Posts Tagged ‘Crime’

Life Imitates a Joe R. Lansdale Story

Monday, March 30th, 2015

There’s a Joe R. Lansdale story called “The Pit” where two prisoners are forced to fight each other to death in a pit for sport. The story details suggest it takes place somewhere in the deep south. Who could have imagined that a real-life version of the story (thankfully minus the “to death” part) would take place in San Francisco?

San Francisco sheriff’s deputy Scott Neu is accused of leading a ring of corrupt jail guards who coerced prisoners into gladiatorial combat with threats of rape and violence.

Neu serves at County Jail No. 4 at 850 Bryant St despite having settled claims that he raped a woman prisoner and two transgendered prisoners while working at the jail. He sports a tattoo reading “850 Mob,” believed to describe the name used by the corrupt deputies to describe themselves. At least four other deputies are implicated in the program of sexualized torture.

Snip.

Neu and his co-conspirators gambled on the outcome of fights. One fight pitted the smallest inmate in the jail against the largest, and the fighters say they were threatened with rape and beatings by the guards if they didn’t spar. Neu is also said to have coerced prisoners into training for the fights with threats of rape and violence. Neu has a reputation for sadistic practices overall, including making prisoners gamble to receive their food, clothes and comfort items. Even when prisoners won the games Neu forced on them with the red dice and the deck of cards he carried, he would sometimes take away their “winnings” and give them to other prisoners.

Well, just sounds like a lovely fellow all around, doesn’t he?

Of course, these are just accusations, and Mr. Neu has not yet been proven guilty in a court of law. Maybe his attorney will offer up evidence of his innocence.

The Deputies’ Union attorney Harry Stern claims the Public Defender is making a big deal out of nothing. He says that the prisoners were encouraged to “wrestle to settle disputes about who was stronger,” and were “encouraged” to work out. He dismissed the entire affair as “little more than horseplay.”

Holy crap! When a guy’s defense attorney starts out essentially admitting the basic charge against him but dismissing it as “horseplay,” you’ve got to think the guy is guilty as sin.

And he doesn’t even have the excuse of being in a “high stress, low pay” job since this is, after all, California. According to public records, Scott Neu pulled down a cool $150,912 in the 2012-2013 timeframe (and I’d bet more last year).

Evidently paying unionized public employees more than the market demands doesn’t lead to a higher quality of employee…

Texas vs. California Update for March 26, 2015

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Time for another Texas vs. California roundup:

  • Forget all those snide liberal cracks about Texas’ public education system, since we have some of the highest graduation rates in the country.

  • “San Bernardino has defaulted on nearly $10 million in payments on its privately placed pension bond debt since it declared bankruptcy in 2012.”

    The missed payments illustrate the trend among cities in bankruptcy to favor payments to pension funds over bondholder obligations, which has increased the hostility between creditors and municipalities.

    San Bernardino declared last year that it intends under its bankruptcy exit plan to fully pay Calpers, its biggest creditor and America’s largest public pension fund with assets of $300 billion.

    The city continues to pay its monthly dues to Calpers in full, but has paid nothing to its bondholders for nearly three years, according to the interest payment schedule on roughly $50 million of pension obligation bonds issued by San Bernardino in 2005.

    If you’re a bank, a retirement fund, or a hedge fund, why on earth would you buy California municipal debt when there are safer alternatives? (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ Doom roundup.)

