Thumb on the scale???

We can all pretty much agree there is bias in the media after the last four years…

Personally, I think it started back in 2000 over the Florida ‘hanging chads’ and has just gotten worse.

The local fishwrap’s headline was the USA Today headline about there are ‘not enough’ undecided voters, and Trump’s campaign is foundering and going to lose.

Insidious? I think so… When you see this day after day, week after week, eventually people will start believing it. As the old saw goes, ‘Lies have gone around the world twice before the truth can get its pants on.’

There is also the issue with social media were the bias is probably more egregious…

Twitter and Facebook have censored the president’s social media accounts and the accounts belonging to his re-election campaign at least 65 times. In contrast, the companies have not censored former Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his campaign accounts. At all.

Full article, HERE at Techwatch.

And the whole thing about the Hunter Biden laptop… Real, unreal, fake or??? Apparently nobody knows OR wants to find out… Interesting, that…

And yesterday, DOJ initiated an antitrust suit against Google for a monopoly on search tools through various means.

The Justice Department on Tuesday sued Google over allegations that its search and advertising empire violated federal antitrust laws, launching what is likely to be a lengthy, bruising legal fight between Washington and Silicon Valley that could have vast implications for the entire tech industry.

Full article, HERE from the WAPO.

Western snippet…

Usual caveats apply…

Comments/recommendations appreciated, as always!

Edit- Based on Ray’s comment, slight rework here…

Chapter

The sun cleared the hills in the east as Jud and two gunnies, Wade and Peck crouched at the top of the rise south of the Nevell ranch house. They could dimly see movement in the house, lit by the lamplight. Jud said, “Now remember, there should only be two people there, the old man and his daughter. We’ll shoot the old man from here.” He laughed. “Then we’ll go down there and have some fun with that little bitch before we burn ‘em out.  Got it?”

Wade spit to the side. “Yeah, Jud, I hear ya.” Peck nodded as he stepped back, leading the horses down off the rise. Jud lay down and sighted on the window, chuckling as he waited. A red shirt appeared in the window and Jud fired first, then Wade shot a second later.

Alice was thrown across the table by the force of the bullet.  Hank, Rio and Monte dived away from the table in fear as a second round ricocheted off the stovepipe. Hank moaned, “No, no, noooo…” as he crawled to his daughter. Monte eased up to the window as Rio scrambled back to the bedroom, returning with his carbine, ducking low to keep from being seen through the window.

“Did you see where the shots came from?”

Monte replied, “I think it was up on that rise by the trail.” He ducked back and turned to Hank. “Hank, is she alive?”

He’d pulled Alice to the wall, frantically checking her for the entry wound. “I think so, she’s hit high up.” Getting her shirt open, he found the entry hole under her collarbone. “Oh God, why her and not me?”

Rio said, “Calm down Hank, you gotta take care of her. We’ll do—”

Monte cursed, “Lookit these bastards, ridin’ up like they own the place. He eased over to the door, followed by Rio. “Let’s get ‘em close—”

Hank grabbed the rifle by the stove and aimed through window, screaming, “Die, you bastards!” He started firing and Rio and Monte scrambled for the door, Monte threw it open and they started shooting as they stepped out on the porch.

Peck grunted and fell from his horse as Jud and Wade turned and raced away, abandoning Peck to his fate.

Hank and Monte moved Alice to the bedroom as Rio kept watch out the door. Propping her head on a pillow, Monte rolled her up on her side as she moaned, and he saw the exit wound. “It’s all the way through. Don’t look like it mushroomed, so maybe didn’t hit anythin’ major.” He picked up the sheet Hank had ripped and made two pads, wrapped the rest of the sheet around her shoulder and added, “Hank, she’s got to have a doctor, I can’t do much to help her, other than get some liquid in her.”

Hank got up. “I’ll go, Rio’s in no shape for that ride and you’re all that’s keeping Alice alive, Monte.” He hurried out of the bedroom heading for the door as he mumbled, “I still can’t figure out why they shot her.”

Rio said somberly, “I think they were aiming for you Hank.  She’s wearing shirt and pants, and they probably didn’t even know we were here. I don’t see them, but my vision is…still not right. You keep watch and I’ll saddle your horse Hank.”

Monte came out to the main room. “Which way you goin Hank? You’re liable to get caught up with them Kidds if you cross the river at the usual place.”

Hank said grimly, “I’ll go through the bastards if I have to Monte. I’ll be back as soon as I can with the doc.”

