All Hail The Pig Trail….

The past two weeks have been spent in our neighbor to the south, Arkansas, at two distinctly different Ozark Mountain RV parks. You don’t have to travel far to enjoy the rugged beauty of this region. Our first stay was in a “resort” park, with many amenities such as zip lining and a large pool, twice daily trash runs and set your propane tanks out and they will be refilled and delivered back to your sight convenience. While expensive, and not a usual stop for us, it afforded a glimpse into the type of park where million dollar rigs were rather common among the units of folks like us who travel comfortably but not opulently. As always, the people in the RV culture offer a glimpse into Americana.

We started at our own Echo Bluff, close to home, where we could shake down our RV after it had reposed in storage for over a year. There I met a funeral director/embalmer from St. Louis who is on Missouri’s mass death response team and saw service in Joplin after the tornado. He is from the St. Louis area and was charming as well as astute. His knowledge of the Highway Patrol in his area was eye opening. You don’t often have the chance to visit with a man who understands death in ways we don’t see. Pragmatic but sympathetic and entirely service oriented. Fascinating.

We then moved to Hot Springs, to the Catherine’s Landing resort, on Lake Catherine. It is corporate owned and the subject of my remarks above. We visited the University of Arkansas maintained Botanical Gardens, on the shores of Lake Hamilton, which were absolutely gorgeous. It was hot, hilly and taxing on Tazzy and me but well worth the modest admission charge. US 70 (not I-70) will shake the fillings from your teeth east of Hot Springs. Beware.

We then relocated to Eureka Springs, to a park said to be among the best in Arkansas, Wanderlust RV Park. It is, indeed, very nice. The hospitality is top notch, hook ups excellent and cleanliness and affordability first rate. The units are close to one another, too close in some spots, but not disqualifying. The Eureka Springs Trolley picks up in the park and transports you downtown to an eclectic environment. This is home to the Great Passion Play and, to the uninitiated, a very diversified population. The host is a former Washington State area police officer and who also worked for the New Orleans Police department for 7 years. Those in the know are aware that New Orleans is home to one of the most corrupt police forces in the nation, and he freely acknowledged their colorful history. (Officers killing their partners in an armed robbery and such). We are sharing space with a retired California trooper and other police types while here. You can spend several days here and not see all there is to see in this region.

Finally, the ultimate adventure. I have always wanted to ride the infamous Pig Trail through the Boston Mountains of Arkansas on my motorcycle. Having not accomplished this, I made the decision to pull our 34’ RV down the trail. It is a series of sharp switch backs and challenging hills and grades. When we entered we were greeted by a “road work ahead” sign, prompting some concern, but I am a “professional driver” so ahead we charged. There is no turning around when you are well into the trail. Some 15 miles in we encountered a sign that said no trailers over 16’ allowed. It was a sphincter tightening moment. The sign needed to be 15 miles back from where it was erected. We soon drove up on a line of stopped traffic, including a loaded log truck pulling a “pup” or trailer also loaded with giant oak timber. We could see a problem on the hairpin curve ahead and a group of highwaymen talking to the truck driver. They left him and came to talk to me. They explained that a one lane, inside section of the curve had fallen away in two places and that I could not make the curve. The boss noticed Sharon’s police pillow and asked if I was a LEO. Turns out he was a deputy before retiring and going into road construction. I asked if I could walk down and look at the problem and he invited me to do so.

Decision time! The trucker said no, a good decision, as he had too long a wheelbase.

It was a nasty scenario and exactly as he described. If I elected to stay where I was, we would be spending the day and likely night on a steep grade communing with nature in a place that lightning would have to double clutch to hit us. If I got to the turn and got cold feet, then I would be obstructing the arrival of equipment to the scene. If I dropped off the edge, we would be a new tourist attraction on the Pig Trail, a monument to fool hardy confidence. During our conversation, the foreman noted that I was a Captain on the Patrol in Missouri, which was met with great deference. The decision was then mine to make. I borrowed a 50 foot tape from a worker, measured the radius of the curve, and then measured my wheelbase from the back axle of the Ram to the trailer axles, made a hasty calculation and announced I was ready to go. I figured I had two feet more than I needed. The foreman declared, “The Captain says he can do it”. I climbed in the truck and watched Sharon bury her head in her hands. I told the foreman if this goes to hell, take plenty of pictures, but was confident I could negotiate the corner safely. The workers all got out of the way and we began the the turn. Turns out I had two feet to spare and to their cheers, we were on our way. Here is the take away, that my friend, Stan Oglesby, knows to be the truth. Math is absolute, if it is done correctly. The construction workers have a story to tell, Sharon has renewed confidence in my eroding skills and my butt cheeks have finally turned loose of the fine leather seat in our new Ram truck.

RV’ing is an adventure, We celebrated our success in a bikers bar (no guns allowed) in Eureka Springs with a couple of the best chicken tacos I have ever eaten and settled in to watch a lovely Arkansas sunset.

Life is a hoot! Enjoy it while you still can.

Have a great weekend!

