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Archive for August 13th, 2008

Amanda Beard

Amanda Beard

Something on the lighter side…I’ve kicked back and enjoyed the past few days of the Olympic Games because unlike many of you out there I dislike the Reality TV World and I find it interesting to see the physical and mental discipline of athletes who are at the top of their game for “5 minutes” of fame. 

Of course there is no lack of political baggage that comes with the Olympics from the Tibetan advocates to China’s human rights record.

But, speaking of the physical discipline there is no one drawing more attention inside or outside the Olympics for that matter than swimmer Amanda Beard.  She recently picked up a Ducati Monster motorcycle and told Sports Illustrated that she likes long motorcycle rides with brief stops at different swim clubs while doing clinics for kids.

Amanda might be a motorcycle riding compassionate U.S. Olympic athlete, but she’s received a lot of notoriety with an anti-fur ad she did-naked-for PETA.  She took time from her busy training schedule to bare her skin to help save animals’ skins – all in the interest to raise awareness of the cruelty inherent in the fur industry.

There are many people who don’t like it, don’t appreciate it, feel like she’s ruining the sport or giving female athletes a bad name and I’m sure there are just as many who love it, and feel like it brings more attention to swimming.  Say what you will about the anti-fur ad — Amanda is a top tier athlete with accomplishments to date being:

OLYMPIC MEDALS

Gold 1996 Atlanta 4x100m medley relay

Silver 1996 Atlanta 100 m breaststroke

Silver 1996 Atlanta 200 m breaststroke

 

Bronze 2000 Sydney 200 m breaststroke

Gold 2004 Athens 200 m breaststroke

Silver 2004 Athens 200 m individual medley

Silver 2004 Athens 4×100 m medley relay

 

Jewel Samad  AFP/Getty Images

Photo: Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

With China hosting the 2008 Olympic Summer Games, the ad may have come at just the right time. An investigation into the fur industry in China-states they supply more than half of the finished fur garments imported for sale in the U.S.  Of course the cruelty of the fur industry does not end at the borders of China.

 

So those of you who had enough spectator badminton, synchronized swimming, ping pong, and trampoline—all which should, of course, be performed in the nude you can send your “Olympic Moment” petition to his Excellency Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong and state you’d rather go naked with, I mean like Amanda than wear fur. 

What about leather riding gear?  I’m conflicted on this one.  There is a lot more info at the Cows R Cool web site which offers up synthetic “skin-free” alternatives.  

Check it out.

Updated: August 14th 17:10 PDTLA Times is reporting that the US Team Captain failed to advance out of the prelim’s.  She didn’t even make it out of the heats finishing 18th with 2 min and 27.70 sec.  Maybe she was too distracted in “pressing-the-flesh” for her cause?  Most unfortunate.

 

Photo courtesy PETA

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Flying Pigs

Flying Pigs

“When pigs fly”…is an idiom or a popular saying used to indicate that something will never happen.  So, when will the “Law Enforcement” spin stop on this Sturgis shooting?  No time soon it would seem…

The Seattle Times is reporting that the off-duty police officer who shot Hells Angel member Joseph Patrick McGuire (33, of Imperial Beach, Ca.) at the Loud American Roadhouse in Sturgis was forced to open fire after being attacked and pinned to the floor by up to three members of the outlaw motorcycle gang.

The Rapid City Journal identified the Seattle police officer as Ronald Smith (43, of Seattle, WA). He is assigned to the departments pawnshop unit.  In grand-jury investigation statements he said:

The detective said one Hells Angel member “got in my face” and began an argument.  “I was cold-cocked on the left side of my face by at least one, if not three, Hells Angels,”…”I woke up on the ground pinned against a bar stool by a Hells Angel in a red bandanna,”…”I was receiving fists and feet from the top during this.”… “I tried to wriggle free, but didn’t have any leverage.”…”The Hells Angel in the bandanna tried to grab my gun just as another man was choking me… “I then pulled the handgun from my hip and opened fire.”

According to the newspaper, 25 people testified during the seven-hour court hearing.  No arrests have been made and the investigation could continue until the grand jury reconvenes on Aug. 27th.

Not everything is as tranquil as they would want us to believe…new information has been released on the detective involved in the Sturgis shooting has twice been investigated by the department of Office of Professional Accountability, a civilian police-oversight group, during his 15 years on the force. Both complaints were confirmed by the group.  One investigation stemmed from a verbal argument he got into with a Seahawk fan while working an off-duty assignment at Qwest Field in 2004. He also got into an argument inside a Pierce County restaurant in 2005 with a restaurant employee who was taunting and threatening him and his then-fiancée.  He received a two-day suspension for the incident with the Seahawk fan and a written reprimand for the other incident.

I’ve received a number of questions about whether it was legal for Smith to have a gun on him in the Loud American Roadhouse, because he was off duty at the time.  According to South Dakota law, people with concealed-weapons permits cannot carry firearms into bars. Police officers are exempt from this rule if they have written permission from the county sheriff, according to the law. However, the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (a federal law) enacted in 2004 supersedes the state law, allowing off-duty law-enforcement officers to carry weapons anywhere they choose, but it requires that the weapons handler not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

So let the spin continue as nothing has been reported about sobriety tests conducted after the shooting…

Update:  August 14th – Seattle PI is reporting that Hells Angel member Joseph Patrick McGuire was arrested Jan. 18, 2007, as part of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the San Diego Police Department. Police served warrants on two San Diego-area homes that belonged to the president of the Hells Angels’ local chapter.  McGuire is the chapter treasurer and was arrested at one of the homes in Pacific Beach, Calif. Police seized a pound and a half of marijuana, in addition to hydrocodone and oxycodone pills, and $5,000 in cash.  The San Diego chapter president and vice president were charged in separate cases in the investigation.  McGuire was released on bond and scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Aug 20 in San Diego County Superior Court, with his trial set for September.  He was charged with possession of marijuana for sale and two counts of illegal possession of narcotics.

Update: September 5th – The Argus Leader is reporting that both men (McGuire (HAMC) and Smith (Iron Pigs)) are charged with alternative counts of aggravated and simple assault.  Smith was also charged with perjury.  In addition, misdemeanor gun charges were also brought against the four other fellow bikers with Smith (also part of the Iron Pigs): Scott Lazalde (Bellingham, WA); Dennis McCoy (Seattle, WA); Erik Pingel (Aurora, CO) and James Rector (Ferndale, WA).

Update: September 9th – The Seattle.pi is reporting that the perjury charge has been dismissed against Smith.  The grand jury indicted Smith last month on charges of aggravated assault, perjury and illegal possession of a concealed weapon.  Smith initially stated he was carrying his personal firearm, but the Seattle Police Department records contradicted him, showing that it was a department-issued gun.  This was the evidence that was presented which resulted in the perjury charge.

Update: September 17th – Aggravated assault charges dropped.  See HERE for more info.

Update: November 18, 2008 – All weapons charges dropped.  See HERE for more info.

Update: February 25, 2009 – In a plea agreement Joseph McGuire (HAMC) pleads no contest to simple assault (versus aggravated assault) and was sentenced to one year in the Meade County Jail.  According to Rapid City Journal, McGuire’s sentence was suspended as long as he does not break the law.  No fines were imposed, but he can not attend this years rally.

Photo courtesy Flickr.

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