It wasn’t his boat, but the boat of a man who was friend of many Marlins team members. It’s uncertain at this time whether the owner was one of the other two men killed.
Chief Petty Officer Nyxolyno Cangemi told The Associated Press that a Coast Guard patrol boat spotted an overturned boat at 3:30 a.m. on a jetty near Government Cut. The bodies were discovered a short time later. Officials said no one was wearing a life vest.
Because the boat was on a jetty, the Coast Guard notified Miami-Dade police, which turned the investigation over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Fernandez was on a 32-foot vessel that had a “severe impact” with the jetty, said Lorenzo Veloz of the Fish Commission.
Veloz said the boat was found upside down. Two bodies were found under the vessel and one was found in the water by divers. The boat was traveling full speed and was demolished.
There was no evidence of alcohol or illegal substances being a factor in the crash.
No booze, no drugs. Just young guys enjoying speed in the warm night air.
“It does appear that speed was involved due to the impact and the severity of it,” Veloz said. “It does appear to be that they were coming at full speed when they encountered the jetty, and the accident happened.”
Fernandez, an escapee from Communist Cuba, was remembered by his teammates for his youthful enthusiasm — and his passionate love for the United States. “You were born to freedom,” he would tell native-born Americans. “You don’t know what freedom is.”
José Fernandez is now free. May God have mercy on his soul.
Here’s a typical jet jock of the mid-1950s, a bit hung over, but nothing a little 100% O2 won’t fix.
Today’s Air Force pilots will be amazed at the safety culture of the decade… and the low-hanging fruit, like not flying with a head-splitting hangover, or checking current weather, that the 1950s safety culture was trying to pluck.
For everyone else, the pictures of 1950s aviation in the US Air Force Europe (USAFE, pronounced, ironically, “you-safe”) shoud be entertaining.
Still, there’s a lot to be said for a time when a guy could just sign for his F-86D and blast off on a VFR cross-country.
An Orange County Sheriff’s Department deputy left an AR like this, in its case with three loaded magazines, on the trunk of a patrol car before driving away. It remains missing. (Source: OCSD)
In California, where guns are getting closer to being outlawed every time the legislature sits, a police gun that had gone missing turned up, exactly the way cops don’t want it to: in a homicide. And that got the Orange County Register curious: how many other guns are missing from SoCal cop shops? The answer: at least 329.
Southern California police agencies regularly lose track of all manner of firearms, from high-powered rifles and grenade launchers to standard service handguns – weapons that often wind up on the street.An Orange County Register investigation of 134 state and local police agencies from Kern County to the Mexican border found that over the past five years at least 329 firearms were lost by or stolen from law enforcement agencies.Dozens of these weapons wound up in the hands of criminals – and some were involved in crimes. In Northern California, a missing police gun was used in a suspected murder.But the number of guns known to be missing or stolen is almost certainly a fraction of the actual number that have made the jump from police agency to street. Not every department audits its weaponry. If agencies performed such audits, they’d find they were missing more guns
Despite losing a lot of guns, the cop managers say it’s not big deal, because they have a lot of guns; they should get some slack for losing a few.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, following a request by the Register, assembled a team of nearly two dozen employees to track through thousands of files on gun location and gun assignments. The research found that at least 103 L.A. County Sheriff’s Department guns, ranging from service handguns to shotguns, were lost or stolen over the past five years.
Hey, that’s only 20-point-something a year!
A spokesperson said the agency didn’t previously know how many guns were missing, and hadn’t recently conducted a centralized count of its service handguns. The missing weapons are a tiny portion of the department’s 20,000-gun arsenal.
Is it just us, or does that spokesman’s “it’s only 103 out of 20,000” sound kind of like, “Dad, it’d be a good grade if Mrs Throttlebottom graded on a curve,” or what?
But say, while LASD might look like they’re all butterfingers with their guns compared to say, you or us (hey, we had one out of place for two days, and it nearly induced a-fib), they look like the Ayatollah of Inventory Controll-ah compared to the slipshod cop shops in Northern California, a couple of whom lose guns at a rate of fifty-plus a year.
