Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What?

I was offered a job today. I won't mention the name of the company, but they are a nationwide provider of EMS services. The job is a paramedic position, and would require me to commute about 40 miles each way, paying $5 in tolls round trip.

Before I go further, let me explain my credentials:
I have been practicing in EMS for over 24 years. I have been an instructor for ten of those years. I not only have my paramedic school done, I also have three Associate's and two Bachelor's degrees.

The job market is very tight, and this illustrates why: They offered me a rate of $12.53 an hour. That rate is two dollars an hour less than what my last job was hiring new paramedics for ten years ago. I already collect a pension that pays me more than that, and I don't NEED the money, and I am not sure that I want to drive 80 miles round trip to work a 12 hour shift that will net me about $7 an hour.

I could get a job working at a hamburger joint and take home the same amount of money.

Make accusations...

A Daytona Beach Police Sergeant resigned after the department discovered that she had hundreds of pornographic images on her two department issued computers, including 23 nudes of herself that she had sent to her boyfriend while on duty. Additionally, she deactivated the GPS tracking on her patrol car, so dispatchers would not know where she was.

That isn't the worst part to me. The worst part is how she was caught: she was caught when the department was investigating a sexual harassment complaint that the Sergeant had made against another officer. Sexual harassment is no longer about dishonorable men that use their position to elicit sex from female employees, or about men trying to run women out of the workplace. Instead, it has become a powerful weapon that women use against men that they happen to not like, or to pull attention away from their own misdeeds. We see this all over, not just with sexual harassment, but also with claims of racial bias and domestic violence.




Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Explosions

For those who do not know, there was an explosion at a propane facility just up the road from me. The explosion could be felt for miles, and the fires continued for hours:








There are 53,000 twenty pound propane cylinders scattered about the scene, along with several propane tanker trucks, and three 30,000 pound propane tanks. This is what it looks like from the gorund:







Fraud

In response to Graybeard's comment on my post about job prospects in the EMS field:

Yes, fraud is running rampant. In 2002, Medicare reimbursement for ambulances was less than $1 billion. In 2009, it had more than doubled, despite the fact that the amounts paid for each trip had not changed. I can tell you that the linked article's claim that 80% of interfacility ambulance rides are fraudulent doesn't surprise me one bit. I think that number is spot on.

The Feds are cracking down on this, but they are not even catching a fraction of the fraud. As the Affordable Care Act is implemented, it will only get worse.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Need another RSS reader

So Google reader went away. Now the reader I replaced it with, Old Reader, is too. So now I need to find another reader, and do it quickly. If I cannot find another reader, then blogging for me will probably come to an end.

In Russia

In Russia, you don't practice gun safety, gun safety practice you.


Boycotts and revolt

There are organizations out there calling for a boycott of Florida because of the "Stand your ground" law and the Zimmerman case. Here is one:


It calls for a boycott based upon the supposedly racially motivated killings of numerous black people. The problem is that only one of them (Trayvon Martin) was killed in Florida. Oscar Grant was killed in California, while Chamberlain, Gray, and Graham were all killed in New York. Furthermore, all of the killings except Martin were performed by police officers, and none of the cases had anything to do with "stand your ground."

So who is behind this? The People's Power Assemblies, for another. They are a part of the Workers World Party, a communist organization that intends to overthrow the government.



So there you have it. The reason that all of this is being pushed, is that there are forces involved here that want to overthrow the US government. How is that for "fundamentally transforming" America?

Christianity != love

I am dating a woman who had a very religious upbringing. Growing up, her father taught her about religion and brought her up in this religious framework. She is quite a bit younger than I am, and lately has been questioning her religious upbringing. I understand what she is going through, as I once took the same journey.

As an example, she had some family coming to town, and they wanted to go to Disney. The problem is that they were here for the first weekend in June, and this is the weekend for gay days. I pointed that out to her when she called me while on her way to the theme park, and my girlfriend found this to be funny, but decided not to tell her family about the event, because they are so incredibly homophobic.

That, as it turns out, was not a good idea: On the way out of the park, her uncle noticed that there were a pair of men holding hands as they walked through the park. Nothing sexual, nothing in your face, just a couple that were holding hands and peacefully enjoying the park. The uncle immediately began shouting at the couple, called them "fucking faggots" and began yelling about how they should go home, how they were going to hell, and how they were sinners and an abomination to God. All I can say is that I am glad I was not there.

Just this morning, her parents asked her to attend church. I am not invited, because her parents believe that I am a sinner and am not fit to date their daughter, even though they have never met me. You see, I am a godless heathen, and I am the one that is turning her away from the church, according to them. At church this morning, the theme of the service was homosexuals, how they are all stupid morons, and are all going to burn in hell. Then he preached about how our society was being destroyed by the "gay lifestyle" and how the members of the church have a responsibility to ostracize those who choose to live like that.

My girlfriend just called me and was complaining about this. She works in the emergency room of a hospital. Several of the nurses there, and one of the doctors are gay. Hardly the kind of people that you would think are stupid morons. The church, and the intolerant, hateful venom that they are spouting is driving her away. This is one of the reasons why so many people are turned off of the republican party, because they have so closely associated themselves with religious groups.

I would rather have a gay neighbor than a Bible thumping, hate filled asshole any day, and I certainly don't want to elect a politician that thinks that it is just fine and dandy to legislate where I put my penis.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Reasoned discourse

I have been posting comments on various Channel 6 WKMG articles for several days. Each and everyone has fallen victim to "reasoned discourse" deletion. Here is a copy of my last comment, that was also deleted within minutes:

Acquit Alexander? The woman who was in an argument with her husband at his house, where she was not living at the time. In fact, she had gotten a restraining order against hm because she was afraid of him, and then left her newborn baby at the hospital and then went to his house to spend the night with him. Doesn't sound scared to me.
Anyway, at breakfast, she showed pictures of the new baby to her husband by handing him her cell phone. While looking at them, he found evidence that she was having an affair with her ex-husband. he questioned whether the new child was his, and this started an argument. In the midst of the argument, she went outside, got a gun out of her car, and then came back, shot at him, and missed. Can't be self defense, because the threat to her ended when she left the house. Going back inside made her the attacker in an all new, second fight.
She was arrested, and made bail. While out on bail, she went back to the house, and punched her husband, giving him a black eye.
She committed armed battery. She deserved every year of the sentence she got. This is plainly NOT a self defense case.


Read the court documents for yourself:
Source: http://www.scribd.com/doc/89763280/Order-Denying-Defendants-Motion-for-Immunity-and-Motion-to-Dismiss

There is an agenda here, and they are not about to let the facts get in the way.

Culture

In reference to the shooting that I mention here and here, the older brother of the would-be burglar has a Facebook page. According to the page, he is 23 years old, and graduated from Miles College in 2010. Miles college is a liberal arts black college that receives funding from the United Negro College Fund.

