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Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2016 Week 18

Welcome to a somewhat belated Tour d’Horizon. We began the week departing on a road trip, but with the blog two days ahead. Back from the successful trip, the Friday allotted to blog catchup was remogrified (totally a word, innit?) into, among other things, a range day.

This week’s installment includes:


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

About that Range Day

Went to Local Outdoor Range with Kid. Brought one short and one long gun, because while he wants to shoot one of everything (didn’t everybody at that age?) old experience saith, two guns is plenty for one range session. The two guns were a new potential carry gun, and a .45 caliber Short Barreled Rifle, and both hadn’t been shot by us before.

The new pistol is a CZ P-01 with some judicious mods installed by the previous owner, who treated it extremely gently. It ran through 80 rounds of mixed 9mm ball, 50 CCI Blazer and 30 leftovers of some other brand from last shoot, without a burble. It hasn’t been tried with warshots yet, and we still need a holster for it (leaning Raven Concealment).

The mods include a Cajun Gun Works trigger that is so good it may be too good for a carry gun, VZ grips, and sights. We may change the sights again — the one thing we really liked about the Glock was the Trijicon sights.

The long gun is an M1 Thompson SBR made by Auto-Ordnance, now a label of Kahr Arms, in Worcester, Massachusetts. It’s been a safe queen for a while. It deserves a full review at some time in the future, for what Kahr gets right and for what Kahr gets wrong. It was perfectly reliable with one 30-round factory mag and perfectly unreliable with the other. (Because the ATF required it of the original semi conversion, GI mags and Kahr mags don’t have the catch opening in the same place, so you have to modify the mag or the catch to run GI mags in the semi).

Tentative conclusion: we like both guns. We’ll keep ’em. But we could seriously see someone doing some work for us on the M1A1.

One Page History of Interarms

We might have mentioned this before, but there’s an excellent one page history of one-time huge import-export powerhouse, Interarms. Turns out the story behind the company is even more amazing than the glossy ads it used to buy on gun-magazine back covers.

ATF Data Pages

We’re in the political silly season, so lots and lots of BS is going to hit the papers, the airwaves, and every other propaganda medium owned and controlled by the profiteers of serfdom. Arm yourself with data. This page contains the ATFs Manufacturing and Exportation report (which lags a year to preserve trade secrets), the annual Firearms Commerce in the United States report, which seems to lag two years, FFL theft/loss reports, and many other useful reports.

In addition, some data sets are made available here by the ATF Open Data Initiative, which, while intended to support ATF’s political allies in gun-control groups and academia, can be used by anybody.

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way.

Unarmed Self-Defense Fail

Law of Self Defense Andrew Branca

This is the OLD edition. We’ll preview the NEW edition in a day or three.

The deli clerk at this link is brave enough. Judgment may not be his thing, but it’s not like armed self-defense, usually a better choice, was available to him — poor throg lives and works in New York.

When the robbers walked in, [Nashwan] Said was alone in the shop, and getting ready to close.

“First, I said move the gun out of my face and you can take whatever you want,” he said.

Security video shows Said sitting a few feet to the left of the cash register as one robber grabs cash and cigarettes.

He grabbed at the gun, and gripped it for a split second. Then, the robber pull it free and fired one shot, before fleeing with his partner-in-crime in a black Honda.

“If I had the chance, I would take the gun,” he said. “I tried to grab it. He moved back and hit my hand and he shot at the same time, and the bullets, they came in and then out.”

Green-card holder Said’s family are also refugees from Yemen, currently waiting in Algeria for their visas to come through. He hasn’t told them — his wife worries. But he doesn’t, taking it all with a healthy dose of Arab fatalism:

Said compared the fighting in Yemen to crime in the U.S. “Over there is war, and over here, people get robbed and killed,” he said. “I was lucky.”

Indeed he was. The robbers, not so much; their ugly mugs have made the TV news.

Cops ‘n’ Crims

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

When the Cop is a Crim


Eulalio Tordil2jpgThis guy wigged out in heavily gun-controlled Maryland and went on a murder spree. To begin, he shot his estranged wife dead Thursday, wounding a bystander. Gladys Tordil had been picking up her children from school in Prince George’s County. (PGC is, demographically, home to mostly-minority government clerical workers). Eulalio Sevilla Tordil, 62, then went off police radar until 1100 this (Friday) morning, when he resurfaced, shooting at least four people, leaving one man dead and one critically wounded, and one woman non-critically wounded, in a shopping mall in wealthy Bethesda, and one woman shot dead in Silver Spring. At first glance he seems to have had no connection to the Friday victims.

He was taken into custody soon after the second shooting. Because he had threatened to commit suicide-by-cop, they used a tactical team to take him — without incident (well done). It does raise a policy question: how did he get a gun in anti-gun Maryland, a one-party state where they do their level best to restrict deadly weapons to cops?

He was a cop, a Federal Protective Services officer. Indeed, several of the world’s most productive (if that’s the word) spree killers have been cops.

It emerges that the late Gladys Tordil had taken out a restraining order (called a protective order in the Maryland People’s Republic) on Eulalio two months ago, at which time they reenacted the classic cop-show scene in which the superior takes the guy’s gun and badge. And just like in the cop shows, this action was highly symbolic….

Sir, Are You Drunk? “Yeah. Maybe.”

A suburban Boston drunk, Thomas Madden, is in the tank after having the titled discussion with a police officer. You might say Tommy Madden of Maynard is “known to the police.” The same officer that arrested him busted him for his last DUI — two weeks ago. Tommy explained that he didn’t think it was “a big deal” as he was only going downtown for cigarettes. This is actually his third DUI in under a month, and they let him plead both of the last two at once as 2nd offense DUI.

How did the cop know he was drunk? Well, he recognized him from court two weeks ago, and an earlier arrest; and when he stopped him…

“The officer observed the vehicle and saw the defendant exit the vehicle holding onto a bottle of vodka,” [ADA Wendi] Safran said. 

An Irish drunk in Boston. Gee, that’s original.

