Category Archives: Don’t be THAT guy

Ghost Gunner Shipments Blocked, by…. ?

We haven’t heard directly from GG or Defense Distributed or Cody Wilson, but he’s tweeting up a storm on the subject. (Not having heard is irritating, when he’s sitting on four figures of our money. But we’ve received only one of the updates supposedly sent to all hands since purchasing a GG).

ghostgunner

Both FedEx and UPS have refused to ship the Ghost Gunner, and there is no convenient common carrier option apart from that shipping duopoly.

The funny thing is this: despite its name and its firearms application, the Ghost Gunner is really a general-purpose, open-source, CNC machine tool. We want it as much to see what ecosystem of fixtures and part files emerges, and to apply to airplane building, as we do as a way to do custom lowers (for which there are already other machines are on hand.

According to the shippers, any machine that might be used by a private party to ship guns is contraband, the law be damned. (It’s suggestive that both carriers reached this unique interpretation at the same moment in time). Does this mean that Sherline, Taig and Miniature Machine Shop will not be able to ship their goods in interstate commerce? (We probably shouldn’t give the Feds, whose threats are no doubt at the bottom of this debacle, any ideas).

Apparently, one part of  the “a pen and a phone” system of government that has replaced the obsolete Constitution in latter days is the ability to declare contraband not just things that some politicians don’t like, but machines that can make the things. 

the lives of othersOne is reminded of the old Communist system, which not only had a media monopoly and pervasive state surveillance, but went so far as the licensing and registration of deadly assault information technology, which in those days meant typewriters and mimeograph machines. Russian dissidents circulated manuscripts copied, sometimes one-at-a-time in the fashion of medieval monks defending knowledge from a new Dark ages, in a cultural phenomenon called samizdat – a term with the denotation of “self publishing” but a connotation of underground, forbidden, risky activity.

FedEx is particularly two-faced in this, as they offer NRA discounts, which is why Cody initially used them. But statements from FedEx spokesman Scott Fiedler to Wired and other online outlets make it clear that the company is fully on-board with the administration here. UPS spox Dan McMackin has confirmed that his firm, too, is firmly in the antigun camp and is pleased to collaborate in Administration anti-gun initiatives.

Wired Magazine’s Andy Greenberg goes all out to give the carriers the benefit of the doubt, but reaches (with the help of anti-gun UCLA professor Adam Winkler, who’s studied and written about gun control in America) an interesting conclusion (and one that Cody Wilson would recognize as suitably bleak for would-be regulators):

FedEx seems to be joining the same club of companies trying to avoid any part in digital DIY gunsmithing. But as more tools like 3-D printers and CNC mills find their way into Americans’ homes, they may have to face the reality that those devices can also create deadly weapons, says UCLA’s Winkler. “It’s going to be very hard to get people to stop using these same devices to make firearms,” he says. “To a certain extent, FedEx will have to get used to shipping gun-making machines.”

There is good news for buyers in this, perhaps: by refusing to deliver the product, FedEx and UPS are in effect insuring you against the project’s failure to deliver. If you never get the product you have paid for, you can add the carriers as defendants to your suit, and recover from their (and their reinsurers’) deep pockets. They want to take a partisan, political position? Let them pay for it.

For More Information:

Ostensible Cody Wilson letter (he did not send this to us, and we are fully-paid purchasers). If this is authentic, it looks like what began as a dispute over rates escalated into an outright ban on shipping, based on what FedEx was told by persons unknown but presumably aligned with the Administration:

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1675453-putting-the-federal-in-federal-express.html

That email was posted by Ars Technica writer Cyrus Farivar; Farivar’s article follows:

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/02/fedex-wont-ship-the-box-that-makes-homemade-metal-semi-automatic-rifles/

GunsAmerica story:

http://www.gunsamerica.com/blog/fedex-refuses-ship-perfectly-legal-diy-ar-15-cnc-machine/

Wired story:

http://www.wired.com/2015/02/fedex-mill-untraceable-firearms/

Reason Magazine’s Hit & Run Blog:

http://reason.com/blog/2015/02/23/cody-wilsons-ghost-gunner-banned-by-fede

Numerous other sites have secondary stories derived from the above (like us, now), including TTAG and Infowars.

Since the initial statements of anti-gun and anti-manufacturing policy, both FedEx and UPS have clammed up.

When Guns are Outlawed, only Outlaws will have SIlicone

Would you let this person reshape your body?

padge windslowe

A number of young women did, and Padge Windslowe is on trial for the death of one of them. This is hardly the first case of death-by-amateur-plastic-surgeon. One crops up somewhere in the USA — this one’s in Philly, Google finds a few more in Florida — a couple times a year. The victims are usually dull-witted young or youth-obsessed people irrationally attached to unusual ideas of beauty like drag queens, or erotic dancers — NTTAWWT. It’s a free country, and those seem like harmless human variations that no one ought to die for. But die they do — as the perps turn out to be doing their “plastic surgery” with real plastic — industrial silicone sealant and other industrial or food-industry chemicals. One tranny used fix-a-flat.

