Big Blue Snippet Three

Starts here

CHAPTER TWO

White stopped the car at the gate guard’s gesture. He rolled down the window as the guard approached the side of the car, his military ID ready in hand.

The guard took the ID, looked at it, and handed it back. He saluted. “Sir.”

White tucked the ID into his wallet, dropped the wallet into the car’s cup holder, and returned the salute.

“Sir,” the gate guard said. “Orders. All personnel are to report to their units immediately on arrival.”

White looked down at himself, still clad only in a swimsuit. “Do I have time to change, sergeant?”

“Orders say immediately, Sir.” The sergeant smiled. “Uniform of the day is whatever you’re wearing right now.”

“I see. Thank you, Sergeant.”

The gate started to open and the sergeant saluted once more. White returned the salute before putting the car in gear and proceeding onto the base.

“Sounds serious,” Amber said from beside him.

“With that tsunami?” White stopped to let a base shuttle cross through the intersection, then turned to follow it. Other cars joined them, coming from the direction of base housing. “They’ll want everything they can get to help.”

Ahead, the bus pulled up to its stop and people began to pour out. White eased the car around the bus and turned into officer parking. Ignoring the parking spots, he stopped in front of squadron office building and put the car in park.

“I’ve got a suit here.” He unfastened his seat belt and opened the door. On her side of the car, Amber mimicked his action. “You might want to bring my other one. Who knows how long it’ll be before I can get home.

Amber leaned toward him. He leaned across the center console and kissed her. “Love you.”

“Love you too, sweetie,” She said. “Be careful.”

“Avoid the edges of the air,” White said with a smile. “Don’t worry. We haven’t left one up there yet.”

He got out of the car and ran up the steps to the squadron office. Behind him, Amber rounded the car and slid into the driver’s seat.

“Bye, Daddy!” Bobbi called from the back seat.

White paused, his hand on the building door. He turned and waved. “Bye, Punkin. See you soon.”

“Remember to pray for Daddy, sweetie,” Amber told Bobbi.

“I will.”

White grinned as Amber drove off. Search and Rescue no doubt. Supply drops maybe. Lots of flight hours but a piece of cake. It wasn’t like anybody would be shooting at his bird.

#

Crncevic swore softly. Next town, he promised himself. Next town he’d get the bus’ radiator fixed. For now he had his sleeves rolled up while he poured water into the radiator.

Flashing blue and white lights drew his attention away from the radiator. He set the water can down and rolled down his sleeves. After wiping his hands on a rag, he adjusted the celluloid collar at his throat. He scowled. The ecclesiastical garb defiled him. But needs must in the Dread Lord’s service.

The crunch of gravel on the shoulder of US Highway 12 heralded the deputy’s approach.

“Afternoon, Padre.”

Crncevic pasted a smile on his face. “Deputy.”

The Deputy looked the length of the bus, an old school bus painted a neutral gray. White lettering spelled out “St. Sebastian’s Cloister” on its side. He peered into the engine compartment. “Trouble?”

Crncevic waved at the engine compartment. “Radiator. If I can just get us to the next town…Roundup, isn’t it?”

The deputy nodded.

“Well, then, I can get it fixed and we can proceed on our way.”

“You’re a bit off the beaten path, aren’t you? What brings you out this way?”

Suspicion, Crncevic wondered, or just curiosity?

“The tsunami, of course.”

The Deputy cocked his head to one side, the question plain on his face.
“We’re on our way to help with the relief effort.” Crncevic waved down the road. “We didn’t want to interfere with the official relief convoys so we stuck to back roads and–” He spread his hands, indicating the stopped bus. Looking up at one of the acolytes looking out the windshield at him, he made an unobtrusive gesture with the fingers of his right hand before dropping his hands to his sides. “–here we are.”

The Deputy nodded and leaned in to take a closer look at the radiator and its overflow tank. “It’s a piece yet to Roundup and you’re still awfully dry. I’ve got a water can in my cruiser. Let’s get you topped up and back on the road.”

“That would be most kind, Deputy.”

While the deputy went back to his cruiser, two of the acolytes, dressed in simple black robes, emerged from the bus. “Eminence?”

Crncevic raised a finger in warning. “Brother Padraic, Brother Simon, is there a problem?”

