Deputy Matt’s “Coming-Out” Story

This is my badge. I get to keep it because my union buys them for us when we retire, but it will no longer have the same meaning. Looking at it right now invokes a plethora of emotions.
This is my badge. I get to keep it because my union buys them for us when we retire, but it will no longer have the same meaning. Looking at it right now invokes a plethora of emotions.

Hi there, my name is Matt Silvey.  I have been a deputy sheriff with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department since September 1996.  If you have followed me on Facebook or Twitter, you know me as Deputy Matt.  To date, I have not been able to use my real name on social media because of concerns by management that if someone in the media knew where I worked, they would try to attribute my comments to the department, which would be completely insane but you know how the media can be.  But now, I can proudly tell you where I worked, because I have decided to retire.  In fact, today (11-28-18) was my last day.

I love my department.  I am proud to wear the uniform. I love being a cop and almost everything that comes with the job, even though it is a very difficult job.  As I have gotten older, and gotten to the point that I can retire, I am much less tolerant of stupid crap.  It is that stupid crap that causes many of us to leave, and I am no exception.

My Career
Overall, I have no serious complaints about my career.  In 1996, I started working in our jail, a place I never wanted to work but after having done so, know that it is the absolute best place any new cop can work because you learn to deal with the criminal element in a semi-safe environment.  From there, because of my previous job experience in the automotive industry and my computer skills, I got a job as the assistant fleet manager for the department.  At barely three years on the department, I was working in an office five doors down from the Sheriff on the administration floor of our headquarters.  That job had a lot of perks, including a take home unmarked cop car.

My 96 year old grandfather pinning my badge on me when I got sworn is an an-call deputy
My 96 year old grandfather pinning my badge on me when I got sworn is an an-call deputy

I enjoyed fleet management, but I wanted to be a cop and was dying to get out on the streets, so on my weekends while working fleet, I would go out with my buddies who were working patrol.  One of those good friends who I rode with as often as I could was a guy named Alan.  He was a funny, energetic, quick witted shit magnet, and I learned a lot about doing good cop work from him.  Sadly, Alan had a pretty rough career and was involved in an inordinate number of shootings in a very short time frame, and he medically retired very early due to PTSD, but he and I are still friends and we talk on a fairly regular basis.

Once I was finally allowed to rotate to patrol, I hit patrol training and knew everyone there because I had been working for free a couple days a month for the previous couple years.  I breezed through training, took my test and was finalized.  I looked forward to my first day as a finalized, all on my own, brand new patrol cop.  That day was September 11, 2001.  I think you all know what day that was.  What an absolutely surreal day to have as your inaugural day as a patrol cop.

I worked patrol for the next 15 years, and I really enjoyed the job.  I was a training officer for a while, but eventually some of the BS involved with training got to me, so I quit training.  I worked as acting sergeant quite a few times, back when we used to do that.  I was directly involved in two officer involved shootings, one with my handgun early in my patrol career, and one with my rifle, which I have written about in the past.  I was involved in countless pursuits and have been the primary unit performing a PIT (pursuit intervention technique) in two of them, and assisted on several others.

I have held pressure on bullet wounds of gunshot victims, I’ve done CPR more than once, and proudly can say it actually worked once and I saved a guy.  I even evacuated a gunshot victim off the front porch of a residence with the suspect still inside.  Ironically, of the 5 cops who pulled that woman off her front porch, I somehow was the only one ignored when it came time to hand out lifesaving medals.  Later, during that same incident, I was captured by news cameras pulling a small child off the suspect who was refusing to follow commands.  Heck, I even got an episode of COPS under my belt (Season 28, Episode 4).  Side note: One thing I found out when filming COPS, you cannot say “dildo” on national television.  Who knew?

This kid is AJ. He is losing his sight. The guy in the flight suit is Duncan. He set up an incredible day for AJ, and I got to be a part of it.
This kid is AJ. He is losing his sight. The guy in the flight suit is Duncan. He set up an incredible day for AJ, and I got to be a part of it.

After missing out on the job at air ops the first time around, an opening at EVOC (emergency vehicle operations course) was announced.  I’ve always loved driving, especially driving a car hard, and I get along very well with the only other full-time deputy at EVOC, so I put in for it, and got it.  I have been assigned to our EVOC facility for the last three (3) years.  It is a great job, and the wife is very happy about it because I am not getting shot at anymore, but the only downside it that I do not feel like a cop anymore.  That said, it is a great job and I have a great coworker.  But…

The Crap
During my 22 years as a cop, I have lost a number of coworkers who have been killed on the job.  Some were lost to accidents, like when Joe and Kevin were killed when our helicopter, Star 6, suffered a catastrophic engine malfunction, and sadly quite a few others who were murdered.  The Sacramento Sheriff’s Department has been hit pretty hard as of late.  In the last four years, three of my coworkers were murdered, and I have written about each incident.  The one that hit me the hardest was Bob French.  I wrote about it the night Bob died, but attributed it to “an unnamed Sacramento deputy” because I could not say where I worked.  Bob and I went to the academy together.  I had known him more than 20 years, and I was there at the scene of the shooting and watched the paramedics working on him.  Bob’s death really hit home, hard.

