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Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2016 Week 29

This Tour d’Horizon comes naked into the world, like a newborn baby; its plaintive cries may draw your attention, at least until the 0600 post tomorrow.

This is where we throw a lot of our open tabs.


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

Guy in a Garage Lightweight AR

This AR has been built by a friend of GIAG. He’s assisted with the carbon handguard, and is preparing the rifle for the stock in the next video.

That’s not all he’s been up to, so do take a look around his YouTube Channel if you like this kind of stuff. (And this YouTube channel is unrelated, and entirely off topic, but the guy here — Eric Harrell — has done some cool automotive prints).

Guy in a Garage 3D Printed Stock for LW AR

This video shows GIAG’s latest gun print — a butt plate that converts an ordinary A2 buffer tube into a lightweight stock for a featherweight AR.

When Guns are Outlawed, Some Outlaws build Chemical Weapons

This took place in, of all things, a Wal-Mart.

The man wearing all black is initially seen in the security footage from June 18 blending in like any other shopper.

But, authorities say, he didn’t come to the store to shop, but to build a chemical weapon.

Detectives identified the suspect as Martin Reyes. They say he went to the store after conducting research online on how to build a deadly chemical weapon.

Once inside the store, police said the man assembled all of the ingredients from store shelves, which included some kind of electronic appliance.

Police said he used a socket near the stationary section to plug in the appliance, which was then designed to set the chemical weapon off.

No one was harmed, and Reyes, who is defined as a “mentally ill career criminal,” is safely under lock and key. The whole thing was caught on store video.

We’re not sure what “most adapted” means in this context.It sure does look cool.

Anti Gun Academics Demand Ban on 3D Printing in Firearms

Because it could lead to mayhem… and home-built nukes. Hey, they’re liberal arts profs (strike one) from LSU. (Strike two). And clearly haven’t read anything in the field (strike three and out).  Cue Randy Newman: “College men… from LSU. Went in dumb, come out dumb too.”

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way. (We have a lot of that this week).

This Does Not Look Like a Good Shoot

question markIn North Miami, a cop shot a guy who was lying still, hands up.

[Therapist Charles] Kinsey says he was trying to intervene on behalf of an autistic patient who had run off from the group home. According to police, someone called 911 to report a suicidal man walking around with a gun. The group home patient had a toy truck in his hands.

“When I went to the ground, I went to the ground with my hands up,” Kinsey told WSVN, “and I am laying there just like this. Telling them again there is no need for firearms. He is autistic. He has a toy truck in his hand.”

“I was really more worried about him than myself. I was thinking as long as I have my hands up,” Kinsey continued. “They’re not going to shoot me. This is what I’m thinking, they’re not going to shoot me. Wow, was I wrong.”

Yep, the cop then popped him.

“I thought it was a mosquito bite,” Kinsey explained to WSVN, “and when it hit me I had my hands in the air, and I’m thinking I just got shot! And I’m saying, ‘Sir, why did you shoot me?’ and his words to me were, ‘I don’t know.'”

The police department apparently slept through Public Relations 101, as they immediately clammed up, lawyered up, and basically started acting like a bunch of perps that just got caught shootin a guy for no reason:

Police did not identify the police officer who shot Kinsey and would not update WSVN about their investigation, although they say the state is also investigating the incident.

Other media reported that the cop fired deliberately, but was trying to shoot the autistic guy for not complying with his orders. His marksmanship was even worse than his judgment.

Cops ‘n’ Crims

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

Black Criminals’ Lives Matter, I

The city of Slummerville — excuse us, Somerville, it’s an understandable mistake — is sucking up to the black criminals’ social movement with a Black Lives Matter banner. The police union head sent a letter pointing out that it was under the aegis of Black Lives Matter that five Dallas policemen were murdered by a radicalized gunman and 21 cops were injured — one with a fractured spine — in St. Paul by mostly-white “Black Lives Matter” rioters.

Common chants at Black Lives Matter riots have included: “Hands up, don’t shoot” referring to the myth that would-be cop killer Michael Brown had his hands up; “”Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon,” which is fairly self-explanatory; and “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want them? Now!” which again needs no explaining.

Black Criminals’ Lives Matter, II

The Philadelphia PBA is not too thrilled with Hillary Clinton’s selection of convention speakers for next week — she has packed the stage with family members of criminals shot by police.

At the Republican Convention

Thousands of special agents from other agencies have descended on Cleveland to coddle the protesters ar the Republicans’ National Convention. Their briefing from the Secret Service was eye-opening. A great deal of intelligence preparation had been done, and the officials had their eyes on specific malefactors to make sure they didn’t factor their mal in this time and this place.

In case of riot, one of their agencies was tasked to provide thousands of gas masks. Some literal-minded equipment manager duly delivered what looked like the agency’s entire stock of masks.

No filters.

The whereabouts of the filters are unknown, but they may be in Philadelphia, where thousands of agents will be converging to coddle the protesters at the Democrats’ National Convention. We recommend cardboard boxes, duct tape, and watching Apollo 13. 

Burger Bites Burglar Back

OK, he wasn’t really a burglar, but we couldn’t resist that slightly inaccurate headline: he was a bank robber. Fleeing a crime, he threw something from a car. The cops, hoping for a gun, were upset to find a half-eaten burger instead.

But then some bright spark thought: did he leave DNA on the burger? He did, giving the embattled (and long misled) Chicago PD a well-earned win. Burger Boy and his accomplice are now enjoying an all expenses paid vacation from crime on the Illinois’ taxpayers’ tab.

We bet he doesn’t like the food any better where he is now. Life is tough; it’s tougher when you’re stupid.

Guess Who This Perv Works for?


Nicholas Fernandez, 29, was arrested on a charge of voyeurism Tuesday, Seattle police said in an arrest report. The incident occurred on an escalator, and not in a security line.

Fernandez …[followed] a woman up an escalator, where he activated a cell phone flashlight and appeared to take video of the woman

Employer? TSA. Naturally. No one good, decent, honest, competent, moral, ethical or intelligent has ever been employed at TSA in any capacity whatsoever. As the story reminds us:

Last year, the TSA fired two employees at Denver’s airport after the agency alleged they were involved in the groping of male passengers in a security line.

The employees were not identified and no criminal charged were filed.

Yep, for once TSA protected someone’s privacy: the pervs’. Figures.

Who Else has Committed This Heinous Misdeed?

jessicaregerThis grinning crook (she actually has a long rap sheet) is Jessica Reger, who was busted in Pennsylvania for… well, let’s let The Smoking Gun tell it.

Jessica Marie Reger, 29, was arrested last week and charged with endangering the welfare of her children, ages three and five. Driver Ilena Blackburn, 28, was charged with reckless endangerment and improper child-restraint system counts.

What’d she do?

