Monthly Archives: August 2015

Does Prison Look Better, if You Can’t See It?

behind barsIt began with a typical 21st Century stroke of criminal genius, and ended with a bullet to the brain, although the denouement is still playing out in the courts. Philly.com:

at about 9 p.m. June 26, 2011, [Mark] Sanders, [Chancier] McFarland and a third man drove to Green Street near 40th in Powelton. As part of the robbery plan, the third man responded to a Craigslist ad to buy a Suzuki dirt bike and agreed to meet the seller on Green Street. McFarland acted as a lookout as Sanders and the third man approached the seller.

After the third man pretended to inspect the dirt bike on the porch of a home, Sanders drew a gun from his waistband and pointed it at the seller and two of the seller’s relatives. Sanders’ co-conspirator, who was inspecting the bike, then drove it away.

Meanwhile, another relative of the seller saw what was going on and took out his legally owned firearm and pointed it at Sanders, telling him to stop.

Sanders instead pointed his gun at that man, who then fired in self-defense, hitting Sanders in the right temple. After Sanders collapsed, the man who shot him called police.

via Blind defendant sentenced to 10-plus years behind bars.

Coached by his sleazebag attorney, one Rocco “Consiglieri” Cipparone, Sanders threw out all the usual mouthpiece-says-I-gotta phony stuff: he’s now found Jesus, he’s sorry he did it (or at least, that he got shot, and caught), and, magnanimously, he’s over being angry at the guy who shot him for just trying to kill him for a motorcycle. Cipparone had all the usual arguments why his current pet pathogen shouldn’t go back in the freezer: he’s already suffering and will suffer for all his life. Don’t put him in jail, argued Cipparone: “[H]e put himself in his own prison of blindness.”

“He will walk blind for the rest of his life. He will eat blind for the rest of his life. He will drink blind for the rest of his life.”

Yeah. Pity this crumb lived. He could have found Jesus before trying to murder somebody for a crap motorbike; but they never do that.

The prosecutor had a few points of argument, too:

Sanders, when he had his gun pointed at the victims, had the gun’s hammer cocked and could easily have fired it.

Sanders has “steadfastly refused” to identify to law enforcement who his accomplices were.

And then, there’s Sanders’s own lengthy violent criminal history. Including this:

In 2010, when Sanders was being arrested for marijuana possession, he grabbed the wire cord of the cop’s radio and wrapped it around the officer’s neck, suffocating him. It wasn’t until the officer was able to grab his gun that Sanders stopped suffocating him and fled.

So he’s not exactly a cherry at the attacking-people gig. And it turns out that there’s another attacked-cop nexus in the case.

Sanders’s accomplice Chancier McFarland and another hood rat named Rafael Jones:

…robbed and killed off-duty Police Officer Moses Walker Jr. on Aug. 18, 2012, in North Philly.

McFarland is now 22 years old; he was twenty when he and Jones (who was 24) murdered Walker.

Rafael Jones’s brother Jerome Jones is suspected (and was indicted, but the prosecutor dropped the case) of being the third man in the motorcycle robbery.

On the bright side, the police seem to have recognized the shooting from the start as an open-and-shut case of self defense, and the defender does  not seem to have been prosecuted.

It was unpossible for any of these guys to get guns, because they were all felons, several were too young to buy in a store, and their state, Pennsylvania, requires all handgun transfers to go through an FFL and has for years.

Yet somehow these four contemptible young wastes of sperm and egg managed to gun up anyway. Imagine that.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Tanks

The M5 Stuart was a late-war update of the M3 Stuart light tank. Hazardously obsolete in Europe, it was more effective in the Pacific, where Japan's tanks were few and also light. This is a file photo of the one operated by the American GI Museum in Texas, not the mishap tank.

