Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

The Doomsday Castle MacGuffin

Written By: Bob - Aug• 13•13
Doomsday Castle cast, crew, and media. I'm the hot blond beside the hot blonde.

Doomsday Castle cast, crew, Nat Geo staff, and media. I’m the hot blond beside the hot blonde.

National Geographic Channel’s new series Doomsday Castle kicks off tonight at 10:00 PM (ET) . It is a spin-off of the channel’s highest-rated series, Doomsday Preppers, which begins its 3rd season at 9:00 PM.

There are going to be a lot of reviews of the show and the cast’s performance on this episode in particular, and a lot of bad-mouthing of the idea of a castle in the 21st century. It’s an easy slam-dunk for any critic or mocker to make, and I’ll be watching the reviews with some bemusement, because they’ll be missing the point entirely.

Silly English knnnnnnnn-ighuts, Doomsday Castle isn’t about building a castle. It’s about a man attempting to cement together the remains of two families, and leave a legacy he can be proud of, so that he can leave this earth as the kind of father he never had.

Brent Sr., the patriach of the admittedly dysfunctional clan, sat beside me during lunch during the press junket to the castle.  I’m a military strategy, tactics, and history geek (yes, that kind of annoying civilian), and so I asked him why he sunk roughly a million dollars to build a castle, of all things, on a remote mountainside.

After all, he already had a hidden bunker buried in the earth under what is now the castle’s floor. He could have easily built your average mountain vacation house to hide it, or built a home from insulated concrete forms (ICF) that would be as durable as his concrete filled block castle, but not as expensive or time-consuming to make. Why a castle?

His words, as accurately as I can recall them, were, “I couldn’t get my kids to come up here just to build a house. I could get them here to help me build a castle.”

This is a family with a lot of problems, more than one arrest (I’m sure the gossip rags have the stories cued up and ready to run if the show proves to be a hit), and it can be gloriously rough around the edges. All those rough edges aside, they’re trying to mend, and trying to find common ground.

I’m willing to be that if this show makes it big, it because it isn’t really a show about a castle. The castle is a MacGuffin. This could be, or at least should be, a show about redemption and second chances. We’ll see how well they do as the season progresses.

FOUR HUNDRED surface-to-air missiles stolen while Obama fiddled and Americans burned in Benghazi

Written By: Bob - Aug• 13•13

No wonder King Putt has threatened CIA assets and attempted to hide military personnel who were privy to what happened the night the U.S. Ambassador to Libya was killed in a raid; the President’s blatant dereliction of duty armed al Qaeda with weapons powerful enough to blast airliners out of the sky:

A former U.S. Attorney who represents whistle-blowers with knowledge of what happened when armed militants attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya last year says 400 surface-to-air missiles were ‘taken from Libya’ during the attack, and that the U.S. intelligence community is terrified they might be used to shoot down airliners.

Joe diGenova, whose wife Victoria Toensing – a former deputy assistant attorney general – also represents Benghazi witnesses and others with knowledge of the terror attack, told WMAL radio that the loss of those missiles is also one the reason the U.S. State Department shut down 19 embassies across the Middle East last week.

‘A lot of people have come forward to share information with us,’ he said during the radio station’s ‘Mornings On The Mall’ program Monday morning.

‘We have learned that one of the reasons the administration is so deeply concerned’ is that ‘there were 400 surface-to-air missiles stolen, and that they are … in the hands of many people, and that the biggest fear in the U.S. intelligence community is that one of these missiles will be used to shoot down an airliner. 400 missiles, surface-to-air missiles, taken from Libya.’

Asked if the missiles are now ‘in the hands of al-Qaeda operatives,’ DiGenova replied, ‘That is what these people are telling us.’

I’d like to remind you that Obama refused to give cross border authority to a force of 100 Recon Marines spinning up at Sigonella NAS, told Green Berets in Tripoli to stand down, and refused to call the region’s elite Delta CIF force to come to the rescue of more than two dozen and perhaps as many as 40 Americans under attack.

He had his campaign narrative of “al Qaeda is on the run” to preserve, and the destruction of a U.S. consulate and the possible over-running of a CIA position in a dusty desert version of Custer’s Last Stand is what he was willing to gamble. That he was also negligent enough to deliver al Qaeda hundreds of the exact weapons they’ve most wanted is a clear sign of the dangerously arrogant incompetence that permeates this White House.

But don’t worry folks; when airliners start dropping on our heads, he’ll find a way to “blame Bush.”

Every instructor’s nightmare

Written By: Bob - Aug• 12•13

There are many thousands of shooting instructors in the United States, who teach tens of thousands of students to shoot every year. Despite the best of intentions and the best of precautions, mistakes sometimes occur, and accidents happen.

