When Guns Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have High-Speed Rail

France Train DerailmentLa pauvre France. First the jihad attack, then this tragedy, the same day:

A high-speed train undergoing a test derailed, burst into flames, split apart and plunged into a canal in northeast France, killing at least seven people and gravely injuring at least 10 others in what officials said appeared to be an accident.

via High-Speed Train Derails During Test in France, Killing 7 | TIME.

It’s supposed to be the Train Grande Vitesse, not the Sous-marin Grande Vitesse, n’est-ce pas?

The choo-choo did have a rather Hollywood ending, though: derailed, burst into flames, split apart and then got hat and lit out for Davy Jones’s Locker, canal edition. Was that a train accident, or a location shoot for Final Destination XLIII? You know the bit, where the blonde makes it out of the fireball, but then plunges into the cold waters of the canal with a plaintive, “I can’t swiiiiimm!” echoing across the lovely French countryside.

We dunno how fast French high-speed TGV trains are supposed to be, but this one didn’t make it to the station on time — it’s seriously going to foul up their averages.

Depressing. Really, you expect Moslems to try to kill you — like a Geico ad might say, that’s what they do — but you don’t expect it out of your railroad engineers (in both senses of that word, civil and operating). Ol’ Marianne is looking a bit like a battered wife this week.

We discovered today at the DMV (and yes, Kid is now a licensed driver, lock up the chickens and fence off the goats) that the flags were at half-staff in sympathy for France’s losses. We approve.



Word Association: “Nigerian…”

Rich Black Sambo: Sambo Dasuki.

Rich Black Sambo: Sambo Dasuki.

Was your word, “Scam,” or something else related to the primary foreign-exchange earner of the dominant team in the Inter-African Corruption League? If so, you have a keen understanding of the Republic of Nigeria’s few and negative contributions to world civilization. If not, it’s time for you to get acquainted with the Michael Jordan of the IACL, all time Hall of Famer Sambo Dasuki (left).

Stop tittering. We didn’t name this clown, we’re just reporting. And despite coming from one of the poorest countries on the planet (maybe “despite” is the wrong conjunction here), this black Sambo could buy and sell a lot of white 1%ers.

A former Nigerian national security adviser has been accused of embezzling more than $2 billion of government money allocated to purchasing weapons for the military to fight Islamic militant Boko Haram rebels, according to a government official. Nigerian President Muhammadu’s Buhari’s administration ordered the arrest of Sambo Dasuki for his alleged involvement in the procurement of arms and equipment in the armed forces and defense sector.

via Nigeria Corruption Allegations: Former Security Adviser Stole $2 Billion Through Military Deals.

Well, this also helps to explain why Nigeria’s oil wealth, and uncountable dollars of foreign aid, have flowed into the effort to stop Boko Haram, and nothing seems to have stopped the ragtag group, while Nigeria’s troops still have no shoes or training.

(Boko Haram, by the way, stands for “Education Forbidden!” – a distillation of the Sharia law that drives the group which advocates Islam and ignorance as alternatives).

How did Sambo’s scheme work:

Femi Adesina, an adviser to Buhari, released a statement Tuesday accusing Dasuki of awarding sham contracts to purchase 12 helicopters, four fighter jets and munitions that were never acquired. The statement says Dasuki also transfered $142.6 million from the Central Bank to a company with accounts in the United States, the Associated Press reported.

Adesina said the weaponry could have saved thousands of lives from the insurgency of Boko Haram militants.

”The findings made so far are extremely worrying considering that the interventions were granted within the same period that our troops fighting the insurgency in the North East were in desperate need of platforms, military equipment and ammunition,” Adesina said in the statement obtained by the Daily Post in Nigeria. “Had the funds siphoned to these non-performing companies been properly used for the purpose they were meant for, thousands of needless Nigerian deaths would have been avoided.”

Yeah, or some other Nigerian scammer would have gotten them.

Boko Haram has killed thousands of Nigerians in the past six years. At least 32 people were killed Tuesday in an explosion in Yola, Nigeria, that was believed to be the work of Boko Haram militants.

Sambo denies it, of course. What’s Fulani or Hausa for “dindu nuffin?” Here’s what a Nigerian paper’s rundown on the scam says. The spelling and uneven use of dollar/euro equivalents is exactly as they have it:

Panel unveils how Nigeria was duped — facts & figures

N643.8b •$2.1b – 

Extra budgetry interventions: $2.3b •N13.7b

Failed contracts (53 out of 513 awarded between 2007&2015): N3.8b

Cash paid to company without evidence of any contract: N2.2b•$1.6b •€9.9b

Fictitous contracts awarded: Four Alpha jets • 12 helicopters • Bombs & ammunition

Equipment purportedly paid for but not supplied:  (?)

Contracts awarded to two firms: N350b •$1.6b • €9.9b

CBN transfers to banks without purpose on Dasuki’s instruction $132m • €9.9m

Yeah, the numbers don’t add up. Hey, it’s Nigeria. Ask us about the Nigerian Airborne MTTs some time. Here are some facts from that statement of the investigating panel, from Nigerian newspaper The National, with one edit — the numbers rounded to the first decimal point, because the original displayed them as impenetrable walls of figures: billions of Nigerian naira, accounted out to the penny:

So far the total extra budgetary interventions articulated by the committee is six hundred and forty three [point 8] billion naira (N643.8B).

