Posted for the entertainment of the jumpers among you.
“It is better that they do it, however imperfectly, than you do it for them.” — T.E. Lawrence.
Mute the audio, because the music some idjit dubbed in is really dreadful.
Posted for the entertainment of the jumpers among you.
“It is better that they do it, however imperfectly, than you do it for them.” — T.E. Lawrence.
Mute the audio, because the music some idjit dubbed in is really dreadful.
No, not the guy made famous by movies about street racing who apparently got quick-fried to a crackly crunch while (what else?) street racing. (If he writes anything now, it’s a neat trick). But one of the ATF street agents trapped in the senseless chaos of Phoenix Group VII, which deliberately ran guns to Mexican cartels, with the approval of the highest levels in the Department of Justice.
There are some new revelations in John Dodson’s book, The Unarmed Truth. For example, even the guns that weren’t bought for the cartels by the ATF were apparently bought by the FBI. At the time, Dodson and Olindo “Lee” Casa, among other field agents, had no idea how the investigation could possibly end well. From an excerpt in the New York Post:
‘It’s like the underwear gnomes,” my ATF colleague Lee Casa told me one time as we recounted the latest bizarre goings-on in Phoenix.
“What?” I asked.
“You ever watch ‘South Park’? There’s this episode where all the boys get their underwear stolen by these underwear gnomes. They track them down to get it back and one of them asks why they are stealing everyone’s underwear. The gnomes break out this PowerPoint and reveal their master plan: Phase One: Collect underpants . . . Phase Two: ? . . . Phase Three: Profit.”
“We’re doing the same thing,” he explained. “We know Phase One is ‘Walk guns’ and Phase Three is ‘Take down a big cartel!’ ”
Both of us were laughing now; a more fitting and appropriate allegory could never be found. Casa concluded, “Just nobody can figure out what the fuck Phase Two is!”
The Underpants Gnomes episode was a prescient look at the ill-starred internet bubble that would soon produce such spectacular craters as Pets.com and DrKoop.com. It wasn’t a model for a criminal investigation into gun smuggling.
While many intelligent observers think that the DOJ and ATF mangers’ intent must have been to increase the number of US guns turning up at Mexican murder scenes, in order to justify gun control laws sought by political appointees at DOJ and politicized managers at ATF, there’s no smoking gun (pun bitterly intended) that suggests such a master plan was in effect. It might have been, but reading Dodson’s words, one gets the idea that it just might have been staggering, Underpants Gnome-level incompetence.
Supervisory Special Agent Hope McAllister features as a veritable Beethoven of resonating, symphonic incompetence. (Others, elsewhere, have remarked upon her extremely unpleasant disposition, which earned her the ironic nickname “Sunshine Bear.”) Here’s one example:
If the purpose of the case is to stop firearms trafficking, then you interdict this load and shut the group down. If the purpose was to get evidence on Acosta, DEA had just provided all that was needed to catch him in the act. If the purpose was to do a wire, DEA was already up on one and intercepting Acosta’s calls on the other end. If the purpose was to take down a cartel, DEA had just given us the chance to jump one rung of the ladder higher than Acosta before we ever even got up and running.
However, four days later, on Dec. 19, 2009, when DEA called with more information about the pending weapons transfer, Hope outrageously told them that we were too short on bodies because of Christmas to staff a surveillance team and so we wouldn’t be covering it.
DEA later learned through their case that the delivery had in fact taken place, just as their sources said it would, in El Paso, Texas, on Dec. 22. Thirty-two more guns to the cartels.
Later, after reluctantly accepting Dodson’s suggestion to plant a GPS tracker in a cartel-bound AK-47 variant, McAllister and other ATF leaders told the following agents to:
…keep a loose surveillance; no need to risk heating them up — to let the GPS tracker do its job.
“Seventeen South,” Hope said over the radio as she relayed the information she was getting over the phone. “Still southbound— Passing Camelback Road.”
When McAllister lost the GPS tracker, her only hope (no pun intended) was that someone had disobeyed her instructions and followed the suspect vehicle closely. After eleven minutes of no tracker, she had to ask.
