Saturday, March 10, 2018

WBTV's 78 Second Sound Bite On CMPD Officer Pay

It didn't have a lot of substance, ran less than 90 seconds and didn't get a lot of traction after it aired. But WBTV's sound bite on Officer pay was at least a start.

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) Raleigh Police are on their way to Charlotte for a recruiting event Friday, as CMPD officers demand better pay and benefits from Charlotte city officials Some local officers tell WBTV many are leaving for better opportunities.

I never thought I would be one to leave,” said one former CMPD officer who asked we not reveal his identity. He left his badge behind two months ago. “Good people are leaving,” he said. “I can assure you that former colleagues of mine that were excellent police officers, were an absolute asset to CMPD, left for better opportunities.

And so did he, taking his nine years’ experience to the private sector. Like many officers in Charlotte, he says the tough choice was all about pay, benefits, and ultimately - family.

“When you go to work every day and kiss your kids goodbye, not knowing full-well if you’re going to come home or not, and doing it while living paycheck to paycheck and not having the benefits that a profession that puts you in harm’s way should provide, it’s incredibly difficult,” he said. Right now, a new CMPD recruit will make just more than $43,000 to start, with the chance to eventually rise to nearly $66,000 as an officer.

But officers recently told city council – it is coming up short. “We’re leaving for places like Raleigh that’ll pay their officers more than $70,000, compared to just $60,000 here,” Daniel Redford, a current 12-year veteran of CMPD, told the Charlotte City Council.

As Raleigh prepares for a recruiting event in Charlotte on Friday, opportunities like this are causing some to have concern for the retention rate in Charlotte. “You don’t want a situation where you’re filling police academies with bodies instead of cops because that’ll have a detrimental effect for anyone who lives and works in and around Charlotte,” the former officer said.

CMPD officers are asking the council to consider a 15 percent pay increase for them in the next budget. Council members have told WBTV that they hear the officers’ message “loud and clear".

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Pfc. Donald H. Dufault USMC Killed In Action March 5, 1945

73 Years ago this week Donald H. Dufault, the son of my great aunt Alice (Duty) Dufault, the divorced mother's only child was killed in action on the island of Iwo Jima.
You might recall the massive uproar over President Trump's conversation with the widow of Sergeant La David Johnson in what would be later called the Tongo Tongo Ambush. During the seven days between the death of Sergeant Johnson and his burial many in the liberal press as well as liberal members of congress used the Marine's death to unfortunately attack the President.
In 1945 your notification wasn't a visit from an Officer and Navy Chaplin and later a consolatory phone call from the president, rather a straight forward telegram, just slightly more personal than today's email, that was hand delivered by a courier or left on your door should you not be at home.
The Western Union Telegram Delivered On March 27, 1945
Let us also note that it wasn't right away or the next day, in fact as the above telegram shows notification was nearly a month after my Great Aunt's son was killed in action.
The local paper learned of the news and published this report.
Two weeks later she received this letter from her son:
Oddly enough the letter is dated 3 days after Pfc. Dufault was killed on Iwo Jima. Perhaps in the "fog of war" the days ran together or the date he was killed was simply recorded in error.
The following letter was written by a fellow Marine 3 months later and it took nearly a month to reach Don's mother. Notice the "Naval Censor" stamp in the lower left corner of the envelope below. The letter details how Pfc. Dufault was killed by a Japanese sniper.

October 14, 1948, more than three years after his death the letter below was received along with a Presidential Unit Citation bar with two stars and the Asiatic - Pacific Campaign Medal. This was added to her collection of two Purple Hearts and other service medals.
The citation (below) maybe the most concise account of the five week battle (19 February – 26 March 1945) to take the volcanic island of Iwo Jima at a cost of 26,040 total casualties, in all 6,821 US Sailors and Marines were killed and 19,217 wounded.

The above description of the events is epic!
On January 31, 1949 Pfc. Donald Dufault's remains where returned to his home town of Marion Illinois, nearly 4 years after his death.

Two years later Post 980 was dedicated in his honor.

