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Is Katherine Ann Power Violating the Law by Profiting from the Murder of Officer Walter Schroeder? Did Boston University and Oregon State Help Her Break Parole?

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In 1970, Katherine Ann Power helped murder Boston Police officer Walter Schroeder in a bank robbery.  Power was a college radical who was helping arm the Black Panthers by robbing banks and stealing weapons.  Thanks to her violent acts, rather than any discernible academic accomplishment, she is now a celebrity in academic circles, like many other violent terrorists of her time, including Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Susan Rosenberg, judge and “human rights” law professor Eleanor Raskin, and Obama Recovery Act advisor Jeff Jones.

Officer Walter A. Schroeder

Officer Schroeder, a member of an extended family of Boston police, left behind nine children who were raised by their mother in public housing following his death — and at least four of his children followed him into police work.  Schroeder’s brother John, also a police officer, was murdered on the job three years after Schroeder’s death.

As the Schroeder family mourned their losses, Power went into hiding, aided disgracefully by feminist activists who sided with a murderer over the widowed mother and nine children she left destitute.  Such is the power of sisterhood.  Power’s boyfriend and fellow murderer-cum-political-activist, Stanley Bond (they met at Brandeis, which was admitting ex-cons like Bond as part of a government rehabilitation project), was a prison pal of serial rapist-murderer Alberto DeSalvo, the Boston Strangler.  But of course, hanging with serial killer rapists is no impediment to sanctification if you also hate the right people, like police.  By preaching the murder of cops, then murdering a cop, Bond and Power earned eternal approval in faculty lounges.  A feminist collective in Connecticut helped her change her identity after Schroeder’s murder.  Then a group of lesbian activists in Corvallis, Oregon helped her become a restauranteur.

In 1993, Power emerged from hiding and received a token sentence for her crimes.  She was also on the receiving end of a tidal wave of positive publicity for the story she composed about her time in hiding, most disgracefully from Newsweek Magazine, which grotesquely equated her “travails” in the underground with the suffering of Schroeder’s nine children at his death.  Equally grotesquely, the New York Times’ Timothy Egan portrayed Power as a suffering, traumatized victim of conscience — and a pretty terrific cook, to boot:

The therapist, Linda Carroll, said she had never seen a psyche so battered as that of the fugitive, Katherine Ann Power. It was impossible for her to believe that this bespectacled cook with the terrific polenta recipe, a person who would cry at any mention of family, had spent 14 years as one of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 10 most wanted fugitives … Earlier this week, Ms. Power had a reunion with her family in Boston. On Wednesday, she was led in shackles to court, where she pleaded guilty.  Ms. Carroll saw her patient on television on Wednesday night; she saw that she was smiling. “I burst out crying,” she said. “I was so proud of her. She had walked away but she had walked away as a whole person.”

Carroll, Egan, and other attention-seekers piled on, shilling stories of their encounters with the beautific Power.  The murderer was credited with possessing a special sense of peace and enlightenment, something she is now monetizing in places like Taos, where she recounts her “journey”; the horrors of her brief prison sentence, and her current status as a “practical peace catalyst,” as she puts it.  This is a schtick she had perfected before emerging from hiding in 1993, when she hurried from perfunctory non-apologies to the family to immediately demanding attention through a “victim-perpetrator reconciliation program.”  Such programs, like many prison rehabilitation schemes, have become taxpayer-funded platforms for killers to goose their narcissistic pleasure through recounting crimes and claiming theatrical remorse.
At the time Powers was convicted, she was given a sentence that forbade her from profiting from her crime.  Her parole ended in 2013, and she is now making up for lost time, and cash: she has published a book, and the “Peace Studies” program at Oregon State University in Corvallis, where she lived in hiding for years, is honoring her this month.  Somebody should look into the legality of her earning money now from the murder of Officer Schroeder.

But even if she is permitted to profit now, did Power violate parole prior to 2013?  Powers’ sentence, and whether college and university presidents in Boston and Oregon helped her violate it, deserves further scrutiny.  Oregon State promoted her at an event that was held in 2001, while her parole restrictions on profiting from crime were still in place; they also awarded her a degree in Ethics that arguably was granted to her because of her notoriety.  Is there a paper trail on that?  She received a liberal studies degree from Boston University while incarcerated, a degree in which she wrote about herself being in prison: was this not profiting from her crime, too?

It is time to take a hard look at the blood money being earned by unrepentant criminals like Katherine Ann Power.  And any police officer residing in Oregon should call Oregon State to protest the current deification of a terrorist who preached the murder of police and then murdered a police officer.  You’re paying for it with your tax dollars — in fact, given the federal subsidies that are the lifeblood of all of higher education, we’re all paying for Katherine Ann Powers and her murderous academic peers.  Here is the contact information for the Oregon State’s president.

Katherine Ann Power, Enjoying her Newsweek Cover

When Katherine Ann Power was featured as a damsel-in-distress on the cover of Newsweek, one of Walter Schroeder’s children, then-Sgt. Claire Schroeder, delivered this powerful response:

“When Katherine Power and her friends robbed the State Street Bank in Brighton with semiautomatic weapons, my father responded to the call. One of her friends shot my father in the back and left him to die in a pool of his own blood. Katherine Power was waiting in the getaway car, and she drove the trigger man and her other friends away to safety.

“Twenty-three years later, Katherine Power stands before you as a media celebrity. Her smiling photograph has appeared on the cover of Newsweek. She has been portrayed as a hero from coast to coast. Her attorney had appeared on the Phil Donahue show. [She] is receiving book and movie offers worth millions of dollars on a daily basis.

“For reasons that I will never comprehend, the press and public seem more far more interested in the difficulties that Katherine Power has inflicted upon herself than in the very real and horrible suffering she inflicted upon my family. Her crimes, her flight from justice and her decision to turn herself in have been romanticized utterly beyond belief.

“One of the news articles about this case described it as a double tragedy–a tragedy for Katherine Power and a tragedy for my father and my family. I will never comprehend, as long as I live, how anyone can equate the struggle and pain forced upon my family by my father’s murder with the difficulty of the life Katherine Power chose to live as a fugitive.

“Some of the press accounts of this case have ignored my father completely. Others have referred to him anonymously as a Boston police officer. Almost none of the stories has made any effort to portray him in any way as a real human being. It is unfair and unfortunate that such a warm and likeable person who died so heroically should be remembered that way.

“One of the most vivid pictures I have of my father as a police officer is a photograph showing him giving a young child CPR and saving that child’s life. I remember being so proud of my father, seeing him on the front page of the old Record American, saving someone’s life. Years later, when I was a 17-year-old girl at my father’s wake, a woman introduced herself to me as that child’s mother. I was very proud of my dead father.

“More than anything, my father was a good and decent and honorable person. He was a good police officer who gave his life to protect us from people like Katherine Power. I do not doubt for a moment that he would have given his life again to protect people from harm. He was also a good husband and he was a good father. I have been proud of my father every single day of my life. I became a police officer because of him. So did my brother Paul, my brother Edward and, most recently, my sister Ellen.

“My father had so many friends that we could not have the funeral at the parish where we lived because it was too small. On the way to the church the streets were lined with people. As we approached the church, the entire length of the street looked like a sea of blue–all uniformed officers who had come to say goodbye to my father. I saw from the uniforms that the officers had towns and cities all across the United States and Canada. I felt so proud but so hollow. I remember thinking that my father should have been there to enjoy their presence.

“When my father died he left behind my mother, who was then 41 years old, and nine children. He wasn’t there to teach my brothers how to throw a football or change a tire. He wasn’t there for our high school or college graduations. He wasn’t there to give away my sisters at their weddings. He could not comfort us and support us at my brother’s funeral. He never had a chance to say goodbye. We never got a last hug or kiss, or pat on the head.

“Murdering a police officer in Boston to bring peace to Southeast Asia was utterly senseless then and it is just as senseless now. The tragedy in this case is not that Katherine Power lived for 23 years while looking over her shoulder. The tragedy is that my father’s life was cut short for no reason, shot in the back with a bullet of a coward while Ms. Power waited to drive that coward to safety.”

As the late Larry Grathwohl observed, the terrorists of the Weather Underground, the Black Liberation Army, the Black Panthers and other violent groups were not seeking peace: they were seeking communist victory and protracted, bloody revolution on the streets of America.  It is shameful that Oregon State University is honoring a murderer and terrorist in a so-called “peace program,” or any other academic pursuit.  It may be illegal that they endowed her with academic privileges and resources in the past.  Anyone wishing to share information for making the case that Powers illegally profited from her role in the murder of Officer Schroeder at Oregon State, Boston University, or at the Unitarian Churches that hosted her “peace” talks should contact this blog.

In 1970, Katherine Ann Power was radicalized by Stanley Bond, a killer empowered by the Brandeis University scholarship he was given because he had committed violent crimes; 43 years later, Power is being similarly empowered to deliver her coded messages of hate to new generations of impressionable students.  Whether or not Katherine Power can be held responsible for breaking the terms of her parole, it is time to start holding colleges and universities responsible for the fiscal support and academic honors they shower on people who murder police and others.  These academic officials have made their institutions accomplices to murder.

Varieties of Self-Pity and Murder: Aaron Alexis and The New York Times

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Little is known about the twelve victims brutally murdered by Aaron Alexis, but the New York Times, in a banner article, wants you to know that their killer had an “interest in Thai culture.”

Well.  That gives him a softer profile, doesn’t it?  Buddhism, Thai language skills, plus dubious claims about oppression by the police, society, white folks, his neighbors, PTSD, his employment contract, the construction guys parking outside his house, 9/11, and so on, equals victimization lottery for Mr. Alexis.

Delicate embroidery of this monster’s alleged inner conflicts equals gross disrespect for the humanity of his victims.

But . . . he was interested in Thai culture.

Yeah, whatever.

The impulse to humanize some (not all) stone-cold killers is yet another force tearing us apart beneath the pulsing throb of identity politics.  This loser killed twelve innocent people, but in the New York Times he has been vetted and given security clearance for a high-level empathy assignment based undoubtedly on his race, his hobbies, and the particular insinuations of persecution being made in the wake of his bloodbath by people who somehow managed to do nothing all those other times he used a gun to express his inside screamies.

Take his roommates, for example.  They ought to trashcan their Rebel Without A Cause blather about the sensitivities of their mass-murdering “best friend.”  But instead, they’re in the Fort Worth Star Telegram pleading for understanding about how the Alexis they knew felt sad if he couldn’t chip in for the utilities while he spent his time learning the right kind of foreign languages and appreciating their food culture.  The roomies are more circumspect about that gun incident in 2010, when he shot through the floor of his (their?) neighbor’s apartment (missing the woman by mere feet) because he imagined she was being too loud.  Then, he lied to the police about it.

Why didn’t he serve time for that?  Because we live in a police state where everyone in prison has been wrongly convicted, so a neutered justice system decided not to prosecute the Thai-speaking pseudo-traumatized Mr. Alexis, perhaps.

The same result came of Alexis’ 2004 attack when he shot out the tires of a car driven by construction workers whom he also suspected of “disrespecting” him.  How many times, precisely, do you have to unload a gun in the direction of total strangers without suffering consequences for it?

The “media debate” about Aaron Alexis’ twelve murders has already been slotted firmly into the usual categories: we need more gun control from the Left; we need fewer restrictions on guns so people can defend themselves from the Right.  While I side with the fewer restrictions camp, I wish people on all sides would bother to add the caveat: crimes committed with guns must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  Guns don’t kill people: people kill people, and especially, un-convicted recidivists kill people.  Enforcing the law without leniency appears to be the one thing that was not tried.

Slapping this bastard in prison for shooting out his imaginary nemeses’ car tires in Seattle, or for shooting into his neighbor’s apartment in Fort Worth might have shaken him loose of his malaise of self pity — or maybe not — but at least it’s hard to go on a shooting spree from behind bars, and it’s hard to buy weapons when you have weapons convictions.

Why demand more gun control laws when you won’t enforce the ones you have because that might result in people you feel empathy towards serving time?  Why demand unlimited rights to bear arms legally if you won’t defend the law when guns are used illegally?

At different times, Aaron Alexis told police that he had fired a gun in a “black-out . . . fueled by anger”; that he had fired a gun because he had been through 9/11; that he had fired a gun because he had been “disrespected,” and that he didn’t mean to fire a gun at the neighbor he had threatened repeatedly, but his hands were slippery and it went off.

This is what happens when laws are not enforced.  In Seattle, the construction workers whose car tires were shot out by Alexis were curiously unwilling to press charges.  They didn’t respond to police requests and avoided police contact.  Why?  Probably they were here illegally.  When people won’t participate in the system because they’re also criminals, what’s left is anarchy.

And why anyone would defend anarchy while demanding more gun control laws is beyond me.

Meanwhile, the New York Times also wants you to know that Aaron Alexis was himself very extremely diverse.  As if afflicted with verbal incontinence, the Times can’t stop talking about the killer’s diversity or his taste in ethnic food.  Maybe the only people left in the newsroom are so marinated in this blather that they are incapable of writing anything else.  Diversity is the spoon of sugar that makes the banality of evil go down:

Mr. Alexis was born in Queens in 1979 and was representative of the borough’s diversity. He was African-American, grew up in a part of Queens that was home to South Asians, Hispanics and Orthodox Jews, and embraced all things Thai while living in Fort Worth. He worked as a waiter at a Thai restaurant, studied the language and regularly chanted and meditated at Buddhist temples.

What is this, a singles ad?  The bastard killed twelve people.  I don’t care what he ordered at lunch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank Goodness They Aren’t Hate Crimes: Just Torturing and Burning Three Women in Detroit

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It’s not like a lynching, or what happened to Matthew Shepard.

Well, actually it is just like lynching, and it precisely like what they did to Matthew Shepard, only three times, and using fire.

But whoever did it just did it to women so Eric Holder and Elena Kagan made sure, in 1997 and at the behest of Bill Clinton and an alphabet soup of activists, that crimes like this don’t count as hate.  And non-hate rape-torture-murder is not as bad as hate, as Holder told Congress — “don’t let anyone tell you hate crimes aren’t worse,” he shouted, “they are worse!”

So, according to our nation’s highest law enforcement officer, this is a less-worse-not-nearly-as-bad kidnapping, torture, sexually violating, and burning alive thing.  None of the neighbors being interviewed seem to agree:

DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit police are wondering if they have a serial attacker on their hands after a third woman’s burned body was found on the west side.

The woman’s body was discovered Saturday morning inside a home at the Mildred Smith Manor II apartment complex in the 1300 block of Forest Avenue, between Trumbull Street and the Lodge Freeway.

Fire Chief Jack Wiley said the grim discovery was made after firefighters extinguished a small blaze at the complex.

“It’s a young lady, I think, I’m not sure. All I could see was the leg and it looked like the leg of a lady than more of a man. So, I’m not sure yet,” he said.

Wiley said it’s too soon to tell if the woman, who hasn’t yet been identified, was murdered.

Women do not count as much as gays, or minorities, or Muslim people, or other people who do count.  Get it?

There are three women now — tortured, violated, set on fire.  Where is the Department of Justice?  Still trying to figure out if they can charge George Zimmerman with something.  Women don’t matter; especially, women victims of serial killers don’t matter, because Elena Kagan, the ADL, and Eric Holder didn’t want to muss up the hate crime statistics with the quantities of dead women who tend to accumulate:

Police say it’s the third case in recent weeks where a woman has been set on fire and left for dead. However, investigators aren’t yet sure if the cases are connected. In late July, two women were found just miles apart in vacant fields – both severely beaten and without any clothing.

The first woman was found around 5:50 a.m. July 26 in the 12800 block of Eaton, near Meyers Road and Lyndon Street. Police say the 37-year-old was physically assaulted and had burn marks on her body. She was in critical condition after the attack, but is now in stable condition.

Just over 24 hours later, the second woman was found around 7 a.m. July 27 at Elmira and Iris Streets, near Plymouth and Meyers roads. Police say the woman, believed to be in her 20s to 30s, was physically and possible sexually assaulted. She was listed as unconscious and in critical condition after the attack. Her current condition is unknown.

Of course the media’s in collusion with those who don’t want the following question asked:

Exactly how many women do you have to snatch off the streets, violate, torture and set on fire before someone admits it’s a hate crime?  

They’re keeping real quiet.  Thanks for getting the memo, guys.  Here are some of the journalists studiously not asking that question:

Michael Walsh, New York Daily News

Gina Damron, Detroit Free Press (heck, let’s include the whole FREEP staff — they’ve barely covered it)

Fox News/MyFoxDetroit

The Whole AP

The New York Times hasn’t weighed in at all: they’re too busy blaming taxpayers for not bailing Detroit out again.

How about the activists?

Southern Poverty Law Center?  Nope.  They are, however, reassuring the world that that hate crime in California where Kassim Al Himidi claimed prejudiced Americans broke into his house and murdered his wife in an anti-Muslim hate crime just turned out to be Kassim Al Himidi killing his wife and blaming it on prejudiced Americans.  Thank goodness it wasn’t hate.

National Organization For Women?  Nah.  They’ll warm a bit if the women all turn out to be gay and the attackers are the last three Klansmen blogging in a basement in Lansing.  Otherwise, have at, woman-killers.  Plus they’re super-busy demanding justice for Trayvon Martin and continuing to complain about sexist Superbowl Ads.

The NOW has always been terrible on violence against women.  They didn’t even want to include it in their first mission statement.  Some feminist studies Grrl Friday should take a stab at researching that.

Human Rights Council?  Are you kidding?  As far as we know, these are heterosexual women, not people.

The same thing happened in Detroit in 2011: two burned bodies were found on Christmas day, two others a week earlier.  I can’t find anything else on that case: four women burned beyond recognition.  Here’s another question we should be asking: how did some lives become so cheap to the government?

Shameless New York Times Shills Jimmy Carter and Terry Gross’ Killer Pal, Wilbert Rideau

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The Times is at it again.

Today they ran another propaganda piece by NPR’s favorite lying murderer, Wilbert Rideau.

Rideau has been playing the race card for decades to admiring gaggles of journalists, after murdering a young bank teller and trying his best to kill two other people.  Not that you’d know that from reading the Times — they erase Rideau’s crimes from the record.  He is black and tells them what they want to hear: therefore, his white victims do not exist.

Today the Times gave Rideau an international platform to whine about how long it takes to get a can of tuna in prison.

This dehumanization of the people Rideau tortured and killed is not even an ethical speed-bump for the criminal fetishist class, which includes Terry Gross (who has a creepy passion for Rideau), Jimmy Carter, and George Soros.  You can read about their connections in my post on the real story of Wilbert Rideau, here.

Missing from the New York Times article, in addition to Rideau’s crimes, is the list of posh awards and privileges he’s been granted.

When I wrote about Rideau, I received very interesting mail from someone who actually served time with this unrepentant murderer.  He tells a very different story about Rideau’s claims of persecution and his behavior in prison — the behavior that got him solitary in the first place.

But with the Times censoring the comment threads today, kiboshing any negative comments about their Wilbur, you won’t hear facts there.

Lies upon lies upon lies upon lies.

There is no barrier of decency — no pile of victims’ bodies — that the Times won’t steamroll to indulge their fantasy of persecuted criminals cruelly imprisoned.

Speaking of twisting crimes to serve political purposes, I recently took a look at Alex Jones.  And while I’m appalled at his willingness to exploit mass murders, whitewash evidence, and even deny that they occurred, he’s an amateur at these things compared to the New York Times.

Jones and his InfoWars followers may be excusing the culpability of some killers in order to indulge a fantasy of “false flag” government plots, but at least they don’t go around handing out literary prizes to thugs who stab women to death (Rideau), or kill cops (Mumia Abu Jamal), or murder women then rape their dead bodies (Winston Moseley, killer of Kitty Genovese and others).

The Times has lobbied for all of these criminals to be released.  They even ran editorials advocating for serial killer-corpse-rapist Winston Moseley to be let out, ’cause he had been “rehabilitated.”  If you want to read the whole sordid tale, you’ll have to go to my homepage and go to page 78 of the pdf there.  It’s a shameful story: virtually nothing you know about the Kitty Genovese case happens to be true, thanks to the Times.  They pretty much invented the whole thing so they could blame Genovese’s neighbors instead of blaming Moseley.

Now there’s a false flag operation for you.

Here are some more New York Times killer whitewashes:

 Father Moloney

Judith Clark

Jim Jones (Jimmy Carter’s all over this killer stuff)

Humberto Leal (Jimmy Carter again)

Patrick Wiese

 

 

Gun Control is a Distraction: the President is Sending Grief Counselors.

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 . . . And, Lester Jackson on Benny Lee Hodge, Sonia Sotomayor, and Apologies for Mass Murderers

Great Leader chatter about Obama healing the nation is engulfing every network news station — including Fox — following the mass killing in Connecticut.  Was it always this way?  I’m thinking back on Columbine, David Koresh, Oklahoma City — is anyone else getting nostalgic for mere partisan political jabs in the wake of grim and senseless violence?  There is something profoundly creepy about the bureaucratic/therapeutic/paternalistic vibe emanating from Washington.  Of course, this is part of the Department of Justice’s ongoing efforts to expand their mission beyond crime control . . . to social control.  Flying under the flag of “anti-bullying,” “hate hurts,” “restorative justice,” and “prisoner re-entry,” the Department of Justice continues its Great March behind the Great Leader into people’s lives, this time using the excuse of a nut with a gun.

The goal isn’t merely gun control.  Gun control is a speed bump on the way to social control.

In order to align law enforcement’s activities with the agenda of collectivism, it is necessary to either therapeuticize or politicize every crime.  One or the other: a school shooter is generally therapeuticized.  He falls into the category of “victim,” probably of bullying, so long as he didn’t express any of the select group of “hatreds” that are deemed atrocities and thus politicized.  Luckily for school shooters who target females, that particular preference has been slotted back into the inconsequential category, and as it is the only category of shooter choice that has manifested in recent school shootings, school shooters generally just get counted as victims of social suffering — the therapeutic slot.  The Department of Justice is making noises about social bullying today, for example — it’s the stuff on which they can build expensive and intrusive bureaucracies without violating Eric Holder’s allergy to incarceration and law enforcement itself.

So, expect a lot of talk about bullying from the nation’s federal law enforcement agency — and everyone else — in coming weeks.  Ironically, early reports suggest that the killer in this case may have been systematically encouraged to see himself as a victim of “bullying” and social maladjustment.  There’s something to contemplate as the experts descend on schools throughout the nation to cash in on the actions of one unstable individual: might we produce fewer school shooters if we had fewer school professionals encouraging children to see themselves as victims — of garden-variety bullying, social slights, and social exclusion?

For if there’s one common thread that ties together otherwise diverse killers, bank robbers, terrorists, street thugs, and assorted psychopaths, it’s self-pity.  So as the armies of school psychologists and grief counselors and other soft-soap contract-remunerated social engineers fan out across the land, think about both intended and unintended consequences.  It’s bad enough that the federal government is using a tragedy to grow the bureaucratic-therapeutic federal government machinery, but is it even worse than that?  Are we growing future criminals in the process of therapeuticizing violence?

I was driving through South Georgia when the news reports of the Connecticut shootings broke.  It may be Terrific in Tifton but it’s darn hard to get A.M. radio reception from the highway there, so we had to listen to public radio.  “Obama Will Save Us” positive visualizations popped up immediately, with NPR devoting its earliest hours to Dear Leader chatter and gushing praise for the FBI.  Why the FBI?  Because the federal government was on the way to save the day.  Not that they actually did anything.  But the purpose of NPR is to justify federal powers and federal funding — for themselves and for actual government officials.  So they talked obsessively about how wonderful it was that the FBI was doing this and that for local law enforcement, even though local law enforcement was doing the actual work.

The therapeuticization of justice dictates two responses to crime.  Offenders are transformed into victims of society, and victims are transformed into suspects, at least until they demonstrate that they are also willing to blame society and not the individual offender for victimizing them.  Once everyone agrees that society is at fault, the experts can step in to dictate the cure, which involves creating more therapeutic non-incarcertive responses to crime.  Response is an artful term: it expresses the bureaucratic view that we are one enormous sensate organism reacting with animal reflexes to pain or shock.  If criminals are simply part of the sensate whole, how can we blame them for their actions?  It’s like blaming us . . . well, we are blaming us.  We are all responsible: nobody is responsible.

The alternative view is to accept the existence of moral choice and individual responsibility for crime, followed by judgment and consequences.  As readers of this blog have learned from the anonymous Professor Dunderpants of CUNY’s Media Studies Department, merely believing in such things is considered terribly primitive these days, and not the sort of good primitive that stimulates the anthropology department.  It is bad primitive to  harbor a secret belief in free will these days, let alone express it publicly.

The power to transform criminals into victims and victims into suspects — to dictate not just the administration of justice to the guilty but the emotional responses of everyone to crime — is a tremendous, intrusive power cupped in the hands of the bureaucrats calling the shots.  Fascist power, one might say.  Soft fascism.  The creepy kind.

Therapeuticizing criminals is the end-game of the social roots-theory of crime.  Roots theory was invented by sociologists in the 1960’s who wished to displace responsibility for criminal actions away from the criminal himself and onto society — onto injustice arising from poverty and prejudice in particular.  Poor and minority offenders, the story goes, are not responsible for their actions: they are merely reacting to injustice directed at them when they steal your car or mug your husband or rape your sister.  And social engineering is, of course, the only known cure.  Forty years later, the roots-theory movement has expanded to the point that it may even be applied to a young white male from an upper-class suburb who just slaughtered 20 innocent schoolchildren.  In coming days, even the most rational expressions of anger at the shooter will be quickly smothered by ministrations of therapeuticized justice in the government and the media.

Let the intensive policing of the innocents begin.

          ~~~~~

Related:  Lester Jackson has a compelling article about Justice Sotomayor and judicial sympathy for repeat killers in American Thinker today.  It’s a timely read:

 As detailed elsewhere, pro-murderer media suppression of the truth has played a major role in enabling a wholesale evisceration of capital punishment. Justice Sonia Sotomayor recently provided a graphic example, one that would be excruciatingly painful to survivors of murder victims if they knew about it. Many people unfamiliar with the practices and philosophy of the current Supreme Court would very likely be shocked to learn just what values some justices hold. . .

When pro-murderer justices seek — often successfully — to focus upon criminals rather than crimes, the result is to grant certain perpetrators greater protection against punishment for their brutality than others who commit identical or less serious acts without Supreme Court succor. The reductio ad absurdum, of course, is the Court’s fiat proclaiming a Constitutional right, nowhere to be found in the real document, for the most depraved and vicious barbarians . . .

