Friday, July 31, 2009


The "Cash for Clunkers" program is being canceled over government concerns that the money is going to run out. Or, maybe not. Some sources claim it'll soon be over, but Robert Gibbs says that:
they were working to "assess the situation facing what is obviously an incredibly popular program. Auto dealers and consumers should have confidence that all valid CARS transactions that have taken place to date will be honored."

At this point, we don't know.

Yet, we're going to trust the Government to run health care?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday range

I went to the range this morning, for probably the last Thursday in a long time. Next Thursday I'll be back at work.

I took the AR, my Bushmaster in .223/5.56 and made sure I had a good battlefield zero. I used the iron sights and the 25 meter zero target I downloaded here. (.pdf file. Be warned.)

Six shots and I was in the groove. If you don't need the M16A2 zero target, he's got some other targets on this page.

I enjoyed shooting the AR with irons. It took me back 34 years, to when I first put an M16A1 on sandbags. Has it been that long?

Road Hunter 360.

Now, this is a deer stand. A truck cab mounted on a lazy-susan.

The Road Hunter 360.

Great idea. Innovative.

Cash for Clunkers

If you listen to the radio, you know about the Cash for Clunkers program. Basically, if your present vehicle qualifies, you get a government rebate to buy a new car. It's a good deal if you're in the market for a vehicle. I'm not. My pickup qualifies but it's still got a couple of things going for it. It's paid for, and it's paid for. I don't need a truck note right now.

However, the program requires that the trade-in vehicle be scrapped. Really. According to The Town Talk,
The salient information, in Section 599 of the CARS Act of 2009, details how the administration wants auto dealers to permanently disable the engine in any vehicle used in the deceptively named "Cash for Clunkers" program. That's necessary to ensure a trade-in vehicle will not "be returned to use as an on-road automobile."

The legislation even provides "a quick, inexpensive, and environmentally safe process" to do the fatal deed: Drain the oil from the crankcase. Fill the crankcase with a solution of 40 percent sodium silicate and 60 percent water. Run the engine at low speeds until it is inoperable.
That would do it. It would be like running sand through the engine. Tough on the bearings.

Why disable the vehicles? The government doesn't want them back on the road.

I think this is another government program with good intentions and bad execution. It's just another government freebie.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Deer Stand

For the past several years, I've used a tripod stand as my primary stand on the lease. It's been problematic at best, primarily because I refused to tie it down and a strong wind (like Hurricane Gustav) would blow it over.

So, a this past Saturday I went to the lease and disassembled the stand to bring it home for maintenance. My son determined it was beyond repair. The legs were 16 feet tall and provided a good source of recyclable steel. (All steel is recyclable), so we decided to make a base for a box stand that I could top with a lightweight box.

It's a 4X6, which means it's 4 feet by 6 feet, with 4 foot legs. All the steel is recycled from other projects, so my material cost is virtually zero. I used some of a spool of MIG wire, so I guess I should account for that.

That's my son, the stand's architect. I listened to him while we designed the metalwork and his ideas helped a lot. It's a better foundation because of his expertise.

My hunting land is predominately mixed pine and hardwood with undergrowth of yaupon. Yaupon in this area is an understory bush that grows four to six feet high. This stand will overlook a creek crossing on a pipeline, so height isn't an issue. Four feet is plenty tall for the floor and the shooting windows will be three feet higher, for a total of seven feet. That's plenty.

It'll be big enough for PawPaw and one young'un. We needed a ladder, though and my metalworking son cobbled together a nice stair, out of scrap tubing.

It's hell-for-stout and will hold everything I need to hold. The best part is, it's fairly lightweight. I can load it in the truck without assistance and it fits easily in the bed of the pickup for transport. The rest of the stand will be modular panels that I can assemble on site.

Deer season is coming.

**UPDATE** My son told me that we used MIG wire. I fixed it in the paragraph above.

A Good Cussin'

It seems that the Gates-Crowley-Obama incident has opened a national conversation on police powers, arrest, free speech and the role of the Presidency in addressing local issues.

You can find the facts of the case just about anywhere, and Instapundit has linked to a number of articles on the conversation. His latest link is to an article by some clown named Silvergate, who addresses the Constitutional issues. Silvergate puts some time and energy discussing the pertinent law and discussing why the police shouldn't get upset when confronted by Constitutional Speech. He's right. We shouldn't get upset.

If there's one thing I've learned in 28 years of police work, it's this: It's not against the law to be rude. When I arrive at the scene of a call, no one is looking at my face. All they see is the uniform and the badge. I an not a person. I am an automaton, an Agent of the State. While I'm in uniform, I don't have the right to take anything personally. It's my job to uphold the laws and protect and serve the public.

Every cop remembers his Academy. Police academies all over the country put a lot of stress on police officers, training them, hounding them, making them sweat blood and tears. There is a good reason for the stress and the tears. Simply, the police agency wants to make sure that the officer can keep his temper. That he can perform his assigned tasks while someone is annoying him. It's not our job to become angry, or aggravated, it's our job to serve the public. If you're going to lose your cool, the place to do it is in the academy. If you're not cut out to be a cop, then the place to learn that is early in your career.

Here in Louisiana, it's one thing to give someone a good cussing in your own house. I've taken several that didn't result in an arrest. Sometimes it's good to let people vent, to work through their anger, hostility, whatever they're feeling at the moment. In times like these, someone has to be the adult and I'd prefer that it was me. However, the particularities of the law make it illegal to act in a manner that "might reasonably alarm the public" and to
"address any offensive, derisive, or annoying words to any other person who is lawfully in any street, or other public place; or call him by any offensive or derisive name, or make any noise or exclamation in his presence and hearing with the intent to deride, offend, or annoy him, or to prevent him from pursuing his lawful business, occupation, or duty;".
It's a misdemeanor that can result in arrest. So, if I'm taking a good cussing in a house, I can ask the excited person to talk with me in the front yard. If they follow me out and continue the tirade, I can arrest that person. The District Attorney might later dismiss the charge, but that doesn't mean that the charge was not valid on its face.

