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Recertification course

Spending the day taking some courses. Two of them: The first being Basic Life Support, which is a CPR class for healthcare providers. I am also taking Advanced Cardiac Life Support, which is (as the name implies) the more advanced version. I offer this video as a primer on how to perform CPR:

Even though it isn’t as technically accurate as the film for the course, it is certainly not as dry.

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What happens when a cop is a burglar?

A Palm Beach cop is caught burglarizing a home. Evidence found in his possession indicates that this was not his first burglary. Florida has a castle law. What happens when you shoot a burglar who is armed with at least one handgun, but turns out to be a cop? 

The law says that you can’t use force in a few cases, but here is the part about cops:

(d) The person against whom the defensive force is used or threatened is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who enters or attempts to enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using or threatening to use force knew or reasonably should have known that the person entering or attempting to enter was a law enforcement officer. (emphasis added)

It would seem that the emphasized text above would have you in the clear, but this would certainly be a muddy case. 
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Best and Brightest

Florida, in a bid to attract the “Best and Brightest” began a campaign a few years ago where they want to attract intelligent people to the teaching profession. If you meet the criteria, the state gives you a check for $7,000-10,000. The rules are simple:

– must be a classroom teacher

– The person has to have scored in the 80th percentile on the SAT or ACT, AND

– Has to have an evaluation of “Highly Effective” or
– Has to be a first year employee of the school district and not yet received an evaluation.

Since I am new to this district, and state law requires that 50% or more of teacher evaluations include “student growth” as measured by their improvement in standardized testing, and my student growth for last year can’t be measured because they weren’t mine for most of the school year, I am eligible for the money.

Except that the school is denying it, saying that since they couldn’t evaluate my effectiveness through testing my students, I had a choice: they could simply assign to me the average growth of all students in the school, or they could use the English tests of my students. Either way, this would not result in enough student growth for me to be eligible to receive the incentive. They tried to cushion the blow by telling me that they are giving me a $250 a year raise next fall.

I have been a teacher for over three years. During my first year, a Vice-principal threw me under the bus with a parent, and lied about me to make himself look better. He and the principal got fired at the end of the year.

During my second year, a student with a rich, well connected attorney for a father was upset that she got a C on one of my Chemistry tests. The father called the school, and the Principal began investigating me. He spent a week questioning my students. He put a hidden recording device in my classroom.  The principal told me that out of the 50 students they questioned, all but three of them had positive things to say. He went on to claim that this was probably due to the fact that the students were afraid of retribution. I then said “So when a student complains about not liking my class, they are being accurate and truthful, but when they are happy with my class, they must be lying?” Three days later, the Principal called me into his office, and they fired me without cause, which is legal in Florida. Even for teachers with an annual contract. I got another job in less than two weeks. Six weeks after I left, my students had high passing rates for the state exam- 76%. The state average is 64%.

During my third year, I was told by my new Principal to confiscate a student’s cell phone for texting in class, send that phone to the office, and tell him to come get it from the Vice-Principal. I did so. The student came into my class during lunch and physically attacked me in an attempt to get his phone back. The school did not support me. I spent two months on modified assignment before resigning. After I quit, the school contacted the state Department of Education to have me investigated. They also insinuated that I was, as a male, making inappropriate sexual comments to female students. After nearly a year of investigating, during which the state sent an investigator to the school to interview 20 of my students, I was cleared of any wrongdoing. In total, my legal fees were more than $4,000. The student who attacked me is going to college on a football scholarship.

Now in my fourth year, this latest outrage is costing me at least $7,000. I have finally had enough. It wasn’t about the money. After all, if money was all I cared about, I would have stayed in the medical field.

I pointed out to my wife that I can go back to the medical profession, where a local hospital is hiring people with my qualifications for 75% more than I make as a teacher, but it will mean night shift and no more summers off.  I would be working three 12 hour shifts a week. She has agreed that I should begin looking to go back into the medical field after the first of the year. Luckily, my medical licenses are still active, I just have to take a couple of refresher courses. I will be taking them this weekend. .

