Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It's a Start

I have said for some time, that everything a cop does needs to be recorded. LAPD installing video cameras in cruisers - Press-Telegram

Each car will get 2 cameras: one facing front, and one covering the rear seat. Audio will be captured by a mic the cops wear. Everything will be streamed to police stations, not stored in the cars.
Recording will begin once a patrol car's lights and siren are activated. The footage will then be wirelessly transmitted to computers at police stations, where supervisors can view but not
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alter it.

"It will change the way that people look at this police department, and the way that this police dDepartment looks at the folks that is serves," [Deputy Police Chief Charlie] Beck said.
It won't cover everything. Maybe that's OK.

This whole thing is supposed to help with lawsuits. Cops know they are being watched. People they interact with know they are being watched. If an allegation comes up... look at the video.

300 cars (of the 1600 total) will be outfitted with cameras to start. That is 18.75 percent. A decent start.

I still think one of the cameras should go with the officer - though to be fair, small, wearable video cameras are still expensive.

It only took 19 years to implement this. Video recording of police actions were first called for after the 1991 Rodney King beating. Technology has come a long way, but I doubt the only roadblock was technology.

Now that LAPD has embraced technology, it is time for other departments to do the same.

They Tried to Carjack the Wrong Guys

Two guys try to rob and carjack some guys standing in front of a home. (It was truck, not a car, does that make it a truck-jacking?) Carjacking Suspect Shot, Arrested Overnight
Police say one of the men wanting a ride then pulled a gun and tried to rob the men and steal the truck, forcing one of the victims into the truck while he held the gun at the man's head.

The second victim ran back inside the house to get a gun.

When he came back outside, the victim in the truck had also managed to grab a gun that was in the truck and started shooting at the suspect.
One guy was found on the ground nearby with gunshot wounds. He will be moved to jail once he gets out of the hospital.

The other guy did get away.

More and more, law-abiding citizens are armed. I don't think the crooks are smart enough to learn the lesson.

Monday, September 28, 2009

White House Speaks Harshly to Iran, Again

Of course this time, it will make a difference. VOA News - White House Condemns Iranian Missile Tests.

I mean he spoke harshly last week... It must be making some difference. (We just can't see what it is.)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Boston Takes On "The Thin Blue Line"

Cops lying to cover for other cops is a bit of problem in Boston. Policing the police is ‘the right thing to do’ - BostonHerald.com

Two high-profile cases: Michael Cox, and undercover officer, was beaten almost to death by other cops. Ken Conley lost his job after he was one of the only cops to testify about what happened when a murder suspect was being pursued in January 1995.
The Thin Blue Line has provided cover for some cops to bend the truth, to get “creative” with a report in order to make a case, or to take the stand and engage in what’s known as “testilying.”
So they are adopting a one-lie and you're out rule: "The Bright Line Rule."

It is a good step. I don't think it will work, because cops will continue to do what they do. They get rewarded for "catching the bad guy." So that is what they will do, even when they can't find the real bad guy, or they can't find enough evidence. Whatever.

In the end, if LEOs want the public to trust them, then they need to be trust-worthy. And that means the good cops, can't turn a blind eye.

And it needs to be more than just Boston that addresses this.

How Long Should You Wait for Police?

You witness a crime - a man beating a woman. You call 911. Nothing happens. Turlock Journal - Where are the police when you need them? The crime scene breaks up and you drive away, only to discover that the guy who was doing the beating is now following you. You call 911 again.

How long should it take to get some kind of action?
So, after waiting some time, the woman drove off and we saw that the man was getting into another car so we decided to leave. Next thing we know, we are being followed by this man. He followed us a good 5-10 minutes. It was the most frightening thing I have ever experienced. We didn’t know if this man had a gun or a knife or what his intentions were, so we called the cops again to tell them that we were being followed. The woman that answered asked if we wanted an officer to call us and of course we said “yes.”
Five phone calls and three days later they got a response from an officer.

You want to bet your life on that system? Fine, you go right ahead. Just don't expect me to share your delusion.
How is it possible that when a woman is getting beat out on the street there is not a single cop in sight? But when the weekend comes around there are plenty of cops set up at DUI check points?
Do you mean aside from the fact that checkpoints are easier than dealing with violent offenders, raise more money in terms of fines for the cities and states, etc?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Home Invader Meets Armed Homeowner

Can you guess what happened? Man shot during Ottertail break-in | Wadena Pioneer Journal | Wadena, Minnesota
At 12:37 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a burglary in progress at the trailer park. Paul F. Brandt, Ottertail, reported that two suspects were attempting to break into his residence.

According to the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office report, Brandt fired one round through a window at one of the suspects.
10 minutes later the cops get a call about a guy with a gunshot wound.

Shamp was treated and arrested. He is charged with suspicion of burglary. His buddy, Michael Ray Eric Thomas Mason (I love the name) was charged with disorderly conduct. The homeowner was not charged with anything.

If you break into enough homes, you will eventually meet an armed resident. Results in that case are fairly predicable.

Self-defense is a human right. Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0.

More Pleas in the Chicago PD SOS Case

The Chicago Police Department's Special Operations Section, or SOS, is being brought to account. 2 more ex-Chicago cops plead guilty in corruption investigation -- chicagotribune.com These are the cooperating witnesses. Plead now. Testify later. (They are not off the hook for other charges.)
James McGovern formerly a sergeant, pleaded guilty in Cook County Criminal Court to a misdemeanor charge of attempted obstruction of justice and was sentenced to two years of probation. Former officer Frank Villareal pleaded guilty to a felony theft charge and was sentenced to four years of probation. Both men had resigned from the Police Department.
SOS is reputed to have been involved in robbery (committing not solving), extortion, fabrication of evidence, ... everything up to and including murder for hire is on the table.

Chicago - The City That Works.

Shooting a Law-abiding Homeowner in the Back is SOP

A story from a few days back, about a homeowner shot in the back - 6 times - by Phoenix cops. Phoenix Officer Who Shot Homeowner Didn't Violate Policy, Police Board Says - Phoenix News - Valley Fever He was in his own home, holding an intruder at gunpoint when he got shot.
Phoenix police officer Brian Lilly did not break any department rules in the shooting of homeowner Tony Arambula, the Phoenix Use of Force board decided today.
The error "couldn't be avoided." That was what the department said.

The guy who got shot, the guy who was defending his family from harm, is suing the Phoenix PD and the city and officers involved for $5.75 million. Hard to blame him, since he will suffer for the rest of his life.

LEOs need to understand that not everyone with a gun is a bad guy.

Not so much as a day off without pay for shooting the wrong guy.

