Saturday, May 28

Sometimes 'Good Samaritans' Really Make You Want To Hurt Them!

I know, I know; not a P.C. thing to say! I just can't help it though, sometimes when I hear about some of the things they do in the name of being a 'Good Samaritan' (or a patriot, or Neighborhood Watch, etc) even though I wasn't there it just makes me want to go find that person, grab them by the neck, and shake them until their teeth rattle, all the while screaming "What the hell were you thinking?" I'm quite sure if I had been one of the other passengers on this airplane and I found out that's why we sat for all those hours, I would NOT have been able to maintain any semblance of 'political correctness', or even just plain 'being niceness'! (You can read about it here.)
 Guido Menzio

 Guido Menzio, a 40 year old Italian economist, was on an American Airlines flight from Philadelphia to Syracuse, and was intensely scribbling on a piece of paper in his lap. He had a presentation to do in Ontario and was trying to prepare for it. His seatmate was a 30-something blond wearing flip-flops, who thought she would attempt to make small talk, but his responses to her queries were curt, one word answers. He didn't even look up from whatever it was he was doing on that piece of paper. 

So, what was it? Did she actually think to herself "He looks like he could be a terrorist, and what's that he's writing? It's not English; could he be plotting something? Maybe to hijack this plane? I have to get out of here, get off this plane, and I need to tell someone!!" Whatever her reason was, she decided that he didn't look 'right', and felt she needed to be a 'Good Samaritan' and let someone know about this man who was acting so strangely  and who didn't look up from the 'scribbles'  he had been doing the whole time he was sitting next to her. She passed a note to a flight attendant, and then sat and waited... and waited... and waited... as did everyone else on the plane. Now, it was only supposed to be a 41 minute flight; they sat on the tarmac for hours, I guess while the crew and airport security tried to figure out how to handle the situation. 

It's just my opinion, but I think the best thing to do would have been to simply find out who the man was supposed to be and run a check on him! Do what the police do; call wherever he supposedly is from and ask the police to send a picture of him. (He's got to have a drivers license or something at age 40!) Or just Google him, like the article said! Then they would know he is not Middle Eastern but Italian. Also, one of the flight crew could have gone up and asked him something and tried to get a look at the papers, or after his seatmate left, someone could have gone in and quietly sat down next to him and asked him point blank who he was. There are any number of ways they could have handled it besides having all the passengers on the plane held up so they miss their connections, and pulling him off the plane (which I'm sure was embarrassing) and interrogating him! 

Maybe it's just that I'm fed up with how far downhill this society is sliding, and how most people aren't even questioning it; if anything, they're cheering it on! I mean, for one person's 'suspicions' to be allowed to disrupt the lives of an airplane full of passengers with no more proof than 'he's writing something and it's not in English' is ridiculous! It's like me walking up to a policeman and saying that someone just robbed me, and the police  arresting whoever I say, then trying and convicting that person all on my word alone! This is what these 'Good Samaritans' are doing every time they report someone based on nothing more than "he looks like one of those Muslims'. They've tried and convicted that person based on what language they speak/write/read, or what they wear on their head.

Menzio handled it much better than I would have, I think because of the direction things are going in this country, and my rising ire at how easily society is letting it happen. (Look at how far Donald Trump has come.) Now undercover racists have a legitimate face to put on their bigotry, they can interfere with someone's life and get that person forever branded just by claiming they were protecting their country; being a patriotic 'Good Samaritan'. One of these days we're going to start hearing the reactions from some of the victims of  these 'Good Samaritans', and it won't be pretty.


Saturday, May 21

Guess I Need To Start Following Up!!

I'm rather embarrassed about this; after some thought it seems like it should have been obvious... When I first started this blog in 2008 it never occurred to me to go back and see if there were any updates to some of the older posts, especially the ones where crimes were committed and either no one was caught or the guilty were not being punished.

This one falls between the two, as it took them a while to identify the killer.

The original story was about a woman named Kim Jones, (you can read it here) a 56 year old woman who went out to the bus stop to go to work one day, and was shot and killed. At the time, my problem with it was the headline some of the newspaper articles were written under.

  Lesbian gunned down in North Philly
Kim Jones

 That was the way the articles in some Philadelphia newspapers read. (And other headlines along the same lines.) "Lesbian Gunned Down" as if she was a lesbian gang member who was executed by a bunch of gun-wielding competitors a la Valentine's Day Massacre and Elliott Ness! (I didn't realize that after all this time I am still so angry about that!) She was a social worker, she was a woman who worked at a non-profit, she was a newly married woman, she was a loving mother of two sons; she was NOT JUST A LESBIAN!! Considering the fact that it's a gay newspaper that the original article came from, one might think that would excuse it, but IMO it actually makes it worse. Being singled out and identified strictly by your gender is WRONG, and more wrong when it's done by those who are supposed to understand. 

Okay, I'm sorry, this is supposed to be about an update in Ms. Jones' murder case, not a rehash of my own rantings...