(The link is to a feature at the San Jose Mercury News). And these departments are the ones that raised their hands and accepted the foul in good grace. Some of them didn’t answer the door when the copsmedia knocked.
At least 24 agencies contacted over the past three months didn’t respond to requests for data on missing or stolen weapons. And the Long Beach Police Department, one of the bigger agencies in Southern California, said it doesn’t track weapons because its officers provide their own guns.
Gotta love Long Beach: “Not our circus, not our monkeys.” Yeah, that’s how ATF Phoenix Group VII felt until the guns they walked started killing Feds and not just “mere” Mexicans. Although, the comparison isn’t really fair to the policemen: unlike the ATF, they weren’t trying to lose the guns.
There are about 300 million guns in America, and nobody knows how many are owned or controlled by police agencies.
That number is almost certainly low — extremely low. Almost 300 million guns have been made or imported in the last 25 years! But that’s another story.
What is known is that it’s not rare for police and their weapons to go separate ways and that, in general, lost or stolen police guns account for some of the weapons used to commit crimes.
“A significant source of guns in illegal hands, on the black market, come from stolen firearms,” said Ari Freilich, staff attorney with San Francisco’s Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
“We should be concerned that police – and all individuals that keep deadly weapons – know where their guns are.”
Normally, Halley’s Comet comes around more frequently than a non-risible statement from a functionary of some gun-ban group like the Law Center, but Freilich’s last sentence is completely unobjectionable. He’s right. Of course, the news people seem to think the whole problem is caused by exempting cops from California’s violent-criminal-friendly gun storage laws:
[O]n- and off-duty police officers are allowed to store and carry weapons in ways that would be unlawful for other citizens in California. The theory behind that law is to make sure an officer doesn’t have to unlock a stored gun to use it in an emergency, but in practice it often leads to police guns being stolen.
An officer shouldn’t “have to unlock a stored gun to use it in an emergency,” but neither should any peaceable citizen. But the report, otherwise so good, seems not to have brought forward the key point. The problem of stolen guns leaching into the criminal black market really doesn’t stem from theft of guns held ready for self-defense, it primarily comes from guns stored in homes and cars and then stolen in residential and auto burglaries. Indeed, safe storage laws only go so far; as the old saying goes, “locks keep honest people out,” and a burglary in which burglars make off with a small safe or smash open a large one are distressingly common.
But you’re not helping by leaving them in an unlocked car, a common cop practice.
At least 22 of the stolen guns were retrieved. Authorities in Mexico recovered some guns stolen from U.S. law enforcement, while U.S. police found other weapons in the hands of fleeing felons.
Often, the reports show, officers treated their guns in ways that wouldn’t be legal for most civilians. High-caliber firepower was stowed in backpacks or gym bags and stuffed behind car seats. Handguns were stashed in center consoles or glove boxes. Burglars looking for weapons that on the street can be sold for several hundred to a couple of thousand dollars found them.
Makes our point about the sort of storage the criminals are exploiting, doesn’t it? A number of the thefts they go on to list (do Read The Whole Thing™) were from unlocked vehicles. Lots of shotguns and ARs were lost, including at least two full-auto M16s. Riverside PD lost a 40mm grenade launcher. And then there were these two bozos:
Two deputies, one in San Diego County and one in Orange County, separately left assault rifles worth $1,500 apiece on the trunks of their patrol cars and drove away. The Orange County deputy had put the rifle down to take a call on his cellphone, according to authorities. By the time the deputies realized what they had done, the weapons were gone. The California Highway Patrol found the San Diego rifle. The Orange County rifle remains on the streets.
There was another AR that was left in a locked patrol car — with the windows down. That one was recovered from the home of the drunk that winkled it out of the car. (We suspect that surveillance video came in with that save).
