Category Archives: Lord Love a Duck

Colt Bankruptcy Update 12 January 15

colt_bankruptcy_bannerAs we noted, Colt went back into bankruptcy court yesterday.

To explain what they were trying to do, here’s the Islamist wing of the news, al-Reuters:

11:30 a.m. – Colt Holding Co LLC will ask Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein of the Bankruptcy Court in Delaware to approve its amended reorganization plan. The plan was recently modified to reflect new terms for an investment by private equity owner Sciens Capital Management. The plan includes a five-year lease for the gunmaker’s Hartford, Connecticut, factory and an option for Colt to buy the facility, which has been a point of contention with bondholders during the company’s bankruptcy. For Colt: Mark Collins and Jason Madron of Richards Layton & Finger, and John Rapisardi, Peter Friedman and Joseph Zujkowski of O’Melveny & Myers.

All those lawyers were counting on a big payday — millions of dollars — but they, too, had to take a haircut when their deadbeat clients, Sciens Capital, stiffed everybody.

According to Peg Brickley in the Wall Street Journal, the deal was approved, and it immunizes the Sciens mismanagers from lawsuits, putting all prior misconduct above the law:

At a hearing Monday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein approved changes to the chapter 11 plan she confirmed last month. Approval came after the judge hesitated over endorsing provisions of the plan that shield Sciens from litigation over how it has handled Colt.

Creditors had criticized the private-equity firm for draining cash out of the company, leaving it without research and development funding to stay competitive. Sciens denied the allegations.

Then, they stiffed the court on their share of the equity contribution — getting essentially a 67% discount, and screwing the bondholders again. That’s the most interesting detail in the WSJ story: the deadbeats at Sciens stiffed the other entities not $5 million of their required $15 million, but $10 million — 2/3 of it.

Sciens missed a December deadline to fund $15 million of the cost of bailing its longtime portfolio company out of bankruptcy. Friday, Sciens came up with $5 million, and other creditors agreed to give the private-equity firm until early February to find the rest of the money.

Bondholders, you’ve given up your only leverage against these weasels.

Meanwhile, however, Colt wanted $50 million to implement its restructuring plan, money to pay lawyers and advisers and to get the troubled firearms manufacturer on its feet financially. Bondholders came through with an additional $10 million to make sure the company emerges on time.

There’s a term for this: throwing good money after bad. There’s a shorter term: stupid. And there’s a term for your entire investment in Colt to date, as long as the financial makers who have neither the skill nor the interest to operate a manufacturing company remain in charge: sunk cost.

Immunity from lawsuits is an important attraction for lenders and others that pitch in to a turnaround effort, earned by putting in cash or some other form of value. Sciens is seeking to hold on to the lawsuit shield that was justified by a $15 million funding pledge even though it has so far only come up with one-third of the amount.

Sciens contributed $5 million to the reorganization, but its lawyers stand to collect $2.6 million in fees, the judge noted at Monday’s hearing. Additionally, Sciens’s December failure to fund forced Colt to pay additional money to extend the maturity of its bankruptcy loan, the judge pointed out.

“I’ve got $3.1 (million) going out the door and $5 (million) coming in,” the judge calculated, questioning whether the gain for Colt justified letting Sciens off the hook for threatened lawsuits.

If she could see it was a rip-off, and she clearly could, then why did she approve the deal? Being a good Democrat, she valued the opportunity to kick the can down the road, to preserve the union jobs a while longer. But mainly because the creditors — the battered-wife bondholders — asked her to.

Why would they do that, when everybody knows there’s nothing in it for them but another beating?

Ultimately, she bowed to the arguments of Colt creditors, who said they backed the tweaked plan for “pragmatic reasons.” Steven Levine, lawyer for the consortium of bondholders that are funding Colt’s bankruptcy emergence, said the group decided “they could either have a viable company without litigation or have litigation without a viable company.”

Prediction: a year from now, Steve, we’ll see your creditors without both.

Bondholders decided to preserve Colt and grant the releases to Sciens despite its delay in providing funding for the bankruptcy exit, Mr. Levine said. Judge Silverstein cited the need to preserve Colt and the jobs of its workers in approving the changed chapter 11 plan.

Read the whole thing (and weep) at the Wall Street Journal or (if paywalled out) at Market Watch, or (if paywalled out both places) using this Google search.

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How Does the VA Love You?

VA-veterans-affairsTo paraphrase an actress who was insecure about her popularity with the Academy, “They love me… they really love me!”

Right, and that’s why they want to **** you.

(Let’s say they want to “love you,” for the rest of this post, but now you know what the VA really means, right?)

That, and they’re depraved on account of they’re deprived — of the even higher salaries, £300,000, that their British counterparts will be pulling down.

Two Crooked Managers Back at Work

Among the many, many wannabe rapists at VA doing their best to give a big old VA “love you” to veterans are the two stand-out vet-lovers, Lance Robinson and Brian Curry, who along with the finally-fired Sharon Helman “led,” if that’s really the word, the dreadful Phoenix VAMC. Robinson and Curry were personally implicated in both the waiting-list-limbo scandal and in vicious retaliation against whistleblowers, but the VA’s payroll patriots just couldn’t bring themselves to fire two self-serving pocket-stuffers like themselves. So the two lying, cheating, vet-loving managers spent the better part of two years drawing full salaries, without having to go into work. Make that, into “work.”

