Archive for » March, 2010 «

March 31st, 2010 | Author:

[cont'd from The End of the Age 3.24.10]

As I continue this review of the Olivet Discourse, I was curious whether recent war death tolls differed greatly from wars farther back in history.

The only list that I found was on Wikipedia, so take it for what it’s worth, but it seems that man has been very good at killing man throughout history.  While 72 million died in World War II, 100 million died during the Mongol Conquests from 1207 – 1472, so I don’t think we can use Jesus’ first warning in today’s passage as a sign of the end times.  Wars have been continuous throughout history.

The same thing appears to be true of earthquakes and famines and other natural disasters.  While the death toll in Haiti is estimated at 233,000, four other earthquakes going back to Antioch in 526, eclipse that number, so again, I don’t think it’s a “sign of the times.”

(Matthew 24:6-8) You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

Jesus advice on how to deal with all these things is simple: See that you are not frightened. This is a common refrain to God’s people throughout the Bible, and the verse that seems to speak to my heart most clearly on this is Matthew 10:28:

Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

When we fear what man can do to us, I think we have lost our perspective.  We have given man way too much importance, and God way too little.

(Matthew 24:9) Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.

This is the verse that has jumped out at me this week, particularly the last phrase:  you will be hated by all nations because of My name. As Christians in America begin to feel twinges of hate from our secular culture, it occurred to me that this truly could be a “sign of the times.”  If all nations will hate Christians, then there can be no refuge anywhere in the world.  Jesus has told us that America, too, will turn its back on Him and us.

[to be continued]

March 30th, 2010 | Author:

This from Wired Threat Level:

A federal appeals court says three Seattle police officers did not employ excessive force when they repeatedly tasered a visibly pregnant woman for refusing to sign a speeding ticket.

The lawyer representing Malaika Brooks said Monday that the court’s 2-1 decision sanctioned “pain compliance” tactics through a modern-day version of the cattle prod.

“To inflict pain on a person if that person is not doing what the police want that person to do is simply outrageous,” said Eric Zubel, the woman’s attorney. “I cannot say that loud enough.”

Zubel said he would ask the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear Friday’s 2-1 decision that drew a sharp dissent from Judge Marsha Berzon:

“Refusing to sign a speeding ticket was at the time a nonarrestable misdemeanor; now, in Washington, it is not even that. Brooks had no weapons and had not harmed or threatened to harm a soul,” (.pdf) Berzon wrote. “Although she had told the officers she was seven months pregnant, they proceeded to use a Taser on her, not once but three times, causing her to scream with pain and leaving burn marks and permanent scars.”

Bow down, lowly peon, and do what the guys with the weapons tell you … or else.

Category: abuse of power  | 2 Comments
March 29th, 2010 | Author:

An ex-cop named  Schweinsburg wrote a letter to the editor of the Baltimore Sun defending the swat team raid on Cheye Calvo’s house that resulted in the death of his two black labradors.  Radly Balko responded.  Here’s part of an excellent analysis:

If mistakes were made during the operation in Berwyn Heights, then those mistakes were no doubt identified and appropriate training and policy modifications put in place.

If Mr. Schweinsburg had read much at all on Calvo’s story before firing off his letter, he’d know that the most aggravating thing about the raid is that Prince George’s Officials—from County Executive Jack Johnson to Sheriff Michael Jackson—have stubbornly and shamelessly refused to admit that the police made a single mistake. The horrifying lesson to draw from that: It’s perfectly acceptable for the police to barge into a home of an innocent family without first doing any corroborating investigation, shoot and kill the family’s dogs, handcuff the home’s occupants for hours on end, lie about the circumstances leading up to, during, and after the raid, then refuse to turn over any information about the investigation and raid when the wrongly raided family requests to see it. No mistakes were identified because Jackson has determined none were made. No training and policy modifications will be put in place because Jackson doesn’t feel any are appropriate. This is why “micro-managing” SWAT teams is necessary. Because police and public officials have come to the mind-numbing conclusion that something as atrocious as the Calvo raid can occur . . . and yet still believe that no one made any mistakes.

