Friday, January 29, 2010
An illegal immigrant drug dealer who fled to his native Mexico after orchestrating the murder of an Iowa teenager is free because his conviction was overturned by an appellate court that ruled he was denied a speedy trial while he was a fugitive from U.S. justice.
The astounding case dates back more than a decade, when the illegal alien (Juan Humberto Castillo-Alvarez) drug lord ordered the execution-style murder of a 15-year-old northwest Iowa boy over a drug debt. The teen, rumored to be a police informant, was kidnapped and severely beaten before getting shot.
Castillo-Alvarez evaded U.S. authorities for a decade, hiding out in his Mexican hometown until spring of 2008 when he was finally extradited, tried and convicted of kidnapping, conspiracy and second-degree murder. He was subsequently sentenced to five decades in prison for the atrocious crime, which was not his first.
Incredibly, the Iowa Court of Appeals overturned the conviction last September, ruling that the illegal immigrant murderer was not granted a speedy trial guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. "The county attorney was well aware that defendant was a citizen of Mexico and that he was located there," the court wrote in its decision. The fact that the defendant went to Mexico in 1997 “does not shed light on why there was delay" between the time trial information was filed and the time he was arrested, the ruling says.
Announcing it would appeal to Iowa’s Supreme Court, the state’s Attorney General countered that the delay was attributable to Castillo’s flight from the United States to avoid prosecution. Furthermore, the Attorney General pointed out, prosecutors had no control over Mexico’s slow extradition process. Throughout the procedure, U.S. officials maintained regular contacts with Mexican authorities but had no jurisdiction to do more to ensure prompt location of the defendant and execution of the outstanding arrest warrant, the Attorney General said.
This week Iowa’s Supreme Court refused to review the overturned conviction, which essentially dismisses the case against the illegal alien murderer. Double jeopardy prohibits Castillo-Alvarez from being retried. The demoralized Clay County posecutor said: “It is disappointing that the justices in Des Moines don't understand and appreciate the difficulties in pursuing a murderer who flees to his home country of Mexico to avoid prosecution. It is also discouraging that those same justices didn't hold Castillo responsible for his own conduct in fleeing the state to avoid prosecution."
Where to begin? I'm so stunned that I'm nearly speechless! First things first...any of you who read me with any regularity know how I stand on illegal immigrants. I simply do NOT understand why they are getting rights under the United States Constitution when they are not a citizen of this country. And when those "rights" lead to a convicted murderer getting away with...well...murder, there is something seriously wrong with the system.
Secondly, WTF is with the justices in Iowa??? Let's review, shall we? You have a person who has committed a heinous crime - said person is in this country illegally, using a false name and false social security number. He then flees to Mexico to avoid prosecution. The Mexican authorities, in conjunction with the American authorities finally find, arrest and extradite him. He is convicted of the crime he has committed. And yet...YET...they have the audacity to overturn the conviction because he wasn't granted a speedy trial, pursuant to rights that he should not have in the first place??? Are you serious??? I have read the opinion, and quite frankly, it's a steaming pile of male bovine excrement (to quote a dear friend).
In essence, the only way you can get around the 90 day rule is (1) the defendant has waived speedy trial, (2) the delay is attributable to the defendant, or (3) other good cause explains the delay. I simply do NOT understand how a person fleeing the country to avoid prosecution does not fall into category (2) above!!!
Our justice system in this country is back-asswards, and I just don't know what we can do about it. Unbelievable.
I thought he was very condescending. I seriously can’t figure out if he is really not listening to the American people – if he’s that out of touch, or if he’s that arrogant as to completely ignore the will of the people in order to tell us what is best for us.
I think dissing the SCOTUS on national TV right in front of them was a most disgusting thing to do.
I know that he needs the TOTUS (even to speak to 6th graders), but once – just ONCE – can you look directly into the camera so that the American people feel like you’re talking to us? Isn’t that what the State of the Union is about? Letting we the people know what’s going on, what’s going to happen, what your plans are?
I really can't stand looking at Biden and Pelosi grinning from ear to ear...this is supposed to be a serious speech. I wanted to smack the grins right off of them. And speaking of serious - Mr. President, this is not a comedy show. I don't know if by cracking jokes you think you are "connecting" to the people, but there are a lot of us out here that are NOT laughing. We're losing jobs, losing homes, afraid for our country and the direction its headed. I, for one, was not amused.