Additionally, during my career, the political landscape has changed dramatically.  While the Sacramento Bee has never been friendly to law enforcement, most of the news stations used to give the cops a pretty fair shake in the news.  But sadly, the political left decided to wage a war on cops.  Very early in his presidency, Barack Obama got in on the act and never relented.  Quite a few other politicians have also joined the fray, slinging mud at law enforcement as part of their stump speeches or just making comments on social media.

In the meantime, Black Lives Matter sprang up, and then Antifa.  Now it is cool and hip to hate the cops.  While all of us in law enforcement understand that those groups are the vocal minority, it still wears on you because they are in the news, slamming law enforcement, almost every single day, and law enforcement essentially just sits there quietly and takes it.  Hell, some law enforcement administrators have started bending over backwards to try and placate the cop hating assholes.  Thankfully, I work for a sheriff, Scott Jones, who will not play that game, but he will not be around much longer, and in fact was set to retire this year but stuck it out.

Add all that on top of the normal BS that is part of the daily grind at any job, throw in a few law enforcement specific things, a dash of department specific annoyances, a desire to flee my home state, all mixed together with being both fully vested in my retirement and old enough to start collecting and you end up on the “two bad days” retirement plan.  That is where I was until one really stupid thing at work happened, and then…

The Final Straw
The last election here in California finally convinced my wife of something I have been convinced of for about 10 years:  California is too far gone and is never coming back.  She, like I, had held on to a tiny sliver of hope that John Cox would win and thus we would avoid having the cop hating, gun hating, criminal loving, homeless enabling, pro-drug, open border slime ball Gavin Newsom as governor.  Not only did Cox not win, but the kicker for my wife was watching the idiot voters in California vote to keep the higher gas taxes the politicians had slapped on us because they misspent the money they already collected for road repairs.

I have for years been saying California was lost, and she finally has come to the same conclusion, so we are getting out!

Now What?
I am looking forward to my next endeavor.  I have been writing for blogs and other online outlets now for about six years, and during that time I have had a couple things published in a magazine.  I have been lucky enough to have some of my pieces end up being read on a radio talk radio show (in a good way), and one even ended up being republished by the New York Post.  As much as I never would have imagined it during my time as a student, I have found I enjoy writing, and I especially enjoy writing about guns.  I have been doing this all for free for the last six years, but it is time for that to change.

28379156_2023202128003017_5861620118720860486_nI will soon be taking the reins as Managing Editor at The Firearm Project, a new website devoted to pro-gun content and related news from a law enforcement perspective, brought to you by the people who run Blue Lives Matter.  I will still be running my own blog and social media as well, but will be stepping back somewhat and letting some of the other admins take a larger role there.

Initially, The Firearm Project is going to be a part-time job so that I can get my home ready to sell, find a new state to call home, buy a house and move my family.  Once we get settled into our new home, I will transition the writing job over to full-time, and may even take on another writing project I have been considering for some time.

Thanks
To those who have followed my social media pages, I want to thank you for your support over the years.  Not only has it meant a lot to me, but my coworkers, both those on my department and from other agencies, truly are thankful for your support.  Our job can be quite taxing at times, and without the support of you, the general public, we would be hard pressed to carry on.

To my coworkers at the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department, you are some of the finest men and women I could imagine sharing a career with.  In my 22 year career, you have continued to impress me with your professionalism, caring, and love of the job and our community.

To Sheriff Jones, and the other supervisors I have worked for over the last several years, thank you for your support of my first amendment rights by allowing me to run this page.  There are many cops who do not work for a boss who would allow them to run a social media page like mine.  I specifically remember reaching out to you after my open letter to Mayor Kevin Johnson went viral, and was expecting you to have me shut down my social media pages, but you read what I wrote and told me that not only did I have the first amendment right to free speech, but that I had also done so without violating any department policies or dragging the department into it.

Sheriff Jones, I also want to thank you for your steadfast support of the men and women who serve under you on a daily basis, and by extension, the men and women of other law enforcement agencies in the area, who have not always had the support of their own leadership.  While you and I have not always agreed on policy issues, your outspoken support of law enforcement in general has been very reassuring, and this goes for members of those other local agencies who have specifically told me how much they appreciate and respect you for that support.  Law enforcement is the favorite punching bag of some of the local media outlets, and you have always stood strong to defend us, and we all appreciate that, no matter the color of the uniform we wear.

