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Archive for the ‘Editorial’ Category

Criminals in theft plot show ‘chutzpah’ instead of contrition!

In Editorial on November 30, 2013 at 2:57 pm

th-11

Pedophile to judge: “Yes, your honor, I had sex with that twelve year-old girl. But, did you see the ______ on her?”

On his Flyover Press [HERE] website my friend, Dr. Jimmy LaBaume, often refers to government as ‘an organized crime syndicate’.

What happens when the government crime syndicate gets called into the dock? Remember how Ordinaries are encouraged to show contrition after being convicted?

Why?

Judges and parole boards, when reviewing the conduct of an Ordinary who has run afoul of their laws, typically take into account whether or not the offender is contrite for his/her offense.

Let’s look at the contrition shown by the organized crime syndicate governing the city of Des Moines, Iowa after they were ordered to refund $40,000,000.00 in stolen loot to their victims.

Stolen loot? Pray, tell.

The theft involved the city’s illegal increase of a franchise fee imposed on, among other things, a consumer’s electric bill.

An Ordinary, one Lisa Kragnes, noticed the higher charges on her utility bills, looked into how the city accomplished the bigger than usual theft, and filed suit against the city.

Kragnes won. The city was ordered by a state court to refund the confiscated loot, plus interest, to Kragnes and her similarly situated Ordinaries.

The city appealed the decision all the way to the United States Supreme Court and the court responded with laughter. The city responded to the Court’s derision…errr…decision with a stalling move challenging the legal fees of the lawyers representing Kragnes.

Time has run out for Des Moines, Iowa. The judge in the case has ordered the criminals to pay up…”Now!”

Like all robbers, they don’t have the money to pay back their victims. They already spent it on bling and swag for their cribs. Besides, if they had it to begin with, there would have been no need to rob the Ordinaries of their hard-earned ducats.

City leaders remained defiant as they oozed out of the courthouse. They decided on a parting shot at their victims.

The city’s crime syndicate regularly sends its victims a slick ‘news’ magazine they tout as “Your Direct Link To City Hall”. The Fall 2013 edition contained a (from the criminal’s perspective) review of the Kragnes decision. The article’s byline attributed the piece to the Des Moines City Manager, Richard Clark.

Here’s what Clark had to say:

“As permitted by state law, Des Moines has collected franchise fees from gas and electric utilities since 1960. Franchise referenda were approved by Des Moines voters as recently as 1987. In 2004, the Iowa Legislature phased out the state sales tax on utility bills. Faced with an ongoing structural deficit, the Des Moines City Council saw an opportunity to maintain city services and simultaneously reduce property tax rates by raising gas and electric franchise fees. In 2004 and 2005 the City increased the franchise fee to 3% and 5% respectively. The new franchise revenue was used to pay police officers (*sigh* added), fire fighters (*heavier sigh* added), library services (*whimper* added), and low income (sic) energy assistance (*sniff* added). In addition, the new franchise revenue allowed the Council to reduce anticipated property tax rates by over 4% which was the largest tax rate reduction in recent history. Nonetheless (emphasis added), Lisa Kragnes brought a lawsuit against the City which ultimately resulted in the Court’s decision requiring the refunding of a portion of the franchise fees collected from 2004 to 2009.”

Translation: “Lisa Kragnes, you ingrate! We did, and were going to do, good things with the illegally confiscated wealth.”

Now, let’s suppose ‘Big Eddie’ wanted to support a cancer fund for children at his local “Order of Big Brawny Thugs” lodge.

Eddie rounds up a few of his brawnier lodge members and they go door-to-door in the lodge’s neighborhood. They knock on a door and, when the homeowner answers, they relieve him of his watch and wallet. The toss their loot into a pillowcase and take it back to the meeting hall. There, they faithfully deposit every stolen sou into an account for children with cancer.

“Timmy”, one of Eddie’s victims, really liked his watch and would like it back.

Timmy goes to the police, fills out a crime report, the policemen put down their doughnuts and day-old wieners and they go out and arrest Big Eddie for robbery.

Eddie et al goes on trial and loses. Eddie and his lodge brothers are ordered to give the stolen loot back to their victims, not just Timmy. He appeals. He loses. He appeals to the US Supreme Court. The Justices laugh at him.

Eddie is, again, ordered to give Timmy back his watch.

Eddie writes an article in the lodge newsletter, publishes it in bulk, and mails it to everyone in the city. In his article, Eddie says:

“Cancer is a terrible disease. My lodge brothers and I took a vote and heroically resolved to go door-to-door to collect contributions to the lodge’s annual anti-cancer crusade. Sure, we encouraged (wink-wink) everyone to give. Isn’t it their duty to help wipe out cancer? Only a greedy, selfish person (like that scumbag, Timmy) would object to us liberating his watch for such a worthy cause. Timmy fails to realize that we could have pawned his watch and given the proceeds to a children’s cancer hospital. It’s a shame that some people (like that scumbag, Timmy) don’t feel as generous as me and my fellow lodge members.”

Try, willfully, not to pay a tax and, instead, give the money to a homeless shelter, a fund to research breast cancer, or to an animal shelter filled with cute puppies and kittens. With a sober expression on your mug, tell the judge about your ‘good’ intentions.

Just before the judge tells you what your penalty will be for your willful crime, stiffen up.

Don’t say anything that might be misinterpreted to be contrition. Stare the man in the robes down. Be defiant. Make fart noises with your armpit as the judge levies the penalty.

Show some chutzpah!

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Call the police? Somebody will die.

In Editorial on November 8, 2013 at 1:50 pm

kickyourasspd

On Monday (4 November 2013) a Boone, Iowa man reported that his pickup truck had been stolen. When he made his report of the theft, he identified the truck thief as his son, 19 year-old Tyler Comstock.

 A short time later, the younger Comstock was dead in a hail of police gunfire.

Why? How?

According to published news reports, the stolen truck was spotted in the nearby city of Ames, Iowa by patrolling police officer, Adam McPherson. Comstock failed to pull over and surrender for McPherson and, instead, fled at a high rate of speed. Another, Ames PD, officer Tony Atilano, joined the pursuit.

About four minutes later, McPherson fired at least seven shots into the back of the pickup’s cab, two shots fatally wounded the teenager inside.

Less than ninety-six hours later, Story County Attorney Stephen Holmes dutifully provided Ames PD Chief Charles Cychosz with a letter stating that McPherson’s actions were justified and ‘reasonable’. The case will not go to a grand jury.

