Thursday, July 31, 2008


From the Star Tribune, Minnesota-St. Paul:

Minneapolis police: A mistake, an apology and then medals
July 30, 2008

First, the city apologized. Then it gave awards.

Eight Minneapolis officers received medals in City Hall Monday for their valor in a botched raid that the city apologized for last year. That isn't sitting well with the family shot at multiple times by the officers.

"I'm shocked that they're receiving awards for that night," said Yee Moua. "My family is a mess right now. My [9-year-old] son, who saw the shooting, still has nightmares and has needed therapy. They've ruined a life, and I don't understand why they would get rewarded for that."

The awards stemmed from a high-risk search in December. The eight officers -- who had SWAT training -- entered the house expecting to find a violent gang member. Instead, they found Vang Khang, a 35-year-old homeowner who thought he was being robbed. Khang shot through his bedroom door at the officers until he understood who they were.

In the midst of the shootout were Moua, who is Khang's wife, and their six children, who range in age from 3 to 15. Moua said her family has since abandoned the house and can no longer afford to keep it.

Minneapolis police spokesman Sgt. William Palmer said Tuesday the department has acknowledged the raid was a mistake and has apologized to the family. But he said the officers "performed very bravely under gunfire and made smart decisions."

Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan said that he knew giving the award might get negative attention but that "we've never not recognized an officer shot in the line of duty."

Three officers received shrapnel damage to body armor and their ballistic helmets, Palmer said.

Dolan said he did not speak with the family prior to the award ceremony, but he did speak with Hmong community leaders in north Minneapolis who were "mostly understanding."

"I can understand [Moua's] feelings, but the officers didn't make any mistakes and they were able to stop things from getting worse," Dolan said. "Like the old maxim says, 'You don't punish your officers for the mistake of the general.'"

'We almost died that night'

Police said they acted on bad information from an informant, who reportedly was a victim of a crime at a house in the 1300 block of Logan Avenue N. Police said they had no reason to believe the information was inaccurate and they had the right address on the warrant, but the house wasn't occupied by anybody they wanted.

The raid was part of an investigation by the department's Violent Offender Task Force, which typically goes after the most violent gang members and drug dealers. Officers had retrieved guns in searches connected with the case before the raid.

According to police, officers entered the home without knocking -- a standard procedure in cases where officers expected to find weapons -- and called out, "Police!" as they searched the home's first floor. They didn't find anybody, so went to the second floor. At a small landing at the top of the stairs, they again shouted, "Police!"

Shots then came through the walls and doors as officers searched two bedrooms, police said. It was Khang shooting from a third bedroom.

Authorities said there were children in the other bedrooms, and the officers quickly realized there was a language barrier. The older children were able to communicate to their father that police were in the house and to stop shooting.

"As soon as they started taking fire, [officers] got in front of the kids and used their body as a shield," Palmer said. "They used great restraint and shot precisely at where the bullets were coming back from."

Moua disputed the police account.

"They never identified themselves; we thought they were a whole bunch of drunk, crazy guys," she said. "We didn't know anything until my oldest son yelled, 'Dad, it's the police!'"
She also said the officers did not try to protect her children, but rather hid themselves behind furniture and shot back indiscriminately. She said officers treated her and her husband roughly, and did not explain the situation after the two surrendered.

"They stepped on my husband, and we kept asking, 'Where are the bad guys?'" she said. "We were just trying to protect ours kids. We almost died that night."

Lawsuit against the city

Sgt. Jesse Garcia said the city conducted an internal affairs investigation after the raid and the SWAT team was cleared of any wrongdoing. He said no other details were available because the investigation was still open.

Casper Hill, a spokesman for the city of Minneapolis, said the city has reimbursed the Khang family $7,500 for "miscellaneous expenses."

The family's lawyer, Thomas Heffelfinger, said that he has had ongoing conversations with the city attorney's office and that there will be a lawsuit if they cannot reach a resolution.

"They fired 22 rounds with 9 millimeter automatic weapons into a room with two adults and four children," Heffelfinger said. "That's not protecting kids. They were firing at a room they couldn't see into. They fired with the intent to kill the person on the other side of the door.

"To give these men awards for that behavior is nothing more than an attempt to sanitize their conduct."

Heffelfinger also said the family had lived at the house for four years and had no history of wrongdoing. He said police "failed to do their homework" and "acted outrageously once they got there."

Officers receiving medals of commendation included Sgt. Nicholas Torborg and officers Steven Blackwell, Matthew Kaminski, Ricardo Muro and Craig Taylor. Sgt. Michael Young and officers John Sheneman and Alan Williams received medals of valor.

"We knew there might be political implications with this," Palmer said. "We're not passing judgment today on the rest of what happened there. But those officers were shot in the line of duty, and there isn't an appropriate level of award for that."


