5.56 Timeline

The USAF take-down GAU-5A survival gun

Picture from USA Military Channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9ENCaRlYOM

Not that long ago, the Air Force adopted a new break down rifle for the survival kit of pilots. They decided to recycle the designation GAU-5A for this new weapon configuration.

The original GAU-5A was the Colt Model 610. Here is a picture from RetroBlackRifle.com

Many of old carbines were later rebuilt into other configurations, the GAU-5A/A, GAU-5A/B, GAU-5B/A, GAU-5P, GUU-5P, etc. There is a fair chance there are a few of these floating around in their original configuration, and others have likely been rebuilt into M4 carbines.

But this isn’t about that cool old gun.

The new GAU-5A is a retrofit to a standard M4. This break down setup was picked because they could jam it in their current survival kit along with four full thirty round magazines.

To make the lower smaller, they remove the sling loop from the M4 stock, and install a FAB Defense folding pistol grip. Part number AGF-43S. I looked around for price and most places had it out of stock. $43.99 was the price I found for a black one, 36.49 for other colors.

This break down rifle uses a shorter barrel. From what I can find, it is reported that a Bravo Company 12.5″ barrel is being used. I’m guessing the model at this page: https://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-Standard-12-5-Carbine-Barrel-Stripped-NFA-p/bcm-brl-s-12%20std.htm Flash hider appears to be a standard A2. The stripped barrel is for sale for $239. You would still need a low profile gas block, flash hider, and crush washer.

A low profile gas block is used, and for the take down system a custom different length gas tube is used. That is provided with the take down kit.

The take down kit is a retrofit for standard AR15 uppers and barrels. It is made by Cry Havoc Tactical. This “QRP Kit” sells for $349 shipped. They also make a model for .308 ARs. This kit lets you use most standard aftermarket free float hand guards. Link here: http://cryhavoctac.com/qrb-kit.html

The chosen hand guard is a 10.5 inch long Midwest Industries “MI-G3ML10-BLK”. Due to the quick change barrel kit, this hand guard is pushed out longer than if it was mounted normally. It runs $169 dollars from MidWest Industries website. https://www.midwestindustriesinc.com/product-p/mi-g3ml10-blk.htm

For sights, this little survival carbine uses the Magpul MBUS PRO LR. It appears to be using the version adjustable for distance. This would let the shooter roughly adjust from 200-600 meters. To buy a new set would run you about $200 dollars.

With the exception of a full auto lower, if a person wanted to make a “clone” of one of these guns, all the parts would be easy to source and readily available.

When this weapon was first announced, I recall the gun forums and the like generally responded negatively to the announcement of this weapon. All sorts of alternatives were suggested, most of them ridiculous.

This new gun is an interesting oddity. But I don’t imagine it will get much of a fan following. I doubt it will ever be considered classic like the original GAU-5A.

27 Years Ago Today,The World Was Made Safer

I didn’t want to pass up the chance today to remind us of one of the US. Gov’s most heroic moments. These events made us all safer.

Noted heroic Sniper Lon Horiuchi pictured above, making the world safe from shotguns with barrels s smidge too short. Lon would later go on to help save the hell out of a bunch of women and kids in a little known place in Texas. He would later still get a pie job working for H-S Precision while his heroic spotter got hooked up working for Spike’s Tactical. Well done boys.

The sequence of events during the ensuing shootout is disputed, with Weaver and Harris saying that the camouflaged marshals fired first[7] and did not identify themselves. The marshals’ version of events is when they were rising to identify themselves, they were fired on first by Sammy and Harris.[7][12] In another version of events, the Weavers’ dog, Striker, was shot as he exposed a hiding Bill Degan. Sammy Weaver then shot Bill Degan in retaliation. While running away, Sammy was then shot in the back by a dying Bill Degan and/or other federal agents.[13] Both died. After this, the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) was called in to assist with the situation. Much controversy was later generated by the fact that, after the first day’s events, the FBI had changed its usual rules of engagement; specifically, “deadly force can and should be used against any armed adult male if the shot could be taken without a child being injured.”[14] No request for surrender or announcement of officials’ presence would be needed to shoot.[12][13]

The next day, August 22, 1992, HRT sniper/observer teams were deployed on the north ridge overlooking the cabin. Randy Weaver, Harris, and Weaver’s 16-year-old daughter Sara were seen outside the cabin. Weaver went to view the body of Sammy Weaver,[12] which had been placed in a shed after being recovered the previous day. Weaver’s back was to FBI HRT sniper Lon Horiuchi, who aimed to sever Weaver’s spine for an instant kill. Weaver moved at the last second as Horiuchi fired, and the bullet entered Weaver’s right shoulder and exited through his armpit.[15] As the three ran back to the house, Horiuchi fired again at Kevin Harris as he ran away, but this time hit Weaver’s wife Vicki in the head as she held their 10-month-old daughter Elishiba at the door.[16] Vicki Weaver collapsed on the floor, dying instantly. Harris was hit in the chest by the same bullet. A Justice Department review later found this second shot was out of policy and the lack of a request to surrender was “inexcusable”, since Harris and the two Weavers were running for cover and did not pose an imminent threat. The task force also specifically blamed Horiuchi for firing at the door, not knowing whether someone was on the other side of it, and criticized those who had decided on the special rules of engagement allowing shots to be fired with no previous request for surrender.[12] Much later, a robot vehicle approached the cabin and announced the presence of law enforcement.[17] According to the Weavers, this was the first announcement of the source of the violence.”