Hope’s voice came out over the radio, “Does anyone have eyes on the vehicle?”
Shaking my head, I thought, You told us to stay back so we couldn’t be seen; if it can’t see us — we probably can’t see it.
Someone answered, “Negative.”
After a brief pause, the radio crackled again as Hope’s voice broke the static: “We’ve lost the tracker. It may have went down or gone somewhere where the signal can’t get out.”
Dodson tried to find the suspect vehicle in an area of garages and industrial buildings, but with an eleven-minute lead, he was unsurprisingly unsuccessful. The guns from the shipment have begun turning up, though — mostly at the scenes of law enforcement agents’ murders, here and in Mexico.
While the snippets above are from the New York Post’s excerpt, we have the book and will probably find something of value in it. If so, we’ll share. If you want your own copy, Amazon can get it to you fast (instantly, if you’ll take a Kindle copy).
Previous research in the case tells us that the cartels are remarkably ill-informed gun buyers: they seem to favor AKs, and in particular AK pistols, weapons that are strongly biased towards firepower versus accuracy. Indeed, they seem to like the very cheapest and cheesiest AK clones, the ones made by Century International in Georgia, Vermont, from clapped-out European satellite parts kits and crudely-formed receivers.
As an American, you’d like to think that heads rolled when this investigation was exposed, regardless of whether it was criminal in nature or just criminally stupid. But instead, the case became a partisan political football, with Republicans grandstanding against the ATF, and Democrats suggesting that the tree of liberty needs to be refreshed from time to time with the blood of Border Patrol Agents. Ultimately, no one at ATF was held responsible. The US Attorney involved, Dennis K. Burke, who came from a gun control lobbying organization (and has since returned to another), resigned after one of the guns he sent to the cartels was used to murder Border Partrol agent Brian Terry; the acting head of the ATF returned to his former job, and retired, as he had long planned to do; and various whistleblowers who spoke to the press or Congressional investigators, including Dodson and Casa, were punished.
The ATF managers who planned and carried out the cartel-arming project were all promoted. One was allowed to draw his ATF pay for over six months while working full time for an administration-connected bank in a foreign country — a dispensation not normally allowed disgraced Feds.
But there’s no smoking gun, in paperwork terms.
Someone, maybe a cop or prosecutor, will get killed this weekend in Mexico with a Fast & Furious gun — supplied with ATF approval, and paid for with FBI money. And every weekend for years to come. That’s the other kind of smoking gun, and it’s how you climb the career ladder at ATF.
Now, your local police department is probably not as bad as the Washington, DC police department. The DC department, which spends its days obstructing citizen firearms owners (or would-be owners) and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars pursuing charges of possession of an empty cartridge case, has one of the nation’s worst records for solving violent crimes. Their record is so bad you would be excused for wondering whether they’re just the nation’s most incompetent cops, or whether they’re not really trying.
DC Chief Cathy Lanier stumbles through her days from crisis to failure and back again, seeming to think that the definition of “leadership” is to give an anodyne and superficial voice clip to media, and then sit back and shuffle a few papers, redeploying more cops against suspected gun owners in the upper-class half of DC, while whistling past the chalk outlines and crime scene tapes in the criminal-class sectors. Until the next crisis hits.
The crisis that hit yesterday? A cop using the authority of his badge to shoot his very own teen and tween porn. Breitbart.com:
According to charging documents, Washington allegedly took photos of a 15-year-old girl while conducting an investigation into a missing persons report. He allegedly went over to the girl’s house in Southeast Washington on Sunday night. Authorities say the girl had previously been reported missing and Washington claimed he needed pictures of her injuries despite the fact the girl said she had not been injured. Washington allegedly coerced her into stripping down naked, claiming he needed photos for identification purposes and that it was procedure.
Sounds fishy to you, right? They never did this on “CSI: Anacostia.” The victim thought so, too.
After Washington left the house, the girl told her mother, who then called police. According to prosecutors, Washington saw the mother’s 911 call to dispatch and tried to delete the pictures but was unsuccessful in getting rid of all the evidence. He was taken into custody and law enforcement officials discovered nude images of other young girls on his digital camera.