Yes, you can kill a human being with almost anything. 

The Fix-a-Flat company may have to have the legal department draft a “not for boobs or butts” disclaimer.

Padge Victoria Windslowe, 45, is accused of killing Claudia Aderotimi, a 20-year-old dancer from London, during a procedure involving silicone and Krazy Glue.

Police say Windslowe fled after Aderotimi started having trouble breathing during “a touch-up” to celebrate her birthday in February 2011.

The dancer’s death at a hotel near Philadelphia International Airport led police to investigate the underworld of “pumping parties” and underground surgery.

The so-called “Black Madame” admitted to injecting the butts of five women from New York under the business name “Body by Lillian.”

via Dancer’s Death in Philadelphia Hotel Reveals World of ‘Pumping Parties,’ Surgery | NBC 10 Philadelphia.

Lord love a duck. Why did she do it (if she’s a she, which seems to be in question)?

Windslowe told the court she made a lot of money doing the injections.

So, how are they going to account for this one in the FBI crime statistics? It’s not a blunt instrument, although the needle probably wasn’t surgically sharp. They’ll probably call it death by poisoning, but we thought the gastrointestinal tract was usually involved in that… not the direct path from butt boost to brain death that some of these unfortunates seem to have had.

Or, if you’re #Everytown for #gunsense, you can just call it a gun crime. They do it with everything else.

Now, what are the odds that Windslowe’s actually guilty? (Emphasis ours in the following):

An aspiring rapper who performed unlicensed cosmetic surgery on the side has testified at her murder trial that her body sculpting services were so popular that clients called her “the Michelangelo of buttocks injections.”

When were these words ever used in the context of anybody doing anything good or positive? “An aspiring rapper.” Says it all, really.

See another story at Philly.com, or just google Padge Windslowe. (If you want more cases, “silicone injection death” works well).

Newsmen, We Know Snipers. This Clown Was No Sniper

USMC Sniper scope3In Lake Worth, Florida, the media scared the crap out of the public with sensationalistic headlines.

Report: SWAT Teams Responding to Possible Naked Sniper Situation in Lake Worth

via SWAT Teams in Lake Worth Respond to Possible Sniper Situation | New Times Broward-Palm Beach.

That seems weird. Normally we associate “sniper” with many things, but “naked” isn’t one of them. There’s a pretty substantial difference between one’s ghillie suit and his birthday suit, and most people smarter than a journalist wouldn’t mistake one for the other.

There’s apparently a naked man on a building rooftop on a sniper perch, with a gun. This according to a Facebook and Twitter account called Palm Beach County Alerts.

According to the alert, numerous Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office and Palm Beach Fire Rescue units are surrounding the area of 1700 S. Federal Highway in Lake Worth. That is the address for the Shangri-La Hotel. The area has been evacuated, according to the report.

A guy listening to the public-safety stations on a scanner — something that’s apparently beyond credentialed “reporters” these days — had an interesting fact or two.

He says police are saying the man is naked and rolling around atop the roof of the building. The man also reportedly has a gun and at least at one point placed the weapon in his mouth.

The man is acting extremely psychotic, according to the report.

Ever try to put an M-24 in your mouth, let alone an M82A1? Would. Not. Go.

They never did correct the headline. As the news outlet later admitted they knew at the time, he only had a handgun, and had actually asked someone to call the police, because “I feel delusional, and I’m hallucinating!”

Handgun != sniper. Also, drugs and a handgun and acting out in public != sniper.

Leroy Strothers, 33, put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger when police approached him. It didn’t fire, and he never threatened the cops or anyone but himself. The Palm Beach (County) Sheriff’s Office SWAT team ultimately talked him into giving up the gun. In the follow-up story, the paper suggests that Strothers might have fired one shot in the air before the police came.

He also told the officers that he was under the influence of flakka, a designer drug that is vaped with an e-cigarette (not to be confused with “Budder,” another designer street drug which is a wax form of marijuana). Flakka is made with similar ingredients used to make bath salts, the recreational designer drug that’s made headlines recently and is linked to dangerous hallucinations and maybe even responsible for the face-eating incident in Miami, though that’s still being debated.

Flakka, or “Gravel,” which is an a-PVP (or, methylenedioxypyrovalerone) — a hodgepodge mix of chemicals, like sort of a cross between crack cocaine and meth — is becoming widely popular throughout South Florida. It’s cheap, easy to get and reportedly induces behavior in smokers similar to that of meth.

