Theodore Roosevelt, 1903

"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready." - Theodore Roosevelt, 1903

Saturday, December 15, 2012

RANDOM SHOTS - Attacks On School Children In U.S. & China, Slain Border Patrol Agent's Family Sues Feds, and More!


Evil at Sandy Hook Elementary School

FBI statistics show that violent crime is at a 30 year low.

On days like today, when some killer goes into some sort of evil feeding frenzy, that statistic is not an encouragement at all. That statistic has no relevance at all when the criminally insane take out their evil intentions on the world.

Today, in the small town of Newtown, Connecticut, 20 children and 6 adults were killed today when an insane individual clad in black military gear opened fire inside his mother's kindergarten class at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The murderer has been identified as 20 year old Adam Lanza.

This morning, after Adam Lanza woke up, for some reason he decided to shoot his mother, Nancy Lanza, in the face at their home in Newtown.

Once that was done, he went to nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School where his mother taught kindergarten. And yes, once there, he slaughtered her entire class.

Terrified, horrified, traumatized, the children who survived will never be the same.

Adam Lanza showed up wearing black military garb and toting three guns, according to reports. In the main office, and with the intercom transmitting the horror through the school’s halls, Lanza shot the principal.

Then as if on a mission, he made his way to his mother's class, sources said, where he killed her pupils.

The news reports said that "by the time it was over, Lanza, six adults and 20 young children were dead in the second-worst school shooting in the nation’s history."

The news said that "only the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech, which left 32 dead, was worse."

Was worse? Was worse because of the number killed? I'm sorry, but I don't understand how anything could be worse than what took place today. It just doesn't get worse than someone on a mission to kill kindergartners. It just doesn't get worse than that!

In the next few days, anti-gun groups will want to outlaw guns and all of that sort of thing. I'm sure there will be some sort of outcry for new laws and regulations of some sort.

Lawmakers who see their job as pacifying the public will inevitably want to pass some sort of law to do something or other.

But friends, this has nothing to do with guns or the need for more laws. It has nothing to do with the killers ability to get a gun or break the law. It has everything to do with Adam Lanza.

No matter if there were a thousand laws, Adam Lanza would have broken those laws just as he broke the law today. No matter if he had a gun or not, I believe evil intending to do harm will find a way.

I am certain that the evil personified in Adam Lanza would have found some way to accomplish his mission of wanting to kill those who his mother cared about.

Was he striking at the thing that his mother loved - her class? Did he hate his mother so much as to want to harm the thing she showed concern for? Who knows. And honestly, who cares.

Sure it might go to his psychotic motive, but they're just excuses for an abhorrent deed that anyone should know is wrong at its core. Whatever excuse he may have had, it simply does not matter.

If he hadn't bought a gun, I believe he would have been found a knife, or a car, or a match. He was intent on conducting evil, and nothing was going to stop him.

Twenty-year old Adam Lanza was the problem. His desire, his craving, his wish to hurt and kill was the problem here. There is good and there is evil, and Adam Lanza was evil personified.

We should all know the difference between right and wrong. We should all be taught what is good and proper behavior and what is wrong and unacceptable in society. Adam Lanza had to know that contrary to what he saw on television and in the movies and in video games, murder of the innocent is not right.

Was Adam Lanza simply criminally insane, or was his problem a total lack of morality? Was his flaw a complete lack of a moral compass? Wasn't he brought up with someone to teach him the difference between good and bad, wrong and right, righteousness and evil?

I don't blames machinery like cars or guns for what happened at that school today. Just as I don't blame his mother's car for getting him there, I surly don't blame a gun for his desire to do such an evil act.

The vehicle that he used to drive to the school was registered to his mother. And thought three guns were found, we now know that he took a Glock and a Sig Sauer, both pistols, inside the school.

It appears that he took a rifle to the school, but he left it in his car. And yes, I'm thinking that he left the rifle in his mother's car because he knew that the school would have never allowed him entry through their security doors if he had it in his hands.

