Monthly Archives: November 2016

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Parole and Probation

demetrius-colemanMeet Demetrius Coleman, career criminal, parolee and probationer who killed three people on their way to Thanksgiving dinner and injured four more, using nothing but a Hyundai Elantra and his own disregard for the law, and, of course, a big assist from the criminal-loving, victim-slaying bench. Police One:

David Bianco, his fiancee, Kaylie Meininger, and their 2-year-old daughter, Annika, were killed when Coleman hit their car and it burst into flames at an intersection, friends and relatives said. They had been driving to an uncle’s house for dinner.

What this story doesn’t say is that Bianco was thrown free, as was a rear-seat passenger who suffered severe head trauma. Meininger and little Annika in her car seat survived the impact, but burnt to death in the car, screaming their last moments in a Hell on earth as the flames roasted them beyond recognition.  (Some of those details are in this story).

Not that Satan’s servant Coleman, or the soulless monster of a judge who put him on the street, care.

Back to Police One.

“They were talking about the future and getting married,” Meininger’s cousin Brittany Puccio told KDKA-TV.

Coleman is charged with criminal homicide, vehicular homicide and aggravated assault with a vehicle among other charges in the Thanksgiving crash on a busy highway about 10 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. He remained hospitalized in police custody and didn’t have an attorney listed in court records.

He didn’t have a license, and the ownership of the Hyundai with which he did his worst does not seem to have been established.

Coleman, of Pittsburgh, sped away from the convenience store parking lot where he was pulled over once officers turned up the drug warrant while checking his identification, the complaint said. The crash scene, in North Versailles, was about 2 miles from the initial traffic stop.

Was this a one-time excursion from the straight and narrow path for young Coleman? What do you think?

Online court records show Coleman, 22, was on probation for a 2012 drug possession case when he was charged with drug possession with intent to deliver in March. He was sentenced to jail but was then paroled and had his probation on the former case extended.

Parole is evil. Probation is evil. 10-20-Life, and go straight to life for violent crimes in which a person is harmed or threatened with harm. Or death; the Supreme Court’s fuzzy love for offenders notwithstanding, Coleman has earned a short drop to a neck-snapping conclusion.

Accident reconstruction experts and other investigators were piecing together the crash, in which a second vehicle also was struck. Three women in that SUV were injured but survived.

Kill him. He’s worse than worthless. The more our jurisprudence diverges from Lex Talionis, the more judges, lawyers, social workers and other parasites are piled on to the burden that crime already imposes on the just and righteous. Kill him, and may God have mercy on his soul.

A female passenger in Coleman’s vehicle also was injured, police said.

That would have been his ho, one Asia Camp. She says she didn’t know nuffin, and he dindu nuffin, just a little “driving crazy.”

If the courts won’t kill him, bring back the Committee of Vigilance.

German Naval Recruits Take the “22 Pushup Challenge”

Some of you won’t be able to follow this, because it’s all in German, but it’s one ~7 minute webisode of an entertaining Bundeswehr web “reality show,” which follows 12 recruits through 12 weeks of basic training. If you do know German, the show is entertaining. But this is interesting because the Germans, who have had their own people engaged in Afghanistan and elsewhere in OEF, are doing the 22 Pushup Challenge in memory of American PTSD sufferers who have committed suicide — and in awareness of their own countrymen who have the same issue.

Time hack and event

1:20 Lt. Commander Hensel takes command. (As in most Western militaries, these would-be German sailors have little contact with commissioned officers during basic training. It’s largely NCO/PO business. So it’s a big deal when the big cheese comes out). The formation includes the recruits, but also instructors and staff.

1:35. He commands “Headgear off!” and then, “In solidarity with our comrades who have been damaged by PTSD, and the 22 a day who have taken their lives from this. Pushup position, move!”

1:55 Recruit Seaman Demelius is already conscious of the significance of the event.

2:10 Leading Petty Officer Scholwin is himself a combat veteran.

2:58 an unidentified recruit talks about the negatives of returning from combat.

3:27 Scholwin again, noting that, in the service, another trooper always has your back.

3:56. They’ve done their 22 pushups. Some of these guys were pretty ragged towards the end. Apparently pushing the naval base back into Davy Jones’s Locker is not a major component of Bundesmarine basic, or these kids would not be having a hard time with 22 “Liegestutzen.

4:15. With the 22-pushup challenge over, The Recruits move into a typical basic training test that every military has to give at some point, recognizing ranks and their insignia. Things are simplified for a recruit, which all of us were, once (even if only as a cadet): who outranks you? Everybody, that’s who. But on the test, you have to recognize the insignia and name them. These recruits were civilians less than two weeks ago, so they’re a little tense about the quiz. The test takes place in a narrow corridor, which is apparently their usual modus operandi. 

4:20 Abgucken = Bescheisst = Raus means cribbing of your neighbor is cheating, and cheating is, to steal a word, verboten. Cheat, and you’re out.

4:30 “Seaman Recruit Martin is surprised.” A couple of other recruits express unreadiness.

4:51 “Leading Seaman Neubert Explains the Rules.” You have ten minutes! The recruits have pictures of Bundesmarine shoulder-boards, and have to label them by filling in the blanks.

5:10 During the sped-up test, a recruit nervously waves the camera away. Others either are blasting through the test, or scowling at their pages (not good). Some finish early… some need all ten minutes.

5:35 Drop back into real time for the ten-second countdown to “Finish!” (“Fertig“).

6:00 Various expressions of recruit confidence or lack of the same in their performance. “Scheisse!” should require no translation.

6:12 Counseling a recruit who performed poorly. “How’d you do?” “Terrible.” “Terrible? Why?” (In the Day 13 — next day — video, the recruits learn that only one of them got all the questions on the Ranks quiz right).  (Here’s an interactive with Bundesmarine ranks, if you want to do better when you join up.).

It ends with a plug to check out the website for the Die Rekruten web series. Obviously, this is a recruiting initiative for the German military, and it’s likely to be lost on you if you don’t have at least some of The Awful German Language, but we found it entertaining on a Wagnerian scale. The differences between German and American training are stark (to German readers, though, be advised that Full Metal Jacket is not a documentary), but the similarities are enough to call up both positive and negative memories of our own US Army basic, back so long ago that there were two separate Germanies seated in the UN.

Die Rekruten is still running. Monday-Friday at 1700 Central European Time, they publish new episodes, plus, periodic “specials” on such subjects as Bundeswehr chow. The episodes take place in chronological order and focus on the high point of each day, from the recruits’ train travel to the Naval Technical School at Parow, on through PT, swimming, and even introduction to Germany’s embattled G36 rifle. Here’s the YouTube channel.

Recruits can and do drop from the course. The producers of the film can’t have known at the outset who would fail. Indeed, there might be more drops before the end.

Here’s an interview (again in German) with Thomas Wiegold, whose writing is sometimes excerpted here, about what the BW is trying to do with the Die Rekruten webseries — basically, appeal to a younger, more connected generation. (And that is, we’re sure, the intent. Selling the BW to the greater German public as something that a young German might do for reasons of personal growth or patriotism is a bonus).

