30 September 2012

WTF cares?

Azadeh Moaven has a Time article about the effects of a strike on the Iranian nuclear facilities:

For Iranians these days, life under economic sanctions is a crescendo of hardships. With the Iranian currency at an all-time low against the dollar, shortages of essential medicines and quadrupling prices of basic goods like shampoo and bread, a sense of crisis pervades daily life. Now Iranians are worrying about one more thing: imminent death from an American or Israeli military strike.
With talk of an attack growing more feverish by the day, the mood in Iran is unsettled as never before. In their fear and worry, Iranians say they feel alone, stuck between a defiant government that clings to its nuclear ambitions and a world so unattuned to their suffering that the fatal consequences of a strike on the Iranian people has so far been totally absent from the debate. “We are close to reliving the days of the Iran-Iraq war, soon we will have to wait in line for everyday goods,” says a 60-year-old, middle-class matron from Tehran. “Things are getting worse by the day,” says a 57-year-old Iranian academic preparing to emigrate to North America. “It is better to get out now while it’s still possible.”
While Iranians are increasingly fretful of an imminent attack, they remain broadly unaware of just how devastating the human impact could be. Even a conservative strike on a handful of Iran’s nuclear facilities, a recent report predicts, could kill or injure five thousand to eighty thousand people. The Ayatollah’s Nuclear Gamble, a report written by an Iranian-American scientist with expertise in industrial nuclear-waste management, notes that a number of Iran’s sites are located directly atop or near major civilian centers. One key site that would almost certainly be targeted in a bombing campaign, the uranium-conversion facility at Isfahan, houses 371 metric tons of uranium hexafluoride and is located on the city’s doorstep; toxic plumes released from a strike would reach the city center within an hour, killing or injuring as many as seventy thousand and exposing over three hundred thousand to radioactive material. These plumes would “destroy their lungs, blind them, severely burn their skin, and damage other tissues and vital organs.” The report’s predictions for long-term toxicity and fatalities are equally stark. “The numbers are alarming,” says Khosrow Semnani, the report’s author, “we’re talking about a catastrophe in the same class as Bhopal and Chernobyl.”
Beyond those initially killed in a potential strike, the Iranian government’s lack of readiness for handling wide-scale radiation exposure could exponentially raise the death toll, Semnani says. His study, published by the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics and the nongovernmental organization Omid for Iran, outlines Iran’s poor record of emergency response and notes that its civilian casualties from natural disasters like earthquakes have been far greater than those suffered during similar disasters in better prepared countries like Turkey. With virtually no clinical capacity or medical infrastructure to deal with wide-scale radioactive fallout, or early warning systems in place to limit exposure, Iran would be swiftly overwhelmed by the aftermath of a strike. The government’s woeful unpreparedness remains unknown to most Iranians. “This issue is a redline, the Iranian media can’t go near it,” says Jamshid Barzegar, a senior analyst at BBC Persian. “To talk about this would be considered a weakening of people’s attitudes. The government only speaks of tactics and resistance, how unhurt Iran will be by an attack.”
But if the aftermath of a war remains murky to most Iranians, their anticipation of its inevitability is growing. The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Mohammad Ali Jafari, told Iranians last week that “we must all prepare for the upcoming war”. His warning, the bluntest yet by a senior official, that Iran and Israel would enter a “physical conflict”, has raised expectations of an attack among Iranians, who are typically accustomed to dismissing such talk. When reformist MP Mohammed Reza Tabesh criticized Jafari’s remarks in parliament, the hard-line majority shouted him down with cries of Allahu Akbar. “When people see their top military commander and officials speaking of the inevitability of war, the belief sinks in,” says Barzegar.
Whether Iranian officials actually think Israel is closer to launching an attack than it has been in the past, or their readiness rhetoric is meant to convey their own unflappability, the Iranian public is left with greater uneasiness and less real information than ever. Sterile media speculation in Israel and the U.S. ignores the question of civilian casualties, portraying an attack on Iran as a tidy pinpoint strike like those Israel has carried out against Iraq and Syria. Iran, for its part, claims the number of casualties it might sustain will be tolerable. “Hawks on both sides, Israel and the United States, and Iran, want to underplay the level of casualties,” says Ali Ansari, an Iran expert at Scotland’s University of St. Andrews. “But both sides are wildly wrong, there will be quite devastating consequences. It will be a mess.”

Rico says he's known some Persians, and even an Iranian or two (which is different), but he finds it hard to weep over the collateral damage of a strike that the ragheads brought on themselves. (And the women, at least, are already in their burial shrouds, so that'll make it easter...)

Halloween "Monsters"

Rico says his arch-perv friend Dave is back to his usual:



28 September 2012

Animal story for the day

Rico says his friend Tex, always a sucker for a cute story, sends this:

Soldiers in Belarus found a little squirrel and brought it to their officer. The squirrel was very weak and about to die, so the officer took care of it, feeding it like a baby every four hours. Three months ago, the guy left the Army and now works as a taxi driver. The squirrel is always in his pocket, no matter where he goes!   
Rico says the amazing thing is not the human-squirrel relationship, it's the cat-squirrel one. Rico's two cats love nothing more than sitting in the window and watching the squirrels go by outside, wanting to pounce... (And the long-eared squirrel must be a European thing; the local ones all have short ears.)

Public Service announcement

Rico says his friend Dave, safely back in arch-perv mode, sends this:
Deer season will be here before we know it. So I thought I'd better send out a reminder about what a Wyoming Whitetail looks like! No need to thank me.  It's just kinda like a public service.

