June 14, 2010

Unreasonableness Incarnate

This one comes courtesy of the National Association for Gun Rights.

It describes exactly the kind of thing “progressives” force on us that makes my blood boil.

Thanks to Chicago’s gun ban, an 80-year-old Chicago man may face charges after shooting an intruder.

The Supreme Court is currently hearing McDonald v. Chicago, which could repeal Chicago’s longstanding handgun ban. But justice may come too late for an elderly Korean War vet who was simply defending his 83-year-old wife and 12-year-old grandson.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that this man had been robbed at home “a couple of months ago” by “three intruders.” Afterwards, he “bought a gun and vowed never to be a victim again.”

Around 5:00 this morning, 30-something Anthony Nelson broke into the home by breaking out a back window that leads to the elderly couple’s unit. There was a confrontation between the home invader and the homeowner, and the invader shot at the elderly man with his revolver. The homeowner shot back with his handgun, killing the attacker.

Good for him!

WGN interviewed Nelson’s mother, who of course extolled his virtues:

“Lenora Nelson said her son loved to draw and build things. She said he obtained his GED in jail and had just signed up for an online carpentry program. “He could fix almost anything,” she said.

Nelson was supposed to start a new job next week for a company that cleans out homes before they’re remodeled, his mother said.”

WGN balanced this out by reporting that Nelson “was on parole after being sentenced to three years in prison for a 2009 drug conviction,” and “had a criminal record that includes a number of other drug or weapons convictions going back to 1998.”

ABC reports that the man may be charged under Chicago’s current law, which bans handgun ownership.

Lenora Nelson was probably one hell of a parent. Yessiree, raised her one fine criminal, the kind of scumbag who preyed on senior citizens and, in his case, has thankfully been taken out of the gene pool.

Mayor Daly believes shoving a rifle up a reporter’s buttocks might save his life.

And if escaped convicts bother him at his Michigan vacation home, his private security detail stands ready to hold them at gunpoint.

Meanwhile, an elderly couple awaits the arrival of another set of armed robbers, courtesy of Daley’s “law and order” crew.

This is one of the features of “progressivism” that most ticks me off: These wealthy elitists sit there in the safety of their well guarded estates or gated communities, immune to the tragic consequences of the laws they impose on the common man, and aren’t the least bit perturbed at the misery they cause others through their misguided and usually not un, but anticonstitutional doctrines.

Let’s say this 80+ year old Korean war veteran, his wife and grandchild had been murdered by Nelson because there wasn’t a weapon in the house, what then?

How about, “Oh, well, at least the oldster didn’t break the law by owning a handgun.”

Thankfully, the case is also drawing attention of the right kind.

Update: Joe Brodsky announced his willingness to take this case pro bono, if Daley charges the victim under the handgun ban.

Said Brodsky: “Self defense isn’t just a right, it’s a duty. If this man is prosecuted for saving his own life it’s not just a travesty, its justice turned inside out.”

If this man is prosecuted for saving his own life it’s not just a travesty, its justice turned inside out.

That’s for damn sure…

There are a number of good links in the NAGR article, which can be read here.

by @ 5:38 pm. Filed under Good People Punished, Liberal Agendas

June 1, 2010

Saving Their Own Skins?

Back from a Memorial Day spent aboard my maritime home, celebrating Memorial Day with half a dozen ‘Nam and “other places” buddies. To us, celebrating is the proper word, for we do indeed celebrate… the lives and times, the bravery and the selfless patriotism of friends and comrades who died while putting themselves willingly in harm’s way for our great country.

There were surpluses of good food (I had the modest affair “catered” by an excellent local eatery I frequent), Jack Daniels, both black and green labels, Sam Adams and Anchor Steam Beer and their dy-na-mite Porter (three of the better American brands, since imports wouldn’t be right on a day honoring fallen American heroes) and a lot of heartfelt toasts to good men gone.

This post is also on the topic of war, in this case an injustice that is apparently being done by Big Brass to cover their own asses by kicking the truth to the curb.

Many readers of Hard Astarboard are probably familiar with war correspondent Michael Yon, an ex Special Forces guy who has covered the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan as an embed who, unlike most of his “colleagues”, actually gets in there and covers his beat, risks be damned, then reports things as he sees them, without the political bias of mainstream media reporters. With his own military background, again unlike his “colleagues”, he is eminently qualified to comment knowledgeably on that which he encounters.

That said…

The military has cut short a war correspondent’s embed, and there may be evidence that the decision may have been part of a smear campaign against the writer.