STOP THE BLAME GAME!!! Dude – seriously. Even your own party is realizing that it’s time to stop blaming the previous administration for all the ills of the world. Sheesh!! You’ve been in office for a year now – start taking some ownership.
And finally – does this president, for one second, think that the majority of thinking people in this country believe his bullshit? Playing the semantics game will not work. I was, quite frankly, insulted that he thinks that the people of this country are stupid enough to buy into his line of crap.
And those are my random thoughts.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Born today at 3:33 p.m., he is 8.5 pounds and 21 inches long. Mom and baby are doing well...dad is pround as a peacock.
I'm half tempted to jump on a plane and go see them...six weeks isn't THAT long, is it?
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
As far as The Elder is concerned, he is LOVING the Army. I rely on TSC for most of my information, but I've gotten some text messages here and there. He will be graduating basic in March, and I already have my plane and hotel reservations...I can't WAIT!!! I'll get to meet the baby (hereinafter referred to as "wiggleworm" cuz that's what mommy calls him/her), see TSC again, see The Elder graduate and also reconnect with his mom and dad. What could be better???
Thanks for your service babe - God be with you. And with you too, TSC!
Monday, January 25, 2010
In any case, I just wanted to explain my absence to my 1 or 2 readers, and let y'all know that I will be back ASAP. After all, we DO have the State of the Union address on Wednesday!
P.S. - I was conscious enough to see the Saints beat the crap out of Brett Favre! :) GEAUX SAINTS!!!
P.S.S. If I've made spelling or grammatical errors, see paragraph 1 for the explanation!
Sunday, January 17, 2010
The weather forecast for the day was a bit off. It was supposed to be 37 and sunny...that's reasonable. The actual temperature was 25 degrees with no sun. Yet people stayed, and listened, and cheered!!
The only complaint I have about yesterday's event was that the start time was 3:00, yet they didn't start until 3:30 in order to let more people get situated. While I understand the speakers want a larger audience, I just don't think that's fair to those of us who not only planned better, but ended up having to freeze an extra 1/2 hour waiting for those who didn't.
That being said, it was exhilirating to be a part of that crowd. So many people willing to freeze their butts (or in my case, my feet) off because they truly care about what's going on in this state and this nation. Those who want to save this country...and let the elected officials know that they work for us...NOT the other way around.
And yeah - I AM in the picture. :) You can find more pictures of the event here.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Port-au-Prince, Haiti — The earthquake spared neither poor nor powerful: The president was homeless, the U.N. mission chief missing, the archbishop dead. Whole neighborhoods were flattened and perhaps tens of thousands of people killed in the latest catastrophe to befall impoverished Haiti.
Dazed survivors wandered past dead bodies in Port-au-Prince's rubble-strewn streets Wednesday, crying for loved ones, and rescuers searched collapsed buildings for signs of life.
The first cargo planes with food, water, medical supplies, shelter and sniffer dogs headed to the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation a day after the magnitude-7 quake flattened much of the capital of 2 million people.
Hospitals, schools and the main prison collapsed in Tuesday's quake. The capital's Roman Catholic archbishop was killed when his office and the main cathedral fell. The head of the U.N. peacekeeping mission was missing in the ruins of the organization's multistory headquarters.
At a triage center improvised in a hotel parking lot, people with cuts, broken bones and crushed ribs moaned under tent-like covers fashioned from bloody sheets. "I can't take it anymore. My back hurts too much," said Alex Georges, 28, who was still waiting for treatment a day after the school he was in collapsed and killed 11 classmates. A body lay a few feet away.
"This is much worse than a hurricane," said doctors assistant Jimitre Coquillon. "There's no water. There's nothing. Thirsty people are going to die."
Bodies were everywhere in Port-au-Prince: those of tiny children adjacent to schools, women in the rubble-strewn streets with stunned expressions frozen on their faces, men hidden beneath plastic tarps and cotton sheets.
I can't even begin to imagine the horror. I don't think we will be able to comprehend the body count. Even pictures won't begin to describe what this hell must feel like.
What really makes me sick is that scammers are taking advantage of this horrific situation. These people who take advantage of a disaster for personal gain are a few steps beneath pond scum. For a list of the scams already being perpetrated, click here. For a good, reliable list of ways to help with the relief effort, click here.
