Boots & Sabers

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Category: Crime

April ballot gets even more important

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News last week:

Wisconsin’s April election is shaping up to be one of the most important spring elections in decades. Not only is there an election for the state Supreme Court that will decide whether the court retains its majority of constitutional conservatives or flip to an activist tool of leftists ideologues, but the Legislature has placed two important referendums on the ballot for the voters’ consideration.

 

The first referendum is an advisory referendum regarding work requirements for welfare recipients.

 

The question put to voters is simply, “Shall able-bodied, childless adults be required to look for work in order to receive taxpayer-funded welfare benefits?”

 

The referendum is only advisory, so it is more akin to a broad opinion poll of Wisconsin’s voters. The impetus for the referendum is to bolster support for planned Republican efforts to enforce welfare work requirements. Since Gov. Tommy Thompson implemented Wisconsin Works in 1996 which required welfare recipients to work or seek work and broke the cycle of dependency for thousands of Wisconsinites, the enforcement of the work requirement has eroded.

 

Gov. Tony Evers has used the pandemic to waive work requirements for some welfare programs despite continued low unemployment and Wisconsin businesses being unable to fill open jobs. There are ample opportunities to work for those who are willing, but Evers is using the pandemic as an excuse to stop enforcing a law that he opposes. As Republicans prepare legislation to reinstate work requirements for welfare recipients, they are hoping, probably in vain, that a strong show of public support will encourage Evers to agree.

 

The second statewide referendum on the April ballot is far more important. Article 1, Section 8(2) of Wisconsin’s Constitution currently prohibits judges from considering anything other than what it will take to ensure that a defendant will appear in court when setting a bail amount. The result of this prohibition has been that judges are hamstrung into granting low bail to defendants even when there is a glaring risk that the defendant will commit more carnage before their court date.

 

Way too many Wisconsinites have been victimized by criminals who were out of jail because of grossly low bail.

 

The referendum on the ballot asks the voters to amend the Constitution to allow judges to consider, “the totality of the circumstances, including the accused’s previous convictions for a violent crime, the probability that the accused will fail to appear, the need to protect the community from serious harm and prevent witness intimidation, and potential affirmative defenses” when setting bail for someone accused of a violent crime.

 

This is the final step in the process to amend the state Constitution. The identical question has been passed by two successive sessions of the Legislature and now the question goes to the voters for final approval. The governor does not have any role in the constitutional amendment process. Noteworthy is the fact that the question passed with bipartisan support in both houses of the Legislature in both legislative sessions.

 

If the amendment passes, it does not mean that Wisconsin judges will use their newly granted latitude to impose appropriately high bail for defendants who have a history of habitual thuggery. There are far too many leftist judges on the bench who will continue to coddle crooks with low bail. If Wisconsinites want to keep more violent offenders off the streets for longer, they will have to get to the polls and elect better judges. But the good judges will use their new power to protect Wisconsinites with higher bail for violent criminals and Wisconsin will be better for their diligence.

 

Wisconsinites who want a safer Wisconsin that takes crime seriously should vote “yes” to amend the state Constitution. Then they should vote for the conservative Supreme Court candidate to affirm their anticrime convictions.

April ballot gets even more important

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

Wisconsin’s April election is shaping up to be one of the most important spring elections in decades. Not only is there an election for the state Supreme Court that will decide whether the court retains its majority of constitutional conservatives or flip to an activist tool of leftists ideologues, but the Legislature has placed two important referendums on the ballot for the voters’ consideration.

 

[…]

 

The second statewide referendum on the April ballot is far more important. Article 1, Section 8(2) of Wisconsin’s Constitution currently prohibits judges from considering anything other than what it will take to ensure that a defendant will appear in court when setting a bail amount. The result of this prohibition has been that judges are hamstrung into granting low bail to defendants even when there is a glaring risk that the defendant will commit more carnage before their court date.

 

Way too many Wisconsinites have been victimized by criminals who were out of jail because of grossly low bail.