Top. Man…?

New York State Trooper Jennifer Daignault on Sept.

Have you ever read the “rules of the internet? Two rules of the internet seem to have been broken here.

  • Rule 29: On the internet men are men, women are men.
  • Rule 30: Girls do not exist on the internet.

A female New York State Police trooper pretended to be a man online and threatened to publicly post naked photos of a woman she met on an internet dating site if the victim didn’t buy her a fake driver’s license, authorities said Tuesday. Now there is something you don’t hear often. A women pretending to be a man online? Cats and dogs living together!

Jennifer Daignault, 31, of upstate Rome, pleaded not guilty Monday to three coercion charges at a Nassau County Court arraignment, according to court records.

Daignault had worked upstate at Troop D but is suspended from her job with pay, a State Police spokesman said Tuesday. Of course. The King’s ( fake?, pseudo? ersatz? ) Men don’t have to live by the same rules as the rest of us serfs. Even when betraying their oath to protect and serve.

I could make some other comments about why she is being handled with kid gloves but those would get us in trouble.

The Nassau district attorney’s office has alleged Daignault began a relationship with a 33-year-old victim that was limited to text messages after the two met on an online dating site.

Prosecutors say the victim, who lives in Nassau County, believed she was communicating with a man and sent numerous nude photos to Daignault.

But law enforcement officials allege Daignault then used the photos to coerce the victim into going to Queens and Manhattan and attempting to buy a fake driver’s license bearing the name of a 33-year-old man with an address in upstate Manlius. I would love to know what she planend to do with that fake DL.

Prosecutors said Daignault, who faces up to 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison if convicted of the top count against her, threatened to put the woman’s naked photos online if she didn’t obey her demand. Typical fake man behavior. Guys only think about one thing, Getting nudes then posting them online. All fake men are just misogynists.

The charges allege the trooper used multiple online identities while pretending to be a man and committed the crimes last year between May and about the end of July.

Sounds like NY state police have one hell of a good vetting system for their employees.

The trooper’s Mineola attorney, Gerard McCloskey, said Tuesday he hadn’t yet seen the text messages involved in the case.

“I do think that these charges are overblown, and I anticipate that we’ll fight it out in court,” he said. Brave claim considering he hasn’t even read the text messages yet. Maybe he is a fake lawyer?

Acting State Supreme Court Justice Meryl Berkowitz released the trooper on her own recognizance after the arraignment. The Old Boys Club in action.

Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement Tuesday that the case highlighted the need to be careful when using online dating platforms and cautioned those who did so to limit how much personal information they shared before meeting people in person or speaking on the phone. The case highlights the need to be a hell of a lot more careful not to hire shitbags for your police department.

Online court records show Daignault also faces separate charges in Oneida County of coercion, stalking and aggravated harassment and pleaded not guilty in that case in December

Hong Kong Boogaloo 8/21/2019

So things are still ongoing and getting more complicated every day. Independent youtube news channels and commentators are starting to see some of China’s influence on our tech overlords. Talking about HK gets videos instantly demonitized or strikes. One well known YT personality being kicked off.

You can watch protest coverage live here.

Hong Kong is one of the most extreme examples of big finance, neoliberal capitalism in the world. As a result, many people in Hong Kong are suffering from great economic insecurity in a city with 93 billionaires, second-most of any city.

Hong Kong protesters waving U.S. flags last week. (YouTube)

Hong Kong is suffering the effects of being colonized by Britain for more than 150 years following the Opium Wars. The British put in place a capitalist economic system and Hong Kong has had no history of self-rule. When Britain left, it negotiated an agreement that prevents China from changing Hong Kong’s political and economic systems for 50 years by making Hong Kong a Special Administrative Region (SAR).

China cannot solve the suffering of the people of Hong Kong. This “One Country, Two Systems” approach means the extreme capitalism of Hong Kong exists alongside, but separate from, China’s socialized system. Hong Kong has an unusual political system. For example, half the seats in the legislature are required to represent business interests meaning corporate interests vote on legislation.

