Saturday, February 14, 2015

Black Sabbath My All Time Favorite Album

Sometimes I actually give some little time wasting consideration to the question of what is my all time favorite album and I kind of teeter back and forth between a few from The Grateful Dead such as: Workingman's Dead (the original) or American Beauty or Reckoning (disc 1 & disk 2) or Grateful Dead (the album) as compared to Black Sabbath's first Album - Black Sabbath. Such was my mindset this evening and I arrived at my usual and unerring conclusion. Without a doubt, the hands down winner is Black Sabbath. Now, let me tell you, I was and remain a bigger fan of the Dead than I was ever of Black Sabbath. Yet, nothing in my mind beats that album for music or lyrics.

Listen to it here, and hopefully this is an unadulterated version:


I love it, not only because it was one of my first albums, if not the first album, I ever owned and not only because it was banned by the Catholic Church in its newspaper The Tablet but because it was and remains one hell (no pun intended) of an album. It is truly an excellent work.

My favorite set begins at about 27:43 and ends at about 38:08 in this version of the album.

By the way, for second place - it's probably a tie between one of those Grateful Dead albums I just mentioned. Man do they bring back memories of time gone by.

All the best,
Glenn B

Thinking Of You

All the best,
Glenn  B

Food For Thought - Are Shooting Lessons Appropriate Mental Therapy

You know,  I believe the guy who shot them should be executed (or at least wind up in jail for life) if convicted; yet, I also find myself pondering why they ever took a guy reportedly suffering from both PTSD and schizophrenia out shooting (source). I know the reason - on the face of it - was to help him. Still, I find myself asking did they consult with anyone who was treating the guy or with any mental health quack professional to see if that would an acceptable activity or if it would be considered a dangerous risk with a guy in his state of mind at the time they took him shooting? (It is my understanding, and I may be wrong, that they knew he reportedly was suffering from both PTSD and schizophrenia.)

Don't get me wrong, I am not faulting them in any way, they were trying to do good for the guy. Now that it has happened, I am just trying to give food for thought to others who might think that a day at the range might be just the thing for a person with a mental illness. I am thinking that in some cases the answer is a definitive yes but also that in other cases, such as folks suffering from a psychosis, you would be risking your life, or the lives of others, to do so. If you plan on taking a mentally ill person, especially a severe case, to the range, you had best give it some long hard thought beforehand and may want to consider consulting with a mental health professional beforehand.

Hopefully justice will be done.

All the best,
Glenn B

Survey Says - Police Brutality Or Not - Was The Officer Justified

Based on the scant evidence available to the public, what is your judgment as to whether or not the police officer, in the following video, is guilty of assault or was merely doing his job as trained and as justified by use of force guidelines and by the actions of the suspect? Watch the video. Then please answer my question by jotting down your answer immediately after watching the video, don't read ahead until you do so. 

Maybe you want to watch it again before proceeding.

Okay, now that you have watched the video and jotted down your determination as to justified or not, please read the article at this link (also watch the video that is in the article, it is a bit different than the first one as it shows two views). Pay careful attention to the facts that are divulged in the article and accept them as facts on the face of it until proven otherwise just as you accepted what you saw in the video as factual on the face of it. Now that you have read the article, telling you what the police said happened, is your determination as to whether or not the officer was justified the same as it was before reading the article. Please jot down another note marked as #2 as to what you now believe. When you make your note this time, please do it independently of the statements and or actions of the chief of police and the district attorney and based only on the facts you know so far (after seeing both videos and reading the news account) directly bearing on the actions of the officer. After watching video and reading the reported facts, is your take on this the same as that of the chief of police who said the officer will be fired and the same as that of the District Attorney who has charged him with assault. Do you think those determinations correct or do you think they were made due to political correctness after recent police related incidents which resulted in violent protests?

Bear with me please for just one more request for another comment from you. I want you to determine yet a third time as to whether or not you think the officer was justified or not. Before making this third decision, bear in mind that:

The officer legally had a right to stop the man after receiving a call about a suspicious man, engaged in suspicious activities, in the neighborhood. He also had a right to question him. If what the police said is true, about the man continually trying to walk away from him and then trying to jerk away from him during the frisk (which is apparent in yet a longer length video of the incident) and you add that to the call of suspicious activity and maybe add that the suspect (which indeed Mr. Patel was a suspect at that moment) was acting hinky (nervous) and that Mr. Patel reportedly put his hands in his pockets as he tried to jerk away, the officer probably had enough reasonable cause to frisk him for weapons. Also bear in mind (and I readily admit I could not tell one way from the other by watching the video) if the officer reasonably believed that the man was going for a weapon (putting his hands into his pockets as he tried to jerk away from the officer), the officer had the right to stop the perceived threat to defend himself.