The M5 Stuart was a late-war update of the M3 Stuart light tank. Hazardously obsolete in Europe, it was more effective in the Pacific, where Japan’s tanks and AT guns were few and also light. Stuarts were also supplied to allies under Lend-Lease. This is not the mishap tank, but a file photo of the one operated by the American GI Museum in Texas.

The guy was from San Francisco, where guns are pretty well outlawed. That, however, didn’t save him. Indeed, it was a demilitarized weapon from World War II that chewed him up and spat him out, much the worse for wear and no longer in operating condition.

It happened on a hobby tank ride during a family reunion. Poor guy fell off and that was game over, man.

The property in the city of Fairfield, about 50 miles northeast of San Francisco, belongs to Jelly Belly Chairman Herman Rowland, according to family spokeswoman Holly Carter.

Carter said the tank’s driver, 62-year-old Dwayne Brasher, is married to Rowland’s daughter and the current Jelly Belly chief executive officer, Lisa Rowland Brasher.

“The gentleman involved in this accident was a passionate person, always ready to lend a hand and we shared the same deep rooted love of history,” Herman Rowland said in a statement. “There are no words to describe the grief we are experiencing.”

Police said neither drugs nor alcohol were believed to have factored into the incident.

via Man dies after run over by tank at Jelly Belly chairman’s California property – Yahoo News.

There are no safety belts on the outside of a tank (and in a tank of this vintage, none inside, either). Before you ride on a tank in the Army, to the extent the Army permits it at all, you’re expected to have some training on it. Where and how to mount and dismount makes a difference. You’re shown where to hang on, so that if you fall off, you’re not in the path of the treads. You’re taught how little visibility the driver and TC have, even if the tank is not buttoned up (and buttoning up is so restrictive to visibility that it’s only done when under accurate fire).

Tank drivers are trained to stop the tank in an emergency, but even the lightest tank doesn’t stop on a dime; it has a lot of inertia. Tankers are also aware of the hazards of the tracks; indeed, they’re trained to exploit the tank’s treads as weapons to crush enemy soldiers and fortifications. (If you know a tanker, get him to free-associate the term “pivot turn,” or react to the command, “Neutral left!”) It’s unlikely a hobbyist “tanker” has had any of this training at all, and safety procedures that the worlds’ armed forces have built over decades would be terra incognita to him, and certainly to his passengers.

This is a sad outcome. The small coterie of hobbyists who preserve and restore these vehicles did so when the military and the nation’s museums had no institutional interest in doing so. (Indeed, well into the 90s we were destroying WWII tanks, half-tracks and armored cars as range targets). It’s unfortunate to have an accident taint this perhaps eccentric but very valuable hobby in the psyche of the public.

Of course, the greatest misfortune is that that befell the victim and his surviving friends and family. If you operate some unusual old piece of equipment, it’s very wise to seek out its former operators (or, when they are too far removed in time for any of them to be alive, their writings, which are a poor substitute for a living person) to see what safety precautions were considered de rigeur, back when the gadget was new and its hazards were taken seriously.

If you are an expert in a field, you may not even be conscious of the safety precautions your experience guides you to take. How many equestrians have seen someone unfamiliar with horses line himself up perfectly for a kick? One startle response away from a fractured cranium. You can yell, “Hey, don’t stand there,” or something, but you didn’t warn the person beforehand because it didn’t occur to you that somebody would come up behind the horse like that. A lot of what we know we only know because someone taught us, and the frightening bit is that they may have taught us so long ago that we’ve “always known that” and don’t think to teach it to people lacking our tribal knowledge.

These Soviet troops invading Czechoslovakia in 1968 apparently didn't get the memo. The guys on the front of the ASU-85 are taking a hell of a risk.

These Soviet troops invading Czechoslovakia in 1968 apparently didn’t get the memo. The guys on the front of the ASU-85 are taking a hell of a risk.

If you look at WWII pictures of tank riders, relatively few of them are hanging on the frontal aspect of the tank. You wonder how many dead GIs, Landsers or Red Army motorized rifle troops it took for them to evolve that procedure.

