Category Archives: Uncategorized

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).

 

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.

Caching your Guns for a Civil War, Parts I and II

Many people are talking about the possibility of a civil war. Some people are acting as if one is going to happen. The intersection between those sets is almost zero.

Part 1: Some obstacles to caching

Three can keep a secret, if two are dead. All the Haganah underground operatives kept the secret of this cache in Northern Israel. It was discovered by accident after they had all died.

Three can keep a secret, if two are dead. All the Haganah underground operatives who knew the secret of this cache in Northern Israel took it to their graves. It was discovered by accident in January, 2014, after they had all died. (Story at The Blaze with links to Israeli media, some in Hebrew).

First, if you live in a state with licensing and registration, you’re screwed. Even if they don’t have all your weapons in their files, they know you have weapons. They can come and shake down your home and curtilage at their leisure. Registration and Licensing doesn’t solve crimes, and it certainly doesn’t prevent them. It is one thing only: a cheat sheet for confiscation.  For that, it’s the cat’s pajamas.

We’ve heard a lot of bravado about boating accidents and long-ago sales to a tall short black guy with red hair and freckles. You can pull this off in one two-pronged case: no one else at all knows about your weapons and your plans, and you can resist intense interrogation. (Unless you have been trained in interrogation resistance in a resistance training lab, you probably can’t). This is completely without torture or threats to relatives, both of which will be available and in use in a civil war. Those two techniques can usually break even the trained resister.

Second, don’t rely on Oathkeepers bluster (another word beginning with “b” also fits). They mean what they say now, but things will be different then. Police will have no problem cracking down on you because (1) most cops will follow any plausibly legitimate authority; (2) human beings are born to rationalize; and (3) you’ll be demonized long before you’re raided. They won’t whack you, they’ll be whacking your indescribably monstrous straw man evil twin.

Every totalitarian state in history made liberal use of the ordinary cops for its political roundups, and no police element has ever mutinied or walked off the job when faced with that task. For example, the Gestapo and SS did not need to round up the Jews in occupied France: the ordinary French beat cops were glad to do it. None of them was ever punished; they transferred their loyalty seamlessly and unquestionably from the 3rd Republic to Vichy to the occupying power to the 4th Republic. Likewise, the Weimar cops became Nazi cops, who in turn became East or West German cops, and now unified Federal German cops. Hitler? Stalin? Who cares, we can retire at 45 with a good pension, and no one will miss a few Jews.

Third, don’t expect most people to back you. For every active resister, there are 20 dedicated, clandestine supporters. For every dedicated supporter there are 20 active and open collaborators. You active resisters will be outnumbered 400 to 1 by the Quislings. And even they will be a minority. Most people will hunker down and try not to be involved. The side that pressures them will get their loyalty and compliance — as long as it outpressures its opponents, and as long as the pressure is applied.

Still wondering why civil wars get ugly, fast?

Fourth, if you’re fantasizing about this civil war, stop now. We’ve seen civil wars, and we’ve seen how a place can go from civilized to Hobbsean state of nature in jig time. The American Revolution has been sanitized in our history but even it, the cleanest and most civil of civil wars, was unbearably nasty. The victors wrote the history; the losers, the Tories or Loyalists, took ship. Or died. After losing everything. A new Civil War might look more like the last one, with new Mosbys, Booths, and certainly new Andersonvilles. Or it might resemble the Spanish Civil War, or the French Revolution. When Americans unhappy with government think of the French Revolution, they think of their opponents in the tumbrils. Remember the fate of Robespierre and the Jacobins was no different from that of the Girondins or the Bourbons. Remember that practically none of the Old Bolsheviks died of natural causes.

But if, after all that, you still want to be prepared for survival or resistance, read on. The lessons learned you are about to receive here are distilled from thirty-plus years in the practice of insurgency, UW, FID, and COIN, and a very great deal of study. They also incorporate the lessons learned from a sensitive — once, highly classified — strategic cache program that was meant to arm clandestine stay-behind forces and the resistance armies they would raise.

Part II: The Enemies of Cached Weapons

The enemies of your cached weapons, dear insurgent, are many. They are rust, and its valkyries water and air; construction and development; discovery; documentation; human frailty; and obsolescence.

These weapons, buried during the League of Nations mandate and recovered only last year, were well preserved.

These weapons, buried during the League of Nations mandate and recovered only last year, were well preserved. Careful packaging and Israel’s arid climate protected them from Air, Water and therefore Rust.

Rust is a term for corrosion in ferrous metals. Essentially, iron plus air (especially damp, moist air) yields iron oxide, which is everything steel is not: weak, crumbly, almost worthless (well, you can make an incendiary mixture with it. But your guns are not the best feedstock for that; it’s not like rust is hard to come by).

You protect weapons from rust with permanent coatings like paint or parkerizing, temporary coatings like grease, vacuum-bagging them if you have the capability, and storing them in naturally or artificially dry places.

Even non-ferrous metals and supposedly “stainless” metals will corrode in the right conditions.

Water is principally a problem because of its propensity to accelerate rust. But it also has two other properties: it tends to wick into almost anywhere, and if it’s flowing, it can wear through anything. The Grand Canyon? That’s nothing but applied water and time.

Air is a problem because it contains all the ingredients for rust except the iron: water vapor and oxygen. It also can contain pollutants that accelerate corrosion.

Development is a threat to a surprising number of caches. Europeans periodically wake up to a news story of a cache of weapons or other stuff from the Cold War or World War II. The Nazis cached hundreds of tons of arms for a Werwolf resistance that fizzled out, partly because the Nazi state’s defeat made its ideology much less compelling, and partly because all four Allies had no compunction at all about shooting Werwolf suspects, even children. These unused caches get unearthed in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic by urban and rural development all the time. They’re usually old, forgotten, neglected caches in bad shape.

Apart from concealment, which was often good, the Werwolf caches were a pretty good example of how not to conduct a strategic cache program.

While some hazards are easy to defend against — you can “set ’em and forget ’em” — defense against development requires long-term curation. If a cache is implanted, someone must monitor it, and when development encroaches, move it. Therefore, the caches that are discovered are the ones that are haphazardly monitored or that were implanted by defunct organizations that never took up, or failed at, monitoring.

It is also helpful to emplace caches in locations that are away from either axes of likely future development, potential high value positions or targets in civil or general war (such as key terrain), or potential bivouac locations of hostile forces.

Discovery is the accidental location, exposure, or penetration of the cache, not as a result of counterguerrilla or counterespionage activity, nor as a result of development-related excavation. Your likely discoverers are hunters, hikers, and, especially, kids.

Guard against it by placing the cache on difficult terrain, and concealing the cache well.

There appears to have been no documentation of the Haganah cache. It was concealed well enough that the discovery came almost 70 years after the Haganah's clandestine war was won.

There appears to have been no Documentation of the Haganah cache. It was concealed well enough that its Discovery came almost 70 years after the Haganah’s clandestine war was won.

Documentation is a double-aged sword. It allows for the recovery or relocation of caches even if no responsible individual is available (a real risk in UW). It is useful in the demobilization phase after victory has been achieved; or in an underground or dormant phase after a major defeat. But it also allows hostile forces to find and recover caches, or even worse, surveil them and roll up networks.

