Currently Browsing: News of Note
May 16, 2013
To the left is the face of one of New York’s latest people charged with a crime.
Gregory Dean, Jr., is 31 years old and from Hopewell Junction in New Lebanon N.Y. On March 12, 2013, Dean was stopped by the police for having the light over his license plate out. While being interviewed by the police, the officer noticed there was a handgun on the seat which was partially covered by a sweatshirt.
The officer took the gun, which was legally owned and possessed by Dean, and then examined the magazine which contained nine rounds of ammunition – two more than allowed by New York’s SAFE Act (Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013), signed Governor Andrew M. Cuomo within an hour after it was passed by the New York legislature.
Dean was arrested and charged.
Police charged Dean with unlawful possession of certain ammunition feeding devices, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation,both misdemeanors, plus vehicle infractions, police said.
He was released without bail and ordered to appear May 23 in New Lebanon Justice Court.
Another criminal off the street.
Of course, the problem is that Dean did not do anything wrong Constitutionally. The seven round limit on the magazine size has lawyers chomping at the bit for a Constitutional challenge as it made far too many weapons illegal (thereby violating the “reasonable” standard when restricting rights) and also that the law is “ex post facto,” meaning it made legal acts prior to the law’s passage illegal.
May 14, 2013
Carnegie Mellon University is embroiled in somewhat of a controversy after three students were arrested and charged after the university’s annual College of Fine Arts’ Anti-Gravity Downhill Derby on Carnival Weekend.
The president of Carnegie Mellon University says charges have been filed in connection with an incident in which a female student dressed up as the pope, and was naked from the waist down, with a her pubic hair shaved in the shape of a cross.
After a two-week review, Carnegie Mellon police have charged 19-year-old art student, Katherine O’Connor with indecent exposure.
22-year-old Robb Godshaw was also charged with public nudity, along with another student who says he’s friends with both.
The students are claiming “freedom of expression,” to which we wonder “what idea were the students expressing?”
To his credit, the President of the university Dr. Jared L. Cohon seems to understand what has happened and why they students were charged.
He says in a statement:
The students took part in a campus art event and, in the case of the student who portrayed herself as the Pope, made an artistic statement which proved to be controversial. While I recognize that many found the students’ activities deeply offensive, the university upholds their right to create works of art and express their ideas. But, public nudity is a violation of the law and subject to appropriate action.
From this statement, it seems that President Cohon recognizes there is no right to not be offended by someone else’s speech or expression. Just because someone is offended doesn’t mean the person with the idea has to shut up.
Yet in this case, the expression ran afoul of the law. Once again, from Cohon’s statement:
May 13, 2013
Back in January, we wrote about two companies that had applied for grants through the Department of Energy. The companies, XP Vehicles and Limnia, Inc., had designs for cheap, working electric vehicles and needed only the capital to get the projects off the ground.
In 2008, the Congress passed a bill establishing a $25 billion dollar Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program (ATVM) fund from which the Department of Energy would fund the development of advanced technology cars such as that proposed by XP Vehicles / Limnia. The proposals were going fine until the companies began to feel resistance. They were told that their applications had basically approved, only to find out that the government had a series of never ending questions that both companies answered.
Upon visiting a DOE research center one day, the companies were stunned to find their drawings and presentations being shown to other companies. They contacted the group Cause of Action who filed suit in both Federal court and in District of Columbia court claiming the US government had stolen their proprietary information and intellectual property and gave it to companies that were more politically active and favorable to the current admoinistration.
May 8, 2013
EDITOR’S NOTE: SEE UPDATE LOCATED BELOW
On a plot of land near Washington, D.C. and close to the Potomac River forever rest some of our Nation’s greatest heroes.
The land was originally purchased and owned by George Washington Parke Custis, the grandson of George Washington and son of Washington’s adopted son, John Parke Custis. The estate, whose layout was designed by the same architect who designed the US Capital building, was planned to be a monument to George Washington. In 1802 the first wing of the estate’s mansion was completed.
Custis and his wife passed away in the 1850′s but prior to that the Custis’ only daughter married the son of three time governor of Virginia and Revolutionary War hero “Light Horse Harry” Lee, one Robert E. Lee.
Lee and his wife became legal caretakers of the property and had worked to bring the estate back to its intended glory when the Civil War broke out. Lee was offered command of the Union forces but instead chose to remain loyal to his home state of Virginia.
The US Congress passed a law during the Civil War that the owners of properties must pay their taxes in person, which meant Lee or his wife could ride into DC to pay the taxes and be captured, or not pay them and the property would be confiscated. In 1864, the property was confiscated and was used as a fugitive slave camp as well as a military hospital and cemetery.
After the Civil War, the son of Lee sought to regain the property, claiming the government seized the property without due process and eventually the Supreme Court agreed. The US government and the son came to an agreed upon price and the the grounds of the estate were legally transferred to the US Government.
Today, we know the grounds, buildings and monuments as the Arlington National Cemetery. As we said, it is where we bury the heroes of our country – the men and women who made and help make it great.
Arlington is the final resting place of soldiers, statesmen, astronauts, presidents, Supreme Court Justices, scientists, doctors and others.
It is not the place for terrorists.
