Sunday, July 29, 2007

I like this idea.

Over at MattG's place, he has discovered this little darlin' from Remington:

I like it.

Actually, I like the Ranch Carbine version better:

This is a 5.56mm/.223 rifle with the same feel, same controls, and most of the manual of arms of the ubiquitous Remington 870 shotgun that is the go-to longarm of a majority of law enforcement departments around the nation.

It takes the all-popular AR15/M16 magazine, so feeding it is not a problem.

Like it or not, ladies and gentlemen, there are some officers out there who have difficulty managing a 12 gauge shotgun.

And there are some situation that require the single-shot precision of a rifle, rather than a shotgun.

Add to that equation the disturbing trend of new officers who literally not only know absolutely nothing about firearms, but they have to be ordered to maintain qualification in them, and it becomes a Good Thing for the range master to only have to teach one basic manual of arms and have it carry over to both the patrol 870 shotgun and the patrol 7615 rifle.

Slide here. Pull back and push forward. Trigger here, safety here. To deploy, remove from rack, work slide, place front sight on threat, pull trigger.

Cruiser safe -- hammer down on an empty chamber, magazine full -- will work for both systems; failure drills are the same for both systems, as are chamber checks.

Only having one basic manual of arms also will probably pay dividends in the high-stress situations most officers don't train for. When rounds are flying past your ears, it's not the time to have to try to remember the lesson on deploying your issue AR15 -- the lesson you last had when you were issued the rifle 8 years previous.

Plus the wood-stocked Ranch version is less intimidating than an AR-series rifle, which means that Suzy Soccermommy doesn't get all worked up and start writing hysterical letters to the editor over a wood-stocked rifle as she would an Eee-vil Blaack Riiifle.

I like the concept, and I hope that Remington is successful with it.



I was drifting by Lady Tam's blog, when I noticed that she is closing fast on the 500,oooth visitor check.

After delivering my heartily-felt congratulations, I got curious and hit my SiteMetre to see how far I've got to go to come up with half-a-million visitors.


I seem to have passed it 'bout 9K or so visits ago. That'll teach me to pay more attention to the SiteMetre thingie.


Doesn't seem right for me to have more hits than the lady who inspired me to blog.

Ah, well, most of those hits on my blog are probably me, anyway.

Conga-rats, Tam -- it was your blog that jump-started whatever infamy I may lay claim to on the Intarwebz, so a large portion of my "success" must be laid at your feet.

Here's to your next 500K.


Fred Thompson

Bunch of folks are sure getting antsy for Fred Thompson to buy into the Presidential thing.

Of those, I'm starting to hear some grumbles from a minority along the lines of: "What's he waiting for?" and such. And some are tooling up to get irritated by his perceived dallying about.

Now, this is just a guess on my part, but I think I understand why Senator Thompson is waiting.

There is a Federal law that requires each candidate get more-or-less equal face time on the National TeeVee. And that's the kicker: None of Fred Thompson's opponents star in a very popular TeeVee show. Not one of them has been a successful actor.

Each time 'Law And Order' runs, for each re-run of 'Die Hard 2', 'Days of Thunder', and the rest of his movies, Senator Thompson gets air-time -- time which much be matched for his opponents.

So, what do you do? Do you allow the Main Stream Media to give every Presidential candidate who isn't Fred Thompson the equivalent time that he gets from his 'Law And Order' episodes?

Nope. That would be candidate suicide. His opponents would be able to use the extra time -- the time Senator Thompson uses to recite script -- to politick.

Not good.

So, you remove Senator Thompson's extra air time. You cancel runs of 'Law And Order', and you cancel any of his movies that are slated to run on broadcast or cable TeeVee between now and the election.


Other people besides Senator Thompson receive residuals for those episodes and movies. The Senator might not need that money, but what about the other actors that were in those productions? Why should they give up their money?

