Monday, September 17, 2012

Snerk

Took Chris to Union Station in Dallas to catch an Amtrak train out to the Eastern seaboard -- an interesting experience that I must comment upon tomorrow -- but we got to the station more than a bit early.

As is our wont, after a shufti of the station and the surrounding environs, we went for a bit of a walk-about, and I showed him Dealey Plaza which he had never visited before.

As we contemplated the famous 'X's painted on the road, he turned around to find the sniper's position and pointed to a building some distance away.

"Nope," sez I, "It's right here." -- pointing to the Book Depository.

He blinked.

"Hell, you could have hit him with a good, healthy spit!"

I have never understood the folks who get all fuzzy about the "difficulty" of Oswald's shot. While not a cake-walk, it's a shot that could be made by any competent deer hunter.

We then strolled over to the Grassy Knoll and walked around behind the famous picket fence -- where True Believers have spent idle moments penning mawkish prose, Exhortations of Conspiracy, Declarations of Awful Truth, and the occasional sly wit, when I saw his mouth twitch.

"When you get back home, Google the name of the captain of that Jap destroyer that oopsied the PT109, and when you come back to pick me up, bring a sharpie."

Oh, Lord.

I have no idea what message Lieutenant Commander Kohei Hanami is going to leave on that picket fence, but I'm pretty certain that it's going to morally offend a whole bunch of JFK fans.

Heh.

LawDog

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

And damned-all will we do about it.

Last year a gentleman, apparently by the name of Sam Bacile, produced and directed a movie that portrays Islam as a "hateful" religion.

I'm willing to bet that somewhere in that movie, he adds "violent".

Anyhoo.

When the Islamists revolted against Khaddafi, an American diplomat named J. Christopher Stevens was one of the first American Foreign Service representative to support and aid the nascent revolution -- serving as the Special Representative to the Libya Transitional national Council.

When I say that, apparently he was on the ground in Benghazi from fairly early on in the dust-up.

After the rebels won -- by no means a sure thing, by-the-by -- Stevens was named Ambassador to Tripoli in 2012.

By all accounts Ambassador Stevens genuinely liked the Libyan people, and they -- again, by all accounts -- liked him.

Ambassador Stevens seems to have thoroughly enjoyed the Middle East as a whole -- beginning as a Peace Corp volunteer in Morocco, teaching English to the locals, had a brief career doing other things, then joined the State Department, serving at such posts as Damascus, Cairo, Riyadh and Jerusalem, before being named as Ambassador to Tripoli. A fluent speaker of Arabic, he was known for wandering around the traditional areas of Cairo, jogging through the villages of Libya, and visiting souks on his ownsome at every posting he was assigned to.

Does this kind of give you an idea of the character of J. Christopher Stevens?

This was a man in the United States State Department anyone could point to and say: "Here. This man is a friend to the Arab peoples, and to Islam."

Keep that in mind.

So. Back to Sam Bacile and his movie.

He made this movie in the United States, in which he portrayed Islam as "hateful" and probably "violent".

And some locals in Benghazi decided that having their religion labeled as "hateful" and "violent" was such a travesty and an insult that the only appropriate response to such lies about "hate" and "violence" ...

... was to kill Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and several of his security detail.

"ISLAM IS NOT A RELIGION OF VIOLENCE AND HATE! AND WE'LL KILL ANYONE WHO SAYS DIFFERENT!"

Or, as in this case, they'll kill good friends of their country, their religion, and their people, if those friends happen to be handy.

As far as the response to this outrage -- this act which is casus bellorum to every civilized nation in the world -- I'm sure that our Commander-in-Chief will issue very stern reprimands, some symbolic slaps on the wrist; and -- if pressed -- the Libyans will find some poor schmuck who is willing to confess to anything to make the beating stop, and who will take the high jump with a minimum of last-minute embarrassing revelations.

Sweet Freyja on a twister mat, but doesn't it feel like 1979 all over again?

If I see Carter going into the White House to offer advice to Obama, I'm probably going to destroy something.

Grr.

LawDog

EDIT: Apparently after they got done killing the Ambassador, they dragged his body through the streets, snapping cell-phone pictures and generally having a grand old time.

I will not link to the pictures, out of respect for the kith and kin of the murdered diplomat.

