Category Archives: Don’t be THAT guy

How One Criminal Got His Guns

Jiminez380coverThanks to the anti-gun animus of the editors of the Palm Beach Post, who are trying to spin the Aaron Hernandez murder trial into an indictment of gun owners in general, we have a pretty good idea of how one gang member and murderer — Hernandez — got his weapons.

Would you believe, through straw purchases by fellow gang members, and other black-market sources?

Hernandez is a member of the Latin Kings gang and a former football player. (Maybe they have football in prison, so maybe not “former.” On the other hand, his jury of sports-addled Bostonians has been out for a very long time as we file this, so he might wind up with the benefit of a hung jury or an acquittal.  But his guilt is established for all except rabid Patriots fans. Update: he was convicted Wednesday morning. Next phase: two more murder trials). You see, unlike most Latin Kings members, Hernandez had talents other than crime, to wit, football; he was a star tight end and a 2009 college All-American. Because of his gang affiliation, most of pro football scouted him and let the idea of signing him drop, but the Patriots organization thought they could salvage him, however mistakenly, and drafted him. Hernandez, after involvement in at least one other shooting, murdered a criminal associate named Odin Lloyd, for which he’s now on trial.

The Post had a Page 1 story on Monday, April 13, about Hernandez’s guns, sharing above-the-fold space with more usual Post “reportage,” a worshipful prose paean to a politician. The Hernandez story, by Joe Capozzi, tells the story of Palm Beach County’s own players in the story, such as Oscar “Papoo” Hernandez Jr., no relation to Aaron Hernandez (except inasmuch as they may have been gang brothers — the news reporting has always downplayed the gang element in the murder).

Aaron Hernandez’s connection to FL is clear — he was a star at the University of Florida before the NFL draft where no one but the Patriots would touch him. Papoo, of Belle Glade, FL, received a $15,000 wire from Aaron Hernandez, and then… shipped him a car. The car, a nondescript used Toyota Camry with its Florida plates still on, was found in Hernandez’s garage. But the transaction wasn’t about the car. The car contained something special for the gangbanging jock: at least three firearms.

The three firearms included two cheap .22s bought at True Value Hardware on Main Street in Belle Glade, a .22 Jimenez Arms pistol (one of the dirt cheap pot-metal .22s once manufactured in Southern California) that was found near Lloyd’s body (but was not the murder weapon). That particular .22 was bought on 15 April 2013 by a questionable character named Gion Jackson, who says…

  1. he bought it for self-defense;
  2. and then he put it in the trunk of his car;
  3. from which it must have been stolen, because when ATF traced the murder-scene gun in June 2013 from manufacturer to True Value to him, he didn’t know it wasn’t in his trunk any more; and,
  4. he often lends his car to random people so he has no idea who might have taken it.
  5. and oh, yeah, one more thing: he was at the store on 15 April and so was his good buddy Aaron Hernandez, at the same time, but they didn’t talk to each other and didn’t plan to be there together. He sure wasn’t buying the gun for his prohibited friend.

As implausible as that story is, Jackson got up on the stand and testified to it. As far as we know he’s not charged with anything.

The other .22 from True Value, also bought in April (although it’s not clear, by whom) wound up in a Providence, Rhode Island street, thrown down after an incident involving Hernandez, a gang-infused retinue, and a heckling Jets fan in May 2013..

The third firearm, a Hungarian AK clone, was also bought 15 April 2013 at the Delray Beach Shooting Center. We don’t know who bought it, because ATF couldn’t find the “James Joseph” who signed for it, but range and store owner Mike Caruso says he wasn’t Hernandez:

I can tell you that Aaron Hernandez didn’t buy it. I’m a big Patriots fan and if Aaron Hernandez walked into my gun store to buy a rifle, I would know who he was.

Well, Mike didn’t get to sell Hernandez (who was apparently a prohibited person anyway, for a record stretching back many years) a gun, but he did have this year’s Super Bowl, so there is that.

In any event, the three firearms were acquired on or about 15 April 13. It is surely the smallest of coincidences that Papoo received a wire from Aaron Hernandez on that day. (For $15,000; maybe the athlete was expecting a big tax refund). It is surely the smallest of coincidences that Papoo then stuffed the guns in a Camry and shipped it to Hernandez. And the least of coincidences that one would be found at an assault scene in Rhode Island the next month, one would be found at a murder scene in two months, and one (the AK) would be found in a black gym bag in the back seat of the Camry, in the accused murderer’s garage. Loaded.

That’s what ATF calls a short “time to crime.” A typical crime gun traveled in legitimate commerce for years before being stolen or otherwise diverted into criminal channels. Guns that turn up at murder scenes mere months from their legitimate legal sale are indicators of potential straw purchases and trafficking. Typically, the straw purchases in this case have not been pursued by ATF and the responsible US Attorney.

If Aaron Hernandez beats this rap, it’s not all roses for him. He’s still facing other charges, including two other murders, and five gun charges (including ones related to these exact firearms). The case has been interesting because it elucidates how criminal organizations like the Latin Kings move firearms in interstate commerce without leaving a trace (unless investigators can break or turn one of the human links in the chain).