So, cue the anodyne statement from Lanier in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said the allegations against Officer Washington are a blow to every good police officer on the force: ”To learn of an allegation of this kind against a person who is sworn to protect our children, it is both shocking and disturbing.”
The Armed Services have a wonderful tool for handling underperformers in critical jobs, a class and category that encompasses vast swathes of DC’s Finest (Prurient Pedo Photographers) and most absolutely applies to the stumblebum Chief. It’s called Relief For Cause. When one steps on one’s reproductive tackle, it’s customary for one’s commanders to yank you from the game like a pitcher that just threw three straight walks, and send you to the showers and grab whoever’s handy in the bullpen.
There will often be an uninformative press release which will say something like, “Captain Lanier had lost the confidence of her superiors.” That’s the Navy version of an anodyne statement after one of the fictional Col. Lanier’s troops was found to be using authority of the uniform to photograph, if not diddle, kids. Compare the ruthless accountability of the Army/Navy way with the utter lack of accountability of the Washington, DC, police way.
This may, in fact, be why someone with the personal limitations of Cathy Lanier sought work in a highly politicized police department rather than in the less forgiving crucible of, say, Army unit command or ship-driving.
So what could she have said, that wouldn’t be anodyne, and might take steps to build confidence in her Keystone Kops?
“These allegations are disgusting, and if they’re proven, he’s more fired than Burning Man. We have zero tolerance for criminal conduct on our force. Further, in cases like this, someone usually knew about the suspect’s conduct before hand. We have relieved his first and second line supervisors for failure to effectively supervise, taken their guns and badges, and assigned them to administrative, non-supervisory duties pending an investigation. Because no organization can credibly investigate itself, I have asked the [FBI, DOJ IG, somebody more trustworthy than WDC PD] to conduct the investigation.”
Something like that. Which you will hear from the Chief of a failing, flailing urban police department about one-half hour after the Sun goes nova.
David Kennedy Raikes was an accomplished poet, by age 20. That’s a good thing, as that’s all the time he got. Raikes was a Royal Air Force sergeant pilot of a Douglas Boston light bomber — the same plane the USAAF called the A-20 Havoc and was replacing at war’s end with the A-26 Invader. Bostons, or Havocs, were a staple of Lend-Lease and were operated not only by the USAAC/USAAF but also by Russia and Free France as well as by the RAF.
Raikes almost made it to the end of the war, but perhaps he had a premonition of his death. In a slim volume of his poetry published some nine years posthumously, the verse of the fallen airman evokes a spooky prescience:
And some did not come back. We never knew
Whether they lived – at first just overdue,
Till minutes changed to hours, and still no news.
One went to bed; but roused by later crews,
Asked ‘Were they back yet?’ and being answered ‘No’,
Went back to sleep.
One’s waking eyes sought out the empty beds,
And ‘Damn’, you said, ‘another kit to pack’;
I never liked that part, you never knew
What privacies your sorting might lay bare.
I always tried to leave my kit arranged
In decent tidiness. You never knew.
But that is past. The healing river flows
And washes clean the wound with passing years.
We grieve not now. There was a time for tears,
When Death stood by us, and we dared not weep.
Let the seas close above them, and the dissolving deep.
You never knew, indeed. Raikes’s Boston, RAF serial BZ590, lifted off from Forli Aerodrome near what’s now the Med resort of Rimini, at about 9 PM on April 21 1945. BZ590 was assigned to attack a bridge and conduct armed reconnaissance — translation: “look for anything worth shooting or blowing up” — along the Po Valley. A dry report from 18 Squadron OC, Wing Commander V. Rees, notes that “Since that time, nothing is known.”
And that’s where the state of knowledge stood, then and for many decades into the future, until Italian wreck-finders unearthed the remains of BZ590 — and its four-man crew — in 2011. The crew’s remains were positively ID’d this year and the four airmen, all of whom were, like their skipper, 20 years old, were reinterred with honor in a common casket.
The excavation took place because local people remembered the location of a plane crash, and that, after the wreck burned for days, Axis troops — Germans or Italian fascists, no one was sure — filled in the crater, plane, crew and all.
