9/24/2011

C'mon... WAKE UP

I have relatives with Down's Syndrome. Haven't seen them in years, but I'd know there was something different about them even if I'd never met them before. I know that because that was my first thought during my first meeting with them... and I was a kid then.

Some police officers in the Miami - Dade area need some training. Training to to identify people with Downs Syndrome is probably the easiest of the training they need.

If you aren't interested in clicking through on the link, here is the short version, followed by my commentary.

A cop spots a guy with a "bulge" in his pants. The Cop decides he has a RIGHT to know what that bulge is.

Exactly where does this cops right to know come from? Public Safety? It can't be that because the US Supreme Court has ruled that police officers have no legal obligation to protect anyone not ALREADY in the custody of the police officer.

So, back to Miami and the endangering bulge.

The cop tells the guy to stop. The guy stops, probably thinking the cops wants to talk or ask something. When the cop attempts to feel the guy up, he takes off.

The cop must have looked at the guy. He had to. He's a cop. He is supposedly TRAINED to notice things.

Am I supposed to believe he didn't see this guy had Downs Syndrome? Am I supposed to believe that at the age of 8, I had more ability to determine a "difference" than a supposedly trained professional... a "professional" paid by the public to look for differences?

Well, he either didn't notice, or he more than likely didn't fucking care. After all... he has a badge. His opinions supposedly carry more weight in a court of law... yet he was "retarded" enough to not even notice the guy had Downs Syndrome before he beat him.

Oh... did I get ahead of myself?

Yeah. When the cop finally caught the bulging pants bandit, and then hit him a couple of times, he FINALLY realized the guy had Downs Syndrome. Yeah... right.

But at least the cop protected the citizens of Miami - Dade from the horror of the bulge in the pants of the guy with Downs Syndrome.

I mean, who knows what that asshole was planning with that COLOSTOMY BAG. The horror was averted. You are safe. Go back to scrolling along the world wide web. This attack was averted.

Come on people. WAKE THE FUCK UP.

We The People. We own this. We allow this. You! Me!

You need to yell about this shit. I do.

They work for us. All of us. That means if you don't complain, you condone your EMPLOYEES assaulting people against the laws of the US Constitution.

Speak out. Ask for these assholes to be held accountable and FOLLOW IT UP.

A cop beat a guy with Downs Syndrome for having a colostomy bag. I AM NOT FINE WITH THAT!



9/11/2011

So, now they shouldn't hate us.

Like most people, I remember September 11, 2001 like it was yesterday.

When the first plane hit the WTC, I was driving northbound on Route 128 somewhere around the Mass Pike, heading to work in Waltham.

When I walked into the production control area of Private Healthcare Systems... there was no one. Not one person at their desk in a department of eight people. I hadn't heard anything about the first plane. I had no clue what was happening. I made my own hours at this job (within reason), and I thought it was extremely odd that all the folks who should have been toiling at their desks already for at least an hour were nowhere to be found.

So I figured I'd walk into the data center to see if anyone knew where they were.

After swiping my access card and walking through the door, I found them. Not only the production control folks, but most of the IT division. All in the data center... in front of the consoles.

I guess I should mention for the folks out there who don't work in IT, or have access to a data center... they usually have huge televisions. Obstensibly the TVs are for "news" and "weather" channels, but the occasional sporting event has been watched in many data centers on 6 foot rear projection screens.

I was shocked everyone would be in there watching TV. Until I tried to push through to find my boss and started hearing what was going on. Plane. World Trade Center. Fire.

As I got in view of the large screen TVs, I could see the smoke pouring out of the building.

Then it happened.

The picture above is basically what I remember seeing... moments after arriving at work. I was horrified.

I never really knew I was a libertarian. I didn't know what a libertarian was back then. I just knew I didn't fit in the round hole of the democrats, or the square peg of the republicans.... but I knew I did have some things in common with both. I knew I believed in real freedom and the rights of the individual. I believed in the US Constitution. Freedoms and Rights written on paper and agreed to be followed by the people we elect.

Over the next few weeks after the devastating and horrific loss of innocent life in those attacks, I heard over and over.... "They hate us for our freedoms", "They hate us because we have guaranteed rights"

Well, it's ten years later.

We don't have those same freedoms. We don't have those same rights. The 4th amendment has been decimated. We live in a time where the government doesn't need a warrant to tap your phone line, or tell your ISP to hand over your emails.... they just need to say the word "terrorism". Presto. The Patriot Act. A free pass to a police state.

In the last 5 years, the Patriot Act has been used more for drug investigations than for terrorism investigations... to the tune of 1000-10. Thousands of what would otherwise be illegal searches during drug investigations are now allowed so the government can do the same in 10 terrorism investigations. Of course of those 10 terror related Patriot Act warrantless (or "delayed warrant") investigations... not one has led to a court conviction.

