Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My thoughts on the upcoming election.

Shamelessly stolen from Cowboy Blob:


I will be going to the polls, but not to vote for the POTUS.

Oh, I'll probably cast my vote for Ron Paul, but I have no illusions about his electability -- unless Dr. Paul accepts a Vice-Presidential slot, the man is simply unelectable.

No, I shall be going to the polls to ensure -- to the best of my ability -- that the State of Texas sends conservatives to Capitol Hill.

One thing that we tend to forget -- with the willing aid of the mass media -- is that the President of the United States is not a king. Other than Executive Orders -- which can be overturned by both Congress and the Supreme Court -- the POTUS can not make law.

The President of the United States can only take legislation crafted by Congress and either sign it into a law or veto it.

The die is cast, Gentle Readers: we are not going to get a conservative President for the next four years. It is simply not going to happen.

However, if the only legislation that reaches the desk of the President comes from a conservative Congress, the majority of the damage can be avoided.

That's my hope, anyway.

Abstain from voting for the President if you must; but please cast your vote for a conservative Capitol Hill.

LawDog

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Meditations on Self Defence

Lot of folks consider self-defence -- the act of defending yourself against immediate unlawful force -- to be a right.

If pressed, they will state that self-defence is a right granted to them either from their Deity, or from Nature, depending on their personal faith.

In this -- to my way of thinking -- they are correct.

However, I put it to you that self-defence is not only a right, but it is a duty. Indeed, it is my opinion that a citizen of a community or society is obliged to defend themselves from unlawful immediate uses of force against their persons.

I see that I have lost some of my Gentle Readers. Allow me to elaborate.

All creatures on this little green dirtball operate on a Reward/Risk system: is the potential reward of this action worth the risk of this action? If so, you do the thing -- if not, you do something else.

In this, humans are no different than animals -- except that we can calculate delayed risks for immediate rewards. We understand that an act we do today, may have dire consequences next week.

One of the things I have noticed about critters during my law enforcement career is that they lack this ability. The possibility of getting caught by the police next week, or next month, has very little influence on the average critters Risk/Reward calculations.

Getting caught, injured or killed during the crime? Yes. Getting caught, injured or killed after committing the crime? Not so much.

Now, let us ponder two more things.

The first is that police can not and should not be everywhere at all times. Omnipresent police activity is physically impossible and morally repugnant -- it is the hallmark of an Orwellian dystopia.

Second is that a critter is not just the sum of his attack on one victim. A professional critter will victimize tens, scores -- or even hundreds -- of innocents during his career.

A community -- a society -- can not tolerate, nor can it bear the cost, of ten, twenty or a hundred victims of one human predator. Dealing with human predators -- critters -- is such a moral imperative that societies will go to great lengths -- taxation; awarding of powers of arrest, search and seizure; prisons -- to mitigate the damage done by critters.

The only problem is, is that critters don't factor getting arrested after the fact, or going to prison, in their Risk/Reward calculations. If they did, they'd be citizens instead of critters.

Which brings us to the obligation of self-defence.

For a critter, each successful attack upon a citizen -- "successful attack" being any attack during which the critter is neither injured, nor presented with the possibility of being injured -- lowers the Risk part of his calculations.

As an example, Joe Critter does his first mugging. He is probably almost as scared as his victim, he's not sure he wants to do this -- but ... hey! He got ten dollars (or sex, or a feeling of power, or whatever) but more importantly: he didn't get hurt.

The next time, he's a little less scared. He's a little more sure. He gets five dollars (or sex, power, whatever) -- and he's not hurt. He feels his activities present less risk to him each time he has a successful (he didn't get hurt) attack.

Twenty or a hundred victims later, Joe Critter not only doesn't think mugging is risky, but the lack of risk has caused him to consider other, more violent actions. Because these actions don't get him hurt.

On the other paw, suppose Joe Critter is in a place where self-defence is expected and encouraged. He figures the reward of wallet money is worth the risk of Rehabilitation Through Reincarnation, or Bodily Injury and attempts a mugging. The victim defends him or her self, and let us postulate that Joe scrambles away with powder burns and a bloody furrow along the ribs.

In contrast to the above example, for mugging number 2, the Risk part of Joe's Risk/Reward assessment climbs, rather than lowers. Death -- instead of being a philosophical possibility of his actions, is now a very real, concrete fact. But, Joe is young and stupid, so he has at it.

