As a Christmas gift for blowing my mind on book sales, if you will send an e-mail to:
-- take the vertical lines out of the address, please (Death To Spambots!) -- with the name of the person to whom you wish to dedicate the book, any message you'd like, and a mailing address, I'll send you a signed bookplate to put in the book.
I'll do this for emails I get through December 31.
Audiobook versions of both are in the works, further details as things progress.
I know this is a lousy time to ask for money, but one of our extended family is in need. FarmFam’s daughter-in-law, Andi, 33 and the mother of two small boys, suffered a stroke in mid August. Unfortunately, it wasn't diagnosed correctly for two weeks, delaying treatment.
She's facing a year to 18 months of physical therapy to get back to full function.
Therapy costs are running $200-500 per session, and she needs therapy once a week. Andi has not been able to afford health insurance, because she her husband own a small business that makes too much money for them to get assistance with health insurance, but not enough for them to be able to afford health insurance, and raising two boys.
Any help will be much appreciated, as Andi has begun physical therapy, and without health insurance she has to pay the full cost of every session.
In order to help her out, we are doing another gun raffle to try to help her with her therapy. One change from what we did for Tam is to run this through a Go Fund Me, https://www.gofundme.com/andrea-keenan-medical-fund, so that the money is immediately available to her for her therapy. One IRS change is that Go Fund Me $$ are now counted as income for the family, so we are shooting for a goal of $25,000 to offset the tax burden they will be hit with.
Here are the ‘rules’ $10 per chance, $50/6 chances, $100/12 chances, etc. Make your donation to the Go Fund Me above, and copy your donation receipt to email@example.com. This will count as your entry into the raffle. If you have already donated, we will accept prior donations to the Go Fund Me.
The raffle will run from now through the end of November, with the drawing to be held 1 December via a random drawing program. First number gets their choice, second gets their choice, etc.
The raffle packages are:
Taurus .44 Magnum pistol
Ruger MK-II bull barrel .22
Custom sub-MOA AR-15
Remington 870 pump in 20ga
Chinese copy of a 12ga coach gun
Springfield Range Officer .45 with 7 magazines and custom holster
Springfield Range Officer 9mm with 7 magazines and custom holster
LawDog’s personal Rock Island 1911 9mm, reworked by Joe Speer with 6 magazines
A ladies package consisting of a ring (late-Victorian-style design with either high-quality glass or mid-grade garnet stones. The mount is jeweler's metal, size 6 3/4 or 7). A unicorn necklace, late 1980s-early 1990s James Avery sterling silver charm on a silver chain. A coin necklace, an 1904 Indian Head penny, silver dipped in a gold-plated mount with a gold-plated silver chain. And a handmade necklace and earrings from Phlegmmy.
Signed copies of LawDog’s, Peter Grant’s, Dorothy Grant’s, and JL Curtis’ books
TBD (other possible packages are being discussed)
All guns will be shipped FFL to FFL for winners. Pictures of the various packages will follow in the next couple of days.
Thank you in advance, I know she will appreciate the help, and this will take a little pressure off the family!
I first wrote the "Gun Rights Cake" analogy on this page in 2010. I re-posted it here three years later.
Later on, a Facebook group called "The Hypocrisy and Stupidity of Gun Control Advocates" put in cartoon form:
Note the proper attribution at the bottom of that cartoon.
With the events of Las Vegas, I'm seeing my own work coming across my Facebook feed and my e-mail -- only my name appears to have become "Bentley", or "Robert", or "Rupert".
Goodness, my parents would be startled.
One gentleman -- when gently corrected -- stated that I actually stole that analogy from "someone" on AK47.net.
Bedamned, I most assuredly did not steal that analogy from anyone else. I bloody well wrote the sodding thing.
And by-the-by: whomever added the extra language about the "Dick Act of 1902" in one of the versions that's going around -- if I'd've wanted that in my analogy, I would have added it. Keep your meat-hooks off of my work, if you please.
Gentle Readers, if someone sends you my analogy, uncredited -- or claimed by someone other than LawDog -- please gently correct that person. Likewise, if one of the cartoons comes by you with the attribution clipped off of the bottom.
2 pounds of pork
1 big white onion
1 tablespoon of Squeeze Garlic
2 tubs of Knorr Swiss Chicken In A Tub
6 cups water
1 pound red taters
1 to 2 cups (ish) of roasted, peeled, and chopped Hatch chilies*
1 tablespoon Chipotle Topper
Salt and pepper to taste.
(If cilantro doesn't taste like soap to you, chop some of that.)