May 1, 2013
We wrote the other day concerning a Sacramento, California couple who, concerned for the health of their 5 month old baby, removed him from one hospital where the care was less than stellar and took him to another hospital. The child was then taken by the police and the less than aptly named “Child Protective Services.”
On Monday, a judge ruled the child could be returned to the parents under some rather odd conditions.
Five-month-old Sammy, who was removed from his parents’ custody by Sacramento County Child Protective Services last week, will be transported to Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto, a Sacramento County judge ruled Monday. The baby has been in protective custody at Sutter Memorial Hospital.
The court also ruled Monday the parents must following all medical advice from now on, including not taking their child from Stanford without proper discharge.
A county social worker will make regular house visits to check on Sammy once he is returned home.
So the child was removed from the parents and taken to the same hospital where the child was receiving medication for absolutely no medical reason. That same hospital was then allowed to say “the child was in bad shape,” to a judge, despite another hospital saying the child was medically fit to return home. Does anyone but us think that Sutter Memorial Hospital’s testimony should be viewed as self serving? Why wasn’t the child taken to Kaiser?
(Oh yeah…. because Kaiser had said the child was fine and CPS and Sutter couldn’t allow that to stand.)
Secondly, while we can appreciate the child being taken to and diagnosed at Stanford Medical Center, even if they say “the child is fine and never was in danger,” the child’s parents, Anna and Alex Nikolayev, still have to have CPS visit their home? If there is no finding the child was in danger and the Nikolayev’s had acted appropriately, the state still gets to come “check” on the child? With no cause?
This just seems to be a case where the State of California is looking to prove that a child – even a well cared for and loved child – is not the responsibility of the parents. Ultimately, in California (and in other states) the child belongs to the state.
Lord help us all.
UPDATE TO THE UPDATE!: Lawyers for the couple are stating they are going to file a lawsuit against the hospital, CPS and the police. The police lawsuit may not have legs, but as the hospital and CPS seem to have misrepresented facts and did not follow procedures in this case, they may be in trouble. Of course, if there is a monetary judgement against CPS, that will come out of taxpayer funds instead of the people who are directly responsible for this mess.
Apr 30, 2013
The Tsarnaev family, including the suspected terrorists and their parents, benefited from more than $100,000 in taxpayer-funded assistance — a bonanza ranging from cash and food stamps to Section 8 housing from 2002 to 2012, the Herald has learned.
“The breadth of the benefits the family was receiving was stunning,” said a person with knowledge of documents handed over to a legislative committee today.
The state has handed over more than 500 documents to the 11-member House Post Audit and Oversight Committee, which today met for the first time and plans to call in officials from the Department of Transitional Assistance to testify.
One hundred thousand given to them and they repay the citizens of Boston and the United States by killing three and wounding countless others?
This is beyond despicable.
Apr 28, 2013
This is one of those stories that we hope there is more that is not being told.
Somehow we doubt it.
Alex and Anna Nikolayev of Sacramento, California have a little baby boy named Sammy who has a heart murmur and is under the care of a heart specialist. Recently Sammy exhibited flu-like symptoms and out of concern for the health of their child, the Nikolayevs took Sammy to Sutter Memorial Hospital. While there, they became concerned about the quality and accuracy Sammy was receiving.
One of their specific concerns was that when a nurse was giving Sammy antibiotics, the Nikolayevs asked the nurse what the antibiotics were and what they were for. According to the Nikolayevs, the nurse told them she didn’t know why she was giving Sammy antibiotics or what they were for. The Nikolayevs tracked down a doctor who told them the child shouldn’t be receiving any antibiotics.
At the same time, another doctor told the Nikolayevs that he thought he should operate on Sammy to correct his heart murmur.
Because the doctor’s advice on the operation was against that of their heart specialist and because Sammy was being injected with antibiotics in error, the Nikolayevs took the child from the hospital without a “proper discharge” and immediately took the child to the competitor hospital of Kaiser Permanente. There a doctor examined Sammy who examined and monitored Sammy and eventually told the Nikolayevs there was no reason why Sammy needed to be admitted to the hospital and was medically cleared to go home.
Apr 25, 2013
Okay, “doomed” may be a tad bit strong but we are having trouble understanding this.
Courtesy of our friends over at This Ain’t Hell, comes the story of a NYU student who was a arrested for…..
Oh geez…… we’ll let the New York Post link tell the story:
An NYU psychology student turned his Manhattan dorm room into an air rifle factory and was arrested on illegal
weapons possession raps Monday, law enforcement sources told the Post.
Bernard Goal, 20, was busted after a startled maintenance crew spotted a pair of realistic looking rifles on his bed while he was out and alerted campus security.
Public safety officers swept the Texas native’s room and found four more Airsoft weapons that closely resembled AK-47s and a black Colt carbine rifles, sources said. (emphasis ours)
For those of you who aren’t familiar with “Airsport,” Wikipedia to the rescue:
Airsoft is a sport or recreational activity in which participants eliminate opponents by hitting each other with spherical non-metallic pellets launched via replica firearms.
Gameplay varies in style and composition but often range from short-term skirmishes, organized scenarios, C.Q.B., field, military simulations, or historical reenactments. Combat situations on the battlefield often involve the use of common military tactics to achieve objectives set in each game. Participants typically emulate the tactical equipment and accessories used by modern military and police organizations.
So why was the guy arrested?