Friday, June 30, 2006
The defense is alleging that Mary Winkler murdered her pastor husband after an argument concerning the family finances. According to the defense, Mary Winkler had been caught in a variation of the Nigerian 419 scam, and had lost a great deal of the family money.
The version of the scam that is mentioned in the story has become fairly widespread recently. As most good scams, it is fairly simple in design: The scammers contract with the victim to provide assistance in transferring money overseas. The victim is told that cheques will arrive, and that the victim is to deposit the check into their account, then convert the money into a bank draft -- less 10%-15% for services rendered.
Seems relatively harmless: getting 10-15% of each cheque is a nice salary.
Trouble is, the cheques are forged. The victim deposits the bad cheque, the bank shows the extra money, the victim draws out the money and sends a good draft to Nigeria which is cashed right skippy. A week to two weeks later, the bank discovers that the cheque the victim deposited was no good, and wants their money back. The victim winds up owing all the lost money, and since passing a forged cheque is unlawful, there's usually a criminal trial which is virtually unwinnable.
The scammers get more money, the victim has to reimburse the bank for the money the scammers stole, usually after the prison sentence is served.
Seems like scammers may have gotten to Mrs. Winkler to the tune of just under 20 grand. A bad hit for any household to take, and the defense is alleging that stress led to the murder.
Interesting defense. I don't think it will work, but if the cheque scam part is true, that's another one we can mark against the Nigerian 419 scammers.
I hate those sonsabitches.
Time to hook up another couple of scammers and see how much of their time I can waste.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Anyhoo, Chris and I had concocted a complicated plot to extract our ratel using a banana tree trunk, four innertubes, a chicken and a peanut sack, when Brigadier-Captain Azikiwe showed up.
Brigadier-Captain Azikiwe was one of those annoying little gits who constantly has a finger up, testing the breeze. No matter who was in power, Azikiwe had always been one of his most loyal subjects. In other words, he was a complete toady, lick-spittle and yes-man. The only convictions he had ever carried were in his criminal record. Thoroughly irritating little suck-up.
In addition to his other charming attributes, Azikiwe was a bit of a bully. Since he was alarmingly small, the only safe targets were those smaller than him.
Which would normally include Chris and myself, unfortunately, 1) We were the offspring of Chief Jim, the Big Boss of the Plant, major source of bribes for a struggling Nigerian Army Officer/Civilian Junior Minister of Gummint (depending on who was in power that month); and 2) We really didn't give a damn.
Which, near as I can tell, was the reason that Azikiwe barely tolerated us.
Mom, on the other paw, asserts that the Brigadier-Captain actively loathed us, and was entirely due to the Famous Phydeaux Lunch Incident.
Phydeaux was our Yard Frog. He was also a West African Giant Frog, which meant he was about the size of a small terrier. He lived under a rock in one of the flower beds and was responsible for outside varmint control.
On the Lunch Incident Day, Phydeaux had decided to nosh on a juvenile Ball Python, who held opinions most firm about the matter. The debate wound up under the house, which was a decided no-no for Phydeaux, due to his habit of singing the froggy version of "Henry the Eighth, I am, I am" in the wee hours of the morning, and when under the house, directly under Mom's pillow.
So, to prevent the execution of the stated promise of "Frog Jambalaya", Chris and I scooted under the house to extract Phydeaux.
Now, you may not know that Ball Pythons get their name from their habit of rolling up into a tight ball to avoid predators. Junior had done this exact thing, and was fortunate in that as big as Phydeaux was, the balled-up python was just a wee smidgen bigger than Phydeaux could get into his maw.
We got there as the frustrated frog was rolling the snake about, trying to get a thumb into the coils to unwind the munchie, to no avail. We separated snake and frog, causing Phydeaux to retreat under a beam to sulk.
Hoping to take Phydeaux's one-track little amphibian mind off of lunch, Chris grabbed the snake and backed out from under the house. And there, standing proud in the garden decked out in a crisp khaki uniform absolutely dripping with yards of gilt, was Brigadier-Captain Azikiwe, come to pay his respects and hint gently that he was more than happy to give any orphaned bribe money a good home.
Chris, seeing a handy adult, and not wanting to waste a perfectly good snake, promptly grabbed the paw that Azikiwe had regally extended, dumped the snake into it, said, "Hold this!", slapped Azikiwe's other paw onto the top of the snake-ball and dove back under the house.
You know, the last thing one would expect to find in a West Africa native is a snake phobia.
Anyhoo, Chris and I managed to coax the sulking Phydeaux out from under the house, only to discover that the person to whom Chris had entrusted the snake had apparently decided to take a nap, face-first, right on our lawn.
This, in and of itself, was nothing surprising. Several of Mom and Dad's friends had been found in an identical state on Saturday mornings, although they were usually on the carpet, so we really didn't think too much of it.
We did, however, want our snake back. After lifting and checking various limbs and pockets, and rolling the unconscious Brigadier-Captain over, it became apparent that the snake either wasn't present on the carcass, or that the Azikiwe had hidden it somewhere even we couldn't find.
Getting a bit frustrated, Chris poked and prodded the Brigadier-Captain into semi-consciousness and immediately demanded, "Oy! What about our snake, then?"
Brigadier-Captain Azikiwe stared at us for a moment, and then looked at Chris, shrieked like a girl and dashed pell-mell for the street.
Good riddance, I say. Although we never did discover what the hell he did with our snake, the bastard.
Anyhoo, back to the current story. We have a ratel in a pit. We have Brigadier-Captain Azikiwe in all his smarmy glory. Can it get any better?
The German scientists get it first, study it for a month, finally release a study proving it's from the Middle Kingdom.