Foreign language scam for the day

From: "Mr.Hasan Samara" <mr.hasansamara2@gmail.com>
Reply-To: mrhasans@voila.fr

Querido amigo,
Soy Mr. Hasan Samara. de Burkina Faso, el proyecto de ley y el intercambio gerente del banco de África (BOA), Ouagadougou
Tenía la esperanza de que no se exponga o traicionar esta confianza y seguro de que estoy a punto de reposo de usted para el beneficio mutuo de nuestras familias.
Necesito su ayuda urgente en la transferencia de la suma de (USD $ 14,5 millones) 14,5 millones de dólares estado unidos a su cuenta en 10 a 14 días hábiles. Este dinero ha estado inactivo durante años en nuestro banco sin reclamo. Quiero que el banco para liberar el dinero a usted como la persona más cercana a nuestro cliente difunto (el dueño de la cuenta) murió junto con su próxima suponía familiares en un accidente aéreo desde julio de 2000.
No quiero el dinero para ir a nuestra cuenta bancaria como tesorero de un fondo abandonado. Así que esta es la razón por la que en contacto con usted para que el banco pueda liberar el dinero a usted como a los familiares al cliente fallecido.
Por favor, me gustaría que mantener esta propuesta como alto secreto y eliminarlo si no está a la recepción de la respuesta, yo te daré todos los detalles sobre cómo el negocio será ejecutado y tener en cuenta que va a tener el 40% de la mencionada suma, si usted está de acuerdo para manejar este negocio conmigo? Y el 10% se destinará para los gastos que justifican en el proceso antes de llegar al fondo en su cuenta bancaria, tales como llamadas telefónicas, facturas (etc).
Con confianza envíe su foto o sus pasaportes internacionales para la identificación más.

(Llene esta información)

1. Su nombre completo:
2. EDAD .............
3. OCUPACIóN .......
4. FAX ..............
5. TELéFONO ........
7. PAíS ..........
8. SEXO ..............
9.PASSPORT O ID .............
Confiando en tener noticias de usted de inmediato.
Bill y gerente de cambio,
Banco de áfrica (BOA)

Life ain't fair, in case you hadn't noticed

Rico says he wonders how some people, with no sense of history, let alone filmmaking, get hold of a lot of money to make movies about it...
"Inspired by the life of Bat Masterson. After a violent war has broken out between the Cowboys and Native Americans, Bat finds himself lying on the ground, badly wounded, after a heroic showdown. Shot and on the brink of death, he is visited by Mobius. As Mobius consoles him, they revisit Bat's choices and how they have defined his life. He'll be left to make his toughest one yet, whether to live and fight or die."

Even the YouTube comments are bad:

no thankyou
ecchibear 2 days ago

Looks bad.
BigB3250 2 days ago

Scam for the day

From: gustavo.azeredo@inpa.gov.br

I'm sorry to encroach on your privacy in this manner. I am contacting you
again, regarding a substantial amount of inheritance funds belonging to my
late client whom you share the same SURNAME with which will be easy to
front you as his next of kin. Please email me for more information.


27 September 2012

Wake the fuck up

Josh Voorhees has a Slate article about Samuel L. Jackson's feelings about Obama:
Here's the new online video from the Jewish Council for Education & Research, a liberal super PAC that has had some success in the viral political ad field before. (Most notably with a video that had Sarah Silverman offering to "scissor" billionaire Sheldon Adelson.)
This one stars Samuel L. Jackson reading a roughly four-minute-long children's story to Obama supporters— complete with profanity, of course.
The general message is pretty clear from the ad's title: Wake the fuck up. As that would suggest, the video isn't meant to win over undecided voters as much as energize those existing Obama supporters who may have been considering sitting this one out.
If the online spot itself feels somewhat familiar, that's probably because it is supposed to. (It also means you're probably in the target demographic.) It again teams Jackson with Go the Fuck to Sleep author Adam Mansbach, who wrote the ad's script. Jackson's reading of Mansbach's "children's book for adults" proved to be rather popular with the kids. JCER is clearly hoping their follow-up will be too.
Rico says he couldn't have said it better himself...

Phone placement

Will Oremus has a Slate article about the new iPhone 5:
I was sitting at my desk, idly trying to fathom what had possessed Apple to put the headphone jack on the bottom of my new iPhone 5 rather than on top where it belongs, when I ran across an answer on an Apple forum that spun my world topsy-turvy. The explanation started innocently enough: “Internal space. There is not enough space in the top of the phone for the jack.” Right, an engineering decision, as I had suspected.
Still, it seemed unlike Apple to sacrifice design for performance. A bottom-mounted headphone jack means a cord poking out the bottom, an unwieldy hassle when you’re trying to listen to some tunes or a podcast while toting your phone in your pocket. Then came the spit-take: “Also, people usually put their phones upside-down in their pockets, so it works that way too.”
They do? My mind lurched to recalibrate itself around the notion. Not once in my decade-plus of mobile phone ownership had it crossed my mind to store one in this perverse manner. Could it really be that there were normal, healthy individuals who had been quietly walking around all these years with their phones stuffed in their pockets the wrong way around, like sleeping bats?
Unready to accept the far-reaching implications of this revelation, I stood up and marched over to the adjoining cube. “You guys don’t really put your phones in your pockets upside-down, do you?” I demanded. One after another, my colleagues confessed that they did just that. Not only that, they insisted that their bizarre method was “natural,” allowing them to stow and retrieve the device single-handedly without shifting their grip. In fact, they thought I was the weird one.
Now I was entirely out of sorts. Was nothing in this world what it seemed? Just as I was on the precipice of Kierkegaardian despair, one colleague piped up that she too was a right-side-upper, and that she was as baffled by the upside-downers as I. Heartened, I took another look at the online forums and saw there were plenty of people there as well who were nonplused by the bottom-mounted jack. It became clear that the smartphone world is divided into two camps, neither of which realizes that the other exists.
Until now, Apple’s phones have always favored the right-side-uppers. But its iPods made the flip years ago, and with the iPhone 5, Cupertino has come down squarely on the side of the inverted, forcing our kind to confront the contingency of a habit we had always taken for granted. (Other phone companies have experimented with bottom jacks in recent years, but they weren't Apple, so the change didn't spark any existential debates.)
It's possible to mount arguments on both sides. They are all essentially feeble— who gives a damn, in the end?— but enlivened by the vehemence of irrationality. The upside-downers, I've learned, are mystified at how we right-side-uppers must contort our elbows and wrists in order to keep our phones in an upright position while conveying them from our hands to our pockets. (It’s not that hard, I promise. Ever cut and shuffle a deck of cards?) We right-side-uppers wonder how the other half avoid constantly turning their screens on and off in their pockets, what with the power/standby buttons always bumping their legs. (Apparently this doesn’t actually happen.)
In the absence of a compelling logical reason to prefer either method, I'm left to surmise that there must be some fundamental character trait that separates the uppers from the downers. But I have no idea what that might be. Neurotics vs. slackers? Introverts vs. extraverts? Chaos muppets vs. order muppets? We need more data points. Have at it in the comments, and maybe we can get to the bottom of this once and for all.
Rico says he wonders how the hell they'd ever twist it around to get it in upright... (Rico is definitely a top-end-down guy.)

