Monday, July 22, 2019

The Second amendment ... why isn't it the FIRST Amendment?

Like many of you who read this spiel, I consider the Second Amendment (the right to "Keep and Bear Arms") to be one of the most important freedoms which are recognized by out Constitution.

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
(You have no idea how awkward it was to find the actual text of the 2nd Amendment!)

Like many of you, I find it ... "awkward" ... to rely on a Constitutional Amendment to define our right to defend ourselves against armed predators.  

And more important, it seems that the right is so obvious, it doesn't seem necessary to include it in our Constitution.  

But sadly, there are so many people who think that the whole "GUNS ARE BAD" thingie should predominate American thought, we who depend upon our own willingness not to be predated upon (rather than expect "police" to protect us) ... we find ourselves in the minority.

As it happens, the First Amendment (freedom of speach, etc.) is PROTECTED by the Second Amendment ... the right to keep and bear arms.  

If we can speak our mind, and if some violent persons disagree with us ... we cam only counter violence with superior violence.  Witness the American Revolution, when England was our master and we revolted against a country which was stronger and as well-armed.  

Americans prevailed because they were armed, and willing to use those arms to support their cause of independence.

Today, America is the most powerful nation n the world, and we continue to support our independence through force of arms.  We don't have to fight our enemies, because the know that (A) our force of arms dominate the power of any other nation, and (B) our armed citizenry is well known for being feisty and aggressive against would-be aggressors.  


(And they can't afford a war against the richest nation.)

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Damned if you do ...







https://www.foxnews.com/politics/house-dems-formally-condemn-trumps-racist-remarks-floor-fight-pelosi
The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed a resolution Tuesday evening condemning President Trump's "racist" remarks this weekend -- although the moment was largely overshadowed by a dramatic floor fight earlier in the day that ended with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ruled out of order for a breach of decorum.

As far as it's obvious, the "Racist Remarks: were:

Trump had tweeted on Sunday that unnamed "Democrat Congresswomen" should go back and fix the "corrupt" and "crime infested places" from which they came and then "come back and show us how it's done." He later all but affirmed he was referring to Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley -- all of whom, except Omar, were born in the United States.
Personally, I'm confused when I try to find the elements of "Racism" in this reference/.

The instigator of the boondogle seems to have been a female senator from California. (Democratic, of course), and it's difficult to find a state which is more mired in political boondoglery ... if we ignore New York (which I do daily).

The female representatives are connected with eastern states, which are often prone to Liberal interpretation of laws and regulations .. much like California.

Well, nobody is perfect.

My understanding is that the Trump comment referred to the states which the individual career politicians represented, rather than the nations and cultures of their ancestral origin. 
That sort-of shunts the emphasis from "we're offended because you denigrate our ancestry" to "we're offended because you represent the "OTHER" Political Party".

But that's too simple, and unlikely to provide fodder for the bottom-feeders of Ameica's most sensitive political party.


Trophy Hunting

Bambi Lives!

I once shot a chipmunk with a .22 pistol.
Not because I had felt threatened or because I was hungry, or because it was a "varmint" raiding a farmer's Alfalfa crop, but because I was young and bored and couldn't find any jackrabbits.

That statement is "full disclosure";  I've shot things I didn't need to shoot, and I regret it.

A recent Rant against "Trophy Hunting" included this:
 A couple photographed kissing next to a lion they have just killed while on safari has caused outrage.
...
But the pictures were widely condemned after being placed on the website of Legelela Safaris – a tour company which specialises in organising big game hunts.
... and :
Australian TV host Danny Clayton said: “More idiots that get their rocks off by pointing a boomstick at a beautiful animal."

(spelling irregularities in original copy)

V
V
V

Heat Wave

Be careful in the sun:  Seek shade, drink lots of water, and remember that perspiration is God's way of telling you that you're going to Hell!

In Viet Nam, (1969-1970)  ... three months into my tour.

We were assigned to "Firebase Security", my platoon and another, and we were assigned to a "cloverleaf patrol" outside Firebase "November 2" ..

"We" was Charley Company, 1/18th, First Infantry Division.  One hundred Infantrymen commanded by Captain Cagill and we were Third Platoon ("Third Herd") commanded by Lieutenant Smith ... known as "The Rutgers Ranger" ... he was a graduate of the ROTC program at Rutgers University.

Lieutenant Smith (all names are invented here) commanded First and Second platoons, I was senior NCO (E6/Staff Sergeant) of Third Platoon.   Fourth platoon did not exist .. manpower was short.  We had to use everyone we had, regardless of the risks.

I led the 30-man platoon, which we had split into two 2-squad elements; our company mission was to perform a day-light "cloverleaf" patrol around the four corners of the firebase to search for daylight infiltrators or any enemy positions.  Mostly, we were just showing the flag so Charley knew he couldn't sneak observers into the area of the firebase without being discovered.

In truth, it was a bullshit mission because the CO didn't want us to just sit behind the wire and get soft.

It was a delicate minuet we danced: Chi-Com Charley vs GI Joe.  We all  knew that November 2 guarded Hiway 15 (AKA "Thunder Road" as it was the most direct access to Saigon from the North .. where Charley ruled the High Ground and we guarded the road ... the easiest and fasted route to Saigon in the country.

Running a daylight patrol in the 130 degree tropical sun is not a softening exercise.  It had its own threats, including that Charley might have set up a few trip-wires to break up a (REALLY important) Night-time patrol.  It was one of Charley's favorite games.  He set up a daytime booby-trap  which would have attracted defensive fire at night in a quadrant which was NOT the planned access for a late-night    We HAD to patrol, every day, regardless of the high probability that some of our men would be unable to withstand the terrible heat and high humidity.

But Charley left a few routes "not mined".  If we could find where the traps were, we could figure out the routes which Charley was un likely to pour troups at us during the hours of darkenss; a pre-dawn raid was their favorite tacktic.

