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 Improvised Knives

MonopolyJailNew York City’s Rikers Island jail is where the scum of the city awaits trial. And recent relaxations, which have allowed gang members to congregate together and face off with opposing gangs, have produced a bloodbath.

The number of stabbings and slashings at Rikers Island and other city jails spiked by 49% in 2015, records show.

There were 131 such attacks last year, compared with 88 in 2014. The majority of the assaults are because of gang disputes, records show.

At the same time, the number of inmates in solitary has dropped by 56%, from 423 in 2015 to 188 at the start of 2016, according to Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte.

Longtime jail bosses say there is a direct correlation between the drop in solitary and the increase in violence.

Inmate advocates contend that the 23-hour-a-day punishment is inhumane, and say it was being overused to compensate for a lack of staff.

via EXCLUSIVE: Stabbings, slashings at Rikers spiked in 2015 – NY Daily News.

“Inmate advocates” tend to be the criminal gangs and the attorneys who work for them.

Mayor De Blasio tends to support the violent inmates, not the victims, but has poured $125 million into corrections, mostly on criminal-coddling measures, but not completely; he has also applied funds to hiring to close staff shortfalls.

“…there is clearly progress, and we’re going to keep investing until we get it right.”

These guys aren’t committing assaults and murders because they’re starved of investment, Bill. They’re doing it because they’re lacking in humanity. They’re criminals, FFS.

“The Department of Correction should be more concerned with the victims of violent assaults and not the anti-social predators and gang members’ mental health,” said recently retired union official Sidney Schwartzbaum, who represented top jail bosses for 18 years.

“What about the health of the victims?”

Hey, we’re sure Big-Bucks Bill has a spending program for that, too.

US Military Cutbacks: Shot and Chaser

Shot: USAF Dumps Airborne Training

With all the discussion we’ve just had about how the Air Force’s priorities are not National Defense priorities, let alone the priorities of the ground combat Services, we hear that the USAF has decided to save money by cutting the USAFR C-130 wing at the former Pope AFB (now Pope Army Air Field at Fort Bragg).

Soon to be a rarer sight at Bragg: SF troops doing a routine static line drop.

Soon to be a rarer sight at Bragg: SF troops doing a routine static line drop without combat equipment (“Hollywood”).

The airborne units at Bragg (82nd Airborne Division, much of 18th Corps, and various US Army Special Operations Command and Joint Special Operations Command elements) will now have to truck or bus 230 miles (3 ½ hours by charter bus, 5 hours by Army truck) to Charleston, SC, and the Air Force will condescend to fly the paratroopers back to Bragg while the trucks or buses convoy back empty. Meanwhile, a second set of trucks and buses will have to be spotted on the DZ… or maybe the guys can just walk back from the field.

What the USAF is hoping, of course, is that the paras will stop jumping so damned much. They need to use the money to pay for the cost overruns on the F-35 program, so that there will still be jobs at LockMartNorGrumBoeing for retired flag officers. For some values of the word, “job.”

The SOF guys will just contract lift, with a sigh of relief. Working with AMC’s rigid regulations and inflexible aircrews is always exasperating anyway.

The 82nd and 18th elements will jump less, sacrificing currency and proficiency to reduce the negative effect on training (and, naturally, training budgets). So we’ll wind up with more jump accidents, a dry term that often means some guy is dead on the DZ with injuries that defy description, or off to the ICU screaming, with his hipbones in his eye sockets (which is only a slight exaggeration).

The wing at Bragg, the US Air Force Reserve’s 440th Airlift Wing, is going away; the Air Force isn’t even helping the displaced reservists find new jobs. The US Air Force Reserve’s commander, Lt. General JJ Jackson, is visiting the base, but appears to be going out of his way to snub the second-class airmen of the 440th.

Jackson, the chief of the Air Force Reserve and commander of Air Force Reserve Command, will be on post to speak to Fort Bragg leaders, but he did not plan to meet with members of the 440th as of Friday afternoon, several airmen said.

“He has no intention of meeting with the airmen under his command,” one of them said. “That should tell you the level of leadership being demonstrated by him.”

Sounds like he’s enough of his weasel that his fourth star’s a lock.

The full story is here (WRAL) and here (Fayetteville Observer).

Chaser: But That’s OK Because Training is No Longer a Priority

Wait, if training isn’t a priority, what is? Well, what would you expect from a never-served politician and bozo like Ash Carter? Something like this:

The Pentagon is ordering the top brass to incorporate climate change into virtually everything they do, from testing weapons to training troops to war planning to joint exercises with allies.

A new directive’s theme: The U.S. Armed Forces must show “resilience” and beat back the threat based on “actionable science.”

It says the military will not be able to maintain effectiveness unless the directive is followed. It orders the establishment of a new layer of bureaucracy — a wide array of “climate change boards, councils and working groups” to infuse climate change into “programs, plans and policies.”

The Pentagon defines resilience to climate change as: “Ability to anticipate, prepare for, and adapt to changing conditions and withstand, respond to, and recover rapidly from disruptions.”

To four-star generals and admirals, among them the regional combatant commanders who plan and fight the nation’s wars, the directive tells them: “Incorporate climate change impacts into plans and operations and integrate DoD guidance and analysis in Combatant Command planning to address climate change-related risks and opportunities across the full range of military operations, including steady-state campaign planning and operations and contingency planning.”

The directive, “Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience,” is in line with President Obama’s view that global warming is the country’s foremost national security threat, or close to it.

We have military assistance and aid operations that are being bungled in many nations, and direct combat operations being bungled in Libya and the Iraq/Syria theater, procurement bungled nearly everywhere, and operational readiness and maintenance at Grand Duchy of Fenwick levels. And so what do the pitiful pols in the puzzle palace promote as policy?

The directive is loaded with orders to civilian leaders and officers on specifically how counter-climate change strategy is to permeate planning.

“This involves deliberate preparation, close cooperation, and coordinated planing by DoD to provide for the continuity of DoD operations, services and programs,” it states.

“The DoD must be able to adapt current and future operations to address the impacts of climate change in order to maintain an effective and efficient U.S. military,” it adds. “Mission planning and execution must include anticipating and managing any risks that develop as a result of climate change to build resilience.”

