Monthly Archives: August 2016

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Jeff Cooper Books

Jeff-Cooper-.45-The-Guru-for-the-Big-Bore-GunJeff Cooper is gone, but the wisdom of the very opinionated pistol expert and Marine Colonel lives on as the underpinning of practical shooting — whether you’re talking about “practical” as in competition, or “practical” as in a back alley.

The Cooper family maintains a website, where you can order some of Cooper’s books even today — they even have a small supply of irreplaceable signed, leatherbound copies.

Welcome to Jeff Cooper Books, the official website of Jeff Cooper and Wisdom Publishing.

Jeff Cooper was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1920. He was educated at Stanford University and took his advanced degree from the University of California. He was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1941 and served throughout World War II in the Pacific, achieving the rank of Major. Recalled to active duty for the Korean War, he moved up one rank to Lieutenant Colonel before leaving the service.

Cooper has been a shottist since the age of eleven, and in 1958 he originated the sport of practical pistol competition. From this activity he formulated the Modern Technique of the Pistol, now generally observed throughout the world. For the next thirty years he was active in teaching the new method throughout the Western World.

Here ’tis, Cooper fans: http://jeffcooperbooks.com/jml/index.php

Poly-Ticks: Heil Healey! Keeps Moving the Goalposts

People's Republic of MassachusettsIn Massachusetts, gun owners, would-be gun owners, and Federal licensees have been having a hard time getting any information about the constantly-changing gun ban that national socialist Attorney General Maura Healey (Heil Healey!) imposed as a stunt before heading to the DNC to, she expects, boost her political career.

Healey’s office will not answer questions by letter or email, because the last thing they want is to have a written document holding them to a single position. Instead, her minions will answer questions by telephone. But she will not permit callers to record the conversation; in Massachusetts, recording a conversation without the permission of both sides is a felony, and in this way, she prevents having to take responsibility for her anchorless position.

They also refer people to this page in which the AG’s office attempts to explain what a law means, when it means whatever the Red Queen says it does, no more and no less, at any given moment.

http://www.mass.gov/ago/public-safety/awbe.html

(It also includes a laundry list of Democrat politicians who support the ban, which includes, stop us if this shocks you, all of the “non-partisan” gun-control groups that say they’re only for “common-sense measures.” No, that didn’t shock us, either).

But Mass. gun owners noticed something funny about the page. It kept changing.  For example, .22 rifles were included, then not; rifles have been through several iterations. (Current definition, which might have changed by the time you see it, is that any semi-auto centerfire rifle that can accept 6 or more rounds in a detachable or fixed magazine, is an “assault rifle” and is banned in the People’s Republic of Mass. In short:

Massachusetts Welcome Sign

Massachusetts Welcome Sign

So the few hardy surviving gun owners in this hostile environment used the internet changelog technology of changedetection.com to make a page tracking Healey’s ever-evolving position.

https://www.changedetection.com/log/gov/mass/awbe_log.html

Unfortunately, the guy who set this page up wasn’t able to do it in time to catch the early iterations of the wording. However, there are 13 changes logged since the tracker went live on 25 July, and some of them are quite substantive. On 3 August, 192 words were added. On 5 August, almost 1600 words, 24% of the page. On 19 August, 1327 words added and 317 deleted. It’s been changed three times in the last five days — so far.

Is the instability of the guidance here a simple consequence of Heil Healey!’s ambition and corruption filtered through her and her staff’s equally simple incompetence? Or is it a deliberate attempt to undermine Heil Healey!’s enemies with fear, uncertainty or doubt?

Meanwhile, the AGO is doing little to nothing to pursue actual violent criminals. They’re her partners in the System; people who might vote for her opponent, they are her enemies. The distinction is everything to her and to hers.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Hand Sanitizer

strait_jacket_obliqueHey, if guns cause suicide attempts, then hand sanitizer caused this one:

A woman strolled into a U.S. congressman’s Chicago office Tuesday, chugged a bottle of hand sanitizer and then set herself on fire, police said.

The unidentified 43-year-old was seriously burned in the self-inflicted blaze inside U.S. Rep. Danny Davis’ office, but her condition stabilized, the Chicago Tribune reported.

“We really don’t know why,” Davis told the newspaper. “We don’t know her and we don’t know exactly what she may have been coming for.”

In a picture that the New York Daily News ran with the story, Davis looked puzzled, but then, it seems like puzzlement is his default expression. Think of it as the Congressional equivalent of Resting Bitch Face.

Office staffers said the woman spoke briefly with an employee around 3 p.m. in the office’s lobby before she picked up the bottle of disinfectant and started drinking it. She then poured some of the sanitizer on herself and set herself on fire with a lighter.

On the plus side, she was probably really clean just before she burned.

It’s probably cruel to laugh at the mentally ill, but then, we’re cruel, m’kay?

