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Sensible Death Won't Stop Senseless Death

05/18/2022

Looking over the streams of narratives coming out in wake of the mass shooting here in Buffalo, I encountered this one about a candidate for governor capitalizing on the tragedy for visceral "string'em up and hang'em" votes (or just dumbly offering solutions).

Capture of news headline about governor looking to re-institute the death penalty.

It's not that I don't think the death penalty is worthy justice for the victims; it's just that knowing the ultimate penalty might be death doesn't actually deter enough people from doing whatever heinous thing they might, to make me think politicians who champion it are on the up and up level with voters.

The way we, if you'll pardon the pun - execute - the death penalty in America doesn't work to deter criminals enough to tolerate the immorality and penchant for errors of process it incurs.

In the first place most people doing horrible things are acting at some level, irrationally in the first place. Crazy doesn't consider its future. And to those who might, they know the death "system" can be gamed and dragged on for years.  In fact, you don't even have to "game" it; by default it just is a slow multi-decade process. 

As we know the process to take, it would never effectively deter anyone in their 40s or older from acting out who would sooner die of old age waiting for their turn in the chamber.

The death penalty also doesn't deter the "dry suicides". People who have killed themselves spiritually ages ago yet still walk physically among us hurting others and committing crimes, indifferent to their life status or to that of others.  Our consumer winner-lose society breeds these dark souls to no end.

And scrupulous politicians know it. It's just more "Rush Limbaugh Profit Hour" nonsense designed to illicit more votes from people who have an over-idealized idea of what the death penalty on the books actually accomplishes.

I have always been more for keeping people locked up without parole. Sometime after the fifth year or so of hardcore incarceration they truly begin to feel the torture of consequence for what they've done as the world forgets about them and whatever stupid cause they acted in the name of.

Plus, if there has been a mistaken conviction, which is far more common than people think, it's a safeguard that they can be still be rescued.



  By Dave for Personal Blog.

crime

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Is Restorative Justice About Being Broke?

01/08/2022

I keep thinking that during the famously safe years in New York City which I loosely define as between the mid-90s to as recently as only a few years ago, a lot of money was being spent on policing, investigation, and incarceration. 

Maybe too much.

Recently elected NYC DA won't prosecute certain low-level crimes.

Confronting and arresting fare beaters turned out to be unbelievably effective at curbing the circulatory system of people so inclined to do so, who tended to be the same people inclined to do worse.  The Broken Windows thing and all that.  

But it must have been expensive to catch those people, to paint over all emergent graffiti, and to fix every broken window.  So much so, I suspect, that finding ways to justify giving up doing these things has become the imperative.

I am beginning to think that the concept of restorative justice is being allowed to win at the policy level because just maybe we can't afford the level of safety we enjoyed with "intercept, confront, arrest." 

Notice I phrase myself with "allowed to win" because certainly there is nothing wrong with the elements of restorative justice or fair and more compassionate policing.  We would agree any and all of those things are important.  But the fact that these concepts are being allowed to dominate both the process and the outcome as total solutions, is a bit telling.   

No DA can politically tell people the money to aggressively fight crime just isn't there, so adopting noble narratives to explain why that won't be done moving forward might just be the shrewd move.  

Now, I can't tell you that I've dug into the data -- I haven't.    You're only reading this on your screen because any moog with a keyboard can post shit to the interwebs.  But that being said, something has to explain the national trend for ducking confrontations with bad guys.  That we can't afford to seems to fit the bill. 

What I really hope is that I and most people completely misunderstand what the game of pursuing low level crimes is actually all about.  Maybe we as moogs only think that no longer pursuing low level crimes is any different than when we did -- somehow -- and all that's happening here is that some political-minded DA is attempting to solidify his voter base by minting the right words and actions in the media's face.

Linkage:

 



  By Dave for Personal Blog.

crime

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Deli Firebombed, Hero Most Certainly Saves the Day

11/01/2021

Welp, here's a firebomb attack on a deli.

The first lob was devastating enough, but the second would have surely been fatal.  Fortunately an apparent hero emerges to prevent that. Let's hope they find and credit that guy.

The bomber, Joel Mangal, was arrested.  Of course one can't be sure it's the same "Joel Mangal", but there's a name and locale match on LinkedIn where a one Joel Mangal professes "experience in heating and air conditioning".  If it's the same guy, he sure did heat things up, and, he's surely now cooling down in jail.

Linkage



  By Dave for Personal Blog.

crime video

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No, The Sun Sign Is Not Why You Serial Kill

10/23/2021

Just surfing the web this morning and happened upon this.  A vapid pop-astrology attempt to correlate Sun sign positions with serial killing.

