Monday, April 30, 2007

Hello?

I have been notified that my little scribblings have been nominated for the Bloggers Choice Awards.

I'd like to thank HollyB, who nominated me not only for 'Best Blog About Stuff', but also 'Best Blog Of All Time', 'Best Humour Blog' and 'Best Pop Culture Blog'.

I don't know about 'best', but I am deeply honoured to be nominated.

Thanks, Holly. And thanks to everyone who takes the time to read my little scribblings -- if it weren't for y'all, I probably would have wandered on to other things long ago.

LawDog

Great Horned Toads!


I was out for my evening perambulations and came across this delightful little chap noshing his way through an ant colony.

I watched him for a while, walked home and got my digital camera, walked back -- he was still there.

Found out that the batteries in my camera were dead, dinked around with them for a good quarter-hour, walked back home, got in the pick-up and went downtown to fetch some more batteries.

Went back to his ant mound -- and he was still there. Ham.

I hear folks -- some of whom would be considered horned toad experts -- lamenting the disappearance of these little lizards from North Texas.

Thing is, I see them pretty much every time I'm in the boonies.

I tend to wonder if these folks are looking for horned toads, and just not seeing them.

This is a troubling trend that I see -- by no means limited to prehistoric ant assassins -- in which people just aren't seeing what they're looking at. I have no idea how many people walked past me while I was futzing about with my camera who are completely clueless as to what I was taking pictures of.

Too many people walking by, looking at Yard, Generic, One Ea. and not seeing the flowers ... or the horned frog.

And yes -- me being me -- seeing what you are looking at is an invaluable aid to surviving. Don't just look at Street, Urban, Dingy, One Ea. -- see it: where are the ways out (both standard and non-traditional), how many people are present, possible improvised tools, ambush points -- see all of this, but also see the other things. The things that speak to you and lift your spirits. Decorations. Colours. Horned toads.

I have walked down a street and noticed a single red flower in the midst of a hedge so green that it defies labels -- that red flower in a green hedge a picture easily as soothing and uplifting to the soul as any painting on a wall of a museum. And people all around me walking by and not seeing it.

I wish I knew how to teach people to see rather than just look -- I rather think I could make a fortune at it.

*sigh*

LawDog

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Idaho nachos

Take:

One pound of hamburger meat,
One tablespoon of taco seasoning.

Put both in frying pan, brown and drain.

Take:

4 cups of cheese of your choice (or cheese substitute),
1 can of Mild Rotel.

Put cheese in microwave-safe bowl, drain can of Rotel and dump on top of cheese. Nuke until melted.

Now, break out the deep-fryer and make yourself a plate-full of waffle-cut french fries. I suppose any kind of french fry will work, but the waffle-cut kind of keep with the whole "nacho" thing.

Mix your taco meat and your melted cheese goodness together and pour over your plate of fries.

Top with chopped tomatoes, chopped onions and peppers to taste.

Voila! Idaho nachos.

LawDog

Friday, April 27, 2007

Off to see the wizard!

Actually, I'm off to the Dallas Market Hall gun show, but it's pretty much the same thing.

Afterwards, I, my brother, Reno and another officer we work with will probably hit the Germanfest at Muenster on the way back.

I have no doubt that this will generate at least one tale. Probably one involving a sentence something along the lines of: "It's not my fault that donkeys can't hold their dopplebock."

Ah, well.

See y'all tomorrow.

LawDog

NARA

For those of us who do any sort of research, the National Archives and Records Administration is an invaluable aid. As the official Archives of the United States of America, if your research involves anything Government-related, you pretty much have to go through NARA.

Unfortunately, it's looking as though someone at NARA has discovered that there may be money to be made in the archives business.

Now, I don't mind paying a reasonable amount to cover the paper cost and the cost of having an intern hit the 'Copy' button, but as an example, NARA is about to jump the cost of getting a copy of a Civil War pension application from $37 to $125 -- other copies to be priced similarly.

Normally, I'd say that that's all well and good, the free market will tend to the messy details -- how-some-ever we are dealing with the Federal Government here and free market checks-and-balances won't apply.

*sigh*

There was a site for filing comments on the proposed rate change, however the 'Comments' section appears to have been disabled.

Shocked, shocked I am.

We might as well make our Congresscritters earn their monthly paycheck, so you might consider contacting them here and suggesting that some heavy leaning on NARA might not be amiss.

LawDog

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

It's dead, Jim.

It was a Usual Day at Dad's office -- note that I did not say "Normal" day, just a usual one.

Dad was behind his desk contemplating a set of blueprints and absent-mindedly feeling about for a mug, while Dad's Brit Buddy Tom sat sideways in a chair, running a slide rule and swearing creatively at the results.

This scene was disrupted as a gentleman with a plaid scarf wrapped over his nose and mouth, garbage bags put over his hands and run up to his armpits where they were held fast by several feet of gaffer tape, said hands being used to wave a gardening trowel in my fathers general direction, burst into the office.

"You," he announced in tones of Imminent Doom (with more than a trace of California lilt), "Have A Problem."

"Too right," snarled Tom, "There is no bloody way you can put two long tons of ore into a crusher and wind up with four-and-a-half long tons of gravel. Not sodding possible."

"Listen to me!" shrieked Mr. Plaid as he slammed a plastic-wrapped fist on the desk.

Dad raised an eyebrow, reached out and hooked a forefinger in the scarf and dragged it past the chin. "What's on your mind, Hammond?"

The local Peace Corp rep pointed a trembling finger at the ceiling: "Disease! Infection -- maybe viral. Possibly a plague of Biblical proportions!"

Tom patted him on the shoulder, "Let me guess: You're at the khazi, and it feels like some rat bastard snuck razor blades into your morning cuppa, am I right?"

"You don't understand -- something is killing them!"

"Oh, I'm sure it seems that way, but I assure you - one shot, maybe two - and Bob's your uncle. Be a whole new man day after next."

"You're not listening to me!"

