Another victim of Walt Disney

This story is a couple of months old, but I just stumbled across it.

Wild animals are not just misunderstood cuddly pets who can’t talk.

Too many animal lovers and environmentalists either have forgotten, or have never understood, that wild animals in particular and nature in general are actively, at every moment, with prejudice, trying to kill us.

Forgetting that for even a moment at the wrong time allows it to succeed.

This is the horrifying moment a lioness reared up and mauled to death an American tourist after she stopped to take a photograph in a South African safari park.

Standing on its hind legs, the lioness is seen peering into the vehicle seconds before it attacked Katherine Chappell, an editor on hit TV show Game of Thrones, through the open window.

Engineer Ben Govender, 38, who was in the car behind Miss Chappell, said ‘no one could have imagined’ what would happen in the minutes after he took the extraordinary photograph.

I note that they wait until the very end of the article to mention that the safari park (as do all of them) has signs everywhere warning people to keep windows closed at all times.

I find it very difficult to mourn for people who die in manners such as this. If they felt that the rewards of doing what they did were worth the risk, then their death was not “tragic”, it was a foreseeable result that they chose to accept as a risk. Unfortunately, for most people who die like this, it’s not a matter of them weighing the risks and choosing to accept them, it’s a matter of them being completely oblivious to the risks and ignoring all the warnings because “it will never happen to me”…besides, that 300 pound cat with three inch fangs and razor sharp claws looks so soft and cuddly laying there in the grass…I wonder if I can pet it?…

The correct outcome to an attempted robbery

St. Paul Star Tribune:

Lavauntai Broadbent, 16, was shot and killed on a St. Paul river bluff during a botched robbery

I wouldn’t consider this a botched robbery, I’d consider this a correctly conducted robbery by all parties.

I mean, if your gonna have a robbery, one where the victims were unharmed and the attack is stopped is just about as good as it gets.

I’m sure some will say that the kid didn’t deserve to die for robbing someone. Actually, I agree with that sentiment. Unfortunately, when accosted by an armed stranger, the victim never knows what the assailants intentions really are.

When someone is threatened with death or great bodily injury, they have the right and, in my opinion, the obligation to defend themselves with every means at their disposal.

In this instance, the victim did so and the outcome was that the victims were unharmed and the threat was removed. It’s unfortunate that the assailant died in the process, but that’s not central to the outcome being the “correct” one. The fact that the assailant was killed was nothing more than the foreseeable result of the choices he made and is solely his responsibility…not the victim’s.

Of course, the entire tone of the article was about how this “teen” was simply a poor misunderstood teen who never really meant any harm…the gang fight he’d been involved in and social media posts indicating his affiliation with a known gang notwithstanding.

Broadbent was a young man caught up in a culture of gang violence

No…he wasn’t “caught up” in the culture, he chose it. Life is nothing more than a series of choices we make. Choose wisely and reap the benefits. Choose poorly and suffer the consequences.

I’m just glad to see that the victim in this case isn’t being persecuted in the press for exercising his rights and righteously defending himself. Part of that may be because the Police haven’t released the victim’s name…but it seems to me that the media isn’t trying very hard to find it.

Anybody want to lay odds on the ethnicity of the victim?

Blue Bloods

The Wife and I just finished watching season 5 of Blue Bloods on Hulu Prime.

For those of you living under a rock, it’s a show about a family of New York “public servants”. Tom Selleck, one of the few openly conservative actors in Hollywood, plays the Police Commissioner who is a second generation in that position. His two sons are cops and his daughter is a Deputy DA.

It is a good show and generally strikes a good tone involving fairly conservative values, but this season, the writers found it necessary to preach at us about their religion for a few episodes.

Episode 3 was all about how anyone who is uncomfortable with the gay lifestyle is evil…including the Catholic Church.

Episode 8 included a campus rape case that covered all the currently in vogue stereotypes about uncaring administrators taking the side of the rapist and brushing the crime under the rug (up to and including hiding evidence) to protect the university against bad press. As if covering up a rape wouldn’t cause worse press than admitting that one occurred.