 

The referendum on the ballot asks the voters to amend the Constitution to allow judges to consider, “the totality of the circumstances, including the accused’s previous convictions for a violent crime, the probability that the accused will fail to appear, the need to protect the community from serious harm and prevent witness intimidation, and potential affirmative defenses” when setting bail for someone accused of a violent crime.

 

If the amendment passes, it does not mean that Wisconsin judges will use their newly granted latitude to impose appropriately high bail for defendants who have a history of habitual thuggery. There are far too many leftist judges on the bench who will continue to coddle crooks with low bail. If Wisconsinites want to keep more violent offenders off the streets for longer, they will have to get to the polls and elect better judges. But the good judges will use their new power to protect Wisconsinites with higher bail for violent criminals and Wisconsin will be better for their diligence.

Land’s End Embraces Gen X

I’m glad to see them recognize their blunder and return to their core value.

Most retailers are tripping over themselves to stay relevant by courting younger Millennial and Gen Z shoppers. Not Lands’ End.

As it looks to grow its customer base, Lands’ End is bucking the trend by purposely embracing the “forgotten generation,” Gen Xers.

[…]

“There was a strategy at a point in time where we were going to bring in Millennials,” Lands’ End CEO Jerome Griffith, who is retiring at the end of January, said at the ICR conference last week. “It didn’t fly with our customers.”

In a rush to grab the attention of younger consumersthe retailer stumbled and made fashion missteps. Sales tumbled as its core older shoppers were put off by stylish dresses and high-heeled party shoes showing up next to the comfort clothing embraced by moms and dads.

“So we said, you know what, we have this neat generation of customers right behind baby boomers, the Gen Xers. As we go out to look for new consumers, let’s go after them,” he said.

Charges Dropped Against White Claw Bandit

Since we’re talking about Texas crime.

A grand jury has dropped charges against a Texas man who threw unopened cans of White Claw at Ted Cruz during an Astros World Series parade in Houston.

 

A charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against Joseph Halm Arcidiacono, 33, was dismissed on Friday, according to a court filing obtained by the Houston Chronicle.

 

Mr Arcidiacono was arrested after he approached a police barricade during the Astros victory parade in downtown Houston on 7 November last year and threw two cans of the hard seltzer at the Texas senator.

 

Mr Cruz was standing on a float alongside military veterans and was struck in the chest and neck, Houston police said at the time.

 

[…]

 

Footage of the incident went viral on Twitter, prompting a response from Mr Cruz.

 

“As always I’m thankful for the Houston Police and Capitol Police for their quick action.

 

“I’m also thankful that the clown who threw his White Claw had a noodle for an arm.”

Customer Kills Armed Robber

We need more crooks to meet a firm resistance to deter them.

A customer fatally shot a robber in the head after he held up a Texas restaurant with a fake gun – and police are now searching for the vigilante who helped get the stolen money back to the patrons.

 

The robber, believed to be in his 20s, entered Ranchito #4 Taqueria in southwest Houston on Thursday night wearing a black ski mask and gloves before ambushing 10 customers and demanding their money at gunpoint.

 

Footage shows the shouting man wave what is believed to be a pistol around the restaurant, while customers drop to the ground and hand over their belongings.

 

But as the man headed towards the door, one of the patrons – described by police as either white or Hispanic – produced his own gun and shot the robber.

 

He fired nine times – one of which was in the head – causing him to collapse to the ground. The customer, wearing a grey t-shirt and jeans, then collected the stolen money and cellphones and started handing it back to the people they were taken from.

 

[…]

 

‘The shooter collected the stolen money from the suspect and returned the money to other patrons. He and other patrons (victims) then fled the scene.’

A couple of notes. First, nobody knew that the bad guy had a toy gun until after the fact. Play stupid games. Win stupid prizes. Second, I’ve watched the video (follow the link) and it is not clear that the bad guy is heading for the door. He was pointing that direction, but he had also been roving the small restaurant during the commission of the crime. There is not any indication that he was done.

Notice how the media includes those points of interest as key elements of the story as if to portray the shooting as inappropriate. They try to paint the impression of, “down-on-his-luck guy is killed even though he only had a toy gun and was leaving, thus no threat to anyone”

But… this is Texas:

Former Houston police officer, now lawyer, Thomas Nixon said: ‘The person he shot was in the process of committing robbery and consequently his use of force in defense of himself and innocent third parties is completely justified in Texas.