Dedication of American Legion Post #980 Chicago
Pfc. Donald H Dufault became a Marine on October 3, 1940 and served in Alaska, Aleutian Islands, before participating in two invasions of the Marshall Islands, being wounded during the taking the island of Saipan (Now part of the Mariana Islands a US Territory) in June of 1944 and finally the successful capture by US Marines of Iwo Jima.  
Cedar's take: There are times when I tire of hearing "thank you for your service" you see, saluting the national ensign and enjoying a 3 day leave nearly every weekend for 8 years ain't shit. Spending the final four years of your life chasing an enemy across the Pacific from island to island because you are a Marine that's service, that's a hero who deserves your thank you!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Hope Hicks

No big secret, my fascination with Hope Hicks. 
In the world of what is sexy, most see Kim Kardashin and Kate Upton of sex tape and Sports Illustrated fame.
Still that sort of over exposed over rated sexy is not real world sexy.
Power, influence and the ability to gracefully navigate the perils of "inside the beltway" while gently seductively presenting pure womanhood without the Jennifer Lawrence plunging neck line and slit up to the far reaches of  her thigh dress look is just so ultra sexy.

Where life takes Ms Hicks only she knows for sure, but I can't help but notice the ever so faint grin, as if she had just left behind a bomb that was about to go off.
Cedar Back Story: As you might expect there is a back story to this photo and this one time freelance shooter thinks its worth a read right here.

Throw Back Thursday "Freedoms Being Lost" 1979

The more things change the more they stay the same. Back in 1979 a speech was given to a large gathering of Charlotte business leaders during the Charlotte Rotary Club’s annual public business luncheon held “Uptown” at the then new Radisson Hotel. The subject government over reach and ”Freedoms Being Lost”. What follows are a few highlights of that speech:

American’s are losing their freedom in the name of “public interest,” do not give in.
Don’t be a part of a group that gives up its long-term freedom for a short term gain.
Freedom is a free-market, and free enterprise; free to produce, discover, invent, experiment, to succeed, to fail, to profit, and to consume all on a voluntary basis without interference by the policing powers of the state.

It is a fact, that government control does not work, and it has been bad and getting worse for all who have tried it.

Let me illustrate how we are moving in the direction of more and more government control: In 1960 the federal government had 100 programs, while today it has grown to more than 1,200.

In 1930 government spending accounted for 12 percent of the gross national product whereas today it is nearly 40 percent. By the year 2000 at the current rate of growth it will be 60 percent.
With the free enterprise system we produce 28 percent of the world's production with five percent of the world’s population. After we feed ourselves, we export 60 percent of our wheat and rice, 50 percent of our soybeans, 20 percent of our corn, despite the fact that since 1940 the number of framers and farm workers has decreased by 66 and 2/3rds percent, because during the last 40 years, our output has increased 75 percent.

Contrast this to the Soviet Union, who after 63 years of Bolshevik Achievement is still dependent of western technology for food. The obvious flaw, a lack of creative thought, no incentive to achieve more by the masses.

Contrast our free enterprise system with the so-called “best of each" Democratic - Socialism, Sweden’s “cradle-to-grave” protection that now dictates the color of a man’s house. For this guidance, the average Swedish worker pays $4,125 annually in taxes from his $11,000 per year income. The British man pays taxes of nearly 60 percent of the national income.
Today 130 million man-hours are spent each year filling out government forms at a cost of $25 billion. Government then spends another $15 billion processing its own paperwork.

Regulations that have become detrimental to the free enterprise system, include those requiring truckers operating between Cleveland Ohio and Jacksonville Florida to make return trips empty; Greyhound bus cannot have age qualifications for drivers and the company was recently ordered to pay $19 million to unknown short people because of its rule that drivers must be at least five foot, seven inches tall.

Recently the Continental Can Company paid $100,000 for ear plugs, but OSHA demanded $33 million be spent to build sound shields because some workers were too ignorant or obstinate to wear the ear plugs.

The washroom scene is so sad it’s funny. Two federal agencies are currently fighting over jurisdiction of the nation’s toilets. OSHA says women’s restrooms must have special lounge facilities, but the EEOC says; if that is so, then men must have equal couches and chairs.

Americans can combat this trend toward more and more government control by sending money to free enterprise groups such as the “Council for a Competitive Economy” and stop sending money to those colleges and universities whose faculties are hostile to capitalism, and support news media which are either pro-business or at least professionally capable of being fair and accurate in the treatment of pro-capitalist ideas.

