Well, that’s that.

It seems that Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti got a personal audience with God a couple of hours ago courtesy of a short drop and a sudden stop.

Methinks the interview probably didn’t go the way ol’ Saddam might have hoped.

Say what you will, the world is a tiny bit cleaner today.


Ye Gods and little fishies

Well, time for a bit of a Christmas update.

I spent the evening of the 24th in the Emergency Room with my first ever strep throat.

Since I am, well, me I was ignoring what I thought was an irritating little sore throat.

Turns out that this may not be the best course of action when your “minor sore throat” is, in fact, a “strep throat”.

Seems that strep bugs tend to take being ignored somewhat personally — and will do all manner of unpleasant things to get ones’ attention. In my case, they picked up camp and relocated into my lungs.

This is a Bad Thing, friends and neighbors. Trust me on this one. It does tend to get your attention, though.

Christmas Day was thoroughly, if somewhat woozily, enjoyable. Many gifts were exchanged, and I have come into possession of several novels in Philip McCutchan’s Halfhyde series, a slow cooker, and other sundries.

Another, albeit unexpected, gift came on Christmas Eve by way of somewhere in Indiana, and was my 200,000th visitor. Merry Christmas and thank you.

The LawDog Files haven’t even been around a full year yet, but people have dropped by 200,000 times just to read my little scribblings.

That is very humbling. Again, I thank you all.

After much swearing, throwing of items and fervent sacrifices to the Magic Elf Box, I think I have discovered the secret of adding links. I hope.

New to my Link section should be A Day In The Life of An Ambulance Driver, and long-time Gentle Reader Diamond Mair. Go by and wish them a Happy New Year, if you would.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, and I wish you all a Happy New Year.


Merry Christmas

Heap on more wood! – the wind is chill;
But let it whistle as it will,
We’ll keep our Christmas merry still.
Each age has deem’d the new-born year
The fittest time for festal cheer:
Even, heathen yet, the savage Dane
At Iol more deep the mead did drain;
High on the beach his galleys drew,
And feasted all his pirate crew;
Then in his low and pine-built hall
Where shields and axes deck’d the wall
They gorged upon the half-dress’d steer;
Caroused in seas of sable beer;
While round, in brutal jest, were thrown
The half-gnaw’d rib, and marrow-bone:
Or listen’d all, in grim delight,
While Scalds yell’d out the joys of fight.
Then forth, in frenzy, would they hie,
While wildly loose their red locks fly,
And dancing round the blazing pile,
They make such barbarous mirth the while,
As best might to the mind recall
The boisterous joys of Odin’s hall.

And well our Christian sires of old
Loved when the year its course had roll’d,
And brought blithe Christmas back again,
With all his hospitable train.
Domestic and religious rite
Gave honour to the holy night;
On Christmas Eve the bells were rung;
On Christmas Eve the mass was sung:
That only night in all the year,
Saw the stoled priest the chalice rear.
The damsel donn’d her kirtle sheen;
The hall was dress’d with holly green;
Forth to the wood did merry-men go,
To gather in the mistletoe.
Then open’d wide the Baron’s hall
To vassal, tenant, serf and all;
Power laid his rod of rule aside
And Ceremony doff’d his pride.
The heir, with roses in his shoes,
That night might village partner choose;
The Lord, underogating, share
The vulgar game of ‘post and pair’.
All hail’d, with uncontroll’d delight,
And general voice, the happy night,
That to the cottage, as the crown,
Brought tidings of salvation down.