Police have not confirmed if Strothers was on flakka, but he says he was. When PBSO SWAT was able to calm him down and talk him off the roof, Smothers was arrested and transported to JFK Hospital by Palm Beach Fire Rescue for evaluation.

When officers recovered the gun, they found that it was loaded with eight bullets. Police also found a bullet casing on the roof. Some witnesses had reported on social media seeing Strothers firing the gun into the air before police arrived.

Oh, and how do you think the paper described this buck-naked, pistol-wielding druggie? You know it, “Lake Worth Sniper.”

PTSD claim in 5… 4… 3…

They Watched the Video to Catch Him Stealing a Bicycle

Face and neck tattoos, and that's this creep's normal side.

Face and neck tattoos, freak-show hair, and that’s this creep’s normal side.

It wasn’t one of those crimes that needed Sherlock Holmes skill levels to solve. The perp was filmed in the act of bicycle theft by a surveillance system. But note the business where he boosted the two-wheeler, it turns out to be germane to his other crime:

Police made the discovery while investigating the theft of a bicycle at Hill Watson Peoples Funeral Service on Hamilton Road.

Smith appeared in Recorders Court for the theft charge and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Then video surveillance footage from the funeral home matched Smith’s description.

So, they had him open-and shut on the bike theft. It was what else they found on the funeral home’s surveillance video that landed Domonique in trouble.

26-year old Domonique Smith was arrested and charged with having sex with a deceased body at a local funeral home.

Police are not releasing the name of the victim but say the family has been notified about the investigation.

Smith could get up to ten years in jail for the necrophilia charge.

via Georgia man charged with necrophilia at funeral home -.

And what about that idjit name, “Domonique”? Did his mama think it was Franglais for “Demonic”?

Justice Wore No Robes

Manuel mugshotEver sleep in and miss taking the trash out the day the garbage truck comes? Hey, it happens. But you cross over into being that guy when you then decide you can simply use your finely calibrated Norden Brainsight and hit the truck as it passes, with a long garbage bomb, out your window. That was where Manuel Erinna’s problems started, while lining up on the dumpster dragger from overhead:

Detective Capt. Steven Vicente said the victim, Manuel Erinna of 50 Nye St., was attempting to throw trash out the window and into the approaching garbage truck when the accident happened about noontime.

Apparently, this business of throwing your trash at the truck because you’re too lazy to use the stairs is really a thing; in the New York Sanitation Department, it’s called “airmail,” according to the, we are not making this up, department’s official anthropologist. (There’s an artist-in-residence too). Maybe Manuel came from New York.

In any event, Manuel intended to loft his trash in the direction of the truck, but lost his purchase on the window. Manny plunged straight onto the snowy pavement of his New Bedford, Massachusetts street with a bone-shattering crunch. Literally.

About this time, most people’s bad day meter would be pegged on the red line. But things were just warming up for Manuel. Because the truck then backed over him. Thup-thump.

Manuels garbage truck

Somebody saw him go under the truck, and her screams alerted the driver that something was amiss. So he pulled forward. Thup-thump.

First responders were called to the scene, and stabilized Manuel, and transported him to a hospital, where he was treated for traumatic shock, concussion, and two broken legs. He’s expected to recover.

No word on who was, “Holding his beer, and watching this!”

But he looked mighty familiar to the cops. Turns out, there was a reason why. Which brings us to our obligatory weapons-based content here:

Erinna was charged in June with beating a cat with an aluminum baseball bat when the animal scratched his ex-girlfriend’s granddaughter. The cat lost an eye in the beating.

Erinna is due in court tomorrow, on that one. That is, if he’s out of the hospital by then.  A story in the Examiner says the cat, named Smudge, recovered (to the extent possible) and the piratical one-eyed feline has been adopted by a family with more conventional baseball, and presumably trash, practices.

Moral of story:

Don’t beat on a cat
With a baseball bat
Or your next stroke of luck
Could come from a truck
And you might wind up flat.

Somewhere, a one-eyed cat is purring contentedly.

HSI-ICE: Bosses Behaving Badly

Live from New York, It’s Saturday Night…

hsi_badgeAs we indicated, SAC New York James T. Hayes Jr is out. Another SAC (New Orleans, LA)  is getting an extremely well-paid, long term TDY to the Big Apple while the HQ types are vying to outdo one another at the prodigious levels of suckuppery required to land one of the agency’s plum assignments, with a lot of headcount and a lot of TV exposure for the guy or gal that wants it.

By taking the position on a TDY basis, the NOLA guy signals that he’s not interested in it permanently, and prevents a second feeding-frenzy for his position.

