Tuesday, May 26, 2015

10 worst criminals in the NFL?

Thanks to Liz Nelson for the link. FWIW, I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the material, but I  try to support others who are trying to get their ideas noticed.  What's your take on this list?

Media and Journal Ethical Lapses. Latest examples, G. Stehphanopolous & article in "Science.'

Thankfully, we have  first Amendment which hopefully will help keep government honest. Media people rightfully rap themselves in the mantle, but when it comes to being honest and ethical themselves, the failures are rampant.  Of course, even this speech is protected.  I just wish the media would be more honest and ethical and stop being part of the problem and start being part of the solution. This article is primarly about ABC ("Anything But Class") and media darling George Stephanolpolous.
The problem is not limited to just the broadcast media.  Ethical lapes are all too common In the academic/ scientific  journals. If our "scientists" can't behave in an honest, ethical fashion, what hope is there? The problem is caused by  those on all parts of the poltical spectrum.See this from the NY Times.
"The senior author of a widely covered study suggesting that gay political canvassers could change conservative voters’ views on same-sex marriage has asked that the report be retracted because his fellow author failed to produce the raw data. The study appeared in December in the journal Science, and numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, published articles on the findings.
Marcia McNutt, editor in chief of Science, said in a statement that “Science takes this case extremely seriously and will strive to correct the scientific literature as quickly as possible.”

A new nation, a libertarian nation, "Liberland' in the works

According to "USA Today:"
"Vít Jedlička, a Czech politician, commodities trader and activist, wants to establish the libertarian city-state of Liberland on what he says is a small, uninhabited patch of land left unclaimed after the breakup of Yugoslavia. The state would mostly inhabit the western shore of the Danube River between current-day Croatia and Serbia."  Don't book your plane flight yet. Liberland faces a lot of obstacles.

Public School Violence Down

Assuming the data are accurate and the 2 studies validly comparable, it appears that violence in public schools has gone down.  According to the Washington Post
'"The rate of violent incidents in the nation’s public schools fell between the 2009-2010 and 2013-2014 school years, a period in which security measures such as surveillance cameras became more widespread, according to new federal data released Thursday.
The reported reduction in violence comes even as high-profile crimes, including the 2012 shooting of 26 children and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., have pushed school safety concerns into the nation’s consciousness."

More anti-freedom of speech lunacy from America's Universities

'Trigger warnings' are designed to protect students from ideas they may not like or may find offensive.  One would think a real university would care more about free speech and exposing students to a wide range of views.   Thank God these leftist la-la landers don't have power off campus.  Thank God  for the the FIRE organization.  Please check out their website.

Huge Task ahead for prosecutors, police and forensic experts following Waco biker killing.

The death of 9 bikers in a shootout in Waco made headlines recently.  The shootout occurred in spite of the obvious presence of large numbers of heavily armed police in the parking lot.  According to the Dallas Morning News, 'as 174 people sit in jail on organized crime charges, legal experts say prosecutors face a massive challenge, and many of those arrested could end up going free.
“They have bitten off more than they can chew,” said Robert Draskovich, a Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer who represents bikers. “Prosecutors often overreach and charge too many people, but I’ve never seen it to this extent.”  The next steps in the case will involve some herculean efforts.  Yes, prosecutors' overcharge and overreach, but given that 9 individuals died, and the chaos at the scene, presence of numerous armed individuals, etc.,  I agree with the mass arrests.  However, the high bails for all arrestees are questionable once the bikers have been photographed, finger-printed etc.  These bails will undoubtedly be reduced for many of the suspects, and they are entitled to a preliminary hearing.  Stay tuned

More on Cleveland PD

In an article connected to the post immediately below, the NY Times reported that the City of  Cleveland has reached a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over what federal authorities concluded was  a pattern of unconstitutional policing and excessive use of force.

Questionable verdict in police shooting, PD out of control

According to the NY Times (emphasis supplied):

A Cleveland cop “who climbed onto the hood of a car after a chase in 2012 and fired repeatedly at its unarmed occupants, both of them black, was acquitted of manslaughter on Saturday by an Ohio judge.

