• Seattle’s one-party Democratic government rails about the city’s social injustice despite no political opposition.

    So, I suppose congratulations are in order. According to a story printed in The Seattle Medium (Jan. 25, 2012), the American Society for Public Administration announced the City of Seattle has won its 2012 Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Exemplary Practice Award, for its Race and Social Justice Initiative. (Incidentally, if you’re interested in who else espouses social justice, check out this article at the Freedom Socialist Party website).

    While no chills are running up my spine over this accolade, I don’t really have an issue with progressives patting each other on the back. Seems sweet. But a comment in the article made by Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien, brought a notion back, which baffles me. O’Brien said of the honor, “But our work does not stop here. We will continue to advance this initiative as we look to address racially disproportionate outcomes in areas like education, health and opportunity.”

    Since at least the 1980s, Seattle’s city government has leaned left of center. Today, to say Seattle’s government leans left of center, is like saying Antarctica’s winters are chilly. Yet, Seattle’s leftist leaders still shriek about racial, ethnic, and socio-economic disparities. They squawk about social justice, as well as health, economic, educational, housing, food, energy, global warming, opportunity, fairness, light rail, and whatever-the-hell-else-you-got justice, for certain groups of Seattleites.

    But if this is truly the case, that Seattle is a cesspool of social injustice, we have to ask Seattle’s leaders an important question: who’s been standing in your way? The Left will generally tell you that the Right is responsible for the above “oppression.” But, where is there any meaningful rightwing political opposition in the Emerald City? There is no rightwing, conservative, or—God forbid—Republican, opposition in Seattle. Politically, this is a one-horse—or, I should say, one-donkey—town.

    Why, over the last thirty or forty years, haven’t Seattle’s Democrat-dominated public and private institutions accomplished their social goals—at least locally? They have no real political enemies to thwart their “progress.” Despite no political opposition, they still rail on, year after year, decade after decade, about fighting for social “equality” and social “fairness” in leftist, progressive, social Seattle? So, what is their problem?

    Simple: Their problem is they’ve bought into the absurd promise progressives have been trying to jam down America’s throat for 100 years. They claim the ridiculous belief they can attain an unattainable utopian goal. But more often than not, they seem to just use this argument to dupe voters into believing this irrational notion equates to caring about the suffering masses. What they seem to demonstrate more clearly, what they care about most, is pandering to the plethora of leftists groups in Seattle, in order to win the next election.

  • Tim Burgess will pave road to city hall with blue uniforms

    It appears likely mayoral candidate, city councilmember, and former cop, Tim Burgess intends to pave his road to city hall with blue uniforms. The Seattle Times (“After observing police, Seattle councilmember calls for new approach.” Times Jan. 9, 2012) tells us, “Tim Burgess calls for fundamental changes to city policing.”

    However, after reading the article, and having been a cop in Seattle for almost twenty years, I see nothing new. Some of the ideas I like, others are simply rhetorical window dressing, and still others contain language that make me want to gag: “Embracing ‘problem-oriented policing,’ in which officers work with citizens to identify issues that cause crime — even those outside the typical scope of police work.” (I threw up a bit, just then).

    I believe Mr. Burgess wants the best for his city. However, I also believe he is a politician who wants to be mayor. I’ve seen these “new” suggestions offered in his essay, at least those highlighted in the Times article, instituted time and again over the years under those or different names. Sometimes they work for a while, sometimes they don’t, but it never lasts. Some new “magic policing concept” will roll on down the pike. The common denominator: Non-cops (oh, excuse me; and apparently sometimes former cops) try to tell the cops how to do their jobs.

    I swear if the city just left cops to do the coppin’, the results would be tremendous. Everyone seems to think they know better how to do a cop’s job than the cops. Mr. Burgess suggests focusing on “hotspots.” Wow! Where in the world did he come up with such a magnificent concept? The brilliance is blinding. Gee, the dumb cops would never have thought about focusing their resources where the crime is. I’m gonna tell my sergeant about it in roll call today. Bet he’ll be so surprised.

    Dealing with repeat offenders is another gem. Damn, I’m glad that is to be addressed under this “new” policing concept. However, according to Mr. Burgess (and I am being serious here; I’m sincerely pleased the councilmember used the term “punishment”), “To change behavior, swift and certain punishment, but not necessarily severe sanctions, should be imposed.” But not necessarily severe…? So, a quick slap on the wrist, perhaps? The only thing swift and certain is how quickly criminals are released from jail. And Mr. Burgess, this is not the cop’s fault.

    The primary question is: how does Councilmember Burgess intend to accomplish his lofty goal. The current city leaders, with a little assistance from the DOJ, and from the Seattle citizens who elected them, have broken their police department, and there’s no sign of anyone who really knows how to make the proper repairs on the horizon. Nope, only folks who want to take what’s broken, and make sure it’s smashed into something unrecognizable. Something that exists only to enforce the city’s social justice dream.

