Monday, December 31, 2012

Fiscal Cliff? No Way...

Fiscal cliff? Now way, here is what will likely happen.   A last minute deal will be negotiated by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Vice President Joe Biden.  It will achieve almost $800 billion in revenue over the next decade. However, some of the revenue will be spent to pay for extensions of tax credits and other stimulative policies.  In theory about $600 billion in debt reduction may be accomplished over the next ten years.  Expect the Bush-era tax cuts to be extended permanently for individuals at $400,000 and joint filers at $450,000. The top rate on ordinary income will go back to 39.6 percent and raise an estimated $370 billion in revenue over 10 years. Expect the same thresholds to be applied for capital gains and dividends, with the top rates in that case going up to 20 percent.  (The rate on dividends was set to return to 39.6 percent.) Both sides will argue a bit longer on what and when cuts will take place.

In the mean time, tax benefits will decrease for high-income earners, with respect to their personal exemptions and itemized deductions. Personal exemption phase-out would be capped at $375,000 for individual filers and $425,000 for joint filers. The limitation on itemized deductions would be set at $250,000 and $300,000 respectively. This means the tax bill paid by those taking the exemptions and deductions goes up. These provisions could raise an estimated $185 billion over 10 years.

Expect a five-year extension of stimulative tax policies, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit and the college credit expansions. The policies will lapse in years five through 10.There may also be a one-year extension of the 50 percent bonus depreciation provision introduced in the American Recovery Act, which enables small businesses to deduct up to $250,000 of the cost of machinery and other equipment.

In the end, expect no jumping off any cliff and in Washington it will be business as usual.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Senator Crapo, Sometimes a Name Says it All!

Sometimes a name says it all!  Alexandria, Va. Police Department arrested Idaho U.S. Sen. Michael Crapo. Crapo early Sunday morning, Dec. 23, 2012 and charged him with driving under the influence in a Washington, D.C., suburb.  Crapo was pulled over after an officer saw the senator run a red light. Police spokesman Craig T. Fifer said that Crapo failed "several field sobriety tests," reports CBS News. The Republican Senator was later released on an unsecured $1,000 bond. He will have to appear in court on January 4th. Crapo was slated to take the top GOP spot on the Senate Banking Committee. He also belongs to "a bipartisan group of senators who came together to work on a budget deal to avoid the upcoming 'fiscal cliff."  (Sounds like he is lucky he did not drive over the cliff!)

Not to worry, Senator Crapo says he is sorry and it won't happen again.  (He would have been better off to claim that the political haggling over the budget drove him to drink.) 

P.S., Crappo says our government is in good hands.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Saturday Night Live Recognizes That There Is Nothing Funny About the Connecticut Shootings

Saturday Night Live recognizes that there is nothing funny about the Connecticut shootings.  The father of the alleged shooter in the Connecticut school massacre has broken his silence, expressing condolences to the families of the victims.  In fact, Saturday night, the Children's Choir opened the show in tribute to the children who lost their lives.  Peter Lanza, the father of the psychotic killer, summed up the feelings of the country, "Our family is grieving along with all those who have been affected by this enormous tragedy. No words can truly express how heartbroken we are. We are in a state of disbelief and trying to find whatever answers we can."

And what more can be said about the senseless killings perpetuated by Adam Lanza, 20.  What possible explanation is there for killing twenty 6 and 7 year old children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut?  20 children and six adults were murdered before Adam took his own life. (Adam also killed his mother Nancy Lanza at another location. The Lanza's were divorced in 2009. But many families go through divorces without turning into killers.  Peter Lanza and Adam's older brother Ryan were questioned by the FBI.  Neither man is a suspect.  Yet law enforcement was hoping to find answers.   Investigators claim that they have "very good evidence ... as to how, and more importantly, why, this occurred" yet the State Police didn't provide any further explanation.

Possible copycats?  A northern Indiana  man was arrested after allegedly threatening to "kill as many people as he could" at a local school.  Von I. Meyer, 60, allegedly made the statement during a heated argument with his wife.  He also allegedly threatened to set his wife on fire. Meyer was arrested Saturday on seven felony charges.  Meyer's wife works at the Jane Ball Elementary School  cafeteria. Although police found 47 guns and ammunition in Meyer's two-story home, most of those weapons were antique collector guns.  Authorities believes Meyer was probably not serious about his alleged school threat.
Apparently Meyer's marriage is a volatile sometimes turbulent relationship.  Furthermore, Meyers is to be presumed innocent unless otherwise proven in a court of law. In the mean time, there is nothing funny about killing children or adults.  Its time to place law enforcement in schools so that teachers and students can return their attention to education.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Ellen DeGeneres Unfazed by Protest?

One Million Moms may be done with Ellen DeGeneres and J.C. Penney. The group founded by an anti-gay, conservative Christian group is apparently ending its feud with J.C. Penney who used DeGeneres as a  spokesperson.  One Million Moms initially blasted a J.C. Penney Christmas ad featuring DeGeneres. The group had criticized DeGeneres' holiday commercial, in which she makes "big" jokes in front of three tiny elves.  Since JC Penney is marketed as a family store, the group did not approve of the store embracing  non-traditional family lifestyle.  

DeGeneres was apparently not harmed by the criticism.  She got support from both fans and friends.  In fact, Executive Producer of "The Ellen Show," Andy Lassner, vocally gave his support to the comedian. At the time of this writing, no public word from the elf union. 


Thursday, December 6, 2012

How Often Do We Agree With the ACLU?

A West Virginia middle school believes that students perform better when boys and girls are taught in separate classrooms.  The ACLU opposes the controversial theory that kids perform better when they are segregated from the opposite sex.   A lawsuit is causing the debate to surface and stimulating experiments with less than traditional classrooms.  Is such practice based on harmful stereotypes or are girls and boys motivated differently? The American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against Van Devender Middle School and its administrators in Parkersburg, W.Va., may answer the controversy.

The lawsuit claims that segregated classrooms constitute gender discrimination. The suit, filed on behalf of a mother of three female students, contends that the school lights its classrooms more brightly for boys and allows boys more freedom to move around freely. Amy Katz, an attorney working with the ACLU, apparently thinks its classic discrimination. But Leonard Sax, a psychologist, physician, and author of three books on kids and education, including Why Gender Matters disagrees. Sax argues that same-sex classes help students shed inhibitions and stereotypes. Sax shared his theories with teachers at Van Devender in 2009.   The next year they apparently incorporated some of his ideas into practice.

Is Sax right about same sex classrooms? Perhaps the wisdom of our legal system will soon provide an answer.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Dylan Redwine Missing?

Missing children seldom lead to good news. The New Mexico State Police Dive Team spent Sunday searching for Dylan Redwine, 13, near the dam at Vallecito Reservoir.  The 13 year-old was first reported missing from his father’s home in Vallecito, Colo. on Nov. 19.  Divers searched an area targeted by trained cadaver dogs.  Dogs repeatedly “hit” on several spots near the dam while aboard watercraft, according to the Durango Herald. However, no body was found. Dylan disappeared last week from his father’s home in Vallecito, Colo., during a one-day court ordered visit. Mark Redwine, Dylan's father, told police that his son was in his house when he left to run some errands at 7:30 a.m. When Mark returned four hours later, the boy was missing according to ABC News. 

