Police Abuse #4

In Auburn, Alabama, former Auburn police officer Justin Hanners claims that the local police force operates on a ticket and arrest quota system.  I'm sure most people have always suspected that police departments operate on ticket quotas.  But, I had never heard of an arrest quota before now.  In any case, Mr. Hanners was fired because he didn't keep quiet about this alleged quota system in Auburn, Alabama (home of the biggest cheaters in college football).  Mr. Hanners alleges that cops were ordered to get the really big tickets that drew the biggest fines such as speeding and running red lights.  Also, the Auburn Police Department demanded each officer make 100 contacts (making arrests, conducting field interviews, writing tickets and issuing warnings) a month.  Now, think about that for the moment.  In a town of only 52K, that would amount to 72K contacts a year.  That means some people could be cited twice, possibly stopped, field sobriety tests aka harassment in one year.   The officers with the most contacts were given gift cards, which is or should be unlawful as a gratuity to Law Enforcement Officers (LEO).  The former police officer frequently voiced his concerns to department heads in Auburn.  But, he was told to drop it.  Mr. Hanners refused to drop it and was fired for standing up for what was right.

At the time of this post, former Auburn police officer Justin Hanners has not filed a lawsuit.  I suspect that will take place just any day now.  Many people are coming to Mr. Hanners defense, including Fox News Judge Andrew Napolitano.  A Facebook page dedicated to creating a fund for Mr. Hanners has been made.  If you wish to contribute to helping a "good police officer,"  click HERE.  The Auburn Police Department may or may not be the norm among all police departments.  If it is the norm, it is unconstitutional.  Police Officers swore an oath to uphold the laws of the land.  By setting arrest and ticket quotas, they lose all credibility.   It is a shame that a good police officer had to be fired before this travesty was brought to the light of day.  Justin Hanners will never get another job in law enforcement due to the code of silence behind the so-called thin blue line.  However, he can sleep easy at night knowing he did what was right,  At the end of the day, the others who complied with this quota system will be held accountable.  Let's all hope that will be the case here.


Attack of the Feral Cats

One of the most popular tourist spots, in France, was the scene of a near fatal attack on a tourist by feral cats.  Yes, feral cats.  A young woman on vacation was attacked by six feral cats in the city of Belfort, in the popular Franche-Comte region.  The cats actually dragged her down and mauled her.  These cats must have been big.  She had many bites, including one that almost severed an artery.  She was walking her poodle at the time and the poodle was even attacked by the cats.  The woman was taken to the hospital and treated for the bites.  She received a rabies shot in case the cats were rabid.  Officials of Belfort stated that this was unusual for feral cats to attack humans and that they are concerned about it.  With 8,000 cats being born every day, you would think they would be concerned.  However, for the most part, feral cats are harmless and shy away from human contact.

Shying away from human contact is not always the case as amply demonstrated by the attack on the tourist in Belfort.  When I was a small child, I sometimes stayed with grandparents (maternal).  There was an abandoned house across the road from my grandparents home.  A colony of feral cats took up residence there.  I watched them quite a bit as I noticed they seemed to have a hierarchy established.  There was one huge yellow cat that seemed to have the attention of the females (just guessing, the majority were probably females).  The rat and squirrel problem that had plagued that area for so long disappeared due to all those cats which probably numbered between 25-30.  But, the feral cats were becoming aggressive and more territorial.  They would frequently urinate on my grandparents porch as if they were marking their territory.  They also would tear into my grandparents clothes after grandma took the clothes out to dry on the clothes line.  Grandpa demanded the city do something with them.  Animal Control Officers (ACO) came one day to try to capture them.  These cats, rather than run, launched an attack on the Animal Control Officers.  These officers ran to their truck after having been attacked by several of the feral cats from the colony.  Additional help came and they sent some kind of gas into the house that either knocked them out or killed them all.  They wouldn't tell us which.  I suspect it killed them by the way they were placed in bags.

It was a bit sad to see that since I am animal lover.  But, I remember one ACO telling me that if a cat does not have human contact within the first three weeks of their lives, they are feral from that point on.  There was no way these cats could become domesticated.  Since that time, I have discovered that is not accurate.  But, I'm not sure how a feral cat is domesticated.


Reconciliation: Life Can Be Strange

A week ago I made a post on the meaning of life.  I talked about a young lady who appeared to be in the final stages of her life coming to my hospital bed to console me.  I will never forget that as long as I live. It was both a bit strange to me and in another sense, quite gratifying to have someone I didn't know come in to console me.  For all I know, that young lady may now be deceased.  She seemed in very bad health.  In April of 2012, I made a post entitled "Divorce:  The Final Goodbye."   In that post, I mentioned how I had made my final goodbye to my ex-wife.  I talked about how she did something that caused me to tell her not to ever contact me again.  Not contact me for any reason.  I admit now, I was very angry when I wrote up that post on this blog.  I have been bitter and angry toward all women since that divorce.  It affected all the relationships I have had since that time.  So, it is still a part of me that harbored some resentment toward her.  Since that post, I regretted some of the things I had said to my ex-wife.  There were some things left better unsaid.  I wanted to hurt her.  Regrettably, I did just that.  I never mentioned that in any follow-up post.  I should have made a follow-up of how I hurt her.  But, I did not do it.