Here are a few examples of this college graduate's writing:

Let me tell who don't no boots in da Sommer is a no no lol i saw a nigga with some polo boots on with some shorts on then i saw a somebody with some Tims on do you no how dum u look it 100 degrees out side in you got this shit on 3,words kill your self

and this little gem:

 Man it's time 4 me to do wat I have to do I can't be happy cause of all da - shit around me I'm ta dat point wat aver happens happens I'm killing my self. 4 da last 3 n a 1/2 week my head been pound I'm lose in a lot of wight I can't go back n play ball cause dis n dat on my mind wat ever happens from here da man above no wats best 4 me.

Do you want to know why the black culture is failing? This is why. This man is the male role model for his younger brother, the one he looked up to, the one who raised him. This is a broken culture, and saving the lives and futures of blacks, as well as lowering US crime, is going to have to start with fixing this broken culture.


More on the Louisiana shooting

I posted yesterday about a man that shot a teen that had scaled a 5 foot tall fence to enter the shooter's driveway, was confronted by the homeowner, and was shot. The homeowner, who was standing next to his back door, states that he told the intruder to freeze, the intruder (who has a history of burglaries and thefts) turned toward the homeowner with his hand in his waistband, and was shot. Here is a picture of the driveway:



The state has charged the homeowner with attempted second degree murder. In Louisiana, there are only four ways that the state can prove second degree murder. Two of them have to do with the sale of drugs, and don't apply here. A third involves death as a result of a violent felony, and also doesn't apply. The final way involves a specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm. In other words, they have to prove that he intended to severely injure or kill when he shot the lad.

One would think that the act of shooting someone in itself proves intent, but that is not the case. A killing can not be second degree murder if the shooter possessed a belief that he must use deadly force in self-defense, even if that belief turns out to be unreasonable, rather than the intentional mental state of committing a murder. Like the Zimmerman case, prosecutors are overcharging what is clearly a manslaughter case, ar the most.

This is a common tactic for prosecutors: Overcharge, and push for a plea deal. If the person doesn't take a plea, they must defend against the charge, and all of the lesser included charges. These two cases illustrate for me the need to do away with lesser included charges. I think that prosecutors should file the charge that the person is likely guilty of, instead of overcharging and hoping that a lesser charge sticks.

Anyway, the homeowner will likely use Louisiana's self defense statute as a defense.

Use of force or violence in defense
A.  The use of force or violence upon the person of another is justifiable when committed for the purpose of preventing a forcible offense against the person or a forcible offense or trespass against property in a person's lawful possession, provided that the force or violence used must be reasonable and apparently necessary to prevent such offense, and that this Section shall not apply where the force or violence results in a homicide.
B.  For the purposes of this Section, there shall be a presumption that a person lawfully inside a dwelling, place of business, or motor vehicle held a reasonable belief that the use of force or violence was necessary to prevent unlawful entry thereto, or to compel an unlawful intruder to leave the premises or motor vehicle, if both of the following occur:
(1)  The person against whom the force or violence was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcibly entering or had unlawfully and forcibly entered the dwelling, place of business, or motor vehicle.
(2)  The person who used force or violence knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry was occurring or had occurred.
C.  A person who is not engaged in unlawful activity and who is in a place where he or she has a right to be shall have no duty to retreat before using force or violence as provided for in this Section and may stand his or her ground and meet force with force.
D.  No finder of fact shall be permitted to consider the possibility of retreat as a factor in determining whether or not the person who used force or violence in defense of his person or property had a reasonable belief that force or violence was reasonable and apparently necessary to prevent a forcible offense or to prevent the unlawful entry. (emphasis added)
Note that the law states that the force must be reasonable and necessary under the circumstances, but does not explicitly limit the degree of force to non-deadly force.The law also states that a person lawfully in his residence can use force, if he holds a reasonable belief that force is required to prevent a break in, as long as two conditions are met: The person must be in the process of entering the residence, and must have reason to believe that an unlawful entry was occurring.

The presence of an unknown person immediately outside your backdoor at 2:00AM,where the intruder was required to scale a fence, would seem to allow a reasonable belief that an unlawful entry into the dwelling was occurring or about to occur.

Again, I think that this is a lawful shoot, but that will likely get me called a barbarian and a racist, like I was yesterday for my Zimmerman and Alexander opinions.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The rest of the story

Anti-gun forces and race baiters are trying to use the case of a black woman who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a "warning shot" at her reportedly abusive husband in contrast to the Zimmerman/Martin case as proof that blacks are being discriminated against under the law in Florida. Of course, the facts don't support this, but anti-gunners and race baiters never let the facts get in the way when they are trying to score points.

Background 

Marissa Alexander was married to her (I think second) husband. The man she was married to had reportedly been abusive to a previous woman. They had been dating for approximately three years, and she claimed in September of 2009 that he had battered her. Nevertheless, they were married on May 14, 2010. Shortly thereafter, she obtained a domestic violence restraining order, and that order was in effect at the time of the shooting on August 1, 2010. In fact, she had not been living in the home since June of 2010. She was pregnant at the time of the marriage and separation, and gave birth to a baby sometime during the last half of July, 2010.

The events leading up to the shooting

On July 31, 2010, Ms. Alexander signed out of the hospital and left her newborn baby there, and arrived at the marital home, a home that she had not lived in for over two months, and where her husband lived with his two sons from a previous marriage. The husband that she was so afraid of that she sought a restraining order against. She parked her car in the garage, and entered the home. She spent the night.

The next morning, the husband arrived home with his two sons and entered through the garage to find his estranged wife there. He cooked breakfast, and they all ate. After breakfast, Ms. Alexander handed her phone to her husband, so that he could see pictures of the newborn child that was still in the hospital, and then entered the bathroom. While she was in the bathroom, her husband found evidence in the phone that she had a continuing relationship with her ex-husband Lincoln Alexander (whose last name she chose to keep) and questioned her as to the paternity of the child. A verbal argument ensued, and the husband told his sons to get dressed, and that they were leaving the home.

The shooting

Ms. Alexander went to the garage where her car was parked. She claims that she tried to leave, but that the door would not open. There is no evidence to back up the claim that the door was inoperable. She retrieved a gun from the car, and reentered the house through the kitchen, and pointed the gun at her husband, who raised his hands in surrender. She then shot at him, and struck the wall next to his head. The bullet went through the wall, and entered the ceiling of the adjacent living room.

The husband and the 2 children fled to the back yard and called 911. The woman was arrested.

The aftermath

Ms. Alexander posted bail, and was ordered as a condition of her release that she have no contact with her husband or his children. She made contact with them anyway, and tried to convince them to lie at their deposition, to protect her. The husband changed his testimony to protect her, and was caught doing so. He later admitted that he had changed his testimony to help Alexander avoid prison.

In December, Alexander drove to the new house where her husband and his two children had moved after the shooting. That was when she attacked the husband, giving him a black eye, because he would not allow her to stay the night. She was again arrested and her bond was revoked.

