Boots & Sabers

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Category: Crime

Abbott Pardons Man Convicted of Killing Violent Protestor

Excellent

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a full pardon Thursday for a former U.S. Army sergeant convicted of murder for fatally shooting an armed demonstrator in 2020 during nationwide protests against police violence and racial injustice.

 

Abbott announced the pardon shortly after the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles announced a unanimous recommendation that Daniel Perry be pardoned and have his firearms rights restored.

 

Perry had been in state prison on a 25-year sentence since his 2023 conviction in the killing of Garrett Foster, and was released shortly after the pardon, a prison spokeswoman said.

Perry, who is white, was working as a ride-share driver when his car approached a demonstration in Austin. Prosecutors said he could have driven away from the confrontation with Foster, a white Air Force veteran who witnesses said never raised his gun.

 

A jury convicted Perry of murder, but Abbott called it a case of self-defense.

 

“Texas has one of the strongest ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws of self-defense that cannot be nullified by a jury or a progressive district attorney,” Abbott said.

Mexican President *hearts* Cartels

Um. okay. This explains a lot.

The claims by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador are clearly at odds with the reality of millions of Mexicans who live in areas dominated by drug cartels. The cartels routinely demand protection payments from local residents and kill or kidnap them if they refuse to pay.

 

A reporter asked López Obrador whether drug cartels behaved well when he visited the township of Badiraguato, Sinaloa — the hometown of imprisoned drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, which he has controversially visited as president about a half dozen times.

“Always!” López Obrador responded, adding that “Sometimes we come upon people who are strange, but respectful.”

 

Continuing on the subject of drug cartels at his morning news briefing, López Obrador said “There is something people should know.”

 

“Fortunately, the attacks that happen in this country generally occur between (criminal) groups,” the president said. “They respect the citizenry.”

 

López Obrador has long refused to directly confront the cartels, who he claims were forced into criminality by a lack of opportunities. His “Hugs, not bullets” strategy offers job training programs for youths so they won’t become cartel gunmen.

Difference Police Response to Protests in TX and CA

Heh

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Police tangled with student demonstrators in Texas and California while new encampments sprouted Wednesday at Harvard and other colleges as school leaders sought ways to defuse a growing wave of pro-Palestinian protests.

 

At the University of Texas at Austin, hundreds of local and state police — including some on horseback and holding batons — clashed with protesters, pushing them off the campus lawn and at one point sending some tumbling into the street. At least 20 demonstrators were taken into custody at the request of university officials and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

 

A photographer covering the demonstration for Fox 7 Austin was arrested after being caught in a push-and-pull between law enforcement and students, the station confirmed. A longtime Texas journalist was knocked down in the mayhem and could be seen bleeding before police helped him to emergency medical staff who bandaged his head.

And at the University of Southern California, police got into a back-and-forth tugging match with protesters over tents, removing several before falling back. At the northern end of California, students were barricaded inside a building for a third day at California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt. The school shut down campus through the weekend and made classes virtual.

Teen Arrested to Thwart School Massacre

It’s good that the police were able to intervene before the teen did something. Clearly this is another isolated, mentally ill teen who needs help.

transgender 18-year-old planned a school shooting because he ‘wanted to be famous’, according to cops who arrested him after finding his 129-page ‘manifesto’.

 

Andrea Ye, whose preferred name is Alex, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with making threats of mass violence after allegedly planning to shoot up Wootton High School in Rockville, Maryland.

 

Police swooped on Ye after finding a ‘manifesto’ written by the teen which they said ‘writes about committing a school shooting, and strategizes how to carry out the act’.

 

In the pages, Ye allegedly wrote that he ‘wants to be famous’ and contemplated targeting an elementary school as ‘little kids make easier targets’.

 

[…]

 

Montgomery County Public Schools told Fox that Ye is an active student at Wootton High School in Rockville but has been attending through a virtual program and hadn’t been on campus physically since 2022.

 

Police reportedly said in court records that Ye’s sex is female but he uses male pronouns.

Geyser to Remain Institutionalized

Good.

WAUKESHA, Wis. — A judge ruled the woman accused of nearly killing her friend 10 years ago to appease the fictional character Slender Man will not be released back into the community. The judge said Morgan Geyser will remain in a mental health institution and continue to get treatment. This comes as the second day of a hearing to see if Geyser could get a conditional release, wrapped up.

