Author Archives: Hognose

About Hognose

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

Priorities, Priorities

Prepare for Global Warming

Prepare for Global Warming, gang.

The United States faces many national security challenges. In no particular order, these include:

  1. The unchecked rise of Islamic terrorism;
  2. The failure of the US-sponsored governments in Iraq and Afghanistan;
  3. Rise of the Islamic State;
  4. Rise of Iran, encouraged and funded by a self-destructive American foreign policy establishment;
  5. The fraying of NATO, illustrated by Turkey’s collapse into Islamist dictatorship and the EU’s pursuit of an independent (but oppositional to the US) military strategy;
  6. Failure of diplomacy to unite us with the Russians against the common enemy in Islam;
  7. …leading to, the necessity to marshal resources to counter Russian adventurism;
  8. Chinese seizure of the sovereign territory of US allies in the Pacific, including the Philippines (the one bright spot is the potential for US alliance with Vietnam, of all places);
  9. Chinese and Russian espionage and the complete failure of American leadership to take it seriously;
  10. Damage to US-Israeli relations from an ill-advised clandestine regime change attempt in Israel;
  11. The hollowing out of the military by 15 years of COIN war and numerous botched and cancelled procurement programs.
  12. Degrading of military readiness by pursuit of social engineering at the expense of combat effectiveness.

We could go on, and on, and on, but this list already goes to elebben — and beyond.

You may want to put them in a different order, but the live question today is, which of these crises has the United States national command authority made a priority for Defense?

Ah. It was a trick question. The answer? None of the above. The White House:

Today, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum on Climate Change and National Security, establishing a policy that the impacts of climate change must be considered in the development of national security-related doctrine, policies, and plans.

To achieve this, 20 federal agencies and offices with climate science, intelligence analysis, and national security policy development missions and responsibilities will collaborate to ensure the best information on climate impacts is available to strengthen our national security.

There are several advantages that accrue to them by doing this.

  1. It diverts attention from all the problems above;
  2. It’s great for virtue signaling, and the big one,
  3. It allows them to loot the defense budget even further for non-defense purposes.

There’s a dirty little secret in the “fact” that the United States outspends everybody else on “defense”: a lot of stuff completely unrelated to defense is packed into the budget: handouts for Senator Manchin’s daughter’s company, money for Social Justice Entrepreneurs in the Beltway, fat padding of contracts for union bosses. Ever wonder why a government building takes longer to go up, and costs more, than a Wal-Mart, a factory, or an office block of the same size? Government procurement is packed with a century of embedded handouts.

And now, the Defense tit is offered to the Global Warming industry to suckle.

Meanwhile: sharpen your bayonets, boys, the ammo budget’s being cut again.

Priorities.

Update:

Clayton Cramer asks, about something he found on Yahoo News, “Why isn’t this getting more attention?”

Obama is poised to veto legislation exposing Saudi Arabia to court action over the 9/11 attacks, stepping in to defend legal precedent and an awkward ally, but inviting election-time opprobrium.

White House officials say Obama will reject the “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act” by a Friday veto deadline, after a little over a week of deliberation.

Obama’s aides tried and failed to have the legislation substantially revised….

Why, indeed. 100% of the US Citizens in Congress supported it. (Yes, its passage was unanimous. When was the last time that happened?) It is opposed only by the Saudis, the State Department, and the President.

Could it be a question of priorities?

Meet Erika

Erika’s a mere slip of a girl, skinny as a rail…

erika-04

Even from behind, she’s a skinny one. Baby don’t got back, as some singer never sang.

erika-05

She’s also got an odd profile, hasn’t she?

erika-02

She fires the inconsequential 4.25 mm Liliput cartridge, a fraction the size of the 6.35 (.25 ACP) you see above it.

erika-09

And yes, the magazine is in front of the grip, for reasons known but to the designer. Of course, that makes it difficult to change magazines while holding the firearm, but then, when have you ever seen any interwar pocket pistol with a spare magazine?

erika-08

The 4.25 has a muzzle energy of 17 foot-pounds — more than a sneeze, and less than a CB cap.  While the frame is unique in its form, the slide is a little reminiscent of the 1900 Browning, with the barrel below the recoil spring, but the slide is only the rear part (like a Woodsman or Hi Standard target pistol’s), because Browning’s slide patent was still in force.

erika-07

Erika was an interwar Austrian pocket pistol that was as a small as a .25, but with less than half the power: astounding no one, she was a commercial failure, making these oddball pistols rare today. This one showed up at Gun Broker at an initial bid asked of $1,800, which produced from us a snort slightly more powerful than the 4.25 Lilliput round.

