Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
The same people that use the phrase 'bi-polar' instead of 'childish' or 'immature' created Robert A. Hawkins. The parents that let him go with business unfinished and tasks left undone created Robert A. Hawkins. The lady who took him in rather than just renting him a room, you can tell by the way she describes him as 'a lost puppy that nobody wanted' that Robert A. Hawkins was not required at any time to become a man. She, too, helped create Robert A. Hawkins. The society which aggrandizes spree killers and serial killers showed Robert A. Hawkins the path to notoriety. "Now I'll be famous" The Beast caught eight this time. If we make an example of those who created him, perhaps we'll take one step closer to safety from Robert A. Hawkins.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
"Although Iran still needs to clarify some important aspects of its past and present nuclear activities, the agency has no concrete evidence of an ongoing nuclear weapons program or undeclared nuclear facilities in Iran," International Atomic Energey Agency director-general Mohamed ElBaradei said.
"It's natural that we welcome it when those countries who in the past have questions and ambiguities about this case ... now amend their views realistically," Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told state radio."The condition of Iran's peaceful nuclear activities is becoming clear to the world."
"We think the report's conclusions justify the actions already taken by the international community to both show the extent of and try to restrict Iran's nuclear program and to increase pressure on the regime to stop its (uranium) enrichment and reprocessing activities," a spokesman for Prime Minister Gordon Brown said.
"It confirms we were right to be worried about Iran seeking to develop nuclear weapons (and) shows that the sanctions program and international pressure were having an effect in that they seem to have abandoned the weaponisation element."
Two U.N. sanctions resolutions have been passed so far against Iran, unanimously but after diplomatic wrangling among the five permanent U.N. Security Council members -- the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain -- plus Germany.
Close U.S. ally Israel was unimpressed by the report, and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called for the U.S.-backed campaign to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions to press ahead regardless.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I tell you, I like people with opinions. I love a good debate, where both sides are opinionated and educated in their subject. Everyone brings something to the table. I am not satisfied with the stale debate over Blackwater and Iraq and all that it entails. It seems that neither side has done its homework.
I've posted a few, here and there. How we as law enforcement guarding the US don't fire warning shots, why should our armed forces ? If the guy sees guns pointed at him and keeps driving, he's asking to die. If your spotter tells you to shoot in a certain direction and you hesitate, chances are you're going to be killed right quick.Things that to me seem common sense but to others are foreign concepts. Doesn't help that our Commander in Chief has idiots advising him on public relations. No, seems to me we've hit a road block that could be quite easily be explained to everyone's satisfaction should the right person use the right words. All caused by a guy who knew he was driving his family to their deaths. Bin Laden must be pissing his pants laughing at this point.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
No, and I know I'll be disagreed with, but I think that, like the Viet Nam War, the insurgents may be close to a major manpower shortage. I do not doubt the heart and faith that these people show, but after a while the body count has to lead to attrition folks. Barnum said, "There's a sucker born every minute." Well don't you think eventually the clerics preaching dissent will eventually run out of bodies to hurl into the flames ? Don't get me wrong, I don't think they're beaten, but you need a boy to carry the gun into the fight and they are running out of fighters.
We are experiencing a slight manpower shortage on our side of the fence too, but not so much that our efforts will be hampered. The strength of the United States has always been its ability to outproduce the enemy. The average soldier does not want to be in Iraq, according to a friend who just returned, but they will do the job needed to be done while they are there.
My greatest fear is that, like Viet Nam, we will start pulling out before we are ready. Congress needs to remember that every pen stroke has the potential to cost lives. Should we move on to Iran ? Oh hell yeah. Should we cut a garrison in Baluchi Pass in the Uruzgan province (shown above) from 500 men to 200 to supply the new effort ? Not if you value the lives of the 200. None left behind will be safe unless you turn Syria into a glass parking lot so the best bet would be to increase the training garrison over there. Train hordes more Iraqis to defend the backs of our troops as we move on toward the next foe. Then throw them in the deep end of the pond. I think the Iraqi troops will learn to swim rather than sink.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Sunday, September 9, 2007
OK, does anybody see the complacency here ? Or is she trying to trick Bin Laden into tipping his hand somewhere ? Old trick, babe. Won't work. She should know her enemy a little better. Read a bit of Sun Tzu while she's at it. I was a soldier during the Cold War. I knew the Russians well. Their tactics, their equipment, most everything. But I didn't for one minute assume that they did not know me and all about the Army I was a part of. Why does Bush keep choosing amateurs for his staff ? (Ok, now flame me with her credentials people.) Book learnin' is only half the battle people. Gotta outsmart them. Even if this is a trick, trying to make him believe she's an idiot, it won't work. He knows she's intelligent. Now he knows she has common sense issues.
