Thursday, June 30, 2011

Update

Remember this post?  The one about the student who stopped a robbery, rape, and murder plan?

Here's the update:  Ensign honored for thwarting 2009 robbery.



My hat's off to you Ensign Sean Barner.

H/T Sharp as a Marble

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lesson Learned?

Whenever I meet someone whose license is suspended, I always wonder...

How did they get to the office?  Are they driving back home?

I once represented a young man for a traffic offense appeal.  He had been convicted in the lower court of trying to pass a stopped school bus, and because of his driving record, the judge suspended his license as part of the sentence.  Unhappy with the result, he appealed the decision and retained me.

His traffic record was horrendous.  His attitude was worse.  But, away we went.  I reviewed pictures of the scene, which were drastically different than he described.  I went over everything with him, including the expected testimony from the bus driver and the police officer, both of whom witnessed what he did.  At this point, the focus shifted from trying to avoid the conviction to trying to protect him as best as I could.

The trial day comes and we meet in court.  He shows up with his girlfriend, which is a relief for me.  Presumably, she drove him to court just in case he lost his license.  We survive the trial with a better result than in lower court.  However, because of his driving record, the judge refused to let him keep his license.  The judge suspended his license again and asked my client to surrender his license right there.  We step out into the hallway and go over our game plan to reinstate his license.  I tell him he cannot drive in the meantime, as any further traffic infractions will affect his ability to get his license back.  We say our goodbyes and walk out.

As I'm driving back to the office on the interstate, I notice there are two vehicles weaving in and out of traffic and approaching at high speed.  They come closer and pass me.

I shake my head and sigh.

The first car is driven by my client.  The second car is driven by his girlfriend.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Quote for the Week

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

Calvin Coolidge

Friday, June 24, 2011

Cream of the Crop

I was done with my case, so I headed out of the courthouse thinking of nothing but lunch.  As I walked out, I noticed a group of police officers gathered around a vehicle in the parking lot.  I didn't think much about it, since there were police officers all over the place, both because of court cases, and because the police headquarters building was right behind the courthouse.  For some reason, though, several more police officers kept heading that way. 

I gave in to my curiousity and changed course.  As I got closer to the gathering, I could hear that the officers were very upset and some were peering into the window of the vehicle.  I got close enough to realize that there were two kids (an infant and toddler) strapped to car seats in a locked vehicle.  The window was open just a bit, and the (ir)responsible adult was nowhere to be found.  It was hot outside, but the mood near the car was a lot hotter.

After a few minutes, someone came running out of the courthouse, yelling, "I'm right here!  I was only gone for a few seconds!"  It was as if someone waved a hunk of meat in front of a group of hungry crocodiles.  The mother received an immediate and high-speed escort to her car, all the while hearing officers share their opinion of her actions.

I don't know all the details except what I saw, which was this:  On a hot day, a mother left her children locked in a car, with the windows barely cracked, while she took care of some unknown business in the courthouse. 

I'm sure whatever the police charged her with, it was not enough.  Common sense is not common.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Us. v. Us

I stopped by the local bookstore to see if there was anything interesting in the cheap books section.  Not finding anything there, I wandered over to the firearms section to browse the books.  Since I was open carrying, I caught the attention of a man standing there and we starting talking about guns.  This man mentioned that he was a strong supporter of the Second Amendment.  A few moments later, a third man came up and joined the conversation.

The conversation quickly steered toward training.  At first, we just spoke of the importance of training versus just reading.  Soon, however, both men spoke of the need to get specialized, tactical training, of the type offered by several military contractor schools.  One of them said that those who carry firearms without that specialized training scare him.

At this point, not having engaged in such sooper seekrit takticool training, I just listened.  They went into some detail regarding their training, even going so far as to say that the training offered to mere civilians is inferior.  The only training that matters, according to them, is the training given to law enforcement and military.

This just reeks of the idea that only those with specialized training should have guns.  So, who decides what that specialized training is?  I'm sure that for our two bookstore gun scholars, that level of training is anything less than they have had.  What if someone decides, as I'm sure someone will, that even that level of training is not enough?  Where do we draw the line?  What level of training is sufficient to exercise a Constitutional right?  What level of training will be sufficient to turn criminals into law abiding citizens?  Some states already require waiting periods, classes to buy, classes to own, classes to carry, etc... (things criminals ignore anyway), and it has done nothing to prevent crime.  And yet, some gun owners have no problem restricting rights because, to them, the alternative is "scary."

Look, training is important, no doubt.  But the moment we start thinking that our particular level of training should be the minimum required to exercise our Second Amendment rights, we become no better than those who would seek to take that right away.  What about the elderly lady who was raped in our neighborhood.  What if she wanted to buy a gun for defense now?  What type of class do you want her to sit in?  Will you only be happy when you see her in 5.11 gear crawling in a prone position to get to the target?  What about the single mother, hoping that a restraining order will be enough?  She doesn't even hope for child support any more, let alone think of paying for a week-long class.

Absent someone else's generosity, and a more cooperative schedule, I can almost guarantee that I will never take a military or law enforcement level training class.  It's just not likely to happen. And yet, by some definitions, that "shortcoming" means I should never be allowed to carry a firearm, nor should I depend on one for defense. 
Ludicrous.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Quote for the Week

It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.

Pope John XXIII 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hair Terrorism

Beep.

I step back, run my hands through my pockets, turn some of them inside out to show they're empty, and try again.