Read the rest here.

And see also:   Rwanda and Columbine: The Politics of Forced Reconciliation

PBS is Re-Educating America’s Schoolchildren, One Cop-Hating Poster at a Time. So . . . Give Your Money to the Kurt Wyman Fund Instead

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Mary Grabar (of the excellent blog Dissident Prof) and I have a new report out at  Accuracy in Media.  It’s about the political manipulation of schoolchildren by PBS Teachers:

PBS: Re-Educating America’s Schoolchildren, Thanks to Your Contributions

Part of our report discusses a PBS lesson plan in which students are encouraged to “learn about historical research methods” by investigating the origins of a cop-hating poster that was plastered around Chicago during the 1968 Democratic Convention riots.  Of course, the lesson plan celebrates the protesters and doesn’t mention the slaughter of police and others by the Black Panthers, Weathermen, and radicals associated with them.  The Panthers, for example, are described as social workers who fed children breakfasts and taught them about politics.

Sort of like PBS:

These “educators” behave as if they’re just teaching children how to gain library skills while using the word “pig” to refer to police over and over again.  I hope our report shows how far from pedagogical decency PBS has strayed.

If not, here’s an anecdote:  

Thanks to the generosity of the Alexander Hamilton Institute, I’m staying for the month in Clinton, New York.

The town of Clinton could not be more bucolic, in a Mennonites-and-hippies-selling-whoopie-pies-and-heirloom-tomatoes-in-the-town-square sort of way.

But bad things happen everywhere.  I was walking around town buying whoopee pies and heirloom tomatoes yesterday, and I saw a different kind of poster about cops.  This one was promoting the second annual Kurt Wyman Memorial Ride.  Kurt was a 24-year old war veteran, sheriff, father, and husband gunned down protecting the people of this beautiful place.

His wife gave birth to their second child upon hearing of his murder.  I previously blogged about him here.

Now imagine a world where teachers educated their students about the poster below, instead of slyly celebrating the cop-hating one above.  This world does exist, of course.  It exists in the town square of Clinton.  It exists just about everywhere, but it does not exist at PBS, which uses our tax dollars to train children to see cops as less than human.

Instead of donating to PBS this year, why not send your money to the Kurt Wyman fund to support the children he left behind (information below), or the Kurt Wyman Memorial Park (information here), or the Kurt Wyman scholarship fund (link needed).

Then, be sure to send PBS a letter telling them why.

 KBW Ride 6437 Pillmore Drive Rome, NY 13440.

 

Today, Seattle: Tomorrow, Tampa. Or, It’s Not Registered Gun Owners Mayor Buckhorn Should be Complaining About.

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While the Tampa City Council and camera-hungry Mayor Bob Buckhorn eagerly grandstand (with the aid of the MSM, of course) about the non-issue of legally registered gun-owners having their weapons with them during the Republican National Convention, take a good look at the types of problems they’re refusing to confront: violent Occupy/black bloc/anarchist thugs destroying businesses in Seattle Tuesday — and sure to be on their way to Tampa for the Republican Convention in August:

Watch the video here.  It’s disturbing. (someday, I’ll learn to imbed YouTube videos as well as the average 8-year old): wYT82Fec3cQ

Where, you might ask, are the Seattle police?  Well, spineless Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn probably reined them in, afraid that any response to these destructive thugs would turn into accusations of “police brutality” and the inevitable lawsuits.  At 2:23 in the video, the police show up . . . on bicycles.  How would you like that to be your son or daughter, wading into a hostile, club-wielding mob on a bicycle because the mayor wants to placate . . . the hostile, club-wielding mob?

Seattle Mayor McGinn.  Don’t bother shaving or anything, dude.

So businesspeople trying to make a living in Seattle are left to the mercy of the mob while the Mayor placates the looters.  Note the number of businesses that already have plexiglass or covered windows because of previous riots.  Taxpayers who pay extra to have storefronts in downtown Seattle?  Screw ’em.  Elected officials there have decided it’s worth risking the lives of their police and the safety of their citizens and the profitability of their business class — all to score brownie points with a bunch of inarticulate, screaming animals who will not only not be placated, but will be empowered by the Mayor’s impotent “gesture.”

Of course, Mayor McGinn gets a taxpayer-funded security detail.  The employees at that Niketown store being mobbed by thugs?  Not so much.  And when the store closes because its evil corporate overlords decide that it’s just not worth doing business in a place where elected officials privilege thugs over decent, ordinary citizens and businesspeople, those employees won’t have jobs, either.

I have a lot of faith in the Tampa and Hillsborough County police forces, and in the Chief of Police and the Sheriff.  But Mayor Buckhorn and some members of the Tampa City Council are beclowning themselves — on our dime — with hysteria over registered guns and other non-issues, while pandering to the wishes of the ACLU, which apparently has a direct line to the Mayor that ordinary, taxpaying citizens lack:

City officials met last week with the American Civil Liberties Union about “an exhaustive list of things” the ACLU thinks impinge on protesters’ First Amendment rights, said Joyce Hamilton Henry, director of the ACLU’s Tampa office. “The city was very receptive,” Hamilton Henry said.

How nice.  Now it’s time for Mayor Buckhorn to stop playing games and get serious.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.  On a Segway.  What is it with Mayors and Segways?

~~~~

Because, these people . . .

. . . are coming to Tampa for the Convention.  And if I owned a business in the protest zone and had to shut down for a week, or shell out money for new windows, or security guards, or worry about my employees getting to and from their cars — I’d be mightily pissed off watching Mayor  Buckhorn preen for the national press over his registered-guns hobbyhorse.  I’m outside the city limits, and believe me, Bob, such feelings — and business interests — don’t stop at the train tracks.

Speaking of pissed, here’s the reason they’re banning squirt-guns at the convention:

Bottles of Human Waste for NATO Protesters to Throw on Chicago Cops

From Second City Cop, a blog out of Chicago:

This is part or the whole of an extensive stash of bottles recovered in the 010th District the other day. All filled with human waste and no doubt whatever extra fecal matter the ne’er-do-wells were able to pick up on the parkways. Counts range from 100 to 500 bottles recovered depending on the rumor you believe.  We’re sure this isn’t the only stash floating around out there. How about the Department try something novel and get the media to cover what the protestors and anarchists are planning and maybe get the public overwhelmingly on our side?

Good question, as usual, from SCC.  Someone should ask Tampa Mayor Buckhorn the same.  He could have gotten behind his city’s police officers, and gotten out in front of this, and explained the squirt-gun ban to the public, but that might have cut into his gold-plated national media tantrum.  So he said this, instead, and his pals at the Tampa Times let him get away with it.  Without, like, asking any hard questions:

“The absurdity of banning squirt guns but not being able to do anything about real guns is patently obvious,” Buckhorn said.

In other words, why behave responsibly when you can glom a few moments scoring political points on the national news — after all, what’s a few cops being doused with urine and feces (and urine mixed with bleach, and battery acid, and other silly protester stuff?)

By the way, the allegedly peaceful Tampa Coalition to March on the RNC has already issued a declaration that they stand by “diversity of tactics.”  This means, specifically, that they are rolling out the welcome mat for black bloc/anarchist and other violent protest.

So, did the mayor ask any questions about this the last time he chummily confabbed with the protesters’ lawyers at the ACLU?  

Did anyone in the media bother to ask him why not?  

Nope.  They were too busy featuring giggly thingies like this, who think it’s hilarious to mock security efforts designed to keep all of us safe — conventioneers, protesters, business owners, but most especially the police, who will be the ones dealing with the thugs — that is, when they aren’t busy arresting this woman again, when she probably ought to be at her desk at work — working for the taxpayers who employ her, that is . . .

Arrested Occupy Protester, AFSCME Union Rep, Public Employee: Your Tax Dollars at Work

So long as Mayor Buckhorn and his echo chamber at the Tampa Bay (formerly St. Pete) Times keep attacking law-abiding gun owners instead of the anarchists and Food-not-Bombs lunatics and their black bloc “diversity of tactics” peers, our brave cops can expect to be soaked with human waste; business owners can expect to be cleaning up broken glass and laying off workers, and the rest of us can expect to be footing the bill for the mayor’s pre-emptive lack of spine.  As a taxpayer, I keep expecting something something different.  But I know that’s just a personality flaw.

 

 

Father Moloney Jokes About His Role in Brinks Robbery: The New York Times Fetishizes Another Terrorist

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With enough clichés to fill a file cabinet labeled Boy’s Town, the Order of St. Duranty of the prefecture of 8th Avenue absolved another preening terrorist last week.  And, look!  It’s yet another radical chicklet involved in yet another Brinks Robbery.  I’m sorry, I mean Father Radical Chic, the Reverend Patrick Moloney, who still thinks it’s extremely funny that some poor innocent Brinks guards suffered the hell of guns held to their temples.  Moloney got to wallow in a big pile of money before getting caught and serving a few token years.

Yon Patrick: you don’t hold a gun to the temple of an innocent and then change the location of the money, you chase the money changers out of the  . . . oh, never mind.

Moloney was given a slap on the wrist.  Why, I wonder.  I guess “who” is actually the cogent question.  Dead . . . Kennedys?  The Reverend does not regret his involvement.  Rather, he gleefully admits he dines out on it.  Nor has it harmed his career.  Nice.  Then consider this blog post my contribution to Catholic Charities this year, ‘kay?

 Praying for Murdered Brinks’ Employees?

Before, during, and after Moloney served time, he was lavished with impressively selective Times profiles praising his commitment to “causes.”  He was thus given a platform to claim he was a political prisoner; to claim that the U.S. was using his faith to punish and essentially torture him, and to promote himself as a hero of conscience on the grounds that he wouldn’t cooperate in defending himself because he was protecting illegal immigrants.

Except, he had defended himself.  And none of the rest of it was even slightly believable.

I believe in believing people when they say they hate you and accuse you of wrongdoing.  The accusations Moloney levied against our justice system and Italians in particular and Americans in general should have banished him from decent society, not burnished his caché.  If such things matter, falsely accusing the American public of persecution for being a priest ought to mean something, not mean nothing.  And if false accusations matter so much, why is it that they don’t matter at all when they’re directed at certain people, like Italians, or Americans, or the prosecutors who did a fine job proving their case?

Instead of correcting the record, the Times buries it while swooning about Moloney in creepy fake brogue:

AH, now here comes Father Moloney, ambling down East Ninth Street in his priest’s outfit, a crucifix on a heavy chain around his neck.

This cuddly 80-year-old priest with the Limerick lilt doesn’t exactly look like “the underground general” of Irish Republican Army gun runners, as one British intelligence officer pronounced him in 1982.

“That’s what he called me,” said the Rev. Patrick Moloney, chuckling . . .

Har, har.  Funny stuff, written by the doubtlessly entirely objective Corey Kilgannon: after all, who couldn’t trust someone who calls a terrorist “cuddly”?  So why was Mr. Moloney — thugs do not deserve honorariums, especially when they use them to terrorize innocents — really arrested in Ireland, Corey?  Oh, never mind.  Let’s get on to the stateside sadism:

He sank into a sofa, leafed through his mail and launched into another story, this one about serving four years in federal prison in the 1990s in connection with a $7.4 million Brink’s armored car robbery in Rochester — at the time, called the fifth biggest Brink’s robbery in history — which authorities said he helped pull off to fill I.R.A. coffers.

Isn’t it weird how at the paper of record, killing or at least threatening to kill Brinks employees is sort of the equivalent of turning wine into water?  Judith Clark helped off a couple of cops and Brinks guards in 1981 and even though one of the cops turned out inconveniently to be black while dying, she still qualified for the Times’ beatification beat 3 months ago.  Now it’s Moloney’s turn:

Father Moloney, a slight man with a short gray beard and glasses, emigrated from Ireland in 1955 and, inspired by the Catholic activist and anarchist Dorothy Day, began his ministry for the poor in the blighted East Village. He battled the gang leaders and drug dealers as ferociously as he now fights the developer-gentrifiers.

Bla, bla, bla.  Moloney performs what he thinks are good deeds, so it’s OK to have all those gun-running, innocent-person-torturing incidents in his past.  By the way, why didn’t the Times ask Moloney about that very inconvenient unsolved murder tied to his crimes?  The one where the buddy of his buddy got hackled to pieces in upstate New York, and his remains just got identified in December?  December, 2011.

Gibbons went missing in August of 1995 after he told a friend he was driving to Rochester to get his cut of the [Brinks robbery] millions.  Greece [N.Y.] Police say while this began as a missing persons case, that changed after body parts were found in Jefferson County in 1999 and 2000.  Those remains were just recently identified using DNA.  The Medical Examiner in Onondaga County found that the remains were those of Gibbons and that this was a homicide.

You see, after the Brinks robbery, the money not found in Father Pat’s pockets went missing.  And then this guy decides he wants his cut of it, and he goes to get it in 1995 and ends up hacked to pieces like some extra in the Sopranos.  But you can’t blame this one on my people (though Moloney tried to do so): this is the IRA and its sleazy apologists at the Times, who somehow never manage to get around to mentioning Moloney’s very recently identified, long-missing pal, or the December I.D.’ing of the body parts scattered all over upstate New York, what with all the column inches they have to dedicate to smiling Irish eyes and cups o’ tea and pretending that sheltering terrorists isn’t a federal offense.

Here’s the Times’ entire statement on the missing millions.  They calls this reporting.  In Gaelic, though, it is colorfully known as a lieae:

While Father Moloney was in federal prison — he called himself a political prisoner — “Free Father Pat” graffiti was scrawled around the East Village [of course it was].  The remaining $5.2 million in Brinks money was never found. Certainly Father Moloney never showed signs of getting richer. He has lived like a monk, sleeping in a closet-size room on a cot stretched over his filing cabinets.

Meanwhile, Ronnie Gibbons sleeps with the potatoes.  Can’t the people at the Times at least pretend to stop stroking terrorists?  Didn’t they watch the towers fall?  Has anyone they love ever had a pistol held to their skull?

Is this stuff really just an opportunity to mock normal people?

It is to Moloney:

 Father Moloney . . . used the Brinks publicity for his causes and never missed a chance to gleefully snub the authorities about it.  “I rubbed the government’s nose in it,” he said, and he poured himself a cup of Irish tea.

Of course.  Of course the whole hacked-up bodies, gun-to-temples, supporting terrorists, blarney clap-trap parade gets ignored by the people who are supposed to offer moral guidance or enforce immigration rules . . . so what does the Church do to stop this blight on their honor from continuing to spit in the face of the cops and security guards kneeling in the pews?  What does immigration do about what they haven’t ever done about this treasonous thug, who admits to other crimes, which he calls not-crimes, which doesn’t mean they weren’t, just that the Times won’t ask for anyone else to weigh in for, like, accuracy:

He has defended and hidden fugitives, the undocumented and I.R.A. members on the lam. The list includes relatives of both Gerry Adams and Malcolm X, he said. They have stayed in the secret apartments he has kept around the city for this purpose, some of them in public housing. “I have never broken a law, but I have circumvented most of them,” he said, fingering his ever-present prayer beads, a mischievous glint in his eye.

In a YouTube video, Moloney’s got some strange stories about living posh and the usual vague claims about racists burning down his stuff, which drew him approbation and likely big funding –funny, how unsolved fires and unsubstantiated accusations so frequently turn into cha-ching for America-hating faux humanists.

I also wonder how many of the people who gave him cash knew about the $2 million in extracurricular Brinks fundraising found in his safe, or the “foot found on Lake Ontario,” the “partially clad torso” in Cape Vincent, or the gym shorts of said torso tied to the New York Athletic Club and now confirmed to be associated with the disappearance of the robbery money not found in Molony’s possession.

Moloney “[s]ays proudly that he worked with Robert Collier and other Black Panthers, and that he met with Yasser Arafat,” though the Times plays a bit coy with that last bit.  I wonder if he’s won any awards from PEN yet.  Probably has to raise his body count first.

Or, start rhyming.

~~~
Patrick Moloney tried to get a pardon from President Clinton in 1998.  It didn’t work out.  But it’s pretty clear the New York Times has just added him to their recent pin-ups for pardons.  Grounds for inclusion appear to consist primarily of loathing America, succoring terrorists, and/or just being one.
Garden variety felonious sad-sacks, take notice: assume a radical political identity immediately — or, you need not apply.

 

Jack Dunphy: the Real Tragedy of Trayvon Martin

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When you want to know about homicide and race, or race and the media, or the media and crime, or crime and politicians, ask a cop:

When a local crime story explodes into the nation’s attention, it is worth asking why it has done so. According to the FBI, a murder occurs every 35.6 minutes in the United States, yet few of these killings garner any notice at all beyond the neighborhoods where they occur. So when any one of America’s roughly 15,000 annual homicides attracts what would seem an inordinate level of interest, we are left to wonder why. Are the people involved emblematic of some larger trend? Do the details of the crime offer instruction on how similar crimes might somehow be averted in the future? Or is there some other explanation, one that reflects the choices made by those who decide what stories they see fit to present to their audiences?

Surely the shooting death of Trayvon Martin is no exemplar of some national trend. Though his alleged killer, George Zimmerman, has claimed he shot Martin in self-defense, such “justifiable” killings totaled only 326 in 2010, nearly twice the number reported in 2000 but still a tiny sliver of the total number of homicides reported to police. And even if Zimmerman is shown to have acted illegally in shooting Martin, would this crime reflect some national outbreak of vigilante violence among neighborhood watch volunteers?

No, there has been no such outbreak.

So how to explain the fascination with Trayvon Martin’s death? In dispatching swarms of reporters to Sanford, Florida, where Martin was killed, our sophisticated betters in the media have sought to cloak themselves with cheap grace. They focus on one victim whom they perceive to be — and whom they present to be — an innocent victim of an unprovoked shooting, while ignoring the incalculably larger problem of violent crime in America’s black communities.
Read the rest at Pajamas Media.

There’s Nothing “Senseless” About Nicholas Lindsey’s Killing of Police Officer David S. Crawford

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The St. Pete Times (now Tampa Bay Times) has run its latest sob story** about an accused killer, this one Nicholas Lindsey.  True to form, the Times announces in its headline that it will explore why life unravelled for the St. Petersburg teen.

There is the usual objection to be made about such stories.  The reporting is all about the killer’s alleged good qualities, and the reporters work hard to diminish the killer’s responsibility, even though doing so crudely diminishes the value of the murdered police officer’s life.  Buying a Pepsi for a teacher is presented as mitigation against murdering a good man in cold blood.  In the past, I’ve had reporters from that paper tell me they believe they are being “balanced” in their reporting by telling the sob story of the murderer one day and the life story of the murder victim the next, as if doing so balances some ethical scale.

And so, the brute known as mawkish sentimentality strangles moral perspective at her rickety desk in the darkest corner of newsroom.

But even if one sets the lack-of-human-decency objection aside, the reporters still failed.  They failed to explore what they claim to have set out to explore, which is the alleged “unravelling” of Nicholas Lindsey’s life.  The young man committed other serious crimes and apparently faced no consequences for them, but the reporters don’t want to talk about this, so they shove it away quickly, as if it is irrelevant.  In doing so, they deny the very thing they claim to be seeking: the reason why Lindsey went so wrong so young.

Nicholas Lindsey had already been caught and arrested, found guilty, and allowed to walk out of some courthouse laughing over prior crimes.  His father and brother, too, served time.  This ought to be the beginning, middle, and end of the search to explain Lindsey’s escalation to cop-killing, but the reporters do not linger on the subject.  Why?  Have they internalized anti-incarceration biases to the point that they actually believe his prior record is irrelevant?   Or are they that afraid of ruffling the feathers of those who control the anti-incarceration message by shouting “prejudice” when anyone broaches the subject?

Either way, the prior crimes are brushed over, and the “unravelling” is presented as a “mystery” and also a “surprise.”  This is a complete fabrication.  There is no mystery.  There is no surprise.  The reporters scurry away from the facts, tumbling over themselves to reach the only acceptable meme, the “too many minority youths are incarcerated” meme.  Here is the story they must tell, the only story they allow themselves to tell: the prior arrests are irrelevant because punishing the youth for them would have been prejudiced; “gang life” has simply “changed” an otherwise decent young man; the young man is not really responsible for the murder he committed because he is a decent young man, only changed by gang life; more money spent on more social programs for youths who commit crimes is the only answer: thus the only real villain is anyone who refuses to throw more money at youth programs in St. Petersburg . . . a city that already has more youth programs than cockroaches.  Yet young black men keep killing each other and innocents who cross their paths.

There is a great deal of money to be had in this view, and real danger in questioning it.  There is, in fact, a virtually unlimited amount of money to be had in this view, for every time a young person commits a crime, that crime may be used as evidence of the need for more “programs,” which keep bad kids out of jail to commit more crimes, thus increasing the need for more programs.  The alternative — arguing that a youth who steals a car ought to go to jail so he learns his lesson if he is capable of learning a lesson — is virulently attacked as pure racism by the anointed experts who populate every university and law school, federal agency, and editorial board.  Who wants to risk that?

Here’s a question: what comes first, the social program or the teen murderer?

This is less a journalism problem than an “experts” problem.  The journalists just carry the experts’ water.  And so, after closing their eyes to the only real clue and tiptoeing cautiously around the other taboo — assigning blame to the killer’s drug-selling, absentee dad — the St. Pete Times reporters are left with nothing but an embarrassing handful of anecdotes about a violent young man’s paltry virtues: a soda purchased for someone, Lindsey not screaming at a teacher in detention once, an ex-girlfriend who has a mother who is eager to insert herself into the news.  The reporters talk about the killer being a “shy wisp” of a boy and bemoan the “fuzz” just “starting to grow” on his face.  This is repugnant stuff, but it’s all they’ve got because they won’t ask the real questions.

Here are the questions they refuse to ask: who is the judge who let Lindsey walk on previous serious crimes?  How many other youths who walked out his or her courtroom committed more crimes, destroying their lives and others’?  What can be done about it?  Who in our justice system bears responsibility for the legal decisions that enabled Lindsey to be free to commit more crimes?

And this: if Lindsey’s parents were so worried about their son’s involvement in gangs, what, precisely, did they do when he was previously arrested?  Why did they let him advertise his gang connections on Facebook?  Why didn’t they move away from the apartment complex which, allegedly, as the reporters choose to assert as undeniable fact, was the sole source of Lindsey’s transformation into a murderous gang-banger?

If the bar to acceptable behavior is set so low in Lindsey’s community that multiple car thefts aren’t taken seriously, then somebody decided it would be so.  Members of that community who really want change should be protesting outside the courthouse, demanding that judges and prosecutors save young men’s lives by throwing the book at them the first time, and every time they break the law.  They should be sitting alongside the police, who are attending Lindsey’s trial in street clothes because they are not allowed to wear their uniforms, lest doing so deprives the murderer of every little drop of the sympathy the activists deem as his portion.

I know there are people in that community who want to support law enforcement and want to do it out of love for the children who grow up to be Nicholas Lindseys.  I’ve worked in communities like the one that produced Nicholas Lindsey and met those people.  But they are silenced by wealthy and powerful anti-incarceration activists, people who don’t live in or visit such places.  The good people trapped in bad neighborhoods will never be heard so long as the elite activist class — and their eager water-carriers in the media — continue to silence them.  More Officer Crawfords will be murdered as a result, and more Nicholas Lindseys will live their ruined lives behind bars.

But the activists and the reporters will feel virtuous.  And isn’t that all that really counts?

 

 

**bad link, try: http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/article1220622.ece, or: At 16, Life Unravels for St. Petersburg Teen Accused of Killing Police Officer

Al Sharpton: Why Doesn’t The Media Remember His “Whore” Moment?

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Don’t get me wrong: it’s always nice to see this disturbed hate-clown get even a little piece of what he deserves:

But Sharpton’s distaff comments about gays are not quite the right focus for the current scandal over Rush Linbaugh calling women s***s, Bill Maher calling women c***s, NPR comic Marc Maron wishing violent rape on Michelle Bachmann, or various other public figures and human rights activists dropping b-bombs and other slurs on women (note: by “various other public figures and human rights activists,” I mean every gay male political activist I’ve ever known, several well-placed professional lesbians, Salon’s entire “sex-positive” girl-staff, and the earth-shoe-wearing-man-heroes of the liberal Left).

Too few of the writers objecting to Sharpton’s play-doh-like transformation into cultural decency arbiter on MSNBC are recalling his really relevant slurs — the ones against the Central Park Jogger.

Sharpton and his sidekick Alton Maddox assembled and egged on protesters who called the jogger a “whore” and called her attorney “bitch,” “white devil,” “witch,” and “slut.”  He announced that he didn’t believe that she was actually raped or beaten into a coma.  Sickeningly, he demanded that she be examined by a psychiatrist and accused her boyfriend of being “the real” rapist.  He tried to incite violence against her, nearly succeeding, just as he threatened violence against the Pagones family after orchestrating Tawana Brawley’s false rape accusation against Steve Pagones.  Thanks to the racial hatred stirred up by Sharpton, the Jogger, who had been left for dead by her attackers and also left with brain injuries, was forced to arrive and leave the courthouse under heavy security.

Of course, there were no consequences for Sharpton . . .

Are commentators now worried about bringing up these subjects because of the subsequent vacating of the sentences of the Central Park’s Jogger’s assailants?  They shouldn’t worry: the acquittals were false.

As of today, Townhall’s Larry Elder is the only journalist who has mentioned the lynch-mob hatred Sharpton whipped up against the Jogger and, by extension, other white victims of interracial rape.  Elder writes:

In 1989, a young white woman, dubbed the “Central Park jogger,” was monstrously raped and nearly beaten to death. Sharpton insisted — despite the defendants’ confessions — that her black attacker-suspects were innocent, modern-day Scottsboro Boys trapped in “a fit of racial hysteria.” Sharpton charged that the jogger’s boyfriend did it and organized protests outside the courthouse, chanting, “The boyfriend did it!” and denouncing the victim as a “whore!”

Sharpton appealed for a psychiatrist to examine the victim, generously saying: “It doesn’t even have to be a black psychiatrist. … We’re not endorsing the damage to the girl — if there was this damage.”

Elder feels the need to note that the defendants in the Jogger case had their sentences vacated in 2002, but he didn’t look closely enough:

(The convictions of the accused were eventually vacated, despite their taped confessions, after another man — whose DNA matched — confessed to the rape in 2002.)

