Saturday, March 31, 2012

Southern Democrat

Our Louisiana Attorney General, Buddy Caldwell, is a bit of an idiot. He claims to be a Republican, but then endorses a full-scale government takeover of the health care system.
ThinkProgress spoke with Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell outside the Supreme Court on Wednesday. Caldwell opposes Obamacare and the individual mandate, but for a different reason than most of his fellow litigants: it props up the private health insurance industry. “Insurance companies are the absolute worst people to handle this kind of business,” he declared. “I trust the government more than insurance companies.” Caldwell went on to endorse the idea of a single-payer health care system, saying it’d “be a whole lot better” than Obamacare:
If Caldwell is a conservative, then I'm Ghandi's nephew. Buddy Caldwell came up under the same populist, Southern Democrat system that I came up under. He was a Democrat until 2011, then switched over to the Republican party to avoid a challenger. He also picks guitar and does Elvis impersonations. His entire political career has been one of entertainment and accommodation.

This is what we've got to deal with in Louisiana. In addition to Katrina Mary, Diaper Dave, and Dumbass Rodney, I guess we should include Buddy the Impersonator. Louisiana politicians make us very proud.

Family Pictures

Digging around in an box of old stuff, I came across this picture.

I thought my sisters might get a kick out of it. Y'all do know how to save a picture off the computer?

I'm a sick, sick man

It turns out that there's this conference in London where people are talking about climate and there's this professor from Oregon who says that climate deniers are sick.
Professor Kari Norgaard, who is currently appearing at the ‘Planet Under Pressure’ conference in London, has presented a paper in which she argues that “cultural resistance” to accepting the premise that humans are responsible for climate change “must be recognized and treated” as an aberrant sociological behavior.
Recognised and treated, huh? Lemme tell you about "recognized and treated".

When I saw the picture of the good professor, the first thing I thought was, "She needs to get those teeth floated." Anyone who's been in the horse business knows that for an equine to be thrifty with their food, the teeth must be floated so that the grinding action is consistent.

While I had her at the vet, I'd go ahead and have her fit for a hackamore. Then all we'd need is a good blanket, and check her gait. Maybe we could teach her to neck-rein.

Aberrant sociological behavior, indeed.

Ouxouiga Lodge

Back in my mis-spent youth, I was a Boy Scout and during my later years, became part of a society known as the Order of the Arrow. I was inducted into the Order as a youth and became very active in the lodge during my late teens and early 20s. After moving away, growing up, and having children of my own, I got involved in Scouting again and was a Scoutmaster for a troop of boys in Natchitoches, LA. I'm very proud to say that during my tenure, we made 12 Eagle Scouts in the course of four years.

My first Lodge, my home Lodge, was Ouxouiga Lodge, #264 and when I came back to central Louisiana I found that it had been absorbed into another lodge during a Scouting re-organization. Old Ouxouiga Lodge no longer exists, but a number of us old Scouters have memorabilia.

Earlier this week, a fellow that I remember as a kid called me. He's doing research on old Ouxouiga and is picking the brains of old Scouters. He wanted to come by the house and interview me, and I told him I'd drag some stuff from the attic and we'd talk.

I've gone into the attic and found the box with the memorabilia. Cups, patches, pins, old stuff I'd forgotten I had. The kid will be here at noon and we'll spend an hour or so walking through memory lane.

Are Some Cartridges More Accurate Than Others?

Dave Petzal explores this question over at Field and Stream, and comes to basically the same conclusion that I've come to. No, basically, a cartridge is just a container for powder and bullet.

Some cartridges seem to shoot more accurately than others, but that's because some cartridges are made into accurate rifles, and some companies make really fine match components. Careful attention to detail, both in assembling the rifle and assembling the ammo, makes an accurate combination, but sometimes it's impossible to assemble match ammunition from over-the-shelf components. When's the last time you saw match-quality .30-30 brass, or match quality .35 Remington brass? I don't believe that Lapua or Hornady make much of it. On the other hand, match .308 brass is fairly ease to come by, and I'd bet that each and every piece of 6BR brass is match quality. If your brass isn't consistent, you'll probably not get stellar accuracy, although many of us get great accuracy from the .30-30. I've shot some groups with a bone stock M94 that would make tactical competitors proud. I've got a Marlin 336 that will put a 200 grain .35 caliber bullet into two inches all day long at 100 yards, and that with a 2X scope. If I could see the target and had a match barrel on the rifle, it might do very well indeed.

The most important part of accuracy is the nut behind the trigger. If the ammo is carefully assembled and fired through a good barrel, the difference in the target will be the difference between the riflemen. A guy that shoots 1000 rounds a year will probably shoot better than the guy who shoots 20 rounds per year.

In 1989 I found myself commanding a SWAT team as an additional duty at Fort Polk, LA. Our marksman was issued two rifles, one built on a Remington 700 action, and another built on a Winchester 70 action. The shooter's name was Williams. One day we were out shooting and he was making bug-holes at 100 yards with his Remington. He complained to me that the rifle wasn't right. His bug-holes were bigger than they should be. In the nature of SWAT teams, I told him to quit complaining and shoot the equipment he was issued. But, after the exercise, we boxed-up the rifle and sent it to the AMU at Fort Benning. Sure enough, something was wrong with the rifle. They fixed it and sent it back.

