Monthly Archives: November 2015

OT: One Jitbag Teen, Lax Canadian Laws, Hundreds of Lives at Risk

maple_leaf_1964Amazingly, even after he is convicted, the lax and lackadaisical slackers of Canadian law enforcement still threaten anyone who names “Obnoxious” — his own chosen screen name, and a fitting one — with consequences far more dire that the tap on the wrist that his crimes brought  him.

Obnoxious was a swatter, a woman-hating teen pervert who takes joy in sending SWAT teams to the homes of female video game players with bullshit crime stories, hoping to get the girls killed. Most law enforcement was supine before him.

And he was a juvenile, literally, as well as emotionally. So he can’t be named.

‘‘UNTOUCHABLE,’’ Finley saw him tweet once. ‘‘UNEXTRADITEABLE.’’

And he knew that as long as he targeted USians, Canadian law didn’t give a hairy rat’s ass about him. (The situation would be the same if reversed). As a minor, he could get away with anything, and he was going to see if he could get away with murder by false police report.

It took one small town detective, BA Finley of Johns Creek, GA, and one FBI agent willing to pursue a case served to him on a platter — after swarms of other agents blew the case off — to finally give the Canadians enough evidence to shame them out of their inertia.

Obnoxious often sent a text to his target telling her that the SWAT team was on its way — too late to stop it — just so she would know it was him. Sometimes victims received phone calls from the police before the SWAT team arrived. A Canadian Twitch streamer named Maple Ong got a call one night in January 2014, telling her to leave her house with her hands up, along with her panicked father and younger brother, so the police could search it for bombs that Obnoxious had told them were placed there. Allison Henderson, a 26-year-old artist and streamer who lived with two other streamers in Costa Mesa, Calif., received a phone call one night from a woman with the Police Department, asking her how many people were in her apartment and what she was wearing. Allison and her roommates had recently been DDoSed and harassed by Obnoxious. The policewoman told Allison to step outside with her hands above her head.

‘‘I held my breath and slowly opened the door to the sight of rifles pointed at me from every direction,’’ she says. ‘‘It was the most terrifying experience of my life.’’ When officers questioned her, she couldn’t make them understand. ‘‘They were completely lost on the idea of a stranger harassing us over the Internet,’’ she says. ‘‘It’s a feeling like you’re drowning, and the person doesn’t understand what water is.’’

A few months after Obnoxious swatted Janet and her family, he swatted them again. The officers who showed up this time seemed irritated at Janet, ‘‘like it was my fault that I got swatted, because I do what I do, because I play video games.’’ She says one told her, ‘‘Just pick up a book.’’ The officers who responded to these calls did a professional job — in the sense that they assessed the situation, de-­escalated it and didn’t fire their weapons. At the same time, they misjudged what they were seeing. They didn’t grasp that each swatting was merely a spike in a long-­running pattern of abuse that would continue when they drove away.

via The Serial Swatter –

In the end, BA Finley, the small-town investigator, taught himself how to follow an investigation into the maze of cyberspace — described in enough detail to make it worth your while to Read The Whole Thing™, and he and his FBI agent finally got the Canuckistanis off the X.

The Canadian police arrested the suspect on Dec. 5, four days after he tried to swat Hayli. Much of the case against him had been shipped up from Georgia. Prosecutors eventually charged him with 46 counts, including criminal harassment, public mischief and extortion; he pleaded guilty to 23 counts. (His Vancouver lawyer didn’t return phone calls.) He was interviewed at length by a social worker, a psychiatrist and a psychologist, who confirmed that the swatter’s childhood had been tragic, marred by an abusive father and a mentally ill mother. The psychiatric report noted that he had essentially no remorse: ‘‘His description of the pleasure he gets from causing humiliation and harm … is suggestive of quite significant emerging psychopathic traits.’’ At a court appearance in May, he wore a sweatsuit, ankles shackled together; a local reporter observed him smiling occasionally and flicking his brown hair. In July, a judge sentenced him to 16 months in youth jail, with credit for time served while awaiting trial. He is scheduled to be released in March, at age 18.