So .. yes!  Taking a patrol out in the heat of the day was risky because of the chance that American troups would be decimated by heat-stroke.  It was stupid to send troups on patrol in the heat of the day.

That's why we did it, and that's why we assumed the risk of the deadly noon-day sun.

And Charley's simple little trap worked, at least as far as it went.

All of our attention was on providing First Aid to a "wounded comrade", and our patrol never completed its assigned mission because of the need to (a) get our man the best medical attention immediately, and (b) get the rest of our men under cover.


(For what it's worth, we never found any mines, booby-traps, or other conditions which might have hazarded a night-time patrol .. so we patrolled the outside perimeter that night, too.)



What is heatstroke?

Heatstroke is a serious condition that occurs when our body’s temperature rises over 103 degrees Fahrenheit. It is usually the result of overexerting yourself in extreme heat and is an emergency. “With heat stroke, the body tries to lower its internal temperature by systematically shutting down organs to protect the heart and brain,” explains cardiologist Paula Montana De La Cadena, MD.
In a word .. "Heatstroke Will Kill You!" almost as fast as a bullet.  (Okay, more than one word.)

We all carried three to five canteens of water 

 I also carried a 5-gallon backpack of water, because when you're on a long patrol, the three or four or five canteens won't last anyone if the patrol is extended.  The weight was grueling at first, but we always took it slow and easy for the first day of the patrol.  When we stopped for the night, I refilled canteens from my back-pack.  It still wasn't as much as we wanted, but every man "hydrated" every time we stopped. Sometimes, more often.   My backpack was necessary because we typically didn't meet a "resupply" convoy more often than every 3 days (unless we were in contact .. when we sometimes needed ammunition resupply anyway);  and we always needed more food ... humping through the bush required a lot of calories, and the one thing that the Army was good at was supply!

It wasn't my choice to carry extra water because I was "noble"; I didn't walk as far as everyone else in the unit, but I always encouraged them to "hydrate" (drink water) at every stop ... even if it was only a sip from a canteen.  You are not your best judge of your need for water in a combat patrol; that's MY job, as Platoon Sergeant ... to look after your men.   I would send them out on short patrols to investigate the flanks of our line of match, and they would come back later having travelled two or three times as much ground as I had travelled.  They were our "Flankers", and our first line of defense.

These men were our most important members of any patrol.  I was nothing more than the guy who sent them off on dangerous missions ... and I was their Water Bearer.  They did the hard work; I sent them out as well-supplied as possible.  I knew I might not see them back for hours .. or alive.

After all these years, I have lost contact with the men I commanded, and also with their families (with whom I maintained an email relationship until they ceased to respond.

I am very proud of the men who allowed me to work with them in the most dangerous part of their lives.  Most of them came home again, and I talked with them.  Those who didn't come back "whole" left me with family contacts, and for a while .... but then it became more uncomfortable for them to talk to me, and i did not force myself and my memories upon them.

But I hope they know that I have not forgotten the brave men who fought with me.  A couple of whom I watched die, some of whom went elsewhere .. and the most of them just don't want to talk about Viet Nam any more.

I hope that this is the last time I'll talk about those awful days .... my brother-in-law accuses me of having "Loved It", but he avoided the draft (I wish I could have done so .. for m soul's sake) and i can't guarantee that I won't have more "War Stories" to get off my chest in the future.

The truth is, it's helpful for me to talk about The Bad Old Days.

Fighting in an undeclared war against an enemy who had never constituted a direct threat ....
against me, my country or my family, is not my "Bravest Moment". ... I wish I had never been involved.  Why couldn't they just let me be?  But NO .. they drafted me and (GOD help me) I did my best to be the most fierce warrior possible.

It's late nights such as this one, when I wonder if I should have just renounced my American citizenship and moved to Canada.

But that would have been an act of cowardice, I think, and I should always wonder whether I had renounced my American Citizenship out of moral outrage, or fear of death in war..

In the end, I did not have the moral courage to refuse the draft. 
What would my children think of me then?

No, I did what I thought was the lesser of evils .. I "served my country" to the best of my ability, and for a cause that I did not espouse .... because it IS My Country.

No Mission Too Difficult;
No Sacrifice Too Great!
Duty First!

That's the motto of the First Infantry Division.




Monday, July 15, 2019

How many witches does it take to constitute a coven?

Apparently, within the Democratic party, the coven-quorum number is four:

Progressive lawmaker responds to President Trump's tweets.
In spirited remarks tinged with open animosity, (1) Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., standing side-by-side with Reps. (2) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,(3) Ayanna Pressley and (4) Dashiki Tlaib, declared at a news conference Monday on Capitol Hill that "it is time for us to impeach this president" for "openly violating" his constitutional oath.
Well, that seems fair.   After all, the Republicans wanted to impeach President Clinton for (essentially) Moral Turpitude and Being A Democrat.

At least the Democrats learned that an impeachment movement needs something a little more "political" than a BJ in the West Wing.

Unfortunately, the Dems have just delivered the moral equivalent (although not in the West Wing) with the Progressive Movement to impeach Trump for "being Presidential".

As nearly as anyone who isn't a radical leftist can guess, the reason for the current impeachment movement us because  "... he's a Racist ..."!!!

(Oh, and he also made some unkind remarks about people he has never met.)(Also, he hurt their feelings.)
Most importantly, the Democrats are attempting to impeach Donald Trump for not being a Democrat

This political strategy has apparently been attempted only twice in American history (Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton) ... neither time successfully:impeached-3368130
There are only two impeached presidents in United States history, meaning only two presidents have been charged by the House of Representatives with committing "high crimes and misdemeanors."." Neither of the two impeached presidents, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, were convicted by the Senate. In fact, there has never been a president removed from office using the impeachment process.
(emphasis added)

Well, then there was John Tyler.  But he wasn't sufficiently colorful to show up in a quick internet search.   And Andrew Johnson.  (You can look them up yourself.)

