Have Satellite Truck, Will Travel

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Location: Sitting inside a TV truck, Somewhere, more then likely in the Southeastern region, United States

I am a grouchy, bald headed old fart filled with opinions and not the least bit shy about sharing them.

Friday, December 25, 2009

White Christmas

No politics today. Enjoy.


Merry Christmas.


I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying, toys not included.
- Bernard Manning

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

This should be required viewing for all liberals

Point by point, Steven Crowder explains why he believes big government and extreme union positions destroyed Detroit. He went to some of the more blighted areas in Detroit to illustrate his points. I think they apply equally no matter where you look.

It is 13:04 long but well worth the time. I invite my liberal friends to explain to me why they think Crowder is wrong.


This most dangerous enemy is the American counterpart of the British Fabian Socialist, who denies that he is a Socialist and operates behind a mask which he calls National Planning.
- John T. Flynn

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

There is a special circle in Hell for these two

It appears that two FDNY EMTs were on break when a cashier at the restaurant they were visiting went into seizure.

Witnesses said the EMTs were on their break and told employees to call 911, then left when they were asked to help the woman.

The Fire Department on Monday suspended Jason Green, a six-year member, and Melissa Jackson, a four-year member, without pay. The department is investigating, as is the state Department of Health, which oversees the emergency medical services system. A criminal probe is also underway.
USA Today: NYC victim's mom: EMTs were 'inhuman' not to help

Eutisha Rennix was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Her child was delivered and died a little over two hours later.

The New York post identified the EMTs as dispatchers Jason Green and Melisa Jackson. The New York times reports they are currently suspended without pay pending charges. Everyone is looking to hand them their heads.

The mayor got in on it yesterday:

A furious Mayor Bloomberg yesterday blasted two EMTs who allegedly refused to help a dying, pregnant mom because they were on break at a Brooklyn coffee shop.

"It was unconscionable, [an] outrage, pick some adjectives and stick it in," the fuming mayor said at a news conference a day after The Post broke the scandal involving tragic mom Eutisha Revee Rennix, 25.

"The Fire Department, including EMS, is responsible for life-saving, and their first responsibility is to do that," the mayor said. "But even if they weren't part of the Fire Department sworn to protect all of us, just normal human beings, drop your coffee and go help somebody if they're dying. C'mon."
The New York Post: Mayor rips EMTs who refused to help dying pregnant mother

Even the union threw them under the bus in a union kind of way:

A union official said EMT members are not contractually entitled to a responsibility-free meal period; members on duty and in uniform have an obligation to act in an emergency, and leaving a patient is "an act of abandonment," he said.
The New York Post: Mayor rips EMTs who refused to help dying pregnant mother

For those of you uninitiated in the ways of unions, that is union-eeze for "These two screwed up so bad that they're on their own."

Firing them is a given. I sincerely hope for something criminal as well. But even with that option, suitable punishment eludes me. Nothing will bring that lady and her baby back.


We have a duty to one another. When we can turn and walk away from someone sick or injured we will have reached the point that we are no longer human.
- Unknown

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

A follow up to yesterday's post on Dr. Peter Watts arrest a tthe Port Huron Border

Indianapolis, IN - Have you ever read something and said to yourself, "Oh how I wish I'd written that?"

Allow me to recommend this blog post by someone I've never heard of, but makes an incredible amount of sense.

The Scriptorium: jamie mason's blog - Why Peter Watts Got Boot-Fxxxed

Anyone really interested in figuring this mess out should give it a full read.


The problem we are dealing with at the border is not a Democratic problem. It is not a Republican problem. It is an American problem.
- J. D. Hayworth

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Cory Doctorow and a story just too good to fact check

Indianapolis, IN - I got to meet and talk with Cory Doctorow at Penguicon a few years ago. At the time I knew there many things we would disagree on. His politics lean somewhere just to the left of Nancy Pelosi. Doctorow's stance on copyrights and freedom to share anything digital, music and movies included, are immature and unrealistic. But even with all those differences in it was still a pleasant and fascinating chat.

I used to believe Doctorow was way out of left field but pretty much straight up when it came to his facts and his arguments. It is possible to disagree with someone and still respect their position on the matter.