There you have it. A huge investigation — 1,000 of Finley’s hours alone, literally half a working year — and this complete waste of sperm and egg plea-bargained his way into an even faster turn of the revolving door than is normal for North American criminals.

He is a worthless waste of protoplasm, a miscue of sperm and egg, an assemblage of defective parts that even Planned Parenthood would hesitate to place on the market. And the Canuckistani courts are putting him back on the internet in three months.

When Guns are Outlawed Only Outlaws will have Cocaine

john kennedy santos gurjaoThe trouble with being a drug mule is that you have to trust a bunch of druggies to know what they’re doing when they pack you full of haphazardly wrapped poisons… and, well, they’re not exactly the Houston Manned Space Flight Center watch-standing crew. They’re a bunch of druggies.

An autopsy revealed two pounds of cocaine pellets inside the stomach of a Brazilian drug mule who bit a man on an Aer Lingus flight from Lisbon to Dublin.

Pathologists found $63,300 worth of cocaine inside John Kennedy Santos Gurjao’s stomach during an autopsy, according to local reports.

It’s believed at least one of those 80 pellets burst during Sunday’s flight causing the Boa Vista native to fall ill and die, the Irish Times reported citing a toxicology report.

The flight crew handcuffed Gurjao at some point during his drug-induced fit. He reportedly bit a Portuguese passenger trying to help him through a seizure, a witness told the Times.

“You could hear him to start to … well, screaming isn’t quite the word,” the witness told the Dublin-based paper. “It was a guttural noise, like a wounded animal.”

via Passenger on Aer Lingus flight died with cocaine in stomach – NY Daily News.

Well, he sure put the kilo in “keel over.”

He died stoned out of his gourd. For some people, that’s the culmination of their real life’s dream, as illustrated by what they do, a much better indicator of what people believe that the sweet untruths of what they say. 

Maybe Gurjao was one of those.  Still, he merits a small degree of sympathy. We have had occasion to meet many people who have overcome substance abuse (mostly, we admit, alcoholics, but some dopers too). We’ve seen some people give essential course correction to a life that was off track, and subsequently become beacons of light in their circles and community, or at least, decent human beings and good examples to their families. Poor Gurjao might have been one of these, some day.

Instead, he’s dead, barely out of boyhood. And it’s his own damned fault.

We blame bad judgment and the widespread availability of firearms, but mostly bad judgment.

Wonder which passenger on the flight had the other kilo? Usually, there’s one or two unwitting decoys, sacrifices to bait the customs agents, and a real mule to saunter through while the agents are high-fiving one another over their collar. Gurjao  smells like a decoy.

The Unaccountable VA

VA-veterans-affairsExcerpts from an Op-Ed by Congressman Gus Bilirakis with the hyper-optimisitic title, “Holding the VA Accountable.

Good luck with that.

Earlier this year, a Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General report found “serious” problems with enrollment data for veterans seeking healthcare. The VA’s inspector general confirmed that nearly 900,000 military veterans have officially pending applications for healthcare. Of those 900,000, an estimated 307,000 veterans listed died before their applications for care were processed.

Our worst fears were confirmed by these reports. Our efforts to improve the VA have taken on a greater urgency. ….

One concrete example of how Congress intervened to provide relief to Veterans was through passage of the Choice program, which was enacted a year ago. The law was intended to ensure veterans had better access to care through the use of community providers; however, its implementation has been woefully inadequate.

Just last week, we held a hearing to examine how the Choice program has been implemented. The testimony indicated that too many veterans are still struggling to receive care in a timely manner, as the VA has instituted many procedural barriers and demonstrated poor coordination and communication in all aspects of the program rollout.

via Holding the VA accountable | Washington Examiner.

