Friday, September 30, 2011

US Airways Flight 1663 Passenger Says The "B" Word

The passenger starts on a rant for no apparent reason, but before the flight crew can calm her down she starts dropping "F" Bombs like crazy, then she says the "B" word. Bomb! With that the captain turned the plane around and taxied back to the gate where the woman was removed from the plane.

Below just one of many iPhone videos of the woman's rant.

Cedar's Take: Once, one time and one time only, do you get to act up on a US commercial airliner. That's it, one screw up for whatever reason and you are forever banned from flying on US airlines. There is no excuse for this type of Crazy Behavior. I don't care what the excuse is, I'm tired of being subjected to America's nut cases.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tasers and The CMPD

The Charlotte Observer points out the obvious in this morning's editorial with the headline "Here's key in Taser use: Police using good rules".

The basics of the Observer's view is Tasers don't kill people cops do.

"We don't argue with the idea that Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers should be armed with the safest weapons available. So in that sense, the Charlotte City Council's decision to buy new Tasers that prevent officers from firing high voltages of electricity for more than five seconds at a pop makes sense.

But this move does not end concerns over the use of Tasers, associated with the deaths of two suspects in Charlotte in the past three years. These are not truly the "non-lethal" weapons that they are so frequently advertised to be."

Cedar's Take: CMPD has guidlines as to when "non-leathal" force is permitted. Sadly those rules are not really hard and fast when it comes to Tasers.

As an example have a look at CMPD's "Use of Force Continuum" color chart here. The idea is that somewhere between Defensive Resistance and Active Aggression the suspect is subject to being Tased.

The written part of the directives which are here, are even less clear "An officer may use non-deadly force upon another person when and to the extent that the officer believes it reasonably necessary".
Looking though 100s of Taser events many suspects were only offering verbal resistance when they got zapped. In other words, in the officers mind mouthing off could make it "reasonably necessary" to Tase a suspect.

The protocol to execute a person in the electric chair requires a 15 second application of 2,450 volts. CMPD Officer Dawson gave 17-year-old Darryl Turner, 37 seconds at 50,000 volts.

Officer Dawson thought is was "reasonably necessary" to give Darryl Turner a continuous shock for 37 seconds. But CMPS determined that he violated CMPD directives and was given a 5 day active suspension.

In this video the mouthly woman gets Tased for a whole lot more than 5 seconds. She sure does a lot of yammering.

WSOC TV NEWS: "Police have not said when officers will get the new Tasers. Even when they do, they may not use them right away because officers may need new training."

Very Wet Top Cats

Photo Credit: Jeremy Igo Carolina Huddle

Photo Credit: Jeremy Igo Carolina Huddle

A major "Hat Tip" to Dale for sending over the photos of the Top Cats during Sunday's Shower Bowl.

Mega Thanks - The Weather Dog

More photos from WCNC's slideshow of the Jacksonville at Carolina game is here

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

No Shocker Here Charlotte City Council Rubber Stamps Chief Monroe's Taser Request

Without any comprehension or even the most basic of understanding of the facts, Charlotte's City Leaders bought tickets to Chief Monroe's side show act at a cost of 1.8 million dollars, so they could see the latest and greatest Taser show on Earth!

GOOD NEWS: CMPD Officers will get their Tasers back and they will be state of the art, Taser International X2s.

BAD NEWS: They won't have the new or the old Tasers until at least December and some officers won't have them until next year.

MORE BAD NEWS: With council's vote and the cost of DNC 2012 don't expect a pay increase or medical insurance offset for the 2013 budget.

Cedar's Take: Chief Monroe is at his best when he's doing his side show carnival hawker act. Of course the whole process was a joke. Recalling the Tasers, having an internal study conducted, then ignoring the study only to hire PERF at a cost of $70,000.00 then going ahead with the internal study recommendation to upgrade to the new Taser X2 before the PERF report is completed. And still Charlotte City Council is in awe, happily plunking down tax payers hard earned money on the promise of being AMAZED!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Borden Dairy Changes the Coburg Chocolate Milk Formula - Epic Fail

National Dairy Holdings took over the Charleston icon Coburg Dairy a couple of years back, then in May of 2009 Mexican dairy processor Grupo Lala has purchased National Dairy Holdings. This past July they replaced the Coburg name with Borden.

The word is that the Coburg Cow on Savannah Highway will stay at least for now.

"We have no plans to move or change the Coburg Cow," said Ed Medors, general manager for Borden in South Carolina during a brief interview with the Charleston Post and Courier.

However what Ed Medors didn't say was that Borden aka Grupo Lala was about to change the formula of South Carolina's favorite Chocolate Milk.

Not since "New Coke" has there been a larger Epic Fail. Borden Chocolate Milk just doesn't measure up, hell it's not even close.

The Harris Teeter manager on Folly Road doesn't know her Chocolate Milk saying "It is the same, it just has a different label" and about 40 less calories. Clearly the "taste" calories have been removed and a good bit of sodium. But strangely the fat grams are up!

Borden has only 210 Calories per serving versus Coburg at 250 but Coburg has 70 Fat Calories vs Borden at 80. Sodium 200mg for Borden vs Coburg 270mg. Protein 8g vs Coburg 12g, Sugars are at 26 grams for each product, Carbs in Borden 27 vs Coburg 33, and Calcium 25% vs Coburg at 45%. Clearly its not the same product.

Yet Grupa LaLa is very proud of the Borden name they bought:

"Borden has it's own well-known icon in Elsie the Cow", Medors recently told the Charleston Post and Courier, as if the purchase and ownership of Coberg was really Borden and not a Mexican Company.

Tell the geniuses at Grupo Lala know we want our chocolate milk back and that they should send Elsie to the meat packing plant.

It is time to demand that Mr. Medors and Grupo Lala put our Coburg Chocolate Milk back on the shelves.

Contact Grupo Lala here.

Cedar Bonus: Just for laughs take a look at the bull shit press release some twit in Chicago worked up titled "About Borden Dairy" which makes no meantion of Gurpo Lala.

Follow Coburg Chocolate Whole Milk is the best chocolate milk on the entire planet! on FaceBook here.

You can also follow the Coburg Cow on FaceBook here.

CMPD K-9 Officer Gina Cook Fired?

Gina Cook Screen Grab WCNC 36

It's not clear if this is the culmination of the July 7, 2011 incident or if its a new incident. But Gina Cook, the lesbian CMPD K-9 officer has reportedly been fired by CMPD.

Some loose facts indicate that the firing is over a new incident where Cook went nutty on her girlfriend/partner this time putting a gun to her girlfriend's head.

Cook had been with the CMPD for 22 years. But in July she was placed on paid administrative leave. But now apparently the powers that be at CMPD have had enough of Ms Cook.

Read Tara Servatius' blog entry "Lesbian Cop Brawl II" for some interesting back ground, including a review of the beat down she gave her girlfriend back in 2003, here.

Cedar Posts Update September 27 12:07: The CMPD PIO just told Fox News "Gina Cook is still employed by CMPD". So who knows.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Why Charlotte City Council Shouldn't Approve Spending 1.8 Million of Your Tax Dollars

Cedar Posts thinks that the Charlotte City Council should ask some hard questions regarding the approval of Chief Monroe's more than 2.5 million dollar Taser deal.

CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe

First Chief Monroe should have budgeted the transition to the "new and improved" Taser X2 into the 2012 Budget. Chief Monroe's budget process has become an annual event of epic fail.

Second while a human life should be worth more than the 2.4 million dollar price tag the city is being asked to pay Taser International, asking the City to dip into its reserve for a product that has no guarantee that it will not cause accidental deaths seems reason enough to further weigh the purchase.