Rio led a saddled horse out of the barn, then whistled. Hank came out and swung up on the horse as Rio held the bridle in one hand and a rifle in the other.

Looking down, Hank said, “Keep ‘em off of Monte, please. I’ll be back as soon as I can with the doc.”

“Don’t worry Hank, we’ll be here when you get back. You just worry about getting the Doc. He slapped the horse on the rump and Hank galloped out of the ranch yard.

***

Pronto, John and others rode into Fort Collins just after nine in the morning, having caught the first train out of Denver. Arthur grumped, “I need to eat sumthin’. At least in camp, Pronto had breakfast cooked afore we went out.” They rode down the street and reined up in front of the saloon. “Wonder if they got grub here?”

Pronto dismounted. “One way to find out.” The others got down, tied their horses to the hitching rail with Pronto’s mule, and walked into the saloon. There were two groups of people in the bar, one group of older men were in a desultory game of cards, and other group were three cowboys sitting facing the door with a bottle on the table.  The bartender was polishing glasses at the end of the bar when Pronto and the others walked in.

The bartender walked to their end of bar. “Help you gents?”

Flynn tipped hat back. “Y’all serving any food here?”

“Lemme check in the back. Might be.” He stepped through a door into the back of the saloon, coming back moments later. “Sorry, cook ain’t showed up. Best bet is the café down the street. But I got beer. Can’t guarantee how cold it is, but it is beer.”

Pronto glanced around and said quietly, “A little information if you don’t mind?”

“If I can.”

“Lookin’ for a place called the Bar N, it around here close?

The bartender said quietly, “Bout five-six miles northwest of here, north side of the river, but it’s a hard ride and you gotta cross the river.”

The saloon door slammed open and Hank rushed in, rifle held by fore stock.  He looked around, then headed for the table where the card game was.

The bartender added, “Matter fact, that’s Hank Nevell there, he’s the owner.”

Hank put his hand on doc’s shoulder. “I need you to come to the ranch, somebody shot Alice this morning and she’s hurt bad!”

Doc Ferrell looked up in surprise. “What? Somebody shot Alice? Where?” He started up as he added, “Let me get my bag.”

One of the cowboys started laughing, and everybody turned to look as he said loudly, “Guess she got what she deserved.”

Hank spun around at the comment and the cowboy jumped up, drew his gun and shot Hank twice in the chest, stunning everybody in the saloon. He smiled as he shoved his gun back in the holster. “Well, he ain’t gonna be a problem anymore. Everbody can tell he was fixin to shoot me!”

Doc bent over Hank then looked up, shaking his head. Pronto walked over and looked down at the doc. “Doc, you gonna ride out there and help her?”

Rising, he answered, “Yeah, Hank’s gone, but if I get there in time, maybe I can save her.”

The cowboy, still smiling, said threatening, “Ain’t no use to go Doc, we might need you at our place. Sounds like the Bar N is done for, but the Rocking K is riding high.”

Pronto turned on the cowboy and the tension ramped up in the saloon. “Shut up, punk. The doc is going, and we’ll ride along to make sure nothing else happens!”

“I’m Todd Kidd,” the cowboy said his hand hovering over his gun. “Don’t need some old man, telling me anything. If I wanna stop the doc, I will! Or I’ll just stop you!”

Pronto, knowing the others had his back, walked toward him growling, “I’m right here, boy! Why don’t you try me for size, at least I’ll have my hand on the action of this pistol.” He crowded him, coming within arm’s length. “What’s the matter boy, you yella? Or just afraid to stand up to somebody who’s ready for ya?”

“I’m Todd Kidd, we own this town!” the cowboy said, his voice going up as he backed up trying to get room to get away from the crazy old man. He shot a panicked look at the two cowboys still at the table. They had their hands on top of the table and weren’t moving or saying anything as they watched Arthur’s shotgun swing in their direction.

Pronto stopped, spat on the floor, and said disgustedly, “Yeah, you’re yella. Afraid to face somebody that’s ready for ya.”

He turned away and the Todd grabbed for his gun as Juan yelled, “Watch it, Pronto!”

Pronto dropped to a knee as he turned, drew and fired in one smooth move, putting two rounds into the left pocket of the cowboy’s shirt. Todd’s one shot went into the table next to him as he fell back, dead on his feet. John, Juan, and Jeb draw and covered the rest of the room, as Arthur turned his shotgun toward the door. Rene drew his gun cautiously, turned and faced the back door, nervously looking back over his shoulder.

