Oh, Jesus – here come Mary and Joseph.

Hurricane Jose, with Hurricane Maria coming close behind at an estimated Category Five, are in progress.  What hurricanes do is rather fresh in my mind.

I just got back Saturday evening from Houston, where the recovery from Hurricane Harvey is still going on, to my place in Florida immediately post-Hurricane Irma, where the Internet only came back the night of my arrival and the power, a day or two before that.  There are still lots of Floridians without power, the Keys having taken the worst of the devastation.

Deductibles and hurricane insurance itself are extremely costly in Florida. A good friend of mine suffered about $10,000 worth of roof damage alone; his deductible is $15,000.  He hasn’t figured out the cost of his downed trees yet, noting that among real estate agents in the Sunshine State, trees on the property are known as “vertical gold.”

Huge kudos to those who have been able to restore as much as they have as quickly as they have in the wakes of Harvey and Irma.  It speaks well of our country.  In Houston last Saturday I was chatting with a gentleman who immigrated here from Ethiopia ten years ago. He was grateful that no weather emergencies of this magnitude ever hit his country…and he noted that if something like that had happened, he didn’t think his country had the wherewithal to ever recover from it.  American spirit – and, yes, American wealth and emergency services – have seldom shown more brightly.  I have always been proud to be an American. I’m even prouder now.

Preparation is critical.  Thoughts and prayers for the dead and their survivors, and for those who suffered through these last two disasters, and for those who are facing more now.  Let me share some snapshots from around me now, and bear in mind that Irma was down around Category One when it hit here.

Gonna have to clear out the pathway between ranges.

Some of the trees that were snapped in two by the wind on my next-door neighbor’s property.

One of the trees down on my property.

There were lots of empty shelves in the grocery stores. The wise were already stocked up.

We escaped flooding at my place, but others were not so lucky.

These folks in my town had way more downed tree problems from Irma than we did…

…like, when the tree comes down on your house.

Lots of debris yet to be hauled away.

And some businesses out of action.



  1. It’s not for nothing they call us the greatest nation on Earth!

    I’m not sure how long we’ll stay that way, though, if we continue to open our borders to anyone and everyone; without regard to whether or not they share those values that make us who and what we are….

  2. The scene down here in Pasco county looks very similar. Glad to see you didn’t have any major catastrophes. We were fortunate also.

  3. Dennis: ” Bear Arms Beretta Laramie Review” video. Laramie reported out of production, is single-action only. Love those break-open actions, though.

    “Pondoro” John Taylor noted how some fiction writers would call a semi-auto a revolver, or blithely change from “revolver” to “automatic,” IIRC. The practice probably hearkens back, though, to the times of transition from single-shot to repeater, and from revolver-with-cylinder to reciprocating semi-auto. Any repeating handgun could thus loosely be considered either automatic or revolver, especially when compared to an old-fashioned horse pistol.

  4. Looks like the toothpick factories in hurricane prone areas will be very busy for awhile processing all those fallen trees and scrap lumber.

    These tragic events are obviously the fault of conservatives who are bent on destroying our environment. Their idiotic denial of global warming has really angered Mother Nature and she is wreaking revenge by sending hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc. to punish us non-believers. Repent now and admit Al, Barack, and Hillary, along with billions of other intelligent liberals were right and send them lots of money to solve this pressing problem. Also, join with smart Follywood liberals and buy more carbon credits from Gore’s company. We should impeach Donald Trump now and save the world from Mother Nature’s terrible wrath.

    Learn from these natural disasters and make preparations for the next one as it’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’. Along with natural disasters, we have to face the possibility of man caused events such as attacks by terrorists, an EMP strike, the power grid going down, and the Zombie Apocalypse.

  5. I have been in at least six Midwestern tornadoes and two subarctic williwaws, but no Caribbean hurricanes yet. My experience with high winds is that you need to be in defilade in the right place ahead of time, with a strong structure overhead, and to not stick your head out to see what is coming. Two flashlights on hand are minimum, and three are better. Reptiles become a major concern in any flood.

  6. Sorry to hear about all the damage especially the roof. Good luck with getting everything in your house and around your property back to normal.