Sorry to all of you who cannot follow German. (And advice to the young: learn all the languages you can. The best way is to go live there and talk to people, and from then on, the Internet will help you keep current).

Deal Coming from TrackingPoint: 700-yard 5.56 AR

The TrackingPoint "Tag" button , here on one of their early bolt guns, locks the gun on target.

The TrackingPoint “Tag” button , here on one of their early bolt guns from three years ago, locks the gun on target.

If you’re already following the company by email (or perhaps other social media?) you are eligible for this. If not, maybe you can get to their site and get registered. (Tell ’em Hognose sent you). Here’s what Tracking Point founder and CEO John McHale sent us last week (emphases ours):

One year ago, TrackingPoint held the American Sniper Shootout pitting Taya Kyle against NRA World Shooting Champion Bruce Piatt. The shootout marked the re-launch of our business and I am pleased to report that thanks to you, TrackingPoint is resurgent and strong. On Monday, in celebration of this success and in celebration of the one year anniversary of the American Shootout, TrackingPoint is offering only to our current followers an Anniversary Edition M700 Sniper Kit. The M700 is a custom TrackingPoint gun built specifically for Taya to use during the American Sniper Shootout. The M700 is a unique semi-automatic 5.56 that has extended range out to 700 yards. 

Next week our newsletter will include the seven minute American Sniper Shootout Documentary and each day we will send you a unique out-take of specific shots taken during the competition. You will see extraordinarily challenging shots made under battle stress conditions including moving targets, off-hand shots, blind shots, and more.

If you guys would like, and we can pull it off technically, we’ll post these clips here. We’ll also notify you with all information about the M700 Sniper Kit that McHale lets us release. We have been strong supporters of TrackingPoint from the very beginning, through its near-death brush with bankruptcy organization, and we’re starting to see the emergence of some of the incredible capabilities that we always saw lurking in the future development of Tracking Point’s Precision Guided Munition technology.

We hope you enjoy the American Sniper Shootout videos and keep your eye-out for the Anniversary Edition M700 Sniper Kit. Once again thank you for your business and incredible support in bringing tremendous success to TrackingPoint.

If 700 yards won’t do it for you, or you’re a fan of the NATO cartridge, Tracking Point still has a few of the incredible M900 Limited Edition Kits available — $14k if you don’t add the Torrid thermal option. The kit includes the rifle, integrated scope, and has a 900-yard lock range and 20-mph target track velocity.

tracking-point-m900-limited-ed

One downside to the TrackingPoint systems is that they are tuned to their proprietary ammo, and the ammo is very expensive — the 7.62 lists at nearly $3.50 a shot, in case (200-round) volume.

Seasonal Sunday

‘Tis the season to be jolly, fa-la- wait, wait, wait. What’s so jeezly jolly about it?

Well, let’s consider that for a minute. We’re in a nation and a world beset by problems, and yet, and yet —

  • If you look at a newspaper from 30 years ago, there were horrible things happening… that never did come to pass. Newspapers (and TV) sell strife, discord, and fear. Yet, in most times and places, and in the long run, strife doesn’t actually prosper. Today’s newspaper counter-Cassandras will look similarly off target from a generation ahead.
  • If you are happy, unhappy, or have mixed feelings after elections here or abroad, bear this in mind: while elections do have consequences, nations survive greater calamities all the time; and election victory never brings the victors everything they want.
  • As gun folk, the culture is, slowly, moving our way. Some day, some bright spark in Hollywood will discover that there’s an awful lot of people with disposable income that they could be getting, if they told stories that spoke to us. That will be the signal that the preference cascade has overwhelmed the opposition.
  • We’re building a freakin’ airplane. That’s not exactly downtrodden and depressed. (Even if Your Humble Blogger did indeed squash a rivet wrong Friday, and we had to drill it out last night).
  • Fidel Castro kicked the bucket, after a long evilness. Pretty amazing to see the reactions: the President and Secretary of State seemed to be really saddened. On the other hand, more level-headed people celebrated.

You know, it is the season to be jolly. Fa-la-la-la-la, la la la LA.

Edited to Add: Yesterday, the Blogbro swung by and we visited a local guy who has a side business, with his wife, making and selling natural maple syrup in a sugar shack in their back yard (yes, a sugar shack really is a thing). Kids, that high fructose chemical crap that IG Farben or whoever makes and sticks Aunt Jemima’s picture on is not maple syrup. Read the ingredients! (Good luck understanding them without a couple of good undergrad chemistry courses).

Saturday Matinee 2016 47: Live-PD (TV, 2016)

Television reality shows have long found the police worth following. The first of these was, naturally, the now defunct COPS, “filmed on location with the men and women of law enforcement.” A personal favorite is the A&E Network’s The First 48, which has followed homicide investigators in two or more major American metro areas for the last 14 years, but there are also shows that follow game wardens, roll with K9 officers, or ride along with another kind of detectives — the cruelty investigators of major metro SPCAs. Given the success of some of these shows, a few new permutations can be expected each season. But Live-PD is a permutation we weren’t expecting.

dan-abrams-live-pd

In a way, it’s a throwback to the early days of live TV, melded with the unscripted nature of reality shows. By Hollywood standards, it’s a ten-toes-hangout risk, because what the show does is follow police patrol officer, like COPS, but as the name implies, Live. (There is a delay of about two minutes, mostly to let producers scrub, bleep or blur things to protect citizens’ privacy and conform to corporate standards). It airs Friday nights on A&E for two hours (9-11 EDT). They capitalize on it by rebroadcasting a streamlined version on subsequent days, called Live-TV Rap Sheet. The first of eight budgeted episodes of Live-TV aired on 28 October; five or six of the episodes have aired.

How do they guarantee that you’re going to be seeing some action, and not just cops cooping behind the Dunkin Donuts on a slow night? Well, one, they’re going on Friday night, usually the kickoff of the weekend’s dope dealing, robbing, shooting and other stuff that we want law dogs taking their fangs to. And two, they’re going with six departments simultaneously.

There’s a lot of money in this: there are 30 cameras deployed, and six on-site producers, plus a whole command room, plus a host (Dan Abrams) and a couple of retired cops to tell Dan, who is curious but not expert, what he’s showing the audience.

live-pd-control-room

The first show was a bit rough around the edges, and they still lose signals sometimes and make production errors — but they’re so rare, and the action you’re seeing is so informative, that you’ll forgive them (and subsequent shows have been much tighter, presumably as the team starts to gel).

Acting and Production

There’s no acting, of course, except to the extent that the cops act differently when they know they’re on camera, and of course, the criminals loudly claiming they Dindu Nuffin.

Abrams seems to be learning all this police procedure along with the audience, and it seems to be making a police buff out of him. His enthusiasm for understanding what the cops are doing, and why, is infectious.

