America’s Dumbest Criminals, Part 197,814

Time for the newest entry in our series of utterly stupid wrongdoers!

Setting: A cell phone store near Pueblo, Colorado.

A 60-something man with a felony record sees a younger man talking to the clerk. He apparently decides he’s got an easy score, so he identifies himself as a cop, and asks the man in front of the desk if he’s a drug dealer because he has so many phones. He then demands that the younger man give him the drugs. The younger man asks for his credentials, and the older man demands the drugs again.

That’s when the younger man ID’s himself as a real cop and arrests the older man for impersonating a cop.

 

Former Pastor Jack Schaap Gets 12 Years in Sex Case

Didn’t hear about this until a commenter at Boundless mentioned it.

According to letters released by federal prosecutors last week as part of the government’s sentencing memorandum, Schaap wrote to the teen that his sexual relationship with her was “exactly what Christ desires for us. He wants to marry us + become eternal lovers!”

My $0.02 on The Steubenville Rape Case

While it is true that “boys will be boys”, there are some things–whether you are Christian or not–that you just don’t freaking do. Ever.

There are some lines–particularly when it comes to sex, whether you are Christian or not–that you don’t freaking cross. Ever.

The two Steubenville football players crossed those lines. The community–seeking to mitigate the incident in deference to the two football players–nearly denied justice to the 16-year-old girl–I shall call her JD (for Jane Doe)–who was raped.

While JD was wrong for getting drunk, she did not deserve to be raped. That she compromised herself by being stupid did not give others the right to her body.

I fully support the prosecution in this case, and those two guys deserved what they got. While I would be hesitant to beat them down the way I would an adult offender, they need to feel some pain here. They need some valuable training in boundaries. They need to apologize to the victim–and offer some restitution–not just for violating her but also for employing digital media in the process.

With that out of the way, we have this screed by Marthe Weyandte.

Photos and videos were circulated among acquaintances, making light of the incident. There were witnesses, although nobody stepped in to stop the attack from happening.

This is nothing new. It is not uncommon, for example, for public assaults–not just those against women–to go uncontested. There is a predisposition among Americans not to mess with other people’s businesses. That is both a good and a bad thing. Complicating matters, the larger question is what kinds of people are going to be present at those kinds of parties? When I was in high school, I almost never went to parties. The few I did attend had no alcohol and were chaperoned by coaches who were of good repute. We had none of this type of mayhem.

OTOH, I knew of other parties–hosted by others of less repute–where the drugs (including cocaine and pot) and alcohol were plenteous. And yes, there were hookups, although that was mostly on the fringes. The types of folks who went to those parties were not the kinds of folks who would have intervened if there was an assault going on.

Now let’s look at Weyandte’s take on why this happened:

1.) We live in a misogynist society. It is improving, albeit slowly.

Bullhockey. We live in a FEMINIST society. We have a system that PEDESTALS women. Our education system is DESIGNED around girls and PUNISHES masculinity.

None of that, however, explains why these boys did what they did.

My take: they were party animals, veterans of the hookup culture, and were having fun. In doing so, they totally crossed boundaries that no one should ever cross. Sadly, JD will pay a terrible price. The boys will also have to face the reality that they did a very bad thing that cannot be undone.

2.) We trust our politicians and our scions of industry and our entertainment execs and our friends to teach our kids right from wrong. This is ludicrous.

Who teaches American kids values like empathy, respect, patience and compassion? Television execs? Violent video game distributors? Jersey Shore? Maybe politicians like Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin with his Dark ages stance on gender relations?

Parents and concerned citizens, do you think most of these people really care what happens to your kids beyond a healthy bottom line?

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

CNN can go to hell, in my opinion. The victim had a ‘promising’ future too. Nobody seemed to mention that. But we can only blame CNN so much. Major news networks almost always follow the status quo anyway.

If those boys lived the straight life as former Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) has, they would not have committed rape.

Having said that, it would be nice to know what kind of parental instruction these kids had regarding how to treat a woman. If a child grows up seeing his parents respect each other, he will learn to do this. If a child grows up in a home where parents are actively teaching them to respect other people’s bodies, they’ll learn to do that. Some will still do horrible things, but those occurrences will be less likely.