So, as I close one chapter of my life and open another, I am met with feelings of pride, joy, sorrow, anticipation, angst, worry, loss, but most of all, hope.  Hope for a better future for my wife, myself, and most importantly, for my kids.  Now I get to make sure my kids will grow up in a state that respects individual rights, freedoms, and most importantly, is pro-America, the greatest country to ever grace this planet.

Remember, Cops Are The Problem With America

Or so the many supporters of Colin Kaepernick would have you believe.

Yesterday, the news that GQ Magazine named Kaepernick their “Citizen of the Year” hit social media, and needless to say, much of America let out a collective “WTF?”

When I heard the news and saw the cover, I shared my disgust on both my FB page and on Twitter.  Twitter being what it is, I got a few replies that were not in agreement with my opinion.  That is to be expected, as not everyone has the same opinions as I do, but one of those responses lead to a “conversation” that is the epitome of what is ailing the United States currently.

This was my initial Tweet:

  What follows is the “conversation” that leaves me with serious questions about our future:

My response to that, which included retweeting it:

And it went rapidly downhill from there…

But lest we not forget, since I am calling Kaepernick out for his bullshit, that apparently means I am racist and want all blacks to die…

Apparently, according to this delightful individual, who is “Just a sexy, sophisticated, educated, charming, complicated kinda woman,” I said the Black Panther Party was racist.

While I never said anything of the sort, that is indeed factually correct, so I thought I would point that out to her.

In response, she dumbfoundingly calls the Southern Poverty Law Center “a racist bigot” because they have identified the New Black Panther Party as a racist hate group.

It was at this point that I realized that this person is definitely not firing on all cylinders. While I am no fan of the Southern Poverty Law Center, because they lean very far to the left and falsely identify a great number of conservative groups as hate groups, they most definitely are not a “racist bigot,” and the fact that this self-proclaimed “educated” person doesn’t know that, their supposed education is now being called into question. At this point, I attempted to bow out, albeit not gracefully.

But wait, how did I miss that? Did she just demand I show her where I did NOT do something???? Let me reread that. Yep, that is exactly what she said.

And at that point, it devolved into just insults and name calling, but my favorite is when she said she hopes I get killed in the line of duty. She has since deleted that tweet, but not to worry as I screen grabbed it.

So, thinking I was done with her, I carried on with life, only to check in on Twitter later in the night to find that now only is she a cop hating racist bigot, but apparently she is homophobic as well. Apparently, realizing she again screwed up, she has since deleted that Tweet too, but again, not a problem as I also saved it.  

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Then, when I point that out, she tried to put that on me, while simultaneously continuing her cop hating tirade.

It was at this point that I completely gave up, and since she was not going to let it go, I blocked her.

But, life is sometimes like a train wreck, and it begs you to look at the disaster, and so I did. I checked her Twitter feed this morning to see what other nuggets of wisdom she may have let fly during the night, aaaaaaaaand I was not disappointed.

But hey, remember folks, the cops are the problem here in the United States. It has nothing to do with the cop hating racists that continue to propagate the lies pushed by Black Lives Matter…

In all seriousness, how are we supposed to combat the blatant lies tearing this country apart when people like this actively dismiss information provided to them, and do nothing but project their racism onto others?

This is not just about the “Lioness of Judah” and other racist blacks, because there are plenty of backwards ass, idiotic racist whites too. I’m at a loss for how to effectively deal with them.

These people are the problem with the US.

These people are dragging us all down.

Car Knowledge Quiz Made By An Idiot

huh (1)

While browsing Facebook over my morning coffee, I saw a friend of mine share his score on one of those online knowledge quizzes.  This particular one intrigued me, because as a lifelong car guy, I figured hey, I ought to smoke that “What do you know about car engines?” quiz.  Little did I know when I started the quiz that it was put together by someone who clearly doesn’t know what the hell they are talking about.

I’m sure I am not the only car guy out there who absolutely fell in love with Marisa Tomei’s character, Mona Lisa Vito, in “My Cousin Vinny,” especially after this scene.  Sadly, the “car knowledge quiz” I am talking about is filled with similar “bullshit questions.”

If you are a mechanic by profession, do yourself a favor and do not take the quiz.  If you are a serious car guy, I also recommend that you don’t take it.  If you are at all like me, you will just get annoyed by how poorly the questions and answers are worded.  It starts very early on in the quiz, and sadly, they get progressively worse as the quiz goes on.  I finally started taking screen captures of them…

If you plan on taking this quiz, let this serve as a spoiler alert as I am not only going to post some of the more annoying questions, I am going to discuss why they are annoying.

