Sunday, August 23, 2020

Get Ready for the Sh** Show

Many years ago, in my previous life as a law enforcement officer, I had the privilege of meeting Howard. Howard was mentally ill and unstable. He was angry and he was dangerous. Howard, a full 6'5" inch man in his late 30's, enjoyed walking around town with an ax over his shoulder. He wore these crazy looking eye glasses, goggles really, with yellow lenses.

Howard scared a lot of people. Everyone from bank managers to motorists would call the police department and we would be forced to explain that carrying an ax in public was not illegal. Once on a traffic stop, Howard jumped out of his truck with that ax and briskly walked towards my patrol car. Truth is, any normal cop might have shot Howard and got away with it. 

I liked Howard. Howard liked me. When I became the Chief, Howard would often come visit me at my office. He would ask me if I had any enemies needing to have an "accident."  I had a couple of folks in mind but they are still with us and Howard is now- long gone.

Donald Trump reminds me of Howard. Trump scares people. He's not real long on tact. He is direct and nasty. He is full of bluster and Trump attacks people who attack him. Thus far, he just doesn't back down from anyone. That's how Howard was.

The left is scared to death of Trump. They don't understand him. They don't understand how a President can act so un-Presidential. They hate this guy. Not because of what he's done but because of who he is. If you simply ignore everything that he says, and look at what he's done, Trump isn't half bad.

There is no better comparison than Trump and Obama. They are polar opposites. I believe the right hated almost everything Obama deceptively did- but kept their mouths shut about it because he was black. Bailing out health insurers with that Obamacare act hurt me significantly. Letting our troops die in Benghazi before the election was the last straw. I believe everything about Obama was a lie- right down to who his father actually was. 

The left hates Trump because he has no tact. They hate him because he stands for everything they despise- from closed borders to anti-abortion rights. The difference is- is that the left has been absolutely unmerciful and public, speaking out quite vocally in their hatred for Trump for nearly 4 years now. Can you imagine if Trump was black? They'd all have to shut up like we did during the Obama reign.

So amidst the Covid epidemic, the left managed to come up with the weakest Presidential candidate that they could find. A career politician who has done nothing but fill a chair. To this they added a far left, allegedly black female, to try and snag minority votes. The left also wants mail in ballots, presumably because of Covid, but everyone knows they want to rig the balloting and get rid of Trump- having failed in the impeachment process.

I can't imagine a better recipe for disaster than this. 

We've got a revenge minded President who won't back down- and we have two flaming, liberal, gun grabbing candidates on a ticket with a base that wants to rig this election and win at any cost.


We ain't talking an eternity away either. There is only 72 days until the grand finale. I am not sure that it is going to matter who wins. I think there is a very real chance of civil unrest either way and some crazy unforeseen event happening. 

Back in the day, I learned to get along with Howard. Like Trump, Howard was all bluster. All show. He scared people because he simply refused to conform to their norms. Like Trump. Howard was actually a pretty decent guy- with a short fuse no doubt- but there was really no danger as long as you were decent to Howard. 

The left isn't going to be decent.

So I've been getting ready for the shit show this fall. Stocking up on supplies and prescriptions, rigging a transfer switch for the house and buying a generator. I may not need any of this and I hope I don't- but then again who thought we would all be wearing masks at the start of the year?

This ain't your parents 'merica- that's for damn sure.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Officer Chauvin Stares At the Abyss and Plunges In

Let's hope it doesn't have to get worse before it gets better.

How spiritually sick do you have to be to sit on someone's neck for nearly 9 minutes, in full view of the public, and kill someone? Who does that? But more importantly, why?

I retired from law enforcement 13 years ago. Leaving law enforcement saved my life. So I am not going to regurgitate the same stuff you've been reading about Derek Chauvin all week.

I really had no idea what the profession would do to me and the toll it would take. I have seen other cops work 25 or 30 years and remain emotionally unscathed.

But that wasn't me. For 10 hours a day, I answered bad calls and tried to catch bad guys. For a fair amount of my off duty time, I mulled over pending cases and how I was going to resolve them. So I didn't spend 10 hours a day being a cop- it was more like 16. I did this every day for 24 years. Devoting over 100 hours a week to your occupation, especially one as adversarial and confrontational as law enforcement, takes a very heavy emotional toll.