“Hey, that guy admitted he had seven beers instead of the usual ‘two beers’ — how often does that happen?” he’ll ask his retired-cop color commentators, and he still seems amazed — like a rookie cop, in fact — at the degree to which people throw transparent lies at the cops. The cop commentators, retired Dallas detectives Rich Emberlin and Kevin Jackson, are just right for the job: guys you’d trust, if they were on the stand and you were in the jury box.

(In the end, by the way, the cops had the drunk’s wife come get him, so they could get him off the roads, and return to anti-gang patrol instead of spend the evening writing him up. He was in good spirits, until she arrived, at which point he told her: “Violence is not the answer!”)

The producers and cameramen ride with the cops all week, not just Friday night, and this means that they build some rapport, and even more importantly, they can follow the action when Dan drops the feed to them, cutting from the Fort Walton Beach FL Sheriff’s Department to the Tulsa, Oklahoma gang unit. “Our producer there will fill us in,” Dan promises, and the downrange producer brings us up to speed before the audio cuts to, say, the cops doing a consent search of a stopped vehicle.

Having the cameras and producers running all week also means that they can get a lot of interviews and B-roll to edit into featurettes and interpose among the live scenes.

Key to the success of the format is the selection of participating PDs. They are:

Bridgeport, Connecticut PD — a metro department in a failing mill town
Fort Walton Beach FL Sheriff’s Department — large county with rural, urban and suburban areas
Richland County, SC — sheriff’s department, includes the state capital, Columbia SC.
Arizona Department of Public Safety — state police / highway patrol
Tulsa, OK PD — metro department gang unit
Utah Highway Patrol — state police / highway patrol

As you see, that gives them a good demographic, mission, and geographical reach.

 Accuracy and Weapons

There seems to be a dispute about how “live” it is because of the incorporation of B-roll and featurettes. We don’t know any other way a show like this could have been done at all.

It makes you wonder if a show like this could be done with military embeds.

Live-PD is an excellent look into the everyday life of the police and those they interact with. You will probably develop your opinions… perhaps they won’t be changed, or even shaken, but you’ll definitely have an awareness of complexities and nuances you don’t know already.

The bottom line

We’d say watch it; less because it is great TV than because it is a daring experiment, and daring experiments ought to be rewarded. And it’s certainly good enough TV that rewarding this daring experiment is not donning a complete hair shirt.

For more information

These sites relate to this particular film.

  • Amazon.com DVD page: (streaming page for the “rap sheet’ edited version).

https://www.amazon.com/LIVE-PD-Rap-Sheet-3/dp/B01N028O60/

  • Show’s own home page:

http://www.aetv.com/shows/live-pd

  • IMDB page:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6237942/

  • IMFDB page (none):
  • Rotten Tomatoes review page (none):
  • Infogalactic  page (replaces Wikipedia): none (none on Wikipedia either).

 

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Scuba

Drowning_Man_by_JanooshIt could be worse, we suppose. She might not have been a lawyer.

Blaise N. Gamba, an associate in the Tampa office of Carlton Fields, passed away this weekend from injuries sustained in a scuba diving accident. The accident also left her husband, William A. Gamba, in serious but stable condition.

The accident took place in the Gulf of Mexico, and the information released by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office provides a few more details, as Law360 (sub req.) reports:

According to the report, another couple — a man and his wife fishing on their boat — were approached by William, who was driving a 22-foot Sea Fox boat. The couple was informed by William that he and his wife were having a medical emergency on their boat and that she was unconscious, according to officials.

As the individuals boarded William’s boat, help was called and William tried to resuscitate Blaise. Once the paramedics arrived, William lost consciousness due to a medical emergency, according to authorities.

“Deputies believe the injuries were related to a diving accident,” the report stated. “Diving equipment was located on William’s boat and both William and Blaise were wearing wet-suits at the time of the incident.”

The investigation into the accident is ongoing.

Going from conscious and functional to unconsciousness, as the husband did, some time after surfacing could be any of a number of things, but suggests the bends to us. Contrary to popular and film depictions, it’s not always instantaneous or immediate. By the time it sets in, if it’s bad, nothing but recompression will help (and permanent damage may already have been done).

DOD Lame Ducks: Preemptive Strike Against Troop Carry

carch-22In a move designed to undermine the prospect of troops carrying defensive sidearms, lame duck Obama Administration officials have promulgated regulations “permitting” it[.pdf] — regulations that are jam-packed full of Catch-22 restrictions, punitive bureaucracy, and impossible requirements. These regulations recall the many times that these same officials took the side of Islamic terrorism against their own troops, not to mention their party’s history as the party of Jim Crow. As we discuss the points of the regulation below, bear in mind the history of the “literacy test” used in the Jim Crow era to keep blacks in a second-class situation, as we paraphrase from memory John Ross’s retelling of an old legend:

One election day in 1960, Martin Johnson decided to vote. Some young guys from Ohio had come through, and, under the glare of officials and deputies, had helped Martin and his wife and many other people of the town register to vote for the first time.

Martin was a little nervous as he approached the polling station in the county courthouse, because nothing good ever happened to him or his family in that place, and not a deputy but Sheriff JW Pepper his ownself was there.

“Why the Sheriff here?” he whispered to one of the kids from Ohio, who had to stay outside. “Don’t let him bother you. He says he’s doing a literacy test.”

“Well, I can read just fine,” Martin said, and took his place in line.

The white lady in front of him got to the head of the line, and he watched her interaction with Sheriff Pepper closely.

“Here is your literacy test,” Pepper said, and held up a newspaper, the same County Clarion that Martin had read this morning. “Read me the headline.”

“Election Day 1960,” the lady said, amused. Martin exulted for a minute. This was going to be easy.

“Here is your literacy test, boy,” Pepper said, and held up a different newspaper. “Read me the headline.”

“But… Sir… Mr Sheriff… that paper be Chinese!

“Boy, read me the headline,” Pepper repeated sternly.

“It says, no colored folks are goin’ to be voting in this county today.”

It is no exaggeration to say that E-Ring suits see troops, especially soldiers and Marines, and especially enlisted troops, with the same paternalistic contempt their Jim Crow grandfathers reserved for the “colored.” Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work, who has tirelessly striven to put our troops at a disadvantaga against peer competitors and Islamic terrorists alike, promulgated the new regulations, with the approval of Social Justice Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.

Work and Carter, and their families, are guarded around the clock by men with guns. In today’s Washington, safety and protection of your life and family is a perk that comes with rank, not a human right.

The faults of the DOD policy are many and glaring.

