Category Archives: Uncategorized

Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2016 Week 24

This Tour d’Horizon is the laziest, most telegraphic, check-the-boxingest one ever.

Guns

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

Mohammed Was Doing Great…

until he got to the Background Check:

background check

Yes, it could be worse, and if Jean-Claude Juncker (click your heels and heil when you hear His name, peasant) gets his way it will be.

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.

The Perils of Kathleen: Flaky is as Flaky Does

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

  • Kane Flaked Out on the one constituency that really expected her to stand by them, child abuse survivors. She issued a surprise about-face at a hearing on a statute of limitations extension bill.

In the continuum of bizarre episodes involving state Attorney General Kathleen Kane, her double-cross Monday of child sex abuse victims probably ranks pretty low. She has set a remarkably high standard for weirdness.

Still, Monday’s shocking turnabout — from powerful advocate to weaselly waffler — left a lot of people scratching their heads.

You F’d up. You trusted her.

  • Kane lost at an attempt to toss out all 22 judges in the Montgomery County court that will hear her case. If the other motion was a longshot, this was a barking moonshot.

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

What goes on in the battlezones of the world — and preparation of the future battlefields. (We’ll have more next week)

On the Efficacy of Tolerance Classes

The Aussie military, like ours, has fallen into the clutches of diversity training Wilberforce wannabees that teach them that Islam is The Religion of Peace® or I Keeel You™. It seems to be working. The source of the story, The Australian, has a nasty paywall but Arthur Chrenkoff has excerpted enough of it that it seems that making the diggers gather around proclaiming that they love Big Brother and We Have Always Been at War with Climate Change (and, Islam is The Religion of Peace®, naturally) makes them love Hadji less, says Dr Miller, author of the cited study:

I find little evidence that the official ‘Islam as a religion of peace’ narrative is widely ­accepted, nor is there evidence that cultural sensitivity training has any effect.

The best estimate … for the proportion of soldiers who have received cultural sensitivity training and who believe that the Muslim religion promotes violence and terrorism is 91 per cent.

The corresponding figure for those who have not had cultural sensitivity training is 17 per cent.

Excellent. All is proceeding as we have foreseen. You can read the whole study here. It is extremely interesting, but Dr Miller is proceeding from some shaky instructions.

Veterans’ Issues

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

VA Inspector General Runs Interference for Nepotism

In Norfolk, VA, a city veterans’ official, retired Navy Captain John “Condor” Andrews, got worried about the way a vets’ project seemed to be run by the VA’s Rosye Cloud in part for the benefit of a software contractor — Chad Cloud, Rosye’s husband. He asked about it. He got fired. The Virginian-Pilot then asked about it:

Emails obtained by The Virginian-Pilot through a Freedom of Information Act request show that Andrews was frustrated with his supervisors. He said he had been shut out of discussions involving a Veterans Affairs project – the subject for which the city paid him a six-figure salary.

He also raised questions in his final weeks about what he considered to be a conflict of interest: A senior advisor for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs was married to a man who was trying to sell software that helps veterans and others transition to new careers.

“It is getting nasty at work,” Andrews wrote in an email Nov. 21, three days before he got fired.

Andrews’ emails show he was concerned about Rosye Cloud, a senior advisor for the Veterans Benefits Administration, and her husband, Chad Cloud, the president of Software Performance Group, based in Washington. Andrews learned that Rosye Cloud had been working with his supervisors on a VA program that involved Norfolk. Andrews also knew that Chad Cloud was pitching his software to colleges and others in Hampton Roads and elsewhere in Virginia.

The VA denied that they were investigating:

Curtis Coy, Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity at the VA, offered a two-sentence statement Friday: “Ms. Cloud is a principled leader for veterans and a valued member of the Office of Economic Opportunity. We have no reason to believe that these allegations have merit.”

But later, when POGO asked the VA for a statement, the VA IG replied that, conveniently, they can’t say anything because of a pending investigation.

POGO has in the past found that the VA OIG has buried the results of other investigations.

VA: Vets Can Apply, But Only if No Union Goon Wants the Job

One reason the VA has few veterans except for physicians (the agency does like to hire ex-military docs) is that members of the American Federation of Government Employees union have absolute priority over veterans for hiring.

It’s definitely comforting to know that the VA handles vets with the same care the UAW used to build our Chevy with (which is why we now drive Toyotas, an option not available to VA-dependent vets).

The VA does reserve one job for vets, though: janitor.

Lord Love a Duck!

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

12,000 Year Old Puppies

Something’s always turning up in Siberia. Two three-month old puppies froze into the permafrost there some 12,460 years ago, and were found and are being studied by Russian and international scientists.

yakutsk puppy

No word on whether they’re going to try to clone them and make Jurassic Dog Park. It would be totally cool.

Textin’ With Jody

Who’s Jody? If you’re a vet you know him all too well. For the rest of you, he’s the star of numerous cadence calls that marching military trainees hear:

Ain’t no use in going home; Jody’s got your girl and gone.
Ain’t no use in looking back; Jody’s got your Cadillac.

(That should give you an idea how old these calls really are: they date to when Cadillacs were aspirational products, not badge-engineered Chevies indifferently assembled on the same production lines by the same truculent, hung-over workers).

In any event, a guy whose friend asks him for advice discovers, to his chagrin, that he’s advising none other than Jody his ownself.

guy-cheating-with-soldiers-wife-seeks-counsel-from-his-friend-who-instead-levels-him-10-photos-1-575x1024

guy-cheating-with-soldiers-wife-seeks-counsel-from-his-friend-who-instead-levels-him-10-photos-2

First, how is somebody “kind of” married? Is this guy in some weird parallel dimension where marriage vows have an effective range of 1,000 kilometers or something?

But as bad as things were for young Jody, they were about to take a turn for the worse…

guy-cheating-with-soldiers-wife-seeks-counsel-from-his-friend-who-instead-levels-him-10-photos-3-560x1024

The organ making his decisions for him is probably not his heart, but as you see our former Marine (white text on blue) is handling this with aplomb.