Michael Yon, a former Green Beret, has been covering Iraq and Afghanistan for six years. He has also covered conflicts in Thailand, the Philippines, and Nepal. Following a string of events covered by Yon that cast a negative light on two top NATO commanders, the military decided to terminate Yon’s embed prematurely, citing reasons that didn’t add up.

ISAF’s reason for disembedding Yon was “embed overcrowding.” Yet in an email to Admiral Gregory J. Smith, an ISAF public affairs officer, Yon wrote, “I rarely see journalists. Those journalists I see have been doing drive-by reporting.”

Yon states that he has forwarded to his attorney “compelling evidence” of a smear campaign perpetrated by members of Gen. McChrystal’s staff. He says that the general’s staff have released official statements that are “defamatory and libelous.”

“A writer must be able to spot libel just as a soldier must be able to spot IEDs,” writes Yon. “It’s part of the job. If you can’t spot it, you will get hurt.”

So here they go, members of the military top brass, purportedly looking to save their own skins by using a technique favored by propagandizing, low life commie liberals “progressives”.

Sweep the man under a rug, render him inoperable in hopes of preventing him from imparting the truth to the people.

In March, Yon began investigating a possible weapons mishap by Canadian Brig. Gen. Daniel Menard, the top Canadian general in Afghanistan and also Commander of Task Force Kandahar. Reports say that Menard nearly shot Canada’s Chief of the Defense Staff, Gen. Walt Natynczyk while preparing to board a helicopter at Kandahar Airfield. According to Yon, Menard didn’t acknowledge the incident until ISAF learned that Yon was looking into the matter. Menard was found guilty of negligent discharge and fined $3500 on Tuesday.

Menard has operational control over three battalions of U.S. Army soldiers. And as Yon points out in his website that “while Canada increasingly shies from combat, American units under Canadian command will spill blood under Canadian military leadership that answers to Ottawa.”

The Canadian general’s defense counsel stated Menard “accepted full responsibility.” But in a separate incident just days before the shooting, Menard took absolutely no responsibility for a fatal incident on a strategic bridge near Kandahar when a suicide bomber killed a U.S. soldier.

On the morning of March 1, a suicide car bomber attacked a U.S. convoy as they crossed the Tarnak River Bridge leading to Kandahar. The bridge is a chokepoint on a crucial route between Kandahar Airfield and the town of Kandahar, and on out to Helmand Province. The bridge was damaged in the attack, which killed U.S. Army Specialist Ian Gelig, several Afghan civilians, and wounded several other soldiers. Numerous missions were canceled as the river could not be crossed.

The Stryker Brigade that Yon was embedded with was tasked with keeping the roads open. And the British Royal Air Force is responsible for much of the ground around Kandahar Airfield, including the land around the bridge. And the Afghanistan National Police, mentored by U.S. military police were guarding the bridge. However when Yon investigated the matter, he was informed by multiple officers that Menard was ultimately responsible for the bridge at the time of the attack as it belongs to Task Force Kandahar.

“Menard ultimately had responsibility for the bridge,” Yon stated in an interview. When Yon investigated the matter, he was informed by multiple officers that the bridge at the time of the attack belonged to Task Force Kandahar. Menard tried to pin the blame on his supervisor, British Maj. Gen. Nick Carter. Yet during a meeting with ISAF officials, U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Ben Hodges took full responsibility, although Yon did not believe him.

When asked why the U.S. military would possibly cover for Menard, Yon replied, “I think the cover was in the interest of Coalition warfare. An American putting it to a Canadian would have had political ramifications.”

I’ve followed Yon’s reporting and photo-journals for a long time, now, and, even though he was a blanket-head in service (that’s what we used to call those Army dudes with the berets back in my time), he was still a member of the elite community of warriors and one whose word I would take over some self-serving career officer’s line of lube any day of the week.

Yon has stood alone in his criticism of Menard and received heavy fire for doing so. He called Menard incompetent and said he needed to be fired. He also stands alone saying the same about McChrystal. Yon recently wrote, “This is clear as day: General Stanley McChrystal will lose this war.”

“The reason stated for my disembed was ‘overcrowding.’ Clearly this is untrue,” Yon said. “The war is going poorly and it is widely known that I will call the ball where it lands. We are losing the war and it seems likely that McChrystal and staff don’t want me in combat reporting their failures.”

So with the upcoming operation in Kandahar – which would be commanded by Menard – it seems entirely possible that ISAF wanted Yon out of the theater. His criticism of not only Menard but of ISAF commander Gen Stanley McChrystal could well be the reason behind the ending of his embed.