Plus, there are contracts with advertisers, studios, TeeVee stations and channels, that sort of thing. If station WKRP paid X millions of dollars for the right to run back episodes of 'Law And Order', cancelling that contract so that one of the actors can run a fair campaign for President mite get a skosh -- expensive.

Now, I could be wrong. Lord knows it wouldn't be the first time. However, until someone can show me a better explanation, I'm willing to bet that this is the reason Fred Thompson has yet to announce his candidacy -- and it's a darn good reason.

Patience, folks.


Thursday, July 26, 2007


Military Motivator is a blog totally devoted to military versions of those motivational posters that crop up all over the place.

Go give him a read and some encouragement.


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

You know, for a coledge ferpessor, Ward Churchill can be a bit thick.

Couple of day ago, ol' Churchill got his fuzzy li'l butt fired from his cushy Colorado University job.

I would imagine that most of my Gentle Readers will remember Young Ward as the author of a slimy little hack piece naming the victims of the World Trade Centre attack as "Little Eichmanns" and stating that the dead on Sept 11 had it coming.

As one might expect, whole lotta folks took offence at that sort of thing and proceeded to lambaste Master Churchill and his college fairly thoroughly.

Well, said Colorado U. decided that Walking Eagle* was pretty much covered under the Right to Free Speech, and all that, so they really couldn't ding him -- so sorry.

Which led to a bunch of ornery rabble-rousing types -- journalists, bloggers, investigators, Fox News, that kind of thing -- deciding This Was Unacceptable and promptly starting digging up and publicizing various Unpalatable Facts regarding Young Warty Churchill.

Things like lies, plagiarism, lies, intellectual theft, lies, falsification, lies, research misconduct, and a bit of lying here and there.

Bear in mind that none of this was either a surprise, or a revelation, to Colorado University, but the level of negative publicity being trained upon C.U. and its Forked-Tongued Lecturer finally forced the moss-backs running the place to Pay Attention.

They organized an Official Investigation, which -- to no ones surprise -- turned up an absolutely delightful amount of misconduct on the part of Master Churchill.

I am particularly impressed by the allegation that Ward Churchill, upon discovering that no one else had published anything supporting the topic of his research, promptly assumed a pseudonym (or several -- I'm kinda foggy on that part), used said fake name(s) to write a couple of small papers in support of his allegations, then used quotes from the papers he published under pseudonyms as research footnotes in his main paper.

Isn't that like the Holy Grail of Research Fraud and Intellectual Dishonesty?

Anyhoo, much politicking and bally-hooing later, Colorado University hauled off and canned his fuzzy Anglo butt.

Now, things get really fun, because ol' Ward is suing Colorado U. for violating his First Amendment Right to Free Speech.

Never mind the fact that Ward Churchill has not been gagged, lobotomized, had his fingers broken, or denied access to publishers or the Media. The man can still talk, trust me, he's all over YouTube.

No, Churchill asserts that Colorado U. Vi-Oh-Lateded his Right to Free Speech by finding evidence of multiple, long-standing ethical misconduct AFTER he wrote an unpopular essay.

You see, in Ward Churchill's little pink, fluffy, happy-bunny-world if you write an article outraging people, any fraud you might have committed before that time can't be held against you. Or some such tripe.


And this is an example of some of the elements teaching the Youth of America these days.

I don't know why I should have to edumicate a college-type edumicator, but here goes:

Yes, you have the Right to Free Speech. This in no way exempts you from the results of your exercising that right.

Yes, you have the Right to Free Speech. Exercising your Right to Free Speech in no way gives you a free pass on any thefts of intellectual property, plagiarism, official misconduct or lying through your pearly white Anglo teeth.

Yes, you have the Right to Free Speech. Just because you no longer have a cushy University job does not mean you have lost your Right to Free Speech. Plenty of people who aren't tenured college types exercise their Free Speech every day -- I have faith that you, also, will find a way to exercise that First Amendment right.

You schmuck.