As to Jody, the would be Marine recruit? He is being set up the bomb, as the old net meme used to go…

guy-cheating-with-soldiers-wife-seeks-counsel-from-his-friend-who-instead-levels-him-10-photos-4-564x1024

Amazing, but Jody doesn’t see it coming… click “more” to see the first whammy our hero puts on young Jody.

Continue reading

When Guns are Outlawed… How Many does this Make for Machetes?

Akers smiles for the camera.

Akers smiles for the camera.

We’ve had a bunch of machete murders, but usually they take place somewhere sunny, where a machete is a plausible farm and garden implement.

We weren’t expecting one to turn up maybe 100 miles away, in rural Maine. It did, and that was shock number one.

Number two? Despite the victim being near-as-dammit beheaded, the perp was not in the habit of facing mecca five times a day.

Does this make ISIL officially a trendsetter?

A man called the police accusing his neighbor of stealing a six-pack of alcohol before he nearly decapitated him with a machete and buried his body under a pile of rotting deer carcasses, police said Monday in court documents.

When police asked Bruce Akers, 57, of Limington, Maine, whether his neighbor Douglas Flint was alive, he shook his head ‘no’ and said he could bring them to the body.

Akers, who has been charged with murder, told police: ‘I actually would have called you guys right away but I wanted a few hours of freedom…and enjoy it.’

He then said he hadn’t enjoyed it much. What’s he want, sympathy? Rather than take him up on his offer to lead them to his victim, they just took him to the lockup and called the K9. The dog and handler found the victim’s remains — in a grisly tableau.

Bruce Akers, 57, (pictured) accused his neighbor of stealing a six-pack of alcohol before he nearly decapitated him with a machete and buried his body under a pile of rotting deer carcasses, court records state

Akers's home -- the travel trailer on the left. Seriously.

Akers’s home — the travel trailer on the left. Seriously.

Akers called the York County Sheriff’s Department on June 9, accusing Flint of stealing several missing items from his home.

The following day, both Flint’s brother and his daughter Amanda Flint called authorities saying the 55-year-old had gone missing, pointing to worrying signs that he had left his phone and cigarettes at home.

Family members told police they were suspicious of Akers, who often entered his neighbor’s home without permission, according to an affidavit filed by a Maine State Police detective.

via Maine man called police accusing his neighbor of stealing a six-pack before ‘nearly decapitating him | Daily Mail Online.

Here’s the PC affidavit. It’s an eye-opener. This rural Maine guy was probably not insane in terms of the legal definition, but he was certainly bat guano crazy. As near as anyone can figure out, the motive was suspicion of 12-pack pilferage. We are not making that up. It does not really matter what the motive is, as they have evidence sufficient to solve Doug Flint’s jerk-neighbor problem; pity it’s too late to be any earthly benefit to Flint.

The first hint to the cops was that the victim’s (Flint’s) brother asked for the cops when his brother came up missing, as he wanted to talk to Akers, but did not want to talk to him alone. Flint’s daughter reported that Akers seemed to have no boundaries with respect to Flint’s property; he creeped her and her father out enough that they agreed not to let him near the grandkids.

Non New-England readers may miss the subtext of the “pile of rotting deer carcasses” used in a half-assed attempt to conceal the mortal remains of Nearly Headless Flint. That, and a similar pile near Akers’s trailer, strongly suggests that Akers was a serial poacher, for food. That suggests a certain indifference to the law. It wasn’t his only  misdeed prior to the murder: Akers had a long record, misdemeanor convictions to be sure, but a mix of violent and property crimes.

For more details, these two stories at the Portland (Maine) Press-Herald cover what’s known at present.

And may Doug Flint’s soul find peace, and may his family come to remember the life he lived rather than the death he met.

Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2016 Week 23

This Tour d’Horizon was built the way it’s supposed to be — gradually, throughout the week. So you might even see it on time!

This week’s installment includes: Guns, Usage & Employment, Cops-n-Crims, Unconventional and Current Warfare, and Lord Love a Duck. It’s pretty heavy on the U&E.

Guns

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

What’s it Like to Collect Guns in England?

Here’s a little taste from the Historic Breech-Loading Small Arms Association, a club of Britons aligned with our kind of interests:

Section 7(1) and Section 7(3) of the Firearms Act were promulgated and achieved following the efforts of the HBSA and others to preserve the “Heritage” pistols in danger of being destroyed following the Dunblane tragedy. In brief Section 7(1) permits certain pistols to be held at home as part of a collection, without ammunition, and allows them to be exhibited; while 7(3) permits the possession and use of heritage pistols at certain designated sites. It is possible to own one or more section 7(3) pistols without having a recognised collection.

It should be noted that both section 7(1) and section 7(3) are essentially a means to enable the use of a Firearms Certificate granted by a chief officer of police to authorise the possession and possible use of a section 5 “prohibited” firearm. There is however an essential difference between section 1 and section 7(1) or 7(3) authorities. Section 1 certification in its pure unconditioned form grants unrestricted use of the firearm (within the law that is), and conditions are added to restrict use, whilst for sections 7(1) and 7(3) authority for possession (and use in the case of 7(3)) is granted only under specific terms. In other words, for the latter all is forbidden unless specifically authorised. One side effect of this has led to restriction of research, because users are prohibited from testing or handling each other’s pistols unless these are specifically entered on their certificates or some other authority is given, since the possession and use of a section 7(3) pistol does not benefit from the Home Office Approved Club exemption regarding possession and use.

Did you follow that? If you jump through all the hoops, and if the rozzers decide to give you a license to have Great Grand Uncle Auberon’s trophy Luger (without, naturally, a round of ammo, because crime), then when your mate George comes over, he can look at it, but you can’t allow him to touch, lest the whole social edifice dating back to King Alfred the Great all come atumble down into that great British moat which has heretofore kept the wogs out and the eccentrics in.

