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‘everything that’s old is new again’

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The Horrible Chair (A Bleg)

Being disabled, including a fused right hip, makes raising up from seated, especially of the lower variety chair, difficult, painful and sometimes ne’er impossible.

So, after my roommate’s stepmother passed, when we were tasked with emptying her home for sale, I was most grateful I was offered her ‘lift chair’!   Having a fulcrum in the front of the recliner, it lifts one up out of the chair from seated. The process is reversed to sit.

pride-lc105-electric-recliner-lift-chair

Quite nice, really. 

The control extends the chair to operate as a recliner, and even lays out flat, for sleeping!

However, it’s been in regular use for a few years now, and the controller module is failing!

Meaning it will no longer recline, is stuck in one sitting position, and sometimes will not elevate.

A problem for me, meaning my knee often goes out when I get up! Sometimes I can get it back into place in twenty seconds – sometimes not in twenty minutes.  Sigh.

And it’s VERY painful.

(And knee braces are not possible, for too many reasons to go into here.)

A problem for my roommate (besides having to listen to me yell and whine) because SHE will need the chair soon to sleep in (post shoulder rotator cuff surgery). (I’ll be sitting in a straight chair in the interim.)

And a replacement control unit is almost $100 !

Funds are always tight, even more so now with her working less with the bad shoulder.  She hasn’t worked a ‘regular’ work week in over a year, with her many health issues.

Sigh.

I don’t usually bleg, but contributions to my PayPal account (on the right sidebar) in any amount would be most appreciated!

Failing that, a good thought or prayer if that’s what you do.  She will probably miss 12 weeks of work.

The surgeon says if she doesn’t have the repair surgery soon, it will become a replacement (!)

And please don’t tell her I asked – she’d have a fit. (she doesn’t always read the blog.)

Thank you for your kind consideration!  🙂

The King of Film Noir

Those familiar with this blog know I loves me character actors and film noir.  I’m certain this evolved from my Dad’s love of film and character actors.

Humphrey Bogart is one of my favorites, but there are so many others.

Robert Mitchum is the king.

If you’ve not seen The Night of the Hunter or (the original) Cape Fear, you have missed something.

Of course, he had an ‘interesting’ private life.  One of the early Hollywood types busted for marijuana use, he served a week in the county jail, then more time in a prison farm. (from Wikipedia)

On September 1, 1948, after a string of successful films for RKO, Mitchum and actress Lila Leeds were arrested for possession of marijuana.[7] The arrest was the result of a sting operation designed to capture other Hollywood partiers, as well, but Mitchum and Leeds did not receive the tipoff. After serving a week at the county jail, (he described the experience to a reporter as being “like Palm Springs, but without the riff-raff”) Mitchum spent 43 days (February 16 to March 30) at a Castaic, California, prison farm, with Life photographers right there taking photos of him mopping up in his prison uniform.[8] The arrest became the inspiration for the exploitation film She Shoulda Said No! (1949), which starred Leeds.[9] The conviction was later overturned by the Los Angeles court and district attorney’s office on January 31, 1951, with the following statement, after it was exposed as a setup:

After an exhaustive investigation of the evidence and testimony presented at the trial, the court orders that the verdict of guilty be set aside and that a plea of not guilty be entered and that the information or complaint be dismissed.

He did appear to be an early version of the stereotypical beatnik, but, considering his career, certainly not with an aversion to work(!)  Robert Mitchum was an American actor who was in over 110 films and TV series over the course of his career. (Wikipedia)

He was married to his wife Dorothy for 57 years!  He reportedly proposed by saying to her, “Stick with me Baby, and you’ll be farting through silk!”

Mitchum as Max Cady in Cape Fear (1962)

Mitchum as Max Cady in Cape Fear (1962)

Sometimes You Find The Ark Of The Covenant…

Sometimes, you are digging in the wrong place!

It was FIFTY YEARS AGO (1967!) that my interest obsessive-compulsion in the Assassination of John F. Kennedy began.  That, coupled with my family history in police work lead me to security and investigation work, an associates degree in Police Science, and my private investigation business.  Followed by a career as a credit card fraud investigator.