Hardly self defense. she deserved every one of the 20 years that she got.

Here is my source.

Here we go again

Another black choirboy who has been arrested multiple times for burglary is shot while trying to burglarize a man's house, this time in New Orleans. He was seen by others in the neighborhood earlier in the evening, riding his bicycle with another black teen, apparently casing the neighborhood. The people were afraid to call police, because they didn't want to be accused of racism.

The person shot was a 14 year old with a criminal history:
Marshall Coulter, who had been on medication for attention deficit hyperactive disorder, was awaiting trial for "stealing stuff," his brother said.
"He would steal -- he was a professional thief, sure," David Coulter said. "But he would never pick up a gun, not in a million years. He was too scared to aim a gun at the grass, let alone aim it at a person. No way. Before he'll ever pick up a gun, he'll be your friend first.
Who was caught on a security camera entering the fenced yard of a home, and leaving a second black youth on the street as a lookout.
Here is a picture of the "sweet, innocent, 14 year old boy" that was shot:




People, locking their doors and afraid to go outside because criminals own our neighborhoods and our streets. If you go outside, and are confronted by a person not of your race, you have to take a chance and let them rob you while praying that they are not armed and won't decide to kill you. If you decide to defend yourself, the government will take everything from you and from your family. They will destroy you.

I predict a coming backlash against minorities, and a coming race war.

EDITED TO ADD: Here is a link to another article on the shooting.

Foreclosure scams

A new chapter in the Florida foreclosure mess has opened, as real estate scammers are renting out homes that are to be foreclosed, by posing as the home's owner. In this case, a pair of cops were arrested for the scheme. This is possible, because it takes years to foreclose a home, thanks to the criminal activity of the banks themselves.

People who are caught up in the fraudulent foreclosure system, where the banks gave loans to people that they knew couldn't afford them, so that those people could buy homes that were selling for far more than they were worth. The banks then paid appraisers to overstate the homes' value, and sold the loans off to investors before the first payment was due by calling them mortgage backed securities. The securities were rated as top notch investments by ratings firms, even though they were subprime loans. They created a company called "MERS" to aid in obscuring the fraud by taking mortgage transfers out of the public record and hiding them in a maze of private files.

The homebuyers soon defaulted, crashing the economy, and the entire deck of cards collapsed. The banks moved to foreclose, but had destroyed the paperwork. A savvy lawyer working in Jacksonville discovered the lack of notes and mortgages, and people began fighting the foreclosures. The banks responded by "creating" and forging paperwork. Banks were reportedly calling this the "art department."

They got caught, and lost quite a bit of money. In February of 2012, several banks came to a settlement with the federal government, where the banks paid $25 billion for wrongfully foreclosing on people's homes. The agreement settles state and federal investigations finding that the country’s five largest mortgage servicers routinely signed foreclosure related documents outside the presence of a notary public and without really knowing whether the facts they contained were correct.  Both of these practices violate the law. Federal and state governments received the lion's share of the money, and only $1.5 billion went to reimburse the people whose homes were stolen through this fraud. The politicians are bought and paid for. Of course, the homeowners are still able to pursue their own court actions.

This had the effect of slowing the foreclosure process, because in many cases, the banks cannot prove that the homeowner owes them any money. So now the other scammers move in: people are posing as the homeowner of vacant homes (sometimes the banks themselves), and are renting them out and pocketing the money. It is an added slap in the face that some of the criminals doing this are also the very police that are supposed to prevent that sort of thing.
 

Friday, July 26, 2013

A warning to youngsters

People signing up for EMT and Paramedic schools are at an all time high. The economy is so bad, that people are trying to gain job skills to be employable. Employers are taking advantage of this, and things are getting tight. In the peninsula of Florida, there are a few choices for EMT or Paramedic jobs:

1- Fire Department. This is a decent job with good pay, but the hours are long. You go to EMT school, and then Fire school. This takes about 7 months to complete. You take a certifying exam for both, and then start looking for work. Paramedic takes an additional year. Starting pay is $10-12 an hour for a Firefighter-EMT with no experience. Paramedics get around $13-16 an hour. Firefighters work 48-56 hours a week on average, so take home starts near $30,000 a year for EMTs, and $40,000 for Paramedics. Pensions are nor what they once were, but they are still better than most other professions. The real downside is that the competition is fierce. Even a "stepping stone" department, where many new firefighters get a job, earn experience, and them move on has a lot of applicants. Departments with a job opening are getting 200-300 applicants for each position. For that reason, there are so many unemployed people with firefighter certifications, that the state has largely shut down funding for the training of new firefighters. Unless you have experience or are a minority, getting a job as a firefighter is a long shot.

2- Hospitals, Doctor's offices, and clinics: These usually have decent hours, good working conditions, and pay varies widely. Hospitals pay well, and you usually work the Emergency Department in 3-12 hour shifts per week. Starting pay is usually $12 for EMTs and $16-$17 for Paramedics. Again, hard to come by, but not as hard as firefighter or theme park spots. You are restricted in what you can do by many places, so the work is not very exciting or challenging.

3- Theme parks: Even more difficult to get into than a firefighting spot, but the hours are great and flexible, and the starting pay is $14-16 an hour. Benefits are outstanding, if you can get a full time spot, but those are becoming as rare as unicorn sightings.

4- So you are then left with private ambulances. In this area, all these companies do is haul non-emergency medical patients between nursing homes, hospitals, and dialysis clinics. No 911 or emergency calls. In fact, in many counties, if the patient is emergent the ambulance is REQUIRED to pull over and wait for a 911 unit from the fire department to take over the patient. Starting pay is $9-10 for EMTs, and $13-14 for paramedics. Benefits are poor. Shifts are long, normally 12-14 hours each. You do not get a station to sit in on those times where you wait for your next call. You sit in the truck and wait. No reading, eating, sleeping, watching movies on your electronic devices, no texting, no phone use, and no drinking of anything except water. (Not even coffee) These jobs are easy to get, but turnover is high, and most people don't stay for long, using this place to get experience and move on. A person that stays at one of these places for more than 2 years becomes unemployable anywhere else, because many employers assume that you are stuck there for a reason.

One manager at a private ambulance company told me that his crews were not allowed to eat during shift, because he doesn't pay them to eat. Another told me that patient care is secondary to keeping the customer (nursing home, hospital, etc) happy, and that the patient was just cargo, and no one cares what cargo thinks. One of my former EMT students was told by an employer when he complained about working conditions, that for every EMT that was working there, there were 7 more looking for a job, and if he didn't like it, he could be replaced tomorrow.

Compare that to other jobs in the area: Fast food pays $8.50-9 an hour, or about as much as an EMT, and without the exposure to diseases that comes with EMT. Paramedic jobs that started at $14 an hour ten years ago are starting at $13.23 now. In comparison, my son went to nursing school after only three years as a paramedic, and his pay is now $32 an hour. Nursing school is the same length as paramedic, but more than double the pay.

