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A Humble Remembrance

A loyal and (sometimes) vocal follower of this tiny blog pointed me in a direction I’d somehow overlooked, in local history:

35 years later, we should remember fallen firefighter

Ed Gaiki

Ed Gaiki

Ed Gaiki.

I’d not heard or thought of his name in many years.  Thirty-five years ago, I was still living in this town, before I got married and a year later bought a house with the wife and moved to ‘the big city’.

(excerpted from the above link)

Ed was the only firefighter to die in the line of duty in this town’s firefighting service in it’s history.

…As they arrived, smoke was rising from the roof of the Jumbo Bagel Deli, at the end of the strip center.

Within five minutes of the call, Gaicki and eight other firefighters would go into building to search for people and the source of the smoke. Within 15 minutes, the roof collapsed, flaming wood pancaking down onto the nine firefighters.

Deputy Chief Gary Ells, the only remaining active firefighter who was there that night, was one of those trapped. Four of the men got out quickly. News reports at the time describe how four others, including then-Capt. Ells, had to crawl through the building, beneath the remnants of the flaming roof, eventually having to share an air tank before they were rescued.

One man didn’t make it out alive.  (January 15, 1980)

He was 27 years old.

A memorial service on the anniversary of his death will be held at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at Gaicki Park, 5616 South McClintock Drive. (January 15, 2015)

“… I think it’s also important to keep the story alive as a reminder to the rest of us, of the men and women who serve us every day and sometimes pay dearly for it.”  – Deputy Chief Gary Els

Since that time, much personal history has passed.  We had a daughter, got divorced, lost the house, and our daughter passed away.  And I never got to go into ‘public service’, as I had wanted.  I probably didn’t remember, as I’d been just married two weeks before (January 1).

Regardless, we should always remember those who gave their all, whether in the armed services, police or the fire departments.  We owe them that measure, minimally.

Thanks, Ed.

h/t The Arizona Republic, KM

Self Defense In Israel – “Never Again!”

israelI’d always believed that ISRAEL had very liberal gun laws.  Liberal as in classically liberal, e.g. open carry is ubiquitous, etc.  Turns out this was NOT the truth:

From Nikki

If you haven’t already heard, two pig-humping Paleoswine walked into a synagogue in Jerusalem, Israel today (posted November 18) and proceeded to murder five innocent people, including three U.S.-born rabbis. The sons of sows used meat cleavers, an ax, and a gun in their attacks in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem.

That’s right. They hacked innocent worshipers to death with meat cleavers. By the time police arrived and shot the two savages, several people had been hacked and/or shot to death.

Meanwhile, it was a rude awakening for Israel. As Y.B. ben Avraham explains at Zelman Partisans, it is an error to cite Israel as some sort of bastion of firearms freedoms. It isn’t.

While it is true that one sees young people, fresh from graduating high school, with select-fire rifles slung on their backs, and in Judea and Samaria it is a bit easier to obtain a community weapon or permit, in reality, the “freedoms” look much more like Chicago or NYC than say, Arizona. Everything is by permission, and licensure, and the restrictions have been getting much more restrictive and onerous, in practice, especially in the large metropolitan areas.

It took a massacre for Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch to announce an easing of restrictions on carrying weapons. Unfortunately, the epiphany is insufficient. The moderation in policy only applies to those who currently hold licenses, such as security guards and off-duty military officers. What about the rest of the defenseless would-be victims whose only recourse against ax- and meat cleaver-wielding sociopaths is to wait for a police officer to arrive? What about the innocent faithful, praying in a synagogue whose only hope is to wait for help to arrive?

The homicidal butchers gave Israel a wake-up call when they walked into that synagogue wielding implements of murder and proceeded to shed innocent blood. The massacre prompted the Public Security Minister to loosen gun regulations for license holders.

What will it take for the Israeli government to realize that their infringement on the natural rights of the people can end up in nothing but slaughter?

Have they forgotten?

