Saturday, July 29, 2006

Quick Update

Been really busy with work - was on the road all week last week. I'm recuperating from that this weekend, then another busy week next week. After that, things should settle down a bit - I think I may take a week off in September.

I'm hopeful that I'll be able to get back on track with training at the end of next week, but the way things have been going, who knows. I do know that I need to do something active, I can almost feel the aging process.

A Gathering

I stayed at the Crowne Plaza in Secaucus, NJ on Thursday night.

Apparently, there was a Lord of the Rings convention starting Friday.

Quite something.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

On 'Overkill'

There are 6 raids in Maryland.

Search Results

These 6 results represent
The state of: MD
For the year: All
And the following type of incident: All

David Scheper and Sascha Wagner.

August 18, 2005—MD

On August 18, 2005, police in Baltimore, Maryland force their way into the home of David Scheper and Sascha Wagner. Thinking they are being robbed, Wagner calls 911, telling the operator, "There's someone breaking into my house." Scheper slams the door on the officers, who never announce they are police.

The officers then shatter the glass on the home's front door. Scheper stands just inside, holding his 12-gauge shotgun. He doesn't have ammunition, but he hopes that racking the gun within earshot of the door would scare off what he still believes are intruders. When they don't leave, Scheper retreats to his basement, and grabs the only functioning weapon in his house, a CZ-52 semiautomatic, what he calls a "piece-of-junk Czechoslovakian pistol." As Scheper struggles to load the weapon, it accidentally discharges, sending a round into the floor of his basement.

Police would eventually enter, and seize $1,440 in cash Scheper says he had recently withdrawn to buy a used pickup truck. According to the Baltimore City Paper, police also "...hit a 70-year-old art-deco-style metal desk with an ax. They took 18 of Scheper's guns--mostly inoperable antiques, he says--and some gun-shaped props he had built for movies. 'They threatened to blow up my safe,' Scheper says, so he opened it for them."

The police had made an error. They also had no search warrant. They were looking for a tenant Scheper had evicted weeks earlier. Nevertheless, police still put Scheper's antique gun collection on display for the local news as part of a "roundup" of illegal weapons they'd found in two local raids.

The only charge to come of the police visit to Scheper's home was one against Scheper for firing the weapon in his basement, which carried a $1,000 fine and a year in prison. Prosecutors eventually dropped that charge, but only after Scheper's lawyer successfully fought to get Wagner's 911 call admitted as evidence, over the objection of prosecutors.


Edward Ericson, Jr., "Breakin? All the Rules; Prosecutor Drop Case Against Man Who Says Plainclothes Police Tried To Force Way Into His Home Without Warrant," Baltimore City Paper, December 21, 2005.

Cheryl Lynn Noel.

January 21, 2005—MD

Baltimore County, Maryland police descend on a home in the Dundalk neighborhood at around 5 a.m. on a narcotics warrant. They deploy a flashbang grenade, then quickly subdue the first-floor occupants -- a man and two young adults.

When officers enter the second-floor bedroom of Cheryl Llynn Noel, they break open the door to find the middle-aged woman in her bed, frightened, and pointing a handgun at them. One officer fires three times. Noel dies at the scene.

Friends and acquaintances described Noel as "a wonderful person," who ran a Bible study group on her lunch breaks. One man collected 200 signatures from friends, neighbors, and coworkers vouching for her character.

Officers conducted the raid after finding marijuana seeds in the Noels' garbage can.


Joseph M. Giordano, "Woman is shot, killed by police in drug raid," Dundalk Eagle, January 27, 2005.

Joseph M. Giordano, "Petition reflects anguish," Dundalk Eagle, March 31, 2005.

Desmond Ray.

December 11, 2002—MD

As police in Prince George's County, Maryland prepare for a SWAT raid on a suspected drug dealer, Desmond Ray--not the target of the raid--steps out of a parked car. Cpl. Charles Ramseur says Ray reached for his waistband upon exiting the car. Ray says he put his hands in the air.