During the chase lasting just under five minutes, Comstock reportedly rammed police cars that were, likewise, attempting to ram him in an attempt to stop the pursuit. Speeds during the chase exceeded 70mph. The chase route tore through residential areas and portions of the Iowa State University campus.

During the pursuit, McPherson’s unnamed supervisor is heard on recorded police radio transmissions advising McPherson to terminate the pursuit because of danger to bystanders, police, and the suspect. [We never hear about the once-taught standard, ‘police duty to the accused’.]

McPherson did not acknowledge the supervisor’s command and continued his pursuit.

The supervisor, again, transmits to McPherson that it may be advisable to stop the chase by saying, “We know the suspect. We can probably back it off.”

McPherson, at this point, is exiting his patrol car, drawing his service weapon, and ordering Comstock to turn off the stolen truck’s engine.

Comstock either ignores the McPherson’s command, or cannot hear it over the roar of the damaged truck.

McPherson fires the fatal rounds into the back of the truck’s cab. Comstock dies at the scene of wounds resulting from McPherson’s gunfire.

Again, less than ninety-six hours after the shooting, McPherson’s actions are ruled to be justified and ‘reasonable’.

Shades of Trayvon Martin and the hypocrisy of the statist…

Phyne Dyning regularly scours news from all over and then lurks about in reader comment forums. Nearly all of the forum commentators who criticized George Zimmerman’s decision to ignore a police dispatcher’s advice not to follow Martin have given a pass on McPherson’s decision to ignore his commander.

Such is the strength of the pro-police mindset.

“Could have” trumps “reasonable”…

Much of the light-speed decision by Holmes to hastily no-bill McPherson in the incident is based on what Comstock ‘could have’ done…

…Comstock ‘could have’ continued his reckless driving even if police disengaged.

…Comstock ‘could have’ injured or killed pursuing officers, pedestrians, and bystanders.

…Comstock ‘could have’ proceeded on to commit further crimes.

Yes.

And Comstock ‘could have’ produced a shoulder-fired anti-aircraft rocket or weapons of mass destruction.

Or…

…Comstock ‘could have’ been arrested later for the theft of the truck, ticketed for the chase-related misconduct, gone to jail, paid some fines, been released from prison, rehabilitated himself, and he ‘could have’ gone on to university where he ‘could have’ obtained a doctorate, and he ‘could have’ subsequently cured diseased in his fellow man.

We’ll never know. Dead teenagers don’t do anything, except putrify in a grave.

All aboard the Police Forgiveness Train…full speed ahead!

According to published reports in the Des Moines Register, Ames Police Cmdr. Geoff Huff explained the need for a rush to find reasonableness in McPherson’s actions.

“…the county attorney’s decision and patrol car videos were released Thursday because dispatch audio was made public Tuesday by The Des Moines Register, Huff said. “That unfortunately forced our hand to move quicker than we normally would have,” Huff said.

Huff is referring to the audio where McPherson’s command officer states that continuing the pursuit is unwise and that it may be in the best interest of public safety for McPherson and Atilano to disengage from the pursuit.

The rush to find reasonableness in McPherson’s actions seemed to accelerate when the dead man’s family began asking if their loved one was murdered, or if his killing was necessary to protect public safety. The family, and others, have been very vocal in asking if the Comstock pursuit violated the well-documented police pursuit police of McPherson’s department. That policy, per news reports, specifically requires ending pursuit “when the suspect’s identity has been established to the point that later apprehension can be accomplished.”

In the Amerikan Police Soyuz, the ‘authorities’ have become unaccustomed to answering questions because, in any police state, “Vee are zee vons who ask zee kvestchuns.”

With Holmes’ decree safely in police files, no more questions will be permitted.

Newton’s First Law and the shooting…

At some point, most high school students become familiar with Sir Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion. His first law states…

“…A body in rest tends to stay at rest, and a body in motion tends to stay in motion, unless the body is compelled to change its state.”

If reported accounts are accurate, a police supervisor attempted to change the direction and magnitude of McPherson’s response to the fleeing Comstock.

Unfortunately, for Comstock and true to Newton, the magnitude of the supervisor’s force was insufficient to overcome the momentum that was building toward McPherson firing his weapon into the back of the cab in which Comstock was housed.

Was McPherson ‘caught up in the moment’? Or, did McPherson willfully ignore the recommendations of his commanding officer and subsequently bushwhack young Mr. Comstock from behind?

Shot in the back and you’re to blame, you give cops a bad name…

Again, according to published reports, McPherson discharged seven (initially reported to be six) rounds from his duty weapon into the rear of the Comstock vehicle’s cab.

According to police, McPherson exited his patrol car and began to approach Comstock’s vehicle. And, as he approached, McPherson commanded Comstock to turn off the truck’s engine.

Comstock allegedly ignored McPherson’s commands and began to rev the motor of his firmly stuck vehicle.

“Allegedly” is used because McPherson was approaching from behind and he was attempting to yell over the motor noise of the suspect vehicle.

Did Comstock hear McPherson’s commands? Did Comstock see McPherson as he approached with his service weapon drawn? Did McPherson give Comstock enough time to comply with his commands?

We’ll probably never know. Only one side was left standing and victors write history books.

There remain other questions:

Did police escalate the situation to a point where shooting Comstock dead was the only solution set?

This is a very important question.

In pre-police state America, police officers were barred from provoking suspects into greater breaches of the peace. In fact, in many jurisdictions, police officers could not levy a criminal charge of ‘disturbing the peace’ if the only peace disturbed was that of the police officer. [The rationale was that peace officers are required to have ‘reasonableness’ exceeding that of Ordinaries and it was also the police officer’s higher level of ‘reasonableness’ by which society permitted him an almost absolute ability to go about armed.]

Were McPherson’s actions provocative? Would Comstock have later surrendered quietly? Did McPherson set the stage for Comstock to be shot?

“Shot while trying to escape” became a stock, tongue-in-cheek characteristic of old, totalitarian regimes. Shooting fleeing suspects was historically banned (or at least held to be unsportsmanlike), even among police, unless there existed circumstances that would lead a reasonable man to believe, unless deadly force was used, the fleeing suspect would assault another person with deadly force.

Had Comstock succeeded in getting his hopelessly stuck (and severely damaged) vehicle moving again but the pursuit terminated, would he have continued driving in a reckless and aggressive manner? It is important to note that Comstock was not driving recklessly prior to the pursuit. It was only after police engaged him that Comstock began his pattern of reckless and aggressive driving. Further, there is no evidence that Comstock was attempting to elude officers with the intent to commit further crimes.