The point of that whole story is that Williams was a very good shooter with lots of rounds through his rifle and he knew exactly what to expect from it. I doubt that Williams cared what caliber he was shooting. A good rifle with good ammo and lots of opportunity to practice, and Williams could probably have cared less if he was shooting a .308 or a .30-30.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Well, Damn!

I went out to load the Mule this afternoon, so that I can work a track meet tomorrow at the school. Loading the Mule on the trailer, I noticed that the glove box sloshed. Sloshed? Yeah, I opened it and it was full of water, the rainfall that we've gotten over the past several weeks. The owner's manual and the roll of toiled paper I keep in there had turned to pulp and the whole mess had soured. Stagnant. Repulsive.

SO, I took the Mule out of the trailer and backed it into a convenient ditch. Sour, stagnant water poured out of the glove box, soaking everything including PawPaw. Lovely, just lovely. I loaded the Mule on the trailer, hauled it around to the front of the house near the water hose and washed everything down. Added gasoline to the tank. Then came in and cleaned up.

Milady was late getting home from work and didn't feel like cooking, so I went into the fridge and found some Black Forest Ham, some pepperjack cheese, a slice of purple onion, and some creole pickles. I made a couple of sandwiches and poured me a stiff aperitif.

The proper sandwich weighs about the same weight as a half-box of magnum shotgun shells. A handful of chips and I was done. I may pour myself another cocktail before bedtime.

Fake and Inaccurate

The Daily Caller is saying that ABC News doctored a tape showing Zimmerman being led into the police station. ABC News claims that the tape doesn't show any injury to Zimmerman, and the Daily Caller says that the tape has been doctored.
At the scene of the incident, according to a three-page preliminary police report, Zimmerman was given “first aid” by Sanford Fire Department paramedics. It is unclear what that treatment consisted of, and how much time elapsed between the paramedics’ intervention and Zimmerman’s arrival at the Sanford Police Department.

Martin’s family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, appeared on television almost immediately after ABC News released the video, telling CNN’s Piers Morgan that the footage is a “smoking gun.” Crump added that it shows the Sanford Police Department’s version of events is a “fabrication” and that “it’s obvious to us that there was something that night they conspired to cover up.”

I'm sure that the Grand Jury that will convene on April 10th will hear evidence from the paramedics who treated Zimmerman, not depend on a low-resolution police tape that was taken later. ABC News is apparently trying to boost ratings, and if this is the tactic they're using, they're in the same boat that CBS was in when Dan Rather used Fake but Accurate documents to talk about George Bush.

This is the news media trying to drive the narrative and any thinking folks would discredit the information immediately. Of course, I haven't watch ABC news in a decade or longer.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


It's springtime and with that change of seasons comes the opening of the pool. It's not always an instant, easy task, but work is progressing well and the water is clearing up nicely. I vacuumed it again today and the pool will be ready for the planned opening.

This, so Patty is kept informed of important things. Mark Friday, April 27th on your calendar. Sister Patty is, of course, welcome to come jump in whenever she feels bold enough. Last year she tried to push the envelope and hearing her mutter "Sweet Jesus" through chattering teeth was sufficient to make a big brother smile.


I see that director Lee Daniels has tapped Hanoi Jane to play the part of Nancy Reagan in an upcoming movie. That's a shame, a dirty-dog shame. I haven't watched anything that Treasonous Bitch has done since 1972. I'm still surprised that she hasn't been tried and convicted. There's always hope, though. I don't believe that treason has a time limitation.

Oh, well, another movie I'll never see.

March Madness - Elite Eight

The next level of the March Madness poll is out at Field and Stream. Click here to view it and to vote. There is some surprising stuff, and some not so surprising. The Winchester 70, Remington 700 and Savage 111 continue to do well, as does the Ruger #1.

This is fun stuff. Some very good rifles are not going to make the cut this time. Don't let your favorite lose by one vote.

Don't get Cocky

If you've been watching anything this week, you've been watching the arguments in the Supreme Court over the future of Obamacare. The arguments have been described both as a train wreck and a plane wreck for the government, with lots of pundits thinking that the Court might overturn all or part of the law. Other pundits are concerned that it will be decided in a 5-4 split, one way or the other.

Lets not get cocky. There is more at issue here than the media would like to represent and the Justices are a more intellectual group than many of us realize, even if in the final analysis they're just damned lawyers. Many have said that the Court is divided into the liberal wing of Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor, balanced by the conservatives Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito. Kennedy is the supposed swing vote.

At issue is the question of how far the government can go to influence our actions, to the point of making us buy a product, whether it be broccoli or insurance. I might remind my gentle readers that as I understand classical liberalism, they were very much in favor of individual liberty.

Trying to guess what the Supremes will do is an exercise in futility. I'm not much of a Court watcher, but I wouldn't be surprised if we see on or more of the Justices "jump the fence", one way or the other. This is an interesting case and the outcome is far from assured. In the final analysis, though, the Justices are just nine damned lawyers.

Monday, March 26, 2012

To Boldly Go

Read this article as a palate cleanser. It seems that the National Geographic Society has sponsored a trip to the Challenger Deep, a spot in the Mariana Trench that is the deepest in the ocean.
At 5:52 p.m. ET Sunday (7:52 a.m. Monday, local time), James Cameron arrived at the Mariana Trench's Challenger Deep, members of the National Geographic expedition have confirmed.

