M5A1 (Stuart VI) Light Tank. 1941- 43.

M5A1 (Stuart VI) Light Tank. 1941- 43.

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M5A1 (Stuart VI) Light Tank. 1941- 43.
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Image by Peer.Gynt
Moscow. Kubinka Tank Museum.

The M3 Stuart, formally Light Tank M3 was an American light tank of World War II. It was used by British and Commonwealth forces prior to the entry of the USA into the war, and thereafter by US and Allied forces until the end of the war. The name General Stuart or Stuart given by the British comes from the American Civil War General J.E.B. Stuart and was used for both the M3 and M5 Light Tank; in British service it also had the unofficial nickname of Honey. To the United States Army the tanks were officially known only as Light Tank M3 and Light Tank M5.
Observing events in Europe, American tank designers realized that the Light Tank M2 was becoming obsolete and set about improving it. The upgraded design, with thicker armor, modified suspension and new gun recoil system was called "Light Tank M3". Production of the vehicle started in March 1941 and continued until October 1943. Like its direct predecessor, the M2A4, the M3 was armed with a 37 mm M5 gun and 5 .30-06 Browning M1919A4 machine guns: coaxial with the gun, on top of the turret in an M20 AA mount, in a ball mount in right bow, in the right and left hull sponsons.

To relieve the demand for the radial aero-engines used in the M3, a new version was developed using twin Cadillac V-8 automobile engines. The new model (initially called M4 but redesignated M5 to avoid confusion with the M4 Sherman) also featured a redesigned hull with sloped glacis plate and driver’s hatches moved to the top. Although the main criticism from the using units was that the Stuarts lacked firepower, the improved M5 series kept the same 37 mm gun. The M5 gradually replaced the M3 in production from 1942 and was in turn succeeded by the Light Tank M24 in 1944.

Combat history

Light Tank M5A1 passes through the wrecked streets of Coutances.
An Australian Stuart I during the final assault on Buna.
A British M3 (Stuart I) knocked out during fighting in North Africa.The British Army was the first to use the Light Tank M3 as the "General Stuart" in combat. In November 1941, some 170 Stuarts took part in Operation Crusader, with poor results. Although the high losses suffered by Stuart-equipped units during the operation had more to do with better tactics and training of the Afrika Korps than the apparent superiority of German armor in the North African campaign, the operation revealed that the M3 had several technical faults. Mentioned in the British complaints were the 37 mm M5 gun and poor internal layout. The two-man turret crew was a significant weakness, and some British units tried to fight with three-man turret crews. The Stuart also had a limited range, which was a severe problem in desert warfare as units often outpaced their supplies and were stranded when they ran out of fuel. On the positive side, crews liked its high speed and mechanical reliability, hence its unofficial nickname of Honey. The high speed and high reliability distinguished the Stuart from cruiser tanks of the period, in particular the Crusader, which composed a large portion of the British tank force in Africa up until 1942.

From the summer of 1942, when enough US medium tanks had been received, the British usually kept Stuarts out of tank-to-tank combat, using them primarily for reconnaissance. The turret was removed from some examples to save weight and improve speed and range. These became known as "Stuart Recce". Some others were converted to armored personnel carriers and were known as "Stuart Kangaroo", and some were converted command vehicles and known as "Stuart Command". M3s, M3A3s, and M5s continued in British service until the end of the war, but British armor units had a smaller proportion of these light tanks than US units.

The other major Lend-Lease recipient of the M3, the Soviet Union, was even less happy with the tank, considering it undergunned, underarmored, likely to catch fire, and too sensitive to fuel quality. The narrow tracks were highly unsuited to operation in winter conditions, as they resulted in high ground pressures that sank the tank into the snow. Also, the M3’s radial aircraft engine required high-octane fuel, which complicated Soviet logistics as most of their tanks utilized diesel. However, the M3 was superior to early-war Soviet light tanks such as the T-60, which were often underpowered and possessed even lighter armament than the Stuart. In 1943, the Red Army tried out the M5 and decided that the upgraded design wasn’t much better than the M3. Being less desperate than in 1941, the Soviets turned down an American offer to supply the M5. M3s continued in Red Army service at least until 1944.