  • Delegates authority to Lieutenant Colonel and Commander level commanders. While normally anything that pushes power down to the battalion, squadron, or ship commander is a great thing, in this case those officers are being put in an impossible position between anti-self-defense superiors and the right-to-life of their own troops.
  • Does nothing to encourage commanders to grant this permission.
  • Makes an authority letter only valid for ninety days. If the commander wants to stick his neck out and let his people defend themselves, he has to resign and redistribute the letter four times a year — 12 times in a three-year command. This is a waste of a commander’s most precious resource, time, but it’s not a pointless waste. The point of the Bob Work rule is that it’s a “sickener,” designed to impede the commander from taking this action.
  • Every letter and every change must be reported directly to the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center.
  • All authorizations must be cleared with military lawyers, the new Commissars, who have veto authority over commanders’ decisions.
  • Authorization only applies on the post but not within any buildings. 
  • Authorization limits service members to state requirements, for example, 10-round magazines in New York.
  • Authorization will depend on completion of a DOD qualification, which does not yet exist, every 12 months.
  • Hinges authorization, not just on qualification or a commander certification, but on acquisition of a civilian license from the authorities in every individual state the service member will work in.
  • Firearms must be unloaded and secured (i.e. in a safe) when off duty, for those authorized to carry issue firearms. Private firearms (if authorized) can be on the service member’s person, on or off duty.
  • The policy exempts the National Guard; they don’t permission to defend themselves unless  their State Governor gives it to them, but must remain soft targets.

If Congress does not overturn these restrictions within 60 work days, they become permanent; a long lame-duck session focused on bigger fish could guarantee that our troops are unable to defend themselves for months, or years, into the future. This may not be its intended consequence; it’s doubtful that Carter or Work think of the troops enough to actually want to harm them, they’re more indifferent to them and, as all DC satraps, focused on self-service. These regulations are there not to harm individuals, even though they will do that, but to score bureaucratic points — the currency of Carter’s and Work’s world.

Bear in mind that this “permission” is not something that E-Ring suits who oppose the very idea just decided to do. They were directed by Congress to do it, and are “complying” with the bare minimum document — the bureaucrat’s defensive mode, passive resistance and dumb insolence. Congress, where the lives of mere enlisted men and their politically powerless families are also not usually on the scale, either, was shocked out of its normal glutton’s torpor and acted on this after the Fort Hood Massacre, in which an Islamist unwisely recruited by the Army Medical Department had an attack of Sudden Jihad Syndrome and committed a spree of murders and attempted murders.

Of course, not all the current administration’s appointees think the Fort Hood Massacre was a bad thing. Then-Chief of Staff Casey dismissed the deaths of 13 troops as “a tragedy, but“, asserting that the real damage would be if anyone let a realistic view of the war knock ‘diversity” off its perch as the prime, overriding Army value.

Current Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley, who is, like Casey, the very model of the modern social justice general, approves the new rules, and considers the results of the Fort Hood shooting, where one of his precious Diversity Beans snapped and started shooting people, a great success: Police stopped the incident before more than 55 people were shot, after all, and none of the victims were generals.

Milley himself has armed bodyguards, around the clock and everywhere he goes. Rank has its privileges. Apparently one of them is self defense.

(DOD Policy.pdf)

The Amazing Persistence of Bolt Action

This winter, hunters across the northern United States are seeking their game, and a great percentage of them are carrying a rifle action that was first designed in the mid-19th Century, and more or less perfected before 1900.

This beautiful prewar Mauser-Werke single-shot .22 is a sporter on a target action.

This beautiful prewar Mauser-Werke single-shot .22 is a sporter on a target action.

It’s not just Elmer Fudd and his happy band of nimrods that cling to the bolt. Most target shooters, from rimfire competitors to 1000-yard benchrest precision paladins, fire their record groups from a bolt action. (Biathletes are a rare exception). Even the world’s militaries, most of them, find a use for bolt-action rifles, mostly as sniper systems.

The most brilliant engineers and designers the world can produce have repeatedly slain the ancient Mauser turnbolt, and laid its ghost: straight-pulls from Austria and Canada and Switzerland came and went, all the great powers tried (and most failed, except the USA and USSR) to introduce semi-auto rifles between 1918 and 1945. It was only the semiautomatic and select-fire flowering of the late 20th Century that did the action in, as a regular military arm. And yet, it keeps coming back as a sporting rifle and as a special-purpose military arm. That didn’t happen to the rolling block, the falling-block, or the lever.

Technology marches steadily on, yet the bolt action hangs in there, and even attempts to improve it are often shrugged off. If you reanimated zombie Paul Mauser and gave him a half hour to browse the rifle racks at Kittery Trading Post, he’d be screaming for the reanimation of his patent lawyers, too.

 

Mauser K98k from world-guns-ru

When Paul finalized the Gewehr 1898, the world was a different place: transport was by steam along rails, by the newfangled electric streetcars, and a few hobbyists like Benz and Ford and the Duryea brothers were tinkering with a sort of self-propelled buckboard thing. Most people were born, lived, and died on farms. Two mechanically inclined high school graduates in Dayton, Ohio, were corresponding with Octave Chanute and Samuel P. Langley, who in turn encouraged the young men; but all of them knew well enough to be circumspect about whom they told their ideas for flying machines. Oil from the ground was still replacing whale oil in lamps, and electricity was available in a few cities. The only way to change continents was by ship — steam, or sail; and the preferred way to cross continents was by the high technology of the day, steam-powered train. The other high tech, the telephone, was increasingly available, but you might have to share your line with the people in your street. For business communications, wired cable did the job, if you needed more immediacy than a letter by mail. A long laundry list of infections were still a death sentence, and a significant percentage of women still died in childbirth.

Of all those things, the one that persists is the bolt action. The bolt remains much more popular than its contemporary the lever action, or it’s near-contemporary the slide action. How come?

trg-m10-bolt-action-sniper-rifle-rifle-scope-folding-rear-stock-desert-tan

The answer is simple: it’s that good. The bolt has a number of traits that make it likely to persist for another century, absent a revolution in ammunition of the scope of the cartridge revolution itself.

  • The bolt is simple. This simplicity works several ways: in manufacture, in maintenance, and in operation.
  • The bolt is intuitive. There are no affirmative action drills to memorize. You can teach anyone to work a bolt in under a quarter of a minute. (You will take longer to teach safety and sights, of course, but the basic mechanism is natural, and has no tricks of gotchas for the novice).
  • The bolt is direct. The shooter’s hand works directly on the locking mechanism of the firearm, and the locking mechanism — the bolt — works directly on the cartridge.
  • The bolt is strong. It can, in fact, be designed and built for arbitrarily large sizes of cartridge. The highest-pressure sporting cartridges for dangerous game are at home in a bolt action, as are rounds optimized for one-mile sniping. You could make a bolt-action 155mm howitzer, if you wanted to (but it would be terribly inefficient at that scale, compared to the simple actions that artillery pieces do use). You can even argue that some of the interrupted-screw artillery breeches are really bolt actions, sort of. (We don’t argue that. We think it’s a silly argument. But you could!)
  • The bolt is safe. Nothing is easier than clearing a bolt gun, and its safe condition is obvious to all with a sight line.
  • The bolt is accurate. The simplicity and directness of the bolt lends itself to being manufactured at arbitrarily high levels of precision. Yes, many single-shot actions can also be made to high levels of precision, but…
  • The bolt is versatile. Single shot or repeater, rimfire plinker or belted-magnum Cape Buffalo dropper, annual elk gun or sniper’s office, there’s a bolt for the job.