For more reading, here’s an op-ed that Calvo wrote for the Washington Post that starts this way:

I remember thinking, as I kneeled at gunpoint with my hands bound on my living room floor, that there had been a terrible, terrible mistake.

An errant Prince George’s County SWAT team had just forced its way into our home, shot dead our two black Labradors, Payton and Chase, and started ransacking our belongings as part of what would become a four-hour ordeal.

The police found nothing, of course, to connect my family and me to a box of drugs that they had been tracking and had delivered to our front door. The community — of which I am mayor — rallied to our side. A FedEx driver and accomplice were arrested in a drug trafficking scheme. Ultimately, we were cleared of any wrongdoing, but not before the incident drew international outrage.

This was 14 months ago. We have since filed suit, and I am confident that we will find justice more quickly than most.

Yet, I remain captured by the broader implications of the incident. Namely, that my initial take was wrong: It was no accident but rather business as usual that brought the police to — and through — our front door.

In the words of Prince George’s County Sheriff Michael Jackson, whose deputies carried out the assault, “the guys did what they were supposed to do” — acknowledging, almost as an afterthought, that terrorizing innocent citizens in Prince George’s is standard fare. The only difference this time seems to be that the victim was a clean-cut white mayor with community support, resources and a story to tell the media.

Category: abuse of power, Cheye Calvo  | Comments off
March 29th, 2010 | Author:

Remember Cheye Calvo, the mayor of Berwyn Heights, MD, whose home was invaded by a swat team and his two black labradors were shot as they tried to run away?  Or some of the many other dogs that have been killed by police for no good reason?

Well, things are different in Chattanooga.  In case you haven’t seen this video about Winston’s battle with a police car, check it out:

Winston: 1
Police car: 0

Here’s what happened in court:

A pit bull mix in Tennessee has been sentenced to obedience training after his dogged attack on a local police car.

Winston didn’t bite anybody, but he mauled a Chattanooga police car in what might have been a confused attempt to take a bite out of crime. The persistent pooch managed to tear off a section of the front bumper and damage the tires.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that a judge ruled that Winston had been a very bad dog. He was sentenced to obedience and canine good citizen classes, and he’ll have to wear a tag that says he is “potentially dangerous.”

Charges against his owner will be dismissed if the classes are completed successfully.

Owner Nancy Emerling said Winston got out of a fenced-in area at a welding shop March 14.

Maybe it’s time to move to Tennessee.

Category: dog, grins  | Comments off
March 27th, 2010 | Author:

In this country known for the free speech of its citizens, it appears that freedom doesn’t apply to critics of the current regime.  According to Power Line, companies such as Caterpillar, AT&T, Medtronic, and Verizon have each made announcements about the negative effects that Obamacare will have on their businesses,  from health care benefit cuts to massive layoffs.

This apparently has not set well with our masters in Washington, so they’re flexing their muscles and looking for retribution.  Power Line has posted a copy of a letter sent to Randall Stephenson, the President and CEO of AT&T [page 1 and page 2] requesting his “personal testimony” at a hearing of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations in April.  And, oh, by the way.  Bring all your top brass, and send us all your internal documents and accounting methods to prove your statements about the cost of Obamacare.  [Apparently, each of these companies received similar letters.]

In case Mr. Stephenson is too busy running his business to respond, I’ll do it for him.

Dear Mr. Waxman and Mr. Stupak,

I have received your letter of March 26, 2010 requesting my testimony at a hearing on April 21, 2010.  Unfortunately, I must decline your kind invitation as I have a prior commitment that day.  I promised my wife I’d wash the car.

Nor will I be able to send the proprietary documents you requested.  My lawyer has advised me they can’t leave the building without a subpoena.

Further, as President and CEO of AT&T, I will continue to make public the effect that government intervention, including Obamacare, has on our business operations.

Take that, you pompous, supercilious thugs.


Randall Stephenson

President & CEO of AT&T

3.29.10 update:  Letters to Deere, Caterpillar, Verizon, and AT&T have been posted on The Energy & Commerce Subcommittee website.