Michael ”Brelo, 31, was one of 13 officers who fired 137 rounds at Timothy Russell and his passenger, Malissa Williams, who were killed after a chase through the area on Nov. 29, 2012. Officer Brelo fired his Glock 17 pistol 49 times, including at least 15 shots after he reloaded and climbed onto the hood of Mr. Russell’s 1979 Chevrolet Malibu and the other officers had stopped firing.”

The chase started downtown after reports of gunfire from the car; prosecutors said the noise apparently was the result of the car’s backfiring. More than 100 officers pursued the car for more than 20 miles at speeds that reached 100 miles an hour. They began firing when the car was stopped and cornered.”

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“While Officer Brelo did fire lethal shots at the two people, testimony did not prove that his shots caused either death, according to the ruling of Judge John P. O’Donnell of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. “The state did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant, Michael Brelo, knowingly caused the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams,” he ruled.

“Defense lawyers said their client had feared for his life and believed gunfire was coming from Mr. Russell’s car. No gun was recovered, and prosecutors said Mr. Russell and Ms. Williams had been unarmed.”

“The judged also ‘found that Officer Brelo had reasonably perceived a threat from Mr. Russell’s car. The decision to continue firing from the hood was protected by law, he ruled, clearing Officer Brelo of all charges. The shooting was “reasonable despite knowing now that there was no gun in the car and he was mistaken about the gunshots,” . . .

“I reject the claim that 12 seconds after the shooting began, it was patently clear from the perspective of a reasonable police officer that the threat had been stopped,” he said, contrasting the prosecutors’ claims that the justifiable action ended when Officer Brelo climbed onto the hood.”


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Obama bans sale of some military equipment to police

In addition to the ban on sales of certain military equipment to the police, Obama commented on police-community relations and praised the Camden, NJ police dept.  He concluded that the emphasis on military equipment often created an inappropriate atmosphere.  There is a link to the 50-page White House report in the article.

Unarmed suspect killed while advacing on officer

Video and article on killing of unarmed suspect who refuses to stop advancing on officer.

“García Villalpando had been drinking and had a blood alcohol level above the legal limit. Clark tried to stop him after spotting him in a car while responding to a burglar alarm. García Villalpando led Clark on a  [dangerous] chase about 6:30 p.m. along busy State Highway 121 until he stopped on the shoulder in Euless [TX].  Dashcam video released Monday shows García Villalpando getting out of his car and putting his hands on his head. Clark, who remains by his patrol car while waiting for backup help, repeatedly orders García Villalpando to stay by his own car. Instead, García Villalpando slowly walks toward the patrol car while the officer repeatedly yells for him to stop.Two shots are heard a few seconds after García Villalpando walks off camera.”

Ordinarily, I’d argue that, if the officer had a Taser, he should have tased the suspect first.  However, the officer was in his vehicle which MIGHT have made it difficult to draw or use  his Taser before the suspect got too close for comfort.  Further, what if the suspect was deaf, or otherwise impaired and couldn’t hear or understand the officer?  The grand jury refused to indict.




Saturday, May 16, 2015

The NEWEST civil rights movement?

In this article from the NYT magazine, the author discusses 'How a group of black social-media activists built the nation's first 21st-century civil rights movement."

"The movement began with a single image: Michael Brown, lying facedown on the asphalt, a stream of blood running from his head."

"Since Aug. 9, 2014, when Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson Police Department shot and killed Michael Brown, Mckesson and a core group of other activists have built the most formidable American protest movement of the 21st century to date. Their innovation has been to marry the strengths of social media — the swift, morally blunt consensus that can be created by hashtags; the personal connection that a charismatic online persona can make with followers; the broad networks that allow for the easy distribution of documentary photos and videos — with an effort to quickly mobilize protests in each new city where a police shooting occurs.
We often think of online activism as a shallow bid for fleeting attention, but the movement that Mckesson is helping to lead has been able to sustain the country’s focus and reach millions of people."
If the Brown case and the Ferguson riots were not the real start, will the horrendous video of the slaying of slaying of Walter L. Scott in North Charleston on Apr. 4, be the spark?