And if you can’t laugh at this, there’s something wrong with you:

Staffers tried to blast the woman with a fire extinguisher, but she ran out of the lobby while still smoldering.

That should answer the question for all you hornballs wondering, “Yes, but was he hot?”

And for those of you who insist that this is serious, we’ll admit that somebody agrees:

The woman was taken to the hospital in serious condition.

Now that’s capital-S Serious!

Lady, when you get out of the hospital, it’s time to claim your starter kit.

catlady_starter_kit

Not available in stores.

Do Chicago Cops Shoot Too Many? Or Too Few?

A Black Criminal Lives Matter demonstration in NYC, by communists (International ANSWER, etc.) and supporters of violent crime.

A Black Criminal Lives Matter demonstration in NYC, by communists (International ANSWER, etc.) and supporters of violent criminals.

The Chicago Tribune has been running a series of thumbsuckers about the evil, vile, racist Chicago PD which is gunning down those few African-American choirboys that the choirboys themselves, with a shooting rate many times that of Five-Oh, haven’t bumped off yet.

It comes down,  as badly reported media stories often do, to botched, misapplied, or (in this case) deceptively selected statistics.

 

The stat the Trib cares about (quoting Jack Dunphy, of, and from, whom, more anon):

435 police shootings that occurred in Chicago between 2010 and 2015… killing 92 people and wounding 170.

If we average the stats over the six years, that’s 73 shootings with 15 killed and 28 wounded (meaning what they’re really tracking is not shootings but shooting incidents. How can it be a shooting if the cops — or crims — don’t hit anybody?)

The stat the Trib doesn’t care about (quoting HeyJackass.com; the numbers will be higher tomorrow, or even later today):

2,888 shootings with 2,446 wounded, 442 shot dead, and an additional 442 killed without using guns,

And that’s just in 2016. To date. Against that, the Chicago law enforcement community (not just CPD)’s score that has the  has shot 17 people: 11 wounded and 6 killed. The criminals, in turn, have wounded 8 cops (they haven’t killed any, answering the question, “Who shoots worse than the average cop?” Answer, thank a merciful God: “The average crook.”

The cops shoot mostly, the Trib bemoans, young black males. Of course, that’s who the young black males mostly shoot, too.

kentrell-pledger-black disciplesMeanwhile, when the cops do restrain themselves and don’t shoot the (almost always black) crumb that takes them under fire, like the Black Disciple gang member illustrated right, they get this, and better yet — from a guy who told the arresting officers, “Thank you for not shooting me”:

“Chicago Police shot at me first,” Kentrell Pledger, a reputed Black Disciple gang member, pleaded with Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr.

As sheriff’s deputies led Pledger away, his protests grew louder: “He shot at me first. So get your story straight, dog. And for that, I should have smoked his ass.”

Pledger then told Bourgeois, who is African-American, “You ain’t black, you’re white, b ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑.”

Anybody know what obscenity begins with “b” and has six letters? Or is it that Pledger and his fans in the media can’t spell?

Anyway, maybe Pledger was innocent. Uh…

A picture of Pledger holding the same weapon used in the shooting Monday in the 300 block of West 106th was posted on social media two hours earlier, Assistant State’s Attorney Guy Lisuzzo said.

Sure, courts work on a presumption of innocence, but everyone involved understands that it is a legalism, a fiction. Not being Judge Bourgeois, we can say what everybody, including the judge, Pledger, and Pledger’s public defender, know to an absolute certainty: he’s guilty.

Who should have smoked whom’s ass? But the Pledgers of the world are the particular pets and projects of the sort of people that dream of joining the Chicago Tribune and “changing the world.” To see what they would “change the world” to, Chicago is Exhibit A.

Comes Jack Dunphy (pseud.), an LA-area cop who’s a gifted writer on crime and punishment issues, and takes the Trib to the woodshed on the subject.

[D]o Chicago police officers really shoot too many people? One could make the case that they shoot too few, an assertion Nykea Aldridge’s loved ones might make. On Saturday afternoon, Aldridge, a cousin of Chicago Bulls guard Dwayne Wade, was pushing a stroller containing her infant daughter down Calumet Avenue when she was shot and killed.  Two brothers, Darren and Darwin Sorrells, have been arrested and charged with her murder. To the surprise of exactly no one, both have lengthy arrest records and were on parole at the time of the killing.

Had some Chicago police officer spotted the Sorrells brothers in the moments before they made their fatal choice, had that cop killed them before they could kill Aldridge, today that officer would be vilified as a racist while the brothers were hailed as good fathers who were “getting their lives together,” and the local Black Lives Matter chapter would be mustering to shut down Michigan Avenue this weekend.

But Nykea Aldridge is just another name on a lengthening list of Chicago’s murder victims, noteworthy only for her relationship to a famous athlete. She will soon be forgotten by all but her family and friends – and the police officers and detectives who investigated her murder and will see it through what passes for a justice system in Chicago. Nothing to see here, Michigan Avenue will be open for business as usual this weekend.