Police work is emotionally tough, and it's hard sometimes to remember that the anger a person shows to police officers isn't personal. All they see is the uniform, the badge and the gun. Many times I've had interactions with a person and later encountered them on the street. They didn't recognize me; had no clue who I was. When I was talking with them as a police officer, they never looked at my face. I was simply a faceless public servant with whom they wanted as little interaction as possible. I understand that. Some of those interactions were pleasant, some were not.

Yet, as angry as the citizen might be, whatever the provocation, I'm expected to keep my temper and limit my comments or actions to whatever the job requires. No more, no less. That defines the ability of the police officer.

Understand, this isn't to judge Sergeant Crowley. By all accounts, he is a fine, upstanding police officer. I wasn't there, and even though I've read his report and read commentary from the other side of the incident, I still don't know everything I'd like to know before I make a judgment. I'd like to drink a beer with Sergeant Crowley. I bet we'd share some stories, some experiences that the average American citizen simply can't comprehend.

I love my job, and I'm convinced that I'm better at it than a lot of people. I love cops and enjoy interacting with them all, because we share a common bond. Police work has been good to me over the years, allowing me to raise a family, experience life and see all the good and evil that we as a society are capable of.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Oh, Really?

Senator Voinovich has a bug up his butt. Something about Republicans being Southerners.
-The GOP’s biggest problem? “We got too many Jim DeMints (R-S.C.) and Tom Coburns (R-Ok.). It’s the southerners. They get on TV and go 'errrr, errrrr.' People hear them and say, ‘These people, they’re southerners. The party’s being taken over by southerners. What they hell they got to do with Ohio?’ ”
Ha! What's his problem? He doesn't like Southerners? Well, screw him. From what I understand he's not a Republican anyway. He's something called a RINO (Republican in name only).

It seems to me that if the party is tanking in his state, then he should be doing something about that. If it's tanking in the northeast, maybe he should work on that. We're doing fine in the South, and frankly, I don't give one big damn what he thinks of that.

To my way of thinking, the biggest problem in the Republican party is guys like Voinovich. And the horse he rode in on.

The Dog's ball

It's probably about time to put up another picture of the dog.

He has a little ball, a blue ball built like a tennis ball that he chases. I was in the kitchen and heard him fretting in the living room. The ball was under the couch, so I retrieved it for him. Of course, as soon as I pulled out the camera, he feigned total indifference to me, the ball, everything.

Here's a blurred shot of him carrying his ball.

Hey! Dog pictures work for Rachel Lucas, so why not for me?


Back in the day when we were heading to the moon, I watched every flight and shared the trivia and sadness and joys of the crews.

Nowadays, I don't even realize when we have astronauts in space. That's a shame. Those guys and gals are expanding knowledge and have some of the coolest jobs in the world.

At this link, you can find a picture of Endeavor and the Space station traversing the sun. Cool stuff.

It won't be long before the shuttle fleet is retired. Another milestone passed.

Pay attention.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cell Phones

I carry a cell phone. Most of the people in the United States carry one.

Sergeant Crowley of the Cambridge, Mass, Police Department has one. The president called him on it the other day. Crowley is the hero of this whole story. Gates and Obama are the assholes. This story is about a professional police sergeant doing his job and elitist assholes trying to make the story into something it isn't.

This post ain't about that. This post is about cell phones. Particularly my cell phone. I have a cell phone for my convenience. I pay a monthly bill on it. It's a part of modern life. But, that doesn't mean that I want to talk to every asshole who might ring me on it.

One day I left the phone in the truck. One of my many supervisors called me. Later, I was asked why I didn't answer my phone. "Because it's my phone. If you want me to answer the phone, issue me one. Until then, don't presume that I carry a cell phone. It might be in the truck, it might be on my bedside table."

If you really want to piss me off, give my cell number to someone else. I give my number to very few people. People I trust and love and care about have my cell number. My boss has my cell number, but he shouldn't assume that I want to talk to anyone else. If the President called me on my cell number, I'd probably answer the phone out of sheer curiosity, but there's no guarantee that we'd talk. The phone might be in the truck, or on my bedside table.

That's my phone. If I want to talk to you, I'll answer the phone. If I don't want to talk to you...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

.250 Savage

I know very little about the .250 Savage cartridge, except that it was supposedly the cartridge that launched the high-velocity revolution. Originally called the .250-3000, it would launch an 87 grain bullet at 3000 fps. Heady stuff.

It's a nostalgic cartridge, surpassed by many, many more capable cartridges. It shoots a 100 grain hunting bullet at about 2800 fps, depending on a number of variables.

I can see no burning reason to yearn for a .250 Savage, except that Savage is offering one in the American Classic rifle. MSRP is about $779.00.

Damn. I want one.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Busy Day

I went to second son's house today and helped him install some plumbing for a vanity in his new bathroom. When that was over, first son and I installed a top on the Mule.

I bought that thing two years ago to use on the lease, and to use at work when I needed to take a lot of steps across outside ground. I've used it for parades, football game, track meets, just about any activity at the school where I've got to cover a lot of acreage.

It didn't have a top, and that has become a handicap. Not so much for really foul weather, but for those cold mornings where the dew sets on everything. Driving through woods is like taking a bath.

