Trinidad's drug busts ... and Pinocchio's nose

The Trinidad drug bust fiasco continues, like Pinocchio's nose, to grow:

The Snitch Who Stole Christmas

It was on the front page of yesterday's Trinidad Chronicle, and KOAA has been running with it for nearly a year.

Sloppy police work leads to dozens of dismissals

We can only wonder at the enormous erections that must have been generated by this, among the super-patriotic flag-waving right-wingers throughout southeastern Colorado, as the forces of Law and Order crushed the evil criminals with all-American righteousness.

Unfortunately, the cops once again look like complete morons - with considerable justification:

A surprising number were not only loudly proclaiming their innocence, but were insisting that the transactions they were accused of making couldn't have happened at the times and places described. Yet none of this appears to have triggered any skepticism among police or prosecutors -- not until the entire operation began to unravel, just weeks after the big bust ...

... Defense attorneys probing the case soon discovered numerous misleading or false statements in the sworn affidavits submitted to obtain the arrest warrants. The affidavits routinely stated that the dope purchased by the informants had field-tested positive for heroin, meth or some other controlled substance; in several instances, though, subsequent testing by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation indicated that the substance in question had no narcotic qualities at all. Although the informants were wired, the affidavits offered only bare excerpts of the conversations recorded and little dialogue that suggested a buy was taking place. And there was no information provided about how the targets were selected, how the meetings were arranged, or what the informants were getting out of the deal.

and the dopers among us - and they are Legion - have one more argument for their 'cause.'

District Attorney Ruybalid and Trinidad police chief Charles Glorioso did not respond to repeated requests for comment about the operation.

No surprise there. I'll wager they've lawyered up like a pedophile confronted with a hard drive full of selfies.

Meanwhile ...

As for the two confidential informants who lied, Carla Hernandez was not charged with perjury after openly admitting she wasn't being truthful in court. Bachicha is charged with perjury and pleaded guilty.

She will be sentenced in February 2015.

Rybalid, Glorioso, and da Judge ... southeast Colorado's own version of The Three Stooges.


Pocatello Police Shooting

Killer Kops DRT another one ... this time after an escape and a foot pursuit. The comments in the article from the Idaho State Journal are particularly telling as to citizen attitudes toward this type of reaction.

Cops kill unarmed escapee

Then ... the drama continued with more escapes, possibly with assistance from outside the detention facility:

Following the police shooting of an unarmed escapee in Pocatello, Idaho, four more prisoners escaped, or were possibly released from custody by activists. During the escape, the co-owner of the facility was in fact brutally attacked and suffered several broken ribs. One of the escapees was shot down in cold blood by the slaughterhouse's co-owner; one was taken into custody, and two remain at large. Stories of heavily armed police SWAT teams roving the area remain unconfirmed, as citizens reportedly cower in fear in their homes ... meanwhile, owners of the 'custodial' facility from which the bovines escaped are receiving hate mail and possibly death threats ...

Two escapees remain at large

As it turns out, both episodes were part of an on-going conspiracy. Hats off to Pocatello PD for putting a stop to it before things got completely out of hand. The following video provides outstanding insight into a little understood revolutionary movement. It's the Che Guevara reference that spooks all we leftovers from the Cold War era. I understand that Department of Homeland Security has undercover operatives in the Pocatello area, scoping out the ringleaders of the local cell

"Once more, dear friends ..."

Once more.


Once more, into the breach ...

Remember those surveys Urban Renewal put out regarding the Tabares Building? The one where they sought 'community input?'

It turns out they really didn't mean it. Take a look at the November Urban Renewal meeting, wherein that survey is pretty much discounted. It didn't tell them what they wanted to hear, so it got dumped.

Frank McKenzie: Are you going to discuss the survey and those results?

Edward Vela: 88 surveys said to demolish.

Frank McKenzie: Do you feel any responsibility to the people about that?

Jeffri Pryun: I didn’t fill out a survey. If the survey was going to be the deciding factor I would have filled one out. A dozen people have expressed their opinion and didn’t fill out a survey. 

So what was the point of the survey, if it didn't mean anything? Clearly at least one board member knew beforehand that the survey was nothing more than a sop to the unwashed masses ... otherwise, would she not have filled one out?

Rebecca Goodwin: What the majority said that was based upon Urban Renewal putting the
money in to button up the building or rehab or demolish. This is something nobody thought about before and might be another option. What I would say they have a concern with the Urban Renewal money and that there was no longer a DOLA grant. We were looking at all Urban Renewal money. That is a concern to me. We can get help from other people. I would also like to help Mike with an elevator.

MOTION: Rebecca Goodwin made a motion to table any decision on the Plaza Building until the December meeting to give Mike Vigil an opportunity to come back with a more detailed proposal giving him 30 days to come up with more details. Nancy Bennett seconded the motion.

Rick Klein: These are two independent projects – Plaza Building and elevator for the mall.
Rachel Wallace: Are you putting something in the paper about the survey results? If you don’t people will say you didn’t listen to them. You need to address that. This is something new in light of that survey.

Jenny Mathew: From the survey it seems lot of people were concerned because there was no parking and there is parking available. The 2.2 million dollars is very scary. People say you can leverage the money with grants. I think it could be rehabbed for less than demolition. 

$2.2 million for rehab ... and it would cost more than that to demolish it?

Chairperson Leonard: I have had four young people say you are never going to get their opinion if  you send out surveys in the paper or radio. They say you need to put it on facebook.

Facebook. Now there's a reliable means of gauging public opinion.

Rebecca Goodwin: That discussion did come up at our website committee meeting about a way  to get community input through the Urban Renewal website.

Randle Roberson: Voters have input in the survey. It was not an issue of parking. It was an issue of historic preservation. On one side you are trying to find reasons for not spending Urban Renewal money - not 2.2 million dollars on that building. I would be in favor of spending but not on that building.