Third, while Cedar Posts understands the Chief's desire to be the envied kid on the block with the "new bike" how much CMPD research has gone into the new Taser X2?

Fourth, there is no doubt that the new and improved Taser X2 would provide CMPD Officers with a better tool to deal with suspects who are combative. However without a guarantee from Taser International that the new product will live up to the "new and improved" billing, a smaller "test" roll out would be more practical.

Finally why is the Chief not waiting for PERF to complete their review? Monroe announced on July 21, 2011 that he had hired PERF to review the CMPD Tasers. Monroe didn't ask Council to approve the $70,000.00 expense until the September 12, 2011 City Council Agenda which is on page 28 here.

Maybe this is just how Rodney Monroe rolls, spend now ask permission later.

As far as Cedar Posts knows not one CMPD Officer has taken the Taser 2X "test drive". Normally when new equipment is introduced a small number of CMPD officers are "given" the chance to use the equipment in the field.

I think most CMPD Officers would prefer to have the extra $1,550.00 per person added to their paycheck and stick with the old Tasers.

If City Council Approves this expense CMPD Rank and File need to ask themselves which side City Council is on, seems to Cedar Posts they are more interested in keeping the crooks safe than helping CMPD officers make ends meet.

By the way we are not talking chicken feed here, once you add in the CMPD Internal Taser Study and Report, the work that the Chief basically tossed in the circular file, the value of the old Tasers $700,000.00, the incomplete PERF study $70,000.00 and the costs of the "new" Tasers you are well over 2.5 million. Money that was not included in the 2012 budget!

A Little of the Taser X2 Sales Pitch Charlotte City Council Will See Monday Night

On The Lighter Side

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rodney Monroe's Plumbers

Saturday Morning an anonymous comment was posted on this blog.

"It is also rumored that CMPD is reading all emails and listening to all phone calls of CMPD employees they are trying to "get". Would this even be legal? People have started using their personal phones to communicate with one another. It's also being rumored that they are going after Cedar Posts to find out identity of posters and that they have somehow hacked Cedar to obtain identities, ..... Whatever is true....paranoia has hit an all time high!"

Forty years ago on July 24, 1971 Richard Nixon's White House created the "Plumbers" the covert White House Special Investigation Unit. Its task was to stop the leaking of classified information to the news media. Its members later branched into illegal activities working for the Committee to Re-elect the President, including the Watergate break-in and the ensuing Watergate scandal.

The "Plumbers" are some of the most infamous names in Washington history including E. Howard Hunt, Charles Colson, G. Gordon Liddy and Egil Krogh. Liddy even coined his own sensitivity indicator for the group in the form of "ODESSA" for "Organization Directed to Eliminate the Subversion of the Secrets of the Administration".

Just as the comment today stated about Monroe's CMPD, back in 1971 at the Nixon White House paranoia was running rampant.

Last year two former CMPD officers were threatened with legal action by Major Vicki Foster over stories posted on the Cedar Posts Blog. Foster was convinced the two were "Cedar Posts" and that they had published untruths about Foster and her boyfriend Melvin Keys. Since truth is a defense the simplest way to defend themselves was to present Foster's lawyer with proof of the truth and that was the end of that. The letter from Foster's lawyer is here.

Early this year another CMPD officer was dragged in front of certain members of the Command Staff including Vicki Foster. This career officer was told that they knew he was Cedar Posts. The officer of course wasn't Cedar Posts, but the verbal beating continued for an hour. In the end the veteran officer was demoted and assigned to the 3rd shift.

Other officers have been accused of being or posting on the Cedar Posts blog. Emails are scanned, phone calls recorded. It would indeed be unwise to post a comment on the Cedar Posts Blog from a CMPD computer. But Cedar Posts has no record of who posts comments. The Blog doesn't require you to identify yourself or sign in.

As far as having your calls and emails screened by Rodney's ODESSA Team, welcome to the world of paranoia and the White House Plumbers.

Threats are made by CMPD command staff every day, this is just how the department rolls. Threats over Comstat Numbers, dumbing down crime reports, threats over leaking IA investigation about one officer's sexual misconduct, threats of 3rd shifts, and losing your take home car. The list goes on and on.

Rob Turfano last week told a local reporter he ignores Cedar Posts. A few months ago Vicki Foster went postal when another station's reporter asked about CMPD news that broke on Cedar Posts. A week later the chief sent out an email chastising a local news station for giving credit to Cedar Posts:

"Lastly, we would like to emphasize that the unofficial blog site, which was quoted in your story, is not a credible source of information. The information published on this site is not fact based. As a blog, the users and subscribers can write anything they wish, regardless of validity. It is our hope that a responsible and ethical news organization would examine all of their sources before publishing a story. The fact is, the citizens of Charlotte deserve to receive accurate facts and information, especially as it relates to the law enforcement agency that serves them."

If there is one thing Rodney Monroe doesn't like is the lack of control. Which is why the "Significant Event Log" is no longer on line, why the "Calls for Service" is no longer on line, why Internal Affairs reports are not on line, why the minutes of the civil service board are no longer on line and why the CMPD budget is no longer published.

It's all about control. The driving force behind the Nixon White House and his henchmen known as the Plumbers.

In Case You Missed It

Girl Scout Leaders Fired for Raising Money for a Dog Park - Two Maine Girl Scout leaders have been fired for raising money for a community service project that made improvements to a dog park in Augusta Maine.

The leaders of Augusta Troop 2901 solicited donations that totaled about $1,800 for the $2,300 project used to build a sign and make other improvements to the park.

The project turned out well and the money was spent for its intended purpose.

But Diane Lasher of the Girl Scouts of Maine said national and state policies prohibit scouts and their leaders from soliciting donations for projects.

The rest of the story from the Kennebec Journal is here. And Cedar Posts story from a few years back about a local Charlotte Girl Scout leader faced with a similar situation which is here.

Peace Moravian Church Barbecue - Is TODAY 4418 Rea Road. Truly some of the best barbecue around. The sale is from 10AM - 2AM dine in or take home.

Finally Someone Tells Vilma Leake to SHUT UP! - Leake the well known Mecklenburg County Commissioner, well known that is for her nonsensical wandering babble finally pushed the limit when after 11 p.m. on September 7th at the end of a five-hour county commission meeting, she started into one of her never ending "news from district 2" report.

Leake droned on for about four minutes, as she shared news from her district - topics that included information about two parks projects, the death of a resident, recognition of a friend who was featured in the newspaper, and a reminder for fellow commissioners to attend committee meetings.

On Tuesday, commissioners voted 6-3 to require board members to now get support of at least two others before adding a topic to the meeting agenda. Commissioners also set time limits for agenda items that won't need the board to take any action.

But Chair Jennifer Roberts, voted against the new rule, saying she wishes there had been more opportunity for input from the public. She said the proposal came up quickly and seemed to be in response to a specific commissioner.

The new rules went into effect immediately. But Roberts said members of the public can still weigh in if "they think it's not a helpful way of managing things."

The rest of the story from the Charlotte Observer is here.

Friday, September 23, 2011

CMPD Chief Monroe's Taser Shocker

On Monday CMPD Chief Monroe will ask Charlotte City Council Members to approve a $2,529,350.06 deal with Taser International to supply all 1600 CMPD Officers with the new and improved Taser X2.

New Taser X2

The major reason to upgrade to the new Taser X2 is that the device automatically limits the shock to no more than 5 seconds. The department has known for sometime that a frequent cause of death via the Taser X26 was "over shocking", something that the new X2 prevents.

Taser Training is pretty simple, if you repeatedly zap a suspect holding down the trigger there is a real chance you will kill them which will cost the city about 10 million dollars.