In US Army service, the M3 first saw combat in the Philippines. Two battalions, comprising the Provisional Tank Group fought in the Bataan peninsula campaign. When the American army joined the North African Campaign in late 1942, Stuart units still formed a large part of its armor strength. After the disastrous Battle of the Kasserine Pass the US quickly followed the British in disbanding most of their light tank battalions and subordinating the Stuarts to medium tank battalions performing the traditional cavalry missions of scouting and screening. For the rest of the war, most US tank battalions had three companies of M4 Shermans and one company of M3s or M5/M5A1s.

In the European theater, Allied light tanks had to be given cavalry and infantry fire support roles since their main cannon armament could not compete with heavier enemy AFVs. However, the Stuart was still effective in combat in the Pacific Theater, as Japanese tanks were both relatively rare and were generally much weaker than even Allied light tanks. Japanese infantrymen were poorly equipped with anti-tank weapons and tended to attack tanks using close-assault tactics. In this environment, the Stuart was only moderately more vulnerable than medium tanks. In addition, the poor terrain and roads common to the theatre were unsuitable for the much heavier M4 medium tanks, and so initially, only light armor could be deployed. Heavier M4s were eventually brought to overcome heavily entrenched positions, though the Stuart continued to serve in a combat capacity until the end of the war.

Though the Stuart was to be completely replaced by the newer M24 Chaffee, the number of M3s/M5s produced was so great (over 25,000 including the 75 mm HMC M8) that the tank remained in service until the end of the war and well after. In addition to the United States, United Kingdom and Soviet Union, who were the primary users, it was also used by France, China (M3A3s and, immediately post-war, M5A1s) and Tito’s partisans in Yugoslavia (M3A3s and few M3A1).

After the war, some countries chose to equip their armies with cheap and reliable Stuarts. The Republic of China Army, having suffered great attrition in terms of armors as a result of the ensuing civil war, rebuilt their armored forces by acquiring surplus vehicles left behind in the former PTO by the US forces, including 22 M5A1s to equip two tank companies. They would have their finest hours during the Battle of Kuningtou, for which the tank came to be known as the "Bear of Kinmen" (金門之熊). The M5 played a significant role in the First Kashmir War (1947) between India and Pakistan, including the battle of Zoji-la pass at an incredible altitude of nearly 12,000 ft. The vehicle remained in service in several South American countries at least until 1996.

During the 60s and 70s, the Portuguese Army also used some in the war in Angola, where its all terrain capability (compared to wheeled vehicles) was greatly appreciated.

Production history
Produced 1941-1943
Weight 14.7 tonnes (32,400 lb)
Length 4.5 m (14.8 ft)
Width 2.46 m (8.1 ft)
Height 2.3 m (7.5 ft)
Crew 4 (Commander, gunner, driver, co-driver)


Armor 13 – 51 mm
armament 37 mm M6 in M44 mount
174 rounds
armament 3 x .30-06 Browning M1919A4 MG
7,500 rounds

Engine Continental W-670-9A, 7 Cylinder air-cooled radial
250 hp (186 kW)
Power/weight 17.82 hp/tonne
Suspension Vertical volute spring
range 120 km (74 mi)
Speed 58 km/h (36 mph) (road)
30 km/h (18 mph) (off-road)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

TRUMP and TEAM ARE CUCKOLDING THE PEOPLE — i thought i’d repost this tragic essay since it has already had so much traction with the people — Metropolis living SF, scott richard
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Image by torbakhopper


i better write that again, it’s a lot to take standing up:

god is a homosexual fantasy created by usurers to foster misogyny and gain control of the female power.

and why choosing to be unattached to the future is worthy of consideration.

you have too many facts to be a victim.


i get it, that sounds crazy, just like beer & pretzels.

normally, in my forbidden language fashion of hierophantic and pontificating insanity i would literally SPELL it out for you.

but today, i figure fkya. you can do the GD work.

i’d rather tell a story about how stupid i am and the kind of life trouble i get into instead.

so i went on a date the other afternoon which turned into an evening.

and it was amazing in a very limited way.
a slice of heaven.
i guess i should add that for homosexuals, a date is oftentimes a fun event that ends or starts with sex.

that is, getting laid and going on a date can mean the same thing for us. in fact, a date without sex is weird unless you really really like someone.

oftentimes we homos will just put the word "coffee" in front of date if we really mean it’s JUST A SEX DATE and we don’t want to offend the rest of the world by just saying a sex date.

this was more of a fun date that had sex, too.

