The Unaccountable VA

VA-veterans-affairsExcerpts from an Op-Ed by Congressman Gus Bilirakis with the hyper-optimisitic title, “Holding the VA Accountable.

Good luck with that.

Earlier this year, a Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General report found “serious” problems with enrollment data for veterans seeking healthcare. The VA’s inspector general confirmed that nearly 900,000 military veterans have officially pending applications for healthcare. Of those 900,000, an estimated 307,000 veterans listed died before their applications for care were processed.

Our worst fears were confirmed by these reports. Our efforts to improve the VA have taken on a greater urgency. ….

One concrete example of how Congress intervened to provide relief to Veterans was through passage of the Choice program, which was enacted a year ago. The law was intended to ensure veterans had better access to care through the use of community providers; however, its implementation has been woefully inadequate.

Just last week, we held a hearing to examine how the Choice program has been implemented. The testimony indicated that too many veterans are still struggling to receive care in a timely manner, as the VA has instituted many procedural barriers and demonstrated poor coordination and communication in all aspects of the program rollout.

via Holding the VA accountable | Washington Examiner.

This shouldn’t surprise Bilirakis, who is the vice-chairman of the responsible committee in Congress, for crying out loud. Indeed, his own constituents, he admits, are getting the usual $#+ sandwich service for which the VA is well known:

These concerns have been echoed by many local veterans from the Tampa Bay, Fla., area who report continued delays and unnecessary burdens accessing care. They are facing egregious wait times and lack of coordination between the VA and local healthcare providers when attempting to even set up appointments.

We’ve already announced a much better approach that Bilirakis’s idea of more grandstanding at more hearings. (It’ll be great for his re-election, no doubt, but won’t do a Goddamned thing for the vets). We take the moment to restate our policy here:

Burn it to the ground. Close VA. Fire every employee, with the same ban on government employment that the PATCO payroll patriots got after their illegal strike. (The good ones will land on their feet in the private sector. The bad 90% — who cares about them? Not the vets they’ve made a career of screwing. Screw ’em back). Give the eligible vets access to Medicare, like seniors. Sell the usable facilities and the land they’re on to the highest bidder.


Polymer 80% Glock Frames Available for Pre-Order

Well, it had to happen, and sooner rather than later. An ATF-approved Glock-off frame that a home hobbyist can complete himself, producing a legal “Ghost Glock.”


Like any Glock frame, it’s adaptable to multiple uppers (and therefore calibers) that suit the same generation (it’s made for Glock G3 parts) and length (full length, a la G17) receiver. One frame supports two slides, three calibers, and nine Glock model-equivalents.


The frame is not only incomplete, requiring several areas to be milled or drilled out, but also Glock spare and aftermarket parts just went up in price, and some enterprising fellow that can assemble complete kits is going to have a good business. (Polymer-80 promises them, too, in the unspecified future sometime after the January, 2016 predicted date for the lowers).

Here’s some of what they say about it on their intro page:

Let’s switch gears now and briefly talk about the pistol frame design and all of its features and benefits.

The high level overview is this frame is designed as an 80% frame, and includes all the necessary end mill bits and drill bits, along with the Jig to assist completing your pistol project accurately. Most people use a drill press with a cross vise to mill out the product, many folks have drill presses sitting in their garages, or can find someone who has one available to borrow. The frame accepts Glock17 9mm slides, as well as the Glock 40 caliber slide. The Smith and Wesson 40cal slide is also compatible with the Sig357 barrel configuration, which essentially gives you 3 different calibers to choose from.

Unlike the Glock, this frame includes a uniquely extended beaver-tail, and most notably a super tactical 1911 pistol grip rather than the standard glock styled pistol grip. Even better, this pistol grip includes a built in flared magwell for speed loading. This feature will surely be a favorite amongst competition shooters who require speed and accuracy.

We note that the original 3D printed (yes!) prototype they submitted to the ATF to approval had a more traditional Glock grip angle, as this ATF photo shows:


“NFC” is a reference to the ATF’s reference collection of firearms. This image is not entirely square on, but you can see how the angle of the grip has been reduced:


The front of the trigger guard appears now to be orthogonal to the barrel axis (that’s 90º for you CMF 55 ammunition handlers). The Picatinny rail and aggressively flared magwell of the prototype have been retained.

