Thursday, April 30, 2015

I am paying

 a little attention to the riots going on in Baltimore. 

I saw where one mother that saw her kid throwing rocks at policemen went down and chased her kid home. Kudos to her for good parenting!

What I want to know is where the rest of the parents were. Why were they not chasing THEIR kids home?

Most likely they were sitting there at home watching the tube and making excuses for their offspring instead of actually doing something for a change.

Actually from what I read the majority of the people arrested were adults so it is likely that a lot of the kids there were simply following the delightfully splendid example set by their parents.

I heard a CVS just got the torch put to it. Someone wonders if they are going to rebuild. I don't know but I can't blame them if they don't. Why bother if it is going to likely be razed again the next time someone goes on the warpath. 

Things like this are a step in the direction of a neighborhood or area becoming a desert in the middle of a city. There are places called 'food deserts' that I have mentioned before. They are places where food is unobtainable without leaving the area. It's a symptom of a bad neighborhood. Nobody wants to open a food market in the area because they will either be burned, robbed or shoplifted to death.

People in the area complain about it but it seems nobody in the neighborhood wants to do anything about it. They could. For one thing they could organize and run the criminal element out. Personally, I'd likely just move but that is me. I have no ties to any particular neighborhood. However, I do try make where I live a safer and nicer place.

Still, the Baltimore riots seem to be just another race riot and I read somewhere that one of the Big Cheeses inciting things is one of the New Black Panther Party hotshots. He's (as usual) spouting off about a race war.

Not too bright if you ask me. The last time I read up on revolutions or wars is it is best not to start them unless you are damned good and sure you're going to win.

With 11-13% of the population being black it's probably not a very good idea, and even that's assuming that all blacks will support it.

Most won't support it. They likely are too busy trying to make a living and feed and raise their kids just like their non-black counterparts.

Many blacks will not only not support it but will side against it. The truth is that middle class blacks have the most to lose and will suffer the most. They don't want any part of it because they know that no matter what, they will be lumped into the same category as the revolutionaries simply based on the color of their skin.

While it isn't right, that's the way it is.

Right now a lot of the black community shares one thing with peaceful Muslims. They are simply sitting there keeping their mouths shut. To me this is the wrong approach.

Of course, the usual gang of idiots like Jackson and Sharpton are going to make excuses for them. That's going to go over like a lead balloon as if has been for quite some time. The much overplayed race card is has been played out for quite a while now.

It's time for so-called Muslim and black community leaders to start sounding off and deplore the violence. Sitting there and doing nothing is pretty much taken as acceptance of unacceptable things.

As for the black community there seems to be a sense of black identity and a fear of being called an oreo or something.

It's now well past time that the black middle and working class take a long hard look at the situation and decide that racial identity is what it is. It's a crock.

It's time black men and women stop thinking of themselves as being black men and women and simply as men and women. It's time for the black middle class to decide publicly that they want no part of the people of any color that would riot, sell drugs and steal.

It's time they stand up and tell the world that they are not a part of this crap and are tired of being clumped into that group just because of their color.

Dr. King tried to live for the day when a man would be judged not by the color of his skin but by the content of his character. It's time for middle class black to let go of these people that do nothing but drag them down.

It's time for blacks and Muslims to speak out against the jihad, violence, gangsta, and dependent lifestyle and tell the world that they are not a part of it. It's time for these people to assert themselves not as blacks, Muslims or whatever, but as human beings.

Let's take a quick look at a few highly successful blacks in this country. They certainly don't support the goings ons of the low-end black community. The truth is that I'd bet that people Thomas Sowell, Condeleeza Rice, Ben Carson, Herman Cain and the like really don't give a damn about what some low life thinks of them.

Ben Carson has already spoken out against the violence, calling it senseless. 

The truth is that people like this really don't care what someone thinks of them because they are too busy being successful. Especially some low-life that's of the  gangsta lifestyle. People like that didn't become highly successful by  being a part of that lifestyle. In fact, they probably resent it.

The same holds true for peaceful Muslims. They don't support the violence.

It's well past time the Imans and peaceful Muslims speak out and show their abhorrence for the violence.

It's also well past time that middle class successful blacks speak out against the gangsta lifestyle.

If the fail to do so they will likely continue to be dragged down by these worthless people.


Incidentally I have a bone to pick with the Mayor of that stink hole city.

She told the police to stand down and let the rioters loot. "It's only property" is what I read she was reported to say.

First of all, I wonder what she would have said it it was HER home or business someone was going to put the torch to. 

What she should have done is announced that looters will be shot on sight.

She, in her elevated status, ought to be reminded that an awful lot of people have everything they own and possibly will own tied up in a home or business. 

They have spent their lives toiling away in the gamble of a business. The business or home is very much a part of their lives. They have every right in the world to defend it just as they have the right to defend their lives.

The mayor ordered the police to simply let an angry mob destroy businesses that people have put a lot of their lives into.

To be honest with you, she should be tarred and feathered by a mob of angry business owners.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

One of the things I like about my neighbors

 is that I have most of them trained. 

They answer the phone for me and screen calls. They are pretty skilled at letting me know who is calling me. For example they will ask who is calling and then repeat it.

Here's a sample call.

"Hello, Piccolo's place. Who's calling?... What? You say you're Bob Jenkins?"

At this point I either hold my hand out for the phone or shake my head to signal I want him gotten rid of. If I shake it the call will likely go something like this.

"Bob, he just left. A couple minute ago some babe with a $40,000 boob job pulled into the driveway in a Ferrari and  he took off with her."

Or this.

"He just left a few minutes ago. A police car pulled up a few minutes ago and carted him off.  I'm expecting him to call me and after go and I bail him out  I'll tell him you called."

"He said he was going out flying. Right now there's a small plane buzzing the neighborhood so I would imagine he's in the air now."

Here's another. This one was a classic. When he was identified I made it clear I just wanted him gotten rid of.

"He ain't here.  He went to $hit and the hogs ate him... huh?...Them's pretty mean hog we got in these here parts!"

My favorite was when a friend of mine that is also a former GI handled a call. It was pretty good. I was packing to go to Camp Perry for a shooting match. The person that called knew I was a shooter.

