• Category Archives Humor
  • Breaking the Law

    This story has set me thinking.

    To summarize: Man comes home to find his home burglarized. Man sees the burglar crawling out of his neighbor’s window. Man yells at the burglar to ‘Freeze’. Burglar does not freeze. Man fires handgun into the ground and repeats his command to freeze. Burglar freezes until cops come and arrest him. Man is charged with ‘reckless conduct’ which carries the same penalty as the burglar will get for his two counts of burglary.

    What is wrong with this picture? So many things.

    My first answer is obvious. The Man should not be charged with reckless conduct. He acted wisely, courageously, and responsibly. He stopped a burglar from getting away with his ill-gotten gains and also prevented the burglar from committing further burglaries, adding to the safety and security of his community. Bravo. On top of that, if the guy crawling out of his neighbor’s window had NOT been the burglar, the worst that would have happened is one citizen being detained by another for a few minutes. So, the Man was doubly responsible for not shooting the guy since there was no way for him to know for sure that the dude in the window was the burglar. Double bravo.

    Yet, his actions do fall under the legal definition of reckless conduct. And I think I’m OK with a law against discharging firearms in residential neighborhoods. And I’m also OK with their being a law against detaining random people at the point of your gun. It gives the cops something to throw at the asshole being stupid with his legally owned guns. This result, however, I am not OK with.

    So what to do? The answer, obviously, is to show some common sense.  The Man should simply never have been charged. Someone in that police department or prosecutor’s office didn’t have the stones to take personal responsibility for the situation and simply say, ‘The Man acted properly, he shall not be charged.’

    Yet, more objections can be raised. Am I really advocating that the law be selectively applied at the human whim of the government? I suppose I am. It’s not as bad as it sounds though. This selective application of the law is an inescapable effect of allowing ourselves to be ruled by laws.

    We’re simply not capable of writing laws that would lead, mechanically, precisely, to the just outcome in every case. Can you imagine the wording of a law that would prohibit dickwads from firing their guns into the air in residential neighborhoods but yet would be granular enough to not catch the Man in their net?

    It all comes down to actual humans applying common sense. Always.


  • Enlisted men

    “Enlisted men are stupid, but extremely cunning and sly, and bear considerable watching.”

    U.S. Army’s Officer Guide, 1863

    A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He spotted a man below and reduced enough altitude to where the man could hear him and shouted:  ‘Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but i don’t know where I am’. The man below replied, “You’re in a hot balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You’re between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude”
    “You must be an NCO”, said the balloonist

    “I am, replied the NCO, “How did you Know?”

    “Well, ” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is technically correct, but I’ve no idea what to make of your information, and I’m still lost. I won’t get to where I’m going with the information you gave me.”

    The NCO below responded, “You must be an Officer”

    “I am”, replied the balloonist, “but how did you know?”

    ” Well,” said the NCO, “you don’t know where your are or where you’re going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise which you have no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now somehow, it’s my fault.”


  • Schlock Mercenary

    I know Howard Tayler, the creator, author, and artist of the web comic “Schlock Mercenary.” He’s a great guy, smart and fun to talk to. A few years ago a mutual friend recommended that I read the comic as I’d probably get a kick out of it, I being in the military and the strip being about mercenaries and all.

    I looked up the site, went to the beginning of the strip, and did not read it. Aside from being an arrogant typer of words I fancy myself an artist. Strictly part-time and amateur, but I do draw. The art in Schlock Mercenary was terrible. So terrible that I didn’t like looking at it. I feel guilty saying this now because, for heavens sake, here was a guy drawing a comic strip day-in-day-out and making money at it and all I’d ever done with my drawing was sketch in my little sketch books that I never show to anyone. But it was bad.

    First Strip

     

    So, jump to March of last year. I’d finally met Howard and we got on famously. I decided to try again on the strip, just jump into the middle as it were and start with the current strip and keep reading every day until I had a handle on the story line. Joy of joys the art was no longer bad. It was, in fact, fantastic. And the story, which I hadn’t really given a chance on my first attempt, was fun and smart too.

