Sunday, April 29, 2018

Spinning Wheel



What goes up must come down, spinning wheel has got to 'round.... and that defines the economy.



And the rent is always due and across the country in the designated "it" cites which Nashville claims to be the rent has risen at rates not equivalent to wages.  So in turn people buy houses so they can offset that with equity and the idea that savings are built into the real estate as thanks to Flip shows on HGTV we know that you can make money from homes by putting in some renovations and then viola you are cash rich.  Wasn't that the 2008 crisis?  True today Banks are not  lending money at the level they were in those days, just ask Wells Fargo about that, one billion doesn't go as far as it used to.  But we have people over paying for real estate, they are likely financed on flexible mortgage rates as those are still easier to get than a fixed 30 year loan as to qualify you have to have stable job with stable wages and few have said jobs, ask those Teachers about that one.  So the banks usually find the 5-year balloon one most effective and in turn the rates and terms can be re-written to adjust the rates to the current fed rate. Interest rates for them go up so in turn they literally pass that buck onto you. Its how it works.  Remember when they used to encourage savings accounts with competitive interest rates? You would save money they would pay you a portion of the money the banks lent out.  For those in current times that means the bank would give you a 4% interest on every $100 bucks you put in savings/time certificates and money market accounts to encourage you to both save and in turn fund the bank.   The Bank would loan the money at say 10% on every 100 and they would keep the 60% profit for them to fund the bank.  Gosh sounds easy right?  Then the idea of free lending from the Federal Reserve meant that banks could borrow from the cash cow for 0% so they had no imperative to share that with you and in turn savings accounts and money markets went to 0.1% interest making savings utterly useless.  And besides they were giving out those fabulous credit cards for 3.99% interest making borrowing and buying so much easier. Then over time that became 8.99% and in turn you kept borrowing versus saving as the rent is always due.  Funny at the same time your wages never went up in the equivalent percent but hey I can live off cheap credit!!!

And all of this ironically parallels the idiocy when it comes to funding education and in turn the ridiculous costs of college making debt that you can NEVER escape from a lifetime of indentured servitude to banks.  It is like the Hotel California, you can graduate out but never leave.


I should do all blog posts around song lyrics being I live in Nashville y'all!  But the current student debt level is almost akin to the national debt and that  too is going to rise like the Cumberland did in 2010 nearly drowning Nashville.

The average wage is still 45K despite massive job growth.  And while people wet themselves over this in the "It" city it is not keeping up with the cost of living.  Housing prices here are higher than than the average wage, the cost of commuting will rise as we will once again see gas prices rise and in turn the reality is that when most of the job growth is in the service sector many of these jobs will go unfilled as people will move and move out when the balance to their budget is challenged with the reality of living in an expensive city.

In the meantime the wet dreams of Amazon coming to a city near you is making those in charge of housing and development think that maybe this may not be the second coming as they desire as even Nashville not known for scratching their heads and thinking are doing just that if this mammoth river decides to come to town.   

 **For the record Amazon should wait until after the midterm elections as here in Tennessee we have a new Sheriff coming and all deals may not be in ink until after that time. And frankly Haslam has not been a big backer of this and I have not heard of our current Mayor (well until May 1 and that may too change) as a big cheerleader of this as the Slattern was.

The South has been the most active recruiter of manufacturers to relocate here and not because of a highly trained and skilled workforce but because of a myriad of laws that enable them to do to avoid paying taxes and in turn pay wages.  The right to work means right to pay less that unions in other states have managed to keep wages up to reflect the cost of living and include other essential benefits such as Medical Insurance and Pensions because again we know most people fail to save for retirement and Social Security is always one step away from some GOP nutfuck's need to stop entitlement spending! And here in the South the word union is fighting words!

The lack of education, the idiocy here boggles the mind.  Yesterday I spoke with a neighbor who is both a Nashvillian and Black who offered to help me with my groceries. During this time I told him that the school across the street had 14 kids arrested a week ago for assaulting a Cop and a Teacher,  that one kid brokea window in the Principals office and that is he not glad his attempt to resuscitate the gardens located there failed as that school has many problems.  (There were famous community gardens once located there and have all the elements to do so again and he was willing to start the project, invited me and others to join him - I knew better so I refused - and in turn the school did nothing to build this effort.  Not shocking but this pales into the risk that I find  every day when I walk into these schools and I am afraid of the kids here.  The rising violence by teens, the never ending gun violence associated with it and in turn my doubts to believe that the Police are capable of handling a massive crisis given their need for a 33 plus hour manhunt for a boy 1-1/2 miles away from the source of the manhunt.  And that he was found behind a school with over 1000 kids (yes that is the size of our elementary schools) and only one cop in a vehicle out front.  Hello Parkland anyone?   Add to that the car theft by the maniac under investigated gives me concern about how the Police respond to crime here despite all the posturing.  All of this conversation is why he is walking away from me meaning he did not want to have this conversation and stopping on the street and  yelling out "You have a gun don't you? If not get one."  What do you say to that?  Really that is the solution.  And when I asked how I was supposed to do this as I cannot carry a piece when I go to schools my source of fear.  He continues, "But you feel safer anytime else."  End scene.  And yet my same conversation with my white neighbor was civil and no mention of guns but serious concerns about what defines law enforcement and safety in Nashville.  And for the record his girlfriend is black and from Nashville but even she has decided to spend more time in Missouri where she owns a home.  Missouri. Missouri is better than Nashville? Okay then.

But wages and workforce here are very segregated and divided as well. My neighbor and I who had the civilized conversation discussed the like likes like philosophy that dominates the labor forefront and that is another reason why his girlfriend left as she could not find work that simply paid her enough for her skill set and she found few options that would enable her to stay here.  We talked about the Coffee shops and Restaurants we frequent and I know of only one or two faces of color in each and in turn how despite it being an it city who is it depends on many other factors given the supposed shortage of service workers.  In other words go to the new high end hotel, Bobby, see a black face behind the coffee bar? No but in the back of the house doing the heavy lifting, no doubt.

There are two economies in America and the second one is as divided as the first only the spoils are really parsed out in very select ways.  There is a divide among the one percent but regardless of one being a billionaire versus a millionaire the tax benefits are just that benefits. It is the difference for one to have a third home versus one having a really nice second home.  The reality is that the one-percent has "people" to manage money, prepare taxes and take advantage of those loopholes and other means that enable the wealthy to offset expenses. And again using my favorite expression, access and availability are two different things when it comes to the have and have nots, the rich have access and availability to power, to position and to those who can get that ladder firmly in place to secure said rung on that ladder.   To the poor that would mean access to health care but it is not available when you cannot afford it so you go to the Minute Clinic versus a Primary Care Provider.

I am not sure we are quite at the precipice yet but I feel it coming.   I have planned to be out of here by 2019 and that may be just about the time as we start kicking into gear for the next Presidential election. Regardless of your politics this will be an ugly election cycle and the balls being tossed in the air means one will eventually fall.




The silent recovery: how much longer can America’s long, slow boom last?

If it lasts till 2019, it will have run for a decade. But this upswing, marked by weak growth and inequality, is not a normal one

Larry Elliott
UK Guardian
Sat 28 Apr 2018

It all started in the summer of 2009. Barack Obama was six months into his presidency and desperate for some good economic news. The US had just suffered its deepest post-war recession, unemployment was heading for 10% and Washington had been forced to bail out the banks.

But in June of that year, the world’s second-biggest economy turned the corner. A recovery began that has continued uninterrupted ever since. At the end of this month, the US will have enjoyed its second-longest period of economic expansion in history, beating the upswing under John F Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson between 1961 and 1968.

By next summer, if nothing untoward happens, Donald Trump will be able to boast that the US has beaten the record 10-year period of growth between the end of the Gulf war in 1991 and the 2001 dotcom bust. Expect a flurry of self-congratulatory tweets from the White House.

The reasons for America’s recovery are simple. Interest rates were cut quickly and aggressively by the country’s central bank, the Federal Reserve, and kept at rock-bottom levels for seven years. The Fed also pumped trillions of dollars into the economy through the process known as quantitative easing – buying bonds to expand the money supply.

Swift action was taken to clean up the financial system so that the banks could start lending again. Obama announced a modest package of tax cuts and spending increases. Lessons were learned from the mistakes of the Great Depression in the 1930s, when demand was sucked out of an already weak economy and banks were allowed to fail.