Climate change must be integrated in:

• Weapons buying and testing “across the life cycle of weapons systems, platforms and equipment.”

• Training ranges and capabilities.

• Defense intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance.

• Defense education and training.

• Combatant commander joint training with allies to “assess the risks to U.S. security interests posed by climate change.”

• Joint Chiefs of Staff collaboration “with allies and partners to optimize joint exercises and war games including factors contributing to geopolitical and socioeconomic instability.”

How’s about we “assess the risk to US security interests” posed by incompetent political hacks in policy positions, like the author of this idiotic diktat, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall, the bozo that signed off on it, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert O. Work, or the stumblebum architect of the whole laughable enterprise, Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

But hey, as you read this, Frank Kendall is fapping to the news that the carbon footprint of C-130 paratroop and heavy-drop training at Fort Bragg is headed towards zero.

If You’re in Your 20s… Enjoy the Golden Age (and the CZs).

In a brief pretty much just-the-facts report on CZ-USA’s new Skorpion and Bren carbines, which followed the pistol versions to market by over a year, we saw this gem of insight, at a new site we like, 55 Grain Productions (one of the guys there is converting to CZ from Glock, so they’re men after our own heart):

15z_CZScorpionEVO3S1Carbine_R

If you’re in your 20’s reading this, consider yourself lucky. You’re in a Golden Age of firearm availability, we couldn’t get cool toys like this when I was a kid.

via 55grain Productions :: CZ launches Scorpion and Bren rifles.

A Brief Aside on Import Laws & Regulations

The import laws are profoundly irrational, and the ATF regulations implementing those laws add another layer of irrationality. (Although, in defense of the ATF, they have to work with the black letters of the statute). But by 2016, sophisticated importers like CZ-USA, FN-USA, Beretta, and others, have found work-arounds for most of the craziness in the law.

Irrationality in the application? Yes, for about a year CZ was still working to get a carbine Skorpion Evo approved, but you  could SBR a pistol on a Form 1 with no drama, just the usual ATF delay. In essence, it’s a tax of several hundred dollars (tax + cost of SBR engraving) on the guy who wants to own the semi version of the light Skorpion Evo SMG, and not wait for CZ-USA to jump through all the ATF hoops and get a 16″ rifle version approved. (In fact, we think you could always get a factory SBR on a Form 4, which were stocked for LE sales, is we’re not mistaken).

Irrationality in the law itself? Consider that one part of the two-legged law in question was called The Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, and the other leg, The Gun Control Act of 1968, was also sold as a crime control measure by its sponsors.

Question for the reader: How many imported semi-auto firearms with prices in the four figures or high three figures turn up in the hands of criminals?

Question two: How many of those were acquired in lawful commerce?

Don’t take our word for it. Almost everybody knows a cop or a Fed, or will meet one. Just ask the question: what kind of guns do violent criminals get bagged with? Based on our experience asking that same question, it will boil down to, “Cheap and/or stolen handguns.”

The law seemed rational at the time, to some people, but we’ve seen it proven out as, at best, orthogonal to crime control.

Back to our Main Point: What Generation Are You in?

OK, if you’ve borne with us through the long digression on Evos and Brens and the law, let’s talk about the insight in the little quote above.

We couldn’t get cool toys like this when I was a kid

That betrays the author as someone born in the 80s or 90s, who grew up when the 1994 Federal Assault Weapon Ban cast its pall over civilians’ armament choices. Like the 1968 GCA (the term which combines the two 1968 restrictions), the 1994 law banned classes of weapons, and it also banned standard-capacity magazines, and imposed a new wave of regulations on an unwitting public, ostensibly for crime control. Its purpose shows in its Orwellian name, The Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act, while it was punitive to recreational firearms use,

Unlike the GCA, though, the 1994 law had a 10-year sunset clause; it vanished from the statute books in 2004, having provided a natural longitudinal experiment in what happens to Crime Control and Public Safety when you ban a class of firearms that are almost never used in crime: nothing.

The result was this: people have different experiences of the guns available, depending on when they received their youthful, formative experience.

  • 1962 ThunderbirdIf you grew up in the 1950s or 1960s, your experience was a mainstream gun culture focused on hunting and formal, bullseye target shooting; Gun Culture was Elmer Fudd Culture. NTTAWWT. There was a subculture of collectors of many different kinds, and normal firearms were available to them in shops but also from auctioneers and from mail order surplus vendors. Gun rights were only a matter of discussion towards the end of this period, and licensed concealed carriers did not exist in most states of the Union.
  • http://www.autogaleria.hu -If you grew up in the 1970s or 1980s, you grew up in a gun culture that was on the defensive  from attacks by well-organized and -funded gun-ban groups that represented a very broad sector of public opinion. But it was evolving in new ways, with increased popularity of military-style rifles, practical pistol competitions and the first three-gun competitions (which were rifle, pistol, and submachine gun), and states making the first tentative moves towards liberalized “shall issue” concealed carry regulations. These laws had always existed here and there, and Vermont had never required licenses, but the floodgates opened when Florida went shall-issue, and the gun-ban groups’ dire auguries of doom went unrealized).\
  • Corvette Z06If the 1980s was the inflection point where the allies began to advance against the anti-gun axis, the axis’s high point came in the 1990s and Oughts, with the Bush import ban of 1989 and Clinton gun ban of 1994 setting the firearms market (and firearms technology) back about a decade. But that high point was like a ballistic vertex: the anti axis had been coasting for a while, and it was all downhill from here. But if you grew up in these years, in the gun culture, you could be excused for thinking the best days were behind you.
  • 2016 Dodge ViperSo far, we don’t know what people will write about the Twenty-Teens in the warm glow of hindsight. But if you’re young today, and growing up in the gun culture, it looks to us like you’re living in a golden age.

Where we stand now is on the shoulders of giants whose names you might know, like John Moses Browning, Peace Be Unto Him, and names you might not, like Neal Knox. It is up to us to take those legacies forward, on the fronts of both technology and freedom: the better to honor those who came before us.