I do note, however, that our Dear Commander-in-Chief swears that the murderers are simply carrying the dead man to the hospital -- cell-phone pictures being critical to that process.

Words cannot express the fury I am feeling right now.

LawDog

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Overheard

Your Humble Scribe and a Minion are watching an inmate who is praying vigorously to Ralph, Ye Ancient God of the Porcelain Throne.

Inmate: "Oh, Gaaaawwwwd!"

Minion: "Sweet Jeebus, does he have anything left?"

LawDog: "Probably not. Pretty sure I saw toenails come out just a second ago."

Minion: "Do we need to send him to the hospital or something?"

LawDog: "Nah. When he was arrested -- curled up under the dining room table of a complete and total stranger at three in the morning, I might add -- he had a baggie with trace amounts of heroin in it. Trust me, the jail nurses are quite familiar with the protocols for opiate detox."

Inmate: "You don't unnerstand! Gawd, please kill me!"

LawDog: "If I were you, I'd shut up and concentrate on keeping your organs on the inside."

Inmate: "Don't make fun of me! Yeeaaarrgghh!"


LawDog:  "If you feel something round and furry coming up, best swallow hard, 'cause you're going to need it later."

Minion: "Eww."

Inmate: "You're makin' fun of me!  I'm somebody! I went to Local State University!"

LawDog: "Graduated magna cum laudanum, no doubt."

Inmate: "Yeah! Blargh!"

Minion (Rolling her eyes at her Mentor in All Things Knuckledragging): "That ... was terrible."

LawDog: "I'll say. I'm pretty sure the jail kitchen doesn't serve a damn thing that colour."

Minion: "Smartass."

Ah, well. The finer points of extemporaneous wit are lost on the young.

*sigh*

I'm so unappreciated in my time.

LawDog

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Personal Defence Weapons

I'm fixing to gore somebody's sacred ox here, but that idiot over at RECOIL Magazine pushed one of my hot buttons, that being the FN and H&K PDW systems and their "magic death-ray" powers.

Folks, the FN 5.7 and the H&K 4.6 PDWs were designed for the use of personnel who either couldn't be bothered to carry a real rifle, or whose duties made the carry of a real rifle impractical. Cooks, clerks, supply, and the other rear-echelon types who are vital for running a war.

Both systems pretty much produce the same result: .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire ballistics out of something that's too large to be a pistol, but not big enough to be a rifle.

4.6X30mm. Bullet weight: 40 grains. Muzzle velocity: 1900 FPS.
5.7X28mm. Bullet weight: 40 grains. Muzzle velocity: 2034 FPS.

.22 WMR. Bullet weight: 40 grains. Muzzle velocity: 1920 FPS.

Which sounds pretty good -- until you realize that the .22 WMR is okay on 40-pound coyotes, but most-assuredly marginal on anything bigger. And most enemy soldiers are somewhat larger than a 40-pound canid.

So, basically what you have with the FN/H&K PDW systems is the equivalent of a full-auto .22 rimfire that the folks who don't carry a real rifle can shoot at enemy troops (armed with the equivalent of .30/30 deer rifles) who get around, over, or through the front-line guys and start running amuck in the rear areas.

To boil that down: the FN/H&K PDW guns are there so that the generals awarding the posthumous medals can say, "They went down fighting" with a straight face.

They are not a "magic death ray" to an enemy soldier -- or thug -- any more than your grand-father's .22 WMR varmint rifle is a "magic death ray" to an enemy soldier -- or thug.

Period.

LawDog

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's SUPER ZUMBO!

Before today I had never heard of RECOIL Magazine.

Which is probably not a Bad Thing, because the editor appears to be a gun-banning wolf in geeks clothing.


By way of George Hill, we learn that the afore-mentioned magazine apparently ran an article on the H undt K MP7A1 in which said editor writes:

"…the MP71A is unavailable to civilians and for good measure. We all know that’s technology no civvies should ever get to lay their hands on. This is a purpose-built weapon with no sporting applications to speak of."

Goodness.

Why do the gun-banners always, ALWAYS bring up "sporting purpose?" Or in this case "sporting application"?

It's right up there with the "For the chhhiilll-dren!" trope.

