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justice

This tag is associated with 21 posts

On Pedophilia

(Here’s a hint, I’m against it!)

And so is Peter.  Vehemently, as he writes below:

Pedophilia does “no lasting harm”??? Yeah, right!

Richard Dawkins, well known for his militant atheism, has really put his foot in it this time.

In a recent interview with the Times magazine, Richard Dawkins attempted to defend what he called “mild pedophilia,” which, he says, he personally experienced as a young child and does not believe causes “lasting harm.”

Dawkins went on to say that one of his former school masters “pulled me on his knee and put his hand inside my shorts,” and that to condemn this “mild touching up” as sexual abuse today would somehow be unfair.

. . .

Child welfare experts responded to Dawkins’ remarks with outrage — and concern over their effect on survivors of abuse.

There’s more at the link.

All I can say is, as a pastor and clinical counselor, I’ve had a great deal of experience trying to help the victims of pedophiles. Many went on to become pedophiles themselves – a cycle that carries on down the centuries, if you go back far enough.  Others have had their confidence in themselves destroyed, their ability to love and be love corroded, and their lives ruined.

I’m a strong believer in the rule of law.  I’ve worked inside the criminal justice system to help promote the rule of law.  Nevertheless, if there’s any one sin or crime that cries out to Almighty God for vengeance, it’s pedophilia.  In the words of Jesus himself:

But who so shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

You can debate, if you wish, whether those words were meant to include pedophilia, or merely other types of offence.  Personally, I have little doubt.  No, scratch that – I have no doubt.  If a pedophile were caught in flagrante delicto, I would have few or no moral qualms if the parents of the child concerned executed him on the spot.  I think there’d be little or no sin in that;  in fact, I could make a strong case for it being the justice of an outraged God.

Pedophiles can’t be cured.  Time after time that’s been tried, and failed miserably.  They can only be prevented from committing their crimes, either by incarcerating them where they can’t get at children, or by executing them.  Harsh?  Yes, it is harsh.  Having seen too many children’s innocence destroyed by pedophiles, my feelings towards the latter are very harsh indeed!  Right now, I’m not feeling particularly charitable towards Mr. Dawkins, either . . .

Peter

As I got older, one of the things I never expected to experience was to meet and befriend a number of people – women and men – who had been sexually abused as children.  ALL became profoundly damaged adults.  Some even became abusers.  Such is the nature of pedophilia.
If I had encountered a pedophile in the act, I too, would have no problem dispatching the miscreant.
“Some people just need killing.”
attributed to Clint Eastwood, John Wayne and a number of historical folks

The Polygraph

(forgetting, for a moment, one cost me a job-unfairly, I think, back-in-the-day!)

polygraph-simpson

The polygraph is an instrument which measures things like heart rate, perspiration, breathing and sometimes other body activity over which the person measured has little or no control.  A skilled operator (who should also be a skilled interrogator) uses these measurements to determine if a subject is telling the truth to certain, carefully worded questions.  It is not a lie detector, but a truth verifier.

Prior to 1988, many private companies utilized a pre-employment polygraph test, to determine if a subject was generally honest before hiring.  Some also used polygraphs post-employment, at random intervals, to see if anything had changed.  In 1988, Congress passed legislation limiting the use of pre-employment tests, with the exclusion of persons in  certain sensitive positions, security, police and a few other jobs.  Some States followed suit.

Many private companies were put out of business.

Having worked for a private investigations/polygraph firm for a number of years, it was an interesting experience.

First, some of the polygraphers (many of whom were retired law enforcement) thought themselves superior to the lowly civilian private investigators.

Second, I observed on numerous occasions, polygraphers watching job applicants arriving for a test, and making disparaging remarks, even before the interview or test began!

“This guy has liar written all over him!”

Hardly a lack of bias going in.

There was also a polygraph school adjacent to and affiliated with the investigations/polygraph company.  When I was first employed as an investigator, I was considering signing up for the school, thinking it might be an important addition to my investigative skills.  After observing and hearing the polygraphers, my interest waned.

This is not an indictment of all polygraphers, but just an observation based on some of those with whom I had negative encounters.

I suspect some of the laws have changed post 911, what with more agencies tasked with protection of the Republic from terrorists and spies.

I hope the current crop of polygraph examiners are more professional than some I encountered back-in-the-day.

We need all the help we can get.

Gender Inequality

…or at least equal opportunity for yuck!

I’m speaking about equal opportunity for MEN here.

I’ve been taking out the trash and the garbage my entire life!  Or, at least since I was able to walk, lift and receive an allowance.