Doctorow's reaction to a recent incident at the Port Huron border now leads me to believe otherwise. His friend, Canadian author Dr. Peter Watts was pepper sprayed and arrested after an altercation with border guards while trying to leave the country.

So far, everyone can agree on the following facts:

  • Dr. Watts drove a rental car to the Port Huron border crossing.
  • The US border patrol selected him for extra screening.
  • Dr. Watts exited the car to ask why he was being singled out.
  • Border patrol officers told him to get back in the car.
  • A struggle took place, Dr. Watts was pepper sprayed and arrested.

The above facts are outlined in news reports:

Jones said Watts was crossing into Michigan from Point Edward when he was selected at random for a secondary Customs inspection. Watts exited his vehicle "angrily" and border officers began checking the black sport utility vehicle he was driving, Jones said.

Border officers ordered Watts back into the vehicle, and when he refused, officers attempted to handcuff him, Jones said. At that point, Watts began to resist and pull away from the officers "and became aggressive toward officers," Jones said.

Jones said a border officer used pepper spray to subdue Watts. Jones said Watts "choked" an officer during the struggle.

Jones said Port Huron police were called to the scene after the scuffle and took Watts into custody.
The Times Herald: Writer faces assault charge

And in Dr. Watts own blog:

Along some other timeline, I did not get out of the car to ask what was going on. I did not repeat that question when refused an answer and told to get back into the vehicle. In that other timeline I was not punched in the face, pepper-sprayed, s___-kicked, handcuffed, thrown wet and half-naked into a holding cell for three f___ing hours, thrown into an even colder jail cell overnight, arraigned, and charged with assaulting a federal officer, all without access to legal representation (although they did try to get me to waive my Miranda rights. Twice.).
Dr. Watts' Blog (Not work safe for language)

I was concerned that Doctorow might be over looking the extreme possibility there may be more to this then being told on Dr. Watts' blog. (The Times-Herald story had not hit the street by that time.) I suggested through a comment on BoingBoing that Doctorow have a look at the reports and video of the event:

Cory, you made part of your career out of gaining access to public records. I would like to see the arrest and detention reports published here unedited.

Additionally, in the post 9/11 world our border crossings are bristling with recorded video cameras. If I remember the rules correctly, that video will also be public record.

All I'm asking is that the entire story be told. It would trouble me deeply to see some use you and your reputation to complain about a spanking they actually earned.

Doctorow's response was that he was speechless at my use of the word "spanking" in reference to what happened to Watts. He rightfully pointed an error I made in writing that leaving the country is a privilege. (I meant entering, but for some reason typed "entering or leaving.") Then he more or less told to file my own FOIA because he didn't approve of my statements.

This shows me that Doctorow is not interested in what really happened. Like almost all of those who delight in bashing the United States Government, he is only interested in promoting the cause. Confusing the validity of their complaint with facts is something to be avoided at all costs.

There is no getting around it. For these people, this is one story that is just too good to fact check. They are going to get all they can out of it. What Dr. Watts really did or did not do is irrelevant as long as the incident can be used to further bash policies and laws they disagree with.

I think this story needs telling for a couple reasons. BoingBoing has a huge following. It is troubling that other comments saying pretty much the same thing I did were deleted from the article. My last response to Doctorow suggesting this story was "too good to fact check" was deleted as well. It is their board, the moderators have that right. But it shows where the moderators and/or Doctorow are coming from. That reflects badly on everything else written there.

The other is equal time. Maybe the half dozen of you reading this will take a minute to think over the actual facts we have as of right now. We all know there are bad cops out there. But 99% of the time, the pepper spray and smack down come out only after numerous ignored warnings. Logically, the events do not make sense as described by Dr. Watts. When adding to the equation all the cameras now present at border crossings, it makes even less sense. The Border Patrol agents know their actions are being recorded.

So what is the truth here? Did the Border Patrol from Hell assault Dr. Watts for having the tenacity to politely and respectfully question their authority and motives? Or did he come flying out of the car cussing a blue streak, ignore repeated warnings to get back in his car before he got run over and then attempt to resist arrest with violence after the border patrol ran out of patience with his antics?

