And one more as/is reposted book review… this one was published on my original blog in November 2015.
I recently finished the late Jack Olsen’s book, Give A Boy A Gun: The True Story of Law and Disorder in the American West. This book was originally published in 1985 and has since be reprinted. I’m pretty sure I bought this book during one of my drunken Amazon book shopping sprees. I bought another of Olsen’s books on that spree and, having read at least one or two of his books before, knew he was a good true crime writer. For some reason, I read Give A Boy A Gun before the other book. It took awhile to finish it and now that I have, it’s time to write a review.
Give A Boy A Gun is the story of Claude Lafayette Dallas, Jr., a drifter of a man who was known for being a hardworking guy who would take on temporary gigs at ranches in western states. He worked as a cowpuncher and a handyman and was well regarded for his work. He was also known for illegally trapping and poaching animals. Dallas was well-known to game wardens, who would bust him for his illegal traps.
Born in Virginia and raised in Michigan and upper Ohio, Dallas had a father who was a big believer in teaching his son how to use a gun. His motto was “Give a boy a gun and you’re makin’ a man.” Dallas was always armed and had visions of being a mountain man. He would often kill animals for fun, even though he didn’t need the meat.
One snowy day in January 1981, two Idaho game wardens happened to cross Dallas’s path. He shot and killed them both in front of a witness. Then, for fifteen months, Dallas was on the run. He was eventually captured in northern Nevada during a shootout and convicted of voluntary manslaughter. Dallas was a likable character and managed to get out of a murder rap. Olsen skillfully and colorfully writes the story in Give A Boy A Gun.
I’m of two minds about this book. First off, I appreciated Olsen’s writing style. It’s very vivid and novel-like. In this particular book, I felt like I was reading the words of a great storyteller and not just a book about people being murdered by a cold blooded killer. On the other hand, though I appreciated Olsen’s writing ability, I wasn’t that interested in Dallas’s story. I don’t think it’s so much Olsen’s fault as it is that I just didn’t find Dallas that intriguing. However, the people of Soda Springs, Idaho, where Dallas committed his crimes, no doubt find this book fascinating. Interestingly enough, I’ve read other books by Jack Olsen that I didn’t think were as vividly written.
As someone who loves reading and enjoys writing, I noticed Olsen’s skill and talent in writing Give A Boy A Gun. As a true crime fan, I have to admit that I’ve read better books that were more interesting to me, personally. I would probably rate this book at about three and a half stars.
Incidentally, Dallas served 22 years of a 30 year sentence. He was released from prison in February 2005. This is despite the fact that he escaped in March 1986 and was on the run for almost a year. As this book was originally published before the escape, I don’t think I read about it…
As an Amazon Associate, I get a small commission from Amazon on sales made through my site.
Yesterday, I noticed a complaint on social media about gas prices. It was posted by Republican Idaho gubernatorial candidate, Janice McGeachin. At this writing, according to Wikipedia, McGeachin is currently Idaho’s 43rd lieutenant governor. And based on the gas receipt she posted, and her snarky jab at Joe Biden, she thinks Biden is to blame for higher fuel prices.
Now… don’t get me wrong. It sucks to have to pay a lot for gas. Over here in Europe, we’re well acquainted with high gas prices. Here, you pay by the liter, and it’s a lot more expensive than what you pay in the United States. That’s why Americans who live in Europe under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) are entitled to buy gas on military installations and/or use coupons at participating Esso stations, where they get a substantial break on fuel prices.
I remember in the late 90s and early 00s, just before 9/11, gas hovered at around 99 cents to $1.10 a gallon. It was a blessing for me, since I was in grad school and had little money, but had to do client home visits in my car. You’re damned right I’m glad gas didn’t cost then what it costs now, even in the US.