WTF2

First of all, the starter relay, or starter solenoid, does not start the freaking car.  The starter motor, more commonly referred to simply as “the starter” does.  The starter relay, or solenoid, is between your starter button/ignition key and is what causes the starter motor to engage the engine.  Some cars have the solenoid on the starter while other cars it is completely separate.  So, is this question about the starter motor, or about the solenoid/relay?  Based on the answers given, the only reasonable answer is Electromagnetic principles (and this was the right answer), but this question is horribly worded.

WTF3

The Wankel engine, or rotary engine, is unique in many ways, and specifically it is unique in two ways that are both answers to this question.  The Wankel engine has neither valves nor pistons.  So, which do you choose?  I chose pistons, and that was the correct answer, according to the creator of this quiz, but since there are two valid answers and you can only choose one, it is yet another bullshit question.

WTF4

So, I get to this question and again, I’m befuddled.  The Honda Civic is not an electric car per se, although there have been electric versions made and it is also available as a Hybrid.  The Toyota Mirai on the other hand is a hydrogen fuel cell car, also not an electric car.  Sadly, in this instance I chose the wrong option.

WTF6

Okay, so what honing are they talking about?  I assumed they meant the cylinder walls, but even making that assumption, the first three answers are all correct.  A properly honed cylinder wall helps with lubrication of the piston, it allows the piston to smoothly travel in cylinder, and it helps the piston compression rings seat in properly ensuring a tight seal.  I got a number of their bullshit questions right using a process of elimination, but in this case, that only drops one of the four answers.  To the creator of this quiz, proper lubrication was the correct answer.

WTF7

Radiator thermostat?  I know what a radiator is, and I know what a thermostat is, but I have no idea what the hell a “radiator thermostat” is.  That said, the correct answer is easily chosen (it opens), but again, the wording is utterly ridiculous.

WTF8

Uh, what?  A harmonic balancer is not a tool, it is an engine part.  There are some tools that are used to remove the harmonic balancer, but installation, at least in my experience does not require any special tools.  For those who don’t know, the harmonic balancer is a part that is designed to help balance (hence the name) the crankshaft in engines that are not internally balanced.  The harmonic balancer mounts on the end of the crankshaft.  Again, the answer is easy to choose (crankshaft) but the question was obviously written by someone who doesn’t know what they are talking about.

There were some other equally stupid questions in this quiz, but I only included a few of them.  It just goes to show you, any moron can put together an online quiz.  Just because the quiz exists does not mean anything in it is legitimate.

 

 

Gun Control Proponents Predictably Show Their Ugly Side

It has barely been 24 hours since Bob Owens died and already the anti-gunners have set forth in what I sadly predicted would follow.  They seem to be cherishing in the fact that a Second Amendment rights proponent has taken his own life with a gun.  What kind of a horrible human being does that?  Hell, as a cop, I don’t even do that when a cop shoots a bad guy in a 100% justifiable shooting.

I guess that just shows you the true character of the people who want to take away our rights.

The first example of this that I stumbled upon was Sandy Phillips, whose Twitter account describes her as “Daughter killed in Aurora theater massacre. Speaker on gun violence in America. Opinions are mine. I block Nuts & Bullies” when she Tweeted this:

Apparently, she also blocks people who call her out for being a horrible human being because I was instantly blocked. Then there are lots of folks dragging up a 2013 Daily Kos article about bob, while commenting that he has died.

Then there is this sorry excuse for a human literally celebrating Bob’s death.

Not to be outdone, the real assholes stepped up their game.

And of course, the Violence Policy Center has to chime in in typical anti-gunner heartless fashion.

In their minds, this is a gun epidemic, not a suicide problem.  Despite the fact that there are many countries, even first world countries, where guns are completely illegal to own, yet they still have much higher suicide rates than the US.  The US is in 48th place, and many of the countries higher on the list have far stricter gun laws, if not a total ban on private gun ownership.  In fact, here in the US, while guns do hold 1st place as method of suicide, suffocation holds second, with almost half as many suicides by suffocation.  What is next, calling for rope, belt, string and plastic bag control?  The guns are not the problem, they are but the means. Sadly, as the day progresses, so does the display of human depravity.  If my career has taught me one thing, it is that a great number of people SUCK!  Time to step away from the computer for a bit.


Update: Well, I tried to get away.  Even took the long, twisty route to work on my motorcycle, but when I sat down my notifications on my phone alerted me to the following.