Finally, the areas that need to be milled out to complete this project include:

  • The barrel bridge
  • The top rails of the receiver
  • The slide guide rails

Once completed, you insert the custom locking block which comes with the kit, it provides additional metallic rails up front.

We assume (that dread word) that the locking block has weight enough to meet the so-called Undetectable Firearms Act metallic minimum.

They also have a Q&A here, promising “build, buy, shoot” kits later, and multiple colors.

The ATF letter for the Polymer-80 “Spectre” [.pdf] (formerly called the GC9) demonstrates that the part is approved by Firearms Technology Branch (FTB) as “not a receiver”  (the pistol reciever blank is discussed after the firm’s .308 “Warhogg” polymer receiver blank).

In case Polymer-80 is hit by a truck, here’s our OCR’d copy of the letter: ATF Determination Letter for Polymer 80 OCR.pdf

Lessons from the ATF Letter

There are three points we learned from the ATF letter that are extremely interesting to us, and probably each is worth a post on its own to explore in depth:

  1. The submission was not a final injection-molded partial receiver. (Polymer-80 is up front about the fact that they’re using customer deposits to have the complex multi-part mold made). Instead, Polymer-80’s attorney submitted the part in an additive-manufactured form that was dimensionally identical to the proposed injection-molded part, but possibly manufactured from different plastic. This was insightful on Polymer-80’s part opens up a lot of possibilities for both firearms and near-gun part designers to submit for ATF designation earlier in the design process. (An approval letter will help with fundraising).
  2. As is customary for FTB, The letter goes to great lengths to disclaim any applicability to any other case. It is the ATF’s position that these decisions are non-precedential, and can change any time with the whim of FTB, or more seriously, the real managers of ATF, the chief counsel’s office. This is their document, in the instant case, today; they do not wish to be held to it at any future date or in any future location.
  3. The FTB letter goes into depth about the part’s non-firearm status under the Gun Control Act, 18 USC § 921(a)(3)(B), but also fires a shot across Polymer-80’s bow, noting that they are also regulated by Washington’s latest anti-gun agency, the State Department:

Please be aware, while not classified as a “firearm”; the submitted items are each classified as a “defense article” as defined in 27 CFR § 447.11. The US Department of State (USPS) regulates all exports from, and particular imports into, the United States. Firearms, parts, and accessories for firearms are all grouped as “defense articles” by the USDS and overseen by there Directorate of Defense Trade Controls. Information regarding import/export of defense articles can be found on their website at

This also comes, no doubt, from the extremely anti-gun Chief Counsel’s Office in conjunction with their fellow DC anti-gunners at State. It represents not only State’s grab for extra-legislative anti-gun regulatory powers, but an attempt at implementing the signed, but unsubmitted for ratification, UN Small Arms (gun ban) Treaty.


Hat tip, Mike at ENDO, one of our 2013 Wednesday Weapons Websites of the Week. Mike notes that it might be a bigger seller at a lower price. Our guess is that the firm must recoup its mold-making expenses. (Priced injection-molding molds lately? They’re a task for a very limited subset of machinists and machine shops, although for small parts and short runs you can improvise a mold with epoxy facings on an aluminum frame). In the long run, prices may come down, especially if there is market competition.

Hmm… who’s got a good 3D file of a G3 Glock lower?

Sunday’s Slow Start

It is Sunday, and we are back in Hog Manor, to the wailing and gnashing of teeth of the other residents, except Small Dog, who was atypically (for the family; typically, for a dog) glad to see us.

We arrive amidst a severe Diet Dr Pepper drought, which makes the two cans sacrificed to the false gods of TSA yesterday all the more poignant a loss. When time to render unto Caesar arrives later today, we shall circulate around the various retailers until we have scored the precious brown fluid, essential to maintaining the serotonin levels required for sustained gun-blogging.

It was a very good trip, and shall be repeated soon. At the moment, we are all dressed up to exercise, and have discovered the old mercury thermostat in the music room / exercise room, which is inexplicably its own heat zone, has gone the way of all ancient electrics, and has flickered its soul to the wind. There are, in fact, some rather alarming scorch marks inside that provide some clue as to the modality of its demise. This sort of simple, low-voltage, two-wire mercury thermostat is no longer made, so we shall have to substitute something for it.

Since the change from mercury switches was driven by EPA, not technology, we expect the substitute to suck like an EPA-approved vacuum cleaner wouldn’t. We’ve half a mind to release the mercury into the environment as payback.