Or are they channeling their rights-controlling brethren in Chicago and NYC?

It’s better to ask forgiveness than to get permission!  MAROONS ALL!

Lock-Picking For Fun And Profit!

lock picks

similar to mine, without the leather case!

(Disclaimer:   I-in no way-endorse illegal activities of any kind.  If you are reading this in a correctional facility (and are not staff) you should probably disconnect before the guards are alerted to your activities!  They generally have no sense of humor! – Guffaw)

From The Art of Manliness…

An Introduction to Lock Picking: How to Pick Pin Tumbler Locks (link)

Why You Should Learn How to Pick Locks (Even If You’re Not a Criminal)

Some of you might be thinking, “Brett, why should I learn how to pick a lock if I don’t plan on breaking into people’s homes?”

Great question.

There are a few good reasons why law-abiding citizens should learn how to pick a lock:

Lock picking opens your eyes to the “illusion of security.”

It makes you handy.

It’s cool and fun!

When I was a private investigator/security supervisor for P**M**, my boss and I decided it would be appropriate (cool) for each of us to obtain a set of commercial lock picks.  Pretty much for the reasons listed above.  We went to a commercial lock supply store, presented our P.I. credentials and each bought a set.  Then, we returned to the office and spent the rest of the afternoon locking and unlocking the exterior door of the office.

YES, we were both ‘adults’ at the time.

Of course, just like the PIs of yore, we had guns, binoculars and tape recorders, and thought this would be another (cool) tool for our arsenal.

IN THE REAL WORLD, I only used them once.  At my own home.  Because burglary IS a felony!

I still have them, tucked away somewhere.

But, in my mind, I have the voice of Thomas Magnum, “Work the lock, don’t look behind you!  Work the lock, don’t look behind you!”

They really do open one’s eyes to the “illusion of security”, though.  Not all burglars are opportunistic, door-shaking street kids – some actually have skills!  If you have something worth protecting, make certain you’ve enough good obstacles ( e.g. quality locks) to make the criminal go somewhere else!

Veterans Day

honor_redditMost holidays for me traditionally meant either two things:  I had to work or I had the day off.  Of course, Christmas was big when I was a kid, but other adult holidays had no meaning.  Veteran’s Day used to be one of those.
The Vietnam War brought the sacrifices of veterans to my attention, largely because I wanted to be in the military but was denied membership due to my physical disability.  Friends left, some didn’t return.
And I always tried to make it a practice at TMCCC to stop by the desks of veterans with whom I worked and thank them for their service.
Lonnie, Glenn, Glenn, Mark, John, Stan, Jim, Jodie, Ardith, John, Gloria and Clive (who had served in the U.K. Armed Services – with a name like Clive, how could he not have?  We miss you.)

To all my military friends on Facebook and WordPress, Thank You for your Service.

The Trouble With Tribbles

(As the election is FINALLY over, and it’s been a while since we shared a Guffaw!)

As told in LOLtrek GIF style!

Tribbles-Gif_zpsmq6l3lx1

Click to play whole episode, if it doesn’t work right!

When it comes to television entertainment, many times I’ve been behind the 8-ball!  For example, I liked science fiction as a child (must have read Bradbury’s Marooned on Mars 20 times in the 4th Grade, and watched Forbidden Planet and The Outer Limits whenever they were on).

But most 60’s TV, sci-fi wise was lacking.  Lost in Space?  Puleez!

I kept hearing about this show Star Trek from my geek friends.  “Gotta watch it!”  So one night when my parents were out for the evening, I turned it on.  The episode, unfortunately, was ‘The Trouble with Tribbles’.

I thought it was the stupidest thing I’d ever seen – right up there with the Adam West Batman show.  Of course, I didn’t understand ‘camp’.

Fast forward a few years and Star Trek went into syndication.  And I started picking it up by default.  Except for Tribbles, I never watched it in prime time.  Later, I learned to appreciate it.  Great stuff!

