When mobs of “youths” try looting homes in Kansas City, homeowners like Roger MacBride, can have inexpensive war-surplus weapons like this M44 Moisin Nagant rifle on hand to run them off. It goes harder for the unarmed populace of London.
A Texas mother received a felony conviction, five years probation, parenting classes, a small fine, and a scolding from a judge who has vocabulary problems (“quarrel” for “era”) for spanking her two-year-old daughter.
A judge in Corpus Christi, Texas had some harsh words for a mother charged with spanking her own child before sentencing her to probation.
“You don’t spank children today,” said Judge Jose Longoria. “In the old days, maybe we got spanked, but there was a different quarrel. You don’t spank children.”
Rosalina Gonzales had pleaded guilty to a felony charge of injury to a child for what prosecutors had described as a “pretty simple, straightforward spanking case.” They noted she didn’t use a belt or leave any bruises, just some red marks.
As part of the plea deal, Gonzales will serve five years probation, during which time she’ll have to take parenting classes, follow CPS guidelines, and make a $50 payment to the Children’s Advocacy Center.
She was arrested back in December after the child’s paternal grandmother noticed red marks on the child’s rear end. The grandmother took the girl, who was two years-old at the time, to the hospital to be checked out.
Some people certainly think that spanking children is always inappropriate and excessive. Let’s hope that even more people think that intrusions by the state into relations between parents and children in circumstances not involving grave and serious injury are inappropriate and that everyone would think that a felony conviction over an ordinary spanking is outrageously excessive.
A scientific swindler preyed on American scientists working in Geology during a period extending from 1884 to 1891, obtaining books, specimens, and money from a number of American scholars. He had a good knowledge of Eastern European languages, was well acquainted with the field and frequently assumed the names of prominent authorities. By the time he vanished from history, he had also accurately identified large numbers of specimens in American museum collections.
Wikileaks has responded: Julian Assange: the charges are without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing
A British tech site, Thinq, sounds rather like a mouthpiece for Assange, and is claiming the whole thing is a smear campaign presumably by the US Government to discredit Assange in advance of its next leak of US documents “lift[ing] the lid on more atrocities committed by forces in Afghanistan in the polluted name of freedom.” Or so says the polluted voice of communism anyway.
UPDATE 12:50 EDT: The Guardian is now reporting that Swedish authorities have withdrawn the warrant for Assange’s arrest.
Good Point: (via Jose Guardia): Why isn’t the documentation for the charges up on WikiLeaks?”
In the aftermath of the Swiss decision to reject the American bid to extradite Roman Polanski, the predicatable indignant editorials are beginning to appear.
Eugene Robinson, in the Washington Post, is not at all satisfied with the outcome.
It’s relevant that Polanski has never shown remorse. He claimed in a 1979 interview that he was being hounded because “everyone wants to (have sex with) young girls.” It’s irrelevant that the victim, now a middle-aged woman, has no interest in pursuing the case and reliving a traumatic episode. What matters is what Polanski admitted doing to her 33 years ago—and the fact that Polanski decided to run away rather than face the music.
Swiss officials noted the obvious: that Polanski never would have visited Switzerland if he had thought he was putting himself in legal jeopardy. Since he’s not a legitimate candidate for kidnapping and rendition by the CIA, he’s now home free—unless he somehow makes another mistake. He’ll always have to look over his shoulder.
That’s punishment of a sort, but not nearly enough. How about this: As long as he steers clear of U.S. justice, why don’t we steer clear of his movies?
I strongly disagree with the majority of the journalistic community on this one, and since I’ve already explained why at considerable length, today I plan to take pleasure in quoting myself.
The most interesting aspect of all of this is the fact that Roman Polanski’s flight thirty one years ago was precipitated by precisely the same sort of journalistic feeding frenzy which has been replayed all over again recently. A firestorm of sensationalized accounts of Polanski’s misdeed alarmed the publicity-conscious judge who intended to set aside the conventional processes of justice and overrule a plea bargain already agreed to by both the prosecution and the defense.
Polanski did not escape justice. He had already served a 42 day term of imprisonment, which was supposed to constitute his actual sentence. Polanski also settled privately with the young lady, paying her a sum of money of a specific amount never publicly disclosed. What Polanski escaped was injustice.
He escaped a breach of the normal, impartial, and objective processes of justice, which were in the process of collapsing due to official cowardice and unwillingness to resist a wave of public indignation, mischievously created by irresponsible journalism.