WWI enfield sniper

  • The bolt is consistent. Whether it’s the Anschutz target rifle we shot in school days, a $250 surplus Mosin that will be under some lucky kid’s Christmas tree, the Gew 98 in the corner of the office (or its younger cousin 03A3 resting in the safe), or a McMillan-stocked Nightforce-glassed Surgeon-action .338 LM widowmaker, it operates the same way.

Like the poor, the bolts are always with us. If anything were ever to replace them, it would have to have all these virtues, or a great majority of them.

And finally, the bolt does answer the call of tradition, which looms large in the legend of the people of the gun. Even that Surgeon .338 connects you to Pegahmagabow,  Hayha, Zaitsev, Hetzenauer, Hathcock and Kyle every time you cycle the bolt. They whisper to you in the snick of the metal: you just have to listen.

A past Remington sniper success: the SF-developed M24 system

A past Remington sniper success: the SF-developed M24 system

Friday Tour d’Horizon, Week 47

It’s Tour d’Horizon from home at Hog Manor, and we did indeed throw this together at just about the last minute, and, er, it showed. Arrgghh. What can we say, we’ve been enjoying the unseasonably warm weather (roll on Global Warming, says us in the higher latitudes). We’re fixing what needs fixing… the only light in the firmament is that Scott is taking the week off, but as you’ll see in the comments, others have stepped in and taken up his slack.

Guns

I don’t wanna work, I just wanna bang on my gun all day.

Rare British Browning for Sale

As many readers must know, the Royal Air Force broke with decades of Vickers practice and adopted Browning machine guns between the wars. Wanting to bring more firepower than then-current British fighters like the Hawker Fury and Gloster Gladiator’s two .303 machine guns to bear on the fleeting and larger targets of the next air war, the RAF wrote a specification for a fighter bearing no fewer than eight of the .303 Brownings. The two fighters built to that specification wrote their names in glory: Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire.

The machine guns weren’t half bad, either. Here is a transferable one for sale in Pennsylvania.

bsa-m2-mk2-01

 

The ad includes many more photos, although no overview, and the gun is described as follows:

C&R MK2 aircraft machinegun made by BSA
Never demilled, re welded, riveted , molested , refinished, or modified in any way
This gun fires from an open bolt with the special mount and manual side plate trigger.
Package includes Hard to find parts 3 bolts , 3 lock frames, 2 barrel extensions, 2 barrels and other extra parts , Lots of real 303 links and 2000 rds of 303 ammo

To connect yourself to the Battle of Britain? $21,000, a Form 4 to your Class 3 dealer, and a long wait… although, the $21k is “or reasonable offer.” Ad here.

A Writer’s New Rifle

Peter Grant decided to celebrate the defeat of Hillary! with the purchase of a Ruger American Predator. This is a great gun for those of you generally fond of the Scout type short carbine as a hunting rifle, but not willing to Bubba up an old Mauser. It’s a good alternative to the case of ARs everybody was going to buy before Her Highness could ban ’em (although we’re seeing AR pricing that suggests the manufacturers really have a lot of MSR units to move).

ruger-american-predator

They’re a reasonably priced gun lacking only a scope, sling and swivels (as you see they come with studs), and sighting-in to be hunt-ready. For somebody interested in this sort of rifle, we’d also suggest a good look at the Savage line. They actually make a Model 11 Scout set up for the forward scope mount Cooper preferred, but we prefer a regular scope position, like on Peter’s Predator. (Here’s the catalog page for the 11 Scout). It’s hard to beat the Savage on accuracy for the price, but the Ruger Predator actually has a lower MSRP than the Savage!

Disclaimer: Your Humble Blogger is invested in Ruger stock.

Gun Stocks update

PreElection closings: RGR 64.40, SWHC 28.45, VSTO 38.94.  [8 Nov 16]
Last week’s closings: RGR 53.20, SWHC 24.13, VSTO 40.02. [18 Nov 16]
This week’s closings: RGR 52.50, SWHC 23.82, VSTO 41.05. [25 Nov 16] [short trading day and week]

Disclaimer: Your Humble Blogger holds RGR, bought at about 56.40 on 9 Nov. It bottomed in the 40s later that day. It can rally any time…

Gun Poly-Ticks

Eight Top Aides of Anti-Gun Governor Indicted

This hasn’t been covered much in the media, and it hasn’t been hung on media darling (and SAFE Act impresario) Andrew Cuomo (D-Five Families), but a who’s who of Cuomo’s administration just received an unsought early Christmas present, a Federal corruption indictment. The NY Observer:

An array of figures from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s inner circle—including a confidante so close the governor called him “my father’s third son”—got slapped with a sweeping 14-count federal indictment today [22 Nov -Ed.], which alleges they colluded in a pair of schemes to solicit bribes for state assistance and to rig economic development contracts for companies that gave to Cuomo’s campaigns.

The character they mention is Joseph Percoco, who, like Cuomo, has long been a figure around the fringes of the Mob. One participant in the scheme, former lobbyist Todd Howe, has already pled guilty and will be testifying against the bribe-payers and -takers.

The governor has also pointedly refused to stop taking campaign donations from companies seeking contracts with the state.

The other two members of Cuomo’s SAFE Act midnight action team, former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, are already in prison.

Brits Wet Selves over American Baby Names

Why? Because some Americans name their babies with names that are, shall we say, triggering.

In fact, a worryingly significant minority of parents are showing their devotion to the Second Amendment by naming their children after weapons.

Gunner is the most popular choice for gun-toting parents, but other names like Trigger, Shooter, Caliber and Pistol are proving popular.

Cannon is also in the boys’ Top 1000.

The names of gun manufacturers are also soaring up the table, with Barrett, Remington, Kimber, Ruger, Wesson, Browning, Benelli, and Beretta popular choices.

And worse, we’re naming our kids other things that are strengstens verboten to British subjects, who might pause to reflect on who actually won the last European Unpleasantness after all, since they have got a security-surveillance state that Heydrich couldn’t have dreamed of.

And it is not just names associated with fire arms that are on the rise, according to the survey from US baby names website nameberry.com.

Archer was given to nearly 900 boys last year, with Arrow given to some children of both sexes and Fletcher is at number 760 in the top 1000 baby names.

Violent parents are also embracing medieval weapons like Mace, Blade, Saber, Saw, and Dagger for boys as well as Sabre for girls.

Violent parents? And a saw is a medieval weapon?

Hunter has been in the top 50 for boys for two decades in the US now. But it has reached the top 10 in hunting friendly states such as Montana, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Maine – and is number three in West Virginia.

Meanwhile, five little boys were named Danger last year while there were 11 named Arson and nine called Chaos.

Maverick is up 67 places on last year to 206th place for boys overall, whilst Rebel was given to 47 baby girls.

Titus, the Roman military commander and later Emperor, is at its highest rank ever at 285th place for boys.

We probably shouldn’t break it to her that Titus has long been a common name for African-American men. We knew a guy who was Titus IV (and all of them vets and hunters, actually).