 

‘He was reasonably in fear of serious bodily injury or death.’

 

Nathan Beedle with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office believes that the shooting was justified, adding: ‘I can point you exactly where it is in the law, 9.31 and 9.32 of the penal code.

 

‘Whether someone uses deadly force in the situation, that is presumed to be correct under Texas law.’

 

Murderer to Be Executed

With all of the focus on the murderer’s issues, let’s not forget the victim.

The petition also includes reports citing a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, a condition that causes anguish and other symptoms as a result of a disparity between a person’s gender identity and their assigned sex at birth.

“We think Amber has demonstrated incredible courage because I can tell you there’s a lot of hate when it comes to that issue,” her attorney, Larry Komp, said Monday. But, he said, McLaughlin’s sexual identity is “not the main focus” of the clemency request.

 

[…]

 

Before transitioning, McLaughlin was in a relationship with girlfriend Beverly Guenther. McLaughlin would show up at the suburban St. Louis office where the 45-year-old Guenther worked, sometimes hiding inside the building, according to court records. Guenther obtained a restraining order, and police officers occasionally escorted her to her car after work.

 

Guenther’s neighbors called police the night of Nov. 20, 2003, when she failed to return home. Officers went to the office building, where they found a broken knife handle near her car and a trail of blood. A day later, McLaughlin led police to a location near the Mississippi River in St. Louis, where the body had been dumped.

Former Teacher Sentenced to Community Service for Injecting Minor

Couple comments...

MINEOLA, N.Y. — A former Long Island high school teacher accused of injecting a teen with a COVID-19 vaccine at her home without his parents’ knowledge pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was sentenced to community service and probation, avoiding a felony charge that could have sent her to prison.

 

Laura Parker Russo, 55, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of attempting the unauthorized practice of medicine when she appeared in a courtroom in Mineola, New York, on Friday. She also pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.

 

Russo was arrested at the beginning of January, and authorities accused her of giving the 17-year-old, the son of someone she knew, a vaccine dose. Newsday reported that Russo later testified in a hearing over her job that she got the dose when a pharmacist gave her expiring doses after she asked for an empty vial to use as a Christmas ornament.

 

Authorities said the teen later told his parents, who called police. Prosecutors had initially charged her with the unauthorized practice of profession, a felony with a penalty of up to four years in prison.

First, the sentence is too light. I’m okay with the plea to the lesser charge, but she still should spend time behind bars. This hubris where teachers take it upon themselves to make life-altering decisions about kids without the kids’ parents’ knowledge is reprehensible. It must be deterred.

Second, this applies to kids who are dealing with mental disorders, physical medical issues, depression, gender dysphoria, or anything else. Teachers and other hired professionals must never exclude parents from decisions about their children.

Legal Weed Fueling Rise in Violent Crime and Human Trafficking

As predicted by so many

The marijuana black market has continued to thrive to the point where legitimate growers and sellers are struggling to stay afloat in areas of the country awash in illegal weed. In California, for example, the illegal weed market is “indisputably many times larger than the licensed community,” according to an analysis from the Los Angeles Times. That same report found that unlicensed farms outnumbered legal operations by as much as 10 to 1 in the state’s biggest cultivation areas.

 

Other states that have legalized recreational pot use, including Oregon and Colorado, have faced similar challenges. New York has grappled with a booming “gray market” of unlicensed weed sellers that emerged as the state worked to set up its new system for legal retailers. Other nations that have legalized pot like Canada and Thailand have faced similar challenges.

 

The thriving marijuana black market isn’t just harming legitimate sellers trying to compete. The proliferation of illegal pot farms has also brought with it a surge in violent crime, human trafficking and severe environmental damage in the areas where unlicensed growing is concentrated. States are also missing out on hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue when weed sales happen outside the legitimate market.

NYC Focuses on Mentally Ill

Credit where credit is due, this is the direction to go.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams late last month announced a new push to remove people with mental illness from the city’s streets, an effort he said would include hospitalizing some homeless people against their will.