One last thought: we’ve used cars to mark the decades. We might have chosen better; that’s a 2016 Viper, but maybe the Viper’s more an icon of the 90s, for example. (It’s hard to think of a better marker for the tasteless 1970s than a chicken-chested ’79 Trans Am, though). But car culture people, too, have seen their fortunes wax and wane through the years. If you grew up in the 1950s and 60s, you expected every year to bring you new and better cars. In the 1970s and 80s, that was tossed on its head through a dismal succession of massive Lincoln Mark Crapboxes, chintzy Chrysler K-Cars, and BMWs that self-destructed around warranty’s end, as if there was a time bomb in there. If you grew up then, you expected that between the NHTSA, the insurance companies, and Ralph Nader, that each year’s cars would be worse than the previous one’s. Yet now, incredible machinery that sixties road-racers couldn’t have dreamed of sits in your local showroom.

And you know, a lot of the same people that tried to strangle cars with character want to take your guns away, too.

Sunday Sigh

Sigh.

Yesterday began with such great plans. For example, we were going to shovel some of this stuff (photographed Friday in early to mid-snowfall) off our deck and walkways, and scrape it off a vulnerable part of the roof. (Believe it or not, Thursday it hit 58ºF and we were doing hard yard work in a t-shirt). It’s been a tough storm for some, with two people killed in one Southern Massachusetts town in separate falling-branch incidents. We may have had a dogwood tree casualty, but won’t know till spring.

departing_hog_manor

And there was stuff to be done in the office, repairs overdue on two ceilings, and plenty of work calling in the workshop. We’re now assembling the wings of the RV-12 after some weeks of parts prep.

The great plans, though, evanesced when it became clear that Small Dog was not well. He was pain guarding a front paw, and occasionally crying out in pain — and this alarmed us, because he just doesn’t do that. And there didn’t seem to be anything physically wrong with his paw.

small_dog_at_the_vetSo off to the vet it was. Because our regular vet was closed, we went to their after-hours recommendation, the 24/7 Port City Veterinary Referral Hospital in Big City, which turned out to be a good thing. Several hours and several hundred dollars later, the little guy was a little perked up, as the image on the right, shot at the vet’s, shows; and we had blood test results (all good); a diagnosis, spinal disc pain; a treatment program: maximum rest and no physical exercise, no jumping on and off chairs and beds, etc., for three to four weeks; and two meds, a muscle relaxant we can squirt into his mouth once a day, and a narcotic pain pill we cut into quarters and try to get him to eat through various stratagems. Which has been somewhat entertaining: if you’ve ever had an ill dog, you’ve probably played this game of Are You Smarter Than a Small Dog With a Walnut-Sized Brain?

The only reason we can say, “yes” to that is this: to win, we have to win any round, and Small Dog has to win every round. It probably takes an SF guy or an autistic-spectrum person to perseverate more than a dog, but Small Dog ingested his medicine. Like one of our British cousins’ outfits prides itself on, it was a victory not by strength, by guile.

Getting the pain pills at the pharmacy was interesting. Because War on Drugs they need to make all kinds of notes of one’s driver’s license, etc. and they need tons of information.

“What’s the patient’s date of birth?”

“How the hell do I know? He’s a dog.

“Well, we need a date of birth for our files. We can’t give you the pills without a date of birth.”

So now, they have a date of birth on record for the little guy. Hopefully we remember it next time he needs some dope.

And this is all because they assume we’re using the dog dope to get high, because drug cops are a suspicious lot and they assume the only reason anyone would use a pain pill is to get so stoned they can’t hold a job and have to steal stuff for more pain pills.

The vet concurred with our estimate of Small Dog’s character, and gave it a name. “He’s a stoic little guy, isn’t he?” Yes, he is. He even goes willingly, if sadly, into his crate where they recommend we keep him to prevent him jumping on and off beds. (He usually sleeps in Kid’s bed, or Your Humble Blogger’s if Kid is away. We’ll see how he likes overnighting in the crate again. The over-under on that’s, “Not much.”)

Later, the roads took most of the inhabitants of Hog Manor to visit friends, whilst YHB cancelled his planned trip to the National Review debate gathering (sorry for no-showing, guys) and settled in on The Chair to watch something.

Nothing was on. So we turned on the debate. But sad brown eyes behind bars watched us, so Small Dog joined us in watching the debate. It put him to sleep, along with the other tenth of a percent of America that was tuned in.

Can we all, Democrats, Republicans, and a-pox-on-them-both supporters alike, agree that selecting debate moderators from among news anchors, who themselves are selected entirely for their hairdos, is as stupid as said news anchors? The two bozos tonight made Small Dog look like he had dual PhDs in particle physics and number theory.

We may have an unusual second Sunday post today if we do get some missing back posts up, just so that all you wonderful people can find them. And don’t worry about Small Dog, he’s got good vet care and nearly boundless love. (Which is meet, because under doctor’s orders the usually-bounding little guy is a boundless dog).

 

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Snow Shovels

briahna gerloffThey’re dropping like flies out there, including this kid, Briahna Gerloff, who apparently collapsed in her kitchen after shoveling. She was pregnant and had a known heart condition. (Where was baby daddy, on the lam? Up the river?)

A pregnant teenager died Saturday morning of a suspected heart attack after shoveling snow at her Pottstown home.

Briahna Gerloff, 18, was eight months pregnant and suffered from several heart defects, according to Pottstown police. Gerloff’s soon-to-be born daughter, Kayliana, also died.

Gerloff’s younger brother, Stosh, found Gerloff unresponsive in her kitchen shortly after 9 a.m. and called 911. She could not be revived.

The cause of death has not been determined, police said.

via Pregnant Pa. teen dies after shoveling snow.

Sad story.

And with that, we’re headed out to shovel the walk. Fortunately we’re not 18 and pregnant.

The tale of the Fyodorov Avtomat of 1916

Alexander Vershinin has a breezy article on the 1916 Avtomat of Vladimir Grigoryevich Fyodorov, a gun generally recognized to be the first exemplar of a class that would be known as “assault rifles.” They are generally defined as being:

Fyodorov "Avtomat," 1916.

Fyodorov “Avtomat,” 1916.