Pronto, still holding his smoking pistol, walked over to the table where the two cowboys sat, hands on the table. “You boys want in?”

The younger one looked up in terror. “No, Sir!  We ain’t moved!  But you played hob, that’s Roger Kidd’s youngest.  He’ll come huntin’ you fer sure.”

Pronto holstered his pistol, and turned to the doc. “You ready to ride, Doc? Looks like we might have worn out our welcome here.”

“Ah, sure, let me get my bag and saddle my horse.” He started for the door, but it slammed open as Pete and two more cowboys entered the saloon at a run.  The first thing they saw was shotgun in Arthur’s hand swing to cover them from a few feet away.  They slid to a stop, not willing to risk moving. Pete saw the two bodies on the floor, glared around and ran over, first to Hank, then to Todd. He dropped to his knees cradling Todd. In anguish, he asked, “What happened?” When no one answered him, he yelled, “Somebody tell me what happened!” Tenderly laying Todd’s body down, he started to get up as the young cowboy said, “Uh well, Todd shot Nevell, then the ol’ man,” he pointed to Pronto, “He crowded Todd inta tryin’ him. And that crazy ol’ man killed him.”

As Pete’s hand went to his gun and he started to turn, the bartender slammed a sawed off double barrel on the bar, freezing everyone. “That’s enough!  Pete Kidd, you stay right there, ain’t gonna be no more shootin’ in here today!” He pointed at Todd with the shotgun. “Todd killed Nevell and Nevell didn’t even have his hand on the action. Killed him just because he turned around when Todd laughed about his daughter bein’ shot.” He nodded toward Pronto saying, “Then this old man crowded and challenged him to shoot him since he was facing him, and he backed down.  The old man started to walk away, and Todd tried to backshoot him, but didn’t make it.  That’s it!  Now all of you cowboys clear out!” He motioned toward the door with the shotgun, and Pronto and the others with him backed toward the door, followed by Doc Ferrell.

Pronto held his hands up as he asked, “Will you make arrangements for a wagon to take Nevell home? And let the Sheriff know?”

The bartender barked, “I’ll get the undertaker. Sheriff Mason’s down in Denver, ain’t no deputy.  Now Y’all git!”

Arthur led the way, Pronto and the others escorting the doc out the door.  Pete and the others glared at them as they walked out, but didn’t do anything. As soon as they left, Pete motioned to the others and they picked up Todd’s body, carrying it toward the door.

***

Out at the ranch, Rio prowled restlessly, carrying rifle the whole time. Looking into the back bedroom, he saw Monte hovering over Alice. “I got the dead one outside on his horse. Horse stepped on his reins and stopped. How’ she doing?”

“In and out, she’s lost a lot of blood, but I think it’s stopped.” He wiped her face with a wet rag. “I hope I can keep her from movin’ too much. What did you find?”

Rio smiled grimly. “I tracked ‘em back across the river til they turned around the butte.  They were still runnin hard at that point.” He said angrily, “The brand on the horse is a rocking K, guess that’s the Kidd brand?”

“Yep, stay here with Alice, hold her hand or somethin’ while I go look at thet cowboy and his horse.” Monte got up and Rio sat down and tentatively grasped Alice’s hand on top of the covers. She rolled her head and he realized that Alice’s eyes were open and looking at him.

Rio wasn’t sure what to say or do, so he said gruffly, “You lay still.  Monte got the bleeding stopped but you can’t move!”

Alice, pain etched on her face said softly, “It hurts!  Why did they shoot me? Where is Dad?”

“They must have thought you were your Dad. He’s gone to Fort Collins for the doc, they should be back soon.”

“Can I have some water? I feel so thirsty.”

Rio picked up a cup, then lifted her head. “Don’t move too much, and don’t drink too much.

After she drank a couple of sips, he gently lowered her head back to the pillow. “Thank you Rio.  Who are you? Why did you come here?”

He squirmed, suddenly uncomfortable. “I’m just a cowboy Alice, I came up here to visit my Uncle Ethan. He lives…lived up on the river.”

“Where? I didn’t think anyone lived up there, except maybe Monte.”

Monte is living in the cabin Uncle Ethan had. It’s on a bench bout seven thousand feet up.  He rebuilt it after the war.  He pretty much kept to himself after the war, so I’m not surprised you didn’t know him.”

