Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cops Writing Cops

Thanks to LawDog for the heads-up on this ugly little website.

Cops Writing Cops is a private website where Cops write to complain that they were cited for violating traffic rules (including "Speeding" ... you know, when you drive faster than is safe).

These yahoos gentlemen seem to think they are above the law, and that just because they possess a "Friends Of Police" card they should be exempt from traffic safety laws.

I haven't read all of the posts there, but I've read enough to understand that the website is positioned as a place where LEOs can vent their displeasure at being given a ticket for breaking the law.

I have, however, read the comments. I'm glad to see that many of these comments say, in more or less words: "This site makes me sick". These comments are presumably posted by LEOs, which makes me happy because I would say the same thing if I could figure out how to sign on to the website ... which I can't, because I don't have the LEO credentials.

Here are some of the lame excuses ... and similarly outrageous comments ... provided in a shabby effort to whitewash the excesses of a bunch of Elitist Enforcers.

This LEO was caught doing 85.* in a 65mps zone:

I really didn't mind the ticket once I knew I was getting one. I've written thousands and is it really that bad?? The thing that bothers me is 1) she showed no respect for me. All the years I have worked, the different units I've been on, the shitheads that I have arrested didn't mean squat to her. I've given breaks before for people doing 19 miles over the limit. I have even let one go for doing 150+ on LSD.
Oh really? You allowed a "shithead" to drive 150mph while on hallucinogenic drugs? That speaks well for your judgement. Was this "shithead" by chance a LEO? I would feel much safer driving in your state, knowing that your priorities include allowing a drugged-out driver to continue driving on the same road with my family.

Here's another:

My name is Chris F. I am currently an NYPD officer for 17 years. I would like to add Trooper DS Payne of the North Carolina State Police to the DICK of the month.
On April 5,2007 I was traveling from NY to NC to see my family. I was on US 220 in Asheboro when I was stopped by Trooper Payne. I stopped immediately and turned on all interior lights and shut off the TV my kids were watching. Trooper Payne approached the veh. and asked me what my hurray was. I told him I was driving for 12 hours with my wife and 3 children and we were almost at our destination. I apologized for my speeding, then he asked me if I knew what the speed limit was, I said I thought it was 65mph. he asked me for my license and registartion. I handed him my drivers license, my NYPD photo ID card, and since I am also the state trustee for my FOP lodge, I gave him my NYS FOP photo ID card. After looking at the cards, Trooper Payne then tossed both cards in my lap and said "I ASKED FOR YOUR VEH. REGISTRATION". I then gave him my registration and insurance card and both my id cards and asked if the cards would help me and he gave them back to me and said " I didn't ask for them, don't want to see them, and I don't care."

After about 5-10 minutes Trooper Payne returned to my veh. with a speeding summons for 70 mph in a 55 mph zone. I signed the ticket and said to him " Thank You for the courtesy you showed me", he said " you don't see me speeding up & down the highways of NY do you?". I then said I had the opportunity to extend the professional courtesy to 2 NC Troopers on 2 separate occasions to which he replied "now that's enough out of you". I then rolled up the window and drove away.

Yes I was speeding, and I will pay my fine, but I think every police officer out there should know that the day I got my speeding summons, 2 Charlotte Police officers were killed in the line of duty, and their funerals were that weekend. If Trooper Payne stops another police officer who is on his way to pay respects to 2 fallen brothers, is he going to write them also.
Emphasis on being with your family ... swell, so you risked the lives of your family by driving 12 hours straight, and driving too fast, and you think it justifies ignoring your unsafe driving habits because you were doing it 'for the children'?. Did you ever consider that the trooper who stopped and ticketed you had more concern for your children than you demonstrated?

Then you got all outraged about the ticket and brought in the honorable death of a brother officer in some lame effort to inject 'perspective' to the situation. Your children must be very proud of you, that you are such a wuss that you can't even take a simple speeding ticket without whining.

Let's look at one more silly-ass attempt to justify obviously illegal activities:

I am NOT going to address the illiteracy of the author, except that if this was a LEO he certainly does not look (here) like someone who is accustomed to writing reports.

The important points here are that (a) the citing officer refused to 'cut a break' for a speeding LEO, even when the LEO affiliation was emphasized by a brother office; (b) the coy reference to a (concealed weapon) was an obvious ploy to insert the "I'm a cop, leave me alone" gambit (which did not work here), and (c) the "just in case, Officer Johnson works (here) comments are an obvious encouragement to deny "officer Johnson" support in a future situation where the officer needs back-up.

I think this last is the most egregious demonstration of a Closed Society.