But I always came back to the JFK thing.  As a ‘hobby’.

It began when I was in high school, newly disabled, complete with a pair of crutches and my right leg in a steel brace.  For a year.  I’d read the condensed ‘report’ in the high school library, and soon walked the two miles to the university library.

And I found the 26 volumes of the Warren Commission exhibits and testimony.  And proceeded to read them all.

See, not compulsive at all!

Years passed.  Books and films critical of the Warren Report came out,  And I devoured them – to the best of my ability.  And kept notes.

But, there was one problem.  I had no copies of the 26 volumes in my home.  I couldn’t afford them, and my parents would not spring for them.  (I think they were $185 at the time).

This meant many a trek to the university library, and having to deal with my regular high school work, my family, friends and life.  What a P.I.T.A. !  🙂

Time passed.  I still occasionally dabbled in the JFK stuff, when my marriage, fatherhood, auto accident, etc. didn’t get in the way.  I DID recognize I could be obsessive about it and would voluntarily pull back when I felt it suck me in for more than a few days  weeks  months.

But, I never had my own 26 volumes.  And the price went up when they went out-of-print.  Even with the advent of the Internet, it just seemed they weren’t available.

Sigh.

I recently had a birthday.  Good friend Biff, lauded often in these pages, and I met for coffee, and he gave me a birthday present!

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Apparently, I was digging in the wrong place on the Internet!  Now I can return to my obsession in peace!  With my forty or fifty Warren Commission critic’s books, the few by apologist’s, the Internet, my notes, and MY 26 volumes!

(Maybe life would have been simpler had I eaten the bad date?)

 

Long Gun vs. Handgun In Home Defense

(from TFB, in part)

Long Gun vs. Handgun in Home Defense – Maneuverability Differences Overblown

It used to be conventional wisdom to have a 12 gauge at the ready for self defense. Then, slowly, the tactical world fell back in love with the handgun under the guides of maneuverability within the home. The thinking was that the handgun, being a smaller package, was better for one to clear their home. Combined with the higher capacity and ease of reloading, the handgun, was per thinking, the easier to use weapon.

This is, of course, before one even brings up the ability to suppress the weapon, which is good for the defender to maintain their hearing.

However, Thunder Ranch posits that this significant maneuverability advantage is overstated. While sure, the shotgun is a longer weapon, when presented to a target its really not significantly longer than the handgun at full arm extension in the proper firing position. They back this up with a quick demonstration of a common Mossberg 500, an over-under and a full-size 1911.

There was one point that the instructor made in the video that I think is poignant (paraphrased): “Would you rather fire one shot from a handgun at a guy running at you with a knife or a shotshell?

I,  for one, will take the shotshell.

Unfortunately, I have wee ones floating around so the need to keep the weapon locked up while easily accessible trumps my desire for 00 buck…

Yea, I remember those ‘olden days’, when home defense was defined by having a shotgun. (This was the 70’s).   I remember a discussion in some gun store with a proprietor, while drooling over an Ithaca Model 37 Deerslayer Police Special, and making conversation, suggesting it would be a ‘fine, upland bird gun’.  (This was before I owned any).  And the sales guy responded, “Would be good for turning around in a hallway, as well!”  🙂

Well, my friends, we seem to have gone full circle.

I would take the shotshell, as well, if I were ever fortunate enough to own another DSPS, again.

 

Rights

A good friend (and former co-worker) has been posting on FB regarding the schism in American Politics.

Those who believe Rights are given to them by government, versus those who believe Rights are inherent, and only partially enumerated by government.

And the piling-on and discussion brought me back to the ubiquitous question – WHAT constitutes a Right?

There’s the Right to keep and bear arms

The Right to free speech, assembly and worship

Trial by jury

The Right NOT to self-incriminate.

Due process

The Right to legal representation

Speedy trial

No search without a warrant (I know, pretty funny!  Given the NSA, FBI, DHS, Border Patrol, DUI checkpoints, etc.)

But, then, folks pile on…

The ‘Right’ to Drive?