"Sergeant Moore speaking...No, this is Piccolo's cell phone. It's in a box here and there's a note telling me to answer it... No, I don't know where he is. He's that older guy, right?... He left with Major Hernandez and a couple of NCOs...No, I don't know where they are going and to tell you the truth I don't want to know where they are going... He looked pretty old to be making a full gear  jump. Wait, he did leave a way to get in touch with him, though...The note says to go on 14.332 Mhz SSB at 1200 Zulu and ask on the net there. It says he checks in there most mornings... Airborne, Sir. All the way."

"I dunno. I think he's taking the stripper he picked up last night back home...I'll tell him to call you."

"Who the hell knows? Next time I see him I'll tell him you called."

"Piccolo? Is he that guy that lives here sometimes?"

It's pretty good having the neighbors trained.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

In any group of peoplei

 generally someone emerges as a leader of sorts because he is enamored with the idea of telling people what to do.

Generally I ignore these self appointed leaders as I tend to ignore politicians, governmental rules and regulations and other trivial matters. I simply do the right and responsible thing. I guess it's worked so far as I am not sitting in jail.

Armies and business organizations need readers to function and I recognize that. I also recognize the common sense concept that things need to be organized. For example, a disorganized rifle range can be lethal. 

 I also recognize the Golden Rule whereby he who has the gold makes the rules. I try to be a good employee.

But pretty much outside of that I ignore a lot of leadership, either elected or self-appointed. Often it makes me a pariah. Last August it got me kicked out of my high school graduating class as I told the self-appointed commander in chief of the reunion that I didn't want to dance.

Of course, I wasn't a total pariah at the reunion. I had supporters. A lot of people laughed like hell when I told the commander in chief that I didn't want to dance. 

I generally give a person an out before I slam them. I told her I had a bad ankle and shouldn't dance. She wouldn't hear of it so I simply told her I didn't want to watch a bunch of old ladies dance and that the only dancers I did want to watch work at the Kit Kat club.

Truth is, I hate strip joints but let's not let the facts get in the way of a good put down. The truth is that I was dealing with someone that simply liked telling other people what to do. She was trying to tell me to do something I didn't want to do and got upset when I refused to play her stupid little game.

Anyway, one  thing about elected officials is that I'd say the overwhelming majority of them are not so much caring people as they are simply people that like to tell other people what to do.

As things get outlawed they go underground and simply continue. For example, in NYC firearms are pretty much outlawed. Still ask any member of New York's Finest if there are a lot of unregistered firearms in the hands of otherwise law abiding citizens and he'll likely say there are. If he doesn't he's a liar.

Another example is the never ending war on drugs. It's a constant struggle and a losing one at best. The people that get caught generally wind up in jail and a large percentage of our prison population is occupied with people involved in the trade of illegal narcotics of one form or another.

The war on drugs is simply a colossal waste of time, energy and resources. It costs all of us a lot of money every April 15th. The war on drugs has been a spectacular failure since it was declared in the 60s.

Better to legalize it and tax it gently. I say gently because the idiots in Washington will likely try and tax the holy hell out of it and undo things. If drugs are heavily taxed then people will continue to go underground for their dope simply because it is cheaper.

Moonshining flourishes to this day simply because it is untaxed and presumably as a result is cheaper than taxed store-bought whisky.

Granted drugs are not a real healthy choice. Still, I really don't think that the government should be wasting time and effort on them. People are simply going to do what they want to do and that's the way it is.

One example is that I drive my pickup pretty much ignoring the speed limits but adjusting my speed for existing conditions. If I am in a residential neighborhood I slow down to 25 or maybe 30, depending on the circumstances. If it is foggy I lower my speed even more. If it is icy it drops way down.

On the highways I drive at a speed I feel comfortable with and for the most part ignore the posted signs. It must work pretty well because I don't get tickets on any regular basis. The last two I got years ago I didn't lose any points as the cop determined my speed wasn't really all that awful high.

Both were actually my fault and I deserved worse. The first one I was knowingly going like the hammers of hell trying to get home from sea faster. I was being irresponsible and knew it.

The other I got out of negligence as I just let the pickup roll as it wanted to down a long, steep hill. I simply said 'the hell with it' because it was a long straight stretch and really didn't care.

In short, like most of us I simply try and lead a fairly responsible life. I really don't need a whole lot of governmental intervention to tell me how to live. I pretty much do OK for myself for the most part.

I suppose that's open for debate, though come the Fourth of July. I do make quite a racket a couple of times but fact remains I do so in a safe way. Speaking of the fourth of July they have one in England, believe it or not.

Do you think the Brits are going to change the entire calendar just because some uppity colonists decided to declare independence? Look at a UK calendar if you don't believe me and you will see that they don't skip a day. I digress.

Anyway, there are always people out there that try and tell the rest of us what to do, how to act, and how to think. For the most part they do little but make life miserable for those of us that already have a basic sense of responsibility.

It seems that the majority of people that run for office seem to be people that like telling other people what to do. It seems to be the flaw in the system. Very, very few people in office seem to embrace the concept of liberty. They seem to want to take it away from people.

That is another reason I have little use for most politicians. They simply don't embrace the concept of liberty.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Monday, April 27, 2015

I now have a pretty neat trophy.

It's a State Trooper hat. It isn't a repop, but the real McCoy.

I found it in the breakdown lane of the turnpike and almost didn't stop for it. 

I was headed home and saw something in the breakdown lane and said to myself, "Hey, that's a campaign hat!" and pulled over.

Sure enough, it was a campaign hat and it was a State Trooper hat for sure.

Now, these hats cost money and I had no idea if the individual cop was responsible for replacing it or it was the kind of thing the state troopers issued as needed. I figured the trooper was likely out about $100 or more. Campaign hats are not cheap.

On the other hand I didn't want to have some poor trooper get in trouble, either for losing a hat. 

Of course the other side of the issue is that it's a neat find and it fit me like a glove. It is exactly my size and something like this is a real keeper.

Still, I'm not the kind of guy that would stiff a working guy for no reason. 

As I was pulling into the last leg of where I was going I saw an old lion of a city cop and flagged him down. As I pulled over I got the hat out of sight because I didn't want him to simply get all huffy and take it from me then and there.

Truth is, the only reason I did flag that cop down was simply that he was an old lion. Had he been some kind of young cop I wouldn't have bothered. He's have simply taken the lid, made a big deal out of it and given me a lecture of some sort.

I would have gotten angry and told him I was just an honest guy trying to return a lost piece of police uniform and to save the lecture for someone else. There likely would have been some sort of row over nothing.