So saying, the just-a-hair-under-full-blown-panicky Peace Corp rep chivvied Tom and my father to the front porch of the office, there to gaze upon one very deceased example of rattus rattus.

"See?! And that's not the only one! There're five more along the east side of the building, all dead with blood coming out of their noses, just like this one!"

My father sighed gently as he performed a Migraine Salute, "Hammond, I have children -- both boys, both about ten years old."

"He does," affirmed Tom, helpfully, "I've seen them."

"I understand," proclaimed Hammond, "And I want you to understand that we will everything in out power to prevent this disease from jumping species."

"Listen to me: the rats are more in danger from my kids, than my kids are from the rats. Trust me on this one. You've got your shorts into a knot over nothing."

Hammond gave my father a look of compassionate pity, and confided sotto voce to Tom, "Denial. We see it all the time."

Tom, already having sensed an opportunity for mischief, nodded happily, "Knee-deep in it. Terrible. Terrible."

Dad sighed, cocked an eyebrow at his Right Hand Rotter and the Peace Corp rep, gave a 'Do What You Have To Do' wave of his hand, and headed back to his office.

Hammond rubbed his garbage-bag-wrapped hands together,"Right. We're going to need some dry-ice, a Styrofoam container and some plastic ..."

Four weeks later, the Telex in Dad's office chattered to life:

FROM: [REDACTED MAJOR TEXAS UNIVERSITY]
TO: J. HAMMOND

-BEGIN MESSAGE- YOU HAVE OUTBREAK OF QUARTERNUTITIS -STOP- DISEASE DEADLY TO SMALL ANIMALS -COMMA- BUT NO RECORDED DEATHS IN HUMANS OR LARGE ANIMALS -STOP- DISEASE VECTOR IS USUALLY SMALL MALE CHILDREN WITH SLINGSHOTS -STOP- NO SUGGESTED PROPHYLAXIS -COMMA- TRADITIONAL TREATMENT INVOLVES APPLICATION OF HICKORY IF DISEASE INFECTS BREAKABLE OBJECTS -STOP- LARGE BILL AND LETTER TO FOLLOW -END MESSAGE-

*snort*

Quarternutitis. I don't know who was measuring things down there, but Chris and I never used anything smaller than 3/8ths.

Tom and the rest of the Usual Suspects were paying us a handsome bounty for each rat -- and if we pulled off a difficult or spectacular shot in front of the engineers, we usually got a pretty hefty bonus.

*sigh*

I miss those slingshots. One of the engineers had hand-carved the grips out of African mahogany and powered the things with two lengths of surgical tubing per side. Chris and I rarely ventured out of the house without them and a pocket full of 3/8ths nuts.

I never see kids out with slingshots these days, and that tends to sadden me.

LawDog

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Arrgghh.

For the first time in over a decade, I find it necessary to don a tie.

Damned thing keeps coming out somewhere between a half-Windsor and a full Windsor -- maybe a three-quarter Windsor?

I have been quite happy relying on a bolo tie when it was necessary to dress things up a bit, and I have a couple of very nice satin string ties for very formal.

Bugger! The knot looks perfect, but there's about six inches of the wrong end hanging -- scissors! Where the hell are the scissors?

I even have a couple of never-worn clip-on ties, but I am reliably informed that clip-on ties Simply Will Not Do.

*mutter, mutter*

Internet! Google ... "Half-Windsor" -- ergh. Hrm. What the hell?

Even when Baby Sister got herself married, I ditched the bow-tie in favour of a lace jabot.

Had to, actually, as it was the only thing that really matched the Montrose jacket and the kilt.

Speaking of, gentlemen, the ability of a formal highland outfit to attract the Fair Sex has to experienced to be believed. Confidence and a kilt, my lads, confidence and a kilt.

Bloody hell, I don't have that much tie! How many sodding times ... oh. Full Windsor. Back up.

You'd think, here in North Texas we'd be using something a little more civilized than six yards of self-tied noose.

There. I guess. Good enough.

Wish me luck, folks.

LawDog

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Little things

One popular saying has it that Texas has four seasons, just like everyone else, only here they're: 1) Almost Summer; 2) Summer; 3) Still Summer; and 4) Deer Season.

I suppose -- like most everything else -- there's a grain of truth in that, however North Texas does have a bit of a spring.

Every year, the TxDOT, the Counties and various wildflower groups spend some not-inconsiderable time and money seeding Texas highways with wildflower seeds.

And, during each bit of a spring that Texas gets, the wildflowers do what flowers do best -- all up and down the medians and shoulders of Texas highways:

This has led to a bit of a tradition whereby doting parents kit out their sprogs in their Sunday finest, plonk them down in a patch of bluebonnets and take pictures.

Despite what you may have heard, there is no law against this -- at least, not that I can find -- and there is no law forbidding the picking of wildflowers.

Do try to keep in mind, though, that wildflowers propagate by way of seeds, and they've got to be around to drop those seeds. Consideration, please.

Anyhoo, this afternoon I was out doing LawDog-type things when I noticed a crew-cab pickup parked on an access road in our county. Standing by the pickup, looking across a shoulder absolutely chock-full of bluebonnets was an elderly couple, standing standing side-by-side and laughing fit to burst.

Down in amongst the bluebonnets there was a very young couple, with a very young bairn, said baby absolutely amazed by the scads of bright blue flowers and not paying the least attention to Mama and camera.

Daddy was kneeling just outside camera-shot (I guess), waving his hat at the bairn, trying to get the child to look at the camera, but the sprog was entranced by the flowers and not having a bit of it.

Finally Daddy threw a 'what-can-you-do' shrug to the elder couple, tossed his hat and pounced on the child, impromptu tickle-fest immediately ensuing -- much to the delight of the child, and all being caught on camera by a smiling mother.

It's the little things, folks. Sometimes after a week like we've just had, people need to be reminded of what's important. Family. Smiles. Hugs. Laughter. Love.

Bluebonnets probably figure in there, too.

Go kiss your Significant Other. Do some hand-holding and flower smelling. Spend some time remembering the little, important things.


See y'all on Monday.