The speaker was my father and his well-received remarks were reported in the Charlotte Observer.
Surprising that so many of the issues that concern us today were just as much a concern nearly 40 years ago.

In 1979 Charlotte’s population was just over 300,000, I-77 had recently been extended to the south of Charlotte, all the way to just past Rockhill. The Charlotte Knights were called the Orioles playing nightly during the summer in Dilworth.
Note Fred Smith’s Council for a Competitive Economy is now called the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Dad’s projection of 60 percent government spending by the year 2000 was off by a few years. Spending did in fact triple from just under $1 trillion in 1979 to $3 trillion in 1999, but it wasn’t until 2009 that spending pushed past the 40 percent level. It remains today at around 38 percent, much of it lost to bloated budgets, fraud and waste.

Monday, February 26, 2018

TrackPad a Dog Story

The following dog story is via the Twitter Feed of Angry Staff Officer 

Follow him on Twitter via his handle is @pptsapper

So I ran into a former 13F (artillery forward observer) today at a party. Naturally we started telling Army stories. So no shit, there he was, in Iraq, with 2-37 Armor (I think). The unit had picked up a local mutt, as units do, named Trackpad, because, well, armor unit.

He was the unit doggo and when guys came back from patrol they had a fuzzy friend to meet them when they rolled back in. However, this is the US Army, where fun is outlawed, so the order came down to get rid of all the dogs on bases.

So the guys took Trackpad in their vic and drove him to the other side of the city and dropped him off - they weren't gonna shoot him. They're on their way back and bam, ambush. My dude is engaging when all of a sudden he hears a bark from behind him.

He recognizes the bark immediately: it's Trackpad. He turns behind him and sees a dude hefting an RPG about to light him up. Dude opens up and takes down the insurgent, pretty much saving the convoy.

A minute later, this small shape comes running out of the building where the insurgent had been: it's Trackpad. He'd followed the convoy for about six miles, spotted the insurgents, and started barking to alert his old friends. Saved some lives for sure.

Dude obviously grabs Trackpad and puts him in his truck. They roll back to base and literally everyone on the convoy walks into the CO's office and is like, "look. This dog saved our lives. Ain't no way this dog is going anywhere."

The command caved and Trackpad got to stay on base. Dude rotated home eventually, and he found out that Trackpad was later adopted by another soldier and made it home to the good ol US.

Yeah, that happened. This is why I love trading stories.

Also, if anyone has a photo of Trackpad I'd love to see it.

Thanks for listening.

Cedars Take: I'm totally on the hunt for a photo of TrackPad, while bring fully aware that none of the above has been journalistically collaborated via at least two sources. After all this is a blog not a syndicated column.  

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Charlotte Fire and the Letter

Its often hard gauge fact without a base line. We are bombarded with never ending claims of racism and sexism to a point where the never ending claims become the new base line so that only the most horrific repulsive acts get our attention.

WSOC read excerpts from the above letter, CP has not seen a full copy of the letter but it seems to continue a plot from the past several years.

Wonder what you think? 

Monday, January 29, 2018

2018 Grammys Complete List of Winners

Album of the year

Awaken, My Love! – Childish Gambino
4:44 – Jay-Z
Damn – Kendrick Lamar
Melodrama – Lorde
24K Magic – Bruno Mars - WINNER

Record of the year

Redbone – Childish Gambino
Despacito – Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee feat Justin Bieber
The Story of OJ – Jay-Z
Humble. – Kendrick Lamar
24K Magic – Bruno Mars - WINNER

Song of the year

Despacito – Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee feat Justin Bieber
4:44 – Jay-Z
Issues – Julia Michaels
1-800-273-8255 – Logic feat Alessia Cara and Khalid
That’s What I Like – Bruno Mars - WINNER

Country album

Kenny Chesney - Cosmic Hallelujah 
Lady Antebellum - Heart Break 
Little Big Town - The Breaker 
Thomas Rhett - Life Changes 
Chris Stapleton - From a Room: Volume 1 - WINNER

Best comedy album

The Age Of Spin & Deep In The Heart Of Texas - Dave Chappelle - WINNER
Cinco - Jim Gaffigan
Jerry Before Seinfeld - Jerry Seinfeld
A Speck Of Dust - Sarah Silverman
What Now? - Kevin Hart

