Saturday, December 20, 2014

Student kicked out for rifle cartridge

Grade schooler Cameron Carlson, of Chanute, Kansas, took a spent rifle cartridge to school (Chanute (Kansas) Elementary School) on the day after rifle practice with his mom to sight in their deer rifle. Read about it in their local newspaper.

The principal got on his high horse and kicked Cameron out of school for five days. When the mother attempted to intervene, the ante almost got bumped up to the 186-day max.

Now, somebody tell me - what is dangerous about a spent casing? No hot primer. No powder. No bullet.

What have we got here? A failure in communication. A bully. A man who is stupid and sets a poor example for students, parents, administrators, teachers and the community.

If you want to add your 2¢ worth, write to
Gary Wheeler, Principal
Chanute Elementary School
500 Osa Martin Blvd.
Chanute, KS 66720
Phone 620/432-2530
Email: try wheelerg@usd413.org (or send to Wheeler, c/o howellb@usd413.org).

Visit the Facebook page of Cameron's mother, Deana Leigh Carlson, and show your support. She writes on her Facebook page that her family has received "violent threats" for standing up in this case.

We must stop the bullying by school administrators in all schools.

The problem with suspension is that it occurs immediately, before the student has a chance to appeal to the School Board (not that it would necessarily be fair, either). Due Process is violated. If the School Board over-rules the Principal, the suspension has already been served and the damage to the student has already been done.

It's time for parents to insist on Firearms safety courses in schools - as early as grade school. Stop the hysteria about guns. Teach safety and respect.

What should be done to Principal Wheeler? Give him a five-day suspension. Better yet - fire him.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Who is responsible for bus stop shooting death?

The Chicago Tribune reports the death of Donatello Herrera, 35, early yesterday morning. Herrera was a Chicago worker at a Burger King near Ogden and Western Avenues. He was shot by a person in a dark-colored SUV,  about 1:15am, while he was waiting for a bus to ride home.

Who is responsible?

The Cook County Democratics, who made it unlawful to carry a concealed weapon on a bus, 'L' or train?
Father Michael Phleger, who continually rants about guns and wants them taken away from law-abiding citizens?
MOMS Demand Action, the group also on a tirade against guns?
The CTA?
The RTA?
The NRA and the ISRA for failing to knock some sense into the heads of those named just above?
The manufacturers of the gun and the ammo?
The manufacturer of the SUV?
The manufacturer of the dark-colored paint?

Guns in the hands of many law-abiding people on that corner might not have prevented the shots that killed Herrera. But, if 10-15-20 people had pulled out guns and started pumping lead into that dark-colored SUV after the shots were fired at Herrera, it wouldn't take long for word to get around Chicago that it was no longer safe to do drive-by shootings.

Who is responsible for Herrera's death?

YOU are. I am. (OK,  so I "was", because I lived in Illinois when the concealed carry law was being argued and passed.) - For failing to exert enough influence on the politicians to over-ride their insane desire to keep people from protecting themselves in many areas outside their homes in Chicago, Cook County and Illinois.

Now is the time to call or write them and/or visit their Chicago office. Law-abiding, licensed, armed citizens are not the problem.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wash. deputy tries to justify MRAP

Did you read about the Spokane, Washington-area deputy who tried to justify the use of MRAP because of "constitutionalists"?

You do know what MRAP is; right? Mine Resistant Ambush Protected. These are military vehicles that are now in the hands of local law enforcement.

Against Constitutionalists? You mean, like you and me?

Recently, I spotted a "No Firearms" sign at the entrance to the V.A. Medical Center here in Columbia, S.C., and I got to wondering why I can't carry my firearm in my vehicle onto Government property. I mean, besides the sign... It's not like I'm going "postal", if I have to wait five minutes for an appointment. According to the sign, I can't even drive onto Government property with a firearm in my car. V.A. employees are left defenseless while commuting, because of this prohibition.

Across the country, states are giving lawful gun owners the right to carry firearms in their cars while commuting and to store them in their cars in company parking lots, even if the employer says, "Don't bring that thing in here."

But the Feds make a Federal criminal out of you, if they can catch you with a gun in your car in their parking lot. Even if it is in the trunk. Even if you don't take it into the building.

Same at the Post Office. If you are going to the Post Office to mail your Christmas packages, leave your gun at home. Go unarmed and unprotected to the Post Office. If someone starts shooting because the line is moving too slowly, just point to the sign that says, "No guns in here." Yeah, sure...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hungry lawyers go after deep pocket

Instead of going after Adam Lanza's mother's estate, greedy lawyers representing Newtown victims' families are going after the manufacturer of the Bushmaster AR-15.

Think those lawyers are working for free - pro bono? Or are they looking for a big pay day, if they find the right liberal judge or jury?

Maybe while they are at it, they should find out what kind of shoes he was wearing. If Nikes, go after Nike. What kind of car did he drive to the school? Sue the car manufacturer and dealership that sold the car. After all, they "should have known" he would use it in a crime.

And what kind of gas was in the car? Shell? Sue Shell, too.

And what did Lanza have for breakfast? Wheatie's? Go after the cereal company. Oh, don't forget the farmer. And the company that manufacturer the combine that harvested the wheat.

Somebody ought to get busy and sue those lawyers and those families for a frivolous lawsuit!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Where did Zinke land?

On December 1 the Northwest Herald reported that Andy Zinke had resigned as Undersheriff. That's the last time Zinke's name was in the paper.