It was as if I determined I didn’t like all grapes because the one I picked was sour!

Of course, since that time, I became a minor trekker (not trekkie) and have seen most of the later TV permutations and movies.

(I even dated a beautiful sci-fi nerd who had Star Trek porn – but, that’s another post! :-) )

My career as an (unsuccessful) television critic continued when it was announced M.A.S.H. would become a TV show.  I’d seen the film, and read the book, and decreed there was no way they could do those things on television!  Of course, they softened and rebranded it, and it lasted (I think) eleven years!

This from the kid who was profoundly annoyed when they replaced The Man From U.N.C.L.E. with Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In!

The times (and me, apparently) were a’changin’!

Halloween 2014

halloween frazetta

by Frank Frazetta

Halloween was probably my favorite holiday – as a child.  When else can I go out at night, largely unescorted after I reached school-age, and extort goodies from as many neighbors as I could, all whilst my identity was hidden!

Living in a city-locked white-bread college town, possible dangers were negligible, and we could get popcorn balls and caramel apples along with the usual  candy bars and such.  I even remember returning home on one occasion to get a second bag!

Then, I became a teen, and my interests lie in other than candy…

Fast-forward to fatherhood, and escorting my tiny daughter in her princess costume to a few neighbors.  This evolved to letting her go out by herself, in costumes she herself had sewn and designed (Jean Grey from the XMen, for example).  Dad got into the act at work, oft winning department costume contests, using makeup, wigs, even shaving my head and/or face a couple of times to make a costume character come together!

After the accident, the holiday lost it’s appeal.  I dressed up a couple times at work – but my heart wasn’t in it.

I don’t even give out candy.  Getting up and down to answer the door is just too time consuming and physically difficult.

And besides, Jean Grey doesn’t stop by, anymore.

Miami Vice Redux?

I LOVE(D) MIAMI VICE! (the TV show – the later movie, not so much)

The girls, the guns, the music, the gritty (for then) plot lines.  Being a young married guy at the time, who was shooting I.P.S.C. on Thursday nights, Friday evening was just right for kicking back and imagining my suburban life rebooted as Sonny Crockett.

NBC program director Brandon Tartikoff had put out the request for a new show with the memo:  Give me MTV Cops!

I’d admired the lead actor Don Johnson since A Boy and his Dog, and the fact Michael Mann (the producer/creator who had done the film Thief) hired experts to show the actors proper gun handling and techniques made this TV show too cool.  The Galco custom holster, the Bren 10 pistol (used by Johnson one year, until they could no longer get magazines!), the ubiquitous Weaver stances, Jan Hammer’s music…

Now. Johnson (@ age 64) is himself envisioning a Miami Vice reboot!

The stubbled star talks about being showered with women’s underwear and why the Reagan-era series is ready for a reboot (Rolling Stone)

I loved the show, but, what are they going to call it – Geriatric Vice?

h/t Jerry the Geek

We Need To Take Action! “Let’s Roll!”

(It’s that horrible anniversary, again.  I’d no idea what to write – thank goodness others did! – Guffaw)

By Alan Caruba

As we close in on the 13th anniversary of the infamous 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, the media is full of predictions about attacks that will occur.

A September 2nd Debka File, an Israeli news agency, reported “Credible information has reached Saudi, British and Australian agencies that two al Qaeda branches—ISIS in Iraq and Syria and AQAP at its base in Yemen—have wrapped up plans to roll out coordinated terrorist spectaculars around the 13th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. According to Debka File’s counterterrorism sources, they are preparing to strike simultaneously in the Middle East and a West European city. Next, they will go for U.S. targets in the Middle East and Europe.”

This report and other factors incline me to believe there will not be a major attack somewhere in the U.S. on what is now officially called “Patriot Day.”   There could be a lone wolf attack along the lines of Major Hassan’s 2009 “workplace violence” at Fort Hood or the Boston Marathon bombing, but the threats being made by the Islamic State and other elements of al Qaeda, while intended to raise fears in America, are likely to be manifested in the Middle East. American outlets there will be on full alert for sure.