Taser International will give CMPD a $700,000.00 credit for current X26 equipment, $400,000.00 will come from the asset forfeiture account and $1,429,350.06 from the City's General Fund.

CMPD fully deployed the Taser X26 in 2003 on a shared use basis. In 2006 the city purchased enough additional Tasers at a cost of $799.00 each, so that each officer had his own Taser. The new Tasers will cost the department $1,580.00 each.

On July 20th Chief Monroe recalled all CMPD Tasers after the death of La'Reko Williams. On August 30th Chief Monroe issued a statement saying that he was not returning the current Tasers to CMPD officers because he was ordering an additional study to be conducted by the Washington DC based Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).

See Don't Tase Me Bro! How Chief Monroe is Shocking Taxpayers

The independent PERF review is still ongoing, but now, before the review is complete Monroe wants to purchase the new Tasers. Which is what CMPD staff suggested last month.

Cedar's Take: Its time for Charlotte City Council to ask some questions and not just "bend over" for Chief Monroe. You'll notice on the agenda for Monday's meeting Chief Monroe will give his presentation during the dinner meeting and not as part of the public meeting.

CMPD has known for more than a year that they should upgrade to the new Taser X2 which became available earlier this year. In fact Taser International has been meeting with CMPD since 2010 regarding the upgrade.

Easy questions that Council should ask: Why haven't the old Tasers been returned to CMPD Officers? Why the additional cost of the PERF study when the team of CMPD officers already recommended upgrading the equipment? Since the X2 is a new product, shouldn't CMPD wait for some feedback from the field? Why not wait for completion of the PREF Study? Why wasn't this upgrade included in the CMPD 2012 budget? Why have CMPD officers been without Tasers for more than two months? Finally what do CMPD officers want? Did the boots on the street have any say?

There is no excuse for CMPD Officers not having Tasers, and there is no excuse for CMPD Officers not having the best equipment available. So why all the mismanagement?

Cedar Post's Update: Looks like Rodney Monroe has already signed the deal with Taser International prior to the Charlotte City Council vote Monday night. Emails to Cedar Posts note that CMPD's old Tasers where shipped out last month. Further that the delay late last month in returning the Tasers to CMPD Officers was just a stall tactic since there where no Tasers to return to the Officers.

Then there's Taser International's Dog and Pony show Monday morning. Which is spelled out in
CMPD and Taser International's Monday Roll Out Meeting Memo.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

CATS Lynx Train Clips Women

Major props to the two people who stopped to help a total stranger. CFD guys doing their thing as well. Kudos to all.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

CMPD Promotions and Assigments Annoucement

Please join us Friday at 10:00 am at the Police Academy to celebrate promotions.

Assignments are as follows-

Sgt. Amy Stukey to Hickory Grove Division
Sgt. Lucas Veith to North Tryon Division

Capt. Chris Dozier to Animal Care and Control
Capt. Michael Harris to Metro Division
Capt. Chuck Henson to Hickory Grove Division
Capt. Nick Pellicone to North Tryon Division

Major Bruce Bellamy to the Northwest Service Area


Sgt. Christopher Leclerc will transfer to University City Division
Sgt. Greg Couts will transfer to Hickory Grove Division
Sgt. Ivan Reitz will transfer to Central Division

Capt. Mike Adams will transfer to the Office of the Chief-DNC
Capt. Johnny Jennings will transfer to the Office of the Chief-DNC
Capt. Jeff Pless will transfer to the Watch Commander

Major Eddie Levins will transfer to the Southwest Service Area
Major Tim Danchess will transfer to Administrative Services
Major Doug Gallant will transfer to Field Services South as Acting Deputy Chief

Deputy Chief Harold Medlock will transfer to the Office of the Chief-DNC

Transfers are effective Saturday, September 24, 2011

In Case You Missed It Ann Coulter on Troy Davis

Cedar Posts doesn't care much for Ann Coulter, she has that sneer just like my ex wife. It gives me nightmares. But Ann like my ex was sometimes right. I think she nails the Troy Davis madness pretty much to the point.

Cop killer is media's latest baby seal

For decades, liberals tried persuading Americans to abolish the death penalty, using their usual argument: hysterical sobbing.

Only when the media began lying about innocent people being executed did support for the death penalty begin to waver, falling from 80 percent to about 60 percent in a little more than a decade. (Silver lining: That's still more Americans than believe in man made global warming.)

Fifty-nine percent of Americans now believe that an innocent man has been executed in the last five years. There is more credible evidence that space aliens have walked among us than that an innocent person has been executed in this country in the past 60 years, much less the past five years.

But unless members of the public are going to personally review trial transcripts in every death penalty case, they have no way of knowing the truth. The media certainly won't tell them.

It's nearly impossible to receive a death sentence these days unless you do something completely crazy like shoot a cop in full view of dozens of witnesses in a Burger King parking lot, only a few hours after shooting at a passing car while exiting a party.

That's what Troy Davis did in August 1989. Davis is the media's current baby seal of death row.

After a two-week trial with 34 witnesses for the state and six witnesses for the defense, the jury of seven blacks and five whites took less than two hours to convict Davis of Officer Mark MacPhail's murder, as well as various other crimes. Two days later, the jury sentenced Davis to death.

Now, a brisk 22 years after Davis murdered Officer MacPhail, his sentence will finally be administered this week barring any more of the legal shenanigans that have kept taxpayers on the hook for Davis' room and board for the past two decades.

(The average time on death row is 14 years. Then liberals turn around and triumphantly claim the death penalty doesn't have any noticeable deterrent effect. As the kids say: Duh.)

It has been claimed in the New York Times and Time magazine, for example that there was no "physical evidence" connecting Davis to the crimes that night.

Davis pulled out a gun and shot two strangers in public. What "physical evidence" were they expecting? No houses were broken into, no cars stolen, no rapes or fistfights accompanied the shootings. Where exactly would you look for DNA? And to prove what?

I suppose it would be nice if the shell casings from both shootings that night matched. Oh wait they did. That's "physical evidence."

Cedar Posts interjects: (Shell casing were indeed found at the first shooting, however the single matching casing found at the shooting scene of Officer MacPhail was found days later by a homeless person.)

It's true that the bulk of the evidence against Davis was eyewitness testimony. That tends to happen when you shoot someone in a busy Burger King parking lot.

Eyewitness testimony, like all evidence tending to show guilt, has gotten a bad name recently, but the "eyewitness" testimony in this case did not consist simply of strangers trying to distinguish one tall black man from another. For one thing, several of the eyewitnesses knew Davis personally.

Eyewitness testimony established the following:

Two tall, young black men were harassing a vagrant in the Burger King parking lot, one in a yellow shirt and the other in a white Batman shirt. The one in the white shirt used a brown revolver to pistol-whip the vagrant. When a cop yelled at them to stop, the man in the white shirt ran, then wheeled around and shot the cop, walked over to his body and shot him again, smiling.

Cedar Posts interjects (Coulter adds smiling for dramatic effect, a search of the trial documents shows not reference to a smiling assailant.)

Some eyewitnesses described the shooter as wearing a white shirt, some said it was a white shirt with writing, and some identified it specifically as a white Batman shirt. Not one witness said the man in the yellow shirt pistol-whipped the vagrant or shot the cop.

Several of Davis' friends testified without recantation that he was the one in a white shirt. Several eyewitnesses, both acquaintances and strangers, specifically identified Davis as the one who shot Officer MacPhail.

Now the media claim that seven of the nine witnesses against Davis at trial have recanted.

First of all, the state presented 34 witnesses against Davis not nine which should give you some idea of how punctilious the media are about their facts in death penalty cases.