Ramseur fires his weapon at Ray and strikes him in the spine, paralyzing him. Ray is unarmed, and would never be charged with a crime.

In April 2004, an "Executive Review Panel" found that Ramseur had no justification for shooting Ray, and recommended administrative charges against him for using excessive force. The recommendation was overruled when the internal police review board found no wrongdoing. Ramseur was reinstated.

County police later settled a civil suit with Ray for an undisclosed sum of money.


"Prince George's police corporal cleared in 2002 shooting," Associated Press, July 15, 2005.

The Lewis Cauthorne Raid.

November 19, 2002—MD

On January 7, 2003, prosecutors in Baltimore announce they will not press charges against Lewis S. Cauthorne for firing a .45-caliber handgun at police who broke down his door during a no-knock raid in November 2002.

Cauthorne, at home with his mother, girlfriend, and three year-old daughter at the time of the raid, heard screaming when police broke open the door to his home and began searching for drugs. The raiding officers never identified themselves.

Prosecutors later determined that Cauthorne, who had no arrest record and whose father had been robbed and killed as a cab driver, had reason to believe his life was in danger when he fired and wounded three of the raiding police officers. Police fired back, but no one inside the home was hit.

Police were acting on a tip from a confidential informant, and claim to have found six bags with traces of marijuana, empty vials, a razor with cocaine residue, and two scales in Cauthorne's home. But the ensuing investigation found peculiarities with the evidence that precluded Cauthorne from being charged even with a misdemeanor. For example, there was no record of where exactly in the home the drugs were found, and crime lab technicians were told by police not to photograph the evidence.

The officers who conducted the raid were also unavailable for interviews from investigators until days or weeks after the raid took place. Though never charged, Cauthorne served more than six weeks in jail before the charges against him were dismissed.


Allison Klein and Del Quentin Wilber, "Prosecutor to drop charges in shooting of four officers," Baltimore Sun, January 7, 2003.

Harry Davis.

February 3, 1992—MD

In 1992, police in Fort Washington, Maryland conduct a no-knock raid on the home of Harry Davis.

According to Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy, "Fifteen police officers, carrying assault weapons and dressed in black garb that looked like some kind of ninja outfits, stormed in, knocked Davis to the floor and held him there with a shotgun to his head." Police also pulled Davis' girlfriend out of bed in the nude, and performed a body cavity search.

Police then tore out the walls to Davis' apartment, smashed family photos in their frames, and confiscated his car.

A confidential informant had told police that Davis was laundering more than $100 million in drug money from his home. Davis' face was splashed all over the news as the mastermind of an elaborate East Coast cocaine cartel. Yet police found no drugs or weapons in his apartment, and later confirmed that they'd found no evidence of money laundering.

The assistant U.S. attorney in charge of the case later conceded, "The evidence did not have him in any actual drug transaction." Davis lost his car leasing business, and lost possession of his car, which police seized, then returned to the bank when Davis was unable to keep up on his payments. Davis found temporary work as a car salesman after his arrest, but was later fired after a customer recognized him as the man the TV news identified as a drug kingpin.

A year later, prosecutors dropped all charges against Davis. Davis said in court, "You break into my home, humiliate my friend, destroy my business, and after investigating me for a year, just drop the charges. What can you say to me?"

The judge replied, "You're free. Next case."

According to Milloy, Davis was never compensated, even for the damage to his home.


Courtland Milloy, "For Ex-Defendant, P Street Case Still a Nightmare," Washington Post, February 7, 1993, p. B1.

Sgt. Mark Murphy.

August 31, 1988—MD

On August 31, 1988, police in Prince George's County, Maryland conduct a no-knock raid on the home of Dion Smith, suspected of cocaine distribution.

As Sergeant Mark Murphy attempts to pry open the door to the second-floor garden apartment with a hydraulic pump, the officers around him hear what they believe to be a gunshot. Two officers behind Murphy open fire. Murphy is struck in the head by a round fired by one of his fellow officers, and dies six months later.

