Russiagate Open Thread: Hey, Remember Maria Butina?

“Treason? Well, everybody does it!” — the mail-order-bride mating cry of the Amurkin Deplorable.

My week google-fu isn’t showing me any breaking news on Butina, but I assume MSNBC ran this clip yesterday for some reason beyond nostalgia…



Every Man His Own Master Open Thread: Crypto-Anarchy Now!

It’s always projection with this guys, isn’t it? Per the Austin Statesman:

Austin police are working with international authorities to bring Cody Wilson, an Austin man at the center of a debate about 3D-printed guns, back to the country from Taiwan to face a sexual assault charge filed in Travis County on Wednesday…

Wilson missed a scheduled flight back to the United States and is thought to have left the country after a friend of the 16-year-old sexual assault victim told him that police were investigating him, Officer said…

The affidavit said a counselor called Austin police on Aug. 22 to report that a girl under the age of 17 told her she had sex with a 30-year-old man on Aug. 15 and was paid $500.

In a forensic interview on Aug. 27, the girl told authorities that she created an account on SugarDaddyMeet.com, and began exchanging messages with a man who used the username “Sanjuro,” the affidavit said…

“During this conversation, ‘Sanjuro’ identified himself as ‘Cody Wilson.’ Victim said that ‘Sanjuro’ described himself to the victim as a ‘big deal,’ ” the affidavit said.

Investigators compared the profile photos used on the SugarDaddyMeet.com account to Wilson’s driver’s license photo, and determined that they were of the same person, the affidavit said…

Of course, there’s an argument to be made that 16-year-olds ought to be able to trade sex for money, and I’m sure that argument is already being shared by Wilson’s defenders. On the other hand, when a man already has a page on the SPLC’s Hatewatch list…

Cody Wilson is the co-founder and CEO of Defense Distributed, a company which operates in the gray area between the gun manufacturing world and the online maker community, and he is the creator of Hatreon, a racist “alt-right” crowdfunding site…

… is performing transactions on SugarDaddyMeet.com really the mark of a Genius Brain?

Extra bonus Captain Obvious points:



Our Sterling Folks In Blue

This has been much discussed, but not here:

a Dallas police officer will be facing manslaughter charges after shot and killed a 26-year-old man in his own apartment. The officer, who has not been identified, thought she had gone into her own apartment when she had actually gone into her neighbor’s home and apparently thought he was an intruder.

The strange series of events unfolded Thursday night, when the white patrol officer went into her apartment building after working a full shift. The officer, who was still wearing her police uniform, for some reason tried to go into her neighbor’s apartment rather than her own. That’s when she saw her neighbor, 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean, and shot him.

The cop, still unnamed, because the blue line is a thing, called in the shooting, but was not immediately questioned, because, as I may have said recently, the blue line is a thing.

The man she killed, who was black, cannot, of course, speak for himself.  This is the inadequate-because-words-are-always-inadequate gloss on who his family lost:

Jean, a native of Saint Lucia, was a graduate of Harding University in Arkansas and was an employee at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Dallas. He was known as a worship leader at the university, where officials mourned his death at chapel services Friday. “The entire Harding family grieves today for the loss of Botham Jean, who has meant so very much to us. Please join us in praying for Botham’s friends and family,” the university said in a statement.

At this moment, it’s impossible to say how the unnamed officer made her mistake, or even if it was a mistake.  If this cop really did not know where she was, that leads to the next question: what kind of training makes the first response to a surprise a leap to irrevocable deadly violence?

What does the Dallas police department teach its people, and if this wasn’t that — what was this cop doing on the job?

That is: the person directly responsible for what looks like the cold-blooded murder of an unarmed citizen in his own home is the one who pulled the trigger. But behind that catastrophic act lies a whole mental infrastructure built around the holy gun.  The impulse to solve a problem with a bullet isn’t innate: it’s learned and cultivated.

By a death cult.