And Then There’s the Friday the 13th Free Agent…

ICE Director Sarah R. Saldaña, who sees her job as turning it into the US Immigrations and Customs Non-Enforcement Agency, sent all hands the following message:

A Message from Director Saldaña
To all ICE employees
February 13, 2015

A.T. Smith Coming to ICE as Senior Advisor for Cybercrime

I am pleased to welcome A.T. Smith as Senior Advisor for Cybercrime within U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Previously, Mr. Smith served as the Deputy Director of the United States Secret Service, where he executed oversight of the agency’s daily operations. In his new role as Senior Advisor for Cybercrime, Mr. Smith will bring his expertise to ICE’s fight against transnational cyber criminals.

Before his service as Deputy Director, Mr. Smith served in numerous offices and senior leadership posts in the Secret Service, including: Assistant Director – Investigations 2010-2012; Assistant Director – Human Resources and Training 2008-2010; Deputy Assistant Director – Office of Investigations 2006-2008; Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office 2003–2006; Special Agent in Charge of the Secret Service training academy; Executive Assistant to the Director; and Assistant to the Special Agent in Charge of the Presidential Protective Division.

Mr. Smith began his law enforcement career in 1978 as a communications dispatcher for the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Smith also held the positions of uniformed Deputy, Sergeant and Lieutenant, within the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office. He joined the Secret Service on 1986 as a special agent assigned to the Miami Field Office.

Mr. Smith received his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of South Carolina, and holds Master of Science degrees from the University of Alabama and from the Johns Hopkins University School of Business.

Please join me in welcoming Mr. Smith to ICE.

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

Why is this man scowling? He just got fired, and landed in a bucket of money, all because of Clinton nepotism.

Why is this man scowling? He just got fired, and landed in a bucket of money, all because of Clinton nepotism. Hr should be cackling maniacally.

Notice anything missing from the résumé of one Alvin “A.T.” Smith, who brings “his expertise to ICE’s fight against transnational cyber criminals,” in the words of the very Red Queen of  Amnesty-by-Non-Enforcement? What’s missing?

Like, any previous involvement in cyber investigations or enforcement? What “expertise”? This is management by the “one waivered beltway drone is just as good as any other waivered beltway drone” standard.

But wait… “waivered”? Why did this paragon of Beltway managerial excellence, who knows less of cyber than our Aunt Mildred (and she’s dead), cross the street from USSS to ICE?

It seems he departed from the Secret Service earlier this week, on account of ill health: they got sick of him. Every senior executive around him bit the dust after a series of protection and investigative fumbles exposed a culture of incompetence in the agency’s top ranks. The AP reported:

Amid the upheaval at the Secret Service, lawmakers, including House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, criticized Smith, saying he was at the center of bad decisions made in a series of Secret Service scandals.

Chaffetz and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings both identified Smith as a dud and a problem child, and, according to Democrat activist Lauren French, writing at Politico:

Chaffetz, now the committee’s Republican chairman, began investigating misconduct. Just this week, he and Cummings — the committee’s top Democrat — helped shove much-maligned Secret Service Deputy Director Alvin “A.T.” Smith to the exit.

Chaffetz said he repeatedly argued during meetings with [new Secret Service Director] Clancy, DHS officials and senior White House officials that Smith, a 28-year-agency veteran, was a major drag on the agency’s morale and operations.

Cummings and Chaffetz met with Clancy during a classified meeting Tuesday, which followed two private meetings in February with the White House and Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The lawmakers have two more meetings in 2015 on the Secret Service’s response to the White House jumper and a shooting outside Vice President Joe Biden’s Delaware home.

Chaffetz “specifically said Smith needs to go [during these meetings], and the fact that ranking member Cummings went hand and hand with him only made it stronger,” said an Oversight investigator familiar with the conversations.

Smith also drew criticism for approving changes to how new recruits and officers are trained that lawmakers have complained leave the agency short of well-trained officers ready to respond to security problems. Last year, Smith also took criticism after revelations that he had diverted agents from the White House to check in on a Secret Service administrative assistant who was involved in a dispute with a neighbor.

More than two dozen whistleblowers contacted Chaffetz during the two years he’s run point on the Secret Service investigation for the House — and nearly all of them complained about Smith’s role, he said.

But Smith, a highly political (and partisan) animal always willing to bend the agency’s rules to please his political-appointee superiors, was a favorite of DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson. (He is also closely tied to Hillary Clinton, whose patronage enabled his rise from Special Agent to Deputy Director; while he was on Hillary’s detail he married into the Clinton family).

Seven other Secret Service senior executive service managers have been forced out by the 2012 prostitution scandal, a training-failure scandal, and protective failures at the White House and Blair House, the official residence of the Vice President. Smith was involved in all those failures, but he was the only one not held to account.

