Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Amazing Growing Rocks Of Fresno

There was a fight among kids in Fresno a while back. An 11 year old girl, who was playing in her yard was harassed by several boys who bombarded her with water balloons. The girl, Maribel Cuevas, fought back by flinging a rock at her nearest attacker. The kid’s got a good arm, she beaned the brat, cutting his head.

That’s when the real fun began. Maribel’s mom called 911 because of the blood from the cut. (Head wounds, even minor ones, bleed copiously.) She got a lot more attention than she really wanted. In addition to the EMTs, three police cars and a helicopter rushed to the scene.

Maribel had committed assault with a deadly weapon in the eyes of the arriving goon squad, who made moves to arrest her. She doesn’t speak English and none of her soon-to-be captors speak Spanish. When they tried to put the cuffs on her, she resisted, scratching one goon’s arm. Seriously; the cops took picture of the man’s arm. Poor thug; got his feelers all hurt.

I read the story on yahoo.com as an AP byline, and the police were quoted as saying they did the right thing.

Well, as you might well imagine, there was a hue and cry over heavy handed police handling of the matter. The local paper, Fresno Bee, has received hundreds of letters decrying police brutality.

In the face of all the adverse publicity, a little spin control was called for. Mayor Alan Autry is claiming biased reportage in the AP release, claiming the cops really, really did the right thing. Chief Headknocker Jerry Dyer is now more forthcoming. Somehow a critical piece of information got left out of the original police statement to AP. He’s now claiming the rock in question weighs two pounds and has jagged edges — ipso facto, a deadly weapon.

AP based its story on the available facts that could be gleaned at the time including seeking a statement from the police who tersely said they had done their duty, the police report, and interviews with Maribel and her parents, as well as their neighbors. Here’s the updated

All this sets forth a number of questions: How come the “deadly weapon” in question wasn’t listed in the police reports as a two pound jagged rock? How did the original police spokesman miss getting the story right before he talked to AP? And last, but not least, Why doesn’t Hizzonor get it that he serves at the pleasure of the municipal voters and owes very little to a police force that behaves like this one?

So if you’re out driving around with nothing better to do, head on over to Fresno and watch the rocks grow.

Tell ‘em b² sent you.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Some More Of That Preemption, If You Please.

When I read of the bomb blasts on London commute carriers, there was a niggling thought in the back of my head that wouldn’t surface. Something wasn’t quite right, but I couldn’t for the life of me seem to get it into a cognitive region.

Now that it is a quiet Sunday morning and the mellow jazz is streaming, and after two cups of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, It has finally popped up.

Our British cousins have coped with IRA bombings for decades, and learned how to head off many, many more than actually occurred. Preemption was chosen route. SAS gunslingers with FN M35 (Browning Hi-Power) pistols in one pocket and a Queen’s Warrant in the other went hunting.

The IRA and its successor PIRA were easily penetrated, for the most part. Would-be bombers paid with their lives for that security lapse. Some of course got through; the most spectacular of which was the Grand Hotel Bombing in Brighton in 1984 that missed immolating then-PM Margaret Thatcher by about two minutes.

The Brits understand preemption as necessary means of survival. For damn sure they understand the cost of failing at stopping the crazies.

There are differences between the Muslim fanatics and the IRA. The rebels seldom stuck around once their bombs were planted, almost never giving their lives in the blasts. The Islamists have a decided advantage in that their martyrs can pick the time and place of their martyrdom thereby guaranteeing much more damage and loss of life.

The young men who carried out the London attack fell under the spell of a hate preaching Imam and his minions. If I were an actuary computing the possibilities of mortality for extremist Muslim preachers, I’d put my money on their early demise. I do expect the mortality rate to rise significantly among that particular group of hate mongers in the foreseeable future.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Entertainment Is Where You Find It

It’s been a slow, lazy Saturday morning. I’ve indulged myself with a couple of the harder crossword puzzles from the Houston Chronicle and the L.A. Times, read the funnies, checked out the new girls on the dating sites and finally read the news.

There was a
story about a kids’ fight that got out of hand. Several preteen boys were harassing an 11 year old girl, who was playing in her own yard, by throwing water balloons at her. She threw a rock back, beaning one of the brats. The injury was such as to need sutures.

The cops responded with 3 squad cars and a helicopter. When they arrived, they wrestled the girl to the ground, handcuffed her, and hauled her off charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon.

The DA endorsed the Gestapo’s . . . uh, police force’s action and is pursuing a conviction. The girl, who doesn’t speak English was incarcerated in Juvenile Detention for 5 days and was allowed a single 30 minute visit with her parents. Subsequently she has been ordered to home arrest and required to wear a GPS ankle bracelet..