In the meantime, exercising in NH ambient temperatures will not be terribly bracing, as the mild weather has mostly continued. (We doubt the temperature drop has been so kind to the musical instruments). At present it’s freezing out, and it will only get into the high thirties, according to the Apple weather app, but Apple and the Weather Channel agree that the week will see high temps around fifty, so that better days for catching up on neglected work on the grounds lie ahead. Most importantly, it’s past time to drain and seal the fountain till spring (you really don’t want to deal with a freeze-cracked fountain. Don’t ask how we know this).

In the spring, we’ll also have to have a real electrician replace the hack that got us through the fountain season, with something that’s, well, done by a real electrician and up to code. Or we’ll pay a guy with a bulldozer to put an end to the beastly thing.

So today is off to a slow start. But actually we’re pacing ourselves for tonight’s airplane building session.

(At some time today we’ll post yesterday’s overdue Saturday Matinee (Bridge of Spies, still in theatres) as well as the TW3 for Thanksgiving Week. But we can’t say for sure when -Ed.) 

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Antifreeze

Whacky Jackie Patrick -- the murderous wife

Wacky Jackie Patrick — the murderous wife

While we’ve heard of creeps poisoning animals, especially dogs, with antifreeze, we’ve never heard of it being used on humans before.

Well, there’s a first time for everything.

Following family arguments, Jacqueline Patrick, 55, twice tried to kill her husband Douglas, 70, in October and on Christmas Day 2013, by spiking his cherry Lambrini, a drink favored by teenagers looking to get drunk on a low budget.

“Perhaps most shocking of all was the note she gave to the London Ambulance Service purporting to be from her husband, stating that he did not wish to be resuscitated,” Detective Inspector Tracey Miller, of London’s Metropolitan Police, said in a statement.

She was undone, appropriately enough for an English would-be murderess, by her poor grasp of the English language.

The forged note showed a misspelling of the word dignity as “dignerty.” When police later asked her to write the word, Jacqueline Patrick made the same mistake.

Kids, this is why they teach you spelling.

Another would-be Professor Moriarty that didn’t particularly challenge Inspector Lestrade’s so-so investigative chops.

The couple’s daughter Katherine, 21, was sentenced to three years in jail after admitting to inciting her mother to poison her father, while Jacqueline pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder at the family’s south London home.

Douglas Patrick was rushed to a hospital fighting for his life, and tests revealed he was suffering from antifreeze poisoning.

“His wife was informed who then told doctors she thought Mr. Patrick may have drunk a blue liquid by mistake. The hospital, finding it strange that she hadn’t volunteered this information earlier, called police,” said the police statement.

Look, kids, if you’re going to commit awful crimes and then brazen ’em out, you need to learn one simple mnemonic: DAMN.

This is secret SF O&I tradecraft we’re giving up here, so pay attention.

Deny everything
Admit nothing
Make counteraccusations
Never change your story.

Daffy Kathy Patrick -- the homicidal daughter

Daffy Kathy Patrick — the homicidal daughter

We see a major failure of several points on here. Of course, once PC Plod/Inspector Lestrade got going, it was all but over for our heroines. Because these two criminal masterminds were also no-gos at the secure communications station.

Mother and daughter’s mobile phones were seized and revealed a series of incriminating exchanges, including “I got the stuff I will give him some later delete txt tell no one ok,” and “He feels sick again I gave him more delete this.”

She might have gotten away with poisoning her husband if not for one spelling mistake | New York Post.

No word on what is going on with the husband/father of these two inept would-be Lucrezia Borgias. It’s our understanding that anti-freeze poisoning can cause permanent damage even when it’s not fatal, and the guy was already 70 years old.

Well, they wanted him out of their life. Now they’ve got what they want, unless he starts coming on Visiting Day.

Failing Upward at the VA

The face of evil. No, not Cruella DeVil (although the error is excusable), this is crooked Kimberly Graves taking the Fifth in front of the Senate.

The face of evil. No, not Cruella DeVil (although the error is excusable), this is crooked Kimberly Graves taking the Fifth in front of the Senate.

A week after a sham “demotion” resulting from corruption that triggered a criminal referral, the VA’s Kimberly Graves miraculously bounced back with a promotion to Assistant Director of the troubled Phoenix Regional Benefits Office. No doubt she will clean up, uh, clean it up.