One thing for certain, he would have simply demanded the hat. That would have been the end of it right then and there and most likely the cop wouldn't have made any effort to return it to the poor cop that lost it in the first place. 

"Hey, a couple of hours ago I found a trooper's hat on the side of the road. While it IS a real trophy and I'd love to just keep it I sure don't want some poor bastard to get into hot water," I said.

He laughed. "Yeah, I see your point. Something like that IS a keeper. Let me think a second. Any markings in it?"

"Nothing but the manufacturers markings," I replied. "I  already checked nothing at all except for the makers markings."

"Let's check. I just KNOW you got it with you. Don't worry, I'm going to give it back." he said. 

He was an old lion. I knew I could trust him and I gave it to him and we looked it over. No markings. He was good to his word. He gave it back to me. I knew that if he was a rookie I'd have lost it. Old lions seldom sweat the small stuff and he knew that while I was trying to honestly return it, if I couldn't I'd keep it as a conversation piece.

"Hmm..."he said. "Let's see how we can do this without embarrassing the officer.  Looks like we got nothing to go on. Frankly I'd say just quietly keep it. Looks like you got yourself a pretty good conversation piece there."

I gave him a mischievous look. "The trooper was just getting ready to put the cuffs on me for jaywalking when I spun around, grabbed his hat and took off.  I had to run ran almost two miles to get away from him!". The cop laughed at that one. Old lions generally have a pretty good sense of humor.

We chatted and I found out we had chewed some of the same dirt over the years. We briefly talked about the places we had been and we had a lot in common.

Then he explained that every piece of city gear had the officer's badge number on it and that it could easily be traced to the officer. He commented that it was odd that the state didn't do the same thing. He also commented that it was likely the trooper would get embarrassed for losing his hat if he got caught. He opined that the embarrassment would be worse than having to cough up for another one and that officers generally kept spares at home.

I drove off with my new trophy but I was not done yet.

I grabbed my cell phone and made a call. I have a friend that was a trooper and asked him.

"What likely happened is that the wind caught the hat and blew it off of his head," he explained. "They tell us not to go chasing hats on the highway for safety reasons. Just keep it. He'll get another one issued. These things happen."

"Hey," he added. "Don't go wearing it around town with the insignia on it... You probably know that already but I had to say it."

Now I have a neat trophy and a clear conscience.

Pretty neat.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Tsarnaev trial/ Martin's hoodie.

OK, so I have a hard time with names and I'm not even going to try and spell Tsarnaev's first name off the top of my head. He's the guy that just got found guilty of cranking off a bomb in Boston during the Marathon a couple of years back. I guess his brother was supposedly the mastermind but he's dead and can't deny it.

I don't want to get into the whole thing. I just want to mention that the media seems to be showing a picture of him that makes him look like a damned choirboy.

It reminds me of the picture the liberal do-gooders posted of Treyvon Martin that was taken when he was twelve. He looked like an angelic little boy in his little hoodie.

Truth is, a glance at his Facebook photo that was yanked shortly after showed a very different Treyvon Martin. His Facebook picture showed him as nothing but a little thug.

The picture they show of this monster makes him look like a saint, too. He should have gone to Hollywood instead of making a bomb. They would have likely used him to play the lead role in a remake of 'Leave it to Beaver'.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Saturday, April 25, 2015

I had an aunt years ago that was a pain in the a$$.

When I went into the army I told my dad that under no circumstances was he to let her know where I was stationed because I didn't want a bunch of fruitcakes and religious tracts sent to me.

He immediately understood and passed word to most of my uncles but I guess one of them forgot to tell his wife to keep her mouth shut. Aunt Jane let the cat out of the bag and the mail started coming.

Fruitcakes are a WW2 thing and I have mentioned that there was one that was made in 1942 that was sent through the years from serviceman to serviceman in the tribe until some distant cousin of mine got it during Desert Storm and finally buried the damned thing in the desert somewhere.

With my luck he left my name on it and a windstorm will unearth it and some Bedouin will discover it and send it directly to me and I will have to pass it on to someone else.

Anyway, I started getting fruit cakes and religious tracts from her and one day I was told I had mail and to pick it up. When I got there the Battery Commander was there and watched me take it all and stuff it in the trash.

Curiosity overcame him and he asked me why I was simply throwing all of my mail in the trash. I told him about my aunt. Then I asked him if he had any bright ideas in how to get her to stop.

Look it up in the book, he told me. You know, the Joseph Heller book. I laughed. He was referring to 'Catch-22'. The book was a favorite among a lot of the guys in the battery, both officer and enlisted. I was one of the guys that had read it and quoted from it frequently. The BC also quoted from it frequently.

We actually had a medic with the nickname 'Doc Daneeka'. Daneeka was one of the characters in the book. Two of the medics were nicknamed Gus and Wes after two medics in the book that would paint every patients gums and toes purple. 

One day someone tried to feign sickness to escape from a road march. The two medics nicknamed Gus and Wes promptly painted HIS gums and toes purple. Even though they both caught holy hell for it,  malingering instantly dropped off to nothing.

I knew what to do immediately and then stopped and thought. I looked up at the BC and told him that likely she'd ignore it if I wrote her and the BC said to meet him in the orderly room after the morning formation the next day.

My Battery Commander at the time had a pretty twisted sense of humor. He was also planning on getting out of the service after his tour of being a battery commander was up. He really didn't have much of a career to protect. Without a career to protect, an officer is downright dangerous.

The next day rolled around and I reported as directed. The BC grinned and looked at the First Sergeant. He said that I was having a problem with my aunt sending me fruitcakes.

"Fruit cakes!" said Top. "I thought they stopped sending those to soldiers after Korea! I have one in a footlocker somewhere I got in Korea back in '53! Its still probably edible!"

"I've called the Sergeant Major in for advice," said the BC. THAT turned heads! Everyone in the orderly room looked at the Old Man agape in absolute horror. He smiled back at us.

How the BC had gotten the Sergeant Major to come to us I will ever know. When someone needed the Sergeant Major they went to him. God wanted some advice from a Sergeant Major once and had to walk half a mile to him. On the other hand, the BC got along pretty well with him. He considered the Sergeant Major as a pretty good source of army knowledge.

Looking back on things the BC was pretty sharp involving the Sergeant Major into the doings of a Headquarters battery. It kept surprises to a minimum.