So Johnson played a game of 3-card Monte with Smith, shuffling him to HSI and directing Saldaña to create a do-nothing sincecure for him.  He was the only one of the top 8 at Secret Service to “fail upward.” Per the AP story above:

DHS initially refused to disclose what Smith would do at ICE, saying only that he was transferring to that agency’s Homeland Security Investigations unit.

Of course, they didn’t disclose it because they didn’t really want the guy and didn’t have any earthly idea Apart from necessity, a reason for his jump may be money: rumor is, they’re paying him more than the $183k (plus a car, a bodyguard team –why? What enemy would attack a guy who does nothing but screw our side up?, and a guaranteed-never-audited expense account) that he had at Secret Service. His overall compensation package costs the taxpayers over a half million dollars a year, accounted the way businesses have to account for personnel costs.

The lateral move or promotion — which it is, is not clear — came so rapidly that Smith’s bio is still up at Secret Service as this blog post goes live.

Is he worth it? Not to the United States. But apparently he is to Sarah Saldaña and Jeh Johnson.

And it’s not like they’re spending the money on immigration and customs enforcement anyway.

Most SWAT Callouts Go Like This

Open wide!

Open wide!

You’ve seen this before: crumb barricades himself, makes noise that he’s not going to be taken alive. Cops on scene step back, and call SWAT. SWAT comes. Crumb reevaluates position. Being taken alive is suddenly a more attractive option. No dogs are shot, no doors are kicked, nobody ODs on adrenalin. Whether suspect Joseph Miller’s sleep was restless or sound, we know not, but we do know he slept behind bars last night.

The Hilton Garden Inn is a decent place to stay if you have business around Portsmouth. (For all you Feds, there’s a decent government rate). We like the Homewood Suites better for folks that want access to the highways and shopping, but if you want to be right downtown, go to the hotel. Just don’t go while a wanted criminal — it disturbs the other guests.

A SWAT response to a downtown hotel ended peacefully Thursday when a wanted Army deserter surrendered to local officers, said Deputy Police Chief Corey MacDonald.
The alleged deserter was identified as Joseph Russell Miller, 29, of 806E Gunther St., San Antonio, Texas.

Miller was thought to be armed and possibly dangerous when police were called to the downtown hotel at 12:45 p.m. on Thursday. MacDonald said local police were called because Miller was wanted by federal authorities for desertion and was thought to be inside the hotel.
“Our information was that he was potentially armed and dangerous, we established a scene here at the hotel, with a lot of assistance from the Hilton Garden Inn staff, and it went very well,” MacDonald said. “We were able to use our negotiators to speak with him, establish a dialogue, and over time he agreed to come out. There was no physical altercation and he was taken into custody.”

Portsmouth Police Capt. Mike Schwartz said the regional SWAT team was activated after Miller failed to respond to an hour of police requests for him to surrender.

MacDonald said Miller was involved in an incident with another police agency recently when he had a firearm, but he was not armed when he ultimately surrendered at the hotel Thursday afternoon.

via SWAT call at hotel ends peacefully – News – seacoastonline.com – Portsmouth, NH.

Perhaps he wasn’t armed because the cops in nearby Stratham had relieved him of a pistol Monday morning after an alcohol-fueled late-night crash into a snowbank Sunday night.

Miller was arrested early Monday morning by Stratham police for three misdemeanors alleging he was driving while intoxicated, transporting an alcoholic beverage and carrying a loaded and concealed pistol without a permit, said Stratham Police Chief John Scippa.

He was driving a rented car at the time, Scippa said, when a plow driver phoned police at 12:20 a.m. to report seeing that vehicle stuck in a snowbank.

The Stratham cops booked and processed him, not knowing he was AWOL from the Army — the Army hadn’t sent a bulletin out. They did that on Wednesday, causing the cops to go, “Hey! We know where this guy is. Want him now, or you want to get him when he’s back in court on his gun and booze charges on the 23rd?” The Army said, “Now,” and the cops rolled.

After the regional SWAT team arrived (called SERT, it draws volunteer officers from many regional departments and takes a little while to put together), it was less than an hour before Miller threw in the sponge and came out peacefully. He had an injury

We don’t know any details of Miller’s alleged desertion. The most common form of desertion comes when a young man (it’s almost always a guy) had second thoughts about enlisting and either fails to show for enlistment or walks off in initial entry training.

Which describes the whole military career of that bum Cory Alan Jackson, last seen “at Walgreens in a rusty wheelchair wearing three purple hearts, telling the young girl cashiers stories from the sandbox.” Heh. So maybe Miller has a future as a YouTube star.

