Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Mardi Gras

I'm off today, in the middle of the week, because Louisiana is celebrating Mardi Gras. Everyone has seen pictures of the celebration in New Orleans, which is going on now. Small-town Louisiana has Mardi Gras celebrations, too. Pawpaw usually attends the ones in Eunice or in Mamou, sometimes both. Milady and I are fond of the street dances held in both those little towns.

Unfortunately this year, Milady had to work last night and is asleep in our bed. She has to work tonite, too. She may, in fact, have to ride to Dallas this evening in an ambulance to return a medically fragile patient to Louisiana.

PawPaw spent the morning doing a little reloading. I noticed that the empty once-fired brass I have in .243 Winchester was coincidentally the same number as the 100 grain Sierra GameKing bullets I had on hand. Not one to let a coincidence like that go unrewarded, I loaded all the loose bullets into the empty once-fired brass. An hour or so on the bench produced all the hunting ammo I will need for that rifle for next year.

This afternoon, I am going to liberate my grandsons from their mother. She needs the break, and they do too. We'll run some errands and then come home and play in the yard. I'll bring them back dirty and tired and she won't have any trouble putting them down for sleep later tonite.

Still, I wish I were dancing in the street in Mamou.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Saddam, Osama and other ne'er-do-wells

There is an old legal defense in Louisiana (and Texas I'm told). It's called the He Needed Killin' defense. It is based on the common sense idea that some folks are so guilty, so incorrigible that a public trial would serve no useful purpose. Jury nullification soon followed when the defense was successfully entered.

Adolf Hitler comes streakingly to mind. As a defendant, he would have been worthless. As a suicide in an underground bunker, he showed the world what he was made of. Mussolini was made of the same stuff, and suffered an ignominious death at the hands of partisans as he was trying to escape.

I see that the BMEWS is covering Saddam's trial. This defendant is so well known that we don't need to establish his identity with a last name. The former dictator of Iraq, the guy who promised to die in defense of his regime. That same guy who let his sons take him at his word, then when he was finally cornered, surrendered meekly to American soldiers.

Yeah, that Saddam. I wondered when we captured him, why we captured him. Some people don't deserve a trial. Some folks just need killing. The trial can have no useful purpose. The people of Iraq can't let him live. His fate is sealed. Saddam is going to die. We all know that. The question is how? The answer is: It doesn't matter.

One pundit said that when we found him in his septic tank, we should have installed a toilet and served the 82nd Airborne nothing but Taco Bell till the tank was filled, then announce to the world that Saddam had died. I always thought that we should have dropped a couple of grenades down his hidey-hole, then taken out just enough DNA to verify death.

Osama is the same type fellow, and he has vowed not to be taken alive. So be it. The commanders at the scene can quietly give the order that he is not to be taken alive. If he surrenders, then the surrender is to be taken as a ruse. A trial of Osama will serve no useful purpose. I can only hope he stands by his word.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Trigger Time

I got out of the house and went to the range today. All last week, it has rained and it rained like the dickens yesterday, but today was 50ish, sunny, with a mild breeze. And I needed some trigger time.

I started with the Savage 10 in .243 Winchester at 100 yards. I shot two different loadings and the results were similar and frustrating. The rifle would fire two seperate and distinct groups, an inch apart. It shot like that with both ammo choices. It shot like that repeatedly. Frustrating. I'd get two or three shots touching each other, then an inch apart, two more shots in the same inch. Gaarrgh!

Thinking maybe I was having a bad day, I moved the target stand in to the 50 yard mark and got out my Winchester 94. Not a particularly accurate rifle, but one that I have confidence in. As you can see from the picture below, it isn't scoped, but carries reciever sights. It's my truck rifle. It stays under the seat all the time and thrives on neglect.

Yet, it gave me this target at 50 yards.

Not terribly shabby for an iron-sighted .30-30. I use a 6:00 hold with the bead sight, and the X ring is 2 inches above the sighting point. My ballistics program tells me I should be at point-blank out to 150 yards, which is the maximum range I would attempt to take game with the rifle.

So, confidence restored in my modest shooting ability, I've been thinking about those frustrating groups with the .243. Something ain't right with that rifle. It is a package deal from Savage, and came with a low-end Simmons scope already mounted on it. My problem may be the scope. Yeah, the rifle will fire into Minute of Deer, but I may have a shifting reticle. Sometime this summer I'll find a better scope to put on it, and invest a little money in good mounts. We'll see how it does then.

I've got a sneaking hunch that the little Savage will be a shooter if I can get the gremlins out of it.

Update** Before composing this post, I emailed my buddy Junior about the performance of the little Savage, and I sent him a link to this target:

Junior replies that I complain too much: "Hell, you put 4, 100 gr 243 hunting bullets in ~1 1/4" at 100 yards and you're complaining? Drop the bullet weight to 80 or 85 grs, and I bet they'll damn near all touch at 100 yards."

Maybe the .243 will do that with smaller bullets. I don't have any experience with smaller bullets, but I know that some calibers have standard bullet weights that they tend to shoot better than others. I'll order some lighter bullets and see what happens.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Neutral Observers

Neutral observers, my ass.

I was surfing over at Little Green Footballs and came upon this post. The International News Safety Institute is telling journalists in Iraq not to carry guns.
“Journalists increasingly are being targeted in conflict largely because they have lost, in the eyes of certain elements, their status as neutral observers. If they bear arms they reinforce this misguided belief by placing themselves on one side or another,” said the INSI director, Rodney Pinder.