    We are not that far away from and only had some debris around the property. We worked on for a few day’s cleaning up. We were totally prepared for the hurricane I have a whole house generator that ran my entire place while power was out. Stocked up on all the essentials way ahead of time most I have year round like flashlights batteries chainsaw, tarps, always keep cases of water and plenty of food on hand. Went to a local Walmart saw all their firearms were pulled off the display and huge signs saying no ammunition sales allowed. That was the week leading up to the hurricane. Another reason to prepare. Come to find out the store stopped selling guns and ammunition by mistake thinking it was a state law to do so. When in fact that only applies to if looting is occurring in the area. Another reason to be prepared if looting is going on and your not able by law to purchase ammo you better have that on hand.

  7. I was listening to WABC-770AM radio today, Wednesday the 20th, at 3:30pm Eastern Time. They reported that the whole island of Puerto Rico is without electrical power. That is about 3 million people.

  8. Glad to hear that you’ve not suffered any more damage than you have and that Maria is now looking like it will stay offshore of mainland USA.

  9. Off-topic: What do LEOs think of the Cops TV show? Does it show them in the best light, worst light, average light?

  10. YANOP (Yet Another Off Topic Post): It’s become something of a meme for LEOs to say that their first duty or responsibility is to come home to their family every night. (I heard a LEO say that exact thing on a Cops TV episode, which is what made me think of it after my last post here.)

    While I understand and “get” this as a _personal_ credo or goal notwithstanding departmental or societal goals or expectations, I have to wonder to what extent it meshes with (a) what we as a society expect of LEOs and (b) departmental policy. Saying this in a different way: Is it unreasonable for us, as a society, to expect LEOs to risk their lives more than the average citizen does in going about their ordinary daily activities?

    We, as a society, certainly expect that higher acceptance of risk of military personnel who are going into combat or even into geographic areas of high risk (for example, for things like IED’s).

    If we do expect LEOs to risk their lives more than the average citizen, then that implies that the legal standard for self-defense ought to be higher for LEOs than for average citizens.

  11. Dave-
    If you want to see what happens in the long run when local politicians make scapegoats out of, and refuse to support, local law enforcement, I suggest you read the blog, “Second City Cop”. Read the comments as well, most of them are left by Chicago LEOs.
    Is it correct? Debatable. Is it understandable? Definitely. What is the cause? Politicians pandering to the base desires of their constituents.

  12. @ Liberal Dave:

    “What do LEOs think of the Cops TV show?”

    “If we do expect LEOs to risk their lives more than the average citizen, then that implies that the legal standard for self-defense ought to be higher for LEOs than for average citizens.”

    I am not a LEO but I can venture an opinion about the Cops TV Show anyway. As a general rule, I despise “Reality TV”. So, I seldom watch the show. However, I have caught a few episodes over the years. I watched a couple last night just to refresh my memory. I am sure some of the material is edited. Hollywood puts a spin on everything. However, my main impression is that the job largely consists of dealing with difficult people most of whom are “lowlifes”. In one episode, that I watched last night, a suspect ditched a gun in a Port-O-Potty. One of the cops (the rookie of the bunch?) had to put on some rubber gloves and fish it out. Certainly, being a cop is not a glamorous occupation!

    As to your second point that the legal standard for self-defense ought to be higher for a LEO because he has agreed to take on a thankless and risky job, why should that be so?

    If the Right to Life is truly “inalienable”, then there should not be varying legal standards for it. I don’t see that risk and the legal standard for self-defense need be linked so that, as one goes up then the other goes down.

    Indeed, one could argue that, because LEO’s have agreed to take on a risky, thankless and difficult job for society then society has a DUTY to support the Police in return.

  13. Liberal Dave, you’re looking at police officers’ assumption of risk from the wrong perspective. We, like you, want to come home tonight. Criminals who would violate our right to live have waived their own under the self-defense principle, just as it is if they attack you instead of us.

    The greater assumption of risk is already there. It takes the form of a much greater exposure. Let’s say a serial murderer is loose in a community of 3,000. If you live there, your risk of being his next victim is 1 in 3,000. But if a lone officer is patrolling that community and the next victim calls him to the scene, that officer’s chance of encountering the same serial murderer now approaches 100% certainty.

    We could debate the mathematical probabilities there, but I’m sure you get the drift.

    Once the cop OR the law-abiding citizen is facing a circumstance leading him to believe he is in immediate, otherwise unavoidable danger of death or great bodily harm, do you really think the officer should wait longer than the citizen to defend himself with the same level of force?

