How a tactical flashlight may be employed in self defense against a criminal attack

Surefire E2D LED Defender Ultra

Surefire E2D LED Defender Ultra

A tactical flashlight is a flashlight that uses 3-volt 123A lithium ion batteries or is a rechargeable flashlight capable of producing at least 300 lumens of light. Some can light the darkness with up to 600 lumens. A 100 watt light bulb produces 1500 lumens but it won’t seem as bright as a small 500 lumens flahslight emitted in a tight beam from a light emitting diode (LED). It’s called a tactical flashlight because when shined in the eyes of a criminal attacker in low light situations it will temporarily deprive the attacker of his nightvision, allowing you time to escape and/or present your lawfully carried concealed firearm for your defense. You should never stand your ground; you should move as you maneuver your response so that when the attacker’s vision returns you won’t be where he last saw you.

So what exactly happens when you shine brilliant white light in an attacker’s eyes? We animals of the mammalia Class of Taxonomic ranking have light-sensitive receptor proteins on the rods of our retina. It’s what enables us to see in low light, even somewhat in darkness. These proteins are a biological pigment called Rhodopsin. Our dogs or cats have more of it than we do and that’s why their night vision is so much better than ours. They have always needed it because they’re nocturnal. We are not nocturnal (we are diurnal, meaning we sleep at night) so we never needed as much. We needed some, however. Most caves aren’t equipped with steel security doors.

It is the character of Rhodopsin that gives us a tactical edge against a criminal if we have one of the modern LED tactical flashlights such as those made by Surefire or Streamlight. When Rhodopsin is exposed to light, it immediately photobleaches. In humans, it regenerates in about 30 minutes; after which the rods in our retina are fully sensitive again. But near total night blindness only lasts about 30 seconds. That’s gives you a very long time to find a way to effectively respond to a criminal’s attack by either fleeing, summoning help, and/or employing your preferred method of force in self defense.

A tactical flashlight and a cell phone are important tools for your self defense. The flashlight pictured at the top of this post puts out 600 lumens of blinding light, will project a narrow beam of light for an amazing distance, is 5.6 inches long, 1.125 inches diameter, weighs 4.2 ounces and has a run time of 2.25 hours. Notice the serrated edges surrounding the front housing of the light source. Also around the opposite end, the base. On mine these are very sharp, but I’ve never cut myself. You ususally don’t grab the flashlight is such a way for that to happen. The belt clip is a nice touch. This is the ultimate in tactical flashlights and it’s price of $265 reflects that. You don’t need one this expensive nor this powerful. You can find several for under $100 that will work just fine.

Paul Ryan from hero to villain; from liberator to spoiler

It wasn’t long ago that Paul Ryan was the wonder boy of Congress. People were saying he should be president. That’s probably why Mitt Romney chose Ryan as his running mate.  That didn’t work out but Ryan went on to become Speaker of the House. Since then Ryan has earned the nickname Paul Ryno. Now he seems to be setting himself up take the blame for a pending GOP disaster if Congress fails to repeal Obamacare and instead offers its voters no more than Obamacare lite, already being called Ryancare.

GOP voters, independents and even some Democrats want Obamacare repealed. It seemed that Ryan and the GOP once understood that. What happened? Washington politics, I suppose.

The thing about Obamacare is that “repeal” is the comfort word and “replace” is the spoiler. We can now see the truth of that with the mess that Ryan and the GOP are making with their promise of repeal, which is beginnng to look like they never meant it in the first place. This betrayal could cost the GOP its majority if some adults don’t step in and bring them back to their senses.

At American Greatness: Ryancare Will Destroy the Republican Majority

Failing to repeal Obamacare would be “the ultimate betrayal of the electorate.” That’s what Charles Krauthammer said just last month. He was right. Congressional Republicans have been defined by nothing so much as their opposition to Obamacare since 2009. That opposition has been the source of four successful elections that have seen Republicans gain 62 seats in the House, 12 seats in the Senate, and now control of the White House.

The Republican leadership thinks that their half-measures and clever branding are a sign of moderation and prudence, but they are courting disaster. They apparently learned nothing about the fury of scorned voters during the last election.

The issue is simple—perhaps too simple for Washington: people want Obamacare repealed. The fact is that whatever its shortcomings (and there were many), American health care was better before Obamacare than it is today. Prices were lower, deductibles were lower, and there were more and better choices for both insurance and care.