Once again, I have re-read my copy of the Constitution of these United States, and -- yet again -- nowhere in the Second Amendment to that Constitution do I find any Freyja-be-damned thing about "sporting purposes" or "sporting applications".

As an aside, I have to wonder just exactly how good the firearms knowledge of that editor is, because the technology of the MP7A1 is based on designs developed in an Ogden gun shop by John Moses Browning in the 19th century.

If they mean the 4.6X 30 cartridge the MP7A1 was designed to fire -- there are plenty of 40gr bullets running at 1900 FPS at Wal-Mart. We just call it the .22 WMR. Oh, wait. The 40-grain .22 WMR generally runs about 100 FPS faster than the 40-gr 4.6. 

 My bad.

Not sure that I've heard very much about the death-dealing potential of the .22 maggie -- but since it's actually faster with the same weight bullet as the 4.6 I'm sure DOD will be all over it right skippy.

Snort.

It gets better.

Apparently there was a bit of a backlash, so the very same editor who wrote the article decided to double-down on the stupid on Facebook.

Again, from George Hill:

"Hey guys, this is Jerry Tsai, Editor of RECOIL. I think I need to jump in here and clarify what I wrote in the MP7A1 article. It looks like I may not have stated my point clearly enough in that line that is quoted up above. Let’s be clear, neither RECOIL nor I are taking the stance on what should or should not be made available on the commercial market although I can see how what was written can be confused as such.

Because we don’t want anything to be taken out of context, let’s complete that quote and read the entire paragraph:

“Like we mentioned before, the MP7A1 is unavailable to civilians and for good reason. We all know that’s technology no civvies should ever get to lay their hands on. This is a purpose-built weapon with no sporting applications to speak of. It is made to put down scumbags, and that’s it. Mike Cabrera of Heckler & Koch Law Enforcement Sales and veteran law enforcement officer with SWAT unit experience points out that this is a gun that you do not want in the wrong, slimy hands. It comes with semi-automatic and full-auto firing modes only. Its overall size places it between a handgun and submachine gun. Its assault rifle capabilities and small size make this a serious weapon that should not be taken lightly.”

Let’ also review why this gun should not be taken lightly. In the article it was stated that the MP7A1 is a slightly larger than handgun sized machine-gun that can be accurately fired and penetrate Soviet style body armor at more than 300 yards. In the wrong hands, that’s a bad day for the good guys.

As readers of RECOIL, we all agree that we love bad-ass hardware, there’s no question about that. I believe that in a perfect world, all of us should have access to every kind of gadget that we desire. Believe me, being a civvie myself, I’d love to be able to get my hands on an MP7A1 of my own regardless of its stated purpose, but unfortunately the reality is that it isn’t available to us. As a fellow enthusiast, I know how frustrating it is to want something only to be denied it.

Its manufacturer has not made the gun available to the general public and when we asked if it would ever come to the commercial market, they replied that it is strictly a military and law enforcement weapon, adding that there are no sporting applications for it. Is it wrong that HK decided against selling a full-auto pocket sized machine gun that can penetrate armor from hundreds of yards away? It’s their decision to make and their decision they have to live with not mine nor anybody else’s.

I accepted their answer for what it was out of respect for those serving in uniform. I believe that we as gun enthusiasts should respect our brothers in law enforcement, agency work and the military and also keep them out of harms way. Like HK, I wouldn’t want to see one of these slip into the wrong hands either. Whether or not you agree with this is fine. I am compelled to explain a point that I was trying to make that may have not been clear.

Thanks for reading,
- JT, Editor, RECOIL"


Really.

Well, that just speaks volumes about the mindset of the staff over at RECOIL Magazine, doesn't it?

Makes me wish I had a subscription so that I could cancel it.

Sigh.

Far be it from me to offer advice to those who are neither kith nor kin, but I'm thinking that the hard-earned money of gunnies can be better given to people who actually support the Second Amendment. Unlike RECOIL Magazine.

But that's just me.

LawDog

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Waugh!

I am learning sushi.

Herself is a dedicated connoisseur of all things sushi-related and I am content to let her pick the course when we go out, but last night I had a major brain-cramp.

The special at the local sushi bar was a whole bunch of something that was topped with a cilantro/habeñero pureé.

