Friday, December 22, 2006

Letter to TheFirstPost about prosecuting...

  • TheFirstPost seems to think we run the police department.

  • And a response, from some other hunting prosecutor! Who-woop!

  • And a response, from some other hunting prosecutor! Who-woop!

  • M(r, Miss, Mrs, Ms.). Bright is dead on, though there's quite as much whipping in as there is hunting with that pack. I suspect dramatic silliness on the stupidity machine has led British audiences to misunderstand our system. It looks very interesting to see some suit (usually well filled by someone who looks like Angie Harmon or Jill Hennessey) telling the detectives to dash out and do something, but there is much more to it.

    We are separate organisations with separate functions and chains of command. I can't make myself a witness, either, or I can't try the case.

    I'll give an example. Some years ago, there was a murder in my county. The murderer (a well known dangerous and violent criminal) told his
    roommate (a mousy, inoffensive character) what he had done, and the roommate
    called the police. In the course of searching the house, arresting the
    killer, and so forth, I was already envisioning the trial. I suggested to the
    officers, "What will the defendant try to present as a defense? He will say the
    roommate did it." Knowing the two people as we did, the theory was silly. But
    a jury wouldn't know them. So I suggested that every thing we did to confirm
    the defendant's guilt- gunshot residue tests, fingerprints, shoe dirt samples-
    we would hear about at trial, because the defense would say we "rushed to
    judgement" and should have done the tests for the roommate, too. So they saw
    the need to do everything on the roommate. The police officers weren't stupid,
    their focus was just different.

    Which is an important point, NO ONE wants to charge the innocent, so
    eliminating them is something we both want to do.

    The British system as it is is unfortunately our default system, too. In MOST U.S.
    jurisdictions, including mine, prosecutors have NO connection with a case until they see it in court. I am unusual in working with officers. Most prosecutors have full plates just going to court, and rolling out at two in the morning isn't something they can reasonably be expected to do. I'm considered a bit odd for doing it, fortunately I have no life.

    It's a shame, too. I believe that a good, enthusiastic prosecutor and good, enthusiastic police officers have better success in forcing the system to put criminals away. And just as in hunting, a good staff can improve indifferent hounds, and vice versa.

    But I do recommend TheFirstPost, it's great. (Servant Problems especially.)

    Thursday, December 14, 2006

    England and France are too rich!

    I see by the Torygraph that the hard working tax payers of England are about to pay a bunch of money to a group of dope fiend criminals. These slugs are being paid because their prisons cut them off heroin too quickly!

    And then, as I was driving in France between Reims and Verdun, I came upon scores of concrete shapes- spheres, pyramids, cubes, triangles, etc.- artfully coloured and placed beside the freeway. I thought to myself, not one in a million people would trash up his own property this way, but someone in the French ministry of cul-chah is convinced that it’s the way we want to spend our tax euros.

    We are too rich. And too stupid, we could change it all.

    Wednesday, December 13, 2006

    A moving blog by a dead person...

    Really. Words of Grandma is diary entries from the poster's grandmother's diaries. Here's one from 1945-

  • "I hope Duane doesn't have to go - not that he's better than anyone else but . . . I love him."

  • How many people have said that over the years. The dead have monuments and holidays, the veterans (SHOULD) have respect in the free country they fought for, but remember the sacrifices of the ones left behind.

    Tuesday, December 12, 2006

    Back to the U. S. A...

    Or as my littermate calls it, "God's own country".

    Glad to be back! Unfortunately CNN did not vanish during my absence, but it still provides TV-B-GONE with lots of fun as I stroll the halls.

    Airplane boarding is delayed because the airplane has a flat tire!!

    No, wait, it's a thumbtack! I'm off!

    Monday, December 11, 2006


  • They are SO FUN !!!!

  • A friend suggested that I try these out, so I did. The first time I couldn't get tickets, so the next week I arrived at 7:30 on Sunday morning. The next person in line (at a more sensible 9:30) was a fellow American from San Francisco. By the time the doors were opened, there was a long line. SF had spoken with a slide veteran who revealed that the fourth floor slide was the one to finish with, so our selected order of go was 5-3-4. Up to the 5th floor, feet in the bag, and WHOOSH! There is no way to describe it other than being sucked down the drain! Not some weak drain, but some sort of power assisted evacuation pump from a battleship or a skyscraper.

    The sensation is just delicious. It is sudden, instant, and intense. And over WAAAAY too quickly, before I knew it I was spewed out onto the landing ramp, slowing to a gentle stop. I had a HUGE SMILE and my whole being was shouting, I WANT SOME MORE OF THAT !!!

    So I barreled up to the third floor, a little line but only a couple of minutes. Whoosh! Not as long as 5, but similar.

    Dash to 4, a 5 minute wait. The attendant made his sliders put on elbow pads. Feet in the sack, push off...


    THAT's what I'm talking about! 4 is not just a cork screw, it has straightaways. So in addition to being sucked down the drain, there is this powerful side to side slamming sensation.

    The only way I can describe it is that I felt like a living physics experiment. No, I became physics, a living demonstation of Newtonian dynamics.

    PROFOUNDLY head clearing.

    I don't know who you are, gentle reader, but YOU WANT TO DO THIS.

    SF, who had to leave to catch a flight, was in the landing area and pressed an extra set of tickets on me. Turns out that the admitters had provided an extra set upon SF's request. So I used those, and waited for one more round. And I was still driving past Heathrow at 11.30.

    I spent about 10 minutes in the landing area watching the reactions. EVERYONE had a big smile, except for one child who had bumped his head.

    Sliding tips-


    5 and 4. Don't bother with the others.

    I saw all ages from 7-8 to late 60s.

    Wear clothes without big buttons or other protrusions, be "slick".

    Keep your head off the bottom of the slide and your elbows in.

    Try it with eyes closed, also eyes open. Just for variety.

    Spend a few minutes watching the landings.

    Final event, when I was leaving I was meeting an incoming group of twenty five year olds who looked like the sort who go to modern art galleries for the effeteness fix. Front and center of the group was a standard artsy pretty girl, with a Persian cast to her features. She had the standard "I am so above/bored/uninterestable" expression, her mouth a dead straight line and her face like a botox advert. Clearly she was out to impress the boys around her with her unimpressability.

    Having been on holiday for a month, I was at the no editing at all stage of behaviour. The slides had pasted a huge dazed idiot grin across my face, which stayed there as the group and I approached. I looked her full in the face, and we made eye contact. My smile got even bigger as I thought, and then said, "You won't look like that after you ride the slides- you'll look like THIS, too!" (Pointing to my face.)

    Her mouth twitched just the least little bit, and she looked down to avoid showing emotion. But she smiled later, I'll bet.

    And to the San Franciscan, thank you for the guidance, the tickets, and mostly for the improvement that sharing brought. Seeing you experience it and light up too made the day even better. I hope you made your flight.