But even that non-punishment was too much punishment, and the two are back at work in new jobs — at the same vastly overpaid salaries — effective today. Arizona vets, did you just get a funny, uncomfortable feeling? WeaponsMan can explain: You’ve been loved.

At first, Robinson and Curry’s actions seemed shocking, but a couple years into the scandal, we know that non-, mal- or mis-feasance is typical for VA. The VA’s objective has been for its managers to hunker down and wait out the storm. And it appears to be working. The waiting list problem the VAMC Phoenix and others created is gradually resolving itself: one-third of the vets shunted off onto waiting lists have already died.

Most of the decedents are older World War II and Korean War vintage vets, and it’s hard to determine which of the vets’ deaths are due to natural causes in old men, and which are due to the near-universal neglect.

Not that anyone in VA is trying to answer this question. Accountability is not a Veterans Affairs value.

Two Other Crooked Managers Demoted from SES to GS-15

You may remember the two VA managers, Diana Rubens and Kimberly Graves,  who ran a scam that let them skim nearly $400k in “moving expenses” — a nice VA “love you” to the troops. The essence of the thing:

The VA’s acting inspector general said in a report this fall that Rubens and Graves forced lower-ranking regional managers to accept job transfers against their will. Rubens and Graves then stepped into the vacant positions themselves, keeping their pay while reducing their responsibilities.

The VA has finally spoken, after running out of delaying and distractive tactics, and our two heroines caught a bust from Senior Executive Service supergrade to “mere” GS-15. They won’t be fired and they won’t have to pay back a dime; Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson and Acting Secretary Robert McDonald have their backs; they know the agency exists to serve its employees. So taking care of Rubens and Graves is just one more way to show they “love” veterans.

Rubens (l.) and Graves (r.)

Rubens (l.) and Graves (r.)

Despite the demotion, the two are expected to keep their bloated salaries of approximately $180k each, although it’s not clear how even VA can do that. Their pensions and perks are largely unaffected, also. The two sticky-fingered bosses took the 5th when called before Congress.

Even the demotions would not have happened had it been left to the VA. The agency had sidelined the demotions, until Congressional pressure made them follow through.

Accountability is not a Veterans Affairs value.

Privacy? What Privacy?

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

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

If you get treated at VA, a ProPublica investigation determined, even if you can’t kiss your keister goodbye, you can probably kiss your privacy goodbye. Hundreds of VA employees have compromised thousands of veteran medical records.

No one’s been punished, except for an occasional token suspension — for violations that would land non-government-employee staffers in Club Fed. But then, accountability is not a Veterans Affairs value.

VA’s Colossal Cascade of Catastrophe

At the Observer, Asche Schow runs down the VA’s last week, which includes all the above, and a few more, like the employee busted for sexual assault. Yep, they sure love veterans. That’s why they never miss the opportunity to slip veterans a good lovin’.

By the way, Perv Dude still hasn’t been let go.

Why not? Because accountability is not a Veterans Affairs value.

Why Accountability is not a Veterans Affairs Value

Many reasons have been advanced for why the VA is so bad. (Our favorite is that, “All government is like that, VA is just the agency people are looking at right now.” Plausible, at least). Certainly the hubris of government employees is a factor. Consider the lawyered-up   Lance Robinson, one of the neglectful retaliators from Phoenix who was recommended for firing, but then simply sent on extended vacation for nearly two years. The paid-leave status still keeps his enormous salary flowing, but not his lush perks, so while he’s personally not going to expose himself to cross-examination under oath, he had a couple of lawyers submit a statement for him.  It says he want’s to “continue serving Veterans.”

to-serve-man-cookbookIt’s a cook book!

But the biggest reason seems to be that the VA, a fiefdom of privileged Beltway insiders, is extremely resistant to employing veterans. Indeed, only 13% of the massive and growing organization’s upper staff are veterans, and many, if not most, of them are retired military physicians. In recent hires, vets have only been accepted to bedpan-marshalling and similar menial tasks:

The Puerto Rico VA, after routinely turning away vets for individual jobs as they opened up, made a show of upping its stats by hiring 50 vets in one day — all of them at the GS-4 level, near the bottom of the federal employment scale that ranges up to GS-15.

“Even Ph.D.s” were among those veterans given bottom-of-the-barrel jobs, which they accepted due to Puerto Rico’s imploding economy, said Serrano, who is now a doctoral candidate. Once they accepted the low-level jobs, the newly hired veterans were prevented by federal personnel rules from applying for higher positions for a time. The Puerto Rico VA did not respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment.

Management and professional jobs are reserved to those who never served themselves, but stand ready to cry out, “Love veterans! Every mother-lovin’ one of ’em. And love you, too!”

These jobs are in high demand, especially among incompetent people — after all, how many jobs are there where nothing you can do, even killing the customers, will ever get you fired?

Someone should be held accountable. But accountability is not a Veterans Affairs value.

A Mess of Accidents, 2nd Half 2015; Cop-Heavy Edition

ND-shot-in-footWe haven’t done one of these in a while, mostly because new people are still just having the same old accidents. So what’s the point?

But every once in a while we feel tempted to mention a few, because they’re typical, or galactically stupid, or just plain heartbreaking.