Get out your big stew pot, cut your pork into one-inch cubes, and toss it into the pot on Medium-High with some oil. Chop your onion, bung it in there, too, and brown the pork.
Once the pork is brown, run the heat down to Medium, drain the oil, and toss in the garlic. Give it some stirs until you start to smell that lovely nutty aroma, add the water, and bump the heat back up to Medium-High.
While you're waiting for the boil, chunk your taters into 3/4(-ish) inch bits. When you get a rolling boil, throw in the taters and both the tubs of chicken. Chop the heat down, and let it all simmer for about an hour, or until the spuds are cooked.
Once that's done, throw in the Hatch chilies*, and the Chipotle Topper. Simmer for about another 15 minutes.
(Now is the time to stir in the cilantro, if you like, but not for me. Stuff tastes like diswashing detergent.)
Serve over rice, with a salad.
*Please be advised: Hatch chilies come in two heat levels. Mild, and Spiky. If you send someone to the market for some freshly roasted Hatch chilies, and they're not aware of this little fact, they may come back with some Spiky ones. Damned fine flavour, but if your guests are expecting the Mild chilies -- because Mild ones are all they've ever gotten from your kitchen -- and get a mouthful of Spiky chilies, there may be startled exclamations. Forewarned is forearmed.
By nature, by profession, and by training I bloody well hate crowds.
A man I admired once informed me that the IQ of a crowd could be ascertained by taking the lowest IQ of any single person in the crowd, and dividing that by the number of people in the crowd.
For myself, I always think of a crowd as one large, dumb, and happy organism ... right up until something decides to take a thunder run at the crowd, and it becomes a large, dumb, and dangerous organism.
Unfortunately, it is a Fact of Life that, upon occasion, crowds must be endured.
And while there are several types of dangerous crowds, and several ways in which a crowd presents a danger, the focus of today's musing is confined to that crowd phenomenon called the "crush" or the "stampede".
A "crush" is when a crowd takes it into its' multiple little mind that Something Bad Has Happened, and decides to unarse the A.O.
There are two things that should be noted here. 1) 90+% of all deaths resulting from a panicked crowd are from traumatic asphyxia or compression asphyxia; and 2) The majority of the victims of compression asphyxia will have died standing up.
The obvious question is: "LawDog, what is 'compression asphyxia'?"
Glad you asked.
When you get a large mass of dumb and panicked suddenly moving in one direction, Dumb and Panicked tends to bring a lot of force to the dance. How much force? At several scenes where fatal "crush" events have taken place, After Action Reviews of the incidents have revealed steel railings bent and deformed by nothing more than the press of multiple bodies. In at least one (the 1979 The Who concert stampede. I think) recreations of the accident show a horizontal application of force equaling about one thousand (1000) pounds.
One half of a ton of force, plus or minus, applied sideways.
It takes far less than that to compress the rib-cage of a normal human being to the point that they can no longer inhale. Without the ability to draw air into your lungs, unconsciousness sets in at ten to forty seconds, brain damage starts at about four minutes, and death follows fairly quickly after that.
"Traumatic asphyxia" or "compression asphyxia" is what happens when a squishy person gets between an immovable object -- such as a wall -- and the irresistible force of a mass of a panicked crowd.
So. How to avoid this?
First off, stay away from crowds. If you can't avoid that, stay away from crowds in confined spaces -- and by "confined space" I mean any place with more walls around the area than open air.
However, if you find yourself having to be in a confined space with a crowd, I'd like you to keep at least two things in mind:
1) Crowds are made up of people. And people are creatures of habit. One of those irritating little habits is that people want to go out of an area the same way that they came in. And that goes double when they're panicked.
When things go agley, and The Crowd decides that it's Time To Be Somewhere Else, The Crowd will escape the area the same way it came in. Only a lot faster, and damn the torpedoes.
That means that if 99% of The Crowd came into the dance venue by way of those two double doors right there, unless there's A Damned Fine Reason preventing such, when the crush happens, The Crowd is going to go right out those two double doors right there. At full, berserk speed. And they will do their damnedest to fit the entire Fire Marshal's Maximum Occupancy Number into that one doorway, all at the same time.
So, the best way to avoid this crunchy, sticky mess is to exercise some of that Situational Awareness when you first enter the venue, and spot at least two exits that aren't the main entrances.
Given our druthers, we'd like these exits to be unobtrusive, and on walls as far away from the walls that the main entrances are on as possible, but we'll take what we can get.