Cedar Posts interjects (While Coulter is correct the state called 34 witnesses, only nine of the witnesses offered direct testimony that Davis was the shooter. The other witnesses simply placed Davis at the scene.)

Among the witnesses who did not recant a word of their testimony against Davis were three members of the Air Force, who saw the shooting from their van in the Burger King drive-in lane. The airman who saw events clearly enough to positively identify Davis as the shooter explained on cross-examination, "You don't forget someone that stands over and shoots someone."

Recanted testimony is the least believable evidence since it proves only that defense lawyers managed to pressure some witnesses to alter their testimony, conveniently after the trial has ended. Even criminal lobbyist Justice William Brennan ridiculed post-trial recantations.

Cedar Posts interjects (Coulter leads the unwilling and unknowledgeable to think that a US Supreme Court Justice has ridiculed the Davis recantations. Justice Brennan died in 1997.

Three recantations were from friends of Davis, making minor or completely unbelievable modifications to their trial testimony. For example, one said he was no longer sure he saw Davis shoot the cop, even though he was five feet away at the time. His remaining testimony still implicated Davis.

One alleged recantation, from the vagrant's girlfriend (since deceased), wasn't a recantation at all, but rather reiterated all relevant parts of her trial testimony, which included a direct identification of Davis as the shooter.

Only two of the seven alleged "recantations" (out of 34 witnesses) actually recanted anything of value and those two affidavits were discounted by the court because Davis refused to allow the affiants to testify at the post-trial evidentiary hearing, even though one was seated right outside the courtroom, waiting to appear.

The court specifically warned Davis that his refusal to call his only two genuinely recanting witnesses would make their affidavits worthless. But Davis still refused to call them suggesting, as the court said, that their lawyer-drafted affidavits would not have held up under cross-examination.

With death penalty opponents so fixated on Davis' race he's black it ought to be noted that all the above witnesses are themselves African-American. The first man Davis shot in the car that night was African-American.

I notice that the people so anxious to return this sociopathic cop-killer to the street don't live in his neighborhood.

There's a reason more than a dozen courts have looked at Davis' case and refused to overturn his death sentence. He is as innocent as every other executed man since at least 1950, which is to say, guilty as hell.

Cedar's Take: Troy Davis may or may not be guilty. The thing that stands out is that testimony names Sylvester "Redd" Coles as arguing with a homeless man, Larry Young, over a beer. Then Troy Davis is claimed to up and hit Young with a gun. Then Davis shoots Officer MacPhail twice.

Police determine that Coles owns a 38 caliber weapon the same caliber used in the murder. Coles claims that he gave his gun to another man earlier in the night. A man he didn't know. Coles went to the Savannah police claiming that Davis was the shooter.

Ballistics expert testified that the bullets recover from both shoots "could have come from the same gun" but he admitted it was doubtful.

I'm not sure if Coles is not the shooter. There are some serious questions about the case but why has it taken 20 years to make these concerns public?

Officer Down Page for Mark MacPhail is here.

CMPD Chief Monroe's Father Passed Away September 13, 2011

Edward LaRue Monroe, "Money", 74, died September 8 at Anne Arundel Medical Center.

He was born June 2, 1937, in Annapolis, to the late Eleanor Pinkney and William Monroe. He graduated from Wiley H. Bates High School in 1955 and attended Phelps Vocational School in Washington, DC.

He served in the U.S. Army for three years, receiving an honorable discharge. Edward worked in Washington, DC for the U.S. General Services Administration as a carpenter for 36 years, retiring in 1994, and for Children's Hospital for 10 years.

Edward married Amy Porter, also of Annapolis, on January 12, 1955. They were longtime residents of Capitol Heights until their recent relocation back to Annapolis.

Edward was a 33 Degree Mason, Prince Hall Grand Lodge, Washington, DC, a member of Mecca Temple #10 and Martha Chapter of the Eastern Star.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Eleanor "Rigby" Ridge, in 2002; and brother, Donald Pinkney, in 2011. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Amy; son, Rodney Monroe and wife Marvette of Charlotte, NC; three grandchildren, Stephanie (Anthony) Milton of Brandywine, Hollye (David) McCallum and Brandon Monroe of Charlotte, NC; four great-grandsons; and sister, Ann Knight of Glen Burnie.

Services were held on Thursday, September 15 at First Baptist Church of Glenarden, Ministry Center, 3600 Brightseat Road, Landover, with the viewing at 9 a.m. and the funeral services at 10 a.m. Interment Maryland Veterans Cemetery in Cheltenham.

Edward Monroe guest book is here.

Another Shake Up at CMPD

From the sound and intensity of the chatter it looks like CMPD Captain Jeffery Pless has been booted from the Hickory Grove Division and given the Watch Commanders Office.

In the world of Rodney Monroe the WC job is time out whenever the Chief says you have been a bad boy. The list of those given the WC assignment is of course long and distinguished.

Seems that Capt Pless pushed Deputy Chief Harold Medlock's button one too many times, and he may have had the same effect on Major Paul Zinkann. Both Zinkann and Medlock are a part of Monroe's inner circle. Widely known to all as extraordinary ______ kissers, they are the conduit from which Monroe's idiotic directives travel to rank and file.

Hickory Grove is one of CMPD's top divisions, one of the few places where morale is good and the team puts forth the effort everyday. Most of the officers and sergeants who work for Pless consider him top shelf.

Rumor has it that they will have to get used to the new boss the newly crowned Captain Chuck Henson. Expect a big push back from the rank and file over this promotion as Henson's baggage makes several stops in a Fuel Pizza sort of way.

Of course this is all just chatter and text messages so Cedar Posts doesn't claim any first hand knowledge after all I don't want to sit in the Watch Commanders Office.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday Odds and Ends

People Can Tell When You Sell Out To Autobell - During Monday's Charlotte City Council meeting, members voted to rezone two acres on the corner of Park and Tyvola Roads for an Autobell car wash. The vote was unanimous despite the objection of city zoning staff and opposition from neighbors.

The site was last used for a daycare center that closed nearly ten years ago. City staff said the change went against the South District Plan as the area is mostly residential.

Andy Dulin, who represents the area, asked that he be recused from the vote. Dulin who tweets about having his car washed at Autobell at least once a week claimed to have a 40 year business relationship with the Howard family who started Autobell in 1969.

Cedar's Take: It is impossible to know just what deal was made behind council doors, what agreement was reached, or what emails were circulated between council members but something smells like cheap air freshener.

Not sure what Autobell has on council members but I suggest they keep good records and at more than 20 bucks a wash I hope Dulin keeps his receipts.

Two and a Half Men - Killed off Charlie Sheen's character Charlie Harper by having him allegedly slip off of a subway platform in Paris into the path of an oncoming train.

Monday night's premier introduced Ashton Kutcher as the new main character. Kutcher is a multi talented actor, director, writer and producer and frankly is too much for the show's one directional theme. Fans who found Sheen's portrayal of a hard drinking sex obsessed bachelor will now move on to other shows and of course the back to back hours of Two and a Half Men in syndication.

In the end the entire show is now a train wreak and not just Charlie Sheen.

Trolly Folly - Speaking of train wrecks, Charlotte will soon have a Trolly Line that runs 1.5 miles from Presbyterian Hospital to the Time Warner Cable Box. Of course its a massive waste of money with little upside. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood claimed yesterday that the line will become an economic engine and city claims it will create 385 jobs.

The line is expected to cost $37 million, with the city paying $12 million. The city hasn't said how it will pay for an estimated $1.5 million in operating costs.