I am done. The education system is broken beyond repair, and teachers are not valued employees. I hope to be out of there before spring. This is why the average teacher lasts less than five years in Florida: no money, no respect, and knowing that the entire system is failing.

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Lost my guns

You’re here to confiscate my guns, officer? Sorry, I lost them all in an incident involving strippers. Don’t ask, the wife is still pissed off about it.

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Armed in a nonpermissive environment: Sea World edition

I detest security theater. The security measures that have been put in place at various public venues have not done a thing to actually make us safer, and actually make us less safe. All these measures have done is make people FEEL safe, while providing no real safety. There is a lot of crime on the property of the theme parks, even being perpetrated by the very employees of the parks themselves, and not just a few times, either.

A few years ago, I took a class on terrorism at a local college in pursuit of my degree in Public Safety. One of the things that I did for the class was plan a terrorist attack on a soft target in the area, and then see what steps should have been taken to prevent it. As a result, I saw that the security at these locations was there only for show. I continued to check other locations and saw how flimsy the security was, and used some of these checks as the basis for a post or two.

These parks are all what is called a “non permissive” environment for people with concealed weapons. That is, no one is permitted to have weapons on property, but this is only a corporate policy, not the law. It is perfectly legal to have a concealed weapon on your person, but if you are caught with one, they will ask you to leave. As far as I know, this includes police officers who are not on duty. To enforce this policy, security has a mandatory bag inspection and randomly runs those entering through a magnetometer. For some events, ALL persons entering are required to pass through the magnetometer.

The latest theme park to be tested is Sea World. This park announced that they are tightening security, with multiple police officers working off duty, in uniform, as Sea World screeners. Supposedly, all guests entering the park must pass through magnetometers. It seems like it would be difficult for a terrorist, deranged criminal, or other person with ill intent to get into the park. I decided to try.

It turned out to be trivially easy. I signed up to dine at SeaWorld’s “Dine with Sharks” restaurant. We were told to meet the employees at a side entrance of the park, where we had our bags checked before boarding a shuttle bus. Since I didn’t have a bag, I got right on the bus while carrying a Smith & Wesson Shield in 9mm with a spare magazine, and a can of pepper spray.

The bus drove through a back gate, where we were released into the theme park itself in order to eat dinner and then explore the park. We didn’t have to circumvent security, the theme park’s employees did it for us.

Even though a man with a gun entered the park, nothing happened.

Keep this in mind:

1 I did not enter in violation of the law. When I enter places armed, understand that I am not breaking the law. I have a concealed weapons permit, and although the company may not like the fact that I am armed, it is completely legal.
2 I am not interesting in debating the basis for concealed carry. One of the biggest comments I hear is how you don’t need a gun at Disney or anywhere else, unless you are in a “bad” neighborhood. I think this is a rather naïve position to take, but if you don’t think you need to carry, then don’t. Just don’t try and stop me for choosing to carry. I would, however point out that theme parks are a dangerous place, with even Federal law enforcement officers being kidnapped and carjacked there. Sometimes it is the Disney security guards themselves committing the crimes. Even the terrorist who was the shooter in Orlando had scouted Disney as a possible target. 
3 I also do not want to debate the morality of carrying against a property owner’s wishes. I don’t care what his wishes are. I don’t owe him a thing, and I am free to ignore his wishes as I please, as long as I am following the law. 
Think of the above rules, and consider this:
A criminal or terrorist will bring a weapon in to these places, and doesn’t care about the law, the owner’s wishes, or whether or not concealed carry is a good idea. If I can legally sneak a weapon into these places, a criminal or terrorist could also do so illegally with the intent of killing, robbing, or kidnapping you. 
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Right of the People to alter or abolish it

People want to be able to live their lives by the rules they set for themselves. That is universal.

