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A Humble Remembrance

A loyal and (sometimes) vocal follower of this tiny blog pointed me in a direction I’d somehow overlooked, in local history:

35 years later, we should remember fallen firefighter

Ed Gaiki

Ed Gaiki

Ed Gaiki.

I’d not heard or thought of his name in many years.  Thirty-five years ago, I was still living in this town, before I got married and a year later bought a house with the wife and moved to ‘the big city’.

(excerpted from the above link)

Ed was the only firefighter to die in the line of duty in this town’s firefighting service in it’s history.

…As they arrived, smoke was rising from the roof of the Jumbo Bagel Deli, at the end of the strip center.

Within five minutes of the call, Gaicki and eight other firefighters would go into building to search for people and the source of the smoke. Within 15 minutes, the roof collapsed, flaming wood pancaking down onto the nine firefighters.

Deputy Chief Gary Ells, the only remaining active firefighter who was there that night, was one of those trapped. Four of the men got out quickly. News reports at the time describe how four others, including then-Capt. Ells, had to crawl through the building, beneath the remnants of the flaming roof, eventually having to share an air tank before they were rescued.

One man didn’t make it out alive.  (January 15, 1980)

He was 27 years old.

A memorial service on the anniversary of his death will be held at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at Gaicki Park, 5616 South McClintock Drive. (January 15, 2015)

“… I think it’s also important to keep the story alive as a reminder to the rest of us, of the men and women who serve us every day and sometimes pay dearly for it.”  – Deputy Chief Gary Els

Since that time, much personal history has passed.  We had a daughter, got divorced, lost the house, and our daughter passed away.  And I never got to go into ‘public service’, as I had wanted.  I probably didn’t remember, as I’d been just married two weeks before (January 1).

Regardless, we should always remember those who gave their all, whether in the armed services, police or the fire departments.  We owe them that measure, minimally.

Thanks, Ed.

h/t The Arizona Republic, KM

Ask Not For Whom The Bell Tolls…

bellBayou Renaissance Man posted regarding the recent interactions between the constabulary and suspect(s), the protests that followed, and the police political assassinations that followed THOSE actions.

And, as usual, he did so with aplomb.  You should go to the link above and read him.  (And, if you are not regularly reading him, why not?)

And he brought up a recent court decision and the Peelian Principals.  (Sir Robert Peel being the founder of Modern Law Enforcement.)  They are:

  1. To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.
  2. To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.
  3. To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.
  4. To recognise always that the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.
  5. To seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humour, and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
  6. To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
  7. To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
  8. To recognise always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.
  9. To recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.

And here’s Peter’s money quote:

I can already hear the scoffing from police officers that those principles are utterly outdated when dealing with a society that regards the rule of law as nothing more than a polite fiction.  I can’t blame them;  our politicians and leaders in other spheres often appear to honor our laws more in the breach than in the observance.  Needless to say, our citizens all too often take their cue from their leaders (or is it the other way around?)  Nevertheless, any officer of the law who enters upon his career regarding the people he’s called to “protect and serve” as the enemy rather than his peers and fellow citizens is riding for a fall.  Sooner or later, someone’s going to provide one for him. (end)

It does appear as though we as a Society have transcended into pre-civil war status.  That is, that those charged with ‘protecting and serving’ the public are ‘protecting and serving’ each other, to the exclusion of the public (not entirely) and engaging in rampant abuses of power and authority not seen in many years.  In The United States, anyway.

Including wholesale surveillance of cellular telephone and email communications.  Restrictions placed on travel (elimination of 4th Amendment protections at border crossings, airports, ‘sobriety checkpoints’ and even some railroad and bus stations)!  And lets not forget misused or misapplied warrant services.  Does the name Jose Guerena come to mind?  Rendition and torture, in violation of both civil and military law.

And punishing of those who wish to bring such facts to light via the Internet or even cell phone cameras.

And now the remaining folks in blue who actually do their jobs and refrain from abuse are being subjected to political assassination, in the name of social justice?

Isn’t this what some Internet bloggers have been suggesting for the past few years?  Just because it’s painted in race doesn’t make it any less real.

Can we as a Society fix this before it’s too late?  Before cities, towns and States are overrun with folks tired of the governmental abuses?

Ask not for whom the bell tolls.

It peels for thee, Republic.

Self Defense In Israel – “Never Again!”

israelI’d always believed that ISRAEL had very liberal gun laws.  Liberal as in classically liberal, e.g. open carry is ubiquitous, etc.  Turns out this was NOT the truth:

From Nikki

If you haven’t already heard, two pig-humping Paleoswine walked into a synagogue in Jerusalem, Israel today (posted November 18) and proceeded to murder five innocent people, including three U.S.-born rabbis. The sons of sows used meat cleavers, an ax, and a gun in their attacks in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem.