So, while I mourn the thousands of innocent Americans who died at the hands of cowards who flew airplanes into buildings on September 11, 2001, one thing I will remember is... those people died at least a little freer than you or I are today. And I think it's very sad that because those cowards with box cutters "hated us for our freedoms" enough to use them to kill, that our government has forced us to give those freedoms up. Freedom doesn't negotiate with terrorists. Freedom doesn't bow to terrorists.

Oh, and all those TSA safety rules... remember, it was box cutters. Not shampoo. Not shoes. Not the diaper of an incontinent grandmother. Box cutters.

Today I'll remember all those free people who died at the hands of fanatical murders ten years ago. And I'll mourn. For them, and for us. Free people. We don't really exist any more... or we are least on our last legs.

Those who would give up essential liberty for temporary safety deserve neither.
Benjamin Franklin 1775

3/13/2011

Cheesy Goodness

Rat. Scab. Cockroach.

Those are some of the nicer words used to describe people who are willing to do work outside of a union contract.

So, with a few states (Wisconsin in particular) either passing laws or working towards passing laws that roll back the influence of unions in government, I thought I'd offer my opinion... not that you asked.

I should first say that I have never been a union member. I've worked at plenty of jobs that unions represent: busboy, clerk, etc... just never for an employer that hired union workers. I should also say that I've never worked for any government, other than a short stint in a government run workforce that doesn't allow unions and requires the wearing of various shades of green and brown.

Now that the disclaimers are done, I don't dislike unions. I think they serve a purpose, for those who want to join them. In the private sector, customers are free to choose between products and services offered by both union and non-union providers. This offers competitive pricing and differing levels of quality for those price levels.

Unions were born to help the common man (or woman, I guess) not get screwed over by a company owner who was only out to increase his bottom line. Now, the government has seen fit to legislate most of that crap. Owner forcing to work on a holiday? There's a good chance it's one of the days the government says you get to be paid time and a half. Owner trying to make you work 60 hours a week for straight time pay? There are laws against it. Owner telling you that you have to work through lunch and he's not going to pay you for it? Yep, you guessed it... the government backs you up with a law.

Unions have no right being in the public (or government) sector. None.

The number one reason for my stance is that the government owner is EVERY taxpayer. We aren't making you do anything. The same laws that protect a private businesses employee protect a government employee.

But lets look even deeper into my reason for this stance against public sector unions.

Well, how about wages. We hear time and time again about how underpaid public sector union employees are compared to private sector employees in comparable jobs. I've seen people claim that public sector employees are paid as much as 25% less than people in the private sector.

BULLSHIT.

Public sector UNION employees might be paid less than private sector UNION employees in comparable jobs, but they make more than every comparable non-union private sector employee. Add to that the fact that non-union private sector employee's outnumber private sector union employees, and it's an apples to oranges comparison. The majority of private sector taxpayers aren't union members, and make less than their government employee counterparts.

Benefits. Ahhh, benefits.

This is where government union employees tip the scales in their favor. Even when compared to their private sector union brethren. Contractually guaranteed raises based not on performance, but just on the fact they didn't do enough to get fired by another contractually agreed to issue. Holiday pay? If the government agency observes it, you get to sit at home and enjoy the free money... or if the job requires coverage on that day and you work it, big bucks. I won't even go into the complexities of trying to figure out the differences between private sector non-union retirement plans versus government union retirement plans, except to say that for the most part government union employees don't even come close to the money deducted or the percentage of money paid to the retiree comparable to final salary.

My final point is this.

I can donate all the money I want to my employer from my paycheck, and it's not going to influence him to increase my pay or benefits one bit. But government employee unions donate millions of dollars every year to the campaign funds of the people who vote on their raises, pay, and benefits. In the real world, that's called a bribe.

So, while non-union workers might be rats, cockroaches, or scabs... government unions are the festering sores.

12/09/2010

Monopolize THIS!

For those who don't know, the United States Postal Service is by law the ONLY legal way to send "first-class" mail. First-class mail has fairly exact definitions, but the easiest way to put it is that any two sheets of 8.5" X 11" pieces of paper folded inside a "letter size" envelope fits the description. In other words, most of what gets put in your mailbox is in some form considered "first-class" mail, and the USPS has a monopoly on delivery of it.

UPS, FedEx, DHL, and any other "delivery" company is prohibited from competing with the US Post Office in delivery of these types of communication.

So, last week it was with great unease that I made changes to my bank of record for payroll direct-deposit, because that would require my company to issue me a "live" check for one pay period while they "pre-post" my new account. That live check would be in the clutches of the 800,000 employees of the USPS, and the fine service they provide.

Wednesday, December 1st, my company had the USPS pick up all the outgoing first-class mail from our Dover, NH printing facility. Expected delivery times for ALL first-class mail from-to anywhere in the continental United States is two to three postal business days starting on the date mailed. So, into the USPS on Wednesday, delivery expected by Friday.

Good luck with that.