If Obamacare were gone it would be like a full recovery from cancer so you could get on with the business of a healthy life. It would become possible to contemplate doing things your cancer had made impossible. After Obamacare health insurance would be legal again. It would be affordable if the mandates and restrictions that existed before Obamacare were also repealed. Health savings accounts could be enacted that would enable people to better provide for their own health care. More choices would be available.

We are in danger of losing this opportunity because Paul Ryan and the GOP are hell bent on commiting political suicide.

My own GOP Senator, Cory Gardner of Colorado, made a political career out of his oppostion to Obamacare. Now he is one of the sell outs; it appears he no longer wants to just repeal it. The spoiler of “replace” has replaced clear thinking.

The preamble to the Constitution does not start with “We the Judges…”

A Government of Laws, Not Men

Roger Kimball:

I suspect that nearly all readers of American Greatness are familiar with John Adams’ famous statement about the rule of law in his Constitution for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, approved by the voters in 1780. “In the government of this commonwealth,” Adams wrote, “the legislative department shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers, or either of them: the executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them: the judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers, or either of them: to the end it may be a government of laws and not of men.”

Adams memorably articulated a sentiment that had long been recognized as essential to the preservation of political liberty. Every part of his formulation is worth bearing in mind.

But at the present moment, it is Adams’ third admonition concerning the judiciary that compels our attention. Consider the actions by various district court judges in response to Donald Trump’s two executive orders seeking to ban travel to the United States from certain countries: Are they not instances of the judiciary seeking to exercise powers that, according to statute and the Constitution, belong to the executive branch?

The judges that issued restraining orders against President Trump’s travel orders are basing their rulings not on the law, but on the man. They would approve of the same executive order were it done by Barack Obama. They have sought to restrain not the order for it does not violate any law. It is the man, Donald Trump, they seek to restrain with their rulings. They do this on the narrow basis of their personal animus toward him. That sort of thought and action leads to the rule of men, not the rule of law. It threatens tyranny from the one branch of government the founders mistakenly thought would be the least dangerous to liberty.

Montesquieu was an influential force that guided the founders at the Constitutional convention in Philadelphia. It was he who first proposed the idea of separation of powers. The founders liked that idea and adopted it into our Constitution. They knew but perhaps did not fully appreciate the presicence of Montesquieu when he warned that, Universal experience has shown that every man who holds power tends to abuse it. He proceeds until he finds the limits.

Judges have enormous power. They, like any other, can and do abuse it. To claim a law has been violated solely on the basis of their personal animus toward the man who exercised lawful powers granted him by the U.S. Constitution and long-established legal authority is a vicious abuse of judicial power.

It is the judges who need to be restrained in this instance, not President Trump. The judges who made these rulings ought to be shown the limits of their powers. Once upon a time Judicial restraint was self imposed and came from the judges themselves. It now appears we can no longer rely on the personal integrity of the judges and that an outside force must be applied to restore the proper separation of powers that the U.S. Constitution demands and guarantees. The Congress and the President can do this. Together, these branches have the power to determine by statute the sort of cases Article III federal courts can hear and decide. If the judges will not limit their jurisdiction to deciding cases and controversies on the basis of the rule of law, the legislative and executive branches should step in to fix the mess they’ve made.

Leftist Judges Keep Trying to Revoke What I Learned in Law School

I believe with great certainty that my former law professor William Beaney (1918-2003) would be appalled at the two Federal judges who have issued restraining orders against President Trump’s travel orders. He’d be equally dismayed by the 3-judge panel from the 9th Circuit that upheld the first Judge and also by the judges on the 9th Circuit that just refused an en banc rehearing of the first judge’s restraint of Trump’s first executive order (the 2nd one has not been appealed yet).

I was in two of Professor’s Beaney’s classes at the Universtity of Denver in 1975.  The first was called Decision Process and the second was Constitutional Criminal Procedure. The first was about who makes legal decisions, how they are supposed to make decisions, and how the rest of us can find them, read them, understand them, and apply them in the practice of law. Criminal Procedure is a much deeper subject and a lot more demanding.

There are, however, a few key principles that are common to both and can be easily learned and remembered. Understanding these underlying principles is key to understanding all the rest.

