The Justice System

I do not have the time nor inclination to search for, a television reporter reporting on the “false bill” result for the Grand Jury indictment against Officer Darren Wilson, for the death of Michael Brown. This reporter wanted this to go to a jury anyway, “so all the facts can come out and we all know.”

Evidently, this person is not very cognizant of the process the law takes from crime to either conviction or acquittal. I do not possess a law degree, nor am I directly or indirectly involved in the justice system. This knowledge is acquired by intense reading on a wide variety of subjects.

Just as an aside, not all States have a “Grand Jury” system, some use preliminary hearings. Grand Juries are convened to investigate felonies only.

First step, of course, is that a person must violate a law. There are two types of laws from a violation point of view: Misdemeanors and felonies. The difference is the length of imprisonment. Misdemeanors are punishable my no more than “11 months and 29 days confinement,” while felonies are punishable by “more than one year of confinement.”

Second, the crime is discovered, the police investigate, determine the suspect(s), then apprehend the suspect(s).

Third, the suspect(s) are then referred to the District Attorney for charges. If the DA believes the State can win the case, then the DA assigns a prosecuting attorney, who then files the actual charges and refers these charges to the Grand Jury.

In TV trials, you’ve watched the attorneys from both sides argue over the guilt or innocence of the accused. This not TV, and this is not that process anyway.

The Grand Jury is an investigation by citizens (a “jury of your peers”) to determine if enough evidence exists to convict the accused. There is no “defense” side of things here. It is just the prosecutor presenting the evidence that they will use in the actual trial to try and convict the accused. The prosecutor also does not have to present any exculpatory evidence (evidence which shows you are not the perpetrator of the crime). The Grand Jury can also subpoena witnesses to testify.

If a Grand Jury returns a “true bill,” the members believe that the evidence presented has enough merit and weight to show that a crime has been committed and the accused is probably guilty.

Then we get to the TV part, with the prosecution and defense…

Just to make it clear, if the prosecutor can’t convince the Grand Jury you committed the crime in question, then the prosecutor will not win in a real trial.

 

Liberals are complex people

Liberals, by and large, like to pigeon-hole everybody. Give them a label, and that’s what you are for the rest of your life. Black, White, Conservative, Mentally Ill, it doesn’t matter.

With real human beings, however you cannot realistically do this to them. No “bad” person is 100% “evil,” nor is every “good” person 100% perfect. We are a spectrum ranging from good to bad and everything in between.

I now present Darlena Cunha. She came to my attention this morning, after writing in Time magazine in favor of people rioting in Ferguson. Something prompted me to take a deeper look at her through what she has written and this is what I found:

in 2007, Darlena moved from California back home to the East Coast. She became pregnant by her boyfriend. Her boyfriend proposed, then they bought a house. Then, several events ganged up on her. Three weeks after closing, the housing market collapsed and their home instantly lost 40% of it’s value. Then her boyfriend was laid off. Darlena gave birth to preemie twins, and decided to freelance from home to raise their children. As a result, they suffered an 80% pay cut. She wrote the article, The day I drove my Mercedes to pick up food stamps, where she described her experiences applying for Medicaid, SNIP (otherwise known as food stamps) and WIC.

She had this to say about the Mercedes (and why it was a significant part of the story):

That’s the funny thing about being poor. Everyone has an opinion on it, and everyone feels entitled to share. That was especially true about my husband’s Mercedes. Over and over again, people asked why we kept that car, offering to sell it in their yards or on the Internet for us.

“Sell the Mercedes,” a friend said to me. “He doesn’t get to keep his toys now.”

But it wasn’t a toy — it was paid off. My husband bought that car before we met. Were we supposed to trade it in for a lousier car we’d have to make payments on? Only to have that less reliable car break down on us?

And even if we had wanted to do that, here’s what people don’t understand: The reality of poverty can spring quickly while the psychological effects take longer to surface. When you lose a job, your first thought isn’t, “Oh my God, I’m poor. I’d better sell all my nice stuff!” It’s “I need another job. Now.” When you’re scrambling, you hang onto the things that work, that bring you some comfort. That Mercedes was the one reliable, trustworthy thing in our lives.

