Case Not Closed: Questions Remain on DHS Ammo Purchases (Video)

Although  we’re told that nothing unusual is going on,  DHS’s extraordinary level of ammunition purchases in recent months continues to cause consternation and concern among many on the right.

Fox News tried to separate fact from fiction in this recent report that purports DHS has made even larger ammo purchases in past (Obama) years, although the numbers are substantially lower than the 1.6 billion rounds we’ve been hearing about.

Senator Tom Coburn concluded that this is much ado about nothing.

In a Forbes oped, Ralph Benko wrote, 1.6 Billion Rounds Of Ammo For Homeland Security? It’s Time For A National Conversation:

It confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security has issued an open purchase order for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition.  As reported elsewhere, some of this purchase order is for hollow-point rounds, forbidden by international law for use in war, along with a frightening amount specialized for snipers. Also reported elsewhere, at the height of the Iraq War the Army was expending less than 6 million rounds a month.  Therefore 1.6 billion rounds would be enough to sustain a hot war for 20+ years.  In America. Add to this perplexing outré purchase of ammo, DHS now is showing off its acquisition of heavily armored personnel carriers, repatriated from the Iraqi and Afghani theaters of operation.

It is utterly inconceivable that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is planning a coup d’etat against President Obama, and the Congress, to install herself as Supreme Ruler of the United States of America.  There, however, are real signs that the Department bureaucrats are running amok.  About 20 years ago this columnist worked, for two years, in the U.S. Department of Energy’s general counsel’s office in its procurement and finance division.  And is wise to the ways.   The answer to “why would DHS need such a vehicle?” almost certainly is this:  it’s a cool toy and these (reportedly) million dollar toys are being recycled, without much of a impact on the DHS budget.  So… why not?

Investors Business Daily reported that fifteen members of Congress have written a letter to the Department of Homeland Security demanding to know what’s going on.

Freshman California Republican Doug LaMalfa and 14 of his House colleagues, who signed on to his March 5 letter, are asking the Department of Homeland Security to explain why it is buying 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition of various calibers. They aren’t happy with explanations provided so far in the press by lower-level officials, answers meant to debunk “unfounded” concerns.

As we have noted, DHS has been buying lots of ammo, enough by one calculation to fight the equivalent of a 24-year Iraqi War.

Peggy Dixon, spokeswoman for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Ga., told the Associated Press that the training center and others like it run by the Homeland Security Department use as many as 15 million rounds every year, mostly on shooting ranges and in training exercises.

The massive purchases are said to be spread out over five years and due simply to the best practice of saving money by buying in bulk what comes down to five rounds of ammo for every man, woman and child on the U.S. That’s a lot of practice and training.

But Richard Mason, a former  told reporters with WHPTV News in Pennsylvania recently the hollow-point bullets being purchased by DHS are not generally used for training because they are more expensive than standard firing range rounds .

“We never trained with hollow points, we didn’t even see hollow points my entire 4-1/2 years in the Marine Corps,” Mason said.

Homeland Security has also acquired a number of Mine Resistant Armored Protection (MRAP) vehicles which have been retrofitted for possible service on the streets of the U.S.

They were formerly used for counterinsurgency in Iraq. These vehicles are specifically designed to resist mines and ambush attacks.

As we noted in a recent editorial, DHS is also seeking to acquire 7,000 5.56-by-45-millimeter NATO “personal defense weapons” — also known as “assault weapons” when owned by civilians.

If there are plausible explanations for all this, some congressmen would like to hear them.

Maybe DHS can answer Congress’ questions in a series of bullet points.

At CPAC a little over a week ago, Luke Rudkowski of We Are Change, asked Congressman Timothy Huelscamp about the large ammunition purchases made by the DHS. Huelscamp said that the Regime refuses to “let us know what’s going on.” (start at 1:12):

Fox News  reported that local law enforcement agencies across the country are facing an ammo shortage, as gun owners across the nation stock up on firearms and bullets.

Meanwhile, according to, Rep. Timothy Huelskamp, R-Kan., said he still hasn’t heard back from the Department of Homeland Security on why it’s buying 1.6 billion rounds.

The Homeland Security Department, though, has said it needs the bullets for law enforcement agents in training and on duty.

Published federal notices about the ammo buy have agitated conspiracy theorists since the fall. The government’s explanation is much less sinister.

The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Ga., and others like it run by DHS use up to 15 million rounds a year, mostly on shooting ranges and in training exercises.

More than 90 federal agencies and 70,000 agents and officers used the department’s training center last year.

The rest of the 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition would be purchased by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal government’s second largest criminal investigative agency.

Michael Voris: “Why’s Everyone Attacking the Pope?” (Video)

Michael Voris of Church Militant TV has a message for those on the right and the left who are attacking the Pope(s).

“He’s barely been Pope for a week, and already, the attacks are coming from every direction”, Voris says,  “and it’s getting old – very fast. And faithful Catholics – ALL faithful Catholics need to have nothing to do with any of this.”



“March Sadness”: KC Area Gets Up to 8 Inches of Snow in Palm Sunday Snow Storm

This is not typical March weather for Kansas City  – at all.

Via KCTV 5 News:


As of 9:30 this morning many metro communities reported between 6″ and 8″ of snow.  Additional light snow will be likely today with another 1″ to 2″ possible before dark.



