Category Archives: Don’t be THAT guy

John Walker: Go Direct to Hell

Inmate ID: Cancelled. We'll see you in Hell, Johnny boy.

Inmate ID: Cancelled. We’ll see you in Hell, Johnny boy.

There are obituaries that make a guy sorry that the subject of the obit died. There are obituaries that make a guy humbly grateful that the decedent ever lived. And then, there’s John Walker’s obituary. It just makes a guy sad it took so goddamn long.

RALEIGH, N.C. — A former American sailor convicted during the Cold War of leading a family spy ring for the Soviet Union has died in a prison hospital in North Carolina, officials said Friday.

Retired Navy Warrant Officer John A. Walker Jr. died Thursday at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke said. The cause of death was not immediately released. He was 77.

Walker was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty in 1985 to passing secrets to the Soviets while he was a shipboard communications officer.

The security breach was then considered among the largest and most devastating leaks of military secrets in the nation’s history.

A cryptologist, Walker used his high-level security clearance to provide Navy codes, ship locations, and other sensitive data in exchange for cash. After his 1976 retirement, Walker recruited his son, his brother and a friend to keep providing the Soviets fresh information. All were convicted.

via Former US sailor who passed secrets to Soviet Union, led family spy ring dies in prison | Star Tribune.

Walker provided more than just “codes.” He provided technical manuals on encryption systems, which allowed Soviet cryptographers to reverse-engineer the systems. Of course, the systems were of limited utility without the keys. The keys are the instructions for setting the configurable features of a coding device or a cryptological add-on for a communications system, and they are changed at intervals to confound hostile cryptologists. Without the keys, even having cloned or captured KW-7 hardware was useless to the Soviets.

So Walker provided the keys.

KW-7 Orestes keystream cipher unit.

KW-7 Orestes keystream cipher unit. The KGB got the keys from Walker, and working units from USS Pueblo.

One of the systems he gave to the Russians was Orestes, a keystream cipher that used the KW-7, an encryption device used on teletype links (among other applications). The KW-7 was used to encrypt the SOG data links between SOG HQ in With Walker’s help, Russian SIGINT personnel were able to read the daily cables describing upcoming SOG RT and Hatchet Force operations in Laos and Cambodia. The Russians then “sanitized” the information (stripping it of details that would expose their sources and methods) and provided it to their allies, the People’s Army of Viet Nam or, in our terms, the NVA.

Dozens of men were slain, and a few captured, because John A. Walker wanted more money than he was worth. Entire teams were landed into the arms of waiting, tipped-off NVA. The Russians had received KW-7 data from other traitors (at least one of whom preceded Walker and has never been exposed) and later got a crypto windfall, including two functional KW-7 machines, and the then-current keys, from USS Pueblo. According to former KGB officer Oleg Kalugin, the Pueblo captures were key; according to former KGB officer Boris Solomatin, the  Walker info alone was of critical importance and allowed the 8th Chief Directorate to reverse-engineer the device (both interviews paraphrased and linked here).

The fate of the Pueblo crypto was very controversial. In 2001, the late Lloyd Bucher, commander of the ship, insisted that the Norks got nothing of value (.pdf) because the KW-7 was in wide enough use as to guarantee that it was compromised. Bucher thought the treason of Walker was much more serious than the loss of his ship. On the other hand, a Top Secret codeword NSA/CSS damage assessment (.pdf), since declassified, indicated that the ship’s cryptologic technicians (the Navy rating that handles cryptography and intercept efforts) were effectively interrogated by Nork specialists, and “ineffective… destruction… resulted in the compromise of the cryptographic principles embodied in the KL-47, KW-7, KWR-37, and KG-14.”

The NSA/CSS analysts, of course, couldn’t know that Walker had provided an ongoing supply of crypto keys.

It took three years after Walker’s arrest for the US to begin replacing the compromised KW-7s. Meanwhile, the 8th Chief Directorate was hanging on the teletype links’ every word.

Cops to Cons, for Capping Cervus Canadensis

…or, for Whacking a Wapiti. That’s an elk, for the rest of us.