An awful lot of these negligent discharges seem to happen to cops. Recently when we looked at the LA County Sheriff’s Office, we saw that they were remarkably blasé about 10 to 30 reported ND’s a year, and they don’t report an ND when it’s within hailing distance of a clearing barrel, unless the round hits somebody. You have to wonder if those curious bullet holes we see in the overhead target tracks at the Indoor Range are the result of mere yahoos, or yahoos with badges?

As far as we can tell, the principal difference is, yahoos without badges get in trouble if they hit somebody. With badges, they’re immunized.

But they’re still yahoos. LEO readers, Don’t Be That Guy

19 Aug 15: Cop Shot Himself, Tried to Frame a Black Guy

A Durham, NC officer named Kelly Stewart pulled over a guy for DWB. You may remember the stumblebums of the Durham PD from their attempt to frame the Duke lacrosse team. Turns out, they’re not any better at gun handling.

…Stewart accidentally shot himself in the leg with his firearm. Soon after, the police department logged the gun’s discharge: “1 shot fired by officer.”

After firing the shot, Stewart dropped his gun in the motorist’s car. Convinced he’d just escaped summary execution, the driver took off.

Crooked DA Roger Echols hid that report and most other evidence, and charged the motorist with shooting Stewart with his own gun. When it became clear the “suspect” had a good lawyer, Echols tried to get the attorney thrown off. The motorist was acquitted on the charge of shooting the cop who shot himself in August.

However, the motorist blew it when he drove off with the panicky cop’s gun in his car. For that, he was convicted of robbery, and the Feds charged him with felon-in-possession for that gun on his car’s floor.

Meanwhile, Stewart, and other cops trained as badly as he, are what you get when you call 911 in Durham. Good luck.

24 Sep 15: NYC Court Officer Shoots Himself in Hand

The Daily News:

Don_Knotts_Barney_and_the_bullet_Andy_Griffith_ShowA state court officer shot himself in the hand Wednesday when his gun accidentally discharged in a Manhattan courtroom, officials said.

The officer, who is in his late 50s, had removed the weapon from its holster in the civil courthouse at 111 Centre St. when the weapon unintentionally fired, said Dennis Quirk, the president of the New York State Court Officers Association.

Gotta love that. “His gun accidentally discharged.” And “the weapon unintentionally fired.” What, now God has reached out His mighty finger and imbued these creations of ore and polymers with the spirit of life, not to mention, free will? Do the guns have minds of their own?

Maybe they do. In this case, the cop didn’t seem to have one of his own. Don’t be that guy.

11 Oct 15: Michigan Golfcart Shooting

The 57-year-old Grandville man, Terry Apol, was the passenger of the golf cart at 6660 20 Mile Rd. The golf cart was driven with a gun being carried on the back of the golf cart.

While driving the cart through a field, the gun went off. The shot hit Apol in the upper left arm.

“The gun went off.” Unexpectedly, eh.

16 Dec 15: Swansea, IL: Retired Police Captain Shot by Gun in Bag

Wow: this appears to be that rare case where the gun did “just go off,” that is, after being dropped. (Many older guns are not drop-safe). Sherman Jumper, 70 was a retired captain in the East St. Louis, IL, Police Department.

Swansea police said the incident happened Wednesday in Jumper’s garage. He was carrying a bag with a loaded gun in it. He reportedly dropped the bag and the gun fired, killing him.

There are precautions that would have prevented this. Is not safe, is gun, but there’s a lot to be said for keeping it one of only two states: in a holster, loaded, or in a case or safe, cleared.

22 Dec 15: Burlington, Iowa Negligent Shooting of Civilian

Autumn Steel absorbs mortal wounds on officer's body cam. He testified he had fallen and was flat on his back when he fired.

Autumn Steele absorbs a mortal wound on officer’s body cam. He testified he had fallen and was flat on his back when he fired.

In this case, the Burlington, IA police department used the, “bleep had it coming” defense to explain why officer Jesse Hill, supposedly firing at a dog, instead killed an angry woman during a domestic dispute, narrowly missing her 3-year-old. The police and prosecutors ruled in days, perhaps in minutes, that it was a good shooting, and have ever since suppressed all records of the shooting except for a few seconds of edited video.

After Hill shot Steele, he and other responding cops let her bleed out, only attempting to treat her with chest compressions after she’d stopped breathing. Her husband, a combat vet with Combat Life Saver training, was held back.

Hill has a history with dogs, having tased two of them in the past. He may have an unnatural fear of the animals.

Des Moines County Attorney Amy K. Beavers wrote in a hastily-assembled whitewash that Hill’s negligent shooting of an unintended human target, fatally to the human, was “reasonable.”

The story reached even to New York, where the Daily News wrote:

Hill was responding to a disturbance on Jan. 6 when he found Steele in front of her house hitting her husband, police said. The 34-year-old mom spent the previous night in jail after being arrested on domestic abuse charges, the Des Moines Register reported.

The cop fired his gun when the family’s German Shepherd, Sammy, pounced on his back and bit him, police said. The bullets hit Steele instead of the attacking dog, police said.

According to the animal control board, the dog was upset and agitated (as were the humans) but the full video shows that it didn’t attack Hill. (They found the dog Not Guilty and returned him to his surviving family members). Hill also had no bite wounds. In fact, even in the short, edited clip released by Hill’s defenders, the dog is visible in front of him moments before he opens fire into the woman right in front of him, but supposedly on the dog that supposedly was on his back. (Some news stories said the dog had a non-life-threatening GSW).

