Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Another 'Gun Control' amendment... here we go again

Good morning everyone, I see that our wonderful 'leaders' up in Washington D.C. are once again at it with the knee jerk reactions, or are they?

(RTTNews) - Exactly a week after a shooter in Colorado killed 12 moviegoers, Democrats in the Senate attached an amendment to the recently passed Cyber Security Act of 2012 to limit purchased of large capacity weapon feeding devices, such as magazines.
S.A. 2575, or the "Large Capacity Magazine Ban," is identical to a separate bill proposed by amendment sponsor Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) that would make it illegal "for a person to transfer or possess a large capacity ammunition feeding device."
This is defined as "a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition," according to the amendment's language.
Democratic Sens. Frank Lautenberg (N.J.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Bob Menendez (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) introduced the amendment to the Cyber Security Act on Thursday before the act heads to the House of Representatives for debate.
The move comes a week after a shooting rampage at a midnight premier of the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" resulted in the death of 12 Colorado moviegoers. James Holmes, the suspected shooter, obtained his four guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition legally.
Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday, Senator Schumer said the bill was meant to be an answer to "reasonable" calls for gun control, stating it was not his purpose to limit Second Amendment rights.

"We can debate where to draw the line of reasonableness but we might... be able to come to an agreement in the middle where we say, yes, there's a right to bear arms and yes, there can be reasonable limitations on the Second Amendment," Schumer said.
"Maybe, maybe, maybe we can tell those who are at the extremes on the far right and the far left that we disagree with you," Schumer adding, saying, "and maybe, maybe, maybe we could pass some laws that might, might, might stop some of the unnecessary tragedies that have occurred.
"Or, at the very least, when you have someone who was mentally infirmed, like the shooter in Aurora, limit the damage that they are able to do," he added.
The amendment was proposed the same day Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-N.V.) said the schedule was too packed to debate new gun control legislation during this session of Congress.
On Thursday, White House Spokesman Jay Carney made it clear the president was still in support of an assault weapon ban and tougher background checks, but that he wasn't planning to introduce new legislation before the election.  "There is an issue about the stalemate in Congress [on gun control legislation], and there are things that we can do short of legislation and short of gun laws, as the President said, that can reduce violence in our society," Carney told reporters Thursday.
"I know [the president] will continue to press the Department of Justice to try to enhance the enforcement of existing laws, try to further develop our background check system so that it prevents criminals and those who should not have weapons from getting them under existing law."

The ONLY statement in the whole article that makes any sense was at the very last.   "I know [the president] will continue to press the Department of Justice to try to enhance the enforcement of existing laws, try to further develop our background check system so that it prevents criminals and those who should not have weapons from getting them under existing law." 
This is the only thing at this point that the government should be looking at.  We have PLENTY of existing laws on the books that nobody follows.  Just following them might cut down on some of this.

Another thing to consider that I can't help but wonder.  Who in god's name THINKS that criminals follow laws?  Being a criminal is the very act of breaking the law.  Do you honestly think that a criminal is going to reconsider what he is about to do because you make something illegal?  I am a former law enforcement officer so I think I have a pretty good idea to the answer to this question.  I never met a criminal who DIDN'T commit an act because it was illegal.

The ONLY thing these 'gun control' and 'gun ban' laws is disarm the law-abiding public at large, making it EASIER for a criminal to commit the act he wants to commit.  At this point, we still have very little information on the Colorado Killer, because we have to let the justice system run its course.  From the information we have so far, there was NOTHING in his past that would have flagged him for this kind of act.  Something people tend to forget sometimes is that there are just EVIL people in the world that want to do others harm irregardless of how they do it.  If it wasn't weapons, would it have been IED's?  Would we then be banning basic everyday items that can be used in this fashion?

Being a former law enforcement officer I can already see the abuse that this statement can be taken in the above amendment:  This is defined as "a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition," according to the amendment's language.  I can make that argument for the VAST majority of weapons out today.
This knee jerk reaction kind of crap just needs to stop and people need to actually think things through for once.  Yes I know I'm asking for a lot but it would save a lot of headache later.

The only other conclusion I can come up with is that we have leaders in this country that want to find a way to negate the 2nd Amendment as much as they can.  Remember, that amendment was put in place to keep a government from getting out of control, or if it did, the people would have the ability to address the issue.  A disarmed populace is a compliant populace that has no options.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Truck Driving Schools, to go or not to go

Today I was perusing my Facebook account when I noticed an interesting post. I had someone on my friends list post advising new and up and coming drivers to go to a driving school either sponsored or ran by a trucking company to get into the industry.

I'm sorry, but I have to totally disagree with that statement as it shows a narrow knowledge about just how large and diverse this industry is.

What do I mean by that?  Well its pretty simple, and I'll start it out with a short story on how I got into trucking.