Essentially, being impeached includes being accused, not being convicted of a charge which might ultimately resulted in the removal of a sitting president from office.   Yeah, like THAT'S gonna happen!  If they couldn't kick Nixon out, EVERYBODY is safe!

  (Oh!  Wait a minute ..... never mind.)

My guess is that Donald  Trump might be secretly pleased by any kind of impeachment proceedings against him.  He's a Glory Hound, and obviously loves the attention. 

BUT GETTING BACK TO THE MAIN THEME ... it takes only the accusation of a sitting member of congress (or two or three ... who knows?) to mount impeachable accusations against a current office holder.

It works out quite well for every one:

-- the accusers get their names in the newspapers (Headline Hogs)
.. the accused suddenly seems "colorful" to the Hoi Poloi.

In Trump's case, that's worth a good twelve to fourteen points in next week's Gallop Polls!

(Unless you're Richard Nixon)

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

KaBOOM in School

A teacher brought a gun to school to "teach" his students about safe gun handling.  Unfortunately, he served as a good example of a bad example.

He pulled the trigger, and the gun went "BOOM!" 
My oh my, what a wonderful lesson plan!  And reportedly, three students were wounded.

Even total incompetents can teach a lesson.  Unfortunately, it's not always the best approach.   (See Below for link)

THESIS:  The teacher probably thought the was a "competent" gun owner

ANTH-THEIS: he was a total incompetent.

The guy probably thought he was qualified to teach "Gun Safety".  Obviously, he was not.

Chances approach 100 percent that he did NOT notify the school board about his lesson plan ... and he would probably be denied permission to bring a fully functional firearm into a school.

We would be interested to learn what background training he had received, or experience he had, to convince himself that he was an 'expert' in safe firearms training.  Our guess is that the answer to either question would not be acceptable.

Thankfully, he kept the muzzle pointed in a (relatively) "safe" direction and apparently nobody was wounded in this horrible boondoggle.

A High School Teacher's Gun Went Off During a Gun Safety Lesson - VICE: A day before thousands of students marched out of their classrooms to rally for gun control after 17 people died at a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, a teacher in California brought a firearm to school for a lesson about gun safety, CNN affiliate KSBW reports. Dennis Alexander, who also serves as a reserve police officer, was in the middle of teaching students at Seaside High School how to disarm a gunman when he accidentally wound up firing a shot, wounding three kids.
(He fired one shot, and wounded three kids?  Where was his muzzle pointing???_

The event serves only to reinforce two sad assumptions:

(1) There is no such thing as a "Safe Gun"
(2) There is no such thing as a "Gun Expert".

This teacher served only to emphasize the increasingly negative opinion of firearms owners, and to undermine the concept that "armed school employees may make schools safer from predators".

GUNS don't "go off" without humans touching them.

And Teachers are subject to error

UNFORTUNATELY ... this individual lapse in judgement may lead to a reinforcement in anti-gunners' hypothesis that firearms ownership should be subject to intense training and governmental restrictions before a LICENSE to possess a firearm is ALLOWED by some board of review ... and consequently may be denied under regulations which anti-gun people are just itching to impose on the Second Amendment.

I cannot think of any situation which might be more antithetical to the Second Amendment.

No word on the extent of the wounds incurred on the "wounded three kids" ... I'll try to research how one shot wounded three children (although I have small expectation of determining the bullet path).

I'm looking forward to news reports which detail the "Three Students Were Wounded".   Considering that the bullet apparently impacted the ceiling of the room, I suspect that the "wounds" were minor damage caused by ceiling debris falling upon them and were minor in nature. 

But I'm not prepared to argue the presumption without further information from people who were "on the scent" and are qualified to provide detail information about the wounds.


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

People often say ... "Why Do You Need A gun?"

Nobody really "needs" a gun!

Actually .. nobody really "Needs" a gun ... Until they really need it!
(Criminals .. subconsciously provide Society a service in their ineptitude; they prove the concept that everybody needs to provide for their own defense!)

Witness this incident where they attempt to attack an Armed Citizen in his home ... and are foiled by an A Man With A Gun


Kentucky homeowner shoots at intruders: WARREN COUNTY, Ky. (CNN Newsource) - A violent home invasion was caught on camera when four men burst through the door of a home in Kentucky, but they soon discovered the man inside was already armed. The home security cameras caught what happened next.
The consequences of this foiled "Home Invasion" was, of course, that the armed home-owner was able to interrupt their plans by the simple display of a firearm.

It's "axiomatic" that the Left should encourage the concept that "nobody needs a gun".

Perhaps the graphic evidence that a man with a gun was able to thwart the expectations of people who are bold enough to rob an occupied residence ... suggests that the Second Amendment is still pertinent.


"When seconds are important, the police are only hours away."

Anyone who expects the police to protect them from immediate threats by criminals, is naive.  At best.  Stupid .. at worse, because when you really need a gun, the police are  minutes away.

(Their only duty is to clean up the mess when your wife and daughter have been killed because you couldn't protect them.   Sorry if I seem overly critical, but they are not charged to "Protect You", regardless of the motto  their car.)

There is no police force in the nation which accepts the responsibility to protect you from casual violence; the best they can do is to collect evidence and hope to find murderers "after the fact"; they are not liable to civil suit for their failure to protect you, irregardless of their common motto   "To Protect ... And To Serve".


Yes, I've said almost all of this before.  You need to be aware that there is NOBODY who is going to protect you.

You need to protect yourself ... and your family, and your home.

If you are not armed in your home, you need to buy a gun and learn how to use it responsibly.

Wikipedia suggests that there is approximately one gun per home in America.


(Actually https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_ownership )
393 million guns for 326 citizens
Does this sound like "Too Much"?