I first encountered a mention of this article by a mayonnaise news spread article in the New York Daily News, and just assumed that they had deliberately over-simplified the connection between Sun signs and serial killers because of course people think of astrology in no more complex terms than the Sun's position at birth.  They were keeping it simple to keep it readable.  Surely the actual astrology of the study took into account other elements of birth charts, right?

That gracious assumption was dashed when I clicked through to the study and determined that, horrifically, the authors were in fact talking only about Sun sign positions.  Facepalm.

Running into this article invoked a reaction from me for three reasons.  First, as an advocate of real astrology, vapid references to merely the Sun's position for any substantial analysis is wrenching. 

Second, as a holder of a Bachelor's Degree in Criminology I'm 'apposed to know something or at least be keen on the basic factors involved with criminality.  Which, since I am to at least that very basic level, I better understand facets of criminal behavior and am more qualified to map them to appropriate planetary influences if I'm also going to be an astrologer.

Finally, as a (cough) "practicing astrologer" -- to the degree that I actually am -- I have a specific interest in reverse engineering common outcomes to their astrological basis.  

For example, marital infidelity is far from uncommon, but this does not mean that the millions if not billions of untold cheaters in civilization's entire history all have some clear marker in their respective birth charts.  They don't, they couldn't.  But looking at the birth chart of a cheater you can decipher the very unique motivations to the very non-unique act.

While serial killing is clearly not "common", it happens relatively frequent enough to assure that the actual birth charts between individual perpetrators are likely vastly different. 

There are a lot of pop buzzwords that make up the continent of most people's understanding of serial killers, most of which are accented by the media culture eager to feed people's appetite for real crime drama. 

If you want to even attempt pairing these buzzwords to the planets you'd be looking at things like a chart's integration of personal planets to Mars (violence and lust, or, perhaps more Pluto for sexual sadism), Virgo for compartmentalizers and highly intelligent systematizers, of which many serial killers are reputed as. 

If you believe the trope that serial killers are always somehow more charming than the average bear (the Ted Bundy ethos), you'd be looking at Venus or the Sun itself, with expected emphasis in Libra or any of the communicator signs. 

But above all, you'd be looking for strong personal touches such as the Moon to Neptune or Pisces, since most serial killers, despite their attempts to intellectually explain their behavior, a thing they do for interviewers and jail guards, are likely most motivated by a general compulsion that they themselves do not understand. 

Compulsions and addictions and the ability to self-deny and be "dark" are all Neptune/Pisces things.  Throw in a little Mars, a little of that Virgo, a little Sun, and a conflicted Moon, well, if among these types of configurations you found any sort of a pattern, I'd believe it far more than the mere degree of one's Sun on the wheel.

I completely get that the study's authors aren't making a declaration about such deep astrological factors -- they speak in the tongue of "Entertainment Astrology" of which to that degree there's really no harm, no foul.  Anybody talking about just Sun signs, that website's apparent audience, probably isn't interested in the rest of it.



  By Dave for for Earl Pin Astrology.

crime earlpinastrology

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That Shooting Involving an NFTA Bus

10/03/2021

Here's a linear collection of video clips I recorded on the evening of September 20, 2021 while in commute home from work and a trip to the laundromat (and, KFC).

While heading south on Main Street I overheard a call on the scanner that a shooting had just occurred only blocks ahead of me, and that it somehow involved an NFTA (Buffalo City) bus.

I do not generally "respond" to active crime scenes that are still as hot as this one was at the time, but I realized that the police presence was already strong and getting stronger, so I rationalized it was safe enough to park and document the events as much as might-could be.  I mean, I was driving straight into it in any event.

Although the shooting event itself and scene were dramatic, the closure on this event was actually fairly tame.  According to the police radio traffic sampled later, a victim was shot in the leg and the wound considered non-life-threatening.  

That being said, it's never been cleared up in the open media how the bus actually figured into any of this outside police radio traffic, which suggests that the shooter had direct contact with the bus in such a way that its passengers were terrified and fled off it. 

Part of the  confusion is because the victim themself was treated at the separate location nearly over a block away.  Nonetheless WGRZ TV, at least, did report a bus window that appeared shot out, suggesting the shooting did in fact occur on the bus.

Whatever the case, the bus driver apparently tripped the "Call 911" message on his public-facing displays.

The video collection starts with me driving up to the scene, having just heard it come through on the scanner; then paramedics treating the victim in a parking lot just beside "Dr. Bob's Dentistry";  then me walking approximately a block away to the bus which somehow factored into all of this;  then me, having walked back to my car, marveling over a spent bullet shell casing just behind my car. 

Turns out I had parked in a space adjacent to the area where the shooter actually fired from.

