The Volcano, Filipino Nationalism, and Tomorrow

Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991, and made negotiations for the retention of Clark AB moot.

Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991, and made negotiations for the retention of Clark AB moot.

Filipino President Duterte is wildly popular in one place, and wildly unpopular in another. The first is in his native country, where he has waged an unflinching war against drugs and crime — a war that has often rejected legal and human rights restraints, and that considers a dead dope dealer as big a check in the W column as one in handcuffs. The second is in the hearts and minds of the transnational elite, including the journalists and diplomats of just about the entire world, and especially with the elites’ Supreme Personality of Godhead, President Barack Obama. As a result, a number of bridges between the once inseparable allies have been set alight, and Duterte is cozying up to American rivals in the region, even appearing willing to cede Filipino claims to sovereignty (which the Philippines lack the ability to defend, anyway) in the contested Spratly Islands, which are now partly occupied by China.

Today, the crater lake of the resting volcano is a tourist stop, and these 1991 billows of ash turned out to be great fertilizer.

Today, the crater lake of the resting volcano is a tourist stop, and these 1991 billows of ash turned out to be great fertilizer — after, unfortunately, killing most everything green that was in their way.

The US military and the Filipino military, which was created in the American image, have always been closer than the societies in general. It will be a measure of President-Elect Trump’s ability to make deals, whether he is able to restore any of the former closeness between the two historic partners. Because, while Duterte and Obama have driven their nations apart from one another, the schism goes back decades, and is bigger than a couple of cults of personality. This page tells some of the diplomatic history of the US withdrawal from Clark Airfield (which was accelerated by the unexpected eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991) and Subic Bay, a departure which threw 140,000 skilled Filipino dock and aircraft-maintenance workers, and at least 20,000 skilled prostitutes, out of work.

The bases were closed, at Filipino demand, and the question became — would there be some sort of alliance and / or access agreement? At  that page, the then-ambassador remembers:

The reason I urged the Filipinos to keep our defense relationship active – this was in 1992 or early ‘93 – was that I felt that they were going to find the Chinese putting pressure on them as Beijing pressed its claims for the Spratly Islands and other areas in the South China Sea, some of which the Filipinos claimed….

The Chinese asserted their presence in this contested area in the South China Sea because of a growing nationalism, which led them to want to reinforce their territorial claims. But I also think they did it as a way of making everybody aware that the Americans were not around anymore, and that the Philippines and the other ASEAN countries would have to deal with China on their own.

I had urged Secretary Baker to take a fairly active position in response to Chinese efforts to put pressure on the Philippines and others who were our friends or allies in the region on the issue of the territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

I made the argument that even if we weren’t a direct claimant to these territories ourselves, if we were not seen as supporting the interests of key allies like the Philippines, then other allies in the region who are much more important to our interests – especially Japan, which had its own territorial dispute in the East China Sea with China, and Korea – would begin to have doubts about our staying power and our value as a defense partner….

Read The Whole Thing™ (and the several other diplomatic reminisces there).

Much or the damage to US interests in the Pacific Rim has been done by two administrations that saw the “little brown guys” of the region’s many proud nations as so many infantile savages to be lectured and hectored into our superior way of doing things. This policy was not a success in 1977-80 and was even less successful in 2009-2016.

This World Airways DC-10 was destroyed by Pinatubo. More photos of the eruption here at NOAA.

This World Airways DC-10 was destroyed by Pinatubo. More photos of the eruption here at NOAA.

Back in 1991-1992, the US wanted to stay, and many Filipinos wanted the US to stay. But a combination of political weakness on both sides of the negotiation, political posturing, and political opportunism, led to a different outcome.

Right now, US-Filipino relations are in a state as ruined as Clark Air Base was in 1992. If we want to repair that damage, we need to start by listening to Duterte, and not drumming on how deplorable he and his voters are. It’s their country, they get to run it. We ought to be telling them why we should, and how we can, help them, and be honest about how that will help us.

Run, Hide, Fight… and You

osu-good-somali-2In the recent Ohio State terrorist incident (you know, the one for which the press is still assiduously trying to unlock the mystery within an enigma of the attacker’s motive), campus public safety officials sent a message to all hands: Active Shooter, Run Hide Fight.

We know now that the “Active Shooter” was an error, an error that, predictably, spawned giddy glee in the gun control camp. The jihadi had a car and a machete, and followed an ISIL attack protocol we’ve seen several times in Europe this year already, but he wasn’t a shooter. However, we think that (1) the campus cops were right to send that message and (2) run, hide, fight, is good advice, and it’s probably better advice for us (licensed or authorized gun carriers) than it is for the usual defenseless collegiate population.

Let’s take those two assertions one at a time.

The Campus Cops were Right to Send, “Active Shooter, Run Hide Fight”

“But Hognose,” we can practically hear you as we write this. “There was no active shooter.” We know now that there was not, and the cops may even have had a hint that there was not. (Or not; next paragraph we’ll explain). But even if they didn’t think there was an active shooter, it was a good call for several reasons.

  1. It helps produce the desired defensive behavior (run, hide, fight);
  2. It’s a lot easier to assume that there is a shooter than to know that there is not;
  3. Historically, jihadi attacks have often involved coordinated attacks, whether it’s bombings or small arms attacks. The first thing to look for when you have one attacker is his confederates! If he hasn’t got any, you’re not as badly off for your false reaction than you would be if you didn’t do anything, and he was one of a cell of ten like we’ve seen in some attacks, or even a pair, a more common thing.
  4. And they might have thought there was an active shooter.

Why would they think that there were more shooters at large? Well, they had, apart from the room-temperature suspect, an innocent person with a gunshot wound. (This was apparently a lost round from the policeman who neutralized the suspect).

Could the campus have done some things better? Sure. But they were right to warn the campus.

“Run, Hide, Fight” is Actually a Good Protocol

A lot of armed self-defenders see themselves rushing across campus to confront an attacker in a scenario like this. We think it’s a bad idea. Better to run if you are in “escaping distance” from the threat, hide if you are invisible and unknown to the threat, and only fight if you must.

Why run? If he can already see you, moving targets are harder to hit than stationary ones. Targets further away are harder to hit than nearby ones. Opening the distance may not bring you to cover, but it does improve your odds, as does giving your assailant a target that is in relative motion, especially laterally.