There’s a key in that story as to why “gun violence” is so high in Chicago, where guns were, for decades, banned for normal non-criminal humans (and remain very hard to get — legally).

both … were on parole at the time of the killing

Why? Why does parole even exist? It’s simply a way for criminals to get back to crime sooner. 10-20-Life for felonies, no probation, no parole. Yes, more of these guilty crumbs will gum up the courts with forlorn-hope cases, and it will inconvenience lots of lawyers and judges. Or we can keep paroling them and reading the reports of their progress at HeyJackass.com.

It was a Perfect Day in Hawaii’s Eternal Summer

Mishap from the air. We believe that the mishap aircraft is down, and the aircraft visible is waving off.

Mishap from the air. We believe that the mishap aircraft is down, and the aircraft visible is waving off.

A perfect day, until the crash. Aviation Week has an evocative article about the crash of a Marine MV-22 Osprey in Hawaii on 17 May 2015. (A registration may be required, but no pay).

Despite the destruction of the airframe, only two of the Marine passengers on this combat-training mission, and none of the crew, were lost. But AW got hold of either a released Article 15-6 investigation report, or one hell of a leak from the actual accident board report (which is a closely held document, not releasable to the public).

It took about an hour for the Osprey to reach the Oahu coast from the Essex, arriving at about 11:30 a.m. Hawaii time. Outside, an 11-kt. wind topped off a 75F morning under slightly overcast skies as the pilots dealt with a slight glare. From the cockpit all was clear within 20 mi. of the beach. The pilots started their descent to 6,500 ft. and then to 1,500 ft. About three miles out, the pilots reduced power. The Osprey then began the riskiest stage of its flight—conversion to helicopter mode and preparation for landing, raising the nacelles and lowering the landing gear when it reached about 110 kt. a half mile before the beachline.

The Osprey crossed the beach at 80 kt. about 620 ft. above the sand, part of a formation of five MV-22s taking part in the exercise. In the cabin, some Marines would note the change in view from the vast blue Pacific to green fields and fences—a lot of fences. This would be a tight landing area.

The MV-22 began a right turn toward LZ Gull. That’s when the confusion started—the tiltrotor was following a flight path about 50 yards southeast of the intended landing point. One of the other formation Ospreys, Mayhem 12, radioed a warning: Mayhem 11 was in the wrong zone, it was too far to the right and off the range complex.

Fifty yards made all the difference, as did the failure to recon the DZ properly, and these errors would be compounded momentarily.

Inside the cabin, as they heard the change in the engine pitch announcing the switch from flight to imminent landing, the Marines strapped on their gear and unstrapped themselves from their safety harnesses. This had become common practice to allow them to exit the aircraft as quickly as possible. It was also a flagrant safety violation. They smacked themselves and each other on their plated chests. Officers held up two fingers—two minutes to landing and assault. Some again checked their magazines.

Using the nearby fence line as a reference point, the pilots started to creep their Osprey toward the LZ, with the large tree to their left. It did not look good, and they radioed the rest of the crews: “We’re going to wave this off …” The noise abatement area to the north severely constricted their ability to maneuver.

But a ragged flight formation was the least of their problems. As the aircraft descended to 25 ft., Mayhem 11 encountered brownout conditions that engulfed the Osprey—rotor downwash was kicking up a thick fog of sand and dust, obliterating points of visual reference.

“‘Brown out’ landings are one of the most difficult operations a helicopter or tiltrotor aircraft can conduct and require detailed planning for success,” investigators would later note. Those aboard Mayhem 11 were ill-prepared to perform one.

They waved off the first landing attempt, then came right back to the same place to try again.

Their next approach profile was exactly the same, producing another severe brownout. The aircraft became engulfed in dust about 25 ft. off the ground as the pilots struggled to get their bearings. It proved impossible to maintain a stable hover due to the unavailability of a clear, unobstructed view of the landing zone. The aircraft moved vertically and laterally off its mark, and the pilots realized they were climbing without meaning to. To reset and attempt another landing, the Osprey climbed to about 110 ft. to get out of the dust cloud as the pilots shifted controls, cued up a new hover page and hit the trim release button, so the aircraft wouldn’t drift from its spot in the sky.

Typical V22 dust devil on arid LZ. (Not a photo from this mishap).

Typical V22 dust devil on arid LZ. (Not a photo from this mishap).

The downwash of a V-22 has to be experienced to be believed. It is much stronger than the downwash of any other hovering rotorcraft — worse than the H-47, the H-53, the long-retired CH-54, and even the mighty Russian Mi-26. It’s very unpleasant to be under, and frightening to fast-rope from.

In addition, brownout not only ruins pilot (and crew chief) visibility, it also sluices a dry river of particulates into the engine intakes. The USMC and other Osprey operators were about to learn an expensive lesson about the plane’s ability to filter these particles.

