Monday, September 30, 2013


The family of Karvis Gamble is protesting outside of the Orlando Police Department's headquarters because Gamble was shot by police officers in January. The protesters said they won't give up until someone is charged in the shooting death of Gamble. They are "demanding justice," which has come to mean vengeance and has no real meaning in terms of what is just.

It turns out that the details of the police shooting are different. The police were investigating a drug complaint when Gamble reached for a gun on the table next to him and was fatally shot. Ecstasy, marijuana, and two stolen firearms were located at the scene.

Deandre McCullough disputes police claims that there was drug activity at the Arlington Road studio. He said Gamble was sweeping up with a broom and in no way threatened police before being shot and killed.

 Of course, anti gun forces were quick to blame guns for the death.

I am against the "war on drugs" and think that they should be legalized. However, with them being illegal, the people who are currently engaged in the drug trade are, by definition, criminals. Criminal enterprises cannot call the police or file lawsuits to settle business disputes, so they must resort to violence.

We are seeing families blaming honest people when their criminal thug relatives are killed for living the thug life. We are being told that we do not have the right to resist criminals who would use force against us to ply their trade. I say enough.

NYT hit piece

The New York Times is running yet another hit piece against guns. This time, they are reporting that the number of children accidentally killed is much higher than has been reported. The piece begins with anecdotal tales of child shootings.

The paper reports that many of these shootings are reported as homicides instead of accidents. They claim that twice as many accidents are occurring as are being reported. Another hit piece from a media source with an agenda.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Louisiana Red Beans and Rice

Here is a recipe that is fairly cheap, but tastes pretty good. Every person into prepping has a lot of beans and rice on hand.Even in good times, this is a cheap and tasty dish:

1 pound of hot pork sausage
1 large onion
1 green pepper
 minced garlic
1 pound of red kidney beans

In a large pot, place the raw beans and add water to about 2 inches higher than the level of the beans. Place it on medium heat and cover. When it comes to a boil, turn it down to a simmer.
While that is heating:
Chop the onion and pepper and saute them with a tablespoon of minced garlic.
While that is cooking, make marble sized meatballs out of the sausage.
Once the onion begins to turn clear, add the sausage and brown it.

When the sausage is brown, add the mixture to the beans. Bring to a boil, cover, and lower to simmer.

Let it cook for three hours, and stir occasionally. Add water as needed. If the mixture turns out too soupy, you can crush a few beans against the side of the pot, and that will thicken it. If that isn't enough, a half teaspoon of flower dissolved in a cup of warm water can be added to thicken it up.

Serve over rice. This makes enough to feed 5 or 6 people, with leftovers. It is also really good with some fresh french bread or cornbread.

Suggested condiments: Ketchup makes them good, as does Louisiana Hot Sauce.

This meal costs less than $2 a serving. It was a real hit at the firehouse, both because it is tasty and cheap.

Racist Hollyweird actor

Reading this CNN article really boiled my blood. The author spends the first paragraph talking about how famous the people in the story are, as if that matters. The fact that they are famous is mentioned several times in the story, as if it should have given them a pass for breaking the law.

The second paragraph begins a racist diatribe, and tells you a lot about the attitude and personality of Mr White. He claims that:
Regardless of how much money or accolades I have garnered. Regardless of my journeys across the globe. I will be forever at the white officer’s mercy.
A couple pf paragraphs go by where he goes on about how he and his "lady" are trying to enjoy a vacation, and then he complains about being pulled over for speeding: 40 in a 25. He insists that he wasn't and says he is going to fight the ticket.

During that same paragraph, he states they they began seeing cotton fields, and he mentions the "history of our ancestors picking cotton and being enslaved tugged at her heartstrings." Again, with the mention of race and slavery.

According to him, there is a "driveway" that led to a cotton field, so he pulled over, using the excuse that the "oil change" light came on. He then says "we took in the history and the oppression that those little white balls created decades ago." This supposedly brought tears to his eyes.

A cop that was driving by turned around and questioned them. Why? BECAUSE YOU WERE TRESPASSING, YOU RACIST TWIT. Trespassing is a crime, and the two of you compunded that crime by picking some of the cotton and placing it in your "lady's" purse. That is called stealing. You didn't get stopped because of race, you got stopped because you were committing a crime, and the fact that you are a Hollywood actor does not give you a free pass. He even took a picture of himself stealing the cotton and posted it online:

That farmer makes his livelihood from growing that cotton, and if every jerk that drove that road pulled over and took some, the farmer would soon starve.

Mr White then spends the next four paragraphs describing the interaction with the cop. At no time does he accuse the cop of making a racial statement.

Then he says, in the second to last paragraph:

I will not stop until this incident is made public and that racist cop, Barfield, is reprimanded and punished. That was one of the worse days of my life and I plan on making it one of his as well.

I wonder if CNN knows what libel is? If Officer Barfield should happen to read this, I would recommend that he contact an attorney about a lawsuit against Mr White, Mr Diggs, Katie the CNN producer, and CNN.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Disarmament zone

My son's girlfriend wants to go to nursing school, so they have been looking at a few schools in the area. Yesterday, they went to tour the campus of a local college to see how the place was. Since Florida law prohibits the carrying of weapons on a college campus, my son decided to leave his pistol at home, rather than leave it in the car while he was in the school. That almost cost him dearly.

