Sunday, August 31, 2014

Ferguson - The Oakland Raiders of Police Departments

For many years, the NFL's Oakland Raiders had the reputation of being the toughest, dirtest team in the league.

They took in rogue players, hit hard, sometimes dirty, and, during that period, permanently paralyzed one player for life.

As then owner Al Davis used to say - "Just win, baby!"

Perhaps we can say the Ferguson Police is the Oakland Raiders of Police Departments - and this doesn't included the recent gunning down and kiling of Michael Brown.

At least 6 Ferguson officers apart from Brown shooter have been named in lawsuits

In four federal lawsuits, including one that is on appeal, and more than a half-dozen investigations over the past decade, colleagues of Darren Wilson’s have separately contested a variety of allegations, including killing a mentally ill man with a Taser, pistol-whipping a child, choking and hog-tying a child and beating a man who was later charged with destroying city property because his blood spilled on officers’ clothes.
One officer has faced three internal affairs probes and two lawsuits over claims he violated civil rights and used excessive force while working at a previous police department in the mid-2000s. That department demoted him after finding credible evidence to support one of the complaints, and he subsequently was hired by the Ferguson force.

With a track record like this, we may surmise that Officer Wilson's shooting of Michael Brown wasn't an isolated case, but, rather, a pattern of systematic aggression employed by the Ferguson Police Department.

Tasering a mentally-handicapped person ... Hog-tying a 12-year-old ... Beating a prisoner, and than charging him with a crime for getting blood on their uniforms ...

Al Davis, and the old Oakland Raiders would be cheering them on ...

Just win, baby!

I don't know if there's enough Mr. Clean products to scrub the Ferguson Police of it's dirty, rogue cops.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Dropping Shoes

It begins, what we will call the Fallout from Ferguson;

Officers from St. Ann, Glendale off the job after actions during Ferguson protests

"Two police officers are no longer working at their departments due to their actions during the protests in Ferguson.
A Glendale police officer suspended last Friday after commenting on Facebook that he thought Ferguson protesters should be "put down like rabid dogs," has been fired, officials say.
Meanwhile, a St. Ann police lieutenant resigned Thursday after he pointed an assault rifle at protesters and cursed at them, officials said.  Lt. Ray Albers had worked for the department for 20 years ... "

Lt. Ray Albers, thanks to his actions, has a new monniker;

Officer Go Fuck Yourself Is Out of a Job in Missouri

An internal investigation into Albers—whose nickname stems from a memorable exchange in the video ("What's your name?" "Go fuck yourself.")—determined that the 20-year veteran of the force either be fired or resign.
Jimenez told the Post-Dispatch Albers had three prior disciplinary incidents, including one last year in which he "used a wrong choice of words with a resident."
This is only two, however, the local Ferguson weatherman may be predicting cloudy skies, and passing showers of shoes in the immeadiate future ...

Meanwhile, up river from Ferguson, in the saintly Twin City of St. Paul, MN, police there engaged in some unnecessary racial profiling, and unnecessary use of force;

Police Tase Black Man Who Was Sitting On A Chair While Waiting To Pick Up His Kids

Let's bring in Les McCann and Eddie Harris for the soundtrack.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

2nd Amendment: You Have The Right To Be Stupid, To Traumatize A Child

Absolutely, utterly, tragic!

Shooting instructor dies after being accidentally shot by girl

An instructor who was shot by a 9-year-old girl who fired an Uzi at a northwestern Arizona shooting range died Monday night at University Medical Center in Las Vegas.
He said the girl safely and successfully fired the 9 mm weapon several times when it was set in the “single-shot” mode.
He said the weapon was put into the “fully-automatic” mode before the girl fired again with the instructor standing off to her left. The weapon recoiled and drifted left as the girl squeezed off an undetermined number of rounds as she maintained possession but lost control of the Uzi as it raised up above her head.
“The guy just dropped,” McCabe said of shooting instructor Charles Vacca, 39, of Lake Havasu City, who suffered at least one gunshot to the head.
The Bullets and Burgers website markets a unique shooting experience for customers.
“Our guests have the opportunity to fire a wide range of fully automatic machine guns and specialty weapons,” the website states. “At our range, you can shoot FULL auto on our machine guns.
“Let ‘em Rip!”

Well, this Bullets and Burgers place certainly lived up to it's motto - it ripped, alright.

Ripped apart the instuctor, that is.

Susie Madrak, over on Crooks and Liars, pondered;

"Maybe the kid's hands were greasy from the burgers and slipped?"

Why, good God, does a 9-year-old need to learn how to shoot an Uzi? ...Are the well-armed Miltias drafting them that young?