The foreign currency component is to the tune of two [point 2] billion US dollars ($2.2B).

These amounts exclude grants from the state governments and funds collected by the DSS and Police. It was observed that in spite of this huge financial intervention, very little was expended to support defense procurement.

Who took the money? We’re reminded that Nigerian history alone doesn’t give rise to this question


We now return you to the investigators’ statement in progress.

The committee also observed that of 513 contracts awarded at $8.4 Billion; N2.2 Trillion and  €54,000 (? yes, these numbers are not remotely close to one another -Ed.); fifty three (53) were failed contracts, amounting to $2.4 Billion and N13.7 Billion respectively.

Interestingly, it was noted that the amount of foreign currency spent on failed contracts was more than double the $1bn loan that the National Assembly approved for borrowing to fight the insurgency in the North East.

The guy not only stole all the money he had on hand, it looks like he stole money he didn’t even have to steal. Neat trick, that. Does not sell us on Nigeria’s verrsion of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, that’s for certain.

The committee also discovered that payments to the tune of three [point 9] billion naira (N3.9B) were made to a single company by the former NSA [National Security Advisor] without documented evidence of contractual agreements or fulfilment of tax obligations to the [Federal Government of Nigeria].

Further findings revealed that between March 2012 and March 2015, the erstwhile NSA, Lt.-Col MS Dasuki (rtd) awarded fictitious and phantom contracts to the tune of N2.2 B, $1.7B and €9.905 M. [We think we get it now. The numbers of naira, dollars and euros are not equivalents, they represent separate contracts denominated in these currencies. You need to sum them to get the full total of this guy’s (and presumably, his confederates’) stealing. -Ed.] The contracts which were said to be for the purchase of 4 Alpha Jets, 12 helicopters, bombs and ammunition were not executed and the equipment were never supplied to the Nigerian Air Force, neither are they in its inventory.

Wouldn’t be the first time stuff existed nowhere in Nigeria but on the property books of the Armed Forces. A lot of officers got rich during the embargo of South Africa by selling the spares that kept the SAAF’s Hercules fleet flying — sometimes by grounding and cannibalizing [oh, did we miss a trigger warning there? Sorry ’bout that] Nigerian Air Force aircraft.

Even more disturbing was the discovery that out of these figures, two companies were awarded contracts to the tune of N350,000,000.00, $1,661,670,469.71 and €9,905,477.00 alone. This was without prejudice to the consistent non-performance of the companies in the previous contracts awarded.

In other words, the government gave these shell companies money, the companies did nothing, and then the government gave them more money! Sounds like our government and Booz Allen.

Additionally, it was discovered that the former NSA directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to transfer the sum of $132 M and €9.9 M to the accounts of Societe D’equipmente Internationaux in West Africa, United Kingdom and United States of America for unascertained purposes, without any contract documents to explain the transactions.

Gee, who do you think might hold a position in the Societe D’equipmente Internationaux? We have a guess.

The findings made so far are extremely worrying, considering that the interventions were granted within the same period that our troops fighting the insurgency in the North East were in desperate need of platforms, military equipment and ammunition. Had the funds siphoned to these non performing companies been properly used for the purpose they were meant for, thousands of needless Nigerian deaths would have been avoided.

They’re just not surprising. And now they get to the real injury they have suffered — mockery, like this blog post. Well, they ought to tighten up their fiscal act or we shall taunt them a second time.

Furthermore, the ridicule Nigeria has faced in the international community would have been avoided.

Nah. If it wasn’t Sambo Dasuki, it would be some other Nigerian bringing your reputation into shadow and making your national defense a laughingstock. The last time you guys had good government, you insisted on independence, and that was the end o

It is worrisome and disappointing that those entrusted with the security of this great nation were busy using proxies to siphon the national treasury while innocent lives were wasted daily.

Dasuki is an interesting character, related to the Sultans of Sokoto, who are hereditary Muslim rulers of an area in northern Nigeria and the most senior of the former Muslim feudal leaders. Their Islam is a relatively tolerant and introspective (nowadays, anyway) Sufi strain.

Ghost Gunner Update x 3

Today, we have not one, but three, Ghost Gunner updates for you. The first is from the website, and brief; the second is a longer, official one, from Cody R. Wilson of Defense Distributed. The third is our own, and it is unfortunately briefer, as we have received the unit but haven’t had time to put it into production. We had a post half-drafted with some complaints, but as Cody, if not exactly answering, does explain why we have those complaints, we thought we’d let him go first.

Website Update

Here’s what went on the website on 15 November. It differs slightly from the longer email sent to owners, and includes more detail on the improved power supply.

The GG team spent the summer upgrading our machine and creating new business relationships. All Ghost Gunners will now ship with a 160w power supply and upgraded cutting tool, to take better advantage of our higher speed settings and address the latent power issues we’ve had time to observe with some machines in the field. These new machines make a distinctively different species of chip.