Section 7 was established primarily for the purpose of the preservation, collecting, demonstration, research and study of pistols of historic or heritage interest. Pistols may be used at the sites of storage for these purposes alone, and section 7 of the Act does not permit target practice or competition. The Act, and the accompanying Guidance are helpful in defining the pistols that may be preserved. (See the Home Office web site for a copy of the Guidance to the Police – Chapter 9 is the section referring to Section 7 pistols.)

Yes, it could be worse, and if Jean-Claude Juncker (click your heels and heil when you hear His name, peasant) gets his way it will be.

These are our cousins and similarly descended from the breedstock of our nation and its ideals. It pains one to see them in chains.

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way.

Warning Shots are Always a Bad Idea

Here’s a gal who used warning shots to save her life — she was apparently the current squeeze of one gangbanger whose competitors were litigating a commercial dispute, in the style with which these things are usually done. Especially in the Chicongo:

Ashley Harrison, 26, of Aurora, was emotional Sunday as she stood before Cook County Judge Adam Donald Bourgeois Jr. on charges of reckless discharge of a firearm and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

Prosecutors say Harrison was driving in the 200 block of West Root Street with her fiance, Garvin Whitmore, 27, around 5:20 p.m. Saturday when someone walked up and shot Whitmore in the head.

Harrison pulled a silver .357-caliber Magnum handgun that was in the car and fired several gunshots in the air, Assistant State’s Attorney Lesley Gool said.

“Fill your hands you sonofabitch!” he said. And went to jail.

Keener Mugshot

William Keener Mugshot

OK, he might not have used the exact John Wayne expression, but one Ohio knucklehead checked in to crowbar motel after threatening a shoot-out in a road rage incident. What makes it extra special is that the participants were all Social Security age.

William Keener, 67, apparently was so enraged Tuesday that he rammed his car several times into a car driven by a 64-year-old woman, according to police. Her 71-year-old husband was riding in the car.
Both cars pulled over on Detroit Road in Westlake, and Keener got out. Police said he then threatened to kill the couple, who were not identified. Words were exchanged.
The husband in the car announced he had a concealed carry permit and put his hand over his gun.
Keener responded that he also had a concealed carry permit and pulled out a .45-caliber pistol from his waistband.

He had this .45 with the insignia of a Vietnam-era light infantry brigade on it.

He had this .45 with the insignia of a Vietnam-era transportation (?) brigade on it.

He then dared the man in the car to draw.

And a backup. You're supposed to use superior judgment so that you never need to use your superior firepower... just sayin'.

This was apparently Keener’s backup. You’re supposed to use superior judgment so that you never need to use your superior firepower… just sayin’.

Keener was arrested on charges including felonious assault, aggravated menacing and possession of criminal tools.

He’ll be even older, next time he can pull this stunt, because he’s probably going to get a time out.

Cops ‘n’ Crims

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

Guns in DC: Still only for Criminals

Washington, DC, Attorney General  Kendall Racine was recently ordered by the DC Circuit Court to stop denying DC citizens’ gun rights with a “need test” modeled on un-passible “literacy test” for voting in Jim Crow days. Racine’s response to citizens: F U, as recorded by Devin Watkins:

After the order, I went to apply for a concealed-carry permit in the District of Columbia. The police officers there told me the D.C. attorney general’s office had ordered them to ignore the court order and continue to deny applications.

Watkins confirmed that response with Racine’s office, who didn’t know he was a reporter. When Watkins went to press with the story, Racine flak Rob Marus issued a statement denying his and Racine’s previous statement — but making it clear that they will do all they can to place obstacles in the path of anyone seeking a permit in their Jim Crow city.

The Perils of Kathleen: When In Holes Dep’t

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

  • When you’re all out of friends, if you’re rich enough, you can buy one. That turns out to be what motivated Kane’s one True Believer and Defender of the Faith, her seventh and last (so far) press secretary, Chuck Ardo. After he quit, he not only admitted he was in it for the sweet $10k a month he was into the taxpayers for, but also, he pretty much thought his boss, Kane, was nuts.

He said he believes her mindset is a result of paranoia connected to the criminal charges she’s facing, which include perjury and obstruction for allegedly leaking secret grand jury information to a reporter to discredit a rival prosecutor and lying about it under oath.

“I think there was a level of distrust between the Attorney General and her most senior lawyers,” Ardo said. “I think that was a result of the charges against her, the grand jury that investigated her. A number of those folks testified.”

Ardo told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review he never thought he’d last as long as he did.

During his tenure, Kane was charged criminally, had her law license suspended by the state Supreme Court and fended off a Senate attempt to order her removal.

The Lancaster News-Press, which long ago called for her resignation, used Ardo’s departure to point out that hiring an eighth spokesman in a couple of years hints at “dysfunction” in the AG’s office. You think?

Apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln….

  • If you have to buy friends, and it turns out that, like Afghans, they can’t be bought, just rented, at least you can fall back on family, right? Well, not if you’re KK. She’s getting sued for discrimination — by her sister. Her twin sister, whom, after a nationwide search, Kane promoted into her present job. Another story has this gem:

Told of [Kane’s twin Ellen] Granahan’s complaint, Laurel Brandstetter chuckled. Brandstetter is a former deputy attorney general and now a private defense attorney in western Pennsylvania.

“It wouldn’t even occur to me to file an EEOC [complaint],” she said. “You do it for the love of the job; you don’t do the job to be wealthy one day.”

Well, it certainly occurred to Kane’s sis. She also came this close (/Maxwell Smart) to losing her law license, because taking mandatory continuing education was for The Little People. Great family values.

  • She filed another attempt to get the case tossed on the grounds that it is a “selective prosecution.” A previous version of this motion got tossed on procedural grounds, suggesting she’s not getting the premium legal help the taxpayers are paying for. We’re not lawyers, but this looks like a longshot to us.

 

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

What goes on in the battlezones of the world — and preparation of the future battlefields. (We’ll have more next week)

Interrogation “Breakthrough”?

A breathless article in the Los Angeles Times, where for the baby-duck reporters every day is fresh and new, writes about the sudden discovery of Luftwaffe interrogator Hans Scharff and his “I already know everything” interrogation technique.