Mayhem 11 had surpassed its limits for brownout exposure. Neither landing pass by itself had exceeded the 60-sec. brownout limit, and procedures said nothing about a combined limit within any certain period of time. The pilots were operating within accepted procedures. After this day, though, those procedures would be changed.

In the traditional story of Faust, the Devil requires the knowledge-seeking doctor to sign in blood. Flight manuals and operating limitations, also, are sometimes written in blood.

As the pilots tried to set the aircraft down for a third time, those watching the attempt from a nearby hill lost sight of the Osprey in the dust, but they heard a loud pop and saw three red flashes from the bottom exhaust of the port side engine nacelle, followed by black smoke. The pop also was heard within the V-22 itself, penetrating the hearing protection worn by the Marines. The left-hand engine had begun to clog with sand and dirt filled with reactive minerals—calcium, magnesium, aluminum and silicon—that had melted in the combustor and resolidified on the fixed first-state turbine vane. The engine surged, dipping the Osprey immediately left and rolling some of the passengers inside.

Mishap aircraft burns out. The Marines pulled all out, survivors and dead alike, and none were claimed by the fire. But it was close.

Mishap aircraft burns out. The Marines pulled all out, survivors and dead alike, and none were claimed by the fire. But it was close.

The aircraft was, perhaps, at 10 or 15 feet above the fence when the engine began to fail and the crew tried to power their way out of the imminent crash.

Inside the cockpit, time seemed to slow as the adrenaline flowed. The pilots felt the aircraft settling in its own downwash and they knew something was wrong. The Osprey started to fall. The crew chief yelled, “Power!” And then it seemed like the entire aircrew was yelling at once in unison: “Power! Power! Power!”

Both pilots slammed full forward the thrust control lever, which moves fore and aft like an airplane throttle, in an attempt to gain power and altitude. But there was nothing stopping the Osprey now—it plunged to the ground at a speed of about 36 ft. per second.

For comparison’s sake, the old MC1-1B/C parachute descended at about 18-22 feet per second with a normal load (150-300 lb.).

The crash destroyed the aircraft, killed two Marines, and injured 18 more. The casualty list would have been much worse if the Marines hadn’t self- and buddy-rescued before the noxious fumes from burning Osprey pieces could finish them.

Osprey mishaps get a lot of ink, but the aircraft is surprisingly safe, and surprisingly robust. The ship’s accident and fatal-accident rate is lower than some other combat types. One very expensive accident resulted when an Osprey tumbled off a flight deck and hit the water, getting partly submerged. The pilots never stopped fighting and they saved the aircraft, although one crewman bailed out after impact — and was not recovered by USS Boat. (Salt water corrosion meant that this would have been a Class A mishap even without the fatality, but that Osprey was repaired and flies on). The Marines are operating a couple hundred of the unique birds.

A similar “hard landing” in a Chinook or 53 would likely have caused more serious injuries and more fatalities. Unlike those aircraft, the airframe does burn (and release toxic fumes as it goes) which puts a premium on self-help after the parts are done bouncing.

Do Read The Whole Thing™. The comment section is a mixed bag of informed and uninformed personnel, if you read the comments it should be clear who is who.

Badge Stops Bullet — Twice in One Day

In two separate incidents Sunday, would-be cop killers were thwarted, not by body armor, Stingray mass-surveillance boxes, the FBI’s PR budget, perfect police training, or any of that jazz.

Their bullets ricocheted off the cops’ badges, leaving the cops safe at home at the end of the day despite the criminals’ kinetically expressed intent.

The outcome for the would be cop killers was a bit different. The guy who shot a Nevada Highway Patrol officer was killed by gunfire from backup officers, and the other guys from his car sit in cells; while the domestic-abuser-turned-cop-attacker from Anaheim, California let cops and Highway Patrol troopers on a merry 85-mile chase before losing control of his car — and burning to death in the wreck.

Good preparation for his eternity, that.

About once every five years, a policeman in the US is saved by his badge, when the badge deflects a bullet. The last time was in New York City in 2010, reporte the New York Times. Last night, however, it happened to two different policemen in two states.

In Huntington Beach, California, officers were involved in a high-speed pursuit when gunfire broke out. A 10-year veteran of the Huntington Beach Police Department had bullets shoot through his windshield and strike him. But his badge stopped the bullets. The suspect veered off the road, crashed his vehicle and died of his injuries.

That’s a very telegraphic version of the story. The Orange County Register has more detail, including these photos, some of which are HBPD handouts and some of which are OCR staff photos:

A hole in the windshield shows how a suspect shot at a Huntington Beach police vehicle, hitting an officer, but it deflected off his badge. "The round came through the front windshield of the officer’s car, struck the officer’s badge and deflected off," said Jennifer Marlatt, a department spokeswoman.

A hole in the windshield shows how a suspect shot at a Huntington Beach police vehicle, hitting an officer, but it deflected off his badge. “The round came through the front windshield of the officer’s car, struck the officer’s badge and deflected off,” said Jennifer Marlatt, a department spokeswoman.