Men, alas, on their own

Mexico is angry!

Rico says his friend Dave (for once) sends something non-pornographic:
Make certain you read the part that says it will take thirty more seconds to read; this is what needs to be done, in my opinion. Please forward to all you know and ask them to forward to all they know. Maybe, together, we can make this happen!
The shoe is on the other foot and the Mexicans from the State of Sonora do not like it. Can you believe the nerve of these people? It's almost funny. The State of Sonora is angry at the influx of Mexicans into Mexico...
Nine state legislators from the State of Sonora recently traveled to Tucson to complain about Arizona 's new employer crackdown on illegals from Mexico. It seems that many Mexican illegals are returning to their hometowns, and the officials in the Sonora state government are ticked off, stating that Arizona 's new Employer Sanctions Law will have a devastating effect on the Mexican state. At a news conference, the legislators said that Sonora, Arizona's southern neighbor, is made up of mostly small towns and can not handle the demand for housing, jobs, and schools that it will face as Mexican workers return to their hometowns without jobs or money.
The law punishes Arizona employers who knowingly hire individuals without valid legal documents to work in the United States. Penalties include suspension of, or loss of, their business license. The Mexican legislators are angry because their own citizens are returning to their hometowns, placing a burden on their state government. 'How can Arizona pass a law like this?' asked Mexican Representative Leticia Amparano-Gamez, who represents Nogales. "There is not one person living in Sonora who does not have a friend or relative working in Arizona", she said, speaking in Spanish. "Mexico is not prepared for this, for the tremendous problems it will face as more and more Mexicans working in Arizona and who were sending money to their families return to their hometowns in Sonora without jobs", she said "We are one family, socially and economically", she said of the people of Sonora and Arizona.
Wrong! The United States is a sovereign nation, not a subsidiary of Mexico, and its taxpayers are not responsible for the welfare of Mexico 's citizens. It's time for the Mexican government, and its citizens, to stop feeding parasitically off the United States and to start taking care of its own needs. 

  1. There shall be no special bilingual programs in the schools.
  2. All ballots shall be in this nation's language.
  3. 3. All government business shall be conducted in the national language.
  4. Non-residents do not have the right to vote, no matter how long they are here.
  5. Non-citizens will never be able to hold political office.
  6. Foreigners will not be a burden to the taxpayers. No welfare, no food stamps, no health care, or other government assistance programs. Any burden will be deported.
  7. Foreigners can invest in this country, but it must be an amount at least equal to forty thousand times the daily minimum wage.
  8. If foreigners come here to buy land, their options will be restricted. Certain parcels, including waterfront property, are reserved for citizens naturally born in this country.
  9. Foreigners may have no protests; no demonstrations, no waving of a foreign flag, no political organizing, no bad-mouthing the president or his policies. Violations will lead to deportation.
  10. If you do come to this country illegally, you will be actively hunted and, when caught, sent to jail until your deportation can be arranged. All assets will be taken from you.
Too strict, you say?
The above laws are the current laws of Mexico!

Scam for the day

Sent from my iPhone

Mark Seymour

Begin forwarded message:

From: textyner@comcast.net
Date: September 27, 2012, 11:52:30 AM EDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Credit Card Fraud Warning

Subject: FW: Credit Card Scam (Urgent)



 This one is pretty slick since they provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece they want.

Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it... This information is worth reading. By understanding how the VISA & Master Card Telephone Credit Card Scam works, you'll be better prepared to protect yourself.

One of our employees was called on Wednesday from 'VISA', and I was called on Thursday from 'Master Card'.. The scam works like this: Caller: 'This is (name), and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My Badge number is 12460. Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank). Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a Marketing company based in ?'

When you say 'No', the caller continues with, 'Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from $297 to $497, just under the $500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address), is that correct?'

You say 'yes'. The caller continues - 'I will be starting a Fraud investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 1- 800 number listed on the back of your card (1-800 -VISA) and ask for Security.'

You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. 'Do you need me to read it again?'

Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works.


The caller then says, 'I need to verify you are in possession of your card'. He'll ask you to 'turn your card over and look for some numbers'. There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the next 3 are the security Numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you to read the 3 numbers to him. After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he'll say, 'That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?' After you say No, the caller then thanks you and states, 'Don't hesitate to call back if you do, and hangs up..

You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the Card number.. But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back within 20 minutes to ask a question.. Are we glad we did! The REAL VISA Security Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of $497.99 was cha rged to our card.

  • Long story - short - we made a real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA is reissuing us a new number
  • What the scammers want is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card Don't give it to them. Instead, tell them you'll call VISA or Master card directly for verification of their conversation. The real VISA told us that they will never ask for anything on the card as they already know the information since they issued the card!
  • If you give the scammers your 3 Digit PIN Number, you think you're receiving a credit. However, by the time you get your statement you'll see charges for purchases you didn't make, and by then it's almost too late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud report.

What makes this more remarkable is that on Thursday, I got a call from a 'Jason Richardson of Master Card' with a word-for-word repeat of the VISA scam. This time I didn't let him finish. I hung up! We filed a police report, as instructed by VISA. The police said they are taking several of these reports daily! They also urged us to tell everybody we know that this scam is happening.

  • Please pass this on to all your family, friends and neighbors. By informing each other, we protect each other.



Kip Garvey


History for the day

On 27 September 1964, the Warren Commission issued a report concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in assassinating President John F. Kennedy.

Rico says sure he did, otherwise there might've been a conspiracy...