May God be with all those who are affected by this disaster.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants the Health Department to add salt to a crackdown list of foods that includes a ban on transfats and a requirement for fast food restaurants to display nutrition labels.
Now Bloomberg wants to go nationwide, urging a ruling to limit the salt in prepared foods sold in the city by 25 percent by 2014.
Nutritionists say excessive dietary salt can cause increased blood pressure, which leads to heart disease, the No. 1 killer in America.
Nutritionist Keri Glassman said Americans consume about double the sodium they should, and the New York plan would not prohibit people from using a salt shaker.
"They're just trying to control the amount of salt that we get in our diet that we don't even know we're getting that we find in packaged processed foods. Let us take control, if you want to add some then that's your choice, but at least have the choice," she said.
But Justin Wilson, a senior research analyst with Consumer Freedom, said the "one-size-fits-all policy" applies to only a small part of the population, and not even everyone who needs it since "only 30 percent of people with high blood pressure need to reduce their salt intake."
"I think Mayor Bloomberg fancies himself to be a big brother," Wilson told Fox News. "He's slowly but surely regulating New Yorkers' diet to be just plain old bland. And I think it's just inappropriate for the government to mandate how much salt that we can eat, especially when you consider not everyone needs to have a low-salt diet."
Let us take control??? There ya have it folks - again, the government trying to control our individual choices. In two sentences, she used the word "control" as it applies to the government.
This resonates with me. You see, I have high blood pressure. And I'm a salt addict. My one New Year's resolution (I usually don't make them) is to cut down on my sodium intake. Now - do I need the government to help me do that? No, I don't. If people really want to watch their sodium intake, do what I've been doing...READ THE LABEL. Is there a lot of sodium in many products? You bet. Do many of them have low sodium alternatives already on the shelf? You bet.
I am so damned sick and tired of the government taking away choices from individuals. I'm being told what I can eat, drink, drive, how to raise my child. For God's sake - when will it end? If they can't ban it, they'll tax the hell out of it.
If people are too stupid to realize that fast food is fattening, then they need to educate themselves. If folks don't take the time to look at labels, then they have no one to blame but themselves. I contend that it is NOT the government's roll to dictate how each and every individual lives their life...it is NOT the government's roll to make personal choices for us.
Monday, January 11, 2010
There will be a Taxpayer Rally in my neck of the woods on Saturday, January 16.
Date January 16th, 2010
Time 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Sponsor Racine Tea Party and Americans for Prosperity
Location 4505 Highway H
Joe the Plumber
Vicki McKenna - WISN
State Representative Robin Vos
State Senator Joe Leibham
Tim Dake - WI Grandsons of Liberty
Adelle Weeks - global warming expert
Mark Block - Americans for Prosperity
Linda Hansen - Wisconsin Prosperity Network
I plan to attend. Will I see you there?
Saturday, January 9, 2010
This post got me thinking about another scenario.
This baby was born at 28 weeks gestation. For those of you who don't like math, that means he was born three months premature. His parents didn't get to hold him at birth, as he was whisked away by doctors and nurses. When the doctors came to talk to the parents, the news was frightening. They were told that if this little boy survived, there was a very real possibility that there would be mental and/or physical abnormalities. Over the next few days, a machine helped that child breathe. He was fed through a tube. He was hooked up to all manner of machinery.
Over the next few weeks many tests were done. The parents were told that in a baby that premature, particularly a boy (don't know why, but prematurity affects boys more severely than girls), there was a high likelihood that there would be bleeding on the brain which could lead to brain damage. The child also had a condition called Retinopathy of Prematurity which will have one of three outcomes 1) it would correct itself...2) he would need glasses as a toddler or 3) he would go blind. The baby's birth weight was 3 lbs, 3 oz but dropped dangerously to 2 lb 5 oz.
Months later, that baby went home, but his parents had more than a year of follow-up with various doctors, physical therapists, what have you.
If we had government run health care, would the decisions that were made by the parents and the doctors have been the same? Or would the bureaucrats in Washington have decided that the financial risk on this child was too high?
Meet that baby, my son, 12 years later.
He is a happy, healthy, normal 12 year old boy. Well, as normal as one can be with me as a mom!! It makes me physically ill to think what may have happened had we not had the freedom to decide what is best for our son. It literally brings tears to my eyes as I write this to think that had it been up to the government, my beautiful son may have been "too high a risk" for the healthcare system to save.