To counter these risks, documentation should be kept to a minimum and safeguarded, possibly with such measures as clandestine writing and encryption. Cache reports should never be transmitted by or filed on computers or electronic devices. (Assume all computers are bugged).

Human Frailty (memory and weakness) is what happens to most caches — not to put too fine a point on it, somebody rats them out.

The way to combat this is to enact strict positive vetting, need-to-know, and compartmentalization. No one should even know that there are caches unless the person’s trustworthiness has been established beyond doubt. No one should know any more about caches than he or she needs to, and that information must be given to the smallest practical number of people. And finally, no one should know about caches not relevant to his cell, mission, or location.

Obsolescence is the final problem with caches. If, mirabile dictu, things are so well packed and preserved that they’re not at risk, the canny old wizard we call Time still has one ace up his sleeve: obsolescence. You don’t know where it’s coming from; small arms development proceeds by a pattern of punctuated equilibrium. You can’t tell when technology will overthrow your stored ordnance. Rebels who buried their guns in 1800, or in 1900, would still be armed like a national army forty years later, but if they buried their guns in 1840 or 1940, they would dig up a bunch of very outdated hardware in 1880 or 1980. (We were, in fact, digging up — for inspection — caches planted in the 1940s periodically through the 1980s). But small arms performance plateaued enough in the 20th Century that the guns are the least of your worries. A guerrilla band armed today with Garands and MP.40s would still have considerable lethality, but there’s no hope for the crystal and tube radios of the 1940s for practical field communications. Likewise, medical equipment stored even a decade ago has been replaced in the real world by improved devices and products of new research.

There is no easy way to combat obsolescence. You have to be prepared to service the cache as we did during the cold war, a difficult and expensive undertaking fraught with risk to the servicer, the cache, and the security of the program.

To be continued in Part III: Types of Caches and IV: Cache Best Practices

We will learn that, as useful as it may be to consider the risks above, you’re going to find that if you want to use the cache or caches, you’re going to have to accept considerable risks beyond those. Indeed, the use of the cache is ever in tension with the security of same (a tradeoff with many, many parallels in the insurgent’s world).

And anything you can do can get you scarfed up. No pressure, though.

Look for Parts III and IV next week.

Luck and Loyalty

On October 4, 1777, British and Continental forces fought a short, sharp engagement on the outskirts of Philadelphia, in a town named for its immigrant settlers: Germantown. The battle initially went well for the home team, coached by George Washington, but the British and their Hessian mercenaries rallied, and the Continentals retreated, in good order as retreats go. But this post is not about the battle per se, but about what we can learn from some incidents in the fighting and its aftermath.

ITEM: Luck and a Mercenary’s  Loyalty

Consider the fortune of the 9th Virginia Regiment, led by Colonel Matthews. In the initial contact, they did very well and took approximately 100 British prisoners. Matthews detached a battalion of 400 men to escort the prisoners to the rear, not knowing that a Hessian regiment led by Colonel Von Donop had moved into position between him and the headquarters to which he was transporting his dejected prisoners.

Von Donop was a mercenary, to be sure, but it was point of honor with him as an officer to be loyal unto his paymasters, and he displayed such threatening firepower that the detachment of Virginians released their ecstatic captives, and now were the dejected prisoners themselves. It was a microcosm of the reversal of fortune of the whole battle1.

For the fates of the individual men, this is not a small thing. The privations of Valley Forge lay ahead, and would certainly have been harder on captives than they were on the Continentals themselves, and they were quite dreadful on the Continentals. And while the British had, by 1777, overcome their initial inclination to hang rebels, at least in the case of the rank and file, they had not yet (and would not throughout the war) advanced to the next step of treating their prisoners like human beings. The pestilential prison ships kept in New York harbor are well known, for example. Many of the Virginians would die in captivity, tragic martyrs to the cause of liberty.

ITEM: Lucky Dog

In contrast to the ill-treatment of prisoners by both sides was the fate of General Howe’s dog. Among the British losses were the commander’s pet; there was no getting back the 800 of Howe’s men that Washington estimated had been killed (Howe’s own report to London was of a much smaller number), but when the dog, healthy if bewildered, was brought to the American general as a trophy, Washington’s first impulse was to send the dog back to his opponent by messenger, which he did on 6 October 1777. He sent a note:

General Washington’s compliments to General Howe. He does himself the pleasure to return him a dog, which accidentally fell into his hands, and by the inscription on the caller, appears to belong to General Howe2.

If Howe, who seems to have considered Washington a social if not professional inferior at this point, made any reply, we are unaware of it. (Howe also was widely recognized as a man of decency and character, and we can only imagine the effect of being reunited with his four-legged friend).

ITEM: Luck and a Servant’s Loyalty

The British, for their part, were not thrilled that Washington had been able to surprise them tacticallyThey were especially annoyed that the Colonial men of substance in the Germantown area had gone all Sergeant Schultz — “I know nothing!” — and provided them with zero useful intelligence. Young Loyalist Robert Morton recorded:

I went to headquarters where I saw Maj. Balfour, one of Gen’l Howe’s aide de camps, (wounded at the battles of Bunker Hill and Long Island) was very much enraged with the people around Germantown for not giving them intelligence of the advancing of Washington’s army, and that he should not be surprised if Gen’l Howe was to order the country for 12 miles around Germantown to be destroyed, as the people would not run any risk to give them intelligence when they were fighting to preserve the liberties and properties of the peaceable inhabitants3.

It seems that Balfour was not alone in his anger.

Balfour’s threat was not an idle one. Almost immediately after the battle the British intelligence officer, Col. Ayres, ordered 17 large homes between Germantown and Philadelphia fired in retaliation for the non-cooperative roles their owners had played in the recent conflict.

Even though Gen. Howe had used Stenton [Dr. Logan’s country home — Ed.] as his headquarters, Dr. James Logan was considered a dangerous patriot. At the time the house was staffed by only a few servants. Ayres dispatched two privates to burn the house.

When the soldiers beat on the door with their muskets, a black servant named Dinah answered. The men told her to get her personal belongings together and get out — the house was about to be burnt.

They said they were going to the stables for straw and when they returned she was to be out of the house. No sooner had the men gone to the barn when a British officer rode up on a lathered horse and called to Dinah as she still stood in the doorway. He wanted to know if she had seen any British deserters nearby.

Dinah immediately replied that there were two of them hiding in the barn at that very moment. The officer, who was in charge of the Provost Guard, immediately called to his men to run to the barn and round up the deserters.

“Come out you rascals, he shouted, drawing his own heavy pistol.”You can’t hide in there – get back to camp!”

Although the privates insisted they were acting under orders from Colonel Ayres, the Provost guard was unimpressed and marched the men off toward camp at bayonet point. Ayres’s men did not return and Stenton was spared the fate of many other fine mansions in the area. Dinah was amply rewarded for her fast thinking when Dr. Logan returned home after the British evacuated Philadelphia.4

ITEM: The Soldier’s Luck snd What Was Later Called PTSD

John F. Watson, a 19th Century Philadelphia banker who had the good fortune to live in the stately brick home that housed Thomas Jefferson when the United States capital was, briefly, Germantown in 1793 (now, fittingly, the home of the Germantown Historical Society), became an amateur historian of the battle and collected reminiscences from survivors.

