Tuesday, May 26, 2015

NO SHOOTOUT AT THE TWIN PEAKS CORRAL

I'm still recovering from some serious April 15th neck surgery. I spent part of Memorial Day at Twin Peaks. No, not the one in Waco, but the one in Webster. There was no shootout at the Twin Peaks corral. It was nice and peaceful, and I was enjoying some beers, a Philly cheese steak sandwich, and of course the view.



As you can see from the pictures, I wasn’t feeling any pain. I don’t know if it was the beer or the boobs, but I felt good. Now that I’m back home, damn it, I’ve got that awful pain in the neck again.

MEMORIAL DAY POLICE CHASE ENDS AT BARBEQUE GRILL

Half-hour chase of burglar by LAPD ends at Chanel Washington’s family barbeque

When South Los Angeles homeowners returned to their house around 3 p.m. on Memorial Day they noticed signs that they had been burglarized. When LAPD officers responded to their call they observed a man in the alley behind the home. The suspect jumped into a red Honda and took off with the cops in pursuit.

The chase started at Hoover and 58th streets and ended in the driveway of a duplex on 87th Place a half hour later. During the chase, according to CBS Los Angeles, the suspect circled surrounding neighborhoods, driving erratically, jumping the sidewalk and sideswiping parked cars.

The Chanel Washington family had been enjoying a family barbeque on their front lawn when they noticed the suspect turning into their driveway with the police in pursuit. They did not stay to see what was going on. Instead they fled indoors and locked the doors.

The Honda came to a stop only a few feet from Chanel’s grill. The suspect emerged from the car with his hands up and was taken into custody.

Monday, May 25, 2015

MEXICO OFFICIALS STAND BY ACCOUNT OF DEADLY RANCH SHOOTOUT

By E. Eduardo Castillo

Associated Press
May 25, 2015

MORELIA, Mexico -- Mexican officials stood by their account Monday of a shootout that killed 42 suspected criminals and one federal police officer last week, dismissing questions raised about the lopsided death toll.

"There was not one single execution, I can say that categorically," Enrique Galindo, head of Mexico's federal police, told local media.

The 42 men died Friday during a three-hour gun battle on a ranch in Michoacan state. Officials say the fight began when police officers came under fire while responding to a report of armed men taking over the Rancho del Sol, in Ecuandureo, a township near the border with Jalisco state.

It was the deadliest such confrontation in recent memory and followed two deadly clashes in the area controlled by the powerful Jalisco New Generation cartel: The gang is blamed for an ambush that killed 15 state police officers in April and for a May 1 attack in which a rocket launcher shot down an army helicopter, killing eight soldiers.

Families of some of the men killed on Friday told The Associated Press that after viewing the remains of their loved ones, they doubted the official account. Relatives gathered at a local morgue said one body was missing an eye and had facial bruising, another had its teeth knocked inward. Another had a gunshot in the top of the head.

Galindo said a helicopter gunship had participated in the shootout and that its role had been decisive. "If the helicopter had not arrived, the death toll might have been different."

National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido said at a news conference later Monday that the helicopter had been hit three times by bullets from an AR-15 assault rifle.

Authorities detained three people and confiscated 38 semi-automatic weapons, two smaller arms, a grenade launcher and a .50-caliber rifle. They had initially said they seized 40 weapons.

Speaking to the television network Televisa earlier Monday, Rubido said tests on the bodies of the victims showed they had been shot "from a considerable distance ... dozens of meters (yards)," ruling out anybody having been finished off at close range.

An official from Michoacan state, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the press, said all the dead were men and most died from gunfire.

Rubido said the three men arrested were "the only three who when told to surrender, did so. The others refused and continued shooting."

But the lopsided death toll, and photographs from the scene in which bodies appeared to have been moved, raised questions about the official version.

Family members who arrived at the morgue in the state capital, Morelia, to retrieve the bodies spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they feared reprisals, but some were willing to provide the names of their dead relatives. Many were from Ocotlan in Jalisco state and said that a group of at least 25 men from the town had gone to the ranch after being offered work.