The vacating of those sentences was a travesty, orchestrated by activists, an aged and compromised Robert Morgenthau, and a cowardly judge, all of whom knew that the youths’ confessions were limited to information that was not in any way contradicted by the later revelation that the sole DNA found at the crime scene belonged to serial rapist/killer Matias Reyes.  None of the defendants’ confessions indicated that they had ejaculated at the scene of the crime: they had only admitted that another man committed the rape as they helped restrain and torture the young woman.

Reyes himself admitted the crime only after the statute of limitations reportedly ran out — which should never have happened.  He was already serving 33 to life, with the strong likelihood of no release for the serial rapist murderer, whose crime “signature” included offering victims “their eyes or their life” and stabbing them around the eyes to enhance the terror of his attacks.  Already convicted for vicious crimes including the rape/torture/murder of a pregnant woman in front of her children, Reyes’ subsequent “confession” that he was the sole assailant should never have been believed — nor did police and prosecutors involved in the case believe it.

”He is a complete lunatic,” said Michael Sheehan, a former homicide investigator whose work helped prosecute Mr. Reyes for the murder of Lourdes Gonzalez.

Ann Coulter documented the entire sordid saga of the vacating of the sentences in her book Demonic and was hysterically persecuted for doing so.  Prosecutor Linda Fairstein was accused of a wide variety of sins for speaking the truth about the evidence in the case: the few others defending the convictions were also tarred, but not in the personal, racial way reserved for Fairstein, the victim, and later, Ann Coulter.  The Village Voice stooped to new racial lows by insinuating guilt on the part of the victim, who implicated nobody as she remembered nothing of the attack, and sleazily accusing Fairstein of “Ash-blonde Ambition.”

Others who should have spoken out about the travesty of wrongful acquittal remained silent, doubtlessly out of fear of the racial cudgel.

Coulter courageously spoke out:

On April 19, 1989, a 28-year-old investment banker went for a run through Central Park, whereupon she was attacked by a violent mob, savagely beaten, raped and left for dead. By the time the police found her at 1:30 a.m. that night, she was beaten so badly, she had lost three-fourths of her blood and the police couldn’t tell if she was male or female. The homicide unit of the Manhattan D.A.’s office initially took the case because not one of her doctors believed she would be alive in the morning.Confessions were obtained in accordance with the law, with the defendants’ parents present at all police interrogations. All but one of the confessions was videotaped. After a six-week hearing solely on the admissibility of the confessions, a judge ruled them lawful.At the trials, evidence was ruled on by the judge and tested in court. Witnesses were presented for both sides and subjected to cross-examination.One witness, for example, an acquaintance of one of the defendants, testified that when she talked to him in jail after the arrests, he told her that he hadn’t raped the jogger, he “only held her legs down while (another defendant) f–ked her.” (That’s enough for a rape conviction.
In the opposite of a “rush to judgment,” two multi-ethnic juries deliberated for 10 days and 11 days, respectively, before unanimously finding the defendants guilty of most crimes charged — though innocent of others. The convictions were later upheld on appeal.The only way liberals could get those convictions overturned was to change venues from a courtroom to a newsroom. So that’s what they did.The convictions were vacated based not on a new trial or on new evidence, but solely on the “confession” of Matias Reyes.Coincidentally, this serial rapist and murderer had nothing to lose by confessing to the rape — and much to gain by claiming that he had acted alone, including a highly desirable prison transfer.As with the tribunals during the French Revolution, the show trials were based on a lie, to wit, that Reyes’ confession constituted “new evidence” that might have led to a different verdict at trial.In fact, Reyes’ admission that he had raped the jogger changed nothing about the evidence presented in the actual trials. It was always known that others had participated in the attack on the jogger. It was always known that none of the defendants’ DNA — a primitive science back in 1989 — was found on the jogger.This is why prosecutor Elizabeth Lederer said in her summation to the jury: “Others who were not caught raped her and got away.”The only new information Reyes provided was that he was one of those who “got away.”But 13 years later, the show trial was re-litigated in the backrooms of law offices and newsrooms by a remarkably undiverse group of Irish and Jewish, college-educated New Yorkers. They lied about the evidence in order to vindicate a mob and destroy trust in the judicial system.

The sentence vacating was orchestrated and exploited by Innocence Project activists who felt no compunction about subjecting a brutalized rape victim to injustice and even more unnecessary suffering.  It also greased Sharpton’s re-entry into power society — all on the back of an innocent rape victim.

(Guy in the middle is Obama Education Secretary Arne Duncan.  Because hanging out with people who try to get mobs to attack a rape victim is so . . . educational.)

Now the Innocence Project  is codifying its lies about the Jogger’s assailants in their false science of “wrongful conviction causes” and shilling state-by-state legislation based on the same.

And abetting them are professors from every law school in the nation.  No legal academician, to date, has demonstrated a drop of intellectual integrity regarding this case or the entirely faked “statistics on wrongful confession,” “statistics” produced almost wholly from this single case.  Law professors collectively lack the spine — and ethics — to risk being targeted if they dare to question the Innocence Project’s increasingly wild statistical and causal claims.

Many people voiced compassion for the Jogger in 1989, but virtually nobody stood with her in the wake of this misogyny-drenched, manufactured, legal re-lynching.  This time, as we revisit Al Sharpton’s violent, prejudiced, hate-mongering, the real story should not be ignored.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sandra Fluke isn’t a Slut, But She’s a Nasty Piece of Work . . .

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. . . lying to Congress about rape that way.

Fluke testified that she knew a fellow Georgetown student who opted to not report a rape because she was worried that her insurance wouldn’t cover the rape examination:

One student told us that she knew birth control wasn’t covered, and she assumed that’s how Georgetown’s insurance handled all of women’s sexual healthcare, so when she was raped, she didn’t go to the doctor even to be examined or tested for sexually transmitted infections because she thought insurance wasn’t going to cover something like that, something that was related to a woman’s reproductive health.

This statement is utterly unbelievable.  Does anyone really believe in the existence of a Georgetown student who was raped, then decided to not report the existence of a dangerous, predatory criminal because she might have to pony up more than a co-pay to have a rape kit examination?  Does anyone believe that this alleged victim wouldn’t at least call 911, or the local rape crisis center, or the Georgetown Woman’s Center, or any of the student anti-rape groups that plaster campuses with their posters denouncing rape, if she was that worried about paying for a rape kit in the aftermath of experiencing a rape?

If this extremely politically convenient woman really does exist, then any of those phone calls would have reassured her that, thanks to the hard work of people like . . . me . . . no woman in this country needs to pay for a rape kit.  The federal government requires states to cover these costs at the risk of losing funding.  Washington D.C. also covers the costs.  State victims’ compensation boards cover the costs.  Rape kit collection is covered even if a woman decides to have a rape kit collected while choosing to not report the rape to the police.

But even if this unlikely, unsympathetic, alleged victim does exist, Fluke’s testimony is still a lie because it was designed to exploit this non-issue.  Ms. Fluke exploited real rape victims in order to advance a non-argument for prescription coverage for contraceptives: what on earth should we call that?  She tried to create false fear about the cost of rape kits in order to promote a different cause.  And that is exploitative.  Repugnant.  If one real victim worries about this now because Sandra Fluke used rape victims’ fears this way on the witness stand, then it is on Fluke’s head, and on the heads of the other professional reproductive rights activists who carefully tooled this testimony alongside her.

Yet not one congressperson challenged Fluke’s rape kit testimony.  Not one mainstream media reporter paused for a gut-check . . . or a fact-check.  The last time anyone in the media bothered to talk about rape kits was during Sarah Palin’s run for vice-president.  Back then, Salon and Huffington Post and a thousand Democratic operatives tried like hell to pin the “not paying for rape kits” charge on Palin.  They never found a smoking gun, but the story made national news, not once, but over and over and over again.

They didn’t do this because they cared about rape victims in Wasilla.  They did it to play a political game, with rape victims serving as the kickball.  That’s how much leftists, and leftist feminists, really care about real rape.

It should be noted that in the wake of Fluke, not one rape crisis representative has come forward to reassure women that they will not have to pay for rape kits, not in Washington DC, not anywhere in the United States.  Where are these advocates?  Where are all the professional rape crisis workers, the people paid to tell the rest of us these things, because it is supposed to be so important to educate the public and dispel misconceptions and encourage reporting?

Where are the campus rape activists, who ought to be out there reassuring women that they don’t really have to pay if they go to a hospital for medical care after a rape?

Where are Tori Amos and Christina Ricchi and Neil Gaiman, those brave spokespeople who lend their names to RAINN, the very well-funded, national, message-driven-anti-rape-non-profit that is supposed to exist to do rape education but somehow hasn’t gotten around to issuing a press release correcting the false information perpetrated by Sandra Fluke?  RAINN raises more than a million dollars a year to “educate the public about sexual assault and conduct outreach to at-risk populations.”  Don’t give your money to people like this.

Fluke went on The View, and not one of the allegedly pro-woman women on that program bothered to pause for a moment to reassure viewers that no rape victim needs to worry about the cost of collecting a rape kit, because doing so would break the narrative, which is that the vicious Jesuit priests at Georgetown are keeping women from reporting rape.

Rush Limbaugh didn’t silence these people.  They silenced themselves, because rape is just an issue to use when it’s politically expedient.  Rape is the red-headed stepchild of the political left.  It’s a crime issue, a sentencing issue, a recidivism issue, and frequently a race issue: as such, the Left works hard to control the message while sometimes actually opposing measures that would achieve justice for victims.  Every honest person working in rape advocacy knows that the price of admission to the left-wing table is to avoid talking about the prevalence of politically incorrect rapes (white victim, minority offender and even minority victim-minority offender) while hammering away at the campus date rape issue (so long as the accused fit the desired stereotype).  Honest activists know that the types of reforms that really reduce rape — minimum mandatory sentencing, truth-in-sentencing, post-release offender registration — are opposed by the Left, so they frequently don’t even bother to show up for hearings on such bills.  And they know to keep their pretty lips zipped on the lies perpetrated by the hate crimes industry in the interest of keeping heterosexual female rape victims from cluttering up the all-important hate crime stats.

While I worked on sentencing reform that would actually reduce the prevalence of rape in Atlanta, the campus rape activists and the local affiliate of RAINN there were super-busy keeping rape victims from being counted as hate crime victims (unless they were gay), in order to please the gay and ethnic-rights activists of the Left.  They were busily raising money for campaigns that hectored all men about rape while they studiously ignored real rape cases that didn’t fit their ideological needs.  They never complained about jurors letting offenders off, for instance, because doing so would involve wading into politically perilous waters.  They never bothered to address the increasingly toxic myths about the prevalence of false accusations being churned out by the Innocence Project.  They pointed fingers at frat brothers, got their degrees in Women’s Studies, blogged about their sex partners, became fake lesbians to enhance their shot at the tenure track, and never once sat in a courtroom watching jurors decide that some 13-year old hadn’t really been raped by her mommy’s boyfriend because she “wanted it.”

I want to make something extremely clear: the first-wave and second-wave feminists didn’t do that.  Those women worked hard and took political risks to help rape victims and punish rapists.  They damned the political costs.  They worked gratefully with sympathetic police and partnered happily with sympathetic Republicans.  They didn’t wallow in thrall to the criminal defense bar.  But by the 1990’s, the third-wave, sex-positivity, politically correct thingies who followed them were literally undoing the work of the women who preceded them.  By 1999, there was a definite schism between the older service-providers — women who actually spent evenings working in the gynecology emergency rooms and staffing rape crisis centers — and the Emily Bazelon ilk, the well-paid third-wave activists who unravelled those efforts in the morning light.

It was an ugly scene, the same scene now being played out nationally, thanks to Sandra Fluke’s decision to lie to Congress about rape.  What a nasty piece of work.  What a shame about the feminist movement.

 

George Soros Funds the Fight to Lie About California’s So-Called Three-Strikes Laws

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First, a controlling fact.  California’s much-reviled “three-strikes” law bears no resemblance to what you’ve read about it in the news.  How much no resemblance?  Lots of no resemblance:

  • Prosecutors and judges have discretion in applying the law.  Discretion means “not draconian.”  Discretions means that it isn’t really a “three-strikes” law but merely a recidivist statute that permits, but in no way requires, application of its sentencing guidelines.  Someone can have 20 strikes and the law still won’t necessarily be applied.  Someone can rape and molest dozens of women and children and still not get three strikes sentencing.  The reality of criminal prosecution is that, in virtually all cases, when people face multiple charges (barring a few such as murder) those charges are telescoped down to one or two, and the others offenses are simply not prosecuted.  The tiny number of people facing three-strikes sentencing are extremely flagrant offenders who have committed dozens or hundreds — not two-and-a-half — violent crimes.
  • There are no people serving life sentences “merely” for stealing Cheetos or a VCR tape.  Those are myths.
  • Prosecutors use this recidivist sentencing law so rarely that most apply it just a few times a year, and even then, it frequently doesn’t lead to 25-to-life.  But media reporting frequently stops at the original charge.
  • The lies the media tells about “three-strikes” are legion.  The word” strike” better describes the media’s flailing confabulations about recidivism sentencing than any aspect of sentencing itself.

There is a great website by Mike Reynolds, an expert on California’s three-strikes law and its application (application being 95% of the law, no matter what they tell you in school).  I urge you to read his site and support his efforts:

Three Strikes and You’re Out: Stop Repeat Offenders 

Mike Reynolds debunks myths about three-strikes laws increasing costs for the state.  He proves that prison growth did not occur because of three-strikes laws; he explains who does and does not get enhanced sentencing, and he factors in the financial savings arising from reduction of crime arising directly from the prolific offenders who are sentenced under these laws.  In other words, he does what journalists and politicians ought to be doing, but do not.

From Mike’s site:

What is sometimes mistaken (or misunderstood) is the level of violence and brutality, as compared to the value of something rather minor. My daughter, Kimber, was murdered over a “minor” purse snatching. In fact, most murders are over little or “minor value” issues. Keep in mind, every “Three Strikes” case is closely reviewed by prosecutors who must prove the prior convictions in court. In the event that the defendant is found guilty of the current felony offense, the judge can, and does, review the merits of the case to decide whether or not to apply the full “25 to Life”, or reduce the case to a second strike.

On average, only (1) out of every (9) eligible third strikers gets a “25 to Life” sentence. The average third striker has (5) prior serious or violent felony convictions.

Read Mike’s site!  

~~~

Meanwhile, anti-three-strikes activism is an astroturfed social movement funded for years through various channels by billionaire financier George Soros.  The Los Angeles Times reports that Soros just gave $500,000 to the effort to get an anti-three-strikes measure on the California ballot in November.  The other major funding of the ballot initiative is Stanford Law Professor David Mills.  I wonder if anyone’s done an audit to see how much educational taxpayer money (even private schools rely largely on public funds) Professor Mills has used for his political activism.  His “academic” website is basically an advertisement for activism.  Why do California residents put up with paying for this guy’s hobbies?  Can’t he take his druggie-yellow sunglasses off for a photo for his law school?  Is that too much to ask?  What is that, a denim shirt?  Would a suit kill him?

“Professor” David Mills, Stanford University, Photographed on a Sunny Day.

Maybe he dresses this way to conceal the fact that he made a fortune in private investment firms before picking up a starring role at the previously dignified Stanford Law posing as a denim-wearing soldier for the right of thugs, rapists, and home invaders to continue their prolific criminal careers against non-investment firm types who can’t afford personal security like Mills’ and Soros’.

David Mills doesn’t even have a real vitae.  He’s published four editorials (one, risibly, in Slate; one, risibly, in MSN Slate) and one law review article in his own school’s law review, co-authored by a real scholar.

My goodness, the things that get you a law professorship at Stanford these days!

~~~

 Anyway, back to the three-strikes campaign.  Below you’ll find some articles I’ve written on the real criminal careers of the more famous poster-children of Soros’ and Mills’ cause.  It took decades for ordinary people and crime victims to create enough traction in the justice system to merely punish a small percentage of prolific criminals.  Now we stand to lose such progress.  These men — sheltered by their extreme wealth, capable of avoiding the consequences of their actions, are trying to empty the prisons in order to make themselves feel virtuous while spitting in the faces of law abiding Americans.  It’s a consequence-free titilation for them, on your backs and the safety of your loved ones.

If you’re in California, the time to push back is now.  George Soros and David Mills merely have money.  We have the truth.  We need letters to the editor every time someone makes a false claim about saving money on prison costs, or cries alligator tears about Supermaxes cluttered with Cheetos-stealing Jean Valjeans and other nonsensical lies.

Here are links to just a few of my posts on three-strikes laws and other recidivist measures under attack by George Soros:

Jerry DeWayne Williams: The original “pizza slice” poster boy for the anti-three strikes movement . . . and his real record

Robert Ferguson: “Bag of cheese” poster boy for the anti-three strikes crowd; of course there’s more to the story

Rodney Alcala: California serial killer and sexual torturer (worked for the LA Times after he racked up a horrifying record)

Russell Burton: 20 years of serial leniency for horrific recidivist sexual assaults in California and Georgia 

Lavelle McNutt: Prolific serial rapist with 36-year record of leniency in at least two states

Catholic Bishops and British “Journalist” Robert Waterhouse Attack the Victims of Robert Waterhouse

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(Hat tip to Max)

Vicious two-time (at least) murderer and rapist-torturer Robert Waterhouse was put to death in Florida last week.  He took his first life 45 years ago.  To say merely that the wheels of justice move slowly is a repugnant understatement in this case.

Robert Waterhouse, executed in Florida 45 years after his first known murder, having a bit of fun with the press

Waterhouse’s first known murder occurred in 1966, when just offing some woman didn’t matter too much to the new crop of criminal fetishists playing sociologist beneath their black robes (let’s not forget to thank the denizens of that blood-drenched punchline called the New York State Parole Commission).  The victim was 77.  Waterhouse raped and strangled her: he tortured an innocent elderly woman to death.  But luckily for him, he did it in a state and at a time when such things just didn’t matter.

Such an act, and the subsequent early release of Waterman wasn’t considered injustice, just another run-of-the-mill rape/torture/murder/leniency in a city busy channeling William Kunstler’s ethical priorities.  Waterhouse got life, but New York State cut him loose after only seven years.  Seven years for the torture, violation, and murder of a defenseless, elderly woman.

Back in such bad old days (that many in our current justice system are trying to recreate), seven years was a typical sentence for this:

77-year-old widow Ella Mae Carter of 39 Washington Ave., Greenport, died of strangulation. She had been brutally beaten; 14 of her ribs were fractured. Teeth marks were found under her right breast. Police said there was evidence of rape, although that charge was never brought against him.

Life, reduced to seven years.  Too bad it wasn’t what we now call “hate crime” since he just did those things to a woman — then somebody might have actually cared, or might care about Ella Mae Carter today.  Waterhouse just slaughtered an old lady — not the sort of thing AG Attorney Holder gets excited about as he scrolls back through history seeking the right types of indignities and injustice to justify his current policies.  Nor was Ella Mae Carter’s murder the sort of thing activists take up as a decades-long cause.   They took up Waterhouse as their cause instead, of course, costing the rest of us millions, I imagine, in ensuing years.

Nor was Mrs. Carter’s murder the sort of thing that gets people like NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn screeching in front of cameras.  If anyone could prove the 77-year old victim had been gay, well, then, that would be a different story.  Then she wouldn’t be forgotten: she would be memorialized.  Books would be written.  Teaching Tolerance classroom syllabi would be scribed in her memory and imposed on young children.  What she endured would be held forth as proof of something bad, instead of being merely an inconvenient reminder of things the social justice industry want us to forget today: that killers aren’t victims; that victims don’t matter to them unless they fit certain political agendas.

Perhaps, had she been water-boarded at some point between the raping and the strangling, Code Pink would be roused to crudely crayon some signs to wave at Waterhouse’s execution, remembering the torture victim.

The hundreds of thousands of murders that occurred during the crime wave of 1965 – 1995 simply aren’t the types of injustice about which PBS makes solemn documentaries.  Some people simply matter more to the activist classes.  Some torture is outrage: other torture is just an excusable expression of the childhood pain of the torturer, who needs to be rehabilitated and “re-entered” into society.  Some injustice burns brightly decades, generations later; other injustice is swept under the nearest available carpet.

This has been the case for half a century now.  So nobody cared when Waterhouse got cut loose in the early 1970’s.  Certainly not the Kunstler types who were insinuating themselves at every level of the criminal justice system, in service to the criminals.  Few even cared when, a decade later, Waterhouse killed Deborah Kammerer after raping and torturing her.  Her body was found on a St. Petersburg beach.  Her anus had been brutalized.  She fought back, hard, before being drowned in the surf:

Teeth broken. Nose broken. Eyes swollen. She had been sexually mutilated with a bottle. She had a bloody tampon jammed down her throat. Wounds on her fingers suggested she tried to fight back. She didn’t die until she drowned.

Here is another description of the type of torture you never find puffed over by cultural elites like Susan Sontag in the New York Review of Books, et al:

Ms. Kammerer, who was described in news reports as “blonde,” petite, a bar-hopper and a (former) date of Waterhouse,” was found nude, lying face down in the mud flats next to Tampa Bay the following morning. A description in the March 12, 1985, edition of the St. Petersburg Times stated: “(Ms. Kammerer) had drowned, but not before her 5-foot-2, 90-pound body was repeatedly violated…

“According to the medical examiner, Ms. Kammerer took 22 blows to the head, some from a tire iron. Her nose was broken in three places, teeth were cracked, eyes swollen, neck choked, back bruised. She was raped. There were extensive cuts in her rectum, where a bottle was forced. A blood-stained tampon was jammed in her throat.”

Well that certainly sounds like the type of case that brings legal activists like Steven Bright lapping at the door. The jailhouse door, that is, to make a hero of the tooth-smasher, anus raper, woman strangler.  And lap he did, along with scores of other excited anti-death penalty attorneys and one buffoonish British “journalist” who discovered he shared the same name with a rapist-killer, and, on such stimulating grounds, inserted himself in the case.  Can you imagine anything more puerile and egocentric?  Anything more indulgently-dining-outish?  I suppose I lack imagination.

The other Robert Waterhouse: Guardian writer shares the name of a rapist-killer!

In recent media, the other Robert Waterhouse describes his fun times with his murderer-pal while systematically concealing the facts that convicted the murderer.  In The Guardian, of course.  What a distasteful, attention hungry little man, trampling on raped and murdered women to puff himself up.  To indulge . . . a hobby.  His writing illuminates an ugly impulse driving many journalists: he seems aroused by the fantasy of experiencing the “suffering” of the killer on death row; he identifies with the inflictor of torture so transparently that one must wonder how much time he spends strolling like a dirty flåneur in his mind through the details of the murders themselves.

Projected self-pity is such a noxious modern sin.

In his journalism, Waterhouse utterly misrepresents nearly every detail of the legal narrative, leaving out things like the evidence.  For his sake, one can only hope the subjective bits about his own feelings are equally inaccurate, or else he really is an embarrassing specimen:

My friendship with Robert started formally in early February 2001 when I interviewed him at Union Correctional Institution, Raiford. My presence there as a journalist ensured that we met with a screen between us. He was in cuffs and leg-irons. I would get to know him later as a friend in the more relaxed setting of the contact-meeting room nearby, where up to 20 inmates at a time receive approved visitors. But the press interview emphasized our wholly different positions, something that spurs me when I feel the need to be reminded.

I did eventually publish an article in the weekend edition of the London Financial Times. By that time I had met Robert on three further occasions. I spent four weeks last summer investigating his case in St. Petersburg while visiting at weekends, preceded by a few days on Long Island, New York, where Robert was born and grew up, and where he pleaded guilty to a second-degree murder charge in 1966 [Oh, let’s not go into that messy thing, shall we?  Ruins the ambiance.]

He was then only 19. He spent the next nine years or so [simple math, Bob] in Auburn State Prison before being released on life parole, drifting from Long Island to Louisiana and eventually, in 1978, to Florida where he went to live with his aunt and uncle, the people who had raised him from the age of six months and had retired to St. Petersburg.

Robert has always insisted on his innocence of the St. Petersburg murder. A few months back, he wrote his account of the events of January 2-3 1980, the night Deborah Kammerer was murdered, for Justice Denied Magazine. I have questioned him closely on this account. He has stuck to his story, and I am not in a position to say I don’t believe him [translation: I know he’s guilty but lack the spine to admit it.] So, in writing about his case, I intend to concentrate not on guilt or innocence but on the wrongs I believe he suffered before and after his arrest on January 9 1980. These alone, I suggest, make up a prima facie example of justice denied.

Let’s start by setting the scene. St. Petersburg, or St. Pete, is a low-density conurbation of some 238,000 souls on the west side of Tampa Bay. Its downtown area faces the bay with a few skyscrapers and a famous pier. The town straddles an isthmus between the bay and the Gulf of Mexico. On the gulf side, a string of resorts beside golden sands with names like Treasure Island and Madeira Beach. It’s a sub-tropical retirement haven, which in 1980 also attracted an easy-going, pot-smoking set of drifters [sic] Deborah Kammerer and Robert Waterhouse were among them.

They knew each other. They had smoked dope together and had made love three or four times. Debbie (as everyone called her) was a divorcée whose ex-husband and children were back in Indiana. She was a slight (90 pounds) fair-haired woman. Robert, on the other hand was, at 6ft 2in and 220 pounds, dark-haired and bearded, a strong, flashy 33-year-old determined to enjoy himself after spending most of his twenties behind bars [For torturing an elderly woman to death.  But, whatever.]. He had a string of drinking companions and women admirers.

[Here’s the part where Waterhouse leaves out Waterhouse’s other crimes, including an attempted double murder for which he wasn’t punished.  Details, details.  What a hack.]

One of the places they met was the ABC Lounge on 4th Avenue North and 35th Street North. It was from here that Deborah Kammerer left in the early hours of January 3, probably with the person who murdered her. She was discovered head down in the shallow muddy water of Tampa Bay at Lansing Park beside Beach Drive South East at 19th Avenue SE the next morning by a resident walking his dog. She was naked, had been hit viciously around the head many times, raped and otherwise violated. The autopsy concluded she had been alive when dumped in the water.