 

Under the new city policy, law enforcement will have the power to detain any person who “appears to be mentally ill” and is deemed to pose a threat to themselves or others into custody and force them to undergo psychiatric evaluation at a local hospital.

 

Like many major cities in the United States, New York has dealt with a persistently high rate of homelessness in recent decades. Although the image of a person with schizophrenia talking to themselves on a street corner might sum up homelessness in the eyes of many members of the public, the relationship between homelessness and mental health is complex. Research shows that most homeless people do not have a severe mental illness, but the mentally ill are often the focus of debates around the issue because they are more visible and often raise concerns about public safety. There is also a lot of debate among experts about how many become homeless because they have psychiatric disorders versus how much the trauma of living on the streets causes or exacerbates mental illness.

I’m always wary about police power to make these kinds of determinations. It could easily be abused. But we also need to at least have a way to initiate a process to both (a) get the mentally ill off of the streets, and (b) get them the help they need. Once we do that, the majority of the remaining homeless are drug addicts, homeless by choice, or both.

Sam Bankman-Fried Arrested

It’s about time.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the embattled former CEO of cryptocurrency giant FTX and trading firm Alameda Research, was arrested Monday in the Bahamas after federal prosecutors in New York filed criminal charges contained in a sealed indictment, according to the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

The specific charges are expected to be unsealed Tuesday, according to Damian Williams, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

In a statement, Williams said: “Earlier this evening, Bahamian authorities arrested Samuel Bankman-Fried at the request of the U.S. government, based on a sealed indictment filed by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. We expect to move to unseal the indictment in the morning and will have more to say at that time.”

Sam Bankman-Fried Wants to Start New Business

Anyone who gives this lying crook any money is a fool.

Disgraced crypto boss Sam Bankman-Fried says he hopes to start a new business to make enough money to pay back victims of the FTX collapse.

The 30-year-old faces several federal investigations into his former company’s handling of funds.

Speaking in a luxury complex in the Bahamas, the former billionaire denies fraud but says he was “not nearly as competent as I thought I was”.

Audit Finds 46.6% Error/Fraud Rate in COVID Grant Awards

This is just a scratch of the surface.

We performed a detailed review of 87 program grants totaling $805,000, including 61 small business grants and 26 restaurant grants. Our detailed review found that DOR did not follow the written eligibility requirements for 25 program grants totaling $375,000,

This was a limited scope review of just a couple of the COVID slush funds. Notice that in this case, they were just checking to see if the DOR actually enforced the eligibility requirements before awarding grants. Almost half the time, they didn’t. In other words, some DOR bureaucrat waived through the application and sent cash to people who weren’t even eligible.

This audit doesn’t even look into how many of those recipients lied on their applications or committed other fraud in order to get the money. For example, this is suspicious:

Our detailed review found that DOR awarded a total of $15,000 in three program grants to three small businesses that began operating in 2020 and had annual revenue that ranged from $1,200 to $4,200, which was less than the $10,000 minimum specified in the agreement. DOR indicated it:

Begun in 2020, eh? Could it be that these folks founded a fake company, threw a little cash into it, and applied to get the free COVID money? How many of these businesses continued operating after getting the money?

I know that we already knew it, but every audit of the COVID handouts confirms again that the entire operation was riddled with fraud, corruption, and incompetence. It’s possible that the COVID relief funds will prove to be the greatest transfer of wealth from American taxpayers to global criminals in the history of mankind. And politicians patted themselves on the backs with every dollar spent.

Sam Bankman-Fried Comes Out of Hiding to Lie Some More

Yeah, I don’t believe a word.

He denied having moved any personal money out of FTX himself – saying he now has “close to nothing.”

Speaking from The Bahamas, he said he had one credit card left which had around $100,000 on it.

 

In the interview he said he had not deliberately misled investors.

 

“I didn’t ever try to commit fraud,” he said.

 

However, asked several times about details of money movements between FTX and other entities, including the trading firm he owned, Alameda Research, he at times seemed sketchy in detail.

He also said the company had indulged in “greenwashing” where firms engage in environmental projects for publicity.

