Sadly, my absurd San Diego beach rent requires me to go work a little bit, and I’m on the road this week…The amount landlords charge for a one-bedroom apartment out here is CRIMINAL. Enjoy the rare rant-free News Roundup. We get back to it hard next week with the best of military and law enforcement news and culture, plus Sexy Campaign 2016 analysis. The day that the VA finally allows ganja prescriptions, I’m smoking a joint the size of a baseball bat in the parking lot. -BK
DENVER (AP) — Congress is showing an increased willingness to let VA doctors talk to veterans about medical marijuana in states where it’s legal, although final approval is far from certain.
The House approved a measure this week that would let Veterans Affairs Department doctors help their patients sign up for state medical marijuana programs, something the VA now prohibits.
“I’m certainly open to it,” Rep. Mike Coffman, a Republican and former Marine from pot-friendly Colorado, said Friday.
A Senate committee approved a similar measure last month but the full Senate hasn’t voted.
Medical marijuana is now legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia, but pot remains illegal under federal law. Arguments for medical marijuana are getting a warmer reception from lawmakers amid nationwide concerns about overuse and abuse of prescription painkillers and psychotropic drugs.
A handful of airmen are breaking the Air Force’s “chair force” stereotype with their appetite to graduate from the Army’s elite Ranger school. The latest airman to do so is (drum roll, please) 39 years old.
Chief Master Sgt. William “Ryan” Speck, is the first Air Force chief to graduate the 61-day combat leadership course at Fort Benning, Georgia, according to a recent release.
Speck, who graduated last month, regularly supports Rangers as the U.S. Special Operations Command’s J6 operations superintendent running tactical communications. But to better understand his mission, Speck said he needed to be more clued into the hard-ball training that shapes the world’s A-list soldiers.
“I felt it was important in my position to gain a better understanding of the dynamics, and experience first-hand what it’s like to be a Ranger, so I jumped on the opportunity to go to Ranger School and make my lifelong dream a reality,” Speck said in the release.
That's "Mr. Daryl Hall," you Salon fucks. https://t.co/r2spATW85e
— BK (@BKactual) May 16, 2016
The laid back and trendy college town of Iowa City was plunged into turmoil a little over two weeks ago, after a black University of Iowa freshman claimed that three white men had viciously attacked him in the downtown and called him a racial slur. A media firestorm ensued, with the first report airing on a Chicago news station. Iowa City police quickly declared they were investigating a possible hate crime and even consulted with the FBI. City and university officials were on the defensive. Social justice warriors held protests.
The hate crime, however, turned out to be a hoax – just as more than a few observers had suspected all along.
Marcus Owens, 19, nevertheless found willing ears from media outlets and among university officials when claiming that racist college-age white men had attacked him in the mostly white college town – a city that social justice warriors have long claimed is pervaded with an undercurrent of racism, as reflected in all the “microaggressions” and standoffishness supposedly suffered by black newcomers. Many blacks from Chicago’s inner city have migrated to Iowa City in recent years – thereby ending its status (to the delight of liberals) as an orderly whitopia.
Three Royal Marines have been sentenced to military detention for subjecting a young colleague to “40 minutes of depravity and naked humiliation”.
During an initiation ceremony Carlo Nicholson was, among other humiliations, made to drink from a paddling pool full of urine and vomit while watched by 80 drunken men.
The “joining run” event took place in May 2014 and was carried out by members of 45 Commando, based at Royal Marine Condor in Arbroath.
Marine Ian Tennet, 22, Lance Corporal Scott Simm, 26, and James Taylor, 27, who is now a Lance Corporal in the Royal Marines Reserves, were all sentenced for a charge of ill-treatment of a subordinate.
During the “rite of passage” Mr Nicholson, along with other newcomers to the unit, was forced to run naked around the camp with bottles of milk and lemonade taped to his arms.
He was made to lie down in the paddling pool containing urine and vomit while eggs were thrown at him, as well as to fight other marines while naked and covered in cooking oil.