Wausau Suddenly Overwhelmed by Homeless People In Winter

Hmmmm… First we hear that little Whitewater is facing a crime wave with social services being overwhelmed by illegal aliens. Now we see that Wausau is being overwhelmed by homeless people. It’s almost as if we have an open border and illegal aliens are finding their way to communities throughout the country.

The Wausau Police Department is requesting an additional two officers as part of a team approach to working with homeless residents, as the number of people without permanent housing surged considerably over the past three months.

“The speed at which unhoused individuals are coming into our community scares me,” he said.

[…]
In his February presentation, Barnes said city workers are shoveling human fecal material from downtown parking ramps on a regular basis.
[…]

Barnes said the homeless situation in Wausau is making policing complicated and reducing the amount of policing that the rest of our community “that pay taxes to have a quality police force” is getting.

Foreign Enemies Look to Exploit U.S.’ Open Border

This doesn’t seem like a problem /s

The US faces a significant threat in Venezuela’s cozy relationship with Iran, with enemy nations using the socialist country as a base in the hemisphere to attack America, experts have warned.

 

Fears are rising over the influence Iran has on Caracas as the two regimes strengthen economic and military ties and grow more hostile towards Washington DC.

 

Last week the FBI Miami launched a manhunt to find Iranian spy Majid Dastjani Farahani, who the government accuses of looking for allies to kill US officials while operating from Venezuela.

 

Meanwhile four Iranians were charged in 2021 for plotting to kidnap dissident journalist Masih Alinejad from Brooklyn before using a speedboat to take her to Tehran via Caracas.

 

Experts warned DailyMail.com the brazen acts and strengthening relationships between dictator Nicolas Maduro and America’s enemies could spell doom in the near future.

 

They said the rich-oil nation is being used as an ‘air bridge’ because it is geopolitical gold dust due to it being just 300 miles from the Miami coast in case any world war erupted.

NY Governor Implements Police State for NYC Subway Riders

The cycle is so predictable… Liberal implements policies that creates more problems.

Liberal implements more policies that deprive citizens of civil rights in effort to combat problems caused by previous policies.

Liberal deploys violent police power to enforce depravation of civil rights.

Liberal demands more money to support violent police power to enforce depravation of civil rights to combat problems caused by liberal policies.

Rinse.

Repeat.

Prediction: Most of the people swept up with weapons on their person are regular New Yorkers who started carrying something for self-defense. Liberals can’t tolerate people taking ownership of their own personal safety.

New York National Guard troops and New York State Police troopers will be deployed into the subway system to help riders feel safe after a spike in transit crime, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Wednesday.

 

The new deployment is in addition to the 1,000 New York City police officers who were ordered to patrol subway lines and do security checks on bags in the nation’s largest transit system last month following an attack on a conductor and other high-profile crimes.

 

[…]

 

Hochul said her plan also includes assigning 1,000 state workers, including 250 state police troopers and Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police members, to assist the NYPD in enhanced baggage checks at heavily trafficked areas of the subway system.

 

“No one heading to their job or to visit family, or to go to a doctor’s appointment should worry that the person sitting next to them possesses a deadly weapon,” Hochul said at a news conference Wednesday.

Thieves Thwarted by Slow Train

Given the crooks’ high speeds and evasive actions, this could have ended a lot worse. I admire the police for using a dog on him instead of shooting him. That’s a lot of unnecessary restraint. And Waukesha is lucky that some kid didn’t get run over during the chase.

WAUKESHA — A group’s plan to steal and resell medicine was derailed when a slow-moving train stopped them during a police pursuit. Four people from Chicago were charged after they allegedly made off with $1,075 worth of medications from the Waukesha Meijer store.

 

Tashyla Ellis, 27; Jamar Humphrey, 23; Rayvontay Hutchins, 30; and Margie Taylor, 29 were charged on Friday in Waukesha County Circuit Court.

 

[…]

 

Officers then pursued the suspects’ vehicle. Ellis, Humphrey, Hutchins, and Taylor were in a white Dodge Durango that fled southbound on Tenny Avenue, turned westbound onto Highway 59 and traveled south on Center Road, evading the pursuing officer who was traveling at 94 MPH. Eventually, the vehicle was blocked by a train after turning eastbound onto Lawnsdale Road. The Durango then turned off the road and got stuck in a marsh less than 100 feet in.