The fire, with well-dried logs supplied,
Went roaring up the chimney wide;
The huge hall-table’s oaken face,
Scrubb’d till it shone, the day to grace,
Bore then upon its massive board
No mark to part the squire and lord.
Then was brought in the lusty brawn,
By old blue-coated serving-man;
Then the grim boar’s head frown’d on high,
Crested with bays and rosemary.
Well can the green-garb’d ranger tell,
How, when, and where, the monster fell;
What dogs before his death to tore,
And all the baiting of the boar.
The wassel round, in good brown bowls,
Garnish’d with ribbons, blithely trowls.
There the huge sirloin reek’d; hard by
Plum-porridge stood, and Christmas pie;
Nor fail’d old Scotland to produce,
At such high tide, her savoury goose.
Then came the merry makers in,
And carols roar’d with blithesome din;
If unmelodious was the song,
It was a hearty note, and strong.
Who lists may in their mumming see
Traces of ancient mystery;
White shirts supplied the masquerade,
And smutted cheeks the visors made;
But, O! what maskers, richly dight,
Can boast of bosoms half so light!
England was merry England, when
Old Christmas brought his sports again.
‘Twas Christmas broach’d the mightiest ale;
‘Twas Christmas told the merriest tale;
A Christmas gambol oft could cheer
The poor man’s heart through half the year.

–Sir Walter Scott

Merry Christmas, everyone!


A good book.

Yesterday I was gifted with a book written by one of my Gentle Readers named Kelly Grayson.

Mr. Grayson is a paramedic over in Louisiana, and has written a book concerning his adventures — and misadventures — called Life, Death and Everything in Between: A Paramedic’s Memoirs.

This book is funny, sad, thought-provoking, realistic, sensitive and chock-full of gallows humour. I stayed up well past midnight reading it, and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who is in Public Service or thinking of running with ambulances.


Intermittent blogging

I’d like to apologize for the intermittent blogging here of late. The holiday season is hell on cops, plus Nana and ordinary-people holiday stuff — I’ve been falling a bit behind.

I promise that the posting rate will return to normal once Target-Rich-Environment Season is over.


Blimey! I’ve been sussed!

I have just discovered that I am a fool.


This is the stated opinion of one Joseph Rago, who writes a column for the Wall Street Journal.

Bloggers and Blog World were the topic of today’s column, and young Joey apparently holds blogs — and their readers — somewhat in contempt.

I believe the actual quote is:
“The Blog Mob

Written by fools to be read by imbeciles”

I would link to the actual article, but I have come to the conclusion that — since I blog and therefore am a fool — that maybe the Wall Street Journal is a little too high-falutin’ for this poor fool. Thus, no more links and no more subscription.

I find it somewhat incongruous for a professed journalist to be throwing around the title of ‘fool’ so carelessly. There are an estimated fifty million blogs throughout the World Wide Web.

50,000,000 individual sites showing prose, pieces, sonnets, exposes, poetry, string-of-consciousness rants, stories and even some fairly respectable journalism.

Are some blogs foolish? Some people may find certain subjects foolish, while others find the same subject endlessly fascinating — who is to define what exactly a ‘fool’ is?

Yet, here is a journalist, happily tarring all fifty million blogs as the work of ‘fools’.

It must be nice to be so certain of a thing, to be so convinced that fifty million things you’ve not read yet — and shall never read — are ‘foolish’.

All fifty million, hmm?


Now, I don’t claim to be an expert — indeed, according to Mr. Rago I am naught but a fool — but as I read the piece authored by Joey Rago, I am struck by a mental image of the Main Stream Media playing the part of Rome, while the Visigoth bloggers happily scale the city walls.

Like Rome, Joseph Rago and the rest of the Main Stream Media are convinced that non-journalist Visigoth types should remember the glory days of years past — and ignore the current incarnation, which, more often than not, involves partisanship, irrelevance, lies, scandal and corruption.

We should, they pontificate, Trust The Media — because everyone knows that the media back in the Golden Age was noble, pure of heart and had only our Best Interests At Heart.

Mr. Rabo reminds me of a Roman noble, standing in the middle of a sacked and flaming Rome, shouting that the Visigoths are fools and imbeciles for even daring to challenge Rome — while those very same Visigoth bloggers run past him carrying off the household silver and his daughters.


Oh, well. It’s fun to watch.


Now we discover what the Bulgarians are made of.

In 1999 five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor were arrested in Benghazi, Libya and charged with deliberately infecting 426 children with the AIDS virus.