But what do I mean by "unobtrusive"? Find exits that Joe and Jane Average don't think of as exits. When you're standing in front of the counter at Mickey Ds, how many of you count the kitchen back-door as one of your exits?
When you're at the club, watching your very favourite band at a live show, and Murphy decides that it's just not your day, is there an exit for the entertainers behind the stage? Maybe another one for the booze delivery behind the bar? Might behoove us to find out either before going, or pretty ricky-tick after showing up, yes?
Things go pear-shaped, The Crowd heads back out through that single entrance door on the south wall, you need to be the guy skiting out the roadie smoke-pit door behind the stage on the north wall. Lot fewer folks trying to get up under your hat with you that way.
However it ends up, find another exit that every Tom, Dick, and Harriet won't be trying to get out of at the same time as you.
2) Think of a crowd as an ocean. Like an ocean, it has surges and currents, and when the stampede happens, think of it as a really strong current.
Now, you can't swim against a really strong current. You can try, but it's a pretty good way to wind up exhausted, and then dead.
When that mass of people -- the current -- starts rushing towards the exit, don't fight against it. There will be surges and pauses -- maybe so small as to only be noticed if you're looking for them, but those surges and pauses will be there. When the surge is on, go with the current, diagonally, towards the edge where the current -- the press of people -- isn't as strong, and (hopefully) away from anything you can get jammed up against. When the current pauses, slip between people, always heading for where the density of bodies is less.
As the current of people moves, it'll break around small immovable structures like pillars, staircases, vehicles. Stay away from the upstream side, where people are running and crushing into the structure. Instead, find the downstream side -- the lee side -- of the structure, if you need to pause.
However, I caution you against using the lee side of a structure for very long. Remember that whatever condition that started the panic in the first place may still be about, and may be looking to introduce itself to you. Pause in the lee. Re-orient yourself; Re-assess the situation; Re-acquire your goal/target; and drive on.
Lastly, always have two rendezvous points. The first one is where you exited your transportation, before entering the scene. The parking lot where you left your vehicle. The front of the structure where the taxi dropped you off. That's your default RP you should use for a normal evening.
However, in the slight chance that you didn't have a normal evening -- things went Biblically pear-shaped, a mass response by public servants was warranted, "Aloha Snackbar" was yelled, CNN is dotting their cupcakes in somber-yet-happy anticipation, dog and cats living together, whatever -- have someplace within walking distance where your entire party knows to go for a headcount.
This is more important than you'd think. In the aftermath of stampedes, riots, what have you, there are more people wandering around, looking for their buddies and generally getting in the way, than there should be.
When five of you went out for a night on the town, something went squishy, and all five of you are all right, but all five of you spend the entire bloody evening wandering around looking for each other, it creates a lot more stress and gnashing of teeth than is altogether good for every one's blood pressure.
For pity's sake, have a rendezvous point.
That should do for the quick-and-dirty on crush crowds. I'm for bed.
If tongue-scorching heat is your thing, this recipe probably isn't for you; but if you'd like a mild little chili that's done in less than an hour, you might give this one a try.
2 pounds chili-ground lean beef, or venison. (Hamburger meat will do, lean.)
1 pound mild Italian sausage
1 medium-to-large yellow onion
6 cloves of garlic
1 Chipotle cube
3 teaspoons(ish) chili powder (if you're not mad at Penzeys, sub in 1 teaspoon(ish) of their Chili 9000 for one of the regular chili powder)
1/2 teaspoon smoked salt
1 can Rotel Fire-Roasted tomatoes & chilies
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (I prefer fire-roasted, but up to you)
1 small can Hatch diced mild green chilies
Glug or so of a decent red table wine
Dice your onion, toss it into a frying pan, bung in your meat, and brown the whole mess. Drain off any grease, and dump into your chili pot.
Mince your garlic cloves, and drop them in. (I use squeeze garlic, but I'm lazy.) Put the chipotle cube into a bowl, and mush it into powder, add your chili powder and the smoked salt, muddle the mix a bit with a spoon, and toss it into the pot.
Stir in the Rotel, all of the other tomato, and the chilies. Simmer for about twenty minutes, glug in the wine, stir, simmer another ten minutes (plus or minus), then serve with shredded Mexican cheese mix and crackers.
Voila! Quick and dirty chili.
(Again, if you're looking for a spicy chili, this isn't for you. However, if you're not sure of the heat tolerance of your dinner guests, and don't have all day to simmer a proper chili, this might do you.)
"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"
~ Evelyn Beatrice Hall, in "The Friends of Voltaire".
