Sunday, June 25, 2017

Three Intriguing lessons

Three Intriguing lessons 
Sen. John McCain said Tuesday that Americans who are "stupid" enough to still want to travel to North Korea should be required to sign a waiver absolving the U.S. government of any blame should they be harmed while there. Are you kidding ? I think no American should be allowed to fly to North Korea - Period.  For a few days we have been perplexed by the story of Otto Warmbier and his tragic death.. While going there are many risks like being sent to a labor camp for "stealing" something what Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old American college student did .  Warmbier didn't deserve to die for what he did, but he should have known better anyway.  Mr Warmbier was detained on January 2, 2016 at Pyongyang airport after authorities claimed that he had tried to steal a banner containing a political slogan from the wall of his Pyongyang hotel.A month later he read an alleged “confession” which appeared to have been prepared for him. (1)>>He said that he had stolen the sign as a “trophy” for a US church with the "connivance of the US administration" in order to "harm the work ethic and motivation of the Korean people".“I understand the severity of my crime, and I have no idea what sort of penalty I may face,” he said.“I have made the single worst decision of my life, but I am only human.”In March 2016 an hour-long trial saw Mr Warmbier found guilty of committing a “hostile act” against the reclusive state. He was sentenced to 15 years hard labor. (1.2)>>Ebony Magazine author " The Kinfolk Collective" did a vary interesting piece on the Warmbier story . Ebony was quoting the noting of "white privilege" contributing for bad behavior in a hostile country. Shocked by the severity of the sentence would be the first reaction , but the objective is we don't know exactly what he did . Second many westerners do travel to North Korea , do get to go home if they follow the guidelines of the North Korean government. It seems to me their is more to this story . (2)>>Was Mr. Warmbier "spying" ?  Here is what gets me wried up . During Otto's ordeal , it was during the Obama Administration . There was no attempt by the United Sates government to get Otto out of North Korean hands . There were many opportunities for hostage release { Negotiations ?}  Remember 1o other hostages were released under Obama from N Korea .Was there an exception? . Why not Otto Warmbier? President Trump said Tuesday that college student Otto Warmbier — imprisoned by North Korea during the Obama administration — might be alive today if the United States had “brought him home sooner.”“It’s a total disgrace what happened to Otto. It should never, ever be allowed to happen. And frankly, if he were brought home sooner, I think the results would have been a lot different,” Trump said during a ​White House ​meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. (3)>>So it's a HARD LESSON . What ever the reason for Mr Warmbier detainment . Every American should stay out of North Korea . Don't do anything stupid enough to get you seen as a spy .It is time to make it illegal for Americans to travel to North Korean and Iran - both of which routinely kidnap travelers for ransom or U.S. concessions. 


I swear some of these "stories" in our news lately are out of something Charles Fort could write .A teenage girl who sent her boyfriend text messages encouraging him to kill himself asked a judge last Friday to keep statements she made to police out of her involuntary manslaughter trial.The request was among almost two dozen motions filed by lawyers for (4)>>Michelle Carter, now 19, in Taunton Juvenile Court, The Boston Globe reported.The Plainville woman is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the 2014 death of 18-year-old Conrad Roy III, of Mattapoisett. .. WAIT HOLD it . It's 2017 , she is "charged" for something that she supposedly did in 2014 ? Bristol County Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz announced last Friday that Carter, 20, is guilty of involuntary manslaughter after placing Conrad Roy III in a situation that led to his suicide in 2014.Legal experts say the decision could have national implications as courts grapple with how to apply long-standing laws as technological changes have taken interactions online. In Carter’s case, the ruling suggests that in effect, she was whispering in Roy’s ear, “kill yourself, kill yourself,” said Laurie Levenson, a criminal law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. And it essentially says that those words can lead someone to suicide.Carter's lawyer had argued that her texts were free speech protected by the First Amendment and didn't cause Roy to kill himself. BUT HER SENTENCE IS A DOUBLE STANDARD ! Yeah, the 20-year sentence for a minor is extreme. I remember back in September 2012, when 15-year old Audrie Pott committed suicide after pictures of a gang rape of her at a party were posted online. Three teenage boys were convicted - two received 30-day sentences to be served on weekends and the other was sentenced to 45 consecutive days. Not for "manslaughter". It didn't receive nearly the outrage this one has. I think there should be a new law - Extreme Bullying or something like that in these cases. It's challenges the mind how , why the Judge , Jury went to lock her up . (5)>>It CAN NOT JUST BE Michelle's OWN FAULT  . Just where were Conrad Roy III's Parents ?? They must have known their son had problems .The verdict is troubling, taken to it's logical conclusion telling someone to kill themselves could be enough to get you convicted even if the statement were made in some fraught circumstances (such as the ones described in this case). I've read a lot of the texts as well and it appears the girl has serious mental health issues and initially tried to get him help, only later when he insisted he needed it to be happy did she get on team suicide . Then there is the very real point that the judge based his conviction on a phone call there is no record of. I'm sure they will appeal this since it indicates she is convicted by self incrimination and here say. "The prosecution made this phone call, as described in Ms. Carter’s text, the heart of its case. And the judge accepted it as factual and incriminating." The problem is that if all the texts are taken in context she was undergoing severe mental health issues herself. And the description of her call to the friend indicates she wished she had done more to help. There may be much more to that phone call, did he ask her over and over again to help him keep his convictions up and then get angry when she did not, so she 'helped' him as requested? We don't know, no recording of that call. So based on her text to a friend where she is blaming herself for what happened she is convicted of manslaughter. I suspect we need more nuanced laws to deal with a situation like this. At trial, the prosecution maintained Carter could have done something to stop Roy, while her defense argued that Roy knew what he was doing. His mother disagrees with Carter’s legal team. “I don’t believe she has a conscience,” Lynn Roy tells Moriarty. “I think she needs to be held responsible for her actions ‘cause she knew exactly what she was doing and what she said.”