LawDog

Friday, April 20, 2007

Got a question

Nana's father graduated from the University of Texas - Galveston with a Medical degree in 1900.

His diploma was displayed in his office until the 1920s when a fire destroyed his office and his diploma along with it.

Nana remembers the office burning, and her father losing his diploma rather vividly, and since she's going to be 100 years old in August, we figure it might be nice to present her with a copy of her fathers medical degree.

My question is, how would we go about getting a copy of his diploma?

Mom has tried going through UT Galveston, but they're not being real helpful about it -- considering that Nana's dad died in 1931, I don't think there's much chance of us getting him to sign a release.

Anyone got any ideas on how to shake things loose down in Galveston?

LawDog

Meditations on gun control

I have never understood how it was possible for a thinking, rational being to support gun control.

Whole bunch of folks who ought to know better are using the excuse of the murders at Virginia Tech to call for the banning of guns. Some folks calling for only some guns to be banned, others going whole hog and wanting everything banned.

Let me ask y'all a question.

You want to ban guns. In 1919, the Volstead Act and the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution were passed banning alcohol -- much like you want to ban guns now, they banned booze then.

Hmpf.

How'd that work out?

Would you call Prohibition a success?

What makes you think the banning of guns would be any different?

You want to ban the possession of guns. Well, the possession of cocaine is banned. How's that ban on cocaine working? Has the cocaine problem gotten better or worse?

What makes you think the banning of guns will be any different? Honestly?

You want to ban the manufacture and transportation of guns. You know, the manufacture and transportation of methamphetamine is banned.

Do I have to ask?

What makes you think the banning of guns will have a different result?

Ban guns. Give them an allure. Tell people they can't own guns, and turn guns into Forbidden Fruit; give guns that irresistible Edgy Outlaw Aura. Make guns the Ultimate Bad Boy accessory.

In the deep, dark recesses of your mind you think we have a gun problem now?

Weed, coke, crack, ice, meth, acid, PCP, XTC, oxy, smack -- it's all banned. And there you sit, forked tongue firmly behind your teeth, piously telling everyone that things will get better once you ban guns.

Pfagh.

Ban guns. Go ahead. If an illiterate Afghani blacksmith with hand tools, a charcoal fire, and a donkey can turn out a full-auto copy of an AK-47 in a week, how long do you think it will take Joe Texan with a metal shop in his garage to do the same?

Because, you know, the methamphetamine ban has worked so well.

Of course, I'm sure that no other government would dabble in illegal arms, just like no government ever cut themselves in for a share of the profits from the (banned) heroin trade, or the (banned) cocaine trade.

*snort*

You can take this one to the bank: just as soon as you get your idiotic gun ban passed, the second thing I am going to do (right after throwing my badge on the Sheriff's desk) is use my First Amendment right and post complete specifications for Sten guns, Ingrams, KG-99's and every other stamped sheet metal firearm on the Internet.

Then, I'll go back and post the complete specs for every firearm in my library on the Internet -- First Amendment Freedom of Speech and all that.

I'm wondering: how long do you think it'll take for the number of gun-bootlegging millionaires to match the number of booze-bootlegging fortunes created by Prohibition?

Yo, Teddy Kennedy, you being the expert on family fortunes created by Prohibition, you want to weigh in?

I wonder how long it will take for the number of gun traficante millionaires to match the number of cocaine traficante millionaires?

And I wonder how long it will take -- after you pass your silly-arsed gun ban -- for my children to be able to buy a Sten gun on any street corner for 20 dollars -- just like they can buy crack, meth, smack or whatever on any street corner for 20 dollars. They're all banned, right?

Go. Take your plates and go sit at the kiddies table. When you bloody well grow up and can think logically -- instead of
emoting and fee-ee-eeling your way through problems -- then you can eat at the Grown-Ups table.

Don't forget your binkies, you complete and utter oiks.

LawDog

I'm going to regret this

But circumstances have become such that I find it necessary to include an e-mail addy in my profile.

Readers of The LawDog Files may contact me by way of:
TheLawDogFiles(at)gmail(period)com

The brackets are because of spambots, but if you replace the (at) with an "@" and (period) with a "." you should come up with the correct address.

I am not the most punctual checker of my e-mail that you will ever meet, but I should get to it at least once a week or so.

If you want to e-mail me to troll, curse me, wish for my death by way of a horrid disease, sell me potency pills, adopt the Abacha sprogs, aid you in getting embezzled funds out of Nigeria, help a nice Russian girl to immigrate, or ship cell phones "risky free", then your e-mail will be sniggered at and deleted without comment.

Everyone else should comment by way of using the 'Comments' button at the bottom of each post.

If, however, you simply must send me a private, confidential communique, then by all means, use the e-mail address above.

I will warn you again -- I am not a prompt replier.

LawDog

Copycat Effect

I have the last couple of days writing a blog entry regarding copycats of the VA Tech shootings -- unfortunately, I can't get it to flow to my satisfaction.

Fortunately, someone with a lot more experience in the subject has done the work for me:

Loren Coleman's Blog: The Copycat Effect.

Read the article linked above, then go back and read the archives.

Tip of the Stetson to Peter for e-mailing me the link.

LawDog

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Public Service Announcement

My friend Larry Correia of Fuzzy Bunny Movie Guns (Fear the Bunny!) would like me to mention that the State of Utah allows concealed carry in schools.

Bearing that fact in mind, and in light of the recent murders in Virginia, the Staff of Fuzzy Bunny Movie Guns have decided to offer their Utah CCW class to any Utah qualified University student or faculty member for free.

You can't beat free.

I believe FBMG is also offering a couple of other classes for half-price.

Contact Fuzzy Bunny Movie Guns for details and fine print; and if you talk to Larry, tell him 'Dog said, "Hi!"

LawDog

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

We license cars ... yackyackyack

I see that the gun grabbers have resurrected the old "We license cars, so why can't we license guns?" meme.

I tell you what -- every time you hear a gun grabber snivel about licensing guns like cars, call him a liar to his face.