By the 1960s (US war in Vietnam and Russian mostly uncontested invasion of Czechoslovakia) this tribal knowledge seems to have been largely disregarded.

Will Israel Nuke Iran First?

BLOWING UP PARADISEDefense intellectual and former Strategic Defense Initiative planner John Bosma argues in the American Thinker that for Israel the options are closing rapidly, and the least bad option may be to make a nuclear preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, aiming to disrupt development but also to kill the maximum number of scientists and technicians, and to leave any surviving facilities fatally irradiated.

Far from producing peace, Bosma claims, the deal negotiated between two preferentially antisemitic teams could be extremely destabilizing; it…

…also augurs the possibility of a nuclear war coming far sooner than one could have imagined under conventional wisdom worst-case scenarios. Following the US’s betrayal of Israel and its de facto detente with Iran, we cannot expect Israel to copy longstanding US doctrines of no-first-nuclear-use and preferences for conventional-weapons-only war plans. After all, both were premised (especially after the USSR’s 1991 collapse) on decades of US nuclear and conventional supremacy. If there ever were an unassailable case for a small, frighteningly vulnerable nation to pre-emptively use nuclear weapons to shock, economically paralyze, and decapitate am enemy sworn to its destruction, Israel has arrived at that circumstance.

Why? Because Israel has no choice, given the radical new alignment against it that now includes the US, given reported Obama threats in 2014 to shoot down Israeli attack planes, his disclosure of Israel’s nuclear secrets and its Central Asian strike-force recovery bases, and above all his agreement to help Iran protect its enrichment facilities from terrorists and cyberwarfare – i.e., from the very special-operations and cyber forces that Israel would use in desperate attempts to halt Iran’s bomb. Thus Israel is being forced, more rapidly and irreversibly than we appreciate, into a bet-the-nation decision where it has only one forceful, game-changing choice — early nuclear pre-emption – to wrest back control of its survival and to dictate the aftermath of such a survival strike.

via Articles: Thinking About the Unthinkable: An Israel-Iran Nuclear War.

A limited Israeli strike could produce the nuclear disarmament of Iran that Obama and Kerry had claimed, before some of the terms of the deal put the lie to their statements, that they sought. Nuclear weapons are one effective solution to the underground bunkers used by Iran to shelter its systems.

Israel cannot  service this target set with conventional weapons — its stocks are not deep enough, and it’s clear that they can’t rely on the United States, at least under this Administration, for resupply.

The deliberate American silence over Iran’s genocidal intentionality sends an unmistakable signal to Israel that the US no longer recognizes a primordial, civilizational moral obligation to protect it from the most explicit threats imaginable. It is truly on its own, with the US in an all-but-overt alliance with its worst enemy. The shock to Israel’s leaders of this abrupt American lurch into tacitly accepting this Iranian intentionality cannot be understated. Iran is violating the core tenets of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, a US initiative after the Tokyo and Nuremberg war-crimes trials to codify genocide as a crime against humanity. Now the US is silent.

But this shift is also recent. Every US government prior to President Obama would have foresworn nuclear talks with such a psychopathic regime or would have walked out in a rage upon such utterances. Yet Iran’s genocidal threats have had no discernible effect on Obama’s canine eagerness for a deal.

The two main factors Bosma sees making the nuclear option “almost mandatory” for Israel are the Iranian government’s continued propaganda and doctrine calling for nuclear weapons explicitly for the extermination of Jews, and, as recounted above, the US’s sudden tilt to the Iranian position. But he also lists a number of other reasons, which we’ll paraphrase:

  1. Iranian nuclear progress is self-sustaining and can’t be stopped with conventional weapons or sanctions. For Israel, it is a matter of nuke, or be nuked.
  2. Iranian progress is concrete hardening has essentially neutralized such weapons as the 30kp Massive Ordnance Penetrator, meaning it’s nukes or nothing.
  3. The presence in the agreement of a new US-Iranian limited military alliance targeted against Israel.
  4. The Russian agreement to deliver to Iran S-300 anti-ballistic and anti-aircraft weapons. This dual-purpose weapon is in the improved Patriot class and complicates strike planning (to put it mildly). The weapons are enroute to Iran already. (Russia is also delivering nuclear weapons delivery technology, including ICBMs). Some of these Russian missiles come with Russian mercenary crews. In addition, with Russian and Iranian assistance, the terrorist group Hezbollah has been converting its ineffective rockets into precision guided munitions with defense-evading technology.

