A Plea To The Pawns Of The Left: Please, Wake Up!

dealing-with-divisive-issues

The Divisive Game Plan In Action

The progressive left is continuing to wreak havoc on the United States, and they are doing so with the aid of a great number of well intentioned folks.  I am specifically talking about the average Jane and John Doe, lifelong registered democrats.  The people who love their country, love their community, and vote Democrat because they think they are helping the less fortunate.  I am talking about people like some of my very own relatives.

This is not meant as an attack on any of those folks, but rather a plea just to take a step back and look at the actions of their party, then take a look at the situation the country is in, and finally to consider if those actions are helping or hurting.  I think an introspective look at the current politics and policies employed by the modern Democrat party might reveal something different from what many registered democrats stand for.  Rather than trying to be inclusive, trying to bring all Americans together as a country, the Democrat party instead continues to separate and divide people into groups based on skin color, gender, sexual orientation and economic status.

The sad reality is that the Democrat party of today is not remotely the Democrat party of 20-30 years ago, let alone the Democrats from the ‘60s or ‘70s.  Both of the two major parties have shifted to the left as time has gone on, but where the Democrat party sits now seems to be in a different time zone from where they once were.

01A quick look back at Obama’s 2012 campaign website will show you all the individual groups they are separating us into. The attached screenshot (taken October 16, 2012) of the official Democrat website shows a similar list of groups they are splitting people into.  Stop and ask yourself what purpose splitting people into small groups serves.  Does that help us come together as a country, as Americans, or does it serve to divide people based on their self-identified sub-category?

SEXUAL ORIENTATION
Just a couple days ago, a new veterans monument was dedicated.  “A first of its kind monument now stands in the Chicago area, honoring lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender veterans. It is the first federally-approved monument honoring LGBT veterans.”  It is a first of its kind because it is a ridiculously stupid idea!

The LGBT community has been demanding equal treatment (something I have zero argument with) for years, some would argue decades.  And in honor of being “treated equally”, they are receiving a specialized monument to honor just them?  For what exactly?  Is their military service somehow different from any other soldier’s service?  Different from a black woman’s service, from a Hispanic immigrant’s service, or God forbid, different from a straight, white male’s service?  Equal treatment should mean just that, equal treatment, not special treatment with special awards.

Additionally, the Democrat party is constantly arguing that you are either for or against gay marriage, like there is no other option or middle ground.  You are either all in, or you are a bigoted homophobe, and in that case, they are going force it down your throat, using the courts if need be.  As a side note, just like many conservatives and moderates I am friends with, I fully support gay marriage.  I just don’t support forcing someone who does not believe in gay marriage into performing the ceremony, but because I have that little “except clause” in there, I am evil according to the Democrat party, further dividing us, when in fact I probably have more in common with the average Democrat voter on that topic than I differ.

RACE and LAW ENFORCEMENT
There are two very obvious, very current, very linked examples of this divisiveness and destruction that is being pimped by the modern Democrats.  Look at what has happened to race relations in the United States, and tied to that, relations with Law Enforcement.  Both of these have been directly attacked by the United States “first black president,” who one would think would have been the perfect candidate to make at least race relations better, but in fact they appear to have been set back 50 years.

But please, do not take my word for it, take it from a man who has lived through all of it, a man who happens to be extremely intelligent, highly educated, a former Marxist, and coincidentally is also black. Thomas Sowell discusses this topic in this piece from 2013, before Trayvon, or Ferguson, or Baltimore, and he ponders the question, who are the real racists?  More recently, he was interviewed and asked some questions on the same topic.  With the president constantly harping on racial inequality, or about mistreatment by law enforcement, is it any wonder that race relations are worse?  Is there any question as to why there is a war being waged against law enforcement?

This racial division goes far beyond whites and blacks though.  Look at how the Democrat party inserted themselves into the name of a football team…

GENDER DIVISION
To hear the Democrats speak, there is a war on women, and it is being waged solely by conservatives.  They actually argue that conservatives want to “control women’s bodies” and they want to “prevent women from access to healthcare.”  They use those statements to argue their defense of legal abortion, as if either of those statements is remotely applicable to a discussion about whether or not abortion should be legal.  Because apparently thinking that a human embryo in a woman’s uterus is a human life, and should not be haphazardly destroyed, equates to preventing access to healthcare and controlling women’s bodies?

Let us not forget the other front in this war on women, the wage gap.  The Democrat party is constantly pointing to this issue as if it were actually a partisan thing, and like it actually exists.  As far as the partisan aspect, I fail to see a single person, no matter their political affiliation remotely suggesting that women should not receive equal pay to men, NO ONE.  Yet the official Democrat party line continues to chant this mantra in order to divide folks further.   Now, as for whether it is even an issue or not, there have been numerous studies that explain the fictitious 23 cent wage gap.  Rather than point you to those studies, it is easier to just offer this video that discusses the myth.

ECONOMIC DIVISION
This is yet another category in which the Democrat party is playing on the emotions of their loyal voters in order to cause division.  They constantly throw out the argument that conservatives do not want to help the poor because they oppose things like raising the minimum wage, or because we argue that programs such as SSI and welfare need significant reform.  While both of those claims are partly true, the reason is not what the Democrat party is pushing.  Conservatives take issue with those programs because historically speaking, neither of those programs have done what they claim is their goal.

