Illustration on Why I Own a Car

Can readily be seen in this image – might have to click to enlarge to see the entire image.

Against Public Transportation

If you look carefully you can see a little difference in the routes and by a little difference I mean an hour longer if I take public transportation. I plotted this route to find a possible store I needed to visit for business reasons. If I value my time — at least as much as the company does – I wouldn’t take the public transportation route. It would eat up 1/4th of my day just getting there and back.

And of course Weer’d Beard points out another reason why I don’t like Public transportation; it isn’t always available when you need it.

 

Freedom of Press or Police Orders?

I’m still processing this video; not quite sure how I feel about it. The video is a backdrop to this tragic story.

 

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Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com
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On one hand, I think the press is way too intrusive. I believe that all too often the media, especially video crews, are too quick to get information on the air. The voracious 24 hour news cycle has led organizations to push the limits; especially the bounds of decency. I’m not sure there was anything that couldn’t have been broadcast from the studio in what Saul Garza reported from the scene.

There is also a valid reason for law enforcement to control a crime scene. The public needs to be protected from possible further violence, evidence needs to be preserved and in some cases the very evidence collected needs to be shielded from immediate dissemination.

 

On the other hand, the deputy was clearly out of bounds; in so many ways. First, there was no justification for moving the news team away from their location. It was stated they were going to be bringing in more equipment. HUH? Were they going to park it in the yard? I could see asking them to move the news van but not to step away from the location. The freedom of the press is well established. The freedom of people to be where they are legally able to be is another principle too many of the police simply choose to ignore.

I thought it was hypocritical for the deputy to insist on not being touched while blocking the camera, holding her hand over it and generally bullying the news team under the color of law. Nor should any law enforcement officer, in uniform, be allowed to block their face from being legally recorded.

And her mangling of the law was appalling. Someone’s yard isn’t private property because it is within the city?? Seriously folks that is sad.

So what do you folks think?  Please join the discussion.

That’ll Teach Ya To Brag

A 22-year-old Mineral Wells man is in jail after allegedly posting on his Facebook page that he had more than a dozen warrants out for his arrest.

Authorities say Eddie Smith’s Facebook page on Jan. 20 boasted of having 16 warrants out for his arrest

Yep — post on Facebook that you are wanted on a dozen warrants. Have friends of dubious level of ‘friendship’. Facebook’s single level of ‘friends’ is a rant I’m going to pass on for today.
And cops will find you to collect on those warrants. Sometimes the crooks make it easy.

Sometimes the victims make it all too easy also

Melissa Pace had her car broken into last week while she worked out at a Lifetime Fitness in Flower Mound. She’d left a tote bag in her Escalade with her credit cards and driver’s license.

“Lifetime has cameras, and so I thought, ‘Who in the world is going to do it?’ because there are cameras all over the place, but I was wrong,” said Pace.

Police believe the same suspect was caught on security camera video taken after another smash-and-grab spree at a Lifetime Fitness in Colleyville as the suspect used a stolen card at a nearby Hobby Lobby.

Colleyville police call the man a dedicated opportunist who’s watching for women who get out of their cars without a purse.

Yeah, cameras have really proven to stop criminals. I simply can not understand the mindset that thinks cameras keep crime from happening. We see media report after media report of criminals being caught ON CAMERA during and after the crime. Wouldn’t you think anyone paying the least bit of attention would make the connection that camera does not equal crime free?

 

Chutzpah — example of, politician type.

Dallas County commissioner John Wiley Price will be in federal court on Tuesday, and he is asking taxpayers to pick up the legal tab in his corruption trial.

The embattled commissioner will also face a judge to ask for two separate trials — one for alleged bribery and the other for alleged tax fraud.

Back in September, a federal judge denied Price’s request for a court-appointed attorney, saying that he could afford to pay for his own legal defense.

The federal trial is set to begin in January of next year.

Price has pleaded not guilty and has maintained his innocence. Fellow commissioner Mike Cantrell pushed for Price to be suspended from commissioner’s court, but the efforts failed and Price refused to step down.

