Author Archives: Hognose

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Wrenches

The beat goes on, even in England where guns are outlawed. Wait, make that, the beat down goes on. It’s the home of beat music, after all. Cue the Beeb:

A man who bludgeoned a former bomb disposal expert to death in a row over a debt before dumping his body has been convicted of manslaughter.

Colin Gale, 40, from Worthing, West Sussex, denied murdering Mark Manning, saying he had acted in self-defence.

The court heard that Gale had hit Mr Manning, who bought and sold cars, with a wrench at his garage in Lancing during a row over money he owed him.

Does anybody else find this writer’s pronoun use hard to follow? Who owed whom the money?

Wait, they said “wrench”! Isn’t the term in, well, English, English, a “spanner”? (Here in the breakaway colonies, a “spanner” is a very particular kind of wrench). We’ll be waiting for the answer from the Old Country – we find the uncertainty wrenching.

We could have told the guy how far a self-defense claim would get him — all the way to HM Prisons.

He was found guilty at Lewes Crown Court of manslaughter, having admitted preventing the lawful burial of Mr Manning’s body.

Stewart Robertson, 50, was found guilty of preventing the lawful burial.

Mr Manning, 54, a father of two who used to work for a charity that helped clear mines in some of the world’s poorest countries, had been reported missing in April 2014 after failing to meet his son, as arranged.

Det Ch Insp Mike Ashcroft, who led the investigation into his disappearance, said after the verdicts that Gale had concocted a story about dropping his former friend at a railway station.

“He has put Mark’s family through a living nightmare,” he said. “He not only killed Mark but destroyed his family’s lives as a result.”

Gale, of Offington Lane, Worthing, was arrested on suspicion of murder in May 2015 and formally charged in January 2016.

Stewart Robertson was found guilty of helping dispose of the body

It was only after his associate, Robertson, was rearrested in May 2016 that police discovered where Mr Manning had been buried.

Robertson, of St Aubyns Road, Portslade, took police to the woodland site in Slaugham, West Sussex, where his remains were recovered.

Pronouns again. Yes, this one’s susceptible to being figured out, but it’s still careless.

He claimed he was protecting himself.

A very hard claim to sell, a year after you kill the guy and hide his body. Generally, people with nothing to hide stay on scene and meet the police. Coppers are sight hounds — you run, they’ll chase. Their heuristic is a runner is Sumdood with mischief afoot.

Gale and Robertson will be sentenced later this month.

So much for their perfect crime. Still, are Britons an indoor race? We ask, because there are not many woods left in Britain’s home counties, but a body in the vast American forests seems much more likely than its British cousin to be found by a passing hunter, hiker, or bird-watcher. The number of “perfect crimes” undone by half-assed body disposal is really staggering. (But then, the number of criminal masterminds who are not fictional characters on TV is vanishingly small).

Well, no passing hunters in West Sussex, right? That takes one mechanism of body discovery off the table.

The Long Journey of U-534

Of all the hundreds of U-boats that were built, very few survive. One is the U-534, sunken only to be raised, displayed, abandoned again, and finally being repurposed as a sliced-and-diced tourist attraction on the Mersey River in the northwest of England.

This approximately 20 minute promotional video tells U-534’s story, from its last mission, to its last desperate fight with two Liberator bombers, to its recovery from the bottom of the sea, it’s abandonment to the elements, and finally, to its survival in Liverpool. The boat sank into a fissure deep in the Kattegat, yet all but two of the crew lived — the five or six of them who didn’t get out in time still managed to escape, like a handful of the survivors of the American sub Wahoo, from a torpedo-room escape trunk. A young radio operator was among the escapees, but did not exhale to equalize pressure as he rose, and died horribly as a result.

The attacking Liberators didn’t fare as well — one did sink the U-boat with depth charges, but not until after the gunners on U-534 had shot the other bomber down with the loss of its entire crew.

There is a great deal of information about this ill-fated submarine on the net. For instance, this page is the first of several that show some of the materials recovered from the boat, including documents that were readily restored to legibility. Here’s a report of what it was like to visit the boat during its near-abandonment on a quay in nearby Birkenhead. U-595’s armament was interesting, with lots of rapid-firing AA guns and three new homing torpedoes.