It’s unclear if agencies would welcome regulations requiring regular gun counts, but some police leaders believe the profession could do a better job of keeping track of weapons.
It’s staggering to think any agency wouldn’t do audits. Ask an FFL what happens if he tells his Industry Operations Inspector he’s missing a few firearms, and, incidentally, he last conducted an audit since Christ was a corporal. Or never. (Outcome: the next ATF official he’s talking to will probably be a special agent, not an IOI, and he’s not going to like the way the conversation goes).
Chuck Michel, an attorney who specializes in gun laws, said if police agencies were gun stores, many would go “out of business for the way they keep inventory.”
Hey, we hope the slump is ending and this week will be good for all!
If you see a lot of video posts with short notes, we’re still slumping (grin). We’re on the tail end of a head cold.
Note that a preliminary Saturday Matinee is up backdated to yesterday, Taking Fire (TV, 2016), and hardly anyone has looked at the one posted (if belatedly) last week, Sully (2016). Sully is not the least bit military, but it’s good, and Taking Fire is a pretty raw documentary, but it’s all military.
The idea seemed to be this: a very green Army infantry platoon was going to be spending a year at a miserable position in Afghanistan, Combat Outpost (COP, pronounced like slang for policeman) Michigan, located at the junction of the Pech and Korangal valleys in southeastern Afghanistan. Why not just GoPro the living daylights out of their tour?
And so they did. And they got more than they bargained for.
One of their MCAVs was blown up by an IED, leaving two men dead and one with a broken spine, needing urgent medevac;
Their competent (and respected, and loved) medic was shot by a sniper, with a round entering his neck and exiting between his shoulder blades, and a man with combat lifesaver training only had to step up and keep him alive while the unit pursued tactical superiority and brought in a medevac Black Hawk;
They all would have difficulties of some kind with reintegration; the medic who thought he might be an Army career man had to reorient his life; the combat lifesaver who stepped up decided to become a paramedic and firefighter; the platoon sergeant whose men saw him as solid as a bear would struggle with survivors’ guilt over the loss of each man.
There have been some excellent documentaries based on embeds, like Restrepo and Outside the Wire, but this is the first one based almost entirely on video shot by the soldiers themselves. After seeing one soldier’s video, a producer put the whole thing together.
Acting and Production
There’s no acting, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t “characters.”
One annoying detail of the production is that salty language is bleeped — always. That may have been required to get it on Discovery. Likewise, some images are blurred. One hopes that some of this is rectified before these things see DVD.
The video is fast-paced when in country, but drags in the postwar home scenes.
A documentary like this is at the mercy of the power of the events that occur while the cameras are rolling. Fortunately for the producers and viewers — and sometimes, at some heartbreaking moments, unfortunately for the soldiers of this platoon — this was an eventful tour.
This video may not be available forever, but it is supposed to be the complete video of Episode 1, posted by “Taking Fire“. We found it to be a weird screen-in-screen thing, with pitch-shifted audio, but it may be available to those of you who can’t see it on your cable:
Accuracy and Weapons
The weapons are the typical US weapons in use at the time. One thing that viewers may appreciate is the occasional discussion of weapons and explanation of their capabilities and roles. A high point is definitely the platoon sergeant’s irritation at a private who’s forgotten the oil bottle to maintain his Mk 48 LMG (basically, a SAW scaled up to 7.62, an easy trick for FN to pull off as the original Minimi was scaled down from a 7.62 mm prototype). Sure enough, the Mk 48 falls down on the job, in combat.
The bottom line
Based, we admit, on the two episodes (of five) that we’ve seen, this is some compelling TV. However, it is often emotionally raw and sometimes heartbreaking; consider that before you start watching.
No, that wasn’t a typo. A Greek crew took their attack helicopter surfing. (NSFW warning: an obscenity, if you happen to know modern Greek).
The pilots both survived, although their military careers might not. (Russia Today says that the Greek military claimed the aircraft had engine failure. We note that the Apache is a twin-engine helicopter, and even on a hot day has no trouble flying on one engine at sea level.
