30 December 2010

Rules of Engagement and General Order #1

From the Soldier side. الإقامة السابق 100 متر!

The 2 deployments I had the honor of doing with the Army National Guard were some of the most interesting times in my life. I got to celebrate both Christmas and New Years away from home 2 years in a row. New Years in Bosnia was more like a “normal” time in the States, but the New Years in Iraq was something that is almost impossible to describe in a short blog post.

The New Years in Bosnia (2003-04) I was able to spend with my “team” and some friends we made in the EUPM (European Union Police Mission). These were cops from all over Europe and some of the best folks I have ever known in my entire life. They lived on the local economy and went about un-armed observing the Bosnian cops. In California I won’t even go to the grocery store without a gun, but these guys didn’t feel that they needed one. And to tell you the truth- it was actually safer in Bosnia (crime wise) than it is in most places in California!

Camp "Ugly" Bosnia

For New Years 03-04 we were invited to one of the homes some of the EUPM cops were living in. With the low cost of food and housing, most of them had a difficult time spending their per-diem on such things, so they tried to expend these finical resources on alcoholic beverages. On most days they were able to achieve the goal. For New Years, they did meet this objective. (In all my leadership courses, they always mentioned setting goals,)

Unfortunately, in Bosnia we also had “General Order #1” which pretty much covered all aspects of us not being able to have any kind of fun…including drinking. However, since we were in a somewhat special team, we actually had an exemption to the drinking rule- if kept within reason. I did not drink that night, but I did allow some of my team to do so if they chose to….keeping it reasonable. Too many adults can’t figure how to act like adults when left without supervision. We kept it legal and still had fun with our European friends. ( I never drink at all if I’m going to drive.) I felt it a great compliment when one of the German cops told me: “I don’t like Americans, but I like you guys.”

A year later, I was in Fallujah, Iraq. Same rules of “though shalt not drink” but we traveled in armored Humvees in full battle rattle, not civilian Volks Wagons. The mission we did with the “First Mar Div” (1st Marine Division) on this day in 2004 was full of excitement and adventure. Hell, just driving outside any camp in those days would make your sphincter tighten shut.

During the “Battle of Fallujah,” the Rules of Engagement were a little different in that area at that time…but so many American vehicles were getting blown up with Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIED, or Car Bomb) that we couldn’t hesitate if a car came at our convoy.

I’ve told this story in the past, but somebody thought it was worth repeating. That day the Marine Gunny my team was working with asked if we could go into the city with him. He needed at least one other armored vehicle with a gun to be allowed to go out. He wanted to go check on his Marines in the city and bring them mail etc.

Of course we’d go I told him. I’d do anything for that Gunny…, he taught my team and me a lot and his group was a pleasure to work with….after all, we were just Army National Guard pukes called up, but when we were able to pull our own weight doing our job (Mess Kit Repair) they treated us with a great deal of respect. (The Gunny was a Marin Reserve and was also a cop in his civilian life.)

So, we borrowed another M-249 SAW (5.55 MM machine gun) and loaded up our M1114 Armored Humvee. The Gunny was also taking a few other very special Army guys with him…they were very high speed…the kind of soldiers that if you got a chance to work with them, something good would rub off on you and make you a better soldier. But, they didn’t put up with any bullshit or any sloppy work that would get them killed.
"Say Hello to my Little Friend"

The basic rules of engagement at that time allowed us to stop any vehicle or person from getting within 100 Meters of our vehicles. If they got closer, you gave a hand signal and shouted for them to stop (non of us could speak much Arabic, so we yelled in English….kind of useless) But the third step was the universal language of STOP--- we pointed a gun at them. The forth step was a warning shot and then we lit them up with a burst of machine gun fire.

Just before going out, Gunny gave his convoy briefing. Short, simple and to the point. When we stop at the check points, the rear gun (my vehicle) was to not allow any civilian vehicles near out rear or to pass us.

At our first check point, I guess my gunner was afuckingsleep or forgot the instructions. He let an Iraqi car come right up behind us as we were stopped, and didn’t stop it as it drover around us…coming wihin several feet of our vehicles.