Some guys took no real interest in resolving criminal cases instead they simply filed them away and went home. Forgetting about them. They just didn't seem to really care whether the bad guys got caught or the Smith's received their stolen property back. Those unemotionally attached cops looked at their job as some sort of political dance where you schmoozed the victims and made some half hearted attempt to catch the people responsible for the crime. Those cops didn't really care about effective policing but the flip side of that laissez faire attitude was that the job never impacted them too negatively. They didn't seem to lose sleep over it and as one cop said to me once, "it all pays the same."

Over time, I began to wonder if I had it wrong and all those self serving souls had it right. Even the people we worked for were apathetic. The truth is, the public doesn't really expect too much from the police and the police know that.

So for 24 years or so, I tried to solve or resolve every problem I encountered. I tried to catch vandals, wife beaters, drunks, burglars, and other felons. I cleaned up suicide scenes, death scenes, bloody traffic accidents. I delivered horrible news at homes and hospitals. I fought with criminals and prosecutors. I played coy with the press. I met some really despicable characters over those years and a few of them had advanced degrees and wore suits.

By the time my end was near, I had worked 24 years. I was overweight, smoked, drank too much, I was clinically depressed and in poor health, and getting a divorce. I was angry at the universe for sneaking up on me like that. I was a decent human being or so I thought. I've made a lot of mistakes in my life but leaving law enforcement was not one of them. I was tired of being someone else's shitty day.

I was able to see my life without law enforcement and that helped me sort out where I had been and what had happened to me. I lost 50 pounds, quit smoking and drinking, and I managed to get my life back. I had to get right with everything that had happened to me along the way. It was a process most of which is over. Part of that process was examining my self, my good and bad choices, and realizing what role my occupation played in all of that. It was considerable.

So I'm about to wrap this up with a few caveats. First off, I'm not looking for sympathy or trying to make excuses. I don't give a shit about those things. Secondly, Derek Chauvin will get his day in court. I don't need to declare his guilt to make the angry mob happy that I have joined them.

I've read the stories that Chauvin and Floyd both worked in the same nightclub. In the western states, those without unions- cops working off duty in bars, night clubs, and strip clubs is strictly verboten. I was in awe that any police department anywhere would allow Chauvin to work in a place where criminal conduct would most certainly compromise him. Don't underestimate the union influence in a place like Minneapolis. I'll take this one step further. If Chauvin truly worked at El Nuevo Rodeo for 17 years- then Chauvin must have seen and looked the other way on an absolute abundance of criminal conduct. He may have been involved in some. But investigating that is the job I used to do. Could Chauvin and Floyd be involved in nefarious acts? It sure seems plausible but again- sorting that out is no longer my job.

By policy, you generally must seek permission to work second jobs while employed in law enforcement- and I can damn sure tell you that as an administrator I'd never have allowed an employee to work part time in a bar.

So what happened with those three cops standing idly by? One was only on the job 16 months.

Once when I was a young cop, I saw a prisoner dragged out of a car while handcuffed and hobbled and jerked out of the squad car onto a concrete floor with no means of breaking the fall other than his shoulder and head. His head "thunked" on the floor. I was absolutely shocked when I saw it. I didn't know what to do. It was just a singular event that although I knew it was deliberate- I wasn't ready to sacrifice careers over it. The cop that did it said that he had made a mistake. That amount of defensible and plausible deniability kept me from reporting it. However, from that day forward I promised myself I would never stand by and watch that sort of thing without intervening. That's the lesson I learned that day. That's a lesson that apparently caught three police officers staring into headlights in Minneapolis.

So all that shit comes home with you. It has a cumulative effect stretching out over a 25 or 30 year career. It's unlike a soldier who endures a few years of violent and harsh conditions. The soldier comes home for access to mental health counseling at the VA. Cops don't really have that available to them and even if they did- they wouldn't take advantage of it unless they were ordered to.