Image: Giusseppe Arcimboldo, Fire, 1566








NRA Ghoul Phones It In

It seems like NRA spokes-ghouls used to follow a protocol after mass shootings. They’d clam up for 48 hours or so, then reemerge to tut-tut the “politicization” of the tragedy before suggesting more guns as a solution.

No more. Here’s NRA spokes-ghoul Dana Loesch cutting straight to the prescription from Dr. Death before the blood was even mopped up in Jacksonville:

So, either everyone is strapped for a shoot-out, Wild West style, or people who attend public events must enter a police state environment. Because God forbid that gun-humping weirdos who hoard weapons and stockpile ammo should be inconvenienced even half as much as a citizen who wants to vote.

BTW, the Jacksonville shooting took place at a video game conference that was being live-streamed. A video that captures the audio of the shooting is all over the media. I wish I hadn’t heard it. But it would be great if someone could hack the sound system at NRA headquarters and the GOP cloakroom and play it on continuous loop.



3D Printed Guns or Dude Why are These Shards of ABS Plastic Sticking Out of My Hand and Other Parts of My Body?

There’s been some chatter in the comments over the past several days over the DOJ settling with the anarcho-libertarian who set up a company to make the blueprints for 3D printing guns and gun parts readily available and to sell his own CNC machine so that people can machine gun parts at home using the blueprints available from him. Yesterday a Federal judge issued a temporary restraining order on the release of the blueprints by Defense Distributed. The simple truth is the temporary restraining order is pointless. The CAD files are available from download at numerous other sites on the Internet. As all good browncoats know, you can’t stop the signal!

Before anyone starts to freak out because people will be able to 3D print their firearms, you can’t 3D print any form of firearm that is going to do much but blow up in your hands after a few shots. The plastics just can’t take the pressures. So you can get a shot or two plastic zip gun and maybe that’s it. Even the highest end, most advanced 3D printers that can print metal aren’t advanced enough to fabricate a decent firearm that is going to be sturdy enough. If you’re looking to print a new butt stock or the grip module for say a SIG P320 or a Beretta APX – both of which have a removable fire control unit that under Federal law is the serialized gun – then 3D printing is fine. But printing the lower receiver for an AR pattern rifle, which is the serialized part of an AR pattern rifle and therefore technically/legally the gun, is just stupid. All you’re going to do is hurt yourself because the plastic lower receiver can’t take the pressures. And you can’t print barrels out of 3D plastic filament that can handle the pressures either.

Not to rag on SIG Sauer, but SIG just released a brand new subcompact pistol, the P365. It is a similar concept to their P320, which with a couple of modifications, is the new duty side arm for the military the M17 (full size) M18 (compact). The actual firearm for both the P320 and the P365, according to the law, is the removable fire control unit (FCU), which is the serialized part. The slide is machined steel. The FCU, the return spring, the striker, the trigger springs, etc are all machined. Either directly produced or by metal injected molding (MIM). The trigger is plastic and the grip module (frame), is polymer. The magazines are metal. SIG spent significant amounts of money designing, creating a prototype, testing a prototype, etc. In the first several months of the production run they’ve been making rolling adjustments to both the production process and the design of several parts as a small number of problems have been reported. Initially it was barrel peening because of the fit between slide and barrel as it returned to lock up. Then it was a problem with the trigger spring on the FCU, as well as issues with the striker.

This is not surprising. There has not, as far as I know, been a new handgun debuted that hasn’t had production teething issues. Largely because they are mass produced items where the parts have slight variations while still technically being in spec. SIG has this problem with the new P365. They had a different issue that came to light last year with the P320. In fact Springfield Armory, which just rolled out a new variant of their pistol that is a direct competitor to the P365, has also introduced a marketing campaign that takes direct aim at the new competition without naming the competition.

Remington has had significant trigger problems with the triggers on one of their best selling shotguns. There are so many of these shotguns in circulation that it will take them decades, if not hundreds of  years, to replace all the triggers if they do nothing but replace triggers 24/7. GLOCK, known for their GLOCK Perfection advertising campaign, have had several issues as they move from generation to generation or introduce new items within a generation. And these are just ones I can think of off the top of my head. And that’s before we mention that even in a perfected, if you will, firearm, because there are always some variations in production runs of parts, even a largely reliable, trouble free firearm line will produce the occasional lemon.

