Thursday, November 30, 2006

Nana news.

Nana came through her second hip replacement in two months in fine fettle.

Prognosis is two weeks swing bed at the local hospital and discharge home.

Thank y'all for your thoughts and prayers.



Seems that some people want to take me to task over my assertation that it would be a mistake for the Democratic Party to run a candidate with an Arabic name.

This apparently makes me racist and narrow-minded.


I do not think that the average American will vote for a candidate with an Arabic name in this post-9/11 era.

I do not think the average American will vote for a candidate with an Arabic name at a time when Islamic Terrorism is so prevalent in the news.

Would someone explain to me why my making the simple observation that Group 'A' is probably going to react in this manner to Person 'B' makes me a racist?

Do you wish me to lie?

Would I be less narrow-minded if I said, "Oh, I think it would be a stroke of genius for the DNC to run a candidate with an Arab name for president. Simply
everyone will vote for him!"

Are lies more palatable to you than the truth?

Is your estimation of me so low that you would prefer that I lie about my opinions? Or am I to change my opinions based to match what you are comfortable with?


It is my belief that the majority of Americans will not vote to put Barack Hussein Obama in the White House because he has a Arabic middle name.

This has not one bloody thing to do with the fact that he is black.

This has not one bloody thing to do with his competence.

This has cock-all to do with the plain and simple fact that I do not believe that the average American is ready to elect a President with an Arabic name.

Anything else you read into that observation is yours, and yours alone.

This topic is done with.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Are the Democrats insane?

One of my lost posts:

Everywhere I go on the internet, I keep seeing Barack Obama as the new Democratic Golden Boy and shining path to the White House.

This is one of those things that just leaves me flabbergasted.

Barack Obama's middle name is Hussein.

I look at recent history involving people named "Hussein", and I have to wonder --

I think of current wars involving folks for whom "Hussein" is a common name, and I have to inquire --

I contemplate certain anti-social activities involving "Hussein" named folks, Danish cartoonists and violence; "Hussein" named folks, the Pope, riots and violence; "Hussein" named folks, murdered Catholic nuns and violence, and I have to ask --

What the hell are y'all smoking?


In a world where Arabs destroyed the World Trade Centre; where Arabs are blowing up American troops in two different countries; where Arabs are rioting like chimps in Paris, threatening cartoonists in Denmark, unveiled women in Australia and the Pope -- Ye Gods, threatening to murder the CINC of every Catholic in America! -- in a world where the name "Hussein" conjures images of suicide bombers, terrorists, genocidal dictators, riots, burning cars, brutalised women, videos of journalists getting their heads sawn off --

In this world ... who the hell thought it was a Good Idea to run someone with an Arab name for President of the United States? Hmm? This is what passes for strategy in the Democratic National Committee?

Oh, hell. I could be wrong. Might be that the average American farmer, cop, rancher, ex-marine, nurse or middle class working stiff will ignore the sub-conscious connotations involving a Middle-Eastern name and the Oval Office ...

Somehow, I doubt it.


Meditations on prison.

I hate to say this, but prison isn't working.

Oh, if you're just looking to warehouse inmates, prison is probably doing a bang-up job.

Problem is that I keep seeing the same critters get caught over and over again. And, while this might be considered job security, I'm getting tired of seeing the same critters coming and going.

Also, there's that whole "paying the debt to society" thing. Try as I might, I just can't figure out how sitting on your bum, watching daytime TeeVee, eating honeybuns and doing calisthenics for two hours a day in the sunshine equals paying any kind of debt.

I'm just evil enough that I think that prison ought to require the inmates do something that is actually productive.

So. I have been pondering. Once my legions of flying monkeys complete my Quest for World Domination, how would I run the prisons?


First off, the current method of sentencing has to go. Frankly, due to Work Time credit, Good Time credit, Whatthehellelse Time credit and parole, I've never seen an inmate serve his actual complete sentence.

So. We shall do away with sentencing based on time, instead we shall base sentences upon monetary damages, court costs and fines owed.

For example, let us say that here is Joe T. Critter. Joe has defrauded ... somebody ... of, say, $100,000. That's a nice, round figure.

The jury that convicted Joe decides that he should also pay a fine -- twenty grand sounds good. And the trial cost the taxpayers another $20,000.

All told, Joe owes 140,000 dollars to the victim and to society. Off Joe goes the LawDog Penal System.

In my new system, Joe will be assigned a state bank account. And Joe is going to stay in the pen until such time as he has $140,000 in that bank account and can send a cashiers check totaling the full amount owed to his victim and another to the court.

Now, Joe will be fed three standard meals a day that he won't have to pay for, along with a bunk, one (1) blanket, one (1) sheet and one (1) uniform.

He better take good care of the sheet, blanket and uniform, because if he tears them up to make necklaces, do-rags, washcloths, or anything else, he's going to have to buy the replacement out of his state bank account.

If Joe wants honey-buns, cigarettes, playing cards or anything from the commissary -- the money used to purchase these goods is debited from this bank account.

If Joe wants to watch the football game on the TeeVee -- first he's going to have to buy the TeeVee -- and every program on that TeeVee is Pay-Per-View.

If Joe wants something that isn't his three square meals, or his original issued uniform and bed-clothes, but Joe doesn't have enough money in his account to buy this stuff -- then Joe doesn't get this stuff.

Joe's day will be divided into three parts. He will sleep the first eight hours. Then he will be awakened for a meal and spend the next eight hours working around the prison -- cleaning, serving food, working in the prison farm, doing the chores necessary for the proper health and welfare of a prison. If he participates and pulls his weight in these needful tasks, Joe will receive ten dollars ($10) for that eight hours.

If he doesn't want to get his butt out of bed, or if he slacks off --well, he didn't earn his keep -- no dollars in his account for that day.