I have a friend that says the cumulative effects of policing are so bad- that nobody should be allowed to remain in law enforcement beyond 10 years.

Chauvin clearly stumbled into the abyss. I thought about all those complaints he had received, and his entire chain of command and perhaps a union, that allowed him to continue in his capacity when clearly he was at risk. You don't just wake up one day and say, "I think I'll go kneel on some guy's neck until he dies." That is a process. A 19 year process wherein a number of people must have looked the other way. Chauvin's superiors had to know better. They had to have seen any number of cops go off the deep end, suffer from depression, alcohol and drug abuse. Do they ever bother asking for a "fitness for duty exam?" Could they have prevented Floyd's death?

The whole point of having supervisors is that hopefully they are intelligent and have enough police experience that they can spot at risk officers and intervene when necessary. That clearly didn't happen here.

Interestingly enough and despite all the protests and riots, I am not entirely convinced this was racially motivated at all. The liberal public and the black community love to discount the proportion of crime that the black community is responsible for. The black community commits an overwhelming amount of crime in this country, well beyond their 13% demographic. When you run into the police that frequently- bad things are bound to happen. Could this very incident have happened with a white victim under the same set of circumstances? Yes, I think so. Chauvin had an 18 complaint work history. It was probably just a matter of time.

I think it's best to examine the whole picture. To look at how effective or ineffective the Minneapolis Police Department is at policing their own. When I saw them abandon a precinct, clearly under orders, and let rioters burn the building down- I began to question everyone and everything. The Police Chief, the Mayor, and even the Governor. A lot of people have fallen asleep at the wheel in order for this mess to happen.

That's how it always is. A comedy of errors. A tragic ending could have been avoided had just one courageous soul intervened.

In the years to come, I really believe there will be an examination into the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder of police officers who are clearly losing it and tottering on the edge of the abyss. It's accepted science for soldiers, why haven't we done this for police officers? Detecting and offering officers help rather than punitive action (or looking the other way) will save lives. If one good thing comes out of this entire mess I hope it's that. I hope we start examining the poor performance of our police departments and the archaic ways they have of managing a very at risk group of officers and their mental health needs. We need to remove the stigma of seeking mental health help. I don't think there is anything wrong with ordering officers into fitness for duty exams, therapy programs, couples counseling, alcohol and drug programs. Cops will never do this sort of thing on their own. You have to order them in, maybe kicking and screaming. But trying that first is a lot better than ignoring the problem. Ignoring and pretending there is no problem seems to still be the first line, perhaps the only line, of defense employed by police departments nationwide. That isn't doing anybody any good.

It's time we start recognizing the risks, helping cops, and saving a few lives in the process because I don't see this getting any better on it's own.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Crushing the First Amendment

This past week, a Port of Seattle police officer lost his job for posting a video of himself explaining his thoughts on the nationwide corona virus crackdown which has restricted the movement of people everywhere.

Officer Anderson is directing his comments toward other police officers and their conduct.

At first they just suspended him- which gives them time to research and discuss the situation with lawyers- before firing him. You can damn sure bet that nobody had the courage to defend him- not within his chain of command anyway.

I also noted that Officer Anderson was from the liberal strong hold of Seattle. Probably the worst area on the west coast. The Seattle City Council has been an incubator of taxes, crappy laws, stupid ideas, over regulation, and ineffectiveness. So it appears, Officer Anderson is guilty of nothing more than upholding the Constitutional oath he took when accepting his job in liberal land. Officially, they used the old tried and true tactic of saying that he used their name, their car, and his uniform to cast a bad light of the Port of Seattle Police Department. This they called "conduct unbecoming an officer" which in the littany of police policy manuals everywhere- is the catch all offense for police officers that the hierarchy wants to get rid of. It is the police version of "disturbing the peace" which is used to lock up unruly citizens when there is no other identifiable crime. More on this later on.

The whole idea of free speech is new in America and a lot of people don't like it. They don't like a President tweeting whatever he feels like. They don't like people using terms such as "tranny", "retarded" or "faggot" to describe others. And yet these terms live on. They are not scrubbed from the world- try as the language police do- to get rid of them. 