however, there were complications from the start.

first, he’s partnered.
i know both of them and we’ve dated.
and they have an open relationship, but this doesn’t mean what people think it does. generally, in an open relationship one member of the relationship or possibly both members realize that monogamy is not JUST emotionally challenging and mentally fatiguing, but a recipe for failure.

these people realize that those myriad fantasy intrusions of temptation and thought distraction can torture a male. literally twist him up into a raging rapist fk machine that doesn’t care who he plugs. sad.
sadly true.

and there are endless depictions of this in medieval art and the italian traditions from the past. later, gustave dore did a whole reinterpretation of this in his magnificently illustrated bible — so fking hot. talk about smoking obscenities and torture scenes!!

which later reminded me of bongwater’s 1991 song “OBSCENE AND PORNOGRAPHIC ART” when it came out.

at that time in the late 80s the whole attack against immoral “art”, which was secretly just a way of focusing the public’s attention and creating a “”celebrity cast list”, was in the news a lot. endlessly. a new hollywood pantheon of outcasts-turned-star, brave icons and prettyoffs.

the lyrics of bongwater’s song are about how the new york METROPOLITAN museum is basically a building filled with sexual fantasies in full speed and at every stage of engagement — interaction from “satyrs with hard on’s” who are "Vibrating that little bitty Richter-scale looking thingy box
That sits in the corner of the controlled environment
Behind the
Glassssss" to Leda and the swan.

and ironically, in our strangely undersexed, but overly-obsessed-with-sex society, the voyeur element can be used against us.

fantasies don’t have to stand up to anything. they can rage through the mind. but when the fantasies of the voyeur — fantasies that involve "having sex" become realized, therein is also the tedium and twists and tantrums of REAL life.

suddenly a man who has fantasized about banging young women for decades is doing it and realizing that the fantasy was just that.

it never was meant to match reality.
it was a mental diversion, a twist away from time, a FKING WASTE of time. because then he comes and with that there is the rendering.

and sexual renderings are epic moments for men.

but also, there’s the 19 year old, having her full life and getting banged by some old dude, working out her missing male protector figures, working out some fantasies of her own history…

and he suddenly realizes how old he is and that he’s basically with a child fantasizing about being with an adult or just earning extra bubble gum cash and then the ACTUALITY of what a realized fantasy isn’t and is.

all that comes to life like the dancers in michael jackson’s thriller.

but us homos are just barely better than zombies, and we are already so outcast that it’s expected for us to have sex and go through all kinds of really unpredictable and challenging moments where the COVERS COME OFF and you see the startling truth of nature and need and biological obsessions.

and we know more.

we know all about how those fantasy walls come down to be replaced by REAL walls which we immediately start to put up.
as we GROW UP!!!

as this happens, that "fantasy object" begins to turn out to be way too chatty or annoying, OR conversely, the "fantasy object" starts to feel that way about you.

either way, the disconnections become more and more apparent.
and suddenly the man grows up.

the fantasy dies.

i am in favor of our society confronting this.
in both sexes.

i’m not sure what would be the correct approach/approaches, as there as so many different ways and opinions. it’s almost like each individual needs to find their way but the idea of guides is inevitable.

in the mean time, the option that is inherently forced onto all but the young is MONOGAMY or nogamy. nogamists ain’t getting any game!

and monogaming is boring.

it is, and i’m sorry and i get that there are SUPER boring people (taurus people can find great joy in rutting down on a gymnastic-like approach to life, so grab one of those bull-headed folks if you like the same thing over and over and over again and then hearing them say how great they are at it, like it was a finished product that they knew they could whip up exactly the same every time…)

WORSE, so many monogamers don’t really know what they are doing to themselves. they think, “oh, sex with taurus is great!” but that’s because they never had sex with sagittarius. and maybe they also had some weird, hurried, drunken, whatever sex encounters that were lame and half-baked with aries or capricorn and they never realized that great sex is athletic.
and or rather, it’s not always romantic, unless you’re a cancer or a pisces.

so little dotty dum cow gets married without any sexual exploration of men or herself.
how fking trite.
and this is precisely why the europeans do the "behind their hand snicker" at us to OUR FACES.
or rather, it’s precisely at least one of the many reasons.

so stop taking their snicker so personally.
making personal amends is a way of showing respect to people who are more civilized than we are.
and we have much to learn.