We mean, really, doesn’t that just look like a face you can trust? And nothing says “trust me” like lawyering up and taking the Fifth.

The promotion comes with a plush transfer and moving allowance. Naturally.

Kimberly Graves, found to have “inappropriately used her position for personal and financial benefit” by the Veterans Affairs’ Office of the Inspector General, still faces the possibility of criminal charges as a criminal referral has been submitted to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C.

via Senior VA Official Demoted for Unethical and Possibly Criminal Behavior Gets New Job — Even Democrats Say It’s ‘Completely Unacceptable’ | Video |

VA-veterans-affairsCurrent VA Secretary McDonald seems to have been completely captured by the thoroughly corrupt, incompetent central bureaucracy of the sprawling agency.

Here’s a suggestion: close the VA. Just put every qualified vet on Medicare with the seniors. Dump the bureaucrats at today’s VA into the Dreaded Private Sector. The Mercedes dealers, jewelers, prep schools for their snob kids, and yacht brokers will get over the financial shock in due course.


Before we could even go live with this report, this new outrage came across our transom:

Officials with the Department of Veterans Affairs spent millions of taxpayer dollars promoting the Affordable Care Act to veterans who didn’t even need the coverage, but have dedicated relatively few resources to helping veterans on the agency’s long waiting list get access to their benefits, internal documents show.

Indeed, Read The Whole Thing™: they deliberately misled the vets so as not to have to deal with them.

Close it. Send them home. They’re not helping anything but themselves and their DC cronies.

SARCO has Bren Gun Kits!

SARCO is celebrating Thanksgiving with some deals, but also has dug back into the warehouse and found some Bren Gun kits. These have not been on the market much lately. The good news is that two of these old torch demils include original barrels:

SARCO Bren Mk.1 kit

SARCO Bren Mk.1 kit. Included mags not shown.

They also include some magazines and accessories, which vary by mark. For example, the Mk. I illustrated above includes five .303 magazines, and an original barrel SARCO calls “good.” On the Mk.3 kit, they rate the included barrel (a Mk. 2 and not the shorter Mk.3) “very good” and include it and five magazines (which are not shown in the kit picture).


Sarco Bren Mk.3 Kit. Included Mk.2 barrel (which does fit) and mags not shown.

The bad news? Those torch-cut receivers are almost certainly not rebuildable, at least, not economically so. If the cuts fall in critical areas of the receiver, or if there’s too much material removed, there are no easy fixes.

And any rewelded receiver must be heat-treated.

Finally, they have a true rarity, although it is barrel-less at the moment: the L4A3 7.62 NATO version. This comes with just one mag, and they’re working on having a new-production barrel which will be offered at additional cost as soon as they are available.

Bren L4A3 kit. Included magazine (1) not shown.

Bren L4A3 kit. Included magazine (1) not shown.

The reweld cautions with the other kits need to be observed here, too. In our judgment, building these guns is possible (if you’re lucky about where the cuts are) but extremely challenging and time-consuming.


Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2015 Week 47

We’ll cover the usual subjects: Guns, Usage and Employment, Cops ‘n’ Crims, Unconventional (and current) Warfare, and Lord Love a Duck!


We really wanted to write more about these gun stories. So many guns, so few fingers….

AIrsoft Goes to the Gun Show

At a regional weapons show in Tokyo, a correspondent for The Firearm Blog captured a Howa assault rifle “that appeared to be made by Tokyo Marui,” a maker of Airsoft toys.

They don’t seem to have considered the most probable explanation: that someone selling accessories used an Airsoft toy to host them for the same reason that Airsoft stuff exists in the first place: stringent Japanee gun laws. No, toymakers don’t make real guns. Mattel never made M16s either.

Remington to Launch New Pistols?

Remington Outdoor LogoNot a new pistol, but at least two of them, according to Shooting Sports Retailer. Go Read The Whole Thing™, not that doing that answered all our questions about Remington Outdoor’s segment strategy. SSR also notes that Remington sales are down about 20%, mostly because of declines in centerfire ammo purchases and bottom-feeding in the AR market, with entry-level products outselling high-end ARs (and a similar dynamic in 1911s).

