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July 23rd, 2010 | Author:

From a legal standpoint, there can be no rational controversy over building a mosque and Islamic community center near ground zero in Manhattan:

From an emotional viewpoint, many have sounded off, including this tweet from Sarah Palin:

Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in interest of healing

In a subsequent Facebook post, she expanded on her position:

Just days after 9/11, the spiritual leader of the organization that wants to build the mosque, Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf, suggested that blame be placed on the innocents when he stated that the “United States’ policies were an accessory to the crime that happened” and that “in the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the USA.”

While in no way does it justify killing innocent civilians, Rauf has a point if you consider that the U.S. supported bin Laden during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, helping to create Al-Qaeda.

Another appeal to emotion comes in this short video from the The Center for Security Policy:

As a Christian, I can only say, “So what?”  From an eternal viewpoint, a building – whether it’s a mosque or the “9-11 Christian Center”  that is being planned at Ground Zero in retaliation – is no kind of victory.  Both are temporary.  Both will be burned up in the day of the Lord.

As most Americans did, I mourned and cried on 9/11 for the 3,000 souls who were lost, for their families, and for New York.

And I am no fan of Islam.  It’s leading millions of people straight to hell.

But neither am I a fan of religious buildings, whether they’re Islamic, Christian, or Buddhist.  God is not honored by mortar and stone, but by a heart that is cleansed by the blood of Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit, and devoted to Him.

I am appalled that so many American Christians, instead of heeding the words of our Lord to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, are using worldly, emotional tactics to try to control the actions of the lost.  If Christians truly desire to draw others to Christ, they will not force society at large to honor their traditions and their worthless piles of rubble, but will live the faith they profess.

My friend Jim Wetzel summed this all up nicely in a recent post.  He was addressing a different topic, but if you add buildings to his list, he makes this appeal to our faith:

If we really have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us in power, we shouldn’t need a picture embedded in our flesh, or a cross on a chain around our neck, or a bumper sticker, to give evidence to the world; the evidence should be in our deeds, and in our love. Or so it seems to me.

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July 08th, 2010 | Author:

The jury returned its verdict this afternoon, acquitting Johannes Mehserle of murder and voluntary manslaughter charges in the shooting death of Oscar Grant.  Because a gun was involved, he faces 5 to 14 years in prison.  His sentencing is scheduled for August 6th.

Update: Apparently, Eric Holder thinks he can regain some black support for Obama, so the DOJ is sticking their nose in:

The Justice Department has been closely monitoring the state’s investigation and prosecution. The Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the FBI have an open investigation into the fatal shooting and, at the conclusion of the state prosecution, will conduct an independent review of the facts and circumstances to determine whether the evidence warrants federal prosecution. The department’s Community Relations Service will continue to work with community groups and local law enforcement officials to address concerns associated with this matter and other concerns raised in the past.

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Category: news  | Comments off
July 06th, 2010 | Author:

The Army has formally charged Bradley Manning for allegedly releasing the Wikileaks video depicting US Apache pilots gleefully slaughtering Iraqi civilians and a Reuters journalist in 2007.  Among the cornucopia of charges leveled against Manning, most relate to the release of classified information.   The following wording stands out in the official press release, emphasis added:

One specification of violating United States Code Title 18, Section 793, for communicating, transmitting and delivering national defense information to an unauthorized source;

I am hard-pressed to understand how this nation is made safer when documentation of unrepentant, unholy murder is suppressed, but I suppose from the Army’s perspective the video truly is a “national defense” issue.  Look at all the national resources being expended defending the three-year-old, cavalier slaughter of innocents.