I would absolutely love to license guns just like we do cars and drivers -- for the same reason that every gun grabber who suggests it is lying through his or her snaggle teeth.

Think about it.

We give a drivers license to every seventeen-year-old high school student who can pass a lowest-common-denominator Drivers Ed course. A course that can be successfully passed by a lobotomized chimpanzee.

In a large percentage of cases, we give drivers licenses to 16 year-old kids who state that they have a particular hardship.

Tell me, Mr or Ms. Gun Grabber, that you want to license guns just like cars. You'll give a gun license to every 17 year-old who wants one -- just like a drivers license.

You're a liar.

Any person who possesses a drivers license can drive on any public road on any state in the Union. They can drive on school grounds, they can drive on college campuses, and they can drive to any courthouse in the Union.

Tell me, Gun Grabber, that you want to license guns just like cars. You'll let anyone with a gun license carry a gun anywhere they want to, in every State in the Union -- just like a drivers license.

You're a liar.

Drivers licenses issued by one State must be honoured by all other States. Anyone with a Texas Drivers License can drive any car he (or she) wants to, anywhere in New York City that he can fit. And the New York authorities don't have a thing to say about the matter.

Tell me, Gun Grabber, that you want to license guns just like cars. You'll let any 17 year-old cowboy from Bugscuffle, West Texas carry his gun anywhere he wants to in New York and tell the New York authorities they can't do anything about it -- just like a drivers license.

You're a liar.

If you get caught driving a car without your drivers license, you get a $90 traffic ticket that comes off your record in three years.

Tell me that you want to license guns just like cars. Tell me that if that Texas cowpoke is visiting Chicago, and gets caught carrying his gun without his license, he gets a traffic citation --
just like a drivers license.

You're a liar.

No one must undergo a background check to get a license, any felon can get a drivers license, no mental checks are required for a drivers license.

Tell me again that you want to license guns just like cars. You'll let everyone -- 17 to 70, felons, no mental checks, pay your money, take your test, here's your gun license -- just like a drivers license.

You're a liar.

If I'm on private property, I don't even need a driver license to drive any car I want to, the only limit to the number of cars I can possess is the size of my bank account, I can buy as many cars at once as my wallet can stand, and I can buy a car off a street corner in Compton today, another from a back-yard in New York tomorrow, I can import cars as many as a I want, from any country that I want, and I can sell or trade any or all of them to anyone I want -- and the Federal Government doesn't have word one to say about the matter.

I build any car I want to -- with no Federal permission; I can modify, cut-down, trick-out, customize or skeletonize any car I want to without so much as a "Yes", "No", "Boo", "Kiss my arse" or "By your leave" from the Federal Government.

Tell me, Mr or Ms. Gun Control, that you really want to treat guns just like cars. Tell me that your "gun license" that is "just like we license cars" will let us treat guns just exactly like we treat cars.

You are a damned liar.

LawDog

Kee riced all my tea ...

Yesterday I posted out of frustration and anger, and then went for a mug of tea. I have very carefully stayed away from the Internet and other Media because -- quite frankly -- continual bombardment of tragedy orchestrated by plastic, blow-dried hyenas who try to convince the world that They Care, all the while (metaphorically) circling in on the carcasses ... just doesn't do anything for me.

I logged on after work just now -- Great Googly Moogly! My poor blog.

26 outbound links -- that Blogspot can find. 98 comments. 3700 visitors in 17 hours. Oy.

Some boffin at Google/Blogspot is probably setting fire to a 'Dog voodoo doll as I write this.

I'd like to welcome new Gentle Readers to The LawDog Files. I wish it had been under better circumstances.

LawDog

Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech Shooting

Oh, Christ, here we go again.

Some maladjusted little bugsnipe gets his mental panties into a bunch and goes flat boiling nutters with a gun in one of the few places where he knows someone isn't going to put him down like a rabid dog during his first magazine.

And -- as usual -- the Mainstream Media is bleating about needing more Gun Control.

Gun Control is a failure. You simply can not expect those who would do murder -- those who would violate the highest law -- you can not expect them to obey a lesser law.

And you can not turn a failure into a success by doubling the failure.

None-the-less, I will be greatly surprised if the Mainstream Media and the political lapdogs don't try to use this tragedy to further their gun control agenda.

You want to be really disgusted? I mean, the down deep nausea kind of disgusted?

The State Government of Virginia had a bill before it which would have allowed college students to exercise their Second Amendment rights on campus earlier this year.

The bill didn't even make it out of committee.

When the bill died, the spokesman for Virginia Tech -- where some college kids really needed to be able to shoot back this morning -- Virgina Tech spokescritter Larry Hincker stated:

"I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus."

He was happy to hear of the defeat of the bill which would have allowed college kids to carry weapons for self-defence on his college campus.

Happy now, you sodding dacoit? Go tell the dead that they're really safe because the Virginia State Government refuses to allow them to carry for self-defence on campus, you ate-up catamite with delusions of adequacy.

And despite all of that -- despite the senseless death and the smug arrogance that allowed the death to happen -- there is news that sickens me to the very core.

There are reports -- granted unconfirmed at this time -- that several students were forced to line up, kneeling, and executed from behind.

I pray to the old gods -- the gods of war and blood and thunder -- that this is not the case.

I pray that some students went down fighting.

Because as bad as this is -- and this is a horror -- as bad as this is, if fifty some-odd people were injured and killed by one person whilst on their knees begging like so many Eloi, like a herd of sheep -- if no one stood up and fought back, then this is becomes an example of evil.

Not the evil that allows a man to kill other men -- although that is here in abundance. No, I am speaking of the putrescent evil which convinces good men not to fight back; the sordid filth of the soul which allows one bad man to prevail against fifty -- or 25,000 -- good men because good men have been systematically denied the mindset required to meet with, engage and defeat evil -- even if all you have is fingernails and rage.

One man. On a campus of 25,000 people. 25,000 people surrounded by fire extinguishers, book bags, pencils, pens, drafting compasses, chairs, broom handles, power strips, ceramics, chains and everything heavy and/or sharp.

