Category Archives: Lord Love a Duck

Dunning-Kruger Media Effect, and “RIP Ammo” hype

OK, there are rounds that can produce guaranteed death. They just don't fit in pistols.

OK, there are rounds that can produce guaranteed death. They just don’t fit in pistols.

Blue Nation Review is a newish website, dedicated to the proposition that the liberal message (including enthusiasm for gun bans, a frequent theme) has no way of reaching a misinformed public. And apart from ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, the Times, the Post, and all the journalistic farm teams populated by eager and callow youths aspiring to those major leagues, they have a point. It came to our attention because they’re spending enormously on ads with Taboola, and the ads kept appearing on major media websites.

But the essence of Dunning-Kruger, as stated in the brilliant paper “Unskilled and Unaware of It,” is a near-Rumsfeldian tautology: “You don’t know what you don’t know.” In the case of BNR, they don’t know a damned thing about firearms or ammunition. So, after listing a bunch of nonfatal accidents from the twitter feed of gun-ban activist David Waldman, and seeing some assclown’s promo video, they be terrorized (warning, site’s privacy-invasive wrt your location):

But if one Georgia company is successful, accidental shootings that injure people may become a thing of the past. That’s because if people start using their bullets, pretty much every person who gets shot will die.

G2 Research’s “Radically Invasive Projectile” (RIP, get it? — because shooting people to death is hilarious) is a copper bullet that explodes when it hits a target (i.e., a human being) sending pieces screaming through vital organs and clearing a path for the bullet’s core to travel deeper through a person.

via New Bullets Mean Certain Death – Blue Nation Review Blue Nation Review.

Except, they’re hyperventilating over hype. As we wrote six months ago, “The claims were so over-the-top, we dismissed the round as snake oil.  But we weren’t going to debunk the claims. Fortunately, someone else did.”

Our conclusions then bear repeating:

Look, there’s no magic ammunition: nothing you can chamber in a barrel is going to do to a bad guy what you’d like to do to him (unless your barrel is 155mm and tows behind an LMTV, which limits your concealment options). Ammo vendors have been making big claims about ammo forever, and in all that time, guys (good and bad) have been surviving hits of “killer” ammo — we personally met two guys who took 12.7 x 108mm rounds and survived, and a friend took a 5.56 point blank through his brain housing group, and he’s still with us. And in all that time, guys (good and bad) have been taking the “golden BB” from a .22 LR or an even-more-anemic .25ACP and they’re now singing in the Choir Invisible.

It was probably predictable that the marketing hot air generated by the RIP ammunition would wind up being used by those who would leave us, disarmed, at the mercy of their fellow liberals, the violent criminals. (We’re not saying the authors of BNR are criminals, we’re saying that they and the criminals share a position that’s soft on crime and hard on self-defense, and we give them the benefit of belief that their motivations and the criminals’ for arriving at the same position are different).

In all of the nonfatal cases the editors of BNR reference, we can assure them that RIP ammo would not be significantly more damaging than common self-defense JHP ammo or even the 19th-Century ball ammo required by military conventions. Indeed, the lower penetration of the RIP fragments and reduced mass (and therefore penetration) of the central penetrator make things easier on the ER docs and surgeons, although it will doubtless be a hassle chasing down all the little copper fragments.

More of our February wisdom:

You can only be sure a threat is negated if the guy is killed, in our opinion. (You can be pretty sure if his condition is, “not dead… yet.” And the only way to put the guy in that state for sure is with hits in the human’s X-ring, the central nervous system. You do your part, and even FMJ will punch the guy’s ticket for him.

And, while we may not agree with the authors of BNR or with the extreme Waldman on much of  anything else, we can find common ground in contempt for most of the people having negligent discharges. Honestly, folks, tighten up your shot group in that area, because you’re giving way too much glee to people who do not have your best interests in mind.

