CES: Consumerism Enabling Stupid

Let me get this straight, (if that phrase that is still politically correct enough to be used in public). Millions of people would willingly sacrifice major organs and undergo painful experimental treatments to get out of a chair forced upon them by injury, disability, or disease. Now the idiots at #Segway want to put EVERYONE in chairs…

I thought them folks was ‘posed to be the “smart” ones. Guess they’d best go back to watching cartoons and leave problem solvin’ to the ijits.

 

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To be fair, if this device can benefit those in chairs for legitimate reasons, go forth and conquer, but I see this ending up like the horror from the movie WALL-E.

“We’re All In This Together Kid…”

What happens when Terry Gilliam of Monty Python’s Flying Circus fame takes on George Orwell’s classic 1984 ?

Brazil 

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Jonathan Pryce plays Sam Lowry, a bumbling shade of Orwell’s Winston, a man who actually enjoys being the smartest man in his little corner of the behemoth idiocratic government filled with paranoids, Party members, and quislings all sharing an obsession with tiny screens that play an endless parade of classic films, but absolutely nothing that could bring the actions of the government or society at large into question.

All is well and the Christmas season is in full swing when the swatting of a fly turns into the SWAT-ing of an innocent man who is arrested on suspicion of being a terrorist, and who dies while undergoing interrogation. The dead man has been erroneously charged for government expenses related to his own imprisonment and interrogation under a new program promoted as a way to ease the tax burden of the war on terror.

Sam Lowry gets sucked out of his comfortable shell when a refund check made out to the dead man arrives in his boss’s office. The refund means an error was made somewhere, and everyone is scrambling to avoid the blame. The error snowballs, with Sam trapped in the middle until he is accused of being a terrorist himself and ultimately lands in the interrogator’s chair.

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As a last act of desperation, Sam escapes into his last place of refuge, his fantasies.

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“He’s got away from us Jack.”

Most folks have their favorite holiday movie that has been watched so many times it has become a tradition to annoy their children and relatives with. “It’s a Wonderful Life”  with Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey is probably one of the most popular next to “Miracle on 34th Street“.

The prescience of Mr. Gilliam’s vision is far more apropos in the current climate of “cancellation”, “deplatforming”, the renewal of the Patriot Act, FBI officers committing fraud before the FISA court, the existence of the FISA court itself, out of control government spending, and the scorched earth politics of our times.

All of the madness is thinly hidden behind the tattered wrapping of the Holiday Season. The endless ongoing exchange of meaningless gifts by over-leveraged people playing a senseless game for years on end because its “tradition”. Its enough to drive one mad…

 

I cannot help dreaming of my own escape to a Happy Place…

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Brazil really IS a Christmas movie because it reminds me that even with all of the social unpleasantness and objectionable people one might encounter during the holiday season, we can always turn off the screens, walk away from the objectionables, and escape into a happy place with a good book.

If anyone knows a hungry literary agent, I have some great escapism just waiting to be published.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Lost Traveler – Five-Sixty, Where Wolfgang Pucked Up

Once in a lifetime experiences come in two forms. The first are things you only want/get to try once, and things you NEVER want to repeat. Five-Sixty by Wolfgang Puck Is definitely a combination of the two.

The occasion was the 18th birthday of the Amazon that lives at my house. The Mrs. wanted to gift her a really cool experience, and a rotating restaurant sitting atop Reunion Tower offering a genuine panoramic view of Big D seemed ideal.

The food was excellent. Starters were the “Texas Wagyu  Wontons” and “Tamarind Glazed Baby Back Ribs”. Both were tasty, but the ribs were the hands down faves. The Mrs. had the “Wok Fried Whole Red Snapper”. This presentation of this dish deserves a bit of elaboration. The fish is very lightly battered and fried. So lightly you can still see the red-orange color of the fish beneath the batter. Then the fillets are split from the dorsal side and the fish mostly deboned between the head and tail. The fish is placed belly-side down and the veggies ar inserted between the fillets. Absolutely beautiful. The Mrs. said she thoroughly enjoys it, and for those wondering, she only found five or six small bones. No problem for anyone who enjoys fish from places other than fast food outlets.

The Amazon and I each had the Szechuan Beef Filet “Au Poivre” serves with wild mushrooms. The fillets are seared with black pepper and served with thin sliced garlic and chilies on top. Nice bit of bite, but nothing to put one in discomfort.