Officer Jesse HillHill (left) and Burlington officials, have since changed their story, and now say that he slipped and fell and that’s why he fired into Steele at near-contact range. An Iowa public records board has filed suit against the agencies standing between Hill and accountability. (This is a separate action from any the family pursues for damages; this is about transparency).

For Hill, there were no consequences, at least, no negative consequences. Burlington Police Chief L.D. Beaird gave him seven weeks of extra vacation as a reward; he returned to duty a month after the whitewash absolved him of any criminal charges.

Since then, Hill has still been stumbling around Burlington with –by his own account and by the reading of the evidence most favorable to him — a gun he can’t handle safely. Call 911 in Burlington, Iowa, and that’s what you get.

That’s a real confidence builder.

Exit thought: you should probably comport yourself during break-ups in such a manner that (1) Officer Friendly needn’t drop by; (2) if he does, he leaves his hogleg in the holster; and (3) your dog doesn’t get all amped up. If Hill hadn’t been negligent, Steele wouldn’t be dead, but if Steele had be in control of herself, the situation would have never reached the point where Hill thought he had to draw.

For More Information:

23 Dec 15, Des Moines: Officer practicing ‘quick draw’ fires shot inside Des Moines Airport

Don_Knotts_Barney_and_the_bullet_Andy_Griffith_ShowProbably shouldn’t have done that. Bet he thinks so, too. Now.

Is it just us, or does this story remind you of a famous TV policeman who “meant well, but…”

Lucky for him, he didn’t hit anybody and it doesn’t appear the Des Moines PD is taking any action on this, or even taking it seriously. However, they do deserve credit for releasing his name. Most departments don’t do that.

23 Dec 15, Poway, CA. Man wounded in San Diego County gun range accident.

There are several clear safety violations in this, another “dropped gun went off” incident.

A 12-year-old boy was target shooting with a .22-caliber rifle when he was burned by a hot bullet casing and dropped the weapon.

When the rifle hit the ground, it fired and the bullet struck a man in the leg.

You could supervise youth shooters better (this is hard to do on a busy commercial range as the RO. It’s really the responsibility of the kid’s adult). You could warn shooters about the fact that a hot case is painful and uncomfortable, but it won’t kill you, whereas muzzle control is an iron law. You could look into whether your guns are drop-safe.

Or you can just put it down to a freak accident of no relevance to you, which is what most people who hear about this will do. (We hear about similar accidents on outdoor ranges with bee or hornet stings). But in our opinion, half the trick to handling an unexpected situation is having expected, or at least thought through, the situation before it presents itself.

26 Dec 15, Chicongo: Chicago police say woman, 55, ‘tragically killed’ when accidentally shot by cop

The various “reverends” and “community leaders” are going to be in the news over this one:

A Chicago police officer responding to a domestic disturbance call Saturday accidentally shot and killed a 55-year-old woman, who was among two people fatally wounded,

It’s not entirely clear what happened, but it appears that family members called 911 because their son, home from college, was acting crazy and swinging an aluminum baseball bat. The police arrived and fired a barrage of shots, hitting him 7 times and the lady in the downstairs apartment, in a case of manic disregard for backstop, once. The PD is lawyered up and not naming the officers, saying how many shots they fired, or even saying what race they are, the first question the reporter from the AP had (raaaaacist!). The two responding officers have been given 30 days’ vacation and need only make a statement on their return, after working with union lawyers to work up the best possible story.

Meanwhile, embattled mayor Rahm Emanuel took the opportunity to bash the police, again.

The cops have reacted predictably, going into “fetal mode.” December, 2014 saw 6,700 arrests, and December ’15 only 2,000. Meanwhile Chicago is likely to break 500 murders (most, but not all, by gunfire) and 3,000 criminal shootings for 2015 — it’s at 497 at this writing. And the press is wound up about the 5 or 6 people — all, apparently, except this one lady, career criminals — who are shot by cops in a year, not the 3,000 that get nailed by crims.

28 December, Las Vegas NV. Las Vegas Cop And Husband Shoot Relative, Won’t Face Charges

If you did this, you’d be in big trouble. And you’d deserve it.

The husband and wife were home sleeping when the relative, a woman who also lives at the residence, came home unexpectedly, [police spox Officer Aaron] Patty said.

The pair went to see what was going on and in the process shot the woman multiple times, he said.

But the lady of the couple that shot the living daylights out of their own relative is a cop, so despite the fact that she and her husband negligently opened fire on an unknown target, and despite the fact that (fortunately for the relative, who survived) neither one of them has minimal marksmanship skills, nothing’s going to happen to her. She’s going to get some extra vacation and then will be back on the streets of LV, threatening the lives of all citizens with her bad judgment and marksmanship.

Maybe the LVPD just doesn’t aspire to any higher standard than this. Could be.

Rock, Pistol, Scissors

rock_paper_scissors_gun_i_win_teeGuess which one wins? Rio Rancho, New Mexico:

SANDOVAL COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – A Sandoval County jury has ruled that a woman who shot and killed a man in the middle of a busy Rio Rancho street pulled the trigger in self-defense.

Amanda Jo Lucero was facing a first-degree murder charge for shooting Andrew Anderson two years ago. Her attorney argued that she had no other choice to shoot Anderson when he threatened Lucero and her cousin with rocks and a pair of scissors.

Anderson had the sort of outcome you’d expect for bringing a rock to a gunfight: he died. Prosecutors charged Lucero with murder and put her on trial, but… the jury accepted the self-defense claim.