 

Hutchins exited the vehicle and walked forward, following police directions poorly. He appeared to be speaking with someone on his phone. Police suspected that Hutchins was attempting to let the others flee, the complaint said.

 

After multiple instructions to kneel, Hutchins did, then reached for his pocket and retrieved what officers first believed to be a firearm but was actually his phone. K-9 Arko apprehended Hutchins by biting his arm, the complaint said.

This story is also a reminder that another community’s soft on crime policies don’t just impact that community.

Church Shooter’s History of Mental Illness

But it’s the guns

The 2022 child-parent relationship lawsuit filed by Walli Carranza raises multiple concerns about Moreno, who at the time was referred to as Jeffrey. Carranza alleges Moreno was diagnosed multiple times with schizophrenia and had said she was not taking prescribed medications or following treatment recommendations made by her psychiatrist.

Walli Carranza said Moreno had “a history of constantly erratic, paranoid, stalking and mendacious behavior and was diagnosed as exhibiting Munchausen and Munchausen by proxy signs and symptoms.” Munchausen syndrome is when someone fakes illness, abuse or other hardship to gain sympathy or aid. By proxy means they took on someone else’s misfortune as their own.

[…]

“(Moreno) has been investigated four times by Child Protective Services for child abuse and neglect and was found by them to have intentionally harmed her child on at least two occasions,” the suit states.

Weapons and Antisemitic Paraphernalia Found at Church Shooter’s Home

Uh huh.

Bulletproof vests, ammunition, plastic bottles filled with unknown substances, antisemitic books and a white mask that read “Free Gaza Trump” were pulled from the Conroe home of the suspected Lakewood Church shooter, records show.

[…]

Officers also found a book titled “All Remainers are Neo-Nazis.” It’s unclear what the book is referring to, but the term remainers is often used in the United Kingdom to describe people who voted for the country to stay in the European Union. Seven handmade poster signs were found in a trash can, but the warrant does not indicate what they said.

[…]

Conroe police have responded to more than 20 calls since 2019 tied to the address where Moreno lived, records show. The calls ranged in severity from neighbors reporting strange interactions with the woman to one who said Moreno tried to hit her with her vehicle.

Mayorkas Impeached

Good. It’s good to see the House Republican leadership stick with this. Yes, it’s largely symbolic since the Senate will never convict, but when you only control one half of one branch of government, you should still do everything in your power to fight for the American people.

The House of Representatives has narrowly voted to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, making him the first cabinet member to face impeachment in nearly 150 years.

 

Many Republicans blame Mr Mayorkas for an unprecedented influx of migrants at the US-Mexico border.

Cyber Kidnappings on the Rise

I had never heard of such a thing.

Student Kai Zhuang was reported missing by his high school last week and later found “very cold and scared” in a tent in rural Utah after anonymous scammers convinced the 17-year-old to isolate himself, according to local police.

 

Once the teenager was alone in the wilderness, officials said the kidnappers sent a ransom demand and a picture – that Zhuang took of himself – to his parents in China and claimed he had been abducted. Zhuang’s family eventually paid $80,000 (£62,600) to the perpetrators.

 

Experts told the BBC that advancements in technology have made it easier for criminals to pursue cyber kidnapping schemes. While there is no clear data on the number of cases, they said, Zhuang’s experience is not an isolated occurrence.

There have been several cases in which Chinese foreign exchange students in other countries – including Canada and Australia – were coerced into staging their own kidnappings to extort money from relatives, said Dr Maras, who has studied cyber kidnapping cases.

Violence Spreads in West Bend School District

What is going on in West Bend? Kids fight… I get it… but in the space of a week there have been three major incidents of violence in which the police have been called. The Washington County Insider has been covering it and Mark Belling has been trying to get the district administration to pretend, at least, that they are doing something about it.

Story 1:

December 6, 2023 – West Bend, WI – On 12/05/23 at 6:06 p.m. officers were called to Badger Middle School regarding a physical altercation that occurred between a parent and coach at the conclusion of the 8th grade boys’ basketball game.

Story 2:

December 6, 2023 – West Bend, Wi – West Bend Police and the West Bend School District are looking into an incident that reportedly occurred Monday afternoon, December 4, 2023, at Badger Middle School.

