Friday, March 31, 2006

700 tonne explosive

Reading this article over at US to test 700 tonne explosive in the desert outside Las Vegas. Not knowing what a tonne is, I looked it up. A tonne is a metric ton, 1000 kilograms. So, doing the math, the explosive would be 700,000 kilograms, or 1,540,000 pounds of explosive.

Great Golly Gosh! That is one hell of a lot of explosives.

I've got to call bullshit on this one. How in the world are they going to move 1.5 million pounds of explosive, much less detonate it?
"We also have -- are you ready for this - a 700-tonne explosively formed charge that we're going to be putting in a tunnel in Nevada," he said.
Anyone here familiar with shaped charges? I am.

Shaped charges are used to penetrate armor. Tank penetrators take two forms, the kinetic energy rounds normally called SABOT rounds, and shaped charges, normally called HEAT rounds. The both work well, but differently and tank crewmen can choose between them to complete a mission. Shaped charges work by funneling the energy of the explosion onto a small portion of the target. The shaped charge sets up a plasma wave and cuts through the armor. The science is much more technical, but you get the idea
."And that represents to us the largest single explosive that we could imagine doing conventionally to solve that problem," he said.
What problem? A five pound shaped charge will penetrate all known vehicle armor currently used by our adversaries. I can see using a larger charge to penetrate bunkers and buildings, but 1.5 million pounds? Seems like overkill to me.
The aim is to measure the effect of the blast on hard granite structures, he said.
And to determine how much standoff is needed to remain safe. I think anything under a couple of miles might be considered Danger Close.

Of course, the reported underground nuclear program in Iran probably doesn't ahve anything at all to do with this. Just pure science, trying to decide how much of X explosive it takes to penetrate Y feet of granite. Purely coincidental, I'm sure.

I think this report is bullshit, but then again, if it isn't, I'm glad these guys are on our side.

Oh, and someone might ought to let Las Vegas know what is going on.

Hat tip to the Rottweiler.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Redress of Grievance

I got a flyer from my Congress critter the other day. Congressman Rodney Alexander represents me and the other souls of the Louisiana 5th District. He is on the House Appropriations committee and the inside of his flyer lists the earmarks and pork he has secured for the district.

I gave him hell about it, without insulting him. My letter to him is posted here.

We should all write to our congress critters from time to time. Let them know what you think. Whether you agree, or disagree, or just feel like giving someone a hard time, write your congressman. It is good for you. It is good for him. It is good for the Republic. If you don't know who represents you, shame on you. A link to find your representative is here.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Emu Central

I was wandering around the internet and landed on the Law Dog Files. He has a story there about getting a perpetrator out of an emu coop. Go read it, then come back. I'll be right here.

Done? good.

I remember when emus were a big deal. Ranchers and farmers and everybody with a spare acre was fencing it and putting those big damned birds into it. An emu is a big flightless bird from ... Australia or New Zealand, or some damned place. Anyway. They are big ole birds, and the idea of raising them was that their flesh is good to eat, and healthy, with no cholesterol and very little fat. The skin is good for boots and belts and other apparel. They are a bird with everything.

Like most other ponzi schemes, people of all stripes bought these damned big birds because it looked like the market was going hot for emu. The only problem is that the damned birds are mean. Did I mention big? A full grown emu will look a man directly in the eye, then try to bite him or hit him or anything to get the man out of the way. Two emus will send a pack of coyotes packing. A flock of emus will hammer the hell of just about anything that gets in their way.

And people were raising them by the flock. The market never materialized. The world can only absorb so many emu boots. Emus went from a market value of about $500.00 per bird to a market value of zero dollars per bird. The market evaporated overnight. Folks who thought that they had $30,000 worth of emus in the back yard were depressed to learn that their birds were worthless.

Those birds were still eating.

A rancher doesn't keep anything around his place that doesn't pay the feed bill. Natchitoches Parish is full of woodland. National forest woodland. Timber company woodland. One night in 1999, the woods were full of pickups towing cattle trailers filled with emus. A dark country road, a long stretch of timber. The truck would stop, the gates would open, and a flock of emus would be free. The truck rumbled on into the night and someone had just gotten out of the emu business.

Deer season opened a month later. The woods were full of folks talking about large, mean birds that were eating the food in the deer plots. Country folk complained about large, mean birds that were terrorizing the livestock. Entire packs of coyotes left the area. It was an ecological disaster of the funniest order. Hunters learned that one well-placed shot would collapse an emu as fast as the market collapsed.

For a while, the local sheriff's offices were getting emu hazard reports and more than a couple of good laughs were had by all. In time, the hunters and the coyotes learned to deal with the birds and equilibrium was maintained. In the big timber company tracts between Clarence, LA and Calvin, LA, there may still be emus in the wild, but I haven't worked those woods in a long, long time.

The Grand Jury

Once again, all names have been changed to protect the ignorant.

Stoob Manny was a bad man. A very bad man. Mid 30's, redneck, he lived along the Texas/Louisiana border and crossed from state to state regularly in his business that ran afoul of the law. He was suspected of being implicated in the murder or disappearance of a couple of people, and was generally considered to be engaged in felonious activity on a daily basis. He had served prison time in both the Louisiana system and the Texas system. Drugs, livestock theft, intimidation, it didn't matter to him as long as he could make a dollar. Stoob had a personality to match his record. He was generally unsocial, prone to fight and carried both a knife and a gun in his tall cowboy boots. Police officers knew that arresting Stoob was dangerous. A fight was a certainty and if you let him get his hands to the tops of his boots, it might become lethal.

Danny White was a felon of a different sort. Also a redneck, Danny was a logger in the pulpwoods of northwest Louisiana. Generally soft-spoken, Danny liked his marijuana. He tried to supplement his income by selling the weed, and got caught. He wound up doing a short stint in the joint, then came out on parole. I was Danny's parole officer.

A parole officer in Louisiana is considered a peace officer, with the same training and certifications as any other cop. We are armed and make arrests. The one huge difference between us and normal cops is that we have the power of the detainer. The detainer is huge. A parole officer can put a detainer on an individual any time we "suspect that he has violated, or is about to violate, the conditions of parole." The detainer carries the weight of law and there is no bond. A parole officer places a detainer to start the violation process which can take months. The detainer is a powerful tool and we weild it with impunity. District judges don't screw with us about it because it helps them incarcerate the worst violators in the system.

The one drawback is that we cannot lift the detainer. The Parole Board reserves that privelige to themselves. Any Parole officer who lifts a detainer is liable to be reprimanded, fired, or both.

Back to Stoob Manny. Stoob came across the state line one morning and announced to everyone in particular that he had been locked up in Texas but had served his time. He was back. Law enforcement officers all across the region groaned in collective disgust.

One Sunday morning about 3:00 a.m., I got a phone call at home. It was the jailer, who informed me that Danny White had been arrested. He had shot someone in a bar outside of town. I had three unassialable facts. 1. Danny was on parole. 2. He was in a bar, in violation of his parole. 3. Danny had shot someone. I told the jailer I was placing a detainer, and would do the paperwork Monday. I rolled over and went back to sleep.

Monday morning, when I got to the Courthouse, there were two messages waiting for me at the dispatchers desk. Go see the District Attorney. Go see the Judge.

I saw the D.A. first. The facts fell like this: Danny White had gone to the Coon Ridge Lounge to get his sister out of there. Sister was being bothered by Stoob Manny. When Danny showed up, Stoob threatened Danny. Danny grabbed his sister and exited, into the parking lot. Stoob followed, firing a .38 pistol. Danny got between a couple of vehicles, waiting for Stoob to run out of ammo. Stoob reloaded and advanced on Danny, who realized he was near an open pickup truck with a shotgun in the front seat. Danny grabbed the shotgun and checked the chamber. It was loaded. Danny fired one shot at Stoob, catching him between the sternum and the neck with a load of buckshot. It was immediately effective. Danny unloaded the gun and waited calmly in the parking lot for the police. He did not resist arrest.

The D.A. had convened the Grand Jury and wanted me there when they reported. I told him I would hang around, and went to see the Judge.