The ladies shared a bowl of Crab Fried Rice from which your humble correspondent abstained because I know that eating seafood is the cause of all airline disaster films, and being a busy travel weekend, I did not want to put the flying public at additional risk. In any case, the rice was enjoyed with gusto.

The service was top-notch as is to be expected in an organization of this caliber. Josh and Jose were our team, and they made our evening. Since the service team knew we were celebrating a birthday, the Amazon’s baked Alaska arrived with a lit candle and “Happy Birthday” written on the plate in white icing. The Mrs. enjoyed a Mizo ice cream and Chocolate Mousse tort. Both dishes were well received.

Total tab for the three of us came to $325, again, in line with expectations. It was a once in a lifetime experience after all, and that brings me to the thing that insures I will never be in that restaurant again.

Five-Sixty is built inside a large glass cylinder. The glass observation windows are smooth reflective surfaces. The opposing walls are smooth wood paneling. The noise level in the restaurant was oppressive. My family could not hear one another speak across the table at a normal tone of voice, much less the subdued tones expected in a top-shelf restaurant. I was forced to lip-read Josh as he described the dishes on offer. and struggled to answer our questions. The result of this issue was my order for “Two Szechuan Beef Filets” was lost in translation as the Amazon and I would split a fillet. The meal was delivered accordingly, and once we politely yelled at each other loudly enough to get things sorted out, my filet was rushed through, and served with many effuse apologies.

I do not blame the service team in any way. It was simply the noise level in the place prevented my order from being herd correctly, and this is ridiculous because the restaurant was barely half-full.

A few white noise devices strategically placed would solve this problem. This is the same technology used in noise canceling headphones popular with air travelers. My employer uses them in our call center, and even during the height of activity two people can conduct a conversation in normal tone of voice, and be heard without disturbing others nearby.

So, visit Five-Sixty. Take your noise canceling headphone and some small white boards so you don’t have to keep asking for cocktail napkins to have a conversation until Wolfgang gets this un-Pucked.

Be safe out there!

Shoppers vs. Buyers

Apologies for the long drought in posts. Life has gotten in the way of writing.

During my unintended hiatus I have been doing a great deal of very nonscientific observation of conditions in the local economy.

The stock market is great! This is something we hear shouted from the rooftops of every news outlet. Ok. Maybe it is, but how does this help the little person? What is the real “hometown” street saying?

The artist in my life has been running out of room for her creations, and a co-worker told us about Second Saturday in McKinney, Texas. Most of the small towns that are now “suburbs” of Dallas and Fort Worth have begun promoting the remnants of their old down town business districts as shopping and dining destinations.

Part of this promotion effort includes festivals of various kinds. One of the better known is Grapefest in Grapevine, Texas. Another is famous is First Monday in Canton.

We chose to spend a Saturday in McKinney because that city allows artists to set up tables and peddle their wares for free. Our table held a variety of art pieces that have done well in the On My Own Time art contest sponsored by the North Texas Business Council for the Arts and other competitions in addition to pieces in similar styles.

We did not sell a thing. In fact, none of the people that passed by the table slowed down enough to ask about the price of an item. I can completely understand that the works on offer might not have appealed to the people, but I also noticed that even with a reasonable amount of foot traffic on the square, only 10-15% of the people were carrying shopping bags. Lots of people going in and out of the shops but nobody buying. Only he restaurants seemed to be actually doing any meaningful business.

Notice that “Black Friday” has been changed to “Black Halloween” this year? The holiday shopping season continues its trend of beginning earlier and earlier each year. The media is full of multi-billion dollar predictions, but the post holiday reports are barely whispered. If things are going so great,  why are the anchor stores abandoning malls and so many big chains closing locations? Looks like people are shopping, but nobody is buying.

Are you one of the lucky people who get the “We want to buy your car!” offers in the mail? My house gets about 6 a week. Why? The hot market is used vehicles now. Especially lease returns. The quiet word in the automotive industry is a huge backlog in new vehicles. A lot of “Your job is your credit,” and “Make $400 per week, then we can put you in the car you deserve…” ads are showing up on billboards and the radio. I expect the TV promotions in December to be completely over the top because the dealers have to move inventory. The 2007 sub-prime auto loans may come roaring back.