Hong Kong is a center for big finance and also a center of financial crimes. Between 2013 and 2017, the number of suspicious transactions reported to law enforcement agencies rocketed from 32,907 to 92,115. There has been a small number of prosecutions, which dropped from a high of 167 in 2014 to 103 in 2017. Convictions dropped to only one person sentenced to more than six years behind bars in 2017.

The problem is neither the extradition bill that was used to ignite protests nor China, the problems are Hong Kong’s economy and governance.

The Extradition Bill

The stated cause of the recent protests is an extradition bill proposed because there is no legal way to prevent criminals from escaping charges when they flee to Hong Kong. The bill was proposed by the Hong Kong government in February 2019 to establish a mechanism to transfer fugitives in Hong Kong to Taiwan, Macau or Mainland China. 

Extradition laws are a legal norm between countries and within countries (e.g. between states), and since Hong Kong is part of China, it is pretty basic. In fact, in 1998, a pro-democracy legislator, Martin Lee, proposed a law similar to the one he now opposes to ensure a person is prosecuted and tried at the place of the offense.

The push for the bill came in 2018 when a Hong Kong resident Chan Tong-kai allegedly killed his pregnant girlfriend, Poon Hiu-wing, in Taiwan, then returned to Hong Kong. Chan admitted he killed Poon to Hong Kong police, but the police were unable to charge him for murder or extradite him to Taiwan because no agreement was in place.

The proposed law covered  46 types of crimes that are recognized as serious offenses across the globe. These include murder, rape, and sexual offenses, assaults, kidnapping, immigration violations, and drug offenses as well as property offenses like robbery, burglary and arson and other traditional criminal offenses. It also included business and financial crimes.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross addressing AmCham event in Hong Kong, 2017. (Twitter)

Months before the street protests, the business community expressed opposition to the law. Hong Kong’s two pro-business parties urged the government to exempt white-collar crimes from the list of offenses covered by any future extradition agreement. There was escalating pressure from the city’s business heavyweights.  The American Chamber of Commerce, AmCham, a 50-year-old organization that represents over 1,200 U.S. companies doing business in Hong Kong, opposed the proposal.

AmCham said it would damage the city’s reputation: “Any change in extradition arrangements that substantially expands the possibility of arrest and rendition … of international business executives residing in or transiting through Hong Kong as a result of allegations of economic crime made by the mainland government … would undermine perceptions of Hong Kong as a safe and secure haven for international business operations.”

Kurt Tong, the top U.S. diplomat in Hong Kong, said in March that the proposal could complicate relations between Washington and Hong Kong. Indeed, the Center for International Private Enterprise, an arm of the National Endowment for Democracy, said the proposed law would undermine economic freedom, cause capital flight and threaten Hong Kong’s status as a hub for global commerce. They pointed to a bipartisan letter signed by eight members of Congress, including Senators Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, and Steve Daines and Members of the House of Representatives, Jim McGovern, Ben McAdams, Chris Smith, Tom Suozzi, and Brian Mast opposing the bill.

Proponents of the bill responded by exempting nine of the economic crimes and made extradition only for crimes punishable by at least seven years in prison. These changes did not satisfy big business advocates.

The Mass Protests and U.S. Role 

Hong Kong World Financial Centre Tower, 2008. (Ray Devlin/Flickr)

From this attention to the law, opposition grew with the formation of a coalition to organize protests. As Alexander Rubinstein reports, “the coalition cited by Hong Kong media, including the South China Morning Post and the Hong Kong Free Press, as organizers of the anti-extradition law demonstrations is called the Civil Human Rights Front. That organization’s website lists the NED-funded HKHRM [Human Rights Monitor], Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, the Hong Kong Journalists Association, the Civic Party, the Labour Party, and the Democratic Party as members of the coalition.” HKHRM alone received more than $1.9 million in funds from the NED between 1995 and 2013. Major protests began in June.

Building the anti-China movement in Hong Kong has been a long-term, NED project since 1996. In 2012, NED invested $460,000 through its National Democratic Institute, to build the anti-China movement (aka pro-democracy movement), particularly among university students. Two years later, the mass protests of Occupy Central occurred. In a 2016 Open Letter to Kurt Tong, these NED grants and others were pointed out and Tong was asked if the U.S. was funding a Hong Kong independence movement.

During the current protests, organizers were photographed meeting with Julie Eadeh, the political unit chief of U.S. Consulate General, in a Hong Kong hotel. They also met with China Hawks in Washington, D.C., including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor John Bolton, Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Larry Diamond, a co-editor of the NED’s publication and a co-chair of research, has been openly encouraging the protesters. He delivered a video message of support during their rally this weekend.

Protests have included many elements of U.S. color revolutions with tactics such as violence — attacks on bystanders, media, police and emergency personnel. Similar tactics were used in UkraineNicaragua, and Venezuela, e.g. violent street barricades. U.S.  officials and media criticized the government’s response to the violent protests, even though they have been silent on the extreme police violence against the Yellow Vests in France. Demonstrators also use swarming techniques and sophisticated social media messaging targeting people in the U.S..

