Growing up in Florida, I can attest to the sheer number of law enforcement officers (as well as full-time firemen), many of whom make unbelievable salaries and benefits. Of course these benefits are not supported by the market, they are the product of unionization. This applies to both liberal/decaying areas such as new england, as well as conservative/wealthy areas such as the coasts of Florida. Liberal areas are pro-big-government and pro-unions, which results in large pools of government employees, including in law enforcement. Wealthy/conservative areas generally have a large population of older citizens, who obsess about how many police officers are patrolling the streets. The results, based upon my observances, is a bunch of over-paid government employees who have nothing better to do than to obsess over catching you speeding. And if you are a decent-looking woman, there has to be enough back-up available to at least have three cruisers on the scene.
West Virginia has its problems, but this generally is not one of them. State troopers do get decent pay. However, most county or municipal cops get paid very, very little. I think all of our firefighters are volunteers. We should keep it this way. We should let the market dictate pay. There obviously is no shortage of qualified persons wanting to be in law enforcement. Why raise our taxes for no reason? Or maybe we should pay the better cops more, and fire the bad ones.
There was an article in the San Francisco Examiner to the effect that over 1,000 cops in one New York county are being paid over $150,000.00 per year:
According to this report from Newsday, a state oversight board is seizing control of Nassau County’s finances “in large part because County Executive Edward Mangano was unable to get millions of dollars in labor givebacks to balance his $2.6-billion budget.”
Of the county’s 2,400 police officers, 1,103 were paid in excess of $150,000 a year. Clearly, that’s not sustainable. And just last week Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., highlighted the case of Parsippany, N.J. where the town had to take out a bond to pay for the retirements of four police officers. Union rules allow police to be paid for any unused sick leave on retirement, and the four cops had accumulated $900,000 worth.
For years, public safety employee unions have extracted major salary and benefit concessions through implicit threat — striking police leave communities vulnerable. But now we’ve reached a point where communities around the country are quite literally out of money. Either the unions start making concessions, or start losing jobs.
Beware, it can easily happen here in West Virginia. It would be nice to have everything that everybody wants, but sometimes you just can’t afford to have everything that you think you need. We have been getting along just fine. Of course we have our problems, but at least we don’t have the problems that these governments in New York and California do.
For concealed weapon carry permit holders in West Virginia, there are two very important items of documentation that you must have on you at all times:
(1) your West Virginia concealed pistol/revolver license, which of course is legally required to be on your person any time you are carrying a concealed weapon; and
(2) your attorney’s business card, in case you get arrested by a law enforcement officer regarding your firearm, or in case, God forbid, you are forced to use your firearm in self defense.
Step one is legally carrying the weapon. Its a whole separate ordeal explaining the situation of having to use deadly force to defend yourself or others to law enforcement and later, the prosecuting attorney. You should leave it to a professional. Have your attorney’s card laminated and keep it in your wallet along with your CCW permit card.
Of course, my business cards already come pre-laminated in a glossy finish and will stand the test of time in your wallet. If you want an attorney who knows guns and the many facets of self defense and gun laws in West Virginia, and who also has a proven track record of successfully defending gun charges, both through obtaining dismissals from judges and prosecutors and from obtaining acquittals from juries, call me and I will send you several of my cards free and with no questions or obligations.
Remember: saying “with all due respect sir, I would like to have my attorney here before I answer questions – I will call him right now” cannot be used against you. Even if they arrest you, your innocence can be sorted out after the fact. Make sure that your attorney gives you some way of contacting him or her after hours if an emergency arises. You have to use your brain.
You may want to say (especially if there is no attorney handy) something to officers, depending on the circumstances, so that they understand that it is a self defense situation. ”Officer, this was self defense, I was in fear for my life, I have a concealed carry permit. That is his gun over there lying next to his body. This man over there was a witness”. If an officer is going to support you, he will not push you to answer questions beyond that. If he is not going to support you, then there is no point in talking with him anyways.
There was an article in the Charleston Gazette, a few days ago, “Lawsuit challenges W.Va. city gun laws” which explained that “a pro-gun lobbying group” filed a lawsuit (or lawsuits rather?) to overturn gun control laws in four West Virginia “cities”: Charleston, South Charleston, Dunbar and Martinsburg. The lawsuit was filed by the West Virginia Citizens Defense League and challenges Charleston’s limits on the number of handguns a person can buy in a month, as well as the city’s prohibition on possessing firearms on city property, such as in city parking garages.
