Friday, July 31, 2015

University Police Officer indicted for murder

A university of Cincinnati police officer has been indicted, arrested and released on bail for the alleged murder in the death of an apparently unarmed black male during a traffic stop.  This appears to the first recent case involving an alleged murder by a university  police officer.

Video and the police excessive force issue

Video has been a game changer in the debate over excessive police violence, indictments, public opinion and pressure, etc.  See examples at this NYT site.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Failing Background Check system for gun sales

Another incident (Lafayette LA theater murders) where a person who apparently should not have gotten approval to buy a gun. There are lots of problems, many at the state level.  Let's focus on fixing this before we start on new systems which probably will not work either and will probably not  significantly diminish gun crime.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Correctional Officer Beaten to Death by Inmate

 We are all well aware of the dangers to police officers.  Corrections and correctional officers get much  less media attention.  However the dangers are real.
"A corrections officer escorting an inmate to his cell was beaten to death Wednesday at a far northeast Texas prison, Department of Criminal Justice officials said.
The officer was escorting the inmate from a dayroom at the Telford Unit when he was attacked with an object, prison agency spokesman Jason Clark said. Officials did not immediately identify the weapon.
"It's still under investigation," Clark said.
The officer, Timothy Davison, 47, was taken to a hospital in Texarkana, about 20 miles east of the prison, where he died, Clark said. Davison, who lived near the prison, had been with the agency since December."  RIP

Corruption in Chicago investigations of Pd use of force reviews

In Chicago, one of America's most corrupt cities, an "investigator with seven years on Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority — who previously served 23 years as a cop, detective and commander — was fired because he refused to reverse his conclusions into several police shootings of civilians, reports WBEZ after a review of agency records." It's  no wonder that many supposed remedies do not work.  You can't let the foxes and their sympathizers control the hen house.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Supreme Court criticism & reform and Ox-Goring

Almost all critique of the Supreme Court and calls for 'reform' come from someone who just took a major hit in America's culture wars.  The left-leaning New York Times is one of the worst examples.  Disappointament in the result is cloaked in meritless 'legalistic' arguments.  The Left screamed bloody murder when the Court held that individuals not connected to a militia had a Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.  The Right has a major melt-down when the Court upheld Obamacare twice and supported legal gay marriage.  Personally,  I don't go apoplectic when I disagree on the big cases.  Yes, the Court oversteps when it makes policy decisions in the guise of judging.  But let's apply that critique even when we win.  Whether it's politics or jurisprudence, every side takes its lumps occasionally.   I try to avoid the sour grapes and get over it.  The Court changes and you can't win them all.  Hang in there to fight another day!  As Jonathan Zimmerman wrote:

"So let’s suppose that the Supreme Court had struck down Obamacare and same-sex marriage last month instead of upholding both. Would Texas Sen. and presidential aspirant Ted Cruz be demanding a constitutional amendment requiring the Court’s justices to stand for election in order to keep their jobs? And would liberals be rallying to the defense of the Court, and condemning any effort to alter its supposedly august traditions?
Of course not. Throughout our political history, the team that loses in the Supreme Court has tried to alter the court’s power and influence. This battle isn’t about deep judicial principles or timeless heritage; it’s about whose ox gets gored."

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Grand juror bias in Waco biker killings case

The grand jury for the Waco mass-murder biker shoot-out includes an active-duty Waco detective with 26 years experience.  The "judge" doesn't see any problems  The judge thinks stated ''Who is better qualified in criminal law than someone who practices it all the time." Where to they find these judges? In murder cases, even the appearance of impropriety is unacceptable.

More public corruption in South Texas

Corruption is rampant in South Texas.   In this incident, a judge and prosecutor were convicted of helping a convicted murderer flee.  The defendant was later recaptured.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Ex-Deputy faces trial in OK shooting

"A former Oklahoma volunteer sheriff's deputy who fatally shot an unarmed man faces arraigned on a second-degree manslaughter charge.
Former Tulsa County Sheriff's Office reserve deputy Robert Bates is scheduled to appear Monday in Tulsa district court.
Bates has pleaded not guilty in the April 2 shooting death of Eric Harris, saying he confused his stun gun and handgun.
After the shooting and a leaked memo from 2009 that raised concerns about Bates' training, a judge ordered a grand jury to investigate whether reserve deputies who gave donations to the sheriff have been given special treatment. Thousands of residents signed a petition to empanel the grand jury, which convenes July 20.
Bates donated thousands of dollars in cash and equipment to the agency and was the sheriff's campaign manager."
Two promising developments which will hopefully illuminate the truth regarding this travesty.

More on the Roof gun purchase fiasco

"A jail clerk made a mistake when entering information about the location of a drug arrest for church shooting suspect Dylann Storm Roof, the first in a series of missteps that allowed Roof to purchase a gun he shouldn’t have been able to buy two months before the attack, authorities said." See also post on this topic below.