As for the move he used, the officer was almost definitely taught the move he used in his police training and even if not, it would have been considered an acceptable and legal amount of force in such an instance (if indeed the suspect put his hands into his pockets and tried to move away while being frisked) in any training I ever received or taught during my 32 years in federal law enforcement if an officer reasonably believed a suspect was reaching for a weapon (or even if merely trying to escape under some circumstances). There is no reason for that to have changed in the three plus years since I retired except maybe because of someone using political correctness to guide his judgment.

Now, accepting that what I said that the legality of the stop, the pat-down and the use of force are legitimate, please note down one more time if you think the officer was justified or not in the use of force. Please do not argue that you think it not justified based on your personal opinion and feelings. Unless you can argue those points from a purely legal standpoint don't distract from this discussion by ranting on and on about how the state is a tyranny and officers are running amuck. In other words, please go by the law and not by your opinion of the current law. If you want, please also add an explanation as to why you think he was or was not justified. Then put all three of your answers labeled 1,2 and 3 into a comment for this post. I am looking for intelligent and respectful discussion here, any deviation from that will be deleted. Don't read further here until you have done so because I do not want to influence your decision by what else I have to say here.

As to the extent of injuries suffered by Mr. Patel (the suspect and or victim depending on how one sees it), I can only imagine that the man suffered from some condition by which the bones of his vertebrae were weakened. I base that on lots of experience with takedowns over the years, both personally doing them and seeing other officers do them - most onto sidewalks or blacktop and not onto front lawns. After participating in and seeing literally hundreds of them, I never once saw anyone injured in anyway that even came close to the injuries sustained by Mr. Patel. About the worst I have seen, from such a takedown, was a broken nose. In fact, I and probably you have seen way too many news reports with videos of people getting brutally beaten but that have not resulted in such horrific injuries.

One thing I have seen though that you probably have not unless you are in LE, and have seen it at least scores of times, was suspects reaching into their pockets to pull out a weapon. I have never seen a man put his hands into his pockets, in a frisk situation, for no reason except to either pull out a weapon or to try to dispose of drugs or other evidence (usually running suspects are those who try to dispose of evidence but I have seen it with stationary suspects as well but with them a weapon has been more likely in my experience). Before you say it, allow me to note that not even once have I seen someone try to pull out ID when I was frisking them like that and not even once have I seen a guy just put his hands into his pockets like that during a frisk for no apparent reason. In my experience it would have been probable that it was due to him trying to grab a weapon. I am not saying that it might not happen simply because someone has a weird reaction to being stopped and frisked but what I am saying is that a move like that, if it indeed took place (which I cannot tell from the video) would be more than enough reasonable suspicion that the man had a weapon for the officer to have used a defensive takedown, in fact with all things considered that the officer knew, it would have amounted to probable cause.

Now think about it, it was evidently a defensive takedown (in my opinion) on the face of it if in fact the officer believed he was at risk (and again I am not sold on that yet but neither am I denying the possibility of it). It was defensive because as soon as the officer took him down and controlled him, he handcuffed him. He, nor any of the other officers, began to beat or otherwise do anything to Mr. Patel except try to get him up to complete the frisk and they did so without applying any unnecessary force. Then they gently helped him back to the ground when they realized he was incapable of walking or standing. They did nothing that would indicate police brutality as far as I can see unless the takedown itself was brutality and was not legally justified. On that point, without me making up my mind one way or the other on the actions of the officer, I believe the chief of police and DA has overreacted out of political correctness but, of course, they may have more evidence available to them so that is merely my guess right now.

Note just one other thing, I am not making a determination one way or the other as to whether or not the officer was justified so, don't start an argument with me over what you believe is my mindset on this issue. My mind truly is not made up on it but I am very curious to see what others out there think after they see the video, then after they see some additional background on it, and then after they understand what would justify those actions on the part of the officer.

As a final note, bear in mind that if you are ever stopped by law enforcement officers, whether you think the reason for the stop legitimate or not, I highly recommend that you do not make any sudden move(s) that the officer(s) might see as you reaching for a weapon. Again though, with this last comment, I am not justifying or condemning the action(s) of the officer in question, just trying to let you know a good way to prevent yourself from being injured when in a stop situation.

Oh, one more question. I mentioned a longer version of the video above - in the event you would you take the time to watch it, I have embedded it below. It gives a lot more information:

I wonder, did the additional content of the longer video change your mind at all as to the facts and as to justification or not?

All the best,
Glenn B