Friday, October 2, 2015

Christopher Harper Mercer Is Another Example of a Modern Day Coward ~by Legal Pub

Another coward hiding behind religion or just some sick 26 year-old man seeking media fame?  Does it really matter?  Nine are dead and nine others injured because of a needless, senseless shooting on Umpqua Community College campus (an Oregon junior college).  Christopher Harper Mercer asked his victim's as to their faith before he shot them.  Those that answered Christian were shot in the head.  Those that answered other were shot in other parts of the body.  Mercer's social media presence suggest that he was not religious but was sympathetic to the Irish Republican Army.   The gunman ultimately was shot dead in a firefight with police. This is not a video game- there is no reboot or second chance.

Image: Christopher Harper Mercer

Christopher Harper Mercer, 26.

The IRA is known for masked gunmen.  It is generally considered a paramilitary group made up of Catholics trying to promote independence for Northern Ireland.  Apparently the gunman was born in Ireland but has lived most of his life in the United States. Mercer shaved his head and wore camo pants. He was described as a loner by those who knew him.  As for me, I simply call him a coward needlessly seeking ten minutes of fame at the cost of innocent lives. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Facebook Hoax ~by Legal Pub

Fake, fraud, misleading... perhaps all appropriate words to describe internet b.s.  Yet, so many internet users do not know the difference between truth and hoax.   Viral Facebook hoaxes need to be ignored!  Don't like them or share them, ignore them.

For example, claims that Facebook is about to make a change to its privacy settings, and unless you pay a small fee, everything in your profile will become public is simply  untrue. Another Facebook hoax is that if you post certain legal language as your status then your photos and other information will be protected by Facebook.
  You have probably all had a friend post: "As of September 28th , 2015 at 10:50 p.m. Eastern standard time, I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future. By this statement, I give notice to Facebook it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents. The content of this profile is private and confidential information."  The post typically goes on to warn you that if you don't copy and paste this status, your privacy will be compromised.  Both assertions are complete fabrication. 
Facebook does not own your photos.  You are responsible for your own content.  You can decide who can see your posts by checking the appropriate privacy settings.  Facebook’s Terms of Service.  When you post a photo, Facebook's permission to use them is limited to how you set your settings. Privacy settings.  Furthermore, once a Facebook user deletes a photo, it can not be recaptured.  In any event, merely writing a post about privacy would never prevent anyone from copying any content you choose to post. Once something is published, you can not prevent those from receiving the content from saving it to an external hard drive and storing it for later use.  Snopes.  
Be smart!  Use your privacy settings and control who sees your content and by all means, ignore the hoax spam! 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Using Religion As An Excuse Must Stop ~by Legal Pub

Using religion as a weapon is a bad idea because it allows one to rationalize any bad behavior or means to justify an end.  Muslim extremists can justify murder or any other crime in the name of Allah.  Likewise Christians can rationalize any action in the name of their savior.  But rationalization does not excuse violence or harming others.  When someone shoots up an abortion clinic, it is wrong.  When someone sets off a bomb at a race, it's wrong.  Quit hiding behind religion to rationalize hurting others.

Why the rant?  Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis in Kentucky is using religion to propagate her own agenda and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is trying to capitalize on the opportunity.  Everyone has a right to an opinion.  Everyone has a right to protest.  However, no one has a right to willingly violate a court order.  If you don't like the judge's ruling, appeal.  Seek an injunction pending the appellate court ruling. Better yet, quit your job!
All the jail side rallies in the world don't change the fact that Kim Davis willingly committed contempt of court because she refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Disobeying a federal court judge who is enforcing the United States Supreme Court's decision is not heroic.  It is not something to be admired. It is plain and simply refusing to attempt to change the law using proper channels.

If Kim Davis can disobey the law in the name of her beliefs, so can anyone else.  Timothy McVey believed bombing the Oklahoma government building was justified.  Did his belief excuse murder? Abortion clinic volunteers have been attacked and even shot, does belief in God justify the means? There are reasons why there is a separation of church and state in our constitution.  So often I hear right wing conservatives advocate for prayer in school and Christian values.  This is all fine, until the majority advocate a religion other than fundamental Christian beliefs.  As soon as the schools begin pledging allegiance to Allah, these same folks will be leading the charge to eliminate such coercion from the public schools.

Huckabee, a former Baptist minister, has conservative views.  While he has a right to be against gay marriage, he has no right to condone willfully violating a court order.  This is not a matter of religious freedom.  Davis could have avoided jail by simply quitting her job, requesting reasonable accommodations such as allowing deputy clerks to sign the marriage licenses or pursuing legal action.  Asking Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear to accommodate Davis' "religious conviction," and not force her to grant licenses to gay couples after being arrested for disobeying a court order appears a bit disingenuous.  

