Thursday, June 16, 2011

My, it's busy out there

I've been trying to keep up with the Gunwalker hearings; here's something new, that also involves guns smuggled into Mexico and a ATF biggie named Gillett:
In Operation Wide Receiver, Tucson agents allowed the sales of more than 500 firearms to known straw purchasers. Like Gunrunner/Fast and Furious, the operation apparently backfired.

Some firearms in Wide Receive were equipped with RFID tracking devices. In Wide Receiver, it seems the illegal purchasers seemed more than slightly knowledgeable of the way the ATF and how to take their aerial and electronic tracking procedures down.

Knowing the time aloft numbers for virtually all planes used in government surveillance, the buyers had a simple method of getting their purchases across the border undetected. They simply drove four-hour loops around the area.

As surveillance planes were forced to return to base for re-fueling, the smugglers simply turned and sprinted their cargo across the border.

The RFID tags also turned out to be problematic.

Rather than making large enough holes for the tags to be laid out inside weapons, agents force-fit them into the rifles.

That cramming caused the antennae to be folded, reducing the effective range of the tags. And an already short battery life (36-48 hours maximum) meant that should purchasers allow the firearms to sit, the tracking devices eliminated themselves.

This sounds like something out of "The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight" but it's not.

To date, Wide Receiver hasn't really amounted to much in the way of interdiction, enforcement or prosecution, despite the huge amounts of surveillance video and audio evidence collected and the millions of dollars expended.

To date, sources tell us the only charges filed in the ongoing investigation are for falsifying Form 4473s. Not much of a return on an investigation that consumed millions of dollars in man-hours and money and placed the lives of law-abiding firearms dealers and their families in jeopardy
One guy calls it Gunrunner II; I don't doubt Issa and Grassley have been told about it.
Pic from Michelle Malkin
SiH says the CSGV should be ashamed at what they're doing; but that would require they have a sense of honor, or shame, or some integrity.

"So we've had three House Speakers convicted of felonies; why should we change anything?"
One indignant pol even took personal offense when a Herald reporter asked if the guilty verdict would change the culture at the State House.

“What has to be changed on Beacon Hill? Why would you say something like that?” snapped state Sen. Steven Tolman (D-Brighton).

“That’s outrageous. Come on. There are 199 people up here that work their hearts out — 200 people — every single day. I’m insulted,” Tolman said, correcting himself on the total number of legislators
Yeah, no indication at all that something in the culture of the place needs to change, no sir!

Back to Gunwalker:
After more than two months of back-and-forth between DOJ officials and Issa’s staff, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich told lawmakers that the department was cooperating and actively working to respond to the committee’s request.

Outraged, Issa held up a piece of white paper with a giant black box of entirely redacted text on it.

“You should be ashamed of yourself,” Issa said to Weich. “It doesn’t take so long if you don’t spend your life redacting it.

“The pages go on like this forever,” he said, referencing the blackened piece of paper. “You’ve given us black paper instead of white paper. You might as well have given us a ream still in its original binder. How dare you make an opening statement of cooperation.”

Because he's a slimy little bastard with no honor. Or sense of shame. My opinion, anyway.

So, if Israel becomes a major oil-producing state... oh, that's got real potential.

Yeah, socialized medicine is just great for older folks, isn't it?

Uncle pointed to some comparisons of self-defense insurance plans

Unrelated to news, took a ride last night and found myself reflecting(after I came out of that left/right curve) on an odd thing about motorcycles: countersteering. If you're not familiar, it means you steer the front wheel in the opposite direction of where you want to go.
If you're tooling down the street in a straight line and give the handlebars a nudge to the left, you will curve right; I once read the physics description of how it works, but I can't remember it(no, it did not give me a headache). Which means, for instance, that if you realize you're a little wide to complete this turn you don't cut the throttle; you actually- for a left curve- put a little more pressure to the right on the 'bars to tighten your turn(I also shifted my weight a bit more to the inside).

This is the kind of thing that took a while to get used to on this bike. You countersteer with any bike, but in fast curves on the Vulcan I mostly leaned a bit; on this bike you have to shift your weight. For most stuff it was described by son as 'kiss the mirror': you lean yourself into the rear-view mirror on the inside of the turn. If you don't, you will not turn as fast. Which can lead to unpleasant meetings with shoulders or retaining walls. The bike's great, just took a bit of getting used to.

Over at Watt's Up,
It is totally unacceptable that IPCC should have had a Greenpeace employee as a Lead Author of the critical Chapter 10, that the Greenpeace employee, as an IPCC Lead Author, should (like Michael Mann and Keith Briffa in comparable situations) have been responsible for assessing his own work and that, with such inadequate and non-independent ‘due diligence’, IPCC should have featured the Greenpeace scenario in its press release on renewables.

Everyone in IPCC WG3 should be terminated and, if the institution is to continue, it should be re-structured from scratch
And this is about?
Steve McIntyre has uncovered a blunder on the part of Pachauri and the IPCC that is causing waves of doubt and calls for retooling on both sides of the debate. In a nutshell, the IPCC made yet another inflated claim that:

…80 percent of the world‘s energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century…

Unfortunately, it has been revealed that this claim is similar to the Himalayan glacier melt by 2035 fiasco, with nothing independent to back it up. Worse, it isn’t the opinion of the IPCC per se, but rather that of Greenpeace. It gets worse

And there are predictions of a big drop in solar activity. OK has now had blizzards two years running(almost a second this past winter, but we lucked out); I'm going to have to buy that snow shovel.

And with that, I leave you for now.

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