There is a reason why the average EMT or paramedic spends less than 5 years in this job: injuries, poor working conditions, a lack of appreciation for hard work, and low pay all too frequently make the best and most talented leave. My advice to people that are thinking about a career in this field changed about two years ago: stay away.

Cooking the books

I will no longer post about the country's national debt. That number, as reported by the treasury, is no longer accurate. According to the US treasury, the national debt has remained the same (it is actually about $700 million lower) since May 31, at $16.738 trillion. Are you telling me that the Federal government has not spent any money in the past two months?
The books are either being cooked by changing accounting methods in a way that would have a private sector accountant thrown in jail, or the government is monetizing the debt like nobody's business, meaning that inflation, and lots of it, is on the horizon.
Either way, those figures are now meaningless.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Show me more money

Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis knows that I think traffic tickets are a form of extortion. I talk about this enough that I have assigned the topic its own label.

The last time I got a ticket was in 2001. I paid the $184 fine. Eleven years later, I began getting letters saying that the court miscalculated the fine, and I actually owed another $32. I refused to pay it. I pointed out that the statute of limitations has passed, and they can't do a thing about it.

So they sent me to collections. Now I get letters from a collection agency, and have been since last August. So far, I have received 22 letters. Now they are claiming that I owe $45. The letters have been increasing in frequency: from one a month last August, to one a week now. I have repeatedly told them that they can't put it on my credit report because it is over 7 years old, they can't do a thing about it legally, so I have no intention of paying. Since I am not going to pay it, they might as well save their money and stop contacting me.
 
Nope. Still getting the letters. Even though collection agencies are legally supposed to stop when you tell them to, in this case they are not required to, because they are collecting for the government. Another case of the government exempting themselves from the laws that the rest of us must follow.

Still not going to pay them. Still, how desperate is the government for more funding when they are reviewing cases that are a dozen years old?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Honest discussion

Early this morning, an Orlando police officer attempted a traffic stop on Bruton Boulevard near Chandler Street, which is near the corner of LB McLeod and John Young Parkway. He got into a gunfight with the occupants of the vehicle, and was severely injured in the exchange of gunfire. Two officers were shot, one of them fatally, on that corner 13 years ago. Some things never change.

23-year-old Demetrius Patterson was taken into custody shortly before 8 a.m. saying Patterson has been arrested 42 times prior to the shooting. Arrested 42 times by the age of 23. I looked up his arrest record at the Orange County Clerk's office website. Some of his arrests included selling drugs, 3 arrests for burglary, brandishing a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, along with two paternity suits from two different women, and that is just his adult record in only one county.

This area is in the middle of Florida's 5th congressional district, a highly gerrymandered district that is staunchly Democrat.The neighborhood where the shooting occurred is called "Richmond Heights," and is bordered on the east by Bruton Boulevard and on the west by President Barack Obama Parkway. The area is over 80% black. It is also a high crime area. It is bordered by the Pine Hills neighborhood to the north, which locals refer to as "Crime Hills."

Here is a youtube video that illustrates what is typical of the area:




So now you have a picture of what is going on.

The black community is filled with young males who are stealing, robbing, killing, dealing drugs, and breaking the law. The nuclear family has all but ceased to exist in the black community. These young criminals are then getting women pregnant, and the cycle starts all over.

Before accusing me or anyone else of racism and blaming us for the problem, why not start where the problem lies?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Who knows?

George Zimmerman is back in the news. This time, it is because he is a wannabe paramedic. Apparently, he rescued a family from their overturned vehicle on Thursday. This makes it appear to me that he is a genuinely good person, who actually wants to help people. The kind of person that I want to have as a neighbor. If Mr. Zimmerman were to move in next to me, I would invite him to dinner.
Conspicuously absent from any of the stories of this event is a description of the family he rescued, or their names. Could it be because they were not of a skin shade that supports the current narrative in the press? I have posted on this before: the press never notes race in a story, unless it makes whites look bad, then it is reported whether it needs to be or not.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Religion of peace

A woman is raped and calls the police.
A man witnesses a fight, and posts a video of it on the internet.

What do they have in common? They were both in an Islamic country, and these are both violations of Islamic law, so they both went to jail for over a year..

The religion of peace.

Seen on Facebook

Heh



Attitude changes

Last week, I was doing some online research for a Zimmerman post, and I ran across an interesting set of comments on an article about attempts to repeal Stand Your Ground and other self defense laws. There were commenters who were saying that they learned an important lesson from the Zimmerman case:

First commenter: Listening to tv/radio interviews, these uninformed people keep saying they want stand your ground repealed!!
Don't the ignorant idiots know that SYG was NOT used in this case??? It has absolutely nothing to do with the Zimmerman trial???
And why does the media keep reporting on this when they SHOULD know SYG has nothing to do with the case??? Why don't they tell these idiots that when interviewing them???


Second Commenter: Whether the law is repealed or not I don't intend to wind up the victim of a thug. I'll shoot first and take my chances in court.

Third Commenter:  just make sure it's in the dark and don't call 911, because obviously , calling 911 is a mistake, just pop the thug and leave the trash on the curb.

and after that, there were a bunch of comments agreeing with the third comment.  The Zimmerman case has done much to undermine the people's perception of law and law enforcement on both sides of the issue. Instead of describing the law and educating people on the truth and the law, the powers that be instead jumped on the bandwagon and, together with the media, have inflamed tensions.

Now no one trusts the law as much as they did before. Law is useless without the compliance of the people.

Not getting involved

Two women are carjacked in Orlando. The suspects in the case are described as being in their late teens to early 20s and ranging from 5-feet-5 to 5-feet-10. The police have released sketches of two of the three men who are suspected of committing the crime and are asking people to come forward if they recognize them.



I notice a few things here: when describing the men, you will note that there is no mention of their race, even though the pictures are clearly of black males. Something that I notice is that press reports of a crime where a white person is the victim and a black the suspect, the races of the people involved is never mentioned, even when it is important to the story. When it is a black victim and a white assailant, race is always mentioned, even when it is irrelevant.

The Channel 6 story is the same- no mention of race in the story. Read the comments here, if you want to see how attitudes are shifting. The entire Zimmerman affair has done a lot of damage to race relations in this country.