The ‘Right’ to Health Care

The ‘Right’ to ‘Free’ College

The ‘Right’ to a base income from government

Gay rights

Women’s rights

Animal rights

The right to privacy

Ad infinitum, ad nauseaum…

Subscribing to a libertarian philosophy, I believe in self-ownership, and by extension, personal property.  And the non-aggression principle.  Neither persons (or corporate persons or governments) may deprive me of my self-ownership (life, liberty or property) without due process of law.

This includes my labor and the fruits of my labor (taxation is theft).

AND compelling me to support someone else involuntarily is also! (paying for anothers’ health care, college, income.  Redistribution of wealth (socialism/Fabianism/communism) are methods by which this is achieved.

NOT compatible with our capitalistic constitutional Republic.

NOW, if I CHOOSE to help others voluntarily with the fruits of my labor, that’s a whole ‘nother thing!  Then it becomes my choice.

What does this mean for the ‘right’ to drive?  Well, if that person purchases fuel, which has road use taxes, I suppose.

What do you guys think?

Radio! Radio!

I was never a big radiophile growing up.  Probably because the focus was AM radio, and I preferred classical and jazz to rock-and-roll. (My older sister worshipped Elvis, however.)

I did remember my Dad telling me about his youth, having a crystal radio with which he could listen to AM channels in the evening, especially ‘on the skip’.  He would then write the radio station and they would confirm what he heard by mailing him a QSL card!  (Much as Amateur radio operators do today).qsl
I even have a collector’s book (somewhere) of my Dad’s QSL cards, like from Pittsburgh and Chicago. (He lived in Providence, Rhode Island!)

So, in high school, instead of listening to the Monkees, the Beatles and Herman’s Hermits, I ‘borrowed’ my Dad’s AM tube radio.  I connected the foot-long antenna to my window screen, shoved a robe under the bottom of the door (to prevent radio light leakage) and listened to late-night AM radio ‘on-the-skip’, like KSL (Salt Lake City) and WFAA (Dallas)!  I remember even hearing some Chicago stations! (I was in the Phoenix area.)

This worked well for a long time – at least until an errant robe sleeve found it’s way into the hallway, and my radio privileges were taken away!  😦

I never wrote away for a QSL card, though.

Now, of course, one may turn one’s cellular telephone into a virtual AM/FM radio, with huge range.

It was a more primitive time.

As with dial telephone land lines, and pre-Internet, the youth will never understand.

 

Those Pesky Men Behind The Curtain Are Asking For Our Ignorance Again

As posted by Irish

Nothing To See Here… ISIS on The Texas Border?

sent in by reader Brian:
A Jihadi-cartel alliance in the Mexican state of Nuevo León is collaborating to carry out attacks in American cities and ports of entry along the southern border, according to intelligence obtained by Judicial Watch from confidential U.S. and Mexican law enforcement sources. As part of the plan, militant Islamists have arrived recently at the Monterrey International Airport situated in Apodaca, Nuevo León, about 130 miles south of the Texas border. An internal Mexican law enforcement report obtained by Judicial Watch confirms that Islamic terrorists have “people along the border, principally in Tijuana, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas.” Cartel informants tell law enforcement contacts that “they are only waiting for the order and the times to carry out a simultaneous attack in the different ports of entry or cities of the United States of America.” Drug cartels have a working “agreement” with Islamic terrorists, according to a high-ranking Mexican police administrator, who said that men from the Middle East arrive regularly into the country to “train” jihadists.

MORE HERE<<


Back in 2015 they confirmed an ISIS camp 8 miles from the border  HERE<<<

So…we’re debating if a former single National Guardsman shooter is ISIS influenced?  Or brainwashed?  All-the-while ignoring stories like THIS!
WAIT!  LOOK OVER HERE!  PAY NO ATTENTION TO THAT OTHER STUFF!
MAROONS!
misdirection2

At The Movies

Regular readers know I love movies and TV.  What you may not know is, I rarely go ‘out’ to the movies.