His depth on arrival: 35,756 feet (10,898 meters)—a figure unattainable anywhere else in the ocean.
We humans were built to explore and Cameron is exploring a place that very, very few people have ever seen. There have been more humans on the moon than have descended to the Challenger Deep and while we can all look at the moon, the environment in our deepest oceans is as alien to us as the surface of Jupiter.

This is very cool stuff. It's why we win. USA! USA!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Morning Dawg

We're watching a toddler this weekend and one of the benefits of having a pickup truck is that it's a great place for a toddler to explore while we piddle around in the yard. The dog, of course, feels a compunction to supervise.

Just one more for sheer cuteness.

There's nothing like supervising a toddler.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Football and Conspiracy

Disgraced New Orleans coach Sean Payton would do well to quit giving interviews and keep his mouth shut. No one may have talked to him about the possibility of criminal action, but I'm sure I'm not the only fellow who knows that conspiring to injure someone is a felony in the State of Louisiana.

Were I the District Attorney for Orleans Parish, I'd keep my own counsel until the NFL finished its investigation and handed down its penalties. Then I'd subpoena everyone involved, empanel a grand jury and determine if Conspiracy to commit Second Degree Battery changes wouldn't apply in this case.

I'm just saying. You have the right to remain silent.

Five years

Five years ago, I bought a ring for Milady, and because it was my sister's birthday and she happened to be with me, I bought a ring for her as well. While I was there, I bought a pistol, a Ruger Mark II.

My sister bought a set of Victorian chairs at the shop, so the pawnbroker did very well that day.

Late that night, or early the next morning depending on whose clock you were watching, my father passed away. I've always thought that Dad didn't want to die on my sister's birthday, and he didn't want to die on my wife's birthday, so he split the difference, leaving sometime around midnight.

I've still got the pistol and I'd bet my sister still has the ring, but I'd trade them both for one more cup of coffee with the Old Man. Has it been five years?

March Madness - Division II

The March Madness of deer rifles continues at Field and Stream. We're voting on Division II right now. Go over and vote for your favorite deer rifle. Not many surprises here as the Remington 700 is way out in front of the Browning BAR, but the Savage 99 is holding its own against the TC Icon, and the Ruger #1 is neck and neck with the Kimber Montana.

This is great fun and the results surprise me. A lever action rifle that hasn't been made since 1998 is beating a brand-new bolt action rifle. This is good stuff. And, let's not forget that the Ruger #1 is a falling block rifle and it's neck-and-neck with a semi-custom bolt action.

I've always thought that one day I should get a Ruger #1 and see what all the fuss is about.

Race Pimps and Hoodies

In case you have been living under a rock, the case of Trayvon Martin has spurred national interest. Trayvon Martin was killed in February in Florida following an altercation with a neighborhood watch captain in a Florida subdivision. The watch captain has claimed self-defense and has not been arrested. Trayvon Martin cannot tell us his side of the story, but the race pimps Jackson, Sharpton, and Farrakhan have all weighed in on the story.

The national news media is in full clamor, trumpeting any tiny, inconsequential movement on the story, keeping it at the forefront of our national consciousness. The police are investigating, but the elements of Florida law must be considered in any official deliberation. That's what police do. Bloggers are weighing in and after several days of watching this controversy, it's time for me to weigh in.

For me, the whole story looks like a tawdry tale of tragedy and sorrow. A seventeen year old kid is dead, a neighborhood watch captain will live a life of sorrow, and Sharpton, Jackson and Farrakhan will make money on this tragedy. That's what those three do, make money on tragedy.

I watched them during the Jena Six medial frenzy that roiled Milady's hometown. Both Sharpton and Jackson made appearances in Jena during that time. Reports from guys I personally know tell me that both Sharpton and Jackson used that tragedy as an excuse to raise funds and carrying armloads of cash out of the local area. The defense fund for the Jena Six was huge. They were later all convicted, as the media frenzy died down and the wheels of justice were allowed to turn. I note that the epicenter of the controversy, Michael Bell, has been in trouble ever since that episode with subsequent convictions.

Rivrdog weighs in with an essay on the effect of the hoodie in polite society. Appearances count in polite society. If you want to look like a thug, we're going to assume you are a thug. If you want to be seen as an upstanding member of society, dress like it.

I note that the District Attorney for Seminole Country has announced that a grand jury will meet on April 10, to review evidence in the case. This is the way the criminal justice system works. Police investigate, grand juries recommend, DAs prosecute, Courts deliberate. That's our system. The wheels of justice grind slowly, but they grind finely as well.

When Farrakhan, Sharpton and Jackson weigh in on a case, it's about money. Plain and simple. They are in it to make a dime, to further their financial security, and they make their money by inflaming racial tensions. Don't let Sharpton, Jackson, and crew color (pun intended) your views on the case. They're only in it to make a buck. That's the only reason they came to Jena and that's the only reason they're going to Florida.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Scout Rifle

I admit that I've been hankering to try a scout rifle, but I don't need any other bolt action rifles at the moment. Still, I'd like to try the scout system and I've got a couple of Winchester 94s in my gun locker. I'm thinking about mounting a pistol scope on a Model 94 to see how I like the whole Scout Rifle thing. According to some folks, Jeff Cooper liked the .30-30 cartridge and said that the Winchester 94 was one of his original sources of inspiration, although he later came to favor the bolt action rifle shooting the .308.