First, somebody needs to tell the writer that he does not necessarily need a new paragraph for EVERY sentence.

Second, OH MY GOD. How stupid does a person have to give awards to men who made what could have been a fatal mistake? I'm just so frikken mad right now about this.

Must go throw a rock at something. Maybe if I hit someone with it and then apologize, they'll give me $20 or a big blue ribbon for accuracy.

Stupid fucks.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Just one question

At what point is a mother allowed to break, without being considered selfish?

Monday, July 28, 2008

A sad day

R.I.P. Butch.
You fought a valiant fight. We hope there was no pain.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Update on Butch

Butch has survived three nights with us now, and he appears to have super powers. He's withstood multiple force-feedings, chill, transport through pothole-filled neighborhoods, and excessive handling. All of those things on top of being in an environment completely alien and unnatural for him, filled with sounds, smells, and light that he should have never been subjected to. Every article I have read gave him a 90% chance of survival (he was younger when we found him than I first thought - maybe 2 days), but the little fighter is still here - proving me wrong at every turn and making me love him.


I took Butch to work with me today and promised my daughter - his primary caregiver - that I wouldn't KILL him. I didn't. Unfortunately, he was discovered by the cat later in the evening (thanks to a door that was left open - NOT BY ME), and he was carried around for who knows how long, suffering several tiny punctures and a loss of body heat. For a creature with no fur and paper-thin skin, this is a big deal. She didn't mean him any harm, but treated him as a kitten - he just didn't have the fur a kitten would have to protect him from mama kitty love.

He has, however, continued to crawl around in his blind way and eat.

I am completely dumbfounded and amazed.

Due to his incredible will to be, I have decided that he is allowed to sleep in his soft human-made nest for as long as he will tolerate it. I had previously decided that he would go to another licensed rehabber as soon as possible, but he has earned his place here. At least now he can be released into his family group.

Stupid tiny hairless freaky thing. I wuv himz.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A recurring epidemic

I have a relatively serious and probably unanswerable question:

How in the world does an adult human logically justify looking down on someone because of their skin color or what language they speak? What has to happen in a person's brain (stroke? acid flashback?) for them to see a complete stranger and determine them unworthy for basic kindness? Judging someone or something based on skin pigment is just the most ridiculous thing I've ever encountered.

Now, I personally know people of all races who make me want to stick forks in their eyes on a daily basis - but that's because they're douche bags, not because they're soft outer layer is a certain color. There is no color when it comes to douche bags.

I recently had a conversation with a relatively intelligent woman in her 50's, concerning a house that I'm looking into. After revealing the location (which is great, by the way) she said, "Isn't that in Shantytown?"

"Shantytown? What are you talking about?"

"You know," she answered, "where all the black people live in those run down houses. I wouldn't live there if you paid me."

And I was completely flabbergasted. This woman preaches incessantly about how she loves everybody, no matter what race or sexual-orientation they may be. Yet, driving by a house with a black gentleman working in his yard sends her right back into the 1950's, when people were afraid of other people based on COLOR. NOTHING.

You know, I know a lot of really awful men. Is it fair for me to then lump all men into the same category and declare them evil and not to be associated with? No, it would not be fair. But I guarantee you that a man spewing race hate would become transformed into the indignant victim if I did. The concept of not blaming a group for the sins of others in that group is lost on so many people, and it really saddens me. Especially when I see wonderful people taking it in the chin day after day after day, without so much as a flinch.

People, go find the nearest child and talk to him or her about how fantastic this world is BECAUSE we get to experience diversity. Teach them compassion and love for humankind.

Except for the douche bags.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

They're GREAT...for other people

The chick that sits in the ceiling-less box next to me at work had a baby. She did not have it at work, and it was six weeks ago. (Maybe I should have led with that) At approximately 3pm this afternoon, she brought the little bundle by for a visit and the entire 7th floor of my building shut down so that every woman within baby head smelling distance could ooh and ahh and grasp at tiny baby toes.

I swear, you could hear the ovaries throbbing in that crowd.

New Mommy fielded questions from her audience about sleeping habits, quantities of nutrition ingested, and general baby ooey gooey-ness. All the while, the little angel was sleeping peacefully in my arms while I rocked back and forth, gazing at her perfect little nose and impossibly long eyelashes. In my own little world with the baby, I thought to myself:

"Thank the sweet baby jesus that I never have to wipe feces off of my children ever again."

Then I handed the baby to the next woman and told New Mommy how wonderful having a baby that age is. And I didn't lie even a little bit.

I'm just glad as HELL that I never have to go through it again.

Then I came home and kissed my rotten kids (ignoring their screams of terror) because they don't make me wash bottles, smell like formula puke, or turn my eyes red from lack of sleep. God bless 'em.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What a difference a year makes

My big old droolin' shadow/protector/dish pre-washer/bed mate survived 365 whole days. I think I'll keep him.