U-595 is one of only four U-Boats to survive. The others include sister Type VIIC/40 U-505 at the Chicago Museum of Science and Technology, which was captured during the war; near-sister Type VIIC/41 U-995, taken by Norway postwar and later acquired by German veterans as a memorial, on the water’s edge at Laboe; and the advanced Type XXI U-2540, which was raised a dozen years post-war (it had been scuttled) and served the Bundesmarine as Wilhelm Bauer.  U-2540 has been restored to WWII condition as a museum ship, and is the only U-Boat still afloat.

There is one mystery remaining: why did U-534 fight? Despite the survival of most of the crew, this remains unclear. You see, the fight took place after Admiral Dönitz had surrendered to the Allies, and instructed all boats at see to fly white flags of surrender and to give themselves over to Allied forces. The captain committed suicide shortly after the end of the war. The most probable reason is prosaic: the boat hadn’t received Dönitz’s message.

Update on the FK Brno 7.5

We have written about this pistol before, but it’s had a long and arduous trip to market, and it’s still not really here. It may finally be coming (and here’s another allegation of imminence from four months ago). In any event, we haven’t got hands on one yet — hell, we haven’t seen one for sale, but we’ve found a couple of articles by people who have handled the gun, not just the press releases. And of course, there’s the manufacturer’s website.

Despite the inventors’ denials, and the gun and ammo’s own unique technology, it clearly owes a great deal to the CZ 75 and its descendants. (That’s not a bad thing, necessarily. After all, everybody owes a great deal to the M1911 and its descendants, too). The lockwork seems similar to the precision-oriented CZ single-actions.

The pistol is manufactured conventionally, for a Czech firearm. That is to say its components are CNC milled from billet or from investment castings (possibly by Poldi, which has cast for ZB and CZ since CZ-Strakonice days, before CZ built the UB factory  in 1936).

Unique ghost ring FK sight.

But the FK Brno 7.5  offers a unique high-velocity round, a unique buffer system, and unique sights. The FK 7.5 pushes .30 caliber copper bullet at 2000 feet per second, not quite rifle speed, but better than such remarkable rounds as the long-defunct .357 Auto Mag. Its numbers make the .357 SIG look like it has the parking brake on.


It’s otherworldly enough to generate considerable skepticism. When the FK 7.5 first came up on the radar last year, John Zent of American Rifleman noted its sudden appearance on the market had a certain “out-of-nowhere” quality. John Roberts a Guns, Holsters, and Gear also was unimpressed by the claimed velocity, because it can be matched by a 9mm firing an ultralight 50 grain round — delivering half the FK 7.5s energy.

An FK 7.5 shortslide prototype photographed by Rob Pincus at the factory.

Here is celebrity trainer Rob Pincus, with what he promises is Part I of a multipart article. Rob was invited to the Czech Republic to try the gun during its long period in ATF purgatorio, and has some interesting comments.

A High Capacity Handgun that fires a propriety [sic] 100 grain round at over 2000fps and costs over $5000. The round, by the way, is still moving at 1500fps at 100 meters… which is the distance at which the pistol is zeroed with a unique set of sights when it comes from the factory. As others in the above links note, the gun is relatively large, fires a very powerful round and isn’t going to be cheap. FK BRNO also claims that the gun is very controllable and capable of high levels of precision. And, the only guns currently in the USA are there for government evaluation so that importation could be approved.

Per Pincus, the company considers itself primarily an ammunition research company, which builds the pistol as a way to get its ammo concept into shooters’ hands. He hits these takeaways — and elaborates on each, so you’ll want to Read The Whole Thing™:

  1. FK BRNO says that they are an Ammunition Company that also makes a handgun.
  2. FK BRNO set out to develop a handgun that delivered AK-47 performance in regard to Terminal Ballistics at ranges between 50 and 150 meters.
  3. The 7.5 round delivers high levels [of] precision.
  4. The Terminal Ballistics are even more impressive than the precision capability.

He concludes: “FK Brno have done what they set out to do.” We’ll say again, Read The Whole Thing™, and we’re looking forward to the next part.

The tactical niche this pistol fills is unclear, although it seems to overdo what the Secret Service and Federal Air Marshals Service selected the .357 SIG to do. It is, without doubt, a magnificent engineering accomplishment, and the prototypes seen so far are beautifully finished. One clue is that, in its native country, it is available in a folding shoulder-stocked version, making it a near-peer of PDWs like the HK MP7 and FN P90 / FiveSeVen combination. It also appeals to people who love that kind of engineering for its own sake.

If it’s a success, it will seem less strange in due course. If it’s not a success, it will be a footnote to firearms history of near-GyroJet proportions. Either way, we want one!