“What about you? Who are you?

“Well, I’m from Texas, San Felipe del Rio is the closest…settlement, down on the border. I work for a ranch down there.” Alice had nodded off or passed out, he didn’t know which, but he could still feel a pulse, so he just sat and held her hand until Monte came back in, shaking his head. Rio got up, giving the chair to Monte. “Well, did you know him?”

“Yeah, he’s one of Kidd’s gunnies. Peck, I think his name was. He usually runs with that middle Kidd boy, Jud.”

Rio growled, “If Alice dies, I’ll get ‘em all Monte.” He blew out a breath and added, “Ever damn one of them.”

***

Two hours later, the doc, Pronto and the others rode into the ranch yard to be met by Rio, at the corner of the corral, rifle pointed at them and Monte, standing in the door, rifle in hand. Once he recognized Pronto, he decocked the rifle and came forward. “Doc, she’s in the house.”

The doc looked at Rio, seeing the scalp wound and was confused. “I thought Alice was shot?”

“She is, mine’s a week or so old. She’s inside and needs you bad, Doc.  Monte is with her now. He kept her alive somehow.” He looked up at Pronto. “How the hell did y’all get here so quick and what the hell are y’all doin out here?”

Pronto shrugged and dismounted. “We figgered we better get up here afore you tore the country apart. ‘Sides, I wanted to say hello to Monte.”

Rio noticed that Hank was missing, “Where’s Hank?”

Pronto spat in the dirt. “He’s dead, some punk shot him down in the saloon when he came to get the doc.”

“Oh hell, who’s gonna tell Alice?” He blinked and focused on Pronto. “Where is the bastard that killed him?”

Jeb drawled, “He’s dead too. Pronto pushed him and he turned yella, then tried to back shoot Pronto when he turned away.” Jeb chuckled. “If it hadn’t been for Arthur and his little pop gun, we’d a had a real shoot out when his…brother show’d up.”

Monte came to the door and said, “Damn, you really are alive you old bastard.”

Pronto laughed. “Same to ya, ya ol’ son of a bitch!” He started walking toward the porch.

Monte replied, “I thought they kilt you ten or twelve years ago down Mexico way.”

They met at the bottom of the steps, pounding each other on the back as Pronto said, “If it hadn’t been for Rio’s Pap, I wouldn’t be here. He found me and got me back to the ranch after I got shot down in Ol’ Mehico.” They broke apart and he added, “I kinda stayed around and kept an eye on the pup for ‘em.”

“The pup?”

“Yeah, that’s what I used to call Rio, he follered me round like a puppy.” Cocking his head, he asked, “What happened to Rio? I see the scab and missing hair.”

“I found him layin’ on the steps of the cabin I’m…was livin in. ‘Pears it actually belonged to Ethan Bell.  Rio’d been head shot and I guess he had a concussion.  I had to bring ‘em here, cause I couldn’t get the fever down and his head wuz gettin’ infected.  We wuz here when Alice wuz shot and we got one of ‘em. He paused as Flynn walked up. “Doc tole me about Hank, damn shame too.  I guess I’ll have to try to hold this place til Alice gits better, if she lives.”

Juan interrupted, “Has Señor Rio gone after them yet?

Monte glanced at him. “What you mean?”

“The ones who shot him, Señor.”

“Naw, he ain’t in no shape to ride.  I’m surprised he wuz able to ride today and backtrack them Kidd riders.”

The doc came to the door and yelled at Monte, breaking up the reunion. “We gotta get Alice to town if I’m gonna keep her alive.  She’s lost a lot of blood.” He looked around and added, “See if you can find a wagon and get it hitched up!”

Monte nodded and turned toward the barn. “Boys, I think there’s a wagon in the barn, the team should be in the corral bout three hundred yards up the draw.”

Flynn snapped out, “Jeb, you and Juan get the horses, Arthur see if you can get the buckboard ready to go. Maybe some blankets to ease the ride?”

Everyone scrambled to get things done, and fifteen minutes later, Rio came out gently carrying Alice in his arms, tears streaming down his face. Doc was holding her left arm steady and holding a pad over the entry wound. He’d already given her a dose of laudanum, and she’d passed out again with a moan when Rio picked her up. He gently handed her up to Pronto who was kneeling in the back of the wagon and he gingerly lay her on the padding they’d found as the doc climbed into the wagon.