But a recurring theme that really bothered me throughout the season: The cops in the show were constantly running up against people who had legally licensed guns. The impression is that it’s a common thing in New York for citizens to have carry licenses.

In Episode 9, Linda, the wife of one of the cops on the show, is mugged at knifepoint. As a result, she is depicted applying for a license to carry a firearm. When turning in her fingerprints, she’s told it will take some period of time (I think it was a week or ten days, something like that) to process her prints and she’d get the license after that. She then identifies herself as the Police Commissioner’s daughter-in-law to get the process expedited. Nowhere is it mentioned that New York is a “may issue” state and that for most people who aren’t rich, celebrities or the Police Commissioner’s daughter-in-law, the chances of actually being approved for a license are slim to none, let alone getting it done in any kind of reasonable time.

In the next scene Linda is shown at a gun shop picking out a gun, paying for it and carrying it out the door…no muss, no fuss. Almost like she actually lives in a free state rather than the People’s Republic of New York.

For the uninformed, the false depiction of every law abiding citizen of the city having a license to carry a gun, combined with the quick and easy application process (albeit expedited through personal connections), and then the “plop down your money and carry your gun home” purchase procedure shown gives the impression that New York’s gun laws are actually reasonable, and are only a minor inconvenience to the ownership and lawful carrying of firearms, not the virtual absolute bar to ownership and lawful carry to the average citizen that they actually are.

These types of false depictions are what lead people who don’t know much about guns or the laws surrounding them to believe it when the gun banners tell them that restrictions like New York’s or California’s are “common sense” and don’t actually infringe upon anyone’s rights.

Although I still enjoy the show – most of the episodes were not so politically charged – I really don’t appreciate the show’s writers/producers trying to push their liberal religion onto me, and I REALLY don’t appreciate their effort to mislead the uninformed about the ins and outs of gun ownership in a restrictive place like New York city.

Unintended consequences

I stumbled across this today:

China is currently developing a new plane that is modeled after stolen plans for the U.S.’ F-35 fifth-generation plane.

My first thought was “that’s great…trying to copy that disaster could set their defense industry back by decades.” Which is pretty much what it’s done to us.

The “Slippery Slope” argument is just paranoia

There is no such thing as the “slippery slope”. Thinking that leftists with an agenda will never be satisfied with taking “yes” for an answer is simply paranoia.

I mean, take gay “marriage” for example. It’s plainly clear that the left will be perfectly satisfied and will stop harping on us now that they’ve gotten their way on gay “marriage”. There’s no way that they’ll continue to press and insist that a “right to gay marriage” trumps religious freedom. There’s no possible way that they’d ever advocate punishing religious organizations that insist on maintaining their religious freedom and standards.


The same argument can and should be applied to gay marriage. If your organization does not support the right of gay men and women to marry, then the government should be very clear that you’re in the wrong. And it should certainly not bend over backwards to give you the privilege of tax exemption.

We have religious freedom in this country, and any religious organization is entirely free to espouse whatever crazy views it likes. But when those views are fanatical and hurtful, they come into conflict with the views of any honorable legislator who believes in freedom and equality. And at that point, it makes perfect sense for our elected representatives to register their disapproval by abolishing the tax exemption for organizations who cling to narrow-minded and anachronistic views.

Care to wager whether the left will be satisfied and stop demanding more after tax exemptions for Christian churches are removed?

Nah…there’s no slippery slope.

Some animals are more equal than others…

Stab and kill a police dog, get up to 7 years in prison.

“I lost my partner from this. He was also a family member,” said Pittsburgh police Officer Phil Lerza.

But if they decide they need to kick your door down because some drug addled gang banger told them you were growing drugs in your garage, the first thing they do is shoot your family pets.

Because, as Orwell explained so eloquently…some animals are more equal than others.

And the Winner is (3)…

No one.

No guesses at all on the last one, which is really not that surprising to me. It’s not exactly a big tourist spot for Americans.

I was in Victoria BC

The first two pictures are of the legislature building. The third was the Empress Hotel.

If you didn’t get that one, you probably won’t get the next one either.

Hint: it was in the same province in Canada, but is less well known than Victoria.