The “special” guys riding with Gunny were so pissed…one of them started to yell at my gunner…(who was Cuban American) and of course you can’t yell at somebody like that without them yelling right back. The “special” guy (who’s rank was totally unknown to us) threatened to kick my gunners ass and called him all kinds of names…

After we were done in the city, I told everybody that I’d man the gun just so nobody came up on us. I had a lot more experience with guns (well, shooting targets anyway) and I had been a cop for over 20 years, so I felt I could handle it just fine.

We made it all the way back to the last check point before we returned to the camp. As we pulled into the barricaded control check point, we drove through some turns and crap designed to slow vehicles down to a crawl. I was watching our 6 (rear) when all of a sudden the old Pile of Shit (POS) Toyota van comes flying in towards us at 40 miles per hour. I swing the gun around and start yelling “stop you mother fu…er, STOP, STOP, STOP!!!!!”

Well, that always worked being a cop back home… my command presences, my badge and all. But this stupid ass just kept coming. I had my left hand up giving the stop hand signal and my right was on the pistol grip of the SAW flipping it from Safe to Fire…finger moving onto the trigger getting ready to give him a good burst of 5.56 MM.

As the van got closer, I could see the driver…black beard and all….just staring ahead….then he looked up at me…and it looked like he was going to shithispants (I was to) as a Marine on the check point ran towards the van and yelled at me telling me: “Don’t shoot, that’s the mayor and his family.!”

I had just started to put a little more pressure on the trigger, then let go of it… I guess I had held my breath….and I started to breath again…

Everybody in front of our Humvee had no idea what almost happened…. I talked to the Gunny about it later and he said if the dumbass didn’t stop, it would have be OK to “light him up.” But, we were all glad he stopped….I never saw a Toyota Van stop so fast…

The “special guys” heard what I did and patted me on the back later…telling me: “That’s what you’re supposed to do, get them to stop.” 

الإقامة السابق 100 متر! Stay Back 100 Meters!

24 December 2010

Merry Christmas

Christmas at Eagle Base, Bosnia Dec 2003 SFOR 14

Merry Christmas.  And for my buddies who are deployed to nice places again this year.... be safe!

23 December 2010

USMC Carpet Ride, another e-mail from Iraq from 05'

From the Soldier side: Here’s another e-mail I sent from Iraq in 2005. I deleted a few things for Op Sec. One amazing thing I recall now was how much everybody, Soldiers and Marines always did everything they could to help my team. They were all hard working, dedicated people.

Spring 2005:
In Iraq I loose track of what day of the week it is all the time…I didn’t even know it was Sunday today. I ordered a watch online that not only has the date, but the day of the week…Now I really understand what was happening in the movie “Ground Hog Day” when you get up and do the same thing everyday, it’s easy to not know the day of the week. Actually, I guess what day of the week really doesn’t matter does it?
I have gotten so use to the sound of AK's being fired, that I don't even react anymore.  I sleep right through it.  But somehow, when I hear one of our fifty cals returning fire, I wake up.

My team and I just got back to Baghdad at about 2 AM today. It was one of the most “special” trips I have had so far in Iraq. Air travel here is always an adventure….and I’m not talking about the flying part. I’m talking about getting a flight

My team’s job in Al Asad was over, so it was time to go back home to Baghdad.

My unit, as always, put in a request for my team to fly back to Baghdad. But as often happens, we did not actually end up on a flight manifest.

No problem as the CI Roller Dude knows how to get his team around the country despite failures in the system.

So, I went over and talked to the Marines at the flight line on Al Asad and asked if we could get on something flying to Baghdad….you know a CH 46, 53, C-130 B-17, whatever… The Marine looked and said; “Why yes, we have a lovely C-130 flying there later today, I’ll put you guys on the list.”

So, we sat around the wooden waiting building eating delicious MREs for lunch and dinner…watching the same episode of South Park I’ve seen about four times already…but I’ve never seen the entire episode. The Marine Private watching the DVD went to shut if off and said: “sorry sir, I’ll shut that off.”

I responded with: “I’m not a sir, I work for a living, and leave it on, that’s funny shit.”

(I never wear my rank or name tape when on missions, so everybody thinks I'm a sir, it must be that I look like a cop even in an Army uniform.)

Later in the evening, the nice Marines said our C-130 was coming in and we loaded up our stuff to move to the flight line….and waited and waited and waited.