Some of them seemed to take on a melancholy air and to regret their impact upon the human enemy. Some of them had religious epiphanies, in one case before firing a shot.

Watson learned from talking to old timers that many a soldier, facing such a heated battle for the first time, became conscience-stricken, due to his past sins and feared for his soul.

“John Baylie, while fearlessly entering into battle, all at once, hearing one of the men in the ranks near him (a militia man), beginning to pray audibly for the salvation of those might fall, Baylie had such a conviction of his unpreparedness for death and eternity, that he felt himself tremble from head to foot under the divine power — he also ejaculated prayers — resolved instantly to kill no man — fired above his mark — became tranquil and self-possessed and went fearlessly into all danger — and as soon as he got home joined the Friends [Quakers, a pacifist Christian sect. -Ed.] in Bucks County and relinquished his pay.”5

And the consequences of PTSD were little different in 1777 than they are almost 250 years later.

Watson claimed that the man who shot General Agnew from ambush was named Hans P Boyer. He was a civilian and boasted he aimed for the star on the General’s chest. Boyer took to drinking later life and died in the poorhouse.6

General James Tanner Agnew was indeed slain by a volley fired by civilians from behind a stone wall, as the battle was all but over. He was one of many senior officers (on both sides) to fall in the fighting on 4 October 77. The fame that came from killing Agnew, an officer whose penchant for leading from the front had brought him narrow escapes and wounds at many previous battles, seems not to have done Boyer much good at all.

Notes

  1. Thomas, pp. 45-46.
  2. Thomas, p. 54.
  3. Thomas, p. 47
  4. Thomas, pp. 47-48.
  5. Thomas, p. 60.
  6. ibid.

Sources

Thomas, Ray. Washington at Germantown. Fort Washington, PA: The Bicentennial Press, 1971.

(This is a great little book about a little-known battle, complete with 20th Century photos of the significant places and surviving structures, in what was countryside in 1777 but is now, for all intents and purposes, an urban neighborhood in Philadelphia).

Dog and Gun

Okay, here goes. A long time ago, the guys over at TFB got this ball rolling with “Dog and Gun #1,” which was a French Papillon with a French Berthier. Sacre bleu!

papillon et berthier TFB

Well, zut alors, we can top that. Although those ears do match that magazine pretty well.

Back at you with Small Dog, a French Poodle, and a French M1935 pistol, two relative pipsqueaks in the world of firearms and the dogs that employ them.

small_dog_1935

Hey, don’t laugh about poodles. They’re pretty bright, as dogs go. And in Napoleon’s day, poodles — obviously bigger ones than SD there — were the war dogs of the great Corsican’s army. After one battle, he wrote of being moved at seeing a poodle licking the face of his dead handler, and howling in a very near approximation of human grief.

This soldier, I realized, must have had friends at home and in his regiment; yet he lay there deserted by all except his dog. I looked on, unmoved, at battles which decided the future of nations. Tearless, I had given orders which brought death to thousands. Yet here I was stirred, profoundly stirred, stirred to tears. And by what? By the grief of one dog.

Small Dog would totally do that. In fact, he’s a tough little guy and is always proving his readiness to lick anyone. And if bad guys see him and don’t see the gun, like this:

small_dog_1935_concealed

They shouldn’t feel emboldened. He’s just carrying concealed.

You can laugh at the dog, but you needn’t laugh at the M1935, although it is kind of comical due to its small size, its small, goofy 7.65mm Long (7,65 longue) cartridge, and the crude French implementation of the parkerize-then-paint that became a standard western European finish for military firearms after the war. The finish of this French pistol seems closer to the engineering that brought you the three-lug Renault wheel than, say, the Mirage III or the Paul Doumer Bridge. And the less said about the hammer-block safety, the better: its contemporary, the Tokarev TT33 has a better safety, and it hasn’t got one at all.

But the design of the gun, by Charles Petter, is jewel-like. It gives you a feeling — to steal another expression from French — of dejà vu; and that’s Petter went on to develop it into the delectable Sig 210, which is basically this firearm scaled up to 9mm, and finished by sober Swiss Calvinists rather than Frenchmen whose minds were on love, not the factory floor.

Engineer and gun designer Charles Petter was French too -- by President Poincaré's proclamation.

Engineer and gun designer Charles Petter was French too — by President Poincaré’s proclamation.

Petter is an interesting character. A native Swiss, he was trained as an engineer and after his military service as a lieutenant of Infantry around the turn of the century, worked for many years for Krupp in Essen, Germany. By 1914, he had left Krupp’s employ and was working as an engineer for a Belgian mining firm. The outbreak of the war was accompanied by a barrage of stories of German atrocities in Belgium; it is unknown whether this was one of Petter’s motivations, but he took the train to Paris and joined the French Foreign Legion as a Legionnaire — the LE’s equivalent of a slick-sleeve private. He fought in many of the campaigns of  the early war, and survived, and rose in the ranks; unusually for a foreign-born Legionnaire, he was elevated to officer rank, and at war’s end was a captain. He was awarded two high decorations, the Croix de Guerre and membership in the Legion of Honor. (He was awarded French citizenship by Presidential decree in 1916). A Legion veterans’ group maintains a biography for him, drafted with the cooperation of noted French gun historian Jean Huot, which was the source of most of this biographical information.

After the war, he headed the French Lewis Gun firm for some years, but the company failed in 1933, and with his new pistol design joined the Alsatian Mechanical Design Company (SACM in French abbreviation) in Cholet, where he brought this pistol to reality and through French acceptance trials, and where he also designed a submachine gun candidate that was not successful.

The design of the weapon is fairly conventional, with a Browning drag-link locking action, the Colt 1902/05/11 type, not the later P-35 cam type that everyone copies today. The slide-rails-inside-frame-rails design was unusual for its day, now it’s less exotic thanks to the SIG and the CZ-75. It disassembles much like a .45, too, although there’s no barrel bushing. The sights are the typically useless nubbins of the period. The pivoting trigger is weird-feeling, spongy and pretty dreadful — not one of the more inspired departures from Browning’s canon.

This particular example is, apocryphally, a Vietnam bringback, although there are no papers with it. That seems unlikely as, like the majority of M1935A production, it was made during the Occupation and bears a Waffenamt marking.

Apart from the crude finish, the manufacture of the gun is extremely fine. And it sure does look good with Small Dog there.

Who else has a gun and dog pair? (Of course, there’s a reason this doesn’t catch on. Most of us have a lot of guns, and only one dog at a time. We’d need a Russian wolfhound, some German dachshunds and shepherds, an Afghan hound, and a lot of American mutts… and they hate it when you lock them in a safe).

Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2016 Week 03

Tour d’Horizon is widely recognized to be French for “Hognose got stuck with a bunch of open tabs.”