Among the artifacts unearthed from the crash site were Raikes’s Smith & Wesson revolver, and the two Browning machine guns from the dorsal turret manned by Warrant Officer John Penboss Hunt, an Australian. The guns were much the worse for wear — for impact forces, fire, and decades of corrosion.
The other two crewmen were Britons, like Raikes: Alexander Thomas Bostock, radio op, and David Millard Perkins, the navigator. A watch personalized to Hunt, and an engagement ring of Perkins’s, were also recovered. These were returned to the families of the deceased.
At the memorial service, an Australian official noted that Hunt was one they were able to cross off their list of war missing, which numbers about 1,100.
The Last Post was played at the ceremony, as always at a British military funeral. This time, though, the bugler wasn’t a British soldier — he was Ray Madge, the half-nephew of Hunt.
We learned of this perusing the RAAF’s Air Force magazine in hard copy, which had a story on Hunt. There are many other stories out there:
Yes, this story piqued our interest.
Back in February, we wrote the story of the latest invasion and counter-invasion of the Pacific island of Guam, the scene of bloody fighting between the US and Japan twice in World War II. This invasion is by a menace even more adaptable and cunning than the Imperial Japanese Navy Special Landing Force: the brown tree snake. The counterattack: dead mice laced with Tylenol, and dropped from aircraft, with streamers to decelerate them and hang them up in the jungle canopy. The brown tree snake is a rare snake that will eat carrion, or at least, predeceased mice, and another biological oddity is its vulnerability to acetaminophen: 80 mg might be therapeutic for you, but it’s curtains for Mr. No-Shoulders. Guamanian TV station KUAM reports:
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no it’s dead mice baits filled with acetaminophen being dropped from helicopters.
As today marked the fourth mice drop atop forested areas of Anderson Airforce Base since September, U.S. Department of Agriculture assistant state director supervisory wildlife biologist Dan Vice explains the process that’s already proving successful at controlling the local brown tree snake population.
He said, “What we’re going to be watching is the oral delivery of oral toxicans out of a helicopter. The process is quite simple. The helicopter is going to make low altitude flights over the forest at relatively slow speeds they’re going to be certified pesticide applicators inside the helicopter delivering the baits out of the helicopter on a time sequence.”
And today, 2,000 dead mice baits were dropped. Each filled with 80 mg of acetaminophen attached to two pieces of cardboard and green tissue paper.
“The cardboard is heavier than the tissue paper and opens up in an inverted horse shoe. It then floats down and ultimately hangs up in the forest canopy. Once its hung in the forest canopy snakes have an opportunity to consume the bait,” he said.
And baits are lethal to snakes, killing them within 72-hours. But how about other animal life? Vice says a pig or a dog would have to consume at least 500 of the baits to receive a lethal dose.
“One reason aceetaminopehn is so effective for snakes is that its very low toxicity to other organisms. of all the organisms in the forest to be concerned about the monitor lizards, the iguanas is probably the one that is potentially at risk but because the baits are hung up in the forest canopy and not distributed on the floor the monitors aren’t going to encounter the baits with great frequency the monitors climb trees but they tend not to feed in trees,” he said.
The objective is for the dead mice to lead to dead snakes. Millions of the snakes have driven many species to extinction and are rapidly denuding Guam of its native species. Worse, the curious snakes stow away on aircraft — Guam is a way station for military and cargo aviation — and invade new islands.
If they have truly taken a leaf from the Japanese book, a snake or two will still be holding out thirty years from now. But so far, the snakes seem to still be making good their losses.
We finally beat the Japanese by nuking them, an option not practical for use on the snakes.
The TSA are hopped-up bums accomplishing nothing useful. Security screening is empty security theater, and since 9/11 the TSA has never caught a terrorist or prevented a terrorist attack, while passengers have done it over and over again.
There are several reasons that the TSA doesn’t work. The general inefficiency of centralized government planning, versus decentralized individual decision-making, is one. The low intelligence, character and morals of TSA employees from top to bottom is another. No one good, decent, ethical, honest or moral has every been employed by TSA in any capacity whatsoever.