“A journalist with a gun says ‘some people in the situation I’m covering are my enemies and I am prepared to kill them if necessary’. That is not the position of a neutral civilian.”
Oh, bullshit!

If a combatant wants to kill a journalist, who better than an unarmed journalist? They can saw the head off at leisure if the victim isn't armed.

Whoever said that journalists shouldn't take sides? We know that the enemy puts out the information that he wants to put out. We know that the media bias often makes it seem that the media is on the other side. The journalists I prefer to read are unabashadly biased toward the American forces. Michael Yon comes immediately to mind. Yon does a great job getting the news out, and no one doubts what side he is on.

Ask Joe Galloway if journalists should be unarmed.

California Ethical Quandry

I see that California is trying to execute a murdering rapist. A judge has ordered that before the execution can proceed, a licensed physician must attend. No licensed physician has stepped forward to attend to the execution and, in effect, a moratorium on executions exists in California.
But officials at San Quentin State Prison could not meet the demands of a federal judge who ordered licensed medical personnel to take part in the execution. Because of ethical considerations, there were no takers, and the execution was called off.
I have long wondered when ethical considerations would rear their head in lethal injection cases.

It seems doctors swear an oath, the Hippocratic Oath. In the classical version, they promise:
I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.
which would tend to mitigate against a physician taking part in an execution, especially one that uses a physicians art. However, that same paragraph also presumes to mitgate against abortions. That in itself is an ethical quandry for the medical profession.

However, there is a modern version of the Oath, which I can read here online, and which says:
Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.
The modern version seems to allow a physician to take a life, as long as he doesn't play at God.

Either way, I think the doctors of California are being a bit.... Hypocritic. Ethical standards are one thing to hang an objection on, but when the oath allows the practice, all pretense at an ethical standard goes screaming out the window.

Still, it would be better for the state to amend their law to allow other forms of execution. I'm told that a shot into the brainstem is instantly fatal. There is no waiting around for death. I'm sure that other methods can bring about the desired result without the participation of a doctor. Hanging comes instantly to mind, as do several less palatable methods.

CCW Shooting in Baton Rouge

My buddy Junior sends me this link to an article in the Baton Rouge Advocate regarding the CCW shooting in Baton Rouge. Mayor Kip Holden is resisting the advice of the NAACP for an independent review panel, based on the wishes of the goblin's family.
Holden said Temple’s parents told him they weren’t interested in an independent review committee, but wanted the case to go through the normal channels, including an investigation by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office and a grand jury investigation under the District Attorney’s Office.
This is normal procedure in a police shooting, or frankly, anytime there is an armed fatality. The Grand Jury system in Louisiana is attuned to the needs of the public, and a grand jury in Louisiana has a lot of power to supervise the District Attorney.

It is my experience that a Grand Jury in this state will normally do what is right. They may piss off the D.A., and they may piss off any other interested party, but they generally do the right thing in looking into allegations of misconduct.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Chili Cheese Fries

A couple of times a week, Milady works nights. On those occasions, she leaves home at about 5:00 pm and we won't see her till daylight. I am left to fend for myself and anyone else in the house.

Tonite, her son was over and when it came supper time, we thought about it for a few minutes, then I went to the store for supplies.

Chili Cheese Fries was the menu. The whole menu. We got out the Fry-Daddy and made some fries, opened a can of Hormel Chili, and nuked some Cheeze-Whiz. Dammit, that was good. My gut runneth over.

She'll be home tomorrow night, so I'll eat a more balanced meal. You can bet that Chili Cheese Fries won't be on the menu. When she lets us boys fend for ourselves, anything is apt to happen.

The Port Deal

There has been a lot of hubbub over the port deal in the last week or so. Many in the blogosphere have changed sides of the issue, and Michelle Malkin is all over it. Go read her post for all the background and current arguments. I'll wait here until you are done.

Here is the deal as I see it: 1) The next terrorist incident in the United States is going to come here either by air or by sea. 2) Port operations are vital to the security of the United States. 3)Border operations are of vital interest to us all.
4) The current administration has failed to secure our land borders. 5) Sea ports are just another way of getting into the United States.

Do we want our port operations conducted by anyone but Americans?

I'm still against this deal.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Happy Dance Time

Looks like a CCW holder in Baton Rouge helped a cop from a life-threatening situation, capping a goblin in a struggle with the police officer.

Xavier is all over it.

What a quote:
Phares would not talk about bullet entry points, but said, “It is my understanding that Mr. Stephens attempted to place his shots in a way to minimize harm to the police officer since the two were so close.”

This is Louisiana, of course, and no charges will be filed.

FBI raids

This is odd, and breaking, it appears:
TV 8 News has learned the FBI and local law enforcement authorities are conducting a statewide raid of service stations and businesses owned by Middle Easterners. Agents executed search warrants today at businesses from Tallulah to Ruston and in Monroe. The FBI says the raids are part of "an ongoing criminal investigation." Police sources tell TV 8 News the raids target possible money laundering and counterfeiting in connection with suspected domestic terrorist activity and homeland security. TV 8 News will have details at 5, 6,and 10.
Looks like something is happening in northeast Louisiana. Strange.

Maybe Xavier can give us the scoop.

Hat tip to LGF.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


I showed up at the smoking shack this morning to help the librarian with a crossword puzzle and she was pissed off at the Olympics. "I watched the skating competition last night, and all the girls dressed like tramps. One gal showed enough of her cootchie that an OB/GYN could have given her an exam."

Someone else mentioned that there is an Olympics going on, but I just can't muster any enthusiasm.