How can anyone justify the expense of $100,000.00 per 1/10th of a mile annually? How will we pay for it? Considering that a taxi cab in Charlotte costs $2.50 per mile a fare of $3.75 might be in order. However the Lyxn Light Rail line fare is 18 cents per mile so maybe a fair of 27 cents is in order. All we need now is the 5.5 million annual riders it will take to nail that 1.5 million dollar expense number.

The city's long term goal is to extend the route to create a 10-mile line from Beatties Ford Road to the site of the old Eastland Mall. Of course the obvious problem with that idea is that Elizabeth Avenue doesn't go to Eastland Mall it dead ends at Presbitian Hospital.

Rea Road Widening - It boggles the mind that the City of Charlotte will spend $22,500,000 of our tax dollars to build "two travel lanes divided by a planted median with left turn lanes, bicycle lanes, curb and gutter and sidewalks" along Rea Road between Colony Road and Highway 51. Yet they have been unable to convince Duke Energy to bury their power lines.

Early last week Duke Energy crews were again out in force to butcher trees along Rea Road and now are in the process of installing new bigger power poles less than ten feet from the old power pole location.

According to the CDOT web site the Rea Road project will also "improve the vertical alignment of the road eliminating sight distance problems when turning in and out of the subdivisions". The project will also ease traffic congestion, provide safe, aesthetically pleasing pedestrian and bike routes throughout the project area and provide landscaping in designated areas along the project.

All sounds great but why do a project of this size and cost and not do it right? Why doesn't the City of Charlotte insist that Duke Energy bury their lines in an area of Charlotte that already has 99% on the utility lines under ground?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sexual Harassment and Extra Marital Affair Earns Two CMPD Officers Promotions

There is a certain moral high ground anyone called an "officer" is expected to take in their professional as well as personal life. This code of conduct applies to military officers as well as officers of the court and those within our Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department.

However, it seems that the CMPD command staff looks the other way when it comes to personal conduct and suitability for promotions.

Recently one certain Sergeant was promoted even though he was recently investigated for sexual harassment.

In another case a female officer was promoted despite being the subject an investigation for having a physical altercation with another officer's wife. Word is the female officer had an ongoing affair and a child with the other women's husband, a recently retired CMPD Officer.

Cedar Posts must be pretty much "old school" because back in the day this sort of behavior would not only cost you a promotion but likely your job. After being fired, an offending officer would be lucky to find work within the state in light of any sort of sexual misconduct. But maybe this sort of behavior at CMPD is just status quo.

Still the directives are pretty straight forward:

No employee will intentionally subject any fellow employee to any verbal or physical
harassment of a sexual, ethnic, racial, disability or religious nature.

Conduct unbecoming an officer will include that which brings the CMPD into disrepute,
reflects unfavorably upon the officer as a member of the CMPD, damages or affects
the reputation of any member of the CMPD, or impairs the operation or efficiency of
the CMPD or any of its personnel.

Frankly CMPD's "Rules of Conduct" are pretty straight forward. I can't find anywhere within the "Rules" where is says breaking the rules will earn you a promotion. But what do I know?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Journal of Capt. Charles W. Wills September 17, 1861

Well, I've slept half of this day and feel sleepy yet.

I had a tough time on picket last night. We were divided into four squads and owing to the small number of men we had out (only 50) the corporals had to stand guard as privates ; so I had all the stationing of reliefs to do myself and did not get a minute's sleep all night. We were not troubled any by the enemy but the mosquitoes and fleas gave us the devil.

A coon came sliding down the tree Sam Nutt was stationed under, and he thought he was taken sure. The people here say that there are lots of bears and tiger cats killed here every winter. Sam has been to Cairo to-day and says that Keef, Fred Norcott and Cooper are all much better. There is a rumor now that our right is going to Virginia, but I don't believe it. It is too good to be true.

Our cook has been sick for several days and we have been just about half living on account of our being too lazy to cook. I don't mean to be disrespectful when I say I was about as glad to see him cooking again this morning, as I would be to see you. He is a splendid nigger, seems to think the world of us boys. He buys a great many little things for us with his own money, which as we are all out, is a good institution.

We are to get our pay next week the officers say. My pay is some $18 or $20 a month now. I am entitled to a straight sword now, but as I have to carry a musket also, I'll trade it off for gingerbread if they'll let me, and if they won't I'll lose it sure for I have enough to carry without it.

I can hear the tattoo now before the colonel's quarters at the other end of the camp and our boys are singing, "Home Again" as they lie around me in our tent. I thank goodness that none of them get homesick like some do that I know in our right. I do despise these whiners.

I expect (I have just this instant heard that they have been fighting in Washington for the last 24 hours. Now I'll finish the sentence I had commenced) to be with those I love in eight months if the expected battle in Washington results favorably for our country, if not, do not look for me for three years. If they whip us again there I want to fight the rest of my life if necessary, and die before we recognize them as anything but Rebels and traitors who must be humbled.

I don't believe yet awhile the news but I kind o' feel it all through me that there is a battle more to be recorded and that we are the victors. All that we have heard is that they are fighting.

Colonel Turchin's 19th left Cairo last night for the east somewhere. We are rapidly learning to appropriate and confiscate. On our last scout one of our boys rode a stray horse back and another came in with a female jackass and her child.

Chickens are very scarce here now and the natives complain that sweet potato hills have turned into holes since we have been here. Our mess have this p. m. confiscated the roof of a man's barn to cover our cook house with.

Cedar Says:

Charles Wright Wills was born in Canton, Illinois, April 17, 1840, of Pennsylvania parentage, and was educated in the Canton public schools and the State Normal School at Bloomington, Illinois.

On the outbreak of the war, responding to the first call of President Lincoln for three months’ volunteers, he enlisted in Company E, Eighth Illinois Infantry, April 26th, 1861, and re-enlisted for three years at the end of his first term of service.

Subsequently he was commissioned First Lieutenant and Battalion Adjutant of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry. When by order of the War Department in 1862 all Battalion Adjutants were mustered out of service, he returned to Canton, raised a company in the One Hundred and Third Illinois Infantry, and was elected its Captain.

Disclaimer: Captain Wills letters to his sister and his journal entries present a raw and unpasteurized record of the War of Northern Aggression from the Yankee view point. Some posts include terms and topics that may be offensive to many today. No attempt will be made to censor or edit 19th century material to today’s standards.

Friday, September 16, 2011

CMPD's Security Fail Records Missing

CMPD Training Academy has apparently lost hundreds of records and personnel information. The missing files and data apparently came to light during a recent State of North Carolina internal audit.

The missing information may include finger print cards, applicant credit and job history as well as social security numbers. It is not understood if the missing data belongs to just applicants or if includes current officers and civilian employees.

No official word as to what is missing or if the SBI has offered to help locate the missing information, but long faces abound and no one at CMPD is willing to talk about the situation.

Cedar Posts Update: A well respected local news reporter contacted CMPD's Rob Tufano regarding the missng documents. Mr Tufano played dumb with his trademark "this all sounds wrong" and offered to get back to the reporter, adding that he ignores the Cedar Posts blog.

The report of missing documents and finger print cards may be all talk and wild speculation as the SBI says there is no investigation, and the FBI will neither confirm or deny. But one thing is certian if someone had this information it could be a real headache for DNC security.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Tuesday Politico Post

US Representative Sue Myrick - says she canceled her appearance at several local events Sunday because her name was on a state-sanctioned hit list published recently in Iran.

Myrick says the list included the names of others, but she didn't want to identify them. She says she lives with threats every day and that she wore a bulletproof when she was mayor of Charlotte.

She had been scheduled to appear at 9/11 events in Gaston, Stanly and Mecklenburg counties.

