The Changing Of The Guard

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Col. Paul tibbetts credit: wikipedia

Col. Paul tibbetts
credit: wikipedia

On August 6, 1945, Col. Paul Tibbetts flew the Enola Gay, a B-29 bomber named for his mother on a raid over Hiroshima, Japan. The Enola Gay dropped “Little Boy,” a uranium bomb, in the first use of a nuclear bomb in combat.

Enola Gay

Enola Gay

Seventy year later, Brig. General Paul W. Tibbetts IV earned a historic milestone of his own. From Fox News: 

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Chattanooga: The New First Responders 4

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credit: newstimeafrica.com

credit: newstimeafrica.com

The Scenario: Saturday, 1110, the local shopping mall. You and your wife are walking along the wide, main concourse of the single story mall when suddenly, you hear popping sounds. Most people aren’t reacting immediately; they don’t associate those sounds with danger, not quite yet. But you recognize them as gunfire, more specifically, pistol fire and rifle fire.

Then you see them; two young men. They’re wearing Islamic clothing, with tactical vests. Bearded, dark-skinned, they are about 25 yards away, and approaching from the opposite side of the wide, open concourse between the shops. They are walking, calmly, and saying nothing, merely shooting at people on both sides of the concourse. You see a round pierce the body of a woman about ten yards in front of you, blowing out her back. She drops, and several people behind her are sprayed with blood spatter. About that time, the screaming and panic start in earnest.

Some people don’t know what to do, and merely stand still, frozen, their faces masks of abject horror. Others sprint wildly in every possible direction, even knocking small children to the ground in their flight. As the crowd before you begins to thin, you can see multiple people, men, women and children, bleeding on the floor, some pitifully trying to crawl to some sort of safety.

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The Freddie Gray Case, Update 16: Delivering The Goods

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credit: baltimoresun.com

credit: baltimoresun.com

The Freddie Gray case (the archive is available here), like the Trayvon Martin case, is turning out to be another black hole for prosecutorial competence and ethical behavior. In reporting about and analyzing such cases, I strive to provide perspective that can’t be found elsewhere, based largely on my police experience. In that pursuit, I do my best to explain the “between the lines” motivations and actions of all involved, hopefully so that readers can learn what is actually happening. Usually, this is best accomplished by explaining what one would expect to see if the system were working ethically and professionally, and exposing it when it is not.

Most Americans don’t realize that education in the specific role of a prosecutor is not a topic to which much time is devoted in law school. Certainly, all law students must take basic courses in criminal law and procedure, but for the most part, practical learning and training takes place on the job or not at all. This should help us understand the plight of Baltimore Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby, in office only a short time and with no prior experience, when the Freddie Gray case occurred.

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Plain Old Gropin Joe: Democrat Saviour?

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credit: lifenews.com

credit: lifenews.com

Reports on the political scene are becoming even more interesting than usual of late, “interesting” in the sense of the ancient Chinese curse: ‘may you live in interesting times.” We live in obscenely interesting times.

Democrat sources suggest that her magnificence and inevitableness, Hillary Clinton, is becoming worried that Vice President Joe, “the Sheriff,” “Shotgun Joe,” “the Groper” Biden is seriously considering a presidential run. This is plausible because Bernie Saunders, the only open socialist in the Democrat party, is currently kicking Hillary’s caboose in the polls, and would surely do the same in a debate. While Saunders may be pleasing, something of a dream come true for the base of the Democrat party, there are at least a few Dems that understand it would be highly unlikely he could be elected. Despite eight years of Barack Obama, America isn’t quite that far gone–I hope.

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Paul Rudd: One of the Really Good Guys

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credit: medseycare.com

credit: medseycare.com

Gentle readers: Hi there. Sorry I haven’t posted anything yesterday and today, but I’ve been absolutely laid low with a bout of flu. And of course, when more or less incapacitated, pretty much everything that could fall apart around the Manor has, well, fallen apart. The air conditioner started malfunctioning, a shower drain clogged, and a toilet clogged. So it’s pretty much been lay around moaning, fix the toilet, vomit, lay around moaning, call the A/C guy, do the preliminaries for his visit, vomit, lay around moaning, etc. Still working on the shower drain, but that one looks promising. Vomiting again, not so much.

In any case, I should be back to posting in earnest tomorrow at the latest–It’s been awhile since I’ve been well enough to type!–but I thought I’d tell you a little story about Ant-Man (“little”–get it? Heh-heh).

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The Sickness Of The National Soul

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Kitty Genovese credit: checkthisyo.com

Kitty Genovese
credit: checkthisyo.com

During my yearly media unit, I usually bring up the case of Kitty Genovese. In 1964, 28 year-old Genovese was attacked three times over 35 minutes, brutally stabbed, robbed and raped. While media accounts are now known to be inaccurate, what is unmistakable is that multiple people saw at least part of what was happening, but few called the police. There is also evidence that the police dispatchers didn’t understand what was happening. By the time the police did arrive after the final attack, it was too late. Genovese died on the way to the hospital. It will surprise no one, I suspect, to learn this happened in New York City.

Consider the story of Marianne Seregi, a talented art director at the Washington Post Magazine, told by Seregi in Slate. 

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Sticking With The Truth

credit: ufhealth.org

credit: ufhealth.org

Mitch Pearlstein, President of the American Experiment, recently wrote an interesting article upon which I’d like to briefly comment. As you read, keep this question in the back of your mind: who is responsible for a given person’s education?

Another year of tepid-to-lousy Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment results in which key players, once again, have studiously steered clear from saying and asking what cries to be said and asked, with two omissions above others.

Pearlstein is obviously of the belief that state mandated high-stakes tests are useful in telling us something meaningful about the success of education efforts. I don’t know Pearlstein’s work well enough to assert that he is a Kool-Aid drinking true believer, but such people tend to believe that absent such tests, grotesquely expensive in money and time taken from actual learning, are absolutely essential and that without them, there is no way to know how well students are learning and how well teachers are teaching. Amazing that we were able to build the most advanced technological/industrial nation in history prior to the invention and implementation of such tests, isn’t it?

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