So is this "cops behaving badly" or "cops behaving stupidly?" (One of the cops at the scene was aware of the fact that it was the homeowner with the gun. Communicating that fact was apparently not a priority.)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Not Acting In His Own Best Interest

If you are going to harass your ex with a plane, you probably shouldn't use your own distinctive plane. Pilot allegedly buzzed ex-girlfriend's house
Police believe Huey has buzzed the neighborhood in his distinctive blue-and-green, 1957 Beech numerous times since April 2008, after he and his girlfriend broke up.
He is in jail.
[This guy] is being held at Contra Costa County Jail on suspicion of stalking and violating a domestic violence restraining order. His bail was set at $150,000.
"It's over," doesn't seem to be in his vocabulary. "How dare you live without me!" does seem to be his attitude.

I Just Knew There Would Be an Obama Connection

The track of contacts in the $290 million bank fraud doesn't just tie to Clinton. Telluride man linked to Clinton fund-raiser fraud - The Denver Post
Nemazee was the national finance chairman for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign. He later raised money for Barack Obama.
I'm sure Michael Moore will be tracking down this money as well.

The basic story?
Federal prosecutors said Friday that Shahin Kashanchi, of Telluride, provided fake documents that let his brother-in-law Hassan Nemazee defraud three banks of more than $290 million.
Political Corruption has a home in Chicago.

Obama Speaks Harshly to Iran

A few days after whining about what is going on in Israel (it isn't what he TOLD them to do!), he speaks harshly to Iran about their nuclear program. Iran Reveals Existence of Second Uranium Enrichment Plant - washingtonpost.com
President Obama and the leaders of France and Britain blasted Iran's construction of a previously unacknowledged uranium enrichment facility and demanded Friday that Tehran immediately fulfill its obligations under international law or risk the imposition of harsh new sanctions.
As opposed to the three sets of sanctions Iran is currently operating under, these NEW sanctions will get the job done.</sarcasm>

And if you believe that, I have a bridge you might be interested in buying.

Sanctions and talk aren't something that work. I guess the lawyers - who are all about talk - just don't get that. We have been talking to this Iranian regime since Jimmy Carter was in office. And we've had as much progress as the "Peace Process" between Israel and Palestine has seen.

Chicago Police Towing Scam No. 2

This isn't the kickbacks they were extorting from tow truck drivers. This is a whole other scam. City Room™ - Metro - Lawsuit Asks Chicago Police to Halt a Towing Program
If the Chicago police seize your car and take it to lot number one on the city's south side, there's no way to contest the seizure. There's no judge or administrative officer to make your case to.
Even if they towed your car by mistake, storage of $35 a day will add up. The woman in this story owed $2000 before she got her car back. She had done nothing wrong.

Seems a bit crooked to me.

A lawyer has filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of 15,000 people who have had similar experiences. In addition to money, he his asking a judge to put a stop to the CPD's habit of seizing property without due process.

(Her car was towed because someone else had used her name when that other person got arrested. She spent 26 hours in jail over a case of mistaken identity. She did NOTHING wrong.)

The Violence in This Society Isn't Casued by Guns

It is caused by thugs who have no respect for life. 16-year-old beaten to death in Roseland 'riot'
A 16-year-old boy was beaten to death in a melee involving dozens of people Thursday afternoon in the Far South Side’s Roseland neighborhood.

About 3 p.m., police responded to a large group of people fighting in the 300 block of West 111th Street and found a male punched, kicked and struck about the body, according to police News Affairs Sgt. Antoinette Ursitti.
The victim, Derrion Albert, was pronounced dead at 6:17 PM. No one is in custody.

I wonder if Father Michael Pfleger, who falls all over himself to get on the news when guns are involved, will say anything about this incident.

"Guns cause crime, like flies cause garbage." "If guns cause crime, then spoons made Rosie O'Donnell fat." The violence is there whether or not there are guns. Fixing that will not be easy. The only thing I am sure of is that government, working alone, can't fix this.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ex-SOS Cop Gets Plea Deal

Chicago PD's Special Operations Section (SOS) - disbanded some time ago - is back in the news, as the proceedings make it to court. 60 days jail for ex-SOS cop who falsified police report :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
Hopkins, like the four other officers, agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for information in the continuing state and federal investigations involving other officers, including their alleged ring leader Jerome Finnigan. More serious charges against Hopkins and the other four were dropped.
The plea involved illegal searches of motorists and homes -- looking for drugs and money. (4th Amendment?)

These cops weren't involved in minor things.
Herrera, Finnigan and two other officers have pending cases in the criminal investigation.

Finnigan is also charged in federal court with plotting to kill fellow officer Herrera, who he believed was cooperating with the investigation.
Those illegal searches - of anyone and everyone they could get to - resulted in robberies, home invasions, etc.
[Attorney] Joseph Roddy said Hopkins involvement was a "tragic mistake" and stressed that she never profited from any of the alleged robberies.

"If anything she looked the other way and went along with the crowd, which isn't right either," Roddy said.
She looked the other way and went along with the crowd. In other words, she stood behind the thin blue line.

Welcome to the Police State

Arrest without warrants. Incarceration without a day in court. Children taken away from parents. Welcome to Massachusetts. Judge Napolitano: People Will Resist Vaccines, Quarantines
The bill would allow the governor to declare an emergency and authorize “non-healthcare-licensed personnel” — which Napolitano suggested would be police — to vaccinate people against their will. The former judge noted that instead of forcing adults to take the shot, the statute authorizes incarceration without a warrant, charges or a trial. Children, on the other hand, could be removed from their parents and force-vaccinated, he added.
I wonder if they will force vaccines against religious beliefs?

Government knows what is better for you than you do.

Attitude and Self-defense

He was faced with an armed robber, but he didn't give up. (The thug had a gun.) Man Stabbed During Motel Robbery
Police say a man went into one of the rooms [at a motel], pulled out a gun, and tried to rob the person inside.

But the victim fought back. A shot was fired during the struggle, but no one was hit. The victim eventually pulled out a knife and stabbed the robber multiple times.
The bad guy drove himself to the hospital, where he is in serious condition. No word on what the charges will be.

Self-defense works. (Attitude is important.) Self-defense is a human right. Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0.

Think the System Will Protect You?

She did what she was supposed to do: apply for a restraining order. It was denied. Two weeks later, she is dead. Shooting victim's family furious about a judge denying a restraining order
For days, Heinis has been staring at the letter that arrived after his sister's death.

He read, “Petitioner has not shown by a preponderance of the evidence that domestic, family violence, or stalking has occurred.”
Now, had a restraining order been issued, there is no guarantee it would have done anything. There are no guarantees in this life. But it should have been issued.
[The dead girl's brother] says, “Even with the news she received that he had purchased a shot gun with the intent of murdering her.”
The system clearly broke down in this case, but a restraining order is not a bullet prof vest, and it would not have protected her against someone truly on her case about physical harm. But the system should work. (Restraining orders are interesting legal documents.

If you think you need a restraining order, then you need a plan for your personal safety. I like the defensive properties of the handgun. You may have a different view.

