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Monday, April 19, 2010

RIP baby girl Sofia

I hate reading stories like this. They tend to get a lot of press because the idea is just horrifying and for a lot of people the natural reaction is to demonize the parents because deep down inside they fear that the same thing could have happened to them.

As someone who can be absent-minded at times, it is terrifying to imagine that parents who are generally excellent, loving, attentive parents can have something like this happen to them. Paul and I have already discussed these situations and how we will prevent against them (putting a stuffed animal in the car seat and placing it in the passenger seat when the baby is in the car seat). I cannot imagine the hell that parents who have lived through these types of tragedies must live in for the rest of their lives.

For some reason though, this particular story just doesn't sit right with me. In other cases I've read typically the parents are on their way to work, there is some sort of deviation from normal routines that leads to a tragic, but somewhat understandable (and thus terrifying) ending. In those cases it's understandable that both parents felt as though baby was safe and being cared for. In this case though, it doesn't quite make as much sense. Both parents were home. A seven month old that didn't cry for 12+ hours? That didn't need to be fed or diapered? Obviously I don't have kids but I'm at the age where a lot of people I know are having kids and my understanding is that a 7 month olds DEMAND attention. A lot of attention.

How do Mom and Dad both go to bed at night without even questioning whether or not baby is okay? I get that they are saying she was a light sleeper and so they didn't want to peak in, but still neither asks the other, "So did baby go down easily tonight?" or something along those lines? And stranger still, mom sleeps til 2pm while dad goes off to the gym? What about their two year old? Who was watching her? Neither of these children need to be fed between 11:30pm and 2pm the next day? Again, don't have a two year old but the ones I've been around don't let their parents sleep til 2pm pretty much ever. And infants need to be feed every few hours don't they? There are just so many things wrong with this story, I really hope the police do a careful investigation and their defenders don't simply hide behind the "it could happen to anyone" line...In a lot of these cases I think that's true, but in this case I don't think it could have happened to anyone who was a devoted, vigilant parent.


wingless was still breathing at 8:45 PM - 0 comments

Sunday, March 28, 2010

RIP little man

Deandre Green was two years old. He liked to sing songs, scribble and cars.

He was beaten to death by his mother's (using that word VERY loosely) boyfriend last weekend and his father's family claims that both the police and DCFS were contacted in the months and weeks immediately prior to his murder.

The story is disturbing all the way around, but what particularly struck me was the part where the father brought the baby to the police department in order to report the bruises on his body and he was basically threatened. It sounds like the father, though young, was essentially a responsible father and member of society. He was not some drug dealing lowlife, he had a steady job as a baggage handler and loved his little boy very much. In fact it was his desire to do things the "right" way that tragically led things to unfold the way they did.

Now, I don't usually like to bring race into things, but for some reason in this case I feel that there is a strong possibility that race played a role in what happened. And maybe not just race, but also the age of the father.

Think about it, if he had been a middle-aged white man and he had walked into that police station, do you think he would have been treated the way he was? And if he had, as a middle aged white man he would probably have been enraged by his treatment and demanded to speak to a superior. But, as a young black man I'm sure the fear of having the police not believe him and maybe even somehow turn this around on him was ever-present. Whether rightly or not, I think that many young black men in the US fear the police even if they are not doing anything wrong. Especially in Los Angeles. And maybe that's what happened here?

It makes perfect sense if you look at it through the lens of a young black man in LA, why he didn't push the police once they made it clear they did not believe him. As another commenter noted, this really could have been the moment when it all unraveled...sad..

I don't really have a point. I just found this story to be so incredibly sad...it's unimaginable to me that someone could look into this baby's big beautiful eyes and harm a single hair on his head. I pray for his father and that God will give him some measure of peace - though I'm sure he will be forever haunted by what he might have done to save his son. I hope that someday he will believe none of this is his fault. He did everything right and the system failed him.

I really feel like the failures here fall on the shoulders of Hawthorne police department, DCFS and of course the mother and her scumbag boyfriend.

I'm sure that the last two will rot in hell. I hope sooner, rather than later.

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wingless was still breathing at 7:58 PM - 0 comments

Sunday, February 28, 2010

nothing charming about this story...

