Combs Spouts Off

"It's my opinion and it's very true."

Posts Tagged ‘crime’

A familiar refrain

Posted by Richard on January 5, 2017

Regarding the “mentally disabled” young man who was held captive, tortured, and beaten for 24-48 hours in Chicago, with some of the torture streamed live on Facebook, there’s this news:

CHICAGO — Chicago police don’t believe a man beaten in an assault broadcast live on Facebook was targeted because he was white despite profanities made by the accused assailants about white people and President-elect Donald Trump, a police spokesman said Thursday.

Charges are expected later in the day against four black suspects, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told The Associated Press.

Repeatedly shouting “F*ck white people! F*ck Trump!” isn’t evidence of racial motivation, according to authorities.

I’m reminded of all the times that authorities have assured us that shouting “Allahu Akbar!” isn’t evidence of radical Islamist motivation.

And the establishment wonders why a large portion of the population views them with contempt.

UPDATE: Chicago PD has decided this was a hate crime after all. Under Illinois law, targeting someone because of either their race or their disability is a hate crime, so it’s not clear which they’re applying in this case. Note, however, that the video doesn’t record any of the perps shouting “F*ck retards!”

UPDATE 2: I should note that I’m not in favor of hate crime laws, especially not those that only apply to crimes against certain “protected classes” while ignoring hatred based on, for instance, nationality or profession. The depravity of these acts alone should be sufficient to warrant long prison sentences. That said, I think the motivation of the perps should be explored and discussed, and I think it’s fair to invoke it as an aggravating factor leading to a longer sentence; a perpetrator of violence motivated by hatred of a whole segment of society is more of a danger to the public than one motivated by a beef with a specific individual.

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Mug shot of the week

Posted by Richard on September 26, 2014

michael-whitingtonMichael Whitington, the charming fellow to the right, robbed a bank on the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver on Tuesday. He attempted to get away by boarding the nearby light rail train. Which leads me to my…

PRO TIP of the week: If your getaway plan involves the light rail, make sure no one sees you board the train.

Cops stopped the train a few blocks away and arrested this criminal genius.

Something tells me we taxpayers are going to be on the hook for some dental bills.

UPDATED (9/27/14) to add link to CBS4Denver that I forgot last night (yes, adult beverages were involved).

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Pueblo school takes kids shooting, making them and society safer

Posted by Richard on March 22, 2014

In a rational world, this story by Katie Pavlich wouldn’t be particularly newsworthy. Unfortunately, in this day and age, it is:

School officials in Pueblo County, Colorado are bucking the anti-gun trend and recently approved a field trip for middle school students to a local shooting range where they learned about gun safety and how to properly handle a firearm. The gun safety and marksman group Project Appleseed, an activity of The Revolutionary War Veterans Association, was brought in to instruct students, all of whom fired at the range with live ammunition. The trip was scheduled shortly after students learned about The Revolutionary War in their classrooms.

“We’ve never been allowed to bring actual real firearms into a school. Until this week. This is a very big deal. We had them touching fire arms, holding them and learning about how to handle them safely,” Appleseed Instructor Elizabeth Blackwood told KRDO.

Here is the money quote from student Jonah Statezny, who went on the trip: “I think everyone should learn how to use a gun but learn how to use it properly, and the precautions you’re supposed to take and how serious a gun really is.”

Jonah is pretty wise for a middle school student.

I certainly hope this sort of field trip will become more common in the future, because it will make both our youth and our society in general safer. A study published in 1995 by the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (PDF) tracked 4000 kids in urban Denver, Pittsburgh, and Rochester, NY, over seven years. Vin Suprynowicz summarized the key findings related to whether and how the kids were introduced to firearms:

— Children who get guns from their parents don’t commit gun crimes (0 percent) while children who get guns illegally are quite likely to do so (21 percent).

— Children who get guns from parents are less likely to commit any kind of street crime (14 percent) than children who have no gun in the house (24 percent) — and are dramatically less likely to do so than children who acquire an illegal gun (74 percent.)

— Children who get guns from parents are less likely to use banned drugs (13 percent) than children who get illegal guns (41 percent.)

— Most strikingly, the study found: “Boys who own legal firearms have much lower rates of delinquency and drug use (than boys who own illegal guns) and are even slightly less delinquent than non-owners of guns.”