Taken together, the measures got the US slowly moving again. It helped that the authorities in Beijing were simultaneously using even more aggressive measures – big infrastructure projects and expansion of credit – to stimulate the Chinese economy.
Obama passed a package of measures in 2009 to go alongside the Fed’s drastic rate cuts.

The subsequent recovery has been long but, by American standards, weak. Traditionally, the US has recovered sharply from downturns and had several years of fast growth. In the 1960s, for example, the US economy grew by 4.9% a year on average while in the 1990s it expanded by 3.6% a year on average. The average during the current expansion is 2.2% and it is the first business cycle since the second world war in which there has not been a single year of growth above 3%.

At 1.4% a year, employment growth has also been modest. America’s hire-and-fire culture has meant workers can be laid off in large numbers during recessions and then taken on again during the subsequent recoveries. In the 1980s upswing, for instance, jobs growth averaged 2.8% a year.

Nor has the recovery followed Kennedy’s dictum that a rising tide should lift all boats. Half of the growth during Obama’s presidency went to the top 1% of US households, with the lack of real income growth for middle America helping to explain both the muted nature of the upswing and the discontent that propelled Trump to the presidency.

Dario Perkins, managing director of global macroeconomics at the research company TS Lombard, says the US is not alone in having experienced a long period of growth. “Among the developed economies, Australia, Sweden, Germany and Canada all have expansions that match or surpass the US achievement. And if we extend the analysis to the emerging economies, we find several countries with even more impressive performances.”

Europe, which suffered a double-dip recession and only began a sustained pick-up in 2013, is the one part of the world where the recovery looks relatively immature, Perkins says.

All upturns come to an end sooner or later and the fact that it is now almost nine years since the US emerged from recession has inevitably led to speculation about when and how the next downturn will arrive.

The International Monetary Fund is worried by Trump’s protectionist rhetoric, with its chief economist, Maurice Obstfeld, warning at its spring meeting earlier this month that there was a risk of the global trading system being torn apart.

Keith Wade, chief economist and strategist at the investment firm Schroders, believes Trump is trying to extract concessions from China before the US midterm elections this November rather than seeking to start a trade war.

Nor does he think there is a high probability of the US being derailed by a hard landing for the Chinese economy caused by the collapse of its credit bubble.

That leaves two remaining triggers. Perkins says that there are only scattered signs of the trends that normally develop in the late stages of an economic cycle – firms running up against capacity constraints, rising inflation and excessive investment. More likely, he thinks, the end will come – as it did in both 2001 and 2007 – with the popping of an asset-price bubble. “Recent history suggests any problems are more likely to start in the financial sector and with central banks tightening policy and asset prices high by historical standards, this is surely the area to watch over the next 12 to 18 months.”

The 1960s upswing eventually came to an end when the economy ran into inflationary problems amplified by the cost of the war in Vietnam and Johnson’s Great Society welfare programmes. Dean Baker, from the left-leaning Centre for Economic Policy Research in Washington, says there is no real evidence that the US economy is reaching its supply limits and that the concerns expressed over the impact of Trump’s tax cuts for the budget deficit are overblown.

But the Fed might see it differently. Wade says the US central bank has a tricky task in raising interest rates without triggering a sharp downturn and that its dilemma is made worse by the fading impact of the fiscal boost after 2019.

The good news for Trump, he says, is that the record for continuous economic expansion will be broken next year. The bad news is that the “festivities in the White House might be somewhat muted as the president faces the prospect of fighting for re-election during a recession”.
Recovery in three charts

A dramatic cut in interest rates and a $1 trillion government rescue package prevented the US economy falling off a cliff in 2008 and kept inflation from falling below 1%. But efforts to boost inflation back above 2% only achieved momentary success in 2012. Nevertheless, the US central bank, the Federal Reserve, has increased the cost of borrowing four times since 2015 and plans several more rises this year. White House economic advisers expect President Trump’s tax cuts to push GDP growth to 3% in 2018 – but they are a one-off fiscal boost that Fed policymakers are supposed to ignore when making their plans.

It’s clear that the US recovery since 2008 is among the most consistent and sustained, compared with its predecessors. But to say it is lacklustre is to underplay how weak it is, especially when the extra efforts of the government and the central bank are considered. The rapid expansion in the early 1960s during the Kennedy and Johnson presidencies was by far the strongest, followed by the boom under Ronald Reagan, which ended in recession before the recovery credited to Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

US wages have waxed and waned during each of the postwar recoveries except for the most recent one, which has seen wage rises remain low for almost the entire period. It was expected that tech giants like Apple, Amazon and Google would spur a turnaround that filtered down to the rest of the economy. However, Amazon and Google, as in the UK, have played a bigger role in boosting transport for their goods and the low-grade jobs that go with the sector, than high-paying engineering jobs in the IT business. Economist Robert J Shapiro says automation in the internet age has been one
of the biggest factors depressing wages.



Again the river runs through it....  Amazon has flesh eating fish beneath the surface.  








Friday, April 27, 2018

Being Schooled



I awoke to my inbox and found this poem that I have daily sent to me via Poem-a-day that curates poetry to send to subscribers every day.  It is a donation based service and includes both modern poets and those whose long history marks many a shelf on libraries.  Poetry has always been the original flash fiction or non using a different format to express the author's desires, observations or a message. And this what Ms. Sanchez intended when she wrote this piece: 
 
“This poem comes from anger and how one can use it to cultivate resistance. As I continued to revise, I realized that I was also writing about the #MeToo movement, what it means to be a woman in this culture. How do we cope with the violence we inherit?”
All of Us

Erika L. Sánchez

Every day I am born like this—
No chingues. Nothing happens
for the first time. Not the neon
sign that says vacant, not the men
nor the jackals who resemble them.
I take my bones inscribed by those
who came before, and learn
to court myself under a violence
of stars. I prefer to become demon,
what their eyes cannot. Half of me
is beautiful, half of me is a promise
filled with the quietest places.
Every day I pray like a dog
in the mirror and relish the crux
of my hurt. We know Lilith ate
the bones of her enemies. We know
a bitch learns to love her own ghost.
Then I went to the New York Times and found this piece whom I read regularly in the Guardian.  And again another message that has relevance and very vested in our current climate.

When Misogynists Become Terrorists

By Jessica Valenti
New York Times
Opinion
April 26, 2018


Alek Minassian, who plowed a rental van through a busy Toronto sidewalk on Monday, left little doubt as to why he killed 10 people, most of them women. Minutes before his attack, he posted a message on Facebook lauding the mass murderer Elliot O. Rodger and warned of an “incel rebellion” — a reference to an online community of “involuntarily celibate” men who believe women unjustly deny them sex.

Mr. Rodger, who killed six people in Isla Vista, Calif., in 2014, recorded YouTube videos raging against “spoiled, stuck-up” women he called “sluts” who sexually rejected him. And before Mr. Rodger, there was George Sodini, who killed three women in a Pennsylvania gym in 2009. He left behind an online diary complaining that women ignored him and that he hadn’t had sex in years.

Despite a great deal of evidence that connects the dots between these mass killers and radical misogynist groups, we still largely refer to the attackers as “lone wolves” — a mistake that ignores the preventable way these men’s fear and anger are deliberately cultivated and fed online.

Here’s the term we should all use instead: misogynist terrorism. Until we grapple with the disdain for women that drives these mass murderers, and the way that the killers are increasingly radicalized on the internet, there will be no stopping future tragedies.

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Over the past decade, anti-women communities on the internet — ranging from “men’s rights” forums and incels to “pickup artists” — have grown exponentially. While these movements differ in small ways, what they have in common is an organized hatred of women; the animus is so pronounced that the hate-watch group Southern Poverty Law Center tracks their actions.

The other dangerous idea that connects these men is their shared belief that women — good-looking women, in particular — owe them sexual attention. The incel community that Mr. Minassian paid homage to, for example, was banned from Reddit last year because, among other issues, some adherents advocated rape as a means to end their celibacy.

Pickup artists, on the other hand, believe they can manipulate women into sex. In the wake of the Toronto attack, a well-known member of the “pickup artist” community, Daryush Valizadeh, tweeted that “sleeping with only two or three Toronto Tinder sluts would have been enough to stop” Mr. Minassian’s “urge to kill.” Mr. Valizadeh has argued for the legalization of rape.

In some of these groups, men who kill women have become heroes. After Mr. Rodger went on his shooting spree, one men’s-rights community called what he did “Going Sodini” — a reference to the 2009 shooting in a gym outside of Pittsburgh. Before his rampage, Mr. Sodini, 48 at the time, was seeking advice from pickup artists out of a frustration that women decades younger than he was wouldn’t date him.

