Behaviors and Attitudes
Sam Aurelius Milam III
As much as the term good cop seems like an oxymoron, I once knew a man who'd been a good cop or who, at least, had tried to be a good cop. His name was Frank. He'd been in the infantry in Vietnam and, after being discharged from the army, he'd found a job as a cop. Some time after he left that job, I met him at Advanced Micro Devices, in Sunnyvale, California, where we both worked as quality assurance technical auditors. Frank had some interesting stories to tell about his experiences in the police force.
One Saturday morning, Frank was sent to investigate a complaint about a "youth gang" that was congregating on a street corner in a residential neighborhood. When he arrived at the scene, sure enough, there was a group of young men standing at the corner. Frank had a congenial manner, so he was able to approach the young men without any trouble. After a brief conversation, he understood their problem. Usually, they spent most of their Saturday mornings at the local YMCA. Sadly, that institution had been closed. There hadn't been any advance notice. They'd just shown up as usual that Saturday morning and discovered a locked door with a "closed" sign on it. They didn't have any place to go.
Police force policy didn't permit Frank to help them in any way. It required him to order them to disperse. So, he took their names and sent them away. That evening, after he was off duty, out of uniform, and on his own time and at his own expense, he went door-to-door in the neighborhood, asking for help. Eventually, he found a woman who agreed to make her game room available to the young men, as a place to spend their Saturday mornings, at least until some other arrangement could be found. Frank notified each of the young men, on his own time. Thus, he solved the problem.
Frank was sometimes assigned to sit in his patrol car, half a block or so away from a bar, near closing time. His instructions were to watch for somebody to stagger out of the bar, get into a car, and drive away. His orders were to follow the car for about a block, pull the driver over, arrest him, and impound his car. He asked if he could just give such drivers a ride home. He was ordered not to do so. He was told that he wasn't a taxi service. His job wasn't to help people. It was to arrest them and impound their cars.
Frank said that he couldn't have the kinds of behaviors and attitudes that were required of him, if he wanted to be a cop, so he found other work. If all cops were like Frank, then things might be better. Maybe they could serve and protect the people, and not just the police state. Who knows? Maybe good cop wouldn't even be such a contradiction in terms as it is now.
My Life to Live
Sam Aurelius Milam III
In an editorial reply, on page 3 of the April issue, I predicted that the Coronavirus would increase the government's power to control people. That seems to have been an accurate prediction. Sadly, it seems that most people actually prefer to be controlled by the government but I did recently notice an exception. A government-regulated network news program showed a video of a man who declared that the decision whether or not to wear a mask ought to be a personal decision, and that the government ought not to be involved in it. He was completely correct and, indeed, he presented a good example of a general principle.
I've watched for decades now as activists and their opponents fought about how to control me. The self-appointed saviors of mankind will rant about some risk, and demand that people should be forced, against their wills, to protect themselves from it. Crash helmets and seat belts come to mind. Presently, it's masks. The opponents will challenge the effectiveness of the proposed protection, which is always a losing argument and is beside the point anyway. The same lame debate, by the same kinds of idiots, on different risks, has recurred for decades. It's a waste of time and an insult to the intelligence of anybody who has any.
I don't care if a mask, a helmet, a seat belt, or anything else will protect me. The point is that it should be my decision. The evangelistic reformers should stop forcibly imposing their oppressive dogma on me. Neither the government nor the reformers own me. I own me. It's my life. I should be able to decide for myself how to live it, and whether or not to risk it.
|The View from the South
Sam Aurelius Milam III
The removal of historically significant statues in support of a political agenda is just as dishonest as is the falsification of history books in support of a political agenda. The purge of Confederate monuments that's been going on recently is in support of some such agenda. Maybe they're just troublemakers who aren't happy unless they're complaining about something. Maybe they've resurrected the misnamed, so-called Civil War, and want to continue fighting it. I don't know. Whatever the case, they aren't trying to solve a problem. They're trying to forcibly impose an ideology.
Pots and Kettles
Letters to the Editor
Well, here it is, a week after the feckless celebration of "Amerika" [letter dated July 9], so intent on keeping the truth from seeing the light of day. I do not know how thinking men are able to endure the amount and level of insanity so pervasive around us.
The upside of this agenda by the communistic democratic governor is that a few of us old prisoners with underlying conditions like heart & lung problems, diabetes, etc., are being IDed for release. Don't know the details or "when" unless it's after we all get the COVID-19 & DIE! A great prison population reduction measure!
I have lost 90+% of the vision in my right eye and do not know if another surgery will fix anything & bring back some semblance of depth perception! Hope so.
Saw JM's letter to ed. [July issue, page 2] so we will see if he gets off parole in Oct?! Here in CA, the parole people do not follow the U.S. Supreme Court case of Parkingham v. North Carolina and just hassle anyone trying to use the internet!
Well friend, until next time.
—E. E., a prisoner
I just got your July issue, and we enjoyed the DB Cooper story best! [Letter to the Editor, pages 2 - 3] But let me tell ya, there is now 705 inmates at this prison who are infected with the virus, and 1 death so far....
But a while back, I was listening to Coast to Coast AM radio, and they were reporting that the Corona virus was created in a bio-hazard research lab the Wuhan province of China and one of the employees working at the lab had been taking the dead lab test animals out of the facility, and they were selling them to people to eat on, and that is how the virus began spreading, and they now suspect that this is how the SARS virus got started as well, what do ya think?
