I Guess I Just Don’t Understand

According to the what you read in the media, protesters, and pretty much every Facebook or Twitter feed…you would believe that every law enforcement officer out there goes to work thinking to himself “hey, I hope I can shoot a person of color today or beat a protester with my baton and then spray innocent peaceful protesters with tear gas.”

What are these people thinking? Most cops more likely go to work every day thinking 3 things. First…I hope I live to see my wife and family after work today. Second…I hope my partner and fellow officers do the same thing. And third…especially in these times…I hope I don’t have to arrest a person of color today because if he/she resists arrest I might have to use force and I know that somebody with a camera will video it, selectively edit the video to remove his/her conduct which resulted in my using force, post it on the internet, and I’ll get criminally charged for doing my job…and my department will more likely than not refuse to back me up even though I was following orders and policies.

Despite what you read…cops shoot very few people. Last year in Chicago…there were 550something homicides…and exactly 3 of them involved the police shooting somebody. I’ll get to the rest of them in a minute.

So…BLM. Now I understand what it says…and I sympathize with Mr. Floyd up in Minneapolis who was killed…and I understand the protests. However…the cops involved have already been convicted in the media…protesters are demanding first degree murder charges, and one has been charged with second degree murder. Now I went and looked up the Minnesota statute on murder…and here is what it says consists of second degree murder.

  • Killing a human intentionally but without premeditation
  • Killing a human while participating in a drive by shooting
  • Causing someone’s death without intention while in the commission of a felony other than criminal sexual conduct or a drive by shooting (those would be first degree)
  • Causing a death unintentionally while attempting to or intentionally inflicting great physical harm when the accused is restrained by a protective order and the victim is under the protection of that protective order.

It looks pretty clear to me that of those 4 specifications…only the commission of a felony one has any relevance to the Floyd case at all…and even that is questionable and proving it beyond a reasonable doubt is questionable…but for the fact that the media has already convicted him and the chances of getting an unbiased jury of his peers is essentially zero.

Looking only at the facts of this case…Mr. Floyd was a convicted felon who was under the influence of both drugs and alcohol. He passed a counterfeit $20 bill in a local store and the police were called. Given that the bill has been described by witnesses as having running ink and looking like Monopoly money…it is unlikely that Mr. Floyd was unaware it was counterfeit. He was detained by police, handcuffed, and taken across to the squad car and placed in the back. Apparently he was beating/kicking the windows and the police opened the door to try and calm him down…at which point he got out and was struggling with the police who took him to the ground and additionally restrained him using approved and authorized techniques…and while those may have been techniques that should not be allowed is a debatable question the fact is that they were approved and authorized. At some point…Mr. Floyd died although he was not pronounced dead until over an hour later at the hospital. The autopsy showed no evidence of traumatic asphyxiation and found the cause of death to be cardiac and drug/alcohol related. Given all of that…I think that meeting the beyond a reasonable doubt criteria for some underlying felony would in a fair jury trial be pretty tough…which means that second degree murder is out as well. Frankly I think that the state Attorney General has overcharged hoping to get him to plead to a lesser charge so that the AG can declare victory…but we’ll see.

OK…another thought on BLM. After the whole movement started…people in the middle and right politically started additional hashtags…All Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter…meaning everybody and police respectively. Until yesterday…I thought those hashtags were completely correct…but according to the Vox-splaining and Guardian-splaining (those are both very close cousins of man-splaining…google it if you don’t know the term) anybody that says that is racist and is viewing things from “white privilege”.

Gee…I never knew I was racist…I’m really glad somebody ‘splained it to me.

Bull crap…I am not racist and just because somebody has a deluded opinion that I am doesn’t make it true. 

There are obviously some bad cops…but I do not agree that they’re all racist murderers…the vast majority of them just want to do their job and go home at the end of their tour tonight. There are also some bad protesters, and some bad activists…but again not the vast majority. 

Oh yeah…those 550something homicides in Chicago…the vast majority of them were young black males who were killed by other young black males. FBI statistics bear out the facts that victims are for the most part killed by criminals of the same race and that murders are committed by blacks at a higher rate than by whites. The reasons for the higher rate are nuanced and subject to a lot of interpretation…but facts are facts.

But back to BLM…mebbe somebody can ‘splain this one to me.