  1. Shoulder-fired weapons;
  2. Firing from a detachable box magazine of 20 or more rounds;
  3. Capable of selective fire; and,
  4. Using an “intermediate” cartridge (more powerful and longer-ranging than a pistol’s, less powerful than a late 19th/early 20th-Century infantry rifle’s).
  5. And usually of an “intermediate” size between submachine guns and infantry rifles: about 30-40″ long  or roughly 1m, with a barrel of 14-20″ or 35-50 cm.

The classic Assault Rifles (MP/StG 44, AK, AR-15) all meet this standard, and the Fyodorov is close. Its cartridge, the 6.5mm Japanese cartridge, was less powerful than Russia’s standard 7.62 x 54mm rifle round, but really was a full-sized infantry cartridge.

Vershinin writes:

If the Soviet-era legend is to be believed, it was Tsar Nikolai II who hobbled Russian production of the automatic rifle from the outset.
“We don’t have enough ammunition,” he supposedly told the designer as he presented blueprints for the new weapon. But this story is far from the reality – the automatic or assault rifle was in fact developed in Russia almost entirely by lone gun enthusiasts before the 1917 Russian Revolution.

The subtext to what Vershinin is saying is that, as every Russian and student of things Russian knows that Soviet-era sources are often loaded with myth and morality stories. They’re full of mighty workers and peasants (think Stakhanov), tragic and doomed heroes (a Russian specialty, think Pavlik Morozov), and bumbling functionaries of the ancien régime, like the Tsar in the above story. It seems improbable that Nicholas would inject himself into Army ordnance decisions, but maybe he did. You didn’t need to have a Tsar to have your Army reject some progressive idea, though. The records of other countries, which had neither absolute monarchs nor revolutionaries determined to remake man himself, are full of questionable ordnance decisions, often made by some brigadier or colonel in the armaments end of the professional army.

v_g_fyodorov

This handsome, well-mustachioed gent is Vladimir Grigoryevich Fyodorov at his military academy graduation. He’d go on to design the Avtomat, lead an arsenal for the Soviet Union (later called the Degtyaryev Plant), and write a book on weapons design & history.

The vanguard in this field was Vladimir Grigoryevich Fyodorov, who wrote his name into the annals of gunmaking as the designer of the world’s first assault rifle.
The idea of arming infantry with rapid-fire automatic weapons was born in the upheaval of the 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese war. Light machine guns had begun to appear on the frontlines and quickly demonstrated their effectiveness. If it were possible to equip each man with such a weapon, his value as a fighting unit would be multiplied manifold.

Now here Vershinin seems to be on to something. The Russo-Japanese War was a little-studied (in the West, anyway) bloodbath that saw the debut of the murderous weapons (breechloading artillery with recoil systems, machine guns, barbed-wire entanglements) that would make all three fronts of World War I into a Brueghelian nightmare.

via Fyodorov’s feat: The story of the world’s first assault rifle | Russia Beyond The Headlines.

The Avtomat was ahead of its time, but the Imperial Russian Army seemed to recognize that and equipped some units with the new weapon. It passed out of general use, but turned up in small numbers during the Russo-Finnish winter war of 1940:

Russians with Fyodorov Automat

Vershinin frames the design history — it was originally designed as a long rifle for Fyodorov’s own 6.5 mm cartridge, and only later cut down to carbine size and adapted to use stocks of captured Japanese ammo — and notes that historians today can only speculate as to why the gun went out of service. People at the time probably knew, but the Russian Empire was facing defeat, collapse, a tragic and bloody Civil War, and a destruction of archives and loss of talent to exile on a scale seldom seen. Vershinin, a historian himself, lists some of the possibilities. Perhaps some day, some archivist will find the answer, written in Fyodorov’s own hand.

Bubba the Pistolsmith

Can you put a HK p2000 slide on an HK45?

Uh, no.

Wait, what if the HK45 is an airsoft toy?

No. Double no.

Bubba's HK

Posted on Imgur and on Reddit:

p2000 9mm slide stuck on airsoft hk45 receiver, wont come off, what do i do>???

He asked for help, but didn’t wait for it. Instead, he forged on furiously. As you might expect, his solution to boneheadedness was MOAR BONEHEAD.

Bubba's HK after

UPDATE: I FIXED IT, well more like ripped the lower receiver apart. Everythings fine on the p2k except the o ring, got a little stab wound from the knife, but the hk45 gbb is destroyed, Lesson WELL LEARNED :DD

via NEED HELP – Imgur.

Then, another aspect of the Supreme Godhead of Bozosity that is the immortal Bubba attempted a similar kitbash, of two Glocks. At least they were both real Glocks and neither was a toy. But they were almost equally incompatible, and once again, the Frankengun got stuck.

G34 meets G26

The two donors are a Glock 26 (frame and slide) and Glock 34 (barrel). There’s a reason Glock sells you a whole replacement gun, not just a barrel and slide, when you want to make large changes in barrel length.

This particular Bubba got his Frankengun apart without having to destroy it. So there is that.

Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2016 Week 04-05

Tour d’Horizon is widely recognized to be French for “Hognose got stuck with a bunch of open tabs.” We didn’t publish one of those last week due to running out of time, hence the double this week.

This week’s installment includes:

Guns

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

Ghost Gunner Comes Alive

File Photo of a GG. Ours is on the left of the computer....

File Photo of a GG. Ours is on the left of the computer….

After some wrangling with systems, we did finally bring the GG to life Friday the 29th. We missed a tour of a real gun factory to keep plugging on this.

So far so good. We’re messing around with it at this point; turns out the 80% lowers we have on hand don’t have the small pocket around the takedown pin milled out, and that’s a no-no with the default AR15.dd file. But it’s a thrill to have it going.

There’s a few glitches with the documentation, but we got excellent support from Ben Denio and Haroon Khalid at Defense Distributed.

The mill only comes with software to do AR lowers, and there are some issues with that, at present, too; but its real potential comes with mastery of G-code and the .DD file format. This potential is presently locked up by the State Department’s outreach into prohibiting firearms hobbyists and small shops from working, but the lawsuit grinds on in courts.

Of course, the basic principles of US Courts are two:

  1. Produce random output for any input, based on the whims and intenstinal pangs of judges; and,
  2. To the extent that they don’t do Number 1 above, always favor the more powerful entity.

So don’t expect too much from the nobles in black robles.