With Flynn driving, Doc in the back with Alice, and Arthur riding Shotgun. Juan sat on a fresh horse, cautiously feeling him out as the doc turned to him. “Son, you got to ride to town and let my wife know I’m bringing Alice in. She’ll need to prepare for me to do surgery, and I’ll need water heated and everything laid out as soon as we get there. Go two blocks past the saloon, turn right, go one block east and it’s the whitewashed house on the corner.”

Sí, Señor! I ride like the wind!” Juan gigged the horse into a fast trot, then a gallop, dust flying from the hooves as he bolted down the trail toward Fort Collins.

“Let’s go Mr. Flynn, times a wastin’.”

Monte stepped back from the wagon. “We’ll hold things down here, til you send the boys back.” Flynn snapped the reins and the wagon rolled out of the ranch yard, followed by Jeb and Pronto.

Cavanaugh looked at Rio, “Where do you want me?”

Rio bit his lip for a second. “Rene, can you get up in the hayloft? That would…give us eyes down the trail.”

 

Points to ponder…

From another old retired military fart and shooter…

Something to think about…

Rioters with Antifa and BLM shirts and face coverings are unexpectedly marching through your suburban residential neighborhood. You don’t live in a gated community. The streets are public. Assume you live in Arizona. But in case you don’t, think about what you would do.
With binoculars, you surveil the marchers as they approach. You observe they are armed with baseball bats and Molotov Cocktails. Some have weapons. Others are carrying bricks and other objects. Their manner of dress, what they are chanting, and what they are carrying clearly projects violence. You’re understandably concerned.
And then the unthinkable happens. They stop at your house (they probably saw your Trump sign and American flag). You are trained in the use of firearms and have a suitable firearm in your possession, one that is reliably accurate, both at close range and distances beyond 25 yards.
Your decision is …?
1. Call the police and wait inside your home, being sure to advise the police dispatcher that you are armed and what you are wearing for identification purposes, and/or
2. Call your neighbors to warn them, and/or
3. Search for a fire extinguisher (if you have one or more – you should), and/or
4. Stand in plain view near the entrance to your home (holding your firearm as a deterrent in a non-threatening fashion, hoping for the best), and
5. If close enough, verbally warn the rioters not to come on to your property (while not displaying/raising your firearm).
In spite of the above choices of action, one of the rioters carrying bricks comes onto your property. He begins throwing bricks at your windows. Another rioter carrying a Molotov Cocktail follows him onto your property. It appears he is preparing to throw a Molotov Cocktail through what will soon be several broken windows. You see him attempting to light the Molotov Cocktail.
Your decision is  …?
1. Eliminate the threatening arsonist(s) when he/she/they come onto your property, or if afraid to act …
2. Wait for the brick thrower to break windows before defending your home, or if still afraid to act …
3. Wait for the arsonist to light the Molotov Cocktail before defending your home, or if still afraid to act …
4. Wait for the arsonist to throw the Molotov Cocktail before defending your home, or if still afraid to act …
5. Move away to a place of possible relative safety and watch your home and its contents burn.
6. ?
This is probably as good a time as any to consider what actions you might lawfully take. The next several months has the elevated potential for civil unrest that could reach into the suburbs. We have already witnessed, in hundreds of incidents across the country, the lawless run wild, looting, burning, destroying businesses and private property, and the innocent victims who were attempting to defend themselves and their property, and the property of others, be arrested and prosecuted. Why it is not the other way around? Has self-defense become unlawful? 
NO pressure here but the Antifa/BLM thugs are gathering in the street in front of your home – right now. What are you going to do?
Edit- Thanks to Tom for the video link. Mas Ayoob discussing how to navigate this mess. Long but GOOD!!!

Worth the reminder…

Another one from the mil email string- Many pilots are ex-military/military reservists…

An Airline Captains Announcement

“The American flag does not fly because the wind moves past it….the American flag flies from the last breath of each military member who has died serving it.”

My lead flight attendant came to me and said, “We have an HR. on this flight.” (H.R. stands for Human Remains.)

“Are they military?” I asked.

 ‘Yes’, she said.

 ‘Is there an escort?’ I asked.

 ‘Yes, I’ve already assigned him a seat’.

‘Would you please tell him to come to the Flight Deck.  You can board him early,” I said…

A short while later a young army sergeant entered the flight deck.  He was the image of the perfectly dressed soldier.  He introduced himself and I asked him about his soldier.

