Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Broke My Knife

Broke my knife today.  It's a Smith and Wesson switchblade that I've been carrying for six or seven years.  Spring went kaput.

I'm in the market for a new one, pronto.  I believe every man should carry a knife, and every cop should definitely carry a knife.  I'm currently looking at Kershaw, but willing to take any recommendations.

What say ye?

Speaking of knives, we're raffling this one off at Louisiana State.  It's a custom Bowie made from a horseshoe rasp.  Made by a local CFDA shooter who forges knives and donated this one.

Ain't that pretty?

Shot Fired, Teacher Barricaded

Breaking during the lunch hour.  It appears that a teacher in Dalton GA fired at least one shot in a classroom, then barricaded.

What a revolting development.  The argument for arming teachers will be set back for a decade.

This what we call a career move.  Thankfully, it appears that no one was injured, and some sources are reporting that the suspect is in custody.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Interesting Case

There is this missing person case our of Atlanta.  A commander in the Public Health Service has gone missing.  Hasn't been seen in two weeks.  Police say that there is no evidence of foul play.  Also no evidence of where he went.  It's odd, interesting, and certainly frustrating to the police, the National Health Service, and his family.

I remember, back in 2001, I had retired from one agency and was a private investigator.  A family contacted me with a missing person case and asked me to look into it.  The basic facts were that this fellow had raised a family through college.  Took care of all his family obligations.  Then, one day  he just went away.  Gone.  He had been gone for about ten years.  They asked me to look into it.

I told them that I would, on one condition.  It's not against the law to go missing, and the guy might not want to be found.  I told the family, I'd look, but if he told me to keep his secret, I would.

It took me about ten minutes to find the guy.  This was the dawn of what we routinely call the internet, and I found a phone number for him pronto.  Talked to him on the phone.  Told him that his family was concerned.  He said that he would call them, but he really didn't want any contact.    I told him I'd tell them that, so I called the family and let them know that he was okay, but that if he wanted to reach out, he would.  It's not against the law to go missing.

This guy in Atlanta, I suppose, is a totally different case.  It will be interesting to see if they find him.

Massive Ignorance

This is why we can't trust the media to have a valid argument in the current debate.  Generally, they are massively ignorant.  It's okay to be massively ignorant.  I'm ignorant on a lot of subjects (like medicine), so I simply don't opine on them.

However, massive ignorance doesn't stop the media from making unbelievably foolish arguments.  Like this:

It's okay to be ignorant.  Don't compound that with stupidity.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Some Photos

Some photos from this weekend's shoot.

First, a custom holster rig that has been donated by Lazy JD Leatherworks. The holsters re fully tooled with a matching insert.  It will be raffled to support Shoot For The Stars, the CFDA scholarship program.

Second, a custom Bowie knife, crafted by club member Brother Fred.  It's made from a horseshoe rasp and features a stag handle with brass guard and end cap.  This is a very nice knife, and we'll raffle it to support a local charity.

Third, a photo of me, PawPaw hisself, announcing.  I though that the photog ws clowning around, but it came out okay.

Last, a great image of Belle throwing fire.  If you don't think that the ladies in this sport arre just as serious as the menfolk, I'll enter this photo into evidence.

It was a great shoot, and many thanks for Miss E showing up to take pictures.  For the record, Belle prefers Pietta revolvers.  I'm not sure which she's shooting in this photo, as they are nrealy a matched pair.

Morning Joe, Idiot

Joe Scarborough believes that the NRA incites violence.  Really.

Nearly 150 years of promoting gun safety and protecting the 2nd Amendment.  We promote safety, we train instructors, we insist that the law be upheld.  One thing we do not do is incite violence. 

I am the NRA, and I'm freedom's safest place.

Government Failure

The professor nails it.
Florida shooting yet another government failure to keep us safe: From the FBI to local law enforcement to the schools, every institution failed. We have more government than ever, but it isn’t working. “People are being asked to trust the government to keep them safe, when the government is patently unable to do so. And then, when the government fails, it engages in blame-shifting deflection. Why should people listen? Increasingly, they won’t.”
This, in a nutshell, is the basis of the argument for individual responsibility.  T he government cannot keep you safe.  That is your responsibility. 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Monthly Match

The Peacemakers held their monthly match yesterday.  Thirteen guns, many visitors and guests, we had a great time.

Ladies Winners L-R.  1st, Squirrel Girl. - 2nd Blue Eyed Belle, - 3rd Two Step Cookie
Men's Winners L-R.  1st, Whiplash - 2nd Moon, 3rd Cajun Greg
Our little club is growing.  When you combine prayer, good fellowship, fun, and shooting, it is a magical mixture that gains adherents slowly but surely. 

 Group photo, before the monthly match

Of course, o a rainy February afternoon, having an indoor range helps a lot.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Hope, Martin, and Gobel

One of the old clips from '60s TV.  Bob Hope, Dean Marting, and George Gobel on the Johnny Carson sow.

That was great television.

That Slippery Slope

E.J. Donner authors a piece at the Washington Post, talking about the current debate over gun laws.  He asks a question about why we re so ferociously opposed to new gun laws aren't asked to show empathy for victims of gun violence.
What is odd is that those with extreme pro-gun views — those pushing for new laws to allow people to carry just about anytime, anywhere — are never called upon to model similar empathy toward children killed, the mourning parents left behind, people in urban neighborhoods suffering from violence, or the majority of Americans who don’t own guns.
Well, E.J., let me answer that question for you.