Juan Enrique Romero Caudillo, 34, was one of those men. Family members said he sold scrap metal to make a living.

"He said he had been offered maintenance work at the ranch," said a relative, adding that Romero didn't belong to a gang.

After seeing his corpse, the relative said Romero had been shot in the head from above and there was bruising on his face. On the death certificate, the cause of death was listed as "destruction of the brain mass due to penetration by a projectile from a firearm." It did not say if the gunshot was from close range or far away.

Romero's relative said he believed what happened on the ranch "was a massacre" not a shootout with criminal gunmen.

Relatives of Mario Alberto Valencia Vazquez, 22, said he worked in a furniture business but had been offered employment on the ranch.

One relative said Valencia's teeth had been knocked inward as if "he had been struck by something" and his body showed signs of having received blows. Another woman said her husband's face had been destroyed and was missing an eye.

Photographs from the site showed the bodies of men, some without shirts or barefoot, strewn over the ranch. Some appeared to lie with semi-automatic rifles in a field with farm equipment and others on a blood-stained patio strewn with clothes, mattresses and sleeping bags. Video of the battle obtained by The Associated Press showed federal police officers coming under fire.

Rubido dismissed photos circulating online, saying some were not from Friday's events and others were captured at different points in time.

The debate recalled a June 30 case in Tlatlaya, a rural community in Mexico state in which the army initially said 22 suspected criminals were killed in a confrontation and only one soldier had been wounded. An investigation by The Associated Press revealed that several of the suspects were executed after surrendering. Seven soldiers have been charged with wrongdoing.

"This is in no way anything like what happened in Tlatlaya," Galindo said. Officials say overwhelming power and training — police used four armored cars and the helicopter in the shootout — as well as the suspects' lack of preparation spelled the difference.

And Galindo noted that not all of the suspects at the ranch were killed. Three surrendered and were taken into custody, and a significant number escaped.

"We calculate there could have been between 60 and 70 people, because some fled," Galindo said.

Rubido said the cartel gunmen invaded the ranch last Monday, but the ranch owner, who lives in Guadalajara, did not report the takeover to authorities until Thursday. The gunmen were seeking a safe place to escape the government's pressure in Jalisco, Rubido said.

A convoy of 42 federal police were headed to the ranch to investigate when fired upon Friday morning, Rubido said. About 60 additional personnel joined them after 1 ½ hours of the battle.

EDITOR’S NOTE: 42 suspects and only one cop killed? That does not pass the smell test! Sure seems like a mass execution to me. Probably in retaliation for the ambush that killed 15 state police officers in April and for a May 1 attack in which a rocket launcher shot down an army helicopter, killing eight soldiers.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

PROFESSOR DAVID KIRK’S ‘AMAZING’ DISCOVERY

The Oxford University sociology professor discovered that dispersing parolees away from crime-infested neighborhoods reduces the parole recidivism rate

David Kirk, a sociology professor at Britain’s prestigious Oxford University, apparently had a lot of money and time to prove what he most certainly had to have already known - that parolees who are released to crime-infested neighborhoods have a high recidivism rate, but if they are dispersed to crime-free neighborhoods, the recidivism rate is substantially reduced.

Kirk’s study on the consequences of concentrating former prisoners in the same neighborhoods as other parolees has just been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Here are some excerpts from his study:

The results of my analyses suggest the greater the concentration of ex-prisoners in a neighborhood, the greater the rate of subsequent recidivism. I find that concentrating former prisoners in the same neighborhoods leads to significantly higher recidivism rates than if ex-prisoners were more dispersed across neighborhoods.

The results presented in this study suggest that although parole and public housing policies and practices were designed, in principle, to enhance public safety, they may in fact be undermining it.

The extreme concentration of criminals in geographic space likely produces a contagion effect that not only leads to elevated rates of recidivism among existing criminals but also pulls the previously noncriminal toward deviance.


“Put simply, the alarming rates of recidivism in the United States are partly a consequence of the fact that many individuals being released from prison ultimately reside in the same neighborhoods as other former felons,” says Kirk in summing up his findings.