The Sergeant Major was a spavined old warrior that had a break in service along the lines. He was actually pretty old for his pay grade, and had served in WW2.

One day at the rifle range a few of the older soldiers were grousing about how the M-14 they learned to shoot on was a superior weapon. The Sergeant Major was listening and someone saw him and asked him what he learned to shoot on. He said he had learned on a 1903 Springfield.

I don't believe I was quite a sergeant yet and still pretty green. My mouth ran away with me. I said that I didn't think he had learned on a Krag and I guess my humor went over his head. (Thank God!) He simply replied that he wasn't that old.

We looked out the window and saw the Sergeant Major headed toward us and braced ourselves for his arrival.

We popped to as he entered the orderly room and the BC looked at him and buttered him up a bit explaining that we had an age old army problem and needed his expertise.

"Piccolo has an aunt that keeps sending him fruitcakes," said the BC. It was the first and only time I ever saw the Sergeant Major laugh. 

"I have a pair of them on my mantle piece that were sent to me back in North Africa in '42!" he laughed. "I kept those two as souveniers and buried God knows how many in the Tunisian desert and all the way up Salerno, Palermo, Anzio and all the way to Rome!"

He looked at me and laughed. "You poor bastard!"

Then he turned to us and explained that so many fruitcakes were sent to GIs that they were worried about the mail being sent overseas was taking up too much shipping space. He actually asked the Chief of Staff to see what he could do to get people to stop sending them. Washington didn't because they were afraid of offending the public.

The public kept sending fruitcakes and as fast as they arrived the GIs kept burying them. Even starving Italians wouldn't eat them.  My uncle was a Seabee in the Pacific and claimed there was a backhoe of some sort assigned specifically to bury fruitcakes. He said that lasted until some Navy Chief discovered a way to extract the rum out of them that most of them were soaked in. I suppose it was a change from making cocktails out of torpedo juice. 

Incidentally it was the same aunt that sent him fruitcakes that was sending them to me. I suppose one war's as good as another to an old lady.

The BC looked at the Sergeant Major and said he was going to send my aunt a letter saying I had been borrowed by the CIA for a long, dangerous and secret mission and that writing me could endanger my life. He promised that I'd write her as soon as I returned.

The Sergeant Major looked at the BC. "I'm not going to tell the BnCO about this," he said. "But please let me know how it works out."

Twenty minutes later the mail clerk wandered in with his daily delivery and was handed a letter addressed to my aunt. She never wrote again and neither did I.

The Sergeant Major retired about a year later and from that day on just about every time we crossed paths he would ask me how things were working out. He seemed pleased to find out I was not getting any more damned fruitcakes from my aunt.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Friday, April 24, 2015

I missed Earth Day.

Predictions from the very first Earth Day.

"We have about five more years at the outside to do something.”
• Kenneth Watt, ecologist

"Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”
• George Wald, Harvard Biologist

"Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

"By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

"It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”
• Denis Hayes, chief organizer for Earth Day

"Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”
• Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University

"Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”
• Life Magazine, January 1970

"At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

"Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

"By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

"Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”
• Sen. Gaylord Nelson

and this classic:

"The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

It's all "Never mind... forget what we said then... NOW we have our shit together.  Listen to us now!!!"

Yeah, right.

Next year I will celebrate it by burning a tire or maybe cleaning out a rain gutter or toilet with sulfuric acid or something. Maybe I'll empty a 55 gallon drum of anti-freeze down a storm sewer.

It won't involve paint, though. What I do with my leftover paint is give it to the neighborhood kids early in October...just in time for Halloween.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Thursday, April 23, 2015

There is a guy I run into every so often.

 He's a double amputee.

Right after he lost his legs a newbie third assistant trainee junior range officer tried to make him shoot a Garand off of a wheel chair at a Garand match. He was squadded next to me and I went to bat for him.

I pointed out that shooting a Garand off of a wheel chair would likely knock over. When the RO insisted I got someone over that knew what he was doing and the guy got to shoot on his belly like he was supposed to be allowed to do.

This was shortly after he was torn up during overseas duty. His wounds were fairly fresh.

I see him periodically and to be honest I don't like what I see. It's been a decade and he just seems to be getting worse over time. I get the feeling that he is content in his wheelchair collecting his pension and sitting in the pity pot.

I hope I don't see him there this year because I hope he decided to get off ot the pity pot and start doing something for himself. It's well past time. He's been feeling sorry for himself for probably over a decade now.

Truth is the man has paid some pretty heavy dues and I certainly have to respect that. In the flash of a nanosecond he suffered the traumatic amputation of both legs while in service to the United States. For that we do in fact certainly owe him a debt of gratitude.

I'm no pro in the artificial limb busines but it looks to me like there is no way he can get a set of artificial legs to gain his mobility back. He looks to me like he is pretty much wheelchair bound for life.

The truth is that the government has kept their end of the bargain. He has the best medical care in the world at his disposal and will continue to have it for life. He's also eligible for vocational rehab of all sorts. Fact is that he has every chance to make a halfway decent and productive life for himself. It's no longer up to the government. It's up to him. It looks to me like he has chosen not to bother.

We, as a people, have done all we can for this guy and it's time he start doing something for himself. A couple of years back I met a guy in similar circumstances and he was looking forward to starting a job in a few weeks.

He was actually pretty independent for being wheelchair bound. We were at a shooting match and the guys helped him do things he couldn't do for himself but other than crossing a stream or something we pretty much left him on his own. Most of us were wise enough to not strip him of his pride and independence by over-mothering him.

I remember another guy that was wheelchair bound and made a living by fixing stuff and doing things that required careful hand fitting. What a creative artist he was!

The truth of the matter is that this guy in question really hasn't been cheated by the government. They are doing what they can to keep their end of the deal up.

The truth is the guy is cheating himself by not taking advantage of what is offered to him to get his independence and pride back. Instead he seems to be taking the easy way out.

It's a shame because I'd just bet he's got untapped talents he could dig into that would make him productive.

Granted, the loss of legs means the loss of mobility and that is a major handicap. Still, there are a lot of things that are out there to do that don't require a lot of mobility.

I won't sugar coat things, but the truth is for some unlucky GIs the test of things isn't what they do in combat. It's what they do after combat that make them into what they are. 