Back in the 1770's, I don't think the collective genius of the founding fathers could ever envision a world where everyone had access to their own printing press. The founders had no phones, no televisions or radios, no computers. All they had was print media in a very limited form in terms of distribution- and they held meetings. They talked. They didn't have social media or platforms.

So I think the only antagonist they could collectively agree on was government. I doubt they could envision a day when people would literally fight and argue amongst themselves over what terms and words we can and cannot use. There was no need to police that. So free speech, as widely interpreted now by the language police, only extends as far as government. Beyond that- you have no right to publicly use words that the language police deem offensive without repercussion. 

I will add one other item here for you to ponder. The term is "nigger." It derives itself from the latin root word, niger, meaning black. Over time it acquired negative connotations. Then the language police stepped in. Now days the only people allowed to say the word nigger are black people. The word police have conveyed control of the word to the black community because the truth is- they are too afraid of being labeled racists to demand that blacks quit using the word. The liberals, always in charge of the word police, probably would say that the black community is entitled to use the term anyway. And so they do. Get ready for the English 101 finish...

Officer Anderson works for government. If he is not allowed to speak out about the over reach and intrusiveness of government as it seizes control of our freedoms, who is? If a man swears an oath to protect the Constitution, isn't he doing so by warning us about our own government?

Of course he is. Who gets access to free speech if the oath taking Officer Anderson can't have access?
His speech is exactly what the founders had in mind when they created the first amendment.

It is the spirit of free speech that has to be stewarded. I love the fact that Mr. Anderson took it upon himself to remind the world that we have rights. That the minions matter. Those little shit jobs like the Port of Seattle offers come and go. Speak truth to power- it pisses them off every time. Especially in Seattle. 

Sunday, April 26, 2020

The Golden Missile

Back in 2008 or so when I started this blog, the financial world was a mess. The banking system as we knew it should have been destroyed back then. I followed the money right here and discovered that the Federal Reserve made loans of 16 trillion worldwide with non existent money that was nothing more tangible than electronic zeroes. President Obama gave all of those banking criminals a pass. With a wink and a nudge, every one kicked the can.

I simply could not commit money to equity markets under those circumstances.

I am ashamed to say that I missed the entire bull market move from Mar '09 to Mar. 2020. I missed a couple of very obvious things and mostly just dabbled in mining stocks during those 11 years. I managed to break about even having taken a significant 5 figure loss on a South Dakota gold mine.

So mostly I've just bought some gold, platinum, and silver and watched it languish for 11 years while the paper investors I knew laughed at me.

Three very significant things happened this year. I've got a friend, Pat, who reads this blog and who trades quite a bit. Pat frequently texts me his crazy ideas and I look them up. Some are crazy and some are very good. One of his texts made me a cool 6 grand for which I owe him a meat and cheese tray this Christmas. So Pat renewed my interest in trading just before the corona virus crash. I made a fair amount on the short side but got beat up as Trump and the Federal Reserve started announcing trillion dollar bailouts and trying to jaw jack markets higher.

The second significant thing was that after 11 years of huge gains- my state retirement fund authorized a 3% cost of living raise. This shocked me. For 10 years our state system has been giving us some nominal 1% cost of living adjustment. The last time our state handed out a significant payout (a 13th month full check no less!) the market crashed within months. Our state retirement system is the quintessential market timing mechanism. When they doled out a 3% cost of living payout this year- I knew the bull market was over. It's like the shoe shine guy giving you stock tips- at that moment you know that every dollar in America is invested. That's my state retirement system. When they finally feel so guilty that they give you 3% instead of the nominal 1%- it's time to get out of equity markets.

So as the markets crashed in March with the impending corona virus shutdown- I was positioning myself in the mayday markets- gold, silver, and mining stocks which were going up.

Then the 3rd significant thing happened. An old friend called me  out of the blue after 5 years and started asking for investment advice. This is a guy who listens, applies what he likes, and will actually invest significant money.

So I told him that the set up has never been better. Ever. The world is awash in make believe money, with literally trillions upon trillions of debt being added which will never be repaid. Mining costs have never been lower. Gas and oil are dirt cheap. There is a worldwide shortage of gold. The world needs safe havens and safe currencies. It has neither.