A Guide to Concealed Carry

Rico says that, every once in awhile, The Art of Manliness has something worthwhile:

Written by Antonio Centeno, founder of Real Men Real Style
How to arrange good-looking clothing around the decidedly non-standard bulge of a handgun is a topic worth looking at. It's something that a whole range of men need to think about: police detectives, security guards, entrepreneurs in dangerous countries, and even your average American civilian who prefers to be armed.
"Concealed carry" exists for a number of reasons. When you're doing it, you want to be living up to both parts of the phrase: you want to be carrying, and have access to, a firearm, and you want it to be discreetly hidden until such time as you need it.
For some men, any jacket long enough to hide a holster is sufficient. But for most men, concealed carry needs to fit other societal expectations:
Most plainclothes peace officers will have specific dress needs; either a respectable suit or blazer to give them out-of-uniform authority, or in some cases a disguise to help them blend into their environment.
Security guards are almost always expected to dress professionally, as much for the comfort of their employer's clients as anything else. Banks and government buildings need high security, but prefer a discreet man in a blazer as opposed to a uniformed, paramilitary-looking trooper looming over their customers.
An armed civilian gets less hassle if he doesn't fit the stereotype of an armed threat. A trenchcoat and combat boots conceal a weapon, but it doesn't really conceal the likelihood that you've got a gun under there. Bringing a little men's style into the equation makes the "concealed" part of "concealed carry" a lot more effective. Plus, it's the law in most states that if you're carrying heat, you conceal it. (Editor's note: If you're a civilian, be sure to check with your local and state laws before you begin carrying a firearm. Most states require citizens who wish to carry a firearm to obtain a concealed carry license; there also may be restrictions on where you can carry your firearm.)
There are many reasons to think about both concealed carry and style in the same picture. This article lays out the quickest and best steps to making your concealed carry experience both practical and stylish:
  1. Choose your weapon
  2. Choose your method of carry
  3. Choose your outfit
  4. Talk to your tailor
So let's take it step by step:
Step 1: Choose your weapon
Concealed carry means striking a balance between firepower, ammunition, and size. You inevitably end up making a sacrifice in one area or the other; it's more a question of personal needs and tastes than it is a matter of which is the "best" weapon. But, for choosing a handgun, which is what most men will be carrying when they carry a firearm in public, here are a few factors worth thinking about:
A single-stack magazine is always easier to conceal than a double-stack.
The most important dimension of a pistol for concealment purposes is the width: how fat the barrel and the grip are. That's what's going to make a bulge under your clothing, more than the length or even the weight of the gun. As a result, it's better to have a single-stack magazine of relatively low caliber, at least in terms of concealment purposes. If that's just not going to meet your needs in terms of firepower or ammunition, you get a slightly thicker magazine and cope as best you can. The disadvantage of a smaller grip/magazine (aside from limiting your shots) is that a powerful handgun with a small grip has a ton of kick. The shorter the grip, the less leverage you have, making aiming trickier (especially follow-up shots after the first). A heavier frame can help compensate for a smaller magazine, and won't alter the concealment in most holster types (though it will create more of a sag if you're carrying it in your pocket or by another non-holstered method). Look for a balance that suits your needs but, from a concealment standpoint, do be aware that a longer grip is harder to hide, and may end up poking you, depending on your carry method.

This is one that some people have very strong feelings on. Some people will swear that you always want the maximum firepower you can carry; other people are comfortable with the idea that no bullet is a bullet anyone wants to take, and therefore even a tiny holdout pistol is plenty for self-defense.
You've got to make that call yourself. But the reality is, smaller caliber handguns are easier to conceal, both because of the magazine size and the barrel width and length.
It's not a universal scale — a .45 could be more concealable than a .38 depending on the shape and size of the grip and magazine — it's just something you need to be thinking of as a firepower/concealability trade-off.

Exterior construction
To use a very untechnical term, some guns are made with lots of "fiddly bits". You know what I'm talking about: everything from sighting notches to bulky safety catches to raised lettering on the barrel. Any of those is going to make the gun harder to conceal.
Weapons that are purpose-designed for concealed carry (and a number of manufacturers do have models specifically for the concealed carry market) tend to be smooth-sided and streamlined. Look for designs with minimum "fiddly bits". It'll help both your concealment and your draw.

Barrel and magazine length
It's a secondary consideration next to width, but the length of the pistol (in both directions) does matter. Extended magazines are hard to hide, and tend to poke you while you carry them. Longer barrels give you range and accuracy, and longer magazines give you more shots without reloading, but the reality for most of us is that neither of those is a huge consideration. Unless you're in an active military or paramilitary kind of situation, you hopefully won't ever need more than a shot or two, even in the very worst-case scenario. Most of the time you won't even need that.
So when possible, err on the side of a smaller weapon and magazine for the sake of concealability and comfort. It's one of those trade-offs where you have to know your own needs, but don't just default to the biggest magazine and longest barrel available for your handgun of choice.

So, which gun is the right one?
There's no single right answer to that question. But, most men with concealed carry experience will recommend something along the same basic lines:
low to mid-caliber ammunition
single-stack magazine (or very slim-profiled revolver)
slim grip
short barrel
smooth exterior
light weight
Here are a few of the more popular models that get tossed around in discussions of concealed carry — this is by no means an exhaustive list, nor should any of these be taken as strong recommendations, but they're good examples of the relatively broad range of options you have:
Glock Model 19
NAA .22 Magnum Mini-Revolver
Kahr PM9
Smith & Wesson M&P series
Walther PPS
Springfield XD
There are many more beyond these. But the important step here, and this is key, is to know which one you carry (or will be carrying) before you start planning your wardrobe around it, and especially before you have any tailor-made adjustments. You get the maximum benefit when you can have clothes tailored specifically for your gun and holster of choice.
Which brings us to our next step:

Step 2: Choose your method of carry
Just like handguns, holsters come in every style imaginable. You might own one, or you might own a dozen. Depends on your needs. But for purposes of deciding what to wear and how to conceal your gun, you'll want to know where you're going to wear it, and in what kind of holster.
Regardless of your method of carry, one key piece of equipment is a very sturdy belt. This not only helps keep the gun in place and prevents your trousers from sagging, it's also an important safety feature. You don't want the holster shifting and you certainly don't want the belt buckle popping open because of the extra weight or the jerk of your draw. Invest in something broad and made of sturdy leather or ballistic nylon. Most stores that sell holsters will also sell belts designed for them.

