Tuesday, March 25, 2008

SWAT in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles SWAT doesn't keep their website up to date, but what they do have suggests a major shift in the kinds of tasks that make up their work load. More and more the shift is away from the traditional hostage situation towards ordinary police work of serving warrants. From 2001 to 2003 (the only years they give data for on the website) their warrant service workload tripled.

2001 35
2002 53
2003 122

A change in mission certainly should call for a change in training requirements. Change doesn't mean they've lowered standards. Patterico, a prosecutor in Los Angeles, doesn't seem to have a clear understanding of that.

Although Pattrerico does recognize that there are some areas where the "bust in the door and shoot the bad guys" approach isn't appropriate,
Also, now that I have read the report, I find myself in agreement with one general problem it identifies (even if I don’t necessarily agree with the particular recommendations the panelists make for fixing it): the way the department in general (and SWAT in particular) deals with mentally ill suspects. The report gives numerous examples that can be faulted for excessive second-guessing, but that nevertheless provide some evidence that there is a better way to deal with the mentally ill. Often a nonconfrontational approach is better — not always, but often.

he seems to miss the point about the danger of present tactics (danger to both police and victims of police mistakes). Everybody would be safer if SWAT teams had less training on shooting people and more training on getting the address right before they bust a door in


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Friday, March 21, 2008

Inscriptions and your government

I didn't know what a Leatherman Micra was. I had to look it up.

But, the DEA knows what it is and they want to give them to agents. With an inscription to ensure they don't forget how important a focus on civil forfeiture is to the security of our country. Because if our government isn't seizing your property then the terroists will have won.

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Monday, March 17, 2008


I recently saw the 2007 version of Hairspray. It has a great cast, lot's of fun singing and dancing, and a good story. But for some reason I just couldn't get interested.

I had the DVD in the player and I'd watch a few minutes and shut if off and do something else. Then a day or two later I'd do the same thing. It actually took me a couple of weeks to watch the whole thing.

I don't know why. It was enjoyable. It just didn't engage me. I really just can't recommend this movie, even though I can't point to any particular flaw in it.


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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Hookers, catalogs, and professional feminists

Jessica at Feministing thinks that the media is being unfair to Kristen, the hooker who was outed when Spritzer got caught up in the hooker/money laundering fiasco. Of course Jessica is much more PC than I am, to her it's not a hooker, it's a sex worker.

This is the quote I got a kick out of:
It's completely dehumanizing; they're using her MySpace profile and her pictures as if she's a product from a goddamn catalog.

Uh, Jessica, before the escort agency took the website down she was a product from a catalog. There's no as if about it.


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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

McCain the hypocrite

His wife wasn't just a drug addict, she was a thief, and she got a pass. He wants the death penalty for "drug kingpins" though.

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Drug charges against Mary Ann dropped

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Ziploc bags

As their contribution to the War on Drugs, the City of Chicago wants to ban Ziploc bags. The Chicago police thinks that would be a helpful tool in the Battle Against Grocery Stores part of the War on Drugs.

Isn't America just great? What other country is willing to make the hard choices to take the steps necessary to combat Evil Plastic Devices. It's for your own good.


Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Supporting the troops is one thing, but refusing to recognize that some of the troops are just nuts is something else.

And the thing that those who haven't been in the military don't understand is that the military tends to be very tolerant of dangerous nutcases in their midst.

During one 3 week period back in 1968 that we had an unexpected layover in Subic Bay, Philippines, for repairs to our guns, Bill Fariello got in the habit of buying a chick in town every night. Bill was a nutcase. He was violent and not fully rational. Olongapo City had street vendors that sold chicks. People would buy them and take them home to feed out.

We had Cinderella Liberty in Subic Bay. That means we had to be back on the ship by midnight. Every night, just before midnight, Bill would come up the gangplank, drunk, with a chick hidden under his uniform jumper (the sailor suit jumper).

He'd sit at a table in the berthing compartment, in the dark, and talk to the chick. For about an hour. Every night. He'd tell the chick how mean the Navy was, that they wouldn't let him keep the chick. And, since Bill was a little violent and a little crazy, nobody would say anything. We'd just lay in our racks and listen to him talk to the chick until he'd start crying.

Then he'd tell the chick he was going to set it free and he'd take the chick topside.

The water in Subic Bay was some of the filthiest, oiliest, water I've ever seen. If any part of a uniform came in contact with that water you'd get a stain that couldn't be removed. There is no way in hell that a duck, much less a baby chicken, could swim in that water. Bill would take that chick topside and drop it into the water then watch it sink.

He'd come back below decks and lay in his rack, crying because the chick had drowned.

The next night he'd do it again.

Here's a video of a US soldier throwing rocks at an injured dog and laughing when it tries to hobble away.

A previous video of a Marine picking up a small puppy and throwing it off a cliff was removed by YouTube. I guess some things Americans just aren't supposed to know about.

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Monday, March 03, 2008

The logic of political discourse

Politics in the United States has become pretty simple to parse. There's two sides to every issue. Exactly two sides, not more, not less.

One side is my side. That's the correct side. That's the good side. The other side is your side. That's the wrong side. That's the bad side.

I'm good. You're bad.

See how easy it is?

Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Parking and University Athletics

Some University of North Carolina law school prof is whining about parking problems that a track meet on campus is causing him. I feel his pain.

When I was a freshman at LSU I took an engineering graphics course that meet on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday from 7:30 to 9:30. Yes, they had classes that meet at 7:30 Saturday morning. All the 7:30 classes were freshman level courses.

It was the fall semester.

One Saturday I drove to campus and parked in the student parking lot nearest the engineering school, like I did every morning. I went to class. When I got out of class my car was gone, in it's place was an NBC truck. A sign was up saying that the parking lot was closed for the day because the football game that day was being televised. The sign had been put up at 8am, 30 minutes after my class started.

They towed my car. While I was in class. To make room for NBC.

State Universities are wonderful places.


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Why do they keep saying this?

Doesn't anybody know anything about American (Texas) history? They keep saying
Texas was supposed to be a bastion of support for Hillary Clinton in the battle for the U.S. Democratic presidential nomination, but it may turn out to be her Alamo.
The defenders at the Alamo were never expected to defeat Santa Ana. They were expected to delay him. And they did. They all died doing it, but they achieved the objective and Texas lost the battle but won the war. That's why it's such a heroic, epic story. They died to achieve the objective. Santa Ana killed them all, but he lost Texas in doing it.

Texas is not Hillary's Alamo. She's the invading army and it's her San Jacinto.

Don't they teach them Texas History in grade school back in New York City?

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