The US team goes in, does their thing for a week, then announce the mummy is from the 19th dynasty.
Then the Russian scientists go in, come out a day later, and announce it's Amenhotep the III, 19th Dynasty, 53 years of age, ruler of Egypt for 37 years.
Everyone is stunned. "How did you discover this?" they ask.
The Russina wave a piece of paper, "He confessed."
I post this joke, because the Russians have done had enough.
Last weekend, the Mujahedeen Shura Council, a group with ties to al-Queda, distributed the video of themselves murdering some Russian diplomats.
In response, the Russian president has, and I quote: "...ordered the special forces to take all necessary measures to find and destroy the criminals who killed Russian diplomats in Iraq"
Not, "Find them and arrest them"
Not, "Find them and bring them to trial"
Not, "Find them, but don't violate their civil rights in the process"
Our boys hve been hampered by International opinion and embedded journalists.
The Russians flat don't give a damn about that stuff. And when the Russians start asking questions, you can bet your last bippie that there aren't going to be any of that panties-on-the-head kindergarten bushwa.
I realize that the Russians have been fighting insurgents in Chechnya, with aruable results.
I also realize that the Russians don't have the American technology, assets and intelligence networks in Chechnya that are present -- and accessible -- in Iraq.
They may not know it yet, but it just started sucking to be involved in any way with the Mujahedeen Shura Council. And I have every confidence that they'll be discovering that fact for themselves pretty quick.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
It didn't take long for the two of us to decide that Mr. Durrell probably needed assistance in his acquisition of animals for his zoo, so we decided to capture local species and send them to him.
Before I go any further, I should inform the Gentle Reader that at the time this took place, the national sport of Nigeria seemed to be revolution.
Anyhoo, after several days of chasing things through jungle and swamp, Mom had decided that the active route to animal capture was a bit too ... strenuous:
Mom (slightly big-eyed, and stiff): "Is that a green mamba in that jar?"
Dad (tapping on jar with forefinger): "I don't think so. Looks like a green vine snake. Harmless."
Mom: "Thank God."
Kids: "Are you sure it's not a mamba?"
Dad: "Yes. Small gripping teeth only. No fangs."
Kids (with feeling): "Bugger!"
Confined to the back-yard it didn't take too long for us to realize that sneaking up on animals was a wee bit difficult if every animal within nine square miles is actively avoiding getting anywhere near our back-yard.
I have suspicions that the surviving astro-lizards had been spreading malicious propaganda regarding our activities, but however word spread we couldn't find anything bigger than a bug in the yard.
After much pondering on the extensive cowardice of the daylight species, we decided to see if the lack of moral fiber extended to the nocturnal varieties. Since Mom would never allow us to lurk in the back-yard until dawn, obviously we needed to build a trap of some kind.
Out came the shovels.
As a point of pride I would like to inform the Gentle Reader that -- by God! -- Chris and I dug that hole down shoulder-deep before the gardner came out, contemplated our engineering thus far, shrugged, grabbed his shovel and laid to with a will. Shortly to be joined by the estate gardner, whom, upon seeing his compatriot excavating, apparently figured, "Mine not to reason why," grabbed his shovel and 'round about twilight we had one heck of a tiger pit. Required ladders for the grown-ups to get out. Beautemous.
Dad, of course, was brought out to inspect the work of his progeny. He made the proper parental noises, then mentioned, absent-mindedly, that as narrow as the pit was, bigger species might be able to scramble out. The traditional solution, he went on to say, was to place stakes near the top of the pit angled down.
Stunned by the simplicity and beauty of this, we immediately chopped some bamboo stakes and added them to the pit.
So. Before we go any further, I wish the Gentle Reader to fix firmly in his, or her, mind a pit. Measuring about six feet long, by about six feet wide. Eight to ten feet deep. At the top of which are not one, but two rows of downward angled bamboo stakes. Which, given the nature of bamboo, are wickedly sharp.
Call it a double-wide grave from hell.
Across the top of this, picture two misanthropic little hellions happily spreading a thick layer of palm leaves and a little dirt, for realism.
Next morning, Chris and I go sprinting out to our trap to discover what the night had wrought. And -- oh joyous day! -- the palm fronds which had been laid to disguise the trap had been disturbed. Matter-of-fact, most of them were gone. This boded quite well, and (quivering with excitement) we snuck up on the trap to discover ...
For those in the audience who are not familiar with African fauna, 'ratel' is an Afrikaans word meaning 'Psychopathic Buzzsaw From Hell'.
Also called a 'honey badger', a ratel is best described as 500 pounds of pure distilled pissed-off crammed into a 25 pound body.
To get a proper perspective, understand that wildebeasts and buffalo have been found dead after a ratel attack, and that lions and hyenas will give an irritated ratel a wide berth.
And we had one of the little darlings in our trap. The day was looking good.
Continued in part II.
Same Bat-time, same Bat-blog.
Monday, June 26, 2006
I'll bet you didn't know that if you shriek, "Bullets aren't stopping it!" from the back hall while the Dispatcher is on the front phone telling the newsie that it's been a quiet night you can apparently cause an adrenaline rush in the afore-mentioned media-drone equal to about four simultaneous espresso shots.
Oh, well. Yet another addition to the List of Forbidden Activities.
Right behind the 0400 Tac Channel broadcast of "The Adventures of Thunderbunny" and the addition of a glue-on rubber pig snout to the uniform on All Hallows Eve.
No sense of humour in these bigger departments. Frankly, it's annoying as hell.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
I am speaking of those boys -- by no means gentlemen, truly -- who feel that they simply can not venture into public without a two-fisted grip on Mr. Happy.
They're every-sodding-where. Groups of them. Standing around with both hands rammed elbow-deep down the front of their trousers.