As they were walking across the parking lot on the way back to their car, another car pulled up behind them, and the window rolled down. The black male driver leaned out and told them "get your white ass out of my way, honky" and then told him to keep his "cracker ass" on the white side of town where he belonged. My son replied, telling the driver to kiss his ass.

My son made his way to his car, and the other driver pulled up, got out of his car with a tire iron, and attacked my son's car. It easily could have been him instead of his vehicle that was damaged.


Just because the Democrats are your enemy does not mean that the Republicans are your friend. This is proven by yet another Republican that has turned his back on gun owners once he got their votes.

He says::
To the professional political critics, I simply offer this: volunteer for the Navy or for the other armed services, successfully go through SEAL or other special forces training. Then you will be fully qualified and prepared to fire as many assault weapons with unlimited high capacity magazines as you desire.

 Just like at the DC Navy Yard.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Homeowners' Association

This is yet another reason why I will NEVER buy another home where there is a HOA.

If you live in the Turnberry Reserve Neighborhood in Kissimmee, your trash cans and recycling carts better not be in plain sight or the Home Owners Association will take them away.
The HOA ‘s line in the sand came in the form of emails warning residents that any trash cans and recycling carts in plain view on non-trash days would be removed.
On Aug. 28 a landscape crew walked on the property of an estimated 80 residents took them out of the neighborhood and dropped them off about 14 miles away at a St. Cloud recycling plant.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

More paramedic issues

Remember when I told you that I had a girlfriend who was being REQUIRED to go to UNPAID company training sessions in order to maintain her status and position?

The training is still mandatory, still unpaid, and now being given every two weeks. That's right- she is being required to attend this training on a biweekly basis on her day off, and is not getting any pay.

Tell me again why it is worth it to be a paramedic...

Sunday, September 22, 2013


The US government admits to spending $3.7 trillion during FY2012. I say admits, because despite the fact that the government ran a $98 billion budget deficit during the month of July alone, it claims that the debt has been exactly the same for the last 117 days. The 'facts' coming out of the Federal government cannot be trusted. None of them. Not the numbers on unemployment, inflation, spending, not one.

With that being said, the government supposedly took in $2.4 trillion in tax revenue, meaning that they are spending about $1.45 for each dollar that is taken in taxes. That extra 45 cents is done through borrowing. As I mentioned earlier, that number is likely much, much higher.

Where does all of this money go? Well, the majority of it goes to so-called 'mandatory spending' and interest on the money that we have already borrowed. Mandatory spending includes entitlements like Medicare, Social Security, VA benefits, etc. which are REQUIRED by law to be paid. Interest on the debt must also be paid. The money that must be paid totals about $2.5 trillion a year. You get that? Social Security, interest on the debt, Medicare, and the like already total more than we take in through taxes.

The remainder of what the government does, Welfare, Food Stamps, the Military, the Courts, jails, etc, account for the other $1.3 trillion of spending.

The only way out of this mess is not more taxes. Increasing the taxes of all Americans by a third (133% of last year) would still require that all government discretionary spending be cut in half. Spending has GOT to be cut across the board, even mandatory items like Social Security, along with the pet project of the right, the military.

Since we spend more on the military than every other country combined, maintaining a military presence in 150 countries worldwide (75% of the world's nations), in addition to roaming the world's oceans playing cop to the world, there is plenty here to cut. South Korea, Japan, the UK, and Germany account for $10 billion in base support costs, plus the cost of the 137,000 personnel in those countries. For example: The German Army has 62,000 troops. There are about 47,000 American troops in that nation. Why are we providing 40% of Germany's defense? No, we can cut the Army in half, and cut the Air Force, Marines, and Navy budgets by a third, and still outspend our next closest competitor (China) by a margin of 4 to 1. That will save us about $300 billion a year.

Social Security and Medicare are breaking us. An immediate cut to SS disability. One in 20 US adults is collecting disability. I personally know three people who are, and they seem to have no problems riding roller coasters or going out partying. There are lawyers out there that make a living on disability payments for "back injuries" and "fibromyalgia." Cut that disability in half, save $45 billion. In fact, Social Security and Medicare will have to be cut in half immediately, and phased out over five years, or we are going to eventually be forced into third world nation status.

Food stamps? Gone. Welfare? Gone.

Other steps like legalizing drugs would save the nation $100 billion a year, not to mention removing the funding from criminal gangs and the corresponding reduction in crime.

Real cuts are going to have to be made, or this nation will collapse under the weight of spending. However, I don't see it happening. No, I think we are going to ride this spending train all the way to the bottom.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Catching Crackers

In a continuation of the "race war" that many blacks seem to be waging, and many whites seem to be pretending doesn't exist, a couple went out and attempted to "catch a cracker" - slang for robbing a white person. When they didn't find a suitable white person, they robbed a black man.

In Florida. Didn't the recent Zimmerman case teach the criminals in this state what happens when you attempt to rob people?