This -- at the very least -- violates the rules of safe gun handling

Police shot a homeowner in the back 6 times. A law-abiding homeowner who was not pointing a gun at them. Family Says 911 Tape Caught Cops Planning Cover-Up After Shooting

Not content merely to shoot a law-abiding homeowner in the back 6 times, they then proceed to (basically) torture him.
"Tony believed he was going to die; the 911 tape records his plaintive goodbye to his family: '... I love you ... I love you.' Then Tony made what he believed was a dying request to the officers; he did not want his young family to see him shot and bloodied. Officers callously ignored his request and painfully dragged Tony by his injured leg, through the home and out to his backyard patio, where they left him bloodied and shot right in front of Lesley, Matthew and Zachary."
The Arambulas say the officers later dragged Anthony onto gravel, then put him on top of the hot hood of a squad car, and "drove the squad car down the street with Tony lying on top, writing in pain."
Exactly what kind of procedure involves driving with a man on the hood of your car?

Most of the incident was recorded on a 911 call, since the homeowner was holding a phone, talking to 911 when he was shot. He kept the line open for some time, getting a record of what the officers said to each other.
After the shooting, the Arambulas say, the Phoenix Police Department treated them "like suspects in a drug bust," denying Lesley, Michael and Zachary information about Anthony's condition and denying friends and family members access to him at the hospital.
Anthony Arambula survived, but continues to suffer pain, which he expects will last for the rest of his life.
People are not perfect and they make mistakes. Cover-ups are done by criminals. And cowards who won't own up to their mistakes.

I expect that an investigation will clear these officers of any crime - they almost always do. Any justice will come from the suit, though that isn't really justice.
[One of the officers] can be heard on the 911 tape telling [another], "We fucked up."
Ya think?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Did He Really Think He Could Solve This Problem?

In less than a year? Apparently he did, because he is "frustrated" there has been no progress. Obama issues stern challenge on Mideast peace - Yahoo! News

The only thing everyone can agree on is that they should continue to talking. That is "restart the peace process." That process? Decades of meaningless talk.

Obama want to pressure Israel to freeze the building in settlements. Not just the creation of new settlements, but the expansion of existing ones.
Officials and diplomats have said that Netanyahu's centrist predecessor, Ehud Olmert, last year discussed land swaps that would have given Palestinians close to the full amount of territory Israel captured in 1967 and also spoke about dividing control of the city of Jerusalem with the Palestinians.

However, no clear agreements were ever published. At a briefing with reporters who traveled with him to New York, Netanyahu said, "We are certainly not obligated to the positions of the previous government."
In case you missed that, Olmert's party was voted out of office.

So he sent a team to negotiate a freeze, hoping to salvage something.
Mitchell left the region on Friday without reaching a deal with Israel over limits on Jewish settlement construction.

Each side has blamed the other for the failure of Mitchell's mission, which underscored the lack of progress on one of Obama's chief diplomatic goals and a major factor in his drive to repair America's image in the Muslim world.
Not sure how that would work, really.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Civil Rights Are So 18th Century

It has been 14 months since a SWAT team with no warrent broke into the home of a mayor, killed his 2 dogs, and held his family at gunpoint for 4 hours. Cheye M. Calvo - Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo Recounts Errant SWAT Raid - washingtonpost.com Terrorizing innocents is standard fare.
In the words of Prince George's County Sheriff Michael Jackson, whose deputies carried out the assault, "the guys did what they were supposed to do" -- acknowledging, almost as an afterthought, that terrorizing innocent citizens in Prince George's is standard fare.
The internal affairs investigation is not complete at 14 months, but the statute of limitations on police misconduct is 12 months. If anybody did anything, they are off the hook.

Fourth Amendment?
Next, there is significant evidence that the county is broadly violating the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure. After initially claiming that they had a "no-knock" warrant to forcibly enter our home, county police acknowledged that they did not have one. But they went on to contend that there is no such thing as a "no-knock" warrant in Maryland. But this isn't true. A statewide "no-knock" warrant statute was passed in 2005. Effectively, the county is denying the existence of state law. We can't get the county to say whether it has ever followed the law or, at a minimum, even acknowledges it.
Then they tried to concoct a story to "justify" the raid.
The lie disappeared after police learned that I was the mayor. Charges of a police coverup are hardly unusual, but there is significant evidence that county law enforcement engaged in a conspiracy on our lawn to justify an illegal entry. Nothing strikes at the heart of police credibility like creative report writing and false testimony to cover up a lie or even put innocent people behind bars. Swift and serious consequences are the best deterrent.
These guys won't even get a slap on the wrist.

The victim/mayor gets the last word.
As an imperfect elected official myself, I can understand a mistake -- even a terrible one. But a pattern and practice of police abuse treated with utter indifference rips at the fabric of our social compact and virtually guarantees more of the same.
[Via Uncle]

Self-defense Works - Even in Illinois

I'm sure it isn't easy in the People's Republic, but you can both own a weapon, and use it. Sheriff: Ill. homeowner kills armed robbers -- chicagotribune.com
Vermilion County Sheriff Pat Hartshorn says the two masked men held the homeowner on the floor at gunpoint Monday night and choked him while demanding money. The sheriff says the alleged robbers were 22 and 17 but didn't identify them or the homeowner.

Hartshorn says the men let the homeowner go when his wife said she had expensive jewelry upstairs. While the men focused on a jewelry box, the homeowner grabbed a handgun and shot them.
The 2 guys who got shot died. A third kid (another 17-year-old) who was driving a get-away truck was arrested.

Armed self-defense works. Self-defense is a human right. Good Guys 3, Bad Guys 0.

91-Year-Old Defends Himself

Without some means to equalize physical differences, the elderly would be at the mercy of the young and the violent. Nude, Gun-Wielding 91-Year-Old Man Helps Make Arrest of Home Intruder - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News - FOXNews.com

When about 7 headlines jump out of at you from a Google search about a naked man, defending himself, you have to say something.

Of course the fact that he was naked when faced with an intruder is completely beside the point.

Self-defense is a human right.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said Robert E. Thompson was awoken Saturday morning after a burglar climbed his backyard fence and was met by his charging dog, Rettt, a Rottweiler and Doberman Pinscher mix. Thompson heard the commotion, grabbed his .38-caliber revolver and phoned police without ever getting dressed.
He was able to hold the intruder until police arrived.

Armed Homeowner Versus Armed Thug

Bad guy shoots at good guys and misses with 2 shotgun blasts. Good guy shoots back and hits his target twice. Prowling teen gets two shots to chest from homeowner � Knoxville News Sentinel
When Stevens, pistol in hand, walked outside into the driveway with his wife, the teen confronted them with a shotgun, [Knox County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Martha] Dooley said.

“He shot twice at the couple,” Dooley said. “He never got in the house. The homeowner shot twice at the suspect.”
There is one thing I don't understand. There was a question about a carry permit. This guy wasn't carrying a concealed weapon in public - he was on his own property carrying a gun (probably in his hand). What does a carry permit have to do with anything?

The injured bad guy ran away but was found by police. They took him to a local hospital.