This wouldn’t have surprised anyone before the rise of the modern welfare state. It used to be common knowledge that the best way to get kids to act “responsibly” was precisely to give them some “responsibility.” Why would we assume a child taught by his parents to use a gun responsibly wouldn’t also be more responsible in his other behaviors?

“Want to dramatically reduce the chance that your child will commit a gun-related crime or — heaven forbid — go on a shooting spree?” asked the national Libertarian Party in a May 21 news release detailing these study results. “Buy your youngster a gun.”

“Politicians are apparently more interested in demonizing guns than they are in facts,” commented LP national director Steve Dasbach, himself an Indiana government schoolteacher. But “The evidence is in: The simplest way to reduce firearm-related violence among children is to buy them a gun and teach them how to use it responsibly.”

As Katie Pavlich said, “This is the definition of a well rounded, quality education. Bravo Pueblo County.”

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Global warming will increase murders and rapes

Posted by Richard on February 28, 2014

It’s getting harder and harder to distinguish real news stories from stories you might see in The Onion. Global warming has already been blamed for droughts, floods, record heat, record cold, more hurricanes, fewer hurricanes, and earthquakes. Now an environmental economist has released a study, with support from Harvard, purporting to prove that global warming will lead to more murders and rapes between now and 2099:

Should global warming (or climate change, or whatever they decide to call it by then) continue, crime will increase — specifically, violent crime. By how much?

“[A]n additional 22,000 murders, 180,000 cases of rape, 1.2 million aggravated assaults, 2.3 million simple assaults, 260,000 robberies, 1.3 million burglaries, 2.2 million cases of larceny, and 580,000 cases of vehicle theft in the U.S.,” the study said.

The mind boggles.

HT: Steven Hayward (who noted “I love the precision of this forecast, which matches the faux-precision of temperature forecasts 100 years out”)

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More guns, less crime

Posted by Richard on February 26, 2014

From the Citizens Committee for the Right to Bear Arms:

BELLEVUE, WA – The FBI’s semi-annual uniform crime data for the first half of 2013 confirms once again what the firearms community already knew, that violent crime has continued to decline while gun sales have continued to climb, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

The report, issued last week, says murders declined 6.9 percent from the first half of 2012, while aggravated assaults dropped by 6.6 percent nationwide and robberies were down 1.8 percent. Forcible rapes declined 10.6 percent from the same period in 2012 and overall, violent crime fell by 10.6 percent in non-metropolitan counties and 3.6 percent in metropolitan counties.

“This new information reinforces the notion that not only do guns save lives, their presence in the hands and homes of law-abiding citizens just might be a deterrent to crime,” observed CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “The National Shooting Sports Foundation has been reporting a steady increase in firearm sales for the past few years. Taken as a whole, one cannot help but conclude that the predictions from gun prohibitionists that more guns leads to more crime have been consistently wrong.”

Gottlieb said the tired argument from the anti-gun lobby that more firearms in the hands of private citizens would result in sharp increases in violence have run out of traction. Not only has the decline in crime corresponded with an increase in gun sales, it also coincides with a steady rise in the number of citizens obtaining concealed carry licenses and permits, he noted.

“The FBI report says burglaries and auto theft have also decreased,” Gottlieb said, “and it is impossible to look at this pattern and not suggest that increased gun ownership just might be one contributing factor. Gun prohibitionists would, of course, dismiss that suggestion as poppycock, but you can bet your life savings that if the data was reversed, and violent crime had risen, the gun control lobby would be rushing to every available microphone declaring that guns were to blame.

“This continuing pattern brings up a pertinent question,” he concluded. “If the gun ban lobby has been so wrong about more guns resulting in more crime, what else have they been wrong about? The word ‘everything’ comes to mind.”

2013 was yet another record year for gun sales.

In Detroit, where government services including law enforcement have been cut back, more and more people are taking responsibility for defending themselves. And, wonder of all wonders, they have the support of the police chief:

Detroit Police Chief James Craig has been an outspoken supporter of arming law-abiding citizens, and has publicly stated that “Good Americans with concealed pistols translates into crime reduction.”