Later, after Mr. Rodger’s 140-page manifesto was released — outlining his fury over still being a “kissless virgin” — his name became synonymous on misogynist forums with revenge on women who reject men. Chris Harper-Mercer, who shot and killed nine people at Umpqua Community College in Oregon in 2015, mentioned Mr. Rodger by name in a manifesto he wrote in which he complained about being 26 years old with “no girlfriend, a virgin.”

And now, in the aftermath of the attack in Toronto, men on incel communities are hailing the killer as a “new saint,” with commenters changing their avatars to Mr. Minassian’s picture in tribute.

Feminists have been warning against these online hate groups and their propensity for real-life violence for over a decade. I know because I’m one of the people who has been issuing increasingly dire warnings. After I started a feminist blog in 2004, I became a target of men’s-rights groups who were angry with women about everything from custody battles to the false notion that most women lie about rape. In 2011, I had to flee my house with my young daughter on the advice of law enforcement, because one of these groups put me on a “registry” of women to target.

I was far from the only one. In 2014, a gaming award ceremony set to honor the feminist critic Anita Sarkeesian received a bomb threat; an anonymous harasser threatened to detonate a device unless her award was rescinded. Before Milo Yiannopoulos was a well-known alt-right figure, feminists knew him as one of the primary architects of Gamergate, a movement of young men who harassed and threatened women in the videogaming industry. Two fans of Mr. Yiannopoulos were charged with shooting a protester outside of one of his speeches.

Part of the problem is that American culture still largely sees men’s sexism as something innate rather than deviant. And in a world where sexism is deemed natural, the misogynist tendencies of mass shooters become afterthoughts rather than predictable and stark warnings.

The truth is that in addition to not protecting women, we are failing boys: failing to raise them to believe they can be men without inflicting pain on others, failing to teach them that they are not entitled to women’s sexual attention and failing to allow them an outlet for understandable human fear and foibles that will not label them “weak” or unworthy.

Not every attack is preventable, but the misogyny that drives them is. To stop all of this, we must trust women when they point out that receiving streams of death threats on Twitter is not normal and that online communities strategizing about how to rape women are much more than just idle chatter. There is no reason another massacre should happen

Last night I read that the investigations into NBC regarding Matt Lauer overturned some other rocks relating to the former anchor of the Greatest Generation, Tom Brokaw.  The reality is that internal investigations are done to protect and preserve a culture not expose and open it.  Shocking I know, just ask the E Network and Ryan Seacrest but ask NBC why they fired Billy Bush while tapes of Trump and his off camera remarks on the Apprentice have long been buried in a vault.

Meanwhile the Public Station,WNYC,  in New York that had faced a series of complaints about the radio broadcaster, John Hockenberry, found that his situation was an isolated one and in turn the station nor management did not have a systemic culture that protected and in turn punished those who came forward with allegations of sexual harassment.  Again, full transparency, hiring an outsider to do a job and then finding the source of the problem and handling it professionally in a manner that enables a workplace to grow and learn.  Funny they kept on the air and no others lost jobs or were vilified in the public square.  

 That seems to be the way we are handling all of this, throw one under the bus and then the jackals are satisfied.  Starbucks did the right thing closing their stores for "unconscious bias" training.  I am sure that will solve a larger cultural problem that has way longer tentacles in the community.

I don't think we have "unconscious" bias but we have suppressed ones that at times emerge and I can think of the most common places - traffic.  Please every racial epithet and stereotype emerges in the safety of our car with the windows rolled up and the music blasting.  And sometimes just sometimes those "unconscious biases" become very conscious and that becomes road rage.  We should give every driver a gun as a good driver with a gun will stop a bad driver with one.  I loathe driving and in Nashville that is something that even driving in LA cannot be matched.  This is where the rules of the road are long abandoned and it is everyone for themselves when you get behind a wheel.

Other biases  emerge in more "micro aggression's" and passive aggressive manners.  The tone of voice, the terminology we use and the way we whip out cameras and film or take photos of people who do or act in ways that we find upsetting and disturbing.  Last night another photo emerged of the Waffle House shooter where a man felt compelled to film him.  And the point is what exactly?  This is Pawn Shop and I am sure the local pawn shop attract all the quality folk.  I have seen equally weird shit at a Starbucks.  Someone call the Police!! Oh wait maybe not.

And in turn this is posted on social media, outrage occurs and everyone feels better or not depending on who is throwing the stones and sticks.  The sub-communities, the dark web and the varying groups and private Facebook pages that hide a more sinister culture that is laden with hate and rage.  And again like the car there is only so much one can keep in the confines of the vehicle and then you promptly use that vehicle to kill those who bring you psychological harm.  So much for changing the world for good there right Mark Zuckerberg.  But hey at least you can get a heads up before the carnage begins.

When I moved to Nashville I did not think my biases, unconscious or otherwise, would be as tested as they are here.  It is easy to ask yourself periodically who you are and what you wish to be and learn again from growth and what happened in the past that affects that in the present and in turn can enable you to change in the future.  I realized that takes immense effort and working with our without a therapist that frankly I get why anyone just tucks that in their back pocket rather than deal with it. And like your car within the safety of your four walls you can be, do or say whatever you want. And thanks today I have concluded I trust no one in Nashville and I keep it simple stupid. Literally simple and stupid to reflect the larger vibe.

When it comes to men I look at the bigger picture and realize that I was one who loathed the term "rape culture" as it meant that Universities/Colleges were complicit in the systemic abuse of women and enabled rape to be a part of the "school experience." And then each day I thought of the statement boys become men and then we see the rise of the #MeToo movement and I heard two asshole white boys in a prestigious magnet school respond to my comment that Colleges are reverse ATMs and that you need to spend a great deal of time thinking of way to circumvent the costs and find the best deal and program in which to come out of this with the least debt and the best skills possible.  At lot to do for someone 18 and why I am great believer in using the Community College to burn credit hours and make sure that the college of your choice will accept those credits and if you have to move or change addresses in which to ensure that those are costs well taken.   And these two go, "And miss the college experience? No way."  My first thought which I did not say was, "What, get drunk, rape girls and mock others? Okay then" Instead asked them what they meant and they of course did not respond but laughed.  Point proven.

I asked a Student in that same class about #MeToo and what they are learning about the issue as Prom time was coming up and there needs to be dialogue that will address the subject.  He said they are not and that ended that as sex education is non-existent in Tennessee and is governed by law.  Yes indeed this is 1950 and the good ole days and America is great again.  Oh wait that sarcasm doesn't translate well here and by here I mean Nashville as again you need intelligence, perspective and with. Three things lacking here.  Again this is not an unconscious bias it is very conscious.

So do I see men as predators? Yes I am done pretending that I cannot.  I simply choose to socialize with those younger and in relationships and take on a more maternal relationship and in turn can still in some way be a Teacher/Mentor as it still enables me to do something I enjoy without the need to watch every word, consider whom I am speaking to and address them by gender/race/religion or any other extrinsic factor I can discern before opening my mouth or just not open it all.  This is where we are, speak to no one, learn only superficial and surface things based on what they look like or say on social media and judge lest ye be judged.  I have been schooled here in Nashville and the lesson plan sucks.


 


Thursday, April 26, 2018

Trigger Warning

 Truly this is not for the faint of heart to read.  This describes the minutes that Nikolas Cruz entered his former school to wreak as much as damage as possible and had the building not been updated to make that effort impossible the outcome would have been worse.  And we know this as the Police and SRO stayed outside for whatever excuses, explanations, justifications or bullshit they could come up with that enabled Cruz to do the damage he did.

I have been quite critical of the way the Waffle House killer was handled. Found behind an Elementary School where it was likely he was all day, with only one Police Vehicle and Officer stationed outside in a school of over 1000 put many lives a risk.  We know he did have a firearm on his person but again given what was known at the time that could have been more.  So for over 33 hours the manhunt seemed utterly stagnant if not ludicrous if that woman who called 911 was clear about her observations which led him to be found.  I am unclear how anyone with any even rudimentary math skills could not map out an area, make some calculations on what was presumed to be a poorly attired man (at that point he was unknown if he was wearing full clothing to protect him from the rain) could run and hide within the time frame he left the Waffle House and in turn returned home to get whatever clothing and "other" items before absconding.  The stolen BWM the likely get away vehicle has already been returned to the Dealership nary a query to any neighbors to even gauge knowledge of the car and how it ended up in the parkling lot or even an attempt to see if they recognized the security camera footage of the alleged thief.  Great Police work.