Robert, who had also been in the lounge the previous evening, contends that he did not speak to Debbie on that occasion. She was at the main bar with friends; he was in a side bar meeting someone who was to sell him some pot. He says he left early to do the deal, and only returned to drop off his contact. But a barmaid claimed she had seen Robert and Debbie sitting, drinking and leaving together (this was not corroborated by Debbie’s friends). However, that evidence and blood traces in his car which matched her blood type was enough, in a circumstantial case, to convict him.

Just three days after the murder, before Deborah Kammerer herself had been identified, Robert was put under police surveillance following an anonymous phone call. The caller identified his car tag, indicating that all the evidence needed was in the vehicle.

Two days later Robert was pulled over by police cruisers as he left another St Petersburg club. His driver’s license was taken from him. He was told he could only get it back by accompanying police to the police station. There, he was questioned but not arrested. He was free to leave. However, his car must stay. A search warrant issued the next morning for the car led to a warrant for his arrest on January 9. The police, and the district attorney, were sure they had their man.

So the police hit the jackpot when, prompted by the mystery caller, they found that the registered owner of the 1973 Plymouth Satellite was none other than Robert Waterhouse, on life parole for a previous murder. Or was it the other way round? Did they concoct the call to match the profile? The caller was alleged to be a middle-aged male with a New York or New England accent. Robert’s uncle Chet Foster and “family friend” Ken Norwood both fitted the bill, but both denied involvement.

In pre-trial suppression hearings of August 1980, Robert’s court-appointed attorneys, Paul Scherer and John Thor White, moved to strike evidence found in the car as inadmissible because they claimed Robert had been unlawfully detained when made to take his vehicle to the police station. They also moved to strike damning statements taken in a police station interview of January 10 not in the presence of a defense attorney, even though the Pinellas County Public Defender had been appointed to Robert’s case.

Judge Patterson allowed the automobile evidence [Oh, just blood evidence, hair evidence, admission she was tortured in his car, other forensics, nothing important to a British journalist (I am beginning to believe the breed may not actually exist)] (without which the prosecution case would have crumbled) [Yes, prosecutions tend to crumble when you don’t consider, you know, evidence] but ruled against the verbal statements. However, after further representation by prosecutors Bob Merkle and Jack Helinger, Judge McGarry reversed Patterson’s opinion and allowed everything to stand.

This was the first, but by no means the last, example of prosecution bullying [Bullying?  Does he mean doing his job?  We are talking about a man who ripped a woman’s anus open with a bottle, and this thingy is whining about bullying?].  The trial transcript illustrates many instances of Merkle, in particular, hustling trial judge Robert E. Beach into accepting his view of how things should be conducted.

The trial was a big event in the St. Petersburg of 1980. According to reports the courtroom was packed. Judge Beach, whose background was in commercial law, had seen two decisions recently overturned by the Florida Supreme Court. The DA’s department was known for its aggressiveness. Bob “Mad Dog” Merkle was at the start of a career which took him to be Assistant US Attorney in Tampa and one-time Republican candidate for the US Senate before opting for lucrative private practice. He needed the victory he quickly gained  [Oh, no.  The prosecutor wanted to win the case, even though some British journalist with a fetish problem wanted him to lose it twenty years later!]. 

Among photographic “evidence” allowed as a backdrop to the trial were pictures of Ms Kammerer not as she was discovered in Tampa Bay but after she had been literally scalped during autopsy.  [So what?  Why the scare quotes around the word “evidence”?  This is what happened to Ms. Kammerer, no matter how much Waterhouse wishes to officially cleanse the record.  How sickeningly, sickeningly dishonest he is.] Jurors were illegally offered a handbook of advice on how to conduct themselves. So-called expert witnesses put on the stand by the county were not cross-examined in an adversarial manner. The defense brought only one witness compared with the prosecution’s 30 or so. The prosecution had delayed until the very last moment to disclose exculpatory witnesses to the defense, contravening Brady rights.

Robert was in fact never asked by his defense counsel to provide a list of witnesses. It wasn’t until the trial opened that the defendant realized that his own car would be identified as the crime scene, with Merkle borrowing from Shakespeare’s Macbeth to invoke blood and guilt [Confabulation, distortion, meaningless technicality, utterly meaningless observation, confabulation, and more lying.  Waterhouse was convicted on the evidence.  Too bad there isn’t a minimum mandatory for recidivist dissembling].

Here is Robert Waterhouse’s last word on Robert Waterhouse. He calls the rapist-murderer “brave” and a courageous example to us all:

[M]y friendship with Robert, with his wife Frances and with other Death Row families — indeed my opportunity to meet briefly other inmates — is an extraordinary ongoing experience. To be one amongst perhaps 50 people at Saturday visiting time talking, laughing and eating, putting the bravest of faces on the worst of circumstances, is to know that human nature does indeed triumph in adversity.

Robert Waterhouse is surely the most, well, to put it as best as I can, icky advocate of Robert Waterhouse the rapist-killer, but there are others eager to empathize with the murderer, with any murderer.  Here is a deeply disturbing empathy spiel from a childhood friend who felt sorry for Waterhouse because people wouldn’t talk to him at a party after he raped and murdered a 77-year old woman:

Mr. Tyler remembers seeing Waterhouse at the Apple Tree, a Mattituck nightspot, after his 1975 parole. “A lot of the guys he used to hang out with were there, but no one would talk to him,” Mr. Tyler recalls. “No one could relate to him. What do you say to someone who has been in prison for 10 years? It was a very awkward situation. As much as I wanted to go up to him and say, ‘Hi, Bob, how are you doing,’ there wasn’t anything to say. Everyone must have had the same attitude, because no one else talked to him. He was standing there all alone like a lost soul, just looking over the crowd.”

Awww, poor baby.  What is the matter with these people?  What do you ask him, Mr Tyler?  So, Bob, how did it feel to torture and rape that sweet elderly woman to death?  Hey, want a beer?  How about: What the hell is that bastard doing out of prison?   The void where outrage should exist has been replaced with people more worried about hurting the feelings of a serial killer-rapist.  The sheer perversion of what has become of the old saw about “walking in another person’s shoes” would leave Atticus Finch vomiting in his coffin for eternity.  If he existed.

I think we should call crimes like Waterhouse’s precisely what they are: Lynching.  Robert Waterhouse’s murder of Ella Mae Carter became a lynching the moment he walked out of prison instead of spending the rest of his life there; his murder of  Deborah Kammerer was a lynching because our legal system chose to not protect her.  The people who excuse Waterhouse’s crimes and denounce his incarceration, particularly the other Robert Waterhouse, are no different from those who used to stand by the sidelines cheering on murderous Klansmen.  Using accurate language would clarify the mind as we grapple with the fact that there are thousand of Robert Waterhouses out there eluding justice because society doesn’t care enough to apply its own laws when politically irrelevant types of people are denied justice.  Call all such murders lynchings; call them all hate crimes, and then, once we’ve had a nice bracing emetic of ethical and intellectual consistency, we can start to have that real conversation about injustice everyone keeps nattering about.

And when we do that, the Robert Waterhouse journalists of the world can also be named what they truly deserve:  Apologists.  Propagandists.  Aroused houseboys for torturers.  And worse.  Because he clearly enjoys doing this sort of thing with rapist-murderers, enjoys it with enough appetite to deploy his profession to obliterate the memory of women who suffered and died.

Whining about the distasteful nature of a photograph of a tortured woman’s raw scalp.  What a man.

~~~

Most recently, the Catholic Bishops have taken it upon themselves to cruelly criticize Deborah Kammerer’s surviving family.  In the interest, in their case, of opposing the death penalty, the Bishops publicly accuse Kammerer’s loved ones of serious moral transgressions.  This behavior has got to stop.  I ask that practicing Catholics send a letter to the Catholic Bishops asking them to withdraw their statement and apologize to Ms. Kammerer’s relatives.  One need not oppose the Catholic teaching on the death penalty to call for an end to such scapegoating of victims’ families.  Below is my letter:

Dear Bishop _____,

I am writing to ask that you and the other signatories publicly withdraw your statement falsely accusing the families of Robert Waterhouse’s victims of harboring hatred.

In the media, you stated of them: “Anger destroys while forgiveness frees one to live again in peace, blotting out the desire for revenge.”

This is deeply offensive.  You do not claim to know these people, nor does it appear that you have counseled them — and had you done so, you would have no business speaking publicly about their feelings in any case.  Yet you pronounce in the most public forum that you do know what they are feeling, and then you presume to correct them in that public place.  You position alone does not grant you knowledge of, nor authority over, their hearts.

You must also know in your own hearts that press releases like this one are not written to heal.  If they were, you would hardly broadcast them in a newspaper.  You are engaging in anti-death penalty activism, and that is all.  Through the act of publishing these words, you are exploiting your positions as religious leaders and exploiting the act of counseling, not sincerely offering real comfort to possibly (possibly not) troubled souls.

Victims in high-profile cases are too frequently subjected to such pressures from Catholic authorities.  And while I personally know and know of individual religious who have offered the greatest comfort to crime victims, I also know of many shameful demonstrations of public excoriation and political misuse of other victims by Church representatives.  The murderer becomes the victim, and the victim becomes the enemy of the cause.

This sort of advocacy is deeply corrosive.  You are dragging innocent bystanders into your activism for their loved ones’ killers.  You are also choosing to make ethical scapegoats of people who are mere witnesses, both legally and morally, to the workings of our justice system.  Society sentenced Robert Waterhouse to death, not the victims’ families, and not a mob.  Elected officials alone can commute his sentence.  Your appeal to the victims is mere calculation, and it is cruel.

Please withdraw your statement, and apologize to these grieving people for your misuse of them, now and in the future.

~~~

To the other Robert Waterhouse, I have just this to say:

Zip up your pants and get a different hobby, pal.

 

 

 

More on Mumia

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From Daniel Flynn:

Pacifica Radio aired Abu-Jamal’s commentaries after National Public Radio rethought an earlier decision to do so. Evergreen State College and Antioch College, among others, hosted the convicted murderer as a commencement speaker via audiotape. A Law & Order episode namedropped Abu-Jamal, with a character noting that the “Philadelphia journalist” was “framed for murder.” Rage Against the Machine played an infamous benefit concert for him.

And today, the Philadelphia Inquirer, which ought to know better, hijacked an editorial “remembering” Daniel Flynn to go off on a wildly inaccurate rant against the death penalty.  How offensive, on an anniversary.  When is enough enough?

War on Cops: “Occupy” Edition

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All around the country, the media is working overtime to avoid reporting incidents of ‘police brutality’ at Occupy protests– brutality against police, that is — along with other not-so-peaceful-and-pretty behavior perpetrated by the “Occupy” activists.

For example, in Atlanta, the major news stations, the daily paper, and the weekly rag managed to collectively not notice when protestors blocked the entrance to a hospital emergency room in a coordinated attempt to storm the hospital.  Nope, not one member of the fourth estate bothered to rouse themselves from end-of-week brewskies at the local reporter’s watering hole to wander a few city blocks to the near-riot that blocked a fire truck and ambulance from reaching the emergency room doors.

My colleague Mary Grabar, who found herself trapped while covering the crowd, wrote about the scary near-riot in Pajamas Media. Amy Wenk, editor for an online neighborhood paper called Patch covered it here.  I guess you could call Grabar and Wenk members of the “alternative media,” but that begs the question: alternative to what?

They were the only media there.

Protesting the Right of Heart Attack Victims to Seek Rapid Medical Response (photo credit Amy Wenk)

Meanwhile, what was the Atlanta Journal Constitution saying about the protestors?  They were urging their readers not to dismiss them as “Just a Bunch of Hippies Playing Bongos.”

In case all those obtuse suburbanites (aka the only people left who buy newspapers) missed the crucial distinction the AJC was trying to make, they ran the following photograph under the following headline (I am not making this up):

Occupy Atlanta | ‘It’s not just a bunch of hippies playing bongos’

Right.  She’s not playing a bongo at all.

By the way, her name is Shaee and she’s been to lots of Occupy protests but likes Atlanta’s best so far.

She ended up on the streets after not being able to find work with her degree in actuarial accounting.

Now I’m kidding.

~~~~

Now I’m serious again. Who do these reporters think they are, pretending a near riot at a hospital where police were swarmed and threatened and emergency personnel couldn’t get an ambulance through isn’t news?  Are they really that collectively invested in gildedly re-living their glory days fighting the Man?  Yeah, the protestors aren’t all hippies playing bongos, or bongo-less hippies hopping from one cool protest site to another: some of them are belligerent creeps physically assaulting cops while trying to terrify sick people in emergency rooms.

Why isn’t that newsworthy?  If any one of those police officers pushed back against middle-finger man and he fell and skinned his knee, half the editorial board at the Atlanta Journal Constitution would pee themselves with outrage.

And isn’t that the point?  The Atlanta Occupy movement, like Occupy groups around the country, are relying on selective reporting like this to conceal their real intentions.  Atlanta Occupy and protestors in other states have announced events at the protest sites where they will be training people to incite and escalate confrontations with police.  They’re calling these “workshops on the history of police brutality” and discussions to decide whether police are “working class or working class traitors.”  Gee, what do you think the answer will be?  Inflaming hatred of police is a major part of the movement’s strategy, and at one of these protests, it’s going to end in tragedy.  But I guess that’s not news, either.

~~~~

It’s time for the public and elected officials to vocalize some support for the police, who are being abused daily by the protestors. Could you handle even one day of a job like that?  Here’s something I wrote trying to imagine the life of a policeman during the last L.A. Lakers’ “uprising.”  It certainly applies here:

Imagine the crappiest job in the world:

You put on your Men’s Warehouse suit and drive to the office, dreading the inevitable outcome of the day.  Settling into your cubicle, you arrange the day’s work on the chipped laminate desk: a billy club, mace, and a copy of the quarterly budget figures for your division, awaiting approval from above.  In the next cubicle, Joey H. is already rocking back and forth in his mesh swivel knockoff, working the screws on one of the padded armrests.

The word comes from headquarters right before lunch: the budget numbers are good.

Joey lets out a guttural shriek, rips the loosened arm off his chair and kicks the front wall off his cubicle, still howling.  You grab the mace and billyclub and follow him as he tears a path of destruction to the break room, carefully avoiding getting too close, shouting at him to step down.

Joey ignores you and smacks out a fluorescent light fixture with his arm-rest, sending bits of glass and toxic powder all over accounting.  Then he pulls a wad of gasoline-soaked newspaper out of his pocket, lights it with a lighter, and throws the flaming mass in the paper recycling bin by the door.

Mike D. wearily rises from his desk, shouldering his fire extinguisher, and heads for the blaze.

You follow Joey into the break room.  He’s already used a folding chair to demolish the front of the snack machine, filling his pockets with KitKats while chanting “We’re Number One.”  You notice he’s been working out.

“Put the Kit Kats down, Joey,” you say.

“F*** You, Pig-Man,” he screams, winging a full Red Bull can at your face.  Luckily, you thought to wear your plexi face shield to work today.  Now that you’ve cornered him, Joey head-buts your belly.  That hurts.  You smack him a few times with the billy-club, always aware that the altercation is being recorded on security cameras for later review.  Finally, you manage to subdue him with the help of Kathy P., the new associate from sales.  She’s brought her handcuffs, and Joey’s taken off to the bathroom to wash up and get ready for Personnel to review the security tapes.

Later that day, the verdict comes back from Human Resources.  While you should have tried to stop Joey before he broke the front of the snack machine, you’re not going to get docked pay for using excessive force subduing him, like last quarter.  Kathy P. however, is going to have to go before the panel and explain why she bruised Joey H.’s wrist while snapping the handcuffs on.

Joey H. gets assigned five hours of community service, which immediately gets suspended, as HR is testing a new program which will use positive messaging and self-esteem training to encourage him to stop setting the office on fire.  (Nancy W., still recovering from those lycra burns from the spring quarter numbers, stifles a bitter laugh).  Joey takes the rest of the afternoon off to meet his new esteem coach at the Starbucks.  The rest of the staff gets down to sweeping up broken glass and trying to scrub the scorch marks off the walls while running the numbers on the cost of replacing the carpet.

All except Kathy P., who is hiding in the bathroom to avoid those a-holes from PR who want to snap her picture and use it to illustrate a story they’re writing about the proper way to subdue a co-worker.  You settle into your smoke-fill cubicle and tug your rumpled necktie, wishing you could take it off as you start in on the stack of paperwork explaining your actions.

It’s going to be a long night.  There’s no way you’re going to catch that Lakers game.

That job would really suck.

It’s called “policing.”

Deputy Chief of Police (Ret.) Lou Arcangeli on the Troy Davis Case

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Lou Arcangeli is the rare cop (he’s retired now) who’s earned kudos from people both sides of the political aisle.  Atlanta journalist John Sugg calls him a “cop’s cop” in this 2003 profile.

Lou Arcangeli

Lou weighed in on the Troy Davis case today: the editorial ran in the Savannah Morning News (http://savannahnow.com/column/2011-09-22/arcangeli-no-injustice-davis-case#.Tntcz831aqm).  He writes:

I wish that [Troy] Davis’ supporters had met Davis years earlier and worked as hard to connect with and help the troubled young man before he started carrying guns and killed a policeman. I think they enjoy the camaraderie of their tweeting and demonstrations much more than the work and commitment it would take to make a safer society.

I second that.  The more years I spent in Atlanta, the more I despaired of helping kids emerge from bad environments unscathed . . . and the less I trusted the loud “social justice” activists who preferred the easy self-aggrandizement of valorizing murderers over the work of keeping children from wasting their lives in violence.

The activists below will drift to other causes (or continue collecting big checks from foundations) while kids keep killing kids, and police keep trying to save them, despite being pilloried by  . . . activists like the people below:

I am Troy Davis: I am a cop killer.

I am Troy Davis: I killed another man in an utterly senseless murder.

Our teacher says we’re Troy Davis: we pistol-whipped a homeless guy and

threatened to kill him because he wouldn’t give us a beer.

I am Troy Davis: I’m really excited to be holding this sign.

Arcangeli links to a good website debunking the activists’ lies about this case, and I’ve added a few more.  The performance of the media, particularly the New York Times, has been disgraceful throughout:

Support Mark MacPhail: Debunking the Myths

A Useful Chart Debunking the “Recanting Witness” Claims (see also: http://legalcases.info/troydavis/)

Text of the Denial of Davis’ 2010 Appeal: Why the Judge Rejected the “Recanting” Claims (part 2)

D.A. Spencer Lawton on Davis guilt.  In other words, the prosecutor’s and appeals courts’ position, which was carefully suppressed in coverage of the execution by the New York Times, CNN, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and most other news sources.

Educate yourselves: the media isn’t going to tell you the truth about this case.

And thanks to Lou for quoting me.

“Grassroots” Prisoner Strikes in California Actually Funded Directly by George Soros

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The hunger strikes at several California prisons this summer may have seemed like spontaneous uprisings against torturous conditions.  That’s how many incurious souls in the fourth estate are portraying them.  To wit, this hand-wringing Washington Post editorial highlighting the “tragic modesty” of prisoner demands:

DOZENS OF INMATES at California’s Pelican Bay facility went on hunger strikes for several weeks this summer for what seemed like pitifully modest demands: “Allow one photo per year. Allow one phone call per week. Allow wall calendars.”  What would prompt such drastic measures in the quest for such modest goals? Answer: The protest was an exasperated and understandable reaction to the invisible brutality that is solitary confinement. Some of the Pelican Bay inmates have been held in “security housing units” for years; those tagged as gang members can expect to stay there for six years, with no certainty that they will be reintegrated into the general population even if they renounce gang membership.  When an inmate is holed up alone in a cell for up to 23 hours a day with no meaningful human contact, a photograph of a loved one or a weekly telephone call can help to forge a connection with the outside world. With little or no exposure to natural light, a calendar can help forestall losing all track of time, all sense of reality. These simple privileges, in short, can help ward off insanity.

Well, that sounds just horrible.  Why wouldn’t the cruel prison wardens allow a mere snapshot, or wall calendar?

Because the protests weren’t really about family pictures or calendars.  Because the inmates, and particularly their leadership, weren’t really harmless and misunderstood “ex” gang members in the first place.  Because the dozens of well-funded activist organizations who played the media like dumb fiddles aren’t telling the truth about either their tactics or goals.

The whole thing was a set-up, and any fish smarter than many fish in the MSM would have smelled something fishy and swum away from the bait.

Rainy Taylor, “Bay Area Revolution Club”

While the national and international media were busy wringing their hands over the seemingly sentimental prisoner demands, and dumbly reprinting activist agitprop as facts, local news sources like the Sacramento Bee bothered to ask real questions about the policy being protested — Secured Housing Units (SHU), cellblocks which isolate dangerous, disruptive, and gang-related prisoners from the rest of the prison population:

Officials with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation [] said they will review policies on how the agency determines which inmates are believed to be gang leaders who are then placed in a security housing unit.

But they insist that inmates inside the SHU, including several who have identified themselves as leaders of the hunger strike, pose a serious threat to others and are there for very good reasons. [emphasis added]

The state’s security housing units were designed as prisons within prisons to house the most dangerous criminals. While SHU inmates are largely isolated from other prisoners, corrections officials say, they still have certain amenities available to them.

“They have 23 channels, including ESPN,” [corrections spokesman Oscar] Hidalgo said. “I think that’s something that’s far from extreme isolation from the rest of the world.”

These guys get cable, including ESPN.  I certainly don’t pay for that.  Yet they claim they’re striking because they lack “wool caps” for “wintertime.”  Such demands don’t pass any smell test.  They are deliberately designed to create an impression that the prisoners are shivering in the cold, not sitting around watching Sports Center.

Inmates in California SHU watching cable TV . . . what, no HBO?

Yet the “wool caps for winter” campaign was repeated uncritically by media sources throughout the world.  Al Jazeera English published a wildly misleading editorial by one prominent Soros-funded activist, Issac Ontiveros, who calls SHUs “torture.”  For good measure, Ontiveros’ editorial throws in a bunch of other deceptive agitprop painting the U.S. as a “prison industrial complex” that must be overthrown.  He repeats all the activists’ greatest hits, bluntly lying about the real circumstances of mass murderer George Jackson’s death, whitewashing the horrific, racially motivated killings perpetrated by Jackson, and downplaying the murders of prisoners and guards by other prisoners during the Attica riots.  Racial accusation?  Check.  Denial of violence by “activists”?  Check.  America equals police state?  Check.

This is the type of “news” about America being disseminated around the world, all subsidized by George Soros.

Quite astonishingly, the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Committee is actually using photos of the bloody Attica riots to illustrate their demands on behalf of the current California hunger strikers.  This is the coalition homepage:

Get it?  Give in and end the practice of secured housing units for offenders who stab prison guards, or . . . prisoners will riot and stab a bunch of prison guards.

~~~

Back on Planet Sanity, the San Jose Mercury News bothers to document real conditions in the SHUs, plus the behind-bars behavior that landed some of the benighted residents of California’s Secure Housing Units in secure housing to begin with:

Many of the inmates on the tour were housed in pairs in cells stocked with televisions and books. The cells had doors perforated with dozens of tiny holes, instead of standard prison bars, to make it more difficult for inmates to pass items from one to another.

In one area, two inmates in neighboring cells played virtual chess, calling out their moves to one another.

Inmates do have contact with other prisoners, staff and visitors, including spending more than an hour each day in exercise yards, [corrections spokesman Oscar] Hidalgo said. They have 23 cable television channels, reading materials, access to a law library and learning materials, and can correspond with family and friends.

Conditions are “far from what we think is torturous,” Hidalgo said, though some violent inmates and purported gang leaders are kept physically separated.

Three of the state’s prisons have such units, housing about 3,800 of the state’s 161,500 inmates.

Inmates sent to the unit “have essentially earned their way,” Hidalgo said. “They have numerous assaults on inmates, they have numerous assaults on staff, they have to be isolated for their protection and for the protection of other inmates. These are predatory-type inmates, and we need to ensure they are not harmful to others.” . . .

He said the strike originated in the unit’s “short corridor,” home to 202 top gang leaders. The department provided background on five strike leaders at the request of The Associated Press. They include:

— Todd Ashker, 48, who prison officials contend is a high-ranking member of the white supremacist Aryan Brotherhood. He’s serving 21 years to life for a killing another inmate at Folsom State Prison in 1987, the latest in a long series of convictions. He’s accused of stabbing five inmates and assaulted three employees in prison.

— Danny Troxell, 58, of the Aryan Brotherhood, who’s serving 26 years to life for a Fresno County murder. He’s accused of six assaults on other inmates.

— Arturo Castellanos, 50, of the Mexican Mafia, serving 26 years to life for a Los Angeles County murder. He’s accused of stabbing six inmates in prison.

— Ronnie Dewberry, 53, the Black Guerrilla Family’s “minister of education” in charge of orienting and indoctrinating other inmates. He is serving 25 years to life for an Alameda County murder.

— George Franco, 46, of Nuestra Familia, serving 15 years to life for a Santa Clara County murder.

Hidalgo said the strike was coordinated by gang leaders who normally are sworn enemies.

~~~

In order to understand the professional activists orchestrating the hunger strikes, you first have to understand that they view incarceration itself, whatever the crime, as illegitimate.  Their goal, stated openly, is to “empty all prisons.”  Yet, such extreme statements don’t place them beyond the pale in the progressive Left, who largely view America as a fascist police state.  The tone of this activism has grown increasingly extreme, even though public relations efforts often mute the rhetoric for certain audiences.  The current anti-incarceration movement is more powerful and more dangerous than their outré predecessors such as the original Black Panthers.  Unlike these former groups, the current movement’s leaders wield tremendous influence in public policy and legal policy organizations, as well as in the current Justice Department and other government bureaucracies.

Coordinated actions like the California hunger strikes also demonstrate the reach of such extremism into taxpayer-funded institutions like the California university system.  Several movement leaders are tenured professors whose activism is really their only academic work — activism subsidized by the taxpaying victims of the super-thugs being housed in SHU units.

Here are just a few of the activist groups involved in inventing the recent hunger strike.  In one way or another, nearly all these groups are bankrolled by George Soros’ Open Society Foundation:

Critical Resistance — founded by well-reimbursed, Communist, taxpayer-employed, “professor” Angela Davis, Critical Resistance is dedicated to eliminating prisons entirely.  Their mission statement:

We call our vision “abolition”, and take the name purposefully from those who called for the abolition of slavery in the 1800’s. Abolitionists believed that slavery could not be fixed or reformed – it needed to be abolished. As PIC [Prison Industrial Complex] abolitionists today, we also do not believe that reforms can make the PIC just or effective. Our goal is not to improve the system; it is to shrink the system into non-existence.