That’s right. They hacked innocent worshipers to death with meat cleavers. By the time police arrived and shot the two savages, several people had been hacked and/or shot to death.

Meanwhile, it was a rude awakening for Israel. As Y.B. ben Avraham explains at Zelman Partisans, it is an error to cite Israel as some sort of bastion of firearms freedoms. It isn’t.

While it is true that one sees young people, fresh from graduating high school, with select-fire rifles slung on their backs, and in Judea and Samaria it is a bit easier to obtain a community weapon or permit, in reality, the “freedoms” look much more like Chicago or NYC than say, Arizona. Everything is by permission, and licensure, and the restrictions have been getting much more restrictive and onerous, in practice, especially in the large metropolitan areas.

It took a massacre for Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch to announce an easing of restrictions on carrying weapons. Unfortunately, the epiphany is insufficient. The moderation in policy only applies to those who currently hold licenses, such as security guards and off-duty military officers. What about the rest of the defenseless would-be victims whose only recourse against ax- and meat cleaver-wielding sociopaths is to wait for a police officer to arrive? What about the innocent faithful, praying in a synagogue whose only hope is to wait for help to arrive?

The homicidal butchers gave Israel a wake-up call when they walked into that synagogue wielding implements of murder and proceeded to shed innocent blood. The massacre prompted the Public Security Minister to loosen gun regulations for license holders.

What will it take for the Israeli government to realize that their infringement on the natural rights of the people can end up in nothing but slaughter?

Have they forgotten?

Or are they channeling their rights-controlling brethren in Chicago and NYC?

It’s better to ask forgiveness than to get permission!  MAROONS ALL!

Due Process

from Alphecca

The Washington Post has been running a very good series of investigative reports on how police departments around the nation have been seizing billions of dollars from often innocent citizens without charging them with any crime. That link takes you to the first installment. On the side, near the top, are the links to the other five pieces. It’s time for Congress to address this issue nationally. Somehow, I doubt that Republicans will allow that.

I’ve been concerned for years about how The Federal Government (through the IRS) can garnishee, attach, freeze, steal assets in advance of due process.  Then it’s up to the poor object of these seizures to fight to get said assets back!

Seemed kind of ass-backwards to me(?)

Now (or perhaps for some time) police departments are engaging in similar behavior!

I’m reminded of a local tale (from the 70’s) in this area, wherein a guy made a police report subsequent to a business burglary.  And reported the losses to his insurance company.  Later, he found some assets in the rubble he had previously thought stolen, and attempted to amend his report.

He was charged with FRAUD, FILING A FALSE REPORT, AND HIS ASSETS SEIZED!

As he sat in the middle of his printing business, watching agents remove everything, crying, he asked one, “Why?”

“Because we can.” was the terse response.

What is it Lord Acton said of government?  Absolutely.

Halloween 2014

halloween frazetta

by Frank Frazetta

Halloween was probably my favorite holiday – as a child.  When else can I go out at night, largely unescorted after I reached school-age, and extort goodies from as many neighbors as I could, all whilst my identity was hidden!

Living in a city-locked white-bread college town, possible dangers were negligible, and we could get popcorn balls and caramel apples along with the usual  candy bars and such.  I even remember returning home on one occasion to get a second bag!

Then, I became a teen, and my interests lie in other than candy…

Fast-forward to fatherhood, and escorting my tiny daughter in her princess costume to a few neighbors.  This evolved to letting her go out by herself, in costumes she herself had sewn and designed (Jean Grey from the XMen, for example).  Dad got into the act at work, oft winning department costume contests, using makeup, wigs, even shaving my head and/or face a couple of times to make a costume character come together!

After the accident, the holiday lost it’s appeal.  I dressed up a couple times at work – but my heart wasn’t in it.

I don’t even give out candy.  Getting up and down to answer the door is just too time consuming and physically difficult.

And besides, Jean Grey doesn’t stop by, anymore.

What DID You Accomplish, As Secretary-Of-State, Ms. Clinton?

When she was asked about her accomplishments as Secretary of State, she responded:

“My accomplishments as Secretary of State? Well, I’m glad you asked! My proudest accomplishment in which I take the most pride, mostly because of the opposition it faced early on, you know… the remnants of prior situations and mindsets that were too narrowly focused in a manner whereby they may have overlooked the bigger picture and we didn’t do that and I’m proud of that. Very proud. I would say that’s a major accomplishment.”   -   Hillary Clinton 11 March 2014

Can anyone figure out what in the hell she just said? And she may be running for President?