Apparently, calling out a person who is making fun of a person’s death in order to push their political agenda makes me the jerk…

Recanting My Gripe with PoliceOne, Mostly

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Let me start by saying three things, and those who know me personally can attest to all of them.  First, I tend to fly by the seat of my pants and say what I really am thinking, right when I am thinking it.  I lack that filter that most folks have, you know, the little voice in the back of their head that tells them things like “maybe I wouldn’t say that if I were you.”  Second, in certain aspects of my life, I tend to take things a bit too seriously, giving them more gravity than they deserve.  Anyone who has heard me talk about job related politics can vouch for this.  Along that line, just like Steve Martin’s character in “Father Of The Bride,” I tend to be a bit of an over-reactor, just a bit…

While in many cases, like in evaluating new patrol cars, patrol car equipment, computerized dispatch systems, police radio gear (all things my department has seen fit to include me in) or in evaluating firearms and firearms accessories (what I do as a hobby), my brutally honest initial reaction can be appreciated by most.  However, sometimes, as in the case of my previous PoliceOne blog post, when combined with my tendency to over-react, sometimes I tend to stuff my size 13 shoe deep into my mouth.

Which brings us to the third truth about Matt: when I screw up, over-react and say something, that at the minimum could have been worded much better, after I come to the realization that I screwed up, I admit it.  Anyone who has followed my Facebook page long enough has seen me do that there before.  And that is exactly what I did with PoliceOne, which is why I am writing this.

Yes, in the past, PoliceOne has run news stories that were either inaccurate or had a negative tone towards law enforcement in them, but as I previously stated, that is because by contract, PoliceOne is not allowed to change the content of the story, even if it is to correct something that is factually incorrect.  And yes, I still feel that the article that prompted my previous blog post was ridiculously out of place and has no business being run there.  That said, it would be stupid of me to disregard the many valuable training articles that they still run, the training videos that they still put together, the many good original content articles that they run, just because I got angry about a couple of articles they ran.  I’m sure we are all familiar with the old adage, cutting off one’s nose to spite the face.  Yep, that is exactly what I was doing.

Come to find out, not in the least bit surprisingly, but running a large website like PoliceOne is a bit more involved that running this little blog and related FB page.  Let me explain, or actually, let me let Doug Wyllie explain.  The following is from an email conversation I had with Doug, and I have his permission to share it here.  It has been edited slightly, both for length and to remove some personal remarks unrelated to the topic at hand.

The way I explain the way in which content is added to the site is to imagine a large airport with two pair of parallel runways intersecting at right angles. Each runway has its own air traffic controller. The landing airplanes are content we receive from various sources, each type of content (airplane) assigned to a specific runway. As the Editor at Large, my runway is the content for highest-level training stuff as well as commentary and news analysis — this is among the most important, but also the least frequently landing stuff.

There are two editors in charge of news. It is these two editors who copy/paste stuff from our AP and McClatchy news subscriptions (as you’d correctly pointed out, we can only modify the headline, not the text of those pieces). They also do what we call re-writes. When something is out there that is not in our feed, we take some of the information from an outside source, cite that we’re getting it from them, and do a very short version of it under the byline PoliceOne Staff.

That’s what happened in the case of the article about those 200 chiefs who issued some manner of statement in opposition to the President’s initiatives.

BTW, to round out my analogy, the final runway is for the Editor in Chief — my former job before I got assigned to my new role of Editor at Large about six months ago. That’s the content produced by our own contributing writers.

There are a lot of moving parts on our editorial team, and while we do coordinate with each other, we don’t all know what everyone else is doing at every moment of every day.

Some of that I knew, some I figured, and some was news to me.  Also, it seems like a logical approach to describing a complex environment.

Am I still bothered by the fact that on occasion, PoliceOne runs a news story with an anti-cop bias or a factually incorrect news story?   Yes, absolutely.  I personally think it is of the utmost importance that a website which represents a law enforcement point of view should be publishing factually accurate news stories, from a law enforcement perspective, not from the perspective of an AP author who thinks cops are the bad guys.  I won’t pretend to know the complexities of establishing and maintaining a contract with a large news source such as the Associate Press, but my suggestion would be to include, at the top of those AP news stories, some sort of disclaimer to let the reader know that the article that follows does not necessarily reflect the views of PoliceOne and that they (PoliceOne) are prohibited by contract from correcting any factual errors contained within.  That is my suggestion.  Is that possible? Only the people who negotiate those contracts would know.

Another issue that needs attention from PoliceOne, at least in my opinion, is that they need someone to monitor the comments on their Facebook page.  The comment section following the sharing of an article can often times become a troll fest filled with sovereign citizen types and cop blockers, and it makes attempting to have a legitimate conversation about the article nearly impossible.