Simply Surreal

This headline makes me look at my sinus medication to see if perhaps they slipped something else in the capsule. Am I drugged? Or has the world just gotten too surreal for rational analysis?
Carter backs Bush's stand on seaport-operations deal
I'm not kidding.

It seems that the Pres is taking heat for a deal to let a Dubai company run the ports at six major port operations in the United States. I was against this deal when I first heard of it, about a week ago. I'm still agin it. I don't think Arabs should be running ports in the United States. Sorry, I think we have too much to lose in the WOT to allow something like that, and I'm kind of embarrassed that my President came up with this hairbrained idea.

But, the fact that Jimmah Cahta agrees with "W" puts the death knell on this deal as far as I am concerned. It's a bad idea. Very bad.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Jimmy Carter and Hamas

You remember Jimmah Carter? He was president when we betrayed a long-standing ally of the United States, and when the government was overthrown, he allowed our diplomats to be taken hostage? Yeah, same guy.

Is there no terrorist he doesn't like? He penned an op-ed for the Washington Post, with the opinion that we should give Hamas a chance.
It would not violate any political principles to at least give the Palestinians their own money; let humanitarian assistance continue through U.N. and private agencies; encourage Russia, Egypt and other nations to exert maximum influence on Hamas to moderate its negative policies; and support President Abbas in his efforts to ease tension, avoid violence and explore steps toward a lasting peace.
Oh, bullshit.

I'm glad that the Palestinians had a democratic election. They did so knowing full well that we are in a War on Terror. Only an idiot would not understand that we intend to defeat terroristic governments, not subsidize them. The people of Palestine elected their leaders, let them live with the consequences.

As for Jimmy Carter, his presidency is painful for me to recall. I was on active duty when we suffered numerous embarrassments and demoralizations under his administration. His presidency is the one I remember as a complete and total failure. His will probably go down as the worst president in the 20th century. He didn't understand foreign policy then, he doesn't understand foreign policy now.

The sooner someone tells him to sit down and shut up, the better we will all be. The American people told him to sit down and shut up when we elected Reagan. Evidently, he has never gotten the message.

I've got a better idea, Jimmy. Lets let Israel deal with the Palestinians in any manner they choose. Lets let the Palestinians feel the heat of their own choices. Lets quit worrying about Palestine. It is a failure as a nation. Let them deal with their own failure.
I got this in an email from my Momma, who passes things like this along. My heritage is truly American, more specifically, Deep South American. Some call us rednecks. I've never taken it to be a derogatory term, because my earliest memories of my Dad and his brothers are of them in T-shirts working with my Grandpa in the back yard. Dad always had a "working-man's tan" which meant that if he took his shirt off, his skin underneath was white, white, white. His arms, neck and face were bronzed from the sun.

So, this doesn't bother me a bit. It kind of makes me proud.

You might be a redneck if: It never occurred to you to be offended by the phrase, "One nation, under God."

You might be a redneck if: You've never protested about seeing the 10 Commandments posted in public places.

You might be a redneck if: You still say " Christmas" instead of "Winter Festival."

You might be a redneck if: You bow your head when someone prays.

You might be a redneck if: You stand and place your hand over your heart when they play the National Anthem.

You might be a redneck if: You treat Viet Nam vets with great respect, and always have.

You might be a redneck if: You've never burned an American flag.

You might be a redneck if: You know what you believe and you aren't afraid to say so, no matter who is listening.

You might be a redneck if: You respect your elders and expect your kids to do the same.

You might be a redneck if: You'd give your last dollar to a friend.

May the LORD bless you & yours..............

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Boys falling behind

This article in the Town Talk talks about a trend in education. Boys fall behind.

I don't think that is much of a trend. High School age boys are concerned with two things: cars and girls. It has been that way since time immemorial. Some few in the subset are concerned about sports. Some other few are concerned about academic progress, but basically, cars and girls figure into the process.

Me too. When I was in high school, I was 90% hormones by body weight. I had a ratty-assed car and when I parked every morning I had to walk past the Army recruiter standing in the parking lot. It was 1969 and the Government needed fresh meat. They needed it so desperately that the government had a little thing called the draft, where your friends and neighbors would recommend you for service. That recommendation was always heeded. We all understood that the quickest way to an Army career was to drop out of high school. The Army would, after training at some stateside resort center, send you on a Senior trip to Viet Nam.

The Army travel program was a powerful motivator to stay in school. Then college loomed, and a college deferment was a good thing. Especially since the local colleges were populated with girls. Lots of girls. My Alma Mater had about a 3:1 girl/boy ratio. On Friday night, most of them liked to drink beer and dance. It beat the hell out of being in uniform.

Eventually, I went into the Army and did my patriotic chore. I missed the unpleasantness of Viet Nam, but was around later for other regional rudeness. I don't regret a minute of it.

What boys lack today is a prime motivator, and that Army recruiter standing in the parking lot with a stack of draft notices was an excellent one.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Good writing

I've been surfing aimlessly, and found this paragraph by noted gun writer Elmer Keith. Mr Keith talks about receiving the very first .44 Magnum pistol ever produced by Smith and Wesson, then tell us:
That was the start of the .44 Magnum. As I remember, it arrived in February. Emmett Steeples and I took it down to Wagonhammer Springs, and pulled off the road there to sight it in. About 60 yards from the parked car there was a little black stump of mahogany about four inches in diameter projecting out of the snow. And just six or seven yards to the left of it was a big old buck mule deer, bedded down. When he saw us, he pulled his down into the snow. His horns were long gone, but his old white face and the way his ears flopped out to the side, proved him to be an old buck. I believe I fired 16 shots at the little stump, adjusting the sights with a screwdriver, and resting both arms out the car window, until I hit the stump three times straight – or what was left of it. Emmett says, “That old buck thinks we don’t see him.” We pulled out and left him lying there in his bed with his head pulled down tight in the snow, thinking we hadn’t seen him. He well knew if he jumped up that we would see him. Out of season, we had no intention of bothering him whatever, but it was interesting to watch how he pulled his head down and thought he was hid. We left so he could stay hidden.
A buck mule deer watched the sighting in of the very first .44 Magnum pistol, from a hidey-hole seven yards from the target.