Wow, double wow, this is really amazing! Who would have ever thought that releasing parolees to the same crime-infested neighborhood results in a high rate of parolee recidivism. Seriously though, here we have another example of how those in academia set out to prove what they most certainly already know.

I don’t know how much time and money Kirk spent on his study, and how many assistants he used to conduct it, but all he had to do was to ask any parole officer and he would have instantly reached the same findings.

Kirk provides us with evidence that professors in academia do not live in the real world. Yes, it would be nice if we could spread all parolees around relatively crime-free America’s middle and upper-class neighborhoods. How about Malibu, the ritzy Dallas suburb of Plano, New York’s upper west side, the Hamptons and other trendy communities? Sorry Prof. Kirk, but it ain’t ever gonna happen. The residents of those communities will not stand for any parolees residing there other than their own family members.

I am sure that Kirk and his assistants have never been involved in counseling prison inmates or in conducting pre-release investigations. Had they been, they would have learned that every counselor and parole officer tries to place each parolee in the best available free world setting.

Here is a dose of reality. Most families of prison inmates live in lower-class neighborhoods, many of which are crime-infested. Other than a halfway house, the only residence usually available to a parolee is with family members. And even if you placed him in a sanitary crime-free environment among complete strangers, he would very likely drift back to his old neighborhood to be in familiar places with old friends, many of them also on parole or engaged in unlawful activities.

Prof. Kirk, I suggest you take a lengthy sabbatical from Oxford to spend time in the real world where you do not have to waste time and money on studies to prove what you already know.

Friday, May 22, 2015

OOPS, THAT DIDN’T WORK OUT TOO WELL !!

L.A. SWAT officer violated policy in use of Taser, police panel says

By Richard Winton and Kate Mather

Los Angeles Times
May 21, 2015

A Los Angeles police SWAT officer violated department policies last year when he used a Taser on a mentally ill homeless man standing on a downtown rooftop who then fell to his death, the LAPD's civilian overseers recently concluded.

The Police Commission voted 3 to 1 in support of Chief Charlie Beck's conclusion that a veteran officer's tactics "substantially and unjustifiably deviated" from his training, according to records obtained by The Times.

The officer said he had fired the electric stun gun to prevent Carlos Ocana from climbing a ladder back up a rooftop billboard. And, he told department investigators, he thought the man would fall in a way that would not hurt him. Instead, the 56-year-old fell to his death.

Another officer on the roof grabbed Ocana's leg, but couldn't keep hold, records show. Ocana fell more than 15 feet and landed in a parking lot below, just missing one of two air cushions that firefighters had deployed, the report states. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

In his report to the commission, Beck said the officer, as a SWAT member, had the tactical expertise, extensive training and other skills to "ensure the highest degree of operational effectiveness."

"I have high expectations for SWAT. They meet or exceed them almost every time," Beck told The Times. "This was a rare exception."

Sources familiar with the matter said Beck's findings were harsher than those of the commission's inspector general, Alex Bustamante, who did not find fault in the officer's overall tactics and use of the Taser.

The names of the officers involved in the incident were redacted from the report provided to The Times. But multiple sources identified the officer who shot the Taser as Stephen Scallon.

Scallon, who has spent most of his 26 years in the LAPD with the elite Metropolitan Division, received the agency's highest honor, the Medal of Valor, and was recognized at the White House for his role in a deadly 2008 shootout in Winnetka that left one officer dead and another seriously wounded. Scallon helped pull the wounded officer, who was shot in the face, from the house as other officers exchanged gunfire with the suspect.

Scallon could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The incident involving Ocana unfolded the night of May 24, when officers from the LAPD's Central Division responded to a radio call of a homeless man on the roof of the Four Corners Market on San Pedro Street, along downtown's skid row. The officers tried to talk to Ocana, but he ignored them, the report said. Ocana then climbed from the roof to the top of a billboard using a ladder.

Ocana straddled the top of the billboard and began to rock it back and forth. Officers at the scene said he appeared to be under the influence of narcotics or mentally ill, the report said.