If Blacks Lives Matter…why is it that only some matter and some don’t?

  • Mr. David Dorn…a black retired St Louis MO police captain was at his friend’s pawn shop during the riots and was attempting to protect his store and stock…well he was shot in the head by a young black looter over a used television set.
  • Homeland Security Officer Patrick Underwood…again, another black man…was murdered by rioters in Oakland CA
  • In Chicago…93 people were  murdered between 1/1 and 3/31 this year…the vast majority of them were young black males murdered by other young black males

If Black Lives Truly Matter…where are the protests over these deaths? Where are the protests over the 18 murders in a single day in Chicago…a city record…which again were mainly black men murdered by other black men?

Could it be that those young black men who were murdered don’t fit the agenda of the “police are murdering racists” crowd?

What happened to the outrage over the death of Mr. Arbery down in New Brunswick GA a few weeks back…it was all you read about in the news and Benjamin Crump was all over it…but it just disappeared after the incident in Minneapolis.

And now we have this movement afoot to “abolish the police”…in fact 8 of the 12 Minneapolis City Commissioners which is a veto proof majority…have pledged to abolish the Minneapolis Police Department and instead send nurses and social workers. I wonder if those commissioners talked to the grandmother down in the hood or the single mom trying to raise her kids to be honest citizens to see if they really wanted to have the drug pushers on the corner, the whores standing on the street, and the drive by shootings and gang fights…I bet they didn’t.

I’m sorry for Mr. Floyd…I really am. However…I’m also sorry for the hundreds of businesses…primarily minority owned…that were looted and destroyed in the riots. I’m also not implying that all of the protesters are rioters or looters…in fact most of them were likely not. However…the police have a hard time figuring out who is the rioter and who is the non violent protester when rocks, bullets, and Molotov cocktails start flying out of the crowd at them. 

One more thing…late breaking news. As you might be aware from the news…Mr. Flynn who pled guilty to lying to the FBI when he was actually determined by the Justice Department to have been entrapped and the DoJ was unable to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Well…a couple months back when all that came out…he applied to withdraw his guilty plea and the DoJ decided to dismiss the charges. This went to the judge…who decided that he and he alone would punish Mr. Flynn for his wrongdoing. Since he wanted to appear “impartial”…he enlisted another retired judge to evaluate the submission and determine whether Mr. Flynn should be charged with perjury and found guilty of criminal contempt of court by the trial judge so he can be sent to prison. Unfortunately…the “impartial’ retired judge he selected had written an op-ed before he was appointed saying that Mr. Flynn was a traitor (he’s not…both of these judges need to go and read up on the definition of treason) and should be sent to prison. The DoJ appealed to a higher court to attempt to force the trial judge to dismiss the case as requested by the DoJ…this is done routinely just as defendants frequently and routinely plead guilty to a lesser crime that they might not have actually committed so as to get a lesser sentence or as part of a plea deal. The higher court gave the trial judge until today to respond back to the higher court and just about 1400 today the impartial judge who already branded Mr. Flynn a traitor…well, amazingly enough he announced that Mr. Flynn was guilty of perjury. No trial, not jury…just this retired and obviously biased judge saying he’s guilty. I wonder what the higher court will say now…and what the trial judge will say.

OK…enough of that. Let’s get on to something more interesting.

As you know…the spring is pretty much the dry season down here in FL then about mid to late May it turns into the rainy season…and while it doesn’t rain every day it rains a lot of days late in the afternoon with some thundershowers…you can go from cloudless blue sky to pouring rain to cloudless blue sky again in an hour. As a result of the dry season…ponds and such get pretty low in water and then they fill back up when it starts raining…and I gotta tell ya the one out back has filled up at least 3 feet from what I can see. Here’s some before and after photos.

This one was taken back in early May…notice the reeds and grass at the close end of the pond across the narrow end and how far the trees just to the left of center are from the water line.

D75 5593 2

This one was taken Monday…the grass and reeds that were out oof the water in the first shot are now completely flooded and the waterline has moved probably 20 feet back down the long axis of the pond. The trees across the way are now just 4 or 5 feet from the edge of the water.

D75 5989

Here’s a shot taken facing across the pond from just about where the bank goes out of sight on the right side…90 degrees from the shot above.