Most of the snow is expected to be melted away by Easter….(one hopes!)

Your Sunday Hymn: O Sacred Head Now Wounded

For Palm Sunday, I present the ancient melancholy hymn about the sacrificial suffering of Jesus Christ for the sake of mankind in six different settings.

O Sacred Head Now Wounded – Fernando Ortega with images from The Passion of The Christ:

“O Sacred Head, Now Wounded” sung by the Choir of King’s College:

This is the traditional version version sung by most choirs. Listen for that gorgeous alto line….

Cello and Choir: Marcelo Zigaran performing : O SACRED HEAD NOW WOUNDED:

Marcelo Zigaran, cellist performing with Firts Methodist Houston choir in a performance broadcasted on Houston TV. O Sacred Head Now Wounded, piece by J. S. Bach arranged for cello, choir and piano by J. Raney:


Oh Sacred Head , arrangement by Kevin Schaffer © 1994 Clifty Music (BMI):

This song also appeared on Hear It In Our Voice: Volume III by The Acappella Company, Favorite Hymns of The Firemen by The Firemen, Never Grow Old by Revival, and This Little Light by The Sounds of Glory.Lead: Brian Randolph.

This one starts out a little weirdly (some might say inappropriately) – but give it time. Perhaps the cheery beginning is meant to signify Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem? Then it slows down significantly as Christ’s passion begins. More images from The Passion of the Christ:

This  lovely guitar/cello duet of O Sacred Head Now Wounded is performed by Jack Marti & Elisabeth Montague:

Some background on this Palm Sunday staple via Wikipedia:

The hymn is based on a long medieval Latin poem, Salve mundi salutare,[1] with stanzas addressing the various parts of Christ‘s body hanging on the Cross. The last part of the poem, from which the hymn is taken, is addressed to Christ’s head, and begins “Salve caput cruentatum.” The poem is often attributed to Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153), but is now attributed to the Medieval poet Arnulf of Louvain (died 1250). The seven cantos were used for the text of Dieterich Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri addressing the various members of the crucified body

German translation

The poem was translated into German by the prolific Lutheran hymnist Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676). Although Gerhardt translated the whole poem, it is the closing section which has become best known, and is often sung as a hymn in its own right. The German hymn begins, “O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden”. The closing section has also been translated into English, by several writers, but is best known as “O Sacred head, sore wounded”.

English translation

The hymn was first translated into English in 1752 by John Gambold (1711–1771), an Anglican vicar in Oxfordshire. His translation begins, “O Head so full of bruises.” In 1830 a new translation of the hymn was made by an American Presbyterian minister, James Waddel Alexander (1804-1859). Alexander’s translation, beginning “O sacred head, now wounded,” became one of the most widely used in 19th and 20th century hymnals.

Another English translation, based on the German, was made in 1861 by Sir Henry Baker. Published in Hymns Ancient and Modern, it begins, “O sacred head surrounded by crown of piercing thorn.”

In 1899 the English poet Robert Bridges (1844-1930) made a fresh translation from the original Latin, beginning “O sacred Head, sore wounded, defiled and put to scorn.” This is the version used in the 1940 Hymnal (Episcopal), the 1982 Hymnal (Episcopal; stanzas 1-3 and 5), and the Church of England‘s New English Hymnal (1986) and several other late 20th-century hymn books.

The English Hymnal, 1906 has a translation atrributed to “Y.H.”, referring to Bridges’ translations for the Yattendon Hymnal, of which he was the editor.


The music for the German and English versions of the hymn is by Hans Leo Hassler, written around 1600 for a secular love song, “Mein G’müt ist mir verwirret”, which first appeared in print in 1601. The tune was appropriated and rhythmically simplified for Gerhardt’s German hymn in 1656 by Johann Crüger. Johann Sebastian Bach arranged the melody and used five stanzas of the hymn in his St Matthew Passion, stanza 6 also in his cantata Sehet, wir gehn hinauf gen Jerusalem, BWV 159. Bach used the melody on different words in his Christmas Oratorio, both in the first choral (#5) and the triumphant final chorus. Franz Liszt included an arrangement of this hymn in the sixth station, Saint Veronica, of his Via Crucis (the Way of the Cross), S.504a. The Danish composer Rued Langgaard composed a set of variations for string quartet on this tune.

The melody of “American Tune” by Paul Simon is based on the hymn.


O Sacred Head Now Wounded

Text: Anonymous; trans. by Paul Gerhardt and James W. Alexander 
Music: Hans L. Hassler, 1564-1612; harm. by J.S. Bach, 1685-1750 

1.	O sacred Head, now wounded, 
	with grief and shame weighed down, 
	now scornfully surrounded 
	with thorns, thine only crown: 
	how pale thou art with anguish, 
	with sore abuse and scorn! 
	How does that visage languish 
	which once was bright as morn! 

2.	What thou, my Lord, has suffered 
	was all for sinners' gain; 
	mine, mine was the transgression, 
	but thine the deadly pain. 
	Lo, here I fall, my Savior! 
	'Tis I deserve thy place; 
	look on me with thy favor, 
	vouchsafe to me thy grace. 

3.	What language shall I borrow 
	to thank thee, dearest friend, 
	for this thy dying sorrow, 
	thy pity without end? 
	O make me thine forever; 
	and should I fainting be, 
	Lord, let me never, never 
	outlive my love for thee.