But then, we don’t think there’s a big intersection between the set of readers of this blog, and people committing some of those egregious ND’s. How do you reach people who already know it all? Because those are the guys having the accidents.

In the meantime, most of what the general media, old and new, writes about firearms and ammunition is purest tosh. Case in point.

It’s never just One Thing with Stolen Valor turds

gregory schaffer phony SEALThis New Jersey brownstain was outed as a phony SEAL back in the 2011, but the FBI dismissed the idea of charging or prosecuting him then. Stolen valor, they sniffed, is a victimless crime. Except as we, and everybody else in the community knows, the character deficiencies that lead to some nerdy perv playing Action Guy Dress Up like this, are invariably comorbid with other character flaws and other criminal behavior.

Since Stolen Valor is, pace the FBI, “a victimless crime,” maybe the Bureau should wake up to the fact that it is the veritable lodestone pointing to other crimes, which always have real, human, victims.

In the case of scrawny self-proclaimed “SEAL officer” Gregory Schaffer, the victims were female and underage. In addition to multiple rapes, he also has been indicted for making kiddie porn with some of his victims. Short-Eyes Schaffer told 15- and 16-year-old girls that the employment contracts they’d signed with him obligated them to sexual servitude — and swore them to lifelong secrecy about it. The New York Post, after Monday’s testimony:

Gregory Schaffer, 35, offered the now-18-year-old woman a lingerie shop job in March 2012 and had her sign a flurry of documents.

Schaffer then told the victim that she’d just signed a contract that compelled her to perform a variety of sex acts, prosecutors said at his Brooklyn federal court trial.

“He told me I just signed a document agreeing to do those things with him,” she testified Monday. “I was shocked.”

Schaffer even claimed that he could sue her if she failed to follow the fine print and that she also had unwittingly signed a confidentiality agreement that barred her from discussing the arrangement.

“He said he could sue me for breach of contract and sue my great-grandmother,” she testified, referring to her legal guardian at the time.

Crying and frightened, the woman agreed to have sex with Schaffer. “I was upset,” she recalled of the encounter in a grimy Jersey City office. “I was disgusted.”

The woman testified that she feared for her family and believed that Schaffer could take her to court for not having sex with him.

Prosecutors said his plot developed after he answered her innocent Craigslist ad seeking summer employment in the retail field.

The criminal behavior wasn’t isolated to the shrugged-off Stolen Valor or the sexual peccadilloes, either. Among the facts that came out about Schaffer, when he was finally, belatedly busted:

Agents described Schaffer as a transient with a prison record for theft and several lawsuits against him.

Schaffer’s attorney, Michelle Gelernt, is using the “bitch had it coming, and probably liked it,” defense, claiming that her client’s serial rapes of high-school kids were “consensual,” because “they answered his emails.” That’s part of why the girl was being rational when she believed that the court system might have conspired with Schaffer against her — Gelernt, a court officer, has been glad to do so. The other part, later.

The Post, again, after Tuesday’s testimony:

The prosecutors’ table looked more like a sex toy sample sale Tuesday at the trial of a New Jersey man charged with convincing a Brooklyn teen that she was legally bound to have sex with him.

Brooklyn federal prosecutors said Gregory Schaffer offered the girl, whom was 15 at the time, a nonexistent retail job and then told her that she had unwittingly signed a “sex contract” that compelled her to romp with him.

Scared that he was going to sue her and her family for breach of contract, the underage girl complied with his sick demands in March 2012, prosecutors said.

A swarm of agents raided Schaffer’s Jersey City “office” after the incident and found a trove of sex toys including a penis pump, a sex swing, prosthetic genitalia and lubricant, prosecutors said.

via Filthy toy and video trove revealed in ‘teen sex contract’ trial | New York Post.

And now we get to another reason why it’s reasonable for 15- and 16-year-old rape victims to think the New York court system is likely to make common cause against them, with their rapists:

Judge Allyne Ross barred the jury from viewing handcuffs and restraints that were allegedly found at the office because the items were deemed too inflammatory.