If I report seeing a person that matches the description of either of these guys to law enforcement, it can be used as evidence that I am a racist. I will take no chances.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Liar

On Friday, the President gave a speech to the nation, where he talked about the Zimmerman/Martin shooting. Here is the video and transcript of the speech. A money quote:

...if Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk?  And do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman who had followed him in a car because he felt threatened?  And if the answer to that question is at least ambiguous, then it seems to me that we might want to examine those kinds of laws...
 As a person who has supposedly graduated from Harvard Law, you would expect that Obama would have been taught that a person following another does not rise to the level of deadly force, nor does it even allow a person to use non-deadly force. In other words, just because someone is following you does not mean that you can punch or shoot him. 
Now since we can be fairly sure that a person who has graduated from Harvard Law, was the editor of the Law Review, and supposedly even taught law classes at Harvard would be knowledgeable enough to understand this concept, we must assume that he is being deliberately misleading. (In other words, lying.) The question then beomes: Why?
Now I have always been of the opinion that when a person asks the question of "Why do they?" or "Why don't they?", the answer is almost always: "Money." I don't think that is the case here. I think it is bigger than that.
It appears to me that the President is trying to stir up racial animosity and discord, but for what purpose? Is he trying to distract voters from his dismal record, and from the IRS scandal, Fast and Furious, his poor foreign policy, the NSA spying scandal, and other missteps? Possibly.

Is this just a part of his "under the radar" gun control effort? Chances are high there. Gun owners as a Democrat scapegoat is an old story.

Is he trying to stir up the black vote for the next election? Probably not. That election is too far in the future, and the American public has too short of an attention span for this to have an effect on the election a year and a half from now.

Could this discord be designed to cause a race war that will be used to cause enough strife for the President to declare martial law and suspend elections? Possibly, but HIGHLY unlikely. There are too many people, both within and without the military, that would oppose such action.

This could be a combination of the above, or there may be other reasons. There are more questions here than answers, but one thing is for sure: The President is lying.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Collection?

So now that the Justice Department has placed a hold on evidence from the Zimmerman case, we need to organize a campaign to get Zimmerman a new gun. We can perhaps take a collection and send the money to a gun store in the area, where Zimmerman can then buy his gun.

The attempted railroading continues.

They know not what they do

The people are marching. and protesting. Why? To have the 'stand your ground' law repealed because of the perceived racism of the Zimmerman case. The only problem is that blacks benefit from the SYG law at a rate far out of proportion to their presence in the state’s population.

Black Floridians have made about a third of the state’s total “Stand Your Ground” claims in homicide cases, despite the fact that only 13% of the state's population is black. This probably has to do with the fact that 52% of murders in the US are committed by blacks. (pdf alert)

With one third of the defendants in homicide cases who have invoked SYG being black, and 55% of those cases being successful, blacks are far more likely to suffer should this law be repealed.

One hundred thirty three people in the state of Florida have used a “Stand Your Ground” defense. Of these claims, 73 were considered “justified” (55 percent), while 39 resulted in criminal convictions and 21 cases are still pending.
Forty four African Americans in the state of Florida have claimed a “Stand Your Ground” defense. Of these claims, 24 were considered “justified” (55 percent), while 11 resulted in convictions and nine cases are still pending.
Of the 76 white people who have used the defense, 40 were considered “justified” (less than 53 percent), while 25 were convicted and 11 cases are still pending.
Ten Hispanics have used the defense, seven of them successfully, according to the database, which included George Zimmerman as a “Stand Your Ground” defendant.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

What do I tell the kids?

Protesters have settled in to the Florida Governor's office, using the Zimmerman case as a rally cry against 'stand your ground' laws, even though that law had nothing to do with the case.

Adora Obi Nweze, president of the Florida State Conference NAACP, in her letter contended that families don’t know what to tell to children on how to remain safe.
“This verdict has caused families to ask the question — ‘What should I tell my child in order to keep them safe and alive in Florida?” she wrote Scott.


Do you want to know what to tell your kids to avoid Trayvon Martin's fate?
Don't get suspended from school for drugs, vandalism, and possession of stolen property.
Don't get involved in street fighting.
Don't be racist. It is wrong to refer to people as "crackas."
and most importantly: Keep your hands to yourself, unless you are being attacked. Don't commit felony battery. The soft target you thought you were going to beat down may be armed.

Zimmernan: a case for gun control?

So there was a rally in Orlando yesterday, the 1200 people who were there blocked traffic downtown during rush hour. I am not sure what the Trayvon protests are about at this point. This time, they were using the incident to promote gun control, although I don't see how any gun control, short of an outright ban, would have changed the outcome here.
I think what we are seeing is the same disaster that the Occupy movement experienced: there are so many causes that would like to take advantage of the issue that the movement is falling apart like a wave that has hit the shallows. That wave has crested, and is now falling over under its own weight.

EDITED TO ADD: This again shows the abject failure that is the gun control movement. Using this racially charged case to make a gun control rally larger only garnered 1,200 marchers in a town that is 20 miles from the courthouse where the verdict was handed down, while the NAACP convention was in town.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Desperation

The Department of Justice Vengeance is now asking anyone with information that can be used to prosecute George Zimmerman to email their information. This is not an investigation, it is a witch hunt. I have NEVER heard of anyone getting this sort of treatment in the history of this nation. I am outraged.




George Zimmerman turned me into a newt!

I got better!



EDITED TO CLARIFY Monty Python reference



Look over there ------------>

The unemployment rate is a massaged number that many Americans pay attention to without thinking about the underlying data. The government claims that unemployment is only 7.6%. This is because many people are not counted, because the government, for one reason or another, claims these people are no longer in the workforce. Then they "adjust" the data seasonally. In other words, the data is manipulated.

Right now, there are 194.3 million whites in the US. Of those, only 116.1 million are working. That is an employment rate of 59.8%, and that doesn't discount people who are only working part time.
In the 13.3 million strong Asian community, 8.3 million are working- meaning an employment rate of 62.4%.
The Black community is hardest hit: only 16.2 million of 30.4 million blacks are working: just 53.3% of the population.

Between low employment, the IRS scandal, our overseas image, and all of the other problems, it doesn't surprise me that the administration is placing the spotlight on the Zimmerman case. It is a distraction from the real problem: The Obama administration is a disaster.

Funny

Nancy Grace and Brian Williams and a tough old U.S. Marine Sergeant were captured by terrorists in Iraq . The leader of the terrorists told them he would grant each of them one last request before they were beheaded and dragged naked through the streets.

Nancy Grace said, "Well, I'm a Southerner, so I'd like one last plate of Draper Valley fried chicken." The leader nodded to an underling who left and returned with chicken. Grace ate it all and said, "Now I can die content."

Brian Williams said, "I want to take out my tape recorder and describe the scene here and what's about to happen. Maybe, someday, someone will hear it and know that I was on the job till the end." The leader directed an aide to hand over the tape recorder and Williams dictated his comments. He then said, "Now I can die happy."

The leader turned and asked, "And now, Mr. U.S. Marine, what is your final wish?"

"Kick me in the ass," said the Marine.

"I'm NOT kidding. I want you to kick me in the ass," insisted the Marine.

So the leader shoved him into the yard and kicked him in the ass. The Marine went sprawling, but rolled to his knees, pulled a 9 mm pistol from inside his cammies and shot the leader dead. In the resulting confusion, he emptied his sidearm on six terrorists, then with his knife he slashed the throat of one, took the terrorist's AK-47, and sprayed the rest of them with gunfire, killing another 11. In a flash, all of the terrorists were either dead or fleeing for their lives.