Why hide? If you can access a hiding place where you are invisible and unknown to the assailant(s), you don’t ever come up in his target array.

Why fight? There’s really one best reason: if you’re cornered and must defend yourself or others’ lives. Don’t go hunting the guy; first, you moving lets him ambush you. Second, if police or a hostage rescue force strike, and you’re on the X with a gun in your hand, guess what prize you just won? Finally, if you must (or get the opportunity to) pop the guy, one of the key questions prosecutors will ask as they review the case is, “Who was the aggressor?” Don’t be that guy. It’s potentially not self-defense if you’re the one attacking.

Mental Rehearsals and “Run, Hide, Fight”

It’s important to form a mental picture of what each of these steps would look like in any place where you could potentially be attacked. We have found the drill of “mental rehearsal” worthwhile. Consider, as you go about your daily business, what would you do if this place turned into the San Berdoo social services office, or the Bataclan venue in Paris. Which way would you run? Where might you hide? Where would be the most effective place to fight?

So, as you can see, the “Run, Hide, Fight” mantra also provides you a handy mnemonic for worst-case-scenario planning and preparation, or for your “mental rehearsal.”

It’s likely that you will never face such a serious incident as the faculty, staff and students of OSU did. If you do not, the time and effort spent on preparation is a sunk cost. But if you do, nothing but time and effort spent now on preparation can avail you anything at all.

Take care out there.

Friday Tour d’Horizon, Week 48

This could be a most disjointed Tour d’Horizon, because rather than throw stuff in all week we left it until Thursday PM to begin. The weather continues unseasonably warm weather (yesterday we were out in a t-shirt. In New Hampshire. In December). If this is Global Warming, all of us (apart from the ski bums and ski bunnies, and they are making snow at altitude…) up here in the Granite State would like to thank everyone who’s bought an F-350 Powerstroke or greater over the last few years.


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

More Tracking Point Videos

Like the ones we had the other day. They’re closing in on the end of the M700 promotion. (Note that their usual 5.56 will only give you a target solution for a shorter range. They can control all that in software… and no doubt, sell you options like in-app purchases in Angry Birds… only it’s more like “Angry Bees at 3,000 FPS.”)

For those of you who come to gunnery via video games, it’s not “First Person Shooter” but “feet per second.” At least, for those of us whose nations have sent men to the moon.

Duel 3: Prone Bipod, Moving Target, 650 Yards

This is a realistic shot, more so than the shoot-around-corners used in Duel 2 (there are 13 of these duels, total. The others are not yet released). Note that this was not done with the AR.
How are you at hitting moving targets at 650?

Duel 4: Canted at 45 Degrees, 350 Yards

Here’s a capability you didn’t know you could use.

Mauser Before Broomhandle

Mauser is primarily known as the greatest maker and innovator of the bolt action rifle, but they made a wide range of pistols for most of the 20th Century, ranging from the big pioneering Broomhandle, to a range of pocket and European police pistols, to the HSc and a couple of runs of Lugers. Before the C96 Broomhandle, there was the C78 “Zig-Zag” revolver; but before that, there was this, the C77 Hinterlader (Breech-Loader):
mauser_1876_pistol_overallThis particular example is on GB for an eye-popping $38k.  These two crummy photos are the only ones provided. The description is terse:

Very rare gun only a few exist,I only know of 4 and last one sold for $42,000.00,So you have a chance to own this gun,and say you have one of a few that are known to be out there,this is the real thing,in great condition,NO RUST,Handle is also in great condition too, have any question hit me up.


Thumbing down the lever on the left side of the action caused the breechblock to fall; inserting a cartridge made it spring back up. Because the trigger is attached to the bottom of the breechblock, you need to have your fingers clear of the trigger guard before opening the breech; the block fills most of the trigger guard while down, and the trigger itself shoots through a hole in the trigger guard. A very steampunk creation, this.

Fewer than 100 of these 10mm pistols were made, all of which were sold to officers in the armies of Prussia and other German principalities. (Note that it’s marked as made in Wurttemberg, as Bismarck’s consolidation of Germany was not complete!) According to the seller, only four are known to survive.

If there’s demand, we’ll write more about this, as we have the references at hand.

Gun Stocks update

PreElection closings: RGR 64.40, SWHC 28.45, VSTO 38.94.  [8 Nov 16]
-2 week’s closings: RGR 53.20, SWHC 24.13, VSTO 40.02. [18 Nov 16]
Last week’s closings: RGR 52.50, SWHC 23.82, VSTO 41.05. [25 Nov 16] [short trading day and week]
This week’s closings: RGR 50.25, SWHC 21.10, VSTO 39.66. [2 Dec 16]

Red, in case you were wondering, is not good.

All three were up going into Friday, but then Smith & Wesson released an earnings report Thursday night; Smith dropped 12% (!) and Ruger just under 6% on that report. Both stocks were heavily traded today.

The puzzling thing is that the report was positive and beat the Street estimates on sales and revenues, and Smith still got a sell-off. It is probable that the report’s setting forecasts for Q3 earnings lower than the Street had hoped was a factor. Or perhaps the Street hates SWHC’s plan to rename the holding company American Outdoor Brands, with Smith, Battenfield (accessories) and Crimson Trace (lasers and electro-optics) becoming divisions of AOB. (But the reorg is, 90%, just a name change).

Disclaimer: Your Humble Blogger holds RGR, bought at about 56.40 on 9 Nov. It bottomed in the 40s later that day. We still think it has longterm growth potential, and we like the dividend, but we’ve lost (on paper) thousands of dollars.

Gun Poly-Ticks

Something Amazing in the ‘Shire

The Speaker of the State House of Representatives, a fractious 400-member assembly that had a lot of turnover this year, was re-elected. A well-informed local reporter noted that this year, unlike for the last several, the Republican House and Senate will be sending bills to a Republican Governor. There were several things that were vetoed by the outgoing liberal Democrat (who has been elected to the Senate, and won’t be seen in NH again for five years). Does that open up any possibilities?

The legislator: “Well, first thing is Constitutional Carry.”

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way. Let’s skip this one this week, again, but there’s a couple of videos in Cops ‘n’ Crims below that apply.