[…]

“The Badger police liaison officer was asked to respond to a disturbance in one of the school hallways during dismissal time. The officer determined that two 13-year-old female students were having an argument in the hallway. A 14-year-old male student inserted himself into the argument and struck one of the female students and pushed the other into a locker or a wall.
I’ve watched the video of this attack. It was a vicious punch to the face where a boy slugged a girl.
December 8, 2023 – West Bend, Wi – On Friday, December 8, 2023, at 2:30 p.m., the West Bend Police Department received a report of a fight in progress in the parking lot of the West Bend High Schools (1305 E Decorah Rd). A 14-year-year-old female student, two 15-year-old male students, a 16-year-old female student, and two 16-year-old male students were involved in a physical fight near the bus pickup area during dismissal.
The fight was broken up by school staff, school police officers, and other responding area law enforcement officers. Five subjects were immediately taken into custody on scene. A sixth subject was located shortly after the incident at his residence and taken into custody.
One of the 16-year-old males suffered facial and head injuries and was taken to a local hospital for treatment via ambulance. The 14-year-old female, one of the 15-year-old males, and the 16-year-old female complained of minor injuries and were also taken to a local hospital for treatment via ambulance. All subjects remained in police custody while receiving initial medical treatment.
During the ensuing investigation, one of the initially detained subjects was determined to have been actively trying to stop the fight and was released to his parents. The other five subjects remained in custody until processed through the criminal juvenile intake system.
Three of the five subjects were placed into secure detention on felony charges of Physical Abuse of a Child. The remaining two subjects were processed, released to their parents, and will be facing a felony charge of Physical Abuse of a Child. Additional charges may be forthcoming.

City Officials Ticket Reporter for Asking Too Many Questions

There was a time when the media was filled with 1st Amendment zealots. Rightfully so. Their zealotry has ebbed as they supported the silencing of dissenting voices. If we don’t support rights of people to do and say things we don’t like, then we don’t really support them at all.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) —

 

Officials in a suburban Chicago community have issued municipal citations to a local news reporter for what they say were persistent contacts with city officials seeking comment on treacherous fall flooding.

 

The tickets from Calumet City, a city of 35,000 located 24 miles (39 kilometers) south of Chicago, allege “interference/hampering of city employees” by Hank Sanders, a reporter for the Daily Southtown, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

It’s the latest of several recent First Amendment dust-ups involving city officials and news outlets around the country, following this week’s arrest of a small-town Alabama newspaper publisher and reporter after reporting on a grand jury investigation of a school district, and the August police raid of a newspaper and its publisher’s home in Kansas tied to an apparent dispute a restaurant owner had with the paper.

Death Awaits the Cocaine Hippos

Well then

CNN — 

Pablo Escobar’s notorious “cocaine hippos” are facing a cull, according to a statement from Colombia’s minister of environment and sustainable development Thursday.

The herd, which the Colombian government said currently stands at 169 animals, has rapidly reproduced from the original population of one male and three females the drug kingpin owned as part of his private collection of exotic creatures.

After Escobar’s death in 1993, authorities relocated most of the other animals in the collection, but not the hippos – because they were too difficult to transport. Free from any natural predator, the rising population poses an environmental challenge. If “strong measures” are not taken to control them, the population could boom to “1,000 individuals by 2035,” the statement said.

Student loan repayments restart

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

With October upon us, the well-meaning, morally repugnant, and oft-extended moratorium on student loan repayments has finally come to an end. It is not a crisis. It is a return to normalcy.

 

According to Forbes, borrowers owe $1.75 trillion in student debt, including federal and private loans, or about $28,950 per student. Interestingly, the average debt for just federal loans is $35,210 per borrower, indicating that federal loans are granted much more liberally than private loans. In Wisconsin, the average borrower owes $30,778 in federal student loans.

 

That is a lot of money by any measurement. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that many of the people who owe tens of thousands of dollars for their education are not earning enough money to comfortably pay it back. It is difficult for a person earning $36,754 per year (the average per-capita income in Wisconsin in 2021 according to the U.S. Census Bureau) to fit student loan payments into their monthly budget — especially in Biden’s inflationary economy.

