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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

More "One Bad Apples"

Officer Shawn Patrick Shields approached a parked car and found two partially dressed teenagers inside in April 2003, according to a police report.

The officer put the 16-year-old girl and 19-year-old man into his police car and threatened to arrest them for lewd and lascivious behavior.

The girl said Shields suggested she instead perform topless exercises as a punishment and shined his flashlight on her while she did five jumping jacks.
I'm somewhat surprised he wasn't charged with a sex offense. I'm not saying they should have, just that I'm surprised that it didn't happen. For some reason, if it were you or me, I think that's what would have happened.

Kid H.

Follow-up on the Baltimore Officer Acquitted of Rape

Apparently, two of the police officers on the lead prosecutor's security detail were removed after giving the acquitted officer - who still faces other unrelated rape charges - a high five at his trial.

This definitely reinforces some of my concerns about how adequately the police investigate their own. I understand comraderie, but this seems increasingly like honor among thieves.

Excerpt:

The gag order pertains to Baltimore Circuit Court rape cases against officers Jemini Jones, Steven Hatley and Brian Shaffer.

On Tuesday, Jones was acquitted of charges in one case, which was handled by the city state's attorney's office. After the not-guilty verdicts were announced and the jury was dismissed, a reporter watched one of Jessamy's security officers give Jones a high-five and slap him on the back.

Jones also is charged in a second, unrelated rape case and in an unrelated gun case. He is scheduled to appear in court in April. Trial dates for Shaffer and Hatley -- accused of helping Jones arrange a sexual encounter -- are to be set Feb. 2.

Kid H.

For 58 Years . . .

A man has left a half-empty bottle of Cognac and some roses on the grave of Edgar Allen Poe. That continued this year, with a large crowd there for the viewing.

Kid

Monday, January 29, 2007

Beer Ideas...Need 'em

So I got the coolest present for Christmas this year - an opportunity to brew some beer with some delicate handholding from a real brewmaster at a local commercial-grade brewery. This will be a huge upgrade for me since my first experience in making the nectar of the Gods was watching Otter ferment something in our apartment closet at college.

Shortly thereafter, I went on to buy one of those Mr. Beer kits. Yup, it's actually called that and yup, I actually bought something called Mr. Beer. It wasn't a terrible experience, and I managed to learn very quickly that I really had no idea what I was doing. Enter this excellent opportunity to learn from a true master of the Gods.

I'm not sure how much flexibility I have in the recipe-determining process, but I fully intend to push that to the absolute limit. I have a couple ideas for the ultimate brew, but thought I'd survey the group to see what ideas we can come up with. So start thinking people and give me some ideas for a beer that Scaggsville would be proud of.

Poo Poo on Small Business

As a federal contractor for a large company, I frequently get to experience first-hand the ridiculousness of small business requirements set in motion by Congress. Just recently, our client's Contracting Officer (also known as "God" in procurement settings) decided to make our recompete a small business set aside. For those not familiar, this generally means that businesses with 75 employees or fewer can bid. Since my company is much larger than that, we are prohibited from bidding - even though a) we have been doing the work for over one year and b) our clients want us to come back.

The only way we can bid on this work is through the graces of another small business, meaning that they essentially take over the contract and then sub-contract pieces of work to us. What I've seen happen is that even though the contract is designed for small business, it was originally performed by a larger business, so it is generally impossible for the small business to actually perform the work. Therefore, the small business is forced to partner with a large business in the relationship I mentioned above.

The end result, it you haven't guessed it already is that due to poo poo small business requirements, small businesses with no actual experience to do the job are given federal contracting dollars while they sub the work out to a larger company that is actually qualified to do the work - all while under the guise of meeting small business goals set by various agencies.

Having experienced this a number of times now, I'm starting to get resentful of small businesses "stealing" work from us for the simple fact that they are hiding under legislation with a flawed purpose. Because as much as I want to support small business, they are essentially taking advantage of poo poo laws that were designed by poo poo legislators. I'm not sure who to hate the most...

What ever happened to the most qualified gets the job?! Poo poo out...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Baltimore Officer Cleared of Rape Charge

Other rape charges against the same officer as well as others are pending. I'm not going to argue with the jury, but he sure sounded guilty to me. I guess that's why we have trials.

KH

An Interesting Article on Black Markets

and drugs. This time the drug is nicotine, and this article discusses how lucrative black market cigarettes are, especially in states with high tobacco taxes. In this article, which discusses Texas's new cigarette tax hike, you can see just how lucrative cigarettes are . . . for the black marketeers and the Government.

On another note, cigarette taxes have always bothered me for this reason:

The government, by suing the tobacco companies for billions, claimed that tobacco companies hoodwinked people into getting addicted to nicotine through outright lies and shady advertising to minors. The theory is that because nicotine is addictive, people cannot help but by cigarettes.

However, the government then turns around and profits from smokers by charging ridiculous taxes. These taxes never actually go towards anti-smoking programs or other treatment programs. Instead they line the coffers of the state treasuries and may contribute to roads or some legislator's pet project. How does the government then defend its abuse of the poor addicted smokers? They suggest that the smoker has the ability to quit anytime. Doesn't that sound just like the tobacco companies?