Space Shot Sunday

Here’s the entire webcast of Space X’s launch of a Falcon 9 / Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station at 0939 our time (EST) today. So far so good: good launch from Pad 39, good recovery of the first stage to Cape Canaveral’s LZ 1, good deployment of all systems on the Dragon capsule. Those systems include power (solar panels), navigation (automated celestial with inertial backup), and propulsion. (Several burns will take place over the next 2 days to move Dragon from its parking orbit to an orbit in which it can safely and precisely intercept the ISS). It’s bringing supplies and experiments up (and will bring other stuff back down).

The weather’s not optimal for video; fortunately rockets are always ready for instrument meteorological conditions!

This is a big deal for us. We grew up during the first space race, and had a distant cousin working at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, who would send us NASA press packets. Were you nerd enough to have a meter-wide photomap of the moon on your wall?

Other than that, it’s a slow Sunday. We were up last night reading a long, involved, and almost unbelievable story of a guy in Massachusetts that had a criminal — his own brother! — and the courts and bar gang up on him and, essentially, bankrupt him (although he’s too proud to bang out bankrupt). Here’s the high points:

  1. While MA Guy was in the service, his kid brother, who’d always been a little “off”, murdered their parents with the help of a buddy. For the insurance money. 
  2. Kid brother wound up pleading out to 2x Murder 2, and got 2 x 15 to life, plus “a year and a day on and after” for other related crimes.
  3. Kid brother hired a hitman to whack his accomplice as part of a scheme to lay the whole thing off on the accomplice and get out of jail.
  4. Because MA Law is strongly biased towards criminals, kid brother got about $50k of his victims’ insurance money, which he then used to engage in lawfare against his living family members.
  5. Since the 1980s, this lawfare has gone on, with every apparent end turning into another opportunity for the brothers, the lawyers, and the courts to loot the survivors.
  6. The victim brother’s lawyer has collaborated and colluded with the perp brothers’ lawyer — paid by the taxpayers, naturally — to keep the meter running, to the benefit of the lawyers.
  7. The bar association — generally a group of the most corrupt and unethical of the entire corrupt and unethical profession — support this.
  8. The judges — in MA, culled from the worst of the worst, as long as they’re in The Party — support this.

Lawyer. Tree. Rope. Assembles in minutes. And thank a merciful God that we’re out of that lawyer-rich but lawless Third World hellhole, and a have a kid brother who honors his (late) mother and his father.

Agenda for the rest of the day? Some writing, some PT, a walk for Small Dog — it’s lovely out! And some airplane work (we have promised to finish the landing light wiring, which Blogbrother defers to us, and there are parts to be primed when the weather’s halfway warm for February). And tomorrow it starts again!

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Stone, String and Feathers

The doctor is… [IN].

Stone, what and whaaat? Yes, stone, string and feathers are used in some kind of Congolese witch doctor ritual, which one of those vibrant “migrants” to Europe performed on the corpse of his deceased girlfriend.

He was absolutely sure she was dead, without needing a doctor’s opinion.

You see, he had brought the warm diverse vibrancy to the cold Ice People of Berlin, in part by stabbing the unfortunate woman 30 times and hacking her head off.

The Congolese refugee had applied for asylum in Berlin, Germany, where he is alleged to have carried out the brutal killing.

The man – identified by authorities as Yve M – is accused of stabbing his girlfriend 30 times in the stomach and chest before beheading the corpse.

Prosecutors claim he then cut off her little finger from her right hand and her left arm before decorating her body.

Don’t question it! Don’t be a hater. It’s his culture. 

Police found the victim – named as Tunay G – after her body had already begun to decay, reports Bild.

Hey, it may not have been the sort of Johnny-on-the-spot police work for which German rozzers were once renowned, but after the first dozen stabs or so, the rest is all free, right?

Her body had also been decorated with stones, string and feathers in what investigators believe was a “ritual killing”.

Authorities said the victim had died of blood loss and no murder weapon has been recovered.

Wait, was that before or after he whacked her head off?

The killing happened sometime on May 15 or 16 last year, but the body was not discovered until June 10.

The 39-year-old migrant was arrested on June 11 for the killing of his girlfriend, also 39.

via Refugee in Germany ‘beheads girlfriend in ritual killing’ in Berlin apartment | Daily Star.

Can you believe it? For all those centuries when Germans denied the absolute right of every pygmy, Watusi and just random tribesman in the Congo to come to Berlin and kill whomever he felt like doing some voodoo on, they were denying men ike this their basic human rights.

