Saturday, April 25, 2015
This is a story that would be funny if it wasn’t so incredibly serious. It occurred in Halfway, Oregon in April of 2013.
Halfway is a small town in eastern Oregon, population approximately 300. Said sleepy little town, situated halfway between Pine and Cornucopia in Baker County, occasionally breaks into the news.
For example did you know that a prominent Halfway resident is Babette March (born in 1941), now known as Babette Beatty. If you’re a sports’ fan, an older one, you might recall that Babette was the first Sports Illustrated, swimsuit issue, cover model. Look her up. She was a real ‘hotty.’ And, I’m sure a lovely woman to this day.
Or you might recall that in 1999, Halfway, Oregon changed their town name to Half.Com. The name change was reportedly, semi-official, but only lasted a year. This was during the ‘dot com’ boom of the late ‘90s. It did help the town garner a little publicity, and some free computers for the local school.
But, in April of 2013, the school board and a complicit Baker County Sheriff’s Office pulled-off a stunt that was beyond stupid. And, as a result, Linda Mallery McLean, a former school teacher, is now suing the Pine Eagle School District #61.
What happened? Well, the ‘authorities’ (and I use that term loosely) decided to simulate a mass murder, school shooting. They conducted this operation on a day when the children were not in school, but the teachers had a workday. Apparently, two men, armed with guns loaded with blanks and dressed in the perceived fashion of a typical mass murderer (although I’m not sure what a typical MM looks like in Halfway), burst into the school scaring the holy bejesus out of the unsuspecting teaching staff.
According to McLean, one the ‘terrorists’ stormed into her classroom, pointed a gun at her, pulled the trigger; and then informed the traumatized Ms. McLean, “You’re dead!”
Now, the school authorities didn’t do this half-assed, or maybe they did. But they did inform the Sheriff’s Office ahead of time, just in case one of the teachers called 911. Furthermore, the Sheriff’s Office did conduct background checks on the teaching staff to make sure none of them held a Concealed Weapon Permit – which they didn’t. Too bad, because the resulting shoot-out could have brought a lot of publicity to Halfway; and moreover taught the local school board, and the Sheriff’s Office, the true meaning of the word ‘stupid.’
Some of the teachers were hurt during the ‘attack,’ running and attempting to fight back. Since then, Ms. McLean, who had taught at the school for more than 30 years, was unable to return to work – Post Traumatic Stress is her claim.
Good luck, Ms. McLean.
Monday, April 20, 2015
Recent news post: “Six Men in Minnesota and San Diego Arrested by the FBI.” (They were intending to join ISIS). They were all U.S. citizens of Somali descent.
Charged were: Mohamed Abdihamid Farah, age 21; Adnan Abdihamid Farah, age 19; Abdurahman Yasin Daud, age 21; Zacharia Yusuf Abdurahman, age 19; Hanad Mustafe Musse, age 19; and Guled Ali Omar, age 20.
Now, some or all of them will deny (once they lawyer-up) any intention of joining ISIS; and they, of course, will be entitled to a trial. Of those, some will undoubtedly get set free on a technicality. Some will serve a few years in prison. All will be a lot more careful in the future when discussing their terrorist plans with potential FBI informants.
But, first, they should be asked the following: ‘Do you really want to join ISIS? However, before you answer, if that is your wish, the US government will purchase your airline ticket – with the stipulation that you will never be allowed back in the United States – and if you return, or attempt to return, you will be sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.’
Why must we spend millions of taxpayer dollars on a protracted trial for these individuals? And, if convicted, spending countless other millions on their subsequent incarceration - in the process hardening their resolve and hate of what America stands for?
This could be a wonderful way to clean-out the want-to-be terrorists from this country. The FBI should put out an advertisement in the media offering the same deal to anyone interested in joining ISIS. Let these losers go play army – and good riddance.
Here’s your one-way ticket in coach. Or maybe, even better, charter a plane. How about an old moth-balled C-130, with only jump-seats, individual parachutes, and a plentiful supply of khat?’ The 'terrorist express.'