Kawasaki wants a jillion dollars for a top specifically designed for my Mule. My boys, on the other hand, were able to get a piece of sign material. It's two pieces of 1/32d aluminum sandwiched around a piece of 1/16th high-impact plastic. We cut a 5' X 6' piece and clamped it to the top of the mule with pipe straps. It's a clean installation.

When we got finished, it was nearly happy hour at PawPaw's house, so Milady sent me to the store for ribeye steaks while she steamed some broccoli and baked a few potatoes.

PawPaw's stuffed, and it'll soon be bedtime.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cold Barrel

I went to the range this morning with the guns and ammo I plan to hunt with this season. I wanted to fire one shot from a cold, clean barrel and see where it hit the target.

It's one thing to fire groups, and firing for group size is fine, but many rifles will put the first bullet our of a cold, clean barrel into one spot and the remaining bullets in another spot. I know both of my Savage hunting rifles will do that. It's a confidence builder to know where that first bullet is going, and I found out.

They both shot 1" high at 100 yards, both the .30-06 and the .243, just a tad right of center. Here's the .30-06. Just for the record, both of those targets are 2" dots, 100 yards from the muzzle.

That's a 168 grain bullet traveling something over 2800 fps. According to my ballistic program I'll stay withing 3" of the aiming point out to 300 yards, and I'll not pull the trigger on any game animal past 300 yards.

And here's the .243.

On both rifles, the next three shots went into the lower left of the target dot. The .30-06 turned in the best three shot group it's ever shot, at 0.539". These rifles are being cleaned as I type paragraphs and they'll be put away and ready for the hunting season.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Drop Tube

Sometimes, when we're reloading we find a particular load combination that requires a compressed load. Compressed loads occur when the powder intrudes on the space where the bullet comes into contact with the powder charge. These loads are not necessarily unsafe and can be found in most reloading manuals with a small "C" after the load data.

I guess it's time for the standard reloading disclaimer:
Reloading and use of reloaded ammunition can be hazardous. Read up on safety procedures and seek competent instruction. Wear safety equipment such as eyeshield and gloves. The author assumes no liability for other persons who may use methods or data in this article. PawPaw assumes no liability for persons who may use methods or data in this article. We are all adults here, and are expected to know the dangers inherent in our hobby. If you are a minor, please talk with a responsible adult before enjoying the hobby of reloading. This is an advanced reloading technique and should be used with a full knowledge of the dangers and risk inherent in reloading. If you can't follow directions or understand the cautions, then you should click here.
Now that we've read the cautions, it's time to talk about drop tubes. This is an old technique that the black-powder shooters used to add powder to a load. They're sold commercially and can be used for black powder and smokeless powder.

Drop tubes don't compress the powder, but they align the granules and assist in more closely filling the available case capacity. I don't like compressing loads, I feel that the powder was manufactured to perform a certain way, and crushing granules is probably a bad idea. So, drop tubes are useful to settle the powder into the case.

At some point last year, I decided that I needed a drop tube to occasionally load a particular load in .30-06. The published load data told me that the load, as it approached the upper levels, would require compressed powder.

I don't like compressing powder granules, So, I decided to make a drop tube. My considerations were that it must be of non-sparking material because any build-up of static electricity can be bad juju when using gunpowder. Sparks are bad. I hied myself down to the local hardware store and purchased a small piece of copper pipe and some step-up fittings. A few minutes with a soldering torch and I had cobbled together a serviceable drop tube, an extended funnel. I camfered the lower end with a VLD camfer tool and aggressively camfered the tube so that it would fit snugly on brass. Total time of construction was about one hour. Total cost was well under $10.00 US.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Again, I'm not recommending that you exceed the load recommendations from the various powder or bullet manufacturers. But, a drop tube is a very good addition to the advanced reloader's bench.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I took a few minutes today to update my firearms inventory. It's a good idea to keep a list of firearms and other valuables you might have around the house. In case of burglary or other disaster. It's also a good idea to handle all of your firearms regularly. Firearms, like other tools, need routine attention.

I've got them all listed, but I have to remember to add Milady's shotgun to the list when it comes back from the shop.

What I thought would take a few minutes turned into an hour or so. It's amazing that when you handle firearms, you have to take a minute to peer down the barrel and wipe an oily rag across everything. I saw some firearms that needed attention, so they got a good cleaning.

The last of them is sitting on the counter on the cleaning box. I'm letting the Hoppe's soak for the second go-round. In a few minutes I'll start pushing patches.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pawn Shop Circuit

I took Milady's shotgun to the gunsmith today. We've had it in the storage cabinet and I took it out last week for routine cleaning and function check. It didn't function correctly. The shotgun in question is a Savage/Stevens pump shotgun in .410. Milady got it as a gift from her father in about 1965. She used it to hunt squirrels with her daddy and when we got married it was stored with all the other guns.

I noticed that the action would cycle if you pushed the action release, but if you squeezed the trigger the action remained locked. It wouldn't cycle normally until you pushed the action release. I asked her about it and she said that it "always hung-up a little bit." The gunsmith said he'd give it a good cleaning, see if he could find the problem, and fix it if possible. I trust him to do the best he can.

Then, I hit the pawnshops, seeing what's available. There are several things I'm always looking for. I didn't find any of them today. If you're in the market for a pump shotgun or a .30-06 bolt gun, the pawn shops have plenty. If you're not in the market, the pickings are slim. I am starting to see more ARs in the stores and the supply of military surplus bolt actions suprised me. I saw a US Model 1917 with a synthetic stock. And Moisin's aplenty. But, I didn't see anything on my short list.

I kept my money in my pocket and came home.

Forty Years

One small step for a man.

Where was I when Neal Armstrong took that first step?