So looks like Pistol beats Rock, Scissors, Gavel.

You guessed, didn’t you? Hat tip, Clayton Cramer at the Gun Self Defense Blog.

Ray Mabus: No More Riflemen in the USMC

Mabus MemoRay Mabus, a career politician whose entire life and every action signals contempt for the United States Marine Corps, is hitting the Corps where it lives: there will no longer be any Riflemen in the Corps. Oh, sure, there’ll still be 0311s and the other Infantry MOSes, but the Corps is going full-retard-gender-neutral. So they’re going to be Riflepersons, Infantrypersons, or maybe Rifle Operators. Rifle-ists? Small-Caliber Projectile Launch Technicians? You’re welcome to enter your best guess in the comments, but whatever he’s gonna be after (fittingly enough), April Fool’s Day, it isn’t going to be a Rifleman. Or Infantryman. Or Recon Man.

This is an opportunity to update the position titles and descriptions themselves to demonstrate through this language that women are included in these MOSs. Please review the position titles throughout the Marine Corps and ensure that they are gender-integrated as well, removing”man” from their titles and provide a report to me as soon as practicable and no later than April 1, 2016…

Put some windings and brushes on him, and Chesty Puller spinning in his grave would be a dependable source of non-fossil-fuel energy. (Well, Chesty’s been dead long enough maybe he is a fossil now, which would make him fossil fuel and therefore haram in what Mabus has in place of a religion).

Congrats, if you’re a Marine Recon Man. You went to the last hard Indoc. It’s official now.

In the memo, which we’ll attach here: (SecNav.pdf), Wesley Mouch Ray Mabus (pardon the error, we got our weasels crossed) makes it clear he wants name, rank and serial number of any looters and wreckers who fight the E Ring on this:

In the submitted Marine Corps Implementation Integration Plan, the Marine Corps highlights the Commander’s Critical Information Requirements: (1) indications of decreased combat readiness or effectiveness; (2) indications of an increased risk to Marines in previously closed units, to include risk of sexual assault and/or sexual harassment and hazing; (3) indications of a lack of career viability for female Marines in ground combat arms MOSs or units; (4) indications that Marine Corps command climates and/or culture is unreceptive to qualified female Marines in ground combat arms units and MLSs; (5) indications that morale and/or cohesion is degraded in integrated ground combat arms units; and provided expansion of these indications and their respective measures of effectiveness in the Assessment Plan Synchronization Matrix.

Notice what’s missing: he doesn’t want to hear about poor performance, the sort that used to get women officers flunked out of infantry officer school. He doesn’t want to hear about UCMJ problems, he doesn’t want to hear about fraternization, injuries, deployment rates… he absolutely, positively does not want to hear about how the women are doing relative to the men who were doing it before. He only wants to hear about the wreckers and looters standing athwart Progress, hindering our pilgrimage to the bright sunlit uplands where Vibrancy is Our Diversity.

Hey, the Marines have been on pilgrimages like this before, one in the Philippines for example, and that long last walk to the beach on Wake Island in ’43.

Also, what do you think Mabus will do with information like that, based on our experience with him already? Adjust his plan to fit the data,? Or conduct a few ritual executions of “defeatists” who weren’t sufficiently “with the program” to bend their data to please him?

Nothing personal, Admiral Byng, just pour encourager les autres.

And it’s his highest priority:

I commend you for prioritizing this implementation and requiring quarterly leadership updates at your monthly Executive Off-Sites. Please provide a copy of these quarterly updates to me on a regular basis.

Big Brother Sister Sibling is watching you.

Because, Valor Medals Deserve Quotas Too…

in a related venture, the services are reviewing well over 1,000 awards for possible upgrade to the Medal of Honor, including all Army DSCs and Silver Stars. (So far what’s left of a Marine Corps has opted out). The cover story is that this is an initiative of Ash Carter’s to recognize overlooked valor; in fact, it stems from the President’s desire to see more MoH awards to minority service members, and particularly to award a Medal of Honor to at least one woman and at least one gay soldier (and maybe a bonus gay woman!) before the President is term-limited out of office. The bar will be lowered to meet the available women and gays, and a few ordinary guys will also see upgrades — the better to camouflage the political intent of the awards review.

In the spirit of the thing, we may see the first ever upgrade of an Army Commendation Medal with “V” device to the MOH. Because valor awards, too, are something the Ray Mabuses of the world, who can’t see past skin color, think are just one more Federal benefit that ought to be “fairly” distributed on a racial quota spoils system.

When We’re Handing Out Gongs, Don’t Forget Combat Playstation

Additionally, drone operators based Stateside will finally get the combat awards they’ve long whinged about not having, but will have to wear an “R” device (for “remote,” as in, “their duty is remotely related to military service.” Serving and retired service members, particularly the ones that have earned the rewards that will now be basic issue, see this as a dilution of the value of the awards, but Carter, Mabus and the generals and admirals that serve them are Participation Trophy Tee Ball guys, and to them the only thing important is the trophy, not the game.

Being military types themselves, they don’t understand the trophies and baubles are only as coveted as they are, because of the risks that were taken and blood that was shed by those that have earned them before. An E-Ring full of people who, asked to name a “hero,” would likely come up with Bruce Jenner or some other random celebrity, is unlikely to “get” combat valor.