Listen to me: I have four decades on this dirtball as a male of the species, and I can say with some authority that your wedding tackle is not going to sneak away if you don't keep a firm grip on it. They're going to be there next time you go to the litter box, trust me on this.
Your underwear does a fine job of keeping them warm, they don't need extra bodyheat, nor do they require comforting, and there are three of them down there, so they're not going to get lonely.
Despite what your mother may have told you, the Tallywhacker Fairy does not exist, and is not going to be stealing anything of yours that you don't have a firm grip on.
If you are afraid of him falling off, quit putting him into dangerous places.
And, even if you do fail to heed the last advice, he's going to go through at least four colour changes and shoot up the pain spectrum before detachment occurs, by which time you'll have plenty of advance warning. In other words, it ain't gonna be a surprise, boy.
Any male who can't get from one end of a grocery store to the other without getting a firm grip on the family jewels isn't a man -- he's a child.
A man does not require constant tactile reassurance that gremlins haven't stolen his Bestest Buddy Since Puberty*. A man -- a gentleman -- does not go through society shedding curlies with every handshake, and a gentleman does not force the remainder of society to don gloves before touching public phones, elevator buttons, bank pens, door handles, cans of whole kernel corn, or anywhere else that your arthropod-infested little snot hooks may have been.
I swear to Shiva, if you little perverts don't get your meat-hooks off your goodies, I'm going to take the bigger half of a pool cue and I'm going to start rapping knuckles.
I do hope I am no less than crystal clear on this one.
* Edited because I had my anatomical euphemisms mixed up.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Mixed that up this morning and bunged it into an old empty spice bottle. About an hour before I fire up the grill, I'm going to sprinkle it all over some nice little ribeyes, and let them contemplate in the 'fridge until the coals are ready.
Then, I'm going to sear them on the rare side of medium-rare and serve 'em with a salad, fresh bread and microbrews.
The first person to reach for a bottle of A-1 is going to get shot.
I realize that this is probably more symbolic than anything else, but I appreciate it anyway.
Even if it does put a crimp on my plans for the United Nations.
Friday, June 23, 2006
Mike seems to think he is somewhat of a talented editorial artiste. Shall we peruse one of his works? Why the hell not.
The "cartoon" in question is under the title "Book On Torture". This isn't the original title, originally it seems to have been "Pot To Kettle", but seems Young Mikey discovered he had done hauled off and shoved his wedding tackle into a hornets nest, so he did a little crawfishing.
I thoroughly and completely wish that I actually lived in Atlanta, so that I could exercise my First Amendment right by buying every copy of this piece of filth and using it to stoke a bonfire for the purposes of burning an effigy of Mike Luckovich on the front lawn of the news office.
Mind you, that doesn't come within 10% of demonstrating just exactly how PISSED OFF I am about this cartoon.
For those of you who might have blood pressure problems and should probably stay away from that link, allow me to describe it to you.
We have a cartoon drawing of two men, both wearing executioner hoods, the one on the right holding a knife and wearing a shirt labelled "Al Qaida", the one on the right with a bullwhip and a PR-24 baton wearing a shirt with the American flag on the chest.
The American is reading from a book, titled "TORTURE ETIQUETTE" and instructing the Al Qaida, "I direct your attention to page 17, paragraph 9, line 4 ..."
Seems that Mike Luckovich thinks that when Americans put panties on a prisoners head, it's just as bad as Al Qaida CUTTING OFF A HEAD.
So. American violate procedure, put panties on inmate heads, let dogs bark at them and force them to deal with unveiled American women.
Al Qaida cuts genitals off. Cuts heads off. Breaks bones. Sets living people on fire.
The Americans who do the above get investigated, tried and sentenced to prison.
The Al Qaida who do the above are GODDAMNED HEROES.
Yeah. This is equal.
I swear to God, if I were kin to an American soldier who had had his genitalia cut off, been cut to ribbons, and had his arms broken before having his head sawed off, I do believe that I might consider the penalty for taking a horsewhip to Mike Luckovich on the front porch of the newspaper to be worth the jail time.
And I'm bloody well certain that were I on the jury deciding that case of horsewhipping, I damned sure would nullify the case and go out for tea.
I cannot fathom the mind that could believe that putting panties on a mans head is the moral equivalent of sawing off a mans head.
I seriously can't.
Furthermore, I can't understand how something that ought to be a man could be callous enough -- depraved enough -- to consider publishing that piece of garbage less than a week after those kids that Al Queda slaughtered were finally identified. Have those kids even gotten back home yet, much less been laid to rest?
Yet here is Mike Luckovich, ostensibly a man, making a black-and-white statement that what happened to those kids is the moral equivalent of what happened at Abu Gharib.
Hey, Mike, you pismire, tell me do, are the people who were tortured at Abu Gharib dead or alive?
Were there investigations and punishments?
Now, you worthless sack of skin, are those kids who were tortured by Al Queda still alive, or are they going home in boxes? Are the funerals going to be open or closed casket? Why?
Were there investigations and punishments?
You insignificant waste of DNA. You worthless oxygen thief. You two-bit, twinkle-toed, pansie-assed, boot-licking, split-tongued catamite. You are an inbred, gauch-eyed, boorish, ill-mannered honyock. Horsewhipping is too good for you.
You should get down on your goddamned knees and beg forgiveness of the families that are burying their dead for your unspeakable crime of comparing the torture and murder of their precious children to what happened at Abu Gharib.
Come near me, you insufferable little bastard, and I'll spit in your face, I swear to God.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
This is news? Let me whip out a Ouija board and we can ask a whole bunch of metabolically-challenged Kurds if this is news.
