Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

Breaking the law and ruining the environment for charity?

Only in Wisconsin. It’s reported that Western Wis. bar plans charity Favre burn

The Milwaukee Burger Co. says patrons can bring in their Favre jerseys, pictures, posters and memorabilia and toss them into the barrel. The bar plans to donate $10 to an unspecified charity for each piece burned

Though, a quick search of a Wisconsin Gov’t website shows

Smoke from burning garbage stinks, can trigger asthma attacks and contains toxic compounds. Open burning of household solid wastes also is illegal with limited exceptions For example, it is illegal to burn all plastic materials, kitchen wastes, dirty or wet paper wastes, treated or painted wood, furniture and demolition material – or any other material that creates a nuisance. The exceptions include (if not prohibited by local ordinance) lawn and garden debris, small quantities of clean, untreated, unpainted wood and clean paper waste that is not recyclable

It then goes on to suggest Alternatives

Reuse: Reuse household items and give toys, clothes and furniture that you no longer want or need to someone who can use them.

Recycle: It’s the law in Wisconsin to recycle plastic, glass, metal, newspaper and cardboard. Take your recyclables to the recycling center closest to your house if there is no roadside recycling pick-up.

So unless the Favre pictures, posters and memorabilia are made out of clean paper and don’t have any plastic they cannot be burned by law. Also, it appears that burning clothing may also be against the law.

Why can’t this stuff be given to a charity that will reuse and recycle?

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Local Mullet Man Loses Camaro To PoPo

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAD2VoLOrtc[/youtube]

Come on, it had his Van Halen, a wig, and some shades.

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Does this task force make me look angry?

The other day I was talking with a friend that associates with known Officers of the Law about the people that aggrevate police during stops and I mentioned that I make it a rule to never antagonize the police to which he replied “You mean, you make it a rule to never antagonize the police that can arrest you.”

A subtle distinction or a cautious reminder?

Turns out that apparently I piss off the police.

Why? Because I write about police activity, a big no-no which has grown into a taboo. We are supposed to respect, even fear, the police and be happy when, in the event of a criminal wrong doing, they show up and do their job.

You see, it’s gotten to the point where everyone is afraid of the police. The most innocent person gets nervous when trailed and tailgated by a police car, no matter that the driver wasn’t breaking a law. Just the mere presence of Police, aka those that are supposed to protect us, makes most people nervous. I think that isn’t right.

We live in a time when a bad teacher breaks a law and they get a harsher sentence because they “need to be held to a higher standard”, but when a bad cop breaks the law they need to be shown leniency. This effectively equates to the police are held to a lower standard and at a position above the law. You know it. I know it. We all know it.

Yet few, if any, journalists ever take on this miscarriage of justice. Why? Is it because they don’t want to become targets? Wouldn’t that imply that the police target people that aren’t criminals? (Unless you think all journalists are criminals which very well may be.) Why is it that as a society we accept this abuse of power?

Not long ago I asked if our state forfeiture laws should be suspended and a grand total of 8 people voted.

Despite the widely known fact that with current forfeiture laws police can take cash money, not charge the person with any crime, and the individual still won’t be able to get the money back in court.

Well today another bigger and badder report was released by the state ,Report: Strike Force rife with misconduct, letting us know once again that justice is not being served. The report revealed large scale property seizures that were either kept for personal use by law enforcement or held and sold cheaply to their friends and family.

The report concludes,

Something went terribly wrong at the Metro Gang Strike Force, and it should not be allowed to happen gain,” the report said. It recommended that there be no stand-alone Strike Force units that are untethered from a law enforcement agency, and the report urged the Legislature to consider revamping the state’s seizure and forfeiture laws.

I have questions and so should you.
Why is it that when I am outraged by this sort of activity and call for it’s end it’s because I don’t like the police?

So then what’s it called when the state investigation comes to the same conclusion?

Let’s be clear, I don’t hate the Police or cops. I realize that for the most part they babysit the scum of the earth. It’s a tough job, but it’s not like when filled out their application they promised to do the work for free and somehow forgot to check the “Dancing With Stars” option.

Also, let’s get right to it not pretend this sort of stuff isn’t rampant and isolated to one small group or a couple of rogue cops. If that were the case grandmas wouldn’t be afraid when trailed by police and soccer moms wouldn’t be getting tased. Everyone has a story

As long as there are events like this Task Force debacle and wrongly raided houses leading to medals of valor, I just can’t see much justice in our Justice System.

