December 27, 2014

In The News

And You Wonder Why They Turn Their Backs
There's no other way to describe him. Mayor De Blasio is an asshole.
On Friday evening, thousands of New Yorkers attended a memorial service for Rafael Ramos, one of the two NYPD officers assassinated a week ago by an Eric Garner protester. The service brought mourners from every corner of the city. Noticeably late was embattled Mayor Bill de Blasio, who made it to the service only just before its conclusion.

Liberal News Media Underestimate the Back Count
Many news outlets reported that hundreds of police officers turned their backs on NYC Mayor De Blasio when he spoke at the funeral of two murdered NYPD cops today.

There were thousands. A sea of blue clad backs.
Mayor de Blasio tried to make peace with the NYPD Saturday, but again collided with the Blue Wall of Resentment.

As he took the podium Saturday at the funeral of slain Officer Rafael Ramos, thousands of cops outside the church turned their backs to the video monitors showing the mayor giving his eulogy inside.

In a gradual wave, the assembled cops nearest the screens and speakers on Myrtle Avenue began to about-face, until the entire sea of blue stretching two blocks had their backs to the image of the city’s leader.
If you look closely at the photo in the NY Post article, you'll see that it isn't just NYPD cops turning their backs. Sheriffs, state troopers - they're all joining in solidarity with NYPD.

Donations Pour In For Families of Slain Cops
The families of the two officers will receive a total of $800,000 from a foundation that will pay off their mortgages.
The Tunnels to Towers Foundation, named in memory of a former FDNY firefighter, committed to pay off the mortgages for the families of NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos after they were shot and killed on duty in Brooklyn last Saturday.

The overwrought widow of murdered NYPD officer Wenjian Liu offered her teary thanks Friday after a charity confirmed its commitment to pay off the newlywed’s mortgage.

Pei Xia Chen, who married Liu just three months before his execution last Saturday, stood crying and hugging her relatives during a Staten Island news conference.

“When you see somebody in despair, you bring them some joy,” said Frank Siller, chairman of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. “When you see somebody that is in darkness, you bring them light.

Vice President Biden Stumbles Into NYPD Funeral
Thinking he was at the opening ceremony for a new bridge, Biden commented on the very large number of police officers directing traffic right outside the church and how the federal dollars spent on this project would ease traffic management burdens on over worked cops. He then thanked them for saving him a "neat" parking spot outside.
Thousands attended the funeral of slain New York City police officer Rafael Ramos on Saturday morning, including Vice President Joe Biden, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, who shared their condolences with the officer’s family.

Biden was one of the first to speak at the service at the Christ Tabernacle Church in Queens, addressing Ramos’ family and hundreds of police officers gathered inside, as thousands more outside watched the proceedings on big screens.

December 24, 2014

Unto Us A Son Is Given

For unto us a child is born, 
unto us a son is given: 
and the government shall be upon his shoulder: 
and his name shall be called Wonderful, 
Counsellor, The mighty God, 
The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

December 23, 2014

Lights Out

North Korean Wingnut-in-Chief Kim Jung-un was unable to update his Facebook page yesterday as the interweb tubes serving his country wilted like week old kimchi left in the sun. From Fox News:
Prominent North Korean websites were back online Tuesday after an hours-long shutdown that led to speculation by some researchers and web watchers that the country's Internet connections could be under cyberattack.

South Korean officials told the Associated Press that Internet access to the North's official Korean Central News Agency and the Rodong Sinmun newspaper were working normally Tuesday after being inaccessible earlier. Those sites are the main channels for official North Korea news, with servers located abroad.

The outage came less than a week after the U.S. vowed an unspecified response to a massive hacking attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment over the release of the comedy film "The Interview." The plot of the comedy centers on the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, leading to widespread speculation that the country was responsible for the attack. Late last week, the FBI publicly blamed North Korea in the incident, though Pyongyang has denied involvement.

The White House and the State Department on Monday declined to say whether the U.S. government had any role in North Korea's Internet problems.
Gee, I wonder how that happened? The Washington Times has a clue:
In the shadows of the Sony hacking incident and North Korea’s massive Internet outage, the Pentagon has quietly built a multibillion-dollar cyberwarfare capability and trained its commanders to integrate these weapons into their battlefield plans.

U.S. Cyber Command was officially stood up in 2010, based at Fort Meade in the Maryland suburbs of the nation’s capital, consolidating intelligence and cyberwarfare capabilities of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines under one house. Soon, billions of dollars were being invested in the concept that cyberattackers targeting America should be prepared to sustain their own damage.

[...]While the U.S. government remained mum Monday on whether it was behind Pyongyang’s downed Internet service, it offered a clear and confident message that the Pentagon is equipped to conduct such offensive operations in cyberspace.