Like everyone else, I was home watching it on television. I was fifteen years old and had faithfully followed all of the space program. I wouldn't have missed that telecast for anything.


Drudge reports that the US Department of Agriculture spent money buying ham and Sec Ag Tom Vilsak confirms the report.
In fact, the contract in question purchased 760,000 pounds of ham for $1.191m, at a cost of approximately $1.50 per pound. In terms of the dairy purchase referenced, USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) purchased 837,936 pounds of mozzarella cheese and 4,039,200 pounds of processed cheese.
Vilsak defends it saying that the food products will be sent to food banks and commodity programs to feed those who don't have food available.

I think that if I were buying 3/4 of a million pounds of processed ham, I could probably get it cheaper than $1.50 per pound.

Then again, this could be pork in the budget. Technically, it is pork.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


This morning after church I decided to give the Savage 30-06 a good cleaning.

How many patches does it take to clean the barrel of a rifle? It depends how dirty it was before you started. I didn't count, but I'd soak it in Hoppe's, the brush it, then run patches, then repeat, over and over. I finally got three patches in a row to come out clean, so I put it away. For a while, I was getting that green copper color on the patches, so I was getting some jacket fouling. When the last three patches came out clean, I threw away a handful of used patches.

While I was waiting for the Hoppe's to work between scrubbings, I gave the church website a good cleaning. It's been several months since I paid any attention to it, so I went in and took care of basic housekeeping.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cajun Joke

We Cajuns like to tell jokes. Our antagonists are usually Boudreaux and Thibodeaux, two long-time friends. This one is from friend Bob, who sends me these things.
Boudreaux enters Thibodeaux's barbershop for a shave. While Thibodeaux is foaming him up, Boudreaux mentions the problems he has getting a close shave around the cheeks.

Thibodeaux said, "Mais, I'm got just the ting", taking a small wooden ball from a nearby drawer. "Just place dis between your cheek and gum."

Boudreaux places the ball in his mouth, and Thibodeaux proceeds with the closest shave Boudreaux has ever experienced. After a few strokes, Boudreaux asks, "Mais, what if I swallow it?"

"No problem," says Thibodeaux. "Just bring it back tomorrow like everyone else does."

But that's illegal!

How could this have possibly happened? We all know that it's illegal to have guns in Chicago. So, this couldn't possibly be true? The newspaper is making it all up.

Mayor Daley, with his phalanx of bodyguards, is probably safe. The rest of us just have to fend for ourselves.

Hat Tip to David Codrea.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ol' Joe

You know, I've spent a fair amount of time in bars. Smokey honky-tonks. I like a good bar, and in every good bar, there's one fellow like our Vice President, who spouts nonsense on a regular basis. Like today, for example.
“Well, people that I say that to say, ‘What are you talking about, you’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’” Biden said. “The answer is yes, I’m telling you.”
Yeah, he said that.

There's a reason a guy like Cliff Claven is so stereotypical, because stereotypes often have a kernel of truth in them.

If I knew Joe from the little lounge down the street, I'd buy him a drink every time I went in. Just to hear what he'd say next. I bet he's a hoot at cabinet meetings.


It's raining today. A big thunderstorm blew up in the past ten minutes and buckets are descending on my little acre.

I guess I don't have to water the plants I planted on Monday. They're getting moisture as nature intended. Hopefully the rain will moderate the temperatures, although I just stepped out into the garage and it's muggy as all get-out.

This will probably pass soon, though if it decided to settle in for the evening, I wouldn't be disappointed. We need the rain.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Deer Season

By my calculations, the deer season in Louisiana begins in something like 15 weeks. Just barely enough time to get ready. It'll be here before we know it. I live and hunt in Area 2, so the primitive season begins on October 24th, which will limit me to my .45-70. The general gun season starts on October 31 and runs until January 17th. Then we'll have one more week of primitive weapon hunting and the season will close on January 24th. That's over 90 days of deer hunting. We're extremely lucky in Louisiana to have such generous seasons.

Still, it's time to get ready. I'll go to the range tomorrow and do a little shooting with my primary deer rifle, the Savage 110 in .30-06.

It's not a stock Savage any more. You may recall that I dropped this rifle out of my deer stand last year and broke the stock. It's now got a new walnut stock and it's been bedded and floated to the barrel nut. I've done a fair amount of load development and know that the rifle is capable of good accuracy. But, I haven't fired the rifle in several months and it's time to start practice. Especially with that all-important cold barrel shot.

It doesn't matter so much where the rifle shoots with a warm barrel. I need to know that the first shot is going where I want it to go.

It'll be August in a couple of weeks and toward the first weeks of September, I'll need to have my feeders installed and the shooting lanes cleared. My stand needs some maintenance. I'm toying with the idea of installing a box blind over a known deer trail. Then there's scouting and hiking and learning about movement and herd size.

In short, there's lots to do. It's time to start getting ready.


As regular readers know, I married a daughter this past weekend. It was a lovely event that culminated months of planning, decorating, construction, and the joys, hopes and dreams of the young couple.

As the father of the bride I had certain obligations and my part would not have been possible without the aid and assistance of friends and family who loaned things like tables, chairs, cooking implements and other impedimenta that were important to the occasion. My enduring thanks to everyone who made the event possible.

The morning after the wedding I began returning those loaned items, one truck load at a time, beginning with tables and chairs that I borrowed from the church. Between the clean-up and the load-hauling, it has fairly consumed the past three days. This morning I finished the last of it with an errand I had promised my daughter.

As Morgan Freeman says so eloquently at the end of Robin Hood, "I have fulfilled my vow."