While Bosma’s grim predictions may never come to pass, his position has a certain logic. (We believe it won’t come to pass because the Israeli government will shrink from following that logic to its inevitable end). In any event you should Read The Whole Thing™. It’s a brief but very information-dense piece.

If the Israelis did take this approach to survival, how would they do it? Given that the US Government is likely to share any intelligence indicators of a strike with Iran, Israel will have to proceed under an unprecedented cloak of secrecy. But at this point, their very least worst option for the long term survival of Israel and its people may well be to nuke Iran.

This is one consequence of awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for lofty intentions, standing alone.

Gun ID Question

What are we looking at here?

mystery_double

Every once in a while we’re going to open up a safe we haven’t been in, in a while, and show you what we find there. If there’s any interest, we’ll do this with stuff on the I’m So Awesome Wall, or in the Room of Oddball Militaria.

But at the moment, we’re looking at something you don’t see every day.

What are we looking at? Answer, and some more photos, after the jump.

Continue reading

How Criminals Gun Up in Shreveport: With Cop Guns

Missing, presumed pilfered.

Missing, presumed pilfered.

Officer Thomas LaValley of the Shreveport, LA police was ambushed and killed two weeks ago. His murderer took his Glock, a fact the police department initially covered up.

At least ten more department pistols are missing, including one stolen in February along with the officer’s badge, radio and protective vest.

Shreveport police revealed Wednesday officer Thomas LaValley’s service weapon is missing. It’s been two weeks since the officer was killed answering a suspicious person call.

That’s all police are saying.

“We’re not ever going to do or say anything that would potentially compromise the operational integrity of an investigation,” SPD chief administrative assistant Bill Goodin said.

Shreveport police in February said there are at least 10 pistols missing from their inventory. Now LaValley’s Glock gone.

Police think Grover Cannon, the suspect in the slaying, stole the weapon. Cannon is in custody and is not cooperating with the search for the gun, police said.

via Few details available on LaValley’s missing firearm.

A lot of people seem to think that if we did X, Y or Z we could end “gun violence,” as if the Grover Cannons were getting their cannons from Cabela’s. Unfortunately, as records show, Grover and his ilk can get guns from family and friends, from criminal associates, from theft from legitimate users, and even by murdering police officers.

Guns do make suicide very easy, and that’s why purveyors of instant “gun violence” solutions like to use “gun violence” numbers that include self-destruction along with accidents and homicides (lawful and unlawful). These people are sincere, but their thinking doesn’t reach the necessary depth. For instance, on suicides, it doesn’t occur to them that suicidal intent will seek a weapon of opportunity, and given the fragility of Homo sapiens, such a thing is always at hand. Nobody really knows how much locking up weapons (or, for example, fitting bridges with jumper nets) deters suicide, versus how much it merely displaces it to a less inconvenient method. For instance, on homicides, it doesn’t occur to them that the thing differentiating a spree shooter from a gun collector — murderous intent — is the same thing differentiating a serial slasher from a gourmet chef. The gun, the knife, are mere implements in a hand guided by a mind — the chef’s knife and the murderer’s may be the exact same tool, but one is guided by a creative mind and one by homicidal impulse.

Grover Cannon would still be a threat if he never owned anything that is not your kitchen. It is not late Officer Lavalley’s gun, or the gun he allegedly killed Lavalley with, that made him a threat. It was his heart and his mind that made, and makes, him a threat.

