“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

All The Best


I want to thank everyone who participated in the Elephant Bar over the past twelve years. We had millions of visitors from all around the World and you were part of it. Over the past dozen years, two or three times a night, I would open my laptop and some of you were always there. I will miss that.

My plans are to continue my work with technology and architecture. You know my interests and thoughts.

At times, things would get a little rough in the EB. To those of you that I may have offended over the years, I apologize. From all of you, I learned and grew.

An elephant never forgets.
Be well.

Deuce, 21 June 2018

Saturday, July 09, 2016

SKS 7.62x39 Rifle - You Would Not Want to be Hit by One

Hat Tip: Doug

It does not have to be new to be lethal:

Hat Tip: Rufus

8,124 Murders by Firearm in US vs. 29 (144 equiv.) in UK

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

The United States continues to be peculiar in handing out powerful magazine-fed firearms to almost anyone who wants one and not requiring background checks on private purchases even if these are made at gun shows. 80% of civilian-owned firearms world-wide are in the US, and only Yemen vaguely competes with us for rates of firearm ownership; Yemen is a violent mess with Shiite insurgencies, al-Qaeda taking over cities from time to time, tribal feuding, southern separatism and US drone strikes. And even it has fewer guns per person than the USA.

It has gotten to the point where the increasing epidemic of mass shootings now threatens law enforcement, with the deaths of 5 policemen in Dallas at the hands of an unhinged Black ultra-nationalist.

The US is downright weird compared to civilized Western Europe or Australia (which enacted gun control after a mass shooting in 1996 and there have been no further such incidents).
I should just have a robot post this thing every week. https://t.co/obPr5Y9kBxpic.twitter.com/WugoNph1Lm
— Kieran Healy (@kjhealy) October 1, 2015
In 2013-2014 (the twelve months beginning in March), there were 29 fatalities from gun-related crimes in England and Wales (equivalent to 144 because UK is smaller than US). 

Number of Murders by Firearms, US, 2014:  8124

Suicides in US 2013: 41,149

Percentage of all murders in England and Wales that were committed by firearm: 5.4 percent.

Number of suicides in England and Wales, 2011: 4871 (equivalent to about 25,818 in US or 31% lower)

For more on murder by firearms in Britain, see the BBC.

The US has the highest gun ownership in the world and the highest murder rate in the developed world.

It seems pretty clear, as well, that many US suicides would not occur if firearms were not omnipresent.

There is some correlation between high rates of gun ownership and high rates of violent crime in general, globally (and also if you compare state by state inside the US):
In the case of Britain, firearms murders are 53 times fewer than in the US per capita. [Don’t bother with flawed citations of Switzerland or Israel, where most citizens are the equivalent of military reservists.]
Every mass shooting since Sandy Hook, mapped. https://t.co/IqqLwO7LC2pic.twitter.com/AQMoVLpWh9
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) December 2, 2015
Do hunters really need semi-automatic AR-15 assault weapons? Is that how they roll in deer season? The US public doesn’t think so.
PS this is a revised version of an older column; if they keep refusing to legislate rationally and go on causing these massacres, I can keep writing a similar column.
Related video:



    They were military veterans, husbands and fathers who served the city of Dallas – and died protecting the rights of fellow Americans to criticize their brethren in blue.

    Five police officers — four from the city’s main department and one from Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) — were killed by a racist sniper late Thursday as they guarded anti-police brutality marchers. By Friday evening, all had been identified: Brent Thompson, Michael Krol, Patrick Zamarripa, Mike Smith and Lorne Ahrens.

    Fox failed to mention that the “racist sniper” was also a veteran of Afghanistan.

  2. SAN ANTONIO — The gunman who killed five Dallas police officers Thursday was an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan,
    and one victim was a veteran of the Navy Reserve who served in Iraq, the Pentagon confirmed Friday.

    The gunman, MicahXavier Johnson, 25, of Mesquite, Texas, served most recently with the 420th Engineer Brigade out of Seagoville, Texas, as a carpentry and masonry specialist. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2013 and left the service in April 2015, according
    to his service record provided by Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Jennifer Johnson.

    One of the officers killed wasPatrick Zamarripa, 32, who served on active duty for eight years before
    moving to the Navy Reserve, according to Navy spokeswoman Lt. Jackie Pau. While his family told the Washington Post that
    Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Zamarripa served in Iraq, Pau could not confirm his Iraq Campaign Medal came from service in the country.
    Dallas transit police officer Brent Thompson, 43, also was among the dead. He helped train police in Iraq and Afghanistan as
    a contractor, according to the Associated Press

  3. ATLANTA — A gunman in a passing vehicle who opened fire on a police officer on patrol in Georgia will likely be charged
    with aggravated assault on the officer, authorities said Friday. The suspect was apprehended after a short car chase in the city
    of Roswell, just north of Atlanta, police said. No one was hit by the shots.

    The shooting happened shortly before 1 a.m. Friday, a few hours after a sniper attack killed five police officers in Dallas during a
    protest, and officers were already on edge, Roswell police Det. Zachary Former said. The 21-year-old suspect in
    the Georgia shooting was being questioned by detectives Friday morning. Police do not know of a possible motive, nor do they know
    whether the shooting was related to rising tensions amid recent police shootings of black men, Former said.

    Asked whether the shooting might be related to the Texas attacks, Former said, “Nothing right now says that it is or isn’t.”

    1. I don't think veteran vs non-vet played much of a role. White vs Black and cop vs non-cop are 5heir two primary parameters. Similarly, much to Bob's chagrin, Islam doesn't appear to have played a role.