Hell of a story.

Savage Model 111

I put another rifle on layaway today. A Savage Model 111, in .30-06 Springfield caliber. This rifle is my celebration of a great 100-year-old cartridge that is still going strong. Readers know my fondness of the Savage bolt action rifles. They are sturdy, practical, fairly inexensive, and surprisingly accurate. Savage put a lot of thought into those rifles and I consider the Accutrigger the best design in a factory trigger in the last fifty years.

I've never owned a .30-06, although millions of Americans before me testify to the popularity of the round. It is a great general purpose cartridge that is chambered in millions of new rifles each year. The .30-06 is parent to a number of successful cartridges, including the .270 Winchester, the .35 Whelen, and the .25-06 Remington, each of which have become fully mature in their own right. Newer cartridges today still measure themselves against the benchmark of the .30-06. Some are faster, some carry more energy, some shoot flatter, but when the gun scribes write about them, they use the old warhorse as a common denominator to measure performance.

Jeff Cooper, Jack O'Conner, and Elmer Keith, each known for other cartridges, all bowed to the general versatility and practical utility of the .30-06.

Oh, I will still maintain my love for the others. Regular readers know my fondness for the .357 magnum, the .30-30 Winchester and the .45-70. I am currently in a flirty infatuation with the .243 Winchester, which is a fond grandchild of the .30-06.

But, it is time to harness the .30-06 for myself. I'm sure it will be a useful addition to the battery.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Friday afternoon blues

Just got in from work, and checked my email. Kissed Milady and checked in on a couple of blogs. I have to go back to work. I already worked eight hours today, and I'm on the hook tonight for seven more, covering a basketball game and a dance.

Milady is working her standard 12 hour shift tonite. She'll get off at daylight.

I have a bunch of ammo loaded and I want to go shooting, but it looks like this weekend is going to be winter. I'll probably just make coffee and blog in my pajamas tomorrow morning.

See y'all later.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Turk Mauser

Junior, my old pardner over at Castbullet, has been playing with a Turk Mauser. Playing with it means he has cut down the barrel, cut down the stock, bedded it, scoped it, and has one hell of a rifle for under $75.00. That's right. Well under a hundred US dollars and he has a new deer rifle. He bedded it with JB Weld. I've handled it, and it shoots good. Real good.

Who says this hobby has to be expensive?

Hornady Model M

A couple of years ago, grandchildren broke my powder scale and I went shopping for a new one. I bought the Jennings ModelJS50X digital scale and learned to use it.

The Jennings scale is painfully accurate, so accurate that it would measure air currents in the room, and was susceptible to things like ambient temperature. I still like my Jennings scale, but recently I found myself yearning for a balance beam type scale. I found one in the Hornady Model M.

I bought mine from MidSouth Shooters Supply. When I got it out of the box, I set it up on the kitchen table and zero'd it in under a minute. The magnetic poise is suprisingly stable and doesn't wander about like some scales I have used. The counterbalance has three weights, one for ten grains, one for single grains and one for tenths of a grain. It is very easy to see the settings and once set, they tend to remain in place. The powder pan is set at the proper height for using a trickler, which is important when I want to be very careful and specific about the weight of powder I am using. When trickling powder, the magnetic beam moves slowly and carfully to the zero setting, so I can be very precise with my measurements.

I don't always weigh powder. I'm a fan of the Lee Dippers (scroll down) for a lot of the reloading I do. Many of my pet loads are set up using the dipper method and they are quick, safe and repeatable. However, there are times when I am working up loads that I want to be very precise with weights of powder.

I like the Hornady Model M. I like it a lot.

This We'll Defend

I see where the Army is considering lowering the standards for basic training. They are eroding the authority of the Drill Sergeant. That is horseshit, plain and simple.

The Drill Sergeant is the heart and soul of Basic Combat Training. The Drill Sergeant is the manufacturer of soldiers. The Drill Sergeant is the final arbiter of which recruit makes the grade and which recruit doesn't.

I still remember the names of my Drill Sergeants. Drill Sergeant Anderson and Drill Sergeant Grice took me through basic training. They kicked my butt when I needed it and they carried my ass when I needed it. They looked after me, they cajoled and threatened and pushed me farther than I thought I could go.

Years later, when I commanded my own company, Senior Drill Sergeant Pugh was my strong right hand for the first few months of command. He went on to greater posts of authority and responsibility and was replaced by Senior Drill Sergeant Goudeau, who showed me that there is more than one way to do a job correctly. I am forever indebted to those four men, who made me a soldier.

The Army should think carefully about this little scheme. We can't stand to graduate less than the very best. Our line commanders deserve the best soldiers we can field for them.

Hillary in wax?

It seems that Madame Tussaud's commissioned a wax statue of the senator from New York.

The New York Post (registration required) asks the pertinent questions:
Isn't creating a wax figure of Hillary Clinton just a wee bit redundant? All of which makes me wonder: How can you tell the real one from the fake?

And, perhaps more importantly: Is there really much difference?

Thursday afternoon

I'm feeling a little better. Not entirely human yet, but certainly hominid. I've coughed so much that my ribs are sore, and Milady claims that I am hoarse, but that too will pass.

I might even read a newspaper tonight, although mindless entertainment might be better. It is hard to get any more mindless than the current crop of television offerings.

I'm supposed to talk to a high school civics class tomorrow morning about Terry v. Ohio, which set the standard for Stop and Frisk in the police business, and the case of TLO v. New Jersey, which set the standard for school administrators conducting searches of students. The class period usually devolves into a general question and answer session about the 4th Amendment and what it means in America today.

I've given this lecture a half dozen times, and basically all the teacher has to do is wind me up and turn me loose. The only wild-card is when I field questions from the students. One never knows what a student will come up with, and answering questions about current police practice keeps me on my toes.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


I note with some small interest the anniversary of the death of Che Guevara, the marxist revolutionary leader.

Somehow, based on conversations I have had over the years with Special Operations soldiers, I don't think the whole story of his death is being told. Lets just say that on dark nights under crystalline stars I have heard stories that vary from the official reports. The story I hear doesn't vary in the broad-brush colors, just in the fine-brush details. Maybe one of these days the whole story will be told.

But not today.


I ran to Arby's for a sandwich and noticed that the Powerball jackpot is up to $300,000,000. If you take the cash in a lump sum, it comes to $147 million. After taxes, you'd get about half of it. That is about $75 million.

It's probably the worst bet in the world. Chances of winning approach zero. You stand a better chance of getting struck by lightning.

Still, someone is going to get struck by Powerball so I bought a ticket. $75 million would probably make my banker's eyes roll back in his head. It would certainly make my retirement come a whole lot sooner. I'd have to call in rich.

It's not a plan, but it is fun to think about.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Head cold

I feel like hammered shit. My nose is running, my sinuses are stuffed, my head hurts. My sinuses are draining down my throat, and if I'm not blowing my nose, I am swallowing snot. I need some relief.

I had plans to blog some nonsense I saw earlier today, but an early retreat might be the better part of valor. I just inhaled two Sudafed, and I am about to chug some NyQuil. I might feel hung-over in the morning, but I'll sleep. That is a good thing.

Y'all keep track of the moonbats while I recuperate. I'll be back tomorrow or the day after.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Slow Sunday

It's been a slow Sunday. I started off this morning helping my Daddy with a little chore that needed doing, then came home just before noon to find my stepson in the yard with a broke-down pickup truck. It needed a water pump, and we managed to get it done in about an hour. I kept waiting for the unforseen problem to come, but we assembled everything, tested for leaks, filled the radiator, and dropped the hood in just over an hour. Milady and I decided to take a nap about 3:00 pm and when we woke, she wanted to go to IHOP for supper.

I get home to find that Dick Cheney has shot his hunting partner. Unfortunate, but not unheard of, especially hunting quail over dogs, or hunting rabbits over dogs. As understandable as it is, I can't give the Vice President a pass. Hunting is inherently dangerous and the four rules of safe gunhandling are unforgiving taskmasters. Dick violated rule number 4. No excuses, no spin, no explanations. He violated rule 4.

Thankfully, the victim is going to be okay.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Machine Guns

Some of the gunny blogosphere has been up in arms recently about some Illinois State Troopers who are being prosecuted in Federal Court for possessing machine guns.

As a long time cop in Louisiana, I say hmmmmm...

I agree that the law should be the same for everyone, everywhere. I also agree that there are certain things that emergency personnel use on a daily basis that are proscribed to the general public. Like flashing blue lights mounted on a vehicle. Most states proscibe the use of flashing lights in their motor vehicle codes. Here in Louisiana, flashing blue lights are reserved to vehicles owned by the government in a law enforcement role. As a cop, I can't have a flashing blue light on my personal vehicle. That is reserved to the government.

Louisiana law recognizes other distinctions. Some may be valid, some may be invalid, but a search of state law leads us to Title 40, starting at Section 1751, 1752, 1753, and 1754 covers the ownership of machine guns in Louisiana. From my reading of the applicable state law, it appears that cops in Louisiana are allowed to own machine guns without paying the NFA tax.

If a cop in Louisiana owns a machine gun in accordance with state law, can he rely on the powers-that-be not prosecuting him under Federal law? My understanding of the issue is that the Legislature of Louisiana wouldn't do anything that violates Federal law, therefore there must be some regulatory provisions that allow the various states to modify the provisions of Federal law for local benefit. Can that same cop rely on state law to shield him from a federal prosecution?

While owning machine guns by cops isn't unheard of in Louisiana, it certainly isn't common, either. I only know a couple of cops who own fully automatic weapons, but they have relied on the provisions of this law, and I don't know of any prosecutions for owning a machine gun in Louisiana.

I have a lot of interesting questions here, and not many answers.

Hat tip to SayUncle.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Budget Surplus

Wonder what the Dems will make of this news? From Reuters:
The U.S. budget registered a surprisingly big surplus of $20.99 billion in January as strong receipts outweighed spending, a Treasury Department report showed.
What with a War on Terror and such, who would have expected that the economy would be so strong? Sounds like good news to me.

Hat tip to SondraK.

Witnessing the Truth

I went over to Dax Montana's place and found this story about a soldier reenlisting. You gotta read it.
I hear in the news that people are tired of the war on terror. I hear reports that the backs of our young soldiers are broken. I hear reports that enlistment numbers are down. I call bullshit! Today I watched the truth happen before my very eyes. Today the truth set me free.
Just damn!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

WHo? What?

