Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Quotes from The Art of War

"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained, you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle."

Sun Tzu, 500 BC


City Hall in the 50's

They're shooting a movie at Los Angeles City Hall that has a bunch of 50's-era LAPD cars, as well as actors dressed like officers from that period. When I was walking to lunch, I saw the filming in progress and asked one of the people that I was with to grab a digital picture (seen above) of the filming. Undoubtedly, the police cars from that era epitomize the "cops and robbers" generation, and I think it would be hard to have a police car as memorable as the one seen above.

I have no idea what they're shooting, but I'm willing to bet that Kevin Roderick has the inside scoop. With the exception of LA Confidential, it's been hard to find a major motion picture that depicts the old-school Los Angeles law enforcement officers and the trials and tribulations they dealt with on a daily basis. I have Dragnet on DVD, but it still doesn't capture the raw essense of revolvers and dirty interrogation rooms.

As always, I'm up for whatever suggestions you guys have for good cop movies. Also, if you happen to know what they're filming at City Hall, leave that in the comments and I'll post an update.


We're still here

Despite what you might have heard, we're still alive and kicking. In what could be described as good news for society as a whole, there hasn't been an outbreak of crime in the Los Angeles area, so blogging has been light. But never fear: we'll be posting some new stories very soon.

For your homework, I'm assigning each of you the duty of scrolling down to the archives section to click and read at least two old posts. Have fun!

Saturday, September 24, 2005


The CSI effect

It seems that Federal prosecutors are feeling the same pain that we're forced to put up with on a daily basis, as jurors seem to think that everything portrayed on television actually happens in real life.
Jurors schooled in crime investigations through watching TV dramas expect prosecutors to show them sophisticated forensic evidence -- even in white-collar trials -- making it tough for the government to prove cases, two federal prosecutors said on Friday.

Alice Martin, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, said that the so-called "CSI effect" -- a reference to the hit CBS television show about gruesome crime scene investigations -- hurt her case against HealthSouth Corp. founder Richard Scrushy.

Scrushy was acquitted of securities fraud and other charges by an Alabama federal jury in June -- a blow to prosecutors seeking to punish alleged corporate wrongdoing.

Jurors in post-verdict interviews "said, 'we needed a fingerprint on one of the documents or we needed him (Scrushy) to say the word 'fraud' on the audiotape"' that was secretly recorded by a former HealthSouth finance chief, Martin said at a white-collar crime conference at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington.

"They said, 'they always do fingerprints on TV," she said.

David Anders, an assistant U.S. attorney in Manhattan who prosecuted ex-WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers and former investment banker Frank Quattrone, also told the conference that jurors expect forensic-type evidence in white-collar cases.

"The 'CSI effect' is not something that we're happy about," Anders said.

These aren't tears of joy on my face, either.

Friday, September 23, 2005


Security Cameras: Jordan Downs

Remember how I was talking about how the private sector in Downtown Los Angeles created their own crime task force, that included the use of video cameras to watch over the sector? The idea sprouted legs, because the LAPD is posting cameras in the amazingly dangerous housing project of Jordan Downs. Naturally, the ACLU is throwing a fit, because as far as they're concerned, gangsters should be able to shoot anyone they like, but I fully support the idea because whether the civil libertarians like it or not, the plan will reduce crime and end up costing less in the long run.
The Jordan Downs housing project is one of Los Angeles' most dangerous and blighted communities, with a high crime rate and residents too poor to purchase computers, let alone Internet service.

Los Angeles police have a plan to attack both the digital divide and the violence. By year's end, the Los Angeles Police Department intends to place at least a dozen surveillance cameras inside the 700-unit, World War II-era complex and along connecting streets to Jordan High School.

In a carrot-and-stick twist, the cameras will provide the projects' 2,400 residents and some of its Watts neighbors with free wireless Internet access.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Flight 292

It's well worth the time to point out how quickly and professionally both JetBlue and local police and fire agencies across Los Angeles County handled the Flight 292 incident.
As the plane came to rest, scores of fire and rescue vehicles sped toward it across the tarmac. But the passengers and crew emerged unhurt, some walking down the stairs waving to cameras and giving one another high-fives.

Burke had delivered what experts said was a "perfect" touchdown of a crippled aircraft.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who spoke to the pilot at the airport, praised him.

"He walked off the plane with a big smile on his face, just cool as a cucumber. He joked that he was sorry he put the plane down 6 inches off the center line," Villaraigosa said.

