This Tour d’Horizon is going up a bit late, and for that reason may be more telegraphic than usual. We regret the impertinence.
This week’s installment includes:
I don’t wanna work, I just wanna bang on my gun all day.
Free Magazine, if you Kannst Deutsch
The Deutsches Waffen Journal is a major German gun magazine, founded in 1965; over 600 editions have gone to press since then. If you know enough German to wend your way through the DWJ Online store, register and select the product (match this cover you see on the left at the link, and look for the magic word kostenlos), they will happily deliver to you a .pdf of their May, 2015 edition. German shooters are definitely under legislative and regulatory threats right now, as are all EU subjects, but a look at the magazine teaches a Yank that our Continental brethren might be a small minority in their nations, and may lack our particular freedoms, but have a robust and worthwhile gun culture to defend.
One of the pages of the 50th Anniversary was this collection of covers. I remember hitting the Hauptbahnhof frequently on days off to see if a new DWJ or Waffen Revue was on the newsstands. The wall of covers tells me that if a digital subscription granted access to digitized back issues (like Guns Magazine and some aviation mags), I’d be all over a subscription like Richthofen on an F.E.2B.
The store also has a lot of really interesting books for collectors. Again, you have to read German, at least a little (you poor monoglots can always look at the pictures, though).
How Blowback Works
Max Popenker has started a new series of articles on firearms operating systems at All4Shooters.com, an international gun website. His initial post is on Blowback firearms. In our view it falls just a hair short because it does not cover the advanced primer ignition that reduced weight of, first, the Oerlikon 20mm gun, and later, many global submachine guns. (API is also why lots of cannon cartridges feature rebated rims, but that’s another story. Generally a good introduction to the theory of blowback, or “mass locking” as this never-actually-locked system is called in some languages.
Many thanks to Max for sending us the link. We look forward to reading his next post.
A Thorough SCAR 17S review
We’ve mentioned before that these things are really popular with the guys in a 10.3″ CQB configuration, especially as more and more hadjis turn up bent on mayhem and wearing the armor we gave our valiant Iraqi and Afghan allies before we, and they, bugged out. Yes, the plates will stop one or two 7.62 rounds, but how many times do we fire, class?
Anyway, Shawn at LooseRounds.com (yes, the 1000-yard M4 guy!) has a good evaluation of a SCAR-H. (His test rifle was not box-stock, as it came to him already fitted with the Geissele Super SCAR Trigger). He took it out to his favorite strip-mine site and made 19 of 20 hits on a skinny-man gong at 750 yards with 168-grain ball.
He has a pretty good breakdown on what it can and can’t do. Read The Whole Thing™!
Usage and Employment
The hardware takes you only half way.
Bang, Bang, You’re Sued
In this case, it’s a pretty safe bet that the homeowner did not read The Law of Self-Defense, or attend the seminar either. Instead, he shot the fleeing career criminal. (The seminar explains why you can’t, generally, do that).
The homeowner did some time for a misdemeanor, not much but 30 days or so.
And then his troubles began. He got out to find that Lightfingers McGurk is suing him for pain and suffering. And the crook may actually win. Of course, the homeowner put himself in that position by plugging a plug-ugly who wasn’t posing a proximate threat at the point of pluggery.
This article on cognitive biases was picked up by Aviation Week from Business and Commercial Aviation magazine. Despite its aviation focus, it’s something of value to any of us.
There are 100, or more, cognitive biases that are well known to psychologists. They influence or control ranges of behaviors, including eating and drinking, along with social, economic, religious and political actions. A few help us make good decisions with virtually no conscious thought. Most are relatively benign as long as you stay on the ground and steer clear of heated discussions. But there are about a dozen such biases that can kill you in an aircraft.
Such biases are formed through formal learning, personal experiences and hereditary factors. We use them to conserve our limited memory processing time and capacity.
For the astute readers of this blog, it should be relatively straightforward to adapt the arguments of this article to both firearms safety and to gunfighting. This is the kind of thing we’re talking about when we say the aviation world has been all over human factors, far more than we have been.
Cops ‘n’ Crims
Cops bein’ cops, crims bein’ crims. The endless Tom and Jerry show of crime and (sometimes instantaneous) punishment.
Hey, Why Punish Criminals?
Seth Barron at City Journal describes the New York City Council’s newfound solicitousness to their central constituency: the “people who litter, drink from open containers, and urinate in public.”
Brooklyn council member Jumaane Williams previously sponsored a bill to end enforcement of turnstile-jumping in the transit system, arguing that being arrested can be “very disruptive” and “cause financial hardship” to the arrestee.