When Gun Buybacks Go Rogue

The news reported that 1,000 people turned up at a gun buyback. But despite their excitement, the amount of firearms turned was not that great. In fact, they’re all visible in this picture: BBgunTurnin

Yes, the tag is correct. That is a Daisy BB gun and not a firearm at all. It was the only gun of any description turned in at the highly publicized event in Greensboro, NC. But the pols and white shirts all had something to say about how they “were getting deadly weapons off the street.” Along with the “deadly” BB gun (“You could put your eye out!”) the only other “weapon” turned in was a small sheath knife, a $5 inept copy of a Gerber Mk I.

Tracking Point Strategy

Shooting Sports Retailer gets a look in at the revivified company.


Australian Ban on 3D Printing & Machining Files

Over, Under, Sideways, Down Under. The State of New South Wales has moved to ban possession of information that can be used to make firearms. NSW is one of the states in Australia’s federal system, so this isn’t a nationwide ban yet.

This has been driven largely by hysteria and by police gleefully letting their hakenkreuz fly.

Among the provisions of the Firearms and Weapons Prohibition Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 (PDF) is an amendment to the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998 stating that a person “must not possess a digital blueprint for the manufacture of a firearm on a 3D printer or on an electronic milling machine.”

‘Possession’ is defined as “possession of a computer or data storage device holding or containing the blueprint or of a document in which the blueprint is recorded” or “control of the blueprint held in a computer that is in the possession of another person (whether the computer is in this jurisdiction or outside this jurisdiction)”.

That’s good. So far, the National Socialist Wussies of New South Wales don’t ban it if it’s in a paper book. Give them time, thought: people like this usually have at least one good bonfire in ’em. But hey, you can beat the rap, if… you successfully raise one of the affirmative defenses:

Defences for the offence include innocent production, dissemination or possession; public benefit (such as enforcing or administering a state or federal law); or approved research.

Who in the New South Wales government is in charge of approving research? How many Nobels has he got? (Or, for that matter, will NSW ever have, under this regime?)

And of course, there’s an exception for coppers, who in Oz are bronzes.

Here’s another Australian news story on the 3D file ban.

But wait! Australian police are also demanding a ban on the dread lever-action shotgun (semis and pumps are already banned). Apparently Australian officialdom believes their rank-and-file ‘Strines can’t be trusted with technology patented in the 1850s. “A traditional shotgun has double barrels,” some national socialist cop tut-tuts.

When they came for the lever actions, I was good, because I was Fudd. Then they came for my over-under… because real traditional shotguns have their barrels disposed laterally.

Hackaday Catches Up with Weaponsman

And covers the 3D Printed Washbear revolver. Didn’t we write about that in the Pre-Cambrian Era or something like that? (In case we didn’t, you might as well know we liked it and thought it was clever).

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way. (Nothing this week).

Cops ‘n’ Crims

Cops bein’ cops, crims bein’ crims. The endless Tom and Jerry show of crime and (sometimes instantaneous) punishment.

Cop or Crim?  The Case of the Stolen Selfies

pamela held with clothes on

Pamela Held, in case you didn’t recognize her with clothes on.

In Sean Christian’s favor, the NYPD hired him, so he’s a cop, right? And he hasn’t been charged with anything in criminal court. Not so fast. Against that, he’s accused in Federal court of the tort of forwarding nude selfies and videos from Pamela Held’s phone during a DUI stop, and he can’t find a lawyer that will take his case — even the PBA, the Court Officer of Last Resort for bad cops, has declined to rep him. (Although, reading between the lines of that article, he may have only searched for a lawyer to take his case for free. Sean, dude, lawyers are not a public charity, and there are times in life when the wise thing is to pony up).

Without the pictures, we have no way of judging the merits of the suit. With her clothes on, Held is kind of plain, and distinctly man-jawed, but that doesn’t mean it’s alright to burgle her amateur pr0n, even if the picture pilferer is a cop. So we don’t have any sympathy for Christian’s plight. Just like all those guys you collared over the years, guy, you are the author of your own fate. Of course, there’s an element of he-said-she-said to this story:

She counted 20 nude photos and five sexy videos of her that had been forwarded to the phone number. Fearing the worst, she contacted lawyer Richard Soleymanzadeh, whose private investigator traced the mystery number on Held’s phone to Christian and learned he was a cop.

In a brief interview with The News, Christian, on the job 10 years, denied swiping the photos and videos from Held’s phone. He denied ever meeting Held or working at the 104th Precinct. Christian, who remains on the job, claimed the number that appeared on Held’s iPhone belonged to his brother.