The first principle is the difference between public policies on the one hand, and legal and judicial principles on the other. Judges pretty much own the ground on legal principles. It is on these principles that judges decide cases and controversies (C&C). That’s right in the U.S. Constitution. The C&C limit is supposed to keep judges from intruding on public policy because those are decisions given by the Constitution to the Executive and Legislative branches. These are the elected brances of government, often called the political branches.

Just as the U.S. House of Representatives has no authority to hear and decide divorce cases, breach of contract lawsuits, or any other sort of legal dispute, the Judicial branches have no authority to make public policy or to intrude on the political branches’ exclusive powers in that area.

Professor Beaney made it easy to understand all this. Judges do not have authority to decide political questions. Those issues are reserved for the political branches staffed by men and women duly elected by the people. Political questions cannot be answered by courts of law because they do not present a justiciable issue that a judge can decide.

All this simply recognizes that America was founded as a representative republic where the people are self governing in the sense that they elect politicians to represent them in the public policy making process.

Too many judges never learned these things or simply don’t like these principles and do not want to follow them. These are things our forefathers fought and died to achieve. Judges take an oath  to serve and defend the U.S. Constitution and the principles it demands before they are sworn in as judges. When they willingly ignore the fundamental ground rules others have struggled to bestow upon us, they breach their oath.

Judges who yearn to be in politics have options available. They can resign from the bench and run for political office.

A judge of the 9th Circuit asked for an en banc hearing (de novo hearing before all the judges) of the 9th Circuit order upholding the Judge in Washington State on Trump’s first executive order. An en banc hearing was denied. That decision is available for you to read here.

Five other judges on the 9th Circuit dissented from the court refusal to hold an en banc hearing. That dissent (scroll down to the second page of the order to find the dissent) explains correctly and succinctly how the judge in Washington State and the 3-judge panel of the 9th Circuit got everything wrong by ignoring settled Constitutional law and instead making a decision based solely on their personal, leftist political ideology.

If reading judicial opinions is not your thing, go to this story at Breitbart where much of Judge Bybee’s dissent is quoted.

If you read the opinion you’ll see Judge Bybee also expressed outrage at those who critiized the judges for exceeding their authority in rendering a political screed under the guise of a judicial ruling. Bybee is wrong on this. If judges don’t want to be held up to intense public scrutiny they have a ready remedy. They can stop acting so recklessly. They can start acting like judges. These are not rulings upon which reasonable people can disagree. These rulings are the product of unprincipled rogues.

See also, Seth Barrett TillmanJudges have extraordinary public power. They are supposed to be scrutinized, and that includes scrutiny by the wider public. The only legitimate question is whether the scrutiny is fair, not how “intense” it is. The First Amendment does not end at the courthouse door, nor do parties’ First Amendment rights end because they find themselves dragooned into litigation.

Unpaid Student Loans — An Obama Legacy

The Federal Government’s Student Loan Fraud

By taking over the student loan program, Obama in essence politicized it. Last year on the campaign hustings, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders repeatedly talked about making college “free.” That is, they want to socialize the costs, but privatize the benefits, of a college education. Still surprised people aren’t paying their loans?

This mindset is made worse by the fact that the federal government isn’t lending its own money; it’s lending taxpayers’ money. Politicians don’t care whether it’s paid back, just that they get a pat on the back for “doing something” about college costs.

The problem is, by subsidizing college with cheap loans, the government only drives the price of tuition higher. Colleges have hooked up to the government student-loan gravy train as never before, paying lavish salaries for do-nothing administrators and incompetent professors who in earlier, more-disciplined times would have been laughed out of the academy.

Parents who despair over the soaring cost of education should understand: As long as the government regulates and pays for education, the cost will only rise further. It’s time to remove government from higher education, before it wrecks another once-great institution.

By politicizing the student loan program Obama not only set in motion ever rising tuition costs [ultimately paid by taxpayers] but also ever dumber “studies” majors and worthless college degrees.

An example is the American studies major which in the 1970s was a rewarding endeavor that covered American history and American art and literature in depth.  It was basically a historical study of American politics and the history of American art and literature side by side. It was a mind-bending experience to learn the two disciplines together and to gain an understanding of the realtionship between them.

What is the connection between Jacksonian Democracy, Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Transcendentalism Movement in American literature? How did the politics of the Jacksonian Era influence Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans?  The intertwining of politics and literature is obvious in Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn.  So what was Twain trying to do with that story? What was he really saying about the antebellum South?  Is there an allegorical study in the relationship between Huck and Jim? If so, what is it? (Huck Finn was written in 1873).