According to a criminal complaint, Reger was spotted last Sunday night putting her children in the Corvette’s trunk near her home in Hanover, a York County borough. Blackburn and Reger then drove away, but were subsequently pulled over by police responding to a 911 call.

After a cop directed Blackburn to open the car’s trunk, Reger’s children were discovered inside. Officer Andrew Richey noted that the vehicle’s license plate was “RD HOTT1.”

Anybody else given a kid a ride under a Corvette’s bubble? Hell, anyone else been the kid? How about the “way back” of a station wagon, back in the day?

It’s nice to know that crime has been zeroed out in PA, and the cops can concern themselves with parenting. (Judging from the grin and the ink, Ms Reger is Bat Guano Crazy®, but that’s not against the law).

“Green Fuel” Scams Exposed. IRS Penalizes… Guy Who Exposed ’em.

This is one of those things where you have to Read The Whole Thing™. But here’s a bit:

Henck thinks the IRS is retaliating for his decision to publicly question one of the agency’s policies. That policy concerned refundable biofuels tax credits, created to foster new technologies but which ended up being claimed by big paper companies that had been burning a pulping byproduct known as black liquor since the 1930s.

Defying normal practice, the IRS did not issue written guidance at first and did not oppose the paper companies’ claims. Congress did not act either. As a result, the paper companies, which were losing money during the 2009 financial crisis, ended up receiving $8 billion or more in direct payments from the Treasury. The Post published several articles on the subject. Many tax experts, including Martin Sullivan, a former Treasury official and chief economist of the nonprofit group Tax Analysts, condemned the black liquor credits. …

This is not Henck’s first brush with his superiors at IRS. In 2003, he went to the Wall Street Journal to protest the IRS’s failure to treat synthetic fuels cases as tax shelters that would cost the government billions of dollars. He alleged the IRS allowed companies to spray “Elmer’s glue” on ordinary coal to make it look like a synthetic fuel. …

We don’t think there’s a single “green” anything that’s on the level. It’s all scams, all the way down, and the taxpayers are left holding the bag. By the very IRS that enabled these paper companies to walk away with $8 billion of the money they lift from those same taxpayers.

 The Perils of Kathleen: Continued

This is our ongoing series where we examine the ongoing meltdown of the paranoid, vengeful and extremely anti-gun Pennsylvania attorney general, Kathleen Kane.

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

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

Munich Attacks

CNN is reporting the attacker(s?) shouted allahu akbar and targeted children. Behold the glory of the worship of Mohammed.

President to tell us the motivations of the assailants are unknown in 5… 4… 3…

What was it another politician said? Something about how this doesn’t represent Islam.

We do, however, note that early media are almost always wrong in cases like this.

Snowden Demonstrates: How to Authenticate a Leak

Veterans’ Issues

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

Committee Chair Gives Up on Bob McDonald

VA-veterans-affairsBob McDonald, originally appointed to straighten out VA, was quickly “institutionalized,” and realized his real constituency was the VA’s employees, not veterans. But he’s lost some of his early supporters, including the Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. Military Times:

“I think the next secretary, whoever that is, has got to be an agent of change, somebody that will resist the call from within the department to maintain the status quo,” Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., said during an interview with Military Times at the Republican convention in Cleveland. “And I think, unfortunately, the status quo in many instances remains.”

Usually, the fish rots from the head. In this case, the fish spread its rot to a fresh head. You really don’t want “Well, he wasn’t as bad as Shinseki” as your Washington epitaph. Miller, though, noted that McDonald probably doesn’t want to stay on as VA head: coming from the private sector, he took the job with no clear grasp of how entrenched the dysfunction is in the VA.

If No One Answers the Crisis Line, is there Really a Crisis?

This should have been corrected by now, because it dates to the last days of last month — three weeks ago. Still, we haven’t heard one way or the other. Military Times:

Four months after Veterans Affairs officials announced leadership changes at the agency’s suicide hotline — and praised employees following a scandal over dropped calls — the line’s director has resigned and some staff members still answer as few as one call a day.

Documents obtained by Military Times indicate that Veterans Crisis Line Director Gregory Hughes, hired in January to lead the troubled call center after reports that callers were placed on hold or sent to a voicemail system, resigned effective June 17.

According to a Government Accountability Office report released Monday, 73 percent of calls made to the crisis line during a two-month period in 2015 were answered within the VA’s standard of 30 seconds …. But emails from Hughes to his staff in early May 2016 indicate that matters only got worse — roughly half the calls received at the Crisis Line rolled over to the backup centers because they weren’t answered within 30 seconds.

30 seconds is important, because then — if the wannabe suicide hasn’t hung up and kilt hisself in frustration — the calls are routed to outside contractors. Dunno. Can that be worse than the  VA?

VA Blew PTSD-Dog Study

According to an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal (paywalled, clumsily robo-paraphrased here) the VA was assigned to study the effectiveness of service dogs for PTSD-afflicted vets. Stop us if you’ve heard this before: the VA botched it.

Embattled Contractor TriWest Loses Alaska Vets Scheduling Gig

Privatizing VA functions tends not to work because the gigantic companies that bid on such contracts, grown fat and slow on government cash, tend to do a crappy job. Consider TriWest, which has received billions in VA handouts and botched scheduling for Alaska vets so badly that VA does it better in-house. And that’s with the Alaska office being run by lower-48 scheduling scandal figure Linda Boyle.

VA Appears to Encourage Disability Fraud

This depresses us. We’ve been seeing legitiamate, good vets corrupted by the system and going down that slippery slope where they claim mental health benefits because of the golden lure of disability money. We’ve always felt the VA makes getting disability for real injuries too difficult, and makes cashing in too easy for fakers. Now the WSJ has noticed. (Paywalled).

Lord Love a Duck!

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

We’re Changing Browsers

We have a new favorite browser, as of yesterday: Brave. It’s developed by a team led by Brendan Eich (the former CEO who was unpersoned at Mozilla for donating to the “wrong” cause). In the end, it looks like Eich was actually liberated by the firing — not least, from Mozilla’s antediluvian codebase.

Best things about Brave?

  1. It’s wicked fast.
  2. It adblocks by default.
  3. Really, seriously, fast.
  4. It contains antitracking technology (a Stanford study found that half the time users opt out of invasive advertising cookies, the identity thieving ad leeches keep running them anyway.
  5. Privacy is engineered in, not ineptly grafted on (we’re looking at you, Firefox) or not even an option (Edge, Safari).
  6. Its speed is like suddenly getting a faster internet.
  7. It works with everything we’ve thrown at it, with one exception (there doesn’t seem to be any way to use the Press This add-on for WordPress, which dings our workflow a little).
  8. One of the devs’ on-site picture shows him flying an experimental plane! Another brother!
  9. Opera was just bought by the Chinese MSS unidentified Chinese investors (wink).
  10. Did we mention the speed? We really meant to say something about the speed.