Big Charity

According to the Associated Press, Charity Hospital in New Orleans was ready to use weeks after Hurricane Katrina did its tap dance on New Orleans.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Weeks after Hurricane Katrina slammed New Orleans and worsened the medical plight of the city's poor, then-Gov. Kathleen Blanco said the publicly run Charity Hospital would not reopen, even though the military had scrubbed the building to medical-ready standards, the retired Army general who oversaw the work said.
That retired Army General is Russ Honore, the 3-star who came to New Orleans and told reporters to not "get stuck on stupid".

More than that, a second general officer remembers the political decision.
When the 82nd Airborne Division arrived in the ravaged city in early September 2005, Charity was identified as key. It was in the center of town and provided a lot of people care, said the division's commander, Gen. William Caldwell.
That's the Army's All-American division. An elite airborne division ready immediately for world-wide deployment.
About 150 soldiers and a team of medical professionals worked to get the hospital running, Caldwell said.

Meanwhile, a German military team's pumps sucked water out of the basement. Air sampling found no contamination — a concern, considering the flooding and bodies in the flooded morgue, Caldwell said.

Caldwell recalled telling Honore the hospital was nearly ready to receive patients. "We were actually thinking of having a ribbon-cutting ceremony, give a thumbs up and turn it over to the health care professionals," Caldwell said.

But then, Caldwell said a decision came to stop the cleanup.
So, that's now two General Officers who remember the decision. The 82d got it up and running, the politicos shut it down.

Typical. Blanco was a disaster for Louisiana, on so many levels.

Hat tip to Mostly Cajun.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Killing Yamamoto

There's a brouhaha pending wherein we learn that the CIA had a plan to target and kill high level terrorist operatives of Al-Queda under the Bush Administration. Some folks think that this is a violation of the law. I understand that Speaker Pelosi is outraged to learn of such a plan and that she was never briefed on the operation. She has okay'ed a Congressional probe into the matter.

I am continually amazed that Pelosi is so stupid. This is nothing new.

Let's regard the facts. Al-Qaeda has said that they're at war with the United States and intend to defeat us. They launched the first strike in what we call the War on Terror by flying jet airliners into the World Trade Towers on September 11, 2001.

The United States has a history of "cutting the head from the snake". We've been trying to target Osama bin Laden and his second in command Ayman al-Zawahiri since the beginning of the recent hostility. The third man in Al-Qaeda is historically the chief of operations in Iraq and that post has a long history of short successions. We kill those guys fairly regularly.

This isn't anything new, and only an idiot would assume that such an operation doesn't exist.

Hostorically, we've been doing this for years. As one notable example, I would propose Operation Vengeance wherein the US Navy got intelligence that told them that Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto of the Imperial Japanese Navy would be on an inspection tour in the vicinity of the Solomon Islands. Admiral Yamamoto was the Commander in Chief of Japan's navy and killing him would deal a serious blow to their war effort. Yamamoto has also been instrumental in planning the attack on Pearl Harbor, so payback played a big part in our motivation to kill him.

We sent planes over and shot his butt down. That was certainly a targeted killing of a high level Japanese official. No one, not one single soul, complained that killing him wasn't legal. No one even suggested that the operation was improper. We were at war with Japan and intended to kill or capture their forces.

We kill the enemy. If Pelosi needs to be briefed on that, then she is as dumb as a sack full of hammers.

Anyone who claims that killing the enemy is illegal should be reviled as imbeciles.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Lock Failure

You know, those little locks they put on Smith and Wesson revolvers to keep them safe. Well, guys have been complaining for years that they sometimes tend to lock in the middle of a string of fire.

If you follow Michael Bane, you know he does a lot of shooting. I read his blog regularly and it seems that he caught a lock failure on film.
Also,WE GOT AN S&W LOCK FAILURE ON FILM! Flag popped up and caught the hammer as it fell. We'll get it transfered out of HD and into an MPEG to post on DRTV as soon as possible.
Interesting. Very interesting.

I don't own any revolvers with idiot locks. I won't own any revolvers with idiot locks. My son has a Taurus revolver with the lock, but he hasn't had any issues with it.

Evidence Rooms

Evidently, the NOPD is having trouble in their evidence rooms. Some $200K is missing. And Riley didn't know that he had to account for the money. Yeah, right!
NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans police officials apparently knew more than $200,000 was missing from the department's evidence and property room but failed to notify the proper authorities in writing, according to a state audit released Monday.

New Orleans Police Superintendent Warren Riley didn't know a state law required his department to provide the Louisiana legislative auditor and the city's district attorney with a written notice of any missing public funds, Legislative Auditor Steve Theriot wrote in a letter to city officials.
Anybody who's been a cop for any length of time knows what a monumental headache it is to properly secure evidence. Riley's been a cop for a while. If he didn't know how to take care of evidence then he should have asked for help. There are experts everywhere and a request for assistance would not have gone unanswered.

One old cop once told me that an evidence room will get you fired quicker than just about anything else in law enforcement. My experience reinforces the homily. The proper evidence custodian is one part accountant and one part son-of-a-bitch.

I hate to tell Riley this, but if he's missing money from his evidence rooms, he's missing drugs, too. He really needs to get in there and get a good inventory, audit it against police reports and put someone in charge who reports only to the Chief.

Pulled Pork

My sister, Margaret, introduced me to pulled pork, which is simply a shredded pork roast. I've been playing with my own recipe, being a lazy sort, and I've been fairly successful, to the point that family requests it for large gatherings. It's one of the easy recipes. I use a ceramic-lined slow cooker. (Crock-pot is a registered trademark)

Pulled Pork

One pork roast, boston butt or whatever.
Beer- six ounces
Meat rub. I use Tony's Creole Seasoning,but you can use what's available.
Kraft Original Barbeque Sauce

Drop the roast into the cooker and liberally sprinkle it with seasoning. Pour the beer over the roast. Set it on LOW and leave it for six or eight hours. What I normally do is start the process at about bedtime and let the roast cook until daylight. Then, put the roast on a tray and shred it (pull it), using two forks. I take out the residual fat as I shred the meat. Mix just enough barbeque sauce into the shredded meat to suit yourself. I use a little less sauce than others might.