Hummm. Where did that C-130 go? Nobody knew.
CI Roller, with the C-130 we never got on

So, we went back and waited some more. CI Roller Dude knew that the flight would never come, so I started pulling more strings and had not one, but two flights set up for my team. (We were going home to Baghdad one way or another.)

So, the Marines said a flock of CH46s was inbound and they had room… Great a ride home. (see attached photos of what a C-130 and CH46 look like.)
CH46, like 2 washing machines fighting with gravity!

Now, you may recall that my team has flown on CH-46s before..they are the two rotor POS that was made during the Viet Nam war. They landed and we got on with some Third Country National (TCN) civilians and found an empty seat….(nylon cloth flats that your butt just fits into.)

The engine gets louder and the thing starts to take off. One of the TCNs wets his pants and gets the guys sitting on both sides on him.

The Chopper went about 100 yards, then landed back on the flight line…The crew shut off the engines and told us to get out. Something was wrong. The crew chief climbed up and checked the rear engine….I guess he couldn’t find anything wrong, so we loaded back on…the TCN who’d pissed his seat tried to change seats and have somebody else sit in his urine….I pointed and said: “You wet the seat, you get to sit in it.” He didn’t like me.

Now, in Iraq the Marines fly at night with no lights on. So, we’re moving along at maybe 100 MPH with the windows open so the machine gunners can look out and we’re freezing. And don’t forget, we’re only flying a few hundred feet off the deck (ground.)

At about 0130 hours (1:30 AM) we touchdown at Baghdad International Airport. I get out my satellite phone (which works all over the world) and call my company to pick up my team. Now, my company has some of the best and most dedicated people in the world. They were waiting up for us to come in. I love these guys. They are there in no time so we all get home and are tucked into our little beds by 0200 hours (2 am).

I was tired from this last double mission. We were out a month and we were ready to come home. On Sunday I got one of the mail clerks to open up the mail room…she said: “Oh, you’re CI Rollder Dude, yeah we can open up for you.”

Nice people.

After sleeping in, I checked with my room mate who works missions in Baghdad. He was showing me the plaster that go knocked off the wall the day we were sitting in Al Asad trying to get home. I asked what happened:
A Vehicle Born Improvised Explosive Device – VBIED, was driven up to one of our camp gates yesterday. This gate is at least half a mile away from our room. The bomb blew up and killed 2 US soldiers and wounded others.
I finished my laundry, cleaned my weapons and packed my bags. I told the company commander I’m ready to go out again…That’s why I came here to stop these “As-----s” from killing our people. We got a few on this last mission…but their like almonds…arrest all you want, they’ll make more.

Finding Terrorist so you don't have to meet them.

20 December 2010

Another Baghdad Carpet ride--- old e-mail from Iraq, April 05

From the Soldier side: Here’s another e-mail I sent from Baghdad, Iraq in April 2005. Most of my e-mails just kind of rambled on and had no point. If there was a point I guess was to let people know I was OK and to try to get them to laugh.

I often have been asked: "were you afraid?" 
Hell yes.  You needed a little fear or you'd fall asleep in the heat.  Not the kind of fear that made you unable to function, but just enough to make you do better and fight harder.  Fear is not something you can simulate very well in training. 
Here's another rambeling e-mail I sent to my friends and family...at least the ones who wanted me to.

The Baghdad Carpet Ride.

It’s Tuesday in Camp Slayer, Baghdad, Iraq . Saturday night we had sirens and horns going off. That usually indicates one of two things. The first possibility is someone bumped the Alert siren button by mistake when they spilled their coffee beverage. Or, as in this case the siren was a Real Alert…. to let everyone know to put on their helmets and body armor ( we always have our weapons and ammo with us) and report to the company office.

We thought it might be another drill. They usually pull a drill to see how long it takes everyone to check in. The drills are to prepare us incase the camp is attacked. In this case our camp was not under attack, but another nearby camp had come under attack. So as a precaution, they put all camps in the area on alert. Not a bad idea.

A typical attack on a camp usually consist of some insurgent firing a mortar or rocket from some distance, then leaving the area before we can greet them in return. For this attack, the insurgents did something new…they attacked with several weapons and for a somewhat longer period of time.

Our camp didn’t get attacked that night, but we had to remain in our “homes” or offices since they are solid.