If you look at that picture (we changed the orientation 90º clockwise) you san just see the spindle working in the trigger pocket. The characteristic plastic 3D Printed hold-downs are one of the innovations in the Ghost Gunner technology. Before anyone asks, no, the GG is not configured to work with coolant or cutting fluid.

The GG and the software that comes with it works with milspec-dimensioned forged and some billet lowers (as you can see in the image, where a billet lower is in process).  Back to the update:

In early October we celebrated shipping our last order from 2014, and we’ve been working to take hundreds of backers off our wait list since May.

I’ve thought for months now that we’d start selling GG through distributors, but there is a large appetite for the product from simple word of mouth, and we have committed to making another 250-350 units for Q1 of this year and still more if the demand is there. As well, we’ve made the decision to offer custom lower receivers for sale.

There’s often confusion about what lowers to use with our machine, even though we try to make consistent recommendations. So from now on, we’ll begin offering billet 7075 80% lowers that were vetted for use with the GG. We’ve got quite a few in stock now.

The other images on the web update are the same as the ones below in the email update.

Wilson’s GG Update

Verbatim as Received, only bold subheadings added for clarity’s sake.


We spent the summer months overcoming our banking and payments issues to forge strong relationships with many providers in our industry. As well, we’ve been able to keep maturing the Ghost Gunner itself after shipping over 700 and watching them in the field. All GG’s now ship with upgraded cutting tools and power supplies, as well as improved cutting and operating code.

Celebration-last 2014 backorder

After we celebrated taking care of all orders from 2014 to early January, we’ve been taking backers off of our wait list by the hundreds. Please check your spam folders since I know many of our wait list invitations have been lost and many of you have waited a long time for your chance to get your machine.

Before we get to still other news, I’m please to announce that we are now selling Ghost Gunner 80% lowers directly. For now, just 7075 billet lowers, but we’ll add forged lowers and the AR-10 as time goes on. Our lowers are specifically manufactured for use in our machine, to clear up all the confusion we’ve seen over the months about how to best use our jigs or just what is or isn’t a mil-spec piece.

Pile of Lowers
Quite a few in the shop now.

What’s the Holdup With More Options?

As for further software options or jigs for sale, I’ll explain the delay this way. Our expectation when launching the product last year was that we’d be able to have a user’s forum where those who purchased the machine (and the public) would be able to quickly iterate on our work and drive some of the necessary improvements that would lead to the implementation of better cutting code and support for other kind of gun components or projects. What we got instead was a hostile US State Department literally threatening us and our attorneys over the suggestion of our forum in our user’s manual. To date our forum is not active because the federal government takes the insane and asinine position that a public Ghost Gunner forum would violate their invented definition of a defense technology export.

So since last year our team has been doing all the software and hardware development it can while we support and manufacture the machine. The money is often thing because of our ongoing lawsuit against the State Department; our fight to make sure that the Internet is recognized as the public domain and that all people have the right to speak about and share information related to their Second Amendment.

Updates to that case can currently be found on our parent website. And the last I’ll say about it is that we expect some success when we are before the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans in the month of March.

We’ll interject here to add the link to the court case files:


Looking Forward

Looking forward, we’re committed to producing at least another 300 machines for Q1 of the upcoming year, and more as demand permits. We’ve been courted by distributors for months, but as word of mouth and public interest stays where it is, I don’t see the need to go there yet. I want to make the machine as cheaply and quickly as possible to show our commitment to the cause rather than to profit. To that end, we’re adding another shift at our shop and hoping to double our capacity by the end of the year.

For now, the only way to get in line for a Ghost Gunner remains to join our waitlist at ghostgunner.net.

I’ll announce improvements in software and fixturing as they become available.

A Final Thanks

Lastly, I’d like to thank Alan Gottlieb and the Citizen’s Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear arms for recognizing the work of Defense Distributed through our lawsuit and our Ghost Gunner project at the most recent Run Rights Policy Conference in Phoenix, AZ. I’m more proud of this recognition than anything else, and it really helps us keep going over here.
Thank you all for your patience and, as ever, if you have questions, need support, or have an address change or other important update, please email us at support@ghostgunner.net.

While we’re excited about the GhostGunner for its technological promise, Wilson is motivated by something completely different: the disruption he’s seeking is political, small-l libertarian, even small-a anarchistic. Well, maybe not completely different; different, perhaps, in degree. We doubt we would meet his standards for ideological purity. But the fates put us shoulder to shoulder in this pass, with the horde of national socialist persian government lawyers advancing, threatening to blot out the sun. So the least we can do is pick up the sword.

We believe you have the right to give your friend in a foreign country a copy of Stuart Otteson’s The Bolt Action Rifle, or to put the dimensions of a 7.62mm NATO chamber reamer on the web for any and all to see. The national socialist lawyers believe you do not. And all the judges come from their ranks, not ours.

Still think the Thermopylae reference was over the top?