I won't even get into Michael Vick. Sure the Falcons lost to the Vikings in the opener but Joey Harrington had the testicles to stand up and say it was a team loss and didn't for one second blame it on the loss of Vick. Much respect Harrington. Very commendable. If I watched football I'd look for good things in the Falcon future.
Mind you, he might want to choose a different number for his jersey. Sure, he doesn't have the flair that Vick had, but at least the Falcons aren't paying a fucking dog killer to lead the team.
Just a layman's perspective.
Apparently the Federal Court system ruled against Iran in the 1983 bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut. My question is, why the hell were my tax dollars used for this exercise in self stimulation ? Iran is not Libya. Iran is a force in the world and I'm sure Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s not too concerned with what a Western court thinks it can make him do. Yes we will try to seize Iranian assets to cover the debt, but I'm sure the Iranians will scream Piracy ! and retaliate in kind. If the powers that be would just come out and declare Iran a clear and present danger, we might be able to get somewhere. We could even justify it to the UN. But as things stand I can only think that the families of those Marines have been given a false hope of justice. We're looking for fairness in a self centered world. I wouldn't blame Ahmadinejad for laughing at us. Shove a bayonet up his ass, but I wouldn't blame him for laughing.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Those of you interested in Forensics would do well to pay heed to the man. Those of you just interested in high profile cases might get a better insight as well. The man is the best. Were Forensic Science 'The Force', Dr Henry Lee would be Yoda.
Became aquainted with his work a few years ago when I branched out into Forensics. Didn't leave Road Patrol, mind you. I'll always be a neanderthal until injuries take me off the street. Became a Crime Scene Technician. Found I had a knack for latent fingerprints. Once took a viable print off of a rusty shovelhead using magnetic powder. My greatest achievement was getting a hand print off the inside of an old lady's window. Put a career criminal in prison for life under the three strikes laws.
Forensics may look technical but its easier if you look at it as a puzzle. Think of the 5 W's and you have Forensics. Who- was here, is still here, lived here, lived in the area What- do you see as you enter the area, what do you smell as you approach, what is the area like, what are residents saying Where- is the body, is the weapon in relation to the body, are the wounds on the deceased, are the valuables in the house When- did it happen, was the last time the area was seen prior to the crime, did somebody see the person alive Why- is there blood spatter on the ceiling, is the door locked from the inside, is the water running, are the lights out yet its night You see, its putting together like a puzzle is answering the 5 w's. Not just looking at a hammer on the shelf and saying, 'theres a hammer'. Its looking at the hammer and asking why its on the shelf, what type of hammer is it, what is the white powder on the handle, does it look out of place, etc You find all you can about the hammer and it will answer other questions. Like dominos. In Forensic Science why the hammer is on the shelf is just as important as what it was used for.So anyway, that's it in brief. Lee has several books out. Some are technical and might be boring to the layman while others are like the one to the left detailing high profile cases.
Looked it up for this photo. Seems it only costs $12,500 plus two first class fares to get him to come speak at a function for you. Might be worth getting several jurisdictions worth of Detectives together. I'm having thoughts....
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
David Sullivan walked. Clark County Superior Court Judge John Nichols found Sullivan not guilty of first-degree murder by reason of insanity and ordered him committed indefinitely to a mental hospital.
I thought we were beyond this, you know. In my naivete I still heard people scream 'Bi Polar' to excuse their actions, the world not wanting to be responsible for its actions. Had I a dollar for every one of them that shouted 'I blacked out' I would be a rich man but they still went to jail. They still were convicted. They were punished for their actions.I thought we had moved beyond excuses. Judges were interpereting the law and modifying it to fit the situation. Lawyers, DEFENSE lawyers, were making plea bargains on scumbags they knew they could get off clean for one reason with the case or another. They felt a role to play in keeping society safe too.
This takes us a step back. We've lost some ground here.
Think about it. In the Columbian article it even alludes to the progress Americans had made:
The state's definition of insanity is narrow; Tuesday's ruling marked the first time since 1999 a Clark County murder defendant met the standard.