Er, that’s been taught to everyone likely to interview or interrogate a detainee or POW for decades.

Veterans’ Issues

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

(Nothing this week)

Lord Love a Duck!

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

Gorilla Warfare in Cincinnati

Hey, a mom lost her kid into the gorilla habitat at the zoo. Happens all the time. You too?

Naturally, then King Kong Harambe the Gorilla thought the zoo gods had given it a great new gorilla toy.

Panicked zoo visitors watched helplessly and shouted “Stay calm!” while one woman yelled, “Mommy loves you!” as a 400lbs gorilla loomed over a four-year-old boy who had fallen into a shallow moat at the Cincinnati zoo.

The boy sat still in the water, looking up at the gorilla as the animal touched the child’s hand and back. At one point, it looked as though the gorilla helped the youngster stand up.

Two witnesses said they thought the gorilla was trying to protect the boy at first, before getting spooked by the screams of onlookers. The animal then picked the child up out of the moat and dragged him to another spot inside the exhibit, zoo officials said.

What the gorilla was doing was unknown. Given human life in danger, officials didn’t think they could take a chance.

Fearing for the little boy’s life, the zoo’s dangerous-animal response team shot and killed the 17-year-old ape, named Harambe.

And that’s the end of it, yes? Er, no:

There was strong social media reaction about how the boy managed to get into the exhibit and the zoo’s decision to kill the gorilla….

That’s a nice way of saying the animal-rights loonies wigged out about the death of the animal, many of them saying the child should have been sacrificed again. Because Bambi or something.

And then, of course, the sappy Lady Diana reaction:

Visitors are leaving flowers at a gorilla statue inside the Cincinnati zoo one day after security officers killed a gorilla that had grabbed a boy who fell into the exhibit.

This is stupid when they did it for an airheaded socialite, and it’s stupid when they do it for some drunk-driving teenagers. But it seems to summit the very Everest of stupidity to do it because one has anthropomorphized a zoo animal.

This isn’t the Elmer Keith you Know

We mistakenly acquired an “Elmer Keith” book we didn’t know, but it turns out Elmer D. Keith (a dissipated Yalie of a century plus ago) is not Elmer M. Keith (the magnum revolver guy). It turned out that this prize-winning poem that helped send Elmer D. off on a Rhodes Scholarship.

It’s painful to read, even if you try to defuse its pretentiousness by reading it aloud.

Fact we didn’t know: even a century back, the Ivy League was producing pretentious dullards, and telling each one he was a genius.

OT: “Crazy Guy” Saves his House from Flood

Hey, if it’s crazy and it works, is it really crazy? Randy Wagner’s neighbors in Rosharon, Texas, thought he was crazy when he started walling off his house with a big rubber tube:

“I was the crazy guy. Everybody was kinda going by, laughing at me. But today they are really impressed with this AquaDam,” said Wagner.

The Brazos River, known to most Americans only as a geographical feature in the Westerns of the thirties through the sixties, became a real threat to many Texans’ homes and even lives when it flooded. When the people of Rosharon and Brazoria County were warned to be prepared to evacuate, Randy Wagner had a different idea: could he prepare to save his home?

Randy Wagner decided to take a chance on something called an Aqua Dam, a product he discovered online.

He drove to Louisiana and purchased an AquaDam, learned how to install it and with the help of two other men, the dam kept the water back.

He filled up 400 feet of 30 inch high tubes made of plastic and fabric with water.

Randy Wagner Aqua Dam

Rosharon, and many parts of Brazoria County were filled with military vehicles and airboats to facilitate mandatory evacuations when the Brazos River began to overflow.

“Your family being relocated and you know it’s heartbreaking to know that that could happen,” said Wagner.

Wagner was determined to find a way to save his home, after Brazos River Authority warned residents of the approaching floods that hadn’t been seen in decades.

“To not know what that level was going to stop at, I needed to prepare for something that no one has seen,” said Wagner.

The AquaDam did the job. Randy and his family evacuated, but an overflight showed that their home is fine. The 40-inch, 400-foot-long, water-filled barrier (with, as you can see, some reinforcing sandbags) has kept the Brazos out of his dwelling.

Randy Wagner Aqua Dam Flooded

The floodwaters came up 27″ on the 40″ diameter (just a hair under 1 meter, for those of you whose nations have yet to walk on the moon) dam. He paid $8,300 for the unit and got instruction in how to set it up. With two helpers and a hose he set it up himself. He reckons it saved him $150k and an unquantifiable amount of distress and hassle.

We don’t need one of these things here at Hog Manor (and where do you put it when you’re not using it?) as we’re near the sea and almost 100 feet above sea level; the tsunami that floods us is a Book Of Genesis Level Event, and we’ll need an ark, not a dam. But for those of you dwelling on alluvial plains, the company’s website is here.

Of course, the flood itself is sometimes the least of your problems when you’re flooded out. A couple of Asset Redistribution Specialists were bagged by police going from house to house, helping themselves to evacuees’ stuff. There are other reports of looting, and of looters threatening returning homeowners.

Meanwhile, on Reddit, we saw some busybody explains that reporting on looting is RAAAAACIST with five capital A’s. (The looters in the story were black. So were their victims. So what?)

 

How Do you Tell Massachusetts from North Korea?

Recently, we referred to some firearms development or other probably being illegal in several totalitarian regimes, including, MA, NK, CA, and Cuba.

To which Al T. replied in the comments: “How do you tell the difference?” Smart man, Al. He asks a logical question, and that pointed out to us a pressing need.

This graphic should be useful to anyone who has to deal with these living dystopias.

where_am_i_matrixWith our compliments. Just one more service to the public by the selfless graphic galley gnomes of Weaponsman.com.

 

Their Tank will be a Memorial

Sultab-Yakub tank in Kubinka

If you were headed to Kubinka to see this tank, you can turn back now….