Our GG Unit Update

Our Ghost Gunner was received finally in September and is sitting in a corner of the office, partially unpacked. It can’t go into the shop because that space is full of an airplane stabilator, half a fuselage, and two in-process wings at the moment. A bit hard to swing a cat in there. In adddition, we’re busy with work and life and a little blogging, so it’s been a bit hard to fit it in. (It’s not the only machine that is sitting idle. So is our 3D printer).

In order to ship it to us, they had to run our name and SSAN by a prohibited persons list maintained by the Department of State. As far as we know, this is simply an attempt by the national socialists at State to maintain a registry of these devices in hopes of receiving authority to confiscate them later.

The Ghost Gunner was very well packed and arrived complete. It is heavy and well made. There are a couple of parts that we’d have deburred a little more thoroughly and/or radiused a little more before sending them out for finishing, but that’s us… we don’t care for sharp edges on stuff. Most of the parts do not have this issue, and the overall impression is of a quality device from an experienced company, even though we know it is a debut product from a bunch of Texan revolutionaries. It doesn’t have Apple level industrial design, but neither does the stuff from post-Jobs Apple, whose business model seems to deliver twice the sanctimony but without the technical superiority and innovation that made even the old levels of Silicon Valley sanctimony bearable.

We’re pretty cynical about revolutions around here — they usually end with the survivors worse off, and damnably few survivors — but we bear Wilson’s revolutionary rhetoric, in part because we agree with him, and in part because the device promised technical superiority and innovation, and we’re suckers for that.

We don’t know if we got the improved cutting tools and power supply. We don’t know how to tell, or whether it makes a difference. We have asked DD, and if we get an answer we’ll append it here as an update, unless it merits a post of its own.

The documentation is still the 1.0 version that is available (mirabile dictu, seeing the way they’ve been attacked by partisan hacks at the Department of State) on the website, and it is somewhat inadequate if you want to really understand things, and develop new fixtures and new G-Code. So the machine is, at present, a bit of a black box for grinding out AR lowers, which is not what we want. (Although it’s a useful capability).

One thing we’d really like to have is the ability to engrave lowers with ATF-legal marks; this would let us mark our lowers for our retro collection and maybe open the door to doing some Form 1 SBRs in house. We can’t believe we’re the only ones looking at a GhostGunner and trying to figure this out. We’d have to fixture the lower differently, and two ways if we also want to engrave on the right side.

If anybody knows of a good g-code tutorial in pixel or print, kindly clue us in.

The lack of the planned forum really crimps the utility of the GhostGunner, and is part of why we haven’t set ours up and run it off yet. That is, of course, why the anti-gun politicians at the State Department have suppressed the forum to date.

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: 442nd Regimental Combat Team

Sergeant Goichi Suehiro, G squad leader. He is facing German emplacements 200 yards away. 13 Nov 44, St Die, France.

Sergeant Goichi Suehiro, G squad leader. He is facing German emplacements 200 yards away. 13 Nov 44, St Die, France.

Here’s an interesting regimental history site:

The mission of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team Historical Society is to research and preserve the history of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.  This includes the actions and events related to the internment of Japanese American citizens and residents as a result of Executive Order 9066.  The 442nd Regimental Combat Team Historical Society is also dedicated to the history of the 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate) and the issues related to the treatment of the Japanese American community in Hawaii following the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7th.

The 442nd, memorialized in the Hollywood movie Go For Broke, was a very unusual unit created at the nexus of several things: the patriotism of most first-generation American-born (nisei) Japanese-Americans, the mistrust white America had for all Japanese-Americans (caused, in part, by real instances of disloyalty, and in part by pure racism), and the resulting internment of those Japanese-Americans who lived along the West Coast and in Hawaii.

The Japanese-American youths, by and large, had no country other than America. Most of them didn’t speak Japanese or conform to most Japanese cultural norms: they were Americans in every way. But they were second-class citizens. Just as free blacks had once been excluded from the militia and from military service, free Japanese-Americans who had lived in the exclusion zone were also excluded. They demanded the privilege of service, and they got it: in June, 1942, the 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate) was formed in Hawaii, on the model of the segregated “Negro” or “Colored” units of the day: 100% of the officers were white Americans, and 100% of the enlisted, from rifleman to topkick, were Japanese-American volunteers. The senior NCOs came from Japanese-American NCOs already in the Army at the time (where they had not been segregated but served alongside whites.

In February, 1943, the 442nd Combat Team stood up on the same model: it comprised an infantry regiment, an artillery battalion, and a combat engineer company. (The 100th, a separate unit, would later be merged into the 442nd).

The nisei units trained Stateside, and shipped out to sunny Italy. The 100th took part in the Salerno landings and the push on Rome; when the 442nd landed in June, the 100th took the place of the missing 1/442 battalion (which had stayed Stateside as a replacements generator) but retained its “100th” title. The units fought in Italy, France, and Germany.

The 442nd was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, and its subordinate units earned five more. 650 nisei warriors died and about 4,000 more were wounded.

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team Historical Society is not a veterans organization nor will it cover civil rights issues that are not directly related to Japanese Americans.  The 442nd RCT Historical Society will not cover the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) history nor will it cover the military service of Japanese Americans who served in other post-World War II conflicts.