His attorney says since he hadn’t crashed yet, nobody was hurt. Gotta applaud a guy who’s really trying but we’re not entirely sure if we direct that to Madden, who seems determined to take DUI to a whole new level, or attorney Greg Teran, who’s doing the same with chutzpah. 

So How Low Is Morale at ICE?

Pier40ICEAgent5_6_16#2We know it came in dead last in a survey of employee morale and leadership climate among three-hundred-something Federal agencies, but an ICE officer (not an agent, a detail lost on the press) walked into Pier 40, a Manhattan cargo/pax pier turned sports facility, and in full view of several unwilling witnesses, drew his issue SIG (image), put it in his mouth, and applied a permanent solution to all his transient problems.

He was 42 and employed as a Deportation Officer for ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations, in the New York field office. Of all of ICE’s activities, ERO has been the most undermined by the de facto amnesty of criminal aliens ongoing today, so we wouldn’t be shocked if this shocking action was an expression of sheer professional pushback at the contempt senior DHS appointees have for ERO and its operations. (At least the SA’s in the HSI branch of ICE has found crimes the bosses will let them arrest people for, for now).

We have the poor bastard’s name, but don’t see any gain in publishing it.

Opioid Deaths per Capita in MA

This interactive doesn’t rise to the level of useful, because it doesn’t contain raw numbers, but it’s interesting to see a slide show of the top 40 towns for per capita OD deaths in Massachusetts. It also serves for a list of burglary hotspots, which wasn’t the intention. If you know the towns of the Bay State, it’s interesting. Most of the top scorers are small towns where a death or two blows the percentages up, but the gritty port of New Bedford is near the top, and that’s gotta be a lot of Too Late for Narcan calls.

Instead of spending on rehab and just plain policing, the only things that work (however imperfectly), the MA legislature continues to define “public safety” as further encroaching on the rights of peaceable gun owners who never hurt anybody.

The Perils of Kathleen: Frivolous Filings for Big Bucks Edition

Once rising Pennsylvania Democratic star, perennial gun-banning crime-doin’ crimefighter Korrupt Kathleen Kane, was left last week in these pages…

She’s also appealing the judge’s rulings against her sometimes fanciful pretrial motions to state court, an appeal the prosecutors are contesting.

Montgomery County DA Kevin Steele snapped back on her “frivolous” appeal this week.  Steele’s filing…

…said Kathleen Kane’s “frivolous” attempt to get perjury charges dismissed prior to her summer trial is nothing more than “another chapter in her wearied feud” with two men and ignores the facts of the case against her — she lied under oath about a grand jury leak.

Soft-on-crime Kane is jammed up because she gave 2009 grand jury records to a Philadelphia Daily News reporter, which is a felony, and then lied about it — to a judge (that’s the felony she’s trying to get thrown out of court).

Nothing else but The Perils of Kathleen is happening at the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office these days. Kane’s multilayered defense has up to 25 state-paid attorneys working on it, but in addition  to that, the wealthy Kane is spending hundreds of thousands, possibly even millions, of taxpayer dollars on private civil and criminal lawyers for her own personal benefit. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review state capitol reporter Brad Bumsted has unearthed over $250,000 paid to Philadelphia lawyers Littler Mendelson, but is unsure he’s found all the payments, and Kane’s office is stonewalling Bumsted’s Right To Know Law requests. Kane’s court carom has also led to a secret sum sluiced to Pittsburgh’s Eckert Seamans, and there almost has to be a firm of Harrisburg lawyers yet to be identified.

As many as seven suits have been filed against Kane, mostly by state workers fired or otherwise abused for daring to testify against her in grand jury criminal proceedings.

Free-spending legislators and fiscally foolish Governor Tom Wolf (a Kane ally) have spent Pennsylvania into a $2 billion hole.

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)

Germans Tighten Up their Export Shot Group NEW

So far, they’ve liked the money from selling stuff to Saudi Arabia. But the Commerce Minister in the currently ruling Grand Coalition is from the increasingly anti-military SPD (usually rendered in English as Social Democratic Party, but there’s no “Democratic” in the German), and wants to deny the Saudis even defensive weapons. (German-language link).

The Saudis supposedly were looking for tanks and G36 rifles. Why G36s, in the world’s most inhospitable desert? Maybe they don’t want to hit anything they shoot at. The existing German weapons-export ban to Middle Eastern nations has been responsible for H&Ks earnings taking a substantial hit from 2013 (€60 million) to 2014 (€25M). (Again, German language link)

Commerce Minister Sigmar Gabriel’s beef is not, apparently, with anything else the Saudis do, but that they still have the death penalty.

The world has come a long way when Germans are threatening anybody for not executing people, and insisting on keeping their guns and Panzers at home.

The Iran “Deal” Was Sold with Lies and Propaganda

And the guy who did it is proud of it. By the way, he’s the Administration’s top mind on foreign policy, and he has an MFA in Creative Writing from one of the “right” schools.

Click on through to the original NYT article to see what this guy — former campaign van driver, and silver-spoon Establishment baby Ben Rhodes — really thinks of the reporters who mumble their stories from around his boss’s reproductive tackle, from their broad view of His short-n-curlies.

We Owe You More on Current Ops

We’re still going through the witness statements from Konduz. And we really ought to say something about the loss of a Navy SEAL in a poorly-supported operation, left dangling in the field by leadership so obsessed by social engineering that they dismiss current ops. We will say this of SEAL Charles Keating IV: let’s hear nothing of his famous grandfather. If ever a family redeemed its honor with a check written in blood, this is the time.

Veterans’ Issues

Is it time to disband this thing yet, and letting all its bloatoverhead seek its own level in the Dreaded Private Sector™?.  (We’re taking a week off from this).

Lord Love a Duck!

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

 New Socialist Consciousness Renaming Continues

In Houston, seven Houston schools are being purged of evil Confederate names like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, instead getting the names of obscure Social Justice Warriors. Margaret Long Wisdom is the first of these Horst Wessels and Leo Schlageters of the New Order, but will be followed by several others of approved races and “genders.” At least two are being held back for a race and “gender” to be named, and possibly invented, later.

All of these Houston schools are majority  underperforming minority, as the schools’ plummeting quality has driven whites and high-performing minorities out of the city’s public schools.