Living conditions in Detroit have declined in recent years. The city’s bankruptcy led to a reduced police force, and residents have had to learn to protect themselves. Self-defense killings in Detroit rose to 2200% above the national average in recent years, and Chief Craig says that more than 300 legally armed citizens defended themselves last year.

Maybe wanna-be thugs in Detroit will think twice about messing with homeowners in the area.

UPDATE: Related — Michael Barone says the evidence of the last quarter-century has changed his mind regarding “shall issue” concealed carry laws:

The result has been that over the years the entire nation has become carry-concealed-weapons territory, as shown in a neat graphic in a Volokh Conspiracy blog post by Dave Kopel. Back in 1987, some people, myself included, worried that such laws would lead to frequent shootouts on the streets arising from traffic altercations and the like. That has not happened — something we can be sure of since the mainstream media would be delighted to headline such events.

To the contrary, violent crime rates have declined drastically during the last quarter-century. I don’t think you can prove that concealed-weapons laws caused that result, but they have probably contributed to it, because would-be criminals are less likely to assault people they believe might be armed. In any case the argument that concealed-weapons laws would lead to more violent crime has been about as thoroughly refuted as an argument can be.

One lesson, I think, is that responsible citizens tend to behave like responsible citizens, even if — or perhaps especially if — they’re armed. Another lesson is that the national political dialogue can be totally irrelevant to what really happens in American life.

HT: Instapundit

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When straws are outlawed…

Posted by Richard on June 27, 2012

Every time I think I’ve encountered the ultimate example of  “zero tolerance” policies run amok, it later turns out I was mistaken. It’s happened again.

The Supreme Court has refused to hear Mikel v. School Board. That means Andrew Mikel II will continue to have on his record a full year school suspension and a juvenile court sentence to a diversion program for anger management and substance abuse counseling. For shooting spitwads at classmates during lunch period.

Mikel was 14 and an honor student active in Junior ROTC when he committed this heinous act in December, 2010. Spotsylvania High School in Spotsylvania, PA, called it “criminal assault and possession of a weapon,” and referred it to local law enforcement, which initiated juvenile criminal proceedings.

Mikel has been homeschooled since.

The Rutherford Institute fought the case all the way to the Supreme Court (emphasis added):

“There can be no justice in a nation where young people like Andrew Mikel have their futures senselessly derailed by school administrators lacking in both common sense and compassion,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “That the Supreme Court refused to hear Andrew’s case is a tragedy in itself, but by failing to intervene, the Court is legitimizing the perverse use of zero tolerance policies by school districts and the criminalization of America’s schoolchildren by teachers, administrators and police.”

Decrying the school’s actions as arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion, attorneys for The Rutherford Institute filed a petition with the Circuit Court of the County of Spotsylvania asking the court to overturn the School Board’s decision. Although the Circuit Court ruled in favor of the school, it did acknowledge that it was “incongruous” that Andrew was suspended for the remainder of the year for spitwads while a student who punched someone in the eye could be suspended for only ten days. 

Ah, but the student who punched someone in the eye wasn’t armed with an illegal weapon — a straw and some hollow plastic “spitwad” pellets.

I have some questions for Spotsylvania school officials, police, and the courts through which this farce proceeded:

  • Is a straw automatically a weapon, or only if it’s “loaded” with a pellet?
  • What if the straw’s “unloaded,” but the student has the “ammo” elsewhere on his person?
  • Is it a worse offense if he’s carrying the straw concealed?
  • What’s going to be declared a weapon next — a rubber band? A spork?

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The crime of failing to be omniscient

Posted by Richard on May 29, 2011

A disturbing idea has taken root in the Western world in recent decades: that whenever anything bad happens to anyone, someone must be blamed. And made to pay. This may be the most bizarre application of that idea that I've encountered:

ROME (AP) — Seven scientists and other experts were indicted on manslaughter charges Wednesday for allegedly failing to sufficiently warn residents before a devastating earthquake that killed more than 300 people in central Italy in 2009.

Italian media quoted the judge as saying the defendants "gave inexact, incomplete and contradictory information" about whether smaller tremors felt by L'Aquila residents in the six months before the April 6, 2009 quake should have constituted grounds for a quake warning.