I don't think so.  I own a couple of dozen guns myself, and every one has a different purpose .. for varying criteria of competition, and also home defence.

 (There are  different needs for "home Defense" versus "Personal Defense".
For example, I need concealability for Personal Defense, but I need high-round capacity for Home Defense.  And I also shoot "competitively", which has an entirely different requirement for Match Meets.
Don't even ask me about "hunting",)
For people who have no experience with firearms, all of these  variants seem obvious:  "Why Do You Need So Many bullets?" for self-defense.

The answer is equally obvious; you never know how many bullets you will need in a self-defence situation.'

For those who would assign an arbitrary number of bullets allowable to a gun, I suggest that they don't know what they are talking about; for each specific situation where an armed citizen needs to defend him/herself, a number of rounds fired versus the number of rounds needed to reduce the threat, may vary.

Most people aren't currently proficient with their firearm.  Which means they haven't gone to The Range to practice.   BAD PEOPLE!

( I haven't been to the range in a month, so I'm no better than the people I talk about!)

Having the experience of armed combat (Viet Nam, 1968 - 1970) I know that the number of rounds  expended versus the threats eliminated are ... phenomenal.

When you're being fired upon, the rounds expended toward a specific threat are often more intended to threaten the aggressor (keep their heads downthan to actually kill them; essential, you shoot to threaten your opponent more than to fulfill the expectation that you will kill them before they can kill you.

It's called: "incoming Fire Suppression", and it has been the  primary tactical philosophy of American troops for a half of a century. 

(Not that it has not been essentially effective; just "making a Loud Noise" and "Returning Fire" has been the most effective tactic of American Infantry for decades; it gives our Infantry something to do, and sometimes actually does succeed in suppressing enemy fire ... if only because they like to see us waste ammunition!)

It's usually better to drive away the guy who wants you to die NOW, than to hit him!
Which leads us to the concept of "Defensive Fire"; which is best defined as "whatever it takes to not get shot, as long as it keeps him from shooting at you ... rather than to shoot the other guy".
Why?

Paperwork.

Psoriasis

I recently ran across a blog article in which the author complained about suffering from Psoriasis.

This is a skin ailment which is typified by open sores, itching and burning, and often pustules.   Nobody seems to know where it comes from, or whether it can be transmitted from one person to another.  Nobody knows where it comes from, nobody knows where it goes.  Nobody knows why it happens.

I've suffered from this for years ... literally ... and I finally found a treatment which has been effective for me.   Perhaps not to "cure" it, but at least how to "control" it .. to the point where it might seem to lapse into a non-active skin affliction.

I don't know hoe to stop it, but I've found ways to ameliorate the symptoms (pustules, open sores, etc.)

If this is your primary medical issue, please note that the frequent (regular) application of MS217 (a 3% coal tar based formula) in shampoo form has proven effective in my specific case.  It's a "medicated conditioning shampoo", which I have found effective in topical application in my daily shower.

My problem was that I not only had scaling and itching on my scalp, but I also had experienced pustules on my hands and fingers.  (I know, it's disgusting to even talk about.)

Once I began to use this topical ointment during my daily shower, massaging it in my hair ... it also eventually eliminated the pustules on my hands.

This is not the kind of topic which people commonly discuss online ... but when you have this dermal issue it quickly becomes the most important issue in your life.  Well .. not always, but for people who don't face life-threatening issues on a daily basis, it eventually becomes the issue with which you must deal "daily".

No, I'm not being paid for my comments; I don't care about the sales figures for a non-pharmaceutical topical treatment.  I only know how very debilitating it can be when your skin turns into pustular sores and you can't even comb your hair without wincing.

It's a rare disease, and most people are blessed by having lesser issues (such as "dandruff") to deal with.  It doesn't begin to challenge diabetes, beri-beri, and other diseases which are directly associated with life-threatening conditions.

All I can say is that I'm delighted to finally have found a cure treatemt for a disease which is annoying, humiliating (premature balding), and quite uncomfortable.

Ninety-nine percent of readers will have no idea what I'm talking about, and will dismiss it as .. well, NIMBY  (Not In My Back Yard).

But for the one percent of people who MIGHT do an Internet search and find this article .. I hope that they will try it out; it may not work for you, but I'm so relieved that this is not my most common daily concern (I THINK I've finally cured myself, but I'll keep on with weekly treatments)  ... I can only point my fellow sufferers of a painful and debilitating disease to what may be a cure.

(that link may be important to you if you suffer from this disease)

NOTE:  Not sure:  I will continue to treat my scalp on a regular basis.  I don't know if I'm actually "cured", or if the treatments only alleviate the progress of the disease.


But whatever happens, just a simple relief from the symptoms of scalp disease may be ... if not a cure .., at least a way to alleviate the most discomfortable symptoms of this annoying disease.

Oh, and as far as I can tell, physical contact with sufferers is not the primary source of scalp disease.

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Southern Border Alerts: "Why So Lying?"

Recent events have shown that people lie to enter the U.S. across our southern borders.

No surprise here, but the extent of dishonesty seems to be ramping up to become a major problem.
Homeland Security to test DNA of families at border in cases of suspected fraud - Nick Miroff: WASHINGTON - Homeland Security officials said Wednesday they will start an "unprecedented" pilot program to test the DNA of families arriving at the U.S. border as soon as next week, calling the measure an investigative tool to root out fraudulent cases of migrants traveling with children who are not their own.
[emphasis added]

Coyotes?

When people present themselves for immigration, they usually come either in singles, or as families.  If the "head of the family" meets the criteria for immigration, it's assumed that the rest of his/her family equally qualified (for whatever reasons the head can prove at border checkpoints).

As a general rule, it's easier for a "family" to receive permission to immigrate to the United States than for a "single male".  

(For example, a single male may have "business" reasons to emigrate, while a family is more likely to have "social", "Economic" and/or "Survival" issues which might be alleviated by leaving a lawless environment.)