Dylan normally lives with his mother in Colorado Springs.  He is described as 5 feet tall, 105 pounds, with blond hair, blue eyes and fair complexion. When he was last seen, Dylan was wearing a blue-and-white Duke Blue Devils baseball cap, black Nike T-shirt and black Jordan tennis shoes. Investigators are hoping to speak with two boys who were seen by a postal worker on Nov. 19 at the Vallecito Lake Country Market. The postal worker told police that one of the boys looked like Dylan.  La Plata County Sheriff's Office is considering various scenarios, including whether he might have run away or been abducted.

Update 2-119-13: Separating fact from fiction is always the hardest part of these posts. Facts: the teenager disappeared durign a court-ordered Thanksgiving week visit with his father, Mark Redwine.  Dylan  vanished from his father's Vallecito home on Nov. 19. The rest remains a mystery despite a recent tip from someone who remembered seeing a Hispanic man in the north end of Vallecito the day Dylan was reported missing. The 45 to 50 year old man asked where he could buy gas for his vehicle. The man is not a suspect nor a person of interest.  However, he may have seen Dylan or have information about Dylan.

The authorities believe Dylan did not run away. But no one has publicly revealed the reasoning behind this assumption. The reward for information concerning Dylan is reportedly $50,000. Anyone with information concerning  Dylan's whereabouts is encouraged to call La Plata County Sheriff’s Office Investigators Dan Patterson 970-382-7015 or Tom Cowing 970-382-7045. The local tip line is 970-382-7511. 




Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cop Fantasizing Over A Meal?

Cops are known to get hungry.  How many cop at the donut shop jokes have you heard?  So is it surprising that Gilberto Valle, a New York cop, is accused of getting the munchies?  Valle pleaded not guilty Monday to charges he plotted to kidnap, torture, cook and eat at least 100 women.  Valle allegedly obtained the prospective victim's photos, names and addresses from a confidential law enforcement database. Gilberto Valle denied all charges in the federal court in Manhattan.

Valle, a 28-year-old New York Police Department officer, was arrested last month based on a tip from his estranged wife.Valle's computer allegedly contained documents including one titled "Abducting and Cooking (Victim 1): A Blueprint."  The file allegedly included the woman's birth date and other personal information.
Valle allegedly participated in online conversations involving the mechanics of fitting a woman's body into an oven (her legs would have to be bent) and using chloroform to knock a woman out.

A prospective female victim told the FBI she knew Valle and met him for lunch in July. Valle's computer allegedly contained at least 100 women names, addresses and photos. Some of the information was thought to have come from a restricted law enforcement database.

No women were actually harmed.  Valle's lawyer claims he was never a threat and that the alleged plot was pure fantasy. Valle was suspended from the police force after his arrest. He has a bail hearing scheduled for today.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Indianapolis Blast Destroys Homes and Sense of Safety

Indianapolis is always thought of as a safe city.  Crime is low, spirits generally high, especially when the Colts and the Pacers play well.  But a Saturday evening blast changed everything.  What is believed to be a natural gas explosion shook the south side of Indianapolis around 11 p.m. Saturday. A loud boom was heard and the concussion blew out windows and collapsed ceilings. A fire engulfed several homes. (Photo courtesy of A.P.)

31 homes were damaged so badly that they may have to be demolished. A total of 80 homes were damaged.  The estimated damage is $3.6 million. More importantly, two people lost their lives.  Greenwood's Southwest Elementary School second-grade teacher Jennifer Longworth and her husband John Dion Longworth perished in the explosion. Seven other people were taken to local hospitals with injuries.

Deputy Fire Chief Kenny Bacon said that investigators haven't eliminated any possible causes for the blast. But U.S. Rep. Andre Carson, said that a bomb or meth lab explosion had been ruled out. Dan Considine, of Citizens Energy, responded to assumptions that the fire may have been caused by a natural gas leak by saying that there had been no reports of anyone smelling natural gas in the area. The National Transportation Safety Board and the federal Department of Transportation, which regulate pipelines, are also involved in the investigation.

Until more is known about the cause of the fire, the Indianapolis area will sleep a little less comfortably for the next few days.

11-20-2012 Update:  Indianapolis Homeland Security Director Gary Coons announced a criminal investigation is underway. This is the first public acknowledgement by investigators of a possible criminal element to the Nov. 10 explosion.  There is a $10,000 reward offered for information concerning a white van that was seen in the subdivision on the day of the blast.  No suspects or arrests have been announced.

Randall Cable, an attorney representing Monserrate Shirley and Mark Leonard, who lived in that home that is believed to have exploded, seemed perplexed by the new direction of the investigation.What is believed to be a natural gas explosion caused an estimated $4.4 million in damage.





Monday, November 5, 2012

Strange But Surprising True!


-40 percent of McDonald's profits come from the sales of Happy Meals.
-Over 300 entries in Webster's 1996 Dictionary were misspelled.
-Over 10 newborns per day were given to the wrong parents prior to "the bracelet system."
-Chocolate is harmful to a dog's cardiovascular system and can be fatal!
-Bruce Lee was so fast that they had to slow a film down so you could see his moves.
-Raising your legs slowly and lying on your back, may keep you afloat in quicksand.
-A toothbrush within six feet of a toilet may be susceptible to airborne particles resulting from the flush.
-Michael Jordan makes more money than the entire Nike factory workers in Malaysia combined.
-Marilyn Monroe had six toes on one foot.
-Cockroach can live for 10 days without a head.


*AND TOMORROW PRESIDENT OBAMA GET REELECTED!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Parents Need to Get A Grip at Youth Sporting Events.

Here in the U.S. we take our high school sports seriously.  Sometimes, too seriously.  For example, an Elgin, Illinois father may have become a little over the top in regards to his 17 year-old daughter.  It appears that  John Kasik was arrested after he allegedly threatened his daughter's volleyball coach after she was removed from a game.  The 61 year-old Kasik should have known better.  Now he is charged with misdemeanor counts of battery and disorderly conduct.  In addition he is faced with felony telephone harassment related to the incident.  It appears the hostility all arises because Kasik's daughter was removed  from the team during a playoff match.  Over the top, yes. Unprecedented? No.

Last month, a Pennsylvania man was charged with making terroristic threats after allegedly saying he would “put a bullet” in the head of the coach of his son's youth football team if his son was benched. Similarly, during a Memorial Day pee-wee baseball game a Long Island, N.Y. father threatened to beat up the opposing coach.  The suspect than allegedly stalked and threatened the opposing coach and his family for months.   Furthermore, numerous fights have occurred between fans at youth sporting events all too often.
Recent events scream for an attitude adjustment in order to keep matters in proper perspective. Consider the following quote by Charles R. Swindoll:

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”-Charles R. Swindoll

All suspects are innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Radcliffe Franklin Haughton Enraged From Domestic Dispute?

The saying used to be "behind every good man is a woman."  Now it is increasingly starting to be that behind each bizarre killing there is a history of domestic violence.  Legal Pub's Proposal.  The latest murder in Brookfield Wisconsin seems to confirm the trend.  Radcliffe Franklin Haughton (photo at left courtesy of AP) apparently shot and killed three women and injured four more Sunday at a suburban Milwaukee spa where his wife worked. The deceased suspects ex wife had previously plead in legal documents that Radcliffe had threatened to throw acid in her face and burn her with gas. Police haven't indicated whether Zina Haughton was among those killed or wounded. It was also alleged that Radcliffe thought she was cheating on him, and that he threatened to kill her if she ever left him. 

Zina was granted a four-year temporary restraining order this month after her husband was arrested for slashing her tires. (She told the court he threatened to burn her and her family with gas.)

