W.A.G. Is The Media Mode Today

Once upon a time, in my youth, we had an expression in the intelligence world: “W.A.G. it.” It meant Wild Assed Guess. (Sorry if that offends, but the context is important)

“Wagging” was used when you had a minimum amount of information, but you wanted to “be the first on the street” with your report. If you lucked out, you would be praised for your amazing insight into the issue. If you screwed up, someone else would top your error within a month in such a spectacular manner that you’d be off the hook outside of your immediate circle of friends. They’d never let you live it down. Which was good, it kept you from doing it again – for the most part.

Look out, Fedex, the Fat Man is coming.

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There was a second “sin” that we saw quite a bit. Let’s say that someone at the C.I.A. “wagged” something. Inevitably, someone in our command would cite that as evidence in their own conclusions. Up next, another command would say, “Well, the C.I.A. and those guys over in Rota all agree that this is the situation. Let’s go with it.” That is known as circular intelligence. Because the next guy placed all his faith in some moron who was wagging it, and as the numbers multiplied the only real “intelligence” was the original wild assed guess. Nice.

This morning, watching several news networks, I saw a log of wagging and more than a bit of circular intelligence. They added in a dash of “retired expert” who then cited a Tweet – yes, a twitter announcement, as his source. They knew literally nothing other than an explosion took place in a Fedex sorting facility, and that there was a reported school shooting in Maryland. The sheriff had announced that the school was on lockdown and the shooter “contained.” That’s it.

Next thing you know, the geniuses on the networks, the same crew that is wrong about almost every-single-thing they talk about on guns, is opining on trigger mechanisms, placement of, and types of explosives. I guess none of them read my book, or they’d be using that as their source. (Remember, in the pre-book rambling I warn that I lied a lot to make sure you couldn’t use it as a guide to making real bombs.)

As a result, I’m going to just go back to reading my book on Jewish humor. I’d rather know about how Mel Brooks got to where he got than what some collection of botox, hairspray, and implants thinks about a bombing campaign.

WAG that circle, kids.

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Bad Dog. No Press Briefing For You.

I love the fact that I can watch the White House press briefing on the internet. It gives me an opportunity to work on my language skills and fully appreciate just how smart my dog, Stormy, really is. Because, after careful evaluation, she’s a lot smarter, kinder, and more gracious than the trolls in that little room that Sarah Sanders has to face every day. I also like the fact that I can see these pompous, strutting twits without a filter. Otherwise, they cut the sound and images to mean what they want them to mean, and create a lie from the reality.

Stormy is smarter than most White House Reporters.

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Monday, as I watched, I marveled at their complete lack of understanding of the English language. They asked questions, or more accurately made statements couched as questions, regarding:

How wonderful the nuclear arsenal of North Korea was to the people of North Korea, and why would their government consider getting rid of their nuclear weapons just because President Trump asked them to do so.

Why can’t President Trump just issue orders and remove all bad bang sticks (we call them, “guns” at my house) from “icky people” who belong to the NRA. Sarah, much to her credit, explained how a constitutional republic does business, instead of just having her helpers use Tazers on the individuals involved.

Why would the President go to California on Tuesday. They didn’t vote for him. (I can’t make this stuff up. Much as I’d like to see Saint Andreas take the whole rim (except Monterey) right into the Pacific, they are still a part of the United States, and at least a few people want that to remain so.)

Why doesn’t the President just outlaw bad guns, and make everyone wait until they’re 21 to get them.

The wall is bad. Some people say so, so President Trump is going to look at prototypes? Is he going to pick the best one? (I cannot adequately convey the shocked tone of that particular imbecile.) I would (because Sara didn’t) point out to them that Donald Trump has some experience in building things, and may actually be fully qualified to judge the merits of the designs based on the information at hand.

Guns are bad. Why does the President chicken out to the NRA?

Rinse and repeat.

As usual, after the third time some idiot asked the same question, she ended the press conference. You don’t have to be an intelligence analyst to pick out that pattern.

Mind, I have my own lens when viewing these clown-shows, but I’m open about it.

I have come to despise the press. Very few genuine reporters left, lots of snowflakes with attitudes.

Oh, what I’d give for a Presidential venue where he could get his side out without the nitwits…

At my house, we call that Twitter. Heck, even I tweet – check me out and follow me for ridiculous things I say. If you’re more visual, I’m on Instagram as well.