The 442nd RCT deserves to have a historical organization and website devoted to the regiment.  The 442nd Regimental Combat Team’s combat record was the most significant factor in breaking down the social barriers and racism that confronted the Japanese American community after World War II.

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team left behind a record that was unparalleled in our nation’s history and this site is devoted to those fighting men that served their country so honorably.

This website is produced by Peter Wakamatsu.  His father was Jack K. Wakamatsu, the 1st Sgt. of “F” Company.  Peter has conducted independent research on the history of the 442nd since 2013 and has visited the National Archives at College Park, Maryland, three times.  He has also visited the 442nd Archives located at the 442 Club in Honolulu, the University of Utah archives in Salt Lake City, and the Margaret Herrick Library in Beverly Hills, California.  Recently, he has completed the documentary film, “Four-Four-Two, F Company At War”, which is airing on PBS stations nationwide in May 2015.

via 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

Peter Wakamatsu has done a fine job; he has honored his father, the other intrepid 442nd-men, and all Americans who deserve to know this story of men who volunteered, in many cases, out of the internment camps that people have come to view as shameful in the intervening years.

171_KazMasudaConsider, for example, the case of Kazuo Masuda, here in a picture with the F co. 442nd Infantry guidon in Camp Shelby, Mississippi, in 1943. While a private in training he wrote a heartfelt letter asking his father, Gensuke Masuda, who had “never uttered a single word against the United States” and who “wanted his children to be Americans,” be released from internment. The elder Masuda and his family were not released until July, 1945. But “Kaz” was not there to welcome him, although his other brothers all made it home from their military service safely.

On August 27, 1944 while leading a patrol across the Arno River in Italy, SSgt. Kazuo Masuda was killed when he encountered a German machine gun nest.  SSgt. Masuda fired 18 rounds from his Thompson submachine gun before he was cut down by the German machine gun bullets.  SSgt. Masuda was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

Vinegar Joe Stilwell pinned the medal on Kazuo’s sister, Mary. Later, Stilwell and a B-movie actor named Ronald Reagan spoke at a rally in honor of Kazuo, the Masuda family, and the patriotic Americans of Japanese ancestry in general. Stilwell said:

The Nisei bought an awful big hunk of America with their blood. …. Sergeant Masuda was a better American than any of us here today.

Among other fascinating material Peter Wakamatsu has collected, he has a picture of Kaz Masuda in uniform, visiting his family in the relocation camp, and Masuda’s DSC citation. Peter has also directed a half-hour documentary about the 442nd, and particularly F Company, where his father was 1st Sergeant. It’s viewable for free on Vimeo.

The USA may not have deserved this level of loyalty from its nisei citizens, but there is no question that the nation received it.

Art in an Artless Place

“Medic!” by Master Sergeant (Retired) Henrietta Snowden. Somalia, 1993.

Medic by MSG Henrietta Snowden

Now, we weren’t there. We watched the Night Stalkers dragged naked through the streets by these savages, like the rest of America (images that were then disappeared, like the 9/11 jumpers, because they might inflame and incite the public). We did have a good friend hit there, the least of what would ultimately be three purple hearts.

The best tale of Somalia still remains, despite its focus on a single operation, Mark Bowden’s book Black Hawk Down and the newspaper series that led up to it. It’s ten times better than the official classified history, which we’ve read, and that is twice as good as the unclassified official history, which feels like it was phoned in.

The movie, Black Hawk Down, is a fair rendition of Somalia (albeit a sanitized one), and a close rendition of the actual operation.

This watercolor’s bold lines and sparse detail let you focus on the emption and action. The only thing that doesn’t ring true is the papers, but maybe they were freshly dropped leaflets. In that part of the world, paper trash is too valuable to be left lying around. Somebody would pick it up and find something to do with it.

Think we’re joking?

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Neurotoxins

Atropine... indicated for some central nervous system poisonings. And poisonous itself if you don't know what you're doing.

Atropine… indicated for some central nervous system poisonings. And poisonous itself if you don’t know what you’re doing.

So one of those people who loves herbal quackery found herself in heap big trouble – the kind that herbs can’t get you out of, no matter how devoutly you believe in them. So she went to a real doctor, where she proceeded to tell them she was a trained herbalist.

We’ve often wondered how that flies in the ER. Do the docs and nurses shoot each other that look?

When the 50-year-old woman was admitted to the emergency department of a hospital in Oxford, England, in September 2014, she was confused and flushed, and her heart rate was faster than normal. Because she was severely agitated, she had to be sedated, and doctors kept her in the intensive care unit overnight.

The woman, who told her doctors that she was a “trained herbalist,” received treatment and fully recovered by the following morning.

Note: this was real treatment, not herbal treatment.

“In terms of my advice for people, I would say that there is an assumption that everything natural is therefore safe; however, this is not a certainty,” said Dr. Andrew Chadwick, a physician at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, who treated the woman and wrote the report of her case. “Indeed, many poisons naturally occur, therefore it is important for people to fully understand the substances they are taking.”

Why was she taking something poisonous in the first place?

The woman had turned to herbs to relieve her insomnia, which she had been suffering from for a while.