I would like to say, as of the publication of the article (July 2014) they still had that Mercedes. Good for them.

The next article gave me a very wide grin. Darlena attempted to apply her Liberal virtues upon her children, and got them thrown right back in her face by her children. I’m a die-hard liberal. It ruined my parenting.

What she attempted to do was apply a reasoned approach to why she did what she did to and for her six-year-old twin daughters. She attempted to get “buy-in” from her daughters and it failed miserably. Her daughters logic was impeccable and better than Darlena’s. So, she had to fall back on those old Conservative (although she doesn’t use that term) principles of “Do it, because I’m your Mother.” The system of telling young children (generally under 10 years old) what to do rather than explaining why and expecting the “now enlightened” child to do it of their own volition has worked for several thousand years.

Once children start developing the ability to reason through several sequential thoughts to get from start to finish, then you can take the time to explain the why’s and wherefore’s to them. The best thing to do with children is tell them to do it. Make the rules for their conduct age appropriate and clear beforehand. If you have to administer punishment, do it when you are calm (or have the other parent do it while they are calm), then love and hug them before and after the punishment.

When correction (and by extension discipline) are done through love and support rather than anger, you will end up with a better young adult.

Now for the reason for the post: Ferguson: In Defense of Rioting.

In typical Liberal fashion, she writes this (emphasis mine):

Because when you have succeeded, it ceases to be a possibility, in our capitalist society, that anyone else helped you. And if no one helped you succeed, then no one is holding anyone else back from succeeding. Except they did help you, and they are holding people back. So that blaming someone else for your failures in the United States may very well be an astute observation of reality, particularly as it comes to white privilege versus black privilege. And, yes, they are different, and they are tied to race, and that doesn’t make me a racist, it makes me a realist. If anything, I am racist because I am white. Until I have had to walk in a person of color’s skin, I will never understand, I will always take things for granted, and I will be inherently privileged. But by ignoring the very real issues this country still faces in terms of race to promote an as-of-yet imaginary colorblind society, we contribute to the problem at hand, which is centuries of abuses lobbied against other humans on no basis but that of their skin color.

Then Darlena has the temerity to invoke the Boston Tea Party.

For those of you who do not keep up on history, the Boston Tea Party was a political protest over “Taxation Without Representation,” the frustration of American Colonists and their being taxed by Great Britain without Colonial representatives in Parliament. In today’s dollars, about $1.6 million of tea was destroyed by throwing the chests containing said product were thrown overboard from three cargo ships. Nothing was burned and no one was hurt. Benjamin Franklin (that old, evil white guy) actually called for and tried to make restitution for the losses. The Boston Tea Party was actually considered at the time something shameful. It didn’t get its current prospective until 60 years after the event.

As far as what I have in bold above, I think Darlena has a different dictionary than I do. My dictonary defines racism as, :”… the doctrine that a certain human race is superior to any or all others.” To say “I am racist because I am white” as a blanket statement is beyond ludicrous. And, just as a thought, if she is a self-admitted racist, why should any person who is not of her skin color trust her?

I prefer to judge people on their actions and the content of their character. The color of another persons skin is not a factor in any decision I make about a person.

There you go. Darlena is a self-admitted Liberal, and a self-admitted racist. Do I think every other Liberal is a racist? No. I make that determination based on each persons actions and words. You draw your own conclusion.

 

Consequences of Your Actions

There are always consequences of your actions. Any action you perform interacts with and changes the Universe to some degree.

Too bad we have been taught that “consequences” has a negative tone. Because consequences can be positive as well. If you do the right thing for the right reasons, the resultant consequences are positive. If you hurt others, the consequences are negative.

Hence this article, U.Va. Looks at Alcohol as Factor in Sex Assaults.

Disclaimer: I was drinking at 18. That being said, I was on a military base where the drinking age was 18. Off-base, the age was 21 and I did not drink off-base. I also assure you, if I had gotten drunk on-base and something stupid, I would have faced the negative actions of my actions.

Back to the article: In this typically Liberal bastion, the Regents are more concerned about appearance than substance. So, these “regrettable incidents” are either quietly swept under the rug.or ignored altogether.