Rebecca Goodwin: The ongoing discussion on the survey it is a mute point. The numbers that came from that whether people participated or not are part of the survey. This discussion needs to be done. The majority of people that did respond did say demolish. That is something different based on Urban Renewal putting money into rehab, button up or demolish. This is a new chapter with a new proposal that we haven’t had in the past. We need to move forward and see if this proposal is feasible and might work. That needs to be the discussion if we want to move forward.

So they changed the game plan - again - because the votes weren't what they wanted - again - and we hop on the merry go 'round - again.

Give Mike 30 days to come up with a proposal.

Chairperson Leonard: Rachel had a good point about letting the public know what the survey showed.

Mike Pruyn: That survey is not a vote. Would be a lot different if we took every response from our surveys. Surveys can be skewered.

Yes, surveys can be skewed whichever way ... especially when they are written by amateurs who know nothing about constructing survey questions, and especially when the results either never see the light of day, or are only partially revealed.

There's some pretty good tap-dancing and rationalization going on there, don't you think?

You can read the entire exchange here:

Minutes of the November 2014 Urban Renewal Meeting

which are in the archives section.

How many studies and surveys and motions and votes and re-votes and still more surveys have to be accomplished before we are rid of this albatross?

Last time I looked, we are allowed to ask such questions. Or should I have just filled out a survey form?


Literary and historical footnote: That's the first part of the opening line of "Henry V" - full title being "The Life of King Henry the Fifth," one of The Bard's epics. The full line is "Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English dead." Henry utters this as he stands before Harfleur during the siege of that fair city in the late summer of 1415. You can watch the whole thing, including Sir Kenneth's famous rendition of Henry's 'Band of Brothers' speech:

in the 1989 flick. But we wander ...


The Trillion Dollar Bill and New Philadelphia

Our hard-working CongressCreatures recently 'saved' us all by voting The Trillion Dollar Bill into being.

This will 'keep the government going' (you'll notice I avoided 'keep the goverment working') and will fund the continuing defense of the nation.

This is a serious bit of defense work that was funded by our hard-working CongressCreatures. I sleep more soundly at night, knowing that "rough men" like Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk and their accomplices are keeping our nation safe:

"Defense bill has provision for New Philadelphia Illinois’ senators say federal defense legislation includes a request to a study if a national park designation is merited for the New Philadelphia archaeological site in western Illinois.

Congress on Friday sent the defense bill to President Barack Obama.

Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk say the bill includes a provision directing the secretary of the interior to conduct a study on the site. New Philadelphia was plotted in 1836 as the first fully racially integrated community before the Civil War. It is the site of the first town founded and built by a freed slave before the Civil War. The senators say designating it as part of the National Park System would ensure the area is protected. They say agricultural activity threatens some of the site’s architectural features. The Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield is currently the only National Park Service site in Illinois."

 New Philadelphia?

Clearly, this is a top issue in national defense. I understand that the 1st Battalion of the 2nd Heavy Combat Park Rangers Brigade stands ready to kick some serious ass ... but first they seem to be scheduled to train elements of the 4th Infantry Division in keeping tourists from feeding the squirrels. Waydago, you bozos. Oink oink.


"A white rage ..."

Pelosi, Reid, Feinstein ... and their accomplices ... are engaging in a great deal of self-righteous scrambling for 'the moral high ground' as the report on the CIA's 'enhanced interrogation techniques' and other behaviors comes to the fore.

They are shocked, shocked, they tell us.

They are, in fact, cowards, and their posturing and pandering is the epitome of cowardice.

Pelosi knew ... and did not object

"It burns with a white rage against societies as a whole, from military leaders and chiefs of state to comfortable civilians in easy chairs, who send rough men out to serve their interests brutally, murderously, and then—when circumstances change and in the exquisite safety and fastidiousness of their living rooms they suddenly find these rough men’s actions repugnant—disown them."

1981 May, Commentary, “The Uniforms That Guard Us” by Richard Grenier, Start Page 73, Quote Page 76, Volume 71, Number 5, American Jewish Committee, New York. (Verified on paper)


Toy Guns and Circling the wagons

If you haven't seen the report on the DoJ investigation of Cleveland PD, you can get it here:

Investigation of the Cleveland Division of Police

In the summary of findings, there is this: "The employment of poor and dangerous tactics that place officers in situations where avoidable force become inevitable and places officers and civilians at unnecessary risk."

I think that would be more correctly written as "... where use of force that would otherwise be avoidable becomes inevitable ..." but I ain't one a them there edjimikated US attorneys.

This is precisely what happened with the shooting of that kid who had the toy gun. In the video, we see the patrol car come ripping right up to the pavilion where the kid is, putting the passenger cop right on top of a 'person with a gun'. So as the cop is looking out the window, he sees this guy/kid with what looks like a real gat, right there within a few feet. So the cop comes out a-shootin', which is actually a fairly rational behavior under those circumstances.

The police car rolls up at 2:21.

Toy gun that looks real; real gun that isn't loaded ... how does the cop know, and do we really expect him to wait for the first shot? The problem here, based on what we see, is either training, or supervision, or both. They either were not trained on how to respond to a call like that, or they were, and for whatever reason it didn't take, in which case where is the adult leadership and supervision?

So we have a dead kid, a community in an uproar, a cop twisting in the wind ... and police administrators and politicians running for cover, circling the wagons, and pointing fingers in all directions, which is all too often what they do best.

But this time ... we have the DoJ report, and not only that, but the report cites another investigation ten years ago, same 'issues,' and asking, 'was anything done about that?"

Have fun with them there wagons, boys, up there in police HQ and the mayoral palace. I think them Injuns is about to overrun y'all.


The Moral High Ground

I have been watching the various media maggots going on in breathless outrage over the Senate findings regarding 'enhanced interrogation' by the CIA.

I also listened to John McCain's views, and why he disagrees with the use of 'enhanced interrogation.' I am generally, but not totally, in agreeance with McCain.