The Judge waved me into his office and I stood silently while he finished a phone call. Then he looked at me. "Danny White killed Stoob Manny in what looks like a clear case of self-defense. I've gotten a dozen calls this morning. They want to give Danny a medal for ridding this area of a scourge."


The Judge looked at me over the bridge of his glasses. "You placed a detainer against Danny White."


"Neither you nor I have the authority to release that detainer, do we?"

"No, sir."

"Well," the judge snorted, "hang around until the Grand Jury reports and we'll decide what we need to do next."

I hung around. I wasn't going to miss this show for the world.

Shortly after lunch, we got word that the Graind Jury would issue their report. I went into the court room and took a front row seat in the gallery. The Judge filed in, then the Grand Jury. The Judge read the report and addressed the Jury Foreman. "Have you completed your report?"

"Yes, Your Honor. We are returning a No True Bill in State vs. Danny White."

The gallery applauded. I had never heard applause in a court room before. The Judge pounded the gavel for silence. Defense counsel stood. "Your Honor, I would like to ask that Mr. White be immediately released."

The Judge considered his notes. "We could do that, counselor, except for the little matter of a detainer filed by the Department of Corrections." The Judge fixed me with a penetrating glare. "Sir?"

I rose. "If it please the Court, the Board of Parole will release the detainer on Mr. White." Applause again.

I had a lot of paperwork to do explaining my actions that afternoon. Common sense prevailed. Danny White was released from jail. As far as I know, he never again violated the conditions of parole and was successfully released from supervision two years later.

Baton Rouge CCW shooting - Update V

We learn this morning from The Advocate that the shooting resulting in the death of George Temple will go forward to a Grand Jury.
Grand jurors will review evidence in the shooting death of George Temple II in two weeks to a month, Doug Moreau said Monday.
It seems reasonable to me. The Grand Jury system in Louisiana is designed as a watchdog of the system, and can be used to exonerate a person as well as to indict him. The link to the article is here.

I have known District Attorneys who would routinely take self-defense cases before the Grand Jury. The Grand Jury would then return something called a No True Bill, which meant, in effect, that they had looked at the available evidence and could find no indication of a crime. Article 444 of our Criminal Code defines the actions of a Grand Jury. While Article 386 of the Code gives the D.A. the authority to institute a prosecution regardless, in normal practice the effect of a No True Bill is to effectively end the prosecution.

The Advocate article tells us that there are still some witnesses who have talked to TV, but have not yet been interviewed by police.
One witness, who gave a statement to a television reporter, still needs to be interviewed by police, the district attorney said. The TV report did not reveal the person’s identity.

“The person has had a couple of appointments with the Sheriff’s Office but has failed to make it to the appointment,” Moreau said. “We need to see if what he says is accurate or if he just wanted to be a TV star.”
Probably just some guy talking smack in front of a camera. There is nothing like sworn testimony to separate the story from the bullshit.

Which reminds me of a story about my participation in the Grand Jury process fifteen years ago. I'll tell it later today.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

ISP Web Hosting matters

I just tried to log on to my ISP, to put something up on the net, and found that I can't access my files. Well, shit!

So, I called Tech Support and learned that my web hosting company, ShreveNet is no longer a local company, and you can't even talk to Tech Support on the phone. You talk to a service rep, who emails the guys in Tech Support. Well, shit!

I guess I am going to have to pull the pin, get my own domain and some server space. I should have done that years ago.

For right now, I can't post pictures, although they are still working. My little FTP program won't let me into the server, although I am told that the problem will be fixed by this time tomorrow. Dammit!

I'd really like a good local ISP in the Alexandria/Pineville area. I guess I need to get out the yellow pages and see who is available. I'd really like some guy or gal who I can lean on a counter and talk with. Or at least get on a telephone.

I don't even know how to go about registering a domain. Well, hell!


It seems there is an amnesty bill pending in Congress, and we are unsure what to do about it. This messy, raucuous, rude experiment we call democracy has lost its short-term memory. Many of us don't recall that amnesty has been used in the past. I Googled 1985 Illegal Amnesty and found this link.
Until 1986, the United States had never forgiven the act of illegal immigration in other than individual cases and had never rewarded large numbers of illegal aliens with the opportunity for U.S. citizenship.

Congress has passed 7 amnesties for illegal aliens, starting in 1986.

1. Immigration and Reform Control Act (IRCA), 1986: A blanket amnesty for some 2.7 million illegal aliens
2. Section 245(i) Amnesty, 1994: A temporary rolling amnesty for 578,000 illegal aliens
3. Section 245(i) Extension Amnesty, 1997: An extension of the rolling amnesty created in 1994
4. Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) Amnesty, 1997: An amnesty for close to one million illegal aliens from Central America
5. Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act Amnesty (HRIFA), 1998: An amnesty for 125,000 illegal aliens from Haiti

6. Late Amnesty, 2000: An amnesty for some illegal aliens who claim they should have been amnestied under the 1986 IRCA amnesty, an estimated 400,000 illegal aliens
7. LIFE Act Amnesty, 2000: A reinstatement of the rolling Section 245(i) amnesty, an estimated 900,000 illegal aliens
8. Nine current bills are vying to be Amnesty No. 8

I thought I remembered that we had already tried amnesty, and sure enough, we have. Most knowledgeable observers recall that amnesty in the past led to a bigger illegal program.

As I have said before in these pages, I truly like and respect every Mexican I have ever personally met. The people I have met, even briefly on the street, seem to be good, gentle, hardworking people who only want a better life for themselves and their families.

It is fun to look at the links and see who is watching us deal with this problem. Here is an article from Al-jazeera. I would wonder why the premier Arabic news organization is concerned with illegal immigration along one small border in the United States... hmmm. They are probably just providing balanced news coverage. Yeah.. right.

I don't know what the answer is. Hell, I don't even know the questions we need to ask. I do know that the experts say that amnesty leads to bigger problems. I also know that until we get control of our borders, anything we try is doomed to fail.

Lets get control of the borders first, then tackle the problem of illegal immigrants currently in the country.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Scooter update

Reading over at SayUncle, I learn that the ATF has charged Scooter with Felon in Possession.

Oops! Looks like Scooter screwed the pooch on this one. He's a felon, they found guns. Never mind!

There are good reasons for the laws that prohibit felons from possessing firearms. Yet, here in Louisiana, it isn't a lifetime disability. State law provides for felons to recover their gun rights. In my experience, the ATF folks have allowed the state law to decide the matter, having to do with some obscure sub-paragraphs in the Federal Law.

The way it works, is this: If you are convicted of a non-violent felony, then you get your gun rights back when you have completed your sentence. It comes in the form of a First-Offender pardon. Louisiana routinely pardons those souls who complete their sentence in good standing. If your felony was non-violent, the letter that accompanies the pardon tells you when your gun rights are restored.

If your felony is a violent one, you still get the pardon, but you don't get your gun-rights back. The letter that accompanies the pardon gives instructions on recovering your gun rights, but also tells you that you can't even apply for gun rights until 10 years after your sentence is complete. The basic law is here.

Louisiana realizes that people can make mistakes and recover from those mistakes, however we make sure enough time has elapsed that we can be reasonably sure that the person has been rehabilitated.

Girl Hunting

Get in the wayback machine with me and visit a small town college campus in the middle 1970's. We'll be at a place called NSU, a state college of Louisiana.

I attended the place. It was college, and it was close to home and it formed the basis of a B.S. Degree I've never really used. The B.S. in this case is in Business Administration. Not the BS that people who know me think I have.

Anyway, a visit to the campus in the middle 70's would show even the disintereted observer that the place was chock full of ..... girls. Girls of all stripes, all colors, all IQ's and desires. The simple fact was that it was (and is) a teacher college, with a fairly good English department, a heck of a Music department, and a thriving Beer department at the bars just off campus.

Many of these girls were from north Louisiana. Rural North Lousiana. They wanted to experience the world, they wanted to learn new things. They were out of the clutches of their parents, finding themselves in the world.