Here is a novel idea. How about the laws of the land be enforced? How about the university attach some significant consequences to bad actions?

Let’s start by enforcing the law of the land. All students under 21 years old found intoxicated will be presented to the police for investigation and if necessary, appropriate charges. Same with a sexual assault. Both parties are to be referred to the police for investigation and appropriate charges. That would include charges against the “victim” for filing a false report if that was found to be the case.

Now, what can the university do to ensure this doesn’t happen on campus? How about, for a misdemeanor conviction, the student loses the entire semester. All class fees for that semester are forfeited. No classes count toward graduation. You must retake all of the classes for that semester. A second misdemeanor conviction during the twelve months following the first conviction will result in immediate expulsion from the university and forfeiture of all credits and fees. Any felony conviction will also result in forfeiture of all credits and fees.

As far as the “Greek system” goes, I am willing to give a bit more latitude, as one adult or organization should never be held accountable for the actions of another adult. If an on-campus Fraternity or Sorority (I’m willing to be equal here, the university in the article wasn’t) in the course of a year (or whatever the pledge cycle is) has an “incident” involving a member of that Fraternity/Sorority, upon conviction of the member(s) involved, it goes on immediate probation. A second conviction results in pulling of that charter and banishment of that Fraternity/Sorority from the campus for not less than five years. I specify on-campus organizations, because the university has no authority over things that happen away from their campus.

Now, will this “stop” the underage drinking and sexual assaults? Of course not. An 18 or 19 year-old is by definition impulsive and curious. I most certainly was. I made my share of mistakes, and I paid for them. Fresh away from home like this they are on their own for the first time in their lives. They are going to try new things. Some of them will be stupid things.

The best way to mold these wild young adults are to give them a clear set of rules and guidelines, as well as the positive and negative consequences of these guidelines. This should have been started when they hit about 10 years old, but I digress. To those who follow the rules, they will most likely end up as responsible and contributing members of society. Those who cannot or will not follow the rules, most likely won’t have that outcome. It’s really as simple as that.

 

Ferguson, Part 2

I found this while working on my post below: NASW Statement on Ferguson Grand Jury Decision.

Through my years working in behavioral health, I worked with a lot of Social Workers, as co-workers and as a client. As a group, Social Workers are very hard working. They want to help others. They are also frustrated, bound by constraints of the agency they work for, and the times when the services they offer do not fit with the needs their clients have.

So when the “national organization” says things like this, it is disheartening:

NASW supports reforms that could prevent unnecessary police shootings from occurring. These include:

  • National standards on the use of lethal police force.
  • National standards on how police handle persons living with mental illnesses or disabilities.
  • Training to help end police bias and racial profiling when dealing with people of color.
  • >Making body cameras standard police equipment.

First of all, I support body cameras on officers. It documents when they did things right, as well as when they do things wrong. Body cameras are an impassioned, neutral witness to events whose story does not change as time goes on.

Second, “national standards” doesn’t work. It sounds good, however remember we are a patchwork of 50 States, each with its own identity. What works in California probably won’t work in Arkansas, and vice versa. Also, you would have to write out every possible instance and the appropriate reaction for that case. Of course, none of the people who will write this “standard” will have ever been in a gunfight or any type of fight for their lives, thus having no idea what they are talking about. The result will be unreasonable standards of conduct, parsed to the point where even the tiniest mistake (Remember Ed, whose misplaced comma cost his firm $1.6 Million?) will leave the officer dead or in jail for the rest of his life.

“National Standards” probably won’t work in dealing with “mental health calls” too much either. See above. Unless you want to apply something that supersedes the law, human kindness. People with mental health issues are not operating under the same set of facts that everyone else does. The result is, they will act differently. I know this, because I’ve been on that end of a “police encounter.” The Crisis Intervention Team concept was developed here in Memphis, Tennessee. It teaches the officers to talk with, not command a person who is scared, disoriented and who sees and hears things no one else does. I remember one time a man who was severely affected by paranoid schizophrenia. He was in a “Psychiatric Evaluation Ward,” curled up on the ground shouting, “Help me! The voices are telling me to kill!” Despite all that, the officer still has to protect himself and others. Here in Memphis, not every mental health call is successfully resolved, but the vast majority are.