Self-defense is a human right, and a guy shooting at me would get me to think self-defense. In Tennessee, self-defense is also your legal right.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cop's Don't Like Video

In particular they don't like people making video recordings of them on the job. Joe Arpaio's Deputies Harass Activists with Cameras, but Arpaio Acknowledged Observers' Right to Film in 2006 - Phoenix News - Feathered Bastard

Sheriff Joe is famous for making inmates wear pink, only providing the Weather Channel and the Disney Channel on county jail TVs, building a tent city in the desert, etc.

But he - and his underlings - would rather not do their work in the light of day. Somehow, the simple act of recording police activity from 20 feet away is "interfering" with that activity. Really? Why would that be?
[Sean Whitcomb of Phoenix Copwatch] also pointed out that when Copwatch is present, the law enforcement officers in question are more likely to do things by the book, smile more, and be polite to the citizens they've halted.
So keeping you behaving "by the book" is interfering?
Sheriff Arpaio's boys in beige have begun a war within a war against those who observe them -- activists armed with video cameras who listen to police scanners during Arpaio's racial profiling sweeps and scramble to find the stop and capture it on camera.

During the last sweep -- which occurred during Labor Day weekend in southwest Phoenix -- activists, reporters, lawyers, and at least one politician were harassed. In one case, a legal observer was ordered to give up his camera because it had become "evidence" in the words of the deputy. That deputy took off once a local news crew showed up.

In another incident at the Gran Mercado, activist/radio show host Carlos Galindo says his video camera was taken from him as he filmed deputies "investigating" bootleg CDs and DVDs. Galindo claims they took the camera from him, erased the video and gave it back. But, Galindo indicates on the YouTube video he posted that he was able to retrieve the video in any case.
When the local politicos are swept up in questionable sweeps, you would think the point would be made that they should soft-pedal the whole thing. Apparently not.

There are some excuses offered up as to deputies not being trained on the legalities of recording police action. (Offered up by Copwatch, of all things.) So, is ignorance of the law an excuse? Or is it only an excuse when it is the cops who are ignorant? Just asking.

People love to denigrate Copwatch, but they have a valid point. Cops who are doing everything legally have nothing to fear about video. In fact, if they are videoed and someone makes a complaint, the video will clear them.

Cameras are cheaper everyday, and in more and more cell phones everyday. To say nothing of surveillance cameras at homes and businesses. LEOs better get used to the idea that they are on camera.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What a Surprise: Cap and Trade Is a Tax on the Middle Class

A tax on everyone really. Obama Admin: Cap And Trade Could Cost Families $1,761 A Year - Taking Liberties - CBS News
The Obama administration has privately concluded that a cap and trade law would cost American taxpayers up to $200 billion a year, the equivalent of hiking personal income taxes by about 15 percent.

A previously unreleased analysis prepared by the U.S. Department of Treasury says the total in new taxes would be between $100 billion to $200 billion a year. At the upper end of the administration's estimate, the cost per American household would be an extra $1,761 a year.

A second memorandum, which was prepared for Obama's transition team after the November election, says this about climate change policies: "Economic costs will likely be on the order of 1 percent of GDP, making them equal in scale to all existing environmental regulation."
You have to love the Freedom of Information Act. That's how these documents (they are in a PDF) became available.

More Texans Embracing Concealed Carry

I wonder what is behind this surge? Amarillo.com: Texas sees rush on concealed-gun license applications: Permits may top 400,000 09/15/09
In the first half of this year, the Concealed Handgun Licensing Bureau at the Texas Department of Public Safety handled an average of 12,700 applications a month compared with 8,700 during the same period in 2008, a 46 percent increase.
I like it. I think armed, law-abiding citizens are a great deterrence to crime.

I Thought the Patriot Act Was Evil

Apparently it is only evil when a Republican is in the White House. Obama Supports Extending Some of Patriot Act - ABC News
Another expiring provision, Section 215, is the so-called "library provision," which allows investigators to obtain business records with approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
I seem to remember Democratic campaign ads that painted the Library Provision as the first step toward setting up a police state. I guess a Democratic police state is better than a Republican one.

But that is the primary difference between liberal and libertarians.
Liberals think that when a government program isn't working it is because the right people aren't in charge.

For example - when in 2000, the existence of the Echelon electronic surveillance program came to light (Clinton was in office), the New York Times called it "a necessity."
http://www.americanthinker.com/2006/01/under_clinton_ny_times_called.html
We all know how they reacted to the Patriot Act. (I wonder, is there legislation making its way through Congress to repeal the hated Patriot Act, and I just haven't heard about it?)

Echelon spies on all US communication. The Patriot Act was supposed to be targeted at specific threats. I don't like the provisions of either all that much.
So why was Echelon OK? Was it because Clinton was in office? Why was the Patriot Act horrible then, and worthy of extending now? Then it was Bush; not it's Obama. (If you can find another difference, let me know.)

Libertarians would say that a non-working (or questionable) program should be eliminated. And if the Obama Administration thinks that the Patriot Act has done some good, shouldn't they say why, or are they just reading the polls? (Which appear to show a nearly 60/40 split.)

Is that leadership?

If I Was a Cynical Chicagoan...

JusticeI might think this suicide was a little suspicious. Blago's 'go-to guy' dead
The man federal prosecutors pressured to cooperate in the corruption probe of ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich died of an apparent aspirin overdose Saturday, law enforcement sources said.
Of course if I was law-enforcement familiar with Chicago, I might feel the same way.
[Country Club Hills Mayor Dwight] Welch said his police department will lead the investigation, which will be treated as if it were a homicide.

“That means no stone will go unturned. We’re doing it by the book, step one all the way through. We’re checking the GPS on the phones of everyone involved,” the mayor said. “We’ll be able to pinpoint exactly where people were.”
The cops haven't been able to find the women - who identified herself as Kellly's girlfriend - and who dropped the dead guy off at a local hospital.
A source familiar with the investigation told the Chicago Sun-Times that Kelly, who was married, called a woman late Friday identified as his “girlfriend” and told her that he took some pills and was going to kill himself.

The woman picked up Kelly at a lumberyard near 173rd St. and Cicero in Country Club Hills, where Kelly reportedly had vomited. Police were taking samples of the vomit and searching for evidence at the lumberyard, the source said. State Police evidence technicians were also called in to search the area near the lumberyard.
So if you were going to kill yourself, would you do it at a lumber yard? Just asking. And how much aspirin does it take to overdose?

The Battle of Antietam: This Day in Civil War History

During the three days, September 16th to the 18th of 1862, George McClellan met Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia at Antietam Creek outside Sharpsburg, Maryland. Though he commanded a force twice the size of Lee's, in his usual form, he didn't commit everything. (He kept 25% of his forces in reserve.) Lee fought the Federals to a standstill. Antietam Battle - US Civil War Sharpsburg Maryland 1862
September 17, 1862 was the bloodiest day of the Civil War. Federal losses totaled 12,410 and the Confederates lost 10,700 men. Although neither side won a decisive victory, General Robert E. Lee's failure to carry the war into the north was significant to the outcome of the war.
Lee's retreat let McClellan claim victory. It was enough to keep the English and the French from recognizing the Confederacy, and gave the north enough of a boost that it is credited, in part, with enabling Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation in January of 1863.