Way back in 93' I had just gotten off of active duty, and I was looking for a new career.  I had heard about a local owner/operator who had a few trucks along with a brokerage.  He needed a new driver since his son was getting his own truck.  He took me under his wing and a few months later I was the proud owner of a CDL.  I drove for him for 2 1/2 years learning all I could.  He was the type if your truck needed any work on it, the driver at the bare minimum would assist with the repairs.  Suffice it to say I became very knowledgeable with the basic mechanics of 18 wheelers.   I then decided to drive over the road and the first company I contacted eagerly hired me and put me through a 3 week training program to learn that dreaded Qualcomm lol.

My point, is that a CDL school is not for everyone.  I live in Oklahoma and the vast majority of drivers that I know where I live never went to a school to learn how to get their CDL.  Your construction, oilfield or other local hauling industries usually will train drivers and help them get their CDL as part of their condition of employment.  I do agree most major trucking companies either want you to have experience, or to graduate from a certified CDL school before they will hire you.  One thing a person has to remember is that over 80% of the trucking companies in the US are considered 'small operations' of 1-50 trucks.  A lot of those companies will also help you get your license.

The biggest thing about going into the trucking industry is that you just need to do your homework.  Talk to the local companies in your area.  Ask lots of questions.  The only dumb question is the unasked question.  I am not trying to downplay the CDL schools and they have their place.  But a person just needs to keep in mind that there are other options out there and it doesn't hurt to 'shop and compare' before you decide.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Truck pictures as promised

I was finally able to get my truck clean, and take a few decent shots of it with my camera so I could post just how sharp this thing can look.  I also did promise in another post to do this so here it is.

On another note, I have been looking at having an APU installed on the truck.  What is an APU? Its an Auxiliary Power Unit that will help keep my truck cool in the summertime, warm in the winter and keep the batteries charged up without idling the truck.  Idling a truck can be pretty hard on the engine as you will shorten the life of it through wear and tear.  The APU is much more cost efficient to run and uses a fraction of the fuel that idling does.  Using various calculations my estimated savings with running an APU in fuel alone will be over 9k.  That doesn't include the savings that I will get from the wear and tear of not needing to idle my truck.  The APU I will go with is the Dynasys APU manufactured by Hodyon.

auxiliary power unit, apuTheir site if you want to look over things is hodyon.com

Purging the 'Friends list'

Today, I decided to do a purge on my Facebook 'friends list'.   I was rather surprised at the amount of people that were listed on my list that I know I haven't spoken to in quite a while. I started with over 380 people on my list and in a matter of an hour took that number down to 290.  There are probably a few more that I will cut after giving it some more thought but those were the ones that I have rarely if almost never spoken to.

I do hold the belief that people come into your life at certain moments to help you deal with things.  There are some friendships that will last a lifetime.  Others will only last a few weeks or months, but I can bet that there was something that you needed, or learned from that friend before you both went your separate ways.  I have always cherished the friendships I have made in life, but I do realize that there are times when you do have to move on with things.  It's all a part of life.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Atlas Shrugged, a very interesting book

The above picture is a movie poster from the upcoming movie, Atlas Shrugged part II. Now how about we dive into the book for a minute.
      Atlas Shrugged was written by Ayn Rand, who was a Russian immigrant that came to the US after communism took over her country. It took quite a while for her writing career to take off and her greatest work was Atlas Shrugged. The book has quite a bit of detail in it and some very interesting lessons. I will say how I try to boil it down here really won't do it any justice so you are better off going and reading it.
      In the book the country has been in the grip of a rather long recession (sound familiar yet?). The government is in the process of taking over or 'over-regulating' all business to try and make things 'fair and equal'(are we getting closer?). In her book there is an unknown 'destroyer' going around who meets up one by one with the last few successful businessmen in the country, and one by one they slowly disappear throwing the country into more turmoil as the government takes more control. These men also seem to disappear as capitalism is slowly whittled away by the over-regulations and government take-overs which spirals everything out of control at a faster pace.
      The one thing you can look at back in history is that when a government moves in to take this kind of control, society really doesn't last very long after that point, it WILL collapse in one way shape or form. Now in her book you have a few people in business that hold out to the very bitter end, but must finally admit defeat. They join the other creators and capitalists, waiting for the system that the government created to destroy itself before they move back in and offer their assistance to rebuilding the country in its proper form. We are a free society. That is how this nation was founded with the ability to have free will. When the government makes the attempt to take this away, even for 'our own good and welfare' our system will not be able to sustain it and by going down that road it will crumble. The scariest thing right now is that for all practical purposes, it appears that we are headed down that scary path right now. I think the more the government tries to regulate everything and make things 'fair' for everyone this slide will pick up momentum and speed. I am hoping we are not past the point of no return on this, and I feel this next election will show us if we are or not.
      I know this is entirely my personal opinion on the subject, but I do dare you to pick up the book, or just see the movies, take in the message that they speak and compare it to our society today.

 Visit the Official Atlas Shrugged Movie Web Site! This site might give you a start on where you might want to start your journey if so inclined.