As a man of fifty-plus years on this little green dirtball -- and a significant portion of that life outside of the United States -- I'm accustomed to thinking that if I haven't seen it all, I've seen enough to be able to handle the rest.
That was until recently, when the sheer number of folks calling for outright bans on the right to free speech -- and especially folks who should bloody well know better -- hit epidemic proportions.
Gentle Readers, free speech is messy. It is ugly, precisely because free speech that everyone agrees with does not require protections. Why would you protect speech that upsets no-one? Why would you need to?
Even worse is the call for the government to declare that certain speech is "hate speech" -- because getting the government involved always works out so well -- and to give the government (and the flawed, flawed humans who make up that government) the power to declare bans on certain speech.
To put it in simple language even a college student can understand: Do you really want President Mike Pence deciding what is protected speech, and what speech should be banned? Because that is what you're going to get in the future.
How about President Greg Abbott after Mission Creep gets into the mix?
How would you feel about President Ted Cruz deciding what speech you should go to jail for?
That, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly what you're setting yourself up for when you start yick-yacking about the government banning speech.
"But, LawDog," I hear you snivelling, "Some speech is an incitement to violence, and should be against the law."
You know what? Let's look at that.
I have heard folks chanting, "What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!" rather recently. About me, and those like me.
Is that not an incitement to violence? Ask Dallas PD, and their dead brothers. Should it not be "against the law"?
No. It is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
I can show any number of YouTube videos of imams calling for jihad, for the slaughter of Westerners, for the genocide of an entire people.
Is this not an incitement to violence? Ask the dead in San Bernadino, at Ft Hood, at Orlando, at the Boston Marathon. Should it not be "against the law"?
No. It is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
"But, LawDog, Nazi-related speech is banned in Germany!"
I don't give two hoots in hell about how they do things in Germany. You like their restriction on free speech -- move. Delta is ready when you are. Scram.
So. To break it down Barney-style: your calls to ban speech -- even Nazi speech -- is un-American. And once you've begged government to pass that first law banning speech, it's a simple amendment to expand those bans. Think about the absolute worst politician you can think of in the White House. Worse than Trump -- because they're out there, and they've got as good a chance at the Oval Office as Donald J. Trump had -- think about that politician being able to amend a law banning speech.
The wearing of the burqa is a free speech issue. Think there isn't a politician out there somewhere that would love to ban the wearing of the burqa? Just one little quiet midnight amendment to an already existing law you're trying to give to government.
Pro-choice? How's that work out when free speech regarding the issue is banned? Anyone reading this think there isn't a politician who wouldn't dot their cupcakes at the ability to ban speech about abortion? You really want to let their nose under the tent?
Think about whatever hot-button issue you have that gets people into a tizzy, and realise that somewhere there is a politician who thinks your hot-button issue is an affront to their Dear and Fuzzy God; or your hot-button issue is a Danger to the Morals Of The Children -- and then think about that politician with their paw on a Ban-Button you already handed to the government.
If you get your little ban passed -- for all the right reasons -- and a future President and/or Congress expands those bans -- for all the right reasons (and they will) -- and you come crying to me and those like me to fix the issue you demanded ...
I'm warning you now: your proposed ban on Nazi speech will be expanded in the future to ban speech you don't think should be banned.
And when that happens -- you called down the lightning, you deal with it; you take your casualties, and your lumps.
I think most of my Gentle Readers will be happy to discover that there are some Africa stories in there that have never graced the pages of this blog.
Then I think I'll go catatonic for a bit, because pounding that one out so quickly was one ... interesting ... experience.
It'll have to be a short spell of not thinking, because I've got a short story due for a zombie anthology, another short story for a mil-sci anthology; and I'm going to dabble my fingers in the world of self-publishing with a Rural Fantasy book that's been kicking it's way around my brain for a while.
For now, though, I'm going to turn off my brain and sleep for a bit.
I hope y'all find that it was worth the wait. The print edition will be out in the middle of August. Herself maintains that signed copies are vitally important, so we've got some adhesive ex libris plates coming in. If you see me at a signing before the dead-tree edition drops, I'll happily sign one of those (if you'd like) so that you may add it to your physical book later.
I am collating the second book -- which will be Africa stories and random stories that don't fit anywhere else -- and hope to have it off to the publisher by October at the latest.
Enjoy! Herself and I are off to quiet places far from cell-phone coverage, so we'll check in very late tonight.
To: Daenerys Targaryen, First of Her Name, so on, and so forth.
Your security detail sucks great big rocks off of the ocean floor. No, I take that back -- if they sucked they'd actually be useful for something.