He then gets another meal. The third eight hours -- if he has kept his nose clean -- Joe gets to make stuff.

Let us postulate that Joe has learned some leatherwork. Assuming that Joe has been an upstanding inmate, he may draw some material (leather, in this case), tools and let us say that he makes a gunbelt.

Each prison will have an e-bay-type Internet auction. Once Joe has finished the belt, it goes onto the auction site where it will stay for one week. At the end of the week, the belt goes to the highest bidder. If no one bids on it, it will stay on the site for one-week intervals until someone buys it.

The buyer sends a cashiers check to the State (not the prison), the State deducts the cost of the materials Joe used to make the belt and sends that amount to the prison. The remainder is placed in Joe's account.

If Joe has no manufacturing skills, then my prison will offer classes. Standard tuition will, of course, be deducted from his account.

Joe will end his day with another meal, and then he will be locked down for sleep time.

This gives my inmates a choice: they can work hard and actually pay their debt, or they can futz around like they do now -- in which case the only way they'll leave prison is when they're carried out and buried in the prison cemetery. And the inmates doing the carrying and the digging will earn money towards their sentences.

Under this system the victims will actually get reimbursed, the courts will actually see fines and costs being paid and the inmates will actually learn to work.

Yes, I know there are some problems with this system. How do you place a monetary value on the suffering of a rape victim or a murder victim is the biggest so far -- but I'm pretty sure that something can be worked out.

And it's got to be better than what we have now.



Well, it's been raining here for the last couple of hours -- that is, when it hasn't been hailing -- and the temperature is finally about to dip under the freezing mark.


I guess that winter is finally here. Driving to work is going to be cornbread hell.

Got a huge pot of soup simmering on the stove. I'll give it another 15 minutes or so, then let it cool and bung it into the 'fridge for tomorrow.

I'm pretty sure that I've posted the recipe before, but I'm too lazy to go look for it, so here it is again:

1.5 - 2 pounds of chicken breast.
1 medium onion.
1 can chicken broth.
1 can chili beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can mild Rotel
2 cans whole kernel corn
1 pkg mild taco seasoning.
1 pkg Ranch salad dressing/seasoning.

Open all of your canned stuff and dump them into a big soup pot. Don't drain the beans, the corn or the rotel-- you need the juice for the base -- just empty each entire can into the pot.

Add your packets of taco seasoning and ranch seasoning (Use Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix) to the bean/corn/rotel goodness, stir in well and set over a low fire.

Cut your chicken into soup-sized chunks and chop the onion. Put the chicken and onion into a frying pan with a bit of olive oil and cook until the chicken has browned. Drain off the grease and bung the whole chicken/onion mess into the soup pot with your canned stuff.

Cover and simmer for one hour.

To serve, spoon into a bowl and then sprinkle your favorite shredded cheese over the top.

Now that's comfort food.

Nana gets her new hip tomorrow at about 1:30 in the afternoon. At least an afternoon surgery allows the family to navigate icy roads. We spent way too many years in deserts and jungles to have a handle on this 'icy road' thing.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Hey! We're average!

Well, apparently once you break a hip, the average person has an 80% chance of breaking the other hip within six months.

We're average.


I've just gotten home after five hours in the E.R. Seems that Nana got tired of using the walker, cane and anything else that might slow her down, and did just about what the walker, cane and everything else was designed to prevent:

She took a tumble in the bathroom.

Got herself one fine shiner from jaw to hairline, a nice laceration to the back of her head and broke the non-bionic hip clean as a whistle.



Monday, November 27, 2006

Ye tap-dancing prophets.

Is it just me, or has my blog been head-long down the khazi for most of Monday, Nov 27?


Testing, testing ...

Holy [deleted]! I can post again!

I know that I'm not paying for this service, and Lord knows I shouldn't whinge about stuff I'm getting for free, but ye Gods and little fishies ...

Thing is, every other Blogspot/Blogger site I frequent didn't seem to be down -- just me.

Somebody get me a waaambulance.


Now, let me try to salvage that post I lost.


Correction. Two posts that I lost. Seems like The LawDog Files has been Paws Up since about midnight last night.

That's a wee bit irritating.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Paw of Approval

Couple of years ago, I was down south visiting Matt G. and family. As part of his on-again, off-again campaign to Get LawDog To Move To The Metroplex, Matt likes to take me around and show me the temptations.

On this trip, one of said temptations was an absolutely wonderful little leather goods store in Foat Woath that specializes in Cop Gear.

I'm looking about, trying not to drool too obviously, when I spot a display of Hatch Gloves.

Now, not a whole lot of people know that it's Bad Luck to leave a holster shop without buying something, and I'd been kind of hankering for a pair of search gloves, so on impulse I buy a set of Kevlar-lined StreetGuard gloves.

I wander back home, and guess what my brother finds on the front fence the very next morning?

A hawk. With a broken wing.


I know --
know -- where this one is going.

I scoot back to the phone, call the office and have them forward the call to the Game Warden.

He isn't anywhere close to be around here. Of
course he isn't.

So, I dial the local Animal Control. Local Animal Control will be happy to chase down the feathered pile of talons and beak and general pissed-off-ed-ness.

I hang up the phone, stare skywards while counting to 20, pull on my brand-new set of kevlar-lined gloves, just in time to hear Chris say, "What the hell is the dog-catcher doing?"

The dog-catcher is, as a matter-of-fact, trying to herd a
very large, very unamused raptor into a dog crate with bare hands and a stick.


I trundle out to make sure that neither the dog-catcher nor the hawk wind up with any further damage.

Somewhere towards the end of the ensuing debate -- the hawk held opinions
most firm regarding small boxes -- the Hungarian World Champion Weightlifter (Gnome Division) popped out of nowhere and fetched the palm of my right hand a good solid whack with a ball-peen hammer.