Us guys, who were also away from our parents, had found them too. Girls, girls, girls. The major occupation of the guys was keeping a good enough GPA that the Dean didn't eject you from the campus. In the parlance of the military, a college campus in the '70s was a target-rich environment. If you were fortunate to be an upperclassman you could get an apartment off-campus and pick up strays. AIDS had't been invented yet, the Pill was in common usage. The sexual revolution was in full flower. Viet Nam was winding down and the world outside the college gates was a distant dream of adulthood and next year.

One morning I recall fondly, I awoke from a night of debauchery to the smell of bacon and biscuits. One young sweetie lay in the bed beside me. I pulled on my jeans and made my way to the kitchen to find another young lass cooking breakfast. She informed me that if I would divest myself of the nights entertainment she would assist me with the days activities. It was a wonderful time to be alive.

Then I stumble across this piece from Dr. Helen. It seems that the college campuses are faced with a problem. Too many girls. They are turning them away in droves.

College administrators are ignorant, myopic bureaucrats. They have failed to learn the one lesson that every bar-owner in the world has learned. If you want the guys to attend, you gotta have the girls. A bar owner does everything possible to attract the ladies, because the guys will follow. If you want the guys inside, pack the place with women.

College administrators are nitwits.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Government intrusion

I was reading this post over at Say Uncle. Scooter got arrested. It seems that his ex-wife has an ax to grind a called the BATF (or whateverthehell they're called this week) about Scooter's guns.

It's a damned travesty, and you can read all about it at the link. Drop some money in the defense fund.

Anyway, I decided to check my referral logs, and I see that I am being visited by nefarious agents from the state of Texas. Specifically, the State of Texas General Service Administation. To those folks, I say welcome. I love the state of Texas. Considered it a second home for a number of years, and I frequently visit there and spend my tourist dollars.

Milady and I are planning a trip to the Big Bend country this summer. I've never been that far south, because I normally get hung up around San Antonio. Did you know that the fair merchants of San Antonio will make you a marguarita just about any time you ask for one? And you can buy them by the pitcher? San Antonio is a wonderful town, as is many of the lesser known towns in the area.

Anyway, welcome, Texicans. Drop a note in comments and let me know what I need to see. We'd like to go to El Paso and hop across the border, then sit back and enjoy a little local flavor. Let me know what I'd enjoy, and what I should avoid.

I also notice a referral from Boulder County Government in the state of Colorado. Boulder is a weird town. I spent a lifetime there one week and decided I had seen enough. It's pretty, but it is weird.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Crack of the bat

Baseball season is upon us here in the Deep South. To those of us who grew up around dusty fields listening to baseball on a transistor radio, and playing a pickup game at the school yard down the road, the baseball season is magical.

I grew up playing baseball. As a youngster I played league ball, either Dixie Boys or Little League, depending on how I felt at sign-up time, or who the coaches were in either league. My children played baseball. I was even in an old-farts slow-pitch league for awhile.

I have a baseball signed by W.P. Kinsella.

The local high school team has a game today, and I think I might get over to the park and watch the game. Junior Varsity at 4:00, Varsity at 6:00. They play at a place called Bringhurst Field, a quirky old park with wooden bleachers. It adjoins the city zoo, and occasionally foul balls land in the lion pen, much to the delight of the crowd. The lions set up a ruckus when a foul ball lands in their turf.

This year, the Alexandria Aces is playing in the United Baseball League. I'm sure I'll spend a few evenings at Bringhurst this summer.

The one gripe I have with modern baseball is that they use aluminum bats in the high school leagues. Somehow, baseball has lost something with the ping of the bat. A good outfielder can hear the crack of the bat and know how far the ball would travel. The sound helped him set himself up to make the play. There is nothing in the world that sounds like a home run. I grew up with Louisville Sluggers, bats made of fine ash or maple.

The ping of an aluminum bat isn't something to dream about.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


The Lady's computer keeps freezing up. It is a Compaq, less than a year old, and when I open the task manager, a program called spoolsv.exe is using all the available memory.

I've tried everything I know, uninstalled programs, tried to adjust settings, gone back to an earlier restore point. Nothing works yet. I know that spooler programs are used in conjunction with printers, but I'm wondering if there is something I am missing.

Compaq tech support ain't a lot of help. Anyone out there have any ideas?

Update: Something called Microsoft Office Image Writer had a print job pending. A demo page. Why the hell it didn't print the damned page is beyond me, (what with a perfectly good printer hooked to the printer port)? As it turns out, there was also a fax pending. A fax? Okay, fine. That got deleted too. Anyway, the machine is better now, running at a small percentage of available memory. It's fixed.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Cultural Labels

This article from the Daily Advertiser in Lafayette, just pisses me off. Especailly, some of the moonbattery that goes along with it.
Black resident Jahmilah Sekhmet said she and many blacks take offense at calling the Lafayette Civic Center the Cajundome and calling the University of Louisiana mascot the Ragin' Cajuns. Those titles do not reflect her ethnicity and exclude many in the community who contribute to society, she said.
Oh, please. The reason they call that big building the Cajun Dome is because that's where the Ragin Cajuns play ball. And the last time I looked, Cajun wasn't a racial epithet.

Maybe a little history is in order: In 1755, the British took control of the Acadian area in Canada, and told the French settlers there to pack. They loaded on ships and over the course of time, settled, among other places, in Louisiana. The travails and tribulations of the settlers was immortalized in Longfellow's poem, Evangeline. The French that settled here began with basically what they could carry. Through hard work, love of family, and honest humor they made a new life in this country, before it was even a country.

My maternal grandmother was born on Avery Island at the turn of the 20th century. My mother was born in New Iberia, in Iberia parish, Louisana. I have more Cajun blood in me than anything else.

The article continues:
Black children are being subjected to overt oppression through names and symbols like Boys and Girls Club of Acadiana and Acadiana Open Channel, Sekhmet said.
Hmmm. Maybe my cultural sensitivities aren't what they should be, but the last time I looked, Juveniles of the various sexes were called Boys and Girls. They happen to live in Acadiana. This is a tempest in a teapot.

But wait, there's more:
Black community activist Joe Dennis said blacks feel that if they cannot win the simple things, like changing the name of a street or a building, how will they address the deeper issues? Society as a whole does not care that poor and black children are not being educated, he said.
Well now, you've pissed me off.

As my Grandad would say, "Lemme tole you one damn ting."

The education that children get is dependent on them, and their parents. It is freely available in Louisiana to anyone who can walk out the door and climb on a bus. If your kids aren't making grades in the public schools in Louisiana, then maybe you should ask them what they are doing for the seven or eight hours they are spending at the school every day. If your kids aren't making the grades they should be making in school, then maybe you should ask yourself how much time they spend doing homework every night. If poor children in Lousiana aren't getting the education they deserve, then maybe it is because they don't value the education, but have instead adopted the mores and values of the parents.

A good education is dependent on the parents. If the parents don't care, then likely the student won't either. The parents have to make sure that the student gets to school every morning, well rested, properly dressed, prepared to sit down and learn.

An education is freely offered in Louisiana. Everyone gets the same chance to obtain it. Tutoring is available, special help is available. Students of all stripes do well in Louisiana schools every day. If your student is failing, maybe you should ask your student why? The answer might surprise you.

Hat tip to Nick.


Once again, names are changed to protect the ignorant.

This is the bridge. It crosses the Cane River in downtown Natchitoches, LA.

Notice how the bridge crosses a parking lot on the right, before it crosses the river. There is about fifteen feet between the parking lot and the bottom of the bridge, about twenty feet between the lot and the bridge railing. The Courthouse is two blocks from the bridge, directly to the right of the picture. The jail was atop the Courthouse.

Willie was a prisoner in the jail. One afternoon, Willie saw an opportunity to escape and took it. He emerged on the first floor of the Courthouse at 3:00 p.m. on a sunlit summer afternoon. Willie was immediately spotted by a half-dozen deputies who were about to go on-shift. They set up a hue and cry and the off-going shift was also alerted.

Shift change is a bad time to escape from jail, because by definition you have two shifts following you. Willie decided to beat feet toward the bridge, with a half-dozen deputies in hot pursuit. When Willie got to the bridge, he continued across it until he noticed patrol units entering the bridge from the other end. Willie was effectively boxed in, but he decided to swim for freedom. Willie climbed up on the bridge railing. He saluted the running deputies with a single middle finger. He executed a magnificent, Olympic style swan dive. Directly into the parking lot.