So How Do You Provide Health Care WIthout Health Care Providers?

4 of 9 doctors say they would quit. Investors.com - 45% Of Doctors Would Consider Quitting If Congress Passes Health Care Overhaul Some interesting highlights.
  • 65% of doctors oppose government-run health care. (NPR and LA Times notwithstanding.)
  • The AMA - oft referenced by the liberal media - represents about 18% of doctors.
  • 45% of doctors would take early retirement or leave practice. That would be 320,000 fewer docs out of the 800,000 or so in 2006.
  • 71% of doctors don't believe that the government can increase coverage, cut costs and improve care.

Then there are the various states that have some level of health-care-reform.
In 2006, Massachusetts passed its medical overhaul — minus a public option — similar to what's being proposed on a national scale now. It hasn't worked as expected. Costs are higher, with insurance premiums rising 22% faster than in the U.S. as a whole.

"Health spending in Massachusetts is higher than the United States on average and is growing at a faster rate," according to a recent report from the Urban Institute.

Other states with government-run or mandated health insurance systems, including Maine, Tennessee and Hawaii, have been forced to cut back services and coverage.
So why will it work out better this time?

And the UK, which has been practicing socialized medicine for some time, has discovered that no one wants to be a doctor under the conditions they have set up.
In Britain, a lack of practicing physicians means the country has had to import thousands of foreign doctors to care for patients in the National Health Service.

"A third of (British) primary care trusts are flying in (general practitioners) from as far away as Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Switzerland" because of a doctor shortage, a recent story in the British Daily Mail noted.

British doctors, demoralized by long hours and burdensome rules, simply refuse to see patients at nights and weekends.
Canadian doctors have been leaving Canada in droves as well. Of course at some point there will be no where to go.

If you try to hold down costs by limiting physician income, eventually people will say "enough." You have to be able to make a living, and insisting people work 70 hours a week, doesn't work in the long run. But then the Washington, DC politicrats only work 3 days a week. (I forget, is 7 or 8 months of the year?) I don't think they will see this problem either.

So why will the federal program work, when the state programs haven't? [Hat tip to Michelle M.]

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Do They Really Need to Study This?

Men lose their minds speaking to pretty women - Telegraph The study says men use up so much "brain power" dealing with (trying to impress?) pretty women they haven't got much left over for anything else.
When a man meets a pretty woman, he is what we call 'reproductively focused'.
Of course the reverse is not true.
Women, however, were not affected by chatting to a handsome man.
I'm glad it wasn't my tax dollars spent on this.
Psychologists at Radboud University in The Netherlands carried out the study after one of them was so struck on impressing an attractive woman he had never met before, that he could not remember his address when she asked him where he lived.
Somehow I doubt he made a good impression.

Self-defense Works

Those pesky armed citizens. They just don't give the bad guys a break. Police: Mobile robber shot by intended victim - Breaking News from the Press-Register - al.com
A robbery in the Roger Williams public housing development Monday was foiled when the victim pulled a revolver on one of his assailants, critically wounding him, police said Tuesday.
Two would-be robbers entered a residence. One is in the hospital (in critical condition). The other is on the run.
The person who shot the gunman, he said, will not being charged with a crime.
Because self-defense is a human right, and in Alabama it is also your legal right.

(sing the refrain...) If you break into enough homes, you will eventually meet an armed resident...

Self-defense With a Sword

It isn't every day you see mention of a Samurai Sword in a story of self-defense. Johns Hopkins student kills intruder with samurai sword, police say -- baltimoresun.com
The student told police that he heard a commotion in the house and went downstairs armed with a samurai sword, Guglielmi said. He saw the side door to the garage had been pried open and found a man inside, who lunged at the student.
Here is my usual mantra, for cases like this: If you break into enough homes, you will eventually meet an armed resident. Results in that case are fairly predicable. (Though I am usually thinking about firearms when I write that.)

This guy seems to be an example of exactly that.
The suspected burglar, whose name was not released pending notification of next of kin, had prior convictions for breaking and entering and had just been released Saturday from a Baltimore County facility
Self-defense is a human right.

Monday, September 14, 2009

It's the Name that Caught My Attention

“He was shot by Officer Joe Kidd” Eugene robbery suspect dies - San Jose Mercury News

Joe Kidd is the name of Clint Eastwood character from a 1972 movie of the same name.

Here's the meat of the story.
EUGENE, Ore.—A suspected bank robber wounded by Eugene police has died from his injuries.

Police spokeswoman Melinda Kletzok says 58-year-old Richard Allen Morrison died Monday afternoon, three days after he was shot by Officer Joe Kidd in a parking lot near a branch of Key Bank.
I know, I have way too much information about movies crammed into my brain. Makes it tough to keep other stuff in there.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

SAS Training Libyan Troops

The Special Air Service is the elite of the British Armed Forces. And they are training Libyans. SAS trains Libyan troops - Telegraph
For the past six months Britain’s elite troops have been schooling soldiers working for Col Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, which for years provided Republican terrorists with the Semtex explosive, machine-guns and anti-aircraft missiles used against British troops during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Sources within the SAS have expressed distaste at the agreement, which they believe could be connected to the release of the Lockerbie bomber.
There was talk of various oil contracts when the Lockerbie bomber was released. This seems to be the prelude to that....
An SAS source said: “A small SAS training team have been doing it for the last six months as part of this cosy deal with the Libyans.

“From our perspective we cannot see it as part of anything else other than the Megrahi deal.” Another SAS soldier said: “The IRA was our greatest adversary now we are training their backers. There was a weary rolling of the eyes when we were told about this.”
"When it absolutely, positively has to be blown up today..." Though the official motto is, "He who dares, wins." (If you aren't familiar with the SAS, find a book or do some internet reading. Fascinating.)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Not Even the Police Can Rely on Calling 911

This was an "officer needs assistance" call, and still no one responded. Weis calls 911 dispatch delay 'reprehensible' :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

For 8 minutes, while he was being chased by a car full of "alleged gang members," who were shooting at him, no help was dispatched.

Ultimately he only got help because he drove himself to a police district office.

And yet the city of Chicago says you have to rely on 911 in an emergency. Any means you might use to defend yourself are illegal in the city. Yet 911 doesn't appear to be all that helpful.

Heads will role. Or someone will get a day off without pay. Whatever it takes to "send a message" to those involved in bungling the call.

Self-defense is Legal in Wisconsin

No charges for Kenosha store owner who shot robber
Assistant District Attorney Richard Ginkowski says the owner of the Jewelry Exchange in Kenosha was acting in self-defense on Wednesday when two men walked into his store and one pointed a handgun at him. The store owner pulled his own gun out from under the counter and shot the armed man in the chest.
The guy who was shot was found a block away. Police are looking for the one that got away.

You would think criminals would learn that fewer and fewer law-abiding-citizens are willing to follow the "just give them what they want" advice.