Rare Austrian Erika pistol in 4.25mm. Gun is missing safety lever, otherwise in excellent condition. Original bluing about 95+%. Very hard gun to found especially in high condition.

As mentioned, this example is not perfect, missing the safety which would have ridden below the slide on the left half of the pistol:

erika-01

About a year ago, Ian had a video on one of these pistols that was, then, up for auction at Rock Island. It’s typically a very informative video, with lots of details on the ingenious and tiny mechanism inside. Highly recommended! And there are some interesting images and some roughly robo-translated text at a Russian website.

Any Weapons Website of the Week Ideas?

Because, even though we delayed this post for over 12 hours, we’re still drawing a blank. so we’re throwing it open for suggestions. Because we know there’s lots of ’em we haven’t covered yet but they’re not in the forebrain at present. For the Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week, it’s Thursday noon, and we still got nothin’. So… help!

One hopes the feature will return next week, eh?

Third World Weapons Maintenance, Part II

OK, they weren't quite this bad. This one was dug up in Kuwait. But they were pretty bad.

OK, they weren’t quite this bad. This one was dug up in Kuwait. After being guest of honor at a fire. But they were pretty bad.

Commenter Aesop wrote, reference our Latin American men-without-boots:

… their weapons probably lack basic individual cleaning kits, and their crew-serveds would likely give an armory NCO a case of the screaming shitfits, followed by a life-ending stroke.

Oh, he nailed it. The very same unit whose boots looked like the product of the cobbler’s apprentice’s first day on the job, proudly carried the same Para FALs their nation bought them… in 1958. They cleaned them in communal half-barrels full of gasoline, with steel-wire painter’s brushes. Not one had any finish left on it. If one thought that the rifle had a little finish in the low places, closer examination showed him that what he was seeing was just grime.

You might ask, “Hognose, how did they clean the bores with nothing but a steel-wire painter’s brush?” Good question, but based on a faulty assumption. You see, they didn’t clean the bores.

Asked about this, the commander explained that they didn’t need to: they never fired. That was the secret to the incredible longevity of those AARP-eligible FALs.

Another fun feature of FAL is that it needs a tool to adjust the sights. They had one. One. For the battalion. The jealously guarded property of the armorer, and he would not allow it to leave his arms room and go to the range.

Another fun conversation with our counterpart, one of the battalion officers:

Hognose: “We’ve noticed that the officers seem to be all white, the NCOs mestizos, and the enlisted full-blooded indios.

El Capitán: “Sí, that’s the way it is in my country. Every kind of man in the best job for his abilities. So the officers are white guys like me.”

Hognose: “But you seem to welcome the advice of Sergeant [Black Dude] or CW3 [American Indian].”

El Capitán: “Ah, but you Americans are all gringos all the same, not like us. Your blacks and indians are white.”

Hognose: “Are there any officers in your army who are indios?

El Capitán (giving a look that suggests he thinks ‘Nose has lost his grip): “Why would we do that? We have a couple that are NCOs, that’s enough.”

 

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Sex Tapes

NINTCHDBPICT000266888976Although, it wasn’t the sex tape that killed her, it was her own bad judgment with respect to said sex tape.

A WOMAN who sent a sex tape to her ex which later emerged online has committed suicide after being bombarded with abuse.

Tiziana Cantone was filmed performing a sex act on a man in footage that was leaked on the internet.

Bad Judgment #1: making a sex tape. Look, there’s nothing wrong with sex, but when your partner has set the bed up with lights and camera for action, then, you might just exercise judgment about whether to get in.