I think after all of these years, it's time. When Bank of America calls for 3000 dollar gold, I sit up and take notice.

So a few ideas if ya wanna climb aboard the golden missile. I've screened these for best projections and the least risk. You still have to do your own due diligence.

Since the lows of March- my favorite two gold miners have made over 100%. They are still trading at sub 20 p/e's with no debt, huge cash, and they are acting quite strong even when gold is down a little.

Kirkland Lake Gold (KL) Still think it has huge upside. Currently around 42. No debt, increasing production, new drilling identified excellent new targets. I have a few hundred shares.

B2Gold (BTG) Three main properties, all excellent gold producers. Only knock on this company is the huge float. My biggest position.

Newmont (NEM) Hitting on all cylinders. Not currently invested here.

Kinross (KGC) Remade old company also hitting on all cylinders and making new highs.

Irving Resources (IRVRF) is my favorite junior. Not mining but they have a identified a lot of gold. Trading sideways but could become a prime takeout target.

I use a few ETF's. GOAU has doubled. NUGT, JNUG, GDX. I do use some etfs to short the sector but currently not employing any of those tactics.

Best of luck out there. Maybe it's finally time for us.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

USA Completely Botches the Corona Virus Reponse

In a moment I'd like to mention the importance of latex or nitrile gloves.

I would like to give you a little background on today's post. I think you'll find that my training and experience qualify me in a few areas to talk about the completely botched corona virus response by the United States Government and perhaps more importantly, the airline industry. This is a response that has been planned for 3 decades for potential bird flu mutations- so what actually happened is a little shocking. Please bear in mind that all pandemic responses boil down to local governance.

I spent most of my work history in some sort of command structure in a small city police department. A lot of that training included running a command post and yearly incident command schools for various maladies and tragedies, swine flu, bird flu, airplane crashes. These table top discussions and live fire drills were often put on by FEMA with their littany of acronyms. I had additional training through the state for 20 of my 24 years in law enforcement. I also spent several years on the local ambulance service where I gained a healthy respect for the duties performed by EMT's, paramedics, nurses and doctors back in the early days of AIDS. In short I understand a command and control structure and response. We used to drill this regularly in staged incidents although we had a few real incidents- most of them involving property damage caused by floods and fires with no associated loss of life. 

Let's review the normalcy bias. 

Normalcy bias, or normality bias, is a tendency for people to believe that things will always function the way they normally have functioned and therefore to underestimate both the likelihood of a disaster and its possible effects.

People do not like change. They don't want to believe that any event could substantially disrupt their lives. Unfortunately most people have been subjected to scares and panics before- so in addition to the normalcy bias which helps cause inaction, we have an aged cynical group of people who have heard the cry of "wolf" one too many times. So that's the ruling demographic here- a bunch of somewhat cynical people with a normalcy bias.

It was that belief system which I believe has completely botched the US response to the corona virus.

The first known case of CV occurred on Dec. 1 in China. China being China meant that they didn't report too much publicly. Some say they covered it up. By the time I started paying attention to CV it was late January.

There are only two ways for the CV to get to the United States. By ship or airplane. There is no other realistic way.

Thus we needed a coordinated response. We needed a response between airlines, cruise lines, the government, the CDC, and epidemiologists. We didn't get that. People were released without quarantine from ships and airplanes. There was no testing initially. More importantly, airlines refused to give the government information regarding passengers, phone numbers, addresses, and email. Cruise lines were only a little better.

That's where it went bad. The virus isn't going to wait for test kits. It's not going to wait for all of those stakeholders to agree on a response. It's going to walk off ships and planes. Now even if you didn't have a proper test available- you could still quarantine people until you did. Other countries had tests- why not us? Aren't we supposed to be this great nation? Couldn't we locate these people, interview them for the people they contacted, the places they'd been? South Korea did and they are looking pretty well contained right now.

So it's here. Your leaders failed, your corporations failed, the CDC and Public Health agencies failed. If they had gotten out in front of this- I believe the numbers would prove out with far less fatalities, hospitalizations, and drains on our health care systems and economy as a whole.