3.  Philando Castile . BLIND JUSTICE .

The last eight years . America's police departments have fallen under scrutiny . We have to thank cell phone technology for documenting police brutality -excessive force . Most of all catching on camera that our men in blue can be "murders" too on the beat . Case in point . (6)>>The national outcry is still vary strong . The Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop was acquitted on all charges by a jury Friday, a decision that came nearly a year after the encounter was partially streamed online to a rapt nation in the midst of a painful reckoning over shootings by law enforcement.Officer Jeronimo Yanez pulled Castile’s car over in Falcon Heights, a suburb near Minneapolis and St. Paul, and the officer later said he thought Castile matched the description of a suspect in a robbery. The stop quickly escalated.Yanez fired into the car, saying later he thought Castile was going for his gun, a claim Castile’s girlfriend, sitting in the seat next to him, disputed. She began streaming the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook Live. Two things are evident from the new material: Castile’s every move was calculated to maintain safety and survive the encounter, and Yanez was responsible for turning the situation deadlyCastile was cooperative. He pulled over immediately. He did not try to flee, resist or even complain. When the officer asked for his license and insurance, he handed over proof of insurance. He calmly and politely volunteered: “Sir, I have to tell you I do have a firearm on me.” Yanez told Castile: “Don’t reach for it then.” Per the government’s evidence, Castile reached for his wallet. He even tried to explain this, telling the officer “I was reaching for –”, but was cut off by Yanez ordering: “Don’t pull it out,” referring to the gun. Continuing to communicate, Castile responded: “I’m not pulling it out.” Reynolds chimed in, saying “He’s not –”, but Yanez opened fire. The result is that Castile was shot for doing what the officer asked: getting his license.  Crazy that's why the verdict in this case was so wrong . The particulars of how the police justified the killing of Philando Castile ? Castile was killed for a reason his mother summed up a while ago: he was “black in the wrong time and place”.


So we have three stories that are mind boggling as to what they happened that way . Each case there was no justice  . Either the jury went the other way in court , or the the media jumped . Justice as a kind of Platonic truth, and truth as the less theatrically exciting cousin to lies, political and personal.  The system is more about winning than it is about truth seeking. Justice goes to the strong, the rich, the powerful. Disadvantage individuals are left out.  Some commit stupid acts and find themselves in the spotlight . Some of us might like to believe that things do have a reason for occurring, especially when the incident has caused us actual loss or psychological distress.  Each one of these lives touches US regardless if we go on with our daily business . Karma is simply cause-and-effect. This idea that “everything happens for a reason” If there is such a thing as divine justice or karmic retribution, the world we live in is not the place to find it.

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(1)>>He said that he had stolen the sign as a “trophy” for a US church with the "connivance of the US administration".  While the "confession" was probably North Korean , the question of Otto being forced to read it in the North Korean court is a bit mind boggling . Sure it was typical propaganda  A bit over a year ago, as Warmbier's sentence hit the news, some media outlets used it as a teachable moment, though the exact point was never all that clear. On Comedy Central's The Nightly Show, host Larry Wilmore opined that the lesson was "Frat Bro Privilege not valid in totalitarian dystopias."(1.2)>>Ebony Magazine . Here is the best quote from the article  :
 Headline after headline has highlighted that Otto Warmbier is a student. His Linkedin profile states that he is majoring Economics with a minor in Global Sustainability and is a Managing Director of an “alternative investment fund.” A man reared in this country who studies the globe as a part of his higher education curriculum must have been at least passingly aware of the notoriously strained relationship between the United States and North Korea. Surely he had read the stories of Jeffrey Fowle and Matthew Miller, other White American men arrested in North Korea for “petty crimes” who were subsequently sentenced to hard labor.