Was it a good idea for him to clear out before Bill Prim was sworn in as Sheriff? He must have seen the handwriting on the wall and probably wanted to avoid the embarrassment of being escorted out of the building on Monday morning, as were the Jail Chief and Jail Deputy Chief.

In a timely response to a FOIA request, the McHenry County Sheriff's Department responded to my request for a copy of any inventory sheet showing official MCSD equipment and/or vehicle turned in by Zinke?
Their answer? "we have no document responsive to your request." Get that? No accounting of things like weapons, assault rifles, ammo, badges, patches, jackets, body armor, other equipment.

MCSD did provide a copy of Zinke's November 30th, 10:47am email to various MCSD department heads. He bragged that he had accepted "an awesome leadership position at another law enforcement agency on 11/25/14." Where did Zinke land? Does anyone know?

In his November 30th email Zinke asked that his "access cards" to the building be turned off effective 12/1, wrote that his portable radios and phone were in his office, ID and badges in Cynthia's office, and uniforms and equipment were in the sheriff's garage.

Now, about the uniforms and equipment being "in the sheriff's garage." Did he mean where Nygren sometimes parked his Tahoe, inside the Government Center? Or did he mean at the sheriff's "garage" at the end of Russel Court?

Others report that Zinke parked his car in the sally port and dumped his equipment on the ground by the vehicle. Various municipal police departments were delayed in delivering prisoners to the jail because of that equipment loose in the sally port.

By his 10:47AM email on Sunday, November 30, Zinke put Commander John Miller in charge of overall operations.

Let's see how McHenry County was protected, as the day approached when Bill Prim was to take over. Nygren was nowhere in sight; Zinke walked off the job. Miller was "in charge of overall operations." Guess it's a good thing there wasn't a major crime or jail break or jail death.

So much for any professional "style" to transferring the Department from the old to the new.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

CIA report on torture

No, I haven't read the report. Probably won't.

What I do know is that there hasn't been another major terrorist attack in the United States since September 11, 2001.

The "detainees" (prisoners) at Guantanamo are not "nice" guys. And Obama cut five of the terrorists loose, in a dubious exchange for an American who may not have been worth it.

Should they be kept there as long as they have been, without a trial? No, I don't think so.





Watch Wolf Blitzer and that jerk, Diane Feinstein. Wolf makes a statement. She says, "Is that a question?" Of course, he was looking for a response.

She thinks she is sooooo important...

She said, "I am not going to get into this kind of discussion," after Wolf asked her if John Brennan, CIA Director appointed by Obama, was lying.

Diane could have just said, "Listen, damn it. My mind is made up. Don't try to confuse me with more facts."

John McCain's statement was described to me as "eloquent". I wish I could agree. He read it, and not very well. And, when you listen to it carefully, he really didn't say anything.

Lawyers sue over court fees

The subject of McHenry County Circuit Court's super-high scale of fees and costs is near and dear to my heart, even now. And even as a person who was not abused by them.

I chose to chicken out on a 2007 Woodstock headlight ticket, because I knew that about $200 in court costs and fees would be assessed, if I argued my case in court and lost. The ticket was unfair, because the cop was going to issue a Warning - until Cop #2 showed up and reminded him that the "word" at the Woodstock Police station was "If Philpott gets stopped, he gets a ticket, not a warning."

Many defendants in traffic court are not aware that they can avoid the court costs and fees by paying their traffic fines in advance of the court date. They show up in court and plead Guilty. The judge might be sympathetic, because he knows they are going to get socked at the Payment window, so he'll set a fine at $25-50 "plus costs". Imagine the shock when the poor (too often, literally) defendant gets to the Payment window and learns he has to cough up $250-275.

The boiler-plate language on the ticket information sheet given by the cop to the driver is insufficient to educate him.

Today's article in the St Louis Post-Dispatch online edition reports that some lawyers in St. Louis are suing St. Louis County courts in some municipalities over illegal charges, such as warrant-recall fees. Read the article.

What I am reminded of was the ease with which Attorney Jack Franks, in his capacity as a lawyer and not as a Illinois State Representative, stood before a judge in a civil courtroom at the McHenry County Courthouse several years ago and asked the judge, routinely and matter-of-factly, in case after case for a body attachment warrant.

Some poor sucker who couldn't pay his credit card bill was on the losing end of the stick, and the creditor had retained Jack to suck the money out of him. The debtor most likely received Notice to Appear in court and failed to appear - his mistake, of course, if he did receive the Notice. But the judge never, in even one case, asked for any proof of service or whether Jack knew why the defendant wasn't in court.

What happens after a body attachment warrant is issued? Let's say the subject of the warrant has run down to McDonald's for a sack of burgers for his kids. He gets stopped for a burned-out license plate light. Bingo! Wanted! So he gets arrested, has his vehicle towed, gets hauled off to jail and sits there until the next day's court. And the kids wonder where daddy and dinner are.

Ka-ching! Ka-ching! The money machine rings up another "sale" at the lobby ATM and at the Jail desk.

Unfortunately, most of the fees on the long Schedule of courts costs and fees are probably "legal", because the General Assembly (that would be Jack and his buddies in Springfield) passed them; the McHenry County Board did its part by tossing in their own set of charges.

Do the cops know you probably won't fight a ticket, because of the risk of those costs and fees? You bet.