As you might expect from a dude named Jumaane, his constituency includes a lot of criminals and criminals’ family members. Since they apparently can’t do the time (or, for these small offenses, pay the fine), this kind of misconduct needs to be redefined as legal. \
Of course, New York went down this path during the Dinkins era; it seems to be in a hurry to go back. And the answer to the question in the titles is, in part, to make criminal behavior costly in personal terms, and thereby reduce it.
Cop Gets Hep C… with Tragic Consequences
Some low-life addict bit a cop, and the cop contracted the bloodborne liver disease, Hepatitis C.
The cop is OK so far, but not his wife, who contracted the disease from him.
Will De Blasio Be the Next One Indicted?
We were hoping for Cuomo, but it looks like his downstate mini-me might go first in conjunction with campaign-finance corruption. His people are not saying he’s innocent, only that he was within, if barely, the letter of the law.
President Wants Felon Preference for Feds
Kind of like veterans preferences, but for the people he likes better. Right now, felons, who are usually career criminals, are supposed to be restricted from Fed jobs.
Here’s an 800-yard Drug Tunnel
The War on Drugs continues, but drugs seem to keep advancing. Here’s the longest tunnel ever found across one of the rare defended areas on the Mexican border.
Until the next one.
The Perils of Kathleen: Call That Girl a Waahmbulance
Our perennial gun-banning crime-doin’ crimefighter Korrupt Kathleen Kane, got spanked (as noted in last week’s edition) for whining about “selective prosecution.” After seeing her mouthpiece, one Gerald Shargel, threatened with contempt, she (or Shargel) withdrew some of the more outrageous demands she’d placed on the court.
She’s now filed a new motion (giving up on the idea of doing it under seal), alleging selective and vindictive prosecution. Remarkably, her defense is, at this point, essentially admitting the charges but using a tu quoque defense: the old “Billy did it toooo!” every parent has heard before.
She’s also appealing the judge’s rulings against her sometimes fanciful pretrial motions to state court, an appeal the prosecutors are contesting.
And she’s telling political supporters (pinky-ring union leaders) that she never planned to run for a second term, even before her indictment, law license suspension, etc.
Hey, what’s that disbelieving look on your face? She would never lie — she’s a lawyer! (well, she was).
Why are we interested in Kane? Because, financed by anti-gun activist money, she took office with an objective of eliminating self-defense and defensive carry in Pennsylvania and by Pennsylvanians in other States. She singlehandedly erased just about all the previously concluded reciprocity agreements, while going easy on actual armed criminals. So we not only want to see her face career and personal destruction, we take a malicious glee in seeing the rubble bounce.
Unconventional (and current) Warfare
What goes on in the battlezones of the world — and preparation of the future battlefields. (We’ll have more next week)
Is He Reading the Same Magazine?
Thomas Ricks, the anti-military military expert formerly bashing us at the Washington Post, appears in Foreign Policy bashing the Army (gee, that’s a breakthrough) and goes on to praise Army Magazine, the galactically dull party-line waste of wood pulp of the association you’re compelled to join if you’re an officer. Ricks:
ARMY magazine continues to impress me. It used to be at the back of the pack of military magazine — Proceedings, Marine Corps Gazette, and so on. But for the last couple of years, it has led the way.
Is this bozo reading the same magazine? The current issue includes the usual party-line drivel, including a turgid article by a command sergeant major of the current crop of reflective-belt micromanagement NCOs. Army is not worthless because it can be shredded and used for kindling. But apart from that use… it remains about 20 IQ points lower than the Naval Institute’s Proceedings.
By the way, Ricks goes on to call fellow reporter Sebastian Junger a “combat vet.” In what world is Junger’s employer during his embed, the gay men’s fashion magazine GQ, a combatant? This is a perfect example of one Beltway self-serving (and self-servicing) drone bestowing on another a title that is not his to bestow. Not that this stops them. Nowhere on Earth are men more empty of merit and swollen with self-regard.
By the way, what Ricks sees as Junger’s “new skeptical lens” looks to the rest of us like the usual Beltway urbanist disparagement of Flyover America. Ye gods! We live in our own houses and drive cars, instead of piling into urban Cabrini-Greens and riding the buses like good proles.
Are Defense Pensions Defense Spending?
In case you were wondering how Russia and China manage to field modern weapons systems without the budget bloat for declining capability seen in nations like the US and UK, that’s one big reason. Vet pensions are part of the military budget in the democratic nations, and they’re high and growing, eating more and more of the budget.
In the UK Telegraph, Simon Heffer notes:
Donald Trump’s remark – echoing one by Barack Obama – that Nato countries rely too much on America for defence, and don’t spend enough, recalls my point last week about the Government shamefully including war pensions when claiming it spends 2 per cent of GDP on “defence”. A reader tells me that his 92-year old mother, a veteran in receipt of such a pension, is ready to report for front line duties if necessary. He adds that this magnificent lady saw more enemy action than has the entire present House of Commons put together. Thank God we have her when Putin turns ugly, for we have little else.
The US is similarly situated, actually. Vast amounts of social spending are baked into the military budget, including everything from Hognose’s pension to Davis-Bacon Act handouts to connected unions, to various Congressional mandated cashflow streams to various literal and figurative Congressional nephews. Nobody is talking about this, so thanks to Simon for bringing it up.
Ash Carter Resists Arming Troops
In a gentle FU to Congress in October, Carter announced that rather than develop a plan to allow military officers and NCOs to arm themselves in self-defense like other Americans, he would merely deputize a handful of recruiters and other “off-installation” workers to carry issue firearms in MP guard-mount style. This week, the defense authorization bill as approved by the House Armed Services Committee will cut Carter’s social-engineering slush fund by 15% if he doesn’t produce a plan this year, and also declares adult military dependents (spouses, mostly) residents of the state of assignment for the purpose of gun-buying locally. Anti-gun committee Democrats opposed allowing service members to exercise what they see as the privileges of carry licenses, but were outvoted on party lines; some of them joined the Republicans on the spousal residency issue. The bill still has to pass the full House and the Senate; it is widely thought to be veto-proof, politically speaking.
Is it time to disband this thing yet, and letting all its bloatoverhead seek its own level in the Dreaded Private Sector™?.
VA Still Lying About Wait Times
We’ve previously mentioned this month’s GAO Report about how the agency lies about wait times. Here’s the report [.pdf], but this graphic shows how most of the wait time…
…is simply waiting for the VA to get off its dead ass and call the vet back. And the VA misreports total wait time by leaving this 80% of it out!
As Martin Matishak at The Fiscal Times points out, that’s where we are two full years into the scandal, and, as his headline-writer put it, “System Still Stacked Against Vets”. Word.
In Tomah, WI, They’re Designing Their Way Out of Crisis
How? Literally. By hiring an interior designer. Vets Need Not Apply, but current Federal drones have the inside track. This is the hospital that local drug users call Candy Land because of its opiate-dispensing practices, where they call the cops on reporters, but not on mental-health employee Charles Davis who is charged with being a serial groper of female vets.
The Daily Caller’s Luke Rosiak notes presciently that, “A focus on appearances has often seemed to be VA’s way of covering for deeper operational problems,” and points out that the VA, which always cries about lack of money, went $1 billion over budget gold-plating a Colorado project, and blew $1.8 million on “art” in 2014. (And no, not in the year of 2014. In September 2014. The amounts for the other eleven months are unknown, but could be another million-plus each).
Senior Executive Service Association Tied to Shady Law Firm
The union that represents corrupt, violent, and other bad senior Federal officials, the Senior Executive Association, turns out to be little more than a front for the shady DC law firm of Shaw Bransford & Roth. The indispensable Rosiak:
There are nine employees listed on SEA’s website, but its personnel and resources are closely intertwined with the law firm, which it pays as its largest contractor, tax forms show.
Before he died in 2013, William Bransford, also a partner at the law firm, did double-duty at SEA. SEA was founded by the law firm’s other named partner, Jerry Shaw, in 1980.
The officials at the Senior Executive Association generally were never government executives; they’re just functionaries of the bad-officials’ defense law firm. Read The Whole Thing™.
Chicago VA Hospital adds Protein to Meals
Too bad it’s in the form of cockroaches. (On the bright side, we’ve finally found something that a VA hospital can’t kill!) But hey, the Senate is promising to fix it all. Doesn’t that make you feel better?
VA Union Official Assaults AG Investigator, Walks
David de Silva, a local Vice President with the American Federation of Government Employees, the union that represents bad VA rank-and-file employees, physically attacked OIG Agent (FNU) Lore during a presentation, for suggesting that employees should tell the truth and not take the fifth during OIG investigations, a position that bad-employees union official de Silva found personally enraging.
C. Allen Pool, a union-connected arbitrator who normally rules in favor of thieving and abusive employees, ruled in favor of de Silva and the union. Employees, unlike every other American, needn’t testify truthfully to Federal law enforcement officers.
Hat tip, Rosiak (who else)?
The Next VA Scandal?
The San Diego Union-Tribune, noting how the callous, incompetent handling of his mental health appointments led a local vet to attempt suicide, and how no one has been held accountable (they initially reported three officials were fired, but they were mistaken), concludes:
T]he next infuriating VA scandal is a question of when, not if.
And we’d add: “when” is a question of weeks, not years. Are we ready to disband this thing yet?
Lord Love a Duck!
The weird and wonderful (or creepy) that we didn’t otherwise get to.
Remember the Lady Whose House Got Leveled by Mistake?
The demo crew read an erroneous GPS and knocked down the house by mistake. The business owner has apologized and is trying to make it good.