None of those questions or possibilities will be posed to a grand jury.

Another important factor is the police assertion that McPherson’s actions were justified because of the populated location where the chase took place.

Was it wise for McPherson to wildly discharge (seven shots in about 3 seconds) from his service weapon in a populated area?

So many questions…so little time…

In a mere ninety-six hours after the shooting an official, paid from the same pocket as the officer who shot and killed a 19 year-old man, eliminated the possibility that the Comstock family and the community in which they live would be able to get answers to so many questions.

That is not the American way.

We must not do away with the messiness of a trial by executing suspects during their apprehension. We must not bar the path to justice, by allowing the prosecutorial mechanism to investigate itself.

This case should have proceeded to a grand jury where there would have been at least a chance for justice for everyone involved.

Otherwise, we are only a few steps short of having police investigators set down confessions before an accused and stating, “Just sign it. We’ll tell you what you’re guilty of at a later date.”

Or, we will end up with a lot of citizens ‘shot while trying to escape’.

 

Dear NSA and FBI, Fuck you…and the APC you rode in on!

In Editorial, General Information on August 1, 2013 at 3:18 pm

The following appeared today (1 August 2013) in the Atlantic Wire under the byline of Philip Bump. My commentary will appear in italics and in the color you are now reading. If you didn’t think (or know) that our free Republic had been finally and totally euthanized, this article should remove all doubt.

[2 August 2013 Editor’s Note: News sources are now reporting that it was the Catalano’s husband’s employer, Speco Technologies, who triggered the visit by joint task force goons. The new information was obtained from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office and has been confirmed by Catalano. Therefore, it was not an NSA dragnet or Google who set the events in motion. It was the victims former employer.]

Michele Catalano was looking for information online about pressure cookers. Her husband, in the same time frame, was Googling backpacks. Wednesday morning, six men from a joint terrorism task force showed up at their house to see if they were terrorists. Which begs the question: How’d the government know what they were Googling?

Catalano (who is a professional writer) describes the tension of that visit…

“…[T]hey were peppering my husband with questions. Where is he from? Where are his parents from? They asked about me, where was I, where do I work, where do my parents live. Do you have any bombs, they asked. Do you own a pressure cooker? My husband said no, but we have a rice cooker. Can you make a bomb with that? My husband said no, my wife uses it to make quinoa. What the hell is quinoa, they asked. …

I actually burst out laughing at ‘What the hell is quinoa?’ My mirth was short-lived when I realized that such was the depth and breadth of knowledge among Praetorians who are empowered to snuff out my life, kill my dog, and ransack my house.

“Do you have any bombs?” Well shit, their job just got easier. Real terrorists would say something like, “Yes. It’s in the pantry, next to the quinoa.”

Thank Heaven they (the liberty-trampling goons) are neither efficient nor smart.

Have you ever looked up how to make a pressure cooker bomb? My husband, ever the oppositional kind, asked them if they themselves weren’t curious as to how a pressure cooker bomb works, if they ever looked it up. Two of them admitted they did.”

Notice, only the elites and their Praetorians are assumed to have looked at ‘forbidden’ material without mal intent…just like Orwell’s members of the Inner Party.

The men identified themselves as members of the “joint terrorism task force.” The composition of such task forces depend on the region of the country, but, as we outlined after the Boston bombings, include a variety of federal agencies. Among them: the FBI and Homeland Security.

Goons from various ‘joint terrorism task forces’ often come from numerous agencies which are supposedly under local control and supposedly answer to the citizens of the jurisdictions that pay them. Since the goons are never identified and their agencies are never named, we’ll just assume they are Amerika’s Secret Police, or Geheimstaatspolizei Amerikan.

Ever since details of the NSA’s surveillance infrastructure were leaked by Edward Snowden, the agency has been insistent on the boundaries of the information it collects. It is not, by law, allowed to spy on Americans — although there are exceptions of which it takes advantage. Its PRISM program, under which it collects internet content, does not include information from Americans unless those Americans are connected to terror suspects by no more than two other people. It collects metadata on phone calls made by Americans, but reportedly stopped collecting metadata on Americans’ internet use in 2011. So how, then, would the government know what Catalano and her husband were searching for?

Connected to terror suspects. Okay folks, even the people infatuated with the Kardashians and Mama June (Honey Boo Boo’s mommy) should know the difference between a ‘suspected terrorist’ and a ‘terrorist’. And, exactly HOW would the government know what the Catalano family was looking up online? Snowden only told the truth.

It’s possible that one of the two of them is tangentially linked to a foreign terror suspect, allowing the government to review their internet activity. After all, that “no more than two other people” ends up covering millions of people. Or perhaps the NSA, as part of its routine collection of as much internet traffic as it can, automatically flags things like Google searches for “pressure cooker” and “backpack” and passes on anything it finds to the FBI.

More likely, the link (if any) never existed. Millions of people have been denounced speciously and have been deported (or worse) in earnest.

Or maybe it was something else. On Wednesday, The Guardian reported on XKeyscore, a program eerily similar to Facebook search that could clearly allow an analyst to run a search that picked out people who’d done searches for those items from the same location. How those searches got into the government’s database is a question worth asking; how the information got back out seems apparent.

But…but…but…they’re not even looking. Right?

It is also possible that there were other factors that prompted the government’s interest in Catalano and her husband. He travels to Asia, she notes in her article. Who knows. Which is largely Catalano’s point.

Who knows, ain’t talkin’.

“They mentioned that they do this about 100 times a week. And that 99 of those visits turn out to be nothing. I don’t know what happens on the other 1% of visits and I’m not sure I want to know what my neighbors are up to.”

One hundred times a week, groups of six armed men drive to houses in three black SUVs, conducting consented-if-casual searches of the property perhaps in part because of things people looked up online.

They do this about 100 times a week? That’s 5,200 rights violations committed by law enforcement per year. That means 5,200 people should greet the goons at the door, tell them to leave, and explain to the goons how warrants work. That means, 5,200 times a year, the goons should hear only: “I have nothing to say. I will say nothing until I speak with legal counsel.” Why are people talking to the goons? Why aren’t the goons warming a bunk at the House of Involuntary Sodomy?

But the NSA doesn’t collect data on Americans, so this certainly won’t happen to you.

You can go back to sleep now.

Look how far we’ve come!

In Editorial, Lifestyle on July 26, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Some folks don’t understand symbols of servitude.