I think the cops were right on. There is nothing more deadly than a rock thrown by a chubby 11 year old girl. I am surprised Senator Diane Feinstein overlooked including them in the Assault Weapon Ban bill of yore. It’s a wonder the heat were able to subdue her without shooting her. I also have to admit to being a little bit surprised they let her go home; I mean, after all, she was playing at home when she committed her dastardly deed.

This all occurred in Fresno. The Police Chief, Jerry Dyer, claims that his force is “a professional organization.” Maybe they are and maybe they ain’t. I can find nothing in the AP account that would even hint, let alone indicate they acted professionally.

The District Attorney for Fresno County is Elizabeth A. Egan who claims her office is, and I quote from her
website, “dedicated to seeking justice through fair, equal, and vigorous enforcement of the criminal laws, while protecting the rights of victims and witnesses.”

Yeah, Liz, and I have a bridge I’d like to sell to you, too. If you are so hip on protecting rights, how come no Public Defender was named for Maribel Cuevas? As it is, her church congregation took up a collection to hire a lawyer. I’m sure a murdering pederast would have received better treatment at the hands of the cops and the DA than the girl did.

Fresno, California just became a place I will do my best to boycott.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Preemption … Such As It Is

Dubya lied us into the Iraq sinkhole, ostensibly to preempt Saddam’s use of WMD or, worse, providing them to Al Qaeda. A figment of imagination, Saddam’s massive stockpiles of WMD.

What we’ve wound up with is a tenuous toe-hold in “Indian Country” where we are faced with a growing number of insurrectionists and willing martyrs. As today’s Doonesbury pointed out, the Islamists are having no problem recruiting people willing to commit suicide in order to kill Americans, preferably, or other Muslims of different sects. The Army, on the other hand, is having trouble getting people to volunteer to be targets and the National Guard may never again be able to raise a force for overseas deployment.

That’s the people side of it. The money side is dismal. This misadventure has stripped us of the financial ability to pursue advanced military programs. The Marines won’t be getting the OV-22. The trials are nearly complete, but there is no money in the kitty to send them to the fleet. The stealth destroyers now on the drawing boards will more than likely stay there for a long time to come. The US has not fielded a new Naval fighter since the F14 deployed in the early ‘70s. It is slated to be replaced by an upgraded version of the FA18 which is getting a little long in the tooth as well. While having a single aircraft type would reduce fleet logistics requirements a great deal, depending on one type could prove fatal in the case of need of emergency modification. I don’t recall a combat aircraft type that has not been grounded for such. Many times in the case of the birds I worked on.

Rumsfeld disfavors submarines, so the Virginia class may well suffer the fate of the CVBs at the end of WWII. Not bad news there, however; The Virginia has a five mission role which means it may do any of them from time to time, (depending upon which systems are operable) but you can bet your bippy it won’t do any of them well.

Over on the AF side of DOD, the FA22 Raptor will have its acquisition rates slashed. It was to replace the F15, which is coming up on age 30. That’s a long time for a bird flown by hot rock pilots and maintained by teenage drunks.

The Army is having trouble coming up with the scratch to add armor to its fleet of hummers deployed in Iraq. Need I say more?

Preemption is usually exercised to strengthen one’s position or prevent a loss of position, such as Israel’s lightning strike in 1967. In this case, our position has deteriorated . . . badly. The only people who have done well with this are our enemies and the people holding defense related stocks, such as the Bush family.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Some Fun On A Sunday

New Orleans produces musicians who march to the beat of a different drummer. Yes you can find traditional Dixieland Jazz, but there is more. Much, much more. I speak specifically of a meld of Cajun, Zydeco (which itself is a meld), jazz, Delta Blues, and Caribbean to name a few.

The likes of the Neville Brothers, Dr. John, Professor Longhair, Dewey Balfa, Doug Kershaw, Terrance Simien, Clifton Chenier and others arrived in NOLA with their own styles, but a few decades down the road the styles have merged into fun, passionate music that rouses the spirit.

New Orleans funk it was called when it first emerged. It was quickly taken over by other musicians, particularly MoTown artists. In its latest incarnation NO musicians call their bass, drums, and percussion tricks “Fonk.”

I wrote all this to write this: If you haven’t heard Dr. John’s N’Awlinz Dis Dat or D’udda, do yourself a favor and grab the first one you can get your hands on. You will find a smooth, eclectic mix of vocals by the good Doctor, Willie Nelson, Cyril Neville, Mavis Staples, The Creolettes, and Smokey Johnson.