Really?? I understand that sometimes divorce happens even when a couple has tried really hard to make things work. But now we're celebrating infidelity too? This couple should be ashamed of themselves. Obviously, though, they are not.

The only redeeming thing about this article is that the majority of the commenters seem just as appalled as I am.

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wingless was still breathing at 6:50 PM - 0 comments

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hit-run victim's weeping brother at arraignment

Oh honey, these sub-humans always plead not guilty.

What I can't understand is why the "woman" (and I use that term very loosely) who instigated the whole thing is out on bail. Shouldn't she be charged with at least accessory to murder or something? Since a murder was committed during the commission of another crime/felony?

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wingless was still breathing at 6:47 PM - 0 comments

Friday, February 19, 2010

do these a-holes ever plead guilty?

I heard about this story from a friend the day after it happened. It's definitely one of those that makes you scratch your head and wonder, what in the hell is this world coming to?

A 15-year-old boy has been charged as an adult in the shooting of a woman driving an ice-cream truck in Vallejo, authorities said...

Kaur, a widow raising three children, was found slumped behind the wheel of a Tony's Ice Cream truck...She had been shot in the chest.

You can tell when you read the comments section of articles about local crime that even people in the bluest area of a dark blue state are getting sick and tired of being preyed upon by thugs and gang bangers that are coddled by a justice system that has been destroyed by the likes of Kamala Harris (San Francisco's alleged district attorney). Granted, this didn't occur in SF (although this and this did) but let's face it, most of the DA's in the Bay Area have the same beliefs about crime and punishment...which is to say they don't really believe in much punishment (see this old case about the Bologna family tragedy - by the way the family is now suing the city and I hope they win).

I'm a bit out of practice with writing about these sorts of things so you'll have to pardon my dust if this doesn't come out quite as eloquently and well-organized as I'd like.

First, I am really glad that the DA in this case has decided to charge the suspect as an adult. As you can probably tell, I've grown pretty cynical of the "justice" system here in the Bay Area so I wouldn't have been that surprised had they decided to charge him as a juvenile. My guess is that this case has received such an outpouring of interest and anger due to the extremely sympathetic victim (immigrant widow working hard to raise her three children on her own) that the DA simply could not do anything but charge as an adult or face certain public wrath.

But I've seen stranger things happen here in the Bay Area, so kudos to the DA for at least getting this right.

I thought it was totally bizarre that some of the commenters (a very very small percentage) seemed to suggest that this kid might somehow be rehabilitated. As though, robbing and shooting the ice cream truck lady could be just a childhood indiscretion, a "mistake" that anyone might make during the adolescence.

Um, I don't know what kind of adolescence those people had but mine certainly didn't include shooting innocent hard working people while committing armed robbery. By fifteen if you don't know this is wrong, I think it's pretty safe to say that you will never know it's wrong.

Going off on a tangent for a moment, I've always wondered why it is that the penalty for attempted murder tends to be lighter than the penalty for murder. To me, if the intent was the same why shouldn't you be penalized just as harshly? You would have killed someone, you just failed at it. Why should you be rewarded for failing? It makes no sense...Like this guy? He should be eligible for the death penalty imho.

Anyway, one of the comments in particular that annoyed me was one where the commenter made some snide remark about wondering where the pro-lifers were to defend this scumbag. Because yes, innocent babies and murderous scumbags, totally the same thing. Why is it that when people argue against the death penalty, liberals never come out and wonder why these same people don't protest abortion? Oh that's right...because to them it's more important to protect thugs who shoot innocent women for a couple bucks than it is to protect innocent babies from being drowned in saline or ripped limb from limb out of the womb. Personally I believe in the death penalty and I dislike the idea of abortion. I think we as a society need to err on the side of protecting innocent life, but I could give a damn about scumbag murderers who don't even deserve to be called human anymore based on their own choices and actions.

I'm praying for Mrs. Kaur to have a speedy and full recovery, and that somehow God will heal the emotional scars that something like this must come with...both for her and her children.

EDITED TO ADD: Unfortunately this article just proves my point about the California no-justice system.

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wingless was still breathing at 7:26 PM - 0 comments

Sunday, November 01, 2009

a good time for an eye for an eye

I really hope the neighborhood ex-cons find these boys before the police do. Although, I suppose if they are tried as adults as it appears they will be, they will meet the same fate in prison anyway (fresh young meat and all). Still, if they want to live "the street life" then perhaps street justice is all they deserve.