Even the lion icon is cool.

In Pursuit of the Complete Set

If you’re a collector you, as the TV ads promising toys in your cereal once exhorted you, “Collect ’em all!”  Or you die trying. As a GEICO ad might say, that’s what you do.

Most every collector has a spouse, friend, or parent who just doesn’t get it. You may have had this conversation, or something very close to it, with that person:

SENSIBLE SPOUSE: “What, another one?”
RABID COLLECTOR: “This one is special. I’ve been looking for it for a long time.”SENSIBLE SPOUSE: “It looks exactly like the one you got in May.”
RABID COLLECTOR: “No, that was the Belgian variant. They’re as common as Tuesdays. This one is the Danish one, and it’s very rare.”
SENSIBLE SPOUSE: “Does it speak Danish then? Let me answer that for you: ‘Not one word.’ Am I right, or am I right?”
RABID COLLECTOR (not going to take the bait and answer that directly): “It’s the rarity of the thing, and it’s place in history….”
SENSIBLE SPOUSE (beetling brows): “You paid [memorized exact figure] for the one in May. This must have cost a king’s ransom. How much?”
RABID COLLECTOR (trying to see if evasion will work): “Not that much really. I was below the low estimate for the auction!”
SENSIBLE SPOUSE (seeing through the dodge, and reddening with rage): “Oh, an auction. What are you, keeping up with the Kardozians? Do you think we’re made of money? I asked you nicely, how ^%#^$% much?!?
RABID COLLECTOR (maybe a lie will fly): “Only [some figure that strikes a balance between plausibility in view of SPOUSE’s eidetic recall of the last buy and the number considered de minimis in the family budget].”
SENSIBLE SPOUSE: “You’re lying, show me the receipt.”

We draw the curtain here, but you may rest assured (indeed, you may know from experience) that the tenor of the conversation seldom improves from this point: there are further depths of dissimulation and rage that must be plumbed before the whole Kabuki enterprise seeks its own equilibrium at last.

If you collect guns, the conventional wisdom is that you must also collect references. Indeed, the wise heads advise you to gather the references first. This wisdom was made conventional by many collectors who went about this in the exact reverse order, and were appalled to discover, on acquiring the references, how badly they’d botched the acquiring of the guns.

And if you’re a collector and writer, you build sets of references. A set of Small Arms Reviews.

sar_setFortunately, the publisher can supply binders to keep them neat.

A set of Gun Digests. These are very handy when you want to look at what’s on offer on the gun market, and how that market changes, longitudinally over time; and when particular models or options entered and exited the market. It’s also full of little enterprises that were born, lived and died without much notice, gun business equivalents of the cherry blossoms of Japanese poetry, each one a story with real people, real hopes, and real heartbreaks. The catalog nature of Gun Digest tends to dehumanize the businesses whose products are listed there, but we can’t help seeing them in human terms.

gun_digest_setYes, the shelves are on the messy side. We didn’t tidy anything up for its portrait. We have most issues from 1970 to present (some may be here and there around the office) and gradually backfill the earlier issues when they come up for sale at a reasonable price.

One of our frequent go-tos is our incomplete set of Waffen Revues. We discovered this in-depth quarterly while visiting Germany in 1974 and bought it regularly on every visit thereafter, and while living there 1985-87.

waffen_revue_setOur best sources for fills (and we still need some) are eBay and Deutsches Waffen Journal, which took over the closed magazine (but not the associated Karl L. Pawlas archives, which we understand were auctioned piecemeal).

motz_and_schuy_austrian_pistolsDWJ has both original back numbers, and, where those are exhausted, reprints; they also sell gun books, like the incredibly in-depth Mötz and Schüy three-volume study of Austrian pistols (right), and they have a great deal on shipping. Postage for $400 worth of books and Waffen Revues was €9.95. The website is all in German, of course — like the books.

If there’s enough demand for it, we’ll publish an English guide to ordering from DWJ. It is a very convenient way to order popular German, Austrian and Swiss gun books, even if you are flummoxed by the Awful German Language.

The books include common English-language gun collector books (and German translations thereof!), but also include lots of novel research by European experts on not only German-speaking nations’ arms but all of the world’s. For instance, Wolfgang Michel’s books on SOE weapons and British silenced weapons are compact but excellent and well illustrated. And we were amused to see this book by Markus Gärtner: Lügen Presse: Wie uns die Massenmedien durch Fälschen, Verdrehen und Verschweigen manipulieren. In English, that title is: Lying Press: How the Mass Media Manipulate Us with Falsehood, Distortion and Silence. Sounds like an American problem has international legs.

The problem for us is this: having opened this door… we need the complete set.


Sound familiar?

OT: Carbon Fiber as… You Figure it Out, We Give Up

carbon fiberWe take great pride in being Smarter Than The Average Bear™, even though, we didn’t do anything personally to get that way, unless we selected our parents pre-consciousness.

But we’ll be damned if we can figure out what a typically confused University of London academic with a typically hyphenated name (it was Anna Flakey-Goofy or something like that) wrote in a typically abstruse paper that seems to be some kind of feminist analysis of carbon fiber by and for the hard-of-thinking.

Flakey-Goofy writes (inline references deleted, because they’re probably just as foolish):

Contemporary cultural economies of carbon fibre are, in part, a late capitalist technology of hegemonic (or dominant) masculinity.

Apart from the fact that that is nearly meaningless word salad, lacking denotation as much as connotation, we have to say, “late capitalistm” whaaaa? Crap, did Brezhnev win and we’ve been in a coma since that bad PLF?

And what has carbon fibre got to do with masculinity? Apart, perhaps, from the fact that men invented it, but that scarcely sets it apart from any other advance in materials engineering in the last, oh, all recorded history. Maybe Flakey-Goofy can explain, so let’s give her enough rope to hang herself a fair fighting chance.

As a technology of hegemonic masculinity, carbon fibre extends the surfaces of bodies and produces masculinity on and across surfaces, male and female bodies.

We don’t know how she’s using carbon fiber, but it sure does look like she’s not doing it right. We found this remarkable paper a The Political Hat, where the blogger was almost as bemused as we were by this flaky, goofy paper by Anna Flakey-Goofy.

Yup, in the very first long-winded paragraph, the author comes right out and says that carbon fiber is a tool to oppress the feminine.  But we are living in an age where the hot topic is intersectionalism, so of course, masculine oppressiveness must be intersected with… disability.