This week’s installment includes:

Guns

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

More on El Chapo’s Guns

It isn’t much more, but according to ABC15 Arizona, the cartel headman’s hideout had 11 firearms, and so far 5 have been traced to Arizona, and 1 of them (the previously-mentioned Barrett) directly to Fast & Furious.

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).

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way. (Nothing this week; a story we were going to put here got promoted to a post of its own for next week).

Cops ‘n’ Crims

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

Oklahoma: Cop Charged With Butt-Stroking Motorist

Strange case. From the Tulsa World:

Lt. Michael Dwain Denton, 50, is charged with a felony count of assault and battery with a deadly weapon in connection with the June 14 arrest of Cody Mathews, a Glenpool man who was apprehended just south of Nowata following a multicounty high-speed pursuit.

In December, Associate District Judge Carl Gibson ordered Denton to stand trial on the felony count. He is accused of using the butt of a 12-gauge shotgun to strike Mathews in the head during his arrest.

Denton also faces a misdemeanor count of reckless conduct with a firearm.

Did Denton do it? Beats us with a stick. That’s why they have courts. Be interesting to hear the evidence in this case.

Is it just odd, or is it… interesting, that nothing at all is said about the suspect, Mathews? What did he do?

In the Ongoing Soap Opera, The Perils of Kathleen

Kathleen Kane, the extremely anti-gun Attorney General of Pennsylvania, still isn’t gone. But almost every day brings a new and painful revelation in a steady drip, drip, drip of exposure of a woman who thought she was above the law and common decency. Items:

  1. 21 Jan. Her own deputy, First Deputy Attorney General Bruce Beemer, said she was unable to appoint a special prosecutor after losing her license; that the special prosecutor she appointed, a political crony, was subject to a conflict of interest; and that Kane’s office violated secrecy laws by sending evidence out of state to the crony’s firm. (This is a fresh leak, not the one for which she’s already indicted).
  2. 21 Jan. The grand jury judge whose evidence was shipped to Maryland for safekeeping (keeping, that is, Kane’s political career safe) said through Beemer that no court order was issued to disclose the leaked evidence.
  3. 21 Jan. The Kane crony who has the evidence, former Maryland AG Doug Gansler, has refused to return it to Pennsylvania.
  4. 20 Jan. The Office of Disciplinary Counsel has refused a demand by Kane that her license be reinstated over a technicality (it was suspended after her indictment by unanimous vote of the Supreme Court).
  5. 19 Jan. Indictment (which she cannot beat on the facts, and must beat on technicalities or plead) notwithstanding, she remains the most popular candidate for the office, in a poll of Pennsylvania Democrats.
  6. 17 Jan. Other Democrats are lining up behind other candidates, or preparing them in case Kane is convicted.
  7. 17 Jan. Kane loyalist Jonathan Duecker told state Senators that the senior deputy AGs who said the indicted Kane can’t serve as AG were wrong, because “I can tell you that [the?] vast majority of what this office does is outside the practice of law.”

Well, yeah, isn’t that why she’s indicted in the first place?

Why do Bank Robbers Do It?

Sure, it’s “where the money is,” but can you remember the last time one of those crumbs got away with it? A career criminal thought he’d help himself to the cash in a bank in Eufala, Oklahoma (and no, we have no idea how to pronounce “Eufala,” any Okies can help?). He took hostages and something triggered him to open fire; he left two women wounded (a customer and the bank president dead of multiple gunshot wounds. Then he fled; police quickly killed him.

Most robbers don’t get killed — they just get arrested and thrown in prison. What they don’t get is: away with it. So why do they do it?

Working hypothesis? They’re stupid.

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

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

The New York Times Really Hates ‘Emselves Some SEALs

The Times has been on jihad against the Navy’s special operations commando force for a while.

The latest installment pokes at the open wound of a senior SEAL officer’s suicide, and makes a slimy insinuation it was because of his men committing atrocities.

One previous hatchet jobs was an accusation of beating an innocent Afghan to death. There was recently a followup on that story after anti-military Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT), a Times reader, then demanded the SEALs be punished and NCIS opened a new investigation with a goal of giving the very senior senator (who never served in the military) what he wants, regardless of the fact that UCMJ has already run its course with these guys.

It also did a bag-of-innuendo ax job on SEAL Team SIX and we supect that the SEALs they interviewed are sorry they ever talked to these weasels.

Of course, they had to write a sidebar story about how hard it is to report in Afghanistan. One of the things that outraged them is that an Afghan police officer threatened to hang a Times writer, Dexter Filkins. Having caught Fabricating Filkins in the act that gave him his nickname in an Iraq story, our sympathies are with the Afghan cop.

The New York Times’ Layers and Layers of Editors

As you might expect, the Times’s “Western Reporter,” who covers that half of the country, apparently, is one Julie Turkewitz, who apparently lives in some bleak burg in the frontier province of Colorado. (Boulder, probably). She did one of those amateur-cultural-anthropology takes on the Bundy-vs.-Feds standoff in Oregon, one that begins with a lot of whining about how very far it is from any place civilized, and how you can’t even get a good bagel. (OK, maybe we’re exaggerating about the bagel).

turkewitzs misunderstood photoWe didn’t know what to think about the standoff, except that it seemed dumb, before her article. We read the article and we actually think we’re dumber for it.

And she displayed her deep knowledge of American history by identifying the guy in the old-fashioned clothing (right) as:

…a man dressed as a Declaration of Independence signer.

Uh, first, the blue with buff facings was the uniform of the Continental Army, Julie, dear. (Extra credit: what color did most of the enemy’s regiments wear?) And, second, nobody wore a sword to the Declaration of Independence. Of course, perhaps, like your deep-thinking counterpart at the Post, Ezra Klein, all that is something that happened, “a hundred years ago,” and therefore has no meaning today.

Not only did airheaded Julie not know that, none of her “layers and layers of editors” know that. But then, they write for the paper made by liberal Manhattanites and wannabes for liberal Manhattanites and wannabes. To them, the United States beyond the five boroughs and maybe Long Island and Westchester might as well still be in the grip of the Iroquois Confederation.

Maybe she should go back to Boulder and interview Ward Churchill, the Conscience of the Red Man.

Veterans’ Issues ALL NEW

What did the VA do to screw us this week? (This week? Plenty). 

"Lucky us, we're dead. At least we were spared this!"

“Lucky us, we’re dead. At least we were spared this!”

VA Secretary Bob McDonald testified before Congress, in testimony that struck three themes:

  1. There was nothing wrong with VA and he wasn’t going to fire anybody or hold them accountable;
  2. The problems aren’t real, they’re just unfair criticism from looters and wreckers Congress and “negative news articles (McDonald).
  3. The VA is going to be the tallest dwarf Number One Customer Service Agency in the government.

These claims are what we’re used to getting from the VA, and from the smell, it’s closer to Number Two. Indeed, he took to the warm embrace of the media to “explain” 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.”

Previously, Beth McCoy testified that the VA failed to clear its backlog of cases — unexpectedly! — and “only” 70,000 were left on the date they’d promised it would be done.