Good business, if you can get it

The median household income of my county is just about $44,000 a year. That is for a two income household in most cases. That is down from $47,000 just two years ago, which mirrors the nationwide decline of incomes that 35 of the 50 states saw this past year.

Washington, DC doesn't have that problem. The median income there rose to $88,000- the highest of any metro area in the nation. This is due to the massive growth in the Federal government under the Obama administration, and the lawyers and lobbyists that this growth is bringing to the nation's capitol.

What makes this trend REALLY disturbing is just how much the size of government is increasing: the poor in DC are getting even poorer, with the number of households making less than 50% below the poverty line increased. The poverty threshold for a family of four that includes two children under 18 was $23,283 in 2012, meaning that to be in deep poverty, that family of four would have to earn less than $11,641 a year.

So in order for median incomes to rise in DC, they have to overcome the increase in poverty, plus increase the median income. Think about that.

This is the Obama that the poor voted for: Blacks have a 27% poverty rate, and yet they vote for the man that put him there, simply because he is black.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Terror arrest?

Ibragim Todashev was shot to death by the FBI while being questioned on May 22 about his connection to the Boston bombing. His roommate was arrested today, on what police say is an unrelated matter.

One of the comments on the story nails it:

They all ... come from the same terrorist region and enter the country supposedly to go to college. They attend a few months then drop out. [W]ho knows what they are up to. How long will the US government allow this to continue?

Random thoughts on mortality

I personally knew more than a dozen firefighters and paramedics that were killed in the line of duty during the 22 years that I was full time.
There was Paul, who died six weeks after breaking his leg in a car accident where he stayed and helped the injured, making sure that he was the last one transported. He was killed in the accident and didn't even know it. He was 40 years old.
There was Lou, who was run over on the side of the road by a drunk driver.
Lyle had a heart attack while on an EMS call. He was 45. The medic who worked him had just gotten a chewing out from him a week earlier for screwing up a medical call. Lyle had told the medic, "If I ever go down, I wouldn't want your dumb ass touching me." That medic still feels bad about that to this day, over a decade later.
Larry died of cancer that he likely got on the job, as firefighters get cancer at double the rate of the general public. He was 56 years old.
John and Dallas were killed in a training accident. John was 32, Dallas was 20.
There was Sean, run over at an accident scene.
John died of a heart attack just an hour after he left work from working a fire, and a heart attack also got Trevor when he was 43.
Bill got pancreatic cancer and died last year. He didn't smoke or drink. Nothing ever got him excited. Even among long service firefighters that pride themselves on remaining calm under pressure, Bill was a legend. His nickname was "Concrete" because he was so solid that nothing ever moved him. He was a health nut that exercised and drank these health drinks that tasted and smelled like grass clippings. We used to make fun of him for that. I remember that he would eat a handful of vitamins for lunch. Didn't help, he died at 56 years old.
Dave's daughter found him in the shower, dead of a heart attack just hours after he got home from working a fire.

Then there are the injuries and illnesses. I know about a dozen guys with hepatitis, another 4 or 5 with cancer, I know three guys who are less than 50 years old that have gotten knee replacements. There are another ten or so with cancer. A few more have tuberculosis. I know my son has a positive TB test, indicating exposure. TB is so widespread in the homeless around here, that most of the paramedics I know test positive for the antibodies. 

I have had surgery to repair an injured leg. I was exposed to chemicals on a call that gave me a serious cardiac dysrhythmia that lasted for three hours when I was only 36 years old.

All in all, a dangerous profession. I am glad that I retired before anything fatal or debilitating happened to me, but I have to say that I am nervous, knowing that my odds of cancer are so high.

The guys in their 50's who died: they spent their lives serving others. I know that sounds corny, but it's true. Most of them spent more than three decades running towards what other were running from. I learned something from each and every one of them, even the new guys. I miss some more than others.

Military throwback to the Carter years

Robb at Sharp as a Marble had this to say about disarming troops while on base:

A Marine, trained in the art of rifles, with a Secret clearance, fully background checked and given access to real, military grade hardware, could not own something as simple as a handgun while on base.
Do you want to know why such rules happen? Here is why, according to the FBI:

Many street gang members join the military to escape the gang lifestyle or as an alternative to incarceration, but often revert back to their gang associations once they encounter other gang members in the military. Other gangs target the U.S. military and defense systems to expand their territory, facilitate criminal activity such as weapons and drug trafficking, or to receive weapons and combat training that they may transfer back to their gang.

~ In Iraq, armored vehicles, concrete barricades and bathroom walls have served as canvasses for spray-painted gang art. At Camp Cedar II, about 185 miles southeast of Baghdad, a guard shack was recently defaced with “GDN” for Gangster Disciple Nation, along with the gang’s six-pointed star and the word “Chitown,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

~ In Germany, a soldier is being prosecuted this week for the murder of Sgt. Juwan Johnson, beaten to death on July 4, 2005, allegedly during a Gangster Disciple initiation in Kaiserslautern.