 (2)>>Was Mr. Warmbier "spying" ?  Several thousand us citizens visit the DPRK {NORTH KOREA }  each year without any incident. among the ones who are detained/captured/etc, typically for religious purposes or reporters lying about their credentials. even then, every account of a prisoner released is that they were treated reasonably well during their detainment. They're basically kept near Pyongyang in a solitary prison meant only for foreigners. However some are "detained" for certain reasons . And now the six million dollar question. Was Warmbier an Israeli spy?{ see this URL for an interesting note by VETERANS TODAY short URL  trying to find any reasons why Otto was arrested . Who knows, but it is likely that someone in North Korea thought he was.he U.S. State Department strongly warns U.S. citizens not to travel to North Korea/the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), though travel there is not illegal.“U.S. citizens in the DPRK are at serious risk of arrest and long-term detention under North Korea’s system of law enforcement,” according to the U.S. Department of State. “This system imposes unduly harsh sentences for actions that would not be considered crimes in the United States and threatens U.S. citizen detainees with being treated in accordance with ‘wartime law of the DPRK.’ It's highly unlikely ANYTHING the regime has said about Otto Warmbier is factual. He probably didn't "steal" that poster in exchange for some church promising him a $10,000 car as his family is reportedly "well off". More likely he was randomly retained while boarding the plane home to be used as a political bargaining chip for future purposes. He was an American in the wrong place, at the wrong time. He naively went to one of the most dangerous places on THE PLANET out of a desire "for an adventure" as stated by his dad. He sadly Otto fell prey to some ridiculous "tour" touted by "Young Pioneer Tours" which lures ignorant people (as it's now evident) who are ill informed, or just simply reckless. Why his parents agreed & paid for the trip (presumably) is beyond logic.....(3)>>So it's a HARD LESSON . Mar 18, 1994 - Which brings us to Michael Fay, American teenager in Singapore. ...During the spring of 1994, Americans were gripped by an incident in Singapore which unexpectedly became a cause celebre: the caning of Michael Fay, who was sentenced for his role in vandalizing property in Singapore. The sentence caused outrage in the United States and even President Bill Clinton became involved in the court proceedings. The seemingly minor incident became such an issue that it threatened to derail the normally friendly bilateral relationship. The Singaporean government eventually lowered the penalty to four lashes from six; the caning was administered on May 5, 1994. (4)>>Michelle Carter.Now, this kind of tells me she wasn't as evil as some comments note:  "Days before his death, Carter urged him to get help. “But the mental hospital would help you. I know you don’t think it would but I’m telling you, if you give them a chance, they can save your life,” she wrote."  She probably got tired of him telling her he wanted to commit suicide, and then the other texting that got her convicted. Her lawyer did her a disservice by not accepting a jury trial. Carter and Roy had met in Florida two years earlier while visiting relatives. Their relationship largely consisted of text messages and emails. They hadn't seen each other in more than a year when Roy died, even though they lived only about 50 miles apart in Massachusetts, Carter in Plainville, and Roy in Mattapoisett.At the most she should have been charged with aggravated assault: Aggravated assault is an attempt to cause serious bodily injury to another or to cause serious bodily injury purposely, knowingly or recklessly, with an extreme indifference to the value of human life. She was a minor, 17, at the time. She needed psychiatric care and to be banished from social media for life. Also, she should sue her attorneys for malpractice for allowing her to waive a jury trial. She never would have been convicted by a jury!!   (5)>>It CAN NOT JUST BE Michelle's OWN FAULT  . Just where were Conrad Roy III's Parents ?? The younger Roy, who had struggled with anxiety and depression and attempted suicide before, was found dead in his pickup truck on July 13, 2014. He poisoned himself with carbon monoxide. Just were there any indications to Conrad's parents that something was going on . His  Parents should have taken an interest in their own teenage boy . Considering the implications of suicide . His parents are now wondering what could they have done.  This is a case where adults should have intervene to provide help and guidance. Holding children responsible for not acting like adults doesn't seem to be just.      (6)>>The national outcry is still vary strong .   As a BLACK LIVES MATTER sympathizer  . I know that there is black on black crime , gangs , etc & . The question of poverty . Saving the lives of all lives matter as such . The black community has suffered racism, lynchings . That stigma resonates when ever the law takes actions against the notion of police brutality . Reality is that many of the these black men who met their deaths under the hands of a white Police officer where "unarmed" in many cases .Common sense, I mean even the common sense that a complete moron would have, would tell you that Castile was not aggressive. Even if Castile WAS the robbery suspect, the panicked actions of Yanez identify him as someone who is not qualified to carry a fire-arm. I wouldn't even trust him as a Wal-Mart greeter. Is Yanez guilty of murder? The 7 shots fired at point blank make me lean towards yes. Is he guilty of at least manslaughter? Absolutely. We need to re-evaluate the role of police officers in our society. Police patrols should not be a thing with the exception of certain situations. Unless someone called 911, I don't want to see a police officer. Do firemen drive around looking for fires?

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