This is Butch. He is NOT the dog's birthday present, no matter what he tells you. He lies a lot.

Butch fell out of his nest and was not retrieved by his mother before the storms came in, so we brought him in to pass away in a warm box, instead of on cold, wet concrete. However, the little fucker is eating and moving around, so it looks like I just got another new job: Squirrel Baby Nursemaid!

I can't be irritated, though. He's too darn delicate right now. I'll get irritated if we manage to keep him alive for a day or so.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Why I should never be allowed to own a taser

"Can I take your order?"

"Yes, I want a number eight with only mayo and...."

"Hold on. (Yelling to someone else inside the building) Hey! Did you put everything on those burgers? - Ok, can you repeat that?"

"A number eight. Only mayo. And a c-..."

"What do you want for your drink?"

"...coke. I also want a..."


"Yes. Coke. I also want a 4 piece chicken kids' meal with a chocolate shake."

"You want 4 kids' meals?? Four??"

"No. I want ONE four piece kids meal. ONE. With a chocolate shake."

"Ok, chocolate milk."

"Chocolate shake."

"Ok, I got it. Is that it?"

"Just one more....wait. The screen says chocolate milk. I want a milkSHAKE, not milk."

"You said milk."

"No, I really didn't. I said shake three times. Would you like me to order at the window instead?"

"Hold on. I gotta fix this now. *SIGH* What else you want?"

"A medium fry."

"What size?"

"What? I said MEDIUM fry."

"So you don't want the pie?"

"WHAT? Um, no."

"Are you done?"

"That's it, thank you."


Monday, July 21, 2008

Head bang to the disco

I have pictures to edit and post, somewhat thoughtful topics to explore, and many many peevish comments....yet.....

...I can't stop downloading music.

(Disclaimer: The following paragraph includes links to YouTube. If you detest YouTube and prefer not to visit, do not click. If you don't give a crap, click away and witness my musical schizophrenia. Amen.)

I LOVE THE INTERNET. Except for the viruses and stuff. And spam for penis enlargement cream. And stupid people who get their feelings hurt on forums about Atari. But the music!!!! Where else can I download several dozen songs in one place of all different genres, without having to buy the entire album that probably has some stupid spoken word intro songs wasting space? I now have Metallica right before Paul Simon, followed by Chuck Mangione and Flogging Molly. Only a little bit of Ray Stevens. Maybe. It is most definitely a beautiful thing.

My co-workers might not think so tomorrow, though. Teehee.

PS - If anyone reading this is headed to the Norfolk, VA Flogging Molly show in September, and you want to carpool...let me know. Go green, people.

Also PS - Yes, I do know how old I am. I can still listen to hard stuff. Shut up.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ignore the woman behind the curtain

I'm having a hard time coming up with posts for this new blog.

Trying to hide myself from the spies equates to not being able really talk about anything personal, and that's not what I set out to do when I started blogging, two years ago. This is an interesting predicament.

When I was very young, I remember a night when my uncle was driving me to my father's house for a visit around Christmastime. We were traveling through a rural area that, at that hour, consisted of lots of pitch black topped by stars, broken up by the occasional home. My uncle and I were playing a game to see who could spot the most Christmas trees through the front windows of the houses. Imagine closing your eyes for three minutes and opening them in a brightly lit room for 3 seconds - it was pretty cool.

I bring that memory up because blogging is sort of like that - showing the sparkly best of your decor for everybody, but keeping the ugly green armchair that smells like cat in the back room. Something like that. Except, I didn't want to do that. On my old blog, I put most of my ugly, smelly furniture right on the front porch for every passer-by to see and judge, and it was cathartic for me. Now, I'm hiding behind the anonymity and I sort of resent it.

I sort of resent it a lot.

Stupid spies.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Welcome to Enigma Taco. If you're wondering what sense the title of this blog makes, take comfort in the fact that handfuls of other readers and the writer also have no friggin idea. It's fun though, right?
Today is Friday, and that means that absolutely no seriousness will be allowed here on the blog that makes no sense. I'm "working" now, so a long and hardly thought out post is not possible. Instead, you get to enjoy linkys!! El yay!!!
I need you people to like what I like.
First, there's Things You Never Knew Existed. I especially covet the Frank Farter Dog, complete with white briefs. Again, not understanding it....but fun!
I keep uploading different pictures to My Heritage to see if I can get a different answer, but it appears that I most resemble Kristen Davis on the celebrity face recognition. I was hoping for Lucille Ball, but whatever.
I don't care who you are, NOBODY can read this post by Daniel Evans at Dad Gone Mad and not laugh out loud. If you succeed, you're a freak and you should move to France. The smelly part of the country.
I was going to post some more of my favorite internet things, but I've actually got to work now. Stupid job.
I hope you're all having a romping Friday! Romp a little bit for me too.

Thursday, July 17, 2008