You do realise that your dramatic return to your home dirt could have been cut short -- nay, pounded flat -- by a half-starved, illiterate beggar with a big rock, a bit of leverage, and a decent understanding of gravity?
What the hell did you think you were doing by tip-toeing through the tulips of a castle (maybe) formerly held lock, stock, piglet by enemy forces; and you two body-lengths ahead of your five-man security detail? A security detail which also appears to be the advance party/survey section of your amphibious landing?
No, wait. Your security detail is made up of the same people who were getting their butts handed to them by a bunch of business-men in stupid masks and skirts earlier. My bad.
I don't remember what they cost you, but I seriously think you over-paid.
Yes, I understand that you're "The Queen". I don't care. Unless you relish the title of "The Former Queen, Gods Rest Her Soul", sit on your hands on a ship until the entire island has been searched -- twice -- by loyal forces, and the castle has been searched, dusted, searched, sanitised, and searched. Then you can pull your MacArthur imitation in the centre of a properly-trained security cordon.
I swear unto Cheeto Jeezuz that idiot clients like you are what give the Personal Protection business a bad name.
Official launch of The LawDog Files is Monday, but some folks got an early look at it, and it's spread like wildfire -- and I'm tickled pink about it.
The publisher is a bit giddy, too.
Some questions have popped up. Yes, there will be a dead-tree release. It's skedded for mid-August -- about a month, more or less.
We are working on the second book as I type this -- mostly Africa and cat stories, maybe some recipes -- and I hope to have it to the publisher no later than October of this year.
I am annoyed with myself after realising that there are a minimum of six cop stories that I somehow left out of this book; I'll have to get them into a volume somewhere.
Folks have gently pointed out that I have enough essays on this blog for a third book, and that's something to keep in mind, however, I have mentioned fiction in the past, so I'm going to dip my paws into writing some fiction.
That's about all that my furiously-spinning mind can come up with for now.
We're seven days out from publication date. The name of the book is (what else?) The LawDog Files. Author will be LawDog, although apparently Amazon requires at least a first initial and last name, so it will be listed at Amazon under "D. LawDog".
There will be a PO box set up if you want autographed copies -- although we're still working out the fine details on that one.
I am somewhat amused that I can tell a story involving the sentence "dumpster diving for midget porn" and my Gentle Readers will promptly begin debating the civility of dipping one's french fries into the chocolate shake.
Y'all really are the best kind of folks.
As of yet there isn't a "pre-order" set up for the first LawDog Files book, but if one does pop up, I'll announce here as soon as possible.
Watched a panel on self-publishing put on by J.L. Curtis, Tom Rogneby, and John Van Stry that was incredibly informative and rather well done.
My all-time favourite panel of this LibertyCon was the "No [deleted], There I Was" panel where John Ringo, Tom Kratman, and other military veterans told side-splittingly (and R-rated) funny tales of their military service.
Got hugs from Jonna Hayden (Costumer Extraordinaire) and Sarah Hoyt -- did my gentlemanly duty and escorted Sarah to a book reading -- and witnessed Peter Grant baptising a couple of sprogs in the gardens of the Choo-Choo.
Met old friends; may have made new ones; found a decent coffee shop to hide in.
Although -- to a child of Africa -- "Frothy Monkey" does not present the kind of mental image that the owners might have wanted. Just saying.
All in all, a wondrously good time, and I shall be back as often as they'll have me.
Thing 1 hurt her arm earlier, and has been moping around the office with her dominant arm in a sling. I am watching her holding something from falling with her good arm, and flailing away at something else under the stack with her slinged arm, and -- being the ever-helpful boss -- I opine, "It's okay, dear. All the dinosaurs feared the T-Rex."
This earns me a suggestion that I'm not perzackly sure is anatomically possible -- kids these days -- and then she yelps, "Oh, hell! I've got to pay off the Outside Inmate Work Crew!"
I pause in the sipping of my tea to raise an eyebrow at her.
"Remember? Dumpster diving for midget porn?"
I smile happily at OldNFO, who blinks at her, then, in a slow Cajun drawl, he announces, "Girl, you ain't right."
I am tallying up the fact that -- finally -- an Innocent Third Party has witnessed the sort of shenanigans that fly past me on a regular basis, when Reno's voice rumbles out from behind a bank of monitors, "What are you paying them off with?"
Thing 1 chirps, "Wendy's frostys."
She sniffs, "Of course."
Again the rumble, "And french fries?"
Thing 1 continues, "Although I really don't understand dipping your french fries into chocolate ice-cream. That's just ... weird."