So, on Monday December 6th, when my check has still not arrived, I started calling my companies Human Resources people. I continued calling through Wednesday, December 8th because the script reading call center HR robots just kept spewing the same crap. "We can put a "stop" on the check on December 8th, and reissue the check which will then be mailed via the US Postal Service". Ahhh, NO!

Last night, FedEx shows up at my house. I'm not expecting a delivery. It's an overnight package from some pump company in the city I live in, Olathe, KS.

I open the very slim FedEx package, and pull out an envelope. My paycheck!

Seems the legally sanctioned mob with a monopoly on delivery of first-class mail can't tell the difference between my home address, and the address of Grundfos Pump USA.

I can see it.

I mean Grundfos USA has an address on W. 118th Terr., Olathe, KS and mine is kind of similar in that it has alphabetical characters. N. Logan St. Olathe, KS. Wow, it's scarey how alike those look!

And seriously, I don't see how missing the delivery location by a mere 4 miles should be considered sub-standard customer service. It was fairly close. If you use atomic blast zone radii as a measuring standard.

Oh, and that 2-3 postal days for delivery of first-class mail... yeah, it took 6 postal days to be delivered to the wrong fucking address.

I can't wait to see how well run this health care system will be. As long as they have to use the USPS for sending bills... we might never get them!

11/27/2010

Quick Call 911 Part II

Last week I put up a post that asked a question of my readers. Are the police required to protect you, "joe citizen", from criminals? Is that a big issue for them?

Kind of funny that I got zero answers. I thought I heard crickets chirping in here.

But now it's time to pull back the curtain for the big reveal. It may or may not surprise you. Depends on where you stand on how your tax money is spent, and may somewhat depend on your opinion of the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.

The short answer is No. The police have no obligation to protect you, "joe citizen", from a criminal.

The long answer is established state and federal court cases as far back as 1968 confirming the police don't owe you any protection for the money you pay.

1968: Linda Riss vs City of New York. This woman was terrorized for six months by one man. She repeatedly contacted the police who did nothing. The man eventually hired another guy to throw acid in her face. The court held the cops were not responsible to protect her even though she repeatedly asked for this guy to be arrested and charged.

1975: Hatzler vs City of San Jose. Hatzler is the attorney of Ruth Bunnells estate. She had received a call from her estranged husband saying he was coming over to kill her. Ruth called the San Jose police and asked them to send an officer. They told her to call back when he showed up. He showed up 45 minutes later and stabbed her to death. She was a little too busy trying to defend her life to call the police back. The court ruled the police were not at fault for telling her to call back later because "no special relationship" existed between the police and Ruth.

1981: Warren vs District of Columbia. Three women living in a rooming house in D.C. Two men break in and start sexually assaulting a woman on the second floor. The women on the third floor hear her screams and call the police and report someone has broken in the home and are there now. Three cops respond. One knocks on the front door, and when no ones answers the door, all three officers leave. The women on the third floor call the police back and again say there are intruders IN THE HOUSE. The person taking the call says police will be sent back out to investigate. They never send any more police officers. The two men find the other two women upstairs and hold all three captive for the next fourteen hours, repeatedly sexually assaulting the women. The women sue the city and police (wouldn't you?). The court ruled that women "failed to fit into a class of people to which a special duty was owed".

1990: Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dept. This women is continually harassed by her ex-husband for three years (plus). She has restraining orders from courts, and not once do the police arrest her ex. The police continually allow him to violate the court orders. When she sues the police, the court says: the police don't have to arrest any one.

And finally, the big one.

2005: Castle Rock v. Gonzales. The US Supreme Court took this case. Mrs. Gonzales had an order of protection against her estranged husband that also limited his time with the children. He showed up at her home and kidnapped the kids from the front yard. Mrs. Gonzales called the police, showed them order of protection and asked them to find and return her children. The police read the order, and told her to call them back in the kids didn't show back up later. Twelve hours latter her husband pulled up to the police station, shot at the cops who killed him. They found kids inside the vehicle... killed by their father. So what did the US Supreme Court say about this "protection" by the police? The majority said Ms. Gonzales did not have a "property interest" in police protection, because the police have wide discretion in what to do and "a benefit is not a protected entitlement if officials have discretion to grant or to deny it."

So you have courts ruling against these citizens because of "special relationship", "special duty", "property interest", and "protected entitlement".

Want to know what that means in English?

The only people the police have an obligation to protect are CRIMINALS or persons IN THEIR CUSTODY. No obligation to ANY other person.

Unless the police deny you freedom of movement (meaning detaining for questioning) or have actually physically impeded you (throwing on the cuffs and/or locking your ass up), EVERY COURT says they have no obligation to protect you.... no matter how many times you ask them for that protection.

So remember, when it's the middle of the night and you hear a loud crash as some criminal breaks in your back door... you have a choice to make. Call 911 and take your chances on being helped and protected by people who don't have to respond, or reach for your gun and protect yourself, as you are lawfully allowed.