While the military may view Yon’s dispatches as controversial, the American people deserve the truth. And as Kay Day from the US Report says, “No one reporting on the Global War on Terror has done a more effective or honest job than Michael Yon.”

Past statements by Yon were initially viewed as controversial – such as being the first journalist to say the “Surge” was working, or that Iraq was experiencing a “civil war.”

However, these events would soon become conventional wisdom. Could his assessments of Gens. Menard and McChrystal soon become conventional wisdom as well?

Perhaps a comment from a reader at the United States Naval Institute sums it up best:
Frankly, I trust Yon more than I trust McChrystal at this point.

The man who took part in the cover-up of [Army Ranger and former professional football player Pat] Tillman’s death has lost quite a bit of credibility. In fact, McChrystal admitted as much – years later – before the Senate.

Yon, meanwhile, was right about Iraq. He was right about Afghanistan. He was right about Petraeus. He was right about Menard.

And I suspect he’s right about McChrystal.

The Tillman link above was added by me, to refresh the memories of anyone who may not recall any of the details.

Hell, to my way of thinking, while Michael Yon is a proven force in his area of endeavor, General McChristol is, as I said, a career officer and, more to the point, he is acceptable to President Barack Obama, or he wouldn’t be there.

Now, knowing how we at this blog feel about the lack of scruples and the paucity of American patriotism present in the Obama Administration, what kind of a reference is that?

by @ 12:15 pm. Filed under Afghanistan, Good People Punished, WTF!!!!?

April 28, 2010

Liberal Trial Lawyers (Spit!)…

…make even the French (Spit!) look respectable. The cottage industry those parasites sleazed upon us a few years ago, that of victimizing the innocent in order to make a few bucks even less honestly than con men practicing the Bible scam does nothing more than make it impossible for many companies and individuals to protect their homes, families, merchandise and possessions.

What these scumbags (and this particular brand of lawyer should take the term “scumbag” as a compliment as he/she stuffs his/her maggot-ridden pockets with the lucre stolen from honest citizens) don’t give a damn about is decency, morality or any other quality that requires a soul.

They sue the innocent on behalf of other human feces who, like them, are nothing more than opportunists who are too lazy to try and earn a living like anybody else.

Here, we have a prime example of a couple of people losing their jobs because their employers’ attorneys advised them, rightly, that the flotsam known as a liberal trial lawyer is always waiting in the wings to transform a victim into a victimizer and make a victimizer into a victim.

Here’s the story.

Two retail employees say they were fired last week after they chased down a suspected shoplifter.

Wait: The tale gets even loopier. The men – Paul Shoemaker and Mike McGee – apparently were on their break and chasing an alleged store shoplifter not in their store, but in an adjacent Apple Store.

The pair were heading out of the Sprint store where they used to work in Denver’s Cherry Creek Mall when they came upon a frantic security guard in the hall. “[He] came right basically in front of us, and was like, ‘Help me, Help me.’ Out of breath. You could totally hear he was distraught,” Shoemaker told Denver’s 7News.

The pair pitched in to help capture the alleged shoplifter.

“It’s the way I was raised as a kid,” McGee said. “You see something that’s going on wrong you step in and try to help whatever way you can.”

In other words, the young man simply wanted to do the right thing, like any decent person. So…

The trouble started after the suspect was carted off. Sprint’s corporate policy states that employees should not chase shoplifters, though the men argue they were on break and it wasn’t even Sprint’s merchandise they were seeking to retrieve. Sprint declined to comment, citing privacy concerns.

The firing isn’t without precedent. In October Walmart fired an Ocala branch’s loss prevention officer for chasing a man allegedly trying to steal golf balls. And in August 2009, two college-age Best Buy employees were fired from a Broomfield, Colorado Best Buy after tackling an alleged shoplifter. A Best Buy spokeswoman said all employees “are aware, and trained, on the standard operating procedures for dealing with shoplifting or theft – which includes ceasing pursuit of a suspected shoplifter once they exit the store.” This, she said, was for the safety of employees.

So should you fire an employee for pursuing a thief? Only you can decide the “should,” but legally you are able to do so.

Employment lawyer Frank Steinberg blogged about the Walmart case that the chain “was clearly within its rights to set a policy on how shoplifting incidents were to be handled and to decide that the guard’s violation of that policy warranted termination.”