So now all they can do is watch these numbers soar exponentially and try to mitigate this. That's their plan. President Trump dropped the ball in his public address Wednesday night and markets reeled limit down. Why? He had no credible response for slowing this down. He knew that ship had sailed. And today on ZeroHedge is a picture of Trump next to a man who tested positive for CV. Trump said he is not worried.

Of course he said that. He hasn't cared about this since the beginning. The only coordinated response he has had was talking the FED into cutting rates and throwing a few trillion at the repo markets and trying to slow down the great sell off in world equity and bond markets. What wealthy politicians care about is appearances, material wealth, and getting re-elected. Calm people down. Normalcy bias.

A few weeks ago on my facebook page- I asked people if they were doing anything to prepare for the CV. I had a few responses, most if not all minimizing CV, comparing it to the flu. I on the other hand had done a little prepping including buying a new freezer and stocking up on food. I have enough to last 3 months. I am looking at the big picture and trying to find ways to mitigate exposure because lord knows- if we had to rely on government we'd all be dead.

Which brings me to latex gloves. If I gave you a choice between face masks and rubber gloves- which would you choose?

Unfortunately there are many portals from which the virus can enter your body- but the easiest way is on your hands. CV carriers leave the virus on money, on counter tops, on buffet utensils, on bar tops and glasses, on elevator buttons, door knobs, handrails, and gas pumps.

Social distancing beyond 6 feet would probably work far better than any face mask but the real method of transmission I am worried about is getting the virus on my hands and touching my face, eyes, or mouth, and rubbing it in. With gloves on- the virus is prevented from getting on my hands and when I come home from an outing- I simply pull the gloves off and then wash my hands. If I inadvertently touch my face after that, I'll be ok.

In a responsible sense, we need to take steps to prevent transmitting this to others. I was shocked when I heard that Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz was diagnosed with CV and during a press event- he purposefully touched every networks microphone. I suppose that's the under developed frontal lobe of a 27 year old basketball player. Last night, a man tested positive for CV prior to boarding a JetBlue flight and boarded the plane anyway- disrupting the lives of 100's and potentially infecting them. I noted that today the story changed to say that the man did not get the test results until after he boarded the plane. Whether that's the truth, or some self centered asshole who knew before he boarded- that's what you are up against.

Normalcy bias, complacency, and a self centered public that wants what it wants. These folks are out there.

My wife and I just returned from Las Vegas to find out that a woman from New York had CV and was staying at the Mirage across from our hotel on the strip. Although Las Vegas had no reported cases at the time- I feel a little foolish because I know better. I've seen the poor performance of government first hand and Las Vegas hasn't uttered a peep although millions of tourists from around the globe fly there. They wanted to keep the cloak of plausible deniability intact. (We didn't know the CV was here!)

I am going to socially distance myself and spend time at home. Thankfully I am retired with an income stream. Down below you'l find an excellent, must read link that goes into great detail about the CV. Please take care of yourselves.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Obama Created the Trump Presidency

For the life of me, the left simply cannot understand why millions of us support Trump. Prepare yourself for a gut punch here and know this- I can take any shitty comments you might have. There is space below and I'll let you have your say without using the delete button.

In 2010, President Obama destroyed my financial ability to obtain health insurance. In my case, I was retired with a pension just above the 400% required of what was a ridiculously low (and arbitrarily assigned) poverty level.

Obama did this with lies such as the "price of insurance would go down" and "if you liked your doctor you could keep your doctor." In fact, my doctor fired me within months of the enactment of Obamacare because I paid cash. Sent me a letter. Why keep a cash payer around when you can provide healthcare to a large swath of new Obamacare patients/recipients with deep insurance pockets?

To add insult to injury, we were penalized for not having insurance while deadbeats received insurance for free. I remember hauling a guy around in my car for Uber who told me me he signed up for Obamacare gold, had his knee replaced (a 30+ thousand dollar op) and received free physical therapy- and then dropped his insurance once the operation was complete. He had paid 5 months of premiums.

