Saints of Malta

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LawDog

Cover sneak peek

No photo description available.

So, later this month Raconteur Press will be re-releasing the original LawDog Files. 

Not only will the cover be new, but we’re pulling out the shift reports that no-one liked and replacing them with some of the philosophical mutterings I have done over the years. Also, I think a couple of stories that I somehow missed putting in the original edition will be in this one.

If there’s enough attention for this release, we’ll consider re-releasing African Adventures.

I hope y’all enjoy it.

LawDog

Batten down the hatches

Well, what I was worried about with the fundraiser has come to fruition — a local reporter has connected my internet/author persona and my real life self. And is writing a story about the case, and the response to it.

Sigh. I knew the veil betwixt my internet/author persona and my real life was thin, but Lord …

Stand-by for an influx of new readers. Hopefully not the deluge from the Nordstream posts. Not sure I’m up to handling two such avalanches.

Anyhoo, welcome new readers. Just above this you should see a black bar with some links, I suggest starting with “Best Of The LawDog Files”. I’m most known for the Pink Gorilla Suit Story, and the Mr Johnson Story.

I do curate the comment section. If you are here to call me names, suggest innuendo, or the like, please be advised that I’ve heard it all — particularly over the last two years — and I’m really just numb to it at this point. Which means that I’ll just mentally grade your comment for grammar and punctuation, then delete it. If I see you more than once, I’ll add you to the Blacklist function, and drive on.

This is an old-timer blog in Internet terms, and I have a lot of regulars in the comments; so if you have questions about the in-jokes — and there are a lot of them — just ask, and someone will probably explain it to you.

If you are interested in the writing part, upcoming anthology releases are in the link under “Raconteur Press”, and scattered randomly on the blog. Other authors you should be reading are found under “Links”.

Speaking of writing, if you want to buy my books, please don’t buy “The LawDog Files” or “The LawDog Files: African Adventures” — the ones offered new on Amazon are from a pirate site and I’m not getting paid for them. I’m working on fixing that.

Meanwhile, you can find all the stories from both those books here on the blog, until such time as I re-release those books under my own imprint. Read them for free.

If you absolutely, positively have to buy a book, please consider getting “Can’t Go Home Again“. My story is the very last one, and a lot of the authors are donating the proceeds to PTSD organisations. It would mean a lot to me.

So, welcome, and take a look around,

LawDog

Next anthology cover … and a surprise

Space Cowboys will launch on 24 FEB 2023 — however …

I’m driving into work when my phone bings. It is a message from Herder of Cats, Assistant Instigator-in-Training, 3rd Mom of the Apocalypse. It says, merely:

“So, Space Cowboys … have you seen the folder yet?”

Oh, bugger. Of course we only got four or five stories. Damn it, damn it, damn it. I call, “Kortnee, I’ve got two or three people who are promising me stories within the next few days. That should be enough.”

“Oh, that’s not the problem. That’s not the problem at all.”

I’m a little perplexed, “Ok?”

She giggles. This is a Bad Sign. “Have you looked in the folder?”

“Not in a week or two. Oh, [deleted], did it delete???”

“Oh, no. There are 17 stories in there.”

“…”

“… what?”

“Yeah, we’ve got seventeen stories, plus there will be the normal stragglers.”

“… Oh.”

“So, how do you feel about Space Cowboys, part 2?”

Blink.

All right, then. Space Cowboys will still launch on 24 Feb 23. Space Cowboys 2 (Electric Boogaloo Rodeo) will launch two weeks later on 10 Mar 23.

New deadline will be 01 FEB 2023, so if you’ve got a short story about cowboys and space, send it in.

Now I’ve got to get another cover.

CEDAR!

LawDog

Testing, testing.

Ok, looks like we’re back up.

Good lord.

Not perzackly sure yet, but the initial shufti seems to indicate that both Instalanches, plus PJMedia, plus American Thinker, plus HotAir, plus Legal Insurrection, plus DailyKOS, plus …

… apparently every Russian media outlet on the planet …

… smoke-checked the 250 Gigabyte data limit on my host.

I appreciate the enthusiasm for something I just threw together (apparently the DailyKOS writer wasn’t impressed with my writing style), but bloody damnation, guys.

Thankfully I have the absolute best Gentle Readers in the blogosphere, because they crowd-funded an upgrade with a quickness.

So. Looks like we’re back.

LawDog

Meditations on Social Media

The recent stint of Internet notoriety has given me some fodder for navel gazing — particularly on the subject of “social media”.