Besides Sue Myrick, the list includes Rep. Peter King; the chair of a subcommittee on Intelligence, Rep. Paul Broun, Rep. Allen West, Rep. Renee Ellmers and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann.

The list also targets national media personality Sean Hannity and Fox News, accusing the network of fueling anti-Muslim sentiment. Also listed: the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), the Washington Times, National Review (including Andy McCarthy, the former Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the terrorists in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing).

Lesser known targets include former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Frank Gaffney, lawyer David Yerushalmi and Professor Walid Phares. Private foundations are even named: Donors Capital Fund, the Richard Mellon Scaife Foundation, Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Newton Becker foundation, and others.

Nothing new except that the list was published just days before the 9/11 weekend.

Tea Party Debate - If you watched football last night instead of the "Tea Party" debate you got the better end of the deal. Of course other than the "local spin" or 30 second sound bites from the national media you might be hard pressed to find out which Republican candidate had the better night.

The debate was billed as a show down between Romney and Perry but there wasn't much in the way of fire works. Although the CNN set was pretty high tech, eye catching and self promoting.

A complete minute by minute recap of last nights debate is here thanks to Swampland.

Cedar's Take: Ron Paul looks old, but Perry and Romney need to stop with the midnight black hair dye. Bachmann tried the bitch role and as we all know when a women goes that route she is done. Cain gets the one liner of the night award with "you don’t know how Washington works. Yes, I do. It doesn’t."

Charlotte City Council - City Council members spent nearly a million dollars last night on water and grass.

The repairs to fix the sink hole on Park Road set the city back $475,000. That cost doesn't include the extra time and effort by DOT and CMPD to deal with the detour and signage.

According to CMUD there are about ten miles of this same pipe installed below Charlotte streets. The forty year old pipe has been subject of breaks in the past and CMUD is considering the option to abandon the line altogether.

Note: Cedar Posts continues to use the acronym CMUD while the utility department prefers CMU and apparently considers MUD a slight against the department.

Council members also spent $412,500 to plant grass on 100 acres of bare ground out at Jerry Orr's fiefdom the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Props to Democrat Michael Barnes who said the "price of grass is too damn high". Barnes was one of the two council members to vote against the contract awarded to Central Carolina Seeding of Winston Salem.


According to the Charlotte Observer Assistant City Manager Jim Schumacher said the seeding wasn't expensive in part because the contractor must provide a guarantee that the grass will grow.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday's Odds and Ends

Coastal Carolina Coach David Bennett - "Don't need no cats, we need more dogs" Coach wanted his team to act like dogs instead of cats at his weekly press conference leading up to CCU's game against Catawba. Priceless Carolina humor.

The scary thing is it apparently worked, Coastal Carolina 20 Catawba College 3.

New England Flooding Continues - Speaking of scary, more flooding in the Northeast has even made a mess of park and playgrounds turning the centers of kid fun into really scary places. But New England will get a break with Hurricane Maria which will head out to sea.

Remembering Flight 93 - The first battle in the renewed war against terrorism wasn't waged in Fallujah or Kandahar or Tikrit. It was held 32,000 feet above Pittsburgh, on Sept. 11, 2001.

And it wasn't soldiers who led the battle.

It was four athletes, pushing a food cart.

United Flight 93 was supposed to go from Newark to San Francisco that Tuesday morning, but 31-year-old Jeremy Glick wasn't supposed to be on it.

He was supposed to go the day before, but a fire at Newark Airport forced him to re-book for the next day, one of the bloodiest in American history.

About 45 minutes into the flight, four radical Islamic terrorists stormed the cockpit, sliced the throats of the pilots and took charge. They told the 33 passengers and seven crew members they were hijacking the plane and returning to Newark.

Glick, a muscular 1993 national collegiate judo champion, scampered back to the second-to-last row and called his wife, Lyz. It wasn't long before he and the others -- talking to their families -- realized that nobody was going back to Newark. They were on board a 150,000-pound missile, bound for some unthinkable end. The World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon had already been hit. What was 93 aimed for?

"We're going to rush the hijackers," Glick told Lyz.

The rest of Rick Reilly's story "Let's Keep Rolling" is here.

Bonus The Flight 93 National Memorial site is here.

CMPD Promotions - The unofficial word out there is that Captain Bruce Bellamy has been promoted to major. I realize a number of CMPD Officers are vomiting right now. Honestly Bellamy is an alright guy he's just a complete idiot. The announcement was short and to the point and made no mention of the much anticipated deputy chief promotions.

On behalf of Chief Monroe, I would like to announce the following promotions which were approved by Civil Service on September 6, 2011:

To Sergeant
Officer Amy Stukey
Officer Lucas Veith

To Captain
Sgt. Chris Dozier
Sgt. Michael Harris
Sgt. Harold (Chuck) Henson
Sgt. Dominick (Nick) Pellicone

To Major
Capt. Bruce Bellamy

Promotional ceremony details and assignments are being finalized and will be announced when completed. Please congratulate those being promoted on this accomplishment.

The announcement also failed to mention those promoted to sergeant last month. Go figure.

US Open Tennis - I don't imagine there is much an audience for women's tennis. I happened to stumble across it as few times over the last two weeks and each time my reaction was the same. The shrieking has got to stop. Uuuuuuggggghhhhhhhaaaaaaa or eeeeeeeeeeeeeooooooooooooaaaaaa whatever or however you describe it, the shrieking has gotten out of hand.

Like the guy who gunts for two hours at the gym, its beyond annoying.

And then there is Serena Williams John McEnroe impersonation.

Williams who lost in the final to the 9th seeded Aussie Samatha Stosur, raged on the chair umpire after being penalized for just such verbal shouts, grunts and groans. After realizing that she had been charged a point she ripped into the umpire with, "Aren't you the one who screwed me last time? Do you have it out for me? That's totally not cool."

During the changeover, Williams continued her attack from her seat, rambling, "You're out of control. You're a hater. We're in America last time I checked. Don't look my way. You're unattractive inside. You're out of control, out of control."

Williams' rude American behavior couldn't over shadow Stosur's win as she became the first Australian woman to win the U.S. Open since Margaret Court in 1973.

Carolina Panthers - Cam Newton has talent and "Stevie" Williams is stoked, sure they lost but in the 21-28 loss to Arizona there was a very good football game. Don't expect Cedar Posts to Monday morning quarterback the game. I know nothing of football's finer points. Sure it looks like the Carolina Defense needs some work and the final drive makes me wonder if Carolina has a running game, or if they even bothered to print those pages of the play book.

It honestly doesn't matter if they win a game, the Panther fans will be thrilled to see a game where at least the team is competitive. But Newton better calm down and stop playing superman. He might be good but he's no good to Carolina if someone rips off one of his knee caps.

A Few Good Pilots Needed - The Western States are in need of a few good pilots. One requirement is the desire to fly really big planes really close to the ground. I'm not kidding an ad for DC-10 pilots to fly super dangerous fire missions in Texas and Arizona says "by the book pilots need not apply".

Sunday, September 11, 2011

CMPD Officer Shoots Robbery Victim

In a bad case of Murphy's law, everything goes wrong for two CMPD officers and a robbery victim in an attempt to arrest a couple of robbery suspects.

The following is pretty much verbatim from the CMPD press release.

According to CMPD Officer Joshua Skipper was the first officer to arrive on the scene and make contact with the robbery victim and the occupants of a suspect vehicle.

As Officer Skipper waited on his backup to arrive, one of the suspects ran from the scene. Officer Skipper chased after him and a scuffle ensued on the ground as Officer Skipper attempted to place the suspect in handcuffs.