If the professionals, with professional gunsmiths and hundreds of years of experience among those gunsmiths, have teething issues in their professionally manufactured and assembled firearms, all the 3D printed ones made at home are going to do is get a lot of people self perforating with ABS plastics. Unless and/or until the 3D printing technology, specifically the 3D printing technology for metal, gets a lot more advanced and a lot cheaper for personal purchase and use, all that is going to happen is that people trying to make ghost guns are going to be just as likely to blow their hands up as hit what they might be aiming at with a roll your own gun made of plastic filament. And then the lawsuits for damages will start. The 3D printing manufacturers will claim that injured people need to sue the anarcho-libertarian pushing to publish the plans. And then he’ll be in a lot of legal jeopardy.

Obligatory musical accompaniment:

Open thread!



Twitter for Neighborhood Busybodies

Good lord, y’all. Are any of you on the Nextdoor app? It’s a neighborhood-specific social media thingy where people can post yard sale notices, advertise items for sale, complain about road work, provide alerts about upcoming local events, etc.

But “Crime & Safety” is where the real action is. The crime rate is low in my town, but apparently I’m surrounded by nitwits who do nothing but watch Fox News segments on MS-13 by day and stand armed watch in their darkened lanais after the sun goes down, scrutinizing passersby via surveillance cameras and passing judgment on teenagers’ dress (pull up your pants! take off that hoodie!) and intentions.

I’d rather see a horde of saggy-pantsed, be-hoodied teens on my lawn than any one of these armed, bloodthirsty, middle-aged drama llamas who are so clearly eager to shoot anyone who steps on their property.

Open thread!



Russiagate / NRA Open Thread: Mariia Butina, ‘Manliness’ Enhancer…


 
… by any means necessary!

She gave the Repubs what they were looking for: Attention from a ‘hot chick’ who publicly admired their massive weaponry, political astuteness, and general VIRTUE. In the heat of the moment, it didn’t seem important to ask what she might be looking for in return…

It’s hard to tell how much of the story 29-year-old Russian graduate student Maria Butina told Americans about herself for years is real.

What is clear is that in Butina, the Russian government either found or created an irresistible persona for US conservatives. The story she repeated over years of speeches and interviews — of a scrappy girl from Siberia fighting for gun rights in Russia — was carefully calibrated to show a passion for self-defense, a yearning for America’s easy access to guns, and a hint of criticism of Russia’s own laws…

People who spoke to BuzzFeed News about their interactions with her, as well as a review of her interviews, writings, and extensive social media posts, paint a picture of someone who knew how to push all the right conservative buttons.

Hers was a startlingly effective performance.

By the time she appeared on the popular radio show of evangelical author Eric Metaxas, who later endorsed Trump and served on his evangelical advisory council, her life story — or at least what she said was her life story — rolled off her tongue with practiced ease.

“My story is simple — my father is a hunter, I was born in Siberia,” she explained in the July 2015 interview, echoing previous talking points in which she often drew parallels to parts of the US, like South Dakota, where guns are “necessary for survival” to defend lives and property.

“That seems appropriate, somehow,” Metaxas interrupted, sounding delighted, when she described founding her gun rights organization in a “Moscow version of a McDonald’s,” telling her friends “we need to fight for our gun rights.”

“Wow, I just love the idea of this,” he said. “To think…because you know, those of us in America can be very parochial, we forget that the fight for liberty goes on for all around the globe in different guises.”

Butina also seemed to know exactly what a conservative evangelical audience would want to hear, earnestly speaking about the growing number of churches in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the “great history of Christian religion” that she had in common with US evangelicals, her audience.

“When we talk about Russian and American relationships, the main point is Christianity, in both countries,” she told Metaxas…
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