It has nothing to do with taking the moral high ground, as we see our Beloved President trying to assume, along with various Congressional slimeballs. I'm not so interested in the moral high ground. It's something else entirely. McCain pointed out, correctly, I think, that 'enhanced interrogation' or 'pressured compliance' has not proven particularly effective in gaining useful information or cooperation. It is difficult to argue this with McCain, considering his personal experiences along these lines. Some dispute that, mostly notably Dick Cheney ... but Brother Dick has a personal stake in it, so there is a large grain of salt to be taken there.

I expect it is an effective measure if applied under such circumstances influencing Samuel L. Jackson's character in 'Rules of Engagement,' an action with which I would be in complete agreeance.

I think perhaps much less so when in a prison or some other holding environment, trying to beat info out of someone. I think drugs, sleep deprivation, isolation, mind games, that sort of thing, would in the long term be more effective. But then, sleep deprivation is one of the things over which opponents have their knickers in a knot. I'm not really understanding the hoo-hah all that well. It isn't like Sheriff Shawn is beating Otero County residents with rubber hoses in the back cells at the SO. We aren't talking about civilian police and our own people here.

I am not about to forget the 2,977 whose only sin was going to work on September 11th, and for those whose only "moral imperative" that day was to turn and perish in the fire or step out of the window, or who were crushed into oblivion in the collapsing towers, along with those who tried to save them. Nor those who have perished before or since ... be they the Marines in Beirut, or poor terrified souls having their heads sawn off by some spawn of Satan.

Generally, screw (I have a more colorful term in mind) those who would murder us, who would destroy us and our families. It isn't a matter of taking the moral high ground. It's a matter of getting the best, and the most, information that can be used to kill more of them.

A sidenote for Our Beloved President: It's difficult to occupy the moral high ground when you are known throughout the world as "The Drone President."

How do ya like the double meaning in that one.

Toy guns

Guaranteeing that every 'gun of color' is a toy gun:


All that glitters ...

Glendale, AZ, has an annual bit of festivity they call 'Glendale Glitters.'

Here is a the link to Glendale Glitters imagery on Google:

Glendale Glitters images

We've been there. It's quite enjoyable. Festive. Wouldn't this be a nice look for the Santa Fe Plaza? Especially if we could get a couple of stores to stay open?

We really like Glendale Glitters. They have shops, restaurants ,etc open all around the square, and back a block or two. Sadly, many of the doo-dad shops sell a bunch of Chinese crap, but there is still a good selection of local goods. The restaurants and coffee shops are generally quite good.

Note there are no tumbleweed trees.

The Anthem Christmas tree is another favorite, especially for the kids. You can't miss it as you come into Phoenix from the north, on I-17.

The Anthem Christmas Tree

I don't suppose we need a 112 foot tree, but a 'real' tree of some size down yonder at Santa Fe Plaza would be nice, don't you agree?

If Our Beloved President can speechify whilst lighting the national tree ... I would think local politicians would leap at a similar chance on a local scale.

But we aren't looking at that. We have a bug up our butts over a tumbleweeds Christmas tree.

I suppose a tumbleweeds Christmas tree would be a bit of a novelty in the urban setting, but personally, I see a tumbleweed tree, here in an agricultural community on the high plains, as incredibly poorly advised.

But if we are going to be the laughingstock of every rancher and farmer between here and the Nebraska line ... let's do it right. Let's include some Russian olives (bare branches decorate well, as we see in Glendale Glitters) and tamarisk along with the tumbleweeds tree. That way, we can have three of the most noxious water-wasting weeds in the state, on which millions of tax dollars are spent every year for eradication and control, representing our commitment to conserving our water and protecting and preserving our shortgrass prairie. The rest of eastern Colorado - except for recently arrived transplants from California or the east coast, and locals who have taken complete leave of their senses - can ROTF LTAO at us, along with the goofs who buy this stuff:

Organic Montana medium tumbleweed

Note how the sale is pitched to appeal to the urban drone. How about that 'organic?' Is that a nice touch, or what. Me, I'd add that it was a non-GMO item as well.

But that's just me. And Leece. And what do we know. Other than we're going to start collecting tumbleweeds and sell them to clueless urban hipsters. With free shipping, of course.

For a nominal charge, Leece will even throw in a crocheted prairie dog spare toilet paper roll cover. Very rustic.


Mr. Majestyk Park

So, after all these years, and all those trips passing by, we finally did it.

We found ourselves standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona.

Winslow is cashing in on 'Take it Easy,' with their Standing on the Corner Park.

Here are a few shots:

It's the girl, my Lord, with her flatbed Ford!

From the website:

Now you can stand on the corner in historic downtown Winslow, like thousands of people do every year, and have your picture taken at the Standin' on the Corner Park. The park features the artwork of muralist John Pugh and sculptor Ron Adamson.

And thousands of people, who would otherwise get their gas, grits, and coffee at the Flying J at Exit 255 and hie on down the Interstate, are moved to stop in downtown Winslow to get a selfie. There are several businesses, including a couple of restaurants, right around the park; the smell of sausage and bacon and pancakes wafting down the street is a pretty big draw ...

So ... if Winslow Arizona can cash in on the Eagles - you really would not believe the steady flow of picture takers on that corner - why can't The Smile Hi do the same with its own moment of Filmdom Fame? Why not have a sculpture of Charles Bronson standing next to that pile of welded together farm scraps, and name the old Kit Carson site "Mr. Majestyk Park" and on Early Settlers' Day, have a shootout on Colorado in front of the post office? If Royal Gorge can have Old West gunfights, pulling in tourists by the hundreds, if not thousands, can't we have a bit of excitement, too?

Starting at 1:03, you will see some quick views of the famous shootout at 4th and Colorado, in front of the post office.