Best rap album

4:44 – Jay-Z
Damn – Kendrick Lamar - WINNER
Culture – Migos
Laila’s Wisdom – Rapsody
Flower Boy – Tyler, the Creator

Best pop solo performance

Love So Soft – Kelly Clarkson
Praying – Kesha
Million Reasons – Lady Gaga
What About Us – Pink
Shape of You – Ed Sheeran - WINNER

Best new artist

Alessia Cara - WINNER
Lil Uzi Vert
Julia Michaels

Best rap/sung performance

Prblms – 6lack
Crew – Goldlink feat Brent Faiyaz and Shy Glizzy
Family Feud – Jay-Z feat Beyoncé
Loyalty. – Kendrick Lamar feat Rihanna - WINNER
Love Galore – SZA feat Travis Scott

Best dance recording

Bambro Koyo Ganda – Bonobo Featuring Innov Gnawa
Cola – Camelphat & Elderbrook
Andromeda – Gorillaz Featuring DRAM
Tonite – LCD Soundsystem - WINNER
Line Of Sight – Odesza Featuring WYNNE & Mansionair

Best Dance/Electronic Album

Migration – Bonobo
3-D The Catalogue – Kraftwerk - WINNER
Mura Masa – Mura Masa
A Moment Apart – Odesza
What Now – Sylvan Esso

Best Rock Performance

You Want It Darker – Leonard Cohen - WINNER
The Promise – Chris Cornell
Run – Foo Fighters
No Good – Kaleo
Go To War – Nothing More

Best Metal Performance

Invisible Enemy – August Burns Red
Black Hoodie – Body Count
Forever – Code Orange
Sultan’s Curse – Mastodon - WINNER
Clockworks – Meshuggah

Best rock song

Metallica – Atlas, Rise!
K.Flay – Blood in the Cut
Nothing More – Go to War
Foo Fighters - Run – WINNER
Avenge Sevenfold – The Stage

Pop vocal album

Kaleidoscope EP – Coldplay
Lust for Life – Lana Del Rey
Evolve – Imagine Dragons
Rainbow – Kesha
Joanne – Lady Gaga
÷ (Divide) – Ed Sheeran - WINNER

Pop duo/group performance

Something Just Like This – The Chainsmokers and Coldplay
Despacito – Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee feat Justin Bieber
Thunder – Imagine Dragons
Feel It Still – Portugal The Man - WINNER
Stay – Zedd & Alessia Cara

Best R&B performance

Get You – Daniel Caesar feat Kali Uchis
Distraction – Kehlani
High – Ledisi
That’s What I Like – Bruno Mars - WINNER
The Weekend – SZA

Best R&B song

PJ Morton – First Began 
Khalid – Location 
Childish Gambino – Redbone 
SZA – Supermodel 
Bruno Mars – That’s What I Like - WINNER

Best rap performance

Big Sean – Bounce Back 
Cardi B – Bodak Yellow 
Jay -Z – 4:44 
Kendrick Lamar – Humble - WINNER
Migos feat Lil Uzi Vert – Bad and Boujee

Best R&B album

Freudian – Daniel Caesar
Let Love Rule – Ledisi
24K Magic – Bruno Mars - WINNER
Gumbo – PJ Morton
Feel the Real – Musiq Soulchild

Best country solo performance

Sam Huny – Body Like a Back Road 
Alison Krauss – Losing You 
Miranda Lambert – Tin Man 
Maren Morris – I Could Use a Love Song 
Chris Stapleton – Either Way – WINNER

Best country song

Little Big Town – Better Man 
Sam Hunt – Body Like a Back Road
Chris Stapleton – Broken Halos - Winner 
Midland – Drinkin’ Problem 
Miranda Lambert – Tin Man

Best urban contemporary album

6lack – Free 6lack 
Childish Gambino – Awaken, My Love! 
Khalid – American Teen 
SZA – Ctrl 
the Weeknd – Starboy – WINNER

Best music video

Up All Night – Beck
Makeba – Jain
The Story of OJ – Jay-Z
Humble – Kendrick Lamar - WINNER
1-800-273-8255 - Logic ft Alessia Cara & Khalid

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Veterans Day 2017 Korea Was A Long Time Ago

Saturday is Veterans Day.

