Monday, August 30, 2010

Go to Jail For Loved Ones Or Let Sleeping Dogs Lie ~by Jay

Priorities? Obsession? No matter what label is given, it must be a difficult choice for some. Give up your pets or go to jail that is the ultimatum Wanda Moran, a Silver Grove Kentucky woman, must face. Is it really worth going to jail rather than give up one's pets? Wanda Moran has six dogs that she refers to as "family." She keeps her companions inside her home on East First Street at night. However, her companions roam her back yard during the day. As one might imagine, the dogs sometimes bark which apparently disturbs the local customer gossip at a nearby dairy bar.

A Silver Grove regulation indicates that a residence is limited to two dogs. Some question how fair that ordinance can be since a Kentucky resident can marry more than one cousin and have as many offspring as they want. As such, family reunions can create a whole heck of lot more disturbance than a few barking dogs. So authorities are faced with the dilemma of forcing Wanda to give up four of her canine family members or simply tell the rest of Silver Grove to just let sleeping dogs lie. Next week, Silver Grove will perhaps address the growing problem of too many rabbits within city limits.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Are Social Networking Sites A Threat To One's Health?

Putting your life story on a social network is like shouting out your life story in the middle of Times Square. It is not a lot different than passing out your autobiography and resume to everyone at the mall. Is there a real danger in losing one's privacy in this modern era? Many think the dangers of spending so much time on the Internet are greater than simply the health risks of sitting on your butt for hours at a time. Some go so far as to suggest that Facebook and other social networking sites are truly dangerous because they can become tools to facilitate crime, even murder. Is there any evidence to back up such claims? The parents of three Colombian teens may thinks so...

Let's go back a few weeks. Three Colombian teenagers names appeared on a "hit list" posted to Facebook. Subsequently all three were fatally shot. International Reports. The identity of the murder remains a mystery. Even more troublesome is that the author of the list remains unknown. There are rumors that the victims may have had ties to drug gangs. Colombian news suggests the hits might somehow be related to a gang known as the Los Rastrojos ("The Stubble.") Los Rastrojos is rumored to be "one of the most powerful neo-paramilitary drug organizations" in Colombia. The gang has a reputation for making and following through on death threats.

However, others suggest that the hit list and murders are attributable to other rival paramilitary groups. What is known is that on Aug. 15, 16-year-old Diego Ferney Jaramillo and 17-year-old Eibart Alejandro Ruiz Munoz were shot and killed while riding a motorcycle. CNN. The hit list was published on Aug. 17, containing 69 names of local young men, including the two young men that were killed. The list warned: "Get out of town within three days or suffer the same fate as the victims." Facebook subsequently blocked the site. However, on August 20th, 19-year-old Norbey Alexander Vargas was fatally gunned down. His 16-year-old friend, Juan Pablo Zambrano Anacona was also wounded in the incident.

Hate lists have become all too common on social networking sites. Facebook threats. Yet little is typically done about them. In the instant case, no arrests have been made. No suspects have been named. Parents are rightfully concerned. Yet Facebook has remained quiet on the issue. Should Facebook and other sites be banned? Probably not. However, Facebook should make a commitment to do a better job of policing its site and reporting "hate lists" to the appropriate authorities. After all, an owner of a store typically has a duty to exercise reasonable care for the safety of its invitees, so why should the same duty not be extended to a social networking site?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Does Shaquan Duley Give Us Pause To Ponder When Should A Bystander Act?

You may have heard it before. If you did, you probably didn't think it was a real threat and it probably wasn't. "You make me so mad I could just ... shake/ hit/ drown/ etc./ (fill in the blank) you!" When does such a statement become a legitimate threat? Did Shaquan Duley ever make any statements that might foreshadow the future death of her two toddlers?

Duley's two children were found dead in a submerged car. Both infants were still strapped into their car seats. Duley allegedly has confessed to suffocating the children before she drove her car into a South Carolina river. While at first blush it could have been an accident, Orangeburg County Sheriff Larry Williams told reporters that Shaquan Duley admitted she staged the accident.

Shaquan Duley's alleged confession has lead to murder charges. The motive behind the alleged suffocation is not clear. However, Duley apparently became upset after arguing with her mother. This may have led Duley to cover her children's mouths with her hand. She then is charged with driving her car into the North Edisto River. "The Early Show." The bodies of Devean C. Duley, 2, and Ja'van T. Duley, 18 months, were both pulled from the river on Monday. Originally Duley claimed it had been an accident. However, she allegedly recanted the claim that it was an accident. Car submerged, boys drowned in car, children suffocated

So did Shaquan Duley ever say anything to foreshadow this tragedy? Nothing has been reported at this time. But keep this story in mind the next time you hear such words and then see if you react any differently? Take a recent example in today's news. Was a Southwest Airlines flight attendant on a flight from Dallas to Albuquerque thinking about this story when she reportedly took away a baby from its parents after the mother allegedly slapped the infant? Flying the friendly skies. The flight attendant later returned the 1-year-old child to its parents. However, at the airport the parents were apparently greeted by police. Apparently there were no signs of abuse and no charges were filed. But tragedies in the news may lead one to ponder when it is appropriate to intervene.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Humor Can Be Deadly? ~Jay