Jiminy Crickets — this man has no shame at all. Awaiting trial for using his political position for personal gain and he wants the taxpayers to defend him.

Sad State of Affairs

I can understand cities and the state charging for accident reports for those not involved; personally I would prefer to keep the information contained private — but anyone with the right information can get it.

I could almost, before the advent of computers and cheap storage capacity, see charging for older reports.

But to charge people to download a police report on the collision they were in 6 days ago — ridiculous. And for it to cost $6 plus taxes, come on folks. Now you are just gouging people.

Especially since it looks like the other party isn’t willing to step and make things right. Called once last week and talked  to the car owner; she said she would get the information on how to file an insurance claim. That was Wednesday. Tried again this morning and didn’t get a response.

This should be fun*

*for some value or definition of fun.

 

 

Turnabout is Fair Play….

or is the newest politically correct term supposed to be ‘equality’

Oh, and Boehner didn’t consult Obama:

Speaker John Boehner has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to a joint session of Congress about Iran next month, a move sure to inflame the Obama administration, which is trying to negotiate a nuclear deal with the Islamic republic.

Boehner later told reporters he did not consult with the White House about the invitation….

After the closed GOP meeting Wednesday, Boehner told reporters he didn’t need to consult with the White House.
“Congress can make this decision on its own,” Boehner said. “I don’t believe I’m poking anyone in the eye. There is a serious threat that exists in the world, and the president last night kind of papered over it. And the fact is that there needs to be a more serious conversation in America about how serious the threat is from radical Islamic jihadists, and the threat posed by Iran.”

Boehner inviting Netanyahu is big-time trolling. But even bigger, it may help Netanyahu in the run up to the March Israeli elections, ensuring that Netanyahu will be around for the remainder of Obama’s final term in office.

Update: I was wondering if Netanyahu would accept the invite, since it could be perceived by Obama as another poke in the eye. Yes. He. Did.

 

See President Obama, you aren’t the only one with a Phone and a Pen.

However the White House criticized the invitation as a breach of the protocol for when world leaders visit the U.S.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that usually leaders inform the White House before planning a trip to the U.S. He said the administration will decide a course of action after speaking with the Israelis about what Netanyahu will say in his address, the Associated Press reported.

The State Department also expressed displeasure, with spokesperson Jen Psaki telling reporters “traditionally” the administration would be informed by the world leader directly about a visit.

The Israeli leader has been a vehement critic of negotiating with a nuclear Iran. He and President Obama have endured a tense relationship throughout their time in office.

Where the President will not act, John Boehner will — wasn’t that something like you said Mr. Obama?

Is it just me or does it seem like President Obama has invited illegal immigrants to Washington more than he has invited some of our closest allies like Israel?

 

 

Double Standard Mr. Obama?

Why is it easier for you to call this a terrorist attack?

Black-clad gunmen shouting “Allahu Akbar!” on Wednesday stormed the Paris offices of the Charlie Hebdo weekly, known for lampooning Islam. They killed 12 and injured as many as 15 before escaping, French officials said. It was France’s deadliest postwar terrorist attack. 

U.S. officials are in touch with their French counterparts, though Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said they don’t yet know the “nature” of the attack. He said the government would look at whether there is a need to issue any advisories to media organizations in the U.S. 

Obama, meanwhile, condemned the “horrific” attack and said he’s directed his administration to “provide any assistance needed to help bring these terrorists to justice.” 

 

Yet a person shouting the same thing attacked and murdering as many people couldn’t be identified as a terrorist by you.

7 November 2009: Weekly Address by President Obama:

I’d like to speak with you for a few minutes today about the tragedy that took place at Ft. Hood. This past Thursday, on a clear Texas afternoon, an Army psychiatrist walked into the Soldier Readiness Processing Center, and began shooting his fellow soldiers.It is an act of violence that would have been heartbreaking had it occurred anyplace in America. It is a crime that would have horrified us had its victims been Americans of any background. But it’s all the more heartbreaking and all the more despicable because of the place where it occurred and the patriots who were its victims.

