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Friday, July 21 2017 @ 05:41 pm PDT

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Critically Injured Sheepdog

SheepdogsPraying for John Zeller, Sheepdog Extraordinaire...

Man Struggling to Survive After Saving 7 From Duplex Fire

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Real Men

SheepdogsThe original story about Steubenville didn't rile me up, although it should have. It wasn't until I read the blog posts of some other silent victims of such attacks that something inside broke.

Stop and think about that, because it will tell you a lot about this problem.

The fact that women have gotten used to violation is a huge indictment on our society. If something good comes out of this Steubenville case, it's that both men and women are waking up to the systemic nature of this disease.

For the men reading this: if you know me at all, you know I care about you. I accept you. And unless you've done egregious harm, I'm not going to walk out on you.

The best of you are outraged that any woman would be treated this way. Some of you, though, are probably just calling the boys stupid. A few think the victim is at least partially to blame. And I won't dignify some of the other reactions by putting them here.

But it's time for you to shut up and listen. I'm your sister and this is as much about you as the women in your life. You have a choice to make about the kind of man you're going to be. This isn't about what you've done in the past. This is about what you do today and tomorrow. This is about being strong enough to stand up to your buddies and say, "We're better than this." This is about accepting the challenge of a real relationship, one in which you will be forced to grow, instead of just looking for pleasure however you can get it.

A boy who gets his pleasure from a non-consenting female is a weak, cowardly sham who has no right to the testosterone in his body.

I find it particularly disturbing that I have seen an attitude of objectifying women even amongst the "sheepdogs." Some of the same guys who say that women shouldn't be in combat (because of a man's instinct to protect a woman) will treat women as a bolster to their ego. You call yourself a sheepdog, you consider the women "sheep"...yet you really think it's okay for the sheepdog to hump the flock for fun?

I glean a lot of information about a man with two questions: 1) Does he treat me with respect? 2) Does he treat other women with respect? Yes, there are friends who only pass question 1, and while I may admire the work they do and enjoy talking with them, they receive less trust and respect from me. A few are in transition as they work to improve on question 2. But my highest respect, trust and honor goes to the men who treat all women with honor.

Now that I've raked the men over the proverbial coals, I do have something to say to the ladies as well: (behind the link so the guys don't have to read this)
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The Protector

SheepdogsMost of you know that I'm Orthodox, not Catholic, but I've been watching the new Pope Francis with great interest. In his homily at his Inaugural Mass, he chose to speak about our responsibility to protect others. It coincides well with many things discussed here through the years:

The vocation of being a "protector", however, is not just something involving us Christians alone; it also has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of God's creatures and respecting the environment in which we live. It means protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about. It means caring for one another in our families: husbands and wives first protect one another, and then, as parents, they care for their children, and children themselves, in time, protect their parents. It means building sincere friendships in which we protect one another in trust, respect, and goodness. In the end, everything has been entrusted to our protection, and all of us are responsible for it. Be protectors of God's gifts!

Whenever human beings fail to live up to this responsibility, whenever we fail to care for creation and for our brothers and sisters, the way is opened to destruction and hearts are hardened. Tragically, in every period of history there are "Herods" who plot death, wreak havoc, and mar the countenance of men and women.

Please, I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be "protectors" of creation, protectors of God's plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment. Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world! But to be "protectors", we also have to keep watch over ourselves! Let us not forget that hatred, envy and pride defile our lives! Being protectors, then, also means keeping watch over our emotions, over our hearts, because they are the seat of good and evil intentions: intentions that build up and tear down! We must not be afraid of goodness or even tenderness!

Here I would add one more thing: caring, protecting, demands goodness, it calls for a certain tenderness. In the Gospels, Saint Joseph appears as a strong and courageous man, a working man, yet in his heart we see great tenderness, which is not the virtue of the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love. We must not be afraid of goodness, of tenderness!

Excerpt from USA Today: Text of Pope's Homily

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More Courage Than Sense

SheepdogsHouse Clearing (H/T Thor)

This is one of those things that should really get taught in school. Or at least college freshman orientation. I remember clearing a house with an open door as a young housesitter with no more backup than a friend who was supposed to call 911 if I didn't check in within five minutes. As young people we don't want to risk embarrassing ourselves... and then as we gain a few years, we change our tune to a self-reliant "take care of it ourselves" mentality that still ignores reality. If we really thought there were several gunmen inside our house, would we still go in?

This hits me at a deeper level now that I have a family. The stakes are higher, and the scenarios are more complex. A few trusted people have keys to our place. However, they also have the sense to let us know they're coming. And Mr. WatchCat and I each have a pretty good idea of how the other operates.

Read the article, take it seriously, but also run the bad scenarios with your family. You want family training to kick in, whether it's in someone backing away from the open door or making the appropriate response if they're inside when the police enter. It's one regret that's easy to avoid.

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Gun Control

SheepdogsI think we've all seen the slogan, "Gun control is using both hands." It's true enough, but a recent Groupon e-mail got me thinking. The deal of the day was a "concealed carry" class and it highlighted that no range time was required. It surprised me, and then I remembered. That's the norm. Classroom time, not proficiency. In other words, it has the hallmarks of a compromise with liberals, with striking similarities to public education.