For reasons known only to their parents, there are also 31 boys named jihad.

Yeah, that’s really a mystery, isn’t it?

US baby name blogger and author Laura Wattenberg speculated last year the rise in violent names was due to the gun lobby feeling under threat.

We suspect that the author of this piece and Laura Wattenberg could fit their combined knowledge of the gun culture into a single 5.56mm case, and have room for 250 grains of Hodgdon H50BMG before seating the bullet.

Hey, we wouldn’t choose any of these names, but one wonders what the fainting Brits think about a guy named Hognose.

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way. Let’s skip this one this week.

Cops ‘n’ Crims

Cops bein’ cops, crims bein’ crims. The endless Tom and Jerry show of crime and (sometimes instantaneous) punishment.

Crime in the Shire, I 

margaret-branch-mugshotNo, this mugshot is not Hillary! the Morning After. It’s one Margaret Branch, in the news for an only-in-NH crime: stealing a neighbor’s trash can.

Geez, Meg, everybody knows you go to some other street to steal yourself a trash can.

Margaret Branch, 12 Kimberly Drive, was arrested Thursday by Merrimack police investigating the theft of the trash can. Police say they learned Branch had words with a neighbor’s young daughter about a lingering trash can and allege Branch took the can and disposed of it.
Branch faces theft by unauthorized taking charges. She was released on $2,500 personal recognizance bond and ordered to appear Dec. 15 in 9th Circuit Court, Merrimack Division.

“Theft by unauthorized taking.” Er, what other kind is there?

What’s the over-under on this righteous rubbish robber being a recent refugee from the People’s Republic of Massachusetts?

Trannies Behaving Badly, I

Although it’s hard to put this one solely on the tranny as, to the extent we can break it out from the Indian journalism, it seems to be some kind of love pentangle gone bad (is there any other way for such a thing to go?) Still, it’s indisputable that the tranny and current boyfriend and two juvenile hangers-on are in custody, and the tranny’s ex-boyfriend is dead of multiple stab wounds. See if you can figure it out, apart from the obvious that one can hide a heck of a knife in a rainbow sari.

Crime in the Shire, II

Criminal advocates are whining that rapists, kiddie diddlers, and other sex offenders aren’t getting out of jail to commit crimes early enough. The pervs can’t get parole unless they do a treatment program, which Chris Dornin, of the pro-perv NH Citizens for Criminal Justice Reform, thinks that’s unfaaaiiiir (warning, annoying and unrelated autoplay video):

“Prisoners are entitled to ask for parole when the minimum sentence is two-thirds expired, and sex offenders never get to take advantage of that.”

Awwwwwww. NH Citizens for More Pervs on the Street Criminal Justice Reform came to the state house with an “audit” of the treatment program, but it wasn’t what the legislators were expecting: they have no figures on whether or if the treatment program prevents more rapes and buggeries, they just think its unfaaaiiiiir to require it of the poor pervos and prestoopniks.

The perverts’ pals also complained that not enough of them had been given full-time jobs in the corrections department:

New Hampshire has five full-time positions dedicated to the program for about 750 people, and not all positions are filled. Vermont, by contrast, has nine employees for 500 inmates.

Only about half of the inmates eligible for the program are in it 18 months before their first parole consideration. Some are “eligible” on paper but not actually, because of misconduct in prison; others refuse treatment. They like being pervs more than they dislike being in prison.

Unfortunately, the US Supreme Court has taken the most reasonable and humane sentence for rapists and kiddie diddlers off the table.

The Perils of Kathleen: Old Cases, New Faces, and New Accusations, Too

This thing just drags on a case of drug-resistant clap.

  • Item 18 Nov: What Else Did She Do Wrong? The usually pro-Kane Philadelphia Inquirer covers some of the “apparent misdeeds and botched cases she left behind.” Sure, the stuff that landed her in court was bad, but there’s also the brooming of the case against Mob figure (and Kane supporter — he paid her off with $25k, which she returned when caught) Louis DeNaples, and the separate public corruption case against Philadelphia officials. Attorney General-elect Josh Shapiro is a Kane supporter, an ally of the embattled Philadelphians, and a beneficiary of the would-be casino-operating mobster; he’s considered unlikely to investigate wrongdoing in these cases, and this is the Inquirer’s way of nudging him to do so. As the Inquirer notes, “People need to know if their attorney general was a crook in other ways.” Read The Whole Thing™ (it’s short).
  • Item Date: 23 Nov: About those Porngate EmailsThe biggest shock from the release of the whole Porngate report is this: the eight officials Kane singled out to attack during her skidding, slipping career of misrule were not the ones sending all the crude cartoons and memes (typical internet junk) that she inflated as “porn” and “racism.” Indeed, three at least of them didn’t send a single one of the emails, they just received one from someone else. So what set the eight targets apart? They were political opponents of Kane. Kane appointee and political ally Doug Gansler did his convicted mentor one last solid by releasing a redacted version of the report, making it less obvious that the “Porngate scandal” really was a dishonest hit job, but the papers have already figured it out — the people fed to them as targets of a modern media Two Minutes Hate were not the actual Emmanuel Goldstein of the scandal, at all.
  • Item Date: 25 Nov: Kane’s current lawyer did slip her appeal of her criminal conviction into state court this week. The appeal is a single sheet of paper with no legal claims, perhaps to meet a deadline.

The monumentally corrupt Kane took out a number of other politicians, and did considerable damage to licensed concealed carriers, in a short and rotten career that continues to resonate in Pennsylvania and the United States.

Crime in the Shire, III

Three young punks were convicted of breaking into the Raymond, NH historical society’s railroad caboose museum and stealing over $10,000 worth of property. Instead of the prison and restitution that 20-year-old Nathan Fortier, 19-year-old, Ronald Fitzwater, and an unnamed 17-year-old deserve, the no-good burglars got a tap on the wrist: they only had to pay the $1,000 deductible on the Society’s insurance. The judge even let them keep most of the stolen items!

Enter Raymond Longa of Londonderry, NH. Longa’s father had been an antiques dealer and had collected railroad items. He was able to replace some of the stolen silver and gold uniform button covers, and donate some documents and ephemera to compensate, in part, for the boys’ thefts. Read The Whole Thing™ to have a little of your faith in human nature (well, of some humans) restored.

Behaving Badly to Trannies is Just as Bad, I

Hey, they may not be our recommendation for your kid’s next role model (especially the homicidal ones, and the even more common suicidal ones), but that doesn’t mean people have a license to abuse and attack them. They’re humans with the same rights as any of us, dammit. So we do not approve at all of attacking them with a hatchet, as some crumbs did in Charlotte:

[O]ne of the assailants was armed with a hatchet and used it to cut her.

The victim required dozens of stitches and still has marks on her body from the attack. She had stern words for her attackers.

Police have already arrested three people connected to the attack. The suspects have been identified as Destiny Dagraca, Dajion Tanner, and a 15-year-old.

“I just want to tell them if they are in jail, they need to live in jail,” said [victim Ralayzia] Taylor.