Cops ‘n’ Crims

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

Real-Life Tueller Drill

The cops ask him to put the knife or knives down, and he doesn’t. Instead, he seems to move towards one cop. (It’s hard to tell because they’ve blurred the criminal).

This happened in Baltimore. They tried ordering him, reasoning with him, and tasing him. Nothing but shooting would satisfy the guy, so they obliged. (And this is the Baltimore police, who know the DA will try to nail their skins to the wall for shooting black criminal). Amazingly, this clown still has a carbon footprint — they immediately disarmed him, secured him, and got him help.

(We wanted to embed the video, but it was impossible without autoplay due, apparently, to buggy code at Brightcove. If anybody knows actual working syntax for disabling the autoplayer in, please let us know. This player overrides the published code for disabling autostart -Ed.)

The Perils of Kathleen: Declining to Make the Rubble Bounce edition

Kane is forgotten, but not gone; and she still has friends in high (for some values of high) places.

  • Item 22 Nov: The Times Misreads the Gansler / Beemer Report. The report by Kane flunky Doug Gansler, released by her successor Bruce Beemer, showed that the individuals named and shamed for sending crude emails by Kane were not the real violators (some of them sent exactly zero of the emails in question), but Kane’s political appointments. The Pennsylvania media at least reported this honestly (as we reported last week). Jess Bidgood in the New York Times, a Kane supporter, essentially makes up a different version of the report in which Kane is blameless and her targets wrong. (After her conviction, which took him by surprise, Bidgood was still defending her, prattling about “alleged leaks.” If you want more surprises in your life, get the news from the New York Times).
  • Item Date: 1 Dec: Let’s Not Impeach the Crook, a panel recommends. The State House of Representatives panel was considering whether the convicted felon and former Attorney General not be impeached. Not that she doesn’t richly deserve it, they say, but it’s a waste of time and money, with her already out of office, convicted, and sentenced to a stint in State Pen. Obviously, they misunderstand the importance of making the rubble bounce in cases like this… Kane’s supporters are already saying that the panel “vindicated” her, but it did say “the evidence…detailed conduct which would meet the definition of ‘misbehavior in office’.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement. Complete report here makes other recommendations to reduce the payoff for future Kane-style corruption, like requiring the Attorney General and his or her staff attorneys to have law licenses (Kane hung on grimly to office after losing hers). (Similar 1 Dec story at the Allentown Morning Call).
  • Item Date: 1 Dec. Threats of Retaliation held back some witnesses from testifying against Kane, according to the same report. Bottom of p.1 of the report: “Because of Attorney General Kane’s history of retaliation against those who[m] she perceived as a threat, several witnesses expressed a desire to cooperate but were reluctant to participate for fearAttorney General Kane would retaliate against them.”Oddly, this line in the reportwas not reported by the media which are generally pro-Kane.

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.

Victims Turned Crimefighters

  • Item: One Out of Three Ain’t Bad

A home invasion burglary in Sunrise, FL saw the sun rise on one cold stone dead invader, and by sunset his two partners in crime were in court, about to eat a felony murder rap, to the distress of the judge.

The homeowner fired three shots from a slide-action shotgun.

Trannies Behaving Badly, Again

This article is kind of funny the way that political correctness and pronouns trip up the writer… when someone named Jeffery is identified as “she.” What’d she/he/xe/it do?

Police said they arrested Jeffery Mceleveen, 25, on Tuesday on counts of second-degree kidnapping, second-degree rape and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

According to an arrest warrant, Mceleveen approached the victim on Jan. 11 when the latter stopped his vehicle at South Claiborne Avenue and Third Street. Mceleveen put a knife to his neck, while an accomplice got in the front seat, police said.

That sounds like Jeff was streetwalking, and has a plan to rob his/her/its john.

The two then drove the man to an ATM and to an unknown location to buy drugs, according to the warrant. The warrant states that Mceleveen also forced the man into various sexual acts.

Do not pass Go… do not collect $200… at this rate they’ll need a special Tranny Wing at crowbar motel.

On the other hand, Tranny Hooker, Kidnapper and Robber would be a good follow-on career for all of the hacks who need to get sacked over at VA. Welcome to the gig economy, where you get to choose your own pronoun.

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

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

Tip Leads to Stolen Historic Gate

A missing gate from the Dachau concentration camp was found in Norway after someone tipped off the cops. The gate, a pedestrian gate of wrought iron bearing the notorious KZ legend Arbeit Macht Frei (“Labor Liberates” is, in our opinion, better than the usual translation) will be returned whence it was stolen. The investigation continues.

A Swedish neo-Nazi, Anders Högström, was jailed for two and a half years for stealing a larger Arbeit Macht Frei gate from Auschwitz in Poland. He had torched it into three pieces to get away with it, and it took about as long to repair the gate as Högström spent in jail.

A Year after Terror Attack, California County Stiffs its Wounded Employees

There’s a long thumbsucker by Richard Perez-Peña at the New York Times about how poorly San Bernardino County has treated its employees who were wounded in the Dec 2, 2015 Sudden Jihad Syndrome attack. His double-barreled name may be familiar to those in the gun culture for his frequent anti-gun screeds, which he seems to approach with the axiom “write first, learn later, if ever” in mind. Even in this article, he has to launch an ill-informed blast at the AR-15:

As employees of the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health took part in training sessions last December, one of them left and then returned with his wife.

Note, no mention of motivation. Allahhu akbar, eh?

The couple carried out the slaughter using variants of the AR-15 assault rifle. The weapon’s bullets travel three times the speed of rounds from a typical handgun and often fragment, causing wounds that trauma surgeons say are far worse than those from ordinary gunshots.

He doesn’t realize that AR jacketed bullets, lethal as they are compared to pistols, are considerably less lethal than even intermediate-powered deer rounds like the 19th Century .30-30, let alone the rounds that Californians might use to pursue mule deer.

The Wall Street Journal, shortly after the attack, made some points about guns used in the attack. (Google end run. It’s the 4 Dec 15 article)

The weapons were illegal under California law because they were modified and violated the state’s ban on assault weapons, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said on Thursday.

Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the suspects in the Wednesday shooting that left 14 people dead and 21 wounded, were armed with four guns. They carried two .223-caliber semiautomatic weapons and two 9mm semiautomatic pistols, according to San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan.


The two semiautomatic rifles were versions of the popular AR-15 model, according to San Bernardino officials. One was made by DPMS Inc., and the other by Smith & Wesson.

While they were originally sold legally, with magazine locking devices commonly known as bullet buttons, the rifles were subsequently altered in different ways to enhance them, according to Meredith Davis, a special agent with the ATF.

The Smith & Wesson rifle was changed in an attempt to enable it to fire in fully automatic mode, while the DPMS weapon was modified to use a large-capacity magazine, she said.

Ms. Davis said one handgun was made by Llama and the other was made by Springfield Armory.

It makes one wonder whether P-P’s other reported “facts” in the story are similarly fabricated, but his description of the horrifying wounds suffered by some of the 22 survivors, and  their incompetent and impersonal handling by the Workers’ Comp bureaucracy, ring true. Such as…

Her orthopedic doctors say her leg needs reconstructive surgery, including a bone graft, but it is not clear whether workers’ compensation would pay for the highly specialized operation.

“I have gone to weekly psychological appointments since January, and the county has made only two payments, and that was only after I called them,” she said. She goes to physical therapy weekly, but workers’ compensation is not paying for that, and her doctors’ requests for therapeutic exercise sessions with a trainer have been denied.

Another patient, partially paralyzed:

…still faces a long, hard road to reach something like recovery. She needs more operations, she relies on a home health aide, and her doctors want her to get physical and occupational therapy to relearn to use her arms and legs.

….visits from the health aide have been reduced, and she has been told they will end soon. Approval of her antidepressant medication was withdrawn. Her occupational therapy was cut off, and her physical therapy stopped, restarted and stopped again.

A third:

After she requested psychological services, she said, it took weeks for her to see a doctor, who diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder, and weeks more to get an appointment for treatment — an hour’s drive from her home. “I could barely face leaving the house, and it’s too painful for me to sit for any length of time, so that was out of the question,” she said.

Hey, welcome to the world of government-regulated and controlled medicine, kids. As mostly unionized municipal employees, you haven’t been here before.

Veterans’ Issues

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

Wisconsin VA Dentist’s Unsanitary Practices Spread Viral Diseases

We’ll just put this out there

[H]undreds of veterans were put at risk after a dentist failed to follow standard infection control procedures. Now the medical center is offering free screenings for the vets to test for infections like Hepatitis C and HIV.

There were 592 vets exposed to the unsanitary practices, but they have to go through the hit-and-miss appointment system to maybe get seen and find out if they’re infected.

The shortcut-happy dentist, who skipped sterilizing his instruments, and the dental assistant who conspired with him, have been removed from seeing patients for now, but they haven’t been fired. After all, that would be accountability, and nobody at VA wants that.

“He brought in his own burrs and cleaned them with Virex solution salt and a wipe, which is nothing we endorse,” [current don’t-blame-me-I-just-work-here Toma VA figurehead Victoria] Brahm said.

Not only is that against VA standards, but the president-elect of Wisconsin’s dental association says that’s no longer general practice.

“When I first started doing dentistry in 1980, that was considered acceptable, but it really isn’t considered that anyway. The only way to make sure you’ve killed all the bacteria is to put it through a sterilization or an auto-clave,” said Dr. David Clemens.

Note that 1980 was before we understood a lot about viruses. In fact, HIV had not yet been fingered as the cause of AIDS.

Partisan Veterans Group and Media Hacks Sorry Their Candidate Lost

The Politico headline on the fake news article, by, naturally, their non-veteran “defense editor,” Bryan Bender, is “Veterans groups fear Trump will ‘burn down’ VA“. So who does Bender turn to? The Democrat partisan IAVA, whose máximo líder for life is one Paul Rieckhoff, a one-tour-wonder lieutenant and failed Democrat congressional candidate, who runs the organization as his own personal political platform. The “burn down” comes from Rieckhoff, bitter at his party’s losses:

The worst case scenario within the vets community is a total dismantling of everything they worked generations to create. There is a growing fear it is all going to get burned down.

IAVA and Rieckhoff have consistently been soft on VA misconduct — unionized VA workers are an important constituency for their party, naturally, and veterans are not, really. When he calls for VA reform, it’s of the “give the same bozos and crooks more money” variety. Ricekhoff promised that left-wing veterans’ organizations like his will conduct “an ideological war” with the Trump administration.

Who else does Bender quote?

  • “Phillip Carter… director of the military, veterans and society program at the Center for a New American Security,” an Obama administration advisor. The CNAS is basically the shallow “defense bench” of Obamista Democrats.
  • “Rep. Mark Takano of California, the acting ranking Democrat on the House Veterans Affairs Committee.” By the way, Takano’s message was that “radical change is unnecessary.” And
  • “Jim Wright, a former president of Dartmouth University and historian on the veterans’ movement.” He brought Wright in to make the point that “the VA provides health care that is as good or better than in the private sector.”

Funny, that’s a common refrain among people like Bryan Bender and Jim Wright who don’t try to use the VA system.

Bender did also quote somebody from the American Legion, but the apocalyptic quotes all came from the sore losers Democrats. Funny, that’s a common refrain among people like Bryan Bender and Jim Wright who don’t try to use the VA system.

Yes, it is time to disband this thing.

Why is VA No Good?

A Veterans’ Day analysis we missed at the time has a lot of good stuff in it, including this brisant bipartisan brickbat:

I have heard it said that the Democrats decline to clean up the bureaucracy because the federal employee unions are a core constituency of the party, and that the Republicans refuse to take it on because they do not actually want an efficient government bureaucracy. There is truth in both assertions.

Disband it.

Remembering General Tso

Here’s a story about another “veteran” you might know. If you’re American, you’ve probably tasted and loved this spicy Hunan-inspired dish, but unless you’ve seen the 2014 documentary, The Search for General Tso, you probably didn’t know it was invented by a Hunanese restaurateur and refugee from Communism, Chef Peng Chang-kuei (彭長貴), for a visit by American admiral Arthur W. Radford to Nationalist Chinese Taiwan in 1952. The dish came back to the United States about 20 years later, but it remains all but unknown on mainland China to this day.