Maybe we should sue the government for a share of the proceeds.

It also sounds a lot like the drug war. Only instead of taxes, we seize property left and right under laws modified to prevent piracy.

Kid H

Link via the Agitator

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Case For Wild Fire

A novel written by Nelson Demille (http://www.nelsondemille.net) “Wild Fire” details a common rumor about a modern day government policy that deters a nuclear attack against the United States. Although I do not endorse the plan laid out by the villains in this book (got to read the book), the concept of “Wild Fire” by-itself is worth exploring.

“Wild Fire” is supposed to be a modern day version of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction). MAD is the doctrine that governed the Cold War and assured that the Soviets and Americans didn’t drop nuclear bombs on one another, because it would have triggered the automatic destruction of both countries no matter who launched first. Wild Fire is rumored to be the policy that states that if a nuclear, biological, or chemical attack happens in the United States, the U.S. Government will automatically respond, no questions asked, by dropping nuclear weapons on Middle Eastern cities.

It is unknown which cities and how many would be attacked. This message has supposedly been articulated to every Arab/Persian/Asian Nation with large Muslim populations (remember Iranians consider themselves to be Persians, and Indonesians consider themselves to be Asian). Under this policy, much like MAD, even the President of the United States doesn’t have the authority or ability to stop the automatic retaliation.

Enough with debating the morality of the Iraqi War and our presences in the Middle East. No more brave American Soldiers will have to die. The time has come for the Government to take Wild Fire a step further. The U.S. Government should pull every American (civilian and military) out of the Middle East, and Eastern Asia and implement Wild Fire. Why such a drastic measure? In the opinion of the author, it would END ALL CONFLICTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST, and the War on Terror. What better accomplishment could one hope for?

Before you think this idea crazy, there is a historical precedence. President Harry Truman, a Demorat, dropped nuclear weapons to END World War II. Since then we stopped counting World Wars, but we are up to number five (World War III was the Cold War, World War IV is the War on Terror, and World War V is the Wars between nation states because of World War IV).

There is no difference between this President launching nuclear weapons against Middle Eastern and Asian targets, and President Truman dropping the bombs on Japan. The action no matter how ominous, will end a horrible and costly global conflict and in the long term save American lives.

American Lives! That is what it is all about. Why did we go to War with Al Qaeda? American Lives. Iraq? American Lives! If the U.S. Government really wants to save American lives in the long term, it will do so by commencing Wild Fire.

--TPCS Blogger

Friday, January 12, 2007

Posted where?

The story is interesting.. but that's not why I'm posting this... I love this quote...

"That's an American-built Internet you're publishing to. We expect things to be spelled our way."

Awesome...

Otter

Monday, January 08, 2007

Rabbit kicks Snakes Ass...

Check out this video of a rabbit kicking the crap out this snake...

too cool.

otter

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Traditions...

Sorry for the light posting recently. Holidays, heartbreaks and hauling shit across the country occupied a lot of my recent time, but now life is back to a place where I will be writing again.

Anyway, New Years Eve I was thinking of traditions. How they start, what they mean, and why we like them.

The tradition I was thinking of at the time was listening to In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida on New Years Eve. I’m not quite sure how it started, but I’ve been doing it since about 1993. When it started, we timed the end of the song with the ball drop. The finest math in the world can turn to shit with enough Barney (grape soda and grain alcohol), we hardly ever timed it right. After we stopped having parties in Hereford it became difficult to convince others that my tradition was important. Seventeen minutes and five seconds is a long time for people who don’t love acid rock drum solos and organs. Still, I would get my In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida in sometime in the last couple hours of the year. For 13 years I’ve ended the year with Iron Butterfly.

One year, while spending the New Years Eve in a hotel in Orlando, I’m convinced something good would have happened to me if had only went out on my own and I followed the signs. Five miles away, Iron Butterfly was playing a New Years Eve show. I didn’t go; my friends weren’t interested (the hero of canton was macking on a girl who ended up throwing up all over him and Walt Welt wanted to hit on Corbets sister). It was a good night though, I ended up taking a fully clothed dive in the pool (scarf and all) and nearly freezing in the 40 degree weather. Still I wonder what might have happened if I went…

Anyway, after the first couple years, I can’t really imagine not reflecting on the past year without that guitar riff, without that organ, without those nonsensical words.

My brothers girlfriends family, besides drinking like fishes, have their own traditions involving grapes, hiding under tables and giving out dollar bills all designed to help fate and encourage good luck and fortune. At what point does Iron Butterfly for me become almost a superstition. Has it already?

Beyond the luck and the good fortune there is comfort in the familiar. I listen to an old techno song called “The Bog” by Bi-God 20 every time I near a camp site at night. My friends and I did it once, and every time afterward it just seemed right to do it again. The feeling of being apart of something bigger than you is appealing. Doing something just because that’s they way we do it.

I like how a winter party can become a tradition once it gets a name. Slackers Weekend. A summer camping trip. Bourbon and Burn. Like gaining influence over a demon, a name gives power.

Anyway, that’s what I was thinking about this New Years Eve. I wish everyone a happy ‘07.

Otter