Who is Charles Bronson? Bronson was, at one time, the most famous American actor in the world. Not the US, but the rest of the world. Here is an excerpt from Roger Ebert's interview with Bronson, at the old Capri:

Charles Bronson is said to be the world's most popular movie star. Not America's. He will grant you Robert Redford in America. But in the world it is Charles Bronson. There is a sign in Japan, his publicist says, that displays Bronson's name a block long ...

and here is the entire interview:

"It's just that I don't like to talk very much"

But wait! There's more!

"[Bronson] knew that I was in La Junta to interview him. What other mission would have drawn me to the cantaloupe capital of Colorado, where Bronson was shooting "Mr. Majestyk," a movie about a melon farmer with union troubles?"

Indeed. And if that worked for Roger Ebert, then what about the multitudes who pass through and by what should be "Mr. Majestyk Park," who could be ... should be ... stopping off to snap selfies in front of the famous post office, and snuffle at the Copper Kitchen? And perhaps visit the re-born Capri?

The movie was pure '70's Bronson. The acting was not great, but it's better than you will find in "Criminal Minds" or "NCIS" or other such pap. I loved the shoot out scene in front of the post office. There are still people in town today who remember that scene being shot. Some of them didn't realize at first that it was part of a movie. And how about when Jim Brooks, who was an LJPD officer back in that time frame, escorted Bronson into the old PD entrance, back before the extension, when the antenna mast was still in the parking lot along with that red fire thingie from the old Hoser days. Brooksie was wearing an OCSO uniform, though, complete with an Eberly Cowboy Hat.

My favorite Bronson flicks include Breakheart Pass (based on the Alistair MacLean novel); The Magnificent Seven; The Great Escape; The Dirty Dozen; and Death Hunt. That last one is noteworthy for the display of so many of the world's finest rifles. From a review:

As in a Western, the characters are larger than life. But the setting is a more recent (and colder) frontier. Here you can see the full array of leverguns at their finest, from Winchesters long and short to the Savage 99 Bronson's sourdough makes sing. You can also see a mix of single and double barrel scatterguns, sporterized SMLE's and Marvin's sporterized Krag. All very realistic and in keeping with the arms of the interwar northern frontier. The scene where Bronson rises from the ashes of his cabin and fan fires a trench gun into the posse is on par with John Wayne in "True Grit"

But we wander afield. The point is that Charles Bronson was one of America's great actors, and he filmed one of his cultiest of cult flicks right here in the Smile Hi, right in the middle of downtown La Junta.

So why not, a "Mr. Majestyk" Park?

What the hey ... the arts and crafts crowd could even set up their tumbleweeds tree there.


"So help me God ..."

USAF has once again stepped on its pecker over religion. It wasn't enough that they got their heads handed to them over the forced proselytizing and abuse of 'non-Christian' or 'improperly Christian' cadets up at USAFA ... so back in October 2013 they changed the manner of administering the oath of enlistment to *require* troops to include 'so help me God.'

The oaths of enlistment and commissioning are defined in the US Code, and they both include the phrase 'so help me God' at the end.

The problem with that, is the existence of the US Constitution, which explicitly states that "...  but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." 

It seems somewhat contradictory that an oath to protect and defend the Constitution would actually violate the Constitution, but it does ... or at least, it would, were it actually required of oath-takers to include that 'so help me God' phrase.

Until USAF got another evangelical bug up its ass, it has never been required of any oath-taker to actually include that phrase. So the conflict between the US Code and the Constitution has never really gotten out of hand. Many, possibly most, do include the oath. But many choose not to, and that is - according to the Constitution they are swearing to protect and defend - their right. It is not up to the Air Staff to decide otherwise.

A good many of the 'Christian' Right have a bug up *their* asses over the shocking revelation (as opposed to Revelation) that there are not only people who don't recite the phrase, and who not only refuse adamantly to do so, but who are willing to make a huge stink over being required to include it.

They need to get over it. It should suffice that a person be willing to serve the nation, and if necessary, bleed for it, and quite possibly die for it. Anything else is so much BS, and rather than express their self-righteous prickishness, they should simply be glad there are those willing to serve.

The old saw that 'there are no atheists in foxholes' is also so much BS. Staunch believers, overwhelmed by the butchery and destruction of warfare, have asked, "What kind of God allows this?" and not receiving any coherent answers from God's professionals, cease believing. OTOH, others, cowering (even the bravest will cower under the right conditions; it is what they do in spite of the cowering that makes them 'the bravest') in their foxholes whilst the (insert enemy of choice) blasts the landscape around them to a blood-soaked shambles, choose to allow God's embrace. All of that has nothing to do with the oath of enlistment. You'll note that it is a matter of personal choice and conviction, not something mandated by a pompous ass in a blue uniform.

So the Religious Right has once again completely missed the boat in their rants, raves, and shock and dismay.

Meanwhile, our national cemeteries continue to include not just those deemed acceptable by the Religious Right, but all who have served and died for us. The VA has several dozen different markers for the various faiths and non-faiths. You will find them all in one cemetery or another.

God bless the Armed Forces of the United States, and *all* who serve in them.


Facts can be troublesome things

Does anyone remember Detective Melvin Santiago? He was a Jersey City police officer who was shot to death just a month ago, on July 13th. Santiago was white. His killer, Lawrence Campbell, was black. Does anyone recall Obama appearing before national television and calling for justice for Officer Santiago's family? Does anyone recall Eric Holder rushing to Jersey City to see that justice was done?

How about Officer Jeffrey Westerfield. He was a Gary, Indiana police officer who was shot to death last month on July 6th. Westerfield was white. His killer, Carl LeEllis Blount, Jr. was black. Where was Obama? Where was Holder?

Or Officer Perry Renn? He was an Indianapolis, Indiana police officer who was shot to death just last month on July 5th, the day before Officer Westerfield was killed. Officer Renn was white. His killer, Major Davis, was black. I don't recall any mention by Obama about the untimely death of Officer Renn. And, I doubt that Eric Holder rushed to Indianapolis to make sure justice was done. Or, maybe I just missed it.