*Stuffed so full of crap that he can't fly.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

What, again?

Remember these little guys?

Yes, again.

This time I was wearing jeans. And I took the time to put on a pair of work gloves.

There were three this time, but one of them actually managed to get out when I got back, leaving these two.

The little girl in the calico outfit was looking pitiful and absolutely adorable -- until I got a hold of her. One must remember that kitties have six ends, and five of those are sharp.

She got my social digit in between a couple of molars and bore down like a hydraulic press. Didn't break skin, but she bruised my finger something fierce. Thank various deities for Spectra-lined work gloves.

Once again, I bust my hump for a Sweet Young Thing, only to be savaged and left swearing in the dust.

I'm starting to see a metaphor to my dating life.



Sunday, July 22, 2007

Professor LawDog's School of Survival and Mayhem

In my vehicle I have a roll of extra-fine steel wool in one of those home-vacuum-sealed plastic baggies, and two 9-volt batteries in another vacuum-pack.

I was recently asked why I had these things, and I replied, "That's my fire kit, duh."

The person who asked the question looked at me like I was speaking Hindi. They had no idea what I was talking about.

In shock, I asked some other people -- and none of them had a clue, either.


All right class, gather around the BBQ pit.

Observe that inside the BBQ pit we have five feathersticks making a nice little tipi -- what?

You have no idea what a featherstick is?

Oh, gods, just shoot me now.

Okay. Get yourself some dry sticks bigger than your thumb, but not as big around as your forearm.

Now, place one end of the stick on something safe -- not your knee! On something solid that we won't mind nicking a bit with our knives.

Take a firm grip on the other end. The end your are holding is the tip. The end on the table is the base.

Using your knife -- you all do have knives, right? Take your knife and about three inches from the base, shave a thin curl of wood towards the base and leave it attached.

Rotate the stick a bit, and shave another curl -- leaving it attached. Rotate again, move a bit up the stick and shave another curl. Keep doing this until the entire stick is all fluffy and curly.

This is a featherstick. Now, make four more and bear in mind that Professor LawDog is the only person around here authorized to produce blood at this time. Thank you.

Now that you have five feathersticks, place them in the BBQ base up and tip down in the form of a tipi. Leave enough room inside -- what?

You don't know what a tipi is. How about a wigwam? Ah.

Stack your five feathersticks tip down in a shape reminiscent of the conical dwellings constructed of skins used by the indigenous peoples of the North American Great Plains.

Someone in the Registrars Office is getting shot for this one, I'm here to tell you.

Anyhoo, leave enough space inside your construction for the steel wool.

Take your steel wool and expand it a bit. Fluff it up until it's somewhere between the size of a tennis ball and a softball. You may wish to stick some wood chips or small sticks inside the fluffy mass, but that's up to you.

Place the steel wool inside of the cavity you have left in your featherstick construction.

Now, take a common nine-volt battery and rub it gently on the exposed parts of the steel wool. Yes, sparks. Those are expected. Rub a bit more and then blow gently on your flaming steel wool.

Steel -- even steel wool -- burns with a lot of heat. The steel wool burns hot enough to easily -- there you go -- ignite the wood curls on the feathersticks and with a bit of tending ... We Have Made Fire!

And that is the reason there is vacuum-packed steel wool and 9-volt batteries in my vehicle. Any battery of three volts or more can be used to ignite the steel wool -- I have done so with a 6-volt battery out of my SureFire flashlight -- but the top-mounted contacts of the 9-volt make it easier to use.

Now that we have fire here -- and over there a small encampment of peacenik socialist pacifists who probably have small things of value and are no doubt in need of some excitement to liven up their day -- what?

Yes, I know that's the Faculty Lounge, so?

You're not serious!

Who the hell put a 'No Pillaging' clause in my contract!?


What the hell?