I'm all for letting local contractors get a piece of the pie on the Katrina/Rita cleanup and rebuilding. Hell, I am all for using small local contractors whenever and where ever we can.

But then I see this, and wonder:
WASHINGTON – Today U.S. Senators Mary Landrieu, D-La., and John Kerry, D-Mass., called on the Small Business Administration (SBA) to direct government contracts to local and small businesses in the Gulf region for the inspection of homes and businesses damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
who the hell cares what John Kerry thinks about anything?

Didn't we successfully rebut this nitwit at the polls? I, for one, am getting damn tired of hearing his name. Evidently, he still has presidential aspirations. If he were intelligent, he would know better. If the voters of Massachusetts were intelligent, Kerry would just be another gigilo.

Going, going, gone

Y'all better jump on this. The high priestess of moonbattery is auctioning herself off at Ebay.

7 bids and the price is $1100.00. She reserves the right to "refuse to speak to groups antithetical to her cause or offensive to her beliefs."

You know, if she weren't so pathetic, this might actually be funny.

Battlefield Intelligence

Whether the Intelligence officer of a battlefield battalion, or a high level operative in the National Intelligence community, the hardest part of doing your job is knowing that when you do it right, nothing happens.

An officer in a battalion might get knowledge of an enemy attack just hours before it begins. He will inform the commander, who will get the staff working to exploit the information. Troop dispositions might be altered, equipment moved, and assets repositioned to respond to the enemy attack. The commander might decide to couter-attack with artillery or armor assets while the enemy is on the move, or he might try to funnel the enemy into prepared positions so that he can be destroyed in detail. Regardless, when the attack goes off, the poor staff lieutenant is already working on other problems, and his spot in the limelight is taken by the company officers and soldiers who fire the bullets and commit the carnage.

At the highest levels of intelligence, an attack might be foiled and the American public goes on with their daily lives, blissfully unaware that their lives, property, or loved ones were threatened. News of the attack never makes the papers because the enemy has intelligence operatives too, and we don't want to give away our secrets. Nothing happens, and very few people know that something was planned.

This morning, President Bush gave a speech where he talked about attacks that didn't happen. At least two attacks, one on our East coast, one on our West coast, were foiled when intelligence operatives did their jobs. They are forever in the shadows, looking out for us, and they deserve our thanks.

It is a shame that these hardworking Americans are unknown, unappreciated by the general public. They deserve a ticker-tape parade.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Global Cooling?

When I read this article, and this one, I am glad I live in Louisiana. And, I'm glad I have a fireplace. Heating bills might go up over the next thirty years.

Hat tip to BMEWS.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Drivers License Requirements

Nick, in comments, says:
30 days to get a Texas license? Man, I might have been in trouble if a TX trooper had pulled me over last year. I lived in Kingwood for 6 month, and had work kept me in East TX I would have stayed there. However, I was waiting until my Louisiana license expired in 2008 b/c I wanted to continue to get my Louisiana fishing license for only $30.
Actually, Nick, you were in violation in BOTH states.

Louisiana only gives you ten days to report a change of address. We in law enforcement understand that we live in a mobile society (since Katrina, a lot more mobile than before), and we use a lot of common sense in enforcing the law, but R.S. 32:406 says this about that:
§406. Licensee must give notice of change of address

Whenever any person after applying for or receiving license shall move permanently from the address or place of residence named in the application he shall, within ten days thereafter, notify the driver's license division, in writing, of such change and of his new address.
And, it is pretty easy to get the information from the driver. The exchange goes something like this:

Cop: "Is this address your current address?"

Driver: "No, we moved last year. My new address is 314 Elephant Trot."

Cop: "Thank you. It helps to have the current address on the ticket."

Without saying anything else, the cop writes 32:406 in the violation block, above and beyond whatever he/she stopped you for in the first place. That little charge adds about $75.00 to the cost of the ticket.

Of course, if you tell the cop a story he has never heard before, he is liable to let you go. To get released without a ticket, there are some rules. 1) The violation must be minor. Driving blind drunk through a school zone will not be ignored. 2) The story can't be a bald-faced lie that insults my intelligence. 3) the story must be funny enough that I can repeat it for my buddies back at the station. I normally give extra points for creativity.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Com Sec

Or, Communications Security, for starters. My post earlier about the NSA eavesdropping program brought out some good points in comments. Let me respond to them.

First of all, I am a great lover of privacy and a great believer that every American should have unbridled privacy. However, that ain't necessarily so. Your privacy is what you make it.

Way back in the dim dark ages of my military career, I was taught the standard phone greeting on a Army Telephone. A standard Bell System phone. The greeting went something like this: "Good morning, Delta Company orderly room. This is Corporal Dezendorf. This line is not secure. May I help you, sir?

That greeting let everybody know that we were talking on an unsecure line and that certain information should not be passed over it. If you had a secret, you didn't talk about it on the telephone. You still don't. The standard American telephone line is not secure and anyone who believes it is, is simply naive. This is not new, it has been this way since the Confederates listened in on Union telegaph wires.

Any nitwit with a scanner can listen to your cell phone conversations. If you believe your cell phone conversations are private, you are living in a dream world.

Again. If you have a secret, don't use the telephone to talk about your secret. Your phone comms are not secure. They may be private, but they ain't secure.