Vermillion Parish Deputy Sheriff Allen Bares was gunned down by two men just last June 23rd in Louisiana. Deputy Bares was white. His two killers, Quintlan Richard and Baylon Taylor, were black. Was Obama outraged? Did Eric Holder rush to Louisiana to make sure that the family of Deputy Bares found justice?

In Killeen, TX, Detective Charles Dinwiddie of the Killeen Police Department was murdered by Marvin Lewis Guy, a black male. Officer Dinwiddie was white. This happened on May 11th, just over two months ago. I don't even recall seeing anything about that on the news. Certainly, the white citizens in Killeen didn't take to the streets to loot and burn businesses. Again, I don't recall any mention by Obama or Holder.

Then, there is Officer Kevin Jordan of the Griffin, Georgia Police Department. He was gunned down just two months ago on May 31st. Officer Jordan was black. His killer, Michael Bowman, was white. This was a white man murdering a black police officer. Where was Jesse Jackson? Where was "The Reverend" Al Sharpton? Was there looting and burning on the streets of Griffin, Georgia? No. In fact, I don't recall hearing about this one in the news, as well. Why? You can draw your own conclusions.

Over the past 60 days, there have been five reported deaths of police officers by gunshot in the US. Of those, four were white officers who were murdered by black men. Blacks complain that white officers threaten black men more aggressively on the street. You can draw your own conclusions on that one, as well.


Jay Nixon: A shameful excuse for a governor

John Darkow, who does political cartoons, most of which are spot on and some of which are less so, has a pretty good one here:

There is a certain truth to Maslow's observation, which is why adult leadership and supervision is helpful.

That is not always available. In 1965, Barney had his one bullet, and Andy was providing the adult supervision, and doing a pretty good job of it. Then ... by 1968, it was quite apparent that neither Andy nor Barney, with his one bullet, was up to the job of keeping the peace, and neither were many metro PD's - anyone recall the Chicago riots in April '68, and again at DNC in Chicago in 1968? Now there are some examples of po-po thuggery that would curl Cap'n Ron's toes.

 How about the rest of that Long Hot Summer in over 100 cities nationwide?

By then, the militarization had begun. It got a good jolt again with the Clinton 'Crime Bill' and something like $5 billion injected into local PD budgets, and again with all that free money from the Department of Homeland Security.

The funding for all of these 'toys' does not come out of thin air. Budgets are approved by governing bodies. So the 'militarization' that suddenly seems so onerous is directly attributable to elected officials ... representatives of The People. If The People don't like this 'militarization' all they have to do is look to themselves.

In the immortal words of Bobby Kennedy: "Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on."

American society would seem to be hoist by its own petard.

But wait! There's more ... Missouri's governor, Jay Nixon, has been ranting about how 'thunderstruck' he is over how 'militarized' the police in Ferguson have become. He says the Ferguson police were 'aggressive.' And he continues to be 'thunderstruck.'

Nixon speaks with a forked tongue. Clearly the man is frightened out of his wits over the uproar in Ferguson. Whether that is over the violence being done in the streets, or over the damage to his political career seems unclear, but my money is on the latter.

Nixon is so busy throwing the Ferguson cops under the bus - Nixon, along with his henchman Cap'n Roy, who has lost no opportunity to do the same -  that he has conveniently overlooked his role in this 'militarization.'

‘Thunderstruck?’: Missouri Governor Helped Ferguson Get Surplus Military Equipment

Nixon thought he was getting a good deal. The cops got the 'toys' they wanted, and Nixon's administration didn't have to pay for them.

Now, Nixon is doing more 'buck-pedaling' than our own Ken Buck.

Worse, he is now calling for 'vigorous' prosecution in the Ferguson shooting. He has no idea what really happened there, yet he is essentially calling for a lynching of the police officer.

It's a shameful display, by a shameful excuse for a governor. A pathetic little excuse for a man.


The Red Baron and Casper the Ghost

So this morning on the way in to the Smile Hi, we saw the Red Baron doing his crop dusting thing off Road 24.5. The Red Baron is a red low-wing monoplane, like an Air Tractor 502, though I'm not certain of exactly what it is.

But it is similar enough to the Lockheed YO-3 QuietStar, sometimes called 'Casper' by the troops, that it gave me one of those instant remembrances. I hesitate to call it a 'flashback,' as that often has a negative connotation.

During the last half of 1970, two Caspers were stationed at Binh Thuy, in Can Tho province. These things were so quiet, that all you could hear was a slight flutter from the prop as it approached, and maybe a slight 'rushing' noise from airflow over the wings, and that would be as it passed overhead, only a couple of hundred feet up. In addition to this silent operation, the Caspers also had a night vision periscope in the belly, which the pilot could use to observe the ground.

There were a couple of crews of local "freedom fighters" possessed of a Soviet M1938 120mm mortar, and a Chinese copy of the US M20 75mm recoiless rifle. Both crews had developed the annoying habit of lobbing in a couple of dozen rounds in the wee hours of the morning, to see what they could stir up. Among the things they did blow up were the chow hall and the water purification plant. The chow hall was not seen as much of a loss, but the water plant most certainly was.

The US Navy had a squadron of OV-10's at Binh Thuy, the Black Ponies. Unlike USAF OV-10's, which were used almost exclusively in a FAC role, the Black Ponies were shooters, and they were armed to the teeth. The two Caspers arrived, and they and the Black Ponies hatched a scheme ... the Caspers would go up about sunset, and the Black Ponies would rotate through starting about thirty minutes later. A couple of Ponies would be on station throughout the night.

We were sitting on the roof of the radar van the evening all this came to pass. We caught the movement of the Casper launching, but of course heard nothing. He turned and came back over the radar site, which was located right at the extreme edge of the perimeter, right where the tanglefoot and other wire and booby trap encumbrances began. Though he passed about a hundred feet overhead, we heard nothing but the aforementioned flutter and rushing noise. Whispering Death, you might say. A while later a couple of Black Ponies went up.

