Welcome to The WatchCat
Wednesday, October 17 2018 @ 04:52 am PDT

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Beware the Mama Bear...

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Great training opportunity...

SheepdogsFull Size Wrap-Around Simulator Tests Shooters Skills
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Sinister Coincidence

SheepdogsMaybe it's just a really bad day, but I have a nasty feeling about the correlation between two pieces of news today:

National Guardsmen Gunned Down in Nevada

Two Shot to Death at Shooting Range

All Sheepdogs on alert.

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Junior Sheepdog...

SheepdogsGirl Visits Boy She Tried to Rescue From Unforgiving Sea
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SheepdogsBlackfive: Defending the Weak

Sick. Evil. Cunning. Anders Behring Breivik's massacre of teenagers is rightly defined as a terrorist attack. But his plan appears more complex than most.

It took me a little time to see it. Initially I couldn't understand how he expected to prompt an anti-Muslim "crusade" by his actions. These were not anonymous attacks that could be blamed on Muslims. I've heard all kinds of theories about his true beliefs, but I haven't heard of anyone mistaking him for a Muslim.

Blackfive makes the point that the high body count was a result of a compliance mentality in Norwegian culture. I agree, with the caveat that the age of the victims likely amplified the problem. If the adults fail in courage, what can we expect of scared teenagers?

I'm hesitant to describe the endgame that I see in this attack, but I think it's best to describe it in the context of the sheepdog code rather than in a reactionary free-for-all forum somewhere. A FoxNews/AP article notes that, "The assaults have rattled Norway, home to the Nobel Prize for Peace and where the average policeman patrolling in the streets doesn't carry a firearm. Norwegians pride themselves on the openness of their society and cherish the idea of free expression. 'He wanted a change in society and, from his perspective, he needed to force through a revolution,' Lippestad, the lawyer, told public broadcaster NRK. "He wished to attack society and the structure of society.'"

Blackfive is right in identifying the sheep culture in Norway. It is a significant problem and a warning to the rest of us. Someone will always choose to attack unprotected sheep.

I believe Anders Behring Breivik thought that his attack would force Norway into becoming a sheepdog nation. But you can't force sheep to become sheepdogs.

And whatever he thought of himself, Behring-Breivik was no sheepdog. We who aspire to the title never forget the first rule: never harm the sheep. He acted as a wolf, and should be put down accordingly. If anything, he's made it harder for the true sheepdogs to show their faces in Norway.

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CCW on Campus

Sheepdogs Opponents of Gun Free Zones at Universities Find Unlikely Hero in Nevada Woman

In October of 2007, while walking to her car after a night class, Collins was grabbed from behind in a university parking garage less than 300 yards from a campus police office. The school's "gun-free" designation meant nothing to James Biela, a serial rapist with a gun of his own, who saw Collins as an easy target. "He put a firearm to my temple," she recounted, "clocked off the safety, and told me not to say anything, before he raped me."

The university has since installed more emergency call boxes and lights in the parking structure, but Collins says that won't stop an attacker who knows the campus is a gun-free zone, a policy she believes invites crime, and may have even emboldened the man who raped her.

Just months later, Biela went on to murder 19-year old Brianna Dennison in a case that received widespread national attention. While Biela now sits on death row, Collins is convinced the outcome would have been different had she been armed.

"I know, having been the first victim, that Brianna Dennison would still be alive, had I been able to defend myself that night."

The article makes the argument pretty clear. There's something diabolical about the way that I am limited from fully defending myself in some of the most dangerous environments I enter. This is how students are being kept safe? I recognize that states have varying CCW requirements, and if universities want more proof of training before allowing someone to carry on campus, that's a separate issue. Laws banning concealed carry in dangerous environments encourage a victim mentality and dependence upon ambiguous bureaucrats rather than an attitude of personal responsibility.

And perhaps these bureaucrats prefer it when the evil have all the guns. That way they can justify their decision to not learn how to use one. It's easier to be a sheep than a sheepdog.

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Article of the Day

Sheepdogs Being Smart at Concealed Carry
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SheepdogsWe were blessed with clear weather here in Portland on Wednesday. I spent a lot of time on the road doing Christmas errands (I'm hoping the car still has enough gas to make it to the station) and I noticed what a beautiful day it was.

No war. Just people going about their business.

We're truly blessed.

I know a number of people who do not believe in the idea that we fight terrorists overseas to keep America safe. But today it seemed poignantly clear.

Spreading democracy is a nice idea, but that's not really what's going on. Our military men and women draw terrorists away from our shores to wherever they're at.

The WWII generation was the "Greatest Generation" for their solidarity in rising up to defend America. I have no intention of questioning that title. But the minority of Americans, those who make the choice to take on the terrorists, what title is grand enough for them?

They give us the peace we enjoy this Christmas. This is our true "never forget."
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Words of Truth

SheepdogsThe best thing that's happened to me recently is that I've gotten to be honest with a couple people.

Hmm...that requires some clarification. I'm a carefully truthful person. I've had jobs and relationships which have required me to lie outright, and I've hated doing it. In most cases, though, careful phrasing keeps my conscience intact when things get sticky. Truth anchors us, keeps us from going hopelessly adrift in the storm.

Problem is, as I've said before, I'm wired to protect people. And truth sometimes devastates.

Sharing my true feelings on a subject feels life-altering. It's one of the reasons I love blogging, but this weekend I actually had two in-person conversations where I shared candid thoughts and feelings. Neither conversation lasted long, but the relationships felt very different afterward.

I don't know whether it's a good thing or a bad thing when "so little" makes such an obvious difference. Am I cheating myself in needing so little?

Last night I got a reminder of the other side of the equation, i.e. the list of things I've survived. Even in a focused discussion, I easily forget to include events that would have destroyed other people. It's not that I'm impervious -plenty of little things easily get under my skin- but there comes a point when it's not worth thinking about any more. I lived through it once; that's enough and I carry the knowledge that I'm tougher than a lot of people.

And so I shared some messy truths with people, and they didn't run away.

I highly recommend it!
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Pity and the Wolf

SheepdogsA friend sent me a link to this and it just grabbed me by the throat:

Michael Henchard and the Dog That Kills Chickens

This is truly the quote of the day, and I entertained the idea of making it the headline quote of the blog:

And yet, no matter how noble a sentiment pity is, a dog that kills chickens must be driven off. And so a man who is not changed by others but always and only insists on their conformity to him, such a man, no matter how much he longs to love and be loved, in the end drives away and withers all who might love him. We pity him, but we also stay away.

It is both a concise quote on sheepdog-ism (although the "dog" in this example is the wolf of the sheepdog analogy) and a commentary on the day-to-day struggle to avoid turning righteousness into rigidity.

I'm privileged today to be writing a retirement note to a mentor from my days in Russia. It's a bit harrowing to walk through all the memories again, but one of the qualities I admired most in him was his ability to hold high standards and strong opinions while never alienating those of us who disagreed.

It is a challenge for all of us, and particularly for those of us who call ourselves Sheepdogs. If we didn't believe we are right, we would have no business doing what we're doing, and yet the wolf surely believes himself to be right as well. Perhaps the only way we can have true confidence that we're on the correct path is routine self-examination. Pity the wolf and be sure of your target.