Back in 2012, a large bull elk begin roaming the streets of the Mapleton Hill neighborhood of Boulder, Colorado. Many Mapleton residents considered the large beast harmless, and a rather welcome presence in their neighborhood. They named him “Big Boy,” and enjoyed watching his forays against their fruit trees. Others just tolerated the animal: if there’s one thing plentiful in Boulder, it’s “tolerance” — just ask ‘em. But three men saw a trophy for the taking. Most people couldn’t just up and shoot a tame elk in the middle of a built-up urban area, either for reasons of conscience, or out of concern for law and safety, but the three conspirators were cops: Sam Carter and Brent Curnow, Boulder city cops, and Jeff George, a Boulder County deputy. They figured that their badges would protect them from any consequences, and planned the hit by text message.

Carter, a military veteran,  fired the shot on the night of January 1, 2013. Here he is, posing with his trophy.

Sam Carter great white hunter


Note the lights — including residential Christmas decorations (or, being that it was Boulder, Kwanzaa or Festivus, maybe).

Residents were alarmed, and appalled. So was the police leadership, when they learned that Carter and Curnow had lied to them in the immediate aftermath of the case. Text messages between them showed that the killing of the elk was premeditated. After they came under suspicion, they tried to destroy the evidence by clearing their incriminating texts.

All of the texts and calls from that night had been deleted on Carter and Curnow’s phones when they were seized for evidence, but investigators were able to obtain them from their respective cell phone carriers.

George from the first claimed that the two city cops had told him they were ordered to kill the elk, and has never wavered from this self-serving, if implausible, story. As we will see, his stubbornness has paid off.  This is Carter, posing again, with George as photographer:

Carter and Deputy

Both of the city cops were at first suspended with pay. Then, both men were indicted on a nine felony and misdemeanor charges each, and the Chief moved to fire them. The charges included:

…suspicion of forgery, tampering with physical evidence, attempting to influence a public official — all felonies — as well as unlawful taking of a trophy elk, conspiracy, a Samson surcharge, killing an elk out of season, unlawful use of an electronic device to unlawfully take wildlife and first degree official misconduct — all misdemeanors.

Curnow took a sweet plea deal for one “exploding” felony charge, and four misdemeanors. He was sentenced to 60 days’ house arrest and a year of probation; if he completes it (which should be happening within a month or so), his felony record will be expunged.

The case had a definite impact on the public’s perception of the police in Boulder:

“It’s a case that has struck at one of the most important things in any community — the ability to trust law enforcement,” [DA Stan] Garnett said. “We’ve been trying other cases where potential jurors said, ‘I don’t know if I believe a police officer because of that case of the elk.'”

Judge Butler echoed that observation, saying police officers need to be “beyond reproach.”

“It’s the breach of the public trust that’s the most egregious part of this case,” Butler said.

With Curnow out of the way, the legal system began whetting its incisors for a taste of Carter. The DA was more keen on Carter as a suspect — he had shot the elk, after all — and would not give him the same deal Curnow got. With the best deal on the table still leaving him a for-real felon (the DA says it never got to the point of an actual offer), Carter had nothing to lose by going to trial.

Meanwhile, his life plunged out of control. From being behind the badge, he wound up in front of it, again, busted for DUI. He scraped out of that with a suspended license, but was subsequently arrested again, again, for driving under suspension. Months after his felony indictment, the courts discovered he hadn’t surrendered his weapons as he’d been ordered.

The trial went badly for him. Curnow testified against him, as did a wildlife biologist. Jeff George and other Boulder cops testified against him, saying that he was in the habit of disabling his cruiser’s GPS to keep sergeants in the dark about his whereabouts. After ten days or presentation, the jury expeditiously convicted him on all nine counts. He could have been sentenced to six years in the state pen, but instead, the DA was reluctant to recommend more than a year. He told the Boulder Daily Camera that sending a cop to prison is “complex.” (They’re only slightly safer inside than kiddie diddlers; neither cons nor screws care a whit for a crooked cop).