~ In September, Department of Defense Dependents Schools in Europe warned teachers and parents to watch out for signs of gang activity, including the deadly MS-13 gang. At the time, DODDS-Europe public affairs officer David Ruderman said there had been two incidents in the past 18 months that involved students fighting, wearing gang colors or claiming to be members of gangs. In one of the incidents, a student’s family member may have been a gang member, he said.

~ Earlier this year, Kadena Air Base on Okinawa established a joint service task force to investigate gang-related activity involving high school teens linked through the Web site
When I joined the military in the mid-eighties, I arrived at my first command, and I was told stories by the "old timers" about how things were in the late seventies. They told me stories about people doing lines of cocaine right on the tables in the lounge areas of the ship. They told me stories about how the officers would not enter the enlisted berthing areas without armed escorts. Drug use and drug dealing were widespread.
Vietnam, and the seemingly directionless leadership had stripped the military of honor and left the United States with a hollowed out force. That is not to say that everyone that entered the military was a drug abuser. No, like a bad neighborhood, many of the people that are there are good people, but there are still more troublemakers than average.

I think we are seeing the same thing now: The bad economy, combined with the leadership that is lacking for our military, has combined to recreate the hollowed out shell of a military that we had in the 1970s. Instead of a fighting force, our military has become a type of welfare- a jobs program, if you will. A jobs program that doesn't care about your honor, your background, or your mental state. After all, Aaron Alexis joined the Navy on a criminal background waiver. Eighteen percent of recruits joining the Army need criminal history waivers.

In 2007 more than half of the Army's 511 convictions were for thefts, ranging from burglaries to bad checks and stolen cars. Another 130 were for drug offenses. The remainder included two for manslaughter; five for sexual crimes, including rape, incest or sexual assault, and; three for negligent or vehicular homicide. Two received waivers for terrorist threats including bomb threats in 2007.

Even the Marines are not exempt. 235 of the Marine Corps' 350 waivers were for various types of thefts in 2007, and another 63 were for assaults or robberies that may also have included use of a weapon. The remainder included one for manslaughter in 2007; four for sex crimes; and five for terror threats, including bomb threats.

Without honor, of course the powers that be are afraid of giving you weapons. How many more people that are as crazy as Alexis, and have an even worse record? I am betting that there are more than a few.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Terror ties?

The murderer of the people at the DC Navy Yard registered a website under the name "Mohammad Salem," according to law enforcement officials and NBC News.

This isn't the first time his cheese had slid off of his cracker.

21% raise

So the employees of Orlando, Florida haven't had a raise in three years, and 4 years ago, they got a half a percent raise. The public at large has seen falling pay, while the economy has tanked. So it makes perfect sense that the elected leaders of the city should get a 21% raise.

Good cop, proper use of force

A woman is stopped for a minor traffic infraction. She had a tail light out. The cop wrote her a ticket. In this area, a ticket for faulty equipment will frequently be dismissed if you get the equipment repaired. Instead, this woman decides to escalate the situation and rolls her window up on the cop's arm.

What follows is an example of why I think everyone will benefit from cops carrying body cameras:

The cop showed restraint, and this woman deserved to go to jail. Of course, she has filed a brutality complaint, and is claiming that she was arrested for "driving while black."

To the officer: You are a calm professional, and I support what you did here.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Continuing Shenanigans

For those just joining us:
I had a house that lost its value in the real estate crash. I declared bankruptcy, and was going to turn the house over to the bank. The bank testified in court that they were the owner of the note and the mortgage, but I caught them lying. They had sold the note and mortgage to Fannie Mae, two year earlier. I sued, and we settled out of court for almost 10 grand. They then sold the note and mortgage again, this time to Nationstar mortgage. They recorded the sale in the county clerk's office.

Then SunTrust tried to foreclose. The foreclosure was dismissed, and Nationstar claimed to not have any record of owning the mortgage.

The feds stepped in and sued the banks. I got another $4,000 in THAT lawsuit.

SunTrust continued to send me demands for payment, even though prohibited from doing so by the bankruptcy court, and the fact that they no longer own the note and mortgage. So after a few years of this, I got tired of it and sued again in May of this year (the hearing was in June). This time, the court awarded me $14,700 and instructed SunTrust to have no further contact with me.

The next day, SunTrust began sending letters and leaving notes on my door. Since that court date in June, I have gotten 2 letters, 5 notes on my door, and two phone calls.

Today, I get a letter from SunTrust, telling me that they have sold my note and mortgage, and effective October 1, 2013, I should send my payments to yet another bank. I am thinking that this is going to be my new career.

Bankruptcy is supposed to allow you to start over. It has been four years, and this bank STILL will not leave me alone.

In France

This article about a French Jeweler, who was being beaten at gunpoint during a robbery, is in jail for shooting the robber has a neat little factoid in it:

In a country where gun violence is rare but armed robbery is increasingly common, the shooting - and the formal charges of voluntary homicide - have placed the government in a difficult position.
 So armed robbery isn't gun violence? I thought that maybe the armed robbery was with a weapon other than a firearm, but no:

The robbery was carried out with a shotgun, he said. It wasn't clear whether Asli and the accomplice both had firearms.