The second thing that many people want is to be able to force others to live by rules that they themselves set for those others. Those many who would force others to live by those rules do so through strength. That strength can be obtained through physical toughness: the weak are overpowered by those who are larger, faster, or can lift heavier things. It can be obtained through force of numbers: the many overpower the few.

We establish governments to support both of those goals. A limited government can support the goal of freedom. The danger is that the government with enough power to allow one group to overpower the other, and force rules on others, has enough power to take everyone’s freedom, leaving all citizens at the mercy of the governing power at the helm.

The founders wrote about this (emphasis added):

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

When we established the government, the intent was to restrict its powers, so that the second goal of using it to control others was impossible. When that fails, people will want to part ways with that government. Just as the citizens of Catalonia are doing, or at least trying to do. Their government is responding the way that governments always try to do. They are using force and clamping down.

This is going to be instructive.

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Mags and stuff for sale

I have a few magazines and parts for some firearms that I no longer own, and I wish to sell.

I have 13 magazines that fit G3 pattern rifles, such as the H&K91, or the PTR91. They are missing some bluing on the edges, but work fine. $2 each.

I have a 40 round steel AK pattern magazine. Like new $10.

Also, 3 Glock 19 magazines, factory. Like new. $20 each.

I will sell all of the magazines as a lot for $85.

I also have a stainless steel extended, threaded match grade barrel for a Glock 19. It has had less than 200 rounds through it. Storm Lake manufacture, 1/2″  28 threads for suppressor. With thread protector. It is 4.75″ long. I am selling this barrel for $170. 

All prices are plus shipping. Let me know where you are, and I will quote you a price for shipping. I will not ship to places where I know they are illegal to possess, such as NY, MD, MA, HI, NJ, CA, CO, or CT. I will also not ship to IL. Also, I make as much effort as I can to weed out prohibited areas, but you are responsible to ensure that the items are legal to own in your area.

If you are interested, let me know in comments and make an offer.

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Stupidity on TV

My wife was watching a show called “Chicago Fire” where some people, including an off duty paramedic, were trapped in a building collapse of a parking garage. One of the vehicles had a CB radio in it. The trapped people were listening to the CB, and heard the rescuers on their radios outside saying they were pulling back.

This is stupid. CB radios operate in the 11 meter band, meaning that the wavelength is about 11 meters. That makes the frequency near 27 mHz. This band is exclusively used for CB radios. The signal is an AM analog signal.

Public safety radios are allocated different bands. Chicago is operating in the 460 mHz band, and they are using FM digital signals. There are some channels in Chicago that are analog, but they are still in the 460 mHz band.

This requires different radios, different antennas, and the two are nowhere near compatible.

In short, there is NO WAY that an AM CB radio in the 27mHz band can receive an FM digital signal in the 460 mHz band. 

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K9 cops

For years, police have arrested anyone who harms a police K9, claiming that the dogs are defacto police dogs. There is a Federal law that makes it a felony to harm police dogs.  I have long said that, if it is a crime for a private citizen to harm a dog, then police officers should also face charges if, through negligence or deliberate action, they bring harm to a police dog.

Well, a police officer left his K9 in a police car outside of the courthouse for hours. The dog died, and the cop is facing criminal charges. He is trying to get them dismissed. I think he should face charges and pay the price.

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FEMA makes no sense

After the hurricane passed, many of the people in my area filed for disaster assistance. Two weeks later, many of them received checks for $800 or more. No inspections, no questions asked. I asked them, and the ones who got the cash said that they had no damage to their homes, and told FEMA so. They got a check anyway. All I got was an inspector who came to my house, and a denial letter saying that we didn’t have enough damage to receive anything.

The inspector told us that the $800 was only given away during the first two weeks, and now that the disaster was more than a  month ago, that money was no longer available. The thing is, we applied just a week after the storm, and were told we had to wait for an inspection.

The government makes no sense at all.