Ultimately, the gavel came down on Carter, and he was sentenced to four years’ probation and 30 days on a work gang. The judge considered his lack of a prior record (the motor vehicle problems were subsequent) and his prior military service. But unlike his friend (or former friend perhaps) Curnow, he’ll be marked as a felon for life. He made an abject apology at his sentencing hearing. Neither he nor Curnow has been able to find steady work.

Oh, and George? Nothing happened to him. He’s still on duty at the county.

Maybe that’s why the elk have been staying in the hills this year.

Experience Comes from Bad Judgment, or “Don’t be That Guy

Law-ScaleAndHammerFrom the local paper, we have a list of indictments, and it’s surprising how many of them reflect bad judgment with firearms. Not as many as the drug cases, another form of bad judgment that we’re not going to bother with. (We’ll let some retired medic write that blog).

But enough that it struck us as if there was a theme in this week’s indictments. And that theme is bad judgment and firearms. Let’s see if we can learn from these guys’ experience, so we don’t have to have the traumatic experience of learning from our own.

Good Judgment Comes From Experience

A friend of ours who teaches airline pilots for a living has a saying that applies to flying, but also to any other knowledge domain where the exercise of good judgment is salutary and beneficial:

Good judgment comes from experience.

Experience comes from bad judgment.

Let’s explore some of these cases of bad judgment and apply our own good judgment to them.

Bad Judgment Gets Men Indicted for Criminal Threatening

This might be another charge in another state, involving weapons charges or assault. Some states have a “brandishing” statute. But whatever the charge, these cases reflect the reality that if you introduce a firearm into a dispute where deadly force was not previously in the offing, the courts are going to see you as the bad guy.

Indicted for a charge alleging criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon was Souriya Nachampassak, 39, of 140 Cottage St., Portsmouth. Police allege he held an AR-15 during a dispute about a car blocking his driveway while telling an alleged victim, “This isn’t over.”

We agree with Mr Nachampassak that it’s nice to have an AR-15, and that it’s annoying to have some self-absorbed asshat block your driveway. However, the AR-15 does not apply to the situation at hand. He went pretty instantaneously from the victim of a very minor misdeed to the perpetrator of a much larger one. “This isn’t over,” all right, but for him. 

Proportion, people. You have to keep your sense of proportion about you, and it’s more important to do it when you have a weapon. It’s more important to restrain yourself when you’re carrying or have a firearm nearby. Every State has some sort of rules that constrain the use of deadly force. As deadly force scholar Andrew Branca reports in his book, The Law of Self-Defense, while these rules vary widely from state to state there are certain things they have in common.

One is that deadly force is only a response to a credible and reasonable belief that deadly force is arrayed against you. Not that some briefstain has blocked your driveway. Because urban dwellers have more neighbors, (Portsmouth is a big and dense city by NH standards, population 28k or so), the odds of them getting a crummy neighbor are elevated. You can shoot someone for threatening your life or health, or those of your family. You can’t shoot him for annoying you. And hear this:

If you can’t shoot the guy legally, don’t display the gun. Why not? Well, we bet Mr Nachampassak has calmed down enough that he can tell you, now. If not, his lawyer can. He has a very serious legal problem that began when someone else wronged him, all because he reacted mistakenly. His reaction now threatens his firearms rights and his very liberty.

Let’s move on to the very next case on the docket:

Also indicted for criminal threatening with a weapon was Derrick Mello, 26, of 2 Mariette Drive, Portsmouth. Newington police allege Mello confronted an alleged victim with a pistol, which he loaded and chambered a round during a confrontation.

Here’s another case where nobody got shot, no shots were fired, but the guy with the gun wound up going downtown anyway. And being charged with a serious felony. Even though he probably thought all along he was in the right. We somehow doubt that the dispute, whatever it was, was worth it. What were we just saying?

If you can’t shoot the guy legally, don’t display the gun.

Yeah. That.

Just to make it crystal clear to all of you, the two young men in the next set of indictments are clearly career criminals. They were caught red-handed breaking into a house; one of them had a pistol previously stolen elsewhere. They’re not even legally old enough to buy a gun, but as character runs true, we’re pretty confident in predicting that by the time they’re social security age, they’ll have spent half their adult lives in the slam. But not for this case; right now, their charges are not as serious as the two guys above, and they’ll probably wind up with some combination of time served and probation, this time.