That said, as I previously stated, it would be stupid of me to completely disregard them, like I said I was going to in my original blog post.  I have a new plan, one that was suggested to me, and one that makes sense.  I am going to mostly ignore the news stories, and instead will pay more attention to the training articles and PoliceOne original content.

Finally, I’d like to personally thank Doug for going out of his way to clear this up.  He owed me absolutely nothing, and based on the tone of my original blog post, I did not remotely deserve a polite response or an explanation, yet that is exactly what he gave me, and an in-depth one at that.  Thank you.
-Matt

Have a Good Climate Cry

Man, I miss the days when men were, well, manly.  What has become of the modern male in America does not even resemble the same species, let alone gender.  In that respect, I present to you Eric Holthaus.

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You might wonder why I singled out Eric.  Well, I’ll let Eric tell you in his own words.

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At this point, I could not help myself.

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Look, I’m not going to pretend that I don’t understand stress, and the negative effects that stress can have on the human body.  The problem I have here is not that he is feeling stressed.  My problems are 1) he felt it acceptable to cry about his stress publicly and 2) he is stressed over a naturally occurring event that has existed for millions of years.

Well, call me a “climate denier troll” if you must, but disregarding me as a troll does not change the fact that over the last 100 years, the average temperature of the planet Earth has only risen 1.33°F.

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In fact, over the last 10,000 years, the temperature of the planet has risen to levels FAR exceeding the current temperatures, and then cooled back down again.  And guess what was not around to influence those temperature changes: humans (at least not in the manner that the climate change pushers claim we are now).

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It must really suck to have devoted 11 years to a non-existent thing, but what sucks even more is that it only took some dumb cop about 15 minutes and Google to show it is non-existent.  What sucks the most is that Eric is too emotionally invested in the whole climate change religion to ever see it, and he will just continue to have his mental meltdowns and then tweet about them to the entire world.

I miss the days when men did not whine about their shortcomings in public.  Not only has it become socially acceptable (in certain circles anyway) to cry about your feelings in public, but if you look at the replies to Eric’s series of tweets, there are hundreds of people applauding him.

We all have issues, even me, the rude guy writing this blog post, but crying about them publicly doesn’t make you right, or stronger, or a hero, or any sort of positive accolade you can think of.  It makes you look like a total crybaby wuss.  Even my youngest son (8) is embarrassed to cry in public.  Maybe Eric here can take a few lessons from him.

Eva’s Story

Eva

An LEO Family In Dire Need of Help

This adorable little 4 year old girl is Eva.  She enjoys all the same things that other little 4 year old girls do, but Eva is different.  She has type one diabetes.  While that can be a big issue for most adults, it is HUGE for a 4 year old.  Unlike an adult, kids cannot monitor themselves and they don’t have nearly as good a read on what their bodies are telling them.

Eva was diagnosed at 2, which is incredibly rare.  Less than 1% of children in the US are afflicted at that age and as a result, medical support is slim at best.  Also, for those well educated about diabetes, you will likely suggest a GCM (continuous glucose monitor ).  She does have one, and yes the CGM saves her life on a daily basis, but the technology is intended for an adult. It cannot keep up with her. It will often think she is at normal levels, but in reality she’s on her way to passing out.  Eva’s parents have nearly lost her (as in she has almost died) several times, and because of that, they need to constantly monitor her blood glucose levels.  When I say constantly, I mean all day and all night long, every hour or so.

Eva’s dad is a cop, and because of Eva’s condition, her mom had to stop working in order to stay home and care for Eva.  Eva is not an only child either, and in general, life for a family of four on one cop’s salary is not luxurious, but when you throw in a life threatening, debilitating medical condition afflicting a toddler, the phrase “just scrimping by” takes on a whole new meaning.

Eva and her family are in desperate need of a very specialized service dog.  You see, a dog’s sense of smell is so acute, when properly trained they can sense when a person’s blood sugar (glucose) levels are too high or too low.  I’ve heard the dog’s sense of smell described this way: As a human, when we walk into a kitchen where someone is cooking spaghetti sauce, we smell it and our brain tells us it is spaghetti sauce.  When a dog goes into the same kitchen, the dog smells tomato sauce, garlic, salt, pepper, other spices, and all the other ingredients, all separately.  That tremendous sense of smell, one of the things that makes them great trackers in the law enforcement world, also makes them ideal as a service dog for a diabetic person who is physically incapable of monitoring their own blood sugar levels.

Throughout the entire US, there are just a few trainers who perform this very specialized training.  As such, their time and services are highly in demand, which means the training is not cheap, as in we are talking in the neighborhood of $50,000.  For a family already skimping by on a cop’s salary, that is an insurmountable expense.