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When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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RETRACTION/APOLOGY/CORRECTION OR SOMETHING.

On February 28th, I posted a blog that contained the following paragraph:

I have been criticized for my commentary on bravery with regard to the Florida shootings on Valentines Day. I know a lot of very brave law enforcement officers. I know that the vast majority of them will take on that shooter every time, even if it costs them their own life, because it is what they are paid to do. I also know that a vast majority of them are stunned, saddened and shocked that their brothers in Broward County did not take on the shooter, and that as a result of that apparent cowardice seventeen people died without help that they could have rendered.

It has become clear over the last week that some of the officers were obeying the scene commander when they did not enter the building. (This does not include the school deputy, but the deputies who responded to the call.)

I have some thoughts on this issue:

First, my apologies to the deputies in question for my statement. You were not acting in a cowardly manner, you were obeying orders.

Second, the scene commander is at fault for not following a nationwide protocol on reacting to active shooter situations.

Third, there are times when orders you receive are immoral, illegal, or just plain stupid. It is your responsibility to ignore those orders and do the right thing. At least that’s what I was inculcated with in the military. I’m sticking with it. Perhaps there needs to be more training in some law enforcement agencies on this topic.

Do the right thing. Take the punishment afterward. I’d be surprised if the officers involved were punished for saving lives. If they were, it’s time to leave that outfit. I’d rather not work for anyone who values the chain of command over kids.

To sum up: They may not have been cowards, and I apologize for saying that about them. But they damn sure worked for fools.

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It’s Time To Start A New Ministry On This Blog Featuring Knitters. We’re Calling It Saint’s Scarves.

UPDATE: 03/23/2018 I changed the zip-code to 55101. My apologies for any inconvenience this caused anyone.

My wife, who is the most wonderful person I’ve ever been married to in my life (*old joke, probably get me in trouble*) has been busy for the last few months knitting scarves. After a very long hiatus from knitting, she picked it up again last fall. This is a woman who can knit anything. Without a pattern. Thinking it up as she goes. You know those prize-winning pieces you saw at the State Fair last fall? Not even close to as beautiful as what this woman can do with her skills, needles, and enough yarn to fill a large bedroom.

Beautiful hands…

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Last fall she was kicking around for something to keep her out of trouble – a full-time pursuit in my opinion – and I suggested she turn her knitting skills toward the ministry for the homeless we support at the Good Neighbor Meal. Why not, I asked, hand out knit items to the guests? We’ve given gifts of blankets, food, socks, and a host of other things over the years at the annual Christmas meal. Why not hand out some scarves? After all, you’ve got a year to work on it.

My wife, who is much wiser than I am, said that would be too many to do by herself, and suggested that we gift them to another ministry that’s a favorite of ours, The Union Gospel Mission. I was honored to be Santa for their Christmas party in the recovery center last year, and given her max production she might just meet that goal.

A few weeks later, she let me know that a few of her friends from a knitting gathering, and her mother, were also making scarves for the project. Excellent!

Then a funny thing happened while I was wasting my time on Facebook: Mike Rowe’s Returning The Favor. It dawned on me that I have all of these great readers who do good things all the time. Mind you, I’m not #MikeRowe, but I am multi-talented, handsome, and modest. Uh… I’ve also been covered in sewage while doing a good deed for someone? Yeah, that’s more like it.

Anywho, I figured that with all of you out there, and all of the nice people you know, we could conspire to make this world a better place. How? By working as a group.

It seems as though just knitting one hat, or one scarf, is viewed as a minor thing by most people. But knitters know that it takes time, money, and concentration to make it happen. Yet it feels like you “just bless one person with that item,” and it’s a tough thing for some to bring yourself to do the gifting. Not easy for everyone in this crowd – a bunch of you are introverts. What if we got everyone who reads this blog, and knits, to make a scarf? What if they got all of their friends who knit to make one as well. Or, better yet, more than one. And some stocking caps if you don’t “do” scarves. If we did that, we could keep a whole bunch of people warm and feeling loved next Christmas.

With that thought in mind, are you in? You don’t have to knit, but you just convince a knitter to jump in on the team. I’ll have everyone send the knit items to me, and we’ll gift wrap them for the Christmas party. If we get enough to do two parties, we’ll do two. If we have enough to start going to the places the homeless are in the winter, we’ll load up the mobile-outreach-ministry-distribution-center (my Explorer) and hit the corners. And we will take pictures so you can see what it adds up to at the end. I’m picturing a great, big mound of gift-wrapped scarves and hats, lots of smiling faces, and warm heads.