We were running Arc Light strikes along the Cambodian border (possibly in the same area where John Kerry had spent his Christmas fighting off the Commie hordes), so we went back to that. But we had the Ponies and Caspers up on one of the radios. About 1 in the morning the Casper picked up some movement and got a solid ID on the recoiless rifle crew. This was perhaps a thousand yards out from the perimeter, over toward the river. The 'river' was the Bassac, which drains the Ton Le Sap in Cambodia, and runs parallel to and south of the Mekong as that river empties out in the South China Sea.

The night was a black as the inside of a water buffalo. But we had some idea of where the Caspers and Ponies were, so we looked out that way. Shortly, we saw a dribble of brilliant white 'sapphires' tinged with blue fall out of the sky down to the ground ... and then the ground lit up like the 4th of July. These were the 2.75" rockets fired by the Ponies. Thus endeth the recoiless rifle crew.

Some people went out the next day and recovered the recoiless rifle and a bunch of rounds, and what was left of the crew. The VNAF who ran the base (it was actually a Vietnamese base, not US) hung the corpses up by their feet out in front of the main gate, on the main road. I'm not so sure this was a way to win anyone's hearts and minds, but it did seem to put the mortar crew off, as they never bothered us again. The recoiless rifle was put on display over by base HQ, along with other such memorabilia from previous engagements.

So thanks and a tip of the hat to the Red Baron for triggering what, some 44 years later, and a bit clouded by all those years, was one of those "Say, that reminds me of the time ..." moments.

Historical references:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binh_Thuy_Air_Base (if you enlarge the aerial photo of the base, you can barely discern the radar site, top left, a blob just off the perimeter road.)

http://www.blackpony.org/enhfl110run.jpg (a Pony armed and ready to roll)

And a pretty good blurb on the Chinese recoiless rifle, including a short clip of it being fired, possibly in Afganistan or Iraq: It remains a very popular item in the arsenals of 'freedom fighters' everywhere.




Here's an op-ed from an Obamanian drug policy adviser, Kevin Sabet.

What we here at Blogger Central find most interesting is ... this thing is published on CNN. The only thing that would be more amazing would be if it were on MSNBC. But if it were, it wouldn't be noticed. Does anyone watch MSNBC any more?

We wander afield ...

Here's the piece:

Colorado's troubles with pot

There is one excerpt we just have to share:

In fact, more than 450,000 incidents of emergency room admissions related to marijuana occur every year, andheavy marijuana use in adolescenceis connected to an 8-point reduction of IQ later in life, irrespective of alcohol use.

Heh heh heh ... based on observations of our local weed proponents, I'd say that estimation of IQ degeneration is a bit on the conservative side.

The Wall

The Repubs are making noises again about The Wall.  Not that Wall. This Wall:

Return of the Fence

The GOP is sounding a clarion call to renew the efforts to build a Wall, to keep all the illegals out.

(Note that the term 'illegal' is in some quarters being cloaked in the horror of 'the n-word,' but that hasn't reached Blogger Central quite yet.)

The Repubs, ever the students of history, want to build a wall from sea-to-shining-sea, down south.

Apparently this is because such things have always worked so well in the past. There's Hadrian's Wall, for example. Or perhaps they are looking at the successes of our good friends and benefactors, the Chinese, with their Great Wall?

Or perhaps the Berlin Wall, a study in reverse psychology?

Let's not forget the Antonine Wall, and the various Limes of Rome.

There are lots of walled cities throughout history. I believe most of them are in ruins, though some serve very well as very nice tourist destinations.

Then there's the Grogan Wall, and the Gates of Alexander. Still there, in bits and pieces, left lying there by the barbarians as they passed through.

More recently, we all no doubt remember McNamara's Wall: MUSCLE SHOALS/IGLOO WHITE. I remember that one very well, because, as Elmer Keith said, "Hell ... I was there!"

The list goes on ... I suppose, though, our wall would work, because, well, that was then and now is now, and we have, like drones, and even better sensors, and lots and lots of munny that we don't need for anything else.

We could call ours "Socrates' Wall". Because, as Socrates said: “Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.”

I wonder ... if the Mexican government, joining forces with the governments of the various Central American countries, were to build a Wall along the border to keep people *in,* would John Boehner then stand before that wall, oh, down in El Paso, and say something dramatic like "Ich bin ein Ciudad de México-er!" to tumultuous cheers from his Republican compatriots?

Or is it simply that the GOP, having no better idea than the rest of us what to do about this mess, are simply playing to the emotions of a pile of people, who, ignorant of history, want to doom us to repeat it?


The Tabares Building

The Tabares Building continues to occupy the various governmental processes about town. At the last city council meeting, Councilman Frank Mckenzie had some comments, which we present here, as there was no mention of these comments in the Tribune-Democrat article on the meeting:

McKenzie said he is sorry that he missed the joint meeting between the City Council and the Urban Renewal Board. He said he would like to address the Urban Renewal Board and make some comments and go on the record concerning the Plaza Building.

“Since I’ve been on Council, a year ago, Urban Renewal voted a majority vote to tear that building down. And the next meeting here we voted also to tear it down and we directed Rick to set out to get that done. I think that’s correct.

Then I attended an Urban Renewal meeting where Rainy Melgosa came in and presented another plan after the feasibility plan. And if I remember correctly at that meeting she was told to go to the SBDC Director to complete that plan. And I don’t believe that ever happened. She had some health problems so that didn’t happen. But we still got a vote to tear it down out there.

Now the next thing, in reading the Urban Renewal minutes that I’m kind of confused about – in my recollection when the Council voted to return the grant application, we did so because the grant application had been extended way out and time was running out.

And so we turned it back. So I don’t think that some of the things that are in the Urban Renewal Minutes present that quite clearly. I wanted to make that clear at that time,because I think that if you guys were to continue on, in my mind, on the path that you voted to go, that going back and searching for more funds – I don’t know why that would be a problem.