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Don’t hate me because I occasionally listen to Sean Hannity. I suppose in that I am somewhat of a conservative and a supporter of law enforcement, as is apparently Mr. Hannity, we agree on many issues. That said, he nonetheless can have an annoying habit of belaboring a point, while attempting to make his point.
I happened to hear a recent Hannity interview of Sheriff David Clarke, Jr., Milwaukee County, Wisconsin – a very impressive guy. For those who are not familiar with the Sheriff, he is a well-spoken professional, and a staunch supporter of law enforcement and the judicial system. Furthermore, he happens to be African American.
The focus of the interview was about the recent killing of Walter L. Scott (Black) by a North Charleston police officer, Michael T. Slager (White). (Yes, I’ve seen the video.) And, from my perspective, there does not seem to be any reasonable justification for the shooting – including the situation, rounds fired, and the failure to offer immediate medical assistance. Was it racist in nature? One could easily draw that conclusion.
What became irritating in the interview was Hannity’s repeated efforts to draw Clarke, a professional law enforcement person, into stating that the shooting was little more than a cold-blooded murder. Hannity kept asking the Sheriff if he could “imagine” any logical or professionally warranted reason for the shooting. The Sheriff refused to take the bait, stating the judicial system needs to work through the process, the matter thoroughly investigated. Hannity refused to accept that answer saying: “Yes, but can you imagine a reason?” The Sheriff was cordial, but declined to offer any ‘imagined’ explanation.
Good for you Sheriff.
So, you might ask, what’s your point?
I suppose my point is the contrast between Sheriff Clarke’s professional demeanor and opinions and the lame, misguided, often unprofessional opinions of Eric Holder, our Attorney General and others like New York Mayor, Bill de Blasio. Sheriff Clarke gave me hope that there are still real professionals out there.
OK, I’m no longer in law enforcement and certainly do not have any actual or moral responsibility in that profession. Therefore, I can offer an opinion.
This may surprise some of you (well, no it probably won’t), but there are bad cops and bad FBI Agents. Many former cops and some former FBI Agents are presently serving long prison terms – some serving ‘life.’ Slager appears to be a bad cop. However, he is entitled to a trial where all the evidence can be presented, not just this one video that has swept the internet.
What bothers me I suppose is that bad cops and bad FBI Agents don’t just suddenly materialize. There are warnings, indications and behaviors that supervisory personnel have not recognized, or might have ignored. If Slager is convicted, I’d be willing to bet that there is some of this deviant behavior in his professional background.
Many would say that Slager is a ‘racist,’ that the shooting was racially motivated, and that racism permeates many law enforcement agencies. Objectively and statistically we know that is not necessarily true. Most cops are White males. Black males are disproportionately involved in criminal activity. It’s bound to happen. And it should be noted, cops occasionally and wrongfully shoot White men too.
A personal observation: I was a deputy sheriff many years ago. We had some real losers on the department – that’s for sure. The FBI’s vetting process was far more stringent. However, and I’ve said this before, some of the best people I’ve ever met were Agents; and some of the biggest losers I’ve ever met were Agents. While in the Bureau, I thought more than once, “I can’t believe they actually allow this guy to carry a gun.” These weren’t necessarily stupid individuals, but some did not have a lick of common sense. They were obviously miscast in their current occupation.
Therefore, my advice when dealing with law enforcement personnel is try to be respectful, never resist arrest, never run from a police officer. You never know when you’re dealing with a ‘loose cannon.’ Most police officers, by far, are good, decent, honorable people – but not all – that’s for sure.
Sunday, April 5, 2015
Just wanted to wish you all a Happy Easter.
I can't remember who said it, but I've thought about this from time to time.
'Just try to be the person your dog thinks you are.'
It's a very high standard to always live up to:
Leadership, Responsibility, Dependability, Faithfulness, Companionship, Foreverness and Love.
Can a dog love? I'm not sure, but they seem to demonstrate a pretty darn good equivalent - if given the chance.