The robbery victim followed Officer Skipper as he attempted to arrest the suspect who fled the scene.

Moments later, Officer Prince Blue arrived on scene and ran towards Officer Skipper to assist placing the suspect in custody.

Officer Skipper carries a backup pistol, which is allowed by CMPD Directives. Unfortunately Officer Skipper's backup weapon came loose from of his holster and fell to the ground without his knowledge, as Officer Skipper was placing the suspect under arrest.

At some point the robbery victim picked up Officer Skipper’s backup pistol and walked back towards the suspect vehicle and pointed it at the suspect who remained at the vehicle.

Officer Skipper then noticed that the robbery victim was pointing a handgun at the suspect who remained at the vehicle. Officer Skipper told Officer Blue to tell the man to drop the weapon. Officer Blue at the time was unaware that the man holding the gun was in fact the victim of the robbery.

Officer Blue repeatedly commanded the robbery victim to drop the weapon, at which time the robbery victim reportedly turned towards the officers and pointed the weapon directly at them. Officer Blue then fired his weapon three times at the victim, striking him once in the leg. The officers called Medic for the victim and he was transported to CMC where he was treated and released.

Officer Blue is on Administrative Leave pending the outcome of the Internal Affairs investigation into the shooting. There will be no charges filed against the robbery victim.

Cedar's Take: When a police officer says "drop the weapon" that should be your one and only chance. Also if I shoot you three times you will not make it to the hospital. I suspect that Officer Blue needs some extra range time. Other than poor shooting Officer Blue did nothing wrong.


CMPD Officers have arrested a total of four suspects in the robbery case, each has been charged with Armed Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon and Conspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery.

The suspects are:

Latoya Lynn McRae, DOB: 1/1/1984 she has one prior adult arrest.

L C Melton, DOB: 5/27/1987 who has been arrested a number of times in the past.

Ronald Dewayne Deese, DOB: 2/5/1988 Records show that Deese has been arrested nearly a dozen times on nearly 23 charges over the past three years.

Courtney Skie Miller, DOB: 7/27/1988 who has been arrested at least ten times in the last two years having been charged with more than 20 offenses.

The prior CMPD press release reported the facts in detail before it was understood that the shooting victim was also the robbery victim.

Detectives with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Homicide Unit and ADW Unit are conducting an investigation into an officer involved shooting in the 4900 block of Central Avenue at the Central Pointe Apartment Complex. The call for service was reported at 3:22 a.m., on Sunday, September 11, 2011. The subject who was shot has been transported to Carolinas Medical Center with a non-life threatening injury to the leg.

Eastway Division Officers responded to a call for service in reference to a robbery. Upon arrival, the first responding officer encountered a vehicle in the parking lot outside 4903 Central Avenue and a subject pointing towards the car. As additional officers arrived, multiple suspects jumped from the vehicle and ran from the scene. A scuffle ensued on the ground as an officer attempted to take one of the vehicle’s occupants into custody. Officer Prince Blue noticed a subject standing nearby holding a handgun and ordered him to drop the weapon multiple times. After seeing the subject raise the handgun, point it in the direction of officers and refuse to drop the handgun, Officer Blue fired his pistol at least once, striking him once in the leg. Medic responded to the scene and transported the subject to Carolinas Medical Center. Two vehicle occupants have been detained. Detectives are canvassing the complex to determine if there are any additional witnesses to this incident.

Officer Prince Blue has been a member of the CMPD since September 14, 2009. He is currently assigned to the Eastway Division as a Patrol Officer. Detectives with the Homicide Unit are conducting the shooting investigation while Detectives with the Internal Affairs Unit will conduct a separate but parallel investigation to determine whether or not CMPD policies and procedures were adhered to during the course of the incident.

Crime Scene Search responded to the call for service to process the scene and collect physical evidence.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 704-432-TIPS and speak directly to a Homicide Unit Detective. Detective Fitch is the lead detective assigned to the case. In addition, you may also call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. For additional information, reference CMPD complaint number 2011-0911-032200.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

In Case You Missed It NBC's Twitter Account Was Hacked Last Night

The tweets came in a span of about 15 minutes on Friday:

"Breaking News! Ground Zero has just been attacked. Flight 5736 has crashed into the site, suspected hijacking. more as the story develops," read the first message that appeared on the NBC News Twitter feed at 5:48 p.m. EDT.

A follow-up message four minutes later read: "Flight 4782 is not responding, suspected hijacking. One plane just hit Ground Zero site at 5:47."

Then, three minutes later: "This is not a joke. Ground Zero has just been attacked. We're attempting to get reporters on the scene."

A moment later another message appeared: "NBCNEWS hacked by The Script Kiddies."

Ryan Osborn, the NBC director of social media, said he was monitoring the account at the time and noticed the bogus messages within seconds. He immediately contacted Twitter, which shut the account down eight minutes after the tweets appeared.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Why You Shouldn't Follow Warren Buffett's Lead and Sink Your Life Savings Into BOA

I know what you are thinking, "Warren Buffett is a really smart guy and must know something I don't, so I need to buy into Bank of America".

Read this sentence twice: Warren Buffett is the world's most successful investor and he's not stupid, but I am.

The news media was quick to hype that Buffett invested $5 billion, a big chunk of his net worth in to BOA, and that caused the stock to run up about 20%. Those were some of the "stupid people". They have now lost their bet since the stock has since settled back down to under $7.00 a share.

What the media they didn't spell out is that Buffett wasn't buying the common stock traded under the ticker symbol of BOA. In fact Buffett got a sweetheart deal, "Bank of America will sell Berkshire 50,000 shares of cumulative perpetual preferred stock with a 6 percent annual dividend. Bank of America can buy back the investment at any time by paying Buffett a 5 percent premium." according to a Boa press release.

That is $100,000.00 per share to us common folks $7.00.

Buffett likes the limelight and the attention, and at 81 he might be old but he's not stupid. The BOA deal gave him what he wanted attention and a guaranteed out with a pretty much unlimited upside.

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan acknowledged the investment in a recent statement, I recognize the "large investment by Warren Buffett is a strong endorsement in our vision and our strategy."

What Moynihan didn't say was that by owning the "Cumulative Perpetual Preferred" stock Buffett would be paid before any other investors if the bank was forced to liquidate or what other deals where made to seal the deal.

In other words Buffett just buffaloed his way to the front the line like Asian Tourists getting on to a NYC subway.

And this is why he did it, Bank of America is worth close to $23 dollars a share post breakup today. The Merrill Lynch unit is worth close to $7.00 alone according to a fellow share holder Buzzy Geduld. Gerduld is one of many large share holders calling for the breakup of BOA.

However if the bank considered "too big to fail" loses anymore traction the powers that be will step in to force a quick break up of the behemoth and Buffett gets paid off, but the common stock holders get nothing.

Like I said Warren Buffett is a really smart guy.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Friday Customer Service Fails - The Charleston Edition

Dunkin Donuts Folly Road Charleston - I visit the "DD" Folly Road store about once a week, more often during the summer tourist months.

Normally the staff is very efficient, helpful and friendly. But lately things have taken a turn in the wrong direction.

The other morning at the drive-up I ordered two large coffees, then attendant cut me off before I could complete my order.

When I reached the window I asked if I could add an express dozen. You would think that a "Donut Place" would be thrilled to sell donuts, but the young women informed me that they do not accept additional orders at the window.

"Really" I replied. Which was met with that blank look you see in mug shots.

I gave her a few seconds to take it all in and asked if she could please make an exception. For my effort I received one of those "go to hell whitey" looks you get from certain black people of a certain age when they think they are being dissed by a rich white guy in a Lexus SUV.