The acolyte to whom Crncevic had assigned the name Brother Padraic, caught his breath then said, “No, Father. We simply wished to stretch our legs for a bit while we’re stopped.”

“Of course.”

The two walked toward the rear of the bus as the deputy returned with a five gallon can. They nodded amiably as they passed the deputy who nodded in return.

At the front of the bus, the deputy popped the cap on the can and started pouring it into the radiator.

While the water glugged into the radiator, the two acolytes returned.

“How can I thank you, Deputy?” Crncevic said.

“Oh, my pleasure, Father.” The deputy shook the can as the last of the water ran into the radiator. “Glad to help.”

The first genuine smile of the encounter spread across Crncevic’s face. “Oh, you have helped indeed,” he said as the two acolytes stepped up to the open door of the bus, “more than you can possibly imagine.”

As Crncevic’s nod, “Simon” pivoted and pressed a stun gun to the back of the deputy’s neck. As the deputy stiffened and fell, the two grabbed his arms while other acolytes boiled out of the bus.

From within his own clothing, Crncevic removed a ceremonial dagger. He held it out to one of the acolytes.

“Over there,” he said, nodding in the direction of a hollow that would not be visible from the road.

“The Dread Lord rises!” The acolyte whispered as he took the dagger.

“Dash cam,” Crncevic said to another acolyte. He pointed to the police cruiser. “Pull the memory completely. Don’t just erase the file. Then soak everything with gas. We’ll burn it with the deputy when we’re done.

The acolyte nodded.

From the hollow, the deputy’s screams began.

Next

***

Coming Soon in Paperback and Kindle

In the meantime, why not check out my science fiction novel, Survival Test?

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Big Blue Snippet Two

Starts here

“Five…four…three…two…one…” Damjan flipped a finger at the display just as the trace jumped. “Right on schedule. Exactly one sidereal day from yesterday’s quake.”

Albertson rested one hand on the back of Damjan’s chair as he leaned closer to the display. “When you’re right; you’re right. And as much as I hate to say it, you’re right. Look at it go.” The trace wobbled wildly. “If it’s the same location.”

“It is. Bets?”

“If it is,” Albertson said, “Then that’s got to be an eight point five, maybe a nine.” He stood and turned aside. Damjan turned to follow the direction of his gaze. A chart on the White Board marked the daily increasing strength of the seismic anomaly. “A nine,” Albertson said. “A nine would keep the trend going.”

Albertson shook his head. “If the trend continues it will pass the Valdivia quake tomorrow.”

“And in a week?” Damjan looked from the chart back to the seismograph readout, then back to the chart. “It can’t. The trend has to stop sometime.” His voice softened, took on a distant quality. “In fact, I’m sure this is an eight point five. It’s already leveling off.”

A few minutes later the computer spat out the numbers combining the results of their own observations with those of all other seismograph stations in the network. Magnitude nine. Still gaining half a magnitude per day.

#

“Catch, Daddy!”

Captain Jamal White, USAF, looked up in time to snatch from the air the ball his daughter had thrown. He grinned and threw it back, then turned back to the cooler. He grabbed a soda for his wife, Amber, and a beer for himself. While he still had the cooler open, he called out to his daughter, “You want a drink, Bobbi?”

“Orange!” Bobbi called back.

White dug a can of orange soda out of the cooler and turned to face Bobbi.

“Here, catch!” He tossed the can underarm toward her.

Bobbi dropped her ball and snatched the can out of the air.

White turned to Amber and grinned. “She’s going to be a good fielder some day.” He held out the soda.

Amber took the soda and held the can to the side of her face. “Maybe she won’t want to play baseball.”

White laughed and sat, leaning back in the shade of the beach umbrella. “Then she won’t have to.”

He sipped at his beer while looking at his wife. She was as beautiful as the day he’d met her at his younger brother’s track meet. She’d been a senior on his track team. Slim, hair trimmed close, with milk chocolate skin, she left all the other girls in the meet behind, in more ways than one.

He asked her out that afternoon, eight years ago. A year later they were married. Two, and Bobbi came along.

“Have I told you lately that I love you?” He asked.

“Not in the last–” Amber looked at her watch. “–hour, I think.”

“Well, I do.” He leaned in toward her and ran his hand up her side, allowing it to drift forward on her torso for just a moment.