It’s also interesting because, for all these weapons Aaron Hernandez was going through in his life of crime, one which has not turned up is the murder weapon he used on Lloyd — that pistol, a Glock .45, has never been recovered.

Breaking: Flashbang GUILTY. Guilty, guilty, guilty!

rolling_stone_dzhokar_flashbang_coverThis isn’t exactly a shock to anyone with brain stem function, but Dzhokar “Flashbang” Tsarnaev was found guilty on the charges that he faced in connection with his mass murder at the Boston Marathon in . There were 17 counts that carry the death penalty. Of those, Flashbang was found guilty of 17. There were 13 counts that do not. Of those, Flashbang was found guilty of 13.

Yep, that means you’re convicted of everything. Lots of good that dream team of lawyers did you, eh? But then, Flashbang, you weren’t paying them, were you?

Rule #1 for freebies: if you’re not paying for the product, my simple self-immolator, you are the product. You just starred in endless hours of lawyer advertising, which you thought was your defense.

Sorry about that.

Nah. Not sorry.

His next date is with the same jury, who get to decide whether he gets life in prison, or just life in prison until his appeals run out, when he’d then get put down like a rabid dog. Dulce et decorum est, eh. The answer would be self-evident but we are talking about a Massachusetts jury here.

As always in an actual terrorism case, media purveyors of false equivalency were hardest hit.

Writers and editors at Rolling Stone, where the entire staff are rabid Dzhokar fans, are so shaken that they had to take a break from fabricating their next rape story.

Some alternate Rolling Stone covers after the jump.

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Where the Army’s Worst Duds Go: “Equal Opportunity”

In basic training, we sat through our first EO Lecture® and quickly were mystified. The presenter, a guy with an Afro and Fu well beyond regulation (hey, it was the seventies) and delivered the lecture in an urban patois that would later become known as, “Ebonics.” He told us that everything about white people and black people was different, everything, even their handshakes, and he demonstrated a 30-movement, intensively-choreographed handshake he called a “dap.” It was the duty of all white people to cut all black people slack in everything, because we couldn’t hope to understand each other, even the handshakes.

The white guys looked at the black guys, and the black guys at the white guys. (In those days, we had only a few Hispanic guys, all recent immigrants who couldn’t understand the lecture anyway (¡no habla!) and used the time to try to catch up on their sleep). We looked at each other and thought, whaaa?

“You guys shake hands like that? How come we never see it, is it like a secret handshake?”

Our buddy Phil shook his head. “Man, I’ve never heard of this stupid $#!+. We shake hands like everybody else, for %_@&!’s sake!” Phil, by the way, spoke English like the rest of us.

EOAsPoster31Jan13That was our introduction to a particular species of Army assclown, the Equal Opportunity NCO.

The EO NCO was always a black guy, and in our memory, he was always a fat, stupid, truculent black guy who had landed in EO after failing spectacularly at something substantive. No EO NCO, never one in memory, made even a micrometer-measurable contribution to mission. No, he sat and festered all year until his one annual opportunity to do The EO Lecture® to a room of soporified captives as part of “annual check-the-box training,” the place where units dispose with dispatch (and, usually, contempt) of whatever dumb initiatives someone in the E Ring has demanded deserve a training class. The EO Lecture® changed a good bit over the years, as it was driven by fad-focused academic “grievance studies” goons, but the basic ingredients were, and are, these:

  1. The Army used to be way, wicked racist. (There are many examples to cite here; so far, so true).
  2. The Army got over it, but some people and some parts of society still are.
  3. Different races may have different cultural experiences
  4. So don’t be shocked if someone who doesn’t look like you doesn’t act like you.
  5. But this is the Army, and we treat everybody the same.
  6. Maybe you’re a racist, and the Army can’t control what’s in your mind…
  7. But it can damn well control what comes out of your mouth, and racist expressions and actions will not be tolerated.
This has leaked into the other services, too. Here a USAF EO NCO delivers The Lecture.

This has leaked into the other services, too. Here a USAF EO NCO delivers The Lecture to a room full of eager students poor bastards needing a block checked.

(On #5, One is reminded of USAF General Chappie James’s famous quip that the Marines had no race issues because they treat everybody like black people).

The Army has, like all services do these days, a massive EO/Diversity bureaucracy comprising a large number of officers and NCOs, mostly racial minorities (an unstated requirement for the MOS was, from its creation in the hippy-dippy seventies through the nineties if not to today, that the individual be black), and mostly men who had failed at other specialities for lack of intellect, effort, or moral fibre.

Naturally the Pentagon provides swarms of Good Jobs At Good Wages™ for diversity bureaucrats at all levels to SES, throughout the services. In a strange funhouse reflection of Jim Crow, most of these GS-15s and SESes have no qualifications for their phony baloney jobs except for skin color. Some are graduates of the content-lite racialist Grievance Studies programs whose instructors allow universities to make their “diversity” skin-shade quotas, without bringing substandard teachers and researchers into traditional departments. In Diversity World, scholarship’s requirements are few and inconsequential. Even English orthography is excluded from their topsy-turvy world: to expect correct spelling and grammar is a form of oppression, you see. You raaaaacist!