Peng named the dish for a Hunanese historical hero:

Peng chose the name to honor General Tso, a famous military leader from Hunan who helped put down the Taiping Rebellion as well as other rebellions in the 1800s during the Qing Dynasty. He was well respected not only for his successes on the battlefield, but also for his contributions to Chinese agricultural science and education.

Peng passed away Nov. 30 at the age of 98 in his adopted home of Taiwan, and was the subject of a kind and gentle obituary in the Taiwan News.

Lord Love a Duck!

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

What We Were Doing in November

Writing a novel, or trying to, in National Novel Writing Month. Due to taking 2/3 of the month off (we only actually wrote on it for 11 days) and also working on a non-fic project and the blog, we fell far short of our planned 50,000 word novelette. How short? A look at our NaNoWriMo Dashboard page says we got 17,801 words written by midnight on the 30th.

We cheated a little by recycling several existing characters from an earlier work (that’s a mess right now). This story picks up after the end of that thing, and was designed to advance the wartime story of the characters a good bit.

Its working title was 1942, but in fact we expect the action of the story to wrap up sometime in January of that year, so we need a new title. The story follows two Navy officers who became friends, and foiled a plot, in Panama through their visit to the Navy Department for debriefing and on to new assignments — in Honolulu. Where they arrive right after you-know-what, and their paths diverge.

So now, we have a decision, eh? Finish the novel… since Wake Island plays a role, there’s a longshot possibility we could have it ready for the 75th Anniversary of  the Fall of Wake. Or concentrate on the non-fic project(s) for now. And we really enjoyed the challenge, even if we botched it; we’re definitely in for last year.

What 1,430 Angelenos Were Doing in November

Getting cremated and dumped in a dictatorship-style mass grave, because no one has claimed their bodies for years. Is there any more poignant comment about the dissociation that comes with big-city living, especially in soulless LA?

The Best Comment on Castro’s Expiration

castroFrom the always interesting Peter Grant:

The news that Fidel Castro has died brought back one memory in particular.

I was standing in the Angolan bush, along with a group of UNITA rebels.  They were cleaning up after a firefight – which meant leaving the enemy bodies where they had fallen, but stripping them of their weapons, uniforms and supplies.  Everything would be washed, cleaned, repaired if necessary, and reissued to new owners, who would use it to kill more of the enemy.

Among the dead were two very young Cuban conscripts, some of the tens of thousands of troops sent by Fidel Castro to prop up the brutal pro-Communist regime in Angola. They were probably well under 20 years old.  They hadn’t even finished growing;  they still had that gangling, slightly disjointed look of late adolescence.  Both looked as if they didn’t yet need to shave every day.  They never would, now.  Their AK-47’s were still half-slung.  They hadn’t even managed to raise them to a firing position before the RPD bullets found them.

This is very typical of Peter, and one reason he’s a better man and a better Christian than Your Humble Blogger. We’d be laughing at their dead young conscript asses: “Heh, should have stayed in your own third world hellhole. No fun to be you now, is it? Loser.” Peter sees their humanity. He doesn’t say it here, but we bet he prayed for their souls.

A grizzled NCO looked down at them, and an odd look came over his face. He spat to one side, very expressively, and murmured, “Just one more. That’s all I ask.  Just one more.”
I looked at him, and my eyebrows rose.  He caught my expression, and nodded.  “I want the bastard who sends kids like this over here to die.”

The Cuban communists have never told their people the truth about their losses in Angola. Generally, when they faced the Springboks, or Savimbi’s UNITA, they got their heads handed to them. They only did well against the disorganized FNLA and its ill-assorted mercenaries, and even there, their losses were out of all proportion to the relative strengths of the parties. But the official Cuban government figure was under 3,000 killed (independent estimates run 5-10,000 Cubans lost).

Peter has an interesting and eclectic background, and blogs at Bayou Renaissance Man. He’s worth reading, both on the blog and in his fiction (science fiction and Westerns).

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Judgment Juice

brookhaven_crash01True, we’re making a leap of assumption here. It could be that the reason Kevin Melgar, 23, was going the wrong way in the pile of bloody metal [right} that used to be an Infiniti sedan was something other than ethanol intoxication, but booze is the house-odds bet.

Melgar killed himself, which is bad news to his friends and family, but he also killed delivery driver Ozcan Aldiz (49) and critically injured a passenger, who appears to have been Melgar’s passenger, even though the article is unclear about that.

Ayyidiz’s Chevrolet van was struck by an Infiniti sedan driven by Kevin Melgar, 23, who was heading east in the westbound lane of the highway at 4:05 a.m. near exit 57, police said.

The impact of the crash instantly killed Melgar. Ayyidiz was pronounced dead at Woodhaven Medical Center, where his passenger Jonathan Valladare, 25, is still in critical condition.

At 0400, the early shift is going to work, and the guys who left the bar at 0200 too drunk to navigate are still finding their way home.

At the hospital, Aldiz’s daughter was inconsolable.

My dad is dead. My father is dead.

My dad was driving. He was driving the van. Who were the kids in the car? Where were they coming from? Why were they driving on the wrong side?

Unfortunately, there’s probably no answer beyond youthful feelings of immortality, Judgment Juice, and stupidity.

Photos from the scene show the mangled Infinti reduced to a pile of metal on the side of the highway with the top completely torn off and the hood of the car jutting out from the windshield.

Yeah. There might be a lifetime of suffering for others, but for Melgar, it was over in a flash.

The Suffolk County Police themselves didn’t get away from this one unhurt:

While cops were investigating the crash, a 2014 Isuzu street sweeper careened through the safety perimeter and struck two occupied and marked Highway Patrol vehicles, which had their emergency lights flashing.

The street sweeper driver wasn’t hurt; one cop was life-flighted but is not in mortal danger.

The OSU Attacker Gets Reinforcements

2,500 more of these are on the way. And that's just the beginning.

2,500 more of these are on the way. And that’s just the beginning.

While the eyes of most interested in national security are on the excellent appointment of USMC Gen. James Mattis — and it’s worth it just to see the egg on hack reporter Colin Clark’s face for a bullshit report based on an “anonymous source” who probably didn’t exist, or whom he misrepresented — a more serious national security event just happened.