Geez, that guy is using these words like they mean something to him. Does he need An Intervention? (Send Mat Best with a 12-pack and two actual women in bikinis?) Let’s see the quote he pulled from Flakey-Goofy:

Firstly, carbon fibre can be a site of the supersession of disability that is affected through masculinized technology. Disability can be ‘overcome’ through carbon fibre. Disability is often culturally coded as feminine.

via The Ultimate Tool of The Patriarchy? Carbon Fiber! | The Political Hat.

Lady, if you’re hiding under your bed because you’re scared witless of carbon fiber, a pretty neat (but decidedly inanimate and passive) structural material, you’re never going to write anything worth reading. (Which is not a risky prediction if one has read any part of her paper). Let’s look at an argument or two from her paper.

[T]hrough his carbon fibre prosthetic legs, [athlete and girlfriend-killer Oscar] Pistorius, who was popularly known as “blade runner,” became a cyborg who traversed culturally constructed, and indeed fictitious, boundaries between human and machine.

The boundaries between human and machine are fictitious? Because Pistorius ran with prostheses? Holy mackerel, what’s she going to say about our cardiac stents?

Does she know about Transformers? (The toys or the movies?). We better not tell her without checking with her therapist — her hold on reality seems rather tenuous.

Pistorius exemplifies the dominant cultural value of carbon fibre and predominant cultural constructions of disability in a way that holds everyday cultures in relief. Carbon fibre is masculinized as a way of dominating space; as a technology of all forms of frontier masculinity it can make vehicles or accessories that allow people to colonize spaces and better others.

For the love of all that is holy, Mizzzz Flakey-Goofy, carbon fiber is just stuff. Most anything you can make out of CF you can make out of nylon, or kevlar, or steel tube and sheet or aluminum alloy, if you work to the materials’ strengths.

But that’s just the cisgendered heteronormative cryptofascist in us coming out, innit?

To put this another way… culturally dominant (not numerically frequent, but popular) forms of masculinity are hegemonic, that such hegemonic masculinity is a way of controlling others. These forms of masculine embodiment are sold within capitalist economies as being desir- able. Disability is not usually seen as a way of dominating and controlling others, and this is one of a number of ways in which disability has been feminized.

You know, if you’re so Bat Guano Crazy® that you think you’re Napoleon, everywhere is fraught with the potential of Waterloo.

And we didn’t even get to her blue-nosed disapproval of homosocial relationships, which is her term for ordinary friendships with people of the same sex. Apparently she has so few of them as to see them as something bizarre and pathological. (If you want to know about it, do read the Political Hat link, because he did bruise his brain trying to follow Flakey-Goofy’s reasoning through the Habitrail of her mind, and his take on it is entertaining).

It’s amazing that someone this detached from reality isn’t safely ensconced in the Happy Home, doing the Thorazine  Shuffle from Finger-Painting Lab to afternoon Activities. But then, she is a professor or instructor at some university or other, which is tantamount to the same thing.

Origins of the BAR, Part I: Prelude

This post is loing to quote a single source, but that source is an authoritative one: Chinn’s The Machine Gun, volume I, pp. 173 et seq.

This BAR is a Colt R075 model.

This BAR is an interwar Colt R075 model.

At the US entry into World War I, the American forces were woefully ill-prepared in every way, but the machine gun shortage, of both quality and quantity, was staggering. War Department planners suggested 100,000 machine guns were needed. The Army had on hand 1,100, of which all but 282 Maxims — among the oldest guns in the inventory! — were obsolete types, the Benet-Mercié and the Colt 1895 “potato digger,” a John Browning design that the Army had acquired without ever actually adopting. (The Navy had adopted it, originally in 6mm… the Navy guns were later rebarreled for .30-40 and .30-06 in a rare example of early-20th-Century common sense in US Ordnance procurement).

This BAR is a 1918 that has been updated with some WWII parts (forend and trigger guard)

This BAR is an original 1918 that has been updated with some WWII parts (forearm, stock and trigger guard)

As Chinn explains it, almost any decision would have given the troops something they could use, but those in charge couldn’t decide what was needed, so the troops got nothing. Indecision is decision.

During this period of timidity and confusion before the war, John Moses Browning showed up in DC with two new designs to show off. One was a machine gun he had been working on since 1900; the other was what he called the Browning Machine Rifle. The Army loved both weapons on first demonstration, but couldn’t decide what to do about them. Thus, our ancestors arrived in April 1917 as participants in a war defined in large part by machine guns, and as completely disarmed of the beastly things as if the Board of Ordnance Officers had been pacifistic Quakers. Chinn:

In order for the United States to participate in the war with a semblance of machine gun armament, it was finally agreed, after still more debate, that until we had put into production something of our own design, our forces sent overseas would be armed with whatever the French had to offer. The arms sold us, as can easily be understood, were their second best.

This problem went far beyond machine guns, although that is Chinn’s natural focus. We were just as backward with airplanes, artillery pieces and tanks, and so we begged them from our Allies, mostly the French, who had excellent war industries by this time, but were running out of young men to operate the weapons after three years of purblind generalship.

Sometimes the French desire to send us second best worked to our benefit; French pilots didn’t care for the Nieuport 28 and SPAD airplanes, and our aviators did well by them. Returning to Chinn and machine guns, however:

The fact remains, regardless of how unpleasant it may be, that the country which originated and showed the world how to produce this deadly instrument actually entered the War with a most obsolete assortment of machine guns. They would have been more in keeping with the armament of the revolutionists in a banana republic then as weapons of soldiers representing one of the richest and most progressive nations on earth.

The typical French arms that came to the AEF were Hotchkiss M1914 machine guns and the CSRG machine rifle, the unloved Chauchat. If the two markers of French machine design, as seen on a 1930s Delage, a 1960s Citroën, or any aircraft from Avions Marcel Dassault, are beauty and quirkiness, these weapons only checked one of the boxes. Moreover, they posed an immediate and intractable logistical problem at all echelons from the AEF itself down to the squad:

The first French machine guns used to arm American troops were chambered for the Lebel 8mm rim-type cartridge, necessitating the issuing of two different types of cartridge by our supply department, one for machine gunners, another for riflemen. And as they invariably operated together as a unit, the logistics involved certainly should have given much aid and comfort to the enemy.

Enter our hero, John Moses Browning, of the Browning Brothers Armory of Utah. Early on, the brothers decided to specialize; Matt had a talent for business, he’d run that end of the shop. John was clearly the most creative inventor, so his portfolio was new designs. The other brothers had their own specialties, and by 1917, they were all old enough that their sons had brought their individual talents into the business.

During the prewar period of indecision,John M. Browning personally brought to Washington, D.C. for purposes of demonstration, two weapons, the heavy (water-cooled) machine gun and the machine rifle (to be known later as the B.A.R.). These were both chambered to take the standard Springfield rifle cartridge known throughout the service as the .30/06.

The BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) had been designed as an answer to the demand for “walking fire” —thought to be so necessary to the individual soldier in trench warfare. The rifle can either be fired single shot or be converted instantly to full automatic with a maximum rate of 480 shots per minute. It is gas actuated, air cooled and employs a 20-shot magazine that can be emptied in 2¼ seconds. The unloaded magazine can be detached and a fresh one put in its place in about the same length of time . Three orifices are on the gun to insure smooth functioning. The weapon’s seventy pieces can be completely disassembled and assembled in 55 seconds.

Now, about that “walking fire…”

The rifle is designed to be carried by the advancing infantryman with the sling over his shoulder,allowing the butt to be held firmly against the hip. When necessary to fire a burst, the safety switch is moved to “Automatic,” and as long as the trigger is held the weapon will continue firing.

At this point, Chinn describes the functioning cycle of the rifle. In the interests of brevity, we’ll skip that, and pick up at the demonstration.

The first public firing demonstration of the B.A.R. and the water-cooled machine gun took place on 27 February 1917 at a location outside the city limits of Washington, D. G. known as Congress Heights. It was witnessed by 300 people including men of high rank in our own military service, many Senators and Congressmen, members of the armed services from Great Britain, France, Belgium, and Italy, and representatives of the press. The latter wrote much about the exhibition. They gave a glowing account of the reliability and tremendous firepower of both weapons and painted verbal pictures in the local papers of how a hundred men advancing with these weapons firing full automatic would literally sweep an enemy out of the way. The only feature they seemed to forget was that though war, at this point, was practically inevitable, the superb weapons demonstrated were the only ones in existence and were a long way from mass production.

The successful exhibition at Congress Heights, however, did create an interest that encouraged Browning to continue personally to improve and function fire his water-cooled gun at the Colt plant until he was satisfied that it was ready for endurance trials. The Government had adopted the B.A.R. from its initial showing at Congress Heights, but felt that a machine gun of the water-cooled type should be tested more thoroughly because of the more rigorous treatment given this type of weapon. In May 1917 he brought his heavy water-cooled gun to the Government Proving Ground at Springfield Armory for an official test.

The thorough test was a thorough success, and the Army finally had its two designs to replace the stopgap French weapons — if they could be manufactured in quantity.

Following this excellent demonstration, the board of five Army officers and two civilians appointed by the Secretary of War to study the problem of machine gun supply recommended for immediate adoption the water-cooled Browning, pronouncing it and the previously accepted B.A.R. the “most effective guns of their type known to the members.”

Chinn judges that

The outstanding features were reliability and simplicity of design. The officers who demonstrated the weapons showed that it was possible for the operator, while blindfolded, to take them down and reassemble them in a matter of minutes. This was so impressive that all machine gun schools adopted the blindfold test as a “must” in their courses of instruction.

The easily constructed mechanism was a great selling point for the Government, as it appeared possible to get the weapons into mass production quickly. Nothing was more important at this critical stage.

To build a gun you must have a production line. To build a production line, you need tools, gages and especially drawings, and these take time to prepare. John M. Browning does not appear to have drawn a single technical, to-scale, dimensioned drawing of even one part of all of his many designs — he would go from an idea to cutting metal, possibly with the intermediate stage of a sketch drawn freehand on wrapping paper, like this one, which appears to be of BAR features. (From Chinn, p. 172).


After the hasty adoption of the Browning automatic machine gun and the machine rifle, it was quite apparent that no single manufacturing plant was capable of taking care of the vast war need for these weapons. The Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Co., which had an exclusive concession to manufacture the weapons under the Browning patents,agreed to sell its rights to the Government. By July 1917 it delivered prepared gages and drawings that other companies could work from in producing the guns.

In July and August, 1917, American planners looked for facilities in which these new guns might be built, especially existing gunmakers who had fallow capacity. And that’s where we’ll pick up with Colonel Chinn tomorrow.

What’s Your Vocabulary Size?

Turns out, Hognose is kind of rich in the words department.


Who knew?

You can check it out yourself and see how you do:

Hat tip, Vox Day, who’s up in the same neighborhood. (We don’t know if he’s Shakespeare, too, though; he cut off the bottom of his).

Vox uses his score to make a point, that vocabulary size is strongly correlated with Spearman’s G, or IQ. You’ll probably find (if you’re a native speaker of the language you test in) that the percentile this little test yields correlates closely with the percentiles of your SATs, your IQ scores if you know them, your ASVAB percentile and those of specific subtests like GT (General Technical), etc., etc., etc.

It would be nice if the characters running the site with the quiz did some stuff with the aggregate data.

It’s hard to agree with Day on everything, but we do find that those who tend to deny the reality of a single broad intelligence factor in general, or IQ in particular, tend to be insecure about their own scores. We have found the books he edits and Castalia House publishes entertaining & informative (which reminds us, we owe some reviews to you).

Intelligence is a ridiculous thing to be proud of, because in large part it is inherited from your parents, whom you probably didn’t choose. Like pride in inherited wealth, it’s a bit unseemly, isn’t it? But it does seem that taking pride in smarts is natural.

Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2016 Week 27

This Tour d’Horizon comes naked into the world, like a newborn baby; its plaintive cries may draw your attention, at least until the 0600 post tomorrow.

This is where we throw a lot of our open tabs.


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

We Think This is As Rare As it Gets

Some time back, Ian at Forgotten Weapons did a pretty good video on a pair of 6.35mm Little Toms that were up for sale at Rock Island. (We didn’t bid because, like the French Knights, “We already got one.” We did bid on, and win, a 7.65mm one so now we already got two). The differences between what should be two identical auto pistols that Ian examines are fascinating. Even the trigger bows are different, although they’re both unmistakeably Little Toms.

We disagree with the way Ian describes the action. In our opinion, it’s a single-action/double-action pistol, because the hammer stays cocked after firing the first shot. What doesn’t happen is that the trigger doesn’t stay back, and while the weapon is cocked, it has a heck of a long take-up if you release the trigger fully between shots.

In any event, 6.35mm Little Toms are considered rare, 7.65 considered extremely rare, Czech-made ones almost impossibly rare, but we discovered recently that designer Alois Tomiška (a mildly peripatetic designer responsible for several other designs in Austria and Czechoslovakia) designed an earlier brother to the Little Tom in Vienna in 1908, and a larger service-pistol version that has a whiff of P.38 about it — before double-action was a gleam in Fritz Walther’s eye. Even to museum curators in Austria and the Czech Republic and advanced collectors, no examples at all of these two bookends to the story of Little Tom, the first double-action auto pistol, are believed to have survived.

The story of Alois Tomiška and his guns is a very tangled one, and we’re trying to groom it for the Czech and Czechoslovak Pistols book.