Photo courtesy of AP.
If the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, allows Davis to remove her name and title from official marriage certificates the problem is solved. That is what her lawyers are now requesting; however, there is no apparent reason the request could not have been made prior to being held in contempt of court.
The U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in June of 2015. Davis refused to follow the Supreme Court's ruling. Federal Judge Bunning ordered Davis to issue the licenses but Davis chose to disobey the order.  Since that time, deputy clerks (except her son Nathan) have issued licenses to gay couples. Kim has options.  One is to follow the law.  Another is to seek a different line of work, perhaps one where she does not have to follow the law.

Update 9-8-15:   U.S. District Judge David Bunning lifted the contempt order but directed Davis not to interfere with the granting of licenses by her deputies.

Monday, August 31, 2015

sheriffs-deputy-darren-goforth.jpg Shannon J. Miles allegedly gunned down Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth without any warning or reason at a Chevron gas station.  The Houston Sheriff deputy died from the bullet wounds.  Miles is charged with capital murder.  Miles has a criminal record going back a decade. Despite the record, Miles spent little time actually in jail.  Why?
Shannon J. Miles, past record includes convictions for resisting arrest and disorderly conduct with a firearm, yet he served little jail time.  Allegedly, Miles criminal behavior may have been mistakenly fueled by "Black Lives Matter" program.  The attack was unprovoked. The death of Darren Goforth, a 10-year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff's Office reminds us that all lives matter.
This country has problems and it goes beyond President Obama changing the name of Mt. McKinley, signing a bad deal with Iran, or resuming relationships with Cuba.

Thursday, August 27, 2015


41- year-old Vester Flanagan was a publicity seeking coward.  He snuck up behind journalist Alison Parker and cameraman, Adam Ward and fatally shot them.  Sick Vester Flanagan filmed the murder and then posted the film on twitter.  Another woman was also shot but fortunately she survived. Flanagan on the other hand took his own life after trying to flee the police in a high speed chase.

Social media posts by Flanagan demonstrate his brazen insanity and lack of remorse.  This trend of cold blooded murders must be stopped.  Banning publicity of these heinous crimes may be a step in the right direction. Alison Parker was 24.  Cameraman Adam Ward was 27.  Both Parker and Ward deserved much better.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Jared the Subway Guy A Sub Par Person? ~by Legal Pub

Jared Fogle had a nice run with Subway. He was the go to guy for marketing.  It appears, however, that Jared was also inappropriately running after minors with less than pure intentions.  Jared is accused of paying for sex acts with minors and receiving child pornography that was allegedly produced by Russell Taylor, the former director of his charitable foundation whose goal was to educate the population about childhood obesity.  Federal prosecutors are taking the charges very seriously.  Allegations accuse Fogle of possessing pornography that included at least 12 minors.  If convicted, Fogle could serve 5 to 12 years in prison.

A count in the information alleges engaging in sex with a minor and distribution and receipt of child pornography- not minor accusations! At this point, while Fogle is innocent until proven guilty, it is believed that Jared's Attorney, Ron Elberger, has already reached a deal with the prosecution which guarantees at least a five year sentence with not more than a 12 year,  month sentence for Jared.  The deal, if accepted, also requires Fogle to pay $100,000 dollars in restitution to each of the 14 victims.  Good old Jared will also be required to join the club of registered sex offenders and undergo treatment for sexual disorders.  Jared is 37 years-old, married man who lives in Zionsville, Indiana.

One of the alleged victims was apparently a 17 year-old girl from New York who met Jared in his Ritz Carlton Hotel room. More offensive is that Jared Fogle allegedly sent texts soliciting access to minors as young as 14 or 15.

As large 200 pound drop in Jared's weight from eating Subway can't possible match the size of the fall from grace that Jared has brought upon himself.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Tom Brady Appeals NFL Suspension ~by Legal Pub

Brady just does not accept defeat on or off the football field. The 457 page transcript  from the June 22, 2015 hearing is being made public despite initial reports that it would be kept confidential. U.S. District Judge Richard Berman removed any doubt that the transcript is available to the public who may be interested in the NFLP-NFL litigation.  In the questioning, Brady denied any involvement in deflating footballs in the AFC Championship game with the Colts.

Brady did admit that he let Patriot assistants know that he preferred footballs at 12.5 psi (NFL rules provide that balls shall be within the range of 12.5 and 13.5 psi.)
If Brady was not involved in the under-inflation of the footballs, he could still be in trouble if he failed to cooperate with the NFL.  Brady destroyed his cell phone; however, there does not appear to be a requirement in the collective bargaining agreement that requires a player to turn over his cell phone to the NFL.  So should Tom Brady's suspension be lifted?  Patriot opponents probably hope not.