Making Martyrs: How Capital Punishment Encourages Crime

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Last words are a poignant  mix of religious zealotry, bitter denial, and pained regret; now, the State of Texas posts the last words of every criminal they execute online for your pursuing.  Taylor Lee, one death row inmate, signed off lecturing, “I hope you don’t find satisfaction in this, watching a human being die.”  I do not find any satisfaction, but not because I mourn the passing of a thief and murder.  I am concerned that publicizing the last words of the most malevolent criminals provides role models for future killers, creating more crime.

My paradoxical theory is rooted in the psychological fact that  one of the deepest desires of every individual to feel important.  Self-proclaimed religious martyrs can become idolized by future fanatics looking for absolution and historical significance.  Starry-eyed youth see cold-blooded criminals alongside other celebrities and aspire to chase fame with murderous intent.  Don’t follow my logic?  Nineteen suicide bombers killed twenty-five hundred Americans on September 11, they have inspired an increase in suicide bombers around the world.  Criminals rarely commit sadistic crimes just for monetary and emotional reasons, they have a pathological need for acknowledgement from society.   By publicizing these death row criminals crimes and rhetoric Texas is manufacturing martyrs and crime role models  for America’s errant youth.  This is the opposite of capital punishment’s intention.

I admonish the state of Texas plastering the last words across the Internet like billboard posters for a cool-kids concert.  Capital punishment is one of the most primitive and senseless punishments left in the United States.  Elevating capital punishments status through digital  publication gives a megaphone to the dregs of society pollute the impressionable minds with their sadistic wisdom.  I am not saying that last words should not be open to the public, I am saying they should be somewhere where they would not instigate future terrorism and crimes.  Perhaps eliminating capital punishment all together is the best solution to reducing extreme crime.  After all, there cannot be martyrs if criminals are forbidden to die.

 

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United States v. Jones: The Struggle Between Privacy and Big Data

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il divino - there's two types of berets

The Supreme Court Mediates Between Constitutional Rights, Security, and Mechanical Surveillance

Law enforcement is increasingly utilizing man’s best friend: gadgets.

Everything from surveillance cameras to radar guns are common tools in the modern police arsenal.  With the advances in modern technology equipment such as GPS’s, global positioning systems, are increasingly used in the war on crime to track criminal and their transports.  These technological interventions are awakening questions about the legality of using these tools of Big Data for small, potential crimes.  The Supreme Court’s Case of United States v. Jones frames the grand struggle between historic, constitutional rights and security with the modern forces of Big Data and individual’s privacy.

What Is United States v. Jones?

In January 2008 Antione Jones was arrested on the charges of narcotics violations.  Issues arose with the conviction when his lawyer claimed that the police disregarded the Fourth Amendment during the investigation.  The police had used a GPS hidden on Jones’s car to track his movements  The Fourth Amendment protects American citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures or invasions of privacy; police are required to get a warrant for all significant investigations.  There was not a warrant for the GPS.

Were the Police Acting Illegally?

The police are not out of line, the law is just not up to date with the current technology.

There was a precedent for the GPS.  In 1983 the Supreme Court handed down a verdict on United States v. Knotts.  A warrantless radio beeper had been used by the police to track a barrel of chloroform, which was intended to be used for the production of illegal drugs, being transported by Knotts.  The Supreme Court upheld the decision, with the beeper’s evidence, to convict Knotts.  They ruled the police are empowered their abilities to use the latest technology to protect the country.

How is Jones Arguing His Case?

Jones’s case is built on the vast differences between an archaic beeper and a modern GPS.  A beeper plots one journey and had close police supervision.  The modern GPS pinged Jones’s location once every ten minutes for twenty-eight days.  The police obtained 4032 points of reference, but for the majority of the time they are attending to other duties as the data accumulated.

The Supreme Court is concerned that weakening the Fourth Amendment further, by allowing the warrantless use GPS and like technologies, could spell disaster in the Age of Big Data.  This is because GPS location will be common place in every device.  The possibilities for the future are a touch too Orwellian for their tastes; if police are not required to get warrants then every piece of technology could become a people tracker.

What Precisely is Big Data?