These observations have me wondering if the US consumer’s credit is completely tapped out. I have noticed a major drop in the number of credit cards offers coming in the mail. Credit must be getting tight, or the banks are expecting a sea change and are reducing their exposure to unsecured debt.

Even the People of Walmart seem to be cutting back. The stereotype is a person with an overflowing shopping cart, but these days the carts I have seen are less than half-full.

Pay attention as you go about your wanderings. Count the number of people in the store vs. the number of people that are actually buying anything. It’s creepy.

What if Black Friday came and everybody stayed home?

 

 

The Lost Traveler: “Somewhere, must be kolaches. I’m in Prague.”*

*To the Tune of Over the Rainbow.

I think West Texas has been pulling our lariats.

Ever since God create the Jackalope, a sign advertising the “Czech Stop” has stood along I-35 outside the town of West, Texas.

Yes, the town is really named “West”, and in the 1850’s the I-35 corridor would have been on the border of Comancheria (Home of the Comanche Empire), so that was about as far inland as European settlements encroached until the Parker family tragically set up shop a bit too far west, but I digress.

The claim to fame for West is a “Czech” bakery  that promotes their Czech ancestry, and does a land office business in a delightful form of yeast bread filled with fruit jam, cream cheese, or sausage called a kolache (“ko-LACH-ee” in the local dialect). More on this later.

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This year the Lost Traveler ventured to the homeland of the infamous kolache, the Czech Republic and its capital city Praha (aka Prague).

In all honesty, I was expecting another slog through the open sewer that most of Europe has become due to unchecked migration, social unrest, and general institutional decay. (For reference, see this post on the expedition to Greece.) I realize I could have stayed in the US, and seen exactly the same things in Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, L.A., San Francisco, on and on Ad Nausea, so don’t bother flaming me. You go somewhere new to get a break from the crap you live with every day. In this case, it worked.

Prague was a surrealistic shock. If Walt Disney had designed a prototypical western European city, this was it. I felt like I was suddenly back in 1983 when my best buddy and I spent two months on a drinking being’s tour of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands.

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Crossing Charles’ Bridge in Prague

The city was like a “Euroland” theme park full of spring breakers. Most tourists were friendly and well behaved. Just folks having a good time without public drunkenness and hooliganism associated with spring breakers.

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Old Town Square

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Astronomical Clock in Old Town Square

According to our guides, about 80% of the Czech economy is tourism, and based on the crowds, they are making some serious cash. The oddest thing we found was the inability to use credit cards except in hotels and some restaurants. Cash is definitely king, so plan accordingly.

Be wary of currency exchange offices that offer a 0% commission. By law, a currency exchange must provide a client with a receipt detailing the exchange rate and all fees related to the transaction. The client is supposed to sign the receipt at the time of the transaction, and the client has the right to return to the exchange within 3 hours and get their money back. The crooked places don’t follow these rules, and some of them will attempt to pass the client old Bulgarian currency in place of Czech, so make sure you know whose picture is supposed to be on the bank notes.

This four-day life experience began with the usual “Hop-on- Hop-off” bus ride  around the city. These bus tours are great. Plug in your ear buds and listen to a recorded audio track that talks about sights along the way. The main benefit of this type of tour is to orient yourself within the city as much as to help you find things/places you might want to visit. If something catches your attention, get off the bus, go see and do, then catch the next bus that comes along. Usually, there are multiple companies offering this service, so shop for the best deal. The company we chose included a 1-hour river tour that was more than worth the time.

Prague Castle holds several Guinness records for the largest occupied castle, and the longest seat of government among others.

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Cathedral at Prague Castle

Entry to the castle grounds is free. Some of the art exhibits and other buildings cost money. The Hop-on company offered a “free” guided tour provided by a great guy named Vaclav (That’s pronounced Vass-lav.) who was very well prepared, and like most Czechs, spoke excellent English. Many Czechs also gladly speak Russian, German, and other languages, so finding someone to ask directions from is not a problem.

We took in some small local curiosities at the insistence of the Amazon that lives at my house.

Prague floods every 6-8 years. One of our tour guides suggested skipping Prague in 2024 unless you have fins. As a result of these recurring floods, the street levels of the city have been raised several times. Instead of bringing in tons of fill, the new streets were built on top of the old streets and buildings resulting in catacombs that tourists can visit. The Prague “Underground” takes you though some of the old medieval homes and streets left over from previous centuries. During the second World War, the Czech resistance used these chambers to spy on the Nazis and a number of Jews survived the occupation living beneath the very feet of the SS soldiers. Warning: Some of the tunnels and stairs are very rough. This is not a tour for folks with mobility issues.