Lord love a duck. That makes perfect sense: can’t show the juror’s the perv’s perv tools, lest they form an opinion he’s a perv or something, whilst he’s on trial for being a perv. That’s the other part of why the girl was rational in fearing the courts were against her: at least this court, and this judge, are.

Fortunately, Schaffer’s SEAL imposture, one of the tools he used to bed these kids, is going to be heading upriver for a while.

Hat tip, Jonn at This Ain’t Hell, who’s been on Schaffer like ugly on an ape for years now.

Pistol OCD: the Pennsylvania State Police

Pennsylvania_State_PoliceIf you want to see inability to decide on a pistol, or maybe it’s just general inability to pour piss out of a boot, you really can’t beat the Pennsylvania State police. They’ve been through three official sidearms in four years, and it’s their own fault. This Pistol OCD has tripped the PSP through pistols so rapidly that they’re not always able to issue all the new ones before changing to the new new one.

This is only possible in a jurisdiction where a somnolent Legislature exercises flaccid oversight over runaway spending. It’s fair to say that the majority of chiefs of police in America would be grateful and thankful for the chance to recapitalize their force’s handguns once every couple decades. Some jurisdictions make (or “let” if you prefer) their cops buy their own guns from an approved list.

The Pennsylvania State Police buys ‘em and issues ‘em — and then does it all over again. It may be that having the academy located in Hershey, PA, the inescapable aroma of chocolate has inhibited their faculties for impulse control.

Pistol No. 1: The Glock 37

During the wave of the 90s, which sent police forces from their 1980s 9mms to larger calibers, the PSP converted to the .40, which they used initially in Berettas (96D, which is DAO mode with no mechanical safety, then Brigadier), then the Glock 22. They had the usual problems with .40 (declining qual scores and poor performance by smaller troopers due to the .40′s sharp recoil), but they didn’t have quality problems with their Berettas (like the 96D whose PSP patch is shown below) or Glocks. They had wear problems on the usual wear items but the armorers stayed on top of them.

PSP Patch Beretta

After 10-15 years’ .40 experience, they were interested in the .45 ACP, and they considered but did not adopt this caliber at first.  Instead, in 2007, some genius decided that they really needed more oomph than the mere .45 Auto gave a bullet. The fact that the .45 ACP round has been indiscriminately writing the numbers after the dash on the grave markers of various shooting victims for a century plus didn’t seem to matter. Various Mexicans, Prussians, Haitians, Nicaraguans, Nazis, Japanese, Koreans, Chinese, Vietnamese, Grenadans, Cubans, Panamanians, and God alone knows how many varieties of civilian miscreants are not around to testify as to the adequacy of the .45 ACP, because they’re dead, Jim.

It’s not clear whether it was the highly theoretical idea that the .45 needed improvement, or perhaps it was fanboy drooling over Glock catalogs, sent them to the .45 Glock Auto Pistol, or .45 GAP, round. While .45 GAP is usually loaded to slightly higher pressures than .45 ACP, it actually has less performance potential because it has a shorter case, smaller primer pocket and thicker web, and less case volume. (The shorter case –  is so that it can be accommodated in a G17/G19 sized grip. The thicker web was a good call, given the weak case-head support in big-bore, The smaller primer pocket serves both to strengthen the case head and all .45 GAP loads, factory and manual, are designed to be ignited with small pistol primers and may be unsafe in .45 ACP with large pistol primers. Ammo, load data, and all components except bullets are not interchangeable between ACP and GAP, and you can’t make safe GAP cases by trimming ACP).

The decision to go with .45 GAP somewhat simplified the pistol buying for them, as only Glock and Springfield make pistols in .45 GAP (maybe Detonics also?), and at the time of the contract it was Glock, period. Therefore, the PSP bought large numbers of Glock 37s. Four thousand eight hundred of them, to be specific. (That covers around 4,720 troopers, plus operational floats to cover for pistols in maintenance or evidence).  So they bought 37s. NTTAWWT, right?