Part of the reason is the technological shift in how we can view movies.  I get them directly on my satellite dish, or through services like NETFLIX™.  I even own a ‘few’ on DVD! (I know – OLD technology!)  😛

There are more than enough from which to choose.

And there’s this (from FB, in part – not me!):

Went to the H****** Metrocenter 12 …at the 01:30pm “Jupiter Ascending”…Me and 2 others of my party had to walk out!!!
Some trashy family with 3-4 kids sat right next to us and talked and talked ..and talked…and also they let their kid run up and down in front of us!

Then to top if off….the father had the nerve to pick up one of our parties drinks and hand it to his kid to drink out of ….then said sorry and handed it back “AFTER” his kid (& himself took turns slurping it down!).

I had to had have a friend get a manager…2 (Two) times….then finally got our money back and walked out!!

BAD!!!! I wont be back to the H****** Metrocenter 12…sad missed a film that I had been wanting to see for weeks!

Metrocenter used to be a family-friendly huge, upscale mall, wherein many weekends were spent window and actual shopping.  With my then wife and young daughter.  Now, with most of the brick-and-mortar department stores closed, it’s become a hang out for misguided yutes.

I remember even in pre-VHS days, attending a different theater and encountering rude people.  As the film began, three yutes (misguided teens) began talking loudly to each other and the screen.  Against my better judgment, I approached them and strongly suggested I paid good money to hear the movie, and not to hear them sh*** and j***. (Using a 40’s vernacular with which I’m certain they lacked familiarity).

They quieted down, and I spent most of the movie checking my six for some variety of retaliation.  Thankfully, none came.

While I sometimes miss the big screens and speakers (remember CINERAMA™ and Dolby­™?), it is nice knowing I can pause the film for bathroom and/or beverage, and even watch in my skivvies.

AH! Technology!

 

Czech Gov’t: Placing Weapons In The Hands Of Citizens Is Best Defense Against Terror

Berlin (CNSNews.com) – The Czech Republic has resisted calls by the European Union’s executive Commission to tighten gun controls in response to terror attacks, forcing the E.C. to alter its proposals, allowing for the private ownership of semi-automatic weapons.

The Czech interior ministry now wants to loosen its own laws a step further, proposing a constitutional amendment on Monday that would allow its citizens to bear legally-held firearms against the perpetrators of terrorist attacks, such as those in Nice or Berlin, the Czech news agency ctk reported.

The government says that putting weapons into the hands of citizens is the best defense against terror.

The move comes despite the European Commission’s ongoing advocacy for stricter gun control laws in Europe.

The Czech parliament blocked the E.C.’s earlier attempt to introduce tighter European gun laws, after the attack in Nice.

While the E.U. Firearms Directive and Czech laws already prohibited private ownership of fully automatic weapons, the commission’s initial campaign aimed to further narrow the E.U. regulations to rule out semi-automatic and self-loading weapons – which make up about half of firearm ownership in the Czech Republic – and limit magazine sizes to ten rounds.

The Czech parliament rejected the proposal, arguing that such tougher gun laws would not be the solution as terror attackers only use illegally-held weapons. The government derided the E.C.’s plans as “legally ambiguous and in some cases excessive.”

The E.C. was last month finally able to reach agreement by all member states, including the Czechs, after allowing exceptions for hunters and gun collectors and only banning a select few semi-automatic weapons.

“Mass shootings and terrorist attacks in Europe have highlighted the dangers posed by certain firearms circulating across the E.U.,” it said in a statement, but also expressed regret at the concessions it had to make, such as not banning all semi-automatic weapons or limiting magazines to ten rounds.

Despite the E.U.’s concerns, the latest Czech proposal argues that armed citizens would be the best defense against terror attacks.

In a statement on Monday, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said that amending the constitution would reduce the chances of attacks by enabling “active and rapid defense.”

Citizens should be given the right to use firearms to defend their “life, health and property” and contribute to “ensuring the internal order, security and territorial integrity” of the country, he said.

As December’s truck attack in Berlin demonstrated, security forces have not been able to guarantee the full prevention of attacks. In light of the threat, the Czech ministry argued that the proposed amendment would help to prevent the loss of lives by allowing civilians to contribute to “internal order and security.”