We on the pro-gun side decry violence in all its forms.  And, we have tremendous empathy for the victims of gun violence.  Whether it comes in the form of gun violence or any other kind of violence.  We have extreme empathy for grieving parent.  We support laws already on the books that prohibit violence.  For example.

It is already against the law to murder people.  That law didn't stop the tragedy in Florida.

It is already against the law to carry a gun onto a school campus.  That law didn't stop the tragedy in Florida.

It is already against the law for a mentally-disturbed person to obtain a gun.  That law didn't stothe tragedy in Florida.

The law requires that mental health officials report unstable people to the NICS.  That law didn't stop the tragedy in Florida.

Those laws are already on the books, yet none of them stopped the tragedy in Florida.  I mourn for the students, I sympathize with the parents and grandparents.  I decry the failures, from the Feds, to the state officials, to the cops who didn't go in to stop the killing.  I decry those in the most emphatic way that I know how to decry them.

When a tragedy strikes, it's often a failure of human interactions.  Someone dropped the ball.  Someone didn't report, someone didn't react, someone didn't follow-through.  Yet, rather than blame the human failures, the liberals (those well-meaning, empathetic, reasonable liberals), don't want to hold our officials accountable, they want to go after the guns.  And, we see your agenda.  You are not interested in stopping tragedy unless it is the right tragedy with the right people. (where is the empathy for the parents in Chicago or Detroit every weekend?)

We see your agenda.  We've heard Hillary Clinton say "Turn them all in!"  We've heard Dianne Feinstein promote a confiscatory approach, We've seen localities pass stringent anti-gun laws and continue to deal with horrific gun violence because the local officials aren't interested  in locking up everyone who violates those laws.   We have seen liberal TV personalities violate gun laws on National TV and not be prosecuted.

Your agenda is clear, E.J.  You want the guns.  You are not interested in applying the laws already on the books, you are not interested in fixing the mental health problems.  You are not interested in fixing the problems of the inner cities.  You simply want my guns.  Your agenda is frightfully clear to we who cherish freedom.

I have tremendous empathy to victims of violence.  I have dedicated my life to keeping those around me safe.  I have neither tolerance nor respect for those who want to abrogate my freedom.

Later today, I'll host a meeting of like-minded folks at our monthly gun club match. We'll pray, we'll pledge allegiance, we'll stress safety, ad we'll shoot.    Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go make sure that the range is ready for freedom.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Four States Form Coalition to Track Guns

Four states, citing the inability of the Federal Government to track guns, are forming a coalition to do just that.
Four governors announced a coalition this week to attempt to stop out-of-state guns from coming into their localities with an information-sharing database to trace and intercept firearms.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo call their coalition "States for Gun Safety," and said their quad-state database will supplement the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System and launch the nation's first Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium.
Well, I guess I won't be going to any competitions inn New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. - Oh, wait.... I'll never go to those states anyway.

Move To The Threat

Fox News and others are reporting that the deputy assigned as the School Resource Officer at the high school in Parkland, took up a position outside while the goblin was shooting students where 17 died.

That is exactly the wrong thing to do.  We are trained, as School Resource Officers that we move toward the threat.  Aggressively, deliberately, we move toward the threat and engage him with fire and maneuver until the threat is neutralized.    That is how we are trained, that is what we signed up for, and that is our code.

This guy failed.  Whether through fear, cowardice, or being overwhelmed by the gravity f the moment, he failed.  People died.  He has to live with that now.

The more we learn about this tragedy, the more that we learn that this entire incident was a cascade of failure.  From the FBI, to state agencies, to local school officials, and now down to that lone deputy who froze at the critical moment. 

It was an horrific event,  At the federal, state and local levels, people failed to see the danger and take action on what was evidently a very foreseeable event.  That's the lesson for many SROs this morning.  Regardless of who else fails, when that moment comes we have to step up.  Regardless who else drops the ball, from the Feds who failed to follow through on an actionable threat, to the state mental health professionals who failed to notify authorities, to the local school board, who failed to keep this nutjob our of the schools, it was the SROs duty to move toward the threat.

That's our job, and when we don't do it, people die.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

More Fake News

It seems that CNN had a public forum, a town hall type meeting that is big in the news this morning.

Ostensibly set up as a place for survivors of the latest outrage to vent, they invited local politicos to attend.  Senator Marco Rubio was one who showed up.   Of course, CNN scripted the whole thing, to provide coverage to their preferred narrative that guns are bad and Republicans are evil.  Kudos to Rubio for showing up to be the scapegoat.  Those people needed to vent, and he provided the target.

These folks are grieving.  I get it.  They're hurting and they aren't getting the answers they need.  The horrible truth is that they won't get the answers they seek.  Those answers don't exist.  The sick, tormented person who conducted the atrocity (no, I won't use his name), probably doesn't have the answers.  Those answers won't exist until we as a society get over the idea that Government is the answer.  It's not, it's often the problem.

Government allowed the offender to stay in the school system, long after it was apparent that he was a continuing problem.  Government failed to heed warnings that he was dangerous.  Government failed to protect the innocent children that were slain.  Government failed.

I was in a meeting the other night, talking exactly about these things.  Someone mentioned that "this is the world we live in", and I've been thinking about that phrase, and the implications of that mindset. When I hear that, I seem to hear that we, as a society, are willing to live in a less free society because sometimes bad people do bad things. 