It's bad enough that these fools should expect preferential treatment for the simple fact that they are charged with enforcing the very laws they flout;

It's worse that they seem to feel justified in holding up for ridicule the officers who enforce the same laws for everyone ... even other Law Enforcement Officers;

The worst is that when these honest LEOs fail to live up to their unreasonable expectations, they seem to consider it only just that the honest LEOs are subject to craven undermining of the simple rules of engagement which all LEOs depend on for their personal safety ... for the most petty reasons.

I know many Law Enforcement Officers here in Oregon, and to a man they are honest, loyal, courageous and just representatives of their Departments.

The departments which are the homes of these contributors to Cops Writing Cops should, in my private opinion, make a special effort to identify the authors of these despicable diatribes, and cast them out of the force. These losers are representative of the dregs of humanity, a source of humiliation to their departments, and a shame to their community.

In case you are not yet convinced, allow me to leave you with just one more example of the LEOs which they claim to represent:

From The Desk of A "Remove Me"

nobody around here with a badage agrees with your site....I've tried to log into the site and post on the forum but it doesn't let me for some reason. please take me off the mailing list and I don't want to be associated with it......

respect perhaps...but if I deserve a ticket then I'll take a ticket....but my girlfriend, friend, wives....whanna !...what a bunch of babies who think their badage (sic ... badge?) should mean more than it does, that's not what it's for....

I applaud this brave Officer. He has the courage to speak up when the audience is apparently all of a mind to contradict him, and more importantly to allow bodily harm upon he who disagrees with their selfish opinion.

We need more Law Enforcement Officers like him, and fewer ... much fewer ... of The Other Kind.

Thanks for the head-up, LawDog.


Uncle Jay Explains The News

I've been a big fan of Uncle Jay Explains The News for ... oh, I don't know; probably about 15 minutes. Ever since Gentle Reader (I stole that term from LawDog) "The Hobo Brasser" sent me a link to "Uncle Jay Explains Congressional Recess". (Note: not on the original Uncle Jay Explains" website.)

Checking out Uncle Jay's Website, I note that on September 24, 2007, Uncle Jay explains BLOGS.
Essentially, there are two kinds of writing on the Internet:
  1. Amateur Blogs that are biased and undependable, and
  2. Solid, professional JOURNALISM that's biased and undependable.
I have to admit, Uncle Jay has Amateur Blogs down, dead right.

Did I mention that I don't get paid for being biased and undependable? That's right, I need to get a PayPal link up on my website right away!

Or, I can continue to submit the occasional article or photo essay to USPSA's 'House Magazine", The Front Sight. It's possible that with just one submittal a year I can make something like 10,000% MORE annually than by relying on PayPal contributions.

Hmmm ... tough choice.

So you can help me here. Can I see a show of hands? How many Gentle Readers are willing to send me a token contribution of $50 a month if I continue blogging?


Okay, how many would contribute the same amount if I close Cogito Ergo Geek? Would pay me NOT to Blog?

Huh? Hey, wait a minute!

Okay, never mind. I'll forget the PayPal, we'll just continue the way it is: I'll write, you won't like it.

If I'm not offending anybody, what fun is it?

Monday, September 24, 2007

A Personal Note

SWMBO is scheduled for surgery this week, and I'll be spending much of my time for the next week with her welfare uppermost in my mind. In fact, I'll be her honored handmaiden ... er, hand-geek ... for the days immediately following the operation. She won't be moving around much for a while.

It's not a matter of great worry; the prognosis is good and it's not a life-saving or experimental procedure. But she will be unable to work for four to six weeks and, as is common with surgery, she will will be confined to home even after she feels like getting up and moving.

As a consequence, we won't be around much for a while.

Whether this will adversely affect my blogging in the immediate future (post-Wednesday), it's too early to tell. Chances are I'll have little to do while she's imitating a couch potato, which may result in more time to write.

However, if the blogging drops off for a while ... well, you'll know.

We've already received the best wishes from many of our friends, and I'm sure those of you who know SWMBO understand that she is indomitable.

SWMBO is the strongest person I know, man or woman, and I have every confidence that she'll be back on her feet in record time.

I can't wait until I again see her RO-ing a stage and calling to the squad:

Hey, you guys! Get off your ass, get out here and tape some targets, will ya?

Why do you think we call her She -- Who Must Be Obeyed?

UPDATE: 26-SEP-2007:
I'm finally back from the hospital, having left SWMBO half-dozing after a dinner of Raspberry Jello, water and Percocet. Her surgeon was pleased with the results of the operation; SWMBO is less pleased, uncomfortable, and receiving close and gracious attention from her nurse Jean and CNA Lalala ... who check on her every 15 minutes to make sure she's as comfortable as they can make her. I stuck around for five hours holding her hand, wiping her brow, receiving a lovely bouquet sent by her younger sister, phoning everyone in her family (and the people at her office) to let them all know that she is okay.