In Dallas and (of course) Austin, New Socialist Consciousness Naming continues apace, but the Austin suggestions for a new name for Robert E. Lee Elementary School included:

  • Adolf Hitler School for Friendship and Tolerance;
  • Bleeding Heart Liberal;
  • Hypothetical Perfect Person Memorial;
  • Ignorance is Bliss;
  • and Donald J. Trump Elementary.

Incidentally, according to the Austin Statesman, keeping Robert E. Lee outscored any of the SJW names, and all the new suggestions — except Trump. Make of that what you will.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: The Arts Mechanical

the_arts_mechanicalThis is not exactly a weapons website, but this technology blog by JC Carleton is very, very interesting if you have any interest in, say, manufacturing. Or innovation. Or technology. Or entrepreneurship.

In other words, if you read this blog you might like to read that blog. (Are we insane around here, in that at least once a week we send our readers away? Possible, but it’s all part of our commitment to public service. Duty doesn’t end just because the bones go crunch and the doc shakes his head and the unit boots you out).

The Arts Mechanical grabbed us at the start, just over a year ago, with a splash graphic of a crowded, gritty machine shop. And Carlton has made his first, brief blog post sticky. In it he explains:

I am a Senior Mechanical Engineer deeply interested in all sorts of technologies and how technologies relate to human life. I take sort of different outlook than most people because I believe that technologies are not autonomous and cannot be separated from the scope of human life.
Technologies are tools and the whole reason for a technology to exist it that it makes people’s lives better.

Recently, he had an impassioned criticism of the CFO’s function and, particularly, of CFO leadership. We’ve seen what CFO leadership has done to companies like General Motors.

All too often the CFO is the guy that gets put in the corner office of the C-suite. From personal experience, that doesn’t end well. Trying to run a company by looking through the rear view mirror leads to some strange things. To say nothing of a lot of financial maneuvering rather than actual working on making things more productive.

His alternative is, to a B-School droid like your humble host, challenging, if not revolutionary:

…allow the production management and engineering people time to think. It’s nice to think that you need to maintain a high level of productivity, but the constant push for new projects and more work leads to burnout and overwork. The problem with that is that when you are pushing to get things done all the time it’s all too easy to just travel down familiar paths and build the “next one” just like the “last one.” Giving engineers some sabbatical time between projects allows for some time to rethink and maybe try new approaches.

You should also allow the production and engineering dept’s a slush budget.  This is money not dedicated to a particular project, but set aside as ‘fooling around” money.  Innovation is fooling around, more often than not and allowing for that kind of thinking allows the creativity to flow.  The problem is that the typical corporate culture is mired in Taylorism.

Almost every productive, creative business would benefit from this. A long time ago, we combined reporting for a living with serving in the USAR SF. And even in something like trade journalism, the productivity and quality you got out of centrally assigning beats or projects versus putting a clever reporter on “enterprise reporting” (meaning, “go discover something neat and write it up”) was immense. Sure, you had to send cub reporters to press conferences at trade shows, but you built relationships by what Steve Jobs called MBWA — Management By Walking Around.

He calls out, in that same post, an unintentionally entertaining Harvard Business Review article. Carlton dismisses it in a blunt sentence, and our inner MBA told us “it can’t be that bad,” until we went there and saw, we are not making this up, “Only involve them in meaningful work…. they simply won’t engage in meaningless work.” The author suggests that you give the meaningless work to uncreative employees. Consider our inner MBA to have just gotten a well-deserved reality beatdown.

Uh, why does your company have meaningless work? Or uncreative employees, for that matter? Naturally, the guy who wrote this is a hyphenated-name career academic. Naturally.

Carlton does find interesting technical materials as well. For example, this page contains two videos about the engineering and manufacturing of an everyday product — the aluminum beer or soft drink can. If you’ve ever wondered, “how do that do that?” well, here’s your answer. And if you’ve never wondered that, seeing the thoughtful and continuously-improved mechanical engineering of this everyday container.

It’s of particular interest to us because the aluminum beverage can processes can easily be seen to be derived from well-established brass cartridge case processes dating back to the 19th Century.

There are probably some of Carlton’s posts that you won’t like, because he does range far afield from “The Arts Mechanical” at times. But we defy you to find one that’s dull. 


As you can probably tell if you’re waiting for posts, we’re running a couple of posts behind. Can’t be helped. We hope to be caught up by late tonight (cinco de Mayo), but we’re not entirely sure how that happens. We have a ton of good stuff that’s just a little further upstream in the production snake.


Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2016 Week 17

This Tour d’Horizon is going up a bit late, and for that reason may be more telegraphic than usual. We regret the impertinence.

This week’s installment includes:


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

Free Magazine, if you Kannst Deutsch

dwj_50_year_anniversary_coverThe Deutsches Waffen Journal is a major German gun magazine, founded in 1965; over 600 editions have gone to press since then. If you know enough German to  wend your way through the DWJ Online store, register and select the product (match this cover you see on the left at the link, and look for the magic word kostenlos), they will happily deliver to you a .pdf of their May, 2015 edition. German shooters are definitely under legislative and regulatory threats right now, as are all EU subjects, but a look at the magazine teaches a Yank that our Continental brethren might be a small minority in their nations, and may lack our particular freedoms, but have a robust and worthwhile gun culture to defend.


dwj_50_year_anniversaryOne of the pages of the 50th Anniversary was this collection of covers. I remember hitting the Hauptbahnhof frequently on days off to see if a new DWJ or Waffen Revue was on the newsstands. The wall of covers tells me that if a digital subscription granted access to digitized back issues (like Guns Magazine and some aviation mags), I’d be all over a subscription like Richthofen on an F.E.2B.

The store also has a lot of really interesting books for collectors. Again, you have to read German, at least a little (you poor monoglots can always look at the pictures, though).

How Blowback Works

Max Popenker has started a new series of articles on firearms operating systems at, an international gun website. His initial post is on Blowback firearms. In our view it falls just a hair short because it does not cover the advanced primer ignition that reduced weight of, first, the Oerlikon 20mm gun, and later, many global submachine guns. (API is also why lots of cannon cartridges feature rebated rims, but that’s another story. Generally a good introduction to the theory of blowback, or “mass locking” as this never-actually-locked system is called in some languages.