Twins Nicholas and Nathan Harnden, 20, of 978 Maplewood Ave., Portsmouth, were both indicted for charges alleging attempted burglary. Police allege that on March 24 one twin helped the other up to a residential window during an attempt to burglarize a Leslie Road home that was occupied by a woman home alone at the time.

Nathan Harnden was also indicted for a charge alleging receiving stolen property. That charge alleges his possession of a stolen 9mm pistol.

Obviously these guys have seen no detective shows, or they’d know that one twin does the crime while the other establishes the alibi. Maybe these are the kind of twins that separate late in the womb, leaving each with only half a brain (in our experience, undiagnosed semicephalics crowd court dockets everywhere).

The Harnden twins will never amount to anything but prison cell filler, but they’re not in trouble as big as the two guys, Mr Nachampassak and Mr Mello, who introduced guns into routine arguments and instantly became, in the eyes of John Law, the Real Bad Guys™. While the Harndens’ lives continue on their pre-established low trajectory, our two gun-displayers have introduced an inflection point into their lives, from which their lives will never be the same — even if they triumph in court.

You really, really don’t want to be that guy.

Let’s close with another aphorism from the world of aviation:

A superior pilot uses his superior judgment to avoid situations which require the use of his superior skill. – often attributed to test pilot and Gemini and Apollo astronaut Frank Borman. 

The Culture of Crime: Narcissism

Narcissus-CaravaggioSeth Mazzaglia is a fat, lazy bag of crap who’s into kinky sex. Well, it takes all kinds to make a world, right? But it was his private business, his and the women who were into his sort of stuff — the tying-up and beating sort. At least, until he went too far.

These were the jury’s findings: when Mazzaglia, and a non-self-respecting bimbo of his (let’s call her #2), planned a bondage-oriented threesome. Their designated #3, a Massachusetts woman, Elizabeth Marriott,  declined the honor. So he killed her, strangling the life out of her for not giving him what he saw as his due. Then he had sex with her. (That’ll teach her, right?) Then he and #2 weighted her body and threw it in the mouth of the Piscataqua River off Pierce Island. Marriott’s remains have never been found. The other worthless loser, #2, got a shortened sentence for testimony that helped fry Mazzaglia (“fry” figuratively; it was not a capital case, more’s the pity).

Mazzaglia maintains his innocence, sort of. (He denies the murder but admits the necrophilia and the Mafia-inspired body disposal). His initial story was that Marriott “accidentally got choked” during rough sex, and he only was responsible for disposing of the body of an “accident victim,” and why is everybody always pickin’ on him? His lawyers, as legless a gang of snakes as ever were called to the bar, took delight putting the character of the victim on trial, but then, that’s what lawyers do; and even people of bad character, who make questionable decisions in friendships and relationships, don’t become, thereby, complicit in their own murders. Not legally, anyway.

So the jury heard #2s story and Mazzaglia’s story, and concluded that Mazzaglia was lying through his teeth, and convicted him of murder in the first degree, even though there is not now, and probably will never be, a body for Ms Marriott’s grieving family to put to rest. (Sometimes Neptune does give up his dead. They turn up at a certain point along the shore, sometimes years later. But sometimes the watery king keeps his tributes, for reasons known but to himself).

Now Mazzaglia faces sentencing, and he faces it as he has faced all of life: truculently, with a chip on his shoulder and a degree of self-regard that would be unseemly even in a man with accomplishments to his name. His mother, a woman who surely deserved better of her son, discussed it with him. The call was, as calls into prison tend to be, taped. Here is the transcript (emphasis ours):

Mother: Have the lawyers come to visit you at all?

Seth Mazzaglia: Um, rarely because it’s a bit of a haul for them but they’re supposed to come visit me before the fourteenth. I’m gonna see.

Mother: Okay.

Seth: If there’s any way I cannot attend the fourteenth.

Mother: Either what?

Seth: That I cannot go to the fourteenth. I already know what everyone’s gonna say there so why the hell do I have to be there. And. It’s a waste of my time.