All this is leading to something I never imagined would happen between myself and my ex-wife; reconciliation.   I'm astonished even typing that word with my ex-wife in the same sentence.  We have talked to each other for approximately six weeks by phone, texting and email.   I have explained to her where she went wrong in our marriage.  She explained where I want wrong in our marriage.  As is often said, marriage is a two-way street.  There is give and take.  There is a meeting of the minds, so to speak.  I realize this now.  I should have realized it before our divorce.  I have admitted on this blog before that I had done my part to cause the divorce.  I just didn't go into great detail.  I'm not going to do that even now.  Some things are just not worth rehashing.  It's better left to discussion with the person whom you are trying to work things out.  We both are a long way from getting to the point to where we want to live together or remarry.  We both are taking things slowly, one day at a time.  We have lots of things to work through.  But, one thing that I have to admit now, I truly never stopped loving my ex-wife even though I felt she did me wrong.  She feels the same way, I am convinced.  I realize that sometimes, love is not enough to recommit yourself to someone.  As I stated in my novel (Diary:  Alone on Earth), "Sometimes there are no answers.  Sometimes there are only questions."  I think that fully explains why people sometimes divorce.

I am going to be on hiatus for a week, possibly two weeks from this blog. I plan on staying with my ex-wife during this time.  We want to see if we can work through what set us apart.  We want to see if love can truly overcome differences.  I don't know if we will succeed.  I must acknowledge this.  But, the embers of our relationship have always been there even when I steadfastly refused to acknowledge it.  So, we are going to try.  We are going to work at this for a week or two.  After that, we'll take stock of ourselves to see if we want to proceed further.  Even if things don't work out, at least we both can say we tried.  That's all you can ask of anyone....you have to try.  Last post for a week, possibly two weeks. 


Legend of the Bunny Man

I confess, I never heard of this legend until a friend of mine from Virginia started talking to me about it last Saturday.  Bunny Man doesn't exactly strike fear or curiosity at first glance.  But, you have to dig deeper into this legend.  It seems the Bunny Man legend got started due to a couple of incidents that took place in Fairfax, Virginia back in 1970.   The legend itself has spread all over the Washington D.C. area.  As you have probably surmised, there are different variations of the legend.  That happens when the story is told over and over and by various people.  Most of the story variations take place in the Colchester Overpass area or, as locals refer to it, "Bunny Man Bridge."  This legend got started when a bus carrying convicts flipped over in Fairfax, Virginia.  All of the convicts on the bus died except one, Douglas J. Grifon.  His body was never recovered.  For many, he is the Bunny Man who has wreaked havoc in the Fairfax area.

The first incident reported was on October 19, 1970.  An Air Force Academy Cadet and his girlfriend were visiting relatives in Burke.  They both came back from a football game on that night and talked near the car in which they came.  Long story short, someone smashed in the front passenger window.  It was a man in a white bunny suit, with long bunny ears, as the couple described to police.  They also found a hatchet on the car floor.  The second report was only ten days later when a security guard noticed a man on the porch of an unfinished house on Guinea Road.  He also was wearing a bunny suit with long ears.  He was chopping at the porch with an axe.  The Bunny Man threatened the security guard, according to the report.  Both incidents were closed by police due to lack of evidence.

Over the years, locals have found hundreds of cleanly skinned, half-eaten rabbit carcasses hanging in trees in the Fairfax County area.  Police started conducting searches of the area and found the remains of a man named  Marcus Wallster hanging in a tree in a similar fashion as the rabbits.  Now, the police started their search for the missing convict, Douglas J. Grifon.  In one version of the story, police actually locate Grifon.  But, he is killed by an oncoming train where the original transport crashed.  This version of the legend continues that on Halloween, dozens of half-eaten rabbit carcasses are found on the Bunny Man Bridge.  There are other versions of this legend, of course.  But, this one seems most popular.  My friend says some nights, you can actually see an apparition on Bunny Man Bridge, particularly on winter nights.  As I said earlier, I'd never heard of this legend before.  But, since this blog has taken a turn toward the supernatural, the paranormal, urban legend and unusual, I thought I would make a post about it today.

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Life: What is its Meaning?