    Strip I Read Last Year

    Which brings us to today. I still read the current strip everyday. Howard is apparently famous, and rightly so, for posting a new strip everyday without fail since day one (12 June 2000).

    Now, however, I’ve started over at strip one and kept going.  I’m watching his art evolve as I do. I’m talking both story and line art here. It just gets better and better.

    Nicely done Howard. Nicely done.

     


  • Christmas

    Jesus and Santa tiedHad a good Christmas, I did.

    Among other things, got a stationary bike on which to flay my cardiovascular system as well as a very nice weight bench for pushing and pulling various masses.

    Gave Kris an iPod shuffle, which she had been coveting ever since we ordered one each for the boys.

    The children made out quite well too.

    Spent a lot of time with exended family both before during and after the day itself. More of that to come this weekend.

    Pulled a joke on the wife by putting a crappy $1 dollar kitchen knife of the kind she had been pining for in her stocking. She was very gracious and did not complain at the quality but merely decided, internally, to go out and buy her own self a bloody good knife at the next opportunity. She later almost used the implements in question when she unwrapped the high-quality version of same that I had gifted her under the tree and realized what I had done.

    She in turn, gave me a “gift from the heart” in the form of a bit of sappy doggerel verse in a very nicely wrapped box. I pretended to be touched though I know at one point as I read through it I had that ‘glazed’ look. Nevertheless I tried my best to spare her feelings. Later I learned she had done it on purpose and the poem was a thinly disguised list of clues as to what the real present was, the stationary bike aforementioned. It’s a quality stationary bike. I’m very pleased. Though I am, perhaps, more pleased that my wife did not produce that horrible poem in earnest.

    Our second youngest daughter had the last laugh when my wife opened her final present and discovered that it was an old cutting board she’d been missing for a week or two. The daughter responsible dissolved in giggles. Well done, my offspring.


  • Not going to war

    InsideACanofWhoopAssNot going to war, for most people, is a good thing. Not all.

    What could I possibly mean by that, you may ask with a suspicious and horrified look?  Who is this ‘all’ you speak of in the negative?

    Surely, war is bad. Yes it is. There are still worse things.

    Surely, no one sane would WANT their country to go to war. Absolutely true. No one sane wants their country to go to war. In the same way no one wants to have to shoot a burglar in their house.

    Surely, no one sane wants, personally, to go to war. Meh, yes and no. I’m sure there are people who would very cogently and succinctly make the point that I am not sane. For I want to go to war.

    Surely I have done my part, having already been to war. Surely I could now stay home, honor satisfied, and enjoy my family. Yes, I have, and yes I could. But the war is not over. In some ways it is just beginning. There are still parts to be played, and if not by me, then by who?

    I’m thinking about this because of a good friend of mine, who also wants to go to war. The difference for him is that he has not yet been.

    My unit is a good one. We have deployed companies to the war on terror three times and once an entire battalion. Collectively we have killed a whole grundle of bad men who desperately needed killing, and helped a whole bunch of other people who needed help. We have done well, collecting honors and accolades. We have yet to lose a man to the war.

    The last deployment, though, was a few years ago and the next has been pushed back so far that many of the men in my unit despaired of ever going back and left, seeking other units who ARE deploying soon, or contracting jobs with the famed “military industrial complex.” (My unit doesn’t typically attract the sort who only join the military for the college benefits though most of us have used them to good effect)

    My friend is considering attaching himself to a unit in another state that is deploying but finds itself critically short of men with our expertise. I’m considering going with him. It’s a hard sell for a man in my position, but can I let my friend go alone?

    We would all prefer that there were no wars, no oppression, no murder, no crime. MacArthur was right when he said:

    The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.

    Yet, if our country is at war, we want to go. It’s what drove us to join the military in the first place.

    Bonus link