Monday, May 31, 2010

Small Town Memorial Day

In memory of those who gave their last full measure of devotion.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Retraction, Sorta Kinda

Apparently, the police who accompanied the SEIU protesters to the private residence of Greg Baer were "shadowing" the protesters, not escorting the protesters. Well, that certainly makes it all better. The DC and Chevy Chase police officers really help to clarify the situation. In the front side of the interview, they talk about coordinating with each other and the protesters' liaison; of course, toward the end of the interview the Chevy Chase guy says that the protesters didn't coordinate with a liaison because they didn't want the police there. Okay. The officers also state that the DC police did not escort/shadow the protesters into Maryland. They had a smooth, coordinated hand-off with the Maryland police at the state line...except that the Maryland police did not make any arrests because they arrived after the protest started breaking up.
All in all, not a great performance by the police. And the verbal wrangling over trespass/disorderly conduct esoterica comes out as pretty weak when contrasted with the video of the protesters on this guy's lawn. And while I may have to further ameliorate my comments on the police, the demeanor of the mob does nothing to negate the concerns expressed in the thought experiment.
BONUS: If you've ever doubted Mongo's Rule #1*, ever thought that the 2nd Amendment did not establish an individual right to bear arms, or ever thought that the citizenry needs no access to private weapons because the police provide that protection, listen to the police officer from about 09:12 to 09:20. That pretty much says it all.

*If you don't have a gun, you're chum.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Who Dares, Wins

In military service, there is often friction between the soldiers and the warriors.
In this particular instance, the warriors won.

It's The Sun, Stupid

I remember comparing anthropogenic global warming advocates to loin-cloth wearing shamans dragging a virgin up the slope of a volcano to pitch her in and keep the fire gods appeased.

I feel so validated.

H/t Taranto at Best of the Web Today

A Discomforting Thought Experiment

Let's say you've got two kids. You're on the way home from a weekend baseball game with Kid 2. Kid 1 is home alone, because he's a little older and he's been instructed not to leave the house and provided with an emergency contact list. If you're a modern day uber-parent, you've also probably told a couple of neighboring adults that Kid 1 will be home, and you've asked them to keep an eye on the place for the 2~3 hours that you're gone.
Now, on the way home, you turn onto your street and find an angry mob outside your house. They're carrying signs denigrating you and your profession, and are on your yard and porch. The mob's vitriol is way past aggression, and looks to be edging up to full-out violence. Kid 1 is terrified enough that he's locked himself in the bathroom.
Apparently, this all part of the new politics of intimidation.
Interesting. Whatever martial prowess I've been able to matriculate over the years, I certainly never considered portable mobs of protesting union rent-a-thugs in the gamut of potential bad-guy opponents.
So, the thought exercise: what if it were your house, your yard that had come under the protesters' siege? What if it were your child that was so terrorized he felt compelled to lock himself in the bathroom? I know the automatic, knee-jerk reaction would be that it's "game on." Note to SEIU thugs: Casa de Mongo is a bad, bad place to decide to hold a protest and threaten aggression. I've a lovely assortment of street-sweepers that would more than level the playing field. Punks.
Most states' laws dictating use-of-force by citizens use the reasonable man test as one of the elements of the justified use of force. In most states, the way I've heard it phrased is that if a reasonable man has a reasonable belief that he is under threat of life, grievous bodily injury, or sexual assault ("man" and "he" being used in the proper English sort of way to include women), then the man can use the appropriate force necessary to defend himself and/or extricate himself from the situation.
So, where does this fit in? How would you react? And it would be, I'm sure, pure reaction. I don't think anyone plans to come home to a (possibly violent) mob on one's property.
Fortunately, you look over the crowd and--whew!--see some police officers. They'll surely help you out to...ooh, yeah, sorry. See, the police are there to escort the protesters from DC to your neighborhood, well, to your house, actually. They are out of their jurisdiction. So, what the hell are they doing there? Can they act to protect you if the crowd goes bad? Will they (since they escorted) "defend" the mob from you if you feel threatened enough to employ violence? If the crowd does go bad (throws rocks or bottles, hits with sticks (from the protest signs) or displays with intent to employ any type of weapon, are the cops legitimate targets, as they are out of their jurisdiction and have, through overt action, demonstrated that they are with, conceivably part of, the mob? What'n hell are the police doing escorting thugs to a demonstration that is on private property??
The guy this happened to, Greg Baer, is a white-collar, business-type lawyer who probably hasn't had a fight since the third grade, if ever. Apparently, the SIEU decided to protest at his house because he's the deputy general counsel for corporate law at Bank of America. The SIEU thugs say that they chose Mr. Baer's to protest at his residence because BoA has been foreclosing on so many people, and they're just looking out for the common man, the little guy who has no resources with which to combat the nefarious bank. They fail to mention that the SIEU is in hock to BoA to the tune of about $90 million.