In war, you never get it all your own way. You win some, and you lose some. In the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon in 1982, de facto Syrian territory at the time, Israel won some — sweeping the Valley clean of Syria’s latest surface-to-air missiles and destroying 29 MiGs in a day — and they lost some, when an exposed tank battalion was nearly surrounded and defeated in detail at the battle of Sultan Yacoub.

The Israelis withdrew with most of their 50-plus casualties, of whom 20 were dead. The Syrians captured some broken-down and disabled Israeli tanks — American 1950s-vintage M48s with many Israeli upgrades, including reactive armor — and three survivors of one tank crew: Zechariah Baumel (also an American citizen), Zvi Feldman and Yehuda Katz. The Syrians marched the three captives off and they were never seen again. The most intact of the tanks was presented by Syrian king-in-all-but-name Hafez Assad to his patrons, the Soviet Union. After analysis by Soviet technical intellience officers, it wound up in the museum of the Russian armored forces at Kubinka near Moscow.

Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu recently asked for a favor from his fellow head of state, Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Would he consider returning the tank? Turns out, he would. He signed the order this weekend and Israeli and Russian officers are working together on the shipmen of the tank today. Netanyahu:

There has been nothing to remember the boys by and no grave to visit for 34 years now. The tank is the only evidence of the battle and now it is coming back to Israel thanks to President Putin’s response to my request.

It is probably the only tank in the history of the world to be shipped anywhere on humanitarian grounds.

One wonders what else the two presidents found to talk about, and whether there is a quid pro quo in the works for the return of the tank.

 

 

Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2016 Week 21

This Tour d’Horizon was built the way it’s supposed to be — gradually, throughout the week. So you might even see it on time!

This week’s installment includes: Guns, Usage & Employment, Cops-n-Crims, Unconventional and Current Warfare, Veterans’ Issues, and Lord Love a Duck.

Guns

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

He’s Got a Few Guns, Here

Lee Williams visited the Gun Point “Firepower Weekend”, and found it lived up to the billing.

Gun Point Firepower WeekendFor us, it’s great to see Felex Yukhtman doing well, still. We once bought something from him that was destroyed by UPS in transit. Dealing with Felex and GunPoint in what could have been a miserable deal from all possible directions made us realize that he is really a kindred soul, one of those Americans who wasn’t born here but got here as fast as he could.

You know, any businessman and any company can keep a customer happy when everything goes right. It’s when it all goes pear-shaped that you realize who you can count on.

How Did Suppressors Get Banned?

HiStandard Suppressed OSSAs you probably know, in some countries, suppressors are perfectly legal and sold without any licensing, like any other form of hearing protection; in others, they’re regulated like ordinary firearms. In the USA, they have been nearly forbidden by the cost and bureaucracy barriers imposed by the National Firearms Act for almost a century.

How did that come to pass? It turns out, as a draft law review article by Steven Halbrook explains, the ban was largely racist in origin.

William T. Hornaday published his Our Vanishing Wildlife (1913), which railed against both improved firearms and ethnic groups such as Italians and blacks. Hornaday saw catastrophe looming in the use of more accurate rifles and better binoculars, regretting also that “in Wyoming the Maxim silencer is now being used.” he first trained his wrath on disfavored ethnic groups. Because “all members of the lower classes of southern Europe are a dangerous menace to our wild life,” he proposed a law to “[p]rohibit the use of firearms in hunting by any naturalized alien from southern Europe until after a 10-years’ residence in America.” He denounced the blacks and “poor white trash” of the South for hunting doves and other birds for food… and harkened to the days “when the negroes were too poor to own guns.”

In 1924, Senator John K. Shields (a Democrat from Tennessee) introduced a bill to prohibit importation and restrict interstate commerce of pistols. He supported the bill in part with a report claiming that “we, the dominant race,” must suppress “the carrying by colored people of a concealed deadly weapon, most often a pistol.”

The initial NFA bill, H.R. 9066, would have defined “firearm” to mean “a pistol, revolver, shotgun having a barrel less than sixteen inches in length, or any other firearm capable of being concealed on the person, a muffler or silencer therefor, or a machine gun.”95 A muffler or silencer for a firearm not capable of being concealed on the person,such as a rifle or shotgun, was not included.
Attorney General Homer Cummings was the first witness in the hearings before the House Committee on Ways and Means, and he assured members that the bill would not affect “the ordinary shotgun or rifle.” But revolvers, pistols, “sawed-off” shotguns, and machine guns must be taken from “roving criminals” like John Dillinger.

In the extensive hearings up to this point, not one word was said about criminal misuse of mufflers or silencers….

But they wound up in the bill, anyway. Read The Whole Thing™, and you’ll come away convinced that our politicians today really aren’t a historically unprecedented set of creeps, cretins, and criminals. Yesterday’s pols were

Want a Winchester .30-30?

No? How ’bout a Makarov? Or a HAFDASA Ballester-Molina .45 from Argentina? Well, you can’t have ’em. The anti-gun Michigan State Police is sending them, and hundreds of other firearms, to be destroyed as deodands. (Hat tip, Dean Weingarten).

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way.

Brought a Machete to a Gun Fight

Machete Boy - Raheem Rogers

Machete Boy – Raheem Rogers

Not a recommended course of action. But there’s always some dumb cluck or two who’s gonna try it, and wind up with a few extra portholes for letting the air in and the blood out. Case in point:

Donald David Farrior Jr., 22, of 91 Barley Lane, Clinton, was detained for questioning, while the passenger, Raheem Christopher Rogers, 23, of 2033 Beulah Church Road, Turkey, was taken into the hospital for treatment.

Through investigation by Sampson County Sheriff’s authorities, it was determined that the suspects broke into a residence on Honeycutt Road. The homeowner, who was inside the residence at the time, encountered the suspects, one of which was carrying a machete. Armed himself, the homeowner fired at the subject holding the machete, striking him in the torso, authorities said. Both suspects then fled the residence.

Machete Boy's Buddy, Farrior

Machete Boy’s jailbird buddy, Farrior

Sheriff’s investigators have charged Farrior with breaking and entering and conspiracy to break and enter. Farrior was placed in the Sampson County Detention Center under $30,000 secured bond.