I'm watching the politicos try to struggle with the displaced persons who are living abroad in places like Texas. Evidently some of them want to vote in the upcoming New Orleans elections and the voter officials here are trying to figure a way to do that.

And I'm wondering about residency requirements. A lot of folks who lived in New Orleans now live somewhere else. They ain't in Louisiana. A lot of those folks are eligible to vote in the places where they landed, which to my mind, constitues residency. Hell, they've been there four months or longer. The Texas links are just an example. The same would be true in any other state.

I went over to this page to try to fathom the various residency requirements of the various states, and what I get from it is that you are basically eligible to vote where you reside. If a person resides in Texas for thirty days immediately preceeding an election, they are eligible to vote in that state. Are they then eligible to vote in Louisiana? According to this law, a person who has moved into the State of Texas has 30 days to get a Texas Drivers License.

If you have an address in Texas, and you have lived there longer than 30 days, seems to me you are a resident of Texas. If you want to be a resident of Louisiana, then you better move your ass back to Louisiana. Make up your mind where you live.

What idiot would argue that a resident of one state should be eligible to vote in the elections of another state? I can hear the howls now. Lets not talk about disenfrancisement. I you live somewhere and want to vote, then you need to get down to the Registrar's office and register. Don't complain if you haven't done the paperwork.

In my view, a person should know where he/she lives. People who don't know where they live shouldn't be allowed to vote. We still need residency requirements, and if you don't have a residence, you shouldn't be allowed to vote. If the mail-in vote is allowed in this state, I see a powerful risk of voter fraud.

Make up your mind where you want to live. Vote there.

Playin with the Big Dogs

Pawpaw just came home from a raid. I quit working with the SWAT team fifteen years ago, when I realized I had lost a step, was breathing awfully heavy at the end of a workout, had more trouble than usual keeping up on a run. SWAT is for the younger kids, and an old man out there might get someone hurt.

However, I am asked to come play occasionally, and tonite we raided a lounge that was preying on underage drinkers. Way underage. We wrote something over 300 citations to underage patrons of the lounge. There were a lot of us old farts around, to process the unbelievable number of violations. We had officers there from a number of different agencies, including the Fire Marshall and Probation & Parole, along with the usual assortment of juvenile officers.

The owners and operators of the lounge are, of course, guests at the Sheriff's hostel tonight. They probably won't get much sleep, having to process, shower, and get issued a jumpsuit and mattress. The Sheriff runs a really poor bed and breakfast.

Pawpaw is unbelievably tired. It is 5:15 a.m. and I just walked in the door and took my boots off. It's time for a nap.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Reflections II

I haven't commented on this either, but I'm noticing a lot of bandwidth being burned over a Dutch newspaper publishing some cartoons. Evidently, our rag-headed enemies are upset over the caricatures.

Fuck-em if they can't take a joke.


I've noticed the outrage from the left on the surveillance program that President Bush has used to attempt to identify Al-Qaeda operatives in this country. I haven't commented on it, because I don't see the problem. Censorship and identifying spies has long been the watchword during times of war.

I know that General Washington (no links) routinely monitored the correspondence of his generals after the Benedict Arnold debacle. He didn't want any traitors giving information to the enemy.

I know that General Sherman routinely sent reporters away from the battle front. Sherman knew that Southern sympathizers routinely read Northern newspapers and didn't want news of movements and battlefield preparations becoming general knowledge.

During our Second World War, I know that the military routinely censored the private letters of our service members. I've seen my uncles letters that were censored on the trip from the battle front to my grandparents houses. We also listened to the Japanese radio traffic to gain an edge on military planning. We know that the Japanese did the same to our radio traffic.

I know that current cell phone conversations can be intercepted with an inexpensive 900mhz scanner from any Radio Shack store. One jail where I worked kept a scanner in the control pod to monitor the police radio. It was nice having advance notice when a prisoner was coming in. During the doldrums hours of the early morning, we would sometimes switch the scanner to the 900mhz range and listen to local cell phone communications. Hilarious stuff! People talk about the weirdest things at 3:00 a.m.

I know that Carlos Marcello said that two people can keep a secret as long as one of them is dead.

The outrage of the loyal opposition is something that amazes me. Communications are not secure unless they are whisered into a compliant ear. Pillow talk of any variety is apt to be monitored if you are using electronic communications. This is nothing new, nor is it necessarily diabolical. It is simply a fact of life. If you want your communications secure, use secure communication methods. If you use non-secure electronic methods, don't bitch if I listen in.

Friday, February 03, 2006


Lyman has a weird way of numbering their molds. The mold in question is a 31141, which means it throws a bullet that has a diameter of 0.311 inches and is the 41st mold of that diameter that Lyman standardized. It is a flat nosed bullet, with a crimp groove, two lube grooves, and is fit for a gas check. The nose is bore-riding, which means it rides the tops of the rifling lands while the bottom of the bullet engraves on the lands. It has a nominal weight of 173 grains and is the cat's whiskers for the .30-30 Winchester. It also turns in good accuracy in any .30 caliber rifle as long as the bullet is properly cast and the velocity is kept down to rational velocities commensurate with the alloy used.

A hunter can gather a whole lot of game with a lead bullet traveling about 1800 fps. Target shooters, and folks who like the shooting games like Cowboy Action Shooting use a lot of ammo, and cast bullets just make sense when you are trying to save a few dollars.

Lyman still makes the 31141, but nowadays they call it the 311041. You can get one at any of the sporting goods houses online.

The fellows over at the Cast Boolit forum decided to have that bullet made in a custom 6-cavity mold. Bullet casters are lazy, as a general rule, and if we can get a 6-cavity mold, then we can cast a whole lot more bullets than we can with a 2-cavity mold.