Amber laughed and slapped at his hand.

“Daddy?” Bobbi called from behind him. “Where’s the ocean going?”

“Where’s the…” White turned. His beer slipped from nerveless fingers. The waterline had retreated far beyond the normal low tide line and was still retreating fast.

“Bobbi,” White said in as calm a voice as he could manage. “Run to daddy, please.”

“But, Daddy.”

“Run to daddy, please.”

As Bobbi began to run, White turned his head to his wife. “We’re leaving. Now.”

“But…”

White scooped up his daughter onto his left hip. “Now. Run.”

He lunged to his feet and grabbed Amber by the arm pulling her up.

“But our stuff…”

“Leave it.” Despite his best efforts to remain calm, White could hear the fear breaking through in his own voice. “Run!”

Amber’s eyes opened wide. She turned and started to sprint toward the lot where they’d parked their car.

White followed. Eight years since she’d given up track but she could still run. “Just go!” He said when she slowed. “Don’t wait for me.”

His words were useless. Amber kept glancing back and White knew that she was restraining herself, not letting him fall behind. In response he pushed himself harder, driving himself faster.

They reached the car, a small Toyota which White wished were a Ferrari, a Porsche, anything fast. He dumped Bobbi unceremoniously in the back seat, then scrambled into the driver’s seat.

“Buckle up!” He said as he started the car. He did not wait for them to comply as he pulled, tires squealing, out of their parking space.

Horns blared as White swerved past cars looking for places to park. His right rear fender bounced off a parked car as he half-slid out of the lot and into the street.

He had minutes, and very few of them to get to high ground. It might already be too late.

Which road? Which road led uphill? He turned left, blaring through a residential area at increasing speed. Willing the car to go even faster.

Light reflected from the rear-view mirror, blue and red. White ignored it. Straight road. Foot to the floor.

“Jay Jay,” Amber said, “The police…”

White just shook his head slightly, pushing the distraction of the blinking lights behind him to the back of his mind. He glanced in the rear view mirror. There was the police cruiser all right and behind him? Behind him the ocean rose in a wall.

Ahead rose the crest of the hill. Were they high enough? They had to be. They wouldn’t get any higher. He took his foot off the throttle and gradually started to brake, timing his braking so that the car rolled to a stop at the very crest of the hill.

The police officer pulled up behind him and got out of his cruiser. He approached White car with gun drawn.

“Out of the car! Out of the car now!”

White released his seatbelt and opened the door. He placed both hands on top of his head as he stepped out of the car.

“Officer,” he said, his voice mild, “I think you’re about to have a whole lot more to worry about than a few traffic violations.”

“A few traffic violations?”

Keeping his hands on top of his head, he folded his right hand into a fist while keeping the index finger extended, pointing back the way he had come.

The officer scowled, then, after a moment, glanced in the indicated direction. His face paled. His gun arm drooped. “My God,” he whispered.

“Officer,” White said mildly, “I think you’re about to get very busy. And I’m going to have to get back to base since we’ll probably be doing search and rescue right alongside you.”

“My God,” the officer repeated.

“Officer?” White raised his hands from his head, keeping them open and just above and outside his shoulders.

No response.

“Am I free to go?”

“My God.”

White shrugged, got back in the car, and drove off.

Next

***

Coming soon.

In the meantime, you might take a look at my recently released fantasy novel, The Hordes of Chanakra:

Big Blue–Snippet One

Sh’fath dulakh k’lathna vah
Djebdu methakha vektha K’t’rahl
Shev’kha ezekhadja tredzkhan’th
And when the stars mark the eons
Drowned K’t’rahl shall rise again.
And Dread Shev’kha walk once more.

Thus said Kalyana the Old, as written in the Book of Ancient Days.

#

Jovan Crncevic typed the last few characters into the computer and waited while the spreadsheet crunched the numbers. Modern computers sped the calculations, but he and his minions still had to enter the data they compiled from many sources.

He folded his hands in his lap and affected a serene smile while the computer completed the calculations.

Had the time come? The Order knew it would be soon, but “soon”, as measured by the slow march of stars across the heavens, could be millennia. New measurements, made by Astronomers all unknowing, refined the predictions. Members of the Order tabulated news events. Analysts compared those lists with prophesy. Those results too refined the predictions. And Jovan had just entered the latest refinements.