All of Us Or None — AOUON is at the forefront of a dangerous new legal campaign: promoting lawsuits against corporations like Home Depot when such deep-pocketed targets deign to choose to not hire ex-cons with criminal records.  That’s right — employers everywhere may soon be facing civil rights lawsuits if they choose any non-felon over a felon, or take applicants’ criminal histories into account in any way.  How would you like to not know the criminal background of your kid’s teacher — or your mom’s nursing home aide — or that guy Home Depot sent over to hang the new cabinets?  Disturbingly, Eric Holder is grandstanding on this issue and deploying the resources of the Department of Justice to “research” such discrimination claims.  The EEOC is, of course, on board through Holder’s Cabinet Level Prisoner Re-Entry working group.

Good luck not hiring muggers and robbers in the future.  See here for more shocking details.

Aw, heck.  The day is growing short.  I’ll just list the rest of the organizations agitating for wool hats for violent offenders.  Remember, all of these groups have joined hands with radicals seeking the release of all prisoners and the total elimination of incarceration.  Some things to ponder when reading this list:  Do most of these organizations and “organizations” really look like grassroots groups?  How many are part of the vast activist astroturfing being coordinated through “civil liberties” legal foundations?  How many are extreme left-wing or openly communist political and legal groups rebranding themselves as social justice advocates?  How many are directly or indirectly funded by George Soros?

[Answer: No, Lots, The Rest of Them, and Almost All the Big Ones]

A Better Way Foundation
A New PATH (Parents for Addiction Treatment & Healing)
A New Way of Life Reentry Project, Los Angeles, CA
ACLU of California (Read Statement here)
ACLU of Mississippi
AIDs Foundation Chicago
All of Us or None
American Civil Liberties Union (National)
American Friends Service Committee
American Gruner: Coalition of Latino Leaders

American Public Health Association (Prisoner Health Committee, Medical Care Section)

ANSWER
Arkansas Voice for the Children Left Behind
Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco)
Black Awareness Community Development Organization
Breakout!, New Orleans, LA
Bristol Anarchist Black Cross
Building Locally to Organize for Community Safety (BLOCS) –Atlanta, GA
Cafe Intifada
California Coalition for Women Prisoners
California Prison Focus
California Prison Moratorium Project
Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB)
Campaign to End Prison Slavery (UK)
Campaign to End the Death Penalty (Read statement here)
Cante Wanjila Native American Reentry and Support Project, South Dakota
Center for Community Alternatives
Center for Constitutional Rights (National) (Read statement here)
Center for New Community (national)
Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights, Providence, RI
Center for Young Women’s Development
Certain Days Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar
Chapel Hill Prison Books Collective (NC) (Read Statement here)
Chicago Anti-Prison Industrial Complex Teaching Collective
Chuco’s Justice Center
CLAC Legal Committee
Coalition for Prisoners Rights
COMITÉ DE SOUTIEN DE LA GRÈVE DE LA FAIM / HUNGERSTRIKE SUPPORT COMMITTEE
Comité pour un Secours rouge canadien
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
Community justice network for youth
Community Restoration Services (Los Angeles)
Courage to Resist (Read statement here)
Critical Resistance
CUAV: Community United Against Violence (San Francisco)
Defender Association of Philadelphia
Denver Anarchist Black Cross
Detention Watch Network
East Bay Saturday Diaologues with Dr. Nancy Arvold & April Schlenk
Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
Fair Chance– Los Angeles Project
Families & Allies of Virginia’s Youth
Families to Amend California’s Three-Strikes (FACTS)
FedCURE
Florida Immigration Coalition (Miami, FL)
Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition
Freedom Archives
Freedom Inc (Madison WI)
Fresno County Brown Berets
Friends Committee of Legislation on California
Frontline Soldiers
Generation 5
Glen Cove Solidarity
HIV Prevention Justice Alliance
Human Rights Coalition- Fed Up! (Pittsburg)
Immigrant Workers’ Center
Immigration Law Clinic of UC Davis Law School
International Action Center
International Concerned Family & Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal
International Council for Urban Peace, Justice & Empowerment
International Health Workers for Peace Over Profit (Read Statement here)International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, SF Bay Area Chapter
Justice for Families
Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, New Orleans, LA
Kemba Smith Foundation
Kersplebedeb
L’En-Droit de Laval
La Raza Centro Legal
Labor/Community Strategy Center, Los Angeles, CA
LAGAI-Queer Insurrection
Law Office of Rebecca Young, East Boston, MA
Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
Little Lake Learning Center
Lucasville Uprising Freedom Network (Read statement here)
Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition
Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute (Read statement here)
Merced County Brown Berets
Milk Not Jails, New York
MIM Prisons
Modesto Anarcho Crew
Modesto Copwatch
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Jericho Movement
National Lawyers Guild
National Lawyers Guild University of Pittsburg Chapter
National Policy Partnership for Children of the Incarcerated
National Religious Campaign Against Torture (Read statement here)
NC Piece Corps
Needle Exchange Emergency Program
New Afrikan Black Panther Party Prison Chapter
New York City Anarchist Black Cross Federation
New York City Anti-Racist Action
November Coalition
Oakland Community Action Network
Oakland Education Association (OEA) Peace & Justice Caucus (Read Statement here)
Osiris Coalition
Parolees for Change (Los Angeles)
Parti communiste révolutionnaire
Pathways To Your FuturePeace & Justice of La Luz, New Mexico
Peace Over Violence Los Angeles
People’s Commission NetworkPeople’s Organization for Progress (NJ)
Peter Cicchino Youth Project of the Urban Justice Center (NY)
Prison Activist Resource Center
Prison Health News
Prison Law Office. (Read Statement here)
Prison Policy Institute, Massachusetts
Prison Radio
Prison Radio Show CKUT 90.3 FM Montreal
Prison Watch Network
Prisoner Correspondence Project
Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York
Projet Accompagnement Solidarité Colombie
QPIRG Concordia
Real Cost of Prisons Project
Redwood Curtain Copwatch
Registered Society within Association for Probation and Offenders’ Assistance, Germany
Republicans for Change
Resurrection After Exoneration, New Orleans, LA
Rethinking Schools
Revolution Newspaper
Revolutionary Athletes Worldwide (R.A.W.)
Revolutionary Hip Hop Report
Riverside Church Prison Ministry
Safe Streets/Strong Communities, New Orleans, LA
San Francisco Women in Black.
SF Pride at Work/HAVOQ (Read statement here)
Shabazz Legal Services
Socialist Action
Solidarity Across Borders
Southern California Library
Stanislaus County Radical Mental Health
Stop the Injunctions Coalition
TalkBLACK, Atlanta, GA
Tamms Year Ten, Illinois
Texas Families of Incarcerated Youth
The Mobilization to Free Mumia-Abu Jamal
The New Orleans Loiterers Union
The New York Campaign Against Torture (NYCAT)
The New York Task Force for Political Prisoners
The Outs
The Termite Collective
The WE Project, Los Angeles
Time for Change Foundation
Toronto Anarchist Black Cross
Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois
Transgender, Gender Variant and Intersex (TGI) Justice Project
UHURU Solidarity Movement
United for Drug Policy Reform (Oakland, CA)
United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society
United National Anti-War Committee
United Panther Movement
Urban Justice Center (New York City)
Vermont Action for Political Prisoners
Visions to Peace Project, Washington, D.C.
Voice of the Ex-Offender (VOTE)
Voices Unbroken
W. Haywood Burns Institute
WESPAC Foundation (NYC)
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Pajaro Valley Chapter
Women’s Council of the CA Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers
Women’s Prison Book Project (Minneapolis, MN)
World Can’t Wait