The cruel irony of electronic ‘conveniences’…

th-1I have an answering machine. It is always turned off. I have ‘call-waiting’ service. It is disabled. I have voice mail on my cellular accounts. They have never been set up. I have numerous email accounts. I check them twice a day. From sundown on Friday to sunset on Saturday, none of those communications devices are used. That period is Shabbat. It is time I set aside for prayer and to spend time with my wife.

“What do people do if you don’t answer? How can they leave a message?”

They can call back. If something is important enough to disturb me with, they will call back. If not. Well, I guess it wasn’t that important.

People don’t like my system. No. Not at all.

Someone began to lecture me about how ‘rude’ I was not to immediately answer my telephone or to at least use voice mail or an answering machine so callers could conveniently leave a message.

No. It is rude for callers to assume they have a right to convenience. It is rude for people to assume that they are so important that I would go Pavlovian whenever the phone rings, or that I would rush, butler-like, to obediently listen to their messages.

A pharmacy clerk got antsy when I declined to provide her with a phone number, email address, or a cell phone number for text messages to tell me that my refilled prescription was ready.

“It’s heart medication,” I explained, “If I don’t take it, my heart tries to kill me.”

That seems like a pretty good motivation for me to check on my own refills; or, for the pharmacy to take time to call me again if I don’t answer.

You see. I regard my telephones to be like small doors that passersby can open and yell to me.

Every swinging dick can stop by and yell, “Hey! I wanna talk to you.”

Nope. Such things are not ‘conveniences’.

The sins of Paula Deen mount…

My news feeds are another annoyance. I’ve shut most of them down.

A story (what an appropriate noun) on one of the services told me that Paula Deen was being accused by a former employee of yet more racist behavior.th-7

Deen allegedly asked some of her African-American employees to stand, dressed like ‘Aunt Jemima’, and ring a triangle dinner gong in front of one of Deen’s opening venues and yell, “Y’all come an’ git it!”

One employee refused and is now (allegedly) suing Deen (There, ya go!).

“That dinner bell represents a painful period for my people”, she explains.

Tell that to a cowboy, Sweetie. My wife grew up on a po’ white farm and was called to supper by a bell. A lot of folks still use ‘em. She had no idea that the bell was a symbol of minority oppression and white power.

She always thought it meant, “Supper!” Shame, on her. Poor, benighted white girl.

As for the sin of an Aunt Jemima outfit?

When people change history in order to race-bait, all manner of crap happens.

Aunt Jemima was a widely-recognized brand symbol until the mid-1960s when the proto-politically correct told us she, and Mrs. Butterworth, were demeaning to blacks.

Both were stereotypical representations of the ‘mammy’.

‘Mammies’ usually held beloved status in a home, just short of one’s own mother.

I have a dear friend, a stout Marine-type who can belly-laugh through tellings of Old Yeller, but he mists up when he talks about his mammy. “She was a dear, saint of a woman”, he says as he shakes his head in sad remembrance.

He grew up in ‘LA’…Lower Alabama.

I grew up in Detroit.

There were no mammies in Detroit. There were loads of ‘maids’ and ‘domestic workers’. Most of them were black.

On Thursdays, the shops were crowded with black women pushing carts and leading a pack of rowdy youngsters between the displays. Thursday was the traditional maid’s day off.

Maids put together a pretty good living. Suburban housewives were willing to wage neighborhood warfare if another homemaker courted their maid. Maids knew this and jockeyed for better pay and working conditions through using it.

Maids were respected almost as much as doctors and certainly more than lawyers.

The prototype PC-ers and race-baiters told black women they were ‘too good’ to work as maids.

They were so good, they were told, that they should quit those demeaning positions and take the welfare payments that white politicians were handing out instead.

That worked out well. Look at the symbol of equality that Detroit has become in the years since maids fell out of fashion there.

No compassion for PC heretics!

In Editorial on July 15, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Lama Surya Das writes about a meeting between an elderly monk and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. During the meeting, the venerable monk stopped the treasured meeting so he could pick up an ant that had been struggling to cross the highly polished floor between the two men. The action surely cut into the allotted meeting time, but it made all the difference for the ant. For ‘some reason’ I seldom click back to the blogs of people new to Phyne Dyning. Most times, the click seems to disappoint. Today was the exception and ‘zanyzacreviews’ (on WordPress) gave me some seeds to chew on. A little while later, I followed ‘Dennis’ back to his poetry site and to his writings about the homeless (gottafindahome on WordPress). Sure, it cut into my allotted time to write. But it made a difference.

Paula Deen? Hang her!

KTVU news reporters? Hang tires filled with petrol around their necks and light them!

Emma Way? Crucifixion atop an anthill!

[Cue the mobs with torches and pitchforks.]

In our quest for perfection in matters of tolerance, Americans have shown a willingness to inflict brave punishments and exile upon transgressors of Holy Political Correctness.

Burn the heretics!

Heretic Paula Deen was exiled from her food kingdom after she was sued for once using ‘the n-word’.

N-word?

Remember when all hell broke loose after someone used ‘niggardly’ in a news story? I remember burying my head in my hands when that story broke. Mobs have limited vocabularies.

Asiana Airlines threatened suits against KTVU after an intern bamboozled (Is ‘bamboozled’ still permitted?) the station’s anchors into identifying the Korean pilot as Sum Ting Wong (Or was it, Ho Lee Fuk or Wi Tu Lo?)

Are we substituting hypersensitivity for cultural awareness?

Let’s consider the case of Heretic Emma Way.

Emma bashed into a cyclist on her way to work and later tweeted somewhat triumphantly and callously about the incident on social media

Within days, a howling mob descended on Way and she became an instant pariah. The accounting firm where she worked as an intern promptly suspended Way and ultimately terminated her employment. They probably issued a tear-stained press release mewing something about Way’s behavior “not being representative of our company’s culture”.

What does Way’s sacking say about the company culture? “Make a stupid mistake and pay for it with your life”?

Ultimately, Way will be hard to place in a new job. She will be forever branded as that person.

No doubt Ms. Way will end up owing (and being unable to pay) whatever damages the cyclist experienced. Her rent or house payment will be late. Her dog or cat will go without vet care. Her insurance agent, grocer, butcher, baker, and candlestick maker will lose her business.

Serves her right! Right?

Or does it?

Paula Deen got axed (not ‘asked’) from her spot with the Food Network. That paragon of moral business behavior, Wal Mart vowed not to sell Deen’s cookware. Her publisher filed her latest book in the big circular file. Deen was stripped of her chef’s jacket faster than a Hell’s Kitchen contestant who put piss in Gordon Ramsay’s risotto.

