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These Firework 'Miniguns' Are The Best Worst 4th Of July Idea Ever
Ah, July 4th, America's favorite annual indulgence in grilled food, cold beer, and aggressively irresponsible fun with explosives.
Fireworks, like any mass-market pyrotechnics, come with the twin possibilities of extreme fun and extreme injury. In 2016, nearly 12,000 Americans were rushed to hospitals with fireworks-related injuries; a full third of those were to the fingers and hands. And of the approximately 15,600 fires started by fireworks annually each year in the U.S., more than a quarter occur over the Independence Day holiday, according to government data.
Why do we indulge in this dangerous ritual every year? Simple: It's fucking awesome. Playing with fire is as old as human civilization, and finding new ways to make giant explosions at the risk of serious bodily harm is as American a past time as baseball and apple pie. And there's no better example of this than the recent emergence of the DIY firework 'minigun,' the apex of American ingenuity and stupidity.
Though not technically a minigun due to the noticeable absence of six rotating barrels, firing off more than 1000 fireworks in 45 seconds ain't half bad. Luckily, this video was shot in January 2016, and the folks featured spent the next year improving their design:
"I apologize for the swearing at the end but I nearly lost a finger when the mortar was launched," the uploader writes. "Please do not ever attempt anything similar to this." Agreed on both counts, but we'll still be toasting your pyrotechnic badassery come this holiday weekend — from a safe distance, of course.
Former Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, whom President Donald Trump recently pardoned of his 2013 murder conviction, claims he was nothing more than a pawn whom generals sacrificed for political expediency.
The infantry officer had been sentenced to 19 years in prison for ordering his soldiers to open fire on three unarmed Afghan men in 2012. Two of the men were killed.
During a Monday interview on Fox & Friends, Lorance accused his superiors of betraying him.
"A service member who knows that their commanders love them will go to the gates of hell for their country and knock them down," Lorance said. "I think that's extremely important. Anybody who is not part of the senior Pentagon brass will tell you the same thing."
"I think folks that start putting stars on their collar — anybody that has got to be confirmed by the Senate for a promotion — they are no longer a soldier, they are a politician," he continued. "And so I think they lose some of their values — and they certainly lose a lot of their respect from their subordinates — when they do what they did to me, which was throw me under the bus."
Fifteen years after the U.S. military toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein, the Army's massive two-volume study of the Iraq War closed with a sobering assessment of the campaign's outcome: With nearly 3,500 U.S. service members killed in action and trillions of dollars spent, "an emboldened and expansionist Iran appears to be the only victor.
Thanks to roughly 700 pages of newly-publicized secret Iranian intelligence cables, we now have a good idea as to why.
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Mark Esper expressed confidence on Sunday in the U.S. military justice system's ability to hold troops to account, two days after President Donald Trump pardoned two Army officers accused of war crimes in Afghanistan.
Trump also restored the rank of a Navy SEAL platoon commander who was demoted for actions in Iraq.
Asked how he would reassure countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq in the wake of the pardons, Esper said: "We have a very effective military justice system."
"I have great faith in the military justice system," Esper told reporters during a trip to Bangkok, in his first remarks about the issue since Trump issued the pardons.
For one veteran who fought through the crossfires of German heavy machine guns in the D-Day landings, receiving a Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of his service and that of his World War II comrades would be "quite meaningful."
Bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to award the Army Rangers of World War II the medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by the United States, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
An airman at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base was arrested and charged with murder on Sunday after a shooting at a Raleigh night club that killed a 21-year-old man, the Air Force and the Raleigh Police Department said.