We recovered Willie easily enough. He broke a couple of bones in his hands, and gave himself a concussion. Willie was lucky that he didn't hit the river, because it had silted badly under the bridge and the water there is only about three feet deep. Had he completed his dive into the water, he would have stuck into the mud like a spear, and might have drowned before we could get him out.

Three or four days later I saw Willie in the jail, with casts on his hands. I asked him when he knew he had screwed up. "Mr. Dennis" he replied, "I knew something was wrong when I felt my fingers breaking."

Monday, March 20, 2006

S&W Quality Control Problems

It seems that the North Carolina DOC is having problems with a run of Smith and Wesson Model 64 wheelguns.
Faced with problems ranging from misfires to barrels breaking off, the state has asked gun maker Smith & Wesson to replace hundreds of sidearms carried by probation and corrections officers.
Barrels breaking off? Yeah, I'd say that is a problem.

Smith and Wesson revolvers are considered some of the finest anywhere in the world. I can see an issue with one or two revolvers out of a run, but QC should catch those.
At a meeting last month at a shooting range in Smithfield, Smith & Wesson representative got a live demonstration of the problems. During test firing of about three dozen revolvers, four misfired, meaning nothing happened when the trigger was pulled. The barrel also broke off a different model when it was fired, something that has happened 14 times in practice firings since 2003.
Evidently there is a problem that S&W needs to address. Or a couple of problems.

Barrels breaking off? I'm amazed. I think that having a barrel break off on the firing line would cause a little excitement. Having a barrel break off on duty would cause a great deal of excitement.

Smallest Majority is on this one, with pictures.

Barrels breaking off? Geeze!

Sunday, March 19, 2006


All names here have been changed, to protect the ignorant.

Lemme tell you about a guy named .... we'll call him Red. Back in the dark ages of my career, I was a parole officer. In Louisiana, parole officers are peace officers, with powers of arrest and wide-ranging power over a parolee. A parole officer doesn't need a warrant to search a parolee's house. Neither does he need a warrant to arrest and incarcerate a parolee. There are few things closer to God than a general on a battlefield, or a parole officer in a rural parish.

I was a parole officer. Red was a parolee. Physically distinctive, Red was a big ole redneck with an unruly mass of red hair. His IQ approached room temperature in August. He was tatoo'ed on both arms down to the wrist. His teeth, from a combination of losing them in barfights and poor dental hygiene, looked like an unmaintained picket fence. He drove a ratty-assed blue pickup truck with whiskey dents all over it.

Red had a fondness for the weed. Cannabis sativa. Marijuana. Only problem was, the local constabulary had pretty much shut down the marijuana trade in Chinquapin Parish, in Northwest Louisiana. Good weed was a precious commodity. Red lived on the western end of the parish, and the lure of the Texas trade was hot in Red's heart. He figured he could slip across the Pendleton Bridge, score some good Texas weed, and be back across the line before anyone missed him. He was wrong.

Red told his Dad he was going to Texas, and climbed in his pickup truck late one afternoon. He'd be back after dark. As luck would have it, I happened to make a home visit that afternoon, and Dad told me Red had gone to Texas, but would be back tonight. Red's dad had forgotten that parolees are prohibited from traveling across state lines without permission. I hadn't forgotten, so I told my brethren in the local constabulary that Red had materially violated the conditions of his parole and if seen, they had a clean reason to arrest him.

Red came back into Lousiana that night, headed for the streets of Chinquapin. It is a smallish town of about 10,000 people. Red was spotted coming back into town at about midnight. Sheriff's deputies gave chase. Red knew that he had to ditch his marijuana, so he turned off the main drag into a residential area, the better to get some space between he and deputies, so that he could throw his dope out the window. Red twisted and turned that pickup through the subdivision, finally able to throw the half-pound of marijuana from the truck. He surrendered shortly thereafter, knowing that the evidence was gone in the darkness.

The deputies searched Red's truck without sucess, until a city police officer rolled up on the scene. The city officer was somewhat startled at the activity around him and fairly perplexed to be in possession of a half-pound of weed. He had been doing paperwork at the side of a quiet residential street, and had dozed off in the balmy evening. He heard sirens and awoke to see Red's truck flash past his hiding spot. He was even more surprised when the gallon baggie of marijuana had plopped down on his hood, directly in front of the windshield.

It just wasn't Red's night.

Rainy Weekend

It has been a wet, rainy, miserable weekend here in Central Louisiana. This time of year we want to be out-and-about, but this weekend just sucked, weather-wise.

I did preventative maintenance on the lawnmowers and weedeater. Changed filters and sparkplugs where necessary and we are ready for grass cutting.

One day last week, my son came over to do some preventative maintenance on his car. The next day I noticed a large yellow spot expanding in the clover near the driveway. He came over again yesterday and noticed the spot. He asked if I was upset. I told him that I'd only have to mow that spot once. He went inside to apologize to Milady, who told him that the lawn was mine, and she didn't much care what grows or doesn't grow out there. She did caution him that if he came inside and messed up the floors, they might talk, but there was nothing in the lawn that burdened her heart.

Is it any wonder that I love that woman?

So, today is rain and wet and mud again. Not much happening out there. I do need uniforms for next week and Milady is asleep, having worked a 12 hour shift during the dark hours. She has to be up and moving again tonite, so slumber is her friend. I'm going to keep the house quiet today and do a little laundry.

This week is high-stakes testing for the Rapides Parish School Board. Faculty and teachers have been preparing for the past couple of months and tomorrow begins the examination. Four days of Maalox-swilling, Tums chewing, blood-pressure checking. The schools will be fairly amusing, I am sure.

Maybe I'll have time to tell a story later today.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


Stupidity is something that amazes me. Maybe it is the drug induced haze that follows the mixing and cooking of certain chemical products, maybe familiarity with regularly committing a felony makes capture less certain. I don't know.

There was this fellow in our jail, serving the last 30 days of his sentence on work release. It was a pretty good deal for him, actually. He was allowed to leave the jail every morning at 7:00 a.m. and had to return every night at 6:00 p.m. He came and went regularly. One evening, the desk sergeant called the jail and asked him to move his pickup. It was parked in a tow-away zone, and all the guy had to do was come down from lockup, start his pickup, and move it fifteen feet. No problem.

Well, an hour later, he hadn't made it back to the jail, so we put out a BOLO (Be On the Look Out) for his vehicle. He was listed as an escapee. He had about 20 days to do on his original sentence, and an escape charge carried a two-year sentence. We sent a cruiser to his girlfriend's house. No luck.

We sent a cruiser to his parents house. His parents lived way out in the sticks, in a fairly standard FHA home of the mid 60's. Three bedroom, brick veneer, with a single carport. You've seen a million of them.

When the cruiser turned into the carport, what should they see, but a fully funtional meth lab, burners on, bubbling happily away in the carport. A batch was brewing, but no one was tending it. So, the deputies knocked on the door. A middle-aged woman answered. "May I help you?"

The deputies were stunned. "Yes ma'am. There seems to be a meth lab in your carport. Do you know anything about that?"

"Oh," she replied. "Those are my husband's drugs. He brews some when he is running a little short." She contines "He had to run down the road for a minute, but should be right back. Would you like to see my drugs? I keep mine in the house." She turns and walks toward the interior of the home.

The deputies follow her. They have a plainly open door and a plainly worded invitation. This is better than a search warrant. They follow the woman down the hall, where she opens a bedroom door. "Here is where I keep my drugs." The deputies find about a dozen marijuana plants growing under lights. The Miranda warning followed shortly thereafter and the Haz-Mat team was called to take care of the factory under the carport.

Hubby was arrested when he showed up wondering what all the police cars were doing in his front yard.

The son, the original escapee? He appeared at the door of the jail at about midnite, blind drunk. He claimed he had gotten paranoid and had to have a couple of beers to work up the courage to come back to jail. His pickup truck was parked in that same tow-away zone. We towed it.

Remember New Orleans

Remember back in September, when Eddie Compass said that they were going to confiscate firearms in New Orleans? Then the city maintained that it didn't confiscate any firearms?