Army Lt. Col. Valerie Henderson, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said the Defense Department constantly prepares to counter cyberthreats. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf described the U.S. retaliation against North Korea for the Sony hack this way: “Some will be seen. Some may not be seen.”
Perhaps this is the modern cyber equivalent of a shot across the bows. Or a slap across the ass.

December 22, 2014

Officer Down

In police work there is nothing that grabs your heart like the words that you hope you never hear over the radio, "Officer Down."

There is a rush of blood as your body prepares for whatever action you need to take; your breath gets short, your hands clench the steering wheel while you wait for the dispatcher to give the location. As soon as the location and the affected unit number is given, you slap on the lights and siren and take off. Maybe you swear a little or pray a little but it's balls to the wall as you figure out the shortest route to the downed cop.

Twice I have heard those words broadcast. The first time was instigated by some idiot who didn't like the advice given to him by a cop on a neighbor trouble call and wanted another cop to tell him what he wanted to hear. So he calls the station and tells the communications section that a cop has just been shot in front of his house. He certainly got his cops.

Luckily the unit who had just cleared the call was still close by and cancelled the call so everyone slowed down. But for thirty seconds or so about forty or fifty marked and unmarked units were screaming towards this fool's house. The dispatcher keeps repeating the order to stand down, slow down before someone gets hurt; back then the dispatchers were also cops and they know how we react to something like that.

The second time I heard that call was thirteen years later, and it was for real.

On October 30, 1990, Detective Wally Howard was working undercover for the Central New York Drug Task Force. He was conducting a direct buy from a dealer from the Bronx. He was surrounded by other undercover agents from the task force who had him under surveillance while the deal went down.

A day or two before I had made the arrangements for the transfer of $4000 from one of my confidential funds to the Task Force so they could make a sizable buy from this dealer. Wally had over forty grand  in cash when he was murdered - right in front of a half dozen under cover cops and cameras.
One suspect was armed with a .22 caliber handgun. He climbed into the driver’s seat of Officer Howard's car while second suspect walked to the passenger side window carrying a .357 revolver. The first suspect pulled his gun. As he did so, Officer Howard reached for his own firearm. The second suspect, standing outside the car, fired once, striking Officer Howard in the head at point-blank range. In the seconds before he was shot Officer Howard was able to fire his weapon twice, striking and wounding the first suspect. Both suspects attempted to flee the scene but were immediately apprehended by back-up officers. Officer Howard died at 8:15pm that evening without regaining consciousness.
You remember exactly where you are when and what you were doing when that call goes out. I think some kind of trauma occurs when those words slam into your ears. It's like a jackhammer ripping apart the synapses in your brain.
Officer Howard's 16 year-old killer was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 30 years to life in prison. He will be eligible for parole in 2020. The other suspect was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 25 years to life. He will be eligible for parole in 2015.
The NYPD cops go through this far more often than most cops. It's a gut wrenching part of the job in one of the largest cities in the country.

There'll be a huge funeral. A sad, glorious, rousing send off by thousands of cops who, the next day, will suit up again, sit down in roll call to listen to the sergeant/lieutenant/captain tell them what they need to know for the day and walk off to find a car.

The days will pass. They always do. There is always another call. There is always another domestic, another assault, another missing child, another theft, another drunk, another accident. And while they're responding to another call, the cops who work the 84th Precinct in Brooklyn will pass by the location where Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were killed. And they'll remember. And it will be like it happened yesterday.

And after they retire they'll still remember. Those jackhammered synapses won't allow them to forget. Just as I can never forget.

December 21, 2014

The Cost Of Political Manipulation And Incompetence Continues To Rise

An on duty Florida Police Officer is murdered. Officer Kondek was formerly a NYPD police officer before moving to Florida.
Officer Charles Kondek, 45, was gunned down in Tarpon Springs, about 30 miles northwest of Tampa, after responding to a call for service around 2 a.m. EST, the Tarpon Springs Police Department said.

The officer later died of his injuries at a local hospital, the police department said.

And another savage tried to murder a NYPD officer.
Only hours after two New York policemen were ambushed and executed in Brooklyn by a man claiming he wanted revenge for the death of Eric Garner, a man in the Bronx allegedly attempted to murder a third New York policeman. He only failed because his gun didn't work when he pulled the trigger, police say.

On Saturday night at 9 p.m., Raymond Leonardo, 18, was allegedly shooting out windows with a .357 caliber revolver when police arrived. According to law enforcement, he refused to drop the gun and aimed point blank at one policeman.

But when he pulled the trigger, it didn't fire, officials claim. Leonardo fled with the gun in his pocket, then was captured after running a few blocks. One police source offered a simple cause for the gun’s inability to function: “It looks like he used up all of his bullets.”