Celebrated Government Bureaucrat Indicted for Felony Theft

Wow. Check out the details of the charge. This is an immoral person who should not be trusted. As a federal civil servant, will he keep his new job? Probably.

Law enforcement at the Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) International Airport were alerted to a missing suitcase in the baggage claim area on Sept. 16. The adult female victim said she flew into MSP on a Delta flight from New Orleans and went to retrieve her checked bag at carousel seven.

 

Airport records confirmed the navy blue Vera Bradley roller bag arrived at 4:40 p.m. but was missing from the carousel. So law enforcement reviewed video surveillance footage from the baggage claim area and observed Brinton removing a navy blue roller bag from carousel seven, according to a criminal complaint.

 

The complaint says Brinton removed a luggage tag from the bag, placed it into a handbag he was carrying, and “then left the area at a quick pace.” Brinton arrived at MSP Airport around 4:27 p.m. on an American Airlines flight from Washington, D.C., but did not check a bag, meaning he had no reason to visit baggage claim, according to the complaint.

Sam Brinton/Department of Energy

 

Police showed the surveillance video to the victim and she confirmed it was her bag.

 

Brinton left the airport in an Uber for a stay at the InterContinental St. Paul Riverfront hotel, where he checked in with the blue bag, the complaint says.

 

He returned to MSP on Sept. 18 with the bag in hand for a departing flight back to Washington, D.C., authorities allege.

 

Surveillance video from Dulles International Airport shows Brinton traveling with the bag on an Oct. 9 return trip from Europe, the complaint notes.

 

The victim said the estimated value of the bag and its contents was around $2,325.

 

Police questioned Brinton about the missing bag in an Oct. 9 phone call and asked him directly if he “took anything that did not belong” to him.

 

“Not that I know of,” Brinton allegedly responded. He later admitted to taking the bag but said the clothes inside were his, according to the complaint.

 

“If I had taken the wrong bag, I am happy to return it, but I don’t have any clothes for another individual. That was my clothes when I opened the bag,” he told police, according to the complaint.

 

Brinton allegedly called the investigating officer two hours later and apologized for not being “completely honest.” This time Brinton said he took the bag because he was tired and thought it was his, the complaint says.

 

He allegedly told police that he realized the bag didn’t belong to him when he opened it up at the hotel but “got nervous” and didn’t “know what to do.” Worried that people would think he “stole the bag,” Brinton told police he left the victim’s clothes in the drawers in the hotel room, according to the complaint.

 

Brinton said he brought the bag back to D.C. with him because it would have been “weirder” to leave a bag in the hotel room, according to police.

 

Police told Brinton how to return the bag to Delta, but as of Oct. 27 the victim still had not received her bag back.

 

Police also learned that no clothing was recovered from the hotel room.

Darrell Brooks Sentenced to Millenium

I watched way more of this trial than I care to admit, but it was truly a view into an evil criminal mind. May we never hear his voice again.

“This community can only be safe if you are behind bars for the rest of your life,” Judge Jennifer Dorow said in announcing her sentencing for the six counts of first-degree intentional homicide, which she said will be served consecutively.

 

On 60 counts of recklessly endangering safety, Brooks was sentenced to 17.5 years for each count — amounting to 762.5 years of initial confinement, plus 305 years of extended supervision, on top of the six life sentences, Dorow said.

 

The judge acknowledged that the sentencing was “largely symbolic,” but that “it needs to hold you accountable in a very real and tangible way.”

Construction Halted After Noose Found at Obama Site

So

A noose was discovered at the site of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park on Thursday morning, according to the group overseeing the center’s construction.

“This morning, we were informed that an act of hate was discovered at the project site,” Lakeside Alliance said in a statement, adding that operations on the site have been suspended. “We reported the incident to the police and will provide any assistance required to identify those responsible.”

 

The circumstances of the discovery weren’t clear. Chicago police didn’t immediately respond to a request for details.

 

[…]

Lakeside Alliance said it was offering a $100,000 reward for help in finding those responsible for “this shameful act.” It is also holding anti-bias training for staff and workers.