But– can we really blame Joe Biden for higher gas prices? According to multiple sources, the answer to that question is “no”. There are a number of reasons why the price of gas has gone up. One major reason is that the demand has increased as people leave lockdown and go back to commuting or leisure traveling. Another major reason is because there’s less fuel available because people weren’t working. It’s the same reason why, when you go to McDonald’s, you may be facing a skeleton crew and things take longer. People are expecting things to be like they were pre-pandemic. But things aren’t like that, and probably won’t be like that for a good, long while, if ever again. Seriously, though… gas has gone up because the demand is up, and there’s less to go around. That’s got nothing to do with Biden. In fact, isn’t reopening the economy what Republicans wanted?
Aside from that, gas prices aren’t something presidents can easily control. According to the CNN link I posted in the previous paragraph, “the price of gas is determined by four major factors: taxes, the cost of marketing and distribution, refining, and the cost of crude oil. Biden’s enacted policies have not currently had a significant effect on any of these four factors.” It surprises and saddens me that as a lieutenant governor, particularly one who would like to be governor, Janice McGeachin doesn’t understand how this works. I suspect that if she does win the governor’s race in Idaho, she may be in for similar treatment, though. People will blame her for shit she can’t control, either.
Which brings me to the title of this post. Some woman, in response to the lieutenant governor’s post, wrote “Joe Biden sucks, and y’all know it!”
I was feeling cheeky, so I wrote “But Trump swallows.”
The lady wrote back something along the lines of, “Ooh, what a creative response!”
To which I wrote, “I could say the same thing about your comment. Besides, Donald Trump DOES swallow. Especially Big Macs and Whoppers!”
If you think about it, we ALL swallow, don’t we? Unless we have a feeding tube or something. That’s a function of healthy living. Does Biden literally suck? Maybe… although he probably doesn’t suck as much as he did as a baby. But that’s true for most of us, too.
Does the commenter mean Biden “sucks dick”, which is what “sucks” used to mean? I don’t know. But I’ve seen no evidence that Biden likes to suck dick. I HAVE, however, seen plenty of evidence that Trump is a lover of sexual conquests and exotic sexual acts. He probably HAS swallowed, in the nastiest meaning of that saying. But then, he’s in good company with other people who have hung around with the likes of Jeffrey Epstein… Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, and plenty of other rich and famous men. There’s no telling what kind of shenanigans went on back when Jeffrey Epstein threw his wild parties on his notorious, infamous, “private island”, teeming with teenaged girls brought to him by Ghislaine Maxwell and company.
But even if he doesn’t “swallow” in the sexual sense, he definitely DOES like fast food. And he clearly does swallow that, based on his “figure”. So what I wrote wasn’t a lie. Saying that Joe Biden “sucks”, is probably more of a lie by most counts.
In any case, Joe Biden has been in office for about six months. I’m feeling somewhat better about a lot of things than I did a year ago– at least for right now. A year ago, I woke up every day feeling dread about what new craziness would be in the press regarding Trump. Now, I worry less about Trump and his embarrassing bullshit, but I do worry that someone else is being groomed to “MAGA”.
I get that a lot of people think Trump’s “awesome” and his polices are “great for America”, as one Trump loving friend (who incidentally lives in Thailand) enthusiastically told me this morning. I wonder what my friend is doing in Thailand. I think he married a Thai woman, and he probably gets to enjoy a decent standard of living there… if Trump was so “great”, though, wouldn’t he have wanted to move back to the States during Trump’s tenure? Wouldn’t he have wanted to live in the USA, basking in all of Trump’s MAGA splendor? And yet, he didn’t. He’s been in Thailand for awhile.
I, of course, live in Germany and managed to miss ALL of Trump’s presidency. I haven’t set foot on US soil since November 2014. I have a feeling that when I do go back, it’ll be a shock. And that will be true, even if Biden doesn’t get pushed out in 2024. Lord help us all.
In any case, allow me to state on record that, so far, I don’t think Joe Biden sucks. I do, however, know for a fact that Trump swallows. But maybe someday we’ll get lucky and he’ll fail his swallow test. Perhaps that will keep him out of our hair so we can make sure no one worse picks up where Trump has left off. I think Joe Biden is a decent man, and I’m glad to see someone decent in the White House. Trump is not a good person who cares about other people. That, in an of itself, makes him unsuitable to run anything involving other people, let alone a country.
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.