Long-standing cultural restraints on sexual expression and activity have been dwindling away in America for all of the last century, but one powerful prohibition not only survives, but continues to be able to turn ordinary Americans into something very much resembling belligerent Muslims bent on wiping out any stain upon the chastity of their females in blood: the issue of age.
Underage sex is still a kind of priapic third rail. And like Nabokov’s Humbert, Roman Polanski proved to be another sophisticated European gentilhomme d’un certain âge susceptible to the charms of the knowing nymphette. His sin happens to be relatively unique in being capable of getting Americans in general worked up into a lather of righteous indignation just as effectively in 2009 as in 1978 or in 1955 (the publication date of Lolita).
In exactly the same way that the idea of black sexual aggression directed at white women was once upon a time so horrifying an idea to the general community in certain American states that any close resemblance to that supreme phobia could suffice to set into motion the processes of storytelling which would fit the details of the actual case into the terrible archetype, frequently with lethal results, so too today is the idea of adult sexual aggression directed at children a compelling, and potentially dangerous, archetype.
Let’s try another literary trope. Picture Roman Polanski, not as Humbert Humbert, but as Tom Robinson, the black defendant in To Kill a Mockingbird. Just like the Polanski case, To Kill a Mockingbird features a public frenzy of indignation at a defendant accused of being a sexual aggressor toward an innocent victim, who is supposed to be protected from the advances of anyone like the defendant by powerful social taboos. Just as in the Harper Lee novel, adjudication of the Roman Polanski case revolved around issues of just who was the actual initiator and whether female consent had been given. Fearful archetypes and framing narratives can work in exactly the same in either case, can’t they?
The National Enquirer says Al Gore’s alleged victim has DNA samples, video evidence and witnesses. She is telling all, and describes Gore as “a sexual predator.” That means that Al Gore really did have essentially everything in common with his running mate.
“He’s not what people think he is – he’s a sick man!”
The National Enquirer discovered, and mainstream media like the New York Times have now picked up the story that Nobel Prize winner, once a hanging chad from the presidency, Albert Gore was accused of sexually attacking a masseuse in Oregon in 2006.
Police did not pursue the case evidently because Gore’s accuser declined to cooperate. References to her attorney handling the matter suggest that a private settlement may have been paid to induce her to withdraw the complaint.
A massage therapist accused former Vice President Al Gore of “unwanted sexual contact” at a hotel in October 2006, but no charges were filed because of lack of evidence, law officials said Wednesday.
The latest on President Obama, his administration and other news from Washington and around the nation. Join the discussion.
A lawyer for the woman contacted the police in late 2006, said the Multnomah County district attorney, Michael D. Schrunk. Mr. Schrunk said the woman, who has not been identified, had refused to be interviewed and did not want the investigation to proceed.
But in January 2009, she contacted the police and gave a statement in which she said Mr. Gore had tried to have sex with her during an appointment at the Hotel Lucia. The National Enquirer first reported the accusations on Wednesday.
A spokeswoman for Mr. Gore, Kalee Kreider, said he had no comment. Mr. Gore and his wife announced on June 1 that they were separating.
A police report prepared in 2007 said the alleged incident occurred at 2 p.m. on Oct. 24, 2006. Mr. Gore was in Portland to deliver a speech on climate change.
The woman, according to the report, canceled appointments with detectives on Dec. 21 and 26. Her lawyer canceled a Jan. 4 meeting and said the matter would be handled civilly.
Times are hard and crime is down. How can that be? Liberals have always understood that crime is produced by economic hardship and deprivation. More government assistance, more redistribution, liberals have consistently argued, are essential. Otherwise, the victims of structural injustice will probably revolt. Yet the most dramatic economic downturn since the Great Depression, though producing plenty of hardship, unemployment, and misery, has failed to produce the crime wave liberal social theory inevitably ought to expect.
Richard Cohen, at the Washington Post, reflects on the situation.
For liberals, this is bad news. ...
From 2008 to 2009, violent crime was down 5.5 percent overall and almost 7 percent in big cities. Some of those cities are as linked with crime as gin is with tonic or as John McCain is with political opportunism. In Detroit, for instance, with the auto industry shedding workers, violent crime was down 2.4 percent. In Washington, D.C., murder was down 23.1 percent, rape 19.4 percent and property crime 6 percent. ...
[I]t now seems fairly clear that something akin to culture and not economics is the root cause of crime. By and large everyday people do not go into a life of crime because they have been laid off or their home is worth less than their mortgage. They do something else, but whatever it is, it does not generally entail packing heat. Once this becomes an accepted truth, criminals will lose what status they still retain as victims.