Big Data is an umbrella term for analysis and conclusions concerning of massive data sets, these can be everything from secondly GPS pings to every transaction on Wall Street.  Some of the pioneering Big Data studies have already created staggering results; one algorithm derived from Big Data could predict a cell phone user’s positions within a square mile ninety percent of the time.

The possibilities for future applications are endless.

What are the Implications Pertaining To Big Data of United States v. Jones?

If it is ruled that warrants are not needed big data may evolve into a tool of transparent tyranny.  Smart devices will fence in the frontiers of privacy because police and invested third parties will be able to track every step of everybody.  However, corporations and research institutes will more easily be able to use smart devices to explore the new frontier of Big Data and construct world-changing algorithms as fast as possible.

If the Supreme Court rules warrants are needed, which is the morally correct decision, and then our Fourth Amendment rights will be upheld at the expense of world-changing big data.  Invested third parties, searching to profit or learn from the Big Data we all produce, will find it increasingly hard to ascertain the statistics needed to make workable algorithms because the stronger Fourth Amendment will protect smart device users more broadly.   Big Data’s growth will be stunted because analysts simply will not have the data necessary to make quantitative decisions.

The decades of the twenty-first century will be named by the technologies dominating them; 2000-2009 will be the Age of the Internet and 2010-2019 will be the Age of Big Data.  Here, with United States v. Jones, the Supreme Court is adding their personal footnote for the future of America.

Over 700 Arrested on Brooklyn Bridge: Occupy Wall Street Protesters Gridlock New York City

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What’s wrapped in orange netting, tastes like pepper spray, and is synonymous with “revolutionary?”  The Occupy Wall Street Movement.

NYPD - Exit from the Bridge

Police Officers Arrest Over 500 Occupiers

What Happened Today?

With chants like, “Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho.  Corp-rate Greed has got to go!”  Hundreds of Occupiers moved from New York City towards Brooklyn, across the historic Brooklyn Bridge.  Many took the pedestrian walkway and protested unmolested.  An undetermined number of demonstrators were entrapped in the traffic lanes, by police officers.  They were cordoned for hours as police officers arrested a few at a time.  All were arrested.  By 8:05 the Brooklyn Bridge was reopened, much to the inflamed bemusement of commuters.

Growing numbers of Occupy Wall Street protesters, initially it was announced that 400 were arrested, then 500, and now more than700, were arrested in The Battle of Brooklyn Bridge.  Many of those who have been arrested have been released with a mere summons.  The NYPD is  simply running out of resources such as, as many dark humor activists have pointed out, cable ties.

The Aftermath Facts

The precincts are full, the 700 protesters arrested today it is said they have been left on buses for the time being.  No water, no food.  Apparently, international photographer to Monica Lopez has taken photos of a twelve-year-old girl getting arrested.  Several marines, in organized fashion, are coming to support the cause, have are coming to support the protesters.  At least one legal observer was arrested.  These revolutionaries are in it for the long haul.  There is no sign of them halting, their momentum only gains.

How is the Protest Progressing?

For hours a live feed of the Occupy Wall Street protests have streamed, live, their demands.  The growing multitudes voice their demands in call and response pattern; one leader speaks their beliefs and the congregation echoes their concern.  Their concerns are simple; protect our environment, protect our security, protect our jobs, and above all protect the rights and political power of the “99%.”  The 99% refers to the everyday American, not the Wall Street Broker or the Hollywood Big Shot, but instead the everyday hero.

They fight for every teachers, every soldiers, every salesmen, everybody who has ever worked in a cubicle, and even every police officer.  Our jobs have been leached from America, globalized by corporate greed as our national stability is endangered by an increasingly polarized Congress.  They are speaking out because the system of checks and balances is out of balance and too many good people are getting hurt for the benefit of a few fat cats, who have bankrupt this once great nation, can lounge in their penthouses.  This will not continue, the Occupiers will have victory.

Get the Latest at this Occupy Wall Street Twitter Feed, or you can get a copy of the Occupy Wall Street Journal.

Get the Demands of the Occupiers Here.

