Blue Byline

A cop's perspective of the news and South Sound matters

Tag: U.S. Congress


Fast and Furious scandal is much ado about the wrong thing

There is simply no denying that the import-export strategy adopted by Mexico’s uber violent drug cartels (and supported by gangs and assorted criminals in the U.S.) is a recession proof business model: Drugs flow north – guns flow south.

The vast fortunes generated by drug sales have created an alternate reality in Mexico, where a war is being fought against the naked greed of drug trafficking organizations (DTOs). The human cost is staggering: according to an LA Times report 34,000 people have died in the five years since military operations began targeting DTOs.

That statistic fails to account for the bloodthirsty

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A tribute to Congressman Dicks

This column ran in 2011, but I am dusting it off in recognition of Congressman Norm Dicks’ plans to retire.

I stood by the open cockpit door of the little four-passenger Piper and imagined myself the very image of a nonchalant charter pilot. Then my passenger, Congressman Norm Dicks, stormed up, hot with anger, and my cool demeanor evaporated like water on the sun-drenched tarmac. He had just been told that I was his ride to Hoquiam, and I swear I saw smoke coming out of his ears.

That was back in 2000. I had just left Tacoma P.D.

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Congress: DO NOT mess with military retirement

In the last decade of war, most of us sat out and tuned out. Meanwhile, our soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen deployed. And deployed. And deployed.

Occasionally we stopped tweeting and texting long enough to watch the news, mourn the dead, wave the flag or tie a yellow ribbon. Perhaps we took that extra step of approaching a uniformed serviceman or woman to say, “Thank you for your service.”

But the times have changed. And the times are tough.

Congress now faces the unpleasant task of hacking off sizeable chunks from the budget, including portions of our nation’s vast defense costs (Trib article 9/25). In addition to expensive weapon’s systems and nation-building initiatives, the retirement promised to veterans actually appears to be on the table.

That is, in a word, outrageous. Twenty years and half pay- that was the deal.

There are numerous examples of pensions lost or shrunk in the private sector. The difference is that the capitalism system has always carried the potential for great reward as well as great loss. Any comparison to military benefits would be comparing apples to oranges (or grenades).

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