Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Bashing The Police

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Before I make my comments, please read this article by A. J. Delgado, It’s Time for Conservatives to Stop Defending Police.

Now that you have read it I will make my comments.

First I will acknowledge that there are bad police officers. I will also say there are bad teachers,  and bad judges. Now when a teacher does something bad do we jump and down and scream for changes in the teaching system? No, we deal with the problem teacher and then only if needed make changes to the system by implementing new policies or laws. From my viewpoint it seems things for police are at the other end, blame the whole system and scream for wholesale changes without focusing on the officer’s actions itself.

Next I want to look at some of the statements made in Ms. Delgado’s article:

“But it’s time for conservatives’ unconditional love affair with the police to end.”

Well us conservatives might defend the police more than others I wouldn’t call it unconditional. I see conservatives, myself included point out issues with how some police activities are carried out such as “no-knock” warrants.

A next example from this article:

On Thursday in Staten Island, an asthmatic 43-year-old father of six, Eric Garner, died after a group of policemen descended on him, placing him in a chokehold while attempting to arrest him for allegedly selling cigarettes. A bystander managed to capture video in which Garner clearly cries out, “I can’t breathe!” Even after releasing the chokehold (chokeholds, incidentally, are prohibited by NYPD protocol), the same officer then proceeds to shove and hold Garner’s face against the ground, applying his body weight and pressure on Garner, ignoring Garner’s pleas that he cannot breathe. Worse yet, new video shows at least eight officers standing around Garner’s lifeless, unconscious body.

This is a tragic situation, and I will add that since chokeholds are against policy the officer should be punished in an appropriate manner for violating such policy. That said when looking at the video we the viewers have no idea what lead to the what we are viewing. To sum up, we don’t know what the officers knew at the scene to make a valid judgment. We do know that Garner was resisting arrest. Yes, he was being placed under arrest and he was not following officers instructions. Failing to follow an officers lawful orders means they will escalate up the force ladder to make you comply. What Delgado also fails to mention is that in addition to the 8 police officers standing by while he was on the ground there were EMT’s and paramedics  also standing by. Why doesn’t she question why the EMT’s did nothing (two EMT’s and two paramedics have been suspended without pay). Mainly because it wouldn’t support her point of view is my guess.

“Who can defend this?”

This is in relation to the above incident and I will say I can. Unless you think a person who is being arrested (Garner had more than 30 arrests, he knows the routine) can avoid being arrested by saying “Don’t touch me” then you should expect the police to use some level of force. It will start with verbal and escalate from there. Why weren’t other force options used? That is a good question. I don’t know if it was lack of equipment or a training issue as I don’t work for the NYPD nor familiar with their budget, equipment purchases, and training of officers. I did see where training was being reviewed so I’m going to lean towards it is a training issue.

I won’t quote the entire passage I’ll talk about next, but Delgado goes into the incident about an officer shooting a dog that approached him in an aggressive manner. Delgado says the officers were violating the home-owners Fourth Amendment rights, which is debatable. The officers were investigating a missing child. In a missing child investigation time is of the essence. If a kidnapping evidence needs to be gather an a search started ASAP. So the officers were doing their duty would be my argument. Delgado did toss out this little gym:

“rather than retreat or fire at the dog’s leg”

First, an officer has no duty to retreat. Second, as a firearm owner and firearms instructor shooting at the legs of a dog running towards you would be the last thing I would ever think of saying. I’ll give Ms. Delgado a month of lessons in shooting and I would to see how successful she is in shooting the legs of a running dog.

Delgado then adds this as another example of what is wrong with the police:

Last month in Georgia, a SWAT team’s flash grenade landed in a baby boy’s crib. Worth noting: It was even the wrong house.

Yes, the wrong house, but the evidence the police had indicated that the person they were looking for was at that address. The person they were looking for has a record for drugs and during the last arrest was found to have an AK-47. The question then would be does a prior drug arrest with weapons enough evidence to allow a “no-knock” warrant. Regarding the flash grenade landing in the crib, that is a terrible accident, but what should be done different? Should the officer look before tossing the grenade? That defeats the purpose of using such a tactic. Was a flash grenade really needed? I can’t answer that, might be a place for policies on use of such a device.

 

Delgado’s next passage touches on things that happened in her neighborhood:

“In the past six months, in my own humble neighborhood, I have witnessed officers try to enter a home without a warrant, hoping the residents were none the wiser about their rights; forcibly evict an elderly man from his apartment without an eviction order; threaten to arrest a driver who turned onto a street where the officer had neglected to place the “Street Closed” sign; and throw two teenage kids facedown on the ground for riding their bikes on the street at night.”