In fact, the article is filled with examples of firearm robberies. That can't be. You see, the anti-gun crowd here in the US tells us that there is no gun crime in Europe because guns are illegal. 

Yet the sister of the 19-year-old who was killed says Turk shot him in the back and deserves prison.
"He shot a kid in the back. He's a traitor, he's a coward," said Alexandra Asli, his older sister.
Asli, who was shot dead in the street outside the jewelry store, had been convicted 14 times in juvenile court, according to Eric Bedos, the Nice prosecutor.

It seems that outlawing guns does indeed ensure that only outlaws will have guns.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Half an hour can last forever

Thirty minutes. That is how long the shooter in DC had to kill before police caught up with him. It was seven minutes before the first cops even entered the building. This is not a criticism of police, it's just that they cannot be everywhere. I feel like they did what they could, and did it well. You are responsible for protecting yourself and your loved ones. Own a gun, and learn how to use it. Thirty minutes can be the rest of your life.

Naval Yard Security holes

When I was in the Navy, I was stationed at Norfolk Naval Operating base. There was a minor stir when I was there, and it had to do with Richard Marcinko and his Red Cell operation. Of course, this incident was rumor, but I believe it to be true. This incident explains what happened at Ft Hood and at the Washington Naval Yard pretty effectively.


It was in the late 80's, and the commander of SEAL team 6 had been given a new assignment: test the US Military's ability to handle a terrorist attack. He hand picked a group of 12 SEALs and one Marine to play the part of a terror organization unofficially called "Red Cell." The Cell was to stage mock attacks on Naval installations as a test of their security.
The tests were to be announced, and the plans for the attacks made known to the base commander of any installation beforehand. This reportedly irritated Marcinko, who felt it was not a true test if the commander of an installation knew when, where, and how an attack would come. So, he played fast and loose with the rules.
He was perhaps the most despised officer in the Navy, for the cardinal sin of making other officers look foolish. This is one reason why SpecWar is not highly regarded by most officers.

The incident

The Norfolk base was on alert for a Red Cell exercise. I was on duty that night, and we had been warned to be on alert for swimmer attacks. Extra watches were posted. Thinking this was a SEAL attack, the commanders assumed that the attack would come by sea. They were wrong. According to rumors at the time, the Red Cell members attacked an ambulance just off base as they were eating at McDonald's. They stole their uniforms, and used the ambulance to enter the base, and stage a kidnapping of the Commander, Naval Forces Atlantic.

This was reportedly the incident that caused the ultimate end of the Red Cell program, according to rumor.

Instead of recognizing the true problem and fixing it, the military brass simply punished the person that exposed the problem. This is a typical response from bureaucrats that care more for their careers than they do for organizational success. That is the basic flaw of our military: it is more of a jobs program than it is a true fighting force.

This is also the reason why it will be our nation's militarized police force that subjugates the American people, and not the military. A militia force in the US would do well against our own military. The police in this country are better armed than the Army. This is illustrated by the fact that an attack on a military base that houses the Chief of Naval Operations by a lone gunman was more successful that it would have been on any city police station.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Follow your instincts

During the recent shooting at the Navy Yard in our nation's capitol, the powers that be decided to order the occupants of the building to stay where they are- to "shelter in place." What this means is that the police want you to lock the door, and pray that they don't have blasters.

Shelter in place is not put into motion for the benefit of the people being sheltered. Primarily, it benefits the people who are charged with controlling the disaster, who do not need large numbers of people underfoot, getting in the way of rescue efforts.

I posted on this three years ago, and how this strategy cost many live on 9/11. Don't listen to authorities if your hindbrain is telling you to run- run. The powers that be care only about resolving the incident, not about any individual in it.


Steve Bracknell, the Chief of the Lake Mary police, the town where George Zimmerman now lives, received a letter from a resident, demanding that he be arrested. The problem is that there is no evidence that Zimmerman has committed any crimes.
Read the police Chief's response. This has gone far beyond enforcing the law, and is now a full blown persecution. I hope Zimmerman keeps these letters, because they will come in handy when it is time for the lawsuits. The chief states that Zimmerman is "another Sandy Hook waiting to happen." This is the same police chief who said: "Man, it would be fantastic if you have an apartment out there [in California] for George Zimmerman."
The police chief also made statements that "The guy just can't stay out of the newsYou'd think he'd get the heck out of Dodge." It seems to me that Zimmerman could make the case that the chief is using his authority as a law enforcement officer to harass and intimidate him.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


There is a reason why posting has been a little sporadic for the past few days. About three weeks ago, I posted about the state of Florida and the Army Corps dumping swamp water into the ocean. Three days after that incident, I got sick. Very sick. No one else in my house caught it, telling me that this was likely not the flu or anything.
My fever was high, my pulse racing, and it came with dizzy spells, vomiting, and diarrhea. My ears hurt. The illness lasted for two weeks. It was followed by a painful ear infection. On Friday, my left eardrum perforated, and for the next 24 hours, there was a green discharge coming from that ear. It still hurts like hell.
It is my belief that I caught whatever this was from being in that nasty swamp water. Stay out of that area of the Atlantic coast of Florida until they are finished dumping that swamp into the ocean.