I'd like to think that this bit of nonsense is an aberration that will soon go away. But nowadays, who knows? Meanwhile, the defendants are no doubt racking up legal bills. Will we soon see liability insurance policies marketed to geologists, vulcanologists, meteorologists, … ?

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Great moments in environmentalism, part 2

Posted by Richard on January 28, 2011

Tracy Province, a convicted murderer who escaped from an Arizona minimum-security prison and went on a crime spree before his capture, told authorities he went to Yellowstone with the intention of overdosing on heroin and becoming bear food.

Unfortunately for Gaia and its worshippers — and for some hungry grizzly — just before shooting up, he chickened out. Because, he claimed, of divine intervention. And it was too cold.

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Protecting the Black Panthers

Posted by Richard on July 1, 2010

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is investigating the Justice Department's dismissal of Voting Rights Act violation charges against the New Black Panthers — a dismissal that was ordered after the career attorneys at the DOJ Civil Rights Division's Voting Rights Section had already won. One of those career attorneys, J. Christian Adams, recently resigned and went public (emphasis added):

On the day President Obama was elected, armed men wearing the black berets and jackboots of the New Black Panther Party were stationed at the entrance to a polling place in Philadelphia. They brandished a weapon and intimidated voters and poll watchers. After the election, the Justice Department brought a voter-intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party and those armed thugs. I and other Justice attorneys diligently pursued the case and obtained an entry of default after the defendants ignored the charges. Before a final judgment could be entered in May 2009, our superiors ordered us to dismiss the case.

The New Black Panther case was the simplest and most obvious violation of federal law I saw in my Justice Department career. Because of the corrupt nature of the dismissal, statements falsely characterizing the case and, most of all, indefensible orders for the career attorneys not to comply with lawful subpoenas investigating the dismissal, this month I resigned my position as a Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney.


The assistant attorney general for civil rights, Tom Perez, has testified repeatedly that the "facts and law" did not support this case. That claim is false. If the actions in Philadelphia do not constitute voter intimidation, it is hard to imagine what would, short of an actual outbreak of violence at the polls. Let's all hope this administration has not invited that outcome through the corrupt dismissal. 

Others have falsely claimed that no voters were affected. Not only did the evidence rebut this claim, but the law does not require a successful effort to intimidate; it punishes even the attempt. 

Read the whole thing. And if you wonder about Adams' claims about the evidence and testimony, you might want to look into it. Start by reading the affidavit of Bartle Bull (PDF), an attorney poll observer at the precinct in question. It's only three pages, and well worth your time. Mr. Bull helped secure the voting rights of blacks in Mississippi in the 1960s and worked on the Bobby Kennedy and Jimmy Carter campaigns — not exactly a right-wing bigot.

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More guns, fewer murders

Posted by Richard on December 23, 2009

The Second Amendment Foundation noted that the murder rate declined in the first half of 2009, while gun sales were at record levels:

The FBI released data Monday that shows murders dropped by 10 percent from the same period in 2008. Meanwhile, according to data released by the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) shows that during the first six months of this year, gun sales were up. January 2009 background checks rose 28.8 percent over the same month in 2008, February's NICS checks were up 23.3 percent and in March they were up 29.9 percent over March 2008. The trend continued in April, with NICS checks up 30.3 percent, while May showed a slowdown, up only 15.5 percent, and in June they were up 18.1 percent.

"What this shows," said SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, "is that gun prohibitionists are all wrong when they argue that more guns result in more crime. Firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens are no threat to anyone. Perhaps violent criminals were actually discouraged by all of those gun sales earlier this year, because the media made a point of reporting the booming gun market.

"Anti-gunners," he continued, "have lost another one of their baseless arguments. Millions of Americans bought guns during the first six months of this year, many of them for the first time. Yet with all of those new guns in circulation, coupled with an increased demand for concealed carry licenses around the country, the streets have not been awash in blood, as gun banners repeatedly predict.

"Hard facts trump hot air," Gottlieb concluded. "These people are consistently wrong about our rights. Millions of people bought guns, especially semiautomatic sport-utility rifles that gun grabbers want to ban because they say people aren't safe with all of those guns in private hands. Well, the people disagree, and so does the data."