After Radcliffe killed three women and wounded four others, he took his own life.  His bizarre behavior coincides with a history of domestic abuse.   Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent confirmed that a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun was used in the killings.  A 1-pound propane tank was found at the scene.  It is believed it might have been intended as an explosive device.Radcliffe was found dead in one of the small locked rooms in the spa. Radcliffe Franklin Haughton was 45.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Did Ashley Davis Have a Topless Mug Shot? Perhaps not but...

Ashley Davis was intoxicated.  She was perhaps disorderly.  But did the Leesburg police cross the line?  This 32-year-old woman claims that she was left topless by law enforcement officers after being arrested at a Leesburg's Bikefest in Florida.  She claims that when police they tackled her during a drunk and disorderly arrest, her top came off.  She claims she was then forced to remained topless in a Leesburg Police Department holding cell.  She claims officers gawked and ridiculed her.  She even claims that one officer put his hand over his mouth so she bit him.  She claims he retaliated by slamming her face into the ground chipping three teeth.  Ashley has now filed a lawsuit seeking compensation for what she claims is mistreatment. 

Stan Plappert, an Ocala attorney representing Davis, said even when officers transported her they refused to cover her up. The lawsuit was filed against the Leesburg Police Department and Lake County Sheriff's Office in Marion County.  The general theory of liability is alleged excessive force.

This may be a case to keep an eye on.



Sunday, October 7, 2012

Justin Kowalczik Found?

Imagine the shock.  Farmingdale authorities were looking for information about Justin Kowalczik who if alive, would be about three years old.  A Suffolk County Child Protective Services worker arrived at the house to check on Alex, the half brother of Justin. When an inquiry was made about Justin, Kowalczik allegedly said the boy was with relatives in Orange County. When workers suggested this was fabricated, a  missing person’s investigation was initiated.

Unfortunately, police began digging in the back yard and soo discovered the remains of an infant in the backyard of the Hallock Road residence in Farmingdale, New York.  The story has since been widely reported based upon information released by Troop L Headquarters, State Police.  Justin had been unaccounted for and his death had gone unreported for about a year and a half.  Heather Kowalczik apparently shared a possible location for the remains of her son with police according to State Police Major Patrick Regan.
Police obtained a search warrant for the home of Kowalczik and Robert Rodriguez at 1 Hallock Road in Farmingdale, New York.  An extensive dig of the yard apparently produced the remains of what appeared to be a 17 month old child believed to be Justin. Robert Rodriguez is not a suspect but has been labeled  a "person of interest."  Rodriguez and Kowalczik have two older sons: Robert, 9, and Alex, 6. Kowalczik was the mother of Justin, but Rodriguez was not Justin’s father. Rodriguez and Kowaczik were tenants of landlord Louis Lancia.  The New York Daily News has suggested that Rodriguez was not cooperating with the investigation; however, police have not confirmed the lack of cooperation. Furthermore, neither Rodriguez nor Kowalczik have been charged with any crime.

All persons of interest and all suspects are presumed innocent unless otherwise proven in a court of law.

Anyone with any information is urged to contact Troop L State Police at (631)756-3390.



Monday, October 1, 2012

VFW Shootings Occur In Florida Not Afghanistan

Are veterans becoming targets? One might expect this sort of thing in Afghanistan. But in Florida? Apparently so.  In Florida, two people were killed and another injured after a shooting at a Veterans of Foreign Wars post. A charity motorcycle ride was supposed to depart from the post when the shooting occurred Sunday morning.  Shots rang out while the riders were eating breakfast. Apparently an unknown number of armed men came into the VFW and began shooting. It's unclear if anyone returned fire.

It has been reported that some type of argument may have occurred in the parking lot before the shooting.  Several people have been detained and a number of weapons confiscated. The VFW has helped establish the Veterans Administration as well as helped improve education benefits and medical centers for veterans. Its also a fun place to play cards, bingo or grab a drink.  At this point, it's unclear why the shooting occurred.



Monday, September 24, 2012

Is the Piggyback Bandit Real?

Here is an article about an unusual man.  Is he real?  Does he exist on this earth merely for the purpose of catching a free ride?   Read this Deadspin article and let us know:  http://deadspin.com/5945841/?utm_campaign=socialflow_deadspin_facebook&utm_source=deadspin_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

Monday, September 17, 2012

Post Film Violence Is Not The Answer

So what did an alleged director of the controversial film hope to accomplish?  Nakoula Basseley Nakoula supposedly directed the anti-Islamic movie that has stirred up violent protests across the world.  (But Nakoula's exact role in the production of the film has not been confirmed.  Rumours continue to circulate about the video's dissemination. Nakoula initially claimed to the AP that he was the film's writer and director. He subsequently denied that he was the director.)  Now the 55 year-old California native has abandoned his home in fear of his families safety. Nakoula apparently disguised his appearance when he left his home.  So just who is this man? 

Nakoula pleaded guilty in 1997 to possession with intent to manufacture methamphetamine.  He was sentenced to a year in jail,.  In 2010, Nakoula was charged with bank fraud.  Nakoula pleaded no contest in 2010 to federal bank fraud charges  and was ordered to pay more than $790,000 in restitution and was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison.  Prior to his bank fraud conviction, Nakoula struggled with financial problems.  In June 2006, a $191,000 tax lien was filed against him in the Los Angeles County Recorder of Deeds office. In 1997, a $106,000 lien was filed against him in Orange County.



So is it surprising that Nakoula might be a key figure behind "Innocence of Muslims?" The film unfairly denigrates Islam; however, that does not justify the violence against U.S. embassies in the Middle East and North Africa.  Why should the U.S. be targeted for the actions of a convict or even of a few loose cannons?  It simply doesn't make sense unless someone is looking for an excuse to pick a fight.  When it comes to zeoulous religious folks, experience suggests that common sense sometimes gets bypassed in favor of a strange sense of justice..


Monday, September 10, 2012

Bank Robbery Foiled by Stupidity ~by Legal Eagle 7

They say that as a whole, test scores are down in the U.S.  This leads one to believe that folks are getting dumber.  Fortunately, this downward trend in intelligence has spread to the criminals.  For example, a Pennsylvania robber was apprehended by a front door last Thursday morning.  The unidentified, 27-year-old suspect entered the Pittsburgh Citizens Bank at about 9 a.m. He demanded money from tellers and then tried to exit the building after obtaining a handful of cash.  However, after he exited the first set of doors, they locked behind him.  When he tried to exit the outside doors, they too were locked.

Perhaps the would be robber was illiterate because the bank prominently displayed its security system outside of the building including advertisement of the double doors that lock in the event of a robbery. To further demonstrate the robbers low IQ, he attempted to head butt the doors which were made of bullet proof glass.  After much futile flailing around, screaming and banging his arms and head, the suspect was released from his glass prison into the arms of law enforcement. For part of his rehabilitation, perhaps he will study English lit and read the how to guide of Bonnie and Clyde and realize it was before the day and age of modern security.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Kids Are Back In The Classroom and Teachers Are Back At It?

What a way to welcome the kids back to school.  Erica DePalo won the coveted award of  'Teacher Of The Year" last year in Essex County, New Jersey. This 33 year old teacher now faces charges of having a sexual relationship with one of her 15-year-old honors English students.  DePalo was described as being really close with the students. Now the allegation is that she was a little too close. DePalo was officially charged with first-degree aggravated sexual assault, second-degree sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.  The alleged relationship supposedly began on June 15 and ended last Tuesday.