The recruit was also made to eat dessert spoons of chill, cinnamon and curry powder, eat dog food out of a mess tin while on all fours, eat lard and swallow liquid through a funnel as well as made to consume the contents of a mess tin filled from the paddling pool which also contained a rollmop herring, lard and cider.
When police arrived at the yellow-brick house in Garland, Tex., on the afternoon of Aug. 17, 2010, they found Alan Nevil lying near death in a neighbor’s yard. He had been shot five times. One bullet was lodged in his throat. His wife, Darlene, was found dead inside the house, shot in the back and head.
Despite the blood in his mouth, Alan managed to gargle the name of their attacker.
It was his stepdaughter’s 13-year-old boyfriend, he said.
Minutes later, police pulled up outside the boyfriend’s house, just a few blocks away. There, they found Darlene’s 12-year-old daughter and her boyfriend — having celebratory sex.
On Wednesday, a Dallas judge ordered the boy released when he turns 19 next month, the Dallas Morning News reported.
The ruling was an astonishing — and for the Nevil family, terrifying — twist on the 2010 double murder. Judge Andrea Martin could have transferred him to adult prison for 10 years. Instead, he will now face nothing more than parole and anger-management classes.
Juvenile justice experts and officials said the boy had turned over a new leaf behind bars, accepting responsibility for the crime, getting his GED and becoming a role model for other inmates at his juvenile-detention center.
A religious-freedom advocacy group has again engaged with the military over the use of a Bible with a prisoner-of-war “missing man table” display, this time during a May 13 Adjutant General’s Corps Regimental Association ball in South Korea.
About 350 guests attended the ball, put on by the group’s Morning Calm chapter, and another 40 or so soldiers were on duty at the event, an 8th Army soldier who was in attendance told Army Times.
That soldier, who spoke anonymously out of fear of reprisal, said that during the toast portion of the event, soldiers stationed throughout the crowd brought forward items used to construct the missing man table, a display crafted to honor the memories of POWs and service members missing in action.
As the soldiers came forward, they briefly spoke about their item’s significance, the anonymous soldier said. The last of the items brought forward was a Bible.
The attendee said he was “completely flabbergasted” by the ceremony and notified the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a group that has successfully lobbied for the removal of Bibles from missing-man displays at Army, Air Force and Veterans Affairs Department facilities in recent months.
“As a Secular Humanist Atheist, there is no way that I felt part of the team after this transgression,” the soldier wrote in an email to Mikey Weinstein, a former Air Force officer and the MRFF’s founder. “Placing the Christian label on all uniformed personnel is a gross violation of religious freedom, and a warning shot to “fit in, or be ostracized.”
The soldier who brought it forward talked about “strength through faith, and reminding us that we were founded as one nation under God,” the attendee said. “And I’m sitting there going like, ‘No, we weren’t. We’re a secular nation.’ If more people knew that, they’d probably object just like I do.”
Two teens from McKinney and Alvord are first in line to serve on the front lines, becoming the Army’s first female infantry recruits in Texas.
Shelby Sparkman and Hannah Carpenter, both 17, chose to serve their country in a combat role that opened up to women only last month. They will start basic training together in Fort Benning, Ga., next summer after they graduate from high school.
For those who don’t think women belong in the infantry, which will put them among the ground troops on the front lines, Sparkman said, “We’ll prove them wrong.”
At their ceremonial swearing-in Wednesday in Irving, she said she only recently decided to join the infantry but has no qualms about being deployed for combat.
“I do not want special treatment,” said Sparkman, a a junior at McKinney North High, noting that her small stature has raised more than a few eyebrows. “It’s about if you can hold your own. And I can.”
The latest female Marine to attempt the grueling 84-day Infantry Officer Course was unable to complete training, but she will get a second chance to take the course, the Marine Corps has confirmed.
The woman left her class on April 21 after 11 training days, said Maj. Anton Semelroth, a spokesman for Marine Corps Combat Development Command. She is still attached to IOC and will have the opportunity to be part of another class in July.