Serve with rolls and let the guests make their own sandwiches. Bon apetit!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday afternoon shotguns

I've got one son in from Florida, visiting for his sister's wedding and two sons living locally.

This afternoon we took the shotguns to the Woodworth range and shot five-stand skeet. Good times.

All three boys on the line, a case of shells, and a good friend pulling trap. We shot two rounds each and laughed and lied and hoo-raahed, and generally bonded with each other.

I rented a frozen daiquiri machine for the wedding and I've got to take it back tomorrow morning. After the shotgun shooting we decided to crank up that frozen wonder and make a batch of margaritas. We're drinking frozen margaritas, eating pulled pork, and watching the kids splash in the pool.

If life was any better than this, I'd have to pay amusement tax.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Steppin Fetchit

I've been Steppin Fetchit all day long, and in just another hour we're heading to the airport to pick up family coming in for the wedding.

If blogging suffers, PawPaw will be back after daughter is married Saturday evening. I'm looking forward to a couple of weeks without any obligations before I have to head back to work during the first week of August.


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Health Care

Ooh, I like this proposal:
The only cure for the pending “health care” bills in Congress is a Federal mandate that every member of the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches (from the top right down to GS-1) shall have only the level of care that a civilian of age 65 is allowed.
That's from Comments over at the Belmont Club. I'm not sure how to properly accredit the idea, but it's a great one.

Everyone should call their Senator with this idea. It's a great one.

**UPDATE** I emailed Senator Landrieu with this idea. We'll see how it proceeds.

600, huh?

Police estimate that 600 people showed up for Jacko's funeral.
LAPD estimates that there was a crowd of just 600 people outside the Staples Center. CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy said there were less than 1,000 people outside.

Police was prepared to handle 250,000. Three thousand LAPD officers were assigned to the memorial. That's more than were on hand for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
Three thousand officers assigned to handle 600 people? I've handled more people than that with two officers at a basketball game. Of course, I was expecting 600 people. Crowds at my hometown basketball games are easy to predict.

I bet that the LAPD was in full crowd control mode, with detailed charts and officer assignments. 3,000 officers assigned. 600 people showed up. Those officers made some good overtime. Nothing to do but stand on the corner and wave at people. That's a good detail.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

California Supports Heller

It's kind of a left-handed amicus brief as those things go, but the AG from California, Jerry Brown has filed an amicus brief supporting certiorari.

Oh, but God Forbid, he doesn't want unfettered rights. No sir.
The petitions in these cases should be granted to provide needed guidance on the scope of the States’ ability to reasonably regulate firearms while extending to the states Heller’s core Second-Amendment holding that government cannot deny citizens the right to possess handguns in their homes.
He wants to know how far he can go in restricting the rights of his fellow citizens.

We note with some interest that California has no constitutional provision addressing the right to bear arms.

We in Louisiana aren't burdened with such a lack. From Article 1 of the Louisiana Constitution:
Section 11. The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged, but this provision shall not prevent the passage of laws to prohibit the carrying of weapons concealed on the person.
California would do well to adopt a similar citation.

Do we need more lawyers?

Anonymous asks, in comments:
Do we really need more lawyers? I once heard a statistic that America has more lawyers than the rest of the world combined. That may be a bit of hyperbole, but it does make me question the wisdom of making it easier to obtain a law degree. Wouldn't we be far better off with more skilled laborers, engineers, etc. than more lawyers?
Good question, but that wasn't really the thrust of the post.

The question of how many lawyers to we need is appropriate to the market. Market forces will decide how many lawyers we need. A wise man once told me (and he was probably quoting from Mark Twain) that if there was one lawyer in a little town, he'd starve to death, but if there were two, they'd both make a good living. But again, that's not the point of the discussion.

The concern is that law school is no longer available to a great number of people. One of the concerns that some folks have in the political arena is that there seems to be a gentry class on the ascension in the United States. It's the old canard about the privileged few and the unwashed masses. The privileged few (the Gentry) get to make the rules and the unwashed masses can only aspire to rise above their station. One of the common motivators in the US is that anyone can rise to be better educated, better earners than their parents and that we have a gentry of achievement rather than a gentry of birth. Education and personal drive are the two basic prerequisites to success in this country.

So, the question becomes: Are we better served by attorneys who descend from a particular economic class and are able to afford to spend three years preparing to pass the bar exam, or would we be better served by having attorneys from a wider economic pool? Do we want law schools to follow the public-service model? Is the law not designed to protect everyone? Should not everyone be allowed the opportunity to participate? Understand, I'm not recommending that we dilute the standards for entry, just that the pool of potential students be as wide and deep as possible.

Another question in the debate is not so much do we have enough (or too many) lawyers, but do we have the right kind of lawyers?

I agree that generally the country is served best by those folks who are productive, who build things that need building and fix things that need fixing. We need folks from all walks of life, all doing what they do best to make this country a productive, inventive and technologically advance society. Someone still needs to dig the ditches and haul the garbage. We won't argue about that.

Thanks for helping me sort through my thoughts.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Went to the dance, but didn't get kissed.

When I wrote the Law School post this morning, it was based on an Instapundit post that I linked. I decided to write Glenn Reynolds and he quoted my entire email in Instapundit, but I didn't get a link.