If you’re the one setting up the lights and camera, or suggesting it, that’s Bad Judgment, supercharged.

It is believed she sent it to her ex boyfriend to taunt him but that he uploaded it in revenge.

Bad Judgment #2: OK, it’s Bad Judgment (hereafter, appropriately, BJ) #1 to make the tape, because it’s very hard to assure that you retain control of the tape. Letting the tape get out into the wild, while it is sort of inevitable if the tape exists, is certainly Bad Judgment #2. If you’re the sort of person who can capitalize on BJ#1 and BJ#2 like certain reality show celebrities, then this may not apply to you, but to the other six billion people in the world, most of the people who would take note of your starting in a monster movie featuring The Beast With Two Backs™ are not the people who wish you well.

The highly explicit tape has since been shared hundreds of thousands of times on social media and has even appeared on porn sites.

Well, yeah, that’s where pictures of pretty women performing sex acts tend to wind up. What application do you think built out the Internet?

Italian Tiziana, 31, had her full name and identity revealed, leading to torrents of vile targeted abuse.

Tiziana quit her job and moved to the countryside in Tuscany after reportedly being recognised and ridiculed.

Ridiculed? Or propositioned?

She was in the process of legally changing her name when she was found dead, according to local press.

Well, that name-changing is a hazardous thing. Most of the the young guys turning up toes-up in Chicongo this year have two or three names to go with various previous mugshots.

But there’s Bad Judgment #3: killing yourself over something that can’t kill you.

A friend has said she “wanted to leave everything behind”.

via Tiziana Cantone-sex tape leak leads her to commit suicide after she suffered barrage of online abuse.

Well, she wanted to leave everything behind. She sure did.

Some people are criticizing her ex for sharing the tape, calling it “Revenge Porn.” OK, so he was a cad and a bounder. But who’s really at fault here?

  1. Who dated the cad and bounder in the first place?
  2. Who made the tape?
  3. Who distributed the tape?
  4. Who killed herself when the predictable consequences of #1, #2 and #3 above came around?

None of this is rocket surgery, people. Be selective. Don’t make sex tapes. If you’re so stupid you think you’re an exception to that, don’t let anyone else have a copy, or ever put it on a computer. And if you’re so stupid you did all of the above, at least, don’t kill yourself.

How hard is that?

100% Inventory Underway

weaponsarmorym9m4m16racksgunrackgsansnweaponcabinetarmymilitarygunscabinetsThe other day, we came up short a gun for a photo shoot. Whaaa? Well, it’s past time to tidy up around here. (OTR dropped by recently, and threatened to report the Manor in general, and the office in particular, to one of those TV Hoarder shows). There’s a fine line between a collector and a hoarder, isn’t there? We’re determined to stay on the non-bat-guano-crazy side of the line and not be like the crazy cat ladies where they find mummified cat carcasses among the piles of old gun magazines and rusty toasters.

For all that we preach physical security, we’d gotten lax. The light in the main safe went out, and we didn’t fix it. (Failure one). We took guns out for photo ops and they sat around the office, library or even the kitchen for days before being returned. (Failure two). We used various non-standard bags and boxes to move guns around, and didn’t always remove the guns when they got more-or-less to destination (that’s failure three). We had more guns than practical safe storage for them (failure four) and occasionally hosted guest guns that were commingled with our own guns (failure five). We had guns that were not logged into our database (and we’re up to six, and counting).

Most of all, we were casual about putting down books or other stuff on top of guns. So we might well have a gun on a desk, then five books in three languages, then a bank statement that came in and a few press releases from manufacturers. And where was that gun again?

Now, as a private owner of firearms, you have relatively few legal regulations about how you store them, unless you live in some lawless hellhole like North Korea or Massachusetts. Manufacturers and FFLs have more regulations, and those regs can act as a guide to best practices for the private gun owner or other non-licensee who has more than one pistol and a pair of hunting guns. The ATF publishes guidance on inventory control and booking, and licensees that follow it have a lot fewer troubles with an Industry Operations Inspector’s visit that licensees that think they know it all. So the ATF way can guide you.