With amazing predictability, a certain ... segment ... of the political spectrum has decided that this doesn't really count as "mass" destruction.
Me, I'm just a redneck, but I figure that one metric ton of a substance that requires less than a milligram to Kill 'Dog Dead is pretty far up there in the "mass destruction" category.
But that's just me.
The National Academy of Sciences has declared that they're "pretty sure" that the Earth is the warmest it's been in the last 2,000 years.
When asked how warm was the Earth prior to the last 2,000 years, the N.A.S. responded by annoucing that the Earth is the warmest it's been in the last 2,000 years.
When asked if the statement: "The Earth is the warmest it's been in the last 2,000 years" meant that the Earth was warmer than it is now at 0 B.C. and before, the N.A.S. responded by announcing that the Earth is the warmest it's been in the last 2,000 years.
When asked if the statement: "The Earth is the warmest it's been in the last 2,000 years" meant that the Earth was warmer than now during the height of the Roman Empire, the Hellenistic Period, the Inca Empire, the Aztec Empire, several squillion Egyptian Pharoahs, Odin-only-knows how many Chinese Emperors, and various random cultures between the Tigris and Euphrates and/or south of the Himalayas, the N.A.S. responded by sticking their fingers in their ears and announcing that the Earth is the warmest it's been in the last 2,000 years.
When it was pointed out that the fine print in the N.A.S. report indicated that the study was certain only for the last 400 years, and that the temperatures of the years before the last 400 were still only an educated guess, the N.A.S. responded by announcing that the Earth lalala warmest lalallalala 2000 years lalalalala GLOBAL WARMING!
Said announcement followed by rioting Congress-critters, hyper-ventilating Hollywood-critters, and much solemn sermonizing by plastic Media-critters.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Hizzoner, the Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin has requested Louisiana National Guard troops to patrol the Crescent City. His partner, The Right Honourable Governor Kathleen Blanco, was only too eager to supply soldiers.
Can Nagin do anything without begging for State or Federal help? Honestly, why does New Orleans even have a mayor?
Several things about this little blip in the soap opera that is post-Katrina New Orleans concern me -- not the least of which is the fact that the last place the LA Nat'l Guard patrolled was downtown Baghdad -- but I am particularly disturbed by the precedent this sets.
Traditionally, the Governor of a State activates the National Guard for disasters. Multiple city, multiple county, multiple jurisdiction incidents. Tornados starting in the South-west corner of the Panhandle and finishing in the North-east corner. Hurricanes that smash an entire coast. Blizzards covering a couple of States. Biblical-type stuff.
To activate a National Guard unit for one city of maybe 200,000 ... what the hell? Doesn't New Orleans sit in one or more counties? Or is it parishes? New Orleans doesn't have a parish Sheriff's Office they could have gotten help from? Mutual aid agreements with surrounding communities?
No, they had to call out troops.
The death of anyone is not a thing to be taken lightly, but are the deaths of several people who were most probably involved in the local distribution of recreational pharmaceuticals really worth the deployment of 300 soldiers?
Washington DC, Detroit, Los Angeles, Chicago and other cities see multiple homicides -- since we're doing it in New Orleans, should we go ahead and start deploying troops in these other cities?
Now, I freely admit that I'm not in New Orleans. It is entirely possible that, from my limited and admittedly biased viewpoint, I am missing something.
However, it is my firmly-held belief that Citizens of the United Staets, on United States soil, should never be policed by military troops unless and until things have gone completely and totally rodeo.
Five subjects getting canked over a dispute concerning Narcotics, Trade of ... does not seem to me to pass the smell test for things going completely and totally rodeo -- especially with the stated 1,375 civilian peace officers for a city that apparently numbers somewhere around 200,000.
As a comparison, Amarillo, Texas has a population of between 180,000 and 230,000 (depending on whose numbers you're looking at) and a police force of a little over 300.
Arlington, TX pop: 360,000. PD of 730.
Garland, TX pop: 217,000. PD: 390
Lubbock, TX pop: 200,000. PD: 400.
New Orleans, LA. Population, about 200,000. PD: 1,375.
Plus 300 National Guard troops. And 60 Louisiana State Police.
Granted, none of the above cities in Texas have gone through a hurricane (Beaumont, pop: 114,000. PD: 303 Hurricane: Rita) -- but Lord have mercy, 3X - 4X the number of officers for a similarly-sized Texas city and they still can't get a grip on things?
What the hell, over?
Monday, June 19, 2006
There is a club devoted exclusively to gangsta hip-hop music located in our fair city.
It is currently part of the turf owned by one set of Latino gangers who are feuding pretty seriously with another pack.
Small, dark, mota- reeking little place. My buddy Reno and I did some bouncing for spending money there for a couple of years when an African-American gang still owned that side; it was a brutal little dive then and it darned sure hasn't got any better.
Local PD won't go in there with less than four officers, and they usually have the tac-team do their walk-throughs.
Anyhoo, one night a while back there is a call for an ambulance, Rescue, the tac-team, and any available officers Code Three to the club.
Everybody and their grandma shows up. Several tons worth of officers show up, and muscle their way through the patrons to find a 19-year-old hispanic male laying on his side on the dance floor, completely unresponsive.
Everyone really, really wants to know just what the hell has happened here, his vatos are going bugnuts, and the only thing that anyone can learn is that the other gang has "done shot him".
This is Not Good. This is So Not Good.
Visions of a full-blown gang war dancing in their heads, the tac-team starts heaving bodies out into the road while the detectives snatch two of the biggest-mouthed eses and start trying to put together a sequence of what the hell just happened here.
Turns out that about eight Kings walked into the club sometime prior to the incident and started dancing with Lords gals.