Welfare was (supposedly) designed to help struggling families get through rough times and back on their feet.  While that does happen on occasion, what more often than not happens is you end up with entire neighborhoods raising generation after generation of people who rely on that government check, because it if was good enough for mom, it is good enough for me.

Conservatives oppose raising the minimum wage because despite the hypothetical benefits, the real world results are far different.  Raising the minimum wage raises the cost of living, increases unemployment and contributes to artificial inflation, which not only hurts the very people it supposedly is aimed at helping, but it hurts the entire country at the same time.  Again, to point to Thomas Sowell for information, he discusses this very matter in this video.  As you might be able to discern from their attire, this is video is quite old, however the facts remain the same.

FIREARMS
To hear the Democrats talk about guns and conservatives who support gun rights, you would think that conservatives were rolling around in vans distributing guns to criminals so that they can run around on wild killing sprees.  Honestly, think about that for one second.  Why would anyone want that?  Most conservatives, just like law enforcement when polled has been shown to agree (75-90% depending on the wording of the question), think that more gun laws are not the solution to criminal violence, which is really the true problem.

Think about it.  Is the problem really “gun violence?”   Is violence committed with a knife, or baseball bat, or a hammer somehow less violent or more acceptable?  Should not the aim to be to solve the violence problem?

Conservatives realize a few things.  Criminals, by definition, do not care about the law.  It is already illegal to use a gun to commit a crime, and most criminals get their guns illegally already.  If you need an example of the failure of gun laws to prevent violence, look no further than Chicago, Washington DC or Baltimore just to name a few.  Those cities are notorious for their ultra-strict gun laws, and simultaneously are known for their crime rates, and specifically their gun murder rates.

The only person who is affected by any new gun law is the law abiding gun owner, who by definition is not the problem anyway.  Gun control laws negatively affect law abiding gun owners, making it harder, and in some cases, impossible for them to legally purchase a gun to use for personal or home defense.  And as a cop, I can tell you that guns are used in self-defense more than you can imagine (because the media does not cover it).  In fact, there have been a large number of instances where a lawfully armed average citizen has prevented what would have been a horrific “mass shooter” event.  Take it from me, a career cop, there is a very good reason for this saying:  “When seconds count the police are only minutes away.”

SUMMARY
Let me correct a few misconceptions that the Democrat party has been spreading.  First and foremost, we Conservatives are not evil, hateful people.

  • Conservatives do not hate women. In fact, many women are actually conservatives.
  • Conservatives do not hate the poor. In fact, studies have shown that conservatives tend to donate more to charities that help the poor than those who identify as liberals.  Where we differ is on how to best help the poor.
  • Conservatives do not hate the LGBT community. Some conservatives, as well as some Democrats, mainly those who are very religious, oppose “gay marriage.”  However, just because someone disagrees with something you believe does not remotely mean they hate you, but that is what the Democrat party would have you believe.  Shockingly, there are many conservatives who happen to be members of the LGBT community.
  • Conservatives do not want the country to turn into a wild west style shootout resulting in a bloodbath. We just happen to believe that the founding fathers included the 2nd amendment for a reason, and that the best way for people to be safe is for them to be equipped to protect themselves.

Those are just a few example of the modern Democrat party policy of divisiveness, while they simultaneously pander to their constituents.  They give each of their divided groups a little something to make them feel special, so they keep voting democrat, meanwhile the policies they are enacting are actually tearing this country apart.  Sadly, tearing this country apart was the very goal of a man so many prominent Democrats looked to as a role model, Saul Alinsky.

Sadly, this ploy at dividing Americans has been working.  I have had family members avoid contact with me based on my conservative views, and have even had them suggest I think certain ways when my actions, some going back decades, tell a very different story.  If this strategy of division is able to segregate family members, imagine what it will eventually do to the county.  Right now, with all that is going on in the world, both at home and abroad, we need to be coming together as Americans, just Americans, not separated into hyphenated Americans.

Let the Cop Hate Flow

cvr

Justifying Anti-Cop Sentiments with Blatant Lies and Half Truths

Some things just make my head want to explode, and some people who shall remain unnamed (cough, Jason, cough) enjoy sending me links knowing they are going to make my blood pressure rise.  Take for instance this steaming pile of anti-cop thoughts that appears to have been assembled by a delusional pre-teen, which was then proudly published by Slate.  This, dare I even call it an “article,” was so difficult to read due to the factual inaccuracies that it took me several efforts just to get through the first two paragraphs.  I’m not even sure I ever actually read the whole thing.

So, why do I say the “author” is delusional?  Well, the very first sentence displays a complete and total disconnect from reality.

“Baltimore’s streets are quiet again.”

Quiet?  Really?  Homicides have skyrocketed (up 40%), non-fatal shootings have skyrocketed (up 60%), crime in general has skyrocketed, and arrests are down (down 32%).   In fact, just this month, May 2015, there have been 35 homicides in Baltimore.  Yep, sounds real quiet to me.  Quick question, on what planet does that sort of violence equal “quiet?”

As for the pre-teen part, I say that due to the immature and uneducated manner in which the author (I use that term very loosely) constructs…  wait, bad choice of words, assembles….  nope, not quite, compiles… still not right, I will go with throws together his attempt at a logical argument.