besides, there is a shamefulness in marrying before you know yourself or the nature of men.
and vice versa.

it’s just damn stupid.
but USURERS like stupid hits.
it makes usury easier and faster to bring down into the physical realm.

think about the bulk of loans in this country — housing and education. followed by the invisible COW industry.

yuck, that’s fking unsexy and i’m banning it from my story here.

so back to the sex.

we’ll agree that sex can be both romantic and athletic, but it’s always athletic at the very end. the body requires a speeded heart rate to concoct the mixture we have so carelessly and foolishly limited to the tiniest measurements we can grammatify — sperm. mostly because we all know that the power of this amazing SERUM syrup comes from unknown parts of us to form a whole.

using allopathic logic with biological creatures is instructive, but the error rate is so high that it’s not really even heuristic to reality. it’s like throwing a rock and saying, "you can get to china if you go that way."

unless you get stuck with scorpio.
they will pretend to agree with that and then at the first real opportunity, they will steer you elsewhere
whereas virgo and libra will tie you up in knots and virgo will ask if they’re having fun or not.
next libra will make a joke about the word knot and will run around like a braying donkey from boy’s island in the disney classic repeating the word "NOT! NOT! NOT! NOT! NOT!"

but dammit, man-SEX IS ALWAYS somewhat athletic.

and you don’t have to be an athlete to be athletic.
you just have to stay fit at some basic level with blood pressure and all.

if you have to run up a hill, you might burst your lungs if you’re out of shape.
and the same is true of sex.

and so many people fall into a personal state where they aren’t athletic enough to have sex.
they become sexually ugly to themselves.

and this is a good indicator that your society has social ills that are radically hurting children.

and hurting children sucks.
it is devastating for the culture.

in social math, "hurt kids" oftentimes are not kind adults.
they are damaged. and damage is weird.

it can pretty much go two ways with damage.
it appears to depend on the individual’s personality/spirit and the amount and type of damage that is meted out.

a strong personality and spirit that is good, becomes a champion against their enemies and those who would purposefully hurt children and make more damage from a psychotic position.

in a sense, this type of damaged child becomes MILITARIZED JUSTICE by surviving the attacks and onslaughts of their “victimizer”. they are the good monster types, but they have the monster in them and everyone knows this.

other personalities, and these are the majority, don’t survive the attack by their victimizer. and wittingly, the surviving just becomes a magnetic attraction to others who would inflict the same damage. their life-vibration drops down in that range where they vibrate their own fear and vulnerabilities. and this is where this category splits and forms its own half-lives.

one victim in the personality range incubates after the attack/onslaughts and gives birth to the MR. HYDE monster rage.

and this person becomes the tiny monster.
this is the child who is only four or five and teaching all the other little kids about their sexual organs and brings a strange enlightenment to children who pretty much know nothing at all. these kids can affect entire neighborhoods of children.

we all know that the awakening of a child’s sexual consciousness is a long contested and forbidden action. mythically, we have created the concept of childhood to protect kids from sex responsibilities.

having grown up in the united states and watched from a sidebar position, it is oddly strange how seemingly protective this behavior is and yet how little it actually succeeds. for me personally there were two separate occasions where i needed protection from an adult source and it wasn’t there.

the first time was so torturous and painful that i don’t even have it as a memory. my twin brother does. and this is so deeply unsettling to me. it destroyed his life on the surface and my not knowing destroyed my life below the surface. it only killed half of each of us.

which is weird. and it hurt.

the second time this same moment came again, i was seven. and as it happened, i was descended upon by the spirit of my adulthood.

in harry potter, jk rowling identifies this as some kind of spirit beast, but it wasn’t really a spirit as much as it was a realization that was a spirit. the spirit of yourself. the power to say no. the power to stand up against that person who would hurt you.

and i did.
and i was forever different after that.
i was not afraid to fight back and to say "get the fk away from me!"

but again, in this case, it happened after my twin had already been hurt. it was his hurt that had saved us.
it was his hurt that had given me the power to say no.
but his hurt can never be undone.

and like the first time, this time he was hit below and the hit that i should have received above, didn’t happen.

and on that day fate gave birth to a new kind of kid.
and that kid sees through the myth of parenting.
that kid sees through the veil of control, the way sex and birth are used to punish men and women.

everywhere there is this powerfully strange mythical belief that everybody is supposed to be a parent and successfully raise kids.

every single movie and tv show is about this.
it’s stamped into and onto everything like an expiration date.