New Stock from X Products

Here’s a new stock, and a deal on it. If you wanted an HK or M231 style stock, which is currently the cat’s [bleep] on SBRs and PDWs, you might like this new one from X Products. Here’s the kit:

x-products-roc-rapid-operations-carbine-stock-ar-15-pdw-cqb-stock-dissasembled_0And here it is on a gun…

x-products-roc-rapid-operations-carbine-stock-ar-15-pdw-cqb-stock-on-sbr-rifle-collapsed_0(That pistol grip and the mag are X Products stuff, too).

And here’s what they say about it…

The X Products R.O.C. (Rapid Operation Carbine) Stock is the most adapted PDW stock design available in the smallest package. Ergonomic, easy to use and designed for a low profile, compact platform. The X Products ROC Stock set will fit on any Mil-Spec AR-15/M4 & HKMR556, HK 416 lower receiver. Tested and designed to be used with nearly ALL commercial and LE/Mil ammunition types. Easy to install and durable. Its 5 adjustment points give the shooter maximum versatility. To top it off, the R.O.C. Stock does NOT require a proprietary bolt carrier or special components. Use a true drop on PDW stock set solution for your HK 416C or AR/M4 PDW project. Made 100% in the USA.

We’re not sure what “most adapted” means in this context.It sure does look cool.

And here’s the deal:

Save 17% for the next three days (7/8 through 7/10). On the X Products website only.

We’re not sure whether the price marked on the website now ($289.95) is the 17% off deal, or whether 17% is applied when you check out.

Support the Dallas PD with Trick Glocks

You may remember some time ago when we went to Trick Glocks’ website, and it didn’t work for us? Not only did they fix the problem (their software rejected our hometown name), but they’re giving up any profit they make this weekend

All profits over this weekend will be donated to If you would like to make a donation, please visit this page and click on “Support ATO, Donate Now”.

Some of you may not be aware, but our office is located two blocks from the scene of these horrific crimes.

At the current time, our shipping may be impacted until Downtown Dallas streets have been opened back to the public. We are unsure how shipping will be affected, but feel that this situation is more important than a 1-day shipping delay.

ATO stands for “Assist The Officer.” It’s a charity run by Dallas cops (active and retired) for Dallas cops, their families, and, when needed, their survivors. There is a list of Dallas’s fallen cops on the page. It’s a hell of a long list.

And it doesn’t even have the new names on it yet.

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way.

Responding to a Home Invader…

This guy did it without any of his guns. Bad guy is the bearded mook in the plaid hoodie; good guy is the clean-shaven thin kid with specs, wearing a light t-shirt. What do you do? (Note: no actual sound on the track, just a canned reggae track. Might wanna reach for the mute button).

He didn’t want to shoot him, so he beat him down and held him for the cops. It worked out well  in this case, but what if the mook was armed?

Was the defender overconfident?

He’s a vet, a paratrooper. Was that a factor?

Self Defense with an Armload of Baby

Talk about a compromising situation. This looks like it might be in Brazil to me. In any event, the defender is bounced by an armed robber as he’s opening the door after arriving home. He’s in about a worst-case scenario for self-defense: baby in his strong arm, his wife a few feet away, and the contact man of a 3-man rip crew all up in his grill.

But he’s armed. John Correia of Active Self Protection (great channel on Yoot Tube by the way) may look like he’s part Wookiee, but he analyzes video like this well.

In case you were wondering, the baby’s OK.

Bet you never ran an IPSC stage with a baby on your arm! Or did live baby live fires, either.

Cops ‘n’ Crims ALL NEW

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

Black Criminals’ Lives Matter

As we were saying to our meatworld acquaintances, the Minnesota shooting looked really bad, but “initial stories are always wrong.” It’s now looking like he did have a gun, he did have a criminal record, and he didn’t have a permit after all.

Doesn’t mean the shooting was righteous, but it does mean the initial reporting was, as always, reckless, mendacious, and designed to drive outrage. It did, indeed, bring thousands of protesters out — and at least four cop-killers or wannabees (in Dallas; Ballwin, Tennessee; Georgia; and, St. Louis).

To the press, all the world is the Jerry Springer Show, and they’re never happier than when they’ve baited the ignorant tribals into a gory battle.

Let’s Dive the Depths of Human Depravity

cage under tarpSee this? It’s a tent or a tarp, over a cage. A cage a young woman was kept in by a gang of Louisiana inbreds.

Investigators found the woman wandering around the backyard covered with insect bites and looking malnourished, according to the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff.

She was often locked into the kennel-like crate, blanketed by a tarp, to keep her from wandering away before she was rescued on June 30.

She was autistic. But the Knope family didn’t plan to keep her crated like an unloved dog forever. They had plans for her.

Two men and three women in Louisiana held an autistic 22-year-old woman in a cage and planned to use her as a prostitute, authorities say.

Instead, she’s in the custody of the state (which has a 50-50 chance of treating her better) and, come to think of it, so are various Knopes and Lamberts.

The Last Tweet of a Murdered Cop

Patrick Zamarippa was a three-tour Iraq veteran.

No Cops for You, Donald Trump

New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, a Democrat who’s backing Hillary Clinton for President, reacted viscerally when he heard Donald Trump, Clinton’s opponent, wanted to speak to NYPD officers at roll call. Bratton stomped on the suggestion — hard.

From Bratton’s point of view, Clinton is a much stronger ally of law enforcement. After all, she’s just been pronounced Too Big to Jail® by the Director of the FBI!

The Perils of Kathleen: Continued

This is our ongoing series where we examine the ongoing meltdown of the paranoid, vengeful and extremely anti-gun Pennsylvania attorney general, Kathleen Kane.

  • We Actually Had Stuff. But we didn’t have time to post it. We’ll have to pile on next week.

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

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

Someone is Spying on TOR

Gee. We’re totally, totally shocked that a communications system funded in large part by US DOD dollars is full of Peeping Toms. Bruce Schneier’s take.   The two Northeastern University researchers who discovered this, tease a conference talk with an abstract of their discovery and methodology. Vice has a well-reported article on the research, in which the Tor Project reveals that they, too, have found malicious directory nodes of the sort  the researchers say they found.

Is There Anything Science Can’t Tell Us?

Neanderthal bonesCavemen were cannibals, it says here (Scientific Reports). Neanderthals butchered and ate each other.

The pictures on the right are of human femurs with cut marks and percussion damage from butchering and marrow extraction.

Who knew Soylent Green had such a long history?

But really, cannibal cavemen? Nonsense. Why, they were carefree souls, living in harmony with Nature.

What will they be telling us next? Indians scalped people?

(And why is this in “warfare”? Well, who were the dine-ees, if not the guys who lost the fight with the diners?)

Veterans’ Issues

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


Lord Love a Duck!

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

Scientists Who Experiment on Brains Say, “Don’t Experiment on your Brain.”

Apparently the root of the problem is that you are not a Trained Professional®.