This shouldn’t surprise Bilirakis, who is the vice-chairman of the responsible committee in Congress, for crying out loud. Indeed, his own constituents, he admits, are getting the usual $#+ sandwich service for which the VA is well known:

These concerns have been echoed by many local veterans from the Tampa Bay, Fla., area who report continued delays and unnecessary burdens accessing care. They are facing egregious wait times and lack of coordination between the VA and local healthcare providers when attempting to even set up appointments.

We’ve already announced a much better approach that Bilirakis’s idea of more grandstanding at more hearings. (It’ll be great for his re-election, no doubt, but won’t do a Goddamned thing for the vets). We take the moment to restate our policy here:

Burn it to the ground. Close VA. Fire every employee, with the same ban on government employment that the PATCO payroll patriots got after their illegal strike. (The good ones will land on their feet in the private sector. The bad 90% — who cares about them? Not the vets they’ve made a career of screwing. Screw ’em back). Give the eligible vets access to Medicare, like seniors. Sell the usable facilities and the land they’re on to the highest bidder.


Polymer 80% Glock Frames Available for Pre-Order

Well, it had to happen, and sooner rather than later. An ATF-approved Glock-off frame that a home hobbyist can complete himself, producing a legal “Ghost Glock.”


Like any Glock frame, it’s adaptable to multiple uppers (and therefore calibers) that suit the same generation (it’s made for Glock G3 parts) and length (full length, a la G17) receiver. One frame supports two slides, three calibers, and nine Glock model-equivalents.


The frame is not only incomplete, requiring several areas to be milled or drilled out, but also Glock spare and aftermarket parts just went up in price, and some enterprising fellow that can assemble complete kits is going to have a good business. (Polymer-80 promises them, too, in the unspecified future sometime after the January, 2016 predicted date for the lowers).

Here’s some of what they say about it on their intro page:

Let’s switch gears now and briefly talk about the pistol frame design and all of its features and benefits.

The high level overview is this frame is designed as an 80% frame, and includes all the necessary end mill bits and drill bits, along with the Jig to assist completing your pistol project accurately. Most people use a drill press with a cross vise to mill out the product, many folks have drill presses sitting in their garages, or can find someone who has one available to borrow. The frame accepts Glock17 9mm slides, as well as the Glock 40 caliber slide. The Smith and Wesson 40cal slide is also compatible with the Sig357 barrel configuration, which essentially gives you 3 different calibers to choose from.

Unlike the Glock, this frame includes a uniquely extended beaver-tail, and most notably a super tactical 1911 pistol grip rather than the standard glock styled pistol grip. Even better, this pistol grip includes a built in flared magwell for speed loading. This feature will surely be a favorite amongst competition shooters who require speed and accuracy.

We note that the original 3D printed (yes!) prototype they submitted to the ATF to approval had a more traditional Glock grip angle, as this ATF photo shows:


“NFC” is a reference to the ATF’s reference collection of firearms. This image is not entirely square on, but you can see how the angle of the grip has been reduced:


The front of the trigger guard appears now to be orthogonal to the barrel axis (that’s 90º for you CMF 55 ammunition handlers). The Picatinny rail and aggressively flared magwell of the prototype have been retained.

Finally, the areas that need to be milled out to complete this project include:

  • The barrel bridge
  • The top rails of the receiver
  • The slide guide rails

Once completed, you insert the custom locking block which comes with the kit, it provides additional metallic rails up front.

We assume (that dread word) that the locking block has weight enough to meet the so-called Undetectable Firearms Act metallic minimum.

They also have a Q&A here, promising “build, buy, shoot” kits later, and multiple colors.

The ATF letter for the Polymer-80 “Spectre” [.pdf] (formerly called the GC9) demonstrates that the part is approved by Firearms Technology Branch (FTB) as “not a receiver”  (the pistol reciever blank is discussed after the firm’s .308 “Warhogg” polymer receiver blank).