Alchemy  is an offshoot on the Natural Philosophy movement of the Renaissance, and Prague was home to a large number of alchemists.

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The Alchemy Museum provides a look into an actual alchemist’s workshop. More steep stairs and uneven surfaces on this tour, but a bit easier than the Underground tour.

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If Fifty Shades of Grey was your thing, then the Museum of Torture Instruments should be on your list.  This museum shows what criminal justice really should be. The descriptions of use are fairly clinical, but no less frightening for their sterility. Be prepared to climb some stairs.

Two day-long bus tours took us to a pair of popular destinations outside of Prague.

If you are a fan of Bauhaus, you will love the “Bone Church” of Sedlec.

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This active Catholic church houses an ossuary containing the bones of thousands of people dating back to the Black Death. A tour of a beautiful cathedral dedicated to St. Barbara followed the ossuary.

Karlovy Vary otherwise known as Charles’ Baths is the town located atop 30+ hot springs. If you want the ultimate cleanse, check into one of the numerous spas for 90 days to get those impurities out of your system.

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This water is coming out at 74 degrees Centigrade. That’s 165 degrees Fahrenheit!

 

Another attraction in this city is the Moser glass factory.

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The factory floor was closed on the weekend, but we got to see the museum. Moser is all handcrafted glass and crystal artifacts. if you even think about looking at the price tag, you can’t afford it.

Speaking of the finer things, we come to the topic of “traditional Czech food” which seems to consist mostly of pork, sausage, root vegetables, dumplings,  bread, cabbage, and beer.

Goulash is a meat and vegetable stew most commonly associated with Hungary, but the Czechs make a fine version of their own.

My personal fave was the “pig knuckle”. It was like a ham shank turned on a spit until the skin is deliciously crispy. Prepare to have grease behind your ears by the time you get done with this dish.

I cannot say I am a fan of Czech dumplings. They are like a slice of heavy potato bread smothered in gravy. Tasty enough, but nothing to write home about.

Beer is mission critical to any pub crawl, and there are many ways to enjoy said elixir vitae including driving, or at least peddling while someone else drives.

Texas boast a number of regions settled predominantly by immigrants from specific countries. The Hill Country just north of Austin was primarily Germans hence the existence of the Schlitterbahn,  one of our more famous water parks. Shiner, Texas boasts of their Czech heritage, and the Shiner brewery makes a fine dark beer of Czech roots that tastes like most of the dark beer I drank on this excursion through the Czech Republic.

 

BUT!

 

What I failed to locate in the environs of Prague was a single solitary example of the kolache in its natural habitat. I studied the windows of every bakery and bread shop we passed as we toured the city. Zero, Zippo, Nada.

I asked the staff of the hotel where we stayed. I can get my face slapped in about five languages, but nobody would admit to knowing anything about a thing called a kolache regardless of how I asked the question, nor were any available on the pastry table of the breakfast buffet. After the hotel in Edinburgh had haggis and black pudding on the breakfast menu, was it unreasonable to expect something as universally beloved as a simple kolache to be excluded from the buffet in Prague? Apparently so.

Now that Texas dirt is back under my boots, I’ll just have to drive down to West and demand some answers.

A Cold One in Uptown

A short story by Michael Morgan

 

A galaxy of urine colored stars crawled across the drizzle-speckled windshield as the road curved beneath the bridge. The usual shower of urine filled plastic bottles, and other refuse was absent. The commuters on the train passing overhead must have kept the windows closed today. A welcome benefit of the cold and wet.

Oak Lawn Avenue became a hill, and the light at the cross street changed, stopping all progress. No need to hurry. By the time the call comes in from the cops, the victim is already past caring. Too early in the morning for this.

A right turn, and old apartment buildings and once elegant houses converted to galleries or office space now pass down the narrow street. Once the pariah of Dallas and the focus of crude jokes, the area now proudly proclaims itself the “Gayborhood”. Whatever. Makes no difference to the customer waiting at the end of the block. Blue and red strobes mark the destination.

A dark silhouette separates itsef from the group leaning against the squad. “Hey buddy! You can’t park here. It’s a crime scene.”

The flash of a gold shield stops the uniform. “What’s under the tarp?”