"Well," says Reno, meditatively, "You just might be a Communist."
OldNFO blows coffee across the stack of files he's carrying.
Six chicken thighs
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 white onion
3 stalks of celery
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Ozark Seasoning (or poultry seasoning)
2 Knorr-Swiss Chicken In A Tub
1 7.5 oz tube of whomp biscuits**
Turf your chicken thighs off into a stockpot in enough water cover them by about an inch. Simmer them until the meat falls off of the bone. Pull them out and set them to the side.
Toss your Chicken In A Tub into the water, followed by the diced onion, and the minced garlic. Cut your celery and carrot into acceptable lengths, and bung them in there, too.
Add about a third of a cup of the white wine (more or less. More.)
Bring to simmer.
Take your whomp biscuits and cut them into quarters. Fling them in there. When they're all in, give the mix a good stir.
Bring back to a simmer, then add your cans of soup.
Simmer about 15 - 20 minutes. While it's simmering, shred your chicken; then add the chicken after the simmer period.
Bring back to a simmer, then serve.
Voila! Chicken and Ersatz Dumplings!
*"Ersatz Dumplings" because Herself holds opinions Most Firm about what makes a good dumpling. It starts and ends with "Bisquick".
**Whomp biscuits are those tubes of biscuits found in the dairy section. You peel off the wrapper, and about halfway through the process the inside cardboard tube bursts with a "whomp" sound.
To start with you have wandered into my virtual living room -- this blog -- listened to one story, made an assumption (a faulty one) based upon a single point from that story, then insulted me based upon your faulty assumption.
Yes, calling me a "badge bully" is an insult. Stating that I use my badge to "beat the shit out of law breakers" is an insult. Calling me a hypocrite is an insult.
When I answered your comment -- without calling you names, I might add -- you decided to double down on the insults. Now I'm a "dick".
And -- I'm still trying to figure this one out -- your answer to me is (and I do quote): "Well, there you are, with all the answers again."
Again? How does one get "again" out of a single interaction?
You have wandered into a stranger's virtual party, proceeded to insult, condescend, and lecture the host (that would be me) in a stream-of-consciousness info-dump that may have been longer than the post that triggered it; and when corrected -- without insult -- you insult the host (me, again) further in another stream-of-consciousness rant.
From the "going straight to insults" style of your rants, the "all cops are bastards, m'kay" stream-of-consciousness, and the allusion to me having provided you with answers more than once -- despite only having one interaction -- I suspect you have some major emotional or psych issues.
And I am sorry for you, but I can't help you with whatever metaphorical snakes you have in your psyche regarding cops. That needs help from someone with more letters after their name than I have.
I also don't think you'll be happy as a commenter here at The LawDog Files. If you comment again, I'll mark your comments as spam, and let the spam filter take care of them. If you comment as a Nony Mouse, I'll just bin your comments as soon as I find them.
On the last post's comment section (this is how desperate I'm getting for blog fodder) Scribbler posted this:
"I'm looking for work (again) and there are several postings up for local police positions. It's hardly been on my radar as an option for me, but the more I contemplate it, the more it seems, well, worth the contemplation. You and MattG are, in my mind, what LEOs should be, and what I would be attempting to emulate, should that be a path I take."
The path I recommend to anyone thinking of this line of work in Texas -- is to find a mid-sized Sheriff's Office and sign on with them.
Why a Sheriff's Office?
Two main reasons. Reason the First: A Texas Sheriff, being voted into office every four years, tends to be a bit more responsive to the citizens of his County, than a Chief of Police who holds his office until the City Manager or Mayor finds a reason to hand him his walking papers.
Smaller (mid-sized) Counties tend to be even more so. The Sheriff of Dallas or Harris County will never, ever meet face-to-face with more than a minuscule fraction of the citizens of their County.
The Sheriff of Wise, Childress, Midland, Wichita, or Randall Counties will, in a month (between church, the grocery store, restaurants, child-care, etc.) have face-to-face interactions with a not-insignificant percentage of citizens.
The Sheriff of Dallas County probably wouldn't get recognized in line at the Dairy Queen if they were in mufti. My Sheriff gets to hear all the dirt about his officers, concerns, kudos, and theories by the 90% of the County citizens that not only recognize him, but grew up with him. This is A Good Thing.
Reason 'B': A Sheriff's Office has a wide variety of things to do. Most folks start off in the jail, move to Patrol, try a stint in Civil, run through Courthouse Security, a bit of Inter-County/Inter-State extradition, off to Criminal Investigation ... so on, and so forth. Sometimes all in the same week. City PD -- it's Patrol, then Investigation. Usually.