SR

Carrying Concealed In Simple Terms….

You have made the decision to arm yourself. Recent statistics regarding the sale of firearms in America clearly indicate you are not alone. There were 15,966,389 guns sold in America in the first four months of this year, with a large percentage of them being concealable, thus concentrating tremendous firepower in a small package. Knowledgeable folks estimate that 5,000,000 buyers were first time gun owners. (Sales were up 40% to women in 2020.) Interestingly, our neighbor to the east, Illinois, with 4% of the US population accounted for 27% of all sales nationally in the first four months of 2021. Who is buying, carrying and most importantly why? Read on.

Have you prepared for the outcome?

Gun ownership is guaranteed by our Constitution. As a result of this guarantee, Americans buy for as many reasons as there are people. Social scientists are at odds with the root reasons for gun ownership but are in agreement that a very significant part of the population acquires a firearm for personal protection. You would be consumed with naïveté if you cannot see why this is happening given the chaos in the streets and the proliferation of violence. I am not a social scientist, so will leave this issue to them. I have carried a firearm for 50 years or so of my life, both professionally and as an ordinary citizen. As a result of this experience, I am offering a commentary on several key elements attendant to the carrying of a firearm for personal protection. Here we go.

Proficiency: If you are going to carry a firearm, it is imperative that you know how to operate it. That is load, unload, clean it and shoot reasonably accurately. If you have not mastered these elements, carry a brick instead, and learn to throw it at an intended target.

The law: Shooting someone in your defense or the defense of others is opening yourself up to the vagaries of the law, both criminally and civilly. That 75 cent bullet can cost you everything you own or will hope to own if you fail to exercise excellent judgement when you send it on it’s way. Lawyers love the smell of gunpowder.

Mission: Are you protecting your home, yourself or those around you. If you are simply protecting your home, there are a number of shorter, but legal, shotguns on the market that are far superior to a handgun for this job. If personal protection is your goal, then you have a tremendous selection to choose from; tiny, powerful hand cannons, medium frame pistols and full sized handguns, some with amazing magazine capacities that are rarely of significance in an armed encounter. Protecting yourself and another person standing along side you is entirely different than engaging a shooter in a church or shopping mall where a number of souls are in peril. To a large extent, the extreme differences in intended mission will determine what kind of firearm you carry. The effectiveness of a big bore, full sized handgun is remarkably different than a .380 pocket pistol in your waistband, though both will certainly kill. The perfect handgun has yet to be developed, however; the manufacturers continue to work to this end.

Will: Do you have the will to shoot another human being? It is not as easy as it appears on television. Circumstance be damned, if you cannot aim a firearm at another human being and kill him or her, you are going to join the surprising numbers of folks who have chosen to seek cover as opposed to engaging a shooter that is threatening others, even when armed. Police officers face this same dilemma and they are trained to engage the shooter and protect others and not just themselves. This hesitation has cost officer’s lives and will your’s too, if you assume the role of active engagement on behalf of others, without the will to shoot a human being. On a much lesser scale, it is akin to teaching a young hunter to calmly look at a beautiful, young deer and shoot it to death. There is no dignity in death. An armed encounter, folks, is not a turn the other cheek proposition.

At this point, it is all on the line

This is not intended as an all inclusive treatise on the implications of carrying a firearm. It is intended to offer an insight into four elements that are essential to consider when you make the decision to carry. There are other considerations, such as open carry vs. concealed carry (I am not a fan of open carry having heard every argument relative to this consideration), security of the gun you carry and carry positions on your person. Do not talk to the gun shop owner for 15 minutes, buy it, load it and stick it in your pocket. You would be much better suited to buying that brick and a whistle and going forth. Give thought to your decision and seek training. Your preparation will make a difference when the trigger is pulled, I can guarantee it.

Have a great weekend!

SR

My War, Memorial Day And The Untold Story…….

Another Memorial Day is here and tradition tells us the day is set aside in remembrance of those who have died in the line of duty while serving in our Armed Forces. Every generation of folks who have served have a different story to tell, my generation marked the end of an era in the military where the business of killing efficiently was the order of the day and cultural diversity was simply assumed. Along the way, I lost uniformed friends to accidents, hostile action and homicide. I am offering a glimpse into the preparation that you go through to serve in a war zone. Every grave stone of a member of our Armed Forces is backed by a story. The living speak for the dead. Technology is changing the way we fight and I have little insight into the battlefield of today, but I understood the rules in my war, Vietnam. Let’s have a look at what happens before the Lord calls you home in the defense of America.

The risk was great and the reward is America as we know it.