Video 1 of 4 - Hearing the Call, Approaching the Scene

Video 2 of 4 - Apparent Victim Being Treated

Video 3 of 4 - Walk to the NFTA Bus

Video 4 of 4 - Bullet Shell Casing Next to My Car

For what it's worth this is not the first time someone opened up with gunfire on a city bus.  While Googling for the details of this event, I came across a separate 2019 instance.

Yikes.

Understandably it is bad press for the NFTA or any transit agency (note that the NFTA press release site does not explicitly provide a notice of this event), not to mention the city itself, to have something like this sort of thing lathered all over the nightly news.  Police, the media, and the general public are accustomed to shootings occurring in a contained area of high crime neighborhoods, and we all cope day to day believing that "we" are safe in our structured more economically secure lives.  Any city politician or private developer is going to cringe at any hint of incident-leakage into the mainstream public, which is of course, an eventuality.

That is precisely why documenting these events at a chaotic level outside the control of the status quo stakeholders is ever important.  If you are there, you are the reporter.

Linkage



  By Dave for for BuffScan.

buffscan crime video

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Two Shot in Allentown

10/02/2021

[ Note this event occurred earlier than the entry date stamp.  It is a blog post ported from another hosting arrangement. ]

Again in my own neighborhood there has been a dramatic incident, this time a shooting that apparently sent two people to the hospital.

I swear it isn't me, but I'm starting to wonder.  

I was prepping for a gym and laundry run when I noticed the sound of multiple sirens swelling up outside.  Although I'm a born firetruck-chaser, as you might guess, living on Delaware Avenue has actually sort of conditioned me from reacting every time I hear them.  But in this case, there were a lot, and in the next room the scanner chatter, which I wasn't paying particular attention to either, had suddenly gotten dense and excited.  Something big was going on and it was nearby.

Mentions of the actual address were long past by the time I got to actually absorbing the content of radio transmissions, so after a few minutes hoping to learn exactly what was going on, and where, I decided to simply investigate on foot.  Turns out it was all just down the street.

Linkage



  By Dave for for BuffScan.

buffscan crime video

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Dramatic BPD Police Pursuit Audio

10/02/2021

[ Note this event occurred earlier than the entry date stamp.  It is a blog post ported from another hosting arrangement. ]

[ Important Note:  This audio is NOT of the police chase I happened to catch Sunday 6/20 (the video of that is here).  This audio is from a separate incident approximately 2 weeks prior to that.]

And yet MORE drama involving my fine Allentown neighborhood.  I came across this chase as numerous BPD police units were chasing someone or at least on way to chasing someone the wrong way on Franklin Street.  Occurred at 7:55-ish PM -- only about 30 minutes or so prior to this posting.

It's probably worth noting that this chase was not related to another chase earlier this morning (just after midnight) which also involved a crash -- although hearing the story it generally involved the same neighborhood.

From what I interpret in my time listening to the scanner, Buffalo Police has a fairly restrictive chase practice -- frequently breaking off in favor of catching up with suspects later whenever possible.  So, the so-far mysterious chase through Allentown was likely based on something serious.  We'll have to continue monitoring MSM for answers unless you know and tell.

Linkage



  By Dave for for BuffScan.

audio buffscan crime

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Next Time, Just 'Share' On The Ring App

05/09/2020

Well let's face it, these two guys are fucked.

And with just cause.  

One problem that I have with the Ahmaud Arbery murder case is that I can see myself as someone who'd jaunt after a caught-on-camera trespasser.  I am "Mr. Security Cam" after all and intercepting creepers and thieves in the act is what I'm all about as a point of -- odd -- fascination.  I love when technology makes life tougher for that sort of riff-raff.

But would I be jaunting to confront one?  Let alone armed with a gun?  Hell no.  I'd be going to narrate to a 911 operator, or, to take closer-up phonecam pictures (from the safety of my passing vehicle) for breathless "enhanced distribution" on the NextDoor app. 

And, the majority of you would probably feel that I'd be stupid for even doing that.  

With their own stupid understanding of an appropriate response to a trespasser, whether one thought to be involved in previous burglaries or not, these guys escalated a situation better left to uniformed responding patrol officers.  As it is, even if they don't wind up in prison, and they most probably will, the rest of their lives are fucked.

There is the race question to be sure.  And there is definetely a "good ol' boys protecting good ol' boys" thing going on in any event, questions of racism notwithstanding.  The police report used every trick of sentence and slant construction to give the highly questionable series of events a period instead of its richly deserved question mark.

But to me, beyond the waxing social issues clearly at hand here, the proper response to spotting things happening on your survelliance systems is what this case really boils down to and is the relatively boring angle that will probably not get the discussion it deserves.  

Relevant Linkage



  By Dave for Personal Blog.

crime msmfocus

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