The thing here is all of this is offered without context. Why were the officers trying to enter without a warrant how were they attempting to do so? Did the officers ask to come in and were refused? Were they trying to force their way in? Police are going around and evicting elderly  people for no reason? I doubt that is happening, there is more to that story if the writer looked into the issue. I’ll say the same about the two teenagers being face down on the street, and I would think it is more than riding their bike son the street at night. As for the officer threatening to arrest someone where they didn’t place a street closed sign up, again, more information needed. Did the person turn on the street and was told this right away? Was the person arguing with the officer and then told this? This paragraph is one of my pet peeves with people complaining about the police, they take one small timeframe to make their point and tend to leave out everything else that lead up to that point.

Delgado then hits on the buzzword of the moment, the “hyper-militarization” of the police.  To educate people all allow Massad Ayoob to offer his opinion:

“News flash: Police in America have had a paramilitary structure since before our oldest living citizen was born. Look at the rank structure: Captains, lieutenants, sergeants and in some departments, corporals on one end and majors and a colonel or two on the other. Substitute “private” for “patrolman,” understand “trooper” can describe state police and some soldiers alike, and realize in some state police agencies, local headquarters are still called “barracks.”

When AR-15’s are issued to local patrol officers, cries arise of “militarization.” Excuse me, but the lever action repeater was the “assault rifle” of the 19th Century, and history shows cops got repeating rifles before the US Army did — and armed citizens had them before that. The modern uniforms? Please … when I was a kid in mid-20th century, “policemen” and “firemen” and “postmen” all worked in distinctive uniforms. Today, letter carriers get to wear shorts in warm weather, firefighters have more job-related work clothes, and cops — who have to do rough and dirty work — no longer wear leather-soled dress shoes or dress like postmen, only with badges and gun belts. Is there, like, a problem there? Yes, the military had semi-auto pistols before they were issued to cops, but the same was true of armed citizens. The point?”

Read the whole article by Mr. Ayoob. I’ll also suggest another book to the readers, Rory Miller’s Force Decisions: A Citizen’s Guide to Understanding How Police Determine Appropriate Use of Force. If you want to know when and why police use various levels of force then read this book.

I could probably go on and on, but the point being is yes there are bad officers and there is almost always more to the story when you hear someone complain about the police. In the end just remember the police are just a tool used to enforce the laws. If we as citizens don’t like something then we should petition our elected officials to change things.

 

More on Open Carry Texas

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

The NRA has come out with a statement of the groups pushing for open carry in Texas, which I think is right on the mark. These groups claim they are helping our Second Amendment rights but they aren’t. Some people may remember the John Birch Society (they still exist) and how early on the conservative wing of the Republican party welcomed them. But soon the looniness of the Bircher’s came out and the conservative movement rightly denounced them and drove them out. The fact that lately they have been letting them back into the party is another issue.

Supporters of the Second Amendment should denounce those supporters of open carry that want walk into a business, in mass, to show their support for open carry. In talking with many members of this group they seem not to be able to see any other way to spread their message. To those we need to expose them for the nuts they are and let people know they don’t represent the majority of firearm owners.

I say this as a firearm owner, a person that carries a firearm (concealed) for self-defense, and has taught firearm classes to others so they could get a carry permit.

Open Carry and Chilpotes

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Recently the restaurant chain Chilpotes stated they weren’t going to allow open carry of firearms in their stores, much like Starbucks has already done. As a Second Amendment supporter many might think I would be angry for these companies implementing “gun free zones” (or like I like to call them “target rich environments”) in their stores, but I don’t. I see the business decision they are making and don’t have any issues with them. My issue is with some of the open carry supporters out there.

Many people that support open carry use their brains. They know there is a time and place where open carry isn’t an issue and other times where it wouldn’t be the best thing to do, and they choose wisely. Others keep their brain disengaged from the entire process and think they can carry everywhere they want and by doing so they are “educating” others about open carry.

No they aren’t, they are jackasses they are doing just as much to destroy our Second Amendment rights as some of the anti-gun groups out there. Think about it, Starbucks and Chilpotes never had an issue with people open carrying a firearm (where legal) in their stores. The laws said they could so no biggie to the stores. Until that is some in the open carry movement decided it would be a great idea to go to a Starbucks in mass. Now the average person is just in there to get their caffeine and sugar dose when they see a group of people coming in caring firearms. Not just handguns mind you, some are carrying rifles too. How do you think this customer feels? Damn right if you said scared and worried. Starbucks and now Chilpotes doesn’t want to lose these customers as there are more of them around then the open carry crowd so bye-bye firearms in their stores.

So to those in the open carry movement that pull acts like this, thinking you are educating others and helping out, you are not doing either, you are making things worse. I sometimes wonder if these are perhaps people in the anti-Second Amendment camp seeing a great way to get rid of firearms.

One thing I’ve noticed about this election

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Is the party of “tolerance” has none if you disagree with them. Take for example Angie Lee, a fitness expert in the New York area. Angie is a die hard liberal whose main concern is what the government is going to allow her to do with her vagina. I have no problem with that, there are single issue voters on both sides. But when you decide to call people haters, ignorant, and stupid because their political views different from theirs and they expect you to do whatever the ruling party says (as long as it is their party), what does that say about you as a person?