One man managed to gun down fifty people -- or more -- without being stabbed and bludgeoned to death where he stood by the other 24,950 people.

I weep for the dead. I weep for the families who lost their treasured children today.

I weep even more for a land which not only denies the tools required for self-defence, but also denies the very mindset required for self-defence.

LawDog

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The 2006 Stella Awards are out.

The Stella Awards are awarded to the most outrageous lawsuits from the past year.

Reading them is always ... educational.

The 2006 True Stella Awards

Issued 31 January 2007

(Click here to confirm these are legitimate.)

#5: Marcy Meckler. While shopping at a mall, Meckler stepped outside and was "attacked" by a squirrel that lived among the trees and bushes. And "while frantically attempting to escape from the squirrel and detach it from her leg, [Meckler] fell and suffered severe injuries," her resulting lawsuit says. That's the mall's fault, the lawsuit claims, demanding in excess of $50,000, based on the mall's "failure to warn" her that squirrels live outside.

#4: Ron and Kristie Simmons. The couple's 4-year-old son, Justin, was killed in a tragic lawnmower accident in a licensed daycare facility, and the death was clearly the result of negligence by the daycare providers. The providers were clearly deserving of being sued, yet when the Simmons's discovered the daycare only had $100,000 in insurance, they dropped the case against them and instead sued the manufacturer of the 16-year-old lawn mower because the mower didn't have a safety device that 1) had not been invented at the time of the mower's manufacture, and 2) no safety agency had even suggested needed to be invented. A sympathetic jury still awarded the family $2 million.

#3: Robert Clymer. An FBI agent working a high-profile case in Las Vegas, Clymer allegedly created a disturbance, lost the magazine from his pistol, then crashed his pickup truck in a drunken stupor -- his blood-alcohol level was 0.306 percent, more than three times the legal limit for driving in Nevada. He pled guilty to drunk driving because, his lawyer explained, "With public officials, we expect them to own up to their mistakes and correct them." Yet Clymer had the gall to sue the manufacturer of his pickup truck, and the dealer he bought it from, because he "somehow lost consciousness" and the truck "somehow produced a heavy smoke that filled the passenger cab." Yep: the drunk-driving accident wasn't his fault, but the truck's fault. Just the kind of guy you want carrying a gun in the name of the law.

#2: KinderStart.com. The specialty search engine says Google should be forced to include the KinderStart site in its listings, reveal how its "Page Rank" system works, and pay them lots of money because they're a competitor. They claim by not being ranked higher in Google, Google is somehow infringing KinderStart's Constitutional right to free speech. Even if by some stretch they were a competitor of Google, why in the world would they think it's Google's responsibility to help them succeed? And if Google's "review" of their site is negative, wouldn't a government court order forcing them to change it infringe on Google's Constitutional right to free speech?

And the winner of the 2006 True Stella Award: Allen Ray Heckard. Even though Heckard is 3 inches shorter, 25 pounds lighter, and 8 years older than former basketball star Michael Jordan, the Portland, Oregon, man says he looks a lot like Jordan, and is often confused for him -- and thus he deserves $52 million "for defamation and permanent injury" -- plus $364 million in "punitive damage for emotional pain and suffering", plus the SAME amount from Nike co-founder Phil Knight, for a grand total of $832 million. He dropped the suit after Nike's lawyers chatted with him, where they presumably explained how they'd counter-sue if he pressed on.

©2007 by Randy Cassingham,
StellaAwards.com. Reprinted with permission.

Be aware that several e-mails are in circulation that claim to be Stellas -- but aren't -- you can check the Stella website for a list of bogus cases in the e-mails.

LawDog

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Just shoot me now.

By way of good friend Peter, we get some ... esoteric ... news out of Sweden.

I can honestly say that this one has never happened to me before.

Seems like a couple decided to spice up their pat-and-tickle by way of a set of handcuffs.

Things went as these things usually do -- up until the post-coital un-cuffing, at which time the husband found out that the key didn't fit the handcuffs.

After, and I quote "Prolonged attempts to un-cuff his better half" unquote, the husband apparently decided that expert assistance was required.

And who knows more about handcuffs than the local police?

Ye gods.

Wait! It gets worse. The keys supplied by the helpful locals didn't fit either -- so the PD helped the old boy saw the cuffs off of his lady.

The absolute topper on the cake, though, was the reaction of the local gardai:

"'We view this purely as a service. It usually happens about once a year,' said Andersson."

Oh. My. Gawd.

Gentlemen, the lesson here is to keep the Seven Ps* firmly in mind when it comes to your recreational activities.

LawDog

*Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

Counter-point

Lest anyone should believe that the Brits snagged by the Iranians earlier this month represent Tommy Atkins, Michel Yon has embedded with British forces in Iraq and will be reporting on British ops in that sector.

There is also the evidence of Private Johnson Gideon Beharry, who was awarded the first Victoria Cross since 1982 for "outstanding gallantry of the highest order" for actions in Iraq, 2004.

Despite what we have seen and read in the Media, Tommy is still packing steel fangs, and is -- as he has ever been -- very, very good at what he does.

LawDog

Should I get irritated?

Occasionally -- actually more and more here recently -- I notice articles from The LawDog Files showing up in some unusual sites.

These sites tend to have nonsense names, and appear to be mostly adverts for various items and services.

This time it's "do12d-dot-ooeoyi-dot-com", "do12f-dot-ooeoyi-dot-com", and "st3b-dot-ooeoyi-dot-com".

I am spelling out the web addresses, because I'm not sure I want a link from these sites back to my blog.

You can find them by going to Google, clicking on 'more', then ' Blogs', enter "LawDog" as the search parameter, then sort the results by date.

Right now, it's three of my tales, lifted verbatim.

As I prowl about a bit, the taste I get is that maybe these sites are created by some kind of automated program, which selects random web-content to display -- I'm guessing related somehow to some kind of spamming.

The thing is, I'm not for sure. Does anyone out there have a clue as to what is going on?