Rogers was airlifted to Wake Medical Center, where he was being treated Friday afternoon. Warrants have been issued on him for the same charges of breaking and entering and conspiracy to break and enter.

According to the N.C. Department of Public Safety, Rogers is a convicted felon and registered sex offender. He was convicted of felony breaking and entering, larceny and indecent liberties with a child on March 28, less than two months ago, stemming from incidents in October 2015 (break-in and larceny) and August 2014 (indecent liberties). His sentence was suspended and he was given three years’ probation for the convictions.

Hey, how about treating a felony like a felony? 10-20-Life for your 1st-2nd-3rd? This guy was convicted of at least three serious felonies less than two months ago. What does a career criminal have to do to go to prison in North Carolina?

Cops ‘n’ Crims

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

ATF I: Bureau Armed Killers in at least 69 Murders

ATF BadgeThey’ve been lying about it, but apparently the DOJ has known all along that, as ATF and DOJ leaders intended, the walked guns have been used in numerous homicides and other violent crimes. Judicial Watch, using the courts and the Freedom of Information Act as a lever, has pried loose DOJ documents that trace 94 Fast and Furious firearms recovered in Mexico to 69 killings, including a police chief and his bodyguard.

Fast and Furious was only one of several gunwalking programs intended to arm Mexican cartels. The operation was aimed at changing US public opinion to favor gun control, and increase ATF power.

In related, and unfortunate, news, the end is nigh for one of the two bloggers who broke the Gunwalker scandal wide open, Mike Vanderboegh of Sipsey Street Irregulars. Mike, who has been written out of much of the history by spotlight-seekers who followed, knows what he did, and so do the rest of us. He is being crazily productive as the Big C begins to close his coffin lid. We haven’t always agreed with him, but we and all Americans owe him quite a debt. (Without him, ATF would still be shipping thousands of modern weapons a year to their Mexican partners).

Canuckistan I: Mounties Want Your Money

Meet the Eye of Providence, canuck surveillance camor at least, the Eye of Proceeds. This combination of a digital single-lens reflex camera and a spotting scope is in use by the RCMP to spot people who menace life and limb by texting whilst driving.

Except they don’t use it for traffic safety. They use it to shake down motorists who are safely stopped — for money.

RCMP isn’t saying where the spotting scopes are being set up for obvious reasons, but it has admitted they are primarily being used at intersections t which drivers are stopped at a red light or a stop sign—where it’s still illegal to use your phone. It’s also easier for officers to snap a sharp photo of the offense when a vehicle isn’t whizzing by.

Of course, when they’re not “whizzing by,” they’re not putting anyone at risk. The coppers considered actually using it for traffic safety, but that was hard. Dudley Doright was not available for comment.

ATF II: Road Rage Roils Roads

An undercover vehicle! That’s like, license to be the biggest sphincter muscle on the road, right?

A citizen called police last week to report that the white unmarked SUV, equipped with red and blue interior dash lights, had attempted to pull him over on the Glenn Highway at around 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.

“As the motorist yielded, the driver sped past him, laughed, and flipped him the middle finger,” police wrote at the time. “The complainant observed this occur three other times with the same results.”

Police said they obtained a photo of the vehicle’s license plate but were unable to find any matches from a computer check. On Monday, the department announced that the incident had been investigated, and the vehicle was in fact assigned to a law enforcement agency.

“Concerns from the public have been forwarded to the agency,” APD said Monday.

Where the agency — which was, for the record, ATF — “laughed, and flipped him the middle finger,” no doubt.

Hey, at least he wasn’t shipping guns to murderers. Or maybe he was. Maybe that’s why he was in such a hurry.

New Jersey: You Are Leaving the American Sector

Leaving the American SectorArthur Vinogradsky was charged with several crimes, but the charges were dropped. So he’s not guilty and he gets his guns back, right? Nope. It’s New Jersey, and an appeals court ruled that even dropped charges mean lifetime loss of his gun rights.

We bet he’s sorry his ancestors emigrated (or at least, didn’t keep going to Texas).

He’s not the only one: the state will also prohibit a person over traffic offenses, and that’s just been upheld in appeals court, too.

Meanwhile, there were 375 homicides in New Jersey last year, 105 of them in Newark. In response the Mayor eliminated the position of police chief, merging it with fire chief.  Yeah, that’ll help.

Canuckistan II: It’s Because I’m Black, Isn’t It?

canuck-the-crow-with-a-knifeMeet Canuck the crow, here in a file photo pilfering a knife. He’s legendary in his native Vancouver for his fondness for shiny things, and has his own Facebook page.

Enter the local cops, processing a crime scene where a guy who set his car on fire then attacked the cops, in a possible Suicide By Cop bid. He was apparently saved by Vancouver PD marksmanship, reconsidered, and submitted to arrest. But then Canuck tried to make off with the evidence. CBC reports:

“The crow was persistent, but the knife was eventually gathered as evidence,” Const. Brian Montague said in an email.

The bird was also spotted sitting on the roof of the burned car and trying to get into a camera operator’s gear

Of course, there’s no way of knowing if this knife-stealing crow was knife-stealing Canuck, specifically. Perhaps he is running a school for charismatic Canadian crows.

Department of Pre-Crime

This is a shock to everyone, except anyone paying attention:

Created by the Chicago Police Department, the list uses data such as number of arrests, shootings and gang member affiliations to assign a score to individuals. The higher the score, the greater the chances of being involved in a violent altercation.

In 2016 thus far, more than 70 percent of the people shot in Chicago were on the list. Also on the list: more than 80 percent of those arrested in connection with shootings.

The police superintendent says that out of nearly 3 million Chicagoans, 1,400 men and boys account for most of the homicides and other violence.

The Perils of Kathleen: When A Crook is All You Got; +P for Paranoia

With most of the Keystone State’s politicians, media, and even prosecutors and judges rolling out the carronades to blast her to Kingdom Come, Korrupt Kathleen Kane needs to hang on to the few loyalists she has left. Like Peeping Patrick Reese.