Mother: Yeah well it’s, it’s for them.

Seth: Yeah well I’m not feeling particularly gracious at the moment.

Mother: I know.

Seth: Heh. If I had been found innocent of the big stuff like I should have been, and like I am, now then it might be a different story. Then I might have some sympathy.

Mother: Well.

Seth: But.

Mother: Yeah all you can do is regret your part in it. And.

Seth: Yeah but I’m gonna have to sit there for an hour and a half listening to them yell and whine and bitch and moan and scream about how I’m a monster who killed someone when I’m not. That’s what I’m literally gonna have to listen to the whole time.

Mother: (Unintelligible.)

Seth: It isn’t gonna be like oh you took away our chance of burying her, it’s gonna be you’re a monster and that’s what it’s gonna be over and over and over again.

Seth: Ah.

Mother: So anyway. Anyway. I’m, I mean you can, they’re, they’re in misery, I mean they’re agony, their, their daughter is lost, I would be the same if it were you but, you know, you have to sympathize with what they’ve lost and I, ask, um, ask Jacque and Melissa, I mean and the verdict took long I don’t see why you, eh, it’s you’re allowed to say that. I don’t know. I don’t know what they allow you to do.

Seth: Well my preference would be not to attend the sentencing hearing on the fourteenth. I can get an after action report that tells me everything that I already knows going to happen there.

Mother: I think you have to be there to be sentenced so. I think they have a right to confront you because the jury found you guilty.

Note that it’s all about him. He’s the star at center of things and everybody else is an extra. And his mother, who is trying to convey reason to this great bag of worthless protoplasm, is not getting through. We’re not pshrinks and if we were, we’d shrink (pun intended) from the task of diagnosing this slug’s major malfunction, but he sure does tick all the tick-boxes in the DSM for Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

People who worry about guns need to learn about guys like Seth Mazzaglia. This is the cause of crime in microcosm: the Unique and Special Snowflake™, that entitled, self-absorbed narcissist, who doesn’t want to go to his own sentencing for murder because it bores and bothers him. After all, why should the victim’s family have a right to speak (which, in our legal system, they have not, up to this point); from Seth Mazzaglia’s point of view, they’re not him. They’re not special.

In the end, he withdrew his demand not to hear the victim’s family at sentencing, and he was there today. No doubt, rolling his eyes.

Welcome to life in prison, dirtbag. We’d say enjoy but we wouldn’t mean it.

What if a kid took your gun to school?

hp_SauceThat really happened to Richard Tuite of Kingston, NH. He left his pistol in a dresser drawer. A middle school student — whose identity and relationship to Tuite, if any, have been closely held by authorities — stole the pistol and brought it to school to show his friends. One of the other students ratted him out, and a search of his backpack — it wasn’t clear whether this was by school administrators of police — turned up the firearm, producing a pretty good case of HP. (Note: this case is different from either of the two cases of NH seacoast school HP in that story. It’s another one, saints preserve us).

In the end, they figured out that the kid meant no criminal harm, but was just showing off (apparently he intended to sneak the gun back before Tuite noticed it missing), and wound down the panic, the lockdown, and all the things that go with that. All that was left was the shouting — in court.

A Kingston man who owned the loaded handgun that a Cooperative Middle School student brought to school in April pleaded guilty Monday and was fined $1,000.

Richard Tuite…. was sentenced in Plaistow Circuit Court after pleading guilty to a charge of negligent storage of firearms – a violation-level offense.

According to the police complaint, Tuite left the semi-automatic handgun unsecured inside a dresser at his house.

Police said the middle school student took the gun sometime between April 25 and April 28 and brought it to school on April 29 to show other students. School administrators found the loaded gun in the boy’s backpack.

As part of his sentencing, Plaistow Circuit Court Judge Sharon DeVries ordered Tuite to pay a $1,000 fine, which was suspended for a year based on good behavior. He was also ordered to complete a firearms safety class within 90 days and perform 20 hours of community service through the Kingston Police Department.

If Tuite had not pled guilty, he might well have won in court, as it does not seem that all the elements of the crime were present.