The lame duck “security” establishment is rushing “refugees” from jihad exporting nations to the United States — and the State Department is treating their names, points of origin, and destinations as classified information.

You know, like they didn’t do with their actual classified information, which is why a mountain of it is on Wikileaks, and whatever isn’t there is on servers in the Lubyanka. Fox:

In an unprecedented move, the U.S. State Department has classified details on refugees to be resettled in America via a secret deal made with Australia. The bi-lateral agreement, which Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called a “one-off,” involves 2,465 people currently being held in Papua New Guinea and Nauru who will now be transferred onto U.S. soil.

Officials, however, did confirm countries of origin to be Iran, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq and Sudan, as well as some deemed “stateless.”

Every single one of those nations is a net producer and exporter of terrorists, although Sri Lanka terrorism seems to be in remission at the moment. Still, the principal reason a refugee would free Sri Lanka is due to connection to the crushed Tamil separatist movement, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

The stateless are people who have been expelled from their home nations, primarily because their loyalty is elsewhere, for example, to a transnational pseudo-religious terrorist movement.

While this is hitting the mainstream media (well, some of the mainstream media) cold, Refugee Resettlement Watch was on it last month, before it actually happened. (She’s also got pictures of those fine “refugees” burning their camp down in a fit of inchoate anger in 2013).

In two related stories at the New York Times, one revels in the collapse of the immigration courts under lawyers’ obstruction and over a half-million backed-up deportation cases, and another tries to tell the story of the OSU jihadi, but can’t figure out why he did it.

It’s the Islam, stupid. We don’t need, and we can’t afford, even one more Somali. The Times says the attack was no big deal because the 11 people slashed by the attacker (and the one hit by police friendly fire) are not going to die. If the rest of these people did what the “assimilated, happy” “refugee” did in Columbus, then 27,115 people will be hospitalized with serious wounds. It’s not like we have any shortage of murderous refugees, violent immigrants and criminal alien mayhem already.

But hey, if it’s a Mattis story you want, Ralph Peters (LTC, MI, Ret.) has a good run-down on the guy.

If we don’t answer when you call, it’s because we’re out buying 2,465 more rounds of defensive ammunition, just in case.

Even Glocks Can Break

even_glocks_breakAnybody recognize this little bit? If you run a Glock you probably do.

It’s the thumb button from what people trained on 1911s or other classic firearms tend to call a “slide release” and what Glock insists on calling a “slide stop.”

Why does Glock call it a “stop” and not a “release”? You’re looking at the reason. The cheap stamped part is not designed or manufactured to take the load of being used to release the slide. Official and canonical Glock practice is that you close the slide on a fresh mag by pulling it to the rear and letting it go — like a Luger or P.38, not guns that have Browning’s handy slide release. 

Of course, the slide release of a 1911 or BHP is machined from steel billet and heat-treated appropriately. JMB Himself intended you to mash your opposable thumb down on it to close the slide, because you needed your left hand to manage the reins of your cavalry mount anyway!

This image comes from Kyle Defoor’s Instagram, where he says:

Seeing some military and LE Glock 19 Gen 4 slide stop levers breaking more than a few times. Never seen this before so often.

A lot of his commenters are… well, we’re not willing to trade commenters with him, let’s just say that. But one of them had this observation, which gibes with what we’ve heard about Glock training.

I’m a factory certified Glock armorer and at my last recert they discussed their position that the slide stop is not a slide release and using it in this fashion can, over time, lead to failures.

And couple more had the sensible comments that,

If not a slide release why the ridges on face for grip?


It seems to me that it would get more abuse from going into slide lock than slipping out of the notch to send the slide foreword again. What am I missing?

To which the Glock armorer guy replied:

[T]hat’s a valid point and an acute observation. I am remiss in failing to ask my Glock rep, who was in my office just yesterday, for clarification on this.

OK, let us offer our own opinion (note, opinion) on this.

  1. In our opinion, the “don’t use it as a slide release” is a retrospective position that was created by the Glock organization ex post facto when someone broke a slide release. But the oldest official Glock documents we have on hand (a January, 1992 armorer’s manual, and a Glock G1 exploded view dated 1991) already refer to the part as a “slide stop lever.” (The part owners often call a “takedown catch” is, officially, a “slide lock,” not to be confused with the slide stop lever).
  2. Re: “why the ridges on face for grip?” On p. 14 of the 1992 armorer’s manual, it describes how to lock the slide back, and includes a picture. “[L]ock the slide open by pushing up on the slide stop lever while pulling the slide to the rear with the non-shooting hand.” (It then tells you to “Pull back slide to release slide stop lever and close action.” But it doesn’t warn you not to use the slide stop lever to release the slide).
  3. “Why does it break?” OK, here’s a couple pictures of Glock slide stops. First, here’s an OEM slide stop, photographed from the inside. glock-oem-slide-stop-insideNow, we didn’t have a handy photo of this from the outside, but this photo of a Vickers Tactical extended slide stop (we’ve got this part on our own Glock) shows what the other side looks like. glock-vickers-slide-stop-outsideCompare this to the failed stop at the top of this post.

We now have several clues as to why the stops are failing.

  1. People continue doing something the manufacturer says not to do.
  2. The slide stop is made from a single piece of sheet metal, stamped (“pressed” for Europeans) and folded to net shape.
  3. There is a small rounded notch, adjacent to the part of the stop that folds over to the inside, right where the part Kyle photographed began to fail (see where the failure crack is kind of gray at the top? That’s the oldest part of the failure. When it weakened the slide stop enough, the rest failed all at once — that’s the shiny part of the crack). The reason for the notch is to prevent a “stress riser” from causing the part to begin failing at this point, and it obviously is not working in 100% of use conditions.
  4. And that the problem just started showing up with greater frequency, suggests that some aspect of the manufacturing of the part may have been changed recently. Manufacturers are always making small changes in parts to improve something about them (often something that matters to the manufacture, like lower cost, or increase speed of manufacture, and doesn’t matter quite as directly to customers). Manufacturers also are known for making parts in-house and outsourcing other parts to subcontractors. These subs can change at any time.
  5. Putting thumb pressure on the slide stop stresses it several different ways. It can load it in torsion (twist), for which the engineers probably didn’t do the math on this part. It will definitely bend the part laterally (per the gun’s orientation). That stresses the outboard (left) side of the slide stop in tension, and the inboard (right) side in compression. Another way to think about it is when you bend a plate or bar, the side bent convex is loaded in tension, and the side bent concave is loaded in compression. Our best guess (and based on one picture of one part, it can be no more than a guess) is that this part began to fail from tension at the upper outboard corner of the slide stop.
  6. It’s a trivial physics or engineering problem to calculate the stresses on the part, but to know whether they exceeded the design strength of the part, we’d need to know the exact materials and heat-treating condition of the part.