The escorts of these fallen soldiers talk about them as if they are still alive and still with us.  ‘My soldier is on his way back to Virginia,’ he said.  He proceeded to answer my questions, but offered no words.

 I asked him if there was anything I could do for him and he said no.  I told him that he had the toughest job in the military, and that I appreciated the work that he does for the families of our fallen soldiers.  The first officer and I got up out of our seats to shake his hand.  He left the Flight Deck to find his seat.

We completed our preflight checks, pushed back and performed an uneventful departure.

About 30 minutes into our flight, I received a call from the lead flight attendant in the cabin.

‘I just found out the family of the soldier we are carrying, is also on board’, she said.  She then proceeded to tell me that the father, mother, wife and 2-year old daughter were escorting their son, husband, and father home.  The family was upset because they were unable to see the container that the soldier was in before we left.

We were on our way to a major hub at which the family was going to wait four hours for the connecting flight home to Virginia.  The father of the soldier told the flight attendant that knowing his son was below him in the cargo compartment and being unable to see him was too much for him and the family to bear.  He had asked the flight attendant if there was anything that could be done to allow them to see him upon our arrival.  The family wanted to be outside by the cargo door to watch the soldier being taken off the airplane.

I could hear the desperation in the flight attendants voice when she asked me if there was anything I could do.  ‘I’m on it’, I said.  I told her that I would get back to her.

Airborne communication with my company normally occurs in the form of e-mail like messages.  I decided to bypass this system and contact my flight dispatcher directly on a secondary radio.  There is a radio operator in the operations control center who connects you to the telephone of the dispatcher.  I was in direct contact with the dispatcher.  I explained the situation I had on board with the family and what it was the family wanted.  He said he understood and that he would get back to me.

Two hours went by and I had not heard from the dispatcher.  We were going to get busy soon and I needed to know what to tell the family.  I sent a text message asking for an update.  I saved the return message from the dispatcher and the following is the text:

‘Captain, sorry it has taken so long to get back to you.  There is policyon this now, and I had to check on a few things.  Upon your arrival a dedicated escort team will meet the aircraft.  The team will escort the family to the ramp and plane side.  A van will be used to load the remains with a secondary van for the family.

The family will be taken to their departure area and escorted into the terminal, where the remains can be seen on the ramp..  It is a private area for the family only.  When the connecting aircraft arrives, the family will be escorted onto the ramp and plane side to watch the remains being loaded for the final leg home.

Captain, most of us here in flight control are veterans.  Please pass our condolences on to the family.  Thanks.

I sent a message back, telling flight control thanks for a good job.  I printed out the message and gave it to the lead flight attendant to pass on to the father. The lead flight attendant was very thankful and told me, ‘You have no idea how much this will mean to them.’

Things started getting busy for the descent, approach and landing.  After landing, we cleared the runway and taxied to the ramp area.  The ramp is huge with 15 gates on either side of the alleyway.  It is always a busy area with aircraft maneuvering every which way to enter and exit.  When we entered the ramp and checked in with the ramp controller, we were told that all traffic was being held for us

‘There is a team in place to meet the aircraft’, we were told.  It looked like it was all coming together, then I realized that once we turned the seat belt sign off, everyone would stand up at once and delay the family from getting off the airplane.  As we approached our gate, I asked the copilot to tell the ramp controller, we were going to stop short of the gate to make an announcement to the passengers.  He did that and the ramp controller said, ‘Take your time.’

I stopped the aircraft and set the parking brake.  I pushed the public address button and said:  ‘Ladies and gentleman, this is your Captain speaking: I have stopped short of our gate to make a special announcement.  We have a passenger on board who deserves our honor and respect.  His name is Private XXXXXX, a soldier who recently lost his life.  Private XXXXXX s under your feet in the cargo hold.  Escorting him today is Army Sergeant XXXXXX.  Also, on board are his father, mother, wife, and daughter  Your entire flight crew is asking for all passengers to remain in their seats to allow the family to exit the aircraft first.  Thank you.’

We continued the turn to the gate, came to a stop and started our shutdown procedures.  A couple of minutes later I opened the cockpit door.  I found the two forward flight attendants crying, something you just do not see.  I was told that after we came to a stop, every passenger on the aircraft stayed in their seats, waiting for the family to exit the aircraft.