We know he left it in the car because authorities are saying they found a .223-caliber rifle in the back of his mother's car which he took to the school.

This tells me two very important things. First, it tells me that Adam Lanza was clear headed enough to know that he wouldn't get a rifle into the school but instead had to sneak two guns in. And second, this tells me that the security measures at the school had no way of knowing that he was carrying pistols when they let him into the school.

This is besides the fact that as the son of one of the teachers there, who would have thought that he would do this.

I blame Hollywood for inciting violence. I blame those who glorify violence in the movies. I blame those who are successfully desensitizing a whole generation of kids out there.

I blame those who think that people don't need to be taught the difference between right and wrong. I blame those who push the idea that any behavior - no matter how offensive it is to others - is simply OK.  Yes, I blame society for acting as though morality is not something that we need in the world.

Morality is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are "good" and right versus those that are "bad" and wrong.  It is knowing what helps versus what harms.

Morality is synonymous with "goodness" or "rightness." Morality goes to the heart of what each of us have for a Moral Code.  A great example of a moral code is the Golden Rule which states that, "One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself."

Immorality is the active opposition to morality. It is the opposition to that which is good or right.  Amorality can be defined as an unawareness of, or the indifference toward, or disbelief in any set of moral standards or principles.

Sick or not, Adam Lanza's immorality goes to his motives for doing what he has done.

While there is no rationale for such an act, and there is no explanation that can pass for even being remotely plausible, those who will explore what movies and television shows he watched, what books he read, how he lived, and what he may have tweeted friends, may find his motives go to the heart of his complete disregard for what is morally wrong.

With some sort of understanding of his motive, we may understand why he had no moral code. We may understand why he would do such an evil act, then again we may never know what makes some people as evil as the devil himself.

The best thing to happen today in Newtown was that Adam Lanza killed himself. I just wish he had done it before going to Sandy Hook Elementary School.

My heart goes out to those children, those teachers, and of course the parents. May God Bless them all.



22 Children & 1 Adult injured in another Knife Attack at Chinese Elementary School

Yesterday was a horrific day for school children in Newtown, Connecticut, but also for a school in China.

To prove that crazy people will get the job done one way or another, and they really don't need to use guns to conduct their evil, take a look at what happened at an elementary school in China on the same day that Adam Lanza did his evil deeds in Newtown, Connecticut.

Beijing, China, is reporting that a knife-wielding man injured 22 children and one adult outside a primary school in central China as students were arriving for morning classes Friday.

This is the latest in a series of periodic rampage attacks at schools and kindergartens.

The attack in the Henan province village of Chengping happened shortly before 8 a.m., said a police officer from Guangshan county, where the village is located.

The attacker, 36-year-old villager Min Yingjun, is now in police custody.

No motive was given for the stabbings which are eerily similar to a string of assaults against schoolchildren in 2010 that killed nearly 20 and wounded more than 50.

The most recent such attack took place in August, when a knife-wielding man broke into a middle school in the southern city of Nanchang and stabbed two students before fleeing.

In one of the worst incidents, a man described as an unemployed, middle-aged Doctor killed eight children with a knife in March 2010.

In May of 2010, China was reporting that they were installing gates and cameras at schools as well as having security guards trained to fend off knife-wielding attackers of kindergartners.

This came about after a man with a kitchen cleaver barged into a kindergarten in central China, hacked to death seven children, their teacher and her mother and returned home while rescuers rushed to the scene before he took his own life.



Woman who Set Fire to Home and Killed Two Children gets 25 years

More proof that people don't need a gun to do evil got 25 years yesterday.

In Fort Campbell Kentucky, 39-year-old Billi Jo Smallwood was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison for setting fire to her home and killing two of her children at Fort Campbell.

Prosecutors described her act as a scheme to escape a rocky marriage and collect on her soldier husband's life insurance policy.

Assistant U.S. Attorney James R. Lesousky Jr. described Smallwood's actions as "premeditated and devious" that justified a life sentence.

"She turned her back on those children, and when she did so, she lost two of them," he said.