Leastways, that was the impression I got.

Couple of tense moments later, the hawk is on its way to the Wildlife Rehab place in Itchy Paw Falls and I'm staring at my brand-new, just-purchased set of kevlar-lined gloves -- with a fairly impressive beak-mark in the palm. And wondering how much
this trip to the E.R. was going to cost.

Imagine my surprise when I gingerly pulled off the glove to reveal: a bruise. Granted, it was a bruise that probably went all the way through my hand -- but when you're expecting to see a hole filled with blood and bone, a bruise isn't that bad.

Hatch Streetguard gloves get the LawDog Paw of Approval.


Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Friday

Well, I've got enough L-tryptophan coursing through my blood to give half the Red Army narcolepsy (yes, I realize that there isn't enough tryptophan in turkey meat to produce drowsiness -- hyperbole is an honoured part of story-telling), but it sure seems like I'm the only drowsy person in North Texas.

When my legions of flying monkeys complete my Quest for World Domination, one of my first edicts is going to involve the aerial spraying of Prozac on the day after Thanksgiving.

I mock thee not, the Best Buy store in the nearest big city had their parking lot fill up a full four hours before the store was due to open. And there were folks doing laps hoping for a slot to open up. And you don't even want to know what the mall parking lot looked like.

Great Googly-Moogly! Are the deals and sales really that good? Jolly well looks like a rugby scrum out there.

Thank Goddess for the Internet and gift cards. For us rabid introverts, it is nothing less than a blessing to be able to hit,, and such-like from the comfort of a warm --
quiet -- computer nook, order various thoughtful things and have some other poor sod dare holiday traffic to bring my gift goodies to my door.

For those folks that I can't find the perfect gift for, I plan on taking a deep breath and dashing through the crowds long enough to snatch up a hand-full of various gift cards -- later. When things are a bit calmer.

No muss, no fuss. Well, not much anyway.

On the professional front, the critters did not let me down this Thanksgiving: Yes, Gentle Readers -- someone showed up at the ER with a dinner fork impaled in some part of their anatomy. This makes, what? Three Thanksgivings in a row?


Another enterprising Young Gentleman attempted to set a World Critter Record for Most Charges Stemming From A Single Incident On Thanksgiving -- he managed to wind up with 13 (thirteen) felonies and enthusiastic misdemeanors to begin his Holiday Season right properly.

13 doesn't break the record, but it does tend to say volumes about the wisdom of snorting half-a-baggie of meth as a way to cope with your annoying brother-in-law.

Of course, as per usual, the local doors started developing hands and knuckles -- co-incidentally enough at what would be cheek-high for the lady of the house.

Has, "He didn't hit me; I walked into the door"
ever worked?

Oh, and just as a minor point, if your entire family is going to lie to the Nice Officer about how your Mrs. wound up with that shiner, it might behoove you to settle on one solid lie before the afore-mentioned Nice Officer gets there.

Nothing guarantees an arrest quite like Nice Officer asking, "How'd she wind up with that black eye" and hearing:

"She walked into the door."

"She fell down the steps."

"She slipped in the bathtub."

All at the same time.

Trust me. When this happens, Somebody is Going To Jail.

Oh, well. If they were smart, I wouldn't have a job.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Turkey Day!

The turkey has been deep-fried, mass quantities of stuffing are cooling on the sideboard, there are more pies than people scattered hither and yon and various female relatives seem hell-bent on ensuring that I be forced to buy a new belt tomorrow.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

MADD loses their ever-loving minds.

Well, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers is about to lose support from this Peace Officer.

In a desperate attempt to prove that Nietzsche was correct, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers has issued the outline of their National Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving.

In pursuit of this goal this, they have stated Four Points.

The first of which is increased DWI Checkpoints -- a moot point for me, since Sobriety Checkpoints are currently unConstitutional in the State of Texas. As it should be.

It's the third tick on the MADD wish list that really sets the cat amongst the pigeons. Allow me to quote it here:

"Exploration of advanced vehicle technologies through the establishment of a Blue Ribbon panel of international safety experts to assess the feasibility of a range of technologies that would prevent drunk driving. These technologies must be moderately priced, absolutely reliable, set at the legal BAC limit and unobtrusive to the sober driver;"

Allow me translate that for the Gentle Reader: MADD wants technology developed to be installed in every car that will prevent intoxicated drivers from starting the car.

Right now, MADD is innocently proclaiming that this technology will be "entirely voluntary" and that within ten years they hope "...see voluntary application to general population with insurance premium incentives..."

Again, allow me to translate: "We're going to twist the insurance companies arms -- not that they'll need much twisting -- so that you'll either pay through the sinuses for the privilege of driving an un-equipped car; or the insurance companies will simply refuse to insure an un-equipped car."

Since driving with no insurance will get you ticketed, and a conviction for a no insurance ticket will get your driver license suspended or revoked, I really don't see this as being "voluntary".

I can see MADD's side. I've been a cop since 1993 and I've worked my fair share of drunk-induced fatalities. I've stood on more than one front porch in the dark with a preacher by my side, and news no family ever needs to hear on my lips.

I have crouched in mangled wreckage, spattered in blood, and begged innocents not to die while rescue crews worked frantically to cut them out of what used to be a vehicle -- and they still died on me.

Believe me when I say that I hate drunk drivers at least as much as anyone at MADD -- if not more so.

Nevertheless, you can not -- you CAN NOT -- trample on the rights of everyone else in your crusade to end drunk driving.

I am not a drunk. I am not a drunk driver. I do not want a piece of equipment with the "good enough" reliability of a cell phone or a computer operating system determining whether I should be allowed to start my car or not.

I do not want to install a gadget on my car to decide if I may start it because you're afraid that someone else in this country might be drunk.