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wingless was still breathing at 3:21 PM - 0 comments

Thursday, August 13, 2009

example #3582975325 why unions suck

Only when there is a union involved will relatively highly paid, unskilled workers go on a strike in the middle of an economic downturn. According to this 2005 article, BART station agents and train operators earn an average of $62,774 in wages and $29,412 in benefits, for a total of $92,156. And this was in 2005 so it must be even more now.

Anyone who's ridden BART before can tell you exactly how much skill it takes to be a station agent...none. They literally sit in their booths and you know to be honest, they aren't even there half the time! Most of the time those booths are empty and the station agent is probably off having a cigarette or taking an extended lunch or God only knows what else.

I can't say I know what it takes to be a train operator but I imagine using the word "drive" is an overstatement of what they actually do. It's probably more along the lines of "pulling a lever" or "pushing a button" or something equally as difficult.

I do know that there are a lot of people out of work right now in the Bay Area who would probably love to make even half of what those BART workers are currently making (plus benefits!) and that even with 72 hours notice, the BART workers/unions aren't going to turn public opinion in their favor. A lot of people are taking paycuts right now and don't have much sympathy for people who are whining about pay freezes and are pretty much screwing over the 340,000 people who rely on them to get to their own jobs every day.

What will it take to get all these losers fired and get some people who actually WANT to work in there?

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wingless was still breathing at 4:51 PM - 0 comments

Sunday, August 10, 2008

cry me a river

This article is one of those where the SF Chron writers were clearly going for sympathetic sob story but have totally missed the mark.

It's got all the elements - family who has owned their home for 54 years, two elderly parents suffering from dementia, except oops, little details reveal some less than sympathetic details:

Most foreclosures nowadays are homes purchased just a year or two ago with no money down. But the Gardners' home is different. Joann's parents, Johnnie Gardner, 87, and Estelle, 88, bought the two-bedroom in the Sobrante Park neighborhood in 1954 for $11,500. His salary as an electrician at the Oakland naval shipyard allowed them to make the payments.

But in recent years, Joann and her brother refinanced it several times for increasingly larger amounts.

The final refinance at the end of 2006 left the family owing $454,000. The monthly payments of $3,362 exceeded the household income of $3,144.

What happened to the money from all the refinances?

Gardner can't quite say. Some went to paying off credit cards; some was eaten up in huge loan fees. What is clear is that the family has not made a mortgage payment since December 2006.

Sounds to me like they were using mom and dad's house as their own personal piggy bank. How do you lose track of $454,000? And how much of this money are we really supposed to believe went to fees? Even if they were charged a ridiculous rate like 20% that's still over $350,000...Not to mention they've been living there for free since 2006, pretty ironic that elsewhere in the story they mention how they're getting a $1,500 check for moving out "early."

Since it's SFGate.com there are always some really goofy comments like this one:

impeach_bush 8/10/2008 7:22:39 AM

There should be a law against evicting anyone from a home that has passed through one generation or more. There would also be safeguards in place with regard to using that home for financial gains to just to insure the home would never be repossessed.

Boys and girls, if "impeach_bush" had his way and such a law was indeed enacted, what do the laws of supply and demand say would happen?

Yup, you guessed it, no more loans for anyone who's home has passed through one generation more.

If I didn't know better I would have almost thought it was a sarcastic comment, but given the source, I'm guessing it's a completely serious statement...And that's pretty scary. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this guy is an Obama supporter.

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wingless was still breathing at 9:14 PM - 0 comments

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Slaying suspect once found sanctuary in S.F.

Why am I not surprised?

The man charged with killing a father and two sons on a San Francisco street last month was one of the youths who benefited from the city's long-standing practice of shielding illegal immigrant juveniles who committed felonies from possible deportation, The Chronicle has learned.

Kudos to the Chronicle for continuing to investigate and shine light on this story. There's a lot to dislike about the paper but in this case they are definitely doing the right thing. I know a lot of San Franciscans were worried that this story would fade into memory but I think it really has the potential to be a rallying cry for forcing some common sense onto our city government. Especially in light of this newest development.