Self-defense is a human right.

Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0

They picked on the wrong 74-year-old. Intruders shot, cut by 74-year-old man, police say | The News Journal
Sgt. Walter Newton said the homeowner arrived back at the house and found an empty SUV in his driveway and a side door that had been locked was open. He then found the front door had been kicked in.

Two men -- later identified by police as Paul L. Spencer, 43, and Gregory B. Stewart, 49, both of Lincoln -- approached the homeowner at the side door and said they were “looking to purchase a dump truck,” Newton said.

The homeowner told them to leave, but they continued toward him. Spencer crossed the threshold and grabbed a landscaping tool and threatened the homeowner, Newton said. The homeowner took a machete from next to the door and swung it at Spencer, striking him several times in his right forearm and hand.

“Both suspects continued toward the homeowner, which caused him to fire two .25 caliber rounds from a handgun. One of the bullets struck Stewart in his abdomen,” Newton said.
If you break into enough homes, you will eventually meet an armed resident. Results in that case are fairly predicable.

The guy who got shot, is being treated in a local hospital. The other guy was arrested at his home, treated for cuts to his arm, and charged with "burglary, conspiracy, menacing and criminal mischief."

Self-defense is a human right.

Bear Attacks Inside Home

Didn't think the NYSlimes would cover this story. Bear Attacks Colorado Man Inside His Home - NYTimes.com Of course it's only an AP story.
ASPEN, Colo. (AP) -- A man was attacked by a large black bear in his Aspen home in the latest in a string of violent encounters with the animals this summer in the mountain community.

Colorado Division of Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton said the man had gone to the first floor of his home to check on his three barking dogs when the bear struck him in the head.
A gun may not have done this guy any good, since he was (literally) blindsided.

The problem seems to be getting worse in some ways.
Wildlife officers in and near the resort town about 200 miles west of Denver have killed at least nine bears so far this summer because of their aggressive behavior. Area police have responded to about 200 bear sightings in August, up from 16 last August.
Garbage and food are apparently attracting bears to the town, as the search for food before hibernating.
[Hampton] said bears are particularly active now because they are preparing for hibernation, consuming about 20,000 calories a day and spending 20 hours a day eating
Escalating aggressiveness of black bears would be a reason for being armed in my book. I guess that's just me.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Oops

I really need to start a "cops behaving stupidly" category.... There are enough stories to warrant it. Police Tear Gas Wrong House In Butler Co. Standoff - Pittsburgh News Story

Don't you think that before the SWAT teams get busy, someone should double check that they are in the right place? They were in the right place. They fired the tear gas into the house across the street from the right house. (Cut to Homer Simpson in police uniform... Doh!)
Damage to the house is so severe it's going to take four days for professional cleaners to clean it up.

"There's a fine film on everything. I mean, you can see it on our furniture, you can see the stains on the curtains. And on this back window specifically you can see where the shell hit," Spinetti said.

Spinetti said state police have promised him they will cover any costs of the cleanup that are not being covered by his insurance company.
Police have been "unavailable" for comment on the situation.

So they opened the dance with tear gas. What if they saw someone in that "house across the street?" Would they have opened fire with something more lethal? Who knows.

State of Denial

I lived there for 4 years, and I hated most of it. Now, I don't even like to vacation there. Leading California Out of the Dark Ages - washingtonpost.com

High taxes. Penalizing the rich. Destroying Schools. There is a great deal about about the sad state of California Schools.
  • The CA education code is 2000 pages - can you say "micromanagement" all at the behest of unions?
  • Less than half of the 600,000 employees in CA education are teachers
  • In Los Angeles, 25 percent of teachers send their kids to private school
But that is only the schools.
Having institutionalized envy in a steeply progressive income tax, California depends on 200,000 wealthy taxpayers for 25 percent of its revenue. The state ranks behind only liberal New York in the number of outward-bound moving vans. More people would flee if they could sell their homes. Between 1990 and 2007, the state lost 26 percent of its factory jobs and 35 percent of its high-tech manufacturing jobs. "Detroit, only with sunshine," says Investor's Business Daily.
California's state government is out of control. The state workforce increased 24 percent in the 10 years ended 2007.

This isn't a Democrat or Republican issue. Government spending grew 40 percent faster under Arnold Schwazenegger than under his predecessor. State spending has increased twice as fast as inflation and population since 2005.
Democrats blocked allowing parents to enroll their children online in state health programs because it might have endangered unionized clerical jobs.
Let me get this straight... high tech California rejects the internet and cost savings in favor of union jobs. No, they aren't in denial. [via Bob Schaffer]

"Hopefully this is a lesson to criminals -- don't underestimate anyone"

I doubt that most criminals are smart enough to learn this lesson Woman Who Shot Invader Speaks Out

What lesson is that? If you break into enough homes, you will eventually meet an armed resident. Results in that case are fairly predicable. If you are particularly unlucky, that will happen the first time you try it.
The woman said she was lying on the couch watching television just before midnight Sunday when she heard someone try to kick in her door.

She said she pulled out her gun and fired one shot. Her attacker fired back and that bullet is still lodged in her window sill.

What the woman said she didn't know was that the man attempting to kick in the door was shot in the neck and later showed up at Research Medical Center.
She has been traumatized, and has moved out of her home for fear of the would-be home-invader's associates. (Was he the only one involved? Who knows?)

This working, single-mother acted to protect herself.

Self-defense is a human right.

Misconceptions About Domestic Violence Remain

It could be more a question of denial... 'Domestic violence does not discriminate' It isn't something that happens to "other kinds of people" in "other kinds of places."
"It's a challenge (locally), because there's a deep tendency to say, this doesn't happen in my neighborhood," said Kathryn Firmin-Sellers, United Family Services director for Mooresville and Lake Norman.

"It's everyone's issue — domestic violence does not discriminate by race, class or zip code."
It isn't just in poor urban areas or in rural areas. It is happening in everywhere.

You also can't judge the impact by the number of broken bones.
Another myth that Forney often hears from others is "at least they're not really hurt."

"I heard that statement over and over in the Chris Brown/Rhianna case," she said. "Just because the physical abuse might not be that bad, it doesn't mean the emotional scars aren't long-lasting."
Hat tip to the Minister of Defense (Twitter isn't just about what people had for breakfast)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

3 Teens Try to Break Into a Home

One ends up dead. Teen Shot To Death, Two Others In Custody After Home Invasion in Decatur - WHNT
Police say around 10am, the three tried to break into a home located at 1432 5th Avenue SW. The homeowner was asleep inside, and woke up. Police say the homeowner grabbed a handgun and confronted the teens. The homeowner fired one shot, striking and killing Mason. The other two teens ran away.
On the face of it, it appears to be classic self-defense. A lot of folks will make a big deal about the ages. Two kids were 14-years-old and one was 16-years-old. But should that matter? (One of the 14-year-old kids was shot.)

Should the ages matter? Were they old enough and large enough to do damage? To know right from wrong?