“She (Mosby) will also have to overcome a number of deep-seated structural impediments to convicting police officers of crimes—no matter how guilty they are.

It’s hard to prosecute cops. There are two main reasons for this: The first is the special deference that jurors, judges, and prosecutors show officers thanks to the widespread perception that they are heroic public figures valiantly trying to protect us. The second is the bevy of special laws around the country that are designed to shield police officers from the very tactics the police regularly use on ordinary suspects.”

I’m just going to ignore the fact that the author has already determined the six officers are guilty, and address these “deep-seated structural impediments” that he seems to think exist.  I’m not going to address his first reason, because in my opinion it is just silly, and shows that he has a deep seated dislike for the cops.  As for the “special laws” he refers to, let’s take a closer look.

“For example, in most states, law enforcement officers cannot be questioned until they have been given a few days to get their stories straight”

While that may be true in some areas (the author fails to elaborate what states comprise the “most states”), what the author fails to acknowledge is that absolutely everyone accused of a crime, everyone, cannot be compelled to make a statement.  It is that that whole silly 5th Amendment thingy.

However, unlike regular citizens accused of a crime, officers can in fact be compelled to make a statement during the initial administrative investigation (Garrity v. New Jersey).  Cops do not have the option of “pleading the fifth,” unless it is clearly a criminal investigation.  Although if we are in fact compelled under Garrity, that statement is not allowed to be used in a criminal prosecution.

“And many states have passed laws—such as Section 50-a of New York’s Civil Rights Law—that are specifically designed to make it almost impossible to obtain or use at trial records of a police officer’s prior brutality or misconduct.”

Uh, would that be because past actions are not an indicator of guilt and would be likely to taint a jury?  You know, the SAME EXACT REASON a person’s prior criminal history is not allowed to be presented in a criminal trial for the average citizen.  The only time that information is allowed is at sentencing, unless of course the accused gets on the stand and states that he is a good guy who never did anything wrong.  Past convictions/probation/parole status would then be allowed in order to disprove his lies.

Since the “author” was a public defender for 15 years, he damn well knows all of the above, yet he has elected to completely ignore that in order to try and push his anti-cop opinion.

01

But hey, why should the cops be held to the same standards in court as the rest of the population?

After that two paragraph (ridiculously poor) effort at providing justification for his dislike of cops, he swerves off into a several paragraph rant about how cops are not heroes, because he says so, and then even defends the actions of a 3rd grade teacher who had her students write get well cards to a convicted cop killer.  And then he goes there, the often cited “most dangerous jobs” study that Cop Blockers love to quote.

“The hero cop narrative is also belied by the facts. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, police work does not crack the top-10 list of most dangerous jobs.”

Now, I will be the first to grant you that more people in other lines of work die while working than happens in law enforcement.  BUT, and this is a big but, NONE of those other lines of work are dangerous because people are killing them intentionally.  Those other careers are dangerous due to accidents, mistakes and through the actions of Mother Nature.  In fact, in many of those other professions, it is the deceased person’s own mistake, or the mistake of a coworker, that lead to their death.

My intention here is not to downplay their loss, but to compare accidental deaths to violent assaults is really apples to oranges.   Loggers are not shot dead while sitting down to have lunch.  Fishermen are not shot or stabbed by the fish they are hauling onto the boat.  Garbage collectors are not ambushed while stopping to pick up a trash can.  Cop haters like to cite this study all the time, yet they completely ignore the fact that cops are feloniously killed more than any other profession.

The last stupid argument offered in his effort to prove cops are not heroes is the cost of providing law enforcement:

“Moreover, we pay our police officers handsomely in New York City. It costs taxpayers more than $8.5 billion a year to pay for the NYPD, and between salary, overtime, and the value of their benefits, the average beat cop costs the taxpayers more than $150,000 per year.”

02Holy cow!  NYPD makes $150k a year?  That is smoking!  Where do I sign up?  Wait, according to my research, the starting pay for an NYPD cop is $44,744.  What happened to the other $100+k?  Oh wait, you mean that is not what they make, but rather the total cost incurred by the city, which includes benefits and equipment?

Just for comparison sake, seeing as this “author” went there, what does a garbage collector in NYC make?  Starting salary for a garbage collector in the city of New York, according to my research, is $43,762.  I was 03unable to find any information on the total cost to the city to put a garbage collector on the streets, but just like with cops, there are many other costs which include healthcare, retirement, vacation coverage, equipment (garbage trucks cost significantly more than a cop car), safety gear, uniforms, etc.  All the same costs that go into the total cost of putting a cop on the street apply to every other public sector job.

Me thinks this author is being somewhat intentionally deceitful…  (or he is just really stupid)

Good old David Feige, the “author” of this typewritten pile of mental vomit, is absolutely free to think that cops are not heroes.  He can hate the cops all he likes. People can think whatever they like, but to try and use this loose assemblage of incorrect assertions and random hateful thoughts to justify that belief is just plain weak sauce.

I was extremely surprised to find, even there on Slate, that the top rated comments were actually in opposition of this pile of trash.  Maybe there is hope after all.

Taxpayer Funded Anti-Cop Propaganda – What’s Next?

tumblr_inline_mijjntyMx61qz4rgpPreface: Do not take this article, which is directed at the anti-cop agenda being pushed by NPR, to be a defense of the tactics used by police in this incident.  That is not remotely what I am doing.


