Saturday, April 18, 2015

Sheepdogs and Wolves in Uniform, 2

Sexual misconduct is the second highest of all complaints nationwide against police officers, representing 9.3 percent in 2010, according to an unofficial study.

In 2010, 354 of the 618 complaints involved non consensual sexual acts, and over half of those involved were minors.

Earlier this month we reported on an officer in charge of a rape case who is accused of stalking and sexually harassing the victim.

Last month Oklahoma made headlines with three serial rapists in 3 weeks, all officers, as well as one police chief molesting children.

In July, a former New York Police Department officer convicted of planning to kidnap and rape women before killing and eating them was set to go free after a federal judge overturned his conviction.
(From article, "Former Cop Headed to Trial for Raping a Child While Other Officers Watched")

Continued from "Sheepdogs and Wolves in Uniform"

(Wikimedia Commons photo by Gunnar Ries)

Violent predators in uniform: we might call them wolves in sheepdogs' clothing. And deployment overseas gives them ample opportunity to act out their sickest fantasies while acting amid the chaos of war. 

The gun and the uniform provides the wolf with the power and the illusion of legitimacy he needs to get away with his crimes. Because of expediency or ignorance, his superiors may even find his service commendable.


When the wolf in uniform returns to civilian life, he has choices to make. If he continues his sociopathic behaviors as a civilian, he risks exposure, prison or even death. But one option remains open.

Most, if not all, police departments, give preference to hiring veterans. The violent predator vet thus has a better-than-average chance of gaining what he wants and needs most: power over the helpless wrapped in a blanket of legitimacy. In other words, society offers him a gun and a badge.

Col. Dave Grossman makes the point that sheepdogs gravitate toward careers in law enforcement. Sadly, it's only natural for wolves, as well.

Back in the 1970's, the movie Serpico highlighted the career of an honest cop who made his stand against corruption in the New York City Police Department. Nearly 80 now, Frank Serpico has written an article about the problem of criminal officers and the police culture that protects and nurtures them.

Serpico's article unfolds against the backdrop of the recent North Charleston, SC incident in which Officer Michael Slager shot Walter Scott eight times in the back, and then he dropped his Taser near the body to bolster his claim that Scott had wrested control of it from him.

The article makes some telling points:

If you think that what happened in North Charleston is a unique case, it is not. Only recently, in another case, a policewoman in Pennsylvania first Tasered a black man, then shot him twice in the back as he lay face down in the snow. She was chasing him for an expired parking sticker. There were five seconds between shots. She said she feared for her life. It was captured on her own Taser camera.

I’ve been saying this for a long time, ever since I spoke before the Knapp Commission investigating corruption in the NYPD more than 40 years ago: Unless we create an atmosphere where the crooked cop fears the honest cop, and not the other way around, the system will never change. Unless honesty is rewarded more often than corruption, the police will lose credibility altogether. I wrote a letter to President Bill Clinton in 1994 addressing this very issue, saying that honest cops have never been rewarded, and maybe there ought to be a medal for them. He wrote back, but nothing changed.

Now, in the era of citizen videotaping, police credibility is at stake as never before. If enough testi-lying is uncovered, then who is going to believe the police even when they are telling the truth? They will be seen as crying wolf.

Until now, the shoot-first-in-fear-of-my-life mantra has eliminated any cause for concern in the taking of life by police. When a civilian commits a crime, every nuance is looked at, the better to “throw the book at” the suspect. When cops err, it is the opposite reaction. Eyes are averted, aggravating circumstances are ignored. And now the public is learning about this every time a new videotape emerges that undermines the official police story.

There is only one solution: The good cops really have to step up, and the system needs to reward them, rather than punish them. (From article: "When Cops Cry Wolf", Politico Magazine)

Okay, what's the bottom line, here? I would like to see my fellow conservative Christians adopt the following principles and apply them in the way they react, think and speak about accusations of police violence.

1) Although not all police accused of brutality are guilty, neither are all innocent. Do not automatically take up a side when accusations surface.

2) We see enough corruption in the ranks of the police to know that they will lean much further toward justifying one of their own than bringing charges against him. Do not uncritically accept official statements that justify an officer's actions.