After a nice warm day in the 90’s, and wearing body armor, a nice shower is usually quiet refreshing. They installed a decent shower trailer not far from my “home” and I was looking forward to using it…but despite what the President (Bush #2) said, we are in a war.

There is no hot water in our building since the contractor ruined most of the hot water heaters. How did they do that you ask? They put gas in a diesel generator. This generator had to be replaced. When the hooked up and turned on the new generator, they forgot to set the correct voltage. This caused a massive surge of power and blew up everything plugged into the system—including the electric hot water heaters.

So, I took a cold shower. Actually it was not cold since it had been over 90 F that day. The “cold” water was warm. So what… at least we were not getting bombed. I was in Kalsu and other places when they were “attacked”. Most of the time they miss anything important and just annoy the hell out of everyone.

Sunday I was tasked with going out to a Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Baghdad to do a little investigation. I got a ride with another team in one of their armored Hummers. They were happy to have me go, since one of their “security” guys is one of the people I trained on how to shoot a machine gun. This was about his 70th mission out into Baghdad and other places. He’s done well and has never let anyone drive close to the convoy…and he’s never had to fire one shot at anyone.

Now, some of you may remember in Dec when my team went to Fallujah on a convoy. Well it was nothing back then. All the roads were closed to all but military vehicles. So it was a nice straight shot up to Fallujah with nobody on the road. Even when we rode into Fallujah a few times with the Marines, it was ok.

In Baghdad however, it’s a big city. There were cars and trucks all over the place. It’s always a wild ride!

We have a few worries. The insurgents like to stick Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) along the road. And, when they can find someone who is stupid enough to drive, they will fill a car or truck with explosives and drive the vehicle into a convoy. That would be a Vehicle Born Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) Wow! What a treat.

So as we’re riding along at max speed… every time a car approaches from a cross street or an on ramp to the highway, we all eyeball them and make sure they are not going to ram into us and blow us up to meet Allah.

We pass vehicles where ever we can….on the shoulder, sidewalk, into oncoming lanes and if we have to, we’ll push a car out of the way if it’s stalled. We can’t stop....if you stop, you are an easy target. The trick is to get speed, zig zag, don’t stop and do not get close to stopped traffic or let other cars get within 50 yards of us. This is done as a team. The driver moves the vehicle; the truck commander looks ahead and tells the driver what he sees. The gunner on the top uses hand/ arm signals, a whistle, and brandishes his machine gun to keep a safe zone around us all the time. All the passengers have M-4/ M-16s to cover the sides. We are all looking around and communicating with each other if we see a possible threat. The rear vehicle has a warning sign in English and Arabic warning vehicles to keep back 50 meters (yards). This little group of 3 vehicles has more fire power than a whole infantry platoon in WWII.

We made it to the FOB. The other team did their mission and I did mine. About a week ago, 5 women who cleaned bathrooms at that FOB were stopped on their way home from work. All 5 were shot to death. My job…put the cowards in prison that did it. I can handle when a soldier gets attacked, but why kill 5 innocent women just trying to feed their family?

Mission over. We jump back in our M-1114 Hummers and head back to Camp Slayer . To fight the commute traffic all over again. We get back, have “chow” then spend hours writing reports. Monday… the teams go out all over again.

Tuesday, today. One of our guys from the “home” unit who has been out at Al Ramadi was due to come back to Baghdad today. He’s going home for two weeks of leave. Man did he have a fun Blackhawk ride. As his helicopter almost got to the landing pad in Baghdad , it hit something and went down hard and fast. Lucky they were only a few hundred feet up and the chopper pilot was trained well. Nobody was hurt and our buddy made it in to catch his flight home.

California Army National Guard~~ one weekend a month…yeah right.

In IRAQ putting the "fun" into Dysfunctional.......

17 December 2010

More "e-mails I sent from Iraq...05

Hit with "annoying IED, just broke glass and knocked out gunner

From the Soldier side: April 2005. Here are two more e-mails I sent from Baghdad, Iraq”

One of the local "contractors" here had (past tense) a new H-2 Hummer. This one was very special and had lots of armor plating. They used it for "special" clients to get them around a very hostile place (Baghdad, Iraq).

The other day that "Contractor" was in a small convoy coming into one of the camps. A VBIED (Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device) with some crazy rag head in it drove up to the H2 Hummer and the VBIED driver decided to meet Allahah at that time.