The Navy, and more particularly the Marine Corps, has now been given the Party Line. Deviate from it at your own peril! Do you think there’s a Sophie Scholl remaining in there somewhere? Or has any such independent thinker already been purged?

Bubba Builds a Tactical Shotgun

This is about as wrong as a guy dating a sheep.

Bubba The Gunsmite Makes a Shotgun

Clearly Bubba is a subscriber to the theory that the more clutter in the photo, the more seriously the abortion at its center will be received. So we will treat this Tactical Operator CQB Death Shotgun with all the respect that it, and its creator, are due.

We thought the digital caliper on the desk was a nice touch. Hell of a prop to display when showing one of the gaudiest excesses of design since the tailfins of ’59. And what exactly is a caliper used for when snapping random parts together?

With this shotgun, you are equipped for all eventualities that you must face in your life as an Airsoft-trained Operator. Unfortunately, it is so crusted with 10 pounds of catalog gingerbread that we can’t make out what brand or model of shotgun it is.

From rear to front, those accessories include:

  • a folding stock;
  • a pistol grip for maximum tactical control;
  • a supply of ready ammunition;
  • a scope made in gen-yoo-wine China;
  • a rails system designed by a committee of tactical operators on tactical operations in the chat rooms and blogs of the world;
  • a Magpul Angled Fore Grip, positioned to give you some hope of controlling this nose-heavy monstrosity;
  • a visible light laser pointer for sniper accurate scattershot shooting, also from that quartermaster of all the world’s elite, to wit, China;
  • a regular light for when you need to keep looking for the laser pointer after dark, when your first shots shake it off;
  • a bipod for when you are assigned the toughest shotgun sniping missions;
  • a breaching-oriented muzzle device; and,
  • the pièce de résistance: the bayonet, to compensate for shotguns’ well-known deficiency in close-range stopping power.

On the plus side: Bubba does not seem to have permanently harmed the shotgun in doing this. And people seem to have fun with it. On the minus side… well, just look at the thing.

What Happens When You Don’t Deport Foreign Criminal Gang Members?

icedogsign2Shot:

ICE Director Sarah Saldana said that she was “proud of the numbers” when she testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on December 2, 2015.

In a press release announcing the numbers today, DHS falsely says “the number of convicted criminals removed from the interior continued to increase.” In fact, only the share of deportations that are of criminals has increased —  the actual number has fallen, as noted above.

The actual numbers show that we’re at very low levels of deportations….

Total-interior-deportations-2009-2014

…especially criminal deportations. Saldaña is simply lying when she says criminal alien deportation has risen, it’s actually down by about half in the last four years.

Graph-Criminal-Alien-Deportations-Interiot-2009-2015_0

And half of the violent criminals on the FBI’s Most Wanted Lists are criminal aliens.

So that was the Shot.

Chaser:

The Washington Post illustrated its story with this picture of an MS-13 tag from several years ago.

The Washington Post illustrated its story with this picture of an MS-13 tag from several years ago.

An 18-year-old was fatally stabbed in a gang-ordered slaying near the Montgomery-Prince George’s county border by assailants who threw heavy rocks down on him as he crawled away from the attack to a stream, according to court records filed in Montgomery District Court on Thursday.

The death of Denis Montufar-Bautista follows two other recent slayings in wooded areas of Montgomery that police have linked to a resurgence of the MS-13 gang. In one of those cases — the killing of a 34-year-old man found in a shallow grave — detectives filed charges this week against four people. The suspects range from 15 to 19 years old.

via New gang slaying: Attackers allegedly stabbed, then threw rocks, at victim – The Washington Post.

This is the real world consequence of the blind eye to criminal enforcement that is Saldaña’s, and above her, Jeh Johnson’s, and the President’s, policy.

Shot, and Chaser. You know, though, better make it a double. Two ICE SA’s commenting on the CIS report:

A guy shows up at a local jail on a felony domestic assault charge. He has been ordered removed 3 times, all before 2014. According to our policy, he is untouchable unless convicted.

Charge is amended to disturbing the peace 6 months later and he is found guilty. Our policy says he does not meet our removal priorities.

I see cases similar to that all the time. Real scumbags walking free because of policies that don’t make sense.

…and…

HSI processing a[n] alien is a joke. In my area it take[s] three people to process a EWI. Funny thing about the ones that HSI does process, everyone of them has refused to sign their [Notice To Appear], all most [sic] like it was never served on them. It is all good, HSI makes up for it by keeping all those conterfeit [sic] t-shirts off the streets.

That last guy can’t spell to save his life (and his comments were all in caps, which we’ve corrected for you, so the other agents were all over him for unprofessional communications.

But we’ve never heard one volunteer to defend his agency’s new role as copyright-cops-for-hire by crony-connected corporations.

And meanwhile, Saldaña’s refusal to deport violent criminals means that more Americans will be victims of crime. That’s the difference between homeland security with small letters and Homeland Security, the department of.

When Self-Defense is Outlawed, to Run Away is Your Only Defense

This is the official Metropolitan Police guidance for surviving a terror attack in five easy steps.

  1. Make like Brave Sir Robin — “Run Awaaaaay!
  2. If you can’t run away, hide and hope that the terrorists lose interest. Or that they find religion. (Well, religion other than the murderous one they’ve already found). Or that your hiding place is jolly good. To quote a certain fictional detective inspector, “Do you feel lucky?”
  3. Call 999 (that’s 911 with a British accent) and wait for the rozzers to arrive, either to rescue you or chalk your outline on the floor, depending on how lucky you got with #2. There are two optional steps you can take after calling 999:
  4. Bend over, and place your head between your thighs….
  5. …and kiss your ass good-bye.