It looks like Phyne Dyning is taking the side of the louts. Man the tar buckets! Get the feather pillows!

Calm down.

Remember Fiddler on the Roof? Remember the scene where the Menachem, the village beggar, besets his fellow villagers just before Shabbos Eve (Friday night):

Villager: “And here is a coin for you.”

Beggar: “One. Last week you gave me two coins.”

Villager: “I’ve had a bad week.”

Beggar: “You’ve had a bad week. So? I should suffer?”

Therein, dear friends, is the lesson.

Deen was a boor for using the ‘n-word’ that is unutterable by non-blacks or unless it’s part of a Hollywood script. The prank pulled on the KTVU reporters was in bad taste. Emma Way did a very callous thing and then worsened it with more childish behavior.

Do Deen’s employees need to suffer? What about her investors? What about her support crew? All of these people should do without?

What about Ms. Way?

She’s just out of school. Jobs are tight. Why should her cat or dog risk being euthanized at a shelter because their human companion screwed up? Why should her landlord go unpaid? What about her future? I’ll bet she has student loans? Who will pay those?

“She should have thought about that before.”

Nonsense.

We all screw up…sometimes in epic fashion.

Let’s think of a middle way out of this.

What if Way’s employer released a statement saying, “Our firm does not share the values expressed by Ms. Way or in how she handled this highly publicized incident. Our corporate culture is one of responsibility and respect. Therefore, we are enthusiastically retaining Ms. Way in her trainee position and we will endeavor to pass our values to her. We look forward to her embracing those values and those of our community and we trust that she will use this experience to grow.”

Would that be so hard?

Would it be unthinkable for Deen’s publisher to recognize that their client grew up in the South almost sixty years ago and to make a statement about Deen’s contributions to the culinary arts? Are there no African-American chefs who were inspired by Deen’s cooking skills? Why do we dare think Deen is unsalvageable?

In the end, the mob howls for ‘justice’. At night, wrapped in the blankets of their own beds, they pray for mercy.

We all do.

(SPECIAL EDITORIAL) ‘For the Children’: Enough already!

In Editorial, Lifestyle on April 2, 2013 at 9:33 am

“As a result, I have five-gallon plastic buckets emblazoned with warnings that they may cause drowning if a tot falls headfirst into one. My newest window blinds were festooned with so many warning stickers that, once hung, the warning literature obviated the need for the shades entirely. My garden hose came with a sticker (which I promptly tore off) warning me not to drink from it because it contained ‘substances known to the State of California to cause cancer’.”

 

Shanda Boone and Jamie Geneser experienced an unimaginable tragedy two years ago when their 4-year old daughter fell out of a third floor window and suffered fatal injuries in the fall.

Now, Boone and Geneser have embarked on a crusade. They have taken up the cause to coerce and cajole Iowa lawmakers into passing ‘Hannah’s Law’. And, as with similar laws designed to ‘protect the children’, it is likely to spread like a prairie fire across the entire nation.

Hannah’s Law would mandate installation of fall resistant window screens on multifamily, multilevel homes. Also under the proposed law, if fall-resistant screens are not installed, it would mandate that the windows on such homes be restricted from opening more than four inches.

After every child death and tragedy, there emerges a new crop of laws and regulations intended to stop similar, ‘senseless’ deaths. Parents and loved ones seek to turn their grief into something positive by forcing someone else to do something ‘to keep this from happening to someone else’.

I understand it. I sympathize. And I understand the psychological mechanics behind such attempts. Grief counselors typically recommend activism as therapy for the bereaved.

[NOTE: Mothers Against Drunk Driving emerged via this mechanism and has since morphed into a contemporary Women’s Christian Temperance Union bent on abolishing the use of alcohol as a beverage.]

But such efforts are wrong. They are akin to forcing an entire community into a funeral cortege under penalty of law. Unfortunately, the press flocks to these human interest stories like moths around an August porch light and give unwitting support to yet another senseless, burdensome, and futile law.

Futile? How?

There are millions of ways to die or to be maimed. It is futile to attempt to prevent all of them. In an unfortunate choice of methods to assuage their grief, parents and loved ones of deceased children subsequently seek all sorts of new eponymic laws specific to preventing the unpreventable. There are even laws bearing the name of beloved, deceased pets.

As a result, I have five-gallon plastic buckets emblazoned with warnings that they may cause drowning if a tot falls headfirst into one. My newest window blinds were festooned with so many warning stickers that, once hung, the warning literature obviated the need for the shades entirely. My garden hose came with a sticker (which I promptly tore off) warning me not to drink from it because it contained ‘substances known to the State of California to cause cancer’.

[One wonders where kids playing ‘fort’ now get their water? Actually, children don’t’ play ‘fort’ anymore. The kids are all inside, punching buttons on a computer game or iPod and drinking bottled vitamin water. PD]

I condole with Boone and Geneser. I sympathize.

But I want to open my windows. I don’t want thick screens on them that block the light and keep out the air.

If I wanted them, I would buy them. If I had small, rowdy children I would definitely look into them for my home.

If Boone and Geneser were to embark on an educational campaign to make parents aware of window locks and fall-resistant screens, I would be in the gallery cheering them. But seeking to legislate their use and installation will only paint us further into a corner where we are free to do anything as long as it is 100% risk-free.

Ms. Boone and Mr. Geneser, you have done your community a great service. Your daughter’s untimely death motivated you to make your neighbors aware of a risk that took her from you. But it is time to move on, to mourn, to heal, and to leave the rest of us to our fates.

No matter how irresponsible and dangerous that may seem to you.

My favorite April Fool jokes!

In Editorial on April 1, 2013 at 9:31 am

th-7

(Almost) Every April 1, Phyne Dyning runs an editorial tribute to April Foolery. One of my most popular gags was an ‘announcement’ that Campbell’s Soup Company was launching a ‘cream of porcupine’ soup targeting the upper Midwest market. Knowing that the best humor always has some basis in reality, I offer the following tribute to the state and its ongoing foolery. Enjoy!

 

An April Fool joke is a trap mechanism where the target of the joke is set up to believe something that is not true. Parts of reality are manipulated by tricksters so that the target of the joke is not in on the deception until he or she is made to look foolish for believing the deception. Then, everyone laughs. The most accomplished of tricksters is the American state. Here are three (and a bonus!) of my favorite state tricks and hoaxes. But remember, there are literally hundreds of thousands of state-imposed jokes out there. These, for me, are among the state’s funniest pranks.