Below sea level? That’s a problem.
Remember, pilots: you can never beat the World Low Flying Record. You can only tie.
Now this is a clever thing, and a brilliant use of 3D Printing in combination with over-the-counter materials (in this case, carbon fiber tubes). Result: an ultralight carbon fiber and printed plastic bipod.
It’s from our dude, Guy in a Garage, and unlike some of his designs, you can build it yourself, or he’ll build one for you; you can email him at email@example.com. The files are here:
The ridiculously light weight (1.5 ounce) comes by sacrificing some of the adjustability of the common Harris bipod, requiring the legs to be individually removed from the bipod position and placed in the storage/traveling position, and using ultralight carbon fiber for the legs. By contrast this example of a Harris “ultra-light” bipod gives you much more flexibility in how to deploy it, and is more convenient to use, but adds 13 ounces to your firearm — 867% of the weight of the carbon-and-print rig.
The ultralight weight of this bipod allows it to be positioned much closer to the muzzle with much less effect on balance. Lots of Harrises are set fairly far back, just to keep the weapon closer its design balance point.
You know, a bayonet catch would make this a perfect thing. Otherwise, we’d fear the legs would, in time, wear away at the printed plastic of the adapter.
Well here it is. Took a couple hours to make but I think it turned out well. Let me know what the group thinks. Also if you guys want to check out more, hit me on Instagram @av12g
Hmm. Our Spectre was FDE. Other that that, it’s about perfect.
Ian Struggles with an RSC-1917
Ian finally came to grips with the early French semiauto rifle, the only semi widely used in WWI. The RSC-1917 was about 20 years ahead of its time, a baroque gas-operated design that was not only ahead of its time but also ahead of the ammunition consistency of the era. He found that it didn’t quite work.
We note that he’s firing it right-handed (he’s a lefty), probably to avoid the gentle caress of the operating handle on that bolt carrier. Note also the M1-style operating rod below the ejection port; that’s what makes the action move.
Turns out it’s short-stroking. I suspect there is some gunk in the gas system that needs to be cleaned out, and I will be working on that later today. However, I’m quite happy to have this type of problem, and not one of it being overused and liable to damage itself. I’ve got plenty of time to get it working right while I dig up some of its proprietary and extremely scarce clips, anyway.
And, being Ian, he did troubleshoot the ancient thing successfully:
Disassembled rifle; found the front couple inches of the gas piston gummed up with old hardened grease. I had to pry the piston out, and I have little doubt that’s the cause of the problems
This is what 100 years of sitting still, even in controlled storage, does for a firearm and its lubricants:
He’s got a cleaning job ahead … and then, he’s gotta find some clips if he wants to run it in a 2-gun match.
Frenchmen weren’t stupid… and postwar, they converted these things to repeaters. Just sayin’.
5th Circuit Panel Lets Defense Distributed Injunction Stand
In a procedural ruling on the ongoing Def Dist v US Department of State, a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court let a preliminary injunction stand. Contrary to some of the half-assed reporting in the press (Popular Science, we’re lookin’ at you), this was not a ruling on the merits and it is not final or particularly precendential. (There is some better journalism on the ruling out there). Not surprisingly, a national socialist judge found that a bare assertion of “national security” by the State Department negates the 1st and 2nd Amendments; also, not surprisingly, said judge seemed to draw his reasoning and verbiage from the Brady gun-ban group’s amicus brief (which may be why some are freakin out). Yes, it is a profoundly anti-gun ruling but it’s a procedural ruling relative to a temporary injunnction, and it doesn’t change anything (except, perhaps, to stress the importance of removing domestic small arms and technical data appurtenant thereto, from the purview of the would-be UN-subordinates in the State Department).
Blog Ave Atque Vale, I
Some time ago, Mike Vanderboegh of the influential Sipsey Street Irregulars blog passed away. Mike was one of the two bloggers that helped ATF whistleblowers expose wrongdoing at the agency (the other was David Codrea). After Mike lost his last long fight, with cancer, his son continued the blog for a time, but has now closed it down.