Pres. Obama commutes 46 non-violent drug offenders

Pres. Obama "on Monday commuted the sentences of 46 drug offenders, more than double the number of commutations he granted earlier this year, as part of his effort to reform the criminal justice system."

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Gun Sale to Roof Should Not have been approved

" The gunman charged in the Charleston, S.C., church massacre should not have been allowed to purchase the weapon used in the attack, FBI Director James Comey said Friday as he outlined a series of "heartbreaking" missed opportunities and background check flaws that allowed the transaction to take place. . . .Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, condemned the errors.
"It's disastrous that this bureaucratic mistake prevented existing laws from working and blocking an illegal gun sale," Grassley said. "The facts undercut attempts to use the tragedy to enact unnecessary gun laws." . . .
Loopholes have been discovered before in the FBI’s background check system, called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. One allowed thousands of prohibited buyers to legally purchase firearms over the past decade — and some of those weapons were ultimately used in crimes, according to court records and government documents.
After a 2007 shooting in which 33 people died at Virginia Tech University, investigators discovered that the gunman, Seung-Hui Cho, also should not have been able to buy a gun because a court had declared him to be a danger to himself. The shooting led to legislation aimed at improving the system."

We do not need new gun control laws.  They will not reduce crime and will only interfere with legitimate users Second Amendment and self-defense rights.  We need competent, conscientious enforcement of existing laws to see if they work before we even start thinking about new ones.
Politicians like to appear to have answers and solutions.  They pass laws and then do not make sure they are administered competently.  Rather than adequately funding enforcement of old laws or taking steps to see that they work, new laws are touted. Of course  authoritarian gun control advocates don't care about anything other than new gun laws.   "Experimentation" cannot be justified when fundamental constitutional and natural law rights are threatened.

Friday, July 10, 2015

S.C. and Rand Paul approve banning Confederate Battle flag.

As most everyone knows now, the state of SC has approved removal of the Confederate Battle flag from state capital grounds to a museum.  The folks at the cradle of the Confederacy were finally able to overcome the white supremacist delusions which had afflicted much of the white leadership for over 150 years. 

Most of the announced candidates, including many Republicans. agreed that the flag should be banned.  For instance
"Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, weighed in on the issue for the first time Tuesday morning, announcing his support for removing the flag in an interview with ABC radio affiliate WRKO.

“For every African American in the country it’s a symbol of slavery for them and now it’s a symbol of murder -- it’s time to put it in a museum," Paul said."

"Many declared and potential 2016 candidates wouldn’t give a clear answer on whether the flag should be removed. Republican candidates including Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, and Rick Santorum have argued the decision should be made by the people of South Carolina." Yes, the decision should be made by South Carolinians but that should not preclude someone running for President from being honest and not dancing around the issue.  Shame on these four.

Rand just reinforced my faith in libertarians.

I would add that the flag is a symbol or secession and the war which was started by S. Carolinians who fired on the ship "Star of the West' and Fort Sumter.  The primary motive for secession was fear of abolition and legal equality for blacks (obviously threatened white supremacy). The 'rights' involved were the right of whites to own blacks and right of states to authorize and enforce whites owning blacks.  Some also hoped to be able to reopen the slave trade prohibited by the Constitution and federal law.These are the rights secessionists fought for.  This is a heritage to be 'proud' of?   Over the years thousands of blacks were murdered, massacred and lynched.  Dissenters were often murdered or forced to leave.  Jim Crow laws flourished and denied blacks their basic rights.  When the Supreme Court ordered public schools desegregated, a few places closed down their public schools and many openly defied the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment.  It was during this time that the Confederate Battle flag became a symbol of resistance to challenges to white supremacy.  Gov. George Wallace declared 'segregation' forever.  There is much to be proud of, but too much negative historical baggage. Although many open and closet white segregationists still spout their delusions, the south has made much progress on all fronts and has much to be proud of.  Let's find a symbol of something of which to be proud.

Most of Europe and much of South and Central America had already abolished slavery.  Even the hated Mexicans beat us to abolition.

If you are unsure or disagree, do some serious research of  original sources and credible historians and you will also come to this conclusion.  DiLorenzo  is not a credible source.  See the reviews of many of his books.  Reviews written by more respected historians. Let me suggest the short paperback 'Apostles of Disunion' by historian Charles B. Dew.  This book won the 2001 Fletcher Pratt award from the Civil War Roundtable of NY.  Check out his  background, he is a self-described 'son of the south' who was taught that secession and the war were really not about slavery and white supremacy.'  He changed his mind after consulting original sources. Check out the original documents reproduced in the book.
One of these reviewers is a TCU Prof.

It's time to forgive, forget and move on.