So when you see or hear something say something.  I see incompetence and the solution is to arm Teachers.  Next Waffle House service personnel, sounds like a good idea.  And for the record I have never been to one as they are as ubiquitous here as Denny's and my personal favorite that has since closed Sambo's was in the Northwest where I grew up. They too had their own "issues" and hence why Sambo's closed but these are notorious places to go and be drunk and disruptive and in turn find yourself a member of the club of patrons who made asses out of themselves.  That said the new climate of fear and resentment has changed that dynamic and Waffle House is no less  exempt as Starbucks for their "issues."

So when the commission reviewed the carnage at Stoneman Douglas that day it showed a boy determined to kill and the chaos and lack of communication and security that enabled him to do so. From the fire alarms going off to the inability of Teachers to lock doors without going out into the hall to do so (which led to the one Teacher's death) and lastly the failure of the Police to enter the building and enabled Cruz to vacate without incident shows that arming Teachers really is a stupid idea.  And sadly the one Father who I was hoping to never hear of again whose daughter died decided for whatever reason to sit on said commission and relieve his daughters last moments, was rightly furious.  Thankfully he stopped short of arming Teachers as he is very pro gun.  He simply cannot acknowledge that regardless of the mental health of the shooter the access to guns is something not denied, unlike say such as mental health care.

Again, had the self acknowledged not "hero" stopped the Waffle House gunman the patrons and the staff would have been senselessly murdered.  The father of this young man who returned said guns to his son after the FBI returned them to the Father with that caveat should be prosecuted as an accomplice.  And the gun laws need to be changed so that the FBI could have simply confiscated them and destroyed them as the owner was clearly too disturbed to retain ownership.  Funny they would take a pet from someone who exhibited similar behaviors, a gun not.so.much. 


Parkland Gunman Carried Out Rampage Without Entering a Single Classroom

By PATRICIA MAZZEI
THE NEW YORK TIMES
APRIL 24, 2018

MIAMI — Armed with an AR-15 assault rifle and more than 300 rounds of ammunition, Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in February without entering a single classroom.

Instead, Mr. Cruz, a former Stoneman Douglas High student, carried out his carnage by walking down the hallways of the freshman building and taking aim at students and teachers trapped in the corridors or locked inside classrooms. Several times, he returned to victims he had already wounded to shoot them dead.

That was the chilling narrative that law enforcement provided on Tuesday in a minute-by-minute animation of Mr. Cruz’s movements through the school, the first time the police made public a detailed timeline of the gunman’s actions inside the building. The animation, played for members of a Florida commission investigating the mass shooting, showed that the gunman had time to pursue victims on all three floors of the building during his six-minute rampage.

At no point during the shooting did police officers enter the building or engage the gunman, even though there was an armed deputy from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office outside less than two minutes after the shooting began, and several other officers heard gunfire after they arrived. The law enforcement response is expected to be closely reviewed by a special public safety commission created by the Florida Legislature last month. Among its 16 members are three fathers of students killed in the shooting.

The commission’s first meeting, held on Tuesday in Coconut Creek, about 15 minutes from the school, laid bare a number of other areas under review. Emergency calls did not go to a single agency: The 911 emergency system sent cellphone calls from inside the school to the Coral Springs Fire Department, but landline calls from worried parents to the Broward Sheriff’s Office. The police radio system became overloaded during the response, forcing officers to use hand signals to indicate which classrooms had been cleared. And teachers could not lock their classroom doors from the inside.

“The teacher had to go out into the hallway and take the key and try to lock the door. That’s messed up no matter how you slice it,” said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri of Pinellas County, the commission chairman. On the police radio problems, he added: “You had commanders that were going from car to car to car, from radio to radio to radio, trying to get on it.”

“We’ve got some hard questions that need to be answered,” he added. “Nobody here thinks it’s going to be easy.”

The animation, based on surveillance video and witness statements, showed floor plans, with dots to represent people. Victims appeared as green dots that turned yellow if they were injured and purple if they were killed.

According to the animation, there were two sets of fatal victims: 11 on the first floor, who were attacked so quickly that they could hardly take cover, and six on the third floor, many of whom were leaving their classrooms thinking a fire drill was underway. The gunfire created smoke that set off the fire alarm, contrary to early reports that suggested the gunman might have pulled the alarm himself to wreak chaos.

Students on the second floor knew to ignore the alarm and stay indoors because they heard the shots, the police said. The sound of gunfire apparently did not reach the third floor, and the students and teachers there had no way of distinguishing between a fire drill, which required evacuating the building, and a “code red,” which required seeking shelter.
Updated: What Happened in the Parkland School Shooting

A gunman armed with a semiautomatic AR-15 assault rifle and “countless magazines” killed at least 17 people at his former high school in Florida in February.

“That led to my daughter also being murdered on the third floor,” said Andrew Pollack, a commission member. He has said his 18-year-old daughter, Meadow, was shot nine times. The animation did not identify any of the victims. Mr. Pollack refused to refer to Mr. Cruz by name, instead calling him by his prison number, 181968.

On the first floor, the gunman shot from the door into classrooms 1214 and 1216, injuring or killing several victims, and later returned to the doors of both classrooms to hurt more people. One victim who entered the building during the shooting managed to take cover after being injured, but Mr. Cruz eventually found him and killed him.

Mr. Cruz fired from the hallway into two second-floor classrooms, the animation showed, but did not hit anyone.

On the third floor, Mr. Cruz fired indiscriminately into people assembled in the hallway, injuring several of them before turning his back and pausing, apparently to reload his weapon, said Detective Zack Scott, one of the lead homicide investigators on the case. That allowed a number of people to try to escape down a stairwell. Once the gunman realized they were getting away, he shot at them again, killing at least two of them. Four injured people remained in the hallway; he went back and killed three of them.

Sheriff Larry Ashley of Okaloosa County, a commission member, said the animation reminded him of a video game: “How many kills can I get?”

The gunman shot his way into a locked teachers’ lounge and tried to set up a sniper position from the windows, aiming at students rushing outside in what they thought was a fire drill. For about three minutes, he shot round after round into the glass — but they were hurricane-resistant windows. “The rounds fragment and splinter immediately, and they do not find targets,” Detective Scott said.

Outside, several sheriff’s deputies arrived on campus after reports of shots fired, but they could not determine where they were coming from. At least two officers from the Coral Springs Police Department did realize the shooting was taking place inside the freshman building, but did not enter. One of them, Bryan Wilkins, said in a firsthand account released on Tuesday that he was advised “by an unknown BSO Deputy taking cover behind a tree, ‘he is on the third floor.’”

Unlike the older buildings on the Stoneman Douglas High campus where classrooms line open-air hallways — resembling a motel — the freshman building was enclosed and allowed the gunman to operate without being observed from outside.

“There’s a reason why he picked Building 12, in my view,” Sheriff Gualtieri said of Mr. Cruz. “This was a unique building. He was unchallenged. Unfettered.”

The state commission, which has subpoena power, is expected to issue its findings and recommendations by Jan. 1. Commissioners plan to go to the campus to walk around the building and see the place where surveillance video showed that Deputy Scot Peterson, the school resource officer, took cover outside during the shooting, in apparent violation of protocol requiring that law enforcement try to confront an active shooter. Mr. Peterson resigned after Sheriff Scott Israel placed him under internal investigation eight days after the shooting. Several other deputies also are under investigation for failing to immediately enter the freshman building.

Sheriff Israel, who has defended his “amazing leadership” of the office, faces a nonbinding vote of no confidence on Thursday from the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association, a labor union that did not represent Mr. Peterson. The union president, Jeff Bell, cited the sheriff’s handling of the Parkland shooting as one of the reasons deputies have lost confidence in their leader. Sheriff Israel has dismissed the vote as a bargaining tactic from a union seeking a pay raise.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

I'm Waffling

As the day wore on more information was revealed about The Waffle House shooter and this will dominate the local news cycle for the weeks to come as it was a wet dream for many who have been wanting some type of incident that would rank Nashville as a city worth a mass shooting.

This place has a sick need and the persecution/martyr complex that is a part of all religious doctrine is not missing here in the buckle of the belt.   Nashville likes to pretend that they are above the mystical leanings of Church but that like many other thing I hear here is a lie.