Many thanks to Max for sending us the link. We look forward to reading his next post.

A Thorough SCAR 17S review

We’ve mentioned before that these things are really popular with the guys in a 10.3″ CQB configuration, especially as more and more hadjis turn up bent on mayhem and wearing the armor we gave our valiant Iraqi and Afghan allies before we, and they, bugged out. Yes, the plates will stop one or two 7.62 rounds, but how many times do we fire, class?

Anyway, Shawn at (yes, the 1000-yard M4 guy!) has a good evaluation of a SCAR-H. (His test rifle was not box-stock, as it came to him already fitted with the Geissele Super SCAR Trigger). He took it out to his favorite strip-mine site and made 19 of 20 hits on a skinny-man gong at 750 yards with 168-grain ball.

Shawn shooting SCAR-H

He has a pretty good breakdown on what it can and can’t do. Read The Whole Thing™!

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way.

Bang, Bang, You’re Sued

Law of Self Defense Andrew BrancaIn this case, it’s a pretty safe bet that the homeowner did not read The Law of Self-Defense, or attend the seminar either. Instead, he shot the fleeing career criminal. (The seminar explains why you can’t, generally, do that).

The homeowner did some time for a misdemeanor, not much but 30 days or so.

And then his troubles began. He got out to find that Lightfingers McGurk is suing him for pain and suffering. And the crook may actually win. Of course, the homeowner put himself in that position by plugging a plug-ugly who wasn’t posing a proximate threat at the point of pluggery.

Cognitive Biases

This article on cognitive biases was picked up by Aviation Week from Business and Commercial Aviation magazine. Despite its aviation focus, it’s something of value to any of us.

There are 100, or more, cognitive biases that are well known to psychologists. They influence or control ranges of behaviors, including eating and drinking, along with social, economic, religious and political actions. A few help us make good decisions with virtually no conscious thought. Most are relatively benign as long as you stay on the ground and steer clear of heated discussions. But there are about a dozen such biases that can kill you in an aircraft.

Such biases are formed through formal learning, personal experiences and hereditary factors. We use them to conserve our limited memory processing time and capacity.

For the astute readers of this blog, it should be relatively straightforward to adapt the arguments of this article to both firearms safety and to gunfighting. This is the kind of thing we’re talking about when we say the aviation world has been all over human factors, far more than we have been.

Cops ‘n’ Crims

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

Hey, Why Punish Criminals?

Seth Barron at City Journal describes the New York City Council’s newfound solicitousness to their central constituency: the “people who litter, drink from open containers, and urinate in public.”

Brooklyn council member Jumaane Williams previously sponsored a bill to end enforcement of turnstile-jumping in the transit system, arguing that being arrested can be “very disruptive” and “cause financial hardship” to the arrestee.

As you might expect from a dude named Jumaane, his constituency includes a lot of criminals and criminals’ family members. Since they apparently can’t do the time (or, for these small offenses, pay the fine), this kind of misconduct needs to be redefined as legal. \

Of course, New York went down this path during the Dinkins era; it seems to be in a hurry to go back. And the answer to the question in the titles is, in part, to make criminal behavior costly in personal terms, and thereby reduce it. 

Cop Gets Hep C… with Tragic Consequences

Some low-life addict bit a cop, and the cop contracted the bloodborne liver disease, Hepatitis C.

The cop is OK so far, but not his wife, who contracted the disease from him.

She’s dead. 

Will De Blasio Be the Next One Indicted?

We were hoping for Cuomo, but it looks like his downstate mini-me might go first in conjunction with campaign-finance corruption. His people are not saying he’s innocent, only that he was within, if barely, the letter of the law.

President Wants Felon Preference for Feds

Kind of like veterans preferences, but for the people he likes better. Right now, felons, who are usually career criminals, are supposed to be restricted from Fed jobs.

Here’s an 800-yard Drug Tunnel

The War on Drugs continues, but drugs seem to keep advancing. Here’s the longest tunnel ever found across one of the rare defended areas on the Mexican border.

Until the next one.

The Perils of Kathleen: Call That Girl a Waahmbulance

Our perennial gun-banning crime-doin’ crimefighter Korrupt Kathleen Kane, got spanked (as noted in last week’s edition) for whining about “selective prosecution.” After seeing her mouthpiece, one Gerald Shargel, threatened with contempt, she (or Shargel) withdrew some of the more outrageous demands she’d placed on the court.

She’s now filed a new motion (giving up on the idea of doing it under seal), alleging selective and vindictive prosecution. Remarkably, her defense is, at this point, essentially admitting the charges but using a tu quoque defense: the old “Billy did it toooo!” every parent has heard before.

She’s also appealing the judge’s rulings against her sometimes fanciful pretrial motions to state court, an appeal the prosecutors are contesting.

And she’s telling political supporters (pinky-ring union leaders) that she never planned to run for a second term, even before her indictment, law license suspension, etc.

Hey, what’s that disbelieving look on your face? She would never lie — she’s a lawyer! (well, she was).

Why are we interested in Kane? Because, financed by anti-gun activist money, she took office with an objective of eliminating self-defense and defensive carry in Pennsylvania and by Pennsylvanians in other States. She singlehandedly erased just about all the previously concluded reciprocity agreements, while going easy on actual armed criminals. So we not only want to see her face career and personal destruction, we take a malicious glee in seeing the rubble bounce.

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)

Is He Reading the Same Magazine?

Thomas Ricks, the anti-military military expert formerly bashing us at the Washington Post, appears in Foreign Policy bashing the Army (gee, that’s a breakthrough) and goes on to praise Army Magazine, the galactically dull party-line waste of wood pulp of the association you’re compelled to join if you’re an officer. Ricks:

ARMY magazine continues to impress me. It used to be at the back of the pack of military magazine — ProceedingsMarine Corps Gazette, and so on. But for the last couple of years, it has led the way.