Well, bullshit!

The city of New Orleans now says it has guns confiscated during the Katrina fiasco and that citizens can go pick them up, if they can prove ownership.

Rotten bastards!

How many of you folks can prove ownership of a particular firearm? If the New Orleans PD kicked down your door right now, could you prove eight months later that the gun they took from you is your lawful property?

Those sorry sons of bitches!

I admit that I am remiss in fully inventorying my tiny stock of firearms. That little detail will be completed this weekend, then I'll have to find a notary to complete an affadavit.

Those firearms should be tagged with an evidence tag, stating where it was confiscated, with the name of the officer that did the deed. That officer should be individually sued by the NRA or the SAF for violation of civil rights. Better yet, let the aggrieved citizen file charges against the individual officer. Let that officer stand before a Federal Magistrate and explain why the firearm was confiscated.

I'm having an RCOB moment.

When the gun-grabbers are whistling their bullshit, surrounded by their armed guards, remember New Orleans!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Surplus 4895

We reload ammo to save money, or at least that is what we tell ourselves. It is a canard in the industry that reloading saves money, and while that is true, it becomes a hobby in itself, the crafting of fine ammunition that you just can't find anywhere else. An entire industry has built itself around reloading, with names such as RCBS, Lee, and Lyman leading the way for tools and equipment so that we can assemble ammunition.

Component manufacturers are doing okay, too. There are a lot of folks like me who choose to assemble their own ammo, and the manufacturers who make powder are few and far between. Gunpowder manufactory is a dangerous business, and making small lots of powder for reloaders is problematic. The distribution and marketing drives prices up, and when powder prices go up, so does the cost of a single reloaded cartridge. The government buys powder regularly, to manufacture ammunition for our Armed Services. They buy powder in huge lots, from the same manufacturers that sell to reloaders, but they buy such vast quantities that the price per pound is significantly lower than what I can buy it for in the retail market.

Gunpowder is made in large lots. It is tested for burn rate and pressure. Reloaders know that burn rate and pressure on a particular powder can vary by as much as 15% from lot to lot, and we adjust our practices to remain safe. Buying powder of one lot number is one of our practices. A pound of rifle powder might make 300 individual cartridges, but when that pound is gone you have to buy more powder. If that lot number is different, you have to work up your loads again to make sure that it is safe and accurate.

Neophyte reloaders are well served by retail powder. I have a fair stock of powder that I use regularly, all from established manufacturers, and all purchased over the counter from my local retailer. I continue to use standard powder, and will for the continuing future.

When you have been reloading for a number of years, you learn that there is surplus powder on the market. Powder that the government or the large outfits that manufacture for the government have purchased and is now finding its way to the market as surplus. If a single pound of powder can make 300 cartridges, then 8 pounds of powder can make 2400 cartridges. An 8 pound jug of surplus powder is all in the same lot, so it will remain the same over its useful shelf life, which stretches across decades when properly stored.

One problem with surplus powder is that it might be labeled differently than retail powder. The government wants particlar things from its gunpowder, and each type is manufactured differently, so powder that is suitable for one application might not be suitable for another. The careful reloader starts his loads in the moderate range of power and slowly works up until he finds a load that suits his needs. Most of the ammunition I load is in this moderate range. Surplus powder is a caveat emptor commodity. The buyer should beware that he is buying something that is different from other powders on the market. It was manufactured for a particular purpose.

Hodgdon makes a powder it calls H4895. IMR makes a powder that it calls IMR4895. They are similar powders but differ in burn rate. They are suitable for military rifle cartridges such as the .308 and .30-06.

Hodgdon owns IMR and one might think that the two powders carrying the same number are identical. One would be mistaken. They are different powders, differing in burn rate and pressure. Data from one can't be used safely with the other. The third powder that uses the 4895 designation is the surplus variety. It was manfactured for a particular purpose, and may or may not share the properties of either H4895 or IMR4895. The reloader is in unfamiliar territory and must use extreme caution until the powder is a known variable.

But, surplus powder is available at a considerable discount. It costs 30% to 50% less than retail powder. I just ordered an 8 lb jug of surplus 4895 and it will be delivered to my door at a considerable savings over retail. This is my first foray into the surplus powder market, and I am looking forward to the journey.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


I was surfing over at the Coyote today and came upon this picture. I apologize for the quality, but it was stolen from a newspaper. I got it from the Coyote.

That is a picture of some Palestinian folks that the Israelis captured today. Their future is not quite as bright as some, but at least they are alive and well. They may survive prison. The reporter complained that they were transported blinfolded, in their underwear.

Look closely at the blindfolds. Do you see any covering the eyes, or does that look like the headbands that those folks normally wear? Common error. Reporter needs to get his facts straight.

Now, as to the underwear. Way back in 1990, a good friend of mine, Gerald W. Moberly, went to arrest a guy. The guy was found at home in his underwear. Gerald let the guy go to a bedroom to get some pants and the guy killed him. Gerald worked for me. I was a pall-bearer at his funeral.

Our procedures changed overnight. You went to jail like you were found. If you came to the door in your drawers, you went to jail in your drawers. If we found you nekkid in bed, you went to jail with your tally-whacker swinging.

It is very easy to search someone who is wearing only his drawers. It is even easier to search someone who is naked.

We would call the jail and have them bring a blanket out before we got there. No sense offending the ladies at the jail. Of course, many of the ladies who work in jails would just point, laugh, and comment on the size of the equipment.

Which is just exactly what got Lyndie England in trouble.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

If Whittington Shot Dick Cheney

That's the title of this article in the Bayou Buzz today.

My first thoughts would be that the Democrats in general and the Left Wing in particular would throw a week-long block party, complete with beer and dogs.

The author accuses the VP of drinking beer before hunting. I don't think I've seen anything like that played in the press anywhere. If I'm wrong, please correct me.

We gunnies know that alcohol and gunpowder don't mix. They are a potentially lethal brew and no rational shooter would pick up a firearm after drinking. I don't do anything gun related after I mix a drink. Not reloading, not cleaning, not anything. There is simply too much opportunity for disaster.

This article looks like a lot of WHAT-IF.

Blanco intends to rebuild projects

Of course.

Why doesn't this surprise me?

Life intrudes

Life intrudes on my blogging this week.

I found a new blogger this week, LawDog. He is telling stories about law enforcement in rural Texas and deserves a look. I'm sure he will be on my blogroll soon.

I see that the Brady Bunch is in a twit about colored firearms. They can get over it. It's my firearm and I'll color it any damned color I want it, although the example below might be a little over the edge.

No links to their site. They get no traffic from me. You can chase the link if you want to, but it is a PDF file. You've been warned.

More later, if I am still awake when I get home later tonite.

Monday, March 13, 2006


I planted a host of daffodils last winter, near the lake spillway.

It's an area I don't generally mow, bordering the lake and adjacent to a parish road. I hoped the daffodils would provide a pleasing splash of color. I was right.

I didn't notice them till last week, when a buddy and I were fishing in the lake. It was pleasing to have flowers on the bank between us and the road.

I was reminded of the poem by Wordsworth.

When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze

Before many more days, probably sometime this week, I will have to start mowing grass in this part of Louisiana. The daffodils are safe from my mower. I have some red spider lillies planted there, but don't expect them to flower for another year.

It's almost springtime in Louisiana.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Tom Fox - R.I.P.

This report comes to us from Yahoo! News. It seems there was this guy, Tom Fox. A committed peace activist, he decided that the place he could best serve was in Iraq. He went there as a member of the Christian Peacemaker Teams to distribute aid to the Iraqi people. He was abducted with other members of the team and has been found dead.
Tom Fox, a 54-year-old member of Christian Peacemaker Teams from Clear Brook, Va., was the fifth American hostage killed in Iraq. There was no immediate word on his fellow captives, a Briton and two Canadians.
That is a shame, a true shame. It appears he had been tortured before death.
Interior Ministry Lt. Col. Falah al-Mohammedawi said Fox was found with his hands tied and gunshot wounds to his head and chest. There were cuts on his body and bruises on his head, indicating torture, he said. The corpse was dressed in Iraqi-made clothing.
As sad as this is, Fox never understood the lesson that comes from terrorist Islam.