Feel free to call me a miserable heartless, cold bastard if you will. The truth here is that I am not looking to repair a battered body. It can't be done in a lot of cases. What I am doing as I write this is to try and help repair the human spirit.

You don't do that with a wheelchair and a check. Sometimes it takes a good, swift kick in the ass.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Almost forgot!

I now see on the news that NASA predicts that we will find alien life before 2025.

Obviously they have never been to a lot of the places or met some of the creatures I have.

Let's leave this one at that.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I am slowly learning.

I have been out of town and in a situation with time to use on my hands. I have sat down with the Koch system downloaded onto my laptop and am trying to learn code.

It is pretty slow going but it does a pretty good job of passing time. 

I have been told that people with a musical ear tend to learn it faster than those of us like me that can't carry a tune in a bucket.

I also don't have an affinity for learning languages, either so this is just going to have to be a slug fest. It really isn't coming easy like a lot of other things do for me.

My goal is to be able to decode 25 words per minute by ear and I think I am on the right path.

I have the program running the characters themselves at 25 wpm and the spacing between them set at about 5 wpm.

The plan is to get up to about 99% recognition and up the speed in spacing and work my way up. It's just going to take time and listening, listening and more listening.

I can already send fairly well, most likely around 10 wpm with good accuracy. I do believe the trick to sending and receiving code is to attain accuracy first and then increase speed as time goes on.

Anyway, I'm working on it and will likely will find a little more time to work on it and reach my goal. All learning to read code takes is practice.

Back in the day the army used to send kids to what was then called radio operator's school. I was told by someone that their dad went through it in the sixties and it was a twelve week course. Most likely one week of it was spent learning to use the various radios and the rest of it was spent learning code.

The guy's dad told him that after he graduated the army switched to single side band (voice) field communications and he never did use the code and like a lot of people, promptly forgot it.

Speaking of army schools and schools in general, it's too bad I couldn't just find about 8 weeks and immerse myself in code and learn it like the GIs did in radio operator's school.

In my quest for 200 DX entities I am at a plateau of sorts now with 185 confirmed. A few of the other guys I know that are DXers like me have said that if I want to keep going I'll likely have to either start using digital communications or learn and use code.

What is interesting to note is that there is a resurgence in the use of code. The use of it it is on the rise.

A few years ago the FCC dropped having a working knowledge of code as a requirement to getting an amateur radio operator's license. The requirement for the class of license I now hold was 20 wpm.

It should be noted that many of the recent operators out there, myself included, would not have gotten licensed if the code requirement was still in effect.

Yet there we are now trying to learn it.

Go figure....

Code is a perishable skill. What is interesting in amateur radio is that the very few old hams that sit around griping about the 'no code Extras' that haven't stayed in practice are generally either code illiterate or code semi-illiterate.

One of my first messages I sent out was to one of these chronic complainers. The message was: "Just another no code extra ruining the hobby." He claimed it was unreadable but the other guys said they read it just fine.

Enter this in the For What It's Worth department. There are a number of keyers out there for radio telegraphy. There are paddles and jitterbugs and what have you. Most modern ham rigs are set up for keyers and can be adjusted to make it fairly easy for a ham to send near perfect code.

Moving on to the 'As Usual, Piccolo Will Do Anything to be Different and Difficult Department', I am learning to send on an Old School straight key. It is actually a very heavy Chinese Army key from the Korea/early Vietnam era. And of course, my theory is that you start with basics and work up from there. Same as shooting. You learn with iron sights.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Monday, April 20, 2015

I have seen part of a news story

 about how some guy calculated the monetary value of a stay at home wife.  The figure of $75K just popped up on the screen and I guess we can run with that for sake of argument.

Sounds a little low to me. 

Truth is that it is pretty damned hard to put a financial value on such a thing. It's neigh impossible to put a price tag on well-mannered disciplined kids. In this day and age they are simply priceless.

Much of the work mothers do at home is really simple minimum wage hotel/motel maid stuff. The cleaning and cooking doesn't take a rocket scientist to do that kind of work. Still, the overtime is pretty overwhelming as it is pretty much a 24/7 job.

While coming home to a nice home is a treat for the wage earner. I suppose at one time it was the guy that was the main breadwnner but that has changed now. An increasing number of men are now stay at home dads.  

Still, for the most part these days staying at home seems to be mom's job.

There's a lot more to things than cooking and cleaning. There's tending to children. While it gets eeasier in some ways as a child leaves infancy it gets harder in other ways as a kid starts growing up. That's where I think a stay at home parent starts to be put to task.

This is where things get a little challenging. Mom has to become a number of things besides a maid and diaper changer. About the time they are toilet trained they have to be watched like a hawk and mothers have to be able to do their household chores and watch the kid(s) at the same time. 

They also have to become nurses and counselors at the same time as spills and accidents are inevitible. Nurses and counselors make good money. I suppose you could add that to the pot.

It strikes me that in order to calculate the value of a stay at home parent one would have to hire a full-time CPA and even he doesn't have a chance in hell of calculating the true value of a stay at home parent because there are a lot of intangibles involved that nobody can really put a price on.

The guy that tried calculating his stay at home wife's value was likely trying to give her a positive stroke and give he some kind of value to look at as a sign of appreciation. Still, I think he missed the boat.

The value of a stay at home mom can range from peanuts to incalculable depending on how serious she takes his or her job and does it.

Good stay at home parents are priceless.

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

At work I deal with a myriad

 of different people and the other day I was listening to a small town guy in his early twenties. He was talking about some bar fight that he was in a few weeks ago. Apparently he thinks if is some kind of sport to go out and get tanked up and fight someone  behind the tavern.

I imagine it's some kind of Har-De-Har Har Chuckleheaded Yuk Yuk Yuk roadhouse out in some inbred hillbilly county where most of the residents have family trees that resemble flagpoles.

The point is that I simply don't get it. Years ago Petersburg, Alaska was like that. There were a lot of people there that liked to fight and it made no sense to me.

I got caught up in a brawl in Petersburg once. It was a scary experience. My traveling partner of saved my ass in that one. He wasn't much of a boxer or brawler as his training had been to disable, cripple or even kill his opponent as quickly as possible. He was also a bull.

It was and remains the only time I have ever seen a human being pick up another human and throw him at a third. He severely injured a couple of people in an instant and we fled immediately. 