The VBIED messed up the H2 Hummer (actually it destroyed it) but the occupants got out with only minor injuries. As the driver was getting out, he heard:

"This is On-Star*, is there an emergency?"

On another day in April 2005…

I called our trips into Baghdad---

The Baghdad Carpet Ride

We went out again yesterday. But by the time we got back, I was too tired to even eat much less e-mail. I have to admire some of our TEAMS who go out almost every day in their little convoy with Humvees.

I was a passenger in the Team Leader’s Humvee. His team had a “job”... I had my own "job" to do at the location we were going, so it was easier to ride with someone already going there instead of setting up our own convoy.

Traffic was heavy in Baghdad and as usual, Hajji was having a difficult time driving. Cars and trucks were breaking down all over...each one we suspected was another VBIED.

The gunner yells, "One from the right, as he swung his belt fed .5.56 mm machine gun around to counter any threat....thank God (or Allah) the driver saw us and stopped the required distance.

We were moving at 55 MPH, when traffic stopped....no reason that we could see. So we stop at a good distance and covered 360 degrees...traffic starts moving again...and we get into the passing lane.

All we can do to move traffic is tap the vehicle horn, yell and flash our headlights. I swear the horn on the Humvee is the same little "Beep" we used to have on the Jeeps. The horn is useless. I'm going to order a 24 volt real truck horn when I get a chance...

Somehow most of the cars moved out of the way...except one idiot. He looked up in his mirror but would not move over. I figured he used to be in the Ba'ath party or something and was trying to piss us off.

The truck commander told the driver to "let him know we are here." a light tap on the back of Hajji's car and he moved over quick. Wish I could do that in the patrol car back home.

We made it to our mission,,,and back. It was hot, over 100 F. When I got back to our "home" I had to take a nap...then I saw almost everyone else who went out was doing the same thing.

"OK, maybe I'm just getting old." I have to admire these men and WOMEN who go out and do this everyday! Oh, did I mention the .50 cal gunner was a 19 year old female PFC? The gunner on the vehicle I was in is from California Nat Guard and he's only 42.

One Weekend a month, yeah my .....ass

Teach a man to start a fire...and you keep him warm for a day. Set him on fire and keep him warm for life.....

Note: The 42 year old gunner was later wounded really bad and the team leader was killed in June 2005.

(If you're one of those getting a direct feed, you may be missing out on the music that goes along with the postings.... and please leave a comment if you can so I know what kind of crap to write about.)

15 December 2010

OLD e-mail from Iraq

From the Soldier side: The other day I was talking to an older gentelmen...turns out he served during the Korean war.  We had never met before, but we quickly formed a "Vet's Bond" as I call it.  He was telling me how rough we must have had it in Iraq, and I told him: "Oh, but we had really good chow in the big camps and we had e-mail!" 

Later, I was going through some of my old e-mails I sent from Iraq.  At many of the little camps and FOBs I was at, we had to stand in line for hours to use the computer for 20 minutes.  And, often it would take half that time just to send a few messages.  I learned to type fast and send one e-mail to all my friends and family at once.  I did actually get a few e-mails back from a family member saying: "please take me off your e-mail list, I don't have time to read your e-mails."  I not only took them off the list, but I totally deleated them from my address book. 

Here's one e-mail I sent after just being in Iraq for a short time (spelling errors and all)

Baghdad update: OIF III (sent about Jan 2005)

We were talking today how a few of almost went Iraq with another National Guard unit just before the war started. Somebody said “you mean OIF I?”

And I responded with “No, they didn’t call it Operation Iraqi Freedom at first because they were not aware that the Iraqis needed to be free I guess…it was called something about looking for weapons of mass destruction.”

And that was today’s class on the history of Iraq.

We had another discussion the other night about some of the customs in Iraq. It is very common for a man to marry his cousin. As a matter of fact, before a woman can get married to anyone outside her family, all of her cousins have to turn her down. (she must be really bad)

This gets confusing when you ask someone about family. Is your father in-law your uncle or father in-law? And your wife’s brothers and sisters are now you in-laws. One thing that really does not work here is Mother in-law jokes. Because your mother in-law is often your aunt.