The growing trend of “do-it-yourself” transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) poses hidden risks to healthy members of the public who seek to use the technique for cognitive enhancement. Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital, along with several members of the (cognitive) neuroscience research community warn about such risks involved in home use of tDCS, the application of electrical current to the brain. Their Open Letter will appear in the July 7th issue of Annals of Neurology.

So let’s see if we’ve got this straight: scientists who fry volunteers’ brains (or if their university has a research relationship with China, prisoners’ brains) with electricity, warn kids, “Professional Scientist and Third-Party Brain. Do Not Attempt.”

So if you want your brain fried, the neuroscientists’ union says you gotta pay a card-carrying neuroscientist to do it.

Not a Nuke

It sure looks like a nuke. You can even imagine the soundtrack: FOOM!


But it’s not a nuke. This photo by pilot Santiago Borja isn’t one of those 1950s atmospheric nuke tests, it’s just a routine thunderstorm, lit by lightning, as seen at night at Flight Level 370 (37,000 feet above MSL). Borja is a 76 driver for LATAM Ecuador.

It’s actually a small thunderbumper. The big ones get up higher in the flight levels than that.

Angela Fritz tells the story at the Washington Post (which continues its descent into Buzzfeed Lite territory, but this story is an example of the new-Post clickbait that’s actually worth reading).

When you think about it, man’s works and achievements in the raw-power realm are nothing to scoff at, but we still take a back seat to the majestic power of Mother Nature.

The Shame of Shamelessness: Guest Commentary by David G. “Bo” Bolgiano

The following was submitted to his usual outlet, the Wall Street Journal, by David “Bo” Bolgiano, who is fondly remembered in the special operations world as one of “our” staff judge advocates who put mission first, men next, and let the career chips fall where they may. 

The Journal, whose newsroom is “all in” for Hillary (after all, she’s the candidate of Goldman Sachs) even as the editorial page tries to split the baby, not only didn’t accept the op-ed, but they didn’t reject it, either. They didn’t even reply. For the act of lèse-majesté that this op-ed represents, they broke communication with an established contributor. As a private business, that is their prerogative, but it is ours to draw inferences from it. Having received the text of Bo’s submission from a mutual friend, we resolved to push it out to you. 

We haven’t got the reach of the Wall Street Journal, but we’ll use what we have to get Bo’s message out. It may help civilian readers understand why cleared military and government workers are so wound up about the Hillary’s Shadow Server imbroglio, and the failure of the FBI and DOJ to act with integrity and consistency in this case. -Ed.

The Shame of Shamelessness: No Standards for Insiders
David G. Bolgiano
I spent the majority of my career as a law enforcement officer and judge advocate for the military.  For most my 35 years of service, I held some of our Republic’s most secret clearance levels.  I also represented numerous officers, noncommissioned officer and special agents charged with mishandling classified information. Lately, I watched a selfless and top-tier Army lieutenant colonel’s career go up in smoke for the following offense: he self-reported that he had inadvertently taken home from the office some classified documents in his briefcase.  There was minimal chance that these documents fell into the wrong hands, and subsequent security assessments confirmed this.  Yet, the Army served this officer with a career-ending nonjudicial punishment under Article 15 of the UCMJ and removed his name from command and promotion lists.
Now comes Hillary Rodham Clinton, a woman who – without authority or need – builds her own private email server over which some of our Republic’s most sensitive information was discussed.  There is no doubt that foreign intelligence sources read her emails verbatim. And all FBI Director Jim Comey can come up with is a public scolding?  This sickens me to the core of my being.  It reinforces what Peggy Noonan wrote about in her brilliant Wall Street Journal article of February 25, 2016 “Trump and the Rise of the Unprotected” where she states inter alia:
There are the protected and the unprotected. The protected make public policy. The unprotected live in it. The unprotected are starting to push back, powerfully.
The protected are the accomplished, the secure, the successful—those who have power or access to it. They are protected from much of the roughness of the world. More to the point, they are protected from the world they have created. Again, they make public policy and have for some time.
It is clear that Clinton, Obama, Lynch (and now, sadly, Jim Comey) – everyone in the elite circles of D.C. regardless of party affiliation – live according to different rules than us outsiders.  Three or four FBI friends in the trenches, people I trust and respect tremendously, assured me that Comey was not one of those tarnished by power. His decision today belies that assurance in the most callous of terms.  
While assigned to DoD or DOJ, had my colleagues or I done 1/100th of what Clinton did, we would pay dearly. At a minimum, we would have been fired and never again given a security clearance.  In the soulless, shameless world of 21st Century America, Hillary Rodham Clinton gets a meaningless tongue lashing from a once upright man who sold his soul for God knows what price.
My circle of friends includes many who fought multiple tours of combat in defense of our Republic.  To a person, it saddens us deeply that those fights appear to be for naught.  For our Constitution is mocked when blue collar Soldiers get crushed while self-anointed elites skate on shamelessly.  When we, the unprotected, begin to realize that peaceable resolutions to such obvious wrongs are ignored, the result may not be peaceable at all.  In even plainer terms, do not expect proud and skilled warriors to stand by and watch the Constitution to which we swore an oath be trampled upon by treacherous thieves like Hillary Clinton.


In addition to its presence here on, you can find the Bolgiano op-ed on:


When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Cows

Reenacting Pamplona at home? Bad idea.

Reenacting Pamplona at home? Bad idea.

Cows are large, heavy, easily frightened, and unimaginably stupid. This makes, if you think about it, even one of them hazardous; a herd, even a small one, is a powerful and hard-to-control thing.

The rural town where a family relearned this lesson from unmerciful Nature is on the far side of the Cannabis Curtain, in the hippie-dippie People’s Republic, but it’s really not that far from here.

GEORGETOWN, Mass. (AP) — Authorities say an 8-year-old Massachusetts boy helping his father with the family’s cows was trampled to death when one of them got spooked.

The Essex District Attorney’s Office says the father and son were exercising some of the family’s 20 cows at their home in Georgetown when one apparently became startled and trampled the child. It happened around 12:45 p.m. Saturday.

The boy was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Authorities have not released his name.

Massachusetts State Police are investigating the death.

via Police: Boy, 8, trampled by cow in Massachusetts – News – – Providence, RI.

How exactly are the State Police going to investigate this death? You can’t dust for cowprints, can you?

Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2016 Week 26

This Tour d’Horizon arrives unloved and overdue (we’re running 12-16 hours behind schedule). But sometimes that’s the nature of playing catch-up and clearing the thicket of tabs.


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

The FBI’s 10mm Pistol, 1989

This .pdf scan of an article from FBI Law Enforcement Journal, link sent to us by Daniel Watters, provides Firearms Training Unit SA John C. Hall’s explanation of why and how the FBI went to the caliber then. It’s a crappy reproduction, as if from microfiche, but still an important glimpse of history!