Or of flogging them, which is apparently a thing in Pakistan.

The video shows the gang leader pinning the woman face down on a bed with his foot and beating her with what appears to be a leather belt. At one point, while another gang member continues the flogging, the leader places his foot on the victim’s neck and twists her arms.

The Pakistani cops, who often turn a blind eye to this sort of thing, didn’t, in this case. They have ten suspects in custody.

Revolving Door Keeps Revolving

We’ll just put this out there:

Shortly before his 42nd birthday, a Charlotte killer serving a sentence of life in prison plus three years learned he has been granted parole by the state.

Anthony L. Hemphill, who was convicted in May 1993 of killing his cousin, was approved for release by the state Post-Release Supervision and Parole Board. The four-member board, which does not publicly disclose how its members voted, announced its decision on Wednesday.

Does not publicly disclose… therefore, you are free to assume that every one of them is full of admiration for this criminal, and contempt for his vehicle. Which is probably the case.

Hemphill is set to be released Jan. 10. By that point, he will have been incarcerated for a little over 24 years.

What, they couldn’t get him out on time, when Hillary needed his vote?

One of the commenters a the link, Bob Kappauf, says this:

The man who murdered my son was on death row for killing two men working in motel on Tuckesegee Rd here in Charlotte, he then killed another inmate while in prison. In 2009 NC’s wonderful Parole Commission released him. That’s right parole for an inmate who has murdered 3 people. Six months after his parole ended he killed again and Hemphill probably will do the same. Does the Parole Commission ever learn?

Dunno how to break this to you, Bob, but Parole Boards and Commissions everywhere are packed full of the sort of people who treasure the lives of inmates, and scorn the lives of victims.

Victims Turned Crimefighters

  • Item: Invaded the Wrong Home. An 88-year-old veteran, Charles George, fought off a 37-year-old home invader who attacked him. The fleeing crook, Benjamin Tremper, was caught by the police with a bunch of the vet’s valuables. Tremper had gone to prison for home invasion, carjacking and solicitation of murder, but California’s revolving prison door sent him out to invade homes again a few weeks ago.
  • Item: Saved the Cop. A Lee County, FL, deputy, Dean Bardes, stopped a car after a high-speed chase — only to be assaulted by the armed suspect, knocked down, and beaten. An armed citizen ordered the suspect to desist, or he’d shoot. The suspect didn’t stop. “Shoot him, shoot him, shoot him!” commanded Bardes. The citizen fired three shots, killing the suspect. Bardes was briefly hospitalized but has returned to duty.
  • Item: Stupid is as Stupid Does. You’ve probably heard about this one. Two Philadelphia area brothers held up a local pizzaria, and, tripping on their whole gangsta thing, started to pistol-whip the one customer in the store. Who then proceeded to pull his gun and shoot them both. Since the shooting, it’s emerged that (1) the brothers’ guns were realistic looking Airsoft toys, modified to conceal the orange tip; (2) the shooter’s permit was administratively expired, but he was during a legal grace period; and (3) the local prosecutors are not going to prosecute the licensed (if expired) carrier, they can’t prosecute the expired (but unlicensed) robber, but when his surviving brother is good enough to leave hospital he has a date with a court — possibly for felony murder (as his brother’s death is a consequence of their mutual robbery attempt, but certainly for robbery.  The mean IQ in Pennsylvania went up as a result of this shooting, and it’d have gone up more if the other brother checked out, too.

Trannies Behaving Badly, III

In this case, it’s not criminal yet, but this report by Katharine Kersten at First Things enumerates some of the issues with the tranny lobby’s aggressive pursuit of children.

Behaving Badly to Trannies is Just as Bad, II

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have closed that case with three arrests.

Eventually the attackers stopped, and Taylor was able to run away and ask people for help. The beating left her feeling bad on the outside and the inside.

“I didn’t deserve this at all. I’m not a bad person,” said Taylor.

Police have already arrested three people connected to the attack. The suspects have been identified as Destiny Dagraca, Dajion Tanner, and a 15-year-old.

The victim required dozens of stitches and still has marks on her body from the attack.

OK, not everybody likes trannies, fine. Don’t hurt them for Christ’s sake. They’re human beings.

His Suicide by Cop Failed…

And the Nevada felon who wanted to end his life, instead lived to get six years in prison… and thank and apologize to the cops who shot him in Reno in June 2015. Read The Whole Thing™.

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

What goes on in the battlezones of the world — and preparation of the future battlefields.

Top. Men. Or, Close Enough for Government Work

As everyone knows, the Democrat side of the Beltway Party is kind of thin in credible defense policy people. One that they consider their very best is Bob Work, currently lame duck Deputy Defense Secretary.

Work just submitted a report to Congress, comparing the Azores to a UK location for an intelligence fusion site. Large portions of it were plagiarized.

Where did zero-integrity Bob Work steal the info?

Wikipedia.

That’s like the armed robber that held up the 5¢ lemonade stand….

His defense was that, even though the document was plagiarized, it was close enough for government… Work.

Earmark Ripoff Deferred

House of Representatives Republicans were on track to bring back the corrupt practice of “earmarks,” which used to drain vast sums from the defense budget, when Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) deferred the vote — for now. Earmarks are money specified go to a single firm, nonprofit or person, usually placed in the budget by a single Congressman, invariably as a quid pro quo for campaign contributions or other bribes.

Every earmark is a product and producer of corruption. There’s no honest justification for them.

Congressmen of both parties, but especially the majority Republicans, believe that the anti-bribery position is “leaving money on the table,” and they feel entitled to sell chunks of the defense budget (and other budgets) to the highest bidder, so the proposal will be back. As soon as they think they can get away with it.

The vote was going to be taken in a closed-door caucus, by secret ballot, to prevent constituents from learning of  the corruption of his own House member and to protect incumbents from ads on the issue two years from now — however overwhelmingly the House approves bribe-taking, each individual Representative has plausible deniability. “Oh, I’m the one of 435 who voted against. Sorry, but there’s no proof because the vote was secret.”

Veterans’ Issues

Is it time to disband this thing yet, and letting all its bloatoverhead seek its own level in the Dreaded Private Sector™?

Veterans’ Homelessness Unchanged by Government Efforts NEW

According to the administration’s own numbers, they’ve failed at one of their few actual veterans’ intitiatives:

The Obama administration also promised to end chronic homelessness among veterans by 2015 but failed to do so, according to HUD. On a single night in January, 2016, nearly 40,000 veterans were on the streets, according to HUD.

We’re actually not too worked up about this. In our experience most “homeless vets” are actual “homeless,” which a less dishonest age called, “bums,” but aren’t actually vets.

VA Botched TBI Diagnoses for Eight Years NEW

The VA botched a few TBI diagnoses, by having them done by unqualified personnel, and kept botching them from 2007 to 2015 inclusive. “A few”? Yeah, 25,000. This Detroit TV report (caution autoplay video) concentrates on the 485 vets in the Detroit region that got VA letters about the badly executed diagnoses.