Yesterday, our friend Bird Dog at Maggie’s Farm linked the generally admirable Clarice Feldman at American Thinker who was editorializing from the perspective opposite to my own on immigration.
Ms. Feldman quoted some alarming, and authoritative sounding, statistics from “the Law Enforcement Examiner.”
On April 7, 2007, the US Justice Department issued a report on criminal aliens that were incarcerated in federal and state prisons and local jails.
In the population study of 55,322 illegal aliens, researchers found that they were arrested at least a total of 459,614 times, averaging about 8 arrests per illegal alien. Nearly all had more than 1 arrest. Thirty-eight percent (about 21,000) had between 2 and 5 arrests, 32 percent (about 18,000) had between 6 and 10 arrests, and 26 percent (about 15,000) had 11 or more arrests. Most of the arrests occurred after 1990.
They were arrested for a total of about 700,000 criminal offenses, averaging about 13 offenses per illegal alien. One arrest incident may include multiple offenses, a fact that explains why there are nearly one and half times more offenses than arrests. Almost all of these illegal aliens were arrested for more than 1 offense. Slightly more than half of the 55,322 illegal aliens had between 2 and 10 offenses.
More than two-thirds of the defendants charged with an immigration offense were identified as having been previously arrested. Thirty-six percent had been arrested on at least 5 prior occasions; 22%, 2 to 4 times; and 12%,1 time.
Clarice Feldman ought to have inquired a little more more closely.
“The Law Enforcement Examiner” is actually an editorialist named Jim Kouri. Mr. Kouri’s biography identifies him as a former chief security guard at a housing project in Washington Heights and the “fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police” which, I expect, must be roughly on a par with being First Guard of the Tent at one’s local International Order of Oddfellows chapter.
Mr. Kouri is renowned on the Internet for his expertise on Satanism and for the exoticism of the views of some sources he has in the past relied upon.
Unfortunately, Mr. Kouri is not himself a reliable source. He tells us that his statistics come from “a report on criminal aliens that were incarcerated in federal and state prisons and local jails” issued by the US Justice Department on April 7, 2007.
It is not accidental that Mr. Kouri does not link the original report.
The report in question was really released on May 9, 2005. It is GAO report number GAO-05-646R entitled ‘Information on Certain Illegal Aliens Arrested in the United States.’
The figures cited all pertain to 2002-2003. Mr. Kouri (and the study’s authors) deliberately selected the best figures for making certain kinds of arguments in the quoted paragraphs.
In reality, this study pertains to 55,322 individual illegal aliens who are the portion of the illegal alien population that wound up arrested, convicted, and sentenced to jail.
55,322 out of the seven million illegal aliens estimated to be present in the United States by this same study is the 0.0079 portion of that illegal immigrant population, well under 1%.
And the character of their crimes?
Forty-five percent of illegal alien offenses were for drugs and immigration;
8% for Traffic violations;
7% for Obstruction of Justice.
60% of the under 1% of illegals in jail in 2002-2003 were not even in jail for any form of theft or violence.
And, more recently, both illegal immigration and violent crime have actually been declining (even while la patrie est en danger reports are dramatically increasing).
[S]tatistics from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency and the FBI indicate that both the number of illegal crossers and violent crime in general have actually decreased in the past several years.
According to FBI statistics, violent crimes reported in Arizona dropped by nearly 1,500 reported incidents between 2005 and 2008. Reported property crimes also fell, from about 287,000 reported incidents to 279,000 in the same period. These decreases are accentuated by the fact that Arizona’s population grew by 600,000 between 2005 and 2008.
According to the nonpartisan Immigration Policy Institute, proponents of the bill “overlook two salient points: Crime rates have already been falling in Arizona for years despite the presence of unauthorized immigrants, and a century’s worth of research has demonstrated that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes or be behind bars than the native-born.”
If we really looked at the facts, we could only conclude that illegal immigration is not the same thing as narcotics smuggling and, by and large, illegal immigrants tend to be more law-abiding and less violent than us native-born Americans. The public panic and the draconian laws represent responses to misinformation, commonly disseminated by sensationalizing journalists.
Look at AP and Matt Drudge yesterday. or check today’s Wall Street Journal, which blares Killing Stokes Immigration Debate, in reference to Deputy Puroll getting slightly grazed in a minor skirmish with marijuana smugglers. Nobody got killed, and the incident had nothing to with illegal immigration.
Bad reporting using sensationalistic headlines incorporating gross exaggeration and downright misinformation is how.
Look at how various news sources headline a basically trivial injury to a law enforcement officer received in the course of a minor skirmish with drug smugglers near the border.