Mike reminded everyone that a gun in your hand is a preferable option to a life on your knees…. Keep it legal. Keep it local…. And if the government is going to make of you a criminal, be the best one you can be.
We think we understand why he pulled the plug. Best of luck to him, and may his father rest forever in free soil.
Blog Ave Atque Vale, II
For quite a while, a gun blog we always enjoyed, Alphecca, has been on hiatus. Jeff Soyer, whose take on guns and libertarian politics was always entertaining, has said he plans it back, but we can relate to anyone getting worn down by daily blogging, with other things to do.
Usage and Employment
The hardware takes you only half way. The wetware in your brain housing group is what makes your weapons work.
Home Invaders become Out-vaders Under Fire
This video illustrates several points. First, three Black Lives Matter activists invade a home in Gwinnett County, GA (metro Atlanta area), working on two stereotypes of Asian businesspeople: (1) they keep lots of cash, and (2) they’re pushovers for violent crime. They kick the door and all three come in holding handguns in the movie-ready position, and spend the next two minutes in a disorganized search for something to steal. At about 2:04, everything changes.
By 2:11 in the video, it’s basically all over. The three first try shooting back, but quickly give it up as a losing proposition and flee in well-deserved terror. One of them (the creep in the dark jacket and the wig), career criminal Antonio Leeks, is dying, outside and off camera; Black Criminal Lives may Matter, but they sure are short (Leeks was 28). By the time the cops were on scene, he was assuming ambient temperature, and no one misses him except the mama that raised him wrong.
The third guy, who comes from inside on the right, passes in front of the firing woman in bug-eyed painic, and flees stage left and out the back door, once again proves the old adage that it is better to be lucky than to be good. He went through at such speed that, when the lady was on the phone to 911, she insisted that there were only two home invaders, the guys that went out the front door.
Unknown, left, and the late, unlamented Antonio Leeks (right). Bad cess to him.
When the woman comes on the scene, firing, she’s using appalling technique, one-handed, not particularly aiming, but she still won the gunfight, and there are several lessons there. An imperfect defense, aggressively applied — and, not to stereotype too much, but she came on in full Tiger Mother mode — is better than a perfect defense, deferred.
Also, criminals like these expect to use their guns for intimidation. Ask any homicide detective how many times he’s heard something like “I didn’t plan to shoot him,” or “I was only going to rob the guy!” from some crestfallen scumbag whose IQ 70 master plan for a $100-score robbery to buy some weed or oxys turned into life in prison with the stroke of a finger. Criminals are not expecting armed resistance, and, as you can see, it scares the crap out of them.
The other would-be criminal mastermind.
Consider what would have happened if that had been one criminal coming out against three cops. The criminal would be the one wearing the toe-tag; same when one hadji pops up shooting in front of a stick of our soldiers. These robbers were 3-to-1; they were the aggressors; they were presumably alert; they had every advantage, except mindset. They had the mindset of criminals, bullies. Their world is always shattered by effective resistance.
The good news is that one of these guys, Leeks, bled out in the driveway. (Leeks had leaks. Heh). The bad news is that, despite the other two nogoodniks being more recognizable in this camera than in their drivers’ license pictures, the cops still don’t have their cuffs on the other two skunks.
Finally, the lady did two things in this video that you should never do. She got away with them, but you might not:
She didn’t have good situational awareness and let a robber get behind her. Only his advanced state of HP saved her; if he had kept a cool head, he could have just shot her from his position in that side corridor, not fled past her and out the back door. You can’t count on getting a coward as a home invader, although the odds run that way.
She kept shooting from the doorway at the fleeing robbers. Don’t do that. Many cops and prosecutors will interpret this as a change of your status from defender to aggressor, with devastating consequences for your self-defense claim. As this is a legal issue and we are not lawyers (and definitely not your lawyers), we strongly urge you to read The Law of Self-Defense by Andrew Branca and attend one (or more!) of his LOSD seminars. In criminal-hostile, defender-friendly Gwinnett County you might get away with what this woman did; in criminal-cuddly Boston she’d be held without bail on murder charges.