Fascinatingly, the Open Society Foundation isn’t on the list.  But they don’t really need to be: they are the list.

~~~

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Mass Murderer Jim Jones: Religious Extremist or Atheist Stalinist? Answer: What’s Best for the New York Times?

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The New York Times is the Baron von Munchhausen of news sources.

People’s Temple Agricultural Project (Jonestown) Massacre, 1978

Exhibit #6,759,382,901 is the following story, reprinted in the Times, detailing mass murderer Jim Jones’ unrealized plans to deploy suicide bombers and hijack and crash planes into targets in San Francisco.  Suicide bombers, hijacked planes . . . in the 1970’s?  By a revolutionary communist who decried Western capitalism as the sources of all evil?  Jones was clearly emulating or coordinating with other radical terrorists of the day.

So one might expect some reference to the PLO hijackings, or the assassination of the Israeli Olympic Athletes, or the bombs set by the FALN, or the Weather Underground, or the Red Army Faction, or the Black Panthers, or any of the other communist revolutionaries who were setting bombs and hijacking planes at the same time when communist revolutionary Jones was planning to set bombs and hijack planes.

One would be incorrect.  The Times article identifies only one inspiration for Jones’ murderous intentions: religion.

On Jim Jones’ Agenda, A Prequel to Sept. 11

By SCOTT JAMES

Published: August 12, 2011

Twenty-five years before the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001, a religious extremist plotted to hijack a commercial airliner — filled with 200 or so unsuspecting passengers — and deliberately crash it.

The target was San Francisco. And the would-be perpetrator was not a jihadist, but the man who would become one of history’s more infamous villains: the cult leader Jim Jones of the Peoples Temple, whose headquarters was then on Geary Boulevard in San Francisco.

With the hijacking plot, described in a coming book and recently confirmed by a former Peoples Temple leader, Mr. Jones is said to have wanted to cause death on a scale that the world would not soon forget. He called it “revolutionary suicide,” a warped vision of religious martyrdom . . .

I hate to side with Jim Jones here, but when Jones talked about “revolutionary suicide,” he actually meant revolutionary suicide, not religious martyrdom.  Sure, like most cult leaders, he used the trappings of religion (except when he didn’t), but what he preached was “apostolic socialism,” which he specifically presented to his followers as the antidote to religion.  And he convinced his followers to kill themselves (those who weren’t murdered by others) not by promising paradise but by telling them that they should choose death over violent persecution by America.

Jones was an atheist, card-carrying member of the Communist Party who split with the CPUSA only when they grew a little sour on his lifelong personal hero, Joseph Stalin.  He hobnobbed with other communist radicals like Angela Davis; broke bread with militants from the Nation of Islam, and lifted the term “revolutionary suicide” from Black Panther Huey P. Newton, who lost family members at Jonestown. Jones called Jonestown the “purest communist” settlement on earth, and after he forced the mass suicide/homicide of more than 900 of his followers, he left documents deeding his and their assets to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

In other words, he worshiped Joseph Stalin, not Jesus Christ.  Literally.  And he was not shy about saying so.

Yet the Times mentions none of this.  Jones is briefly labelled a “cult leader,” and then the writer simply starts referring to him as a religious leader, using terms such as “church members,” “church records,” “flock,” and “congregation.”  In reality, Jonestown was named “The People’s Temple Agricultural Project,” an obvious bow to Stalin, and it was structured on North Korean work farms.  So why doesn’t the reporter even seem to think to call it what it was: a communist labor camp?

Why would the Times scrupulously avoid so many facts? Take your pick:

There is the paper’s own shameful coverup of Stalin’s crimes, perpetrated by their Moscow Bureau Chief Editor, Walter Duranty.  Who wants to mention Stalin as Jones’ primary influence and raise all that embarrassment and kerfuffle, when you can just vaguely point at the Bible-thumpers and hope Jim Jones’ Wikipedia entry is down for the day?

There is the Times’ current agenda to disassociate terrorism from Islam by emphasizing the religion of non-Islamic terrorists, even if they aren’t motivated by religion, like Timothy McVeigh, or if they’re motivated by some other belief system, like Jones.  Thus Jones becomes a psychotic “religious extremist,” not a psychotic communist extremist.

Then there is the desire to protect the reputations of prominent Democratic and Liberal politicians, some still in office, who tumbled all over themselves doing favors for Jim Jones in the 1970’s.  So embarrassing are these ties that the Jim Jones story has long been stripped of its prominent main actors, people like Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, then-and now-California Governor Jerry Brown, and gay icon Harvey Milk.

Jim Jones with Walter Mondale to his left — [correction, SF Mayor George Moscone]

Jones was everywhere during the Carter administration, a sort of Forrest Gump-meets-Charles Manson.  Who wants to remember this?  He was an important San Francisco political appointee and election activist who showed up in an array of important people’s rolodexes.

Jim Jones with Rosalyn Carter

High-ranking politicians turned a blind eye to his passion for Stalin and Kim Il-Sung as they shuffled aside the increasingly troubling reports emerging from the People’s Temple Agricultural Project in Guyana.

Jim Jones with then-Governor, now-Governor of California, Jerry Brown

The Times article is a reprint from The Bay Citizen, and it is fair to suggest that the reporter is speaking to a San Francisco audience familiar with Jones’ real identity.  But that doesn’t justify running the piece in a national paper while retaining the shorthand that he was a mere “religious extremist.”

You have to look elsewhere to find facts.  In City Journal, Daniel Flynn writes:

Jim Jones was a power player in Bay Area politics and thereby a player in national Democratic Party politics. Local politicians and activists benefited from the slave labor that he could provide on little notice to people political rallies and hand out campaign literature. In gratitude, [Mayor George] Moscone appointed him chairman of San Francisco’s housing authority and Willie Brown likened Jones, a man who would eventually kill more African-Americans than any Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard, to Martin Luther King, Jr. First lady Rosalyn Carter and her husband’s running mate, Walter Mondale, both met with the cult leader.

In another article, Flynn describes the particularly close relationship between Harvey Milk and Jones:

Before the congregants of the Peoples Temple drank Jim Jones’s deadly Kool-Aid, Harvey Milk and much of San Francisco’s ruling class had already figuratively imbibed. Milk occasionally spoke at Jones’s San Francisco–based headquarters, promoted Jones through his newspaper columns, and defended the Peoples Temple from its growing legion of critics. Jones provided conscripted “volunteers” for Milk’s campaigns to distribute leaflets by the tens of thousands. Milk returned the favor by abusing his position of public trust on behalf of Jones’s criminal endeavors.

“Rev. Jones is widely known in the minority communities here and elsewhere as a man of the highest character, who has undertaken constructive remedies for social problems which have been amazing in their scope and effectiveness,” Supervisor Milk wrote President Jimmy Carter seven months before the Jonestown carnage. The purpose of Milk’s letter was to aid and abet his powerful supporter’s abduction of a six-year-old boy. Milk’s missive to the president prophetically continued: “Not only is the life of a child at stake, who currently has loving and protective parents in the Rev. and Mrs. Jones, but our official relations with Guyana could stand to be jeopardized, to the potentially great embarrassment of our State Department.”

The abducted child died at Jonestown despite his biological parents’ efforts to save him, efforts personally derailed by Harvey Milk.  Daniel Flynn calls this “the only remarkable episode in Milk’s brief tenure on the San Francisco board of supervisors . . . swept under the rug by his hagiographers.”

Letter from Harvey Milk Supporting the Abduction of a Child by Jim Jones

To summarize: in their desire to slot Jim Jones into the “non-Islamic religious terrorist” column, the Times artfully manages to avoid any mention of Jones’ revolutionary ambitions, his violent peers, his communist beliefs, his political enablers, or his recruiting methods, which ran heavily to racial and gender themes.  What is left to talk about when you are trying so hard to avoid mentioning anything?  Well, there are feelings.  A former Jones follower shares her bad poetry with the reporter, who is moved to link to it.  You can’t learn about Jones’ ties to the Carter administration by reading the Times, but you can read this:

I have a right to live without guilt and shame

I have a right not to be exploited by others for their personal or financial gain

I have a right to be loved and love again

–Terry Buford O’Shea

To paraphrase the Times’ editorial policy, who could disagree?

The link to O’Shea’s versifying is something called Alternative Considerations of Jonestown & People’s Temple, which is a project of the Jonestown Institute of the Department of Religious Studies at San Diego State University.

The Times shows little curiosity about the Jonestown Institute, treating it like an ordinary academic department.  And perhaps at San Diego State University it is an ordinary academic department, though elsewhere, publications bearing titles such as A Sympathetic History of Jonestown and In Defense of Peoples Temple might raise eyebrows.  Department chair Rebecca Moore, author of these books, is described by Daniel Flynn as a well-placed apologist, not for Jim Jones specifically but for his vision of communist paradise and for Jonestown itself, despite the violently enforced brainwashing that preceded the colony’s final bloody day.  Not coincidentally, Moore lost two sisters who were high-ranking colleagues of Jones and thus helped shape the colony’s totalitarian controls and its brutal end.  Now she is engaged in a mission, underwritten by San Diego State, to rescue Jonestown from its critics.

Daniel Flynn devastatingly describes Moore as “a concentration camp warden’s kin putting the best face on his work.”

On-line, San Diego State’s Jonestown Institute offers syllabus suggestions for teaching students about Jonestown in “non-judgmental” ways. They also publish scores of documents found at the colony after the massacre, including organizational charts imagining ambitious Agricultural Five Year Plans and Business and Industry schemes ranging from running a cassava mill to opening a nightclub to sell beer to the Guyanese (who “love to party”).   There is the eerily common utopian colony fantasy of achieving financial solvency through the production of small toys and sewn objects, and many notes regarding strategies for avoiding taxation by the Guyanese government.  The Guyanese surely saw in Jonestown the sort of cash cow Jim Jones saw in the U.S. taxpayers, who were unknowingly subsidizing Jonestown through the colony members’ welfare and foster care benefits, funneled to Jones through his San Francisco political allies.

The Jonestown Institute describes this systematic welfare transfer scheme as a form of “helping” Jonestown members who had been traumatized by “all of the ills” of America society, and they systematically bury or deny other facts about conditions at the colony prior to its fatal denouement.

In turn, The New York Times describes the Jonestown Institute as a mere academic institution.

And so, the whitewash continues.

Tina Fey Defiles Memory of Murdered Actor and Mocks Male Victims of Child Molestation While Denouncing “Hate Speech”

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Tina Fey: hypocritical, thoughtless bitch

I don’t normally commit slurs to the page: I just think them. My non-slur caption for this photo was “Tina Fey: Not Derrida.”  But I can commit the word “bitch” to the page because calling someone a “bitch” doesn’t count as “hate speech” by Fey’s lights.  Unless, of course, it’s said about a man.  Otherwise it’s just banter.  It certainly isn’t something that summons images of men calling women “bitches” as they stomp their faces into gravel, or abandon their broken bodies on the tall grass side of the road, or boil the skin off their bones on the kitchen stove.

Nope, “bitch” directed at females is a freebie, and doubly so when it comes from the mouth of an attractive woman like Fey.  You go, girl.

Fey recently slammed co-star Tracy Morgan for saying crude things about gays during a stand-up routine.  She did so, she said, because of the existence of anti-gay violence in the world.  If this really were the litmus test for comedy, there would be no comedy.  And Fey didn’t merely slam Morgan: she insinuated nastily that he should be on his knees thanking God for being forgiven by her and the gay people who work on 30 Rock. Here is her diatribe, which ugly-juggles sanctimony and threat:

[T]he violent imagery of Tracy’s rant was disturbing to me at a time when homophobic hate crimes continue to be a life-threatening issue for the GLBT Community. . . I hope for his sake that Tracy’s apology will be accepted as sincere by his gay and lesbian coworkers at 30 Rock, without whom Tracy would not have lines to say, clothes to wear, sets to stand on, scene partners to act with, or a printed-out paycheck from accounting to put in his pocket. The other producers and I pride ourselves on 30 Rock being a diverse, safe, and fair workplace.”

Well, slap my ass with a five-pound take-out chicken from Whole Foods, as one of Ms. Fey’s syndicated stereotypes might say.  Look, during a week when a jury in Cincinnati is deciding whether a baker’s dozen of raped, dismembered and decapitated women should equal death for a mere male-on-female hater, you’d think Ms. Fey would be more “inclusive” in her angst over victimization.

You’d think wrong.  In fact, Fey and the rest of the extra-sensitive 30 Rock crew were super busy this week mocking male victims of child molestation.

Thanks to the existence of a politically correct hate crimes movement that assigns wildly different values to different types of crime victims, the arithmetic of outrage has become so warped that Tracy Morgan, a black man who was raised in extreme poverty, whose father died of AIDS, whose brother suffers from cerebral palsy, and who recently endured the horrors of kidney failure, has become a kicking boy for powerful people like Fey . . . who makes her living mocking other people’s misfortune by playing pathetic versions of them while standing on red carpets criticizing “bullying” by others.

But Tina Fey didn’t jump down her ill co-star’s throat on just any day: she did it as 30 Rock was busy ridiculing young male victims of child sexual abuse using a star whose speciality is demeaning murder victims.  You know, real rape, real murder, of real young men, not the chimera of potential future victims Fey waved in all our faces to conveniently distance herself from Tracy Morgan.

This week, 30 Rock featured a disturbing cameo by Susan Sarandon playing a child molester who has come back to reclaim the “affection” of her grown victim, an emotionally damaged character named Frank Rossitano.

Would Fey have approved a script featuring a female victim of child sexual abusing sucking face with her adult male rapist, played for laughs?

Would Fey have approves a script featuring a gay male victim of child sexual abuse sucking face with his adult gay male rapist, played for laughs?

Two guesses.  Hint: one answer.

But Fey’s extraordinary insensitivity to real victims of actual hate-fuelled violence doesn’t end with her choice of plot.  Another choice reveals the depth of her selective outrage.  By choosing Susan Sarandon to play the role of a convict and sex offender, Fey is spitting in the face of a victim whose murderer Sarandon helped free from prison, then continued defending, even after he killed an aspiring young New York actor in cold blood.

This is the actor killed by Sarandon’s acolyte, Jack Abbott, with whom Sarandon was clearly enamored, to the point of naming her unborn child after him:

Richard Adan, aspiring actor.  Killed at 22 thanks to advocacy by Susan Sarandon that freed his killer

Who is Tina Fey to pretend that Tracy Morgan’s comedy act might contribute to anti-gay violence as she prances around with a sick women who is utterly unrepentant about the starring role she played in a real hate killing (all murder is hate killing) that took a young actor’s life?

Don’t expect Fey to answer that question.  In the entertainment world, some people’s lives are just more important than others’.  And some people’s murders, and rapes, are apparently just funnier.

How to Tell A Lie: NPR Says Rioters Just “Dancing” on Police Cars

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This is dancing:

This is not dancing.  This is thugs destroying public property:

The difference may be apparent to ordinary people, but not to certain publicly funded journalists.  Here is how NPR‘s Mark Memmott describes the scene above:

“some witnesses reported others dancing on top of police cruisers taunting them.”

Using the word “dancing” to describe kicking out the windows of police cars is blisteringly dishonest.  In other words, it is par for the course for NPR’s coverage of anything involving police.  Los Angelenos ought to be thanking the police for risking their necks to control and disperse these anti-social morons.  But instead, what we get from NPR is blunt lying.  Memmott acknowledges that “people threw bottles and vandalized cars,” but he calls destroying police vehicles “dancing” and doesn’t tell us who, precisely, were having bottles thrown at them.

In the alternative universe of NPR, police just aren’t as human as other people.  So bottles get “thrown” instead of “thrown at police,” and stomping up and down on police vehicles is called dancing.

The picture above is from the British Daily Mail Online.  Increasingly, I find I have to look to British tabloids to get pictures of street disruptions that American media simply refuses to show.  How interesting.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times used a very strange photo essay to transform an ugly riot against police into a montage of images of police running amuck and attacking harmless-looking individuals.  The photoessay is a triumph of anti-cop agitprop.  It really is very clever of the Times to show no pictures of the crowd’s behavior, only rows of police in riot gear.  Repugnant, but clever.  Here are all five photographs from the Times photoessay.  Unfortunately, I can only post small copies of the first four photos: to really grasp the intentionality of the paper’s efforts to misrepresent the event and paint cops as jackbooted thugs, go here:

See?  No rioters in this one.  Just a human wall of police, lit eerily by fluorescent purple lights.

No rioters here, either. Just one vulnerable-and-calm-looking youth making a peace sign as cops bear down menacingly.

Police running towards something that isn’t captured in the frame.

No rioters, just bystanders passively watching.  The cops are probably running to help other officers tazer some completely innocent grandpa.  In related news, Rodney King got arrested for the 14,000th time since his infamous 1991 arrest/payday.  His other post-can’t we all get along arrests include trying to run over a police officer with a car, hitting his wife with a car, punching a girlfriend in the stomach, indecent exposure, domestic violence against his daughters and their mother, threatening to kill one of his daughters and her mother, and trying to lead police on another famous high-speed chase, though this time the cops wisely just let him endanger scores of innocent drivers by weaving through traffic at speeds exceeding 100mph, until he crashed through a fence and hit a house.

The fourth photo shows a white cop grabbing a black man while another cop picks something up from the sidewalk and a third in riot gear brandishes a police baton.  You can practically hear the imagined caption: “cop in riot gear brandishes police baton.”  No scenes of marauding crowds in this one either, just one guy and three cops. It isn’t clear why the police are apprehending the man.  Did he just steal something?  Why is he running?  The Times doesn’t explain.  Nor do they tell us what this photo has to do with the riot.  Maybe it’s a stock image they use to flesh out their anti-police crusades.

Robocop getting ready to beat on invisible crowd, from the visual propagandists at the Los Angeles Times.

So that’s five photos of police looking menacing without one single image showing the rioters or the size of the out-of-control crowd that gathered outside Grauman’s Chinese Theater.  All in all, the Times actually ran six rioter-free photos, if you count one from the front page I wasn’t fast enough to capture — of some half-naked love child peering at the police line through a heart shape made with his hands.

Ugh.

In order to actually see pictures of things like rioters jumping on police cars, you do have to look to the British press.  I’ve begun to notice major American dailies “cleaning up” raw footage that shows rioters and criminals committing crime and replacing them with ominous-looking shots of the police response.  Here is a picture showing the size of the crowd.  Contrast this with the Los Angeles Times’ photos, and you can see how hard the Times had to work to disappear the street violence.

Luckily, not all the witnesses were journalists, so at least we have some record of what actually happened.  “There were people trampling all over the police cars, smashing the windows,” said Greg Magda, who was working in a coffee shop nearby.  Being a non-journalist person, Mr. Magda didn’t get the memo about calling the cop-car-trampling and window-smashing “dancing” instead.  There is a war on cops in this country, and the media is playing an increasingly nasty role in encouraging hatred of police.

Taking Pretty Pictures of Anthony Sowell’s Brain: The Real Reason The Justice System’s Broke

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Anthony Sowell has been convicted of murdering eleven women and trying to kill three more.

Now that his defense team has finished lying about the evidence during the trial phase, they will now move on to lying during sentencing.

Trial lying:

Sowell’s attorneys anchored their defense on the argument that prosecutors had no hard evidence — no DNA, no fingerprints, no eyewitnesses — linking Sowell to the women’s deaths.

That would be, no hard evidence except for the bodies of the eleven women found dismembered and scattered throughout his house.  And blood from the victims on his sheets.  And so on.  Why does anyone tolerate this sort of behavior from the defense bar?

But there’s more.

Sentencing hearing lying:

Sowell’s attorneys, John Parker and Rufus Sims, have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on experts to build a case against executing Sowell.

That would be, hundreds of thousands of your dollars.

In the upcoming penalty phase, jurors might hear from neuroscientists who have interviewed Sowell at length or analyzed scans of his brain for insights into his disposition. A military expert is expected to testify about Sowell’s career as an officer and electrician in the U.S. Marine Corp.

Ah yes, the academic-driven “brain scan” racket.  Suddenly phrenology’s in fashion again.

But let’s not leave out the rest of the gravy train:

And nearly $150,000 has been paid to a social researcher, charged with the task of scouring the globe for witnesses who can testify about how Sowell became the man he is. That could include family members, former teachers or mentors who could humanize Sowell and explain what might have gone wrong in his developmental years.

The sole trajectory of criminal justice over the past half-century has been a deliberative shifting of responsibility for crime away from the offender and onto the rest of us.  Why are we paying someone to “scour the globe” for people who can “humanize” Sowell?  Why aren’t we spending that money scouring the globe making sure he didn’t discard any other dismembered bits of “non-evidentiary” female skulls and torsos for his defense attorneys to deny?  In one of the more sordid chapters of Sowell’s sordid trial, the AP withdrew a story about the eleven women’s bodies found in his home because the headline referred to Sowell as a “rapist” instead of an “attempted rapist.”  This is pointillistic, fetishistic sensitivity to a mass murderer, built on the irrelevant fiction that his 1989 conviction for rape and kidnapping wasn’t really rape and kidnapping because of a plea deal he cut to gain reduced charges.

There is no limit to the degradation of innocents in our courts today.  Why do we tolerate it?

And why do we subsidize it? I’m sure some public defense attorney charged by the hour to demand that the AP Stalinistically cleanse its headline of the undisputed fact that the woman kidnapped and tortured by Sowell in 1989 was penetrated by him, thus making it “rape” instead of “attempted rape.”

Well, at least all those systematic rapes and murders and dismemberings weren’t hate crimes.  That would have been really bad.

James Alan Fox. Professional.

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Surveying the current crop of well-known criminologists is sort of like watching a sack of drowning cats trying to make excuses for the guy who just threw them in a lake.  It didn’t used to be that way.  Once, giants in short-sleeved button-down shirts with clip-on ties labored anonymously in room-sized IBM computers.

Now we have celebrity criminologists like James Alan Fox jealously guarding his speciality of crawling into sex killers’ brains and popping back out to tell the rest of us stuff like: “serial killers are really angry, and they blame other people for their problems.”  That is, when he isn’t seething with thinly-disguised contempt towards crime victims, who seem to bother him by existing.

Last week, Fox summoned all his professional expertise to pen a very nasty little screed decrying ABC news for hiring crime victim Elizabeth Smart to comment on crime.  Here is Fox describing the poised young woman, who survived kidnapping and months of repeated sexual assault:

The 23-year-old college student is well-known, of course, for having been kidnapped from her home at the age of 14 and repeatedly raped by a homeless religious extremist, and lucky enough to live to tell about it. However, ABC is looking for Smart to speak about much more than her own victimization. Apparently, the network believes that her harrowing ordeal qualifies her as an expert on the general topic of kidnapping.  Her name may be smart, but she is hardly an expert.

Does the professor realize that he is projecting all the gravitas of an aggrieved teen?  Yet he also manages to sound like a middle-aged professor trying to kiss up to news executives by pretending that their coverage of topics like “kidnapping” is somehow dependent on dense intellectual inquiry.  Here, by the way, is the cover of one of Dr. Fox’s dense intellectual inquiries:

That’s not lurid and exploitative because the authors are academics.

Fox certainly is an expert at what he does, which, in addition to stating extremely obvious things about serial killers, involves playing down the legal significance of woman-hatred as a motive for sexual crimes against women.  I’ve written here, here, and here about his prominent role in deceiving the public about the ways hate crime laws are subjectively enforced, all in order to serve the demands of activists.  Fox’s particularly low and ugly sub-speciality in this ruse is using his “expertise” on sex killers to distinguish between ‘hate motivations’ and ‘just killing bunches of women because you have low self-esteem, or can’t get a date.’

In other words, whenever some extremely angry guy gets a gun and mows down random women, or goes into a bar and attacks the first woman he sees, or rapes and murders woman after woman, you can count on James Alan Fox to blather on about the guy’s feelings of insecurity while carefully pretending that the question of whether the crime should be prosecuted as “hate” isn’t relevant.  Reporters never interrupt this delicate tap dance with questions as Fox sashays “women killed by gunman looking to kill women” into the “non-hate” column.

So when James Alan Fox complains about the networks hiring “non-experts” like Elizabeth Smart, he isn’t just being offensive on a personal level: he is pretending that he and his credentialed peers aren’t pushing their own agendas when they appear on the evening news.  Although these agendas routinely come with funding from activist groups, the network media never seems to mention that.  Fox’s personal style is misdirection by omission, as when he manages to crawl through lengthy interviews about the causes of inner-city crime without mentioning broken homes or missing fathers.

It would be interesting to ask him why he thinks Elizabeth Smart’s captor wasn’t prosecuted for “gender bias hate” — or to ask that question of any of the academics who pull in big salaries and grants to lecture us about what we should be believing and not believing.

One might occasionally expect a little humility from the academic discipline that brought us whoppers like “unemployment increases crime . . . oh wait, scratch that.” One would be in error.  The outrage expressed by Fox over the Elizabeth Smart hiring isn’t just about her: it is the outrage of a class of people who are used to getting away with promoting their own faux objectivity and controlling the message without being challenged or questioned at all.

But Fox’s outrage is also very much about Smart being a crime victim. Criminologists who tend to see criminals as the only victims of our justice system (in other words, criminologists like Fox who get quoted in the New York Times) are rendered deeply uncomfortable by the presence of actual victims.  Victims, like their equally unreliable sidekick, The Public, often have the temerity to complain about crime, instead of relying on criminologists to tell them how they should feel.  Fox’s meltdown over Elizabeth Smart is awash in the sort of anxieties and antipathies that criminologists reserve for crime victims (and never for criminals).  He slips from fatuousness to outright contempt:

I will resist the temptation to judge whether such a role is healthy for someone who endured nine months of sexual assault and servitude, with the psychological effects lasting well beyond her rescue. More to the point, what insights can Smart bring to the table or the set of Good Morning America? . . . Smart may have had an up close and personal, albeit untrained perspective of her abductor, but most kidnappings are for very different purposes than hers. Wouldn’t viewers learn much more from an analyst who has specialized in the study of kidnapping . . . Obviously, hiring Smart is much more of an attention grabber.  To be fair, ABC’s decision to feature Elizabeth Smart as their kidnapping specialist reflects a fairly common practice in what could be described as the mass media version of “it takes one to know one.”

“It takes one to know one”?  It takes one to know one what?  That saying is a pejorative, as is the entire tone Fox assumes here:

There are countless other examples of activists who turn their victimization into a credential for instant expertise. After surviving a mass shooting at a crowded Texas restaurant, Suzanna Gratia Hupp became the darling of the NRA, was elected to the Texas state legislature and published a book — all on her experience-based advocacy for right-to-carry laws. Closer to home, Donna Cuomo gained the limelight as the aunt of a teenager once murdered by furlough-absconder Willie Horton, and eventually gained a seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives predicated largely on her tough-on-criminals agenda.

The darling of the NRA.  Gained the limelight. What did these people ever do to Fox, other than being crime victims and refusing to hide their faces in shame, as he and his peers would prefer?  Note that he describes vicious murderers in neutral terms while lashing out at their victims.  And what, precisely, is “experienced-based advocacy for right-to-carry laws”?  Does Fox know how people become lobbyists?  It’s not by getting a Ph.D. in lobbying.

Here is Suzanna Gratia Hupp’s story.  It is sickening that James Alan Fox would skip these facts in order to enhance his contemptuous dismissal of her:

On Wednesday, October 16, 1991, Hupp and her parents were having lunch at the Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen. She had left her gun in her car to comply with Texas state law at the time, which forbade carrying a concealed weapon. When George Hennard drove his truck into the cafeteria and opened fire on the patrons, Hupp instinctively reached into her purse for her weapon, but it was in her vehicle. Her father, Al Gratia, tried to rush Hennard and was shot in the chest. As the gunman reloaded, Hupp escaped through a broken window and believed that her mother, Ursula Gratia, was behind her. Hennard put a gun to her mother’s head as she cradled her mortally wounded husband. Hupp’s mother and father were killed along with twenty-one other persons. Hennard also wounded some twenty others. As a survivor of the Luby’s massacre, Hupp testified across the country in support of concealed-handgun laws. She said that had there been a second chance to prevent the slaughter, she would have violated the Texas law and carried the handgun inside her purse into the restaurant.

Suzanna Gratia Hupp, with a picture of her murdered parents

It sounds as if the professor doesn’t wish to merely ban non-professors from speaking to the media: he wants to prevent the proles from doing things like running for office in state legislatures.  How dare these women . . . represent people.  What he says about John Walsh is even more shocking:

John Walsh made a career on the shoulders of having been the father of a 6-year-old abduction/murder victim.

Fox is too much of a coward to say “on the shoulders of Walsh’s six-year old abducted and murdered son,” though that’s obviously what he means.  Otherwise, he’d be talking about Walsh standing on his own shoulders, which makes no sense.  What a dishonest little quisling.  Also, what an odd way of arguing that you’re more professional than someone.  Yet, despite all the ill advised things Fox has already said, the professor has even more to say:

Although [Walsh’s] efforts in hostingAmerica’s Most Wanted may have contributed to bringing certain criminals to justice, was he really the best person for the job? What is it about having his son grabbed and killed that qualified him as an expert on law enforcement investigation?

Hmmm.  This begs an academic question, or maybe just a question about academics: did Dr. Fox do a scientific study to back up this assertion that crime victims don’t make the “best” hosts for popular television shows about fugitives from the law?

What’s that?  He didn’t?

OK, is he at least a credentialed expert on casting for television shows?  No?  Then why is he writing authoritatively about a subject firmly outside his area of expertise in an essay arguing that people who lack academic credentials should not voice their opinions on subjects outside their area of expertise?

I guess he’s not an expert in logic, either.

In fact, the most laughable part of Fox’s argument is his insistence that he and his academically credentialled ilk act like professionals when they’re the ones out trolling for headlines.  Here’s my evidence:

Professionalism Exhibit 1:

This is Fox’s own website, from the very classy WOLFMAN PRODUCTIONS, which also represents porn star Ron Jeremy and Daryl Davis, the “Black Klansman.”  In the super-professional world of WOLFMAN PRODUCTIONS, Dr. Fox proudly boasts that he is called THE DEAN OF DEATH. This is itself an exaggeration: Northeastern University confirms that Fox is not actually the Dean of Death but only a regular professor in their criminology department.

Dr. James Alan Fox, Lipman Family Professor of Criminal Justice and former dean at
Northeastern University in Boston, presents six incredible lectures on criminology, serial killers, and violence…

  • Killing for Pleasure: Serial Killers Among Us
    A chilling examination of the minds, motives and capture of infamous serial killers of
    our time.
  • Overkill: Shooting Rampages in America
    Workplace avengers, family annihilators, and schoolyard snipers–more methodical
    than imagined.
  • Lessons from the Schoolyard: Youth and School Violence
    A look at the causes of youth and school violence, including an assessment of the
    easy solutions that don’t work and the difficult ones that do.
  • Dial M for Media: Violence and Popular Culture
    A critical discussion of violent themes in television, film, and video games and the
    commercialization of killing.
  • Angry and Dangerous: The Do’s and Don’ts of Disgruntlement
    A guide to understanding vengeance in many work settings and how best to identify
    and respond to problem people and places.
  • American Terror: From the Columbine Killers to the DC Snipers
    An analysis of common themes to various home-grown forms of terror. Including serial
    murder, school violence, child abductions, and workplace violence.

James Alan Fox is The Lipman Family Professor of Criminal Justice and former dean at Northeastern University in Boston. He has published fifteen books, including his two newest, The Will to Kill: Making Sense of Senseless Murder, and Dead Lines: Essays in Murder and Mayhem. As an authority on homicide, he appears regularly on national television and radio programs, including the Today Show, Dateline20/2048 Hours andOprah, and is frequently interviewed by the press. He was also profiled in a two-part cover story in USA Today, which dubbed him “The Dean of Death,” in a Scientific American feature story as well as in other media outlets. He served as a consulting contributor for Fox News following the 9/11 terrorist attacks and as an NBC News Analyst during the D.C. Sniper investigation. Fox often gives lectures and expert testimony, including over one hundred keynote or campus-wide addresses around the country, twelve appearances before the United States Congress, White House meetings with President and Mrs. Clinton and Vice President Gore on youth violence, private briefings to Attorney General Reno on trends in violence, and a presentation for Princess Anne of Great Britain. Finally, Fox is a visiting fellow with the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.


For a fee, you can purchase,”Six Incredible Lectures on Criminology, Serial Killers, and Violence” by The Dean of Death.  And he has had private meetings with both Janet Reno and Princess Anne of Great Britain.  Princess Anne!  Princess Anne?

Princess Anne and Janet Reno, both holding invisible balls

Here are some of the reviews this knowledgeable and credentialed intellectual uses to promote his knowledgeable intellectual lectures on crime:

…incredibly astounding… marvelous…”
– Southwest State University

…a huge success. His thought provoking speech on serial killers was extremely entertaining and captured the audience’s attention. Mr. Fox did a wonderful job; I am still hearing great comments about his presentation.”
– Adams State College

Yeah, there’s just nothing more entertaining than listening to some self-important academic prattle on about people who rape and murder women and little boys. Fox’s choice of promotional  materials begs another academic question: if James Alan Fox considers his serial killer research “entertaining” and “amazing,” and if he sells it as a gruesome sideshow through a company that represent porn actors and other assorted lowlife, then where does he get off scolding Elizabeth Smart and John Walsh for talking publicly about crime after they experienced it as victims?

Ron Jeremy, Porn Star.  Stay classy, Northeastern University

Here’s a mental exercise: picture James Alan Fox hanging at the Wolfman Productions Christmas party, regaling Ron Jeremy with his cool stories about meeting Jeffrey Dahmer.  Now keep that image in your mind as you contemplate the presumption Fox displays in these crude, published musings about Elizabeth Smart’s state of mind:

I will resist the temptation to judge whether such a role is healthy for someone who endured nine months of sexual assault and servitude, with the psychological effects lasting well beyond her rescue.

Servitude!  The Dean of Death is also a word master.  Fox pretends he is not “judging” Elizabeth Smart’s mental state but actually resisting the “temptation” to judge it by yammering on about it in print.

I wonder how he justifies even mentioning her mental state?  Is Dr. Fox a mental health professional?  Is he a psychiatrist?  A psychologist?

Uh, he’s just a sociologist.   He has no relevant degrees, no authority, no certification.  Maybe it’s a hobby.  Or maybe, to paraphrase Fox: he may be a professor, but he’s also the guy being represented by Ron Jeremy’s agent.

{Updated} Aesthetic Tragedy, New York Times Style: Mime Panic Buttons Defunded in California

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It’s hard to find anything to say about this story that the New York Times has not trumped simply by writing it:

A Safety Valve for Inmates, the Arts, Fades in California

NORCO, Calif. — Fifteen men darted across the room, their faces slathered in greasepaint, reciting lines from “Tartuffe.” The stage, such as it was, was a low-ceilinged recreation room, and the cast was a troupe of felons who had just stepped in from the dusty yard of the California Rehabilitation Center . . . Two years ago, arts in corrections programs were a mainstay of prisons across the country, embraced by administrators as a way to channel aggression, break down racial barriers, teach social skills and prepare inmates for the outside world.

Or, maybe not.  Though such activities are supposed to reduce recidivism, Times writer Adam Nagourney acknowledges “there is no conclusive research on that.”

No conclusive research.  No conclusive research, not anywhere in the vast offender-validating, crime-denying rabbit warren of California higher education?  Not one, single, believable, peer-reviewed study subsidized by all the drooling millionaires of PEN?

In other words, despite the best efforts by armies of superlatively funded academic researchers, nobody could cook up a justification for spending money on those “arts coordinator[s] in each of the 33 California state prisons, overseeing a rich variety of theater, painting and dance.”

“[The] programs have become a fading memory,” the Times laments.

Once, in the golden age of not long ago, there were mimes teaching Moliere on your dime to child molesters; felons riffing Tartuffe with tax dollars.  Now, no more.

Mime tear.

Tartuffe, incidentally, is a play that happens to be about distrusting expressions of virtue, and authority in general.  So maybe the problem isn’t “the arts.” Maybe the problem is the art being taught, and who is doing the teaching.  The Times story inadvertently serves as Exhibit A for this theme:

Only two prison arts programs are left in California, and both rely on volunteers and private contributions. The one here is run by the Actors’ Gang, whose artistic director is the actor Tim Robbins [who] has become nearly as familiar a figure at the prison as the warden himself.

Of course, that “familiarity” comes with a price tag for the rest of us, though you can bet your last button they’re not including our names on the embossed fundraiser invites.  It costs money for Tim Robbins to prance around maximum security reliving old movie roles.  “The real actors are issued panic buttons to attach to their belts, in case they are cornered,” notes the Times.  Why the “real actors” don’t rely on the curative power of aesthetic accomplishment is not explained. But, enough of that; back to Tim Robbins:

Mr. Robbins instructed the inmates to feel fear . . . “What is Tartuffe afraid of?” he said, wearing a wool skullcap and dressed in black. “Being discovered. Because that would mean jail for him.”

“Something is coming after you!” he said urgently to the inmates as they scampered around. “What is it?”

“Cops!” one inmate yelled.

“Cops!” Mr. Robbins responded, clapping his hands in delight. “Then run!”

How wry, shouting at prisoners to run away from the police.  How, Attica-ey.

Admittedly, Mr. Robbins does have experience successfully encouraging the dreams of aspiring young actors.

Oh, wait, scratch that: Mr. Robbins has experience encouraging the murderers of aspiring young actors who dream of success.

Richard Adan, Murdered by Jack Abbott at 22

Ask the family of Richard Adan.  Adan was a 22-year old aspiring actor and playwright who was brutally stabbed to death in 1981 in his own family’s restaurant by Jack Abbott, a sociopathic killer who was supposed to be in prison but had been freed early because Robbins‘ future wife, Susan Sarandon, and others used their star power to obtain his release {Sarandon, in cahoots with Norman Mailer, helped get Abbott released before she met Robbins; Robbins and Sarandon chose to name their son after Abbott a few years later — the original version of this post was incorrect about Robbins’ attendance at Abbott’s 1982 trial — thanks to Cinesnatch for noting the error}.

Robbins‘s future wife Sarandon said she saw artistic talent in Jack Abbott, so obviously he should go free.  Bolstered by intense lobbying by the New York Times, New York’s literary elite, and PEN, some pathetic, star-struck losers on the New York State parole board agreed to let Abbott go, even though he told his artistic sponsors that he would kill again, which he did, a mere did six weeks after his release.

Jack Abbott, Toast of New York’s Intelligentsia

So, to summarize: in 1981 Tim Robbins‘ future wife Susan Sarandon was among those who helped get murderer Jack Abbott out of prison on the grounds of Abbott’s perceived artistic “talent.”  Abbott immediately satisfied the edgy aesthetics of Susan Sarandon by performing the ultimate act of “outsider” art, stabbing an innocent young man to death outside the man’s family’s restaurant.  The day after the murder, the New York Times ran a glowing review of Jack Abbott’s art (I can’t provide a link: the Times has Stalinistically mopped away this reprehensible little bit of its own history).  Now, in 2011, the Times runs a story about Robbins teaching theater to violent offenders in order to help them gain early release — because participating in programs like this one is all about gaining points towards release, never mind the claptrap about race harmony and self-actualization.

Yet, somehow, the Times doesn’t feel the need to mention Tim Robbins’ previous record with prisoners and arts programs in this story.  Curious choice.

In 1982, Abbott went on trial again. A few of his other supporters, like Norman Mailer, mustered enough big-boy shame this time to cower in the shadows.  But not Susan Sarandon: she continued lobbying for Jack Abbott’s release on the grounds that he was a talented artist.  Robbins’ especially shameless wife showed up daily for the trial in support of her talented murderer.  Later, after she met Tim Robbins, they named their firstborn son after the killer: Jack Henry Robbins.