This time -- self-defence being expected and encouraged by this society -- Joe crawls to the nearest trauma centre with a .38-calibre lead slug in his belly. Pretty sodding quickly, the Risk (Death or Serious Bodily Injury) is going to outweigh the Reward (wallet funds), and Joe is going to turn to an activity with a lower Risk variable.

Not only does society as a whole indirectly benefit from the latter self-defence scenario, but the future ten, twenty or a hundred victims of Joe's predation benefit directly from his change of vocation.

And this example, Gentle Readers, is the exact reason why I throw things at the TeeVee every time some talking head in a uniform, or some Brady idiot, steps up to the microphone and solemnly parrots, "We don't recommend that people fight back" or "The best thing is to cooperate and let the criminal have what he wants."

Bushwa. Codswallop. Horse-puckey.

Every-stinking-time this variety of oral spew is uttered, it goes into critter Risk/Reward assessments and encourages them. Hells bloody bells, these sorts of statements encouraging -- rewarding -- critters should be grounds for arresting the idiots uttering them.

Evil is not defeated by submitting to it. Evil is not defeated by running away from it; nor is evil defeated by ignoring it.

Evil is only defeated by fighting back.

You may, or may not, think you have the right to self-defence -- and that is between you and your conscience. As a member of society -- as a member of a community -- you have the duty, the obligation, and the responsibility of self-defence.

LawDog

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pictures

Yep ... it's desert.

Above, Reno and Corky are attempting to track the elusive West Texas Chupacabra (they're all over the place down there.)

At the end of those tire tracks is our camp-site -- otherwise known as Ice Station "Toes! I Can't Feel My Toes!"

Shot taken from the County Road -- still desert.

LawDog

BUGGER!

MSNBC is announcing that Fred Thompson has just thrown in the towel.

Bloody damnation.

Great. Just sodding great. Is there an actual conservative out there worth voting for? How's Duncan Hunter's health these days?

Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani would be Democrats if they were anywhere but Massachusetts and Newt Yack City -- and they're both gun-grabbers to boot. Mike Huckabee apparently thinks the Constitution should be edited and tightened up so that it agrees with his version of God; and as for McCain -- three words: McCain. Feingold. Act.

And he's a gun-grabber.

Crap. Crap, crap, crap.

LawDog

Monday, January 21, 2008

I'm back

Sorry about the lack of posting, but I've been out in West Texas.

Mom's grandfather bought a square mile of desert out south of Monahans way back when, and while we no longer own the mineral rights, the surface still belongs to us.

It's caliche clay soil with scattered mesquite thickets blending into prairie grass on the north side. The folks that bought the mineral rights have some wells going, and the stink of hydrogen sulphide can get pretty robust in some parts, but it's still pretty country.

Went down there with Reno and another officer -- we'll call him Corky -- with the stated intention of doing Bad Things to the local javalina and quail populations.

I forgot how quickly it gets bloody cold in the desert.

The first night everything was all nice and ducky until between two and four o'clock in the A.M. when the temperature promptly fell off the edge of the table.

I do not think that the Gentle Reader quite understands the gravity of that statement. When I say the temperature dropped, a one gallon jug of Red Diamond Sweet Tea outside of the tent froze completely and totally solid.

That four A.M. call of nature? After staggering outside, I unzipped and rooted through an insulated set of coveralls, past the hunting pants, into my jeans and my Fruit-of-the-Looms -- only to find a tiny little note reading: "Sod this. Sod you. Gone home."

I have never been so cold in my life.

Vibrated my way back into the tent, to find Reno attempting to light the tent heater, but shivering so hard he couldn't get the electric match to fire.

As a side-note, it may have been a side effect of the hypothermia, but on the side of the tent heater -- a device made, marketed and sold for the stated purpose of, well, heating tents -- there was a warning sticker stating:

TENT HEATER

DANGER!
MAY PRODUCE CARBON MONOXIDE
DO NOT USE INSIDE TENT!

And that just flat kicked over the old giggle box. Blame it on the polar core temperature.

Any-the-hoo, Reno got the tent heater (not for use in tents) fired up, and the rest of the night, while not perzackly comfortable, was survivable.

Did some scouting and hunting the next day. Found coyote, bobcat and fox spoor galore, flushed some quail, tracked some javalina, molested some rabbits, tried to figure out what was scraping a ring of bark off the mesquite branches, romped through the brush, and Corky and Reno spotted a cougar.

The next night we made some alterations to the tent and it was considerably less cold. (Do note that I did not say, "Warmer" just "Less cold".)