Is this bozo reading the same magazine? The current issue includes the usual party-line drivel, including a turgid article by a command sergeant major of the current crop of reflective-belt micromanagement NCOs. Army is not worthless because it can be shredded and used for kindling. But apart from that use… it remains about 20 IQ points lower than the Naval Institute’s Proceedings. 

By the way, Ricks goes on to call fellow reporter Sebastian Junger a “combat vet.” In what world is Junger’s employer during his embed, the gay men’s fashion magazine GQ, a combatant? This is a perfect example of one Beltway self-serving (and self-servicing) drone bestowing on another a title that is not his to bestow. Not that this stops them. Nowhere on Earth are men more empty of merit and swollen with self-regard.

By the way, what Ricks sees as Junger’s “new skeptical lens” looks to the rest of us like the usual Beltway urbanist disparagement of Flyover America. Ye gods! We live in our own houses and drive cars, instead of piling into urban Cabrini-Greens and riding the buses like good proles.

Are Defense Pensions Defense Spending?

In case you were wondering how Russia and China manage to field modern weapons systems without the budget bloat for declining capability seen in nations like the US and UK, that’s one big reason. Vet pensions are part of the military budget in the democratic nations, and they’re high and growing, eating more and more of the budget.

In the UK Telegraph, Simon Heffer notes:

Donald Trump’s remark – echoing one by Barack Obama – that Nato countries rely too much on America for defence, and don’t spend enough, recalls my point last week about the Government shamefully including war pensions when claiming it spends 2 per cent of GDP on “defence”. A reader tells me that his 92-year old mother, a veteran in receipt of such a pension, is ready to report for front line duties if necessary. He adds that this magnificent lady saw more enemy action than has the entire present House of Commons put together. Thank God we have her when Putin turns ugly, for we have little else.

The US is similarly situated, actually. Vast amounts of social spending are baked into the military budget, including everything from Hognose’s pension to Davis-Bacon Act handouts to connected unions, to various Congressional mandated cashflow streams to various literal and figurative Congressional nephews. Nobody is talking about this, so thanks to Simon for bringing it up.

Ash Carter Resists Arming Troops

In a gentle FU to Congress in October, Carter announced that rather than develop a plan to allow military officers and NCOs to arm themselves in self-defense like other Americans, he would merely deputize a handful of recruiters and other “off-installation” workers to carry issue firearms in MP guard-mount style. This week, the defense authorization bill as approved by the House Armed Services Committee will cut Carter’s social-engineering slush fund by 15% if he doesn’t produce a plan this year, and also declares adult military dependents (spouses, mostly) residents of the state of assignment for the purpose of gun-buying locally. Anti-gun committee Democrats opposed allowing service members to exercise what they see as the privileges of carry licenses, but were outvoted on party lines; some of them joined the Republicans on the spousal residency issue. The bill still has to pass the full House and the Senate; it is widely thought to be veto-proof, politically speaking.

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 Still Lying About Wait Times

We’ve previously mentioned this month’s GAO Report about how the agency lies about wait times. Here’s the report [.pdf], but this graphic shows how most of the wait time…


…is simply waiting for the VA to get off its dead ass and call the vet back. And the VA misreports total wait time by leaving this 80% of it out!

As Martin Matishak at The Fiscal Times points out, that’s where we are two full years into the scandal, and, as his headline-writer put it, “System Still Stacked Against Vets”. Word.

In Tomah, WI, They’re Designing Their Way Out of Crisis

How? Literally. By hiring an interior designer. Vets Need Not Apply, but current Federal drones have the inside track. This is the hospital that local drug users call Candy Land because of its opiate-dispensing practices, where they call the cops on reporters, but not on mental-health employee Charles Davis who is charged with being a serial groper of female vets.

The Daily Caller’s Luke Rosiak notes presciently that, “A focus on appearances has often seemed to be VA’s way of covering for deeper operational problems,” and points out that the VA, which always cries about lack of money, went $1 billion over budget gold-plating a Colorado project, and blew $1.8 million on “art” in 2014. (And no, not in the year of 2014. In September 2014. The amounts for the other eleven months are unknown, but could be another million-plus each).

Senior Executive Service Association Tied to Shady Law Firm

The union that represents corrupt, violent, and other bad senior Federal officials, the Senior Executive Association, turns out to be little more than a front for the shady DC law firm of Shaw Bransford & Roth. The indispensable Rosiak:

There are nine employees listed on SEA’s website, but its personnel and resources are closely intertwined with the law firm, which it pays as its largest contractor, tax forms show.

Before he died in 2013, William Bransford, also a partner at the law firm, did double-duty at SEA. SEA was founded by the law firm’s other named partner, Jerry Shaw, in 1980.

The officials at the Senior Executive Association generally were never government executives; they’re just functionaries of the bad-officials’ defense law firm. Read The Whole Thing™.

Chicago VA Hospital adds Protein to Meals

Too bad it’s in the form of cockroaches. (On the bright side, we’ve finally found something that a VA hospital can’t kill!) But hey, the Senate is promising to fix it all. Doesn’t that make you feel better?

VA Union Official Assaults AG Investigator, Walks

David de Silva, a local Vice President with the American Federation of Government Employees, the union that represents bad VA rank-and-file employees, physically attacked OIG Agent (FNU) Lore during a presentation, for suggesting that employees should tell the truth and not take the fifth during OIG investigations, a position that bad-employees union official de Silva found personally enraging.

C. Allen Pool, a union-connected arbitrator who normally rules in favor of thieving and abusive employees, ruled in favor of de Silva and the union. Employees, unlike every other American, needn’t testify truthfully to Federal law enforcement officers.

Hat tip, Rosiak (who else)?

The Next VA Scandal?

The San Diego Union-Tribune, noting how the callous, incompetent handling of his mental health appointments led a local vet to attempt suicide, and how no one has been held accountable (they initially reported three officials were fired, but they were mistaken), concludes:

T]he next infuriating VA scandal is a question of when, not if.

And we’d add: “when” is a question of weeks, not years. Are we ready to disband this thing yet?

Lord Love a Duck!

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

Remember the Lady Whose House Got Leveled by Mistake?

The demo crew read an erroneous GPS and knocked down the house by mistake. The business owner has apologized and is trying to make it good.