In case Polymer-80 is hit by a truck, here’s our OCR’d copy of the letter: ATF Determination Letter for Polymer 80 OCR.pdf

Lessons from the ATF Letter

There are three points we learned from the ATF letter that are extremely interesting to us, and probably each is worth a post on its own to explore in depth:

  1. The submission was not a final injection-molded partial receiver. (Polymer-80 is up front about the fact that they’re using customer deposits to have the complex multi-part mold made). Instead, Polymer-80’s attorney submitted the part in an additive-manufactured form that was dimensionally identical to the proposed injection-molded part, but possibly manufactured from different plastic. This was insightful on Polymer-80’s part opens up a lot of possibilities for both firearms and near-gun part designers to submit for ATF designation earlier in the design process. (An approval letter will help with fundraising).
  2. As is customary for FTB, The letter goes to great lengths to disclaim any applicability to any other case. It is the ATF’s position that these decisions are non-precedential, and can change any time with the whim of FTB, or more seriously, the real managers of ATF, the chief counsel’s office. This is their document, in the instant case, today; they do not wish to be held to it at any future date or in any future location.
  3. The FTB letter goes into depth about the part’s non-firearm status under the Gun Control Act, 18 USC § 921(a)(3)(B), but also fires a shot across Polymer-80’s bow, noting that they are also regulated by Washington’s latest anti-gun agency, the State Department:

Please be aware, while not classified as a “firearm”; the submitted items are each classified as a “defense article” as defined in 27 CFR § 447.11. The US Department of State (USPS) regulates all exports from, and particular imports into, the United States. Firearms, parts, and accessories for firearms are all grouped as “defense articles” by the USDS and overseen by there Directorate of Defense Trade Controls. Information regarding import/export of defense articles can be found on their website at

This also comes, no doubt, from the extremely anti-gun Chief Counsel’s Office in conjunction with their fellow DC anti-gunners at State. It represents not only State’s grab for extra-legislative anti-gun regulatory powers, but an attempt at implementing the signed, but unsubmitted for ratification, UN Small Arms (gun ban) Treaty.


Hat tip, Mike at ENDO, one of our 2013 Wednesday Weapons Websites of the Week. Mike notes that it might be a bigger seller at a lower price. Our guess is that the firm must recoup its mold-making expenses. (Priced injection-molding molds lately? They’re a task for a very limited subset of machinists and machine shops, although for small parts and short runs you can improvise a mold with epoxy facings on an aluminum frame). In the long run, prices may come down, especially if there is market competition.

Hmm… who’s got a good 3D file of a G3 Glock lower?

Sunday’s Slow Start

It is Sunday, and we are back in Hog Manor, to the wailing and gnashing of teeth of the other residents, except Small Dog, who was atypically (for the family; typically, for a dog) glad to see us.

We arrive amidst a severe Diet Dr Pepper drought, which makes the two cans sacrificed to the false gods of TSA yesterday all the more poignant a loss. When time to render unto Caesar arrives later today, we shall circulate around the various retailers until we have scored the precious brown fluid, essential to maintaining the serotonin levels required for sustained gun-blogging.

It was a very good trip, and shall be repeated soon. At the moment, we are all dressed up to exercise, and have discovered the old mercury thermostat in the music room / exercise room, which is inexplicably its own heat zone, has gone the way of all ancient electrics, and has flickered its soul to the wind. There are, in fact, some rather alarming scorch marks inside that provide some clue as to the modality of its demise. This sort of simple, low-voltage, two-wire mercury thermostat is no longer made, so we shall have to substitute something for it.

Since the change from mercury switches was driven by EPA, not technology, we expect the substitute to suck like an EPA-approved vacuum cleaner wouldn’t. We’ve half a mind to release the mercury into the environment as payback.

In the meantime, exercising in NH ambient temperatures will not be terribly bracing, as the mild weather has mostly continued. (We doubt the temperature drop has been so kind to the musical instruments). At present it’s freezing out, and it will only get into the high thirties, according to the Apple weather app, but Apple and the Weather Channel agree that the week will see high temps around fifty, so that better days for catching up on neglected work on the grounds lie ahead. Most importantly, it’s past time to drain and seal the fountain till spring (you really don’t want to deal with a freeze-cracked fountain. Don’t ask how we know this).