My sister?  Nope.  And SHE, too, received an allowance.

Why the disparity?  I AM MALE!

Don’t you know – IT’S THE JOB OF THE MAN (OR BOY) TO TAKE OUT THE TRASH!

How do we know this?  Every woman – starting with my Mother and stepmother – said so!

And subsequent girlfriends and even the (now ex) wife!

And currently my female roommate!

WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?

Everyone in the house makes trash and garbage.  I don’t mind sharing the duty necessary to get it to the dumpster.  But, when did it become solely the purview of the MALE?

I tried the argument that if there were gender-specific jobs that she should take care of the house and make the meals and do the wash.

That didn’t go over so well…

And I also received the counter-argument that they had to suffer childbirth and other things feminine.  As if I created women to be that way!

garbage rights

It’s an argument with a woman.

Men lose, automatically.

The Panama Papers

(As stolen borrowed from Counting Cats in Zanzibar)

The Panama Papers - Mossack Fonseca

 

The Panama Papers are an unprecedented leak of 11.5m files from the database of the world’s fourth biggest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. The records were obtained from an anonymous source by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The ICIJ then shared them with a large network of international partners, including the Guardian and the BBC.

What do they reveal?
The documents show the myriad ways in which the rich can exploit secretive offshore tax regimes. Twelve national leaders are among 143 politicians, their families and close associates from around the world known to have been using offshore tax havens.

A $2bn trail leads all the way to Vladimir Putin. The Russian president’s best friend – a cellist called Sergei Roldugin – is at the centre of a scheme in which money from Russian state banks is hidden offshore. Some of it ends up in a ski resort where in 2013 Putin’s daughter Katerina got married.

Among national leaders with offshore wealth are Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s prime minister; Ayad Allawi, ex-interim prime minister and former vice-president of Iraq; Petro Poroshenko, president of Ukraine; Alaa Mubarak, son of Egypt’s former president; and the prime minister of Iceland, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson.

An offshore investment fund run by the father of British prime minister David Cameron avoided ever having to pay tax in Britain by hiring a small army of Bahamas residents to sign its paperwork. The fund has been registered with HM Revenue and Customs since its inception and has filed detailed tax returns every year.

The Grauniad – What are the Panama papers?

As a libertarian and someone who believes that all tax is theft, I have some measure of sympathy and indeed support for those who go to extraordinary lengths to avoid taxation and government meddling in the private affairs of citizens, for example Facebook’s Eduardo Saverin who paid a 15% exit tax on his US assets to expatriate to Singapore in 2011.

Those who are unworthy of such libertarian acclaim are those who use illegal means to hide wealth arising from bribery and corruption or who enforce taxation on the little people, but evade it themselves.  (Agree – Guffaw)

Traditionally, this has been 3rd world dictators or the governors of oil rich provinces in Nigeria and such places who essentially steal the wealth of their own populace / electorate. So it was not surprising to find these “usual suspects” in the Panama papers.

Even Vladimir Putin is not someone that I am particularly surprised at given that he has ruled Russia as President and proxy for nearly 20 years.

The sorts of names that you don’t expect are the legislators of modern Western countries such as Iceland’s PM (but not I suspect for long), Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson. Bastards like this who illustrate Leona Helmsley’s view that “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes”* should face the full force of the law.

[EDIT: and as predicted, less than a day later he’s quit]

For UK politicians and business leaders, it is not just tax evasion that the Panama papers might reveal, but also crimes committed under the Bribery Act 2010 and earlier criminal statutes. For example, those cosy little 3rd world arms deals so recently brought to life in the BBC’s adaptation of John Le Carre’s “The Night Manager”.

I suspect that quite a few of the worlds elite will be having sleepless nights over the revelations and since the papers go back 40-years, I expect we will be pissing on the graves of quite a few ex politicians and members of the elite as well. GOOD!

* – Leona Helmsley disputes that she ever said this.

Why should we as Americans care?

Bilton, Richard (April 4, 2016). “Panama Papers: How a British man, 90, covered for a US millionaire”. BBC News. Retrieved April 4, 2016.

Hall, Kevin G.; Taylor, Marisa (April 4, 2016). “Americans, including a Bellevue man, show up in Panama Papers”. Seattle Times. Retrieved April 5, 2016.

Is this just the tip of the iceberg?  Or has malfeasance at the highest level of someone other than Americans made the papers for a change?

Interesting that in the list of those nations investigating this matter the United States is absent*

 

In The News

No, not the story you thought…

(Although my thoughts and prayers are with the dead, wounded and their families and friends in Oregon.)