If you break into homes, sooner or later will will run into an armed homeowner. It sounds like it happened "sooner" in this case. Armed homeowners defend themselves. It is one of the reasons they are armed.

The Brady Bunch will consider this to be a teen tragically shot, because little things like self-defense and criminal activity don't impress them. And I consider it a tragedy too, but the tragedy is that three young people were not raised to obey the law, to respect other people's rights and property, or to think about the consequences of their actions. And there are consequences in this case. One is dead. Two are in a juvenile detention center charged with second-degree burglary. There are always consequences.

Self-defense is a human right.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Unions Are Not Popular

The thing that amazes me is that they have been popular as long as they have, but that seems to be over.
Gallup finds organized labor taking a significant image hit in the past year. While 66% of Americans continue to believe unions are beneficial to their own members, a slight majority now say unions hurt the nation's economy. More broadly, fewer than half of Americans -- 48%, an all-time low -- approve of labor unions, down from 59% a year ago.


I really do find that level of support surprising given this graph:



So, what happened? Well, there were the UAW bailouts (Oh, excuse me the Chrysler and GM bailouts.)

Self-defense is a human right

So what would you do if you were attacked as you walked into your own home? Deputies: Homeowner Shot Man In Attack - Orlando News Story - WKMG Orlando
The homeowner walked into his house on Faculty Drive late Monday night when he was attacked by another man, deputies said.

The homeowner then shot the other man, and both of them were taken to a nearby hospital, according to deputies.
The homeowner was hit with a pipe and stabbed before he was able to shoot his attacker. Both are in hospital.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

So How Do You Spur Manufacturing While Increasing Costs?

Specifically, energy costs.Obama names Treasury official to spur manufacturing - Yahoo! News

So does this guy have credentials in manufacturing? Did he ever run a business or work for a manufacturing company?
Prior to joining the Obama administration, Bloom was a special assistant to the president of the United Steelworkers Union. His responsibilities included the union's collective bargaining program.

Prior to joining the Steelworkers, Bloom was one of the founding partners of Keilin and Bloom, an investment banking firm, where he was involved in numerous transactions on behalf of the Steelworkers, the Auto Workers, the Teamsters, the Air Line Pilots Association and other unions.

Before founding Keilin and Bloom, Bloom was a vice president at the investment banking firm of Lazard Freres & Co. where he specialized in analyzing, structuring and raising financing for union-led employee-ownership transactions.
So I guess manufacturing will look like the steel industry. Or the auto industry.

(People still try to claim he isn't a socialist.)

So he wants to pass "Cap and Trade" which even it supporters admit will raise energy prices. How does that "spur manufacturing?"

Since employer-supplied insurance will have to expand to become a "qualified plan" the cost will go up. (Or businesses will pay the penalty and dump employees on the open market - or the public option.) How does that "spur manufacturing?"

No new power plants (green or otherwise) are being built to supply the power demands... The EPA is killing off wind-power proposals... How does that "spur manufacturing?"

Hope is a fine thing. Realism is generally a good thing when it comes to policy formation.

Don't Question Government Docs - You Will Lose Your Family

We are told - by Michael Moore and others - that the UK has an idyllic existence due to government run health care. It isn't all good of course. 'Uppity' parents who challenge the authorities 'risk having children taken away' - Telegraph:
Local authorities are using proceedings in the family courts as "retaliation" against parents who question doctors' diagnoses of their children or challenge other decisions, according to an MP.
Don't want to put your kids through something? Too bad. Better not disagree with the government doctors.
One family reportedly had all six of their children taken into care after they questioned the need for an invasive medical test on their daughter who was suspected of having a blood disease.

Although the girl later tested negative for the condition, an emergency protection order remained in place.
I mean you can't leave kids in an environment where they might learn to question their betters government bureaucrats. Bureaucrats know what is best.

Gee I can't wait till we have government run health care over here.

Beat Someone Up - Get a PAID Vacation

Now in the long-run, he will lose a lot. In the short-run, he is on paid leave. Police: Officer Attacked Man Over Facebook Messages

OK, you don't like some messages that someone has sent to your wife. Do you think that means you get to beat that someone up? This guy does.
He was shouting at him for sending messages to his wife on Facebook and MySpace, Murphy told investigators.

Lieutenant Sherman later admitted to investigators that he was angry about the messages. It's not clear what they said.

"Mr. Sherman advised he did not believe it was right that another man was communicating with his wife by internet sending some of the things he was sending to her," the investigators wrote in the charging documents.
He has been charged with battery. Is that a felony or a misdemeanor? And why not assault? If someone can explain the difference in the comments, I would be grateful. When does battery become assault?
Sherman posted bond today. He'll be paid while he is on leave, according to Police Chief Ted Anderson.
Innocent until proved guilty...

I Would Say That Makes for a Reasonable Threat

You walk into a business while masked and carrying a shotgun, and I think people are going to assume you are up to no good. Attempted robber shot by pawn shot employee�| ajc.com
An 18-year-old man wearing a mask and carrying a sawed-off shotgun entered a south Fulton County pawn store Saturday.

But an employee at the store grabbed a gun and fired first, according to police.

Terrence Colton was hit twice and was taken to Grady Hospital. He faces an armed robbery charge, according Cpl. Kay Lester with Fulton police. Colton could face additional charges.
Cpl Lester said the shop employee was within the law. This is because self-defense is a human right, and in some parts of the country, like Georgia, it is also your legal right.

It seems one bad is guy is on the run. The guy who was shot is in stable condition, waiting to be transferred from the hospital to jail.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Good Guys 4, Bad Guys 0

A bunch of teenage burglars target the wrong house. An armed homeowner lived there. Two Texas Teenagers Die In Attempted Home Invasion Friday
San Marcos Police Chief Howard Williams says the two 16-year-olds who died when the homeowner opened fire early Friday on the would-be robbers were from Luling, about 20 miles southeast of San Marcos.

A statement from Williams says a third teen was seriously wounded.

A fourth teen was arrested.
If you break into enough homes, you will eventually meet an armed resident. Results in that case are fairly predicable. (If you are really unlucky, you will meet that armed homeowner on your first attempt.)

Three residents in the home were unharmed.

Self-defense is a human right.

Another Stupid Criminal

Another robber provides name, address and social security number. Alleged robber left wallet at bank
But Barclay forgot his wallet, which police say he placed on the teller's counter when he presented a note demanding money.

The wallet had two photo IDs, a Social Security card and a Philadelphia criminal registration card. Police say the ID pictures match Barclay's image in surveillance footage.
In the words of Bugs Bunny, "What a maroon!"

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Concealed Carry Helps Stop Robbery

All this over a bag of meat. Grocery run: Store manager clings to hood of robber's car; bystander shoots driver
• The alleged shoplifter, Loucinda M. Carroll, 41, of Independence, has been charged with second-degree robbery.

• The store's manager, who was struck by Carroll's car, landed on its hood and held on during an attempted getaway, was unharmed.

• And the bystander who shot Carroll will not be charged because he felt he and the manager were being threatened, authorities say. Carroll suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
The bystander was from Utah, and Missouri recognizes their concealed carry permits.

The gunshot wound was not considered life-threatening.

Self-defense is a human right. Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Violent Criminals Are Violent

This fact seems to evade Police Chief Robert Grabowski of Macon, GA. Macon Police Release Video in Chevron Shooting

They had the cash and cigarettes. They were making their escape. They were not threatened.
Police Capt. Robert Grabowski says Patel was behind the counter when the robbers jumped the counter and took cash and cigarettes.

Metal burglar bars cover the windows but there is no barrier at the counter.

Grabowski says one robber shot Patel on the way out.

"It was a case of senselessness, and cold-blooded to shoot him for no apparent reason, after they had already got the money," said Grabowski.
He is genuinely surprised that violent criminals are violent, irrational, and violent. What did he expect?

Cooperation will not keep you safe. Nothing will keep you safe, there are no guarantees in this life except "death and next winter's snows." So you have to decide what choices you will make. Clerks, pizza delivery guys, bank tellers, hell everyone from time to time is told "cooperate to be safe." Since cooperation won't make me safe, I would rather act in my own defense, given the chance.

Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0

Update to a story from the other day. 2nd Suspect Caught in Pawn Shop Robbery

Two thugs try to rob a pawn shop. One was shot in the head by the manager of the shop, the other fled.

The 2nd guy has been caught - a 17-yr-old, who stole a truck to get away.

Are pawn shops as heavily armed as gun shops? That seems to be the case.

Self-defense is a human right.

He Was Shot After He Handed Over Cash and Phone

We are often told - by folks like the Brady Bunch - that if we just give criminals what they want, they will leave us alone. Man recovering from midday shooting - MLive.com Of course, that is a lie.
The victim told police an unknown man about 19 years of age and five other teens robbed him of $10 and a cellphone.

The main robber then shot him in the right thigh and the group fled eastbound on E. Baltimore Blvd.
How's that? He was shot AFTER he handed over the cash and phone?

I thought cooperation was supposed to keep us safe.

Of course I wonder what advice would be given to a parent faced with a monster trying to kidnap their child. Would you suggest cooperation under those circumstances?

Anyway, cooperation is clearly not a guarantee of safety. This guy was unlucky enough to have been shot in the leg. He is lucky he wasn't shot and killed.

This Is Why I Don't Like Capital Punishment

JusticeTexas executed an innocent man. They knew it, but no one cared. Innocent but Dead - NYTimes.com

The fire marshal claimed there was all kinds of scientific evidence. There was none.
Now comes a report on the case from another noted scientist, Craig Beyler, who was hired by a special commission, established by the state of Texas to investigate errors and misconduct in the handling of forensic evidence.

The report is devastating, the kind of disclosure that should send a tremor through one’s conscience. There was absolutely no scientific basis for determining that the fire was arson, said Beyler. No basis at all. He added that the state fire marshal who investigated the case and testified against Willingham “seems to be wholly without any realistic understanding of fires.” He said the marshal’s approach seemed to lack “rational reasoning” and he likened it to the practices “of mystics or psychics.”
That wasn't the first report to call into question the "science" used to convict this guy. The first real scientific investigation of the case found basically the same thing, and it was delivered to governor and other authorities shortly before the execution. But they let an innocent man die, probably so they could look "tough on crime."

So innocent men are put to death. Sure it can't happen to you? Why not? Guilt and Innocence aren't important. And SCOTUS has ruled that innocence beyond the shadow of a doubt isn't grounds for delaying executions. (He had his "fair" trial. Too bad everybody lied.)

It's bad enough when innocent men are railroaded and sent to prison by a Justice System more interested in winning than in Justice. This is beyond disgusting.

There is an old saying... It is better that 10 guilty men should go free than one innocent man should die. (Or something to that effect.) You may not want them to go free, but do you want to be the next innocent man the state of Texas wrongfully convicts.

Everyone associated with this case, from the crazy fire marshal, to the jail house snitch (and the people who paid him off) should be up on charges. Then the governor, who failed in his duty to pardon an innocent man, (and all the other officials) should be thrown out of office. (Or tarred and feathered, whichever.)

Justice may be blind, but she isn't supposed to have her finger pushing down on one side of the scale.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Fort Worth Cops Gay Bashing Saga

FW Cops celebrated the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots by reenacting the raid that started everything. Fallout it still falling out. Just An Earth-Bound Misfit: Texas Police Gay Bashing Update

Charges against the victim of the police bashing have been dropped. FWPD has change some policies. Apologies have been issued and few token heads have rolled.

Click through for all the details.

“I did what I had to do.”

What would you do if a robber pushed your niece down on a bed? Robbery, standoff end with 2 men dead in Fairborn Robbers meet armed homeowner. But because they had the advantage, he didn't do anything right away.
“I didn’t know who they were, and they kept asking 'Where’s the money?’ ” Fugate said. “My brother, we kept trying to talk in circles to keep them calm. The black guy, he kept laughing.”

That man, Danny L. Brown, 30, pushed Fugate’s niece down onto a bed while rummaging through a safe in the bedroom, Fugate said.

“That was enough for me and it allowed me to get my gun from where I keep it in the bed and I raised up and fired,”
He shot Brown in the head, who was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The other home invader, got away with a silver bar and some prescription meds. Cops traced him when two women tried to pawn the silver bar.
Hours later three women tried to pawn the silver bar, Dayton Lt. Patrick Welsh said. Detectives used the silver bar to track down Jones in Fairborn, Welsh said.

Jones at first slammed the door and held his grandmother, Edna Vickery, captive, yanking her back into the house twice when she tried to leave, Fairborn police Capt. Doc Plemmons said.

About 15 minutes later, police were able to pull the woman out of her home when she came to the door a third time.
He was later found dead in that home with his wrists cut.

Ohio has a pretty good version of the Castle Doctrine, so the homeowner is not expected to face any charges.
“I ain’t no hero, and I’m broken up about it,” Fugate said. “I did what I had to do.”
No word on what fate dished out to the women who tried to pawn the silver. Accessory after the fact, does sort of come to mind.

Self-defense is a human right, and in Ohio it is also your legal right.

They Suffered a Failure of the Victim Selection Process

Burglars meet armed homeowner. Can you guess the outcome? Homeowner shoots burglar - A Hillsborough man found three people in his house
The homeowner told police he heard someone forcing his door open so he got his gun and found three people standing in his living room.

Police said he fired one shot and hit 19-year-old Christopher Williams in the chest.
If you break into enough homes, you will eventually meet an armed resident. Results in that case are fairly predicable. (If you are really unlucky, that will happen on the first time.)

The Brady Bunch will count this as a "teen tragically shot." The fact that the "teen" is legally an adult, engaged in a crime doesn't matter to them.

The injured guy and another burglar are in custody. Two more are being sought by police.

Self-defense is a human right.