Patterico joins.

Newsday has complete details about the event. "It was a very, very safe landing," Los Angeles Fire Dept. Battalion Chief Lou Roupoli said. "The pilot did an outstanding job. He kept the plane on its rear tires as long as he could before he brought it."

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Dunphy on New Orleans

The infamous Jack Dunphy has a few words about the mayhem, looting, and perceived attitude of unaccountability in regard to New Orleans law enforcement officers in the days following Hurricane Katrina.
It's been my experience in more than two decades as a cop that Pareto's Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, is just as applicable in law enforcement as it is in business. Put simply, 80 percent of the heavy lifting in police work is performed by 20 percent of the cops. When the danger is greatest, these are the ones who will be closest to it, while the others are directing traffic safely away from the action. The cops you saw risking their lives on television last week were New Orleans's 20 percent. As for the ones who stayed home, the others were better off without them.


Hurricane, part 2

It appears as if our fellow countrymen and women are about to be hit by
another storm that has the potential to ruin what is left of the devastated south. I'd like to make everyone aware of the fact that The Glorified Jailer and I have added a direct link to the Red Cross at the top of the page, and it will remain there for as long as it takes. Please take the time to click on the link and toss in a few dollars for victim of these current tragedies, as well as the ones we will undoubtedly experience in the future.

While I know that we can not guarantee complete safety from tragedies, I do know that we can prepare by making groups such as the Red Cross as strong as possible so they can take care of those in need. At the same time, it's important for everyone to create an emergency preparedness kit at home. The Los Angeles Department of Human Services has complete details of what you can do to build a kit of your own easily and affordable.


Freeway Shooting: Fontana

Here's a little bit of info about the reason the Interstate 10 Freeway was shutdown for a number of hours yesterday morning.
A shooting on the San Bernardino Freeway near Fontana early Monday morning left two Rialto men hospitalized and led to the closure of all westbound lanes for several hours during the morning rush hour, authorities said.

A black Ford Taurus approached the victims' car on Interstate 10 near Sierra Avenue about 2:40 a.m., and shots were fired, hitting the driver in the jaw and the passenger in the buttocks, said San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Jodi Miller.

Sunday, September 18, 2005


Sunday Evening Zen



Sunday Morning Zen

Here I am safely returned over peaks
from a journey far more beautiful, and strange
than anything I had hoped for or imagined.
How is it that this safe return brings such regret?

-T.S. Ellot

Saturday, September 17, 2005


Reassessing the Posse Comitatus act

I posted this over at Right Thinking, and The Glorified Jailer thought it would be a good idea to link it here as well. I agree.

This looks like a
bad idea to me.

Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday, Sen. John Warner, R-Va., chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said, “I believe the time has come that we reflect on the Posse Comitatus Act.” He advocated giving the president and the secretary of defense “correct standby authorities” to manage disasters.

Presidents have long been reluctant to deploy U.S. troops domestically, leery of the image of federal troops patrolling in their own country or of embarrassing state and local officials.

The active-duty elements that Bush did send to Louisiana and Mississippi included some Army and Marine Corps helicopters and their crews, plus Navy ships. The main federal ground forces, led by troops of the 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C., arrived late Saturday, five days after Katrina struck.

They helped with evacuations and performed search-and-rescue missions in flooded portions of New Orleans but did not join in law enforcement operations.

The federal troops were led by Lt. Gen. Russel Honore. The governors commanded their National Guard soldiers, sent from dozens of states.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is reviewing a wide range of possible changes in the way the military could be used in domestic emergencies, spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said Friday. He said these included possible changes in the relationship between federal and state military authorities.

The Posse Comitatus act works fine, and there’s absolutely no need for federal troops to be deployed on national soil. At all. That’s what the National Guard is for, and God willing, one lesson we learn from Hurricane Katrina is that the National Guard is ready to deploy on a moments notice.

When we had the (second edition) of riots here in Los Angeles County, every law enforcement agency in their respective city held down the fort. The National Guard and
California State Military Reserve assisted the LA County Sheriffs in street detail in areas such as Compton and Watts and assigned a unit outside of the Hall of Justice jail, but outside of that, our local agencies --- some of whom had only 25 - 50 officers --- held back thousands of people who were rioting, looting, burning down buildings, and making Los Angeles look like Fallujah. The last riot caused Los Angeles to reassess the need for emergency preparedness, resulting in an entire command post and sets of special officers to run it (I blogged about it on my site, which you can read about at this link).