Our last hope was that the Supreme Court would rule against this unlawful seizure of our property but they did not. I remember Obama virtually threatening the court and I was shocked when Justice Stevens ruled against us and broke the tie. They called it a tax. They have taxing "authority."

By the time 2016 rolled around- we had a whole section of this country who hated democrats, Obama, and his minions. On a personal level- aside from being lied to- I believe Obama has cost me in the neighborhood of 40,000 dollars in medical costs, penalties, and I still have to shop all of my maladies around while paying cash. Including prescription costs and dental care.

That all might be bad enough but Obama presented another hurdle- he was black. Being black in America right now means that no white person can criticize anything a black person does. However, minorities can call white people bigots and racists and act like victims with no repercussion. It's a one way street where every white person in America must remain silent or be labeled and ridiculed by these folks. That's been the evolution of our insane culture where you simply cannot criticize any minority for their piss poor performance or their lies.

That's why we can never speak of the 71% of black kids without fathers. We just let them shoot and kill each other in Chicago and New Orleans, Baltimore, and Detroit because letting these kids kill each other is far easier than opening a dialogue which might include discussing what is wrong with the black culture that they find this acceptable behavior. Heaven forbid, we might offend them.

That's why America is pissed off. That's how Donald Trump got elected. If they can't figure that out- I can't help them.

Nobody cares about Russian interference, cheating on your wife, phone calls to the Ukraine, or even Chinese tariffs. I'm not sure any of that garbage matters. It's noise.

I care about accessible healthcare- not subsidizing health insurers who donate to presidential campaigns. I care about our diplomats getting killed while the people in charge do nothing weeks before the election. I am sick of criminals like Bill and Hillary running free and flying on a pedophile's plane.

Apparently none of that shit concerns my leftist friends. So we aren't friends. That's divisive and in the jargon of the left- I have set my boundaries.

There is not a chance in hell that I will vote for a gay male President with a male wife or husband or whatever they call one another. I don't care if he cured cancer or negotiated a middle east cease fire. I will not cast a ballot for a communist candidate who has never held a private sector job in his life and has gotten rich skimming campaign contributions.

And I don't give two shits if you think I'm narrow minded, homophobic, intolerant, or a bigot.

So there ya have it. The unvarnished truth. Donald Trump is the lesser of all those evils. I am not going to be "tolerant" or buy into any of that statist rhetoric of those enlightened leftists driving Priuses', thinking they are saving the planet while talking drivel into the latest Apple phone. This is where I draw the line. The election this year is going to be one of the most fantastic shit shows I have ever witnessed especially if the statists nominate Bernie. I can hardly wait and if you want to know what started all of this divisiveness and animosity in our country- go ask Barack Obama.

He created a giant swath of voters who were duped, lied to, and remain angry. The "affordable care act" they called it. You don't like President Trump Mr. Obama? Well guess what- you and your party's shitty nominee last election cycle- created President Trump. It's about time you and your minions stand tall and take responsibility for that instead of whining like little children about Trump supporters and wondering how we could be so "stupid" for supporting him. This given that the best alternative your party could come up with was a snotty, arrogant, and yet to be convicted criminal.

It's really not that hard to figure out.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

The Last Patrol

I met BS "Pat" Pidgeon in the spring of '83. I remember him best on the day a local commuter plane crashed on the state highway in our county near the airport and cartwheeled down the northbound ditch adjacent to the road. There were 14 souls aboard and we spent some time locating and digging them out of the deep snow that day. We were there for hours protecting the scene and waiting for NTSB. Later on that afternoon,  I saw Pidgeon on the east/passenger side of his patrol car.  He had a pair of binoculars and he was looking at the mountains to the west.

Days later, I asked him what he was looking at. He told me wasn't looking at anything. He said he had to take a piss and so he pulled the binoculars out so that people would think he was looking at something else, glance that direction, and wouldn't notice he was taking a piss.

In that moment he had won me over. I picked him to be my role model cop. I was 22 years old, stupid, cocky, and I have no earthly idea of what he ever saw in me. We became friends although some 25 years separated us. I loved to ride with Pat. We'd drive around the county, take an occasional call, and inevitably Pat would pull some crazy shit that would leave me with my mouth wide open.