The featured commenter at the Strib complains,

Why aren’t these cops being prosecuted?
They are stealing – “not mis-appropriating”!!!! I hate the double-talk – call a thief a thief!

I guess the answer may very well be because the stealing in question was done by a bad cop, and not an ordinary citizen or someone held to a “higher standard”, like a teacher.

You know polls don’t mean much in reality, but it’s interesting that my recent poll about Brett Favre got three times more votes than the forfeiture poll which involved citizens of the country having their Constitutional Rights violated and their property stolen by those that are supposed to Serve and Protect.

You can chew me out in the comments, if you’d like, but save your typical arguements of “If you ever have a burglar, don’t ever call the police then . . .”

Those arguements are B.S.

Speaking of B.S. I can’t help but wonder why the Feds don’t investigate every judge that signs a search warrant, every confidential informant that gives secret testimony, and prosecute lies and collusion using the same RICO laws they use to fight organized crime. Recent events seem to reinforce the old joke about the most armed dangerous gang on the streets being the police.

And I’m supposed to be worried about pissing off cops for not liking their abuses of the law with the citizens they are supposed to protect?

That’s funny, because all I feel is disgust.

Someone let me know when it’s safe to go back in the water.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYwzW2QFnwo[/youtube]
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Here’s the full report H/T

I’m going to chop that biker right out of my hair.

Q: What doesn’t make good firewood?

A: A bicyclist.

The Strib reports, A Burnsville bicyclist got knocked off his bike by an irate truck driver who then got out, brandishing an axe

The complaint, based largely on the accounts of the victim and an independent witness, alleges that the altercation happened this way:

The driver, yelling and swearing, held his hand behind his back as he walked toward the bicyclist. When the driver was close, the bicyclist shoved him back, nervous that the driver had a weapon.

The trucker returned to his pickup and the bicyclist rode off, heading a block south. As he rode his bicycle down the sidewalk, the pickup driver showed up and tried to run him over. Knocked off his bicycle, the victim looked up to see the driver exit his truck and approach with a big yellow axe in his hand.

The driver was yelling that the victim was “trailer trash” and that he was “going to get it.” The victim told the driver that he had taken down the truck’s license plate number and was going to call police. The driver left.

I’m really tempted to do a poll about what weapons you’d wield against a bicyclist that dared to yell at you, but I’m kind of afraid to know the answer.

So instead maybe you’ll share some of your crazy biker or crazy driver stories and we can compare notes.

Ax optional.

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Take the money and run.

It appears that last year the Long-arm-of-the-law had some issues filling their coffers with forfeiture booty.

The Strib reports Criminal forfeitures down last year in Minnesota

The state’s law enforcement agencies last year confiscated fewer items from convicted criminals and netted less cash from those items, the Minnesota Auditor’s office reported today.

The office’s annual report on cash and property seized found that 225 agencies realized just over $3.8 million in 2008, down 21 percent from the total a year earlier.

After expenses were deducted, the agencies realized net income of $3.5 million.

The overall number of seizures also dropped by 22 percent from 2007 to 2008, to a total of 3,823.

Typically when posting a poll I try to at least give the guise of objectiveness, but in this case I take issue with even the mere wording of “Criminal forfeitures” since many, if not most, forfeitures occur before there has been a criminal trial. Then if a person wants their property back they have to go through a civil trial in which their property actually becomes the defendant, essentially saying “I’m happy with the state. I don’t want to belong to my prior owner.”

Aside from the obvious risk of abuse I find the entire concept of our government taking property without first proving that it was gained illegally to be entirely ludicrous and offensive to the extreme.

Now I ask you, my lovely readers, am I way off base?

[poll=7]

While you try to make up your mind here’s some kids that made a video to a Steve Miller song that will get stuck in your head.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFGZufk4HFs[/youtube]

oooo oooo oooo

Is that a pizza threat?

As reported by Citypages

On Monday evening, police were called to the 1300 block of Desoto Street about a “suspicious piece of pizza.”

The 43-year-old man demanded that police write out a police report about the slice of pizza, claiming it was left near a fence with the intent to harass. Police described the pizza slice to the Pioneer Press: “The man had found a piece of pizza that was three-quarters eaten, with bite marks in it.” It was a cheese and pepperoni pizza with traditional hand-tossed crust, in case you were wondering.