The first time in eight years. No Judge Nichols. I can almost gaurantee you statistically there have been other cases that met the criteria. THE CRITERIA WAS IGNORED ! Why ? Because society is gaining common sense in post-9/11 America. We are starting to see the value of prudence, that the rights of the many outweigh the rights of the one as brought into startling clarity by Harris and Klebold. We are starting to remember that freedom does not mean relinquishing our safety.
The shrink that examined him for the defense had this to say:
The knowledge that stabbing a person is illegal and immoral may be in Sullivan's brain somewhere, but when he's in a psychotic state "he's going to have difficulty accessing it," Kolbell said."when he's in a psychotic state..." ? Sounds like 70's/80's Temporary Insanity bullshit. Are there times when he is NOT in a psychotic state ? If you tell me yes then I'm going to tell you that Sullivan will be living with you from now on. When he goes into one of his 'psychotic state's, you be sure to let me know.
The Beast is laughing at us and turning back toward its latest project.
First my brothers and I weren't there for Anna, now the Judicial Branch turns its back on her memory. When I no longer feel outraged over this ruling it will be because I've finished my journey on this planet.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
WWE Wrestler Chris Benoit kills his family then hangs himself. His young son was mentally handicapped due to a genetic defect (yeah, his father) and for years his wife reported cruel treatment. Speculations over the steroids found in the home may hold the answer. Well shit fire and save the matches folks, 'roids have brought better men down but there are officials denying they played a part here. Those same officials are, for the record, on my stupid people I don't want to meet list. As a cop, Domestic Violence is the bane of my existence but her applying for a divorce in 2003 lets me know she chose to stay. My sympathy lies with the child. My blame lies with the wife. CODA, Citizens Opposed to Domestic Abuse is a powerful organization that helps many abused SPOUSES (yes, men get beaten too) each year. They have finances on a limited basis, legal counsel on a wide scale and political clout the WWE never dreamed of. I'm sure there is a chapter or an organization like it in Georgia. If she wanted out she could have gotten out. My ignorant guess is that she was scared of him and losing the money. Oh, and brothers, don't tell me you had no idea there was trouble in the home. We both know different. The child is dead now. Live with that. http://www.codabft.com/
Oh, and Ann, its the difference between leaders, and those who sit on the side-lines taking pot shots. I'm not an Edwards fan, or even close to a Democrat, but you need to shut up before you lose what little credibility you have. What were your qualifications again ?
Monday, June 25, 2007
Rest in peace, my brothers, and worry not for what you leave behind.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
I guess the worst part is that its not over yet. While informants come forward and lead investigators to the mass grave sights, not all are being found I'm sure. Because those same informants immediately become targets for reprisals. (Hint: The guys that did all the killing are still in power.)
But as with any human tragedy, there are heroes. Ibrahim comes from the village of Mukgar in the Darfur region and while he was brave enough to lead investigators to a mass grave of his people, he would not tell his last name as that would most assuredly become his death sentence.
And so Ibrahim walks through the last remnants of people he once loved so that maybe a wrong done against the collective Karma of the world can be set right again.
In that same vein maybe the carnage can be stopped with the disbanding and trial of the janjaweed militia men. They're still there, the crimes running unchecked. Aisha Hamid, below, and a group of her neighbors went out to get fire wood and the five of them were attacked and raped. I see a strength in her that I hope I would have should I ever face such conditions. As a refugee, she faces the conditions I previously mentioned and now, I'm sure, even more attention from said thugs for coming forward.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
The second idea would give all the conspiracy theorists a mental erection. Think of it. We can't win there short of extending the war to Syria and Iran. As much as it would further greatly the war on terror, America's leaders have dragged their feet too long. Our only other option that would save face is to create conditions that on the surface are pleasing to the American people, i.e. something resembling peace and democracy. So the spooks grab al Sadr. We don't debrief him or hurt him in any way as we need him for the plan to work. We tell him we want the fighting to stop. If that happens, we'll pull out. We convince him of our sincerity by NOT killing or torturing him. We tell him to have his people switch to peaceful protest so that George saves face and the American people can buy it as something resembling a victory. We tell him we don't care what happens afterward, just do this and we'll leave. Seeing a way to get the war off his turf and back on to ours (through terrorist cels and what have you ) al Sadr agrees. Who knows, maybe like the Viet Cong of old al Sadr's forces are starting to dwindle. Maybe he has an ounce of humanitarian in him and doesn't like seeing all his people die. Or maybe he sees this as a quick victory that will allow him to get on with his true aims in life. I'm thinking about it.....