I was drifting through the archives just now, looking for inspiration, and I stumbled across this comment by a Nony Mouse on my "Meditations on aftermath" thread:

"If I were on a jury and I found out that a shooter had contacted a lawyer about shooting someone before he did it, I would feel extreme prejudice against the shooter.

Likewise if I found out that he had purchased any books by Ayoob.

Anyone who fantasized about killing someone is a nut case.

The chance that the shooting was defensive is small, as he was just looking to shoot someone."

First off, who the hell are you and why are you on my blog?

So much for not having any inspiration. Alrighty, then, my old sod, let's have a go at this, shall we?

If I were on a jury and I found out that a shooter had contacted a lawyer about shooting someone before he did it, I would feel extreme prejudice against the shooter.

You would feel extreme prejudice, hmm? Let us take a look at that, then. According to Merriam-Webster, "prejudice" can be one of two things. It can be "an injury or damage resulting from some judgment or action of another in disregard of one's rights".

Hmm. Since you are postulating that you'd be on the jury, and since the American justice system does not allow a victim of the defendant to serve on his jury, the first definition obviously doesn't fit.

The second definition of "prejudice", though: a "preconceived judgment or opinion"; "an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge"; and "an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics."

Goodness. A "preconceived judgement".

You'd feel an "adverse opinion formed without just grounds"?

You admit to feeling an "irrational attitude of hostility"?

And you'd still be sitting on the jury ... why? Let us hope that your admitted irrationality would come out in voir dire and you'd be excluded posthaste.

I do admire your confession of irrationality regarding guns and self-defence, though. it is extremely difficult to find a gun-banner or self-defence-bigot willing to admit that his views are, indeed, irrational and you should be commended for your courage in doing so.

Likewise if I found out that he had purchased any books by Ayoob.

You do realize that many of Ayoob's students are law enforcement and some are military, right? Ayoob has been invited to speak on this very subject at many Law Enforcement academies throughout the land, and Mas spends a lot of time speaking at seminars put on by Law Enforcement departments?

Would you feel the same level of "irrational hostility" towards a peace officer who had purchased a book by Ayoob?

Anyone who fantasized about killing someone is a nut case.

No argument there. How the hell, though, do you equate talking to a lawyer or buying a book by Massad Ayoob with fantasizing about killing?

Let me ask you something. If you buy house insurance, plan fire evacuation drills with your family, install smoke detectors in your house and put fire extinguishers where they'll be the most help -- does this mean that you're fantasizing about arson?

If you have a pool, and you surround the pool with a fence to keep small children out, install flotation devices near the water, take a Red Cross LifeGuard course and teach your children to swim -- does this mean you're fantasizing about drowning someone?

Having plans to deal with a worst case scenario does not mean you are fantasizing about committing that worst case.

Training does not automatically mean the trainee is fantasizing about unlawful acts. Lifeguard training does not automatically mean the trainee is fantasizing about drowning someone, firefighter training does not mean the trainee is fantasizing about arson; paramedic training does not mean the trainee is fantasizing about killing someone -- and nether does firearms training.

To believe otherwise would be ... irrational. See previous paragraphs.

The chance that the shooting was defensive is small, as he was just looking to shoot someone.

And how do you know that the defendant was "looking to kill someone"? Are you claiming mind-reading skills? Did you use your powers to probe the innermost thoughts of the defendant? If you do have the awesome power of telepathy -- the ability to read someones mind -- I believe that James Randi has a million dollars for you.


So you don't actually know for a fact that "he was just looking to shoot someone", do you?

Okay, then, what about the "chance that the shooting was defensive is small"? Again, how do you know? Do you study defensive shootings? Were you there? Do you know the shooting statistics of the region in question? How may other shootings from that area have you researched?


We'll just mark that last statement of yours up as the bushwa it is.

In your own words, your argument is based on irrationality and opinions formed without just grounds or sufficient knowledge.

Pretty much says it all, I think.