Well, poisoning yourself does cure insomnia, also, anything else that ails you except for continued circulation and respiration.

On the night she was admitted to the hospital, while she was still at home, she could not sleep, so she went downstairs, the woman’s husband told her doctors. After hearing a commotion, the husband went downstairs and found his wife giggling and acting as if she were intoxicated, even though she normally abstained from drinking.

Of course. Like all these people, her body’s a temple, except for random $#!+ that some unknown suspect stuck a “natural” sticker on. Hell, HIV is all natural. So is arsenic — doesn’t get any more natural than a real, no-jokin’ element with its own seat on the Periodic Table and everything.

The man helped his wife to get to bed and went to sleep himself. But he woke up and saw that his wife had left the bed, and had fallen down. This time, she seemed even more confused, so the man called an ambulance, according to the report published today (Nov. 5) in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

By now, of course, you’re wondering what she did this to herself with. It was atropine, although that wasn’t what the label said:

Once the woman was admitted to the hospital and treated for her symptoms, she told her doctors that she had recently purchased an herbal remedy made from the poisonous plant Atropa belladonna, commonly named deadly nightshade, to combat her insomnia. On that night, she drank the substance directly from the bottle, which caused her to experience her symptoms, her doctors said.

Military nerve agent antidotes. Atropine blocks acetylcholine receptors, 2-PAM chloride breaks the nerve agent's effect. The diazepam is used if the pt has proceeded to seizures (or if he is still unrecovered after 3 doses of atropine and pralidoxime).

Military nerve agent antidotes. Atropine [#1] blocks acetylcholine receptors, 2-PAM chloride [#2] breaks the nerve agent’s effect. The diazepam (lower image) is used if the pt has seizures (or if he is still unrecovered after 3 doses of atropine and pralidoxime).

Atropine is an antidote for organophosphate neurotoxins, including nerve agents. (You’ll also need 2-PAM (pralidoxime) chloride). Atropine is, absent such a neurotoxin, toxic itself. In normal life, this is not a chemical you need, unless you’re in the habit of eating ant poison, tinkering with stockpiled sarin shells, or irritating Russian client states.

Source: Live Science (and one very nearly dead “herbalist.” Imagine how dead she’d have killed herself if she wasn’t so “trained!”)

Next time, before she chows down on deadly nightshade, she ought to have an ant poison appetizer first… that will put her system into harmony with Nature.

Thank You for Serving Your Country… You Chump

Received by an SF Master Sergeant of our acquaintance (Name and PIN deleted).


By the way, when MSG Victim took this picture, his digital camera numbered the photo for him. IMG_6666. Isn’t that the Number of the Beast? Make of that what you will.

Shorter OPM: “We gave your personally identifiable data to the Chinese, and all you get is credit monitoring from some crony firm the same incompetent assclowns who lost your data in the first place picked after a suspicious no-bid process. Sorry ’bout that, GI.”

Even Shorter OPM: “Thanks for Serving Your Country. You chump. Now we screw you. Xin Loi!

You know, when this kind of stuff happens to the enemy he just takes the fatalistic attitude that, “It is the Will of Allah.” What are we supposed to believe? “This is the Will of Murphy?”

Washbear 3D Printed Revolver Update

Back in September, we introduced the Washbear, the first successful 3D printed .22 revolver (although it looks like a pepperbox, it has a rudimentary barrel), and we promised you more information, including the files, when it was time.

It’s time.

James R. Patrick has continued to develop theWashbear and he now has it working even better. In addition, the files are available. This is his rendering of the current version:

Patrick Washbear Release Rendering

It is all 3D printed, except for one roofing nail (firing pin), one elastic band (mainspring), and a grip-enclosed steel mass if one must meet the requirements of the United States’ Undetectable Firearms Act.

This video is a design analysis by Patrick himself, followed by a brief video of a shooting session of a version printed by FP (FreedomPrint) of the FOSSCAD group. There are two separate cylinder designs: a eight-shot cylinder, with steel liners, for printing in ABS filament; and an six-shot cylinder that requires no liners if printed in nylon filament. The cylinders are interchangeable. There’s no reason you couldn’t print a nylon, lined, 8-shot cylinder, too, for increased strength.

It is designed with more attention to safety than to perfect function at this point. The clever mechanism rotates the cylinder half-way on trigger release, so that the DAO trigger only has to move the cylinder half-way — but also so that the firing pin rests on the cylinder between chambers, in between shots, rendering the firearm drop-safe. (We would suggest making a notch in the cylinder’s rear face to receive this firing pin, locking the cylinder between shots and ensuring the cylinder can’t be torqued sideways and initiate an out-of-battery fire, for added safety. That would not be a factor in a center fire version, which would probably require materials advances). James Patrick notes that the current mechanism leads to a suboptimal trigger press.

Well, it’s early days.

Again, back in September, we promised you the files when James was ready to release them. He released them this past weekend. You can download the zipfile from Sendspace here. Follow that link and click on the blue button:


Note that James’s own website remains blocked by some antivirus software. Should you not be under that handicap, it’s here:


Are we still the best place to get technical firearms news on the web, or what (they said modestly)?