It doesn't matter what good one might do for the people of the world. It doesn't matter how pure and admirable the intentions, nor how gentle the application. Your motives are not at issue. Neither are your actions.

They want you to submit or die. That is the only choice.

We need good, honest, pure peaceakers in this world. Yet, the best intentions are poor armor against those whose evil regards any deviation from the norm as a capitol offense. Naivete is deadly in some parts of the world. We in the West see naivete as a harmless addiction. In other parts of the world it is a deadly preoccupation.

Let me lay it out as plainly as possible for all those who think that Islam is a tolerant religion. They want you dead.

I mourn for Tom Fox, if only because I believe that people should be free to go forth in the world and do good works. Tom should have been able to carry on his work anywhere he chose to pursue it.

In vast parts of the world, walking unshielded into danger will get you killed. Tom Fox learned that lesson the hard way. Naivete can be a fatal affliction.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Baton Rouge CCW shooting - update IV

We learn this morning that the autopsy has been released on George Temple, the thug shot by Mr. Stephens in Baton Rouge. It tells an interesting tale.
Officer Brian Harrison, 32, shot George Temple II, 24, in the abdomen, says Temple’s autopsy report, which the Coroner’s Office released on Friday.

The shot was fired during a scuffle between the two men in the parking lot of the AutoZone at 9007 Greenwell Springs Road, authorities have said.

“This type of shot would not have incapacitated someone,” said Don Moreau, chief of operations for the Coroner’s Office. “It struck no bone or no major organs. He would have lived from this with proper medical attention. It was not a fatal injury.”
We knew from earlier reports that Officer Harrison had shot Temple. We didn't know where Temple was hit. Now we do.

We still don't know the timeline, which is critical in all shootings. When the first shot is fired is important in understanding these things. We can be reasonably certain that Harrison's gun was out of his holster during the fight, because Temple was shot with it. We just don't know when it first came into play.

We also learn that Mr. Stephens stopped the fight.
Five serial shots from witness Perry Stephens, 56, caused major injuries and ultimately killed Temple, the report says.

Two of those shots hit Temple’s left lung. Two more perforated his back chest skin and his upper back and lower neck. One shot hit Temple’s brain, the report says.

“The brain shot killed him,” Moreau said. “The other shots, eventually, probably would have killed him.”
This is the lesson for those of us who carry daily. The brain shot ended the fight. There were six shots fired, according to this report. One from the police officer, five from the man who came to the officers aid.

Don't believe everything you see on TV. A person shot in the abdomen or in the thorax is still thinking, still moving, still able to do bodily harm. Even a shot to the lungs is not immediately fatal. Temple continued the fight with multiple bullets in his body. Only the shot to the brain ended the fight.

I get asked the question often enough. "Do you have to shoot for the heart? Couldn't you just shoot him in the leg or something?" The answer is simple. When I take out my gun, I want to stop someone from committing a crime. All the perpetrator needs do is stop.

I don't want to kill anyone. I don't intend to kill a single soul. I don't want to lve with the knowledge that my actions caused another person to die. I shoot to stop. If the person stops, then the fight is over. Surrender is always an option.

George Temple continued the fight. George Temple made choices that led to his death. George Temple could have stopped after the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth bullets entered his body. He continued to fight.

Perry Stephens ended the fight. His fifth bullet stopped George Temple.

This situation was all about George Temple. He could have stopped at any time. George Temple is the bad guy in this chain of events. He is the one who should pay for his actions.

Mr. Stephens should sue the estate of George Temple and everyone associated with that estate. Mr. Stephens should also sue the NAACP for escalating tensions in this matter. The investigation shows that George Temple made some bad choices and paid for them. This investigation would have been conducted without NAACP agitation. This investigation was both necessary and proper and would have shown the truth. The NAACP is making some bad choices, and the best way to stop them is in Court.

Hat Tip to Junior.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Baton Rouge CCW Shooting - Update III

This morning brings more news on the Temple/Harrison/Stephens shooting last week.
Col. Greg Phares of the EBRSO said Officer Brian Harrison tried to arrest Temple after the bribe attempt, but Temple punched Harrison and overpowered him. That's when a witness grabbed his own gun and delivered the fatal shots to Temple's head.
Turns out, Temple tried to bribe Harrison, and Harrison was trying to effect a lawful arrest. We learn from R.S. 14:118 that Public Bribery is a felony in this state.
C. Whoever commits the crime of public bribery shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars, or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than five years, or both.
It might be instructive here to understand the law about making an arrest. We go to Article 220 of the Criminal Code and learn that:
Art. 220. Submission to arrest; use of force

A person shall submit peaceably to a lawful arrest. The person making a lawful arrest may use reasonable force to effect the arrest and detention, and also to overcome any resistance or threatened resistance of the person being arrested or detained.
This article is interesting in that it doesn't require an officer to use force in making an arrest, and it does not limit the use of force, except that it be reasonable.

Police Academies in this state have long used a Force Continuum that spans use of force from Officer Presence to Lethal Force. More than a few questions on the qualification exam deal with the Force Continuum Models as taught in the Academy.

Basically, if you believe your life is in danger, or if you are in danger of receiving great bodily injury, you are allowed to use lethal force. Likewise, you are allowed to use lethal force if you see another person in danger of death or great bodily harm.

Now we know that Harrison was effecting a lawful arrest for a felony. Temple did not submit peacefully to arrest. Temple gained the upper hand and Harrison was asking for assistance. Stephens shot Temple.

The findings of the investigation have been turned over to the District Attorney.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Baton Rouge CCW shooting - update II

A witness has come forward in the Temple/Harrison/Stephens shooting in Baton Rouge. The witness tell news sources that Temple was agressive toward the police officer. We learn from Channel 9 News that:
The witness says he was parked just a couple of spaces away from the black Mercedes George Temple was driving. At first, he didn't pay much attention to the man getting a ticket from the police officer, until he heard Temple and Officer Brian Harrison start to yell at each other. The witness says Temple called the officer a punk and said "you're just jealous of my car" not long after the officer and Temple started to struggle.

According to the witness, "You could here them muffled... 'Mother' this and that. 'I told you not to mess with me, I told you -- I'm a beast, I told you not to mess with me. I told you, I told you.' "

The witness says the officer took quite a beating.

Witness: "I mean, Mr. Temple was a big man."

Reporter: "What was the officer saying?"

Witness: " 'Help me, help me!' That's when he started screaming."

That's when a bystander in a neckbrace, Perry Stephens, shot and killed Temple. Even though the witness believes Stephens likely saved the officer's life, he does take issue with one part of Stephens' story. The witness says he never heard Stephens give a threat or a warning before he shot Temple.

"The man probably saved the officer's life... but he did not give out a warning," he says. "But if this would have been on a dark road, we would probably be looking for a cop killer, to be honest with you."
The witness goes farther:
The NAACP is upset with the officer, the investigation and the Baton Rouge Police Department's policies. The witness sees it differently. "I say the officer did everything he needed to do. If I would have been pulled over, I wouldn't have had an attitude, because the officer did everything he was supposed to do."
And of course we learn:
Out of fear of retaliation, the witness has requested his identity not be disclosed.
Isn't that special?

It looks as if Officer Harrison is lucky to be alive. It also looks like Temple was the aggressor in this matter. The facts as they appear also show that police officers take their lives in their hands every time they conduct a traffic stop. That is something we all know and understand.

I am still of the opinion that Harrison and Mr. Stephens should sue the estate of Mr. Temple for pain and anguish caused by Temple's agression. They should also sue the NAACP for inflaming tensions in what looks like a totally justified shooting. Words have consequences and the NAACP has gone too long in being able to accuse good men without repercussions.

Hat Tip to Xavier.

UPDATE: I had misplaced some names in some sentences. It's fixed now.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Rental in New Orleans

Someone mentioned in Comments that the problem in New Orleans isn't jobs, it is housing.