It was hard to title this post.  I've thought about my life a lot this year as I have experienced health issue after health issue.  From a terrible cold to a four-day stay in the hospital because of Diverticulitis to continued lumbar disc problems, I've often wondered is this what my life is going to be like as I continue to age.  I'll be 62 in September.  I can remember a time when I thought 25 was old.  Of course, there are lots of people who have not lived as long as I have.  My little sister only lived to age 25.  She always worried about getting old.  She will eternally be 25-years old.  She would have been 50 next year were she still alive today.  So, life is different things to different people.  We take things for granted in life.  We all expect to rise up in the morning and begin our daily routine.  But, no one is promised tomorrow.  I don't believe in living life as it were your last on earth.  But, I have discovered that I need to appreciate each day I have now.  There was a time when I did not do that.  In October of 2010, my life nearly ended due to my neglect of a gallbladder that nearly burst.  That was a wake-up call for me.  I pay attention to the signals my body send me now.  My bout with Diverticulitis is a case in point.  My doctor told me in some cases, left untreated, Diverticulitis requires surgery.  It appears (at this time) I won't have to do that.  My back problem is another story.  I may be headed for another back surgery.  Hopefully, that won't be the case.

All this inner reflection is due to someone I met at the hospital during my bout with Diverticulitis.  I was on the floor where people were recovering from surgery of some sort.  It was the second day of my agony with nausea and the medicine was doing little for me.  As I lay in bed, feeling sorry for myself, in comes this young lady who appeared very thin, pale and just barely walking with the help of a walker.  She had one of those skull caps on that people wear when they want to hide their bald heads.  She asked me how I was doing.  I told her I had been in better shape before.  She asked if she could pray for me.  I said, "Of course.  Thank you."  She said her prayers and touched my hand in a comforting manner.  She then asked if I would pray for her sometime if it were appropriate.  I assured her I would and did.  Lydia (which was her name) said goodbye and wished me the best in my life.  I thought about that young lady.  She appeared in very bad health judging from her sunken facial features.  Yet, she still found time to come to my room to comfort me, a total stranger.

I asked the nurse the next morning about Lydia.  She said due to HIPAA,  she could not discuss her condition.  But, she did tell me she was discharged that morning to return home, in New Orleans, for the last time.  The nurse looked at me and I got the meaning.  There was nothing else anyone on earth could do for her.  I thought about that.  I thought about her all morning and even now, I still think about that young lady who came to my room to comfort me.  I think how someone who was dying and had, perhaps, days to live still sought out to comfort someone else in not nearly as bad health as she.  So, what is the meaning to life?  It's people like Lydia who give true meaning to life.  It's people like Lydia who define our purpose, and our being in life itself.  God Bless "Lydia" and everyone like her.


Amazing Historical Facts

I'm what you might call a "factoid."  I love ironic, unusual facts in science and in history.  As you can tell lately, I have been delving into the strange and unusual in history.  Today I'm going to present you with some amazing facts and I will give a brief commentary.  I take this from this page.   There are 87 interesting facts on this page linked above.  I'm just going to deal with ten of them.  So, let's get started.

1.  People have been wearing glasses for about 700 years. (Now, I admit I find this surprising as an eyeglass wearer since I was only 15 years old).

2.  The US federal income tax was first enacted in 1862 to support the Union's Civil War effort. It was eliminated in 1872, revived in 1894 then declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court the following year. In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution made the income tax a permanent fixture in the US tax system. (There is still some debate and controversy of the 16th Amendment giving the federal government the right to levy taxes on citizens.  Some say the 16th Amendment is misinterpreted to benefit the federal government).

3The custom of shaking hands with the strangers originated to show that both the parties were unarmed.  (So, that's how that got started.  I've always assumed it was just a way to greet people).

4.  The Black Death reduced the population of Europe by one third in the period from 1347 to 1351.  (Think about that for a moment.  One-third of the population of Europe died from disease).

5.  Cleopatra married two of her brothers.  (I've read that Cleopatra was a nymphomaniac.  But, her own brothers?).

6.  The first novel ever written on a typewriter was Tom Sawyer.  (Ok, I admit I found this surprising that Mark Twain actually had a typewriter and knew how to type).

7.  In the 1800s, if you attempted suicide and failed, you would have to face the death penalty.  (I can't even begin to understand the logic behind this).

8.  During the First World War, the punishment for homosexuality in the French army was execution.  (Well, times have obviously changed, haven't they?)

9.  Roman Emperor Caligula was so upset by the death of his sister Drusila that he imposed a year of mourning. During this time, everyone in the empire was forbidden to dine with his family, laugh or take a bath. The penalty for transgression was death.  (The man was crazy in more ways than just one.  If I'm not mistaken, he had taken his sister for a lover).

10.  It has been calculated that in the last 3,500 years, there have only been 230 years of peace throughout the civilized world.  (That is an incredible stat if true.  It seems after 3500 years, people could learn to get along).

Yeah, most are useless facts.  But, I found these the most interesting out of the entire list of 87 that were listed.  You can click on the link above to view all the others.

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