So can the way the military keeps track of guns. Unlike the Federal criminal investigative agencies that lose scores of guns every year, the services seldom lose a firearm outside of combat; and when they do, it’s usually not lost for very long. (Anyone remember the agency that lost an M4 and a couple of handguns — and never got the M4 back, or made a case against the thief or the criminals caught in possession? It wasn’t the military).

Here are some suggested Best Practices, and we’d welcome discussion in the comments, based mostly not on the right way or the wrong way, but the Army Way:

  • Have an inventory. This seems trivial, but a shocking number of people do not. Our local police chief estimated that in only one in ten residential burglaries that had firearms taken, could the owner produce a list of the firearms by serial number for NCIC entry. This not only prevents the owner from recovering his firearm, but also prevents police from prosecuting criminals who receive the stolen firearms. Very often a stolen firearm is sold on the streets, but they may also be pawned, and ethical pawnbrokers welcome stolen firearms alerts from the cops.
  • Make the inventory easy to use. The more arcane and complicated it is, the more likely it will get neglected and not be 100% complete when you need to broach the subject with the police or insurers. Simplicity is your friend: Manufacturer, importer, model, year, caliber, serial number, other significant markings and a photo are optimal, but make/model, caliber, serial will do in a pinch. (The Army uses NSN, SN, and a couple-word description, plus the line number of the item on the unit’s Modified Table of Organization & Equipment [MTOE] or Table of Distribution and Allowances [TDA]; that’s all that’s in the inventory dump).
  • Have enough storage. This is commonly violated by citizen gun-owners because it’s more fun to buy guns than buy safes. What do you do with overflow? A Job Box bolted to a basement floor or wall and secured with good padlocks is a $300 solution, until you can get that $1000 safe.
  • Tag in, tag out. If the gun is out, hang a tag in its place indicating who has it or where it is (the Army does this with a Weapons Card. There are many versions: here’s one as a .pdf that you can print, four to a page, duplex. In Army use they’re generally laminated).
  • Limit “Withdrawals” The kind of limitations include requiring a need to remove, removing a limited number at a time per user, and a limited duration.
  • Keep Storage Locked. Check it daily, a great time is when you walk your perimeter to ensure doors and windows are closed and locked before bed.
  • Store Magazines and Ammo separately, but also locked. See the Job Box mentioned above.
  • Maintain climate control. In our normally damp, cool basement, we do this with a room dehumidifier that keeps the basement ≤45% humidity, and a rechargable dehumidifier insider each safe. Belt and suspenders humidity management.
  • Conduct frequent inspections. The reason for doing this should be self-evident: it’s to ensure that all your other control measures are working effectively. Here you’re looking for condition, primarily (rust is the secondary enemy of firearms, after national socialists) and

Looking at this list of best practices, it’s clear where we came up short. In the end, the missing vz. 24 that we wanted to A-B compare to a vz. 22 turned up — the dealer that sold it to us shipped it in a Smith & Wesson revolver box, and the whole box was still out of the safe. That was a bad turn of affairs, because it was not only out of our control, but also in an packaging irresistible to burglars.

An Interesting P.38 — and What’s Different About Collectors?

This interesting Walther P.38 up for auction is interesting both due to the quality of the listing — there are over 100 pictures with it (also available here, which may require you to accept a certificate mismatch) — and the degree to which small details drive the collector market (or try to). This particular pistol presents as an ordinary, Walther-made, 1943-production P.38.

p38-ac-43

What makes it unique, and a bestower of bragging rights on the owner, is that it is the highest known pistol of Walther’s 1943 production. In that year the pistols were marked, “ac 43” and serial number, and Walther serial numbers were one to four digits and a letter suffix (all running in numeric and alphabetic succession, with Teutonic precision). Previous reference sources have documented ac 43 “Third Variation” production from serial numbers 218m to 7932n. This pistol is 9248n, and records suggest it was made in December, 1943, after which month Walther transitioned to marking pistols ac 44.

p38-9248n-ac-43

It may have been the last one made that year; it’s definitely the last one to turn up so far. 