Cops ‘n’ Crims
Cops bein’ cops, crims bein’ crims. The endless Tom and Jerry show of crime and (sometimes instantaneous) punishment.
He admitted that he made the stunning find when he peeked inside three old wooden boxes that had been left on a pile of rubbish outside J. Birnbach Inc.’s office Nov. 24, 2015.
Some workers were helping the company move to a new floor in the Diamond District building on Fifth Avenue near 47 Street and absentmindedly tossed the weathered boxes, authorities said.
Martinez pocketed the pricey stones, including one worth $3.2 million, court papers show.
He sold some of the diamonds to a jeweler in the same building where he found them for $74,000, according to the criminal complaint. He turned over the rest of the stones — including the priciest bauble — to authorities ….
So why is Martinez in trouble, and Birnbach’s isn’t trying to take it out of the hide of their own incompetent workers? Simple. Birnbach’s owners are connected. Martinez is nobody.
Pointing a Gun at Cops is Dumb, II
Yeah, we had this same headline last week, but another guy did it this week, in Charlotte, NC, with predictable first- and second-order results.
First-order result: a Charlotte-Mecklenburg cop shot him dead. Good. And predictable.
Second-order result: Black Criminals Lives Matter organized riots and looting in the city. Also predictable. Like a GEICO ad, “it’s what they do.”
Third-order result: the DOJ sent a crack team to the city. No, not Federal agants to restore order, the notorious “Community Relations Service” to help organize the riots. In retrospect, this too was predictable.
No word on whether the Feds get to keep some of the looted cash, hair weaves, and consumer electronics.
The Charlottesville cops have learned something interesting: 70% of the violent rioters and riot organizers were from out of state, and someone (the DOJ? International ANSWER? The SEIU? All have profited from Black Criminals’ Lives Matter) has been busing them in.
Awww Poor Bwadwey Manning Again
His fans, who call the poor, confused thing Chelsea, are whining again (they have to whine for him, because in the jug no one can hear you whine, except the other cons). Why? Because he’s tried to kill himself, can’t color between the lines of prison life, and is locked up in solitary. Call that con a Waaahmbulance!
Here’s the charge sheet[.pdf]. Basically, they’re going to punish him because his self-centered (as usual) suicide attempt forced a lockdown and Force Cell Move Team activation (the FCMT picks up and moves prisoners who won’t or can’t, in this case because of the suicide attempt, cooperate in their own transfer).
The Perils of Kathleen: You’re Kidding, She’s Still in the News? Edition
Here’s where we chronicle ongoing meltdown of the paranoid, vengeful and extremely anti-gun now-former Pennsylvania attorney general, Kathleen Kane. It’s almost over at long last.
21 Sep: The Two Faces of Kane. Brad Bumsted, who has written at book length on the Keystone State’s culture of corruption (everyone thinks his own state’s political elite is the crooked one, which ought to tell us something), writes about Kane.
The state’s chief law enforcement officer was convicted of multiple counts of perjury, obstruction of justice and official oppression. To smear a fellow prosecutor, Kane leaked secret grand jury material that ended up humiliating and embarrassing a third party, Philadelphia NAACP president J. Whyatt Mondesire. She orchestrated a “cloak and dagger” cover-up to obstruct the investigation….
Bumsted thinks her mob lawyers blew it by not putting her on the stand. In retrospect, that seems sensible, but we have the hindsight of knowing that their gamble failed utterly. Bumsted, who sat through the trial, came away convinced that she was guilty of at least some of the charges.