In related news, I see that Broward County deputies will carry rifles on school campuses.I admit to mixed feelings about that.  We all know that I'm a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment, and I've carried rifles as part of my duty when I was in other assignments and working for my Uncle. 

But, if this is the world we live in, perhaps the bad guys have won.  Of course we have a mandate to protect the children, but at what price?  I admit that I'll have to ponder this a bit longer.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Metal Work

Working for a few hours on the portable range for Louisiana State, my son made dramatic progress on the welding this evening.

He is a whole lot better welder than I am, and I'm glad he was able to come play for a couple of hours.

Now, It's Umpatriotic

First, Nancy Pelosi hated the new tax scheme, saying that it only gave crumbs to the working class.

I don't know about you,  but the crumbs I've gotten are pretty tasty.

Nancy is such a dumbass.  She probably doesn't recall from her high-school history that the American Revolution was predicated in part by a single tax on tea.  Low taxes and small government is very patriotic.  

Thanks, Billy. Rest in Peace

I learn this morning that Billy Graham has died.  He was 99 years old.

For the latter half of the 20th century, Billy was our nation's pastor.  He led millions to Christ and his message of peace, hope, and salvation was inspiring. 

Rest in Peace, pastor.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Damn, I"m Golden

The research, led by University of California neurologist Claudia Kawas, tracked 1,700 nonagenarians enrolled in the 90+ Study that began in 2003 to explore impacts of daily habits on longevity.
Researchers discovered that subjects who drank about two glasses of beer or wine a day were 18% less likely to experience a premature death, the Independent reports.
Meanwhile, participants who exercised 15 to 45 minutes a day, cut the same risk by 11%.
And, whiskey is better than red wine.
 Wine’s not the only beverage with antioxidants: Whiskey also contains polyphenols and offers up heart-healthy benefits similar to wine, research shows. And while it won’t prevent or cure a cold, a hot whiskey drink can give you some symptom relief, one doc says.
It's been a long day.  I think I'll have one more bourbon before I lay down.

Not This Again

I see that the gun control meme has raised its ugly head again.  Liberal talking heads are gushing about the idea that maybe they can finally do something about those horrible guns.  They figure that if they make enough noise, someone will start to pay attention to them.  The anti-gunners are in full throated  roar and they think that they have the initiative.

It's like arguing with three-year olds.  What they don't understand is that any serious attempt to harm the Second Amendment will have serious repercussions.  More serious than they might want to contemplate.  And, if they think that the police or military will d their dirty work, they really should think again.

I'm hearing (and reading) all the nonsense spewing from the antis and at this point, it's simply tiresome.  We've had this discussion before  Every time some socially challenged, mentally ill, self-loathing misfit decides to shoot up something, whether it be a school, or a nightclub, or a convention center, the antis immediately start harping on the gun.  And you've lost the argument EVERY SINGLE TIME.

It's not going to work this time either.  Because your argument is a straw-man, and ignores the real problem.  The problem is that murder, violence, and mental illness are endemic to the human condition and until you address those issues, the problem own't go away.  You're not going to do an Australian-type buy-back(which really didn't work that well), you're not going to get the police to go door-to-door, you are probably not even going to get a new Assault Weapons Ban.  It just ain't happening, folks.

The fact that they keep bringing it up shows that they're not willing to identify the problem, they're certainly not willing to work to solve the problem, and they keep dredging up the same, tired old canard.

Frankly, they're not going to change any minds, and it's getting a bit tiresome.

Monday, February 19, 2018

What I See

What I see when I see these signs.

Army, Oh, My Army

I've seen this several places, but it appears that the US Army is ditching grenade training at the BCT level because recruits can't throw a grenade 25 meters.
On Friday, the Army revealed that it is nixing the grenade throwing requirement, where recruits had to show that they could hurl the explosive a minimum of 25 meters, because “a large number of trainees” can’t meet the distance, even lacking the physical ability “to throw a hand grenade 20 to 25 to 30 meters.”
Wow!  I've never really been a ran of the standard issue hand grenade.  But, I've been trained on them, and I never had any problem throwing one.  Looking back on my high school recreation, I recall that it's 90 feet from the plate to fist base, which is 27.4 meters, Well within the standards.

I guess kids are playing more soccer, less baseball.

Seven Things

There is a great article over at PJMedia, Seven Things We Can Do To Prevent Another School Massacre...  The article makes sense.  Let's excerpt, shall we?

1.  Train Teachers.  This makes sense to me from a practical perspective.  If I am the school cop, and I know that some of the teachers have volunteered to go through training to conceal, carry, and protect students, then I know who the good guys are.  The old law about gun-fighting:  "Bring a gun and all your friends who have guns."  If I'm the only cop in the school, I"m almost certainly outnumbered in any gun-fight.  That won't stop me from doing my job, but additional help is always welcome.

2.  Get Cops In The Schools.  This is so self-evident that I am amazed that not every school district in the nation has employed this policy.

3.  Get Rid Of Gun Free Zones.  Yeah, those signs really help, don't they?  Gun Free Zones are problematic on so many levels.

4.  Stop Coddling Lawbreakers.  It's always amazed me that kids can get away with things in the schools that, if done in Wal-Mart, would immediately result in the police being called.  I'm not saying that the police should get involved for every minor infraction, but I've run into some administrators who don't want anyone arrested at their schools. 