This is the sort of story that a certain sort of person will read, and remark, “What we need is more of these refugees.”

In Russia, MIA Search & Recovery is a Private Enterprise

Much of the war on the Eastern Front was fought on the territory of Russia, and for the first year-plus the Soviets were on defense. Their dead lay where they fell.

After the war, the survivors were too poor, too busy, under too much stress. A monument to the Unknown Soldier was considered enough. The forests reclaimed the dead. (Some of the recovery volunteers charge that Soviet-era bureaucrats deliberately seeded trees where the dead were buried). And now, the ad hoc interments of these unshriven dead are being disturbed, so that they may be given a righteous and honorable burial.

This is very different from what the USG is doing with our attempts at personnel recovery: while the Russian government supports it, philosophically speaking, the recovery volunteers seem to be entirely self-funding. It is, perhaps, a labor of love; Christian or patriotic love. But the scale of the project is immense: over four million Soviet soldiers remain missing, on eternal watch, from this conflict; more than all of America’s dead from all of America’s wars.

Each of those four million dead was a son or a father who didn’t come home. The bones tell part of the tail — this one, a mature man, was shot between the eyes. By the Germans, or the NKVD? It scarcely matters to him. This other was a boy of perhaps sixteen years, whose Red Army helmet and Mosin-Nagant put a lie to his boyhood — but who never lived to know the joys and heartbreaks of adult life. The heroic and the timid, the volunteer and the draftee, the leader and the led, all made equal in the rich mud of what they would have called Leningrad Oblast.

It’s interesting to consider the way three nations pursue their World War II missing. The USA, whose form of government is constitutionally unchanged, relys on a Federal and military agency — albeit, one that is only intermittently funded. The Germans, the grandchildren of an authoritarian but largely decentralized dictatorship, have a non-profit foundation that raises charitable funds to find and recover their dead, using professional staff. And the Russians, grandchildren of the most centralized totalitarian dictatorship of its era, work in decentralized, voluntary groups, who make personal sacrifices to repay their nation’s debt to its dead.

All of the images we saw in the video were of today’s Russians recovering fallen Soviets. It would be interesting to know what they do when the man they find is not one of their own ancestors, but one of the hated invaders. Do they mark the spot for the Germans to recover? Recover him anyway? Reinter him separately from their own countrymen? Or leave him to rot, serving him right for invading their country?

Sweatin’ the Auction

We ran hot and cold on bidding on anything in the Rock Island Regional Auction this weekend, but finally submitted a bid.

Oh, who are we kidding? We submitted 28 bids this morning (we didn’t bid on any of the Thursday or Friday lots). Things we targeted included: Czech pistols for the book (there were no exotics, so we lowballed these), some CZ and Brno sporting rifles, and some older Colt AR-15s which we lowballed the living daylights out of.

If prices are softer than we think, we’re going to have to write one big-ass check.

Our bids are on Items 4402, 4409, 4719 4819, 4850, 4981, 4982, 4988, 5063, 6284, 6300, 6304, 6330, 6390, 6508, 6767, 6779, 6790, 6802, 6807, 6819, 6823, 6839, 6979, and 7006.

You can watch the auction action here, with the lots scrolling below as they sell, and the auctioneers — who are already getting a little giddy — appearing in a video window. We’ve got bids in on Items

It seems like prices are all over the place so far. Some real bargains have been hammered down, and some prices have gone to what seems to us inexplicable levels. By not bidding on the first two days of the auction, we lost out on a Czech vz. 52/57, an uncommon variant firing the 7.62 x 39 round, but like the French Knights, “I don’ think so, we already got one.”


The consequences of lowballing, received from RIA:

None of your bids were successful on items auctioned todaybut we would like to sincerely thank you for participating and helping us have a successful auction!

There is still 1 more day of this auction left with over 1,000 lots. The last day of a 4 day sale gets the fewest bids as many do not make through the entire catalog. Search Catalog 


Our March Internet Only Auction is now posted too. Search Catalog 

Well, the unusual stuff we want badly enough to bid high on usually are in the Premier Auctions. If that sounds like sour grapes, well… we’ve crossed off the items that auctioned today. We still have about $13k in bids on the remaining 19 lots, some of the bids seriously lowball and others within the estimate range (we didn’t go over estimate on anything this auction. Nothing we wanted that badly).

Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2017 Week 07

Tour d’Horizon is the usual end-of-week random pile of chaos we throw at you, to keep your “duck!” reflex up. Yeah, it’s about 12 hours late this week.



I don’t wanna work, I just wanna bang on my gun all day.

Rock Island Auction

The Rock Island Auction is still going on. Tomorrow kicks off with Lot 4000. We’re bidding, but mostly lowballing.

MP5 AR 3D Printed Lower

We haven’t been keeping up with Guy In a Garage, and last month he showed considerable progress on his attempt to 3D Print a working lower for an HK MP5, but using AR15 fire control components. One of the problems he runs into is that the HK roller-locking guns have an ejector that’s part of the fire control group and that comes out with the trigger group. (The AR ejector is in the bolt face). In this video, he’s showing a solution in progress for that problem.

Gun Stocks update

As you see, we’re continuing with the chart. We’ve also added something new, though: a graph. (We actually did the graph for last week, originally, and then forgot to plug it in. Eh.)

Gun Stocks since the Election
11/8/16 (pre-election) 64.40 28.45 38.94
11/18/16 53.20 24.13 40.02
11/25/16 52.50 23.82 41.05
12/2/16 50.25 21.10 39.66
12/9/16 51.90 21.07 38.62
12/16/16 53.45 21.59 36.81
12/23/16 54.05 22.11 38.03
12/30/16 52.70 21.08 36.90
1/6/17 54.15 21.00 38.08
1/13/17 51.35 20.60 28.70
1/20/17 50.65 20.13 27.78
1/27/17 51.90 20.58 28.33
2/3/17 50.05 20.12 26.18
2/10/17 50.15 21.08 21.58
2/17/17 49.70 19.22 20.89

Everybody’s down this week, in the absence of concrete news, some approaching or achieving 52-week lows. Ruger is going to release its Q4 and year-end 2016 financials on 22 Feb and have a conference call the next day. AOBC, which uses a different fiscal year, is going to release Q3 earnings on 2 March. But Vista, which continues to be so besieged by ambulance chasers’ class-action suits that actual corporate news is buried deep under layers of desperate greedniks’ press releases, did something very interesting, or, at least, its insiders did. Three corporate honchos bought stock this weekThey may think the stock is going to go up; it’s lost nearly half its market value since January 1st. Or, are they taking a desperate shot at propping up a stock? Job security is not a thing for CEOs, especially CEOs that have presided over a dramatic decrease in stock value.

Disclaimer: Your Humble Blogger holds RGR, bought at about 56.40 on 9 Nov 16. It bottomed in the 40s later that day. We still think it has longterm growth potential, and we like the dividend. (We’d better really like the dividend, eh. Well, it’s in the income part of our portfolio).

Gun Poly-Ticks

Delaware illustrates why National Reciprocity is Needed

The Delaware State Government got caught by attorney Adam Kraut trying to roll back reciprocity by stealth regulation. After being called out, they eased the regulations back, but this kind of local extremism and dishonesty calls for Federal preemption.

Adam, a Pennsylvania attorney who specializes in gun law, is running for NRA Board. He’d be a good choice, in our opinion.

Oregon Gun Boosters and Banners Squabble

In a one-sided report on quixotic “2nd Amendment Sanctuary” laws, anti-gun reporter Eric Tegethoff gives the most ink to gun-ban activist Penny Okamoto, who argues that guns should be banned because people commit suicide with them.

For your consideration: national socialists like Okamoto should be banned, because nations commit suicide with them.

That said, the county-level laws seem to have no practical force, except as a political expression of irritation with a distant, urban government.

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. Lots of Cop Was a Crim this week.

When the Cop was a Crim, I

Crime in Tennessee: Horse Massage

When the Cop was a Defendant, at Minimum

It looks bad for this Amtrak cop: the guy he shot was 70 feet away, running away at full tilt, and six witnesses including the cop’s partner (!) disagree with the cop’s statement that he saw the guy reach for a pocket and turn back towards him. The shooting victim had some dope on him. The officer is charged with murder and out on bail in Chicago, Cook County is unlikely to generate a cop-friendly jury.

When the Cop was a Crim — and a Victim

A retired Chicago cop was shot dead by her husband — another retired Chicago cop. They were 68 and 71, respectively. There had been previous DV incidents, but it’s pretty hard for cops to enforce DV laws on their own, and they tend to do so loosely. But this was a messy case with both Judgment Juice™ and mental illness as factors.

The Perils of Kathleen: Radio Silence!