You could make every gun in the world disappear with a magical incantation, and Grover Cannon would still be a threat, a toxin, a pathogen. You could give the Dalai Lama a nuclear bomb and he would be no more a threat than he is now.

When a man’s heart and mind is a threat, he is never disarmed.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Formula 1

If you follow Formula 1, you know about this already. If you don’t, you may not know that Lewis Hamilton is one of the world’s elite road-racing drivers, a blindingly fast past World Champion who drives for Mercedes and is competitive this year.

Hamilton offended against F1’s unwritten code of European gentility by being photographed in the USA firing an AR-15 and, worse, enjoying it. Quel horreur!

lewis-hamilton with AR

Lewis Hamilton has been ordered to take down a video of him firing a machine gun at a shooting range in Colorado posted on the same day as the attempted gun attack on a French train.

Yeah, because someone might confuse an English guy having some fun in America with an Arab guy trying to commit a massacre in Europe. Exactly the same thing, right?

The Mercedes team boss Niki Lauda ordered Mr Hamilton to remove the video after it received a lot of criticism from fans for being insensitive.

The video received a lot of positive attention, too, but the criticism was from the right sort of people, you see. It’s “insensitive” to have Wrongfun, at least from the standpoint of a certain class of people (whose Rightfun, or perhaps we should say Leftfun, seems to be doesn’t-sound-fun-to-us acting as the Internet Society for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Fun).

There’s really only one fitting response to an accusation of being “insensitive” and that involves making a crude anglo-saxon verb, intransitive, into a verb, reflexive. As in, “Go ….” but unfortunately, that’s not how Hamilton’s corporate Fuhrerschaft reacted.

Hamilton said that he didn’t post the video personally to his Instagram account because a friend posts on his social media for him during race weekends.

Mercedes team chief, Toto Wolff, said, “My opinion is split on a personal level. Lewis is a rock star and he is living his life. Then on the other side you need be aware what is happening out there in the world” the Guardian reported.

Mercedes has a long history of being in tune with the thought leaders of Europe. Lauda is not the first Austrian associated with the marque by any means:

adolfs mercedes benz

But today, the man whose Formula 1 prominence was bankrolled by a family banking fortune raised during those days, working for a company that employed 40,000 slave laborers during that period, is cracking down on the verdamnt Englander whose error was, it seems, to violate the Waffenkontrollgesetz.

Can’t be having that, can we?

The video received almost 34,000 likes on Instagram before it was deleted. Many of the comments, however, criticised Mr Hamilton for setting a bad example by using guns and for showing insensitivity towards the injured victims of the French train attack.

Note that the number of “likes” is quantified but the number of criticisms is a nebulous “many.”

One such commenter wrote: “Disappointing & unnecessary Lewis, Disappointed that you promote such stupidity”.

Yeah, it’s just heartbreaking that the guy can do something that, “one such commenter” dislikes.  Because the Internet means never having to live your own crabbed little life, but having the opportunity to project your preferences on celebrities who never have heard of you and never will.

It’s kind of a shame that a freeborn Englishman has to travel thousands of miles to blow off a few rounds on a rifle range, but that’s the state of the world, 2015. It’s doubly shameful that he should be shamed for it by a couple of guys and a corporation who have entire mass graves’ worth of skeletons in their own closet.

We’re seeing the fundamental Law of German Industrialism in action: o=nce you’ve converted the pulled teeth and shorn hair into Reichsmarks, then Deutschmarks or Schillings and then, finally, Euros, the humans whose lifeless leichen you looted them from rebuke you no more.

All we can say to Hamilton is: if Lauda calls you into his office, and there’s a dentist’s chair, don’t go. He’s not a dentist, despite his family’s history with gold teeth.

via Lewis Hamilton ordered to remove Instagram video of him firing machine gun after French attack – People – News – The Independent.

