Seeking Liberty

Liberty is the Fruit from Which All Progress Grows

An Act of Cowardice

In the dictionary next to the word “coward” is a picture of Malik Nidal Hasan.

Yesterday Malik Nidal Hasan opened fire on unarmed American soldiers. He used two handguns to kill 13 people including a civilian police officer and wounded at least 30 more. Today he is himself on a ventilator after being shot during the attack, purportedly by the police officer he killed.

Reports came fast and furious after the shooting. Two other men were brought into custody as suspects, then released. Reports were intiailly that Hasan had died of his wounds. The President called the killings a “horrific act of violence.” Local schools remained locked-down until 6:30pm local time, and the base was finally released from lock-down about 45 minutes later according to televised reports at the time. Read the rest of this entry »


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Shooting at Fort Hood, TX: Tonight we mourn

Malik Nidal Hasan

Malik Nidal Hasan

FAMILY HOTLINE: (254) 288-7570 or 1 (866) 836-2751

At least twelve are dead and thirty more wounded after between one and three gunmen opened fire on US Army soldiers at Fort Hood Texas.  Initial reports are that one gunman is believed to be a US Army Major (who may or may not be dead) and there are two more soldiers in custody on suspicion of being accomplices.

Information is sketchy at the moment, but the base has been locked-down.

Fox News is reporting that a man named Maliq Nadal Hassan Malik Nidal Hasan has been killed ws the shooter.  He was is a 39 year old Major who worked on the base.  Televised reports are that he was vocal in his opposition to being deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.  UPDATE: The latest reports are that he is alive, not dead as previously reported.

Fort Hood is the largest military base, by population, in the United States military.  Approximately 70,000 people work on the base, including 9,000 civilians plus the families of the soldiers.  It is home to two US Army divisions and III-Corps headquarters.

My prayers and heart are with the soldiers and their families.

Fox News has continuing coverage.

Continued updates below the fold: Read the rest of this entry »

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Hate crime legislation makes some more equal than others

Disclaimer: Let me say from the start, I am not homophobic.  My best friend from high school is openly gay.  I have known and been and continue to be friends with many homosexuals.  What you are about to read is not an attack on homosexuals, bisexuals or transgendered people.  It is a critique of the very idea of “hate crimes” legislation, nothing more.

The fact that I must post such a disclaimer is horrifyingly emblematic of our politically correct society.

The Senate passed new “hate crimes” legislation for violent crimes against homosexuals, transgendered people and so forth.  The legislation makes it a Federal crime to make a violent attack on a homosexual, et al, and gives Federal law enforcement the ability to “assist” local law enforcement when dealing with such crimes.

My question is, why is it more important that a criminal attack a person because they are a minority, a woman, or gay, than because the criminal wanted to take their wallet?  In the end, it’s all violent crime.  The crime is the violent act.  The motive is an aspect of the crime, not the crime itself.

In essence, we are criminalizing one form of thought over another.  Not one form of crime, but one form of thought. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: crime, politics, Prejudice, racism, , , , , , , , , , ,

Pirate’s Pleasure


Pirates attacked a French Command and Supply ship, the BCS Somme, apparently mistaking it for a commercial cargo transport. The French ship chased down one of the pirate skiffs and detained its five occupants about an hour after the initial attack, which occurred just after midnight Wednesday, local time.

The Somme is part of the European anti-piracy effort in the Horn of Africa region, carrying supplies for forces there. The ship’s appearance is similar to that of many cargo vessels from a distance, which probably accounts for the pirate’s error.

Piracy has been a major problem off the Somali coast for over two decades. It began as a way to harrass illegal fishing and garbage dumping, but as the Somali government crumbled in the early 1990s the pirates changed to theft, kidnapping and occasionally murder.