Paddle Holster, Hip Carry, Outside the Waistband
Advantages: Simple, cheap, and quick to draw
Disadvantages: Bulky and hard to conceal
This is the most typical way for peace officers and soldiers to carry their primary handgun: a "paddle" style holster (basically the outline of the gun, with a flat "paddle" backing that rests against your body) worn at the belt line, with the pistol pointed down the thigh. The magazine points toward the rear of your body, and the grip is typically angled a bit forward.
The disadvantage for concealed carry should be obvious: it's going to be very easy to accidentally reveal a gun that's worn up by your front pockets. A long, loose jacket will do the trick, but as soon as you unbutton/unzip the front it only takes a stiff breeze to expose your holster.
It's also hard to conceal the bulge if you wear a buttoned suit or sports jacket, even one tailored for the holster. You can pull it off with a small holster and a small gun, but expect to look pretty heavy around the hips when you do it.

Paddle Holster, Behind the Back, Outside the Waistband
Advantages: Simple, cheap, and still fairly quick to draw
Disadvantages: Still bulky; still requires at least a jacket to conceal
An obvious solution to the hip-carry problem is to keep the same simple holster but move it to the small of your back. This removes the problem of an unbuttoned jacket brushing back to expose the pistol. The whole back of your coat would have to flip up to reveal your firearm. It makes a suit or sports jacket much more effective concealment, especially if it's cut a bit long in the rear. A little looseness also looks more natural on the back of your jacket than it does at the sides.
Drawing a pistol from behind your back is a bit slower than off the hip, but still not too cripplingly inconvenient. There is growing concern, however, that a gun in the small of your back can cause back injuries if you fall or are struck hard where the gun rests; many police departments mandate that nothing except soft items (gloves, CPR kits, etc.) be carried directly in the center of the back for this reason.
So while the simple paddle holster worn behind the back is an effective method of concealment, and still a favorite for a lot of concealed carriers, it comes with some safety cautions. And, of course, it requires you to sit down pretty gingerly, if at all.

Shoulder Holster
Advantages: Decent concealment, faster draw than behind the back
Disadvantages: Uncomfortable, easy to accidentally expose
The shoulder holster, which keeps the handgun tucked under your armpit and against your upper ribs, is a popular one with law enforcement (and one made famous by Hollywood and television cops). It's a good choice for easy access, and only slightly slower to draw from than a holster on your hip.
Unfortunately, it's also not that great for concealment. A suit jacket or blazer angles back toward the shoulder; you've usually only got a few inches between the butt of your pistol and the opening of your jacket. Unbuttoned, it's very easy for the jacket to slide back far enough to reveal your weapon.
Typically, your draw with a shoulder holster also has to cross your body, with the barrel sweeping in almost a full semi-circle. They're not allowed on many firing ranges for this reason; instructors and managers don't want to risk other people being placed within the line of fire as you draw. It's important to have very good trigger control and be careful with your safety when you're drawing from a shoulder holster.
Due to the concealment drawbacks and need for trained habits, shoulder holsters tend to be best for people like plainclothes detectives and security guards who are being discreet, but don't need to effectively disguise the fact that they're carrying a weapon, and tend to have more firearms training than your average civilian.

Sheath Holster, Inside-the-Waistband
Advantages: Good concealment, doesn't require a jacket
Disadvantages: Requires tailored trousers
IWB holsters (the most common name) carry the gun tucked into the trousers rather than worn outside them. They make special holsters for this, which are worth investing in. Whatever you may see on television, don't go tucking guns into your pants without a holster unless you absolutely have to. Most IWB holsters can be positioned anywhere on your back, allowing for basic behind-the-back carry or for something shifted to one hip or the other. The advantage here is that you only have to hide the handle of the gun, rather than the whole thing. A smooth holster inside custom-widened trousers conceals most of the bulk for you. Just a loose tee-shirt will do to hide an inside-the-waistband carry in a pinch.
The downside is that it's an expensive and a fairly uncomfortable option. You need the tailored trousers, the specific holster, and the willingness to stand and sit with a gun barrel pointed down your rear end.

Pocket Carry
Advantages: Good concealment, flexible positioning
Disadvantage: Requires a small gun, concealment can vary; gun may shift
Pocket carry is what it sounds like— sticking a gun in your pocket. How effective the method is at concealment depends on how large your pockets are, how thick their lining is, and what style they are— big patch pockets with thick lining and a closing flap will hide a gun fairly effectively, while the back or hip pockets of your jeans will not.
The biggest disadvantage of carrying your gun in your pocket is that, unless you have an internal holder sewn into the pocket (which we recommend if you plan on pocket carrying regularly), the gun will shift around as you move. This can slow your draw, make the gun more likely to "print" (show its outline through the fabric), and even be a safety hazard.
If you wear a garment with large, easily-accessed pockets low on your midsection, you can position a gun for off-hand draw as well. A side-slit pocket near where your off-hand naturally falls is about as easy access as you're going to get for emergency off-hand draw if your primary arm is incapacitated.
Many people prefer to use pocket carry for a back-up or holdout weapon, paired with another method of concealed carry for a primary weapon. If you do pocket carry, be sure that the gun is snug in the pocket, and have a tailor sew a holder into the interior if necessary. You don't want your gun falling out, or to go to draw it and find it upside down and backwards in your pocket.

Ankle holster
Advantages: Excellent concealment
Disadvantages: Very slow draw, limited to the smallest handguns
An ankle holster is a traditional holdout option for very small handguns. It requires nothing fancier than boot-cut jeans to conceal, and may even be missed by careless pat-downs. But it limits you to little more than a derringer (though some police carry sub-compacts, usually in specially-tailored trousers), and takes several seconds to draw from, making it a backup option rather than a primary method of carry for most men. Holdout holsters can also be strapped to a forearm, inner thigh, or other unusual point for maximum concealment. Again, however, these are difficult to draw from and can only conceal the very smallest handguns out there.

Step 3: Choose your outfit
Once you know what gun you're going to carry and where you're going to carry it, you're ready to plan an outfit that both conceals the weapon and looks sharp on you.
Different men have different sartorial needs, just as they have different firearm needs. The good news is, there's a concealing outfit for every standard of dress, from James Bond's tuxedo all the way down to cargo pants and a tee-shirt.