As the Marine was untying Grace and Williams, they asked him, "Why didn't you just shoot them all in the first place? Why did you ask him to kick you in the ass?"

"What?" replied the Marine, "and have you two assholes report that I was a racist aggressor.....?"

Gun free zone

When you enter Universal Studios in Orlando, there is a search of your bag to ensure that you are not carrying in any weapons. It is purely for show. There are numerous security holes. There is a mini golf course, located in the nominally 'sterile' area beyond the checkpoint. Only a three foot tall fence separates the mini golf course from the area where cars are dropped off for valet parking. Getting a weapon past the checkpoint here involves simply getting out of your car in the valet parking area, throwing the weapon over the fence to an accomplice.
You can also enter the 'sterile' area by taking a water taxi from one of Universal's on site hotels, and bypass security that way. There are other ways, as well. Security theater.

There are other places that claim to be secure. Courthouses are a good example. Until a person kills a judge in his chambers.

If the powers that be cannot even safeguard a judge in his chambers inside of a building filled with armed cops, and metal detectors, how can the guarantee the safety of a disarmed public? The answer is: they can't. You are the person most responsible for your own safety.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Killing

There are a bunch of liberals who are claiming that they are going to boycott Florida because of 'stand your ground' laws. The latest of these is Stevie Wonder, who is claiming that he will boycott any state that has a 'stand your ground' law. So Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming are all off limits? Does this mean he will shut down the LA radio station he owns? Will he avoid his home in Woodland Hills, CA? Or is he just another bloviating idiot who doesn't know what he is talking about?

 What many of the liberals forget is just how Florida got to where it is with regards to self defense. In 1993, a British tourist was shot and killed by a group of teens, the youngest of which was only 13 years old. The 13 year old offender had already been arrested 15 times, the earliest of which was when the teen was 8. Also arrested were two 17-year-olds and a 15-year-old, according to reports. All were charged with murder and attempted first-degree murder. Gary Colley, 34, died in the driver's seat. He had been startled awake by young black males demanding money. His longtime companion, Margaret Ann Jagger, 35, left a trail of blood as she called an operator from a telephone only a few feet away and screamed, "There's blood all coming out of his mouth, and I think he's dying."

Colley was the ninth foreign tourist that was slain that year. The killings generated sensational headlines in European newspapers and led to mass cancellations of Florida vacations. In fact, 1993 marked the year that Florida was declared to be the murder capitol of America. This was a trend that was long in coming. In 1989, there were 35 tourists killed statewide. The rampant crime was one reason behind Florida becoming a 'shall issue' state.

That was the Florida that liberals would rather have than the one we have today.

Floridians decided to DO something about it. Each of Florida's rest stops had armed guards posted or were shut down if they did not.

Tourists still get killed here, but not as frequently. Look at this case from Tampa (just ignore the fact that it was committed by young black males- don't be a racist). Florida's murder rate tells the story:

1988 Florida Murder Rate: 11.5 Nationwide Murder rate: 8.5
1990 Florida Murder Rate: 10.7 Nationwide Murder rate: 9.4
1993 Florida Murder Rate: 9.0 Nationwide Murder rate: 9.5
1995 Florida Murder Rate: 7.35 Nationwide Murder rate: 8.2
1997 Florida Murder Rate:  6.9 Nationwide Murder rate: 6.8
2000 Florida Murder Rate:  5.68 Nationwide Murder rate:  5.5
2005 Florida Murder Rate:  4.99 Nationwide Murder rate: 5.6
2011 Florida Murder Rate: 5.2 Nationwide Murder rate: 4.7

Florida once had a murder rate that was 135% of the national average. Within 5 years, the state was lower than average. Now it has crept back up to 110% of the average. The difference is that we aren't going to stand for it.

Criminals gone wild

Fake or real? You decide:

Monday, July 15, 2013

Slander, ratings, and dead people= profits

The prosecutors in the Zimmerman case have decided to go out and accuse George Zimmerman of being a 'lucky murderer,' despite the fact that he was found not guilty.

The press continues to push this case and inflame racial tension. Why is that? The answer is simple: the more people who are killed, the more ratings increase, and the more profits are made.

Aftermath

Now that all is said and done, I am reflecting on the lessons of the Zimmerman trial. What can we as citizens take from this tragedy:

1 Stay away from neighborhood watch. All it got GZ was bankruptcy, a life of looking over his shoulder, near death, and an 18 month long fight for his freedom. Against what benefit? The HOA had to shell out more than $1 million to the Martins in a lawsuit. I submit that every home in that place being burglarized once a month for a year would have cost the homeowners of the community less money. In short, a community watch exposes your neighborhood to significant liability with no real benefit. After all, the only thing that a watch can do is phone police if you see a suspicious person, and you can do that without the liability of having a watch.

 2 Mind your own business. If you see a suspicious person, and he is not threatening you, a member of your household, or your property, leave it alone- especially if the person is of a different race than you are. If you call, the police will only use your call against you as proof that you are a racist, a cop wannabe, or something, in the event that you ever have to defend yourself.

3 Stay away from people that are not of your race. Avoid them at all costs, even going so far as to cross the street when they approach. The reason for this is to avoid, to the greatest extent possible, any risk of having to protect yourself from a person of a different race and being called a racist for not allowing them to kill you.
4 Video cameras. Install them outside of your home and in your car. Minimize the chance that an attack will result in your statement being the only evidence.

 5 If you DO have to shoot someone, tell the cops that you felt threatened, shot the person threatening you in self defense, and that you want to wait for your attorney before making any other statements. Use your phone to call a trusted friend or relative that has instructions on what to do in the event of this call. Make sure they have the number for an attorney. Then SHUT UP. Anything you can say now, you can say in an hour with your attorney present. If it will prove your innocence now, it will prove it in an hour.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Garbage passing as education

Do you want to know why college degrees are now worthless? This is what passes for education now: A paper written by the associate director of the Wellesley Collage Center for Research on Women, Peggy McIntosh. The title of the paper is: White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming To See Correspondences through Work in Women's Studies.

An excerpt:
Thinking through unacknowledged male privilege as a phenomenon, I realized that, since hierarchies in our society are interlocking, there is most likely a phenomenon of white privilege that was similarly denied and protected. As a white person, I realized I had been taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage. 

This is the stuff that people in Women's Studies majors are learning. This is what the "Justice for Trayvon" people are quoting as their argument. Welcome to the crazy years.

Corey and the meme

This is too funny to avoid posting:


It continues

Outraged that they are portrayed as criminals, the black community is busy proving them wrong by tweeting death threats, and rioting in Oakland. Aided by a press that is busy counting the profits that will be made from reporting the civil unrest, the NAACP calls for violating Zimmerman's constitutional protection against double jeopardy. This is far from over.

Where does Zimmerman go from here?