In the spring, we’ll also have to have a real electrician replace the hack that got us through the fountain season, with something that’s, well, done by a real electrician and up to code. Or we’ll pay a guy with a bulldozer to put an end to the beastly thing.

So today is off to a slow start. But actually we’re pacing ourselves for tonight’s airplane building session.

(At some time today we’ll post yesterday’s overdue Saturday Matinee (Bridge of Spies, still in theatres) as well as the TW3 for Thanksgiving Week. But we can’t say for sure when -Ed.) 

That Was the Week that Was: 2015 Week 47

That was the week that was TW3This was a holiday and travel week combined, and while we held up our end apart from taking Thanksgiving off (all right: we held up our end until Saturday, where we didn’t post the Matinee and this on time), we saw a considerable defection of readers in the site stats… which we certainly hope was occasioned by you guys doing analog stuff with live human families.

Or playing video games, if that’s what you wanted to do. It’s a free country.

We were ahead of the scheduling curve throughout the week. We do warn that in the weeks ahead we may reduce the posting schedule a bit to accommodate meatworld life.

The Boring Statistics

This week’s statistics show a dramatic decline, both on our end and the reader end.  In an average week we make 27 posts, and with Thanksgiving off we only posted 24, and only about 16,000 words. We posted about 3,000 less than usual, then. If we passed any significant milestone this week, we didn’t note it, but we have posted over 900,000 words this year so far (and you have helped us to a total of over 13,000 comments and counting this year). Our average post was 695 words long, and the median was 548, not a lot of shift there.

See, we told you the statistics were boring.

Comments This Week

Comments were predictably light as this is a major holiday week in the USA. All in all, there were only 222 comments this week, exactly two-thirds of the 333 on the clock for the prior week. Most commented post was Monday’s How Big Should a Recon Team Be? with 27.

The Week in Posts

Here’s the recap of our posts for this week:

We then took the day off, with no posts (instead of a usual Thursday’s four) on Thanksgiving Day.

Going Forward

Last week, we expected this past week to be a little thin on posts. It was, but on a week when relatively few were reading, anyway. We expect next week to be a return to ordinary with an ordinary 27 posts and 300-odd comments.

Saturday Matinee 2015 047: Bridge of Spies (2015)

Bridge of Spies posterTom Hanks is Jim Donovan, a lawyer who handles insurance disputes. Donovan is good at it: personal injury lawyers and tort lawyers know that most of these cases will never see a trial, and they start with a good idea of how the settlement will look, but Donovan is good at negotiations. It is a skill that will soon have national importance.

While Donovan is handling insurance cases, three other groups of people are converging on the storyline in different places:

  • In New York, FBI agents are closing in on a Soviet spy who used the name Rudolf Abel;
  • In Berlin, the East German quisling government is preparing to wall off its border, and an American student is at risk of being separated from his German professor, and more to the point, the professor’s daughter;
  • In a series of remote airfields, a cadre of carefully selected pilots is introduced to a top-secret spyplane.

Soon enough, the US has a Communist agent in custody; the Communists hold a shot-down spyplane pilot and a student; and everybody, it seems, wants to make a deal. What the US needs is a master negotiator who’s not connected to the government.

Abel (Mark Rylance) in the dock, with Donovan (Tom Hanks) as his attorney.

Abel (Mark Rylance) in the dock, with Donovan (Tom Hanks) as his attorney.

Enter James B. Donovan.

Acting and Production

Look, it’s a Spielberg film with Tom Hanks. You’ve seen this team before. The remainder of the cast deliver noteworthy performances across the board. The standout is Mark Rylance as Soviet spy Colonel “Rudolf Abel.” Rylance delivers Abel’s often deadpan-humorous lines with just the tiniest eye crinkle of the born joker.

Abel handles an encrypted message.

Abel handles an encrypted message.

“Aren’t you afraid?” Donovan asks Abel at a tense point.

“Would it help?” Abel shoots back.