Even though DePalo is considered innocent until otherwise proven in a court of law, the West Orange Public School district announced that DePalo has been suspended "immediately and indefinitely" much to the disappointment of her students.  While such allegations are distasteful and evidence of a growing epidemic, one can only ponder that if such allegations were true in my day, then perhaps more teenage boys might have looked forward to the start of school year.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Does Stupidity Run In Families? ~ by Friar Fred

Now, I can't say I learned this from the confessional.  After all, so many people lie behind closed doors that it becomes hard to tell fact from fiction.  But somewhere in the dark spiritual world comes certain inspirational ideas which lead to themes which leads to a scientific hypothesis.  Here's mine from behind the veiled door:  Stupidity runs in families.

Bless me father for I have sinned...  I stole my sister's crack pipe and used up her last samples.  Wow, say five "Our Fathers" and two "Hail Marys" and immediately see a shrink so that I can validate my hypothesis.  Pretty clear to me that both the victim and the perpetrator meet the criteria of being stupid.  Now sisters in the Church would never condone such a practice but how about those Kardashian sisters?  Do they really think that died jet black hair is attractive? Not that we have television. in the friary, but we certainly do talk to parishioners who regularly tune into the famous sister show. 

Lest one thinks I am picking too heavily on females due to the long hard sacrifice of celibacy, lets examine the Baldwin brothers.  Alec refused to turn off his cell phone on the runway?  Really?  How special must he think he is to warrant a disponsation from Homeland security?  And how about baby brother Stephen?  Who needs a license anyway, must have thought the younger Baldwin prior to his arrest in New York City yesterday.  There is baby Baldwin driving without a licence at 5:14 PM when he decides to perform an illegal U-turn in Harlem. Did he not realize that now days New York P.D. actually patrols Harlem? N.Y.P.D. welcomed Baldwin to the neighborhood by arresting him for driving on a suspended license.  He was given a V.I.P. tour of a nearby jail.  He was booked for aggravated unlicensed operator and released in exchange for is autograph on an order to appear in court in October where he will be arraigned.

Now some say us brothers in Christ don't get out much and perhaps that's true.  But if blood related relatives continue to demonstrate my theory, perhaps we are a little smarter to spend most of our time behind these sacred walls than you think.


~Friar Fred

Monday, August 20, 2012

Why The Senseless Killing In Chicago? ~by Legal Pub

People are outraged at the casualty reports in Afghanistan.  There were 2,000 troops killed in Afghanistan! But as awful as that sounds, 5,000 people were killed in Chicago over the same time period. And its not all U.S. cities.  For example, New York City hit a record low 193 murders in the first six months of 2012.  But more than 250 murders occurred in Chicago during that 6 month period.  Keep in mind, New York is three times larger than Chicago.
Murder is about crime, and criminals. Chicago is becoming the crime capital. Police blame gangs, weathermen blame the heatwave.  None of it makes much sense in explaining Chicago's 36 percent increase in murder. Especially when you consider New York City's 17 percent decrease in murder since last year. In fact, New York is on pace to record fewer than 400 homicides this year which would be the lowest number since 1963. Of course, the NYPD employs the controversial  "stop and frisk" policy which apparently is only used on governors in Illinois. Chicago politicians side with the weathermen; however, it has been hot all over the country. (Especially when Lady Gaga goes on tour.)  The experiment in New York suggests that crime is not inevitable.  Is Chicago willing to admit it has a problem?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Chan Wants To Know Why More Asian Topics Aren't Discussed...

Chan:  Why you not take care of your Asian readers? You never talk about stories of our land?

Legal Pub: What with the Olympics and all, who would of figured China has its own dirt bag worthy of some discussion.  Zhou Kehua, 42,  appears to be a scum bucket worthy of  western as well as eastern interest. Kehua is wanted in China. This creep hails from the southwestern city of Chongqing, China's biggest city.  Kehua allegedly shot a woman dead and injured two others outside a bank after an attempted robbery. (Xinhua news agency)  Later on Friday, a railway policeman was found dead.  It is believed that he is Zhou's tenth victim in eight years.  Zhou, a serial robber of banks in Chongqing, Nanjing and Changsha, apparently is also a serial killer.

Seems Zhou targets people withdrawing money from banks and shoots them in the head. Police and military units from Hunan and Jiangsu provinces have joined in the search for Zhou Kehua. Zhou is supposedly an expert at survival in the wild and therefore is not an easy target. Officially, Zhou is labeled a "class-A" suspect.  However, we officially name him as first class scum.  The 5.4 million yuan (US$849,000) reward is not nearly enough money to erradicateany part of this world of such filth!

All suspects are innocent until proven guilty.


Monday, August 6, 2012

The Old Legal Profession Aint What It Used To Be - by Legal Pub

Once upon a time, lawyers made a lot of money and enjoyed the respect of society.  The nobility of the profession eroded away with the ambulance chasing image of advertising.  Now the financial rewards also appear to be dwindling. Three years ago Herwig Schlunk, a Vanderbilt law professor, used salary data to calculate the economic value of a law degree.  The findings were not pretty. Schlunk updated research hasn't changed his conclusion that going to law school doesn't make economic sense. 

"My overall assessment today is much the same as it was in 2009: Law school is a very risky (and expensive) investment; it should not be undertaken lightly," he wrote in "Mamas 2011: Is A Law Degree A Good Investment Today?"  Quite frankly, based on salary and job placement data that is  worse now than in 2009, its not hard to see why the opinion has not changed. Schlunk opines that a "Hot Prospect," who attends a top-tier law school, has an 25 percent chance to get a job at a large  firm.  A. "Solid Performer," who does relatively well at a second-tier school, has an 8 percent shot of a good job.  An average student at a third-tier private law school, has a 5 percent chance of landing a good job.  In more simple terms, the opportunity cost of attending law school, including tuition and the wages those students would have earned had they entered the work force, ranged from $209,714 for to $252,441.  

The National Association of Law Placement suggests that the best-placed graduate won't earn enough to make his or her education a good investment. Only 31 percent of average students are likely to earn enough to justify the cost of attending law school. For most, law school is simply a bad investment. But for those of you future students who love to argue even when you are not getting paid, there is still a place for you in the next freshman class.


Monday, July 30, 2012

The Sky Is The Limit

Can some one make a claim for the sky or is the sky truly the limit?   A "Texas judge rules atmosphere, air is a public trust," according to the Boston Globe.  As the Midwest continue to suffer from a major drought, the Texas legal system is dwelling on more important issues.  In 2007,  University of Oregon Professor Mary Wood pontificated "The trustee must defend the trust against injury. Where it has been damaged, the trustee must restore the property in the trust." In 2010 Wood and Julia Olson, executive director of Our Children's Trust organized a group of attorneys, youth, and media to address climate changes as "a whole system." Subsequently suits in 13 states have been filed arguing the atmosphere is a public trust.

Borrowing from English Common Law concerning public trust, the suits argue that public resources are owned by and available to all citizens equally for the purposes of navigation, fishing, recreation, and other uses. The owner cannot use that resource in a way that interferes with the public interest. The public trustee, usually the state, must act to maintain and enhance the trust's resources for the benefit of people.  In Texas, the Texas Environmental Law Center sued on behalf of a group of children and young adults asserting that the State of Texas had a fiduciary duty to reduce emissions.  "The atmosphere, including the air, is one of the most crucial assets of our public trust... Global climate change threatens to dry up most of these waters, turning them from gorgeous, life-giving springs into dangerous flash-flooding drainage when the rare, heavy rains do come. The outdoors will be inhospitable and the children will have few places to recreate in nature as the climate changes. They will be living in a world of drought... and restrictions..."