Smallwood was convicted by a federal jury in Paducah of maliciously setting fire to the two-story housing unit in 2007 while her children slept inside.

Prosecutors argued her intent was to kill her husband and cash in his $400,000 insurance policy.

She was convicted of one count of malicious damage and destruction by fire to property owned by the United States, resulting in the two deaths on the Army post straddling the Kentucky-Tennessee border.

The May 2007 fire at the base killed 9-year-old Sam Fagan, and 2-year-old Rebekah Smallwood.

Smallwood's husband, Army Spc. Wayne Smallwood, crawled out of a second level window and suffered a leg injury when he jumped. Their toddler daughter, Nevaeh, was not injured. Wayne Smallwood is no longer in the Army.

Smallwood herself suffered serious burns but investigators testified the injuries were consistent with someone setting a fire.

Judge Russell mentioned the "powerful and sincere" remarks by Smallwood's defenders while handing down the sentence. Russell also ordered Smallwood to pay $209,000 in restitution for damage caused by the blaze.

Evidence presented at trial indicated she purchased a gasoline container about 12 hours before the fire was set. Remnants of the container were found by investigators in the first-floor dining room, where gasoline had been poured and ignited.

Matthew Cummings, special agent with U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Division, testified during her detention hearing that the doors in the home had been locked from the inside and smoke detectors had been removed.

Cummings said Smallwood told him the family had just returned from a trip to Georgia when the fire was set and they had just $17. Cummings said she was "aggravated" that her husband had gone out earlier in the evening to a VFW club bar.

Prosecutors also pointed to evidence showing Smallwood fabricated her claim that an intruder was responsible and that she received a threatening phone call meant for her husband on the eve of the fire. Records show no such call was received. Her intent, they said, was to divert attention from herself as a suspect.

"The telephone call never happened," Lesousky said Thursday. "It was part of her cover up."

Not surprising, Smallwood said she wasn't the person portrayed by prosecutors. She talked of her supposed devotion to her husband and of being thrilled when she found out she was pregnant with her oldest child.

Another thing that doesn't surprise me much is that her mother and her aunt offered tearful statements asking for leniency.

And yes, believe it or not, even though the evidence says different, Brenda Napper, a sergeant at the Marion County Detention Center, where Smallwood has been held, said she believes Smallwood's claim of innocence.

Brenda Napper said it's the first time she's ever felt an inmate was innocent. Imagine that!

But it doesn't stop with Napper, Mitchell Embry who is a volunteer chaplain says he has gotten to know Smallwood during her incarceration. Believe it or not, he called her "the most faithful, deep-thinking, spiritual person I've been around."

As unbelievable as it is, these two individuals helped Smallwood get only 25 years instead of a Life sentence.

So can I believe how a guard and a chaplain can get sucked in by an inmate? Sure I can. After all, there are always those who are gullible enough to swallow what criminals hand out.

Back 35 years ago when I worked in Corrections in the Marine Corps, it was my experience that all of those behind bars were innocent. Not one prisoner, confinee, ever did what he was supposed to have done. Yes, they always proclaimed innocence.

In fact, I can truthfully say that I never met a prisoner who owned up to what they really did. And yes, convicts are great liars.



Family of Murdered Border Patrol Agent Sues Federal Officials over 'Fast and Furious'

A report out of Phoenix, Arizona, says that the family of a murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry has sued federal officials over the botched "Fast and Furious" gun smuggling operation.

Agent Brian Terry was mortally wounded on Dec. 14, 2010, in a firefight north of the Arizona-Mexico border between U.S. agents and five men who had sneaked into the country to rob marijuana smugglers.

During the firefight, believe it or not, while the Drug Smugglers were shooting at Terry with live rounds from weapons that they got from our Justice Department during the screwed up "Fast and Furious" operation, Terry was firing back non-lethal "bean bag" rounds.

Imagine that. The bad guys are using bullets but the Department of Homeland Security restricted our guys from using regular bullets and instead forced them to use non-lethal bean bag rounds.