Friday, May 25, 2007
Muqtada al Sadr is back out of the bomb shelter. Hope he wore his shades. Not too many trees out there. He held a conference in which he (surprise) made an Anti-American speech.
"He (Al Sadr) also condemned fighting between his Mahdi Army militia and Iraqi security forces, saying it "served the interests of the occupiers." Instead, he said the militia should turn to peaceful protests, such as demonstrations and sit-ins, he said. (Al Sadr Gandhi ?)
Al-Sadr's Mahdi Army fought U.S. troops to a virtual standstill in 2004, but to avoid renewed confrontation he ordered his militants off the streets when the U.S. began its security crackdown in the Baghdad area 14 weeks.(Oh No ! Body count forced the politicians to allow the soldier on the ground to fight ! Better run.)
Sadr's associates say his strategy is based partly on a belief that Washington will soon start reducing troop strength, leaving a void in Iraq's security and political power structure that he can fill. (What's scary is it might even add stability to the country. The drawback being that he hates Israel. )
Al-Sadr also believes that Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government may soon collapse under its failure to improve security, services and the economy, al-Sadr's aides say. A political reshuffle would give the Sadrist movement, with its 30 seats in the 275-member parliament, an opportunity to become a major player. (Did he just point out that the Prime Minister's inability to stop Al Sadr's terrorists is a sign of weakness ?)
Now here is the part that kind of scares me. The intelligence behind this move is calculated. Its brilliant.
His speech had new nationalist overtones, calling on Sunnis to join with him in the fight against the U.S. presence.
In Washington, National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe expressed hope that al-Sadr's reappearance signaled that he wanted "to play a positive role inside Iraq."
Credit: By RAVI NESSMAN, Associated Press Writer , Yahoo News
Now do you see it ? Instead of fighting on two fronts, figuratively, he wants the weaker enemy, the Sunni, to join his people, thus bolstering his manpower and at the same time giving the outward appearance of a positive change in viewpoint. On the World Stage he'll appear to have the best interest of Iraq in mind. With passive resistance, he'll then appear to be the humanitarian, questing to stop the bloodshed and rebuild Iraq to the benefit of the people. His party will have a stronger vote in the parliament. With proper backing al Sadr may even become Prime Minister. Think of what he could do then. With the government under control, he could then work to control his nation. If this meant the elimination of key Sunni figures I'm sure he would not blink.
I guess at that point the US would have no choice but to pull out or start its (pretty darn obvious) war on Iran. The latter would be ignorant as then al Sadr would have the backing of the Arab Nations to attack our forces from the rear. So I doubt we would continue with that endeavor. No, I think we would pull out. Al Sadr would have nothing to stop him from subjugating the Sunni people then. He wouldn't hit a pot hole until it came down to 'The Israeli Question'. Yes, there is a reason I phrased it that way, and I think the parallel drawn is extreme but not set in stone yet. There are still a few roads al Sadr has yet to travel before the similarity is complete. One can only pray that Johndroe is right.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
"One of the biggest blows to human rights has been the attempt of Western democratic states to roll back some fundamental principles of human rights — like the prohibition of torture," Khan told The Associated Press, speaking before the launch of her organization's annual report on the global state of human rights.
Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International, recently made these scathing remarks about the United States and our conduct in the war on terror. Mind you, we're novices when it comes to torture, compared to say, the Iraqis just to name one. But you see, groups like Amnesty International are like padlocks. They exist to keep honest people honest. The dishonest pay them no mind.
"The U.S. administration's double speak has been breathtakingly shameless," the report said. "It is unrepentant about the global web of abuse it has spun in the name of counter terrorism."
I guess AI doesn't feel the end justifies the means. Mind you, our 'torture' of prisoners, at least as Combat News Network reports it, does not end up with bodies floating up the Euphrates River.http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070523/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_body_found I'm not so naive, and having been part of the machine myself, that I don't know we're sure to have killed a few ourselves. View the movie 'Rules of Engagement' for a glimpse.
"If we focus on the U.S. it's because we believe that the U.S. is a country whose enormous influence and power has to be used constructively," she said. "When countries like the U.S. are seen to undermine or ignore human rights, it sends a very powerful message to others."
Credit: RAPHAEL G. SATTER, Associated Press Writer , Yahoo News
Is she trying to say that if we use creative and innovative ways to extract intel, other groups will torture people ? Apparently she is naive. The enemy is against our methods and everything about our way of life. They have been fighting in that region for hundreds of years, is she saying that if we follow the rules they will too ? Next she'll expect the insurgents to fight a fixed piece battle, with meeting engagements rather than hit and run ambush tactics.