Note to parents of daughters: they will never wind up in the New York Daily News with WeaponsMan inter alia speculating about their appearance naked and dancing around a pole, and they will never be off on the fool’s errand of recovering their nekkid selfies, if they don’t take dozens of nekkid selfies (and videos) in the first place. Famous New York non-cop (and ex-Congressman) Carlos Danger could have told you that.

And Speaking of Nekkid Women

Dallas Archer mugshotHere’s Dallas Archer, whom we mentioned when she was charged with trying to sneak a pistol into prison in her… ah, well, in her. (At least it was a North American Arms mini-revolver and not a Desert Eagle). The wheels of justice are done turning in that case and she’s earned herself three more years inside.

After, we suspect, a careful strip search by a guard familiar with her back story.

Cop or Crim, II: The answer is both.

The sheer creepitudinous of this guy requires you to Read The Whole Thing™, but just the lede gets the main ideas across:

A former Sacramento, Calif. police officer who raped a stroke-disabled woman twice in her senior home received a life sentence Tuesday.

No word on what the PBA did for him. Something, probably.

Just Another School Killing

In this case, a teacher raped and murdered by a then-14-year-old whose lawyers have him playing up mental illness to try to get off. You might not have heard about this MA killing — no guns involved, you see. The mental illness angle is being explored, imperfectly, in court. Other angles aren’t.

Cop and Crim, III (not that we’re counting)


A disgraced NASA officer was busted at the Federal Reserve Bank in Manhattan when he showed up for a job interview Thursday armed with a loaded pistol and a fake badge, the Daily News has learned.

Cops are trying to determine if Cory Curley, 29, was also responsible for a bomb threat that was called into the Fed minutes earlier, sources said.

When he arrived for his interview, Curley told federal police officers that he was armed and was an active officer with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, sources said. He also showed police a NASA badge.

But he had no official NASA police ID card — so federal police at the bank on Liberty St. detained him and alerted the NYPD.

NASA officials told authorities in New York that Curley had been fired on Oct. 8 and the badge he was carrying had a number different from the one previously assigned to him, sources said.

Did he get the job? With the Federal government, you never know.

Cop vs. Crim IV & V

Two bozos with NYPD and family troubles.

Honest, most cops are out there making trouble for criminals, not themselves. This is just an unrepresentative week.

We hope.

The Secret Lives of Dentists

One criminal the cops made trouble for was Dr John W Wolf of Manhattan, although you could say he made trouble for himself: meth and kiddie porn.

We always thought there was something artificial about his smiles!

Thanks, you’re a lovely audience, we’ll be in the blog all week. Actually, there’s something really strange about this: most meth users not only aren’t dentists, but look as if they’ve never been to one.

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

What goes on in the battlezones of the world — and preparation of the future battlefields.

Counterfeiting as a Military Operation

Perhaps its more of an espionage or clandestine operation, but a favorite 20th Century dirty wartime (and cold war) trick was counterfeiting and distributing your enemy’s or adversary’s currency, with a view to spurring inflation (not that demagogues and guns’n butter spending don’t produce inflation on their own with perfect reliability). It was also a cheapskate’s way to finance your own operations.

It’s long been understood that the irresponsible deficits and careless printing of Continental state scrip were the primary driver of Revolutionary War inflation, but a great article at All Things Liberty describes how the British did their bit by counterfeiting the living daylights out of the rude Colonial money as a deliberate policy of economic warfare.

Budget Cuts and Posturing

A remarkably frank discussion between former SecDef Gates and Senator James Inhofe on budget cuts, how the DOD cuts things designed to produce an outcry, and how the Pentagon has had a great deal of headquarters bloat.

The Good Nazi met a Bad End

Wilm Hosenfeld with a Polish infant on his arm, September 1940

Wilm Hosenfeld with a Polish infant on his arm, September 1940

If you ever saw the movie The Pianist with Adrien Brody and Thomas Kretschmer (which we’re astonished that we haven’t reviewed; we could have sworn we had done), you saw Polish Jew Władysław Szpilman (Brody) saved by a kindly Nazi officer, Wilm Hosenfeld (Kretschmer), who shared his love for classicial music. But it turns out that Szpilman was far from the only Jew Hosenfeld, who has been honored by Yad Vashem as one of the  “Righteous Among Nations,” saved. As the Daily Mail explains (at some length):