Occupy Wall Street

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What is “Occupy Wall Street?” : The American Variant of the Arab Spring & The Origin of the Second American Revolution

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Occupy Wall Street Protesters Arrested For Campaigning For Basic Human Rights

It should be noted that the Arab Spring flared in America on September 24, 2011 and has since burned brightly, lighting downtown New York City while singeing Chicago, Denver, and Los Angles.  This global revolution has taken the form Occupy Wall Street here in America.  They campaign for ethical reforms for majority of the population, which are needed to combat the unconstitutional and immoral actions of the richest 1% of the population.   In the words of Michael Moore, “Something has Started.” This is the beginning of the Second American Revolution.

What are the Occupy Wall Street Protestors Moving to Accomplish?

They want to enact economic and judicial reforms on a national scale.

They are campaigning against a broad range of failings that have hurt the American public.  Several important issues are combating corporate greed, unshackling union’s collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin, and overturning Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a Supreme Court Decision that gave corporations the right to invest unlimited funds in political campaigns.  Many demonstrators believe the financial sector, embodied by the Wall Street Stock exchange, to be at the heart of these problems.  This is why ground zero for Occupy Wall Street is in New York City; they really just want their voices to be heard in the increasingly polarized and glaringly corporate political battleground.

Will They Be Successful?

Yes.

Their protest is the American manifestation of the Arab Spring, which has uniformly been unstoppable.  The trend with this sociopolitical titan has been that nations either meet the demands of the populace or inevitably fall to rebellion.  These protests will be historically noted as the beginning of either one or the other in America.

The Arab Spring has already been felt around the world, from the revolting Arab nations successfully completing revolutions, British looting of London, and Greek riots spreading anarchy.  Everywhere people are revolting against the same issues, only the names and places are different.  It is likely historians will it call the Jasmine Revolution, after its original name with the fiery startup in Tunisia.

These initial protests may not be successful, perhaps doing little more than slowing a few investors commute.  What is significant is that Americans are mobilizing not against any specific issue, but instead against the decaying economic order.  They are protesting the schism between the astounding wealthy and the numerous poor.  This is similar to other “Jasmine Revolutions.”

How Does Occupy Wall Street Resemble the Arab Spring?

Occupy Wall Street, which can be identified as a public organization for economic reform, bears striking similarities to the origins of most Arab Spring revolutions.

The Tunisians, the first pioneer of the Arab Spring, say their revolution was sparked by “unbalanced economic growth” as well.  Egyptians revolted due to, “rising food prices, high unemployment, and the corruption that pervades economic life in the region.”  Yemen is on the verge of a regime change, because of a widely corrupt government and major “economic grievances.”  With the exception of the corruption, all of these concerns are prevalent in every region of the United States.  The maldistribuiton of wealth and resources in America parallels those of the revolting Arab States; it was only a matter of time before distraught and jobless citizens took action.

Why Has There Been Police Brutality?

I would like to make note that while there have been a few occasions, including one incident involving dangerous use of pepper spray and others where police aggressively arrested unruly protesters, on the whole Occupy Wall Street has not suffered from unexpected amounts of police brutality.  This is a large-scale, well covered protest; incidents of this nature happen during such demonstrations.   It could be much worse and much more violent.  These cases of controversial police aggression are regrettable results from the patriotic activism of the protesters going beyond conventional terms of engagement.  These protesters knew the risks when they decided to stand up for what they believed in.  The policemen are simply doing their jobs; I would not judge them too critically lest they desert our popular cause entirely.  Everybody knows they did wrong, all we can hope is that incidents do not persist.

1667 Protesters Arrested: Malaysian Capital Seized By 20,000 Free Election Protesters of Bersih 2.0, City Became War zone when the “Yellow Shirts” were Met With Violent Riot Cops

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Protestors Rally in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Protest Lack of Election Reforms.

There is blood in the gutters and death in the streets of the capital city Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  Protesters demanded free elections and the right of assembly and they were met with the threat of a whipping police baton and cease and desist order; their Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections had been outlawed and their rallied declared an unlawful gathering.  Twenty thousand progressives, many wearing iconic yellow shirts, rallied nonetheless, marching on the central stadium for their rally.  Water cannons, tear gas grenades, thousands of bright red riot cops, and a determined government drove back the righteous revolutionaries and imprisoned a tenth of their number.  A grand revolution, declared, Bersih 2.0, of Oceania has begun, however it will be met with a stiff authoritarian resistance, code-named “Operation Erase Bersih.”