If a man is making enough money, he can have more than one wife…but he has to treat both equal. I talked to one guy who had 2 wives and 25 children and grand children. Now I never got around to asking if the wives were sisters, cousins, sheep or what…it was just too confusing. And…how does he remember all the names?

And they do really have camels here. I have talked to camel herders. I was not sure what they did with camels, but they still raise and herd them. I think they just have them for something to do. They sell and trade them and wonder around in the desert with them. They don’t really ride them anymore, but they do eat them sometimes. We suspect that is where they get some of the meat in the mess hall.
Life is so simple in California. We have small families and we can remember all their names, and mothers in law are not also an aunt.

Then there was the one Iraqi guy we were talking to one time. I asked the usual questions..."Are you married?" he said "no" so I continued with "do you have a girlfriend?" he responded with another "no".

So I asked if he was gay...and he said "no, I have sheep."

I gave up at that point.

Winning the Hearts and Minds of the Heartless and the Mindless

Perfume Palace, Camp Slayer, Baghdad, Iraq

14 December 2010

Yeah, yeah I know…don’t drink & drive…

From the Cop side. I know you’ve all heard it before. Don’t Drink and Drive. But, you’re ok to drink and drive right? I mean, you’re a great driver and even after a few drinks, you can still drive ok, so you don’t have to read this.

This dumbass didn't make it home

However, if you’re still reading….good. Maybe I can keep you from screwing up…or maybe you can keep somebody else from screwing up. You see, some of my friends and I are very good at catching drunk drivers. If I see you driving drunk, I will know. You can’t fake the test, you can’t BS your way out of getting arrested. I will know. I’ve done if for over 30 years and I want to keep you from crashing and killing yourself or somebody else. You see, if you crash, the report is much more work for us, so we’d rather do the simple DUI report before.

It wasn't a crash test dummy driving...

OK, don’t think that all of us cops looking for drunk drivers are perfect, but after years of doing this…I will never drink and drive. Why? Because I know better.

I look at it a little different than most people….I like to survive. I haven’t worked as a cop for over 30 years, and deployed twice for the army etc to go out and get killed in a car crash. If I’m going to drive I won’t even have one drink. If I plan on drinking, I have somebody else drive…and that person had better have not even had one drink….our lives depend on it.

Think of it as “convoy prep” for a mission into Baghdad.

1.) Fuel

2.) Ammo

3.) Weapons clean and ready

4.) Route picked.

5.) First aid kits, fire extinguishers etc.

6.) Radio checked

7.) Sober driver

I have friends and family members who have been arrested for driving while intoxicated. I also have friends and family who were not so lucky and died because of they were DUI, or the other driver was DUI, or, both were.

Now, you think: “Oh, I can have one or two drinks and I’ll be OK to drive.” Yeah, legally you’ll be OK…but how much will those 2 drinks slow your reactions when that other drunk asshole comes into your lane, runs the red light, or doesn’t see the stop sign? If you are totally alert, you just might see that asshole before it’s too late.

I’ve done traffic enforcement so often that I know many people run red lights and stop signs even sober….after they’re drunk, those traffic control devices are useless....they provide no protection at all. 

Try my suggestions this year and let me know if it helped any. If not, go back to doing it your way. I can guarantee you my way will give you a better chance of living longer. Then someday you can tell others about your idea of not drinking at all if you’re going to drive.

Have a great Christmas….me and some of my buddies are working overtime to catch those who don’t follow my advice.

09 December 2010

Bureaucratic Bull S.....

OK, as most of those who know me know that I can not stand bureaucratic bullshit. I work for bureaucracy and I hate it when I see it at work. Typically it’s dealt out by office bound desk jockeys who have no real idea how to do whatever that agency is actually supposed to do.   I've seen some folks who can not only talk out of both sides of their mouth at the same time, but out of their ass.  Some are experts at making up bullshit and explaining why it's not their problem or their fault. 

When a citizen comes to me and ask a police question, I like to give them a direct no bullshit answer. If it’s something that I can’t help them with, I explain why and try to get them in touch with somebody who can. I never say: “It’s not my job” or “ I can’t help you.”

Now, to be totally honest, there are often nutjobs who we really can’t help and there’s no hope for them….they’ll complain about how bright the moon is at night and crap like that.

However, I was sent a contact link for the TSA to bring up concerns about TSA workers etc. I thought it over, and thought: “Wow, the Department of Homeland Security and the TSA are really trying to fix things and make them better….great, maybe I’ll write them.”