You began military life under the tutelage of a Drill Sergeant whose decided motivation was to toughen, strengthen, teach you to shoot, follow orders and think under pressure. When this sixteen weeks of basic and advanced training was over, depending on your specialty, you were off to a duty station. In my case it was Vietnam where my specialty was computing data for the delivery of accurate artillery fire. On the way to Vietnam, we were housed in a giant warehouse in Oakland, Ca., where the lights were left on 24/7 to discourage suicide and mischief. The PA system droned on incessantly, calling names for a manifest, assigning you a seat on a charter flight to the war. The mattress stank from the sweat of thousands of folks who waited their turn to go ahead of you. Your jungle fatigues smelled of new, your boots were stiff and uncomfortable and the tension ran high. You were exhausted and sleep did not come easily. Missing a manifest was a very bad thing…so you formed a relationship with another soldier to listen while you dozed. As you boarded the airplane, you walked past returning warriors, tanned, grizzled and avoiding your eyes. Some crossed themselves, contributing to your fear. Across the tarmac, aluminum shipping containers, coming off the aircraft, opened your eyes to the reality of what you were facing.

Soon you were on the ground in Vietnam. The doors to the airplane were opened and a blast of peculiar smelling humid air slammed you in the face. You were briefed on what to do in case of a mortar attack and you were bussed to in country reception. You found another sweat stained mattress and began waiting for your assignment. You were anxious to learn your role and get this experience over with. Time crawled. While I was waiting, a young West Point Lieutenant was fragged and killed as he slept in the First Sergeant’s rack, mistakenly killed by a soldier who hated the Top Sergeant. They called it fragging, the use of a grenade to kill a superior. That was first blood for me and marked the casual indifference that accompanies death in a combat zone. As they say today, “stuff” was getting real.

Soon enough I settled into my job in a Division FDC, or Fire Direction Control center. Not bad, except for assignment on an as needed basis to Fire Bases that needed a slide rule toting guy with a rifle. This is the part where you get shot at, mortared or subjected to ground probes. The guys before me did all the heavy lifting leaving me to bat clean up. Still, I was alive. Our body counts, the only way to assess success in this war, were trending down and we continued to inflate our kill numbers. There is always a political beast to be fed when you are a pawn in the deadly chess game of war.

In my war, the two most devastating elements of combat were well trained, seasoned rifle companies and crack field artillery batteries. The damage to human beings that can be done with these components is forever seared in my mind. I was never prouder of an association with the military than I was then. Still, I was a small cog in a big machine. With God’s province, I also was not shrouded in a poncho, tossed into a helicopter and flown out to Graves Registration to be prepared for shipment back home, in a reusable aluminum shipping box, to join the 57,000 other patriots who’s work on earth was done. The smell of burned flesh, old death, and cordite is forever imprinted in my mind. You grow up a lot in a combat zone, if you have the chance. So many did not. In Vietnam, if you survived a year, you flew home sitting in a seat, or in a specially equipped Air Force airplane where your wounds could be attended. I was in a seat.

My point is this. Every veteran, in every era, has a story to tell of sacrifice, fear, and service to America. Some are incredible, some are the opposite and most fall in the middle. I would suggest that when you see a veteran’s grave, there is a story of sacrifice to be told. There is a back story, adapted to the era they served in.When you encounter the smooth white grave stone, it is more than a name, it represents a saga that is sadly untold. A man or woman with a rifle, a slide rule or a kitchen spoon underwrote your family picnic and whatever festivities you engage in. Every man and every woman who died in the service of this country mattered. Today, through our shared experiences, I speak for them. It is their day. May God richly bless those who reside under that smooth white stone….

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend……

SR

An Old Fashioned Date Night…

Think back to your high school years for a bit. It was a simple time especially if they were enjoyed in small town America. It was a beautiful time in our lives, with little to worry about in my day unless you had drawn a low number in the lottery, guaranteeing an extended vacation in Southeast Asia. High School athletics, an occasional bon-fire, an incessant run of movies in run down movie houses were the norm. If you were a woodsman or waterman, Missouri was your huckleberry. We had little concept of time, naively believing we were immortal, and that life was easy. The truth is that most of us did not see life coming.

The pandemic has altered our existence. We have been forced into a lifestyle that is predictable and challenging. For many of us, this time out in life has taken a year or so from us when our inventory of years is low and exceedingly precious. Sharon and I have ventured out a bit. We are gastronomes and make no apology. We have found a number of new eateries that have not disappointed, and more than a few that have seen our shadow for the last time. I am married to an incessant shopper who can remember the price of the same pair of jeans in ten outlets. She is capable of finding a sale rack during a hurricane induced power outage. We are venturing out again where she is sharpening those skills. So, like cicadas emerging from their shells we are slowly returning to “normal”. It should come as no surprise that a week or so ago, Sharon suggested we take a class where we learn to arrange a charcuterie display on a aptly named charcuterie board that we had burned a design into. We gathered at the Wonders of Wildlife Aquarium’s Great Barrier Reef display, at tables for two, where we were instructed by a couple of charcuterie chefs and the resident wood burning authority. It was the classic date; something new, a glass or two of Moscato, a sanded white pine board and an assortment of the kinds of healthy eats that go into this style of French table fare. We were kids again, laughing at our (my) lack of artistic skills, in a setting that was gorgeous.