Kingston police brought the gun charge against Tuite under a state law that allows a gun owner to be prosecuted if a loaded firearm isn’t properly stored and someone under the age of 16 gains access without permission and uses it in a threatening or reckless manner.

There was no threat, although you can make a case the kid was reckless. Scary thing is, unless the kid’s been gunproofed (and this stunt suggests he hasn’t), he doesn’t even have a clue just how reckless it is.

The statute doesn’t define “properly stored,” but we think we can all agree that if you think it’s resting comfortably in your top drawer while Kid or Grandkid and his friends are trying to finger it to arousal in the Boy’s Room, it’s not properly stored. Q.E.D. Obviously Mr Tuite agrees, too, or he’d have fought this. As it is, he has a blot on his copybook like a bad traffic ticket, and can even hang on to his $1k fine if he can stay out of court, and keep Junior’s dickskinners off his firearm.

The kid, too, may face a day court:

Stratham police also charged the boy with reckless conduct, a Class A felony, and carrying a firearm without a license, a Class A misdemeanor. The status of those charges wasn’t known Tuesday.

You can follow this link if you want to Read The Whole Thing™. The headline writer was all excited about the $1,000 fine, which is why you should never trust headlines — the fine is a legal fiction, unless Tuite blots his copybook again in the next year.

Something tells us they’re not going to mark the kid a felon over this — this is New Hampshire, after all, not New JerSSey. So all in all, this is probably a pretty reasonable outcome, enabled by the fact that this youthful irresponsibility (and adult irresponsibility, or at least, misplaced trust) didn’t lead to a discharge of the firearm and all the drama that would have caused — especially if it hit someone.

As we write this, it’s 2200 hours. Do you know where your firearms are?

Why MA is a Mess, Part 32,767

Here is a lineup of MA politicians at some worthless hack or other’s funeral:


No word on whether the dead guy in the Caddy wagon was supposed to finger the one who took the money, from behind the one-way window. If so, he held to the Massachusetts politicians’ code: Omertà. They’re all here to be sure he took their secrets to the grave — or maybe, that he’s really dead and not in a safe house singing to the Feds.

It is an interesting lineup. Every one of them is a liberal Democrat, and an extreme anti-gunner. And they have a few other things in common:

  • Left: Salvatore F. “Slippery Sal” DiMasi, not a veteran (VN draft evader), former Speaker of the House (2004-2009), anti-gun politician, and convicted felon. Slippery Sal is currently BOP Inmate Number 27371-038 in the Butner, NC, Federal Correctional Institution, doing eight years for seven counts of corruption, scheduled for release in 2018, although he and his allies in the Party and the Boston Globe are campaigning for a pardon or commutation.
  • 2nd from Left: Thomas M. “Felon” Finneran, not a veteran (VN draft evader), former Speaker of the House (1996-2004), anti-gun politician, and convicted felon. (Before he was known as “Felon” Finneran, he was “Fingers” Finneran. Guess why). Finneran doesn’t have a BOP number; he copped a plea to a single count and probation, when they had him dead to rights on obstruction of justice and perjury in connection with redistricting scheme aimed at racially cleansing the State House and Senate.
  • 3rd from Left: Charles F. “Good-time Charlie” Flaherty, not a veteran (pre-VN draft evader), former Speaker of the House (1991-1996), anti-gun politician, and convicted felon. Flaherty went down for Federal tax evasion for bogus, padded expenses, and State conflict-of-interest violations for taking bribes from lobbyists.
  • 4th from Left: Robert “Made Guy” DeLeo, not a veteran (VN draft evader), current Speaker of the House (2009-some future indictment), anti-gun politician (he’s the author of the no-right-to-long-guns law), and fully in the tradition of his sticky-fingered predecessors. He’s not a convicted felon — yet — but give him time, he was just named as an undicted co-conspirator in a recent bribery trial; he hasn’t been indicted because he’s a political ally of US Attorney Carmen Ortiz and “activist” Attorney General Eric Holder.