Are Texas courts and juries going sour on the death penalty?

This commentator thinks that's what's actually happening in the courthouses suggest Texas, long a leader in capital punishment.  For instance, during the year 1999, Texas courts sent 39 people to death row. Last year, it was 11. And so far this year, none."

Police use pepper spray to break up fight at MIDDLE school.

"Fifteen students at Dade Middle School in South Dallas were injured Monday afternoon after a Dallas ISD police officer used pepper spray to break up a fight."  The fight reportedly involved as many as 60 students.  I've been following Dallas Independent School District News and this incident is only further evidence that DISD is a disaster.  A few months ago, the Superintendent ordered a school board trustee removed from a school, and that's just the tip of a huge iceberg.  These children and their parents deserve better.  It's time to throw the bums who are running the system out!

U.S. Court of Appeals victory for privacy rights

"A federal appeals court in New York ruled on Thursday that the once-secret National Security Agency program that is systematically collecting Americans’ phone records in bulk is illegal. The decision comes as a fight in Congress is intensifying over whether to end and replace the program, or to extend it without changes."

Peace officer killings up in 2014; vicious circle feared

According to NPR:
"After a sharp drop in 2013, the number of police and other law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty as a result of felonious incidents rose in 2014, from 27 to 51, according to preliminary statistics gathered by the FBI. The agency says another 44 officers died in accidents while on the job.
"From 1980–2014, an average of 64 law enforcement officers have been feloniously killed per year," the FBI says in a news release. "The 2013 total, 27, was the lowest during this 35-year period."

Let's hope this doesn't become a vicious circle of anxious officers confronting angry suspects.  

Execution a long way off in Tsarnaev case

As you may already know, the jury in the Boston marathon bomber case chose the death penalty.  However, appeals and a federal moratorium on the death penalty mean execution is probably  years away.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Video of an officer who doesn't shoot a dangerous suspect

There's lots of videos that, at least look like, unlawful, unjustified force by police.  Videos, such as this one where an officer did NOT shoot are hard to find.  Although the officer received much praise, some officers criticized him.  What do you think?

TIH: 1854 Texas Germans declare Slavery 'EVIL.'

It happened on May 14-15, 1854. (Thanks to John Hughes for the link.)   However this courageous declaration would not go  unpunished.  The price was paid in 1862 at the Nueces Massacre

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

New Study on U.S Supreme Court

According to the New York Times,  "A new computer analysis of about 25,000 Supreme Court opinions from 1791 to 2008 identified three trends that have transformed the court’s tone. The justices’ opinions, the study found, have become longer, easier to understand — and grumpier. . . . Five current members of the court claimed spots in the top 10 list for grumpiness: Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr., Stephen G. Breyer, Anthony M. Kennedy, Scalia and Clarence Thomas. (Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Ruth Bader Ginsburg were in the middle of the pack. Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined too recently to be ranked.)"  The new,"like earlier ones, found evidence that law clerks do much of the writing at the Supreme Court"

The Second-Amendment Revolution Continues

The Gun Rights Revolution in America continues, licensed open-carry is poised to become law in Texas.  This is much to the dismay of  manyDemocrats and the Left.  You would think the ACLU and many who spout "liberty" would be ecstatic. They aren't.  More hypocrisy on rights.  For an example see this article on the evolving politics of open-carry in Texas.  "Democratic" has largely become a proxy for anti-Second Amendment in Texas and most places. 

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

The Good Cops get ignored

This blog spends a lot of time pointing out the bad things some cops do.  We all know that most cops are honest, law-abiding people who are egregiously underpaid.  This cop is a hero. 
"He’s a hero, the traffic cop who was wrapping up an off-duty security gig at a Garland community center when two gunmen [homegrown jihadists set on attacking a ballroom full of people] rolled up in a black sedan.
He had his pistol and an unarmed partner. They had two assault rifles, extra ammo, body armor and the element of surprise.
But the Garland officer — whose name wasn’t released Monday — managed to help stop Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi before they ever got close to the ballroom with about 200 people at a contest for cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad."

We also rarely hear about officers who perish on the job. A young NYPD officer was shot in the head and perished.  RIP