Still, there is a lot to like in the old .30-30 and I have several examples in the locker. I'm thinking of taking the lesser valued Winchester and buying a scout mount, mounting a low-powered pistol scope on it, and seeing what benefits might accrue from such a design.

I'm also a fan of Swift Optics and their scopes. It seems that they make a little fixed power pistol scope that might be just the bees knees for such a project. A little Googling around and I see that Optics Planet has it as well, and it qualifies for free shipping.

It looks like XS Sight Systems makes a rail for the Winchester 94. I might ask my gunsmith if he's got a better idea for mounting the rail. It sounds like a fun project, doesn't it?

Trimming the EPA

Donald Elliot, over at the Atlantic, makes the case for trimming the EPA.
Many of our environmental laws still command the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to eliminate pollution without regard to economic or job costs. They put the EPA on autopilot churning out one rule after another without heed to cost or competing values. Today in some (but not all) EPA rules, we spend huge sums chasing tiny risks that probably don't actually exist and thereby kill jobs and steal from the poor.
Mr. Elliot was EPA general counsel and a law professor at Yale. He makes a good case, but like Paul Ryan's budget, I'd say that it doesn't go far enough.

Abolish the EPA and rescind all the laws that caused the problem in the first place.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March Madness

No, not basketball, deer rifles. It's time again for Field and Stream's Sweet Sixteen of Deer Rifles. You might not agree with the brackets but they've got some fine rifles there.

I don't see the Winchester 94 in the bracket, nor do I see the Marlin 336, both of which should be included in any Sweet 16 list of rifles, but there are some fine ones there. You can go vote at the link above.

Gold Brick Eggs

There's a little candy company in New Orleans, Elmer's Chocolate and they make something called the Gold Brick Egg. Oh, it's good! Light, tasty, it's got pecans and some sort of whipped chocolate in the middle and it simply melts in your mouth.

My sisters tell me that it's hard to find Elmer's Chocolate outside of Louisiana, and frankly I never thought about it. It's Easter candy and I never look for Gold Brick eggs except during the Easter season. Milady loves Gold Brick Eggs and last week I brought some home and put them on the table. She noticed them and because Milady is a virtuous woman, she didn't dive head-first into them.

Last night, Milady asks me where the Gold Brick eggs went. I responded that it's been a whole weekend and almost all of the grandkids were over here, and where did she think they went?

"I told those kids to stay out of my Gold Brick Eggs!"

"Yeah", I retorted, "and that's always worked so well in the past."

Today after work, I went searching for Gold Brick Eggs. Not all the stores around here carry them, but after a diligent search, I managed to find some for her.

That's a box of 24, and I know that she's not going to eat all of them before the weekend. But, there will be a bunch of grandkids over here this weekend and if Milady doesn't hide her Gold Bricks, what do you think will happen to them?

Buying chocolate. It's part and parcel of being a PawPaw.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ryan's Budget Plan

I see that Congressional Republicans have brought forth a plan to balance the budget by making cuts in entitlement spending while letting states decide how they want to implement the plan.
Ryan calls for turning over to the states responsibility for the major federal programs for the poor, including Medicaid and food stamps, and giving recipients a deadline to find work and get off the government dole — much as welfare reform did to cash benefits in the late 1990s.
That sounds like a good start.
All told, Ryan proposes to slash federal spending by $5.3 trillion over the next decade compared with President Obama’s latest budget blueprint, with the biggest savings taken from health programs — including the repeal of Obama’s initiative to expand health coverage to the uninsured — and entitlements for the poor.
It is well and proper that House Republicans have a go at cutting the budget, simply because the Constitution requires that all such bills originate in the House.
Even if it were to win approval, the blueprint would be rejected by the Democratic-controlled Senate. But Ryan said it would provide a foundation for the GOP’s election-year push for a radically smaller federal government.
Small government is a good thing and a plan like this will highlight the differences for the voters.

There is a new Paul Ryan video out there, but remember, he's not running for anything.

Tuesday Thunderstorms

We're hunkering down, here in north-central Louisiana. There is a massive thunderstorm rolling in and here in the Alexandria/Pineville area, we're waiting for it to hit.

All the outside activities at the school have been cancelled. That includes Tennis, Golf, Baseball, Softball, Powerlifting and Track. PawPaw found himself suddenly and completely off duty. The Dawg and I are awaiting the festivities that the weather will provide and I'm looking toward an early night in the bed.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Madness

It's been busy and it's not letting up. We started pool maintenance this weekend, getting ready for the swimming season. Then yesterday we noticed a problem with the pump, and feared that the impeller was damaged. It's not, something was causing a no flow situation, but taking everything apart and putting it back together seems to have solved that problem. Added salt to the pool and maintained the chlorine system. Completed diagnostics. Started vacuuming. Now it's time for me to go back to work, for an open house. Busy Monday.