5.  Home Educate.  This is always an option.  It may not be the best option, but it is something to consider.  There is a wealth of online assistance to help someone get through high school. 

6.  Start Parenting.  Wow!  What a remarkable idea.  This might not have helped with the recent shooting (both is parents died recently), but in the long run, parenting is a great idea.

7.  Repent.  Yeah, no kidding.  A return to faith is a singular blessing and is always a good idea.  I saw a thing recently on FaceBook where someone asked God why there was so many school massacres.  God replied that He wasn't allowed in schools.

It's a great article, and I'll link it here again.  Go read the whole thing for more insight, but what struck me about these recommendations, is that not one of them violates the 2nd Amendment.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Red Beans and RIce

We know that spring is on the way, but winter ain't over yet.  Yesterday, Belle decided to put on a pot of red beans.  She uses a method that has absolutely no work at all.

Red Beans and Sausage

2 lbs dry red kidney beans
2 lbs sausage (any kind.  Take your pick)

Rinse beans and sort.  Beans are a raw agricultural product and occasionally you'll find a puce of gravel.  In a large slow-cooker, add beans, water to cover them, salt, pepper to taste.  Cut sausage into rounds and add to the pot.  Cook on low for 12-14 hours.  The beans will get creamy and the sausage will add a little fat to the mix, blending the flavors.    That is an 8-quart slow cooker.  Adjust your proportions to match your cooker.  One pound of beans and one pound of sausage work just fine in a smaller cooker.

We put these on last night before bedtime and let them cook all night.    In another hour, we'll put on a pot of rice and Belle will make cornbread.

Red Beans and Rice fits good on a cloudy, cool February morning.

Two Mallards

Stepped out on the carport this morning, and saw movement in the ditch.  Two mallards, exploring around.

The drake is easy to spot, the hen is well camouflaged, directly behind the drake.  They probably came up from the pond on the other side of the property.  We normally have some geese who winter over, but I haven't seen mallards in a couple of years.

Where Is Dad?

School shootings or not, last week before the carnage, I was having a conversation with a very smart educator about the challenges we face with the preponderance of single-parent homes that find all across the nation.  Single-parent and in some cases no-parent conditions (kids being raised by grandma) affect the way that teachers do their jobs, and cause havoc in society in the larger sense.

 Susan L. Goldberg discusses this at PJMedia and talks about the effect that the lack of parenting has on society.  She links to some studies that show:
72 percent of adolescent murderers grew up without fathers; the same for 60 percent of all rapists.
70 percent of juveniles in state institutions grew up in single- or no-parent situations
The number of single-parent households is a good predictor of violent crime in a community, while poverty rate is not.
Now, there are millions of kids who grow up in single-parent households who turn out just fine. But, as long as we are talking about what is different now and the apparent rise of problems in our schools (sometimes lethal problems), it might be useful to talk about the number of kids growing up in single-parent households.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Elegant Sulutions

I spent the day working in the shop with my elder son, my son-in-law, and a church member.  We were welding steel together to make a portable six-lane range for Louisiana State.  This thing has to be lightweight, yet sturdy enough to handle the rigors of wax-bullet shooting, mainly to hold the backdrops.

No pictures because we were totally engaged for most of the day, but we've come up with some elegant solutions that we'll unveil at Louisiana State.  Lightweight, simple to erect, and sturdy enough to hold the backdrop.  The whole thing is made out of 3/4 inch steel tubing.

I'm stoked about the ideas we came up with today, and I'm looking forward to bringing this project to conclusion.  The Cross-BRanded Peacemakers will have a portable range that we can set up anywhere.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Royal Wax Bullets

Early this week, I called a guy that I had been meaning to call.  Casey Jordan, of Royal Wax Bullets, in Phoenix, AZ.  I had been meaning to try his bullets, because I heard that they didn't bounce like some of the others.  We shoot in an indoor range, a standard CFDA setup.

Using competitors bullets, they either shattered and left a mess of wax chips to clean up, or they were so hard they bounced back, completely to the scoring table, 35 feet away.  Belle doesn't mind score-keeping, but she doesn't lie dodging ricochets.  So, I was casting about for a bullet that would stay within the rang.e area.  Of course, everyone in the range wears eye protection.  That is an iron-clad rule in our range.

I sent Boab ad email on Sunday, and we agreed on the terms, and he shipped the bullets on Monday.  I found them on the front stoop on Thursday, after a long shift.  When I got home today, Belle and I walked out to the range, where I loaded a cylinder, and gave them a go.  They load easily into standard CFDA cases, pushed in with the thumb.  Belle worked the lights, and I stepped up to the line and ran then at the target.

We shoot from 21 feet, and none of the bullets made it back to the 15-foot line.They all fell on the concrete in front of the carpet.  They bounced, but they didn't ricochet, and they didn't shatter.  They simple fell on the ground about six feet from the target.

The picture came out a little fuzzy.  By the time I decided to make pictures, I had had a couple of drinks.
The bullets were easy to pick up, did not shatter and bounced only about six (6) feet.  Belle was impressed.  Belle was happy, and so am I.  They load easily, shoot fine, and don't ricochet all over the range.  We like these bullets and will recommend them to our club and our friends.

If you're a CFDA shooter and want to try the Royal Wax bullets, give Casey a call.  His contact information is under the link.