What Exactly are the Protesters Challenging?

Prime Minister Najib Razak is the current head of the United Malays National Organization, a political conglomerate that has ruled the country since its independence from Great Britain.  While his government has attempted economic progress political opponents have condemned his party’s widespread use of fraud, corruption, and racial discrimination to retain its failing authority.  Marginalized races form the base of the coalition, consisting of over 62 separate non government organizations across all ideological spheres.  They all want one thing; fair elections and reforms allowing new political parties into the ruling government of Malaysia.  They were denied, so they choose July 9, 2011, the 54th anniversary of Malaysian Independence for their social revolution, Bersih 2.0.

What Has Happened to the Demonstrators?

The authority’s militaristic action has largely broken up the rallies; now the crest of this current protest has receded they have begun releasing 1600 of the jailed civilians.  Reports from protesters of Bersih2.0 say that at least one man has died because of breathing problems related to the protests.  The police lack the capacity to quickly take on so many new inmates and it is speculated that executives want to mitigate the rioter’s fury.  A short stint in holding cools tempers, a long time behind bars sparks hatred and rage.

What About the Remaining Leaders of the Demonstration?

They are going to remain locked down for the foreseeable future.  Preceding the protest opposition political leaders have been targeted and silenced using aggressive police arrests.  Over one hundred were jailed for everything from distributing T-shirts to holding public rallies.  Human and democratic rights were trampled; many leaders of Bersih 2.0 were deliberately threatened, intimidated and brutally treated. An additional hundred were jailed throughout the city during the protest.  These important public leaders are in stasis; their fate has yet to be decided.  Some who were released were re-arrested.

How is the Government Reaction to The Rally?

Major fissures have emerged between the different political spheres throughout the government cast vastly different opinions on Bersih 2.0.  Many of the extreme conservative elements have denounced the protesters, accusing them of “tarnishing” the country’s image and sowing anarchy.  The police chief of the Kuala Lumpur has objected, sympathizing with to the demonstrators because of the harsh police conduct.  These opinions will be crucial in determining the future maturation of these righteous free election demonstrators.

Bersih 2.0 will, and must, succeed for the continuation of Malaysia; otherwise it is probable civil war will engulf the nation.  That is unthinkable for our interdependent economy and international relations; the global recession of 2011 will only get worse at snowball into more anarchy around the world.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn To Cleared of Rape Allegations: Maid to Be Charged With Perjury

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The would-be president of France, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is preparing not only to be freed from the shackles of house arrest, but in addition to have all charges of sexual assault against him to be dropped.  The tables are turned; accusations are raining down on 32 black female maid who ignited this controversy.  The drama at hand, as was reported originally, was Strauss-Kahn chased her through the hotel and attempted to prevent her from leaving while sexually assaulting her, where she worked and where he was staying.  It is now revealed the maid’s credibility has been corrupted beyond reform and her allegations are warped.  One of the most hated, and most powerful men, in the world will walk without a trial.  Legally, this is righteous; morally they are both depraved.

Who is Accusing Who (of What)?

The maid’s original accusations made headlines around the world and derailed Strauss-Kahn’s march towards the presidency of France.  The man, who was entrusted with billions and billions of dollars from around the world for what was supposed to be one of the leading foundations for good of humanity, was accused of committing one of the worst offenses conceivable; rape.  Investigators were able to independently prove that sexual intercourse, most likely forceful, did indeed happen between the two media sensations.  After escaping the maid contacted the authorities.

Strauss-Kahn insists that his only crime was being narcissistically conceited; allegedly she willingly agreed to having sex, and was the one who initiated the encounter.  Problems arose with his minimal, or nonexistent, payment, which infuriated the maid.  It would be assumed that she then sought legal action in hopes to hit the financial jackpot and make off with millions.  If this is true the American justice department has severely mishandled the case, along with several media services who are being sued by Strauss-Kahn for liability.  It is becoming increasingly evident that not only is the former head of the IMF telling the truth and the maid has been spreading deceit.

Why is the Maid’s Credibility Dubious?