The reason we fled was that my partner, a very likable smiling and happy guy that was usually followed everywhere by kids and dogs was likely to not like getting roughly handled by the Petersburg authorities. 

While he was the kindest and one of the gentlest people I have ever met that would shine on any slight, you didn't do anything physical to him. A tactful policeman could hand him the cuffs and he'd likely cuff himself and go along with the officer to jail with not so much as a complaint.

On the other hand, if a poorly trained small town cop that was used to dealing with Bubbas and Jimbos tried to handle him roughly he'd likely find himself thrown through a closed door. Better to leave town most riki-tik than wind up where massive violence was likely to erupt.

The other reason we fled is because in a lot of small towns being right has nothing to do with anything. You have wounded a local and the town wants you to pay. It matters little who started it or that it was a clear cut case of self-defense. Some shiftless drifter type put poor ol Jimbo in the hospital and must pay. Sure ol Jimbo started it and tried to cripple someone but he really didn't mean nothin' by it. Why, that Jimbo, he a good old boy!

Actually this business of making excuses for someone's illegal behavior isn't limited to small towns. You hear it in cities all the time, often after someone gets shot while commiting a crime. One of the common lines heard is something like, "But little Jimmy was coming around!"

Yeah, right. If he was coming around, then why was he robbing a liquor store.

Generally one heard this after poor, innocent little Jimmy got shot in a shoot out after he robbed a liquor store and killed the clerk in the process of the stickup.

I don't consider fighting like that to be a sport or anything I want any part of. First of all, it's dangerous. People gripe about the dangers of guns but fail to realize that more killings are attributed to fists than guns.

There's nothing manly about it and it is just plain stupid. I want nothing to do with it whatsoever. I don't consider it a sport and starting one is nothing less than a case of assault.

The truth is that starting one is an invitation to whatever happens to you. I had a friend in Kodiak that used to occasionally box behind the bar every once in a while and I will admit that it was fine by me. Both were in agreement. It was straight boxing and if they wanted to then it was no concern of anyone else's.

On the other hand, starting a fight with someone that doesn't want to be involved is a horse of a different color. It is nothing less than a criminal assault and should be dealt with as such. It is no joke.

This is a case where boys WON'T be boys. It is serious business and should be treated that way. Anyone that starts something and winds up in the hospital or the morgue gets exactly what they deserve. I couldn't care less.

The small handful of scuffles I have been in during my life, none of which I have started, were pretty ugly events. The most recent was back when I defended Tokie, a cat I used to serve, from a tormentor.

I told him that if he wanted to torment my cat he would have to get through me first. He decided to assalt me.

I cheated. I used one of the weapons I had at hand and disabled my opponent as fast as I could with no regard whatsoever for his safety and total regard for mine. It was a very serious affair. Short, sharp and ugly.

I simply blinded my assailant and tagged him with a roll of quarters in my fist and left him on the ground stunned temporarily blind and broken. It really wasn't very difficult. He was just a big, stupid kid. I guess he found out how fragile the human body really is. I took no joy in it as such but do remember the wild, cruel joy of relief for coming out unscathed.

I was about fifty at the time and that was a borderline situation legally. The kid was about seventeen and most likely had I stuck around and been arrested it likely would have gone on trial. They would have put the kid in a nice Buster Brown suit and made him look like the All-American boy and I may have played hell winning in court. I very well may have lost.

It took several shots of brandy to quell the after-action shakes on that one and I had to have someone else drive me home.

The kid must be in his early thirties now and hopefully wiser from his experience. At least I hope so. He got what he deserved at the time and I bear no ill will toward him now.

My state has a disparity in force law which means I was legally limited in the amount of force I could use in defense. I was actually carrying a pistol at the time. I elected not to use it because of the disparity of force laws. I'm glad I didn't shoot the little whelp in the leg.

However, fifteen years later I probably wouldn't opted for that route. I'm too old and tired to play that game.  

As I write this I have to give myself some serious credit for discipline. It would have been a whole lot easier just to pull an Indiana Jones vs. the swordsman and drop the little thug. I certainly had the means and what I would consider a valid reason.

Then again, what I consider a valid reason doesn't mean a whole  lot. A jury of my peers might think otherwise and hand me the Go to jail Monopoly card.

In the earlier part of the 20th century an awful lot of men carried pocket pistols. It is often referred to as the era of good manners. Shootings were not commonplace and of the shootings that did take place they were judged on the merits of simple self-defense. Self-defense was a simple right and was treated as such. 

Most of these self-defense shootings never saw a court room. The assailant started it, the victim defended himself and finished it and that was simply that. It makes sense when you think about it. Back then justice was more clear cut. People worried about the victims and their rights instead of the rights of the criminal.

I guess it was generally accepted that the criminal lost his rights when he committed the crime. Fair enough.

I'm in my sixties now and certainly in no shape to go a few rounds with some young thug. I have changed my lifestyle accordingly and the list of places I won't go for safety reasons has grown. I rarely go where alcohol is served for example. I'm a lot more careful not and less inclined to say much of anything or do anything that might start something.

One of my codes in life is to try to do no unnecessary harm and I hope I can make it stay that way until the end.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Saturday, April 18, 2015

One of the things I noticed while commercial fishing is how much fish boats cost to run.

They ain't cheap.

Now you have to remember that this was back in 80s and in the era of cheap diesel fuel.

I knew of one exceptionally generous owner of a limit seiner that paid each of his three guys a sixth of the gross. He was exceptionally generous and I suppose he could afford to as his boat had been paid off for years.

I worked on a 98 foot boat and was paid 10% of the gross less 10% of the fuel, 10% of the bait and 20% of the groceries and this was deemed fair. The skipper ran with himself and 4 others. He was personally paid a share as there was an unseen partner in the boat with him. 

The Occupy Wall Street set was around back then under a different name but the game was the same. Most of these kids were college students that were Humanities majors or some other kind of liberal arts majors. I knew this because they couldn't count.

They griped because the boat took the lion's share of the money they got for the fish they caught. Yet not one of them had anything invested in the boat at all. Their entire investment in the industry was a $25 commercial fisherman's license. I listened to one kid gripe because the skipper wouldn't let him fish without one.

A lot of people never seem to understand that even back then a guy would spend a million bucks on a boat and tie up another million bucks in gear. That's a lot of money today and it was certainly a lot more money then.

This money had to be paid back. The banks didn't have nor do they now have a sense of humor abut having loans repaid.