D75 5991

You can’t see it in the shot above…but just about in the center running vertically there is a concrete structure that forms part of the drainage system…in the shot below you can see it with Lagatha on top. This shot was taken in April sometime…and by the time it started raining the concrete ledge there just in front of Lagatha was 18 inches out of the water. The same concrete is in the shot above…slightly left of center running from 7 o’clock to 1 o’clock and is under the surface about 2 feet from what Neil can tell.

D75 5835 2

I’ll sure be glad when we get out of the current weather pattern…the afternoon rains happen a lot here but the past 10 days or so we’ve gotten an awful lot from Tropical Storm Cristobal that made landfall over by New Orleans which is 500+ miles west of here. It sort of sat offshore of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico a couple of days after it made it’s way over from the Pacific side and with the size and counter clockwise rotation it sent a lot of moisture our way.

We got our new pellet grill yesterday…so today we assembled and tested it and also hung some pegboard in the garage…Neil thinks that in another 3 days of a couple hours work early before it gets too hot he will have the garage squared away and we’ll be able to put the car in. 

The Elks Lodge is opening back up today…they’ve deep cleaned and arranged the tables for social distancing so we’ll plan on going down for tacos tomorrow afternoon. 

And since it hurricane season…Neil tested our portable generator, we’ve got some bottled water for emergency supplies, and will get somer more batteries for our emergency lights…our stove is electric but we’ve got the propane gas stove and grill and the new pellet grill out on the lanai so we can cook and keep the beer cool if we need to. All of our power lines here are underground in the neighborhood and the local power company does a good job at keeping the transmission lines clear…the neighborhood did not lose power in either Hermine, Michael, or Irma so we’re really not all that worried. The pond would have to come up another 8 or 10 feet to get to our lanai and we live in a concrete block home so we’re really pretty safe here. All of the flooding and damage from Irma…which was the worst of the bunch to his this area recently…was south of us and mostly on the other side of the river.

Interesting stuff found on the net.

Our friend Bill sent us this…and while we’re not RVers any longer…you have to ask yourself “What could go wrong with this 50 amp power hookup?”

WhatCouldGoWrong

If she hasn’t…she will soon.

SheWillSoon

A little risqué…but what a great word.

Exhaustipated

Ya’ll young’uns probably won’t get these two.

FolsomPrismBlues

ShotAManInReno

Google “The Man in Black” if you don’t get them.

This one caused quite a stir on Neil’s Ugly Hedgehog Photography forum…apparently some of the high and mighty there (a) didn’t see the humor in the double entendre and (b) have no life.

ImSoOld

Of course…those same grumpy old people also have a problem with the comments in the Boudoir Photography section on the forum…you have to specifically click the box to get that forum but it concentrates on bedroom and erotic photos…but not porn…just necked (or mostly so) people. A lot of the shots are quite nice but they are primarily female models and there’s this one older guy that typically comments “Nice t***s” for the really attractive one…and every time he does the PC police get all riled up about it…even though he’s admitted he keeps doing it because they keep griping about it.

There was also this long thread about the Post Office…one of the forum categories is General Chit Chat which is for non photo related stuff…unfortunately it all too often descends into political arguments…this one poor fella started a thread about why the USPS could not tell him where his package was even though the tracking info said it was in his local station for delivery…and then the resident Trump hater started in with the President’s “completely misguided attempt to destroy the post office by privatizing it and appointing a postmaster general with no post office experience”. Several of us tried to tell him that the USPS was screwed up long before the current administration, that the USPS Board of Governors actually appoints the Postmaster General and not the President, that the Board had been allowed to reduce from it’s legally specified 11 members down to a single member because the previous administration appointed no governors in 8 years in the White House, and that maybe it was time to let a business man instead of a postal veteran try and fix the problems. We also tried to tell him that the primary reason they were in trouble was that when the USPS was turned into a government owned agency and not a cabinet department they lost government funding but not government control…the USPS is not allowed to charge what it actually costs to deliver a letter, they are required to fully fund their pension obligations annually despite no private/public company being required to do that…they should be required but they are actually not…with union work rules, pay rates, and pension plans largely left over from the Cabinet Department days…is where the problem lies. I gotta tell ya…there’s a lot of things wrong at the USPS…just ask Neil’s brother or Jen’s mother and stepfather…but few of them come back to rest at the feet of the current administration.

About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
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