Correlation is not causation — thus one can't assume that the homicide rate will drop 10% for every 20-25% increase in gun sales. But there's a growing body of circumstantial evidence that more guns equals less crime. At the least, we have decades of data disproving the gun banners' fear-mongering about Wild West shootouts and streets awash in blood.

A century of criminological research refutes the notion that murders are committed by "previously law-abiding citizens" who just "snapped" while (or because) they happened to have a gun handy. An overwhelming majority of killers have extensive prior histories of violence and crime. Murderers are aberrant — predatory and/or insane.

Fortunately, violent predators and madmen are fairly scarce. But should you run afoul of one, a gun can protect you when seconds count and the police are minutes away.

"I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy."

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Breaking into your own home

Posted by Richard on July 24, 2009

BigFurHat* broke into his own home once and was nabbed by the cops. He was hauled off a bus, handcuffed, and put in the back of a patrol car. But there was no loud confrontation, no crowd of neighbors, and the President didn't render judgment on the incident:

What followed was an Abbott and Costello routine. The police said a neighbor saw me break into the house and run for the bus. They described me as running with a large blue flat box (my portfolio.)

I explained that I lived there. When the police asked for identification I realized that, you guessed it, it was in the tray. We went back to the house to have the neighbor ID me. But the neighbor was afraid to come out. I showed the cops that I had the keys to the house! A HA! That would prove I lived there. But then they asked me why I was crawling through the window if I had the keys. Hmmm. They were good.

I told them to go inside and look at pictures of ME on the wall. They said that the owner of the house would have to give them permission to go inside, I said, “That’s ME!” They said, “prove it.” And round and round this went.

I was desperately trying to identify myself, not like Gates, who was offended when asked for ID. Had I belligerently said “you don’t know who you’re messing with” my story would have ended differently. I finally realized that I could have the cops go into the neighbors house and tell them that I know the names of her grandkids, as proof that I wasn’t a burglar who was going to come back to “get her” for having me arrested. She finally, nervously, came out and said, “oh, that’s the owner, nevermind.”

The story ends with me getting a police ride to the subway so I wouldn’t be late for my appointment downtown. It wasn’t a completely friendly ride, I got a long lecture about being too old to be walking around without ID.

Obama has it completely wrong (oh, what a surprise.) It was Gates who acted stupidly. If he wasn’t such an azzhole, one who is constantly looking for a way to paint himself as a victim of racism, he would see that the police were DOING THEIR JOB! And they were doing it well. When dealing with the police there are ways to get it to go badly. Gates fulfilled those ways. Gates displayed that rare quality – a narcissistic belief of extreme entitlement (”you don’t know who you’re messing with”) coupled with a paranoid belief that whitey, or the police in general, are out to get him. That’s a recipe for disaster. Newsflash: the police do not enjoy that volatile personality trait when they were simply trying to protect your home.

I don't deny that there are cops who are racists (overtly or subconsciously), and who let your skin color influence how they handle such a situation. But I submit that they're far, far outnumbered by the cops who just expect you to be civil and show a modicum of respect for the badge, and who let that influence how they handle such a situation. Yes, there are places where blacks are disproportionately arrested. But belligerent, abusive loudmouths with a chip on their shoulder are disproportionately arrested absolutely everywhere, regardless of their race.

The incident reports of the first two officers on the scene are here (PDF). If the police reports are even remotely accurate, there are only two reasonable explanations for Gates' behavior: either he (not the Cambridge police), was being remarkably stupid or he was deliberately provoking an incident.

Gates' version is quite different, but unlike the officers' reports, his doesn't provide quotes or characterize how things were said and the parties acted. It sounds like a sterile narrative created by his lawyer and, in my opinion, lacks the ring of truth.

So, not having been there, how can we — or the President — decide whether the arresting officer was "racially profiling" Gates or reacting reasonably to the circumstances and to Gates' behavior? Well, we might want to consider this about the man before rushing to condemn him:

Cambridge Sgt. James Crowley has taught a class on racial profiling for five years at the Lowell Police Academy after being hand picked by for the job by former police Commissioner Ronny Watson, who is black, said Academy Director Thomas Fleming.

"I have nothing but the highest respect for him as a police officer. He is very professional and he is a good role model for the young recruits in the police academy," Fleming told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The course, called "Racial Profiling," teaches about different cultures that officers could encounter in their community "and how you don't want to single people out because of their ethnic background or the culture they come from," Fleming said. The academy trains cadets for cities across the region.

