Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged crime

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On felons and guns

space-aged replied to your link: Feds investigate how suspected white supremacist — a felon — obtained arsenal

I know someone who is buying her son, a felon, any gun he wants, including assault rifles. Background check wouldn’t prevent that. It pisses me off, but what can we do about that?

You call the police or the ATF right goddamn now and tell them she is making straw purchases on behalf of a felon. What she is doing is against federal law, specifically 18 U.S.C. § 922. If a felon possesses a firearm, that can mean up to fifteen years in a federal prison with no parole. Something may come of what you do, or they might shrug it off. But departments of probation and parole — and most federal and state laws — require that a felon live in a home without firearms because of the concept of constructive possession.

In order to demonstrate constructive possession, the Ninth Circuit (and other federal jurisdictions) state that the government must prove a connection between the felon/defendant and the firearm or ammunition sufficient “to support the inference that the defendant exercised dominion and control over” the prohibited items (United States v. Carrasco). Also, joint control of the premises (i.e. residence) where the firearm or ammunition are located may establish possession when a felon “has knowledge of the weapon and both the power and the intention to exercise dominion and control over it.”

So there is something we can do about that. They’re both breaking the law, and I suggest you blow the whistle if you can do so safely. Good luck.



Filed under reply space-aged guns gun control crime

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Feds investigate how suspected white supremacist -- a felon -- obtained arsenal

From the story:

Federal agents are trying to determine how a suspected Ohio white supremacist with a felony conviction for manslaughter acquired a cache of 18 assault weapons and other firearms, along with high-capacity magazines and more than 40,000 rounds of ammunition, according to federal law enforcement officials and court documents reviewed by NBC News.

The storehouse of weapons was discovered late last month when FBI agents arrested Richard Schmidt, 47, the owner of a Bowling Green sporting goods store called Spindletop Sports Zone, on charges of marketing counterfeit goods — such as football jerseys with NFL logos — from China.

According to the documents, FBI agents who searched Schmidt’s sporting goods store and four trailers behind it, found a stash of weapons that included AR-15 assault rifles, Ruger and Sig Sauer semi-automatic pistols, bulletproof body armor and high-capacity magazines as well as ammunition.

A federal law enforcement official, who spoke with NBC News on condition of anonymity, said that FBI counterterrorism agents involved in the case had picked up evidence that Schmidt may have been planning attacks against Jewish and civil rights groups in the Detroit area… The law enforcement officials said the case appears to illustrate some of the gaps in current background checks for gun purchasers that President Barack Obama has proposed closing as part of his package of executive actions and legislative proposals released this week aimed at curbing gun violence. Schmidt was charged with murder and felonious assault in 1989 after killing a Hispanic man and shooting two others with a semi-automatic pistol during a traffic dispute. He later pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 10 to 25 years in prison.

So, how about those background checks? And yeah, a background check wouldn’t necessarily keep him from ultimately amassing his arsenal, but why should we be making it easier for people like Mr. Schmidt to obtain these weapons?

I literally cannot imagine a legitimate situation where someone needs a gun RIGHT NOW and is unable to wait for a background check or be patient enough for a waiting period to pass. 

And hey, maybe we should give the ATF a permanent director, instead of this several years long interim bullshit. Just a thought.

Filed under Richard Schmidt politics crime law gun control guns racism white supremacists Ohio domestic terrorism

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But here’s the thing: most of the crimes Wall Street people commit involve highly specific, highly individualized transactions that won’t fit Eric Holder’s bag of cookie-cutter statutory definitions. That is not the same thing as saying they’re not crimes. They are: the crimes of the crisis period were and are very basic crimes like fraud, theft, perjury, and tax evasion, only they’re dressed up in millions of pages of camouflaging verbiage.

Or, even more often, the crimes have also been sanctified in advance by ‘reputable’ law and accounting firms, who (for huge fees) offered their clients opinions that, if X and Y are signed in accordance with Z, and A and B are stipulated by the parties, and everyone’s sitting Indian-style and facing the moon when the deal is agreed to, then it’s not fucked up and illegal when Goldman Sachs tells you it’s a co-investor in your deal when it’s actually got $2 billion bet against you.

You know that look a dog gives you when you show it something confusing, like an electric razor or a lawn sprinkler? That’s the look federal prosecutors give when companies like Goldman wave their attorneys’ sanctifying opinions at them. They scratch their heads and say: ‘Oh, wow, well since this was signed in Australia by three millionaire lawyers wearing magic invisibility cloaks, it really isn’t fraud! They’re right!’