Since then, shipping companies have paid ransoms that have escalated from tens of thousands of dollars when the problem first began to millions of dollars today. Pirates, emboldened by the lack of response from the West and the increasing payoff of their illegal actions, have attacked larger and larger ships around the Horn of Africa, as well as parts of Indonesia, the Carribean and other coastlines. Since the end of the Cold War, where American and Soviet resources fueled national militaries and kept piracy largely a minimal nuisance, piracy has exploded into a world-wide problem. Earlier this year the large American ship Maersk Alabama was attacked, the first time in years a large American-registry vessel had been attacked by pirates. That incident lead to a days-long standoff between the American Navy and Somali pirates, who were eventually killed.

Read the rest of this entry »

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A Culture of Failure

Four young men in Chicago were charged with first degree murder in the beating and killing another teenager after a dispute last week. The foursome, Silvonus Shannon, 19, Eugene Riley, 18, Eric Carson, 16, and Eugene Bailey, 18, along with as many as three other suspects, used splintered railroad ties to beat the victim over his head then kicked and punched him when he tried to get back up. At least part of the beating was captured on a cell phone video clip.

Derrion Albert was a sophomore honors student at Christian Fenger Academy High School. His death is the one of dozens of school-aged killings in the past three years in Chicago and the surrounding neighborhoods. Despite a handgun ban inside the city limits and the comparative difficulty in obtaining firearms in Illinois, most of the killings have been shootings within blocks of the school grounds.

At this point it becomes clear that the problem isn’t the guns themselves. This young man was beaten to death, not shot. Seven other teens whose anger and lack of compassion for other living souls was so great that they literally pummeled the life out of him didn’t need guns. They used wooden boards and their own fists.

At least one parent has got it right:

At a Monday vigil at the school, some community members said the solution lies with parents.

“It is our problem. We have to take control of our children,” said Dawn Allen, who attended the vigil where a group of residents tried to force their way into the school before being turned back by police.

The problem does lie with the parents. Too often we blame the instruments of violence and not the violent actors themselves. Instead of holding them accountable for their actions, parents who make excuses for their misbehaving progeny enable those children to grow into bullies and later into criminals. That the age for severe criminal activity seems to be getting younger with each passing year is all the more disturbing.

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Filed under: crime, education, , , , , , , , ,

No Excuse

Roman Polanski accepts recent awardRoman Polanksi, director of Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown was arrested in Zurich over the weekend. Polanksi escaped police custody following a psychiatric evaluation in 1977 after pleading guilty to drugging, raping and sodomizing a 13 year old girl. The actual charge was “unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.”

The international community is aghast:

The Swiss media has rounded on the authorities.

“Switzerland let a guest walk into a nasty trap. We should be ashamed,” said tabloid newspaper, Blick.

Daily paper Le Temps said Switzerland had “shocked film buffs and friends of the arts with its kindly and efficient co-operation with US justice. It has angered Poland and France”.

Other responses have been anger over the age of the crime, 32 years ago. Some say that Polanski has suffered enough, due to the loss of his mother at the Auschwitz concentration camp and the death of his wife, Sharon Tate, at the hands of the Manson family. Others claim he is only the subject of interest because of his fame; any other child rapist would simply be forgotten by now.

These “people” making excuses for Polanski make me sick.

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Filed under: crime, entertainment, , , , , ,

This is the face of racism

Troy Dale West, the accused

Racism has many faces.  Some are subtle, some less so.

Rarely do we see racism so blatant, so destructive as this:

The woman and her daughter were leaving the South Lake Plaza Drive restaurant last Wednesday about 7:30 p.m. as West was heading inside, Capt. James Callaway of the Morrow Police Department said.

The restaurant doorway nearly struck the woman’s daughter, prompting her to tell West, “Sir, you almost hit my daughter with the door, could you please be careful,” Callaway said.

West responded, telling the woman that she needed to watch her daughter and then began yelling racial slurs at her and kicking and punching her in the head, Callaway said.

Witnesses told police the woman kept telling West that she was an Army officer.

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