[T]he Detroit region ranks in the top 15 nationwide for those affected – nearly 500 vets (485 to be exact) got the letter.

[V]ets have less than 7 months from today to do so and apply for benefits if rediagnosed.

Now, it’s always possible that the initial diagnosis, by a nurses’ aide or janitor or whomever, was correct. Sure, that might happen.

The VA feels that it has done enough by sending the letters to the 25,000. No one has been held accountable. No one will be held accountable. That’s the VA way.

Is it time to disband this thing yet?

VA Achieves Top Goal — Squeezes Whistleblower Out NEW

The VA bureaucracy has no room for any of the whistleblowers that exposed its culture of self-serving management and veteran abuse, and in the lame duck days of the current administrators. After all, they have corrupt managers to protect!

Brian Smothers told The Associated Press Wednesday the VA had opened two separate inquiries into his actions and tried to get him to sign a statement saying he had broken VA rules. He said he refused.

Smothers also said the VA reassigned him to an office with no computer access, no significant duties and no social contact.

Ah yeah, the old “broom closet relocation trick.” That one’s written in gold in the government bureaucrat management manual.

He called the VA’s actions punitive and his working conditions intolerable. He said he resigned as of Tuesday.

Smothers exposed unofficial wait lists at Colorado DVA facilities. Unofficial wait lists are generally used in VA to create false performance statistics, so that managers can award themselves cash bonuses.

You should not read too much into the coming of a new administrator and other political appointees. The toxic culture of the VA is embedded in all levels of management.

What time do you think it is?

Phoenix VA Corruption Complaints Substantiated Again

We’ll just put this out there. Emphasis ours:

After 17 years working as a registered nurse in the Tucson VA system, Diane Suter says she was taken aback when a manager first pressured her to falsely record patient wait times in 2014.

“She said, ‘Your appointments are over two weeks out and you’re costing your doctor money,'” Suter said. The manager showed her how to “zero out” wait times on their computerized scheduling system…. Suter complied after her manager strongly implied she’d be fired if she refused.

The resulting Office of Inspector General report substantiated much of what Suter alleged about wait-time manipulation and misconduct …[and]… recommended disciplinary action for staff who encouraged the falsifications.

It was almost two weeks ago that the report was released (9 November). No one has been disciplined. No one has been held accountable. No one will be held accountable. More details at the link, so Read The Whole Thing™.

A Problem in the ‘Shire CHECK OLD?

New Hampshire has a unique, so far as we know, policy that was negotiated by 20 or 22 of the state’s hospitals (we have 26. We’re small!) and the DVA, so that state vets can get treated at the hospitals using Veterans Choice, and the hospitals give a discount for the assurance that they’ll get paid. It’s what a leaner and smarter VA would look like, except for one thing: the VA hasn’t been paying the bills. Instead, they’ve stiffed the hospitals, and there is, naturally, no accountability anywhere.

Every single account with every single hospital is running 90 days in arrears. Some arrears are months longer than that. Some of the hospitals, doctors, and other providers have never been paid a dime for services they’ve rendered to vets. While this is uncomfortable for the hospitals, it’s solvency-threatening to the providers, and has caused about a 20% falloff in participating providers. (It’s also why they stalled out and didn’t get all hospitals on board. The early adopters let the facilities on the fence know how the VA blows up their Accounts Receivable.

There seem to be two problems: one is the general inefficiency, idleness, and incompetence of VA accounts payable personnel and managers, and another seems to be that VA did not retain the money appropriated by Congress for this, but repurposed it. “For what?” is anybody’s guess, but executive bonuses have never been ninety days in arrears in VA history, which should illustrate VA priorities.

The War on Bibles (CHECK OLD?)

Militant atheist and failed Air Force officer Mikey Weinstein (despite an Academy education, he was uncompetitive for promotions and finished his minimum obligation as a USAF lawyer) runs something called the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Weinstein is an atheist of Jewish extraction whose principal drive appears to be hatred towards the Christian majority, and whose principal objective is to establish his own atheism as a state religion. To that end, he has pursued various expressions of religious belief. His current crusade, if we may use such a word, is to eliminate bibles from military libraries, veterans’ hospitals and even — we are not making this up — chapels.

Weinstein’s Final Solution to the Christian Problem has seen VA managers do what they always do, when they’re not screwing the veterans: fold to pressure groups, and then screw the veterans together. More information at the American Council for Law and Justice, which is putting the VA manglers in a difficult position by pushing back.

Lord Love a Duck!

The weird and wonderful (or creepy) that we didn’t otherwise get to. 

Mattis Unnerves Secret Service

According to the Duffel Blog, anyway. While you’re there, don’t miss the 2nd Lieutenant who’s been identified as a sufferer of Resting Dumb Face. (Some of you know that guy. Hell, some of you were that guy).

…a condition where one’s face reverts to a befuddled expression… commonly found in newly commissioned officers.

BREAKING: Secret Service Bigs to Obama Detail: You’re Staying in DC

US-SecretService-StarLogo.svgSecret Service sources informed Weaponsman.com on Black Friday that selectees for the post-presidential detail have been told that they can expect to be stabilized in the Washington, DC area for at least two years, as the outgoing President has no intention of leaving the Imperial City. They can only speculate about the reasons why. It may be as simple as the First Daughters’ schooling, or as complicated as President Obama’s position as a figurehead of a “resistance” to the Trump Administration, mixed with his desire to defend his legacy to his many friends and followers in the mass media.

Some agents bid for the detail in hopes of catching a relocation to Hawaii; others expected the retiring President to return to his former home of Chicago. (it’s not really a safe place for a black man, though, with over 4,000 shootings and 720 homicides, mostly of black men, so far this record-setting year). For some of them, it’s a first shot at a top-level protection detail, and so it has career appeal.

A Washington, DC detail has blessings and curses for the individual agent, of which, a couple examples may get you thinking. There’s plenty of spare manpower available in the heavily overstaffed and underworked headquarters, so you’re less likely to lose out on vacations or other time off. But it’s also much more convenient for bosses to come out to you and exercise their micromanagerial talents.

The Obama detail is not a favorite, but it’s not one agents are desperate to avoid, either. (The Hillary Clinton detail, for example, has not become more desirable with her defeat, and wouldn’t have become more desirable with her victory. It’s been at or near the bottom of most protective agents’ preferences for decades). A cynic would note that the Obamas have a long way to go to build a Clinton-sized bankroll, and there’s no place quite as effective for selling, if your product is influence, than Washington, DC.

The decision has been telegraphed for some time, for example, in this article at the Washington Post. But as far as we know, this is the first absolute confirmation. If the President were to change his plans at this point (which he can still do), the Secret Service would have to create personnel chaos (something that doesn’t really bother the managers) and spend truckloads of money (something that does) to stand up a detail in the new location, be it Kailua or the Loop.

It is, of course, President Obama’s right to live anywhere he and his family please to, and the Secret Service’s duty to protect them, wherever they are, from the nutballs and enemies they have attracted during the President’s years of elected service.