Monsters, There Really are Monsters

The monster: Graf in mugshot.

The monster: Graf in mugshot.

Of course, Gregory Graf, 54, didn’t see himself as a monster. They never do. “I’m not a bad guy,” he insisted to police — while confessing to a murder that left even the most cynical cop speechless with shock. At his trial — even after confessing, he insisted on a trial because, he told his lawyer, it was “an aberration” that was “not premeditated” — he put the jurors through an experience that left them as shaken as the cops, maybe more, considering that the jurors were strangers to the irrational and horrific world of homicide.

The last piece of evidence prosecutors presented was the disturbing video that Graf produced after he killed Padgett last November.

via Gregory Graf guilty of first-degree murder, jury takes just minutes to convict – The Morning Call.

We’ll get to the disturbing video in a moment, but Jessica “Jes” Padgett, the victim, was Graf’s stepdaughter, a mother of three. He shot her in the back of the head without warning and, as nearly as anyone can figure out, without motive, except just to kill her so he could… well, you’ll see. Then he made the video that sealed his fate. As he said during his confession — which came after days of stout denials:

In a 36-minute audio recording at a state police barracks, the Allen Township man admitted he shot 33-year-old Jessica Padgett in the back of the head as she sat by a fax machine at his house, saying he neither spoke nor gave warning before taking her life.

“I’m not really a bad guy and I just lost my mind temporarily. I don’t want to hurt anybody,” Graf told investigators Nov. 26, five days after Padgett’s disappearance sparked frantic search efforts.

On the recording, Graf says he knew “that I did wrong” but still tried to cover it up. He calls what happened “hell” and a “nightmare.”

“I wasn’t thinking,” he says. “I thought I could get away with something.”

The victim: Jessica "Jes" Padgett, 33, mother of 3, and Graf's stepdaughter.

The victim: Jessica “Jes” Padgett, 33, mother of 3, and Graf’s stepdaughter.

The recording was played Thursday during emotional testimony in the Northampton County trial of Graf, who acknowledges killing Padgett, a Whitehall Township mother of three, and later taping himself performing sex acts on her body.

“At that point, my mind was still spinning, basically thinking of sex for whatever reason,” Graf related to investigators, later adding: “During that time, I tried to video. I don’t even know why.”

The monstrous nature of the crime…. it reminds one of tales of demonic possession, except that Graf doesn’t even have that defense — he kept trying to get away with it.

On the recording, Graf says he couldn’t fathom his actions. He says he remembered a Peeping Tom incident when he was a boy in Bucks County, but denies ever fantasizing about violence. He watches “a lot of porn,” he told the investigators, and had been viewing some before Padgett arrived.

In explaining why he took a .22-caliber handgun from a closet, walked up to Padgett and executed her at point-blank range, Graf says only that a “crazy thought” had come into his head.

“Did you say anything to her when you shot her?” Szczecina asks on the recording.

“No, I did not,” Graf says.

“Did she know you were going to shoot her?” the corporal adds.

“No, absolutely not,” Graf says, his voice catching.

And the toughest moment is yet to come. On Friday, District Attorney John Morganelli will wrap up his case, and plans to present the six- to seven-minute video that Graf recorded of himself abusing the dead Padgett, whose head he had covered in a plastic bag.

“He didn’t want to look at her, and the blood was freaking him out,” Trooper Barton Josefowicz III said Graf later told him.

Proof, if more proof is needed, of Graf’s monstrosity:

Josefowicz said Graf admitted he killed Padgett “to have sex with her body,” and lamented that he hadn’t chosen his neighbor, 46-year-old Karen Gundrum, as his victim instead.

Graf, as he saw himself: Facebook selfie.

Graf, as he saw himself: Facebook selfie.

That can’t have been welcome news for Ms Gundrum.

“I would have gotten away with it,” Graf said, according to Josefowicz. “No one would have known.”

This is not someone who is right in the head, but it is also someone who is a personification of evil. He planned the crime in detail, choosing a day when his wife — Jessica’s mother — was out of state, buying sex toys the day prior, prepositioning a truck at the remote site where he planned to ditch Padgett’s car, and pestering her at work to come to his home to help with a computer problem. (Those strange, persistent calls, remembered by her co-workers, led police to Graf while Padgett was missing).

After he raped her dead body — filming the misconduct — he buried her in leaves on his rural property. After his confession, he drew a diagram of her location for the police, and they were able to recover the body. He also told them where to find the video.

About that video:

it is one thing to describe the recordings, which show Graf performing sex acts on Padgett’s corpse several hours after he killed her. It is another thing to actually view them, as the nine men and three women who decided Graf’s fate now know.

He had covered her head with a plastic bag, because the blood was freaking him out. Killing her didn’t freak him out. Raping her dead body didn’t freak him out. Later, lying the whole five days she was missing wouldn’t freak him out. No, the blood freaked him out.

One juror’s eyes filled with tears while the video played. Another’s face twisted into a look of profound distaste. Another sat motionless with his hand over his mouth, his fingers pinching his eyes. The courtroom was silent.