A question on the Instagram page about whether this is happening primarily in high round-count guns isn’t answered, but round count doesn’t necessarily load the slide stop. A lot of cop guns are seldom fired, but are loaded and cleared at least once every shift. If they’re thumbing the slide stop a lot, they can bust their slide stop without even firing a shot.

One last thing: the failure of this actuating button end of the slide stop makes it impossible (or very difficult, requiring tools) to lock the slide back without an empty mag in the pistol. However, without the end of the stop, it looks to us like the basic running of the gun would still be OK, until you needed the slide stop to handle a malfunction. So in combat terms, this failure of the slide stop is fail safe.

Things Most Cops Know

He's not just sleeping, he's also slow!

He’s not just sleeping, he’s also slow!

At PoliceOne, Editor at Large Doug Wyllie has a laundry list of “things most people don’t know but cops do.” We’ll give you five of his ten…

1. Most cops understand why tickets are necessary, but don’t particularly like writing them. Well, unless they happen to stop “the guy who pays their wages” and then writing a ticket isn’t so bad.

2. The vast majority of cops have never shot anyone, but most cops can recite a detailed list of people who are/were deserving of being shot because they posed a deadly threat. This means that most cops have successfully defused a potentially deadly confrontation using only words and less-lethal weapons.

homicide_hat3. Most cops wonder if they have something better to do until the person asks in that whiny voice, “Don’t you have anything better to do?” It is then — and only then — the cop knows the answer to that question is, “No. This is good as it gets.”

4. Most cops know the driver they just stopped had more that “two beers” and can estimate with reasonable accuracy how many beers a driver did, in fact, have.

5. Most cops like donuts, but so does everybody. They are deliberately made to taste really, really good so people will want to eat them. Please pass me another donut.

OK, these all ring true, but that last one knocked it out of the park, didn’t it? The other five are pretty good, too, especially #10, so go Read The Whole Thing™.


Has anyone ever explained the psychology of why drunks always tell cops, “Two beers, officer!” (and it comes out as “Two beersh, oshfisher!”)? It puzzles the hell out of us.



When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Acid

joel_guy_mugshotAs in, “I binge-watched Breaking Bad and know all about getting rid of bodies,” not as in “I dropped acid, man,” although we can’t really be sure about the latter, given the I-just-pumped-the-neighbor’s-puppy expression on the goofus under arrest. The Knoxville, TN,  News-Sentinel:

[S]ometime between Friday night and mid-day Saturday, the 28-year-old son [Joel Michael Guy Jr.] attacked his parents with a knife, possibly tortured them and dismembered their bodies, leaving remains in various rooms of the 2,256-square-foot home, according to Knox County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Michael K. MacLean.

“Joel placed pieces of the bodies in an acid-based solution in an attempt to destroy evidence,” said MacLean, who commands the Major Crimes Unit at the Sheriff’s Office.

The parents, Joel Sr. and Lisa, were still sort of percolating in pieces when the police came in.

The solution Joel Guy Jr. hoped would dissolve his parents’ bodies, MacLean said, was composed of normal household chemicals and didn’t require special knowledge of chemistry.

“It’s the kind of thing you can get off the internet,” MacLean said.

Joel Guy Jr. left the house unlocked and returned Sunday to his Baton Rouge apartment. He had driven his 2006 dark gray Hyundai Sonata on the holiday trip, MacLean said.

Note two things in the graf below: “former student” implies that he wasn’t doing anything in particular right now (he wasn’t), and we can never read about some miscreant from LSU without hearing Randy Newman singing that line from Rednecks in our heads.

The former student at Louisiana State University was getting into that Sonata about 3 p.m. Tuesday outside his Nicholson Road apartment when…

…he got bagged by multiple LE agencies and jurisdictions working together, thanks to his interstate travel post-crime.

MacLean said authorities also obtained search warrants for Joel Guy Jr.’s apartment and car. He would not say whether authorities had recovered weapons used in the attacks or tools employed to cut up the bodies.

So why did Goofus do it?

MacLean said he was unsure of a motive, but Lisa and Joel Guy Sr. planned to discuss with their unemployed son during the holiday discontinuing his financial support. MacLean also said there is no indication the Guys had named their son as a beneficiary in any life insurance policies.

Strong implication then, he did it because he was getting cut off from support. Not, we think, because he thought that way he’d get the money directly, just because he was angry that his parents didn’t recognize his greatness in idleness, or something.

There’s also the way the bodies were found. It took a bit of urging for the cops to check in.

Authorities discovered “the gruesome scene” in the home about noon Monday, MacLean said. Lisa Guy’s employer, Jacobs Engineering in Oak Ridge, had contacted the Sheriff’s Office when she failed to show for work. MacLean said a patrol car was sent by the Goldenview Lane home, but the officer didn’t see anything suspicious and nothing more was done.

“They indicated Lisa had set up a scheduled meeting that day that she would not miss,” MacLean said.

This time, an officer peered into the windows of the home and saw evidence of a violent crime.

“It would be described as horrific, a very gruesome crime scene,” MacLean said.

Some might be critical of the cops here, but bear in mind a few things. Except in the case of elderly people living alone, and known opiate addicts, 99% of welfare checks find the person is completely well, and in about half of them, he or she is angry at the cops for checking, and the relative or friend who called ’em in the first place.

In an interview that A&E is using to promote the next season of The First 48, New Orleans detective Robby Barrere lets watchers know what’s going on behind his boyish face (paraphrased from memory): “I see the city… like a graveyard. Everywhere I look, I remember. This job changes you.” Give a moment’s thought to all the responders from cops to ME’s staff and CSI techs who will never be the same after visiting this crime scene.