About a year and a half ago, Eva’s family realized they had to do something to try and make Eva’s service dog a reality, so they ran a GoFundMe fundraiser in order to try and get money for Eva’s dog and its training.  They gathered a fairly decent amount of money, but not nearly enough to cover all the expenses.  Still, some help is better than none, so they pressed on.

Eva with her first service dog pup that failed
Eva with her first service dog pup that failed

What followed was a series of bad luck, heartache, disappointments, failures, shady dealing which all eventually lead to lawyers getting involved and talk of non-disclosure agreements.  While that whole fiasco is far from settled, what remains constant is that Eva is still without a service dog, still has type 1 diabetes, still is having serious medical issue because of it, and now the family is essentially back where they started before the previous fund raising attempts.

In an effort to start over, a new fund raiser has been established.  But here is the thing about this current fund raiser, it is not being run by Eva’s family.  It is being run by a bunch of cops who are friends with Eva’s dad.  We know the situation, we know what is going on, and in typical cop fashion, we cannot just sit by and watch.  We have to try and fix it.

Also in typical cop fashion, Eva’s dad has been vehemently protesting this whole new effort from the start.  Not only is he proud and has difficulty accepting help (like most other cops), but he feels absolutely horrible about what happened to the money raised in the previous fund raiser, and is blaming himself.  Eva’s dad has been begging the rest of us NOT to do this, until yesterday…

Yesterday, Christmas day 2016, Eva and her family had another very close call.  This was posted by her dad.

Almost lost her again. Just now. I’m sitting on the side of the road both of my daughters crying and I’m so unbelievably pissed off at everything. I am all in. Any resistance I gave I am all in. Thank you all, god bless you all. Almost lost her again. Got her back up again but she lost consciousness on our drive. Her CGM (continuos glucose monitor) thought she was at 74. She was below 20. Seeing her eyes roll out the back of her head like that I can’t handle it.

Having your 4 year old daughter almost die in front of you, again, will make even the strongest of men suck up their pride and accept some much needed help.

eva-xmas

Folks, this is the season of giving and sharing.  Salty Dad from Facebook is donating a puppy valued at $2500.  I’m forgoing that Christmas present I was going to buy myself and am sending the money to Eva.  I’m asking you from the bottom of my heart, if you can spare a few bucks, send them to Eva’s family.  Five dollars does not seem like much, hell, it will barely buy you lunch, but if everyone gave just $5, we could easily cover the costs and get this LEO family on the road toward a more normal life.  Times are really tough for some folks, and I realize that not everyone can spare even $5, but sharing this story costs you nothing.  Even if you cannot afford to give, please share this as it might reach someone who can.

Eva's GoFundMe page

The current GoFundMe account can be found here and contains some more specifics about their situation.  If you have any questions about this situation, please ask in the comments below.  The only thing I will not be able to discuss is any specifics with previous training company, due to pending legal action.
-Matt

 

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Note:  A few people have commented that they were unable to get the embedded links to the GoFundMe page to work.  I’m not sure if the problem is a platform issue, or a browser issue as no one I know personally has had a problem getting any of the links to work, but on the off chance you are one of those few people for whom they aren’t working, here is the direct link to the GoFundMe page:  https://www.gofundme.com/evas-diabetic-service-dog-training

Popular Beta-Mechanics

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As a kid growing up and we would visit my maternal grandparents, there were always issues of Popular Mechanics on the coffee table.  You see, my grandfather was a machinist for Aerojet Rocketdyne.  He helped build the engines the powered the spacecraft that put man on the moon.  Additionally, he was very much a true DIY guy, and a lifelong tinkerer.  There was no project he wouldn’t attempt to tackle, from working on cars to building furniture, and he was always looking for ways to improve things.   I remember thumbing through the issues of Popular Mechanics I found at his house, and being in awe of all the cool projects they outlined, their descriptions of the science and engineering behind new inventions, or cars, or aircraft, or spacecraft.  The magazine covered a vast array of topics, and it encouraged the reader to attempt things, to be hands on, to be a do-it-yourselfer.

A gun cabinet my grandfather made in the late 1940's which I'm proud to own.
A gun cabinet my grandfather made in the late 1940’s which I’m proud to own.

Early in my adulthood, I too subscribed to the magazine and it was very much like the magazine I recalled from my youth.  You see, other than the different career path I followed, I am very much like my grandfather.  I love working on cars, firearms, tackling any home improvement project I (or the wife) can dream up, I really enjoy woodworking and I am a tinkerer just like my grandfather was, so it only made sense for me to get the same magazine that inspired me as a kid.

