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"We have four boxes with which to defend our freedom: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box." - Congressman Larry McDonald M.D.
(1 April, 1935 - 1 Sept., 1983)


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God Save The Republic







17 January 2011

Below The Radar?

In an MSNBC commentary item today, Eileen Sullivan makes a highly disingenuous attempt to justify her continued employment by writing, "Loners Like Tucson Gunman Fly Below Radar." This attempt becomes patently obvious as Eileen's story mentions several incidents in which Jared Loughner flew headlong into the radar field but was dismissed just like the waves of Japanese war planes that attacked Pearl Harbor back in 1941.

I can only suspect that Eileen and I have a widely differing concept of what 'flying below the radar' is all about. I am immediately drawn the the character portrayed by Gene Hackman in the movie, "Enemy Of The State" while Eileen seems to liken a below radar flight as the real life adventures of Charlie Sheen.

For example: "Between February and September, Loughner had five contacts with Pima Community College Police for classroom and library disruptions." The story continues, "Loughner was suspended in September after college police found a YouTube video in which Loughner claimed the college was illegal according to the U.S. Constitution."

According to Don Borelli, a former FBI Assistant Special Agent, these types of actions are "hardly enough to raise suspicions. Students get kicked out of school for a multitude of reasons, that doesn't necessarily mean that they're going to kill somebody." Well, I'll grant ya that one. However, when students and faculty tell interviewers that they had serious concerns about the guy showing threatening personality traits, I think it's reasonable to suspect a touch of mental instability that could lead a person of semi normal sensibilities to consider the guy a possible danger to himself or others.

Ladies and gentleman of the jury, may I direct your attention to the in-depth investigations following the April 16, 2007 shootings at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech / VT). As a result of numerous fingers pointing in various direction, it was learned that the shooter, Seung-Hoi Cho, had gained some attention around campus as being possibly mentally unstable. VT officials pressed the issue and Cho was forced to obtain a psychological evaluation. It was learned that he had been diagnosed as a danger to himself and others BUT, the information was never forwarded through to the legal channels where red flags would have been raised, and a denial issued by the NICS background check, when he purchased the firearms he used during the shooting. Although described as a loner, it appears that Cho lacked stealth capabilities when it came to flying in and around official radar sites. (perhaps one of the unique differences between an institute and a community college?)

Getting back to Jared Loughner; five contacts with the college police, in a seven month period, for disruptions in class and in the library would seem to establish a pattern of conduct that trained professionals (ie police) could discern between your basic "Animal House" class cut-up type and someone suffering from a long lost grip on reality. To help bring my case to rest, allow me to point out; Loughner was suspended after "the college police found a YouTube Video..."

(1) What were the circumstances that brought this video to the attention of the college police, and

(2) Under normal circumstances, wouldn't the content of such a video be protected under the first amendment and his suspension by the college, therefore, be considered improper and possibly subject to civil litigation? (but remember, the video was described as "cryptic and rambling." words usually best used when trying to lead an audience to conclude there are a few extremely damaged braincells afoot)

Folks, I don't know about you, but I am not convinced that this guy was flying below anyone's radar. For whatever the reason(s), Loughner was allowed to pass through a huge, wide open crack, just like all those planes back in 1941. Maybe we have become too accustomed to having the mentally ill roaming at will, and unsupervised, around us and we don't find a reason to care about aberrant behavior until after something bad happens.

MikeH.

5 comments:

  1. America seems to keep electing them and hiring them in the media

    ReplyDelete
  2. If the public won't oblige the Dark god with a crisis, he'll get help and invent one. Little steps cross huge continents- I'm anxiously awaiting the next little step.
    Shy III

    ReplyDelete
  3. http://catmanslitterbox.blogspot.com/2011/01/russian-foreign-intelligence-service.html

    Perhaps the little steps are making it across the ocean? You may find Catman's post interesting.
    Shy III

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  4. He was WAY above the radar, I don't know what else could have been done. I haven't seen anything about him making threats to others or saying he would harm himself - the usual triggers for a 5150 psych eval.

    Honestly, I don't want the government snatching up folks some ninny college professor finds scary. Anyone who would dare speak out against an authority figure would find themselves in a rubber room.

    I fear that this is going to make it easier to have people eval'd without their consent. "He was blathering 'hate speech' and this nonsense about the Constitution. He's crazy! Lock him up... for his own good, of course."

    Good luck passing a gun background check after having a 5150 on your record.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I believe the sad truth of the matter is, anyone of sound mind who rocks the boat is taking a chance of having any number of dirty deeds thrust upon them. The not so aptly named Patriot Act has left us wide open to it.

    Any one of us can be picked up and held incommunicado. Secret courts, secret search and secret arrest warrants. No warrant wiretaps, no fly lists, unreasonable body searches and full body scans. The elderly / bedridden and children being tased by police, children murdered by SWAT members, nursing mothers taking head-shot by government snipers and whole families incinerated during federal law enforcement raids. (to mention a few) But yet, we are going to suddenly take a stand at the thought of indiscriminate forced psych evals?

    In some states, like New York, the police don't even require a court order to check people into the laughing academy. In one city, 39% of all admissions into emergency mental health facilities, each year, are brought in by the police. (The rest are referred by doctors, hospitals, family and self admissions)

    James Fuller, 63, who was one of the victims wounded in Tucson, was arrested and ordered into an involuntary psych eval this past weekend after telling a Tea Party leader "you're dead" at a town hall type meeting.

    But on the other side of the coin, I read a commentary piece where families of the mentally ill are hoping their ill family member will do something bad enough to gain the attention of authorities, so that their Hannibal Lechter wannabe will be "forced into the system for help." I could be missing something here, but it kind of sounds like what they are saying is "I'm tired of taking responsibility for keeping my whack-job from potentially killing, raping or maiming your family members. How about someone else take control so I can have a life?"

    So, where I'm coming from is, "He's crazy!!! Lock him up for OUR own good.

    MikeH.

    ReplyDelete