[for more critical thoughts, read the poem
"the reconstruction" from 1993]

and that’s insane.
it’s just fking crazy.
it’s as if no one ever took any time to question whether or not this was even a rational way to look at the lifespan of a human.
and more importantly, why should every human be absorbed by this process so indebtedly?

especially when so many damaged kids were emerging as TELLTALE evidence of SOCIAL FAILURE within a parenting system?

and remember this, in social math, for every kid you hurt, they hurt ten more.

BUT in real life, if you look at the male “monster” statistics — men who physically and sexually abuse other men and boys — they affect 100 other kids. and almost without exception, each one of these male monsters was damaged and created by another male monster.

MALE MONSTERNESS is a sickness, a sexually transmitted mental disease that spreads through mental and sexual violations that demonstrate our society’s inability to protect a child against a monster invasion.

and of course we all know that top males are truly male monsters and they protect the male monster syndrome and participate in it.

ANYWAY, that is one good reason to get RID of MONOGAMING.
monogaming, as i’ve mentioned in the title of this essay, is a mental leveraging and economic tool used by usurers to enslave the human population into work theories and finite end points. it is their religion of shame and defeat.

but MONOGAMING and family engineering is empty of anything but PURPOSE. and purpose is fking abstract drivel.
it will always delude the purposeful.
that’s what it does.
like GAMING.
it pretends to know the future.

yet, realistically, MONOGAMING promises a miserable future.
the best case scenario is that you successfully breed and manufacture a brood of yous.
that’s it.
THAT’S IT!?!?!

sounds like a fk load of work to me and for what?
is that really better than a having a place where children are raised by children raisers?
a place where kids grow up together without parents and the neurotic love of the “individual fkrs”, which, i think, if we spent even 45 minutes thinking about would overwhelm the silly little notions that are currently in play.

so in a sense, monogaming is a lot like MONOTHEISM.
just like i said above in the title, usurers use monotheism to form christianity and its offshoot branches. judaism was originally designed to protect its members from inside usury and outside usury.

as societies stabilize, the spirit of usury lurks closer and closer. USURY takes its life and breath from the social contract. it can’t exist strongly in the face of murder and mayhem. it is an intellectual force and while it likes the threat of murder and mayhem, it gets its reward from its invisible force. and honestly, since usury is spiritual and murder and mayhem are physical, they can’t really coexist in the same space.

which is why REAL LIFE usurers have what we call HENCHMEN.
and henchmen are, not oddly, but truly, male monsters of some form or other. you see how the cycle is really a full circle when you see it?

so let’s get back to that impulse where you REJECT MONOGAMING and the fantasies of that disgusting world view.

instead of participating in what is FUNDAMENTALLY a biological self-rejection of one’s BASIC SEX NATURE, a lot of gay men pretend that the open relationshipping model will work. especially if they are both in agreement and open to play.

naturally, this is where our story begins.

so i’ve known a lot of gay men and many of them have been partnered.
some were married to women.

but i’d say most of the men i’ve met were just ordinary homosexuals not involved in relationshipping (straight or gay) they weren’t the ones in denial and then proceeding to lie to everyone about it.

and we all SHOULD know that "lying" is just the first time you tell a lie.
after that, ANY support of a lie

so i’m a huge supporter of the free man and the free woman ideology.

and this is my favorite kind of man or woman.
they vibrate accurately.

and these kind of men are my favorite to get athletic with behind closed doors — honest, present, unattached to the future or the hideous past they are trying to deny or escape or erase or threaten.

which is why one of my basic rules for CASUAL SEX is that it isn’t about shared histories.

you are not relationshipping with casual sex.
or at least that is the intellectual construct i apply — this is fun sexual athletics, not a relationship.

for me, i am intentionally sexualizing the sex active experience and minimALYzing all other parts of my fellow player’s life.

how much they make.
where they work.
who they know.
fk that.
that’s relationshipping stuff and is unwelcomed in casual sex play.

i knew a guy way back in the late 80s when i lived in SF for the second time. he lived upstairs from my place.

he would go out at night to the sex clubs and try to relationship. it was as if he had a mission. and everyone would tell him to shut up and he would yawn and sigh and say things like, "no, please talk to me."