As you might expect for people whose livelihoods are conditioned on finding racism everywhere, they look at everything through a racialist lens, and are simply a photographic negative of Bull Connor or Lester Maddox. Not surprisingly, if your world is one of all-race-all-the-time, your keenly tuned nose smells traces of latent racism everywhere. If black troops and white troops in a unit form friendships across races, perhaps based on assignment, with, say, a tank crew going pub-crawling together despite being four guys of three different races — there’s two ways they can explain that. (1) The black guys are Uncle Toms (incidentally, you will interrogate a thousand EO NCOs before you find one who has read even the Cliff Notes of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, or know that it was written by a white abolitionist); (2) The white guys are oppressors dividing and conquering the black guys, and preventing them from free association. The idea that a TC, driver, loader and gunner might actually become friends despite widely disparate backgrounds is utterly foreign to EO World. “But… they’re not the same color!”

But that’s not even enough, now that we have tens of thousands of useless people whose job is to conduct Reconstruction, as if that had not been done, already, historically speaking; and who work most often at cross-purposes to institutional goals of unity and solidarity in the ranks. No, in recent years the DOD budget has become a Christmas Tree of handouts to professional Diversity Firms, the noxious product of all those university racialist Grievance Studies departments. So it’s bad enough that your unit must bear the dead weight of an EO NCO who is, most often, a complete waste of skin. But now he doesn’t even have to do his single actual duty, his annual Don’t Be A Racist In My Army brief, because it’s been outsourced to some gang of racial grievance entrepreneurs who are connected to Administration figures. So now, some fat chick from White Guilt Industries® comes in and reads the slides, and gets $20k for the day she goes around from unit to unit telling all the races they should be at loggerheads.

SIG BDE White Privilege Slides

But, remember, if these people were good at anything, they wouldn’t be dong this. So even a simple task like 45 minutes of Death By Powerpoint™, where they already made the Powerpoint deck for you, gets bungled. Which is how we got to the point where the racist EO reps of the 35th Signal Brigade and their contractors wound up presenting a slide show that was, instead, about White Privilege and how evil whites are. And you see, they explained, when you think you (or any white guy, if you’re not white) are not racist, that’s when you’re most racist of all.

So take that, all you raaaaacists out there.

UPDATE:

The Army EO Program has decided that they will respond to this. How so? Everyone gets to experience more EO Lectures, and the EO NCOs will get more training on how to teach White Privilege to auditoriums full of privileged PFCs. (Didn’t feel privileged when you were a PFC? That’s the “Luxury of Obliviousness,” Jeff Davis). Firing the racist presenter? Oh, no. That might start a deluge.

And where would such a person find work?

When Guns are Outlawed, only Outlaws Will Have Vodka

vodka-belvedere-magnum-1-75lIt’s a chilling scene, the way this newspaper story describes it:

On the night of Duffy’s death, student Emily Uezyoga, a friend, attended the party and walked in to find him passed out on the couch, according to the court documents. At that time he appeared to be in “decent shape,” and smiled when she shook him and said hello, she said in a statement to police.

After 1 a.m. she found Duffy passed out, sitting on the floor of the shower with Rosengarten standing over him. Uezyoga checked back later to find him in worse condition; the color was completely drained from his face and his lips were bluish purple, she said. His head was slumped down, and drool was dripping out of his nose and mouth.

via UAlbany student death: Fatal hazing details in court – Times Union.

Whoa. From there they go on to describe the usual stuff — CPR attempts, CYA attempts, all that. But let’s rewind to the first page of the story (above link was to page two). On the first page, we learn:

Hours before the Nov. 15 party that lead to his death from alcohol poisoning, University at Albany student Trevor Duffy was promised by the brothers of an underground fraternity that no one was ever killed while pledging, according to court documents.

After a night of being forced to consume a handle, or a bottle with about 60 ounces, of Belvedere Vodka, the 19-year-old sophomore from the Bronx was found unconscious and ashen in a bathroom at the clandestine fraternity’s house at 461 Hamilton St. in Pine Hills. He died Nov. 17 at Albany Medical Center Hospital.

Geez. We’re so far beyond frat party days that we have to shamefacedly admit that one weapon we have never before seen is a “handle” of Vodka. People, this is why you do not drink with your GRU counterpart no matter how friendly he seems: that level of vodka drinking is strictly for acclimatized pros in current training, which is to say, Siberians and Finns, who seem to be bred for it in a way we temperate-zone dwellers are not.

We learn from the Intertubes that a handle is a half gallon, or its metric equivalent, the slightly smaller 1.75-liter bottle.

Yet he was surprised by the FOOM!

FOOM!The story says he was a “respected military reservist.” That is, before he got the bright idea of using a .50 tracer round as a firework.

By heating it with a blowtorch.

With his parents and sister right there. 

Let’s run that equation, shall we? Cordite + h (heat) + containment vessel (i.e. fixed ammunition) + t (time) = you guessed it, FOOM! And a trip for two to the hospital for removal of embedded brass shards, burnt and unburnt powder, and all the usual FOOM by-products.