Last point: I personally, just me, think that the laws should be as few as possible. With all of the laws, rules and regulations on the books, our physical, emotional, social, economic and other freedoms are extremely restricted by the government. That being said, the law must be color-blind. And I know in Ferguson it is not. Race should never be a factor for the police to stop or investigate a citizen for anything. If 79% of any group (be it by skin color, religion, sexual orientation or any other description you wish to use) breaks a law, it is no reason to detain without provocation any person of that group, because you just might grab one of the 21%.

 

Ferguson Burns… Again

I have written about the situation in Ferguson before, here, here and here.

I support our first responders, they run towards trouble, rather than away. That being said, I am at the front of the line when I see abuses of power. I also understand the purpose of the police, which is to enforce the laws, not “protect the people.”

As you can see from what I have posted before, I do my homework. I understand the underlying resentment of the citizens of Ferguson. I know more than what the Media wants me to know. However, I realize that I will never know all of the facts because I was not there when Brown died, nor was I in the Grand Jury room, or the DA’s office.

From what I have read, Officer Wilson was doing what he was charged to do, which was enforce the laws of the municipality. Jaywalking is a misdemeanor in almost every urban or suburban area. Brown, who had just committed two felonies (strong-arm robbery and assault) acted “defensively” (in his mind) because he probably thought the officer was stopping him because of the felonies he just committed. A struggle ensues and Brown ends up dead. Rioting ensues.

So, now we come to this point. The DA punts, handing the responsibility over to the Grand Jury. When the Grand Jury returns a “No Bill,” or they do not indict Officer Wilson, again the rioting starts.

And the frustrated people of Ferguson, who have been beaten down and hyped up on incorrect information, react in the worst possible way: they foul their own nest by looting and burning the businesses in their own neighborhoods.

So when Ferguson becomes an economic wasteland because honestly, who wants to put forth the time, effort and cash to operate a business only to have it looted and burned? Who in their right mind would want to invest in such a community?

Of course, in the near future when the citizens of Ferguson now have to hop on the bus or drive to get groceries and services they used to be able to walk to, whom will they blame? Probably not themselves. They will place the blame of why they burned those businesses on the reasons they did it, not on their own actions.

If you don’t like the system, change it. Don’t like the laws passed? Petition to your elected officials. If they don’t listen to you, run for office yourself and get elected. Then you are in a position to repeal those bad laws.

 

Twist People, Twisted Logic

And another wonderful example of how some people are willing to twist things to their own advantage. Outrage as LA School District argues that child can ‘consent’ to sex w/ teacher.

So, the lawyers are stating that because the molested minor female was able to lie to her mother about her whereabouts.

Arguing that a child can make adult decisions, Keith Wyatt, the school district’s trial attorney in the case, argued against the child, stating plainly, “She lied to her mother so she could have sex with her teacher. She went to a motel in which she engaged in voluntary consensual sex with her teacher. Why shouldn’t she be responsible for that?”

Not quite done yet, Wyatt also went on to insisted that a 14-year-old can be mature enough to consent to sex with an adult. Telling reporters, Wyatt also said, “Making a decision as to whether or not to cross the street when traffic is coming, that takes a level of maturity and that’s a much more dangerous decision than to decide, ‘Hey, I want to have sex with my teacher.'”

A 14-year-old is not emotionally mature enough to make such life-determining choices on their own. When an authority figure such as a teacher abuses the trust society places on them and engages in such conduct, they violate that trust, as well as the child.

I am happy to note that child molesters are the lowest rung of the pecking order in prison, so our “teacher” is getting “schooled” by Bubba every night for his three year stint.

Personally, I think Mr. Wyatt, for those kind of idiotic statements should suffer the same fate as the molester. It boggles my mind how such a person can be so craven to make statements like that. Knowing that this is in California, it’s actually likely the family of the molested teen will lose this case. It’s that screwed up in that state.