The proposal is scheduled to be considered in March. To pass, it must be agreed upon by at least three-fifths of all deputies and three-fifths of all senators present.

The exact details of the interior ministry’s proposal are still to be worked out, and for now simply indicates that it is subject to “terms and details prescribed by law.”

However, it appears likely to expand the range of “genuine reasons” for possession of a firearm to include those of “national security” – and thus, theoretically, allow anyone to own a gun.

Gun ownership is currently legal in the Czech Republic. As per E.U. regulations, firearms are required to be registered, and Czech law also requires a license and a genuine reason to possess a firearm, such as for hunting or personal protection.

Gun holders are also required to pass a background check which considers factors such as mental health and criminal history.

Unlike gun ownership, there are no laws explicitly covering civilian use of a firearm in self-defense, nor in regards to terror attacks specifically. Such an incident would fall under general criminal provisions regarding self-defense, which may allow the use of a gun, but only in cases of absolute necessity (including the threat of “imminent” attack).

Self-defense case law in the Czech Republic has applied only to violent assaults such as rape and robberies, and not to terrorism. It is not clear yet how the constitutional amendment would, if at all, build on or deviate from this established law.

The country was shaken by a mass shooting in 2015, when 63-year-old Zdenk Ková fired on a group of 20 people, killing 8. Ková, had a gun holder’s license despite a history of misdemeanors and concerns over his mental state.

The incident prompted calls for a re-examination of Czech gun laws, but they are still considered among the most lax in the E.U., partly due to the fact semi-automatic weapon possession is allowed.

According to data collated by Gunpolicy.org, a firearm injury prevention NGO, an estimated 7.6 percent of Czech’s 10 million residents legally hold weapons, with 810,046 registered privately owned firearms in the country.

h/t Facebook

Perhaps the Czechs have a longer memory than most Europeans?.  Nazis?  Communists?  Other forms of terror?

Of course, the French and most of the E.U. just doubled-down on restrictions for their citizenry subjects.  Wanna bet the next European attack will be in another ‘gun-free’ zone?

Other Night(s) as a P.I.

(Believe me, not nearly as exciting as it sounds!)

People not in ‘the business’ often get their ideas of private investigation from movies and television.

“I’m a P.I.”

“OH! Like MAGNUM!”

Oft times, it’s more like “Oh, like a bean counter-security guard!”

Case in point.  I’m working out of a P.I. agency cum polygraph business.  The owner is a retired Phoenix Police detective.  My boss is Bob Hall (later of gun store fame).  And Bob and I have done surveillance, security, security surveys, records checks, photography, interviews, taken statements, served legal papers, located missing persons, found hidden assets – all manner of private investigation related duties.

Then there was the tank farm.

Out on the South Central part of West Phoenix lies a tank farm.  (51st Ave/Van Buren) Wherein pipelines of gasoline and related products arrive to the Valley for distribution to local gas stations.

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Once a rural edge of town, it’s now more centrally located.

Fortunately for us, whose office is just by the State Police offices at 23rd Av. and Grand. (in 1986).

It seems a rural gasoline hauler has been filling up at the tank farm, and their numbers don’t match with the fuel taken.  Hmmm.

SO, we as P.I.’s (keep thinking Magnum) get to monitor all fill-ups of these fuel trucks at the farm, compare the receipts with the pump readings, and note any discrepancies!  Whenever these guy arrive to fill up.  4 PM, Midnight, 4 AM.  Whenever.  They call when they are about 45 minutes out…

And I think they had eight trucks.

Which kept three or four private investigators busy…

Woo-Hoo!

Over a period of like two months.  Any day or night.

True, for the company, there was mileage + hourly for multiple investigators.

But, for the investigators, it was insanely boring, and tiresome.  And much comp time was taken for driving from home to the tank farm, watching and monitoring some yahoo fill his tanker truck for 20 minutes, and driving home.

Three hours? Starting @ 0200.

Well, we were young and foolish.  And hungry for money.

I’m not young, anymore.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…