3.) Social networks are detaching us from reality.

We live in a culture that promotes disconnection from others through entertainment, media and social networking. People are pixels and bytes and status updates, not hardly human. We are more self-involved and more narcissistic.

One of the most striking features of the Steubenville rape was an almost-sociopathic sense of detachment from the victim coupled with over-developed sense of entitlement displayed toward the victim. This young woman became a toy, an object to her attackers who carried her, like prey, from location to location. This sort of depersonalization is characteristic of wartime atrocities. It has made its way onto violent video games.

I’m not biting on that. It’s easy to blame these acts on the vices of the day–today it’s social media and video games whereas 30 years ago it was various brands of rock music, combined with movies.

In fact, I could make the case that, but for social media, those boys would not have been prosecuted.

4.) Hook-up culture is rampant in our society, but that old double standard still holds true in many places.

There is a sort of cognitive dissonance. Guys who have sex are studs. Girls who have sex are sluts. The double standard isn’t right and it isn’t fair, but it is very, very prevalent in the American subconscious. Nobody wants to touch that one. Not with a thousand-foot pole. Parents remain mum on the topic. High school sex ed programs, who either hand out condoms like candies or promote abstinence.

Television networks feature hook-up heavy reality shows like Jersey Shore. Self-respect and emotional maturity are in short supply. Men demonstrate their prowess with endless sexual conquests. Women who do not fit conventional standards of beauty are referred to as ‘grenades.’

The double-standard exists in no small part because women are the gatekeepers for sex. It is quite easy for a woman–even one who is not attractive–to get sex. The same is not true for a man: even an Alpha is only successful about 30% of the time.

This is why women who have many partners are viewed negatively by men whereas men who have many partners are viewed positively by women.

Calling me names will not change that reality, because I didn’t create it.

Oh, and you can thank feminism and their ardent supporters–including Bill Clinton–for the hookup culture. As President, he insisted that oral sex doesn’t count. After that, the percentage of teens engaging in that skyrocketed…

5.)Where is the love?

We live in a throwaway society at times. We pitch everything from Starbucks cups to sexual partners without a second glance. We need to talk with our kids about the emotional complexity of relationships. Respect and concern for another’s needs is an integral part of any consensual relationship. Respect can not be a two-way street when one of the parties is pressured or forced or obliterated out of his or her mind. This isn’t rocket science, but then maybe rocket science is easier to learn!

Yes, where is the love? We live in a throwaway society, where women are allowed the throw away their babies if they don’t want them. We live in a throwaway society, where people can throw away their marriages with near-impunity, two-thirds of such dissolutions pursued by the women.

Please don’t lecture us about how horrible this society is, because you have the society you asked for.

You wanted the prerogative to be as promiscuous as the men, and you got it.

You wanted to be able to end a marriage at will, and you got it.

You wanted to be able to kill your babies in utero, and you got it.

You wanted a government that pedestals women and attacks masculinity, and you got it.

You wanted unwed motherhood destigmatized–even pedestaled–and you got that.

So don’t sit here and complain about the unintended consequences.

Having said that, it would be a stretch to blame the Steubenville rape on these factors.

We must hold individuals responsible for their actions, and–while society has issues–what those boys did was nothing new, and we are doing ourselves a disservice by pretending otherwise.

Answering Vox Day, on Dorner

Vox raises a good question:

Another thing that strikes me. It seems as if every drama on television about either doctors or police. I wonder if the constant repetition of the heroic portrayal of the police saving the day and blowing away the perp, who is usually a white men, has not only programmed the target audiences to believe that white men are evil, but has also helped convince older white men to see police as the enemy.

I doubt it, but here’s the thing: in those shows, cops typically go after REAL bad guys. Murderers, rapist, child molesters, kidnappers, etc. You rarely see them address the nuances of the War on Drugs. (Even Miami Vice–which had its big run in the 1980s–focused more on the evils of the big fish in the drug culture, most of whom were non-white, not the little guys on the street who get screwed by it.)