One of our lesser holidays that we note each year, but always seem to forget the real purpose behind. Often confused with Memorial Day but without the Monday Federal Holiday and banks and the post office are open.

So the refresher:

Memorial Day honors those members of the armed forces who died in the service of their country. Veterans Day is a U.S. legal holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars. In 1918, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I, then known as “the Great War.” Commemorated in many countries as Armistice Day the following year, November 11th became a federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became legally known as Veterans Day.

Cedar's uncle, Dr. Richard Brown is one of many veterans in our family. Dr. Brown served in a MASH Unit during the Korean war. He shipped out in 1952 within weeks of marrying my aunt and graduating from medical school. His photo is below.

After the war he returned to the states and continued his medical career as the only doctor in the small town of Spencer West Virginia. Dr. Brown is a West Virginia native who graduated from University of West Virginia and was a fraternity brother of actor comedian Don Knotts.

Cedar's Uncle Richard W. Brown, MD Circa 1952 Korea
Dr. Brown retired to Florida in 1990 but will always remain a Mountaineer he and his wife Lois celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this past summer.

And so we say thank you to all the thousands of men and women who like Dr. Brown (Uncle Dick) who have served in our armed forces.

The following is an outtake from the book "MASH - An Army Surgeon in Korea" by Otto F. Apel, Jr. MD, a follow medical doctor who served during the same time as my uncle. Just a reminder than its never too late to say thank you to a veteran or in this case a fellow veteran. His book was published 2 years before his death on November 9, 2000.

Korea was a long time ago.

Korea was a mountainous country far away and the war there happened a long time ago. Even now, time and distance separate us. Korea was far from my mind on a recent autumn evening as I drove from my office in the Ohio River town of Portsmouth, out the rural roads into the hills and farms and communities, to my house back up a country road away from everything.

In the Appalachian foothills of southern Ohio in the fall, when the leaves turn colors and the weather cools and the geese flock south, the mushrooms are out in the fields. As I turned up the country road toward home, I was followed by a man and a woman in a pickup truck. My wife Joan, saw them too. Neither of us said anything.

We left the gravel road and eased into our own lane, and the truck followed us. The lane nearly a half of mile of new gravel, rolled over the hills and up to the house. We stopped and the truck stopped about fifty yards behind us. I watched cautiously in the rear view mirror. The man got out, grasped a strand of barbed wire fence, pushed it down, and stepped through into the field. He was a tall, slender, clean cut man with thin threads of graying hair slicked straight back, and he wore a faded old army field jacket. He sauntered into the field. He stopped and searched the ground, strolled on, stopped and searched some more. He looked up at us. We looked at him. He dropped his gaze to the ground and continued his slow, deliberate about the field.

"Who is that?" Joan asked.

"I don't know," I said.

I put my car in reverse and eased back towards him. Several yards away, I stopped and stepped out. The man glanced up, unsurprised. He was a handsome man who appeared to be in his late fifties or early sixties, I looked at the truck and saw the woman starting at us. The man's clear eyes searched the ground as he ambled on over to the fence. He clutched something in his clean lean fingered hand.

"Can I help you?" I said. While standing cautiously on the other side of the fence.

"Naw, I don't need no help. I'm just out here looking for mushrooms.
"I don't know whether there are any mushrooms out there", I said. I glanced involuntarily to the fading green pasture.

"This your property?" he asked.

I said it was. Joan watched from our car.

He came a little closer until he stood several yards from me but still on the other side of the fence. Beneath the old, torn army field jacket he wore a plaid shirt and overalls.

"You Dr. Apel?" he asked.

I said I was.

"You the surgeon?"

I nodded. "Can I help you with anything?" I asked.

"You the one I read about in the paper a couple of months ago? The one who was in the MASH unit in Korea?"

I nodded.

He looked over his shoulder and quickly back to me. He smiled "You remember me?"

I searched his face. "I don't think I do."

He said his name and it did not ring a bell.

"I lived on Fourth Street all my life. Grew up there, went to high school four of five years behind you. I lived there all my life.

I could see that he held a mushroom in this hand; he pulled it up close to his face and studied it. He turned it, pinched it open as if he were dissecting it. Without looking up from his mushroom, he told me when he worked.