One police official would later say of the raid, "Unfortunately, there is no room for error in these kinds of situations."


"NW Man Pleads Guilty in Drug Case," Washington Post, January 21, 1989, p. B4.

Craig W. Floyd, "Deadly Drug Raids," National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, October 6, 2003.
Hopefully this paper will get some attention, and maybe these six will be the last.

Required Reading

Radley Balko's paper on the overuse of paramilitary (SWAT) teams in raids.


Good title.

He makes a nice point here on his blog in response to critics:
If you're going to argue that there isn't a problem here because "only" 40 or so innocent people have been killed in paramilitary police raids since 1985, I wonder, what is a good number? At what point do you begin to get concerned? Seems like an odd sort of consequentialism. If we could keep the drug supply down (not that these raids are actually doing that -- which is another matter, also addressed in the paper) by having the government randomly execute one innocent person every six months, and randomly terrorize an innocent family once every ten days or so, would that be okay?
Well? Would it?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I simply can not get any traction... on anything. I can't get to the gym, I can't get control of some things at work, and I can't get the house done.

And it's all a vicious cycle - if I could get to the gym, work wouldn't frustrate me so much. If I could get work under control, I could get to the gym.

Today was just one more day like this. Got in early, with the goal of getting a bunch of work done, get out mid afternoon, head to the gym, get home, cook some food, clean up a little, and still have some time to relax. Then the day goes to hell at about 2:30, and while I got out of the office at a reasonable time (3:30), I ended up on the phone the whole ride home, then had to log back in when I got home, and was on the phone and using e-mail until almost 7.

I really have to get a handle on things.

Tomorrow is another day. My brother and his wife are having baby #2, so it will be a good day for sure. I'm going to try to hit the gym after going to see them.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


I'm a Home Depot guy. Always have preferred shopping there, plus the big company I work for has ties to them.

But I have to give Lowes some big credit, and suggest anyone who is considering a large purchase look there.

I purchased 5 Coleman storage units for my garage - two 3 drawer units, two jumbo tall units, one tall unit. (They can be seen here.) Had them delivered.

The drawer units went together without too much trouble. When you buy these things, you know what you are getting - self assembly, particle board construction.. these are not high end cabinets. I started to put together the first jumbo unit, and when I got the doors out of the box, one of them was heavily damaged. I freaked out - I had visions of having to take everything back, or waiting two weeks to have another one delivered. Or worse yet, sending all of it back and getting something else, losing all the time I spent putting the units together.

I called the store, prepared for the worst. Within five minutes, they had set up a delivery for the next day (today, a Sunday) to come out and get the damaged unit and bring me a replacement. Buy 10 AM, they've been here and gone.

Well done.

My garage is still a mess.

Friday, July 14, 2006

I told you so.

Cenk Uygur on what is happening in Iraq. Nice post, and the comments are also very good.

Over and over again, we crazy Libertarians, painted as 'Anti war wackos', 'unpatriotic', and whatever else the mornic Right decided to call us, told you this was going to happen, and that we were better off letting it happen on it's own instead of having it happen with 150,000 of our troops (and how many billions of dollars now?) in the middle of it.

Iraq is a country containing 3 very distinct groups, all of which don't like the others very much. The only thing keeping the area stable was the oppression of Hussien, a member of one of the smaller groups. There is absolutley no doubt he's a horrible man. But there was never a reason for us to invade, and now that we are there, exactly what (some of us) thought would happen is happening. And we can't stop it.

What we had, though, was an oppressive secular government, that while not really our best friends, certainly not aligned with the militant Islamic maniacs who attacked us. What we are going to end up with, at best, is another Islamic state. Again, some of us knew this would happen... and if we knew it, I'm pretty sure someone involved knew it, too.

Couple that with Iran and North Korea rattling their sabres, and we're too busy in Iraq to be able to do much about it. Put what's going on in Isreal on top of THAT.

Found Osama yet?

And y'all want to blame Clinton.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

And you all thought the Clinton Administration was fantastic late night talk fodder...