Reminds me of a TV commercial of some years back, wherein the politician on-screen says, “And furthermore, in conclusion…” as if he is being paid by the word!   I’m thinking she needs a teleprompter, not unlike another politician who dare not open his mouth without nearby speechwriters.

As another blogger stated, I’ve no problem with a woman as Chief Executive, but, JUST NOT THIS ONE!  And I’m not even mentioning Benghazi or Watergate! – Guffaw
h/t Boyd & Donna

We Need To Take Action! “Let’s Roll!”

(It’s that horrible anniversary, again.  I’d no idea what to write – thank goodness others did! – Guffaw)

By Alan Caruba

As we close in on the 13th anniversary of the infamous 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, the media is full of predictions about attacks that will occur.

A September 2nd Debka File, an Israeli news agency, reported “Credible information has reached Saudi, British and Australian agencies that two al Qaeda branches—ISIS in Iraq and Syria and AQAP at its base in Yemen—have wrapped up plans to roll out coordinated terrorist spectaculars around the 13th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. According to Debka File’s counterterrorism sources, they are preparing to strike simultaneously in the Middle East and a West European city. Next, they will go for U.S. targets in the Middle East and Europe.”

This report and other factors incline me to believe there will not be a major attack somewhere in the U.S. on what is now officially called “Patriot Day.”   There could be a lone wolf attack along the lines of Major Hassan’s 2009 “workplace violence” at Fort Hood or the Boston Marathon bombing, but the threats being made by the Islamic State and other elements of al Qaeda, while intended to raise fears in America, are likely to be manifested in the Middle East. American outlets there will be on full alert for sure.

The Islamic State, while now wealthy, well equipped militarily, and attracting every lunatic Islamist and wannabe terrorist, is facing an increasingly united group of Middle East nations that have put old enemies like Iran and Saudi Arabia on the same page together. Iran has dispatched troops to Iraq to support the Kurds. When other Middle Eastern nations finally screw up enough courage to actually do something they will wage a war on ISIS in the interest of self-defense, a powerful motive.

As for al Qaeda’s war on America, it was declared in 1996 by the late, unlamented Osama bin Laden and, other than 9/11, it has done little to follow up on that dramatic sneak attack except for a few failed efforts. The U.S. responded by bombing the hell out of Afghanistan and our troops there have been attacking the Taliban ever since. Obama says he will pull them out in 2015. Given events in Iraq, that is a very bad idea.

The Department of Homeland Security has been on alert ever since it was created shortly after 9/11. This is not to say that the U.S. doesn’t need more on-the-ground intelligence penetration of al Qaeda and its affiliates. Indeed, DHS and other government agencies don’t know the whereabouts of several thousand foreign students who are supposed to be at our colleges and universities. They likely do not know who else among those with easy access to the nation is a potential terrorist.

So, yes, that could mean I am very wrong and that 9/11 would be a day for a whole series of attacks for much the same reason our consulate in Libya was attacked that day in 2012. The Benghazi cover-up has been falling apart ever since. The lie that it was caused by a video grows more absurd and obscene very day.

The Israelis have made a far greater and more successful effort than us to infiltrate their enemy’s organizations. Hamas was so rattled by the effectiveness of the Israeli bombing of sites where its rockets were stored and fired from, as well as the killing of a number of its leaders, that they made a public display of executing a number of people they accused of being Israeli spies, whether they were or not. The likelihood was that they were Gazans who had spoken out against Hamas.

After breaking a number of ceasefires, Hamas, running out of any support, accepted the most recent one and Israel thereafter announced the annexation of more West Bank territory for its settlements and, no doubt, for militarization to protect against further attacks. The Israelis know how to deal with their enemies, to prepare, and to take action rather than issue empty threats.

There have even been a number of small events by American Muslims speaking out against barbarity of the Islamic State and the threats leveled at the U.S. That is a hopeful sign, but it needs to increase in numbers and volume. The vast silence of the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world is an offense to humanity.

The Arabs of the Middle East are forever making dramatic threats, but they have a record of doing little. When Saddam Hussein controlled Iraq, he waged a war against Iran that ended inconclusively and then invaded Kuwait and was defeated by a U.S. coalition. When he continued to make threats the U.S. invaded again and deposed him.

What followed was an effort in several Middle Eastern nations to rid themselves of their despots. This occurred in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt. Only Egypt, after a brief encounter with a Muslim Brotherhood government, rallied again with a military coup that led to the election of a new military leader. The Brotherhood has been banned! Libya is a failed state that has been taken over by Islamic militants. Tunisia has a new constitution as of January and numerous political parties. Its government is battling local militias.