That is, however, a distant future, if it exists. His near future includes both military and civilian legal drama. Don’t be that guy.

Breaking: The Sack for an HSI SAC?

james t hayes jrEarly this morning, Homeland Security Investigations was thrown into a tizzy by a rumor that the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the agency’s second-largest office, New York, had been walked out. As agents checked in to their offices, dropped off suspects for detention, or took a break from testifying in court, the rumor spread like wildfire. But this just raised more questions:

  • Is the rumor true? (It seems to be).
  • Was he just escorted out, or arrested? (Unknown).
  • Who walked the man out? (Unknown, again).
  • Does it have anything to do with a rather large settlement he won in a recent lawsuit? (Unknown).
  • Is it payback? (Unknown. If so, what are the odds we’ll find out?)

The SAC, James T. Hayes Jr., was paid $175,000 in November, 2012 to drop a lawsuit that charged that HSI higher-ups were prone to sexual harassment. Specifically, the suit charged that former DHS secretary Janet Napolitano and her alleged girlfriend, Dora Schriro, harassed women agents, and that ICE Chief of Staff Suzanne Barr, a Napolitano crony, harassed male agents. (Debbie Schlussel, who has excellent ICE/HSI sources, had the details of Hayes’s suit and its danegeld dismissal. Indeed she has a whole bunch of Hayes stories, including the affidavits and Barr’s shamefaced resignation on Labor Day Weekend, 2012, but not this one, yet).

Hayes was reportedly a master of the passive-aggressive fine art of the EEO complaint as a fulcrum to lever himself to higher offices, but was understood to be terminal at SAC even before his Napolitano suit.

hsi_badgeAgents and former agents on the HSI Delphi Forum are arguing about whether Hayes’s situation is “just another rumor” or whether this time, it’s really, as the thread title suggests, “buh-bye for Jimmy.” (His other nick is, heh, “Purple Hayes.”) Hayes has been the subject of frequent rumors — last summer he was moving to San Diego.

One unpopular Hayes decision was to remove the M4s from individual agents and secure them in the office, making them inaccessible on short notice, especially after hours.

The shaven-headed Hayes has built, as SACs are wont to do, a coterie of loyalists around him, and they’re not saying nothing, as the expression goes. Speculation on and off the Delphi forum includes him receiving a target letter (which would lead to him being suspended for months at full pay while he stays home and lawyers up), or him being questioned about travel-card anomalies.

One would think that the greatest hazard in working for ICE or HSI would be on the shoulders of street agents, who rub shoulders with sometimes-violent, sometimes-creepy, and always dishonest criminals every day, but being a SAC is not all it’s cracked up to be. They’ve been dropping like flies for the past few years.

  • Miami SAC Anthony Mangione was a member of a kiddie porn ring; he pulled HSI agents from a child porn TF (wonder why?) and was so worried about being caught with kiddie porn on his office computer that he gave the hard drives to the tech guys and told them to secure-wipe them. They did. Just as he was chortling with glee at his brilliance, evidence found on another perv’s computer compromised him. By ratting out some of his fellow pervs, he managed to keep his sentence down to just under 6 years in 2012, and Inmate 97409-004 should be finishing up his stint in Club Fed on 07/28/2017.
  • One had something going with his ASAC, which is not only fraternization, but also criminal if you’re using government resources. Guess who was paying for their hotel-room love nest? Every April 15, the answer is… you. Chump.
  • Richard Padilla Cramer was allowed to retire and still draws his retirement after drawing a two years in Club Fed wrist-tap in 2010. A former RAC and SAC-level attaché in Guadalajara, he went from working part-time for the cartels to full time after his 2007 retirement. He sold the cartels information on informants that allowed them to rub out the informants — and their families.
  • True, we’re going back nearly 10 years on this one, but it’s worth winding up the Time Machine: Tampa Special Agent in Charge Frank Figueroa was caught in a mall, stroking himself and eyeing a 16-year-old. It gets better: he was formerly the head of Operation Predator. And better yet: the whacking SAC was caught by a mall cop. Paul Blart FTW! Unfortunately, you could say Figueroa, er, got off: his sentence was a year’s probation, and he didn’t even get a BOP Inmate Number. Is there something in the water in Federal Buildings in FL? Or is it just in Fed buildings, in general? (Around the same time, the DHS head’s press secretary tried picking up a 14-year-old he’d been having net and phone sex with — who turned out to be, stop us if you have heard this one, a cop. Brian Doyle’s case is often confused with the ICE/HSI perv, Figueroa).
  • In 2012, a Deputy SAC and former acting-jack SAC in LA, Kevin Kozak, was shot and wounded by Ezequiel Garcia, an agent in his office. Garcia was shot dead by another agent, SA Patrick Woo. Other agents say, while Garcia’s crime is inexcusable, “someone had to snap given Kozak’s leadership style.”
  • Kozak was acting-jack because the then-SAC, Frank Johnston, went to prison for corruption (he hired his wife into a no-show job) in 2012. Wifey Taryn got 30 days, and they’re supposed to pay back $500k of her $90k/year salary.