My biggest question is – to me it is just a real dilemma – as I read through this and you are now struggling over to rescind the vote – who votes on it? Boards turn over all the time. I doubt that you are going to find an attorney who says you’ve got to get the people who voted last time to vote again. How many times do you vote? Or do you have to vote that this is the last vote? This is really perplexing to me. I though democracies worked that you voted and the majority rules. I don’t see how this keeps going on. And it’s very confusing to the community. People I talk to want to know how does this happen.

And I guess, lastly, and I’m not trying to pick a fight, I am just trying to get some clarification. But I just can’t believe that, after having toured that building, (and I’ve also been through T O’s and the Mason building) and Urban Renewal owns the worst one. I think we have a liability there and I guess my biggest question is how come when you guys take a vote, and you take a vote three times, how do you get to keep voting? Just because you change board members, how do you get to keep voting?” 

Sandra Leonard answered that it didn’t take three votes to take the building down – it took two votes to take the building down. The third vote was on funding for the building and that’s where they are in an impasse. The board can’t agree on using Urban Renewal money to take the building down now. But there is still a majority vote to take the building down.

McKenzie asked Ms. Leonard about a statement she made in the Urban Renewal Minutes “we need to talk to an attorney if we want to change the focus of how the vote went.” McKenzie asked how do you change the focus of a vote. Leonard said the word “change” was a poor choice of words.

She said she did talk to an attorney about making sure that whatever direction they go, the board was proceeding legally and with Roberts Rules of Order.

Mayor Horner said that part of the reason the grant was turned back in was we were getting questioning from the State, especially the State Historical Preservation Office, wanting to know where our plan is. They accused us of only demolishing buildings and said they want to see a plan before they would okay a grant. He went on to say he didn’t think they would give us a grant anyway since we don’t have a plan.

McKenzie said he thought it was a demolition grant. The Mayor said no, it was a grant from DOLA that could have been used either way.

Mestas said we should stop talking about the Plaza Building until we finally have the money to tear it down. The subject gets brought up over and over – it needs to be taken off the table until Urban Renewal can decide something definite.

For those who have not been keeping up with this on-going theater, here is the background:

Kit Carson Redux?

Urban Renewal v. Tri-County Motors

Tabares Building Part 1 

Tabares Building Part 2

Tabares Building Part 3 

Tabares Building Part 4 



From the Party of American and Family Values ...

Married Congressman 'sorry' after bagged kissing staffer on camera

"There's no doubt I've fallen short and I'm asking for forgiveness. I'm asking for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff, and my constituents who elected me to serve. Trust is something I know has to be earned whether your (sic) a husband, a father, or a congressman. I promise to do everything I can to earn back the trust of everyone I've disappointed,” McAllister said in a statement.  

Having been caught, he is now sorry. Well, there's nothing like getting bagged on camera to bring the zipper up quickly and get the ol' "Forgive Me!" shuck and jive a-goin'.

Nice bit of 'buckpedaling' there. Getting caught certainly does wonders for one's 'moral stance,' doesn't it? 

McAllister campaigned as a Christian conservative. 

Yup. Well, perhaps he and Mike "When we as a nation feared God" Huckabee can huddle together in 'prayerful reconcilation' or somesuch ...

And here's the Grip and Grope.


Tom "Ol' 1Y" Tancredo

Well, Tancredo has tossed his hat in the ring.

First he was a Republican, then he wasn't, now he is ... and he is a-shootin' for the guvnership.

Since the Republicans insist on feeding us stale re-hash, here's a re-hash of reasons why we have no intention of voting for any of the Republican offerings, particularly this one:

Jumped ship too late?

Tancredo and 'the threat'

The Republicans' Chernobyl

Among other things, Ol' 1Y is what we call a 'Chickenhawk.' He never served in the armed forces of these United States; he got himself classified as "1Y" during the Vietnam war. That happened because he claimed he was depressed. So far as I know, he has never said why he was depressed, or what it was that depressed him. Perhaps it was the thought of going to Vietnam? Huh. I'll bet a lot of other guys wish they had thought of that one.

So he never served. That in itself is not all that big a deal. There are lots of people who never served in uniform. But Tancredo,  you see, is one of those guys who now claims "I wish I had had the opportunity to serve ..." and who now supports quite enthusiastically the Bush/Obama wars. He's glad to send your kids off to war ... but he was, like, you know ... too depressed himself. Tancredo is one of those saber-rattling, flag-waving, super-patriot Chickenhawks.

That's what the Republican party is offering us. That's what the 'Christian' Right is offering us.

When the Colorado Republicans can ...well ... if the Colorado Republicans can ever get themselves organized and present a slate of candidates that can actually provide some adult leadership, we might consider voting for a Republican candidate. But for the foreseeable future, that isn't going to happen, and the Republicans will continue to self-destruct, state-wide and on the national political scene. And we will hold our noses, and vote Democrat.


RNC Chairman Priebus and Mike "When we as a nation feared God" Huckabee

By way of demonstrating just how out of touch the RNC - and Republicans in general - are with the increasingly dissatisfied masses ...

RNC Chair Reince Preibus: "Mike Huckabee Could Be A ‘Model For A Lot Of People’ In The GOP"

In his comments about this time last year ...

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told reporters on Friday that former Arkansas Governor and talk show host Mike Huckabee could be “a model for a lot of people in our party.” Priebus made the comment as he was attempting to clarify a statement from earlier this week in which he expressed support for Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) who recently came out in favor of same-sex marriage after he discovered his son was gay.

That one opens a few doors.

First, we here at Blogger Central are of the opinion that there are already entirely too many people in the GOP who are just like Huckabee, and therein lies much of the GOP's problem.

Apparently Preibus and by extension the Republican Party faithful agree with Huckabee in American Values - or why I could vote for Obama. Here we see Mike Huckabee state, rather unequivocally, that he thinks Americans should be held at gunpoint in order to hear the pseudo-intellectual drivel spewed out by Brother Dave Barton. I'm afraid that that doesn't wash with all those quotes from the Constitution the Republicans and the Tea Party are so fond of slinging about. In fact, their 'agreeance' gives me pause to wonder if they've ever actually read the Constitution, much less actually thought about it.