If politicians weren’t so worried about pulling the trigger on calling for assistance by the National Guard, then the issue of amending the restrictions set forth by the Posse Comitatus Act wouldn’t even be worthy of discussion.

You know who has federal troops patrolling the streets? Communist China, and the former USSR. Personally, I think we have way too many people who would love to be local, state, or Federal law enforcement officers, and even more who would enjoy some weekend stints as National Guard troops. Issuing orders to Federal troops at the drop of a hat is completely unnecessary, given the fact that we have a cadre of agencies and state troops who can do the job.


Downtown Los Angeles: Security cameras

As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of the county, city, and virtually every other part of Los Angeles. I love the history of the city, as well as the idea of what the city can become. About a week ago, cameras went up along the downtown corridor, in an effort to protect those who are spending major dollars for the lofts that overlook some shotty parts of the city.
The Historic Core last week became the latest Downtown district to receive street-level surveillance cameras. Police, developers and business owners hope the new technology, which will ultimately cover 23 Downtown blocks, will help improve the quality of life and increase safety in an area experiencing an upsurge in residential projects.

"They will enhance services and reduce crime," said Pierre Toulakany, president of the Historic Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) board of directors, which voted in June to fund the network of cameras. "We have full coverage."

Toulakany said the 17 cameras, which cost about $275,000, will be installed on various buildings in an area bounded by Broadway and Los Angeles Street and Third and Ninth streets. The entire system is expected to be in place within three months, he said.

The cameras are funded by the BID, a group of business and property owners who elect to tax themselves to pay for additional security, cleaning and marketing services.

I'm not much for big-brother watching over me at all times, but I can't say I blame the people who feel safer knowing that they will make it from their car to their front door without something happening to them. Plus, when it comes down to it, the LAPD is only watching the footage, they're not paying for the setup. Instead, the BID (the group mentioned above, comprised of residential and business owners) footed for the costs associated with the equipment.

I really can't say that this is a bad idea.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Religion = Unconstitutional

As I’ve said many times, I will always do my best to avoid mixing religion and politics. The combination of the two can get very messy, as we’ve seen when Lee takes on the Christian-Conservative faction of the party. Beliefs in both of the sectors can easily cross lines and provide for a difficult situation to deal with. However, it looks like we won’t have to worry about that in California anytime soon, since the Pledge of Allegiance has been declared unconstitutional

Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is unconstitutional, a federal court judge ruled today, saying that the pledge’s reference to “under God” violated school children’s right to be “free from a coercive requirement to affirm God.”

The suit is the second by Sacramento atheist Michael Newdow, who has been trying for five years to remove the pledge from public classrooms.
You know what I think about this? If you don’t want to say “under God” while reciting the Pledge, then don’t. There doesn’t have to be a legal ruling in order for this to be declared. The article continues with a history of the Pledge, and where the line that made the entire thing unconstitutional came from.
The original pledge, which did not include the words “under God,” was written by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister’s son, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in America. Congress enacted the pledge in 1942.

The phrase was added in 1954 by legislation that recognized a belief that “from the time of our earliest history our peoples and our institutions have reflected the traditional concept that our nation was founded on a fundamental belief in God,” according to the House Report accompanying its passage.

California law requires that public elementary schools conduct “appropriate patriotic exercises” at the beginning of the school day.
And that’s it. In no way is the Pledge stating that you must believe in God, or else you’re going to burn in hell and face thousands of years of fire and brimstone being shoved up your rectum. That’s not the case. If you want, you can simply avoid saying those words if you don’t feel like it. And for that matter, I can name a ton of religions that believe in God, from Christianity to Buddhism, and Islam to Zoroastrianism. The title of God is not defined in the Pledge, and I don’t believe it’s stated anywhere that the God being referred to is the Christian God that the left seems to have a problem with lately.

The biggest problem I see with this is that another crazy, fringe minority has won a battle, thus forcing the rest of us to abide by their ways. This is the same as the people who support illegal immigration, which is just a small, if not almost unrecordable percentage of people in the United States. Unless you read blogs and are politically active, you wouldn’t realize that these people exist. The same goes for the pro-communists - unless you actively search for them, you’re not going to find them. However, what we’re seeing is a small group of people who get their way almost constantly, while the rest of us are left spinning our wheels and tossing mud.

