Iraq: Mercenaries And Murder

While Americans were breathing a sigh of relief over their waning fear of Ebola…..BAM!  We have something else to clog the airways with endless hours of trivial bullshit…..the armed attack on Canada’s Parliament building…..the shooting was horrific….what followed afterwards is trivial filler.

But while you were sitting on the edge of your seat there was another news item that will be little reported.

The murder of Iraqi civilians by American mercenaries, oh my bad….American security consultants in 2007…….

.Four former Blackwater security contractors were convicted today in federal court for a 2007 mass shooting in Baghdad that left Iraqi civilians dead, the AP reports. (Some accounts cite an original death toll of 14, but the BBC notes that an Iraqi investigation later raised the total to 17; about the same number were injured.) Nicholas Slatten was found guilty of first-degree murder, while Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, and Dustin Heard were found guilty of voluntary manslaughter, attempted manslaughter, and gun charges. The defense had claimed its clients were acting in self-defense after insurgents and Iraqi cops shot at them, while prosecutors painted a picture of the guards having a “low regard and deep hostility toward Iraqi civilians,” as the AP describes it.

The defendants were ordered to jail immediately. Slatten faces life in prison and the others long stretches, but all are expected to appeal. On the day of the Sept. 16, 2007, shootings in Nisur Square, Blackwater guards were trying to clear the way for a State Department convoy before shots rang out, Reuters reports. There was “gunfire coming from the left, gunfire coming from the right,” as hundreds of Iraqi people in the square fled, a prosecutor said in closing arguments. The case incited Iraqi outrage and anti-American feelings around the world and made some question what rules government-employed security contractors had to follow overseas, Reuters notes. (Not surprisingly, Blackwater isn’t known as Blackwater anymore.)

I have been a very vocal opponent of these so-called private security companies, which in reality is a bunch of highly paid mercenaries….who act like they are not to be held accountable….that they are above the law.

There should be NO need for private security firms……it is solely to drive large profits to private hands.

These, especially Blackwater, are private armies…I am sure there should be some sort of constitutional thing concern this situation….

Anyway….did anyone see the movie 7 Days in May?  Maybe you read the book?  If not may I suggest that you do so and see what I am talking about…..okay?

The Old College Try

My days at college was when students were leading the way to social justice and cultural change and along the way we were faced down by police and national guard and sometimes a few campus security were part of the coalition of the willing to beat down the students.

Today we have students that are willing to protest to the point of arrest and jail…….but are they willing to demostrate and face down the federal government?  Or at least a militarized campus security?

It’s not just municipal police forces that have obtained military-style weaponry through a federal program: Modified grenade launchers and M-16 rifles are on college campuses, too, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports. The publication finds that 117 colleges have received equipment thanks to a federal system called the 1033 program. The program, which lawmakers and President Obama are reassessing following events in Ferguson, Mo., provides the equipment to colleges for free; the educational institutions just have to pay the shipping costs, the Chronicle notes.

The University of Central Florida has a modified grenade launcher intended to shoot tear-gas canisters; Hinds Community College, in Mississippi, also has a grenade launcher. At least 60 schools have M-16 assault rifles, and Ohio State has an armored vehicle. The 1033 program “is a force multiplier for us,” says the head of both Florida State’s police and an international campus police group, citing understaffing. “We are not given budgets comparable to some large cities and municipalities, so we need to find ways to make it reach.” But other campus figures question the system; click for the Chronicle‘s full report.

Granted we have a few whackos that want to shoot up the campus or a few that go on some crime spree like smoking dope…..but does any of that justify the need for military equipment on our campuses and institutions of higher learning?

BP Oil Spill UpDate

Just over 4 years ago the Gulf was the site of the world’s worse oil spill….that is right the BP debacle….I live on the gulf Coast and had to live with the horrible pics of the day….my state was a bit luckier than the others because we have a chain of barrier islands that sort of protected our beaches from the gunk………but thanx to the spill the economy was crashed into the Gulf and it is slowly coming back….still not a 100% but it is trying……..

I bring this up because BP is still fighting the penalties that have been leveled at them……and new info has been reported……..

A federal judge has ruled that BP’s reckless conduct resulted in the nation’s worst offshore oil spill, leaving the company open to billions of dollars in penalties. US District Judge Carl Barbier’s ruling today could nearly quadruple the amount of civil penalties BP could face for polluting the Gulf of Mexico with its Macondo well blowout. Barbier presided over a trial in 2013 to apportion blame for the spill that spewed oil from April 20 to mid-July 2010. Eleven men died in the explosion; BP already has agreed to billions of dollars in criminal fines. Barbier says BP bears 67% of the blame for the spill, drilling rig owner Transocean Ltd. takes 30% of the blame, and cement contractor Halliburton Energy Services takes 3%.