Business Concealed Carry
Suit-and-tie concealed carry is more common than you might think. Businessmen who travel frequently like to take personal protection along with them, and some politicians actively advertise their habit of carrying a weapon as a matter of principle as well as protection.
Happily for all of them, a business suit is a fairly effective method of concealment. It's actually one of the better options out there, short of a full length coat. You can use pretty much every type of holster:
Paddle on the hip (with the jacket buttoned; jacket should be tailored for the bulge)
Paddle behind the back (a long jacket easily conceals the whole thing)
Inside the waistband (practically invisible under a jacket)
Shoulder/armband holster (concealed as long as the jacket's buttoned)
Ankle holster
The biggest consideration for a man in a suit is usually whether he needs to be able to take the jacket off or wear it unbuttoned. An unbuttoned suit jacket can still conceal either kind of behind-the-back carry, and of course a holdout, but will probably reveal a holster on the hip or under the arm if the wearer moves much.
Men who need to be able to take their jacket off and still keep a weapon hidden should wear trousers tailored for inside-the-waistband carry and a shirt with a long, loose back that can be untucked or draped over the butt of the gun. Three-piece suits are also popular with concealed carriers; the waistcoat can be cut deliberately long to hide an inside-the-waistband carry.
If you're actually likely to be in any sort of combat situation, be sure to swap a clip-on tie with a breakaway clip for the hand-tied version. They're not quite as nice-looking, but someone who's working as a bodyguard or security officer doesn't need to be offering a free chokehold to potential assailants.

Business-Casual Concealed Carry
A step down from the suit and tie look, business casual is the style preferred by most men who carry a handgun as part of their job: plainclothes cops, body guards, security guards, and so forth. A business casual outfit looks respectable and often includes a conveniently concealing jacket, making it all around useful for people in that sort of line.
Civilians should also take advantage of the blazer-and-slacks combination. It gives you plenty of places to conceal a weapon, and it has the added advantage of making you look well-dressed relative to the average guy on the street. People looking at you are going to be thinking, "Hey, he looks sharp," not, "Hmm, I wonder if he's carrying a gun."
A sport coat or blazer jacket and long trousers of any kind offer basically the same concealment as a suit jacket. You also have the option of wearing either an unmatched "odd vest" or a longer sweater vest, either of which will hide the handle of a gun worn inside the waistband without the need for a jacket.
Dress-casual concealed carry can be made to look quite casual; think Dirty Harry, Miami Vice, or Steve McQueen in Bullitt, all of which feature shoulder-holstered policemen in jackets and sharp shirts.
Of course, if you're planning on serious physical activity or movement, don't expect a suit jacket or blazer to provide much concealment. But presumably at the point where you have to sprint, concealment is no longer the chief priority.

Casual Concealed Carry
If there's no dress code to observe, you can wear almost anything that conceals a weapon. That said, don't default straight to baggy jeans and an untucked tee-shirt; it works, but it doesn't do much to disguise the fact that you could be armed, and it's neither as practical nor as attractive as some of your other options:

Concealment jackets
These are coats made by arms manufacturers (or their affiliates) specifically for concealed carry. SIG makes one designed to look like your basic work jacket, similar to a Carhartt or Dickies, making it very unobtrusive almost anywhere in America. Concealment jackets have large internal pockets, usually velcro-sealed, with loops or hooks for a handgun. They're great for outdoors concealed carry, but get both uncomfortable and obviously out of place if you're indoors for any length of time.

Leather jackets
A classic style and excellent concealment, opt for one that's on the longer and looser side. Bomber-style jackets are perfect for concealed carry, since they have a padded lining that conceals bulges and a longer waist than moto-style jackets.
Denim or wool coats – Lightweight coats are comfortable most of the year and can conceal any style of holster except the paddle (longer coats will even cover that). Just be cautious of tight-fitted waists, typical on jean jackets, unless you know you're going to be using a shoulder holster exclusively.

The thigh-length, multi-pocketed vest typical among journalists and photographers is an ideal concealed carry garment. It's long enough to hide holsters at the waistband, thick enough to disguise bulges, and features plenty of pockets for ammunition or even a smaller holdout weapon. There's a reason they're popular with people traveling in rough countries; that said, they're also the most recognizable "concealed carry" garments, and may draw attention from people looking for concealed weapons.

Casual shirts worn untucked
Just a plain white dress shirt is plenty of concealment if you've got an inside-the-waistband holster. Wear any sort of collared or uncollared shirt loose and untucked and you've got enough concealment to hide the grip of a handgun from casual observation. It's a good option when you're carrying in places where a jacket or blazer would be conspicuously overdressed. Remember the guayabera shirts we just wrote about?

These are pretty much everywhere, and they add plenty of bulk around the waist that can hide even a large handgun. Just be aware that men over thirty wearing a hoodie look like they're trying a little too hard. It's good gun concealment, but it's not magical urban camouflage that will make people think you're from the streets if you're not.

Step 4: Talk to your tailor
Bizarrely, this is the step most men skip, even though the cost of alterations is usually less than the cost of a holster, and certainly less than a decent handgun. Don't skip it.
A single purpose-made garment is better concealment than any half-dozen layers of unaltered clothing. Tailors have their jobs for a reason. The key here is to find a tailor who's willing to work specifically on concealed carry issues. Always ask ahead of time; it's very bad form to walk into a stranger's shop and pull out a gun unannounced, even for demonstration purposes. Set up an appointment ahead of time and make it clear that you'll be bringing a gun.
Some basic changes a tailor can make that go a long way in concealed carry include:
An extra layer of canvas and lining in the jacket increases stiffness, which reduces the "print" the gun makes through the outer fabric.
Extra length in the back (you can usually get away with up to an extra inch before it starts to look odd) helps keep a paddle holster concealed when you move or raise your arms.
Small armholes make the jacket rise less when you move your arms, making them good for paddle holsters. Large armholes, on the other hand, help hide a shoulder holster, and the hem of the jacket lifting doesn't affect shoulder carry. Pick whichever you need for your holster.
Small pockets can be added inside the lining at the bottom front corners. You can slip a fishing weight or large coin into the pocket to help keep the jacket in place as you move, preventing any inadvertent holster-flashing.
If you're planning on pocket-carrying, a small cloth sling or loop can be added inside the pocket to hold your pistol at the proper angle and keep it from sliding around.
Select a textured fabric to help break up lines, especially if you carry a bulkier gun. Herringbone, birdseye, and rough tweed all help reduce the visibility of the outline. Stay away from stripes, which emphasize any bulges.
A stiffened rod or strap can be sewn into the front edge of the jacket, making it easier to flip out of the way when you do draw but keeping it lightly weighted down at all other times.
Extra pockets can be added to any garment for spare ammunition. If you plan on carrying one specific type of magazine, bring an empty along and have the pocket made to fit it.
Get a tight-fitted shirt if you use a shoulder holster, to prevent the holster from tugging loose fabric into conspicuous wrinkles across the front of your body.
A good tailor will always take the measurement of the gun itself and of you wearing the gun. Be sure to have all components in place, especially if it makes a difference in size.
Once you have a jacket and trousers (or other garment) tailored for concealed carry, the rest is in your personal style and mannerisms. Carry yourself calmly and with confidence, and dress tastefully but blandly, and you should be able to slip past everyone's notice without the possibility that you're armed ever crossing their mind.
The worst thing a concealed carrier can do is fiddle with his clothing, especially where the gun is hidden, so keep your hands at your side and try to look bored. In the ideal concealed carry situation, no one knows you have a gun until you're using it and, if you're lucky, that means no one ever knows you have a gun.