21: Sep: A Kane Coatholder Returns. In one of those cases that makes Pennsylvanians think that they do have a uniquely incestuous and corrupt political culture, former Kane Chief of Staff Blake Rutherford will be back as a “Special Advisor” to temporary AG Bruce Beemer. Rutherford will draw no pay from the AG’s office, instead living off his position as a partner in the “connected” Philadelphia law firm, Cozen O’Connor. Rutherford’s connections also include Clinton loyalist Mack McLarty, and this may be a play to land Beemer (and Rutherford) gigs in a future Clinton administration.
One day, Kane will be out of the headlines, and in prison. Roll on sentencing, 24 October.
Unconventional (and current) Warfare
What goes on in the battlezones of the world — and preparation of the future battlefields.
There are No Lone Wolves
Andrew McCarthy (the prosecutor who jailed the 1993 WTC bombers), building on work by Patrick Poole, notes that:
the actor initially portrayed as a solo plotter lurking under the government’s radar turns out to be — after not much digging – an alreadyknown (sometimes even, notorious) Islamic extremist.
As amply demonstrated by Poole’s reporting, catalogued here by PJ Media, “lone wolves” –virtually every single one — end up having actually had extensive connections to other Islamic extremists, radical mosques, and (on not rare occasions) jihadist training facilities.
The overarching point I have been trying to make is fortified by Pat’s factual reporting. It is this: There are, and can be, no lone wolves.
The very concept is inane, and only stems from a willfully blind aversion to the ideological foundation of jihadist terror: Islamic supremacism.
If “Because they are Arabs,” is too much of a tautology for you, this excellent old (1999) essay by Norvell deAtkine explains just what it is about Arabs that makes them completely third-rate at the Art of War. This is true even when they can be, man for man and, sometimes, small-unit-for-small-unit, born warriors.
Is it time to disband this thing yet, and letting all its bloatoverhead seek its own level in the Dreaded Private Sector™?
[S]even in ten employees felt “moderately informed” at best on the differences between service animals, therapy animals, and emotional support animals. That number includes 23 percent who said they are “not informed at all.”
Personally, we think just about any dog benefits just about any human (ditto horses, if you can afford them), and getting a dog has been a self-prescribed therapy for vets since long before a soldier-hating psychologist coined the term “PTSD” during the Vietnam War in an attempt to brand all veterans as unstable and dangerous.
Personally, we think that “service animals” are service animals, and we’ve yet to see a “therapy” or “emotional support” animal that was anything but some attention-craving Unique and Special Snowflake’s® pet. Vets with actual survivors’ guilt or other psychological stresses related to combat, all of which are lumped into the loosely defined and recklessly diagnosed “PTSD” by the quacks of the mental health industrial complex, tend to be the polar opposite of attention-craving. But what do we know about vets and combat? We never went to Harvard or Yale.
“Gross Mismanagement” in Denver
Well, that’s what we’ve come to expect from the DVA. Mismanagement. (Is “gross mismanagement” mismanagement x 144?. It seems that way). In this case, it’s the more-than-double-the-cost overruns of the already gold plated Denver VAMC in Aurora, CO. And there’s this little detail from ABC:
A report from the department’s internal watchdog also said a former senior VA official, Glenn Haggstrom, knew the project was veering toward huge cost overruns but didn’t tell lawmakers that when he testified before Congress in 2013 and 2014.
And, as always, there has been no accountability:
Sloan Gibson, deputy secretary of veterans affairs, has said that everyone involved in the cost overruns has either retired or was transferred or demoted. No one has been fired or criminally charged.
Hey, a .gov job is an entitlement, and that’s ironclad. Taking care of veterans was a promise, and those come with an expiration date, in Washington.
Not surprisingly, Congress want Haggstrom, VA official Stella Fiotes, and other officials who lied to them investigated for perjury (Denver Post / The Coloradoan), but that’s not going to happen; the DOJ has the corrupt officials’ back.
After the DVA’s profound failure to manage the construction, it has been transferred to the Army Corps of Engineers, which has tried to cut some of the pricey artistic touches (like $8 million extra in ornamental landscaping) but the Corps managers say that contracts committed to by the DVA limit how much they can cut.