I have said all along that BP will some how get out of these fines and penalties….why would I think that?  look at the Exxon Valdez spill from the 80’s…..Exxon has never paid what they were ordered to pay and BP will slither out of their responsibility somehow.

I will be watching this to see if I am predicting correctly or not……..what is your guess?

Only In Mississippi Is Feeding Birds A Crime

My lovely state spends way too much time debate and enacting laws that are just flat out STUPID!  The state’s economy is in the crapper…..education is in the crapper…..health care is in the crapper…..and what do they do?

From site Mississippi PEP…………

New regulations passed by the state’s Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks removed an earlier exemption allowing feeders to be placed on or near residential homes. Under the new rules, all feeders would have to be located more than 100 yards from any property line or building.

Unless you’ve got a really, really, really big backyard, it’s tough to meet that requirement.

The state commission now says the regulations were not intended to ban backyard birdfeeders. They plan to review and correct the language at some point.

Until then, Mississippians should beware of overzealous park rangers and wildlife officers who could seize upon the opportunity to hand out citations for feeding mockingbirds — the state bird — in their backyards.

Read More

Only in Mississippi would it be a ‘crime’ to feed birds in your own backyard.  They are ‘freeloaders’ and we know what Southerns think of freeloaders, huh?

And too many think I am unfair in my attacks against the state of Mississippi.  Take my word for it….it is a cultural wasteland…….and now they have moved beyond attacking the citizens to kove on to attacking birds……a lovely place to stay as far away from as you can get.

OOPS! I Did It Again!

SORRY PEOPLE….AFTER CHECKING THIS……IT IS A HOAX….DAMMIT!

Funny reading anyway…a little wishful thinking……

 

Remember back in the day when Rep. Michele Bachmann was in the news almost daily…..she had some really great things to say…..but she has been a bit out of the news since 2012….her defunct presidential bid was the source of many jabs from the late night comedians….but not much in the past couple of years……but all that is about to change!

in case you missed the news while watching Ukraine or Iraq or The Simpsons or whatever had your attention this weekend……SHE”S BAAAAAAAAAAAK!

FORT COLLINS, Co.— Michele Bachmann, Republican congresswoman from Minnesota, was arrested early Tuesday morning in Fort Collins, Colorado for driving under the influence of a controlled substance. After reportedly running a red light and failing multiple sobriety tests, Bachmann was taken into custody and booked at the Fort Collins jail. She was released at 5 a.m. on $1,000 bail.

According to a source familiar with the situation, Rep. Bachmann was spending the holidays with her family in Colorado, and decided to indulge in cannabis consumption, following the state’s legalization of the drug on January 1st. Bachmann readily admitted to arresting officers that she had consumed marijuana that evening, but claimed that she did not know that it was illegal to drive under the influence.

What more can I say……Thank You MS Bachmann!

SCOTUS And Cops

With the news for the last month the police are under a microscope and their tactics are under criticism….deaths of unarmed people for various reasons are not tolerable in a society that is proud of its freedoms and its society……there is a growing concern that the police are continue to be unaccountable for their actions…….

(Newser) – It’s possible that a grand jury will find enough evidence to conclude that Officer Darren Wilson should go on trial for the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. But even if that happens, don’t expect Wilson to be found guilty of excessive use of force, writes law professor Erwin Chemerinsky in the New York Times. Why? Look to the Supreme Court, which in recent years has made it all but impossible to convict police officers and prosecutors, writes Chemerinsky, whose essay is headlined, “How the Supreme Court Protects Bad Cops.”

Chemerinsky runs through several cases, including one in May in which the court found that officers acted reasonably when they fired 15 shots at a car during a high-speed chase, killing the driver and a passenger. He also cites a 2011 decision by Antonin Scalia, who “ruled that a government officer can be held liable only if ‘every reasonable official’ would have known that his conduct was unlawful.” These decisions and others have given cops a nearly impenetrable “immunity” from citizens who have been wronged, writes Chemerinsky. “They mean that the officer who shot Michael Brown and the City of Ferguson will most likely never be held accountable in court,” he concludes. “How many more deaths and how many more riots will it take before the Supreme Court changes course?” Click for his full column.

What will it take for society to demand that the police take responsibility for their actions and the deaths that they are committing almost daily?