 

Slavery… As It Is Today

I have said this for years: “Don’t complain about history when it’s current events.”

In Memphis, the War of the Great Rebellion (AKA the American Civil War) and slavery is brought up or alluded to almost every city council meeting. “Your ancestors enslaved my ancestors!” kind of thing.

And, I have been talking about how slavery is still prevalent, and the “Maybe we’ll get around to abolishing it, next year” in other parts of the world. Then I find this: Nearly 36 million people are slaves, Qatar in focus: global index.

The index defines slavery as the control or possession of people in such a way as to deprive them of their freedom with the intention of exploiting them for profit or sex, usually through violence, coercion or deception.

The definition includes indentured servitude, forced marriage and the abduction of children to serve in wars.

So, forced exploitation of your fellow man is still going strong today.

The index showed that 10 countries alone account for 71 percent of the world’s slaves.

After India [14.3 million], China has the most with 3.2 million, then Pakistan (2.1 million), Uzbekistan (1.2 million), Russia (1.05 million), Nigeria (834,200), Democratic Republic of Congo (762,900), Indonesia (714,100), Bangladesh (680,900) and Thailand (475,300).

To all of those who claim they are enslaved, I suggest you look elsewhere and see how much better their lives are compared to those who are in active bondage.

 

The Twisting of our Constitution

This image came up during my news perusal. It’s a bit bit small, so I will quote the relevant parts.

This is something from 2008, which shows that this has been going on for a while. It is plain to see that is indoctrination that has to be fought. Here are the relevant parts:

“When you are a citizen you have rights. Rights are special privileges the government gives you. In our country, you have free speech. You are also given the right to choose a religion. In America, the press is free to tell you what is happening in the world. The Bill of Rights lists the freedoms given to citizens. These rights are very important. Many people in the world do not have the freedoms we do.

Because the government gives us rights, we have the duty to be good citizens..”

To anyone who has studied the Constitution and the works of our Founding Fathers to understand the context, the above is 100% false. The rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights were recognized by our Founding Fathers to come from our Creator and the government is not to abridge, delay, interrupt or deny those rights.

Read what those rights actually say:

First, “Congress shall make no law…”

Second, “…shall not be infringed.”

Fourth, “The right of the people…shall not be violated…”

Ninth, “The enumeration of the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

Tenth, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The Constitution is a document that very specifically states what the powers of the government are. If it’s not in the Constitution, then the federal government is not allowed those powers.

If you can train the people to believe the horseshit that rights come from the government in stead of your higher power, then you can convince them that “thy don’t need those rights.”

More:

“Being a good citizen also means obeying the laws in your community and school. Laws are made to help you and keep you safe.”

Again, 100% wrong. Laws describe actions which are deemed “detrimental to the public good.” Thomas Aquinas’ definition of a law: “Law; an ordinance of reason for the common good, made by him who has care of the community.”

Now, if the agenda of the person(s) who make the laws runs counter to the good of the people, you have laws like this:

The Lacy Act: 16 U.S.C. § 3370, in part, states:

It is unlawful for any person –
(1) to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase any fish or wildlife or plant taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law, treaty, or regulation of the United States or in violation of any Indian tribal law;
(2) to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce –
(A) any fish or wildlife taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law or regulation of any State or in violation of any foreign law;
(B) any plant taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any State; or…

If you actually read that part of the law, it’s pretty frightening. A friend travels abroad, brings something back and gives it to you. If you accept that gift and what you were given was against the law in the other country to export, you just violated one of the thousands upon thousands of federal laws. You didn’t set out to violate the law, and thereby lack rens mea (Latin for “the evil mind”). However, the fact that you did it, knowingly or unknowingly makes you guilty.

You might also want to watch this:

Frightening, isn’t it?

Here’s the document I started talking about. There’s more frightening concepts in it.

homework-govtgivesusrights-sm

They Want The Best For You…

… even if you don’t want it.

This is pretty much a cornerstone of Liberal “benevolence.” Town’s tobacco ban hearing too rowdy, ends early.