The assortment that we prepared for the board

My board was totally unimpressive. I burned “Ozark Life”, within a heart, into the corner of the board, while the resident elementary teacher/administrator demonstrated her skill as she burned “The Taz M’Haul” (the name of our RV) and a paw print into hers. (I’ll get even with this beat down on the pistol range later.) These folks then gather your boards, sand them and put some sort of beautiful, food acceptable, finish on them and return them to you. This is all done after the food arrangement class with the provided meats, cheeses, fruits and veggies. Like the ragged old teddy bear you won throwing your arm out at weighted milk bottles, these boards are trophies and will be around a long time.

Notice the delicate touch!
The work of an over achiever

We learned some things. First, it is still possible to take leave of your senses and dispense with the challenges that our world presents. We also learned that a fused index finger and a burning tool are not compatible. I did not burn myself, however; my normally suspect penmanship became a form of hieroglyphics, strangely intriguing but somewhat appalling. Like a Roman Gladiator, I got in the ring and gave it a go, even if I held the tool like the ripper held a knife. We learned that an arrangement of mustards, select jams, fruits, dips, breads and vegetables with an assortment of meats spiced to different tastes is a welcome departure from fried, baked or boiled. Finally, we learned that a night without a screen that runs on electricity or requires batteries can be both soothing to the soul and delightful. I almost passed on this opportunity a week ago when Sharon suggested it. I am super glad I did not. Everything is life is NOT deadly serious, however; time together is.

Have a great weekend!

SR

Why I Want To Have Another Colonoscopy…….

Almost everybody over the age of 50 has been wheeled into the cold, imposing procedure room where you are soon to suffer the indignation of a simple colonoscopy. It is the green mile that soon becomes inconsequential thanks to a little shot of Versed to lighten the moment. There has been a number of published accounts that describe the preparation for this cherished tradition, but some of us are not ready for the dreaded summary offered by the gastroenterologist when the Versed clears and your post anesthesia affection kicks in. Let me explain.

First of all, you have been lied to. When you pick up your gallon jug with a smidge of powder sifting around in it, you are told to expect a mild, lemony flavor. Says so on the jug. It does not taste like lemon, even if frozen in a slushy. It tastes like antifreeze smells, with a greasy texture somewhat like drinking water out of a minnow bucket. It takes about 20 minutes or so before your stomach roils around a bit and you head to the bathroom to begin a new porcelain relationship. At first it isn’t so bad, then it becomes a timing problem, solved only by precision forced glides from you chair to the room of convenience. You begin to understand why folks were hoarding tissue and start thinking about a level pay plan for water consumption at your house. Do not run, as you will surely miss an appointment with the toilet. Under these conditions, missing an appointment can be very distasteful.

Ole’ Clinch Killer

You persevere and are suited up for the trip to the hospital sometime the next morning. You leave having very little confidence in your previously formidable nut cracking clinch, and your eyes are slightly crossed from the effort. Folks coming in for this procedure are easy to spot. Eyes crossed and gliding across the floor with movement that would bring tears to a ballroom dancer. They slam home the IV, cover you with a blanket, direct a solid left side position on the gurney and tell you to bring your knees up in a tuck. You are close to the moment of truth, with just enough time before sliding into “conscious sedation” to see what appears to be 500 feet of black hose hanging from a thingabob on a stainless pole. The doc entertains you in a short conversation and bingo……you are gone.

The pre- procedure warm up…….

Assuming a normal examination, the doctor meets you in the recovery room where you can barely see him and will remember very little of what he tells you. This is why you bring someone with you, otherwise you’ll be demanding the procedure just completed get underway. I have been through 5 of these fun days, courtesy of a small anomaly on my very first one many years ago. Although still groggy, and barely able to hear the doc, I abruptly woke up, as alert as a border sentry on the Korean DMZ when I heard the doctor say “you are all done and will never need another one of these”. What do you mean never? Why do you say never? I am on the five year plan and will surely need at least 3 or 4 more of these things. Get me scheduled for 5 years, I’ll pay for it if I have to. I do not want to hear “the last” when referring to my longevity. Suddenly, I liked the idea of a few more colonoscopies, as the alternative does not figure in my long term planning.

I close with this thought. Follow your doctor’s orders and never miss this easy form of preventative maintenance. We all know someone who is dying or has died from one of the most preventable killer malignancies out there. As an afterthought, cheat! Sugarless, real lemon drink mix turns the slippery clinch killer into something that will stay down. It has to be lemon (the color) and even my very conservative gastro doc reluctantly agreed it was fine, as long as it wasn’t red. It worked for me and has to be right, after all I read about it on the internet!

Never…the nerve of that guy! It is on my calendar for 2026. Cost be damned……..no “last” times for me….no sir!

Have a great weekend!