Young Eduardo De La Dancefloor decided that this was, indeed, an insult too great to be borne so he allegedly pulled out what seems to have been a chromed Raven Arms .25ACP, pointed it at the Kings, and engaged in what must have been a truly inspired Alpha Male Display.
The Kings chose (for once) the better part of valour and hauled butt out the side door of the club.
Young Eduardo then turned in triumph to his little pack, and in a manner calculated to cause swooning in any brainless girl-child desperate (or stupid) enough to hang out with Mexicano gangsters, whirls the little silver auto around his shootin' finger, flips it back the other way, then back again, and proceeds to, err ... manfully ... thrust it home into the front of his waistband.
Gentle Readers, the Four Rules of Shooting are not just Rules, they are a damned fine idea. Let us ponder, in this case, the wisdom of: "Don't Point The Barrel At Anything You're Not Willing To Destroy" and "Keep Your Booger Hook Off Of The Bang Switch".
Yeah. Whoo. I believe that my readers of the male persuasion probably have an inkling of what happened.
My friends, I have seen the impossible. I have proof of a one shot stop utilizing a single, lonesome .25ACP FMJ.
Sweet Shivering Shiva.
Ahem. Anyhoo, apparently the finale of this testosterone preen involved Young Eduardo staggering back a step, raising a paw to his buddies, stumbling a bit and then according to eyewitnesses, his eyes just "kinda rolled back" and Eddie ploughed nose first into the parquet dancefloor.
I shall never sniff disdainfully at those who choose to carry a .25 ACP again.
Apparently he blew the left one into hamburger, air-conditioned Mr. Happy, and the combination of muzzle-flash and hydrostatic shock(?!) bruised the right one to the point that it's probably "not going to be viable". Medically speaking.
Oh, and the the round drilled into his left thigh and snuggled in contentedly about an inch or so from the femur.
Jut another day in Law Enforcement, folks. You can't make this stuff up.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
They are used to keep the troopies in time, and -- more importantly -- as a morale-builder.
When I went through Basic Training at Ft. Jackson in 1985, the New Army sensitivity hadn't quite made it down to us, as a result, we still sang the older jodies. Vulgar, tasteless, obscene and scatological doesn't quite cover it.
As Army recruits, we were firmly informed that we had two missions in life. The first of these was to kill people. The second was to break things. Those were our duties.
As a result, our jodies revolved around killing the enemy, killing Jody (the civilian at home who was topping your girl while you were in uniform), dying ourselves if we screwed up; about blowing things up, burning them down; loud, lewd ruminations about women, their morals and anatomical details...
Y'all get the picture. Not exactly Politically correct, but we were a bunch of piss-and-vinegar 18 year-olds who were training to become United States aRmy soldiers. We were not the Rover Scouts, and if you couldn't handle harsh language and vivid imagery, then you didn't need to be anywhere near where we were marching.
I bring this up, because apparently the USMC upper echelon has lost their ever-loving minds.
They seem to have developed an organization-wide wedgie concerning a song sung by a Marine, for the amusement of other Marines.
Rumour has it that some high-level marine-type officers are looking for an excuse to bust these kids.
Folks, any USMC officer of LTC (that's Lieutenant-Colonel, I'm Army, stuff your LtCol) rank or higher was probably indoctrinated into the U.S. military at the same time that I was.
Any officer of LTC rank or higher sang the same damned jodies that I did at the time.
If I chanted "Bodies, Bleeding Bodies", "Napalm Sticks To Kids", and "Up Jumped The Monkey" then those very officers did, too, if not worse ones.
Any officer that breaks it off in those kids for singing a song that is considerably tamer than the cadences that officer sang when said officer was the same age as those kids is one hypocritical bastard.
And you can quote me on that one.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
1.4 billion dollars.
That doesn't sound too altogether bad.
One billion, four hundred million dollars.
Sweet Shivering Shiva. I honestly don't know whether to spit or have a stroke.
For those of you who'd rather have the synopsis: That one billion, four hundred million dollars is the amount of YOUR money and MY money that was supposed to be used for disaster relief after Katrina/Rita, but was, apparently, not.
It seems that, pardon my aneurysm, that this one billion, four hundred million tax dollars was spent -- not on food, water or the necessities of life -- but, rather on such items as:
Season tickets to New Orleans Saints football games;
One week vacation in the Caribbean;
Various sex toys;
"Girls Gone Wild" DVDs; and
The services of a divorce lawyer.
On top of the other things like double-billed housing assistance and other aid fraud.
There are no words to describe my feelings on this matter. None.
I want to know, and I want to know right bloody skippy now, how much of this fraud has been committed by genuine victims of the hurricanes. In other words, I want to know how many people took their legitimate aid cards and bought non-essential things.
I realize that I shall never know these figures, because some-sodding-body is going to declare the results to be racist.
I'm going to tell you what: Between that jackass in his New York Holiday Inn, and the other jackasses relecting Ray "The Fed Gov't Needs To Get Off Their Asses And Save Mine" Nagin, and now this little jewel, I have just about HAD IT with the Katrina/Rita debacle.
And don't go blaming this crap on FEMA. Too many Congress-critters, Senate Things, Black Caucuses, commentators and other folks who think they're actually important were flaming FEMA for delays at the time, there was no way this side of Annwyn that FEMA was going to take the time to properly check each applicant, causing more delays and catching even more grief.
You insignificant flyspecks decided to get six-feet up FEMAs fourth point of contact with your politicized horse manure, you ought to have to deal with the consequences, you insufferable little oiks.
Instead of accepting their part of the responsibility for this One Billion, Four Hundred Million Dollar goat-rope, Congress is suggesting, and I quote:
"Prosecutors from the federal level down should be looking at prosecuting these crimes and putting the criminals who committed them in jail for a long time."