The courtroom security officer waves me through the metal detector again and I step through.

Beep beep.

Ugh.  I need to get to my trial, but instead, I'm doing the hokey pokey with the metal detector.

The officer keeps looking at me with an annoyed face, clearly convinced that I must be loaded with all kinds of contraband and dangerous weapons.  The line forming behind me is now convinced I'm an idiot, I'm sure.  I continue the charade a couple more times.

Finally, he pulls out the handheld wand and scans me with it.  (Wait a minute!  You just NOW pulled that thing out?)  The wand alerts on the left breast pocket of my suit.  The officer asks, "Do you have anything in there?  I've checked the pocket three times already, but I stick my hand in there again.

This time, I feel something metallic.

One of my daughters had stuck a flat metal barette in my pocket.  And so, folks, the system grinds to a halt on account of a metal barette.  It has broken through the seam, and is barely hanging on before dropping into the liner.  I finally grab it and am able to pull it out.

The barette was taken into custody without further incident.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Quote for the Week

Any party which takes credit for the rain must not be surprised if its opponents blame it for the drought.

Dwight Morrow

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saturday

I managed to survive a portion of the P90X Plyometrics DVD.  I had to take it easy because of my ankle, and could not finish the whole thing, but I definitely feel like I worked out.  I'm living my own version of the Gimpy Dad Diaries.

My wife is at a church retreat this weekend, so we're at home jamming to Tye Tribbett. cleaning up the house before we run off to take care of some errands.  Maybe not run off, more like gingerly and slowly walk off.

It's been a crazy week, blogging has been light because work is getting busier.  We're losing one of our best paralegals, who's moving out of state, and we're in the process of interviewing a replacement.  I think I've found a winner.  We're in the middle of advertising season, so I'm having to deal with vendors and making decisions for next year.  For some of my friends, this is old hat, but for me, this is all new.

Well, off to get the dog groomed, get some groceries, run to the bank, and then to the gun store.  And no, the last two are not related.  No new guns for me.  Yet....

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Back on Track

I was finally able to work out again since my Anklegate a few weeks ago.  No, I didn't tweet pics of my ankle to anyone.  If you recall, I did, however, try to fold it in half.  Twice.

Now, the rest of my body is sore because of the P90X, but my ankle is not.  After the second time, I figured I would finally listen to Bob S and wore the brace while working out.  I have been wearing a more flexible brace for normal activities, and a stronger one for working out.  They seem to be doing the trick.

I'm going to try the second DVD tonight.  That's a lot more jumping around than the first workout, so I'm going to err on the side of caution and take it easy where necessary.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Quote for the Week

When your team is winning, be ready to be tough, because winning can make you soft. On the other hand, when you team is losing, stick by them. Keep believing.

Bo Schembechler

Friday, June 3, 2011

Deception

While researching a story, I came across this.  Although I don't have the desire to meet them, I've often admired the creativity police use to catch speeders and red-light runners.

Umm...nine of those pictures are from areas around my old stomping grounds.  Some of those were daily routes for me.  I would have been sooooo busted.

Even though I'm not in Florida anymore, I'll be extra careful driving around town, now!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ankle

It's been a few weeks since I tried to bend my ankle 90 degrees sideways.  The bruising is gone, though it's still a bit tender.  I've behaved, having to put off working out so as not to aggravate it.

This past weekend, I went to a pool party and spent the majority of the time in the pool.  For those in the airplane overhead, I was the whale.  It was a great time for seeing old friends and hanging out like we had not been able to do for years. I did plenty of moving around, pushing off, and jumping in the water.  My ankle did not complain much.

Then, on Monday, we joined 6.8 bazillion people and went to the beach.  As a side note, the sunblock must be reapplied every two hours.  I look like a cooked lobster.  I made 8 treks from the truck to the beach, carrying enough picnic food and supplies for half of those 6.8 bazillion people.  Heck, you invite a bunch of Hispanics to the beach, you better bring some food.  (Which reminds me, I need to google beach carts.)  I ran around in the water, played games with good friends, all the time working out my ankle.  Again, my ankle did little complaining.

Sooooo, Tuesday, I decide to go home for lunch.  My wife was at home, so I thought I'd spend the time with her.  I park in the driveway and head up the sidewalk to the door.  The edge of my foot catches the edge of a pine cone.

That did it.

I can run around all creation without incident, but I can't take a simple step on a sidewalk?

So I'm back on the brace, for now.  I've got to get through security today for bankruptcy hearings, so I'll have to practically undress to prove it's an ankle brace and not an ankle holster.

This will be fun!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Why Israel Matters

The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.  I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

Genesis 12:1-3

The fact that this administration has bungled the relationship with Israel, to the point of insulting its leader and ignoring their history, is troubling to me.  Check out this article by Walter Russel Mead, at The American Interest.

Here are some of the (in my opinion) highlights

How Obama handled Israel:

He moved close enough to the Israelis to infuriate the Palestinians while keeping the Israelis at too great a distance to earn their trust.

Why it matters:

The existence of Israel means that the God of the Bible is still watching out for the well-being of the human race. For many American Christians who are nothing like fundamentalists, the restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land and their creation of a successful, democratic state after two thousand years of oppression and exile is a clear sign that the religion of the Bible can be trusted.

H/T Sig94 at It Don't Make Sense

Yet Another Post on Mindset

Once again, note:  simply having a gun is not enough.

Change Your Mind and the Rest Will Follow.  It's an old post, but an important message.

H/T to Breda