Kane kept Reese on payroll despite objections from other staff and an office policy — which Kane signed herself in 2013 — stipulating that employees charged in relation to their employment be suspended without pay. According to the policy, the employee “shall be terminated” upon conviction.

Reese, a former police chief from the Lackawanna County borough of Dunmore, was charged last August, convicted in December and sentenced to three to six months in March.

Peeping Patrick is headed to the one of the state’s all-inclusive resorts for spying on other Attorney General’s Office workers’ emails for Kane. He’ll be the only guy in the County House drawing $99,658 salary and $62,000 other benefits! Who says crime doesn’t pay?

In a loosely related matter, interviews with many staffers reveal “Rampant paranoia” in Kane’s office.

Lawsuits from ex-staffers and court filings in the criminal case against Kane detail a culture of paranoia that took hold as she engaged in a protracted war with former prosecutors and then reacted to the consequences of those disputes.

“If I get taken out of here in handcuffs, what do you think my last act will be?” Kane reportedly told her first deputy, Bruce Beemer, according to court documents.

Of course, life inside the Attorney General’s Office is more complicated than the salacious details from case records can possibly convey.

Agents and prosecutors within the office, by their nature, tend to follow the strictures of the chain of command without question. For example, they continue to use Kane’s honorific — “General” — even as she faced criminal charges stemming from the alleged leak of secret grand jury materials, had her law license suspended and virtually disappeared from her Harrisburg office.

The general reportedly still communicates with her top deputies via email, but even those communiqués have grown sporadic. She also occasionally appears in Harrisburg, as she did last Tuesday, but there’s no apparent regularity to her comings and goings. No one in the office seems to know what she does on a day-to-day basis and Kane has not responded to PennLive’s requests for comment.

Paranoia? You’re not paranoid if they’re really out to get you. And maybe, just maybe, you deserve to have them out to get you.

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

What goes on in the battlezones of the world — and preparation of the future battlefields. (We’ll have more next week)

TSA Replaces Failure… Slings Him $90k in Bonuses

They made a big deal out of a public sacking of some drone named Kelly Hoggan. But not only did they sling him the money, but they structured it as a bunch of $10k payments to evade Congressional scrutiny. The Washington Post:

One of the practices that led to Kelly Hoggan’s removal as head of the TSA’s crucial security division is common enough to have a name: smurfing.

“Smurfing is breaking specific financial transactions into something below the reporting requirement, which is what happened here,” said John Roth, inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security.

It was undercover agents from the inspector general’s office who last year were able to penetrate security checkpoints at U.S. airports while carrying illegal weapons or simulated bombs, 95 percent of the time.

Hoggan received bonuses of $10,000 on six different occasions, and three others just above or below that amount, over a 13-month period in 2013 and 2014, according to information collected by the DHS, which oversees the TSA.

The bonuses… were in ­addition to Hoggan’s $181,500 salary.

As you might expect for a scheme hatched by the Brain[dead] Trust at TSA, it didn’t work. No one good, decent, moral, ethical, competent or intelligent has ever been employed by TSA in any capacity whatsoever.

It gets better though. That public firing? Uh, it didn’t actually happen. Yes, he was sent home, but he’s still drawing that $181,500 salary and benefits that roughly double the value of his pay package. They call it “paid administrative leave” but it looks a lot like bonus vacation.

Of course, the net effect of TSA on security is such that you improve security every time you pay one of these duds not to work.

Nice Work if You Can Get It

Two pointy-headed guys conceive a fruity scenario and then spin it to create an opportunity for one’s company.

Hot tip: if a firm is located in the National Capital Area, or does more than half its business with governments, it’s not an innovator, it’s a rent-seeker.

That site is a great source of armchair expertise, divorced from actual reality. Case in point. There is an occasionally interesting post, but most of them… sheesh.

Veterans’ Issues ALL NEW

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

All the Links you Need on the Disney Kerfuffle

Reporters at a press conference with current VA figurehead Bob McDonald asked — and if you know any reporters, this is nothing short of astonishing — a sensible question about the VA death queues. The New York Times:

At an event with reporters on Monday, Mr. McDonald was asked why the department did not publicly report the so-called create date when veterans first ask for medical care, which could be used to calculate how long they are waiting in lengthy backlogs for their appointments.

Instead of answering the question, McDonald proved he has been fully institutionalized in the VA by pushing back at the idea of any metric or accountability on wait times, possibly because he doesn’t seem to have been effective in reducing them. And then he fired the shot heard round the world:

The days to an appointment is really not what we should be measuring… When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line?

Well, yes, actually, they do; unlike the VA, the Disney theme parks manage their wait times intensively — and imaginatively.

Deep in the bowels of Walt Disney World, inside an underground bunker called the Disney Operational Command Center, technicians know that you are standing in line and that you are most likely annoyed about it. Their clandestine mission: to get you to the fun faster.

And so [Disney] has spent the last year [2011-12] outfitting an underground, nerve center to address that most low-tech of problems, the wait. Located under Cinderella Castle, the new center uses video cameras, computer programs, digital park maps and other whiz-bang tools to spot gridlock before it forms and deploy countermeasures in real time.

Bad choice of example, Bob. Instead, he wants to measure satisfaction with soft-focus surveys and other tools that pretend management concern, rather than with hard data.

A million pointers-n-shriekers demanded McDonald’s head, or at least an apology, which won’t be forthcoming, unless it’s the “I’m sorry you’re such a sorehead over this” variety.

Instead, there’s a crony-capitalist deal with CVS Pharmacy to treat vets for pennies on the dollar at in-pharmacy Minute Clinics.

Billions for Bonuses, but Not One Cent for IT

ClippyThat seems to be the way the VA rolls. The big splash was the use of 8-nch floppies in nuclear missile silos — something that the USAF has mentioned repeatedly in recent years, so it shouldn’t have shocked us — but buried deep in this CNN report, we learn that other agencies, and, naturally…

…Veterans Affairs, “reported using 1980s and 1990s Microsoft operating systems that stopped being supported by the vendor more than a decade ago,” GAO said.