Huckabee sank to new lows - Pat Robertson lows - when he said the Newtown shooting occurred because we have 'systematically removed God from our schools.' That's a tired old drum he's beating, and it's something that Huckabee, Preibus, and the rest of the Republican Righteous Right just don't get. No one has removed God from our schools, systematically or otherwise. What has been removed from our schools is the opportunity for people like Huckabee to jam his verson of God down the throats of our kids. Huckabee's arrogance hit a nerve with Rachel Held Evans, who blogged, quite uncharacteristically, "Bullshit!" in response. We here at Blogger Central agreed wholeheartedly:

Mike Huckabee: Bullshit!

Huckabee Responds

This  sort of thinking is why we cannot accept the Republican Party as it now stands. What will it take for them to see the writing on the wall? To see just how far out of touch they are with all but the far right of their own party? They continue to offer no alternatives to the Democrats. As distasteful as so many of our Democrat 'leadership' may be, the Republicans offer little or nothing in acceptable opposition.

Meanwhile, Rob Portman discovered afresh that "Christian" love that is the bedrock of the Party of American Values:

Rob Portman's approval rating drops

Portman was against gay marriage before he was for it. He is for it because he discovered that his son is gay, and he wants his son to have the same opportunities as his other children. That doesn't wash with the Republican faithful. Perhaps Portman is supposed to disown his son? Tie him to a fencepost and toss rocks at him? Have him kidnapped and whisked away for 'reprogramming' at the hands of some "Christian" counsellor? Dropped off his Christmas card list? What is it that the Republicans want fathers to do about their gay sons? Resign from the party? Give us some of those Christian-love filled pointers here.

Ken "The Buckpedaller" Buck

So Ken Buck is going to make a run for Cory Gardner's seat.

You remember Ken Buck. He's the fellow whose waffling led to our coining the term 'Buckpedalling.'

If you don't remember, here it is:

"Buckpedallin' Ken"

But wait! There's more!

Ken Buck v. Veterans

Ken Buck and Amendment 62

Is this really the best the Colorado Republicans can do? A replay of their previous meltdowns?

Why not bring back that perennial fave, Tom "Ol' 1Y" Tancredo?

Yet another opportunistic weasel  (6th story down from the top)

The Democrats are continuing to look like the only choice. It's going to be another 'hold your nose and vote' election cycle.

And then we have the Otero Republicans, who also seem bent on keeping the same proven combination. They still have the same slate of officers running their show as the last go-around.

Hitting a nerve?

Do these people not listen? Do they not learn from past mistakes? When are they going to pull their heads out and offer us some viable alternative to the Democrats?


Arizona and 'religious freedom'

The pot's boiling over with Arizona's Senate Bill 1062 awaiting its fate at the hands of Governor Jan Brewer.

Though the bill was put forth by three Republican senators - Yarbrough, Worsley, and Barto - and then passed the Arizona ledge thusly:

It passed the Senate on a party-line vote, 17-13, with Republicans in support. Since then, three GOP senators, including Worsley, have said they regret their votes and have asked Brewer to veto the bill.

Note that Worsley, who was one of the bill's sponsors, now wants Brewer to veto it. We can only wonder if perhaps Worsley suddenly remembered that pesky little obstruction to government, the Constitution. Both of 'em. The Federal and the state.

In the Arizona house, it was a little different:

The bill passed the House, 33-27, with mostly GOP support. Three Republicans joined with all 24 Democrats to vote against it.

Three Repubs jumped ship on that one.

You can read the entire article here:

Q&A: An overview of Arizona service-denial bill.

You'll note they call it what it is - a 'service-denial' bill. Whatever it is, it is not a 'religious freedom' bill.

Some of the more prominent Republicans have started pushing Brewer to veto the bill. Some of the headlines on news articles leave out that 'prominent' part and give the impression that the Republicans in general are against the bill.

That is not true. The bill was sponsored by Republicans, and it was passed by Republicans.

Those 'prominent' Republicans may have actually been giving some thought to all the polls and data that shows voters jumping off the Republican ship port and starboard. Just Google on that, and you'll see the data. Supporting a Constitutional abomination like SB 1062 is a sure way to even further alienate the more rational in the voter pool. While this bill is a 'Christian' Right wet dream, we here at blogger central can only wonder how supporters of this bill are going to explain their thinking to Jesus.

How self-professed 'Christians' can claim that such hatefulness is in keeping with that New Commandment thing is beyond me. Of course, these are people who believe in a six day creation and who deny the truth of science ... so why should we be surprised at this kind of thinking?


Gun control

In what will certainly be gun control advocates' new least favorite study, Quinnipiac University’s Mark Gius found not only that states with restrictive concealed weapons laws had higher gun-related murder rates, but that assault weapons bans had no significant impact on murder rates at the state level.

The study by economist Mark Gius, published in Applied Economics Letters, sought to “determine the effects of state-level assault weapons bans and concealed weapons laws on state murder rates,” using extensive data from a thirty-year period, 1980-2009. In the abstract for the study, Gius sums up the findings:

"Using data for the period 1980 to 2009 and controlling for state and year fixed effects, the results of the present study suggest that states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murder rates than other states. It was also found that assault weapons bans did not significantly affect murder rates at the state level. These results suggest that restrictive concealed weapons laws may cause an increase in gun-related murders at the state level."

Gius notes that these results are consistent with previous research, specifically citing the work by John R. Lott and David B. Mustard.

The conclusion(s)? Well one of them might be that in states where every Tom, Dick, and Harriet might have a gat up his/her sleeve, it's better to be polite.

"An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." - Robert Heinlein

 The study:

An examination of the effects of concealed weapons laws and assault weapons bans on state-level murder rates