How Things Have Changed In National Defense

Washington, October 1962. The President, Vice President, and key cabinet and General Staff members gather in the situation room during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

JFK and LBJ

Everybody’s there — JFK, LBJ, MacNamara, Strangelove.

A few interesting things about this set-up.

  1. It’s  bunch of middle-aged white guys; the time when all the power brokers would be carefully selected for race and sex balance was far in the future. Then they wanted a war cabinet to lead America; now they want one that Looks Like America, college prospectus version.
  2. Most of these people got there because they had a reputation for competence, even if in some cases (MacNamara, for one) the reputation might have been a mistake. They came from diverse backgrounds. Now, it would be all Lawyers, Lobbyists and Leading Fundraisers who Look Like America.
  3. All of the men were veterans of some kind. Mac served as a statistician in the Air Corps. JFK’s combat record is well known; LBJ’s combat record is well known to be a fraud, but he did put himself in uniform, in the theater of operations. (He’s a lot like John F. Kerry that way). Now, a veteran in a war room meeting is rare.
  4. You could still be a general or a senator without a college degree in 1962, if you’d excelled in leadership. But most of JFK’s civilians came from Harvard, and took a dim view of anyone with a “lesser” education. LBJ had a degree from a state teacher’s college, and the Harvard men never let him forget it.
  5. It’s not a lavish place. Today, every White House function has the style and decadence of the court of Caligula, but look at the chairs these nabobs are resting their bones in: GI steel armchairs with vinyl upholstery. Look at the linoleum floor. Look at the utilitarian, Formica-topped drop-leaf tables with the water glasses on them — and note that they’re only in front of the President and VP.

Nowadays there would be five times as many people, most of them useless people who got where they are by sucking up or being born on third base. The President’s advisers are those who brought him the money it took to make him who he is. Those filling the room all have a life of “achievement” that began with admission to the “right” school based on family legacy or SAT scores. They are surrounded by trappings of luxury that Caligula could envy, and by a small army of staffers, aides, assistants and interns whose servility and devotion Caligula’s chattel slaves could not equal.

This isn’t a partisan observation, by the way. “No matter who you vote for, the Government always gets in,” as Neil Innes acidly sang. After JFK, both parties were increasingly dominated by a compact, narrow caste that makes the inbred, hemophiliac Crowned Heads of 19th-Century Europe look like a varied assortment. Politics today is the illusion of a deep partisan divide, in the service of a unified, decadent and self-perpetuating aristocracy.

Update

Several commenters (below) have pointed out that this was actually at Cape Canaveral. One even gave us the date: 11 September 1962. Using that date, we found some video on the JFK Library website:

http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/USG-03-06.aspx

Along with a photo of JFK with Wally Schirra from the same date:

http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/eFuIYlAyq0u5sS-uoHSaug.aspx

It’s interesting to see the President’s frail frame next to the lean but robust pilot and astronaut.

From the Cape, he took Air Force One to Houston, where the next day, 12 Sep 62, he viewed the Houston Manned Spaceflight Center (including a very early Apollo capsule mockup) and then spoke at the Rice University stadium. There he made his famous speech promising to put a man on the moon, and return him to Earth, within ten years.

http://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/news/1347274094/

Thanks to all of you who corrected our original mistaken atribution.

Plastic Homemade Lowers Under the Hammer

These tests have been on the net for a while, “a while” ranging from 3 months ago to a couple of days. We thought it would be a public service to collect them in a single post.

Note that “impact resistance” is only one type of strength. Here the material must resist both compression and shock, mostly. However, there are some ways of testing the part (even with a hammer) that can cause compression failures. Torsion is mostly not an issue with these parts. Shear comes into play especially with the printed parts, which tend to fail along print-layer lines.

Part I: Printed Lowers: ABS vs Hammer, vs PLA vs Hammer.

Part II: Printed vs Hammer, vs. Cast vs Hammer.