Mass protests have continued. On July 9, Chief Executive Carrie Lam pronounced the bill dead and suspended it. Protesters are now calling for the bill to be withdrawn, Lam to resign and police to be investigated. For more on the protests and U.S. involvement, listen to our interview with K. J. Noh on Clearing the FOG.

What Is Driving Discontent in Hong Kong?

Makeshift shelters at Tung Chau Street Temporary Market in Sham Shui Po. (Nora Tam)

The source of unrest in Hong Kong is the economic insecurity stemming from capitalism. In 1997, Britain and China agreed to leave “the previous capitalist system” in place for 50 years.

Hong Kong has been ranked as the world’s freest economy in the Heritage’s Index of Economic Freedom since 1995 when the index began. In 1990, Milton Friedman described Hong Kong as the best example of a free-market economy. Its ranking is based on low taxes, light regulations, strong property rights, business freedom, and openness to global commerce.

Graeme Maxton writes in the South China Morning Post:

“The only way to restore order is through a radical change in Hong Kong’s economic policies. After decades of doing almost nothing, and letting the free market rule, it is time for the Hong Kong government to do what it is there for; to govern in the interests of the majority.”

The issue is not the extradition proposal, Carrie Lam or China. What we are witnessing is an unrestricted neo-liberal economy, described as a free market on steroids. Hong Kong’s economy relative to China’s gross domestic product (GDP) has fallen from a peak of 27 percent in 1993 to less than 3 percent in 2017. During this time, China has had tremendous growth, including in nearby market-friendly Shenzen, while Hong Kong has not.

As Sara Flounders writes, “For the last 10 years wages have been stagnant in Hong Kong while rents have increased 300 percent; it is the most expensive city in the world. In Shenzhen, wages have increased 8 percent every year, and more than 1 million new, public, green housing units at low rates are nearing completion.”

Hong Kong has the world’s highest rents, a widening wealth gap and a poverty rate of 20 percent. In China, the poverty rate fell from 88 percent in 1981 to 0.7 percent in 2015, according to the World Bank.

Hong Kong in Chinese Context

Skyline of Beijing, China’s capital city, at dusk, 2017. (Picrazy2, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Ellen Brown writes in “Neoliberalism Has Met Its Match in China,” that the Chinese government owns 80 percent of banks, which make favorable loans to businesses, and subsidizes worker costs. The U.S.  views China subsidizing its economy as an unfair trade advantage, while China sees long-term, planned growth as smarter than short-term profits for shareholders.

The Chinese model of state-controlled capitalism (some call it a form of socialism) has lifted 800 million people out of poverty and built a middle class of over 420 million people, growing from four percent in 2002, to 31 percent. The top 12 Chinese companies on the Fortune 500 are all state-owned and state-subsidized including oil, solar energy, telecommunications, engineering, construction companies, banks, and the auto industry. China has the second-largest GDP, and the largest economy based on Purchasing Power Parity GDP, according to the CIAIMF and World Bank.

China does have significant problems. There are thousands of documented demonstrations, strikes and labor actions in China annually, serious environmental challenges, inequality and social control through the use of surveillance technology. How China responds to these challenges is a test for their governance.

China describes itself as having an intraparty democracy. The eight other legal “democratic parties” that are allowed to participate in the political system cooperate with but do not compete with the Communist Party. There are also local elections for candidates focused on grassroots issues. China views Western democracy and economics as flawed and does not try to emulate them but is creating its own system.

China is led by engineers and scientists, not by lawyers and business people. It approaches policy decisions through research and experimentation. Every city and every district is involved in some sort of experimentation including free trade zones, poverty reduction and education reform. “There are pilot schools, pilot cities, pilot hospitals, pilot markets, pilot everything under the sun, the whole China is basically a giant portfolio of experiments, with mayors and provincial governors as Primary Investigators.” In this system, Hong Kong could be viewed as an experiment in neoliberal capitalism.

The Communist Party knows that to keep its hold on power, it must combat inequalities and shift the economy towards a more efficient and more ecological model. Beijing has set a date of 2050 to become a “socialist society” and to achieve that, it seeks improvements in sociallabor and environmental fields.

Where does Hong Kong fit into these long-term plans? With 2047 as the year for the end of the agreement with the U.K., U.S. and Western powers are working toward preserving their capitalist dystopia of Hong Kong and manufacturing consensus for long-term conflict with China.

How this conflict of economic and political systems turns out depends on whether China can confront its contradictions, whether Hong Kongers can address the source of their problems and whether US empire can continue its dollar, political and military dominance. Today’s conflicts in Hong Kong are rooted in all of these realities.

*  *  *

Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers co-direct Popular Resistance. A version of this article first appeared in PopularResistance.org.