A follower of my Facebook page sent me something the other day that threw me for a loop.  It was a screenshot of an NPR Facebook post that stated the following:

“Remember that time American law enforcement bombed U.S. citizens on U.S. soil, leaving 11 people dead — including five children — and dozens of bystanders’ homes destroyed?

If not, well, you’re not alone.”

NPR-postThe title of the linked article referenced the “The MOVE Bombing”, something that did not ring the slightest bell with me, so away to Google I went.  Turns out, this incident occurred in 1985, in Philadelphia.  In 1985, I was a sophomore in high school.  If this was indeed what this NPR post is suggesting, I would think I would have at least heard about it, but still, not a clue.  As I only had my phone at the time to do some limited research, I settled on the Wikipedia entry about the event.  After reading just a few paragraphs there, I was already able to determine that not only was the NPR post entirely misleading, but what little I read of the actual NPR article was utter anti-cop propaganda.

“After my stories last week on the 30th anniversary of the MOVE siege in West Philadelphia in 1985, in which Philadelphia police dropped a bomb on a residential neighborhood, leaving 11 dead — including five children — we were surprised by how many people told us they’d never heard of the bombing.” – Gene Demby, taken from the NPR article.

Knowing my tax dollars fund NPR, I was now determined to do more research as soon as I got a chance, but in the meantime, I threw a quick post up on my FB page with a link to the article, which I would like to point out, is posted on the official NPR, tax funded website.

Well, it just so happens that one of the followers of my FB page was there, in Philadelphia, when this incident took place.  He was 13 years old and specifically remembers the incident.  He had this to say in response to my sharing the article:

“I lived just outside of Philadelphia when this occurred. I remember coming home from school and watching LEOs taking cover behind construction equipment taking and returning fire. I also remember Wilson Goode (Philadelphia’s first black mayor) authorized the use of the incendiary device*that was dropped from the helicopter [I watched that as well]. I watched them continue to fire on the police and the firefighters after the fire started.

I was in seventh grade when it happened. People can twist the events however they see fit after the fact (like so many other historical events that have been diluted to serve an agenda).” – Eric Terford

(* Minor correction to his recounting of the incident, it was not an “incendiary device”, it was a two pound breaching charge)

After reading his account, I was even more determined to get to the bottom of this.  As if there is not enough anti-cop sentiment freely flowing from the liberal media right now, and from sources up to and including Barack Obama, I was extremely upset to see that my tax dollars were hard at work pouring gasoline on the raging inferno of anti-cop propaganda.

Now, before I begin deconstructing the tax funded anti-cop propaganda, sorry, the article, let me tell you what I have found about the actual incident.  I will also say that finding an unbiased version of this incident is damn near impossible.  Nearly every “media” source account is totally sensationalized.   I found the Wikipedia entry and an article from 2013 on The Global Grind (once you get past the sensationalized intro) to be the best sources for factual information on the whole event.  Specifics on the actual breaching attempt were found in an excerpt from the book, SWAT Teams: Explosive Face-Offs with America’s Deadliest Criminals.

ap96062002423_custom-5d492a47f4cce128a4f480afcc4eb2290e2e2b69-s4-c85

What Happened That Day
MOVE was a black liberation fringe group who lived in a communal setting.  And by “fringe group”, they make other fringe groups look normal.  They were, at the time of this incident, occupying a row house in Philadelphia, which they had barricaded and reinforced, including the roof access.  The group was referred to as a “terrorist organization” by both the mayor and the police commissioner at the time.  Police went to the location to serve a number of arrest warrants for charges including weapons violation, terrorist threats, parole violations, and contempt of court.  As the cops make contact, they begin taking incoming fire from MOVE members inside the barricaded building and a prolonged firefight ensued.

In an effort to gain access to the roof entry, police (stupidly I might add) decided to drop (varies by source) either a single two pound charge, or two one pound charges, from a helicopter onto the fortified entry.   Before dropping the charges, they repeatedly tested the charges at their academy and determined it not to be incendiary (fire generating).  The problem is, it appears that MOVE had stored gasoline and ammo in the roof bunker and when the charge was dropped, it ignited the fuel which started the fire.

Firefighters had already been shot at early on in this, so the police would not let them in to try and fight the fire because MOVE members were still actively shooting from inside the structure.   Eventually, the fire got out of control and spread to the neighboring homes and burned down nearly the entire city block.  Killed in the fire, namely because the adults refused to come out, were 6 adults and 5 children.

What the Tax Funded Propaganda Says
The NPR article skirts around many of the facts and instead, serves up a healthy helping of vague statements that leave the reader filling in the blanks with their imagination.

“It’s seems incredible that so many people had never heard about the time American law enforcement bombed U.S. citizens on U.S. soil, which, on top of the deaths, left dozens of bystanders’ homes destroyed in an uncontrolled fire that the police commissioner told firefighters not to put out right away. The details are so extreme, so over-the-top.”

When I first read that, I was stunned.  My first question was where law enforcement came up with a bomber and the ordinance.  I mean, it is not like we keep 500 pounders laying around the station.  And what in the hell is with the police commissioner?  He clearly was doing this all just because this was a black neighborhood and he wanted to burn all their houses down, right?  Sounds a bit far fetched, especially considering the mayor, a black man, authorized the police actions taken.  I’ll tell you what is extreme and over the top; this guy’s story telling.