Here is the applicable law in Florida:

776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.
(1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer. As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.

 So sure, the Martins can sue Zimmerman, but the dirty tricks of suppressing discovery have alreadt been used, so the Zimmerman team will be better prepared. Then, there is the rest of the law:

(3) The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1).

So, if they try it, they will be suing a person who has no money, having spent it all in defense of his criminal trial. If they win, they get nothing. If they lose, they get to pay Zimmerman's legal costs.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Accept your beating

This is why no one who carries a gun should EVER allow himself to be punched in the head...

Rebellion? No, a massacre

The New Black Panthers Party has threatened “unrest all over America” if George Zimmerman is acquitted. New Black Panthers leader Samir Shabazz reportedly stated (unconfirmed):

“This time we’re doing it right… This time we’re not burning down our communities. This time we’re going out to Whitey’s suburbs and burning down HIS community. We’re going to make Whitey feel the pain.”
 The group used Twitter to say:

 “For the record whatever God moves Black People to do after the verdict, it can never be called a riot – it’s a rebellion,” 
  This will be a VERY expensive lesson, at least in this state. The National Guard is reportedly on alert, the cops are on alert, and there are a WHOLE lot of guns hereabouts.

Injustice

The state of Florida had information that was exculpatory to George Zimmerman, but withheld that information in violation of the law. An IT professional blew the whistle. That IT guy got fired, while the Special Prosecutor and the lead Prosecutor got their pensions illegally increased.

Nice.

Profiling

People keep saying that profiling is wrong. I disagree. Why would it not make sense to target law enforcement efforts where they will do the greatest good?
According to the Bureau of Justice statistics  (pdf alert), 22% of violent crime involved a weapon. When a weapon was used, a firearm was the weapon one third of the time. The most common violent crime was battery.

When it comes to age, 37% of people who commit murder are between the ages of 18 and 24. This demographic is twice as likely to commit murder than any other.

With regard to sex, males are eight times more likely to commit murder than females, with 89% of all murders being committed by males.

Blacks commit 52% of all murders in the US, and since they represent only 13% of the population, are 9 times more likely to commit murder than any other demographic.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics:

Black victims are over represented in homicides involving drugs. Compared with the overall involvement of blacks as victims, blacks are less often the victims of sex-related homicides, workplace killings, and homicide by poison. 

In fact, 65% of murders where a black man is the offender are drug related.

The BJS also had this to say:

The sharp increase in homicides from the mid-1980's through the early 1990's and much of the subsequent decline is attributable to gun violence by juveniles and young adults. 

Some will say that this is racism, but I am just stating the facts: The demographic that is most likely to commit a violent crime is a black male between the age of 18-24. So when a person says that George Zimmerman is wrong for profiling a young, black, male who appears to be on drugs, they are mistaken. The facts are there. Trayvon Martin was a young, black, male who was in fact on drugs. He was a criminal. Instead of spending their efforts on complaining about it, perhaps the time of the protesters would be better spent in preventing black youths from doing drugs and committing other crimes.

Political correctness

If Zimmerman is found not guilty, please remember to be sensitive to people seeking justice for Trayvon(TM) by rioting: They are not looters, they are 'undocumented shoppers.'

Friday, July 12, 2013

Layers of editorial oversight

A TV station proves that the mainstream media gets it wrong as often as the blogosphere when they report the supposed names of the Chinese flight crew involved in this week's plane crash. The reported names of the flight crew were:

- Capt Sum Ting Wong
- Wi Tu Lo
- Ho Lee Fuk
- Bang Ding Ow

Tell me again about how 'authorized journalists' are more accurate than bloggers...

This just in: The news station has released the name of the editor that reviewed the report for accuracy: Sum Dum Ho.

The wrong questions ...

As we await the end of the Zimmerman trial, I realized that lost in all of the arguments about race and the differing opinions on the meaning of this versus that, we have a fundamental problem: Everyone is treating this like a game. Some kind of sporting event, where the players try to gain advantage and  win the game, while the entire time we forget that the person who is accused has constitutional rights. Not just in this case, but in every case.

The entire point of having constitutional rights is to prevent mob rule, otherwise we would be a true democracy. The people who are the largest cheerleaders in this case are blacks, who more than anyone, will have to face the results of what the prosecution has tried to do to Zimmerman.

What did they do?
The prosecutor lied on the charging document. There is evidence of witness tampering, manufactured evidence, slow rolling of discovery, the hiding of possibly exculpatory evidence, misrepresentation of the facts, and many other violations, right down to the last minute addition of the murder by child abuse charge. Politicians interfered in the investigation by tainting witnesses and pushing for charges in order to advance their own political careers.

All of this has been lost in the argument of people who have been distracted into asking the wrong questions.

“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.” ~ Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

Thursday, July 11, 2013

GIGO

There is a new Android app that lists on a map all of the gun owners in your vicinity. The app relies on users reporting on where the icky guns are. The problem is illustrated by the maker of the app:

"The gun rights community has been busy making personal threats (we remain unconcerned), as well as spamming the Gun Geo Marker database with false markers," he exclusively told FoxNews.com. "Though these fake markers are not useful for identifying dangerous guns and owners, they are certainly representative of the highly paranoid reaction we have come to expect from any attempt to improve gun safety in the United States.
As far as threats, I remain doubtful that this is really happening, but I wholeheartedly recommend downloading the app and then randomly marking it. I also recommend marking the houses of cops, antigun reporters, and others, as well as police stations and other locations. Make the app useless and it will go away.

Blogiversary

Today, this blog turns five SIX years old. That is quite old for a blog, but I have to admit that I don't get near the traffic of the popular kids like Tam, Uncle, Law Dog, or AD. Each of those blogs inspired me to start my own. My first blog post as of this writing still has only 4 page views, and Tam is one of them. I made a few mistakes along the way, angered some, made others laugh. I've seen some blogs end: Kim, Kit, Breda, and others. I have found new blogs: Borepatch, Graybeard, and others.

I am not a terribly prolific blogger. I've only posted about a thousand times in that five SIX year period, not even averaging a post a day.

To this day, I still only get about 30-40 eyeballs a day, and although I had hoped when starting that I would get thousands, I blog now because I like to get my thoughts out of my head, and not because I care if people read them. That is why I blog: for me.

Anyhow: Happy Blogiversary to me.

Correction: This blog is six years old. I first posted in 2007.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Quote of the day

The quote of the day is from Sultan Knish, and he really brings the smart:

Neighborhood watches don't have to turn violent, but they exist because of the potential for violence in a society with plenty of law, but little order. The struggling middle class looks to the cops only to realize that the cops have their own job and it isn't to protect them, it's to protect each other. And so they become cops. It's vigilantism of a sort and it's a symptom of social collapse.

Read the whole thing.