And, sorry about the dead instructor, but, shouldn't he have known, from his training and experience, to stand behind the person - in this case, a 9-year-old firing an Uzi for the first time - shooting? Shouldn't he have been helping her to control the weapon, holding her hands or arms, not to let the recoil spray bullets all over the place?

That error in judgement cost him his life.

And, we have to speculate, ruined the life of the 9-year-old girl, who, will likely, be tramautized by this for years to come, replaying the incident over-and-over in her head ...  Having nightmares about it, hearing a car backfire, or other loud noise, flood her again with the images of squeezing the trigger of the Uzi, feeling her losing control of it, ... Seeing the bullets hit the instructor ... Seeing him dead on the ground ... Seeing the puddles of blood ...

Even if she does get the counselling, and help, and, by some miracle, gets to live a normal, productive life (and the odds are long on that, I would suspect), she will have this memory for the rest of her life, and with it the sadness, the hurt, the guilt.

Maybe, when she is older, she will begin to question why her parents allowed her to do this. Was it a gift for doing well in school? Had she been interested in learning to shoot guns and this was the next step up, an automatic weapon, a machine gun?

Some gift, some learning curve, if that be the case.
"Children need to understand the concept of safety before they are allowed to shoot, Frichette said.
Also, they must be “physically and mentally prepared” before they are allowed to shoot a fully automatic weapon. This includes a 4-foot height requirement, he said, adding that even then, they have to master other weapons such as a semi-automatic .22-caliber rifle before they’re allowed to shoot a fully automatic.
He added that a petite-looking child would likely only be allowed to shoot a semi-automatic rifle.
The Review-Journal contacted several other gun ranges in Las Vegas. One did not return a call and officials at another two declined to comment."

Parents of this now traumatized 9-year-old, even if they are responsible gun-owners, should, perhaps, be charged with Child Endangerment.. Again, why does a 9-year-old need to learn to shoot an Uzi, a machine gun?

The standard in this country, to obtain a driver's license, is 16-years-old (some states do have it lower, age 14)

And, with that, one must first obtain a Learner's Permit, and one must have training, or practice with a licensed driver.

Afterall, an automobile can be a dangerous weapon, if one doesn't know how to operate it, to be knowledgable of the rules and regulations of driving, speed limits, when to stop, etc.

They must demonstrate, at the time of their License Test, the ability to be able to handle the automobile, safely, and with the appropriate knowledge of the rules of the road.

That would appear to be a practical standard for allowing children to shoot guns.

I don't know for sure, but I hope Bullets and Burgers aren't operating a Driving School.

Related Links

Friday, August 22, 2014

Bet On Manslaughter Charges, Or No Charges At All

Editor's Note - I'm returning to The Garlic after my prolonged absence, due to the continuing battle with a chronic illness (Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy {or a chronic case of Guillain–BarrĂ© Syndrome} - 4.5-years and still dealing with copious pain, cramping and major fasticulations, not to mention, 4.5-years of disrupted sleep).

Currently, for the past 10-months, after 22 different medications (which either did nothing, or gave me horrible side-effets), plus six-months of Intravenous Immunoglobulin treatment, I am on Morphine, which gives me some relief of the pain.

I hope to start posting regularly in the days, and weeks, ahead

The events of the past two weeks in Ferguson, Missouri has pulled me off the sidelines, as, clearly, there are two camps set up;

 1. That Michael Brown was an innocent young black man gunned down by police


2. Faux News and the Rightwing Freak Show standing behind the police, that the killing was justified.

It is clear, all the facts are not known of what transpired, and what facts are known, are being contested, primarily, by Faux News and the Rightwing Freak Show.

One major fact not known, and according to news reports today, is that the police officer who gunned down Michael Brown, Darren Wilson, hasn't even been interviewed yet by the police or District Attorney, so his side of the this story is still unknown.

What is known is;

Michael Brown, and Dorian Johnson were walking in the street and Officer Wilson drove by, telling them to "Get the fuck off the street", drove on, apparently noticed they were still in the street, and backed up (almost hitting them according to a witness)

Next, some sort of altercation between Brown and Wilson followed, with Wilson, alledgedly, grabbing or pulling at Brown, through the window of his patrol vehicle, and, alledgely, a gunshot going off.

That was followed by Brown and his companion running away, and Officer Wilson, apparently, getting out of his vehicle and following after them, alledgely firing his gun.

And here's where things get murky - some reports say Brown turned with his hands up, others have said Brown was charging, or moving toward Officer Wilson, at which point, Officer Wilson fired his gun, hitting Brown multilple times (6-8 times, acording to reports), including two bullets in Michael Brown's head.

I'm no Legal Scholar, and I don't play one on TV.