Those are interesting questions, yes?

Today’s American studies students never hear about anything of the sort. If they read Huck Finn at all it will be so their “professor” can call Mark Twain a racist. American studies today is worthless crap that indoctrinates students to hate their own country. It was well on that road before Obama politicized the study of political history but he put his stamp on it and gave it a final pounding into the dirt.

Venezuela: Yes, we have no bananas — nor bread, nor diapers, nor toilet paper, nor anything else, so forget it, we’re socialists

The only problem with socialism is….shortages!
Venezuela has a bread shortage. The government has decided bakers are the problem.

Facing a bread shortage that is spawning massive lines and souring the national mood, the Venezuelan government is responding this week by detaining bakers and seizing establishments.

In a press release, the National Superintendent for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights said it had charged four people and temporarily seized two bakeries as the socialist administration accused bakers of being part of a broad “economic war” aimed at destabilizing the country.

In a statement, the government said the bakers had been selling underweight bread and were using price-regulated flour to illegally make specialty items, like sweet rolls and croissants.

The government said bakeries are only allowed to produce French bread and white loaves, or pan canilla, with government-imported flour. However, in a tweet on Thursday, price control czar William Contreras said only 90 percent of baked goods had to be price-controlled products.

Venezuela is a country that sits on massive oil reserves and has fertile soil in which almost anything will grow. The problem is, the only thing Venezuela grows is its government. The only thing it sells is socialist propaganda.

Clinton machine running out of gas?

It’s hard to imagine the Clinton gas bags running out but that is what may be on the verge. All the liberal media outlets, which are most media outlets, are eagerly promoting Chelsea Clinton stories   in a deserate attempt to promote her as the last best hope to carry the Clinton torch into the next generation of politics. Trouble is, Chelsea has so far shown almost none of the political skills that will be necdessary to pull it off. Her mother’s only political skill was to marry a man who was going places and then take charge and make her own capital out of his success. The former first daughter seems to lack the charisma to pull off anything similar.

The Last Gasps of the Clinton Dynasty

The Clinton family has bestrode American politics for a generation on the power of its vast network of activists and apparatchiks and donors and loyalist nonprofits. Once political machines are set in motion—once checks are flowing, galas are scheduled, the loyalists are hired—they are hard to wind down. And that means that, as we have said before, “there has to be a Clinton in the political arena.”

What we are now seeing are the last gasps of a vast political machine trying to keep its gears spinning despite every indication that it is time for a new model. It may or may not be successful, but one thing is clear: The Clinton machine will not let itself be shut down without a fight.

Hillary Clinton built a political career that made her rich by influence peddling. Without influence to peddle it’s going to be hard for Chelsea to do the same.  She will have to make it on her own, if she’s to make it all. That’s a big problem for her. The rest of us will have front row seats at the fight whether we want to or not.

Obama trying for a secret third term

Daniel Greenfield on the Obama shadow government within the Deep State:

Obama’s third Term Is Upon Us. There is now a President and an Anti-President. A government and a shadow government. The anti-President controls more of the government through his shadow government than the real President.

The Obama network is an illegal shadow government. Even its “light side” as an opposition group is very legally dubious. Its “shadow side” is not only illegal, but a criminal attack on our democracy.

When he was in power, Obama hacked reporters like FOX News’ James Rosen and CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson. He eavesdropped on members of Congress opposed to the Iran Deal. Two men who made movies he disliked ended up in jail. But what he is doing now is even more deeply disturbing.

Obama no longer legally holds power. His Deep State network is attempting to overturn the results of a presidential election using government employees whose allegiance is to a shadow White House. Tactics that were illegal when he was in office are no longer just unconstitutional, they are treasonous.

Obama Inc. has become a state within a state. It is a compartmentalized network of organizations, inside and outside the government, that claim that they are doing nothing illegal as individual groups because they are technically following the rules within each compartment, but the sheer scope of the illegality lies in the covert coordination between these “revolutionary cells” infecting our country.

It is a criminal conspiracy of unprecedented scope. Above all else, it is the most direct attack yet on a country in which governments are elected by the people, not by powerful forces within the government.