Reno's wife is recovering from a nasty bout with a virus that hospitalized her for a bit, and having a rambunctious eight-year in the house isn't as conducive to a quiet recovery as one might hope.

The solution?

One (1) My Little Barbie Fishing Combo

One (1) pack of assorted El Cheapo panfish jigs from Wally-World

Two (2) minutes showing her how to swim a jig minnow 'bout a foot or so under the surface.


Thirty-six+ hand-sized crappie and a hybrid bass or two later Reno loaded his daughter back in the truck and she was unconscious before we were out of sight of the lake.

I must remember to include a towel or a chamois in the tackle box so that us designated Fish Unhookers can wipe the crappie slime off our hands, rather than using sleeves and jeans legs next time.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

This evening in history ...

... thirty-eight years ago, a 28 year old teacher, secretary and campaign worker for Robert Kennedy accepted a ride to her motel from Senator Teddy Kennedy.

Earlier this day I wrote a post savaging Senator Kennedy for the subsequent death of that young woman. It is now -- and has been -- my opinion that she was left to die because Teddy Kennedy's political career was more important than her life.

I even dug up the National Lampoon fake VW advert as the opening for this post.

Teddy Kennedy is a murderer. He is a wretch totally lacking in courage, honour or common human decency and, as a result, he allowed that young lady to drown in the darkness.

The thing is, there is nothing I can do to Teddy. He has no conscience for me to prick; no sense of shame that I can jab; no vein of honour I can awaken.

Had he any of things, he would have atoned for his part in this slaying a long time ago.

I can write -- have written -- vicious satire, cutting humour and elegant insults, but to what end? There is nothing I can write this side of Eternal Judgement that will have any effect whatsoever on the sotted, ophidian soul of Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts.

And I would regret that my efforts in this would cause any disturbance to the rest of that slain girl.

So, I merely offer this:

Mary Jo Kopechne
26JUL1940 - 18JUL1969
Requiescat In Pacem


Tuesday, July 17, 2007


By now, I imagine most of my Gentle Readers are familiar with the lolcat phenomenon -- people take pictures of cats or other animals and add humorous captions.

Many lolcats can be found here.

In a move which has done a great deal to reinstate my faith in the American Public, folks are taking terr pictures and giving them the lolcat treatment. In this, we are using one of the most effective weapons against fanatics: humour and mockery.

So, I give you IMAO and his lolterizts.

Link, laugh, spread the love. And if the mood strikes you, make your own.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Meditations on stance

Anyone who is willing to listen, read on. If you already know better, then pass on by. And quit bleeding on my floor.

Listen to me: Get. Your. Sodding. Hands. Up.

There is no way on either side of the Bifrost Bridge that you can defend yourself with your hands by your side. Period. Full stop. End of statement.

Had an individual get thumped on the snot locker today -- and he knew it was coming. Saw the threat displays, saw the measuring glances, saw the work-up, the whole enchilada.

And he stood there, hands hanging by his side. Why? Because "He didn't want to escalate things."

Well, my little Hor d'Oeuvre on the Table of Life, looks like things didn't really give a damn if you wanted them to escalate or not, you think?

It's a simple thing. If you are dealing with unknowns, or if you are in a situation where things might just go rodeo, take your left hand and lay it on your chest -- 'bout elbow height. Little higher or a little lower doesn't matter -- whatever makes you comfortable.

Now, take your right hand, cup it a bit and place it over the back of your left hand. I like to extend my thumbs and touch the tips together, but that's a personal thing.

This does two things. The first -- and most important -- is that it places a psychological barrier between you and whomever you're interacting with. Most of the population -- whether consciously or no -- will react to this barrier by moving so that you are on the edge of their comfort zone.

The second thing this does is move your hands from their useless place beside your legs and up to where they're actually useful for defence.

From the chest, your hands can raise the short distance to protect your head and face. They can drop to protect your abdomen and groin. You can drop an elbow or raise an elbow to do the same. You can do any number of useful defensive things -- as long as your hands are where they need to be, and not down between your hip and knee.