The first issue with the accuser is her profession.  During the day she works at the hotel Sofitel, during the night she regularly prostitutes herself.  She falls from the pedestal of victim to the harsh reality of being a greedy streetwalker utilizing her position as a maid to pry open new markets.

The second issue was her immigration status.   Her story was that she her family was killed and she was gang banged in her native country of Guinea.  She fled to the United States and received political asylum using this facade.  Now it is unraveling; her entire story is false.  She is not even from Guinea.

The third bombshell for the increasingly scatterbrained prosecution was that the maid lied under oath to warp the investigation.  Several of topics she lied about were:

– Misstating Income to Get Deducted Housing

– Lying on Taxes

– Lying to the Grand Jury about the incident

– Being involved in money laundering and drug dealing

She is about as reliable as a rat in cheese factory.

Are These Allegations Grounds for Dismissal of the Case?

Strauss-Kahn has had his bail drastically reduced and is no longer on house arrest because the prosecutions only witness is completely fallible and the case has become an international catastrophe.  It is likely the maid will at best serve several years in prison, and at worst be deported back to her real native country.  This terrible case, which wrecked and traumatized the chief combatants, pained all close relations, and unsettled the international financial community because of one woman’s drive for money and the media’s willingness to incriminate for sensationalism.  There is but one moral to take from this debacle: everyone who is accused, even devils like Casey Anthony, are innocent until proved guilty.

The IRA Rises Again: Terrorism in Northern Ireland Reignites

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Continuity IRA 2006

The Irish Republican Army

The IRA have recently reactivated, causing terror and chaos throughout Northern Ireland.  On April 3 they assassinated a young policeman, Ronan Kerr, with the detonation of a car bomb in Omagh, United Kingdom.  Today, an undetonated 500 pound bomb was discovered inside an abandoned van next to a major highway.  Fast reacting bomb squads disarmed the explosives before it detonated, doubtlessly saving dozens of lives and millions of dollars of damages.  Despite this decisive victory a dark, foreboding question has emerged in Northern Ireland: has civil war returned?

Why Have the IRA Gone on the Offensive?

They are copycats.

They are mimicking the violence seen around the world in the fallout of the Tunisia revolution.  When the non-humanitarian government of Tunisia was overthrown a domino effect rippled across the world.  The tyrants in Egypt and Algeria were overthrown and those nations are in the process of stabilizing.  Meanwhile, other revolts around the world sprang up; for example there were anti-corruption protests throughout Croatia, the prime minister of Bolivia was forced to flee Oruro when outraged strikers invaded the city, and the IRA emerged from hibernation in Northern Ireland.  The IRA’s actions were ignited by the sparks in the Middle East combined the yearning hope of a people’s revolution and what they believe to be a fair government.

Who Are the Modern IRA?

This recent spike of conflict was most likely initiated by splinter groups of the original IRA, such as the Continuity Irish Republican Army or the Real Irish Republican Army.

After the Belfast Agreement of 1998, which ended the century long struggle between Irish Separatists, Irish Loyalists, and the Her Majesty’s government the majority of conflict in Ireland ended.  Isolated incidents, caused without the approval of any recognized party, continued until 2001, dwindling steadily in number and magnitude; the attacks are attributed to these two groups, one or both of wish have gone on the offensive once again.

These smaller, radical groups never accepted the ceasefire or turned in their arms, unlike the majority of the Irish Republican Army did after the Treaty of Belfast.  They were still determined to bring Northern Ireland under Irish government, despite what the population want.  The people of Northern Ireland, as a whole, may want to reunify with Ireland, but not at the cost of war.

Will These Incidents Ignite A Large Scale Revolution?

No. The population is too heavily divided for a large-scale rebellion to gain momentum.

There are major portions of the population who would be favorable of the IRA, many North Irishmen did not sympathize with the police in regards to the recent assassination of Ronan Kerr.  However, these elements do not reflect the population as a whole.

Protestant minorities strongly favor the British Government and the Catholic majority in the region is heavily divided.  This largely silent majority is split between favoring Irish and British; however both most definitely want to avoid further conflict. The region suffered billions of dollars of damage in the concluding years of the conflict; nobody wants to return to guerrilla warfare.

More incidents of death and destruction will occur, however once the culprits are captured these bombings will cease.  Northern Ireland will return to its uneasy peace.

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