Sometimes It’s Just a Range Toy

Can you think of a use case for a belt fed 9mm? We can’t. But we still want one. Get yours here.

FreedomOrdnance belt fed 9It’s an interesting adaptation. The cyclic rate (should one have a legal lower) is a very manageable 600 RPM, less than a stock M16 or M4. The links are proprietary (they’d kind of have to be, wouldn’t they?)

SHOT Show

There’s about a million things out there… the two clear winners from our point of view are the HMG StG, of which we’ve written, and the new Walther PPK (not PPK/S), which will introduce a new generation to our favorite pocket pistol (and let us retire collector pieces, if beaten-up ones, from that role). Seriously, it’s a lot handier than a PPK/S. more so than the trivial dimensional difference indicates.

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way.

Hostage Taker Taken Out

You train for it but don’t really expect to take “the hostage shot.” Last Friday, an Irving, Texas cop was glad he trained for it. The hostage is shaken up, but fine. The hostage taker, who’d been holding up a cash-advance storefront, is taking up space in a drawer instead of a cell.

Don’t you love a happy ending?

Self-Defense: Doing it Wrong

Here’s a key paragraph from a fascinating news story:

[Prosecutor Michele] Kluk held up [defendant Earl] Mitchell’s weapon during her closing arguments, saying Mitchell’s claim of self-defense was eliminated when he shot both [Jareek] Adams and [Jonathan] Moore in the back of the head within close range. She said the defense had no evidence to refute testimony from several police officers, detectives, physicians, forensic scientists and a firearms expert she presented.

Adams assumed ambient temperature; Moore still has a carbon footprint of some nature.

Mitchell was, not surprisingly, convicted. It probably didn’t help that he’s a gangbanger, and fled to Virginia, where he was only apprehended after a risky chase. But maybe his self-defense claim did help: he was only convicted of 3rd Degree Murder, which means a lot less prison time than he’d have gotten for a higher degree of murder. In our lay opinion, this was never a true self-defense case, just a self-defense claim by a defense attorney who didn’t have much to work with. Do Read The Whole Thing™.

Cops ‘n’ Crims

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

Life in the ‘Shire: from the Big City Police Blotter NEW

The cops in Big City, like cops everywhere, never know what they’re going to be shaking their heads over after a shift. Here’s a couple of examples from 27-28 January:

6:51 a.m.: Assisted on Aviation Avenue with a crash.

This was a motor vehicle crash. All the airplanes on the other side of the fence were all shiny-side-up and intact.

8:02 a.m.: Caller reported a car rolled out of its parking spot and hit another vehicle on Grafton Drive.

Oh, the humanity! Next up, some serious crime:

9:26 a.m.: Report taken about the theft of the Dos Amigos sign on State Street, valued at more than $1,000 with installation. Witness reported seeing the thief leave toward Kittery, Maine.

Undergraduates seeking a room decoration, or druggies thinking they can sell it? Basically, that’s who steals stuff like this. No word on whether they called Big City CSI and dusted for intent.

Next up? A reminder that some folks think the police are in charge of all kinds of crap:

11:28 a.m.: Someone called police to report a dog owner not picking up after a dog on Hanover Street.

Then we have a spate of cripples, drunks and drug-induced comas:

11:34 a.m.: Caller reported an elderly man who might need help crossing Islington Street, but someone helped the man before police arrived.

4:55 p.m.: Assisted on Elwyn Road with a rollover crash, due to a medical condition.

5:43 p.m.: Citizen turned in a debit card found on Cass Street.

5:44 p.m.: Caller reported a possible drunken driver on South Street. An officer determined the driver was not intoxicated, but summonsed the driver for being parked in a handicapped spot without a placard.

6:00 p.m.: Caller reported a man kneeling on the side of Woodbury Avenue. The man was given a ride home.

6:28 p.m.: Checked on a woman sleeping in a car off Woodbury Avenue.

And despite the ongoing saga of the canned Big City police sergeant who was found by a court to have conned an old lady’s heirs out of her estate, citizens still have faith in the gendarmes to do the right thing:

5:43 p.m.: Citizen turned in a debit card found on Cass Street.

Then there’s the local busybodies:

7:20 p.m.: Caller complained about his neighbors slamming doors and making things fall off shelves.

7:25 p.m.: Caller said she could see people moving things out of a neighboring house and thought it was strange. Police determined the people were moving.

People moving? Quel horreur! (On what planet is this “strange”?)

7:44 p.m.: A resident reported people in a parked car using drugs, but police determined it was one person using his cell phone.

Drugs, phone, whatevs.

7:50 p.m.: Investigated a report about someone being followed from The Library restaurant.

8:40 p.m.: A resident of Court Street reported smelling burning marijuana, but a responding officer smelled only a litter box.

9:28 p.m.: An Islington Street resident reported a disturbance, but an officer discovered it was people moving.

Moving again? But they just moved!

We’re not joking about busybodies. We don’t live in Big City, but our smalltown Chief of Police told us to change our alarm from the kind that phones home, to the kind that produces a tremendous racket with a horn or siren. Because it takes 15 minutes at least for Alarm Company to ring them, and 2 minutes for an annoyed neighbor. Living in a town full of nosy dowagers is almost as good as having a cruiser parked in the driveway 24/7.

And we close with some bums:

10:56 p.m: Investigated a report from a tow truck driver about a homeless man throwing something at the tow truck.

11:41 p.m.: Responded to the homeless shelter for a call about someone who took too many pills.

Left out: a bunch of car crashes and other yawns. These are the exciting calls. Such is life on the Big City PD, when Big City isn’t all that big.

Also in Big City: Another OD

Even in Small Town, we’ve been having these; two kicked the bucket here a few months ago. There were hundreds (400+!) statewide last year and already we’re on track for higher numbers in ’16. There were 53 ODs who lived in Big City and seven who didn’t, last year, plus a few more probables the ME is still considering. And another one bites the dust, or almost does, until first responders intervene:

Police and firefighters were called to an Elwyn Park home on Thursday night when a 23-year-old man suffered a non-fatal overdose, said Fire Chief Steve Achilles.
Emergency responders were notified by a 911 caller, at 9:55 p.m., who reported the Taft Road man had overdosed on heroin, according to emergency radio communications. Achilles said that when firefighters arrived, a bystander was administering First Aid to the man who was unresponsive and had shallow breathing.