Yeah, that's going to happen. About five minutes after my legions of flying monkeys complete my quest for World Domination.
Jail, my furry chapped butt. I want to see public floggings and crucifixions, Godsdamnit.
I want to see the dirty, rotten, worthless sack of trash who used a FEMA card to buy "Girls Gone Wild" get that DVD nailed to his forehead on national TeeVee.
I want to see empty Dom Perignon bottles kicked up until the oxygen thief who purchased the booze with disaster relief money -- MY DAMNED TAX MONEY --chokes on the foil in the back of his throat.
I want to see ... This ... You have no idea ...
One. BILLION. Four. HUNDRED. MILLION. Tax dollars.
My dollars. I sweated, bled and worked my arse off for those dollars. Forty, fifty and sixty hour work weeks, so the Gov't could take the money out of my pocket and give -- GIVE! -- it to the poor, starving survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Caribbean-sodding-vacation. Dom-bloody-Perignon. Shagging toys.
I'm here to tell you, some people can officially GO TO HELL on this one, and you know who the hell you are, too.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Independent counsel has decided not to summons Karl Rove for any further grand jury sessions; and will not seek to get a grand jury indictment against him.
President Bush hopped off a plane in the middle of a war zone for a chin-wag with the new Iraqi Prime Minister, and to deliver an 'Atta-boy!' to the troops on the pointy-end of things over there.
You know, the man has his faults, but he darned sure clanks when he walks.
On the Liberal side of the house:
Young Patty Kennedy, son of Teddy "Frogman of the Chappaquiddick" Kennedy, pled guilty to DUI today. When Papa sobers up, he'll probably be very proud.
Annnnd ... Zarqawi is still dead.
You know, with properly wrapped and synched liberals, we could've supplied the energy needs of the Left Coast for about six months off the head-spinning and running in circles.
Ah, well. Water under the bridge, and all that.
Let's see -- what else have we...
I'm pretty sure that in a safehouse somewhere in the Iraqi desert Abu Hamza al-Muhajer is banging his forehead off the wall, mumbling, "Dammit, dammit, dammit."
Hey, Hamza, you do realize that your spear-carriers are probably running a pool as to your life expectancy, right?
By way of the lovely Michelle Malkin, we discover an Arizona cartoonist with nothing better to do than slander each and every one of the U.S. Marine Corps from the first leatherneck to sign up to the latest boot-camp graduate.
You know, I'm just a hick, red-neck, small-town cop, but I figure if the U.S. military has been investigating these allegations since the story broke, then 'cover-up' doesn't quite fit.
Unless, of course, by 'cover-up' you are actually referring to the Main Stream Media's continued use of a picture of innocents who had been slaughtered by insurgents (not Marines) half-a-year beforepaw as the tie-in for any Haditha stories, then you might have a point.
By-the-by, would someone ask Mr. Benson if the correct phrase is: "Innocent Until Proven Guilty" or is it: "Guilty Until Proven Innocent"?
I always kind of figured it was the former, but Mr. Benson obviously has it pegged for the latter.
Anyhoo, if you've got feelings about this one one way or the other, drop by The Arizona Republic and leave a note.
Until tomorrow, y'all be safe.
Monday, June 12, 2006
I have seen the future of America, and I'm here to tell you it bloody well looks bleak from where I sit.
One of the guys at the department brought a videotape to work today and told us that if we wanted to see some truly funny and pathetic stuff, we should watch it.
I am sorry to say, we did.
Apparently somebody, somewhere has decided to spring scary situations on unsuspecting people, and film their reactions for the edification of the masses.
I know what you're thinking. And I probably should go into a rant about the disgusting practice of terrifying people for the purpose of filming their terror so so that Joe Sixpack can be amused, but no.
No, friends and neighbors, the truly horrifying thing about this show is the gormless, gutless - pardon my French: nutless reactions of the victims.
Folks, I have just seen two fairly large young men who are escorting a cute young lady climb into a taxi-cab and when the taxi driver refuses to stop the cab (and even goes so far as to begin driving through structures) these two outstanding examples of the knuckle-dragging half of the species don't do a damned thing except bleat at the driver to stop!
Are you kidding me?!
You've got a maniac cab driver bellowing about not going back to jail and driving like a sulphur-reeking bat over, and through, the scenery; and you've got a lady screaming hysterically in the front seat and what do these two putzes do?
[snivel]"Look, you need to stop. Really. Please stop the car."[/snivel]
Jumping Judas priest on a flaming pogo stick!
Are you telling me that between the two of those -- I can't call them men, because I swear to God that there can't be enough testosterone between the two of them to sprout one single solitary chest hair -- between the two of those ... things ... they didn't have one right cross? A chokehold? Hell, the two of them couldn't just snatch the driver over the back of his seat and pummel the ever-living Cheeze-Whiz out of him?
Look, I know and understand that the brainwashed little honyocks would probably wet their knickers at the thought of touching, much less carrying, a gun, but they didn't have one single, dad-blasted pocket-knife somewhere?
[snivel]"Look, we're getting scared. We don't like this."[/snivel]
Well, no ****, Sherlock! Bloody well express your feelings later, do something about the idiot right the hell now!
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, since when the hell did snivelling become the American response to Bad Stuff Happening?
I swear to God that the touchy-feely hippie jackanapes have ruined this whole country.
This is what passes as humor?! I'm here to tell you the only God-****ed thing that would have been funny about that whole situation would have been if one of those lads would have screwed a .38 into the drivers' ear and caused the goober to drench his drawers.
That would have been funny.
No-ooo. We get whimpering and snivelling. And everybody out thataway seems to think this is normal.