I wrote about the San Francisco Airport and the insane way they handle firearms when you check them in for a flight. I explained in detail how dangerous they were when handling my handguns in the past etc. Then, I explained when I returned from other airports how much better they were.

Now, despite the fact that some TSA screeners are contract employees, they are all getting paid by the US Government one way or another.

This was their bureaucratic bullshit response:

Thank you for your e-mail.

At the direction of Congress, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) established a program at some airports using private contractors instead of Federal security officers. These airports, although regulated by TSA, are not staffed by a Federal workforce. To address your concerns, you should contact that airport's screening contractor directly.

We hope this information is helpful.

TCC Contact Center

Now I feel much better...knowing that some pogue behind a desk is doing not a damn thing. 

07 December 2010

December 7th, 1941.

Being that I’m an old soldier, there are dates that come up that to me are more important than many holidays. Last year on December 7th, I remember talking to some younger folks who didn’t know what was so special about that date.
I told them: “It’s like September 11th is for you.”

They still didn’t get it. I had to explain that on December 7th 1941 is when WWII started for the US.

I would like to take this time to thank all of those Vets who went before us and made this world a safe place for the rest of us. Another point that some may not know, the Vets who fought in the wars before our wars, also fought the wars back home. Their organizations, like the VFW, American Legion etc fought for better pay for better veteran benefits.

If you know a WWII Vet, please take some time this week to buy them a cup off coffee, or whatever, and ask them to tell you some stories. The ones I’ve talked to had much better stories than I did. Our living conditions in Iraq were so much better than most had in past wars.

If you need some history lessons today, take a look at these. There were also Army folks at Pearl Harbor, but I got this from my retired Navy uncle (subs).




04 December 2010

Don’t stand too close to a naked crazy man..

From the Cop side: I don’t often post stories on fairly recent police stuff, but some of the things we end up doing is more funny than fiction. I know some of you read some of the cop stories by some of those I list on the right side (over there…scroll down a bit…see) Like Mamma Fargo, Hogday, and Texas Ghost Rider. I’m sure that there are lots of good other bloggers.
The reason I usually don’t post more recent events is the area I work is over loaded with attorneys. Hell, most of the kids I end up stopping start out with: “My dad is an attorney and we’re going to sue you.”

I’ve heard that so many times that I just respond with: “Oh, shit….are you trying to intimidate me?”

They’re so stupid that they don’t know if trying to intimidate a cop is against the law. It should be, but so far it’s not.

Well, last week was Thanksgiving. Of course I worked it…as it seems like whenever Thanksgiving was my normal work day, I’ve worked it for over 30 years. No big deal. A typical Thanksgiving day is all the good citizens who are planning on stuffing as much food into their pieholes as possible, go out for a walk in the morning. After they eat, they can’t walk and usually pass out on the couch. It’s normally a slow day as far as crime and traffic accidents….but the family fights tend to start picking up.

Thanksgiving is that one day of the year where families get together and visit others---then remember why they only want to see them once a year.

And the mentally ill seem to go off their meds around this time of the year…and again at Christmas.

So that was “the call” of the day. Our county mental health hospital is attached to the county “normal hospital for normal stuff”. It’s also really close to our main office and we even are co-located near the Sheriff’s sub –station that covers the hospital.

So, a little before lunch time, I was punching holes in the air with my Crown Vic, when I hear on the scanner that some nut job was running around the hospital naked. As I drive by the deputy responding, I give him a hand signal asking if he needed a cover…since his closest cover deputy was 4 miles away….he waved me to follow him.

As we rolled into the parking lot for the lovely newish’ county hospital, the private security guards were running in all directions---so it was difficult to figure out where the problem was. One guard was running back towards the hospital, one was running away and one decided to run at my car---I guess to see if I would run over him or something….still not sure.

So, since I could only go one place, I asked the guard who looked the least stressed: “What’s up?” as he pointed to a hill next to the hospital.

There appeared to be a giant plucked turkey climbing up the hill….then I realized it was a naked man…totally naked. Not even shoes. And the hill he was trying to climb up was almost straight up, so I was impressed at how far he climbed with no clothes on….and did I mention it was cold outside? Well, at least for our part of California, not like Mamma Fargo’s cold, but it would not have been a good day to go surfing!