I think the Prez may owe Sgt. Crowley an apology. His taking of sides was at least premature.

* While you're visiting, be sure to check out The Obamas. I especially liked #47. A friend sent me #44 the other day — I love that duck!

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LEAP billboard up in Omaha

Posted by Richard on July 28, 2008

Thanks to a generous donor, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) has its first billboard up. Check it out — it looks pretty good. Here's the scoop from Tony Ryan of LEAP:

That’s right – LEAP’s first ever billboard – now showing at 108th and I street in Omaha, Nebraska. It is up high, where many can see it, and it shows a new website for us which we can use to measure response and effectiveness.

It will be there three months and then will move around the city to other locations for additional three month periods for at least a year – all thanks to LEAP supporter and donor Melanie Marshall.

I was in Omaha to assist with the unveiling of the billboard via an on-air interview with talk-show host Scott Vorhees of Omaha’s superstation KFAB (1110 AM).

While in Omaha July 17 and 18, I also spoke at three Kiwanis Club meetings, wrote an Op-Ed on the War on Drugs which was published Friday, July 18 in Omaha’s World-Herald, did an interview with the Bellevue Leader weekly and, along with Melanie and her husband, spoke with Omaha’s US Congressman Lee Terry about the Drug War.

Tony is a retired Denver cop and one of the really good guys. If you ever get the chance to hear him speak, do it. Meanwhile, how about donating a few bucks to LEAP?

(HT: Chicago Boyz)

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Name that party

Posted by Richard on July 8, 2008

Finally, I get to play the "name that party" game that scores of libertarian and conservative bloggers have been playing for so long. It works this way: Find an MSM news story about a politician doing something despicable. If he/she is a Republican, note how quickly and often the party affiliation is mentioned. The game's over.

If you can't find any mention of the miscreant's political party, or you get 80 or 90% of the way through the story without seeing any mention, you stand a good chance of winning by betting that the perp is a Democrat.

So here's my entry, from The Denver Post:

Jeffco House candidate charged with assaulting daughter
By Ann Schrader
The Denver Post

Article Last Updated: 07/07/2008 04:47:18 PM MDT 

GOLDEN — A Jefferson County school board member who is a state legislative candidate has been arrested for allegedly slapping and choking his teenage daughter.

Vince Chowdhury, 48, has been charged with third-degree assault and harassment in connection with the June 17 incident and with contempt of court for an alleged violation of a protective order for sending two e-mails to his wife.

Chowdhury owns an insurance agency and lives in a pretty nice Littleton suburb. But apparently, he saw no reason to spring for a $129 garage door opener when he had a wife and daughter at his beck and call. According to neighbors, he routinely pulled into his driveway, honked his horn, and one of the obedient womenfolk ran to open the garage door. (I wonder how he could be sure they would always be home. Could it be that they needed his permission to leave?)

But this time, he sat and honked for more than the customary few seconds, and Chowder-hurry got seriously ticked off.

Katherine Chowdhury and her daughter apologized, but they said Chowdhury started slapping his 16-year-old daughter's face, the affidavit said.

The daughter backed away, but Chowdhury began to choke her with both hands, the affidavit said. The daughter told police she bit one of his hands in self-defense before her mother attempted to pull him off of her.

The affidavit said the girl then locked herself in her bedroom until deputies arrived.

Chowdhury told deputies he just "lost it" when his wife and daughter did not hear him honking the horn in the driveway, the affidavit said.

So that's the story. I'll try to resist speculating about how Chowder-hurry's behavior toward women might relate to a likely ethnic/religious background (his surname is Pakistani/Bangladeshi/Indian). (OK, I admit I didn't resist too well.)

Let's play "name that party"!

The Denver Post story contains exactly a dozen (12) paragraphs. When do you suppose we learn in which party's primary Chowder-hurry is a candidate for the state legislature?

Why, paragraph 11:

Chowdhury, a Democrat, is running for the House District 22 seat and faces a primary in August. He has served on the school board for seven years.

What a great game! I hope I get the chance to play again soon. I bet I can win just about every time.