The next three hacks are State Representative Dave Nangle, not a veteran, anti-gun politician; State Rep Kevin J. Murphy, not a veteran, anti-gun politician; and UMass-Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan — not a veteran, an anti-gun hack in an academic sinecure, formerly an anti-gun politician, and a guy who parlayed the upper-middle-class salary of a Congressman, and a reputation for scratching the backs that scratched him, into a net worth in the tens of millions.

At various times during the public self service of all the above Massachusetts politicians, the Majority Leader of the State Senate was Billy “The Corrupt Midget” Bulger, anti-gun politician, and brother and support system for Mob figure, serial killer James “Whitey” Bulger. (The Brothers Bulger are the only guys on this page who actually served in the military, and both were honorably discharged, even though Whitey spent much of his time in the stockade).

Nothing to see here, or as Da Speakahs might put it, “What choo lookin’ at? Do you know who I yam?


Lifestyles of the Young and Criminal

handcuffs_1Read the following, and form a mental picture of the two boys (one 12, one 16) described in the story.

Police say a 12-year-old Florida boy is under arrest and accused of fatally shooting a homeless man in the head.

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Assistant Chief Chris Butler said Thursday that the boy was arrested in the killing of 54-year old Thomas Trent.

The State Attorney’s Office has not yet filed charges in the case.

Trent’s body was found June 28 at a vacant business building.

Butler says surveillance video from a nearby dental care office and a tattoo business showed two young men walking near the site of Trent’s slaying at 2:25 a.m.

A sheriff’s arrest report shows that the other boy in the video — identified as a 16-year-old — was found and identified the 12-year-old as the one who shot Trent.

via 12-year-old Florida boy arrested, accused of fatally shooting homeless man in the head | Fox News.

Do you think you could guess…

  1. What they look like?
  2. How they are dressed, for example, where the waistline of their shorts sets on their bodies?
  3. How their vocabulary compares to the average 12- or 16-year-old’s?
  4. Where they got their gun or guns?
  5. What connection they have, if any, to their fathers?
  6. What are their mother’s sources of income?
  7. Whether they use controlled substances or alcohol, and where they get the money for such luxuries?
  8. Who pays to house them?
  9. How they’re doing in school? Hey, stop laughing, we’re being serious here.

Extra bonus question: what are the odds the victim was a drug user, mentally ill, or both?

Notice the morph, in the news story, from “boy” to “young men” and back again. No doubt the kid will be cleaned up considerably for showtime before Judge “Turn-em-loose-Bruce” Bleedinheart, looking angelic and beatific in his youthfulness. We’ll be told, as if we were Officer Krupke, that there’s really nothing wrong with the cold-blooded little reptile, it’s just that, “he’s depraved on account of he’s deprived.”

Who cares why he’s depraved? Old enough to kill, old enough to chill. To ambient temperature, that is. There are good, decent people languishing on transplant waitlists, who need those kids’ kidneys to live: why not make it happen? It would be a double win for society, restoring good cells whilst cleansing cancer cells from the body politic.

We see this as just one more wretchedly predictable result of a subsidized criminal underclass. But hey, Bloomberg will mark it down as an exemplar of “gun violence.”

That’s right, the gun just decided to shoot that bum, and bent the two boys to its steel will. Happens alla time.

‫Allah hu Fubar! FOOM!

Oldest trick in the guerrilla warfare book. A little something extra in the occasional mortar round, or in this case, 7.62 x 39mm cartridge.

The US did this as a psychological operation in the Vietnam War, designed to shake the NVA’s confidence in their Russian and Chinese weapons suppliers. The Germans did it to the Russians in World War II.

Now, is someone doing it to the jihadis? Or did this guy just get a bad ice cube in his cocktail of death-to-whomever this morning? We can’t say. Certainly, Comblock ammo manufacture was a bit dodgy, and some of the Arab and Iranian ammo plants make Vodka Friday at Soviet State Arsenal No. 5376 look like a routine day shift at a Swiss medical device factory.

Of course, in 2014, when your AK reverts to kit form in your very hands, somebody’s got you on GoPro or cellphone video. Smile, Hadji, you’re an intertubes celebrity. Pity he didn’t get this on Ian’s new high-speed camera.