3) Recognize that, "With great power comes great responsibility." If anything, the powers granted to an officer should require higher standards of behavior than those imposed upon the average citizen (e.g.,  If a private citizen should burn for shooting a suspect in the back, the same should hold true for law enforcement -- perhaps more so.)

4) Commit yourself to the truth rather than opposition to the other end of the political spectrum. If the knee-jerk liberals automatically assume an officer's guilt, don't take the opposite position out of misplace loyalty to your party or your ideology. Don't fall into the trap of making each individual police act a political issue. It's an issue of truth and justice, not politics.

For further reading, I recommend Frank Serpico's article, "The Police are Still Out of Control".

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sheepdogs and Wolves in Uniform

As a youngster, I would watch a war movie and ask my dad which were the good guys. My dad, a WWII vet tried to explain to me that it's not that simple.

Consider the following quote:

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III-R) of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) indicates that the incidence of "anti-social personality disorder" (that is, sociopaths) among the general population of American males is approximately 3 percent. These sociopaths are not easily used in armies, since by their very nature they rebel against authority, but over the centuries, armies have had considerable success at bending such highly aggressive individuals to their will during wartime. So if two out of three of this 3 percent were able to accept military discipline, a hypothetical 2 percent of soldiers would, by the APA's definition, "have no remorse about the effects of their behavior on others.

. . . . The presence of aggression combined with the absence of empathy results in sociopathy. The presence of aggression combined with the presence of empathy, results in a completely different kind of individual from the sociopath. (Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, On Killing, pp. 182-183)

The foregoing passage introduces Col. Grossman's the famous and oft-quoted portion of his book that gave us the term "sheepdog" to describe the protectors among us who can kill the bad guys and still live with themselves. My barber brought me a copy of this book just a few months after its publication and said, "Here, read this. We're in here."

When I got to these pages, I knew exactly what he was talking about. My purpose in this post, however, lies in a desire to further explore the phenomenon of wolves in uniform.

(Wikimedia Commons photo by Gunnar Ries)


The U.S. has maintained its war footing in the Middle East for over a decade. Therefore, by Col. Grossman's analysis, it seems likely that the military includes up to two sociopaths out of every hundred troops. In addition, they probably field one or two sheepdogs out of every hundred deployed.

We would like to think that no one in the U.S. military would disgrace his uniform by committing war crimes and atrocities against the civilian population. Others among us would like to think that all those in the military rape, murder and torture on a daily basis.

The truth lies in the extremes. A small percentage of those fighting overseas can kill the enemy with no crisis of conscience. Up to half of that number occupy the role of sheepdog. The rest function as violent predators.

Sheepdogs and wolves both serve as critically useful assets on the battlefield. Off the front lines, however, the predators become a liability as they use the confusion of war to cover their crimes against prisoners and civilians.

In the armed forces among the 98% or so who do not kill easily, you will find as broad a spectrum of personalities as in the general population: dependable & undependable, ambitious & lazy, brave & cowardly, truthful & liars, givers and thieves, honorable & knaves. Among the 2-3% who can kill without the reprisals of conscience, you will find two basic types: protectors and predators.

Why do I bother to point this out? Because, in our polarized society, you can find hardly anyone indifferent to the military. To one side, all in uniform are heroes, while to the other, all are murderers. Conflict between these two opinions serves to further polarize society on the issue.

I assume that most of my readers lean toward associating the uniform with heroism. This simplistic view, however, can blind you to some realities that bear fearful consequences not only overseas, but at home, as well.

When we project our naive view onto all men in uniform, we set the stage for tragic consequences that include both individual victims and society at large.

(To be continued)

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Newest Addition: Gallery Gun

I have always liked gallery guns, but they're kind of hard to find. To me, those .22 caliber pumps represent the apex of plinking fun.

For the past couple of years, I've visited our local pawn shop occasionally, and I've always checked to see if they had any gallery guns. Then, a few weeks ago, BINGO!

Short version, I now own a Savage Model 29, chambered for .22 short, long and long rifle. The original bluing has long since worn off, and a pleasant patina has taken its place. It has some miles on it, but so does its new owner.