So here's the story. You can read the whole thing here if you prefer, but the upshot is Ms. Jones was targeted, just as the article states.  She was killed by someone who knew her schedule, so she was probably stalked, and the person was waiting for her when she came out to catch the bus. While standing at the bus stop, listening to gospel music and probably planning her day, someone walked up behind her and shot her in the back of the head. The reason it was done that way rather than a drive-by or faking a robbery or something? Because that way her killer had a better chance of not being seen. He couldn't let that happen, just in case he failed to kill her, because she knew her murderer. It was someone that she had hired as Associate Director at the non-profit organization she was Director of, someone that she worked closely with on a day-to-day basis. Randolph Sanders shot and killed her to keep her away from a meeting she had scheduled that day. She was meeting with DHS to inform them of Mr. Sanders' alleged misappropriation of funds.(You can read more about that here.)

To bring you up-to-date, unfortunately Mr. Sanders has not yet been to trial. His date is set for February 27, 2017. I will definitely be keeping track of this case and will keep you posted.

If you'd like to receive updates, you can follow my blog through G+1, go to the bottom of the page or sign up with Networked Blogs; if you have questions,  send me an email.

Wednesday, May 18

On Duty Mailman Arrested; Only Crime I See Is "Working While Black"

When this first happened I thought about writing something on it, but I changed my mind because I thought it wouldn't go anywhere. Now I find it's getting a bit more interesting, so here goes.

On March 17, 2016, 27 year old Glenn Grays was delivering mail on his usual route in Brooklyn, New York. 
He stopped his truck on a narrow street, (as mail persons often do!), and as he was coming down the steps of the truck a car with four white men in jeans and sweatshirts in it came racing around the corner., nearly sideswiping Grays and causing him to jump back up into his truck to avoid being struck. As most drivers will, (especially in cities like New York) Mr. Grays yelled at the car and its occupants. He then turned back to the task at hand, which was delivering a package to the building he'd parked in front of. As he got to the door of the building however he was suddenly surrounded by the four occupants of the vehicle, two of whom caught him by the arms to prevent him from entering the building.  One of the men began asking him for his identification. He told them it was on the side of the truck at which point they began to pull him over to the truck to get it. Mr. Grays told them that he had mail to deliver, and stood there stiffly (IMO) trying to figure out what was going on. That's when things got ugly. The two men began to manhandle Mr. Grays; as you can see in the video below, they look like small (offensive? defensive?) tackles hanging on to a big burly quarterback who is driving down the field dragging them along with him. LOL (I'm not good with football allegories!)

So now we've got them trying to bully him into doing something to justify the way they're treating him; sort of like trying to create a crime to justify the punishment already being meted out! You can see around 44 seconds into the video one of them is screaming in his face "Stop resisting!" to which he replies "I'm not resisting! Now, the one behind him is handcuffing him,  so how is he resisting? And guess what the initial charge was reported to be for this incident? You got it, resisting arrest! (Here's the article, read the 10th paragraph!)

So this article is the latest I found on the case. It appears that when an officer is caught on camera beating a poor kid, or even killing someone,  the force rushes to defend by saying the officer was just following his training, but do something stupid (as they did in this case) and the department is going to do something to make it appear that they are punishing the officers! The lieutenant who supervised the 'arrest' has been stripped of duty; they took his gun and badge, and put him on "modified desk duty". (I think that means he's answering phones or something like that.) But what about the rest of them? Especially the two that swung him around like he was a Maypole or something, all the while trying to bully him into lashing out so they could charge him with assault on a police officer? What happens to them?

IMO, this will probably be the last we hear about this case. No one was hurt, so the boys in blue are just going to wait until it's forgotten, and that lieutenant will be right back on the street. Let's just hope he's learned something while he's gone!

For updates on this or any other story you read here, you can follow my blog, or contact me here.

Saturday, May 14

George Zimmerman; What Won't He Do To Make Headlines?

He certainly doesn't stop at being one of the most reviled people in the United States! There should be a law against people like him doing the things he does. (IMHO)

George Zimmerman is Auctioning the Gun Used to Kill Trayvon Martin

Zimmerman in court 2012


     No, it's not a joke; the Justice Department has returned the weapon to him (since he was acquitted) and he is actually auctioning off the gun that he used to kill Trayvon Martin in 2012
     Zimmerman  has had a very eventful life in the public eye since the killing of Martin. IMO, some of the events are ones that he engineered, or at the very least, twisted to make sure that his name was remembered. For instance, 4 days after he was acquitted, he was in the spotlight for helping a family who had been in a car crash. What struck me though was the fact that, at least in this article, the only name mentioned is his, even though there was another man who helped him to get the family out of their SUV!

 " Four days after his acquittal, Zimmerman and another man helped a family get out of an overturned SUV in Florida, the Seminole County Sheriff's Office said.
"They got everyone out of the car," a 911 caller reported. About a minute later, the caller said, it looked like the vehicle was catching fire."
Not the other man, not the 911 caller, not anyone from the Seminole County Sheriff's Office had their name mentioned. Wonder how it happened that Zimmerman's name was
And now, as if all his other exploits were not enough, he's publicly auctioning off the gun which he used to commit murder, knowing how much more hated he is going to be for trying to profit from the purposeful death of someone's child. He doesn't seem to care though, but why should he? He stands to make quite a bit of money, although not the $65M that was bid on the site; that appears to be a joke, and has since been removed. It just seems to me like Zimmerman is trying to rub everyone's noses in the fact that he can do what he wants to do with impunity. His words:

In an interview with FOX affiliate WOFL, Zimmerman said he is "a free American."