Posted By Nick


About On the Same Page

I found a Blog today that is really worth checking out The Jawa Report An interesting article on the main page, that is quoted below. I am pretty much in line with this view and with the view of the Governments responsibilities with the Citizens of the United States
And someone certainly needs to take a look at a police force who can't stand their ground during an emergency. This is what you were trained for, folks! That's why you became cops! You've given a promise and you can't simply bug out during a time of crisis. Maybe they need a change from the head down. But whatever it takes MUST be done to prevent something like this looting and wholescale lawlessness again.
This is really worth the read. Go Now

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Guest Writing: Right Thinking

If you feel like stopping by, I'll be one of the guest writers on Right Thinking, filling in for Lee while he's vacationing in Australia.

In other news, I'm still petitioning to get The Glorified Jailer on the Starkcast.

Monday, September 12, 2005


Los Angeles: Dark

We're on a full tactical alert down here right now because of the strange power incident. More to come soon.

UPDATE: It's definitely nothing criminal nor terrorist in nature. It was nothing more than a screw-up at the DWP.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power officials said the outage was linked to human error at a receiving station near Burbank. Workers connected the wrong wires, causing a surge of power that led to shutdowns at three power generating stations, according to officials.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Sunday Fun: Guess the quote

Can you guess where this quote came from?
Come to Los Angeles! The sun shines bright, the beaches are wide and inviting, and the orange groves stretch as far as the eye can see. There are jobs aplenty, and land is cheap. Every working man can have his own house, and inside every house, a happy, all-American family. You can have all this, and who knows... you could even be discovered, become a movie star... or at least see one. Life is good in Los Angeles... it's paradise on Earth.


Sunday Morning on September 11th, 2005

America stands for liberty, for the pursuit of happiness and for the unalienable right for life. This right to life cannot be granted or denied by government because it does not come from government, it comes from the creator of life.

-President G.W. Bush

Look at that destruction, that massive, senseless, cruel loss of human life ... and then I ask you to look in your hearts and recognize that there is no room for neutrality on the issue of terrorism. You're either with civilization or with terrorists.
On one side is democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human life; on the other is tyranny, arbitrary executions, and mass murder.
We're right and they're wrong. It's as simple as that.
- Rudy Giulani, October 1, 2001

Friday, September 09, 2005



Chris Muir from Day by Day always nails it. Given everything that has happened in New Orleans, and considering the fact that they are in that infamous part of the United States that counts the day until they are hit by a hurricane on a yearly basis, I find it hard to believe that the relief efforts on a local and state level were so poor that FEMA had to be considered first responders.

Here in Los Angeles, you will find officers who look like U.S. Marines and have badges that say "Office of Public Safety." Most people write them off, because they think they're glorified security guards, but they provide the diplomatic security to virtually every politician in Los Angeles County. In fact, when there's a disaster, they hold down the fort and run the entire Office of Emergency Management for Los Angeles County.
The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) was established by Chapter 2.68 of the County Code with responsibility for organizing and directing the preparedness efforts of the Emergency Management Organization of Los Angeles County. OEM is the day-to-day Los Angeles County Operational Area coordinator for the entire geographic area of the county.

I'd be willing to bet that three people in the Los Angeles County OEM could have handled the entire New Orleans tragedy while munching on a bagel and tossing back some Aquafina. We have a lot to worry about here in Los Angeles; we have earthquakes that tear-down buildings and wreck freeways, riots that hold entire cities hostage, and various other disturbances that are written about in history books worldwide. I have absolutely no problem believing that our Office of Public Safety could handle it all, and do so with an expertise that would leave those who saw the events in the south breathless.

The good news? The Office of Public Safety is hiring officers.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Future Correctional Officer

I can’t figure out what is coming out of that kids nose. I think it is his hand, but I can’t make it out.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Now On to Las Vegas

I finally found the video I had a post written about the video, but I deleted it when I couldn’t find the video. So now I am just going to link to the video and just let it speak for its self.


Fire Michael Brown

I am in total agreement with Lee on this one. Michael Brown needs to be fired; and the reasons are here. I am not going to hold my breath because all I see is this administration do is reward incompetence with the Presidential Medal Of Freedom.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Dunphy on human resources

In his new column, the man, the mystery, and the guy who is on John Mack's hit list - Officer Jack Dunphy - offers a few words about how the man who made a living battling the LAPD is now in charge of the police commission.
Despite Mack's long history of hostility toward the LAPD, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed him to the Police Commission, where he now sits as president. Will Garcia get a fair hearing from this man when the commission examines the Brown shooting? I doubt it.