They are bums, thieves, child molesters, perverts and violent criminals, among other unpleasant things, but all of them bums, and we’re better off without them.
Glenn Reynolds of Tennessee Law and Instapundit fame took to the pages of USA Today to say basically the same thing. His conclusion:
The 9/11 attacks worked because they caught people — used to theatrical hijackings that didn’t kill anyone — by surprise. Once Americans figured out this new game, which took, as Todd notes, only 109 minutes, they put an end to it by themselves. The creation of the TSA didn’t do any good, and it costs a lot of money, and it does a lot of harm. Put an end to it.
By all means, Read The Whole Thing™, Bottom line: travel will be more pleasant when these worthless payroll patriots are off the payroll and back on welfare, social security, parole or whatever government dole they were on before joining the richer-dole-plus-a-little-power gang at the TSA.
According to a convicted and imprisoned German cannibal (who has become vegetarian in protest against the unavailability of his favorite meat in the jug), there are 800 active practitioners of the “cannibal lifestyle” in Germany. Well, between the one who’s been locked up since 2001 and the one they just bagged, only 798 of them are still on the loose.
Germany’s Teutonically efficient Polizei didn’t have far to go to put the manacles on the latest accused, er, “humanitarian.” He was one of their own. ABC News:
Police on Wednesday found body parts on a property in the Ore Mountains, in the eastern German state of Saxony, that, according to German tabloid Bild, came from a murder carried out as part of a cannibal fetish act. The body parts are believed to belong to a 59-year-old man from Hanover, while the main suspect, who, according to Bild, owns the property on which the remains were found, is a 55-year-old police officer.
According to Bild, the victim had been cut into many small pieces some time in early November and many parts of the victim have yet to be found, leading to suspicions part of his body may have been eaten.
The suspect, who, according to the newspaper, works as a handwriting analyst in the forensic science institute of the Dresden office of the State Criminal Police Office, was arrested shortly after the remains were discovered. Bild reported the man had split up with his wife several years earlier and had since been living with another man.
If the reports are true, then this would be the second known time two German men met on the Internet and engaged in a cannibal-fetish murder.
Normally, we’re fairly easygoing about any kind of dietetic laws around here. De gustibus non disputandum est, right? But every once in a while someone breaks a taboo so fundamental that we’d forgotten it was even taboo.
There’s a lot of detail about the 2001 crime at that link, but we didn’t enjoy reading it enough to share it with all of you. If you are that curious, knock yourself out. Not during lunch… trust us on that.
The newspaper Bild (which means Picture or Image) was the source cited by ABC. It is a gaudy tabloid, noted for shock stories (but not one to make them up). If you speak the terrible German language, Bild’s current story as of early Sunday morning, European Central Time is here. We extract the following bullet points from a hasty skim:
There are no limits to the doings of evil, that parasite that grows in the hearts of men.
May God have mercy on their souls, both of them. And may the Court show no mercy whatsoever.
By now, most of the public knows the outline of the “deal” that a weak and desperate President Obama and Secretary Kerry reached with Iran’s ayatollahs.
That was enough to make Neville Chamberlain look like freakin’ Otto von Bismarck compared to the gormless Americans. Netanyahu knows now how Beneš felt. But it turns out, the bad deal was even worse than that.
You have to go to the Times of Israel for the story because the American press are too busy fapping to their collections of campaign speeches. But along with the publicly-discernable bones of this bad deal, some of its secret flesh includes Get Out of Jail Free cards to a rogues’ gallery of Iranian terrorist-suppliers, nuclear-proliferators, blockade-runners, and arms procurers. Among the plutonium pimps cut loose from American crowbar motel:
Obama and Kerry have been very solicitous about the well-being of these Iranian plutonium profiteers, but have done nothing to secure the release of Americans held on trumped-up charges in Iran, including Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati, and Robert Levinson, all of whom are held by the IRGC.
Abedini’s wife, Nagmeh, called the President’s abandonment of her husband “disheartening and discouraging.” Her attorney, Jay Sekulow of the ACLJ, went a step further: he called it “despicable.”