It is difficult to imagine the degree of callousness it takes to sit in full view of a family mourning for the death of their son while fawning over his killer.  Then, to name your child after the killer?  That should have been the end of those sickos’ careers.  But in Hollywood, Sarandon and Robbins are considered voices of moral authority, not in spite of this heinous inhumanity, but because of it.  Sarandon and Robbins weren’t done torturing and degrading crime victims after the Abbott case, however: they and Sister Helen Prejean made the lives of several other victims hell in the process of making their film, Dead Man Walking.  They grotesquely rewrote and toned down the crimes, wrote the existence of inconvenient survivors out of the story, and invented the killer’s on-screen remorse wholecloth, all under Tim Robbins’ direction.

Robbins chose to disappear victims and crimes.  Why does the corrections system of California permit him to continue using taxpayer resources to perpetuate similar whitewashing today?  The Times‘ story about Tim Robbins’ touching drama academy behind bars carefully avoids mentioning the crimes these sensitive thespians committed.  Reporter Adam Nagourney did not bother to contact the victims of these men, some of them rapists.  He didn’t bother to ask the victims for their point of view on the program.  Isn’t that what reporters are supposed to do?  Instead, we get giggly effervescence (from the slideshow):

The workshops and rehearsals are antic and oddly entertaining: guards can be spotted peering through a window. The inmates, like Matthew O’Day, are animated, campy, energized, liberated and fearlessly engaged, comfortable even playing women in a sea of gang tattoos and muscles.

“Campy, energized, liberated and fearlessly engaged.” “Cops!” cries Tim Robbins, “clapping his hands in delight.”  “[R]un,” he shouts.  What are these inmates supposed to be learning?  What do they learn in other programs, like Changing Lives Through Literature (see here and here), which is taught by anti-incarceration activists who pen long, weepy paeans thanking their offender-students for enriching their pale, law abiding lives?  Check out this particularly troubling story.

I first became interested in prisoner education programs when my own rapist got cut loose early (to commit more heinous rapes of his favorite prey, elderly women) because he allegedly completed “college psychology” courses in prison, a fascinating accomplishment for someone who also got time off the front of his sentence for allegedly being mentally slow.  Too many prison higher educations programs and arts programs are run like this, and by people like Tim Robbins, who see rapists and murderers only as heroes and rebels striking out righteously against America’s “stultifying, capitalist, fascist state.”

And so, unsurprisingly, the material taught is most frequently about crooked justice and wrongful incarceration.  How, again, is this supposed to rehabilitate anyone?  It doesn’t, as respected criminologists have observed.  Vocational training, GED preparation, 12-step programs — those things often help, and contrary to the fabulists at the Times and elsewhere who claim that prisoners today have no access to enrichment or education, they are available to higher numbers of inmates — and also higher percentages of inmates — than ever.

In contrast, all these fantasy workshops on poetry, Restoration drama performances, and college classes about injustice in America do nothing but stroke offenders’ — and their teachers’ — egos.  Reading news stories about such programs, it is impossible not to notice how the teachers pose as acolytes, blaming society for their students’ crimes and praising offenders for their extraordinarily special talents and insights.  In this program funded by crime victims and other Virginia taxpayers, Andrew Kaufman brings his young U.Va. students into prison to read books like The Death of Ivan Illyich with offenders.  Ivan Illyich, remember, is a story about an unethical judge.  The U.Va. students — girls — coo on command over the offenders’ good manners, while judging their own non-felonious classmates harshly.  How early they learn what is wanted from them.  “All four women said the residents were far less superficial and more respectful to them than many male U.Va. students,” the reporter writes.  Really?  Did the girls see the offenders’ records?  Does Kaufman also take them on field trips to visit their victims?

No.  Of course not.  In the moral universe occupied by people like this, the only victims are the men behind bars.  “Cops,” cries Tim Robbins, “run!”  Inmates can still pursue the arts and read books in all of these prisons, of course.  It’s just that taxpayers and crime victims are no longer subsidizing anti-American, anti-incarceration, anti-bourgeoise arts camps for inmates, as they were once forced to do.  “We enjoyed this real lush period when there was this boom in prison growth,” brags Laurie Brooks, speaking of the time in the early 1980’s when then-governor Jerry Brown forced taxpayers to shell out for “lush” prisoner arts programs.

Remember how well that turned out? Crime rates continued their steady climb until sentencing reform took hold, removing prolific offenders from the streets for longer than a semester  or two.  So why is it that Tim Robbins, one of the most troubling figures of the pro-offender cultism that resulted in unmeasurable bloodshed and suffering, even permitted to go into California state prisons to hobnob with violent felons?  Why do taxpayers  and voters allow him to enter correctional institutions and foment his own special brand of resentment towards authority figures and police?  Why aren’t victims’ groups up in arms?

Tim Robbins

Isn’t one Jack Abbott one too many?


A Justification Only James Wolcott Could Love

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James Wolcott, Jurisprudential Dauber

Sanctimony and sneering are usually opposites.  Leave it to the puffy sophisticates at Vanity Fair to combine them into a sentiment more unattractive than the sum of its parts.  Wolcott responds to the Casey Anthony verdict by celebrating what he perceives to be an admirable case of jurors putting it to “the man,” in this case, Nancy Grace:

[D]efense attorney [Jose Beaz] slam dunked it afterwards when he told the press that this verdict was a rebuke to the demonization of his client . . .

Wolcott goes on to crow about his personal ignorance of the case.  What really matters, you see, is his negative opinion of Grace.  Justice, injustice . . . piddling matters like that died at Vanity Fair the moment Dominick Dunne stopped breathing.

Not that they registered very high on the scales of Vanity before Dunne’s death.  Wolcott’s boss, Graydon Carter, veers creepily between indulging in his own special style of high-class pedophilia and painfully long articles defending the more quotidian type.

Disappearing Adria Sauceda: The Nun, The SNAP, The Law Professor, The President, His Newspaper and the U.N. Defend Torture-Killer Humberto Leal

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The Nun:

This is rapist and murderer Humberto Leal, mugging for the camera beside one of his many supporters, Sister Germaine Corbin.  Not included in the picture?  Sixteen-year old Adria Sauceda.

Adria can’t mug for cameras with nuns because she’s dead.  Not just dead — gang-raped, then kidnapped, tortured, raped, and beaten to death in the desert, her skull crushed with repeated blows from a 40 pound slab of asphalt, her body violated by a fifteen inch broken stick.

But he looks like such a nice boy.  Look at the nun’s smile.

Nuns minister to murderers and Catholics oppose the death penalty.  And so it should be.

But photos like this have nothing to do with ministering to a soul: this is public relations calculatedly erasing the memory of another soul — Adria Sauceda — disappearing her and placing Leal in her place.  Humberto Leal’s supporters — who include the President — want to turn Leal into a mere victim of America’s “vicious and unfair” justice system.  The only way to do this is to lie about the legal record and erase the evidence of his crime, namely an innocent sixteen-year old girl named Adria.  A shopworn way of scrubbing such human evidence is to plaster airwaves with photos of the killers looking shy and boyish in the presence of beaming nuns.

I have a modest suggestion for avoiding such deceptions in the future: the next time Sister Corbin wants to play Helen Prejean by clasping hands for the cameras with someone like this, she should use her other hand to hold up a picture of the victim.  Then things like facts and what is really at stake will not be buried behind the smiles.

A picture of murder victim Adria Sauceda, held in her parents’ hands

The SNAP:

Shamefully, SNAP, the Survivor Network of Those Abused by Priests, has also come out in Humberto Leal’s defense, because, they claim, he was molested by a priest.  But they don’t stop there: in their eagerness to climb into bed with Leal’s Bernadine Dohrn-connected defense team (see below), SNAP is actually promoting the defense’s risible claims of Leal’s innocence.  Their statement of support completely whitewashes Garcia’s crimes, a stunningly cynical act by a group that claims to exist in order to . . . oh, oppose the official whitewashing of sexual crimes:

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, National Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests [contact info deleted].  We wholeheartedly support efforts to postpone the execution of Humberto Leal, and to try and protect kids from Fr. Federico Fernandez, through both secular and church channels.  We believe it is possible, even likely, that Fernandez could be criminally prosecuted, but only if Catholic and Texas authorities aggressively seek out others who saw, suspected or suffered the priest’s crimes. Delaying Mr. Leal’s execution is just and fair and would help this outreach process.

The whitewashing doesn’t end there.  SNAP uses their website to promote a discredited version of Leal’s “innocence.”  This version has been rejected repeatedly by the courts.  Worse, it intentionally minimizes the circumstances of the murdered girl’s suffering.  Here is SNAP’s version, quoting a wildly inaccurate article by someone named Brandi Grissom, who happens to be an anti-death penalty activist writing as a journalist for an online paper.  I’m quoting extensively here to offer some background, but the last paragraph’s the kicker:

One of [a priest’s] alleged victims is Humberto Leal, a death row inmate who in 1995 was convicted of raping and bludgeoning to death a 16-year-old girl. His attorneys this week filed a clemency petition on his behalf. They asked Gov. Rick Perry and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to stay his execution and allow him to testify both as a victim and a witness of abuses allegedly perpetrated decades ago by Father Federico Fernandez, who served at St. Clare’s from 1983 to 1988.

Now, others who attended St. Clare’s have been spurred by Mr. Leal’s recent revelations to come forward and report similar abuse. They hope that by telling their stories they can stop the July 7 execution of Mr. Leal, and spur law enforcement to investigate and prosecute Father Fernandez.

The priest, who currently works in a church in Bogotá, Colombia, denies ever abusing anyone.

Church authorities in San Antonio removed him from the parish and sent him to New Mexico for treatment in 1988 after a grand jury indicted him for sexually abusing two other boys. In statements to police, the boys described multiple occasions when Father Fernandez schemed to get them alone and groped them. After the indictment, the boys’ family reached a settlement with the church, and the young men decided not to testify. Charges against Father Fernandez were dropped, and terms of the settlement were sealed.

Even before Father Fernandez arrived at St. Clare’s, he had been accused of sexual misconduct. In 1983, San Antonio police charged him with exposing himself in public, though the charges were eventually dropped. And since Mr. Leal’s revelation, others who attended St. Clare’s have reported similar abuse. . .

As is usually the case in a criminal matter, the facts of what led to Mr. Leal facing execution next month are in dispute — all, that is, except that Adria Sauceda was raped and murdered. Mr. Leal maintains he did not rape the girl and witnesses testified at his trial that she had been gang raped at a party. Witnesses told the authorities that Mr. Leal arrived at the scene and, outraged at what had happened to her, took her away from the party. He admitted that he and Ms. Sauceda physically fought after they left, and that she could have died after he pushed her and she hit her head on a rock. The police found her body about 100 yards from the location of the party.

Hit her head on a rock  . . . as he was rescuing her!  Gee, this Leal guy sounds like he might be innocent, doesn’t he?  And this is SNAP, after all, and they stand beside victims who have had their sexual assaults pushed under rocks, as it were.

Let’s be very, very clear about what SNAP is doing.  They are attempting to deny that Adria Sauceda was raped — again — by Leal as he bludgeoned her to death.  They are using their credibility as a rape victims’ rights organization to say that Leal’s kidnapping and rape of Sauceda may not have occurred.

And this is a rape victims’ rights organization.  Jesus wept, though not just this one time: I’ve seen similar ugliness in other victims’ rights groups hijacked by advocates for offenders.

Regarding the rape, SNAP forgot something.  They forgot the stick.  After the child was taken from the party by Leal, she was raped with a stick.  A jagged stick with screws sticking out of it, to be precise, which, to be even more precise — let’s say discerning — was used on Adria Sauceda while she was still alive.  That’s rape, and SNAP, of all bloody organizations, should know that, rather than quibbling over the number of times a dead girl was violated.  What, are they the only victims who ever matter?  Where is their membership regarding this obscenity?

With this decision to publicly support Leal, and to support him in the way they have chosen, SNAP’s leadership has made itself vulnerable to a common accusation — that they are just left-wing activists using the molestation crisis to attack the growing sexual conservatism of the Catholic Church.  I discount these accusations when they come from people who are themselves busy downplaying the reach of the molestation issue (particularly the cover-ups).  The absurd John Jay “hippies made us do it” “study” is one example of cover-up that discredits its advocates, for example.

But with this swift move by SNAP, such exploitation of victims is full circle now.  As usual, the people left out in the cold are the ones unfortunate enough to have been raped or murdered by one politically protected group or another.

What we’re actually witnessing here is the mundane drumbeat of insinuation, as yet another victims-rights group centrifuges its values and joins its opponents in picking and choosing among victims to support.  In a broader sense, I blame this sort of ethical slippage on the many political satisfactions of “hate crimes” laws, which codify and reward the act of valuing some victims over others.  Once identity politics is larded into sentencing, and activism, it’s easy to throw less politically useful crime victims out with the trash.

Here is the real record of the evidence, from Pro-Death Penalty a serious website that deserves serious attention, especially from those who hold that the death penalty itself is universally insupportable on religious or ethical grounds.  It is especially important for these types of death penalty opponents (I count myself one) to witness the whole truth, to not push away facts, or fall for outrageous claims of innocence, or pose for color glossies with sick sadists, or violate one’s mission statement to defend certain victims by helping bury others.

I encourage you to read the entire story at Pro-Death Penalty, because it catalogs the disturbing censorship by virtually every news agency — and activists at SNAP, among others.  Pro-Death Penalty quotes Texas Attorney General Gregg Abbot.  This passage is long, and painful to read: please remember it as you see the whitewashing of this crime in every media source over the next week:

[A] witness testified that an unidentified male invited him to have intercourse with Adria. The same witness testified that he later observed another man carrying a disoriented Adria to a truck, where he “had his way with her.” Twenty-three-year-old Humberto Leal was also at the party. At some point the intoxicated but conscious victim was placed in Leal’s car. Leal and Adria left together in Leal’s car. About thirty minutes later, Leal’s brother arrived at the party in a car which came to a screeching halt. Leal’s brother was very excited or hysterical. Leal’s brother started yelling to the people left at the party, “What the hell happened!” Leal’s brother was yelling that Leal came home with blood on him saying he had killed a girl. Two of the trial witnesses were present when Leal’s brother made these statements. Shortly thereafter Leal’s brother left in a rush. Several of the party members went looking for Adria in the same area where the party was. They found her nude body lying face-up on a dirt road. They noticed Adria’s head had been bashed in and it was bleeding. Her head was flinching or jerking. These party members called the police. When the police arrived, they saw the nude victim lying on her back. There was a 30 to 40 pound asphalt rock roughly twice the size of Adria’s skull lying partially on Adria’s left arm. Blood was underneath this rock. A smaller rock with blood on it was located near Adria’s right thigh. There was a gaping hole from the corner of Adria’s right eye extending to the center of her head from which blood was oozing. Adria’s head was splattered with blood. There was a bloody and broken stick approximately 14 to 16 inches long with a screw at the end of it protruding from [her body]. Another 4 to 5 inch piece of the stick was lying to the left side of Adria’s skull. The police made a videotape of the crime scene portions of which were admitted into evidence. Later that day, the police questioned Leal. Leal gave two voluntary statements.

Remember this part: it is important, in the context of President Obama’s defense of Leal.  Yes, that President Obama.

In Leal’s first statement he said he was with Adria in his car when she began hitting him and the steering wheel causing him to hit a curb. Leal attempted to calm her down but Adria leaped from Leal’s car and ran away. Leal claimed he sat in his car and waited about ten or fifteen minutes to see if Adria would return and when she did not he went home. After giving this statement, Leal was informed that his brother had also given a statement. Leal then gave another statement. In this statement, Leal claimed he followed Adria when she got out of his car and ran away. Leal claimed Adria attacked him. Leal pushed her and she fell to the ground. When she did not get up Leal attempted to wake her but could not. He then looked at her nose and saw bubbles. Leal stated he got scared, went home, prayed on the side of his mom’s bed and told family members what had happened, claiming it was just an accident. After giving this statement an officer gave Leal a ride home. The police searched Leal’s house. The police seized a blouse which contained several blood stains, hair and fibers. This blouse was later identified as belonging to Adria. The police also seized Leal’s clothing from the night before. Leal was arrested later that afternoon at his home. Leal’s car was also impounded. The police conducted Luminol tests of the passenger door to determine whether any blood was evident. Blood stains were discovered on the passenger door and seat. Detectives testified that the blood stains were streaked in a downward motion, indicating that the blood had been wiped off.  There was insufficient residue to conduct a blood typing of the stains on the vehicle. Other DNA evidence was found on the underwear Leal was wearing that night. That evidence consisted of blood as well as bodily fluid. The DNA test did not preclude Adria’s blood type from the evidence tested. Dr. DiMaio, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy, testified about Adria’s injuries and cause of death. DiMaio testified that even though Adria was intoxicated when she received her injuries, she would have been aware of what was happening to her. In addition to Adria’s massive head injuries, DiMaio testified about injuries Adria received to her chest and shoulder which were consistent with having been inflicted by the stick found in Adria’s vagina. DiMaio also testified about the defensive wounds Adria received to her hands trying to protect herself from some object. DiMaio also testified Adria was alive when the stick was placed in her vagina. Adria’s neck also contained injuries consistent with manual strangulation. DiMaio testified Adria received some of her injuries while standing up. Adria received her head injuries while lying flat. The injuries to Adria’s head were due to blows from the front. These injuries were inconsistent with a fall. Adria’s head injuries were consistent with Adria lying on the ground with somebody standing over her striking her. DiMaio testified the large rock could have delivered the injuries to Adria’s head. Based on the injuries to Adria’s head, DiMaio testified Adria would had to have been struck with the rock two or three times. DiMaio testified Adria died from blunt force trauma injuries to the head. DiMaio could not say for certain that the rock caused the injuries. He testified Adria was beaten about the face with a blunt object or more than one object which could have been the rock or something else. On cross-examination, DiMaio testified that one blow from the rock could have caused Adria’s death. DiMaio also testified about bite marks he found on Adria’s left cheek, the right side of her neck and the left side of her chest. Another witness compared the bite marks on Adria’s chest and neck with dental impressions of Leal’s teeth. They matched. The State’s indictment charged that Leal killed Sauceda while in the course of and attempting either to kidnap her or to commit aggravated sexual assault. Leal was convicted and, after a separate punishment phase, sentenced to death.

Nice work, SNAP.

The Law Professor:

Meanwhile, in the courts, the whitewashing of Adria Sauceda’s murder continues, cradled in the hands of experts trained in such ugly arts.

Humberto Leal’s defense attorney, Sandra L. Babcock, of the terrorist-sheltering law school at Northwestern University, has an interesting vitae.  Ms. Babcock’s research interest is imposing international law on the American justice system, a hobby she practices with her colleague, terrorist-cum-law-professor Bernadine Dohrn.  In 2008, Babcock and Dohrn worked “tirelessly” together to get Chicago’s city council to pass a resolution signing on to the U.N. Convention for the Rights of the Child.  Of course, such things always sound nice.

In 2003, along with the A.C.L.U., The Jimmy Carter Center, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Open Society Institute, Sandra Babcock, Bernadine Dorhn, and Van Jones (he’s listed as “invited”) participated in an A.C.L.U. sponsored conference called Human Rights at Home: International Law in U.S. Courts (program here). The purpose of the conference was to find ways to insinuate international (read: United Nations) laws and resolutions in American legal arenas, as Sandra Babcock is attempting to do to free her client, Humberto Leal.  From the conference program:

The conference will familiarize lawyers and advocates with international human rights treaties, laws and organizing strategies that can strengthen domestic social justice work by:
* Ensuring U.S. accountability for violating international human rights principles in additional to domestic constitutional ones
* Providing new, affirmative protections for workers, poor people, immigrants, and victims of discrimination
* Linking multiple issues to address problems that intersect race, gender, and poverty
* Connecting local advocacy to global struggles

As per her academic research and this movement, Babcock is now claiming that the police failed to inform Leal of his right to Mexican consular support when he was arrested.  Allegedly, this failure violated the rules of the International Court of Justice at the Hague: Leal, as a “Mexican national,” should have simply been able to call “his” embassy and the entire mess — the body, the rock, the stick, the bloody clothes, et. al. could be whisked away like some New Guinean ambassador’s parking tickets.

But there’s one little problem: Humberto Leal has lived in the United States, apparently illegally, since he was two.  Talk about wanting it both ways: Leal was an American until the moment he murdered Adria Sauceda.  That changed in the brief space between bashing in a young girl’s head and wiping down the doors of his car.  Now he’s a “Mexican national,” a term everyone from the President to the New York Times to “human rights” organizations (Leal’s rights, not Sauceda’s) is using with no irony and no explanation, as they lobby to cloak a killer in layers of special privileges while simultaneously lobbying to prevent police from inquiring about immigration status.

Get it?  The police will have to determine if someone is a foreign citizen in order to offer them consular rights, but they’ll also be forbidden to ask if someone is a foreign citizen in the interest of not discriminating against illegal immigrants, a lovely Catch 22 dreamed up by academics.  This cliff we’re careening towards is permanent demotion of Americans’ legal rights on their own soil.  If President Obama, his friend Bernadine Dohrn, and Jimmy Carter get their way, the police are going to find their hands tied in ten different ways, and our criminal justice system will soon be utterly subservient to whatever the hell they dream up at the U.N.

Expect more Humberto Leals.

Why isn’t the president of Mexico (or, say, America) calling for justice for Adria Sauceda?  Is that so difficult to conceive?

In an excellent article in American Thinker, David Paulin writes:

In Mexico, ordinary citizens can expect little from their country’s criminal justice system; it’s not a place where they can count on receiving justice.  So it is surprising that Mexicans on death row in the U.S. can expect so much from their government.  Americans, moreover, have always fared badly when caught in Mexico’s criminal justice system; it’s one of the risks of going to Mexico, and international law does not seem to offer additional guarantees of safety to visitors going there.  Yet in this case and others, Mexico presents itself as a paragon of virtue, committed to the lofty ideals of international law that Texas and other U.S. states are ignoring.

In 2004, Mexico sent its top legal talent to the International Court of Justice in The Hague — and complained about 51 of its citizens being on death rows in various U.S. states; none, they complained, had been advised that their government was prepared to offer them top lawyers for their defense.

That Hague court ruled that the U.S. was indeed bound by the treaty — prompting President George W. Bush to ask the states to apply it and review cases involving Mexican citizens awaiting death sentences.  However, Gov. Perry was unimpressed.  He refused to grant a stay-of-execution for Jose Medellin, 33, an illegal immigrant from Mexico found guilty in the 1993 rape-strangulation of two teenage Houston girls, Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Peña.  Instead, Medellin was executed, despite having never been informed that Mexico was ready to provide him with a great lawyer.

The President and His Newspaper

In order to really disappear Adria Sauceda, fully and truly, you need more than bunches of law professors and activists: you need the media.  The New York Times does not disappoint.  The Times gawkingly refers to Humberto Leal merely as a “Mexican citizen,” as if he wandered over the border one day and ended up smashing a girl’s head in with a rock, his decades of residency in the U.S. tacitly denied.  As they put it:

Mr. Leal, a Mexican citizen, was not immediately informed of his right, under an international treaty signed by the United States, to seek assistance “without delay” from Mexican consular officials in navigating a confusing foreign legal system.  Such help might have been crucial for someone like Mr. Leal who, his lawyers say, had few resources and a limited understanding of his plight.

Poor guy: maybe he didn’t speak English and got lost looking for directions back to the embassy.

Or, maybe people like Northwestern University Law Professor Sandra Babcock have just gotten so used to lying, of not being challenged by the paper of record that they simply don’t expect to be called on even the most astonishing deceptions.  Babcock’s statement is a cringing embarrassment for the Times and Northwestern Law School (which, as Bernadine Dohrn’s employer, admittedly short circuited their ability to blush decades ago).

But Babcock’s Times quote goes beyond lying.  It is direct, false accusation of everyone involved in the Leal conviction, from the police who arrived at the murderer’s house to the U.S. Court of Appeal for the 5th Circuit, which, David Paulin writes, strongly affirmed Leal’s guilt.

Luckily for Ms. Babcock, her accommodating and incurious pals at the Times do not cite the appeals record.  Nor do they interview anyone who might disagree with her fable of “foreigner” Leal’s Bread-and-Chocolate disorientation with the country where he has lived since he was in diapers.  The word of one academician who grotesquely fibbed her way through two previous paragraphs apparently trumps our entire appellate legal system:

“This was an eminently defendable case, and I don’t think it would have been a capital case if he’d had decent trial counsel” from the start, said Sandra L. Babcock, a Northwestern University law professor representing Mr. Leal on behalf of the Mexican government.

Contrast this with the brief summary of Leal’s appeals compiled by John G. Winder.  Brief, but too long to list here.  Would it be too much for the Times to acknowledge that Leal has had at least 45 different hearings and appeals?

Maybe the Times is just practicing for the time when decisions about American justice are being made in the Netherlands, or 760 United Nations Plaza. In any case, reporter Brian Knowlton blithely allows a passel of activists to insist, one after the other, that Leal’s defense was insufficient, without once mentioning those 45 hearings.

Reading Times articles like this one does have its advantages.  It is amazing, the things you can learn when observing activists in their own natural surroundings.  Mexico’s justice system may be incapable of staunching the flow of blood on their own streets, but they’re spending millions of dollars defending outsourced child rapists and murderers from the vagaries of American jurisprudence:

Early assistance in murder cases also matters, said Noah Feldman [continuing the ‘poor Humberto’ meme], a Harvard law professor: [sic] Prosecutors know that seeking the death penalty is a long, difficult, expensive process, and they carefully weigh their chances. Knowing that the accused will be well represented could tip the balance away from seeking death, he said.

With that sort of idea in mind, Mexico in 1999 created an ambitious legal assistance program to aid its citizens in capital cases. The program’s director, Gregory Kuykendall, now heads a team of 32 lawyers; in the year ending in May, Mexico spent $3.5 million on the program, according to the Sunlight Foundation, which focuses on government accountability.

Richard Dieter, executive director of the private Death Penalty Information Center, said Mexico’s active legal support had probably contributed to a decline in death penalty cases in Texas. “I think part of it is just better representation,” he said. “Mexico gives advice to other countries about how to do this.”

So if you want to come to America to rape and murder young women, either tomorrow or some time in 2028, it’s best to get Mexican citizenship first.

However, also according to the Times, the U.S. is not far behind Mexico in preparing the ground, as it were, for the future transition to governance by the United Federation of Planets:

The State Department has held hundreds of training sessions across the country to familiarize federal, state and local law-enforcement officials with the Vienna treaty and has issued a 144-page booklet outlining the requirements, with translations in 20 languages, including Creole and Cambodian.

Written, of course, by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the same “private” organization paid a pretty taxpayer dime to decide and then tell us stuff like why it is that some crimes are called hate crimes and some crimes are just bashing in a young girl’s head while raping her with a stick.  It’s not how laws are written and passed by elected legislative bodies, you see.  What really matters is the opinion of experts like law professors, Eric Holder, the IACP, the United Nations, and the Hague.

At the end of this dark, long road to dismantling the American Justice System, there lies — what?  The District Court of the United Nations Human Rights Council?  The fact that President Obama has joined forces with the United Nations to side with Humberto Leal and against our own courts is terrifying. In the wake of the Casey Anthony verdict, it has also gone unnoticed.  Justice for Adria Sauceda and Caylee Anthony?  Not in this America.

Annals of Social Justice: Anarchists Protest Police, Unkindness, Dudes Who Want to Start Protests on Time

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From a very funny Eric Lacitis of the Seattle Times, deadpan news coverage:

PROTEST AGAINST POLICE GETS PUSHY

An anti-police protest that started in downtown Seattle and went to Capitol Hill featured about 60 to 70 self-described anarchists, most looking to be in their 20s, and about 30 police officers on bicycles with an additional five on horse patrol. . . The demonstrators, many dressed anarchist style in black jeans and black hoodies with black bandannas covering their faces, shouted slogans such as, “Cops, pigs, murderers!” and kicked over a garbage can or two.

“Anarchist style.”  Because you don’t want to dress like just anyone if you’re a free spirit.

[A] young woman, who had a metal pin through the bridge of her nose, was handing out little cardboard cards that read, handwritten in pink, “I am an anarchist & I care about you!” The card included a peace sign.  “A lot of people see anarchists as angry and aggressive people,” she said. “That’s definitely not true. We’re not about violence.”

Unless you’re a garbage can.  It’s also really hard to drink soda through a bandanna:

She was with a young man who was complaining that wearing a bandanna covering his face interfered with drinking his Mountain Dew.

Unlike most of the protestors, the reporter showed up on time, a seemingly unchallenging six in the evening:

The protest didn’t start out promisingly.  It had a scheduled start time of 6 p.m. at Westlake Park, but by then only half a dozen people had shown up. . . By 6:30 p.m. the group of anarchists and supporters had grown to 70.  Herded by the police, they went around the block. As happens in demonstrations, a couple of individuals who seem to relish attention did a lot of shouting.

Ha.

The anarchists stood by the edge of Cal Anderson Park that’s near the precinct station, waving black flags and signs with messages like, “What we want begins with a no.”  They shouted slogans such as, “There ain’t no power like the power of the people, because the power of the people don’t stop.”  There was some more shouting, the cops stood impassively blocking the protesters from going into the street, and then eventually the anarchists straggled off.

Don’t miss the video.  The cops have much cooler, all-black outfits than the protestors.  Is it just me, but if the power of the people doesn’t stop, how does it also begin with a no?

Suppressing Debate in the Michael Woodmansee Case

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Editor’s Note: I suspended this blog eight months ago, for the usual personal reasons.  Sometimes, it’s good to swing a hammer instead of a pen.  I’ve been trying to find a way to start the blog up again.  When writing about the justice system’s dealings with crime victims, the problem is that there are too many injustices to cover.  And the media rarely acknowledges any of these injustices, except in condescending ways.  They’ll mouth pieties about feeling sorry for victims, but, in reality, they are utterly disinterested in actually reporting the systematic ways the justice system fails the vast majority of people who have been on the receiving end of crimes, large and small.

They’re too fixated on empathizing with criminals to do that.

Most newspaper editors, along with the vast majority of criminologists and law professors, are unabashedly pro-offender in their outlook (there are many good crime beat reporters out there, but they rarely end up on the editorial pages).  This powerful pro-offender, anti-incarceration bias warps academic research and opinion writing; it misinforms the public and paves the way for bad and deceptive sentencing policy.

The coverage of the Michael Woodmansee case is a good example of the consequences of such bias.  We are now into the second week of coverage of this story, and the local paper, the Providence Journal, has not yet even bothered to clarify a central aspect of the story: what were the entire range of sentences available to the court when the parents of Michael Woodmansee’s victims were given the choice (and it wasn’t really their choice) to accept a plea bargain of fifty years, forty served, for the torture, murder, cannibalization, and desecration of the remains of their five-year old son?

So far, the emphasis has been on the reactions of the family and the public, rather than the law itself.  Only one print news story has mentioned that there was not a Life Without Parole (LWOP) option that could be applied to Woodmansee’s case in 1983, for the murder he committed in 1975.  According to the Death Penalty Information Center, Rhode Island didn’t have a LWOP option in 1975.  Their LWOP was passed in 1979.  Nor did they (or do they) have the death penalty.  Presumably, the LWOP law that was passed wasn’t retroactive.  So in 1983, when Woodmansee confessed, the parents of his victims knew that they couldn’t expect him to stay in prison indefinitely.  That surely would have affected their decision to accept a plea, as well as the types of pleas on the table.

But were they given the whole story?  Was there anything stopping the prosecutor from demanding that the child cannibal serve 100 years, for example, so he wouldn’t be facing a good-time release in 2011, or parole even sooner?  Could Woodmansee have been charged with attempted murder for his 1983 assault of another young boy, who survived?  Did the state do everything it could have done?  Why were his sentences for the two different assaults served concurrently?  Why doesn’t anyone in the media ever question the law (or lack of it) behind concurrent sentencing for vicious serial sex crimes?  What really happened, and who really is responsible, for the terrible possibility that Woodmansee will soon be released?

Well, according to the Providence Journal’s editorial columnist Bob Kerr, who cares?  What’s really important to Kerr is making sure those pesky victims or the unwashed public don’t get out of hand, or some rival new source doesn’t get away with “exploiting” the story (of course, his newspaper is benefitting from their steroidally promoted coverage, but, hey, they’re print journalists: it’s classy when they do it).  So although the Journal has had plenty of time to get around to clarifying sentencing laws, or having a real discussion about Rhode Island’s troubling history of lenience towards killers, Kerr has used his bully pulpit merely to berate the public and muddy the legal waters.  In the latter task, he has gotten a big hand from one Andy Horwitz, a law professor/law school dean/President of the Rhode Island Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers who gawkingly mused in print about LWOP as if it might have existed as an option in 1983, without actually explaining whether it did or did not.

It’s a disgraceful performance, but hardly an unusual one.  Distract, accuse, and blame the victim.  So thank you, Andy Horwitz and Bob Kerr, for reminding us precisely how much we need alternative sources for news about crime.  And injustice, when victims are the ones on the receiving end, that is.

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Suppressing Debate in the Michael Woodmansee Case

Child Killer Michael Woodmansee

Jason Foreman, one of Woodmansee’s Victims

If their words are any reflection of their true thoughts, it is an article of belief among media pundits that wishing ill upon a murderer is roughly equivalent to, if not slightly more worrisome than, the murder itself.  This weird arithmetic is currently playing out in Rhode Island, where the father of a five-year old murder victim made headlines by announcing that he will kill the man who killed his son if the state goes ahead with plans to release Michael Woodmansee from prison twelve years early, on the grounds of his “good behavior” behind bars.

In 1975, Woodmansee kidnapped 5-year old Jason Foreman and stabbed the child to death.  He then watched from a close proximity (he was a neighbor) as Foreman’s anguished parents searched — for seven years — for their child.  But that is not all he did.  He cleaned and shellacked Jason’s skull and bones and stored them on his bedroom dresser, telling his father that they were theatrical props.  He indulged himself by auditioning for and receiving the role of a murder suspect in a local production of an Agatha Christie play.  He ambushed and attacked at least one other boy, who escaped, leading to his exposure for the earlier crime.

Despite everything Woodmansee has done, and despite the failure of the state to keep him locked up for life, some pundits see the current controversy as an indictment not of the system, but of those people who took to the streets to express outrage that a child killer would soon be living among them.

It is not enough for the public to simply accept such actions by the state, such thinking goes: they should accept them in silence, preferably while expressing gratitude that larger minds than theirs are attending to the administration of justice.  Thus Providence Journal columnist Bob Kerr scolded the protestors, telling them they should be listening to “thoughtful, reasoned legal voices” instead of allowing themselves to be dumbly led by a “master of ceremonies working the crowd.”  Kerr’s example of such a “reasoned legal voice” was Andrew Horwitz, president of the Rhode Island Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.  Horwitz, hardly an objective observer, used his moment in the spotlight to wax poetic about his love for the Constitution and his worry that public outrage would “twist and distort” the rule of law.

The next day, the Journal gave Andrew Horwitz an entire column to expand his critique of the protestors, while simultaneously announcing that public comments would be closed on Kerr’s piece because “an overwhelming number of readers were making inappropriate statements that violate our comments policy.”

Horwitz once again used his column inches to police other (non-killer) people’s speech.  He took the paper’s editorial board to task for using merely “lukewarm language,” (rather than red-hot language) to condemn the protestors, and then he criticized the state’s Attorney General for failing to criticize the protestors, as if doing so was some sort of requirement of the job.  “A true leader would explain to the public that following the law can sometimes be painful and difficult, but must always be the path that we take as a society of laws,” the defense attorney snapped.  And do it loudly and angrily enough to satisfy the criminal bar, of course.

And then, Horwitz jumped the metaphorical shark.  He compared protestors’ demands that the state reconsider its generous “good-time” rules — astonishingly — to a “school that decides to permanently cancel a successful annual activity because one child misbehaves on one occasion.”

Comparing the early release of a child killer to a “child misbehav[ing] on one occasion” is hardly “thoughtful” speech.  But that is not the most troubling aspect of Horwitz’ op-ed.  What is most troubling is his use of the “vengeance card” — arguing that public opinion (ie. voters) ought not be trusted in future legislative decisions regarding sentencing because the public will brazenly base their opinions on their angry feelings about this one case.

Well, so what if they do? It was public opinion, in 1979, that led Rhode Island lawmakers to institute a life-without-parole option.  Public outrage at lenient sentencing also helped reform Rhode Island law after serial killer Craig Price received a sentence of only five years in a “training school” for committing four extremely brutal murders, including the killing of a mother and her ten- and eight-year-old daughters in 1989.  Because Price was a few weeks shy of 16 when he committed his last three murders, he could only be “rehabilitated” and then released at age 21, with the additional injustice of a clean juvenile record.

Craig Price eventually served more time because the state actually bothered to try him for crimes he committed at the training school and later in adult prisons.  But the defense bar has never stopped trying to free him from prison.  Why?  Because he’s in prison, of course, though that may change if criminal defense lobbyists ever get their way.  The movement to entirely eliminate life sentences for teen killers again — even serial killers — is well underway.

Rebecca Spencer, Stabbed 58 Times by Craig Price

Joan, Jennifer and Melissa Heaton, Stabbed to Death by Craig Price

Five years for four murders, or twelve years off the already-truncated sentence of a child-killer: is it any wonder that the criminal defense bar, and their watchdogs in the media, do not want the public to weigh in on all the extraordinary leniencies they have so carefully woven into our laws?  And so they tar public opinion with a broad brush, accusing non-defense attorneys and non-editors of being too “vengeful” to listen to reason.  They claim “reason” as the exclusive provenance of those who would punish a quadruple murderer with a short stint in reform school and a clean criminal record at the end of it.

They’ll do anything to silence victims’ voices — and they get away with it.

When I was blogging last year, I posted a letter from the relative of a murder victim: she wanted merely to say that she hated the man who had taken her sister’s life and to describe the pain of the mourners and the eulogy at the woman’s funeral.  A week later, the woman wrote to me again, telling me that the prosecutor in the case was worried that her words might be used in some way by the defense team, and so I removed her letter from my blog.  She had been told, as victims are frequently told, to avoid making any public comment about the offender, lest the words magically provide a cause for appeal in our absurdly pro-offender appeals system.  And so she silenced herself out of fear that she might topple the delicate act of putting a murderer away for life, an act that may be toppled in a thousand frivolous ways.  Meanwhile, the defense is perfectly free to say anything it wishes, in the media and in the courtroom, with few consequences for boldly lying, or uttering the most hateful libel directed at deceased and living victims of a crime.

This inequity is, of course, enshrined as a virtue of the system by the criminal defense bar and their admirers.  It is one of the many ways the criminal justice system imposes intense pressure on, even terrorizes, the surviving loved ones of murder victims.  And I’ve never heard a preening newspaper pundit or bloviating civil liberties lawyer utter one peep about such grotesque violations of certain people’s free speech rights.

