on the field to pray is a “disgrace” and a “putrid example of fundamentalist Christian supremacy, triumphalism and exhibitionism.”…

…The Academy reviewed and investigated the complaint, but concluded that players are free to follow their own religious beliefs.

“The United States Air Force Academy will continue to reaffirm to cadets that all Airmen are free to practice the religion of their choice or subscribe to no religious belief at all,” the USAFA said in a statement. “The players may confidently practice their own beliefs without pressure to participate in the practices of others.”

We’ve talked about our buddy Mikey Weinstein before. He’s seemingly becoming more and more unhinged before our eyes.

This is the problem with fanatics: They start off reasonable-sounding, with reasonable requests, and then they inevitably spiral into this weird paranoia. Yes, it is inappropriate for officers to try and proselytize subordinates and base promotions upon perceived piety. That has no place in our secular society, and I support disciplining officers who engage in those practices.

But a young kid voluntarily saying a prayer before a violent game where, at any moment, one wrong step or wrong hit could end his playing career forever? Oh, and it’s a “disgrace” and a “putrid example?” Dude, just shut the hell up. You sound like a total asshole. There are plenty of battles to fight. This isn’t one of them.

Oh, and stop going by “Mikey.” You’re a grown-ass man, for Chrissakes.

Idiot Politician Suggests Residents Should Throw Rocks at Police:

Jackson Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes said Friday he isn’t trying to incite a riot when he suggests throwing rocks, bricks and bottles at police officers from other jurisdictions who chase misdemeanor suspects into Jackson.

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“My position is this: When you have these police officers coming from other jurisdictions and they will not respect human life, then I said we should use rocks, bricks or bottles to try to get the message over: stop endangering our children,” Stokes said. “Now I have supported police officers in police departments all over this state from when I was a (Hinds County) supervisor when we voted for new cars and equipment for police officer. I opened and closed the last council meeting an honor of an officer who had died. I have named streets after officers in this city.”

What a buffoon. Look, Stokes, you know who is endangering your children? The piece of shit criminals and hood rats that, bizarrely, you feel some need to protect. Oh, but it’s cool: HE OPENED A COUNCIL MEETING IN THE NAME OF AN OFFICER, he said with huge sarcasm.

Lawyers Hoping to Bring War Crimes Charges Against Brit Soldiers:

UK soldiers who fought in the Iraq War may face prosecution for war crimes, according to the head of a unit investigating alleged abuses.

Mark Warwick said there were “lots of significant cases” and that discussions would be held over whether they met a war crimes threshold.

Lawyers are continuing to refer alleged abuse cases by soldiers to the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT).

The Ministry of Defence said it took such allegations “extremely seriously”.
Two public inquiries have already looked at claims against UK troops in Iraq.

IHAT’s budget of £57.2m runs until the end of 2019 – 16 years after the invasion of Iraq began in 2003.

Can you believe this? You send your amy to go kick the shit out of the Taliban, and not only do they have to worry about being killed/horribly maimed, they get to come back home and be hauled in front of some bullshit human-rights tribunal for war crimes. Get the fuck out of here. This is the Britain that took on the Nazis? What kind of scum would go after soldiers like this, and for what reason?

BBC political correspondent Chris Mason said Mr Warwick’s comments may have been a response to an interview by Michael Fallon in the Telegraph.

In it, the defence secretary said soldiers were inhibited on the battlefield because they feared “ambulance-chasing British law firms” would haul them in front of the courts on their return.

There you go. Looks like Michael Fallon was dead on.

Medal of Honor Recipient Faces Bullshit Hit-and-Run Charge:

A Medal of Honor recipient and a Mississippi native who lost an eye while taking a grenade blast to save a fellow Marine now faces a hit-and-run charge in South Carolina, police say.

Retired Cpl. Kyle Carpenter, 26, turned himself in and appeared in court Thursday with an attorney on misdemeanor charges of hit-and-run and making an improper left turn, police said in a news release. Carpenter was released on bond, the release said.