Security? Good Question

In the wake of the most recent school shooting, I've been asked a lot of questions about school security.  Even this morning, one of the big magillas at the school was asking me what could be done to improve the security at local schools.  That's a complicated question that does not lend itself to a simple answer.  The basic idea, though, is how much money are you willing to spend?

We live (theoretically) in a free society.  Many of our schools were built in another era, when free access and ease of movement were the primary considerations.  Many of the schools I am familiar with, especially high schools, are not monolithic structures.  They're a campus with  multiple facilities.  For example, the last high school I was assigned had a front building, a back building, two gymnasiums, a woodworking shop and an ROTC building, all connected by sidewalks.  The main classroom building had fourteen (14) entrances, all used on a daily basis.  A city street goes through the campus.  How secure is it possible to make a facility like that?

I suppose you could wrap the whole facility in a chain link fence, with one main entry point, and positive movement controls on vehicles.  Who is going to open the gate when a parent comes in to pick up a sick child?  Who is going to check delivery vehicles?   Many schools have kids coming and going all day, with the attendant movement in the student parking lots.  Who is going to man that gate?  (Trust me, been there, done that).

At some point, as you increase movement controls, with positive entrance and exit security, you realize that you are no longer in a school, but in a prison.  Even in prisons, (been there too), we have security issues.  Daily problems arising from locked doors, competing priorities, and daily necessities.  So, inn the schools, especially, we have this dichotomy between security and freedom of movement.  We have to balance those issues as we try to live in a free society with security concerns.

In 2003, our sheriff decided to put one trained, certified cop in each school in our parish.  He absorbed the full cost of the project.  I volunteered for the program and it has been very successful.  We work in the schools, but we work for the Sheriff and this has been very successful, although the program was not without its growing pains.

If there are going to be armed, trailed officers in the schools, it is important that they not work for the school district.  The officer must have freedom of movement (not be tied to a post), have full authority to arrest.  The officer is NOT there to help with classroom management or school discipline, or any of a myriad of other issues except as they affect law enforcement.  The officer's main function is to be highly visible, to deter threats, to move toward and eliminate threats, and to be a law enforcement liaison to the school.  In time, the officer will become an integral part of the school, completely integrated in the daily routine, but apart.

And yes, the officer will do a certain amount of classroom management, assist with school discipline, and many other things not normally associated with his primary function.  That's okay, as long as everyone remembers what the primary function of the officer is.  It is okay for the officer to be helpful, and every cop in the school wants to be an asset, but there are certain things that cops are not allowed to do in a school, simply because they are cops.

Put a fully certified, highly trained cop in every school.  Give them freedom of action, accountable to the local Sheriff or Police Chief, and let them be highly visible.  We've been using this model since 2003 and it seems to work very well.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

An Epic Rant

Megyn Kelly goes on an epic rant.  It's almost fun to watch, because she appears so powerless.  "The NRA is too powerful, and our politicians are too weak."  That's true Megyn.  Millions of us stand with the NRA, and we elect politicians who also stand with the NRA.  That makes us powerful.

What she doesn't understand is that we feel the same frustration.  None of us wants to see school shootings.  None of us wants to watch mass carnage.  But, we can't just start institutionalizing the mentally challenged.  The ACLU would have a fit. 

I take no neither comfort nor amusement at her frustration.  I feel it too.  But, whatever we come up with has to make sense.  It also needs to make a difference. 

A World Without GPS

In the past decade, we've become dependent on GPS, the global positioning satellites that ring the globe.  Much of the military uses it constantly.  But what happens if it suddenly "goes away"?
The U.S. military is worryingly dependent on GPS. Our global positioning satellites tell planes where they are, provide targeting info for smart weapons, and support communication and navigation systems. But in a war with a tech-advanced adversary—think China, Russia, or Iran—GPS could become a big liability because it could be jammed, spoofed, or outright destroyed.
 So how does the U.S. Air Force train for such a scenario? Simple—just turn it off.
I learned to navigate long before GPS was a thing.  Map and compass, declination angles, back azimuths and terrain association.  In tanks, compasses were useless.  Sixty tons of steel plays havoc with a compass.A buddy of mine flew B-52s during the Vietnam war..  He could pick Polaris and Rigel our of the night sky in an instant. 

GPS is cool, but when the balloon goes up, there is no guarantee that it will survive the opening shots.  Soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines had best learn to get out the map and do stubby-pencil navigation.  It might be the difference between life and death.

The Florida School Shooting

I'm sure by now you've heard about the horrific shooting in a Broward County high school yesterday.

This is exactly what I've done for a living for the past 15 years and I've studied these things.  Often, we're left with unanswered questions, because the goblin commits suicide, but the police managed to identify and grab this guy, so we'll learn more over the coming weeks.  Here is what is being reported so far.

The goblin waited until the afternoon.  It's been reported that the shooting started during 4th period, which is after lunch.  This is interesting.  Most school shootings happen at or before lunch.

The goblin had been expelled for disciplinary reasons.  He is 19 years old.

He used an AR-15 rifle.  Apparently, he acquired it legally and passed a background check. 

Seventeen (17) dead, many more wounded.

We have the beginnings of a timeline here.  I can't figure out how when the shooting started and when police arrived.  We'll learn more later.

The goblin has been captured.  He'll be in court later today.

Apparently, he had a "disturbing" social media presence.  He was "obsessed" with guns and knives.

Anti-gunners are already dancing in the blood.  That's what they do.