    I really don’t mind if Tim Burgess wins election for mayor. I sincerely do not believe we could do any worse than the current occupant, although I do believe we could do as bad—I just can’t imagine worse. This is not an endorsement, but at least Burgess doesn’t appear to be a leftwing ideologue, just a nice guy, but a typical leftwing politician. As they say, take care for what you wish, Mr. Burgess; you just may get it.

  • Writing is a Time Machine

    Whenever I have time to kill, and my options are boredom or wasting time, I just hop into my time machine. Well, I don’t exactly hop into it, as if it were some actual, physical machine I keep in the attic or basement of my house. In reality, I can bring my time machine anywhere I go. In fact, it comes in different forms, depending on where I am at a particular time. Desktop, laptop, or pen and pad. They all are able to transport writers with equal efficiency.

    What the heck am I talking about, transporting writers? Writing is my time machine. And if nothing else tells you what you should be doing for a living, when you can sit down for what seems a minute, and you find an hour has passed, God is telling you something.

    This also falls under the category: Time flies when you’re having fun. Sounds like Confucius agreed when he said, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Now, this doesn’t mean that you won’t expend effort, feel stress, or suffer setbacks. You will. We all do. But it does mean that in an overarching life sense, the satisfaction that comes from doing what you’re meant to do cannot be equaled.

    I know that in order to become successful in the writing biz it requires a great commitment, which pushes and pulls you in many directions. First and foremost is the product itself. You must create a product to sell, if your intent is to become a professional writer. Learn the craft of writing then endeavor to develop the art of writing. In other words, write, learn to write, and then continue to write.

    But today writers cannot neglect the business end of writing. Developing a web presence, a platform, if you will, is important. And, of course, you must continue to send out manuscripts to agents, editors, and publishers. And if you’re an article writer, or you’re an author who also writes articles, you need to send off many queries. As it goes, you might only get one bite after casting out fifty lines. The same goes if you write short stories. You have to put it out there to get it out there.

    The point is, no one’s going to come and get it from you. You have to get yourself out there and then keep yourself out there. When my alarm goes off at 5:00 AM, all I want to do is roll over, burrow my head back into my pillow, and get back to my dream research. But, and this may sound corny, I actually ask myself, “How badly do you want it?” Want what? I want to write for a living. I don’t even answer. I just get up and I write.

    And this is when the time machine takes me. It doesn’t matter what I’m writing. I’m transported. When I’m writing, it’s almost as if I’m entranced. I love diving into and then swimming in the words. Creating something out of nothing, and then going back and taking out, and putting in, and changing, or tossing the whole thing out and starting again. By the time I get set up at my desk, my morning ally in a mug at the ready, my classical music barely breaking the stillness, it’s usually ten or fifteen minutes past the hour.

    I begin writing. Maybe I’m working on a novel or a book. Perhaps I’m writing a blog, a column, or an article. Whatever it is, I become so enthralled in the process, the first time I look at the clock, inevitably at least forty-five minutes to an hour has passed. It really doesn’t even matter the amount of time that’s passed. The point is, whatever the amount, it feels like only moments have passed, when in actuality it’s likely to be four to five times as much.

  • All that is needed for Socialism to succeed is for good men and women to do nothing.

    All that is required for socialism to prevail is for good men and women to do nothing. I felt compelled to paraphrase Edmund Burke’s famous adage. As ‘ol Vlad Lenin said, socialism is a necessary step toward communism, which has proven itself most evil, indeed.

    Too many city governments today are bent on imposing not simply a political solution where no problem as they describe it exists, but rather a socialist solution under the banner of social justice. And they’ll create and take advantage of whatever crisis they can manufacture. One of these crisis is an open hostility of these governments toward their own police.

    What is sad is that there have been officers and sergeants willing to speak out against this attack on equal justice, but we rarely hear any department members of rank speaking out against this anti-American push. Anti-American? Yes. What do you call seeking to replace individual liberty with some warped notion of collective freedom, and replace equal justice with collective justice?

    Political take overs begin with small events. The Boston Tea Party was a relatively small event at the time, and there were certainly no guarantees in 1773 that any future American Revolution was going to succeed or even happen at all. Those who participated put their love of country and liberty over their desire for commercial or occupational success.

    What will have to happen in order to get command staff level police leaders to finally join those in the rank and file and speak out for American ideals? Will they wait until it’s too late, or will one of those leaders actually become a true leader? Will he or she finally speak out against the municipal and county leftists bent on shaping their police and sheriff’s departments into toothless, mindless robots established only to enforce their social justice agenda?

  • Piling on the SPD

    I guess piling on is just another standard item in the leftist’s playbook. While officers appreciated WA. Rep. Christopher Hurst (Chairman of the House Public Safety Committee) speaking out recently regarding the flaws in the DOJ report in a Special to the [Seattle] Times (Dec. 30, 2011), now we find the cop detractors have not left the building. Rep. Hurst is the only person of note, of which I am aware, to critique the report and stand up for Seattle police officers. Most of the attention is going to those who support the ridiculous DOJ assessment of the SPD.