If that doesn’t give you the creeps….

HBPD Statement:

Around 12:30 a.m. Friday morning, Huntington Beach Police initiated pursuit of a suspect for an unknown want.

He jumped in the car and fled from being arrested at a domestic violence situation, although the cops didn’t all know the “why” at the time they were chasing him.

During the pursuit the suspect opened fire on officers, striking one of the officers in his badge. Costa Mesa Fire was requested to evaluate the officer.

Apparently, Wife-Beatin’ Willie spun around in a U-Turn and fired at the approaching cops — that’s where he put the slug through the windshield and into the officer’s badge. Fortunately he was using a pistol and not a long gun with barrier blind ammo.

Officers lost sight of the suspect but were able to relocate the suspect as he entered the southbound 405 Freeway. The pursuit continued to the northbound 55 Freeway, Eastbound 91Freeway and then onto the northbound 15 Freeway where the suspect lost control of his vehicle and crashed down an embankment at Cleghorn Road, bursting into flames. The suspect was pronounced deceased at the scene. Huntington Beach Police and CHP are investigating. The pursuit lasted over an hour.

A Huntington Beach Police officer is checked out by Costa Mesa Fire after being shot in his badge during a vehicle pursuit of a suspect. The pursuit ended on the Northbound 15 Freeway when the suspect lost control of his vehicle at Cleghorn Road bursting into flames and killing him around 1:30 a.m. Friday morning in San Bernardino County.

A Huntington Beach Police officer is checked out by Costa Mesa Fire after being shot in his badge during a vehicle pursuit of a suspect. The pursuit ended on the Northbound 15 Freeway when the suspect lost control of his vehicle at Cleghorn Road bursting into flames and killing him around 1:30 a.m. Friday morning in San Bernardino County.

They zoomed in on the badge:

A Huntington Beach Police officer is checked out by Costa Mesa Fire after being shot in his badge during a vehicle pursuit of a suspect. The pursuit ended on the Northbound 15 Freeway when the suspect lost control of his vehicle at Cleghorn Road bursting into flames and killing him around 1:30 a.m. Friday morning in San Bernardino County. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: KEVIN WARN, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Around 12:30 a.m. Friday morning, Huntington Beach Police initiated pursuit of a suspect for an unknown want. During the pursuit the suspect opened fire on officers, striking one of the officers in his badge. Costa Mesa Fire was requested to evaluate the officer. Officers lost sight of the suspect but were able to relocate the suspect as he entered the southbound 405 Freeway. The pursuit continued to the northbound 55 Freeway, Eastbound 91Freeway and then onto the northbound 15 Freeway where the suspect lost control of his vehicle and crashed down an embankment at Cleghorn Road, bursting into flames. The suspect was pronounced deceased at the scene. Huntington Beach Police and CHP are investigating. The pursuit lasted over an hour.

 

HBPD’s badges are, unusually, made of steel, not bronze or aluminum.

You know, a fellow could get hurt doing that job. Of course, a fellow shooting at the people doing that job is almost certainly going to get hurt, and soon enough the suspect’s driving speed exceeded his driving skill, resulting in a rare literal crash and burn.

If there was ever a time cops were unenthusiastic about rescuing an MVA victim, this was the time.

If there was ever a time cops were unenthusiastic about rescuing an MVA victim, this was the time.

 

Does anybody get paid enough to smell that smell?

Does anybody get paid enough to smell that smell?

The crispy critter remains identified, as far as we know, at press time.

In Las Vegas, a Nevada State Trooper was conducting a traffic stop when the suspect began to flee the vehicle. During a foot pursuit, gunfire broke out and the trooper was struck in the chest. His badge saved him. The suspect died in the gunfire exchange.

The NHP Tweeted out this picture of the struck badge.

Nevda HP Badge

Two other occupants of the Nevada shooter’s car are in custody.

via Cops Badge Stops Bullet in Separate Shooting Incidents in Nevada, California: Remarkable Coincidence! – Santa Monica Observer.

So, what are the lessons learned here?

  1. It is better to be lucky than to be good.
  2. It is stupid terminally stupid to shoot at the po-po. In case you haven’t noticed, they come in whole troops or precincts.
  3. Maybe if you’re the reincarnation of Fireball Roberts, you can outrun the police car, but you can’t outrun the police radio, or the helicopter that the CHP had following the runner. These things usually end in the reincarnation of no-fireball-in-particular. QED.
  4. Something has gotten into the water (or the media air), and lots of scroungy urban mopes and suburban wildsiders who would never have thunk of it, are down with firing up Officer Friendly in 2016. Is it the Black Criminal Lives Matter movement? The police “going fetal” in urban hellholes? The DOJ lining up behind the violent criminals? Hell, is it sunspots? Or does it even matter? It’s a fact out there.