I'd hate to need to go all Gotterdammerung on someone and not know it -- kind of lets down the side and all.

LawDog

Friday, April 13, 2007

I do not think that word means what you think it means.

I'm quite happy being a male of the species.

Understand me, there is not a thing wrong with the female form -- I am an ardent admirer and appreciator of said form -- but I am quite happy with my second-hand experience.

Some of my reasons for being happy to be male are a trifle esoteric (as a "for-instance", as a male of the species I'm fairly sure that my sparring opponents aren't pulling their punches -- Hey! I said they were esoteric!) but most are pretty much the standard fair -- the simple contentment of writing your name in the snow, that sort of thing.

Over the last few days, however, I have discovered another reason to thank God for making me male: As a male of the species, the chance of me developing an Internet bunny-boiler of my very own is slim at best.

I say this after reading posts in the 'Comments' section of Lady Tam's blog, where it seems that the lass has picked up a malapropian creepy crush.

And when I say 'malapropian', I mean someone needs to take the thesaurus away from that boy and beat him with it. Plus, the 'Keep It Simple, Stupid' concept has apparently never occurred to him, because he seems to absolutely delight in using fifty words where any other writer would have used one.

The icing on the cake, so to speak, is found at his blog, where he proudly displays several photos of Lady Tam, including her infamous Bikini Shot.

I will admit to possessing a copy of that picture, however, I don't have it displayed in an Internet sidebar shrine.

That sort of thing constitutes heading off into 'Person of Interest' territory, as we say in Law Enforcement.

If you want further information, Tam's co-worker ColtCCO has links to the whole thing at his blog.

LawDog

Neater than kitten toes

Whilst banging around the Internet researching something completely different, I stumbled cross the homepage of the A. Uberti company.

Uberti has dug out quite a niche for themselves making firearms for the Cowboy Action shooters, and I was browsing their single-action revolver section -- with my .41 Special project in mind -- when I discovered this.

Scroll down to the No. 3, 2nd Model with the 3 1/2-inch barrel.

It can be had in .44-40. A snubnose, top-break .44-40.

Is that not just the neatest thing you've ever seen?

One of these pistols riding in a skeleton shoulder rig and a gentleman of the Belle Époque would be set to ride the Orient Express to Istanbul, travel up the Nile, or dine with the Viceroy of India.

*sigh*

So many toys, so little money.

LawDog

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Duke case

The State of North Carolina has dropped all charges against the Duke University lacrosse players.

*sigh*

It's about time.

I imagine that Blog World will be awash in condemnations of Mike Nifong before too long, and he is well deserving of all those -- and more.

The real tragedy of the Duke rape case is the fact that the lives of everyone involved have been smashed.

And smashed for no good reason.

The players, of course, have lost 13 months out of their lives and will face suspicion for the rest of history. Their reputations are right down the khazi. And I guarantee that their legal defence will be in the millions of dollars.

Duke University caught heat for not doing anything, then caught just as much hell for doing too much. The Media criticised them for defending the players until Duke did an about-face -- and now the same Media is criticising Duke for not sticking up for the players.

The accuser had her private life yanked out and displayed for all the leering masses to examine and gossip over. Just as much as the players, the accuser will face suspicion for the rest of her life. And -- just as much as the players -- her reputation will forever be in the bog, too.

The coach did his best to deal with his players. He expressly warned the lacrosse team to behave themselves, yet got forced out of his position by Duke as part of the University Arse-Covering Campaign to Prove We're Doing Something So The Media Will Get Off Our Backs.

Mike Nifong will not be discussed here, but it's safe to say that Mikey's career is toast.

Seems to me that the only folks who made out at the end of this sorry affair were the Media. Sniffing a story containing sex, sports, race, violence, bad boys, class structure and a Major Southern Elite University, the Media became bound, bent and determined to turn a simple sexual assault investigation into a referendum on perceived political, social and cultural issues -- to the detriment of Justice and all involved.

Would Mike Nifong have pushed a shaky case as far as he did if the Media hadn't encouraged him?

I don't know.

I firmly believe, however, if the Media had left this one alone, Justice would have been served a lot sooner, and the damage to all would have been considerably less.

If the Media had let this one be tried in the Justice System, by the Justice system, rather than on TeeVee by blow-dried, plastic talking Barbie dolls who wouldn't know a 'chain of custody' if they were beaten about the head and shoulder with one, the process would have been less traumatic to all.

A sad, sad commentary on Modern Media, and our society as a whole.

LawDog

News

The brother from another mother whom I mentioned in this post earlier is back in God's Own Litterbox.

He's already done time in Afghanistan and Iraq, but he is good at his job and all that, so I guess the Army needs him in Iraq again.

*sigh*

If you have a spare Happy Thought laying about, it surely wouldn't bother me if you were to wing it past Jim Totten, c/o U.S. Army, Bigpatchasand, Iraq.

Continuing the same theme of loved ones off in places I ain't too happy about, Nana's back in the hospital.

The centre where Nana is staying got concerned about some leg swelling she had and got some tests done -- turns out Nana had a fairly significant clot deep inside her leg.

So, she's back in the hospital -- only this time she's off in the big-arsed Metroplex and not in our little hospital here in Bugscuffle where everyone knows Nana.

Mom's off to Garland to tend to Nana -- and Mom hates big cities almost as bad as I do.

*sigh*

In other news, it appears that the proper method for getting at least one Brit sailor to crack is to withhold hugs. Goodness. At least the inmates at Abu Ghraib made it to the dreaded 'panties-on-the-head' stage.

No word yet on whether the tomb of Lord Nelson has detonated or not -- although there are rumours of a tremor running about 7.8 on the Richter scale somewhere in the vicinity of St. Paul's cathedral in London.

Cindy Sheehan must be very proud. Isn't this the kind of warrior/diplomat she's been advocating?

*sigh*

Speaking of New Age Courage, it comes to our attention (by way of numerous sources) that high-level Internet boffins are proposing guidelines and tactics to enhance civility on the Internet -- the most baffling of which is a two-pronged approach consisting of 1) Considering the banning of anonymous comments; and 2) Deleting comments found to be distasteful.