What actually happened:
Pinal County Deputy Louis Puroll patrolling alone in a wilderness area about 50 miles south of Phoenix exchanged fire with five armed smugglers carrying bales of marijuana. A shot fired from one of the narcotrafficantes’ AK-47s apparently grazed Deputy
Puroll’s back. He called for assistance and was airlifted by helicopter to a regional medical center where his injury was treated, deemed to be non-serious, and the deputy immediately released.
Deputy shot by suspected immigrant released from hospital
There isn’t really much to report here. A deputy was slightly grazed by a bullet, sustaining insignificant injury, in a minor confrontation with bad guys engaged in smuggling marijuana.
The incident really has nothing to do with illegal immigration. The marijuana smugglers were not, in reality, on their way to pick fruit, wash dishes, mow lawns, or hang sheetrock at all. They were delivering a shipment of pot and once they delivered it, doubtless they were going to illegally emigrate the same way they had illegally immigrated. Undocumented aliens are not in fact arming themselves with AK-47s and shooting it out with police in order to get their hands on American leaf blowers.
It’s unfortunate, of course, that Deputy Puroll was shot at and slightly injured. This incident causes me to marvel at the futility of it all. You’ve smoked pot. I’ve smoked pot. Pretty much everybody in America has smoked some pot. Certainly every single one of the last three presidents has smoked pot.
Why do we insist of making things illegal which most of us still do anyway? And why do we tolerate a state of affairs that rewards crime bounteously while jeopardizing the lives of law enforcement officers to no useful purpose?
And finally, why do we insist on confusing the innocent people coming here to do hard work at low pay with the armed criminals crossing the same border?
Studies show that illegal immigrants commit violent crimes at a rate between four to eight times less than native born Americans.
Rassmussen finds that a comfortable majority of Americans think this kind of thing is just fine.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer last week signed a new law into effect that authorizes local police to stop and verify the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant. A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that 60% of voters nationwide favor such a law, while 31% are opposed.
It’s true that Arizona does have serious crime problems associated with illegal border activities.
In Arizona’s case, the public safety threat obviously comes from smuggling connected to the illegal drug trade. Arizona is the unhappy victim of the confluence of two forms of irrational law making, both of which Americans commonly support and both of which Americans also commonly ignore.
We have an unfortunate tendency toward statutory overreach, and are prone to pass laws expressing moral sentiments, wishes, and aspirations which, at the same time, we have every intention of personally ignoring. That is how we got Alcohol and Drug Prohibition. That is how we got a 55 mph speed limit. And that is why we have immigration quotas that make the existence on American soil of the large pool of cheap labor we require illegal.
No one wants to see Latino gang members on the streets, and no one wants day laborer flop housing anywhere near them, but everyone wants his produce picked, his meat processed, his table bused, his lawn mowed, and every other kind of low skill labor available and affordable.
If the 21st century equivalent of Ellis Island were open and in operation, and people desiring to come to America to do work Americans need done for wages Americans can afford to pay were able to enter freely and legally, you would not have coyotes leading desperate people across the Sonoran desert over the Arizona border.
If we had intelligence enough to end our futile policy of drug prohibition, we could eliminate the enormous profits associated with trafficking and smuggling and all the warfare over drug-sales turf. There would be no drug cartels, no drug gangs, and no smugglers murdering Arizona ranchers like Robert Krentz.
It was Mr. Krentz’s shooting last month that produced the wave of indignation that caused the controversial bill to pass the Arizona legislature.
Arizona Republicans took the politically expedient course and pandered to an angry public by passing the draconian immigration bill. Making illegal immigration into a crime, like all victimless crime laws, will produce only random and selective enforcement, accompanied by increased official corruption. The new law will not cure Arizona’s crime problems, but it will poison Arizona’s, and the nation’s, politics.
A heroic homeless man, stabbed after saving a Queens woman from a knife-wielding attacker, lay dying in a pool of blood for more than an hour as nearly 25 people indifferently strolled past him, a shocking surveillance video obtained by The Post reveals.
Some of the passers-by paused to stare at Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax last Sunday morning and others leaned down to look at his face.
He had jumped to the aid of a woman attacked on 144th Street at 88th Road in Jamaica at 5:40 a.m., was stabbed several times in the chest and collapsed as he chased his assailant.
In the wake of the bloodshed, a man came out of a nearby building and chillingly took a cellphone photo of the victim before leaving. And in several instances, pairs of people gawked at Tale-Yax without doing anything.
