Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Police and Civilians...

Stingray, yet again, gets it right and then drives it home.

"The police are the public and the public are the police." Robert Peel, Founder of Modern Policing


I generally support the nice folks with the flashy lights, badges, and guns that in general make my little world a safer and better place at significant risk to themselves.

That said, the very nature of the position is such that occasional lampooning is *also* to the benefit to society (if only so folks don't take themselves over-seriously and become over-serious robotic by-the-book rule-followers good for naught but doltish adherence to bureaucratic whimsy), and further, that calling out misbehavior (when one believes one sees it) is absolutely necessary if we want to keep the quality of police-folks that we have or improve thereupon.

That said, we have before us a couple of instances of egregious WTF presented by some of the less stellar of the LE clan in recent days, and we'll start with the less offensive, the recent events in Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Daily News and John Stossell of Fox News reports on one Mark Fiorino, a law-abiding firearms owner in Philadelphia lawfully open carrying a legally owned pistol on his way to an Auto Zone store was accosted by Philadelphia PD officers who verbally and physically abused him, holding him against his will and violating his civil rights.

This might have gone unnoticed, but Fiorino had an audio recorder rolling (check your local and state laws, but this might become a better and better idea as we see more of these incidents).

Unfortunately, the police and prosecutor took exception and charged Fiorino with felonies (based on the fact he recorded the incident) which may result in up to two years imprisonment if convicted.

The response of the Philadelphia Police? They won't "look the other way at a perfectly legal practice anymore."

This isn't exactly a shining example of folks in the business of adhering to the law and protecting the safety and rights of private citizens (all the rights, not just the convenient ones...).

Enough for one post. More tomorrow.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

It's more than just the barbecues and the fellowship, wondrous though they be - take a moment, ponder, the price paid to keep us free....

First Amendment Free Zone?

Thomas Jefferson, one of the firmest proponents of the First Amendment amongst the founding fathers, has a wee memorial in Washington, D.C. This memorial is of some public note.

From what I know of Adam Kokesh, I doubt I'd much like the man. I think it a fair bet that I'd disagree with him roughly as often as he opened his bone-headed yap. That said, our freedom of speech (and the implied freedom of expression) is about as safe as that of those whose speech we disagree with most emphatically.

Kokesh, in a rather silly "flash mob" dance event celebrating freedom of expression got himself an ass-kicking and an arrest for daring to exercise his freedom of speech/expression in the wee hours of the morning.

After being body-slammed and ass-kicked for violation of the rather troubling CFR, (g) Demonstrations and special events(1) Definitions. (i) The term demonstrations includes demonstrations, picketing, speechmaking, marching, holding vigils or religious services and all other like forms of conduct which involve the communication or expression of views or grievances, engaged in by one or more persons, the conduct of which has the effect, intent or propensity to draw a crowd or onlookers. This term does not include casual park use by visitors or tourists which does not have an intent or propensity to attract a crowd or onlookers.

The cited bit seems a bit...in conflict with the notion of the First Amendment (what location could possibly be more public than the Jefferson Memorial in the middle of the nations most prominent park?), and certainly in conflict with everything Jefferson stood for.

See the video. Make up your own mind. And yes, Kokesh is a dork, but better we fight the battle for a dorks rights than our own.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


5/29/2011 12:07:22 PM F110047213 1 M1 12th Av E / E John St Motor Vehicle Accident
5/29/2011 12:06:04 PM F110047213 1 B6 E25 12th Av E / E John St Motor Vehicle Accident
5/29/2011 12:03:03 PM F110047213 1 L10 M10 12th Av E / E John St Motor Vehicle Accident

Saturday, May 28, 2011

You know you're too old...

When going out to a dance bar leaves you wanting too practice your overhand bottle-hurling skills...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Really? Under the radar?

Seems the Obama administration is after the guns, after all...

Unofficial OC Day - June 5

Open Carry. It's a good thing. If it's legal, on June 5th do it.

Open Carry DayLink

Who wants to go walkies in Volunteer Park?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A man with a gun....

visiting a state with infinitesimally less stupid per square inch in one small section of law, lawfully entered a gay bar Friday night and bought a friend several adult drinks, before accompanying friend to a second gay men where unusually handsome men of varying orientation and skill (and charm) demonstrated their ecsydysiastical skills in return for meaningful forms of direct recognition.

They were joined in similar activities on Saturday evening, despite the friends foot being attacked by a wandering hotel tub, by several benighted Canadian lads from the land of the PC and the home of severely limited freedoms who contributed to the exploration of yet further gay bars and general amusement.

Despite (or perhaps because of) being felt up by a very handsome and ecsydysiast, a good time was had by all (aside from attacks by bathroom appliances) with absolutely no shots fired, no panicked screams, nor emotional melt-downs.

Lawful bar carry. It's a nice thing.

Hit Parade #2

Over at Day's of Our Trailers, our fearless writer shares the exciting new low to which the "Committee to Stop Gun Violence" has sunk..."outing" gun-bloggers, and apparently seeking to disrupt their families and lives.

Cute. Real class act. Builds some mighty interesting kharma.