What a confidence measure it would have been, if as part of the preconditions for the relief from any sanctions on the Iranian regime, that they would release not only Saeed Abedini but the other two Americans being held by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
I hold the President responsible for this. I think what he did was despicable. Not having his release as a precondition of this nuclear deal is outrageous.
The Obama administration’s deal with the mullahs included some humanitarian items: mostly, publicly revealed humanitarian aid to the world’s leading terrorism-exporiting state, and billions of dollars in cash — mostly Iranian money that’s been impounded, but some hundreds of millions gouged from American taxpayers. But the Iranians were not asked for any humanitarian actions in return. In fact, they weren’t asked for anything but non-binding “commitments” — empty promises, most of which they’ve already told their domestic media they’re breaking.
Bottom line: we’re paying them to keep these Americans locked up. While rewarding them for not stopping their nuclear program. So that a man can stand with a piece of paper and pronounce it, “Peace in our time.”
Hey, that’s always worked before, right?
We covered the trial of Craig Sanborn, accused of manslaughter by negligence after his black-powder-substitute plant blew up. The jury hit him with a conviction on all charges; last week it was the judge’s turn, and Sanborn drew a stiff sentence of 10-20 years.
Two of his factory workers, Don Kendall and Jesse Kennett, were killed in the blast and fire, and another was seriously injured. Investigators from multiple agencies were unable to determine the exact cause of the blast, but found evidence of bypassed safety standards and negligent operation.
It did’t help Sanborn’s defense that after the blast, but before the trial, the firm and Sanborn were fined $1.2 million by OSHA for safety violations.
NHPR quoted U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels as saying:
Sanborn recklessly ignored basic safety measures that would have protected their lives. His criminal conviction and sentence won’t bring these men back to life, but it will keep him from putting workers’ lives in peril.
Michaels is being a bit disingenuous with that statement. (In plain English, he’s lying). The settlement that Sanborn reached with OSHA included a promise not to ever work in this or related industries again, pretty much preventing him “from putting workers’ lives in peril.”
One would hope that anyone whose job expected him to do unsafe stuff with explosive or inflammable mixtures would seek alternative employment, but it’s quite possible that the workers didn’t know what they didn’t know about the safety of their industrial plant — until it was too late.
One is further reminded that propellants, when handled safely and responsible, are extremely safe. And when not so handled, tragedy can result.
In Germany in the 1980s, one GI locution for home was: “The Land of the Round Doorknobs.” The high water mark of the actual general-purpose Nazis has been left behind, leaving small and pungent artifacts of Nazi specificity dotted like tidal pools in the mudflats of modern Europe. Having lived in a knobbenrein society for years on end, we have a view on this. Levers have their positive points, to be sure: you can teach yourself to open the door with your fourth point of contact, if you approach it with both hands full (and it happens to open in the right direction, which limits the practical utility of butt-opening, at least until we evolve opposable cheeks). And they’ll be ready for when you’re 80 and your hands don’t work (if the Death Panels haven’t sent you to the knacker’s, mumbling “I will work harder!” by then).
But there’s a downside to levers, too. Your dog and even cat can also teach itself to open them, letting Fido into all the things you were trying to keep him out of, like the fresh laundry, or the garbage can. They (levers, not pets) also snag on just about anything, so when you’re 80, your backpacks, handbags, shopping bags, briefcase and very pants pockets become tiger traps lying in wait to seize you and throw you down, breaking your osteoporotic hip.
The radical idea that normal, healthy and sane adults can manage a trade-off like this on their own used to be loose in the free air of West Canuckistan. BC used to be, with Alberta, the home of the liberty-loving in Canadian public affairs. What space alien has abducted the bold and hearty Canadian westerners, that they suddenly are letting their doors be managed by some gang of Vichy PQ knob-pilferers? What has become of the land of lumberjacks?
It is to sigh. Naturally, no Nazi can thrive without a crowd Sieg Heiling, and Popular Science’s Colin Lecher’s shoulder has a Strangelove spasm:
Effective in March, new housing will be required to install levers on doors and faucets, instead of the good-ol’ round knobs of our forefathers.