Most of the time that comes as a mechanical breakdown of a gun that is relatively minor. Occasionally, there is an early or late shot due to a lack of concentration that is fired downrange. On much more rare occasions a gun will catastrophically fail, permanently damaging the gun and injuring a shooter.

The nightmare scenario for any instructor is the harm of a student, especially at the hands of the instructor. 73-year-old veteran instructor Terry J. Dunlap Sr. has now lived that nightmare:

A gun-safety class in Fairfield County for people seeking permits to carry concealed weapons went wrong on Saturday when the instructor accidentally shot a student.

Terry J. Dunlap Sr., who runs a shooting range and training center at 6995 Coonpath Rd. near Lancaster, was demonstrating a hand gun in the classroom when he fired a .38-caliber bullet that ricocheted off a desk and into student Michael Piemonte’s right arm.

Dunlap, 73, also is a long-time Violet Township trustee who is running for re-election in November.

Piemonte feels lucky. It could have been worse, he said today. He and his wife, Allison, both 26 and residents of Pataskala in Licking County, attended the day-long concealed-carry class together, he said.

Fortunately, several students in the course were nurses and they were able to render first aid until EMS arrived to transport Mr. Peimonte to the hospital. He was treated and released that evening, and so it appears the wound was relatively minor.

From what I’ve picked up, Dunlap has been instructing civilians and police for decades without a mishap. A former student claims in the comments of the article that he is among the most safety-conscious instructors he has ever known. All it took was a few seconds of violating several of the Four Rules for those decades of good work to be tarnished.

Of course, part of the problem with the “four rules” is that there should be a a fifth rule observed at any time there is more than person present.

We all own the safety rules.

If an observant student quickly reminded Mr. Dunlap that he hadn’t cleared the weapon in front of the class, this scenario could have been avoided.

Metropolitan area shut down because of the threat posed by one man

Written By: Bob - Aug• 12•13

That is, if you define “metropolitan area” as “633 people in a cow-town in upstate New York.”

It appears that a guy took his mother and father-in-law hostage in Bovina, NY, before eventually letting them go. The suspect refused to come out of the home, causing them to roll everyone shy of the National Guard, and putting the entire town on lockdown.

No official details have been released about the man or why he was being pursued. Residents and witnesses tell the Watershed Post that large numbers of law enforcement officials were visible on the ground and in helicopters in Bovina throughout the day today, and that drivers and residents were stopped and warned not to pick up hitchhikers. Roads remain closed near the house, according to the dispatchers.

At 2pm, the Delaware County Office of Emergency Management issued instructions to all Bovina residents via NY Alert to “remain indoors and lock all doors.”

Another NY-Alert was issued at at 2:26pm asking Bovina residents to remain inside until further notice.

The instructions to Bovina residents to remain indoors are still in effect as of 6:30pm this evening.

The suspect later committed suicide, allowing the 10th Mountain Division to stand down.

Keep it “Boston Strong,” folks.

NYC’s Stop and Frisk deemed unconstitutional

Written By: Bob - Aug• 12•13

There’s no doubt that the policy was used to target minorities, and little doubt that it was an abuse of power, even though it seemed to be somewhat effective.

Frankly, I’m surprised it took this long to strike “stop and frisk” down:

A U.S. District Court judge has ruled that New York’s controversial practice of “stop and frisk” is unconstitutional, on grounds that it unfairly singles out racial groups.

The policy allows police officers to stop, question, and possibly search a person if the officer has suspicions that person has or may commit a crime. The policy was invoked 4.4 million times between 2004 and 2012, according to the judge’s ruling. And it has been effective. The Atlantic recently reported that “in 2011, 770 guns were recovered across New York during frisks. That amounts to a 30 percent increase over 2003, when 594 guns were recovered.”

But here’s what has raised eyebrows, and prompted the litigation: In that 2004-2012 time frame, 80 percent of those stopped in New York City were black or Hispanic. In 2010, blacks and Hispanics made up about 50 percent of the city’s population.

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin put it in no unclear terms as to why the program should be reevaluated. Regardless of how well the policy works, she wrote in an opinion Monday, it violates constitutional protections.

Minority gang-bangers in Brooklyn and the Bronx tend to be violent criminals more than the hipsters of Manhattan, so it isn’t shocking that the cops targeted this demographic, and it isn’t shocking that the policy seems to have driven crime down. Knowing they could be stopped for any reason at all, criminals left their guns at home unless they had a specific intent to use them, like the 14 y/o gang-banger Douse that got ventilated by the NYPD recently as he attempted to murder a rival gang member for the second time this year.

The problem is, no matter how effective the policy was, no one should be subject to be stopped and frisked without justification. Merely walking down the street doesn’t justify being accosted by cops, even in a slave state like New York.