Friday, March 27, 2009

Images from the LA Times

Few words needed. We must never forget, and we must empower our police to keep themselves and us safe.

Hollow words

Funeral services for the murdered Oakland police officers

I was at work today, so I did not watch the funeral service for the four Oakland police officers. The whole thing is just so overwhelmingly sad, and then I was talking with my only sane co-worker (conservative Republican, a rarity in the Bay Area) about who was on the dais eulogizing those officers.

Here is the short list: Dianne Feinstein. Barbara Boxer. Oakland mayor Ron Dellums. San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom. Liberals all. People with a history of hamstringing police and their rights to keep themselves safe while keeping US safe from the likes of Lovelle Mixon (may he rot in hell).

A family of one of the murdered cops asked that Dellums not speak, and unlike most politicians, he listened.

Those cops were doomed. Mixon was better armed than they were, and of course cops aren’t allowed to pull a gun until then see a threat to their safety. But an experienced thug like Mixon is no doubt quick on the draw, and it is said that following the traffic stop, he popped out of the car’s sun roof and opened fire. The officers didn’t have a chance. Mixon’s sister claims to not have known her brother was in her apartment, yet cops utterly defenseless when he popped out of a closet with an AK-47 ‘a blazin’.

Thanks liberals for making sure a thug’s rights weren’t violated, but the rights of seven children left at home while their daddies went to work and never returned are of no consequence. Worry more about the convicted felon lowlifes than the parents of the murdered officers. Don’t hurt the feelings of any street punk, but it’s okay that there are wives who are clueless as to what they will do without their husbands.

Oh but Mixon had a family, too. Yeah, a family that enabled him and probably glorified his gangsta lifestyle which probably afforded them many benefits—electronics, guns, good drugs. Heck, Mixon’s sister is in jail on drug charges. What a fine fine family! Not one gave him up when the probation officer came looking for Mixon after he’d missed three visits. Not one of his family members told him to get rid of those guns.

And this is beyond a black, white, Latino or Asian issue. It’s simple to do the right thing. Just don’t do anything to draw attention to yourself as far as the police are concerned (how often have YOU seen a street thug standing at the corner, wearing well-tailored pants, leather shoes and nicely groomed? I rest my case.). And if you happen to be in a demographic group that the police look at BASED on that group’s history, do your level best to NOT do what your group does. It’s wrong to assume that Latinos are lazy and that a black person will rob you blind. But it’s pretty easy to believe when that’s all you see.

This was a wonderful opportunity for the president to make a stand. Instead, he sent a nice little bunch of words of condolences, they were wonderful men, they made us safe, they gave up their lives, blah blah. Well Mr. President, why didn’t you say you were outraged that they were killed by a convicted felon? Why didn’t you say that you and your administration will make it a priority to restore some powers to the cops that will help keep them safer? Encourage those groups of people who cry about profiling to work on changing their group behavior. This is far beyond just a color issue. We have at least three generations of of people who expect government money in the mail so they can stand around and do whatever it is they do. The welfare state of mind permeates our nation, and I don’t see an end to it. THEN wack jobs in Oakland have the nerve to put on a “vigil” for Mixon and claim he was a victim and what Oakland PD did was “genocide.” At least only 60 people showed up to that one, showing me that the majority of black people in Oakland do indeed have a conscience and an sense of outrage. There is no way they want to live they way they have to—in fear, afraid to speak out against criminals.

Sorry, it wasn’t genocide. Lovelle Mixon left a son somewhere that he was not paying child support on. The cycle continues.

I will try to put together something less passionate and more objective on T & T. For now, I’m pissed.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

back to work ... feast or famine

My neurotomies worked well enough that I'm back to working 10-hour days—when I have work. I have two big but well-written projects I'm working on that I really want out there. No, I didn't write them, but I'm editing them. One is a study about something called "green" taxes and the second about attracting students to transportation planning. The green taxes one is quite interesting in that there actually is support for higher taxes on higher-polluting automobiles. 

I've been using light rail to get to work as my back doctor suggested I avoid driving my 5-speed Mustang. I hate to admit it, but I do love the convenience of light rail, and the short three-block walk to work is just enough exercise to get me fully awake and ready to work. AND it's cheap!!!! 

There are only two bad things about light rail: the first is the SJSU students who take over the light rail cars and seats and spread out over two seats, preventing anyone else from sitting down. There is signage at six seats which are supposed to be reserved for the elderly and disabled, but I've not seen one SJSU student give up one of those seats. One day there were a pair of 'em on the seats, with an empty seat between them that contained their backpacks. I told them to move the backpacks, that I was disabled and I was going to sit there. Period. I shouldn't have had to ask.