Is someone yanking my chain? At one time we were the mightiest nation on the face of God's green earth, and we're reduced to this?
We're toast. We are absolutely, undeniably toast. Bloody hell.
And I hope like hell that the little darling in the front seat wasn't planning on canoodling with one of the victims later -- I don't know about California, but here in Texas we have laws concerning intimate relations with sheep.
Bloody well a case of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Farm Animal, I swear to God.
My thoughts upon this subject have see-sawed since I wrote that piece. Every day there are guys-and-gals on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq who do me proud.
On the other paw, for every gunny sergeant who gets blown up by an IED, then stands up and gives the insurgents the old One Digit Salute, we get an Ehren Watada.
For every wounded soldier who kicks, claws and bites to get back to his buddies, we've got a Micah Wright and a Jesse MacBeth lying through their snaggle teeth for the purpose of slandering those kids -- with the knowing aid of the moonbat left, I might add.
I'd like to think that America hasn't devolved into thinking that snivelling is the answer for everything, but then I see that Cindy Sheehan and Jimmy Massey have been turned into heroes by this same America, and I have to wonder.
As a student of history, I realize that this same rant has been uttered by every civilization dating back to Og and Thag; and that the Assyrians, Romans, Egyptians, Babylonians and everyone else has always bitched about the latest generation being slackers and pansies.
Knowing that Boudicca probably had a Mama Sheehan back at the old burg snivelling and protesting about the illegal and immoral war being waged against the peaceful Nero and his legions doesn't make the modern version any easier to put up with.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
I've hit a dry spell.
I've been staring at this blank, white block for almost an hour, and I really, really want to write something funny and light, but nothing's happening.
People have always told me, "'Dog, you need to publish these stories." Folks have offered to edit the stories for me, and I've had a gentle offer or two from magazines, but this is why I don't publish. Every so often, it becomes impossible for me to write humorous stuff.
I'd hate to sign a contract for X number of stories over a Y period, because I jolly well know that as soon as I do, my humour muse will go on a sabbatical, and I'll wind up twiddling my thumbs and banging my head off the desk, with nothing to show.
I'm given to understand that that sort of thing tends to irritate publishers something fierce.
Now, snide and sarcastic I can do. Trouble is, I'm tired of being snide and sarcastic, and I really want to be light, cheerful and humourous.
Let's see here...
Had a young gentleman put in an application at work last month. Looked sharp! Sounded sharp! Folks everywhere were all sorts of happy.
Unfortunately, the officer doing the background checks put the applicants name into Google and came up with his MySpace account.
Tip for the Wise: if you're going to apply at a Law Enforcement agency, take the paean to the Mighty Marijuana Plant off your MySpace page, along with the albums dedicated to photos of you imbibing the Wonder Weed in various ... interesting ... locations, hmm-'kay?
What else do we have?
PeTA came to our fair city some time back to protest the arrival of a circus. I had not realized that the protest was going to take the form of a topless young lady, in tiger body-paint, whiskers, fuzzy tail and ears, in a cage, holding a protesting sign up to cover her sweater bumpers.
I accompanied several other officers out to take a gander at this -- scientific curiosity, you understand -- and noticed that she had gathered quite an audience. Mostly male, believe it or not, and all probably hoping for a gift gust from the God of Winds.
Another lady was giving some kind of presentation, and was, I gather, quite enthralled at the number of people within earshot of her "Eat Veggies, Don't Eat Your Friends" message.
Noting that the audience was 90% male, I probably should have pointed out that nobody was paying any attention to the presentation, but I was too busy praying for a gust of wind.
Tip for the PeTA Petters: Those of us of the male persuasion surely do appreciate the new way of protesting, but it probably isn't having quite the impact you hope for.
We are in North Texas, not California: if you put a topless lady in front of Texas men, anything else you have to offer is going to get ignored. And writing on the sign is useless: The only thing we're interested in is: 1) The things hidden behind the sign, and (please God) 2) is something going to happen to the sign.
Hell, she was topless. Painted like a cat. Wearing cat ears and a cat tail. Locked in a cage. You done hit three of the top ten heterosexual male kinky fantasies right there.
Not that I don't appreciate the effort. Tell you what, if you give me a bit of notice next time, we could probably triple the number of attendees AND sell tickets.
But don't confuse the number of men in the audience with the number of people who got your vegetarian message, okay?
See? I can do snide, snarky and sarcastic.
I'm off for tea. Maybe a nice cuppa and some biscuits will start the creative juices flowing.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Foiled Burglar Sues Store Employees for 'Emotional Distress'
Saturday, June 10, 2006
— A man who was beaten by employees of a store he was trying to rob is now suing.
Police say Dana Buckman entered the AutoZone in Rochester, New York, last July, brandished a semi-automatic pistol and demanded cash.
That's when employees Eli Crespo and Jerry Vega beat him with a pipe and held Buckman at bay with his own gun.
Buckman escaped when they retreated into the store to call 911, but he was arrested a week later. He pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery and was sentenced to 18 years in prison as a repeat violent felon.
Now Buckman is suing the auto parts store and the two employees who beat him, claiming they committed assault and battery and intentionally inflicted emotional distress.
You know, it seems to me that when Critter Buckman woke up that morning, there were roughly a thousand things he could have decided to do that didn't involve a crime. He could have gone job-hunting. He could have gone for a walk. There were umpteen squillion things he could have done that didn't involve planning to commit a crime, but no, he had his heart set on criminal endeavors.
Once he decided to break the law, he could have done any number of crimes that weren't felonies. Misdemeanor theft, scams, lottery fraud, or anything else that isn't a felony.
But, no, it was a felony or nothing.