No happy hour today, just one steppin fetchit after another. Gotta put my gun belt back on and head toward the school house.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Morning Dawg

The dog got a haircut this week and he appears to be a lot more comfortable. He's certainly easier to look at, I can tell which end of the dog to scratch. First, a before shot.

Next, we have the current picture. He looks more like a dawg than a poorly kept dust mop.

Now, doesn't that look a little bit better? I thought so.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sight Paint

What do we do on those days where we're watching grandkids? All sorts of things happening in the garage. I talked my daughter into painting the sights on my 1911. Bright red nail polish from the dollar store is a lot cheaper than sight paint, and lasts nearly as long.

It's an old trick from frugal pistoleras. But there is plenty of other stuff going on as well. We set up a table where my son-in-law can work on RC cars and the grandsons are running in and out, generally absorbing knowledge.

And, my daughter wanted a picture with the old man.

It's a good day at PawPaw's House.

St. Patrick's Day

In the midst of watching grandkids, with a half-dozen things going on at the same time, I am reminded that it is St. Paddy's Day and we're all Irish today.

I may have a wee nip later to celebrate. For right now, I've got to keep track of the grandkids.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy Hour

I'm about ready to declare Happy Hour. The smoking lamp is lit, drinks available on the quarterdeck. Take your cover off before you come into the bar.

Happy Weekend, y'all.


Some sonofabitch sent me a virus, a Security Alert virus that screwed my system. This thing is akin to the Mafia. "Nice little computer you have here, hope nothing bad happens to it. Send us money and we'll keep it safe." I downloaded some files from Microsoft that my tech at work recommended and I'm letting them do their work.

I'd like to find the sonofabitch who writes viruses and hang him by his testicles from the light pole outside. With a sign on his chest that says Virus Writer. Folks who had been similarly infected would be invited to come over and stick knives in him, take shots at him, or simply beat him with a baseball bat. To encourage the others. I don't believe that there is a jury in the world that would convict me. Jury nullification is a wonderful thing.

I've got the computer working, and several things going on. The Sunday Dawg will be posted, if I have to post it from another computer.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

It's About the Kids!

Coutesy of the Louisiana Hayride, we get this endearing clip from one of our teachers who is protesting in Baton Rouge. Yeah, they're still rallying for the second day, letting the kids slide while they try to keep their perks, their tenure, their jobs. Still, let's listen to her call the governor "retarded".

Milady spent 30 years working with developmentally challenged people and she would probably object to the term "retarded". This teacher's rant simply shows the level to which the unions have sunk. Her arguments are laughable, and the kids languish while she's on the steps of the capitol.

Let's get amother viewpoint, from a guy who says that he has a Masters Degree plus 30 hours (Masters +30). He believes that the teachers should start a newspaper.

This guy is complaining about "dumbing-down" education and he can't even string together a cogent sentence. This is one of the guys teaching our kids?

C'mon, Louisiana educators. After watching these two bozos, I'm ready to fire the whole lot of you and start over. You've got to be able to do better than this.

From the Hayride:
It was quite a day at the Capitol, as hordes of teachers were unleashed by their unions for a “professional development day.” A professional development day is one in which teachers screw kids who are supposed to be preparing for the standardized tests they will take next week so they can act like jackasses protesting Gov. Jindal’s K-12 education reform package.

Old School Thursday.

I left the house this morning and got about a mile down the road before I realized that I had left my cell phone in my bluejeans. Well, damn! Then I realized that I had lived my first 50 years without a cell phone in my pocket and would probably survive another day without it.

Quietest day I've had in months. No beeping, no ringing, no hassles that couldn't wait till the end of shift. If it had been a terrible emergency, my family knows to call the school, or the sheriff's office. As it turns out, I didn't miss having it at all.

Sometimes we forget we don't need to be tied to a leash.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Did y'all see this? Some bozo put our President's picture across the blue field of an American flag.

Worse, they flew it outside a Florida Democratic Headquarters. The very idea that the head of the Lake Country Democratic Party did not know that the flag was offensive, a desecration, is unbelievable. Luckily, the Federal Flag Code does not have a penalty provision, but if the Democrats are so clueless that they'd fly something like that, they've got no business running the country. They've got no business being trusted with any power at all.

Good job by the vets in Lake County who educated the clueless idiot who decided to fly it.

Note, the image above personally sickens me and is posted only for informational purposes.

That's Professional

Teachers rallied in Baton Rouge this morning, fighting against our Governor's education plan.
Teachers against the proposed education reform bill are rallied at the Capitol. Some arrived on the steps of the building as early as 6 a.m.
Of course, you'll note that today is Wednesday, a school day in Louisiana. Teachers rallying on the steps of the Capitol while school should be in session smacks of unprofessionalism. The students weren't served today while all those fine teachers were rallying at the Capitol. Some school districts simply shut down because of all the teachers that were out today.
A few school districts across the state decided to cancel classes Wednesday due to a high number of teacher absences. Many teachers told administrators they would not be at school because they were planning to attend a rally on the steps of the Capitol to express opposition to Jindal's plan.
Well, of course, they can't actually be expected to be at the school, teaching kids. Parents had to make other arrangements so they could have someone watch their kids while they went to work.

I'm no fan of Bobby Jindal, but the teachers lost me today, taking a day off and putting everyone in a bind. I note that the teachers at my school were at work today, teaching kids. Just like they were supposed to be.