Last night I took her out to dinner, where she was unable to finish her Salmon salad. She had the waitress bring her a box so she could take the more-than-half of the salad home. I hope she feels like finishing it tomorrow, when I bring her home. I doubt it; we'll probably end up throwing it all out. I'll take her back in a few weeks and see if she has a better appetite when she isn't facing surgery the following day.

Me? I'm perhaps almost as glad as she is that the operation is over with. There are still weeks of recuperation to get through, and I'm aware that this extended period of inactivity will grate on her nearly as much as did the surgery.

We are grateful for the good wishes of her friends who have kept her in their thoughts and their prayers. We give thanks to God for his beneficence, and for the medical system which renders major surgery no more traumatic than much worry, some physical discomfort, and a quiet period of recuperation.

It wasn't that long ago when this would have been a life-threatening situation. In some places, it still is.

NRA Leadership: Guest Blog

The Hobo Brasser has been a stalwart advocate of the National Rifle Association for as long as I have known him (and certainly for many years before that), and I value his opinion on more subjects than the best makes of Irish Whiskey and Race Guns.

When I took the NRA to task earlier this week, he added his own comment to the article. Today, he sent me a thoughtful extended comment which he as graciously permitted me to include as a separate point/counter-point perspective.

I have lived all over the country. During the early 70’s in Colorado the state legislature came within a few votes of outlawing the ownership of handguns. Who was the strongest voice against this, yep the NRA. Here in Oregon when some idiot legislature tried to get a law passed that you could not possess a gun within 1000 feet of a school (which would have made criminals out of many of us myself included since the high school is in my back yard) it was the NRA who mobilized us to write and help defeat this bill. Today I get notices weekly about what is going on in our state legislature and in the nation’s capitol that keeps me informed as to what stupidity and down right sneakiness our elected "representatives" are up to.

There are more examples, but everyone, besides you, I think gets why we should all belong to the NRA. As I have said before there are other pro-gun lobbyists, but none as effective as the NRA. The NRA lobbyist here is Oregon is known by all the members of our state legislature. He has been an effective voice for our gun rights. In fact, the liberals who are anti-gun consider him and the NRA to be their worst enemy.

To address your "strikes": I concede that so called "zero tolerance" policies are idiotic or lead to such idiocy as the kid being lead from school in cuffs. However, it is the enforcement of the policy by gun fearing liberals who take all things to an extreme -- like political correctness. How many conservative school teachers do you know? Had a sane policy been in effect what would have happened at Virginia Tech?

You negated strike two yourself.

From time to time people - who know better - in front of a camera, say things they shouldn’t. Look at Jim Zumbo. Yes, Heston said no one should own an AK-47. He regreted it as well.

I know this will not change your mind, but I hope you will put it up as a guest blog to counter your rant against the NRA.
He signed his note: (Life Member)


THB noted that I had 'negated strike two' myself, and I'm glad he recognized the change in pace. In fact, when I first read the original NRA release I found several statements to which I was initially opposed, until I re-read them more carefully and discovered that the statements were similar to Gun Control positions except for the insertion of a single word.

For example, my "Strike 2" was aimed at this statement:

We support and encourage the distribution, development and use of safety locks, trigger locks, gun safes, or any voluntary means necessary and appropriate to keep firearms away from, or inoperable by, those who shouldn't have them.
The key word here was voluntary. The Gun Control position is to propose mandatory methods (mandatory trigger locks, mandatory gun safes, mandatory dismantling of firearms, etc.), which smacks again of 'zero tolerance' and other mindless draconian measures which fail to take into account the circumstances.

Another quote which initially struck my eye was:
So we believe in zero tolerance for anyone illegally buying guns for juveniles.
I am so attuned to hearing the Gun Control wing-nuts argue against the concept that children can be taught to treat firearms with respect, that juveniles can learn safe gun-handling skills, that on first read I completely missed the key word illegally. When I read the statement again, I realized that I agreed with it completely even though the phrase included the killer key words 'zero tolerance'.

There are other examples in the NRA speech which tripped my personal hot-buttons, and every one of them turned out to be much better considered phraseology than my guarded mind-set was able to recognize at first glance.

That's why I ended my article with a grudging admission that maybe the NRA wasn't a complete sell-out.

