Monthly Archives: November 2007

It Must Be Nice To Have a Union…

In February, rookie Cincinnati Police Officer Elizabeth Phillips responded to a pair of car crashes but didn’t ticket anyone. That omission annoyed her boss, so Phillips wrote a pair of tickets. The drivers were long gone, however, so she decided to forge their signatures on the ticket and throw away their copies.

This made it appear that both drivers had signed a promise to appear in court when in fact they didn’t even know they’d been cited for traffic violations. When neither one showed up on the assigned court date, the judge issued warrants for their arrest.

To the credit of the Cincinnati police, when one of the drivers complained, the department investigated and figured out what happened. Phillips was arrested for the forgery and fired from the police department.

All may not be as it seems, however. Although Phillips was arrested, the grand jury refused to indict her. That’s amazing, considering that grand juries are usually accused of being so under the prosecutor’s thumb that they’ll indict a ham sandwich. But apparently not a lying cop. Almost makes you wonder how hard the prosecutor was trying.

Phillips had another good piece of “luck.”  Even though she was arrested in May, her disciplinary hearing wasn’t until September, and she wasn’t fired until October. Conveniently for her, that was 2 weeks after her probationary period ended, which means she was covered by the police union contract. The union has brought the matter to arbitration.

I suppose it’s possible Phillips the rookie cop didn’t realize the consequences of her act. Like any bureacracy, the police department probably has a lot of red tape, and maybe she thought this was just another case of fudging some useless bit of paperwork.

Then again, given how the department seems to be covering for her after the fact, maybe Cincinnati cops do this sort of thing all the time, and she just made the mistake of doing it to someone in a position to make a fuss about it.

While we’re trying to figure that out, consider this astounding quote from the Cincinnati Enquirer story:

“I can’t think of anybody who was fired for (non-criminal) reasons whose job we haven’t gotten back,” said Kathy Harrell, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 69, the Cincinnati police union.

Do you think Harrell realizes what she just said? Apparently, once you’re a Cincinnati police officer, the only way your job performance could be bad enough to get you fired is if you are convicted of a crime. If you just suck at being a cop, you have nothing to worry about.


I am thankful for

  • My friends and family, because they should always come first.
  • Computers, which have provided me with gainful employment for 25 years.
  • Television, for the golden age of entertainment that never seems to end.
  • The Internet, which connects me to everything in the world.
  • People who link to me, making Windypundit—at least for today—the 4199th highest ranking blog on the TTLB ecosystem and the 69,101st highest ranking blog on Technorati.  It doesn’t sound like much, but those stats put me in the top 5%, which is not too shabby.
  • Video games, for the pure escapist fun of kicking alien ass!
  • Photography, for giving me an artistic outlet I never knew I needed.
  • Cats, because they amuse me.

Toads, Powder, Scumbags, Chuck, and Manly Men

Random shots around the web:

  • Arrested for possession with intent to lick.
  • Police find a suspicious white powder in a residence that used to be an old sugar factory? What, oh what, could it possibly be?
  • Disabled with a war wound? Guess you’ll have to refund your signing bonus for failure to fulfill your contract.
  • Amazingly, this is an actual campaign ad for Mike Huckabee.
  • What’s the most popular topic on Conservapedia? What do conservatives really want to learn more about? Follow this link and click the screen capture to find out.

(Hat tip: Drug WarRant, von Bakel Hit&Run)


On Idiots and International Plaza

My old post about eminent domain abuse at International Plaza in Arlington Heights attracted a new comment a few days ago:

The center looks horrible and TARGET SHOULD HAVE GONE THERE!!! The place looks like complete dog sh**!!! I can’t believe a bunch of idiots stopped it from happening. You should all be ashamed of yourselves!!!


It’s signed “Target Man”.

Just so you don’t think this guy is some kind of lone wacko, his comment is followed nine minutes later by another post with a similar view from the same IP address but signed with a Completely Different Name!

It’s probably a sign of my desperation for content that I’m responding to this nonsense, but…

Nobody stopped Target from moving in except Target. 