DNA TESTING: HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

If you watch enough "cop shows", you may assume that a match between a sample and a "standard" can be accomplished in a relatively short time.  Other sources suggest that it is a very long process.

One source says:
For a standard test (testing one possible father with one child) a highly-accredited lab should return DNA paternity test results in 1-2 business days once all samples are received. While the best DNA labs can provide results in 1-2 days, others can take 3-12 weeks or even longer, and for a higher price!May 22, 2018

Another source says:
(two to three business weeks)

https://dnacenter.com/blog/long-take-get-dna-paternity-test-results/


SORRY FOR THE CONFUSION but the answer is it takes more than a day and may takes weeks ... because it's not a simple "GO/NO GO" process.   Also, it requires a fairly sophisticated laboratory with special equipment (or so I've been lead to believe) and in the end it requires ...  "interpretation".

First Conclusion:  When the Southern Border Patrol needs to rely on DNA testing to determine whether all members of a "family" are truly close-relations, it's not a minor matter.  And it's not fast, and it's not cheap.

Second Conclusion: DNA matching is probably the last resource for the Border Patrol, and not the least expensive, when they're trying to prove that one person is a genetic member of another person's family.

Third Conclusion:  That I have entirely too much "Free Time" on my hands

Eric Swalwell touts gun-control reform

I think there's something basically wrong with a politician (especially a proposed candidate for the presidency) who espouses an infringement on our essential liberties.
Eric Swalwell touts gun-control reform in North Liberty – The Daily Iowan: NORTH LIBERTY — U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., rounded out his first visit to Iowa since announcing his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president with a house party event in North Liberty, where he called for a ban and buy back policy for assault rifles.
Well, he's a Californian, so we cannot fault him for being true to his Democratic principles of his culture and his party (Democratic).

Still, he's an American first, and one would hope that he is cognizant of the ...nuances .. of the Constitution of the United States. 

As in: "Shall Not Be Infringed".

I'm not picking on this candidate in particular, except that he has recently made public his disdain for the Constitutional rights which we all enjoy ... so far.

You want to conduct a "buy back campaign" for "assault rifles"?  (One wonders how he defines them.)  Fine.  As long as it's voluntary, rather than mandatory.

But we all know that he's just one more Democrat who thinks that if he has the power to enact laws which affect every citizen in America, he will do so with absolutely NO regard for the Constitution.

I'm disinclined to address his thoughts on non-constitutional rights such as "abortion" or "illegal immigrants" or "Water Rights in Parched Counties" (speaking off the top of my head); but when he openly espouses denying the rights of citizens to Constitutionally protected rights (aka: Second Amendment"), he self-identifies himself as someone who has no respect for his fellow citizens.

It seems redundant for me to encourage Californians to denounce him for his WRONG political philosophy; but those who are eligible to vote for a candidate in California might wonder what OTHER rights he is willing to throw under the political bus in furtherance of his candidacy.

A "Buy-Back" policy?  That leaves it up to the individual firearms owner whether to yield his liberties to the state;

But a "BAN"?   That moves into the area where citizens of The State (here .. the Nation) have no alternative other than to yield to political pressure and conduct themselves according to a dictator who would undermine your RIGHTS ... whether or not you value them.

First a gun ban; what's next?  Would a Swalwell presidency require us to (for example)  present National Identity Cards when crossing state lines?

Who knows?  A President who feels comfortable with undermining one Constitutional right could conceivably segue to denying any other Constitutional right.

Just saying.


Sunday, April 14, 2019

A Canadian "Wake Up" Moment?

If you want to reduce crime, the (Toronto, Canada) police argue that spending the money on traditional police services would be more effective than spending in on banning guns.
Toronto Police Association says that national handgun ban won't stop criminals 
There's no way in my world or any world I know that this would have an impact on somebody who’s going to go out and buy an illegal gun and use it to kill another person or shoot another person,” Mike McCormack, the president of the Toronto Police Association, said Friday.
GOMEZNSA says:April 12, 2019 at 7:20 PMGee, it ‘almost’ sounds like they have realized that criminals don’t obey laws!
I could not have said it better myself!

Warrant-less searches exception

Bearing in mind that I recently posted a screed against "warrent-less" searches, I now admit that I once permitted such a search.

It happened about 30 years ago, when I was living in a rented house in the vicinity of Portland, Oregon.

It happened on an autumn night, about 8:30 pm, when I heard a knock on my door.   Not expecting any visitors, I looked through the peephole in my front door  and I saw two uniformed police officers ... one who was standing far away, and partially obscured by the garage which projected past the front porch.

(I highly advise that every exterior door have a peep-hole!)

Since I saw only uniformed officers, I carefully asked (without opening the door) "who are you and what do you want?"

The nearest officer replied: "... (name of town) Police; we received a report that you are holding a young girl here against her will.  We want to come in."

Well, that was interesting.   So I replied: "Okay, give me 30 seconds please".

Then I went back to my sofa and hid the pistol I was holding behind a cushion.

Then I opened the door, and asked who told them that story? 

"Sorry, we cannot reveal the name of the complainant.  May we come in and look for the girl"?

Having been informed that they were only looking for another person, I stood back and allowed them to enter.   I informed them that I was the only one in the house.

Both officers had their hands on their holstered pistols.   I stood back and kept my hands in plain sight.  One officer stayed near me at the front-door alcove while the other officer moved though the front room, into the dining room and kitchen, then, moved down the hallway to look through the bathroom, and both bedrooms.

I yelled out to him "The last door on the left leads to the garage, feel free to walk through it; the light switch is on the right as you enter the garage".
I heard him open that door, and waited while he looked through it.  My car was parked in the garage, but he never asked for the keys to search the car.  But I heard him calling out for "anyone there?"

I kept my hands in plain sight of the officer standing by the front door, didn't put my hands in my pockets, and remained silent.