Firefighters placed two air cushions, one on the rooftop of a building next to the market and another in the market's parking lot.

When the Central officers were unable to get Ocana down, officials requested SWAT come to the scene.

Believing Ocana posed a threat to himself while atop the billboard, SWAT supervisors devised a plan to prevent Ocana from climbing back up the billboard should he come down to the rooftop. By then, officers said, they had learned Ocana had a history of fighting with police.

Officers planned to grab the suspect but were prepared to use "less-lethal" force, such as a Taser, the chief said in his report.

About 11:30 p.m., an officer placed a cigarette at the bottom of the billboard's ladder and backed away, hoping to lure Ocana down. Ocana hesitantly climbed down to the rooftop and grabbed the cigarette, according to the report.

Another officer then took out a lighter, hoping to coax Ocana further away from the edge of the roof. But the man dug into his shorts pocket and pulled out one of his own. As Ocana smoked the cigarette, Scallon unholstered his Taser and hid it behind his leg, police records state.

Suddenly, Ocana turned and grabbed onto the ladder leading up the billboard. Scallon fired the Taser, causing Ocana to fall.

Coroner's officials determined that he died of blunt force head trauma, with "massive skull fractures," and deemed the death accidental. They also found cocaine in his system.

Although Beck ordered two lieutenants and a sergeant to undergo more training after the incident, the chief primarily faulted Scallon for how he used the Taser. The chief said Scallon deviated from the tactical plan by using the Taser before officers had the chance to grab Ocana and did not provide adequate warning that he was going to deploy the device.

Scallon told investigators that he thought there was only a "small window of opportunity" to use the Taser and take Ocana into custody. He said he thought Ocana would fall onto the roof, the chief's report states.

The Taser was used despite the LAPD's warning to officers against generally using the device against someone who is "in danger of falling which would likely result in death or serious bodily injury," according to the report.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Scallon, a 26-year LAPD veteran, “received the agency's highest honor, the Medal of Valor, and was recognized at the White House for his role in a deadly 2008 shootout in Winnetka that left one officer dead and another seriously wounded. Scallon helped pull the wounded officer, who was shot in the face, from the house as other officers exchanged gunfire with the suspect.”

What’s Chief Beck going to recommend? Does he want to fire this highly decorated veteran officer? Suspend him without pay for 30 days?

Although the use of the taser resulted in a tragic death, I do not believe Scallon meant to harm Ocana. I believe that a reprimand is the most punishment that is called for in this case.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

HISTORY: JAPANESE SURRENDER CEREMONY ON USS MISSOURI

This is an outstanding film of the ceremony on the deck of the U.S. battleship Missouri where the Japanese surrendered to McArthur in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945. It is believed to have rarely been seen since 1945. General McArthur's voice is a rarity in these old film clips. This is a 'must see' film for the WWII history buff or anyone else interested in history.

Turn up the volume on your speakers!

A NET ASSESSMENT OF THE WORLD

By George Friedman

Stratfor Global Intelligence
May 19, 2015

A pretentious title requires a modest beginning. The world has increasingly destabilized and it is necessary to try to state, as clearly as possible, what has happened and why. This is not because the world is uniquely disorderly; it is that disorder takes a different form each time, though it is always complex.

To put it simply, a vast swath of the Eurasian landmass (understood to be Europe and Asia together) is in political, military and economic disarray. Europe and China are struggling with the consequences of the 2008 crisis, which left not only economic but institutional challenges. Russia is undergoing a geopolitical crisis in Ukraine and an economic problem at home. The Arab world, from the Levant to Iran, from the Turkish border through the Arabian Peninsula, is embroiled in politically destabilizing warfare. The Western Hemisphere is relatively stable, as is the Asian Archipelago. But Eurasia is destabilizing in multiple dimensions.

We can do an infinite regression to try to understand the cause, but let's begin with the last systemic shift the world experienced: the end of the Cold War.