Friday, September 13, 2013


So the IRS has changed the rules for the automated tips that many restaurants add to the bill of a large party. This will increase the taxes that they must pay, so many are doing away with the practice. The comments on the story have caused me to revisit my feelings on tips.

A waitress or waiter server writes down what I want and reports that to the kitchen staff. After the staff cooks the food, the server carries it to my table. The other duties of my server include filling my glass and bringing me the check. For this job, the server receives a wage of about $5 an hour from their employer.

My sister works at a TGI Friday's and tells me that she brings home about $150 a night in tips. I imagine that she doesn't report all of her cash tips, because many servers do not. This means that she is getting a tax subsidy, and is likely taking home enough cash to equal a $25 per hour wage.

My son in law works as an entertainer for a dinner show in the area, and at this show, there is no ordering of food, as the menu is a preset meal where the only choice is what soft drink you want. He reports to me that the servers get irate if they make less than $100 per show in tips. The venue does one three hour show per night Sunday through Thursday, and two on Fridays and Saturdays. That works out to nearly $40 per hour.

Compare that to the following hourly wages in the Central Florida area:
Paramedics: $13.23
Firemedics: $12.86
Registered Nurse: $24
Vending Machine Repairman: $10.50
Theme park ride operator: $8.35
Security Guard (unarmed): $10.55
Security Guard (armed): $13.25

After thinking about this, I am going to amend my tipping policy. If my party is less than 6 people, my tip for adequate service will be 15% of the check to a maximum of $8. I feel like a table that size taking up about 1/3 of a server's time for an hour is worth no more than $8. After all, that works out to a gross of about $29 an hour. More than fair.

For a table of more than six, I will divide the number in my party by the number of servers that are taking care of the party, and pay 15% of the tab for adequate service to a maximum of $8 times that number, on the theory that large parties take up a larger amount of the server's time.

It isn't my problem that her employer or the other patrons don't pay them more. If the server has a problem with that, they need to take it up with them. I am just no longer willing to pay someone $40 an hour to carry food around.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Syrian backlash

Military personnel have apparently been participating in backlash against the President's plan to fight for al Qaeda, and are posing with signs covering their faces in protest of the war.

The pentagon is attempting to figure out exactly who the servicemen are. I am assuming that the NSA will be tracking the internet trails left behind by these men. (It does appear to be all men in the photos)

The left is in an uproar, claiming that we should be behind the President, no matter what, and the right is in an uproar, protesting the move. Mysteriously, the celebrities that opposed war when a Republican did it are sitting this one out. Apparently, it is different when your guy does it.

Meanwhile, the Russians are sending a clear message to the Americans.


There is an informal group of firefighters that call themselves the "Fraternal Order Of Leatherheads Society" or FOOLS, for short. Leatherheads refers to the fact that traditional firefighting helmets were made from leather. It was founded in my area by some firefighters that I know in 1995. It began as an informal drinking club. It has morphed into something else.
The informal motto of the organization is:

Which stands for: Fuck the mutts, protect the brothers, everyone goes home, remember fallen brothers, keep the faith, do the right thing.

Officially, they say that FTM means "for the men"  but that is just for public consumption. Here is how they define a "mutt."
A "Mutt" is someone or thing that will abuse and mistreat a Firefighter. This can be the City, the Mayor, the Chief in Charge, the habitual caller, or the homeless Person who starts a fire and leaves.

These are people that have never crawled down a hall or made the last room in an effort to do their job. If they can't get the job done today well maybe next week will do.

If we don't get the job done people might die and our brother and sister might also die. So we always lay it on the line and leave a little behind at every fire. I say that in a dark smoky hallway I can't tell the race, creed or sex of my fellow firefighter, I just know that they are with me. I don't care who or what you are as long as you are a firefighter and want to protect your brothers and sisters.
This is an alarming trend in public safety: the police and fire personnel are looking at everyone else as if they are the enemy. I have seen the initials for this motto being posted more and more among my firefighting friends, and it alarms me.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

That's 2,996 deaths of people, and one death of a nation.

I know that this is the day when we are supposed to reflect on what happened on that day, twelve years ago and mourn for the passing of our fellow countrymen. I remember clearly where I was that day. I was on duty, assigned to engine 2. It was a pleasant, sunny day. We were checking and performing maintenance on our assigned 850 fire hydrants, a project that takes about eight weeks every fall. Our Battalion Chief called us on the radio, and told us to stop working, return to the station, and turn on the television. That got our attention, as he had never once told us to stop working. Heck, he normally spent most of his day trying to figure out how to get us to work harder, or so it seemed.

We got back to the station just in time to see the second plane strike the towers. As soon as we saw this, we all knew that this was a terrorist attack. We saw as trapped victims leaped from windows to their deaths, rather than face the flames. Then the first tower collapsed. We all watched as the firefighters kept running in, even though we all knew that it was likely that the second tower would collapse as well. Each of us wondered if we would have the courage to do what the rescuers of New York did that day. Until you are faced with certain death, it is hard to know how you will react. A police officer, armed with a submachine gun, arrived at the station and rode with us for the remainder of the day.