    Two former civilian auditors for SPD’s Office of Professional Accountability wrote a recent article (DOJ Report on the Seattle Police Department can provide a basis for improvement, Seattle Times, 01/01/12) that piles on, while the SPD is down. Kate Pflaumer and Terrance Carroll express the same warped perspective regarding dealing with dangerous suspects as the DOJ and other SPD detractors. Once again they reiterated the absurd notion that drunk, high, or mentally ill individuals somehow need to be dealt with, with more talk.

    By definition, these folks are not in their right minds. In the case of being drunk and high, it’s by their own volition. They are unpredictable and the officer is in jeopardy every second the suspect is not under control. As long as the suspect is not under control, anything can still happen. But this is just another example of how some non-cops think.

    I would never presume to attempt to tell a surgeon, or an accountant, or even a chef how to do his job better, unless I’d been a surgeon, accountant, or chef for a significant time, and had been successful at it. Yet we have politically motivated, leftie ideologues who presume to tell cops how better to do their jobs. If only they could look at the world through the eyes of a 20-year veteran—hell 5-year veteran cop— even for a minute, then they’d find out just how ridiculous they sound.

    I have several mental health residences in my district and sector including the Sound Mental Health (SMH) facilities. I’ve dealt with hundreds of calls involving the mentally ill, some of them quite violent. Ask the staff at SMH how SPD routinely handles the mentally ill. I won’t be surprised at what they tell you, but the authors and the DOJ would probably be. But then again, I’ve only had about twenty years actually dealing with drunk, high, and mentally ill people. What have I experienced? What have I learned? What do I know?

    I found another aspect of the article fascinating, as much for its literary construction, as for the hypocritical, and contradictory points it makes within the same paragraph. First, the authors agree with the DOJ that an officer’s compelled Use of Force Statement (given involuntarily) should be allowed to be used in court against the officer. However, within the very same paragraph, the authors state the prosecution should be precluded from using a complainant’s statement (given voluntarily) against him or her in court.

    Now, the only reason I can imagine a complainant’s statement being used against him or her in court, would be if he or she lied when writing or dictating it. The authors are concerned that using a statement in court could inhibit people from making police complaints. I must be naïve. Here I am thinking, being able to use a statement in court would just make people feel inhibited from lying to the police.

  • Relax and Write

    I can’t tell you how many times, before sitting down to write, I feel there’s just nothing there, and it’ll be a waste of my time anyway because I don’t feel motivated. In fact, before I wrote this piece, I had this notion. It can be made worse if the writer, or someone else, puts increased pressure on him or her to perform, and perform well.

    Just remember, the primary goal is to get something down on the page. If you only write when you’re inspired, you’re not a real writer, or at least, you’re not prepared to do the hard work to become one.

    There’s this nifty invention called the delete button. If you want to go old school, there’s another invention—I keep one at the ready by my desk—called, the trashcan. It’s a wonderful place to file that unintended excrement that tends to flow out of even the best of writers on occasion. If crumpling up the paper is not destructive enough for you, shredders provide visceral pleasure while destroying writing you’ve disowned.

    I can’t emphasize enough how important just sitting down and putting pen to pad or fingers to keyboard is to any writer. Once you start, sometimes you find your fingers can’t stop. To get going, sometimes I’ll commit to writing only 200, 300, or 400 words. Something relatively short, and then I can stop. Inevitably I’ll exceed whatever quotas I’ve set.

    The key is to relax and write. Let the first sentence or two, or even paragraph or two, be crap. Go ahead. Just risk it. You know you got the crap in you. Make a game of it. You should always go back to edit and revise anyway. Take a few breaths. Or maybe read a page or two of a novel you’re reading just to get those juices flowing. And don’t forget about the trashcan and shredder. But you never know. You just might produce that gem you’ve been hoping for.

  • HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

    Another new year and I trust we’ve committed to give it another go. Time to turn resolutions into commitments. Like we have a choice. Well, not if we count ourselves among those who are driven to better ourselves. For us each new day is New Years Day.

    There are so many ways to better ourselves, but the single best way is to be of service to others. Your family, your community, your God. Some people think it’s selfish to focus on ourselves and to making ourselves better. Well, I don’t know about you, but some of the, nicest, most inspiring, most generous, and most successful people I’ve ever met, are people who’ve taken the time to make themselves the best they can be. Then they are ultimately more capable of being of service to others. They don’t focus their attention on other people’s flaws; they focus on their own flaws. Then, in striving to make themselves better, they can help to make other’s lives better.

    New Years Day is always a great time to contemplate the future. It’s like the gods crumple up last year’s sheet of paper, tossed it away, and hand us a brand new, clean sheet. We can begin to write a new chapter, make right what we got wrong last year, and strive to do better.

    The most important thing is not to waste the gift of time. And I’m not saying this as a person who uses his time to the fullest. I’m saying this as a master time-waster. I’m not proud of that. It’s just the way it happens to be—well, let me correct that. It’s the way it was last year. I have been getting better at using my time over the years. This year I intend to double my efforts to make better use of my time. So, next year I’ll have nothing to improve upon. Yeah, right.

    You’ll notice the date of this blog post: 01/01/2012.

    So far, so good.

    Have a literary, libertarian, and law abiding New Year.