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Police say a pedestrian who was struck shortly after 8:30 p.m. Dec. 8 was treated at the scene for scrapes and leg injury. The pedestrian, Michael Haddad, declined to be taken to a hospital and is expected to make a full recovery, police said.

Surveillance tapes showed that a pedestrian was struck in a crosswalk as he walked to the fitness center at the University of South Carolina, police said. After the pedestrian was struck, the driver pulled over and turned on his hazard lights, but didn’t leave his vehicle to exchange information or offer help, police said.

The driver left the scene after the pedestrian stood up and walked to the side of the road. The pedestrian then went inside the fitness center and police were called.

Sounds like a big nothing to me. If the guy stood up and walked to the side of the road, it sounded like he was fine. Carpenter was probably going like three miles per hour. I suppose he should have stuck around just to be sure. But who called the cops? You don’t call the cops if Kyle Carpenter hits you. You say, “THANK YOU SIR,” and step the fuck off.

Please Don’t Bring Your Guns to Your MRI:

A veteran was wounded Wednesday at Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center when a handgun he brought into the Indianapolis hospital accidentally discharged in his pocket while he was in a procedure room — possibly an MRI suite.

Hospital officials confirmed the accidental shooting in a statement issued Thursday and reported the victim, whose name was not released, received immediate medical attention. The statement added the man’s wound did not threaten his life.

Due to patient privacy concerns, the hospital isn’t really releasing a lot of detail. But, it sounds like the reporter got enough off-the-record intel to draw the conclusion. This isn’t the first time that injuries have happened in the MRI suite. A medical study put great detail into another incident where an off-duty cop’s weapon discharged because the powerful magnets messed with the safety enough to engage the firing pin:

The gun likely discharged as a result of the effect of the magnetic field on the firing pin block. The firing pin block was probably drawn into its uppermost position by force of the magnetic field. The firing pin block has to overcome only light pressure from a relatively small spring to release the firing pin. The pistol was likely drawn into the magnetic field so that the muzzle struck the magnet’s bore first. With the firing pin allowed to move freely in its channel, the force of the impact on the muzzle end was sufficient to cause the firing pin to overcome its spring pressure and move forward to strike the primer of the chambered round.

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Fascinating. Leave your guns in the car, you crazy old coots. I promise, as terrible as the VA is, you don’t need to bring a handgun inside.

Connecticut Cop Fakes Military Reserve Duty so He Can Vacation in Hawaii:

A vacation in Hawaii not only cost a former Connecticut police officer his job, but also led to criminal charges being brought against him.

The Stamford Advocate reports Donald Chen was granted two weeks off from Dec. 1 to Dec. 15 by the Stamford police department so he could report for training with his U.S. Army Reserves unit.

Eight days into Chen’s military leave, police received a call from the Army asking where he was. After initially telling a lie involving his “sick” father, police say Chen admitted that he was vacationing in Hawaii with his girlfriend.

Chen, who resigned from the force on Dec. 14, is facing charges of felony larceny and defrauding a public community. He turned himself in to police on Tuesday.

Nice try, Chen. I don’t know how that didn’t work out for you. It seemed like such a foolproof plan. The military isn’t really known for wanting to know where their people are when they don’t show up for work. I can’t believe this didn’t succeed.

Our Naked News Starts Off the Year With a Bang: 

Reality TV star, Danielle Yancey, from Bravo’s Jersey Belle spotted a naked man outside her home on New Year’s Eve wearing only a Ronald Reagan mask and a sock over his private parts.

“I know a lot of people are laughing about it and, honestly, I got a chuckle from it later, but at the same time, it’s very concerning,” Danielle Yancey, who spotted the offender outside her Vestavia Hills home, told the local news.

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“I don’t know what he was planning on doing.”

Cutting taxes, giving amnesty to illegal immigrants, selling weapons to Iran, and making terrible movies with chimpanzees?

Sadly, to my man @MrPolishX, the story about the obese woman masturbating with a Jimmy Dean sausage in a Wal-Mart bathroom was a hoax. It does sound like something that happens all the time, though.

Don’t let that stop you from sending me naked stories on Twitter though. @BKactual.