The Removal of the Government Tit

There is no food, water, electricity and I have no self-reliance, so what should I do? I know I will just lay down here and die.

Does anyone else know what I am talking about?

Sunday, September 04, 2005


Sunday Morning Zen

I am part of the sun as my eye is part of me.
That I am part of the Earth my feet know perfectly,
and my blood is part of the sea.

My soul knows that I am part of the human race.
As my spirit is part of my nation.

In my very ownself I am part of my family.

-David Herbert Lawrence

Saturday, September 03, 2005


How Could This Be?

The mullet that went half-way down his back was never the give-away. Nor, was the way he would pull the long, black mullet over his shoulder to comb it out. It also wasn't the tatoo outline of a woman lying on her back with her legs spread - like what you'd see in a smut magazine. The faded blue ink made the woman look "worn" in the full-length tattoo on his back. Maybe it was the way he walked across the module, or how he spoke with that bitch-accent that "turned on" an officer. Imagine the the officer taking him to the recreation area, pulling down his uniform, and banging him in the ass while looking at the faded tattoo on his back.

Maybe it was the tattoo that attracted him and made him put his career on the line, or maybe it was the long mullet that he could pull and pretend it was his wife? And after, did he watch the inmate pack his rectum with the contraband he gave him when he was done?

Did he care about the risk he was putting his fellow officers in? Did he feel the pressure of the investigation that started because he wasn't bringing in enough contraband, and the inmate started to talk? Didn't know he would be blackmailed by the inmate? Didn’t the inmate enjoy it as he slapped him on the ass and asked him, “Who is your CO?”

Strange that it had to come to the officer's reinsertion and ridicule of other officers before he revealed it wasn’t true-love but business.

Story told to me by an inmate, confirmed by a Correction Officer friend in the Department of Corrections.

Friday, September 02, 2005


Terror Watch: Jihad against the LAPD

* I dont have time to comment nor write about this call for jihad against the LAPD, so I'm going to paste this entire story from KFI 640 (Los Angeles), and write more about it when time permits.

Flyer Calls for "Jihad" Against the LAPD
September 1, 2005

By Eric Leonard

KFI NEWS has obtained a copy of a flyer that's been circulated in South Los Angeles, calling on members of two violent street gangs to join the Nation of Islam in a jihad, or holy war, against the LAPD.

The telephone number listed for the Nation of Islam's Los Angeles mosque near 87th and Vermont has been disconnected, but a check of a reverse directory reveals the phone number on the flyer is connected to the mosque at the same address.

The NOI's Los Angeles leader Minister Tony Muhammad has claimed he was the victim of an unprovoked attack by LAPD officers at the scene of a vigil for a murdered gang member.

The LAPD last week released an audio tape of some garbled radio transmissions in which they say Muhammad can be heard challenging officers.

The photograph on the flyer appears to have been taken at a news conference held just after Muhammad was released from jail.

Muhammad and the Nation of Islam have not returned calls for comment.

It's unclear who created the flyer so the LAPD has declined to comment, other than saying officers have been aware of them for several days.

"This is deeply disturbing," Los Angeles Police Protective League President Bob Baker told KFI in an e-mail (the LAPPL is the LAPD officers' union).

"Quite frankly, this is a case in which I hope our mayor, our Police Commission and our community leaders can step in to remind everyone of our shared priorities," Baker said.

More details to follow. I sure hope this is a fake.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Update: Los Angeles terror plot (thwarted)

I was talking with someone a few days ago about the threat of homegrown terrorists and terrorist enablers. They swore that I was just paranoid because I work in law enforcement, but it seems that I was right.

The federal indictment of four Los Angeles men for allegedly plotting a string of attacks on military and Jewish targets concerns officials because it suggests that Islamic extremists can take root in the
United States without the help of international terrorists, federal authorities said Wednesday.

"This summer, Americans watched so-called homegrown terrorists unleash multiple bombings in the city of London. Some in this country may have mistakenly believed that it could not happen here," U.S. Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales said at a Washington news conference to announce the
charges. "Today we have chilling evidence that it is possible."

Kevin Lamar James, 29; Levar Haney Washington, 25; and Gregory Vernon Patterson and Hammad Riaz Samana, both 21, were charged with crimes including conspiracy to kill U.S. and foreign government officials, firearms violations and conspiracy to levy war against the U.S. through

We're dealing with a few problems here. I have spent a lot of time, as have all of my colleagues, trying to prevent terror attacks in the United States; I've studied it, done my best to thwart it, and continue to research into the causes and effects of domestic and international terror. All in all, the amount of information surrounding terrorism and terrorist-related activities would make your head spin. You have the terrorists who are planning to commit the act, the people who support the terrorists and run clandestine operations, others who offer support by merely knowing what's going on without reporting it or tipping off people in my position to the jig, and then the foot soldiers who walk onto buses and subway and blow themselves up. For lack of a better term, it's a messy situation.