Judge Gisela Triana, of the Travis County District Court ruled on July 12, 2012: "[t]he doctrine includes all natural resources of the State... the public trust doctrine ... is not simply a common law doctrine but is incorporated into the Texas Constitution, which (1) protects "the conservation and development of all the resources of the State," (2) declares conservation of those resources "public rights and duties," and (3) directs the Legislature to pass appropriate laws to protect these resources." However, Judge Triana upheld the TCEQ decision not to exercise its authority. Yet, a few days later, Judge Sarah Singleton of the New Mexico District Court denied the state's motion to dismiss a similar case.

The Texas court decision to support the possibility that the "public trust" doctrine may justify the creation of an atmospheric trust. Consequently there may be a boom in climate change litigation.  In other words, if society chooses to leave global warming up to the lawyers,  there may be no need for future meteorologists predictions.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Lyric Cook and Elizbeth Collins Are Missing...

Lyric Cook, 10, and her cousin Elizabeth Collins, 8, are both missing. The Iowa girls were last seen by their grandmother more than a week ago when they left on a bike ride. While in a typical case one may suspect that the girl have been killed, the FBI has an opinion to the contrary. "We believe these girls are alive and we are not discouraged by the passage of time since their disappearance," said FBI spokeswoman Sandy Breault. Breault declined to add what makes her think the children are still alive.

In the interim law enforcement has suggested that there has been a lack of cooperation from a few family members and a couple of close friends. The girls' bicycles and a purse were found near Meyers Lake hours after they were reported missing July 13. A search of the 25-acre lake failed to turn up any clues. (The girls are both good swimmers and their shoes weren't found.) Black Hawk County Waste Disposal, which handles trash collection in the local area, was requested to dump trash from Evansdale homes and businesses in a separate area of the county landfill.  The landfill had been searched but apparently no evidence was found.


Authorities are calling the children's disappearance an abduction. 

A $50,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the successful recovery of the girls.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Batman Movie Inspires Insanity or Part of Republican Conspiracy?

It's murder, not a game.  Nor is it an attempt to win an Oscar or Emmy.  Unfortunately, some people can't distinguish fact from fantasy. An armed 24 year-old man opened fire in the Aurora Colorado Century 16 theater at the Midnight premiere of the new Batman film, "The Dark Knight Rises." 12 people are confirmed dead and as many as 50 others were wounded. (Police had earlier reported 14 deaths, but only 12 fatalities were confirmed.) The youngest reported victim is a 3-month-old, who is said to be doing fine at University Hospital, which is treating 20 patients.  Nine of the patients are in critical condition. A 6 year-old victim is being treated at Children's Hospital.  Five other victims are at Children's hospital. Victims were taken to a total of six hospitals in the area.


Theater 9 has a capacity of around 300 people. The gunman, who was wearing a gas mask, set off a smoke canister in the theater and opened fire upon the crowd.  Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates did not release the name or motive for the shooting in his news conference. However, Legal Pub has learned that the suspect is believed to be James Holmes, a 24-year-old American. Holmes is in police custody, and the FBI says there is no indication of terrorist ties. After Holmes allegedly opened fired, pandemonium erupted and the crowd fled for the exits.  Some of the bullets also went through the walls of an adjacent theater, injuring patrons next door.

Hundreds of police officers, ambulance and emergency crews responded to the frantic 911 calls. The 24 year old suspect was found by his car and arrested. The man was dressed in black, carrying a knife, rifle and a handgun.  The suspect was also wearing a bulletproof vest. Ironically, the suspect surrendered to police without a struggle.Police subsequently searched the suspects North Aurora home after he spoke of "possible explosives in his residence." There is no evidence of additional shooters. Rush Limbaugh had predicted that the victim in the movie Bane would be used as campaign rhetoric against Mitt Romney in the campaign Romney had worked for venture capitalist Bain (same pronunciation) in the past.  Seems the use of this reference to Romney working with a villain during campaign rhetoric may now be a dead issue.  Conspiracy?  We think not. Holmes appears to have acted alone.

The theater attack took place just about 25 miles from Columbine High School, where two students shot and killed 13 people in 1999.

Holmes, like any other suspect is presumed innocent unless otherwise proven in a court of law.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Jason Moss May Have Just Wanted To Sound Tough But He Apparently Scared The Bullies Too Much

It sounds like part of the script for American Pie Class Reunion.  Everyone loves a good underdog story. Revenge of the nerds comes to mind.  Its a great turn about nerd turned hero: unfortunately, reality tends to lead to different results.

Jason Carroll Moss, 38, allegedly made posts on Face Book indicating that he was harassed and bullied throughout high school and therefore he might take vengeance on his tormentors at his 20-year reunion.  Did the Texas man really intend a Columbine High School type massacre at the San Antonio's John Marshall High School's Class of 1992 reunion?

Police think that Moss stayed away from his high school graduation two decades ago because he "would have started the Columbine shootings early." They apparently think that Moss may be harboring deep resentments.  Moss allegedly posted: "I was picked on and bullied by a bunch of you when I went to school and I wanted to kill everyone that hurt me. I'm still seeking vengeance on all those who bullied and harassed me when I was growing up or went to school. You people do not know what you did to me."

Other alumni on the Face Book page called attention to Moss's posts to authorities according to KHOU.  Jason Moss was arrested Friday before 150 members of the '92 gathered for the reunion. There does not appear to be any proof that Moss actually planned to hurt anyone.  But he did apparently author the posts according to the Express News. Apparently Moss authored the comments because he didn't want to be picked on at the reunion.  VIDEO.
Moss is now charged with a misdemeanor for the threats. If convicted, he could face up to a year in jail. It is not believed that Moss has any criminal record.  Furthermore, Moss is to be presumed innocent of all charges and accusations until otherwise proven in a court of law.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Don't Monkey Around With Wild Animals; Chimp Critically Injures Human

Most have seen at least one Planet of the Apes movies. They are scary because they foreshadow the damages that can be inflicted by wild animals.  South African conservationist Eugene Cussons is an expert on ape attacks. Cussons even hosts Animal Planet show "Escape to Chimp Eden."  Unfortunately, the most recent chimp attack was at his own Jane Goodall Institute Chimpanzee Eden in South Africa. The victim is Andrew F. Oberle, a University of Texas at San Antonio graduate student who was studying the chimps.

Twelve tourists tried to separate the chimps from Oberle. Cussons, was himself attacked by a chimp as he tried to pull it off Oberle.  Cussons had to actually fire a shot into the air to scare the chimps away.  Oberle was bitten and dragged for nearly a half mile. One of the chimps was also injured in the incident. Male chimps can be 5'6" and weigh up to 150 lbs. The exact size of the two chimps that attacked Oberle is not known. But regardless of their size, Oberle had been trained to keep a safe distance from the animals. Oberle was in South Africa to study chimps. He had also previously worked for several years as a camp counselor at the St. Louis Zoo.