Friday, July 20, 2012

General Stereotypes

                                                   Warning, Warning Rant Ahead!!!
      This morning I was looking through my Facebook timeline and there is something that I have noticed. There are quite a few people out there that like to take ONE specific example and put it up against ONE specific example of their liking to try and prove their point. Let me state that this is not a slam on any specific group but of ALL groups that use this tactic. Do you honestly THINK that the average person out there is going to see that and automatically agree with your point of view? Ten years ago that might have been the case, but with today's media a large percentage of the population is a lot well more informed than what they were even 10 let alone 20 years ago.
      I know that with myself I always try to dig up as much information on what I am looking at before I make a decision on it. I'll admit, there are still quite a few lazy people out there in the world that won't do their own research but you know what? They were out there 20 years ago, and that is the small segment of the population that will never change in that regard. One of the other things that the people that use General Stereotypes use is taking a small part of the statement, or even worse taking the statement completely out of context. I like to take the WHOLE statement that was given, the person's history on how they speak and what they truly believe and then make an informed decision about it.
      Here again the people that use that tactic have yet to figure out they are actually losing more people to 'their side' than they gain by doing it. We are a more well informed public now. So to those that like to do this.... give it up. Why don't you try something original, you know, like an actual DEBATE on the subject and bring your backing information for your view, not just your opinion and/or feelings. Ok...Rant over, have a great day all.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Roadside Ponderings

I was cruising up I65 here in Indiana today when I came across a nasty traffic accident. An 18 wheeler had crossed the median, taking out that poor cable barrier they have and ended up in the ditch facing traffic. One other vehicle, an SUV was damaged by the cables I believe as there was no damage to the truck. This scene took them a few hours to clear out so we all got to sit and wait for emergency response to do their job.
     Now I can appreciate what they do since I have worked my fair share of scenes when I was a law enforcement officer. I decided to turn on the CB to hear what the other truckers were chatting about. A good portion of it was people warning others of the scene, a few talking of other things, and one other.
      Its the one other that got me to thinking. I was sitting at the very front, heck I had a front row seat to the workers that were hustling about clearing the accident. Periodically there would be one individual that would keep telling drivers that 'the line was moving now' or 'it will be a few more minutes'.... things of that nature. What is it with some people that seem to need to fill a need to just outright lie? I decided to look it up and do you know what? There is a condition called Mythomania. Now why doesn't this surprise me? Reading about it is not very encouraging. It seems that the doctors are having a hard time trying to deal with this condition and how to treat it.
       I'll admit, over the years I have seen what even a little white lie can do to relationships. Also, being a former LEO, I got to deal with lies on a constant basis it seemed lol. I know I have always strived to tell the truth, even if it might hurt, and I expect the same out of those around me. To me its much better to be based in reality vs your own little created world. Lies are hard to keep up with, and if you keep building on the lies they just get even worse. The human brain really isn't wired very well to keep track of lies stacked like that. A person has to work harder just to keep everything straight, so it doesn't take much to trip them up on it. So the biggest question is, 'Why do people continue to do it, or even believe them when they hear a lie?'

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Things that seem to snowball.

Well, I know its been quite a while since I have posted, heck a year! Things have seemed to have been going decent at this point. I had decided last month to go back into training drivers to see how well that would work out. I went out with my first student and it appeared that things were fine until this morning. I allowed him to stay with a girlfriend and asked him to meet me back at the truck early so we could get our load delivered.... He never showed back up. After blowing a gasket the company went and officially pulled him off of my truck. When they did that I lost out on a series of great paying loads and was given one that was decent at best. Now for the snowball, as it really picks up steam here. One of main reasons I was ticked was that he never called, or returned my calls so I would know what was up. In my work environment I am a big stickler on keeping communication going. I like to think I am the same way with my personal life. I found out how profoundly wrong I was in that regard.
      I'll admit when someone says they will call me back, its something I do look forward to. I do understand that things do pop up from time to time but constantly on an almost everyday basis? That's taking it too far. Well I went and messaged a great friend and found out very quick how crappy of a friend I have been to them.
      One of the good (or bad things depending) about driving a truck is that it gives you plenty of time to think things over, through, across, under... you get the picture. Well I think I have been slowly losing friendships this way over the course of the year without realizing it until today when it felt like I got the cold shoulder. I'll admit it was a huge slap in the face, and I realize that I have probably screwed up that friendship, and honestly, that hurts....a lot.
      I like to think that I value my friendships and losing them like this hurts more than I have ever really felt. So what to do about it? Right now I have absolutely no clue. I'm very unsure whether or not this friendship is recoverable or not. I know either way I have to move on, and I will say I am hoping it is recoverable. There is a lesson to be learned here. DON'T TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED!!!!! You never know when you might lose it.

Triple Bravo Express

This is the new symbol and name for the truck I am currently driving. The cool thing is that my son and nephew came up with the Triple Bravo theme back in their gaming days. When I was talking about putting a name on the side of the truck my son showed me an idea they came up with and it just took off from there. One thing about it is that if you break down the name, Triple Bravo, stands for the 3 B's, or as I like to view it the three generations of Brune's that are in our family right now. The eagle and shield were derived from the coat of arms that the Brune family name falls under back in Germany so there is an old and new element tied into it. I'll have to post some good pics of the truck once I can get it clean again lol.