Lee Precision will make a custom mold and the price becomes real reasonable when you buy a bunch of them, but you can't be in any hurry. We decided to order a bunch of custom molds and we filled out all the paperwork and sent our money in. I mailed my check on September 28th. By the time the "Honcho" of the order (a fellow named Dave) got everybody's money, and mailed it to Lee, and they cut the molds... Dave did a great job with everything, by the way. He put up with a bunch of grouchy curmudgeons while putting the order together and deserves all our kudos.

Anyway, I got mine in today. I'm pleased as punch with it. Maybe I can play with it this weekend and cast some bullets with it.

It took four months, but I have a new toy for cheap ammo. Cool.


I was thinking about the cussing men do sometimes, and how it seems to have lost its timbre over the years.

If you know somone and you call him a bastard, you might be cussing him, or you might be referring to the circumstances of his birth.

This is a plan

I don't know if it is a good plan, but nevertheless, it is a plan. It sounds reasonable to me. It is bold, innovative, and doesn't wait on someone else to do something. Title land to people so they can build on it. Have plans pre-approved at lenders. Have construction crews pre-approved to do the work. Finance it all with municipal bonds. It is innovative, all right.

The site in question is all about Virginia Boulet, a candidate for Mayor of New Orleans. The lady lists specific accomplishments in her resume and specific plans in her action plan.

I remember when politicians used to give out little flyers with their platform and planks printed on the back. We'd line them up on the coffee table, talk about the individual points, and decide who we would vote for, based on the planks. Then we'd turn the little cards over and see who we were voting for. That might not have been a great system for choosing a candidate, but it worked for us.

I assume Ray Nagin is running and now I know that Virginia Boulet is running. Virginia sounds like she has her act together. She sounds like someone I could get behind. The only problem is that I am not a resident, so I really don't have a dog in this race.

If anyone else has links to mayoral sites for the upcoming New Orleans election, let me know and I'll give them a review. Right now, though, Virginia Boulet is someone who deserves a close look.

What do the NOLA residents think about her?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Old Fart Test

Go on over to The Grouchy Old Cripple and take The Old Fart Test.

I whacked it, of course. Nothing at all for a fellow of my advanced fartitude.

Hat tip to Mostly Cajun.

Enough already

I see Jimmy Carter is back in the news, with some idealogical (actually idea-illogical) thoughts on Palestine.

From CNN:
"If you sponsor an election or promote democracy and freedom around the world, then when people make their own decision about their leaders, I think that all the governments should recognize that administration and let them form their government," Carter said.
Oh, I agree.

We should recognize Hamas for what it is: a terrorist organization. I think that all governments and free people everywhere should recognize that fact. But Jimmy goes farther;
"If there are prohibitions -- like, for instance, in the United States, against giving any money to a government that is controlled by Hamas -- then the United States could channel the same amount of money to the Palestinian people through the United Nations, through the refugee fund, through UNICEF, things of that kind," he added.
This is where we differ.

For starters, the government of the United States doesn't have any money. That money is taken from people like me in the form of taxes. I don't want my tax money going to governments that are not our allies. (Actually, I'd prefer my tax money be spent at home, on things we need, but that is another rant entirely.) The people of Palestine (whatever that is) elected the terrorists of Hamas, in what looks like a democratic election. They made their choice, let them live with it.

I'm sorry that they don't have any money of their own. They made their bed, let them sleep in it. I have made choices in my lifetime that I have deeply regretted. I think that the Paleitinian people will soon regret the choice of governments, but that doesn't mean we should subsidize their bad choices.

Oh! And Jimmy Carter should go back to building houses for poor folks. It is the one thing he is good at.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


I was over at the Bayou Buzz, reading some opinions, and came upon this piece by Jeff Crouere.

Katrina and Rita roared ashore in August, dealing us a devastating blow.

Louisiana in general, and everything south of I-10 in particular has some changes to make and some problems to solve. There is no doubt that our politics and politicians need to improve. Vast portions of New Orleans are still in disaster mode. Levees are being rebuilt, but the pace of reconstruction is slow. New Orleans will soon be embroiled in a mayoral election, and the Governor has called for a special session to address problems. We face some general, statewide elections later this year.

The calendar continues to turn. June will be upon us in another four months, bringing another hurricane season. The chances are good that Louisiana will be affected by one or more hurricane during the season. History shows that we get our share.

Are the evacuation plans in place? Are we ready for another hurricane season? Have we done everything we can possibly do if, God Forbid, another killer hurricane visits our shores? These are questions we need to ask now, rather than later.

Queen Bee

Did anyone notice Governor Blanco last night on the SOTU address?

She looked like hell. Sunken eyes. Tired. I've never seen her like that.

She needs to get some rest.

Another fable

John Kerry? Who is this John Kerry that you speak of? Oh, the junior Moonbat Senator ( yes, there is a Senior Moonbat Senator also) from Massachusetts. The John Kerry that makes things up, then sears.... sears them into his brain. You remember? The one that married the ketchup heiress?

Well, he was at it again this morning. Did you know that 53% of all children don't graduate from High School? When talking to Katie Couric this morning, he said:
KERRY: That's terrific. But 53 percent of our children don't graduate from high school. Kids don't have after-school programs.
According to Drudge, that number raised eyebrows in the NBC newsroom. I guess so. The fact checkers clain that 85.9 percent of Americans under 25 have high school educations.

Why do the people from Massachusetts put up with this nitwit?