Officers found clear signs of a struggle in the home.

MacLean would not go into details of the attack, but he noted Joel Guy Jr. “would not be able to overpower his father.”

Implying, perhaps, a surprise attack?

Lisa and Joel Guy Sr. were last seen alive Friday when they moved a boat to a relative’s house. The couple, MacLean said, were preparing to relocate to Rogersville, Tenn., to a home that had been in their family for years. They had moved into the Goldenview Lane house in 2007, but recently sold it. The home had been listed for sale for $237,500.

“The new owners actually came by while we were at the home,” MacLean said.

Jesus H. Christ. The ripples and shockwaves of a crime never really stop, they just keep spreading out.

Forensics officers worked Monday and Tuesday to remove evidence and the chemical solutions from the residence.

And here’s another question: the media seem bent out of shape that the sheriff’s department withheld details of the crimes until they had cuffs on Guy Jr.

Knox County Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones said his department intentionally withheld from the public any information about the killings because any release would have harmed the investigation. He said he used the same logic in withholding information about the discovery Nov. 21 of the shooting of Emma Walker, a Central High School student found dead in her home.

“It would have made it much harder to make arrests if we had released information on these cases,” Jones said Wednesday. “It’s clear these individuals were following social media.”

Here’s the sheriff’s bottom line? What’s yours?

Jones said serving justice outweighed informing the public about murders in the community as long as the community was not at risk.

We think that the police are justified in withholding information, and even in going a step further, planting false information in the press, to serve the investigation, but there has to be a limit to the use of and duration of deception in particular. (Maybe 48 or 96 hours, then have these decisions reviewed by a judge?) Withholding is an easier question. The police owe the public enough information to protect further potential victims, but need to retain information that can be used to confirm and corroborate statements by confidential informants, witnesses, and even suspects. Most people find this hard to believe, but high-profile crimes frequently bring out perfectly innocent (of this one, at least) nut cases confessing to them.

Terror and Narrative™

mohammed_cartoonAnother murderous Mohammedan migrant attempted the 6th and primary Pillar of Islam at the Ohio State University in Columbus this week. It made an initial splash in the news, and then was quickly hustled off the front pages and out of the 24-hour cable cycle, for Narrative™ violations.

The chain of events went something like this:

  1. Somali “refugee” goes a-jihad with car and machete.
  2. Cops ventilate him. (Good).
  3. Media fake-newses “active shooter event.”
  4. Moms Demand etc. call for gun bans, and mourn the shot jihadi. (Remember when they mourned Tamerlan Tsarnaev?) shannon-15-watts
  5. The Jihadi’s ID and motive were close-held by the media, but leaked, inevitably.
  6. He posted his desire to “kill a billion infidels” on Facebook.
  7. Fallback media position: his motive is unknown.
  8. School paper hailed his diversity, back before he was an attempted murderer.
  9. The college administration still praises him, and calls for the mourning of his death (to Hell with the others he attacked; his was a Black Criminals’ Lives Matter life).
  10. Now everyone is supposed to pretend that such things as OSU being a Gun Free Zone, OSU supporting his Jihad Quest (because Diversity is Our Vibrancy™), and Columbus being a Sanctuary City for criminal aliens, all didn’t matter.

But wait, it just keeps getting better. Here, the Washington Post notes that the soi-disant Islamic State, an organization that no lesser authority on Islam than B. Hussein Obama has said is “not islamic,” has claimed the would-be murderer as a “soldier,” which doesn’t mean the same thing in mohammedan circles than it does to actual, you know, soldiers.

The Moslem terrorist community “fears backlash” after their latest fang-plant in the hand that feeds them. Narodniy Politicheskiy Radio has another Somali “refugee” named Mohamed at OSU, who is bothered by the terror attack:

My stomach did fall….Not just because of what happened today, but because of what will happen tomorrow.

Yep, it doesn’t bug him at all what his guys do to the kufr, but it bugs him that the kufr might just be on to them.

And Think Progress condemns the OSU attack because… wait for it… it

raised tension in an American community already facing demonization….left them in a vulnerable state

And, also, because Trump. Because everything is his fault now. The Think Progress article closes with a threat:

We came here to practice our religion.

Well, that’s what this barbarian just did, and we’ve had enough of your murderous mohammedanism.

Terrorist co-conspirator CAIR said some people would:

…falsely link this tragic incident to the faith of Islam and the Muslim communities…

Yeah, that’d be us. And everyone else who can fog a mirror. Except for the “falsely” bit. (Remember the CAIR scam that collected money “for victims of terrorism” after 9/11… and used it to reward the survivors of Hamas suicide bombers? They’re hoping you don’t).

And Rob Wells of ABC News headlined his concern trolling:

Somali, Muslim communities fear faith-based vengeance after OSU campus attack.

A gun-control activist at Yahoo News, one Caitlin Dixon, meanwhile, belatedly admitted that the attacker didn’t use a gun, but because she and other media fabricators initially reported that he did, it was time to “look at Ohio gun laws.” True, although not the way she means; Ohio is late on the campus carry and constitutional carry trains.

Finally, to put a perfect cap on things, let’s juxtapose two messages. Lame Duck President Barack Obama, via misnamed spokesman Josh Earnest:

Our response to this situation matters. If we respond to this situation by casting aspersions on millions of people that adhere to a particular religion or if we increase our suspicion of people who practice a particular religion, we are more likely going to contribute to acts of violence than we are to prevent them.

Translation: We’re doubling down on ignoring Islamic terrorism.

Juxtapose the terrorist’s message, on his Facebook page:

By Allah, we will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims. You will not celebrate or enjoy any holiday. Btw, every single Muslim who disapproves of my actions is a sleeper cell, waiting for a signal. I am warning you Oh America.

Yeah, well, America lives and you’re as dead as Mohammed, kid.

A Breitbart reporter asked if the President had found time to call the campus cop, Alan Horujko, who ended the terrorist’s spree at about the one-minute mark, with a couple of well-placed pistol rounds. Earnest dissembled, but ultimately admitted the answer was, “No.” Why would he? Horujko is on one side, with the victims, and the President’s on the other, with the terrorist.