When the family got up and gathered their things, a passenger slowly started to clap his hands.  Moments later, more passengers joined in and soon the entire aircraft was clapping.  Words of ‘God Bless You’, I’m sorry, thank you, be proud, and other kind words were uttered to the family as they made their way down the aisle and out of the airplane.  They were escorted down to the ramp to finally be with their loved one.

Many of the passengers disembarking thanked me for the announcement I had made.  They were just words, I told them, I could say them over and over again, but nothing I say will bring back that brave soldier.

I respectfully ask that all of you reflect on this event and the sacrifices that millions of our men and women have made to ensure our freedom and safety in these United States of AMERICA.

EDIT- Thanks to one of my readers, I can now attribute this to the author at https://acaptainslog.blogspot.com/2008/07/fallen-soldier_04.html

Snerk…

This one came from the mil email string…

Excerpts from a Dog’s Diary……

8:00 am – Dog food! My favourite thing!
9:30 am – A car ride! My favourite thing!
9:40 am – A walk in the park! My favourite thing!
10:30 am – Got rubbed and petted! My favourite thing!
12:00 pm – Lunch! My favourite thing!
1:00 pm – Played in the yard! My favourite thing!
3:00 pm – Wagged my tail! My favourite thing!
5:00 pm – Milk bones! My favourite thing!
7:00 pm – Got to play ball! My favourite thing!
8:00 pm – Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favourite thing!
11:00 pm – Sleeping on the bed! My favourite thing!

Excerpts from a Cat’s Daily Diary. ..

Day 983 of my captivity.
My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.

They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.

Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a ‘good little hunter’ I am. Bastards.

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of ‘allergies.’ I must learn what this means and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow — but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released – and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.

The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now…

Veterans/VA issues…

Trump and Biden were asked questions about what they are/will do for vets.

In anticipation of the upcoming presidential election, Military Times partnered with a dozen veterans organizations earlier this year to ask the major party candidates about their views on key issues facing the veterans community.

Full article, HERE.  And a list of takeaways, HERE, from Military Times.

Go read them and use the information to inform your voting.

I’m not going to push you to vote one way or the other, but please go vote! We need to exercise our right!

TBT…

Ah yes, a ‘good’ day in Kef, back in the day…

Winter flying out of there was always ‘interesting’… Especially since your alternate was 2 hours away in Scotland…IF it was open. Made for some long days, but we did what we had to.

And now the kids flying the P-8s are going to get to ‘enjoy’ the challenges of Kef, and possibly Adak, once again. At least the P-8 can refuel if necessary, assuming there is a tanker that can meet them somewhere over the north Atlantic.

Lemme see…

How many people I can piss off with this post…

TL;DR Grumpy old fudd doesn’t like what is going on with gun training.

Yes, I’m old. Yes, I like blued and wood revolvers. I’m not an expert, don’t play one on TV. At best, I’m an average pistol shooter, I suck with a shotgun, but I’m pretty fair with a rifle.

Having said that, I’m certified to teach NRA Basic Pistol, Self-Protection in the Home, and a certified RSO. Over the years I’ve competed in bullseye, IDPA, Action Pistol, Three Gun, and High power rifle matches. Never won, seldom placed higher than mid-pack. So that is ‘my’ qualification (or lack of) for what I’m about to say.

People are on edge, especially with what is going on with the riots, lack of ammo, lack of gun availability, etc. Civility seems to be going out the window.

I’m worried about the division I’m seeing becoming more and more prevalent in the gun world, where you are judged by who you’ve trained with, what latest plastic fantastic or custom gun you’re carrying in the latest holster, while firing the latest and greatest super ammo, while being able to in W seconds fire X rounds into Y square inches at Z yards. Or how to shoot your AR out of your car, etc.

That’s great if you’re an operator, operating operationally, or SWAT, or some other high speed low drag whatever.

I don’t know too many people that carry a loaded AR or shotgun in their car/truck unless they are LEOs. I’ve also heard instructors say NRA training will get you killed on the street.

Um, NRA training is designed to be BASIC training, not get you your CCW or anything else due to the differences state to state… And a basic course is what everybody is now requiring that people have to take just about any course.

BUT, what are being left behind are John/Jane Q Public that carry a pistol for self defense or want pistol courses that help them to get better. Rangemasters, Mas Ayoob, and a few others offer basic courses that stress BASIC skill sets, of grip, draw, presentation and sight picture, and mindset. But they aren’t cheap.