Nothing new here, liberals are always big on tolerance as long as it is their ideas and not yours.

 

Obamacare

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled the individual mandate part of Obamacare constitutional under the power of Congress to level and collect taxes, an argument the Obama administration did not even attempt to make before the SCOTUS. I have a hard time believing this reasoning.

Lets us say you go to purchase a car. You would be expected to pay various taxes on said purchases. Now what if the government said you need to pay a mandate if you didn’t purchase a car? Sound fair to you? The government would argue that requiring to either purchase a car or paying a fine for not purchasing one would lower the overall burden for everyone. In my mind I’m being forced to engage in an activity, whether I want to or not, hardly what I would call freedom.

Only hope now is for Congress to overturn this act, which would require a majority thinking this is a good idea and a President that would not veto such a law. Your vote counts this fall, toss the bums out that support Obamacare

Mug Shot of the Day Website

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona has a new thing going, a “Mug Shot of the Day” website. I have no issue with doing a little public shaming of convicted criminals, but these people have not been convicted of anything, just merely charged. What happens if an innocent person ends up as the “Mug Shot of the Day”?

Lets look at a situation. Deputies arrive at a scene one Saturday night and see one guy is laying down in the street, covered in blood” and another guy is standing against a truck, also bloody. The deputies start questioning the guy standing and because of the adrenaline rush and catching a blow to the side of the side, he isn’t too coherent. The best deputies can make out at that time is something about “decking the guy”.  The other guys plays the innocent victim (once the deputies wake him up) and says the guy jumped him and started beating him for no reason.  Given this information and no other witnesses being present the deputies arrest the guy that was standing up and charge him with assault. The blood, cuts, and bruises make for a pretty site and he ends up as the “winner” for the “Mug Shot of the Day”. And now, the rest of the story.

A bank across the street has video cameras in their parking lot and a bank employee looking at some of the film from the weekend catches what happens and calls the sheriff’s department to turn over the film as evidence. What the film shows was the person charged with assault walking done the street and being confronted by the other man. He tries to back away, hands up in a submissive posture, when the man confronting him launches the big overhand haymaker at him, followed up with a blitz of punches.  The film shows the man at first being startled by what happens and then defending himself. He manages to land a clean punch to the other guy’s head, dropping him, with the deputies on patrol showing up right after that. With this evidence the assault charges are dropped as it was determined it was self-defense, as the man claimed once he re0vered his senses.

Maybe this could happen, maybe it won’t, but an innocent person could see his picture plastered all over the internet. Friends and family members could be calling him about it. His employer could call him into the office for a discussion. Should he be able to sue for damages? Going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

The President is Out of Touch

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Recently President Obama did a town-hall meeting and one of the comments from the audience was around gas at close to $3.70 a gallon. To which the president responded:

“If you’re complaining about the price of gas and you’re only getting 8 miles a gallon, you know,” Obama said laughingly. “You might want to think about a trade-in.”

It should be noted that at no time did the person that made this comment state what type of vehicle they were driving, nor how many miles to the gallon they were getting. The president, in his finite wisdom (yes I meant finite instead of infinite) just assumed what type of vehicle the per person was driving. And showing his elitist attitude that this person should just trade in for a different vehicle. I guess perhaps the president has infinite wisdom and thus knows the economic situation of this person.

Welcome to change America.

Women in Combat

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

This topic comes up from time to time in the US, and it is making the rounds again: Should women be allowed to serve in combat positions? Good question and here are my thoughts.

If no changes are made to the physical requirements to serve in a combat position, then I don’t have any issues. If a decision is made to lower the standards for women, or for everyone so that more women can pass the standards, then I have huge issues. On the battle field it won’t matter if it is a man or women but only that you can do the job. This may require hauling a heavy load over a long distance on foot. If a recruit can’t handle things like this then I don’t want them in a combat position where they could place their comrades at risk.

One thing the American public will need to prepare itself for if women are allowed to serve in combat positions is the pictures that could come out. Seeing dead women on the battlefield, possible sexual abuse of women POW’s. If you want women to serve in combat roles be prepared for things like this.

Just A Distraction

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

A topic going around concerns earmarks, those little spending things members of Congress enjoy tacking onto bills to funnel money into their home states. I hate earmarks, just bad in my opinion.

That said, be realistic about them. Earmarks amount to about 1% or less of government spending. When talking about ways to save money earmarks get a lot of attention but they amount to beans in balancing the budget. Balancing the budget means hitting those items that people enjoy getting, Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, etc.

Sure do away with earmarks but that is just a distraction in the scheme of things.

President Obama Doesn’t Get It

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

Terrorism, especially terrorism launched by followers of Islam. President Obama tends to think it is “suspicion and mistrust” that is the problem. If we all just got together in a big group hug and talked about our feelings all would be well. President Obama, followers of Islam want to do one of two things: Have us all follow Islam or kill us. For them, the choice is ours.