Okay. I'll buy that. Lets do what any prospective pilgrim does when he blows into town. Look in the classifieds for a place to rent. Lets set the search parameters at $900.00 per month. Not much money for New Orleans and vicinity. Clicking on the search button, we get 31 different listings, and some of those are multiple listings.
Above Canal
456-1544 1205 St Charles Av 1106 1 $900 1205 St Charles Av 407 1 $2,500 300 Lake Marina 6c 1 $2,200 300 Lake Marina 3c 1 $2,750 300 Lake Marina 4be 2 $2,800 7442 Pitt St 1 $535 7438 Pitt St 1 $535 228 Millaudon St 1 $600 1710 Fern St 2 $1,900 2216 Pine St 3 $1,695 8232 Panola St 3 $2,000 7426 Freret St 3 $2,895 1019 Hillary St 3 $3,500 8217 Freret St 1 $1,800 1812 Audubon St 2 $1,500 3900 Prytania St C 1 $1,195 1725 Bordeaux St B 1 $1,800 1725 Bordeaux St A 1 $1,800 2309 General Pershing 2 $1,000 2613 Marengo St 2 $1,800 1128 Constantinople 3 $1,200 5330 Danneel St 3 $2,500 1329 St Andrew St 7 1 $1,300 1115 Washington Av 1 $1,500 1115 Washington Av A 1 $1,500 3138 Magazine St 2 2 $2,000 1436 Jackson Av 4a 2 $2,200 3138 Magazine St 3 2 $2,250 3138 Magazine St 4 2 $2,850 2420 Pine St 3 $1,950
That is one listing, folks.

Seems like there might be other places for rent, because if I know a housing market, at any given time less than half the available apartments are listed. Sometimes you just have to go door-to-door to find the really neat apartments.

So, does the argument that "housing is the big problem" hold water? Judge for yourself. I know that if I wanted to live and work in New Orleans, I could rent a one-bedroom for a couple of months until I could find better digs and bring the family back from Houston. Jobs are available, apartments are available. They are both listed in the Times-Picayune.

Guest worker program

The post I made yesterday has drawn a fair number of comments for this little blog, and I've been thinking and studying and considering it myself. Let me clarify a few things.

Without immigration, I wouldn't be here. My great-great-great grandparents came over so their not-so-great grandson could live here. Immigration is key to the historic success of the United States, and I don't oppose anyone who wants to immigrate here legally.

To a singular person, the Mexican people I know are fine, gentle, hardworking people with good family ties and wholesome moral fiber. I like every Mexican I know. They are a credit to the United States.

My problem is with illegal immigration. We should at least be able to screen the people who show up on our doorstep to make sure we aren't allowing criminals to enter the U.S. Then, the new residents should at least make a generous effort to assimilate. Learn the language, go to school. Work for a living.

I don't have a problem with immigrants who pull their own weight. The agricultural industry, and the nursery industry would collapse like a shot if we make all the foreign workers go home. I understand that.

However, there has to be some accountability, and we have to control our borders, and the bureaucratic nightmare of deporting an undesireable should go away. We have prisons in this state that were built to house violent illegal aliens that the government was having trouble deporting. Many states play "catch and release" with illegal aliens. This has to end immediately.

And I put the blame for this mess squarely on the head of President Bush. He has waited too long to take control of our borders.

So, I propose:

1. A 60-day grace period for all undocumented workers to apply for a guest worker card. Any not applying after 60 days should be immediately deported. One hearing, immediately after arrest, then get on a plane. You leave your guest card at home and get caught at the 7-11? Tough shit, Gomez. You shoulda had your card.

2. Immediately close all borders. Anyone trespassing on the border will be shot and bulldozed into a shallow grave.

3. Unskilled labor can enter the United States at regular points of entry and will be issued a guest worker card after a brief processing. Picture, fingerprints, basic data. They have 15 days to find a job. After those 15 days, if the employer doesn't enter their number into a job database, they will be hunted down, given a hearing, and deported. US companies seeking unskilled labor can set up offices near the border crossings to assist in hiring the numbers of workers they need.

4. After being in the United States for three years, guest workers can choose either to apply for naturalization, or return to their home country. Any children born to guest workers while in the United States will not be considered native citizens. Those children can apply for native citizen status when their parents apply for citizenship.

5. Companies or individuals that employ illegal aliens will immediately be fined in an amount equal to their net worth on the balance sheet. Companies using contractors who employ illegal aliens are to be fined at the same rate. Companies who survive the fine are prohibited from hiring anyone but a native-born citizen for fifteen years.

That is a guest worker program I can live with. I'm sure it will be promptly adopted by the US Congress.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Gold Card Program?

I can't make this stuff up.
Key provisions of the Senate's main immigration bill would create a "gold card" program for illegal immigrants who entered the United States before Jan. 4, 2004, and create a guest worker program to bring in more foreign laborers, according to Senate Judiciary Committee staff members.
It gets better:
Under the separate guest worker program, which would be based on U.S. labor needs, foreign applicants could work for three years, then apply to work for another three years before returning home. They'd be required to remain in their home country for a year before reapplying.
However, not everyone is happy with the plan:
"Some people are going to say it's amnesty, and others are going to say it creates a second-class caste of workers," said Tamar Jacoby of the Manhattan Institute, a New York-based think tank that leans right. "It's a non-starter for both sides."
Yeah, I'll say!

If Bush thinks this plan will fly, he needs a reality check. His bonehead stance on illegal immigration is one of the worst I have ever seen. It's ludicrous what he thinks we will believe.

Hat tip to Michelle Malkin.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Jim March

You have to love Jim March. I hadn't read much of his stuff until recently, but he is both technically competent and tactically proficient.

He is the author of the Jim March Revolver test, which is good stuff to know if you ever buy a used revolver.

He also knows how to pimp-slap idiots, as he shows in this High Road thread.

From voter fraud, to historical accuracy, to revolver technical advise. Good stuff. Go read it all.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Nagin in Houston

Hizzoner, Ray "Chocolate City" Nagin was in Houston this weekend, running for Mayor. Not mayor of Houston - - Mayor of New Orleans. It seems that a whole bunch of folks left New Orleans during the latter days of August, 2005. They live in Houston now, and want to vote for Mayor of New Orleans.

I think that is pretty weird. They live in Houston, but want to vote in New Orleans... can anyone say voter fraud?

How many evacuees are in Houston, anyway?
Houston, 350 miles to the west, has 150,000 evacuees, or almost as many New Orleanians as New Orleans.
The hell you say. That many? Anyway, back to the main story. Nagin is campaigning in Houston for Mayor of New Orleans (surreal, ain't it?) and had the following to say about those who have qualified.
"There are 23 candidates running for mayor. Very few of them look like us," he said. "There's a potential to be a major change in the political structure in New Orleans."
What the hell does he mean by that? Is Nagin playing the race card? Aaah, then we learn that:
In a speech organized by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People civil rights group, Nagin discussed the recovery of New Orleans and explained the complicated absentee voting procedures for those who have not returned to the city.

Nagin, who sparked controversy recently by saying New Orleans would become a "chocolate city" again, told the mostly black audience of about 50 people that the election could bring a sea change to New Orleans politics, which has been dominated by blacks for more than two decades.
The NAACP was only able to get 50 people to come to his speech? With 150,000 in town? Pretty poor turnout if you ask me.

I guess the rest of the folks were doing what many Katrina evacuees are doing these days; Getting On With Their Lives. Ray Nagin is going to have to understand is that folks who want to live in New Orleans are going to live there. Folks that don't want to live in New Orleans are going to live someplace else.

Oh, I can hear the whining now. "There is nothing to do in New Orleans." I say Bunk! A quick search of the Times Picayune website shows 3510 different jobs in New Orleans alone. Many of them for multiple workers. And these are employers who advertise in the paper. There are other employers who don't, I'm sure.

If you want to work in New Orleans, there are jobs available. If you want to vote in New Orleans, then maybe you should move there.

The fact that only 50 people out of 150,000 showed up to hear "Chocolate City" Nagin shows that a whole lot of folks are getting on with their lives.


I hate doing my income taxes. I also hate paying a tax professional because in my younger years I took a bachelors degree in Business Administration. Then, later I went to graduate school to burn my GI Bill. That degree is pretty much wasted paper, because I spent my adult life in law enforcement and the military reserves.