I looked at "habeñero pureé", read "habeñero pureé", but my Brain Housing Group came up with "jalapeño chutney".

Jalapeño is about my limit when it comes to spikiness in my food. Much hotter than that, and the meal becomes an exercise in masochism rather than a meal.

The roll that I sampled was delightful. Right up until some little Japanese gnome with a flamethrower and a grudge set my tonsils on fire.

I am proud to say that I chewed thoughtfully, took a sip of water, and then made -- what I hope was -- an insightful comment about the heat level of the food.

I then immediately took a sample of something else both to give myself an excuse not to go anywhere near that Satanic green jellyroll ever again, and to attempt to pummel the vertically-challenged pyromaniacal Nipponese lawn ornament into submission.

Unfortunately the next thing she had selected was a volcano roll -- apparently so-named because the centre is full of magma-grade molten cream-cheese.

Between the chemical burns and the thermal burns my throat will never be the same again.

Still ... damn that was a good meal.

LawDog

Thursday, September 06, 2012

That's odd

For the longest time I had an e-mail contact address on the side-bar.

A Gentle Reader named Mike posted a comment asking for contact info, and I was wondering why he didn't just use the ... oh. It's gone.

I have no idea when it left, why it left, or even if it's called home.

Sigh.

The LawDog Files (at) g mail (dot) com

Take out the spaces, and replace the bracketed terms with the appropriate symbols.

(Death to spambots!)

LawDog

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

This isn't my first rodeo

When I first started seeing Herself, I didn't have a cell-phone. This situation became untenable, so I purchased one of those Pay-As-You-Go phones, and have been -- mostly -- happy ever since.

I find the no-contract thing to be a great relief, and for a little over a dollar a day I get unlimited phone calls and unlimited texts for a month.

Plus, I find that walking into a business, setting a couple of anonymous $20 bills on the counter, and receiving a code that I input into the phone for another months service -- no address required, no information exchanged, no credit card number handed over  -- to be damned civilized.

Unfortunately, the anonymity that I love is also desired by other people, people who may have a better reason for anonymity than I do.

As a for instance, this sort of easily-dumped phone is -- apparently -- often used as a business phone by those whose business might tend to be frowned upon by Society At Large, or otherwise tend to attract the attention of the Minions of The State.

Say that you are a Purveyor of Recreational Pharmaceuticals. You get one of these phones, the heat gets too close, you dump it in a garbage bin. No muss, no fuss. 


 Unfortunately, the phone company doesn't know about the black-market side-business, so when you don't re-up the number after a certain amount of time they re-issue the number.

For example, one of the very first texts I received on my brand-new phone -- I wasn't even sure what a text was at the time -- went something like this:

"YO I GOT DA DIME YOU GOT SUM OTHA GREEN? DOLLA!"

Huh, thinks I. I do believe that I am being asked to provide street-level amounts of marijuana. I should probably notify narcotics, but then I'd lose my two-hour-old phone to evidence for six months over a misdemeanor nickel bust, and that's just not cricket.

So, I squinted at the manual until I understood how to call a number which had texted, did so, set the phone on the table, waited until the screen announced that the other party had picked up -- then I lit three Black Cat firecrackers and started begging for my life in tones most piteous.

Of course, after the three fireworks went off, I stopped begging. Out of courtesy, you understand. Might have dropped a chair next to the table, too, come to think. Then I dragged the phone off the table, snarled, "Get his [deleted] phone. We'll find every [deleted] [deleted] the thieving mother[deleted] sold my [deleted] to and take it out of their [deleted] skin!"

Apparently the person on the other end didn't have the couth to stay on the line for the denouement of my extemporaneous little performance. Hmph. That earned that number a place on the Blocked list.

Between that sort of thing, and the exclaiming to various lady(?) friends that I was so happy they texted, that I thought they'd never speak to me again over the whole "Lying about not having herpes" business, followed up by declaring my Eternal Devotion to [Insert Random Female Name Here] and That Trick She Did With Her Tongue ...

... Well, the unsolicited calls from people I didn't know dropped precipitously. I like to assume that low-level assaults by enraged women upon the previous owner of my phone number went up by the same amount, but I have no data on that.