Read it, then go ahead and hit their tip jar.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hit Parade #1

Another one batted out of the park by Stingray, reviving the old concept of "Mind Your Own Business"....read, enjoy

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Seattle Mayor seeks Community Harmony

Our friends over at KOMO share a quote from Seattle's new non-competitively hired Transit Advocate, David Hiller...

McGinn was asked whether Hiller might become a polarizing figure, who was quoted earlier in The Stranger as advocating extreme punishments for people who hit and kill cyclists or pedestrians while driving carelessly.

"I'd love to hang these people up by their toenails at the edge of town and paint 'killer' across their chest and let them hang there until the buzzards peck their eyes out," Hiller was quoted as saying in January.

Read the entire article, but another shill for the militant "bicyclists own the road, motorists be damned"crowd is the last thing Seattle needs ("deserves" is a different question...)...and one making public comments as above, even less so, and certainly not at a 95k/yr price point.

To move to Canada, perhaps. But not to serve in Seattle Government.

Appropriate responses?

First, contact each member of the Seattle City Council (See Below) to request they permanently defund the position to which McGinn hopes to appoint Hiller, re-allocating the funds to emergency services - Police/Fire/EMT.

Certainly the funds would do more good for both bicyclists and the city paying for emergency services than paying such a small-minded and vicious "advocate".

Second, look into the possibility of a recall. McGinn needs to go for a lot of reasons, but the terms of a mayoral recall as described in the Washington State Constitution (Article 1, Sec 33/34) are fairly tightly defined - I'm not sure, and would want an attorney to clarify the matter, that McGinns actions/inactions are a valid cause under WA law. See references below.

WA State Constitution:
Every elective public officer of the state of Washington expect [except] judges of courts of record is subject to recall and discharge by the legal voters of the state, or of the political subdivision of the state, from which he was elected whenever a petition demanding his recall, reciting that such officer has committed some act or acts of malfeasance or misfeasance while in office, or who has violated his oath of office, stating the matters complained of, signed by the percentages of the qualified electors thereof, hereinafter provided, the percentage required to be computed from the total number of votes cast for all candidates for his said office to which he was elected at the preceding election, is filed with the officer with whom a petition for nomination, or certificate for nomination, to such office must be filed under the laws of this state, and the same officer shall call a special election as provided by the general election laws of this state, and the result determined as therein provided. [AMENDMENT 8, 1911 p 504 Section 1. Approved November, 1912.]

SECTION 34 SAME. The legislature shall pass the necessary laws to carry out the provisions of section thirty-three (33) of this article, and to facilitate its operation and effect without delay: Provided, That the authority hereby conferred upon the legislature shall not be construed to grant to the legislature any exclusive power of lawmaking nor in any way limit the initiative and referendum powers reserved by the people. The percentages required shall be, state officers, other than judges, senators and representatives, city officers of cities of the first class, school district boards in cities of the first class; county officers of counties of the first, second and third classes, twenty-five per cent. Officers of all other political subdivisions, cities, towns, townships, precincts and school districts not herein mentioned, and state senators and representatives, thirty-five per cent. [AMENDMENT 8, 1911 p 504 Section 1. Approved November, 1912.]

Seattle City Council
PO Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124-4025

Richard Conlin, Council President
Position: 2
In office since: 1998
Current term: 2010-2013
Chair: Regional Development & Sustainability; and SR 520
Phone: (206) 684-8805
Email: richard.conlin@seattle.gov
Staff: Elaine Ko, Phyllis Shulman, and Rob Gala

Sally Bagshaw
Position: 4
In office since: 2010
Current term: 2010-2013
Chair: Parks & Seattle Center; and Waterfront Planning
Phone: (206) 684-8801
Email: sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov
Staff: Kathy Nyland, Philip Roewe, and Wendy Cho Ripp

Tim Burgess
Position: 7
In office since: 2008
Current term: 2008-2011
Chair: Public Safety & Education
Phone: (206) 684-8806
Email: tim.burgess@seattle.gov
Staff: Betsy Graef, Nate Van Duzer, and Rebekah Papé

Sally J. Clark
Position: 9
In office since: 2006
Current term: 2008-2011
Chair: Built Environment; and Waterfront Planning
Phone: (206) 684-8802
Email: sally.clark@seattle.gov
Staff: LaTonya Brown, David Yeaworth, and Dan Nolte

Jean Godden
Position: 1
In office since: 2004
Current term: 2008-2011
Chair: Finance & Budget; Budget; and Labor Policy
Phone: (206) 684-8807
Email: jean.godden@seattle.gov
Staff: Tom Van Bronkhorst, Monica Ghosh, and Dawn Wagner Todd

Bruce A. Harrell

Position: 3
In office since: 2008
Current term: 2008-2011
Chair: Energy, Technology & Civil Rights; and Law & Risk Management
Phone: (206) 684-8804
Email: bruce.harrell@seattle.govStaff: Vinh Tang, Jennifer L. Samuels, and Michael Jerrett

Nick Licata
Position: 6
In office since: 1998
Current term: 2010-2013
Chair: Housing, Human Services, Health, & Culture
Phone: (206) 684-8803
Email: nick.licata@seattle.gov
Staff: Newell Aldrich, Lisa Herbold, and Frank Video