I want you to do something. I want to find someone you trust and stand face-to-face with them, about an arms length away, both of you standing with your arms hanging loosely by your sides.

Now, whenever the person standing opposite you gets the urge, he should flick a hand past your ear -- either hand, his choice.

When he does, I want you to tap his arm before it clears your ear.

Bloody damned difficult, yes?

Now, do the same, but you have your hands folded on your chest, arms relaxed.

When you see him move, I want you to move your hands so that your middle fingers arc up your chest, past the outer end of your eyebrows and stop with your middle fingertip pointed at your temple and a couple of inches out. Think of it as a really sloppy salute that comes off your chest.

Easier, yes?

Away from your partner, practice in front of a mirror. Pretend the person in the mirror is rushing in to grab your legs and pull you down. From your chest, shoot both hands past one of his ears and shove/pull down on his shoulder/neck with your forearms. Now, live practice this and you've just sprawled a leg take-down.

Or you can shove your left hand into the face of the guy in the mirror, dabbling a finger-tip or four in his eyes, as your right hand skins your handgun out of the holster. Get a Red Gun or something similar and live practice it.

Fire both hands off your chest into the face of the guy in the mirror, scream "Get back!" and jump back.

With a little pondering, a good imagination and live practice, you can come up with any number of simple, direct defences based on just having your hands on your chest.

The beauty of this is that no innocent thinks that you standing there with your hands folded on your chest is even remotely aggressive.

When Reno does this, he plays with his wedding band -- all any citizen ever sees is a big, sleepy guy probably thinking of his wife. But his hands are up where they can do him some damned good.

Hands up -- Good. Hands hanging by your side -- Bad.

Thus endeth the lesson.




About two pounds of panfish fillets

One cup of cornmeal
One cup of flour
Three eggs
Salt and pepper to taste

Pour about half an inch of oil into your frying pan, turn on heat.

Crack your eggs into a bowl and beat them mercilessly. Put the flour and cornmeal into a large ziplock baggie.

Take your fillets, and dose each side with salt and pepper. Bung fillets into the egg bowl and coat well. From the egg bowl, they go into the ziplock baggie and get shaken until thoroughly coated.

Take your fishy goodness and ease into hot oil. Cook two minutes or so, turning once, until it flakes easily with a fork.

Pile onto a paper towel-lined platter, along with lemon and lime wedges, serve with sweet iced tea and thick french fried taters -- then get out of the way.

You know, as much as I do love a good slab of fried catfish, there's nothing that beats fried bluegill, brim, perch, bream or whatever else you call your panfish.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Now that's very civilized, that is.

Long time Gentle Readers will remember that I have a bit of a fondness for the kilt as formal wear.

A fondness, I have learned, which is shared by several of the afore-mentioned Gentle Readers.

Another trait we share is a tendency to carry the occasional firearm about our persons. However, concealed carry of your favorite pistol with your kilt is limited to either tucking it into your sporran, or by breaking out the tool-kit and heavily-modifying an inside-the-waistband holster.

Imagine our delight when we came across the webpage for the Neo-Kilt, and discovered that for the sum of 25 USD dollars, they will add a Concealed Pistol Sleeve to the waistband of your kilt.

By Jove, that is awfully civilized of them, and I believe I may have found my next kilt-maker.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Okay, now this is just cool!

Dr. Grordborts Infallible Aether Oscillators.

I have got to get me a Manmelter 3600ZX!

Once you're done drooling over the ray-guns, be sure to read the Testimonials; the Headlines; the Bestiary of the Cosmos; and peruse the Archive of Phosphorescent Etchings.

Someone has both a wicked sense of humour and waa-aaay too much time on their hands.


We will now add insult to injury

By way of Sweden, we learn of an enterprising young man who has decided to seek his fortune through the distribution and sale of recreational pharmaceuticals.