The SRP is where our men and women in uniform go before getting deployed. It’s where they get their teeth checked and their medical records updated and make sure everything is in order before getting shipped out. It was in this place, on a base where our soldiers ought to feel most safe, where those brave Americans who are preparing to risk their lives in defense of our nation, lost their lives in a crime against our nation.

I find your double standard and craven attitude despicable Sir. While I respect of the office of the Presidency, I offer you very little of that as a person.

Earthquake, Must Be California Right?

Wrong — North Texas !!

9 earthquakes in the last 24 hours. 24 in the last couple of months; and that is just in the Irving Texas area around the old Cowboys’ Stadium. Many other quakes have been recorded in the area. Luckily none of them have been very severe; most are 4.0 or under with just a few in the 3.0+ range. Damage has been very minimal Praise the Lord, just a few cracks in walls, foundations shifted and not much less. We have been lucky there have been no major disruptions; in this area we really have to be concerned about the huge number of overpasses. Many of our utilities are buried underground and could have been easily interrupted.

Looking at the severity of the quakes, the locations and the damage caused; I’m really not going to be changing my preparedness plans. They already cover most of the issues I would expect to see if we had a tornado or ice storm for example. I do need to get a pair of good boots or walking shoes that I can leave in my car. Still haven’t found any that I want to expose to the locked car all summer. I’m afraid I would end up with melted adhesives running out of the soles and ruining them.

The general public tends to converge on disaster scenes to offer help and people who are geographically distant routinely donate significant amounts of money and supplies. Uninjured victims are often the first to search for survivors, care for the injured and assist others in protecting property from further damage while awaiting intervention by authorities. Victims are typically supported by endeavors of official organizations and resources, as well as contributions from other households not directly affected by the event (Perry, & Lindell, 2003).

Anti-social behavior, such as looting, is relatively rare, and crime rates tend to decline following disaster impact. In the aftermath of Katrina, civil disturbances, i.e. looting, violence and other criminal activity only became serious problems as most of the attention of the authorities was focused on rescue efforts.

While I tend to agree and have seen such positive behaviors in the past, I think we need to bear in mind a few factors. One such factor is the developing trend of the government to shut down access to disaster areas.  In Arlington after the last big tornado, the city blocked off access to the affected areas. In some cases not even allowing residents to get back to their homes. Most visitors were turned away from the area so clean up efforts were delayed greatly. Communication, especially cell signals, were often overwhelmed as people tried to connect.

Another factor to keep in mind:

Garrett, & Sobel (2003) believe that this perception could be at least partially true. They determined that nearly half of all disaster relief is politically motivated, rather than by need. They found evidence of a higher rate of disaster declaration by the president in states that are politically important. This leads many states to be overlooked, even when legitimate disasters are suffered, often in favor of electoral vote-rich states that experience only mild natural occurrences. There is also a link between the political affiliation of the governor and the president during election years, with more disaster declarations being made in states politically important to the president. Research has shown that flood declarations are greater during presidential reelection years. For instance, in 1996 (President Clinton’s reelection year) the level of disaster expenditures was roughly $140 million higher than in previous years. The unilateral nature of the Stafford Act makes this possible by allowing the president to bypass Congress, possibly punishing or rewarding legislators.

Disaster expenditures are also higher in states that have congressional representation on FEMA oversight committees (Garrett, & Sobel, 2003). States with legislators on a FEMA oversight subcommittee were estimated to receive an additional $31 million in excess expenditures. These statistics are disheartening to average citizens who place their trust in government officials to put personal interests aside for the public good.

 

Was it two years ago that Texas had a series of wildfires that scorched huge areas of the state; and no disaster relief declaration was made. Even though California, which had smaller and less devastating fires, was granted disaster aid. Given wide spread disruption, I would expect little governmental assistance for quite a while. And what assistance given would definitely come with strings attached.

I’m not too concerned about the earthquakes but thought it was a good time to cover a few things. Hopefully everyone is making plans and keeping their preps up.