For me, with all the resources available to me, preparing my income tax return has been an ordeal that consumes the better part of three evenings at home after work.

Today, I hauled myself to Wal-Mart and picked up a copy of Turbo-Tax. The Deluxe version. I came home and installed it on the computer, and began work on my taxes at 1:30 p.m. At 4:15, I was done. Finis. Complete. Tomorrow I'll get copies made and put them in the mail.

The process itself was amazingly simple. The program uses an interview format and it walks you through the process asking questions and providing advice. It even looks for deductions of which the average taxpayer might not be aware. Then, it prints all the forms. It is a great program and I recommend it highly.

No, I didn't e-file. They want an additional $29.95 to e-file and the gummint gets enough of my money as it is. Screw-em. They'll get in the mail for about 40 cents.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Online test.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that I said I was through with online tests, but this one got me going. I got it from here. It is an OKCupid! test. That ought to satisfy the etiquette gurus.

I scored a 93, but had to rewrite all the HTML, because it wouldn't fit properly on the page.

Happiness is a belt-fed weapon. Especially one it takes three men to carry.

Saturday morning gunfire

I wonder how people live in places like Massassuchetts, or California, or New York when I consider what is considered right and proper in suburban central Louisiana?

I live in the suburbs of the Alexandria/Pineville area, in a subdivision of houses that were constructed in the past four years. Sitting here at my computer this morning, I heard a gunshot from down the street, and I am not compelled to investigate. There are too many reasons that suggest a lawful, rational purpose to fire a weapon here. I'm mildly curious, but not enough to put on shoes and go outside.

Likely, some homeowner was forcibly evicting an armadillo or other vermin from the backyard, or killing a snake that crawled up from the woods. My neighbors are rational, hardworking people who value freedom, and cherish independence. They certainly wouldn't jeopardize their freedom by using a firearm in an unlawful manner.

So, a gunshot down the road isn't worth investigating without compelling evidence to the contrary. In other news, the weather outside is sunny, and the temps are '60-ish. I might have to go investigate that after I finish my coffee.

Friday, March 03, 2006


You all remember Cliff Clavin? The guy on the sitcom Cheers? Cliff would sit at the bar and proclaim wildly inaccurate information, to the amusement of everyone present.

Reading this blog, I found a classic Clavinism:
"I wonder if you know that the harp is a predecessor of the modern day guitar. Early minstrels were much larger people. In fact, they had hands the size of small dogs."
I have a confession to make. I share that disease, although I never knew it had a name. I learned a long time ago that spouting Clavinisms was a remarkable talent and that having a table-full of people turn and look at you, mouths agape, was wild fun. Aaah, but then you had to explain yourself.

For example, a friend comes over and admires a specific piece of furniture. A chair, for example. The conversation might go something like this.

Friend - "Nice chair. Where did you find that covering?"

Me - "Naugahyde. Shot it myself. I think I took that particular nauga in eastern Missouri. Most people don't realize that Naugas were hunted almost to extinction in the mid '70s. Beautiful animals with brilliantly colored skins. Much more durable than cowhide or other conventional leathers. I read recently where a group of growers is trying to bring back the Nauga. They've almost created a viable herd in the Montana rockies."

Heads turns with mouths agape. Gotcha!

Sometimes, people can't tell when you are serious, or indulging in a Clavinism. Children are particulary susceptible. Milady often reprimands me for taking advantage of the grandchildren. My own daughter tells me that she suffered laugter and derision when repeating Clavinisms at school. She and Milady are taking notes and propose to publish a book entitled Pawpaws Book of Bullshit Facts.

I predict that it will be wildly successful.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Ray Nagin - Grrrr!

I was surfing over at Sweetness and Light and came across a photo essay about Hizzoner, Ray Nagin, the disgraced mayor of New Orleans. They had this photo of Hizzoner on horseback during Mardi Gras.

What an arrogant ass. First of all, he is wearing a uniform shirt from my army. The shirt in question is a desert jacket. One does not wear shiny stars or decorations on a desert jacket.

Next, he is wearing actual decorations. I can't see them all, but I doubt that Nagin has earned any decorations of the type he is wearing. That "rack" is eight rows deep. Normally, a soldier will spend twenty-five or thirty years getting a rack like that, at great personal risk to himself. My rack, after twenty years, was only three rows deep.

Of course, he is wearing the jacket and beret improperly. His entire demeanor smacks of arrogance and disrespect for the very fabric he is wearing.

Ray Nagin pisses me off. Even more so now, showing disrespect for the uniform I wore, along with the medals, awards and decorations he is displaying. The US military pulled his ass out of a fire seven months ago, and he shows up at Mardi Gras dressed like this? What gall!

I read in the Advocate that he qualified for Mayor yesterday. I hope the residents run his ass off.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Baton Rouge CCW shooting - update

My buddy Junior sent me this link to an article in the Baton Rouge Advocate, concerning the February 17th shooting of George Temple. Temple, a 24 year old black man was shot during a scuffle with Baton Rouge policeman Brian Harrison, 32, during a routine traffic stop. I blogged it here, and here.

The facts are basically as follows: Harrison was working a detail off-duty, in uniform, escorting a funeral. Temple broke the funeral procession and Harrison pulled him over to issue him a citation. They stopped in the parking lot of an Auto Zone store. During the traffic stop, a scuffle ensued between Harrison and Temple. Temple was on top of Harrison and Harrison was calling for help. A witness, Perry Stephens, 56, responded to Harrison's aid. Stephens retrieved a firearm and shot Temple five times; four to the torso, once to the head. Harrison also shot Temple once, in the torso. Temple died of his wounds.

Now, black elected officials and community leaders are asking the Justice Department for an independent investigation of the shooting.
“The events of Feb. 17 were tragic for this community,” said state Rep. Michael Jackson, D-Baton Rouge, who also is president of the East Baton Rouge Parish Black Elected Officials. The group’s members helped organize Monday’s news conference.

“Temple was not a hardened criminal … he came from a loving family … therefore we stand here wanting answers.” Jackson said the group knows a lot about Temple but little about Stephens. Col. Greg Phares of the Sheriff’s Office has said Stephens came to the aid of Harrison after hearing the police officer yell for help.

Jackson also said the group knows little about how the fight between Temple and Harrison began. Phares has said the fight started after Harrison, who was off-duty and working as a motorcycle escort for a funeral procession, wrote Temple a ticket for a traffic violation.
I'm sure that Temple's family loves him and mourns his loss. However, there are a couple of questions I think should be answered:

1. Why is it that Temple thought he could break into a funeral procession without getting a traffic ticket?

2. When stopped, was Temple's impulse control so poor that he felt compelled to get into a scuffle with a police officer? Why not just take the ticket and get on with your life?

3. When Stephens showed up to assist Officer Harrison, why did Temple feel compelled to continue the scuffle, especially when Stephens began shooting? That sounds like a good time to get medical attention, not continue scuffling with the police officer.

We do know that Temple, who might not have been a "hardened criminal" was in fact, no stranger to the criminal justice system. He was on probation for domestic violence. It seems he;
barged into the apartment of his ex-girlfriend’s mother and tried to take his 4-month-old child. When the child’s mother, Karlyn King, resisted, Temple grabbed her by the neck and pushed her against a wall, a sheriff’s crime report says.
Sounds like poor impulse control to me.

I'm sure the Justice Department will do a good job in their investigation. I'm also fairly sure that Stephens will be exonerated. From what I have read in the papers and seen on the internet, Stephens did what he had to do. It is a truism in law enforcement that if you have to shoot someone, you are going to wind up in Court. That is just part of the deal. If you shoot someone, you get sued.

However, once Stephens is exonerated, he should immediately get his own lawyer to sue the estate of George Temple for mental anguish and psychological trauma associated with having to shoot Temple. He should name as co-defendants everyone who asked for an independent investigation. Stephens didn't ask for this problem. He probably saved the life of a police officer. Rather than Temple's estate being enriched, Stephens should be reimbursed for the time, anguish, and trouble he is being put through. Who better than Temple to reimburse him?