April Fool’s Joke Number One

Every April, the marks of this joke are heard boasting, “I paid thousands in taxes, but I got it all back.”

Wheeeeeeee! Let the spending of ‘free money’ begin.

It should perplex any organism having two functioning brain cells that an interest-free lending arrangement is not beneficial to the lender. Still, every April, the marks of this joke high five each other over their windfall of free money. They actually have the chutzpah to congratulate themselves for their fiscal acumen.

Then, everyone laughs.

April Fool’s Joke Number Two

This gag involves the mark believing in the magical transmogrification of vices (such as drinking and smoking) into virtues the moment the state levies a tax on the vice.

“Smoking is a grave health danger (to…usually ‘the children’). Therefore, the state will levy a one-dollar per package of cigarettes tax to help buy healthcare for poor children.”

“Drinking alcohol is a social evil. Therefore, the state will levy a ‘sin tax’ on alcoholic beverages with which it will do good things.”

Then, everyone laughs.

April Fool’s Joke Number Three

In ‘Joke Number Two’ a bad act is magically made good through the collection of a tax. In this variant, a bad act is magically made good because the state is committing the formerly bad act…like gambling.

Specifically, a numbers racket…a lottery.

The state’s conjurors tell their marks that gambling is a crime. Seedy men are involved. The profits of non-state gambling go to organized crime bosses. That is bad.

The marks never ask, “Once the crime boss has the money, what does he do with it?”

Obviously, the crime boss spends the money. After all, what good is having money if you don’t do stuff or buy merchandise with it?

The mark never connects that a crime boss spending money is a good thing. Gangsters love luxury cars, nice eats, fancy ‘cribs’, stereos, and big screen televisions. All of that puts money into an economy.

The state’s gangsters (thankfully, they are not…yet…organized) want the same things every other gangster wants (and a nice office from which to work). So, they set up their own numbers racket and then do something an ordinary black hand organization cannot do…they make all other, non-state, numbers rackets ‘illegal’.

Then, everyone laughs.

Bonus joke!

The best April Fool joke has a long time-delay between the deception and when the mark is finally made aware of the tricksters’ deceit.

A suitable delay for the best joke would run from the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November to April 15th.

The latest play of this scam consisted a virtual pariah group (congress), having 9 to 15% approval among the marks. The marks fought bitterly among themselves in ‘campaign support’, much to the amusement of the tricksters. Then, when the dust settled, the marks found they had returned 90 to 95% of the hated pariahs to office.

Then, everyone laughed.

Even funnier…

…The marks went home afterward, slapping each other on the back, congratulating each other on having completed their civic duty.

Gawd, I love a good joke.

My boyhood died. Time of death: 15 March 2013

In Editorial on March 21, 2013 at 9:52 am
Photo: Delaware Open Carry

Photo: Delaware Open Carry

I admit it. I’ve got a soft heart. My wife and I regularly share a box of tissues when watching a sad movie. I cry when my pets die.

And just when I thought life in the United Soviet Soyuz of Amerika could not be much worse than life under Stalin, I clicked on this story: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/03/19/dad-this-picture-of-my-son-holding-a-gun-triggered-a-visit-from-nj-police-family-services/

After I finished reading the story, I laid my glasses on my desk and dabbed my eyes with my shirt sleeve. The story didn’t make me angry.

It made me unbelievably sad.

When I was about eleven years old, my father (of Blessed memory) and a family friend spent several hours with me at the friend’s farm, shooting the heads off of cattails with a .22 rifle. We lived in the Detroit suburbs, so it was my first real encounter with a ‘real’ gun.

Before I was even handed the rifle, a semi-automatic of long-forgotten manufacture, I got the same instructions Pop got from his father about safe firearms handling. The entire lesson took about five minutes and then the shooting (fun) began in earnest.

I was hooked. All the way back into town, I pestered to have my own .22 semi-auto. The ‘Old Man’ just smiled and said something like, “We’ll see.” I had long ago learned that phrase meant probability was high that I would be granted my wish.

A long, slender box appeared on my bed a few weeks later. Inside was a much newer model of the rifle we had shot at the friend’s farm weeks earlier that same summer.

[NOTE: I speak vaguely about the rifle because it ‘disappeared’. Pop always kept it. It had sentimental memories of happy times that, for him, would vanish with his late-in-life misfortunes. After he died suddenly, a family member quickly snatched up virtually all of his possessions and then lost them to an endless procession of wives and ‘girlfriends’.]

In a box, on some dusty shelf, resides a photo of me with my new rifle. Facebook did not exist in the early 1960s. Instead, kids went out to play. Adults played (and shot guns) with their kids. We even drank out of the garden hose (After each other and without using hand sanitizer!). But if social media or blogs existed at the time, Pop would have most surely posted the picture of me holding my new rifle there.

The police would not have descended on our home. Child protective services would not have been notified.

A couple of years later, we moved to the (comparative) wilderness of Northern Michigan. For my thirteenth birthday, I was given a 12-guage double barrel shotgun. I still have the old gun and, aside from a few scratches from swamp brush encounters and fence-crossings, it looks like new.

My .22 and my shotgun frequently went with me to school. An always-laughing mechanical drawing teacher kept student’s guns in his coat closet. If we arrived at school too late to take the guns to his classroom, we’d just stick them in our locker until there was time to drop them off with him.

The first day of deer season was an unofficial school holiday for students who hunted deer (or ate venison, or once saw a deer). Throughout deer season, the school hallways looked like the lobby of a hunting lodge. Red (there was no blaze orange) shirts were on almost every student. Boys (and more than a few girls) sauntered through the hallways casually carrying cased high powered rifles. (Many of the rifles were ‘military style’ Garands, Enfields and Mausers brought home by WWII veteran fathers.) Bullets clanked inside of student’s pockets and, during Study Hall, they were diligently put in cartridge belts or ammo wallets; in full view of an unconcerned teacher who spent the hour sharpening his own 8-inch hunting knife.

Despite the presence of so many armed teenagers in a school, there was no SWAT team standing by in the parking lot. The principal didn’t shout lockdown codes over the school PA system (the term ‘lockdown’ having its origins in prison lingo). My bitter ‘enemies’ and I walked within inches of each other, bearing high power rifles, and never dreamed of inflicting deadly harm on each other.

I was Blessed.