Seems our young gentleman doesn't actually have access to the substances desired -- no matter! He proceeds to wrap 200 grams of chocolate in a bindle, and tell potential eager purchasers that the package contains marijuana.

I say "eager purchasers", because upon discovering that they paid about thirteen hundred bucks ($1,300) for a package containing nothing more exotic than theobromine, said "eager purchasers" proceed to hunt down the aspiring dealer, and shoot him in the foot before whacking him over the head with an axe.

You know, it being Sweden and all, I shouldn't be surprised an axe was involved.

By all appearances the proto-dealer seems to have survived the experience. I say this, because the local prosecutor has decided to press charges against him for fraud -- and yes, mota is illegal in Sweden.

*blink, blink*

Not only is it illegal to sell happy terbaccy, but it's illegal to defraud people when selling it?

You know, I never thought of that. Of course, I figure the fraud charges were time served just as soon as the bullet went through his foot, or the axe bounced of his skull -- but that's just me.

Tip of the Stetson to Peter.


Sky being blue, water being wet, and all that.

Researchers at UCLA have recently conducted a study which has revealed that the distaff side of the species prefers to date muscular men.

We will now wait for the shock to subside. Jocks get more sex than geeks? Who'd'a thunk it?

All sarcasm aside, one tends to wonder just exactly how much money UCLA spent on this research, and where said money came from.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

I'm charmed.

One of my Gentle Readers has apparently been so taken with my story of the chit-chat, that he has gone and drawn the hero of that story.

Mr. Morgan has furthered contacted me to ask permission to write a short comic involving that little chit-chat.

I am charmed and I am honoured. As long as I -- or my blog -- is credited with the story, go forth and best of luck.

Thank you.


Saturday, July 07, 2007


President Bush recently exercised a Presidential right listed in the Constitution of the United States of American to commute the prison sentence of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

Do note, if you please, that President Bush only commuted the 30 month prison sentence. Scooter Libby is still a convicted felon, still owes the quarter of a million dollar fine and is still under two years worth of community supervision (read: probation).

The shrieking and squalling from those politically opposed to President Bush has been ... awe-inspiring.

I haven't seen that many temper-tantrums and breath-holdings since I last stumbled into a Kindergarten class, truly.

Apparently, the decision of President Bush to commute this particular prison sentence is the death knell for American democracy.

I'm not making that up -- check DailyKos.

Also, the decision of President Bush to commute a prison sentence is actually a shot across the bow of the judicial and legislative branches of the Government, informing them that they are actually powerless before George Bush.

Again, I'm not making this up.

Chief among the outraged is Keith Olbermann, who hauled off and demanded the resignation of the POTUS and the VPOTUS for this commutation -- amongst a laundry list of other things.

I'm tired, I'm sunburned and I'm in a foul mood, so this probably isn't going to be as polished as one would like.


I want Mr. Olbermann to tell me why, exactly, President Bush's commutation of Scooter Libbey's sentence of non-violent perjury is worthy of a harangue, but President Clinton's commutation of sixteen FALN terrorists convicted of robbery, bomb-making, sedition, conspiracy, firearms violations and bomb-making is worthy of ... not a peep.

Why is this? Olbermann was in media at the time, surely there are transcripts.

Congress condemned President Clinton's decision to commute these sentences by 95-2 in the Senate and 311-41 in the House. When Congress investigated, President Clinton refused to turn over documents related to his decision to grant clemency, citing executive privilege. Where was Mr. Olbermann's outrage at this?

Why is President Bush's commutation of Scooter Libby's sentence for perjury a death-knell for American democracy, but President Clinton's commutation of the sentence of Henry Cisneros for perjury was met with silence? Why?

Marc Rich -- fully pardoned by President Clinton for tax evasion and illegally trading with Iran during the height of the Iran Hostage crisis -- no outrage, no declarations of the powerlessness of the US judicial and legislative branches of Government.