—Howie in the Max
I don't know how and where the viruses originated. Intentional development and intentional or accidental release are among the possibilities. There are also other possibilities. For example, see page 11 of Ravin' Evermore, in Pharos.
Hello. I'm writing a quick note to just check in on you. I pray this letter finds you OK. I had planned on writing more to you in regards to D. B. Cooper [July issue, pages 2 - 3] But, we are on 23 hour a day lockdown due to Covid 19. And it is way too hot, lately.
Your essays [Money, Taxes, and Corporations, in Pharos] have been quite a help for me to understand the economics our country is under. I never realized our economy was so fragile, basically based on smoke and mirrors.
Well, like I said, this was just a quick note letting you know you crossed my mind and your well being is always prayed for.
—S. H., a prisoner
In the government schools, they don't teach about economies that use money, but about economies that use loans, debt, and credit, all based on the vapor standard. During the 1960 - 1961 semester in high school, I went through an entire course of General Business and all that I learned was how to use checks. I spent a total of 19 years in the government-regulated educational establishment and, not once, not even remotely, did I ever encounter the actual definition of real money. I'd never have even known that such a thing exists, except that my father taught it to me at home. There you have a clue about why the authorities try so hard to get the children away from the parents at as young an age as possible, and try to keep them away for as much of the time as possible.
|Welcome to Documentaryland
And the Rest of the Story
Sam Aurelius Milam III
An episode of The Aviators, on the Quest channel, dealt with World War I aviation. During the discussion of air-to-air combat, the program included several views of B-17 bombers, and a vintage photo of Winston Churchill.
Now for the rest of the story. B-17 bomber's weren't used during WWI. They weren't developed until the 1930's. The photo of Winston Churchill that was shown, in a World War I documentary, was a World War II era photo.
The Pursuit of Justice
The Fable of Benny
As Retold by Sam Aurelius Milam III
In ancient times, in a faraway and exotic land, there lived a mage's apprentice called Benny. Actually, his name was much longer and more complicated than that but, for now, I'll call him Benny. Besides that, while it is generally known and acknowledged that the use of a man's true name can give one power over him, it is less generally known and acknowledged, but just as true, that the use of a man's true name might also give him power over the user. So, for convenience and for my own protection, I'll call him Benny.
As I noted, Benny was a mage's apprentice and, at the time of this incident, had been apprenticed to that particular mage for several hundred years. Much time is needed to learn the Mage's Arts and, necessarily, mages lend to their apprentices the years of longevity that are necessary for such study. Once an apprentice becomes a mage, he is entirely capable of seeing to his own longevity but, while an apprentice, he gets it from his master.
Benny thoroughly studied all that was assigned to him by his mage, and did all that was required of him. Even so, he never told his master of his real agenda, but he did have one. His real agenda was to be endlessly and immensely wealthy. So, while he did as instructed by his master, he also secretly studied certain arts, potions, incantations, and powerful spells which were, shall we say, extracurricular. After several centuries, he was ready. However, he needed first to dispose of his master, who would certainly have prevented any such scheme as Benny had in mind. Several decades of preparation were required for that but a mage must be patient above all else, and that's one of the first things that an apprentice learns. So, eventually, in the fullness of time, Benny succeeded in disposing of his master. After that, it was a simple matter to evoke the fearsome phantom that would be capable of granting Bunny's wishes. The phantom appeared when called and was happy to grant the wish. However, the phantom imposed one condition, as was its right.
The phantom granted Benny unending and immense wealth, provided only that Benny never cut his beard. He was warned to never cut it, however long it grew. Not only, warned the phantom, would Bunny's wealth immediately disappear, if ever he cut his beard but, as an additional consequence, Benny would be instantly changed into a fancy, ornamental funeral vase.
Benny happily agreed to the condition and instantly became endlessly and immensely wealthy. He lived in unimaginable luxury for many years, during which his beard grew to such a length that he needed servants to follow him around, carrying it behind him.
There was, however, an unexpected side effect of being endlessly and immensely wealthy, which is what Benny had demanded of the phantom, word for word. The unexpected side effect resided in the "endlessly" part. In order to be endlessly wealthy, Benny had to live forever. A beard can grow quite long in several millennia and, eventually, it became impossible to manage. There eventually came a time when Benny began to suspect, or at least to hope, that, after so long, the phantom had probably forgotten all about him anyway, and maybe it wouldn't hurt anything, after all, to just shave the beard completely. After all, he could become wealthy all over again and the beard would probably be long again before the phantom even noticed, if it ever did. Just to be on the safe side, Benny hid a large quantity of funds where even the tax collectors wouldn't be able to find it. If it was safe from them then it would certainly be safe from the phantom. Then, Benny shaved off his beard. As the last whisker was severed, the phantom poofed into existence and changed Benny into an urn.
Moral: A Benny shaved is a Benny urned
My thanks to the following: El Dorado Bob; Betty; and Eric, of Ione, California.
Signs of Getting Older
Two Blonde Jokes
blondes were walking down the street when one of them noticed a compact
on the sidewalk. She picked it up, opened it, and looked in the mirror.
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— Sam Aurelius Milam III, editor