What was interesting was that it took over 30 hours or almost a day and half to find a young man wearing nothing more than a t-shirt and slacks during cooler temps all withing a mile and half of the shooting and his home in a radius that was approximately a football field plus in length and width.

Trying to put things in perspective the Sacramento police using helicopters and night vision goggles found and killed a young man suspected of breaking windows with nothing more than being armed with a cell phone yet here in Nashville a force akin to a small military expedition could not locate the shooter until an individual called 911.    And the Officer who responded was not even a conventional one.  Good thing the dispatcher did not make any mistake it that call and send Police to a Starbucks.

This area of the world reveres the Police and Military.  Yet few questions have been asked as to why this mission seemed to go on past excess.  Secure the perimeter and in turn send in men to shake the trees and turn over any potential hiding spots which includes the nearby construction sites that would enable anyone to hide. 

Again if one recalls the terror of the Boston Bomber that search went on across the city for hours and that ended by another 911 call  by someone who believed someone was inside their boat in the driveway. So much for Police recognizance.

We have seen mishandling of the Pulse nightclub and in Parkland when the Police stayed outside the building and the shooter was found only by accident when a Police car from another area spotted him walking home and he met the description of whom they believed was the shooter.

But when it comes to a show of force with a no-knock warrant in the middle of the night, the show of force and the violence via the Police, et al arrive seemingly is done without effort and success.  Or is it?   And there are numerous stories of these SWAT teams entering wrong houses, destruction of property and killing of pets without recourse as Radley Balko at the Washington Post writes about on a regular basis.

One can see that the issue of racism and discriminatory enforcement coupled with poor training and communication that in cases where urgency versus faux fear coupled with an itchy trigger finger it does appear that Police choose those situations in which to act and in turn overreact.  Funny that in Canada a man mowed down dozens and without a shot fired despite threats by the driver of the van the Officer brought in his man in that ever Mountie style we have come to expect.  But we saw intense bravery in France where an Officer knowingly and willingly walked into a Terrorist Hostage situation and was killed as a result.   But in America a black man waves a cell phone and is gunned down without question so one wonders about what defines heroism and courage versus racism and stereotyping when it comes to law enforcement.

When it hit the 30th hour here I was sure that the gunman had left the area in a second vehicle or did have an accomplice as it was too odd to think that with massive news coverage, tons of Police, ATF, and other affiliated Police forces could not find this boy last seen running into the same woods where he was ultimately found.  Add to this that he had stolen a BMW only days before and the vehicle found in the complex lot after a failed chase by Police who enabled him to get away without recourse and the vehicle oddly recovered without anyone queried about how said vehicle got there.  Sloppy or just lazy Police work?  And once again despite this boy's history with law enforcement and guns it seems no one was accountable as to ensuring someone who had clear mental health issues from finally acting upon his paranoia with guns they could have confiscated sooner.  Again if this was a man of color I wonder if it would be the same?

That said I found the endless race baiting inappropriate as the boy claimed at one point to be a member of the Sovereign Nation crowd which means nothing other than more bullshit that had nothing to do with his act at the Waffle House.  The same with the nonsense of his being a White Supremacist.  At this point he could have sworn allegiance to ISIS and it is as useless and absurd a justification or explanation for someone who clearly had serious mental health issues that despite repeated issues and warnings little to nothing was done.   The same could be said about the family that drove their van off a cliff killing all the children despite years of warning and abuse allegations no one did a thing.  Ask the former Mayor of Seattle, Ed Murray, as well about that one.

And I feel this was with regards to the search. The Police failed to secure the area and the schools and apartments nearby were at risk as the boy had a gun on his person and had not residents been active and observant night could have fallen leaving this maniac to finally act upon further insane thoughts that clearly he has had for years.  Almost every encounter of late were full of delusions and paranoia the point he was fired from his job and a tech from a local computer shop recalled his encounter with this clearly sick man.   So yes in this case mental health was the issue but his ability to keep his guns and his Father for returning to him cannot be overlooked.

Tennessee has amazingly liberal gun laws.  This explains why many minors seemingly have access to weapons and are often engaged in violent crimes to the point it exhausts me.  This is where we are in this Country when it comes to guns, we are sure that they will resolve the problem not cause them.  Clearly this is not true.  A man on his own overpowered a man with one and he was not the first nor likely the last.  This need to be the biggest and baddest happens on a daily basis.  It was Canada's turn and the nutfuck mentioned the Isle Vista maniac who before killing himself gunned down innocent women because he could not get laid.  White boys all in that 24-28 year old frame that for many men mark the beginning of adulthood - first job, first marriage, first gun, first child, first insane episode.  We have a problem and we are not solving it. We have no intention to.


For the second time in six months, Tennessee community experiences a mass shooting

by Brandon Gee and Abigail Hauslohner April 23 2018
The Tennessean 

ANTIOCH, Tenn. — Travis Reinking, suspected of a mass killing, was on the loose in this community on the outskirts of Nashville for 34 hours before police found him lurking in the woods with a loaded handgun Monday afternoon. They said the 29-year-old was armed with an assault-style rifle when he stormed into a local Waffle House early Sunday morning, killing four people.

The arrest allayed the immediate fears of a community gripped by unease over the course of a tense manhunt. But the sense of fear lingered.

They were concerned that Reinking, who was not supposed to have access to guns after he tried to breach the White House grounds in July 2017, was able to get his hands on those guns again so easily. They were concerned that Reinking is white, and all six of his victims were people of color — five black and one Hispanic — in a region with a history of racial tensions. And they were concerned because Antioch, a quiet working-class town of 93,000, now has witnessed two mass shootings in six months.

As the nation grapples with the root causes of a spate of deadly shootings — many with the same type of gun Reinking allegedly used, the AR-15 — Antioch is at the center of it all again. And the community is struggling to come to grips with its budding notoriety, its causes as elusive as the motives for the shootings.

On Monday, theories — and worries — grew across town: Maybe it’s the prevalence of guns that has caused two men in their 20s to go on shooting rampages at gathering spots here, one in a church and the other in a restaurant. Maybe it’s the dearth of mental-health services for those in need.

Angela Marie Durand, a former pharmacist, suggested that it could be related to the opioid epidemic. Clarice Grooms, a real estate agent, said she thinks the violence is related to rising crime and gang activity. Leah Chay, a 38-year-old mother, said she just can’t believe this would happen here, twice.

“Nobody is taking any steps to get at the root causes,” said Mikal Rios, 50, who lives a mile from the Waffle House, where four people were killed and two were injured Sunday morning. “We need to take more steps as adults to address kids that have issues. We need to listen to kids more. We need to listen to what they’re saying.”

Antioch is a 30-minute drive from downtown Nashville, home to auto plant workers and a growing immigrant population, which has led to a smattering of notable Ethio­pian and Mexican restaurants locating here. The Waffle House on Murfreesboro Pike — one of several in Antioch — is a popular late-night hangout for local college students and a regular breakfast and coffee destination for their early-riser parents.

There are a lot of churches here — almost two dozen — and like many other American towns, they fill up on Sunday mornings.

Now both of these local mainstays have been targets. Both shootings involved a young man storming into a crowd with a gun, and both involved an unarmed hero who stopped him.

In September, a man identified as Emanuel Kidega Samson walked into the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ and opened fire with two handguns, striking seven people and killing one. Samson, who is black, had attended the church. His victims were white. And police, who have charged him with murder, aggravated assault and civil rights intimidation, told The Tennessean newspaper that his car contained a letter referring to a 2015 shooting by a white man targeting black churchgoers in South Carolina, raising the possibility of a racial motive.

A month later, a group of white supremacists rallied in nearby Shelbyville, which they hoped would attract recruits, in part, because of anger at the Antioch church shooting.

And so, as police searched for Reinking on Monday, Rhonda Miller, who lives in the same apartment complex as the alleged shooter, couldn’t help but wonder whether race had something to do with his attack. Miller, who is black, is a regular at the Waffle House. Had Reinking shown up three hours later, she and her husband might have been there having their morning coffee. And her daughter, Nikia Woods, said a group of her sorority sisters had also just missed the shooting, leaving the restaurant at about 3 a.m., shortly before the shots were fired there.

“It just kind of crossed my mind, like: ‘Wow, did he just target the black people?’ ” Miller said.

Ryan Gatlin, who also lives at the apartment complex, where a majority of residents are black, said he is ready to move.

“Seriously,” he said. “It’s too hot over here to be living next to murderers. Not feeling too safe, especially with all the victims being minority.”