The “bomb” itself did not kill anyone.  Unfortunately, the “bomb” started a fire.  The fire also would not have killed anyone had the suspects inside stopped shooting and just surrendered.  While the explosive devise did start the chain of events that eventually lead to their death, the way the author worded his statements very clearly makes the reader picture something very different from what happened.  You should also note, as I have, that Demby fails to mention that the mayor supported and approved the police actions that day.  The mayor, W. Wilson Goode happened to be Philadelphia’s first black mayor, who even on TV announced that he supported the police actions.

Why word things like he did?  Why leave out all mention of the mayor?  Well, you know, because it makes a better “evil, racist, white cop story” that way.

Then, after offering up some fairly useful information about why most people have never heard of MOVE, which turns out to be comments from another person entirely, he throws out the obligatory-for-cop-haters Ferguson reference, because you know, the two incidents are so similar, and eff the Police, and stuff…

Then the author finished by offering up this shining piece of stupidity:

“If MOVE happened today, it might be quickly folded into the classroom, as has happened with other recent incidents of police violence. Teachers have all the materials at their fingertips: clips from livestreams, links to mainstream news articles and personal blogs, embeddable tweets, and so on. Back in the mid-80s, you’d have to wait around for the inevitable Frontline documentary or for an academic to publish a book. History gets commodified and redistributed much more quickly today.”

Let us just take a moment and digest that.  The author is suggesting that having instant access to things so resoundingly reliable and correct as Twitter and livestreams, and links to personal blogs, to be used instantly by teachers in the classroom is a good thing?  Because that worked so well in the case of Ferguson right?  You know, all those tweets and livestreams and personal blogs that blamed the cop and spoke of the innocent, poor black teen who was executed by that racist white murderous cop, for no reason, while the gentle giant tried to surrender.  That instant access?  Perhaps we were all much better off, back when the story got sorted out, and the truth was found before it was broadcast to all the world, before race baiting, agenda driven, con artists stirred up all the useful idiots who rioted and destroyed their own towns, all based on a proven lie.

If you are as disgusted as I am that your tax dollars are funding this anti-cop propaganda, might I suggest contacting NPR and share your thoughts.  Also, since NPR is publicly funded, feel free to contact your federal representatives and share your feelings with them as well.

Shocking News, Facebook Sucks

FB-04

This may come as a shock to you (if you follow conservative pages on Facebook, then probably not), but Facebook apparently has two different sets of rules.  The rules, or “community standards” that they display on their website, are closely adhered to in some instances (conservative pages), and in other cases (liberal, progressive, lefty pages), flagrant violations are ignored, even when reported by many people.

Many admins from conservative pages will know exactly what I am talking about.  Many of us have received timeouts ranging from 24 hours to weeks at a time for violating those standards.  I was given one such timeout for the heinous crime of posting a screenshot of one person’s Facebook comment in which I had the sheer gall to show their name…  Gasp!  Yes, you read that right, I received a one week ban from Facebook for actually quoting someone with their own words.

Yet here we have an individual “praying” that more cops are murdered.

RM02

Seems to me that her statement just might be considered, uh, I don’t know, to violate one of these rules:

FB-01

And if not one of those, then perhaps one of these:

FB-02

But I would be mistaken, or so say the lefty liberals who work as moderators at Facebook.  You see, in the liberal progressive utopia that is Facebook, where liberals can say and do as they please, praying that more cops are killed “doesn’t violate our Community Standards.”

RM01

 

Social Media Extortion

Thompson_iPhone

Well, it has been a while and no hint of the “damning video” that was taken, with an iPhone, of me telling a woman that I could not help her, and not a peep.  Her threats of social media exposure, which were supposed to make me do her bidding, appear to have failed.  In order to better explain, let me give you some context.  I wish I could get into specifics, but I cannot, so a Cliff’s Notes version will have to suffice.

A while back, a situation came up that pulled nearly all of the patrol units from the entire county.  Those few of us that were left were tasked with handling the regular calls for service, which got backed up more than normal (the new normal that is).

I eventually got dispatched to a standby call where a mother was requesting our assistance to pick up her child because the father failed to show up at the designated time and place for the exchange.  Sadly, by the time I got dispatched, the call had pended for several hours.  In reviewing the call, I saw that the female caller, who I will just refer to as Mom, had called back a number of times and not only complained about the extended wait times, but according to the notes in the call, she had been very demanding.

I drove to the location she indicated she would be waiting and found that she was not there.  Honestly, I would have been surprised if she was since it was nearly three hours after she called.  I telephoned her and we agreed to meet at a location down the street that was closer to the father’s house.  I also apologized for the delay and attempted to explain what had happened, but she just cut me off.

I met her in the chosen parking lot and she proceeded to tell me that her ex-husband (Dad) had not shown up to exchange custody of their child.  She told me that the exchange was supposed to take place in another county, three counties away, and that she had already called the local cops there when dad did not show.  Mom lives in a different county even further away.  And finally, the custody order is from yet a fourth county in which none of them reside.  There is more to this story, much more, but that is all that is necessary to understand the situation.