As the French-looking Secretary of State, currently playing Lee at Appomattox with some random gang of mullahs, might have said whilst tugging his long chin, “Quelle surprise.”

The family was outside their home with the reservist, who had recently served in Afghanistan and returned home in the fall of 2014 with a souvenir — a .50-caliber machine gun round, said the commander.

“It’s one bullet but it’s not a regular bullet. It was a tracer round which, if you take the bullet out of the shell and light it on fire, it will act like a flare or a firework. So he took a blow torch to ignite it and he lit the bullet tracer round but it did not act like a firework,” said Moravec. “It exploded. It was a flash explosion.

“What he thought would happen didn’t.”

via Reservist, family injured by souvenir machine gun bullet – Lake County News-Sun.

Famous last words, those: “What he thought would happen, didn’t.” Seriously? What in the name of the naiads of Niffelheim (yes, we’re mixing our mythologies in shameless pursuit of alliteration) did he think would happen?

We could have told him what was going to happen: “A couple of you knuck-heads are getting a bolance ride.”  And indeed, the 25-year-old Prometheus and his 23-year-old Kid Sister got hauled to the ER, defragmented (it’s not just for hard drives any more!), and patched up. Mom and Dad were more lightly injured and refused medical treatment.

Way to make the reserves look like the Short School Bus version of the military, kid.

Still, the momentary lapse of forebrain activation that leads to “accidents” like this (scare quotes, because there’s nothing accidental about heating propulsive powder in a contained space and getting a bang) is not reserved for any particular unit, branch or contingent. A brash young SF soldier of our acquaintance did something nearly as stupid with a .50 round in Afghanistan. (Alas, he was an 18B). He has adjusted well to life with nine fingers, so there is that.

Serial Number ID10T: Negligent Discharge Edition

There’s a show on TV somewhere called Doomsday Preppers. Based on the clips we’ve seen, It’s dedicated to the Hollywood proposition that anyone taking measures to be ready for natural or (to use that wonderful DHS locution) “man-made disasters” is (1) an inbred, mouth-breathing moron, and (2) an irresponsible “gun nut.” The actors on the show seem intent on proving these propositions, in the limited set of clips that we’ve seen. In this one, Tim, one of the on-camera “talent” in the show, grapples with the consequences of a negligent discharge:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qth1k962_9A

Unfortunately, the camera picks up the “writing” but is not on time to snag the ND. Still you can figure it out by parsing out the lame excuses: 

  1. 0:10: “Damn thing uh, just misfired on it.” Er, no it didn’t. Misfire is what happens when a gun that is commanded to fire does not.  In this case, the problem was where his left hand was when his right hand commanded the firearm to go bang. 
  2. 0:31: “As soon as Tim’s gun misfired and hit his thumb…” Er, no it didn’t. See above. Well, it did hit his thumb… that we’ll concede.
  3. 0:45: “It was one of those… malfunctions…” Er, not it wasn’t, Tim. Man up. The gun functioned perfectly and did what your trigger finger directed it to do, which was, in this case, blow out most of the bone between the first and second knuckles of his left thumb. Guns are stupid, but generally obedient to humans’ commands. Humans, conversely, are just stupid. Q.E.D.
  4. 047: “My thumb went in front of the barrel…” Gee, no idea how that happened! It just went. Er, no it didn’t. Thumbs generally respond to motor impulses generated deep inside the brain housing group. Yes, it was dumb to do, but you did it, and you’re gonna own it.
  5. 0:49: “…and, uh, it went off.” Funny how guns owned by bozos have this propensity for just going off like that.

Now, this is not mere entertainment TV, where we’re meant to jape at Tim’s buffoonery and chortle at his pain and suffering. (Although it would take a heart of stone not to do that, and we’re not in that much of a granite state that we won’t). This is also meant, by its Hollywood impresarios, to educate and uplift people away from taking care of themselves, and towards Letting George Do It, or, perhaps, these days, Letting Big G Do It. That’s an insidious message, and you would do well to reject it. It is never a bad idea to look out for you and yours.

There’s being prepared, and being a “prepper.”

You don’t need to define yourself as a “prepper” to see the sense in being prepared for interruptions in the just-in-time flow of food, water, fuel, and electricity to your home (not to mention interruptions in Rule of Law). Two nice young Mormons came by yesterday; they didn’t sign us up for Latter-Day Sainthood, but their visit did remind us that their neighborly faith asks its votaries to be prepared, much as the Scout’s Motto does; their people tend to be prepared to weather hard times, even though it’s been a long time since their opponents put their ancestors to the sword and drove the survivors to Utah.

On survival, the best is the enemy of the good. It’s easy to get started by laying in a weekend’s, then a week’s, then a month’s worth of water and food and fuel. You may never need it (a fine thing, yes?), so use things that you can rotate through your daily life, not bizarre “survival” stuff. Interruptions in any normal traffic tend to be short; long interruptions are vanishingly rare. Preparing for a short loss of supply availability (or rule of law) will get you past most probable risks. If we descend into Mad Max Universe, yes, you may need to be like Tim (except, we hope, less stupid — imagine what happens to a guy who shoots his thumb nearly off in a situation without an EMT on hand and an ambulance and hospital on call). But that catastrophic outcome is a highly improbable one. Fire, flood, and extreme weather events are all much more likely than nuclear war or any of the environmental extinction-porn causes that generate over-CGI’d propaganda from Hollywood.