An observation: From my perspective, most teenagers social media presence is disturbing.  As we move more and more into a digital persona, we reveal things about ourselves that we weren't able to reveal thirty or forty years ago.  I've been blogging since 2005, and a googly number of my blog posts are about guns, or hunting, or reloading, or any number of things that some folks may find "disturbing".  Some may even say that I have bee "obsessed". 

As a warrior, and as a cop, I've studied and enjoyed guns my entire life.  And, as a school-house cop, I've studied school shootings.  I've stalked hallways, counting paces, figuring fields of fire and finding useful hidey-holes.  It's what I do.  I've also talked to a lot of kids, many of then had questions about guns, or ballistics,   They'd seek me out because I was the guy carrying the gun on the campus.  There are two kids, in particular that come to mind.  Both were serious gun-nuts, but they never shot up the school.  One of them is now a banker, the other is n ex-Marine who is back in college.

We'll learn more about this particular goblin the coming days and weeks.  Hopefully, we'll learn his motivations and take a trip through his dark mind.  It will be a troubling journey.

And, the anti-gunners will continue to dance in the blood.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Living In The Mountains

I like visiting the mountains.  But I wouldn't like this.

Hurricanes are bad, but this would really suck.

Hat tip, Wirecutter.

St. Valentine's Day

As every married man is aware, today is St. Valentine's Day.  Whatever the original intent, it is now a day set aside to celebrate romantic love. (and yes, Belle and I observe the proprieties).

In this PC era, though, it seems that it's not enough to celebrate love.  Some students actually signed a petition to ban it as offensive:
So  Campus Reform went to Cornell University to see how crazy it could get. They were armed with a fake petition to ban Valentine’s Day, ” on the grounds that it was simply too offensive to students without a romantic partner,” and it pushes the idea that “single people have no value.”
This is a silly-ass world that we live in.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Purple Martins

One harbinger of spring is the arrival of the Purple Martin scouts.  Normally, about the first week of February, you'll see a few Purple Martins looking around, and a couple of weeks later, the houses are full of breeding pairs.

Today, the 13th of February, I saw the first of the scouts. have arrived.

Winter ain't over, but the Martins re showing up.

Great Leaders

What makes a leader great?  We could make a laundry list of traits, but Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has weighed in on the question.  His answer is both simple, and complicated.
Describing Jesus Christ as the “greatest leader of all time,” Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz said problems arise when leaders “lose humility” and let their “pride” get in the way.
Wentz said Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King Jr. are often mentioned as prime examples of leadership, and they wanted to make the world a better place rather than achieve fame.
It's hard to argue with that logic, but then I'm a Christian, and I believe that He still leads us.
“I think the greatest leader of all time, whether you believe in him or not, is Jesus Christ. I don’t think there’s any debating that. This man changed the history of everything. He changed everything. He’s the most impact man to ever walk the Earth; again, whether you believe in him or not. I don’t think there’s any debating that,” Wentz told the audience.
 Servant Leadership is an important trait in any leader, and if you believe as I do, Jesus Christ led the way.  It's a powerful interview.

Ancient Avition

In a great photo from World War II, a British Spitfire prepares to engage a German V1 flying bomb.  The Spitfire is trying to flip the wing of the V1 in odder to trip the gyroscope off balance, disrupting the flight path (trying to send it into a spin)

Great photo!  At least three aircraft were involved in this photograph (the photographer had to be sitting in something behind the Spitfire).  I do wonder why the Spit pilot didn't just shoot it down.  Several possibilities exist.  The Spit pilot may not have wanted to have the extra bullets from his machine guns falling on the English countryside (although he is about to drop several hundred pounds of high explosives on that same countryside).  Or, he may simply have been out of ammo.

Either way, its a very cool photograph.  I couldn't find attribution, but it probably comes from British military files.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Buffalo Trace

I likpe my whiskey from Kentucky, and like most of the folks I know, I normally buy one of several brands, depending on what I intend to do with it.  For mixing with cola, I generally pick Evan Williams, or Jim Beam, depending on which is the lesser cost at the grocers.  (Yeah, we can buy our hooch at the grocery store in Louisina.).  Recently, I've been mixing Benchmark whiskey with cola.  It comes at a " popular price point", which means it's the cheapest thing on the shelf that claims to be Kentucky bourbon.

A little research told me that Benchmark whiskey is made at  the Sazerac company's Buffalo Trace distillery in Frankfort Kentucky.  Evidently, Benchmark is their low priced offering, with other bourbons made for other palates.

On the advise of a friend, this weekend I picked up a bottle of their namesake brand, Buffalo Trace, to sample.  My son and I cracked the jug yesterday afternoon, and I m quite impressed.

I admit, I'm impressed.  Either neat, or with ice and a splash of water, it goes down smooth.  I'm not sure what flavors I was tasting, but it's a complex whiskey with a remarkably smooth finish.  It is easy on the tongue, and I can see that this stuff might "sneak up" on you.  It's smooth enough that you could drink three or four of these before you realized what you've done.

There is still a spot on my shelf for lesser whiskeys, but you can bet that Buffalo Trace has a spot there as well.

Gene Hill once said that: "No man is truly happily married if he has to drink lesser whiskey that when he was single."  If you have Buffalo Trace on your shelf, you have very good whiskey indeed.

Monday Piddling

It's the Monday of the Mardi Gras holiday.  The schools are closed today and tomorrow because Mardi Gras is a big deal in Louisiana.  The skies are overcast, the temps are chilly, and Belle and I are hanging around the house, piddling.