VA Stage-Manages Bogus “Reform” Legislation
VA officials, resistant as always to firing the crooks, thieves, patient-abusers and incompetents on their rolls, have thrown their weight behind a a bogus “reform” bill called the “Veterans First Act” which doesn’t actually do anything, but preserves all the protections bad workers have: “Veterans First” actually puts veterans last, behind the bad workers. The VA managers and bad employees want to substitute this toothless bill for a toothsome one that has already passed the House with strong bipartisan majorities. Dan Caldwell of Concerned Veterans of America explains what’s wrong with this Veterans Last Bill at USA Today.
We disagree with Dan, though, and think the real question is this:
Isn’t it time to disband this thing?
Lord Love a Duck!
The weird and wonderful (or creepy) that we didn’t otherwise get to.
A Twitter Alternative?
Twitter’s gone round the bend, banning wrongthink — most recently Tennessee Law professor Glenn Reynolds, whom they unbanned later, after applying their point-of-view (in this case, in favor of Black Criminals’ Lives Matter rioters) censorship to his account.
We’ve heard rumblings that gab.ai is a potential alternative that will not have Twitter’s Owellian Trust and Safety Commissariat enforcing modern collegiate-style censorship. Instead, the perpetually offended can censor what they themselves see, and not impose their opinions on others. We signed up, and we’re in for the waiting list:
Although we’re on the list, we don’t think #64,999 is anywhere near the head of the line. And if it’s anywhere near the end, Gab is going to be struggling for a time.
One of these guns is not like the others;
One of these guns just doesn’t belong.
Can you guess which gun is not like the others,
Before I finish my song?
(Puzzled international readers, that’s from a long-running and hell-for-saccharine TV kids’ “educational” show which everybody’s mother made him watch at least a few times). Now that we’ve had our sing-along, here’s the photo. Which one doesn’t belong?
And all of the pistol-things on the table are, indeed, the sort of thing you’d expect from Ghanaian village blacksmiths — except the Luger P.08 that’s the second one back on the right.
Wonder what its story is? Unfortunately, some Ghanaian copper has probably already either thrown it into a smelter, or sold it back onto the black market.
The constant panoply of odd creations that turn up on Impro Guns illustrate many things, but one of the major ones is, “What a simple machine a gun is to build,” and another, “How universal the desire for firearms is,” Most of these improvised guns are made where strict gun control reigns, or tries to. A great many of them are made by criminals and terrorists. Others, however, seem to be the product of hobbyists, and still others, made by or for people who simply feel a need for self-defense, a need that is never met perfectly by The State.
Indeed, in most strict gun control jurisdictions, the state makes nearly no effort to step in and defend its disarmed populace. Look at LA or Chicago, with hundreds and thousands of murders respectively, most of which go unsolved even though none of them seem to be committed by criminal masterminds. So at some point, the peaceable and formerly law-abiding person breaks out and builds himself, or has built for himself, a tool of self defense.
The criminal element, meanwhile, skips simple defensive handguns and long guns, and goes right to making suppressed automatic weapons, as the police in Australia have discovered. The Australian gun ban (semi-autos and pump and lever shotguns) has not seriously inconvenienced the criminal element, which is well armed with auto weapons on the conceptual level of the Sten or Mac-10. Criminals used to avoid these weapons because of the disparity in consequences for getting caught with one, vis-a-vis a revolver. Now, a criminal is as well hung for a sheep as a lamb, and goes direct to St. Valentine’s Massacre capability.
The only consequences you can always count on are unintended consequences.
Note: we’re still running late here, over 12 hours behind schedule, for which we beg your forbearance. Your Humble Blogger has been a bit under the weather, and dealing with it by drinking plenty of fluids, skipping PT (unfortunately) and spending plenty of time snoring in the recliner with Small Dog Mk II. These are wondrous and joyful activities indeed, but they don’t get the blog written on schedule. Bear with us — Ed.