“Bubble” Culture and the Military

Are you in a bubble?

Are you in a bubble?

Lucky enough to get stationed only 40 miles or so from home, when the 10th Special Forces Group , or our little slice of it, at least, wasn’t out and doing, the gang regularly surged into the Hognose family manse, for any of a number of reasons. This put Hognose’s parents — a corporate executive and a teacher, the first in their families to have attended college — in close proximity to a crowd of high-functioning but demographically diverse SF teamies and support guys.

‘Nose didn’t notice anything unusual… the team guys were about similar, in intellect and interests, to his high school and college friends. It was his mother who noticed something: she was the only one of the guys’ mothers still married to the guy’s father. Many of them came from families that were marginal, if not chaotic.

A series of explorations on the cultural divide that PBS, of all things (Public Broadcasting System, a teleision and radio broadcaster run by the Government as an alternative to commercial channels, and a de facto infotainment subsidy for the wealthy elite) has been running, made us think about how the culture of the Army and armed forces in general is so different from the culture of the corrupt, greedy, inbred snobs who are running the country into the ground.

Charles Murray notes, in one of these posts:

One of my central propositions in my 2012 book “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010″ was that a high-IQ, highly educated new upper class has formed over the last half century. It has a culture of its own that is largely disconnected from the culture of mainstream white America. I could expect that many of my readers would be part of that new upper class. The problem that stumped me for a while was how to convince them that their isolation is real. Eventually, I decided to try self-recognition. And so Chapter 4 of “Coming Apart” was titled “How Thick is Your Bubble?” and contained a 25-item quiz that let readers see for themselves where they stood on a 100-point scale. The lower their scores, the thicker the cultural bubble that separated them from the lives of ordinary Americans.

For a kid from a well-off, bookish, and somewhat genteel family, the Army is a culture shock. For ‘Nose, it was a welcome shock, like diving into a cool lake on a baking August day, but for some others, it’s a horrifying one. This is kind of like the shock PBS viewers and listeners get as their rich-man’s-welfare-broadcaster shows them the horror of Trump, and worse, from their point of view, his teeming horde of oiks.

10th SF -- not a bad bubble to be in, 1980-1985.

10th SF — not a bad bubble to be in, 1980-1985.

You get the impression that the PBS types are all for democracy, but not if it means their guys can be voted out.

To the credit of PBS, someone over there is trying to understand, In any event. They have been asking the eminent social scientist (if there is a such thing) Charles Murray to clarify things, and he’s developed a quiz based on social isolation…. the Do You Live in a Bubble quiz.

Our hypothesis: most of the readers of this blog, don’t. Even though it’s probable that they average higher than, well, average, on markers of social status like education and income.

Murray on what your Bubble Score says about you.

Murray on the most socially inbred zip codes in the country. Stop us if this surprises you, but they’re not places like Hog Waller, Tennessee, Dry Toad, Tejas, or Brother Darrell, Vermont. They’re pretty much all in Manhattan.

The service can also be isolating, if you let it be. We know many vets who get along fine with vets and nonvets alike, but whose preferred social circle is, at its core, the Brotherhood that has Seen the Elephant.

It’s easy to get isolated from other vets if your veterans’ group is of low density on the ground — you can always find another soldier, but how many SF vets live in your community? In Nose’s, he’s it, although there’s at least one guy two towns south — social media is lifesaving. SF guys have an email list of some 20 years’ standing, a more recent Facebook page (SF Brothers), and a number of forums, some for SF alone (like and some for all-service SOF (like; all of these require authentication to post, or to be identified as an SF vet. There are other means of communication that open up once you’re tapped in to the community, but they operate according to the First Rule of Fight Club.

The armed forces also has the effect of raising your bubble score (higher the score, the lower the cultural isolation). Our guess is that the Blogbrother, who is not a vet, but who is by far the more social, less misanthropic brother, will score substantially lower on the quiz than Hognose, his own brother. That is because many of the things that raised Nose’s score apart from his mere veteranitude, are things he only experienced as a consequence of joining up — marching in a parade, living in poverty, living among a lot of non-college grads (which neither of us does anymore, our neighbors are all Ward and June Cleaver) .

Come to think of it, Blogbro went through a financial cauterizing, too, at one point in his life, and definitely lived on a low income — probably lower than mine as a private.

Thinking of it, Nose should not be proud of his high score (56) as it’s mostly an artifact of his decision to join up decades ago. But that alone had some pretty profound de-isolating effects.

Where did the New York Times Get the Gun-Ban Idea?

Probably in their own pages, 83 years ago today.


The Times is unlikely to note this comparison, but readers of this blog will probably notice that this is not a lot different from what the police in New York have been doing, except in reverse. And, of course, the New York cops can be bought, which seems unlike the Nazis until you come to the stories of Adolf Eichmann’s macabre negotiations with the Zionist organization, to trade Jews’ lives for trucks, or money.

Gun Control always and everywhere is a vector for police corruption. Write a “may issue” law and bestow on somebody discretion, and you have also presented him and all his delegates and successors temptation that, sooner more likely than later, he will succumb to.

The name of the group lording it over some other group changes with the tides in the affairs of men, but the fact of oppression and abuse of power is as ancient and as durable as human society.

Hat tip, an old post by Joe Huffman. He in turn credits Jew With a Gun, who observed:

History will note that as Muslims commit genocide against Christians in the Middle East, President Obama and other world leaders attended a conference where they discussed the weather.

And this Christian notes that the only reason the Muslims in the Middle East are not ethnically cleansing the Jews, is that they already did. All the ones who didn’t have guns, at least.

Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2016 Week 16

This Tour d’Horizon is going up a bit late, and for that reason may be more telegraphic than usual. We regret the impertinence.

This week’s installment includes:


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

Compare a few M1911 Receiver Blanks

Receiver blanks, or “80% Receivers,” as they’ve come to be called, despite that term having absolutely zero currency with regulators, are available for everything from ARs to Glocks. Here’s a video comparison of several different 1911 blanks that let you put your own name on your own .45. They range from light alloy frames, to GI frames, to alloy/polymer blends, to trick railed race gun frames.