Education reform is a conversation that we need to have in Louisiana. There is too much money spent on kids who don't want to be there. While access to a public education seems to be considered a right, it certainly makes no sense to throw money at schools who aren't performing. It makes no sense to pay teachers who don't come to work, it certainly makes no sense to subsidize kids who tend to look on school as purely a social event, and it makes no damn sense to ask teachers to put up with kids who don't put forth the effort. That's the conversation we need to have in Louisiana.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Academy Update

I am told that my son shot a 120 on the POST course today. He cleaned it.

That's what I'm talking about.

Edit: Louisiana uses a target we call the P1 and as far as I know, we're the only state in the union that uses it. Anything inside the "P" circle counts as 2 points, anything outside the "P" counts as one. Anything else is a zero. Our course is 60 rounds, starting at 25 yards and moving to two yards. It's not a terribly difficult course of fire, but it's not terribly easy either. From any 50 shooters, you'll find one or two that can consistently shoot a 120, the vast majority shoot around 100-110 and the rest get retrained if their score is under 96 (80%).

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday Blaahs

I got nothing tonite. I can't even gin up the enthusiasm to write about this 92 year old man who ran off a bunch of thieves with a gun. He did good, but old men should be dangerous.
“He started climbing over the gate, and I told him not to climb over. He climbed over anyway, so I pulled a gun on him,” West said.
The Sheriff says that he's going to form a task force to look into all the rural burglaries. I thought that was what the detectives are paid to do.

Around here, if an old man with a gun tells you to not climb over a gate, you'd be well advised to keep your butt on the other side.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Getting Ready

My family is practicing, getting ready for the concealed weapons course next Saturday. I took Milady to the range yesterday to familiarize her with the range, the etiquette and the course of fire. She did well with the Airweight and that's the revolver she'll use to complete the firing portion of the class.

She talked with the instructor and he told her what to expect. When the family gathered for the noon meal today, she passed along all the good intel so that the rest of the clan can be prepared. Simple things, like good eye protection, hearing protection, the course of fire and the rules concerning loaded firearms in the range building.

The rest of the family has been practicing as well, at the informal range behind my son's house.

Here's one of the ladies in recoil with her preferred hogleg.

And another of the ladies practicing her close order drills.

They're all going to do fine. The course is more about the law and the ethics and basic safety, rather than fine shooting skills. Like all gunnies, they'll have to maintain their skills and I suspect that my reloading bench will be getting a workout. I'm proud of my crew and happy to support their interest.

Sunday Morning Dawg

Susan and her granddaughter Hannah are visiting, and the dog is enjoying the attention.

Later today the house will fill with grandkids and the dog will be compelled to supervise them as well. It's a dog's life.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Chu's Hypocrisy

Our guy Chu, the Energy Secretary, is an interesting sort. A scientist, he was the director of Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, and like most academics, what he espouses is not what he practices. We all remember Chu as the guy who wants to raise gas prices.
“Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” and said he supported gradually increasing gasoline taxes over 15 years to coax consumers into buying more efficient cars.
That quote is from 2008, and it is telling because he wasn't in the hot seat then. Still, if buying more efficient cars is a good idea, what does Chu drive? Well, he testified recently that he doesn't own a car. Maybe not, and if testifying under oath, he couldn't be indicted for perjury, but his wife owns a car. A BMW. A sporty little BMW that gets 21 mpg. A real gas guzzler. Chu himself, as a government official, doesn't have to buy gas. We buy it for him as he's ferried around in a big black SUV, likely an Escalade.

That's what we expect from our government officials, hypocrisy. If Chu wants us to buy Chevy Volts, why isn't his wife driving one? If it's good for us, why isn't it good for him? Better yet, why isn't Chu taking public transportation to work every morning? Walking, riding a bike?

It calls to mind the old law enforcement joke: What's the difference between a porcupine and a BMW? With a porcupine, the pricks are on the outside.

Friday, March 09, 2012


I just talked to my son, who is going through the police academy. They did range week this week and he tells me his thumb is sore from loading magazines. His class of 25 went through 7000 rounds of ammo yesterday. That's only 280 rounds of ammo each. They need to pick up the pace. When I went through my course, we were shooting 500 rounds per day.

Still, that ain't bad for a day's shooting.

The Course

I've been doing some reloading recently, for myself and family. It seems that my immediate family has decided that now is the time to take the course for their concealed carry permits. It started with my daughter-in-law who decided to get qualified for her concealed carry permit. Then Milady said she'd take the course with her, then elder and second son decided to take the course with the ladies. Then their wives decided to not miss out on the fun. An ex-brother-in-law decided to pull the pin on his permit, so we all made the phone call and signed up the crew for the course that happens next weekend at the Alexandria Indoor Range.

I don't know how many students the range normally has for the course, but by my count there are seven people in that course who normally eat Sunday lunch at my house. Immediately after they registered for the course (and paid their money), they started wondering who would keep the grandkids that Saturday. I am a PawPaw, after all and I'll lay in a stock of bologna and sandwich fixings. The kids and I will play here at the house while the family goes through the course.

I'll twist younger son's arm to assist in providing adult supervision for the younger set. He and I are both permit holders under LEOSA.