  14. As I said previously (https://backwoodshome.com/blogs/MassadAyoob/2017/05/19/the-verdict-in-tulsa/): “LEO reaction often doesn’t take into account various kinds of lack of impaired responsibility on the part of the citizens they encounter and innocent people end up dead from those encounters. … People who cannot reply or reply quickly enough or conform their physical reactions to what a LEO might order? How about citizens who are intellectually impaired or who have a history of mental illness, but not one which makes them a danger to themselves or others?”

    Or people who cannot hear or speak:


  15. Re self-defense standard for LEOs: Mas, what you raise in your final sentence, that’s indeed the question.

    And I should have made my last paragraph on the matter a question, rather than a statement: “If we do expect LEOs to risk their lives more than the average citizen, does that imply that the legal standard for self-defense ought to be higher for LEOs than for average citizens?”

    One way that the LEO legal self-defense standard could be different from the current civilian standard is to take into account what the officer could reasonably have done to avoid placing himself in the position so as to have to defend himself with lethal force while still fulfilling his or her mission. Right now that question may factor into departmental discipline (which is one reason why we probably see officers being fired or demoted even if they are acquitted or no-billed) but it does not factor into the legal question of self-defense. It could be part of that standard, however, and the difference can be justified by the difference in training and professionalism required of LEOs that civilians do not have.

  16. Dave, if the totality of the circumstances they’re not presenting a danger to others (including officers) they’re not going to get shot.

    You ask, “If we do expect LEOs to risk their lives more than the average citizen, does that imply that the legal standard for self-defense ought to be higher for LEOs than for average citizens?” By making the legal standard higher for cops, you’re asking those already most exposed to wait longer before they act. Seems to me that will only be more likely to get the cops killed by causing them to wait to long to act in genuine lethal force situations.

  17. Liberal Dave,

    Comparing the risks borne by combat soldiers may bring some parallels. Does this mean you would favor combat ready response to all calls for police service? A squad of 12-15 officers, fully outfitted with automatic weapons, grenades, flak vests, and kevlar helmets present at every officer/citizen contact? Free Fire Zones in certain “high risk” areas such as, let’s say, south L.A. or Chicago? Friendly snipers deployed on rooftops for over-watch during any incursions into “high risk” neighborhoods?

    Of course you wouldn’t. No, you would prefer to be able to call a “professional risk-taker” to come running when you hear that bump in the night, or to deal with that psycho screaming in front of your home. After all, that’s what they’re paid for right? Placing themselves between YOU and that threat to YOUR peace and well-being. But of course, you want him to face those dangers, on your behalf or in your stead, while being more concerned about the welfare of the perpetrator than themselves.

    The fact is, the average street cop, especially in large cities, is not only the “risk taking” law enforcer, but also the the first line representative of all things government. Water bill to high? Call the police, they will explain it. Neighbor’s stereo too loud? Call the police. Old and all alone? Call the police, they will spend some time visiting with you. Bank getting robbed by a gang using automatic weapons? Call the police, that’s also their job. Not only to stop it, but also to arrest them and make them pay. Just please don’t put the robber’s lives in any jeopardy until, at least after they’ve taken the first shot at you. After all, his actions might be explainable because of an abusive childhood, low I.Q., prescription drug use, etc. Don’t you understand, everyone is a potential victim, not to be held accountable for their inadvisable actions. Everyone, that is, except you. You’re a paid risk taker.

  18. Back on topic to the OP (hurricanes and disasters in general).

    Through different optics, we see different things. What I see is yet another man-made disaster. It is foreseeable, predictable, mostly avoidable and what is not avoidable can be mitigated, this makes it almost all preventable. As we don’t do these things, that’s what makes it man-made.

    We have gotten much better at this. That is throwing more good after even more bad.

  19. Liberal Dave, you re-posted:

    “LEO reaction often doesn’t take into account various kinds of lack of impaired responsibility on the part of the citizens they encounter…….”

    “lack of impaired responsibility”? Obvious to who? When? Discovered sometime after the deadly encounter, then offered as justification for ill-advised, imprudent acts? Then blaming the officer for defending himself when any reasonable and prudent person would have recognized these actions a threat of death or grave bodily injury?

    The link you provided of the shooting of the deaf man, why were the police at that particular location? A crime had been committed and they had been given this address as the location of the suspect. Why was the “victim” advancing on the officers with what was obviously what he himself considered to be a weapon (he was known to carry it as protection against dogs)? The officers waited until he closed within 15 feet (Tueller rule says 21 feet minimum). Seems there were several witnesses saying they were trying to tell officers that the suspect couldn’t hear their commands. How close were they, that they could be sure they themselves were being heard? Why did they not intervene by running to his aid before he had closed the distance to the officers, if they were so sure of his being harmless to others. Where was the hit and run father, the reason the officers were there, the one person nearby, who knew for sure the mental and physical challenges of his son? The one person who could have prevented this tragedy by stepping forward immediately instead of watching from afar. Yet, all the focus is on the officers actions, and the hue and cry by some will be to hold them, and them alone, responsible.