"I worked there ever since I got back from Korea," he said proudly.

In the silence of the evening , a tractor engine roared slowly over the field. A distant car with its lights on pushed down the country road.

You still don't remember me?"

For the life of me, I could not place him.

"I was in your MASH unit back in 1951. I was with the 17th Infantry, 7th Division. Was hit in the should near the Hwachon Reservoir. They brought me in and I seen you working there and asked if it was you. I said to the nurse, Is that man from Ohio?" And the nurse, she looked and said you was."

He lobbed the mushroom underhand out into the field.

"I was there in 1951 and '52," I said.

"I know you was," he said quickly. "You worked on me and next thing I knew I was back in Japan in one of them hospitals. I never got to say thanks, to you. Hadn't been for you, they tell me I woudla been dead."

I had to smile.

He scrunched his face. "Yeah, ever since I got back, I been meaning to come out here and say 'thanks' to you."

"That was fifty years ago," I said.

"Yeah," he said with a sheepish grin. I guess time just gets away for you, don't it? I been meaning to come out here and just never got around to it. Kept meaning to come out sooner or later. I thought today's as good a time as any."

I laughed warmly. "I appreciate it."

"Anyway," he said, "thanks for all you done."

We stood for a moment in silence. The cicadas screeching in the trees.

"Well," he said, "can't keep the wife waiting."

And with that, he turned and sauntered back toward his truck. I watch as he walked slowly, grasped the barbed wire, opened a place and crawled through. He hopped across the gully to the pickup and stepped in. The engine started with the roar of the rusted-out muffler, and he went on down the road. In a moment her was out of sight.

"You're welcome," I said.

Korea and the MASH were a long time ago. I have not been back since 1952 - except frequently when I have involuntarily jerked at a loud noise that sounded like artillery or when I have cried out in the darkness from a deep and vivid dream. Now even the thoughts and the dreams are less frequent. But all this time I have intended to go back. I have wondered what that was about and what we were doing there. I know it is a part of us and a part of me, and all these years I have intended to go back.

You can purchase Dr. Apel's book on Amazon in both hardback and electronic editions here.

We are proud of our family of veterans:

John MacEntyre, Continental Army 1776-1778
Samuel Studdard South Carolina Militia 1812-1814 Horseshoe Bend, Battle of New Orleans 
Nathan Edmonds, US Army Georgia Volunteers Seminole Indian Wars 1818
Samuel MacEntyre, US Army KIA 1863 Battle of Kennesaw Mountain
John Edmonds, CSA 26th Alabama Captured Battle of Gettysburg US Army 1863-1864
Ernest Duty ,US Navy WW I
Donald Dufalt, US Marine Corps KIA 1942 Battle of Midway
Teman Wilhite, US Marine Corps WW II, Navy Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart Battle of Midway 1942
Wallace Edmonds, US Army 1941-1943 Germany WWII
Simon Henry, US Army WW, II Korea
John Geiger, III, US Army Air Corps Germany
Milton Carney, US Marine Corps WW II, Korea
Richard Brown, MD  US Army MASH 1951-1952 Korea
Robert Brown, USAF Panama
Peter Carney, US Navy Iraq Afghanistan


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Styrofoam Cups

Mrs Cedar and I have enjoyed Red Rocks in South Charlotte for more than 20 years. It's our go to place where we always feel welcome.

So, what should have been a quiet dinner for 2 turned into a surreal night, of odd.

Admittedly I'm a voyeur, so much so that Mrs Cedar often accuses me of being obsessed with noticing things or as she calls it going all Jason Bourne paranoid. I don't know why but I've always been this way. 

I scan the crowd for potential threats, size up the staff, check the location of alternative exits. I notice what people are ordering, the pace of the service, couples, families, friends, singles at the bar and so on.

Inside 90 seconds I can tell you more about the people around me than most people will notice all night. A large party celebrating a birthday, the guest of honor in his 80s surrounded by a dozen friends and family. A young couple enjoying date night, laughing holding hands. A four top table with parents struggling with their date night that mistakenly included their two toddlers.

The table of 6, 3 men 3 woman in the center of the restaurant I notice, ditto with the two uniformed CMPD Officers, because both tables stand out.