After a few minutes, the other officer returned to the front room and reported that he didn't find anyone else in the house.

They thanked me for my courtesy, and left.

Guns, Guns, Guns ... but no Captive Princess
At the time I had a very large glass-fronted  gun cabinet (hand-crafted in Blond "Birds Eye" Maple by my father as a Christmas gift a few years ago) displaying several rifles and shotguns in the locked but glass-fronted doors.  There were many handguns in the locked drawers below the rifles.  The officer searching the house never mentioned them to me, and I did not bother trying to carry on a further conversation with the officer who had remained with me in the entryway.

Apparently, they were not concerned by the obvious fact that I was a conspicuous firearms owner.   Since Oregon is a "Free State", there were no silly laws requiring that firearms be registered (nor are any such unconstitutional obscenities allowed today).

After they left, with appropriate apologies, I breathed a sigh of relief .. and a silent prayer of thankfulness that I lived in the Free State of Oregon.

In many other states, the officers might have expressed their disappointment by harassing me about the firearms I owned.
They could have asked me to provide proof of ownership about the guns.
They could have asked to see my Firearms ownership License and checked to see if all firearms were registered and whether I had kept all such licences and registrations current. 
They could have searched my house for non-displayed firearms, and called back to their office and checked to see if I had other firearms which were not registered, or whether all registrations were current.

But they (and I'm proud to announce that they were members of the Hillsboro, Oregon Police Department) stuck to their primary duty, and only checked to see if I had a kidnapped girl held captive, and when they were satisfied that I was the only person on the premises, they returned to their primary duty and went on to pursue other leads.

I never learned whether they found the girl.

But if I had never allowed a warrantless search of my home, who knows what suspicions would have resulted in further harassment by LEOs who were not convinced of the original unwarranted charges of kidnapping and suspicion of such heinous crimes on my behalf.

I hope they did find the girl and I hope that it was only a false report; I never was told, either, whether they found that the story of a missing girl was a fraud, or who reported my name, or why.

There are times when Citizens are obliged to concede our rights, in order to "do right" for the benefit of others.

It's not about "ME"; it's about "all of us".




Saturday, April 13, 2019

Electromagnetic Pulse Attacks

The President has instituted a plan to ensure that American defense systems are able to protect themselves against EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse ) attacks.

President Trump Signs Executive Order for Resilience Against Electromagnetic Pulses | Department of Energy
WASHINGTON, D.C. - On March 26, 2019, President Trump signed an Executive Order (E.O.) establishing the first ever comprehensive whole-of-government policy to build resilience and protect against electromagnetic pulses, or EMPs – temporary electromagnetic signals that can disrupt, degrade, and damage technology and critical infrastructure systems across large areas.


This may bode well for the nation, because the alternative defence is to "... use fiberoptic cable which would be unaffected by EMP".

But for the rest of us, who depend upon copper cables to power our homes and our automobiles, the consequences may well mean that we have no access to convenient transportation (cars, trains, airplanes) and communication over systems which are primarily dependent on copper cables ... which are VERY vulnerable.   

National security systems may survive, but the systems which we use in our personal lives may not.

You may not be able to communicate by any electromagnetic means (internet, telephone, etc.) which transmit signals via copper wires.  You can't drive your car, because the circuits are burned out.  

Some say that if the circuit is not in use when the EMP occurs, the system may survive.   Some say that is an oversimplification of the effects of an EMP.

I don't claim to be an authority on EMP ... its cause nor its effects ... but this is a possibility which we should be aware of.   Not that there is anything we can do about it.  (Personally, I'm thinking about buying a wood-stove and a dog-sled; which would be helpful until the refrigerator stops working.  I could always eat the dogs, cooked over the wood stove.)

No, I'm not serious about that.   There is absolutely nothing which the private citizen could do to ameliorate the effects of EMP over much of America.  Any country which depends on electricity to power their homes above a barely subsistence level is vulnerable.   The cost of lives, and the attempt to re-channel national resources to support a newly defined primitive life-style is beyond imagination.

In the words of some long-dead pundant from decades past:
"there's no use worrying, nothing's going to work out all right".
It gives me a queasy feeling to realize that everything which supports our lives depends on the competence of politicians who are elected by the majority of people who are accustomed to living on the Governmental Dole.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

How to respond when the Police want to search your premises.

All that follows may not be applicable in your state; you would be well-advised to consult a lawyer who is familiar with the laws of your state, and familiarize yourself with the applicable laws in your state.  I am not a lawyer, and what I have to say here may not be applicable in your state.


In a situation where the police want to search your property, and they have not acquired a warrant to do so ... you may not have a legal obligation to allow them to search your property.

This is what may be known as an Illegal Entry; or it may be a "No-Knock Warrant".  in the case where Police are permitted by local laws to enter your property for the purpose of executing a search with or without your permission.  

(Confusing?  YES!)

Evidence discovered via a warrantless search, MAY BE defensible in court.
If the searchers discover something which they subsequently present in a court of law as "evidence", it might legally be held against you, regardless of the circumstances .. if you gave permission to  allow them the search.

Any arrest based on a warrantless (or otherwise not-legal) search may be defensible.  You may not be able to defend yourself in court against an illegal search, if you permit it at the time.  Demonstrating that the search was not grounded by a warrant may not be sufficient defense to require the court to ignore the evidence discovered there-in.   If you have uttered words which might be considered as "consenting" to the search, any evidence found during the search may be used against you.

I'm not a member of the bar, so you should seek legal counsel if you find yourself in this kind of quandary; but I encourage you to defend yourself against any charges based upon "questionable evidence" discovered during a search which is not specifically named in a  legal warrant which purports to justify a search of your home and/or property.

Rule #1: Admit NOTHING. It's better to remain silent, and be considered a fool, than to speak and prove to be a fool.