p38-9248n-ac-43-front

It’s a nice condition, all matching example, but the buy-it-now is set at $1,700, which suggests that the reserve (unmet at press time) is also high.

p38-9248n-ac-43-right

(For the record, “First Variation ac43” production ran from ac 43 1 to ac 43 8xxxg from Jan 43-Jun 43, and “Second Variation ac 43” from approximately ac 43 9000g and ends in the -l or -m range, made from June to October. Third variation was produced from about Oct 43 to Dec 43. If you were fuzzy on the three variations of 1943 Walther-built P.38s, you’re not alone, but as in all things Nazi, they’ve been exhaustively researched. The auction says this of the differences:

The Second Variation differs from the First Variation by the following: 1) the lightening hole in the frame, located in the front of the partition between the take down lever well and trigger well, was omitted; 2) elimination of the narrow secondary extractor spring plunger relief slow on the slide; 3) the left side of the slide’s cavity now included the extractor spring relief cut, which became standard on all subsequent models; and 4) increasing the thickness of the area between the trigger axel hole and the trigger guard to eliminate a weak spot in the frame.

The Third Variation ac43 P.38 differs from the Second Variation in several key respects. First, the previously used stacked code was eliminated and, in its place, the new line code was first introduced. This resulted in a new slide marking configuration: P.38 on the far left on the slide center line, the serial number, which is now just above the center line and beginning at the point of the slide parallel with the breech face, followed by the company code “ac 43.” The second principal difference is that, beginning with the Third Variation, the barrel was now left with the milling marks on the outer surface. Prior to this, the barrel had been polished smooth prior to bluing. This change was undoubtedly implemented to speed production.

With what we know of industrial production, this certainly sounds like collectors are sperging out and trying to bundle normal running production changes, something that happens on every production line for everything, into sets that they call “Variations,” a distinction that would have been quite meaningless to any of the production planners in Wehrmacht ordnance offices or in Walther’s production-engineering spaces.

All these serial number calculations assume, of course, that Walther retired the ac 43 stamp with a ceremony on 31 Dec 43 and opened the new year stamping guns ac 44 — firearms factories don’t often work with such military precision, but maybe all these Germans did. In the real world, stampings and serial numbers often get out of sequence and overlap.

This all matching gun has been bid up only to a low price for an all matching generic P.38, with a few hours to go in the auction (we think it’s very likely to be relisted). But that’s the sort of thing that collectors dig deep into, and one reason many people with quite a few guns don’t think of themselves as capital-C Collectors.

One last note — the collection of well-lit and well-shot pictures is a good look at the internal workings of this very interesting, world’s first DA/SA service pistol, if you’re not already familiar with its many innovations (for its era).

Update

With three hours remaining in the auction, the bid is now $855, and the reserve price remains unmet. The $855 strikes us a low to average price for a superior condition P.38 like this (collectors also prize condition), but we are not experts in the Nazi pistol market. The question is, does the rare nature of this very-late-1943 gun justify its price?  After all, it might be the last known ’43 Walther gun forever, or just until some higher number n-suffix ac 43 firearm turns up. It’s a very nice high-condition wartime P.38, though, and clearly one that hasn’t been buried in a bunker in Belarus for the last seventy years.

What Separates First and Third World Armies?

Pipe WrenchWhat’s the difference between the military of a first-world nation like Germany, Britain or the US, and the army of some banana republic or sub-saharan kleptocracy? It’s best expressed either as two words or one. The one word would be discipline, but since that’s a small word with a very large portfolio, instead we’ll talk about the two words that best illustrate why some can fight and some can’t, and they might not be the two words that you expect.

Preventive maintenance.

Earlier today, we posted a US DOD auction for an early-1940s halftrack. The thing was a mess, there have been no parts in the system for it since circa 1955, and all the mechanics who knew the ins and outs of the M2 Half Track Combat Car are resting in veterans’ cemeteries, or drooling in veterans’ homes. But it ran and moved under its own power, still, when Uncle finally decided to sell it off — some 75 years after it first got put on the property book.

