So, I'm back from Philadelphia and Washington DC. And glad for it too. Too many damn people. Damn there were three times the number of people in all of Alaska right there on the National Mall. Besides the people I got a touch of the stomach flu on Monday. Yuck. But it was great to see both cities. I did get to see several of the museums but I missed the National Archives again. I enjoyed the Liberty Bell and felt my Public Defender batteries recharge just being that close to such a powerful symbol of freedom. The only frustrating part was going to the Italian Market and seeing what people there pay for meat and produce! I was reminded how expensive food is in Alaska. For just a few minutes I wondered what the hell I am doing here. But then I remembered that I don't have to pay any state or city income tax and it all evens out I guess. I stayed in Philly for a couple of days and returned to DC. I am sure you have heard all the stories from the news about the Inauguration. Here are two of my stories. Although I had a "blue" ticket, didn't let me get as close as I would have liked. At 7:30 a.m. I was the last person in line. The last. But although I could see people moving through security, the line was not moving! Tens of thousands of people starting arriving. And pushing. I was pushed into this giant crowd. For almost 5 hours I tried to make my way forward. I watched as those I had been standing in line with for hours move forward. It started to get ugly with a lot of 'booing'. It then became obvious that thousands and maybe tens of thousands of people would not get in at all. There was some poor planning at this event. There was a massive bum rush of security and for just a moment I was concerned about my safety. It was an interesting experience. As it was, I just made it in for Biden's swearing in but I know that thousands behind me did not get in. I was off to the side and could not see much but President Obama's arm moving. I did get to see President Bush leave for the last time and it felt good to shake my arm at him and tell him good riddance. Some people didn't like it when he was booed but I shook my fist and called him a son of a bitch and it felt great! My second story you probably didn't see in the news and it was the one that re-affirmed my belief in this country more than anything. After the Inauguration close to a million people started moving. Tens of thousands, and maybe hundreds of thousands of us were trying to cross Constitution Ave but the parade route was blocking us. We were shunted down to 18th. When we got there soldiers were letting empty tour buses go instead of letting the crowd cross Constitution. By the dozen these buses rolled by. The people waited and the crowd grew. And we waited. But then somone started yelling "let us go". And then thousands of people were yelling at the soldiers to let us go. Beside me was a old woman with a cane. She was waving it at the soldiers and demanded to go home. She was cold damnit! Within a minute the soldiers relented and we poured past them. Oh, I'll admit I welled up a few times during Obama's speeches. There were times I was proud to have come to this country again. There were times when I felt glad for my little girls. But when the crowd was yelling at soldiers to be let free, that was when I was most impressed with this country. Somehow I think America will be alright.
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Comments

Anonymous said…
Be glad you were not part of the "Purple Tunnel of Doom". The most impressive story about this event was that 2 million people were visiting and the Washington D.C. police said that there were no arrests made. At the same time in Soldotna AK, Trooper Erickson could arrest 3 people in three hours. Go figure.
Anonymous said…
yeah, defending poor criminals is what our country was founded on. C'mon! Your view of the system is so narrow. The other side fights for what America was also built on too- freedom (to be free from the random, and often violent crimes of others), truth (absolute) and protects law abiding citizens from harm. The troopers are not "the man", and while everyone is glad to have the defenders there to make sure joe cop don't overstep his bounds - they are also glad to have DA's/cops there to keep order. Keep it real. Welcome home.
Anon #2, don't be so sure that "everyone" is glad for cops or the DA's. I'm not. Unless something were to happen to my family, I would never call the cops. I hate to tell you this but the Bill of Rights (in particular) is NOT designed to "protect law abiding citizens from others". It is to protect those accused of crime from the Government. Look at the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eight Amendments. So my view is NOT "narrow". It is historically accurate.

Anon #1, Erickson is a big problem. I think he is the dirtiest cop on the Peninsula bar none.
Anonymous said…
Trooper ERICKSON

THREE HOURS AND FORTY MINUTES


Location: Soldotna
Case number: 09-6542
Type: DUI
Text: On 1/24/09 at approximately 0559 hrs, Woody A. Seay, age 38 of
Homer, was passed out in the driver seat of his 2008 Chevy pickup with
the engine running in the parking lot of the Hooligan's Saloon in
Soldotna. Woody Seay was found to be impaired by alcohol and arrested
for DUI. Seay was remanded to Wildwood Pretrial on $500.00 bail.

Author: LCE0 ERICKSON

Received Saturday, January 24, 2009 7:24 AM and posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 7:40 AM


-------------------------------------------------
Location: Soldotna
Case number: 09-6533
Type: Minor Consuming Alcohol
Text: On 1/24/09 at approximately 0445 hrs, AST contacted a 17 year old
juvenile female near mile 22 of K-Beach Rd, in Soldotna after observing
her stumbling as she walked. The female was found to be drunk, issued a
USC for Minor Consuming Alcohol, and transported to her residence and
released to her mother.

Author: LCE0 ERICKSON

Received Saturday, January 24, 2009 8:24 AM and posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 9:00 AM


-------------------------------------------------
Location: Soldotna
Case number: 09-6521
Type: Drunk on License Premises, Resisting Arrest, Assault 4th / Police
Officer
Text: On 1/24/09 at approximately 0220 hrs, Dustin M. Schirf, age 32 of
Soldotna, was contacted by AST inside the Riverside House Lounge in
Soldotna after he was observed drunkenly stumbling into people. Schirf
was found to be drunk and when he was arrested he resisted arrest and
then assaulted a Trooper. Schirf was remanded to Wildwood Pretrial on
$1,500.00 bail.

Author: LCE0 ERICKSON

Received Saturday, January 24, 2009 8:24 AM and posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 8:55 AM
josh said…
. . . and the above is evidence of what? Anon #2, the troopers are by definition "the man" - if they are not "the man," than "the man" does not exist. What could be more "the man" than the sharp, business end of executive power? This is not a judgment but something approaching the definition of fact. The constitution, the judiciary, and counsel - both prosecution and defense - are here as a check on the power bestowed upon "the man" by the legislature. This system was created to prevent abuses of power.

There are many good cops out there, just as there are prosecutors who realize that their charge is to uphold justice and not simply to vigorously prosecute their files.

NB: http://blog.simplejustice.us/2007/08/24/the-fallacy-of-true-believers.aspx

Who decides to become a police officer, a DA, a politician, a public defender? What motivations, insecurities, desires, goals, fears motivate their actions. How are their biases, both conscious and unconscious, manifested?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GgWrV8TcUc

Query what this police report said before the video came out?

Wise up

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