The computer beeped and displayed the results. A simple line of text, to herald the doom of mankind.

Dread Shev’kha was returning.

#

Admiral Lloyd Cunningham never questioned his orders. He did not know how Dawn of Islam has managed to steal a Los Angeles class submarine, with a full complement of missiles and the Pentagon wasn’t talking. His task was simpler. He had to find them. He had to stop them.

The thunder of flight ops penetrated even to quarters.
He didn’t think they had the codes to launch. But then, he wouldn’t have thought they could have stolen the submarine either.

He sipped at his tea and pretended a calm he did not feel. The Navy ran on coffee. On those occasions when someone drank tea, it was iced tea. But when the Admiral wanted hot tea, the Admiral got hot tea.

The stolen submarine carried three Special Weapons, nukes. Three cities that could be wiped off the face of the Earth, in addition to the damage she could do with her conventional load of Tomahawks.

“Mississippi reports a contact,” his Exec, Adrian Kruger, said. “Could be the target. If it is, they’re heading up Baffin Bay.”

Cunningham set down his cup. “Baffin Bay?”

Kruger spread his hands. “Your guess is as good as mine. Truman is best positioned to respond, or maybe we could send assets via Thule.”

Cunningham nodded. “Good. But let’s not close in too quickly. If that’s a false contact and they’re somewhere else…” He picked up his tea, took a sip, and set it back down. “Let’s bring the, um, the Indiana I think, is patrolling the Arctic?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Right. Let’s bring the Indiana down into the north end of Baffin Bay. If they’re there, let’s keep them there.”

“Aye aye, sir.”

“That’ll be all.”

As Kruger left, Cunningham picked up his tea and leaned back in his chair. “What are they planning?”

#

“Will you look at that!” Damjan Bankovich leaned close to the display for the seismometer. The instrument itself stood deep in the building’s basement, on concrete pillars that extended all the way down to the bedrock. “Right on schedule, and bigger than the last three.”

Oliver Albertson, the supervisor for the small seismologic section, looked from the display chart to the clock and then back. “Four minutes early.”

“Each one has been four minutes early,” Damjan said, “every day, four minutes earlier than the one before. Want to bet that when we correlate with the other stations, we find it’s right smack on forty-nine south, one twenty-three west?”

Albertson jumped up and began pacing. “But that doesn’t make any sense. It didn’t make any sense yesterday. It didn’t make any the day before. And it doesn’t make any today. There’s nothing there to create earthquakes of this size, and this daily pattern? Okay, I could maybe, maybe, see something happening triggered by tidal forces. Maybe.”

“There’s Tolstoy’s work,” Damjan said.

“If you can call it that.” Albertson waved his hand in dismissal. “Anyway, the timing is wrong. Solar tides? That would be same time every day. Lunar? That would be fifty minutes later each day, not four minutes earlier.”

“Sidereal day?”

Albertson stopped. He turned to face Damjan, then slowly raised one hand to point at Damjan’s chest. “You did not just suggest that the stars are causing this, did you?”

Damjan raised his hands. “I’m not suggesting anything. I’m just saying. The timing matches.”

“That it does,” Albertson admitted. “But it’s got to be coincidence.” His voice went soft. “It’s got to be.”

#

“As you were,” Cunningham said as he entered the Flag Bridge before anyone could announce him.

Kruger stood with his hands folded behind his back at one of the large map displays, installed with the most recent upgrade. “Admiral.”

“Adrian.” Cunningham stood next to Kruger and began inspecting the map. “What have you got for me?”

“I think we’ve got them. We’ve got a Poseidon staging out of Thule. They’re running deep and running quiet, but we’ve had contacts—“ He reached out to touch the map. “—here, here, and here.”

Cunningham reached out and spread his hand over the area encompassed by the three contacts. “We sure it’s them?”

“You know any other nuclear subs that can be in that area? Quieter than the Russian’s nukes, and if it were a diesel, it would have had to come up by now. It’s them.” Kruger tapped at the top end of the bay. “Indiana is patrolling here.” Tapped at a strait between two islands to the west, Elsmere Island to the north and Devon Island to the south. “Stockdale and Farragut patrolling here.” A wider gap between the Devon Island and, further south, Baffin Island. “The Mason, Bulkeley, Mitscher, and Nitze here.” He turned to look at Cunningham. “If we bring up the battle group before they can get around the south end of Baffin Island, we can box them in. There will be no place they can go while we close the noose on them.”