For much of Monday, police were involved in a manhunt. A helicopter moved steadily overhead, and swarms of police, a SWAT team, sheriff’s deputies and FBI agents staged their operations from beneath tents and alongside vehicles in the grocery store parking lot across from the Waffle House.

Mountain View Elementary School, half a mile from the apartment complex where Reinking lived, was in session, but it seemed cloaked in an unnatural silence from the outside. Its playground was empty at lunch hour, and a sign on the door in English and Arabic instructed parents that only students and staff would be allowed to enter the building.

Mizelle Calloway, whose three children attend Cane Ridge High School, said they didn’t go to school Monday because the family “didn’t want to take a chance.”

“It just had everybody up on edge,” said Calloway, who owns a barbershop a mile north of the Waffle House. “I’ve been making sure I’m on point with everything, watching my whereabouts.”

Monday, April 23, 2018

Waffles with Bullets

Yesterday morning I woke up to another shooting only this one about 20 minutes from my house.  Funny I had never been to Antioch until this week and was considering another sub job at Cane Ridge a school just near the Waffle House and decided not.  Good thing.

The shooting took place at 3 am a common time for Waffle Houses to be busy as it is the post bar closing hangout for many types of individuals.  Now this Waffle House was located in a very mixed area surrounded by many new housing developments and apartments, one unit that enabled the gunman to walk home post shooting.  The gunman drove his vehicle, was seen exiting the vehicle and began opening fire in the parking lot before entering the premise, killing one employee and another customer who was chatting with him during his smoke break.  This was all witnessed by another customer who had not yet gone in to the Waffle House, who was Hispanic.  Of the dead, two were young Black Women, the young cook, also black and one Hispanic man. The man who witnessed this in the parking lot Hispanic, and the man who stopped the gun man - black.  A young man who has utterly denied being a hero despite wrestling the gun out of the arm of the lunatic and getting it tossed out of his hands and access, and as he says it, was running for the door pushing the man with him on his haste to get out.  It was not heroism but it seemed that way despite his protestations to the contrary. But he had no gun, was a young black man who was afraid and fear and flight collided that stopped the man from killing them all.

The shooter again fits a prototype that I have come very familiar - White, 28/29, long history of mental health issues, isolated, and able to buy an AK 15.  An AK 15 taken from him after an insane gun issue at the White House, promptly the gun taken from him, returned to his father the legal owner who then promptly returned it to his son who again had mental health issues, including believing Taylor Swift was stalking him which may have been behind his reasoning to relocate from Ohio to the Nashville area. 

The shooter is still on the run.  He entered the Waffle House nude other than a jacket which he discarded and apparently walked home to his apartment found some pants and took off and has not been seen since.  And of course armchair Police, News reporters and the stationary crazy who elect to never leave their home to spread their crazy took to social media with their conspiracy theories regarding the shooting.

Here was a Black man on Twitter who has decided it is a coordinated effort by White Supremacists to fake mental illness and kill as many black individuals in known places they congregate, which is apparently a Waffle House.  Funny I see all kinds of people in a Waffle House in Tennessee and race is not a factor, poor food choices however and the availability of it after a night of drinking, the post Church set or those who work unconventional hours yes.  And again the Waffle House is to the South what was Denny's to the North. What was even more despicable in his hysteria was the neglect of the one Hispanic victim who he decides does not fit his narrative and is not worthy of a mention.  Yes but starting a race war is.

Then there were others that were equally as divisive with accusations that this was again politically motivated , that he had a vehicle full of dangerous arms and was a Southern Redneck protesting some political agenda.  Yes and walking in partially nude to a Waffle House, leaving nude and going on the run shows he was clearly sane.   Again sane enough to carry a gun.  But no he left his truck, it was registered, a witness identified him quickly and there was no Police standoff where he was left standing because he was white.  The Police here would have killed him standing there naked of that I have no doubt.  I live here and they live for this kind of shit.  It is terrifying to think that you have a Police force that has wet dreams for a mass shooting as they can then validate their being and military obsession that is co-joined at the hip for fetishists here in Nashville/Tennessee.

Again, mental health aside, it was clear he had major issues regarding that aspect of his personality.   Again access and availability to that is very akin to the shooter that nearly killed Gabrielle Gifford's and that too was badly neglected despite the signs that he was clearly delusional.  Yet nothing prevented him from getting guns.

Yesterday my favorite kids of Parkland did hit social media to remind everyone that this is about GUNS.  Access and availability to those, however, not a problem.  And way cheaper.  Have a problem? Get a gun, use it on yourself on or others either/or you are good to go.

The story is still unfolding here and I refuse to go down any ulterior motive or theory behind the shooting yesterday.  But I will as always rant about guns.  Again the young man took the gun away from the shooter with his hands and they show the scars of that.  The same was true of another shooting in the area a year ago when a Black man did walk into a small church and shot up White parishioners.   And yes he is alive and a hate crime was mentioned and like many of these stories, little is followed up with where that stands regarding his status but again that seems to be buried in the dust bins of mass shootings.

This is about Guns.  Access to absurdly large military grade weapons that have no purpose other than to do mass damage.  Again why does a civilian need a gun of that level? Oh that is right the 2nd Amendment or that thing with the NRA that may be the real reason as they have robbed us at gunpoint of our democracy.

So the  NEXT time a gun crazed shooter goes on a  rampage, quit with the armchair cable news bullshit and start writing, calling and joining activist groups that care about gun laws and finding Politicians that will support changing them.  2000 votes beats 2000 dollars proffered by the NRA.

Then have a Waffle and think about what it means to be free to enter a public facility, a school, a library, a mall, a movie theater without having to arm up.  These are just one of many here in Tennessee. What about your community?






Sunday, April 22, 2018

Hello? 911



There is a show on Fox right now called 911 and it portrays the call center as a logical reasonable place where the responders are intelligent, calm and rational and relay the appropriate information to the Police or other Emergency service individuals aka "First Responders" to the site to resolve the situation.  It's a TV show.

When one reviews the number of 911 calls made, including the absurd one made my the Starbucks employee there was a point that the 911 Operator could or should ask appropriate questions to ascertain level of risk, danger and urgency.   This then is clearly typed into a screen and should be reiterated back to the caller to once again ascertain level of risk, danger or sense of urgency.  Let us not forget people call 911 for reasons that are less than urgent and in turn are pranks that too can contribute to further problems.  911 is there for a reason and SOMETIMES it does. And sometimes it doesn't. 

I have numerous stories about how 911 Operators have misreported and added information to the call that in turn is relayed with even more information to the Police.  A good example of that was Tamir Rice where the caller was quite clear it was a child with what appeared to be a FAKE (toy) gun.  Then we have this horrific story about a laughing 911 Operator.    Or how about I ain't got time for this.   Or how about this 911 Operator who tells you to quit whining!  Or how about going to the wrong address or again this story that I have reprinted below as it all started here.

So while you were all going indignant at Starbucks over the worst failure to communicate a young  boy called 911 several times as he lay dying and guess what the Police did nothing. He was crushed to death.   No mass shooting, not shot in the street but allowed to die while a Patrol car sat idly by.  Yes where is the outrage?  Oh wait its where you get your double latte.

Police responding to dying student’s 911 call stayed in their patrol car, body cam videos show
by Herman Wong and Lindsey Bever
The Washington Post
April 212016

Ohio teen called 911 twice as he was being crushed to death

Officers responding to a 911 call from a high school student trapped and dying in his minivan stayed in their patrol car after arriving on campus, according to body camera videos released by Cincinnati police Friday.

The video comes a week and a half after the death of sophomore Kyle Plush. Hours after the officers’ unsuccessful search, the 16-year-old was found dead by his father in a Honda Odyssey. Cincinnati police, as well as the Hamilton County prosecutor’s office, have launched investigations to try to determine what went wrong — both inside the van and at the 911 call center.

“We owe the Plush family and the public a detailed and comprehensive explanation of everything that has been done, recommendations made and actions taken at the 911 center that could have had any bearing on the practices that may have contributed to this tragedy,” Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley (D) said in an April 12 statement.

When the teenager called 911 on April 10, he knew his situation was dire.

He did not tell authorities what had happened to him when he apparently used an automated assistant on his smartphone to make the call Tuesday outside Seven Hills School in Cincinnati. He said only that he was trapped in his minivan and could not hear them — no doubt hoping they could still hear his cries for help.

“Help, help, help, help,” he told the dispatcher, according to 911 audio obtained by The Washington Post. Then he let out a scream: “Help!”