 

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Table Lamps and Neckties

Necktie2The table lamp hurt him, but the necktie finished him off. (Of course, we know that neckties don’t kill people, they’re used to kill people — an important distinction).

He was sitting up on the couch in his living room, a small throw pillow over his head and the shards of a broken table lamp scattered over his body.

“It almost looked like he was relaxing,” a law-enforcement source told The Post.

The lamp had been smashed over his head, sources said. But coroners said Friday that it was the necktie that killed him.

Cooley’s door had not been forced, and there was no sign of robbery — he had $192 in his pocket and was still wearing his good watch.

Investigators are eyeing two possible suspects, a source said Friday.

As it happens, the mystery described in that March New York Post article was soon pretty much resolved, according to this April New York Post article:

The suspect, 60, whose name is being withheld by The Post, was arrested in New York on March 3, the day of the murder of Christopher Cooley, 78, for securities fraud in Indiana, sources said.

The “known con man,” a source said, has been sitting in an Indiana prison cell since March 22.

Police have matched the suspect’s fingerprints to a broken lamp used to strike Cooley, whose body was found in his apartment March 16.

Why are they withholding the name of a homicide suspect?

So is CBS Local. Why?

It turns out the person of interest was arrested by the NYPD the day Cooley’s body was found, but the arrest was for an unrelated charge.

The man was picked up at the request of Indiana authorities who wanted him for an unspecified financial swindle. He was taken into custody and extradited back to Indiana.

During their investigation the NYPD found the man’s fingerprints inside of Cooley’s apartment.

Cops said they believe the Indiana man also suffered from cancer, befriended Cooley during treatments, and may have been stealing money from him.

The reticence of the newsies may simply be because the police have not charged the Indiana man with Cooley’s murder, yet. Or it may be that he’s some kind of diversity bean they don’t want to associate with criminality.

Still… financial fraud, and beating with a lamp, and strangling with a necktie. Sounds like a real charmer. The kind of guy the New Yorker and the ACLU learn about over wine and cheese with his defense attorney, and make into a poster child. He’s not a bad man, Your Honor. He’s just misunnerstood. He’s depraved on account-a he’s deprived, that’s it.

A VA Roundup

VA-veterans-affairsAh, the Veterans Administration. Few things are more dependable, for certain values of dependable: it is a veritable Old Faithful of scandal and all the naughty -feasances. The Department of Veterans Affairs always produces more bleak news than a scandal-weary public can consume.

This post could have been double the size, with treble the specific entries, and we last covered VA problems Friday. 

ITEM: What Medical License?

Philadelphia Veterans HospitalThis is from someone known to the blog. Her Grandfather is being treated by a VAMC (Philadelphia) and ran into problems with a specific physician. He insisted Gramps go to dialysis,  something she (with a medical background we won’t specify) thinks is unnecessary. This led to a disagreement with him doing the MD equivalent of pointing at the rank on his collar.

So she looked up his board certification. What board certification? He didn’t have any, even in his specialty (which wasn’t nephrology). That’s not that big a deal, we argued: lots of good doctors aren’t board certified, even though there’s been a push for it for decades.

Then she looked up his medical license. What medical license? It turned out (if we have the story straight), the story was that had had one, but not in Pennsylvania; in any event, his license half a continent away had lapsed. But that story was not true: Dr. Dialynsist appears never to have had a license whatsoever.

It is not a requirement at the VA and at some other .gov medical jobs.

He didn't have one of these.

He didn’t have one of these. Us neither, but then, we’re not seeing his patients.

Dr. Dialynsist did, in fact, complete medical school (and unlike several of his Philly VAMC Colleagues who are products of Monterrey, Grenada, or Santo Domingo, he did it in the United States!) but he never served an internship or residence. VA classes him as a “fellow,” and roughly like a PA or a nurse practitioner, he’s only supposed to be practicing under the direct supervision of a licensed MD.

The situation is more complex and involved than that. But here’s whee we see a glimmer of light. The lady in question left a long voicemail for the head doc of the center, expecting the usual VA stonewall. Imagine her surprise when she got a call back with an apology  for delay — Doc had had a rough period on call, and this was his one day off before things started up again.

He listened. He asked questions. He talked. He explained.

He promised that Dr Dialynsist will be “removed” from the position he’s in. Exactly what that entails, we’re not sure. And that he will take a personal interest in the health of her Grandfather.  And he convinced her he means it.

Now, the old veteran is an old man, with an old man’s ills. (Although not, yet, kidney failure). The long-run prognosis for him is the same as the long-run prognosis that that notable physician, Lord Keynes, assigned to all of us: in the long run, we are all dead. But she, at least, is convinced that someone at VA cares about her family member, even though she previously had face time with a guy that visibly did not.

There are good people in the system. There are even good people who haven’t burned out yet (which is as fine a testament to human resilience as there ever was). There’s just always a strong correlation between socialized systems’ disruption of incentives, and bad luck. 