Get yourself some hotlinks, whip up some dirty rice, grab a big glass of sweet tea and you’re on your way to a fun hour or so.

Tell ‘em b² sent you.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

A Big Boo Boo

This morning’s multiple bomb attack on London’s crowded commuter bus and trains killed dozens, maimed scores, and injured hundreds.

Al Qaeda claimed responsibility. Not a good idea there, wog. You have forgotten your history if you ever knew it.

The Nazis tried terror bombing Britain; killed 8,000 or so in Coventry one night. More, many more died in London. Did our cousins from the Ould Sodde throw in the towel? Nope, they threw in incendiaries. By the ton. As a matter of fact the RAF dropped a ton of bombs on Germany for every pound dropped on Britain. For all the hoopla, the 8th USAAF played the lesser role in the strategic air initiative in the second war.

You stupid bastards are safe enough attacking the U.S. while we have Dubya in office. It’s different with Britain. If Blair won’t lead the British to wreak havoc on the Islamists, their parliament will throw him out and let the most war-like people on this planet choose a new leader.

If Leopoldo Galtieri were still around, you could ask him just what happens when the British Lion is bearded in his den. He’d probably tell you it was not a good idea and advise you to smoke a little more kif and chew a little more qaat while you think up something else.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Our Rights

It’s the day after Independence Day. That’s when we celebrate the signing of our Declaration of Independence from the tyranny imposed on the Thirteen Colonies by King George III’s Parliament. My friend OWW took the effort to post the document on his
site. It makes good reading.

Since then we’ve fought two wars with our mother nation, struggled through establishing the only republic since that of ancient Rome, and bumbled along the path of liberty for a little over 217 years.

This is a good time to take the pulse and see how we’re doing.

It would appear a couple of reporters are on their way to the hoosegow for not coughing up the source when Valerie Plame’s identity as a CIA agent was leaked. The hand wringing and teeth gnashing from Eastern press establishment is somewhat comical. They claim their first amendment rights are being trampled, despite the fact that revealing a CIA agent’s identity is a Federal felony.

Well maybe so. Freedom of speech is no longer protected. If you don’t believe me, ask Martha Stewart. She spent some time in Federal slammer for lying to the Feds. But then, where were the eloquent MSM pontificators while she was being tried?

For years Eastern newspapers, news magazines, and television productions have railed against the freedom guaranteed by the second amendment, namely the right to keep and bear arms. All sorts of sophisticated arguments have been advanced, but what they didn’t cite were Thomas Jefferson’s Federalist Papers. They also failed to report the definition of the word “militia” as defined in the 18th Century. I have an older Webster’s and the definition therein
is significantly different from what you'll find in newer dictionaries.

The tenth amendment has been out the window for years. Congress has stretched its interstate commerce regulatory authority to ban marijuana consumed in the state where it is grown. Recently, the Fed’s DEA storm troopers began busting Medical Marijuana Clubs throughout California, even though a majority of the state’s electorate approved of its use to relieve pain.

The power of Imminent Domain was recently extended to the benefit of developers and the detriment of small landholders. That was done by the Supreme Court, which historically is the place to go to right the wrongs done by state and local governments. Maybe the New Londoners who are losing their homes can scrape up enough dough to bribe the planning commissions in the home towns of the developer’s major stock holders to develop their homesteads.

Get a clue, my fellow Americans. Either we demand all our rights, each and every one, or slowly, one by one, they’ll be eroded to nothing. Thomas Jefferson put it this way, “A little rebellion now and then is a good thing; the tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time by the blood of tyrants and patriots.”

Strong words that. Randy Weaver’s stand at Ruby Ridge resulted in the murders of his wife, son, and dog. The Dravidians fared about the same when they were exterminated by a mixed force of Feds. Tim McVeigh shot back with a horrendous death toll of innocents. No one followed his lead, but it must be noted that armed stand offs with the Feds are now characterized with negotiation rather than back shooting teenage boys, sniping down women, or immolating entire housing complexes along with their inhabitants.

In another vein, I recall Bill Clinton’s impeachment for lying about getting a little head on the side. Nobody got killed and the only money spent was the cost of the impeachment and the trial in the Senate. By contrast, Dubya lied us into a war with hundreds of thousands killed, hundreds of billions wasted, and where are the outraged voices in the House now?

A guy could get downright cynical if he wasn’t already. But looking around, I am proud to be an American even though I am sometimes ashamed of the actions of our government.

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