Rule #2: Never agree to a warrantless search.   The first words out of your mouth should be "Show Me Your Warrant".  If the would-be searchers cannot present a warrant, the search is not legal.  Evidence found in an illegal search may not be used in evidence against you in court ... but don't count on it.  Note carefully the conditions and terms of the warrant; it should include the areas to be searched, and the objects for which they are searching.  If they are looking for guns, and happen to notice a sword in a closet ... the sword may not be a significant finding, or anything found in the closet may not be subject to confiscation.   But if they are looking for "weapons", it may be taken in evidence.

Rule #3: The next words you speak (and the last words) should be: "I need to have my lawyer present before I answer any questions or consent to a search".

Rule #4: Heed Your Lawyer! Nobody else: and certainly do not heed the advice of anyone who has the power to arrest you.

There are defenses: in some states, if you do not consent to a search of your privately owned property, under certain circumstances evidence found may not be admissible in a court of law.   Again, you will probably need to present the search warrant (if one is offered) to you attorney to ensure that your rights have not been  violated by a too-exuberant exercise of search which are not permitted under the terms of the search warrant. 

The terms of a search warrant should include the areas to be searched, and the objects for which the searchers expect to find.  Which is not to say that if the searchers are looking for machine guns and the find illicit drugs, they must overlook the drugs, but that confuses the mission and may sometimes obviate their findings.  (If the police are looking for machine guns and find an ounce of drugs in a pill-box ... the machine guns could not be expected to be found in a pill-box, and so the finding of a pill-box of drugs may not be the result of a "legal search".   But don't count on it!)

This commentary is much too short to completely address the issues involved in Constitutional law, and it is not intended to be definitive.  If you have issues which are not addressed here, you are invited to raise them with the expectation that they MAY be discussed in subsequent issues.

Sunday, April 07, 2019

IF POLICE COME FOR YOUR GUNS

IF POLICE COME FOR YOUR GUNS: DO NOT RESIST, COOPERATE, sort it out in the courts. It is the law. Yes, the very same legal system who ordered the firearms confiscation. If not resisting and cooperating is in your opinion “dropping to your knees, and handing them over” that would be your opinion.

I'm not sure what the law is ... which is one of the reasons why this "law enforcement" thingie is so confusing .. is that police need to be specific about what they are searching for .. and they need to have a warrant  (a legal document) specifying they are searching for ...

search warrant of a private home

https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/can-the-police-search-your-house-without-a-warrant

Essentially, if the police want to search your home, they must have a warrant signed by a judge.  If it is not signed by a judge, it is not a legal warrant.  That's the first hurdle they must surmount.

Then, there's the Constitution of the United States of America ..

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Comman Takem

Joel's Gulch is a refreshing counterpoint to the "we don't wanna confiscate, we just wanna alleviate the menace" crowd:

Nyet, Tovarich. | The Ultimate Answer to Kings:
This isn’t frickin’ New Zealand, Bernie. This is America. We’re descended from bootleggers, smugglers and gun-toting traitors, and before you got hold of the college campuses we wrote songs about it. Not everybody here went to college, Bernie, and not everybody who goes to college buys the bullshit. Do you really think this is going to end well?
Not to gild the Lilly, but I'm glad that bold 2nd Amendment supporters such as Joel are providing the erudite (and common-sensical) counterpoint to the smooth talkers who would cheerfully take your guns ... if they can only find someone to do the dirty work for them.

Make no mistake.  The smooth talkers would will confiscate all firearms in America if they thought they can get away with it.  (Not to mention finding enough Law Enforcement Officers willing to do the job ... all both of them.)

Oh ... LEOS actually aren't anti-Second Amendment.

Friday, March 22, 2019

When the Hound becomes too useful

There comes a time, when training a dog, when you need to let the dog run free and hope that he comes back from time to time to predate the foxes in the chicken coop.
The difficulty lies in hoping that the dog remains faithful to the master.


Today, it seems almost trite to compare the American experience with that which others have lived through, in the process of moving from the status of "sub-state" to "Equal State".

Looking back at the history of the British Empire, we see that other "colonies" (other than the American Colony) of the Empire have accepted the culture of England, and yet have established their own selves as viable sub-cultures.

Perhaps the English have learned to be less assertive of their culture, and in doing so their 'friends' have become friends, rather than sub-states of England.

It occurs  that the "American Experience" has served to teach England that they could no longer usurp the prerogatives of their nation-states.  Certainly, countries such as Australia and New Zealand (perhaps others, including
 the Caribbean Islands) seem to have achieved a degree of independence, notwithstanding the support of their former masters.

In declaring their independence from England, the Americas may have provide a primogeniture lesson to the British that their outlying nations will not accept complete subservient role in their relation.   Whether their unique solutions are viable is subject to discussion

New Zealand and Australia (for example) have chosen to retain a useful relationship to England, which serves their mutual criteria ...  a degree of independence,. and a mutual trade agreement. among other issues which are still being discussed.

These new-found agreements may not have been possible if England had not suffered the debilitating loss of America as a "Colony" due to the arrogance of the British Masters.

Since that time, England has become more cognizant of the needs of their nation-states, and worked diligently to become "partners", rather than "masters" ... to the benefit of all concerned.

Had the Americas not rebelled against their master, this lesson might not have been driven with sufficient strength that England could learn that it was no longer the "Master", but a partner, to its "hounds" ... eg: Australia, et al.

The world (and England!) have benefited from this new international relationship.  And American has learned from England that trade relations are more important  (and more lucrative) when trade is based on mutual profit, rather than the ability of a powerful nation to take advantage of a less powerful nation.

We do not want to impose our morality on other nations; we hope to demonstrate that our morality is more advantageous to our citizens and to our national prosperity than nations which impose ...

... but whether or not that independence includes a "Right to Keep and Bear Arms" or not; that is a side-bar to the discussion, and one which will not be discussed in THIS article.