SR

The Fisher Era……

Clarence E. “Mel” Fisher died on May 4, 2021, at the age of 86. He was not a politician, though versed in politics, nor was he a professional athlete or Hollywood elite seeking fame or notoriety. He was the victim of Alzheimer’s Disease, a cruel malady that robbed him of his greatest asset, a beautiful and busy mind. He will be buried in a Missouri State Veteran’s Cemetery, with little fanfare, where other folks of a like mind rest for eternity. Such is the measure of a man we knew simply as “Fisher”, “Col Fisher” or, to his closest advisors, “The Kingfish”. To his many friends he was simply Mel. C. E. Fisher was the most consequential superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol dating back to the early days of the organization when the likes of men named Ginn, Ellis, Casteel and Waggoner were in command. Ultimately, we tend to measure success by the wake a person leaves and Clarence Fisher left a great wake. His tenure was marked by incorruptibility and a keen understanding of the police function from the streets to high command. He was, in fact, a gentleman who enforced the law.

Col. CE Fisher, a troopers Colonel

The upper levels of police organizations fairly seethe with political intrigue. This intrigue is both from within and outside the organization. Often superintendents and chiefs are appointed to satisfy the whims of political power brokers, thus yielding a mixed bag of bosses with varying degrees of capability and interest in developing the force. Col. Fisher prevailed in a testy political process and quietly slid into the bosses office where he immediately set to work with an eye to bringing the patrol into the technology age while preserving the tradition that is the cornerstone of it’s success. He assembled a personal staff and began a whirlwind of innovation, correctly anticipating the needs of a progressive state police agency and keeping us ahead of the curve. The Colonel regarded every human asset as critical to the success of the Patrol and respected every employee irrespective of their role. His style can be best described as that of Gen. Omar Bradley, another Missouri alumni. He was a master of his craft, but attributed his success to his field commanders, division directors and employees, never seeking personal recognition or credit.

The Colonel never lost his zeal for the job. He could be found flagging traffic and setting flares at an accident scene. When we were involved in a manhunt, he was on the frontline, not directing by phone miles away. He and his underboss formed a two man entry team in a search for a police killer in small town America, making entries with guns drawn. (This elicited a friendly chiding by his staff as we had seen both of them on the range and determined the killer was in little danger of being shot!) He was the darling of the Jefferson City newspaper after personally and aggressively removing a heckler from a legislative gallery during a hearing. He never forgot that he was a police officer under the eagles of command. His car to car call at 1AM has sent more than one officer scrambling to straighten up his car before meeting the boss. He could be found in the field, at odd hours, contacting a road officer for coffee and conversation. No idle chat here, he would ask hard questions about needs and equipment at the service level. On many occasions, he would call a road officer, meet him and climb in the officer’s car for an hour or two, patrolling the zone. He worked incessantly to memorize the family data of officers in the field, often stunning them with his knowledge about their children and events. He also expected his field commanders to be active in the troop area. Leadership, to him, meant getting off your butts and hitting the roads. He was a strong advocate for training, in particular training centering around the use of force and current case law. He championed excellence.

This is a blog, not a manuscript, so there is simply not enough room to list his many priorities for the Patrol. From arming our officers with automatic pistols to a new professional standards division he brought us into the modern age of policing. We underwent a detailed review by a nationally recognized police accreditation organization which changed innumerable policies and procedures for the department. His efforts in aggressively pursuing recruiting, to include minorities and protected class applicants was the genesis of todays continuing efforts. Automated fingerprint identification system involvement and improved radio communication reflect his touch. A check with the Research and Development commander under his watch, revealed in excess of 51 significant enhancements to the effectiveness of the Patrol as a result of the Colonel’s concern for operational efficiency and excellence. Staff studies were a routine fact of life for the research cadre.

A final note. Col. Fisher was a non confrontational boss. When the Patrol was threatened, he was masterful in the selection of a staff member to handle the problem on a level the antagonist demanded. He was an ambassador for the Patrol, earning the respect and appreciation of other law enforcement agencies and government entities at every level. He sought no recognition when the patrol was successfully involved in solving sticky problems. He was a problem solver, not a news hound. He was deft in walking the line between policing and the ever encroaching political interference that is threatening policing today as never before. During his watch, every piece of police oriented legislation that was considered in our legislature, involved his consult. The Colonel was a mainstay at the Capital, protecting the interests of the Patrol and policing in general. The Patrol was never in better hands.

I know these things, because I was privileged to be a field commander under his watch before becoming a member of his command staff. Our rare disagreements are a matter of record, but he was never threatened by and welcomed a differing opinion. He listened, made a decision and we moved on. Those were the best years of my career, courtesy of a unique, selfless and unparalleled Colonel, a trooper’s Colonel.

Colonel Fisher, you made the Patrol a better police organization, and by extension, the State of Missouri a better place to live. God has restored your amazing intellect and, by now, you are enjoying the eternal peace you richly deserve.

Thank you, sir. It was a hell of a ride….

To my readers, have a great weekend.

SR

From Love To Lethality…..