“You’re the Detective,” the uniform spun on his heel and started back to his car. “You figure it out.”

Detective’. Almost an epithet now. We used to be Detectives before Dallas outsourced everybody. Now we solve cases for minimum rage, no pension, and fewer prospects. Darkness floods in as the uniforms drive off leaving a light blue disposable tarp covering an unknown disposable person lying in the drizzle.

A man in his twenties stared back at Archie as the tarp folded back. Slow steady rain washed streaks in the blood on his face. Nose broken. Bruise on left cheek. Puddled water flew as the tarp was pulled away completely. Torn shirt. Designer. Pockets turned out. The attacker or one of the uniforms? The flashlight chased away some of the dark and added shadows. No blood except on the victim. The light paused and went back. Watch is still here. Nice one at that. Not the uniforms. The light moved on. What happened to you buddy? Bad date? Dope? Glinting something on the concrete. The blue glove did not want to go on the damp fingers. Diamond stud. No back. One ear then the other. No piercings, at least none visible.

The phone rang forever, “Central, this is 819. One John Doe to pick up Brown and Hood Street.”

“Acknowledged. Brown and Hood. ETA fifteen.” The call disconnected leaving Archie standing in the early morning gloom.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            The new email ping shook Archie out of his doze. He clicked and read, Cause of death: Blunt force trauma to the forehead causing swelling of the brain. Broken right humerous. Multiple severe abrasions on the hands and arms… The report rambled on without shedding any new light.

“Hey Arch, Got a sec?”

Archie looked up, Hoskins was standing next to a wild-eyed man in this thirties, “What is it Hoskins?”

Hoskins lead the man over, “This is Jerome Abernathy. His husband went missing last night, and you’ve got the only Doe.”

“Sit down sir,” Archie looked at Hoskins. “Get the man some coffee.”

“No thank you.” Jerome interjected. “I need to find Carl. I don’t care how much it costs.”

Archie made calming motions, “Slow down. What does Carl look like.”

“I have this,” Abernathy displayed a photo on his phone. “That was last week.”

A dead man stared out at Archie. “When was the last time you talked to Carl?”

“Yesterday about nine,” Jerome settled into the chair next to the desk. “He called right before he left work.”

Archie made a note. “What kind of car does Carl drive?”

“He doesn’t,” Jerome accepted his phone back. “I mean he does drive, but we don’t own a car.”

“How do you get around?”

“We walk mostly. Uber or DART if we need to go a long way.”

“It was raining last night,” Archie leafed through his notebook. “How was Carl planning to get home?”

Jerome shrugged, “He didn’t say. Just see you soon and I love you, like always.”

“Mr. Abernathy,” Archie took a slow breath, “I have some bad news.”

“Please tell me he’s alive…” Jerome’s voice faded at the look on Archie’s face. “How…?”

“We don’t know yet, but I intend to find out.” Archie leaned back, “Any chance you can track his phone?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            The stained dome tent beneath the DART rail bridge reeked even in the cold drizzle. Archie swallowed trying not to think about what the inside might smell like, “Hey! Anyone home?” He tapped on the tent pole with his flashlight.

The zipper parted a few inches and an eye peeked out beneath a scraggly eyebrow, “What?”

“You picked up a lost phone recently?”

“You a cop?”

“Detective. I’m just trying to find the phone. You got it?”

“Why?”

Archie sighed in frustration, “A man lost his phone yesterday. It was tracked to this location.”

“I didn’t steal it. I found it in a trash can,” the end of a phone appeared and it clattered to the concrete before Archie could grab it. “

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            “He rented a scooter,” Archie slid the phone into an envelope leaving Jerome’s hand hanging in the air.

“He wrecked out?”

“If he did, he wasn’t alone,” the envelope vanished into the desk. Archie sat back and picked up his stale coffee. “His pockets were turned out.”

“Then who?”

Archie shrugged, “Wish I knew. The ME says he died of blunt force trauma to the front of his skull. He also had a broken arm and lots of abrasions.”

Jerome shivered, “He wrecked out? Hit his head?”

“Possible, but…”

“His pockets,” Jerome sagged back into the chair.

“And the scooter…” Archie’s words faded.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            “You were on duty in Uptown on the night of the 12th?” Archie was leaning against the side of the plain white pickup.