They saved him with Narcan; if he’s like the usual doper, he’s less glad to be alive than annoyed that they ruined his high.

These druggies not only tie up police-and-fire resources, they frequently drop dead, breaking their families’ hearts. Was just expressing thanks to the Lord with a neighbor that her beautiful and smart daughter, who’s almost a year into recovery, “only” was an alcoholic… literally every other kid she has been in rehab with has been in for drink and drugs, and most of them have dropped out of rehab. It has scared the living daylights out of the girl, which can only help.

Around here, at least, the druggies are not street kids; they’re disproportionately kids from decent middle-class upbringings, who took teenage antiauthority impulses in the wrong direction and wound up as thoroughly enslaved as Dred Scott ever was, and to a crueler master than any human overseer.

Elwyn Park, where this current OD took place, is not Skid Row. It’s a nice neighborhood of well-kept 1960s ranches and split-level homes on half to one acre lots, where the developer named all the streets after Presidents: McKinley, Roosevelt, Jackson, Nixon. We know people who live there. Creepy stuff.

In the Ongoing Soap Opera, The Perils of Kathleen

We’ve had something about the legal difficulties of Kathleen Kane, the pro-crime but anti-gun Attorney General of Pennsylvania, in each of the last three Tours d’Horizon now. Kane dodged a bullet, or at least, dismissal, last week. Not because anyone has faith in her integrity, but because she has an appeal of her licenses suspension pending in front of the state Supreme Court, the State Senate has deferred a decision on whether to remove her from office. The Court, flush with newly elected Democrats, is thought to be looking for some way to insulate Kane from the problems caused by indictment for political corruption and perjury.

Kane is an heiress of an influential political family, and has a lot of support among her own party, even if she’s found guilty or pleads guilty. But her party’s former standard bearer, former Governor Ed Rendell, has recommended that Kane be impeached rather than removed, a more serious penalty. Why? Impeachment requires a 2/3 majority to convict, something that anti-gun Democrats have the numbers to stave off, as long as they’re inclined to expend political capital on their corrupt AG. A House committee has begun moving towards impeachment.

UPDATE: Friday Night Data Dump: the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected KKK’s (Korrupt Kathleen Kane’s) attempt to reinstate her law license, and the PA State Senate is moving forward on removing her from office.

Road Rage Murder

Police in Arligton, Texas, are looking for the guy who pulled alongside Brittany Daniel’s Honda Accord and opened fire 27 January. He screamed obscenities and fired two shots, and then took off, in a smaller, black four-door. Daniel was taken to a hospital, but expired.

Somebody knows who this slug is, somewhere.

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

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

Göring Saved Dozens of Jews

But that’s a trick headline. It wasn’t Hermann Göring, who wore multiple hats as head of the Luftwaffe, the Gestapo, and the organization of German hunters. He sent trainloads of Jews to their doom. No, it was his kid brother Albert, who had spent his war as a more mundane mud prowler than the famous ace who inherited Richthofen’s fighter-wing command:

Albert, meanwhile, had spent the war in the mud of the trenches as an unglamorous signal engineer. After the war he enjoyed the kind of life portrayed in the musical Cabaret, with artist and music-hall friends, plenty of wine, good food, parties and women.

At war’s end, Albert finds himself in Allied custody, accused of complicity in Hermann’s crimes against humanity. But, he protested, he had done all he could to save the Jews and others targeted for concentration-camp death:

Then Albert astonished the Allies by writing out by hand a list of 34 people he claimed to have helped escape the Nazis. The Pilzers were at number 24. Dr Kurt Schuschnigg, the former Chancellor of Austria, was also on the list.

So was the Archduke Joseph Ferdinand of the royal Habsburg dynasty.

Albert claimed that his brother Hermann was so triumphant after Austria was annexed, he ‘allowed everyone a wish. My sister and I asked for the release of the old archduke’. Hermann ‘was very embarrassed’ but the next day ‘the arrested Habsburger was free again’.

Albert went on to say that he was saved from the Gestapo and SS – who over time had four warrants out for his immediate arrest – by Hermann himself. ‘As far as he could [Hermann] helped me,’ Albert claimed, adding that when it came to family, Hitler’s deputy ‘had a warm heart’.

Albert’s claims were immediately dismissed by his Allied interrogators as far-fetched. An interrogation report said he was guilty of ‘as clever a piece of rationalisation and whitewash’ as the interrogators had ever seen.

It concluded: ‘Albert Goering’s lack of subtlety is matched only by the bulk of his obese brother.’

He would likely have gone to trial and hanging, had not one of his interrogators had a connection to Albert’s list.

He was a Jewish refugee to America and his family had changed their real name, Paschkis. His aunt, Sophie, had converted to Catholicism and married the Austro-Hungarian composer Franz Lehar, best known for writing The Merry Widow. Lehar had been detained by the Nazis because of his marriage to someone born Jewish. 

And by an amazing coincidence, Sophie was number 15 on Albert’s list! Parker spoke to his aunt about how Albert had helped them to leave Austria. Thanks to a most unlikely twist of fate, Albert’s story was validated by one of the men sent to help convict him at Nuremberg.

He was out of trouble with the Nuremburg prosecutors, but the Czechs wanted a piece of him, because he’d been an Nazi overseer of the Škoda Works, and they had records of him picking up inmates for forced labor. But it wasn’t all as it seemed here, either.

Now members of the Czech resistance who worked in the Skoda factory came forward and testified that Albert had helped them undermine the Nazi occupiers, passing on information to the resistance and encouraging acts of sabotage.

Albert, it emerged, had not only lobbied his brother to release individual prisoners from Dachau, but also forged Hermann’s signature on documents that allowed anti-Nazi activists and Jews to escape Hitler’s henchmen.

He took company trucks and drove away inmates as ‘forced labourers’ before parking in secluded areas and allowing them to escape.