In fact, having a policy about how employees should handle shoplifting or any crime they witness on the job is seen as a smart move legally, because it can protect you from liability in the event someone is hurt. Judgments in these cases are rare, but can reach into the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

In Texas, for example, a shoplifter – his lawyer says he admits to the crime – is suing Walmart for $100,000 over the dislocated shoulder he claims employees inflicted on him.
Separately, the Houston Chronicle reported the company paid nearly $750,000 as part of a settlement to the family of a 30-year-old alleged shoplifter who died of a heart attack as employees tried to stop him. (The items he was accused of stealing: a package of diapers, a pair of sunglasses, a BB gun, and a package of BBs.)

Whether the good Samaritans in Denver deserved to be terminated is another question; how you train your staff to handle loss prevention is one of those tricky matters you probably never considered when you first started your business.

These two people were on break, which means they were on their own time, yet companies have become so paranoid about lawsuits that this didn’t matter to Sprint.

However, while the excuse used was that their concern was the safety of the two employees, face it: The larger worry was a lawsuit by the criminal. That’s right, criminal, the perpetrator of the crime of shoplifting.

I have seen this before. Security chases a thief out the door and the dirtbag runs into traffic attempting to escape, gets hit by a car, and it’s no longer his fault that he was running in the commission of a crime, because some derriere creeping, toilet cake liberal trial lawyer turns things around and makes it the pursuers’, and therefore their employers’ fault, that the anal cavity ran out into traffic.

Look at the other examples in the linked article.

In Texas, for example, a shoplifter – his lawyer says he admits to the crime – is suing Walmart for $100,000 over the dislocated shoulder he claims employees inflicted on him.

Separately, the Houston Chronicle reported the company paid nearly $750,000 as part of a settlement to the family of a 30-year-old alleged shoplifter who died of a heart attack as employees tried to stop him. (The items he was accused of stealing: a package of diapers, a pair of sunglasses, a BB gun, and a package of BBs.)

Whose fault was either the dislocated shoulder or the heart attack?

The employess were simply, as the late Louis L’Amour used to say, “riding for the brand”, trying to recover their employers’ merchandise, so the business wouldn’t have to take a loss on something it had paid for.

Shrinkage control, or loss prevention, is an integral part of running any business where there is any sort of inventory involved, whether it’s equipment for performing services or it’s merchandise.

In the course of my own consulting work, I’ve had to counsel clients along the same lines their attorneys have had to — advising them to incorporate the same policies of non-pursuit (except in the case of clients wherein security officers have such concerns as national security or certain kinds of public safety issues that will protect them in instances of litigation) while silently cursing those walking, talking used prophylactics who dare think of themselves as anything other than the thin film of scum that floats atop the cesspool of humanity. Unfortunately, coaching clients in the avoidance of fraudulent, frivolous or overstated lawsuits is often part of my job.

In my opinion, sustaining crime related injuries, whether superficial, disabling or fatal, should be written off as “If you mess around with the bandwagon, you have to expect to get hit with the horn. Live with it.”

Some divorce lawyers (that’s a brand of lawyer who milks his lucre out of another kind of misery) are as septic tank qualified as the ones described above. I’ve never had any truck with any of those critters, but one day last year, as I was strolling by a divorce lawyers’ office in Santa Monica, an older lawyer walked out with a younger one, and he was telling the rookie, “You’re gonna call the broad, and you’re gonna kiss her ass. Promise her anything you have to, the pension…” and then they were too far away to hear any more.

These turds should be taken out and either boiled or drowned very slowly on national television…

by @ 8:18 pm. Filed under Assholes, Criminals, Good People Punished, Parasites, Weasels

November 17, 2007

This Is, Literally, Yesterday’s News, but…

…I was kind of tied up yesterday and so, since key aspects of the below described affair have been sources of outrage to me, both as an advocate of justice and an American, since two dedicated Border Patrol agents were railroaded into prison by a scumbag in Federal Prosecutor’s clothing.

The allegasd {Seth’s note: Obvious misprint, mispelling or typo of “alleged” — disgraceful editing} Mexican drug smuggler shot by Border Patrol agents as he tried to dodge arrest in 2005 will appear in federal court in El Paso, Texas, on Friday afternoon.

Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, 27, was arrested Thursday on a drug smuggling offense at a U.S. port of entry. A federal grand jury handed down a sealed indictment on Oct. 17.

Aldrete was granted immunity in 2005 in exchange for testifying against ex-border agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.

The two Border Patrol agents were sentenced to 11 and 12 years, respectively, for shooting Aldrete as he tried to sneak about million dollars’ worth of marijuana into the country. He was shot in the buttocks while running toward the Mexican border.

