The shift in the Democratic party is where the war began. There are numerous socialist candidates running as Democrats which in essence means the Democrats can just change their name to the Socialist party. The things that built America and made America the greatest country in the world are the antithesis of socialism. People who understand that and see the Democrats attempting to destroy the things that we hold dear as Americans is the cause of the problem. Take away Trump's bluster and personality and just look at his policies and tell me where is he so different from the policies of past Republicans and even Democrats? He's not. It's the Democrats who are now the party of open borders, infanticide, inhibiting free speech, denigrating the flag, denigrating the country because "it never was great", denigrating and wanting to punish those who succeed because "they didn't build that", normalizing mental illness, making political correctness the rule of the day, and just plain losing their minds.
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First, who knows if this is the right place to put this - but we don't put recruiting in the recruiting forum - so I hope you'll all indulge me a little as I feel the need to decompress and the ladies of the house that were the only ones awoke in the tumult are all back asleep in one bed. I'm not sure I could sleep, but even if I could there probably isn't any room.
At about 1 am I got woken up by the sound of one of our dogs barking like crazy. It happened to be the one that sleeps in with the younger of my two daughters. She sleeps in a room that has french doors that lead out to a patio behind the house. It's one of the few less than secure areas of my house and the concession for my daughter living there after my brother-in-law was no longer living with us is that she host the pit-mix we rescued a oouple years back - just for my peace of mind.
We're in a pretty remote and very dark area other than my security lights and a couple of neighbors. Law enforcement response is typically between 30-45 minutes. I'm not knocking them, I like living where I do and it isn't their fault that happens to be quite literally in the middle of nowhere. We had a problem a while back with a meth-addict son trying to get back into to his mom's house down the road. If it was a fire they could have saved the foundation - but I digress. In any event, if the fecal matter hits the rotary impeller no one is getting there in time to make a difference. As such I sleep with a .45 rigged to a shoulder holster next to my bed. Thanks to more training classes than I can remember I strap it on every time something like this happens even though I typically groan when I do it.
So the dog is barking. It's not uncommon to get deer, bears, possums, armadillos etc in the yard with some coming right up on the patio as there is no fencing on the back because there is no real reason for it. Normally when she barks I walk to the outside of my daughter's room door and tell her to shut it and then go back to sleep. Which is what I did, but she didn't seem to listen and just kept at it. So I went in there and she was sitting by the french doors. Now I've got security lights back there but the kids are constantly turning off the switches. She's staring out the door and my daughter is in bed murmuring for her to come lay back down.
I popped a squat next to dog and the door and started petting her to try and calm her down. I figured I'd wait a minute and see if I saw what she was barking at a talk her down from her alert status. A minute or so after she stopped barking I caught movement in the shadows in the wooded part of my property that starts about 25 or so yards from the back door. The moon is out pretty good tonight but there's a lot of shadows cast by the trees so I couldn't make out the shape until it came into the full moonlight at the edge of the woods. It was a tallish skinny male in a hoodie. At first I thought it might be my neighbor from down the road, as he sometimes goes for walks at night and has asked for and received permission to walk across my property to get to the trail. But to my surprise the figure wasn't moving at an angle away towards the front of the property, but directly for my daughter's door.
What went down next was so insanely fast that as I'm trying to put it into words feels nearly instantaneous but at the time seemed slow. Not like slow motion slow - but smooth slow??? I don't know guys. I'm not sure what the right word is.. My right hand pulled the firearm and my left hand disengaged the dead bolt and lock and opened the door. I can't really tell you how I slid out of it so fast having it closing behind me. My holster activates my light and laser on draw and it was at this motion that the figure I was now locked on to jumped - but it was way too late. I was leveled on his center of mass before he could even reverse course but after the surprise he began to flee in a headlong panic. Literally while this is happening the loudest, deepest shouting is coming out of me: "GET THE **** OUT OF MY YARD!" And during his flight: "IF YOU EVER COME BACK HERE I'M GOING TO ****ING KILL YOU WHERE YOU STAND MOTHER****ER!" I kept the weapon trained on him until I was sure it was a legitimate retreat and then started after action drills and heard my wife in the room behind me with my daughter.
I had her lock it behind me and did a quick sweep of the cleared area immediately around the house to make sure he was alone. Once it was clear it was a lone person I had her open the door but not before yelling another promise into the night that it would be the coroner not the cops that would be showing up. Once I was inside I actually felt the adrenaline. That's weird I know because it was obviously cranked to 11 - but I didn't even notice my heart rate until I got back inside.