At the end of the article, a government lawyer says he "doesn't know" if the killings could have been prevented, but the widow of Tony Bologna (who also lost two of her precious sons) has it exactly right:

Danielle Bologna, however, said that if the government had done its job, the killings of her husband and two sons "would never have happened."

"It was senseless," she said. "And to think they didn't deport him back, knowing that he did not have papers and he was here illegally, it is a big issue.

"They need to take responsibility, the city," Bologna said. "They didn't do anything. ... He should have been deported. This is huge. I'm extremely angry about this."

Any lawyers out there know if she can sue the city for negligence or something along those lines?

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wingless was still breathing at 8:42 AM - 0 comments

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

More good news from San Francisco the liberal "paradise"

Probably the most heart-breaking story I've heard out of this city for, oh, a couple months or so. I don't know how the rest of the country views San Francisco, but I can tell you it is not a safe city. We'll see if the police chief and DA come out from hiding under their desks for this one.

Fifty-one murders in 2008 and counting.

The third victim of a road-rage shooting in San Francisco died Tuesday night, and police released a composite sketch of the gunman and pleaded for the public's help in solving the triple slaying.

Investigators say Anthony Bologna, 48, and his son Michael, 20, were shot and killed following a minor traffic hassle in the Excelsior district, even though the elder Bologna pulled back to allow the gunman's gray Chrysler 300M room to finish a turn onto a narrow street.

After completing the turn, the driver of the car opened fire, killing the elder Bologna and his oldest son at the scene.

The Bologna family has set up two funds (information can be found in this article) so please donate if you can.

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wingless was still breathing at 6:29 PM - 3 comments

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Protesters at their classiest

Why am I not surprised?

Arborists and workers hired by the university dodged human waste and other debris as they cut ropes that ran from one tree to another and removed supplies that protesters had stored in the branches, Mogulof said.

Several workers wearing helmets and protective garments were splashed with urine, as were two UC police officers, Mogulof said. One arborist was hit twice in the face by a tree-dweller, he said.

(emphasis mine)

I think if you only read the parts I bolded you'd think this was a story about monkeys. Protesters are pretty close though I guess.

(Okay, so I guess you'd have to replace the words "human waste" with something more generic like "feces" to really think it was about monkeys, but you get the point!)

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wingless was still breathing at 3:46 PM - 1 comments

Sunday, June 15, 2008

"Turlock man beats a toddler to death, then fights off passersby before being shot by police."

Good lord, this story is absolutely gut wrenching. I spent about four and a half months in Turlock when I was at CSU Stanislaus and it is a great little, small town and I'm sure the people there are absolutely devastated by this. This is the kind of place where people are kind to strangers and hold doors open for each other.

I'm not surprised that it sounds as though several different people tried to help though it was in a remote area and must have all unfolded very quickly. I am surprised that one of the passerby's didn't have a gun (or if they did, didn't use it) since Turlock is a pretty gun friendly neighborhood. Maybe that baby would have had a chance...

Rest in peace little one...

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wingless was still breathing at 8:14 PM - 0 comments

Monday, May 12, 2008

reminder that sometimes a blurb is all you need

This story is so depressing, that your first instinct is to hope it's made up. My heart and prayers go out to the family, especially that poor mother. To discover your daughter's body and your son to be a in a horrible car crash...both on Mother's Day. Ugh. Cannot imagine how (or if) she must be coping right now...


wingless was still breathing at 3:46 PM - 0 comments

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Shocker: The guy is a personal injury attorney

I read about the TB infected traveler a few days ago and while the blogosphere is rightly upset over the incompetence of the border patrol agent who let the guy in, what really struck me was what a selfish bastard the guy who was infected is.

"We're sitting in a hotel room in Italy and we're looking at each other and we're on our honeymoon and the authorities are coming in hours," the man recalled. They made the decision to run.

Are we supposed to feel sorry for him because he was on his honeymoon? Cry me a frickin river buddy, the people I feel bad for are the hundreds you selfishly subjected to your disease because poor wittle you didn't want to be in quarantine in Italy. Why does it not surprise me that this guy is a lawyer? I hope that he is severely punished and, if possible, disbarred or something so that people realize that even if the government is too incompetent to actually keep you from getting on a plane and put hundreds of lives at risk, we as individuals still have a responsibility to do the right thing.

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wingless was still breathing at 6:30 PM - 1 comments

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