Anyhoo, while that part was amusing, less amusing was the fact that Sumdood Critter was apparently either a lousy dealer, or a lousy money manager, because I also received calls from a collections agency looking for him.

I would usually spend about a month telling the agency that I wasn't "Mr Sumdood Critter", that this number was a Pay-As-You-Go phone number, that I had no idea where Mr Sumdood Critter might be found. They'd finally get the hint, but after a couple of months they'd sell their list of uncollected debts to another agency and we'd start all over again.

Finally after a couple of years of this, I asked the earnest drone from the latest collections agency to put me through to her supervisor. When that worthy answered I explained -- yet again -- that I was not Sumdood Critter, that my name was LawDog, that this number was from a Pay-As-You-Go phone, and that I would like him to do something for me.

He said that he would, and I asked him to put this call on 'hold', and then to dial this other number and ask the person that answered to put him through to LawDog.

He said that he would, and less than a minute later, Dispatch calls me and says that I have a call, and wold I like them to put it through? I tell them to go ahead, they do, and I answer with my title and job.

There is a long pause on the line, and then the supervisor says that he's really sorry, and that he'll deal with it.

Not so fast sez I. Since I've been told that exact same thing for a couple of years now, I want the full name of the supervisor that I am speaking to. He hems a bit, my LawDog voice comes out, and I have his full name, and the full name and address of the collections agency he works for, which I then verify using the office Internet connection, correcting the two transposed numbers on the address.

Then I gently inform him that I am now holding him personally responsible for any further harassment. I further suggest that my number be removed from the records of this debt. He agrees. I further suggest that he ensure that my number doesn't sneak into any lists of uncollected debts sold down the line. He fervently agrees, we part on amiable terms and I've not been bothered by any calls looking for that particular critter in some years since.

This new one? I'm a little rusty, but I'll bet it'll come back to me.

LawDog

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

In which Your Humble Scribe becomes mildly irritated with ...

The vast majority of my DNA comes from the Scottish Highlands.

As such, I have no particular problem with those folks who run professional "payday loans" businesses.

I have never been tempted to use their services -- and will never -- because my Scottish ancestors would rise up and beat me about the head and shoulders for knowingly paying 900+% interest on anything, but if citizens enter into contracts with these companies of their own free will and cognizant that they are going to owe approximately Oh-My-Tap-Dancing-Gods-Are-You-Kidding-Me worth of interest on those loans -- who am I to involve myself in private business dealings?

BestPayToday.com employs a gentleman by the name of Caesar -- I'm going to assume that is the proper spelling -- and Mr. Caesar would really, really like a citizen by the name of "Timothy" to pay BestpayToday.com what he owes.

I know this, because Mr. Caesar has called my phone multiple times -- three times today, point of fact -- asking for Timothy.

Over the past couple of months I have spoken to Mr. Caesar, or his minions, a couple dozen times; each time I have politely informed Mr. Caesar (or his minions) that not only is there not anyone by the name of "Timothy" at my cell-phone number, but that no-one at this number has ever utilized the services of BestPayToday.com in the past, will ever use the services of BestpayToday.com in the future, nor does anyone here owe them any money in any way, shape, form or fashion.

Apparently Mr. Caesar and his minions either don't believe me or BestPayToday.com employs some proper thickwits, because they woke me up three times today demanding to speak to "Timothy".

When I started this post, I had a three page rant about the situation that Blogger ate.

This may have been a Good Thing.

Above, I began this second post by stating I had no philosophical objection to payday loan businesses. That may have changed, because -- after being woken from a sound sleep three times this morning -- I have now developed a solid case of the red arse.

Stay tuned.

LawDog

Oh, sonuva!

I had three. Bloody. Pages of rant here.

I pressed the 'Backspace' button and it all went away.

[Deleted]! [Deleted]! [Deleted]!

Gods damn it.

LawDog

Finally!

In order for me to write on my blog, I have to click on a button at the top right corner of the screen to log-in.

A month ago it disappeared.

Poof! Gone.

I'm going to guess that Blogger sprang another "upgrade" on me. Again.

Today I was noodling about my iGoogle homepage, and I clicked on the 'More' button. On the drop-down menu, about the ninth item down, is 'Blogger'.

Hoping against hope, I clicked on it.

Yay! I'm back!

LawDog