Shawn Moore’s son will have a much different memory of his boyhood than mine. He’ll remember his new rifle being celebrated with the arrival of jackbooted goons on his father’s doorstep.

That’s why the story about Shawn Moore and his son made me cry.

Libertarians vs Conservatives on Guns

In Editorial, Intro to Libertarianism, Re-blogged from Flyover Press on March 15, 2013 at 11:26 am

If you read nothing else today, read this fine piece gleaned from the libertarian site LewRockwell.com and re-blogged by our friend running FlyOver Press.

A comment about the piece (naturally).

I strongly disagree with Mr. Crovelli in one respect. I believe gun ownership is strongly symbolic. Gun ownership and those precious little carry permits are freedom totems (or freedom fetishes). They are totems/fetishes because they symbolize a freedom that does not really exist in America. In a country that confiscates over 50% of what everyone earns, has the power to press diligently raised children into military bondage, monitors conversations, and can indefinitely detain (and kill) its own citizens; they persist in entertaining the delusion that they are ‘free’…so long as they are PERMITTED to carry a concealed pistol or PERMITTED to own a black, semi-automatic rifle. If these deluded gun owners were truly ‘free’ they could opt out of taxation, opt out of draft registration, and espouse whatever beliefs they hold without fear of being served with a National Security Letter or of being turned into pink mist by a drone. If they were truly free, they could simply walk away from a costumed “Papers, please” official and leave him to slapping his truncheon against his palm in impotent frustration. For many (damn near all) gun owners, their military look-alike rifle or their government permission slip to carry allows them to travel to Freedom La-La-Land where their slave-chains magically disappear.

Mr. Crovelli aptly points out the absurdity that exists within the conservative’s concomitant worship of our military, the fear of their military, and their assertion they need AR-15s in case they need to fight our military. It is also an absurdity that conservatives frequently call the enforcement caste ‘heroes’, but they want their guns just in case those heroes turn on them. I imagine the conservative’s relationship with the state to be much like a serial rapist and a nymphomaniac going camping…neither one gets much sleep.

by Mark R. Crovelli

Few issues highlight the gaping philosophical divide between libertarians and modern conservatives more starkly than the issue of guns. This might seem counterintuitive, because libertarians and modern conservatives often stand shoulder to shoulder against liberals and progressives to defend individual gun rights. The convenient alliance between modern conservatives and libertarians in the political trenches, however, conceals a fundamental and serious philosophical disagreement.

In order to fully grasp the division between libertarians and modern conservatives on this issue, it is important to understand why libertarians and conservatives think gun rights are so important. At the most general level, both libertarians and modern conservatives agree that all men have a natural right to defend themselves against aggression. More specifically, every man has a natural right to repel with violent force any unjust aggression against his life or his property. Libertarians and modern conservatives do not defend individual gun rights out of some bizarre and loony obsession with a 200-year-old piece of parchment called “The Constitution.” On the contrary, they hold that the Constitution of the United States merely articulated something about man’s nature that has always been and always will be true.

The logical implication of this, both libertarians and modern conservatives agree, is that individuals have a natural right not just to defend their lives and their property against aggression from individual murderers and thieves, but that they have a natural right to defend themselves from unjust aggression by government. Hollow indeed would be the right to self-defense if it did not include the right to defend oneself against aggression by government – including one’s own government, because governments have killed and robbed exponentially more people than have private criminals. Recognizing this fact, libertarians and modern conservatives agree that the natural right to self-defense must include a right to defend oneself against unjust government aggression, and that doing so usually requires more than simply a stick or a slingshot. A population armed with modern guns is not easily cowed, robbed, or massacred unless governments resort to wildly immoral and indiscriminate tactics or weapons of mass destruction.

So far so good. Libertarians and modern conservatives agree that the right to keep and bear arms stems from the natural right to defend oneself against aggression, including unjust aggression by governments. From here on out, however, libertarians and modern conservatives scarcely agree at all, and the conservative position on guns becomes more and more self-contradictory and absurd.

Libertarians hold that armed individuals are indeed capable of effectively resisting and defending themselves from aggression by their own government. If this were not so, then there would be no point whatsoever in defending the right to bear arms so vehemently. If individual gun ownership does not offer a real and substantial defense against our own government, and guns are merely symbolic or for hunting or self-defense against burglars, then why the big fuss over laying down our M-14’s and AR-15’s? Why not, as the Vice President suggests, keep only double-barreled shotguns for hunting and defense? Why would we care about losing the ability to own an AR-15 any more than we care about losing the ability to buy incandescent light bulbs? The government is constantly restricting our ability to buy and sell all types of things, so what makes guns so sacred if they can’t even effectively be used to defend ourselves against our own government?

The libertarians’ answer is that well-armed populations can indeed effectively defend themselves against their own governments, and this is precisely why we value the right to own powerful firearms so dearly. Gun ownership is not merely a symbol, but a real and effective means for people to protect their lives and property from private criminals and from tyrannous government. The libertarian understands that the nature of asymmetrical warfare today is such that even very small bands of determined and principled people can fight a purely defensive war against a vastly more powerful foe and come out victorious. In fact, in a guerrilla fight, the odds are in favor of the smaller group of determined and principled fighters, as the U.S. and Soviet militaries discovered in Afghanistan.

Contrast this consistent libertarian position with the absurd position of the modern conservative. The modern conservative holds two contradictory ideas about guns simultaneously. On the one hand, he is likely to agree with the libertarian that individual gun ownership is not merely symbolic, but rather a real and effective means for the American people to protect themselves against aggression by their own government. At the same time, however, he is bound to say that a strong military is needed to protect the American people against foreign threats. In other words, the modern conservative implicitly believes that our guns are insufficient to protect us against the Chinese or the Irish or whomever.

The absurdity of these two positions should be patently obvious, because if the American people are capable of effectively defending themselves against aggression by their own government – the most powerful and heavily armed government in the history of the world – then the American people obviously don’t need help from a military to defend them against aggression from relatively dinky powers abroad! The modern conservative would have us believe that We The People are capable of repelling the aggressions of the most powerful government in the history of the world, but that we somehow miraculously lose this capacity if the soldiers or politicians we are confronting have a different uniform or speak a different language.

While the modern conservative is bizarrely capable of simultaneously entertaining these two contradictory positions in his head, it should be obvious that only one of them can possibly be true. If the American people are not capable of effectively defending themselves from their own government with their guns, then gun ownership is merely symbolic and surrendering our AR-15’s to Barry Obama is completely meaningless. If, on the other hand, the American people are indeed capable of defending themselves against their own insanely powerful government, when they finally choose to do so as the libertarian asserts, then the extravagant and wasteful military that they finance is totally superfluous and unnecessary, because no foreign government can possibly pose even a fraction of the threat to the American people that the powerful American government and military do.