The sad thing, for our country, is that Chicago rules cut both ways. I would highly encourage political activists to tone down their assaults on citizens in their private homes, and assaults on families. We are, I get the feeling, edging up to the border of a place we don't want to be. The video below is a classic, but what if the terms weren't how far you were willing to go to "get Capone," but instead to "defend your family? Your property?"

H/t Powerline

Monday, May 17, 2010

Herschel Would Be Proud

I went into the military for two main reasons.
1. It was all I ever wanted to do. I can't imagine having chosen any other profession. I'm a little amazed that 20-odd years have flown by. And I'm still trying to figure out what I'll do when I grow up (professional athlete and Indian Chief are probably out of the running; I could still be a fireman somewhere, though).
2. I had to find an honorable way to avoid the implicit familial obligation to commit myself to a lifetime of ranching in Alabama. Back-breaking, before-the-sun-comes-up 'til after-the-sun-goes-down, day-in-day-out whatever the weather ranching. I've enormous respect for cattlemen. It's an unforgiving, all day, every day, ball-busting profession (profession, not job). I come from a family tradition of cattlemen. They are my heroes. And there's no way in hell I was going to do that for a living. It's truly a calling, and if you're not called, stay the hell away. I liked the cows. I liked the horses. I liked the guns and the auction barns and the honky-tonks and the ranges and pastures. But I didn't love it. And being a cattleman is a labor of love.
So, when I saw this political add (posted up on AoS) it brought me back. This guy is not a poseur. I can imagine putting boots up on the rails of the Kennett-Murray auction barn and spitting tobacco juice with this guy*. He's for real. God Bless 'im.

*Alabama cattlemen taught me to set a horse, gave me my first beer, my first shot of whiskey, my first lessons in shooting, first taught me the intricacies of the ambush (because we were going to By-God get the sumbitches that were putting sugar in the tanks of the cattle trucks). They also first, through the auspices of Herschel, exposed me to tobacco. As I looked around the Kennett-Murray auction barn, every cowboy there was chewing on some sort of tobacco. Plug, leaf, and pulverized. Some seemed to spit incessantly, some spit never. When I asked one of the cowboys about it, he said, "well, boy, some spit and some gut it." I begged a pocketknife and a rind of Cannonball plug off of Herschel. The juice was pretty sweet, and I didn't know then to have a container on hand, so I gutted it. Which went well for about 15 minutes. Then I stumbled outside and heaved into a big rubber-made trashcan on wheels. I was just tall enough to hook my chin over the lip of the trashcan. When I went back in and told Herschel I'd tossed my world-class cattleman's breakfast, he said,"That's all right, boy; it'll get the worms out." I think I was eight.

About That Oil Spill...

I'm a little confounded that, as British Petroleum and the US Gov't (pretty much in that order) generate options and possible solutions to the oil leak out in the Gulf, I've not heard anyone mention demolitions.
I know more than a little about demolitions, more than I ever wanted to know about fluid dynamics, and absolutely nothing about oil drilling, petro-engineering, or marine geology. Still, if we think we can hit a "bulls-eye" at 5km subsurface with that top-hat thingie, are you telling me we can't properly position a couple of shaped charges to shut the damn leak down? You gotta be kidding me.
I've oft been criticized for an overt enthusiasm with and for demolitions. And even in the schoolhouse, I was upbraided numerous times for my robust employment of the P-factor (in demo calcs, P= Plenty. Admittedly, I never came close to Dirty Pat's trademarked, patent-pending "dirty diaper charge," which was a thing of beauty and a work of art).
With the pressure of 5 km of incompressible water up above the leak, I find it hard to believe that there is not a charge array that could shut the fucker down. I mean, BP guys are now pinning their hopes on golf balls and shredded tires, and no one's talking C-4? That's rooty-poot, man.