Mike O’Brien

Position: 8
In office since: 2010
Current term: 2010-2013
Chair: Seattle Public Utilities & Neighborhoods
Phone: (206) 684-8800
Email: mike.obrien@seattle.gov
Staff: Esther Handy, Sierra Hansen, and Sahar Fathi

Tom Rasmussen

Position: 5
In office since: 2004
Current term: 2008-2011
Chair: Transportation; and Alaskan Way Viaduct & Seawall Replacement Project
Phone: (206) 684-8808
Email: tom.rasmussen@seattle.gov
Staff: Brian Hawksford, Ann Corbitt, and Maia Harris

It's BACK!!

Whyever blogger blew up, it's back. And what a relief. Thought some folks were gonna hold their breath till they turned blue, or imploded, one.

For me, it's a reminder I need to update the back-up blog way more often (you know, always have back-up on different media, just in case?) and consider the wisdom of flipping to a unique domain.

Welcome back, everyone!

Monday, May 9, 2011

A day late...

As usual, I'm a bit late to affairs, but that's no reason to hold back. Mike W. really batted one out of the park the other day with this posting on why, more than many others, the physically challenged need firearms as a self-defense tool.

This weekend I was reminded of this when faced with an aggressive and bellowing college age kid as I was headed into a store. While all turned out well (I simply ignored him and kept on moving), it did remind me of why I feel a particular need to carry - if it comes to getting all physical with someone half my age (or strung out on drugs, or...take a choice...), I'm going to lose with serious injury or death on the table as my rewards for my failure to triumph.

So yes, once the kid started his tantrum, hand was firmly affixed upon Spyderco and my awareness was notably heightened. And I was moving swiftly towards the store, with the notion that crowds can calm idiots. But I'd already figured out that "fighting fair" wasn't part of *any* rational plan.

I'm in my mid-40's, have asthma, and a bum shoulder. Running away or "fighting fair" simply aren't really valid options for me. Others have it better, some have it worse. I have a hard time considering myself disabled, but I know that there are games that I simply can't play. Call that what you will, YMMV.

But Mike W. said it well - "The practical application of such statements would leave the disabled without recourse, as if they were expendable, no more than food for the wolves. Anti-gunners, who will talk about "morals," "compassion," "human rights" etc. are full of shit. Telling the most vulnerable among us that they must walk amongst the wolves without the benefit of an egalitarian, equalizing tool is the antithesis of morality, compassion, or human rights."

Read the whole post. It's worth thinking about, and a point worth mentioning when dealing with the hoplophobic or testifying before a legislative body.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Home Again

After a weekend in Bellingham, I'm home.

As noted earlier, Rumor's (the first gay bar I ever visited) has changed, and not for the better. Perhaps I'm old fashioned but I *like* a space we can call our own, particularly for the folks just figuring it out.

The Up'n'Up, where years back I was the littlest bouncer - has had a change in ownership that resulted in the place getting cut in half, the cessation of live music, and a pizza joint in the "other half".

Change happens.

At least the Colophon Cafe and their amazing African Peanut Soup remains.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Tax the rich...

The classist "tax the rich" meme does little constructive but fulfill the "envy/covetousness" bucket for some folks. The money one takes is usually the very same money used directly and indirectly (see mortgages and credit) to fund small business, innovation, and private ventures (like buying homes).

Taxes should not be used as a tool of social policy, as they are clumsy and frequently result in counterproductive results ("screw you, I'll move", among others). Use'm for their given purpose, revenue, and it fouls up an economy with weird contortions rather less.

At a federal level, I favor a flat tax with a floor of "poverty level x2.5" and that's 'cause I'm basically a softie that figures that anyone who's income is below that level has a life that sucks sufficiently that additional kicking is not required.

Friday, May 6, 2011


Sitting here in the successor (they moved) of the bar I came out in all those years ago brings back memories.

Some filled with regret, some nostalgia, and more than a few pangs for friends lost touch with in the passage of decades.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama, Yo Mamma....

There are villains and evil in the world. While the demise of a villain is unlikely to end all evil everywhere, it reasonably assures that particular villain will cease further nefarious activity.

If they have proven particularly *good* at large-scale nefariousness, it is only natural to be pleased at their removal from the scene - particularly and especially if you are a member (or believe yourself so) of a group the recently deceased went out of their way to target. It is part of having a survival instinct to be pleased when hostiles become a non-threat.

Bin Laden, at least, is notably less threatening at room temperature.

Given his success at getting Americans dead, I take joy in his departure as an American, and devoutly hope his inevitable successors are blithering incompetents that wear blaze orange t-shirts decorated with bulls-eyes.

My only concern or regret is the possibility of backlash, an upsurge in attempted mass murder by this particular villains degenerate co-conspirators.

And should, one merry day, a blazing meteorite strike from the heavens wiping out the entire Westboro/Phelps cult...I shall celebrate that with equal vigor. And for much the same reasons.

In the meantime, can we repeal the #$%^#$%^ Patriot Act now??