Federal authorities conducting "Fast and Furious" have faced tough criticism for allowing suspected gun buyers for a smuggling ring to walk away from gun shops in Arizona with weapons, rather than arrest them and seize the weapons.

The lawsuit filed Thursday and made publicly available on Friday came from Terry's parents against six managers and investigators for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The family also sued a federal prosecutor who had previously handled the case but is no longer on it, and the owner of the gun store where two rifles found in the firefight's aftermath were bought.

The family alleges that the ATF officials and federal prosecutor created a risk to law enforcement officers such as Terry and that the firearms agents should have known their actions would lead to injuries and deaths to civilians and police officers in America and Mexico.

The family also alleged that firearms agents and the prosecutor sought to cover up the link between Terry's death and the botched gun smuggling investigation.

The "Fast and Furious" operation was launched in 2009 to catch trafficking kingpins, but agents lost track of about 1,400 of the more than 2,000 weapons involved.

Authorities say the ring was believed to have supplied the Sinaloa cartel with guns. Mexico's drug cartels often seek out guns in the U.S. because gun laws in Mexico are more restrictive than in the U.S.

Some guns purchased by the ring were later found at crime scenes in Mexico and the United States. And yes, we're not talking about a few guns. The operation lost track of over 2,700 assault rifles.

Although many of the guns have turned up at homicides along the Mexican border, no one knows exactly how many of these guns have been used to slaughter Mexicans and Americans on the border. 

The probe's failures were revealed - and later examined in congressional inquiries.

So far, 15 of the 20 people charged in the gun smuggling case have pleaded guilty to charges.

Authorities have a separate case pending in federal court in Tucson against five men charged with murder in Terry's death.

So far, one man has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. Of the five men accused in Terry's killing, two are in custody, and three others remain fugitives.

The Obama administration is hiding documents needed in the investigation. Using the President's power of Executive Privilege, Obama is concealing those documents from the Congressional Investigation.

It is all speculation as to why Obama would do such a thing, but some believe that the documents tie the White House into the Fast and Furious Operation - something that President Obama said he had no knowledge of.

It reminds me of when Richard Nixon said he knew nothing about Watergate.



EPA Imposes Controversial New Rules

The Environmental Protection Agency issued its first major regulation since the November 6th election, imposing new air quality rules on soot pollution in what critics called evidence of a post-election "regulatory cliff."

The EPA rule reduces by 20 percent the maximum amount of soot released into the air from smokestacks, diesel trucks and other sources of pollution.

The new soot standard has been highly anticipated by environmental and business groups, who have battled over whether it will protect public health or cause job losses.

The American Petroleum Institute warned Friday that the new rule "is unnecessary and could drive up costs for new and expanding businesses trying to hire employees."

"There is no compelling scientific evidence for the policy decision to develop more stringent standards. The existing standards are working and will continue improving air quality," API Director of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Howard Feldman said in a statement.

"We fear this new rule may be just the beginning of a 'regulatory cliff'."

Feldman was referring to a host of forthcoming environmental regulations.

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., who for months has been warning about those regulations, called Friday's announcement "the first in an onslaught of post-election rule makings that will place considerable burdens on our struggling economy."

"And so it begins," Inhofe said.

Announcement of the new standard met a court deadline in a lawsuit by 11 states and public health groups. The new annual standard is 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air, down from the current 15 micrograms per cubic meter.

Soot, or fine particulate matter, is made up of microscopic particles released from smokestacks, diesel trucks, wood-burning stoves and other sources and contributes to haze.

Environmental groups and public health advocates welcomed the new standard, saying it will protect millions of Americans at risk for soot-related asthma attacks, lung cancer, heart disease and premature death.

But congressional Republicans and industry officials called the new standard overly strict and said it could hurt economic growth and cause job losses in areas where pollution levels are determined to be too high.

Ross Eisenberg, vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers, said the new rule is "yet another costly, overly burdensome" regulation that is "out of sync" with President Barack Obama's executive order last year to streamline federal regulations.