 It did concern me that its previous owner might have shot a lot of shorts in it, which can erode the chamber. Long rifle cases could then expand into the depression and be difficult to eject. However, when I tested it the next day, it performed flawlessly, and the action works smoothly, like licking an ice cream cone on a hot day.


I did some research online, and I found that a the octagonal barrel on my Model 29 pushes its origin to before World War II. The low serial number (52xx) makes me wonder if it dates back to the first year or so of manufacture.


The pawn shop had a gunsmith repair and refinish the stock. This photo does not do justice to the nice finish he put on it. In the lower right, you can see the line where the stock was broken.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Gunshot First Aid

Here's the link to an article I ran across that I thought was informative: Gunshot First Aid for Preppers.

This is an area where I really don't have experience. I'd be interested in hearing from readers with firsthand experience. (I'm looking for people with experience, not just opinions.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hanky-zilla: My Shemagh

Military types have long-since adopted the shemagh, due to its utility. I've included one in my every day carry (EDC), and when I forgot it this past Sunday, I felt almost as though I were going to church naked.

You may be asking, "So, whats a shemagh?" In short, it's a super-sized bandanna. It's a square that usually measures 42" on a side.


Okay, what's it good for?  Here are a few suggestions from an ad I received:

  • Dust Protection. Cover your face on motorcycles, truck beds, and tops of chicken buses.
  • Sun Protection. Great for when you’re stranded in mid-day heat without shade nearby.
  • Towel. Small, lightweight, fast drying, but thick enough get the job done. Perfect for the beach.
  • Warmth. Wrap it around your neck as a scarf on the top of a mountain.
  • Bag. Lay it out, put stuff in middle, tie four corners together. Instant hobo sack.
  • Sarong. While shorter than a normal one, it can still be wrapped around your waist.
  • Sweat Rag. Great for hiking, running, or other sweat-inducing activities.
  • Arm Sling. Sprain a wrist or break an arm? Perfect for temporary immobilization.
  • Emergency Bandage. Help stop bleeding and protect the wound until you get to a hospital.
  • Pillow. Thick & soft enough to ball up and sleep with on bus rides or camping trips.
  • Weapon. Twist a big rock up in the middle, and you have an instant self-defense tool!
  • Concealment. Breaks up head silhouette.  Covers gun.
  • Rope. Long enough to be rolled up to tie things together.
  • Water Filter. Fold up multiple times and filter debris out of water before boiling.
  • Keeping Cool. Soak in cold water and wrap around your neck.
  • Signal Flag. Large enough to wave and get someone’s attention.
  • Blanket. Good for covering your upper or lower body..
  • Pot Holder. Take that boiling water you just filtered off the fire.
  • Eye Mask. Sleep during the day or in a hostel when lights are on.
  • Poop wiper, nose rag, etc.  The list goes on and on.

When I ordered mine from Amazon (Click here to see), it cost me $9.99 with free shipping.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Power Signals, Posture and the Christian Martialist, 3

Continued from "Power Signals, Posture and the Christian Martialist, 2"

In the previous post I established that the Bible links physical posture to inner moods and attitudes. In the next post, I want to tell a little bit about how I use the power poses in my own training.

First, though, let's look at some of the poses I use. I'll call on two of my favorites, Doc Savage and The Phantom to illustrate.


Above, you can see both Doc and The Phantom taking up space, a classic characteristic of power posing. To me, this pose signifies ready for anything.


Dr. Cuddy calls this "the Wonder Woman pose". In reality, almost every comic book hero assumes this posture often.



Usually, folded arms connote weakness, but not here. The Phantom has not hunched his shoulders, his chin is up, and he has assumed a wide stance. This pose virtually screams, "I'm in charge, here.".



Doc Savage projects power with arms upraised. The upper image reminds me of what I call the strongman pose.


It's difficult to find comic book heroes using the victory pose. When I use it, the word "exultant" comes to mind.




Both Doc and The Phantom project authority, even when seated. For this one, you need the biggest armchair you can find, then spread out to fill the space..