    The fact the “victim” in this case was a “white Hispanic” may spare this city the looting and destruction of peaceful protests.

  20. Dean, forgive me if I don’t completely understand your point. Man-made disaster as in hurricanes are caused by the latest wealth diversion tactic (of the many such crusades in my lifetime), namely man caused global warming? Or the foolishness of building homes and cities around coastal deep water ports where hurricanes seem to do their worse damage. I get the point that you blame humans for the disasters, I just don’t know exactly what acts you are blaming.

  21. TN_Man:
    “Indeed, one could argue that, because LEO’s have agreed to take on a risky, thankless and difficult job for society then society has a DUTY to support the Police in return.”
    That is exactly what most of us do. We appear to be in the minority because we aren’t newsworthy.

    Liberal Dave:
    “Officer could reasonably have done to avoid placing himself in the position so as to have to defend himself with lethal force while still fulfilling his or her mission.”
    That’s why they are there, Dave. I doubt if many LEOs are “unreasonably” placing themselves in danger to protect the innocent. They do it by choice, because they see it as not only reasonable, but their duty.

  22. Here in N. IL; we had a hail storm about 3 months ago. Stones about walnut size and driven by the wind. Damaged our roof and Vinyl siding windows etc. $30,000 in damages.
    Still waiting on repairs and dicking around with the insurance co!

  23. Dennis, with the interjection of politics into many things that should not be political I can see how you might have some confusion over my statement. I am not stating the 1st and your 2nd statement is almost entirely on target.

    So no, I’m not talking about anthropomorphic warming nor climate change in this case. I am talking about the foolishness of how and where we build things.

    In 1900 a hurricane hit Galveston Texas. This was before the modern naming of storms so is just known as the great Galveston hurricane of 1900. Between 6000 and 12,000 people died. The exact number will never be known as it not only took out entire families but their extended families and all of their friends. So the people who would ask if somebody was dead also died and their bodies were washed away. This was before satellites and hurricane tracking aircraft. All the meteorologist had available to predict such a storm was their barometer, reports from ships at sea and their experience. We also did not know or understand the effects of wind and things like storm surge. So something like this was truly a natural disaster.

    This is not the case today. We know what these effects are going to be and that they will come (at least on a statistical basis). So we know where not to build. If we should choose to build in these locations we also know exactly how to make these structures extremely survivable, with little or no damage. This is true not only of hurricanes but almost everything else we commonly referred to today as a ”Disaster”. If you go to enough disasters you can see this pattern repeated ad nauseam. The primary reason that we don’t have as many fatalities today is that we do know enough (most of us at least) to evacuate from the hurricanes.

    Some of this problem is due to lack of education, some of it is due to politics (you can’t tell me what to do with my property), and quite a bit of it is due to the general human nature of not wanting to look at possible bad things in the future. Many followers of this site should be familiar with all 3 of these problems in other contexts.

  24. Dean,

    I think you make a good point. Look at New Orleans. It is surrounded on three sides by water; the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain. The people who originally built New Orleans put their buildings on the high ground, even though it is not high enough. The mouth of the Mississippi River is probably a good place for a sea port, but no one needs to live there. They could live in a safer location and commute to work.

    I’ve looked into the possibility of house boats and houses on stilts, but I’ve been told these are not very practical solutions. A house boat will float, but it will also hit things and be hit by other things in the water. A house on stilts would need flexible connections for electricity, water and sewer. Those connections would probably be broken in a storm. Also, floating debris may knock over those stilts.

    It is interesting to me that primitive men lived in primitive shelters, which are much easier to rebuild than our fancy homes. The Los Angeles area had earthquakes before Europeans got there, but the homes the people lived in were not vulnerable to falling down and crushing things like our modern buildings are. I think it would be pretty challenging to live in a tent, but a tent would be easy to fix or replace. Just thinking off the top of my head.

  25. First, let me note that I’m now posting under “Liberal Dave” instead of “Dave (the liberal, non-Uncle one)” since the poster who used the name “Uncle Dave” seems to have gone away and since everyone seems to refer to me as “Liberal Dave”.