And, Part III: Multiple cast lowers of different materials, vs. printed lowers.

We hope these tests made an impact on you!

And who else is thinking… hmmm. What about a polymer part with a tough internal structure, and an overmold of the rubbery stuff? If you did the overmold when the inner part was still hot-out-of-the-mold fresh, the exotherm from the overmold would probably go a long way to mechanically join the two “layers.”

 

Not Everyone Should Carry a Gun

queens_subway_piranhaConsider, for instance, this lady:

A woman pushed, scratched and bit a subway rider who tried to sit in a seat that had her bag on it, according to police.

The alleged subway rage occurred aboard a Manhattan-bound F train from Queens last Friday at about 9:45 a.m.

The 45-year-old victim asked a woman to move her bag so she could sit down. When the woman ignored her, the victim attempted to sit down anyway.

That’s when police say the seated women flew into a rage. They say she scratched the other rider on the chest, pulled her hair and bit her forearm, causing bleeding.

The suspect fled when the train stopped at the 21st Street and Queensbridge station in Long Island City.

via NYPD: Subway rider asked to move bag bites another passenger – Story | WNYW.

Stop and think about this for a minute. This creature flew into a scratching, biting rage over not getting a seat to herself and one for her precious bag, which is probably full of pilfered handi-wipes from cheap restaurants, not to mention a bottle of the anger-management meds she’s clearly gone off.

Maybe she saw “Queens” on the subway line and thought it was a promotion for her, not an indication of the borough that’s at one end of the line.

Anyway, some people should not have guns. This includes the mentally ill, the intemperate, those lacking impulse control, and anyone who sucks up to bosses and treats peers and subordinates like crap — i.e., every reporter in the media, which explains why they’re foursquare for gun control.

Come to think of it, where do you think the Queens Subway Piranha works?

  1. Some downtown print or broadcast media firm;
  2. Aide of some kind to a politician;
  3. At some high-minded nonprofit;
  4. Works? Bwahahahahaaa. She collects. 

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Matches

bronx FOOMSo there they were, these construction workers, just minding their business… and FOOM! Three floors of a Bronx high school were wrecked, with one floor’s wall and windows blown into the skreet, and three workers inside near Ground Zero were more or less wrecked, too.

So what happened? How did we get from construction to FOOM? Basically, inflammable gases, the unfortunate fact that these workers may not have paid attention in the science labs in their high schools, and human stupidity. But mostly, as ever, human stupidity.

Construction workers were remodeling a science laboratory on the sixth floor of Marble Hill’s John F. Kennedy High School at about 8 p.m. when a powerful explosion destroyed parts of the fourth, fifth and sixth floors of the building, sending three workers to the hospital, one in serious condition.

Sources say the workers were supposed to shut off the gas to the lab at a source and then pump another less volatile but noxious fuel into the line, pushing the dangerous and odorless gas out the other end.

When the line is completely free of the odorless fuel, workers would normally smell the secondary fuel, which signals that the line is safe to work around.

But sources say a worker allegedly decided to test the line by striking a match near its tip — and it exploded with such force that a wall facing Terrace View Ave. was blown out onto the street.

FOOM!Ah, we knew there had to be a logical explanation for the FOOM. He is presumably the worker who was in critical condition with burns and trauma.

But, while he’s presently hors de combat, human stupidity is still very much in the game, here being deployed by New York’s allegedly brilliant (just ask him) mayor, Bill de Blasio:

“I do believe that this was a mistake,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told 1010 WINS Friday afternoon.

No $#!+? You think so?

Any more insights for us, Bill, from the steel-trap mind that brought us that one?

“It does not appear that was something that should have bee[n] done.”

You don’t say. What was your first clue, the hospitalized worker, or the blown-up school?

via Worker Who Lit a Match to Check for Gas Sparked Bronx School Blast: Sources – Marble Hill – DNAinfo.com New York.

Like the saying goes, it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness, unless somebody opened up the gas valves.