~~~

Jason Foreman disappeared in 1975, but Michael Woodmansee was not caught until 1982 when he attempted to kidnap another child from the same neighborhood.  Dale Sherman was a 14-year old delivering newspapers when Woodmansee lured him into his house, gave him something to drink that made the boy pass out, and tried to strangle him.  Sherman escaped, and the police discovered 5-year old Jason Foreman’s bones and a journal that reportedly detailed sexual torture and cannibalism committed on the child victim.  The journal was sealed by the court when Woodmansee cut a deal to plead guilty to the crimes against both boys in exchange for serving forty-years of a fifty-year sentence.

The deal let Jason Foreman’s parents bury their child right away, rather than enduring the brutality of a trial and a long delay before the court could release the child’s bones.  By “brutality” I mean the public revelation of what Woodmansee did to Jason Foreman, and also the circus that defense attorneys make of high-profile murder trials where guilt is not in doubt.  The victim in such trials becomes a mere prop in an extended drama detailing the killer’s woes in the hope of mitigating his punishment: the murderer’s childhood sufferings are spun out, along with his purportedly inadequate IQ, his failure to adjust to school, or to find friends.  All the while, the parents and siblings of the victim must sit by and remember that even a fraction of these allegedly dreadful experiences — or a lifetime behind bars — would be a far more generous portion of life than they could ever anticipate for their loved ones.

In 1983, it made sense for the Foremans to accept the prosecutor’s decision to forego such a trial.  Their son’s bones had already served as a prop in the killer’s bedroom for seven long years.  “He ate the flesh of my son . . . before he cleaned the bones,” John Foreman told a local radio talk show host, referring to details given to him by authorities.

From the lofty perch afforded him by the Providence Journal, Andrew Horwitz scolded: “Woodmansee entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to serve a term of 40 years.. . . All of the participants understood that with “good time” he would be released some time well before that date.”  How dare the father of a dead child show anger at his son’s killer.

~~~

Rather than attacking John Foreman, perhaps some of the “reasoned, legal voices” in Providence could discuss the law, instead:

  • Why did the prosecutor settle for a sentence that would see Michael Woodmansee back on the streets again?  She did say there would have been no plea had there been the possibility of LWOP, but weren’t there other options?
  • Are there other killers waiting to benefit from Rhode Island’s historically lenient sentencing rules?
  • Is the public really being irrational in their demand that murderers be excluded from “good time” reductions of time served?
  • Why have there only been a handful of life-without-parole sentences handed down in Rhode Island since “LWOP” was instituted, a mere 27 between 1979 and 2008, out of 700+ murders?
  • How do Rhode Island judges, not to mention the defense bar, thus justify a 3% rate of life sentences without parole as the outcome of murder in their state (yes, of course, some of these crimes go unsolved)?

Don’t expect to find the answer to such real questions from Horwitz or any of the other experts weighing in from the defense side in the Michael Woodmansee case.  They’re too busy chastising the survivors.  But here is one more question for Horwitz and his media peers, one they ought to answer directly:

Do you really call this justice?

~~~

For more information about the movement to roll back life sentences for killers under 19, and excellent analysis of the ways the media and activists misrepresent these cases, see NOVJL, the National Organization of Victims of Juvenile Lifers.

The War on Cops: Blame the Courts, Not the Police.

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It is not yet August, and 94 police officers have been killed in the line of duty this year, 87 by the mid-year mark (June 30), and seven more in July.  That’s an increase of 43% since 2009.  But another fact emerging from the statistics is even more chilling: gun killings of officers have more than doubled in the last twenty-four months, rising 22% in 2008 – 2009, and a staggering 41% in 2009 – 2010.

That is an increase of 63% in just two years.

Those numbers are only fatalities.  Attempted murders — including nonfatal gunshots, stabbings, attacks with vehicles, and other aggravated assaults — aren’t counted.  In Tampa Bay, where I live, four police officers were actually shot last month, in two separate incidents in the last week of June.  Two officers survived serious gunshot wounds.  Two others, David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab, did not.  Kocab’s wife, Sara, who was nine months pregnant with their first child when her husband was gunned down, delivered a stillborn baby a few days ago.

Then she got up the next day and went from the hospital to court to face her husband’s killer:

Profile in Courage: Sara Kocab (on the right) in Court

Over the weekend, Chicago buried the third cop ambushed in that city in recent weeks. Also over the weekend, a policeman was shot dead in Detroit, bringing the year’s total there to three.  Warnings have appeared in the Chicago media alleging that more cops will be targeted.  This is especially troubling because all the recently murdered officers were felled in surprise attacks.

Just days after [Michael] Bailey’s death, there is a new warning. The police department has acknowledged that both District 3 and District 6 in Chatham, near Officer Bailey’s home, have received phone call threats against its officers. Text messages containing the gist of the threat and a warning have been circulating among officers there.  “More police officers will be shot&gang bangers in the area are passing the word&every night they will be ambushing police in the Chatham area. Please pass along this info and please be safe,” reads one of the text messages.

Imagine the response if “gang bangers” were targeting anyone other than police.  We have come to expect this and even accept it.  The nation’s top Justice Department official, Eric Holder, has said nothing about the slaughter of cops (he is, after all, a man with a history of pushing clemency for cop killers).  The President, who singled out individual police for public excoriation, somehow can’t seem to find the time to recognize these officers’ sacrifices, even when the murdered police hailed from his own hometown and lived lives steeped in the community volunteerism the President claims to value.

Other than covering crime scenes and funerals, the media has remained almost entirely silent about the war on cops — except when they’re pointing fingers at the police.  But what’s really driving this war?  Even the most cursory survey of cop killings offers a single, extremely obvious answer: courtroom-bred, free-range, grudge-bearing recidivism.  A culture of excessively lenient sentencing emboldens thugs and is papered over by opinion-makers who wouldn’t dream of criticizing the sentencing judges or even the “gang bangers” themselves.

After all, newspaper columnists and reporters wouldn’t want to lose their all-important insider status.  Invitations dry up when you ask the wrong questions, and who wants to blame poor youth when there’s a cop, any cop at all, to finger?

So, at best, you get schizophrenic reporting, like this seemingly promising article by the Chicago Sun-Times.   The reporters flirt with a few facts but end up defaulting to a blame the cops mantra:

This is the story of why they won’t stop shooting in Chicago.  It’s told by the wounded, the accused and the officers [not so much by the officers] who were on the street during a weekend in April 2008 when 40 people were shot, seven fatally.  Two years later, the grim reality is this: Nearly all of the shooters from that weekend have escaped charges. “You don’t go to jail for shooting people,” says Dontae Gamble, who took six bullets that weekend, only to see his alleged shooter walk free.  “That’s why m————- think they can get back on the streets and kill again. You feel me?”

OK, Dontae, so there are no consequences for shooting people.  Who do we blame for this?

So far, not one accused shooter has been convicted of pulling the trigger during those deadly 59 hours from April 18-20 of that year, a Chicago Sun-Times investigation has found.  Only one suspected triggerman — a convicted armed robber caught with the AK-47 he allegedly used to blow away his boss — is in jail awaiting trial.

And why is that?  Why does it take two+ years to bring an accused killer to trial?  Might there be something wrong with the courts?

Oh goodness, no.  That couldn’t be. Or if there were, reporters couldn’t possibly investigate, because then they might not get invited to boozy lunches with important lawyers and politicians and judges.

It must be the police’s fault.  Cue, curtain left:

The Chicago Police Department’s batting average for catching shooters has fallen to an alarmingly low level. Detectives cleared 18 percent of the 1,812 non-fatal shootings last year. They were slightly better in catching killers — 30 percent of murders were cleared in 2009.  But here’s the catch: When police “clear” a case, that doesn’t always mean a suspect got convicted — or even charged.  Sometimes police seek charges against a suspect, but the state’s attorney won’t prosecute without more evidence. Other times, the shooter is dead, or the victim refuses to testify after identifying the shooter. Cops call those “exceptional” clearances.

Except . . . it’s not “cops” who make up this lingo, or this accounting system, or these statistics.  It’s not as if your front-line street cop wakes up in the morning and says, hey, here’s how I’m gonna enforce the law today.  Police brass and other political appointees, D.A.s, judges: they’re the ones who make the decisions.

But the Sun-Times reporters make it sound as if the only people with any agency, or any responsibility, in the entire justice system are the street cops.

This is the way the vast majority of reporters report crime: they simply don’t bother to look behind things like failed clearance numbers and ask why it’s so hard to satisfy the current status quo for removing known, armed, violent, recidivist felons from the streets.

They don’t bother to ask why evidence that would have sufficed for a conviction twenty years ago isn’t good enough today, or why prosecutors don’t try to bring every charge possible against known, dangerous offenders.  Reporters certainly don’t go to the guy in the black robe and ask why that convicted armed robber who “blew away his boss” with an AK-47 was out on the streets in the first place.

That type of question is considered off-limits, whereas no question about even the greenest police recruit is off-limits.

How many times do judges even have to say no-comment?  You don’t have to not comment if you don’t get asked anything in the first place.

Better to just criticize police.

The Sun-Times story continues with one “gang banger” shooting another “gang banger” who claims he’s too afraid to testify but isn’t too afraid to try to get money out of the government’s victim compensation fund.  Next, the reporter spends an inordinate amount of time following the victim around town as he pontificates against the police while bragging that he has forgiven (and refused to testify against) the thug who shot him.  After recovering from his wounds (doubtlessly on the public dime), then wasting months of police and courtroom resources, Willie Brown changed his testimony but suffered no consequences:

‘I could be Willie the Rat, but I don’t care about s— like that,” Willie Brown said while rolling a joint near Sheridan and Wilson in the Uptown neighborhood.  Brown is 28. He lives in a run-down high-rise and walks with a limp because he got shot in the leg.  He said he was a bad kid, a teenage Vice Lord and stickup man who did prison time for robbing a corner store with a toy pistol in 2003 while high on weed and angel dust. He had the munchies that day and was looking to steal “wam wams and zoom zooms” — prison talk for snacks — when a police officer saw the gun poking from Brown’s waistband and arrested him. He was paroled in 2007.

Did the reporter even bother to check Brown’s real record?  His arrest record?  Just took his word for it?

On April 18, 2008, Brown took a bullet in his upper right thigh outside 1012 W. Sunnyside. He was the 10th person to get shot on that bloody April 2008 weekend.  “That was a horrific moment,” Brown said.  He says he saw the guy who shot him.  Heck, he even talked to the alleged shooter, Darnell Robinson.  Brown was on his way to buy beer about 11:30 p.m. that Friday when Robinson and his brother stopped him in the street.  Robinson supposedly asked, “What is you?” — street slang for “What gang are you in?”  Brown said he told them about his past Vice Lords affiliation.  Robinson said he was in the “Taliban” before he started shooting, according to Brown.

Nice.  Every Chicago cop’s spouse knows that this is what their husband or wife is walking into, every day.

Police arrested Robinson, who was 31 at the time and had been behind bars for residential burglary and selling drugs. Brown identified Robinson as the shooter, and the case headed for a trial.  Robinson, who claimed he was innocent in jailhouse interviews with the Sun-Times, sat in Cook County jail for 13 months until prosecutors had to let him go because Brown changed his story several times.  Why did Brown’s story change? Because “my momma told me to,” he said.  “I did it so he could go home. I’m not no stool pigeon,” Brown said, recounting his story while scarfing down McNuggets at a McDonald’s in Uptown.  “I don’t have anything against him — it’s like he never shot me. I wouldn’t want to see the m———– sitting in jail because that [jail] is hell. I spared that dude. That’s all I did. I did it for my mom.”

How touching.  Our tax dollars support this behavior from beginning, to middle, to violent, bloody end.  This is how cops and other innocent people end up getting shot on the streets.  How about interviewing the judge or parole board officer who let Robinson go free the last time?  Brown?  How about reviewing their real records, step by expensive, bloody step through the courts?

But at least Brown screwed the system “for his mom.”  I wonder if Hallmark makes cards for that.

Brown said he sometimes bumps into Robinson on the street.  “I talked to the guy. He said he was sorry. I said, ‘Forget about it. Don’t worry about it.’ . . . I feel like I should have forgiven [him] for they know not what they do. He needs to be happy and thank God like I did. Everybody should go by that code.”  And in that moment — as Brown talked about forgiveness as his brand of nonviolent street justice — Robinson walked into the McDonald’s with two friends.  “There he is. That’s him right there!” Brown said.  The accused shooter and the victim awkwardly shook hands and hugged — each assuring the other, “We cool.”  Robinson nervously asked if reporters at the table were police officers. Robinson said repeatedly that he didn’t shoot Brown, but he wouldn’t talk more about it unless he was paid $30. Then he disappeared down Wilson Avenue, heading east toward the lake.  Brown said he and Robinson have a simple understanding: “Don’t f— with me. I won’t f— with you.”

Yes, until the next time.  Why didn’t the prosecutor go ahead with the trial anyway?  The public is sick of this.  Or throw Brown in jail alongside Robinson, for lying and changing his story, for false accusations?  How about making Brown pay for his hospital bills if he won’t cooperate with the prosecution?  Would anything short of zero tolerance guarantee that either of these felonious buffoons will live to old age, or at least not kill anyone besides themselves?  And: “forgiveness [is] his brand of nonviolent street justice”???

Among all the prayers this tableau summons, one can only pray that the reporter was attempting irony.

The newspaper article ends with another drug dealer (this one shot, self-admittedly, in a “deal gone bad”) who complains that the cops didn’t do a good enough job investigating his case (though it is a judge who dismisses the charges).  Funny how even the worst thugs know which side of the bread is buttered and kiss up to judges.

So, in the final analysis, courtroom failures don’t exist and the police are responsible for snitching, for the culture of no-snitching, for the lack of evidence, for the rejection of evidence, for being too tough, for being too weak, for responding to crimes, for not responding . . . for merely existing while some thug sits in McDonald’s stuffing his face, pontificating his views on police performance at a reporter who is hopefully just pretending to hang on his every word:

[Repeat felon and shooting victim Dontae] Gamble also said authorities should have done a better job of investigating, putting together a stronger case and getting their facts straight since a judge might not believe a guy like him.

This would be laughable if police weren’t dying.

It’s too bad the Sun-Times reporters spent all their time eliciting opinions from people like Dontae Gamble and Willie Brown instead of focusing on the one striking fact buried amidst all the street-gang high-fives and sentimentalist clap-trap, because this fact explains entirely why police are dying on Chicago’s streets and elsewhere.  It should have been the starting point for the article they should have written:

Shooting victims in Chicago are almost as likely to have a long rap sheet as the shooters. In 2008, 72 percent of murder victims and 91 percent of accused killers had arrest histories, according to police statistics.

Long rap sheets.  Recidivists all.  If 91% of accused killers in Chicago have long arrest histories, it is not the police who are to blame for their presence on the streets: it is the courts and corrections systems that repeatedly cut them breaks and cut them loose.  The recent killer of two police in Tampa had a long rap sheet, as did the man who shot the two other officers who survived, as did the man who shot another Tampa cop last year, as did all the known cop killers in Chicago, and Detroit, and in Oakland and Seattle and L.A.  And so on and on and on.

~~~

The media may have dropped the ball on the war on cops, but thanks to the internet there are other sources of information from police themselves and police-turned-bloggers.  This article, by Dave Smith at PoliceOne blog is worth a thousand afternoons with the likes of Dontae Gamble.  And this column, by Chicago Sun Times columnist Michael Sneed, counters several ill-times, ham-handed screeds by Sneed’s anti-cop colleagues at the paper.

Québécois Anarcho-Buffoons and the Tediousness of G-8 Rioting

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Remember when sticking daisies in riot policemen’s guns used to at least be, you know, original?

Vietnam War Protesters, 1967 (Bernie Boston)

Could all that “postmodern irony” actually just be “laziness”?

Toronto G8 Protests, 2010

And am I the only one who thinks this guy should be waving a rolled-up copy of Captain Marvel, instead?

~~~~

Of course, there isn’t anything particularly funny about forcing Canadian taxpayers to pony up 1.2 billion dollars so that super-hip anarchists in trendy riot-wear can make social statements like this one:

Anarchist Liberates Name-Brand Consumer Electronics

Or this:

Anarchist Teaches Chicken Fascists Who’s Boss

Just in case you’ve forgotten the unique funk of filthy hippies, here’s a picture that will bring it all back:

Dried Sweat, Old Patchouli, Dirty Toes, Clove Ciggies?

At least his mother doesn’t have to worry about him ending up in the hospital wearing dirty underwear.

~~~

Of course, the police in Toronto are taking heat from the Left for being, you know, fascist defenders of Starbucks, family-owned chicken places, phone sales kiosks, and the multinational leadership of the G8 (though I imagine not one in ten protesters could explain precisely why they pitch these G-8 tantrums).

And the cops are also taking heat from the Right for failing to prevent the torching of police cars and looting.

But what the heck are they supposed to do?  Nobody should be criticizing the police.  All responsibility lies with the Québécois anarcho-buffoons who planned and incited the violence, risking police lives — while the police struggled to protect the protesters’ safety.  Talk about insult to injury.  We’ve tied police hands with citizen’s reviews, and threats of lawsuits, and irresponsible media accusations, and this is the consequence: Mom and pop fried chicken, you’re out of luck.

~~~

I don’t know why they bother to hold G-8 events in cities with lots of vulnerable storefronts and lots of local anarcho-political types whose personal life choices demand hip shopping districts and vegan restaurants for chilling out in after a long day of showing up The Man.

Why encourage the protesters by making it easy to take to the streets and be home in time for lattes and clubbing?  Most “anarchists” who show up at these things don’t have the attention span to travel long distances, especially when the destination is extremely un-hip.

Remember when they held the G-8 on Sea Island, off the Georgia coast, near St. Simons Island and the sleepy shore town of Brunswick, GA?

Remember how 200,000 protesters were expected, and some 300 perplexed and sweaty anarchos actually woke up early enough to get there, only to be greeted by disinterested locals and crabby reporters who’d had to start the day without their Starbucks, because there are no Starbucks to loot in Brunswick?

Remember how the handful of protesters resorted to beating up a cameramen because there was literally nobody else around?

Brunswick, Georgia, 2004.  Behind This Tiny Meleé: Nothing.

I lived in St. Simons Island for a little more than a year.  So I can say with some authority that the protesters were absolutely correct when they whined that the G-8 organizers had outwitted them by holding the conference on an inaccessible island near a humongous federal law enforcement training center, surrounded by unbearably humid, mosquito-and-alligator infested marshes.

Yes, they did.  Outwit them.

So, for the sake of municipal budgeting and police sanity, why not pick similar places for future G-8s?  How about Crawford, Texas, where President Bush has his ranch and town-people are experienced in hosting the media while ignoring screeching loonies?

~~~

Meanwhile, nobody ought to waste a single breath critiquing police response at the G-8 riots in Toronto or the Lakers riots in Los Angeles last week.  Hands tied firmly behind their backs, the police did what they could do to minimize and contain hordes of violent thugs acting out with premeditated violence — while the protesters and the media shoot pictures of each other and point fingers at the police the moment anyone gets hurt.

G-8 Protests, 2009:  A Hundred Pictures Worth a Single Word