So, as a avid shooter and a guy that has sunk a pretty penny into his firearms training I wanted to share with you a couple of takeaways from the closest I've ever personally come to actually shooting someone.
1. My shoot - don't shoot decision. My suspicions about the majority LEO shootings are pretty much confirmed, especially given the fact I probably get more trigger time than most LEOs in a given week and have had more training than a local department typically provides. My decision not to shoot had nothing to do with whether or not this guy was armed, because I can confirm I did not even notice what, if anything, was in his hands once the threat alarms started going off. Training pulled my attention to my weapon and getting it on the center of mass. It wasn't tunnel vision by any means as I was certainly aware of what he was doing - but there wasn't enough processing power to go around, so my brain prioritized what it had learned by rote memory. More on this later. None of this was actively in my head at the time it was operating at a level of instinct(?), but the movement of that guy away immediately as I engaged is certainly what saved his life. If he not retreated and had made any other quick hand movements I would have killed him instantly and found out whether he was armed or not only when I checked his body after completing a scan for any additional threats.
2. My decision to engage rather than stand behind the door. Yeah, I can't give you a definitive answer on that. My brain was doing combat calculus I guess and decided to counter ambush. This whole thing from first seeing movement to the start of the engagement was three seconds or less. I've played it over a few times in my head trying to figure out how it reached that conclusion so quickly. I know engagement distance was probably part of it. Space gives me options and increases the likelihood of me maintaining the initiative. In truth it was automatic - the thinking all came later.
3. When instructors tell you smooth is fast, they know what the hell they are talking about. Learning to do things the right way slowly and build speed over time was a factor. If there is one word I can describe as a feeling during this whole thing it was "smooth." Even when I was yelling it was really a channeling of energy and something else in the tool kit. In training they talk about strong verbal commands - that's pretty much exactly how those words came out. It was another weapon that tool kit. The draw, the footwork, the sight picture all of it happened almost automatically. I've always been a guy that believed it was important to train, let me tell you it made a huge difference, I'm certain of it. If you own a gun - please get yourself in as many classes as you can afford. If the time comes you ever have to use it - it will be there and you won't have to think about.
4. Feelings. Um...yeah.
So maybe you guys that have been downrange have a different experience of this due to the constant nature of mortal danger rather than one lone potential home invader in the night, but in truth I did not feel any fear at all until the after action drills were done. Then it was just fear for what might have happened if I hadn't been there. I suppose I'm still processing this whole thing - but that was the most surprising part of this whole experience for me. It has also made me convinced that by hook or by crook I'm going to get Mrs. Five-Star to come to more training sessions with me. She showed up in my daughter's room unarmed.
Anyway - that's a lot of words. Glad I had some place to put them and hope they help someone. If you're on the fence about firearms, maybe this gives you a nudge. I know for my part I'm damn grateful right now that I have them and have the training to use them when that one in 100,000 type thing happens. I called the non-emergency line and hopefully they'll be here some time before sun up - not like I'm going to be sleeping. Nothing will happen, but hopefully if this is some kind of pattern law enforcement can get a suspect. Here's hoping that guy never does come back and tells his friends that the Five-Star compound is not to be ****ed with. The truth is that I don't want to kill anyone - but any small doubt I may have had about my ability or willingness to do it has pretty much vanished. You can have my stuff, but you better steer clear of my family. Stay safe everyone.
I got this email from a good friend that has belonged to a game management club in Georgia for 12 years. The club leases about 15,000 acres from an estate. The State of Georgia just bought the land and they will lose all lease rights to it's use. During the due diligence period, the state told them to not hunt any rattlesnakes on the land during this period as it was their intent to list them as endangered in the state.
Anyone who has bought and then tried to use a hunting license will appreciate this story as well as a perfect reply to an over-reaching bureaucracy that seldom sees itself on the other end of it's ridiculous regulations…
The State of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife sent a letter to a home/landowner asking for permission to access a creek on his property to document the decline in a certain species of unheard of frogs.
The property owners’ response in the second letter is EPIC.
Original Letter from Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife:
ODFW Staff will be conducting surveys for foothill yellow-legged frogs & other amphibians over the next few months. As part of this research we would like to survey the creek on your property. I am writing this letter to request your permission to access your property.