Just doing my part to protect and defend the Second Amendment. I'm proud of my crew. Whether or not they actually get the permit, I'm happy that they're willing to go get formal training. Very pleased indeed.

Thursday, March 08, 2012


Doing a walk-around today, I stopped to talk to the priest that lives on the corner near the high school. He looked at the school. "I didn't know that Bolton was ever a junior college."

"I don't know that it was, Father", I replied. All I've ever known was that it was a high school."

"You wait here." he said, and went into the house. He came out in just minute holding a post card. "I've been buying old post cards off Ebay and I found this one recently."

The date on the back of the card, 1927, was one year after the school was built and the title plainly says New Bolton High School and Junior College, Alexandria, LA. The reverse of the card says that "The New Bolton High School and Junior College was finished in 1926 at a cost of 1.25 million dollars." Interesting stuff.

This is, of course, my alma mater and the place where I work today. One interesting bit of trivia about the old school is that what we call the auditorium was once the gymnasium. During the run-up to WWII, the Army hosted what we call the Louisiana Maneuvers. Local tradition has it that the largest room in the parish was the Bolton Gymnasium and that the Army commandeered it for map exercises. The stories I've heard was that Generals Eisenhower and Bradley both stood in that room looking at huge maps of the French coast and conducted map exercises that could be the forerunner for planning of Operation Overlord.

Monday, March 05, 2012


One of the last households in the subdivision, I cranked the lawnmower for the first time today and cut what passes for grass in the backyard. March 5th, and I'm cutting grass. Thistles, mainly, with a smattering of weeds, dandelions, and other trash grass. I also got out the Round-Up and hammered the driveways, walkways, pathways, and the gravel beds. I intend to get a jump on the weeds this year and a good healthy dose of week killer should make them feel decidedly unwelcome.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

A Pile of Bullets

I decided this morning to clean off my work bench, cluttered with the things that projects and grandkids can put on an open bench. While cleaning, I noticed that I was almost out of lead bullets for the .38 special, so I took down the lead pot, plugged it in and dropped some ingots in it.

Began casting my favorite revolver bullet, the Lee TL358-158 SWC bullet. After about 60 bullets fell from the mold, the pin holding one of the blocks came loose and dropped the half of the mold block. Well, damn!

Then I remembered that several years ago, a friend had given me a mold block for that same bullet, only in round-nose, the Lee TL358-158RN bullet. I found it in my stack of mold blocks and continued casting without missing a stroke. I emptied the pot, loaded it again, and continued casting until I ran out of enthusiasm for the process.

I didn't count them, but there are several hundred there. By the time I finished casting, that first mold block had cooled, so I reassembled it and staked the pin into the aluminum block. In another hour or so, I'll coat those bullets with alox and spread them on waxed paper to dry.

Sunday Morning Dawg

No, we didn't get his hair cut this week, but he thinks it's okay because temps have plunged closer to the seasonal average. However, if he gets much more furry, I won't know which end to pet.

Spring is around the corner, and with it, his haircut is around the corner. Until then, he'll just be a fuzzy dog.

Saturday, March 03, 2012


T his morning, while I was sitting in a church seminar, the good people of Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio were digging out after violent tornadoes. If you've never lived through one of these things, count yourself lucky, for a tornado is the most violent, random, murderous thing that nature regularly throws at people.

What has always amazed me about tornadoes is the difference between safety and disaster. I once saw a school building that had been hit by a twister. The storm pulled the face from the building, but inside, the notes were sill posted on the bulletin board with thumbtacks. If you'd been standing in front of the building, you'd have been killed. If you were standing near the bulletin board, you'd have been fine. It's just that random.

If you don't have anything to pray for, pray for the people that survived, that they can find strength to recover and rebuild.

Friday, March 02, 2012


It's been a long, interesting week. Not a bad one at all, but interesting. I was originally scheduled to work at a track meet tonight, but the coaching staff looked at the weather, and in a rare (dare I say, almost unheard of) display of caution, they decided to cancel the meet. What will probably happen now is that he storm will bypass us and they will be doubly hesitant to cancel anything, ever again. I recall the night that we played football in a tropical storm.

Still, they cancelled the track meet, so I'm free to go with my family to our bi-weekly gathering. We'll be at eldest son's tonight, where his lady is cooking from her Pennsylvania Dutch heritage. Some sort of corn chowder or something, it sounds lovely. I will pack my flask, as adult beverages might be in order.


Thursday, March 01, 2012

What if the Bishops aren't Bluffing?

If you've been reading the papers, you've read of the Obama administration telling the Bishops that they'll have to provide contraception as part of their insurance packages for employees. It's the law, and the Catholic Church is not exempt from the law.

Oh, the howls of religious freedom. Oh, the howls of unconstitutional. Oh, the howls of reproductive rights. However, on this issue, I believe that our President is legally on firm ground. If we go to the Constitution, we read:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Obama isn't singling out the Catholic Church, he's imposing the same law on everyone. Catholic, Muslim, Hindu, Baptist, they've all got to provide contraceptive insurance. Everybody does, even the Catholics.