  • So how’s that San Francisco minimum wage law working out? Exactly like everyone who understands economics expected. “Some restaurants and grocery stores in Oakland’s Chinatown have closed after the city’s minimum wage was raised. Other small businesses there are not sure they are going to survive, since many depend on a thin profit margin and a high volume of sales.” Plus this: “Low-income minorities are often hardest hit by the unemployment that follows in the wake of minimum wage laws. The last year when the black unemployment rate was lower than the white unemployment rate was 1930, the last year before there was a federal minimum wage law.”
  • California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office suggests phasing out state health care for workers entirely.
  • California is dead last in spending transparency among the 50 states, with an F rating and a piddling score of 34. Texas ranks 13th with an A- and a score of 91. (Hat tip: Cal Watchdog.)
  • “North Texas gained an average of 360 net people per day from July 2013 to July 2014, a testament to the job-creating machine in the Lone Star state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau…North Texas and Houston were the only metropolitan areas to add more than 100,000 people during that one-year period.”
  • Just because California has some of the highest taxes in the nation doesn’t mean that the state’s Democratic legislature doesn’t want to add still more.
  • Meanwhile, the Texas Senate just passed a $4.6 billion tax cut.
  • California is rolling out more subsidies for Hollywood.
  • The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power not only has the highest employe costs in the country, it also ranks last in customer satisfaction. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • While Texas is certainly in much better shape than California on public employee pensions, things here are not entirely cloudless either. “The Texas Employee Retirement System is reporting unfunded liability of $14.5 billion in 2014, compared with liability of just $6.3 billion in 2013. By comparison, all of the state government’s general obligation debt as of 2013 was $15.3 billion. The Texas Law Enforcement and Custodial Officer Supplemental Retirement Plan is reporting unfunded liability of $673.1 million in 2014, compared with $306.7 million in 2013.”
  • Unlike California, Texas looks to get ahead of the curve on pension concerns with House Bill 2608, which restores control of pension funds to the local level by eliminating legislative approval for pension changes. I”nstead of locking up significant benefits in state statute, HB 2608 would allow city pension systems, like the Houston Firefighters’ Relief & Retirement Fund, to solve pension problems at the local level by changing benefit structures, if they so chose.”
  • “Support for the “bullet train” is ebbing across California, except, perhaps, in the Governor’s mansion.”
  • California raisin packer West Coast Growers files for Chapter 11.
  • American Spectrum Realty, a real estate investment management company that operates self-storage facilities under the 1st American Storage brand, has somehow managed to file for bankruptcy in both California and Texas. I think it’s safe to say that financial shenanigans are involved…
  • Lawsuit over misappropriated funds in a Napa Valley winery leads to a murder/suicide. It’s one of those stories that sounds too strange not to link to…
  • LinkSwarm for March 20, 2015

    Friday, March 20th, 2015

    Another Friday, another LinkSwarm. There’s almost enough news here to break out a separate “UK child rape cover-up update,” but I found the idea too depressing…

  • UK Police told not to investigate child rape in Sheffield, which was “bigger than Rotherham.” (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • Indeed, child gang rape in the UK evidently evidently occurred on an “Industrial scale.”
  • More from the UK pattern of ignoring or downplaying underage rape, and punishing whistleblowers of same.
  • Collectors! Priceless antiquities can be yours at low, low prices thanks to Bernie’s Islamic State Discount eBay Shop! (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • “The Left that seems to believe Israel’s primary duty to the world is empowering Arabs that seek it harm.”

    What set off this new round of ominous Israel concern-trolling was Netanyahu’s assertion that leftist NGOs, billionaires and consultants were making sure that “Arab voters are going to the polls in droves.”

    Which was a fact.

    The leadership of the Arab front has openly stated that it wanted to pull together any and all factions of Israeli Arabs, including communists and Islamists, for the single political purpose of removing Israel’s prime minister. Arab political forces are free to rally to unseat Netanyahu, free to aspire to dismantle the Jewish State, but if Netanyahu mentions any of this he’s a racist undermining Israel’s formerly pristine democracy. Or so we’re told.

  • Charles Krauthammer on the same theme:

  • The Obama Administration is so desperate for a nuclear deal with Iran that they’ve dropped Iran and Hezbollah from the terrorist organization list.
  • Even Democrats are balking at Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran
  • …which is apparently every bit as bad as Netanyahu said.
  • Former CIA Director General David Petraeus agrees with Netanyahu that Iran is a bigger threat to us than the Islamic State. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Michael Totten things it’s time to partition Iraq.
  • France eliminates welfare benefits for 290 jihadists.
  • “If you want to know what Hillary Clinton would be like as president, you’re seeing it right now. There is no other Hillary. This is her.” Also: “What this utterly typical PR fiasco shows is that what they’ll actually get is familiar, tired, pathetic, dishonest, and embarrassing.”
  • “Hillary, I’m not disappointed that you’re lying. I’m disappointed that you’re phoning in your lies.”
  • Scott Walker couldn’t just be the next Reagan, he could be the next Calvin Coolidge.
  • When a college student said she’d been “raped” what she actually meant was she asked her “assailant” to tie her up and spank her.
  • TED Talk, or North Korea propaganda?
  • America’s Cup boat seized?
  • Some people just can’t learn from the mistakes of others. Even when the other is Anthony Weiner. And you’re a Democratic lawmaker. And you’re hitting on the same woman Weiner hit on.
  • The new, not-improved New Republic to create stories to order for advertisers? Honestly, selling the magazine to Rush Limbaugh wouldn’t have been quite so dishonorable to the magazine’s memory… (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • Bill filed in the Texas legislature to strip private toll road companies of the power to use eminent domain.
  • And that whole “Starbucks making their baristas talk about race” thing? I’m just going to leave this here:

  • Rep. Jason Villalba’s War on Photography, Bloggers and Gun Owners

    Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

    There’s been much talk about how State Rep. Jason Villalba’s House Bill 2918 criminalizes bloggers filming police officers, especially if they’re CHL holders who happen to be lawfully carrying at the time. Worse yet, it takes the “some animals are more equal than others” approach to First Amendment rights, declaring MSM employees as “real journalists” and bloggers, citizens journalists and everyone else as second class citizens.

    Texas State Representative Jason Villalba (R-Texas) has found himself at the center of controversy after filing a bill that would make it a crime for bloggers and independent journalists — as well as regular citizens — to film police officers. Despite the backlash from free speech advocates, Villalba is insisting that his bill “does not infringe on constitutional rights” or “limit liberty in any way.”

    The current law, Section 38.15(1) of the Texas Penal Code, makes it a crime if anyone “interrupts, disrupts, impedes, or otherwise interferes with a peace officer while the peace officer is performing a duty or exercising authority imposed or granted by law.”

    The bill, HB 2918, adds to the definition of what constitutes “interfering” with an officer’s duties, and would make it a Class B Misdemeanor to film, record, photograph, or document the officer within 25 feet while that officer is performing his official duties. That distance is extended to 100 feet if the person is carrying a concealed handgun. There is an exception for news media, but the current language of the bill does not include bloggers, independent journalists, or private citizens, and it is not clear whether online media outlets would be included in the exception either.

    The fact that CHL holders are statistically among the most lawful citizens, having already passed an extensive background check, seems lost on Rep. Villalba (who seems to be trying very hard to win the title of worst Republican state representative).

    The bill would also prevent people from recording their own encounters with police, which adds a due process violation cherry on top of Villalba’s disdain for the first and second amendment.

    However, the unconstitutional stupidity doesn’t stop there. If you read the actual text of the bill, there’s no allowance made for private property. So if I’m filing a police officer arrest someone in the street 15 feet in front of my house, Villalba’s proposed law says I’m committing a crime.

    Being a police officer is a difficult and necessary job, but ordinary citizens filming them aren’t endangering their lives. Rep. Villalba seems to have no understanding that the right retained by the people themselves are part of our Constitution’s series of checks and balances.

    Villalba’s bill addresses no demonstrable abuse and attempts to limit the rights of citizens for no clear gain. It’s almost certainly headed for the dustbin of legislative neglect, but one wonders why Rep. Villalba felt the need to introduce it at all…

    Another Day, Another Muslim Child Rape Ring in the UK

    Monday, March 9th, 2015

    “As many as 373 children may have been targeted for sex by gangs of men in Oxfordshire in the last 16 years, a serious case review found.”

    All the men were from “Muslim backgrounds”.

    It’s infuriating that political correctness and fears of offending Muslim sensitivities have caused so many officials to repeatedly look the other way and fail to investigate child rape cases in the UK. As in Rotherham, the officials that let this happen should end up in prison.

    Rotherham was disturbing enough. To find out that there was another another Muslim child rape ring operating in the UK (albeit one with only one-third the victims) rather staggers the moral imagination. It also begs the question: How many more Muslim child rape gangs in the UK remain to be uncovered?

    #HillaryAfterDark: A Triptych

    Thursday, March 5th, 2015

    So Hillary Clinton dropped a late night tweet to address the private email server controversy, which inspired the #HillaryAfterDark tag.

    Which, in turn, inspired me to go way, way off the reservation:

    I blame this Penny Arcade cartoon and Llamas With Hats

    Greece Suspends Soccer

    Thursday, February 26th, 2015

    Greece has suspended their top soccer league due to violence:

    The new Greek government suspended competition in the top-flight Super League indefinitely after violence at a weekend match between the top two football clubs in the country.