Right, the mutt was granted immunity by a legal representative of the United States Government, whom, unless he was on the payroll of a Mexican drug cartel, profoundly stupid or peaking on pure L.S.D. (actually, to be fair, I believe Sutton was kissing up to The Boss, who is paradoxically pro-homeland security and pro-an open border with Mexico at the same time), knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that he was calling to the witness stand a career criminal whose resume included felonies in at least two countries, including the U.S., to testify against and decimate the careers and futures of these two agents, Ramos and Compean, destroying their families at the same time.

I seem to recall, however, that while the testimony of felons (other than those willing to convict themselves — often with immunity to prosecution though more often a reduced sentence) as an incentive to testify against their own organizations or comrades is considered admissible, the same does not apply to those of questionable background in other circumstances.

I mean, giving official creedence to a drug smuggler who is testifying against a couple of people whose job is to catch and arrest them is beyond the absurd.

Aldrete now faces two counts of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, one count of conspiracy to import a controlled substance and one count of conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

The alleged offenses happened between June 1, 2005 and Nov. 30, 2005, which is when the government gave Aldrete a pass to enter and exit the country unsupervised, primarily to get medical treatment for his bullet wound.

Aldrete and his co-defendant, Cipriano Ortiz Hernandez, conspired to import and distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana on Sept. 24, 2005, and again on Oct. 22 and 23 that same year, according to the charges. (The second alleged offense happened after Aldrete was granted immunity from prosecution in return for his testimony against the agents.)

I don’t know how anybody else feels about this (though I have a good idea where the sane are concerned), but this whole Aldrete immunity thing, to my way of thinking, makes the DOJ look pretty foolish. They grant immunity to a Mexican drug trafficker in exchange for his testimony crucifying American law enforcement agents and he uses the immunity as an opportunity to smuggle more drugs.

Sutton also is prosecuting the Aldrete case. He has been blasted by advocates of the border agents for not bringing charges against Aldrete sooner.

“I have repeatedly said that if we obtained sufficient competent and admissible evidence against Aldrete, we could prosecute him,” Sutton said in a statement. “Members of my office have worked closely with agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration for many months to investigate Aldrete’s alleged involvement in drug trafficking.”

At a Senate hearing this summer on the border agents case, Sutton was non-committal in answering questions about the October drug offense by Aldrete. Some senators pressed Sutton to explain why Aldrete was allowed to enter and leave the country in the run-up to the border agents’ trial.

Advocates of the border agents also have complained that the Aldrete’s alleged October drug smuggling did not come up at the trial of Ramos and Compean.

So Sutton is reneging on his deal with Aldrete, if not in a letter-of-the-law manner, in a “sorry, pal, but you’re cooked… My career is more important than honoring any agreements I make with criminals.”

What a sleazeball this guy is! He sells out both sides in order to further his own career. This is as contemptible an excuse for a…

At any rate, the entire article is here.

There has been no excuse for GWB not pardoning Ramos and Compean without reservation.

Truth to tell and actually a repetition of what I expressed among my earlier posts on this situation, I actually believe that a mere pardon wouldn’t be anywhere near enough.

1. The two agents should be pardoned and reinstated, with all accumulated and earned seniority, to their jobs, and receive all retroactive pay.

2. They should be compensated by the gov’t for all their legal fees and,

3. They and their families should be restored, via full taxpayer expense, to the exact same situation (homeowners with X mortgage debts, etc) that they were in prior to the screwing they received from their own government, the one they served.

What these two guys are being screwed for, coming right down to it, is thinking on their feet.

When a bunch of bureaucrats who’ve never been in danger are empowered to make the rules for those who work in danger, this is what we get.

Fun example: Over 30 years ago, in the early stages of my security career, I worked undercover on the wharves in New Orleans (not that it’s applicable, but my CW was a Colt Python). This was not the same kind of post as the lobby of an office building or whatever, it was a perpetually violent situation. Whenever the job got exciting, both the New Orleans Harbor Police and U.S. Customs were also involved.

As a UC, I held supervisory authority over our uniforms on the wharves, and as such had to deal with management contact.

At one such meeting, I was actually told by a company founder/owner, concerned about liability, that the new policy was that should anyone pull a weapon on me, I should “shoot it out of his hand”.

After I was done laughing, I said, “I have a better idea. How ’bout if I call time out, call you and have you come down and shoot the gun out of the guy’s hand!?”

My point here is that when you hire and train people to protect you, you need to allow them to handle situations as they see fit…you know, think for themselves, as they’re there and you’re not, and you have to back them up.

If I were a U.S. Border Patrol agent, knowing that the Bush Administration condones prosecuting agents for doing their jobs, I would quit. There are too many other ways to serve our country without being punished for doing what we were told we were hired for.