The new rule will "place many promising new projects --and the jobs they create -- into permit limbo," Eisenberg said.

The EPA is simply out of control. And yes, I really believe that the Obama administration doesn't give a damn about helping businesses create jobs. They are more concerned about burdensome regulations that cost companies money that could be spent on hiring.


Harry Belafonte thinks Obama should "Jail Republicans"

Harry Belafonte’s advice to President Obama: Act Like a Third-World Dictator and Jail Republicans

During an interview with MSNBC’s Al Sharpton, singer Harry Belafonte offered some controversial advice to President Obama.

In fact, he said the president should act like a "third-world dictator" and put his opposition in jail!

Belafonte said, “What fascinates me, is that the face of millions of Americans expressing their desire, the whole political establishment defining its game, that there should be this lingering infestation of really corrupt people who sit trying to dismantle the wishes of the people, the mandate that has been given to Barack Obama. And I don’t know what more they want. The only thing left for Barack Obama to do is to work like a third-world dictator and just put all of these guys in jail. You’re violating the American desire.”

Belafonte once called U.S. President George W. Bush "the greatest terrorist in the world."

The American singer-songwriter, who was once considered the “King of Calypso,” this week ignited outrage after speaking with MSNBC’s Al Sharpton and saying President Obama should rule like a third-world dictator and toss his Republican opponents behind bars.

Belafonte went on to claim that Republicans are "violating the American desire" by working to keep government limited, taxes low and the country solvent. Sharpton was clearly amused by the suggestion – and could be heard laughing in the background.

But some critics are far from amused.

“Harry Belafonte has a long career as singer, actor, civil rights crusader, and now, professional lefty nutball. He no longer is content to just abuse conservatives, now he wants to envision Obama as a third-world dictator and have his opponents jailed,” Dan Gainor, VP of Business & Culture at the Media Research Institute, told FOX News.

Belafonte’s latest remarks have also drawn condemnation across the Twitterverse, including from former Republican Presidential hopeful Herman Cain who tweeted: “What’s up with these crazy liberals?”

“Every time Harry Belafonte is given a chance to speak, we are granted the opportunity to laugh at his incompetence,” tweeted one, while another called him a “total wackjob.”

Another observed: “Don't know what's more disturbing, Harry Belafonte's statement or that @MSNBC thinks he's worth talking to.”

This is hardly the first time Belafonte ignited a media star with his anti-Republican remarks. In 2002, he began making heated comments against then-President George W. Bush and his administration.

“There is an old saying, in the days of slavery. There were those slaves who lived on the plantation, and there were those slaves who lived in the house. You got the privilege of living in the house if you served the master, do exactly the way the master intended to have you serve him,” he said in an interview with a San Diego radio station, referring to a quote made by civil rights radical Malcolm X.

“That gave you privilege. Colin Powell is committed to come into the house of the master, as long as he would serve the master, according to the master's purpose. And when Colin Powell dares to suggest something other than what the master wants to hear, he will be turned back out to pasture. And you don't hear much from those who live in the pasture.”

Powell later called the remarks "unfortunate" while Secretary of State Rice responded: "I don't need Harry Belafonte to tell me what it means to be black."

Some wonder why the mainstream media continues to provide a platform for Belafonte.

“In recent years, Belafonte has said that President George W. Bush as ‘the greatest terrorist in the world’ was ‘no better’ than Osama bin Laden,” Gainor added.

“He has claimed the Tea Parties were ‘at the vanguard’ of ‘the greatest threat of all is the undermining of our Constitution.’ The equally bizarre hosts of MSNBC keep giving Belafonte a platform because they want to give such bizarre comments credibility. It's an embarrassment to a once-great man to have fallen so far.”

Though I agree, I can't help but wonder if it may be drug induced delusions or maybe old age and senility. Either way, the old singer is off his rocker.

JOKE

It's said that the Obama Economy is helping out the Sporting Goods business because more people are buying tents to live in.


Story by Tom Correa

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