Well, it turns out that there is something wrong with that. Specifically, the ammunition is quite hard to come by. There are few sources, little competition among sources that would be acceptable a risk-averse public agency, and it’s expensive, compared to other pistol rounds. (How expensive? At LuckyGunner.com, .45 GAP ranges from 55¢ to $1.28 a round, while .45 ACP is offered in 31 options for less than the least expensive .45 GAP. True, the cheapest of those are reloads or Wolf steelcase crap no agency would touch with a barge pole, but even name brands like Speer Lawman duty ammo sell for far less in the more common caliber – the GAP is 15¢ or more per round more expensive than .45 ACP for like brands). When ammo is expensive, cops don’t train. When cops don’t train, cops can hit the broadside of a barn. From inside the barn.

When cops miss the bad guy they’re shooting at, or worse,  hit the citizen they’re not shooting at, the worst of all possible things, from the viewpoint of a police manager, ensues: bad publicity. Every police white shirt knows that this is to be avoided at all costs.

The very first Glock 37s were bought in 2007, but they were still buying, stocking, and issuing new Glock 37s in 2013. They had made every effort to make it work, but the ammo supply problem was insuperable, and sooner or later one of Pennsylvania’s dozing legislators was going to wake up and ask why they were paying $1.50 a round for practice ammo. So they decided that the new Glock 37s had to go. They were offered as part of the payment for new guns, with the proviso that a State Trooper could buy a gun (not necessarily his or her old one) back from the vendor within sixty days.

As part of this Invitation for Bid, PSP desires to trade in 4800 Glock Model 37 firearms, each with three clips and are equipped with Glock Night Sights front and rear. The firearms included in the trade-in are 0 to 6 years old and are in NRA good to very good condition.

For sixty (60) days following receipt of the used firearms by the Contractor; PSP Personnel shall have the opportunity to purchase, from that Contractor, a used PSP service firearm. Purchase shall be at trade-in price plus any fees imposed by law or by the Contractor for the proper transfer of the firearm to PSP Personnel. The awarded Contractor shall ensure that the sale of the firearm to the PSP Personnel complies with all applicable State and Federal laws. Following the sixty (60) day time frame, the awarded Contractor may sell or otherwise dispose of the firearms as provided by law

That, in fact, is why you can go online and find several retailers who will happily ship a PSP-crested Glock 37 to your local FFL.

2713699_01_retired_stamped_pennsylvania_s_640

 

Pistol No. 2: the Glock 21 Gen 4

PSP was looking, then, for an easy way out of their .45 GAP dilemma, and the obvious solution of changing to .45 ACP suggested itself, for all the reasons that GAP was problematical. (It may also be the case that the original fanboy behind the G37 purchase had moved on to other duties).

The G21 was an easy decision for a number of reasons. Its manual of arms is identical to the ill-starred G37, minimizing retraining. About the only user-accessible thing that was new on the G4 was the convertible-size backstrap, and that was likely to be received with hosannas by troopers with smaller or larger than average mitts.

There was a rush to execute the contract. The State Police knew they had the funding to do this in 2013, and they couldn’t guarantee they’d have the funding in out years. They could justify the change on both the ammo savings grounds and on the nifty new features (interchangeable backstraps, etc.) of the next-gen Glocks.

So an RFP went out 22 March 2013, and a contract was let for:

SPECIFICATIONS

…an initial order of 4800 Glock 21 Gen 4 firearms, with a contracted option to replenish as needed.

This is a no substitute bid for the firearms and listed accessories; the only firearm that will be accepted for this bid is the Glock 21 Gen 4. The items listed under Training Equipment and Accessories are required.

 

The specifics included the sort of training equipment you’d expect, and training for field armorers and a handful of expert armorers.