“Uh, yeah,” the young man with the dreadlocks and soul patch lifted a scooter from the curb. Setting it on the open tailgate, he plugged a wire into the battery pack. “That’s where I work. All night, every night. Chasing down these damned scooters and charging them up for our loyal ridership.” Another scooter joined the first, “You would NOT believe where I find these things. Some people are just messed up!”

Archie grunted noncommittally, “You make a pick up over at Brown and Hood?”

“I make pickups wherever the magic app tells me there is a scooter,” the juicer glanced at his watch. “What’s this about?”

“Notice anything odd when you picked up the scooter at that location?”

“You mean the stiff?” a cigarette was produced, and a lighter flared. “Yeah I saw him.”

Archie felt the stirrings of anger, “Why didn’t you call 911 and report it?”

“Because I would have been detained for questioning,” the man’s features glowed red as he inhaled. “I ain’t got time for that crap. I gotta work.”

“How did you know he was dead?” the building rage faded into ennui. “You might have saved his life.”

“Didn’t care then,” another drag and slow exhale. “Don’t care now. He wasn’t using the scooter, so I picked it up, and took it to the rec center all nice and ready for the next rider.”

Archie leaned away from the truck, “You happen to take his wallet and phone along with the scooter?”

“Nah, he’d been rolled when I pulled up.” the cigarette arced into a puddle and hissed. “Look, we done here? I got to get these scooters relocated for our loyal riders, and go pick up some more.”

“Yeah, we’re done.” Archie stepped up onto the curb and watched as the juicer closed the tailgate and heading to the cab.

Once More Into The Breech

It is 2019, and we have has an astounding amount violence directed at religious gatherings:

April 27th, Poway CA, idiot with an agenda attacked a synagogue, and people suffered.

On March 15th a mosque in Christchurch NZ lost fifty members of the community killed and another fifty suffered wounds at the hands of another walking justification for involuntary organ harvesting.

 

Politicians and pundits rant and rave about bigotry and intolerance. Endless proposals flow forth from the halls of government about closing “loopholes”, background checks, gun control, knife control, ad nausea.

Yet, everyone is willfully ignoring the obvious truths:

  1. Any tool is a weapon if you hold it the right way, and have anger in your heart.
  2. Weapon free zones are magnets for the madmen among us.
  3. Groups of people are easy targets for a sociopath with an agenda and a large vehicle.

When the  person next to you decides today is a good day to self-destruct, you are on your own. If no law enforcement personnel is present when things go bad, none will arrive before the damage is done. Even Superman can’t be everywhere, and do w you want to take the chance that the law enforcement that does show up may be from the Broward County, FL training school?

The Poway shooter’s gun jammed, and the congregation attacked the shooter driving him out of the building. According to reports, an armed congregant handed a weapon to an off-duty Border Patrol agent who pursued the shooter. (Your humble correspondent will never understand 1. Why the Border Patrol agent was unarmed. 2. Why the armed congregant was not vigorously applying his weapon himself.)

Sutherland Springs TX, November 5, 2017, a waste of air murdered 26 leaving another 20 wounded before an armed citizen engaged and wounded the shooter ending the madness.

On July 25, 1993, Charl Van Wyk was sitting in St. James Anglican Church in South Africa  when four members of the Azanian People’s Liberation Army attacked the congregation murdering eleven and wounding fifty-eight.

Charl Van Wyk responded to the attack with his 5-shot .38 Special revolver causing the attackers to flee, and saving many lives. Wyk wrote of his experience, and his fundamental belief in the right of self-defense in his book “Shooting Back”.

Willfully refusing to go about armed at all times only empowers your murderer, but weapons are not magical amulets that keep evil at bay. They are useless without the knowledge and will to employ them.

A concealed weapon and the training to use it is a tool that provides an option Maybe you can talk the nutjob down, but what if you can’t, or the slaughter starts before you have time to try to de-escalate?

Political elitists will never face the gunman at the sanctuary door because they have armed guards to take care of unruly people on their behalf. They cannot imagine why you as a private citizen need to have the means to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Legal controls have never stopped anyone with a will to act, so quit deluding yourselves, and take steps to insure your fundamental right to life can never taken away.

“Weapons are instruments of fear; they are not a wise man’s tools.
He uses them only when he has no choice.
Peace and quiet are dear to his heart.
And victory no cause for rejoicing.” ~  Lao Tzu in Tao Te Ching Chapter 31