Heard about killing with kindness? Laughing one's ass off? Sure. But how about bad humor being responsible for four deaths? (If bad humor were a crime, some comedians might get life.) In a recent tragedy, bad humor may have actually been the culprit. CNN has reported that four men died after horsing around in a boat on the American Falls Reservoir in southern Idaho. One man apparently pushed another man into the water as a joke. Authorities received a 911 call from a child on the boat who apparently said the men were "horsing around." Best that I can determine, apparently a man was standing up in the front of the boat. Another man apparently got the bright idea to push him into the water as a joke. Unfortunately the man who fell in the water could not swim. While there were ample life vests, the adults apparently did not think to wear them. As a result, the other three men appear to have died unsuccessfully attempting to rescue the first man. LOCAL NEWS 8.

While exactly when and how each man died is not currently known in detail. It appears that 57-year-old Darrel Shappart, 26-year-old Jared Hale, 30-year-old Aaron Hale and 30-year-old Stephan Verbeck are all dead as a result of a prank that went wrong. Five children under the age of nine were also in the boat. One of the children was mature enough to make a 911 call that triggered a search using sonar. While the so called "adults" all died, fortunately the children were bright enough to all stay in the boat and consequently they all lived.

Does anyone else think water safety instruction for adults should be mandatory or should we only allow children under the age of nine to be in charge of boats?


Editor's Note: Legal Pub extends its deepest sympathies to the families of those who lost loved ones in this tragedy. The exact facts of this tragedy are unknown and no disrespect is intended by this comedian's commentary advocating boat safety.

Monday, August 2, 2010

What Is So Harmful About Bradley Manning's Alleged Leaks to WikiLeaks?

So what's a leak and is it dangerous? We all know what it means when we are in a small boat and our underwear gets wet. Unless the leak is large, damage control in he form of a bucket usually mitigates the consequences. But what does it mean when it comes to the interaction between the Internet and the United States government? Adrian Lamo, is a former computer hacker. He may now be considered one of the top informers, double agents, patriots, stool pigeons, or computer forensic investigators depending upon who one talks too. Lamo recently alerted authorities to Bradley Manning, who is suspected of leaking military information to WikiLeaks. Apparently, two other men in the Boston area may have assisted Manning with the alleged disclosures.
These are not stupid people. The unknown assistants of Manning apparently both attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The men's identity is unknown because Lamo believes that his life may be in danger if he reveals his sources. The unidentified men allegedly told Lamo that they gave encryption software to Army Private Bradley Manning. With a little bit of help Manning then apparently published the information with WikiLeaks.

At the time, Manning was an Army intelligence analyst. He is now held in solitary confinement in Virginia. Just what was so secret that solitary confinement is in order? Manning is accused of leaking an air strike video published on WikiLeaks in April. The air strike reveals that a war is being fought and the unfortunate consequences of war. Manning is also suspected of disclosing thousands of field reports from the war in Afghanistan. Again, the field reports describe war and the horrible consequences of armed conflict.
As a matter of policy, WikiLeaks does not identity its sources. But with the FBI now assisting the Defense Department, it is doubtful that they will take "no" for an answer. In the mean time, all of the media attention has caused many to wonder exactly what the government does not want us to see regarding Afghanistan. Revealing military secrets that put our soldiers in jeopardy is obviously treason. However, revealing the horrors of war and its unfortunate consequences is nothing short of reality t.v. Do we really need censorship?
Update 8-6-10: The government has demanded the return of the "leaked" documents. LINK.
Update 8-21-10: Maybe it really is not a good idea to "pull the mask off the Lone Ranger." In a surprising disclosure, WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, is being investigated for a possible rape in Sweden. Authorities have issued a warrant for his arrest. The 39-year-old Australian denied the allegations on WikiLeaks' Twitter page by saying that the allegations "are without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing." According to the Swedish Prosecution Authority, Assange is actually a possible suspect in two separate incidents.

An arrest warrant means police are seeking his cooperation as part of an investigation but doesn't necessarily mean that criminal charges will be filed. And of course, Julian Assange is to be considered innocent unless otherwise proven in a court of law. As an editor's note, the timing of these allegations is rather suspicious. The warrant was issued in such close proximity to WikiLeaks controversial publication of first hand accounts of the Iraq war that even many conservatives are scratching their heads. Freedom of the press? You bet. That is as long as you don't tug on Superman's cape or try to pull the mask off the Lone Ranger.
Update 12-7-10: Is the founder of WikiLeaks a public enemy for recent disclosures? Julian Assange was remanded in custody by a London judge after he told the court he intended to fight moves to extradite him to Sweden on sex-crime charges.The 39-year-old Australian was asked by district judge Howard Riddle whether he consented to be extradited to Sweden, where he faces one count of rape, one of unlawful coercion and two counts of sexual molestation. The anti-privacy campaigner denies all of the charges and will fight extradition. Associated Press