A lot of what happened back in those days was marginally acceptable and tolerated. Justice was delivered a little differently back then.

One thing I learned early on was that you didn't point your finger at Pat. We had taken an early morning 911 call in a subdivision out in the woods. It was covered in deep snow. It was a domestic kind of call and the male part of the battle was a little agitated and kind of aggressive. The girlfriend was still in the cabin and we were standing in a driveway about 100 feet from the house. Pat wasn't the kind of guy you tried to intimidate and this guy kept raising his voice and yelling at Pat. Pat was yelling back. Then it happened. The guy, holding his car keys, pointed his finger right in Pat's face. Pat immediately grabbed him by the wrist, stripped the car keys out of his hand, and launched the whole set of keys into the deep snow about 50 yards away. The guy, needing his keys to drive away and go to work, immediately went searching for them and Pat left me to guard him while he checked on his girlfriend. It had only been a verbal argument and when we left- the guy was still trying to find his keys.

Pat wouldn't write a traffic ticket to save his life. He hated traffic tickets. We would do traffic accidents all the time and Pat might note on the report who was at fault- but he'd never write a ticket. He prided himself on having the same ticket book he had been issued 7 years earlier. 

I think Pat hated tickets because he was the most notorious speeder in the region. Other departments  were constantly stopping him and letting him go. Officers let him go- not just because he was a good cop but because he was fearless. He'd get right in the middle of any fight. When I needed help, I always breathed a sigh of relief when Pidgeon arrived. I know the other cops felt the same way. In our little rural corner of the world, I always thought those 55 MPH speed limits were too restrictive anyway. Man, I used to get stopped a lot. No tickets. That just pissed off my ex. She was the kind of gal who got a ticket every time she got stopped and you can guess why. If there is a speeding hell for cops, I will be looking forward to seeing my friend Pat when I get there.

I could write about so many things. Every day was an adventure with Pat. Once when the loudest burglar alarm in the world was shrieking and the jewelry store owner was taking her time getting to the store, Pat's solution was to rip the whole alarm off the wall. A couple hours later the Sheriff called us in, got our stories, and made Pat pay for the alarm.

Or the time Pat shot a hole in his ceiling with his .45 and declared that was where he was going to put the stovepipe for his wood burning stove. Or the time he shot some dog that had jumped through his screen door inside his house searching for Pat's dog who was in heat. Insane stories, very funny stuff. That was vintage Pidgeon.

Pat loved his wife and daughters. I think all that estrogen gave him patience. He would always talk about his wife and daughters and even when they upset him- you always knew he loved them. Pat was grateful for his family and all of his blessings. He viewed retirement checks like manna from heaven. Pat retired many years ago and moved to a little town. He loved to hunt and fish- Pat was an excellent shot and a firearms instructor.

Pat's wife Barbara encouraged me to visit Pat when one of his best friends died. I did, but not enough. That's the way it always seems to be. I always think I have more time.

In all of the years I knew Pat- I'll be damned if I ever hunted or fished with him. Until last year. We decided to go coyote hunting one day.

We loaded up our guns and drove for hours. All we did was talk. There was no speeding. We drove for miles and miles, found some obscure bodies of water, gazed at them. Talked about fishing and I chewed him out for giving his boat away. The guns never left the truck that day and truth is, the coyotes were pretty safe. We stopped at a country store, had lunch, and eventually returned home. This as it turned out, was going to be the last patrol for Pat and I.

Oh I stopped by his house a few times, the last time in October when I asked him to hold a few things for me while I moved back to Montana. That move fell through and instead, I found myself moving to the warm desert near St George, Utah. 

Pat died during the night at home, sometime after the Superbowl. He always seemed so healthy even for his age (80s) that I thought he'd be around a lot longer. His passing caught me by surprise and I've been trying to make sense of it ever since. That's the ridiculous part. We think we have some sense of control but we do not. We think we have time that we do not. We feel guilty for something we have no say in and cannot foresee. 

I am going to be grateful for the time I did have with Pat rather than feel sorry for the time I missed. I think Pat would have wanted it that way.