We Don’t Need No Firemen

 Election, Politics  Comments Off on We Don’t Need No Firemen
Jun 112012

Last week the President made a poor choice of words in talking about how the private sector was adding jobs, while the public sector was laying off. He said, “the private sector is doing fine.” Of course it’s not overall, but what he meant was that, in comparison to the public sector, it’s better. Faux News and the media have been all over, but barely giving any coverage to Mitt Romney’s response.

Romney’s response ought to be far more damaging, and more telling about what he thinks of the middle class, as he suggested we shouldn’t hire more cops, firefighters or teachers:

Romney said of Obama, “he wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more fireman, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”

Yes, yes, by all means, let’s cut back the number of the teachers…because, literally, it’s been shown that the less education one has, the more apt one is to vote Republican.  We can’t have those damned educated and smart voters running loose out there. They might vote for a progressive agenda. And police officers and firemen…really, who needs those. I’ve got locks on my doors and a garden hose if anything goes wrong.

I’d like for Romney to go to the Texas town that had to lay off its entire police force last year or to Detroit and Philadelphia, which have to do “rolling brownouts” of fire coverage because they can’t afford to fully staff their fire departments, and say it to the faces of the citizens of those towns.

Ex-Atlanta Cops Sorry for Killing 92 Year Old

 Corruption, Crime, Society  Comments Off on Ex-Atlanta Cops Sorry for Killing 92 Year Old
Feb 242009

You might remember the story of the Atlanta Police Departments execution of 92 year-old Kathryn Johnston a couple of years ago. Three of the detectives involved in the killing and subsequent cover-up are now in court for sentencing. The account in the Atlanta Journal Constitution refers to the three as “tearful” as they stood before the judge.

As you might imagine, a parade of family, friends, pastors and colleagues took the stand to praise them for being good parents and dedicated public servants. I have to wonder exactly what they were dedicated too. The “dedication to public service started in November of 2006 when officer Jason smith falsified an affidavit to obtain a “no-knock” search warrant.

That allowed the narcotics detectives to bash in Johnston’s door. Thinking her home was being invaded, Johnston fired a single shot from a rusty revolver. The “public servants” responded by firing 39 rounds, with five or six of them being fatal shots.

It seems that at least Det. Gregg Junnier did finally go to the FBI three weeks after the raid and fess up. According to the AJC story, Arthur Bruce Tesler said when moved to the Narcotics unit,

He was told to “sit, watch and learn” from superiors who cut corners to meet performance quotas for arrests and warrants. “I was a new part and plugged into a broken system.”

Tesler later testified he saw Smith planting baggies of marijuana in Johnston’s home to make it look like a drug house, and that he falsified the report and lied about the raid because Smith told him to follow the script.

News for The Week of July 15, 2007

 Crime, General, Legislature, Places, Politics, Society, Tampa  Comments Off on News for The Week of July 15, 2007
Jul 132007

More Republican Family Values
Gotta love these Republican Family Values lawmakers. According to a report in the Orlando Sentinal, Florida State Rep. Bob Allen was arrested Wednesday afternoon at a local park after offering to perform a sex act on an undercover officer in exchange for $20, police said.

Titusville police were at Veteran’s Memorial Park on East Broad Street on a burglary detail when they noticed an unshaven man acting suspicious, going in and out of the restroom three times, said Lt. Todd Hutchinson.

An undercover officer decided to go into one of the bathroom stalls, Hutchinson said. Moments later, Allen knocked on the stall door and offered to perform oral sex on the officer for $20, according to the police spokesman.

Score on for Free Speech
The St. Pete Times reports Donnie James White spent three days in jail for desecrating an American flag. Then, Thursday, he became a free man after prosecutors declared the charge unconstitutional.

Tampa police said they were just following Florida law, of course several cases have been thrown out over the past few years also. I guess they just can’t remember that darned ole Constitution thing around here.

Though it has been 18 years since the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated state laws that made flag desecration a crime, Florida never took its statute off the books.

Bomb or Tape Dispenser?

 Crime, Culture, Society  Comments Off on Bomb or Tape Dispenser?
Mar 072007

Police these days are seeing bombs everywhere, even though there really aren’t any actual bombs. It’s clear that they need help.

The January 31 scare in which Boston and Massachusetts government officials terrorized the city by treating harmless light boards, being used in an advertising campaign for a cartoon show, as bombs, is unfortunately not an isolated incident.

In Santa Fe, N.M., on Wednesday, an apparent teenage prank in which someone left CD players under the pews at a Catholic church, which were playing streams of profanity during Mass, led to the police bringing out the bomb squad and blowing up two of the three CD players – after removing them from the church themselves. They knew, of course, that the CD players weren’t bombs, but blew them up and scared people anyway.

Bureuacrats in Northern Ireland scared people and disrupted traffic for several hours after a tape dispenser was found outside a police station. Yes, the sort of tape you attach to things to hold them together. Again, they inexplicably blew up the tape dispenser. A police official said it might have been a booby trap.

And a surveillance operation Dutch police were conducting went awry when the person under surveillance discovered the police transmitter attached to his car and called the police thinking it was a bomb. The bomb squad came out, but fortunately did not blow up the person’s car. He was then told that the device was a police transmitter being used to monitor him.

Security expert Bruce Schneier explains why police and government officials do this. It’s called “cover your ass security.”

“Much of our country’s counterterrorism security spending is not designed to protect us from the terrorists, but instead to protect our public officials from criticism when another attack occurs,” Schneier writes. “All the money is in fear-mongering, re-election strategies, and pork-barrel politics. And, like so many things, security follows the money.”

And that’s why you’ll never get security from the government.

In the meantime, I suggest that all government officials and police officers spend some time at Bomb or Not.