What eminent domain opponents did was stop Target from stealing the property. Plaza owner Su-Chuan Hsu is a business woman, and if Target wants a store where International Plaza is, all they have to do is buy it from her at her price and buy off the tenants’ leases.

As for the condition of the mall, what do you expect? With the eminent domain proceeding hanging over the place for all these years, no one wants to lease space in the mall because they could lose their investment (the cost of moving and renovation) if Arlington Heights takes the property away. Leaseholders usually get screwed real bad by eminent domain.

Of course I’ll shop at Target if they put one there. I like Target. But the property belongs to Ms. Hsu, and she’s the only person who should get to decide how to use it.

Glassbooth Presidential Candidate Selector

Not sure who to vote for?  There’s an interesting presidential candidate selector quiz over at

You start by ranking the importance of the issues, which you do by distributing 20 points over 14 issues. For example, if the most important issues are health care and social security, you might give those each 5 points, and then scatter the remaining 10 points over a few other issues. Note that adding point to an issue like gun control doesn’t mean you’re in favor of gun control. It just means you have strong feelings about it one way or the other.

Once you’ve ranked the issues for the selection software, it asks you a few questions about each issue that you gave at least one point. The site then compares your values to the candidates, ranks them by similarity, and shows you the top three.

I am not too surprised by my top three:

  • 1 – Ron Paul
  • 2 – Christopher Dodd
  • 3 – Dennis Kucinich

With Mike Gravel running a close 4th place. Whackjobs, every one of them, according to the media.

I don’t know much about where Christopher Dodd, Dennis Kucinich, or Mike Gravel stand on the issues, but Ron Paul as my #1 choice seems about right. I disagree with several of his positions, but I doubt anyone else comes closer on the issues I think are most important. He’s not everything I’d want in a president, but he’s definitely off in the right direction from the rest of the pack.

The site ranks all the candidates in order of similarity to my values.  Tom Tancredo is third from the bottom, with Mitt Romney just below him.

Regular readers will be able to guess who came in dead last.

(Hat tip: Todd Zywicki)

My Father Before the War

When I think of veterans, I think of my dad.

As I understand it, my father joined the army when he was 17—I think he lied about his age—and he’s 88 now, so anything he remembers happened a long time ago. Some things about the army were very different back then, and this evening on Veteran’s Day I though I’d just share a couple of details about his pre-WWII service that struck me as interesting.

In one of his early jobs in the army, he says was the “pacesetter” when his unit would go on the march. I don’t really understand what that meant, but apparently it involved carrying one of the unit’s BARs. That’s a Browning Automatic Rifle. It’s a .30 caliber light machine gun.

Of course, a “light” machine gun is still a very heavy piece of equipment to be marching around with, especially with all the ammunition a gun like that can use. My father got the job of carrying the darned thing because he was a big farmboy who could manage the weight all day long.

The thing that gets me about it, however, is that one of my father’s roles in his unit was air defense. If they were attacked by an enemy aircraft his job was to try to shoot it down. Or at least spoil its aim.

He says he never got to try that tactic in combat, and even though it was propellers and bullets back then, not jets and smart bombs, he doesn’t seem to think it was a very good idea.

A little later on, he was with a pack artilliary unit. That means the artilliary pieces, the ammunition, and all the support equipment was pulled through the mountains of Panama by horses. His unit did have one truck.  They used it to haul food for the horses.

That’s how long ago my father, Burnett Draughn, served his country.

in Family


Random shots around the web:

  • 24: The Unaired 1994 Pilot
  • Making it illegal for bosses to be assholes is one of those ideas that sounds great after a bad day at the office, but I think it would just lead to a lot of productivity-wasting lawsuits.
  • Why federal-level plans to put more cops on the street didn’t help and won’t help.
  • “you may soon be driving on a public road, doing nothing out of the ordinary and breaking no laws, then be stopped, questioned, and if the police officer doesn’t like your answers, be forced to give him some of your blood. Ponder that for a sec.” — Radley Balko, “Bleed for the King

(Hat tip: Illinois Review)