ITEM: Suuure, The VA is All on the Up-and-Up.

Dateline, Cleveland, 24 August:

A Buffalo-based company has agreed to pay a $12 million penalty and to divest itself from a large federal project in California to resolve criminal liability from a kickback scheme for which the former Cleveland Veterans Affairs director was sent to prison.

Cannon Design, in an agreement announced Wednesday by the Justice Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs, admitted to criminal conduct by more than a dozen of its employees who took part in the scheme.

The sweetheart deal, cut by the cronies with VA IG Michael Missal, lets all 12 of the admitted criminals avoid charges and consequences: only the company’s stockholders will take the hit, along with one executive, Mark Farmer, who got two years something for bribing a VA official. (The company has to divest itself of only one ill-gotten VA project. It keeps anything else).

Morgantown FCI -- the country club for connected Federal inmates.

Morgantown FCI — the minimum security country club for 800 “connected” Federal inmates.

Their partner in crime (literally), head of the Cleveland VAMC and later the Dayton VAMC WIlliam Montague, pled guilty in 2014 to 64 felony counts of taking kickbacks into a bogus consulting company he’d set up on the side. In June 2016 he was sentenced to 57 months (4yr 9mo) in Club Fed. He’s now inmate number 59119-060 in Morgantown FCI, dancin’ to the jailhouse rock, just down the hall from his buddy 60514-060, alias Mark Farmer.

This is how the VA works. Is it time to disband it yet?

ITEM: The Union Won the Civil War in 1865. But Against Whom? It Erases the Losers from History.

burningconfedflagThe Washington Times reports today:

The Veterans Affairs Department quietly moved this month to ban flying of Confederate flags from fixed flagpoles at the cemeteries it runs, striking yet another blow against the controversial emblem.

Congress had debated and rejected that change, but the Obama administration decided to move forward anyway, saying it was unilaterally imposing the restrictions.

“In particular, we will amend our policy to make clear that Confederal flags will not be displayed from any permanently fixed flagpole in a national cemetery at any time,” wrote Ronald E. Walters, under secretary for memorial affairs at the VA.

Walters was writing to an individual Congressman, Administration ally Jared Huffman (D-CA), who has sought such a ban, but could not win a majority for it in his house. Emboldened by the victory, he is now free to seek the desecration of Confederate graves in national cemeteries, long an objective.

Like most Washington nabobs, Jared Huffman himself never served in the military of the United States. No ancestor of Rep. Huffman fought in the Civil War.

The VA has politicized the cemeteries of our fallen soldiers — and their honorable opponents. Is it time to disband it yet, and put this sacred ground under apolitical administration?

ITEM: Wisconsin DVA is Channeling the Fed Version. This is Not Good.

The Wisconsin DVA allegedly has been sticking its fingers into the trust fund of a separate establishment, the King Veterans Home, for its near-$40 million surplus, to support general WDVA operations, according to one WI politician.

State Senator Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, is calling for a federal investigation of mismanagement and a ban on any future transfers of funds from the King Veterans Home to the Veterans Trust Fund or any other state fund.

[R]esidents, staff and family members have reported severe nursing and staff shortages, broken wheelchairs, urine soaked carpet and have raised the possibility that residents are being overly medicated.

“We have veterans who served in Special Forces saying they were treated like cattle and like children,” Hansen said in the press release. “Such treatment is disrespectful and these claims deserve immediate investigation by no less than the federal government.  Until that happens not one dime should be used for any purpose other than fixing the problems at King.”

We’re not personally aware of any SF vets at King, but we don’t know the whereabouts of all our tens of thousands of brothers, so there could be a couple in there. Hansen doesn’t seem like he’s asking anything unreasonable. The WDVA has released a statement that does not seem to be directly responsive to Hansen’s points. It cites US DVA approval of the facilities at King (which is a bit like lobbying Yad Vashem for a medal with Josef Mengele as your character reference).

 

One Man’s Trap is Another Man’s Treasure

This image, which does embiggen, shows a variety of trap guns that are among the many treasures in James D. Julia’s October Auction. Trap guns (which are also called “spring guns,” and other names) were common means of poacher and burglar control from the fifteenth through the 19th centuries. Basically, it’s a firearm arranged to be set up unattended and fired by a tripwire. Such a booby trap could easily be rigged with any firearm and a basic understanding of pulleys, of course, but purpose-made trap guns were cheap and low-maintenance.

JuliaOct16AlarmandTrapGuns

A 1983 American Society of Arms Collectors article[.pdf] by Melvin Flanagan runs through some of the historic trap guns and helps make a tentative identification of some of these… at least, that is, until Julia publishes a final catalog. Numbered from top to bottom:

  1. Sure-Shot trap gun, in which the same tripwire swung the gun on target and then fired it. Designed by Charles D. Lovelace and made in several varieties by several firms from 1913;
  2. Unknown;
  3. W. Cameron trap gun, patented 1891;
  4. Unknown;
  5. Reuthe Trap Gun, fourth model. Frederick Reuthe earned the first US patent for a trap gun in 1857;
  6. Unknown;
  7. A probable 20th-Century fake, probably made in the vicinity of Omaha, Nebraska;
  8. Unknown.