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July 02nd, 2010 | Author:

The jury in the trial of Johannes Mehserle is expected to begin deliberations today.   Their options are:

  • second-degree murder in the shooting of Oscar Grant, for “intentionally committing an inherently dangerous act, while knowing it was dangerous and acting with conscious disregard for human life.” Sentence:  25 years to life.
  • voluntary manslaughter,  if they believe “he acted in ‘imperfect self-defense,’ based on an actual but unreasonable belief that he needed to use lethal force.”  Sentence: 6 – 21 years.
  • involuntary manslaughter, if they think “he committed a crime – using excessive force on Grant by deciding to shock him with a Taser – that was not in itself potentially lethal, but became so because of the manner in which it was committed” – i.e., with a gun instead of his Taser. Sentence: 5 to 14 years.
  • acquittal, if they believe he committed no crime.
  • If they choose either form of manslaughter, the judge would have the option of sentencing him to probation instead of prison.

I’m not on this jury.  I’ve only seen the evidence that has been documented publicly, but based on what I have seen, and knowing that plain stupidity was not one of the available charges, I would convict him of  involuntary manslaughter.

I don’t believe he intended to kill Grant.  This video clearly shows his surprise when he heard the report of his gun.  Nonetheless, he was a trained police officer who should have known the difference between a gun and a Taser.  A man is dead because of his stupidity.

Unfortunately, the truly guilty in this case are not on trial.  To my knowledge, there is no case pending against the BART police department.  Mehserle was trained just once, in December of 2008, on how and when to use his Taser.  Mehserle testified that the police department  “left it up to us” to figure out how to carry their Tasers, and did not stress the possibility of confusing the two weapons.  In April of this year, BART temporarily suspended Taser use, subsequently updating their training and policies to conform with federal court rulings.

Neither is there a case pending against the Taser manufacturer, who has erroneously sold these weapons as a “safe” alternative to guns, despite the fact that multiple people have died from their use.  The latest statistics I could find said that 351 people died as a result of being Tased between 2001 and 2008.

More importantly, police in general no longer view themselves as officers charged with keeping the peace in their own communities, but as paramilitary us-against-them organizations.   If they encounter a barking dog, they shoot it.  If one unreliable informant tells them someone has a drug stash they could confiscate to fund their department, they get a no-knock warrant and charge in with their weapons drawn, often shooting the wrong people – including a 7-year-old girl, whose grandmother watched her die. While I’m sure there are still “good cops” out there, their unconditional support of department policies and most any officer who steps over the line makes them just as guilty.

But these issues are not being debated by the jury in the Mehserle case.   Stupid.
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Category: abuse of power, news, police state  | Comments off
April 23rd, 2010 | Author:

Someone very close to the Cressy case messaged me and let me know that the criminal charges against Rick and Margie Cressy were dropped during a meeting between the Montgomery County ADA, the Cressy family, and their lawyer (they were represented by the Home School Legal Defense Association).

Rick and Margie Cressy made international news when Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department arrested them in January for failing to file adequate paperwork with the Fonda Fultonville School District, which is a state regulation, not a law. They were each charged with four counts of endangering the welfare of a child. The ADA opted to drop the criminal charges and refer the matter to family court, where the case has already been disposed of.

Talk about quiet!  After all the media hoopla the Sheriff’s Office generated – particularly Bill Gilston – when the Cressy’s were arrested, you’d think they’d inform everyone that the charges have been dropped.  Hah!  Trina Darling at Examiner.com, who wrote the above, left a comment on one of my previous posts or I still wouldn’t know – and it’s not for lack of trying.

Cressy's pleading 'not guilty' Jan. 27, 2010

Not only did they avoid informing the media, they were careful to not let anyone know what was going on.  After their initial hearing in January when the Cressy’s pleaded  ‘not guilty,’  they were scheduled to appear in court again on March 18th.  I was there – along with people from several other cases – but the Cressy’s weren’t.  I finally asked the court clerk if they were going to appear, and she told me no.  I asked when they had been re-scheduled for, and she claimed complete ignorance.

I’m glad that at least the criminal charges have been dropped.  I hope it was done so quietly because Sheriff Mike Amato and Inv. Bill Gilston are ashamed of themselves.  I hope they apologized to the Cressy’s.

Then again, I’m still hoping the Easter bunny brings me lots of chocolate.

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