Considering the number of bullets that hit Michael Brown, one might expect that Officer Wilson is going to use the "Feared for Safety" defense.

Afterall, Michael Brown was black, and very large, something like 6'4" tall, and close to 300lbs.

Whoa, very scarey, right?

However, one fact that seems to be consistent is that, after the altercation, whatever it was, at the window of Officer Wilson's patrol vehicle, Brown and his companion ran away from the vehicle, and it was Officer Wilson who got out of the vehicle and pursued them.

(Not known, or at least, I haven't seen any reports, if, at that time, did Officer Wilson radio for back-up?)

That would make Officer Wilson the aggressor.

So, to get all Columbo here, Excuse me, one more question, but if Brown and his companion went running away, wasn't Officer Wilson in the safety of his vehicle?

He could have stayed there, until back-up arrived and then pursued Brown and his companion.

And more so, let's say, as then pro-police narrative has it that Brown, after being pulled by Officer Wilson, was going after Wilson's gun, and a gunshot went off in the vehicle.

I would think that would warrent Officer Wilson radioing in for back-up. That he would stay in the safety of his vehicle until help arrived.

But rather, the story goes, Wilson got out of his vehicle, pursued Brown and his companion, and only shot because Brown was "bum rushing him at full speed", while other witnesses say Brown had stopped and was turning with his hands raised, or in the process of raising them, when Wilson unload his bullets into him.

So, as we stated earlier, all the facts in this case haven't been aired.

And now, the Grand Jury has been convined, and, as we all know, the long-running joke is any District Attorney can get a ham sandwich indicted.

So, what narrative will win out?

1. That Brown struggled for the gun, ran, but than charged back at Officer Wilson, who had left his vehicle to pursue Brown?

2. Or that, after whatever the altercation at the window of the vehicle was, Brown and companion ran, Wilson got out his car and pursued, Brown stopped, raised his hands, and was gunned down like an animal?

Number One will, likely have the Grand Jury returning no indictment, that it will be ruled justifiable use of force.

Number Two may bring about a Manslaughter Charge, that, Officer Wilson was performing his duties as a police officer, and some force was required, but that he stepped over the line and used too much force, that it wasn't his intention to kill Michael Brown.

The District Attorney, being, essentially, on the same side of the Police (not to mention having to run for election) may be reluctant to bring a Murder Indictment against Officer Wilson (inlcuding, as reports have said, his father was a policeman, killed in the line-of-duty, by a black man).

I believe, much is going to rest on that Officer Wilson got out of his vehicle and pursued.

That, it would seem, take away any defense of being "in fear for his safety", making him the aggressor in this.

The Distict Attorney can split hairs, making it a Manslaughter Indictment, citing that Officer Wilson either didn't call, or wait, for back-up, and pursued, and while legally allowed to use force, used too much force, and must be held accountable for that.

That still is going to put him on the wrong side of the Police Force, who will yelp that he isn't the one to judge what kind of force to use, that he can't judge what it is like in the heat of performing one's duty, the split-second judgements a police officer has to make.

Fine, they have a right to express that opinion.

Just as much as people have the right to say that Officer Wilson wasn't justified in gunning down Michael Brown like a rabid animal, including firing two bullets into his head.

With shooting like that, hard to say he was trying to capture a suspect.

Paging Lady Justice ...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Corzine Passes Go, Collects $200

At ocean eleven
And now rudeboys have a go wail
'Cause them out of jail
Rudeboys cannot fail ...
Dem a loot, dem a shoot, dem a wail
A Shanty Town
Dem a loot, dem a shoot, dem a wail
A Shanty Town ...

I guess, we'll be adding into the Political Playbook is that you don't prosecute Wall Street mobsters, especially if they hail from Goldman Sucks , in an election year.


No Criminal Case Is Likely in Loss at MF Global 

After 10 months of stitching together evidence on the firm’s demise, criminal investigators are concluding that chaos and porous risk controls at the firm, rather than fraud, allowed the money to disappear, according to people involved in the case ...


In the most telling indication yet that the MF Global investigation is winding down, federal authorities are seeking to interview the former chief of the firm, Jon S. Corzine, next month, according to the people involved in the case. Authorities hope that Mr. Corzine, who is expected to accept the invitation, will shed light on the actions of other employees at MF Global.

Those developments indicate that federal prosecutors do not expect to file criminal charges against the former New Jersey governor. Mr. Corzine has not yet received assurances that he is free from scrutiny, but two rounds of interviews with former employees and a review of thousands of documents have left prosecutors without a case against him, say the people involved in the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity

And, it gets worse!

