Straight Shooter

Or, “Oh Nicky”

This brave dog is Nicky. Nicky was shot and killed in the line of duty here in Las Vegas. This made the national news. So a few days went by, and some people started to wonder how come the criminal hadn’t been charged with capital murder of a police officer (I don’t know if K-9 units count, but I did hear some people ask), or even animal cruelty. It turns out that the shot was fired by a cop: Nicky was killed by “friendly fire.”

Now, when I heard that I was even more sad. But I also remembered this old post from 6 years ago.  It took 7 cops 81 shots to kill one bad guy? I really don’t have a problem with cops shooting bad guys now and again, but they should actually hit what they fire at!

Just maybe Vegas cops need to spend some time on the freaking firing range learning to hit their targets.

In Closing: Lawmakers are really trying to make encryption worthless (thus killing the tech industry in America, promoting identity theft and other cybercrimes, and not really doing jack about terrorists); Google doesn’t trust anybody; the sad truth about all those jobs being created; the neighborhood you live in influences how much activity you get; and sugar.


10 Shortiesfield Lane

Hi everyone. Sorry there was no music yesterday. Hopefully I can make it up to you with some delicious shorties.


On Phone Security: Do you like being able do to things like buy things or pay bills using your phone? Government insistence on back doors and custom hacking software will make your phone vulnerable to Bad Guys who can rob you blind through your phone. Oh, and the cops don’t even think there’s any information to get off that phone in San Bernardino. It’s just a fishing expedition designed to make you less secure.

Some random food items so I don’t lose track of them: eating relatively healthy at a fast food place; healthy eating at chain restaurants; and cheap but healthy cooking.

Unequal Returns: Poor kids who go to college don’t get nearly the income boost that middle and upper class kids get with a college education.

DWB: Or, cell phone cameras continue to throw light on misconduct.

Just because it’s Super Tuesday: One Hillary link and one Trump link.

Oh, and one more thing: If you want to actually fix the immigration system — rather than slapping some patches on it — you have to address the fact that by law, there is an annual ceiling of 675,000 legal immigrants. There are roughly 12,000,000 undocumented  (or unlawful, if you prefer) immigrants. Even if all of them were legal immigrants, it would take over 17 years to get them all normalized status under the current law. People coming to this nation — legally, as refugees, whatever — now are taking years to get to court at all. That’s part of the reason there are undocumented immigrants in the first place. Telling them to go to the back of the line is a joke, because the line would be over 17 years long. Any immigration “reform” that doesn’t address the ceiling and doesn’t address employers who exploit cheap labor from undocumented workers (who will often gladly work for illegally low wages in unsafe environments because it’s still better than where they came from) is nothing more than window dressing.


Happy Tuesday.

Pride and Prejudice and Shorties


My tabs are getting out of hand. Apologies for the sparse postings. Studying is seriously impeding my ability to goof off!

On the GOP: Be Afraid! And a few words on poverty.

On why making the No Fly List also a No Gun List is really a bad idea:  It’s absurdly easy to be put on the list, even if you aren’t even in preschool yet. There’s no due process to get off it. And exactly how many mass shootings have been committed by people who were already on the list? Judging from media coverage, I’d say that number must be very close to zero.

Dumbing Down: Even Sesame Street is dumbing down America and making us feel less safe.

What you should really be afraid of: Unexpected expenses: 63% of us are in deep financial doodoo if the transmission dies, the water heater springs a leak, or some other $500 expense pops up.

Another unfortunately rational fear: Death by law enforcement.

Close with something cheerful: Vegas and Sledge Hammer!

Blood from a Turnip

This morning when I woke up, I had 67 email messages in my inbox. Over 60 were asking for donations: this candidate, that political movement, charities and whatnot. There were more in my spam folder, and yet more that had already been filtered to a “political” folder.” Another half dozen begging messages or so have arrived every hour since then. More than a few have tried to guilt me into giving, imploring me to help unlock matching funds, defeat political bad guys, or simply implying that my lack of giving must surely be a mistake. Yes, I did a bunch more “unsubscribes” today. Part of me wishes I had thought to add up the minimum recommended donations for each one of these emails.

Let’s just say for the sake of argument that I have a total 80 begging emails today — remember, that’s just today, and that’s a bare minimum. And let’s say that on average each one asked for “only $5.” In real life, some asked for only $3, and others asked for $20. So, 80 emails times $5 each is $400.

Yeah, not gonna happen.

I do declare, I have no use for Debbie Wasserman-Schultz or Reince Priebus.

EDIT: 4 more emails asking for contributions arrived while I was writing this post!

For the record, the other emails were almost exclusively asking me to buy stuff. At least I would have something at the end of that transaction.