Under questioning from Congressmen, she grudgingly admitted that her 70,000 number doesn’t count appeals, of which there are 433,000, up almost 200,000 in the last couple of years. And agency Deputy Assistant IG Brent Arronte confessed that he wouldn’t trust any of VA’s numbers, their IT and management is so bad. Arronte also pointed out that their fabulously expensive, but not yet working, $580 million paperless claim system has ballooned in cost to $1.3 billion and counting. Did we mention it’s not working?

Clinton Campaign: Trump Backs the Wrong Veterans

Museum_Communism_Poster_06CNN, the official news station of the Clinton Campaign, Clinton Foundation, Clinton Library, and Clinton Fan Club, caught Donald Trump red-handed using a picture of veterans to talk about the YUUUUGE benefits Santa Trump would soon be bestowing on our waifs in tattered uniforms.

Only problem: as CNN, who apparently are better at uniform recognition than the New York Times, noted, the “veterans” in Trump’s spot were veterans all right, it’s just that they were veterans of the Red Army. Hey, they were our gallant allies in World War II… surely that’s worth something?

Bernie_Sanders_Moon_300No word yet on whether Bernie Sanders has sued him for copyright infringement. There’s only room for one neo-Soviet in this race, dammit.

Seriously, every election year some bozo poliician’s bozo staffers do this. One gets the impression that none of these people hire enough vets that one would say, “Hey, these uniforms don’t look right…”

(Note, the images in this section come from the hilarious The People’s Cube, although the Abbey Road parody is from the gift shop at the Museum of Communism in Prague, which share’s the Cube’s wacky sense of humor).

Lord Love a Duck!

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

Remember Daniel Radcliffe, the boy actor who became set for life playing Harry Potter, and did a decent job portrating Rudyard Kipling’s nearsighted, conscientious My Son Jack? Well, he seems to have adopted Hollywood values, per the Daily Variety:

One of the most anticipated movies at this year’s Sundance Film Festival also turned out to be among the most divisive. On Friday afternoon, the Eccles Theater had to turn away hundreds of movie fans, and even a few industry VIPs, at the packed premiere of “Swiss Army Man,” starring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano.

But the bizarre fable about a lost man (Dano) who befriends a farting corpse (Radcliffe) could win the festival’s award for the most walk-outs, as a continuous stream of audience members kept standing up and bolting for the door throughout the film.

A… farting corpse?

The story unfolds in a magical realist style and features long discussions about masturbation, isolation and the meaning of life. It also features a kiss between Dano and Radcliffe (who continues to flee his Harry Potter image by taking part in a reoccurring gag where his dead character maintains an erection).

Can anyone tell us what is a magical realist style? Anyone? Bueller?

“The chance to play a dead guy in this context was too much fun to pass up,” Radcliffe said in an audience Q and A.

Fun. Ohhhhkay. That’s a dream role for an A-list actor? A rotting corpse with a woodie? A stiff with a stiffy? Lord love a duck.

The director….

…said the inspiration for the story was “a fart joke.”

Hollywood: where talented people work like dogs to produce that of which a fart is but a herald.

Who Kidnapped the Americans in Iraq?

IRGC redhanded-viThree Americans — no one is saying who — followed a trusted interpreter to two destinations, the second of which was reportedly a brothel, and haven’t been heard from since. Given the multiplicity of groups working in Iraq, and the extreme weakness of US intelligence gathering and global newsgathering in the country — both depend heavily on handout information from people and groups with agendas — there has been some mystery about which of the many bad guys could have done it.

However, the area where it happened was heavily Shia, and the finger of suspicion comes to point at two bands of Shia irregulars.

BAGHDAD: Two powerful Shiite militias are top suspects in the abduction of three Americans last weekend in a southern neighborhood of the Iraqi capital, an Iraqi police commander and a Western security official in Baghdad said Thursday.

The Americans were abducted in Dora, a mixed neighborhood that is home to both Shiites and Sunnis, Saturday. It was the latest in a series of brazen high-profile kidnappings undermining confidence in the Iraqi government’s ability to control state-sanctioned Shiite militias that have grown in strength as Iraqi security forces battle ISIS.

Two Shiite militias – Asaib Ahl al-Haq and Saraya al-Salam – were likely behind the attack, the Iraqi and Western official told The Associated Press Thursday.

“Nobody can do anything in that neighborhood without the approval of those militias,” the police commander said. The Western security official confirmed that Iraqi and U.S. intelligence assessments had narrowed down the suspects to those the two groups.

Hmm. As it happens, we know who’s behind those two groups.

A simplified who's who of Shia ostensible friendlies.

An older simplified who’s who of Shia ostensible friendlies.

…another Iraqi intelligence official told the AP this week that from the Dora neighborhood the Americans were taken to Sadr City, a vast and densely populated Shiite district to the east, and there “all communication ceased.”

So who are they? The AP story puts it delicately:

Asaib Ahl al-Haq, Iranian-backed and one of the most powerful Shiite militias operating in Iraq, has repeatedly spoken out against the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq in the fight against ISIS. Saraya al-Salam is run by Iraq’s influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr whose Mahdi militia often battled with U.S. forces between 2003 and 2011.

via Officials name top suspects in Iraq abductions of Americans | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR.

We’ll be more explicit for you. Asaib Ahl al-Haq is a front group that puts a thin Iraqi beard on the IRGC. Saraya as-Salam is a new brand slapped on our good old pals the Mahdi Army, led by the fat, stupid, but dangerous thug and phony ayatollah, Muqtada al-Sadr. Who, in turn, owes nearly 100% of his survival and success to… drumroll please… the IRGC.

(Well, and he also owed his survival to a certain cabal of staff judge advocates who vetoed whacking him, when the whack was within easy reach. One more reason to class the SJA among enemy forces until proven otherwise. If we’re talking about you, you know who you are).

asaib_al-haq_key_schmoesThe bulk of the key leaders of Asaib Ahl al-Haq were in US custody seven years ago, shortly after its split from the Sadr organization, but the Obama administration released them in 2009-2013. Some of them were responsible for the kidnapping and murder of Americans in Karbala in . Read the analysis at this link, or the detailed .pdf available there (for free), or look at the key characters list thumbnailed on the left, for more information on AAH. Bottom line, it’s directly controlled by Iran, and its lethality was upgraded by the unwise American bugout.

Saraya as-Salam, the laughably named “Peace Brigades,” are just the latest iteration of the extremist Shia Mahdi Army, which was badly degraded in the mid-oughts in quixotic combat with US forces. Its leader Muqtada al-Sadr is influential in Iraq because his father and grandfather were influential imams. (Muqtada is an imam school dropout, but people do love dynasties). Last April, Muqtada called for attacks on Americans if the National Defense Authorization Act didn’t fund his terrorist militia, but did fund Sunni tribals.  And Saraya as-Salam is, peculiarly, funded by handouts from both Iran and the USA. The Iranians prefer the AAH to the SS, as the former is directly controlled, and to operate the latter they must work through the willful and petulant Muqtada al-Sadr.

So that’s who snatched the Americans, directly or indirectly: Iran’s SS, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Let’s see, they just got $100 billion and seven of their own most-wanted-back intelligence and procurement officers in trade for their last set of hostages, but that left them fresh out of hostages. (Several of whom the Administration has allowed to stay in the USA and resume espionage/sanctions-busting activity). And they know that they are only guaranteed one more year (as of two days ago) with a president that sympathizes with their goals and negotiates from a position that begins with surrender terms. So why wouldn’t they grab a few more bargaining chips?

Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2016 Week 02

As we all know, Tour d’Horizon is French for “Too Many Tabs to Blog.”

This week’s installment includes:

Guns

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

Springfield Armory M1911

Springfield Armory M1911Nope, this isn’t one of those imitation Illinois Springfields, this is the real deal from Springfield Armory in Springfield, Massachusetts, one of 25,767 Model 1911 pistols made at the Armory under a contract provision that let the Government produce a limited number of pistols in its own arsenals. There were several problems in this first run, including a lack of drawings, according to a fascinating report on Imgur.

From the start Colt relied on JMB to build a prototype, and then use that prototype to form the basis of their tooling. No detailed drawings were ever made by Colt.

This delayed Springfield’s ability to begin producing the pistol. To create the machinery needed Springfield ordered 20 pistols from Colt, then took the averages of each part to establish the dimensions they would create tooling from.

So it’s not just an M1911, but an official US Army reverse-engineered M1911 as well. Long before Chinese arsenals ever took a dial caliper to a bucket of 1911 parts, the US Army had to do it!

 

Forgotten Wonders at Forgotten Weapons

Over at Forgotten Weapons, Ian has a bunch of cool stuff, as usual, including not one but two s installments in his early Maxims series, the rare Transitional and the almost as rare, and just as small-t transitional, air-cooled Extra Light. There’s a post on what France did to ease a rifle shortage in 1914, and one of Ian’s entertaining Q&As.

There’s also some interesting handguns, including an experimental guns that was a competitor to the Colt that became the .45 M1911 service pistol, the Grant-Hammond. In the Grant-Hammond article he also links to this 2014 profile of another would-be .45 service pistol, a truly forgotten weapon from a much better-known company, the Remington M53.

If you’re not reading FW regularly, you’re wrong.

Three Bansters Meet to Plan Bans

Not with legislation. Nope, the three attorneys general of VA, MD, and DC, (Mark Herring, Brian Frosh, and Karl Racine), all committed gun-ban advocates who “support the Second Amendment, but…” not when it’s actually doing anything, got together Friday to “talk about ways they can reduce gun violence in the region.” From the records of all three of them, we know that the three anti-gun extremists interpret that to be, “Hassle peaceable owners who don’t commit crimes, but let off all violent criminals, if they’re the ‘right’ race or have a good ‘I’m depraved on account of I’m deprived’ story.” Frosh, for example, has enjoyed demonizing the Baltimore police and making excuses for Baltimore’s violent criminals, which has led to a pronounced rise in violent crime.

Usage and Employment

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

No Bull? The Judge Called the Self-Defense Claim Bull

If you’re going to shoot a bull in self-defense, we think, you probably shouldn’t tell the bull’s owner that you’re going to shoot it for breaking down your fences.

Rusk County farmer John Weinel described the animal as “mean and nasty and stealthy and not be trusted,”  a marauding menace who broke through his fence once too often in August 2013.

During that confrontation, Weinel later told a judge, the bull charged him and Weinel ran to his pickup truck, where the bull stopped about three feet short, “swinging his horns and huffing and puffing.”

Weinel then shot Vindicator out the window 14 times with a .45 caliber handgun.

If you don’t want your bull to get shot, it might help to name hime something other than “Vindicator.” Ferdinand, maybe?

The bull’s owner sued. Weinel argued he acted in self defense.

“I wanted to put that thing down before it got me, my kids, my truck, or another fence line,” he testified. ” I didn’t think there was any alternative.”

Ah, there’s the germ of truth in there: “before it got… another fence line.” The judges, ever seeking full employment, probably think you should sue for your neighbor’s animals trashing your fence. So far the court and the appeals court have both sided with the survivors of Vindicator, who describe him as a “sweet” animal that would eat out of your hand.

Cops ‘n’ Crims

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

Yeah, Let’s Let the Drug Dealers Out

Remember, amnesty isn’t just for criminal aliens. It’s for all friends of the Administration — all criminals, foreign and domestic. So Loretta Lynch says this:

Were we making the best choices as we prosecuted narcotics offenses?We’re dealing with a system that still has mandatory minimums. It has mandatory sentencing enhancements. This came about during a time when people were really struggling with what to do.

We have seen that those actions have not only removed individuals from their communities, but they have removed individuals from their families. They have removed them from connections and opportunities.

Lynch delivered these remarks at the veritable Ka’aba of fuzzy judicial thinking, Harvard Law School. They’re meant to set the groundwork for her planned mass releases of thousands and possibly tens of thousands of violent drug felons.

See, what’s important is not the deaths of these criminals’ victims, not the drug overdoses which far outnumber “gun violence” even if you accept Bloomberg’s inflated numbers, not the ruined lives you see in homelessness and falling in and out of rehab, not the millions (literally, not Joe Biden “literally,” millions) of property crimes the addicts commit. Nope, none of that matters. Those people just have to suffer so that Loretta’s people, whom she does not seem to define as broadly as, say, “the people of the United States,” can have their “connections and opportunities.”

There’s an awful lot of cops out here than could tell her about dealers’ connections and opportunities. She didn’t ask.

Cop-Killing Accessory Walks, Gun Kept in Jail Instead

Boston Marathon Bombing GunTo the applause of the gallery, including his brother, a career criminal named Steven Silva walked out of court a free man just before Christmas. Silva, 22, had a number of charges against him, like heroin dealing (the family profession), but the big one was providing the gun to Dzhokar “Flashbang” Tsarnayev that the Rolling Stone heartthrob and Boston Marathon bomber used to murder MIT police officer Sean Collier. Perhaps the prosecutors and judge were feeling like Santa Claus.

Being Massachusetts politicians, they also felt there was no point in punishing Silva for his crimes when they had the real criminal, the firearm, in custody and (as the image shows) quite literally under lock and key. The Ruger has been sentenced to death, a sentence which will certainly be carried out as there is no appeal, and all Massachusetts officialdom is united in favor. Tsarnayev has also been sentenced to death, a sentence which will certainly not be carried out as there are endless appeals, and all Massachusetts officialdom is united against.

Sooner or later, Flashbang will walk, too, but the Bay State sure sent a message to the gun.

In the Ongoing Soap Opera, The Perils of Kathleen

Kathleen Kane, the extremely anti-gun Attorney General of Pennsylvania, isn’t gone yet, but the alto soprano is warming up in the wings. But she’s still fighting, practicing law by news release, news leak, and using a staff of experienced Clinton machine victim-attack lawyers. (And wasn’t the key lawyer, Lanny Davis, a sometime visitor to Jeffrey Epstein’s Pedophile Island in the Bahamas, with Slick Willy himself? Can’t remember). They have a slick-as-Willy website up that purports to be the “truth” about Kane. As truthful as the statements coming from any indicted felon’s lawyer, minus the truth discount this indicted felon gets for hiring Slick Willy’s lawyer — itself, not the act of an innocent woman.

Is This The ATF, Gunwalking on Drugs?