The Repercussions of the Soviet Collapse

The Cold War was a frozen conflict in one sense: The Soviet Union was contained in a line running from the North Cape of Norway to Pakistan. There was some movement, but relatively little. When the Soviet Union fell, two important things happened. First, a massive devolution occurred, freeing some formally independent states from domination by the Soviets and creating independent states within the former Soviet Union. As a result, a potentially unstable belt emerged between the Baltic and Black seas.

Meanwhile, along the southwestern border of the former Soviet Union, the demarcation line of the Cold War that generally cut through the Islamic world disappeared. Countries that were locked into place by the Cold War suddenly were able to move, and internal forces were set into motion that would, in due course, challenge the nation-states created after World War I and the fall of the Ottoman Empire that had been frozen by the Cold War.

Two emblematic events immediately occurred. In 1990, even before the collapse of the Soviet Union was complete, Iraq invaded Kuwait and seemed to threaten Saudi Arabia. This followed an extended war with Iran from which Iraq emerged in a more favorable position than Tehran, and Baghdad seemed to be claiming Kuwait as its prize. The United States mobilized not only its Cold War coalition, but also states from the former Soviet bloc and the Arab world, to reverse this. The unintended consequence was to focus at least some Sunnis both on the possibilities created by the end of the Cold War and on the American role as regional hegemon, which in turn led to 9/11 and is still being played out now, both to the south and north of the old Cold War dividing line.

The second event was the breakup of Yugoslavia and the Serbian-Croatian-Bosnian war that left about 100,000 people dead. It was a war of old grudges and new fears. It seemed to represent a unique situation that was not applicable to the rest of the region, but it in fact defined the new world system in two ways. First, Yugoslavia was the southern extension of the borderland between the Soviet Union and Western Europe. What happened in Yugoslavia raised questions that most people ignored, about what the long-term reality in this borderland would be. Second, among other things, the war centered on an east-west schism between Christians and Muslims, and the worst of the bloodletting occurred in this context. The United States and NATO interceded in Kosovo against Serbia despite Russian protests, and Moscow was ultimately sidelined from the peacekeeping mission that defused the war. The explosion in the Balkans foreshadowed much of what was to come later.

While Russia weakened and declined, the two ends of Eurasia flourished. The decade following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the reunification of Germany ushered in a period of significant prosperity that had two results. The European Union, created through the Maastricht Treaty the same year the Soviet Union disintegrated, expanded its influence eastward into the former Soviet sphere and southward, incorporating disparate states whose differences were hidden by the prosperous period. And China, after the end of the Japanese economic miracle, became the global low-wage, high-growth country, powered by the appetite for its exports in prosperous Europe and North America.

The forces at work in Eurasia were hidden. The fragility of peripheral nations in Europe relative to German economic power was not fully visible. The cyclical nature of China's growth, similar in many ways to the dynamics of Japan in the previous generation, was also invisible. The consequences of the end of the Cold War Islamic world, the forces that were unleashed beneath the surface and the fragility of the states that were containing them were hidden beneath the illusion of American power after the victory in Kuwait. Only in Russia was weakness visible, and one of two erroneous conclusions was reached: Either Russia was permanently impotent, or its misery would cause it to evolve into a liberal democracy. All seemed right with Eurasia.

Signs of Destabilization

The first indication of trouble was, of course, 9/11. It was the American attack that was critical. Drawing on the recollection of Desert Storm, it was assumed that American power could reshape the Islamic world at will. All power has limits, but the limits of American power were not visible until later in the 2000s. At that point two other events intervened. The first was the re-emergence of Russia as at least a regional power when it invaded Georgia in 2008. The other was, of course, the financial crisis. Both combined to define the current situation.

The financial crisis transformed Chinese behavior. Although China was already reaching the end of its economic cycle, the decline in appetites for Chinese exports changed the dynamic of China's economy. Not only did the decline suppress growth, but Beijing's attempts to shift growth to domestic consumption created inflation that made its exports even less competitive. The result was a political crisis as the Chinese government became increasingly concerned about instability and therefore increasingly oppressive in an attempt to control the situation.

At the other end of Eurasia, the differences between the interests of Germany — Europe's major exporter — and those of Southern Europe's developing economies exposed the underlying contradiction in the European Union. Germany had to export. The weaker countries had to develop their economies. The two collided first in the sovereign debt crisis, and again in the austerity policies imposed on Southern Europe and the resulting economic crisis. As a result, Europe became increasingly fragmented.

In a reversal of roles, Russia took advantage of the fragmentation of Europe, using its status as a natural gas supplier to shape Europe's policies toward Russia. Russia was no longer the cripple of Europe but a significant regional power, influencing events not only on the Continent but also in the Middle East.

It was at this point that Russia encountered the United States. The United States has an elective relationship with the rest of the world. Except when a regional hegemon is trying to dominate Europe, the United States limits its global exposure. It exports relatively little, and almost half of what it does export goes to Canada and Mexico. But as Russia became more assertive, and particularly as it tried to recoup its losses after the fall of the Ukrainian government and the ensuing installation of a pro-Western government, the United States began to increase its focus on Ukraine and the borderlands between Europe and Russia.

At the same time that Washington felt it had to respond to Russia, the United States sought to minimize its exposure in the Middle East. Recognizing the limits of its power, the United States came to see the four indigenous powers in the region — Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel — as bearing the primary responsibility for regional stability and as counterbalances to each other's power.

The Current State of Play

This brings us to the contemporary world. There is general economic malaise around the globe. That malaise has forced China to control social forces by repression. It has created an existential crisis in Europe that goes far beyond Greece but is being acted out in a Greek-German relationship. The Russians have reached for regional power but have fallen short, for the moment. The nation-states of the Middle East are fraying, and the four major powers are maneuvering in various ways to contain the situation.

The United States remains the world's leading power, but at the same time, the institutions that it used during the Cold War have become ineffective. Even though NATO is increasing deployments and training in Eastern Europe, it is a military alliance that lacks a substantial military. The International Monetary Fund has become, in many cases, the problem and not the solution to economic difficulties. The United States has avoided entanglement in the economic problems in Europe and China and has limited its exposure in the Middle East. Yet it is becoming more directly involved with Russia, with its primordial fear of a European hegemon aroused, however far-fetched the prospect.

After every systemic war, there is an illusion that the victorious coalition will continue to be cohesive and govern as effectively as it fought. After the Napoleonic Wars, the Congress of Vienna sought to meld the alliance against France into an entity that could manage the peace. After World War I, the Allies (absent the United States) created the League of Nations. After World War II, it was the United Nations. After the Cold War ended, it was assumed that the United Nations, NATO, IMF, World Bank and other multinational institutions could manage the global system. In each case, the victorious powers sought to use wartime alliance structures to manage the post-war world. In each case, they failed, because the thing that bound them together — the enemy — no longer existed. Therefore, the institutions became powerless and the illusion of unity dissolved.

This is what has happened here. The collapse of the Soviet Union put into motion processes that the Cold War institutions could not manage. The net assessment, therefore, is that the Cold War delayed the emergence of realities that were buried under its weight, and the prosperity of the 1990s hid the limits of Eurasia as a whole. What we are seeing now are fundamental re-emerging realities that were already there. Europe is a highly fragmented collection of nation-states. China contains its centrifugal forces through a powerful and repressive government in Beijing. Russia is neither an equal of the United States nor a helpless cripple to be ignored or tutored. And the map of the Middle East, created by the Ottomans and the Europeans, has hidden underlying forces that are rearing their heads.

The United States is, by far, the world's most powerful nation. That does not mean that the United States can — or has an interest to — solve the problems of the world, contain the forces that are at work or stand in front of those forces and compel them to stop. Even the toughest guy in the bar can't take on the entire bar and win.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

POLICE NEED MORE AND BETTER TRAINING

The Unconventional Gazette
May 19, 2015

Now let’s see if we can get this right. There's no guidance or discipline in the home.

The family situation is so unstable that Tyrone Washington has never seen his father and doesn’t know who or where he is.

Tyrone gets dumped into the education system where he is socially promoted because the school district will not suspend or expel undisciplined black whelps.

Tyrone's major formative influences are 'gangsta' rap videos and a corresponding peer group of gangsta wannabes.

At age 18, Tyrone is turned loose on society carrying a bad attitude, a broken compass and no respect for authority.

Tyrone gets himself in big trouble with the law because he is illiterate, unskilled, unemployable and his only source of income other than Government assistance is from stealing, burgling, robbing, carjacking and selling dope.

Tyrone points a pistol at the cops and gets shot. ‘Witnesses’ claim Tyrone was unarmed and that the cops shot him for no reason. Massive “No Justice, No Peace” demonstrations follow. Rioting, looting and burning occurs.

Then, according to academia's social scientists, Justice Department officials and civil rights leaders, the solution for situations like those of Tyrone is for the police to get more and better training in compassion, sensitivity and understanding of the urban black culture.

Pardon me for asking, but can you possibly buy this bullshit solution?

NO GAFFE BY JOE BIDEN AT ‘TOP COPS DINNER’

The Vice President paid a resounding tribute to cops at the ‘Top Cops Dinner’ in the nation’s capital

“What shape we’d be in as a nation if we didn’t have you doing the job. We expect you to do everything. We expect you to be constitutional scholars. We expect you to have instantaneous reactions to a crisis without making any mistake or without knowing what’s behind that door or what’s in that guy’s pocket. When you make a mistake, we come down on you like a ton of bricks. But you still do your job. You do it every single day when no one hears about it, when no one knows. We know the risks you take to protect us every single day — from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to New York City.”

Thus spoke Vice President Joe Biden in acknowledging the hard task faced by law enforcement officers when he addressed officers at the annual ‘Top Cops Dinner’ in Washington last Tuesday.

“From Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to New York City” referred to the recent murders of officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate in Hattiesburg and the murder of NYPD officer Brian Moore.

Biden, who is known for making gaffes when speaking, got it exactly right this time. He could not have said it any better.

It’s a shame that President Obama, who has been quick to criticize the police, has not seen it fit to made such a resounding tribute to cops in a public address to the nation.

Monday, May 18, 2015

SHOOTOUT AT THE TWIN PEAKS CORRAL

Nine outlaw bikers are dead and 18 injured after rival gangs shoot it out in front of the cops at a Waco, Texas Twin Peaks restaurant

The old Wild West was relived in Waco, Texas on Sunday when around 200 bikers from several outlaw biker gangs met up at a Twin Peaks restaurant. A fight and then a gun battle broke out between rival gangs, killing nine bikers and wounding 18 others. And the shootout occurred right in front of the cops who had been sent there to avert any trouble.

The day’s festivities started shortly after noon with some shoving in the Twin Peaks restroom, then spilled out into the corral, err the parking lot that is, where it escalated from fisticuffs to a fight with clubs, chains and knives and then erupted into a blaze of gunfire. What started out as a gunfight between bikers quickly turned into a shootout between the cops and the bikers. None of the cops were injured. It is not known how many of the dead and injured were hit by biker or police gunfire.

Five gangs, including the Bandidos, Cossacks and Scimitars, are believed to have been involved in the battles. After the gun smoke cleared, 170 bikers were arrested and charged with Engaging in Organized Crime. Bond for each was set at $1 million.

Twin Peaks is a chain of restaurants competing with Hooters that employs scantily clad waitresses in plaid tops. The Waco Twin Peaks billed itself as the “ultimate man-cave” and apparently had issued an invitation for a bikers’ night.

An open invitation to bikers? What was the Twin Peaks management thinking? Anytime you get rival biker gangs together you can expect a heap of trouble.

I once supervised a parolee in San Bernardino, California who, unknown to me, was riding with the Devil’s Disciples, a local biker gang. One weekend, he and his fellow bikers were out riding when they had the misfortune to come across a small group of Hells Angels with their ballpeen hammers. Within minutes the Disciples were splattered all over the roadway. When I visited the parolee in the hospital he was unrecognizable. It took two weeks for the swelling in his head to go down before I could actually recognize him.

The biker battle in Waco was the worst ever gunfight within the city limits. It just goes to show that we do things bigger and better in Texas!