Far from being a one-off act, the book ‘I Always See The Human Being Before Me’, by Hermann Vinke, shows that the man who hailed Adolf Hitler as a ‘true genius’ in 1940 rediscovered his own conscience long before the war was over.
The book is the first about Hosenfeld and draws on letters, diaries, memories from his children and even the widow of Szpilman who still lives in Warsaw, to show that his act of mercy towards the pianist was no one-off affair.
‘His moral and ethical compass remained intact during the war,’ said author Vinke, whose book has been received to great critical acclaim.
‘Hosenfeld did not only save Szpilman but numerous other Polish citizens, among them other Jews, from a certain death.
‘Against the backdrop of murder and deathly blows this officer was like a lighthouse in a time of darkness. Probably there were over 60 people who owed their lives directly to him. He was both saviour and in some ways a victim because he could not save himself in the end from death in a Soviet prison without ever seeing his family again.’

Several of the Jews Hosenfeld had saved, including Szpilman, had tried to get him released from the Soviet concentration camp. But the last person the Soviet system was willing to let go was one who had resisted the nearly identical Nazi system. They had no qualms about working with former Nazis, but former anti-Nazis got the Roach Motel treatment from the Gulag.

Like the 12 years of the Eternal Nazi Reich, the 70-odd years of Soviet Communism were a grinding nightmare for the ordinary people.

Is There Enough Money?

Not in Europe, there isn’t. Well, there is, but they’re spending it on stuff other than defense. Their defense budgets are somewhere between “too-small” and “notional” with an average of just about “tiny.”

Lord Love a Duck!

The weird and wonderful (or creepy) that we didn’t otherwise get to.

Interesting: Harvest Right Freeze Drying

Freeze drying does more than just preserve food, for 15 to 25 years if sealed with care, and occasionally this creative freeze-dryer company’s blog features one of those oddball stories (like the case of the iPhone saved from total immersion by overnight use of the dryer cycle only (without the freeze, before you try this at home, kids.

We’ve talked to a rep from Utah-based Harvest Right and we’d really like one of their freeze-dryer units even though we don’t have a practical use for it at the moment. We already have too many new gadgets backed up awaiting tinkering time already, but you might enjoy checking it out even if you don’t have $4k to drop on a freeze dryer (a couple grand more for the research model with more control over parameters). Harvest Right. Naturally they have a Black Friday/Christmas sale, and there’s also a giveaway for the contest-prone among you.

Another Negligent Fed, Another Murder Victim

ICE badge

Now it’s ICE’s turn to cover for a negligent agent.

Not long ago we had the death of an innocent woman in San Francisco because an irresponsible criminal investigator with the Bureau of Land Management couldn’t be bothered to secure his handgun.

Add to that a government that at its most senior levels will not deport or imprison violent criminal aliens. And there you have the death of Kate Steinle, at the nominal hands of criminalien Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez. Lopez-Sanchez had a strong assist from the US government at several levels: the agent, the BLM (which has never held the agent accountable), and every open-borders enthusiast who draws a government paycheck.

Did Feds learn from that? No, since there were no consequences for the careless bum who left his firearm unsecure, they did not. Now we have a new murder victim, who was reportedly shot with a gun negligently left unsecured in a car by a special agent with ICE ERO.

[M]uralist Antonio Ramos was killed on September 29th with a gun stolen from an agent about two weeks earlier.

“He was painting the mural and he had taken a break and was taking some pictures so he could memorialize it and put it up on the website, so he had some of his camera equipment out there,” said Roland Holmgren of the Oakland Police. “I believe that’s what sparked the whole incident.”

A 20-year-old career criminal killed Ramos so he could steal the Ramos’s camera. Who says the welfare-and-crime-class won’t help themselves? They’ll help themselves to your car, to your cash, to your camera, to some inept and apathetic Fed’s gun, and ultimately, to your life, and then bien pensants will whine about all the vital potential wasted by putting human pathogen Marquise Holloway in prison for the next 70 years. #BlackLivesMatter, they say.

#Blackcrimesmatter. That’s usually how black men wind up in prison, because our society isn’t self-confident enough to have an immune system able of swinging pathogens like Holloway — black, white, or any shade between — from a lamppost, or parting them out as living organ donors the way the practical Chinese do with their domestic criminal class.

A Vaccination for Human Viruses? It's called, "hanging."

A Vaccination for Human Viruses? It’s called, “hanging.”