In 2004 a trial was held which, quite frankly, strained credulity to the breaking point. Evidence that showed the children were infected before the six accused came to Libya — possibly years before — was ignored.

Evidence that showed that the children were most probably infected due to non-existent hygiene standards and Third World sanitation conditions prior to the arrival of the accused was ignored.

The fact that some or all of the ‘confessions’ were extracted by way of torture was ignored.

The statement of Colonel/Brotherly-Leader-and-Guide-of-the-Revolution Khadaffi that the strain of AIDS the children were infected with was developed by either the CIA or MOSSAD and the accused gave it to the children as an experiment was — apparently — taken as Gospel.

Although he did generously offer to drop the charges for a sum of $10 million per infected child.

After the ‘Guilty’ verdict in 2004, the European Union, the USA and the United Nations threw a hissy-fit of Biblical proportions and threatened not to invite the Libyans to any more parties.

Since Khadaffi didn’t see any money or other inducements heading his way, a re-trial was announced.

So. Last night the new trial — again ignoring every bit of exculpatory evidence — found the medicos ‘Guilty’ and sentenced them to death by firing squad.

The Bulgarian President and Prime Minister released a statement “rejecting the ruling and questioning the fairness of the trial.”

Well, no [deleted], Sherlock.

EU Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini voiced “great disappointment” at the sentence and warned that it could harm Libya’s efforts to improve ties with Europe.

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy deplored the court decision and urged the Libyan legal authorities to “show clemency”.

The World Medical Association and International Council of Nurses is apparently “appalled by the ruling”.


While we here at Rancho LawDog — being more than familiar with the good Colonel — are not in the least surprised by this new ruling, the sheer nutlessness of the international response is mildly annoying.

What the hell did you honyocks expect? Fairness and justice in a Libyan trial? Did you fall off the turnip truck last night, or was it early this morning?

Personally, I like my countries to be a bit more than “disappointed” in these kinds of cases. “Appalled” doesn’t quite cut the mustard, either. “Angry” works, although “pissed-off”, “enraged” and “furious” are more to my liking.

This must be the ‘civilization’ that the UN and the EU keep bleating about. A jumped-up tin-pot Third World Dictator with delusions of adequacy and a full-blown Napoleon complex jams up five of your folks with not one, but two kangaroo trials — and you release a statement in which you question the fairness of the bushwa court proceedings.


This is why you have special forces units full of knuckle-dragging monsters.

Since the Bulgarian Special Forces are thoroughly grounded in the old USSR Spetsnaz doctrine and tactics, I would imagine they are perfectly capable of wandering into the Tripoli Central Prison at about 0400 local time and removing their nurses whilst leaving a bit of a message behind.

Emphasis on the “mess”.

But, what do I know — I’m just an uncivilized, uncultured, barbaric Texan.


Edit: It seems that I have erred in calling the inhabitants of Bulgaria “Bulgars”. The error has been corrected.


Sweet Shivering Shiva! Squeals! Everywhere! (part one)

They broke me. I can’t stand being made to wait five bloody days just to buy a sodding firearm any more.

“Instant Check” my furry arse.

So, I have taken the Texas Concealed Handgun License course in order to by-pass that miserable excuse for mass public self-gratification that leftist politicians piously refer to as the “NICS Instant Check” and I maintain is a bureaucratic way to legally reduce LawDog to a second-class citizen.

Where was I? Oh, yes. I’m here to tell you, I have received an education.

Probably not the one intended, but an education none-the-less.

And I have Reno as a witness to this, by Gawd.

Where to start?

In this class was a young man who had completely shaved his head and who took every question posed to the class by the instructor as an opportunity to divulge not only the fact that he was in the Army, but that he was an Iraq War veteran.

This kid was somewhat taller than me, and running what Reno estimated to be about 300 pounds. I call it 320, myself.

I had no idea that Iraq was located in “a unique geographical location which caused the moon to only come out six nights each month.”