Hallelujah! There was nothing about this wretched felon — the anti-gun former Attorney General of Pennsylvania — in the news this week.

We’ve been giving a lot of thought to the moral turpitude of gun control proponents.


  • An new municipal police force on the island of St. Lucia stood up so fast that nobody got the cops guns. (Like most Caribbean islands, it’s a violent place). Soon, the mayor says.
  • In another town on the same island, a cop is charged with murder for an on-duty shooting. Details are scant
  • A Tulsa cop was charged with murder for shooting his daughter’s boyfriend. (What father hasn’t been tempted…?) He claimed self-defense. After a jury deadlocked 11-1 guilty, he was retried; the new jury deadlocked 10-2. Will prosecutors go for trial #3?
  • Canadian mass murderer Inderjit Singh Reyat, who murdered 331 people by bombing an Air India plane, has been set free after serving 20 years in prison — 22 days for each of the people he killed — and a year in a halfway house. (Numbers have been corrected -Ed.)

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

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

Barium Meals and the Guard Memo:

The AP’s Garance Burke (the Chelsea Clinton clone sporting the overjet malocclusion on the right) ran a story reporting that a memo written by former DHS Secretary Kelly said that the Administration was federalizing 100,000 National Guard soldiers to assist with the criminalien problem; there’s only one problem. It’s not true. Burke’s story has since been stealth-corrected to reflect official denials, but there are some interesting aspects to the story.

One is that the memo was a barium meal, devised to smoke out a leaker. Every aide who was given a copy of the memo was given a slightly different copy. Then, when Burke, stung by accusations of fake news, caused AP to publish the version they had, the identity of the leak channel was exposed, and CI practitioners can trace it down to the specific untrustworthy person.

This is an old CI technique and was used by the Bolivians in 1967 to identify a cabinet-level Cuban mole in their government. Every Cabinet member got a version of Che Guevara’s silly diary, but with four inconsequential pages missing — a different four in every one. When KGB-controlled active measures outlets worldwide published the diaries — in the US, it was the Communist Party magazine Ramparts — there was much speculation about the missing pages, but only the CIA and Bolivian CI (it was a joint op) knew what they meant. Unfortunately, the perfect op to that point was botched, and the guy escaped to Cuba before they could pick him up. (Castro had turned him by promising him he’d be the Vidkun Quisling of Cuba).

The walls are closing in on Burke’s source. Wonder what she gave the guy, to throw his career away? (Who are we kidding. He’s some member of the Acela monoculture. Nothing will happen to him, and he’ll wear having betrayed the President who appointed him as a badge of honor in that crowd).

The story briefly had legs with some opposition politicians, apparently alerted by the opposition media: Burke or her editors.

The other interesting aspects this: no version of the memo that has appeared to date has included the 100,000 number. Burke seems to have made that up, a nice round number for propaganda purposes. And nowhere does the document say it was written by Kelly: another Burke fabrication. That’s a byline to look out for, if you’re looking for fake news.

We Thought We Were Peeved at Blumenthal

Turns out we’re not half as peeved as 14 surviving Medal of Honor Recipients from the Vietnam War. Excerpt of their letter to the preening phony:

What is offensive to those who fought in a most brutal conflict, some of us who were captured and tortured by our enemy, is any comparison of those most brutal experiences to the ones of people like you who never even sniffed the air in Vietnam.

You should be proud that you shared a uniform with so many brave souls who endured the hardships of war, but instead you chose to attempt to deceitfully and craftily join their ranks with your intentionally vague statements and false claims. Quite simply, it is impossible to “misspeak” about having seen a war.

Valor is too uncommon a commodity, and too precious a virtue, to be stolen by those who have not paid the high price for freedom. We recognize that some concerns over any appointee, especially the Supreme Court, are honest and legitimate.

You, sir, are neither. If you ever had a sense of duty, if ever you respected the service and sacrifice of others, then please recognize your duty now:

Sen. Blumenthal, “take your seat”!

You know what kind of slap that is, Senator Blumenthal, you *****.

Could you imagine being slapped down by 14 MOH guys? A shudder runs through us at the very thought. It probably doesn’t bug Blumenthal, though: he has his own MOH in his own preening phony psyche.

Do Read The Whole Thing™.

Blind Ignorance in a Failed State

The New Yorker sends one William Finnegan to Venezuela, and he’s mystified that the socialist utopia is looking distinctly dystopian these days.

He doesn’t know whether to blame looters, or wreckers, apparently.