Watch this video and see if you can figure out the optimum timing for that final rump snog.

This is life where the citizens are a herd.

It’s the nature of herds that from time to time there are a few culls, which is just business, and doesn’t vex the managers of the herd as long as the herd overall survives. So herd managers aren’t going to actually fight terrorism unless and until terrorists display indicators of the capability to kill everybody — the whole herd. That’s why the UK shrugs it off when a few buses or tube trains go FOOM, or some idealistic Koran student eviscerates an unarmed soldier or two; but bombs or invades whole countries if they start getting distributive with CBRNE technology.

What this video tells you to do is throw the dice — and if it comes up snake eyes for you, then, you’re the  cull, sorry about that. Let’s see your organ donor card; no hard feelings. Just lie down and think of England as some Syrian “refugee” goes to work on your neck’s connective tissue.

After all, you wouldn’t want to make him feel unwelcome, would you?

That’s life — and death — in the herd.

Here we are a pack.

The old, the young, the infirm and the weak will indeed shelter, but along with concealment, they will have means of defense. And meanwhile, some two millions of us are vets of the recent unpleasantness; and millions more saw the elephant in earlier conflicts, or trained — what we call keeping the unit’s pilot light on — between wars. These men, and some women, will move towards the gunshots. We have faced better men than any of these yellowstain terrorists, and killed them.

We’re prepared to do it again.

We’ll yield the field to SWAT when they show up… twenty-some minutes after the killing starts is considered good in most places, an hour in New Orleans. But until then, we will not give the enemy any free shots.

You can’t always hide in such a way as to outsmart your enemy, but you can kill him so conclusively dead that there’s no need to hide from him any more.

The Metropolitan Police can keep Run / Hide / Call. If we did a STAY SAFE video it would be:

  1. Arm (ourselves)
  2. Prepare (a defensible position for our non-hunters, with armed persons to defend them)
  3. Hunt (the enemy). And handover to the authorities on their arrival.

Or hey, you can roll the Met’s dice. And keep a stiff upper lip if they come up Cull.

VA “Recovery Plan”: Boost Employees, Screw Vets

VA-veterans-affairsLuke Rosiak, who’s been on the VA story like ugly on an ape, has a story from the embattled Tomah, WI VA Medical Center that would be unbelievable if it weren’t about the VA,  the United States’ nearest approximation to everything that was wrong about Soviet bureaucracy.

It all centers on a plan that the VAMC wrote describing how they’re going to restore their shattered reputation. (If you want to read the plan, it’s here).

How are they going to get their reputation back?

First, they’re not going to address any of the misconduct, mismanagement, or toleration of unethical behavior that put their reputation in the lower part of the porta-potty to begin with. Nope, they have a different plan. Give their dud employees more money and perks, and give the bad-employees’ union more of a say in running things.

No, we are not making that up, and neither is Luke:

A “100-day plan” to regain the trust of veterans at the severely troubled Tomah, Wisconsin, Department of Veterans Affairs hospital calls for praising its employees more, increasing employee diversity and establishing an Employee Wellness Center.

Veterans do not figure prominently in the plan, which primarily consists of favors for employees and their union. The hospital has been forced to “rebuild trust” with veterans after years of its staff doping patients into zombies rather than treating them.

The blueprint adds monthly “listening sessions” to air employee gripes, but only twice-a-year town halls for veterans to give feedback on the quality of care they received and to make suggestions.

via Tomah VA’s 100-Day Reform Plan Barely Mentions Veterans | The Daily Caller.

Under the heading “restoring trust,” the bulk of the plan is devoted to doing more “union partnering.” It will give employees more “praise” and create a “diversity committee.”

 

So why does the Tomah VAMC have such a bad reputation?

Rosiak thinks maybe it’s because they got caught “drugging vets into zombies” instead of treating their illnesses, and maybe the fact that this plan came from forty meetings with employees and what appears to have been zero meetings with veterans is just a little symptom of VA’s listening problem, or as it looks to us vets, vet-deafness.

VAMC Tomah spokesman Matthew Gowan, one of the army of well-paid spin doctors the VA employs in preference to doing patient care, sees the problem of the bad rep being entirely due to those pesky reporters telling people what patient care looks like in Tomah. Gowan:

Tomah VA realizes that recent investigations and media stories covering high profile incidents over the past year have contributed to a lack of trust within the medical center and the community.

A local veterans’ group formed their own opinion of the Tomah VAMC. They started a Facebook group, and erected this billboard to call for change:

VA IS Lying

The only change is that VA’s sleek, overpaid PR flacks have attacked those veterans.

Well, what was in those news stories?

Let’s give the floor back to Luke Rosiak, since he’s established more credibility on this than Matt Gowan has:

Multiple congressional investigations, inspector general reports and media exposes from across the ideological spectrum have shown that lack of praise for Tomah employees isn’t the cause of the facility’s problems.

Dangerous combinations of downer drugs were shoved down the throats of veterans so that they were sedated, rather than enabled to work through their problems with physical and mental therapy. Drugs were routinely prescribed to known addicts, and drugs sold on the street in Wisconsin could often be traced back to the VA. Career low-level bureaucrats at the VA looked the other way, while a few brand new employees who were shocked at the way the hospital ran were pushed out when they raised objections. The 100-day vision doesn’t mention opiates.

