Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Quarterly Qualifications

It was a warm day for one in the beginning of February today, at least by New York City standards, warm and damp, and even sometime wet. The steel gray clouds held low and promised rain, and every now and again they obliged that promise today, and the rains fell. Mostly gentle drizzle, sometimes a bit harder, up to a steady rain, but nothing to severe. Then back to being just damp again. That was okay by me, it had my spirits pretty high because I had to go to the range today for quarterly qualifications and the range is an outdoor one. With great timing, great for us shooters, the skies held back their tears as we left our training in the classroom and headed outside to shoot. So it turned out to be damp and warm, at least for a February qual. Warm meaning about in the low to mid 50s; and you can bet, that was good.

What wasn't so good though was my first score on the pistol course of fire. I have not shot as poorly as that in at least 24 years , and I mean that literally. When my range officer got done scoring it, he looked at it again, and asked me: "Where were you?" Where was I indeed to have scored a 220 out of a possible 250. I don't know, though I can think of some excuses, but excuses don't make one shoot better, or do they. I figured on what to do to improve by examining those excuses and a couple of other possible variables, and I then shot a 241 out of 250 on the second go round. Now that is none to great either. I have been known to shoot my fair share of perfect scores, but not that much in the last couple of years. That drop in score from the mid to high 240s, from scores in the mid to low 240s, which is what I usually shoot lately, is probably due to the eyesight not being what it once was. Oh well, that I can live with. A 220 score though, that is a tough one to live down for me, but I guess we can all have our off moments - better those off moments come at the range than in a gunfight.

As for shotgun, a perfect score. As to the MP-5 Submachine gun, I shot a 243 out of 250, which was good enough to satisfy me. Had I not turned around my pistol score though on that second go round, I would have been heartily disappointed for the rest of the day, maybe the rest of the week. I still cannot believe I shot a low score like a 220, very disappointing indeed. Still though it was uplifting to have brought up my score the second time around; so I guess I left the range a happy camper, qualified for another quarter, and with some extra ammo for practice. I'll be pretty sure to be shooting the practice ammo in the near future, I don’t want another 220 next time. As for the clouds, they remained friendly, the air remained crisp (or warm depending on how you look at it for February), and all in all it made for a great day at the range. Yes you can even shoot poorly and still have a great day at the range. Like fishing, a bad day shooting is better than a great day in the office; and this while not my best of days at the range, was far from a bad one.

All the best,
Glenn B

Voting Is Not All We Can Do - But There Are Restrictions On Political Activities of Government Employees

Well tomorrow (or is it today already, I guess I am up late again) is the so called Super Tuesday, and I wonder is it a coincidence that it so closely follows the Super Bowl. Yeah that’s all it could be I would think, a coincidence. Well anyway, I am a registered Republican, or was at least the last time I registered to vote a few years back (I registered then to change from independent to Republican). I live in New York State, and New York happens to be one of the states holding its primaries tomorrow. That means I guess I'll have to get up a bit early tomorrow today, stretch a bit, shake off the chill, and head to my polling place.

There is no way that I am going to miss my opportunity to help shape this next presidential election, and voting in the primary is the least I can do. That and actually voting in an election are about the most I can do to effect a partisan election without having to wonder if I am jeopardizing my career. That is because I am a federal LEO, and because of how the Hatch Act therefore limits my partisan political activity rights as a citizen. Sure I can do other things, but it gets tricky and every year the government is sure to ram the hatch Act reminders down the throats of federal workers, especially those subject to additional limitations. Most federal law enforcement officers are subject to those additional limitations. Most do not want to get screwed over by violating some act of Congress that they do not fully understand, so most do not get all that involved in politics, and not at all in partisan politics. I mean can you blame them since they could possibly get in trouble for having friends over for dinner and to talk about politics and for whom you think you should all vote (since this could be construed as organizing a partisan political meeting). The minimum penalty for a violation is 30 days of suspension without pay, and the maximum to removal from service. See this site for more info on the rules, and pay attention to the limitations seen on page 7:

http://www.osc.gov/documents/hatchact/ha_fed.pdf.

Imagine that the government told some of you, who are not government workers, that your rights to participate in partisan political activities was limited by an Act of Congress. Bet you would be PO'd for sure. Me, I have come to accept it, and I voice my political opinion loudly and proudly through my blog because that is one of the things I can do legally. I also make some cash contributions to candidates now and then. Other than those things - I vote, and I do so regularly. So tomorrow I will vote in the Republican Party's primary here in New York. Yes I am still a registered Republican despite my disappointment with the lack of conservatism by the party on many issues, and there sticking to some of those conservative values too much on other issues. I recommend that if you are a registered voter in NYS, or elsewhere, you too go and vote in the primary for your party or for one of the parties as allowed by law.

Me I have a good idea of for whom I will vote, and while I cannot urge you to vote for the same person, I can give you my opinion of whether or not he is the best candidate. I am probably going to vote for Mitt Romney. Why? Well because I believe he is a thousand times better than McCain, and at least that much better than Huckabee; and while I realize that is not saying much, I cannot find myself voting for either McCain or Huckabee. McCain, war hero and all, is in my opinion a far left leaning RINO. McCain, heck, he would give up our borders to invaders from the south, and that is enough for me to realize he is out of touch with reality and with the wishes of the American People. Remember he is the one who wanted to team up with Ted Kennedy (supporter of Barrack Obama the most liberal senator in the USA). I guess that Laura Ingraham basically summed it up for me in regard to McCain, when she in essence said, she would rather support Hillary Clinton than McCain because she believes Clinton to be more conservative! If you missed that,
look here to this video at FoxNews.com.

As for Hickabee Huckabee, I beleive he is a man of his convictions, but not necessarily of reality. I think he is sort of a Republican Jimmy Carter. As for his partisan convictions, Huckabee is a man who stands too much on his religion, and who does not want to move into the 20th century, let alone the 21st century, regarding his outlook on social issues. Huckabee could have been my guy, he is right on the mark as far as I am concerned on many issues, but he really is way too far right socially, and I mean way to far. My bet is that he truly believes that dionosaurs walked the earth 5,000 years ago along with Adam and Eve. In my opinion he is almost as religiously wound up as would be an Islamo Fascist but of course just under the guise of another religion. While I am not religious to any great extent, I can well tolerate those who have religious convictions, but not those who are so religious as to be intolerant of others. Even the Pope is more moderate than he as I see it.


Romney is the better evil (is that an oxymoron or what) of the three; or let me just say the least of three evils. I sure do not like a lot of what he did in MA, but again, he sure beats the other two hands down as for being the better man of the three. What a shame to have to be left with the least evil of so many evils as a candidate for whom to vote, but that is how I see it.

Well, that is about it. Tomorrow Today - I'll vote; and who knows - maybe I'll have an epiphany before then and see them all in new light with the dawning of a new day. Right now all I can do is lament that Tom Tancredo did not receive more support, and that he did not have better name recognition when he went into the race. He was, as far as I am concerned the best guy that was in the running since Ronald Reagan.

All the best,
Glenn B