The Marine Corps is not releasing the name of the Marine, who was recycled after she did not complete two hikes, one of which was 9 miles long, Semelroth told Marine Corps Times on Tuesday.
She will now attend the 90-day Marines Awaiting Training platoon along with the others from her class who could not complete the course,Semelroth said. They will work on the skills that were most challenging at IOC, like walking. (I may have added those last two words.)
A former U.S. Army explosive ordinance disposal officer was charged in federal court Friday with illegal possession of hand grenades found in his Overland Park home.
John A. Panchalk, 42, who worked as a firearms instructor at an Olathe shooting range, was initially charged Friday in Johnson County District Court with a felony charge of criminal use of explosives.
But at his first court appearance Friday afternoon, a prosecutor said the state charge was being dismissed and the case was being transferred to federal authorities.
Later Friday, Panchalk was charged in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., with possession of two grenades that were not legally registered with federal officials…
According to federal court documents, the investigation began earlier Thursday in Parkville when officers were called to a self-storage facility where several trailers and vehicles had been broken into.
In and around one of the trailers, officers found ammunition canisters. Inside one canister they found a block of C-4 plastic explosive, blasting caps and military grenade simulators.
After officers determined that the trailer was owned by Panchalk, Overland Park officers were sent to his home to find get an inventory of what was in the trailer.
When questioned about the trailer, Panchalk was “evasive,” according to the court documents. He also allegedly gave “non-committal” answers when asked if there were explosives in the house.
Concerned for their safety and the safety of others, police went inside the house and saw several items in plain view, including several possible grenades, a rocket and a casing for a light anti-tank weapon.
Panchalk told officers the items were inert and used as training aids, but he “remained evasive” about the C-4 and other items found in Parkville, according to the court documents.
After obtaining a search warrant for the home, officers said they found about 38 pounds of C-4, blasting caps, detonation cord, incendiary devices, grenade simulators and two M-67 fragmentation grenades.
The grenades were examined and found to be operational, according to the documents. Officials also determined that they were not registered as required by federal law.
Panchalk worked as a firearms instructor at Centerfire Shooting Sports. His instructor biography appeared on the shooting range’s website before someone removed it Friday morning.
According to the biography, Panchalk is a decorated combat veteran who spent 10 years in the Army as an explosive ordnance disposal officer.
After leaving the Army with the rank of captain, he worked as a security contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan and served as an instructor at the Army’s explosive ordnance disposal training center in Alabama.
In another historic moment for the Obama administration, the Senate on Tuesday evening confirmed the long-stalled nomination of Eric Fanning to be Army secretary.
Fanning becomes the first openly gay leader of any U.S. military service — a milestone not lost on gay rights groups, coming five years after the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” which had prohibited gay and lesbian service members from being open about their sexuality.
“Eric Fanning’s historic confirmation today as Secretary of the U.S. Army is a demonstration of the continued progress towards fairness and equality in our nation’s armed forces,” Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said in a statement.
Fanning previously served as the Army secretary’s principal adviser on management and operation. He was undersecretary of the Air Force from April 2013 to February 2015, and for half a year he was the acting secretary of the Air Force.
Congratulations to Eric Fanning on historic appointment as the first openly gay @SECARMY. He's capable, experienced & will lead with honor!
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) May 17, 2016
A naked man was arrested on a charge of trespassing after allegedly climbing into a chimney while playing hide and seek with his cousin, according to police in Iowa.
Carroll police said that they have arrested 29-year-old Jordan Kajewski, after firefighters pulled him out naked from the chimney at the Carroll Redemption Center recycling plant…
…The man shouted for help and explained that he was playing hide and seek with his cousin before getting stuck. He pleaded for her not to call the police.
Kajewski was naked, but he had all his clothes with him. Brad Sapp said that he knew Kajewski because he had asked him three times in recent weeks for a job at his recycling plant.
We get back to work next week. @BKactual