So, he woke up that morning and decided -- all on his onesie -- to commit a crime. Not just any crime, but a felony. Then he decided that he just had to use a gun for this. After some thought, he decided he wanted to rob a store.
Not just any store, mind you, but that very store.
Once he walked into the store, he could have, at any time, decided to seek the straight-and-narrow path and walked out without doing the felony.
No. After all those decisions -- any one of which would have left him unbruised -- he decided to make one last choice, pull the gun and attempt to rob the store.
Now, it seems to me that if a man makes several thousand decisions that ultimately and invariably lead to a bad end; and that man devotes some hours of the day to making those thousand decisions (that lead to a bad end) -- then it strikes me that that man has worked hard for that bad end, and far be it from anyone else to interfere.
He worked hard for that ass-whipping, he earned that ass-whipping and I surely do think he ought to shut his mouth, sit in his cell and suck it up.
Friday, June 09, 2006
Lots of speculation at work as to what the Last Mumble might have been. Some of the examples were:
"Stop choking me."
"Please don't hit me with that rifle butt again."
And the always popular: "WTF?!"
Personally, I favour that simple, old-fashioned favourite, "Oh, s***."
Well, that, as they say, is that.
The fallout from this little adventure is going to be somewhat educational to watch.
As expected, anything non-computer-related has gone to the Intel-types, who are allegedly attempting their best not to do gleeful cartwheels in sight of the press.
The boffins have taken charge of any computer-y bits, and I'm here to tell you it doesn't matter how crafty or sneaky al-Zaqarwi was, anything he had on that hard-ware is going to belong to the geek-pack, right down to his secret stash of goat-porn.
This is going to be what is colloquially referred to as "nut-check time". Anybody who thinks his name might have been somewhere near that hard-drive, or in the paperwork, is going to be wondering:
1) Are they following me and learning even more secrets, or are they so busy they just haven't had time to snatch me ... yet;
2) I wonder if singing like a canary will make it easier, and would it be better to go ahead, surrender to the inevitable, and volunteer everything I know, rather than waiting for them to snatch me; and
3) Who else is having the same thoughts?
Couple of folks are going to wind up spending a Social Inquiry session or two with the Loyalty Brigade and their Magic 8-Ball of Truth (also doubles as a field phone, if you don't mind the BBQ smell), and there will be a bit of a purge of the disloyal -- some of whom will actually be snitches, and others who simply wound up on someones smoke list, (this being as good a time as any to whack a rival or two), or just collateral damage.
All of which further serves to strain loyalties, what with the shrieking and the bodies flopping about and the psycho fanatics and the wondering which snitches got missed...
I present the successor to the throne of al-Zaqarwi. He's got a bullseye painted on his forehead connected to a stack of Coalition-issued military hardware marked 'To Whom It May Concern', the local civilians still have a case of the ass aimed at his predecessor (on top of discovering that ratting him out actually works) ... and his faithful otnay ootay rightbray spear-carriers (the ones who managed to survive the loyalty checks) are frantically trying to suck up by any means possible -- including getting signed confessions from their own long-dead great-granma -- and telling him whatever they think he wants to hear.
T'were I a spooky type, I'd find out where the crates of Maalox and Tylenol are going, and bomb the Cheez-Whiz out of the drop-off point.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is having a heart-to-heart discussion with Allah right now, courtesy of a pair of laser-guided 500-pound JDAMs. Methinks the discussion is probably not going the way al-Zarqawi thought it might. Hope you packed your asbestos underoos, you sonovabitch.
The Iraqis are dancing in the streets, bless their little hearts.
Our moon-bats, on the other paw, are running the gamut from outright dismissal of this news to sheer indignation. Of course, this is a Bad Thing, they assert.
Hmm. who should I believe?
The civilians on the ground in Iraq who had to deal with the pismire and his catamites on a daily basis, who kept getting killed by his thugs, and who are laughing and dancing over the news; or
A pack of liberals living in First World air-conditioned comfort in Berkeley and Seattle, who wouldn't know what a VBIED was if it blew the noses off their organically-conditioned faces, and who have never had a friend or relative beheaded by al-Zarqawi, who wish to tell everyone what a Bad Thing this is.
Hmpf. Think I'll go with the opinions of the folks face-to-bad-breath with al-Zarqawi, wot?
The anti-war Left is going further to state that this means nothing, because al-Zarqawi can be easily replaced.
The Chief Spear Carrier for an insurgency has to be a lot of things. Charismatic. Connected. Smart. He has got to have the ability to think outside the box, to adapt and improvise when required. He has to have at least a gut-level understanding of psychology, and to be able to train others in guerilla warfare. He has to have command presence, which is not the same thing as charisma.
And has has to be willing to die for the cause.
I will admit, the jihadists probably got a fairly decent amount of folks willing to die for The Cause.
The pool of folks willing to die for The Cause, who are also charismatic, smart, connected, adaptable, with command presence, etc., etc., is going to be a lot smaller. Probably enough to count on one paw. Maybe two.
Of course, given that the brand of Islam favoured by the jihadists frowns upon independant thinking, the most important asset of a guerilla leader -- the ability to adapt and improvise on the fly -- isn't an asset that they're going to have in abundance, anyway.
Add to that fact that all the bleating by the anti-war Left is concealing one other important bit of trivia: Insurgencies cannot survive for long without the support of the majority of the population. When you have folks lining up to fink you out, this can be taken as a sign that maybe your insurgency isn't getting the popular support that one might think necessary.
X number of Chief Sneaky replacements divided by Y number of local snitches divided by the combined intelligence assets and trigger-pullers of the Coaltion Forces equals ... bad juju for the insurgents.
Something to think about -- unless you're a liberal left-wing moonbat.