Forcing me to put one of these things in my car -- and make no mistake: people will be coerced into installing these things one way or another -- forcing me to put one of these things on my car is a base violation of the core principle of America.

I have supported MADD since 1993.

No more.


Monday, November 20, 2006


I'd like to welcome the readers of Dvorak Uncensored.

Apparently my little scribblings were mentioned over there, resulting in an astonishing avalanche of visits.

Thank you for visiting.

Cordially yours,


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Oh, look. A drive-by troll.

Apparently, my earlier soliloquy has attracted the attention of Those Who Disagree:

Anonymous said...
"Tabatabainejad, 23, was shocked Tuesday night after arguing with a campus police officer who was conducting a routine check of student IDs at the University of California, Los Angeles, Powell Library computer lab. [Long URL removed]

So this was a case of "papers please" and Tabatabainejad decided, NO this is not nazi Germany this is America, I'm not going to co-operate with your gestapo like mentality. Of course being a "peace officer" you choose to side with the nazis. Your mother must be proud.
3:42 PM

Goodness, but don't anonymous ad hominem arguments just kind of make the user look like a complete and total tit?

"Look! I have researched my argument sooooo well, that I'm not even going to take the time to type up a reeaaallllyy kewl name before I call the other guy a Nazi!"


The state of education and courtesy in this country just really make me want to weep.

Oh, well, we must soldier on.

On the minute chance that the anonymous author of that little screed can find this page again; has a memory span capable of retaining this debate past his next meal; and/or has the testicular fortitude required to reappear, let us take a look at his assertations.

"So this was a case of "papers please" and Tabatabainejad decided ... yadda, yadda, so on, so forth, obligatory mention of Nazi Germany, etc."

When Mr. Tabatabainejad signed on as a student at U.C. he agreed to abide by certain University rules. In simpler language, he entered into a private contract with the school.

One of those rules that he contracted to abide by was the declaration by the University that only persons possessing U.C. student ID cards would be allowed inside the library after the hour of 11:00PM.

I have noticed in comments on other sites by persons claiming to be current students at U.C. that this rule is quite clearly posted in the library, and that all students know of it. Furthermore, it seems that being caught after 11PM without the proper ID happens occasionally, and the student so caught is asked to leave, goes and gets the proper ID and is readmitted.

So. The young gentleman has entered into a contract with the university. Part of the contract that he agreed to of his own free will states that he may not be in the library past 11PM without his student ID.

He then hauls off and violates this contract that he willingly signed and agreed to causing the University -- through the student Campus Security Officers -- to uphold their side of the contract and ask him to depart.

Instead of abiding by the contract that he entered into of his own free will this student got stupid and wound up getting the cops involved.

Tell me, do: How does upholding a private contract between two parties, said contract entered into freely, equate with Nazism?

Allow the fountain of your intellectual brilliance to spring forth and illuminate for me this small thing.

Or -- as I suspect -- are you a sodding sock puppet, perched behind a console in a ever-so-edgy-yet-trendy coffee-house mindlessly parroting handy phrases from your Complete Idiot's Guide To Properly-Approved Anarchist Catchphrases because it's the kee-eewl thing to do, and because all the really kee-ewl girls are nauseated by the cloud of halitosis, acne cream, and patchouli that seeps from your very pores like a Green Death?

See? THAT is how you insult someone. Have the common courtesy to put some effort into it, rather than using the puerile, pedestrian, passe tactic of just flinging the word "Nazi" at your opponent, along with the mandatory reference to his mother.


Ah, well. I suppose I ask too much of someone whose height of intellectual achievement is going to be that one glorious epiphany when that final difficulty resolves itself in a blinding flash of insight and you stride forth, proudly locomoting AND masticating bubble-gum -- simultaneously!

What a glorious day that will be! Basking in the glow of awe and jealousy radiated by your fellow microcephalic invertebrates, upon seeing you sliming forth from under the communal rock, whichever part of your anatomy might pass for a face amazingly gum-free!

Do not let me hold you back, young ... blob? Goo? Thing? Do not let the cries of, "Oh my sweet Jesus, what the HELL is that thing?!" that greet your every appearance deter you from stretching forth your trembling pseudopod and articulating your first original, coherent, cogent thought!

You can do it!

Cordially yours,

ps: You schmuck.

This is God's way of saying, "Don't do it."

By way of Bryan Porter via e-mail, we get a video of a gentleman who apparently can't take a hint:

Call me sadistic, twisted or perverse, but the trials and tribulations gone through by the critter in that video absolutely warm the uncivilized cockles of my little heart.

Not to mention making me giggle.


Friday, November 17, 2006

Meditations on police brutality

By now I would imagine that most of my Gentle Readers have seen, or heard of, the incident at the University of California in which a student got tasered.

The part of the Internet that I frequent is all agog about this -- on one side you have the inevitable screams of "Police Brutality! Woe!" and on the other you have the folks who are just as passionately defending the actions of the officers.

This will be no surprise to my long-term Gentle Readers, but I fall in both camps.

This little scene is an example of the unintended consequences of the "Californization" of the police in this country. It is what happens when -- due to fear of lawsuits, fear of bad media coverage, or whatever -- your officers are afraid to put their hands on someone.

During every arrest there are two separate periods of time. The first, which always happens, is the "talking phase". This is when you speak to the arrestee. It is during this time that you talk to him, negotiate with him, make deals or whatever. This is usually all that is required to make an arrest.

The second phase is the "laying on of hands" phase. This is when talking to the subject fails. This is when you snatch ahold of the arrestee, OC him, taser him, beat the everloving whey out of him, whatever is necessary to gain control of the situation.

This doesn't happen with all arrests -- but, during the "laying on of hands" the talking part is over and done. There is no negotiation, making deals, or asking for co-operation once the talking has failed.

This didn't happen during the California arrest.