111215- Rochester, NH- Mark Ross, 41, of Rochester, NH-Charges: Conspiracy to commit possession of a controlled drug (class B felony) Tampering with witnesses & informants (class B felony) Falsifying physical evidence (class B felony) Falsifying physical evidence (class B felony) Dispensing controlled drug-death resulting (class A felony) (Rochester Police Dept.)

A woman dies of an OD in New Hampshire, one of 400 last year. The guy who gave or sold her the drugs is in custody. (Mark Ross, right). From the original caption:

111215- Rochester, NH- Mark Ross, 41, of Rochester, NH-Charges: Conspiracy to commit possession of a controlled drug (class B felony) Tampering with witnesses & informants (class B felony) Falsifying physical evidence (class B felony) Falsifying physical evidence (class B felony) Dispensing controlled drug-death resulting (class A felony) (Rochester Police Dept.)

But he’s not just any dope dealer. He’s your dope dealer, Mr and Mrs Taxpayer. He’s a paid informant for the DEA. Or he was; they took him off the payroll when the story hit the press.

Bill Newell, is that you? Did you come back from your overseas job with a crony corporation, to lateral into DEA, bringing your boost-the-criminals technique to the fertile field of drug enforcement? It’s got Newell’s MO all over it, including involvement of nominal LE in someone’s death, and a mass of backpedaling and lies.

Site of Salem Witch Hangings Found

salem-witch-trialsAccording to a history professor leading an interdisciplinary team. The grotesque lack of due process evident in the witch trials crops up from time to time in periods of hysteria, and had an influence on the 4th, 5th and 8th Amendments. In any event, the new study claims that the site publicly recalled as Gallows Hill is not the actual site, but is adjacent to a lower outcropping, Prospect Hill, on which the “witches” actually dangled.

Next hypothesis to be tackled:

SWAT Cat — Wasn’t Just Tomcattin’?

Every police department has a K-9 these days, but Boston SWAT had a Kt-10… kitten… turned cat. Until the team’s furball calico mascot went MIA two months ago. The Boston Herald:

(Roxbury, MA, 01/14/16) The Boston Police SWAT cat is back 2 months after she disappeared. SWAT cat made her home with the Boston Police Department's Special Weapons and Tactics team and disappeared in late November. She returned early Thursday morning. Officer Evan Burroughs (right) with SWAT cat. Thursday, January 14, 2016. Staff photo by Ted Fitzgerald

(Roxbury, MA, 01/14/16) The Boston Police SWAT cat is back 2 months after she disappeared. SWAT cat made her home with the Boston Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics team and disappeared in late November. She returned early Thursday morning. Officer Evan Burroughs (right) with SWAT cat. Thursday, January 14, 2016. Herald photo by Ted Fitzgerald

The Special Weapons and Tactics Team’s “beloved mascot” returned to their base on Warren Street in Roxbury around 7 a.m. yesterday — exactly one month after authorities issued a plea to the public requesting help locating their missing feline friend, according to a post on the department’s website.

Was the team’s most agile (if untrainable) member just tomcattin’ around? Nope. Calico cats are all female.

 

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

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

Another Friday, Another Hotel Massacre

This time, the Religion of Peace brought their idiosyncratic peace roadshow to Ougadougou, Burkina Faso and the Majestic Hotel. The site seems to be secure now, but quite a few people are dead.

We sure need to encourage more of these fine folks to immigrate. None of us would ever need to buy targets again!

Flashbang’s Appeal Fails

Sorry, kid, but you shouldn’t have blown up that Marathon finish line. Now you’re going to die, if Massachusetts ever gets around to it. He also got handed a $101 million restitution bill, a judicial joke of some kind.

But that’s okay, Flashbang; you still have appeal. To the grey-ponytailed hippies who still squint at Rolling Stone through John Lennon bifocals.

Don’t say good-bye, say auf wiedersehen. ‘Cause you guys will all see each other in Hell.

If ISIL Took Advice from Us, We’d Have Told Them Not to Do This

OK, so they kill, threaten, and threaten to kill people. That’s what they do. Got it. But they threatened to kill Tim Kennedy. There are a few problems with that:

  1. Tim is a National Guard Special Forces NCO.
  2. Tim is a ranked UFC fighter.
  3. Tim is not afraid of a bunch of losers with sand in their sandals, who can’t get a date without capturing her and beheading her mom first — or sneaking into the stock pen.

Tim turned the threats over to the authorities, and then had a message for the threateners.

A message, or two:

De Oppresso Liber is the motto, and if you parse it out you notice there’s nothing in there about being solicitous to the oppressors.

Veterans’ Issues

What did the VA do to screw us this week? (Note: they did stuff but we didn’t have time to put it here). 

Lord Love a Duck!

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

Guess You Had to Be There

Report from Our Traveling Reporter, received by voicemail. “I went to [Local Gun Shop] and it’s full of Ninjas. Ninjas buying guns. Ninjas straw-buying guns.” (We think he was kidding about the last, as otherwise the story would begin, “So, these ninjas that were busted straw-buying….”) Anyway, it got better. “On some of ’em, their ninja stuff slipped and you could see their tattoos.”

Pause.

“I guess you had to be there.”

Guess.

We have lots of ninja tattoos. They’re so stealthy you can’t see ’em.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Battery Acid

Laxmi needed many surgeries to get this far. She has a TV job, and a guy, so there is life after acid.

Laxmi needed many surgeries to get this far. She has a TV job, and a guy, so there is life after acid.

In South and Southwest Asia, battery acid isn’t just for topping up old-fashioned car batteries. It’s also a favorite method for cowardly, dysfunctional men to attack women who dare to thwart them, and they sell a lot more battery acid than all the cars in the Indian Subcontinent will use.

While such attacks have spread throughout the Islamic world, and are often thought by Westerners to be a feature (bug?) of islamic culture, they are widespread in India in Hindu, mohammedan, and minority communities. In this particular case, Laxmi Saa was disfigured in a spite attack, and her attacker waspunished very lightly.

Ms Saa was 15 when a 32-year-old man threw acid at her for rejecting his offer of marriage.
“It felt cold first. Then I felt an intense burning. Then the liquid melted my skin,” she remembers about the attack.

She did the right thing. Being married to that guy would be like being attacked with acid, every day. Instead, she turned him down and was only attacked once!

Since then, she has become one of India’s most outspoken advocates against the unregulated sale of acid, as well as for harsher punishment for the perpetrators of acid attacks.

We;re here to tell you that harsher punishment, and especially social ostracism, of the attackers (not, as are currently ostracized, the victims) of these attacks may well work; trying to ban the chemicals won’t. The supply chain is all downstream from culture. To win this fight they must change the culture. They must make Indians of all castes and provinces see acid attacks the way the civilized world does. And they must see the victims as human and deserving of societal and governmental rights.

And some people get that. An Indian fashion brand selected the horribly-scarred Ms. Saa as the model for its fashion line.

Laxmi Saa advert 02

“This opportunity to represent an apparel brand was a platform for me to set an example for women like me to be confident and have courage despite their physical appearances. This was also a platform for me to send a clear message to criminals that women will not lose courage even after they are attacked with acid to destroy their physical beauty,” Ms Saa told the BBC.

via Indian acid attack survivor is new face of fashion brand – BBC News.