The Westminster, Mass Board of Health has decided to consider a ban on the sale of all tobacco products in their town. The Board of Health, that is has made this decision. And when the proles decide to show up en mass to dissuade the council from passing this law, the meeting was shut down.

…Board of Health chairwoman Andrea Crete gaveled the hearing to a close just 25 minutes into it instead of taking comments.

“The crowd’s getting out of control and the room’s filled to capacity,” she said. “We don’t want any riots.”

[..]

“I’m disappointed that we didn’t get to have the hearing,” she said. “We’re trying to save lives and prevent children from being future users.”

What Ms. Crete means is that she believes that people have no control over their choices and she feels that she must take those choices away from them. For their own good, of course.

And then she doesn’t want to listen to the “insufferable proletariat” who have the temerity, the outright audacity to think they know what’s best for themselves!

Shopkeeper Brian Vincent, whose country store on Main Street sells $100,000 worth of tobacco products a year, said he’s collected at least 900 signatures on a petition against the ban. He said smokers will simply make their purchases in other towns and probably buy their gas and groceries there as well.

“Having other adults decide what legal item we’re not allowed to consume just makes you wonder: If this passes, what could be next? Sugar? Bacon?” he said.

 

I can assure Mr. Vincent, if this goes through and is allowed to stand, sugar and bacon will be some of the next targets.

When my wife and I were newlyweds, we had planned one evening to go out and have a nice dinner. Then she found out that there was a State Legislature subcommittee meeting on a bill that she was interested in advocating for. My wife was very involved in Hawai’ian state politics. We attended the meeting (after grabbing some hot dogs from the 7-Eleven) and my wife and several other citizens spoke eloquently in favor of the bill. The legislators, after hearing the citizens, decided to kill the bill. My beautiful bride was so upset over that she started a Category 4 shitstorm. Letters to the Editor, the Governor, her State Legislators and those involved in the subcommittee meeting all received nastygrams from her about that event. She was a very influential person in Hawai’ian politics at the time, so she was listened to.

Something else to consider: will the town be able to “afford” this? As in, just for the sake of argument, smokers will not go to other stores outside of Westminster to do other shopping while they buy their tobacco products. If there were 20 stores that each sold $100,000 of tobacco annually, that would mean a tax revenue shortfall of approximately $100,000 in sales and tobacco taxes.

I see people purchase tobacco when they fill their vehicles at convenience stores, or when they buy groceries. I will bet that those ancillary purchases will move out to the surrounding areas if this ban were to go into effect. Which means a large loss of sales (and tax revenue) to the businesses and city government of Westminster.

I don’t use tobacco, never have. My parents and sister were heavy smokers, so I do not like it in my presence. If someone smokes near me, I position myself so that I am not affected by it. Or I remove myself from the area entirely. I see it as their choice to smoke, and my choice not to be near it.

At the same time, I do not have the right, power or authority to take away someone elses’ choice on something. It’s their choice, no matter how god or bad, right or wrong I think their decision is.

As long as Liberals believe they must take away choices “for our own good” they must be defeated. Every time and every way. Because if some has that kind of mindset, if given the opportunity, what makes you think they won’t take away your choice on other things as well?

11/20/14 UPDATE: According to this article, two of the three members of the Westminster Board of Health saw the writing on the wall and voted to kill the proposal. The chairwoman, Andrea Crete, wanted to keep the proposal “under consideration.” Which is, of course, Liberalspeak for “We will pass it when no one is watching us.”

 

No Chain of Command

This event clearly shows that Our Illustrious Leader has no power in the Executive Branch of the government. The very same one that he is (supposedly) in charge of. Obama’s call for an open Internet puts him at odds with regulators.

The President is the CEO of the Federal Government. What he says, goes. Period, end of story.

I will admit, I liked it when President Obama stood up for Net Neutrality. The Internet should be open and equal to all.

To have the head of the FCC publicly contradict the president is disrespect to the office of the president, as well as the person holding the office. When the president stated this intent, Tom Wheelers public words should have been, “Yes, sir.”

Now that the FCC head has publicly disagreed with the President, Obama should tell Mr. Wheeler two words: “You’re fired.” Anything less only shows that Obama is a puppet.