What we should be mourning today is the death of a free nation. The terrorists killed it that morning. The Patriot Act, TSA's warrantless searches at airports, shopping malls, sporting events, and even on the highways, the NSA spying, the establishment of secret prisons, secret courts, and secret searches of people's homes all began on that day. Sure, there were people who had sought these powers before that day, but it was people's fears of further attacks that were used to destroy the freedoms that made America what it was.

What made America special was the fact that we were, each of us, free individuals that were fiercely protective if individual liberties. The last of that spirit died when those towers fell. Now we are neither free, nor are we safe, except we are now using our military to protect the very organization that slaughtered our countrymen and our freedom. We stand in line to be searched at the airport, when we go to public gatherings, and when we drive on the highway. Our electronic communications are monitored, and our homes searched at the whim of authorities, without even the benefit of a warrant. Our police organizations are more heavily armed than many nations' military forces.

From where I am standing, it looks like Al Qaeda won the war. That is what I mourn: that my fellow countrymen died in vain.

Commas matter

Like I told you before:

Beggars and force

From the Bayou Renaissance Man, we have a report of a new tactic in begging for money: The beggar opens your car door while you are sitting at a stop light. Let's take a minute to review the applicable Florida law:
Statute 812.133 defines carjacking as taking a car from the custody of another using force, violence, assault, or putting in fear. The statue then states that carjacking is a felony of the first degree.

Statute 776.08 is a list of forcible felonies, which includes carjacking, robbery, and any other felony that includes the use or threat of force.

Statute 776.013 states that a person is presumed to be in reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily harm if another person is in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering an occupied vehicle, or is attempting to remove someone from a vehicle against their will. It further states that a person who unlawfully and by force enters or attempts to enter a person’s dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle is presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence. I would also point out that this statute also defines a vehicle as any conveyance, whether or not motorized, which is designed to transport people or property. It seems to me then, that this law also allows the use of deadly force to prevent one's removal from a skateboard, bicycle, or any similar device.

Thus, it seems to me that a person that walks up to your car and opens the door is in the process of unlawfully entering your occupied vehicle, and deadly force would be lawful under Florida law. Of course, I am not a lawyer, and even if I were, there is no guarantee that you will not face the same fate as George Zimmerman.

Sunday, September 8, 2013


The Orlando Naval Training Center was responsible for training hundreds of thousands of sailors in the 30 years that it was one of the three recruit training centers for the US Navy. During the years of 1968-1998, there were many service schools located there with the recruit training center. Torpedomen, signalmen, and nuclear power plant operators all trained here.

I myself attended boot camp, electrician's mate "A" school, and nuclear power school here in 1986.

All of that came to an end in 1998, when the Navy decided to close the facility and give the land to the City of Orlando. The city tore down the classrooms, dorms, and other buildings. In its place, the city sold some of it to developers, who in turn made it into an exclusive luxury housing community. 55 acres of it was made into a park.
Then the city decided to put a middle school in the area, made up of portable classrooms. Wouldn't it have been more cost effective to use the buildings that were already there?

Here is one of the buildings that was torn down:

Waste. It's easier when you are spending other people's money.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The UN weighs in

With all of the atrocities that have happened in the world in the last two years, the United Nations has decided that George Zimmerman is the target of their scrutiny. Yesterday, the UN issued a demand that the Obama Administration do something about Zimmerman.

What is more disturbing is the cherry picking that our own government does:

According to the 2011 US Department of Justice Hate Crime Statistics, 71.9 per cent of the total number of victims of hate crimes reported to the nation’s law enforcement agencies were victims of an offender’s anti-black bias.

You know why?

Because this is not considered a hate crime, neither is this, or this, neither is this, this isn't either.

The UN article DOES go on to say:
 In a 2012 survey, the local non-governmental organization Malcolm X Grassroots Movement found that at least 136 unarmed African Americans were killed by police, security guards and self-appointed vigilantes over the course of a single year.
  To insinuate that this shooting was somehow related to the cops being racist, and not the fact that he was a violent criminal that was shot while attacking police.

Fuck the UN

More hating on Zimmerman

Shellie Zimmerman wants a divorce, and the press is all over it. I can't blame her. Her husband's life is ruined, and anyone that is associated with him has no future, either. The press will keep him under the microscope and will ensure that anything he does is fully documented. After all, the linked story even attempts to make hay out of the fact that he was pulled over twice for speeding, and I guess that somehow proves that he is not a nice person.

What do I take out of this story? His wife, who is divorcing him, doesn't have many nice things to say about him. So what? How many ex-wives have nice things to say about their ex-husbands? The article states that she alleges that the marriage is "irretrievably broken" but fails to mention that this phrase is required in Florida divorce cases. A divorce will not be granted by the state of Florida, unless one of the following conditions is met:
  • The marriage is irretrievably broken
  • One of the parties is mentally incapacitated. 
 The thing here is that the press and the anti-gun establishment (I am being redundant, here) will not be happy unless this man's life is destroyed. They take great pleasure in any misfortune that befalls anyone that defends themselves from a violent predator.