The other ‘mantra’ that seems to be getting louder (again) is that if your gun doesn’t have a caliber that starts with a 4, you should shut up and go home, you can’t be effective. I’ve seen people basically get laughed at in various forums for carrying .380s or .32 or .38 pistols, or ‘really stupid’ to carry .22 or .22 magnum pistols.

Ammo is another issue. I saw a thread where someone was asking about using wadcutters for self-defense and stated in his question that he couldn’t GET hollow points. Only a few people actually said wadcutters would work, most pointed him and expensive and unavailable or hideously expensive if available hollow point ammo. Wadcutters work! See articles, HERE and a discussion of hollow point ammo HERE. Jim Cirillo used them while in the NYPD, as indicated in this article, HERE. The men that taught me how to shoot in the early 60s, many of whom were law enforcement, had NO problems carrying wadcutters in their backup guns and 3-4″ pistols. They pretty much shoot point of aim/point of impact. I have wadcutters for my snubbie in .38, and I will carry them because they work!

Have instructors become so wrapped around the ‘tacticool’ agenda that they are leaving most shooters with no good training if you’re not an LEO or operator? I’m beginning to think so. A quick check of available courses ranged from $300 and up, with most seeming to be in the $450 range, usually 2 days, and required 500 or more rounds. Plus travel, hotel, food, now you’re talking real money.

Most CCW folks don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on gun after gun, course after course, and don’t shoot a thousand rounds a month, or five hundred… I’d say the average CCW person is probably down around 100-200 rounds a month maybe less, especially now with the dearth of ammunition. And they’re shooting it with what they have… and can afford or actually operate. Some people (especially females, elderly or disabled) can’t rack a slide on a 9mm, much less a .40 or a .45, much less control a pistol in that caliber to get more than one or maybe two rounds on target without issues. But they can shoot/control .22s or .380s. Or that old .32 or .38 revolver that may not have all the bluing, but it still works well.

Another thing I’m hearing is instructors ‘belittling’ students that don’t perform up to ‘standard’ (whatever that may be), in front of others on the line, rather than doing so in private. Safety is one thing, but to belittle somebody that is trying and not succeeding is…just wrong. The last basic class I did, I got a call from a lady over 2 hours away wanting to know if she could drive over and take the course, because her LTC instructor had made her so scared of shooting that her husband wanted her to take another basic course (Sadly, I didn’t have room for her, but promised if I did another one, she would get a slot). I talked to the husband and he was not happy, to put it mildly. And yes, he’d complained about the instructor.

Probably the best course I’ve taken in the last five years was with Dr. William Aprill, who sadly passed away earlier this year. Not a round was fired, but it was an excellent course on getting into the mindset of the criminal and how to not be a victim.

Maybe it’s time to look closer to home, to those local instructors that teach part time for not much money, because they want to share knowledge, and are willing to work with students on a case by case basis. They may not have one or more pages of ‘qualifications’ but they teach because they believe in what they are doing, and by and large are pretty cotton picking good too!

/rant off…

Comments?

Welp, now we know…

Which direction the ACB hearings are going to go…

Full on attack on ACB about overturning Obamacare and everything else including Roe v. Wade. I was stuck in the car yesterday for 7 hours coming back from Colorado which was basically in the middle of nowhere, so I listened to the first day of the SCOTUS hearing.

The Dems stayed on script the whole day, apparently including multiple pictures of ‘children’ ACB was going to kill, since they can’t play the Christian card, or the sexist card, etc.

Democrats have managed to turn Monday into an Obamacare hearing. One-by-one the panelists on the Senate Judiciary Committee presented photos of patients – many of them children – with pre-existing conditions, suggesting that their health care protections will be wiped away if Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett gets on the court.

Full article, HERE.

Plain and simple, they are going to try to Bork her… Dammit… And if approved, and they win, I believe they WILL stack the court. They don’t want SCOTUS as an arbiter, they want to use SCOTUS to make policy the Dems can’t get through Congress.

This was a comment by Dick Durban, D-IL,  on Biden not saying if he’ll pack SCOTUS: “It’s a common question being asked because the American people have watched the Republicans packing the court over the last three and a half years. And they brag about it. They’ve taken every vacancy and filled it.”

Thoughts, comments, corrections???

All good things…

Must come to an end… Sigh…

Back to reality, break is over. Back on the road to the house today. Realized I’d never posted and EDC pic for the trip, so here ya go…

Real blogging/commenting should resume tomorrow.