At least now, in 2016, we can do this. Next year we might be calling this the good old days.

Tracking Point has a New Ad Campaign

Go thence, and see it. They are pulling hard for military business, it looks like.

Did We Mention Files the Last Two Weeks? NEW

Yep, it’s time for the Official FOSSCAD Megapack to be updated. Enjoy. You will need a BitTorrent client to download it, which means the FBI will probably put you on Their And Hillary’s Enemies List. It’s a link to a page from which you can avail yourself of the ~1.2 GB torrent.

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way.

Nothin’ this week, sorry

Cops ‘n’ Crims

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

The Stupidity, it Burns NEW

We were going to be brief, but this one deserves to be quoted at length. Michael Boren of the Philadelphia Inquirer, back on 16 January:

“You’re disgusting,” a woman who was on the phone to 911 said to Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier, 22, as she and other shocked residents on Simontown Road in Pemberton Township waited for police to arrive.

“It’s not mine,” Dorvilier replied, as heard on the call. “It’s not mine.”

Then she said, “I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it.”

What’s she lying that she didn’t do?

A dispatcher at first could not understand the correct address from a frantic 911 caller. Another neighbor also reported fighting and screaming in the street before discovering the child.

“There’s a baby on fire,” the first 911 caller told dispatchers. In the background, a man could be heard telling Dorvilier to get down. “You’re not going anywhere,” he told her.

Another dispatcher then came into the call.

“I’m sorry, what is on fire?” that dispatcher asked.

“A child,” the first dispatcher told him. “An infant!” the caller screamed.

The second dispatcher asked if the baby was breathing.

“I don’t know if the baby’s breathing,” the woman responded. “Just send someone.”

As the call continued, the woman said, “You’re disgusting,” to Dorvilier before telling the dispatcher, “It’s dead.”

About a minute later, the woman reported that the baby was alive. “Oh, my God, it’s still breathing,” she said.

Dorvilier’s first audible words emerged soon afterward. “I’m sorry,” she said.

“You just had the baby,” the 911 caller told Dorvilier.

“I didn’t know,” Dorvilier replied.

“Well, then, who had it?” the woman asked. “How could you do this? You should have dropped it off at the hospital.”

“I’m sorry,” Dorvilier said, repeating that several times.

Yes, she lit her newborn on fire. At the trial, her defense attorney, Karen Thek, seemed to skate right up to the Margaret Sanger line. After all, “it’s a choice, not a child.”

It didn’t fly, and the judge found Dorvilier not only guilty, but “vicious, heinous and depraved.” Sounds judicious to us, but her family members attended the sentencing and advanced the curious legal theory that the baby girl had it coming, as she was the product of rape. Judge didn’t buy that, either. Perhaps there are some judges out there worthy of the title?

High Tech Cyber Crimes Center Cuffs a Creep

What do you do if you’re a Fed, and you work for a President who has forbidden the enforcement of the laws your agency exists to enforce? If you’re Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s demoralized special agents, you find a crime you can prosecute that’s so heinous even pro-criminal pols can’t complain about your arrests. Like kiddie diddlers. You need to read this whole story of how high-tech imagery enhancement brought one perv to the custody of the Bureau of Prisons for the next 110 years.

The agents and support personnel of ICE might be forbidden from hassling violent alien criminals, but even the most pro-criminal pol isn’t ready to stand up for the baby bangers. Yet.

The Perils of Kathleen, Undiscovered Email Edition

It turns out that Korrupt Kathleen Kane, the embattled and extremely anti-gun Attorney General of PA, has been concealing information that was supposed to be handed over to civil litigants and criminal investigators. Kane has been hiding her emails by using unauthorized and insecure AOL and Yahoo mail for things she wants to hide from various parties… like grand juries.

Kane is responsible for setting office policy and had the authority to exempt herself from those rules, spokesman Chuck Ardo said.

Oh, it’s all okay then. Part of being a law officer is being exempt from laws! Why did she do it?

n Kane’s case, the practice hindered the investigation that led to charges against her in August. After sweeping the state’s servers, detectives discovered chunks of emails were missing.

They were in Kane’s personal accounts.

Ah, that’s why she did it.

Ardo, a man of no fixed integrity, previously denied that there was any AG office policy against using personal emails. He went all Joe Isuzu when the Associated Press’s Mike Sisak got hold of the 18-page policy.

The Perils of Kathleen, Judicial Spanking Edition

“When the facts are on your side, bang on the facts; when the law is on your side, bang on the law; when neither is on your side, bang on the table.” The table got a little relief Thursday when one of Kane’s unindicted coconspirators attorneys, Ross Kramer, got spanked for lying to the judge, and also lying about the judge. We don’t know what year in law school they teach that tactic, but we do know that the judge was not amused:

In a previous filing, Ross Kramer, a member of Kane’s legal team, said the judge, Diana Anhalt, had warned that she might hold Kane and her lawyers in contempt if they filed a public defense motion alleging that Kane was a victim of selective prosecution.

But in a court order made public Wednesday during a hearing in Norristown, Anhalt said that was not so.

“This court never made the statements attributed to it by attorney Kramer,” Anhalt wrote, adding that Kramer was guilty of an “intentional misrepresentation.”

After Kramer was chastised, Kane’s lawyers abandoned their bid to file their selective-prosecution argument secretly, under seal, viewable only by prosecutors and the judge in Kane’s pending criminal trial.

Most people don’t trust lawyers as far as they can throw them, but it seems that courts make a fetish of pretending that the Ross Kramers of the world are not what they are — shifty weasels you wouldn’t let babysit your garden rake, let alone believe a statement from, without extensive corroboration from more trustworthy entities, like telemarketers, used car dealers, or nephews of Nigerian dictators.

Noe, Judge Anhalt will probably pretend that she’s giving Kramer the benefit of the doubt, but at this point nothing he can say or do is going to help his client. Quite the contrary.

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)

Heroic Ship Deserved Better

independence-sonar-aircraft-1200USS Independence (CVL-22) was a carrier built on a light cruiser hull in great haste in WWII. We didn’t note this at the time but year ago this week, NOAA scientists found her in 2,600 feet of water, where she’s been resting since 1951, expended as a target. Before then, she’d survived being nuked not once but twice, in the 1946 Bikini Atoll tests, and before that she’d survived the Japanese version, doomed, brave kids in planes dashing themselves to death on Independence’s decks.