Damn! I wonder how many hits that would have generated?

Reading back through my email to him, I'm amazed at how many typos I made. If I were grading that paper I'd give it a C-. I really need to learn to proofread more thoroughly.

But, no Insta-lanche. Damn!

But that's illegal

Looks like someone got shot on Beale Street in Memphis this weekend.

But that's illegal!

Strange, that. Beale Street is a gun-free zone. It's a gun-free zone if you're a law abiding citizen. For a criminal, not so much.

Hat Tip, Say Uncle.

Law School

I was surfing the net on this rainy morning and came to Instapundit, where he linked to an article about Law School. Evidently, there is some debate in the academic community about how we train attorneys and I think it's high time that such a debate comes to fruition. Some guy named Lippe has proposed what he called Law School 4.0, a proposal that would restructure the way that lawyers are trained.

I'm not a lawyer, but I've beaten lawyers at their own game, back when I was a Probation Officer. I even toyed with the idea of going to law school, but as a young struggling parent, I realized that taking three years of my life would burden my family with financial liabilities that we might not overcome.

While I was thinking about law school, there were three burdens in Louisiana that made going to law school impossible.

1) I live in north-central Louisiana and there are no law schools in the area. The closest law school is in Baton Rouge. I would have to move my family or live away from them during the time when I was in school.

2) At the time, (and this may still be the case), the established law schools required that a first-year student not be employed in the traditional sense. Families require sustenance and a certain amount of cash flow. While the romantic ideal of the poverty stricken student is certainly appealing in some circles, the kids still need to eat and be clothed.

3)Law school is expensive. Not working, while taking on a mountain of debt, would burden the family after law school.

Before you argue that if it was truly my dream, I would have found a way. That's certainly true. However, the current law school scenario virtually requires that a student be supported from the outside while studying for three years. Certainly for the first year.

If it is the desire of the legal community to attract the best and the brightest, then these three objections must be overcome. If the intention of the legal community is to maintain the status quo, then they need to do nothing. However, there is a debate going on.

I can go to night school in any number of professions, including business, education, and the clergy, all the while taking care of my family and parenting obligations. Lots of people study in their spare time and the quality of the education doesn't suffer. If one of the local universities offered a night-time law school that took five years to complete, there might be a lot of people from diverse background that would apply.

And, the question is still being debated.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Oooh, Snap!

We all recall that Governor Palin recently resigned from office and will soon hold no elective or appointed office. That makes her a private citizen, and private citizens can operate under different rules from public citizens. I'm no lawyer, but it seems that the media might soon learn the difference.
To the extent several websites, most notably liberal Alaska blogger Shannyn Moore, are now claiming as “fact” that Governor Palin resigned because she is “under federal investigation” for embezzlement or other criminal wrongdoing, we will be exploring legal options this week to address such defamation. This is to provide notice to Ms. Moore, and those who re-publish the defamation, such as Huffington Post, MSNBC, the New York Times and The Washington Post, that the Palins will not allow them to propagate defamatory material without answering to this in a court of law. The Alaska Constitution protects the right of free speech, while simultaneously holding those “responsible for the abuse of that right.” Alaska Constitution Art. I, Sec. 5. These falsehoods abuse the right to free speech; continuing to publish these falsehoods of criminal activity is reckless, done without any regard for the truth, and is actionable.
It's one thing to ramble on about the possible motives of a public citizen, they have very little recourse. A private citizen? Not so much. Private Citizen Palin might soon own a couple of nice media outlets.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Saturday, the Fourth

I know, it's the Fourth of July, but there will be a wedding at PawPaw's house next Saturday, the 11th. My daughter is getting married in the back yard and we're busy. This morning I spent the cooler hours trying to whip the back yard into shape and mow the grass that I didn't mow this week. It's coming along and we'll be ready for the preacher on Saturday afternoon come hell or high water.

When I'm at the computer, the dog is apt to come stand beside me and demand scratching. I tried to take a picture with the cheesy little camera I use, but it hangs-fire. You press the button and nothing. It takes the picture when it decides to take the picture. Here's my best effort.

That camera does the same thing with grandkids and someday soon I'm going to pull the pin and spring for a digital SLR. That format camera isn't as easy to carry as the little pocket camera, but when you pull the trigger it fires. Sometimes that's important for candid shots.

We'll do the rockets-red-glare thing this evening. Our dear friend, the mayor of Pollock has invited us to his town celebration this evening with hot dogs and fireworks. We're taking the grandkids.

That ought to be a hoot.

Palin Resigns

Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska, took us all by surprise and resigned yesterday. Her reasons are particularly her own and are fueling speculation all over the internet.

I doubt she'll ever run again for national office. The treatment of her in the media was... well... deplorable. Letterman made exceedingly crude jokes about her family and I feel that he was simply mimicking the cruel jokes that are bandied about water coolers all over the country.

I voted for Sarah. My vote for that ticket was more for her than for John McCain. I liked her and hoped that she'd get a fair chance at national office. I never thought that she was part of the political class that I so revile and I admired her grace under pressure and the common roots from which she sprang.

Some say that some un-named scandal is set to erupt, but I think that if there was a scandal we'd have heard of it. The longer is goes without surfacing, the less likely a scandal is to surface.

No, I suspect that she decided that political life was placing too big a burden on her character, her reputation and her family. That some things are more important than elective office and she decided to retire into private life. That is certainly an option for every office-holder and more should avail themselves of the opportunity.

Sarah's resignation disappoints me, but it shows that if you put someone under the microscope and make their family fair game, none of us can hope to flourish under that type of scrutiny.

