Feb 11, 2004

The Sermon on the Soapbox 

Allow me to climb to the top of my box of "Anti-Hippie" and dispense a little knowledge to the unwashed civilian masses.

THIS is a tank.

THIS in not.



Any questions? Good. Because some folks still don't get it.

Army tank confiscated in online auction

Sounds cool, right? Not so much...

BERLIN, Germany (Reuters) -- German police seized a 10-ton armored personnel carrier that two men had put up for auction online, authorities said on Tuesday.

"The men bought the tank from the Greek army and brought it to Germany. They were evidently looking to turn a profit," said a police spokesman in the state of Hesse.

The 24.5 foot long amphibious Russian BTR 60, found in the town of Raunheim, no longer had guns but was still fully armor-plated, which meant it contravened German law.

The Greek and German owners had to breach the armor to render it useless for combat and then proceeded with the sale, fetching $11,000, but are being investigated for possibly violating weapons laws.

The tank can be driven on German roads with a proper permit.

Gotta punch up those headlines so that we can make people think that some wacko is trying to drive a tank through the city streets like that nut job in San Diego did in '95. Otherwise it might be, ya know... a NON-STORY. I mean, I don't expect everybody to know this, but I do expect that the chuckleheads reporting it would look this stuff up first. Oh, wait... it's Reuters... nevermind.

Most people who don't have even the foggiest idea of what a tank looks like know that it has tracks. But a BTR-60 doesn't even fit into THAT category - it's a WHEELED VEHICLE fer crissake! And here's another clue: it should have a BIG FREAKIN' GUN to be a tank. Oops. Didn't meet that requirement either.

And explain this to me: if they took off all the weapons, and breached the armor so that it would be worthless in combat, then how are these guys being "investigated for possibly violating weapons laws"? THERE ARE NO WEAPONS INVOLVED! But it's still street legal if all the paperwork is filled out correctly..... hmmmmm.....

This is Germany. You know... the place that invented the Superhighway for the purposes of moving an army of tanks around. And now you can't drive a heavy, de-militarized, wheeled vehicle because somebody incorrectly thinks it's a tank? Gain a clue.

Here endeth my rant. Visiting hippies are invited to step forward and use the contents of my soapbox at their own peril...

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