An American officer knows when he reports in to take command of a new unit that the vehicles will run (or will have a documented reason why they don’t, and measures will be underway to fix them). His unit’s weapons will have seen a technical inspection some time within their last couple or years or appropriate cycles of rounds fired. Stuff that needs logbooks will have the logbooks, and they will have the complete history of the equipment in them. His soldiers will have sturdy boots that won’t let them down and fall apart if they have to walk 25 kilometers.

This is because the US Army (and Marine Corps, etc.) has a culture of preventive maintenance, enforced by one of the US military’s secret weapons, a professional NCO corps (petty officers, in the Navy and USCG).

None of these things is assured in a third world military. Many of them have had extensive efforts by advisors (British, American, Russian, Chinese) to teach them the supporting nation’s perfectly logical and effective maintenance system — you know, the one that ensures that when you crack the box on a surplus Mosin that some Russian armorer packed up in 1946, it’s still ready to go to war. And that tells some American logistician where to lay hands on the crates of 1911s to send them to CMP. But these educational efforts always fall short, and they fall short in predictable ways.

The memoirs of Russian advisors knocking themselves out trying to teach the Arabs of the 50s and 60s, the Americans who despaired at getting maintenance across to the South Vietnamese, and just about anybody who struggled to teach African students are remarkably similar. Indeed, some of the officers who tried to teach aviation to the Chinese under Chennault, or modern army operations to the Filipino Constabulary in the early 1900s, or raised sepoy regiments for the East India Company, could have written interchangeable tales, with only the native names being different.

That’s because PM is not just a process, or something that can be written in books and taught from a podium. It’s cultural, and trying to teach culture requires a set of students willing to have their culture changed, or building one ab initio. (Hence, Japan’s transformation from feudal backwater to modern world power in a few short decades).

We have a lot of funny PM stories over the years, like the generators in Suriname that were derelict and stripped of salable parts a year after a refugee task force donated them to the Suriname Army; the Nigerian Airborne MTT that failed because Nigerian officers had sold off the instruments, engines, propellers, and landing gear of their C-130s (the general assumption was, to South African sanctions busters); the Bolivian officer who pressed us for high-tech equipment like GPS receivers and night-vision equipment for his ill-equipped Ranger battalion.

Hognose: “But, mi coronel, your men don’t have serviceable boots. They’re tough guys and will walk till their feet bleed, but we could do more to raise the combat power of this battalion by getting your guys boots, and I’m pretty sure we could get the Milgroup to buy off on that.”

El Tte. Coronel: “I am offended at the suggestion, my dear Nez de puerco. Every soldier gets two new pairs of boots when he reports to basic training. Regrettably, some of them do not maintain their boots.”

Hognose: “Sí, señor.” Because, really, what else can you say? Either the distiguished lieutenant colonel, or some crony of his, was working a racket where the men were reported as getting new boots, but they actually got incredibly worn and crudely patched and resoled US Army surplus Direct Molded Sole combat boots. As a result, the battalion could do a 25k road march — once, to be followed by a period of convalescence.

Sooner or later, no doubt, someone broke down and ordered high-speed low-drag electronics for these guys, most of which probably went the way of the new boots, into the black market.

When you see the field forces of a non-European/non-Anglosphere military, look at their feet. You’ll learn if they aspire to first-world professionalism (you’ll never see Brazilian grunts in unserviceable boots, for instance), or if the whole Army is there for show, in which case every piece of gear they have will be either new and shiny — freshly donated by the taxpaying chumps of some foreign land — or two years old and already cannibalized for parts or scrapped.

Preventive maintenance culture. It’s what separates the powers from the popinjays.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Crowbars

crowbarIn Los Angeles, guns aren’t quite outlawed yet, but a powerful coalition of city politicians, criminals, and state officials are working on it as fast as they can.

So when Sumdood wigged out over a trash truck — for reasons unknown, but maybe he was annoyed at being stuck behind the stops-at-every-trashcan vehicle, or maybe he was just a typically unbalanced Angeleno — he beat up the truck, and the driver, with a crowbar.

An irate motorist attacked a Los Angeles city trash truck with a crowbar Thursday in Wilmington, sending the truck driver to the hospital after the shattered windshield hit her face, officials said.