Charleston, WV Mayor, Danny Jones, was quoted in the story:
Charleston Mayor Danny Jones promised to fight the lawsuit.
. . .
Jones noted the lawsuit was filed in the Charleston federal courthouse where firearms are prohibited.
“All we want is what they have. We want to be able to control our own property,” Jones said. “I don’t know how far these people want to go.”
Jones is one of these know-it-all hypocrite slum lords, who has a police force to protect him, and who denies his subjects, or anyone else venturing into his slum-dom, who are actually law abiding citizens, from possessing legally owned and carried concealed weapons. So if you go into a city-owned parking garage in Charleston, WV, by law you are not allowed to have the ability to protect yourself. Of course in a decaying city full of drug addicts, who would need a gun to protect themselves in a darkly-lit parking garage? Jones doesn’t trust us law abiding citizens to abide by the law.
Interestingly, there was an article in the Charleston Gazette today, that Mayor Danny Jones’ son was arrested for possession of heroin within the slum-dom. This was the statement from Jones’ “mayoral assistant”:
Mayor Jones had no comment about his son’s arrest. Rob Blackstone, mayoral assistant, said, “It is what it is. He’s 21 years old.”
There you have it. Law abiding gun owners just need to stay out of Charleston. Because we all know there is nothing stopping the criminals and drug addicts from obtaining and possessing guns on “city property”. Probably the first place they go to rob somebody will be the city parking garages.
I don’t think these mayors are stupid. They don’t actually believe that their gun control laws will protect people. They have a liberal and/or ignorant majority of voters, who have an ideological hatred towards guns and law-abiding gun owners, whom they see as right-wing fanatics. This fits their agenda. Moreover, the more freedom they take away from their subjects, the more power they gain. Their subjects are made to depend on their protection.
Maybe Danny Jones should worry about the crime/slum/drug problem in his city, instead of wasting taxpayer money promising to fight lawsuits and trying to “control [taxpayer] property”. He obviously has no control, including over his own son.
The State Journal ran a story today entitled “Guilty Pleas Expected in Development Scam” announcing that a former United Bank Vice President and loan officer who we sued as a part of our Walnut Springs Mountain Reserve civil fraud case, “R. Leon Cooper” has agreed to plead guilty to federal crimes as part of a plea deal.
The conduct supporting the plea has to do with fraud which occurred in the development of the “Lamplighter” subdivision in Lewisburg, WV. The story also noted that:
As part of the guilty pleas, both Carter and Cooper agreed to cooperate with the U.S. Attorney’s office on further investigations. Both Carter and Cooper also will forfeit nearly $2 million in valued property.
Carter is scheduled to enter his guilty plea Jan. 6 in Beckley. Cooper’s plea has been scheduled for Jan. 13 in Beckley.
Cooper was the former Fayette Planning Commission president involved in the failed River Ridge development in Fayetteville.
That development crumbled when sewer plans for the development were prematurely approved so loans Cooper facilitated through United Bank could be approved for property purchasers, according to lawsuits filed concerning that development.
Cooper also has been named in a civil lawsuit filed in the failed Walnut Springs development in Monroe County.
The Monroe County lawsuit is pending.
There also was a story in the Charleston Gazette yesterday that United Bank paid $15,000,000.00 in fraud settlements in 2009 alone. And we wonder why the economy collapsed…. The Gazette also ran a story on Friday on the Cooper fraud. The banks have been running absolutely wild. We are still sorting out how many innocent U.S. citizens were harmed due to bank fraud in the mid to late 2000′s. It is a big deal for these two West Virginia publications to start reporting on United Bank’s dirty laundry. For those of you who don’t know, United Bank basically runs the state of West Virginia. It is the “state’s largest bank” and many, many people and institutions in West Virginia are afraid of it. But once the cat’s out of the bag, it’s out. I suspect we will read more soon.
Ok, here’s more: A Virginia businessman, Osama M. El-Atari, 31, pled guilty to bank fraud totaling $53,000,000 in fraudulent loans. Guess who else was involved? That’s right, United Bank. A United Bank Vice President and loan officer (same general position as Cooper), Sissaye Gezachew, 32, was arrested and pled guilty to bank fraud for his involvement with El-Atari. See Washington Post article and FBI press release. Banks do not exactly advertise these incidents, or even explain them, to their customers or shareholders. In fact, they don’t even let their mortgagees who have been victims of fraud know about the fraud. Rather, they pretend it never happened and demand their money. Then they foreclose and threaten to garnish wages. Of course you would still be safer with United Bank than dealing with United Bank of Africa.
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