Here’s what she looked like right after being nuked, with her badly battered (and now radioactive) fantail on fire.

Independence CVL-22 post nuke

And here’s a close up of that fantail after she cooled off a bit. Note the two sailors, standing there. Gives a whole new meaning to “soakin’ up the rays.”

Independence CVL-22 fantail

And this is what she looked like, shortly before being sent to Davy Jones’s Locker in 1951. Note that the damage to the wooden flight deck in the sonar images was mostly there already 65 years ago!



Army Definitely Deserves Better

Here’s a video the Army no-kidding really shows the troops. (Sorry about the link, but the Army’s so far from proud of this one they make it non-embeddable).

And the Great Buggernaut rolled on.

Meanwhile, to resolve this apparently rampant problem of Joes involuntarily getting buggered, the White House demands the Senate release a hold on the Secretary of the Army nominee who was selected precisely to advance gays in the service. Sounds like they’re advancing just fine without him!

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 Boss’s Lie Exposed by GAO

VA-veterans-affairsMonday, VA Supremo Bob McDonald (who’s a career SF phony/admitted poseur, which is all you need to know about his integrity) swore to Congress that:

97 percent of VA appointments are completed within 30 days, with the average wait time from three to six days

Monday, the GAO reported that:

…patients new to VA health care found that veterans wait three to eight weeks for medical appointments.

(Second story here). (Third story here). So, McDonald was lying. Either that, or “weeks, days, same thing,” which does sound kind of typical of .gov employees (we nearly wrote “workers,” but came to our senses).

But wait, there’s more!

Others could not see a primary care doctor at all because VA staff did not handle the appointments correctly

Well, that’s one way to game the averages.

Note that this is completely different from deputy supremo David Shulkin’s perjury before Congress which was about a different issue (whether a violent criminal in VAMC San Juan was fired). Shulkin also lied about a doctor at that facility who “improperly prescribed controlled substances as favors to friends,” suggesting that she had been let go when VA actually promoted her and she “was now in charge of quality control.”

According to Shulkin’s bio (.pdf), he is not a veteran.

Average Beltway Drone Named New VA Inspector General

Michael Missal does not appear to be a veteran, just another interchangeable lawyer/lobbyist/payroll patriot from the Beltway nomenklatura. Doesn’t seem prudent to expect much from him.

VA Claims to Discipline 7 for Misconduct

Discipline them how? The VA won’t say. That tells you all you need to know.

Fun Fact: A Vet can Go To Prison for Lying to the VA

Case in point. But there’s no accountability for VA leaders like Bob McDonald who lie to vets.

Are we ready to disband this bottomless barrel of bozosity yet?

Lord Love a Duck!

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

Want to Make Your Own Meals, Long Range Patrol?

Freeze Dryer White-1024x1024Harvest Right has a sale on some pretty cool freeze-drying machines. These were too rich for our blood at $5k but $3k is, well, at least 40% more tempting. They come up with cool uses for freeze-drying in their blog.

Made by the Lowest Bidder….

The following video shows a heavy drop gone bad.

It’s a keen reminder that one’s parachute (like the equipment’s, here) is a bunch of cloth and strings, each part made and assembled by the lowest bidder, and packed by a parachute rigger who’s in that job because he didn’t have the GT score for your job.

Note that the audio track is NSFW; might want to mute if you’re one of the beasts roaming the cube farms.

Here’s what the aftermath looked like:


That was a HMMWV. With a typical installation of weapons, radios, it will be $50k to $100k to replace. And you just watched three of them auger in!

Russian paratroopers supposedly train to drop in their tanks. No tanks, we’d rather not.

Guns Behaving Badly

Pistol Slides are Not Supposed to Undergo Mitosis! But this one seems to have done:

Walther P1 slide failure

Pistol looks like a Bundeswehr issue P1 or commercial alloy-frame P-38. These have a reputation for breaking frames (especially the ones before the steel cross-lug was incorporated in the frame), not slides. But here’s proof it happens!

Meanwhile, in Darkest Africa…

(And what part of Africa would that be? Increasingly, all of it….)

TFB has a story of a traveler who came across a poacher with an, er, weathered AK-47. The pictures were taken by that traveler, one Jon Wayne Taylor.

unkillable african AK2

Supposedly, this relic still shoots, even though it looks like it spent a decade in salt water, or perhaps underneath an open-pit latrine, or just as possibly in the ashes of a cataclysmic fire.

Here, it’s ready for its close-up:
unkillable african AK

Note what appear to be pin-holes through the billet (actually, forged, we think) steel. the rust may be the matrix holding whatever else is here together.

If you think you’ve ever torture-tested an AK, take a look at this and tell us how your torture-test protocol beats the traditional Russian technique of giving it to an illiterate peasant. When the Russians achieved full literacy, well, where are they going to find illiterate peasants to torture-test their AKs? Bingo, Africa. QED.

Still, just because this clown got away with this with his AK, that doesn’t mean you should try to emulate what his decades-of-neglect-meets-bailing wire maintenance approach has wrought.

It’s enough to make Mikhail Timofeyevich weep. But it says something about the durability of his design.

How Many Inspections does the ATF Do?

Here are some numbers from ATF themselves, in infographic format.

ATF Inspections Infographic

So then, about 6% of licensees get a compliance inspection in any given year. About 8% are new applicants, who get a “Firearms Application Inspection”.

Despite a push from the Firearms Industry Branch’s leader, Ed Courtney, in conjunction with gun control groups, numbers were down from the previous year, when USA Today reported:

In 2014, according to ATF records, the ATF conducted 12,404 firearm license application reviews, while compliance inspections numbered 10,429. There were a total of 140,446 licensees in 2014, including 55,512 individual firearm dealers.

While application inspections were down significantly, the resources don’t seem to have gone into compliance inspections. They’re down even more!


2014 2015 ∆ inspections







App reviews





Comoliance insp.