I've been out in the shop most of the morning, doing target maintenance, and taking inventory of what I have and what I need.  The Louisiana State competition is seven weeks away, and we'll be picking up speed until the first shot is fired that Friday morning.

I came in for lunch, and started digging in the 'fridge.  I decided to cook an old favorite, fried bologna  sandwiches.  I like my bread toasted, and we happened to have a stale loaf on the counter.  Stale bread makes great toast.  I had been to the store earlier, and had picked up some of those Mexican hot-house tomatoes.  They're not as good as vine-ripened, but it is February.  I'll make do with hot-house tomatoes until the local crop comes in.

Belle and I will go to church later.  We're having a big eating meeting and we're going to bring a pan of Ouida potatoes.  Those are always a hit.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Hanging a Flag

Today, while Belle was working on lunch. (Chicken and dumplings, by the way), the boys and I went out to the shop to piddle around.  We decided that the shop needed a flag, and I happened to have one, a burial flag that I bought several years ago at  an auction.

A burial flag has different dimensions than a standard American flag.  It's sized to fit properly over a coffin.  I don't know how this particular flag wound up being sold at an auction, but I know what it was and decided to buy it, not knowing what I'd do with it.  At 5' X 9', it's a big flag, but I think that it makes the proper statement.

The top edge of the flag is bout 12 feet from the floor, and it watches over the firing line.

I think that it is just right.

A Good Ballad

One of the best.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Mardi Gras

It's Mardi Gras weekend in Louisiana and the weather is NOT cooperating.  Torrential ran threatens to cancel parades all over the state, and it looks like it is going to hang on, all through the weekend.

Yes, it is going to rain today.  But, this is exactly why I built the project building.  The Peacemakers are scheduled to shoot this morning, and now we don't have to worry about the weather.  Let's take a tour, shall we?

We will inaugurate it this morning at 10:00 am.  Y'all come shoot with us.

Friday, February 09, 2018

On This Day

February 9, 1964 a musical group from Liverpool, England was introduced to the US on the Ed Sullivan show.

I watched that show at my grandfather's house.  He had cable TV, and my Dad wouldn't install it at our house.

Their influence on music is still being felt today.

The Project - An Accounting

I didn't go out in the shop last night.  My workday was over several hours after dark, and I decided, with some input from Belle, that erecting a ladder in a dark shop building was probably not the most prudent way to proceed.  Today, I'll get off work long before dark, and I can work out there this afternoon.

But, it is instructive to look at this project so far, through Phase 1.  The building itself is a common metal building, 40 X 50 feet, with 10-foot eaves.  It has one 12-foot roll up door and one man door.  The roof is pitched 3-on-12.

A cost breakdown is included.

Slab - $10,000 complete, installed.  Footings, rebar, and reinforcing wire,
Building - $14,500 complete with doors installed and framing for electrical and A/C.
A/C units.  $1000.  Two, identical 18K BTU units.
Electrical supplies - $1000 meter pan, breaker panel, wring, outlets, boxes, and etc
Insulation - $4500.  1 inch closed cell foam installed on all surfaces.  R6 value.

If my math serves, it reveals that I have $31,000 in this project, which translates to $15.50 per square foot of usable space.  Not bad.

Belle and I were reflecting last evening, that up to this point, everything that has come across the culvert has been paid for, in cash.  We have not yet visited a loan officer.  More surprisingly, we have used three different contractors (concrete, fabrication, and insulation), and so far I have not yet signed a contract.   This project was done the old-fashioned way, with good people standing on the ground, making commitments, and shaking hands.  In many cases, that is all that is necessary.

When I get home this afternoon, I"ll try to remember to take pictures.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Lists to Starboard?

The German Navy is having problems with their new class of frigate.  To the point where they have refused to accept delivery.  Evidently, the new software and hardware systems didn't play well together.
System integration issues are a major chunk of the Baden-W├╝rrtemberg’s problems. About 90 percent of the ship’s systems are so new that they’ve never been deployed on a warship—in fact, they’ve never been tested together as part of what the US Navy would call “a system of systems.” And all of that new hardware and software have not played well together—particularly with the ship’s command and control computer system, the Atlas Naval Combat System (ANCS).
That, and it had a permanent list to starboard.


The insulation guy is scheduled to be at my building this morning to install one inch of closed cell foam over the entire interior of the building.  The weather has finally conspired to make this possible.  Once the insulation is installed, Phase 1 of the project will be complete.

I'll be working a 12-hour shift today, so I won't see it until after dark, and there are no lights installed.  I may be compelled to get the ladder and install the lights tonight when I get home.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

That Parade

I hear that President Trump wants a parade; a grand, military parade,

And folks are going crazy.
Democrats will make it all about Trump, and it will be hard to argue with them. They’ll argue it’s a waste and unbecoming of a U.S. president. Trump, meanwhile, will revel in the controversy it causes and the spectacle, insisting he’s just promoting the American military and suggesting that people who oppose it oppose the military. (This will undoubtedly happen.)
Were I still on active duty, I'd cringe.  Not at  the parade itself, but at the logistical nightmare that such a thing entails.  Parades of any size, even a piddling brigade parade, make staff officers swear and commanders berserk. The privates and the sergeants know that they'll spend weeks preparing, cleaning, polishing and rehearsing, and that when it is all over, they'll  be foot-sore and tired.

It will be a grand spectacle, and it will be pure Trump.