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way.

Nothing this week.

Cops ‘n’ Crims

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

About the Freddie Gray Trials

Just about everything you need to know is in the drumfire of reporting by Andrew Branca at Legal Insurrection.

What nobody has a handle on yet, is how far Marilyn Mosby, a career politician and wife of another career Baltimoron pol, is going to go with these prosecutions. She’s keeping “the base” stirred up, but at some point, having a judge hand your team its collective ass over and over again has got to get really old.

And You Thought Criminals were Bad Here

In Malawi, people with albinism are popular — with witch doctors, who think their body parts contain strong magic. So criminal gangs hunt them and kill them for body parts or simply lop limbs off, which are then made into potions and ingested. Or they dig up their dead bodies, with similar intent.

Here? They can kill you, but they can’t eat you. That’s against the law. In Malawi, it’s less against the law than it is in neighboring Tanzania, which brings the cannibals of both nations to Malawi in search of albino bones and other African delicacies. Amnesty (.pdf):

Amnesty International believes that some of the crimes against people with albinism, especially grave robbery, might have been opportunistic and driven by greed and rumours about fortunes one can get by selling bones of a person with albinism.


The Perils of Kathleen: No, She Didn’t Give it a Rest

This is our ongoing series where we examine the ongoing meltdown of the paranoid, vengeful and extremely anti-gun Pennsylvania attorney general, Kathleen Kane.

  • Her Sister has a Booze Problem. From a local LEO insider, seems that sis (who works for Kane in the plum perv-prosecution slot, the one part of law enforcement Kane seems truly passionate about) has a favorite bar, where she drinks until she’s falling off the barstool and then goes home with random guys. If you’re an LEO screwed by her botched cases, or Pennsylvanian or visitor screwed by Kane’s revocation of reciprocity, here’s your chance to get your own back — the sister’s a twin.
  • The Undisclosed $1.77 Million Seizure. It was undisclosed for a reason or two. One, there’s some question of whether the seizure was completely lawful. Two… it used one of the cops’ relatives as an informant; this is generally a no-no for reasons that should be apparent on reflection. Three, and this one’s a buried lede deep in this story, $1.77 million is not what a DEA wiretap said was seized. But it is what Kane’s agents reported seizing. Where’s the extra money?
  • The state House is moving forward with impeachment preliminaries. Kane seems determined to go down swinging.

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

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

First Results from Marines’ Unisex Standards

USMC EGA eagle globe and anchorLolita Baldor, the Associated (with terrorists) Press’s go-to-you-go-grrl for Women in Combat cheerleading, buries the lede in a story on the Marines’ implementation of mission-focused unisex fitness standards.

And it’s not even that she doesn’t mention this tidbit till the ninth paragraph:

Nearly 86 percent of the women failed the tests, compared to less than 3 percent of the men.

The real story? The flood of female volunteers promised has been seven, yes, 7 Marine recruits.  Over five months. That’s a little more than one per month. And the 86 percent failure? Yep, that’s six out of seven. If all the volunteers passed, the Marines could field an all-female platoon, at that rate, in over two years. If the one-in-seven pass rate is sustained, they’ll be able to field a distaff platoon circa 2050. If there’s still a United States to have a Marine Corps.

But hey, now they have to accommodate the trannies, too. Don’t be H8rs. It’s going to be simply fabulous!

New Russian Propaganda Outlet

Soviet Anti-American PosterHere’s a plug at the DailyCaller for a new lobbying group, the Defense Priorities Foundation.  Although the Caller calls it, laughably, a “defense think tank.”

Its first client, judging from the stuff they’ve published so far, is Russia. The Caller notes that:

..the narratives many of its fellows offer are decidedly outside normal national security discourse in either the Republican or Democratic Party.

Yeah, you could say that.

Notorious pimp-for-pay writer Doug Bandow is one of those Fellows. (Bandow resigned from the Cato Institute after being exposed as a paid shill for career criminal and K Street makler and fixer Jack Abramoff, also known as BOP Inmate Number 27593-112. After a “decent interval,” Cato hired him back, exposing the “resignation” as a sham).  Bandow is calling for an Afghanistan bugout. This has the merit of at least completing the foreign policy objective that the Obama administration chracteristically half-assed: walk away from the sunk costs of fighting terrorism in one of its homelands. With Bandow, somebody always paid him, but you never know who. 

On the other hand, sometimes it’s painfully obvious who really placed a Defense Priorities Foundation story. An unknown named Bonnie Kristian toes the Russian propaganda line quite exactly. Wonder what Vladimir Vladimirovich is paying for an article lately, and does one have to write it or does it spring fully formed from the brow of Moscow Center?

Sure, they’re all about Defense Priorities.


Analysis of Russian Messaging/Propaganda

This post at the Selous Foundation explores some historical and current Russian propaganda themes. A worthwhile read.

Veterans’ Issues

Is it time to disband this thing yet, and letting all its bloatoverhead seek its own level in the Dreaded Private Sector™? (The argument has reached the pages of the New York Times, but of course, they frame it wrong).

4th of July Weekend VA Failure/Misconduct Data Dump

A holiday weekend is where institutional Washington sends its failures to die.

For the last item, hanging’s too good for ’em. For the others: is it time to disband this thing  yet?

Lord Love a Duck!

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

Fed DOJ Spends Fortune on Implicit Bias Training

If you arrest or prosecute minority criminals, you’re raaaaacist with 5 a’s, and the only cure for it is for a connected crony company to provide Implicit Bias training to every. single. employee of the Department of Color-Sensitive Justice. Because we must learn to judge people not by the content of their character, but by the color of their skin.

The Rich get Richer…

By Executive Order, members of the Senior Executive Service all get significant increases in base pay. In addition, agencies, limited to spending 4.8% on executive bonuses, can now sluice 7.5% straight to the top.

Dog Rescue by Clipping


Let’s end on an up note. In New York City, there are animal shelters in the boroughs that are a city monopoly, and that are high-kill shelters. They put lots of bureaucratic obstacles in the way of high-demand states’ rescues retrieving dogs (the cats? They’re just hosed) and most critters’ only chance is a walk-in adoptee. They don’t make much effort to show the animals off — to be fair, they’re buried in volume — and so a local groomer makes volunteer vists and shears the matted pups. This poodle, reminiscent of badly missed Small Dog, wasn’t even that neglected before, but look at the change in the little critter’s posture.


An owner would pay $50 for that trim, but Mark does it for the shelter dogs voluntarily, in hopes of saving them from the needle and the incinerator that’s the fate of many of their peers.

Here’s the story that turned us on to groomer Mark Imhof, and here’s Mark’s instagram. Enjoy.