Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cooperation Doesn't Work, Paroling Violent Criminals Problematic

Paroled Killer Who Killed Again Gets Life In Prison - Boston News Story - WCVB Boston

This story is a bit tough to take.

Edward Corliss was convicted of killing a store clerk in 1971. In 2009, he was out of prison on parole, when he killed another store clerk. This time there was video.
Store surveillance of the robbery played at the trial showed Dangol complying with Corliss’ demands, placing all of his cash register’s money into a backpack Corliss provided. The video then shows Dangol stepping back with his hands above his head and Corliss shooting him once in the chest.
The clerk cooperated with everything he was asked to do. He still ended up dead, because this guy didn't want a live witness getting to him. Cooperation with criminals is a strategy, not a guarantee. (And to my way of thinking, not a very good strategy.)

Criminals Use Tech Too

Police: Burglar used Google Maps to case upscale suburban homes - Chicago Sun-Times And you thought having all that info available to everyone was a good idea. NOT.

This guy and his accomplice who was arrested a short time earlier seem to have taken $100,000 worth of jewelry and electronics form a swanky Chicago suburb.

Even in Illinois, You Can Meet an Armed Homeowner

If you choose to break into homes, you will eventually find an armed homeowner. Home intruder shot to death in Chicago Heights - Chicago Sun-Times
Harris’ neighbor told police that shortly before 8 a.m., he was in his bathroom when he heard a noise coming from his kitchen that sounded like breaking glass.

The homeowner retrieved a gun from his bedroom and went into the kitchen, where he said he saw a man crouching next to a table. The retired bus driver fired several shots at the man, who then jumped out of a window and collapsed in the backyard, police said.

Police later found Hall, of Chicago Heights, unresponsive and lying on the grass in the backyard. Hall was taken to St. James Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The medical examiner’s office said Hall had been shot multiple times.
No charges - yet - in the shooting. (In Illinois, they will prosecute self-defense. You aren't relying on the state for everything!) But it seems unlikely that prosecutors will try to argue that a guy who needs oxygen to breath could have run away, or used something besides a firearm to defend himself. (You have to understand, it isn't about Justice, it is about winning.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Things People Do To Keep You Safe From Dangerous Ideas

I guess this shouldn't surprise me... North Platte Nebraska's newspaper - The North Platte Telegraph. > News
Most recently, she said someone has gone through the romance novels and used a razor blade to remove some of the racier parts of the novels. Another incident occurred when someone took all of the books about witchcraft and Wicca and hid them throughout the library.

"We had 40-some books with that subject, and all but eight were missing," [North Plate Library Director Cecilia] Lawrence said.
Censorship - keeping you safe from dangerous ideas. (Like those contained in the Harry Potter books.)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Is the Pendulum Starting to Swing Our Way?

OK, it is only 1 school district. And it is in Okalhoma. But 10 years ago would have have expected that the shooting sports would be EXPANDING on the high school level? School board approves gun sport for Shawnee - Shawnee, OK - The Shawnee News-Star They approved Sporting Clays under the auspices of the FFA.

There weren't even any nay-sayers on the school board.

I thought it was funny they believed it was necessary to define sporting clays, but not FFA.
The sport is a tightly controlled shooting competition that incorporates firing at clay disks with shotguns and live ammunition.
FFA used to be (still is?) known as Future Farmers of America. Haven't heard of them in a very long time.
The National FFA Organization (also known as Future Farmers of America) envisions a future in wh​ich all agricultural education students will discover their passion in life and build on that insight to chart the course for their educations, career and personal future.
That last from the FFA website.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Big Brother Government Motors is Watching You

Even if you aren't an OnStar customer, they may be watching you. Probe urged as OnStar is watching even former users (Suddenly that stuff circulating last week about how to disconnect OnStar at the source, makes more sense.)
"(OnStar) has recently made dramatic changes to its privacy policy that I find alarming," Schumer said in a letter to the chairman of the FTC. "I am concerned that OnStar may be abusing the consumer data -- including sensitive information like vehicle location and speed -- to which it has access."

[Senator Charles] Schumer called the tracking "one of the most brazen invasions of privacy in recent memory." Senators Al Franken and Christopher Coons, both Democrats, sent a letter to OnStar last week saying that the company's actions "appear to violate basic principles of privacy and fairness."
So tell me again why you would want to drive a GM vehicle?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Oh the Joy of Socialized Health Care

It seems that Britain's health care system - the NHS or National Health Service - is in financial trouble. And that trouble is affecting care. NHS hospitals 'crippled' by PFI scheme - Telegraph

The Labour Government couldn't afford to do everything they wanted to do, so they came up with a complex financial scheme to pay for things. They were known as Private Financial Initiatives or PFI schemes. They aren't working.
Under the PFI deals, a private contractor builds a hospital or school. It owns the building for up to 35 years, and during this period the public sector must pay interest and repay the cost of construction, as well as paying the contractor to maintain the building.

However, the total cost of the deals is often far more than the value of the assets. As a result, Mr Lansley says, the 22 trusts "cannot afford" to pay for their schemes, which in total are worth more than £5.4billion, because the required payments have risen sharply in the wake of the recession.
The result? Non-emergency surgeries are being "delayed." If you aren't bleeding to death, you are gonna wait. Those bad knees? That hip? The gall bladder that is giving you grief? None of those constitute an emergency. Then there is the "goal" - that Dear Leader shares - of having all health care on one computer system. There doesn't appear to be much evidence it actually works.
It also emerged last night that the Coalition was expected to announce it is abandoning Labour's calamitous £12billion NHS computer scheme. Ministers will dismantle the National Programme for IT, a "one size fits all" project started in 2002 which has never worked, and replace it with regional schemes.
12 billion pounds (about 27.6 billion dollars at today's exchange rate) would pay for a lot of surgeries, hospitals, doctors, whatever. But spending to get everyone to march in Lock-step is the statist way. Bureaucrats love it when everyone does just exactly what they are told.
Earlier this year, John Healey, the shadow health secretary, admitted in an interview that Labour ministers had failed when negotiating the multi–million pound schemes for hospitals. "There is definitely a case for saying we were poor at PFI, poor at negotiating PFI contracts at the outset," he said.
But what do you expect when they are not spending their money, but the unending tax dollars. As an example, some of the deals gave the private interest 71% return on investment. Pretty awful stewardship of the public funds. (And of course none of the contracts went to anyone's brother-in-law, or financial supporter or anything, I'm sure. That kind of thing only happens with Chicago politicians.) I can't wait until we have socialized medicine.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Couple of Self-defense Stories

No time to blog? I know, sacrilege, but as they say, duty calls in a shrill, unpleasant voice. In other words, Real Life™ can be a bitch. (Or embrace the suck.) So in place of more detailed thoughts on Son of Stimulus, or the rest of insanity that is the political scene here or in the Middle East, all of which is more capably covered by others anyway, I give you 2 stories of people who don't realize a simple truth; if you break into enough homes, you will eventually find an armed homeowner.

Saginaw burglar shot and killed by homeowner | Dallas - Fort Worth
Investigators said the homeowner, firefighter David Wilson, opened fire around 2:30 p.m. after interrupting a burglary in progress.
Not sure why they believed to was necessary to inform us the homeowner was a firefighter. (Emphasis on government employee?) But there you are.

Homeowner fatally shoots alleged burglar | Tulsa World
The man, whose identity has not been released pending family notification, had allegedly attempted to break into several cars and homes along 10th Street, including an unattached storage building, Walker said.

At the home where the shooting occurred, he allegedly failed to break into a car in the driveway but then got into a front window, Walker said.

The homeowner confronted the man as he was allegedly rummaging through a desk. The homeowner told the man to stop and then shot him several times, killing him, Walker said.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Did The Chicago Prosecutors Know About Police Torture?

This is related to the Jon Burge case. (He was commander of The Midnight Crew of Area 2.) Time for Daley to talk about brutality - Chicago Sun-Times

John Tillman confessed to a rape and murder back in 1986.

There is just one problem. DNA evidence proves he is innocent of the crime. He claims he was tortured by the Midnight Crew. (A lot of people were, apparently.) He spent 24 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
“I was hit with the fist, the phone book, I had a plastic bag placed over my head repeatedly,” Tillman recalled. “I had a gun put to my head while I was on my knees. I had a 7-Up poured down my nose. I was hit in the leg with a flashlight. I felt like a slave, tied to a tree, that couldn’t do nothing ’cause I was always bound.”

More than 100 men claim they were tortured, dating back to the 1970s. Today, Jon Burge sits in a federal prison, convicted just last year of perjury and obstruction of justice.
The question is, did Daley, who was one of several prosecutors know what was going on? The beatings, and intimidation, etc. (Some say "How could they not know?" but I leave such judgements to others.)

What is clear is that under Daley, the City of Chicago spent 43 million dollars defending the cops (and now the ex-mayor and maybe other prosecutors?) instead of settling. But then that is Chicago for you.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Chicago PD Special Operations Section - Justice?

It is probably as good as we can hope for. Ex-Chicago police officer Jerome Finnigan from SOS unit sentenced to 12 years in hiring hit man to kill officer who was to testify against him | That isn't all that SOS got up to.
Finnigan was once a highly-decorated officer who solved crimes and saved lives. But at some point, the Chicago police officer went rogue. He became the ringleader of a group of cops who shook down alleged drug dealers, stole hundreds of thousands of dollars, and lied in bogus reports. Some of those shakedowns - one of which was caught on a Southwest Side bar surveillance camera - were extraordinarily bold.

"Innocent people -- not just drug dealers, not just bad guys -- but innocent people were hurt and hurt deeply by this," Prof. Craig Futterman, University of Chicago, said.
The guys on SOS had 50 or more complaints against them. Most were never investigated, and if they hadn't been caught in some acts on security cameras, they would probably still be in business. As it is, SOS was closed down 4 years ago. (Not that it was the only problem Chicago PD had.)

Friday, September 09, 2011

Doing the Same Thing and Expecting a Different Outcome

So how exactly is Stimulus 2.0 supposed to make any more difference than the Stimulus to end all Stimulus was supposed to make?

200 million bucks on shovel ready infrastructure projects, plus more handouts to the teachers and public-employees' unions doesn't sound like a "bold new plan" to me. It sounds just like more of the same.

Isn't continuing to do the same thing and yet expecting a different outcome a sign of insanity?

Friday, September 02, 2011

“Loans” to Friends - Another Ploy of Gangster Government

Solyndra Investigation: Probe Into White House Role in Massive Energy Loan - ABC News

This "company of the future" was destined for bankruptcy. It may have looked like good politics, but it isn't/wasn't good economics.
While Energy Department officials steadfastly vouched for Solyndra -- even after an earlier round of layoffs raised eyebrows -- other federal agencies and industry analysts for months questioned the viability of the company. Peter Lynch, a longtime solar industry analyst, told ABC News the company's fate should have been obvious from the start.

"Here's the bottom line," Lynch said. "It costs them $6 to make a unit. They're selling it for $3. In order to be competitive today, they have to sell it for between $1.5 and $2. That is not a viable business plan."
As someone who has purchased solar panels, I can tell you that it is all about dollars per watt or per kilowatt, depending on the size of the installation.

Being 50 to 100 percent over the going rate is not going to get you a big order book.

This money was never going to be paid back. It was a pay-off to someone for something, to make our "green-jobs-President" look good - for 15 minutes.

Change you can believe in? This is more like the Chicago way.

A smoking gun? Aside from the fact that the White House short-circuited the official process to rush through the loan?
The loan guarantee, the administration's first for a clean energy project, benefited a company whose prime financial backers include Oklahoma oil billionaire George Kaiser, a "bundler" of campaign donations. Kaiser raised at least $50,000 for the president's 2008 election effort.
No, there was no political calculus involved in this decision. Just ignore the fact that it looks like a favor repaid. Who do you think these guys are? Chicago politicians?

Another of Those Special Rights Gays and Lesbians Want -
the Right to Have a Job.

Those crazy lesbians, wanting a job. What will they want next? SheWired - Woman Fired Due to Perception She's a Lesbian Based on her Facebook Page
A woman being considered for a position at the Charleston Youth Center in Charleston W. VA. is suing the company, claiming that its board members rescinded her job offer after viewing her Facebook page and perceiving that she was a lesbian.
Another reason to NOT use Facebook.

But Don't Let the Law Abiding Defend Themselves

Bike Path Beating Shows CPD Weakness: FOP | NBC Chicago The powers that be in Chicago PD realizing that they can't protect everyone from every group of thugs. (That is amazing all by itself.)
"If we can't prevent a group of 5th graders from attacking one of our residents on the lakefront, how are we going to protect Englewood and the other neighborhoods in the city of Chicago," said Shields, who is now locked in a manpower battle with City Hall and Chicago Police Department heads.
His answer to his own question? Hire more cops.
"If there were more officers in that area, that would have prevented any crime," he said.
As if they could have a cop on every corner, at every scene of a bad incident.

They are in the end, constitutionally incapable of admitting that they can't solve every problem. That they can't prevent every crime. They never have and they never will. They just cannot admit that the answer to the problem is not "the state." An answer is to let the law abiding have access to the means of self-defense.

This is all about a graduate student, who got jumped by a gang of kids. Grad Student Attacked by Pack of Kids | NBC Chicago The kids - ages 10 to 16 - were caught.