This tidbit of trivia was after Ricky Rambunny announced that since there was no electricity in Baghdad, there were no electric lights on, so Night Vision equipment was useless.

However, opined young Rambunny, the uselessness of NVG’s was off-set by the fact that you could simply stay in a black room for an hour or so, and your eyes would be adapted enough to see.

An incredulous Reno asked, “So … dark-adapted eyes are enough to see at night, but night vision gear is worthless?”

Yes, replieth our Squeal, who proceeded to expound on the unique location of Iraq which only allowed the moon to appear for six days each month.

This was followed by the story of Rambunny falling twenty feet off of a misplaced fast rope, but heroically climbing to his feet to kick in the door — “so he wouldn’t let down his buddies”.

Personally, I figure if my butt had 400 pounds riding on it (320-pound Rambunny + 80 pounds of gear), and I just fell twenty feet — call a front-end loader to scrape up my screaming, weeping, sucking-my-thumb-and-shrieking-for-Mommy carcass and take me to the hospital — because the only thing I’m even going to consider kicking after that sort of incident is the bucket.

Either curious or appalled — I’m not sure which — I asked Young Rambunny what his MOS was. “Military Intelligence”, sayeth him. Goodness, sez I, what’s the the designation for your MOS and where’d you go to AIT?

“Some guys go to Huachuca, some go to Ft. Meade.”

Yes, but which one did you go to?

Rambunny discovered an urgent need to go to the class instructor and offer his services as an assistant — said need preventing him from answering my question, I might add.

Kee Riced All My Tea.

Not only did this twinkie have two — count ’em: two — folding knives in his trouser pockets, but he brought a ruck-sack to the firing range which had two fixed blade knives attached (one taped to the chest strap and one tied to the side of the ruck).

This ruck itself was a wonder. Brand new, not a speck of dirt or wear anywhere on it. For that matter, both of the knives riding on the ruck itself had pristine blades and totally unmarred Kydex sheaths.

Of course, in order to shoot, Rambunny had to ceremoniously don his Hatch Nomex Flight Gloves, black in colour (in use by professionals around the world!)


I would have been considerably more impressed with Young Rambunny if he’d been able to keep all of his shots on the target at ten yards.

Him loading an empty case into a female students magazine by mistake while trying to “help” her made an impression on me all right — probably not the one he was going for, though.

And when he told me that the EOTech holosights he used “in the sandbox” could be rotated on their mount to enable the operator to “see around corners”, I was floored.

The absolute worst part, though, was a tie between him: announcing that the tooling used by Beretta to make M92 barrels was only good for 250 barrels, after which they had to completely refit the factory; or him announcing that the M4 was better than the M16, because the M4 was lighter — so the bullets went faster.

I don’t know how many of my poor, innocent brain cells that man slaughtered during that misbegotten 10 hour class just by opening his cakehole.

Bad as that was, Rambunny was the comic relief.


Shooting the Crickett

The Crickett rifle that Reno ordered for his daughter came in.

Since Reno is a thoughtful father, it was, of course, necessary to take it the range and sight it in before being presented to the young lady on Christmas morn.

And before you ask: any firearm should be tested with at least 200 rounds. So we brought a 550 round brick of .22LR. Maybe two. I forget.

*scratch, scratch*

You know, you’d think that no one else has ever seen two gentlemen of the knuckle-dragging persuasion hunkered down with a spotting scope and a hot pink .22 rifle — properly sandbagged and resting on a benchmount.

The peep sight is a little coarse, but we got a 25 yard POA/POI good enough to reliably break clay pigeons.

Unfortunately, Reno has a scope mount on order, so when that comes in, we’ll have to do the whole “sighting-in” thing all over again. Forced to put another box of .22 through it.


Ah, well, the sacrifices one must make.

It’s a sweet little rifle — emphasis on the “little”. Had some teething problems with extracting empty cases, but we hit some burrs with a file and pretty much cleared that up.

I’d recommend the Crickett rifle for any parent who wants to give their little shooter that first rifle.