i thought he was hilarious.
one night he had gone on and on about racism and how it was all true and the white people were the superior race that were destined and made to control the whole human population.

he was, by claim alone, the male offspring of a fled nazi war criminal. he had grown up in argentina, but i was never really sure about any of this.

we went out for drinks at the detour later that night and this is the bar that is now beaux that host a lot of gender-inspired dance parties and gatherings that seem a bit obsessed with beauty and all that this entails. but back then the detour was one of those rather easy-to-maintain sex-pig bars with a big trough instead of urinals and stalls without doors. they played hardcore music, which was still in its infantile stages of development, but had an ear-shattering quality and was played so loud you had to shout to talk and you quickly learned to read lips if you had a conversation.

fate had intervened and when i came back from the bar, weaving my way through the close knit throng of hardcore leather men — in an age when AIDS was king and HIV was still not even really a thing — to locate this strange argentine neighbor, the only spot next to him was between him and a person of NOT WHITE COLOR?

my little leprechaun spirit could not have been more pleased with destiny. how perfectly fitting that his stupid lecture should be so fatally devastated by reality so quickly!!!

and one day i will write about that stranger in the bar that i ended up talking to most of the evening instead of dear racist frederick.

this new stranger with dreadlocks — he and i being the only people in the entire place with hair that wasn’t buzzed or gay-cut short — was there with a friend of his who was playing pinball and shaking his ass like a puppy who is holding onto a rope or a blanket.

but back then i was a nogamist.

i wasn’t interested in sex enough to risk my life against the unknown. i was literally watching men in the castro waste away and die in front of my eyes.

there was this one bad ass leather daddy, cigar smoking hustler who lost over 150 pounds within a 6 month period before simply disappearing. he went from stud rent daddy to old dead man so fast it made my head spin. we’d see him at cafe flore and i’m sure it broke a bunch of hearts — knowing that this same horribly decimating and mortally inflicted disease was eating him alive and thousands of others in our society and millions of others in south africa without any constraints.

but at this time i had already confronted all the sadness and the sorrow that my life as a "gay" man who would never be straight and normal could mete out. it had literally killed me and that person, that sad, little person disappeared with the grief and mourning that poured over me for six months after. all those realizations of the person i could have been if i hadn’t ended up so disenfranchised from "the path".

so FK if i was going to die for sex!!!
that’s crazy.
i mean, sex is fun. when it’s good.
but people who say that sex is like pizza are definitely confusing the concept of leftovers and convenience with the idea of fun.

fun is rarely convenient.
and fun has a way of surprising us which sort of makes it fun, you know?!?

so when you’re single and gay and not trying to be in a relationship — an anti-monogamist or a nogamist (they aren’t the same) — you are constantly confronted with the ever-changing terrain of sexual uncertainty. will you get some? with whom? how much time will you waste? will it work out? once? twice? 24 times? will it be fun? or just convenient?
and remember, convenient is inversely LESS LIKELY TO BE FUN than fun is to be convenient.

which is certainly a primary reason for why a lot of people settle for monogaming.
but it is settling.
and in SETTLING, there is a dishonesty which leads DIRECTLY to cheating.
it is built into this system.
and that sucks.
cheaters suck in the same way prettyoffs suck.
they make fun stupid and wasteful.
they make convenience their turnstyle.
they buy it off.

and they kill happiness at the same time they kill fun.
that’s why they end up controlling the PORN AND METH industry.

anyway, this system of monogaming is BUILT ON THE CREATION OF CUCKOLDING. it’s a literal BOOGEY MAN theory.

and prettyoffs love having a boogey figure to deflect and distract toward. just look at the current regime masquerading with donald trump as "president", when we have really just been secretly FOOTBALLTEAMED.

and nothing personal, but what happens when your whole nation state falls in love with this social option theory and develops a penchant for CUCKOLDING? or worse, you realize your country likes to be cuckolded, too?

or worse, now they want you to play…

look, whore, we all know that the key to comedy is knowing how to hang your bling!!!

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Image by U.S. Pacific Fleet
EAST CHINA SEA (March 10, 2017) U.S. Marines, attached to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), fire an M240B machine gun during a gunnery exercise aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48). Ashland, part of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, with embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, is on a routine patrol, operating in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region to enhance partnerships and be a ready-response force for any type of contingency. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kaleb R. Staples/Released)