The fact that these ideas, and others, were presented with a straight face leads me to believe -- in no uncertain terms -- that these same folks are bloody, sodding clueless when it comes to the Real World.

How the hell do you ban anonymous comments? Sure, you can remove the 'Anonymous' box, but anyone who's made it past the third grade can make up a name. Can't post without entering a name? Sign your vitriol as "Phil Mc Craken", or the oldie-but-goodie, "Harry Butts" and spew away.

And just who the hell wants, needs or requires approval or permission to delete comments? It's your bloody blog, delete whatever you want.

By-the-by, here at The LawDog Files we don't have much of a problem with incivility or trolls. Of course, that may be because we're a tiny little blog, but I can't help but wonder if the fact that The LawDog Files is a polite and civil blog to begin with might not have a bit of an effect.

Wouldn't surprise me if those blogs who are complaining of incivility and trollish behavior might be guilty of blogging a bit of the same.

Oh, well. What do I know?

*grump*

LawDog

Monday, April 09, 2007

When you speak, Baby Jesus cries.

This may come as a bit of a surprise to my Gentle Readers, but I tend to have something of a complex regarding the minimum knowledge base required for certain jobs.

Anyone occupying a job position should demonstrate a base amount of knowledge before being entrusted with that position, and they should endeavour to maintain -- even expand -- that knowledge base.

As a "for instance" let us contemplate peace officers and gun store clerks.

I do not see why we should not expect our peace officers to exhibit some kind of base knowledge regarding the laws of the State in which they are commissioned. In this case, the Great State of Texas.

In the same vein, I do not see why we can not expect gun store clerks to have some kind of familiarity with the gun laws of the State. Again, in this case, The Great State of Texas.

Obviously, I am somewhat mistaken.

I say this, because as I was purchasing the latest addition to my gun safe, a customer to my left asked the clerk who was ringing up his purchase -- a rather nice Tikka bolt-action in .243 -- what Texas laws covered the transport home of his purchase.

To my absolute disbelief the clerk replied -- without missing a beat -- that in Texas a rifle could be in the passenger compartment as long as 1) the rifle was unloaded and; 2) you weren't further than forty miles from your home.

My jaw just about hit the floor. I was in the process of deciding whether I really wanted to jump into this discussion with all four feet, when the clerk looks past me to the fully-uniformed officer to my right and says, "Isn't that right, officer?"

This officer, wearing the uniform of a very large department in North Texas solemnly intoned: "Weapons laws in Texas are very complicated. As long as you unload your rifle, and lock it in the trunk of the car, you'll satisfy all the requirements of Texas Law regarding rifles."

I just about lost it. My vision greyed out, and I heard a ringing in my ears. Somewhere, angels wept bitter tears.

I bit my tongue until the clerk had swiped my debit card, then I announced, apropos of nothing, "Texas laws regulate the length of rifles and provide a very short, very specific list of places where they may not be carried. Texas law makes no mention -- whatsoever -- of the loaded or unloaded condition of the rifle, nor does it mention anything about car trunks or being 40 miles from home."

The officer looked at me and said, very gently, "I've been an officer for 25 years."

Y'all should be proud of me. I just about almost said, "Congratulations. In that quarter-century of service have you discovered that we're supposed to be reading the Penal Code, instead of eating it?"

Instead, I replied -- equally as gently -- "I've been a peace officer for 14, and I teach the Penal Code and CCP."

It was, however, a close thing.

Mu answer brought any further conversation to a close and I took the opportunity to depart the store with my latest acquisition.

Sweet shivering Shiva ... is it too much to ask that people who are supposed to be familiar with the law actually -- you know -- read it?! How the hell is an officer supposed to arrest for the violation of a law when he clearly has no clue what is -- or isn't -- the law.

And for Thor's sake, if you're a gun store clerk and someone asks you about gun laws -- actually know what you're talking about before you open your mouth and show your arse, mm'kay? It's not so difficult to say the words, "To be honest, I don't know" when you're clueless.

Try it. "To be honest, I don't know." See? Simple.

Aaarrrgghhh!

LawDog

Buy a Gun Day

By way of Cowboy Blob, we learn that your income tax check should be used to purchase a gun.

Goodness.

I was down in the Metroplex area and decided to pop into a large outdoorsy-type store with a fairly nice selection of Things That Go Bang.

Unfortunately, none of which were from the Czech Republic.

*sigh*

How-some-ever, as I was browsing the counter, a lonely FN FNP-40 made Big Puppy Eyes at me.

I successfully fought my wallet back into my pocket, but as I was walking through the rest of the store, I remembered that I don't have anything in .40 -- probably because the 9X19mm has worked rather well for me the past couple of decades.

None-the-less, certain folks (whose initials are Matt G) tend to get kind of a gob-smacked expression on their faces upon seeing Your Humble Scribe carrying a 9mm and start hinting heavily that something in a calibre beginning with a "4" might not be amiss.

And none of the pistols currently in my gun safe have a tac rail. Maybe sometime, somewhere, I'll have a need to mount a laser, light, bayonet, or grenade launcher to my pistol -- and where would I be?

So ...
It is used, but it has a nice DA pull, and the SA feels like silk over glass. I'm guessing that the previous owner either dry-fired the spam out of it, or had some kind of trigger job done to it.

It is a bit larger than the compact/semi-compact pistols I tend to favour, but not overly so. It has a solid, workmanlike feel to it -- this isn't a play-pretty, or safe-queen -- this pistol was designed for self-defence and conveys that with confidence.

It'll do nicely for BAG Day.

LawDog

Sunday, April 08, 2007

They did what?

"Lost the body? What do you mean they 'Lost the body'?"

--Anonymous Roman Centurion, 2007 years ago today.

Happy Easter, Eostre's Festival, Ostara's Day, Summer Finding or the holiday you and yours celebrate this week.

LawDog

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Your opinions, please.