Because I recognized that I have issues to deal with in regards to the NRA, and that they are largely of my making (not the fault of the NRA), it occurred to me that perhaps I'm not the only one who instinctively and unfairly am guilty of under-estimating the integrity of the NRA.

I had left the article in its original form, to show that even a curmudgeon can learn to see the value of this organization.

If you were disappointed that I seemed to yield on my basic premise ... that the NRA is largely without value for firearms owners in America ... then perhaps you may find yourself willing to give them another chance.

Some mules just naturally require a bigger stick.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

WiFi - is GOOD!

Several weeks ago I bought a laptop computer for no better reason that I wanted one.

There are some work-related reasons involved, but mainly I wanted the option to upload photos from my digital camera to a computer while I was still at the range.

I enjoy taking pictures at matches, and sometimes I take more pictures than my available memory can hold. (That's over 3GB, which is about two hours. Don't laugh, I have exceeded this limit a few times at two-day matches, and I regretted having to decide whether to film match performances late in the match. Some of the most interesting situations take place near the end of a large match.)

I've had people ask me to give them copies if the pictures I took of them, and sometimes of the whole match. It was disappointing that I couldn't do so, because I had no way of creating a transportable media to hand them at the end of the day.

No more! Now I can burn a CD at the match, and give it to someone who has suffered through an awkward stage (or a very well-run stage) before they go home.

The problem was when I wanted to transfer the files to my desktop computer. I have so far relied on the CTAM (Chevy Truck Access Method), which in this case involves using a 4GB thumb drive to copy the folders I created from the SanDisk memory chips out of the camera, move them to the desktop, and then do the editing and cutting.

My best solution was to set up a Wireless Local-Area Network (WiFi, essentially) at home so I edit them on the laptom and transfer them directly to the Internet.


The problem was, I didn't know anything about Wireless networking and I was reluctant to invest money in a system which I may or may not be sufficiently technically competent to install.

So it came as a happy surprise when, last week, my landlord (I live in a Town-house Duplex) approached me as I was watering my garden, with the question "Jerry, you have a Cable Modem don't you? What would it take for me to hook into your modem for high-speed Internet access?"

My answer was immediate: "No problem, just buy me a WiFi router. I'll hook it up and give you access to the encryption key."

He decided that was acceptable, and wandered off. Saturday, after no more encouragement from my landlord, I wandered over to my local Computer Store after completing the Dundee September Club Match and bought a 54 MBPS (Mega Bits Per Second) WiFi router for $50.

I bought this from a computer store rather than from an online vendor such as Tiger Direct because this is the merchant who built my new desktop computer, and I like to support local merchants. As it happens, I got a decent price on the router even when compared to similar products available from in-town big stores such as Staples and Office Max.

Today, after spending most of the day with SWMBO (we had to do some shopping at COSTCO and remove the air-conditioner from her window), I took my new router home. I loaded the CD into the desktop and painfully followed the step-by-step instructions provided there.

It took me about an hour to install the router, because of my Y-Chromosonal tendencies to avoid RTFM (... uh, not reading the manual) I missed some obvious requirements. One of these requirements was to read the specifications on the bottom of the hardware, which provided userid and password which is needed to complete the firmware installation. Sure, I'm a Geek. But I'm a Guy first, and therefore only marginally competent to understand the need to know what I should respect during the installation process.

The other Guy-Thing that slowed me down was a tendency to fiddle with the blinking lights just to see "what happens when I push this switch?"

In this case, I pushed a switch on my laptop ... which killed my WiFi connection that I had already established. Took me an hour to decide I should reboot the laptop to refresh the connection and the "Authentication Key" (read: password) so that the internet address I was usint to test the connection were actually available.

So in case you're thinking about installing a WiFi router in your home, here are a few suggestions to make your day less frustrating:
  1. RTFM! (Read the Install Manual before you start installing)
  2. When they say to pull the power plug on your Cable modem or Router and wait for x-number of minutes ... pull the plug and light up a smoke. That stuff needs to reset!
  3. Don't push buttons on your client computers while you're trying to establish an Internet connection.
  4. When all else fails ... reboot.
It's actually not difficult to install a WiFi router, if you don't allow yourself to get distracted.

One other comment: The cables provided by the manufacturers of WiFi routers are too small to place the router in the best possible places (away from electronic devices, toward the center of the structure, and in a 'high' place ... especially when it must be connected directly to your computer and your computer sits on the floor.) Fortunately, most routers are able to communicate at least 100 feet from where-ever you put them as long as the walls the signal needs to penetrate aren't brick or steel or some other dense material. So positioning might not be a major factor.

Heck, if I can do it ANYBODY can hook up a WiFi Router so your laptop can piggy-back on your hi-speed modem.