The teen, who seemed to be laboring to breathe, kept asking for police — briefly pausing between words to try to catch his breath.

The dispatcher repeatedly asked the teen where they could find him.

[A mother found her 2-year-old ‘frozen’ on their front porch on a bitterly cold day]

“I can’t hear you,” the teen said. Distant banging could be heard in the background. “I’m in desperate need of help. … I’m going to die here.”

“Help —” he said once more, then the call abruptly ended.

Five minutes later, at 3:21 p.m., police responded and searched the area near the private school on Red Bank Road but did not see the teen, according to a statement from the Cincinnati Police Department.

In a conversation between the dispatcher and a deputy, the dispatcher said that it had been difficult to hear the teen, saying he sounded “kind of far away from the phone.” The dispatcher said she could hear banging in the background and someone saying, “Help, help, I’m stuck.” The authorities then discussed whether the 911 call might have been a prank.

In the two newly released videos, one from each officer, the cameras captured the immediate area in front of the windshield as the police entered the parking lot and drove around. At one point, an officer can be heard saying, “I don’t see nobody, which I don’t imagine I would.” Neither officer exited the vehicle at any point while the body cameras were recording.

The videos run for slightly longer than three minutes each. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that police documents said officers were on the scene for 11 minutes.

According to Cincinnati police policy, body cameras must be activated when “officers arrive on-scene” and may be deactivated when officers have finished “clearing the call for service.”

Lt. Steve Saunders, a police spokesman, said the department had no additional comment because an internal investigation is underway.

Nearly six hours later, Kyle’s father found him unresponsive in the vehicle, police said. First responders rushed to the scene but could not revive the teen, and he was later pronounced dead.

“Horrific, horrific situation to come across as a parent,” Saunders said Thursday in a phone interview.

The Enquirer reported that a law enforcement source it did not name told the newspaper that the teen had climbed onto the rear bench seat in the family’s minivan. The teen was trying to reach his tennis equipment, according to the newspaper, when the seat “flipped up and over toward the back hatch, pinning him upside down beneath the seat.”

The Hamilton County Coroner’s Office said in a statement that preliminary autopsy results showed that Kyle died of “asphyxia due to chest compression.”

“This was a horrific tragedy. What I say is that we share in their heartbreak around this,” Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac said during a news conference. “Police officers, firefighters and even our emergency dispatch personnel — you get into this because you want to help. Something went wrong here and we need to find out why we weren’t able to provide that help that we hoped we could have.”

Cranley called the circumstances of Kyle’s death “devastating” and said they “raise concerning questions about our city’s emergency 911 system and police response. While it is unclear if there is wrongdoing by the city in this tragedy, we have a profound responsibility to find out.”

Police in Cincinnati are investigating the death of Kyle Plush, 16, who was crushed to death by a seat in his minivan while pleading for help from 911 operators (Reuters)

After Kyle’s frantic call for help, a dispatcher tried to call him back — but the teen was not able to answer his phone.

As heard in the 911 audio, the teen’s phone rang and rang, then the call went to his voice mail: “Hello, this is Kyle. I’m not available right now. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.”

Then, at some point, Kyle called police a second time.

During that call, which lasted several minutes, he sounded weaker and something could be heard creaking in the background as the teen took breaths. He then told the dispatcher to pass along a message after his death.

“I probably don’t have much time left, so tell my mom that I love her if I die,” he said. “This is not a joke. This is not a joke. I’m trapped inside my gold Honda Odyssey van in the sophomore parking lot of Seven Hills [unintelligible]. Send officers immediately. I’m almost dead.”

“Can you hear me?” the teen asked.

“Hey Siri,” he prompted his phone.

“Hey Siri.

“Hey Siri.

“Hey Siri.

“Hey Siri.”

But his pleas went unanswered.

Authorities said responding officers, who were on the scene at the time, never received the detailed information from Kyle’s second 911 call. The dispatcher who took that call, identified as Amber Smith, has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation, police said.

Authorities said that a classmate called Kyle’s parents late last Tuesday, saying that he did not show up for a scheduled tennis match.

The teen’s parents then used an app to track his cellphone and called the police, reporting that their son was missing, police said.

Just before 9 p.m., a passerby also called authorities from the school, saying that a man was running around the parking lot, screaming, “Call 911.” The caller said he could hear “loud bangs” and could see cars parked and people walking around, according to the police audio.

Then another caller, who identified himself as a night-shift worker at the school, called police to report that the teen, who was unresponsive, was trapped in the van — “turned over in his seat and stuck.”

“He’s been there for a while,” he said.

Isaac, the police chief, told reporters that upon arrival, responding officers found Kyle in the van, “not breathing and unresponsive.”

A Honda spokesman told the Associated Press that the vehicle involved in the incident was a 2004 Honda Odyssey. Although there was a recall last year on seats in some Odysseys, the spokesman said there were no such recalls for the model Kyle was in.

“Our hearts go out to the victim’s family during this difficult time,” Honda spokesman Chris Martin said, according to the Associated Press. “Honda does not have any specific information from which to definitively determine what occurred in this incident.”

Seven Hills School said in a statement Thursday that students and staff members are “grieving the loss of this beloved member of our school family.” It described Kyle as “a young person of keen intelligence, good humor, great courage,” adding that “we feel this loss profoundly.”

The school said it could not comment further, citing the ongoing investigation.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Locked and Loaded

As I noted yesterday the Students in many schools walked out again to protest gun violence and honor the victims of Columbine.  If anything that these kids in Parkland are they are diligent and determined.  I utterly respect and admire them but they are not the students I know, this is more like the ones with which I am familiar.

It was a miracle he encountered a Teacher he liked, he expressed remorse and had a clear understanding of what he was doing was misdirected rage and he is rare breed.  The reality is that this young man is the exception not the reality and again regardless he had a gun. That is the real issue that a boy had a gun, came from an abusive background and undoubtedly a history of problems in his wake.  And again no one cared enough to stop the train before it left the station. 


He fired a shotgun into a classroom door, police say, then said ‘sorry’ to the injured student
by Kristine Phillips
The Washington Post
April 21 2018


The young man in a white jail jumpsuit, handcuffed and shackled, looked past the throng of reporters pointing microphones toward his face, barely opening his mouth as he answered questions.

“I shot through the door,” he said, looking at a female reporter who asked about his connection to the student who had been shot.

“I didn’t see anyone,” he told a man with a video camera who asked why he shot the student.

“I didn’t see anyone,” he said again, this time, to the female reporter.

Sky Bouche was being taken to jail that Friday evening, hours after authorities said he drove to a high school in Ocala, Fla., carrying a shotgun hidden in a guitar case. The 19-year-old, a former student of the school, went to the bathroom, where he put on a tactical vest and gloves. He then shot one round from his sawed-off shotgun through a classroom door, injuring one student, investigators said.

The shooting happened at about 8:30 a.m. Friday, on the 19th anniversary of the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado. It also came just months after a gruesome shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., reignited a nationwide debate over guns and created some of the loudest voices calling for gun control: the students themselves.

Students at Forest High School, like many others across the country, had planned a walkout Friday morning to protest gun violence, in observance of the Columbine anniversary. Instead, they experienced their own traumatic event.

As he made his way toward the police car flanked by five uniformed officers, Bouche told reporters he’s “sorry” to the wounded student.

“It doesn’t make it better, anyway,” he said.

Bouche is facing several charges, including terrorism, aggravated assault with a firearm and possession of a firearm on school property, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office said Bouche went to the high school “with the intention of causing harm to the students and to invoke fear in the community.”

Bouche told detectives that he had initially planned “some type of shooting” on April 13 but changed his mind, the sheriff’s office said.

“He then began researching different types of mass shootings and chose to target a school because he thought it would gather more media attention,” the sheriff’s office said. “Bouche also expressed to detectives that he felt ignored, and made statements that he could potentially conduct another shooting in the future.”

Bouche, in a jailhouse interview with the Ocala Star Banner, said that he bought the shotgun without a background check from a private seller online a week after the Parkland massacre. Shooting, he said, was his only way out of a violent home life.

“It’s not anger, it’s not hatred, it’s an adrenaline rush that, you know, I’m about to do something,” he told the paper. “I spend most of my time in a room alone so I’m getting this rush, so that’s what I was feeling.”

A sheriff’s deputy, who also was a resource officer at the school, arrested Bouche minutes after he fired that one shot, authorities said. The wounded student was reported to have non-life-threatening injuries.