I put that term in scare quotes, because I’m not really sure there’s all that much “social” in the “media”.

When Instapundit linked me (the first time. Oy.) I discovered this had happened from texts I received on my phone — the first several of which were variations on the theme of: “You’ve been linked at Insty — don’t read the comments!”

That got me to thinking the last several days: How many times have you heard advice along the lines of “Comment sections are toxic”, “Don’t read the comments”, or something similar?

Herself recently published a novella, her first work longer than a short story, and the advice she received from literally (and I use that word properly) everyone was “Don’t read the comments!”

Having some books up on Goodreads … yeah. If you don’t have a thick skin, stay away from the comment section on anything you publish, but — honestly — the trolls over at Goodreads are fairly tame to some of the of folks who showed up here from Instapundit.

I posted a hypothesis. Simple musings — nothing that is likely to change the future of nations, crack open a can of sunshine, steal bread from the mouths of widows and orphans, or influence World leaders in any way, shape, or form — but sweet shivering Shiva you’d think I’d fed baby Jesus feet-first into a woodchipper on live TeeVee.

The level of vitriol and outright anger from complete strangers — folks for whom a random hypothesis on a nothing little blog could not possibly have any effect upon in any way … I know that large crowds of people are dumb, vicious, and panicky, but damn.

I’ve long been of the opinion that future textbooks are going to put the 21st century’s experimentation with “social media” in the same Good Ideas chapter as lead-based paint, asbestos ceiling tiles, and radium lollipops.

“Social media” is designed –purposely so — to maximize dopamine reactions in users at least in part by driving an emotional reaction, rather than a logical one. (Emotions drive dopamine levels much higher than logic does), and in the process, social media encourages short quips, rather than dialogue; and bumper sticker simplicity, rather than the fullness of debate.

And I think the anger so easily seen in the comment sections at the big sites is showing in society as a whole. Has anyone else noticed an increase in destructive emotional responses in the public spaces over the last three or four years, or is it just me?

Used to be I went heavy into Wal-Mart just because there was a pretty good chance I’d run across a critter I’d had professional dealings with — these days I’m less worried about the professional dirtbags, and more worried about Joe Citizen missing out on the last case of bog paper, and attempting to beat random people with a shopping cart in response.

Last week a video crossed the transom in which a suburban middle-aged male assaulted a sixteen-year-old kid for the sin of … fishing in a public place. The attitude of the man who should have been an elder to an act that — even if it had been in violation of a law — merited at most a call to the local constabulary, his attitude was vicious and way over the top.

More and more these explosive outbursts of violence are cropping up — and I know that things are tense right now, but I can’t help but wonder if the metaphorical violence that we default to on “social media” is being reflected in meat-space.

And I am by no means innocent of this. I’ve been looking over my Twitter feed and my Facebook page, and some of these interactions I’ve had with people don’t make me proud of myself.

I think I probably need to spend more time writing — on this blog, and on my books — more time drinking tea on the porch with a book, and less time on “social media” and various “comment sections”.

Y’all might consider shutting off Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in favour of a good book a little more often.

Just a suggestion.

LawDog

I’d like y’all to do me a favour.

While I’ve got a lot of attention, I’d like to ask a favour:

Some time back Cedar Sanderson engaged in a project that was near and dear to her heart — an anthology about PTSD. She wanted this one to be different, and it is.

It is a collection of stories about hope.

Sadly, hope is something that is missing in a lot of PTSD-related stuff; and she — all the authors — wanted stories that would show those suffering from PTSD that there is a light at the end of the tunnel; and to give those with loved ones with PTSD some small insight into what their loved ones were going through.

She gently noodged me for a story, and I finally submitted one. It is the last one in the book, and I haven’t read it since I finished the last sentence, and emailed it in.

Anyway, I figure that as long as folks are noticing me, I might as well do something with that notice. Please consider buying this book; or pointing it towards someone who might need this book.

Several of the authors are donating any royalties from its sale to PTSD charities, so there’s that, also.

Thank you.

LawDog

Time for Le Grand Volant*

*The Great Flounce. (I have no idea of that’s accurate French — I used Google Translate.)

We have a massive influx of new Gentle Readers, and while I know that most of them are drive-by commentators, some will stick around. Of the ones who stick around, a small minority of them will suddenly figure out that I’m not who they thought I was based on one article (or two, I over-achieved this time), will post comments calling me a [Insert Group Someone Doesn’t Like Here] before flouncing angrily.

So, let’s go ahead and get that out of the way, shall we?