Professional Opportunity

The Police Service in America is pleased to offer an incredible employment opportunity to uniquely qualified candidates in the exciting world of law enforcement. Many vacancies are occurring daily on an accelerated basis. Do you seek excitement? What could be more exciting than a chief or Mayor willing to throw you under the first bus that comes along? Soon, if the Biden Cartel can swing it, we’ll strip you of any qualified immunity you may have so you can subject your family to financial ruin! How good is that! We’ll train you how to dodge bricks and cower in your patrol car as “protesters” dance on the roof and hood, hurling obscenities, all in the name of “woke” philosophy. We will train you in managing confrontation and then dare you to use that training. We will expect miracles but pay little as you pursue your dynamic career to the top of the ladder where you, too, can trash your subordinate officers! Sign up today. It is the perfect place to gain “experience” while waiting for FedEx or UPS to call.

Qualifications:

First you must have the patience of Jobe. It helps to be educated, but an education may be problematic when you realize how much fun you are having. (See above). It might tempt you to leave for a sane occupation. You must be devoid of emotion, and have little self respect when confronted by an imbecile displaying the middle finger and spitting in your face. Situational reasoning ability garners preference points, but not too many….see note on other professions above. If you are required to use force, you must be able to discern between force applied to a dark skinned person as opposed to a white person. Finally, when a gun or knife comes out, you must be able to contain your adrenaline rush and give the assailant the first shot or slash.

If you love excitement, we have an opening for you!

Job Description;

This position may subject you to the unspeakable horror and violence that a human can subject another human to. You will be expected to show no emotion when a child is butchered and you are tasked with figuring out what happened. You will be required to remove parts of bodies from accident scenes and provide comfort to grieving family members when tragedy strikes. You will see, smell and taste death in ways that will never be unseen. You will be expected to remain neutral when thugs and terror organizations such as BLM burn down your city. You may be tasked with providing security for the spineless Mayor who refuses to intervene out of political expediency, when a city block is co-opted for thug use. You must be ready as the one officer in twenty-five who has never fired a shot, on duty, in his career, to go from counseling a little old lady on the dangers of rolling through stop signs to taking the life of a sociopath hell bent on committing a mass murder. You will be expected to smile at stupidity, human frailty, and the dark side of life. You will be expected to take no exception when the Vice-President bails out the thugs who spit in your face just a few days before. When society vomits, you will be there.

Training:

We handle everything. We will introduce you to the force continuum, a police response to the management of confrontation. There are 5 steps in this continuum, from police presence to lethal force. We will not let you use it though. Empty hand forced compliance, such as a properly applied Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint is out….it looks too much like a choke hold. We will train you to duck while being shot at so that you may ascertain the color of the assailant and respond accordingly, before you shoot back. We’ll even teach you to handcuff a combative person you have on the ground without holding him down (as soon as we figure this out). We will train you to gently use calming techniques when engaging a drunk maniac before you escalate to the nasty hands on control techniques. We will bring in Hollywood producers to coach you on proper smile technique and how to pose when you are making an arrest, so that any one of the hundred or so cell phone cameras catches your gentle application of pressure on an arrestee. We will turn you into a gentleman or gentlewoman who always calls a thug sir and and a street walker ma’am.You will learn to smile and thank them for calling your mother a cur that lives under a porch. We will also train you on funeral etiquette when attending an officer’s line of duty death service. We will help you find that line between love and lethality and teach what is at stake when you cross it.

There are 322,526,757 folks in America and about 700,000 sworn officers and counting (backwards). Add the Biden Cartel’s additional numbers of voting citizens who are coming across our southern border, many of them criminals, and the police have their work cut out for them. On average, our police officers, in an enforcement action, contact citizens 53,000,000 time a year. The percentage of these contacts that turns fatal is less than .000019%. The number of black folks killed constitutes .000004% of all police encounters.

Note:

We need to be very careful with this notion of “police reform” All the training in this world will not solve the reality that force is a necessary tool for societal conformity. Who do you want to provide that force, your neighbor who watches “CHIPS” or an officer who understands the game? The media and the Biden Cartel control the message today, and they are both incredibly out of step with reality. We cannot capitulate to the corrupt media and woke, far left mentality. Hear me, the police profession is not the home of systemic racism. When I hear “defund” and “police reform”, I become nauseas. I have tried to describe what the profession is coming to. If you object to the emasculation of policing, tell someone who is in a position to do something about it, before it is too late. Otherwise, buy a gun. You are going to need it.

Have a great weekend.

SR

Paralyzed By Fear…..

America is paralyzed by fear. We have elected a President who has masterfully played the race card, attaching this ugly consideration to virtually every aspect of life, and we are shrinking into the night, setting aside reason along the way. Biden and the Democratic Party have created the perfect storm, and fear is the lead ingredient in this debacle. First, let’s address fear.

On the 20th of November, 1943, 18,000 US Marines stormed ashore in a tilted battle to capture a sliver of coral in the Pacific named Tarawa. Low water, causing them to step out of landing craft and cross an expanse of water to get to an exposed beach, covered by immaculately prepared Japanese defenses, caused our troops to cower behind the bodies of their fellow soldiers for protection against withering fire. Before this fight was over, some 76 hours later, our magnificent Marines lost 1,009 dead and 2,101 wounded against the Japanese losses of 4,690 dead. We also owned the island and it’s coveted airstrips. You can bet that every Marine that stormed ashore knew fear at levels we can only imagine. They conquered this fear and won a tremendous victory. They fought and died to protect an American way of life that our current Administration is hell bent on destroying. The threat to our culture has never been greater. Our enemy is within, the Biden administration. The Marines conquered their fear but we, today, have not.