The author would like to extend a big thank-you to the many law enforcement professionals, military men, and citizens whom he consulted with on this article.

26 September 2012

Dental visit

Rico says his friend Tex forwards this:
At the moment when the dentist was leaning over his patient to start work on her teeth, he was startled: "Excuse me, Miss, but those are my balls that you are holding."
"I know," she answered sweetly. "Let's be very careful not to hurt each other, okay?"

Scam for the day

From: "Tony Elliot" <telliot@inbox.com>
Reply-To: "Tony Elliot" <t.elliot@top-mail.ca>
My name is Tony Elliot and I would like discuss a business venture that has potential to generate significant earnings. I was unable to reach you by phone at 205.640.7175 and followed up with this email in hopes it will reach you.
I am employed by a manufacturing company that is privately owned. We currently process a material that is purchased at a price nearly double it's manufacturing cost. What I would like to discuss with you is the possibility of having you act as a stand-in supplier for this product. In return, I will secure a contract with my employer, with you listed as the supplier. In short, you would act as the distributor of this product, and we would assume the current profit margins. I have already secured all necessary finances to execute this project, however, in order to succeed, I do require a partnership with a distant third-party and as such I am looking for an individual that will be suitable.
I understand that your experience with BE at Your Best as Owner may not be directly relevant to my field. Nonetheless, this proposed venture requires involvement that's certainly in keeping with your personal strengths and professional savvy.
Please send a return email to verify your preferred contact number and to schedule the most convenient time to have a discussion. I look forward to speaking with you.

Kindest Regards,
Tony Elliot
Rico says he's never heard of Mr. Elliot nor Be at Your Best, and doesn't know whose phone number that is...

Sesquicentennai, all over again

Kim Severson has an article in The New York Times about problems in Georgia:
Once the huge property tax bills started coming, telephones started ringing. It did not take long for the fifty or so people who live on this largely undeveloped barrier island to realize that life was about to get worse.
Sapelo Island, a tangle of salt marsh and sand reachable only by boat, holds the largest community of people who identify themselves as saltwater Geechees. Sometimes called Gullahs, they have inhabited the nation’s southeast coast for more than two centuries. Theirs is one of the most fragile cultures in America.
These Creole-speaking descendants of slaves have long held their land as a touchstone, fighting the kind of development that turned Hilton Head and St. Simons Islands into vacation destinations. Now, stiff county tax increases driven by a shifting economy, bureaucratic bumbling and the unyielding desire for a house on the water have them wondering if their community will finally succumb to cultural erosion.
“The whole thing just smells,” said Jasper Watts, whose mother, Annie Watts, 73, still owns the three-room house with a tin roof that she grew up in. She paid $362 in property taxes last year for the acre she lives on. This year, McIntosh County wants $2,312, a jump of over five hundred percent.
Where real estate is concerned, history is always on the minds of the Geechees, who live in a place called Hog Hammock. It is hard for them not to be deeply suspicious of the tax increase and wonder if, as in the past, they are being nudged even further to the fringes.
Theirs is the only private land left on the island, almost 97 percent of which is owned by the state and given over to nature preserves, marine research projects and a plantation mansion built in 1802.
The tobacco heir R.J. Reynolds Jr. bought the mansion and most of the island during the Great Depression, persuading the Geechees who owned the rest to move to four hundred swampy inland acres. Today, Hog Hammock is not much more than a collection of small houses and a historic cemetery, with a dusty general store and a part-time restaurant, Lula’s Kitchen, where shrimp and sausage are transformed into a low-country boil, a classic example of Sea Islands cooking.
That kind of history makes it hard for people to believe county officials who say there is no effort afoot to push them from the land. The county has offered fifteen percent reductions in tax bills until the appeals that most people have filed can be heard. But it is going to be a challenge to pay even the reduced rate. While there is work cooking and cleaning for visitors to the plantation house, maintaining state research facilities, or renting space to vacationers, money is difficult to find.
The relationship between Sapelo Island residents and county officials has long been strained, especially over race and development. In July, the community relations division of the Justice Department held two meetings with residents to address charges of racial discrimination. A department spokesman said the meetings were confidential and would not comment. Neither would the chief tax appraiser, Rick Daniel, or other elected county officials. But Brett Cook, who manages the county and its only city, Darien, says local government does a lot to support the Geechee culture. “It’s a wonderful history and a huge draw for our ecotourism,” he said. This summer, he pointed out, the county worked with the Smithsonian to host a festival that culminated in a concert with members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters, who practice a style of singing and hand claps developed by slaves.
The issue, said Cook and other county officials who would speak only if their names were not used, is not one of cultural genocide. They are just trying to clean up years of bad management and correct property taxes that were kept artificially low by questionable policies. McIntosh County has a history of bureaucratic mistakes and election corruption. Its rocky political landscape was the subject of a book, Praying for Sheetrock, by Melissa Fay Greene, which detailed its racial segregation and the 1970s fight between a domineering white sheriff and people who wanted to elect the first black government official.
The county, which has about fourteen thousand year-round residents and thousands more with vacation homes, had for years put off reviewing its taxable property. An outside firm did the last valuation in 2004. Paul Griffin, the chairman of the Board of Tax Assessors, called the work “very, very sloppy” at a June meeting covered by The Darien News.
In 2009, the county was in the process of updating its tax digest when the state froze property taxes to help stanch the effects of the recession. Instead of continuing its work, the county stopped the process until this year. Meanwhile, property was sold, some of it to wealthy people interested in vacation homes on the mainland and some on Sapelo Island. Those sales never made it to the tax records until now.
“We’re rural, we’re on the coast and we’re desirable,” Cook said. “When the market got hot six or seven years ago, a lot of individuals holding $15,000 or $20,000 lots on the marsh could sell them for $100,000 or $150,000.”
The county also started a new garbage pickup service and added other services, which contributed to the higher tax rates, he said. Sapelo Island residents, however, still have to haul their trash to the dump. “Our taxes went up so high, and then you don’t have nothing to show for it,” said Cornelia Walker Bailey, the island’s unofficial historian. “Where is my fire department? Where are my water resources? Where is my paved road? Where are the things our tax dollars pay for?” Here, where land is usually handed down or sold at below-market rates to relatives, Bailey has come to hold four pieces of property. She lives on one, which is protected from the tax increases by a homestead exemption. The rest will cost her six hundred percent more in property taxes. “I think it’s an effort to erode everyone out of the last private sector of this island,” she said.
Government systems have been devised to try to save Sapelo Island’s Geechee culture. Hog Hammock is on the National Register of Historic Places, and the state created a Sapelo Island Heritage Authority in 1983, which the governor oversees. But critics contend that the authority could serve as a vehicle to more development. State lawmakers have discussed creating a trust that would protect land from development but allow residents who could not afford to keep their property to stay. But that is still just an idea.
The National Park Service recently released a 272-page management plan for the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, which stretches from Wilmington, North Carolina to Jacksonville, Florida. It calls for creative solutions to preserving Gullah land, said Michael Allen, the service’s foremost expert on the community, of which he is also a member. But it says nothing about how to fight the tax collector.
State Senator William Ligon, who represents the county and is a real estate lawyer, suggests that residents file a lawsuit if they do not get relief. “In an economy where property values have been declining, I think I would want to look very, very closely at what had been done at the county level,” he said.
None of that offers immediate relief to residents who have tax bills piled up on kitchen tables and in desk drawers. Sharron Grovner, 44, is one of them. Her mother, Lula Walker, runs the little restaurant on the island. Grovner buried her father not too long ago. Her family has more than four acres of property and faces more than six thousand dollars in taxes. Like most, they have appealed. “You can do the best you can do for a year, but then you are going to need some kind of help,” she said. Still, they are not going to let go of the land. “It’s like this,” she said. “People like me don’t sell their property.”
Rico says the Reynolds family should just pay all the local property taxes in perpetuity...