I have bad news for her and her organization. As a soldier, and from my viewpoint of fighting a stronger opponent, the insurgents are fighting as they need to. Were I in their shoes, given the objectives they wish to gain, I would be doing no less. Were she to ask other soldiers from all other countries, I'm sure she would get the same answers. But just as they have to fight the way they do, so do we have to fight the way we do. They have restrictions due to manpower and logistics. We have restrictions due to politics and the western ethic. The most she can expect to produce is more insane restrictions on the US fighting man, more Dilbert-esque managerial decisions by the upper echelon as dictated to them by the armchair quarterbacks in DC.
I have a buddy over there right now. (Yo Luis) He's assigned to a Water Purification Unit. The unit still has to do patrols, everyone is an Infantryman as the saying goes. The problem you got is the rulings as passed down by their chain of command. These guys have to go through a couple of hours of searches (in the US that would be unlawful search and seizure) before and after each patrol to make sure they don't have electronic devices such as cel phones and mp3 players and to make sure they don't steal from the locals.
So what command is telling them is this: We don't think you're smart enough to survive on a combat patrol, we haven't trained you not to do stupid things that common sense would tell you not to do. Then they send them out on a patrol with death lurking in every garbage pile. Then they tell them that the command staff and people of the United States think they are dishonest thieves ! I'm told these searches last longer than the actual patrol.
We're not playing by the rules, MS. Khan ? On the contrary, we are suffering the same disease that has plagued the US Military since the War For Southern Independence (thats the Civil War for you Yankees, no offense) We are playing by more rules than logic dictates ! And those rules are being laid down by people who have no earthly idea what it takes to fight a war. People like you. The dead from Vietnam must be rolling over in their graves.
Should we be fighting the war ? That's up to people such as the UN and yourself. How we fight the war is up to the soldiers on the ground. If you care at all about them, leave it to them.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
When an auto mechanic threw himself through a plate glass window and opened the way for others to escape, Hupp followed thinking her mother was close behind. Hupp's mother was not
You know, as I think of it, I feel I'm beginning to sound more and more like an NRA advertisement. I promise you, I'm not.
My question here is this: Had Hupp known of the Beast's intentions, she obviously would not have let her family enter Luby's. But had she no choice in the matter, would she have disobeyed the law and entered with her hand gun in her purse ? Most likely. You and I are no different when it comes to our families. And what about ourselves ? Does not there also exist an urge for self defence in all of us ? Where is it, I wonder, in times like these ?
You, the civilian, the public, the people of this nation, must be wondering what the hell is going on. I tell you that none of this comes as a surprise to the law enforcement community. The problem you face is recognizing that the threat exists, acknowledging that there is a danger. The problem we face is defending against something that, due in large to the way our society and our laws are defined, cannot be defended against as the situation stands.
Case in point, the boy I met the other day. I cannot go into detail as my agency prohibits it. But I call him a boy as I am over twenty years older than him. He is by legal standards an adult. He committed a crime of violence that fell into the category of a felony that involved a weapon. He has a history of abusing animals, drugs, pedophilia. As much as I want to get my point across, I can't go into further detail. An FBI profiler would be deafened by the sound of the warning bells about now. In speaking with him, he had an air of aloof calm about him, yet he had less than an hour before committed a violent act. He wanted to help us in our investigation and did so with enthusiasm but if you look closely, you could see he just wanted the full extent of his acts known. A brag, if you will. His pride was this act and he wanted all to see. While he smiled and conversed with me as we drove in my patrol car, I felt the beast sitting right behind me. I wondered, is this what Harris and Klebold were like ? Do I have a spree killer behind me ? No, I didn't wonder, I knew. This skinny little skate punk, this boy, was the beast. The beast had no interest in me. I'm a small time player in the game. But I could see the potential in him. The ability to create a great tragedy. And me with no way to stop it. Sure, I could make the melodramatic statement here. I could say I wanted to end the boy right then. But we all know that is foolishness. Killing based on thoughts and ideas that had no way of being proven, would that not make me the Beast ?
I have known our local FBI guy for quite a while and worked with him before. Nothing major. I am, after all, only a patrol sergeant. But I'll copy all I can of this kid's file. I'll give it to my FBI friend so that he can see what I see and feel just as powerless to stop this as I do.