Yet, Scooter Libby -- who didn't trade with Iran for his own enrichment at a time when Iran was holding Americans hostage -- gets his sentence for obstruction and perjury commuted and the whole sodding sky is falling. Why is this, Mr. Olbermann?

President Bush's commutes the prison sentence of Scooter Libby and Mr. Olbermann acts like Ragnarok has arrived, and the sky is about to land right on his head.

When President Clinton issued 140 pardons and commutations on his last day in office, Mr. Olbermann was a media figure at the time. Can anyone get me transcripts of the Olbermann vents about those 140 Clinton pardons for drug dealers, embezzlers, liars, mail fraudsters, bank robbers, extorters, racketeers, and spies?

Presidential pardons have been around since George Washington pardoned the leadership of the Whiskey Rebellion -- why is this one commutation such an outrage?

Don't bother answering that -- the answer is obvious.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day 2007

This year I was going to post a video file, or an audio file, of a reading of the Declaration of Independence. However, I discover that it is beyond my ability to find a reading in which the Declaration of Independence hasn't been edited, trimmed, or had complete paragraphs left out.

Also, simply finding a reading of the Declaration of Independence which doesn't collapse into a political screed, or rant about "Jesuits", "Freemasons" or other conspiracy favourites is bloody difficult.

So, I post a link to the document itself. Take some time in between the fireworks, the BBQs and the parties to read, and to ponder the reason for this holiday.

Gentle Readers, have a happy and safe Independence Day.


And a-viking we will go ...

A pack of Danes have gotten together and built themselves a replica of a 100-foot Viking longship. The model they based their vessel on was recovered from the bottom of a harbour where it had been sunk, along with four other longships, to barricade the harbour.

The original longship had been built a thousand years ago in Ireland, and who knows where it had sailed before being scuttled.

Well, the folks that built the replica -- called the 'Sea Stallion' -- decided it would be a nice symmetry to sail her back to Dublin.

So, they're on their way.

The website linked above has a beautiful presentation video of the building of the 'Sea Stallion', and a clickable map of her progress.

If my old LandNav training holds true for water, I figure she's just now entering the North Sea.

Beautiful ship. As I watch the videos of her dancing through the sea, I awes me to think that open ships just like her crossed the North Atlantic to Iceland, Greenland and North America; sailed the length and breadth of the Mediterranean; and up Russian rivers to their headwaters.

Did they bring the feared Norse raiders? Oh, hell yes. Just as often, though -- if not more often -- they brought traders, spreading goods and ideas from one end of the Viking known world to the other by way of those sleek little longships.

As I sit here polishing a sword, a part of me envies those lads and lasses on their historic voyage -- but an even larger part of me wonders if the Irish still have monasteries along the shore, and would the skipper mind making a quick little detour...?

Ah, well.

Good luck to the 'Sea Stallion' and her crew. Easy trip and a safe landfall, boys and girls.

Tip of the Stetson to my friend Peter for the link and story.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Time for some linky-love

I've been over at Tole's place ripping up linoleum and putting down tiles, so I'm just a wee bit exhausted.

I have received a great many requests for permission to reprint my post on Immigration Reform -- folks, as long as you attribute my work to me, please feel free to repost my stuff where-ever you feel necessary -- or mail it to whom-ever (coughSenatorscough) you think necessary.

Now, since I hate to leave my Gentle Readers with nothing to read, I hereby present you with some new authors to peruse:

This is a Peace Officer blog from the far side of the pond. Accents may change, but the work and the critters don't.

Farmgirl is a south Colorado ranchers daughter and flag person for D.O.T. with a direct world-view and an easy way with words.

Cancer survivor, nerd, martial artist. What more could you want?

Retired squid and all around good writer.

The chronicles of a pregnant English professor. Not for the faint-of-heart, but definitely worth the read.

The Tygrrr Express: because -- despite what the proponents of the Fairness In Media law think -- you can never have enough conservative bloggers.