Generally a good time. Reno took some pictures and once he e-mails them to me, I'll post select ones here.

Good to be back home. More posting tomorrow.

LawDog

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dude, don't bleed on the carpet.

By way of Stop The ACLU, we learn that Fred "Football Bat" Phelps and his herd of catamites is planning on picketing Camp Lejuene.

At one time I opined that radical Islamists were the:

"
metaphorical equivalent of a pack of Alka-Seltzer chewing chihuahuas; little turbans flying off their heads while they spew foam in their berserk barking fury."

I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that the only difference between jihadists and Fred Phelps would be the turbans.

Bug eyes? Check.

Quivering fury? Check.

Alka-Selzter foam spray? Check.

Incessant, rapid-fire, constant yapping? Check.

You know, deep inside, I do believe that Freddie wants to be martyred just about as bad as any Islamist.

I will bet you money that on January 19, Phelps won't get so much as one hair ruffled by any active-duty Marine. I riff on the Corps, but those kids have iron discipline.

The thing is, Jacksonville is full of retired Marines and folks to whom the US Marine Corps is extremely important. Folks who might consider a stay in the pokey and a misdemeanor plea to fighting to be a fair price to pay for a chance to stomp a mudhole in a WBC cultist and walk it dry.

*shrug*

Well, Freddie, if you have to demonstrate, who are we to stand in your way? Try not to bleed on anything important, though.

Nothing but love.

LawDog

Monday, January 14, 2008

Electronic bagpipes

Before my e-mail box gets filled with outraged communiques, I'd like to announce that -- yes, I do know that there really are electric bagpipes. Well, electronic bagpipes.

And I actually do enjoy good bagpipe music -- but I don't see why I can't make fun of bagpipes anyway.

Jose Angel Hevia Velasco
-- who performs under the name Hevia -- is a Spanish bagpiper who hauled off and invented a MIDI bagpipe which he plays live during concerts.

The following video is probably his most famous piece:



Enjpy, and forgive me for making fun of bagpipes.

LawDog

LIVE! IN CONCERT!

By way of Lady Tam and Squeaky Wheel we discover how to create your band and its latest CD cover:

1) The first article on this page is the name of your band.


2) The last four words of the last quote on t
his page is the CD title.

3) The third picture on this page is your album cover.

Voila! I present:
Acoustic Torpedo with their new album, "Flies Like A Banana".

To quote Rolling Stone magazine:

In the wake of the tragic -- and untimely -- death of electric bagpipist Nae Sae Wee Jock, the second CD from punk/folk/goth band "Acoustic Torpedo" presents a harder, grittier edge than their freshman offering.

NSW Jock, known for such power bagpipe staples as, "
Hinka Cumfae Cashore Canfeh, Ahl Hityi Oar Hied 'caw Taughtie" and "Heh Neebr, Goat A Rotry Airm Fur Ma Fordie?" died in Florida after the inebriated rocker mistakenly attempted to play a Caribbean Death Octopus during the 2005 SeaWorld Tour.

"It was ghastly," reminisced LawDog, lead kazoo/backup vocals, "The rolling about, the shrieking, pounding on the bag, wailing, convulsions, gurgling -- seemed like a fairly normal electric bagpipe performance."

The experience matured the band, adding a haunting, driven tone to the tuba and bringing out the full range of the kazoo.

Scandals, however, continue. When asked about the latest rumour, LawDog snarls, "False. Totally and completely. We did not use a bag of cats and a taser to replace Jock. Anyone who says so is a total hack who's obviously never listened to electric bagpipes before."

Rolling Stone gives 'Flies Like a Banana' four and one-half stars.

:-D

LawDog

Friday, January 11, 2008

Your Attention, Please

At this time, I'd like to remind each of my Gentle Readers that any functioning cell-phone can reach 911.

And when I say
any cell-phone I mean just that: any functioning cell-phone can be used to contact 911. If the battery has enough charge to hit a tower, and the phone works, you can dial 911 on it.

Doesn't matter if you cancelled your service -- you can dial 911 on it.

Doesn't matter if your service cancelled your service -- you can dial 911 on the cell-phone.

Doesn't matter if you've never even had a service -- you can still dial 911 on that phone.

Run over your allotted time limit? You can still dial 911.

The cell-phone company got you cut off until you pay them both legs, one arm and your first-born? You can still dial 911.

Yes, you can buy a pay-as-you-go phone -- but never buy any minutes -- and you can still dial 911.

The FCC requires all cell-phone services
to route any 911 call to a Public Safety Answering Point
regardless of whether the caller subscribes or not.