Some of my Gentle Readers have noticed that I am slowly going back and modifying my early posts.

When I first started this blog, I was using plain text for stories and works that I had posted elsewhere. As I was going back, this habit looked really ... odd ... so I am editing my earlier works so that most of my writing is done in my familiar heavy blue script.

At the same time, one of my Gentle Readers has offered to craft for me a custom header for this blog.

He suggested an Old West style, with the classic Old West Font and such.

I am tending more towards an earlier style -- elegant cursive script and maybe a percussion duelling pistol or somesuch.

Regardless of what header The LawDog Files gets, I intend to stick with the parchment background and the heavy blue italic font.

I would like my Gentle Readers to put in their two cents worth. Should The LawDog Files go with an Old West header? Earlier style? Something else?

Your input would be much appreciated.

LawDog

'Fess up!

Which one of y'all invited Al Gore to North Texas?!

It's the seventh of April -- in North by-Gawd Texas -- and it was 30 bloody degrees Fahrenheit on the porch thermometer when I staggered out of bed this morning.

Now I find out that there's a chance of snow.

Snow?! It's April! In North Texas! Albert Arnold Gore, Junior -- take your happy arse home, dammit!

April snow in North Texas -- ye gods!

LawDog


postscript:

Yep, it's snowing. Not little flakes, either.

*sigh*

LawDog

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Shooter

*sigh*

Where to start?

I must remember not to see movies when I've already read the book.

The Good: The shooting is fairly well done, the fighting scenes aren't so jerky that you get sea-sick trying to watch the film, and the female lead has pulchritude to spare.

The Bad: The screen-play appears to have been developed by taking a copy of the original book (Point of Impact) and handing it to DailyKos readers for them to edit and adapt.

Sweet Jeebus. As Chris said, "Nothing like getting your politics delivered by way of a trip hammer."

Every sodding moonbat talking point was stuffed down the viewers throat. Sometimes twice. War for oil? Got it. Administration lied? Yep. 9/11 conspiracy? Twice. Capitalistic military/industrial complex as The Source Of All Evil? Oh, yeah. Executive Branch with Imperial Intentions? Uh-huh. Abu Ghraib? Yeppers. The Eee-eeevils of Gitmo? Of course. WMDs? Yes.

If I want to get beaten (metaphorically speaking) about the head-and-shoulders by a copy of the Leftist Moonbat Playbook, I'll pop over to DailyKos or HuffPo and jolly well save myself the $7.00 matinee price.

The Ugly: Marky Mark does not have what it takes to convincingly pull off a role as either a Southern cracker or a USMC Gunnery Sergeant -- much less both at the same time.

And he probably could have. Lord alone knows that in a world where Leo DeWhoozits could make me believe for a second that he was a Rhodesian mercenary there's a good chance that a Bostonian underwear model slash rapper could convince me that he's a Southron Marine gunny -- but every time he got close, some part of Bahs-tan would sneak into his accent and spoil the whole thing.

In summation: Bad. Bad, bad. Rent the DVD if you must see it. Better yet, sucker someone else into renting the DVD and bring the popcorn.

LawDog

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Stuff



When Granda married Nana way back when, his wedding gift to her was a Colt single-shot derringer in .22 Short, serial number 86XXX D.

The diplomacy facilitator isn't Nana's, by-the-by -- it belongs to Your Humble Scribe and is being used for scaling purposes.

As I look at this tiny little pistol, I marvel at how things have changed. Granda ordered this pistol through the mail -- by way of Sears and Roebuck maybe. He carried it and the case -- shown above -- to church and gave it to his bride. Nana carried it until after the reception, when she took it home.

These days, you can't order this pistol through the mail. It's against the law.

There are places in these United States where the groom would get arrested if he took this gun and case to church, or his bride would be arrested taking it home. Manhattan and Baltimore come to mind, but there are more and more places where this simple gift -- this expression of love and devotion -- would net someone a criminal conviction.

*sigh*

We are told this is progress.

We are told that arresting a bride for the mere possession of this gift in public is civilization.

We are told that denying a groom the ability to buy this simple gift for his bride through the mail is a insignificant price to pay for the safety of living in this Modern Age.

I look back at the time in which Granda and Nana got married and I contrast it with Now -- and I have to wonder which time is actually civilized?

I think about the young groom who would become my grandfather getting this pistol by way of the postal service as a gift for his bride ... and I have to wonder why Now -- where this simple, logical act is a Federal crime -- why is Now considered more progressive than Then?

A small token of love -- from a more civilized time.

LawDog

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Breathe, me old sod. Breathe.

Well, the Deed gets Done tomorrow.

I have enlisted the help of my buddy Reno in the moving of Nana's bed and recliner -- the facility doesn't supply those -- Mom and Chris will see to the transport of Nana.

Reno and I will get into the wind sometime around 0800 Monday morning so that we can have the bed and chair on-site and assembled in Garland by the time Nana arrives.

You know, I've done some fairly hairy [deleted] in my four decades on this little green dirtball.

My normal reaction to the effects of adrenaline is to shake like a leaf once all is over and done. And I can't say that I haven't done my share of horking during an After Action Report.

I don't have problems prior to, or during, action. I can stick up outside a meth lab, or a hostage situation, and be cool as a cucumber. I can -- and have -- sat in the door of a chopper flying off into God-only-knows-what, feet dangling out over pitch darkness, mentally reviewing the Op Order, options and various possible scenarios -- too busy to have a care in the world.

I have walked into the middle of a full-blown riot with only my brother from another mother -- on a pass from the Army and doing a Ride Along -- as back-up.

Afterwards -- I shake like an epileptic. Before and during -- I'm too busy, talk to me when it's over.

So.

I'm sitting here, ten hours to go, and my gut's tied in knots, butterflies the size of pteranodons are doing Immelmanns in my stomach and I'm restless as a rattlesnake on a hot rock. I can already tell you I'm not getting any sleep tonight.

This is new territory for me, and I'm pretty damned sure that I don't like it.

Sweet Shivering Shiva, let's get this over with.

LawDog