The city employee was working in the 1300 block of Ronan Avenue when an angry man got out of his car and approached the refuse truck at 7:45 a.m., Bureau of Sanitation spokeswoman Elena Stern said.

“He grabbed a crowbar from his car and smashed both a window and the windshield on the collection vehicle,” Stern said.

The worker was taken to the hospital, where she was treated for cuts on her face from glass, Stern said.

The crowbar wielder and crowbar? They, apparently, remain at large. LAPD officials haven’t yet demanded a crowbar registry, but that’s probably next, as this one slips into the “unsolved, not breaking our backs to solve” pile with a goodly portion of the nearly 500 homicides so far this year. (Over time, about half of LA homicides go unsolved, according to in-depth analysis in 2010 and again in 2015).

Photos taken at the scene show at least three strikes against the front windshield.

Wait, didn’t California have a “three strikes” law? Or did they overturn it as too cruel to violent criminals? (Oh. Not those kind of “strikes.” Never mind).

Los Angeles police Lt. Helen Pallares said police are investigating the incident. No arrests have been made and officers are searching for the man’s vehicle.

via Irate motorist attacks trash truck with a crowbar in Wilmington, injuring driver.

Sure, that’ll be successful. One more unsolved crime in the great mass thereof. LA is a great place to live — for a parasite that lives by theft and by violence. For anyone else, not so much. But what are you going to do? Who is John Galt?

So How Bad was the Iran Bad Deal?

whiteflagIn a review of the new book The Iran Wars, by WSJ correspondent Jay Solomon, Omri Ceren boils down the essence of the incredibly bad deal into less than two paragraphs. Excerpted:

In exchange for sitting down and talking, the Iranians would get hundreds of millions of dollars monthly, stabilizing their economy. Eventually U.S. diplomats offered Iran a deal that legalized full-blown uranium, plutonium, and ballistic-missile work on a timeline—with international sponsorship for Iranian work in the meantime—and did not force the country to disclose its previous nuclear cheating.

The deal also immediately released roughly a hundred billion dollars to Iran, shredded the international sanctions regime, would have American officials traveling to drum up business for Iran, removed restrictions on a range of Iranian terrorists, and allowed Iran to keep spinning thousands of centrifuges throughout the deal—and then, to sell all of that, the president and his allies said that American diplomats did the best anyone could have.

via Let’s Make a Bad Deal | commentary.

The party to the negotiation that is more anxious to make a deal gets the worst of the deal. And if your anxiety rises to the level of desperation, you really get the worst of the deal. You don’t need to have spent time in the souks of Tehran to grasp that. And the US was so desperate for this deal, that it cut a deal that was fundamentally an unconditional surrender. Pathetic.

Meanwhile, in other diplomatic triumphs, the State Department’s spokesmen (and their useful idiots in the press) are still raving about the great cease-fire deal that we cut with the Russians in Syria, even though Russian jets bombed the US’s proxies last week, and US jets bombed the Russians’ this week. Or maybe that was the other way around: Peace in Our Time® is confusing.

Update

But wait, it gets worse. Former terrorism prosecutor Andy McCarthy (he’s the guy who put the first batch of WTC-bombing terrorists, from 1993, in Club Fed) has a rundown on what Iran is doing with its American cash.

The part that was hostage ransom — about $1.7 billion — went to the IRGC to promote terrorism and jihad. Some of this probably shores up the Syrians that we’re ineptly sort-of fighting. (And Russia is ineptly sort-of supporting). The dispostion of the tens of billions more that is not hostage ransom, but simple tribute, is murkier, but as McCarthy points out, money is fungible and will be spent according to Iranian priorities. As Andy wraps up:

Not to worry, though — it’s not like they’re threatening our naval vessels, humiliating our sailors, massing Hezbollah forces on Israel’s border, or chanting “Death to America,” right?

This agreement is all bad, every bit of it, even to the punctuation marks and white space therein;  it could have only been negotiated and approved by persons who loathe America and the West, and . And it’s one more data point on the 5,000 year pile of evidence that appeasement, acquiescence and self-abasement are no source of national success or even survival.