Matt Taibbi, “Goldman Non-Prosecution: AG Eric Holder Has No Balls

Taibbi has consistently hammered the Obama administration on their non-action regarding Wall Street when other liberal writers have been content to look the other way, or worse, think history suddenly stopped on January 20, 2009. History did not stop, nor did the effects cease from the massive fraud perpetuated by Wall Street. 

Read Griftopia. And think about this: In 2008, Wall Street gave Barack Obama the most contributions of any other candidate. This year, they’re investing in Mitt Romney and the GOP by ratio of nearly 3:1 thus far. They know which side their bread is buttered on — it’s both. But the GOP side looks especially buttery in 2012.

Filed under Matt Taibbi Wall Street politics crime economy Barack Obama Eric Holder fraud Election 2012 2012

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State of Texas Has Run Out of Lethal Injection Drugs

Well, specifically, two of the three used in executions.

No, Rick Perry. Sit your ass down. There’s still one left. However, this is causing serious concern:

An Oklahoma inmate asked a federal court on Tuesday to halt his upcoming execution because that state has only one dose of pentobarbital left. A lawyer for Michael Hooper said Oklahoma has no backup plan if the drug fails to render Hooper unconscious, and that creates a risk of cruel and unusual punishment…

Texas officials said in May that they have enough doses of pentobarbital to carry out 23 executions. No one has been executed in the state since. Four other states — Arizona, Idaho, Ohio and Washington — have used a single drug to carry out executions, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Ohio was the first to use just pentobarbital, during a March 2011 execution…

Death penalty opponents claim single-drug executions may be less humane.

Without the two others, the possibility for cruel and unusual punishment escalates. For the record, I oppose the death penalty for several reasons. Chiefly, I don’t believe killing to teach others killing is wrong is a good method of deterrence, and one commutation from death row is enough to stop all executions. It’s better to let a guilty person go free than jail one innocent one — much less kill an innocent person.

Filed under Death penalty Texas Cruel and unusual punishment crime 8th Amendment drugs execution

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Judge revokes bail for George Zimmerman in Trayvon Martin case

A Florida judge on Friday revoked the bail for George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case, saying he had misled the court about his finances, and ordered him to present himself to the court within 48 hours.

Prosecutors alleged that Zimmerman, 28, hid from the court the fact that he had raised $135,000 on a website he set up before he was granted $150,000 bail on April 20. Zimmerman is facing second-degree murder charges in the shooting death of Martin, 17, in February.

In a hearing in Sanford, Fla., that Zimmerman did not attend, Judge Kenneth Lester said Zimmerman engaged in a “material falsehood” about his finances. Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda said Zimmerman’s wife, Shellie, led the court to believe they were penniless, which he called a “blatant lie.”

De la Rionda said the Zimmermans spoke in “code” about moving finances around during telephone calls while George Zimmerman was in custody.

Well, then. The court is typically less than amused when you lie, George. Remember that for your trial.

Filed under George Zimmerman Trayvon Martin crime race Florida Sanford

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BREAKING: John Edwards not guilty on one count, mistrial declared on remaining 5 counts

Well, I’ll be damned…

From ABC News:

"A North Carolina jury found former Sen. John Edwards not guilty today on one of six counts in a campaign-finance trial, and declared itself hopelessly deadlocked on the remaining charges, leading the judge to declare a mistrial on those counts.

Edwards, a two-time presidential candidate, accused of soliciting nearly $1 million from wealthy backers to finance a cover up of his illicit affair and illegitimate child during his 2008 bid for the White House, was found not guilty on Count 3 of the six-part indictment.”

Filed under John Edwards Politics crime campaign finance

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In Conservative Media, A "Race War" Rages

Essentially, conservatives give no fucks about being called racist any longer because there’s a race war raging.


It’s 2012, and here’s where we sit. From Buzzfeed:

But while Norfolk may be the most high-profile chapter yet in the “race war,” it’s hardly the only one conservatives have highlighted. Over the past four years, the Drudge Report has run dozens of headlines chronicling acts of violence against white victims — often by black youths.

In one particularly memorable Drudge front page last year, the site culled the newswires for articles about “urban” crime that took place over Memorial Day weekend, and then grouped them together. Among the headlines: “Miami ‘war zone’ during urban weekend;” “Rib fest at Rochester beach turns rowdy;” and “Unruly urban crowd shuts down Nashville water park.”

And on September 15, 2009, Drudge led with the headline, “WHITE STUDENT BEATEN ON BUS; CROWD CHEERS.” The story — which showed video of a black teenager in Illinois beating up a white classmate — went viral in the right-wing blogosphere, prompting Rush Limbaugh to weigh in. “In Obama’s America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering,” Limbaugh declared.