So, it was the deputies call, and I was just going to cover him. But, the nut was still climbing up the hill and the deputy was trying to get information from hospital security. I was worried that the nut would fall and land his naked ass in the parking lot. I hate to see nuts hurt themselves…because it’s so messy.

So I ask the nut his name. He tells me. I suggest that he be careful so he doesn’t fall. (remember it’s not my call, so I don’t want to take over, but just tried to stall until the deputy had the info he needed.)

The nut stops climbing. I ask him if he’s looking forward to eating turkey. He tells me “I want to commit suicide by cop. Just shoot me!” I told him: “I’m afraid I can’t today, I’ve already shot too many people this week and I’ll get in trouble if I shoot anybody else.”

That got him to laugh.

The deputy found out he was a homeless dude who was dropped off at the looney bin. But, before they’d let him inside, the nurse told him to take off all his nasty clothes and leave them outside. That’s as far as he got…naked…then he decided that the nurse was being mean to him, so he ran away.

If it had been my call, I would have just told him to not fall off the hill, and driven away. The nut farm didn’t want him…but the nice deputy talked him into putting his clothes back on…then gave him a ride to the soup kitchen. It was funny, when the naked guy was walking back to his clothes….none of us got within 30 feet of him. He really looked like a giant plucked turkey. Same shape and skin color. Same IQ.

01 December 2010

Gun Control- Means .....

OK, I don’t usually post stuff like this, but after I read it, I thought: “What better way to explain why our gun control laws in California are not working. I support the Second Amendment and I think all honest, law abiding, trained citizens should be able to carry a concealed weapon if they so wish. This was e-mailed to me, so I’m not sure if it’s true, but it’s funny as hell!  Please leave a comment on what you think about CCW permits for citizens.


To the Guy Who Tried to Mug Me in Downtown Savannah night before last.

Date: 2009-05-27, 1 :43 a.m. E.S.T.

I was the guy wearing the black Burberry jacket that you demanded that I hand over, shortly after you pulled the knife on me and my girlfriend, threatening our lives. You also asked for my girlfriend's purse and earrings. I can only hope that you somehow come across this rather important message.

First, I'd like to apologize for your embarrassment; I didn't expect you to actually crap in your pants when I drew my pistol after you took my jacket.. The evening was not that cold, and I was wearing the jacket for a reason.. My girlfriend had just bought me that Kimber Model 1911 ..45 ACP pistol for my birthday, and we had picked up a shoulder holster for it that very evening. Obviously you agree that it is a very intimidating weapon when pointed at your head ... isn't it?!

I know it probably wasn't fun walking back to wherever you'd come from with that brown sludge in your pants. I'm sure it was even worse walking bare-footed since I made you leave your shoes, cell phone, and wallet with me. That prevented you from calling or running to your buddies to come help mug us again].

After I called your mother or "Momma" as you had her listed in your cell, I explained the entire episode of what you'd done. Then I went and filled up my gas tank as well as those of four other people in the gas station, -- on your credit card. The guy with the big motor home took 150 gallons and was extremely grateful!

I gave your shoes to a homeless guy outside Vinnie Van Go Go's, along with all the cash in your wallet. [That made his day!]

I then threw your wallet into the big pink "pimp mobile" that was parked at the curb ... after I broke the windshield and side window and keyed the entire driver's side of the car.

Later, I called a bunch of phone sex numbers from your cell phone. Ma Bell just now shut down the line, although I only used the phone for a little over a day now, so what 's going on with that? Earlier, I managed to get in two threatening phone calls to the DA's office and one to the FBI, while mentioning President Obama as my possible target.

The FBI guy seemed really intense and we had a nice long chat (I guess while he traced your number etc.).

;In a way, perhaps I should apologize for not killing you ... but I feel this type of retribution is a far more appropriate punishment for your threatened crime. I wish you well as you try to sort through some of these rather immediate pressing issues, and can only hope that you have the opportunity to reflect upon, and perhaps reconsider, the career path you've chosen to pursue in life. Remember, next time you might not be so lucky. Have a good day!

Thoughtfully yours,


Note: These are the kind of toys the CI Roller Dude grew up playing with:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMqd5EQXD-g&feature=related