And warm hearts.

A bowl of happy

Here’s the details:

Each scarf must be six feet in length, and six inches in width (wider or longer if you insist!). That’s simple enough!

I am asking you to put the finished scarf in the smallest possible package you can manage with a note of encouragement on a small card for the recipient. I suggest you put it all in a Ziploc bag and squeeze out all the air. (These have to fit into my tiny office at the Post Office.)

You can mail them directly to me at:

Commotion In The Pews
Post Office Box 4997
101 Fifth Street East
Saint Paul, MN 55101

The address MUST INCLUDE THE POST OFFICE BOX NUMBER. Otherwise, it will be returned to you by the Postal Service.

Also, I need to make something very clear: I AM NOT A CHARITY. I AM NOT A 501 ANYTHING. Yes, you read that right. You can’t deduct this on your taxes. We’re just doing this because it’s cool. No receipts, no tax deductions, but a nice smile at the end of the process.

Drop me a note in the comments if you’d like to participate!

Join the Facebook page for Saint’s Scarves

Email us at saintsscarves@commotioninthepews.com

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When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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Courage Required. Cowardice Not An Option.

I just admire Sir Winston, and experts say that pictures increase blog traffic.

If you plan on hiding under your desk during an active shooter incident, you may want to just grab your blankie and suck your thumb instead of reading this blog today. Seriously. I don’t want to hear any whining from the readers about it not being their job to confront people with guns, that’s for the police. We can all see how well that worked out in Florida on Valentines day.

The portly fellow at the top of this blog (and the one in all the other pictures as well) had a history of courage in his actions. Am I Winston Churchill? Nope. But he and I share an outlook on life that you need to at least think about for a few minutes. I promise, this will be one of the deepest blogs I’ve written during my time as an author.

Please follow me on Twitter, and “Like” the Facebook author page. Don’t forget to subscribe (the box is on the right side of the page) to be eligible for free e-books and other benefits! Oh yeah – grab a copy of Assault on Saint Agnes if you’re of a mind.

You don’t have to be a hero to have courage. Courage is accepting a potential cost to you, and still doing the right thing when offered an opportunity. Whether it’s stopping the bully in your grade school from picking on the kid with the lisp, grabbing a shovel and facing down a dog that’s killing your neighbor’s kid, running to fight a fire until the fire department arrives, confronting an active shooter, or simply getting out of your car and giving the homeless guy without shoes the pair on your own feet.

How do you know if you will have courage when the time comes? Somewhere inside of all of us is the kernel of bravery. It is your choice if you nurture it or abandon it when the time comes to decide. Some of this is developed in your childhood. Some of it is a realization in your soul that pervades your mind when you become an adult.

What it means is that you close that hatch and submerge the submarine, open that patrol car door and head toward the sound of gunfire, or get off the bus and stop the beating that the homeless man is taking while others look on.

I have been criticized for my commentary on bravery with regard to the Florida shootings on Valentines Day. I know a lot of very brave law enforcement officers. I know that the vast majority of them will take on that shooter every time, even if it costs them their own life, because it is what they are paid to do. I also know that a vast majority of them are stunned, saddened and shocked that their brothers in Broward County did not take on the shooter, and that as a result of that apparent cowardice seventeen people died without help that they could have rendered.

I run to the sound of guns. Most of my friends do as well. I have friends I can count on when the bullets fly, and I know they will be right beside me as we crash into the danger zone to help others.

I’m proud to say that is how I choose to live my life. I’ve proven my mettle often enough to know it’s for real.

Take some time, right now, to evaluate your own courage. Sometimes it just takes a little watering to get that kernel to grow. If you find it within you, I’ll gladly take your hand in friendship and face the demons together.

Back to Winston for a moment. He’s the reason they don’t speak German in London today. He had the courage to face ridicule, bombs, and a life in chains if the Germans won. He had the moral courage to call Hitler what he was: evil. I’ve got him tattooed on my upper arm so that I never forget that even old men with polka-dot bow ties can be the salvation of the world in times of crisis.
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When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

Posted in evil, extraordinarily sage advice and unwanted butting in, law enforcement, leadership, political, popular culture, Uncategorized, violence | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment