What murder looks like…

There was no immediate threat to this man’s well being. This IS a case in which second degree murder charges are quite valid. (Very different than asking a question, and then later being punched and beaten.)

http://news.yahoo.com/wis-man-faces-trial-shooting-teenage-neighbor-204541976.html

Now I do wonder, since the article says the man had a history of mental illness, whether he should have been a prohibitied person. Did that history include a clinical concern he was a threat to himself or others?

As for the defense “he did not intend to kill the boy”, you don’t point a firearm at anything you’re not inclined to destroy/kill. (See my post on bad ethics/policies of police.)

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Published in: on July 15, 2013 at 9:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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In the news (summary)

  • Parole Leads to Death
  • How NYC Elections are Run
  • Mandatory Gun Ownership
  • Chicago Homicides Fall – but why?
  • UN(american) Arms Treaty
  • (Im)Probable Cause

***

Early release “clerical error” leads to another murdered victim…

“Leon’s mother-in-law, Bernadette Alness, told KUSA that someone should “stand up and be accountable.””

I truly believe that if parole boards were responsible in someway for the crimes those they release committed. We’d have far less violent crime in this nation.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/02/justice/colorado-ebel-prison-records/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

Oops he didn’t have to serve his two sentence consectutively. Remind me, if I am ever sentenced. I want a 1 week sentence. Followed by whatever ever other sentence….because then I won’t have to serve it consecutively.  Seriously?

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/2/colorado-courts-face-review-after-mistakenly-setti/
***

How New York elections are won…. “BRIBERY”

http://news.yahoo.com/two-charged-bribe-probe-related-york-mayors-race-124807777.html
(Remember, a scandal is nothing more than a politicians normal daily activities revealed to the public.)
***

Mandotory Gun Checks – no, not background checks. 
But Nelson, Georgia has passed a law requiring that all its citizens be armed (or at least the heads of household).

http://news.yahoo.com/ga-city-council-votes-require-gun-ownership-003042709.html
[Note it bears no penalties, and exempts felons, handicapped (physical or mental), and anyone who objects.]

http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/02/us/georgia-gun-requirement/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

***

Chicago homicides plumet (28% drop in the past six months)
http://news.yahoo.com/march-homicides-drop-dramatically-chicago-003154243.html

Question, is this due to?

a) When you’re as high as Chicago’s homicide rate, it’s hard to maintain that reputation consistently. Even Chicago’s gonna have a down quarter or two.

b) A change in how Chicago reports homicides… (“woman over there says it was a drive by,…mark it as a suicide recruit”)

c) McDonald vs Chicago – hey criminals, Chicago residents may be armed now…

d) Winter…burr…even the criminals stayed in doors this winter.
***

UN(american) approves first global arms trade treaty

“first treaty on global arms trade that seeks to regulate the $70 billion international business in conventional arms, ranging from light weapons to battle tanks and warships.”

“The main reason the arms trade talks took place at all is that the United States, the world’s biggest arms trader, reversed U.S. policy on the issue after President Barack Obama was first elected and decided in 2009 to support a treaty.”

Yes, the election of President Obama does jeopardize our freedoms.

“Its specific language recognizes the “legitimate trade and lawful ownership, and use of certain conventional arms for recreational, cultural, historical and sporting activities.”

But not “self-defense”, no recognition of that right. The NRA is right to object to this treaty.

http://news.yahoo.com/u-n-overwhelmingly-approves-first-ever-global-arms-155542094.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/un-approves-global-arms-treaty/2013/04/02/66867b2e-9bb7-11e2-9bda-edd1a7fb557d_story.html

Scroll down to the “Gun Laws Around the World” – there is NO PLACE like America.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/02/un-adopts-arms-treaty-global-weapons-trade_n_2999505.html#slide=1349562

 

***

Improbable Cause

Couple growing some tomatoes and such using an indoor hydroponics system finds themselves the victim of a SWAT raid. Turns out the couple was already well vetted by the Federal government, having worked prior for the CIA and having undergone an extensive background check. 

“During the sweep, the court filing said, the Hartes were told they had been under surveillance for months, but the couple “know of no basis for conducting such surveillance nor do they believe such surveillance would have produced any facts supporting the issuance of a search warrant.””

Isn’t this ALWAYS the case with this “mis-raids”, the individuals are supposedly under surveillance for month.  Seriously HOW !@#$% DUMB ARE OUR POLICE GETTING IF THEY CAN SPEND MONTHS OBSERVING AND NOT GET IT RIGHT!!!!  I know some good officers, please tell me WHAT is going on in the police hiring these days that these are the results we’re seeing as of late.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/kansas-couple-indoor-gardening-prompted-pot-raid-18841347

That Constitution thing, yes, that historical document. Does it have ANY meaning at all today? Our government is sending SWAT teams without cause, Federal government is listening to all our phone calls, reading all of our emails. Okay with drone assasinations of U.S. citizens, apparently on U.S. soil before Senator Rand Paul raised a fuss.

 

 

Published in: on April 2, 2013 at 4:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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On humanity, murder, manslaughter, and unintended deaths.

Costa Concordia and the duty of Captains

I spent a good portion of my youth out on the water. I attended a special high school in which we built boats in shop class and went out rowing and sailing. Our core class curriculum including a course on Piloting and getting our Safe Boating Certificate.

I also had the opportunity to crew on board a 90 ft traditional wooden Schooner (and a 60 ft ketch). Safety of the passengers was always the foremost responsibility of the crew.

Reading about the Costa Concordia incident initially filled me with frustration and anger – and still does. For a captain and crew to abandon their passengers is a most heinous crime.

There is no doubt that Captain Schettino was craven in his duties. And sadly, this seems to be the historical case when it concerns cruise liner officers.

I myself have been a member of crew on a passenger vessel that ran aground. While our incident had very minimal risk, we’d merely run afoul on a sandy bottom and we were within a mile of a Coast Guard station. We sent our runabout to drop an anchor on the deep side and push on the shallow, winching ourselves the inch or two we need to set float again.

But I’ll never forget that day, nor how infuriated the 1st mate was at the captain. Who was foremost at fault. In thinking back to this tail, it made me reflect on the whole ordeal.

The captain who ran us aground was a nice man. He was one of our relief captains. He was easy going, very friendly and never yelled. But he was not of the same caliber as our other captains. On one occasion he left the wheel unattended to chat with a passenger. And we’ve already mentioned that he ran us aground.

Thinking back on this, caused me to reflect a little further regarding Captain Schettino. I think God was just trying to remind me of my own humanity and failures, and that he still loves me inspite of myself. And I started to mourn for Captain Schettino.

I am still affirmed in my belief that he was craven and grossly negligent. But I also pity the man. He was probably the type of Captain that just liked to have fun, who enjoyed seeing his passengers have a good time. Right now, he is enduring a nightmare of a captain’s greatest fears.

Captain Schettino is on house arrest, and hopefully also under a suicide watch. He is dealing with having lost his ship, the death of passengers, accusations of marital infidelity, and the knowledge that he was craven. That’s not an easy face to wake up to and look at in the mirror every morning. It’s one of those events where you wake up every morning hoping it was just a dream. That it was all imagined…but it wasn’t, it is real.

There is a difference between negligence and cravenness versus a “goblin” of a predator. And I think I had to remember that. I have little sympathy for the man who goes out preying on others, robbing, raping, murderering his fellow beings with deliberate and conscious thought. That is wholly evil. Where as failure is not wholly evil, if anything, it’s quite human. No, it’s far from the noble and decent aspects of humanity. But it’s not the same as the evilness of a criminal predator.

This is why in our laws we have distinctions for causing the death of another human being.

We firstly, look at pre-meditated murder as being the most heinous. This is an act in which one has carefully thought out with determination the taking of another’s life either with specific deliberation or with causality of action (a armed robber engages in his activities with pre-meditated knowledge that they may kill their victim, hence being armed).

Second, we view those acts of passion. The man who comes home to see his wife with another man and in a passionate rage beats the man to death. These we understand the motivation, but convict on the failure of the individual to allow human rationality to control his base animal insticts.

Next we view gross negligence. This is where one’s actions were foolish and led to the death of others. We term this manslaughter as opposed to murder. This includes drunk driving and the events surrounding Captain Schettino. Essentially, as I view it. The deaths were unintended but also avoidable. That is the defining aspect for me.

Lastly, we have two categories. The accidental death without negligence, such as a skateboarder trying to cut through traffic and being hit and killed by a driver of a car. The determination being made that the driver could not have avoided the situation by any reasonable actions of their own. And the other being a justified act of self defense, in which the individual took the life of another in order to prevent grave harm and/or death to themselves.

So while I am angry with Captain Schettino and his negligence causing the deaths of dozens of passengers. I also feel and mourn for this man who’s life is ruined and who will never be able to look into the mirror. Because this wasn’t an evil man, just a weak one.

“a couple of traffic tickets and no criminal history”

I’m a little late on this one, it slipped by me until today.

Jose Guerena, former marine, gunned down in a SWAT raid. Served two tours in Iraq. The SWAT team claims they did not do a no knock warrant, and came in with sirens. (I’d really like to hear from neighbors if that was true.)

How often are we going to tolerate these style SWAT raids? Granted, it’s possible Jose Guerena was involved in some illicit activity. Wouldn’t be the first soldier to do so. But the officers involved have released no details as to any evidence collected.

But even if they did, can we believe them? SWAT teams are becoming quite famed for fabricating lies and planting evidence. (See Kathryn Johnston)

Well it didn’t take long for them to being fabricating. Apparently, they initially claimed Jose Guerena shot first. “They now acknowledge that not only did he not fire, the safety on his gun was still activated when he was killed”

“We spoke with several of the neighbors,” Epps says. “And none of them — none of them — heard any sirens that morning. Every one of them told us they didn’t hear anything, no knocking, no shouting, until the shooting started. They didn’t hear anything until the shooting started.”

Now mind you…it is possible that Guerena was in fact involved in some illicit behavior. Let’s say that all the known evidence to the contrary doesn’t exist and he was. We are seeing a practice of bad habits arising. No knock SWAT raids. Shoot first, question later. And poor intelligence (ie: woman and children in location at time of raid). None of these occurences should be happening in America.

But based on the fact so far, it’s looking pretty damning to police. For those wondering why Guerena would respond with a rifle. Could it be because his wife lost two relatives to a home invasion the year before?

In conclusion, we already know how this will end. It will be sent to an independent police board of made up of knowledgeful examiners. They will review the case in detail and conclude that no wrong-doing was done on the part of the law enforcement officers.

While the rest of us will exlaim, there is a dead “daddy”, a dead “marine”, a dead “American”. Only a liar or a thug can conclude there was no wrong-doing.

If we can sentence Ramos and Compean to prison for 10 yrs for shooting a drug dealer in the butt. How many years should a police officer get for shooting an innocent American who risked his life serving his country in Iraq?

For those who want to have their stomach sickened further, here are some additional links.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/25/jose-guerena-arizona-_n_867020.html

http://azstarnet.com/news/local/crime/article_a978c23a-a40f-5d0a-a203-76b88ac67e86.html

http://azstarnet.com/news/local/crime/article_d7d979d4-f4fb-5603-af76-0bef206f8301.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BJ_Jn9rlVs

http://pimasheriff.org/files/1013/0463/5381/OIS050511.pdf

UPDATE: Camera video is posted over at

http://cursesfoiledagain2.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/more-on-the-killing-of-jose-guerena/

Well, it does seem they did have the sirens on for a few seconds. Though that siren sounded a lot more like a car alarm going off than a normal police siren. Wasn’t much of a knock. And far from the original comment that they knocked loudly for

I could almost hear something in the background there. Not sure if it was an officer or Guerena.

Here is what I believe happened. I believe the SWAT team figured they’d roll in like a piece of cake. They’d briefly turn on the siren, knock softly a few taps in order to claim they’d done what they should. Then just knock the door in and tell everyone to go prone.

Instead, they knock open the door and see their suspect armed. They simply opened fire without any hesitation. I understand that the SWAT team wants to go home at night. But police have to take the high road.

Their tactics seem pretty dumb as well. 5 team members at the door. What if there were other aggressors, they’d simply exit the back. Or even come around and flank the officers. Even if Guerena was everything the SWAT team says. This was pretty much a botched raid.