The modern conservative has gotten himself into this quandary because he has allowed himself to become irrationally terrified by nonexistent foreign bogeymen that are no real threat to him (as if the Chinese or the Iranians could ever be a threat to Coloradoans!), while ignoring the massive danger to life and property that his own government poses. He has ignored the history of the 20th century, a century in which people were slaughtered by the tens of millions by their own governments, and has allowed irrational fear of Koreans, Afghan shepherds, communists, Vietnamese, Chinese and Iranians to overwhelm his rational thinking. His fear has blinded him to the phenomenal hatred that his own government has engendered around the world by meddling with, terrorizing, and killing people everywhere. He has forgotten the danger of a standing army that the Founders warned us about, and he has lost confidence in his own ability to defend himself.

Thus, when the government finally comes for the modern conservative’s guns, he will no doubt puff out his chest and scream out that he’d rather die than surrender them. However, the modern conservative’s irrational fear of foreigners and his idolatrous love affair with the American military will prevent him from putting up much of a fight. After all, the military and the chickenhawk politicians that lead it around are what the modern conservative believes keep him safe and “free.” His delusional belief in the invincibility of the American military will paralyze him with fear of ever defying it. In the end, he will surrender his arms, and he will learn to call it “freedom” in due time.

At that point, the fight will be left to the true lovers of liberty, the libertarians, who understand the fragility and absurdity of the fascist American economy, the unsustainability of the American military empire, and the perfect beauty and justness of individual liberty.

Further tales of the Mad Sheriff of Johnson County

In Editorial on March 13, 2013 at 12:29 pm
Pulkrabek (Web photo)

Pulkrabek (Web photo)

Remember Lonny Pulkrabek?

He’s the anti-gun fanatic who parades around Johnson County adorned in a sheriff’s costume. He’s the anti-gun zealot who illegally clamored for protected student information, held by the University of Iowa, whenever a U of I student applied for a concealed carry permit.

Presumably to deflect some of the unwanted attention, the embattled Pulkrabek is helping the editorial board of the Des Moines Register to haul up a straw man holding a false flag to do away with Iowa’s “shall issue” concealed carry laws.

Salameh (KCRG-TV)

Salameh (KCRG-TV)

After Taleb Hussein Yousef Salameh shot up officers attending to a complaint at his mobile home [Salameh was shot and killed.], Pulkrabek and the Register immediately began howling, “What if he had a concealed carry permit?”

The Register and Pulkrabek are fast-bound accomplices raking for a solution to the non-problem of Iowa’s “shall issue” concealed carry permit system. Both are howling about the ‘lack of ability’ for sheriffs to decline issuing a permit to unworthy candidates and how sheriffs ‘may’ be forced to issue carry permits to mentally ill people and unapprehended criminals.

Left out of every Register article in its ongoing anti-gun series and op-eds, is the fact that sheriffs do have the ability to decline a permit. They simply need to present evidence that the candidate is unsuitable in court.

You know, via due process.

Pulkrabek and the Register apparently don’t care much for due process.

Pulkrabek favors returning to an issuing system where the sheriff had virtually absolute power to deny a citizen his or her right to carry a concealed firearm. Under that system, sheriffs used concealed carry permits as political tools or as fundraiser prizes.

I don’t know if Pulkrabek abused the old system for political or financial gain. I do know under the old, good-ole-boy system, Pulkrabek, an untreated hoplophobe, denied virtually all applicants who came to him for permits.

He now claims he would have been ‘forced’ to grant Salameh a permit had he sought one.

According to an article published in the Register, under current law Pulkrabek claimed, “Iowa law would have forced him to grant it”.

Well, pants on fire!

Here are the facts.

If Pulkrabek had evidence that Salameh was dangerous or mentally ill, he would have been ordered to present that evidence in court if Salameh appealed. As with a criminal prosecution, Pulkrabek would have the burden of proof.

No hearsay allowed. Cross-examination is permitted. Lying is perjury. A judge, not Pulkrabek, would have made a determination on Salameh’s application.

Pulkrabek doesn’t seem to care much for a system where due process is required before he can strip a serf of his rights.

As the student information scandal suggests, Pulkrabek doesn’t seem to care much for privacy laws that apply to him. Neither did Stalin. What good is being a dictator, even a sheriff-dictator, if you can’t dictate?

There’s more.

In Iowa, to purchase a handgun, you must obtain permission from the sheriff to do so. Every criminal knows this and it is why criminals are extremely diligent in following the applicable pistol-purchasing laws.

Salameh applied for, and was granted, permission to purchase a handgun by Pulkrabek.

Upon hearing such, I imagine a warm, yellow stain began to spread across Sheriff Pulkrabek’s costume pantaloons.

Then, quick as a weasel, politician Pulkrabek may have realized that this fact had legs for an anti-gun rant.

And, since the public and Register editorial board are collectively as dumb as a bag of hammers about Iowa gun laws, Pulkrabek endeavored to confuse Iowa’s pistol purchase permit laws with those pertaining to concealed carry.

According to law, an Iowa sheriff has almost no ability to arbitrarily deny a purchase permit, beyond the reasons for a denial under a federal background check. In nearly all cases, the purchase permit is a ‘must issue’.

The concealed carry permit is not a ‘must issue’ permit on par with the purchase permit. If the sheriff has reasonable grounds to deny an application, the applicant may appeal to a judge to hear his side. The judge, as in all cases before him/her, judges the sheriff’s assertions for their reasonableness.

Out of misplaced remorse, political ambition, or a need to sweep illegal information sharing under the carpet, Pulkrabek appears to be dishonestly attempting to claim he would have been forced to grant Salameh a concealed carry permit, had he applied for one.

That is 100% false.

A judge, not Pulkrabek, would have made the determination. And, since Salameh is dead, the issue is closed.

That’s not good enough for the apparently phobic and megalomaniacal Pulkrabek. He wants people to fret that there might be unstable people getting concealed carry permits.

He knows they’re out there.

He knows he should be empowered to deny carry permits, due process be damned.

Paranoia? Megalomania? Phobias?

Will somebody please disarm Sheriff Pulkrabek? By his own criteria, I suspect that he’s as mad as a hatter. Heaven knows what he’ll do with his gun.