I mean, even this wouldn't be served in the Irony Cafe;

Mr. Corzine, in a bid to rebuild his image and engage his passion for trading, is weighing whether to start a hedge fund, according to people with knowledge of his plans. He is currently trading with his family’s wealth.

A New Mexico town once changed their name to "Truth or Consequences" ", to gain fame.

If a show came along named "No Consequences", Wall Street, and only Wall Street, with its' larcenous infamy, would have to lay claim to it.

File this one under "Laughing all the way - running away from the bank" ...

Help Me Mr. Wizard! 


Bonus Links

Another Week, Another Bankster with Impunity

What a World - There Is No "Manslaughter" Charge in Financial Firm Incompetence

Jon Corzine Wants to Start a Hedge Fund, Maybe

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Abe Lincoln Role Stirs Studios To Flood Market With New Vampire Pics

Despite the less-than-stellar opening box office, and disastrous reviews, of the new film,‘Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter’, major Hollywood studios are red-lining, and rushing into production, a wave of new vampire projects, a source tells The Garlic.

“They can’t get them out fast enough,’ said the movie industry insider, adding that “my clients are badgering to get me to land them something.”

The plan calls for issuing new projects with original stories, many of them with A-List actors, for serial stories that will offer multiple sequels and franchises.
Also, for the studios with deep archives, some classic films will be reworked, with CGI, and other state-of-the-art techniques, integrating in new stars, and turning movie legends into vampire fighters.

Scheduled for release by the Christmas rush include;

The Vampire World of Suzie Wong

William Holden’s Robert Lomax doesn’t move into the Nam Kok Hotel just to become a painter.

He teams up with Nancy Kwan’s Suzie Wong, and the other prostitutes, to do battle with the Vampires of Hong Kong, offering pulsating martial arts action on the teeming streets.

Look for Steve Buscemi in a cameo role as a kung fu rickshaw driver

Rain Man, Vampire Slayer

Raymond Babbitt may be autistic, but when he and brother Charlie hit Las Vegas, it’s not for blackjack, and Raymond shows the vampires who’s on first.

The pair does battle with the towns Vampires, tearing up and down the strip, rampaging through casinos, with the climatic fight coming on top of the Luxor Hotel’s pyramid.

Steve Buscemi has a role here, as a Craps Table dealer who rolls snake eyes for the vampires

A Vampire Affair To Remember

Cary Grant’s Nickie Ferrante and Deborah Kerr’s Terry McKay take on the Vampires, both on land and at sea.

With the ship anchored on the scenic Mediterranean coast, Ferrante and McKay clean the ocean liner of the stowaway vampires.

Back in New York, McKay isn’t hit by an automobile on the way to meet Ferrante, she’s abducted by the Vampires, leading to the final battle, at the top of the Empire State building.

Steve Buscemi pops up here, as the elevator operator who aids the pair.

Other works in the pipeline include ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Vampire’, ‘Three Vampires in the Fountain’ and ‘No Country for Old Vampires’.

“This is like found money,” gushed the Hollywood insider.

“I mean, we could dress someone up like Bela Lugosi, film him reading the phone book, and laugh all the way to the bank.”


Bonus Links

Review: Bloody Serious Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Isn’t as Fun as It Sounds

Vampires of Television and Film

Day Three of Swank Thank You's; No End In Sight

The Oscars ... "Perfectly awful!"

Movie Industry Titan, and LBJ Lackey, Rolls His Final Credits - Jack Valenti Obit

Friday, May 25, 2012

Top Ten Cloves: Other Ways Facebook Could Have Screwed Up Their IPO

News Item:  EXCLUSIVE: Here's The Inside Story Of What Happened On The Facebook IPO

10.  Done it all on Facebook – base share prices by how many Likes they received

  9.  If Mark Zuckerburg had another meeting with Biz Stone

  8.  Brought Lebron James in for the last quarter of writing the IPO

  7.  Promoted offering with ads on Google+ 

  6.  Used the New Orleans Saints Bounty Program to sell their shares (or, perhaps,      
        to settle the lawsuits)

  5.  Get The Most Interesting Man In The World  to … Wait a minute, he's way too cool, 
        and, probably, has his own MIMITWBook (and everyone on it Likes him)   

  4.  If former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson was brought in to keep the IPO 

  3.  Hired Jamie Dimon and J.P. Morgan’s London office to run the show

  2.  Got Mitt Romney to make one of his prescient insights to the marketplace

  1.  Had Larry Summers and the Winklevoss Brothers do the underwriting

Bonus Riffs

Charles P. Pierce: Why Is America So Happy for Facebook? 

Mark Cuban: Facebook IPO Post Mortem – Killer – but not for the reasons you think !