    Sunday’s game between bitter Athens city rivals Panathinaikos and away team Olympiakos was marred by a pitch invasion despite a heavy police presence.

    The players and officials of Super League leader Olympiakos were also pelted with various projectiles and flares amid ugly scenes.

    Good thing Europeans aren’t completely soccer crazy, or that Greeks aren’t already pissed off at the continuing economic crisis or successive governments telling them precisely the lies they want to hear.

    (An aside: This is an actual sentence on CNN.com: “Following these incidents, the ruling Syriza Party has made its decision to impose a suspension, which will be the third team [sic] this season that Greek football has been halted.” That’s some mighty fine proofreading, CNN…)

    I think this is footage from the scene:

    Evidently Greek government is as incompetent at maintaining a “heavy police presence” as it is at everything else except deficit spending.

    Soccer hooliganism is hardly a novel phenomena in Europe, but I suspect this incident gives us a glimpse of the widespread simmering anger in Greece over the perpetual debt crisis. Having been brought to power by that anger, it looks like Syriza is badly underestimating its depth and how to manage it. If they were smart, they’d be far wiser to let some of it boil off in soccer brawls rather than let it keep building without an outlet.

    In a country that can no longer afford bread, it’s deeply unwise to start banning circuses…

    LinkSwarm For February 13, 2015

    Friday, February 13th, 2015

    Still recovering from this cold. Enjoy this Friday LinkSwarm compliments of the management:

  • ISIS on the run? Not so much. They just took over the Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi, where U.S. troops are training Iraqi troops.
  • 45 “Asian” men arrested on UK child sex charges. And by “Asian,” they mean “Pakistani Muslim.” Et tu, Daily Mail? (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Yemen turns into yet another Obama Middle East foreign policy triumph.
  • “The United States has accepted two new immigrants for each additional job created since 2000, according to federal data.”
  • Will that stop the drive for Obama’s illegal alien amnesty? Of course not, since that amnesty will make it easier for illegal aliens to vote.
  • “Who wants to read the inside story of Obama’s ’08 campaign if you know the writer is committed to being kind to Hillary?
  • What’s behind the most recent uptick in job growth? Stingier unemployment benefits. Insisted on by Republicans.
  • If Putin really wants to subsidize the Greek welfare state, I say let’s kick them out of NATO and let him…
  • Indicted Democratic Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price asked for taxpayers to pay for his corruption trial defense…that is until the judge demanded a complete accounting of his net worth, and which point he dropped the request.
  • The Ghosts of Auschwitz in the Middle East.
  • The Daily Show always had limited appeal; it just happens that the appeal included the New York media elite.”
  • A look at Greg Abbott’s data-driven gubernatorial campaign.
  • So Obama’s State Department had another one of their dog-and-pony show #AskJen events, where users all over Twitter send questions in to State Department spokeslephrechaun Jen Psaki, which are then summarily ignored in favor of trivial questions from pro-Obama plants. But I was happy to do my part:

  • Charles Manson’s Wedding Is Off

    Thursday, February 12th, 2015

    I know that the the breakup of this perfect romance is going to devastate so many of you:

    Manson’s engagement to a woman 53 years his junior was part of a wild scheme of hers to profit by putting his body on public display after his death, says the author of an upcoming book.

    Manson’s fiancée, 27-year-old Afton Elaine Burton, known as Star, sought to wed the convicted mastermind of the Sharon Tate murder and eight other slayings so that she could gain possession of his corpse, according to journalist Daniel Simone.

    Burton and a pal, Craig Hammond, planned to lay out Manson’s remains in a glass crypt, Simone says. The pair figured their bizarre California version of Lenin’s Tomb would draw huge crowds and make big money.

    Golly, whoever would have guessed that a woman who wanted to marry Charles Manson was creepy and unstable?

    Props for working in a reference to Lenin, one of the extremely finite number of people in the world compared to whom Charles Manson looks good by comparison…

    Screw You, We’re From Texas

    Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

    If you’re fleeing police (bad idea) in Texas (really bad idea), try not to rear end anyone, because there’s a good chance they’ll get out of the vehicle and take your ass to the ground.

    The dumbass criminal is lucky he didn’t rear-end someone with a CHL…

    (Title hat tip.)