I remember one college kid saying that after the boat made expenses the profit it made ought to be split up by the crew.  I suggested that would be OK if perhaps if the boat didn't meet expenses that maybe the crew shares be cut accordingly. He didn't like that very much and the skipper overheard it and after that he thought I was pretty cool for speaking up.

I do remember a couple of kids putting themselves through college by fishing and the two I'll mention were engineering types. They had to take math courses therefore they could count. They were an interesting pair.

Unlike a lot of their humanities counterparts that never seemed to last on fish boats, they worked hard and did well. They both graduated debt free and after they were offered jobs right out of school. They told their future employers they would start in late September as opposed to right out of school.

They wanted to fish one more season before they went into their respective fields. It was a clever move because it enabled the pair of them to put pretty good down payments on modest houses and get off to a running start.

Straight out of college debt free, starting a new career and having a new starter home to live in doesn't sound like a bad deal.

I didn't know what percentage these guys were paid although it supposedly wasn't as high as some skippers paid. Then again, a lot of people often got worked up over percentages when they should have been looking at the boatowners history of dollar amount shares.

People would often jump on a guy that paid a percentage or two higher and forgot the basic rule of fishing percentages. 

Twenty percent of nothin' is nothin'.

Not all humanities majors did poorly, of course. Still there were a lot of college kids that didn't get it. They didn't seem to understand the nature of the beast.

Some of them seemed to go through their lives bitching about how the man was screwing them and how they deserved more. They had a hard time understanding that they had not been given an hourly job but an opportunity to make money based on performance. 

If you caught a lot of fish, you made a lot of money. If you didn't catch a lot of fish you didn't make a lot of money. It was as simple as that.

Of course, when these guys came in after a bad trip they didn't think it was fair. What was interesting is that the two engineering students once told me that they didn't make a whole lot on every trip and even came back in broke a couple times. Yet if they stayed at it there would be a few real good hauls that more than made up for it. The trick was to find a good skipper and stick with him for the whole season.

Imagine what it was like back in the late 70s and early 80s to go back to school with $25 or 30K in your pocket! I've seen guys do it. They lived like kings!

Needless to say the two engineering types didn't gripe about anything. They were happy as hell to have what they had and knew they had a good deal.

Most of the gripers never seemed to have the required stick to it nature required to do well in any field.

It would be interesting to see how successful the average OWS person is. My guess is that they are not very successful and a lot of their attitude is one of sour grapes.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Springfield match at Camp Perry.

A few years back I shot the Springfield match and also what I consider to be the best string I ever fired. While maybe not my highest score, it was my best moment as a shooter. It was a real train crash as a Marine NCO later put it. I came out of it smelling like a rose.

I was on the firing line, loaded, slinged up and ready to go. The bolt was back and as the order was given to commence firing the lens of my shooting glasses fell out!

I had checked them countless times and now it fell apart on me! I bent over, snagged it and popped it back in. My scorer was putting his sticker on my scorecard to record that he was my scorer. I reached down, took his sticker and used it to tape my lens in. Then I hit the dirt, got into position, slammed the bolt home and started sending rounds downrange.

I was playing catchup and I knew it. I can also count and know that a 5 is better then a held round. There are no refires on this course of fire.

Like Sergeant York, I put the front sight on the sweet spot of the target and snapped it off. As soon as the rifle settled down I worked the bolt, put the tip of the front sight on the target and as soon as it got aligned I snapped anothe shot off. I repeated this three more times.

 My the end of my first five rounds I had caught up! I relaxed slightly as I reloaded my next five rounds only to have my well waxed and inspected stripper clip fall apart on me! My rounds were on the mat!

I picked them up as fast as I could and stuffed them into the magazine, slammed the bolt home and started shooting. Just as the cease fire command was being given and the targets were starting to come down I lit off my last round.

When the smoke cleared and the targets came up for groups and scores I didn't believe my eyes. My score read like this:


The spotters told me the pair of nines were tight...very close to the ten-ring. The eight was mid-ring at 12 O'clock but I knew it was because the target was going down. 

I was astonished!

My scorer that had been watching my rounds impact through his spotting scope opined that my last round would have likely been another X or at the very least a tight 10 had not the target started dropping.

Then it was my turn into the pits to pull targets.

Normally this is about a 2 or maybe three hour job but the Gods were not with me that day. It was a hot day and some damned hippie was out in Lake Erie on a Jetski. 

Lake Erie has served as an impact area for rifle fire for years and there has been little or no enviornmental impact. Yet for some time small groups of people have driven Jetskis and boats int the impact area during live fire exercises and have delayed the matches.

One year the National Guard sent a helicopter out to chase a sailboat out of the impact area. The rotor wash gave the boater a little more wind than he wanted and the pilot simply blew him out of the impact area with the downwash.

The boatowner later called the base demanding compensation for damage to his boat. The base people told him to stop by and promised he'd be taken care of.

He was, too. When he walked in to the headquarters building he was promptly placed under arrest by the MPs who held him for the feds. This is additional evidence to the old adage that you can't fix stupid.

I never heard what happened in court. 

This year they returned with Jetskis and were giving the Naval Militia a run for their money. The firing line, of course, had to shut down until the National Guard and Naval Militia could run them off.

I, of course, was at the time sitting in the pits baking in the sun on a 105 degree day. My canteen ran dry as did everyone else's and the CMP water cannisters ran dry, too. 

We had already been sweating it out faster than we could pour it in but now we had nothing to replace the sweat with. 

The comments in the pits were ranged between downright angry and bitter to truly funny. Many of us started getting a little punchy.

Finally the impact area was cleared and the match resumed. When it was over we had spent practically six hours baking in the Camp Perry sun. Most of us were punchy as all hell. We stumbled to the stairway exhausted and spent.

Then it happened. Out of the middle of the daze and punchiness a voice sounded out.

"Well, Boys," said the voice that I just KNEW came from a nasty little foul mouthed runt of a man.  If they made a movie about this guy he would have to be played by none other than Danny DiVito. "Time to head up to the firing line, pick up our medals, take 'em downtown and trade 'em for pu$$y!"

It came out of the middle of the pack and from nowhere at the same time and hit the dog-tired punchy crowd like a shotgun blast. Virtually everyone there split right open laughing. Everyone. The handful of women in the crowd laughed right along with the men. As did one man that I knew was very religious and usually easily offended.