Military history for the day

Jane Perlez has an article in The New York Times about the latest out of China:
In a ceremony attended by the country’s top leaders, China put its first aircraft carrier into service recently, a move intended to signal its growing military might as tensions escalate between Beijing and Japan  over ownership of islands in the East China Sea.
Officials said the carrier, a discarded vessel bought from the Ukraine in 1998 and refurbished by China, would protect national sovereignty, an issue that has become a touchstone of the government’s dispute with Japan.
But, despite the triumphant tone of the launching, which was watched by President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, and despite rousing assessments by Chinese military experts about the importance of the carrier, the vessel will be used only for training and testing for the foreseeable future.
The 16 on the carrier’s side indicates that it is limited to training, Chinese and other military experts said. China does not have planes capable of landing on the carrier and so far training for such landings has been carried out on land, they said. Even so, the public appearance of the carrier at the northeastern port of Dalian was used as an occasion to stir patriotic feelings, which have run at fever pitch in the last ten days over the dispute between China and Japan over the East China Sea islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.
The carrier will “raise the overall operational strength of the Chinese Navy” and help China “to effectively protect national sovereignty, security and development interests”, according to the Ministry of Defense.
The Communist Party congress that will begin the country’s once-in-a-decade leadership transition is expected to be held next month, and the public unveiling of the carrier appeared to be part of an effort to forge national unity ahead of the event.
For international purposes, the public unveiling of the carrier seemed intended to signal to smaller nations in the South China Sea, including the Philippines, an American ally, that China has an increasing number of impressive assets to deploy.
American military planners have played down the significance of the commissioning of the carrier. Some Navy officials have even said they would encourage China to move ahead with building its own aircraft carrier and the ships to accompany it, because it would be a waste of money.
Other military experts outside China have agreed with that assessment. “The fact is, the aircraft carrier is useless for the Chinese Navy,” You Ji, a visiting senior research fellow at the National University of Singapore, said in an interview. “If it is used against America, it has no survivability. If it is used against China’s neighbors, it’s a sign of bullying.”
Vietnam, a neighbor with whom China has fought wars, operates land-based Russian Su-30 aircraft that could pose a threat to the aircraft carrier, You said. “In the South China Sea, if the carrier is damaged by the Vietnamese, it’s a huge loss of face,” he said. “It’s not worth it.”
Up to now, Chinese pilots have been limited to practicing simulated carrier landings on concrete strips on land in Chinese J-8 aircraft based on Soviet-made MIG-23s produced about 25 years ago, You said. The pilots could not undertake the difficult maneuver of landing on a moving carrier because China does not yet have suitable aircraft. The question of whether China will move ahead and build its own carrier depends in large part, he said, on whether China can develop aircraft to land on one. “It’s a long, long process for constructing such aircraft,” he said.
In contrast to some of the skepticism expressed by military experts outside China, Li Jie, a researcher at the Chinese Naval Research Institute, said in an interview in the state-run People’s Daily that the carrier would change the Chinese Navy’s traditional mind-set and bring qualitative changes to its operational style and structure, he said.
Although the Chinese military does not publish a breakdown of its military spending, foreign military experts say the Navy is less well-financed than the Army and Air Force.

Rico says one Harpoon, or one torpedo, and they can change that 16 to -1...

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