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Brits push knife control

Posted by Richard on July 3, 2008

I followed Instapundit's link (aptly introduced as "CULTURAL SUICIDE") to this Daily Mirror story about London's new mayor urging residents to become more cowardly and helpless:

Boris Johnson urged people to walk away if they see a crime committed rather than risk their own lives.

The London mayor admitted he would tell his own children to "look after themselves" rather than play Good Samaritan to a victim.

"Everybody is shocked by the level of violence we are seeing, particularly towards young people, and we must all work as hard as we can to reverse this dreadful trend."

An intriguing link below that sad story led me to another story that I at first thought was biting satire: 

We are not calling for radical new laws – but simple, measures that will see the police, parents, teachers, doctors and nurses combining to form a common front against the knife menace.

The entire nation has been shocked by the rising tide of kniferelated deaths. Now we must act. All of us.

1 Give our police tools to catch knife thugs

First, we must give police the tools they need to effectively stop and search youngsters without losing their goodwill.

The only guaranteed method of detecting a hidden knife is with a magnetic scanner. And being scanned is less offensive than being searched. Every bobby in a knife hotspot must be given a hand-held scanner.

2 Launch amnesty to bring in the blades

We must show our determination to disarm Britain with a new knife amnesty.

There are more such brilliant ideas. Scrappleface couldn't have done a better job, but these people appear to be dead serious.

Below the story, under the heading "THE LIVES THAT COULD HAVE BEEN SAVED," they list eleven young people (14-22) who were recently murdered. Most were victims of stabbings, but I noticed that one teen "died after being hit on the head with a bowl at a bakery," so I wonder if bowl control will be next on the agenda. 

Can golf club control and cricket bat control be far behind? 

Sic transit gloria Britannia.  

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Who are the attackers?

Posted by Richard on March 7, 2008

Remember the "Five Ws" of journalism — who, what, when, where, why? Apparently, they don't at the Associated Press. Here's an AP story about an anti-Semitic attack in France — see if you think there are a couple of Ws missing:

PARIS —  Six people kidnapped and tortured a Jewish teenager by punching and kicking him and writing "dirty Jew" on his forehead, judicial officials said Wednesday.

The 19-year-old victim met with his six alleged attackers, who ranged in age from 17 to 28, in the Paris suburb of Bagneux to try to settle an argument about a missing cell phone and camcorder, officials from the prosecutor's office in Nanterre said. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

They said the six held the victim for about nine hours, taunted him for being Jewish, and said he was gay. They allegedly forced him to eat cigarette butts and scrawled anti-Semitic and anti-homosexual insults on his forehead.

A gang of youths who use the phrase "dirty Jew" — I wonder who they might be and why they might believe that Jews are by nature dirty. 

The victim, whose identity has not been released, suffered slight injuries.

The alleged attackers have been detained and investigators filed preliminary charges against them. The preliminary charges include committing "acts of torture or barbarism" and "kidnapping by a gang," the judicial officials said.

The Bagneux City Hall said in a statement that officials were "shocked and outraged" by the attack. The suburb was the site of a 2006 attack against another young French Jew, Ilan Halimi, who was kidnapped, tortured and killed by a gang.

So this is a Paris suburb where a gang of youths previously attacked and killed a Jew. Hmm, I wonder if it's one of those suburbs where gangs of otherwise-unidentified youths routinely burn cars and attack police patrols.

The president one of France's leading Jewish organizations, the Representative Council of Jewish Organizations in France, said anti-Semitic attacks in the nation were down 30 percent last year. But Richard Prasquier said the new attack suggests that "anti-Semitic prejudice is still very present."

The head of an organization that tallies anti-Semitic crimes in France, the BNVCA, said many recent victims, including the 19-year-old in last month's attack, were not religious Jews and had little connection with the Jewish community.

"The fact of having a Jewish name was enough for these aggressors to identify him as one, and to harass him," Sammy Ghozlan said.

France has western Europe's largest population of Jews and Muslims. The nation faced a surge in anti-Semitic crime starting in 2000 after tensions between Israelis and Palestinians flared up in the Middle East.

Aha, finally in the tenth paragraph, there's a soupçon of a hint regarding what might be the nature and motive of the gangs of youths who attack Jews in France.

I suspect that they all pray facing the same way.

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