She wants a life insurance policy on George, naming her as the beneficiary. Why? Because she knows that he will likely be killed as soon as the New Black Panther Party, or some other similar organization, finds out where he is. A suspicious person would suspect that she might even tell them his location, once the policy is in place.

The rest of the divorce is pretty standard stuff: division of assets, restriction on selling or disposing of assets while the divorce is pending, etc. Of course, she will also have to split the marital debts, as well. I am guessing that they are both insolvent.

Either way, the behavior here of the press and the people out to persecute him is despicable.

The Oxford Comma

This is just plain funny:

Friday, September 6, 2013

Close call

On Monday, I decided to spend the afternoon at Universal Studios. As usual, I was carrying a weapon. In this case, I was carrying a S&W M&P Shield, a 9mm handgun, in an inside the waistband holster on my right side. We arrived at Universal around 2 in the afternoon, and left at about 8 o'clock.We decided to stop at a Hibachi grill that is directly across the street from the Universal parking garage, a place called Kobe Steakhouse. We left there at about 10:00.

Being September in Central Florida, it has been rather hot and humid as of late, and so I decided to stop at the Walgreen's pharmacy next door for some Gatorade. I checked out and left. While we were there, I noticed some rather unsavory characters entering the store. Here is a picture of one of them:

I would have been more suspicious, but I was recently told that wearing a hoodie and hiding your face when it is 85 degrees outside with 85% humidity is a fashion statement, so I just left. It turns out that those two men robbed the place and pistol whipped the clerk.

 I missed becoming the next nationally known racist by a minute or two. The best way to survive a gunfight is not to be in one, and that was a close call.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Recently, I posted about the 18 year old woman that is being charged with Lewd and Lascivious behavior for having sexual relations with an underaged girl. This week, the Washington Post ran an editorial that takes the position that we should revisit that law. The Conservatives are up in arms about it, but I think it is valid that we take a look at laws periodically, to make sure that they still accomplish what they are intended to.

After all, the purpose of the law is to make sure that adults are not victimizing children, and I fully support that. After all, we cannot have teachers and family members using their advanced intellect and maturity to prey upon children. Where I think the law needs to be looked at, especially in Florida, is that the child's promiscuity, or the accused adult's belief that the child was of age, cannot be used as a defense.

For example: You meet a woman at a bar. The bar clearly has a sign at the door that reads "No one under 18 admitted." There is a bar employee checking ID at the door. A woman buys the two of you a drink, and you see the bartender card her when she buys it. You wind up leaving the bar with her, and things escalate to the point where she spends the night at your apartment, where you have sex. Later, it turns out that the girl was 15 years old, and was using a fake ID.

Under Florida law, you cannot even mention that fact in your defense. Why is that? The law in Florida says:

794.021 Ignorance or belief as to victim’s age no defense.When, in this chapter, the criminality of conduct depends upon the victim’s being below a certain specified age, ignorance of the age is no defense. Neither shall misrepresentation of age by such person nor a bona fide belief that such person is over the specified age be a defense.

Far fetched? That is what happened to Morris Williams, a case that I have blogged in the past. This girl:

Was only 13 years old in this picture, a picture that she used on her MySpace page in 2008 to claim that she was a 19 year old divorced woman. She doesn't look 13, does she? Williams had sex with her, and he went to jail. he wasn't the first. A year earlier, another man was sent to jail for having sex with the same girl.

This is where we need to have a conversation: The purpose of the law is to protect the innocent from being preyed upon by the more experienced. What the law fails to address is what happens when the one doing the preying with all the experience is the child...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

You only had one job...

Some people are only worth minimum wage...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


A friend of mine worked an accident in Polk county over the weekend. Here is the news report of the accident. What I want you to note is that this was a T-bone collision of two vehicles, with the truck that ran the red light striking the Beetle on the driver's door. The truck flipped over and came to rest on its wheels. Of the 6 occupants of the two vehicles, three of them were wearing seat belts, but the three children not wearing restraints, two ten year olds and an eight year old, were the worst off. The two ten year olds were dead, and the eight year old is probably not going to live.

The message here is wear your seatbelts. Make your passengers wear them.

Sunday, September 1, 2013


This is unverified, but I just have to post this...

More job problems for paramedics

Here is an update to the problems with paramedic employment that I have been posting about for the last few weeks.

My girlfriend works for a large ambulance company. One of the things this company does, is provide first aid personnel to local venues that need EMS personnel standing by. One of these venues is very popular amongst the EMS personnel, as the job entails standing around and watching events the people normally pay large amounts of money to attend, and it beats riding around all night in an ambulance, tending to homeless drug abusers.

Anyway, my girlfriend has been assigned working events at this venue for the past year. Last month, her employer decided that you needed to attend a special training session if you want to keep working at this venue. Her employer claims that the 4 hour class must be taken without pay. They claim that they can do this, because the class isn't mandatory- you don't have to take it if you don't want to, but they will just reassign you to the ambulance division.

I told her it is illegal, but the job market is so tight right now, she is going to take the class without pay rather than risk rocking the boat and losing her job.

That is what it is like to be a paramedic in Florida.