 

Student loans have been around for generations, but the issue has become acute in recent decades because of two aggravating factors. First, the cost of a college education has skyrocketed. Between 1992 and 2022, the inflation-adjusted average cost of college at a four-year public university increased by 26.7% according to College Board. A $50,000 education in 1992 now costs $129,000. Over the same period, inflation-adjusted median household income rose by only 17.6%. The price of higher education has been increasing much faster than students’ ability to pay.

 

The reasons for those increases are myriad. The federalization of student loans made for easy money for universities to tap. They took advantage of students flush with borrowed cash to bloat up their administrations and go on a building binge.

 

Meanwhile, the second aggravating factor is that demand has risen as high schools across America portray a college education as the only viable path to stave off poverty. Instead of portraying the military, the trades, entrepreneurship, or other career paths as equally viable, too many high school teachers and counselors — all college graduates themselves — have culturalized kids to think that anyone without a college degree is lesser.

 

Compounding the misleading culturalization, the abysmally wretched financial education provided in those high schools leave prospective students ill-equipped to evaluate the risk/reward of financing a college degree with debt. Ignorant of the power of compounding interest, too many kids are borrowing tens of thousands of dollars to get a degree with little market value. The result is that they are unable to get jobs after graduation that pay enough to easily pay off the debt.

 

It is true that some people are not getting the value out of their degrees that they had hoped for or were promised. It is true that college costs more than it should. It is true that student loan payments make it more difficult to afford other things and that everything is more expensive than it used to be. It is true that lenders were all too eager to dole out money without any consideration of the degree being pursued or potential future earnings of the graduate.

 

All of these things are true, but it does not absolve the borrowers from the obligation to pay off their own debt. It is not a financial question. It is a moral one. If you borrowed the money, then you must pay it back. To fail to do so makes you a shameful deadbeat and a drain on your family and community. Having a college degree does not make you any less of a loser if you renege on your obligations.

 

Furthermore, nobody wants to hear you whine about your student loans. In 2022, less than 38% of adults 25 and older had at least a bachelor’s degree. Three in five adults in the United States do not have a college degree and did not sign up to pay off the debt of people who have one. Most adults who do have a college degree have either paid off their student loans, are paying off their own student loans, or never took out a loan in the first place. They did not sign up to subsidize deadbeats who do not want to pay off their student loans.

 

The college and student loan system is terribly broken and has led far too many people into borrowing more money than they can easily afford to buy degrees of marginal value. Honor, respect, and dignity demand that the borrowers pay it back as promised.

Victims of AI

We are going to see more of this.

A sleepy town in southern Spain is in shock after it emerged that AI-generated naked images of young local girls had been circulating on social media without their knowledge.

The pictures were created using photos of the targeted girls fully clothed, many of them taken from their own social media accounts.

 

These were then processed by an application that generates an imagined image of the person without clothes on.

 

So far more than 20 girls, aged between 11 and 17, have come forward as victims of the app’s use in or near Almendralejo, in the south-western province of Badajoz.

 

[…]

 

The suspects in the case are aged between 12 and 14. Spanish law does not specifically cover the generation of images of a sexual nature when it involves adults, although the creation of such material using minors could be deemed child pornography.

Another possible charge would be for breaching privacy laws. In Spain, minors can only face criminal charges from the age of 14 upwards.

Some good questions. Clearly, the girls are victims. But is it child porn if the images are fake? What is the appropriate legal sanction, if any, for taking a public image of someone and manipulating it? If the boys had done this by drawing or painting, is it morally different than using AI to create the images? Is it a crime to draw an imagined image of a naked person – adult or child? Our legal infrastructure in the age of AI is woefully behind. The action is clearly disgusting and morally reprehensible, but how should the law deal with it?

Surveillance Society Progresses

Remember that when they set up camera systems and detection technology for one thing, it can be used for other things too.

With decades of failed attempts at gun reform amid the frequency in mass shootings, some have sought alternative solutions through artificial intelligence.

 

The Ocean City School District in New Jersey, as well as the city’s boardwalk, have implemented new technology developed by ZeroEyes, a company that says it uses AI, paired with human experts, to scan camera feeds for guns.

 

“I don’t think anybody should question or be fearful of an artificial intelligence program that’s going to identify an immediate imminent threat of someone being shot or killed. You can’t put a price tag on saving a life,” Jay Prettyman, the police chief in Ocean City, told ABC News.

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