We’d have bet this guy was not a brain surgeon…

Brain-SurgeryBut we might have been wrong. The latest poster child for How Not to Open Carry is a doctor and director of a neuroengineering program. From the fine jihadis at al-Reuters:

(Reuters) – An Arizona doctor was arrested on suspicion of pointing a rifle toward a woman and her 17-year-old daughter inside a busy Phoenix airport terminal, police said on Monday.

They said Peter Nathan Steinmetz, 54, removed the AR-15 style rifle from a hanging position over his shoulder inside Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport’s busiest terminal on Friday and pointed it in the direction of the women.

No shots were fired and it was unclear whether the rifle was loaded. Steinmetz was arrested shortly afterwards on suspicion of two felony counts of disorderly conduct with a weapon.


The website of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix said Steinmetz was a director of its neuroengineering program. A woman answering the telephone at Steinmetz’s home said he has been advised by his attorney not to comment.

via Doctor held for pointing rifle toward women at Phoenix airport -police | Reuters.

Look, if you want to carry a gun, get a license and a belt and holster. You might be very proud of your hardware, but not everyone is a gun nut ready to admire your free-floating rail system or EoTech holo sight.

We frequently rambled about the sharp end in hadji clothes with a couple of pistols underneath. (Say what you will about the shalwar kameez, the ubiquitous man dress, but it rocks for concealing just about anything). We saved plates, brain bucket, and long guns for when we expected specific trouble.

We haven’t seen anything in our shire in New England that would indicate we need to gun up to the M4 (or AR-10, Thompson, AKMS, etc., etc.), and we kind of think Phoenix can’t be that much worse off. So if Dr Steinmetz was anticipating the Zombie Apocalypse, he seems to have jumped the gun.

Hat tip, Tam (and Tam…. and Tam. She’s our tripwire… the Arizona Zombies have to go through Indiana on their way here).

How to Fire Your Gun andYourself

Apollo the dog

The victim: Apollo, age 16 months.

A cop in Illinois just essentially gave himself the sack. And it was over something most departments don’t care about: blowing away a dog. He just had the bad luck to work for a department that did think it was a big deal. We read about it at Reason:

Killing a dog for doing what dogs do most certainly didn’t have to be done. Firing the cop did, and Hometown’s police chief, Charles Forsyth, did just that on Monday, calling the incident and aftermath an “emotional rollercoaster” for the family, the community, and the police department. A Justice for Apollo Facebook page garnered more than 10,000 likes since being created on Friday.

ABC7 identified the police officer only as a 15-year-veteran of the force. Forsyth told me this morning he would not be releasing the name of the fired officer but also said there is no built-in arbitration or appeals process for the now ex-cop to turn to. He suggested the officer, like any employee fired by his employer, could launch a lawsuit if he wanted, but confirmed that the officer was no longer with the department and would not be drawing a pension.

via Cop Shoots Dog on Friday, Gets Fired on Monday, No Appeal Available – Hit & Run :

Reason quotes a local TV station, so we looked up their story and learned:

On Friday, Apollo was shot and killed by a Hometown police officer in the front yard of the dog owner’s home, and she says her daughter Alexis saw it all.

“My quick reaction was to grab her and run inside because she fell to the floor and started screaming,” said Nicole Echlin, Apollo’s owner.

Echlin says she questioned the use of deadly force- especially in front of her daughter- but she says the officer showed no remorse.

“He just said it had to be done. He walked up to me, told me that and walked away,” said Echlin. 

Echlin says Apollo was a loving dog, and a great companion to Alexis, who she says is handling the situation well.

The dog “bared his teeth” at the officers, and one, Robert Norris, drew and fired a single shot point-blank into the dog’s head. No word on whether his chief “bared his teeth” at the officer during his exit interview. (Chief Forsyth has also decided everyone is going to get training on non-.40 methods to interact with a dog, a good call).


“Thanks, Chief Forsyth, for doing the right thing.” -Apollo

Some guys shouldn’t be cops. If you’re so scared of dogs you’re compelled to shoot them, even when they’re not actually chewing on somebody, you’re that guy.