Memo to HSI/ICE: The bit of the mission statement about, “Fight Crime,” is supposed to imply the conjunction against, not for. Just sayin’.

Another Shot Dog Story… this time Without Cops

dog-and-gunHere’s a story from Waukegan, IL, a Chicago ‘burb, where a lady fired a single shot, trying  to make a neighbor’s dog that had jumped her fence let go of her dog. The neighbor was there, but wasn’t helping.

Since then, though, she got something else: a spray of bullets fired into her house at night.

Romena Rhyan, who lives in the 500 block of McAlister Street, said she has had a hard time sleeping since bullets sprayed through her kitchen window, leaving seven holes in doors and cabinets.

According to Rhyan, the shots were fired from an alley about 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 27. That was two days after she shot a dog that was mauling her dog — both were pit bulls — in her front yard. The other dog later died, Rhyan said.

Waukegan Police confirmed details of the shots fired into Rhyan’s home but would not comment further. Officials would only say it is an open case.

Rhyan said she has been afraid of hosting her granddaughter since the shooting, and her dog has seemed reluctant to venture outside or eat.

via Waukegan home shot up days after resident shoots dog – Lake County News-Sun.

Rhyan pulled her dog into the house, but the strange dog, which had leaped over her fence, was clamped on to hers.

By the time she was able to get them back outside, the other dog’s owner was on her porch. According to Rhyan, the other dog owner was “tapping his dog on the head” but wasn’t doing anything to stop the fight.

Rhyan said she ran back inside and grabbed her handgun, for which she has a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID).

Illinois is one of a few states that requires owners of all guns, even long guns, to be registered. A Firearms Owner’s ID Card lets a person buy and own, but never carry outside the home except for hunting and on sporting ranges, a firearm. It is part of a system established in the Twentieth Century, principally intended to disarm blacks who had moved to Chicago in pursuit of factory work during and after the Second World War.

“He looked up at me and I shot the dog one time,” Rhyan said. “He said, ‘Why did you do that?’ But his dog was killing my dog. It was very traumatic.”

Rhyan called 911, she said. Police officers took her gun following the shooting, but Rhyan said she expects it to be returned because she has a FOID card.

The other dog was taken to a veterinarian for surgery, but later died. Rhyan’s dog suffered wounds on its face, nose, eye, mouth and a paw.

We think Ms Rhyan feels just about like we would in that situation:

“I’m truly sorry about what happened to that dog, I know it wasn’t the dog’s fault,” she said.

Sure, we probably could have wrestled the dogs apart, but we’re not a little old lady. And even for us, Plan B would be to shoot the intruder dog attacking our little dog. Sorry ’bout that. There’s no such thing as a bad dog, at least not to start with, but some dogs fall into the hands of bad owners.

Something tells us the cops have a pretty good idea who shot up Ms Rhyan’s house. Something tells us we do, too.

Smart Guns and Dumb Activists

smartgunsymposiumJoe Huffman attended the anti-gunners’ Smart Gun Symposium in Seattle and saw some surprising things, if we read him right. The presenters were a mixed bag of gun-ban seeking activists and technology nerds. And what they were seeking diverged. Most of the nerds focused solely on the unauthorized-child use prevention case, and admitted that their technology was not even potentially useful for the prevention of crime, or protection of a police officer from a criminal who got hold of his or her gun. Only one, by Joe’s recollection, wanted to see this technology mandated (while all the activists do). No critics of the technology were presented. No spokesman for the gun industry or gun rights was put on. This sham symposium (shamposium?) was sponsored by Washington Cease Fire, a group that has historically sought the banning of all guns, and that demonizes gun owners routinely.

In other words, it was a bunch of Nazis getting together at the Wannsee, full of the love of their brother man and anxious to finally solve the thorny problem of the Jews.

Here are Joe’s reports.

Part 1: Some encounters with Ralph Fascitelli, il Duce of Washington Cease FIre; New Jersey ban writer Loretta Weinberg (who airily promised that the technology promoted by the firms here could have prevented the Sandy Hook and Charlie Hebdo shootings); and Alan Boinus, the CEO of Allied Biometrix, who promised test data validating his system, licensed from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Part 2: More Fascitelli. (Why couldn’t he make Skype run on time?) Also King County Sheriff Urquhart, and Allied Biometrix CEO Alan Boinus. Fascitelli wants to ban guns, magazines and ammunition and sees “smart guns” as a sort of gateway drug to the ban he really wants — “like e-cigarettes.” Urquhart was a politician with an essentially empty statement. Boinus opposed legislation mandating smart gun because, frankly, they don’t work: “We can’t afford to 404.” Instead he thought supporters should make cops use them. He said his technology adds, along with unreliability, $200 to $300 to the price of a gun, most of which was his marketing and profit (essentially doubling the price of a cop Glock).