So, that leaves us with the type person who will do anything, say anything, endure anything to gain and maintain public office. Those are precisely the type people who we should not want in public office. Yet we continue to elect those people.

It's a damned shame.

Friday, July 03, 2009

The Senate Race

I haven't been paying attention, but I'm pretty sure we'll have a Senate race soon. At any rate, there is a movement to draft Stormy Daniels to run against David Vitter. Daniels is a porn star and is active in that industry. Vitter is a career politician who patronizes prostitutes. Daniels is up-front about what she does. Vitter is less so.

Stormy was in Lafayette recently and the Advertiser captured this video of her visit. She was at Barney's Firearm and Range. Barney's is a well known police supply store, and sells to the general public.

Junior says he'll vote for Stormy over Vitter. There are good arguments to make for electing someone who is NOT a career politician. There are good arguments to make to elect someone who has been in business. There are good arguments to make for taking our government back from what seems to be a perpetual political class. Vitter and Landrieu are a part of that political class. I'd like to see that entire class unemployed and on the bread line.

I mean that in the good way.

UPDATE** I had to turn the vido off, it was simply too intrusive.

Thursday, July 02, 2009


I am reminded that today one of the seminal military actions in US history occurred. By this time (5:22 p.m.) on July 2, 1863, Joshua Chamberlin has successfully defended Little Round Top and John Bell Hood was in the hospital, losing an arm.

Armchair historians and military buffs have long debated and will long speculate on what might have happened if General Lee had let Hood swing to the right and get behind the Union army. That speculation is all nonsense, because that didn't happen. Hood went up the hill and Chamberlin fought him off.

On the morrow, Pickett will launch his division into history and the retreat from Gettysburg will mark the beginning of the end for the Confederacy.

It is good to remember these things.

Thurday Remodeling

I spent the majority of the day, along with most of the days this week, helping second son remodel his house. We've spent the last three days in the master bath, and it's still a long way from being finished. Of course, neither of us are plumbers, or electricians, or carpenters, yet we've struggled bravely along ripping out walls, building new walls, setting a bathtub, running electricity to the bathtub, installing running water, building half-walls, and cussing like ship-wrecked sailors.

It's been a time for bonding. Oh, yeah. The bathroom is generally the smallest room in the house and it's got the most stuff going on. Lots of water and drains and lights.

He's on vacation this week, so we're hitting it hard every day, and we're getting a lot of work done, even if the untrained eye can't see it. It's looking better and before long it'll be done.

Temps outside have been unreasonably hot, the thermometer on my truck today said that the outside temp was 104. I don't doubt it. Before I got home it had dropped to a balmy 102. Now there's a thunderstorm brewing and the wind is blowing, moderating the heat nicely.

I haven't read a newspaper in the past week, so I don't know what Obama or Congress is doind. Frankly, I don't care.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Gun grabbers

Two stories in this morning's news give me pause for thought. More Slippery Slopes.

The first, from Drudge, talks about the Feds going house-to-house in Houston, TX.
In front of a run-down shack in north Houston, federal agents step from a government sedan into 102-degree heat and face a critical question: How can the woman living here buy four high-end handguns in one day?
The better question becomes: why is the Federal government interested in who buys what guns when? If this was a legal purchase, and there's nothing in the article to suggest that the purchases weren't legal, what business is it of anyone, much less the government?

The second article is linked through Chad Rogers, The Dead Pelican, and talks about the mayor of Shreveport, LA and his personal war on guns.
Any time a motorist is stopped by a police officer, insists Shreveport, Louisiana Mayor Cedric Glover, "Your rights ... have been suspended." This includes not only the freedom of movement, but also, in the event the officer inquires as to whether the driver is carrying a weapon, "Your right to be able to hold on to your weapon and say whether [you] have a weapon or not" – as well as the right to retain possession of that weapon, should the officer decide to confiscate it from you.

Should you choose not to answer the question, or answer it in the negative, the officer could still choose, "in the interest of officer safety, to secure you in a safe position" – this most likely means outside the car with your hands cuffed behind your back – "and then do an appropriate inspection of your vehicle."

The phrase "appropriate inspection" is more honestly rendered "Unconstitutional warrantless search."
Mayor Glover needs to be smacked down hard for this one, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Shreveport PD in particular and Mayor Glover in general didn't soon find themselves as the defendants in a federal civil rights lawsuit.

Taken together, these two articles combine to show a distinct disregard for the civil rights of citizens at both the federal and local level.

They told me that if I voted for McCain in the presidential race, my civil rights might be in jeopardy. They were right.

Time to call

I need to call Mary Landrieu. She's one of my Senators and I'm not convinced that she's seen the error of her ways, yet.

No, I don't intend to vote for her. She's a Landrieu. I don't vote for Landrieus.

Still, that new tax the Obama administration wants is going to the Senate and I need to tell Mary how to vote. And that Health Care thing that Obama keeps talking about. She needs to vote against that also.

You see, the problem is that Mary is a New Orleans Democrat, and she may not realize that cap-and-trade will kill the oil industry. Kill the refining industry. Lead us from a recession into a depression, and will be a direct repudiation of the campaign promises that Obama made. It's a tax as sure as the devil is evil. A regressive tax that pounds the poorest the hardest.

I found this over at If that isn't regressive, I've never seen it.

I doubt her offices are open this early. Senators probably don't start their day as early as I do. I'll call later today, but Mary gets a phone call.

Vitter you ask? I'm not voting for him either, but I'm not concerned with the way he'll vote.

**Update** I called her office in Washington, (202)224-5824 and spoke to a staffer. I told the staffer to tell the Senator that I'd like her to vote NO on cap-and-trade and NO on universal health care. The staffer said she'd pass it along.