I had Mom wait in the parking lot and I drove to Dad’s house around the corner.  As I pulled up, I realized I had recently been to Dad’s house a few days prior on a welfare check.  Mom had called claiming their child was in danger from Dad because Dad owned guns and he had been “acting rough” at the custody exchange earlier that day (yes, that was the extent of the claims of why the child was in danger).  I knew from my previous visit that there were two adults and at least three children who lived at the home.

The house was stone quiet when I arrived and the shades were drawn.  Stepmom’s car was parked out front and it was cold.  Several knocks and presses on the doorbell received no answer.  I walked around the side of the house and looked through the window into the garage.  Dad’s car is gone.  All of those clues lead me to believe, wait for it… that no one was home.

I drove back to talk to Mom and explained to her that no one was home, thus I would not be able to help her.  I further explained to her that the policy of the department that I work for is that we will attempt to mediate child custody exchanges, but if one parent refuses, or is not available, we refer them back to family court.  Since the exchange was supposed to occur in another county, and the local cops were already notified, and according to Mom, they had taken a report, the best I could suggest to her was to go back to family court in the county that issued the order and attempt to get the order amended.

Well, Mom was not having any of that.  She got angry (somewhat understandably I will add) and began getting huffy.  As I was trying to explain her options, her phone rang.  She stepped back and answered it.  From the way she answered, I suspect it was her current significant other.  She started off the phone conversation with “this cop here is refusing to help me get my child,” and it went downhill from there.  Sill on the phone, she looked at me and demanded my name and badge, which I happily wrote down for her.  While I was doing that, she walked to her car and whispered something to her adult daughter, who casually unplugged her iPhone and ever so slyly (sarcasm) began to video record the “conversation”.

I gave Mom the slip of paper with my information on it, including several phone numbers for our department.  She eventually hung up the phone, and her demeanor visibly changed.  After straightening her shirt and her hair, she walked close to me, looked at me and demanded that I go retrieve her child from the father.  She said that if I did not do so immediately, she would go to my supervisors, to the local politicians and to the media, specifically mentioning both the news and Facebook.  She continued on and on, not taking a break or allowing me to speak.  I tried several times to engage her in a conversation, but she continued over me.  After several unsuccessful attempts to talk, I politely told her that I had already advised her, several times, of her options.  Since I was not able to help her, I would be leaving.  I walked to my car, got in and began to back out of the parking space.  She followed me to my car and continued her on-camera performance, yelling at me as I calmly backed out and drove off.

So, here is my point.  This is not remotely an original thought on the behalf of Mom’s internet lawyer on the phone.  This is the same type of behavior exhibited by folks from Cop Block and the morons who video themselves open carrying rifles while wearing body armor going into police stations to file a FOIA request.  At what point has it become acceptable to use threats of video and media/social media “exposure” as a way to force law enforcement to bow to your will?

I am fairly social-media savvy, and I have a bunch of years of experience dealing with folks, not to mention I am well versed in our department policies, so Mom’s show did not work on me.  But it might have worked on someone else, someone with less experience or someone less familiar with department policies, at least to the point of getting a supervisor involved.  That said, after leaving the call, I advised both my immediate supervisor and our media relations officer just in case Mom made good on her threats.

Demanding complainants are nothing new.  What is new is this, what I am calling Social Media Extortion.  My advice to cops out there is know your policies, know the laws, familiarize yourself with social media, and always, always assume someone is video recording you.  Like Schoolhouse Rock used to say, knowledge is power!

Obama Takes Another Step Toward National Police Force

z98fu

Ooops, I mean he announces restrictions on scary stuff for cops.

I woke up early this morning because the wife had a training class for her job, which meant I had “get the kids on the bus” duty.  I packed lunches, did all my Mr. Mom taks and plopped in my chair with my coffee to wait until it was time to leave.  I took my first sip of coffee and looked at my phone, and was greeted by the headline “Obama announces restrictions on distribution of military-style equipment to police” prominently displayed on the Fox News app on my phone.  Say what?  I started to read but it was time to go, so getting pissed at Obama, again, would have to wait.

After returning from the bus stop, I fired up my computer, sucked more coffee down and read the article.

Only a few sentences in, I was struck by something (again – seem to get daily reminders): what a conniving, two faced jerk the president is. Just last week, this same man gave a speech at the capital during National Police Week where he feigned concern about the officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this nation, and where he pretended to be concerned about our safety, where only weeks before he was castigating us on national television while siding with “protesters”. And here he is now, again, only days later, putting a halt to the federal government providing gear to law enforcement agencies, some of which is very valuable in keeping officers safe. You will have to excuse me if I am not buying what he is selling.

Enough of me hating on Obama, let me examine what is actually being discussed in this article. So he is putting a halt to distributing the following items to local law enforcement:
– grenade launchers
– bayonets
– “certain” armored vehicles (later specified as tracked vehicles – think M113 APC)
– “weaponized aircraft”
– “firearms or ammunition of .50-caliber or higher”
– camouflage uniforms (gasp!)

20mm_gunNow, let me see if I’ve got this right. We no longer will be receiving Cobra and Apache helicopters? No bayonets? What about all those bayonet charges we had been planning? No more 20mm cannons? Does this mean no more ICBM’s too? Holy crap, how are we going to function???

Ok, enough being silly. Let me address this with at least some sincerity.