Brian Terry

Associated Press

A jury has found two men guilty of murder in the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent whose death exposed the botched federal operation known as Fast and Furious.

The jury found Jesus Leonel Sanchez-Meza and Ivan Soto-Barraza guilty of all counts. Jurors had begun deliberations Wednesday afternoon, a week after the trial began in federal court in Tucson.

Sanchez-Meza, also known as Lionel Portillo-Meza, and Soto-Barraza were part of a five-man crew that planned on robbing drug smugglers when they encountered Agent Brian Terry and three others on Dec. 14, 2010.

(Reports are they will receive life in prison…)

additionally, from Fox News

The killing led to intense political rhetoric as Republicans sought to hold the Obama administration accountable over the Fast and Furious operation. They conducted a series of inquiries into how the Justice Department allowed guns to end up in the hands of criminals.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt after he refused to divulge documents for a congressional investigation into the matter. Since then, the Justice Department has focused on arresting and trying all suspects involved.

About f’n time!
Now, what about the charges against Holder et al for complicity, conspiracy and obstruction?I’m not holding my breath…

More Fast And Really Furious

Just in case you missed coverage of this on the news…

(As posted by David Hardy in his blog, with attached commentary, in full…)

Plea in murder of BP Agent Terry, with Fast & Furious gun

POSTED BY DAVID HARDY · 11 AUGUST 2015 07:05 PM

Another perp involved has taken a plea to 30 years’ imprisonment. Another perp also got 30 years, and the guy who bought the guns got under five years.

These are all quite lenient. The gunmen faced the death penalty, and the gun buyer could probably have, too (aiding and abetting the murder makes him guilty of murder). If prosecuted under Arizona law (and they still could be, since the offense broke both State and Federal law), they’d be very likely to get death, and at the very least to get life without parole (“natural life”). I’ve seen killers get the latter for a single murder and one not committed in the course of a plan for violent criminal acts.

Sendarius |

Why should those who authorised the sale get away with it?

The FFL lodged a NICS check,and probably committed no crime since the check came back “proceed”, but the LEO that cleared the sale was apparently fully aware of the intent of the purchaser.

Surely that approval in the face of evidence of likely criminality is illegal, especially given that there was no attempt to “follow the guns” as was later claimed as justification.

As pointed out on other blogs, taking a plea deal means there won’t be any embarrassing discovery phase that would occur if a trial was held. Another win in the “Move Along, Nothing to See” column for this “most transparent ever ” administration.

I have highlighted salient points in red. (Guffaw)

If indeed there is a thin blue line between us and murdering smugglers, and one (or more) of them falls, the perpetrator should obtain the maximum.

This is a travesty, not only for the family of Brian Terry, but for all others killed or maimed by ‘government-sponsored’ smuggling.  In both countries.

And, of course, the reasoning stated above says it all.

I’ve Wondered About This…

I’m old enough to remember the Watts riots in L.A., Detroit.  Rodney King?  And a multitude of others.  And something has always bothered me:

WHY do these folks feel the need to violently destroy THEIR OWN NEIGHBORHOODS to make a point?

In days of yore, I participated in protests.  I remember one at the State Capitol, wherein we stood in the Summer heat (all 250 or so of us) to protest The Clinton so-called ‘Assault Weapons Ban’, and our own State legislature considering similar legislation.  This was in the 90’s – the temperature was around 100°.

And not one of us engaged in violence, criminal looting or destruction.  We had been advised not to come armed, and we didn’t.  We carried signs (and American flags), signed petitions, talked amongst ourselves and drank lots of water.  And listened politely to speakers like Sheriff Mack.  And watched media trucks circle us deciding whether or not we were worth a spot on the 10 o’clock news.

Apparently we weren’t.

Here’s one opinion as to why they foul their own nests:

The borderline-Jacobins at Slate, who believe spanking is child abuse, and personal responsibility is out of fashion, try to explain looting away as a social phenomenon: “Why would anyone burn down the only CVS in their neighborhood?”

The reason, I think, is likely the same reason that poor black Americans in cities across the country burned “their own” neighborhoods in the late 1960s:

They did not experience those places as their own. Then, like now, police brutality was a precipitating cause of the violence, but it was the long-term experience of the indignities of the ghetto that gave shape to the riots. Then, like now, commentators compared the rioters to animals who had run wild and needed discipline. Rioting, to these bystanders, was not proper political protest but the criminal actions of poor people who merely wanted to grab what they could for free. This narrative, which I heard throughout my childhood growing up in Baltimore in the 1980s, put the blame not on the depredations of the ghetto, but on the character of its residents. It completely misapprehends the political economy of our poorest neighborhoods.