Disclaimer: I use alot of links such as Wikipedia to explain my points. I do not endorse any particular information source as 100% correct. (I've sent corrections to a few in the past) Do not believe everything you read. Find out for yourselves, my friends.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
But when the living look at this act of the Beast, they catch a glimps. A seed is planted that one might not even know is there. The seed is Ken Hammond. An off duty officer who, like myself, believes the uniform is a twelve hour shift but the duty is 24/7. And Ken, like alot of other cops do and even more need too, carries a gun off duty. Ken hasn't forgotten the beast doesn't work shifts. Moreso, Ken knows that he may take his family into a restaurant and there will be the guy he arrested two nights ago for beating his wife and that guy might be holding a grudge. So Ken carries off duty.
So Ken hears the guns shots and rather than trying to make sense of it all right then he instead does the smart thing. Gets his family to run for safety. That being done, Ken goes to work hunting the Beast. Not much time, can't wait for others. Remember, each shot means a life taken. Ken corners the bastard. Now he can stop pressing forward. Local officers arrive and its over.
More on this later...
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Before the bodies were off the floor people were going live and calling it a comparison to Columbine. It happened in a school, people. That's the only similarity.http://www.acolumbinesite.com/ Here. Read a little bit about it.
And where, may I ask, were the guns ? Virginia Tech is in a Southern state. We in the south are mighty partial to our firearms. Are you telling me that out of hundreds of students not one had a gun ? The freaks at NRA Headquarters must be jumping for joy at the cliche. 32 dead because guns were outlawed and only the outlaw had a gun. http://www.nra.org/ They haven't made any formal comment yet, preferring to be cautious. Wouldn't want the people reading to get the impression they're using 32 dead as a political tool. Smart move on their part.
And I am quick to say that I wasn't there, but I stand in smug self-righteous indignation when I see the cell film of those sworn law enforcement officers standing outside the building as shots are fired indoors. Not that far of a stretch to think that each shot means a life taken. Combat News Network (CNN) web site has the cell film if you want to see it.
We've had the title 'Active Shooter' for years in the law enforcement world. Another synonym for a form of the beast. There can't be a cop alive who hasn't seen the films of the Columbine shootings. Seen the officers standing OUTSIDE, behind their cars. Waiting for the SWAT team while people died inside. We have all stood witness to the mistake made then and sworn to use the hindsight to never make the same mistake those cops in Colorado did. Hell, My department dropped some $50,000 on equipment after that. We sent our SWAT Commander and other trainers to Active Shooter Training. The entire department had to undergo the training. Painful training using sub-munitions. I left my share of blood on the floor with everyone else. Scalp cuts. Bruised knees. Skin torn from hands. We all left with some kind of hurt but we left knowing that if it happened here any one of us, man or woman, road patrolman or evidence clerk, could form a diamond and neutralize the threat.
But you don't need the training. Its a great tool in fighting the beast but you don't need it to know that there's a bastard inside the building in front of you killing people and you have the means to stop him. Go do it.
More on this later....
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Take a look. Its what I've been looking at for a month now. I set Mr. Klebold and Mr. Harris as my desktop to remind me of what I should be fighting. After ten years of law enforcement one gets into the rhythm of going from call to call. A stolen bicycle here, my neighbor's music is too loud and I don't have the self esteem enough to go next door and ask him to turn it down there. I lost my cel phone and need a police report to get a new one (x10 a week) and I did something extremely stupid because its all about me when I drive and strangely enough I wrecked my car. But about a month ago I got a twinge, going from bullshit call to bullshit call. That nervous twitch that you get when you think you should look over your shoulder even when you know nothing is there. I was missing something. I had forgotten The Beast, and instinct was telling me to remember. "The people sleep knowing that rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." George Orwell was speaking of men (and women) like me. I'd forgotten that in the complacency of the daily job. Complacency will get you killed. Complacency is also a factor in allowing incidents like Columbine to happen.
Should we be paranoid ? No, just watchful. Mind what we see and believe our instincts. Hold others accountable for their actions and force those with responsibility (cops, judges, prisons) to keep alert. No, we can't be everywhere. Ask the lovely young woman to the right. Anna Sviderski was 6 days shy of her 18th birthday, working at McDonald's, when the Beast came looking for her in the form of David Sullivan. By witness and coworker accounts she was sitting at a table out front when Sullivan walked in and shoved a knife into her side. Sullivan didn't know her. By his own words Sullivan left his house that day with the intentions of 'hurting a woman'. Any woman will do for the Beast.