Despite his name, Yad Vashem is seriously considering naming Albert Göring to the rare honor of Righteous Among The Nations, an honor reserved for those scandalously few gentiles who risked all to save Jewish lives during the Holocaust. Do Read The Whole Thing™ by Gavin Esler, who presented something in this vein on BBC 4 also.

Iconoclasm and Year Zero Extremists

They are insecure in their values, and threatened by all that has come before. So monuments to the past must be destroyed. History delenda est.

Are we talking about the Taliban, who blew up the ancient Bamian Buddhas?

No. Could it be the Khmer Rouge, who are said to have desecrated ancient temples and laid waste to monasteries?

No. Well, maybe the People’s Army of Vietnam, who made a systematic practice of defiling their former enemies’ graves?

No. Perhaps we’re talking about ISIL, who blew up the  ruins of several ancient settlements?

No. Closer to home. We’re talking about the Black Lives Matter (But Black Crimes Don’t) activists who are defacing and destroying Confederate and other memorials to 19th Century events and personages.

Professional Aggrieved Black Journalist Brentin Mock makes the case for doing this to Stone Mountain and other statuary at “CityLab,” which the The Atlantic’s separate-but-equal walled playpen for their token hires.

We could mount a defense, but we don’t think he makes the case. “It offends me, it must be destroyed,” is not the reasoning of a man, but that of a child, and a dim child at that.

contractor lambo before and afterIn related news of Irish Democracy, the Mayor Mitch Landrieu crony, David Mahler, who got the contract to trash Confederate memorials in New Orleans had someone burn a cross on his $200k-plus, gaudily striped Lamborghini. Well, not really; they just burned his Lamborghini. (Curious: one of the poorest cities in the Northern Hemisphere, with among the worst and lowest-paid police departments in America, but they pay their politically-connected contractors Lamborghini rates). Actually, we suspect he torched it for the insurance, after local businesses canceled contracts with his company.

And one of the colleges of Oxford has had to lay off fund raisers after administrators got enthusiastic about melting down Cecil Rhodes, and various Rhodes Scholars who weren’t trustafarian activists lost their interest in making previously promised donations. Heartbreaking, eh?

Veterans’ Issues ALL NEW

She Stole Six Figures, So What? Her Job and Bonuses are Untouchable Entitlements!

VA-veterans-affairsRemember a couple weeks ago when VA Secretary Bob McDonald testified that, in our paraphrase, there was nothing wrong with VA and he wasn’t going to fire anybody or hold them accountable?

And then he told a group of allies in the media that all was tickety-boo, the VA was just being vilified by “unrelenting political attacks from… a veterans group backed by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.”?

 

Well, last week, in a Friday hope-nobody-notices new release, we learned that the Merit Systems Protection Board, a fallback mechanism that protects criminal bureaucrats from consequences of their actions, has considered the demotion of rip-off artist Kimberly Graves and Graves…

was quietly reinstated to her position earlier this week.

…a scathing inspector general report… found Graves had pressured a colleague to leave his job so she could manipulate an employee relocation program and pocket nearly $130,000.

Job back, title back, back pay, and she gets to keep the stolen hunge-thirty.

Her partner in crime, Diana Rubens, who ripped off the taxpayers of nearly $300k in the same manner, is expecting a similar handout from the MSPB.

No doubt McDonald is happy. He has fully internalized VA Values: “grab it all, pay lip service to vets, but we’re all about our own managers here.”

Is anybody else ready to disband this thing yet?

There’s one error in the Washington Examiner report:

A bill designed to increase accountability at the VA was shelved in October, after Senate Democrats and the White House successfully characterized the legislation as unfair to federal officials.

True, those guys do oppose accountability at the VA, but let’s be honest: it was Senate Majority Minority Follower Paul Ryan who let Harry Reid have his way with the bill, because Ryan and the Beltway Republicans don’t care about vets any more than Reid and the Beltway Democrats do.

Lord Love a Duck!s

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

Lawsuit Lotto, An American Pastime

Why did Willie Sutton rob banks? Hint: it was for the same reason that people today sue Walmart. Sometimes there’s loot in it:

A jury has awarded more than $31 million in damages to a former Wal-Mart pharmacist in New Hampshire who claimed she was wrongly fired after reporting safety concerns about co-workers dispensing prescriptions.

Maureen McPadden was a 13-year employee who reported her concerns to management while working in Wal-Mart’s Seabrook pharmacy. She was fired in 2012 after losing her pharmacy key.

The jury awarded most of the money Thursday based on gender discrimination claims.

Ohhhhkay. We’ve got three possibilities: she was fired because Walmart hates women, she was fired because of a conspiracy by The Man, or she, someone with the key to the place they keep the drugs all the low-lifes want, up and lost the freakin’ key.

Pick one, people.

Now you see why attorneys want brain-deads and TV-watchers on their juries.

New From Mattel: Fat Barbie

fat_barbieIf you’ve had the poor fortune to be looking for a date in all the wrong places in the last few decades, you’ve learned that, in women’s personal ads, “few extra pounds” translates to “obese,” and “curvy” to “Great Rolls of Blubber® morbidly obese.” So to the delight of fat chicks and feminists everywhere, there’s new Fat Barbie (uh, officially “curvy,” remember), with broad hips, a little bit of a belly, and, compared to Original Barbie, massive mammary loss.

If she’s going to become a bra-burning feminist, a word of advice from a retired professional in destroying things: lots of accelerant; there isn’t enough material in those cups to sustain combustion otherwise.

Go ahead, say, “Male Chauvinist Pig.” We guys always realized that Barbie’s shape was more aspirational that real, even as we defensively reacted to our buddies’ mockery of our dates: “She’s, uh, curvy but she has a great personality.”

fat barbie 2Naturally, all the usual suspects are fawning over Fat Barbie, and she got her first plus-sized modeling gig magazine cover already.

Of course, the feminists aren’t happy. If they were happy, they wouldn’t be mean-spirited, hostile, emotionally crabbed, and borderline deranged, that is, feminists; but our impression is that they won’t be happy until there’s Great Rolls of Blubber®, Varicose Cankles, Buzz-Cut, Angry Barbie.

It could be a long wait, but they’re content to stew in their own personal hygiene deficiencies for as long as it takes.

We predict a rough sales road ahead for Fat Barbie. She’s curvy, all right, but her personality’s kind of plastic.