Iraq is in near failure as it tries to unite its Shiite and Sunni factions in a functioning government. Much of the nation has been taken over by the Islamic State in the same fashion as northern Syria whose civil war has killed 190,000 and driven over a million out as refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and anywhere else they could flee. Who has put troops into Iraq to resist the Islamic State? The Iranians!

One threat the President of the United States does not appear to have taken seriously is an Iran with a nuclear weapon and the intercontinental missiles to deliver it. Both Israel and Saudi Arabia are far more aware of the danger this poses and in all likelihood Israel will conclude it must destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities and military installations.

The United States has lost virtually all the influence it once had in the Middle East, even if it came from the barrel of a gun. Our Secretary of State, John Kerry, is held in low regard by both the Israelis and Arabs. The President, Kerry, and Hillary Clinton keep insisting that “climate change” is the greatest threat to mankind.

If President Obama does not engage in the destruction—not “containment”—of the Islamic State, its oil wealth will enable it to become a major threat in the Middle East and beyond, including us. They have demonstrated no restraint on their use of violence and pose a threat comparable or even greater than the Nazi regime of the last century.

Will there be attack or attacks in the U.S. on 9/11? We all wish we know the answer, but we don’t.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

My only responds to Alan is how do we separate the wheat from the chaff?  The normal from the radical Islamic folks?

Those held hostage by radical elements of their own religion?

Regardless  – please take a moment to remember the innocents lost thirteen years ago.

As they said on Flight 93 – “Let’s roll!”

h/t Theo Spark

Barkley, R.I.P.

If you’ve read my blog at all, your probably know about my blogmothers.  One of them is the lovely and brilliant Brigid, who has shared on her blog many times her adventures with her black Labrador, Barkley.

Barkley stareSadly, he passed earlier Tuesday.

If you’ve not done so already, please visit Home On The Range and post your condolences.  Losing a pet is so very sad.

I think it was George Carlin who said something to the effect that getting a pet is sad, because we know the inevitable outcome.

What he didn’t say was, it’s always worth it.

Even those of us who never got to scratch you in person will miss you, my friend

In Memoriam

19 firefighters killed in Arizona wildfire were part of elite Hotshot crew (link)

There’s not much more to say.

Oft times in this venue, I write about my frustration with law enforcement, straddling the line between freedom and tyranny –  and seemingly inching toward the latter.

But firefighters, be they in the city saving people, homes and property, or in the country, doing the same + our majestic forests, lands and wildlife, need to be honored.  They are not as in the Ray Bradbury story – they are not starting fires.  They are not inching toward the latter.

They need to be honored, not just when they fall, but rather, when they do not.

Please take a moment today to do that.

Another Hero Gone…

(stolen borrowed from Old NFO – because our history IS important!Guffaw)

Another Veteran is gone…
Major Thomas Griffin, a navigator on the Doolittle Raid was called home Tuesday. He passed in a VA home in northern Kentucky at age 96. At the next reunion of the surviving Doolittle Raiders in Fort Walton Beach, where they trained for the mission, they will turn Maj. Griffin’s goblet upside down, and there will be only four left upright.
Maj. Griffin parachuted to safety over China and eluded capture, eventually making it back stateside. He later flew bombing missions over North Africa until he was shot down in 1943, spending the remainder of the war in a German POW camp.
Years ago the President of Hennessy Company presented a bottle of 1896 vintage “Very Special Hennessy” cognac to General Jimmy Doolittle, in honor of his birth year and it was decided that the last two survivors would toast the fallen with it. Due to their advanced age it was decided that they would make the toast this year, before there were none left.
The private ceremony will be attended only by the surviving Raiders, the Raiders’ historian, Tom Casey, manager of the Doolittle Raiders Association, and two Air Force cadets. They will conduct a roll call of the names of all the Raiders, and when Griffin’s name is called, Lt. Col. Richard Cole, at age 97 the oldest survivor, will give a report on Griffin, announcing that he has left us.
At the end of the reading of names, the white-gloved cadets will pour the cognac into the goblets of the survivors, and they will drink their special toast: “To those who have gone.”
The final four survivors are Lt. Col. Cole of Comfort, Texas; Lt. Col. Robert Hite of Nashville, Tennessee; Lt. Col. Edward Saylor of Puyallup, Washington, and Master Sgt. David Thatcher of Missoula, Montana.
RIP Major, know that you were an example to an entire country and gave America hope!
To the Major and his memory!
hennessy
h/t JP
"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

This election is not about who gets voted off the island.
It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

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FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

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“F**k Civility. Hyperbole, passion, and metaphor are beautiful parts of rhetoric. The marketplace of ideas cannot be toned down for the insane.” - Penn Jillette

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