Now for the Gun Safety lesson

ND-shot-in-footThere was a guy years ago who loaded a .45 and put a webcam on it for years, waiting for it to “just go off.” It never did. (I think his hosting company went out of business, which ended the experiment).

However, we bet if you gave an empty, clear and inspected firearm to “Tim” here or to his gang of Dumbsday Preppers, it would not be long before “kaBANG!” echoed across the land, as Tim almost literally realized the last line of Kipling’s brilliant The Gods of the Copybook Headings.

And the lesson there is: guns are machines. It is incumbent on you to master your machine, and not be dictated to by it. Lest you wind up on TV making lame excuses for your lack of opposable thumbs.

Benchwork with Bubba: Mosin Edition

On this lovely weekend day, as a light snow sprinkles on us in seacoast New Hampshire (Dear God, winter can end any time), we settle in to spend some quality time with our favorite (in entertainment terms)  gunsmith, Bubba. If you’re a habitué of Reddit’s /r/guns, you probably caught this beauty last week, but if not, here it is in all its… glory. It is stunning, for some values of “stunning.”

Tula bubbad Mosin 001Obviously, the guy who posted this bubba’d Mosin on Imgur is having some fun with it, as he carefully photographed it with the props of booze and cartridges. The booze? He explains, “Alcohol for scale and realism.” Gives you the full Bubba. (He is a Marine vet of Afghanistan and has another Imgur page with info about the weapons he used).

This gun seems to hit the high points of Bubbadom on several levels.

  • It started with a Finnish M39, a collector Mosin. The front sight was removed along with the last few inches of the barrel. We doan need no stankin’ sights. The rear sight, however, was left on, because removing that is Hard To Do.
  • The stock is hacked down and the Modern Art forearm tip grafted on.
  • The whole thing is painted OD. Can’t tell if it’s a brush job or rattle cans. When his phone doesn’t ring, it’s the Maaco Crappy Auto Body franchise not offering him a job in their DILLIGAFF Paint Shop.
  • That bolt handle… ugh. First, the workmanship looks like a reject from a Teach Yourself Welding class. Second, that bolt handle is extended and the weirdo industrial knob (which has more than a whiff of Harbor Freight about it)  is cleverly located forward and underneath the trigger entirely; believe it or not, the idea behind modifying rifle bolts, back in the days of Peak Sporterizing, was to make the bolt easier and faster to operate, as well as to clear a scope and mount. Tula bubbad Mosin 002
  • Given that this guy has the metal-shaping skills of Katy Perry, this Acme bolt handle didn’t clear the stock, so he chiseled a gouge in the stock for it to rest in. That part is left in the original bare birch or whatever for contrast. Scandinavian Design FTW!
  • Rather than apply his welding savoir-faire to the trigger, he took the coward’s way out and added a big wide trigger shoe. Because he who dies with the most mods on his gun, wins.
  • The Thalidomide bolt handle still didn’t clear the scope and mount, so you can see some crude saw (note toolmarks) has been used to chop off the after end of the scope.
  • The $10 bargain basement scope (he thinks, a Center Point) and mounts are guaranteed to last at least until the gun is fired. No, handled. Until the gun is handled.
  • The stilt-high see-through mounts are meant to be used with iron sights, by people who buy $10 scopes and therefore need to go to backup any time they hunt outdoors in weather (when was the last time you hunted indoors?). Therefore a cheek weld is impossible.
  • So a hunk of foam is Ace-bandaged on to the stock to make a sort of rustic cheekpiece.

Bubba Facit, as the Romans might have said.

There are actually two versions of the Imgur post, here and here, with very slight differences in the wording, but the same pictures.

Somewhere in Finland, a guy who spent a hunk of the last century turning Mosins into finely crafted moose and elk hunting rifles is weeping inconsolably.

Friday Federal Follies: VA, TSA, DEA, ATF: Fifty Ways to Fail your Nation

Rather than do a more general Friday Tour d’Horizon, we thought we’d zero in today on various ways that various federal agencies are screwing up.

Yes, it is shooting fish in a barrel.

The Department of Veterans Affairs

VA-veterans-affairsTo start with, we have the VA. When they banished some stumblebum named Diana Rubens from the Bureaucrats’ Right Hand of God®, a DC assignment, way out to the far provinces, to wit, Philadelphia, she exacted a payment by way of compensation.

The Department of Veterans Affairs confirmed Wednesday that it paid a senior manager $288,000 in “relocation payments” when it reassigned her from Washington last year to become director of the agency’s problem-riddled Philadelphia office.

The chairman of the House Veterans Affairs committee called the payment to Philadelphia Director Diana Rubens “outrageous.”