In the real world, cops harass people by pulling them over for speeding when they are low on their monthly quotas. Cops harass people by arresting them on dubious “weapons” charges. Even when they make a legitimate arrest, they often trump up the charges by adding a plethora of lower-level felonies in order to scare you into plea-bargaining to something that gives them a notch on their belt.

In the real world, cops bust into the wrong houses, they claim “exigent circumstances” when breaking into homes, they bolster the fraudulent “child protection” industry, they make criminals out of people who aren’t doing any harm.

I know a few good cops. The problem is they are not the majority. And you aren’t going to find cops like them in the big cities like LA.

That said, I have no sympathy for Chris Dorner. Whatever the merits of his case with LAPD–and I believe he probably got screwed–he had no business using deadly force. His life was not in imminent danger.

I hope the FBI HRT takes him out before he does more damage, if he hasn’t died already. (Given the snowstorm, he could already be dead from exposure or suicide.)

Oh, and here’s a wrinkle: in this debate over drone strikes on Americans, one might ask whether it would be appropriate to use a drone on Dorner. My answer is no. For one thing, he is entitled to Due Process, and we owe it to society to do what we can to afford him that opportunity. OTOH, if he wants to shoot it out, we have the wherewithal to take care of business. Drones are unnecessary and are a big threat to American liberties.

As for the LAPD, they are worse than pathetic. This case has shown why they are thought of so lowly. In the Dorner fiasco, the LAPD has shot two people–wounding one of them seriously–just because the truck they were in LOOKED like it might be Dorner’s. In other words, they fired on people without properly identifying the target.

Those cops need to be fired and prosecuted. If you or myself had done this, we’d be looking at multiple felony charges, and–if lucky–would be allowed to plea bargain to a lesser felony charge. These cops need to be held to at least that standard.

As for Dorner, the media has falsely made him out to be some super-commando. Puh-leeeze!

Dorner was a Naval Reservist. BFD. He wasn’t in SpecOps. He wasn’t a SEAL or a SWCC. He didn’t go to Ranger School, or BUD/S, or Scout Sniper school, or the Q School. He was a “Marksman” with a rifle? All that means is that he shot well enough to qualify with the M-16. EVERYONE IN THE MILITARY HAS TO DO THIS!!!

Looking at his crimes, he has demonstrated nothing of great skill. He shot two people in their car. BFD! All that requires is sneaking up on someone. ANYONE can do that. He shot three cops, but only killed one. If he was any good, he would have killed all three.

In fact, Dorner is an overweight, overrated 270-pound target who, eventually, will be taken down by either suicide, exposure, or a well-aimed single shot from an HRT sniper.

The NFL, Jovan Belcher, and Domestic Violence

Let’s be honest here about the NFL: even in its glory years, it was never a monastery. We can point to fine players who were good citizens of high moral character, just as we can point to some unsavory folks. That same Dallas Cowboys team that gave us Tom Landry and Roger Staubach, also gave us Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson and Larry Bethea. Who can forget that 1972 Miami Dolphins team, which included Mercury Morris, who would do some time for drug trafficking? And don’t forget O.J. Oh…wait…he was acquitted…

At the same time, violent criminality in the NFL seems to be a greater problem today than in other eras. Henderson, and Morris were problematic, but they weren’t violent criminals. Morris and Henderson cleaned up their lives whereas Bethea, sadly, committed suicide after being implicated in two armed robberies.

While domestic violence is nothing new in the NFL, there is an undercurrent of murder that is happening in greater frequency. Before the Jovan Belcher disaster, we had Anthony Wayne Smith (charged in three murders), Glenn Sharpe, Rae Carruth, Hubert D. Thompson, Tommy Kane, Eric Naposki, and–from the old school–teammates Jim Dunaway and O.J. Simpson.

(I leave out Marvin Harrison, because he has not been indicted. But, depending on witness accounts and weapon identification, that could easily change.)

Even then, while it is not uncommon to read about NFL players getting into barfights and even domestic disputes, we don’t expect to pull up the news and read about an NFL player killing his girlfriend and then committing suicide. The last murder-suicide in the NFL involved former QB Steve McNair in 2009, and he was on the receiving end of the murder. The last NFL player to commit murder-suicide was a former NFL player: James Tyrer, who shot his wife before killing himself in 1980.