Highly unsafe, Trigger Smart technology is trivially jammed.

Highly unsafe, Trigger Smart technology is trivially jammed.

Part 3. Robert MacNamara, Trigger Smart. Also Loretta Weinberg, Democrat, leader of the New Jersey Senate, and Judith Leftwitch, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (a ban group). MacNamara is an Irishman, no apparent relation to the worst Secretary of Defense, and appears to be completely ignorant of both firearms and technology (his background is in real estate, but he’ll take grant money from Uncle Sam). When asked about the jam threat to his system he indicated that it works on radio frequency energy, which can’t be jammed, a complete error suggesting a lack of even interest in his own product. “Trigger Smart” is more like “Trigger Retarded” and also would double the price of a cop Glock, if cops really want guns that are trivially jammed. Weinberg and Leftwitch just want to ban guns.

Part 4: Margot Hirsch, Smart Tech Challenges Foundation. Mark Burles, Penn Schoen Berland (Democratic/liberal public relations firm employed by Washington Cease Fire). Hirsch is a former saleswoman who now heads this shadowy foundation, whose shadowy sources of funding are undisclosed — the foundation has never published its Form 990s, even — but seem to be anti-gun activists who won big at Silicon Valley startup lotto. Hirsch is high on smart guns — and gun bans. Her immediate former employer, Blackboard Inc, made an extremely unreliable web-based software suite used by for-profit online schools to, essentially, rook people out of .gov money via student loans. Burles presented what appears to have been an online push poll crafted to push Cease Fire’s positions

Symposium in the news, in which Joe posts links to three stories, one a single-sided hack job (typing for il Duce Fascitelli) and one of the other two essentially putting a sheen of editorial polish on the press release.

Armatix isn't officially dead yet, but it is pining for the fjords. Beautiful plumage....

Armatix isn’t officially dead yet, just pining for the fjords.

The Future of Dynamic Grip Recognition, in which Joe unearths from all the activism the only one of the mere two presented technologies that might work. Apparently Ernst “because you suck and we hate you” Mauch’s Armatix, which used unreliable RFID from a watch, is out of money, leaving just “Trigger Smart” and Allied Biometrix at the symposium, and with Trigger Smart being laugh-out-loud levels of lame, only Allied’s preliminary efforts to commercialize fifteen years of dead ends at the NJIT have any hope at all. Joe tries to find what hope there is in it, but it’s very scant indeed. Basically, there’s a lot of 404 in this technology.

This is the image NJIT/Allied Bioscience like to show of their 50% reliable technology...

This is the image NJIT/Allied Biometrix like to show of their 50% reliable technology… showing 8 of the several dozen single points of failure added to the gun itself, alone.

But you do need the battery box. (It's been reduced in size, but not in criticality, since this 2005 version). Note the connector on the newer photo.

But you do need the battery box. (It’s been reduced in size, but not in criticality, since this version). Note the connector on the newer photo. The Biometrix are on you.

In addition, here is Dave Workman’s report on the symposium’s press conference (via Joe) which partly failed because all these free-range fascists who want to design the innards of your guns couldn’t get a Skype connection working. “There are some people who want to define safety as something that never goes bang,” SAAMI’s Rick Patterson, the guy who the nerds couldn’t hook up, told Workman (who apparently had no problem reaching him). Of course, the sponsors of this shaminar are exactly those people.

None of the technology appears safe or reliable now, nor in the foreseeable future. Joe, who is more willing than we are to give these various New Jersey and California creeps the benefit of the doubt, sees a small potential market. Perhaps, for someone who wants to keep a varmint or defense gun loaded while interdicting curious children; we see that market coming only in ten or fifteen years, assuming the .gov funds unlimited research. (So far the government appears to have funded all the research, and the furtive foundation primarily funds activism, Bloomberg-style). This slice of the market might add up to a quarter to a half percent of gun sales, under those circumstances.

In every firearm, this technology will decrease reliability by some nonzero amount. Anything else is only possible if it literally does nothing. Therefore it has zero future in police use (where Boinus would like it mandated) or home or personal defense (something MacNamara apparently thought people shouldn’t have guns for anyway, to the delight of the ban-happy audience).

Ever notice how the people who burn with the fire to run your life for you, generally couldn’t organize a towel rack?