November 26, 2007
I swear that ICE, or Immigration and Customs Enforcement, must be the most unconstitutional federal agency ever created in the United States. They keep getting away with violating basic human rights everyone agrees we’re born with.
What’s worse is that local police assist them in doing so. When was border patrol added to their job description?
The latest of these unlawful violations in today’s Times. I was left with a knot in my stomach after reading the first paragraph.
It was still dark the morning of Sept. 27 when armed federal immigration agents, guided by local police officers, swept into this village on the East End of Long Island. Within hours, as the team rousted sleeping families, 11 men were added to a running government tally of arrests made in Operation Community Shield. (NYT)
The details of this ordeal is most horrifying. The agents arrested
Omar Lopez, 25, a Shelter Island landscaper, who had been asleep with his fiancée and infant son. Valentin Rudy Escobar Montenegro, a Guatemalan carpenter, also was with his wife and baby.
But first a little back ground on this “Operation Community Shields” from the official Web Site.
In February 2005, ICE began Operation Community Shield, a national law enforcement initiative that targets violent transnational street gangs through the use of ICE’s broad law enforcement powers, including the unique and powerful authority to remove (deport) criminal aliens, including illegal aliens and legal permanent resident aliens. (ICE)
“Broad law enforcement power?” Damn. ICE seems to me to be the most connected gang. I mean isn’t their tactics illegal? and the organization itself, too? Where do I go to report them? Then deport them?
“We’re not here stomping all over anybody’s rights,” said Peter J. Smith, the special agent in charge of the Long Island operation. “We’ve got immigration powers.”
Maybe I’m a bit harsh with my criticism. I know they are just doing their job. But wait…
Only one of the 11 men taken away that morning was suspected of a gang affiliation, according to the Southold Town police. The 10 others, while accused of immigration violations, were not gang associates and had no criminal records.
Possibly, the argument half of you reading this will back is that, “well those arrested were still breaking the law. They were here illegally.” Or something close to it. Am I in the ballpark?
I understand what you’re saying. But tell me something. Had they broken any other law, let’s say, dealing couple of kilos of cocaine, wouldn’t the government still need a warrant to enter their home? These folks’ “illegal activity” isn’t the least bit comparable to dealing hard drugs, but they’re treated worse.
If some of you still remain lost for compassion, I understand. I can’t change your mentality if you’re set on your beliefs. But you couldn’t possibly disagree that something is wrong when someone legally can break into a house in the middle of the night and break up families sleeping together.
November 18, 2007
Someone somewhere is doing their job. Someone somewhere isn’t. WaPo and 60 minutes did a little investigative journalism to find out that FBI’s technique of matching bullets in crime-scenes with those found in the suspect’s possession is faulty.
Specifically, the National Academy of Sciences said that decades of FBI statements to jurors linking a particular bullet to those found in a suspect’s gun or cartridge box were so overstated that such testimony should be considered “misleading under federal rules of evidence.”(WaPo)
And this fact was actually stated by scientists back in 2004. Meaning high ranking official must’ve deliberately discarded experts analysis, sending potentially innocent individuals to prison.
In at least two cases, the bureau has tried to help state prosecutors defend past convictions by using court filings that experts say are still misleading. The government has fought releasing the list of the estimated 2,500 cases over three decades in which it performed the analysis.
Folks like my man (pictured) Lee Wayne Hunt, are now challenging the court rulings against them. Hunt was convicted of a double murder 22 years ago based on this baseless technique. He has a 2 to 4 year window to appeal.
But you know, had anyone asked me if this way of determining the guilty criminal was a sure thing or not, I would’ve given you the same answer that we recently learned from the credible experts. I would’ve actually told you so back in 1963.
The science, known as comparative bullet-lead analysis, was first used after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.
I wrote my English paper in college about the JFK assassination. It is arguably the most disputed case in recent history. It’s backed by hundreds of conspiracy theories. Remember the magic bullet theory as one? And this is what we base the outcome for 2,500 lives on.
I urge you to read the complete article available here. It gets worse by the paragraph.
Documents show that the FBI’s concerns about the science dated to 1991 and came to light only because a former FBI lab scientist began challenging it.
November 17, 2007
When religious or traditional beliefs overlap with the law of the land, the outcome isn’t always logical.