The second scary thing is my light rail stop is by a city park that the homeless and displaced hang out at—many camp there, sleeping on benches. Thus far I've not been approached, but I sure wouldn't be walking through that park during anything but broad daylight!

I promise to get back on the political agenda. I am simply gobsmacked at the crap that comes out of our president's mouth. This week he made a remark about how his bowling game was par for a Special Olympics game. He apologized, but imagine if George Bush had said it! He'd be dealing with impeachment proceedings right now!

This afternoon: Colorado Avalanche versus Sharks. Avs truly suck and as much as I'd like for them to upset SJ, I just don't see it happening. Darn it.

On a more serious note, four Oakland police officers were shot in the line of duty yesterday; three died and one is clinging to life. Prayers of strength to their families. I did write a post about this tragedy on Trials & Tribulations. Just sad. 

Saturday, March 7, 2009

... and they lose yet again

One of my favorite Sharks players, and a damned fun interview, Scott Hannan, now suffering with the Colorado Avalanche.

I chose a photo of Scott, a good BC boy who grew up near Vancouver, in honor of the Canucks' victory over the Sharks tonight.

I believe what is happening is a relapse of Dr. Shark. Dr. Shark is a longstanding tradition in San Jose. It is a cure for a team in a slump or trying to prove something. It tends to happen with a team that the Sharks should be able to beat. The Minnesota Wild were beneficiaries of Dr. Shark and their boring playing style. I'm not quite sure what happened tonight, but on Hockey Night in Canada, defenseman Dan Boyle (who now wears #22) confessed that the team was pretty much asleep.

I do hope Rob Blake's foot isn't too badly hurt. Feet stuff are ... painful. And hard to treat, too.

Back is improving. I've been misbehaving and doing quite a bit of sitting at my desk editing master's theses for SJSU students. The bruising is a little more widespread but I think it's resolving. The facet pain is utterly gone, and I am nearly back at my normal pain medication pattern of use (evening and night pain).

Hooray for needles and Sharks' malaise

This is one of my favorite hockey cards, showing Owen Nolan and Ray Whitney back when both played for San Jose.

The good news is … I finally got my rhizotomy on my back! It’s not every day someone cheers about getting an IV started in a painful place and then six pokes in the back (which I of course didn’t feel, gorked out on Versed and Fentanyl and God-knows what else [there were three different meds]), but when I came to I knew the original pain was gone. The day I had the procedure, Monday March 2, was a miserable rainy day chock full of treacherous traffic in heavy rain. Naturally the rain wasn’t helping the pain one bit, but that’s what made this whole thing so remarkable—I walked out of the facility better than I walked in!

I’ve been sort of sore all week, but the pain is different than before, and getting more my “normal” kind of pain. The next thing I have to fight for with the comp carrier is for it to continue to pay for my pain medication. The comp carrier’s brilliant utilization review physician, who of course I’ve never met, thinks I shouldn’t need pain medication 20 years after the injury! WTF, he should try living through a two-level fusion and then say there is no reason to have pain! But I have faith in my back surgeon, he knows how to work the system well enough to get things done.

So the Sharks are starting their end-of-the-year slump. I had to laugh. I especially enjoy losses where one of the main characters on the opposing team are former Sharks, and that was the case with the Minnesota Wild and Owen Nolan. Owen is another of my favorite players, though I am scared to death of him. When I was writing for Hockeycorp and doing features with players like Teemu Selanne, Scott Hannan and Marco Sturm (my three all-time favorite players to interview!), Owen was still around, but had a notoriously bad attitude. After practices, media were allowed into the players’ locker room to do interviews. By the time we were let in, Owen’s gear was swinging in the breeze, and he was long gone. Hockeycorp wanted me to get Owen to sit down and do a feature on hunting, but Owen wouldn’t talk to anyone. No fun features with him!

Still, I do recall how much fun it was to go to a game when the Sharks were struggling, when a win was something to hoot and holler about, and being a female fanwank, cheering on what us girls called the “fine line,” which consisted of Owen, Ray Whitney and Jeff Friesen. Eye candy on the ice!

I guess we’ll see if Sharks coach Todd McLellan rights the ship tomorrow night against Vancouver. It’s just so much fun to read Sharks’ fan boards and how they blame the refs, blame the ice, but fail to blame the players who have obviously been reading too much positive press about how the Sharks are the team to beat. Calgary made huge moves at the trade deadline. I’m thinking they are the team to beat …

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