Plastic? What do you expect? Mattel is from Southern California.

ATF was Disappointed to Find no Tobacco

Molon Liquor?

Molon Liquor? America’s Most Loved Federal Agency is still Investigating everything but violent criminals.

This one’s been percolating in the queue for a while — since mid-December, in fact. But it tickled us, because really, how long have we gone since seeing ATF enforcing the “A” with an arrest? But when they went for the alcohol-law violator, they they bagged the same guy on a plethora of firearms charges:

Sterling Albert, 53, was arrested on suspicion of felony possessing a still; selling alcohol without a license, a misdemeanor; and felony gun charges of possessing illegal and unregistered firearms, according to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

“Unregistered Firearms” in ATF- and general Federal law-speak is a term of art for National Firearms Act violations; they usually mean possession of a machine gun, suppressor or other Federally restricted firearm, without said firearm being listed in the NFA Registration and Transfer Record.

Agents arrested Albert this week after seizing 200 gallons of illegally distilled spirits and more than 500 cases of illegal wine from his business, at 5052 Forni Drive in Concord, ABC spokesman John Carr said.

Illegal still seized in Concord ( California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control)
Assault rifles, grenade launchers and gun silencers were found and seized during a search of Albert’s Martinez home, Carr said.

Albert studied viticulture and winemaking at UC Davis and formerly ran a landscaping company before he went into winemaking in 2008, opening Sterling Albert Winery in Concord, according to a 2009 account in the Contra Costa Times. Albert is known for his grapes grown near Mount Diablo and has won medals at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

ABC agents began investigating the Concord tasting room over the past few months after receiving a complaint that rum and whiskey were being manufactured and sold illegally there. Carr said Albert had a license to sell wine at another location a few blocks away, on Mason Circle, but not at the Forni Drive storefront. He did not have a license to sell spirits at either location, Carr said.

So, as always, it begins with an informer. And the raid seems to have happened because ATF licensed him right here but didn’t license him over there, as well as the still issues.

We’re not sure what the situation would be if his distillery were a developmental or R&D unit rather than a production unit. It would probably still require ATF registration, and they’d probably still be the same gang that see licensees as chickens for plucking.

Neighboring businesses didn’t want to be named but said federal agents descended on the complex Thursday, removing many items, including a still the size of a small car.

“He was a heck of a nice guy. A family man,” one neighbor said. “He had just started the distillery business.”

Albert is in the midst of his third bankruptcy filing since 2009. He has claimed $106,000 in assets while owing more than $250,000, according to court documents.

His bankruptcy application claims he owes $40,000 in delinquent taxes to Contra Costa County, and among his personal property assets he lists 12 handguns, eight rifles and one shotgun, valued at $4,800.

via Authorities: Contra Costa winemaker had stockpile of illegal guns, sold booze illegally – ContraCostaTimes.com.

It may be that his “assault weapons” were grandfathered under California’s awkward Roberti-Roos law. But NFA violations are serious business. One hopes that, guilty or not, he is well represented.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Methanol

old-demon-alcoholTwo Greenbrier, Tennessee teens are history this week after drinking a homebrew concoction of Mountain Dew and what they thought was drinking alcohol. It wasn’t.

A mixture of Mountain Dew and racing fuel, called “dewshine,” could be to blame for the deaths of two Greenbrier teenagers, whose cases are among the first reported in Tennessee, according to health officials.

To date, there have been four cases, all originating from Robertson County, involving the possible consumption of “dewshine” as reported to the Tennessee Poison Center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, according to medical director Dr. Donna Seger.

All four cases were reported in the past week.

“They thought they knew what it was, that it was a substitute for alcohol,” Seger said. “They thought they would get the same effects as alcohol, but they weren’t aware of how toxic it was.”

via 4 ‘dewshine’-drinking cases are state’s first.

We promise to go light on the chemistry, but methanol and ethanol differ by more than just one letter.

The Chemistry Lesson

Ethanol, C2H6O, comes from distilled and/or fermented plant matter. It’s actually a result of sugars fermented by yeasts. Ethanol is mildly toxic to humans: that toxicity is dose-dependent, and ranges from intoxication and hangover to, ultimately, death in alcoholic coma from central nervous system depression. (Even dedicated alcoholics rarely reach that peak). Most ethanol produced today in the USA is produced from corn that would otherwise be used in human foods or farm-animal fodder, driving food prices up. Its production is subsidized by the government, and it’s used to “cut” automobile fuel by about 10%. Its presence degrades the auto fuel because of its low energy density, but ethanol production has a large and generous lobby, fundamentally owning most farm-state Congressmen.

Methanol, CH₃OH or CH4O was once made from wood (old names for it include “wood alcohol” and “wood naptha”) but production from natural gas makes the same chemical more economically. It is toxic to humans also, but its toxicity is much higher than ethanol: the LD50 is anything from a spoonful to a few ounces, depending on the size and mass of the human. Survivors are likely to have permanent brain damage. Methanol has some industrial uses, for instance as a feedstock in formaldehyde or acetic acid production, an ingredient in antifreeze (it’s one of the things that kills dogs who lap up auto coolant puddles), and can be used as a solvent. It’s also used as drag-racing fuel. At one time a methanol by-product, MTBE, was also required to be added to motor fuels to compensate for the octane degradation caused by unleaded fuels and ethanol pollution, but the mandate was withdrawn when the EPA-mandated additive turned out to be environmentally as bad as the EPA-forbidden tetraethyl lead additive used previously.

With the loss of the subsidized MTBE market, methanol producers, too, are lobbying for a renewed cut of the government alcohol subsidy.

The Consequences

Because both Ethanol and Methanol are types of alcohols, and because most people are only familiar with ethanol as a social intoxicant and vaguely with its use to pad fuel sales, from time to time people who don’t know better drink methanol.

Whether you drink it straight, or mix it with Mountain Dew to make it taste sweet, the outcome is the same. It metabolizes into formic acid, toxic in its own right.

There are some marginally effective antidotes and treatments, and dialysis can help eliminate the methanol and formic acid, if treatment is attempted soon enough.

Otherwise, blind, brain-damaged, dead is the progress of the poisoning.