We witness this to be true when we hear from folks who, in the twenty first century, want children to learn creationism in school. If Christian parents want to teach their kids of Adam and Eve, then no outsider can dictate it to be untrue, and therefore deem it unethical to do so. But Jews, Muslims, Jains and Buddhist children, too, attend the very same school the advocates want to modify the science class curriculum for. Realize that the bible plays as much part in a Hindu child’s life as the Bhagvad-Gita does in a Christian child’s life: zero. That’s where I’ll leave that argument.
Same is true with folks who oppose legalizing marriage between two homosexuals. They claim their religion (and personal beliefs) strictly prohibits so. And of course, all must adhere to their fancy.
In a like twisted government ruling, a 19-year-old woman from Saudi Arabia, who was raped 14 times by seven men, was sentenced to 90 lashes for being in a vehicle with a man who isn’t family.
The rape victim was punished for violating Saudi Arabia’s laws on segregation that forbid unrelated men and women from associating with each other. (BBC)
For the record, the seven men were too punished. Ranging from ten months to up to 5 years.
The story gets better (worse, actually).
A Saudi court has increased the sentence given to (the) gang rape victim to 200 lashes of the whip and six months in prison and ordered disciplinary action against her lawyer. (Reuters)
This happened because she and her lawyer spoke to the media and got sympathy from folks around the world. They shouldn’t have done that. And the government made certain they realize so at the appeals court.
The lawyer, Abdel Rahman al-Lahem, could potentially lose his license. At the moment he is suspended. There are talks to appeal for the third time. But really, would you be surprised if the victim was sentenced to more lashes and time was added to her sentencing?
Lahem’s critics have called him an infidel and “lawyer of homosexuals”. In the past he has been jailed and banned from traveling abroad. He will appear before a disciplinary committee at the ministry of justice on December 5, charged with criticising the judiciary and conducting activist campaigns in the media. (Guardian)
The lawyers is actually a true advocate for those facing injustice in the country. Here’s a link to an article where Lahem took on the case of an outspoken journalist.
Saudi journalist Rabah Al-Quwayi, 24, has been detained by Hail authorities in connection with his writings posted on Internet forums, which they allege place his Islamic faith in doubt.
Lawyer Abdul Rahman Al-Lahem announced yesterday that he would be representing Al-Quwayi.
November 16, 2007
Firstly, nothing is sadder than the fact that there is an abundance of material available for us to even consider such a ridiculous comparison.
It seems that nooses are the new (nazi) swastikas. They are popping up everywhere I turn. Some cowards hang them up anonymously. While others believe it to be a harmless Halloween season decoration. They claim that nooses in these cases do not carries a racist significance and that one is only looking to get offended if they assume so.
Here are some examples before we begin the conversation. First at the Universities:
(N.C. State University) Campus Police responded to a report of a noose being hung last Thursday, after which the news of the incident began to spread around campus and media outlets. (link)
University of Delaware police are investigating a report of a noose spotted on campus, as school officials reaffirm their zero-tolerance policy on hate crimes. (link)
On September 7, a noose was found hanging from a tree outside of the multicultural center at University of Maryland. (link)
Police are trying to find out who hung four nooses in a classroom on the Central Michigan University campus. A student discovered the hangman’s nooses in the Engineering and Technology Building on Monday. (link)
Did anyone catch that? I didn’t even need to allude to the incident at Columbia University. But I digress. Let’s now look at cases involving nooses during Halloween season.
A Gahanna man removed a noose from a display after hearing complaints from those who considered the decorations offensive. (link)
A Stratford family became the focus of attention when their Halloween display, featuring a figure hanging from a noose, offended some people. (link)
A Halloween-happy man discovered this week that decorating his city trash truck with nooses was a bad idea, especially in light of recent events nationwide. (link)
Will you help me figure out what is worse? Because I can’t decide. The fact that the perpetrators at the academic institution are aware of nooses’ history in America as primarily being used to lynch black folks. Or the fact that a certain population of this country is ignorant of this piece of history and unintentionally offend many.
I come to the conclusion that you should face some criminal charges if responsible for either scenario. Intentional or unintentional, ignorance is never an excuse to offend anyone. And neither is knowledge.