The officers because they are in uniform and its her birthday even though they have told no one.

The table of six, because they are all middle eastern and likely Muslim, but they don't stand out because of their ethnic background they stand out because they are loud and they are all drinking out of Styrofoam cups with lids and straws.


Yep, Styrofoam cups with lids and straws, like parents often do for their five year olds as temporary sippy cups.

Styrofoam cups, themselves are not odd, at least not at Showmars, but they sure did stand out at Red Rocks. So much so that 2 of the girls in the large alcohol fueled birthday party asked the table of six, "what's up with the freaking Styrofoam cups?"

Obviously in their groove, just ignoring the birthday girls wasn't going to help. So a few minutes later they asked the table again what's with the "to go" cups?

Mrs. Cedar and I, watched this unfold cautiously. But with 2 CMPD officers next to us we were not too  worried when one of the muslim women responded "it's not any of your concern, what's the big deal?"

Finally the birthday group left but not before taking selfies and photos of the table filled with Styrofoam cups.

So seriousl question, what's up with the freaking Styrofoam cups and straws? Is this some relogious thing I'm not aware of, phobia of drinking after Christians?

The highlight of the night? Someone in the large and very loud birthday party paid for the CMPD Officers dinner.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

City Leaders Write Million Dollar Check To Crystal Eschert

It's finally official, the City of Charlotte City will pay $1,135,100.27 to Crystal Eschert, which includes back pay, compensatory damages and Eschert's attorney fees.

The total cost of the Charlotte Fire Department's experiment as Facebook police won't be known for some time but it is expected to exceed $2.5 million. Don't worry they have plenty of your tax dollars to burn.

More about this crazy waste of taxpayer money shortly. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

How FAKE NEWS Happens

Three major networks with vast operations equipped with state of the art news gathering technology and 1000's of staff on their payroll. Yet they each progressively embellished the other's breaking story. 

The progression is pretty clear, shot, then shot at, then opened fire on protesters.
In reality these 3 redneck dumbasses from Texas showed up at a Richard Spencer event in Florida with the idea of taunting protestors while riding around with their confederate flag decorated Jeep. At one point the three stopped to argue with a group of 8 people waiting at a bus stop.

When one of the 8 protestors hit the Jeep with a baton (baseball bat, or club depending on whose account you read), two of the idiots talked the other idiot into firing his hand gun, pulling the trigger with the gun pointed skyward but toward the protestors.

Police charged these morons with disorderly conduct, assorted weapons charges and attempted murder, although it's expected that the attempted murder charge will be reduced to unlawful discharge of a firearm inside city limits.

One shot fired harmlessly into the air is not opening fire on protestors. I am not even sure I'd call a group of eight people standing at a bus stop a group of protestors. 

Cedar's take: Click driven news isn't journalism, it's just entertainment. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

18 Months 4 Arrests and a Shocking Spiral Into Drug Addiction

This is real, CP has left off her name just to stop the uproar over making these women's lives worse. Still the facts are pretty clear, over 18 months this girl went from pretty attractive to I'm not sure what.
The point being we have a problem here in Charlotte, here in the Metrolina Area, here in North Carolina and its not getting any better.

LaWana Mayfield Compares Donald Trump to Hiltler

Local moon-bat LaWana Mayfield goes coco bananas over Donald Trump and compares POTUS to Hitler, then quickly starts trying to walk back her comments.

Early Friday morning Mayfield tweeted: For All who read about Hilter you are Now Living how he reigned in #45 #DraftDodger #ClinicalSociopath #ASKAboutYemen #IdiotInChief

It never takes long when invoking the name Hilter for the backlash to begin.

Even Charlotte Mayoral candidate and Mayfield LGBTQ wingman Vi Lyles backed away from the Hiltler comparator.

As the day wore on so did the pushback, finally Mayfield folded like a lawn chair, issuing this statement.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Observer's Panthers Beat Reporter Jourdan Rodrigue Still MIA

With what has now become a likely permanent exit Jourdan Rodrigue has been missing in action for two weeks. Rodrigue went into hiding soon after a couple of her racist tweets surfaced during the fallout from her run in with Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton.

Jourdan who isn't one to shy away from caustic tweets as noted below, was called out when her racist tweets from a couple years ago were dug up and posted to social media.