Ya think? He also said it “raises questions about VA’s commitment to fiscal responsibility.”  What questions? It perfectly illustrates VA’s fiscal responsiblity, about that of a two-year-old. Nevertheless, a mealy-mouthed spokesman, himself a worthless six-figure drain on the taxpayers, stepped up to defend the VA’s practices of fraud, waste and abuse:

A department spokesman told the Philadelphia Inquirer that federal regulations allow the payment of certain relocation expenses, including the costs of house-hunting, moving, terminating leases, and a per diem rate for meals and temporary housing.

Translation: “Shaddup, peasant, or we’ll give the next payroll patriot half a mil.”

What did your last move cost your employer (or, more likely, you?) The VA paid over $2,000 per mile to move Rubens. No matter how Rubenesque her lifetime swilling at the government trough has made her, that’s too much. Remember, when they say they don’t have enough money to treat sick vets, it’s not that they don’t have money. It’s just that spending it on their ostensible mission is a lower priority than six-figure bogus bonuses for underperformers.

Added VA Item: Exec Given Bonuses for Failing retires

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that “embattled” VA official Glenn Haggstrom, who was paid large bonuses — more in bonuses than a middle-class annual income — whilst overseeing $2 billion in cost overruns and blowing through deadline after deadline, has quietly retired . About the only difference this makes is that he can’t get more bonuses now. We paid him for not doing his job before, and now we’re going to pay him for not doing his job for the rest of his life.

Added VA Item: Legislators Introduce Bill requiring VA to fund hospitals over bonuses.

Naturally, the VA opposes the bill. Details here. Driving the bill is the VA’s budgetary incontinence on the cost of construction of a new hospital in Aurora, CO (eastern suburb of Denver), where the cost bill rocketed from $630 million to $1.73 billion, nearly triple, in about eight months, due to mismanagement by Coffman (in fact the original cost was $328 million, so mismanagement has amplified the cost more than fivefold since the beginning). Amid accusations and acrimony all round, the contractor has walked off the job and the hospital project is standing abandoned and vandalized at this writing. But what’s most important to VA managers got taken care of: Coffman got $64,000 in bonuses. We might not have a king, but it’s good to be Beltway nobility. (Silly colonists, thought they’d built a republic).

TSA: Expedited Pre-Check for Notorious Terrorist

Sarah Jane Olson TSAThe weirdo California terrorist gang, the Symbionese Liberation Army, was one of those bizarre ructions of the 70s. But another bizarre ruction of the 70s was giving terrorists short prison sentences, and one of the released SLA creeps was a woman who then went by the nom de guerre Kathy Soliah, but whose real name was Sara Jane Olson. Soliah/Olson showed up at Minneapolis-St. Paul airport recently, where the TSA’s vaunted pre-check system flagged her as a person needing only token screening.

No one good, decent, honest, intelligent, moral or ethical has ever been employed by TSA in any capacity whatsoever.

CBP: The Border Patrol Perv

Elsewhere in the morass that is DHS, it looks like a Border Patrol supervisor was, not to put too fine a point on it, a perv. Armando Gonzalez is charged with setting up hidden cameras to film women in a restroom at the Chula Vista CBP station.

If we’re not going to let the Border Patrol, you know, patrol the jeezly border, then we shouldn’t be shocked when the devil finds work for these idle hands.

The DEA: Hookers OK, So Long As the Drug Cartels Pay

You have to hand it to senior managers of the DEA who figured out how to avoid getting bad press for spending government money on sex parties with throngs of hookers. They just had their good buddies, the drug cartels, pay for the hookers. Hey, no conflict of interest there.

But the report says they really cracked down on the crooked agents who were partying with the drug traffickers: some of them got punitive suspensions of from two to ten days. (The longer suspensions went to Supervisory Special Agents who took bribes from the drug dealers in the form of “money, expensive gifts, and weapons,” according to the OIG report).

We guess now the drug cops and drug dealers go dutch on the whores, and that’s OK. You could say they’re consolidating agency purchases of hookers and hookahs.

Between the DEA hiring their hookers and the ATF shipping them guns, it’s only a matter of time before the Sinaloas and Los Zetas have their own SEIU local.

ATF: Banning Bullets, Buggering Buddies!

ATF-Molan LabeITEM: Speaking of the ATF, America’s Triggerhappy Favorites also got fired up a bit in the same OIG report that broke the story of the DEA’s drug-funded hooker mixers. In a case that’s been widely covered, for example at CleanUpATF.org, the ATF’s Director of Industry Operations was caught by police in New Orleans prostituting himself in a hotel room. He had replaced a bathroom door with one containing a “glory hole” (if you don’t know, count yourself lucky) and advertised his services on Craigslist in the “men seeking men” personals. His defense? He did this all the time while he was traveling. His punishment? None. After all, ATF senior managers don’t want to be biased against gays, prostitutes, and gay prostitutes, especially in senior ATF management where they’re probably pretty common.

ITEM: In addition, “ATF training” meant something different to two training instructors than to the rest of them. The wayward pair seduced new agents in a training class — for years. And the Program Manager covered for them — for years. Their punishment? Well, they’re still there, still screwing all the new hires, so apparently B. Todd Jones and Tom Brandon thought that was punishment enough.