VAMC Tomah has been harsh on one subset of employees — the whistleblowers.

Even after the plan’s roll-out, the facility has demonstrated that apathy by low-level employees, misleading official spin by image-cultivating spokesmen, union rules blocking discipline, and gross mismanagement continue to plague Tomah, not a lack of money or clout for employees.

Rosiak has specifics, including an employee assault on a patient that Gowan went all mumbley over  — apparently that was not the kind of clout he advocates for the bedpan wranglers — a string of doctors with disciplinary records, and a culture of impunity for bad, unethical, and even abusive employees. Go Read The Whole Thing™.

Sure, they still treat vets like something they stepped in. But hey, they reestablished the Diversity Committee!

Crimmigration as a Non-Priority

¡Yo quiero Taco Bell, señor -- pas de Chipotle!

¡Yo quiero Taco Bell, señor — pas de Chipotle!

As we’ve seen (and we hate to write about this so recently after our last post on the subject, Annals of the 0.0002%, Wednesday morning), if there’s one thing that isn’t a priority for the “Immigration and Customs Enforcement” agency, it’s immigration enforcement. To the point where guys are being threatened with firing for arresting criminal aliens — not mere immigration-law breakers, but serious, violent felons.

So what is the priority at ICE, if law enforcement isn’t? Well, two things that came to us from separate ICE criminal investigators kind of sum up what’s going on in the demoralized (#314 of 314 agencies in a Federal morale survey) agency.

Priorities: Dog & Pony Show, hold the Pony

Behold Director Sarah Saldaña’s priority: a dog show. The following is verbatim from Sarah’s own office, with only two items redacted: name of the system on the ICE intranet, and the PII of the Saldaña horse-holder (dog-walker?) she names as POC, out of bare human decency:

From: ICE-Broadcast
Sent: Wednesday, December 16, 2015 4:29 PM
Subject: ICE’s “Top Dog” Pet Photo Contest

A Message from Director Sarah R. Saldaña

To all ICE employees
December 16, 2015

ICE’s “Top Dog” Pet Photo Contest

Did you know pets can help to improve your physical and mental wellbeing?  Beyond mere companionship, pets can relieve stress, lower your blood pressure, and increase your level of physical activity.  Dogs, specifically, have been used by law enforcement agencies for more than 100 years and continue to be recognized as some of our most valuable partners today.

Think your pet is worthy of the prestigious title of ICE’s “Top Dog”?  Think your pet is cuter than my precious pups, Mitzi and Daisy?  These are the questions you will decide during the months of December and January.  Entry is easy – simply submit a photo of your special pet to icetopdog@ice.dhs.gov.  Photos will be posted in a gallery on [an ICE intranet resource] where you can cast your vote for the winner.

So what are you waiting for?  Get those photos in now!

Contest Rules and Information:

  • Submission period: Dec. 16, 2015 – Jan. 16, 2016
  • Voting period: Jan. 17-31, 2016
  • Resize photos to 1200 pixels wide by 675 pixels high and save them as JPEGs or select the large image size if emailing from a smart phone. (Photos can be resized for the gallery if too large but cannot be made larger if too small.)
  • Include name of pet and owner.
  • One submission per person.
  • One vote per person.

ICE’s “Top Dog” will be announced and displayed on [an ICE intranet resource] soon after the voting is closed.

Please direct any questions to Ashley Leagan at (202) RED-ACTED or REDACTED@ice.dhs.gov.

Sarah R. Saldaña
Director
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

This left us with a burning desire to know whether Mitzi and Daisy are Chihuahuas, or Mexican Hairlesses, or the fave pet of illegal immigrants: ill-tempered, abused pit bulls. But it also left us with a horrifying level of knowledge of what ICE is up to, now that Saldaña (and Johnson) have enjoined any attempt to enforce immigration laws. (Or laws, period). A dog show. Lord love a duck.

Nonpriorities: Enforcement

in response to our “Annals of the 0.0002%” where we impartially beat up a reporter for misplacing a decimal point, and ICE for misplacing something like 150,000 or 200,000 real live Title 18 criminals somewhere in the USA, some readers thought that the complaining agents were faking. One insider replies thusly, asking for anonymity for reasons that will be evident:

Please add this to your comments on the immigration article:

Excellent article. Thank you and well done. The reason I [personnel action redacted] is because after 17 years of fighting to enforce immigration, I have given up. The public, the politicians and our bosses all shit on us for doing our job. Time to move on to greener pastures.

And as to the person who said we should do our jobs anyway, would they risk getting fired? And if they care that much they should do their civic duty and vote out the bastards stopping us from doing our job.

The problem is, of course, there are essentially three different branches of the same wealthy, entitled elite who do not care what you civic-duty-doers think. Those three are:

  1. Democrats, who see criminal aliens as valuable future voters and big-.gov service consumers;
  2. Republicans, who see criminal aliens as bargaining chips keeping wages low for the benefit of their corporate overlords;
  3. Trump, who has figured out what to say to own the media, but whose record suggests he will do whatever is most advantageous to the cult of celebrity of Donald J. Trump.

Odds that any of these jamokes will be foursquare behind enforcing immigration law? Might not be zero, but that’s what it rounds to.