Cunningham nodded. “Do it.” He reached up and ran his finger across the southern end of Baffin Bay. “In the meantime, have the Poseidon concentrate its sweeps here. Block them in, but don’t press them too hard. If we can keep them penned without panicking them…well, they still have those Special Weapons.”

“I agree, Admiral.”

“ETA?”

“Admiral?”

Cunningham turned at the new voice. Petty Officer Third Takagi stood waiting at his side. “Yes, PO?”

“Message, sir.” He held out a pad.

Cunningham nodded and accepted the pad. “Thank you. Carry on.”
“Aye aye, sir.” PO3 Takagi turned and left.

Cunningham glanced at the pad then up at Kruger. “Another tsunami warning.”

“Again?”

“Every day for the past week.” Cunningham tapped the pad with the back of his hand. “All in the Pacific though. Nothing that will affect us here.”

“Still, strange though.”

“I’d be a lot more interested—“Cunningham turned back to the map of Baffin bay. “—if I didn’t have to worry about terrorists with a nuclear armed submarine.”

Next

***

Coming soon in Paperback and Kindle.

In the meantime, you might take a look at my recently released fantasy novel, The Hordes of Chanakra:

Treva’s Children, free promo

Now Through July 18, 2016, Treva’s Children of the Knights of Aerioch series by David L. Burkhead will be available free.

From the story:

Talisa sat leaning back against a tree, her eyes closed.  Despite the warmth, the strange, unnatural warmth, she felt chilled to her core.  She could hear her people chatting as their fear of this unnatural spring in the midst of winter faded to be replaced with simple pleasure in the warmth, in the ripe pears and apples, and in the simple knowledge that the path behind them was now blocked, deferring for at time the Schahi threat.  She could smell venison cooking over a fire.

The sound of voices faded, as if, one by one, the people stopped talking.  The last voice faded, leaving only the sound of the brook and the popping of the fire.

Talisa opened her eyes.  On the far side of the brook a woman stood.  Tall, almost six feet, her straight brown hair falling alongside her neck to disappear behind her back.  She wore a brown tunic and trousers.  In her left hand she held a gnarled staff, fully eight feet long.  A fierce scowl creased her face.

Talisa stood.

The woman pointed her staff at Talisa. “This valley is sacred to Treva.  To defile it is death.”

Talisa’s mouth went dry.  She approached the woman. “We meant no harm.  Please, My Gracious Lady, allow us to rest until tomorrow and we will depart.”

The woman set the butt of her staff on the ground. “I am not your lady.  Your lives were forfeit when they crossed into this land.”

Talisa saw no pity in the woman’s eyes.  Treva, unlike the Threefold Twins, cared little for people.  She gave her love to the wild things of the world, to the plants and animals, the rocks and streams.  Still, Talisa tried once more to plead her case. “We did not come of our own free will.  The Schahi…”

“I am aware of those abominations.  The avalanche stopped them.  And yet you came hither anyway.”

Talisa stepped forward and dropped to her knees. “Please, I beg you.  If there must be a punishment, let it fall on me.  I lead these people.  It is my responsibility, not theirs.”

The woman stared at her for a long moment, then nodded. “Very well.  These your people may stay until the morning.  Your life I claim.” She turned. “Come with me.”

On This July 4th

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

LibertyCon 29 Schedule

Here’s my schedule for LibertyCon 29.  I’ll have books for sale at my Author’s Alley and Autograph sessions.