(And the guy from the fashion firm? Suddenly the name of his company is on everyone’s lips there. Master stroke of marketing, even if it was not intended that way).

Laxmi Saa advert 01We don’t think they’ll get anywhere trying to ban acid. Acid has too many industrial and agricultural uses; the sort of person who means to do ill with it will find a way to get it, or substitute some other horror (high-test peroxide, for instance). But the idea of changing people’s attitudes towards acid attacks? That has potential.

Laxmi’s progress shows everyone that you don’t need a uniform or a badge to show courage. (She don’t need no steenkin’ badges”). She might not succeed in ending this barbarous practice in her lifetime, but she’s got Indians talking about it, and that’s a first step.

Notes:

The BBC appears to have got Laxmi’s name wrong, probably combining the single name she goes by in India with the name of  the charity she’s associated with, Stop Acid Attacks. Wikipedeia (we know) identifies her as Laxmi Agarwal, but all Indian newspapers, where she is a TV news reader (!), simply call her Laxmi.

Crime in the ‘Shire: The Big City’s Police Log

handcuffs_1This is the police log from Seacoast New Hampshire’s Big City, Portsmouth, for the days of 11 and 12 January, 2016. It shows how hazardous it can be to venture into such a teeming metropolis (population, ~22k).

You might ask why we’re running the Big City log and not Home Town. Trust us, you’ll see. If Big City’s log is like this, you can kind of imagine what Home Town’s looks like. “Hognose came in for another CLEO sign-off for a tax stamp.” That’s about the size of it. Even the nearest barracks of State Police are having an incredibly busy night when they nab two DUIs. (There is “real crime,” just about all of it drug-related property crime, but it’s not like the mean streets of Nashua or the mire of despair that is Manchester — called Gnashua and Manchvegas respectively. On the Seacoast, we’re still talking about murders from years ago, new murders haven’t happened around here lately — and that’s not a complaint).

Still, all is not Mayberry in Big City PD. This is the same department that burnt down their indoor firing range (electrical wiring not up to code!), and where a sergeant “befriended” a senile lady and inherited all her stuff, until the courts stepped in. And now the PD and city are suing for the poor confused thing’s estate, anyway. 

Not a place where a wise man calls 911. So, shall we look and see what manner of unwise man does call 911 here? And what becomes of the calls:

Jan. 11
6:21 a.m.: Responded to Porter Street for a call about a man screaming in an alley, but were unable to locate him.

You’ll see screaming and yelling are among the most numerous breaches of the peace around there.

8:14 a.m.: Assisted on Martine Cottage Road where a door was found open, likely due to wind.
9:12 a.m.: Assisted at a residence with a truant child.
9:43 a.m.: Report taken about fraud.
10:48 a.m.: Assisted firefighters on South Street where a man overdosed on what was believed to be heroin. He was transported to the hospital.

Now, that one’s not so funny. A friend thinks the state’s final body count for 2015 was four hundred fatal ODs on heroin, fentanyl, and other needle drugs.

(Update: the 400 claim is repeated here, but they also say fentanyl was responsible for 138 deaths, 55% of the total, or 183 deaths in combinations, 75% of the total, which implies a different total. Gotta love reporter numeracy. And small world report: we happened to be in Home Town PD office on other business — okay, CLEO signoff — when the prisoner the reporter interviewed turned herself in).

Meanwhile, our ineffectual governor is campaigning for Senate. Her signature issue? “Gun Violence.” She’s done nothing to stem the heroin-death tide, except crack down on legitimate pain sufferers and their doctors. Which should give you a clue as to where her thinking’s going to take her on guns.

That’s always a profitable course for politicians: when it’s your voters doing something bad, make a big deal out of punishing all the people who didn’t do it.

Crime just isn’t that big a problem here. There are about 20 murders a year in the state, and outside of the bluest enclaves (like Big City, actually), where the judges are Massachusetts-style crim coddlers, courts usually hammer criminals hard and early, occasionally mystifying reporters. Real headline: “N.H. has low crime rate, but high rate for incarcerating minorities.

Future Fox Butterfield, that guy.

11:17 a.m.: Report taken about a lost wallet.
12:18 p.m.: Responded to the hospital for a call about a dog bite, but the victim refused to provide information or have the bite photographed.

Sounds like he or she took the 5th, in the interests of keeping Fido alive. Good move.

12:45 p.m.: Responded to Elwyn Road for a call about a yelling pedestrian, but found nothing matching the description.

Yelling again? What is it with these people?

12:53 p.m.: Arrested Daymond Weymouth, 18, of 18 Wedgewood Road, for a charge alleging his possession of drugs in a motor vehicle.
1:22 p.m.: Caller reported dropping his wallet at a gas station and said someone returned it to him but it was missing $1,000 in cash.

If you’re the forgetful type, you might want to leave your cash at home. Just sayin’.

3:16 p.m.: Responded to Dearborn Street where one resident backed into a neighbor’s car.
3:44 p.m.: Responded to Ledgewood Drive for a domestic dispute.

This is the one call that an officer had a real risk of injury on. People in domestic arguments are seldom rational.

3:55 p.m.: Caller reported he sold a car to someone during the summer and has not yet been paid.

Trusting soul, that guy.

5:57 p.m.: Report taken about a Department of Public Works truck involved in a minor crash.
8:55 p.m.: Responded to Ledgewood Drive for a domestic altercation.

Okay, two calls.

8:58 p.m.: Arrested John Luce, 58, no known address, on a warrant.
9:19 p.m.: Responded to Grafton Drive for a call about an idling car, with trash bags over the windows, idling in a parking lot and noises coming from inside. Police determined someone was watching a movie in the car.

That’s… pretty weird. Not against the law, though. (In Massachusetts, it probably is. Everything’s banned in Boston).

11:10 p.m.: After a caller reported receiving a photo of a bloodied friend, responded to a residence and arrested Michael Simonds, 41, of 114 Ledgewood Road #8, on charges alleging domestic violence/simple assault and resisting arrest. During his arrest, Simonds slammed his head against a cruiser and was Tazed twice, the police log states.

Three calls. And this is exactly what we mean about irrational domestics. Once Officer Friendly has decided you’re going downtown, you’re going downtown. Whether you end up just ashamed at being arrested, or ashamed, burnt, and bruised all over, is up to you at that point. Mr Simonds went for ashamed, burnt, and bruised.

And finally, we’re back to yelling:

Jan. 12
4:13 a.m.: Responded to Lafayette Road for a call about a man banging on a window and screaming that he was was going to die and needed water. Police determined he was thirsty.

via Portsmouth police log: Jan. 11-2 – News – seacoastonline.com – Portsmouth, NH.

“Police determined that he was thirsty.”

Exercise for the reader: examine how that last call would go with your local PD. The possibilities run from “Gave the guy a bottle of water” to “Blew the gizzard out of the noncompliant suspect,” and everything in between. Sometimes, even the somewhat ate-up Big City PD acts like Mayberry. Well, that’s life in the Shire.