Motorcycle Trip 4

1 HPIM4966As the last leg of our trip, we left the Black Hills and took the scenic route to the Badlands.

DSC01016After visiting, I can see now why they’re called the badlands.

IMG_1716Could you imagine driving a wagon train and coming up to this? “OK…Now What?”

20140730_153418It really is beautiful, but trying to travel it back before paved roads had to have been a nightmare…especially considering that it’s basically a desert. The badlands only averages 16 inches of precipitation a year…which includes snow in the winter.

360 panoramaAt the highest point we found in the park, I climbed a little hill to the tallest spot I could find, then I used the panorama feature on my tablet to take three panorama shots, then used a piece of software called “photostitch” to piece them together. I’m pretty happy with the resulting 360 degree panoramic view of Badlands National Park (definitely click this one to make it bigger).

IMG_1724After leaving the badlands, we headed back toward Brother’s house in Omaha. We didn’t make it the whole way and stopped in a little one horse town near the Nebraska border. Across the street from the hotel was a gas station with this interesting piece of art named “scrappy”. If you can’t tell from the picture, it is completely made of scrap metal. Very creative.

The next day we completed the trip to Omaha where we dropped off Brother, then back to Indiana where I took leave of Uncle and Cousin, and then I made the final leg of the trip back home to Virginia.

Screen shot 2014-08-16 at 10.39.31 AMHere’s a map of our basic trip path (without all the side trips and sightseeing routes)

IMG_1728And here’s my final mileage.

5,126 miles total.

It was a good trip. I hope you enjoyed sharing it with me.

I finally figured out what I did wrong

Yes, I know it’s been a loooong time, but reading an article this morning really rang my bells and I had to break the hiatus for this.

Here’s the backstory: I spent a year in The Naval Police while on board the USS Enterprise. I started out on patrol, was promoted to Patrol Supervisor, then went into investigations. I did well in all phases, but didn’t really enjoy the patrol part. I didn’t really enjoy the job until I got into investigations…and I was good at it. Good enough that the Security Officer was willing to send me to Navy Investigator School (very unusual for someone who’s actual job specialty was not Master At Arms (What Navy Cops are called)) if I’d volunteer to do another three years on board the Enterprise. I wasn’t willing to make that sacrifice (the Enterprise was, at the time, not a pleasant environment to work in).

At any rate, after I retired from the Navy, I considered becoming a cop. I figured I could endure patrol for a few years and work on being advanced to detective, where I could really thrive in the job.

So, I applied with the Virginia Beach Police Department. I did fine with the process up to a psychological test where you sit in front of a television monitor playing a video of actors portraying scenarios. The candidate is filmed reacting to the scenarios as if he were actually there as a Police Officer and the film of the candidate is evaluated by experienced officers to determine if the candidate has the right psychological makeup to become a cop.

I failed this test and was not advanced. I’ve since been told that it’s very common to fail this test because it’s so subjective and that many candidates have to try more than once before they pass it.

Anyway, after reading this story this morning, I think I finally know why I failed the test.

You see, one of the scenarios presented was of an obviously mentally ill guy armed with a knife in city hall trying to lay claim to the city for some alien civilization that was due to arrive in their spaceships at any time.

I’m pretty sure that this is the scenario that caused me to fail the test, because I didn’t follow standard Police protocol.

I tried to reason with the crazy guy, reassure him that we were there to help him and convince him to put down his weapon so we can work all this out and verify his possibly legitimate claims.

Apparently, I should have just shot him down where he stood. That seems to be the proper Police procedure when dealing with a crazy dude waving a knife around.

I’m often glad that I didn’t make the cut. Between the requirement to shoot crazy people, and the standard procedure of killing family pets while serving search warrants, I really don’t think I’m nearly authoritarian and heartless enough to be an effective cop these days.

We interrupt this blogging hiatus…

To bring breaking news:

For all of those living in the frozen tundra (yes, I’m talking to you Vanilla…and CB too), I just wanted to gloat a little.

todayHere’s what it’s like right now here in Southeastern Virginia:

Unfortunately, it’s going to be pretty short lived.

Here’s the forecast for tomorrow.


Welcome to Virginia. If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes, it’ll change.