Random news hits, 17.4.14

From the AP, via the Houston Chronicle:

Authorities were investigating Wednesday whether Denver police responded quickly enough to a woman who was fatally shot at least 12 minutes into a 911 call in which she said her husband was hallucinating and asking her to shoot him.

Wow, 12 minutes. Really gives the whole “when seconds count, the police are only minutes away” thing a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?


From the New York Times:

Michael R. Bloomberg, making his first major political investment since leaving office, plans to spend $50 million this year building a nationwide grass-roots network to motivate voters who feel strongly about curbing gun violence, an organization he hopes can eventually outmuscle the National Rifle Association.

But remember, kids, the Koch brothers are the bad guys for funneling their own money into pet causes the American public ostensibly opposes. Harry Reid said it, I believe it, that settles it.

But if he senses that he may not have as much time left as he would like, he has little doubt about what would await him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”

I would say I don’t have any words for this, but I do:

“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” — Proverbs 16:18


From the AP via the Houston Chronicle, from earlier this week:

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Two parolees raped and killed at least four women while wearing GPS trackers, and there may be more victims, a California police chief alleged Monday.

But hey,  gun registration and universal background checks for gun purchases (which, again, are pretty much one and the same) will fix everything! Pull the other one. It’s got bells on it!


And another one from the “oh, FUCK NO” department:

Shea Love, 40, said her 15-year-old son, Christian, had long been victimized by fellow students in his special education math class at South Fayette High School in McDonald, Pa. So the frustrated sophomore made an audio recording of the alleged bullying using his iPad, which school officials forced him to delete upon learning of the 7-minute segment in February. He was later convicted of disorderly conduct and fined $25 plus court costs….

Love said school officials, including Principal Scott Milburn and Superintendent Bille Pearce Rondinelli, contacted police for a possible violation of wiretapping laws, but did not discipline the students captured on the audio recording harassing her son.

You see what I mean? I really used to be skeptical about punitive lawsuits, but maybe I’m just getting more curmudgeonly and less tolerant of bullshit in my old age. Wiretapping? Are you fucking kidding me? Yes. I know what the law is. And I know the kid pretty much broke it. But this is a perfect illustration of the old saying “the law is an ass.”

What’s that, you say? Where do the lawsuits come in? Well, if that was my special-needs kid, I’d be going after the school district and the parents of the bullies for every fucking penny they had. As I’ve said before about other cases, this level of asshattery should hurt, and it should hurt like a motherfucker.



4 Responses to “Random news hits, 17.4.14”

  1. 3boxesofbs Says:

    There is a concept in law that says it is okay to break a law in order to stop a greater crime. How many assaults did this kid endure? How many hours of name calling, being pushed around, etc did the teachers MISS?

    But more importantly; since when are school officials officers of the court?
    They have absolutely no law enforcement authority. At most they should have done is called the police to report the wiretapping allegation. This is the over reach that is driving people away from schools and government; the lines are blurring as to what powers each should have.

    Time to stop and remember; schools are there to teach our kids. Not raise them, Not convict them. Just teach.

    Bob S.

  2. Dwight Brown Says:

    A couple of notes on the bullying thing:

    1. According to the Volokh Conspiracy, the DA’s office is dropping the charges.

    2. “I know what the law is. And I know the kid pretty much broke it.”

    Did he? I am not a lawyer. Apparently Pennsylvania is a two-party consent state, but “The law does not cover oral communications when the speakers do not have an ‘expectation that such communication is not subject to interception under circumstances justifying such expectation.'” If I understand that correctly, the law does not apply in situations where there is not a reasonable expectation of privacy. Do kids in a high school class have “a reasonable expectation of privacy”?

    Note the DA’s statement in dropping the charges:

    “No one in our office who was authorized to give advice on wiretap issues or school conduct issues was ever contacted in this matter. We have made multiple attempts to contact the officer who wrote the citation. Those attempts have been unsuccessful. It is our intention to withdraw the citation on April 29 because we do not believe his conduct rises to the level of a citation.”

    3. “… if that was my special-needs kid, I’d be going after the school district and the parents of the bullies for every fucking penny they had. As I’ve said before about other cases, this level of asshattery should hurt, and it should hurt like a motherfucker.”

    Mine, too. But as smarter people than I frequently point out, the people who get hurt by the lawsuits are the taxpayers, not the people who actually did the wrong. The school district is going to pay any judgement against the principal and superintendent.

    Now, if we changed the law so those folks were PERSONALLY held responsible for their actions – if the principal and superintendent were going to be paying for someone’s college education and law school, or buying someone a house – that would make me a whole lot happier.

    • southtexaspistolero Says:

      A two-party state! Now that I was not aware of. That’s pretty much what the whole thing hinged on right there, if I remember right. And now that I think about it, you’re right re: the suits’ effect on the taxpayers. Making the officials personally liable would definitely be preferable to that…

      BTW: I am still definitely up for lunch at Cooper’s one weekend. We just got a new vehicle so we’re back in business. Maybe not this weekend, but I’ll definitely keep in touch!

      • Dwight Brown Says:

        I’m still fire and flame for doing lunch at Cooper’s, too. I’m currently working a Tuesday – Saturday shift, so Sunday and Monday are my free days. Sunday might be best; we could maybe make it into a pseudo-blog meet if you feel like it. I know Battleswarm would like to go as well…

        I think you have my contact information, but if not, you can find it here.

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