The laughter was crippling and the line came to a complete stop as people started falling over each other laughing themselves silly. .

While a comment like that was probably worthy of a chuckle in normal circumstances, actually it was sort of stupid. But to people as punchy as we all were it was downright disabling. His timing was perfect.

Of course, we all wanted to beat the hell out of the nasty little bastard. Maybe grab his ears, toss him in the air and punt the little dweeb thirty or forty yards but we were helpless to do so.

It was a thousand plus yard  walk to where the tables were set up to pick up prizes and T-shirts and most of us had to stop every fifty feet because the laughter returned. We'd just double up and laugh.

Many of us were still laughing when we got to the table. You couldn't shake it no matter what you did. People wanted to know what was so funny but you could not explain it to someone that wasn't there and heard it firsthand! If you did, they would look at you like you were stupid. 

I picked up my T-shirt and left for the barracks.

I gotta say that what goes around comes around.

The day before I had dropped off a couple of cases of PBR at the Marine barracks. As I  was staggering back to the barracks I heard a voice call out to me.

"Hey, Pic! Incoming!" shouted a Marine.

I turned, let go of my cart and caught what proved to be an ice cold PBR. I drained it in a single gulp and the Marine laughed. "Want another?"  he asked.

"No. It'll knock me on my ass, but thanks, Mac!" I replied.

He grinned when I called him 'Mac'. He knew what I was doing. It was a WW2 term for any GI and I occasionally use it on younger servicemen. Sometimes they take the bait and get fooled into thinking I'm of the WW2 generation.

"You still look dried out," he said. Then he walked over and handed me two bottles of cold water. I drained both of those, too. I was truly grateful.

The next day I bought the Marines another case of PBR.


After I showered and recovered I ran over to the Marine barracks to commiserate with Marines that had not shot well.  

This actually means everyone because unless a Marine on the rifle team shot a perfect score (and nobody does) it generally turns into a humorous gripe session.

I once sold a corporal a pretty good excuse for having a lousy day for $10. I took his money and whispered to him that 'Tomorrow's excuse is that you were still pissed off over having been cheated out of $10 by a mean old man'

He was too embarrassed to ask for his money back. I simply used it to buy beer for the guys so no foul.

Few if any Marines shot in the Springfield match back then. Some do now if they are not slated with another event. Many of the Marines there were not familiar with the 1903 Springfield as then they generally only shot a government issued M-16 type service rifle.

My gripes, of course, were greeted with hoots and laughter. A laughing Staff Sergeant looked up laughing and said, "A real train crash, huh?"

Then a Master Sergeant looked at me and said, "Mr. Piccolo, I do believe there are maybe -and that's a big maybe-but one or two of our guys that could have come close to doing what you did."

That turned heads, including mine.

"Think about it," he said to us. "How many of you guys could pick up an obsolete WW1 bolt action rifle and do that well? Especially under his circumstances. Few of you if any have ever even shot one. Hell, some of you haven't even seen one."

He turned to me. "Mr. Piccolo, you did just fine. You did yourself right proud."

As he was leaving one of the guys looked at me and said, "Yeah, but we're gonna bust your balls anyway!"

The Master Sergeant heard it, turned and grinned shook his head as he walked off and I felt like a million bucks.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Al Sharpton must be disappointed.

One of the things I have noticed is that Al Sharpton hasn't come charging down to South Carolina raising holy hell about the shooting of Walter Scott by a policeman.

I read somewhere that Scott's family sent word to him that he was not welcome. They did not want their town to turn into another Ferguson. Frankly I doubt it would have the way the police department down there appears to be handling things.

Officer Michael Slager has been appropriately charged and is likely sitting in the can awaiting trial. My guess now is that he will be tried for second degree murder or manslaughter. If so, that's fair enough because I really don't think it was pre meditated. It looks to me like an angry shooting based on the heat of an argument and likely doesn't qualify for murder one.

I'm not defending Slager at all. If he is found guilty and likely he will, he should pay and through the nose.

Most likely a big part of why Sharpton isn't down there raising hell is that the department didn't screw around. They immediately fired and arrested Slager and made it clear there was going to be no effort whatsoever of a coverup.

I do believe that this will blow over soon simply because things are pretty cut and dried. There's no shades of grey involved.

I have to give police leadership credit here for stepping up to the plate and airing their laundry for everyone to see. Truth is, not covering anything up is generally the best and fastest way of making things return to normal.

Americans are pretty forgiving people about a lot of things, but they can't stand a coverup. Coverups have destroyed presidencies. Nixon resigned because of one and Clinton was impeached over coverups.

Had either of these two simply admitted their crimes the American public likely would have said, "Never let it happen again." and forgotten about it.

When a police department comes out and airs things out for all to see and puts things in place to prevent future crimes from being committed they generally regain the trust of the public pretty quickly. It's the coverups that damage the reputation of a department and often permanently.

Slager will most likely do serous time and rightly so. Still, I don't see this as a capital crime and I'd have to say that he'll either be convicted for second degree murder or maybe manslaughter.

I'm taking a 'what it is, it is' attitude here and what it looks to me is that Slager let the frustrations of the job get to him and over reacted. He was wrong and there is no excuse for his actions.

Still, looking at them for what they are, I don't think the state can prove he was out gunning for Walter Scott personally. Frankly I don't think he was gunning for anyone on a personal level.

He simply lost his temper when Scott started running and wildly over reacted. Like it or not, that doesn't qualify for murder in the first degree. 

My guess as of now is that Slater's attorney is in the DA's office trying to cut a deal for manslaughter but I could be wrong. Hopefully if his attorney is successful and Slater is convicted of manslaughter the public will be appeased.  Things will return to normal with a minimum of damage done, all things considered.

At least that's my take on it as of now.

What might prove to be interesting with this post is the number of cops that will be upset if Slater gets convicted of manslaughter. Right now a lot of officers are pretty hot about this and will be pretty upset if Slater doesn't get convicted for at least second degree murder. 

Don't forget, cops hate this kind of thing more than the general public does because it makes their job a lot more difficult.

Update. I wrote this about three or four days ago and already the heat seems to have died down over this.

Funny how things drop from sight fast when people admit that something is wrong and do the right thing. It nips things right at the bud. It probably pissed Al Sharpton off big time because now there is nothing he can really do. It's already been taken care of. 

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY