Sunday, June 29, 2014
Interesting read from The Washington Post:
The American Civil Liberties Union has released the results of its year-long study of police militarization. The study looked at 800 deployments of SWAT teams among 20 local, state and federal police agencies in 2011-2012. Among the notable findings:
62 percent of the SWAT raids surveyed were to conduct searches for drugs.
Just under 80 percent were to serve a search warrant, meaning eight in 10 SWAT raids were not initiated to apprehend a school shooter, hostage taker, or escaped felon (the common justification for these tactics), but to investigate someone still only suspected of committing a crime.
In fact, just 7 percent of SWAT raids were “for hostage, barricade, or active shooter scenarios.”
In at least 36 percent of the SWAT raids studies, no contraband of any kind was found. The report notes that due to incomplete police reports on these raids this figure could be as high as 65 percent.
SWAT tactics are disproportionately used on people of color.
65 percent of SWAT deployments resulted in some sort of forced entry into a private home, by way of a battering ram, boot, or some sort of explosive device. In over half those raids, the police failed to find any sort of weapon, the presence of which was cited as the reason for the violent tactics.
Ironically (or perhaps not), searches to serve warrants on people suspected of drug crimes were more likely to result in forced entry than raids conducted for other purposes.
Though often justified for rare incidents like school shootings or terrorist situations, the armored personnel vehicles police departments are getting from the Pentagon and through grants from the Department of Homeland Security are commonly used on drug raids.
Read it all here.
Sunday, June 15, 2014
You gotta love Phil Harris. The man knew how to get things done.He was cool, when it meant something. For those of you who aren't hep cats and more Disney oriented, he's the original voice of Baloo in The Jungle Book and Little John in Robin Hood.
Ya know you gotta come by my place some time for cocoa. I gots me some crazy cocoa, Baby!
Saturday, June 14, 2014
There was also the mandatory stop to buy "coupins". Cue Ron White. You had to have a coupin to buy anything. 1 coupin = $1. 1 lousy rib = 3 coupins. 1/2 a brisket sandwich = 5. 1 domestic beer = 5, 1 microbrew = 8. It did not take long to burn thru a stack of coupins.
Crowd control? Riiiiight. I've been to riots that were more organized. If there had been 'an event' it would have been mass chaos. The pic doesn't really do justice to how crowded it was. By the time you made it to the end of the street, it was Sardine City. You were not in control of where you were going. The school led you with the flow. I also learned the way to navigate thru a crowd like that is by using a stroller. If you have a stroller none of the normal rules of society, etiquette or physics apply. A stroller is the 'all access pass' in a festival crowd because you either move out of their way or you're the a-hole that is blocking a little kid. Why you blocking a little kid, a-hole? I'm telling you it's fool proof and Moms know this so they give zero damns about blocking you or going against the flow while using their child as a human shield.
Another problem was the long lines. Some booths had waits up to 30 minutes. This created the secondary problem of line cutters. People would come in from the opposite direction and try to slide in at the order point not noticing the 120 people not so patiently standing in line. As you can imagine this did not go over well. The solution? Send Granny stumbling in all confused and having trouble standing. Who's gonna make Granny go to the end of the line, you? I bet you'd block a kid in a stroller, too. Wouldn't ya? Well, just as soon as Granny gets in to order, here comes the rest of her herd. Oh Granny, there you are! She'll take 2 brisket sandwiches, a sausage plate, 2 turkey legs and a slab of ribs. (Karma's gonna get ya on those ribs!) I saw this happen more than once. People have planned ahead for these things and it is my duty to pass this info along. What you do with it, is up to you. Just take Granny along to the next food festival and see if I'm lying.
They made a big deal of asking people to park at the Middle School and take the free shuttle to downtown instead of parking close by on the neighborhood streets. It was to run every 15-20 minutes. Make that more like 30-45 minutes plus there was only 1 shuttle and it was small. So, when the crowds built up it turned into a near riot just to get a seat on the shuttle. People that had to wait because the previous shuttle was full were not eager to let people that didn't have to wait on first. People that didn't have to wait, did not want to wait and neither did their kids who naturally had already found a seat on the shuttle. Hilarity ensued.
There were plenty of good intentions here, and they drew a helluva crowd. It was just short on the planning and payoff. And good cooks.
Friday, June 13, 2014
And while we're at it toss in Friday the 13th. What could possibly go wrong?
Luckily nothing more than bad cinematography and poor audio. But you can clearly hear the winds playing havoc with the main rotor. We were bouncing around pretty good a couple of times and more than once the thought of "Autorotate? Riiiiiiiight!" crossed my mind.
Hat's off to Will Sanders of coloradovertical.com. He's a great pilot and tour guide. His videos are better, too. And remember folks, a helicopter doesn't fly so much as it beats the air into submission.