As the 21s came in, the 37s went out.

At first, the troopers seemed happy enough with their G21s. Until some of them began running up a high round count. Glock at first denied the guns had problems (we all remember the painful introduction of the G4, right?) and then began addressing specific problems. The union began to rumble, as their officers complained about guns they did not have confidence in.

But as late as 8 April 2013, PSP was still modifying the original G21 contract, in the apparent expectation that the problematic Glock would remain the agency’s service pistol.

Pistol No. 3: the SIG 227R

The problems with the Glock 21 drove the PSP leadership mad. They were frustrating for Glock, too, and Glock executives were bitterly disappointed when PSP changed direction again; from the Glock point of view, the trigger bar and magazine replacements had resolved PSP’s problems. But the real problem was that by this point Glock had lost the confidence of leaders. Once again, personnel turbulence played a role as some of the Glock’s most strident defenders had retired or moved on to positions wherein they couldn’t give their preferred pistol top cover in the bureaucratic battle.

Pistols are one thing that police leaders (like police officers) get emotional about. Everybody is trained to use a pistol, and everybody thinks he or she is above average with it (an arithmetic impossibility). And these emotions get tied up in what everyone pretends is a fight about what works better. The cold fact is most pistols work pretty well, and their differences in specification are tiny compared to their similarities. Another cold fact is that every mass producer of firearms produces occasional individual lemons, and from time to time entire shifts or runs of lemons.

PSP SIG 227

The PSP decided to stay with the .45, but make a radical change: to the SIG P227R. One widely publicized factor in this decision was a series of tests conducted by PSP, in which P227Rs provided by SIG really shone compared to their competitors. Another factor, which has received far less publicity but may have had a greater impact, is the experience that other agencies have had with SIG lately. While some of the Feds are distinctly unhappy, the Indiana State Police are carrying 227Rs and appear to be quite satisfied. An important factor in this satisfaction is that the SIGs haven’t been perfect — but when they haven’t, SIG’s service has been very satisfying to ISP. When Glock grudgingly admitted problems with the 21s, Pennsylvania armorers got a box of trigger bars, and PSP logistical guys got boxes of improved magazines. When SIG determined some parts in some ISP guns were out of spec, SIG sent their armorers not to ISP HQ, but to every individual site, to inspect, R&R the parts, and test the guns with the Indiana armorers.

That was the level of customer service that PSP had felt they were missing from their Glock suppliers.

Unlike the G37 -> G21 transition, the Glock -> SIG transition is a big one.

There is a class in the Academy right now that has the first 150 SIGs. We’ll see how they do, but the rest of the SIGs are rolling out across the force gradually. PSP thought it best this time, given the teething problems of the G21 G4, that they’d start with an academy class, because recruits at the academy shoot a lot more than working line troopers who may only fire for qualification.

Are they going to be happy with the SIG? In the days ahead, we’re going to talk about some famous agencies that have SIGs and are anything but happy. One of them has a warehouse full (literally, not Joe Biden “literally”) of broken SIGs, and there are HQ power struggles over what to  use next (including a MOAR SIGS faction). But that’s another story.

Note that the 4800 pistol requirement in these contracts is an initial contract. Also included is replenishment of 500 guns at a rate of 100 or so a year, spare parts, and training for the PSP’s 70 (!) armorers (one armorer per ~70 cops? They must be hard on their handguns).

So that’s the latest, from a department that’s been through a half-dozen different service pistols in the last 10 or so years. If we were SIG, we would celebrate the sale with an ad buy, but we wouldn’t buy a whole year’s worth of ads.

At least the PSP allows its obsolete guns to be sold in the market. Since every PSP gun is engraved or etched with the force’s crest, they are popular with collectors, helping the vendor recoup the credit he gave for the trade-ins. PSP trade-ins also tend to be well-kept for cop guns, even apart from the Glock 37s scarcely having been shot due to the ammo problem, so they’re an attractive alternative to a new gun for a bargain hunter.

“Battery dead? You’re a terrorist!” –TSA mongs

tsa checkpointAmerica’s laziest, stupidest government agency recently took a step into heights of incompetence never imagined by Laurence J. Peter, when they declared themselves inspectors of your cell phone. Apparently they aren’t fully occupied groping and fondling dwarves, and so the Devil has found work for all those idle blue-gloved hands.

If your phone won’t turn on, something ours wouldn’t do this morning because we didn’t plug it in last night, then You Just Might Be a Terrorist™ and the mighty mongs of the TSA won’t let you come home. Let the Europeans deal with your terrorist ass, and your dormant iPhone, apparently.

Travelers flying directly to the United States from overseas are being asked to turn on their cellphones and laptops before boarding their aircraft, officials said Sunday.

The security measure calls for passengers whose devices cannot be turned on — thus proving that they’re real — to be denied boarding.

The Transportation Security Administration announced the added layer of security, apparently in response to reports that terrorists are designing bombs hidden inside smartphones and laptops.

“As the traveling public knows, all electronic devices are screened by security officers,” the TSA said.

via TSA heightening security on cell phones and laptops | New York Post.

“Security officers.” Ha. That’s a laugh, for human dross recruited from the hard-left tail of the bell curve. They hire on for the promise of a few dollars, the valuables in travelers’ bags, and all the gropes for which pervs hope. No one good, decent, honest, competent, moral, ethical or intelligent has ever been employed at TSA in any capacity whatsoever.

Privates Popping Paper Pandas?

panda target

Note: not the Nork target, we found this on pinterest… it’s from an old archery set!

The event in the title could only happen in North Korea, where weirdness goes to metastasize. But according to Chosun Ilbo, a daily in South (i.e., non-weird, or maybe we should say, less-weird) Korea, the Norks are actually taking shots at panda targets, much the same way that DHS-HSI Special Agents practice on targets of pregnant women and kids, or kids shoot at zombie targets.

The North Korean Army reportedly used images of pandas as shooting targets when leader Kim Jong-un visited a military detachment in Hwa Island, South Hamgyong Province.

A source said on Thursday said Kim Jong-un arrived on the island by boat from Wonsan on Monday.

Kim watched a live-fire artillery drill there, the source added. “I heard from a senior officer from the detachment that they used images of pandas as shooting targets.”

Pandas are the national symbol of China and a sign of a friendly diplomatic relationship.

via The Chosun Ilbo (English Edition): Daily News from Korea – N.Korean Army Uses Pandas as Shooting Targets.

This seems to be saber-rattling in the direction of China, which is not only stupid, but has to mark the Kim dynasty as the greatest set of ingrates to ever sit upon a throne. They only have a country because of the sacrifices of millions of Chinese people, many of whom died far from home so that North Korea could not be free.

And this is how Kim repays them. The Kims are not only ingrates, it seems like their IQ undergoes some kind of reproductive mitosis, dividing in half every successive generation.

OT: Hairy-Armed Feminists Get Extra Credit

Breanna_FahsYou know we’re going to write some words about this, but really, words fail. But you don’t want to see the pictures. We’ll limit the collateral damage to your retinas and optic merves to that produced by a head and top-two-of-three-chins shot of the professor in question.

Female Arizona State University students can receive extra credit for defying social norms and refusing to shave for 10 weeks during the semester.

Women and Gender Studies Professor Breanne Fahs, encourages her female students to cease shaving their underarms and legs during the semester and document their experiences in a journal.

Student Stephanie Robinson said it was a “life changing experience.”

Participant and student Jaqueline Gonzalez said the experience allowed her to start on a path of activism.

“The experience helped me better understand how pervasive gendered socialization is in our culture. Furthermore, by doing this kind of activist project I was no longer an armchair activist theorizing in the classroom.” she said. “So much is learned by actually taking part in the theory or idea we learn in the classroom, and we could benefit from this type of pedagogy being taken up by similar classes.”

via University offers female students extra credit for not shaving their armpits.

In case you wondered why the recent college graduate you hired lacks an 8th Grade knowledge of history, science and especially math, this is part of why. Employers, you might want to file this one away for the day when some applicant shows up trying to trade on a fresh and shiny ASU degree. This class makes basket-weaving look academically rigorous.

Sure, it takes all kinds to make a world, but….

But don’t think that Professor Fahs discriminates against men. They can get extra credit in her content-free classes by bending their secondary sexual characteristics the opposite way and shaving off their armpit, chest and genital hairPresumably, she braids it into her own armpit wigs. Or has the students do it for her. For credit.

Is it just us, or is asking the sort of women who take Women and Gender Studies classes to grow armpit hair, kind of like asking bears to you-know-what in the woods? A picture of some of the participants in Fahs’s class is at the link — we spared you it here. The only way a guy would say “I’d hit that” is if he was holding a clue-by-four.

NIMBYs Never Sleep

Got my sparkle? On the hippies now.

“Jet, your target is way too many hippies.” “Tally hippies.” “Friendlies are south, make your runs from east or west, cleared to engage! Remain this frequency for BDA.”

Ah, yeah, rural Vermont, where gentrifying New Yorkers go to retire without being bankrupted by taxes, or murdered by The Diversity. And whose love for the peace and quiet is so great that they are making common cause with the “peace warriors” that they probably already knew in moonbat-marbled Manhattan. National defense? Half of them are flat against it, and the other half are just against it in their backyard.

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Opponents of a plan to base 18 F-35 fighter planes at Vermont’s Burlington International Airport say the decision should be overturned because of noise, a loss of property values around the airport and the remote possibility one of the planes could crash.

Those are some of the arguments in the lawsuit filed on Monday asking a federal judge to overturn an Air Force decision to base the planes in South Burlington.

Air Force and Vermont National Guard officials say they are unable to comment about the lawsuit.

Among the issues in the lawsuit is that the planes are too loud and they would make more neighborhoods around the airport in South Burlington “incompatible with residential use.”

via Vermont F-35 foes file suit to block deployment.

Hey, if you don’t want to hear airplanes, dumb-ass, don’t build or buy your house in “neighborhoods around the airport.” There was a reason that price seemed too good to be true, genius.

(For what it’s worth, Hog Manor is under the downwind leg for the nearby ex-SAC base, which still hosts a number of KC-135s and both active and reserve aviators who fly the big tankers. They pass overhead at about 1000-2000′ AGL all the time. We think it’s awesome. Jets: the sound of freedom!)

We can understand how some Vermonters might not see it that way, when their idea of freedom usually involves drugs and cow-tipping. Hey, it’s a free country. It has to deploy fighters within reach of its ADIZ. Those two may have some points of correlation, if you think about it.

Our guess is that this lawsuit, given the weakness of its arguments, is not long for the courts. Maybe Ben and Jerry can make a new flavor afterward: Tears of NIMBYs. We’d hit that!

Wayward Python Slithers Home… after 28 Years

When the police didn’t soon solve a storage-unit burglary in Phoenix in 1985, the owners of two stolen guns — an engraved Colt Python and a GI 1911A1 — resigned themselves to the fact that they’d never see them again.

For the 1911, that remains true. But look what showed up last year in a Nashville armed robbery:

Wayward Python

 

Yes, despite interim possession by the criminal class, the Python was recovered little the worse for wear — “not a scratch on it,” the owner confirms. It is a little out of time, probably from generations of cons dry-firing it. (Pythons are very prone to timing problems). The picture and story came from this thread at Reddit. Some of the owner’s comments:

I posted this in /r/pics when I first started with Reddit, well before I learned of gunnit – I thought you might like to see it too. It was stolen out of a Phoenix storage unit in 1985 during a move – long story short, it was recovered in Nashville after being used in an armed robbery – perp pled guilty, cops didn’t need it for evidence, and they returned it to its home. Still missing a Korean War vintage 1911 stolen at the same time. Maybe I will try and dig up some photos and see if Gunnit can help me find it.