We are afraid to confront folks who destroy our cities and subscribe to the mythical “systemic racism” that has become the battle cry of the Biden Cartel. We are afraid to challenge the full frontal attack on the institution of policing. We allow big men with small minds like LeBron James control the narrative and directly threaten a police officer for doing what he was trained to do. We listen, without comment, as various members of the Cartel threaten to eliminate qualified immunity for our police officers. We listen silently as Biden challenges our court system suggesting that police officers get a better deal than civilians. His Cartel believes that bullets know the difference between dark skin and white skin in deadly force situations. He has no concept of the reality that police officer’s relatively rare reliance on deadly force is designed to place the officer between a bad actor and a citizen. We are afraid of taking a position on these happenings for fear of being labeled a racist. We permit mentally challenged US Representatives to suggest there needs to be more “confrontation’” in the streets, indeed suggesting harassment for folks with a different view of today’s situation by challenging them when eating in a restaurant. How does she get away with this? She is black and we don’t dare risk being labeled a racist for being critical of such ignorant utterances, when skin color should not even be a consideration. We express selected outrage as the Biden Cartel has welcomed the criminal element across what used to be our border and flood America with folks who can be depended on to vote Democratic when they are finally granted privileges that are unearned. Yes, the Cartel attaches the race card to this influx and God only knows why they are committed to this strategy. Our fear is driving this train. We have allowed corporate America to hijack the “systemic racism” myth, a giant hoax on a scared America. The airlines need federal dollars to survive so they jump into bed with the Cartel. The issue is no longer the event, rather it is the color of the skin of the actors in the event. Why? Because of fear.

No. It is not, unless you belong to the Biden Cartel

Here is where we need to be. The color of skin is highly overrated, unless you need that color for identification purposes. The Biden Cartel has set racial equality back 100 years with their seizure of this aspect of life and use of it for political purposes. Damn him and his party for their capitalization of racism as a cudgel used to beat us into submission and silence. It has become quite fashionable to jump on the racism bandwagon, because it requires no courage to slink into a corner and ignore what is patently stupid. Thank the Good Lord that our marines on Tarawa conquered their fear and ultimately our enemies in the world. Fear is beating the hell out of us. We live in America, forged from courage and conviction. It is time to show the race baiters the door……if we have the courage. Just like we showed the Japanese the door in Tarawa.

We are at a fork in the road.

Have a good weekend.

SR

Sacred Ground……

I took a deep breath before the first keystroke in today’s blog. It is important to note there may be 2d Amendment defenders out there that are as fervent as I am, but none that are more so. I am writing to offer a perspective relative to the evolution of firearms in America, specifically in guns presumably designed for self defense. I acknowledge that it is none of my business what a law abiding individual chooses to own in terms of firearms. My musings today have nothing to do with the recent mass shootings, as I am not qualified to ferret out the sociopaths and psychopaths that walk among us, which, of course are the problem, not guns.

I have been around guns all of my life. I am the son of an Infantry officer, who was masterful with small arms. I love to hunt, and have developed a penchant for long range precision in sporting rifles. As a matter of fact I walk a little out of kilter, as the result of packing a 3 pound pistol on my right hip for 27 years. The weaponry of my day in policing was pretty well limited to a shotgun, pistol and a lead filled, leather “slapper” our non lethal force multiplier. Before retiring, I added a canister of chemical mace to my armament, which in most cases contaminated you, the bad guy and your patrol car after being used.

The Vietnam era introduced us to a nifty little rifle that was lightweight, effective and easy to manufacture, the venerable M-16. (The first of these little rifles were a nightmare, as a few grains of sand would cause it to jam in the most inopportune moments.) They began an evolution into the amazing variety of firearms available today. The pictures accompanying this musing are not intended to disparage any of the fine manufacturers of the guns. The pictures are intended to make my point, which is to ask, are we stepping on our own toes with the appearances of many firearms today? Can we acknowledge that some of the firearms being manufactured stretch credibility as sporting arms? With some 70% of Americans alleging that some form of registration is necessary and a like number of folks believing that so called universal back ground checks would be okay, are we feeding this frenzy with our current firearm offerings? Our problem my firearm loving friends is these folks vote, just like you and I, and when they have the majority, they are going to attack. Votes reflect opinions and opinions are shaped, in large part, by perceptions, and the perception of a silencer equipped, semi-automatic “pistol” with a 30 round magazine, that looks like a military grade weapon is not good with these voters, which, it has been suggested, held the majority in the last election.