Recent research indicates that foothill yellow-legged frogs have declined significantly in recent years and are no longer found at half their historic sites. Your cooperation will be greatly appreciated and will help contribute to the conservation of this important species.
Please fill out the attached postage-paid postcard and let us know if you are willing to let us cross your property or not. If you have any concerns about this project please give us a call. We would love to talk with you about our research.
Conservation Strategy Implementation Biologist
RESPONSE FROM LANDOWNERS:
Dear Mr. XXXXXXXX:
Thank you for your inquiry regarding accessing our property to survey for the yellow-legged frog. We may be able to help you out with this matter.
We have divided our 2.26 acres into 75 equal survey units with a draw tag for each unit. Application fees are only $8.00 per unit after you purchase the "Frog Survey License" ($120.00 resident / $180.00 Non-Resident). You will also need to obtain a "Frog Habitat" parking permit ($10.00 per vehicle).
You will also need an "Invasive Species" stamp ($15.00 for the first vehicle and $5.00 for each add'l vehicle) Yo u will also want to register at the Check Station to have your vehicle inspected for non-native plant life prior to entering our property. There is also a Day Use fee, $5.00 per vehicle.
If you are successful in the Draw you will be notified two weeks in advance so you can make necessary plans and purchase your "Creek Habitat" stamp. ($18.00 Resident / $140.00 Non-Resident.)
Survey units open between 8 am and 3 pm but you cannot commence survey until 9 am and must cease all survey activity by 1 pm. Survey Gear can only include a net with a 2" diameter made of 100% organic cotton netting with no longer than an 18-ft handle, non-weighted and no deeper than 6' from net frame to bottom of net. Handles can only be made of BPA-free plastics or wood.
After 1 pm. you can use a net with a 3" diameter if you purchase the "Frog Net Endorsement" ($75.00 Resident / $250 Non-Resident). Any frogs captured that are r eleased will need to be released with an approved release device back into the environment unharmed.
As of June 1, we are offering draw tags for our "Premium Survey" units and application is again only $8.00 per application. However, all fees can be waived if you can verify "Native Indian Tribal rights and status.”
You will also need to provide evidence of successful completion of "Frog Surveys and You" comprehensive course on frog identification, safe handling practices, and self-defense strategies for frog attacks. This course is offered on-line through an accredited program for a nominal fee of $750.00.
Please let us know if we can be of assistance to you. Otherwise, we decline your access to our property but appreciate your inquiry.
Larry & Amanda XXXXXXXX
- Thread: Your typical Trump supporter
This kid is amazing. 4.0 student in high school. NJROTC. 6 months before HS graduation, he comes to us and says he wants to enlist (as a reservist) in the US Marines. We tried to talk him into waiting to finish college first, then go in as an officer. His research said that an officer, who went in as enlisted, was more highly respected. He was 17 when he went in a month after HS graduation. Parris Island from June - September. He did his MCT and MOS training, and immediately went to college. Studying to be a mechanical engineer. About 4 months ago, he was selected to attend OCS this summer as an aviator. He didn’t want to fly (see? I told you he was a smart kid), instead, was offered a non-flight OCS position next summer.
We did try to get him into the US Naval Academy, but the Navy Blue and Gold officer told him, openly, that he was the wrong sex and color.
Then the Air Force came a’calling. Offered him their version of OCS and Recon. He loves the idea. He’s still considering his options. He’s working 3 jobs (one is his Marine commitment) and maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
You can’t tell I’m a proud parent, can you? He’d kill me if he knew I was telling you all this, but I just can’t help it.
My first thought was to shake my head and laugh at the level of delusion it takes to convince himself of this--and then to say it aloud in public.
But my second thought was more charitable: namely, that the poor guy is in utter shock and is having a hard time processing reality right now.
To recap: he won the Presidency at a relatively young age--the peak of one's career as a politician/community organizer. Everything else in life is downhill from there; and make no mistake: politics is his life. He managed to get elected and reelected; but his agenda was utterly rejected by the American people. Record defeats at the ballot box across the state and federal landscape: Republicans winning commanding majorities in Congress, Governor positions, and in state congresses too. Rather than compromise, he took shortcuts: ruling via executive fiat to circumvent a Congress that was elected to stifle his agenda and had zero interest in giving him what he wanted. It was pointed out to him that taking such actions wasn't a wise way to govern because it would just be erased by the time a Republican took the White House, but he didn't listen (arrogantly believing the Democrats would win the White House again).