Cue: libertarian cries of government overreach and nanny-state-ism and evil G-men in suits entering homes and stealing all of our doorknobs despite our constitutional right to them. Fine. But anyone against the idea might feel differently when they’re pushing 80.
Lecher finds a study, from Malaysia of all places (rugged Malaysian individualism? Not feeling it), that is apparently the scientific and mathematic basis for this new Canadian foray into an attitude not seen since notorious Canadian neo-Nazi Richard Warman stalked the Stormfront chat-site (possibly the only real totalitarian, vice ATF undercover, to ever have an account there). And we run here into the real problem with the totalitarianism so beloved of Hitler, Stalin, Warman, Lecher and whoever Vancouver has made Gauleiter with respect to doorknobs: it’s Plato’s philosopher-king, reimagined as a dumbass.
The minimum door height should comply with the stature anthropometry of the 95th percentile male (72.60 cm). The door width should be the elbow span of the 95th percentile male (97.4 cm). A lever-type doorknob should be positioned at the elbow height of the 5th percentile female (81.60 cm).
Let’s explain the terms in plain English (thank God we’re not Canadian, or we’d have to do it in plain French, too). “Stature anthropometry” is cod-scientific for “height.” (You should teach that to your eight-year-old. When an aunt asks, “How tall are you,” the kid’ll come back with, “my stature anthropometry is…” and that’ll shut the old bag up for good). “Elbow span” is your width at the elbows. “Elbow height” is how high your elbow is from the ground. 95th and 5th percentile are generally accepted in ergonomics as the limits of the population you must serve — if you plot all heights, say, on a bell curve you can lop off the tails that hold the top and bottom 5% when designing your door, so it doesn’t need to accommodate Guiness Book of World Records human shapes and sizes (and indeed, if you are building a house in Vancouver for a Guiness Book tall man, you might not be able to build to suit him). Because of sexual dimorphism in homo sapiens, which is a cod-scientific way of saying men run bigger than women in our human race, using specific male numbers for the heights and female numbers for the lows, increases the range so you’re only excluding 2 to 3 percent of humans.
What this is intended to require is that a door must be big enough for a very tall man, but not the very tallest man, and that the door must be wide enough for a very wide fellow, but not the very widest; but the doorknob (er, lever, forgot we’re knobbenrein, mein Herr), must be positioned for the convenience of a very short woman, but not the very shortest. If they had gotten the numbers right, your basketball pro’s ability to negotiate the door without stooping would be compromised by his need to stoop to reach the doorknob put close to hand for the dwarf lady.
Those of you who are native speakers of SI (metric) units have probably already done the math and are snickering here. For you Americans stuck in archaic Imperial units (and bitterly clinging to guns, religion, and round freakin’ doorknobs), have a gander at the image on the left.
There are approximatelt 2.54 centimeters to an inch. So Vancouver’s Dream Door is: about 2 feet, 4 1/2 inches high, 3 feet, 2 inches wide, and the
doorknob, er, lever, is positioned 2 feet, 8 inches above the floor — which places it roughly 3 1/2 inches above the door.
It’s hard to figure out where the error is and what was really meant. If they wanted the height of the door to be a hundred and 72.6 centimeters, that’s still only about five feet seven or eight, and certainly not the 95-percent man. Of course, they may have based the whole thing on Malaysian anthropometrics — Malaysians come in many races, shapes and sizes, but compact East Asians predominate.
The Canadians, meanwhile, whatever their would-be political masters have degenerated to now, were once a race of hearty lumberjacks — who were comfortable with simple arithmetic (unlike, say, Popular Science writers) and fearlessly approached round doorknobs with confident hands.
And here you have the problem with fascism, whether it’s the malevolent kind that troops the red flag down Unter Den Linden in black uniforms, or the supposedly benevolent kind that hides behind the heartwarming symbol of the maple leaf, whilst working its evil complots upon the unsuspecting building codes. The Great Leader, or People’s Commissariat, or Philosopher King turns out to be rather lousy at making decisions for you. When you trade liberty for efficiency in government or some other good and worthy objective (security being the most renowned of these), you wind up with neither.
You wind up with doors with detached doorknobs.