One of the teachers, Kelly McManis-Panasuk, said she saw Bouche in the hallway near her classroom just after a screaming student came running by. McManis-Panasuk talked to Bouche, who was her student before he dropped out.

“His hands were up, and he said he wanted to be arrested,” McManis-Panasuk told the Ocala Star Banner, adding that Bouche told her he is mentally ill. “I asked, ‘Did you shoot a gun?’ He said he did shoot a gun.”

The Washington Post was unable to reach the teacher Saturday, but she told the Ocala Star Banner that her former student had been abused by his family and that this time, “he was done.”

“He wanted to be arrested,” McManis-Panasuk said. “I really don’t think he meant to shoot the gun. I think it really was an accident. He just wanted someone to listen to him.”

Bouche, wearing a striped red jail uniform, appeared in court for the first time Saturday, the Ocala Star Banner reported. He’s been placed on suicide watch.

The shooting at the county’s second-largest high school sparked a small panic in the city of nearly 60,000 people.

Parents rushed to the school to pick up rattled children, only to be directed elsewhere by sheriff’s deputies. The sheriff’s office and other officials tried to squash rumors that there were other shooters at other schools. Other schools in Marion County were placed on alert as a precaution, Woods said.

One picture, which appears to have been taken from inside the school, showed a tangle of desks, chairs and books piled up against a door.

The Golden Rule




Remember the Golden Rule?

Matthew 7:12 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Golden Rule

12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

The irony once again that I live in the heart of the buckle of the belt, better to beat you with, where I have seen little of this demonstrated in the face of Southern Hospitality, Professionalism or even common courtesy.  

As I wrote in the Starbuck Moment, I knew eventually that this day would come.  I am over Teaching, over the South and more importantly over the constant need to apologize for being white.  I have zero privilege, zero authority and zero capability to change anything about anything. I can, however, change how I treat people as that reflects upon me and who I see myself as a person.

I have tried kindness, I have tried wit and I have tried being abusive and I cannot reach out to the Children here be they black, white, or purple. They are damaged beyond my capability of understanding and reasoning.  I find the Adults who are charge of them be by relation or by connection (aka Teachers) culpable and in turn accomplices to the crime.  The children here are violent and dangerous and I am afraid of them.

I walk into every school waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop. I watch children walk into a room and act utterly insane and say and do things that are surreal to watch.   If I say anything, do anything I am labeled, ostracized, and in turn as marginalized as the children who stand before me.   Again watching a Woman, who is Black and a Vice Principal of a School be addressed by children of Immigrants with utter disrespect and dismissal was cold comfort and she was only one of two Administrators I have encountered here that have treated and acknowledged me with respect.  Two, both women and one of color.  So again why do I have to prove anything to anyone.

I have enough intelligence and faith (without the whole God thing) that one persons act is just that one persons act it is not the act of many.  That aside, in Nashville the news on a daily basis is filled with one story after another about the crime in the area and it is all by teenagers, some not even yet into puberty.   I have likely encountered them or ones just like them and they are truly disturbed individuals who anyone with common sense would and should be afraid.  The kids yes, yes they are largely Black and Hispanic and yet I still don't see those races in a prism that colors them all the same. Again that is that intellect common sense thing coming into place.  

I was nearly killed by a boy who was half Muslim. Guess what he was and so what.  It was one white person after another and one a Woman who did nothing to help me, let alone believe me.  If you have the misfortune of entering the system regardless of color they will not release you.  What the difference is is the getting caught thing.  We have no real numbers on those who are caught and released let alone those numbers on Police Shootings.  But thanks to the Guardian UK and the Washington Post they did keep a record and found that there were 1000 deaths for two years running and yes they were largely faces of color.  So who is the problem here and what is the solution? Starbucks not seeing it.

Yesterday the Kids took to the streets again about Gun Violence and here in Nashville they barely addressed it and again it was only the two schools with a largely white student body that were mentioned.   That again is not my problem ask the media who went ballistic over situation at a Starbucks but the Walmart shooting did you hear about that this week?

I could not believe what I witnessed on the news at the Philadelphia Starbucks and yet I saw it nowhere else. The girl had been fired, the men caught and released and they met with the CEO privately no Lawyer in tow. They had dignity that the girl who filmed this entire encounter posted it yet never got up off her ass to intervene to address the Police with concerns and the White Male with whom the men were meeting was never interviewed by the Police or the Media. Why is that?  They made the call and the kill the rest was superfluous and a distraction.

When I agree with Glenn Beck then the earth is ending but even he is right sometime - note no plural just singular. 

The incident at the school troubled me and I fucked up trying to be sarcastic to a group of kids who entered the classroom in insanity and right then I  should have just pointed to the papers and let them alone.  That is my need to have some sense of order and again a belief that this time it will be different.  It wasn't. What I have witnessed and experienced throughout Nashville in their Dumps they call schools was chaos and insanity and it was guess what not different. I had the same bullshit in the first block but I saved that and thought I could do it again. Nope, this is Nashville that never happens in the dump trucks.   It is Lather Rinse Repeat.  That is how it is here survival of the fittest.  It was Tennessee that had that whole Darwin thing Scoped out.  

This State is so red that it is a perpetual stop sign.  I know that in every encounter with a Black person they will assume that I am a Racist and that I can do nothing about it.  What do you suggest?  Oh wait treat them how I wish to be treated?  Good luck with that. Ask the Starbuck employee who did not harm the men but had a bull horn shoved into his face and called a Racist.  As for the Manager she was following a policy that seemed inconsistent and that may be the problem. But ask the Starbucks folks who clean bathrooms and find the waste of needles and the like and I am sure they were good people too. 

I have been passive aggressive, been micro aggressive, been a victim a victor and prosecuted for a crime I did not knowingly or willingly commit.  Ask this man who spent 17 years behind bars about how white privilege worked out for him.

Tough words tough talk but I do think we have become this snowflake nation who can believe we can talk this shit to death and then what? 

When I read this op-ed I felt that it was some half assessed attempt to duplicate the NAACP and ACLU work in the 60s to root out discrimination in housing.  Seriously no white person is yelling anything to me at a Starbucks other than my name and let's keep it that way. And what about me going to a Black business?  A hair salon?  A clothing store?  A food shop?  If in fact Hotels are treating others "differently" perhaps it is because they don't want to offend and suggest a restaurant that is Asian for an Asian person or a Soul Food place for a black one.  This is where actual job training would come in handy by simply having a routine in place and a list of establishments divided by cuisine types and simply asking the customer what type they prefer?  And let them set the tone and in turn if they like Italian have that,  Asian that and so on.  Don't over analyze and read too much because again did they actually interview these people and ask them why?  No so keep up that good work.

Again when I walk into a business whatever the major clientele and owner are I am there because I am a customer. I f I was treated "differently" I either did not care or did not notice or some combination of each.  If I am there and treated openly rudely then I am out.  I don't go off the deep end I just walk out with my wallet in hand.  Ultimately, however,  I only care about how I treat people.  A Student once said to me when I said I didn't care about his being actually tardy it was that I thought he was dead and that bothered me; his response: "Oh I get it it's about you!"  DUH KID!

I cannot nor will not apologize for being me.  I am who I am. I fucked up with my snark but I thought I would try being snarky as in my past life as a Teacher I could do so but here humor and intellect are sorely lacking.  That and literacy, common sense and respect for anyone different not like them.  And by them I mean anyone just like them, regardless of race, gender, etc etc etc.  The exceptions are rare and like gems hard to find but shine as bright.

The truth is a dish here served with sweet tea, oppressing, cold and tastes like shit so I will take a pass on that thanks but here let me tell you what I think, God Bless y'all, Ma'am! Or code for Go Fuck Yourself Bitch.   When I heard the term Bitch by one of the kids yesterday and I repeated it they went into histrionics and hysterics and I go, "Did you not say it first?" Then one kid admitted he heard it too and he was black, logical and reasonable he was one of a few.  Again I made sure to tell this to the woman whom to this day I have no idea who she is or what her job was at the school, and guess what - Don't care.  I apologized and was contrite but it was an act that we will see more of if this continues and then you can only keep that bottled up before long and the steam and kettle explodes. It explains Trump.  And yes he will be re-elected if this goes on like this.

So kids get out your ruler and measure the length of rope you will need to hang yourself.  He is not going anywhere unless you start communicating like a normal person to a normal person and offer them a shot of Starbucks and see if you get a Thank You. That might be a start.