However, Oberle apparently broke the rules by going through the first of two fences that separate humans from the chimps. The chimps pulled him under the second fence.  Mediclinic Nelspruit hospital said Saturday that the 26-year-old Oberle remained in critical condition after Thursday's surgery.  Amadeus and Nikki, the two chimps involved in the attack, have been isolated.   Amadeus, was orphaned in Angola and brought to South Africa in 1996, where he was kept at the Johannesburg Zoo until the sanctuary opened. The other, Nikki, came from Liberia in 1996 and also was held at the zoo until becoming one of the first chimps at the sanctuary. The sanctuary has been closed to the public since the attack.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Supreme Court To Decide Fate Of Obamacare This Week

As the world awaits the U.S. Supreme Court's Thursday decision, some openly question the timing of the decision.  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida decision will be announced on Thursday; however, some are reducing the significance of the decision to "just another right wing attack on President Obama." But when the justices rule, the decision affects everyone and may change the lives of tens of millions of Americans.  The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) became law two years ago.  It is short of a total solution to the nation's health care problems, but is it an improvement over what existed 2 years ago with the hope of more benefits to follow?

Consider that the law has implemented the following changes:

•Ban on "lifetime limits" on the amount of benefits an insured person can collect.

•Insurers must justify decisions to increase insurance premiums.

•50,000 children age 18 and under have been able to obtain coverage despite pre-existing conditions.

•Millions of women now receive mammograms with no deductibles or copays.

•2.5 million children are now able to stay on their parents' health insurance policies until age 25.

•5.1 million seniors receive discounts on prescription drugs reducing the Medicare Part D "doughnut hole."

Yet the Rasmussen Report poll demonstrates that a majority of Americans feel they've haven't benefited at all from Obamacare.  Furthermore, twice as many voters say they've been hurt by the law as those who say they've been helped.   26% of voters polled claimed higher health insurance premiums, and layoffs from employers unable to afford insurance.  Only 13% who say they've been helped by the new law.  However, many of the law's biggest benefits haven't taken effect yet. If Obamacare survives, it won't be until 2014 when the following benefits accrue:

•Prohibition on denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.

•Prohibition on capping the annual amount that will be paid out on a patient's claims.

•Requiring insurers to cover the cost of experimental treatments.

•Tax credits for "low-income" consumers -- $43,000 annual income for an individual, or $88,000 for a family of four.

•Creation of a competitive market for insurance plans (insurance exchanges.)

•Health-care tax credits for small businesses.

•"Individual mandate" -- a requirement that everyone in America either buy a health insurance or pay a penalty. This is the most controversial of the provisions. The court must first decide whether health care is part of "interstate commerce." And second, it must decide whether Congress can use the Constitution's Commerce Clause to require Americans to buy insurance.  If the court finds in the negative on either point, then the individual mandate goes away.  The insurance industry will be saddled with a host of expensive benefits it must provide, but not enough money to pay for them. Insurance rates will drastically increase.

Our Supreme Court might end Obamacare this week.  But to some extent, health-care providers have already instituted new consumer protections to health plans and altered the mechanism for medical providers to get paid.  On the other hand, just watch how high the insurance companies jump for joy if Obamacare is declared unconstitutional. Then ask yourself, just why are the insurers so happy?

Update June 28, 2012:  Did you see the insurance companies dancing in the street?  No, that tells you how the Supreme Court ruled that the individual health insurance mandate is constitutional.  The Supreme Court upheld the central provision of President Barack Obama's signature Affordable Care Act.  Chief Justice John Roberts' controlling opinion upheld the mandate as a tax, although concluded it was not valid as an exercise of Congress' commerce clause power. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan concurred. The majority concluded that the mandate, which requires virtually all Americans to obtain minimum health insurance coverage or pay a penalty, falls within Congress' power under the Constitution to "lay and collect taxes."


Chief Justice Roberts wrote: "The individual mandate cannot be upheld as an exercise of Congress's power under the Commerce Clause. That Clause authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not to order individuals to engage in it. In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress's power to tax."  However, on Medicaid expansion, the court upheld the expansion with a caveat that the federal government may not threaten the states that don't comply with the loss of their existing funding. Justice Ginsburg, wrote a separate opinion for the four democrat justices which indicates that they would have upheld the mandate under the commerce clause too. "Unlike the market for almost any other product or service, the market for medical care is one in which all individuals inevitably participate... Virtually every person residing in the United States, sooner or later, will visit a doctor or other health care professional."

The National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius follows the six hours of heated oral arguments held over three days in March. Chief Justice Roberts joined four Democratic appointees in a bipartisan upholding of the law. However, you can bet that GOP candidates and incumbents will focus the 2012 campaign upon repealing the law.

Update 7-3-13: The government will not require employers to provide health insurance for their workers until 2015, delaying a key provision of Obamacare by a year. At issue: Complex (and fairly recently introduced) rules and reporting requirements for businesses. Retailers and restaurateurs would have been effected the most by the mandate. AP On Changes.




Monday, June 18, 2012

Jerry Sandusky Inaccurately Portrayed As Predatory Pedophile?

Some say Sandusky (photo courtesy of CBS) destroyed Joe Paterno's legend.  Others say Joe destroyed himself.  LINK.  Four days of testimony has revealed testimony of eight men from 18 to 28 years old which claimed Jerry Sandusky sexually abused them as children.  Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach, denies any liability.  But will Sandusky himself take the stand in his own defense?  Our guess is no even though that increases his odds of conviction.

Sandusky's attorney, Joe Amendola, suggested he might.  But what could he possibly add to the audio recording of the television interview that the jury has already heard? Amendola's strategy is to create enough doubt in jurors' minds to avoid a conviction.  If it doesn't work, Sandusky will likely spend the rest of his life in prison. Have the accusers' stories changed over time so as to affect their credibility? At least six witnesses said they told incorrect or incomplete stories in early contacts with police.  Three testified that some of the details only came back to them in recent years. Nevertheless, the prosecutor seems to think the testimony is solid. Are the victims motivated by a chance to gain monetary compensation from civil suits?  This is always a possibility and one that is difficult to deal with from the prosecutors standpoint.

Amendola told the jury in opening statement, "Jerry, in my opinion, loves kids so much that he does things none of us would ever do." The question remains if Jerry Sandusky's love  of children causes him to break the law.  Child molestation cases are not new.  Michael Jackson was accused of inappropriate conduct with children.  LINK. Jackson won his case and apparently settled a civil lawsuit by paying an undisclosed sum. While it's possible Sandusky will win, how likely is it given the national media attention on this case? with all the testimony that Sandusky used gifts, the prestige of Penn State's football program in exchange for physical contact from a hand on the knee to fondling, repeated oral sex and in some cases rape, prosecutor Joe McGettigan has painted the picture of a predatory pedophile. Even with a strong case in chief, it may be difficult to erase such a powerful image in the minds of jurors.

Jerry Sandusky's lawyers have asked the judge to allow them to use out-of-court statements from  former Penn State president Graham Spanier and Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, two university administrators who are fighting criminal charges they lied to the Sandusky grand jury and did not properly report suspected child abuse. If permitted, that could help Sandusky attack the credibility of a witness who says he saw Sandusky sexually abusing a yet-unidentified boy in a team shower. Judge John Cleland has already allowed into evidence the contents of "Touched," "Sandusky's autobiography.  Allowing the entire book prevents misleading exerps and quotes from being taken out of context in order to support a false impression. 

Sandusky's lawyers have argued that Sandusky's peculiar behaviors are evidence of "histrionic personality disorder" on Sandusky's part. During Voire dire, Sandusky's lawyers asked potential jurors about ties to members of Joe Paterno's family.  It remains unclear who if any one will testify in Sandusky's defense. The prosecutor's case should wrap up this week. In the mean time, Jerry Sandusky is to be presumed innocent unless otherwise proven in a court of law.