…my dad liked the engravings, and we have a lot of handguns that have a similar look. This came back to us in perfect condition – amazingly not a scratch on it.

The wheel is a little out of time, which can happen to these after a lot of use. I imagine it was possibly dry fired hundreds of times while some dude sat on a sofa watching tv

A good Mesa cop followed up and searched us out when the main guy over the case decided he couldn’t find us.

As far as the original burglars escaping justice, we wouldn’t sweat it. The police only close a small percentage of burglaries, because burglars are the most prolific of violent criminals, but the cops arrest all burglars sooner or later.

Don’t you guys just love a happy ending?

Security Theater, Defense Contracting Edition

This is the offending magazine

This is the offending magazine.

We’ve recently been warned of a deadly threat to the Republic: Forbes magazine.

We were a bit taken aback by that, as we’ve thought the magazine has come to, well, stink, since old Malcolm croaked, but we didn’t think it was that bad. Turns out, it is, kinda:

For those who are avid readers of Forbes Magazine, this month’s issue is not authorized in areas that process classified information, secure rooms or vaults.

Introduction of this magazine into areas where classified information is processed, stored, secure rooms or vaults will constitute a security incident.

The most recent issue of Forbes magazine has a special Dell advertisement section that contains a small computer. The advertisement section is located right after page 32 and has a video display with two on/off switches.

The ad in question.

The ad in question.

Pressing either of the switches starts a video. A miniature circuit board with a small microprocessor, a removable micro-SD card, mini-USB port, speakers, and a lithium-Ion battery are hidden behind the page. While the advertisement and associated components appear innocuous, it is still considered an Information Security (IS) device and must be handled accordingly.

This is not the first time a magazine containing an IS device has been circulated. Last year it was a Wi-Fi router device. Please be alert for similar situations in the future and report such discoveries as appropriate.

Well, what are you going to do about that? Turns out, our organization’s sergeant major had the situation well in hand:

I just set a small hare of C4 on my Forbes Magazine and destroyed it.

Gotta love the direct approach. Fire in the security breach!

The guts of the in-ad computer. The security guy's job just got way harder -- this won't be the last one.

The guts of the in-ad computer. It has everything a classical computer has: RAM, processor, I/O, storage. You really don’t want stuff like this in your SCIF.

In all seriousness, we also heard the components of the computerized ad are made in China. That’s a real confidence-builder there. If you do have a facility clearance and did indeed take a copy of this issue of Forbes in there, even the sergeant-major’s direct approach doesn’t spare you the need to report a, “security incident” to your DSS rep. Having been through one of those with a Livescribe pen inadvertently introduced into a conference room at Los Alamos National Labs, we can tell you it’s a lot of unpleasant work for a lot of people.

Every security guy’s job just got markedly harder, even though that surely wasn’t the intent of the advertisers. This may have been the first such computer-stuffed advertisement, but you can bet that this won’t be the last one, either.

“Mini-Me, you complete me.” – the TSA

Not hard to figure out who’s the villain here, as little actor Vern Troyer, best known for his role in the Austin Powers films, gets the blue-gloves-where-the-sun-don’t-shine treatment from the fine folks at the TSA:

verntroyer_gets_groped

 

For crying out loud, he’s just an actor who played an evil guy. (He’s probably a perfectly nice fellow in person). Does this mean they’re waterboarding Sacha Baron Cohen for the secrets of the nuclear WMD programs of Wadiya?

Well, it is the TSA. No one good, decent, honest, competent, moral or ethical has ever been employed at TSA in any capacity whatsoever.