Think about it friends. It can happen to you.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
The Obama administration's decision to crank up airport security for passengers traveling to the U.S. from 14 nations has triggered a backlash of complaints from Muslim and privacy groups who say President Obama's response to terror threats amounts to little more than racial profiling.
But defenders of the policy say it's a carefully targeted way of zeroing in on those travelers most likely to pose a threat, and that hurt feelings shouldn't really matter after the United States narrowly averted, by sheer luck, a deadly midair bombing on an airliner heading to Detroit on Christmas Day.
The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday criticized practically every initiative the Obama administration has taken in the wake of the failed attack on a Northwest Airlines flight. The ACLU scolded Obama for announcing he would suspend the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to Yemen, for suggesting the no-fly list should be expanded and for subjecting passengers from 14 nations to additional screening.
It comes pretty close to across-the-board profiling of Muslim travelers," said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "Usually after these kinds of incidents you see some knee-jerk reaction. ... It's often, 'Let's let Muslims pay the price for this one because we can't think of anything else to do.'"
But given that almost all terror plots these days are driven by Islamic jihadist beliefs, proponents of the extra layers of security say profiling, done carefully, is not necessarily a bad thing.
Of COURSE it's not a bad thing!!! I am so FREAKING sick and tired of these liberals with their heads in the clouds. Who in the world do they think are planning and carrying out these attacks? The people I mentioned in this post and so many like them? It's time to face the fact that being politically correct can and will cost lives...lots of them. It's time to face the fact that profiling can and will SAVE lives...lots of them.
How can they be more worried about the rights of terrorists than the safety of the citizens of the United States of America?? Psssst...all you libs out there. I'll let ya in on a little secret. I'll say it nice and slow so you understand.
THEY. WANT. US. DEAD.
Seriously though, I simply don't understand what is going on these days!! In response to yet another Muslim between the ages of 20 - 38 trying to blow up a plane, we have the illustrious TSA messing with children, an award winning journalist, and a conservative blogger. Really?? Is this supposed to make us feel safer? As I said, I met Shoebox on Sunday, and he is the furthest thing from "threatening" looking that you can get. Other than the fact that he's male, there is not ONE thing that would raise the suspicions of the TSA. I'm beginning to think that those "well trained" employees are just frightened little children. They're afraid to detain people who actually fit the profile of a terrorist. Instead, we have granny and little johnny being targeted.
So friends - let's start the rallying cry...
Hey hey! Ho ho! Shoebox should be free to go!!
Hey hey! Ho ho! Shoebox should be free to go!!
You can read another take on this at Ol' Broad's place.
UPDATE: This comment Shoebox left at Ol' Broad's place says it all...
What pisses me off about this is that I’d have more rights to get the situation resolved if I had actually done something nasty! Terrorists have more rights than US citizens! They are innocent until proven quilty, I’m suspected until proven innocent!
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
NEW YORK (AP) -- Donald Trump boasted that the upcoming season of "The Celebrity Apprentice" is the best ever and promised the star power of its cast "blows `Dancing With the Stars' away."
Maybe the most interesting (to use Trump's pet adjective) participant is former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Vaulted to infamy by headlines and punch lines, he is charged with scheming to auction off President Barack Obama's former U.S. Senate seat, campaign fundraising abuses and other offenses. He was removed from office last January, but has denied wrongdoing.
Ya know, I remember a time when being charged with multiple crimes was something to be ashamed of - not something which leads to becoming a celebrity. Today we have Blago - someone who allegedly was putting a senate seat up for sale, along with various and sundry other acts of corruption. Why does this not shock us?? Are we SO used to corrupt politicians that our first thought is "Hey - let's put him on a reality show"?
We have people like Kate Gosselin who, in my opinion, has exploited her children to the nth degree. Rumor has it that she's going to star in another reality show - looking for a husband.
We have the balloon boy and his family. We have Octomom. We have the Paris', the Brittany's and the Lindsay's. I remember back in the day, people had to actually possess of some sort of talent in order to become a celebrity, not just get in and out of cars showing the world their "goodies".
Why in the world to we celebrate bad behavior? The more society eats it up, the more people will do anything, including exploiting their children, to become famous. There is something inherently wrong with that.
If we stop watching these shows, if the media stops paying attention, maybe, just maybe, we can start to climb back up that slippery slope of decency.