Later, another man stopped, leaned over and vigorously shook Tale-Yax’s body. After lifting the victim’s head and body to reveal a pool of blood, he also walked off.
Not until some 15 minutes after he was shaken by the pedestrian — more than an hour and 20 minutes after the victim collapsed — did firefighters finally arrive and discover that Tale-Yax, 31, had died.
Firefighters were responding to a 911 call of a non-life-threatening injury at 7:23 a.m. when they found his body.
Cops said they received four 911 calls at around the time of the attack reporting a woman screaming, but found nothing. They received no other 911 calls.
Ronald Reagan takes on James Dean in 6:03 video highlights from 1954 GE Home Theater drama “The Dark, Dark Hours.”
Appropriately enough, Ronald Reagan is a physician defending decency, home, and family. James Dean (who would get killed in an accident with his Porsche 550 Spyder a little over nine months later) plays a youthful criminal. 1950s criminality is represented as childishly impulsive, weak, neurotically insecure, and determined to express a transgressive subcultural identity by the use of hipster slang and a loud musical background of progressive jazz. The same dramatization would not be much different today in most respects. The criminal youth, of course, wouldn’t be white and blond. The music wouldn’t be jazz and the modernist patois would be different, but the same kind of childishness and the same sort of futile attempt to obtain respect through violence would work exactly the same way in an updated version just fine.
We heard a great deal from democrats, the dinosaur media, and the punditocracy of the left recently about conservative rhetoric and all sorts of supposititious threats of violence to democrats who voted for the health care bill. No actual violence, of course, ever actually occurred.
It turns out, on the other hand, that leftwing violence these days is quite real. Last weekend, Allee Bautsch, an aide to Republican governor Bobby Jindal and her boyfriend were savagely beaten in New Orleans and both were seriously injured.
The news release issued by New Orleans police Tuesday evening… notes that the 25-year-old female victim and the 28-year-old male victim were attacked in the 600 block of St. Louis Street after leaving an event at a restaurant in the 400 block of Royal Street.
Jindal’s office acknowledged on Monday that Bautsch, his chief campaign fundraiser, was recovering from a broken leg after an altercation with a group of people in the Quarter on Friday night. Bautsch was attacked after a fundraiser for the Louisiana Republican Party at Brennan’s Restaurant, 417 Royal Street, the governor’s office said. ...
New Orleans police say that the incident began about 10:45 p.m. when a group of three to five men made “derogatory comments” to Bautsch and her boyfriend. When the man described as the male victim “turned toward” the group of men, at least one of the men struck him repeatedly. The woman “fell to the ground and screamed,” the news release said.
Police released a description of one suspect, saying he was in his 20s, looked “dirty,” and wore his hair in an auburn-colored ponytail. The man was 6 feet, 1 inch tall with a thin build, police said. He wore a light-colored T-shirt and dark pants.
Officers in the area responded and requested EMS assistance. The woman used her purse as a pillow while waiting for help. Once she was in the ambulance, the woman realized her purse was missing, the release said.
Kyle Plotkin, a Jindal spokesman, said Bautsch had surgery during the weekend and is facing a recovery time of two to three months. According to the NOPD news release, Bautsch’s friend was treated at the hospital for a mild concussion, broken jaw and broken nose.
The attackers were probably persons involved in a radical protest against a Louisiana State Republican Party fund raising dinner taking place at a local restaurant. The Hayride, a local political blog, describes the protesters.
Michelle Malkin is discounting rumors that the couple was attacked for wearing Sarah Palin pins.
——————————————————————————- UPDATE —4/17:
Several prominent conservative blogs are reporting today that the victims were uncertain about whether their attackers had any connection to the demonstration and did not identify any specifically political insults from their attackers, including both Michelle Malkin and Ed Morrissey.
Human Events talked to the victim’s mother:
Della Burning, mother of Jindal staffer Allee Bautsch, confirmed that her daughter had been savagely beaten. She refused to discuss whether or not politics were involved (although at one point in the interview she did say the report was “accurate” when New Orleans Police Information Officer said slurs hurled at her daughter during the attack were “political in nature”).
Burning confirmed her daughter’s leg is broken in four places and she has five surgical scars and a steel rod now running from her knee to her ankle with seven screws holding it all in place. She did not fall and break her leg as was reported in the lonely and inaccurate story done by the Associated Press.
Burning also confirmed that the attackers did not rob her daughter or her daughter’s boyfriend.
On the other hand, the local blog Hayride (which covered this story in a lot of depth) is still arguing today that the attack was definitely politically motivated.
I wonder exactly how much of the full story is yet to emerge at this point.