After a minute she provided the donuts and closed the window.

Dear Dunkin Donuts, I'm sorry that this additional request confused your staff so much that they forgot to provide a receipt, because they also forgot to charge me for anything.

O'Brion's Mt. Pleasant - The nice thing about O'Brion's is that they are far removed from the tourist areas of Charleston but easy to find inside the planned development called I'On.

It's a very small pub style establishment claiming a dozen beers on tap and two dozen in bottles in a upscale neighborhood.

But the customers service fail starts with the beer, while they have twelve taps some are apparently just for show. I ask our server, a dark haired chunky girl who is fanning herself (because its "a little hot" in the bar on this humid Saturday afternoon) for a "Fat Tire".

"We're out" she announces.

To my left a request for Amstel Light, and clockwise around our table Yuengling, Yuengling and an Ice Water, Iced Tea, and back to me, " Sam Adams?"

"We're out" I fail again. "New Castle?" I meekly ask.

And she's gone.

The bar is about half full, college games are all around but the television in our corner of the bar is showing the weather channel. Our bar height table is surrounded on both sides with parents and kids in soccer shorts and jerseys none are watching the weather channel.

When our server returns we ask to change the flat screen to the Carolina game. She says she'll ask the manager. The television will remain on the weather channel for the rest of our time at O'Brion's.

My clients ask "what's good?" Our server says "everything is good". Which means to me the kitchen is iffy at best. I press her for more information, my quiery is met with"I said its all good".

The kids around us are eating pizza that looks like "Totino's" right out of the box. I opt for a Reuben with chips. Noticing my client is still without water I also ask our server for a glass of ice water. Her reply is "sure".

A plus is their homemade chips with blue cheese, which are delivered to the table before the beer. We ask about our beer and the server tells us "We are out of Amstel Light, for whoever ordered that."

He offers to have what everyone else is having.

The beer shows up and we discover that we are all drinking Yuengling and jokingly ask our sever if the iced tea is really Yuengling. She is fanning herself again and doesn't crack even the slighest smile.

The food arrives and I inquire about the water again. Her answer is something about it's hot and she'll get to it.

I eat about half of my of my Ruben, its very good and everyone else seems satisfied with their food. One of the group asks our server for pepper as she walks by, she grabs the condiment caddy in the middle of the table and puts it in front of him. The caddy has pepper and salt though you have to look down into it to see the small bottles.

Before she leaves she picks up our empty plate of chips and points at my plate and asks "are you still working on that" I surrender "no". She offers a to go box, "no thank you", I reply.

Suddenly may plate is gone. I start to object but figure she was hungry and wanted to scarf is down behind the bar.

The weather channel drones on with hurricane graphics announcing doom for the Northeast.

My client asks for the check and the server asks if that would be separate checks? "No one check" my client answers.

Then the server asks again, "so one check?"

Myself and the two other men at the table offer to pay, the client prevails and the sever gets the message ONE CHECK!

A minute later the server shows up and hands me the check, my client reaches across the table takes the check from me and places his hundred dollar bill and the check on the table. Then he excuses himself and leaves for the restroom.

Our server returns, picks up the the check glances at it notices the 100, then looks to our group "Do you need change?"

"Yes" I answer.

The client is back at the table when the server returns, she's still fanning herself. "Here's your change" she announces. The client tells her she can keep it. Her answer is an astounding, "they told me to bring the change".

I debate grabbing the change and giving her back two dollars.

The amazing thing is that she really thinks she's the best waitress in the world, worthy of praise and large amount of cash for her service skills.

More reviews of O'Brion's Pub and Grille here and O'Brion's web site is here.

Shoot for Joy

Mecklenburg Bull Shooters, a shooting club, will hold its inaugural Shoot for Joy fundraiser September 10, 2011.

The event is named for Sgt. Joy McGraw, who died from cancer in August 2010.

Proceeds from the event will go to CMPD HOPE, a fund that helps those in need.

The 10-station course will feature a sport-clay shoot for shotguns and a trap-game shoot for house guns. Bull Shooters welcomes experienced shooters or those accompanied by experienced shooters.

The event costs $100, which includes a barbecue lunch and door prizes, and takes place at the home of Mr. and Mrs. David Kidd, 5900 Stephens Road. Sign in starts at 8 a.m., and shooting begins at 9.

For more information, call Gerald McGraw at 704-488-6654.

CMPD Trip to Puerto Rico To Recruit Police Officers Misguided?

You might recall CMPD Chief Monroe recently sending a team to Puerto Rico to recruit Spanish speaking officers to work for the Charlotte Police Department. Apparently CMPD came back empty handed returning with little fan fair or formal announcement.

But according to the US Justice Department CMPD efforts couldn't have been more misguided.

In a blistering condemnation of the second-largest police force in the United States, the Justice Department is accusing the Puerto Rico Police Department of a “profound” and “longstanding” pattern of civil rights violations and other illegal practices that have left it “broken in a number of critical and fundamental respects.”

In a 116-page report that officials made public Thursday, the civil rights division of the Justice Department accused the Puerto Rico Police Department of systematically “using force, including deadly force, when no force or lesser force was called for,” unnecessarily injuring hundreds of people and killing “numerous others.”

A copy of the report is here.

You can read the full story from the New York Times here. The entire Justice Department memo is here.

Seems either CMPD officials where completely uninformed and unaware of the investigation that began in 2008, or the trip really was nothing more than a "Plus 1" business trip to enjoy some fun in the sun.

Cedar's Take: Call me crazy but it doesn't seem like a very good idea to recruit police officers from the nation's most corrupt police department just because Charlotte is low on Spanish speaking officers.

Illegal Immigrant Students Arrested In Ploy To Obtain Legal Status

Photo: Charlotte Observer

During Tuesday's rally at Central Piedmont Community College 200 people showed up for N.C. Dream Team’s protest of policies that they say discriminate against undocumented immigrants.

At one point during the protest several people blocked traffic, at the intersection of Kings Drive and Fourth Street, while chanting “education not deportation” and “undocumented and unafraid.”

Showing just how convoluted our immigration laws have become, several students at CPCC were arrested for disorderly conduct in hopes of gaining Obama's favor, and legal status. Of the 15 people arrested ten were determined to be in the country illegally.

According to The Charlotte Observer: Tuesday’s arrests were expected to be one of the first chances to see how a new Obama administration policy on illegal immigrants is implemented. The administration announced last month that those without criminal records would be released from jail and granted work permits.

More from the Charlotte Observer here.

That plan may have backfired when ICE refused to review the students status.

Some of those arrested Tuesday are featured below. Note: Mecklenburg County Sheriff's office arrest reports did not detail alien status.

Torres-Don, Alicia

Vazguez, Manuel Alejandro

Strobino, Dante Emmanuel

Saauedra, Marco Antonio

Rodriguez, Martin

Morris, Robin Andrew

Martinez, Viridiana Bernice

Lugo-Brito, Perdo Orlando

Garcia, Peter Bryan

Castillo, Isabel

Arce-Jumenez, Raul Mauro

Abodollahi, Mohammad

Velazquillo, Bangelica Marlen

Cedar Post's Update: Interesting development, most of the student protesters have been released but it seems Marco Antonio Saauedra may have sparked the interest of ICE and Homeland Security. He is still being held by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff.

Marco Antonio Saauedra

According to the Keyon Collegian the student newspaper of Kenyon College Gambier Ohio, Saauedra he was born in Oaxaca, Mexico and crossed the border through the Sonoran Desert when he was three years old. He is a graduate of the college, and a member of the class of 2011.

More details on Saauedra via the Keyon Collegian which is here.