Sullivan is a prior sex offender and schizo from way back that seems to have slipped through the system, as usual. Blah blah blah. You've heard it all a million times before. He slipped through because the powers that be forgot the Beast. He was free. Anna died. You can see the You Tube video memorials and the My Space pages and get a quick glimpse, not into her of course. Anna had an eight inch piece of steel shoved into her and now you'll never meet her. But you can take a look into the minds of those who loved her. How they saw her. The 'people' who aren't sleeping because the 'rough men' were not 'standing ready'. I wasn't standing ready. Do you see my point with this ? My meaning behind the words ?
I had one more picture I wanted to show you. A news photograph that I can't seem to find but has been in my mind for a couple of decades now. Its a bicycle in front of a McDonald's. Lying next to it is a dead little boy. The boy had saved his allowance and taken it to McDonald's to get him a real McDonald's burger. He met the Beast in the form of James Huberty who walked in and started firing on the crowd. Something like 20 casualties. A Police Sniper took him out before he could kill everyone. The sniper was standing ready. I need to remember that.
PS: Should any of you have a copy of the McDonald's photo of the little boy, I'd love to get a link to it. Been wanting it for my research files for years.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
So my wife comes to me and tells me I'm cooking a dish for her office party at Christmas. I love Cajun, Jamaican, Southern type cooking and, like any good chef, I can't take a recipe and not tweak it to be my own. Show this to a chef and he'll nod his/her head, say yep, and go back to slicing/peeling/sauteing. Chef's have certain common traits. We like to experiment with food. In our arrogance, we love to see how much we can please a crowd with our creations.
Enjoy this recipe. I've had a great success with it.
PS-Uh, psssst, guys. If you think you want her to fall in love with you, make some Chocolate Mousse for dessert. You don't have the recipe ? Ask me for it. Mine kicks ass.
(or, The “I’m not sure what the hell it is.” Creole)
¼ cup olive oil
2 cups diced Vidalia or sweet onion
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup diced green pepper
3or 4 cloves (depending on size) fresh garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup dry white wine
2 or 3 or 4 cans tomato sauce (see note 1)
2 cans sliced tomatoes (see note 2)
1 quart water (see note 3)
1 large box of Zaltarain’s Red Beans and Rice
1 package smoked sausage (see note 4)
2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 tablespoon of Tony Chachere’s Original Creole seasoning
1 tablespoon hot sauce
In a stew pot, heat the oil on medium heat then add the onions, parsley, and green pepper. Your intent is to ‘sweat’ the onions, or, sauté them until they are starting to look clear but not brown. Mix together in the pot to get an even cooking. While that is starting crush or chop the garlic fine (I use a garlic press). Add garlic and mix. Add salt and stir. Add other spices and stir. Cover and heat until onions start to clear, as previously stated.
Once the onions are ready, add the wine and mix. While this is heating, it would be a good time to peel and devein your shrimp. Dice the chicken breasts. Slice the sausage into ¼ inch pieces.
Add tomatoes, water and sauce to pot and stir. When it is warm, add box of red beans and rice. Increase heat but not set on high.
Once it is hot, but not boiling, add your meat. Mix it around to get an even distribution of meat in the sauce. Decrease heat to medium or slightly below. Allow to lightly simmer for an hour. If it looks like it’s becoming dry, or too thick, you can add some more water . You want to let it cook for a while to let the flavors combine. It will be even better if after cooking, you put the pot in an ice bath and stir until cooled. Then refrigerate. The next day you heat it up again and it should taste pretty much like what I made for the Christmas party thingy. I didn’t get to taste it then but I had some the night before and it was pretty good if’n I don’t say so myself.
Note 1: The more tomato sauce you add, the more saucy it will be when finished. Keep in mind more sauce will not make it more liquidy (if that’s a word) as the sauce will condense with cooking.
Note 2: I added two but if you like stewed tomatoes, you can add more. Also, crushed tomatoes will work if you like smaller pieces.
Note 3: You can substitute chicken broth for water for a slightly more soup flavor. Or mix half water, half broth. Or don’t. I don’t care. Get off me.
Note 4: I used smoked sausage but if you like it more Cajun spicy, you can use Andouille sausage available in most grocery stores.
Note 0: Nothing in this recipe is set in stone. Except for sweating the onions (which brings out the flavor nicely thank you) there are no fancy cooking techniques. Time is really the main ingredient here. Slow cooking it allows the flavors to blend well. Reheating it the second day does so as well.