If we treated human virions like Holloway the way we treat an ebola infection, prison overcrowding would be a thing of the past. And the basic difference between Holloway and ebola is this: you can learn something useful by studying ebola.

Naturally, the agency whose agent was so criminally irresponsible disclaims all responsibility:

In a written statement ICE said, “A duty weapon belonging to an officer with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) was stolen Sept. 13 in San Francisco from a vehicle being used by the officer. The theft was properly reported to local authorities and through official federal channels.”

Shorter ICE: “We made a report. That erases our blowing off our responsibility to secure our firearms, so get off our back.” The BLM used similar boilerplate when they put a gun in a murderer’s hand, too.

While ICE acknowledged a gun was stolen, they did not verify if it was used in the shooting.

Marquise Holloway, 20, is facing murder charges in the death of Ramos. Holloway is also accused of several street robberies.

Stealing guns from careless cops is a favorite technique of violent criminals in the San Francisco Bay Area, where punitive state and local controls have reduced the number of non-police legal gun owners, and the culture of law enforcement impunity means that negligent cops and feds who arm murderers are never held accountable.

The bonehead Bureau of Land Management special agent who facilitated Lopez-Sanchez’s murder of Kate Steinle faced no consequences, and the idiot ICE ERO whose irresponsibility enabled Holloway to murder Ramos will face no consequences too.

Hey, at least the BLM and ICE agents’ guns have been recovered, of course, only after being used in murders. One stolen from a negligent San Jose police cadet’s trunk in October hasn’t turned up in a murder… yet. (Note that the idiot who wrote the story identified the stolen weapon as a “service revolver…” plus, “three high-capacity clips.” That’s what layers and layers of editors will get you).

And the SJPD, too, is fully tapped into the culture of police impunity: they high-handedly refused to discuss the theft, as it was a “personnel matter.” No one at SJPD cares if some muggle gets murdered, as long as it doesn’t inconvenience a cop or crimp his career.

When we’re done hanging all the Holloways in our future perfect world, maybe we can fire all the cops who are negligent with their firearms.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Murdercycles

Darwin fishJust a couple of lines tell the whole story:

Gomez’s helmet lay in the middle of the street, blood dripping from it, as cops investigated the crash.

Further down the road, the mangled black Honda motorcycle lay on its side on the sidewalk surrounded by debris.

via Motorcyclist dies after losing control of bike in Queens – NY Daily News.

Nathaniel Gomez won’t be down for breakfast.

You know what a doctor friend of ours calls motorcyclists? “Organ donors.”  Hope Mr Gomez checked the box, some good might have come of this.

Of course, it’s a free country, and you’re entitled to indulge in sports that have a nonzero risk attached to them. And we’d never suggest that motorcycles be banned because some people die in accidents. Cyclists know they’re taking a risk, and they ride anyway. Maybe some of them rationalize the risks, but that’s their business.

It’s a free country, and they can do that.

Now, if only we could make more people see it that way. About motorcycles, and maybe about firearms.

Tank Destroyer Fatalities — Caused by Bad Reloads?

Investigators on the site of the mishap that killed two M18 Hellcat Gun Motor Carriage restorers.

Investigators on the site of the mishap that killed two M18 Hellcat Gun Motor Carriage restorers.

An anonymous commenter using the name “Cannonman” has made some serious allegations about the cause of the deaths of Steve Preston and Austin Lee during a live fire demonstration of an M18 Hellcat tank destroyer in Oregon, previously covered by WeaponsMan here on 27 October and here on 29 October.

The folks were loading their own ammo, the only “correct” component being the M26 cartridge cases. They did not use long enough primer flash tubes. M30 smokeless propellant, triple-based, smaller grain size, was used vice large-grained M1 single-base propellant. Navy projectiles, having longer and larger-diameter driving bands as opposed to Army, were being used. Cases were loaded with 1/2 lb. black powder dumped in base of case, cardboard wad, then 3.5 lbs of M30 propellant.

Why is “Cannonman” using the comments here at to send this message?

I am putting this info here because authorities won’t release any info and the facts need to get out. The very dangerous load caused an extreme overpressure in the chamber shattering the breechblock and cracking the breech ring, sending hot gas and fragments into the occupied turret.

If that was really what they were doing, including using black powder as a sort of gaine in the ignition train, it’s amazing they ever got the thing to fire.

Right now, all we have on this is a single, anonymous source. We welcome further input in the comments or to hognose at network impossible dot com.