(NOTE: "Freedom" has various meanings, and the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States does not apply globally; different states have different experiences.  What works more-or-less for "us" does NOT work for others@)

As Others See Us
Opinion | Hate Speech, Guns and the New Zealand Massacre - The New York Times: I lived in New Zealand for nine years. I have never encountered anything that could be called a gun culture. Indeed, Kiwis are very critical of the gun violence that they see in the United States. Many New Zealanders, upon returning from their first visit to the United States, express disquiet over seeing armed police officers. While New Zealand police officers now have access to arms, they normally do not carry them. In New Zealand there is no basic right to bear arms, and there is nothing comparable to the perverse influence of the National Rifle Association.
(New York "Times/Letters to the Editor, March 18, 2019)
In a follow-up I hope to discuss related subjects, such as socialism, a Free Market Community, and the Second Amendment ... and how they are  inter-related.

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Back In The Saddle Again

For the benefit of my Constant Readers (both of you) .. yes, I am still here and the reason that I have not been blogging recently is because I have endeavored to accept a kinder, gentler attitude towards the world at large.

I thought that would make it a better place to live.  Unfortunately, nobody else noticed the movement and it's still a crappy place to live, so I will now resume my normal schedule of broadcasting the news that sucks:

In Oregon:

Portland Statue University (a community college at best) demands that Campus Cops patrol without firearms because it "makes the students feel safer".

Apparently, a Campus Cop drew down on a student, mistaking him for a nefarious individual who had been threatening other students.  This student freaked out and so the entire campus freaked out .. never mind that the cops are trained and experienced, and the unidentified wanna-be terrorist is now "The Only One" on the campus with a gun.

Well, if it makes you teen-age students feel safer knowing that a freak with a gun will NOT be countered by a "good guy with a gun", that's your choice.

I wish you well, and hope that the memorials which your co-students will build in your honor are glorious.   They will probably be in place until the expensive floral arrangements die, and the the flowers will hit the same dustbin in which your remains will be consecrated.

AS LONG AS YOU "FEEL SAFE", that's all that's important.

Me?  I'd rather know that I was safe.  But I'm old, so what do I know?

Parenthetically, as far as I know, PSU (Portland State University) is part of OUS (Oregon University System), which has decided that students and faculty are allowed to possess weapons on campus.

I was an employee of the "system", and I carried a firearm for over 20 years on campus.  Never needed it; never worried about it.   Everybody in my office knew I carried, and nobody ever mentioned it as a concern for their safety.

Monday, January 28, 2019

New York Restrictions

New York, New York!

This is potentially A Really Big Deal, in that both the state of New York and the Supreme court (pardon the alliteration) have both determined that it is necessary to review the rights of a State to infringe upon the rights of American Citizens to freely exercise their Constitutional Rights to Keep and Bear Arms.

The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to jump back into the national debate over gun rights after nearly a decade on the sidelines.
The justices agreed to consider a petition backed by gun owners’ groups asking them to strike down New York City’s strict rules for carrying legally owned guns outside the home.
?  Is it just me, or have the Supremes finally chosen the RIGHT issue to rule upon the 2nd Amendment?

"They" (New York Politicians) don't trust you to exercise your Second Amendment Rights ... safely.
The Captain's Journal: Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Gun Rights Case Stemming From New York Restrictions: "I don’t want to hear another damn word about gun safety."
(You REALLY need to read the context provided by The Captain's Journal to understand the issue!)

Here's the crux of the NYC explanation for increased infringements on the 2nd Amendment:
Unlike golf clubs and musical instruments, firearms present public safety risks that the city has a legitimate interest in protecting against,” their brief to the court said. “Limiting their possession and use in public minimizes the risk of gun violence.”
Their argument against Citizen Ownership of Firearms follows the same old mantra:  ("if we keep honest citizens from owning guns, criminals will be denied access to firearms which are used to commit crimes".)

This is an obvious fallacy ... criminals will ALWAYS find a way to get a gun.  Honest Citizens are "The Only Ones" who are ham-stringed by laws which make it more difficult to acquire the means of self-defense.

But I've said this before.  Haven't I?

Friday, January 04, 2019

The Generation Gun

The Generation Gun, in my family, was the 30 caliber (.30 WCF) Lever action rifle which my father claimed was the rifle he used to kill his first deer .... when he was 5 years old.

That's the thing about Generation Guns; they are so bound up in Tall Tales and Bull-Stuff; after a while you can't tell the difference between truth and "there's no story which cannot be improved".

(And yes, I realize I've talked about this before; bear with me.)

My father (Vernon The Geek) and his brothers {Orville The Geek) and his other brother ("Shorty The Geek") ... AKA "Floyd") would get together on Thanksgiving day, and swap stories about all the deer they had killed at extreme ranges and in inclement weather. As I have mentioned before, the stories always got better with each telling.

I once saw my father, Vernon The Geek, shoot at a deer from mountain top to the other, across a hiway (which was 100 feet below us. Then he made me climb down "our" mountain, and trudge up the opposing mountain ... to find and tote down the mountain.

Yes, he had mad The Impossible Shot with a Thirty-Ought-Six rifle which was older than I was. I was astounded.

But that was only the first time. The Geek Boys love the challenge of long-distance Mule-Deer Murder, and (I think) would pass up easy shots because they were "Too Easy".




Two years later, I saw my father kill another deer on a mountainside, too far away. I was fortunate that I was only Fourteen. years old, and too small to the drag the deer up to the ridgeline where they could load it on to the truck; I only had to lug Pop's rifle, and Uncle Shorty's gun, while they dragged the carcass a couple of hundred yards up the hill to where there was a road we could drive the pick-em-up truck to tote it home.
Of course, this never happened;
I never saw my father shoot across a road, which would have been illegal.

But that fat buck tasted mighty fine!


I miss the taste of venison; it was years before I could learn to appreciate beef.