It is an article of faith among many conservatives that Obama has exacerbated nationwide racial tensions. Ward Connerly, a veteran California anti-affirmative action activist and leading black conservative, accused the president of trying to take political advantage of “racial disputes,” rather than diffuse them.

"Obama has been more racial than any white president has ever been in my lifetime," said Connerly, adding, "Candidly, I think that race relations are probably worse now among the average person on the street than they were the day President Obama was elected."

Filed under racism politics conservative reverse racism race crime Buzzfeed Drudge Report Rush Limbaugh disgusting

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ALERT CANCELLED. Amber Alert issued after mom takes kids following stabbing



Washington State/King County followers:

An Amber Alert that has been issued for two girls taken by their mother after she allegedly stabbed the girls’ father in Shoreline Thursday morning.

Dorreen Starrish, 28, is suspected of stabbing her ex-husband around 8:30 a.m. in a home in the 1500 block of NE 190th Street, said Sgt. Cindi West with the King County Sheriff’s Office, which provides police services to Shoreline.

Authorities are now looking for the couple’s daughters, 7-year-old Helen Smith and 3-year-old Alice Smith, who were taken by their mother who does not have custody of the kids, West said. The girls are of Native American descent, according to the Amber Alert, but no other description was available.

The kids were at the home when Starrish came over, said Sgt. Jesse Anderson with the King County Sheriff’s Office. They apparently got into an argument and the man was stabbed in the chest, Starrish said. Starrish then fled with the kids.

“There’s always that concern that the kids could be in jeopardy, because we don’t know of her mental state at this point,” Anderson said.

KOMO’s Facebook page instructs anyone who sees Starrish or her children to call 911 and DO NOT approach them. Picture of Dorreen Starrish:

Live updates here.

Update 3:42 PM MST:

AMBER ALERT UPDATE: PHOTO of 7-year-old Helen Smith. She’s 4-foot-4 and weighs 65 pounds. Her mother, Doreen Starrish, is 5-foot-8 and 170 pounds.

Helen Smith:

Update 5:52 PM MST

AMBER ALERT UPDATE: The suspect was last seen in a back Cadillac STS with unknown plates. Location not specified. PHOTO shows 3-year-old Alice Smith.

Filed under Emergency Missing Missing children Amber alert Crime Washington State King County

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COUNT 1: IN THE COUNTY OF SEMINOLE, STATE OF FLORIDA, on February 26, 2012, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, did unlawfully and by an act imminently dangerous to another, and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual, kill TRAYVON MARTIN, a human being under the age of eighteen, by shooting the said victim, and during the commission of the aforementioned Second Degree Murder, the said GEORGE ZIMMERMAN did carry, display, use, threaten to use or attempt to use a firearm and did actually possess and discharge a firearm and as a result of the discharge, death or great bodily harm was inflicted upon any person, contrary to the provisions of Section 782.04(2), 775.087(1) and 775.087(2), Florida Statutes.


From the issue capias filed by Special Prosecutor Angela Corey charging George Zimmerman with second degree murder.

It’s affirming to see it.

(Source: cognitivedissonance)

Filed under George Zimmerman Trayvon Martin justice crime justice for Trayvon Angela Corey Florida murder news

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We did not come to this decision lightly. We do not prosecute by public pressure or by petition; we prosecute by the facts of any given case as well as the laws of Florida… It is the search for justice for Trayvon that has brought us to this moment. We are not only ministers of justice, we are seekers of truth. Again, we prosecute on facts, not public pressure. We will continue to seek the truth throughout this case… Today, we filed an information charging George Zimmerman with second degree murder.
Special Prosecutor Angela Corey, disclosing George Zimmerman is charged with second degree murder.

(Source: cognitivedissonance)

Filed under Angela Corey Trayvon Martin George Zimmerman justice murder crime Florida Sanford injustice shooting

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Police Video Shows No Blood or Bruises on George Zimmerman

Imagine that:

A police surveillance video taken the night that Trayvon Martin was shot dead shows no blood or bruises on George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who says he shot Martin after he was punched in the nose, knocked down and had his head slammed into the ground.

The surveillance video, which was obtained exclusively by ABC News, shows Zimmerman arriving in a police cruiser. As he exits the car, his hands are cuffed behind his back. Zimmerman is frisked and then led down a series of hallways, still cuffed.

Zimmerman, 28, is wearing a red and black fleece and his face and head are cleanly shaven… In the video an officer is seen pausing to look at the back of Zimmerman’s head, but no abrasions or blood can be seen in the video and he did not check into the emergency room following the police questioning.

So… why is Zimmerman not in custody? A full roundup and debunking of rumors surrounding Martin’s murder here.

Filed under George Zimmerman Trayvon Martin crime politics racism murder Sanford Florida shooting