I’m LawDog, your host. I am American by birth — both of my parents were American citizens — and just happened to be born overseas. My father was an oil engineer, so I was raised in Africa and the Middle East by my parents and a large number of ex-pat petroleum and military types.

I am a dilettante in the study of History, did a brief stint in the U.S. military, and recently retired from 20+ years in Texas law enforcement. Those three things mean that I believe that any interactions between people are complex on multiple levels,  any attempt to boil social issues down to a simple bumper sticker is incorrect, and leads to more issues than it sought to correct.

TL;DR: My opinions on hot-button social and political topics are complicated, and tend to annoy people on both sides. You’ve been warned.

I am massively cynical towards politics, government, and the actions of large groups of people; and romantic enough to believe in the innate goodness of individual human beings.

For this reason I don’t discuss religion here — although fanaticism is fair game. Abortion falls under the ‘religion’ category, and my stance on that subject is simple: It is way too complicated, morally and ethically; and so as long as my DNA or my money isn’t involved I don’t have an opinion. Now, if my money is involved, then I figure you just paid for my opinion — and you probably don’t want that. And that’s as much discussion as we will have on that matter.

See? Told you that I tend to annoy both sides.

I believe that Washington DC should be limited to the grounds of the White House, the grounds of the Capitol and the Supreme Court, and the National Mall, along with the actual thoroughway of the streets directly connecting all of the above. All other land in that wretched hive of scum and villainy should be immediately returned to the States who donated the land to begin with.

I believe that no lawyer should be allowed within 500 nautical miles of the nation’s capitol; that we the people have been (and still are) investing Way Too Much power in an imperial Presidency, and that we should knock that bushwa off. I also believe that Congress has been abdicating too much of their responsibility to the Supreme Court, and likewise should knock it off.

I remain convinced that the second greatest indictment of the American educational system is the simple fact that the average high school graduate is incapable of clearing and safeing the AR15/M16 weapon platform; and that the greatest sin of the educational system is that most graduates can’t correctly identify a phrase as belonging to the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States, and you have no idea how cross that makes me. 

Leftism annoys me to no end, and causes me to break out in in fits of articulate vituperation. Leftism is a religion I will happily eviscerate on this blog, mainly due to the fact that Leftism has to get way too involved in everyone’s business. Well, that and the fact that the tax rate required for Leftist policies to fail at a slower rate than they should mean that I can’t buy more things that Leftists hate.

Speaking of Leftism, the United Nations gives a me massive case of the hips. I remain firmly of the belief that the US Marine Corps should be employed to heave everything in the UN building onto the deck of a US Navy aircraft carrier, hauled to Port au Prince, Mogadishu, Aden, or any other 3rd world hell-hole, to be heaved off the deck onto the dock by the same US Marines. Turtle Bay should then be leveled and converted to a free trade port. Or a theme park. Or the world’s largest gun store, booze emporium, tobacco shop, and cat house.

If you want to have a United Nations, that’s fine, just have it somewhere else.

I hunt, and I fish. I remain firmly of the belief that our ancestors didn’t fight their way to the top of the Paleolithic ecosystem just to not eat meat. Although if a guest in my home is a vegetarian, I will happily cook them a veggie meal, and I have no beef (pun intended) with vegetarians, or vegans, as long as they leave me alone with my medium-rare sirloin.

Hmm. I think that ought to give folks some idea of what they’re getting in to.

I write. Mostly short stories these days, but there are a couple of books out there; and I publish anthologies of stories from other authors. You should buy them.

If you’re morbidly fascinated by this whole thing, and (God help you) are interested in more — Jim Curtis (OldNFO) and I do a livestream on YubTub twice weekly, usually called “Live From The Blanket Fort”. Tuesday at Noon US Central Time, and Thursdays at 1500 Central Time.

I must warn you: when not on here I swear like a Newhaven fishwife. “Live From The Blanket Fort” is definitely NC-17 rated. We don’t usually have a subject, we just ramble; and the audience is fond of little games like, “We Broke LawDog Again”, “How Many Minutes Until The First Swear Word”, and “There’s The Accent.” 

The audience also gets the giggles from the fact that I fidget when I’m nervous — and doing the livestream makes me very nervous — and winding me up for a rant.

You probably shouldn’t watch it — you’ve been warned.

I’m also a member of the North Texas Troublemakers — a loosely affiliated group of creatives in, and around, the Lone Star State. If you could support some of them by way of buying their stuff, we’d all be grateful.

Y’all be safe,

LawDog