Those “grenade launchers” that agencies received are nothing more than a 40mm launcher, but “grenade launcher” just sounds more scarier. Agencies, at least to my knowledge, are not using 40mm HE (high explosive) ammo. I know of no instances where cops were lobbing grenades and blowing up people or stuff. What they are using those launchers for is a huge variety of less lethal ammunition that is designed for crowd control use and various types of chemical agents which are used for both crowd control and for barricaded suspects. A number of those 40mm less lethal munitions can be seen on Safariland’s website (impact and chemical). I mean really, God forbid the feds provide law enforcement agencies with obsolete military gear that can be used as less lethal options for resolving situations. That would be horrible…

bayonet_1301Bayonets? I am not even going to address that, unless of course someone can provide me a single picture of an on-duty cop anywhere in the US with a bayonet affixed to his rifle. Until then, this is just plain stupid.

Moving on to those nasty armored vehicles. I honestly do not see what difference it makes if the vehicle is wheeled or tracked. Is tracked more evil or deadly? It is not as if agencies have been given M1 Abrams tanks (the scary “T” word that media keeps using when referring to armored cars). Armored vehicles serve only one purpose for law enforcement, and that is to provide cops with a bullet proof/resistant vehicle to use in high risk scenarios, such as riot control and barricaded suspect/hostage situations. Throughout this article, they continue to refer to Ferguson as an example, yet the majority of the armored vehicles I saw there were in fact Lenco Bearcats, not military handouts, and definitely not tracked vehicles.

“Weaponized aircraft?” Again, not even going to address this idiotic notion other than to say it is not even happening. The fact that it is even mentioned just shows that this is all nothing more than a song and dance to placate the loudly screaming, uninformed idiots.

As for the “firearms and ammo of .50 cal or greater”, I am a bit confused. I suppose that some agencies may have possibly received an M2 at some point, and I concur that a Browning M2 machine gun has absolutely no use in law enforcement, but is it such a widespread issue that it needs to be addressed by the president, on a national stage? How many of those are out there? How many have been deployed on the streets? What other firearms or ammunition is law enforcement receiving from the feds that are larger than .50 cal? Again, more great sound bites to quell the yelling masses.

CamoFinally we get to the clincher, that one thing that will solve all the law enforcement related strife in the US; those damned camo uniforms! You know, because so many cops are running around in camo on a daily basis, and doing camo things with their camo clothing… Camouflage uniforms, as far as law enforcement is concerned, are typically only worn by one group of people, and that is the SWAT team. The problem is the media and cop haters both take about a zillion pictures of SWAT personnel in camo and plaster those photos all over the internet, making it appear that the cops are all out there in military camo, which is far from the truth. While camo has very little useful application in riot control, it actually has does play an important role in many of the things that SWAT units train for, such as hostage situations and barricaded subjects. From a simple logistics standpoint, it does not make any sense for SWAT to have five different uniforms to choose from, which is why their tactical uniform is typically some sort of camouflage, and for larger agencies, is usually purchased by the agency anyway, not surplus.

Let us take a quick look at the bigger picture here. There has been no documented “misuse” of any of these items listed here. Please point me to a news story that discusses any sort of grenade launcher use, bayonetting, attack helicopters, etc. Yes, you will probably find story after story talking about how scary “tanks” and that evil camo are, but find me one where the actual usage was documented. This is all about appearance, about image, about playing a card and nothing more.

Now, for my personal take on this (pulling on my tin foil hat).  This action by Obama is yet another sleight of hand to appease the useful idiots.  He has been taking little steps, one at a time, toward a national police force, something he actually called for from the beginning in his campaign, and this is just another rung on that ladder.  He has even had his buddy Al Sharpton out calling for a national police force.  If you do not believe that is Obama’s goal, don’t take my word for it, take his:

Now, for a final point to ponder: If you think having local control of law enforcement is bad, just imagine how great a job the feds will do.

“DIAL-A-DAD” & HOW IT RELATES TO THE SOFTENING OF AMERICA

130101080739-frustrated-mom-story-top-300x168(This is a reposting of an article I originally wrote while contributing at Joe For America. It was originally published May 17, 2013)

I’ve been dealing with this scenario for so long, I had forgotten how strange it was until just a few days ago when I was talking to Joe (the Plumber) on the telephone and the topic somehow came up. What scenario am I talking about? Well, that would be a law enforcement call for service that those of us in law enforcement refer to as the “Dial-A-Dad”.

The “Dial-A-Dad” is essentially when a parent, for one reason or another, calls the cops to come and discipline their child. I am not talking about the 6’ tall, 200 pound high school football lineman out of control child who is physically fighting their parents/neighbors/siblings. I am talking about the young kids who are not eating their dinner, going to bed, doing their homework, etc. I have responded to these calls for children as young as 6 years old. And yes, people really do call the cops for this.

I find it both humorous and sad at the same time. The fact that any adult would even consider calling the cops because their young child will not do what they are told is so ridiculous, it screams of something from a sitcom. Unfortunately, it is all too real.

On a deeper note, I find these calls a sad reflection on today’s society and the utter lack of personal responsibility. People have become so reliant on the government that they are now calling the government to discipline their child. Others complain that their children do not show them respect, so in some twisted, distorted form of logic, they think that calling the cops on their child will somehow make that child respect them. The fact is that their actions so brilliantly display their weakness that their child can plainly see it, and that realization on the child’s part does nothing but further erode what little respect that child has for their parent’s authority.