In other words:  they riot because society has ignored them.  Not only is that a specious argument, but it also highlights the fact that Baltimore hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1968So which party is responsible for ignoring the downtrodden social class?

Told another way, Abraham Miller at National Review wrote:

More @ Red State
Of course, the writer above seems to think the only answer lies with which flavor of government.
What do YOU think?
h/t Brock Townsend

Cop Movies As Real Life

or Death.

Remember the ‘cop-killer’ bullets that could penetrate a skip loader, but not a double-layer of ballistic vests in Lethal Weapon (Some-number)?

People believe this S***!

Fast forward to this:

How the police can break your password

Threaten to throw you off an 18th floor balcony:

After a few hours of this, which involved an attempt to lure one of Cascioli’s suppliers to his building, the officers focused on Cascioli’s Palm Pilot, which they (correctly) believed contained the information they wanted. But Cascioli wouldn’t provide the password. He claims that police then tried to extract the password through intimidation.

Cascioli says [Officer Thomas] Liciardello asked him a question: “Have you ever seen Training Day?”

When Cascioli said yes, Cascioli says Liciardello looked him in the eyes and said: “This is Training Day for f—ing real,” and then instructed officers Norman and Jeffrey Walker to take him to the balcony.

According to Cascioli and the indictment, Liciardello told them to “do whatever they had to do to get the password.”

Out on the balcony, Cascioli says officers Norman and Walker lifted him up by each arm and leaned him over the balcony railing.

One of the cops involved has confirmed the story.

And the police (whom I generally admire) wonder why people continue to call them Gestapo and such.  Even if 99 police officers follow their department policies to the letter, it only takes ONE STORY like this to sour the opinion for all.
Especially in the minority community, wherein people view cops as The Man, The Establishment.
Of course, media reportage regarding cops shooting, beating, tazing, torturing, and generally abusing minority suspects doesn’t help either!
PS – the story previously reported here regarding Freddy Gray having had recent back surgery (prior to his death in Baltimore Police custody) has allegedly been refuted.  What about subsequent reports about him injuring himself after his arrest to claim brutality?   Bueller?  Bueller?
This just in (0754 MST) – Gray death ruled a homicide – police to be charged (Fox News)

h/t Borepatch

Due Process

from Alphecca

The Washington Post has been running a very good series of investigative reports on how police departments around the nation have been seizing billions of dollars from often innocent citizens without charging them with any crime. That link takes you to the first installment. On the side, near the top, are the links to the other five pieces. It’s time for Congress to address this issue nationally. Somehow, I doubt that Republicans will allow that.

I’ve been concerned for years about how The Federal Government (through the IRS) can garnishee, attach, freeze, steal assets in advance of due process.  Then it’s up to the poor object of these seizures to fight to get said assets back!

Seemed kind of ass-backwards to me(?)

Now (or perhaps for some time) police departments are engaging in similar behavior!

I’m reminded of a local tale (from the 70’s) in this area, wherein a guy made a police report subsequent to a business burglary.  And reported the losses to his insurance company.  Later, he found some assets in the rubble he had previously thought stolen, and attempted to amend his report.

He was charged with FRAUD, FILING A FALSE REPORT, AND HIS ASSETS SEIZED!

As he sat in the middle of his printing business, watching agents remove everything, crying, he asked one, “Why?”

“Because we can.” was the terse response.

What is it Lord Acton said of government?  Absolutely.

The Justice System Depends On Plea Bargains

It is not difficult to perceive why this should be so. After all, the typical person accused of a crime combines a troubled past with limited resources: he thus recognizes that, even if he is innocent, his chances of mounting an effective defense at trial may be modest at best. If his lawyer can obtain a plea bargain that will reduce his likely time in prison, he may find it “rational” to take the plea.

(a segment from “Why Innocent People Plead Guilty”, Jed S. Rakoff)

You should really go and read the whole essay from The New York Review of Books.  Mr. Rakoff has been a prosecutor, a defense attorney, and is currently a judge.  He offers some constructive solutions.

Being a believer in the rule of law and due process, and understanding law enforcement doesn’t always arrest the actual perpetrator, I have concerns about such a system.  The Innocence Project (among others) has shown many folks arrested are cajoled/convinced/badgered into pleading guilty for a lesser sentence – even when they are not guilty of anything!  As the police state agenda advances, I suspect his will continue.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…