Thank you for your attention.

LawDog

Second Amendment news

By way of Ben Garner, we are informed that the State of Georgia is apparently overhauling their firearm laws.

We've not much truck with Georgia laws out here in Texas, but from the comments of several Gentle Readers, it appears that their laws are in serious need of some fixing.

Anyone needing further information is directed to the web home of GeorgiaCarry.org, or you can contact Ben at:
ben[dot]garner[at]gmail[dot]com

The bill is HB915, and can be found here.

Here's wishing Georgia folks the best of luck.

In not so good news, our friend Peter has been keeping a hairy eyeball on some squirrelly practices concerning firearms sales.

Seems like some folks have unilaterally decided not to allow credit card transactions between Federally-licensed firearms retailers and their distributors or manufacturers.

In other words, if Wal-Mart wants to buy 10,000 Ruger Mini-14's to put one of these rifles in each Wally-World in the Southern United States, if Wal-Mart uses a credit card to fund this transaction, First Data will terminate the buy and hold Wal-Mart's funds.

Folks, First Data is a private company, and they have the right to run their business as they wish -- but I'm here to tell you, that it's a small step between doing this for all firearms transactions and doing it for all tobacco transactions. Or whatever else is the non-Politically Correct Item du Jour.

Peter has more information and the contact list for First Data over at his blog.

LawDog

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Professor LawDog's School of Survival and Mayhem

Good morning, class. Today's lesson is particularly geared towards the distaff side of the species, it is specifically: Appropriate Countermeasures to the Front Chokehold.

The Front Chokehold is, of course, when you are facing your assailant and he places both of his hands around your neck and squeezes.

I say 'he' because, quite frankly, I don't see a lot of women attempting this really stupid maneuver.

I am, however, seeing an annoying uptick in the number of feral boyfriends, lovers, spouses and others utilizing said stupid maneuver -- not so much to cause death by strangulation, but to induce fear and panic before using the grip on the neck to throw the victim across the room -- and, quite frankly, it's pissing me off.

So.

To begin, understand that we here at LawDog Institute are not particularly concerned with the well-being of your attacker. Matter-of-fact, we believe that if your feral boyfriend is dead or brain-damaged, the odds of him being able to con you into believing "it won't happen again" and have you go back to him drop sharply.

With this in mind, however, do not practice this at full speed with a sparring partner.

Do not practice this at half-speed with a sparring partner.

There is a very real risk of death or serious bodily injury here, and I do not want to hear that you accidentally paralyzed your Pookie during training -- so practice this in super-slow motion anytime you are training with a partner.

Now. Visualize your own personal critter with both hands around your throat, squeezing. If you are a woman, and a man is squeezing your throat -- it is deadly force. Even if he "didn't mean to do it", it is far too easy to damage the airway, damage the blood vessels in the neck, crush the larynx or fracture the delicate bones in your neck. Getting you by the throat just elevated this jackass from 'Critter' to 'Personal Chew-Toy'.

Notice, do, that it is impossible for your attacker to bring his elbows together -- his shoulders prevent it. In addition, 99% of your assailants are going to bend their elbows out at a forty to ninety degree angle to get better leverage to kill you.

It is this space between his elbows that we are going to play with.

First, I want you to spot your chew-toy's chin. Eying his chin, I want you to drive your right elbow straight up between his arms and upwards through his chin to his forehead.

Let me repeat that -- drive through his chin and past his forehead. If you are left-handed, do this with your left elbow.

If his chin is too far away -- doubtful, but possible -- drive the palm of the proper hand through his chin and past his forehead.

Our purpose here is two-fold. One, we want our upper arm/shoulder between chew-toy's hands. Two, we want to slam the Brain Housing Group back on the pivot of the spine.

Several things may happen at this point. Your personal chew-toy may bite his tongue, lose teeth, break his jaw, and/or damage the delicate joint between the Atlas vertebrae (the first cervical vertebrae) and the skull. What we're really going for, though, is the wet squelch when the inside of his forehead slams into his grey matter.

So, you now have your elbow up around your forehead. At this point, I want you to whip your elbow out and down so that your elbow ends up somewhere behind the proper side kidney. If you have the presence of mind, feel free to step back with the right foot as you do this, to provide extra power.

Again, if you are doing this with your left hand, switch the above instructions as required.

Observe that this forces the lever of your upper arm and shoulder against the fingers, and brings the power of your shoulder and upper back muscles to bear against the chew-toy's forearm muscles. You will rip that particular hand away from your neck -- there is nothing he can do with that hand to prevent this.