“We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain,” President Lincoln declared at Gettysburg. “That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Obama’s shadow government is not just a war on President Trump. It is a war on that government of the people, by the people and for the people. If he succeeds, then at his touch, it will perish from the earth.

Obama’s third term has begun. Our Republic is in danger.

Reminds me of Frédéric Bastiat’s idea of the seen and unseen. It’s the unseen that can screw things up, real bad. This is worse because Bastiat was describing unintended consequences of well-intentioned direct action. Daniel Greenfield describes unseen intentional sabotage by sinister undercover operatives.

Read the whole thing.

I “feel” the judge’s ruling is based on a bad motive

Mollie Hemingway, on the Federal Judge in Hawaii overturning Trump’s most recent executive order restricting entrance of so-called “refugees” from certain countries for 120 days:

Throughout the ruling, Judge Watson concedes there’s nothing about the executive order that would be problematic if not for his interpretation of Trump’s statements made in the months and years prior to issuing it. He repeatedly states his feeling that Trump had a bad motive in issuing the order.

Judges using campaign rhetoric to infer intent instead of plainly evaluating the law as written is a dangerous development. Also because the public can witness the selective use of this trick, it undermines confidence in the judiciary at a time when the judiciary can’t afford too much erosion of trust.

Federal statutes on the books for over 50 years specifically authorize the President to issue this sort of travel order. Thus, Trump’s action is not he as president acting alone, it is the President and Congress acting together. The president has extra heft when he is acting under the authority of a statute passed by Congress.

A judge acting on no more than his “feeling” that Trump’s motive is somehow not a good one is simply an act of judicial tyranny and abuse of power deserving of no respect. Trump should defy the order on the basis that he feels the judge has a bad motive.

When cops become petty criminals

When I was about 12 and old growing up in Cheyenne, WY my parents owned a 1955 blue plymouth. We didn’t have a garage so it was always parked on the street in front of the house. One morning my step father went out to go to work and saw that the left rear of the car had been crashed into, presumably by  another car. No note was left, no other notification given. It had been a hit and run.

I guess we called the police to report it, I don’t really remember. Behind our house was an alley and across the alley was a one-story building containing a few party-wall apartments.  The occupants of the apartments parked their cars in a parking lot near their back doors. I always walked to school, leaving from our back door and walking down the alley to the street.

That morning as I traversed through the alley I noticed a car parked at one of the apartments with its right front fender smashed in.  I went over for a closer look and saw that it must have hit a blue car because there were smears of blue paint all over the smashed up fender. It was the same shade of blue as our car.  I was excited. I had solved a crime.

As I squatted down to get a closer look a Wyoming Highway Patrol car came rolling up and parked beside me. The officer got out and asked me what I was doing. I explained that our car had been hit overnight, that it was a hit and run, and this car seems to have a smashed fender in just trhe right place to have been the one that hit our car, and it even has paint on it that appears to have come from our car.

Officer friendly told me that he was investigating this accident and that I should not get involved. Don’t worry he said, he was covering it and someone would be in touch with my parents.

No one ever called us. We never heard another word about the crash. My step father happened to be an engineer with the Wyoming Highway Department at the time and through his contacts he found out who the officer was that interrupted my boyhood crime fighting. He also found out that the car across the alley was owned by the officer’s girl friend. Then we found out the girl friend’s car had been repaired. All traces of the smashed fender with our car’s paint on it were gone.  So now instead of that direct evidence, we were left with only the circumstantial evidence of recent repairs.

One piece of direct evidence is powerful. One piece of circumstantial evidence is weak. Circumstantial evidence becomes powerful only when there are multiple instances of it, too many to have been a coincidence. Eye wtiness testimony of a 12-year old would be direct evidence, but it would also be a contest between the word of a boy and the word of an officer of the law. We had to bear the cost of getting our car fixed.

That experience has stayed with me and may have played a part in my world view as an adult.

A recent news story from the Casper Tribune brought that experience back to mind, Trooper Arrested on Suspicion of Violating Protection Order.

I’ve learned a couple of things about life since that experience. First of all, most cops are very good people who try earnestly to do the right thing in every situation.  Second, some people have criminal minds and some of those people aspire to be police officers because of the power over others it gives them. Police departments use psychological testing in their hiring process to hopefully weed out the potential criminals from joining their ranks. The tests aren’t perfect and occasionally a bad apple skates through.