You can quite clearly hear the officer asking the arrestee to get up -- negotiating with him -- after they stuck taser darts in him.

Sweet Shivering Shiva!

Once you taser him, you don't ask him to do a damned thing -- you get ahold of him and you make him do what needs to be done.

Unfortunately, in a desperate attempt to avoid the appearance of beating the stupid out of people, officers are trying to gain compliance without actually -- you know -- grabbing the subject and twisting things. Or -- Goddess forefend -- doing anything that involves impact trauma.


As it so happens, I have had a situation or two much like this one in my career. Allow me to describe one such, and then compare the two situations.

We got a call about a subject in an area where he was no longer welcome.

I show up, talk to the person who called in the report and then go inform the subject that he is no longer welcome and that it is time to leave.

He does not wish to go.

I repeat myself, and I further offer to help him return some things to their proper location so as to chivvy him along.

Again, he demurs. Rights were mentioned.

I inform him that if he does not leave, I will arrest him for Criminal Trespass.

His reply is short, terse, and anatomically improbable.

We have now departed the "talking stage".

I inform the subject that he is under arrest, and I tell him to stand up and place his hands behind his back. I take a firm grip on his wrist and bicep as I do this and lift up, reinforcing my order to stand.

The subject attempts to jerk his arm out of my grasp, so I armbar him -- incidentally causing his face to meet the table top right smartly -- snap the 'cuffs on the arm I have glommed on to and then crank firmly on the shoulder, while ordering him to give me his other hand.

There is some yelling and gnashing of teeth, but the subject becomes properly handcuffed and I take a firm grip on his arm to lead him to the cruiser, but he collapses to his knees and then to his side, shrieking, wailing, crying out to the Deity of his choice and begging aid from by-standers.

I reached down, locked in a come-along hold known as a "C-Clamp" and the intense pain combined with my tug caused the critter to jump to his feet.

We take about two steps, and then the critter again falls to his knees, while simultaneously shrieking, "I'm not resisting! I'm not resisting! I'm not resisting!"

This blatant lie caused me to get a firm grip on the hair at the back of his head with one paw, take a good twist of the back waistband of his knickers with the other and then cause the twain to meet -- thus neatly executing a tactical application of the Ancient Chinese Thermo-Nuclear Death Wedgie.

The subject chose to walk the rest of the way to my cruiser, albeit on his tippy-toes and uttering shrill squeaks every step of the way.

So. What do we have?

In Texas -- we have business as usual. The critter was offered a way out without arrest, when that failed he was given a chance to be arrested like a civilised human being, and when that failed he was snatched, hooked and booked. Five minutes, no muss-no fuss.

In California -- Sweet Holy Jeebus! I have brutally smashed this kids face into a wood table top; I have sadistically picked him up by the upper lip; and I have squashed his squishy bits flat as he walked to the patrol car.

In Texas -- the witnesses made statements along the lines of: "Next time he'll listen", "Bet he won't do that again", and "Cowboy up and walk it off".

In California -- Can you imagine what the Acolytes of Higher Learning in the Holy Mecca of Liberalism would have to say? "Police brutality", "Torture!", "Why didn't you just talk to him?!", "Oh, the humanity!"

In Texas, my actions required a one paragraph Incident Report that the Sheriff barely glanced over.

In California, particularly if the the little swine is non-Caucasoid, my boss would be under relentless media attack; special interest groups would spend a wheelbarrow load of money to metaphorically pillory me; and politicians not anywhere near my chain of command would be be subtly coercing my boss into doing "something to placate the voters".


Unintended consequences. California doesn't want it's cops beating people -- it's just not civilised or "forward-thinking" -- and they have used relentless Media pressure, legal pressure, and political pressure to eliminate police brutality.

Unfortunately, in their drive to destroy any appearance of police brutality in their State, they have lost sight of the fact that application of force is a bedrock part of peace officer duties. Application of force is the toolbox in and on which we base all of our duties.

They have redefined ALL laying on of hands by officers as police brutality.

As a result, they have officers who are terminally reluctant to grab ahold of a subject, and will do anything necessary to avoid any action that might even look in the slightest bit like an Old School Beatdown.

There is a huge gulf between laying hands on a non-complaint arrestee and kicking the spam out of him. This huge grey area is where Peace Officers exist and work.

When I have a subject in custody who refuses to stand up, I ask him twice -- maybe three times -- to stand up, and if he demurs, then I get ahold of him and I stand him up. And he's not going to like the experience.

Those officers asked the subject to stand up. He refused. They don't want to touch him (police brutality). So, what does that leave them? OC? Ye gods. What else? Whack him with a baton? Talk about police brutality! So, what's left? Well, the taser doesn't involve rhythmic swings of the arm (with accompanying thuds and grunts), it doesn't require the officers to twist anatomy the wrong way, and it doesn't require much of a scuffle in which the subject might wind up with bruises that would have to be explained in front of a Review Board consisting of people who don't know the first thing about scuffles.

Taser, it is, by default.

And then they asked him to stand up. And he refused. So they tasered him again. And then they asked him to stand up. He refused. Same choices as last time -- they tasered him. Again. And then they asked him to stand up ...


Do I blame the officers? Yes. I blame them for not walking into the library, telling the little whelp that it is time to leave and when he refused, arresting him, handcuffing him -- dragging him to the floor if necessary -- and frog-marching him out the door. Five minutes. I've done it before.

I also blame them for failing to adapt and improvise a way to deal with the little twerp that didn't involve four seperate taser discharges while officers stood around and asked him to comply with orders.

Yet, at the same time, I blame the special-interest groups, the Media, the lawyers and the politicians for creating an atmosphere where repeatedly tasering a subject while demanding compliance looks -- and seems -- preferable to simply hooking him up and dragging him out the door by his nostrils.