The Islamic State, while now wealthy, well equipped militarily, and attracting every lunatic Islamist and wannabe terrorist, is facing an increasingly united group of Middle East nations that have put old enemies like Iran and Saudi Arabia on the same page together. Iran has dispatched troops to Iraq to support the Kurds. When other Middle Eastern nations finally screw up enough courage to actually do something they will wage a war on ISIS in the interest of self-defense, a powerful motive.

As for al Qaeda’s war on America, it was declared in 1996 by the late, unlamented Osama bin Laden and, other than 9/11, it has done little to follow up on that dramatic sneak attack except for a few failed efforts. The U.S. responded by bombing the hell out of Afghanistan and our troops there have been attacking the Taliban ever since. Obama says he will pull them out in 2015. Given events in Iraq, that is a very bad idea.

The Department of Homeland Security has been on alert ever since it was created shortly after 9/11. This is not to say that the U.S. doesn’t need more on-the-ground intelligence penetration of al Qaeda and its affiliates. Indeed, DHS and other government agencies don’t know the whereabouts of several thousand foreign students who are supposed to be at our colleges and universities. They likely do not know who else among those with easy access to the nation is a potential terrorist.

So, yes, that could mean I am very wrong and that 9/11 would be a day for a whole series of attacks for much the same reason our consulate in Libya was attacked that day in 2012. The Benghazi cover-up has been falling apart ever since. The lie that it was caused by a video grows more absurd and obscene very day.

The Israelis have made a far greater and more successful effort than us to infiltrate their enemy’s organizations. Hamas was so rattled by the effectiveness of the Israeli bombing of sites where its rockets were stored and fired from, as well as the killing of a number of its leaders, that they made a public display of executing a number of people they accused of being Israeli spies, whether they were or not. The likelihood was that they were Gazans who had spoken out against Hamas.

After breaking a number of ceasefires, Hamas, running out of any support, accepted the most recent one and Israel thereafter announced the annexation of more West Bank territory for its settlements and, no doubt, for militarization to protect against further attacks. The Israelis know how to deal with their enemies, to prepare, and to take action rather than issue empty threats.

There have even been a number of small events by American Muslims speaking out against barbarity of the Islamic State and the threats leveled at the U.S. That is a hopeful sign, but it needs to increase in numbers and volume. The vast silence of the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world is an offense to humanity.

The Arabs of the Middle East are forever making dramatic threats, but they have a record of doing little. When Saddam Hussein controlled Iraq, he waged a war against Iran that ended inconclusively and then invaded Kuwait and was defeated by a U.S. coalition. When he continued to make threats the U.S. invaded again and deposed him.

What followed was an effort in several Middle Eastern nations to rid themselves of their despots. This occurred in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt. Only Egypt, after a brief encounter with a Muslim Brotherhood government, rallied again with a military coup that led to the election of a new military leader. The Brotherhood has been banned! Libya is a failed state that has been taken over by Islamic militants. Tunisia has a new constitution as of January and numerous political parties. Its government is battling local militias.

Iraq is in near failure as it tries to unite its Shiite and Sunni factions in a functioning government. Much of the nation has been taken over by the Islamic State in the same fashion as northern Syria whose civil war has killed 190,000 and driven over a million out as refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and anywhere else they could flee. Who has put troops into Iraq to resist the Islamic State? The Iranians!

One threat the President of the United States does not appear to have taken seriously is an Iran with a nuclear weapon and the intercontinental missiles to deliver it. Both Israel and Saudi Arabia are far more aware of the danger this poses and in all likelihood Israel will conclude it must destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities and military installations.

The United States has lost virtually all the influence it once had in the Middle East, even if it came from the barrel of a gun. Our Secretary of State, John Kerry, is held in low regard by both the Israelis and Arabs. The President, Kerry, and Hillary Clinton keep insisting that “climate change” is the greatest threat to mankind.