Dude,  Heinlein already fingered the culprit: “bad luck.”

Russian Defectors to Ukraine

Two Russians have defected to Ukraine, apparently a hop, skip and jump ahead of FSB incarceration or worse. However, while they promise spy revelations, they don’t seem to have been spies, but politicians and business people. Are they telling the truth? Who knows? Russian officialdom is very upset, but they would be whether these two were actual whistleblowers or escaping criminals — both are pretty much the same thing to Russian media and law these days. So your guess is as good as ours, and may depend on whether you see the Ukraine situation from a Russian or Ukrainian viewpoint. (But these folks may have their own third agenda, too).

Glad it’s not our job to figure that one out. Everyone who claims to have it figured out is probably in the tank for one side or the other.

European Migrant Crisis May Worsen

The German magazine Der Spiegel has an article on the possibility of Mrs Merkel,the current CDU/CSU chancellor of Germany, going down to election defeat, likely at the hands of the formerly enervated Socialists of the SPD, after an SPD change to a more dynamic leader. While this report must be taken with caution (the ostensibly nonpartisan Spiegel is strongly pro-SPD), it’s generally bad news. If CDU loses to the SPD, expect Germany’s wide-open door to migrants, criminals and terrorists to remain wide open, and maybe even open wider. This will worsen the crisis and accelerate the devolution of nations out of the Schengen open-borders agreement and the EU in general.

Merkel’s party has come late to immigration restriction, and has only come a few steps that way, but it has already lost many Germans for whom that is an important issue to the right-wing AfD “Alternative” party. They are unlikely to be enough to give AfD a victory, but are enough to kneecap CDU in the general election. (Under their parliamentary system, Germans vote for parties, not people, at least, officially).

Veterans’ Issues

Is it time to o disband this thing yet, and letting all its bloatoverhead seek its own level in the Dreaded Private Sector™? 

VA Official Hates Him Some Trump

Timothy Lawson, one of the VA’s hundreds of six-figure PR flacks (and a rare one who is an actual veteran), has had no compunctions about lying about VA performance, but he hates hates hates President Trump. It’s OK; some of his co-workers felt the same way about the last guy and some felt that way about the one before that. But the thing is, Lawson can’t shut up about it.

Some have called for Lawson to be fired, but that’s silly on several levels. On one hand, lèse-majesté is not a crime in American law; indeed, it’s a 1st Amendment right. On the other hand, it’s his personal Twitter account, not his official output. (His official output probably barely moves the needle, in that he’s one of a battalion of PR flacks doing one man’s job, but how is that different from any of the other useless payroll patriots sucking on DC welfare?) And on the gripping hand, since when was anyone fired from VA for anything? You’ve got managers with a bigger body count than Hannibal Freaking Lecter, and they’re still on the job (with bonuses and quarter-million-dollar “moving expenses”!), and you’re going to fire this do-nothing nobody for dissing the President?

Firing all the excess PR weenies and contractors, now that would be good move. Singling Lawson out is stupid. (So stupid someone in DC might just do it).

Or just do the right thing, and disband the whole thing.

Health & Fitness (NEW Category!)

Slow Week, Few Accomplishments

It’s been a slow week with too little gym time (but, plenty of shoveling!) and we are going to make cardio a priority… starting tomorrow. No, seriously. Wait, why are you laughing?

Lord Love a Duck!

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

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Here’s a great finger-picked instrumental version of the George Harrison/Beatles 1968 classic, by Justin Johnson, using something rare for him: all six strings, in standards tuning. But then, the guitar is made from a can of Marvel Mystery Oil, so there is that.

The Ghost of Harrison must be beaming (in part because Justin’s pitch on bends is good, a Harrison pet peeve).

Johnson’s version lacks vocals, but sort of splits the difference between the rocking album track and George’s original acoustic demo, which includes the lost “I look from the wings at the play you are staging” verse. The thing we like best about Justin Johnson is that he teaches people to play like him. Look him up on the net if you want to learn something new and play better.

Quick, who’s guitar was weeping on the Beatles album cut? (It’s a tricky question).

Protest This!

Some civilized state has a great answer to Precious Snowflakes blocking roads. We call it the Squash ‘Em Like a Bug Law. Some wag generated this hoot of a graphic.

Thanks for visiting this week, and we’ll see you in the week ahead.

Advice for Single Ladies?