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Power Signals, Posture and the Christian Martialist, 2

Continued from "Power Signals, Posture and the Christian Martialist"

In the previous post, I presented the principle that how you position your body affects your own inner attitude. When you are in a hostile environment, you want to project confidence and power to yourself as well as to potential adversaries.

The Christian Martialist, however, must ask himself the question: "Does this principle represent some fad in pop psychology, or does it arise out God's built-in design? Of course, the Word of God holds the ultimate answer to the validity of power poses.

I did a study on where the Bible associates physical posture with inner moods and attitudes. I also checked some commentaries that help to confirm and explain those connections.

Posture, Mood & Attitude

Psalm 42:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

Commentary:
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? - Margin, bowed down. The Hebrew word means to bow down, to incline oneself; then, usually, to prostrate oneself as in public worship; and then, to sink down under the weight of sorrow; to be depressed and sad. The Septuagint renders it, “Why art thou grieved?” - περίλυπος (Barnes)

Psalm 27:6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.

Commentary:
And now shall mine head - Now shall I be exalted. So we say that in affliction a person bows down his head; in prosperity he lifts it up. This verse expresses the confident expectation that he would be enabled to triumph over all his foes, and a firm purpose on his part, as the result of this, to offer sacrifices of praise to his great Deliverer. (Barnes)

Psalm 110:7 He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.

Commentary:
Therefore shall he lift up the head - Therefore shall he triumph, or be successful. The head falls when we are faint and exhausted, when we are disappointed and are ashamed, when we are conscious of guilt. It is lifted up in conscious rectitude, in success and triumph, in the exuberance of hope. (Barnes)

Psalm 119:48 My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.

Commentary:
My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments ... - As an expression of delight or rejoicing, as people lift up their hands with their voice when they give expression to joy. It denotes a high state of joy, such as leads to an outward expression; not merely that which exists in calm contemplation, but where the heart is full, and when it finds outward expression. (Barnes)

Psalm 134:1 A Song of degrees. Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD.
Psalm 134:2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.
Psalm 134:3 The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.

Commentary:
Lift up your hands in the sanctuary - Margin, In holiness. The Hebrew word properly means holiness, but it may be applied to a holy place. See Psalm_20:2. The lifting up of the hands is properly expressive of prayer, but the phrase may be used to denote praise or worship in general. (Barnes)

Lam 3:41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.

Heb 12:12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;

Commentary:
Lift up the hands which hang down - As if from weariness and exhaustion. Renew your courage; make a new effort to bear them. The hands fall by the side when we are exhausted with toil, or worn down by disease; see the notes on Isa_35:3, from which place this exhortation is taken. (Barnes)

Isa 35:3 Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.

Commentary:
The weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees - Strength resides mainly in the arms, and in the lower limbs, or the knees. If these are feeble, the whole frame is feeble. Fear relaxes the strength of the arms, and the firmness of the knees; and the expressions ‘weak hands,’ and ‘feeble knees,’ become synonymous with saying, of a timid, fearful, and desponding frame of mind. (Barnes)

Job 22:6 For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God.

Commentary:
And shalt lift up thy face unto God - An emblem of prosperity, happiness, and conscious innocence. We hang our face down when we are conscious of guilt; we bow the head in adversity. When conscious of uprightness; when blessed with prosperity, and when we have evidence that we are the children of God, we look up toward heaven. This was the natural condition of human beings - made to look upward, while all other animals look grovelling on the earth. (Barnes)

Ezekiel 1:28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.
Eze 2:1 And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.
Eze 2:2 And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.

Jos 7:6 And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads.
Jos 7:10 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?
Jos 7:13 Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies,

Pro 28:12 When righteous men do rejoice, there is great glory: but when the wicked rise, a man is hidden.

Rejoice:
âlats
aw-lats'
A primitive root; to jump for joy, that is, exult: - be joyful, rejoice, triumph. (Strong)

Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Subdue:
kâbash
kaw-bash'
A primitive root; to tread down; hence negatively to disregard; positively to conquer, subjugate, violate: - bring into bondage, force, keep under, subdue, bring into subjection. (Strong)
I read a commentary that said this word’s usage stemmed from the practice of kings in the ancient Near East to place a foot upon the neck of a conquered foe, denoting total and absolute subjugation. (C.M.)