The younger actors, like Austin Stowell as Lt. Francis Gary Powers, disappear into their parts. But some small parts are played to eleven by old pros Alan Alda and Sebastian Koch (who played the playwright in the German sensation The Lives of Others 10 years ago).

A great deal of money was spent on the production; sometimes, it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.

Accuracy and Weapons

The tension in this movie does not depend on guns at center stage; when they’re present, they’re peripheral, and their menace is implied. They are, however, generally accurately displayed; American, Russian, and East German armed personnel have the right weapons, mostly, for the period.

Bridge of Spies Ossis

One slip is the use of American half-tracks as East German vehicles. While Russia received thousands of the tracks under lend-lease, by the early 1960s they were long retired in favor of native Russian and Soviet vehicles.

Where the movie excels is the evocation of the period of the late 1950s and early sixties. A thousand small details of costumes and sets make it happen:  the vehicles are quite accurate. Unlike the average movie that’s supposed to be set in 1961, where every car on screen is a 1961 model, these “1961” roads show a mixed bag of 1961 and earlier cars. Abel goes off to jail in a Plymouth with fins.

Bridge of Spies Abel

The bottom line

Bridge of Spies is something some of us know well: a slice of the Cold War. As usual for a Spielberg film, it has an uplifting message, laid on thickly enough to suggest the director has a low opinion of the wits of his audiences. It’s a fun flick and well worth a couple hours of your time while it’s still on big screens.

For more information

This is the book the film is based on:

This is Donovan’s own (co-written) book; this is a paperback reprint edition, but the Kindle edition is only $1.99:

This is a biography of Donovan:

These sites relate to this particular film.

  • DVD page:

  • IMDB page:

  • IMFDB page:

  • Rotten Tomatoes review page:

  • Wikipedia  page:

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Antifreeze

Whacky Jackie Patrick -- the murderous wife

Wacky Jackie Patrick — the murderous wife

While we’ve heard of creeps poisoning animals, especially dogs, with antifreeze, we’ve never heard of it being used on humans before.

Well, there’s a first time for everything.

Following family arguments, Jacqueline Patrick, 55, twice tried to kill her husband Douglas, 70, in October and on Christmas Day 2013, by spiking his cherry Lambrini, a drink favored by teenagers looking to get drunk on a low budget.

“Perhaps most shocking of all was the note she gave to the London Ambulance Service purporting to be from her husband, stating that he did not wish to be resuscitated,” Detective Inspector Tracey Miller, of London’s Metropolitan Police, said in a statement.

She was undone, appropriately enough for an English would-be murderess, by her poor grasp of the English language.

The forged note showed a misspelling of the word dignity as “dignerty.” When police later asked her to write the word, Jacqueline Patrick made the same mistake.

Kids, this is why they teach you spelling.

Another would-be Professor Moriarty that didn’t particularly challenge Inspector Lestrade’s so-so investigative chops.

The couple’s daughter Katherine, 21, was sentenced to three years in jail after admitting to inciting her mother to poison her father, while Jacqueline pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder at the family’s south London home.

Douglas Patrick was rushed to a hospital fighting for his life, and tests revealed he was suffering from antifreeze poisoning.

“His wife was informed who then told doctors she thought Mr. Patrick may have drunk a blue liquid by mistake. The hospital, finding it strange that she hadn’t volunteered this information earlier, called police,” said the police statement.

Look, kids, if you’re going to commit awful crimes and then brazen ’em out, you need to learn one simple mnemonic: DAMN.

This is secret SF O&I tradecraft we’re giving up here, so pay attention.

Deny everything
Admit nothing
Make counteraccusations
Never change your story.

Daffy Kathy Patrick -- the homicidal daughter

Daffy Kathy Patrick — the homicidal daughter

We see a major failure of several points on here. Of course, once PC Plod/Inspector Lestrade got going, it was all but over for our heroines. Because these two criminal masterminds were also no-gos at the secure communications station.

Mother and daughter’s mobile phones were seized and revealed a series of incriminating exchanges, including “I got the stuff I will give him some later delete txt tell no one ok,” and “He feels sick again I gave him more delete this.”

She might have gotten away with poisoning her husband if not for one spelling mistake | New York Post.

No word on what is going on with the husband/father of these two inept would-be Lucrezia Borgias. It’s our understanding that anti-freeze poisoning can cause permanent damage even when it’s not fatal, and the guy was already 70 years old.

Well, they wanted him out of their life. Now they’ve got what they want, unless he starts coming on Visiting Day.

Failing Upward at the VA

The face of evil. No, not Cruella DeVil (although the error is excusable), this is crooked Kimberly Graves taking the Fifth in front of the Senate.

The face of evil. No, not Cruella DeVil (although the error is excusable), this is crooked Kimberly Graves taking the Fifth in front of the Senate.

A week after a sham “demotion” resulting from corruption that triggered a criminal referral, the VA’s Kimberly Graves miraculously bounced back with a promotion to Assistant Director of the troubled Phoenix Regional Benefits Office. No doubt she will clean up, uh, clean it up.

We mean, really, doesn’t that just look like a face you can trust? And nothing says “trust me” like lawyering up and taking the Fifth.

The promotion comes with a plush transfer and moving allowance. Naturally.

Kimberly Graves, found to have “inappropriately used her position for personal and financial benefit” by the Veterans Affairs’ Office of the Inspector General, still faces the possibility of criminal charges as a criminal referral has been submitted to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C.

via Senior VA Official Demoted for Unethical and Possibly Criminal Behavior Gets New Job — Even Democrats Say It’s ‘Completely Unacceptable’ | Video |

VA-veterans-affairsCurrent VA Secretary McDonald seems to have been completely captured by the thoroughly corrupt, incompetent central bureaucracy of the sprawling agency.

Here’s a suggestion: close the VA. Just put every qualified vet on Medicare with the seniors. Dump the bureaucrats at today’s VA into the Dreaded Private Sector. The Mercedes dealers, jewelers, prep schools for their snob kids, and yacht brokers will get over the financial shock in due course.


Before we could even go live with this report, this new outrage came across our transom:

Officials with the Department of Veterans Affairs spent millions of taxpayer dollars promoting the Affordable Care Act to veterans who didn’t even need the coverage, but have dedicated relatively few resources to helping veterans on the agency’s long waiting list get access to their benefits, internal documents show.

Indeed, Read The Whole Thing™: they deliberately misled the vets so as not to have to deal with them.

Close it. Send them home. They’re not helping anything but themselves and their DC cronies.

SARCO has Bren Gun Kits!

SARCO is celebrating Thanksgiving with some deals, but also has dug back into the warehouse and found some Bren Gun kits. These have not been on the market much lately. The good news is that two of these old torch demils include original barrels:

SARCO Bren Mk.1 kit

SARCO Bren Mk.1 kit. Included mags not shown.

They also include some magazines and accessories, which vary by mark. For example, the Mk. I illustrated above includes five .303 magazines, and an original barrel SARCO calls “good.” On the Mk.3 kit, they rate the included barrel (a Mk. 2 and not the shorter Mk.3) “very good” and include it and five magazines (which are not shown in the kit picture).


Sarco Bren Mk.3 Kit. Included Mk.2 barrel (which does fit) and mags not shown.

The bad news? Those torch-cut receivers are almost certainly not rebuildable, at least, not economically so. If the cuts fall in critical areas of the receiver, or if there’s too much material removed, there are no easy fixes.

And any rewelded receiver must be heat-treated.

Finally, they have a true rarity, although it is barrel-less at the moment: the L4A3 7.62 NATO version. This comes with just one mag, and they’re working on having a new-production barrel which will be offered at additional cost as soon as they are available.

Bren L4A3 kit. Included magazine (1) not shown.

Bren L4A3 kit. Included magazine (1) not shown.

The reweld cautions with the other kits need to be observed here, too. In our judgment, building these guns is possible (if you’re lucky about where the cuts are) but extremely challenging and time-consuming.