I remember about a year back watching a video by Bill Whittle where he talked about the left’s attack on the alpha-male role in society. When looking at the frequency of these “Dial-A-Dad” calls, it strongly supports what Bill was talking about in that video, and what Doug Giles at The Clash Daily talks about often, and that is the Wussification of America. Whittle does an excellent talking about this in the video I previously mentioned.

As a cop, when responding to these “Dial-A-Dad” calls, I will always speak to the parent away from the child to try and convey my concerns I listed above, but it often falls on deaf ears. These parents are so programmed to rely on government to solve their problems that they are unable to see they are the only ones capable of fixing the problem for the long term, as relying on someone else to discipline only detracts from their role as the authority figure in the household. Many times, I will ask the parent “What would your parents have done if you were behaving like your child?” to which they often reply “smack my butt” or something similar. I usually pause at that point while looking at them with a “uh huh” look on my face, and then I ask “It worked, didn’t it?” Sometimes I can see the light bulb turn on, but more often than not it stays dim.

Now, I am most definitely not suggesting that beating children is the way to solve all the problems they might present, but I have got to think that a quick smack on the butt by a parent is a far better solution to correcting behavior/discipline issue than calling the cops, but then maybe I am just old fashioned that way.

I cannot imagine my parents or grandparents even remotely considering calling the cops because of something I had done. For that matter, I feared my parents finding out about my screw-ups more than I feared the cops, which is as it should be. The parents role is not just to be a loving, food and shelter provider, but also to educate and discipline their children so that they too can grow up to be responsible adults. The sooner society remembers that, the sooner we can get back to being the America I remember. As we all know, children are the future voters and future leaders. When children, with no respect for authority or American values, grow up they become adults with no respect for authority or American values, and they end up electing Barack Obama, who respects neither authority nor American values.

No Video For You!

6490562_GI just finished reading this U-T San Diego article titled “Police Use of Body Camera Video Debated” and I am at a total loss.  Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego (a democrat, there’s a shock) is pushing a law that would make it illegal for officers wearing body cameras to review the video recording of an incident before writing their report.  I am trying to figure out how one attempts to rationalize something like that, and I am coming up blank.  The only reason I can figure is that you perceive the cops as the bad guys and the suspects as some sort of oppressed victims.  I mean really, am I missing some other logical reason?

“Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, and civil rights advocates say police in California should not be permitted to view the footage early on because it’s not fair to criminal defendants and it’s not the intended use of the cameras.”

Sorry, come again?  How is reviewing video “not fair to criminal defendants”???  I did not realize it was law enforcement’s job to be “fair to criminals”.  Well, crap!  Here all this time, I have been under the impression that our job was to apprehend criminals and present the best, most accurate case against them as possible.  Silly me…

And if capturing the facts of what transpired is not the intended use of a body cam, then what is the purpose???

“Weber said the primary role of body cameras is to de-escalate incidents between police and the general public, not to serve as a reference for officers as they write reports.”

Oh, okay.  I gotcha, body cams are not intended to record the facts of an incident; they are primarily to be used as an intimidation tool against the cops, to keep those evil bastards in line.  Roger that.

Further, according to the author, the “Officers with the Oakland Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s jail deputies are prohibited from” reviewing the video before writing their reports currently.  I honestly cannot believe there are actually departments that prevent officers from viewing the video footage before writing their reports.  Do they also prevent officers from reviewing their notes?  Their in-car camera video?  Any surveillance camera footage?  What is next, not allowing them to remember things?  And no more talking to witnesses?

I’m sorry, but there is no logically defensible reason to prevent officers from viewing the video before writing their reports.  The camera is a tool which is designed to, as best as possible, accurately record the incident, just like a notepad, CAD event printout (for those agencies using a computer aided dispatch, or CAD system), radio traffic recordings, surveillance camera footage, in car cameras and witness statements.  The goal of all of those tools is to produce the most accurate police report possible, which will either prove the suspect guilty, or exonerate them.  Anyone arguing against review of the video is someone whose ass will never be on the line in a court for something they were forced to write from memory alone.

Incidents captured on body camera, just like any other video camera, can range from the most benign consensual contact to a very long, very traumatic, life and death struggle.  To suggest an officer not be allowed to use that resource is asinine!  That would be like me trying to complete a pursuit report from a 30 mile pursuit where the suspect threw guns and drugs from the car while weaving through crowded city streets without reviewing my in-car camera footage.  Yeah, it can be done, but there are going to be errors.  Why on earth would you intentionally want errors in a crime report?

This is an open invitation to any administrators, and especially to any CA lawmaker who thinks this is a good idea:  You are welcome to spend a week with me, in my patrol car, while wearing a body camera.  After each encounter, you will be required to write a report about the incident.  When it is all said and done, we will compare your reports to the video footage and see just how accurate your reports are.

The fact that there are administrators are already preventing cops from reviewing evidence before they complete their reports reminds me of one of the 20 undeniable truths of law enforcement:

13. There are too many people calling the shots who never worry about being shot at. It would behoove every leader to get into a patrol car on a regular basis. Patrol gives the gift of proper perspective.

The day my department, or in this case, the state prevents me from reviewing any and all evidence before I write my reports is the day I hand in my badge and walk away!
-Matt