No other potentially harassing slices of partially eaten pizza slices were found at the scene. We call all sleep in peace tonight.

I disagree with the last statement “We call all sleep in peace tonight.” In fact, we should all remain vigilant. Perhaps it’s even time to set up a threat level assessment based on the toppings.

What’s this? Green pepper’s and mushrooms? You son of a . .. .

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2n42wHwC4s[/youtube]

Next time Pizza will be sending out for you.

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Naughty Squirrel!

Naughty Squirrel

This little guy chewed through our screen, peed on our kitchen counter and ate some brownies sitting on the counter. After we shooed him out and closed the window, he continued to stare longingly into the kitchen.

Image uploaded by MSPdude

Would someone get this squirrel a hawk? Or do you find them cute?

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Is it all going to Hell?

When I was on my way back from the BWCA last week I saw an honest-to-goodness old fashioned motorcycle gang on Scenic Highway 61, which runs along the shore of Lake Superior.

When we arrived at our break point, my favorite North Shore coffee shop the Mocha Moose, I noticed the headline of a local paper read something like “Praying for Heaven, Preparing for Hell” and mentioned the Hell’s Angels arriving for a bike rally in August.

Little did I realize the amount of commotion this had been causing until we arrived in Duluth and every headline from the last week had been about the biker gang, with the biggest story being The City of Duluth had gone so far as to not issue permits for Spirit Valley Days or any festivals for a few week time frame as the city feared any disruption the Hell’s Angels may have caused.

Now the Strib reports Police brace for huge rally of Hells Angels near Cloquet

For nearly six months now, hundreds of law enforcement agents from Carlton, Pine and St. Louis counties — plus 30 State Patrol troopers and some federal agents — have been planning to be on hand to greet the Hells Angels.

“You don’t poke a hornets’ nest with a stick, but you sure do like to know where the hornets’ nest is at,” Pine County Chief Deputy Steve Ovick said.

A writer,Julian Sher,that specializes in pissing off the Hells Angels writes,

“public outings like the USA Ride “are largely public-relations dog-and-pony shows for the bikers.”

He said the media tend to cover the roaring motorcycles, and when the club members remain more or less law abiding, their image improves.

“Their PR machine is as well-oiled as their Harleys,” Sher said, noting their high-tech website that allows you to purchase gear (www.hellsangelsmn.com). “The mafia doesn’t have a website.”

He even goes as far as comparing the H.A. to the Taliban having a bake sale.

Though it seems when all the posturing is put aside, most of Northern Minnesota is happy for the tourist revenue.

What do you think?

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Cameras in the Courtroom?

The Strib has an editorial taking a supporting position for cameras in Minnesota courtrooms.

This newspaper has long been an advocate of opening most courtrooms, at every level, to video broadcasting. We welcome recent word from two quarters about new support for efforts to crack the old bar to public scrutiny of the courts via video cameras.

I suppose in this day and age of COPS, Homeland Security USA, Jail, and Court TV that I shouldn’t be suprised by a bigger push for cameras in the courtroom. Here is some interesting history on the topic.

What do you think?
[poll=5]

Feel free to discuss the pros/cons in the comment section and I promise I won’t make a tv show out of your responses.

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The much maligned RIAA comes to town.

How’s this for redonk?

Woman ordered to pay $1.92M in music downloading case

Jammie Thomas-Rasset, 32, a Brainerd mother of four, was found liable for downloading and distributing more than 1,700 songs on Kazaa, an Internet file-sharing network.

…a federal jury in Duluth found her liable up to $220,000 for copyright infringement of the 24 songs the RIAA focused on

It appears they are not awarding damages on all 1700 songs, and the 24 songs actually works out to more like 80Kper song.

80k per song. Let that sink in.
Under federal law, the jury could have awarded up to $150,000 per song.

Ouch.

This wasn’t a criminal case, it was civil, and to the best of my knowledge she didn’t distribute the music; only downloaded which should be worth about .99 cents per song.

I get that they found her guilty, but how can they justify 1.9M in damages?

What songs did she download? The Siren Song that attempted to lure Jason and the Argonauts to shore? I kind of doubt the Golden Fleece itself was worth $1.92M.

I say take this one to the Supreme Court, it’s a clear case of Cruel and Unusual Punishment. They say this case is going to set precedent and have national implications.

I ask, has the RIAA and a Federal Jury just handed our country and legal system a Golden Fleecing?

Please, fell free to express your outrage.

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