I don't know. I wasn't there. Neither were Cory Doctorow or all those people looking to lynch the Border Patrol agents and various government officials including George W. Bush to avenge this outrage. (Yes, several blamed the whole thing on President Bush.)

I suspect the truth is somewhere between those two extremes.

Last note: If Dr. Watts is truly an innocent victim here I will be at the front of the line to help protest what happened to him.


If your mother tells you that she loves you, check it out.
- Painted on the wall of the old Chicago News Bureau.

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Does the Miranda Warning go far enough?

Indianapolis, IN - We've all heard the Miranda warning watching movies, police shows and reality shows like Cops. Some of us have heard it read by real police officers. A few may even have had it read to us in a formal capacity.

The Miranda Warning is some variation of these words:

"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?"
Miranda Warning

That brings us to a current case before the United States Supreme Court. The court heard arguments on Monday in Florida v. Powell over the scope and nature of the language advising a suspect about their right to representation by an attorney. Tampa police arrested Kevin Powell and he subsequently agreed to confess his sins. He was given an oral and written Miranda advisement.

The hitch come in this language from the written document Powell signed:

You have the right to talk to a lawyer before answering any of our questions. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, one will be appointed for you without cost and before any questioning. You have the right to use any of these rights at any time you want during this interview.
USA Today

The argument is that the warning as written and apparently verbally given did not leave Powell with the impression he could have an attorney present during questioning. The Florida Supreme Court sided with Powell stating the warning did not clearly convey the message that Powell could consult an attorney at anytime during the questioning. His conviction was overturned.

The State of Florida appealed that ruling to the United States Supreme Court with the position that the warning contained all that the law required.

I can see why. If this case goes against Florida, there is going to be a wholesale flood of appeals. On the other hand, that is one way to solve the prison over crowding problems in Florida.

Back where I come from the Miranda is slightly different. The sentence at issue is read, "You have the right to have an attorney present during questioning." It would be a shame if a bunch of dirtballs are set free based on one poorly written sentence.


From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own.
- Carl Schurz

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

President Obama has a really short memory

Tampa, FL - Last night while addressing the nation President Obama said the following:

"It's easy to forget that when this war began, we were united -- bound together by the fresh memory of a horrific attack, and by the determination to defend our homeland and the values we hold dear.  I refuse to accept the notion that we cannot summon that unity again."
The White House Web Site, text of the address 

Mr. President, with all due respect let me remind you that it was you, your party and most of the people that support you who spent the last few years using the war on terror as a wedge to divide our nation.

Give me a break.

A house divided against itself cannot stand.
- Abraham Lincoln

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Sure they didn't…

Tampa, FL - Now infamous White House dinner party crashers Tareq and Michaele Salahi appeared on the Today Show Tuesday morning. This was after the couple made it fairly clear they were not going to be giving interviews without substantial paychecks.

The problem with that is legitimate news organizations are not supposed to pay for interviews. Paying for interviews is reserved for the "tabloid press." As a result of the Salahi's stance none of the traditional bastions of journalism took the bait.

At least until yesterday morning when they appeared on the Today Show. Host Matt Lauer specifically asked if the Salahi's had been paid by anyone to make the appearance. The answer was an undeniably firm no.

But let's take a look at this paragraph from a USA today story:

NBC's parent company, NBC Universal, also owns the cable network Bravo. Michaele Salahi has been trying to land a part on an upcoming Bravo reality show, "The Real Housewives of D.C.," and was even filmed by the Bravo show around town as she prepared for the White House dinner.
USA Today: White House crashers went without confirmed invitation

Technically by sticking to a strict lawyer's definition of the question "did anyone pay you to be here," no is probably the correct answer. It would have been interesting to listen in on any calls that may have taken place between the Today Show bookers, NBC Universal Corporate, The Bravo networks executive offices, the production company running the reality show and the Salahis.

If someone from the production company shoved the Salahis arms up behind their backs while dangling a reality show slot in front of them, that is not really being paid either. But it is really freakin' close.


The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.
- Hunter S. Thompson

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