Hey, they’d never be able to process a claim without Clippy to help them.

This is Why Dead Guys Can’t Have Nice Things

In the tiny burg of Hiram, Georgia, one Christian-hating, soldier-hating militant atheist was chortling with glee at getting a memorial removed.

Many thought the crosses on Highway 92 were an appropriate Memorial Day display, but a short time after the crosses went up outside a city of Hiram building, they came down.

The handmade crosses were meant to represent the 79 Paulding Countians who died in America’s wars.

The abrupt disappearance of the display prompted some social media outrage, and many volunteered to put up the crosses on private property.

Others told Channel 2’s Ross Cavitt this is political correctness run amok.

“People who are non-Christian shouldn’t be offended by that because they gave their lives for our country, and that’s the way I look at it.”

People who are “non-Christian” probably aren’t. People who are anti-Christian, and, just coincidentally, anti-veteran, on the other hand….

Lord Love a Duck!

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

This has nothing at all to do with the usual subjects of this blog, but the New York Times, which has supported the execrable Nick Denton and Gawker (perhaps because Gawker is the Times‘s id) in the Hulk Hogan lawsuit, outed Silicon Valley venture cap Peter Thiel as the financier behind Hogan’s GDP-of-Malta (we exaggerate, but…) legal bills.

Why did the Times do it? There’s a clue in the article:

A libertarian, Mr. Thiel is a pledged delegate for Donald J. Trump for the 2016 Republican National Convention.

We understand not liking Trump; we don’t like him either (for many of the same reasons we don’t like Nick Denton, actually). We’re probably going to hold our nose and vote for him in November, on the 2nd Amendment issue alone, and may God have mercy on us and the nation. We can understand (although we feel pity) a person or group of them, in this case a newspaper, being  in the tank for one political party to such a depth that that they have to breathe heliox whilst mentioning the other. We can’t understand taking it to the degree where you stroke Denton, the Julius Streicher of the day, and kick Thiel, who seems to have lived a life of engaged productivity. His private life, in that, is of no consequence; he neither picks your pocket nor breaks your leg, which is more than you can say for the Times’s usual political enthusiasms.

We came out of the profile liking Thiel (and Hogan!) all the more, and the Times and its reporters Herrman, Goldstein and Benner all the less. The ex-Gawker journalist Owen Thomas quoted in the article comes off even more crass than the Times trio. One suspects that many of these journalists support the commercial use of Hogan’s sex tape for the simple reason that they have no prospect of making one themselves.

There’s ‘posed to be a post…

We’re sure there is. The 1800 Friday post. It was right here a moment ago, and then, and then…

Well, it’s jolly well missing now, isn’t.

No it isn’t, this post is there.

This post? What, are we in a post?

I’m afraid so.

Isn’t that a bad thing? When posts become self-aware?

Not really. If you keep a proper sense of humility about yourself, and don’t go getting a swollen head.

So … we’re inside a computer? Like, a simulation? Like The Matrix?

Oh, lighten up, Francis. The Matrix seemed like a new idea in Hollywood, but that’s because those guys are all baked all the time. The old “we’re in a simulation, waaah,” shtick was old and a cliché when Joe Haldeman did it, and he’s dead.

Haldeman, wasn’t he one of Nixon’s…

Different Haldeman. Never mind. And actually, now that I think about it, he’s not dead. Nixon’s Haldeman is.

Anyway, if the computers are sentient….

Yes?

Bad things happen. All the time.

This is not Skynet, you know. It’s just a blog.

Thank you for clearing that up.

OT: The Butterfly and the Mower

The butterfly was small — maybe ¾ of an inch wingspan, if it stopped, which it didn’t. It appeared to be looking for something on the rich, long green lawn. It was a light blue with the sort of translucent sunglow that insects achieve effortlessly, and artists strive for a lifetime to get not-quite-right. Small it was, but its color and motion commanded one to look.

The nervous system of a butterfly is fairly rudimentary, so there’s really no way it could have conceived of the doom heading its way. It might have sensed — indeed, given its fragility and relationship with air pressure, it must have sensed — the staccato, rhythmic thunder of an engine, something it could not have conceived; or the sound of blade tips, at a high subsonic speed, shearing the grass to an unnatural, uniform level.

The butterfly could not imagine the lawnmower.

The mower, for its part, could not imagine the butterfly. Built on a production line in America with parts that seemed to come from half the world, it was a dumb machine. Perhaps it was smart for a lawnmower, given its electronic this and solid-state that, but that’s not saying much. The butterfly’s death was written in the swathes, in the next of which it unconsciously gamboled; it could no more know Death advanced than Death itself, Model 150Z Zero-Turn with the 42-inch deck, could know itself.

The death of a butterfly is an inevitability. Every living creature owes God, at the momentary flash of its conception, one death, sooner or later. For a butterfly, the delta between sooner and later is small. Most butterflies, in their adult stage, live only to reproduce — they can’t grow, and many of them don’t even feed. It’s all about the eggs.

It seemed, then, of no consequence that the mower was due to destroy the butterfly. It shouldn’t have mattered one way or another — not to the operator of the mower, who condemned higher animals for meals daily; who had visited all the woe that is war on other humans. After all, it wouldn’t have bothered him if he mowed the butterfly and didn’t know about it. And another time — in crass teenage, perhaps, and certainly Before War — he might have laughed about it.

But today, the operator stopped the mower. Dead in its tracks. The butterfly moved on, unaware that its precious, tiny, one-week life had ever been someone else’s to take. In a minute or so, when the little blue life was safe, the mower moved on as well.

Later, the operator discovered that the little life that he didn’t want on his conscience today was a Karner Blue Butterfly, an endangered species named by, we are not making this up, Nabokov. Yes, that Nabokov; while he’s remembered as a novelist, he was an avid amateur lepidopterist.