The police are the enemy

It is often said that you should never talk to the police. I think that nothing illustrates this better than the Zimmerman case. This is a case where a man was calling the police as a member of the neighborhood watch- an organization established by the police themselves to encourage neighborhoods to be the eyes and ears of the police and report people and events that appear suspicious or possibly up to no good. By reporting these people, it seemed as if he was helping to improve his neighborhood. He called 46 times in four years. 6 of those calls were made about black males who were acting suspiciously. The fact that 6 of his 46 calls were made about black males is being used to "prove" that he is a racist.

 The tapes of his calls are being replayed in the court, and the words he used to report the suspicious activity are being used against him. I repeat- it is almost never a good idea to talk to the police. Remember, it is their job to put people in jail, and they aren't very particular about who it is that they arrest.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Book review

The following is from attorney Andrew Branca's book, released this week:

There were 5.8 million murders, rapes, robberies, assaults, and sexual assaults in the US in 2011. There were another 17.1 million burglaries and thefts. That’s a crime of these types for every 13.5 people. In one year alone.
This is why self defense is so important. It lies at the core of what it means to be free. Protecting our futures and our families against evil men is a fundamental human right. If you are anything like me, the alternative—to live at the mercy of evil people—is simply unacceptable. I will not.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “When seconds count the police are only minutes away.” This is not a knock against the police. Many officers are good friends of mine, and no police force can be everywhere. Nevertheless, calling the police when in danger will almost never help. The bottom line is criminals, like predators in nature, do not attack when conditions favor their prey, when the sheepdog is alert beside the sheep. Predators attack opportunistically when the prey is unprotected. In other words, when the cops can’t respond fast enough.
Read the entire introduction at the link above, and then go ahead and buy it. I know I did.
I am not affiliated in any way with Mr Branca, and have nothing to gain from this review. If you order it before a verdict in the Zimmerman trial, you get 20% off. Also, NRA/IDPA members can also use coupon code LOSD2-NRA at check out for another 10% discount and free shipping.
Excellent book, and well worth the cost.
I am adding his blog to my reader.

Use of force law

Here is a limited review of the law concerning the use of force. I am not a lawyer, and this is my opinion. In light of the possible riots that will follow a "not guilty" verdict in the Zimmerman trial, I think it prudent to review the self defense laws that may apply. The first thing to remember is that when a riot starts, the governor, sheriff, or other local official will likely declare a state of emergency. This means that he governor or other official may suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation of alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives, and combustibles. (state statute 870.044)(This means that you may not be able to get ammo or fuel during any unrest, and also means that your concealed weapons permit may not be valid during the emergency. Make sure you gas up your vehicles, and stay home during the emergency. Note what the law says:

870.044 Whenever the public official declares that a state of emergency exists, the following acts shall be prohibited during the period of said emergency throughout the jurisdiction:
(1) The sale of, or offer to sell, with or without consideration, any ammunition or gun or other firearm of any size or description.
(2) The intentional display, after the emergency is declared, by or in any store or shop of any ammunition or gun or other firearm of any size or description.
(3) The intentional possession in a public place of a firearm by any person, except a duly authorized law enforcement official or person in military service acting in the official performance of her or his duty.

When it comes to the use of force, Florida law says:
776.012: A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:
He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or
treason; murder; manslaughter; sexual battery; carjacking; home-invasion robbery; robbery; burglary; arson; kidnapping; aggravated assault; aggravated battery; aggravated stalking; aircraft piracy; unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb; and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.
The law also says:
A person is justified in the use of force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate the other’s trespass on, or other tortious or criminal interference with, either real property other than a dwelling or personal property, lawfully in his or her possession or in the possession of another who is a member of his or her immediate family or household or of a person whose property he or she has a legal duty to protect. However, the person is justified in the use of deadly force only if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person does not have a duty to retreat if the person is in a place where he or she has a right to be.

I would think that a person  walking down the street with a Molotov cocktail during a riot is about to commit the crime of arson and presents an imminent threat of great bodily injury. Keep calm, use your head, and stay safe out there.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Trayvon Martin and headphones

In the Zimmerman case, the woman who claims that she was the last person to speak with Trayvon Martin, claims that she heard the beginning of the altercation when Trayvon asked someone "Why are you following me?" and then a 'breathy' voice asked either (depending on which time she was asked) "What are you doing around here?" or "What are you talking about?" Then claims she heard an impact, as if the microphone hit Martin's shirt, and then she heard someone that she thinks was Martin say "Get off, get off."

The state has based a significant amount of weight on this testimony, but I believe that the facts show her version of events to be impossible. Let me explain:

Here are the headphones:




The headphones were not found on Martin. They were found and cataloged to be in his pocket:






This is corroborated by the label on the evidence bag:


and further corroborated by photos of the body, where the headphones are not visible:


Does anyone reading this believe that a person being attacked will take the time to place his headphones in his pocket while he is being attacked?

In short, this destroys any credibility that you can possibly give to Ms. Jeantel's testimony.







Contingency planning

One thing that I learned from years of working as an emergency responder is that we do not plan to fail, we fail to plan. For that reason, I always try to have a plan for various likely scenarios. Because of the likelihood of violence that would be brought about by a not guilty verdict in the Zimmerman case, I have reviewed and modified my family disaster plan.
My sister lives in a neighborhood that has a high probability for being involved in any violence that will develop, so I told her that she is welcome to stay here at my home with her boyfriend and her two daughters (my nieces). I was reviewing my preparations, and made sure that I had enough supplies for the seven people that will likely be staying here.
If I need to shelter in place and cannot leave, I have enough food for seven people to last about two weeks. I do not, however, have enough water storage for that many people. Need to think about that.
Communications are adequate.
Security is adequate.
Shelter is fine.
If we need to evacuate, there may be a problem with evacuating, because the majority of routes out may be problematic.
While I was doing this, my girlfriend said that it seemed like I was preparing for the end of the world. I told her that if you are prepared for a worst case scenario, then anything less than that is a cakewalk. Then I showed her reports from the King riots of 1992.
We will most likely gather at my home when the case is given to the jury, and will hunker down until a day or two after the verdict, to ensure that there will be no violence.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Part time work

Breitbart says that only 47% of Americans have a full time job. According to the Department of Labor, there are 116 million Americans working full time. The actual picture is much bleaker than that. There are about 4.5 million Federal employees. There are also 19 million local and state full time government employees. Subtracting those from the employment, and we see that there are only 93 million Americans working full time in the private sector. That's right- only about 1/3 of America is working to support the other 2/3.

This is being caused by the high cost of government mandated benefits for full time employees, in my opinion. A full time employee gets FMLA leave, free health insurance, and many other costly perks that part time employees do not. These benefits have pushed the cost of hiring full time employees past a critical tipping point, where the cost of hiring, training, and managing multiple part time employees is less than the cost of paying expensive perks and benefits. It is now cheaper to hire 2 people at 24 hours a week than it is to hire one person at 40 hours per week.

This will only accelerate the fall that I have been talking about for years. Hang on, this crash is going to hurt.