As my life evolved, especially later with marriage and kids, my interests and the amount of free time I had changed, and my subscription to Popular Mechanics ran out long ago.  However, some recent home improvement projects reinvigorated my both my interest in woodworking and my inner tinkerer, so I decided to again subscribe to the same magazine that had inspired me so many times long ago.  I filled out the subscription online and when given the option for just the print magazine, or for $1 more, I could also get the digital version, it was a no-brainer.

Subscription completed, I navigated the website and opened up the digital edition of the Dec/Jan 2017 issue.  I perused the index and settled on what would be the first article I read in my brand new subscription… and then…

“Oh my gawd, what did I just read?”

“Did I subscribe to the wrong magazine?”

“Is this a joke, or satire?  Is this Popular Mechanics own special version of The Onion?  Is it April 1st?”

You see, the article I chose to read, the very first article in the magazine that has inspired so many people to be the quintessential DIY’er, was titled “(Don’t) DIY – The Jobs Better Left to Professionals.”  The title had attracted me because I assumed it was going to be filled with horrendously complicated projects that, even though the author was recommending the reader not attempt, I figured they would have been done by the average Joe.  Why did I expect that?  Because that is what this magazine was always filled with in the past.

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What I read on the other hand was the dumbest pile of trash I could possibly imagine.  As I read it, I pictured the author as the most whiny, beta-male, skinny jean wearing hipster…  think pajama boy.  I not only could not believe what I was reading, but the fact that Popular Mechanics was the source was absolutely mind boggling!

The following is the list of the projects that they are telling their readers NOT to do themselves:

  • Oil Change – you know, on your car, a routine simple oil change.  The most basic of automotive basics, a 10-15 minute job.
  • Battery Replacement – no, not the battery in your factory sealed, waterproof smartphone, but the battery in your car.  You know, the one held in by a clamp (usually 2 bolts) and two battery cables.  A job that with the correct wrenches takes 5 minutes.
  • New Spark Plugs – again, a simple job on most cars.  On my ’02 WRX (the most difficult car I’ve ever changed plugs on) where there was minimal clearance between the boxer engine and the body, it was still not that difficult and doing the job myself saved not only time, but more importantly, a significant chunk of change.
  • Car Wash – okay, now I know this guy has to be screwing with me.

But wait, where is the punch line?  Please, someone, tell me this is a joke?

Nope, this was a legit article telling the reader not to do the simplest of DIY tasks imaginable, and for reasons such as “you will get dirty oil on your hands,” “the battery hold down bolts are tiny and hard to reach,” “spark plugs are hard to reach and you might be a moron and put them in wrong,” and lastly, “you might miss a spot and leave water spots on your car.”

Holy cow.  I cannot believe this is the same publication that I once marveled at.  I cannot believe I just paid good money for this worthless combination of paper and digital words…

Disappointed beyond belief!

Maybe they need to change the name of the magazine…
(UPDATE:  Yes, I did cancel my subscription before I even received the first issue)

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BLM / Gun Control Supporter Attempts Battle Of Wits, While Completely Unarmed

Today, two (2) NYPD officers were shot in the line of duty.  I have since learned that one of them died.  Upon hearing about the incident, I both posted it on our Facebook page as well as sent out a tweet.  Some mental midget #BlackLivesMatter supporter and gun control advocate, “Jen Marden,” took that opportunity to show me and her 6,000+ followers what a vacuous nitwit she is.

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The following is the “conversation” in chronological order, starting with my initial tweet.

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The YouTube video I linked to in the above tweet is this one:

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And that is where she gave up and ran away, in other words, she blocked me.

Funny, for someone bitching about people pushing “false narratives,” the only person spewing them was the one accusing others of doing so.   Odd how that trait, accusing others of exactly what you do or how you think, is so common among liberals, especially anti-gun folks.

Her behavior is exactly why society is where we are, why politics are so divided.  People (many on both sides) are too afraid of information that they don’t want to hear.  The people buying into this BLM crap believe it even though they have no facts to support their belief, and then when you give them evidence that counters their beliefs, they put their fingers in their ears and scream so they can’t hear you (or in the case of Twitter, they just block you).

In the case of Jen Marden here, it just goes to show you that on Twitter, even though you have a prodigiously empty mind, if you are pretty and sort of snarky, you can amass thousands of other mindless followers.  When I think about my encounter with Jen here, a certain meme comes to mind…

its-better-to-keep-your-mouth-shut-and-appear-stupid-3709052


 

And with Jen, public displays of stupidity is the gift that keeps on giving.  Before I could even publish this, I was verifying a couple things on her Twitter account (using one of my spare Twitter accounts) when she shared this gem.  Make sure you “here” what those celebrities have to say…

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