This is still a noble line of work -- provided you remember and hold to the Peelian Principles; and you bear in mind that most of your work is 40% compassion, 40% common sense, and 20% academy stuff.
MattG will no doubt chime in with counter-points. Read them, think about them -- really think about them -- then come to your decision.
On my "Meditations on Monsters" post you have decided to leave a comment regarding my hypocrisy (I am apparently a "badge bully", and "just as bad as the criminals", and "happy that no-one is judging" me).
This is apparently based on a sentence in my "Well ... that's awkward" post, in which I somewhat poetically describe the application of a mandibular angle pressure point hold during a Use of Force.
What I didn't put in that little post -- because I was going for humour, rather than drama -- was the description of the mass amounts of blood streaming from the four-inch laceration to the forehead of a somewhat-innocent third party that precipitated my being there.
I didn't describe the minutes of trying to talk the person into dropping the shank -- because I tend to go for humour on my blog.
I didn't describe my snap-decision to rush the guy with the blood-covered shank when he was distracted -- rather than wait until the SWAT team showed up and put a load of buckshot into his face -- because folks (other than you) read my blog for the funny parts.
I didn't describe the fear I felt when I realized that trainees and young officers assigned to my shift had followed my lead and jumped onto a mentally-disturbed, armed inmate -- fear that I might get one of my people stabbed or worse following me.
I didn't describe the jolt of terror I felt when the slick little bastard turned under me, and I lost my grip on his blood-covered blade arm.
I described the mandibular angle hold I used to convince that MHMR-strong, armed, blood-slick inmate to let go of his shank so he could be handcuffed, instead of killed, and used it as a humorous part of a funny tale. A funny tale that I wrote -- here on my blog -- as my way of dealing with the stress of the job.
Because that's what I do on my blog.
As far as you assertion that I am a monster -- this I do not deny. I am a monster from way further back than this law enforcement career.
However, I do tend to think that another post I wrote here -- linked -- should adequately describe how I feel about my monster-ness. A pity you didn't investigate -- read my writings -- further.
As I noted in your comment on the other thread: your concerns as to my monster-ness are duly noted.
In addition to her other good points, Herself is a perfumista, and as a result, I have noticed that my cologne collection has substantially improved.
I have briefly found myself reassigned to shift; and when I was getting ready for work, I grabbed a random bottle and gave myself a brief spritz.
Later on -- because I'm me -- I wound up on top of a critter at the bottom of a pile of officers, and I am Doing Things That Hurt to the critter.
After he's handcuffed, we "assist him in getting to his feet", he looks at me through the tears and snot, a beautiful bruise blossoming at his jaw hinge where I have attempted to scratch the inside of his brain housing group with my thumb, and mumbles, "Damn, LT, you smell good."
I look at him, eyebrow climbing a little, and one of my female officers on the far side of the critter gives a little shrug and says, "Yeah, LT, you kind of do."
I'm afraid that my reputation as a screaming nightmare may have taken a nasty hit. It's hard to terrify people when they're sniffing appreciatively.
Wonder if there's a cologne distilled from arson and massacres?
"There's nothing worse than a monster who thinks he's right with God."
~Malcom Reynolds, captain of the cargo ship Serenity
I have spent a great deal of my life fighting monsters. Not the fun monsters that Larry Correia writes about, but the tawdry, dreary reality of men engaged in the ten thousand ways of being inhumane to other men.
I have seen the monsters borne of greed; of madness; and those borne out of lust for power over others.
Of all the monsters I've had dealings with over the last five decades, the absolute worst are the fanatics -- those monsters who think they're right with God.
Fanatics are people who think that their actions are blessed and/or required by a Higher Power (ideology, religion, politics, you name it); and are scary for a lot of reasons, but the two primary are:
1) Not only are their consciences clean no matter the evil they do, but there's usually a group of like-minded people (mob, Politburo, cult, congregation, cell, whathaveyou) providing moral support, validation, hero worship, and all of the other fun stuff that group dynamics handles; and
2) Mission Creep. Defined as: "The expansion of a mission or task beyond its original goals, often after initial successes", in this context mission creep refers to the nasty habit that fanatics have of always expanding their list of "Heretics, Heathens, Idolaters, And Other What Deserve Our Righteous Wrath". Yes, they always expand this list -- unless and until someone (metaphorically-speaking) holds their little heads under water until the bubbling stops.