Update 6-22-12:  As the Sandusky jury deliberates, Monsignor William Lynn is the first U.S. church official convicted of a crime for how he handled sex-abuse accusations. The judge revoked Lynn into custody after he was convicted of one count of endangerment. Lynn was acquitted of another endangerment count and a conspiracy charge. Lynn has been on leave from the church since last year. The alleged conduct occurred while he was secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004, mostly under the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua. The jury could not agree on a verdict for Lynn's co-defendant, the Rev. James Brennan, who was accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy.


Monsignor William Lynn was accused of facilitating by telling parishes their priests were being removed for health reasons and then sending them to unsuspecting churches.  Lynn, 61, had faced about 10 to 20 years in prison if convicted of all three counts. He will likely serve 3 1/2 to seven years in prison.


Bevilacqua had the final say on what to do with priests accused of abuse.  He also allegedly ordered the shredding of a 1994 list that warned him that the archdiocese had three diagnosed pedophiles, a dozen confirmed predators and at least 20 more possible abusers. With the verdict, jurors concluded that prosecutors failed to show that Lynn was part of a conspiracy to move predator priests. The jury, however, did find that Lynn endangered the victim of Edward Avery, who pleaded guilty before trial to a 1999 sexual assault. Lynn had helped steer Avery into an inpatient treatment program run by the archdiocese. Avery was later sent to live in a northeast Philadelphia parish, where the altar boy was assaulted.  Avery is now serving a 2-1/2- to five-year prison sentence.

Lynn's lawyer, Thomas Bergstrom, said in closing arguments that Lynn should not be held responsible for the Church's sins. He suggested his client was a scapegoat for the scandal.  Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington said in his closing that it can take years for victims to come forward. "That's what's so scary about this. We have no idea how many victims are out there."  


In the meantime, expect the Lynn conviction to be appealed.




Sandusky Update 6-23-12:  Guilty on 45 of 48 counts! The foreman, Juror #4, was a gray-haired middle-aged man who hammered down the long verdict with an ere command of the courtroom. Guilty of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse,  indecent assault and endangering the welfare of children. Forty-five times justice  rang out throughout the courtroom.   There were only three charges Sandusky was acquitted on.  There remains an excellent chance that the ex-coach will spend the rest of his life behind bars.  Who knows who may else follow if they participated in the cover up.  We know from the Lynn case above that  those who cover up child molestation may also face the wrath of justice! 



Monday, June 11, 2012

Auburn Shootings Leave Many Questions and Few Answers

Three dead, another fighting for his life; why?  Former Auburn offensive lineman, Ed Christian, 20, former  fullback Ladarious Phillips, 20, and Demario A. Pitts, 20 all were shot and killed in Alabama.
Auburn junior offensive lineman Eric Mack, 20, was also shot and is being treated at Eastern Alabama Medical Clinic. A fourth young man, John Robertson, 20, was in critical condition at UAB Hospital in Birmingham.  A fifth man, Xavier Moss, 19, was shot but was treated and released.

Why were these men who were at a pool party at the University Heights apartment complex shot? The brutal shooting is supposedly not related to football. Police are looking for answers and perhaps Desmonte Leonard, age 22, has the answers.  Three warrants charging Desmonte Leonard with capital murder have been signed.  U.S. Marshals have joined the search for Leonard. Desmonte has been arrested twice in the past on gun charges. He has also been sued twice for child support, the latest suit having been filed on Friday.

Early reports indicate that the shooting happened after several men got in a fight over a woman.  Police apparently don't know why the party was being held or what sparked the fight.However, Turquorius Vines, 23, was present at the pool party Saturday evening at the University Heights apartments.  He was with one of his friends, Demario Pitts. Vines says he and his friend were approached by two other men who started arguing with them over a woman. Vines said he had never met these men before.  Vines apparently punched one of the men.  Pitts hit at least one of the men over the head with a bottle. Then, one or both of the men started shooting.  Pitts was shot and killed.  Two other men were hit by gunfire according to Vines.


Leonard fled the scene in a white Chevrolet.  He abandoned the vehicle on the way back to Montgomery, Desmonte Leonard, pictured above, is considered armed and dangerous.  If anyone knows why Leonard went on the shooting spree, they are not publicly commenting. The identity of a possible second suspect has not been revealed.  In the mean time, Eric Mack is expected to make a full recovery.

Keep in mind, Desmonte Leonard, like all suspects, is to be presumed innocent until otherwise proven in a court of law.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Catalina Clouser Under the Influence Or Just Having A Senior Moment At the Age of 19?

Neglectful? Thoughtless?  Selfish?  Do these terms accurately describe Catalina Clouser, the woman who was arrested Saturday in Phoenix after she accidentally drove away with her five-week-old son in a child seat on the roof of her car?  Fortunately her child fell off the car in an intersection of 45th Avenue and Cholla Street and was not harmed. But this 19 year-old mom was arrested on child abuse and driving under the influence charges. The child was placed in the custody of state Child Protective Services.

Clouser and her boyfriend had allegedly been smoking marijuana in a park. When the couple left to buy beer, the boyfriend was stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence. Clouser drove to a friend's home and allegedly smoked additional marijuana.  Clouser left around midnight with the baby asleep in the car seat. However, she apparently placed the infant on top of the Ford Focus and then drove off.  Closer did not realize that the baby was missing until she arrived home. Clouser then called her friends and asked them to trace the route she had taken. The friends ran into the officers who had already found Clouser's son. Clouser arrived at the scene and was arrested.
Fortunately, Clouser's 5 week-old son was not injured. Closer, like all who are charged with a crime are to be presumed innocent unless otherwise proved in a court of law.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Diane Tran Does Not Deserve A Criminal Record For Trying To Support Her Siblings and Attend High School

What is going on with the Texas legal system?  They let Robert A. Durst, a New York multimillionaire who admitted that he had butchered his 71-year-old neighbor with a bow saw and dumped his body parts into Galveston Bay, be acquitted of murder yet lock a 17 year-old honor student in jail for missing class because she is so tired from working two jobs to support her siblings.   LINK

From the video it appears Judge Moriarty simply thinks a 17 year-old girl spending a night in jail is no big deal. Has he lost touch with his constituents?  A criminal record for an honors student is no big deal? Diane Tran is a 17 year-old honor student working two jobs to support her siblings and he throws her in jail because she misses some school.  Can you say "black robe itis?" (Editor's note:  this is a phrase used to describe a judge whose time on the bench has destroyed his connection to common citizens.)

After listening to this judge speak, his rational appear at best troubling and more likely the words of a cold uncaring man undeserving of the position of "judge."  Exactly the kind of individual who needs to be scrutinized come election time. Diane Tran was forced to spend the night in jail last week

because she missed too much time from Willis High School.  This junior works two jobs and goes to high school in order to help support her two siblings since her parents divorced.  (Tran's parents no longer live in the area since the divorce.) Tran takes AP Spanish, college level algebra and dual credit English and history courses. When she is too tired, she sometimes misses school.  She continues to get good grades and turns in her homework.

While Texas law provides that a student with ten or more unexcused absences within a six-month period, MAY BE referred to a juvenile court, it is not mandatory.  Furthermore, jail time IS NOT mandatory. Consequently it appear that Willis Independent School District as well as the Judge failed to exercise the discretion common sense mandates in such situations. According to KHOU-11, Tran spent one night in jail and was fined $100!*  LINK. That makes no sense whatsoever with a girl who misses school because she needs to work.