      A new American Civil War.

    2. I don't think veteran vs non-vet played much of a role. White vs Black and cop vs non-cop are 5heir two primary parameters. Similarly, much to Bob's chagrin, Islam doesn't appear to have played a role.

      A new American Civil War.

  4. WASHINGTON — The State Department is reopening an internal investigation into possible mishandling of classified information
    by Hillary Clinton and top aides, officials told The Associated Press on Thursday. Although the former secretary of state’s closest confidants have left the agency, they could still face punishment. The most serious is the loss of security clearances,
    which could complicate her aides’ hopes of securing top positions on her national security team if she becomes president.


    Imagine that. Her underlings could not get a security clearance but the Honorable Hillary would be Commander In Chief.

  5. A newspaper carrier was killed and four people were wounded when a man armed with two guns opened fire on cars traveling along a parkway in East Tennessee early Thursday morning. A responding police officer was among those wounded. Authorities would say little
    late Thursday about the alleged shooter or what might have motivated him to open fire on passing cars in the middle of the night. He
    was wounded in an exchange of gunfire with police and has not yet been charged.

    Jennifer Rooney, 44, a mother who delivered the local newspaper,was driving to pick up papers for the morning delivery when she
    was shot and killed.



    2. Commentary: FBI director’s sleight of hand lets Clinton off the hook

      By George Parry - Philadelphia Inquirer

      As a criminal defense lawyer who has been forced by unfortunate circumstances to champion any number of hopeless causes, I wish to express my professional admiration for FBI Director James Comey's creative and, dare I say it, "Clintonian" public exoneration of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

      The FBI investigated Clinton for possible violations of a criminal statute that makes it a felony for anyone lawfully possessing information pertaining to the national defense to allow it, through "gross negligence," to be removed from its proper place of custody and disclosed. In other words, under the statute, one need not intend to cause harm. As with a drunken driver who accidentally runs down a pedestrian, "gross negligence" alone is sufficient to warrant a felony charge.

      In his press conference, Comey made it clear that Clinton had repeatedly and over a period of years stored, sent, and received "very sensitive, highly classified information" on her unclassified, nongovernment email server. But although Comey conceded that Clinton was "extremely careless" in doing so, he nevertheless concluded that she should not be charged because there was no "clear evidence" that she "intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information."

      Hit the pause button. Do you see what he did?

      Confronted by an insurmountable mountain of proof of Clinton's grossly negligent and therefore felonious mishandling of classified information, the G-man didn't flinch. Instead, with a straight face and without apparent embarrassment, he smoothly raised a totally irrelevant nonissue (lack of clear proof of intent) to give Clinton a pass. In doing so, Comey employed a time-honored rhetorical device used by criminal lawyers every day in courtrooms across America, i.e., raising an utter irrelevancy to divert, distract, confound, and confuse the jury. The unusual twist here is that instead of a slick, devious mouthpiece straight from central casting, we have no less than the FBI director himself resorting to this venerable dodge. Coming from the pinnacle of law enforcement, Comey's well-executed sleight of hand might even impart a veneer of respectability to what many have long called a cheap, pettifogging lawyer trick.

      Of course, others have been convicted on far less evidence. But unlike Clinton, they were just little people. Take, for example, naval reservist Brian Nishimura, who in 2012 was convicted of handling "classified materials inappropriately" while deployed in Afghanistan.


    3. {...}

      According to the FBI, Nishimura had access to classified materials that “could only be retained and viewed on authorized government computers.” Nishimura downloaded those materials to "his personal, unclassified electronic devices and storage media," which he carried "when he traveled off-base in Afghanistan" and, ultimately, when he returned home. Even though the FBI found no evidence that he “intended to distribute classified material to unauthorized personnel,” Nishimura was convicted of a felony, sentenced to two years' probation, fined $7,500, stripped of his security clearance, and forbidden to ever again apply for such a clearance.

      Which raises this question: If Nishimura's use of his "personal, unclassified electronic devices" was criminal, how can Clinton's wholesale use of her personal, unclassified email system to store, send, and receive top-secret information not be criminal? And in terms of potential harm to the nation's security, who exposed us to greater risk, Nishimura or Clinton?

      The next time some hapless soldier or file clerk is indicted for placing a classified file in a gym bag or otherwise mishandling government secrets, I recommend that his or her counsel place in the record the entire transcript of Comey's inspired and very helpful press conference. For if we are indeed a nation where the law applies equally to all, no one need ever again fear prosecution for negligently mishandling government secrets. After all, what's sauce for the goose must be sauce for the gander. If Hillary's not guilty of negligently mishandling government secrets, then no one else ever can be.

      Unfortunately for poor Brian Nishimura, Comey's public sheep-dipping of Hillary Clinton comes too late. He's a convicted felon and can never again apply for a security clearance. But Hillary? Thanks to Comey, she's in the clear and on her way to getting the highest security clearance of them all.

      We can only wonder what she and the money managers at the Clinton Foundation will do with all those valuable government secrets to which she will once again have official access.


      George Parry is a former state and federal prosecutor practicing law in Philadelphia. lgparry@dpt-law.com

  6. Bottom Line: The investigations confirmed that Hillary LIED. She wasn't mistaken or misled. She LIED, repeatedly. and Trump need this to dog her with this repeatedly. She is not fit to be President, repeatedly.

  7. Comey's a smart dude. He didn't want his body to be found in some wooded area around D.C.