First, there’s a 96% chance that this is a hoax. The last 20 years has shown us that this kind of stuff is almost always a hoax.

Second, isn’t the reaction waaaaaaay out of proportion? Let’s say that a worker found a noose and it isn’t a hoax. What is a reasonable response? Maybe call the cops to report it and then go on with your day? Or perhaps just throw it away and get on with your day? But is it really a reasonable response to halt construction, offer a $100k reward, force all employees into sensitivity training, and have the mayor and governor weigh in? How many LEO resources will be committed to this investigation compared to the murders and assaults happening nightly down the street?

Ridiculous.

Flaming Liberal Spreads Hate in Hoax

Have you noticed how (1) rare that this kind of hate is real, and (2) how often it is a hoax perpetrated by a lefty?

WEST BEND — Michael J. Miecielica, a 38-year-old West Bend man, has been charged for allegedly posting in downtown West Bend notes containing hate speech and threats to Democratic candidates in the Wisconsin gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races, as well as sending notes via email to Senator Ron Johnson’s campaign, on Monday.

 

Miecielica was charged with three counts of disorderly conduct and two counts of computer message- threaten/obscenity by the Washington County District Attorney’s office on Thursday. Each charge is a Class B misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty upon conviction of a $1,000 fine, 90 days’ imprisonment or both.

 

[…]

 

According to the criminal complaint, Miecielica’s alleged notes contained slurs about the African American, Latin American, Jewish and LGBTQ+ communities and women, as well as referencing hanging Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes from a tree.

 

The notes allegedly contained “88,” which is meant to represent “HH” for “Heil Hitler,” and “14 Words,” which represents a white nationalist slogan about securing a future for white children.

 

According to the criminal complaint, Miecielica claimed that “he was exercising his 1st Amendment Right and said the messages were not what he personally believed in. The defendant said he was a ‘flaming liberal’ and identified as LGBT. The defendant said his intention was to cause a ‘dust up’ to hurt Republicans.”

 

According to the complaint, Miecielica also stated he had a “Master’s Degree in philosophy, so he knew he did not cross the line with his messages.”

Victims Voice Vengeance

Ouch

For hours, parents, wives, siblings, children and some of the 17 Cruz also wounded stood 20ft from him. They looked the shackled killer in the eye and gave vehement, angry and sometimes tearful statements.

 

Most decried that his jury voted 9-3 for death but did not reach the unanimity required under state law for that sentence to be imposed.

 

Cruz, 24, stared back, dressed in a bright red jail jumpsuit, showing no emotion behind a face mask. The two-day hearing will conclude on Wednesday when the judge, Elizabeth Scherer, formally sentences Cruz to life without parole.

 

“This creature has no redeemable value,” said Max Schachter, whose 14-year-old son Alex died when he was shot through a classroom window.

 

Speaking at Cruz but refusing to say his name, Schachter said he hoped “other prisoners you will encounter in your new life will inflict that pain upon you, hopefully 17 times over again, until you are screaming for mercy, just like your victims”.

 

Schachter said it was his birthday and that when he blew out his candles he would wish Cruz a painful death – and would every year until it happens.

Bidens’ Ties to Russia and China

For all of the finger wagging about people who have ties to Russia or China, it is glaringly clear that the Biden family has been engaging in crooked deals with the two totalitarian regimes for years. It is foolish to not at least consider that our President may have been involved even if he isn’t today. For all of Joe Biden’s faults, he has a long history of loving and supporting his kids. Is it too much of a stretch to think that he might have thrown his influence around on their behalf for foreigners?

Newly unearthed photos show the Biden family’s Chinese business partner meeting with Vladimir Putin.

 

Zang Jianjun was executive director of Chinese oil giant CEFC, which partnered with Joe Biden‘s brother Jim and son Hunter on a deal that earned the First Family millions of dollars.

 

Text messages obtained by DailyMail.com reveal Zang was in close contact with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and that the Chinese leader gave the green light for his partnership with the Bidens.

 

Zang even traveled to Moscow with Xi and met with Putin while brokering a massive $9.1billion deal to buy a share of the Russian state-owned oil firm Rosneft in 2017.

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