    Second, both Mas and Dennis seem to fail to recognize that I’m focusing on “what the officer could reasonably have done to avoid placing himself in the position so as to have to defend himself with lethal force while still fulfilling his or her mission” rather than what, once the reasonable need to defend himself has actually arisen, ought to be the standard.

  26. Dave, can you clarify? Give us some examples of how an officer can avoid “placing himself in a position so as to have to defend himself with lethal force” when his duty is to confront, interdict, and contain violent criminal suspects?

  27. Liberal Dave,

    You know I love you brother, but you know our philosophy on this subject are miles apart. You seem to want some mythical answer to bring non-violence to police dealings with violent people. As a long time attorney with previous prosecution experience, I know that you have to acknowledge that police must deal with evil people. You’ve seen these people in the courtroom, and probably have represented them yourself. I’m guessing that you’ve never encountered them in a confrontation.

    We speak of time and distance being your friend in deadly force encounters. Many times in it is available as an advantage to consider alternative options, many times it’s not. Once a police officer exits his vehicle and approaches to conversation distance, he can only control his own actions/demeanor, he can only react to the object of his interest’s actions. Experience, training, and verbal skills can and do, many times, work. Many times, no matter what the officer does trying to de-escalate a confrontation, he is ignored. The point is, some folks we encounter will never allow a good outcome. These are the ones we end up talking about here.

    It doesn’t help anyone when we see people in supposedly leadership positions do this——–


    —-Listen to the video. Read the entire article. It points out that Stockley probably wouldn’t have been prosecuted if not for the “Ferguson effect”. It also points out how policing in that area has changed to avoid these type confrontations. Yet the St. Louis city council “honors” a dope dealing career criminal whose criminal actions led to the case we’ve been discussing. Then, a mayor complains that the police are no longer stopping cars on their own initiative, allowing his peace to be disturbed.

    Does it ever cross these people’s minds that their actions just might embolden other ne’er do wells to resist and threaten police officers in the future? Oh, I forgot, that’s the new battle cry for the left, “RESIST!!!!”. Does civil disorder serve their purpose? More deadly encounters between young black males and police means more violent protests. Is that the goal of these folks?

  28. @ Liberal Dave:

    “First, let me note that I’m now posting under ‘Liberal Dave’ instead of ‘Dave (the liberal, non-Uncle one)’ since the poster who used the name ‘Uncle Dave’ seems to have gone away and since everyone seems to refer to me as ‘Liberal Dave’.”

    Just think of “Liberal Dave” as our affectionate diminutive term for you (like “Mas” for “Massad”). Your old title just required too many key strokes to type in every time! 🙂

  29. I’ll take credit for nicknaming (AKA) you as Liberal Dave. I did it as a crutch for my shortcomings in typewriting. Wear the name with pride, as I do identifying as being a retired cop. Like we’ve discussed in the past, some folks will hold you in contempt, some will identify with you. In the end tally, it’s how you view yourself and your beliefs. It also gives folks a glimpse of where your comments are coming from, your foundation. I would use “Dennis the Retired Cop”, but that brings us back to that typing thing.

  30. Mas, you asked for an example. Here’s one:


    And, indeed, at the time that was written in May, 2017, “In 37 instances since June 2016, officers have managed to de-escalate situations in which they might otherwise have been justified in using lethal force.” and Salt Lake City Police Department officers had not shot anyone since September, 2015:


    Now, don’t misunderstand me: Like Dennis said, deescalation can’t always work. Indeed, Salt Lake City Police Department officers (and I write that out that way because there’s also a “Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake” which doesn’t include Salt Lake City) have since that article was written had to shoot and kill a suspect who came out of his car shooting after a 100+MPH chase:


    Let me also note that it would appear that deescalation techniques are already being trained already in a number of departments, but not nearly all. And much of the training that is being done is either of the “we’ve got to teach this to you, so we are” or of the “this is another technique that you can use, but it’s entirely up to you” but without any regulations making the use of deescalation mandatory whenever reasonably possible.

  31. Dave, cops have been de-escalating right along without community activists having to tell us to. It’s nothing new. The problem is that the perpetrators often don’t care to accept de-escalation.

    The situation you linked of the cop with TASER in one hand and Glock in the other ended as well as it could, but it would be normally out of policy for an officer to “dual wield” that way. The officer in the case you liked apparently had excellent self-control and confidence.

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