Advice for single ladies is not normally within the left and right limits, or even the overall mission scope, of, but this is the anything-goes 1800 time slot, and this column (by “AmmoGrrl” at tickled our funny bone. She addresses this question to her readers:

[W]here do appropriate men hang out? You know, the kind who are never even momentarily ambivalent about which restroom to use.

First, she recounts several bad ways for her single friends “of a certain age” to meet a decent guy — including asking her for a match-up, with comically poor results — she lights on a good example.

One of her bad examples:

Men do go to strip clubs, but unless you are the one “dancing” around the maypole, you are not likely to attract anyone’s notice. Lot of competition there. Heck, Mr. AG gets distracted by a fully-clothed rabbit on our walks; trying to get his attention with several naked women one-third my age in the room would be beyond my meager ability to enchant.

Nonsense, we have all paid attention to women who were not dancing on the stage in what we prefer to call a “Gentlemen’s Club.” But perhaps she has never heard of that quaint Gentlemen’s Club custom, the “lap dance.”

Still, we admit that that doesn’t really lay her objection to rest, no pun intended.

The bulked-and-tatted Hells Angels who keep an eye on things for the clubs’ mafia owners also take a dim view of amateurs joining in, on other than designated amateur nights; volunteer lap dancers are systematically discouraged.

Accepting that a strip club is a bad place for an ordinary adult woman to meet ordinary adult men (despite its one big plus, it’s a pretty good gay filter), what works? After a few more false starts, AmmoGrrl has it all worked out:

Lastly, we come to one of the best places to meet men. A place where the male to female ratio is exceedingly favorable. A place where, for some reason, few women go on a regular basis. I’m talking, of course, about the gun range.

A marriage between two gun aficionados will not only provide a lifelong hobby to share, but could double your arsenal. Notice whether or not he has some cool guns. Notice whether or not he can reliably hit the target, a skill that translates to other skills, indicating dedication to patient practice and the wherewithal to afford a lot of ammo. Though much cheaper than golf, target shooting involves considerable expense. But it’s not the guns that will put the biggest crimp in your budget. It’s the ammo. Worth it, though!

Hey, we thought it was funny when we Read The Whole Thing™.

We have, though, observed a phenomenon at ranges in which guys at gun shops or ranges (including, unfortunately, some unprofessional instructors) act like dogs any time a woman comes in. Generally, their conviction that women find them irresistible is as sound as their advice on guns, which is to say, not very.

Some hornball with his tongue hanging out like Wile E. Coyote is a rebuke to real, actual, manhood. Not to mention that “desperation” is not on any list of “stuff chicks dig.”

If it makes us cringe — and we have very little squeam in us — God alone knows how it creeps out the ladies. This accounts, perhaps, for the popularity of women-only LTC classes at the two ranges we’re members of, with female instructors.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Explosives

In the Couldn’t Happen to a Nicer Guy Dep’t., Professor Bill Jacobsen at Legal Insurrection brings us news of the untimely departure of one Muhammad Hemada Walid al-Quqa from this vale of tears, in a flash of FOOM.

Bill quotes a Hamas propaganda outlet:

A Hamas fighter succumbed on Sunday to wounds he sustained a day earlier in an “accidental explosion” in the northern Gaza Strip, the Ministry of Health said.

Gaza Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra told the Palestinian Information Center that 37-year-old Muhammad Walid al-Quqa died in the hospital on Sunday morning following an “accidental” explosion in al-Sudaniyya in the northern Gaza Strip on Saturday evening.

The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, said in a statement that al-Quqa was killed during “preparations” without giving details.

However, the statement went on to add that al-Quqa had been involved in “jihadist activities, including manufacturing and assembling explosives.”

Awwww. Those kids, they blow up so soon. He goes on to quote an Israeli paper, which adds one more amusing detail:

The Palestinian website al-Resalah, which is affiliated with Hamas, said the explosion that killed Quqa occurred in the Sudaniye area in northern Gaza.

The report quoted medical sources who said the Hamas commander had been brought to the hospital with his arms and legs blown off.

Don’t sweat it, Mo. We’re sure your 72 virgins will flip you twice a day.

And think of this: an Israeli and a Hamas new outlet basically agreeing on the cause of Mo’s untimely demise. Who says Jews and Arabs can’t agree on anything?

We have a certain sympathy for Mo; it can’t have been easy running FOOM School for his expendable student splodydopes. As T.E. Lawrence could tell you, it’s always a challenge to train Arabs. Yes, the red wire or the black wire does make a difference, Mo.