Trap guns were used by the British Army to secure armories during the Colonial gunpowder-raids period in 1773-1775, and, according to Colonial Williamsburg’s history of the powder magazine, was instrumental in the initial overthrow of King George III’s governor in Virginia, Governor Lord John Murray, the 4th Earl of Dunmore (a Scots title). Dunmore had been a career soldier, and later Governor of New York before being named to the wealthier Southern colony. He was a gun-control believer, and sought to confiscate, disable (for instance, by having the locks of the militia’s muskets removed), and to the extent possible, spirit away onto HM’s ships, the arms and ammunition that might feed a rebellion. He set stringent security measures on the magazine at Williamsburg. But on the night of 3-4 June, 1775, a spring gun that was one of those security measures set history in motion:

[A] spring-gun trap set at the Magazine wounded two young men who had broken in. A furious mob stormed the building June 5. Rumors that the royal marines were returning brought out the militia. June 8, Dunmore fled to H.M.S. Fowey. British rule in Virginia was at an end.

SM-70 illustration as a poster: "Wanted: East Germany. The World's Last Headhunter Reservation."

SM-70 illustration as a poster: “Wanted:  Visit East Germany. The World’s Last Headhunter Reservation.” (Thanks to an anonymous reader for the correction — Ed.)

Trap guns have little military application, except as generic booby traps by unlawful combatants. They were used, along with several types of antipersonnel mines, along the inter-German border by the quisling regime in East Germany. Some East German trap guns were converted cartridge-firing firearms, but from 1970 a special purpose directional mine called the Splittermine Modell 1970 was set up at intervals to booby-trap the expanded-metal fence that was one of the many security layers of the Berlin Wall.

Trap guns gradually fell out of favor, especially after World War II as courts came around to the idea that criminals’ rights were more important than victims’. In the USA, the key rulings were Katko v. Briney (1971) and McComb v. Connaghan (1990) in which career criminals (Katko and McComb) were held to be unlawfully killed. At least one other booby-trap dead burglar case was resolved with the acquittal of the booby-trapper, but he used electricity, not a trap gun.

Despite these rulings, trap guns and booby-traps are not banned, per se, in many jurisdictions. But it’s hard to imagine a situation in which an attorney would advise a property owner to deploy such devices. They’re a use of deadly force that is not being used to protect life and limb; they seem to fail several prongs of the use of deadly force test.

Consequently, the trap gun is an artifact of a lost period in history, and a collector’s item… some of which are coming available at auction.

Different Spanks for Different Ranks, #473

Why did Stefan Arzberger, 43, walk away from these charges in Manhattan court?

…strangling and nearly killing a tourist after he barged into her hotel room nude in a drug-induced stupor…

First, he blamed his rampage, not on the traditional bad ice cube, but on what is apparently New York City’s prime attraction in the post-Bloomberg era, a tranny whore named Jerry Neptune, aka Natalie Pros. No, seriously. We Are Not Making This Up.

Supposedly, Stefan’s Walk on the Wild Side with Jerry was derailed by Stefan getting so stoned that he didn’t notice when the he-she vogued out with Stefan’s iPad. And then, as the saying goes, his troubles began.

Later, a wild-eyed and naked Arzberger stumbled out of his room at the West 58th Street hotel and began mindlessly knocking on guests’ doors, prosecutors said.

When the North Carolina tourist opened her door, he wrapped his hands around her neck with so much pressure the blood vessels in her eyes allegedly popped.

He also, according to her testimony which the judge grudgingly took, tried to smother her. She was a 65-year-old lady, attacked and violently injured by a drug-abusing 43-year-old man. That’s a serious crime of violence in 49 other states. So why were a New York prosecutor and judge bouncingly eager to let Stefan Arzberger walk?

Because, in the corrupt courtroom of crooked judge Ronald Zweibel, with corrupt, crooked and conniving prosecutor Joshua Steinglass in attendance, what matters is not what you did, but who you is. In the words of that age-old New York parvenu’s refrain, “Do you know who I am?”

Zweibel and Steinglass (and for that matter, the New York Post’s Rebecca Rosenberg, who writes approvingly of the resolution of the case) know who Arzberger is. They’re cultured New Yorkers, or wannabes, and he’s a top concert violinist with the Leipzig String Quarter. He’s somebody. His victim? Tourist. From the flyover state of North Carolina. She’s nobody. 

Decision made: Arzberger walks. And so he did.

It lets a couple of Manhattan shysters feel like they did something for culture. And, don’t forget, to strike a blow against the crime of being from North Carolina.