If you read the left-side of the media, you'll see that the Bishops are out-of-touch with their members, have lost their moral and political clout, and ... well...
Yet in his refusal to cave completely to the religious liberty campaign, Obama has illustrated the reality that the bishops no longer speak for most U.S. Catholics -- the nation's largest religious denomination and a critical swing-voter group -- on a host of moral issues, according to polls.

Not on abortion or the death penalty (a majority of Catholics believe those should remain legal); on divorce or homosexuality (most say those are acceptable); on women being ordained as priests and priests getting married (ditto); or on masturbation and pre-marital sex (ditto again, Your Excellencies).

And especially not on contraception. Ever since Pope Paul VI reaffirmed the Church's senseless ban on birth control in 1968, few doctrines have been as vilified, ridiculed and outright ignored by Catholics – evidenced by a recent study showing that 98% of American Catholic women have used some form of contraception. It's hard to believe, as the bishops would have it, that those women simply succumbed to society's pressure to do the secular thing. They've decided, in keeping with their faith's precept of exercising personal conscience, that family planning is the moral and societally responsible thing to do -- for example, preventing unwanted pregnancies and therefore abortions. And it explains why a recent Public Religion Research Institute poll found most Catholics support the contraception coverage mandate even for Catholic-affiliated organizations. Presumably most endorse Friday's compromise.
So, even rank-and-file Catholics believe that the Bishops are wrong. The Bishops have lost the media battle over this issue, but that is where the media is making a huge mistake, and where the politicians are spending too much time looking at polls, and where the left-leaning among use are mistaken.

The Bishops don't care. They are the church. The Bishops believe that they are the direct descendants of the Apostles of Christ. This past week, the Archbishop of Chicago, Francis Cardinal George, sent out a missive to his flock, reminding them that:
Theoretically, it is argued that there are Catholic voices that disagree with the teaching of the church and therefore with the bishops. There have always been those whose personal faith is not adequate to the faith of the church. Perhaps this is the time for everyone to re-read the Acts of the Apostles. Bishops are the successors of the apostles; they collectively receive the authority to teach and govern that Christ bestowed upon the apostles. Bishops don’t claim to speak for every baptized Catholic. Bishops speak, rather, for the Catholic and apostolic faith. Those who hold that faith gather with them; others go their own way. They are and should be free to do so, but they deceive themselves and others in calling their organizations Catholic.
The Bishops are the Church. They have moral and ecclesiastical authority, and they hold the purse-strings. Further, if the Bishops told the Catholic institutions to close, those institutions would be morally and legally bound to close the doors. What would that mean for the nation? The Catholic Church has 12.6 percent of the hospital capacity of the United States. 120,000 hospital beds would cease to exist. The Catholic church operates more than 7.500 primary and secondary schools in the US, educating more than 2.5 million students. Catholic Charities offers aid and assistance to over 1.5 million people annually, has emergency shelters and food kitchens. The bishops serve up their threat calmly and with authority.
If you haven’t already purchased the Archdiocesan Directory for 2012, I would suggest you get one as a souvenir. On page L-3, there is a complete list of Catholic hospitals and health care institutions in Cook and Lake counties. Each entry represents much sacrifice on the part of medical personnel, administrators and religious sponsors. Each name signifies the love of Christ to people of all classes and races and religions. Two Lents from now, unless something changes, that page will be blank.
It doesn't get much plainer than that. The Church believes it is right, regardless of the politics of an issue, regardless of the polls, regardless of society's changing mores. They speak with the authority of Christ, and if they decide that they can no longer have employees, they'll fire everyone and shut the doors.

President Obama has the right to enforce the law. No one is doubting that. The Catholic Bishops have the right to enforce their moral code. Don't ever think that they don't.


My boy, my youngest son, is in the police academy. In Louisiana, you have to be a member of a force before you go to the academy, and as it turns out hes working in the same office from which I retired. His academy is in Baton Rouge and it's one of the tougher ones in the state. There is a lot expected from those youngsters and he's going through a crucible, learning what it takes to be a cop.

Young officers have asked me why the academy is so tough on young recruits and the answer is simple. Liability. If you're going to break and do something stupid, we want you to break in the academy, not out on the street where someone might get hurt. They're going to abuse the recruits, try to hit every button, try to make them screaming, snot-slinging angry. Then, see how they handle it. If they can't handle it, then the academy is the place to find out. Not on the street where your sergeant is still five minutes away. The academy is supposed to be tough, and those that aren't tough are doing themselves, and their recruits, a disservice.

Anyway, my boy is in week one, and he could probably use a little encouragement. Click on the link above and tell him that you're rooting for him. While you're at it, his wife is a blogger also. She's missing him, so go over and give her some encouragement. Week One is just about over, they've got eleven left to finish.

Breitbart dies

Conservative media guy, Andrew Breitbart, died today at age 43. He had a heart attack, from all reports. Eulogies are pouring forth from across the internet, and we'll pray for his wife and children.

Glenn Reynolds is doing a roundup, to include some very nasty quotes from the left side of the blogosphere.
Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone: “Good! Fuck him. I couldn’t be happier that he’s dead.”
That certainly shows a lot of class. The liberals continue to pile on, showing a lack of courtesy or dignity. Remember this when they start playing the "have you no decency" card, or when our President asks us to be civil. These people have no shame, nor any decency. I guess that this is the new civility that our President wants us all to adopt.