The video was made up of eight recordings that were shot by Graf over a span of two hours using two cameras. It was presented on a screen that was purposefully placed away from the view of the audience, where many members of Padgett’s family sat. Others chose to stay away — including Bittner and Padgett’s father, Thomas Kaczmar, who took their seats only after it was over.

Even the sounds from the recordings were taxing to hear, with Graf at one point speaking profanely to Padgett’s lifeless body, whose head he had covered in a plastic bag. The actual images were even worse.

McMahon, the defense attorney, didn’t look at the display as the video played, keeping his eyes averted and swiveling his chair away. His client also did not look, busying himself reading court papers in front of him.

The only noise beyond the recordings was the occasional voice of Assistant District Attorney Patricia Mulqueen as each snippet ended.

“OK, the next video please,” she would say, breaking the silence.

She’s a hard woman. If she wasn’t before this case, she is now.

Beforehand, [Judge] Baratta had warned jurors that they should not allow the video to unduly sway their emotions, a cautionary instruction typical when potentially inflammatory evidence is presented.

“From what I understand this is not a pleasant video. It is maybe quite upsetting,” Baratta said.

“Please know,” he told the panel, “if you don’t feel comfortable watching the entire video, you don’t have to watch the entire video.”

The jurors all made it through, though when it was over, they sat silently with vacant expressions even several minutes later.

After that, the defense attorney, who never disputed that Graf committed the murder, who agreed publicly that it was “an evil act,” and who argued only for a second-degree verdict on grounds that the killing was an act of impulse, not a premeditated first-degree killing, chose not to put on Graf, or any defense witnesses or evidence at all. The case went to the jury, then, right after these videos.

The jury returned with the verdict: guilty, murder-one — in six minutes.

About the same elapsed time as the total of Graf’s unspeakable necrophilia videos.

Pennsylvania being a postcivilizational state, has a death penalty on the books, but Governor Tom Wolf is more opposed to the death of Gregory Graf than any number of Jessica Padgetts, so he has unilaterally suspended it, reprieving 186 bestial murderers, as well as taking the penalty off of Graf, whose case was pending when Wolf stepped in to save his life. (Hey, it’s a swing state: Wolf needs every vote, and it’s not like the victims were doing him any good. Right now, they can’t vote while they’re locked up, unlike other criminal-coddling jurisdictions, but Wolf is working on that. The State Supreme Court overturned prohibitions on parolees and probationers in 2000). The Pennsylvania DAs had a response to that:

A moratorium is just a ploy. Make no mistake, this action is not about waiting for a study– it’s about the governor ignoring duly enacted law and imposing his personal views against the death penalty.

Accordingly, Graf will be sentenced to life in prison. In Pennsylvania, apparently, Con Lives Matter.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Baseball Bats (again) and Knives (again)

Pedro-SanchezPedro Sanchez had his objective down, but he was pretty flexible about how he got there, using the belt-and-suspenders approach of a baseball bat and a knife.

According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, at about 4pm Monday, Pedro Sanchez, 21, arrived at a home in the 18600 block of Oden Trace Drive and walked in through an unlocked door. Sanchez was spotted walking up the stairs carrying a baseball bat and wearing latex gloves. He entered an upstairs bathroom where Tyler Wade, 17, was taking a shower and began attacking Wade.

via Killer wearing latex gloves and armed with baseball bat attacked teen in his home in NW Harris County | abc13.com.

The latex gloves are a particularly chilling touch, but what the media keyed on, of course, is the location of the crime:

  • In scene out of ‘Psycho,’ Texas student stabbed to death while in the shower (Fox News).

And then, there’s what happened to Pedro, given that he was doing this in Texas, not someplace safe for criminals like Chicongo or DC. Tyler Wade’s sister ran next door for help, to a neighbor who’s a firefighter — and prepared to defend himself. KHOU reports:

“The 12-year-old went over to the neighbor and said, ‘Someone is stabbing my brother,'” said Sergeant Cedrick Collier of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. “(The neighbor) retrieved a weapon and went next door.”

Investigators tell KHOU 11 News that neighbor came over, saw what happened and shot the suspect once after that teenager lunged at him.

Boom. Pedro brought a knife (and a baseball bat!) to a gunfight. Advantage, Darwin.

At first, no one seemed to have a clue about is why Pedro did this. And nobody was lining up to say he was a good boy, either. (He has a record for burglary, arrested and convicted in 2012). Someone finally spoke up for him his father talked to a Houston TV station, blaming Wade for his own murder and exonerating his jailbird son.

KPRC 2 spoke with Sanchez’s father, who said everything is not what it seems.

“They want to portray Tyler as this great kid,” he said. “My son was great, too. He was in college, he was getting ready to join the military. He had his life together.”

The military would not have taken Sanchez, with his criminal record. Sorry ’bout that, but it’s a fact in the current recruiting environment.

He went onto say the two knew each other and had a fight Tuesday, several hours before the deadly stabbing.

“That other kid came over and attacked him first,” he said. “That is a fact and that’s not being reported on the news. OK, I want everybody to know that. It started with the other kid.”


Aerial photos at some of the above links show that the house was a large, modern one in a nice middle- or upper-middle-class urban neighborhood.