As your elbow comes back, spot your chew-toy's jaw. On the side towards your elbow, I want you to fix your attention to the spot midway between the point of his chin and the hinge of the jaw. Keeping your gaze on that spot, I want you to pivot your hips counter-clockwise (clockwise, if you're a southpaw). If you stepped back with your foot earlier -- now step forward. As you pivot your hips, crank your waist hard counter-clockwise (or clockwise) and throw your left shoulder back and your right one forward.

Using this whiplash motion, slam your right elbow into that spot on his jaw you are focused upon. Force your elbow through his mouth, continuing pivotting counter-clockwise -- and you are facing to your left (or right).

Again, several things may happen at this point. Any teeth that escaped breakage earlier are probably now gone. The jaw may be broken (again), and you may have damaged the delicate joint between the Atlas and Axis (C1 and C2) vertebrae at the top of his spine. Again, though, what we're going for is a thorough beat-down of his cerebral tissue using the inside of his skull.

Hey, look. You ended the exercise facing left (or right). Time to run like hell for safety and call 911.

Always, always, always call 911, because the first person to talk to the cops has an incredible advantage -- and you don't want your chew toy to get his story in first.

Three simple, albeit brutal, moves: 1)Up; 2)Down/out; and 3)Across. Practice it slowly ten times a day, and let adrenaline add the speed and force should you ever (Goddess forfend) need to use it for real.

Class dismissed.

LawDog

Oh. My. God.

Many of my Gentle Readers have noticed the lolcat link over on the left. I have been watching the lolcat phenomenon, not only because most lolcats are amusing, but because seeing how various lolcat memes evolve piques my interest.

One of these memes is Ceiling Cat. And when I say evolve, Ceiling Cat has gone from a picture of a cat staring through a hole in dry-wall to, well ...

...this.

Yes. The Bible -- in lolcat.

I giggled like a schoolgirl. Srsly.

LawDog

Monday, January 07, 2008

Monster Hunter International

My friend Larry Correia's book is now available, and despite my antipathy to Amazon.com, you can order his book through them.

It is an engaging read, thoroughly engrossing and sprinkled with sly humour. Larry sent me his first draft -- and the second, come to think -- for me to proof-read, but others better at the process to him well in hand, so I got to read it for the enjoyment.

Try it, if you like late-night monster flicks you'll love this book.

LawDog

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Melancholy

Among the calls that I really hate are those that come from a detective asking, "Hey, could you check the jail records and see if [Insert Name Here] ever listed a next of kin?"

Everyone knows the name, because the man attached to it has been arrested several hundred times in the last five years. And that's not hyperbole.

Public Intoxication, mostly, but a significant number of Inhalant Abuse charges, and Criminal Trespass -- because the local stores got tired of him shoplifting aerosol paint and barred him from entering.

He always came to jail either stoned and friendly, or stoned and fighting, filthy and stinking. He'd detox for about a week, and then he was a mousy little grey man unnoticed in General Population, or occasionally as a trustee.

He'd go to trial with a Public Defender, his charges would be pled to Time Served and then he'd be released to go back to his little camp under the river bridge on the edge of town. Usually shoplifting a can of Krylon on the way.

He never listed any next of kin, never had any visitors. Older personnel seem to remember a brother, but no one can nail anything down.

*sigh*

I know that dying is the ultimate lonely experience. No matter how many people are with you on this side, or the other -- death is a one-person doorway.

Still, it just seems to me a terrible tragedy that the only people to know of, or care, about this man's passing are patrol officers and jail staff.

That he'll be processed by a government functionary and laid to rest by a back-hoe driver.

No matter how good you are, or how bad you are, there should be kith or kin to mourn, to dress you, and to walk you to your final resting place.

I know that life isn't fair, but ... still.

LawDog

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New blogger for the New Year

Long time readers of these little scribblings will have noticed that I occasionally post stories from my friend Peter.

Author, historian, soldier, fellow African ex-pat, and more -- he is the source of the quote:

"An amateur practices until he gets it right. A professional practices until he can't get it wrong"

-- I am honoured to call this man a friend.

After months of suggesting, Peter has gone and gotten hisself a blog:

Bayou Renaissance Man.

Go by and visit -- you won't be disappointed.

LawDog

*Happy Dog Dance*


Little Sister and Brother-In-Law are down for the holidays.

Happy New Year to one and all!

LawDog