A pistol/rifle
One of today’s modern “pistols”
A Vietnam era M-16 combat rifle

In an attempt to offer a balanced review, I am mystified at the attack on the 2d Amendment, evidenced by Joe Biden’s opining that Amendments, and by extension, the Constitution, is not “absolute”. I would suggest that someone check the grave of Justice Scalia to make sure he has not dug out and left for Washington. It is this thinking that could prevail if the so called majority stays in power. (The conduct of this administration practically guarantees they will not.)

In summary. Today’s firearm offerings are utilitarian and offer a platform for accessories that is virtually unlimited. They are efficient, compact and in a personal defense posture, more efficient than at any time in our history. They are also very militaristic in appearance, expensive to own and shoot, and mystifying to many, many people. While a Glock pistol, with 16 rounds is a formidable and efficient weapon, today’s so called “machine “pistols are far more efficient. While the sociopaths and mentally ill folks grab the headlines, the folks who have the majority see only the guns they use. I am asking a fair question. Do we have any culpability in the current feeding frenzy with our demand for ever more esoteric semi-automatic weaponry, which has very little “sporting value”? We are, at present, just a precious few votes from another “assault” weapon ban, and we know the Biden Cartel has no respect for definitional parameters. They will call a moose a fox and a .22 rifle a cannon. This is sacred ground, I admit, and I will continue to fight for our right to own and shoot what we want to. That loyalty may not be enough if we don’t have the votes, and we may not have those votes when perception trumps reality.

Have a great weekend!

SR

Signs, Symbols And Gestures……

People don’t talk as much as they used to. We don’t need to in this age of communication where the Gettysburg Address can be sent electronically, in a matter of minutes, to a phone or computer somewhere in China. Excellent verbal communication skill belongs to a select few, evidenced by the unbelievable volume of communication that is accomplished by text or other electronic conveyance. I thought it might be worth our while to candidly look at the significance of signs, symbols and gestures in use in our world today.

A sign in common use……..or is it?

No treatise on the significance of signs can be considered without the game of baseball figuring prominently. (It is sad that MLB has chosen to relegate this noble game to just another political statement, alienating millions of fans with their woke nonsense, a monumental lapse in judgement.) The stealthy American Indian had nothing on a coach or manger’s ability to demand a myriad of responses from a player on the field, without speaking. Touch the left eye, steal; the right eye hold fast, hands clasped take a pitch, well, you get the idea. I am guessing that a coach or manager suddenly scratching an itchy portion of his anatomy has resulted in much confusion on the part of his player intently watching for the “sign”. Baseball players are walking examples of the power of symbolism. We all know that ball players keep in constant touch with themselves. Really, they touch themselves constantly, always concerned about the precise location of their low hanging fruit. This is the one public arena where rearranging the furniture is absolutely acceptable, presumably because the manufacturers of protective equipment have yet to develop that one simple device that keeps everything where it should be. It may be just the simple task of moving the coffee bar where the bean bag was or the monumental task of hefting the love seat to see if it has gained weight since you last checked. At any rate, ball players are aptly named, well…ball players. Leaving anatomy behind for a moment, there is also the lost art of spitting, which conjures up another story on a personal level.

I hate tobacco in all forms other than the smell of a humidor where all that pipe tobacco is stored. I was an average pitcher in High School (but did have a winning record). All the big boys chewed tobacco, an acquired skill that would leave me retching at the thought. Relying on what little political skill I had, I placed a handful of dried apricots in a blender, shredded them and put them in one end of a Red Man tobacco bag. I kept tobacco in the other half, in case a player asked for a chew. When I took the mound, I would make a production of stuffing an enormous chew in my cheek and go to work. The opposing team would note that I never spit, which would of course enamor me to them as one tough son of a gun. Don’t laugh, politicians do this on another level every day! If you swallowed enough of the apricots, it also insured you would be out of the game in the 5th inning as it soon went to work on your digestive system.

Now on to gestures. Of course, the world knows and relies on the universal symbol/gesture of disrespect, the middle finger, to signal one’s lack of regard to the intended recipient. I hate this gesture, but admit it does cover great spans of space without running the risk of having your finger snapped off and stuck up your nose. (Nose being used symbolically, of course). When I was patrolling our highways, I delivered several lectures on the inappropriateness of relying on that sign of disrespect for my efforts in promoting safety. The poor folks who chose that route to express their lack of appreciation for my uniformed presence learned to rely on alternate forms of communication when addressing an officer of the law. I would not last 30 minutes in today’s police world, as I have no more regard for this gesture today than I did 20 years ago, and it is in common use by ignorant people everywhere.

Folks, we have seen the displeasure of a “sharp look”, warmth of a “broad smile” or abruptness of a “raised hand” replaced by an email or text message that conveys no warmth or emotion. Even emojis can be misconstrued. It is a “sign” of the times. Parents, motorcyclists, teachers and athletes are all schooled in the use of signs and gestures to communicate. A simple test of your ability is to agree to use no verbal communication for the first hour after you wake up in the morning, and relying on signs, symbols and gestures to communicate with your partner. You’ll be surprised….and laughing. I guarantee it!

Have a great week.

SR