Sunday, April 19, 2009

Oh, great.

The big news story amongst parts of BlogWorld these days involves a Baptist pastor getting hisself cross-threaded with the US Border Patrol and the Arizona Department of Public Safety (Highway Patrol).

As most long-term readers of The LawDog Files know, I really don't like checkpoints, and ordinarily I'd be jumping for joy at the chance of check-points taking a black eye in court.

Unfortunately, Pastor Steven Anderson is -- how do I put this politely -- one of those People What Should Go Play In Traffic.

Now, understand that everyone has rights under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution -- no matter how loathsome, weird, intolerant, hateful (or in the case of Pastor Stevens, all at once) they may be -- but Goddess knows, the icky details make it damned hard to find a sympathetic jury.

We won't even get to the part about where the good pastor posted videos of his intentions to provoke an incident with the Border Patrol on his YouTube account.

Pastor Stevens has the right to believe that the magazine "Ladies Home Journal" is pornography. This in no way affects his rights against unlawful search or seizure.

Pastor Stevens has the right to hate homosexuals -- as long as he doesn't act on that belief, or encourage others to act on that belief. It makes him an intolerant hateful arse-milliner, but it doesn't invalidate his rights under the Fourth Amendment.

He has the right to refuse to vaccinate his children, he can believe that male gynecologists are going to hell, that women wearing pants are an abomination to his Lord -- has has the right to believe these things and such belief in no way has a whit to do with his rights under the Fourth Amendment.

He can even believe that America is going to hell because men aren't peeing on walls anymore.

*blink, blink*

I'd dearly love to link
that video because it simply must be comedy gold, but wee pulpit-banging Anderson has gotten bitten by the common-sense bug and has removed that video from YouTube.

(Google, however, doesn't forget. Enter "Steven Anderson" and "peeing", if you're curious.)

His sermons, though somewhat ... squicky
... do not invalidate his Constitutionally-guaranteed rights.

On the other paw, however ...

... why did it have to be a gay-bashing, misogynistic, neo-Luddite Shi'a-Baptist Neandertal with a fixation on gynecologists and a fetish for wall-whizzing?

This is what we get to challenge check-point laws with? This is what we get to show to a jury?

Sweet shivering Shiva.

Hey, Lord, if You're listening, would You mind preserving me from some of Your followers?



Friday, April 17, 2009

"Pirate" is an ancient Indian word meaning "Shark-bait".

And that, Gentle Readers, is the correct and proper response to piracy in a sane and just world.

Shamelessly pinched from Theo Spark.


Bloody hell

Since Wednesday I've done the semi-annual weapons qualification; the night-fire qualification; and driven a 1400 mile round trip on Official Business.

Ye tap-dancing gods.

Things I have learned over the last three days:

Over the last several years I have -- all unknowing -- simplified my pistol manipulation drills. Which is, I think, a topic worthy of an expanded blog post.

Non-SERPA Level II holsters still suck. Only worse.

The old boy who opined, "You can never have enough light" probably never hit a retro-reflective panel in the pitch-dark at ten feet with a brand-new SureFire G2LED.

Did you know that if your dark-adapted eyeballs do jump out of your skull, you can locate the corner they're hiding in by following the tiny whimpers? Me, neither. Good information to have, though.

If you have to drive 1400 miles, try to find a travel partner who isn't addicted to AM radio. Some of that stuff on Ye Olde Amplitude Modulation will cause your head to explode.

Border Patrol troopies have No Sense of Humour.

I'm for bed. More later.


Saturday, April 04, 2009


Spring has finally sprung, which means that it is now time for outdoor grilling and BBQs of every sort.

One good grilling tip for the host is that while the main course is sizzling on the fire, there should be something set out so that peckish guests may take the edge off.


3 or so avocados
One half lime
1 roma tomato, chopped fine
1 small red onion, chopped fine
1 teaspoon of garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon of ground white pepper

For some reason folks new to the avocado want to peel the skin off the berry. Trust me on this, it's easier to take each avocado, slice down from the stem end until you hit that bloody huge pit in the centre and cut around, thus splitting the avocado into two halves; then scoop the meat out of each half.

Dump the avocado meat into a bowl, sprinkle on your garlic salt and the white pepper. Give the stuff a one or two mashes with a fork, then throw on the tomato and the onion, and squeeze one half of the lime generously over the whole thing.

Mash it all up into one glorious, chunky mess and then taste. If it needs a bit more garlic salt and/or white pepper, stir in, and then serve with chips, or use as a spread on hamburgers.

Voila! Guacamole.


Meditations on bowing

Blogworld -- well, some parts of it anyway -- is all abuzz regarding President Obama's bow to the King of Saudi Arabia during the recent G20 summit.

I am -- quite frankly -- astounded by the number of people who are (pardon the expression) bending over backwards to explain this act as "a simple gesture of courtesy".

Ye gods and little fishies.

Let us attempt to take a look at the whole thing from a neutral perspective.

The first thing we should contemplate is the simple question of: were the other Leaders of the World bowing to King Abdullah, or was President Obama the the only one? Are the other Leaders of the World that lacking in "simple courtesy"?

Secondly, were the other World Leaders bowing to each other? Again, if not, is every other World Leader lacking in "simple courtesy"?

Thirdly, did President Obama bow to any World Leaders other than King Abdullah? If King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was the only World Leader bowed to by President Obama -- why? Are the other Leaders of the World not entitled to "simple courtesy"?

Last, but certainly not least -- was this "simple gesture of courtesy" returned? Did King Abdullah courteously return the bow?

Those question must be asked -- and answered -- before anyone can truly claim that the now-infamous bow was "a simple act of courtesy".

Despite enraged claims to the contrary, Americans
do bow -- especially those in the South and Southwestern part of the country. That heavy nod you see given during introductions and to those passing? That is a bow (albeit heavily truncated) as is the ever-so-charming tip of the hat, or touching of the hat brim; and both are very definitely gestures of courtesy and respect -- and this is important -- between equals.

As an aside, a bit of bowing trivia: the term "bow-and-scrape" comes from the scraping sound of the foot (shoe) moving back across the carpet to stabilize a particularly deep bow.


In a very real sense when Barack Obama took the oath of office in January, he became the representative and embodiment of the American people -- because that is what the President of the United States

When President Obama bowed to King Abdullah, that wasn't Barry Obama bowing, that was the entirety of the American People giving a singular, one-sided, unreturned display of submission to another nation.

If the White House has a protocol secretary, that individual should either be listened to, or fired, because -- so far -- their advice sucks great big rocks up off the ground.

If the White House doesn't have a protocol secretary, might I suggest they find themselves one -- right bloody now?