Day     Time     Name of Event
Fri     02:00PM     Frontiers of Nanotech    
Fri     04:00PM     Author’s Alley (Burkhead, Kemp, C. Kennedy, Maggert)    
Fri     05:00PM     Opening Ceremonies    
Fri     09:00PM     Bootstrapping Industrial Capacity After An Apocalypse    
Sat     10:00AM     Where Next for Human Space Exploration – Mars?    
Sat     12:00PM     Autograph Session (Burkhead, Patterson)    
Sat     05:00PM     Author’s Alley (Burkhead, Gibbons, D. Kennedy, Schroeder)    
Sat     09:00PM     Reading: Thomas Mays & David Burkhead    
Sat     11:00PM     Mad Scientist Roundtable    
Sun     10:00AM     Kaffeeklatsch    
Sun     12:00PM     Author’s Alley (Brooks, Burkhead, Coe, Lowery)    

In addition, my daughter will have pieces displayed and for sale in the Art Show.  She’s using the “pen name” of “Neko San”.  Check it out.  She’s really good.

Here’s a sample of her work:

Pretty good for a 12 year old.

Defense against terrorist attacks

In 2008 after the Mumbai terrorist attacks, I wrote a letter to the editor of my local paper.  I also sent versions of the letter to State and Federal representatives.

After the Mumbai terrorist attacks, there has been talk about how to prepare for an attack here. One item that is frequently missed is that the choice of when and where to attack lies with the terrorists and, therefore, the police can do little to prevent them. The terrorists will simply attack where the police are not. If you put guards on Chase Tower, the terrorists will attack the Marriott. Put guards on the Marriott, and they will attack a shopping mall. Put armed guards on the malls and they’ll attack the next Pacers home game. There simply are not enough police to be everywhere so they’ll simply go where the police are not. And since these terrorists are willing to die for their cause, the thought that the police will eventually arrive and stop them will not deter them. And if India with its highly restrictive gun control could not stop the terrorists from getting the weapons they used to kill, no such gun control legislation in the US could stop similar attacks here.

Fortunately, however, Indiana has a second line of defense against these terrorists. According to a 2004 article in the Indianapolis Star, there were then 300,000 residents of Indiana who were licensed to carry handguns. That’s one in twenty people in Indiana, and the number has likely only gone up since then. In most large crowds there will be some who are licensed to carry. Not all will be carrying at any given time and not all will have the fortitude to stand up to the terrorists and stop them from killing the people around them, but some will. And so we are guarded even where the police are not–by our own citizens.

Unfortunately, there are areas where those guards, provided without charge to the State or to the people so guarded, cannot go. There remain soft targets where terrorists like those in Mumbai could find fertile killing fields. Those targets are our schools, our universities, and our day cares. The threat is to our children and youth who are the very future of our nation. The very one’s to whom we should be giving the greatest protection are instead the most vulnerable.

It is vitally important that our schools and universities be protected from terrorists such as those who struck Mumbai. One way would be to hire and train armed security personnel for every school and university in the country, enough to have several in every building whenever children are present. This would be a costly undertaking and would take considerable time to implement. The other solution is far less expensive and that is to allow individuals who have a clean criminal record and no serious mental health issues–people, in fact, who can successfully obtain an Indiana handgun license–to be armed in such places and to encourage teachers and facility in such places to do so. This will provide the same, free, armed security that the rest of our State enjoys.

I got one reply back, from Representative Andre Carson (hack, spit), dismissive of the entire concept but claiming he’ll “keep [my] thoughts in mind.  I wrote the following response to him:

Thank you very much for your thoughts concerning gun control. I will keep your thoughts in mind when I vote in 2010.

You see, a person in your position cannot be ignorant of the facts unless he is willfully so.

A person in your position cannot help but know that there is a strong positive correlation between “gun control” and violent crime–the more “gun control,” the more violent crime.

A person in your position cannot help but know that the foreign examples of low crime or low gun crime had their low crime even before they enacted gun control legislation, and the trend has been for crime to increase after gun control is enacted.

A person in your position cannot help but know that India’s severe gun control, amounting to an outright ban for all practical purposes, did not stop the terrorists from obtaining guns and killing large numbers of people with them. That “gun control” only ensured that the victims could not fight back.

A person in your position cannot help but know that every time easing the infringement on the right to keep and bear arms is proposed (as, for instance, when a State proposes “shall issue” on handgun licenses) the predictions of “blood in the streets” are made, but every time the easing actually happens, the predictions fail to come true.

A person in your position cannot help but know that, for stated purpose of reducing individual risk of violent crime, gun control does not work.

Since you cannot help but know these things, I have to presume that there are other reasons for your stated position in favor of “strong restrictions” on guns.

Aside from the date, I see nothing I need to change in any of that.