Then, the Republicans win the Presidency. Trump undoes 75-85% of his executive orders within 30 days and rolls back regulations (largely put in place by Obama's Administration) and introduces a tax cut. Confounding all economic experts: the economy grows at rates not seen in decades...and has staying power: as companies continue to hire and boost wages. His entire Presidency--the pinnacle of his life's work--has been largely overturned by a man he despises and, worse, it's proven to be mostly successful.
In that light, his delusional rantings make more sense. His ego will never permit him to see that he was the problem the whole time.
I'm a graduate of the University of Florida College of Law where I earned the book award for Constitutional Law. That means I was the top student in the entire class.
I don't claim to know what the entire emoluments clause means. Nobody does. The only people who did are long dead. It was never covered in any con law class until 2016 because nobody talked about it from inception until then. It has never, ever, been litigated. What's changed? Trump. Or, more specifically, Trump Derangement Syndrome. The only thing I can tell you with any certainty is what it does NOT mean because we can base that on what the Framers did in the early days of the Republic. You know, like sell tobacco and cotton to foreigners. Clearly, that's not emoluments.
So what is our best guess at what it means? First, it's not even called the emoluments clause. It's typically referred to as the title of nobility clause. Here is the text:
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.
So Congress can't make you or me or Obama a Knight or a Duke. Likewise, the Queen of England can't make you or me or Obama a Knight or a Duke. So far, so good. The problem is the rest of it.
It is common in diplomacy to exchange gifts, sometimes extravagant gifts. You may have heard of the Resolute Desk? It is the desk in the Oval office. The HMS Resolute was a British warship that patrolled the African coast to intercept slave traders. That desk was made from the wood of that ship after she was decommissioned. It was presented as a gift from the Crown to the US president. Pretty cool, no? We have worked through this gift thing over the years. There is a cash value limit and most of the stuff the president gets ends up in the national archives. The president gives gifts too. Obama was roundly ridiculed by the British press for giving copies of his own speeches and copies of movies that would not play in European players. Anyway...
Right now, I'm making money off of foreigners. So are most Americans and nearly all politicians. For most of us, it is a modest 401(k) or if it is a pension, parts of it are invested in foreign companies. Like Burger King (Canadian owned by Tim Hortons) or Chrysler (Italian owned by Fiat). Maybe we own energy stocks that can greatly increase or decrease in value based on what the Saudi's or OPEC do. Maybe we own coal mines or pork futures that depend on Chinese demand. Are you familiar with the concept of a blind trust? That's how we're supposed to avoid potential conflicts arising from such relationships. Of course corruption is rampant in Congress but that's the idea anyway.
None of that is emoluments.
Our best guess of what is meant by emoluments is a job that comes with a salary. Think of the mob guy who gets a job as a union rep for a sanitation or construction company; never show up or work, but draw a salary. The fear was that the Crown might appoint the Secretary of State to a job, say inspector general of Toronto or surveyor or something, that drew a regular salary. Think about it...no presents, emoluments, offices, or titles. Makes sense in that context, no?
The Clinton Foundation, and Bill Clinton's personal speaking fees aren't in a blind trust. The Russians actually needed Hillary's consent for the Uranium One deal. There is a clear quid pro quo. Was it corrupt? Probably. Was it emoluments? Nah. Check out Bill's speaking fees going up and down as his and Hillary's political fortunes waxed and waned. Clearly there is a relationship, a causal relationship, but not emoluments.
Foreigners have stayed in Trump's hotels for many years. His operation is (allegedly) in a blind trust right now. Foreigners are still renting rooms at his hotels. There is nothing wrong with that. If you want to allege corruption, you need to demonstrate that these people are overpaying (significantly) for the accommodations and that Trump is aware of it and is providing a quid pro quo.
I love it when you pseudo intellectual lefties latch on to something new and sprinkle it into your conversations to come across as brighter or "in the know". Lately it's been all about emoluments and gaslighting. A couple years ago it was Koch Brothers and privilege. microaggressions, cisgendered, trigger warning, toxic masculinity, people of color, etc.
The fact is you have no idea what you're talking about. You like to think you come across well but frankly you don't.
In your response, you're conflating two very different things. You're using emoluments interchangeably with corruption. Those are not the same.
Stop talking about emoluments. You sound like a fool.
If you want to talk about bribery and corruption, go ahead but first identify the quid pro quo or you'll sound like a fool anyway.
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