HelpDianeTran.com has been set up by the Louisiana Children's Education Alliance in partnership with Anedot and Gatorworks.  However, a "help educate this judge on common sense and compassion site" may be even more appropriate. 


*Judge Lanny Moriarty did warn Tran last month to quit missing school. When she recently missed classes again, he issued a summons and had her arrested in open court





Friday, May 25, 2012

Should Former Porn Star Turned Teacher (Stacie Halas) Be Terminated Because of Her Past?

Should a teacher be fired just because she previously worked in the film industry as a porn star?  Stacie Halas is the Southern California science teacher who was placed on administrative leave because of her former career as a porn actress according to The Smoking Gun.  Stacie, 31, was apparently dismissed from her post as a seventh- and eighth-grade science teacher at Richard B. Haydock Intermediate School in Oxnard, Calif. because of her appearance in a pornographic film shot prior to her employment as a teacher.  Her pornographic career occurred from 2005 to 2007 which was prior to her being hired at  Oxnard in 2009.

However, when she appeared in "No Cum Dodging Allowed #7" in 2006, she was apparently employed by another California public school district.  She apparently admitted in an interview associated with the video that her film career was "very risky for me, 'cause I am a teacher," according to The Smoking Gun. The Oxnard school board voted unanimously to remove Halas in April.  According to the Los Angeles Times, Superintendent Jeff Chancer said, "We're dealing with the disruption that we believe it would cause our district, and the schools in our district, if she were to return back to the classroom...  Maybe it's not a crime as far as the penal code is concerned, but we feel it's a crime as far as moral turpitude is concerned."

Halas' contract apparently does not contain a moral turpitude clause. While California law prevents those convicted of certain crimes from working in public schools, Stacie apparently has broken no law. However she may be terminated if their is evidence that her private life is affecting student education.  There in lies the debate. The conduct occurred prior to her employment.  Furthermore, the filming did not involve the school or any students. What rights do teachers have outside of regular school hours? Teachers typically complain that they need two incomes in order to be financially comfortable.  Should they be prohibited from working at a strip club or even Hooters during the summer vacation?
Should school officials punish teachers who moonlight as bartenders, waitresses, or even lawnmowers if there is a chance it may disrupt student education?

Halas is appealing her dismissal.  The case will likely be heard by an administrative law judge.  Legal Pub is predicting that Stacie wins her appeal based in large par upon her star appeal in these photos.  LINK.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Has Antolin Garica-Torres DNA Solved the Murder of Sierra LaMarr?

Is another sick demented monster off the streets?  Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said Antolin Garcia-Torres's DNA was found inside a bag belonging to Sierra LaMar. The 21-year-old Torres is in custody for the kidnapping and murder Sierra LaMar.  DNA evidence was allegedly found in Sarah's bag and unspecified property belonging to Garcia-Torres. ( Garcia-Torres's DNA had been in a law enforcement database following an arrest on suspicion of felony assault.)  It appears that this was a stranger abducting a young girl for no apparent reason. Sierra was apparently kidnapped while walking to a school bus stop. She hadn't been seen or heard from since she left her home in Morgan Hill on March 16.

Authorities had apparently surveiled several suspects before focusing on Garcia-Torres.  Sierra's handbag with clothing and a cellphone were found along the side of the road near her home. Investigators also discovered a red Volkswagen Jetta that may have been connected to Sierra's abduction. Garcia-Torres apparently owns the Volkswagen. Garcia-Torres has yet to admit guilt and thus is to be presumed innocent unless otherwise proven in a court of law.



Does Zenaida Gonzlez Deserve Her Pound of Flesh?

Most of the United States probably remembers the Casey Anthony's criminal trial.  LINK.  But now Casey faces a civil trial for defamation. The media claims she has been hiding, but her face is about as familiar as those on Mount Rushmore.
Anthony has been staying out of the limelight as she serves her probation for fibbing to police, the only charge she was convicted of in the criminal trial.  Casey, 26 years old, will soon have to defend herself in the civil action in Orlando.  Zenaida Gonzlez claims in the civil lawsuit that during the initial investigation into the whereabouts of 2-year-old Caylee, Casey claimed her daughter was kidnapped by a babysitter named Zenaida Gonzalez.  

Gonzalez never met Anthony.  She never babysat Caylee and she was not involved in the case.  However, she claims when Casey Anthony mentioned her name to police, she was publicly defamed.  She claims the defamation ruined her reputation by using her name in association with the toddler's disappearance.  The civil case is likely to be tried in January of 2013. Does she deserve a a big monetary judgment against Anthony? Did the 20 minutes of fame for Gonzlez really "ruin her life?"  Perhaps a civil jury will let us all know very soon.

Update 5-23-12:  When will the media stop sensationalizing things?  Casey Anthony has not been on the run or hiding.  She has been staying out of the public spotlight and complying with the terms of her probation.  Her attorneys accepted service for her in the civil case.  The media will only stop when the public starts to demand responsible journalism.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

James Willie Arrested For Rape, May Be Tried For Capital Murder

Looks like Mississippi governor finally got his man.  Police have arrested James D. Willie who is suspected of murdering two people along Mississippi highways. James D. Willie, 28, of Sardis, was arrested when Tunica police responded to a reported disturbance at an apartment on Old Highway 61. A woman at the scene claimed Willie had raped her.  Willie had in his possession a Ruger 9 mm, semi-automatic handgun that the state crime lab believes is a ballistic match to the weapon used in two murders in northwest Mississippi last week

The murders occurred 50 miles apart over a span of three days. Both victims' vehicles were found on the side of the road. The murder of Thomas Schlender, 74, occurred on May 8. Schlender's wallet and several hundred dollars were missing. Lori Anne Carswell, 47, was murdered on May 11. She was found lying in the road next to her car on State Highway 713. Investigators originally believed that the suspected the killer was posing as a police officer but that has not been confirmed. Willie is being held on charges of aggravated assault, kidnapping and rape. He will also likely be charged with two counts of capital murder.

"Hundreds of man-hours have been devoted to tracking down and arresting this individual," Gov. Phil Bryant said in a statement. "Public safety is of paramount concern to us... we see the effective results of a unified effort of several law enforcement agencies working together."

All suspects are presumed innocent unless otherwise proven in a court of law!



Monday, May 14, 2012

Lil Boosie Beats the Rap! ~by Legal Pub

As we always say, suspects are presumed innocent unless otherwise proven in a court of law.  Exhibit one, rapper Lil Boosie, a.k.a Torrence Hatch, was recently found not guilty of first-degree murder. The "Bad Azz" rapper was accused of soliciting Marlo Mike, a.k.a Michael Louding, to murder Terry Boyd for $2,800.

Boyd, 35, was died in October 2009. Louding, allegedly originally admitted killing Boyd but later said that he had been forced by police into a confession. Prosecutors tried to tie Louding's statements, cell phone records and Lil Boosie's gun-loving rap lyrics (i.e."five dead in six months" and "Yo Marlo, he drive a Monte Carlo, dat' bitch grey, I want him dead today, here go the cake") together as evidence of Lis Boosie's involvement. However, all the king's men and all the king's horses ( almost 30 witnesses) could not convince a jury of nine women and three men that Lil Boosie was guilty. 

Boosie has not always been so fortunate.  In 2011, Boosie was convicted of trafficking illegal substances into two separate correctional facilities.  Lil Boosie was sentenced to eight years in prison, a sentence he is still serving. WARNING PROFANITY   (One suspects that Senator Edwards might be hoping for a similar fate:   LINKLINK2