You simply can not top this.

LEAHY: The president has said very specifically, and he’s said it to our European allies, he’s waiting for the Supreme Court decision to tell him whether or not he was supposed to close Guantanamo or not. After, he said it upheld his position on Guantanamo, and in fact it said neither. Where did he get that impression? The President’s not a lawyer, you are, the Justice Department advised him. Did you give him such a cockamamie idea or what?
BRADBURY: Well, I try not to give anybody cockamamie ideas.
LEAHY: Well, where’d he get the idea?
BRADBURY: The Hamdan decision, senator, does implicitly recognize we’re in a war, that the President’s war powers were triggered by the attacks on the country, and that law of war paradigm applies. That’s what the whole case —
LEAHY: I don’t think the President was talking about the nuances of the law of war paradigm, he was saying this was going to tell him that he could keep Guantanamo open or not, after it said he could.
BRADBURY: Well, it’s not —
LEAHY: Was the President right or was he wrong?
BRABURY: It’s under the law of war –
LEAHY: Was the President right or was he wrong?
BRADBURY: The President is always right.

Another hat tip to The Agitator.

Welcome to your police state

We're so glad you could make it.

Most disturbing quote:
We are in the business of scaring people.

Hat tip: The Agitator

Sunday, July 9, 2006

The world stops today.

For 90 minutes.

1 Billion people (not counting those watching in communal areas like bars and pubs), around the world are watching a game.

Friday, July 7, 2006

Training: Bench

It's hard to play it smart and take it easy at first. Normally I would have done this tomorrow, but I couldn't wait to get in the gym. Squatting on Sunday. Sad numbers, but they'll come up. Nutrition is going well.
Warmup: 5 mins elliptical

Bench Press
2x20 @ 45
Not happy with this, but I was working without a net, and have no idea what rep I can't do.

OH Press
2x12 @ 45
2x5 @ 95

Bent row
2x15 @ 45
3x8 @ 135

Rope pressdown
3x15 @ 80

Hammer curl
20s x 15
25s x 15

Workout time: 3:00 - 3:40

Coach X

Many of the folks who read this blog are interested in getting strong.

Give this interview a listen - good stuff from Dave Tate and EliteFTS!

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Training: Update and ME Squat/Dead

One of the things Dr. John Berardi says in the No Nonsense Nutrition DVD is that lots of people overthink things, and they wait until everything is planned and perfect to start. Successful people start today.

I've always been the former when it comes to training and diet - the plan had to be in place, or there was no point in even going to the gym.

That stops. Now.

Speaking of nutrition and Berardi - I picked up his Precision Nutrition. He does a nice job of basically telling you to keep it simple, follow some basic rules and plan things out. I like the approach, and have been using it since Monday.

On to today's training, the fist session back in quite some time. Instead of coming up with a plan, breaking everything into phases and cycles, etc, I'm just going back to it. I'm going to use the basic WSB/conjugated/whatever you want to call it template - an ME Squat and an ME Bench, a DE Squat and a DE Bench, focusing on whatever is weak to make it strong. For now, I think the DE days may be RE days, since I just need to work on getting jacked, not worry about speed so much. But we'll see. For ME days, I'll keep the main lift for 3 weeks, working up to a 5RM in week one, a 3RM week 2, and a 1RM week 3, then changing the lift and repeating.

Warmup: 5 mins elliptical
This was hard, but not earth shattering. I do know not to go nuts my first day back.

Leg press
2 legs 90x12
1 leg 2x5 @ 90
Weak. Unilateral stuff is a huge weakness for me. I need to bring it up, so I'll continue to include it.

3x15 @ 45
Be Smart!

45 degree hypers

Lying leg raises


Workout time: 3:15 - 4:10

Explaining the World Cup

Here in the US, the World Cup is a passing interest. I'd be suprised if the TV ratings surpassed that of the WSOP.

But everywhere else in the world, it's the Superbowl. Times 10. People risk getting SHOT to watch.

There's a commentary here on freedom, too.