"I can do what I want with my possessions," he told the station.
UPDATE: While initially it seemed that United Gun Group was going to allow the auction to run, according to CNN it appears to have been discontinued, as of Saturday morning. (I could not find corroboration of this anywhere else.)

DISCLAIMER: The opinions (i.e. IMO) expressed herein are strictly those of the author, and not those of Blogger or any of its employees or affliates.

Tuesday, May 10

Better Watch How You Smell When You're In Public!

     As if things are not already crazy enough with the ever-growing list of things that it's dangerous to do while black (driving, walking, standing outside of a store, playing with a toy gun, etc.), now you also have to add watch how you smell!!

NC High Schooler Who Passed Drug Test Suspended for Smelling Like Weed

     Now, of course there is quite a bit of background missing from this article; as usual, it actually leaves more questions than it answers! For instance, why was the SRO searching for drugs in the first place? Were the students sitting at desks in rows like I remember sitting, with a student on either side? If so, how did he single out Jakayla Johnson for closer attention, as opposed to the students on either side of her, or the ones in front or behind? How was this SRO qualified to say that he was smelling weed and it was on her hands from use and not from having shaken someone's hand or held an article of clothing that smelled? And these aren't farfetched or made up things I'm saying. I used to be a heavy tobacco smoker, (a pack to a pack and a half a day) and I know what the smoke did to my clothing, my hair, and everything around me. If I was in the car it was enveloping me as I drove, so when I got to my destination and took off something like a cap or a scarf, hours later when I went back to get the item not only did it still smell, but everything in the closet or area where I left it smelled like tobacco smoke!! (That's one of the reasons I had to quit BTW.) I'm saying this because I know that it is possible to smell like something when you personally have had no contact with it. It's just so unfair, how do you suspend someone for allegedly smelling a certain way? Can you imagine the doors this can open? A teacher has a personal issue with a student and decides one day that the student has to go. Teacher calls the principal, says they smelled marijuana on the child when they came into class so they need to be removed. Easy Peasy, except for the fact that everyone is entitled to due process, including kids in school. There's no law on the books that says that a person can be convicted and punished on the basis of how they smell! Unfortunately, it wouldn't be the first time authority has been abused in that manner....
Jakayla Johnson

So Jakayla Johnson was suspended for smelling like weed. Her mother of course is outraged, but even if the school backtracks (which they won't) the damage has been done. Other schools, other SROs, other places around the country will be trying the same thing. 

When are people going to see just how bad things are getting? Now you can haul a child out of class and suspend her because of how she allegedly smelled!! She wasn't even acting funny or  talking funny, she allegedly smelled like weed, so now she has to miss days of school; what happened to reading is fundamental, and the big push to improve the literacy rates in our schools? 

This is just the type of thing that is going to begin happening more and more, people being snatched off the street and incarcerated for nothing more than a suspicion based on a smell. It's where our country is headed... Big Brother's finally gotten loose folks, and it's not just a fiction novel anymore.

Friday, May 6

Did Prince's Death Have Anything To Do With Opioids?

Prince Rogers Nelson
     Let me start off by saying that I don't know if this story is completely true, partly true, or none of it true. I am just repeating something I read online, and we all know how much stock we can put in most of that!! LOL

Pre-med student Andrew Kornfield
     As I'm sure you all know, there has been no conclusive answer to the burning question everyone has; what was Prince's cause of death? Of course there is the usual speculation that we always hear about rock stars and untimely deaths, that it was drugs that did it. Well, a lot of people will be pointing fingers and saying "See, I told you!" It appears that Prince either did have a problem with prescription painkillers, or someone else thought he did; the person who found him was a medical student who was sent to "speak with Prince about addiction to prescription painkillers"! Unfortunately for the student, Minnesota is now debating whether or not to charge him with possession since he was carrying a starter pack of the prescription drug used to treat opioid addiction, Suboxone. I really have a problem with this one; he called 911 trying to get help, so how did they know he had the drug on him?  And why would they charge him with possession of a drug that his father (a licensed physician) probably gave him? I mean, people who are prescribed the drug, if they can't afford it some doctors will give them those packs that come from the pharmacy sales reps, which do not come with prescription labels. How would anyone know if it was a prescription or not? What do they do, charge and arrest them first then clear them after they find out it's legal?  I don't really think in this case that would have been necessary. 

     So we don't know if Prince actually did have a problem and the doctor (the kid's father) was sending him some meds  or if the doctor thought Prince might have a problem and sent the kid to try to talk him into getting help. (Personally, MHO is the former.) I don't believe though that the kid should be charged with anything. There are a lot of things that kid could have done to keep from ever being involved, but he didn't do any of them. He called 911 and he stayed till they came. Since Minnesota has a Good Samaritan law  I think they could kinda stretch it to include this guy. 

What do you think?