While we cannot minimize the severity of physical assault, one must flip the mother of all switches to pull a firearm, point it at a human being who is not an imminent threat, and pull the trigger. Jovan Belcher shot Kasandra Perkins 9 times before shooting himself in the head in front of his coach and General Manager as police moved in.

So yes, I’ll grant that Bill Briggs–contributing to NBC Sports–is correct in stating that the new NFL initiative to curb domestic violence among their ranks failed in the case of Kansas City linebacker Jovan Belcher. I would also submit that the problem here is not the quality of an NFL program, but rather fundamental character issues. The NFL tends to recruit thugs, and they are reaping what they are sowing.

If there is a miracle, it is that this happens as infrequently as it does among NFLers.

While every NFL owner would love it if his players were all good citizens who supported the United Way and visited orphans and hospitals regularly, NFL teams don’t draft players primarily on the basis of character. Tim Tebow is a model citizen, but he’s riding the bench right now. Most coaches would love to get the next Roger Staubach (who was squeaky clean), but they’ll settle for a Ben Roethlisberger (who came within an inch of a sexual assault charge).

Either one will get you two Super Bowl rings. And that’s all that matters if you’re an NFL coach, GM, or owner.

Until the NFL starts drafting people on account of their character–and that is not always easy to discern–I see none of that changing.

As for the latest crisis, people must be held to account for their own behavior. Murder is a character issue. As is domestic violence in general.

Can the NFL help their cause? Perhaps. Seriously, though, I doubt that anything they could have done would have headed off the Jovan Belcher disaster.

A man who is intent on committing murder will find a way to do it. Take away the firearm, he’ll use a knife. Take away the knife, he’ll use any number of household implements. This is about personal character.

And as Tolstoy illustrated so well in Anna Karenina, personal character is not so easy to ascertain.

Penn State University Should Get the Death Penalty

You read that correctly.

THE Pennsylvania State University needs to get the death penalty.

Not the football program.

Not the athletic department.

The whole university!

This isn’t about one pedophile (Jerry Sandusky) using his position to prey on children, or a legendary coach (Joe Paterno) trying to cover his legacy, or an Athletic Director who acted more like an Athletic Supporter, or even a President who swept the whole mess under the rug.

No…this is about an entire university systematically covering up what they knew to be true: one of their coaches was sexually assaulting children.

One of their coaches even caught him in the act, and PSU leaders did not bother to go to the police.

Joe Paterno–who marketed himself in terms of winning “with honor”–was an integral part of the coverup. His failures were not simply a matter of failing to make that extra phone call: he had multiple opportunities to do the right thing, and passed on every opportunity.

The football program will–and should–get a death sentence. When that happens, booster donations are going to fall like a brick, costing the university substantial revenues.

Alumni contributions will drop like a doomed paratrooper, costing the university even more revenues.

Sandusky’s victims–a large number–will have a very big lawsuit in the making. And they will–and should–win the suit.

When that happens, Penn State will enter a period of “financial exigency”. In the academic world, those are the words no one wants to hear: that means they will be slashing everything they can: from staff to faculty to entire degree programs and academic departments. Tenured professors won’t even be safe.

At that point, the people of Pennsylvania will be faced with a very large elephant in the room: will it even be worth it to continue the university as a going concern?

My answer is NO.

Forget about business models and revenue forecasts and regaining solvency. It may take 50 years for Penn State to rebuild their image. It isn’t worth it.

There are already plenty of fine colleges and universities in Pennsylvania: Bucknell University, Carnegie-Mellon, University of Pittsburgh, Lehigh University, Drexel University, Temple University, University of Pennslyvania, Kutztown University, Shippensburg State University, Millersville University, Messiah College.

The good departments–such as engineering and sciences–could easily be annexed by Carnegie-Mellon or Lehigh or Pitt, with the rest of the university dissolved.

The taxpayers don’t need the albatross of Penn State. The state is better without the university.