ITEM: ATF’s drone program was crucified by another report. (That’s a news story; here’s the OIG report). The Bureau blew over $600k on six drones it then never used. Then, it threw another six-figure purchase order down, and bought five more of yet another type or kind. It appears to be driven by FBI envy, but the FBI has fixed wing aircraft as well as drones (the FBI also has 17 drones, but only two pilots. Soviet planning lives at the Hoover Building!). ATF lost its authority for fixed-wing capability when it was found to be acquiring OV-10 reconnaissance/strike aircraft after its fiascos at Waco and Ruby Ridge. In the fallout from the attempted attack-plane acquisition, the then-head of aviation services for ATF was found to be stealing from the agency, and went to prison.

It appears that in addition to its two sets of non-working drones, which produced only one failed attempt at flight, ATF has also had drone missions flown by DHS and FBI, although the record-keeping of all three agencies is too dodgy to count them.

It’s the bad managers at ATF that make things hard for the other percent. But now that they’ve blown over a million dollars on drones without anything to show for it, they’ve decided what they really need is a drone needs analysis.

So that they can justify buying moar dronez. Words fail.

ITEM: ATF Agent, AUSA Corruption & Affair sink cases

Last month, a Federal judge threw ATF agent Lou Valoze and AUSA Cameron Ippolito out of the Southern District of Georgia courts for a long-standing affair and related corruption that has tainted every prosecution to emerge from Valoze’s long string of “storefront stings” in the area. Some 332 cases are in jeopardy (200 involving the dynamic duo directly and 132 more involving Ippolito and Valoze’s subordinate agents), and it appears that the two lovers systematically and routinely lied to judges, which judges tend not to like (although you’d think they’d have gotten used to it). An OIG investigation continues, but so far, no consequences for the two crooked Feds. The defendants they lied into jail aren’t happy, and an interesting detail in that same story: Valoze and Ippolito are both married, just not to each other.

These guns, displayed as seized in a Pulaski, GA storefront sting, are some of the guns ATF keeps in Atlanta for press conferences.

These guns, displayed this time as fruits of a Pulaski, GA storefront sting, are some of the guns ATF keeps in Atlanta for press conferences.

It’s possible that some of the criminals Valoze and Ippolito teamed up to incarcerate will stay in, but if so, it will be despite their dishonest efforts.

It was defense attorney Amy Lee Copeland who exposed the Ippolito/Valoze affair, forcing US Attorney Ed Tarver, who had long known of and tolerated it, to admit it to the court.

ITEM: Another US Attorney in Love / Trouble

Amanda Marshall, US Attorney for Oregon, was involuntarily put on leave early this month after credible allegations emerged that she was stalking one of her subordinates.

And that’s not all….

…it looks like even Interpol is rotten to the core, as another tale of nepotism and corruption teaches us.  Which might be a good time to wrap this post up.

interpol

 

 

NOTE

This post has been edited since going live on 271800 Mar 2015. Two more examples have been added to the initial section on the Veterans Administration, thanks to tips in the comments and email.

OT: What Does it Take to Get Fired, if You’re a Professor?

Marco DorfsmanWell, you could ask Marco Dorfsman (amusingly called Draftsman in one place in the story — Damn You Autocorrect!), and he could tell you.

In December of 2012, Dorfsman altered the student evaluations of his colleague, French lecturer Emilie Taplin, by lowering her student evaluation scores. Court documents state that Dorfsman changed the average scores for every class Taplin taught that semester, as well as her overall average awarded by students. The tampering made it appear that her performance fell below acceptable limits for her department, court documents state.

Taplin’s contract for re-employment for the 2013 calendar year was still under consideration and had not been renewed as of the time Dorfsman altered her student evaluations. In January, Dorfsman said he came forward with what he had done.

“Last December I had what I can only say was an emotional breakdown and I did a terrible thing,” Dorfsman said in an email sent to colleagues on April 19, 2013. “I lost my judgment and in a moment of great stress I tampered with a colleague’s student evaluations.”
The Professional Standards Committee of the Faculty Senate terminated Dorfsman in May 2013 due to “moral turpitude” after an investigation.

But wait! If you were to, as we’re always saying, Read The Whole Thing™, you’d see that it’s not necessarily over. Dorfsman fought the firing, and an independent arbitrator let him stay — even while noting that his underhanded attack on Prof Taplin’s reputation (the reason for which attack is not stated, but we reckon we can guess) not only jeopardized her job (we can not find her listed as current UNH faculty) but also her work visa, which was contingent on the job.

A judge has, on appeal by the University, reinstated Prof Dorfsman’s firing, and rejected a motion for reconsideration. Dorfsman may now appeal to a higher court.

From time to time we encountered the guy in SF who had all the tools to excel in SF but instead displayed what our society once was not ashamed to call what the university has called it in this case — “moral turpitude” (a term that can be a legal term of art with a very narrow meaning, but we’re using it in its broadest and most general sense). Sometimes he had buddies and teammates and even leaders who would go to bat for him, but these cases never ended well (one such has just been an occasion for an enlightening backchannel discussion with a distinguished retired SF officer). The right answer always is the same: give the guy leave and impetus to go excel elsewhere.