In Closing: hush now; Japan has always had a knack for making things smaller; let’s do this over the Holidays and hope nobody asks a bunch of questions; well, being forced to buy a product from highly profitable corporations is better than nothing, I guess; Unintended Result; nothing to hide, in a world where buying gardening supplies can get you a SWAT raid; and thank goodness Radley Balko is out there telling the truth.

I sure hope the afterlife has bubblegum

The Earth bids farewell to Rowdy Roddy Piper.

In Closing: I have a problem with the fact that a night in jail can be a death sentence; the TPP is still out there; the NSA is scaling back; Too Big To Fail; the other lion; who the hell are the parents who make it necessary to say this??; the same guys who say kids under 2 must never see a television running and grocery carts are evil want to be in a tizzy that doctors are not doing the nurse’s job; can’t kill the beast; soybean oil.

An interesting question

A couple of weeks ago, I happened to be working in a facility where, as a matter of patient safety, there were no liners or trash bags in the garbage cans. I think everybody knows that garbage bags can be used to suffocate someone. Granted, the ones I use at home are probably not strong enough to hang a person.

So, knowing that trash bags can be used as weapons either against one’s self or others, why was there a trash bag in a jail cell? MSNBC would like to know, too.

Yes, there’s a lot of questions about what happened to Sandra Bland. And no, I don’t think it’s appropriate for an officer to threaten to “light you up” under most circumstances. But seriously, trash bags?

In Closing: Renegade DQ; intellectual honesty; and why exactly is the car’s computer accessible remotely at all??; raid; common sense; protein; bananas; Mammoth Cave.

Voucher Detente

So, recently the State of Nevada passed a law allowing vouchers for parents to send their Special Snowflakes to private school on the public’s money. I have long been opposed to school vouchers for several reasons and if you’re curious, you can read about them here and here.

But it turns out that the Nevada law has a catch: to get the money, the child must be enrolled in a public or charter school for at least 100 days. Does anybody happen to remember how long a typical school year is? It averages 180 days.

So yeah, if you honestly give it an shot and the local public school isn’t working for your kid, the State of Nevada will help you out, but they’re not going to subsidize sending your Precious Darling to Las Vegas Day School or Bishop Gorman. You want the State’s money? You play by the State’s rules.

That is detente, Comrade.

In Closing: When a traffic citation can mean a death sentence, we all have a problem regardless of gender or color; Last Words; Waaah, Uber doesn’t like following rules!; hidden near Vegas; Votesmart; skewed; no surprise.

Incitement to violence? What is it?

It’s what the Ferguson Police did, and it’s very important right now. Of course my readers knew that before the riots even started. If you’re interested, the Washington Post is going to be keeping track of police shootings.

Some of you are wondering about the title of today’s post. Tomorrow is the 35 anniversary of the release of the now classic comedy film, Airplane! “Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.”

In closing: flag football and the freaking TPP.

Music Monday: Courthouse Edition

I spent the morning on jury duty. The first group to get called back was about 40 people. The next group was about 80, and I was in it. I was thinking to myself “Oh nuts, this has got to be a big trial!” Suddenly, we were all dismissed! When I got home, I watched the news to see if just maybe I could figure out what trial it might have been. Well, this case of a cop killer was dismissed this morning. I will never know if this was the actual court case, of course.

I am so sorry I have to say this, but killing a cop just because he happens to be hanging out in his garage — as the accused allegedly did — is extremely uncool.


Also: have some items about American cops. Here, have some bonus items on racism, terrorism, and harassment.

In Closing: The Alamo’s Cat.

A few random thoughts about Baltimore

So on one side we have a lot of people saying stuff that boils down to “those people are animals and that’s why they can’t have nice things.”

This attitude ignores the realities on the ground: no jobs, no economic development (because after all who would open a factory there?); a minimum wage that won’t get you above the poverty line and barely allows you to pay rent. Oh yeah, and there’s a teensy weensy double standard in play too.

And hey, why not punish “those people” for daring to want things like the right to get arrested without dying on the way to the station? “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” is for other people?

Sometimes, you need a comic writer or two to put things in perspective.

Of course, it turns out that the situation was at least in part caused by the police — no, not just because they killed somebody. When you show up in riot gear, force adolescents off school busses so they can’t go home, and then wait for trouble, you are the problem and will never be the solution. They came prepared for a problem caused by their own preparation.

And lest we forget that police-delivered death sentences occur in many places around our great country, Raw Story has these “tips”.

In Closing: don’t forget TPP; I bet we’d get “reform” real quick if cops shot up a banker or two; a couple feminism items; really #5 should be first, because you won’t get an interview without it; shipwrecks.