Exit question: Didn't they have a grand veterans parade back in the '30s?

Monday, February 05, 2018

That Memo

I'm sure that by ow you've all heard of the memo that President Trump declassified on Friday.  That memo (the Nunes memo) laid out some allegations about the FISA courts and the collusion between Hillary's campaign, the FBI, and the Russians to affect the 2016 election.  (That's an over-simplification, but what the hell)

It seems now that the New York Times is suing to get the background documents released.
But President Trump lowered the shield of secrecy surrounding such materials on Friday by declassifying the Republican memo about Mr. Page, 
OH, hell yes, give it to them.  The Steele dossier has been thoroughly discredited, and as I understand it, was the basis of the FISA warrant int he first place.   Whether or not the FBI was aware that they were using the "fruit of a poisoned tree" is subject to interpretation, but I've never been a fan of secret courts anyway.  I believe that, except in rare circumstances, courts and their records should e open to the public.

The best antiseptic for corruption is bright sunlight.  Let Freedom Ring.

A Reckoning

Like many of you, I've been only partially aware of the ongoing criminal allegations against Larry Nasser, a sports doctor accused of raping/molesting scores of young athletes.  The complete timeline, as best we can tell, is under the link.  At any rate, he is accused of molesting scores of young women over the course of several decades.

I normally don't comment on these cases while they're being litigated.The accused does have a presumption of innocence.    But, like the coward he is, he recently plead guilty to three (3) counts, so his presumption of innocence has dissolved.  At sentencing, the court was compelled to listen to victim impact statements.  One day, the father of three victims, asked for five minutes alone with the offender.  The court, of course, denied that request, and the Dad lunged at the offender and was restrained by deputies.

Dramatic, and it plays out just as you'd expect.  The Dad doesn't get to the offender and is restrained and removed from the courtroom.  Yet, Dad's plight is understandable.

Later, the judge issues a statement.  She understands that Dad's plight is normal and natural.

The judge can't condone violence against the offender.  We get it.   And there is the tragedy.  Justice is the province of the state, and the victim often gets left behind.  Just because an offender is going to be sentenced to many, many years in prison doesn't help the victims heal.  In many cases, there is an empty, unrequited rage left for the victim to deal with.

For the law, you see, is about the state.  The state reserves justice to itself, for its own purposes.  Vengeance, if you read the Bible, is reserved to God.  So, the victim gets neither justice (which is reserved to the State), or vengeance (which is reserved to God).

Dad was seeking a reckoning.  If the justice system was truly concerned about justice, it would allow for a reckoning in some cases. It might be cathartic to the victim and would not diminish justice in any way.  In the long run, it might save the State a great deal of money.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Sunday Cooking

We awoke to a cold, dreary, cloudy Sunday morning.  I wanted to grill outdoors, but the weather just doesn't support it.  But, I have children coming over in a few hours, and PawPaw is on the hook for lunch.    Not a problem.  I've got a lot of cajun in me, and I can whip something up in short order.

My grandmother Anderson, who was reared in New Iberia, LA, had one steadfast rule for cooking.  "First, make  roux."  That's good advise and I intend to follow it.

I have made a lot of roux over my lifetime.  Thousands of gallons, but this may be the best one I've ever made.  It will serve as the base for what I'm going to do next, and I admit that I'm not sure.  However, I soon have to make a list and trot down to the grocers, so I'd best decide quickly.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Tom's Is Open!

Craawfish season is impossible to predict.  Depending on the weather, the rain and other indicators, one day the crawfish are still in their holes, the next day they are moving.  Some years we've eate crawfish as early as January 1st.  Other years it's much later.

There is a crawfish boiler on Highway 107 in Pineville.  Tom's Seafood.  When Belle wants crawfish, she wants them from Tom's and we've been watching the storefront for a couple of week.s  We drive past every day on the way home, and we look to see if the lights are on.

Today, coming back from a practice shoot with our parent club, we drove past Toms and Belle noticed the lights were on.

"They're open.  They're open!" she exclaimed as we drove past.

"You want crawfish?" I asked.

"Yes, yes, yes."

I turned the van around and went back to Tom's.

It's crawfish season in Pineville.  Tom's is open, and all is right in Belle's world.

Friday, February 02, 2018

Comey Beclowns Himself

Jim Comey, ever the weasel, has beclowned himself on Twitter.  On the morning when President Trump is threatening to release some memo that all Democrats hate, Comey wades into karma and irony.

Hey, Jim, aren't you the weasel who declared that Hillary was not prosecutable, after laying out the elements of the crime, a crime that would get any service member prosecuted for mis-handling classified information?

Lots of people have been prosecuted for doing less than Hillary did, but it took a weasel like Jim Comey to try and clear her.  Karma's a bitch, ain't it Jim?

Just go away, Jim.  You sullied the badge and the profession, and now you're looking for your place in history.  You have already made your place in history, and it's not an honorable one.

Thursday, February 01, 2018


Planning for Louisiana State continues apace.  Earlier this week it was designing a poster to advertise, then part of the week was spent getting some new targets cut.  Now, I'm finalizing the trophy list and getting some draft designs ready to go to the fab shop.

Very soon I'll be making lists and double-checking them.  We're about nine weeks out, and the final push will begin very shortly.

There is still a whole lot of work to do, but I feel confident that we're planning and will execute a very fine state championship.  All those years learning staff work and planning military exercises will put me in good stead.