This is the same problem that we dealt with --- and still deal with --- when it comes to communists. It's a slim chance that you're going to come across someone who is actively campaigning as a communist. We busted someone under circumstances that you wouldn't expect, in that case, over the internet, who was actively conspiring against the United States. He was one man, yet he had dozens of supporters. Some provided logistical support, while the majority just gave him moral support, or refused to open their mouths each time he took another step in his plan to bring harm to the country. To put this into perspective, you see this same thing occur on a daily basis, only you wouldn't be able to put the pieces together without knowledge of what they're forming. Everyone has seen kids running around with Ernesto "Che" Guevara shirts. They're commonplace these days, and I'm willing to put money on it that most people who wear the shirts don't know who Guevara is, or the atrocities that he committed. However, there are supporters who look up to both Guevara and Fidel Castro, and believe in them wholeheartedly. This drops a definite problem in the lap of those of us in law enforcement; we have a First Amendment right to free speech in this county, which is undoubtedly one of the greatest things in the world. There aren't many countries that can compare to us when it comes to that single Amendment, and what it stands for. If someone wants to be a communist and stand on a corner preaching from Fidel's diary, they're more than welcome to.

A judge once told me, "... the biggest problem with the goofs who spew hate and propaganda is that they get tired of not being taken seriously, and sooner or later they act out." I can apply that directly to the communist-enablers. As in the case that I was talking about before, the assailtant was actively conspiring against the United States. His support group (the enablers) consisted of the typical Che Guevara wearing, "... my hero is Fidel Castro," -touting youths that I described above. They believed in the ideaology of Guevara and Castro, thus turning a blind eye to whatever the assailant was doing. While they didn't load any clips with ammo, not drive a car filled with explosives into a parking garage, by not acting, they essentially acted.

And this is the problem with homegrown terrorism in the United States today. There might not be many people who are willing to strap a bomb-vest to themselves and press the button on a DASH bus in Downtown Los Angeles, but they do have enablers who will be more than happy to look the other direction when the plot is being hatched. These enablers prevent law enforcement officers from completing investigations, or even turning up leads until wide-eyed citizens notice strange people taking pictures of the pier in Santa Monica, or surveillance tapes in the South Bay turn-up a match on suspected terrorists.

That is the fine line between free speech and committing a crime.


Law School: Grads head to the DA's office

You can probably search my archives and find out how many times I've (literally) demanded that recent law school grads look to their local DA's office as a viable alternative to private law firms. Not only are jobs in law enforcement fulfilling on a personal and professional level, but the pay in major counties is pretty darned good as well. Another place to check out is the U.S. Attorney's office, where one of my hero's, Michael Chertoff, got his start in public service. Either way, the prosecution business is definitely becoming the hottest job in town.

The LA Times has a story about the Los Angeles County DA's office, and how recent law school grads from top-tier schools were standing in line just to get an interview.
Being a government lawyer — in particular a prosecutor — has become increasingly attractive to law school graduates in recent years, career counselors say. The starting pay at law firms can be more than double what a district attorney offers. But the late nights and weekends required for many firm jobs can make prosecutor jobs more attractive.

"It offers purposeful work, a decent income and reasonable hours," said Graham Sherr, a former legal headhunter and now assistant dean for career services at Loyola Law School, which is sending more than 20 of its graduates to the district attorney's office this year. "Government lawyers tend to be the most satisfied lawyers I've encountered."

In the early '80s, if you graduated from a good law school, you could walk into a district attorney's office and get hired," Sherr said. "In the last 10 years, it has become super-competitive."

It's worth the time and effort, although I can not emphasize how much heart it takes to get into this line of work. Working in criminal prosecution is not the glamorous job you see on Law & Order; it's a tough job that requires dedication, and the desire to see bad guys put in jail, or punished for their crimes. It's long hours of blood, sweat, and tears (literally) that give you more redemption due to the fact that you're helping people, versus litigating a messy divorce, or reiterating contracts and incorporations. As with all law enforcement jobs, it's often more heart than brains.

UPDATE: Patterico agrees.

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