If President Obama does not engage in the destruction—not “containment”—of the Islamic State, its oil wealth will enable it to become a major threat in the Middle East and beyond, including us. They have demonstrated no restraint on their use of violence and pose a threat comparable or even greater than the Nazi regime of the last century.

Will there be attack or attacks in the U.S. on 9/11? We all wish we know the answer, but we don’t.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

My only responds to Alan is how do we separate the wheat from the chaff?  The normal from the radical Islamic folks?

Those held hostage by radical elements of their own religion?

Regardless  – please take a moment to remember the innocents lost thirteen years ago.

As they said on Flight 93 – “Let’s roll!”

h/t Theo Spark

The Tate-LaBianca Murders

sharon tate1Today is the anniversary of the cold-blooded murder of actress Sharon Tate and her friends.  Tomorrow will be the anniversary of the murder of the LaBiancas, also by The Manson ‘Family’.

You may visit the wikilink above for the particulars.  Make certain you are of strong stomach before so doing.

(I originally was going to post unedited crime scene photos here.  Decorum said to do otherwise.  Those with such an interest may find them on Google or Bing.)

These brutal and gruesome murders of West Coast elite took place in 1969 California.  By persons using guns and knives against others who had no means of self defense.  In their own homes.

And that’s my point.

These folks had no reason to suspect massive home invasions were about to occur against them.  And while California had restrictive firearms laws in place then, possession of them in one’s own home was pretty easy.

And none of those victims availed themselves of their rights.

This is not intended to scare you, unnecessarily.  It IS, however, intended to scare you necessarily.

Even if you don’t want to carry a firearm with you in your travels, it behooves you to get an ‘appropriate’ one, learn how to use it and keep it in your home.  Just as you would a fire extinguisher.

Home invasion crime is at an all-time high.  If it happens to you and your family, I hope the miscreants are just looking for valuables, not torture, rape and murder.

Guess you’ll have to ask them when you see them…

Not The PC Police, AGAIN!?

(from Brock Townsend)

College Board AP U.S. History: Deletes Pilgrims, John Winthrop, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Alexis de Tocqueville

High-school history teachers nationwide will give their top students a dark retelling of U.S. history this fall, courtesy of the College Board, a nonprofit college readiness firm led by Common Core architect David Coleman.

The College Board – which administers AP (advanced placement) courses and tests – is rolling out a revised curriculum framework for AP U.S. history, offering the 450,000 students who take AP U.S. history classes a hero-free account of America’s deeply stained past.

Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, calls the new AP U.S. history framework “a briefing document on progressive and leftist views of the American past,” one which “weaves together a vaguely Marxist or at least materialist reading of the key events with the whole litany of identity group grievances.”

Conservative author Stanley Kurtz asserts the College Board is “pushing U.S. history as far to the left as it can get away with at the high-school level.”

The new 124-page history curriculum is a dramatic departure from the five-page outline previously supplied by the College Board to guide AP U.S. history instructors. A much more detailed “history from below,” it focuses on how native Indians and Africans suffered at the hands of Europeans in the New World.

More @ WND
Now, I’m a big believer in TRUTH and FACTS, American History, warts and all.  Certainly, the youth should be taught about slavery, including Blacks owning Blacks, indentured servitude, etc.  But excluding Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson , et al is beyond the pale!
We (The United States) as a nation have done some horrific things.  Intentionally infecting Indians and Blacks with communicable diseases, putting American Citizens of  Japanese and German heritage into concentration camps, spying on our own citizens to ‘keep them safe’!
But, we’ve also done so many things for the good of our own people, and the World.
And the youth need to know all of this.
"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

This election is not about who gets voted off the island.
It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

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FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

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“F**k Civility. Hyperbole, passion, and metaphor are beautiful parts of rhetoric. The marketplace of ideas cannot be toned down for the insane.” - Penn Jillette

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