In Africa and the Middle East, I witnessed first-hand the damage that fanatics can do; along with the snow-white consciences of those who committed some of the worst atrocities ever seen by the gods in the name of ideology, or religion, or politics.
Here in the United States -- other than a brief fanatic embuggerance during the 1930s and 1940s -- we don't have a lot of experience with the little bugsnipes. Here when fanatics move up to their post-doctoral studies, the Rule of Law or society in general plays Whack-A-Mole with them, and then we trundle on our merry way.
In the last score of years or so, I'm starting to worry that this is no longer the case -- and this concerns me, although probably not in the way that the average Gentle Reader imagines.
The company that my father worked for had a policy of hiring most of their employees from amongst the ranks of war veterans. The CEO was of the opinion that someone who had not only already been overseas, but had been shot at overseas, could probably handle anything West Africa could throw at them.
An educated tribesman from the northern part of the country -- we'll call him "Abdul" -- got hisself bitten by the Religion Bug, came into our neck of the jungle, and set about bringing Allah to the fuzzy-wuzzies. Started out ok -- if a little enthusiastic -- built up a group of worshippers sycophants, did Some Good.
However, things started getting all fire-and-brimstone, and next thing we know, some poor lad gets immolated for recreational friction with an unsanctioned partner after being singled out by Our Wee Fanatic.
Things get all hot and bothered for a bit, but it's all yelling and chest-pounding, and things settle down. Two weeks later, Abdul the Moderately Rabid goes a-wandering in the jungle at night and winds up as Kittie Kibble.
The local elders put a slam order on the leopard, call Da', and I go out with him to do the deed. We start at the body, track the man-eater down, Da' hoses him with a full magazine of 12 bore (Da' REALLY hated leopards), and that was the end of it.
Except, at the body, I realized that Abdul the Moderately Rabid had been done in with an extremely sharp knife run into his neck from the side and punched out the front. All that the leopard did was clean up the carrion.
That's what I'm worried about.
There are a whole bunch of 50-60 year-olds in the United States who fought the Cold War in dark alleys, midnight ports, and moonlit rooftops with knives, brass knuckles, and silenced pistols.
There are a whole bunch of 30-40 year-olds in the United States who fought vicious CQC battles in places like Mogadishu, Tora Bora, Fallujah, Najaf, and Mazar E Sharif.
There are 20-somethings from places like Compton, El Paso, Chicago, Detroit, Tiajuana, "the barrio", "the ghetto", and "the heights" who have stainless-steel teeth and thousand yard stares.
There are uncounted numbers of immigrants who have come here from war-torn hell-holes -- and brought the skills and attitudes that enabled them to survive along.
This is what I'm worried about.
I'm worried that when Biff the Hygienically-Challenged and his Coterie of Fanatics decide that sucker-punching neo-nazis just isn't enough and mission creep themselves into Proper Fanatical Stupidity, that some truly scary people are going to start whacking and stacking in response.
I don't want to find myself standing over what's left of a coyote attack and suddenly realizing that unless coyotes are carrying knives, some pipe-hitter has just declared war upon other Americans.
Given the blasé attitude of this Administration regarding sensitive/classified information (Hello, Mrs Clinton and her bathroom server!) this doesn't really come as any surprise, although I am heartened by the fact that Manning's sentence was commuted, rather than pardoned.
Commuting the sentence means that Manning is still a convicted felon, with a criminal record.
I am saddened by what I fear will be the unintended (or maybe intended) consequences of this act: there were many current and former military members (your Humble Scribe among them) who seriously believed that as soon as the conviction was handed down, Manning should have been taken outside, placed against a wall, and shot.
While President Obama is probably trying to appear kind and magnanimous, to those of us who believed that 35 years was considerably softer than the justly-deserved oxygen jig at the end of a hemp rope, this commutation smacks of a certain level of contempt towards us.
The perception of contempt, point in fact, that causes those of us who voted for someone other than Trump to be less unhappy about the Cheeto Jesus winding up with the Hot Seat At The Oval Office.
Not happy about it, mind you. But a jolly sight less unhappy about it.
I didn't take Manning to raise, and my da' taught me not to offer advice to those who are neither kith nor kin ... but in this case, I seriously advise that Manning take the Golden Ticket that has fallen, find a quiet hole, and pull it in after. Live quietly and low-profile. Disappear.
Or Manning can hit the limelight, make political hay, and continually remind The Deplorables of the perception of contempt, and we'll see what shakes out in the mid-term elections.
Meh. I'm good either way.
Now to see if President Obama wants to pull a contempt two-fer and pardon Bowe Bergdahl. Any takers?