Prof Dorfsman may feel terrible about what he did, and he may be bound and determined never to commit such a misdeed again. But there is a bell he can’t unring here; a change of horizons may give him a chance to rebuild his reputation, but UNH should not.

We note that even Michael A. Bellesiles, stripped of the Bancroft Prize when his book Arming America: Origins of a National Gun Culture was exposed as an academic fraud (Clayton Cramer played a major role in this exposure), has been rehabilitated, sort of: a college unconcerned with academic integrity has given him a job; his original, bogus book has been republished in all its fraudulent glory by a Communist publishing house; a new book published to glowing reviews (and nearly nil sales) by a New York house which loves his ideology enough to overlook his scholarship, and uncritical, slobbering tonguebaths in the New York Times and Chronicle of Higher Education. Even though Bellesiles has been exposed as a fraud againin an article he wrote for his friends at the Times. Even though some writers clearly no longer trust him and don’t accept his supporters’ claims that it’s all because of a “swiftboating campaign by the NRA” (which also forgets that the Swift Boat officers and men had the truth of it, and Secretary/Senator Kerry is the one who has been dishonest about his past).

So Dorfsman has a way forward: emulate Bellesiles by attacking what academics everywhere abjure (like gun owners, in Bellesiles’s case) and praising what they adore (like central government control of things like guns).  Will he do that?

Update

Before we could even take the post live, Dorfsman is activating that exact exit strategy. Here he is on twitter, seeing raaaaacism (with the obligatory 5 a’s) everywhere:

dorfus1

(note, we’re having a hard time getting images to load at the moment. Bear with us).

…and here he is, praising socialism.

dorfus2

Yeah, it just hasn’t been tried hard enough. You know, by all those sissies. Like Mao. And Stalin. No real surprise, that a guy who would falsify documents to injure another teacher at his own university thinks he’s entitled to Other People’s Money.

Flashbang & Speedbump Went Shooting

On a range we know well, the two Boston Marathon bombers, the late and unlamented Tamerlan “Speedbump” Tsarnaev, and his brother Dzhokar “Flashbang” Tsarnaev, went shooting just two years ago, a few weeks before committing mass murder, according to evidence revealed in the trial of Flashbang. The Feds have posted a .pdf of their range sign-in sheets.

tamarlan_sign_card

 

They went to Manchester Firing Line on Brown Avenue in Manchester, NH on 20 March 2013, and rented two Glock pistols plus safety equipment (mandatory on the range, naturally). The two residents of militantly anti-gun, 2nd-amendment-abolitionist Massachusetts rated themselves “intermediate” skilled on handguns, although where they acquired that skill is anyone’s guess. (The following self-evaluation is Flashbang’s  Speedbump also rated himself intermediate on rifle. Note that Dzhokar lied about the “unlawful user, or addicted to,” question, according to all his friends.

dzhokar_expertise

Both brothers signed the sign-in sheets; the following is Dzhokar’s.

dzhokar_signature

They lived in Cambridge, a town that requires its own off-duty police to lock up their guns and that as a matter of policy does not issue Licenses to Carry to anyone not politically connected (an LTC is necessary to purchase, own or register a handgun in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts).

The one handgun they had was a 9mm Ruger P95, Serial Number 317-87693, which had had the numbers defaced. They probably acquired it from the Maine drug dealers ATF was able to trace it to as part of their ongoing drug business. Drug dealer Danny Sun bought the gun new from Cabela’s in Scarborough, Maine; jammed up on unrelated charges, he admitted transferring it to  Biniam “Icy” Tsegai, a fugitive from justice at the time, and one of the Somali/Ethiopian/Eritrean “refugees” that have swarmed Maine’s organized criminal activities. According to prosecutors in a related case, the gun came to Tamerlan Tsarnaev through a former classmate at Cambridge Rindge and Latin school (a school where anti-American cant is embedded in the curriculum), a career gun criminal (at 21!) named Stephen Silva.

A few months later, the demonic duo detonated two bombs built according to a plan published in al-Qaeda’s Inspire magazine at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. That night, they snuck up on a MIT campus cop car and shot officer Sean Collier dead from ambush, in an abortive attempt to steal his handgun. Later, they would be involved in a firefight with police in the Boston suburb of Watertown. Tamerlan would fire some 54 rounds and the police several hundred (they were never properly accounted for, but there was mass contagious firing, almost all unaimed). Tamerlan was killed when he ran out of ammunition and threw the empty Ruger at the cops. He was being taken into custody when  Dzhokar ran him over with his own SUV (hence the nickname. “Speedbump.”). Dzhokar, for his part, was wounded in Watertown and then wounded again in a second case of contagious shooting when he was located after a long manhunt and a dragnet that paid only lip service to hundreds of years of requiring a warrant. There have been increasing incidents of criminals using public ranges. Smith & Wesson, still trying to navigate the treacherous waters of the People’s Republic, closed their pro shop range to the public after a records showed that a violent criminal had trained there.