What does it mean that a right shall not be infringed? According to my friends at reference.com, to infringe is to weaken, to break, to trespass upon, to violate.

All of the above has already happened, of course. So why don't we have a proficiency requirement for concealed carry? General ownership is another matter entirely, but shouldn't someone who wants to carry concealed be able to hit center mass at, say, 15 yards?

I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on this. Remember, just email me if you don't already have a login. CAT at THEWATCHCAT dot NET

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Basic Security Preparation

SheepdogsSOFREP: Navy SEAL Lessons Learned From Aurora Colorado
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Locking the Theater Door

SheepdogsDark Knight Massacre Could Prompt Massive Expensive Security Changes at Movie Theaters

We shouldn't be surprised. The pattern we see after these horrific events is all too predictable; usually the smoke barely has a chance to clear before the political mudslinging begins and the sheep begin complaining about the security measures that should have been in place to protect them. Meanwhile the sheepdogs know what it would have taken to curtail the tragedy...and they alternately mourn or rage that society doesn't like the real solutions.

Still, I was surprised by the article, albeit pleased that it did include some alternative perspective. Is there something about movie theaters that makes them more dangerous than any other public place? Should we lock down our malls? Our city parks? Our restaurants?

At what point will we have to go through a security check to enter our cities?

Even if we do all these things, will we really be safer? Technological advances and the information age ensure that there's a work-around for every precaution. Meanwhile, security bottlenecks have the potential to create a target-rich environment with limited exits. The only difference is liability. Extra security provides a liability shield for the theater (or any other company) but if it is not specifically tailored to viable threats, it has little other value.

This brings me to training. It's no surprise that two of the three service members killed in the shooting died protecting someone else. So far, most of the survival stories I've heard had something in common: they got down low instead of trying to run. While it's never a guarantee, that strategy is recommended for surviving a random shooting in a crowd.

I don't expect every parent to teach their kids special tactics. And I do struggle with the psychological implications of teaching young kids "what to do in a shooting" along with stranger-danger and water safety. Yet I do know that one of the moments that mattered in my life was the 20 minutes I spent teaching a bunch of EMT types about how to stay alive in these kinds of situations.

There is evil in the world, and all too often it capitalizes on mental weakness. If we want security, it will come from the strength of individuals within the society. Not metal detectors and rules against costumes.

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Heroes

SheepdogsThree Heroes Died in Aurora Taking Bullets for Their Girlfriends
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A Dearth of Sheepdogs

SheepdogsBaby Left in Hot Car: Why Didn't More People Try to Help?

The comment about liability is one of the saddest commentaries I've seen on our society, but in truth, we all understand it. I would rather believe that the parents and police would have such an extreme reaction, but this experiment calls that into question. Are we selective sheepdogs? Do we choose to react to obvious threats but turn a blind eye to a child dying quietly?

I'll never know the name of one of my favorite sheepdogs. My grandmother was sitting alone in my grandfather's car on a hot day, and a firefighter came to check on her. It turned out that she was okay, but that's not the point. He checked on her because he didn't know for certain that she was okay. It seems that the majority of people would act only if they were sure something was wrong. While that saves time and embarrassment, it can also cost lives.

The only thing I found funny about this experiment was the unlocked car door. It's a valid issue, because a distracted or careless parent might have made that second, albeit life-saving, mistake. Did people not try the door simply because they thought there would be a car alarm? Perhaps. But I found it funny simply because my gut reaction to the scenario was "smash the glass!" Okay...you might want to look for signs of heat injury before taking that step. I'm sure my lawyer wouldn't be enthusiastic. But at the end of the day, I believe we'd all rather live with an auto-glass bill rather than the knowledge that our inaction cost a child's life.

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Beware of tagging at gun locations...

SheepdogsFYI....

I received this email alert today:



While I was in a Denver gun store today, my car was tagged on the wheel in
the parking lot. The gangs do this on wheels or bumpers at gun stores,
shooting ranges, gun shows etc. Later when you are parked at a restaurant,
hotel, or other location that's less well guarded or not under video
surveillance, other gang members spot the marker and break into the car for
a quick gun grab. This is so RAMPANT in San Antonio where we were for a
National shoot this summer, the police chief of that county came out to
brief the 400 participants of our competition.
Too bad three teams had already been victimized the first day. This is the
first I've heard of this in Denver . Please pass this info along to your 2nd
amendment list.


This next comment from a Gunsite instructor:

I don't know how widespread this is becoming , but the info regarding the
NSCA Nationals in San Antonio is correct, as all of us who compete in
sporting clays know. Competitors there were having their vehicles marked
with a small adhesive dot on the rear license plate or rear bumper, then
followed for miles and having their vehicles quickly and efficiently broken
in to when parked for lunch etc.
Some crews were working the parking lot at the Nationals itself. 27 high
end shotguns were taken there recently. They know when 1400 shooters with
high $$ competition guns are in town.
BTW I shot with a young man who was trying out a new gun at the Nationals.
He and his father lost all their guns and equipment while making a quick
stop for lunch at a BBQ place in Corpus Christi the month before.


Please be aware that other could target you because of your affiliation with
the National Guard or a gun club or store.