Just my two pennies worth.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

There I was ...

Eight o'clock one morning, and the night-shift deputy -- a barrel-chested old man with watery blue eyes and a John Wayne drawl -- had been officially off the clock for two hours. The pistol belt gets fairly heavy after a while, so he had been more than glad to take it off while he and I drank coffee and shot the bull as my shift started.

We didn't even get halfway through the first cup when Dispatch got a 911 call from the Housing Complex. Seems that Alphonse Jones was trying to kill his mama.

I'm out the door, with Mr. Ned hot on my heels, jump in the cruiser and tear off for the scene. In the excitement, neither Mr. Ned nor I noticed that he hadn't put his gunbelt back on.

We sail into the neighborhood, and sure enough, Alphonse and his mama are rolling around in the street outside her house, slapping, hair-pulling, and screaming fit to make a sailor blush, much to the amusement of the crowd gathered around to watch the festivities.

Mr. Ned and I promptly parted the crowd and snatched up Alphonse and his mama. I've got the mama over by the back bumper of the cruiser, trying to get a coherent story out of her, when I notice that Alphonse is getting stupid with Mr. Ned.

"Alphonse," says Mr. Ned in that low, slow John Wayne voice of his, "You get over to your Granma's house. I'll talk to you in a bit."

"I'm staying right here," yelps Alphonse, "You got no right to tell me to go nowhere!"

"Alphonse," drawls Mr. Ned, "I'm telling you to get along."

About this time both Alphonse and I notice that Mr. Ned isn't wearing a gun belt. Alphonse has his back up, he's got the crowd egging him on, and I'm not seeing a Good Future for either Mr. Ned or me. I start eyeing the distance to the shotgun in the front seat.

"You ain't got no gun, Mr. Ned!" crows Alphonse, "You ain't got no authority over here!" He starts weaving in on Mr. Ned, hands not quite fisted and not quite up, but getting that way in a hurry.

"Alphonse. I'm not going to tell you again. You get in your Granma's house, and you do it now."

"You ain't got no gun!" Alphonse is crouched now, hands up and open as he shuffles towards Mr. Ned. He jerks his head a bit, feinting. There's a sudden movement, and Mr. Ned has Alphonse by the shirtfront with one hand, and the other hand fisted up by Alphonse's face.

"What's that look like to you, boy?" Still low, still slow.

Alphonse's eyes cross as he tries to focus on the Beretta Jetfire stuffed breech-deep in his left nostril. The silence from the crowd is awe-inspiring, so complete that I can hear Alphonse gulp twenty feet away.

"L-, l-, looks like I'm g-going to Grammas house?"


You know, there really isn't anything you can add to that sort of thing.


Meditations on Law Enforcement

Since I help moderate a couple of fairly large-ish on-line forums -- and given my nom de electronique -- I get a lot of questions running along the lines of: "I'm thinking of getting into Law Enforcement. What's it like to be a cop?"

Goodness. Talk about your open-ended questions ...

My career started out in a small county where the Sheriff was the only local law. The city had given up on its police department, disbanded it, and contracted with the Sheriff to provide services to the city.

The entire sworn personnel complement of the department consisted of the Sheriff, the Chief Deputy and two patrol deputies.

That was it.

The four of us were responsible for the county seat, several unincorporated villages, just shy of 1,000 square miles of ranches, canyons, lake, farms, creeks, four-lane highway -- totaling about four- to five-thousand souls, all told.

The interview for the job was a bit ... odd.

Sheriff: "Can you take a whuppin'?"

Me: "Not unless I have to."

Sheriff: "You ever punk out?"

Me: "Not yet."

Sheriff: "You ever fight fair?"

Me: "No."

Sheriff: "You got a hat?"

Me: "I can probably find one."

Sheriff: "Hmpf. Shift starts at midnight. Don't be late."

When I showed up for shift, the Sheriff issued me a can of CN mace (which had expired four years previously), an M2 .30-calibre carbine (no ammo), and a twenty-inch oak stick with several lead weights pounded into the business end.

The bennies were limited to the Sheriff tossing me a box of the cheapest available 9mm FMJ ammo at the beginning of each month, along with orders to use it up in practice before the end of the month.

No armour. No health insurance.

The Chief Deputy dug around in his "Things I Have Not Been Killed With Yet" box, handed me a lead beavertail slapper and gave me a class on the proper use and application of same, and then he drove me around the county for the rest of that shift.

The second night, the class on the blackjack continued, and then I drove the Chief Deputy around the county.

The third night I was on my own.

I miss that county.

This is the law enforcement that I am used to, and it is not one that most new officers will be exposed to.

To me, law enforcement is tracking an Alzheimers patient for four hours through the boonies after he wandered away from home; answering a 911 call because a rattlesnake is about to eat a nest full of baby birds; and scaring off ghosts because the lady of the house lost her husband ten years ago, her children live out of state, and you are the only outside contact she gets.

For me, being a cop is about keeping an eye out for a black-and-white dog of indeterminate ancestry, red bandanna, whose 9-year-old owner is crying his eyes out.

Most big cities don't provide funeral escorts anymore. We provided an escort to every funeral in town, because that was part of the job and was What Is Done.

Most new officers will start out in medium-to-large cities/counties -- because (to be honest) that's where a decent (more-or-less) paycheck is.

I don't know how to describe to these folks what it's like to patrol when your only back-up is 45 miles away as the cruiser drives -- and asleep in bed to boot.

I don't know how explain to folks who are going to have to deal with a book of General Orders that's a full four inches thick what it's like to work when your G.O.s are five pages long and worded more like General Suggestions.

How do I preach "Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome" to people who will most likely be issued an iron-clad S.O.P. Manual covering every conceivable happenstance?

I can't.