I’m sure this recipe is not 100% exactly what I did that night but its darn close. Have fun with it but be careful. It makes alot. The ice bath idea helps cool it quicker and lowers bacteria build up. (Dudes, all food builds bacteria as it cools) Don't know how to do an ice bath ? Ask me.
…to all the mistakes I’ve made in the past 40 years. Little demons that lurk in the peripheral, waiting to catch me with my guard down. I think back and wonder what lack of forethought or wisdom caused me to fail. Why did I do that, knowing deep inside it was the wrong thing to do. Hindsight is my personal hell at times.
Just now I was thinking about my Army days. I’ve thought about them often, mostly my ROTC failures. My biggest problem then was I thought I could get by on motivation. It was not until years later that I realized that it wasn’t enough to act like a soldier, I had to be one. I had to be physically fit, mentally alert, and concentrate on my studies. Getting involved with the Kentucky Rangers (at the time it was more of a macho boys club. dont know how it is now), thinking they could teach me what I needed to know was stupid. Greg Washington already taught me what I needed to know, just by his example. I didn’t deserve Active Duty. I wasn’t ready yet. If only there were a way I could have gone back and tried again once I was able to be a leader.
Part of me thinks that it was just a train up. My time in service was just to prepare me for what I do today. Perhaps, but I still sit huddled inside myself, scared to death I’ll make a mistake. Mind you, I need not make the mistake overtly, I need only to do something that command doesn’t like for a reason they have not voiced to us. They live for hindsight. I live with it.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Alot of the younger kids (I'm 42) and rookies think this is not proper law enforcement duties, or at least a low priority. They mention me having to play tour guide to terrori....oops they mean tourists. Til I check their swing. Make them think about it.
I'll point in the direction the tourists have gone and tell the rookie to think about them. They have just spent a half hour driving in circles lost. Over those thirty minutes they have been stressing because they either have a set time schedule or they are hungry. Maybe they have kids screaming they are hungry. Maybe this is the one restaurant Mom looked forward to eating at during this vacation and this is her one chance to eat there. Before finding me at the convenience store, Mom was probably giving up hope, getting ready to stop at McDonalds because the 7 year old is screaming.
They are happy now. It took five minutes for me to take their worry away and make them happy, and a bit excited now that they know they are on their way to where they want to go. I emphasize it. 'I MADE THEM HAPPY' and it only took me 5 minutes of my life. I tell them that in those five minutes I served the public, made people happy, and I didn't have to hurt anybody. I did not have to defend myself against somebody trying to hurt me. I tell them that in my view, this is the best thing that will happen to me today.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Reminds me of when I lived in Kentucky 15 years ago or so. Worked with an archeologist for odd jobs. We'd end up miles from civilization and find a house slowly crumbling from age. I was told that the hill people did such things, just abandoned their spread. On occasion, or so I'm told, you find the former occupants' remains sitting in a chair reading a paper dated 1960. We'd be looking for Indian burial caves and such for coal mining companies (required by law lest they rip apart a graveyard) and come across houses with wells and barns and such. No road leading in, mind you. Spoke with a day hired hand once who told me about being raised in the hills during the 50's. Dad would hitch up the mules and they'd go into town for supplies and to trade furs, much like the western frontier in the 1800's.
We've come a long way since then, but to speak with this guy, you wouldn't think advancement was all it was cracked up to be. The way he put it, families were alot closer then, since the next door neighbor was an hour's hike away. Something to think about, as I hike around in the woods searching for treasures of the mind.
She's the type of person that doesn't call to make small talk or catch up on things. Its always fire/flood/famine. Last year she called to tell me some horrible news. John Doe died suddenly. I know how this must hurt you blahblahblah. I (cutting her off)said, "Ma, who the hell is that ?" Pause on the phone. "He was your Uncle Gregory's (whom I haven't seen in 30 years) wife's (whom I've never met) father (whom I've never even heard of)" But his death must have saddened me.
Mom likes to ask me if I'm happy. You know, with my life and wife and the way the world is. She'd do it every time she called but the last time I got sick of it. Told her if I didn't like something I would change it. Mom doesn't understand. Bad things are to be looked forward to. They add that needed sense of drama to an otherwise boring life dedicated to all about me.
So anyway, that's where I get it from. I try to keep it in check but hey, we are a slave to our genes.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
My world is terrifying. Sometimes I wish I could start again.