Apparently Charlotte Observer expected the fire storm to blow over, but tweets calling for her resignation have continued nonstop for the last two weeks.

Cedar Update: Rodrigue is now reported to be on an indefinite personal leave from the paper. 
Cedar's Take: I'm not sure how you recover from this sort of thing. On one hand its grossly unfair, Rodrigue isn't a racist, on the other she is an idiot for being in a very public position and not knowing this would come back to bite her in the ass. She's also an idiot for going after Cam and making something out of nothing. Finally as the above tweet shows she does have a rather caustic sense of humor.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Katie Jones Murder Case Solved Suspect Under Arrest Or Maybe NOT?

It's one of those stories you hope is true, a year long unsolved homicide of a sweet young girl gunned down in a popular neighborhood, solved. An arrest made case closed.

But it was not to be, at least tonight.

Twenty six year old Ketie Jones worked at Midwood Smokehouse, after work Jones did what a lot people in the food service biz do, she headed off with co-workers and friends to another resturant to hang out in the bar.

Some time after midnight Jones decided to walk home. At some point she came into contact with her killer. In the early morning hours of October 15, 2016 her body was discovered behind a real estate office she had been shot to death.

CMPD had already noted the one year anniversary of Katie Jones death so when word spread of a presser many, CP included assumed it was big news. 

The moment DC Jeff Estes walked into the room, with Rob Turfono trailing behind, we knew there would be no big news. 

The lack of detectives, no chief Putney and no DA Andy Murray were big clues right away.

So why the big presser just to thank the news media for their help in getting the word out? 

No leads, no arrests, very little given to go on, CMPD has been very protective of the facts, hoping for something totally random to happen.

The lack of a big announcement was a major let down because the chatter was an arrest was coming.

Via the CMPD back channels the rumor was as follows:

Seems the two idiots who shot it up gangster style the other morning and struck a school bus in the process may have more than just Plaza Midwood in common with Katie's killer. The rumor was a ballistics match had come back and the bullet that hit the bus came from the same gun that killed Katie. The car in last week's daylight gun fight was also a possiable match to a car seen in the area around the same time Katie Jones was killed. 

The timing of course would be remarkable, a year to the date that Katie was killed. But that's how cold cases become closed cases, seemingly random events and bad actors suddenly fall into place. All you have to do is connect the dots and bingo the cold case is a wrap.

The work continues and the case remains active. One of 18 unsolved homicides from last year in Charlotte. 

Cedar Update: Intel is often hit and miss, turns out that the basic facts of a pending arrest were indeed correct. A lower class arrest unconnected to a shooting filled in the holes to help connect the dots. The pieces to the puzzle fit perfectly only trouble is the victim wasn't Katie Jones. And so it goes....


Kyle Maraghy Court Date Set

Kyle Maraghy the punk who sucker punched an elderly Panthers fan during last Thursday's game now has a court date.
November 30 in court room 1130. It should be fun as Maraghy's lawyer some slim ball that his father apparently hired, claims that Maraghy was being taunted. Maraghy, rumor has it told cops the "old guys" where harassing and threatening his girl friend.
You can imagine that Leigh Nasri will not be pleased to hear she's on the witness list.

Meanwhile Maraghy will soon receive a letter from the Panthers congratulating him and girl friend Nasri on earning a lifetime ban from the stadium.
Expect both to be named in a civil suit by the victim in 3,2,1......
Cedar's Take: There's no excuse for physical violence, the old guy just wanted to watch the game and Maraghy and Nasri are two poor excuses for biological matter that calls themselves human beings.
But the question remains why didn't the victim move? By the 3 quarter most of the sober Panthers fans have gone home plenty of seats down in the lower section. The world is full of douche bags like Kyle Maraghy and Leigh Nasri its best just to avoid them.
If you find yourself in seats behind or next to a Kyle just see an usher ask to be moved. Forget the idea of asking them to say something to the drunk fan, since that just makes matters worse. If the usher won't find you another seat ask for a supervisor.
As for the victim - shoot me an email if the Panthers wont make it up to you by giving you a couple of club seats for the next game let me know I'll be happy to give you mine.
As for Kyle - twitter said it best: "lets get together sometime, my heavy bag needs a break anyways".