So, I tell stories and hope that through those, the Gentle Reader can get a glimpse of what it's like to be a Western, small-town, rural Peace Officer.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Kicking over the giggle box.

Growing up as I did, 'football' meant a game somewhat different than what your average Texican thought of.

After we moved to the States, rugby and I parted ways. Everyone else seemed to think that 'rugby' was an obsolete game last played by veddy prim Englishmen back in the 1800's.

I forgot about the game until the 2000 Presidential election.

I was turning through the paper when I saw a picture of a very young George W. Bush carrying the ball and fending off a determined tackle by way of judicious use of an uppercut.

The accompaning article was a breathless screed announcing that this was a clear example of the moral turpitude of the candidate.

Obviously, the article had been written by someone who had never played rugby, didn't know rugby, and had never asked genuine rugby player their thoughts on the subject.

Anyhoo, this ever-so-brief manure storm reignited my interest in the game and I was thoroughly delighted to learn that by way of DirectTeeVee, I could catch one or two games a year.

Then I stumbled across the New Zealand All Blacks.

Contrary puss that I am, the team name guaranteed that I'd be rooting for them.

Can you imagine the number of apopletic fits and righteous indignation in the NFL?

"Ladies and gentlemen ... now taking the field -- the Detroit All Blacks!"

Heh. Cranial aneurysms would be going off like popcorn.

My delight in the All Blacks was furthered when I discovered the haka.

"Haka" is described as a native Maori dance, performed to express passion, vigour and identity. It is of "ethnically high importance" in "welcoming and entertainment".

Horsefeathers. It's a war dance.

Anyhoo, I was watching some old tapes and I came across this ad -- involving the All Blacks and their haka -- which caused me to blow half a mug of Earl Grey tea through my sinuses.

Forty-five minutes of going through YouTube to find it, but it was worth the search.

I don't know if this will tickle anyone else's funny-bone as hard as it did mine, but I guess we'll find out.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Veterans Day.

Also known as Armistice Day, or Rememberance Day in areas other than the United States.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Requiescat in pacem

Vladimir Ivanovich Palaniuk

18FEB1919 to 10NOV2006.

Born in Pennsylvania, of Ukrainian descent and son of a coal miner, Palaniuk worked in the coal mines until the 1930's when he started a career as a professional boxer. Using the professional name Jack Brazzo, Vladimir Palaniuk won 15 consecutive matches -- 12 by knockout -- until losing his 16th by decision.

World War 2 came knocking about that time; Vladimir joined the Army Air Corp and began training as a B-24 pilot. During training, an engine failed on his bird, and he suffered severe facial injuries and burns either during the bail-out process or when the bomber crashed -- I've heard both stories.

He required extensive plastic surgery -- resulting in a distinctive gaunt look -- and was discharged from the US military in 1944.

Not one to mope, Vladimir graduated from Stanford University in 1947 with a B.A. in Drama and pretty much instantly wound up on Broadway.

Three years after his Broadway debut, Vladimir Palaniuk was discovered by Hollywood.

Not content with a commanding screen presence, Palaniuk painted and sold landscape art, wrote and published poetry, spoke Ukrainian, Russian, Italian, Spanish, French and English.

Most folks knew him as Jack Palance.

Rest in peace, sir.


Old political humour

I wrote this bit back in 2001 after being challenged as to what I would do if I were elected President.

I think it's probably time for a bit of political humour to leaven the doom-and-gloom, so I dusted it off and updated it a bit.


What would I do if I were elected as President?

First thing, right after the swearing-in, I'd write my first, last and only Executive Order -- nullifying any and all previous Executive Orders issued by any President.

Which would result in the historical, first truly bi-partisan Congress -- Democrats and Republicans united together against anything President 'Dog would try to do from that point on.

Second, I'd call the head of each office which reports to the Executive Branch and tell them to send me a memo detailing where, exactly, in the Constitution their offices are authorized.

In the rare instance that the office is actually authorized by the Constitution, I'd request a set of reasons and examples of why that particular person should keep his or her job.

Said memo should be on my desk by noon that day. Resignations would be freely accepted in lieu of the memos.

Democrats and Republicans would set a record for filing impeachment measures.

After lunch, I'd give a press conference and announce that each and every bill to cross my desk would detail exactly where the Constitutional authorization for that bill is located. Any bill without such accompanying authorization would be immediately vetoed -- no matter what the topic of the bill. Any bill mentioning the Interstate Commerce Clause would be automatically vetoed without even a reading.

67% percent of the Senate would immediately crater my vetos.

The Media would turn my name into a synonym for Stalin, George III and Pol Pot.

I'd follow up by ordering the Attorney General to bring a copy of any and all tax records concerning the UN building and UN personnel to my office. Along with a copy of Kelo v. New London.

People in major urban areas would riot.

I'd spend the evening tearing out the White House swimming pool and installing a gun range.

The next morning, Congress would issue a joint condemnation of my first day in office and the Media would hint broadly at lynch mobs.

While they were doing this, my Attorney General would be filing eminent domain proceedings against the UN.

Since I like to copper my bets, I'd draw an advance on my first months paycheck, buy a truckload of dynamite and order the Commandant of the Marine Corp to de-infestate the UN building.

While the Marines are chucking UN politicos off the pier, I'd be personally setting charges in the UN basement.

At lunchtime, I'd have a cheeseburger and fries and watch the UN building go up like a Roman candle.

John Kerry would issue a press release calling my sanity into question and offering to be President pro tem until mental health professionals could examine President Dog.

Letting the power go to my head, I'd invite Scarlett Johannson to the White House and offer to show her my guns if she'd show me hers.

Getting thoroughly shot down by pro-Democrat Miss Johansson, I'd go down to the DC PD, and inform the Chief of Police that no anti-gun laws would be enforced in the District of Columbia. Then I'd have the Secret Service break his knees until he saw the light, and I got over my heartbreak.

CNN would issue me my very own background graphic, complete with catchy tune.

The next morning I'd read about two of the new bills to cross my desk, set fire to the rest of them, load up a shotgun and two 1911's, head over to Congress and offer to shoot the next sumbitch who authors another blatantly unConstitutional bill.

Afterwards, I'd break ground and dedicate the President LawDog Free Trade Port -- coincidentally located on the spot formerly occupied by the UN building.

The Media would go into a collective fit of apoplexy, the President of France would faint and I'd have more shrieking harpies on the front lawn than camels got fleas.

The afternoon of Day Three of The LawDog Presidency, I'd call a press conference/skeet shoot in the Rose Garden. I foresee it going something like this:

"Mr. President! Mr. President! What gives you the right to veto bills that contradict the Constitution?!"


BAM! "Aiii-iiiieeeee!"

"Quitcherwhining. Stupidity is supposed to hurt. Didn't even break the skin. Much. Next question?"

I anticipate a short conference.

That evening I'll amuse myself by sending a novelty rubber check and a hangman's noose to each member of Congress -- just to get their minds properly focused.

I figure by 0900 on Day Four, I'll be hot-wiring the Presidential Yacht about 20 minutes ahead of a rampaging patchouli-and-hemp-wearing torch-waving mob. My last act as POTUS will probably be shaking my fist at Washington, D.C. from the stern of the afore-mentioned rapidly-departing yacht whilst bellowing: "You didn't deserve me!"

Oh, well.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Chin up, stiff upper lip and sod 'em all.

The first victim of the Democrat takeover of the House is Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld.

I don't know if many folks know that this turn as SecDef was actually Mr. Rumsfeld's second go-around in that office. He first served as SecDef under President Gerald Ford.

In addition to his two terms as Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld served in the U.S. Navy as a naval aviator from 1954-1957, transferred to the Naval Reserve and drilled in flying and admin assignments until he became SecDef in 1975, at which time he honorably retired with the Naval rank of Captain.

He had four terms as Representative from the State of Illinois, served as U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Special Presidential Envoy to the Middle East, and is the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- the highest national honor awarded to a civilian.

Before being tapped as President Bush's SecDef, Mr. Rumsfeld had a highly successful career in private business and on Wall Street.

Stand tall, sir. I'd be honoured to buy you a drink anytime, anywhere.


Ancient Chinese curse:

"May you live in interesting times."

And how.

Well, Texas held on to the Republican party quite firmly (sodding Trans-Texas Corridor and all), unfortunately the same can't be said for the rest of the nation.

I have heard that a large percentage of the winning Democrats are so-called Blue Dog Democrats -- probably more conservative than some of the Republicans they replaced -- I sure hope so.

I am strongly pro-gun-rights, and I am cautiously optimistic that the Democrat take-over of the House will have little or no lasting effect upon the Second Amendment. This optimism is shared by Gun Owners of America and Dave Kopel, while the NRA is apparently still thinking about it.

This sense of optimism is further buoyed as I realize that the Democrats are only holding onto a slim majority in both Houses -- and as far as the Senate goes, the Democrats will be unable to muster the two-thirds necessary to overthrow a Presidential veto.

I am also comforted by the fact that the last time the Donks were in power the World Wide Web was still a figment of Al Gore's imagination. The Democrats have never been the majority power with the entire Blogosphere breathing down their necks, analyzing their every move, and (metaphorically-speaking) going six feet up their fourth point of contact with a microscope when required.

The whole tent starts teetering after that.

Iraq? Well, here's hoping for the best, but I'm willing to bet that the Iraqis might as well lather up and shave their bums, because I think we're about to do them dirty.

Immigration and a sealed border? Har. Har har. Look. I'm laughing. Enough said there.

War on Terror? Yeah. Remembering that the chosen Democrat response to a terror attack is to hold conferences where everyone says, "Harumph, harumph, harumph" (unless, of course, one of your high-muckety-muck Democrats accidentally got his wedding tackle caught in an intern; then the proper response is to slam cruise missiles into aspirin factories) -- you'll forgive me if I'm not too sanguine vis a vis the Democrat Plans for The War on Terror.


One tiny bit of whimsy: it's been easy for the Democrats to throw rocks at the Republicans running things. Now it's the Democrats turn in the barrel. It's their turn to do the catching while the other party does the pitching.

See how they like being on the other end of things.

If nothing else, it's going to be interesting (and probably a bit fun) from here on out, folks.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

More duty.

Well, I have spent the afternoon giving rides to polling places for family, friends and clan.

May not count for much, but everyone I know now has a license to complain for the next two years.

This is apparently an unusual election. I've been to three different polling sites, and the poll workers I've spoken to at each place have told me that they're seeing a higher turnout for this mid-term election than they saw at the last few General/Presidential elections.

I'm actually seeing lines of people waiting to vote -- a sight I've never seen before in this little podunk county -- and especially not an hour before the polls close.

Tomorrow is going to be interesting.


Monday, November 06, 2006

This is why he's a writer and I'm just a scribbler:

By way of Darth Misha I, we discover a link to an essay penned by Orson Scott Card:

The Only Issue This Election Day.

I wish I'd written that. Hell, I wish I could write like that.


Counter to last weeks ...

... Global Warming scare from the U.N.

Anyone who wasn't living under a rock probably caught a bit of the 'Stern Report', the dire predictions of Global Warming Induced Financial Crashes made for wonderful soundbites on the evening news.

By way of Irons In The Fire, we come with a counter-point to the Stern Report.

I don't know Christopher Monckton's credentials, so I'm not sure how much weight his article carries, but the Aussies found a Dr. Brian O'Brien who seems to have the neccessary resume and who seems to take a bit of umbrage towards the "scare-mongering" of Mr. Stern.